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THE YEAR IN FATWAS

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, February 01, 2013

In previous decades in Egypt, the fatwas, or legal decrees issued by learned Muslims and based on Sharia law, revolved around questions like proper prayer, when and where women should wear the hijab, and if smoking was forbidden or permissible.

That was then.

The fatwas issued in the year 2012—the year when Islamists, spearheaded by the Muslim Brotherhood, assumed formal power—are, as one would expect, markedly different, that is, much less restrained. The popular Egyptian Arabic website El-Watan News recently compiled a list of 2012's most "notable" (a euphemism) fatwas. I translate a summary of their findings below, augmented with additional observations:

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Destruction of the Pyramids and Sphinx

In November, Sheikh Murjan Salem al-Jawhari, a Salafi leader, called for the destruction of all idols, relics, and statues in Egypt, specifically mentioning the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids. He called on Muslims to destroy such "idols" just as they destroyed the Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Of course, several months earlier, in July, I reported how several prominent Islamic clerics were calling on President Morsi to "destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As [the first Muslim invader of Egypt] could not." Then and now, the MSM scoffed at the very idea, portraying it as a "hoax." To date, reports from Egypt confirm that "some of the statues have already been destroyed by those belonging to the political Islamist parties."

Marrying Minors (i.e., Pedophilia)

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Vice President of the Salafi Da'wa movement, and thus an authoritative figure among Egypt's Salafis, who are playing a prominent role in the nation's new parliament, opposed setting a minimum age in the new constitution concerning the marriage of minor girls, saying "they can get married at any time," and insisting that Sharia law is clear on this matter. Indeed, earlier, another cleric and member of Saudi Arabia's highest religious council, after saying that girls can be married "even if they are in the cradle," explained the fundamental criterion of when they can copulate: whenever "they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men," which has less to do with age and more to do with individual capacity.

Permitting Lies and Hypocrisy

Dr. Yassir al-Burhami also permitted wives to "lie to their husbands" about their whereabouts—if they were going to go and vote "yes" on the Sharia-heavy constitution in Egypt, and if their husbands would otherwise have disapproved. The ever-expedient Salafi leader also permitted Egypt to borrow money from the IMF, rationalizing the "forbidden" interest rate away as "administrative charges." (Islam forbids Muslim participation in monetary loans that charge interest, as does the IMF.)

Scrapping Camp David Accords

Sheikh Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said that the peace treaty with Israel contradicts the teachings of Sharia and should be annulled, quoting the Koran: "So do not weaken and call for peace while you are superior; and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of [the reward of] your deeds" (47:35). He added that "Jews cannot be trusted." The Islamic logic he and others use is that peace treaties with infidels are legitimate only when Muslims are weak and in need, whereas now that Egypt is under proper Muslim leadership, Allah will help it to defeat Israel.

Killing Anyone Protesting Islamization of Egypt

Sheikh Hashem Islam also permitted the killing of anti-Islamization protesters, portraying them as traitors committing "high treason." The Sheikh also exempted the murderers from having to pay the restitution required by Sharia to a Muslim victim's family. Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim issued a similar fatwa, proclaiming any Muslim who rejects the Sharia-heavy constitution of being an apostate who must be fought and killed.

Obeying President Morsi

Sheikh Ahmed Mahlawi, the leader of an Alexandrian mosque, denounced all Muslims opposed to President Morsi, pointing out that the Koran declares it to be forbidden to disobey those in authority: "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger [Muhammad] and those in authority among you" (4:59). He added that Morsi should be obeyed whether he was elected or not—as long as he enforces the laws of Allah. In fact, according to Sharia, the Islamic ruler must always be obeyed—except whenever he fails to enforce Sharia.

Banning Greeting Christians

The Committee for Rights and Reform issued a Fatwa against congratulating Christian Copts on their religious holidays, notably Christmas and Easter, since Muslims do not share the beliefs specific to those holidays. As for the ever-reliable Salafi Sheikh Burhami, he further forbade Muslim cab and bus drivers from transporting Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as "more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar."

Banning Saluting the Egyptian Flag

Abd al-Akhir Hamad, the mufti of the notorious Gama'a Islamiya (Islamic Group), denounced and forbade the saluting of the flag and the Egyptian national anthem, saying that doing so glorifies that which is other than Allah—not to mention music is simply "haram," that is, forbidden. Dar Al-Ifta' issued a counter-fatwa to allow for saluting the flag and standing up for the national anthem.

Banning TV Shows Mocking Political Islamists

A fatwa banning TV viewers from watching the very popular shows of Bassem Yusif, who routinely mocks Egypt's Islamists and their fatwas, appeared and was originally attributed to Dar Al-Ifta', though it later denied issuing it.

Banning Marriage to Mubarak-Regime "Remnants"

Sheik Omar Stouhi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Islamic Da'wa at Al-Azhar, forbade all Muslim women from marrying any of the sons of the "remnants" of the old regimes, portraying them as non-pious Muslims.

Banning Joining the Dustor Political Party

Sheikh Muhammad Nazmi issued a ban on people from joining Egypt's Dustor political party, headed by Dr. Muhammad al-Baradei, saying that the latter is a secularist and opposed to the implementation of Allah's laws.

Raymond Ibrahim is associate director of the Middle East Forum and author of the Al-Qaeda Reader. Contact him at RaymondIbrahim at raymonddibrahim1@gmail.com. This article appeared January 31, 2013 in Frontpage Magazine and is archived at
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/raymond-ibrahim/egypt-2012-the-year-in-fatwas/


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ISRAEL MUST PULL OUT OF SETTLEMENTS, UN REPORT SAYS

Posted by Ted Belman, February 01, 2013

"Jerusalem rejects 'biased' Human Rights Council finding that West Bank Jewish communities are illegal." This article appeared in the Times of Israel, January 31, 2013.

JTA — A United Nations investigation into the impact of Jewish West Bank settlements on the Palestinian population said that Israel should immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from the territory.

The report issued Thursday by the UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva said that settlement violate the 1949 Geneva Conventions and that failure to withdraw could lead to a finding of war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinians have threatened to take Israel to the ICC since the Palestinian Authority was recognized as having non-member state status in the General Assembly in November.

The Human Rights Council's investigation began last March. Israel did not cooperate with the investigation, including barring investigators from entering the territory, saying that the council is biased against the Jewish state. The council has issued more resolutions regarding Israeli human rights violations than any country.

The report said that Israel "must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT," or Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Investigators interviewed about 50 Palestinians in Jordan in order to prepare the report. The report said that the Palestinians were prevented by the settlements from reaching their farming lands and water resources.

The report estimated that 520,000 settlers live in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem in some 250 settlements.

This, according to the report, "prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination."

Israel's Foreign Ministry rejected the report, calling it "counterproductive." The report "will only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict," the ministry said in a statement.

"The only way to resolve all pending issues between Israel and the Palestinians, including the settlements issue, is through direct negotiations without pre-conditions," the ministry said.

"The Human Rights Council has sadly distinguished itself by its systematical, one-sided and biased approach towards Israel. This latest report is yet another unfortunate reminder of such approach," the ministry concluded.

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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COLLABORATORS IN THE WAR AGAINST THE JEWS

Posted by Steven Plaut, February 01, 2013

collaborators

It is a bit of a shame that Richard A. Falk, professor emeritus of International Law and Practice from Princeton, cannot go back in time in some sort of time machine to right historic wrongs. If he could, there is no doubt at all that he would revise and re-orchestrate the Nuremberg Trials conducted by the Allies after World War II so that the leaders of the United States and Britain were the ones indicted instead. After all, from 1945 onwards the Allies were guilty of "occupation." Earlier, they had even dared to use military force against German terrorism, had caused German civilian deaths in their earlier military incursions and air bombing campaigns, and then illegally colonized German territories. If it were up to Falk, the Nuremberg trials would have been devoted to prosecuting the Jews of Europe for causing so much trouble for those poor innocent Germans.

Falk is not only one of the worst collaborators in the academic wars against the Jews, he is also America's leading practitioner of the Orwellian inversion. For Falk, America is a fascist monstrosity, while the world's fascist and totalitarian monstrosities are democratic enclaves of freedom. For him, Israel is a terrorist aggressor, while the Arab terrorist aggressors are innocent victims and peace-loving progressives. For him, Israel is a Nazi-like country seeking genocide, while the genocidal Islamofascists of the Hamas and their backers are merely protesters against social inequality inside Israel. For him, terrorist aggression against Jews is really the pursuit of peace, while self-defense by Israel is criminal, terrorist aggression and genocide.

So who exactly is Richard Falk? He is basically an Ivy League version of Ward Churchill. He has described himself as an "assimilationist Jewish with a virtual denial of even the ethnic side of Jewishness." According to Martin Peretz of the New Republic, "Yes, let me assure you, this hater of Israel is a Jew. And, also yes, this hater of America is an American. " Falk's only interest in his Jewish origins is when he can use them as a bludgeon against Israel and other Jews. According to one report, Falk may have converted to the Baha'i religion. Falk's wife is a Turkish Moslem.

And just what is Falk's agenda? When addressing an audience of supporters of the anti-Israel organization "Sabeel," Falk thus spoke: "During a question and answer period after remarks by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, an audience member urged people to 'vote the Jewish state out of existence.' Enthusiastic applause erupted up and down the pews." For Falk, it goes without saying that Israel must be annihilated. He cannot imagine any form of Middle East "peace" in which the Jews have not been driven into the sea. In his words, "If we are to re-imagine peace, we have to stop thinking of the conventional two-state solution, this idea of two people living in separate states would be a disaster."

But there is so much more! Falk is a conspiracy nut who is involved up to his hairline in the "911 Truth" conspiracy cult, which claims that the Bush Administration was actually behind the 911 attacks on the US. Falk has repeated over and over his "suspicion" that high American officials, conniving with nefarious Jewish neo-conservatives, were the real culprits who organized the attacks on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon. Falk wrote a sycophantic foreword for a conspiracy "book" by one David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor. Falk championed that "book" and helped get it a publisher. Here is Falk's take on 911:

As far as I can tell, the real explanation is a widely shared fear of what sinister forces might lay beneath the unturned stones of a full and honest investigation of 9/11. Ever since the assassinations in the 1960s of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X there has been waged a powerful campaign against 'conspiracy theory' that has made anyone who dares question the official story to be branded as a kook or some kind of unhinged troublemaker. In this climate of opinion, any political candidate for high office who dared raise doubts about the official version of 9/11 would immediately be branded as unfit, and would lose all political credibility. It is impossible to compete in any public arena in the United States if a person comes across as a '9/11 doubter.'

Writing in the Middle East Quarterly (Winter 2002), Professors of Palestine, Martin Kramer observed that "extracting...ex cathedra rulings from Falk is easy business." Kramer added: "I hadn't seen Falk's authority invoked so reverentially since my own student days at Princeton. Back then, he was the leading campus enthusiast of the Ayatollah Khomeini. 'The depiction of Khomeini as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false,' he wrote in 1979. 'Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane government for a third-world country.' I well recall watching him preside over a 'teach-in' in support of the revolution, which was going to end human rights abuses in Iran. And I recall student groupies applauding fanatically, as if in a trance."

Falk's publication record is a one-sided indictment of everything Western and a one-sided exoneration of everything anti-Western. He was an early sycophant of the Ayatollah Khomeini, publishing in the New York Times on February 16, 1979 a piece titles "Trusting Khomeini." The New Republic claims Falk considered the Ayatollah to be the Messiah. Falk also was a cheerleader for the Khmer Rouge. He regularly writes for viciously anti-American and anti-Semitic web sites such as "Counterpunch" and "Znet."

Kramer adds, "Falk is famous for his one-size-fits-all definition of war crimes and crimes against humanity." So, "in 1998...he warned officials responsible for implementing the United Nations sanctions against Iraq of their 'criminal accountability for complicity in the commission of crimes against humanity.' The persistence of American leaders in carrying out the sanctions regime 'subjects them to potential criminal responsibility.'"

Naturally, Falk also sees conspiracies being perpetrated by Neo-conservatives (meaning Jews) against far-leftist academics. He opines: "There's no doubt that there's a concerted right-wing attempt to intimidate professors who advocate critical views, especially on Middle East issues and on the Bush presidency." To drive home his point, he served as a cheerleader and apologist for Ward Churchill when the latter dismissed the American victims of 9-11 as "little Eichmanns."

Falk has been ferociously opposed to the Allied liberation of Iraq. He described the invasion as a "war of aggression" by the United States and its allies, and — naturally — also compares it to the crimes of German Nazis in World War II. Orwellian inversions involving Nazis are Falk's favorite metaphor, and he seems to compose several before breakfast each day. Elsewhere he has stated, "It is not an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with the criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity." He compared Attorney General like John Ashcroft to the Nazi conspirators who set the Reichstag on fire.

Falk dismisses the Domestic Security Enhancement Act and the Patriot Act as "sweeping powers" that represent a "slide toward fascism." He routinely denounces America for being an imperialist power, an empire. In 2003 he published a diatribe, "Will the Empire be Fascist?" There he insists that terror warnings and threat assessments are tools used by the American government to frighten and control the public. He has demanded that American sovereignty be constricted and subjected to a "Global Peoples' Assembly," a governing body whose members would "represent the worldwide voice of the people in action and decision making." You know, people like Hugo Chavez and Muammar Khaddafi, who would decide there what America can and cannot do.

But Falk's special animosity is reserved for Israel. He has been trying for decades to get Israel obliterated. And that track record qualified him to serve as the special investigator into "Israeli war crimes" on behalf of the United Nations! In 2007 Falk published, "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust," in which he wrote that it was not an "irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians (by Israel)" with the "criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity." His title is a thin plagiarism of the title of a book by Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gemorrah. The article may be Falk's most openly anti-Semite diatribe. In it, he accuses Israel of mistreating Palestinians on a scale comparable to the Nazi extermination of Jews. He writes:

Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty. The suggestion that this pattern of conduct is a holocaust-in-the-making represents a rather desperate appeal to the governments of the world and to international public opinion to act urgently to prevent these current genocidal tendencies from culminating in a collective tragedy. If ever the ethos of 'a responsibility to protect,' recently adopted by the UN Security Council as the basis of 'humanitarian intervention' is applicable, it would be to act now to start protecting the people of Gaza from further pain and suffering.

Falk then went on to argue that the plight of the Palestinians is worse than the victims of genocide in Rwanda: "But Gaza is morally far worse (than Rwanda), although mass death has not yet resulted." That single sentence may be the most telling of all the inanities Falk has ever invented.

Jonathan Kay, writing in the Canadian National Post, dismissed Falk as an anti-Jewish bigot and as "an anti-Israel hit man:"

"Falk accuses Israel of having 'genocidal tendencies,' and calls the international response to the situation in Gaza "morally far worse" than its response to the 1994 Rwanda genocide (death toll: 800,000) and Srebrenica — despite the fact that there is not a single recorded instance of Israel implementing a program of deliberately killing civilians in Gaza, let alone mass murder."

The article concludes by declaring, "To persist with [Israeli policies] is indeed genocidal, and risks destroying an entire Palestinian community that is an integral part of an ethnic whole. It is this prospect that makes appropriate the warning of a Palestinian holocaust in the making, and should remind the world of the famous post-Nazi pledge of 'never again.' What a scandal to imagine that this ignorant ideologue is the expert in whom the UNHRC has entrusted its fact-finding in Gaza and the West Bank. In fact, notwithstanding his shrill opinions, Falk clearly doesn't actually know anything about Gaza and West Bank." No, Falk is not beneath commandeering every iota of Jewish suffering in history to demonize Israel, even the "Never Again" slogan coined following the Holocaust in World War II.

There is almost no distortion of the truth that Falk will not embrace when he jihads against Israel. He defends the "election" of the Hamas in Gaza as a "fair election." His evidence? Jimmy Carter said so. He deliberately inverts history in the worst Orwellian manner. The Hamas has been seeking ceasefires with Israel, but Israel keeps violating them, according to the learned oprofessor. Israel and the US are all to blame for the rise of Hamas hegemony in Gaza, opines Falk, because Israel failed to capitulate sufficiently to the heads of the PLO and the US failed to coerce Israel to do so: "This latest turn in policy needs to be understood in the wider context of the Israeli refusal to reach a reasonable compromise with the Palestinian people since 1967." The reasonable compromise the Palestinians demand of course is Israel's complete extermination.

In 2001, when he retired from Princeton, the misnamed U.N. Commission on Human Rights decided to send a biased "commission of inquiry" to bash Israel over its supposed violation of human rights. Falk was one of three members chosen. The other two were also anti-Israel: John Dugard, a South African from Leiden University in the Netherlands who considers Israel a racist apartheid-like regime, and Kamal Hussein, former Bangladeshi foreign minister. Alan Dershowitz dismissed Falk as a bigot and as someone who made up his mind long before he began any "investigation." In Dershowitz' view, appointing Falk is comparable to the following: "Imagine the UN appointing David Duke to report on how Blacks are victimizing Whites, or Hugo Chavez to report on American foreign policy, or Mohammad Ahmadinejad to investigate whether the Holocaust occurred."

In 2008 the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) officially appointed Falk to a six-year term as a "United Nations Special Rapporteur" on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967." I guess Noam Chomsky wasn't available. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton explained why Falk was selected: "He was picked for a reason, and the reason is not to have an objective assessment — the objective is to find more ammunition to go after Israel."

This new commission reached its conclusions long before it was even convened. In Falk's words, the purpose of the commission was this: "The central issue is to ask whether Israel has used excessive force in responding to the Palestinian political demonstrations." Note that he and his sidekicks had no interest in the countless terrorist atrocities and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians launched by Palestinians. In fact, Falk essentially came out in favor of Palestinian terrorism even before the commission began its work: "One is evaluating whether the conditions of occupation are such as to give the Palestinians some kind of right of resistance. And if they have that right, then what are the limits to that right?" The only difference between terrorism and "resistance" depends entirely on whether on not Falk endorses it. Falk used the same opportunity to denounce Israel as a colonialist entity.

In May, 2008, and recalling his early campaigns against Israel on behalf of the UN, Israel refused to allow Falk to enter the country at all as a UN representative. He tried to enter again in December, was detained for 30 hours in Tel Aviv airport and then given the bum's rush out. Falk joined the tiny club of anti-Semites so extreme that Israel refuses to allow them to enter the country. Of "academics" barred from entering Israel, Falk shares that honor only with Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein, who was evicted from Israel thanks to Finkelstein's intimate ties to the Hezb'Allah terrorists. (Even Noam Chomsky and numerous other blatant anti-Semites enter Israel all the time with no problem, and many lecture at Israeli universities. Israel only evicts the worst collaborators with terrorism!)

When Falk was evicted, the Israeli Ministry of the Interior explicitly cited Falk's long record of anti-Israel hate propaganda in its decision to ban his entry. Simona Halperin, the director of Israel's International Organization and Human Rights department, called Falk "completely unobjective," citing his comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of Israel's actions against the Palestinians to the Holocaust. Writing in the Israeli daily Maariv, Uri Yablonka commented on the expulsion of Falk: "It is not every day that the Foreign Ministry decides to ban a senior United Nations emissary from entering Israel, especially when the person involved is a Jewish academic. But in the case of Prof. Richard Falk from the United States, Israel made an exception. This was because in the past Falk voiced support for suicide attacks and compared Israel's activity with that of the Nazis." The editor of Maariv dismissed Falk as a repulsive maniac.

When Israel launched its anti-terror campaign in Gaza in 2008, "Cast Lead," Falk repeatedly and mechanically denounced all Israeli defense operations as "war crimes." Evidently the only form of Jewish self-defense against Hamas rockets that Falk is willing to approve is total capitulation. Even grabbing ships full of arms bound for Islamofascist terrorists is "criminal," according to Falk, and an abuse of Palestinian rights. He repeatedly called for Nuremberg-style indictments of Israeli leaders for "war crimes." Falk is not above outright falsification when it comes to his prettifying the Hamas or demonizing Israel.

As for Falk's other political associations, Kathy Shaidle lists some of these:

Falk is a prominent member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, which the CIA once characterized as 'one of the most useful Communist front organizations at the service of the Soviet Communist Party.' Today Falk chairs the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, whose recommended strategy for combating terrorism is to increase U.S. aid to those countries that act as a breeding ground for terrorists." The New Republic's Martin Peretz insists that he "finds human rights abuses Right and Left but on second thought only Right."

Kathie Shaidle sums Falk up thus:

Were Falk simply an obscure crank, his views about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 could be written off as the rantings of a sadly delusional individual. However, Falk's enthusiasm for conspiracy theories casts grave doubts about the levels of objectivity and competence he will bring to his new 'investigative' position at the United Nations. Unlike the scientific method or other rational methods of deduction, conspiracy theories work backwards from frequently tenuous 'evidence,' in order to 'prove' the conspiracist's pre-determined theories. Richard Falk publicly has sided with radical Islam over America and Israel for three decades, with little consideration for facts and evidence. Given that, and his gullible support for bizarre 9/11 'revelations,' critics have good reason to suspect that, as a UN 'investigator,' Falk will leave a great deal to be desired."

As the Hamas' point man serving the UN commission, Falk did indeed deliver the goods, as expected.

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 appeared December 4, 2009 in the FRONTPAGE MAG and is archived at
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2009/steven-plaut/collaborators-in-the-war-against-the-jews-richard-a-falk-by-steven-plaut/


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UN SETTLEMENTS PROBE CALLS THEIR REPORT 'WEAPON' AGAINST ISRAEL; UN NAMES SUDAN VP OF TOP RIGHTS BODY

Posted by UN Watch, February 01, 2013

UN Watch issued the following comment on the UN Human Rights Council's latest report on alleged Israeli violations:

UN Watch is astonished by the commission's failure to make even a single reference to our lengthy submission, a 54-page document with 257 footnotes. The UN Watch submission provided essential context that the commissioners inexplicably chose to ignore.

The council report is categorically one-sided, casting Palestinians as the sole victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict, while denying the slighest consideration to any basic human rights for Israelis.

The report disregards the thousands of suicide bombings, knifings, and other terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arab groups, failing to acknowledge how this violence brought about Israeli security measures in the territories that did not previously exist.

The report abandons any nuance regarding Israeli communities beyond the Green Line, lopping remote settlement outposts into the same category as Jerusalem neighborhoods, thereby ignoring previous peace plans such as the Geneva Accord and the Clinton Plan.

By calling for the forced eviction of Jews from Jerusalem's Old City—in what the report euphemistically terms a process of "withdrawal," as if 500,00 people were like deployed soldiers—the UN commissioners endorse a policy inconsistent with UN conventions on the elimination of racism.

The reality is that the HRC's fact-finding enterprise is dedicated chiefly to attacking but one country: Israel. In the entire history of the HRC, there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry.

Today's report exemplifies and only further entrenches the council's biased and disproportionate focus on Israel.

Whatever one's position on settlements, the report does nothing to promote a just and lasting peace.

Instead, as the U.S. acknowledged when the inquiry was created last year, it has the perverse outcome of pushing the parties further apart, while also inappropriately pre-judging final status issues that can only be resolved through direct negotiations. The UN and its human rights bodies should all be working to advance the cause of peace — not to hinder it.

In a week when the UN legitimized genocidal Sudan, by electing the regime as vice-president of a top human rights body, it is now focusing its scarce time, resources and moral outrage on yet another biased, politicized, and one-sided report against Israel.

Its pre-determined findings are reminiscent of previous missions authorized by the HRC, which failed to acknowledge that there are two sides to this conflict. By choosing polarization, and pushing the parties further away from peace talks, the council's inquiry breaches its responsibility to promote and protect human rights.

Sadly, the HRC will never have credibility on the Middle East so long as:

— The HRC continues to maintain a special agenda item and special day against Israel at every session. Israel is the only country targeted in this fashion.

— Half of all HRC condemnatory resolutions have been against Israel.

— Israel is the only country excluded from any of the council's five regional groups.

— Israel is the only country subjected to a permanent mandate of investigation where only one side's actions are examined. Contrary to the title of the "Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestine," the actual mandate, unchanged since February 1993, is to investigate "Israel's violations." Actions by the PA, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad are excluded. Mandate-holder Richard Falk endorses Hamas and has been condemned by Ban Ki-moon for endorsing the 9/11 conspiracy theory.

UN Watch is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization whose stated mission is "to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own charter." This aticle appeared January 31, 2013 and is archived at
http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2013/02/01/un-report-on-israel-disregards-un-watch- submission-exemplifies-biased-approach-that-hinders-peace/


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CHUCK HAGEL: MEDIOCRE BOILERPLATE

Posted by Shoshana Bryen, February 01, 2013

For all the thunder about the "missing" J Street speech Chuck Hagel gave in 2009, watching it was almost a letdown.

There is simply no "smoking-gun" anti-Semitism or anti-Israelism there, aside from a single reference to some policies working to the "single issue benefit of certain groups." OK, yes, that's a reference to Jews, and no, it isn't nice. But generally speaking, Hagel gave a truly boilerplate, mediocre speech that starts in the wrong place, makes factual errors, and then draws the wrong conclusions.

Sen. Hagel begins by explicitly calling the Palestinian-Israeli or Arab-Israel conflict (he incorrectly equates the two) the foundation of anti-Western Arab attitudes and the wellspring of Islamic jihad. He starts the conflict in 1967. Arab opposition to Jewish communal life in any part of Ottoman Palestine expressed itself in attacks on Jews long before Israel's independence in 1948, and it continued after with the Arab rejection of the State of Israel, even as Jordan and Egypt illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza from 1949-67. To ignore this erases the responsibility of the Arab States for a) their continuing intransigence on the subject of Israeli sovereignty and b) their failure to establish a Palestinian Arab state in 1948. The Arab States don't mind.

What Words Mean

Turning to Palestinians and Israelis, Sen. Hagel says, "Both sides know what the issues are" and that those issues have been "holding us hostage since 1967." The issues, according to Hagel, are borders, refugees, and Jerusalem, which is like saying "War and Peace" is about war and peace.

For a single example of the pitfalls of broad generalizations, consider "refugees." Israel and the United States agree that hundreds of thousands of Jews evicted from Arab countries after 1948 constitute a refugee group entitled to compensation. The Arab States do not agree, because it would make them culpable. (See 1948, above.)

The Palestinians define refugees inter-generationally -- a position unique in refugee relief circles. It is the formal Palestinian position that the original 1947/48 refugees and their descendants have a right to live within the 1948 borders of Israel, even if they choose to accept compensation or settlement elsewhere; that's why they call it the "right of return." Palestinian officials are on record asserting that even the establishment of an independent Palestinian State will not make Palestinian citizens out of refugees who should be "returned" to Israel. The United States and Israel do not agree.

There are similar issues regarding Palestinian use and Israeli use of the words "borders" and "Jerusalem." Even if you really do know "what the issues are," you might discover that they are not resolvable.

Smaller Problems and Bigger Ones

Sen. Hagel ascribes the inability of Palestinians and Israelis to achieve "peace" to leaders "in Ramallah, in Tel Aviv, in Riyadh, and in Cairo" unwilling to undertake the "difficult and harsh responsibilities of leadership." The smaller problem is his placement of the Israeli Prime Minister in Tel Aviv. The bigger one is conflating Arab dictatorships with Israel's democratic leadership, which is subject not only to elections, but also to a free press and independent judiciary. By the time of Hagel's speech, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas had already finished his elected term and to this day has not faced voters again.

Trying to be practical, Sen. Hagel suggested discussing "security guarantees for Israel" at the "front end" of the process, presumably to give Israel confidence that its withdrawal from strategic territory would not increase its risk. He proposed foreign forces to replace the IDF, something Israel has generally rejected. That is the smaller problem.

The bigger one is his apparent willingness to use American troops.

The biggest is that his model for West Bank peacekeeping is the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai. The correct model would be the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) because the problems will be the same ones UNIFIL faces.

The mission of the MFO is to monitor compliance with Sinai demilitarization. Egypt withdrew its forces to an agreed-upon line, and there were few civilians living near the border (this has changed over the decades with a corresponding increase in smuggling and terrorist activity). On the Israeli side, the Negev is not densely populated and is far from the major cities.

In any West Bank arrangement, the populations will be physically close, and tens of thousands of Palestinians work in Israel every day. After Israel withdrew behind the U.N.-approved international border with Lebanon, Hezb'allah moved right up to the border with its missiles. UNIFIL soldiers live in Lebanon among the villagers, and Hezb'allah lives among them as well. UNIFIL, then, is hostage to Hezb'allah. In three meetings with UNIFIL representatives in which I participated, the ability to live unmolested was of understandably great importance to the international forces, which have not discovered a single Hezb'allah breach of the U.N. ceasefire since 2006.

These, though, are problems for Israel and its neighbors to solve, or not.

America's Problem in the Region

During the Q&A, the moderator said to Sen. Hagel, "So Iran is connected to Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is connected to Israel and Palestine, and connected to Syria." Hagel replied, "It's all connected."

But not to Israel. If it were, one might almost understand Hagel's and J Street's determination to sacrifice Israel on the altar of "world peace" or a tolerant Islam or the end of Islamist jihad against the West and the end of terrorism as a decent trade-off -- like tossing virgins into the volcano.

If Sen. Hagel wants to be an effective secretary of defense in a successful administration, he and they have to grapple with what Secretary Clinton finally called the "global jihad." That, not America's failure to "solve" the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is the core of America's problem with radical Islamists.

There is a stream of radical, anti-Western Islam that has taken hold across the Middle East and now North Africa: the Sunni version come from the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, and the Shiite version from Iran. They don't like Israel. They also don't like the United States or Europe; they don't like modernity, women, gays, education, science, capitalism, free markets, or tolerance. If Israel disappeared, all the other things they hate would remain, and they themselves would remain, and they would be our problem still. Israel isn't the problem; it is an ally in the fight.

Sen. Hagel didn't understand that in 2009. But that was when Mubarak was still in power and 60,000 now-dead Syrians were still alive. Before Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, and Algeria. The question for the Senate is, "Does he understand it now?"

Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. Contact her at Jewish Policy Center at info@jewishpolicy.org. This article appeared February 01, 2013 at
http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/3880/chuck-hagel-mediocre-boilerplate

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CAVEAT EMPTOR :THE ILLUSION OF A POLITICAL CENTER

Posted by Martin Sherman, February 01, 2013

conveat

Time and time again the Israeli voter has been hoodwinked into voting for allegedly centrist parties only to have them evaporate later.

Yair Lapid addressing supporters in post election speech.

This [remark by Yair Lapid] showed a kind of crude contempt, mixed with a whiff of racism, for those whom Lapid does not consider part of his political camp. Zoabi was duly elected to the Knesset by Israeli voters who supported her party. — "Yair Lapid's mental block," Haaretz editorial, January 25

It seems that neither the protests nor the vote for Yair Lapid were ever about "social justice," in the sense of narrowing the gap between the upper and lower deciles. On the contrary: If Lapid... finds a way to get money from others and bring it to his electorate, as they hope he will, then the income gap... will only grow wider" — "The wealthy minions of Yair Lapid," — Haaretz, January 27

Yair Lapid's intention of joining up with Netanyahu buries any hope of anything moving on the diplomatic front in the coming years; there's no point in denying it.... Don't get your hopes up in the socioeconomic realm either... Lapid won't fight crony capitalism — because he believes in it; he merely wants to harness it to meet his own goals. — "Lapid is Netanyahu's new twin," Haaretz, January 28

Well, it didn't take long, did it? In fact, all it took was a brief statement by Lapid that he would not join up with anti-Zionist lists to prevent the appointment of Binyamin Netanyahu to head the next governing coalition to incur the wrath of the far-left Haaretz daily.

Troubling questions

The charge of racist prejudice was echoed by the head of the left-wing Meretz faction, Zehava Gal-On. Under the emotive headline "Meretz leader equates Lapid to racist Beitar fans," Ynet reported that Gal-On had posted the following attack on Lapid on Facebook: "Racism has become ordinary, so it seems natural that Yair Lapid is dismissing out-of-hand the Arab factions with the disparaging remark 'We will not form an obstructing bloc with the Haneen Zoabis.'" Now, while I commend Lapid on his decision not join forces with the likes of Haneen Zoabi who openly identifies with Israel's most implacable foes, this fierce assault on him from sources that only a short time ago would well have been considered almost political affiliates is remarkable.

Indeed, it raises serious questions not only regarding the authenticity of many of Lapid's positions as presented to the public in his election campaign, but also to the gullibility, immaturity and political amnesia of the Israeli electorate — as well as a disturbing lack of depth and direction in the country's political discourse.

After all, up until recently there was little daylight between the opinions Lapid was expounding and those held by the supporters of Meretz and the readers of Haaretz.

'Palestinian flag will fly in east Jerusalem'

Thus, while in his election campaign, Lapid categorically rejected any division of Jerusalem, this was until recently not the case. Quite the opposite.

Kindly compare and contrast.

His manifesto waxes so poetic on the city that one might mistake it as being lifted from the platform of Naftali Bennett's right-wing Bayit Yehudi: "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and its unity is a national symbol of the first degree.

Jerusalem will remain united under Israeli sovereignty, for Jerusalem is not just a place or a city but the center of the Jewish-Israel ethos and the holy place to which Jews have turned their eyes throughout the generations."

Yet, only a few years ago (May 8, 2008), he expressed a very different position.

As Haaretz's Barak Ravid acerbically points out in his trenchant "Will Yair Lapid divide Jerusalem?" (January 28, 2013): "In an interview to Germany's Der Speigel from May 2008, Yair Lapid unequivocally supported the division of Jerusalem and fiercely attacked the Jewish West Bank settlers whose votes he courted in his recent election campaign."

In that interview Lapid confidently asserted that "everyone knows how [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] will end," approvingly forecasting that "the Palestinian flag will fly on public buildings in east Jerusalem."

Endorsing 'the right to hate'

Lapid's refusal to forge any alliance with the anti-Zionist Arab parties is a welcome development.

However, some might that it strikes a discordant note vis-a-vis sentiments he stridently expressed in the past.

For example, in an article titled The right to hate (Ynet, May 30, 2009), he fiercely attacked those supporting legal sanctions against Israeli citizens who publicly reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state or mark Independence Day as a day of mourning. He thus implicitly, but unequivocally, endorsed their right to commemorate the establishment of their own state as a catastrophe — a position that Haneen Zoabi would eagerly embrace.

Interestingly, others on Lapid's Yesh Atid list, such as former journalist Ofer Shelah, have expressed harsh criticism of any legal restrictions being placed on Israeli citizens articulating their grief at Israel's victory in 1948 over its enemies, and at its success in foiling their intention to annihilate it.

In an article, The right is overcome by fear, published almost contemporaneously with Lapid's (NRG, May 31, 2009), Shelah, who is slated to be charged with charting Yesh Atid's political/security positions, somewhat abstrusely, tried to dismiss any legal restrictions on public commemoration of sorrow at Israel prevailing over the Arabs' attempt to destroy it, as akin to previous legal attempts to prohibit homosexuality. Go figure.

Metamorphosis on settlers?

The fact that Lapid chose to launch his campaign in Ariel, a city located well across the Green Line, together with his statement that "there is no map on which Ariel isn't a part of the state of Israel," reflects a stunning metamorphosis in his former vehemently adversarial attitude to the settlers and the settlements.

After all, in the not too distant past, Lapid regularly lambasted the "settlers" for virtually every malaise afflicting the country and its citizens.

In the previously mentioned Der Spiegel interview, he places equal responsibility on the settlers and the Arab terror organizations for any future loss of life. Judge for yourselves: "The greatest tragedy of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is that everyone knows how it will end.... The only unanswered question is how many more people will have to die along the way. And so we will fight against the extremists on both sides, including our extremists, the settlers."

As late as February 10, 2010, in an article titled "Do settlers care about us?" he implies that the real threat to Israel is not its enemies, but "4 percent of Israelis," i.e. the settlers, who endanger all the others who "must bear the results of a religious ideology they do not share."

According to Lapid, the settlers are to blame for a litany of ills: "disintegration, international isolation, and the loss of our national identity."

And of course it is the settlers' fault, not Palestinians', that "so much of our energy is invested in a struggle with the Palestinians [which] exacts a heavy price, and keeps on increasing with every failed round."

Infuriating arrogance

Last week, I pointed out that Lapid used his widely read column to berate the opponents of the 2005 disengagement, warning of the dire consequences and unbridgeable rift that would result, if they succeeded in persuading the public that expulsion of Jews from Gaza should be aborted. Six months after its completion, in "The essence of being Israeli" (February 15, 2006), he crowed, "Disengagement succeeded because Israelis remembered how to behave as a nation."

However, several months later in "Things we couldn't say during disengagement" (October 13, 2006), when its catastrophic failure was undeniably apparent, he published a galling admission that the disengagement "was never about the Palestinians, demography, the endeavor for peace, [or reducing] the burden on the IDF."

With infuriating arrogance, Lapid revealed that the real reason for the traumatic displacement and deportation of thousands of productive citizens was that "the Israelis merely felt that the settlers should be taught a lesson in humility and perhaps in democracy, too."

Yet now, the newly metamorphosed Lapid proclaims that not only must Jerusalem remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty as a "national symbol of the first degree," but that the major settlement blocs including Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma'aleh Adumin (which presumably includes — gasp — the controversial E1 area) must do so as well.

Does Lapid — or anyone on his list — honestly believe that there is any serious Palestinian partner who would — indeed, could — countenance agreeing even to start negotiating on those terms — especially in light of the Lapid-endorsed disengagement, which conveyed an unequivocal message to the Arabs: If the Jews are confronted with sufficient violence and resolve, they will capitulate and yield everything for nothing.

Core vs peripheral constituency

Lapid's past positions are important because it was they that precipitated the emergence of the political profile through which he garnered his initial political support and generated his initial electoral momentum. This is what generated his core constituency, which clearly was drawn to, and identified with, his harsh condemnation of the settlers and his identification of them as a source of much of life's difficulties, both on the personal and the national level.

However, it appears that much of Lapid's electoral success came from an additional source, the votes of those who up to the last minute remained undecided, and at the "eleventh hour" chose to cast their ballots for his Yesh Atid, because they found no other acceptable alternative.

It is more than likely that this last-minute surge of support — Lapid's peripheral constituency — was influenced more by exposure to his later (campaign-generated) perspectives, rather than his earlier ones. Indeed, had not Lapid very publicly toned down his anti-settler animosity, it is quite likely that many of his later supporters would have voted Naftali Bennett — or abstained.

Risk of rupture

This is likely to place severe strains on the integrity of his party. Clearly it will be difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy both his core constituency, which was attracted to him by his previously articulated positions, and his peripheral constituency, which was drawn by his later ones. This is particularly true with regard to what is referred to as the peace process. After all, it is clear that no semblance of progress can be made in this regard if Yesh Atid upholds its commitments to its peripheral constituency to retain a united Jerusalem and the settlement blocs.

However, many in his core constituency — including dovish people among his MKs, such as former Meretz member Yael German, might find such "intransigence" unacceptable, especially if coupled with peer pressure from outside the party.

If the hardline Bayit Yehudi — together with a considerably more right-wing than heretofore Likud — form the next government, making "progress" with the Palestinians even more difficult, the potential for fracture in the newly coalesced Yesh Atid might become ever-more tangible.

Caveat emptor

Should Yesh Atid rupture and disperse, it would be merely par for the course. As Daphne Netanyahu points out in a telling review of the fate of "centrist parties" ("Israel's own tyranny of cliches," Maraah Magazine, January 2013), Israel's political landscape is littered with the carcasses of such entities.

Prior to each election for the past 35 years some such party has arisen — and then fallen.

Such endeavors included Shinui, the Democratic Movement for Change, the Center Party, Kadima and now Yesh Atid.

Time and time again, the Israeli voter has been hoodwinked into voting for such allegedly centrist parties only to have them evaporate before his eyes.

Typically, these parties have fielded star-studded lineups of public figures of experience and prominence — from IDF chiefs of staff, generals, heads of security services, internationally renowned intellectuals, and seasoned politicians. Some have soared in the polls only to fizzle out and vanish, usually after one, at the most two, terms, leaving behind only disappointment and disillusionment.

Two pointed questions thus arise: What reason is there to believe that the untried and untested Lapid can succeed, when so many more accomplished figures, with far greater accumulated achievement, have failed? And why does the Israeli electorate repeat a depressingly flat learning curve and persist in pursuing the elusive chimera of an illusionary "Center"?

Dr.Martin Sherman is in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University. He has written extensively on water, including "The Politics of Water in the Middle East," London: Macmillan, 1999. He was a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Institute in Herzliya and Academic Coordinator of the Herzliya Conference in 2001 and 2002. He is currently Academic Director of the Jerusalem Summit. Visit his website at http://www.martinsherman.net. This article appeared January 31, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Caveat-emptor-The-illusion-of-a-political-Center


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NETANYAHU'S COATTAIL EFFECT

Posted by Borntolose3, February 01, 2013

The article below was written by Sarah Honig who is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post. Visit her website at http://www.sarahhonig.com. This article appeared on February 01, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Another-Tack-Netanyahus-coattail-effect

Paroxysms of irrepressible nattering seized numerous local know-it-alls hot on the heels of the Knesset election results. None-too-amazingly they were of one mind. While brimming with self-importance, few had anything original to contribute to our understanding of what happened. Every self-aggrandized analyst, so at least it seems, obligingly subscribed to the prescribed conventional wisdom.

That wisdom is predicated on a number of premises which by and large went unchallenged.

The first and most cardinal is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was duly humbled by a host of challengers, primarily that neophyte wunderkind Yair Lapid, whose dazzling star ascended overnight to mesmerize all and sundry.

The second premise, disseminated with particular relish, was that not only did Netanyahu's alliance with Avigdor Liberman not produce profitable yields, but it actually appeared to have embarrassingly backfired. Hence, Netanyahu was devastatingly snookered.

Although Netanyahu was returned to power against the fervent wishes of our omniscient talking heads, their entire coterie pronounced him the outright loser.

Lots of ink was spilled to further this thesis, to say nothing of prodigious airtime allotted for the same prattle.

This popular motif was conjoined to a related claim that parity now exists between the two sides of Israel's political divide — our alleged Left (doves) and Right (hawks). This, it was proclaimed with none-too-objective glee, meant a cushy gain for the Left versus a crushing comedown for the Right, which lost the predominance heretofore taken smugly for granted. To uphold this contention it was vital to include Lapid in the left-of-center configuration, even if without empirical justification and regardless of Lapid's own hoarse protestations.

Someone — whose name vexingly escapes me — once quipped: "Nothing is ever what it seems, but everything is exactly what it is." Examined with less bias, the very same election returns tell quite a different story.

If anything, Netanyahu was a victim of his own success.

Put differently, Lapid cunningly rode on Netanyahu's coattails. He wasn't the only one, either. Naftali Bennett from Bayit Yehudi managed the same feat even more overtly and impudently, as did Shas's Arye Deri — ever poised to bite off a mouthful of Likud support.

Quite shamelessly, both Bennett and Deri appealed to their respective pools of potential quasi-sympathizers in the Likud and reassured them that voting for another list would still guarantee a continued Netanyahu premiership. The added bonus, they asserted, would be rarified accentuation of lofty ideals or sectarian interests.

Cheeky photo-montages of Bennett together with Netanyahu soon appeared on giant outdoor billboards, lending the insidious impression that yesteryear's split ballot had been resurrected.

The split ballot was the foremost feature of an attempt to reform our electoral system in the 1990s. It provided for a direct vote for prime minister, accompanied by a separate choice of parliamentary faction.

The logic was to shield the government from coalition-related extortion, to rid us of small pesky parties and mitigate the shortcomings of our nationwide absolute proportional representation system.

Yet contrary to propaganda, the much-ballyhooed reform managed spectacularly to achieve the precise reverse. The politicians and political scientists who concocted the split ballot were warned of the hardly unpredictable consequences of their hubris, but to no avail. And so the split ballot allowed members of the electorate to luxuriate in voting for diminutive singleissue Knesset lists, while assuaging their consciences by also voting for the prime ministerial candidate who represented the bloc of their general leaning.

The upshot was a drastic decline for the large parties (from which none has to date recovered) and a far more fragmented Knesset than ever. Concomitantly and inevitably, coalition-formation became all the more hopelessly tangled. The professed panacea was tried only twice — in 1996 and 1999. The irrefutable flop was repealed, with a universal sigh of relief, in 2001.

Yet somehow, some otherwise presumably intelligent voters still assume that by opting for satellite parties they won't injure the prospects of their preferred prime ministerial contender.

That, anyway, was the impression calculatingly imparted by both Bennett and Deri — even after the Central Elections Committee reprovingly rapped their knuckles for the ruse. Bennett restored his party's strength to what it was in the National Religious Party's heyday, while Deri managed not to slip back. Both successes were achieved, without pretending otherwise, at the Likud's expense.

Lapid essentially did the same, though not as blatantly. From the launching of his campaign (significantly in Ariel of all places), he sought to appeal with much ado and fanfare to voters solidly within the rightist National Camp. And so Lapid sang "eternally unified" Jerusalem's praises, declared that our ancient capital is "the source of our revived national vibrancy," that the Tower of David will forever be of greater imperative than the towers of Tel Aviv.

Nothing of the sort has been heard from the left wing, nor is likely to be heard.

There is more. After Hamas aimed its rockets at Tel Aviv just a few months ago, Lapid warned against making further territorial concessions. He pointedly refrained from badmouthing Netanyahu.

In truth, the charismatic former TV anchor aimed his alluring pitches at all political directions. Still, despite his nonetoo- definable political identity, captivating looks, toothy grin and simplistic mantras, the polls — until quite late in the game — forecast somewhere between eight and 11 Knesset seats for his list. How did it then suddenly skyrocket to a whopping 19? That's where the Likud comes in.

Tzipi Livni and Labor's Shelly Yacimovich sought to recruit the enigmatic celebrity into a leftist union that would function as a counterweight to the Netanyahu-Liberman amalgam. Friendly pollsters stoked their zeal by speculating that a Yacimovich-Livni-Lapid front could beat Bibi. This sufficed to generate a merry media fest.

Nonetheless, Lapid never hemmed and hawed. He unceremoniously pulled out the rug from beneath his would-be partners.

No way, he declared for all to hear, would he join them. That was when his bandwagon was abruptly propelled forward.

It now became apparently safe for Likudniks to do the cool, trendy thing and vote for the cutest all-the-rage meteor in our firmament. It seemed no less safe than to vote for Bennett or Deri and way more hip.

And then, when Lapid was already on the upswing and cutting deep into the core Likud constituency, he was helped yet further by none other than Netanyahu.

It was from the prime minister's own entourage that the word went out to the nation notifying all voters that the first likely coalition partner to get a phone call from Netanyahu would be Lapid. Could Likud loyalists get a more authentic and authoritative seal of approval for the suave TV icon? Bibi and Yair are obviously a team. If the PM kisses up to the newbie already before polling day, then why not vote for him? To top that, Netanyahu began to publicly endorse Lapid's catchphrases about drafting yeshiva students and easing middle class burdens in a variety of populist contexts.

Even Likud diehards liked these sounds. Even they could scarcely avoid the message that it's OK to vote for Lapid, as he is certain to partner up with Netanyahu, and Netanyahu is certain to head the next government.

Therefore, rather than this having been an anti-Netanyahu protest vote, as is the voguish consensus among conformist opinion-molders, it in fact was quite the opposite.

Netanyahu backers were convinced that Lapid was a safe option. They assumed they were taking no chances and yet running with the fashionable herd. By voting for Lapid, they could place a more focused emphasis on issues that given voters want their preferred prime minister, Netanyahu, to place atop his agenda. They regard the moribund so-called peace process as a nonstarter.

Rather than harp about a Palestinian state, they want their government to dwell on the Jewish state's affairs.

This was fine-tuning the pro-Netanyahu predilection — just as in the bad old days of the split ballot.

Lapid may not have used Netanyahu's image in his campaign, but his well-chosen words subliminally had much the same effect on his target audience. Instead of incurring Netanyahu's wrath as Bennett did, Lapid actually received the Likud leader's electorally advantageous thumbs-up.

By conservative estimates it is judged that no less than a full third of Lapid's votes came directly from the Likud, courtesy of that pre-election flirt between himself and Netanyahu.

The amorphous return of the split ballot, of course, would not have been possible had this been a run-of-the-mill campaign.

But it wasn't. For the first time since 1973, the incumbent prime minister faced no viable rival. He was a shoo-in.

There was no question he'd be reelected.

That in itself had a liberating effect specifically on those who wanted to see him remain in office. If Netanyahu was in no danger, it was thought harmless to indulge again in the luxuries once afforded by the split ballot.

Rather than Lapid's triumph having ensued from an anti-Netanyahu turnout, Netanyahu was ironically hurt by his own ostensible invincibility.

Normally in an electoral showdown, a popular leader creates momentum for fellow candidates from his own party. These candidates are then described as having been ushered in on the coattails of their headliner. But nothing that is self-evident in other democracies can be taken at face value in our idiosyncratic arena.

Here Netanyahu's broad coattails didn't benefit his own hangers-on. Quite the contrary.

Netanyahu's most voracious competitors for parliamentary power hitched rewarding rides on his coattails.

Now the happy hitch hikers whom Netanyahu enabled-cum-emboldened will crow exultantly, haggle fiercely, hobble him with conditions from hell, pitilessly pull him in opposing directions and generally spare no effort to make his life more than a little miserable.

Contact Borntolose3 at borntolose3@charter.net


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SAUDI ARABIA'S EFFORTS TO EXPAND RADICAL ISLAM AND SUPPORT TERRORISM

Posted by Rachel Ehrenfeld, February 02, 2013

On the eve of the Arab Spring, I have published a lengthy and important study titled, "Their Oil Is Thicker Than Our Blood"* on Saudi support for Islamist terrorism and the global expansion of the radical Islamic base, as well as the inadequacies of the Kingdom's purported anti-terrorist efforts. While much has happened since, very little has changed regarding the patterns of Saudi behavior in this regard.

Despite continued public statements of support for U.S. and Western counterterrorism efforts, sporadic enforcement of new laws in the Kingdom regarding such things as money laundering, money transfers to dubious foreign recipients, and the occasional rousting of terrorist cells (al Qaeda- and Iran-affiliated), Saudi Arabia remains one of the most important sources of terrorist funding worldwide-if not THE most important source.

The U.S., while knowing this full well, has for many years doled out nothing but praise for the Saudis when it comes to fighting Islamist terrorism. This is as true now as it was after September 11. In this, the U.S. government has seemingly accepted the principal underpinning of the Saudi regime: buying off its would-be Islamist adversaries at home. The leading principle has been all along — not in our backyard. Thus the Kingdom's support of Osama bin-Laden and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

But Saudi funding to globally spread their Sunni radical version of Islam-Wahhabism—began in earnest in 1962 with the establishment of the Muslim World League (MWL), which expanded into at least to one hundred branches in more than thirty countries, and served as the main body for other international Saudi charities. Since then, the Kingdom's charities have been estimated to spend between $1.5 and $2 trillion to build many thousand of mosques, madrassas and Islamic centers equipped with Saudi books and Imams, preaching the Wahhabi doctrine.

Here we offer the 2011 study again, to reinforce lessons that should have been learned long since. We also include the study's original set of recommendations, as few if any have been taken to heart.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI). She has authored hundreds of articles and several books on terrorist financing and political corruption. This article appeared February 02, 2013 on the American Center for Democracy (ACD) website and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/saudi-arabias-efforts-to-expand-radical-islam-and-support-terrorism/


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BURNED TO DEATH FOR BEING CHRISTIAN, BY MUSLIMS

Posted by Udi Schayat, February 02, 2013

Unbelievable!

What you see and learn here, you will never see in the official media...Read and pass on!!

Statement by Father Juan Carlos Martos cmf

Secretariat of PV Clarettiani Missionaries

WARNING!!!

PICTURE BELOW IS GRAPHICS

burned

"This is a brutal example of how far the struggle between muslims and catholics in Nigeria has reached.

Muslims are determined to impose their 'religion' all over Africa as well as in other continents and countries of the world. Islam has but one goal: rule the world at any cost!"

"And where are the International Human Rights Organizations?

Christians are burnt alive in Nigeria: a horrific Holocaust right in front of International indifference! As denounced by Father Juan Carlos Martos, on behalf of the Missionari Clarettiani, via del Sacro Cuore di Maria, Rome, Italy."

"By publishing this graphic document on Facebook, I have intended to make the world aware of certain terrible events totally ignored or minimized by the mainstream media; an authentic genocide so cruel and inhuman only comparable with the most hateful and vile acts in the nazi extermination camps."

"To my great surprise, Facebook has criticized me for the publication of this graphic document as a proof of the Holocaust that Christians have been suffering in Nigeria in the last ten years. According to Facebook's Security policy of the 'social' Network, this photo has been classified as 'pornographic', 'violent' or 'inappropriate' and hence I was disallowed to publish any picture for a week. And I was threatened drastic measures if I insist publishing any document that prove the terrible violations of Human Rights in Nigeria.

This attitude by the (Spanish) Facebook Management is an attack to the freedom of expression as much as a shameful insult to the 500 victims (only in this horrible episode) slaughtered by islamic terror only for being christian."

"I thought that this social network, originated in the United States, would not bend its knees in front of terror. Especially, when still healing their wounds suffered in the gruesome 9/11 attack, just as our own 3/11 at Madrid railway station, all innocent victims of the wild fury and insanity of islamic terror."

"This seems even more unacceptable in Spain, a Democratic state, where the rights of opinion, expression and religion are guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. 16 and 20), if there is an attempt to limit such rights, let alone through threats and coercion thus weakening their freedom of expression by condemning as "inappropriate" a graphic document(not a photomontage) which reflects a brutal reality in all its crudeness."

"Contrarily, the Administrators of Facebook Spain should welcome this public protest advocating that such a barbarian act will never be replicated and that its perpetrators will be brought to justice. This is a right and duty of every citizen a service to society, ultimate goal, I feel, of any network that defines itself as 'social'."

"Regrettably, if the murders continue, this is greatly because truth is always hidden to the sovereign people, so that they may not be aware and 'disdained' by it: complicit silence by the mainstream media leads to the indifference of the international political community facing this unspeakable Holocaust! Let alone the cowardice already rooted in the western world facing the islamic terror. A consequence of the stupid "Alliance of civilizations": another regrettable incident of our former Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero."

"Can you imagine the reaction of the islamic terrorist organization in the (impossible) case of a massacre of muslims in a mosque, by the hands of christian terrorists? And how widely would our media cover and condemn the crime and the criminals??"

"Therefore, from this modest blog, I ask a favor from all people who are reading me: please distribute this photo and its comments using all the media you have. If only for commemorating these martyrs since, unfortunately, Facebook seems to be on the side of the executioners by preventing the publication of such tragic events."

Juan Carlos Martos cmf Segretariato di PVMissionari ClarettianiVia Sacro Cuore à Maria-500197-Rome

Contact Udi Schayat at udischayat@yahoo.com


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SAUDI CLERIC, LECTURER AT PROPHET'S MOSQUE, AND FORMER DEAN OF SHARIA FACULTY AT ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY AT AL-MADINA JUSTIFIES KILLING OF U.S. AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA, CALLS FOR ATTACKS ON AIRPLANES, PRAISES AL-QAEDA

Posted by Dr History, February 02, 2013

The article below was written by Robert Spencer who is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of thirteen books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). Recent books he has written include Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins (ISI) and Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Catholic Answers). His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In (Regnery). Spencer is the Vice President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and in addition to his books, has written many hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. This article appeared in Jihad Watch and is archived at
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/saudi-cleric-lecturer-at-prophets-mosque-former-dean-of-sharia-faculty-at-islamic-university-justifi

Al-Suhaybani's statements here are traditional Islamic theology regarding jihad, apostasy, and related matters. It would be refreshing to see Muslim spokesmen in the U.S. who would dismiss his statements as "extremism" explain why they consider them wrong on Islamic grounds. But they will not do so, and that is revealing in itself.

"Saudi Cleric, Lecturer At Prophet's Mosque, And Former Dean Of Sharia Faculty At Islamic University At Al-Madina Justifies Killing Of U.S. Ambassador To Libya, Calls For Attacks On Airplanes, Praises Al-Qaeda," from MEMRI, February 1 (thanks to Winds of Jihad):

The following report is from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism:

On January 24, 2012, online jihadis posted on YouTube an audio clip of Saudi cleric Muhammad bin Nasser Al-Suhaybani in which he legitimized attacks on Western targets, including diplomats and airplanes, and praised Al-Qaeda. Al-Suhaybani, a former dean of the shari'a faculty at the Islamic University (IU) in Al-Madina, currently holds an official position as a lecturer at the Prophet's Mosque in Al-Madina. Al-Suhaybani's lectures can be found on the Saudi government website for the Prophet's Mosque, www.haramain.gov.sa. Al-Suhaybani's picture, it should be noted, is unavailable, as he refuses to be photographed for religious reasons.

Asked in the clip for his opinion regarding the appropriate response to "insults to the Prophet," Al-Suhaybani answered that Muslims must muster their zeal and declare war on Westerners, attacking them in their embassies and on their airplanes. He explained that the Western states' ambassadors do not merit protection by treaty, as diplomats traditionally do according to Islamic law, because they represent the government of a state that allows insults to the Prophet, thereby forfeiting such protection.

According to the clip's description, Al-Suhaybani's statements were made in the Prophet's Mosque, apparently during one of his classes. The exact date when the statements were made is unknown, but they were clearly made in reference to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. One person who commented on the YouTube clip wrote: "This is a fatwa from a master of religious knowledge and a person who speaks the truth openly. I regard it as a groundbreaking fatwa that can be used as a proof before Allah in any jihadi or martyrdom-seeking operation against the crusaders."

Following are excerpts from Al-Suhaybani's statements:

"This Ambassador Nullified His Treaty"

[Unidentified speaker]: "What should be the Muslim's stance toward insults to the Prophet, and is protesting against them good?"

Al-Suhaybani: "By Allah, on this matter we pray to Allah to put an end to the evil of these infidels. [As it says in Koran 2:217:] 'They will not cease to fight you until they force you to renounce your faith.' However, Allah the Exalted made it clear that we must have zeal... 'But, if after coming to terms with you, they break their oaths and revile your faith, make war on the leaders of unbelief — for no oaths are binding with them — so that they may desist. Will you not fight against those who have broken their oaths and conspired to banish the Apostle? They were the first to attack you. Do you fear them? Surely Allah is more worthy of your fear.' [Koran 9:12].

"It is not permissible to remain silent vis-Ã -vis these people or to treat them tolerantly. Regretfully, instead of rebuking [those who insulted the Prophet], and not merely rebuking but also [acting in] zeal — the [governments] of the Islamic countries kill the masses that come out to show their zeal [for the Prophet.] They have apologized to the infidels and killed [the protestors.] That is to say, a number of zealous people who came out to protest what happened to the Prophet were killed. [Even] this did not please the Westerners.

"An ambassador was killed — this ambassador had nullified his 'ahd [treaty] and did not merit protection. Whoever nullifies the treaty by insulting the Prophet has no treaty... When the infidels insult the Prophet, they have no treaty, neither an ambassador nor anybody else. The ambassador represents his misguided, infidel government.

"Did [these] governments renounce what happened in their countries? They were ambiguous about it. If anyone speaks out against them [in our countries], they call him a terrorist and demand that he be handed over to them. Isn't this not so? But we stand with our arms crossed, and regretfully — what is worse — we try to please them by having the police kill those protestors who are zealous for what has been done to the Prophet. And they apologize to the infidels and brag about this.

"Do you fear them? Surely Allah is more worthy of your fear. We ask Allah to put a stop to their evil and harm. Their insults to the Prophet do not cease. This recurs in the countries of Europe — in France, in Holland, in Belgium, as well as in the U.S..."

The Victories Of "Our Brothers In Afghanistan... Make Us Happy"

"They do this in order to abuse and ridicule the Muslims, and their religious practices and feelings. The Islamic governments must say no. They must not treat the matter mildly or with tolerance. They must let the Muslim peoples act as they please and do what they wish to do. Trust Allah and be honest with Allah. Allah the exalted said: 'Had Allah willed, He could have Himself punished them; but He has ordained it thus that He might test you, the one by the other.' [Koran 47:4]If Allah willed it, no infidel would say anything, and if he did, Allah would strike him with lightning. However, he left the matter to us, [to see] if we will be zealous or not.

"All these statements calling on the Muslim peoples to boycott [Western products] are mistaken. Rather, the right thing to do is for the Muslim peoples to show zeal and anger in a manner that fits the stature of the Prophet, to the extent that the infidels are deterred and feel that the Muslims will not leave them alone. They should chase them down in their embassies, in their consulates, and in their airplanes, on land and in the sea. This is what should be done. We will not surrender to them or abide [their insults].

"They should declare war! Are we not a people of war? Our brothers in Afghanistan — their victories these days make us happy. They destroyed airplanes and killed many of Allah's enemies, even though they are few. They have very few weapons, but Allah has blessed their efforts, and we pray that He [continue] to bless their efforts. We also pray that He grant success to the Muslims in Palestine, that they may declare a jihad war there and forget about this nonsense [of negotiating with Israel], [and that Allah] grant our brothers in Syria a swift victory and deliver them from this tyrant [Assad] and his followers and supporters. I pray that He lead us all to what pleases Him..."

Al-Suhaybani's Anti-American Opinions On Twitter

In the past, Al-Suhaybani has expressed strong anti-American opinions on his Twitter account (http://twitter.com/mns979). On May 1, 2012, he harshly criticized the Afghan government for requesting security assistance from the U.S., to which he referred as "the great tyrant [al-taghout al-akbar]." On March 28, 2012, he criticized the Pakistani parliament for considering to resume supplying NATO. He wrote: "The Pakistani parliament is considering to renew the [approval for the] supplying of the Christian — American and European — forces, NATO, that have been fighting our Muslims brothers in Afghanistan for ten years. There is no doubt that supplying these forces in their war on the Muslims constitutes an apostasy from Islam." In another occasion, Al-Suhaybani praised an Afghan soldier who was sentenced to death for killing five NATO soldiers. He said: "This Afghan mujahid killed five Christian invaders. The hypocrite apostates sentenced him to death. The Prophet said of this man and those who are like him 'he is one of mine and I am one of his'."

Contact Dr. History at drhistory@cox.net.


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DEMOGRAPHERS-OF-DOOM ATTEMPTED TO DETER THEODORE HERZL

Posted by Yoram Ettinger, February 02, 2013

The citations below are from Public Letters on Ancient and Modern Judaism (1897-1907), Sixth Letter (March 1898), written by Shimon Dubnov, a leading Jewish demographer/historian. This was researched by Yakov Faitelson, expert on Jewish-Arab demography.

"Let's examine the impact of new and detached dreams on the establishment of a political base for the Jewish People... (p. 161)

"What a gap between the construction of a few modest settlements in Palestine and the realization of the vision of an autonomous Jewish center there... Fifteen additional settlements were erected during 1882-1898, and the Jewish population of Palestine grew by 15,000. However, a great gap exists between the settlement of a few tens of thousands of Jews in Palestine on one hand, and the political resurrection of the ten million exiled Jewish People on the other hand... How far is reality from the dream?! (p. 162).

"If the Basel Congress were non-political, then it would reach a resolution that Judaism is a nationality, which should not be advanced by messianic means in Zion, but by a credible struggle for realistic Jewish interests in the Diaspora... (p. 165).

"Zionists hope to retrieve the lost [enlightened] son via a Jewish State in Palestine. However, such an idea preconditions an attainable goal upon an unattainable tactic. The establishment of a Zukunftstaat constitutes a nice dream — a messianic utopia... (p. 167).

"The reconstruction of the Jewish State — with a sizeable Jewish population- in Palestine, is impossible, politically, socially and economically... (p. 169).

"17 years of intense effort, increased migration and huge resources, has yielded 3,600 Jewish settlers — 211 annually. Let us assume that the Zionist committees shall expedite their effort, and will therefore manage to settle 1,000 settlers per year. Then in one hundred years [by 2000] the total in Palestine will reach100,000. Let us multiply it by five — which would account for natural increase — then we shall get 500,000 Jews in Palestine in 100 years: slightly higher than the population of Kiev... (p. 171).

"Obviously, all of us wish to see half a million of our brethren in our ancient homeland at the outset of the 21st century. But, will that solve the problem of ten million Jews, who are scattered in the Diaspora...? How would you view such an original solution, which condemns a whole People to death on the altar of saving five percent of that People...? Therefore, political Zionism is utopian by three: the dream to establish a Jewish State supported by international law, the dream to achieve the migration of a substantial element of the Jewish People to that State, and the dream to solve the problem of the entire Jewish People through the establishment of a Jewish State... (p. 171).

"Political liberation in Palestine constitutes a beautiful messianic dream..." (p. 180)..."

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, the Executive Director of "Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative," is an expert on Middle East politics and US-Israel relations. He served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington and was Consul General in Houston, Texas. He regularly briefs Israeli and US legislators and their staff on US-Israel strategic ties, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel's high tech. His articles are published at: http://www.TheEttingerReport.com.
This article is archived at
http://www.theettingerreport.com/Demographic-Scare/Demographers-of-doom-attempted-to-deter-Theodore-H.aspx

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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Posted by Naomi Ragen, February 02, 2013

crime

On Tuesday, January 22, Justice John G. Ingram of New York's State Supreme Court sentenced convicted child molester Nechemya Weberman to 103 years behind bars for 59 counts of sexual abuse against a little girl sent to him by her school, the UTA Satmar, for religious counseling. In passing sentence, the judge praised the young victim for her "courage and bravery in coming forward."

After speaking to her briefly on the phone last week and having a long talk with her older brother, who lives here in Jerusalem, I must say I believe she heartily deserves this compliment. I now have an even deeper appreciation of the unique spirit and deep conviction that allowed this young person (let's call her "Esther" — a fitting name for a heroine who risked everything to save others) to keep strong and go forward. Vilified, her veracity questioned at every turn, her family harassed and many in her insular community shamelessly lining up behind the convicted sex offender, Esther never faltered. "Was it worth it?" I asked her.

"Definitely. [When Weberman was convicted] people started opening their eyes, looking at what's going on around them.

We have to teach children that if someone is bothering them, if they're uncomfortable, they shouldn't just accept it. We have to make parents really listen to their kids."

What did she learn most from this whole experience? "That even if people don't believe you, you should never lose faith in yourself and allow yourself to be intimidated. God knew I was telling the truth. And I knew He was on my side, not on his [Weberman's] side."

Still, even now, after the conviction and the whopping sentence, the Satmar community continues to make life difficult for Esther and her family. Her new husband, who ran a restaurant, had his kashrut certificate canceled. "He's looking for a job," she says. Her father, who for many years supported his family from the ad revenue of Williamsburg businesses by publishing a local Jewish yellow pages, suddenly has a new competitor, The Jewish Phonebook. The Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum himself, went to the offices of the new company to affix the mezuza. Many see this as a vengeful attempt to drive Esther's father out of business. Her brother is especially upset by this. "My father follows everything in that world to the letter in the purest, most sincere way. Why should they target him?" Anti-Zionist Teitelbaum, who showed up in Israel right before the election, reportedly to discourage haredim from voting, is allegedly at the top of the pyramid of abuse against Esther and her family. He's taken part in Weberman defense fund-raisers and, according to some interpretations, even publicly labeled her Esther a whore. Weberman was Teitelbaum's late father's chauffeur. WHAT THOSE who continue to target her and her family never understood — and probably never will — is that Esther isn't in this for revenge, or even for justice — both of which she richly deserves. It was never about her at all: "I just couldn't let this happen to anybody else," she told me in her sweet, girlish voice. "If I didn't stand up, and it happened to another girl, I would be responsible."

And then she told me something else; something so startling that at first I couldn't believe my ears; something that made everything so clear: "I wasn't the only girl in my family he [Weberman] abused."

I asked her brother if I'd heard right. "Yes," he confirmed. An older sister had gone to Weberman and she, too, had been molested. I admit, I was aghast. "But why didn't she tell your parents, stop them from sending your younger sister to him?" I asked. In answer, he told me the following: "When I was eight or nine years old, I got into some trouble on the school bus. The rebbe told me I'd 'get it' the next day. I was absolutely terrified. When I was called to the principal's office, I ran first to the pay phone and called my mother, begging her to call the principal right away. When they dragged me in, the principal sneered: 'Crybaby! Do you think your parents can help you?' He took out a rubber hose and beat me so badly I had welts all over my body.

That's when I realized that when you're in their system, nobody can help you. There's no point in even telling your parents what's happening to you, because they are helpless to stop it." According to him, the only way out of this insular system is to do what he did: educate yourself (he read books in Barnes & Noble), learn to question and not be dependent on the community for your livelihood. "Because then, they own you."

He urges all young people in the community to do the same. "They are making the children in Satmar schools say tehilim [psalms] for Weberman.

What kind of God are they teaching those children to pray to? A God that protects pedophiles?" In imposing the near-maximum sentence, Judge Ingram said: "The message should go out to all victims of sexual abuse that your cries will be heard and justice will be done."

Apparently, not everyone is listening.

Gary Schlesinger, who runs a charity under Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, told The Wall Street Journal: "The sentence will discourage future victims... nobody wants to have that on their conscience." Right. Victims of sexual abuse are now going to be afraid their abusers might sit in jail too long...

Others say the community will now try even harder to stop victims from testifying. But I say: bring it on! As the Weberman case shows, short of actually murdering the victims, they've tried just about everything else. So I beg to differ. I think it will have exactly the desired effect — allowing the fear of secular authorities to fill the vacuum where the fear of God should be, but obviously isn't.

Some even claim anti-Semitism, or antiSatmarism, is behind what they call an "excessive" sentence. Even Levi Aron, who murdered little Leiby Kletzky in July 2011, only got 40 years to life.

I'd like to point out that it was Weberman's choice not to plead guilty and accept a plea bargain. Moreover, you can only murder someone once and they can only die once. What Weberman did to that little girl he did day after day, year after year. He was in a position of authority and she was a child in his care. Every time he violated that trust was another crime. That adds up.

No, 103 years sounds like a good number to me. As Esther's brother pointed out: "If my sister lives to be 120, that's about the same number of years she'll have to live with what he's done to her."

After I spoke to Esther's brother, I wandered into Hamashbir, Jerusalem's department store. And there I saw a religious mother watching her 15-year-old daughter trying on clothes. The girl was slim and lovely, her blond hair pulled back modestly into a ponytail, her complexion makeup free, her eyes bright, laughing and innocent as she looked at herself in the mirror; the kind of girl Esther could have been if Weberman had never come into her life.

"I remember how I would look in the mirror," Esther told the court. "I saw a girl who didn't want to live in her own skin, a girl whose innocence was shattered at age 12. A sad girl who wanted to live a normal life, but instead was being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to perform sickening acts again and again. I would cry until the tears ran dry... But now I can see someone who finally stood up and spoke out for myself and for other silent victims." At age 18, Esther married a man who has supported her throughout her ordeal. In her wedding portrait she stands tall and model thin, her beautiful young face shining with happiness, her elegant wedding gown very hassidic in its neck-to-toe modesty. Beside her stands her short groom, his head topped by a traditional shtreimel. He too is beaming.

She's my heroine. I wish her and her husband every happiness, and I hope that the Jewish community will embrace, support and comfort them and their families and all who have the courage to defend true righteousness, in every way possible.

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971 and who writes regularly in the Jerusalem Post and to her mailing list about Israel and Jewish issues. Naomi has published nine internationally best selling novels, and is the author of a hit play (Women's Minyan) which has been performed more than 500 times in Israel's National Theatre (Habimah) as well as in the United States and Argentina. This article appeared January 31, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Crime-and-punishment


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I LOVE DANIEL GREENFIELD'S BLOG

Posted by Hadar-Israel, February 02, 2013

koch
"My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish."

Six days ago, Ed Koch described the tombstone that he had arranged for himself. "On my tombstone, which awaits me at the Trinity Church nondenominational cemetery at 155th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, I had inscribed the last words of Daniel Pearl — uttered at his publicly viewed murder — which were, "My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish."

After the latest September 11 attacks, he had written, "Will we have the resolve to stand up and protect the lifestyles and mores of western civilization now under attack by the Islamists in a war that can and will probably last for decades or will we ultimately surrender? I believe we will fight for our freedoms as we did in World War II and once again prevail."

ANOTHER TIME, WE'LL GO TO MARS

Apparently the last Mars mission determined once and for all that there are no Muslims on Mars making further visits there unnecessary. Also deeply disappointing to Obama was that despite its name of the"Red Planet", what looked like a giant image of Marx's head, turned out to just be a volcanic formation.

We could have paid for the entire Mars mission with the money that Obama gave to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt. But Obama has his priorities.

Obama Kills Next Mars Rover, Russia to Take It Over

ANOTHER TIME, OUR MEN WILL EAT

The Army has stopped serving cooked breakfasts to some of the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan as part of its drawdown, a move that prompted troops to write home asking their families and friends to send care packages with cereal, breakfast bars and other foods.

Meanwhile here is what Obama and his corrupt cronies had for their inaugural lunch. Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce, Sautéed Spinach, Sweet Potato Hay Second Course: Hickory-Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake, Butternut Squash Purée, Baby Golden Beets.

f only American soldiers in Afghanistan were unemployed Democratic voters in Chicago, then they might be getting three square meals a day from the government.

Obama Eliminates Breakfast for US Troops in Afghanistan, Stuffs Own Face

TWO THOUSAND AND FORTY

Before you get depressed about the state of your finances, spare a thought for the nation of Zimbabwe, which as of Tuesday had exactly $217 in the bank. That's 217 dollars, not $217 million or $217 billion.

This is what happens when your Debt to GDP ratio is at 220% and your government's economic plans consists of seizing land from farmers and handing it out to your cronies while trying to borrow even more money to keep the entire disastrous thing going.

"If you owe someone US$7 billion and your GDP is US$7 billion then you do not have any money," deputy premier Arthur Mutambara said, "We are heavily borrowed and we do not have a GDP to talk about."

That's a bit of common sense. Unfortunately the United States owes a trillion more than its GDP. So we don't have a GDP to talk about either.

How far away are we from Zimbabwe's 220% GDP Debt ratio? By 2040, the nanny state may also be down to $217 in the bank.

Zimbabwe Government Down to $217, America May Be Next

WHAT DOES CONCENTRATED BERKELEY SMELL LIKE?

According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, 76 percent of Occupy Wall Streets respondents had a four-year college degree and 39 percent had graduate degrees. Among college graduates, more than a quarter went to top-ranked schools, which might help explain why the majority of graduates under 30 had some student debt.

39 percent had graduate degrees. Graduate degrees. That's a higher percentage than Berkeley. OWS was actually concentrated Berkeley. It was a one-block Cambridge. It was a smellier Ann Arbor.

Study Shows Occupy Wall Street was the 1 Percent

THEIR GOD IS A HUNGARIAN NAZI COLLABORATOR

All of Obama's inauguration rabbis were members of the same radical leftist groups opposed to Israel and funded by George Soros. Obama deliberately picked three extremist left-wing clergy, "Rabbi" Rick Jacobs, "Rabbi" Julie Schonfeld and "Rabbi" Sharon Brous.

Jacobs and Brous are or were members of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet, an Anti-Israel organization funded by George Soros. Rick Jacobs was involved in the New Israel Fund, another extremist left-wing group which funds groups that boycott Israel. Julie Schonfeld was also involved with the NIF and was on the advisory committee for Jewish Funds for Justice. Rick Jacobs was on that same advisory committee.

Jewish Funds for Justice is an extreme left-wing group very closely tied to the Soros family. Soros' son sits on the board of the merged organization of (JFJ) and the Progressive Jewish Alliance.

Obama's Inauguration Prayers Featured Three of Soros' Anti-Israel Rabbis

THE WEEK OF MANY THINGS

This was a week of many things. This was the week when the wheels came off the amnesty bus as Senator McCain announced that it was actually basically the same as the reviled 2006 Reid-Kennedy bill.

"If we do succeed, and I think we will, it will be a testimonial to Ted Kennedy's effort years ago that laid the groundwork for this agreement," McCain said. "You will find that this agreement has very little difference from that of the legislation that was led by Sen. Kennedy some years go."

And weeks of work by Rubio promoting the new agreement as a conservative immigration reform proposal went up in smoke.

It was also the week that the wheels came off the Hagel bus leading to video compilations of his worst moments and bizarre quotes. Lindsey Graham clearly enjoyed using Hagel as a chew toy, for reasons that are probably personal, but it's Hagel's ineptness, his rambling inability to get to a point or even understand the question, his multiple corrections that are baffling when coming from a man who had once been a Senator.

This may not stop Hagel from being confirmed, but it's an inauspicious start for the man who was only being brought in as a fall guy for slashing national defense to the bone.

IT'S GUN CONTROL PARADE TIME

And it was the week that the gun control push continued stumbling along, often in a completely clumsy manner.

Million Moms for Gun Control tried to launch a march in Washington D.C. organized by two lesbian theater directors. The march barely attracted 6,000 people and even those numbers are generous. The march reportedly cost $49,000 which comes out to about $8 per participation.

Molly Smith, the artistic director of Arena Stage, remembers exactly how she felt when she first heard news of the shootings in Newtown, Conn.: "It was as if the unthinkable had happened." Her partner, American Indian activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy, said, "Somebody needs to do a march," and Smith realized who those somebodies needed to be. "Within the next day, we decided that we needed to lead a march, to get people together to make this happen."

It happened. Badly. But not as badly as it did in Ohio where the "community leader" protesting about how it is easy to buy guns outside a gun show turned out to be a rapist.

"We know that guns are being sold on the floor inside Hara Arena illegally" said Jerome McCorry. "No background checks no identification of any kind."

McCorry said "AK-47s and M16s are not gonna be used for hunting, they're not going to be used to protect anybody. These are the weapons that are coming back and being used in mass murders and mass killings."

And Jerome is an expert on what kind of guns can be used to protect someone, since he is the kind of guy that people buy guns to protect against.

Senator Feinstein needs to bring Jerome down to D.C. as an expert witness so he can testify on just how much firepower a woman needs to defend herself from him.

And Joe Biden, who puts the cherry on every cake, then helpfully explained that the big gun ban won't actually stop mass shootings or well do much of anything at all.

Vice President Joe Biden was perhaps a little too candid on the subject of new gun control laws when talking to reporters Thursday after a meeting with Senate Democrats in the Capitol.

"Nothing we're going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we're at now," Biden said, according to a Politico report.

The reporter also noted, "a [White House] staffer tried unsuccessfully to cut Biden off repeatedly" as he was making the remarks.

The administration might want to consider a shock collar.

ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE

Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city, $75,000 a year, while administrators make $120,000, even though only 20 percent of their 8th grade students are grade-proficient in math. Chicago schools have an annual budget of $5.11 billion for a student body that is 87% low-income and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

In 1985, the budget for all of Chicago was $2.1 billion or less than half of the current school budget. But that doesn't work too well now when Chicago teacher pensions alone account for $1 billion a year. Arne Duncan tried and failed to reform the system, and as a reward got kicked upstairs to become Obama's Secretary of Education. Rahm Emanuel tried to buy off the teachers with a pay hike in exchange for evaluations and had his teeth handed to him.

Bloomberg came into office as the education mayor and during his time in office the city's debt doubled to $110 billion. In 1975, New York City almost went bankrupt over $14 billion of debt. In Chicago, in Daley's last ten years, its debt rose 96.9 percent and almost a quarter of the city budget goes to servicing that debt

BUT SOME THINGS NEVER DIE

Over this confused juxtaposition of history, the narration goes on to inform us that the same forces that spawned the Nazi Party and the McCarthyites, a group that included Robert F. Kennedy, also created the Tea Party. It's a reminder that the difference between Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States" and a YouTube conspiracy video about the Freemasons is that the latter doesn't have a slot on Showtime. Yet.

6 minutes in and the vast right-wing conspiracy is on the table. "Nixon's rage had become their own," the narrator whispers. This rage was apparently expressed by creating think-tanks like Heritage and AEI promoting deregulation and privatization; probably the least angry example of rage in the entire history of anger.

"The moneyed class," the narrator hisses, like a low-rent Marxist, "were back." They had apparently gone off to vacation on Martha's Vineyard and hobnob with the Kennedys, but now they were back and angrily creating think-tanks.

from my review of Episode 8 of Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States"

Every Anti-American country and group, whether it's the USSR invading Afghanistan or the Iranians taking American hostages, is depicted as careful and forbearing. On the other side of the ocean however, Uncle Sam stomps around in cowboy boots guzzling the blood of the oppressed like cheap whiskey.

NOR DO SOME OTHER THINGS

Margaret Brown earned her moniker as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by surviving the sinking of the Titanic. Hillary Clinton earned hers by surviving multiple scandals, the last of them claiming four lives. During the Clinton Administration, Hillary Clinton was followed around by the phantom corpses of conspiracy theories, but now four real corpses trail in her wake without ever slowing her down.

Hillary's departure into the lifeboat is another escape from a ship that is too big to sink. Obama hasn't been very popular in a while and if she's going to make her run in 2016, she will need some distance from the shambling disaster that the S.S. Hussein is likely to be three years from now. After being cheated out of her captain's hat in 2008, she's determined to be the first in line to receive it in 2016.

Like Molly Brown, Hillary Clinton has picked the perfect time to exit the sinking wreck. The Arab Spring is starting to take on tones so ugly that even the most sheltered liberal warding off the real world with unfurled copies of the New York Times and the Washington Post cannot deny that something appears to have gone wrong. As Egypt burns, Hillary passes the baton to John Kerry, who has never met a dictator that he didn't fall in love with, and leaves him with the responsibility of dealing with the disaster.

from my article, The Unsinkable Hillary

MOHAMMED WAS THE ORIGINAL FEMINIST

Several days after French special forces parachuted in and liberated this storied city, there is a growing sense of freedom. Though in the houses immediately facing the Islamic tribunal, many of the 8- and 9-year-old girls are still wearing the head covering.

"It is out of fear of the Islamists that they still wear this, says Diahara Adjanga, the mother of one girl said Thursday."They hit everyone — even children."

Fatouma Traore, 21, said that there was one commander who was especially brutal to the women in Timbuktu.

"We don't want the army to catch him. It's the women who want to arrest him so that we can kill him ourselves. ... Even if you're talking to your own blood brother on the stoop of your house, they hit you. Even if you are wearing the veil, and it happens to slip off, they hit you. This man, Ahmed Moussa, he made life miserable for women. Even an old grandmother if she's not covered up, he would hit her."

She picks up her 1-year-old niece and hoists her on one hip, saying: "We even bought a veil for this baby."

That's the word from Mali, where Islamophobia is becoming a serious problem.

Hamchat Dicko, who has only one eye, told me that she was not allowed to buy a replacement pair. "They didn't want women to see the world," she said.

MOHAMMEDAN FEMINISM SPREADING TO THE WEST

Sweden now has the second highest number of rapes in the world, after South Africa, which at 53.2 per 100,000 is six times higher than the United States. Statistics now suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will be raped.

Sweden, like the rest of the West, will have to come to terms with the fact that it can either have female equality or Muslim immigration. It cannot have both.

It really, really cannot. Not unless it also gives every woman an AR-15.

A 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd in Landskrona sentenced to eight years in prison for the murder of his sister Maria. According to the court was the motive for the act to restore family honor.

The 19-year-old woman was killed by 107 wounds with two knives and scissors to different parts of the body. According to a legal medical report, it took several minutes to inflict her injuries. The district court wrote that damages therefore caused her great suffering and high death anxiety.

Maria told them: "I was born and raised in Stockholm. Before I turned twelve, I was kidnapped to Kurdistan with my brothers ... When I was 15, I was raped and married off.

Arranged marriage is a business arrangement between Mary's father and 30-year-old Majed. The price of Maria — so reads the marriage certificate from the 5 May 2009 — is 90 grams of 21 carat gold.

Fortunately the Swedish justice system sprang into action and sentenced him to eight years in prison.

"I thought the sentence was very strong, it was a very tough punishment. I do not share at all the district court's perception of the seriousness of the offense," says the 17-year-old's defense attorney, Mr. Jansson.

It would have been more serious if he had stabbed her 108 times.

IGNORANCE OF INFIDEL LAW IS AN EXCELLENT EXCUSE

A muslim who raped a 13-year-old girl he groomed on Facebook has been spared a prison sentence after a judge heard he went to an Islamic faith school where he was taught that women are worthless.

Adil Rashid, 18, claimed he was not aware that it was illegal for him to have sex with the girl because his education left him ignorant of British law.

Well he didn't know it was wrong. That means it's not a crime. But good luck for anyone who leaves a pig's head in front of a mosque and claims not to know it was wrong.

Muslim Who Raped 13 Year Old UK Girl Spared Jail Because "He Didn't Know It Was Wrong"

MADE IN TURKEY

Bishop Luigi Padovese was the Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Bishops' Conference. The Bishop's driver and murderer, Murat Altun, had claimed to be Catholic, but prior to a trip to Cyprus, the Turkish government warned the Bishop that his driver was an Islamist and potentially dangerous. The Turkish government was worried about the murder of the Pope resulting in a major international incident.

The Bishop chose to stay home to protect the Pope from an assassination attempt and instead Murat Altun beheaded Bishop Luigi Padovese while shouting Allah Akbar.

The authorities claimed that Altun's motive was personal and not political, but Altun claimed that Allah had inspired him to commit his crime and recited Islamic verses during the trial. The Turkish authorities tried to claim insanity on his behalf. When that failed, they came up with an even nastier tactic.

Turkish Muslim Who Murdered Catholic Bishop While Shouting "Allah Akbar" Gets Reduced Sentence

THE POLYGAMOUS ISLAMISTS OF THE APARTHEID STATE

Taleb Abu Arar, the new Bedouin Knesset Member from the Raam-Taal party, is facing an unusual dilemma, according to this morning's Maariv: which of his two wives to bring to the ceremonial plenum next week, when he swears allegiance to the Knesset and the state.

What is not mentioned in the bio is that Taleb Abu Arar appears to be a member of the Islamic Movement, which is short for the Islamic Movement in 48 Palestine which is the Muslim Brotherhood's franchise in Israel

Muslim Brotherhood Member Elected to Israeli Parliament Can't Decide Which Wife to Take Along

50 SHADES OF PINK

The inherent admission in Gross' argument is that gay rights, like feminism or civil rights for any group, is not an end in and of itself, but part of an indivisible collective project whose end is not the fulfillment of any set of rights, but the success of the left.

Thus gay rights can be subtracted for Hamas, but they cannot be added for Israel. Gay rights are only of value when they serve the program of the left, and the left, as Judith Butler says, views Hamas and Hezbollah as "part of the global left" but with problematic dimensions, such as wanting to take away the civil rights of women, gays, non-Muslims, etc. But these dimensions do not detract from their place on the left. On the other hand Israel's rejection of Islamic terrorism does.

It speaks volumes about the real agenda of the left that fighting Islamic terrorism is a dealbreaker but killing gay people isn't.

Israel, Hamas and Gay Rights: Who Are the Real "Pinkwashers"?

IT'S LIARS ALL THE WAY DOWN

Even in Kerry's version of events leading up up to his nomination, though, he was still Obama's second choice. His claim is that Obama offered him the job about a week before Rice withdrew. Until then, Obama wanted Rice to be his Secretary of State. Otherwise, he wouldn't have put her name out, causing her to twist in the wind generated by severe criticism over her statements pertaining to the Benghazi killings.

Assuming Kerry is telling the truth, one wonders why Obama left Rice twisting for an additional week. Did Obama share with Rice the news that he wanted Kerry, or did he leave it to her to see the writing on the wall?

Or is Kerry once again embellishing the facts?

from Powerline's Paul tackling the impossible task of who figuring out who in Obama Inc. is lying about what.

THE TIDES OF MEN

The Democrats even have a plan to turn Texas blue. What a ghastly thought.

Alas, those who promise free stuff will always win over the masses, it seems. Keep charging up the federal credit card to buy free stuff in exchange for votes from people who can't see beyond next week, nor are smart enough to balance their own checkbooks.

Perhaps the tides of history are against us. No, let's reword that. The tides of human nature are against us. In general, people will always take the easy way out, or at least what they perceive to be the easy way out. Instant gratification will always win out over delayed gratification. Live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.

That's from Saberpoint. There's certainly an argument to be made for that. Socialism can seem inevitable from that angle, but most people really want an answer to the question of how they will take care of themselves and their families.

The Socialists have an easy and seductive answer. But the standard American answer used to work pretty well. The problem is that the Republicans have gotten bad at selling it.

WE ARE THE POLICE

If we are the police and the police is us then it stands to reason that we are not only responsible for doing our duty to the whole, that is the nation state, by defending it and those weaker citizens who can't defend themselves but also to defend ourselves. It's not just a right, it's the duty of every citizen...

The courts, including the Supreme Court, have recognized that the police have no duty to protect the individual. Go back to the police mission as outlined by Peel. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder. The conclusion is both inescapable and obvious. We are individually responsible for our own safety.

What then of guns, the tools of personal protection. If we are indeed the police and the military it stands to reason that the tools available to them are the very tools that must be available to us. We cannot separate the citizen from the cop or soldier because we are them and they are us.

from Warrior Class, "We Are The Police And The Police Is Us"

AMERICA'S NEW MOST WANTED

A reader of Scarborough's article who posted a comment remarked that "West Point's Perliger anti-Terror Center's Most Wanted List would include: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, James Madison, Ronald Reagan, John Jay, Sam Adams."

from the Selous Foundation

UP IN THE SKY

Monbiot admits that there is a difference in that American drones are not deliberately targeting children, although he calls the deaths "Obama's murders" as if they were, but he is right to say that the death of innocents is an almost certain consequence of the attacks. The problem is that he doesn't trouble himself too much with who the Americans are targeting, the various Pakistani Taliban groups. And they too kill children, not as an act of individual derangement, nor, to use that disgusting phrase, as 'collateral damage', but as a deliberate policy.

This isn't a case of 'yes buttery' but a plea to see the event as a whole. American actions are actually aimed at killing child killers, yet in doing so they can miss their targets and kill children themselves.

Fat Man on a Keyboard's critique of Al Guardian

THE GREAT AMERICAN PRISON

Years ago, I spent a few weeks visiting Sing-Sing Prison conducting research for a TV series. It was a grueling and depressing experience. I interviewed drug dealers, murderers, rapists—human monsters one and all. Each night, I'd go to bed thankful for prisons and wishing for even more prisons to lock away the evil.

But, every once in a while, some small bit of black humor would emerge that spoke volumes.

There was one prisoner, a small-time thief, who told me that:

...prison was kind of a relief. Look, I get clothing, three squares a day, and a roof over my head. I get medical and dental free of charge. I can even go to a shrink, a social worker, whatever. I can take college courses if I want—all for free. Outside, I gotta hustle day and night for stuff like that.

"What about freedom?" I asked.

"You know what we call prison?"

I shrugged. I had no idea.

"Home, we call it home."

As I listened to Barack Obama's inaugural speech yesterday, the memory of Sing-Sing and that particular prisoner floated into my memory.

Obama's vision of America is Sing-Sing.

from Robert at Seraphic Secret

Daniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and blogger and a Shillman Journalism Fellow of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Contact Hadar-Israel at hadar-israel.org


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FACT CHECK—CNN'S BLITZER: SHERIFFS CAN'T DEFY EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, February 02, 2013

The article below was written by Kenneth A. "Ken" Klukowski. He is a national-bestselling author and a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer, consultant and journalist, specializing in the Constitution. He is special counsel at the Family Research Council, where he serves as director of the Center for Religious Liberty, a fellow and senior analyst with the American Civil Rights Union, and a research fellow with Liberty University School of Law. He is the U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for Townhall.com and is a contributor to BigGovernment.com and Fox Forum, the opinion page for Fox News. Klukowski has written briefs on constitutional issues in federal courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court. This article appeared February 01, 2013 in the Breitbart.com. and is archived at
http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2013/02/01/cnns-blitzer-sheriffs-cant-defy-executive-orders/

Discussing gun control, CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday told a Utah sheriff that if Barack Obama issues an executive order, that order is the law and the sheriff must obey. However, jurisprudence on this topic reveals exactly the opposite.

As the head of the executive branch of the federal government, a president can issue executive orders only to employees of the federal government—and only regarding implementing federal laws or programs. A governor can likewise issue executive orders to employees of his state government regarding the laws or programs of that state.

Every sheriff is a county officer, elected by the voters of that county. The Supreme Court held in Printz v. U.S. in 1997 that the Tenth Amendment forbids the federal government from ever ordering any state or local official to carry out a federal program. Ironically, that case also involved a sheriff—Jay Printz of Montana—and a federal gun control law.

Sergio Hadar Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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BOMBING THE SYRIAN REACTOR: THE UNTOLD STORY

Posted by Yogi Rus, February 02, 2013

The article below was written by Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow in Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. This article was taken from his new book, just published by Cambridge University Press, Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, a memoir of his service at the National Security Council from 2001 to 2009. This article appeared February 01, 2013 in Commentary and is archived at
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/bombing-the-syrian-reactor-the-untold-story/

As the civil war in Syria enters its third year, there is much discussion of the regime's chemical weapons and whether Syria's Bashar al-Assad will unleash them against Syrian rebels, or whether a power vacuum after Assad's fall might make those horrific tools available to the highest bidder. The conversation centers on Syria's chemical weaponry, not on something vastly more serious: its nuclear weaponry. It well might have. This is the inside story of why it does not.

Relations between the United States and Israel had grown rocky after Israel's incursion into Lebanon in 2006, for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believed the Israelis had mishandled both the military and the diplomatic sides of the conflict. While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's personal relations with President George W. Bush were excellent, those with Rice were sometimes confrontational—especially when Rice worked at the United Nations to bring the war to a close while Olmert sought more time to attack Hezbollah. Olmert always seemed to ask for 10 days more, while Rice believed the war was not going well and that more time was unlikely to turn the tables.

By the war's end on August 14, 2006, Olmert's political status had been diminished and his ability to negotiate any sort of peace agreement with the Palestinians was in doubt. The autumn of 2006 and winter of 2007 saw no movement on the Israeli-Palestinian front, and all the Israeli analysts we consulted said there would be none. We were stuck. And there was another surprise in store.

In the middle of May 2007, we received an urgent request to receive Mossad chief Meir Dagan at the White House. Olmert asked that he be allowed to show some material to Bush personally. We headed that off with a suggestion that he first reveal whatever he had to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and to me; I was then the deputy national-security adviser in charge of the Middle East portfolio on the National Security Council. Vice President Dick Cheney joined us in Hadley's office for Dagan's presentation. What Dagan had was astonishing and explosive: He showed us intelligence demonstrating that Syria was constructing a nuclear reactor whose design was supplied by North Korea, and doing so with North Korean technical assistance. Dagan left us with one stark message: All Israeli policymakers who saw the evidence agreed that the reactor had to go away.

There then began a four-month process of extremely close cooperation with Israel about the reactor, called al-Kibar. As soon as our own intelligence had confirmed the Israeli information and we all agreed on what we were dealing with, Hadley established a process for gathering further information, considering our options, and sharing our thinking with Israel. This process was run entirely out of the White House, with extremely limited participation to maintain secrecy. The effort at secrecy succeeded and there were no leaks—an amazing feat in Washington, especially when the information being held so tightly was as startling and sexy as this.

Initially, there were doubts that Bashar al-Assad could be so stupid as to try this stunt of building a nuclear reactor with North Korean help. Did he really think he would get away with it—that Israel would permit it? But he nearly did; had the reactor been activated, striking it militarily could have strewn radioactive material into the wind and into the nearby Euphrates River, which was the reactor's source of water needed for cooling. When we found out about the reactor, it was at an advanced construction stage, just a few months from being "hot."

The consideration of what to do about the reactor continued alongside tense meetings between Rice and Israel on how to proceed with the Palestinians, but the two initiatives did not collide. For the most part, this was because different people were involved. Military and intelligence personnel uninvolved in peace negotiations were the key interlocutors for Israel in considering the al-Kibar reactor, as were individuals on the vice president's staff who were sympathetic to Israel's position. The work on al-Kibar was a model both of U.S.-Israel collaboration and of interagency cooperation without leaks. Papers I circulated to the group were returned to me when meetings ended or were kept under lock and key; secretaries and executive assistants were kept out of the loop; meetings were called under vague names such as "the study group."

The debates were vigorous in our secret meetings in the White House Situation Room. The role of those in the Situation Room was not to decide what was to be done about the reactor; it was merely to be sure every issue had been thoroughly debated and was covered in the memos we drafted for the administration's principal officials on foreign-policy matters and for the president. This was an excellent example of how policy should be made. Several times, principals—Rice and Hadley, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, CIA Director Michael Hayden, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace and Vice President Cheney—trooped over to the president's living room in the residence section of the White House to have it out before him, answer his questions, and see what additional information he sought.

I attended all these meetings as note taker, and the notes are under lock and key at the National Archives.

reactor

The day I left those notes on the floor under my chair in the president's living room, and discovered when back at the NSC that I no longer had them, remains emblazoned in my mind. These were among the most sensitive notes then existing in the U.S. government, amazing precautions for secrecy had been taken, and I had simply left them on the floor. Pale and drenched with sweat, I ran back to the residence, where the butler graciously let me back in and accompanied me to the Yellow Oval Room where we had met. There was my portfolio, under the chair, untouched. Well, I thought, if the butler keeps his mouth shut, I may actually not be shot after all.

The facts about al-Kibar were soon clear, and about those facts there was no debate: It was a nuclear reactor that was almost an exact copy of the Yongbyon reactor in North Korea, and North Koreans had been involved with Syria's development of the site. Given its location and its lack of connection to any electrical grid, this reactor was part of a nuclear-weapons program rather than intended to produce electric power.

The array of options was clear as well: overt or covert, Israel or United States, military or diplomatic. The United States and Israel both had an obvious military option: Bomb the site and destroy the reactor. This was not much of a military challenge, General Pace assured the president. Whether anything short of a military strike could destroy the reactor was another question, and the difficulties with such an option were obvious: Just how would you get the needed explosives to the site except through a military attack? It was soon agreed that a covert option did not exist, and military options were quickly designed to make the reactor disappear; as Dagan had said when he first visited us, the Israelis clearly believed it had to go away. We developed elaborate scenarios for U.S. and Israeli military action addressing these issues: Whom would you inform when, what would you announce and what would you keep secret, and what if anything would you say to the Syrians?

But a diplomatic option existed as well, and we did draw up elaborate scenarios for it. We would begin by informing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the facts and making them public in a dramatic session before the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna. We would demand immediate inspections and that Syria halt work on the reactor. If Syria refused, we would go to the UN Security Council and demand action. If there was no action, the military option in theory remained open.

However, this diplomatic option seemed faintly ridiculous to me. For one thing, it would never be acceptable to Israel, whose experience with the United Nations was uniformly bad. The Jewish state would never trust its national security to the UN. For another, it would not work; Syria's friends in the UN, especially Russia, would protect it. At the IAEA, we had plenty of experience with Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian. He was redefining the director general's role from that of inspector and cop to that of peacemaker and diplomat; he would seek a deal with Syria rather than concerted action against it. Moreover, taking the reactor issue to the UN and the IAEA meant handing it over to the State Department, and I thought an issue of this importance should be handled in the White House.

Finally, the argument that there would always remain a military option as a last resort was misleading at best. Once we made public our knowledge of the site, Syria could put a kindergarten right next to it or take some similar move using human shields. Military action required secrecy, and once we made any kind of public statement about al-Kibar, that option would be gone.

The vice president thought the United States should bomb the site. Given our troubles in Iraq and the growing confrontation with Iran, this would be a useful assertion of power and would help restore our credibility. As he later wrote:

I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor. Not only would it make the region and the world safer, but it would also demonstrate our seriousness with respect to non-proliferation....But I was the lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, "Does anyone here agree with the vice president?" Not a single hand went up around the room.

My hand did not go up (and as we left the president's living room that day, June 17, I apologized to the vice president for leaving him isolated) because I thought the Israelis should bomb the reactor, restoring their credibility after the annus horribilis of 2006 with the Second Lebanon War and then the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza. It seemed to me that Israel would suffer if we bombed it, because analysts would point out that Israel had acted against the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981 but had become paralyzed when it came to Syria. Such an analysis might embolden Iran and Hamas, a development that would be greatly against American interests. Moreover, hostile reactions in the Islamic world against the bombing strike might hurt us at a time when we were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq—another argument for letting Israel do the job. (I did not think there would be any such reactions, but this was an argument worth deploying in our internal debate.)

Secretaries Gates and Rice argued strenuously for the diplomatic option. Gates also argued for preventing Israel from bombing the reactor and urged putting the whole relationship between the United States and Israel on the line. His language recalled the "agonizing reappraisal" of relations Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, had threatened for Europe in 1953 if the Europeans failed to take certain defense measures: They simply had to do what we demanded or there would be hell to pay.

I thought I understood why Gates did not want the United States to bomb Syria: America was a steward of wars in two Islamic countries already, so striking a third one seemed terribly unattractive to him. Why he was almost equally insistent that we prevent Israel from bombing it was never comprehensible to me, nor was Rice's similar position. It seemed clear to me that if we could not prevent Syria from undertaking a nuclear-weapons program, our entire position in the Middle East would be weakened, just as it was being weakened by our inability to stop the Iranian program. If there were too many risks and potential complications from striking Syria ourselves, we should not only allow but encourage Israel to do it; a Syrian nuclear program in addition to Iran's should be flatly unacceptable to the United States.

I tried to think my way through Rice's reasoning, but came up with only one theory. She had simultaneously been expressing opposition to a new program of increased military aid to Israel. This indicated to me that she had an underlying strategy: She did not want Israel feeling stronger. Rather, she wanted Israel, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, to feel more dependent on the United States. That way she would be able to push forward with plans for an international conference on Israeli-Palestinian issues and for final-status talks leading to the creation of a Palestinian state before the end of the second Bush term.

I hoped this was not her intention, because it seemed to me that such designs were sure to fail. An Israel that was facing Hamas in Gaza and now two hostile nuclear programs, in Iran and just across the border in Syria, would never take the risks she was asking it to take. I thought we had learned that lesson with Ariel Sharon as Bill Clinton had learned it with Yitzhak Rabin: Wrap your arms around Israel if you want it to take more risks, so it feels more secure, not less.

The arguments for going to the IAEA and UN seemed so flimsy to me, despite the length and detail of the planning memos and scenarios to which they gave rise, that I did not much worry about them. Who could believe these organizations would act effectively? Who could believe we would not be sitting there five years later entangled in the same diplomatic dance over the Syrian program that we were in with respect to Iran?

In the end, our near-perfect policy process produced the wrong result. At a final session in the gracious Yellow Oval Room at the Residence, Bush came down on Rice's side. We would go to Vienna, to the IAEA; he would call Olmert and tell him what the decision was. I was astounded and realized I had underestimated Rice's influence even after all this time. The president had gone with Condi.

I tried to figure this one out and could not. Perhaps it was the same worry that Gates had about making another American military strike in the Islamic world. But that would not explain why he bought the IAEA/UN strategy lock, stock, and barrel; instead, he could have said, "Let the Israelis do what they want; let's just tell them we will not do it." Years later I asked him if he thought he had been wrong; he said no. It was then, and is still, baffling. In his memoir, Bush explains one key consideration: The CIA told him it had "high confidence" that the facility in Syria was a nuclear reactor but "low confidence" that Syria had a nuclear-weapons program, because it could not locate the other components of the program. The president thought that the "low confidence" judgment would leak, as it surely would have, and the United States would have been attacked for conducting the bombing raid despite the "low confidence" report. That is a reasonable argument, but it explains only why we did not bomb—it does not explain why he urged the Israelis not to do so.

On July 10, I gave Hadley a memo explaining my views on where we stood with the Israelis. First, we were on the verge of telling the Israelis that we had considered which of us should act against the reactor and had decided that neither of us should use force. Moreover, we were going to say we would pressure them not to do so even if they disagreed. And we would be saying all this after Hamas had just taken over Gaza (which it did, in a coup against the Palestinian Authority, in June 2007). Hezbollah was back fully rearmed in Lebanon despite all those UN Security Council resolutions we had told the Israelis would work. Iran was moving toward nuclear capability. Syria was building a reactor that could only be part of a nuclear-weapons program.

It also looked as if we would be telling them we were about to call for an international meeting on the Palestinians that Israelis did not want and that they feared—and would be doing so in a presidential speech that talked about negotiations for Palestinian statehood "soon" (the word was in the speech drafts). Such a big international conference was the State Department's answer to unsticking a "peace process" that was stuck.

The editorial comment from our friends on the right, I told Hadley, will be that we have taken leave of our senses: Hamas takes over Gaza, Syria and Iran build nukes, and we are handing things over to the UN and then pushing final-status talks? I still did not think there was a need for any presidential speech, but if there were to be one, I wrote that it should be sober about the situation and supportive of the new Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad.

At that point, Fayyad had been prime minister for about a month, and already the PA was changing. It now had a serious, talented, incorruptible executive at the top of the government. This had never been tried before. The least we could do was to back him, firmly and fully, and not spend all our political capital on great conferences. It was, as I recall it, a terrific memo, yet like all the wonderful memos about the Syrian reactor, it had no impact whatsoever. On July 16, the speech that Condi had sought was given. "Bush Calls for Middle East Peace Conference," the headlines read.

Three days earlier, on July 13, President Bush had called Prime Minister Olmert from his desk in the Oval Office and explained his view. I have gone over this in great detail, Bush explained on the secure phone to the Israeli prime minister, looking at every possible scenario and its likely aftermath. We have looked at overt and covert options, and I have made a decision. We are not going to take the military path; we are instead going to the UN. Bush recounts in his memoir that he told Olmert, "I cannot justify an attack on a sovereign nation unless my intelligence agencies stand up and say it's a weapons program" and that "I had decided on the diplomatic option backed by the threat of force." We will announce this approach soon, Bush said on the secure line, and we will then launch a major diplomatic campaign, starting at the IAEA and then the UN Security Council. And of course a military option always remains available down the line.

I wondered how Olmert would react and believed I could predict his response: He would say, "Wait, give me some time to think about this, to consult my team, to reflect, and I will call you tomorrow." I was quite wrong. He reacted immediately and forcefully. George, he said, this leaves me surprised and disappointed. And I cannot accept it. We told you from the first day, when Dagan came to Washington, and I've told you since then whenever we discussed it, that the reactor had to go away. Israel cannot live with a Syrian nuclear reactor; we will not accept it. It would change the entire region and our national security cannot accept it. You are telling me you will not act; so, we will act. The timing is another matter, and we will not do anything precipitous.

This is not the account President Bush gives in his memoir, in which he writes that Olmert initially said, "George, I'm asking you to bomb the compound." Someday transcripts of their conversation will be available, but Bush's recollection does not comport with mine.

After that conversation, there was a nearly two-month gap, from July 13 to September 6. We now know the time was filled with Israeli military calculations—watching the weather and Syrian movements on the ground—with the aim of being sure that Israel could act before the reactor went "critical" or "hot." We knew the Israelis would strike sooner or later. They acted, in the end, when a leak about the reactor's existence was imminent and Syria might then have gotten notice that Israel knew of its existence. That would have given Assad time to put civilians or nuclear fuel near the site. The Israelis did not seek, nor did they get, a green or red light from us. Nor did they announce their timing in advance; they told us as they were blowing up the site. Olmert called the president on September 6 with the news.

As I had sat in the Oval Office on July 13, listening to his conversation with Olmert, I had wondered how the president would react to the Israeli action. With anger? Or more pressure? None of it. He heard Olmert out calmly and acknowledged that Israel had a right to protect its national security. After hanging up, the president said something like "that guy has guts," in an admiring tone. The incident was over; the differences over al-Kibar would obviously not affect Bush's relationship with Olmert or his view of Israel.

So quickly did he accept the Olmert decision that I wondered then, and do still, if the president did not at some level anticipate and desire this result. He had sided with Condi and shown that she was still in charge of Middle East policy, but her "take it to the UN" plan had been blown up along with the reactor. He did not seem very regretful. What is more, he instructed us all to abandon the diplomatic plans and maintain absolute silence, ensuring that Israel could carry out its plan.

The Israeli assessment of Syria's likely reaction was correct. The Israelis believed that if they and we spoke about the strike, Assad might be forced to react to this humiliation by trying to attack Israel. If, however, we all shut up, he might do nothing—nothing at all. He might try to hide the fact that anything had happened. And with every day that passed, the possibility that he would acknowledge the event and fight back diminished. That had been the Israeli theory, and the Israelis knew their man. We maintained silence and so did Israel—no leaks. As the weeks went by, the chances of an Israeli-Syrian confrontation grew slim and then disappeared. Syria has never admitted that there was a reactor at the site. Soon after the bombing, the Syrians bulldozed the reactor site, but the only way they could be sure their lies about it were not contradicted was to prevent a full examination. When a 2008 site visit by IAEA inspectors found some uranium traces, Syria made sure never to permit a return visit.

Two final points are worth noting. First, in May 2008, Turkish-mediated peace talks between Israel and Syria were publicly announced in Istanbul. The discussions had begun secretly in February 2007, and obviously had continued after the Israeli strike on al-Kibar. It would appear that the strike on al-Kibar made the Syrians more, not less, desirous of talking to the Israelis because it made them afraid of Israeli power. It also made them more afraid of American power until we undermined our own position, which is the second point.

A very well-placed Arab diplomat later told us that the strike had left Assad deeply worried as to what was coming next. He had turned Syria into the main transit route for jihadis going to Iraq to kill American soldiers. From Libya or Indonesia, Pakistan or Egypt, they would fly to Damascus International Airport and be shepherded into Iraq. Assad was afraid that on the heels of the Israeli strike would come American action to punish him for all this involvement. But just weeks later, Assad received his invitation to send a Syrian delegation to that big international confab of Condi's, the Annapolis Conference, and according to the Arab envoy, Assad relaxed immediately; he knew he would be OK. I had not wanted Syria invited to Annapolis because of its involvement in killing Americans in Iraq, but Condi had wanted complete Arab representation as a sign that comprehensive peace might be possible. It was only years later that I learned that Assad had instead interpreted the invitation just as I had: as a sign that the United States would not seriously threaten or punish him for what Syria was doing in Iraq.

Since the day the Israelis struck the Syrian reactor in September 2007, much has changed in the neighborhood: Assad faces a civil war he cannot win, the "Arab Spring" has replaced Hosni Mubarak with a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, and Israel has now fought two wars with the Hamas statelet in Gaza, in December 2008/January 2009 and in November 2012. Yet there are three lessons from this incident that still bear noting.

First, good "process" and good policy are related but distinct. In the end what counts is output, not input: the foreign policy we adopt, not the proposals that are advanced. And that output depends, when it comes to foreign policy, mostly on one man: the president. That's the second lesson. Advisers advise; the president decides. All the books about how rival bureaucracies or powerful lobbies determine policy are off the mark; the simpler and truer conclusion is that at any given moment our foreign policy reflects the views of the president.

Finally, this incident is a reminder that there is no substitute for military strength and the will to use it. Think of how much more dangerous to the entire region the Syrian civil war would be today if Assad had a nuclear reactor, and even perhaps nuclear weapons, in hand. Israel was right to bomb that reactor before construction was completed, and President Bush was right to support its decision to do so. Israel was also right in rejecting fears that the incident would lead to a larger war and in believing that it, and the United States, would be better off after this assertion of leadership and determination. That lesson must be on the minds of Israeli, and American, leaders in 2013.

Contact Yogi Rus at yogirus@aol.com


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THE STATE DEPT. RECRUITS MUSLIM FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AT JIHADIST CONFERENCE

Posted by Roberta Dzubow, February 2, 2013

The Obama administration is covertly recruiting Muslims to work at the State Department as Foreign Service officers representing the United States in one of 265 American embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions worldwide.

It appears to be part of the administration's Muslim outreach effort, which includes a variety of controversial moves. Among them Homeland Security meetings with extremist Islamic organizations, sending an America-bashing mosque leader (Feisal Abdul Rauf) who blames U.S. foreign policy for the 9/11 attacks on a Middle Eastern outreach mission and revamping the way federal agents are trained to combat terrorism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even signed a special order to allow the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties long banned them from the U.S.

Now comes news of a secretive State Department campaign, discovered in the course of a Judicial Watch investigation, to add Muslims to its roster. Presumably, the new recruits will be deployed around the globe to help the agency fulfill its mission of promoting the country's international relations. The campaign seems to be headed by Mark Ward, the Deputy Special Coordinator in the State Department's Office of Middle East Transition.

Ward held a 90-minute seminar at a recent convention sponsored by two groups—Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)—with known ties to radical Islam. Both nonprofits are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known as the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda. In fact, the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that MAS was founded as the U.S. chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood which strives to indoctrinate the world with Islamic Sharia law.

Yet there was a U.S. State Department official, side by side at a radical Islamic powwow in Chicago with a number of speakers who advocate violent jihad. Among them was Kifah Mustapha, a fundraiser at terrorist organization (Holy Land Foundation) convicted of funneling millions to Hamas and Jamal Badawi, a MAS founder who praised the jihad of Gaza terrorists during a speech titled "Understanding Jihad and Martyrdom."

The conference that Ward conducted focused on career opportunities for Muslim youth. Here is how the event was billed: "Besides being a citizenship duty, there are benefits that Muslims can add to the American Muslim community and the global Muslim world by joining the US Foreign Services. This session will shed light on the different career opportunities for Muslim youth in the US Foreign Services Department. It will also clear any concerns that many people have feared about pursuing in this career."

Joining Ward at the podium in the recruitment seminar were Ayman Hammous and Oussama Jammal. Hammous is the Executive Director of the New York chapter of MAS and Jammal is the president of the Mosque Foundation, a conservative mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic charities accused of financing terrorism.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at Roberta@adgforum.com


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TIMES' DEFENSE OF SEN. HAGEL FOR DEFENSE SECRETARY

Posted by Richard H. Shulman February 02, 2013

The New York Times editorial on Senate confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel begins and is permeated with denunciations of Republicans. So are most of their political editorials involving Congress and the President. And so the headline is, "Republicans lodge baseless complaints..." They may seem baseless, when misrepresented as they are. The editorial complains but does not back up its claims with details, only with expression of opinion.

The editors have discovered that the government is polarized! But they must think there is only one pole. To them, there is only one set of extremists, Republicans. There is only one set of duplicitous politicians, Republicans. This one-sidedness is comical, especially when readers parrot those notions to other people. Editors either are forgetful or hypocritical when they blame only Republicans for what both parties do. They forget when Democrats refused to ratify nominees of Pres. Bush. The difference here is that Democrats made up excuses to vote against John Bolton, whereas Democrats refuse to face the extremism of nominees such as Hagel.

Don't Times readers ever figure out that the newspaper is trying to polarize them? Don't they ever notice how emotional is the pitch? It is difficult for readers, however, given more assertions than facts

The narrative did start out with a reasonable list of questions of the nominee that needed asking. It also admitted that he didn't answer the questions well. But the editors are too easily satisfied when the nomination is by Obama. And so they conclude that the nominee is in the mainstream of U.S. foreign policy. Partly they conclude this by citing other officials who agree with him. Such bandwagon propaganda is a clever way of avoiding the issues.

They call him "independent" when he does not clearly acknowledge whether sanctions against Iran are working and whether it was wise to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq. After asking him those general questions, the Senate panel should have asked how many years the UN and West has been negotiating with Iran, what nuclear progress Iran made in the meantime, whether Iran negotiated in good faith, whether Iran's economy is near collapse (it isn't), how close is Iran to getting nuclear weapons now that they are enriching nuclear fuel close to the final enrichment in terms of time needed to develop nuclear weapons, whether it no longer has the resources or interest in developing nuclear weapons, and why does Pres. Obama, who claims sanctions can work, exempt many countries from complying with sanctions. Honest answers would reveal that Sen. Hagel and Pres. Obama have a failed and extremist policy that endangers U.S. national security.

About Iraq, the questions should be about whether the U.S. departure has moved Iraq more into Iran's orbit, whether Iraq has the resources and will to bar a Taliban return, and whether a modest U.S. contingent could safeguard the country at modest cost.

"Mr. Hagel's opponents fret that he will not be sufficiently in lock step with the current Israeli government and cannot be counted on to go to war over Iran's nuclear program if it comes to that." I think that way of putting it is unfair and insinuates Sen. Hagel's antisemitic notion of Israel controlling the U.S.. The fact is, the Obama administration got Israel to stand down by assuring it that the U.S. would make war, though as a last resort. Then the U.S. lets Iran get closer and closer to nuclear weapons and claims it would know about such weapons in time, though it did not know about such weapons by N. Korea, Pakistan, India, and Israel, nor about Iran's nuclear program until years had passed. Was Obama lying to Americans and to Israel?

The hearings did not get to the spread of al-Qaida. The editors blame Republican Senators. Oh, are Democratic Senators unable to bring the subject up? It would have enabled the panel to explore how realistic was Pres. Obama's declaring the era of war winding down even as he gives the Egyptian Islamists more weapons to prosecute war. Senators could have asked whether Obama's green light to the team that located Osama bin Laden accomplished much and why Obama directs the government not to mention Radical Islam even as it spreads jihad.

The editors laugh at the notion that Obama's plan to slash our nuclear weaponry is "wide-eyed." But the slashes would be so steep and based on some parity with Russia, even as China and other countries build more, that we would lose deterrent. Well, we do have a lot of conventional forces. Oh, forgot, Obama is slashing those, too. That would have made a good discussion and should not depend on politics.

The article ends with the claim that Republicans made a dishonest effort to bar Hagel's nomination. What was dishonest? Not shown. The Times was most accepting of Obama's totally slanderous re-election campaign. Double standard by the newspaper. I've been writing for years about the Times' dishonest portrayal of Israeli policies. It's amusing to read libelers' complaints about other people being dishonest for raising issues that the Times hides.

In the same edition is a dishonest portrayal of Israeli policies and their critics. We'll cover that in a coming article. But now let's turn to the latest evidence against Hagel, evidence that the NY Times did not cover.

Sen. Hagel was quoted in Nebraska's Lincoln Journal Star: Hagel in 2003: Israel Keeps "Palestinians Caged Up Like Animals," (1/12/2003, from Washington Free Beacon, 1/9/13). Nonsense! But most prejudice is nonsensical. Can't laugh off such vicious stupidity in a potential Secretary of Defense. What does that tell us about the President who nominated him?

More evidence against Hagel was provided by the far-left J Street, (formed largely with Muslim funding) but calling itself pro-Israel. It released a video of Hagel's speech to its 2009 conference. Hagel opposed diplomacy and sanctions against Iran, "How in the world do we think isolating someone is going to bring them around to your way of thinking?" [Only a fool would think we could bring totalitarian Radical Islamic Iran around to our way of thinking any more than we could have brought the totalitarian Communists and Nazis around to our way of thinking.]

He also claimed, "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central, not peripheral, to U.S. vital security interests in combating terrorism, preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, stability in the Middle East and U.S. and global energy security." For a time, Pres. Obama tried that illogical contention, that U.S.-Arab relations depend on a P.A.-Israel peace agreement [i.e., Arabs' anti-Zionist strategy] on Israel. Now so much has gone wrong in the Mideast, as jihad spreads, that the Arab-Israel conflict is almost forgotten. [But why does Hagel line up with foolish and vicious notions constantly? When will he admit how wrong he was, not just on gays? Why should we have faith in him now?]

Still another foolish notion was his call for a merger between Fatah and Hamas, without his setting any conditions. [It did not occur to him that Hamas could unity the P.A. under its jihadist banner. Nor did he realize that Fatah is jihadist, too. He is very naïve, very biased.]

He also said, "It's always difficult for leaders to step forward, either in Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Riyadh or Cairo." ('Sen. Chuck Hagel at the first J Street Conference,' Youtube, January 29, 2012). You will notice that "Tel Aviv" is what Israel's Arab enemies refer to Israel's capital, which is Jerusalem. (Zionist Organization of America, press release, 1/30/13). It attests to their bias.

Hagel must be the worst possible candidate for Secretary of Defense. Yet Democratic Senators say they intend to approve him. Now that is partisanship!

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 and visit his website: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/ x-7095-NY-Israel-Conflict-Examiner/x-7


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"OOM SHMOOM"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 02, 2013

I believe I've explained this term before: Oom refers to the UN, in Hebrew. "Oom Shmoom" was the contemptuous way that David Ben Gurion referred to the UN.

But the United Nations was benign then, compared to what it has become today. What would he call it now?

~~~~~~~~~~

In my last posting, I alluded to a ridiculous statement made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and said I'd be dealing further with the UN next time I wrote.

Well, no sooner had that posting gone out, then I saw news about another Ban statement. This one was not simply ridiculous, it angered me.

Ban said that he was "greatly concerned" about the fact that Israel allegedly breached Syrian air space, He was referring to the sorties by Israel late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, in which a convoy carrying weapons to Hezbollah and a Syrian chemical factory were apparently hit (I'll come back to this).

Please understand. Assad has murdered more than 60,000 of his own people. He has a huge cache of weapons of mass destruction that are a threat to the world and continues to manufacture them, and he supplies weapons to the terrorist Hezbollah. But what is Ban "concerned" about? An Israel action that was pre-emptive, and thus defensive. Because we violated Syrian air space.

Such is the insanity of the world today.

~~~~~~~~~~

And this is merely preface to what I wanted to write:

There is no agency of the UN more blatantly anti-Jewish/anti-Israel then the UN Human Right Council (UNHCR). Israel, in fact, is the only country out all the UN's member-states to be the target of a dedicated permanent item on the UNHRC agenda. One other item on the permanent agenda -- "Human rights situations that require the council's attention" -- refers to all of the other 192 countries in the UN. There have been more special sessions devoted to Israel than any other country.

For some time now, Israel has refused to cooperate with this severely biased Council. For one important instance of Israel not going along, see this by Anne Bayefsky:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=301408

And note, please, the pressure on Israel by the US to play the game.

~~~~~~~~~~

The most recent issue involving Israel to be visited by the UNHRC has to do with the "settlements" in Judea and Samaria. Here, too, anticipating all too well what the outcome would be, the Israeli government declined to cooperate.

Now the "findings" -- referred to as the "Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem" --have been released.

We should not be surprised that it says:

"Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention also prohibits an occupying Power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory that it occupies. This prohibition has attained the status of customary international law. The Mission notes that the Israeli settlements in the OPT, including East Jerusalem, violate this provision and are, thus, illegal under international law...

"Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. In addition it must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT..."

~~~~~~~~~~

I cite this here in order to refute it, because that refutation remains important. While the findings are in no way legally binding, they will be used against Israel in a host of situations.

First, there is constant reference to the "Occupied Palestinian Territories," but there is absolutely no basis in law for assuming that everything past the Green Line belongs to the Palestinian Arabs.

On the contrary. The Mandate for Palestine, going back to 1922, and based upon the earlier legal decisions of the San Remo Conference, determined that all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea was to be established as a Jewish Homeland and close Jewish settlement was to be encouraged.

This was a matter of international law, and has never been superseded.

The Mandate explicitly recognized the prior presence of the Jews on the land. And in point of fact, Judea and Samaria are the sites of ancient Jewish heritage: the Temple Mount, Hevron and the Machpela, Shilo where the Tabernacle rested, etc. etc. were all past what is known today as the Green Line.

~~~~~~~~~~

In 1948, when Israel declared independence, the State was established on less than all of Palestine. This was in accordance with the non-binding recommendation of the UN General Assembly the year prior, that Palestinian be partitioned. Had the Arabs agreed to establish a state in the other part of Palestine, and had Israel and that Arab state signed a treaty agreeing to a mutual border, then the part of Palestine on which Israel was not established would have belonged legally to the Arabs.

But the Arabs refused to cooperate. They have no claim to the land now. That land remained unclaimed Mandate land.

~~~~~~~~~~

Not only did the Arabs refuse to cooperate, they attacked Israel immediately after independence was declared. The Green Line was no more than an armistice line -- a ceasefire line, not a border. When Jordan signed the armistice agreement with Israel, it included a clarification that the current armistice line would in no way prejudice determination of a final border, which would be determined via negotiations.

The UNHRC has simply adopted the PLO line in its entirety, with regard to Judea and Samaria being "Palestinian." But this is without historical foundation.

~~~~~~~~~~

Additionally, in 1967, when Israel took all of Judea and Samaria, it was in the course of a defensive war. There is solid legal precedent for saying that land acquired in defensive wars may be retained.

After the war, the Security Council passed Resolution 242, which declared that Israel, as all states, had a right to secure borders. Recognizing that the Green Line would not provide a secure border, it did not demand that Israel return behind that line. What it said was negotiations would determine the final border. To this day, this has not happened.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Levy Committee, mandated last year by Prime Minister Netanyahu to consider the status of the "settlements," determined in its final Report that the situation is sui generis -- that is, a unique, one-time situation. Because of the legal and historical precedents here, Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria cannot be considered to be a "belligerent occupation." And the settlements are not illegal.

It is the fact, as well, that "occupation" occurs when one nation moves into the land of another nation. But there was no legal sovereign in Judea and Samaria before Israel took control. This was still unclaimed Mandate land that Jordan had seized illegally in the course of a offensive war.

~~~~~~~~~~

As to the Fourth Geneva Convention, it does not apply to Israel's situation. What was intended was that a belligerent occupying government not move its people into the land of another sovereign nation. But there was no sovereign state, and there is no belligerent occupation. Besides which, the Israeli government does not move parts of its population. Individual Israelis voluntarily choose to live in these areas. And it's time we began to look at Jewish rights.

~~~~~~~~~~

Referring very briefly to the action in Syria this past week: I reported that an arms convoy and a chemical weapons factory were both hit, because that is the information that came to me. And, indeed that may be the case. Some sources continue to say this.

But there are other sources that say that it was only the convoy that was hit, or only the chemical factory. Maddening, because in each instance there are intelligence sources cited as verifying what is being said. Which does lead one to believe it may well have been both that were hit, does it not?

And so, I am not withdrawing or amending my original report, so much as informing you, my readers, that information coming out of Syria -- with the Israeli government of course not talking -- is less than a certainty. I can only say that this is reportedly what has happened, this appears to be the case.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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TURKEY ABOUT ISRAELI RAID ON SYRIA

Posted by Richard H Shulman, February 02, 2013

Israel recently raided an important Syrian research center for conventional and non-conventional weapons. A U.S. explanation is that the center was starting to ship anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah that could be used against Israel.

Turkish Foreign Min. Davutoglu commented. Remember, Turkey is an enemy both of Syria and Israel. He contends that Syria's failure to respond to Israel, though it attacks its own, "innocent" citizens, indicates Syria made a deal with Israel. Syria would let Israel raid it, and then gain sympathy from other Muslim countries. [Not from Turkey.]

Turkey threatened to defend Syria from Israel, because Turkey cannot stand by while a fellow Muslim country is attacked by a non-Muslim country (IMRA, 2/2/13).

Muslim conspiracy theories are imaginative but also imaginary. It is one of the ways in which people from that religious culture think differently from people who look at things the way we do.

Notice the truculent solidarity that Turkey expresses for its enemy, Syria, over religion. Muslim governments don't care about Muslims, when they attack each other. They care about the affront to the presumed superiority of Islam, when supposedly inferior non-Muslims attack Muslim.

The justice of the attack doesn't matter to the offended Muslims. Israel was acting in its own medium-range defense to prevent one enemy country that committed aggression against Israel, and refuses to make peace, from arming another entity that committed aggression against Israel, and refuses to make peace.

Turkey's sense of right and wrong is based on Islamic sense of justice, not the Western one. We Westerners must learn what goes on in the minds of people from other cultures.

I think that the reporting from Syria didn't, for whatever reason, inform us which sides commit the atrocities. It is difficult to know whether and which people killed by the Syrian government are "innocent" citizens and civilians, when many of its adversaries are non-uniformed gunmen and from other countries.

The Foreign Minister's logic escapes me. What is the connection between Syria's willingness to bombard parts of Syria, but not Israel? Syria fights against parts of Syria, because from parts of Syria a sustained and strong effort is being made against the government. Israel made its raid and then subsided. Should Syria want to take on the IDF, when it is struggling to survive against its own people/

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


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BROKEN COLLEGE — OFFICE OF SUBMISSIONS

Posted by Roberta Dzubow, February 02, 2013

The article below was written by Tabitha Korol who began her political writing with letters to the editor, earning an award from CAMERA (Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) "in recognition of outstanding letter-writing in 2009 to promote fair and factual reporting about Israel." Her op-eds have appeared in Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), and she posts at Right Truth, NewMediaJournal, RenewAmerica, JewishIndy, NeverAgainIsNow, and others. This article appeared February 01, 2013 in the Right Truth and is archived at
http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2013/02/broken-college-office-of-submissions.ht

When I learned of the upcoming (Feb.7) BDS Movement against Israel, planned for Brooklyn College and sponsored by its Political Science Department, I was appalled. How could Shari'a law, so antithetical to our democratic principles and the school's own mission statement, be accepted at the beautiful institution I attended so long ago?

How does spewing bigotry and propaganda against the only democratic country in the Middle East, by representatives of Islam who rally and burn our flags, conform to the educational welfare of BC students, alumni, and the community? How does Islamic intolerance on campus lead to outstanding achievements and the furtherance of education? How does permitting the accusatory lies against Israel, the only country in the region that actually does NOT practice apartheid, further democratic values?

They clearly contradict the learning environment as they rationalize their irresponsibility and treachery to so many.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, "The purpose of education is not just a tool to enable people to trample over the masses. Education is an opportunity to learn, to develop skills, and to improve themselves and society." How can we improve our society by closing the minds of our students?

How can the school ignore the attempt to spread Islamic ideology worldwide, as Islam's 1400-year history is replete with conquest, conversion, enslavement, usurpation, and slaughter of 270 million people in the Middle East? The current Muslim countries were once other cultures. While it may appear that these Islamists are here to discuss only one issue, they seek to conquer the sovereign nation of Israel, to deny her 4,000-year history, destroy her economy, and intimidate and manipulate non-Muslims into joining their war. Be assured that BDS is a war strategy to master the minds of Americans who will then join the fray in delegitimizing Israel, and absorbing the 8,000 square miles into their Islamic caliphate, while their counterparts are killing and overcoming the citizenry of Africa, France, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, and the Benelux countries.

The administration is not granted immunity when they do not hold forth; granting permission to host such an event on college property is sufficient. Whether of their own volition, or the PoliSci Department submits to persuasion or riots, it is complicit. If this rally is not held as a bona fide debate with equal time for both sides (sans the infamous Student Union disturbances and interruptions), then it is not constructive dialogue or an equal exchange of ideas. If there is no attempt to instruct the students about the true history of Islam and Judaism, the true rise to power of Islam with full disclosure of Shari'a law and the true history of Israel and its laws, then there is no free exploration of ideas. Instead of academic freedom, there is tolerance of intolerance. Where there is one group that must acquiesce to the other, the school no longer represents liberty and security for its students; rather it is mob rule and submission. If the president has lost control over her constituents and the administration cannot govern or adhere to its mission (a constitution), then the school has surrendered to totalitarianism.

Further, if this Islamic evil is permitted to flourish unimpeded, the College will be guilty of accepting tuition under false pretenses and failing the students who attend this institution in search of an honest education in a safe environment. Rather, BC is conspiratorially promoting the will of the Muslim Brotherhood and permitting the destruction and replacement of our culture by theirs.

The Islamic catchphrase is "First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday." Their ruse is apartheid (non-existent in Israel) and settlements (housing for Israel's people in Israel's capital); their dogma is jihad. If the school bends to Islam now, how long before the Muslims demand New York for Islam? Recall their continuing determination for Ground Zero, and there are now YouTube videos showing Muslims' contentions that they preceded Christopher Columbus, thereby laying claim to the entirety of America.

By permitting the BDS groups to indoctrinate the students on campus, they facilitate the work of illegal associations, terror organizations, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, a coordinating forum for all terror organizations in their war against Israel. This includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front acknowledged a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada), and many others that do overseas fundraising and money laundering for the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda figures here and abroad.

BDS is economic warfare, and the campus has become a battlefield. When students continue to level false accusations against Israel, slander and propaganda are the weapons on the frontline. Brooklyn College is failing in the teaching process and allowing students to fester in the closed environment of Islam.

I implore President Karen Gould to implement a pre-emptive strategy to uphold the values of Israel and America and not turn this institution into a racist, Islamic community, with all the hate and violence for which Islam is known.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at Roberta@adgforum.co


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U.S. FP UNREALISTIC; KERRY DOESN'T HAVE CLUE; LEFTISTS BACK ISLAMISTS

Posted by GLORIA Center, February 03, 2013

The three articles below were written by Barry Rubin who is a 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

Why Today's American Foreign Policy Is So Unrealistic

One of the main features of this misguided contemporary foreign policy debate is the corruption of the concept of Realism. In some ways, the school called Realism was simply a way of teaching principles long regarded as obvious in Europe to Americans, whose idealism about the world had both good and bad implications. Both isolationism and the idea that America's mission is to spread democracy are typical non-Realist patterns of how American exceptionalism plays into foreign policy thinking. That's why the concepts that made up Realism were introduced to the United States by Hans Morgenthau, a refugee from Germany, and most clearly practiced in office by Henry Kissinger, ditto.

But American policymakers—with notable and often disastrous exceptions—have mostly used a Realist approach in their work to the point that they take it for granted. At times, of course, ideology has overridden Realism, with the two most obvious cases being Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Republican presidents, for a reason we will see in a moment, have tended to be more universally Realist because they have accepted the idea of the predominance of national interest and power. The one who was probably least so was George W. Bush.

And, no, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan are not Realists or realists either.

This is a complex subject and one discussed at some length in my book, Secrets of State (Download the book for free). It is important to emphasize that Morgenthau articulated ideas already widely held and practiced but never so effectively put into words. In his writings, Morgenthau stressed that the making of foreign policy lay at the juncture between human nature, the characteristics and views of leaders, and objective factors of geopolitics. The assumption of international affairs' thinking was that strong countries want to stay strong and be stronger; weaker countries want to survive. They thus must analyze how to achieve these goals. A good Realist disregards ideology, which gets into the way of objectively viewing this situation.

obama.us

The problem that many who claim to practice this view today don't understand is that the Realist knows that ideology does get in the way of objective interest all the time. The first question a Realist asks is: asks "How does this policy affect the power and interests of the nation?" But the Realist knows that this is the way things should be done, not necessarily the way that things happen.

Today, Realism has been corrupted into a bizarre reversal of its principles which begins by asserting that it doesn't matter who rules a country; they must follow a policy that maximizes the country's interest. Note the distinction:

The Realist says, "If I were making policy this is what I would do...." Or: "This is what the government should do."

The contemporary misunderstanders say that this is what a country will do.

This article appeared January 2, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/02/why-todays-american-foreign-policy-is-s
o-unrealistic/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign
=Feb%203,%202013%20Newsletter


WESTERN LEFTISTS BACK ISLAMISTS; ARAB COUNTERPARTS ARE THEIR VICTIMS

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!—Oh! times,
In which the meager, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
—William Wordsworth, Poem on the French Revolution, 1789

A decent but very leftist British Middle East expert once described for me his experience in Iran in 1979. As a leftist, he had discounted any idea that Islamists might take over the country before the revolution, dismissing them as insignificant. But then he supported the revolution against the "reactionary, pro-Western" shah.

He had many friends among Iranian leftists. Quickly, he went to Tehran and scheduled meetings at the leftist per established after the revolution. The newspaper was named with the Persian word for dawn, recalling—intentionally or not I have no idea—the words of another revolutionary romantic quoted above.

ayatollah

As he arrived, however, a cordon of revolutionary Islamist police held him back. The supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini were busy closing down the newspaper, ransacking the office, and dragging the journalists away to prison. The enthusiastic supporters of revolution, betrayed by their allies (Wordsworth's "auxiliars,") were discovering that it wasn't their revolution at all. The "meager, stale, forbidding" laws and customs were coming back with a vengeance.

The left may believe itself to be "strong in love" but the Islamists have got the guns, money, organization, and the willingness (even eagerness) to kill for power.

This was not the first time in history such things happened. And now with the "Arab Spring" it wasn't the last either.

The leftist forces in the Arabic-speaking world as relatively weak but they can be disproportionately significant, especially in Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia. While Arab liberals have often been implicitly secular-oriented, it has been the leftists, Marxists to some degree, who have been militantly outspoken.

In recent years, though, the Arab left has also hitched its star to the far more powerful Islamists, reasoning that they, too, were against the regime and the West. "After Hitler, us," over-optimistic German Communists proclaimed in 1932. In a sense, they were right since after the Third Reich's fall the Soviets would make the survivors the puppet rulers of East Germany. But that's not the scenario they had in mind.

Now Arab leftists are repeating that pattern. In Egypt, the left provided a youthful, pseudo-democratic cover at the revolution's beginning that fooled the Western governments, journalists, and "experts." Now the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't need them anymore.

Here's a small example of that. The Egyptian leftist newspaper is al-Tahrir and its editor is Ibrahim Issa. He is now being investigated by the government prosecutor on charges of ridiculing the Quran and Sharia law as well as mocking Islam. Soon, people are going to be shot by Salafist terrorists on the basis of such accusations. For now, they just face trials and possible jail time.

What is worth noting is that just about anyone—in this case, as usual, it was an Islamist lawyer—can urge that charges be made against people who say something that offends the Islamists. This analysis also implies, of course, to any women's rights' groups in the West, so sensitive to the most minor details of life in their societies yet willing to overlook massive repression—even embrace it elsewhere.

This article appeared January 27, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/01/western-leftists-back-islamists
-arab-counterparts-are-their-victims/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_ medium=email&utm_campaign=Feb%203,%202013%20Newsletter

SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY SHOWS HE DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT HOW FOREIGN POLICY WORKS

During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State-designate John Kerry was only given a tough time by one questioner, Senator Rand Paul. The exchange between them is interesting not just because of the specific topic, but also because of what it shows about basic foreign policy philosophy — and ignorance — on Kerry's part.

It is a genuine problem. The leader of a "friendly" nation has been exposed for making anti-Semitic remarks. The United States wants to continue aid to avoid instability in that country that would contribute to even further radicalization, and to use U.S. leverage to produce the best possible outcome.

Unfortunately, Kerry subscribes — as is so fashionable today in the Obama administration and academia — to what I'll call the "abusive relationship approach" to foreign policy.

If another country supports you and is good for your interests, you take that country's good will for granted and mistreat it. If another regime — say, Turkey, Pakistan, Venezuela, Egypt, and, at times in the recent past, Syria and Iran — walks all over you, then you chase after it all the more passionately and shower it with presents.

kerry

In the hands of a good realpolitik statesman, this balance would be managed well. For example: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would have kept the Egyptian government off-balance and made it understand that Washington was doing it a favor by providing aid. In other words, leverage would be used.

But in Kerry's hands, leverage is tossed away. He is so afraid of using power or being tough that he throws away leverage, believing there can be no risk of problems. The recipient must not be intimidated or pressed to change, but instead shown that America is its friend — not the imperialist bully that people like Kerry and President Barack Obama see when they look back at U.S. history.

Precisely the same problem was displayed notably in two other recent cases (though readers can probably add more):

— When the Palestinian Authority approached the UN seeking membership and recognition as a state, the Bush administration made it clear to the UN and allies that there would be a strong price to pay in U.S. support and donations. The PA backed down.

With Obama opposing the same thing but not playing any trump cards, America's "friends" almost unanimously voted against Washington's position, and it suffered a serious loss whose costs (including the permanent destruction of the "peace process") have not yet been counted.

— When it was suggested to Kerry that U.S. aid to Pakistan be held up until it released a political prisoner, a doctor who helped America locate Osama bin Laden and who is now in prison and reportedly has been tortured, Kerry refused.

America must be the one humiliated; the feelings of other countries cannot be hurt.

Here's the exchange with Rand Paul:

Rand Paul: "Do you think it's wise to send [Egypt] F-16s and Abrams tanks?"

Kerry: "I think those [anti-Semitic] comments are reprehensible, and those comments set back the possibilities of working toward issues of mutual interest. They are degrading comments, unacceptable by anybody's standard, and I think they have to appropriately be apologized for ..."

Kerry, of course, isn't answering the question. He is detaching the remarks from Muslim Brotherhood ideology and from U.S. policy. This is meaningless rhetoric on his part. It does, however, raise the intriguing problem of what Kerry would do, since President Morsi isn't going to apologize. That would have been a good question. Of course, he would do nothing.

Rand Paul [cutting Kerry off]: "If we keep sending them weapons, it's not gonna change their behavior."

Here is the essential question, and the one that Kerry doesn't want to answer. What reason is there to believe that the U.S. supply of arms would change the Brotherhood government's policies? Rather than moderate its policy, wouldn't these arms merely enable the regime to follow a more radical position? Against whom would these arms be used?

Kerry: "Let me finish. President Morsi has issued two statements to clarify those comments, and we had a group of senators who met with him just the other day who spent a good part of their conversation in a relatively heated discussion with him about it ... "

Yes, Morsi issued two statements but they were not to take back his prior words but only to double down on them, since he asserted that the statements had been taken out of context by the Zionist-controlled media. The man isn't misspeaking. He's just saying what he believes.

Kerry and Obama refuse to recognize that he believes these things.

Lucky for them, they didn't have to answer to Morsi's and his colleagues' anti-American statements. I can't figure out why more use hasn't been made of the strongly anti-American statements (including support for terrorist attacks on Americans, and rejoicing about the alleged downfall of the United States due to Obama's leadership) repeatedly made by Brotherhood leaders.

Kerry [continuing]: "We have critical interests with Egypt. Critical interests. Egypt has thus far supported and lives by the peace agreement with Israel, and has taken steps to start to deal with the problem of security in the Sinai. Those are vital to us, and to our national interests, and to the security of Israel ...

Yes, the United States does have critical interests with Egypt. Yet how can these interests be best maintained? Remember that Kerry previously insisted that the critical interests the United States had with Syria could be best maintained by rewarding the anti-American dictatorship of President Bashar al-Assad.

Has Egypt so far supported and lived by the peace agreement with Israel, etc.? Well, technically yes, though in a real sense the Egyptian government has not yet begun to govern in its full framework. For example, parliament has not convened yet. Moreover, the government has only acted cosmetically to deal with the security problem in the Sinai, reportedly making a deal with the Salafist terrorists to leave them alone if they cooled it — for a while.

What Kerry suggests, but doesn't prove, is that U.S. interests are best maintained by not criticizing or pressuring Egypt's government. The only alternative to Obama policy is not breaking with Egypt, but using traditional diplomatic methods to get what the United States should want.

Kerry: "The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone that you don't completely agree with doesn't give us permission to walk away from their election ... "

Wow. This is truly ignorant. Just because Egyptians — or anyone else — elected a government does not mean that U.S. policy must accept whatever that government does.

Yet I think Kerry and Obama actually believe that it does mean that.

Moreover, the Brotherhood didn't just win but had U.S. backing. It was the party Obama favored. And now, of course, the regime has killed dozens of Egyptians in anti-government riots. It has also jammed through an ultimately anti-democratic constitution. The money and weapons the United States gives the Brotherhood government will help it consolidate power, buy off dissent, and be able to repress the population. Is that what U.S. interests require? The consolidation of an Islamist regime in Egypt?

(I don't have space now to give the explanation as to why the idea Obama didn't have any such leverage is flatly wrong, but have done so in previous articles.)

Rand Paul: "This has been our problem with our foreign policy for decades — Republican and Democrat. We funded bin Laden, we funded the [Afghan] Muhjahideen. We were in favor of radical jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy. We've done this so often. I see these weapons coming back to threaten Israel. ... Why not just not give weapons to Israel's enemies [to try and prevent a potential arms race]? That might save us a lot of money and might make it safer for Israel."

Senator Paul is not exactly right here. It is not true — in fact it is an anti-American slander — to say that the United States funded bin Laden. It did support Afghan Islamist forces, but has not backed other Islamist revolutionary groups to any serious extent in the last four decades or so.

What Obama is doing is largely unprecedented.

Paul also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel, and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.

Kerry: "Better yet, until we are at that moment, where that might be achievable, maybe it'd be better to try and make peace."

Wow, again. This is the mentality that has repeatedly crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It goes like this:

— We want peace.

— Therefore, we should not evaluate what policies are most likely to succeed, but merely those that can allow us to say that peace remains possible.

For example, even if the PA rejects talks for four years, we shouldn't criticize or pressure it because that might make peace less likely, etc.

— It might work so we can't "give up," we must "keep trying." Even though this period is not conducive to progress, and even while other U.S. policies (especially backing of Islamists) actually make peace even more impossible to achieve.

Two final points. First: in Kerry's worldview, the more extremist a state becomes, the more it is necessary to propitiate it so as to avoid losing influence or the "chance for peace."

Second: he should be capable of making a sophisticated argument about precisely how America being tolerant of Morsi's behavior and providing advanced weapons is going to advance American interests. The unspoken theory is that it will make the Egyptian military happy and able to overturn the regime. But — of course — the regime will name the army's commanders, the armed forces have shown they don't want to get involved in politics, and, at any rate, many officers are pro-Brotherhood or even pro-Salafist.

In other words, in Egypt (as in Pakistan by the way), there is no credible mechanism for turning financial or military aid into influence.

Kerry isn't just wrong, he's totally clueless. And as just about the most openly arrogant man in American public life, he will never let reality penetrate his ideological armor.

This article appeared January 28, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/01/kerry-shows-he-doesnt-have-a clue/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign =Feb%203,%202013%20Newsletter


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CITIZENS RIGHTS

Posted by Billy Mills, February 03, 2013

OBAMA AND BIDEN INDICTED BY GRAND JURY

(Ocala, Florida, October 30, 2012). Larry Klayman, the founder and chairman of Freedom Watch today announced that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden have been criminally indicted for having willfully released classified national security information concerning the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, U.S. and Israeli war plans concerning Iran and their cyber-attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. The release of this information, among other harm to U.S. national security, resulted in the killing of members of Seal Team Six by terrorists and the arrest and imprisonment of American covert agents by Pakistan, such as the doctor who aided the CIA with regard to the bin Laden assassination. U.S.-Israeli war plans with Iran have also been compromised.

A true bill of indictment was issued by a Citizens' Grand Jury in Ocala, Florida, who reviewed evidence and voted unanimously to indict Obama and Biden at 6:02 pm on October 29, 2012.

The authority for a Citizens' Grand Jury can be found at www.citizensgrandjury.com.

The criminal defendants, Obama and Biden, will now be given notice of their indictment, arraigned and then tried for their alleged crimes.

Mr. Klayman, the Citizens' Prosecutor, issued the following statement: "The Citizens' Grand Jury, after having deliberated, yesterday issued a true bill of indictment. See www.citizensgrandjury.com It did the work that the government should have done, but does not have the integrity to do; that is hold these public officials accountable under the law. For far too long, government prosecutors, who are put in place by politicians, have looked the other way as high public officials like Obama and Biden violate the law to further their political agendas. Now, as a result, the people must therefore exercise the rights given to them by the framers of the Constitution, and themselves take legitimate measures to restore the nation to some semblance of legality. This indictment (see www.citizensgrandjury.com) of Obama and Biden is just the first step in a legal revolution to reclaim the nation from establishment politicians, government officials and judges who have represented only their own political and other interests at the expense of 'We the People.' Obama and Biden will now be tried in a court of law and I am confident that they will be convicted of these alleged crimes."

For information see www.citizensgrandjury.com or contact Adrienne Mazzone: 561-750-9800 x210; amazzone@transmediagroup.com

Contact Billy Mills at rewrite@suddenlink.net


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HILLEL'S BDS BATTLE AND ANTISEMITISM

Posted by Ted Belman, February 03, 2013

The article below was written by Jonathan S. Tobin who is editor of Commentary Magazine. It was posted at IsraPundit February 02, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.com/archives/52629#more-52629

To listen to the arguments put forward by Harvard students to create what they call an "open Hillel," their fight with the national Hillel group is about the right of young Jews to free association. The students say that rules mandating that the organization not partner with groups that support BDS — the anti-Zionist campaign that aims to boycott, disinvest and sanction the State of Israel — or host speakers that advocate such measures are unfair and limit their ability to have dialogue with Palestinians. To the thinking of the Progressive Jewish Alliance that is, according to the Forward, organizing the campaign against Hillel, such rules "stifle discourse" and discriminate against those who disagree with Israeli policies.

But this controversy isn't about the deadening hand of a Jewish establishment determined, as leftists claim, to silence dissenters. Any Hillel branch that regards groups that are struggling to destroy Israel in this manner would in essence be declaring their neutrality not only about the continuation of the Zionist enterprise but that they can no longer be counted among those prepared to bear witness against the discriminatory ideology at the heart of the drive for BDS. Those who wage war on one people and deny the same rights they readily concede to any other group are advocating a form of bias. Such a bias when directed against Jews has a name: anti-Semitism.

Were Hillel to back down on this issue it would not be a victory for free speech or free association. Rather, it would mean the most important Jewish campus organization would be signaling that the war on Israel is neither hateful nor worth opposing. BDS is, after all, not just a point of view about the settlements or borders or the peace process. It is an economic war on Israel whose purpose is not an alleged reformation of its policies but a desire to bring it to its knees and hasten its destruction. It is an attempt to deny to the one Jewish state in the world the right to self-determination and self-defense in the face of armed foes who threaten it with terror and violence.

It needs to be understood that this is a very different argument from those that have divided many Jews in this country about the peace process. Groups like J Street and other left-wing critics of the current Israeli government may take a point of view about the country that is harmful as well as based in a poor understanding of the realities of the Middle East. Those who think Israel should be pressured from abroad in order to make concessions that are opposed by the country's democratically elected government and the vast majority of its citizens are doing something shameful. But so long as they continue to support the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself and oppose those who seek to wage war on it, such groups must still be considered as having not crossed an important line between legitimate dissent and actions that are beyond the pale of communal conduct.

There is a point of view prevalent in contemporary Jewish life that views any attempt to draw lines between those inside the community and those outside as illegitimate. It values inclusiveness above Judaism, Jewish values and even Jewish survival. It fetishizes dialogue with all comers as the supreme good even if such encounters serve only to legitimize forces that are serve as fronts for those who wish to destroy the Jewish state.

The increasing acceptance of this frame of reference about Jewish life is a dangerous development for an American Jewish community that has spent the last two generations faltering in its effort to maintain itself against the ravages of assimilation. While the idea of welcoming everyone fits in nicely with our pluralistic American ethos, a community that is defined primarily by inclusiveness is one that stands for nothing. Such a community is not only unsustainable; it may not be worth saving.

But the application of the principle of inclusiveness to BDS supporters takes this trend to a new low. It is one thing to say Jews may believe anything about their faith or support any political point of view. It is quite another to say that there is nothing amiss with a nominally Jewish group that is neutral about the war on the Jewish state.

Any student who believes that being "progressive" requires them to be open to working with BDS supporters fundamentally misunderstands not only liberalism but the intent of Israel's foes. Neutrality toward BDS is no different than neutrality toward belief that stigmatizes Jews. What these students don't understand that is that their fight for an "open Hillel" means giving a pass to hate.

It is up to Hillel to resist this attempt to transform Jewish campus group into a beachhead for those who make common cause with these anti-Semites. Inclusiveness is not an excuse for acquiescing to an ideology of hatred. There is no alternative but for Hillel and its supporters to stand their ground and to help Jewish students find the courage to stand up against the enemies of their people,

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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NINE TRICKS OF THE NY TIMES VENDETTA AGAINST "SETTLEMENTS"

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 03, 2013

Roger Cohen used the perfect formula for getting his op-ed into the New York Times:

1. Invoke a new political figure to lend novelty to the old campaign against "settlements."

2. Find as if typical an uninformed or biased Israeli to quote.

3. Get false and misleading statements from her.

4. Use semantic tricks about "extremists," undefined and at the mud-slinging level.

5. Help isolate Israel and then blame the isolation on Israel not following his policy.

6. Mislead about why the IDF sends troops into the P.A..

7. Propose additional concessions by Israel, never by the Arabs.

8. Ignore history and logic in order to blame lack of peace on Israel.

9. Misrepresent the cost of settlements and their value.

That's the formula; here's its application:

1. Mr. Cohen flatters newly powerful politician, Yair Lapid, so he might imagine that peace depends upon his adopting Mr. Cohen's view.

2. An Israeli couple was found and quoted as hoping Mr. Lapid would counteract Jewish "extremists" and stop spending money on ultra-Orthodox entitlements and on settlements. That statement is uninformed and biased, as we shall see.

3. If the couple disapproves of ultra-Orthodox entitlements, let's say Army exemption and welfare payments, why not also the Arabs' Army exemption and welfare payments and also their given preference for civil service jobs and college admission, subsidy for municipal cost overruns, and immunity to massive land theft? Will the IDF guarantee no secularist pressure on new ultra-Orthodox units? The couple's disapproval is misleading and biased.

4. When applied to religion, the notion that all religions have "fundamentalists" or "extremists" is a semantic trick. The fundamentals of Islam include killing and conquering others. The fundamentals of Judaism and Christianity do not. It is not fair to equate fundamentalists of all religions.

If leftists defined and explained "extremist," the term would be seen as not applicable to rightists and Zionists. So it is not defined, and is used to tar Jews as if they were as extreme as the bulk of Muslim Arabs and their leaders. But the leftists do not discuss Muslim extremists. If they did, and if the Times exposed the Muslim's bigotry and violence expressed almost daily, instead of limiting its reports to major attacks and deceptive Arab statements, readers would get disgusted with the Arab side.

Abbas' Fatah covenant, his curriculum, his mosques, and his media have as their goal killing Jews and driving them from Israel, leaving Islam triumphant. The Left and especially the Far Left, avow policies that would lead to the Fatah goal. Those policies would deprive Israel of secure borders, most of its water, and its historic core area, leaving Israel indefensible. I define facilitating genocide as extremist. Wouldn't you?

Zionists defend against jihadists. Some want to encourage the Arabs to leave. I consider all that prudent, not extremist. There is no duty to let the enemy keep trying to conquer.

5. Leftists make careers writing negative ideas about Israel, for foreign, anti-Zionist media, which they disseminate. These leftists do the Arabs' propaganda job. The leftists also lead efforts to boycott Israel and demand that the U.S. force their leftist views upon Israel. Thus leftists help isolate Israel and then cite that isolation as a reason Israel should give in to them. Better to be isolated than murdered as a result of leftist policies.

6. Mr. Cohen accuses Israel of undermining the P.A. by "soldier or settler violence, military intrusion into Palestinian-run areas, scattered settlement expansion."

What's missing from that picture? Besides the truth about Israel, Muslim Arab soldier or settler violence, military and other intrusion into Israeli-run areas, and wholesale and strategic Arab settlement expansion, including large-scale theft of land and building illegally inside and outside the State of Israel.

The truth is that Israel has done much to prop up the P.A.. I disapprove, but it is a fact in the form of financing, life-risking removal of checkpoints, removal of Hamas cells threatening P.A. rule, letting P.A. Arabs work in Israeli areas, etc..

What soldier violence? Very few Jewish civilians are proved to have attacked Arabs, just a tiny fraction of the Arabs who have attacked Jews. If the police uniformly enforced the law against Arab attacks, there would be no Jewish vigilantes. But Mr. Cohen complains only about Jews. What about leftists who lead Arabs into Jews' farms to destroy their crops? What about Abbas, the presumed "peacemaker," who honors terrorist killers?

The IDF military does not intrude. The Oslo Accords retain for the IDF overall security in the Territories. The IDF sends forces in to capture terrorists that the P.A., in violation of the Accords, does not. Blame the Arabs for that.

The term, "settlement expansion" is murky. It implies that land is taken from outside existing Jewish municipalities. This does not happen. New construction for Jews is done within existing municipal boundaries. I do not count those of the hilltop outposts outside existing boundaries that are not government-sanctioned and usually are removed.

7. Fairly recent is Mr. Cohen's proposal that any land in Judea-Samaria that Israel retains be matched by giving to the Arabs land in the State of Israel. Now that the Left has made an issue of it, it is added to the conditions for "peace" supposedly expected by the Arabs.

The premise that Israel owes the P.A. certain land has no basis. The Arabs made the Jews fight to have and preserve a state, and now claim that, having lost their war of aggression and intended genocide, Israel owes them a state they never had. Absurd.

This is similar to our leftist Pres. Obama demanding a building freeze, before which the P.A. had not demanded it. The P.A. was about to negotiate before Pres. Obama hardened his stance, and so it also had to demand a freeze. But since it really prefers conquest to peace, the P.A. refused to negotiate anyway. Leftists stiffen the P.A. negotiating stance.

8. The Left presents a false notion of what peace requires. The Left claims that the Arabs would make peace if offered land. Actual withdrawals boosted terrorism. Offers of 97% of the Territories were rejected, because jiahdists expect 100%. That's history.

More important, the war is not over land. The war started before Israel possessed the land in question, here. That's logic. The war has Islamic motivation. Until Islam reforms its belligerent sense of superiority and entitlement and its violent means, there won't be peace. Mr. Cohen exhibits no understanding of jihad.

9. The article falsely states that building Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria is wasteful, taking money away from the people. The truth is the opposite.

Israel has a land shortage and therefore a housing shortage. Israelis need housing. They protested over the high price of housing. They would have to build in the Negev and Galilee, if not in Judea-Samaria. Land in Judea-Samaria is cheaper. Hence houses there would save Israelis money. A solution is to annex all the vacant areas in Judea-Samaria and make housing affordable for Israelis.

Besides making housing affordable, building in Judea-Samaria has other advantages, too. It makes possible a military presence, thereby defending Israel from outside the State's borders. This is illustrated by the withdrawal of Israeli "settlements" from Gaza. The Army left, too. Now Gazans regularly attack Israel. Israel suffers casualties and endures wars, instead of having IDF patrols prevent Gazans' attacks. Rather than think of Jewish towns in the Territories requiring military resources, think of them as the breakwater against the tide of terrorists.

By dispersing Israel's population in the Territories, Israel gains some strategic depth against targetable population concentration.

Israel has every right to those towns in its homeland, as the PLO acknowledged in endorsing the Oslo Accords. This gives purpose to the Jewish state. The only purpose of that fake "Palestinian" nationality is to destroy the Jewish state in the name of Islam. Its Covenants make that plain. Read them!

Those are the nine propaganda tricks by the New York Times, which maligns the "settlements" so often as to seem like a vendetta. I think it's the newspaper's 90-year anti-Zionist policy now also tinged with leftist policy.

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


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THE POOR PS (POLAR BEARS AND PALESTINIANS)

Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, February 03, 2013

The article below was written by NPR staff, It appeared January 02, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.npr.org/2013/02/02/170779528/the-inconvenient-truth-about-polar-bears

In 2008, reports of polar bears' inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger's attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

Unger made a plan to move to Churchill, Manitoba, a flat, gray place on the Hudson Bay in northern Canada accessible only by train or plane. For a few months out of the year, as the bay starts to freeze, tiny Churchill boasts as many polar bears as it does people.

Unger packed up his wife and three small kids, and set out with a big bold idea. He wanted to write the quintessential requiem of how human-caused climate change was killing off these magnificent beasts.

In the end, he came away with something totally different, Unger tells NPR's Laura Sullivan.

Interview Highlights

On wanting to write the next great environmental tract

"My humble plan was to become a hero of the environmental movement. I was going to go up to the Canadian Arctic, I was going to write this mournful elegy for the polar bears, at which point I'd be hailed as the next coming of John Muir and borne aloft on the shoulders of my environmental compatriots ...

"So when I got up there, I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn't fit well with the book I'd been planning to write.

"... There are far more polar bears alive today than there were 40 years ago. ... In 1973, there was a global hunting ban. So once hunting was dramatically reduced, the population exploded. This is not to say that global warming is not real or is not a problem for the polar bears. But polar bear populations are large, and the truth is that we can't look at it as a monolithic population that is all going one way or another."

On moving his family to "Polar Bear Capital of the World"

"We were in this town in northern Manitoba where polar bears literally will walk down Main Street. There are polar bears in this town. People will leave their cars and houses unlocked, and it's perfectly good form just to duck into any open door you can find when there's a polar bear chasing you.

"People use what they call Churchill welcome mats, which is a piece of plywood laid down in front of the door or leaned up against the door with hundreds of nails sticking out so that when the polar bear comes up to pad across your porch, he's going to get a paw full of sharp nails."

On Churchill's strategies for living among bears

"There are definitely polar bears that come into town; there are definitely polar bears that will eat people's dogs. But Churchill has developed an innovative polar bear alert program. The way it works is you dial a phone number — 675-BEAR — if you see a bear, and a bunch of wildlife conservation officers will come by in a truck with a bunch of guns. And they try really hard not to harm the bears, and they kind of scare the bears out of town. They have a progression that they use: First, they will fire firecracker shells; then they move up to rubber bullets; and as a last resort, they'll move up to real bullets.

"They don't want to do that. These are conservation officers so their job is to keep bears safe. Churchill also has a polar bear jail. These are for bears who keep coming into town and can't be hazed out of town. And what they'll do is they will trap these bears and put them in the polar bear jail, which is just a great big decommissioned military building. And they will give them no food, and they're given only snow to drink and then they wait until the bay freezes up. And when the bay freezes up, these bears can be released to go back out on the ice.

"[The bears] don't want to be in town, they're just waiting for the ice to freeze. But if they're a hassle in town, put them in jail, give them a short sentence, and the problem is solved."

On trick-or-treating when polar bears might be lurking around the corner

"Halloween is when you're supposed to go up with lots of food and run around with your kids. So we were up there for Halloween ... and so what they do is when you go out trick-or-treating you go out with somebody who has a gun — whether it's a police officer, or a volunteer or someone from the military. They all come out and they help you go trick-or-treating. Now, they have one rule, which is that kids can't dress in anything white — no princesses, no ghosts — because you don't want to be dressed as something white in the darkness when there's a bunch of guys with guns looking for polar bears."

Contact Yuval Zaliouk at ynz@netvision.net.il


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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ENDORSES PHILADELPHIA ISLAMISTS

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 03, 2013

The State Dept. sponsored a visit here by Bulgarian Muslims, so they could ""learn about the environment of religious tolerance in the U.S. and how religious groups function in a democratic society with a separation of church and state."

Did the State Dept. introduce the delegation to organizations favoring the American way of life, such as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy or the American Islamic Leadership Coalition? No. The State Dept. had it meet organizations that assist terrorism or favor it, such as the Council of America-Islamic Relations and Muslim Public Affairs Council.

In Philadelphia, the State Dept. arranged a meeting with Al Aqsa Islamic Society. The Society defines its goal as: "maintain the Islamic Identity and to protect Muslim people, children and students from the adversities of the surrounding non-Islamic environments." Do Muslims need to be protected from the likes of us? Where is their religious tolerance?

The Obama Administration brought a delegation of Bulgarian Muslims to the Al Aqsa Islamic Society in Philadelphia (left), holding AAIS' supremacist, intolerant version of Islam as a model for Muslims worldwide. At right, a taxpayer funded women-only class inside the AAIS.

Many U.S. Muslims name their mosques and institutions to indicate Muslim supremacy and solidarity with Palestinian Arabs. Hence, Al Aqsa Islamic Society, after the mosque built by conquering Muslims atop the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

What kind of a mosque is the Society's, having attracted some Islamists later sentenced to life in prison for planning to attack Fort Dix?

Another group in Philadelphia is the Foundation for Islamic Education. The Foundation affiliates itself with Al-Azhar University of Cairo. Al-Azhar authorizes suicide bombing of Israeli civilians. It calls Jews "descendants of apes and pigs." It approves of executing Muslims who leave that religion. It threatens Copts for questioning the Quran.

When the Bulgarians asked about the Foundation's after-school and summer programs, were they told about their summer "jihad camp?" Were they told that a Foundation speaker advocating replacing the Constitution with Islamic Law [which is dictatorial and intolerant?] Did it mention imam Jamal Badawi, whom it hosted, and whose fatwa describes when and how to beat one's wife?

What an un-American model the State Dept. subsidized (Hillel Zaremba, 1/8/13, http://www.islamist/watch.org/blog/2013/01/obama-administration-legitimizing-philadelphia from the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Photographs from Islamist Watch article.)

Did the State Dept. not know what the groups it introduced stand for and what they would teach the Bulgarians? Does the State Dept.?

All through the Bush and Obama administrations, the U.S. government favored Islamists over moderates. Slow learners, are our leaders, Pres. Obama refusing to let government officials discuss Radical Islam. No wonder Obama and Sec. Clinton practically set up our ambassador to be killed! They had either no idea of the Islamist tide in Libya or no inclination to stand up to it. Then they covered up. Now Clinton is being talked about as the possible next President.

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


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SHOULD THE U.S. GIVE HEAVY ARMS TO EGYPT?

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 03, 2013

Some Members of Congress oppose the Administration plan to give heavy arms to Egypt. [They describe the plan as to "sell" the arms, but Egypt doesn't pay, it uses U.S. foreign aid to meet the cost. And now Egypt has almost no money of its own.

Sen. Rand Paul (GOP-Ky) opposes the transfer. He resents arming a country that allowed mobs to attack the U.S. Embassy. He also realizes that Egypt is liable to use those arms against Israel. He therefore sponsored an amendment against the transfer. It was defeated.

Helping to defeat it was AIPAC, the Israel lobby. AIPAC argues that giving arms to Egypt retains U.S. influence there. A fellow Republican, Sen. Inhofe disapproved of the amendment because he differentiates between Egypt's military and the Morsi regime (W. James Antle III, Zionist Organization of America, 1/31/13). Those people mean well, but Sen. Inhofe and AIPAC misunderstand the nature of Egypt's regime. Yes, it is Islamist. Therefore, the U.S. will not have much influence over Egypt, due to arms. AIPAC's stance is too clever to work. Besides, the Muslim Brotherhood has taken over the military and infiltrated enough so as to neutralize it when its top two generals might have staged a coup against Pres. Morsi.

In explaining the arms transfer, a U.S. official said the new arms would help Egypt remain combat ready and would contribute to regional stability. Ready for what combat besides with Israel? No, a huge army in the hands of Islamists contributes to regional instability.

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


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BROKEN COLLEGE — OFFICE OF SUBMISSIONS

Posted by Tabitha Korol, February 03, 2013

A BDS Movement against Israel is scheduled for February 7 at Brooklyn College. I hope this will encourage others to write their own letters in defiance of this policy. Thanks for publishing my essay and for joining in the fight.

When I learned of the upcoming (Feb.7) BDS Movement against Israel, planned for Brooklyn College and sponsored by its Political Science Department, I was appalled. How could Shari'a law, so antithetical to our democratic principles and the school's own mission statement, be accepted at the beautiful institution I attended so long ago?

How does spewing bigotry and propaganda against the only democratic country in the Middle East, by representatives of Islam who rally and burn our flags, conform to the educational welfare of BC students, alumni, and the community? How does Islamic intolerance on campus lead to outstanding achievements and the furtherance of education? How does permitting the accusatory lies against Israel, the only country in the region that actually does NOT practice apartheid, further democratic values? They clearly contradict the learning environment as they rationalize their irresponsibility and treachery to so many.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, "The purpose of education is not just a tool to enable people to trample over the masses. Education is an opportunity to learn, to develop skills, and to improve themselves and society." How can we improve our society by closing the minds of our students?

How can the school ignore the attempt to spread Islamic ideology worldwide, as Islam's 1400-year history is replete with conquest, conversion, enslavement, usurpation, and slaughter of 270 million people in the Middle East? The current Muslim countries were once other cultures. While it may appear that these Islamists are here to discuss only one issue, they seek to conquer the sovereign nation of Israel, to deny her 4,000-year history, destroy her economy, and intimidate and manipulate non-Muslims into joining their war. Be assured that BDS is a war strategy to master the minds of Americans who will then join the fray in delegitimizing Israel, and absorbing the 8,000 square miles into their Islamic caliphate, while their counterparts are killing and overcoming the citizenry of Africa, France, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, and the Benelux countries.

The administration is not granted immunity when they do not hold forth; granting permission to host such an event on college property is sufficient. Whether of their own volition, or the PoliSci Department submits to persuasion or riots, it is complicit. If this rally is not held as a bona fide debate with equal time for both sides (sans the infamous Student Union disturbances and interruptions), then it is not constructive dialogue or an equal exchange of ideas. If there is no attempt to instruct the students about the true history of Islam and Judaism, the true rise to power of Islam with full disclosure of Shari'a law and the true history of Israel and its laws, then there is no free exploration of ideas. Instead of academic freedom, there is tolerance of intolerance. Where there is one group that must acquiesce to the other, the school no longer represents liberty and security for its students; rather it is mob rule and submission. If the president has lost control over her constituents and the administration cannot govern or adhere to its mission (a constitution), then the school has surrendered to totalitarianism.

Further, if this Islamic evil is permitted to flourish unimpeded, the College will be guilty of accepting tuition under false pretenses and failing the students who attend this institution in search of an honest education in a safe environment. Rather, BC is conspiratorially promoting the will of the Muslim Brotherhood and permitting the destruction and replacement of our culture by theirs.

The Islamic catchphrase is "First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday." Their ruse is apartheid (non-existent in Israel) and settlements (housing for Israel's people in Israel's capital); their dogma is jihad. If the school bends to Islam now, how long before the Muslims demand New York for Islam? Recall their continuing determination for Ground Zero, and there are now YouTube videos showing Muslims' contentions that they preceded Christopher Columbus, thereby laying claim to the entirety of America.

By permitting the BDS groups to indoctrinate the students on campus, they facilitate the work of illegal associations, terror organizations, such as the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, a coordinating forum for all terror organizations in their war against Israel. This includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Liberation Front acknowledged a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, and Canada) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (acknowledged a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, UK, Japan, Australia, and Canada), and many others that do overseas fundraising and money laundering for the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda figures here and abroad.

BDS is economic warfare, and the campus has become a battlefield. When students continue to level false accusations against Israel, slander and propaganda are the weapons on the frontline. Brooklyn College is failing in the teaching process and allowing students to fester in the closed environment of Islam.

I implore President Karen Gould to implement a pre-emptive strategy to uphold the values of Israel and America and not turn this institution into a racist, Islamic community, with all the hate and violence for which Islam is known.

Tabitha Korol began her political writing with letters to the editor, earning an award from CAMERA (Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) "in recognition of outstanding letter-writing in 2009 to promote fair and factual reporting about Israel." Her op-eds have appeared in Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), and she posts at Right Truth, NewMedia Journal, RenewAmerica, JewishIndy, NeverAgainIsNow, and others. This article appeared February 01, 2013 in the Right Truth and is archived at
http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2013/02/broken-college-office-of-submissions.html


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SAUDI CLERIC WHO RAPED AND KILLED DAUGHTER RECEIVES SMALL FINE

Posted by Roberta Dzubow, February 03, 2013

raping

Saudi Arabian media sources have reported that an Islamic cleric who raped, tortured and killed his 5-year-old daughter, has been let off with a small fine, avoiding a jail sentence.

Lama al-Ghamdi was the daughter of Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher who makes regular appearances on television. Under Saudi law, al-Ghamdi has had to pay only £31,500 in 'blood money', even after confessing to the heinous crime.

Gulf News reports that 5-year-old Lama was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns. She died last October 22.

Activists from women's rights groups said that the father had doubted Lama's virginity and had her checked up by a medic. A social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted said the girl's back was broken and that she had been raped "everywhere".

According to the victim's mother, hospital staff told her that her "child's rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed."

Ghamdi has apparently paid 200,000 riyals ($50,000; £31,500) in "blood money" - a sum that can be paid to relatives of a murder victim and which, if accepted, can replace a death sentence.

Human rights activists have indicated that judicial leniency towards male abusers reflects the highly problematic nature of the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia.

Currently, women in Saudi Arabia are considered minors, and all are automatically assigned to the care and judgment of their most immediate male relative.

So far, three Saudi activists have raised objections to the ruling which is based on Saudi laws that state that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives.

Contact Roberta Dzubow at Roberta@adgforum.com. This article appeared in The Commentator on February 03, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.thecommentator.com/article/2636/saudi_cleric_who_
raped_and_killed_daughter_receives_small_fine#.UQ8ghrGx-hw.email


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AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL PIPES

Posted by Israel Politics, February 04, 2013

Tom Bethell is a senior editor of The American Spectator and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages, and most recently Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary?(2009). This article appeard February 03, 2013 in the American Spectator and is archived at
https://www.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/israel_politics2/
conversations/topics/23146

Daniel Pipes, a leading experts on Islam, established the Middle East Forum and became its head in 1994. He was born in 1949 and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father, Richard Pipes, was a professor of Russian history, now emeritus, at Harvard.

Daniel studied Arabic and Islamic history and lived in Cairo for three years. His PhD dissertation became his first book, Slave Soldiers and Islam (1981). Then his interest in purely academic subjects expanded to include modern Islam. He left the university because, as he told an interviewer from Harvard Magazine, he has "the simple politics of a truck driver, not the complex ones of an academic."

His story of being harassed through the legal system by a Muslim who later committed suicide was recently told in The American Spectator (A Palestinian in Texas, TAS, November 2012). He has been personally threatened but prefers not to talk about specifics except to note that law enforcement has been involved.

I interviewed Pipes shortly before Christmas, when the Egyptians were voting on their new constitution. I started out by saying that the number of Muslims in the U.S. has doubled since the 9/11 attacks.

DP: My career divides in two: before and after 9/11. In the first part I was trying to show that Islam is relevant to political concerns. If you want to understand Muslims, I argued, you need to understand the role of Islam in their lives. Now that seems obvious. If anything, there's a tendency to over-emphasize Islam; to assume that Muslims are dominated by the Koran and are its automatons—which goes too far. You can't just read the Koran to understand Muslim life. You have to look at history, at personalities, at economics, and so on.

TB: Do you see the revival of Islam as a reality?

DP: Yes. Half a century ago Islam was waning, the application of its laws became ever more remote, and the sense existed that Islam, like other religions, was in decline. Since then there has been a sharp and I think indisputable reversal. We're all talking about Islam and its laws now.

TB: At the same time you have raised an odd question: "Can Islam survive Islamism?" Can you explain that?

DP: I draw a distinction between traditional Islam and Islamism. Islamism emerged in its modern form in the 1920s and is driven by a belief that Muslims can be strong and rich again if they follow the Islamic law severely and in its entirety. This is a response to the trauma of modern Islam. And yet this form of Islam is doing deep damage to faith, to the point that I wonder if Islam will ever recover.

TB: Give us the historical context.

DP: The modern era for Muslims began with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798. Muslims experienced a great shock at seeing how advanced the blue-eyed peoples from the north had become. It would be roughly analogous to the Eskimos coming down south and decimating Westerners, who would uncomprehendingly ask in response, "Who are these people and how are they defeating us?"

Jean-León Gérôme's imaginary vision of Napoleon facing the Sphinx.

TB: So how did they respond?

DP: Muslims over the past 200 years have made many efforts to figure out what went wrong. They have experimented with several answers. One was to emulate liberal Europe—Britain and France—until about 1920. Another was to emulate illiberal Europe—Germany and Russia—until about 1970. The third was to go back to what are imagined to be the sources of Islamic strength a millennium ago, namely the application of Islamic law. That's Islamism. It's a modern phenomenon, and it's making Muslims the center of world unrest.

TB: But it is also creating discomfort?

DP: It has terribly deleterious effects on Muslims. Many of them are put off by Islam. In Iran, for example, one finds a lot of alienation from Islam as a result of the Islamist rule of the last 30-odd years.

TB: Has it happened anywhere else?

DP: One hears reports, especially from Algeria and Iraq, of Muslims converting to Christianity. And in an unprecedented move, ex-Muslims living in the West have organized with the goal of becoming a political force. I believe the first such effort was the Centraal Comité voor Ex-moslims in the Netherlands, but now it's all over the place.

TB: Nonetheless, Islam has lasted for 1,500 years.

DP: Yes, but modern Islamism has been around only since the 1920s, and I predict it will not last as a world-threatening force for more than a few decades. Will Muslims leave the faith or simply stop practicing it? These are the sort of questions I expect to be current before long.

TB: What about Islam in the United States?

DP: In the long term, the United States could greatly benefit Islam by uniquely freeing the religion from government constraints and permitting it to evolve in a positive, modern direction. But that's the long term. Right now, American Muslims labor under Saudi and other influences, their institutions are extreme, and things are heading in a destructive direction. It's also distressing to see how non-Muslim individuals and institutions, particularly those on the left, indulge Islamist misbehavior.

TB: How do they do that?

DP: Well, turn on the television, go to a class, follow the work of the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center, and you will see corporations, nonprofits, and government institutions working with the Islamists, helping promote the Islamist agenda. The American left and the Islamists agree on what they dislike—conservatives—and, despite their profound differences, they cooperate.

TB: Presumably some Muslims here deconvert, right?

DP: There are some conversions out of Islam, yes. And the Muslim establishment in this country is quite concerned about that. But numerically it is not a significant number.

TB: The ones who convert don't talk about it very much?

DP: In some cases they do; they take advantage of Western freedoms to speak their minds. They are the exceptions, though.

TB: I suspect that the decline of Christianity has encouraged Islam.

DP: Very much so, as the contrast between Europe and the United States reveals. The hard kernel of American Christian faith, not present in Europe, means that Islamists are far better behaved in the United States. They see the importance of a Christian counterforce.

TB: Earlier, you mentioned Algeria. It is a big Muslim state that we don't hear about today.

DP: Twenty years ago Algeria was a major focus of attention. That long ago ended, although in France coverage is still significant. Algeria is ripe for the same kind of upheaval that we have seen in other North African states, such as Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. I think it is likely to happen before too long.

Said one month before the In Amenas attack: "Algeria is ripe for the same kind of upheaval that we have seen in other North African states. ... I think it is likely to happen before too long."

TB: What about Syria?

DP: Assad's power is steadily diminishing and I cannot see how his regime will remain long in power.

TB: Should the United States get involved there?

DP: No, Americans have no dog in this fight and nothing in the U.S. Constitution requires us to get involved in every foreign conflict. Two wretched forces are killing each other; just look at the ghastly videos of the two sides torturing and executing the other. Listen also to what they are saying. It's a civil war involving the bad and the worse. I don't want the U.S. government involved. That would mean bearing some moral responsibility for what emerges, which I expect to be very unsavory.

TB: So you are supporting the Obama position?

DP: Yes, though he reaches it with far more angst. Also, there appears to be some serious, clandestine U.S. support for the rebel forces. The September 11 meeting in Benghazi between the Turkish and the American ambassadors was very curious. They are both based in Tripoli, hundreds of miles away. What were they doing in Benghazi? Arranging for American arms going via Turkey to Syria, it appears.

TB: How important has Israel been to the revival of Islam?

DP: It is a major factor in the neighboring states. But elsewhere, in Morocco, Iran, Malaysia, it has minor importance.

TB: Since the "Arab Spring," Israel seems increasingly beleaguered.

DP: Not really, not yet, though I agree that it will be more beleaguered with time. Its neighbors are so consumed with their own affairs that they hardly pay Israel attention. But once the neighbors get their houses in order, Israel will most likely face new difficulties.

TB:You have questioned U.S. support for Islamic democracy, which does seem naïve.

DP:The U.S. has been the patron for democracy for a century, since Wilson's 14 Points, and a wonderful heritage it has been. When an American travels the world, he finds himself in country after country where his country played a monumentally positive role, especially in democratizing the system. We naturally want to extend this to Muslim-majority countries. Sadly, these for some time have offered an unpleasant choice between brutal and greedy dictators or ideological, extreme, and antagonistic elected Islamists. It's not a choice we should accept.

TB: So what should we do?

DP: I offer three simple guidelines. One, always oppose the Islamists. Like fascists and Communists, they are the totalitarian enemy, whether they wear long beards in Pakistan or suits in Washington.

Two, always support the liberal, modern, secular people who share our worldview. They look to us for moral and other sustenance; we should be true to them. They are not that strong, and cannot take power soon anywhere, but they represent hope, offering the Muslim world's only prospect of escape from the dreary dichotomy of dictatorship or extremism.

Three, and more difficult, cooperate with dictators but condition it on pushing them toward reform and opening up. We need the Mubaraks of the world and they need us. Fine, but relentlessly keep the pressure on them to improve their rule. Had we begun this process with Abdullah Saleh of Yemen in 1978 or with Mubarak in 1981, things could have been very different by 2011. But we didn't.

TB: Egypt might be the test case.

DP: Well, it's a bit late. Mohammed Morsi is not a greedy dictator but he emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood, and his efforts since reaching power have been purely Islamist.

TB:What about the recent elections?

DP:I do not believe that a single one of the elections and referenda in Egypt was fairly conducted. It surprises me that Western governments and media are so gullible on this score.

TB:You could say we were supporting the democracy element in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Were we not?

DP:Yes and rightly so. The initial demonstrations of early 2011 were spearheaded by the liberals and seculars who deserve U.S. support. But they got quickly pushed aside and Washington barely paid them further attention.

TB: We gave foreign aid to Mubarak. Was that a bad idea?

DP:That aid dates back to the utterly different circumstances of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979 and became progressively more wrong-headed. It should long ago have been discontinued. More broadly, I believe in aid for emergencies (soup and blankets) and as a bribe, but not for economic development. That the Obama administration is contemplating aid, including military hardware, to the Morsi government outrages me.

U.S. aid to Egypt dates from a different era -- Anwar el-Sadat and Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Tom Bethell is a senior editor of The American Spectator and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages, and most recently Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary?(2009).

Contact Israel-Politics2 at israel_politics@yahoogroups.com


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WHY TODAY'S AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IS SO UNREALISTIC

Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, February 04, 2013

The article below was written by Barry Robin who 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 The website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org and his blog, Rubin Reports, http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com. This article appeared February 02, 2013 in the Rubin Center Research in International Affairs and is archived at
http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/02/why-todays-american-foreign-policy-is-so-unrealistic/?utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign =Feb%203%202013%20Newsletter

One of the main features of this misguided contemporary foreign policy debate is the corruption of the concept of Realism. In some ways, the school called Realism was simply a way of teaching principles long regarded as obvious in Europe to Americans, whose idealism about the world had both good and bad implications. Both isolationism and the idea that America's mission is to spread democracy are typical non-Realist patterns of how American exceptionalism plays into foreign policy thinking. That's why the concepts that made up Realism were introduced to the United States by Hans Morgenthau, a refugee from Germany, and most clearly practiced in office by Henry Kissinger, ditto.

But American policymakers—with notable and often disastrous exceptions—have mostly used a Realist approach in their work to the point that they take it for granted. At times, of course, ideology has overridden Realism, with the two most obvious cases being Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Republican presidents, for a reason we will see in a moment, have tended to be more universally Realist because they have accepted the idea of the predominance of national interest and power. The one who was probably least so was George W. Bush.

And, no, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan are not Realists or realists either.

This is a complex subject and one discussed at some length in my book, Secrets of State (Download the book for free). It is important to emphasize that Morgenthau articulated ideas already widely held and practiced but never so effectively put into words. In his writings, Morgenthau stressed that the making of foreign policy lay at the juncture between human nature, the characteristics and views of leaders, and objective factors of geopolitics. The assumption of international affairs' thinking was that strong countries want to stay strong and be stronger; weaker countries want to survive. They thus must analyze how to achieve these goals. A good Realist disregards ideology, which gets into the way of objectively viewing this situation.

bizarre

The problem that many who claim to practice this view today don't understand is that the Realist knows that ideology does get in the way of objective interest all the time. The first question a Realist asks is: asks "How does this policy affect the power and interests of the nation?" But the Realist knows that this is the way things should be done, not necessarily the way that things happen.

Today, Realism has been corrupted into a bizarre reversal of its principles which begins by asserting that it doesn't matter who rules a country; they must follow a policy that maximizes the country's interest. Note the distinction:

The Realist says, "If I were making policy this is what I would do...." Or: "This is what the government should do."

The contemporary misunderstanders say that this is what a country will do.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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US BEHIND CIVIL WARS AND ATROCITIES IN ARAB COUNTRIES

Posted by PMW Bulletin, February 04, 2013

The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper has accused the United States of ordering radical Islamists to commit atrocities in order to justify America's war on terror and its actions against Arabs.

A recent opinion piece in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida claims that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the US needed "a new straw man, whose existence would justify all its wars, all its conspiracies and its policies of supporting oppression."

The writer, Fuad Abu Hajla, who is a regular columnist at the paper, alleges that the US subsequently "urged Islamist movements to commit atrocities that tarnished the image of Islam and Muslims in the world," thereby allowing it to use its war on terror as an excuse to overthrow Arab regimes.

The columnist insists that the American-led "lunatics" were forbidden to operate in Israel - "the Israeli tyrant" - but continue to be responsible for murders, kidnapping and terror in Syria and Algeria.

Abu Hajla has made similar accusations in the past. Describing the attack on a Shiite mosque by "Salafists and Jihadists" in Syria, he wrote in December 2012:

"I'm sure that these crazy gangs, who wreak havoc in the land (i.e., Syria), look to the same authority who puts the tyrants in Arab lands in power - they all function by virtue of an American authority and possess an American identity; they are all stooges of American ambassadors and agents."

He claimed that "the Salafists who 'practice Jihad' in Arab capital cities and wave their swords to change Arab society, are fulfilling the wishes of the United States - to destroy everything accomplished by nations, and turn '[Arab] Spring' into civil war."

Palestinian Media Watch has documented other PA conspiracy accusations against Israel and the US.

The following are excerpts from the two op-eds by regular columnist Fuad Abu Hajla in the official PA daily:

"Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the socialist bloc in Europe, the United States has been striving to create a new straw man whose existence would justify all its wars, all its conspiracies and its policy of supporting oppression.

At that stage the Americans decided to activate their strategic allies. They urged Islamist movements to commit atrocities that tarnished the image of Islam and Muslims in the world, and allowed Washington to replace the Soviet threat, as it were, with an imaginary Islamic threat. [Thus] began the 'war against terrorism' that overthrew progressive pan-Arab regimes and culminated with the conquest of Arab states. But it did not put an end to even one terrorist organization from among the organizations to whom the United States had extended its long-distance sponsorship and for whom it had provided fertile ground to broaden and expand.

All this was accompanied by an American and Western mobilization against Islam, Muslims and Arabs, depicting them as terrorists who understand only the language of slaughter and slitting hostages' throats...

By a political decision, Salafists became Jihadists who with weapons confront all the tyrants of the world ­ except the Israeli tyrant, whom the Americans prohibited them from coming near.

That is how we and the whole world became accustomed to seeing pictures of cold-blooded murder and handcuffed hostages slaughtered with swords wielded by 'Jihadists'...

It seems as if Washington has still not got all it wanted out of these lunatics, and so it allows them to act freely and move from arena to arena in order to provide new despicable examples that substantiate the unjust image of Islam in the world. They are still murdering in Syria and they are still kidnapping and terrorizing in Algeria. They are in all the other Arab states ­ even if many of their cells are still dormant, to be awakened only when given an American green light."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2013]

"Salafists or the Muslim Brotherhood winning control in Syria is no longer the most dangerous thing to look out for in the long Syrian Spring. On the contrary. [Muslim] Brotherhood and Salafi rule that embody reactionary decisions and choices looks much more compassionate than what now seems to be in store in the revolution that continues under American sponsorship. Yesterday, I watched a video clip that showed a group of Salafists and Jihadists attacking and burning a Shiite mosque in the village of Zarzour [in Syria]. The Jihadists saw this accomplishment as a great victory, part of a Jihadist raid, recorded in history in letters with American lighting in the book of hijacked Arab revolutions. I don't know what they call this Jihad organization whose activists did this stupid thing, but I'm sure that these crazy gangs, who wreak havoc in the land (i.e., Syria), look to the same authority who puts the tyrants in Arab lands in power - they all function by virtue of an American authority and possess an American identity; they are all stooges of American ambassadors and agents... We've seen these crazies before, in Afghanistan. We saw them in Chechnya. We saw their 'Jihad' in Yemen, in Libya, and in Lebanon. We saw massive numbers of them in Egypt, and we saw their explosives in Jordanian hotels. But we never saw a single one of them - not one single activist - confront the Jewish occupation in Palestine. The Salafists who 'practice Jihad' in Arab capital cities and wave their swords to change Arab society, are fulfilling the wishes of the United States - to destroy everything accomplished by nations, and turn '[Arab] Spring' into civil war."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2012]

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW - Palestinian Media Watch - (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Barbara Crook, a writer and university lecturer based in Ottawa, Canada, is PMW's North American representative. Contact PMW by email at pmw@pmw.org.il. This article appeared February 04, 2013 in the Palestinian Media Watch(PMW) and is archived at http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8520


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EGYPTIAN OFFICIAL: BEATING OF NAKED MAN WAS PRE-PLANNED

Posted by Arutz Sheva, February 04, 2013

A former Egyptian presidential candidate told Al Arabiya that dragging and beating of naked man was planned to terrorize public.

Ellen Horowitz lives in the Golan Heights, Israel with her husband and six children. She is a painter, an author and a columnist for Israelnationalnews.com. Email her at ellenwrite@bezeqint.net. This article appeared February 04, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/164881#.VPY49j8wuC0

nakedman

A former Egyptian presidential candidate told Al Arabiya TV in an interview on Sunday that the brutal dragging and beating of a naked man near the presidential palace last week was previously planned by the interior ministry in an effort to terrorize the public.

Ahmed Shafiq, who lost the presidential race to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year, said the widely circulated video of 50-year-old Hamada Saber was intended to send a message of fear to those protesting in the streets against the brutal reign of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The torture is a "new style of exaggerated terrorism used against the Egyptian citizens that will lead only to violence and hatred of the regime," Shafiq told Al-Arabiya.

Meanwhile, Saber on Sunday blamed police for the abuse after initially claiming they saved him from protesters.

The presidency described the footage as "shocking", prompting the interior ministry to order a rare investigation.

While Saber first insisted that police had saved him from protesters, he then changed his account-- which was bitterly contested by relatives who said he was being coerced-- when prosecutors showed him the video footage, the official MENA news agency reported.

The man, who said he was shot in the foot during the clashes, explained that he initially blamed protesters to "contain the crisis," the agency reported.

Saber, who has been transferred to a public hospital, said he changed his account and told the "truth" after his family "renounced me...and all of Egypt was angry and people made fun of me on Facebook."

The main opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) has called for the resignation of Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim over Saber's beating.

The beating was "an inhumane spectacle... no less ugly than the killings of martyrs, which is considered a continuation of the security force's program of excessive force," the opposition bloc said, according to AFP.

Ibrahim ordered a probe into the incident and said he would resign if "that's what the people want," his office said.

Contact Arutz Sheva at news@israelnationalnews.com


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BRIEFING ON THE PROBLEMATIC UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE REPORT ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

Posted by Daily Alert, February 04, 2013

The article below was written by Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz who is a policy analyst at the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council. This article appeared in the Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council(AIJAC) and is archived at
http://aijac.org.au/news/article/briefing-on-the-problematic-un-human-rights-comm

Earlier today, this blog noted that Israel has been boycotting the United Nations Human Rights Council due to the Council's habitual singling-out of Israel for unfair, unwarranted, and utterly biased criticism.

A report on settlements in the West Bank, the commission of which spurred Israel's decision to cease cooperation with the Council, has just been released. Sadly, the Report entirely vindicates Israel's position on the matter. Its three authors began by determining Israel's guilt, then conducted an investigation into why it was, in fact, guilty. The research was lazy at best — with numerous unreferenced assertions and many very basic factual errors.

Most importantly, they made no effort whatsoever to provide any form of context or balance, or even to acknowledge that some of the allegations they were making were in any way controversial. They simply re-hashed a series of tired and repeatedly debunked accusations against Israel. Whatever legitimate criticisms were made in the report are buried so far down amid layers of unfounded invective as to make them near impossible to find, let-alone act on.

Below is an itemised critique of the Report, highlighting numerous examples of errors and misinformation.

1. Terms of reference

The Report was commissioned by Human Rights Council Resolution 17/19 of 2012. The Resolution had already judged Israel to be guilty. It provided, inter alia, that:

the Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and constitute very serious violations of international humanitarian law and of the human rights of the Palestinian people therein, and undermine international efforts, including the Annapolis Peace Conference of 27 November 2007 and the Paris International Donors' Conference for the Palestinian State of 17 December 2007, aimed at invigorating the peace process and establishing a viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian State by the end of 2008.

The Resolution expressed 'grave concern' at:

The continuing Israeli settlement and related activities, in violation of international law, including the expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads, which change the physical character and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, and constitute a violation of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and in particular article 49 of that Convention, and recalls that settlements are a major obstacle to the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace and to the creation of an independent, viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian State;

It then provided that the Council:

Decides to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, with a mandate ending on submission of a report to the Council, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to obstruct the process of investigation and to cooperate fully with the mission;

This Report was submitted on 30 January 2013, entitled: 'Report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem'.

2. Definition of 'settlements'

At the outset, the Report defines 'settlements' as:

all physical and non-physical structures and processes that constitute, enable and support the establishment, expansion and maintenance of Israeli residential communities beyond the 1949 Green Line in the OPT. The Mission does not differentiate between "settlements", "settlement blocks", "outposts", or any other structures that have been erected, established, expanded and/or appropriated or any land or natural resources appropriated (at [4], emphasis added).

This is the broadest possible interpretation of the term, and is far broader than anything contemplated by the ICJ.

Consistent with its terms of reference, the sum total of the Mission's consideration of the legality of these settlements was contained in one paragraph, on the fifth of 37 pages, providing that:

Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention also prohibits an occupying Power from transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory that it occupies. This prohibition has attained the status of customary international law. The Mission notes that the Israeli settlements in the OPT, including East Jerusalem, violate this provision and are thus, illegal under international law (at [16]).

The Report did not mention the controversy over that interpretation of the GCIV. It also failed to confront Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, which should in principle mean that the Geneva Convention ceased to apply.

The breadth of the application of this definition can be seen when the Report identifies 'a number of business activities and related issues that raise particular human rights violations concerns', including such heinous crimes as '[t]he supply of security services, equipment and materials to businesses operating in settlements;' '[t]he provision of services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements, including transport; [b]anking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and development of businesses;' and '[t]he use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes' (at [96]).

3. Occupation

Regarding 'occupation', the Report provides that:

A situation of military occupation prevails in the OPT. As the occupying Power, Israel is bound under international humanitarian law by a set of obligations which are provided for in the Hague Regulations 1907, annexed to the Hague Convention IV respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land 1907, which are recognised as forming part of customary international law, and Geneva Convention IV relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War 1949 ("Fourth Geneva Convention"), to which Israel is a High Contracting Party (at [13], emphasis added).

The term 'military occupation' is distinct from the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention ('GCIV'), which refer to 'belligerent occupation'. This is a subtle point, but it makes all the difference in terms of appliying the law. For a panel of supposed 'legal experts', this is sloppy research at best.

4. Significant omissions

4.1. Security measures

The Report discusses at length the impact of various measures, such as movement restrictions and the construction of the security barrier in the West Bank. These measures are in place to prevent terrorist attacks against Israelis - a fact that the Report utterly failed to note. In fact, that Israel has been subject to attacks by Palestinians is not mentioned once in the entire document.

4.2. West Bank legal system

A substantial amount of the alleged human rights abuses in the Report are due to the application of the Jordanian legal system in the West Bank, largely as it existed when Israel took control in 1967. The Report does not at any stage explain why Israel is implementing that system - which is in fact required under the laws of belligerent occupation.

Were Israel to cease implementing that system, it would be in breach of its obligations under international humanitarian law. Furthermore, whenever the possibility of Israel substantially amending that system is raised, Israel is condemned for attempting to annex the West Bank by imposing its own legal system. If continuing to apply the Jordanian legal system is against international law, Israel is caught in a Hellerian Catch-22.

5. Direct inconsistencies

5.1. Location of settlements

In some instances, the Report directly contradicts its own findings. For example, at one stage, the Report states that:

'Settlements are generally located amongst the more vulnerable sections of Palestinian society, predominantly agrarian villages' (at [18]).

Then in the next paragraph, the Report notes that:

The Mission heard that settlers can broadly be divided into three categories. Those who have moved on quality of life grounds and live in settlements close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who constitute over 25 per cent of the settler population ... are generally found in settlements closer to the Green Line. A third group seems to be motivated by political and religious ideologies; they live in the central part of the West Bank, often very close to Palestinian communities (at [19], emphasis added).

The Report later notes that there are 520,000 settlers - 200,000 in East Jerusalem and 320,000 the rest of the West Bank (at [37]). This implies, correctly, that the vast majority of 'settlements' as the Report defines them are located either in East Jerusalem, or close to the Green line. They are plainly not, therefore, generally located amongst 'the more vulnerable sections of Palestinian society, predominantly agrarian villages'.

5.2. Price tags

When discussing the so-called 'price tag' attacks, the Report recognises that 'the intention is to deter Israeli authorities from taking any action perceived to be against settlers' interests while at the same time to provoke Palestinians into a response' (at [55]). This clearly acknowledges that these attacks are, in effect, attempts to intimidate the Israeli government. Later, the Report implies that the attacks can be imputed to the Israeli government (at [60]).

6. Inclusion of antisemitic conspiracies

Regarding access to holy sights, the Report states that:

The Mission was also informed about archaeological excavations being conducted in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and the building there of a network of underground tunnels, including those connecting settlement installations in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan with the Old City. It has been alleged that these archaeological excavations intend to emphasise the Jewish cultural heritage while disregarding - or worse undermining - the rich heritage of other cultures that have contributed to the millenary history of the city (at [59]).

The allegations referred to are essentially the argument put forward by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and others, in order to prevent any archeological investigation of the holy sites in Jerusalem. This serves primarily to assist the position of these bodies that there is no historical Jewish link to Jerusalem.

7. Reliance on second-hand sources

At one stage, the Report discusses Israeli government Reports on settlements:

Studies on settlements commissioned by the Office of the Prime Minister in 2005 (Sason report) and 2012 (Levy report) document the Government's authorization in the establishment and expansion of settlements up to 1992 and indicate that settlements built afterwards with no Government authorization ("outposts") were established with the "full knowledge of all [authorities], starting with the government ministers and prime minister, and until the lowest enforcing agencies (...) the denial had but one goal only: to withstand criticism by various factors, mostly international". Sason concluded that "unauthorized outposts violate[s] standard procedure, good governing rules (...) endanger the principal of the rule of law [and thus] urgent measures must be taken to change [this] reality". In contrast the findings of the Levy report suggested the retroactive authorization of "outposts" (at [26]).

The references provided are: Haaretz "A Harsh Indictment", 21 November 2012; Talya Sason, "Summary of the Opinion Concerning Unauthorized Outposts", 8 March 2005. This implies that the Mission did not actually read either report in full, and did not even read the Levy report in part. The Mission apparently deemed it sufficient to rely on journalists' interpretations of the content of the report, without reading the report itself.

8. Incorrect or unverified research

8.1. Water resources

The Report alleges that:

The settlements, including the associated restrictions, impede Palestinian access to and control over their natural resources. The Secretary General has noted that "Palestinians have virtually no control over the water resources in the West Bank" (at [36]).

The reference given for this is a 2012 report by the Secretary-General of the UN, which in turn eferred to a 2004 report by the Economic and Social Council. The exact wording of the Secretary-General's report was:

Palestinians have virtually no control over the water resources in the West Bank. The route of the wall, which renders 9.4 per cent of West Bank territory inaccessible to Palestinians, except for those who receive a permit, has severe impacts on the control of Palestinians over water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory by effectively annexing 51 per cent of the water resources in the West Bank (UN Doc A/67/375, [14], emphasis added).

The Wording in the document to which this refers is:

By constructing the fence Israel will also effectively annex most of the western aquifer system (which provides 51 per cent of the West Bank's water resources) (UN Doc E/CN.4/2004/10/Add.2, [51], emphasis added).

So in a nine year game of "Chinese Whispers" at the UN, Israel planning to build a barrier in a route incorporating most of an aquifer system that provides 51% of the West Bank's water became the Palestinians having 'virtually no control over the water resources in the West Bank'.

Additionally, the route of the barrier as it currently stands has been substantially altered since the 2004 plan, but the Mission apparently did not think that it was worth checking if the actual route incorporated the same land.

8.2. Population growth

At one stage, the report asserts that 'Over the past decade the settler population has grown at a much higher rate than the population in Israel itself with a yearly average growth of 5.3 per cent (excluding East Jerusalem), compared to 1.8 per cent in Israel.' It cites just 'Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics', without mentioning either a specific report by that Bureau, or how these numbers were calculated (at [28]).

8.3. Israel's establishment

The Report claims that:

The "Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel" is issued. It equates Eretz-Israel (in Hebrew "the Land of Israel") to the territory of British Mandate Palestine, in contrast to the provisions of 1947 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 on the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two Independent Arab and Jewish States (at p23).

This allegation is unfounded and entirely incorrect. In fact, the Declaration specifically provides that:

THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947.

9. Complete failure to contextualise

9.1. Bedouins

When lamenting the situation of Bedouins in Israel, the Report notes that:

Many are food insecure, do not have access to basic services, and are connected neither to the electricity grid, the road network or water systems. Over 90 per cent face water scarcity, living with less than one-quarter of the World Health Organization (WHO) minimum standards (at [66]).

The Report does not include the very simple explanation for this lack of electricity and water: the Bedouin are traditionally a nomadic people, and many continue to live a nomadic lifestyle. As their homes are not permanent, they are not linked to any permanent source of electricity or water.

9.2. East Jerusalem

Regarding the Arabs in East Jerusalem, the Report states that:

Palestinians are excluded from consultative decision-making processes and are not represented in the Special Planning Committees, which consist of settlers and are enabled to issue and enforce building permits (at [69]).

This entirely mischaracterises the situation. The Arabs of East Jerusalem deliberately boycott the local municipal process, in which they are fully entitled to participate under Israeli law. That is why they do not sit on these committees.

9.3. Labour conditions

The Report provides that:

The inability for the Palestinian economy to expand and offer opportunities, high unemployment rates and falling wages in the Palestinian labour market, inflation and increasing poverty are factors that drive Palestinians to seek employment in the settlements and in Israel, where wages are about twice as high as in the Palestinian private sector (at [93]).

This entirely ignores the fact that Palestinians working for Israelis are represented by Israeli trade unions and are subject to Israeli labour laws - which are far more generous than the draconian system run by the Palestinian Authority.

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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DID THE WRONG MCCAIN SCHOOL HAGEL ON THE MIDDLE EAST?

Posted by Philly AFSI, February 04, 2013

The article below was written by Moshe Phillips who is the president of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI. Op-ed columns by Moshe Phillips have appeared on over 50 websites and newspapers since 2008, including American Thinker, Arutz Sheva, Family Security Matters, Intellectual Conservative and NewsReal Blog. His blog was named of "One of the Top 10 PA Blogs" for Townhall.com/WNTP 990 AM Radio in Philadelphia in 2009. He has written and lectured on Israel Affairs, Jerusalem, Middle East Current Events, Zionist History, Counter-Terrorism, Politics, Jabotinsky, Herut, Military History and Tanach for over twenty years. This article appeared February 03, 2013 in Algemeiner and is archived at http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/03/did-the-wrong-mccain-school-hagel-on-the-middle-east-video/

The wrong McCain may have had the job of taking Senator Chuck Hagel to school on the Middle East. Senator John McCain earned plenty of headlines for his questioning of Hagel but did he teach Hagel anything about Israel and the Middle East?

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Setting aside the question of whether Hagel has the ability to absorb the truths about the neighborhood that Israel lives in, this could have been a teachable moment for Hagel and many Americans who often do not grasp that Israel's neighbors are not friendly Canadians.

That John McCain is a strong friend of Israel is not debatable, but the fact is that John's younger brother Joe McCain may understand more about Israel's precarious circumstances.

Joe McCain is a former newspaper reporter and U.S. Navy veteran. In the wake of the September 11 Islamic terrorist attacks on America Joe McCain's views on Israel first came to public attention.

On April 19, 2002 at an Orthodox synagogue called Nusach Hari B'nai Zion in St. Louis Joe McCain gave a talk that was titled "Never Again."

Joe McCain observed "The irony goes unnoticed — while we are hammering away to punish those who brought the horrors of last September here, we restrain the Israelis from the same retaliation. Not the same thing, of course — We are We, They are They. While we mourn and seethe at September 11th, we don't notice that Israel has a September 11th sometimes every day."

"(I)t doesn't make any difference whether you are pro-Israeli or you think Israel is the bully of the Middle East," Joe McCain continued "If it comes to where a new holocaust looms — with or without the concurrence of the United States and Europe — Israel will lash out without pause or restraint at those who would try to annihilate their country. The Jews will not go quietly again."

The full text of the talk can be found here.

In March 2008 The Boston Globe reported on the notoriety Joe McCain had earned from the speech in the pro-Israel community. The Globe reported: "the former newspaper reporter has made his mark with the written word, including an essay on anti-Semitism, widely distributed on the Internet, which he says may have made more of an impact than his past [campaign] appearances on behalf of his brother."

Perhaps John McCain should have invited his brother Joe to question Hagel during the confirmation hearings.

What could have been more effective was if Joe McCain to had met with Hagel to discuss Israel in 2002, long before the former senator from Nebraska made his offensive "Jewish Lobby" remark in 2006.

Maybe then Hagel would understand that when American Jews stand up for Israel and her security concerns that millions of other Americans stand up too.

Contact Philly AFSI at phillyafsi@mail.com


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UN VS. ISRAEL ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 04, 2013

The UN Human Rights Council issued another report accusing Israel of violating the human rights of Palestinian Arabs. NGO Monitor urged the Council to avoid making the report biased as was the Goldstone report. Instead, NGO Monitor urged the Council to adopt international fact-finding standards, such as the Lund-London guidelines for objective and properly sourced facts. The Council did not adopt them.

The Council persisted in the UN practice of getting much of its discussion, unverified, from biased NGOs such as Al Haq and Badil, For example, of 133 footnotes, 43 come from NGOs and a UN office that relies mostly on NGOs. Most NGOs are funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund, themselves biased against Israel and favoring the Arabs. The one media source cited, Haaretz [also pro-Arab] also often quotes NGOs. That article was an opinion piece. Using it shows that the UN slaps together assertions without verifying them.

These NGOs are the most frequently cited in the UN report: B'Tselem, Yesh Din, Peace Now, Adalah, Amnesty Intl., and Human Rights Watch. [They and the organizations that finance them, such as the Ford Foundation, usually are behind attempts to overthrow the Zionist enterprise in the name of human rights.] It's all political.

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


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LEARNING THE WRONG LESSONS FROM IKE

Posted by Dr. History, February 04, 2013

This article was written by Alex Joffe, an archaeologist and historian, who is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow of the Middle East Forum and it appeared in the National Interest on February 01, 2013. It is archived at
http://www.meforum.org/3441/eisenhower-obama

What is the proper balance between firmness and flexibility for U.S. policymakers when dealing with Middle Eastern politics? To what extent does history offer guidelines? The Washington Post's David Ignatius has reported that Chuck Hagel, nominated to be the next secretary of defense, has given President Obama and others copies of Eisenhower 1956, a book by David A. Nichols about the Suez Crisis of that year, and has endorsed the thirty-fourth president's hard line against Israel.

It appears that Hagel sees Eisenhower's demand that Israel leave the Sinai Peninsula, which it captured in a one-hundred-hour campaign in late October and November of 1956, as an explicit model for future relations, where American demands for Israeli withdrawals will be acceded to, if Israel knows what's good for it. But 1956 was about more than Israel in the Sinai. These offer more useful lessons for policymakers.

The brief and ill-conceived campaign of Israel, Britain and France to capture Sinai and the Suez Canal grew in part out of American policy failures. Since the late 1940s, America's primary goals in the region were to halt the spread of Communism and Soviet influence, maintain the flow of oil from friendly regimes, and to manage the Arab-Israeli relationship. By the end of that decade the oil still flowed, but the rest was in tatters.

At every turn, the United States waddled into Arab and Muslim politics it did not understand and failed to take Israeli concerns seriously. It also thought that spending vast amounts of money on economic development would westernize Arab thinking and generate gratitude, and that military aid to Arab nationalist regimes would ensure stability.

Picking up where the Truman administration had left off, in 1953 and 1954 the Eisenhower administration proposed a variety of regional water-development plans. These failed, in part because no Arab state wanted to show "weakness" by agreeing to deals that involved Israel. Meanwhile, Egypt's economic warfare against Israel, including closure of the Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran, went unchallenged by the United States, which was courting Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser.

Failure prompted the Eisenhower administration to go all in on peacemaking plans. Operation Alpha in early 1955 proposed a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue, territorial swaps that gave major portions of the Negev to Egypt in order to create contact with Jordan, and massive military and economic aid, as well as U.S. and British peace guarantees.

Nasser rejected the plan and demanded Israel evacuate the Negev completely. Palestinian, Syrian and Saudi officials also rejected it. What U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had called "shock treatment" for Israel failed largely because it neglected the simplest rule of Middle East negotiations: Never open with the final bid.

Long fearful of Soviet designs for the northern Mediterranean and Western Asia, the United States provided military aid to Turkey and Pakistan in 1954. The next year, Iraq, Turkey and Britain signed the U.S.-supported Baghdad Pact, but this led Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia to sign an agreement later in that year opposing the pact. U.S. offers to Nasser to support construction of the Aswan High Dam enticed him to give up his opposition. But this enraged Iraq, since by September 1955 Nasser had succeeded at getting both U.S. aid and Soviet arms from Czechoslovakia.

The direct lead-up to the 1956 war was marked by similar U.S. miscalculations. Running out of options, Dulles turned to the UN, which promptly demanded Israeli concessions. Increasing Arab cross-border attacks were met by Israeli retaliation, but Washington and the UN condemned only the latter. The U.S. refusal to provide Israel with arms, despite the Egyptian deal with the Soviets, heightened a sense of desperation and a search for new allies, namely Britain and France. Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956 lit the final match but Eisenhower's four-month diplomatic scramble to prevent war failed.

Under pressure from Eisenhower, Israel, France and Britain withdrew their forces. Soviet forces, which had invaded Hungary in October 1956, did not. American diplomacy that had been concerned with the apparent similarities between the two events could not make the contrasts clear in the UN. But Eisenhower and Nixon still campaigned successfully on their having kept the United States out of direct confrontation with the Soviets and won the November elections. American liberals and non-interventionists were impressed, but American adversaries were not.

By the end of the 1950s, American influence in the region was at a low ebb, thanks in part to Eisenhower's foreign policy and the 1957 "Eisenhower Doctrine," which promised economic assistance and military intervention for threatened states. Though the United States had been willing to provide economic aid to Egypt even after the 1955 Czech arms deal, in 1958 the Soviet Union partnered with Egypt to build the Aswan High Dam. It also became Egypt's sole arms supplier, goading it ever closer toward war, which came in 1967.

After Suez, Israel's relationship with France deepened, and the decision to begin an Israeli nuclear program was taken. The brief unification of Syria and Egypt into the "United Arab Republic" in 1958 had fewer ramifications than the Iraqi revolution, which overthrew the royal family and set Iraq firmly on the road to fascism. This helped set in motion the Lebanon crisis of 1958, in which the United States intervened militarily to prevent the Christian leadership of that country from being overthrown. The Lebanon crisis also featured a Soviet nuclear threat. The United States and Britain were additionally forced to intervene militarily in Jordan in 1958.

Hagel could point to 1956 as an example of unintended consequences and how no good intentions or grand bargains go unpunished in the Middle East. Or he could point to 1956 as an example of how incommensurable promises to unreliable partners interested solely in extracting money and weapons from superpowers inevitably end in failure. He could even note that forcing allies into concessions is less impressive than successfully exerting pressure on adversaries. These, the real lessons of 1956, are unlikely to have been his message.

Contact Dr. History at drhistory@cox.net


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THE CASE FOR A RELIGIOUS REVIEW BOARD

Posted by Amil Imani, February 04, 2013

It is time to establish a Religious Review Board (RRB.) Is this an outlandishly absurd proposal? Not at all. Serious problems require equally serious solutions. The call for establishing a Religious Review Board may be seen as an attempt to curb Islam. The truth is: it is.

Encroaching Islam with its rule of Sharia presents an imminent threat to subvert and replace the Constitution that governs our lives. Unlike Muslims who practice Taqiyyah—lying or dissimulation—I proudly speak the truth. Truth should never be sacrificed at the altar of any goal. I firmly believe that truthfulness is indeed the foundation of all virtues.

As things stand now, numerous boards at all levels of government, business, and community govern our lives. All these boards are charged with the responsibility of looking after the welfare of the people they serve. The Food and Drug Administration, for instance, must pass on the safety and quality of the food we eat; the Aviation Safety Board works to ensure safe flights; a local school board strives to create the environment that best serves the education and safety needs of the pupils. Boards serve every community and business of any size.

monitored

The Food and Drug Administration makes sure we don't use contaminated food and drugs that can harm our bodies. Yet, there are no oversight boards that would check against things that contaminate the mind and present a clear threat of unraveling our democracy's social compact as we know and cherish it. Shouldn't these dangers to our beliefs and way of life be monitored and combated, or should they be allowed a free hand to work their damage?

Religion is a powerful force. And as is the case with any force, it can do work of the good or that of the evil. And, when there is multiplicity of religions at loggerhead with one another, the forces clash and any benefit that religion offers is offset by potentially huge costs.

Given that the formerly vast and largely segregated planet has shrunk into a "global village," the disparate peoples isolated from one another for millennia are now a village community.

The-thrown-together diverse people are in urgent need of adopting a set of common rules that would allow individuals as well as groups maximum latitude of faith, coupled with responsibility, and free of any practices that infringe on the rights of others or demonize them. Islam, as a matter of belief, considers all non-Muslims, even the so-called people of the book, as infidels—people who are to be subjugated or cleansed from Allah's earth.

America, with a long history of protecting religious freedom, still clings to the "hands off" practice of leaving alone any doctrine or practice billed as religion. A thorny problem is in deciding what constitutes a religion and who is to make that call.

The dictionary supplies a sociologically useless definition for religion: "The expression of man's belief in and reverence for a superhuman power recognized as the creator and governor of the universe." Just about anyone or any group under this definition can start a religion, and they indeed do—and some do so at significant costs to others.

Muslims, under the banner of religion, are infringing blatantly on the rights of others, not only in Islamic countries, but also in much of the non-Muslim world. By their acts of dogmatic savagery, Muslims are finally awaking the non-Muslim democracies to the imminent threat of Islamofascism keen on destroying their free secular societies.

Islam was birthed by primitives of some 1400 years ago and over time invaded much of the world at the point of the sword. Presently, the Islamists, with their treasuries flush with petrodollars, are in a great position to realize their perennial dream of bringing the world under the rule of Muhammad's Ummah. On the one hand Pakistan is already a nuclear power and Iran aims to be one before very long. On the other hand, Muslim governments and wealthy Sheikhs are funding Islamic schools, centers and front organizations in the West to work from within at the unraveling of the non-Islamic democratic systems.

The large number of Muslims arrival of recent years is posing a serious problem to this nation of all nations. Bluntly speaking, no one can be a Muslim and an American at the same time. Here are some of the reasons.

1) A Muslim is, first and foremost, an Ummahist—a citizen of international Islam. So, when a Muslim takes the American Pledge of Allegiance, he is either ignorant of the implication of his pledge or is lying willfully. Ignorance is never a valid reason in the court of law, and lying in the process of becoming citizen is a ground for denying the application and even deporting the violator. Sadly enough, taqiyyah—lying, or dissimulation—is not only condoned, it is recommended to the Muslims in their scripture. Hence, a Muslim can and would lie without any compunctions, whenever it is expedient.

2) Muslims, by belief and practice, are the most blatant violators of human rights. We hardly need to detail here Muslims' systemic cruel treatment of the unbelievers, women of all persuasions, and any and all minorities across the board. To Muslims, human rights have a different meaning, and it protective provisions are reserved strictly for Muslims—primarily for Muslim men. Just a couple of examples should suffice for now.

A) Oppression of women, for one, is so systemic in Islam that to this day women are, at best, second-class citizens under Islamic law. Saudi Arabia, the custodian of Islamdom, denies women the right to drive, vote or hold elective offices—the most basic rights of citizens in democratic societies.

For another, no non-Islamic literature is allowed in Saudi Arabia. A visiting

B) Christian, for instance, is denied to enter the Kingdom with a Bible. Further, severe punishment is meted out to anyone daring to disagree with Islam or espouse a different religion. Iran's resurgent Shiism often vies with Saudi Arabia in its mistreatment of religious and non-religious minorities. To the fanatical ruling gang in Iran, it is their brand of Islam or disenfranchisement of rights of citizenship and even death for the "sin" of apostasy. And of course, there is no point at all in talking about the savage Islamic Taliban.

3) Respect for the rule of law, as it is understood and practiced by civilized people, is an instrument of convenience to be used to advantage and to be violated when it is not, for the Muslim. A Muslim believes in a different law—the Sharia: a set of stone-age rules. Violation of the non-Muslim laws, therefore, is no violation at all to a Muslim.

What is incredible is the gall and audacity of Muslims in demanding that Western and other democracies legalize Sharia in their societies. Large populations of Muslims, mostly recent arrivals, in countries such as Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden are experiencing the insistent demands by Muslims to have Sharia rule their Islamic communities. This is just the beginning and it may seem relatively harmless to the simpletons in our midst. Yet, once Sharia is recognized to any extent, it will reach out to rule not only on matters that concern Muslims, but also those that may involve a Muslim and non-Muslim. Under Sharia, a Muslim man married to a non-Muslim woman is able to divorce the woman at will, automatically have custody of the children, and literally toss the wife out of "his" home with just about no compensations.

4) As for democracy, the rule of the people, Muslims have no use at all. Muslims believe that Allah's rule must govern the world in the form of Caliphate—a theocracy. Making mockery of democracy, subverting its working, and ignoring its provisions is a Muslim's way of falsifying what he already believes to be a sinful and false system of governance invented by the infidels.

To Muslims, Ummah-ism—international Islamism—is the legitimate form of government. Ummah-ism is another form of despotism such as Communism and Fascism, with the added feature of enjoying "divine" authority.

The world has good samples of Ummah-ism in practice to scrutinize in Islamic autocracies. Khamenei of Iran is not called "Caliph." He is called the "Supreme Guide." The Saudi King is just another Caliph vessel of the "divine." These Islamic despots are every bit as vile as the Hitlers, the Stalins, the Pol Pots, and the Mussolinis. The government these Islamic autocrats head is infested to the core with the Islamic disease of oppression, corruption and the absence of accountability to the people.

Democracies believe that government must be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Ummah-ism is anathema to this sacrosanct fundamental democratic ideal.

As more and more Muslims arrive in non-Islamic lands, as they reproduce with great fecundity, as they convert the disenchanted and minorities, and as petrodollar-flush Muslims and Muslim treasuries supply generous funds, Muslims gather more power to undermine the democratic rule. A consortium composed of pandering politicians, blinded with short-term self-interest and egoism; attention and fund-seeking self-proclaimed prima donna professors; and, bastions of useful idiot liberals, universities, is the witting or unwitting promoter of Ummah-ism.

There is an urgent need for the establishment of a Religious Review Board tasked with a mission to ensure that no "religion" preaches and practices in violation of the United States' Constitution. Islam is incompatible with democracy and subversive of the way of life that blesses this nation. It is imperative that we fight Islamofascism with the same determination that we fought other enemies of freedom such as Nazism, Fascism, and Communism.

Amil Imani is the author of Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and Operation Persian Gulf. Contact Amil Imani at amil_imani@yahoo.com


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EXCELLENT LETTER TO THE ANTI-SEMITES AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE

Posted by Roberta Dzubow, February 04, 2013

The article below was written by Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, a Trustee of City University of New York. He is a former aide to Governor George E. Pataki, Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato and other public officials.

In my 13 years as a trustee of CUNY, I've had plenty of opportunity to observe the intellectual corruption and anti-Semitism of many in America's academic elite. I hear about it from trustees in colleges and universities across America and it's become more common at CUNY, with Brooklyn College as an unexpected hotbed. The current plans for an anti-Israel BDS conference with the school's co-sponsorship by the political science department raise new questions.

If an individual professor engages in selective hatred of Israel and the resulting intimidation of Jewish students, that is bad enough. If branches of the MSA (Muslin Students Association, all chapters of which are affiliated with ISNA — the Islamic Society of North America, which is the Muslim Brotherhood on our soil), that is bad enough. I'll be damned however, if I were to be silent on the official co-sponsorship of an entire academic department of a Nuremberg-like conference on a CUNY campus. This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is NOT an academic conference in any sense. Furthermore, other than the intimidation of liberal arts professors who might support Israel, how do we know that EVERY professor in that department supports this drivel?

We must also look at the hypocrisy and intellectual corruption of these accusatory, one-sided conferences The Islamic world, having evicted nearly all of its Jews following the reconstitution of the Jewish State in 1948, murdering many and plundering all of their property, is now exterminating its remaining Christians, Bahais and Zaroastrians — in fact, anyone non-Muslims — whose adherents may have resided in these lands for millennia. Brave columnists like Fouad Adjami, Amir Taheri and other brave Muslims chronicle this dysfunctionality — and far worse — at great risk. Inter-Muslim murder rivals their states' crimes against other groups as well.

From 1920 to the present, approximately 100,000 Jews and Arabs have died in all the conflicts involving them — most Jews and Israelis as victims of terror and in defensive wars and most Arabs as a result of Israel's defense or their brethren having cowardly used them as "human shields." 100,000 Syrians alone have been brutally murdered by the forces of Bashar Assad in the last 2 years. Do these BDS hypocrites care?

These BDS advocates single out Israel as a cover for rank anti-Semitism. It is not about saving Palestinians (who mostly need to be saved from themselves and their leaders); its purpose is to delegitimize and destroy Israel. They do NOT want a two-state solution. To them Tel Aviv and Haifa are "occupied territories" as much as Gaza, long vacated by Israel and now one of the world's most prominent terrorist launching points. They want a one-state solution — to have yet another of the many Arab states. They deny — as anti-Semites do - the eternal connection, since recordable history, of the Jewish people to their land. They reject all peace offers by Israel. They subjugate their own people to a vile existence in the false belief that they can "wait out the Jews."

I call upon taxpayers to draw a line here and make it known: taxpayer dollars should not fund illegitimate, racist and anti-Semitic activities by any academic department. Those of us who care about Israel would do no less if others were similarly treated. Additionally, academic administrators should be reminded that Jewish students are no less entitled — under applicable federal law — than other students to an educational environment free of intimidation and prejudice.

Contact Roberta Dzubow at Roberta@adgforum.com


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THE UNHRC'S OMISSIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS

Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 04, 2013

The article below was written by Michael Rubin who is a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. This article appeared February 01, 2013 in Commentary Magazine and is archived at
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2013/02/01/the-unhrcs-omissions-and-assumptions/

Evelyn Gordon rightly highlights the unique treatment Israel receives at the United Nation's Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and she is right that Western governments should "insist that the council's systemic denial of Israel's rights come to an end."

For those who want to see just how skewed the UNHRC's report is, this AIJAC analysis of the report should be a must read. The whole thing is worth a read, both as a Cliff's Notes to the report itself, and a rebuttal to some of the more egregious statements and omissions.

Just a few highlights:

4. Significant omissions

4.1. Security measures

The Report discusses at length the impact of various measures, such as movement restrictions and the construction of the security barrier in the West Bank. These measures are in place to prevent terrorist attacks against Israelis — a fact that the Report utterly failed to note. In fact, that Israel has been subject to attacks by Palestinians is not mentioned once in the entire document.

4.2. West Bank legal system

A substantial amount of the alleged human rights abuses in the Report are due to the application of the Jordanian legal system in the West Bank, largely as it existed when Israel took control in 1967. The Report does not at any stage explain why Israel is implementing that system — which is in fact required under the laws of belligerent occupation.

Were Israel to cease implementing that system, it would be in breach of its obligations under international humanitarian law. Furthermore, whenever the possibility of Israel substantially amending that system is raised, Israel is condemned for attempting to annex the West Bank by imposing its own legal system. If continuing to apply the Jordanian legal system is against international law, Israel is caught in a Hellerian Catch-22.

5. Direct inconsistencies

5.1. Location of settlements

In some instances, the Report directly contradicts its own findings. For example, at one stage, the Report states that:

'Settlements are generally located amongst the more vulnerable sections of Palestinian society, predominantly agrarian villages' (at [18]).

Then in the next paragraph, the Report notes that:

The Mission heard that settlers can broadly be divided into three categories. Those who have moved on quality of life grounds and live in settlements close to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv...

8. Incorrect or unverified research

8.1. Water resources

The Report alleges that:

The settlements, including the associated restrictions, impede Palestinian access to and control over their natural resources. The Secretary General has noted that "Palestinians have virtually no control over the water resources in the West Bank" (at [36])...

The reference given for this is a 2012 report by the Secretary-General of the UN, which in turn referred to a 2004 report by the Economic and Social Council...

So in a seven year game of "Chinese Whispers" at the UN, Israel planning to build a barrier in a route incorporating most of an aquifer system that provides 51% of the West Bank's water became the Palestinians having 'virtually no control over the water resources in the West Bank'.

Additionally, the route of the barrier as it currently stands has been substantially altered since the 2004 plan, but the Mission apparently did not think that it was worth checking if the actual route incorporated the same land.

8.3. Israel's establishment

The Report claims that:

The "Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel" is issued. It equates Eretz-Israel (in Hebrew "the Land of Israel") to the territory of British Mandate Palestine, in contrast to the provisions of 1947 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 on the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two Independent Arab and Jewish States (at p23).

This allegation is unfounded and entirely incorrect. In fact, the Declaration specifically provides that:

THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947.

The whole thing is not only worth reading, but should also be in any policymakers' reference file. Kudos to AIJAC.

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com


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"INTERNATIONAL ANTI-SEMITES" IS A NAME FOR BIGOTS

Posted by Steven Shamrak, February 04, 2013

Sometimes I am criticised for using the description "International anti-Semites" too often. I do substitute it by the words "bigots" or "idiots" from time to time. I shall continue to call things by their true names. Regardless of the terminology, there are many facts pertaining to unfair, genocidal and prejudicial treatment of Jews even during recent history that support my use of the term "International anti-Semites":

1. In July 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Palestine Mandate, recognising "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine". Great Britain was called upon to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine - Eretz Israel (Land of Israel). Three months later, in order to obtain full control over the Suez Canal, Great Britain made a deal with the Hashemite Kingdom, Egypt and France. Trans-Jordan (77% of the Mandate) was given to the king's brother in exchange for the Sinai, which was given to Egypt. Golan Heights (5% of the Palestinian Mandate) was ceded to the French controlled Syrian Mandate.

2. Before WWII, knowing the genocidal intention of Nazi Germany toward Jews, "International anti-Semites" signed an agreement restricting Jewish immigration from Europe.

3. Nazis were facilitators of the Holocaust, but they would not have been successful if not for the participation of local Poles, French, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and others. In Denmark, Bulgaria and even fascist Italy, where the local population and governments did not co-operate with Nazi occupiers, many Jews survived!

4. Nazis were facilitators of the Holocaust, but they would not be successful if not for enthusiastic and joyful participation from local Polacks, French, Litanies, Ukrainians and others. In Denmark, Bulgaria and even fascist Italy, where local population and governments did not co-operate with Nazi occupiers, many Jews survived.

5. On 29 Nov, 1947 the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which divided the remaining 18% of the Jewish Land to six unmanageable triangles with Jerusalem to be controlled by a "special international regime", inviting Arabs to attack and finish what Nazi Europe started!

6. When fully armed armies of seven Arab/Muslim states attacked the newly created, disarmed Jewish state the "International anti-Semites" imposed an arms embargo on the region to prevent Jews from defending their right to exist as a sovereign nation.

7. Since the creation of the UN, over 50% of its resolutions have been related and mainly critical of Israel. Recent appointment of the PA as a non-member state to the UN has opened the door to additional anti-Israel bigotry by the "International anti-Semites" involving ICC.

I have been publishing my editorial letter for over eleven years. Contrary to some opinions, I am not a right-winger or extremist. I base my conclusions on facts be they religious and long-forgotten or recent historical ones. The Zionist dream of Jewish people has nothing to do with right or left of the politics. It is the essential right of the people to freedom of living on their ancestral land, as most nations do!

The facts remain unchanged. The unhealthy international preoccupation with Jews must be exposed and vigorously confronted!

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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CHICAGO JUSTICE AND THE MUMBAI MASSACRES

Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy, February 04, 2013

Former US attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told the Chicago court that just half an hour after David Headley was arrested and given his Miranda rights at Chicago's O'Hare airport, he "fully admitted" his role in the 2008 Mumbai massacre.

Headley was arrested 2009, but it was not until January 2013 that he finally went on trial for serving as an advance scout for Lashkar et-Toiba's Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008.

U.S. citizen Daood Gilani was born in 1960 to a Pakistani father and American mother. He changed his name to David Headley in 2006 in order to facilitate at least eight visits to India. The videos that he took while there were said to be essential to the attacks where 166 people, including six Americans, were murdered and hundreds more were wounded.

The judge was prevented from imposing the death penalty because of Headley's plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Lest anyone wonder why it took so long for the DOJ to make its case, the judge was informed that the terrorist had been cooperating with security agencies in both the United States and India. Ostensibly, he had helped bring the Mumbai bombers "to justice" while preventing "other terrorist attacks." There was no doubt as to his guilt, but thanks to the DOJ, Headley escaped with a 35-year prison sentence.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the former U.S. attorney who appeared in court and who served as director of the prosecution claimed that Headley's decision to turn informant "saved lives." (Bear in mind that, without prompting, the terrorist facilitator had begun to spill the beans within minutes of his arrest.) Given Fitzgerald's methods, he would have us believe that Headley was held until every scrap of knowledge was squeezed out of him.

Since Fitzgerald's MO is known, it is perhaps necessary to recall the federal official's activity in a previous terrorist case in 2002, against Enaam Arnaout and the Illinois-based Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). Fitzgerald tried to squeeze the defendant despite the fact that the prosecution handed him on a silver platter.

The BIF had offices in nine countries and a budget in excess of $3 million annually when its assets were frozen. Arnaout, a Syria-born US citizen, was arrested for allegedly lying to federal officials.

The charge was based on the trove of Al Qaeda documents found when Bosnia police raided the BIF office in Sarajevo. There was no doubt that Arnaout had been present in Khost, Afghanistan, in August 1988 when some thirty Mujahedeen took the pledge (bayat) to support Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda. Subsequently, Arnaout created the BIF. The documents found in Bosnia proved that the BIF was established to fund Bin Laden, and had sent nearly $700,000 to Chechen rebels and arms to Afghanistan and Croatia. The BIF also assisted the travel of a number of Jihadists and provided arms and other support to Mujahedeen operating in Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Azerbaijan and Chechnya.

Arnaout's arrest occurred shortly after Judith Miller's December 3, 2001 report in the New York Times that the FBI was interested in the Benevolence International; the publication prompted the FBI to move prematurely, and on the following morning arrested Arnaout and searched the BIF office. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales then brought charges claiming that Miller and her colleague Philip Shenon, had alerted the BIF to the search planned by the feds. Eventually, the charges were dropped but not forgotten.

Arnaout was held without bond while Fitzgerald squeezed and squeezed. Still, there was no indication (now or then) that Arnaout ever gave Fitzgerald and the Feds what they had hoped for — which would have been no less than information leading to the capture or death of Osama Bin Laden. Nonetheless BIF was exposed as a major fundraiser for Bin Laden.

In addition, shortly after Arnaout's arrest the FBI charged Bin Laden's brother-in-law Mohammad Jamal Khalifa with involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, as well as with the BIF and Arnaout. For reasons that are unfathomable, no real effort was made to arrest Khalifa who in the following years was reportedly seen from the Far East to southern Africa.

In February 2003, Arnaout pled guilty to the picayune charge that he had illegally bought boots and uniforms for mujahedeen operating in Bosnia and Chechnya. Reportedly, he had worked out a deal with Fitzgerald in exchange for his cooperation.

Incredibly, Fitzerald dropped charges that Arnaout had "aided Bin Laden," despite having a treasure trove of evidence that should have sent Arnaout away for life. In one aspect of the Arnaout trial, the DOJ was slammed by a federal judge in Chicago Federal District Court for erring in its use of perjury statutes in charging Arnaout and the BIF. Those charges had to be dropped.

This however, did nothing to stop Patrick Fitzgerald from serveing a record ten years and eight monthsas U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. While Fitzgerald blew the Arnaout prosecution, he later buffed his credentials with slam-dunk cases brought against Illinois governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. He also served as Special Prosecutor in the case concerning "outed" CIA employee Valerie Plame — a controversial probe that led to the conviction of Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Cheney's chief of staff. This case facilitated Fitzgerald's revenge against Judith Miller who was jailed for a time for refusing to divulge sources during the Libby embroglio.

UNHAPPY INDIA

Fitzgerald, who directed the federal case against David Headley, noted that while the defendant took part in a "very, very heinous crime," the judge should consider the "unusual nature" of Headley's cooperation. The judge, addressing the defendant, argued that it would have been easy to impose the death penalty, and "That's what you deserve."

While the DOJ claimed that the government of India was in accord with the Headley decision, the Chicago legal process was perceived in New Delhias a slap in the face. And when the US Department of Justice refused to extradite Headley, the Indian government's Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had demanded that he be given the death penalty.

US attorneys argued that while Headley's criminal conduct was deplorable, his decision to cooperate provided "uniquely significant value" to the US efforts to combat terror. "We are seeking less than life time sentencing, because of the significant intelligence value information provided by Headley. [While the] "crime is deplorable, shocking and horrific. We have to recognize the significant value of the information. We believe that 30-35 years of imprisonment would be justified and balance and thus be downgraded from life sentence,"

To justify its request, the DOJ offered four reasons:

(1) The informant provided "extensive information" on the operation of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)

(2) Gave essential information on terrorist leader Illyas Kashmiri;

(3) Led to charges being brought against five terrorists;

(4) Also led to the conviction of Headley's co-conspirator, Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana who received a 14 year sentence in an earlier trial.

(1) Regarding the extensive information Headley provided on the Lashkar-e-Toiba (the Party of Islamic Liberation): The LeT forms part of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which it is not at all a mysterious operation. Founded in 1953 in Jerusalem, it operates in more than forty countries, including the United States. A Sunni-dominated pan-Islamic movement that seeks to reestablish an Islamic Caliphate, it has been labeled by some as an Al Qaeda without the suicide vests.

In Europe, HuT is very active in the UK where numerous efforts to outlaw the organization have failed. Still, according to most reports the HuT urges its membership to kill Jews wherever they are found and "infidels" for good measure. HuT has been banned in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia (at least until recently), and in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, and in the former Soviet states in Central Asia. In the last case, it continues to have widespread influence, especially in Uzbekistan..

In Egypt HuT activists are now urging attacks on Israel and the elimination of all colonial vestiges in North Africa's Maghreb. In Pakistan, the Jamaat-ud-Dawah has served as the front for LeT.

However, since the UN Security Council issued sanctions on it for its role in the Mumbai bombing, it reportedly changed its name to Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool (Movement for defending the honor of the Prophet).

Both the HuT and the LeT are known entities to the intelligence agencies. Thus, it seems likely that Headley provided the FBI with information of immediate but not enduring value. If the information obtained through him and provided the Indian government was really as valuably as the U.S. claimed, it is unlikely they would have been so demanding of the death penalty.

(2) Illyas Kashmiri: Ilyas Kashmiri, the senior Al Qaeda military operations man in Pakistan, was involved not only in the Mumbai attacks but in suicide attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was killed by a US drone strike in South Waziristan in June 2011. At the time he was operations chief of the Harakut-ul Jihad Islami, a militia of some 3,000 members tied to both Al Qaeda and the Punjabi Taliban. Just how Headley may have been involved in the action involving Kashmiri has never been revealed.

(3) Charges brought against five terrorists: No information provided.

(4) Conviction of Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana; At the trial of his co-defendant and school friend Tahawwur Rana, Headley admitted that he attended training camps in Pakistan operated by LeT on five separate occasions between 2002 and 2005.

Some time around 2006 Headly met with Rana, a friend since boyhood. Apparently, he was able to convince Rana, who already knew of his involvement with the LeT, to open a branch of his Chicago based First World Immigration Services in Mumbai as a cover to LeT operations, secure work visas and travel in and out of India. According to Headley, Rana also provided material to support the LeT terrorist attack against a Danish newspaper.

The DOJ implied that Headley gave up his friend. However, it would not have taken more than a few days work to determine that there was a close relationship between Rana and Headley. Rana entered a plea of not guilty in an indictment that included seven names, six of which were charged in absentia. In effect, Rana did not stand a chance. He was found guilty and sentenced.

Later, during the Headley trial, Defense attorney Charles Swift described his charge:

"[Headley is] a man who had been manipulating people for years, including Rana, a Pakistani-born Canadian who has lived in Chicago for years. Swift said Headley has a history of cooperating with the government in order to get out of trouble and spoke of Headley's work with the Drug Enforcement Administration in the 1990s. At one point, Swift said, Headley was working for the DEA, Lashkar and Pakistani intelligence at the same time."

In the reporting surrounding the prosecution and its aftermath practically nothing was made of Rana's First World Immigration Service. The Chicago Tribune (January 03, 2010) had headlined, "Federal officials target operations of First World Immigration." The article reported that "probers allege" that the Chicago agency which served Chicago's South Asian community was "a front for terror plot." It added, "US authorities are sharpening their sights on the West Rogers Park agency in search of possible acts of Immigration fraud, according to sources familiar with the probe." But Fitzgerald did nothing to pursue First World Immigration. Thus, First World that would have been a target for investigations to both Federal investigators and the Chicago press, was never investigated. In addition, there is no evidence that First World offices in New York and Toronto were investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing. Thus First World is free to operate thanks Patrick Fitzerlad's perception of justice.

This article was written by J. Millard Burr who is an author of "Alms for Jihad". He is a Senior Fellow wit the American Center for Democracy (ACD). This article appeared February 05, 2013 on the ACD website and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/chicago-justice-to-supporters-of-mumbai-massacre/


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EGYPT: 'BEARD MEN' STAB CHRISTIAN WOMAN

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, February 05, 2013

Random attacks on Egypt's Christian Copts continue growing, including with very little motive — other than hate, that is. Izzat Ibrahim Izzat, a human rights activist and an official at the Mina branch Word Center for Human Rights, just issued a statement saying that two bearded men, or Salafis — those Muslims who most try to pattern themselves after Islam' prophet — stabbed a Christian woman named Mary Samir Adib in Alexandria. The two men were riding a motorcycle when they intercepted Mary and stabbed her in her abdomen as she was crossing the street, causing a serious wound in her peritoneal membrane. The Coptic woman was transported to the hospital where she underwent surgery. Although Mary's family filed a complaint with the police, as usual, the head detective refused to go out and inspect the assault scene. Izzat confirmed that this is not the first attack on Coptic women in Alexandria. Indeed there have been several such cases reported this week without any response from authorities.

This article was written by Raymond Ibrahim who is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Contact him at list@pundicity.com. This article appeared February 02, 2013 in Jihad Watch and is archived at
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/egypt-bearded-men-stab-christian-woman


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A STATEMENT ON BROOKLYN COLLEGE'S UPCOMING BDS FORUM BY SCHOLARS FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (SPME)

Posted by Asaf Romirowsky, February 05, 2013

On February 7th, the Department of Political Science of Brooklyn College and various student organizations sympathetic to the Palestinian view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, such as the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), will sponsor a Forum entitled "Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti: BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights," an event that will be an effort to promote bigotry, prejudice, and hate against the Jewish state and its supporters.

Although the word forum suggests a debate, the announcement for the event mentions no anti-BDS speakers, or even neutral commentators—only well-known BDS advocates and anti-Israel activists Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler, who side with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups openly seeking Israel's annihilation.

Judith Butler is a highly vociferous public critic of Israel. When asked about Hamas and Hezbollah's place "in the global left," she urged "understanding Hamas [and] Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important." Therefore, she favors dismantling the Jewish state as we know it in favor of something she calls "multi-cultural co-habitation." In her latest book, Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism, she nods to the prodigious forces of hatred and intolerance militating against her solution: "It may be that binationalism is an impossibility, but that mere fact does not suffice as a reason to be against it."

Omar Barghouti has managed to advocate for BDS while studying at an Israeli university by saying that his studies there are a "personal matter." This is a privilege seemingly only to be enjoyed by him, while ordinary Jewish and Arab students and faculty have their personal academic studies politicized by him and his fellow extremists.

SPME, an international community of scholars committed to peaceful resolution of all of the Middle East's many conflicts, contends that the BDS movement is both intellectually flawed and contrary to the very real needs of the people of that region. We are committed to a genuine, just, and enduring peace.

The BDS movement is mistaken in its focus on a single party, Israel, as the impediment to peace. Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness to live peacefully alongside a Palestinian state. Since the rebirth of a Jewish state in 1948, Israel's democratic governments from across the political spectrum have repeatedly demonstrated an intent to make painful compromises in the interest of a peaceful resolution of this conflict, including recognition of a Palestinian Arab homeland for those descended from Arabs displaced during prior conflicts.

Pronouncements attempting to appeal to the conscience of academics supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement often depict Israel as a Nazi-like state. Perhaps this is why CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein recently stated, "I personally abhor and am appalled by the aims of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement." Yet these pro-BDS views—once labeled extreme—have become increasingly mainstream, as academics call for Israel's destruction, not by might or power but by demonization, delegitimization, and a call to weaken and destroy the Middle East's only democracy.

BDS is contrary to the search for peace since it represents a form of misguided economic warfare. It is directly in opposition to decades of agreements between Israeli and Arab Palestinians, in which both sides pledged to negotiate a peaceful settlement and committed to a two state solution. Yet in her only statement on the controversy, Brooklyn College's president, Karen L. Gould, not only declined to condemn BDS, but appeared to list it as among the "issues of importance to our world."

SPME urges those committed to peace and justice for the people of a region which has had too much war and violence to join with us in rejecting the politics of hatred that the BDS movement represents and urge Brooklyn College to ensure that none of its academic units sponsors this racist forum.

The Department of Political Science has issued a statement pointing out that BDS events have been held at other universities and colleges all over the country. That is true, but not reassuring. Almost all such events have been one-sided attempts to demonize and delegitimize Israel. Moreover, our understanding is that departmental sponsorship of such events is rare.

Therefore, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East denounces the Brooklyn College Department of Political Science's abandonment of scholarly principles. The department's faculty members have crossed a line and should be held to account in terms of CUNY faculty bylaws.

About SPME

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

The peace we seek in the Middle East is consistent both with Israel's right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders, and with the rights and legitimate aspirations of her neighbors.

Our mission is to inform, motivate, and encourage faculty to use their academic skills and disciplines on campus, in classrooms, and in academic publications to develop effective responses to the ideological distortions, including anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist slanders, that poison debate and work against peace. SPME welcomes scholars from all disciplines, faiths groups and nationalities who share our desire for peace and our commitment to academic integrity and honest debate.

Asaf Romirowsky is deputy director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Contact him at Asaf Romirowsky at SPME-replies@spme.net


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ISRAELI OFFICIAL: TURKISH TIRADES REVEAL "BRAZEN HYPOCRISY"

Posted by Daily Alert, February 05, 2013

The article below was written by Herb Keinon who has a BA in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MA in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is the author of two books: the recently released French Fries in Pita, a collection of his slice-of-life monthly 'Out There" columns; and Lone Soldiers: Israel's Defenders from Around the World. Email him at Hkeinon@gmail.com. This article appeared February 05, 2013 in the Jerusalem Postand is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Official-Turkish-tirades-reveal-brazen-hypocrisy

Israeli official says Turkey's leaders have become "laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse."

ahmet

Turkey's leaders have become the "laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse," an Israeli official said on Monday in response to yet another anti- Israel tirade by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Turkey's anti-Israel bashing continued unabated for a third-straight day on Monday, with Davutoglu thrashing Israel for its settlements policy and declaring that Israel was now a "pariah state."

The Turkish foreign minister, addressing a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, said that "Israel has now been rendered by the international community a 'pariah' status for its expanding illegal settlements."

Referring to the recent United Nations Human Rights Council report calling on Israel to evacuate all settlements, Davutoglu said, "Time and again Israel has proven that it fails to read the change happening not only around it, but also in the way its actions are perceived by the international community."

The Israeli official dismissed the Turkish foreign minister's comments as "brazen hypocrisy."

"It is rather quaint to be lectured about settlements from the representative of a country which has ethnically cleansed the northern part of Cyprus and illegally settled 200,000 Turks in that territory," he said.

The recent high-profile spate of Turkish Israel-bashing began Saturday with Davutoglu publicly chiding Syria for not responding to Israel's purported operation in Syria, and Erdogan on Sunday saying Israel has "a mentality of waging state terrorism."

"Turkey's double standard" has reached new heights, the Israeli official said of the Turkish condemnation, noting that Ankara has repeatedly carried out military action in Iraqi and Syrian territory, is involved in the continued occupation of Cyprus and is "brutally muzzling journalists who dare to displease the powers that be."

Iran, meanwhile, ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric following the alleged action in Syria, saying Israel would rue its air strikes.

"They will regret this recent aggression," Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told a news conference in Damascus a day after holding talks there with President Bashar Assad.

One Israeli official in the Prime Minister's Office responded to the threats by saying that Israel had no illusions "about Iranian hostile intentions, and they don't need an excuse to target Israel."

Jalili likened Israel's attack to previous conflicts, including the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006, all battles that he said Israel had lived to regret.

"Today, too, both the people and the government of Syria are serious regarding the issue. And also the Islamic community is supporting Syria," he said.

Jalili said Iran, in its current role as head of the Non- Aligned Movement, would work on Syria's behalf on the international stage in response to the attack.

The New York Times on Monday, citing American officials sorting through intelligence reports, said SA-17 Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and their launchers on transport trucks were hit in Wednesday's raid, as well as the country's main research center for work on chemical and biological weapons.

The center, the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, is — according to the report — a training site for engineers working on chemical and biological weapons and is part of a military complex protected by Russian anti-aircraft defense systems.

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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TAKE IRAN AT ITS WORD

Posted by Daily Alert, February 05, 2013

The article below was written by Douglas Murray who is a British writer, journalist and commentator. He was the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007 until 2011, and is currently an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society. Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commentating on issues from a neoconservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islam. He writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint, the Wall Street Journal and The Spectator. This article appeared February 04, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal and is archived at
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324445904578283680795993450

Anyone paying attention to the words and actions emanating from Tehran over the last few years should be easily convinced that anything and everything must be done to stop the Iranian regime from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Yet even now, the international community appears unwilling to declare this rogue regime an enemy, nor to do anything—even by way of sanctions or embargoes—to stop them.

Last week the Henry Jackson Society and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies brought a range of experts together in London to address this issue. We discussed Iran's human-rights nightmare, the regional implications if the regime goes nuclear—and what might be needed to stop it. It was enlightening, of course, but also profoundly depressing. How can it be, at this time and at this stage, that governments and publics are still not dealing with this issue with anything approaching appropriate seriousness?

Our growing inability to focus on any epochal concern in a Twittering age is certainly one reason. But another, which is too little dwelt upon, is the extraordinary campaign of lies, obfuscation and casuistry that certain politicians, academics and commentators have over the course of a decade mounted so strenuously.

Those with ears to hear might hear Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promise to "wipe Israel of the map" or "erase Israel from the page of time." But there remains a strange chorus who try to tell us otherwise.

khamenei

Anytime this fact is even mentioned, some columnist, professor or radical politician can be heard saying that the Iranian president meant no such thing. Sometimes you can publicly walk them through the translation, and they will shift their argument. "Well," they say, "he doesn't mean it like that."

The argument is extended until the dissembler can hold it together no longer. At which point they invariably say, "Well of course that is just rhetoric" or "That is just for internal political consumption." The latter suggests, of course, that although the Iranian leadership may not be genocidal, a vast proportion of the Iranian people are.

On occasion, for variety's sake, one is informed that in any case, Ahmadinejad is merely the president and as such is not taken seriously or has no political power. When it is pointed out that even if he had no power, the Supreme Leader certainly does, and that Ali Khamenei has said exactly the same things over many years, the game of dissembling goes on.

None of this might matter if it weren't also for the Iranian regime's actions. For a decade we have witnessed a high-profile game of evasion by the mullahs. Uranium enrichment sites have been closed to inspectors, then re-opened. Inspections have been promised, deferred, derailed and started again. One implied or explicit red line after another has been announced, broken through and subsequently redrawn.

In recent days there has been some delight at Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's hint that Iran might be open to new talks on its nuclear program. But how many times have we gone through this now? After 10 years of this game, the only real development is that the government in Iran is now far closer to its ambition of gaining a nuclear bomb. And that means that both the region and the wider international community are that much closer to the nightmare threat of nuclear armageddon.

Another point made frequently by Tehran's defenders, apologists and denialists is that the regime has never acted in a hostile manner against any other neighbors. But the merest of glances across history belies this.

So, more importantly, do recent events. Iran's arming and funding of terrorist proxies, including Hamas and Hezbollah, are not the inventions of right-wing warmongers. They are facts, and ones that the people of Lebanon and Syria are having to live and die with.

There is, of course, the unsettling fact that if Iran does go nuclear, it will not be the last of the current club to do so. Rather, it will be the first of a new nuclear club.

But the even more pressing reason to prevent an Iranian bomb, at all available and necessary costs, was illustrated by one of our guests on Wednesday. In his remarks, Rafael Bardaji, a former national security advisor to the Spanish prime minister, relayed his tale of meeting with Khamenei some years back. Summoned to breakfast while on a visit to Iran, the Spanish guests decided to ask an ice-breaking question: Within the apparently complex power structure of contemporary Iran, what was the Supreme Leader's job?

"My job," Khamenei replied, "is to set Israel on fire."

They say it. They mean it. Yet still the world refuses to take them at their word. Shame on them or shame on us?

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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THE PARALLEL REALITY OF YEHOUDA SHENHAV'S UNIVERSE SUPPORTED BY THE TAXPAYER

Posted by IAM e-mail, February 05, 2013

Yehouda Shenhav (Sociology TAU) was hired to teach sociology of organizations. Like many of activist faculty, once tenured, he switched his "research" to topics that promote his political agenda, namely the creation of a binational state. His first effort was to publish a number of articles and a book where he "proved" that Jewish immigrants from Arab speaking countries (Mizrahim) are really Arab Jews; like the Palestinians, were victimized by the Zionists and forced to adopt an identity that made them hostile to Arabs. In the parallel reality that Shenhav, a self-proclaimed critical sociologist, occupies, empirical finding indicating that the Mizrahim vehemently rejected the label of Arab Jews, do not matter. Though his work received acclaim from his paradigmatic peers, empirical reality saw a critical bloc of the Mizrahim vote for the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party, a stalwart in the Likud led coalition for more than a decade.

Shenhav's next research venture was to prove that the international and regional realities are ripe for a binational Palestinian-Jewish state. In an essay published just before the Arab Spring he "found" that the region was ripe for a post-Westphalian order, his term for a new era where sovereign states are passe. Indeed, Shenhav called for the creation of a binational state with Jewish and Palestinian cantons. Living in a parallel reality, Shenhav can ignore the recent developments, including the rise of Islamism in the wake of the Arab Spring. As the following interview makes clear, Shenhav apparently is not aware that neither the nationalist Fatah nor the Islamist Hamas are ready to embrace his post-Westphalian vision.

Under the permissive reading of academic freedom at Tel Aviv University, Shenahv, a tenured professor, can pursue "research" that catches his fancy. IAM repeatedly reported that Shenahv is one of several faculty members that parlayed their positions into virtually full-time political work. Tel Aviv University's leadership owes the taxpayers and their political representatives an explanation why such an arrangement has been tolerated for so long.

Contact IAM e-mail at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com


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GREAT STRENGTH REQUIRED

Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 05, 2013

Many things I write about are worrisome, some more so than others. What I am about to share here certainly belongs on the list of matters to be deeply concerned about. The subject is germ -- or biological -- warfare. If an enemy has a toxic gas that can be used against innocents, this is a terrible thing, but the damage can be contained.

With germ warfare, this is not the case. If germs -- bacteria, viruses -- of a highly contagious and lethal nature were to be released into a population there would be a spread that probably could not be contained and millions would be at risk.

See here an article -- Scent of 'germ' warfare" -- on this subject:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=301645

It is co-authored by three knowledgeable individuals; I have been in contact with one and have been assured of the reliability of the information they are sharing.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is not enough for you to be informed about this, however. It falls, I believe, to everyone to broadly publicize this issue and then to ask the most serious questions about what is being done to eliminate or minimize the risks.

To that end I want to advise you to contact your Senators and Congresspersons:

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

~~~~~~~~~~

Here in Israel, I have the sense that my government is on top of what is going on (see more below) and determined to do everything possible to protect Israeli citizens.

I wish for the US, quite simply, a government like this. And I wish for US citizens the level of confrontation with reality that will move them to demand responsibility from their government.

This will require a mammoth effort on the part of the citizenry. Witness this incredible video segment from Hagel's confirmation hearings, provided by Israel Matzav:

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/video-hagels-confusion.html#links

(A longer video from the Hagel confirmation hearings is below.)

~~~~~~~~~~

So, Hagel, who comes off like a clown, is confused about whether containment on Iran is Obama's policy. The answer is that on the books it is not. But we must wonder what's beneath that stated policy:

Just a couple of days ago, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed pleasure over the fact that Vice President Biden had made an offer of bi-lateral talks between the two countries.

"I am optimistic," Salehi told the German Council on Foreign Relations. "I feel this new administration is really this time seeking to at least divert from its previous traditional approach vis-à-vis my country."

Did I say great strength is required? Obama is exhibiting no strength. After Iran has announced that it would be installing more efficient centrifuges at Natanz, this is the US government's approach? Methinks Obama is modeling himself after Neville Chamberlain these days.

~~~~~~~~~~

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, on the other hand, two days ago told his Cabinet that:

"The most important mission facing a [new] government is stopping the nuclear arming of Iran.

"It is a mission which has become more complicated because Iran has equipped itself with new centrifuges which reduce the enrichment time. We cannot live with this process." (Emphasis added)

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/164871

His eyes are open and his vision is clear.

~~~~~~~~~~

That clarity of vision -- and intention to be strong -- has been demonstrated with the sorties Israel ran in Syria last week. Additional information has continued to be leaked on what happened there. It appears that there may have been three strikes and not just two. And that among the targets was a biological weapons (germ warfare) factory.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/extra-targets-hit-during-israels-strike-on-syria-western-sources-tell-time/

I heard this, and thought, Ah!!

~~~~~~~~~~

At a conference in Germany, on the same day that Netanyahu made his statement, Defense Minister Barak declared, "What happened in Syria several days ago [is] proof that when we [say] something we mean it... we say that we don't think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon."

In saying this he was acknowledging, however tacitly, Israel's role in the attack -- this was an acknowledgement that had not come earlier and is actually unusual.

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=301942

~~~~~~~~~~

At the same time, we see that the US, for all of its bravado and declarations, is doing nothing with regard to Syrian weapons -- notably WMD -- at risk of falling into the hands of terrorists. The most that can be said is that the Americans are forming a cheering gallery for Israeli actions. The words coming from the likes of Secretary of State Clinton are, at least, the right words. There is no hint whatsoever of implicit criticism of Israel. I.e., in this instance, Clinton is not Ban Ki-Moon.

See how little I've learned to be grateful for?

When (if?) we hit Iran, will the US government cheer us on then, as well?

~~~~~~~~~~

Iran, it should be noted, backed off on statements about an Israeli hit on Syria being the same as a hit on Iran. Iranian leaders have declined Assad's request that they respond to the strikes inside Syria, their major client. "Take care of your business," Assad was reportedly told.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-reportedly-refuses-assad-request-to-hit-back-at-israel/

~~~~~~~~~~

I want to backtrack here and return to the issue of accusations that Israel, in Judea and Samaria, is acting in defiance of the Fourth Geneva Convention and must withdraw immediately. There is yet one more significant piece to the puzzle, and that is, incredibly, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC).

As commentator Moshe Dann explains (emphasis added):

"The International Committee of the Red Cross does good humanitarian work around the world, but it is not just a well-meaning NGO. With a political agenda against Israel and with its unique role, it has determined the way that the international community thinks about Judea, Samaria, Gaza, eastern Jerusalem (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights.

"For several decades the ICRC has promoted through the UN and other international bodies a conceptual straitjacket: "'he Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).'

"Because the ICRC is the 'official guardian' of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) (GC IV), its interpretation is considered authoritative.

"Using its exclusive position, it turned GC IV — which was intended to ensure the protection of civilians threatened by war and other conflicts — into a political sledgehammer against Israel.

"The ICRC contrived the term OPT, promoted it in every forum and unilaterally designated what is at best a disputed area as (1) illegally occupied by Israel, (2) belonging to Palestinian Arabs and (3) an unnamed and undefined territory without a history.

"GC IV, however, is concerned with humanitarian issues, the rights of 'protected persons.' It is not mandated to designate new countries."

See the full article here:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=295871

The ICRC is the "official guardian" of the Fourth Geneva Convention precisely because it is supposed to be a humanitarian, not a political, agency, and that Convention addressed humanitarian issues. How often matters are not what they seem.

~~~~~~~~~~

For further perspective on this issue, also see Eli Hertz's "Inappropriate Use of the Fourth Geneva Convention":

http://www.mythsandfacts.org/article_view.asp?articleID=255

You'll see here that the Convention was drafted in response to Nazi occupation and aggression.

~~~~~~~~~~

We are so fortunate here in Israel! America's new Secretary of State, John Kerry, who is ever so eager to re-start the "peace process negotiations," will be visiting here some time this month.

I read that he'll be assessing the situation in order to advise the president of whether it is prudent to invest much energy in this. If he's half-way smart, he'll tell his boss to focus on Iran instead.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat has said they will not come back to the table unless we first release all PA prisoners and stop all settlement construction (including in eastern Jerusalem).

Declared Erekat, "These are not Palestinian conditions, but obligations that Israel is required to fulfill."

Nonsense. Oslo says nothing about either releasing prisoners during negotiations or refraining from building in communities in Judea and Samaria. What continues to amaze me is how they make it up as they go along. The problem is that people read their words and believe them.

~~~~~~~~~~

And then this, further, on the Hagel confirmation hearing:

http://uneditedpolitics.com/senator-ted-cruz-questioning-chuck-hagel-in-confirmation-hearing-13113/

See through the full nine minutes. No comment here is necessary.

~~~~~~~~~~

In closing, let me note that President Peres, after polling all of the parties who won seats in the Knesset in our recent election, has asked Netanyahu to form the next government. Parties representing some 80 seats in the Knesset said they wanted Netanyahu.

The procedure is very much in process but I'll say little about it now -- for so much is rumor, unsubstantiated and significantly politically motivated. Coalition negotiations are on-going: a negotiating team from Likud-Beitenu is meeting in turn with each party and working out terms under which its leaders would agree to be part of the government.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are some built-in conflicts of interest -- e.g., Shas, which is seeking the continuation of exemptions from the army for those who study Torah in yeshivas as against Lapid's Yesh Atid, which campaigned on a platform of obligatory army service for all; Yesh Atid, which is pumping for that "two state solution" as against Habayit Hayehudi, whose head, Bennett, seeks annexation of Area C. Frequently there are ways of working out compromises. Sometimes it will happen that a party says it cannot sit in a government that espouses certain policies.

The coalition is very unlikely to be a narrow one -- Netanyahu has made it clear that he wants a broad-based unity government because of what we must deal with. And so his negotiating team is going to do its best to work out those compromises.

Under ideal conditions, my very strong preference would be for a narrow, right-wing nationalist government. But I understand the prime minister's desire to have broad backing for what must be taken on internationally. This is real and it is legitimate. It will remain to be seen how stable such a coalition can be.

~~~~~~~~~~

A final observation, which is more than rumor at this point: The election has gone to the head of Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid. Now that he's garnered 19 mandates, he apparently imagines that he can call the shots, and he has made some most inappropriate comments, including the fact that he's aiming to be prime minister next time. This has surely endeared him greatly to Netanyahu, who is likely to be seeking ways to reduce Lapid's influence.

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


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GOV'T TO RECOGNIZE ILLEGAL BEDOUIN VILLAGES

Posted by UCI, February 05, 2013

The article below was written by Ilana Curiel, and Attila Somfalvi. It appeared January 27, 2013 in the YNet News and is archived at
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4337613,00.html

Proposal for regulating Bedouin settlements accepted; majority of illegal villages to be recognized, end to ownership claims; Bedouins say proposal 'uproots numerous communities'

The government approved on Sunday a set of recommendations for the regulation of Bedouin settlements in the Negev, thereby recognizing the legality of Bedouin settlments and offering monetary compensation in case they are relocated.

Sources who are familiar with the process said the proposal, which was brought forth by Minister Benny Begin, stipulated that most Bedouin towns were to be recognized as legal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressd the Bedouins' illegal encampments in various areas in the Negev, and said that regulating the issue would serve as a "historic decision" that will put an end to illegal construction in the Negev.

"Israel's previous administrations have avoided dealing with this issue, but this brave decision will allow for the continued development of the Negev, which benefits the area's entire population," he said.

unrecognized

In September 2011 the government approved the Prawer report, a NIS 1.2 billion (roughly $320,000) plan to expand existing Bedouin towns and build new ones as per the community's needs. But the plan was received with ambivalence both by the Bedouin population and by rightist opponents.

The proposal's goal was to bring about an end to Bedouins' ownership claims over Negev lands, all the while offering a compensation plan and practical solutions that would appease the Bedouins and bring an end to illegal construction.

The proposal dealt directly with ownership claims filed between 1971-1979, in the wake of attempts to regulate land settlement in the northern Negev.

bedouin

According to the Prawer report, a strict five-year timeframe is set for regulating currently settled lands, demanding that land not imparted to its owner within that period of time be transferred to state ownership.

In comparison, the current proposal recommends that every person claiming ownership be compensated with land at least half the size of the land he or she is claiming, living on or working on, on condition that the land is not currently state owned.

Blasted from left and right

Head of the Council of Unrecognized Villages, Ibrahim Al-Valkili, said: "I would prefer they amend the current proposal instead of authorizing it as is. There are many articles that we're uncomfortable with.

"Our position was that we should be partners in this process, as it deals with land, compensation and moving people from one place to another," he said.

Al-Valkili criticized the proposal and warned that it does not benefit the Bedouin residents.

"We want the conditions improved. We don't accept the outlined proposal. We're all for regulating the unrecognized villages but only in cooperation and coordination with the people living in them."

alhiran

MK Talab El-Sana, head of the Arab Democratic Party, which runs with other Arab parties on the joint ticket of the United Arab List-Ta'al, attacked the government's proposal as well, saying that "Government members are acting like thieves in the night to okay the dangerous proposal, which ousts the Bedouins from hundreds of thousands of dunams of land and uproots numerous communities."

Criticism was also sounded from the Right, which claimed that the law was being pushed through in haste.

According to a source within the rightist Regavim organization, "Even if Minister Begin is concerned that there will not be a majority for his proposal in the next government, he should respect the democratic process and not use the furor over coalition negotiations as a smoke screen to pass a law that will bind the next government to his positions."

The Prime Minister's Office said that the recommendations offered by Minister Begin were formulated a number of months earlier and their "presentation before the government was put on standby in light of the elections."

According to the PMO statement, "The prime minister decided the recommendations would be brought before the government after the election, and now, accordingly, they are being presented."

The statement added that PMO's current position was well in line with the Attorney General's directives.

Hanaan Alsana, a Bedouin rights activist from the Negev said: "The proposal lacks principles of justice, equality and human rights. We see struggles for social justice all around us, but we've set up our tents back in 1948 and demand our own social justice."

Contact UCI at voices@unitycoalitionforisrael.org


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EDUCATION FOR TERRORISM

Posted by Terrorism Information Center, February 05, 2013

Education for terrorism: Hamas increases its military and propaganda activities among Gazan youth to raise a younger generation able to continue its anti-Israeli path of terrorism and ensure Hamas control of the Gaza Strip.

gazanyouth

1. Hamas places great importance on inculcating the next generation of Gazans with its radical Islamic ideology. Its teachings particularly emphasize the so-called "liberation of Palestine" and the annihilation of Israel, the culture of jihad and "resistance" [i.e., violence and terrorism], the shaheed cult, and inculcating radical Islam and hatred of Israel. The objective of Hamas' education both formal and informal, for terrorism and hatred, is to turn Gazan children and adolescents into Hamas operatives and activists, or at least supporters, who will participate in the armed campaign against Israel and ensure the long-term control of Hamas over the Gaza Strip.

2. One of the Hamas' main methods for realizing its goals is by encouraging paramilitary and sometimes full military activities among children and adolescents. The activities are meant to prepare the youngsters both physically and ideologically for induction into the ranks of Hamas. To that end, a project for training Gazan youth was institutionalized last year under the aegis of the ministry of education of the de-facto Hamas administration. Each training camp for the youngsters lasted a week, and over the year an estimated 10,000 Gazan youths participated. The camps were in addition to the ones held by Hamas over the summer. Ismail Haniya also announced his intention to establish a military academy that would train Gazan children in military subjects, from elementary school until they received academic degrees.

3. Paramilitary and indoctrination activities for children and adolescents were held with the participation of the Hamas administration's ministries of the interior and education, the security services controlled by Hamas and the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, its military-terrorist wing. Hamas seeks full control of the educational system of the Gaza Strip exerting pressure on other existing educational systems, such as that of UNRWA, whose curricula do not always match Hamas' positions.

Military and Paramilitary Training for Gazan Youth

Winter Training Camps

4. During 2012, referred to by Hamas as "the year of Palestinian education," the Hamas ministry of education began implementing a program called Al-Futuwah ("youth" or "heroism").[1] The objective of the program was to integrate paramilitary studies into government schools. Involved in planning and implementing the program were Osama al-Muzeini, the Hamas minister of education, and Abu Obeida al-Jarrah, commander of the national security service. Colonel Muhammad Amin al-Nakhaleh (Abu Abdallah), an officer in the Hamas national security service, was appointed as the director of the youth camp project. He also serves as aide to the commander of the national security service in matters relating to logistics and technology.

5. During the program that began in September 2011, training camps were held on a weekly basis. Over a period of one year, an estimated 10,000 Gazan youths were trained in the camps. The camps used the facilities of governmental high schools (more than 35) and facilities belonging to the Hamas administration's security services. The camps were held in collaboration with the Hamas ministry of the interior, the national security service and Hamas' military-terrorist wing. The uniform-wearing youth underwent military training that included the use of live ammunition. They also attended lectures on military topics (Hamas forum website, January 25, 2013). Some of the exercises were directed by members of Hamas security services (Hadhara website, January 21, 2013) and operatives from Hamas military-terrorist wing (Hamas ministry of education website, January 29, 2013).

6. On a tour of the winter camps, Osama al-Muzeini, Hamas minister of education, said that the project's objective was "to expel the Zionist occupation from Palestine and to give students strength and respect" (Hamas forum website, January 24, 2013). Abu Obeida al-Jarrah, commander of the Hamas national security service, said that its objective was to train a generation that would serve the homeland by instilling religious and moral values.

exercises

7. On January 24, 2013, a festive graduation ceremony was held in the Al-Yarmouk compound in Gaza City. It was attended by, among others, Ismail Haniya, head of the de-facto Hamas administration, Fathi Hamad, minister of the interior, Osama al-Muzeini, minister of education, and Abu Obeida al-Jarrah, commander of the national security service. During the event the graduates put on a military display which included jumping from heights, dissembling and assembling guns and self-defense tactics (Hamas forum website, January 25, 2013). In our assessment, the presence of senior Hamas figures indicated the importance Hamas places on the project.

8. Ismail Haniya gave a speech praising the minister of education and ministry employees who had supervised and carried out the program. He also praised the curriculum which, he said, would foster a generation able to "confront the occupation to uproot it and its aggression" (Al-Aqsa TV, January 24, 2013). He said the camps would "end with victory and liberation, and would only end with praying in Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem" (Anadolu News Agency, Turkey, January 24, 2013).

9. Ismail Haniya exploited the stage to call for the establishment, next year, of a military academy to be called the "Palestine Military School." The school, he said, would be open to all ages from elementary school on and students would also be able to pursue an academic degree in military affairs there. He said the academy would educate the children and prepare them for "the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian state from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea." He also said that such a curriculum would foster a generation able "to confront the occupation to uproot it and its aggression" (Al-Aqsa TV, January 24, 2013).

10. A few days later another ceremony was held at the ministry of education, where medals were presented to all those who had taken part in the project. Osama al-Muzeini, minister of education, praised all the participants, including the ministry of the interior, the national security service and the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Abu Obeida al-Jarrah said that "these youth camps send a message to the Zionist enemy, [telling them] that they have no place in their country" (Website of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip's ministry of education, January 29, 2013).

Military Training in Hamas' Summer Camps

11. Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the winter camps, Ismail Haniya praised the military training received by the Gazan children, mentioning the summer camp program. He said the children who attended them received training from operatives of Hamas' military wing (Al-Aqsa TV, January 24, 2013).

12. In fact, Hamas' summer camps are exploited for the paramilitary training and ideological indoctrination of the youngsters. This past year they opened on June 2012 and were attended by an estimated 70,000 children. Most of the camps had as their theme the slogan "We will live with our heads held high," which was the slogan of the Palestinian terrorist operatives who went on a hunger strike in Israeli jails. According to Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, the slogan marks one of milestones in the struggle against Israel for the restoration of the so-called "Palestinians' rights," the most recent of which was the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike (Safa News Agency, June 21, 2012).

13. At the opening ceremony of the summer camps, Ismail Haniya presented the sum of $50,000 to fund the camps' activities, adding that he would give additional funding for "training the army for the liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque in the coming years." This year, unlike previous years, UNRWA did not run summer camps and all the camps were under the control of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.[2]

14. Among the variety of activities offered by the camps, emphasis was put on military and paramilitary exercises. The campers learned how to crawl on their stomachs as if under barbed wire, stood in military formation, and shot guns; sometimes the children wore uniforms. In addition to practical military training they also received indoctrination to brainwash them with the ideology of an armed struggle against Israel. They chanted slogans such as "We will live with one hand holding a pen and the other a rifle...," "One hand studies and the other fights Israel..." etc. (Filastin Al-'An, July 12, 2013).

15. Muhammad Abu Askar, a senior Hamas figure and one of the organizers of the summer camps in Jabaliya, said that the objective of the camps was to build a younger generation that knew how to hold a weapon and to inculcate the children with love for the homeland and Islam as a way of life. In that way they would eventually be part of the "Palestinian liberation army." Mustafa al-Sawaf, a Hamas-affiliated political commentator, said that the summer camps were "preparation for the day of victory" (Fajar website, June 10, 2012). Senior Hamas figures visited the summer camps and met with the children. Ismail Haniya, meeting with children in the Shati refugee camp, said that "the hour of victory is coming closer and closer." He added that the current generation would see the victory and liberation (Safa News Agency, June 12, 2012).

display

Gazan Youth Participate in Displays

16. In addition to formal military training, Gazan children also participate in informal "educational" activities. Those included rallies, military displays, ceremonies and other events of a military nature, all of which were intended to brainwash the children with hatred for Israel and the importance of the path of terrorism ("resistance" and jihad).

17. Some of the events were the following:

1) On January 17, 2013, a mock trial was held by children in the Gaza Strip. On trial were Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the IDF's Arabic spokesman. The trial was held under the auspices of the Hamas administration's ministry of youth and sport, and children played the roles of the judges, the prosecution, the accused and the witnesses. The accused were eventually sentenced to death. The "trial" was held in collaboration with the Al-Shams Media and Technology.

accused
The mock trial held in Gaza Strip under the auspices of the Hamas administration's ministry of youth and sport. Left: The three "accused." Right: The "judges" (Alresala.net website, January 17, 2013).

2) On December 8, 2012, Hamas held a mass rally in Gaza City to mark the 25th anniversary of its founding. The rally was used as a showcase for Hamas "victory narrative" for the last round of escalation and Khaled Mashaal's visit to the Gaza Strip. Among the rally participants were many children, who wore Hamas headbands and uniforms and carried [plastic] rifles, signs that the younger generation is being recruited for military activity against Israel.

3) Children also participated in the "victory" celebrations after Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012). They wore uniforms, walked on Israeli flags and watched as Israeli flags were set on fire (Qudsnet website, November 25, 2012).

Contact Terrorism Information Center at newsleter@terrorism-info.org.il


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ABOUT THE NEXT GOVERNMENT

Posted by Borntolose3, February 05, 2013

The article below was written by Caroline Glick who is the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. She blogs at http://www.carolineglick.com. This article appeared January 31, 2013 in her own blog and is archived at
http://carolineglick.com/about-the-next-government/

It is still difficult to assess how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will govern in his next government. The public has little interest in begging the Palestinians to return to negotiations. But then the Israeli public has rarely had much interest in pursuing fruitless deals with unreformed Palestinian terrorists. The only reason we continue to chase deals with them is because the US is obsessed with supporting Palestinian anti-Israel demands in the name of peace.

To a significant, if not necessarily determinative degree, whether the Palestinians will continue to be a salient issue in the coming years will be a function of events in the wider Arab world. The collapse of the Egyptian state, Syria's civil war, and the potential collapse of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan will all limit President Barack Obama's ability to press Israel to give away land to the Palestinians.

At the same time, Netanyahu's assault on his own political camp, starting with Likud and moving to Naftali Bennett and the Bayit Yehudi indicate that at a minimum, Netanyahu will do nothing to advance Israel's position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. He is unlikely to permit significant new construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria or significant Jewish building in Jerusalem. He is unlikely to undertake any democratic reforms in the Justice Ministry or the court system. He is unlikely to take any steps to boost Israel's rights in Judea and Samaria or to undermine the terrorist-led Palestinian Authority. Where the next government is likely to move ahead are in two other significant, if under-discussed areas: economic reform, and religious reform.

This weekend Israel reportedly conducted its first successful test pumping of natural gas from the offshore Leviathan natural gas field. In the next four years, Israel will become a major natural gas exporter and will make great strides in developing its recently discovered shale oil deposits. Israel's emergence as an energy exporter will have a transformational impact on Israel's economic independence and long-term viability.

Moreover, as the surrounding Arab world becomes more unstable, violent and fanatical, Israel's economic independence and vitality will emerge as our most important diplomatic asset and a hugely important domestic trump card. Under the economic leadership of Netanyahu, Lapid and Bennett, as Israel stands at the cusp of this economic breakthrough, it will be led by its most powerful, and — at least in the cases of Netanyahu and Bennett — ideologically committed champions of free market economics.

Lapid's emergence as the leader of the second largest party will lead to one of two possibilities — Shas, the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox party will join the coalition and have no power, or it will be kept outside the coalition and have no power. Either way, both in terms of Israel's ability to capitalize on its economic opportunities, and in terms of its ability to transform the country's religious institutions, Shas's demotion from political kingmaker to political deadweight is a major and possibly transformative development.

As far as religious reform is concerned, one of the sources of social friction that has weakened Israeli society over the past few decades is perception shared by most Israelis that the ultra-Orthodox community is comprised of freeloaders. The fact that most ultra-Orthodox men do not serve in the IDF, while receiving government handouts to study in state-funded yeshivot is one source of social friction. Another source of friction is that while its members do not participate in either the common burden of national defense or in the economic life of the country, due to Israel's proportional electoral system, the ultra-Orthodox minority has managed to maintain control over the state religious institutions and so dictate the (sour) relationship between religion and society in Israel

Both Bennett and Lapid ran on platforms of universal male conscription or national service and ending the ultra-Orthodox community's monopoly on control over the state rabbinate. A Netanyahu-Lapid-Bennett government could enact major reforms in the religious establishment that would lead to a national-religious takeover of the rabbinic courts and the chief rabbinate of the country. Such a government could also require the ultra-Orthodox to serve in the IDF, and enable the community's members to integrate into the economic life of the country.

All of these steps would have a salutary, indeed, revolutionary impact on the religious life of the country. National religious rabbis would do what the ultra-Orthodox rabbis have failed to do, or stubbornly refused to do. They would make Judaism part of the life blood of the country in a way that is relevant to the lives of the vast majority of Israelis and pave the way for Israel's further emergence as the spiritual center of world Jewry. The ripple effects of such a reform would extend to nearly every corner of Israel, and indeed, to nearly every corner of the Jewish world.

We will learn a great deal about Netanyahu's plans to contend with Iran's nuclear project, the hostile Obama administration, the rapidly expanding and metastasizing campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state in the West, and the rise of genocidal anti-Semitic regimes in neighboring countries through his choice of Defense Minister. After the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister will be the most important member of the government, on nearly every level and every sphere of national endeavor. He has two outstanding candidates for the position inside Likud — Moshe Ya'alon, and Yuval Steinitz. If he chooses either of these men, then we can be relatively confident that Israel will rise to the challenges we face. If he chooses anyone else, then the country's capacity to contend successfully with these threats will be more dubious.

But here too, external events may be more important than the identity of Israel's national leaders. The gravitational impact of the Islamic wave engulfing the Arab world and Israel's emergence as an independent economic force will limit the ability of any one person to determine the course of events based on his own political preferences.

We are still at the earliest stages of the formation of the next governing coalition. The reports just this week about Israeli Air Force strikes on convoys of anti-aircraft missiles being transferred from Syria to Hezbollah and fears that Syria's chemical weapons will imminently be controlled by al Qaeda or Hezbollah; the still unconfirmed reports about an Israeli attack on Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Fordo; and the mass riots in Egypt particularly in the strategically vital cities of Port Said and Suez all make clear that regardless of the plans of the next government, and the intentions of the Obama administration, many of the actions of the next government will be dictated by forces beyond the control of the Israeli electorate and the preferences of our leaders.

Contact Borntolose3 at borntolose@charter.net


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THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT HAGEL, THE WORSE WE FIND HIM

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 05, 2013

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) does its homework. It has been researching the Chuck Hagel nomination, but this time describes what came out of his confirmation hearings. The more we learn about Hagel, the worse we find him.

When Al-Jazeera interviewed him in 2009, he was asked whether the US. Was "the world's bully" and weren't Palestinian Arabs the victims of Israeli war crimes. He unqualifiedly agreed with his questioners.

In 2006, his speech accused Israel of having committed a "sickening slaughter" that year, when it invaded Lebanon after Hizbullah kidnapped Israeli soldiers had had fired rockets into Israel.

At the confirmation hearing, Hagel tried to deny having heard the questioner about the U.S., though his answer makes clear he did. He contradicted his denial by claiming he meant something else in his answer. He kept evading the questions.

Gov. Hagel Hagel has " taught a course at Georgetown University with a syllabus that includes numerous harshly anti-U.S. and anti-Israel writers, including Parag Khanna's How To Run The World, which accuses Israel and America of violating the laws of war."

ZOA concludes that such a Defense Secretary would not property keep the U.S. strong nor help allies such as Israel. He's a terrible candidate (ZOA press release, 1/31/13).

Bret Stephens On Hagel

When nominated, Hagel was said to understands the military, as if being in the lower ranks is good training for being Defense Secretary. He also was called a courageous truth-teller whose frankness we need. His antisemitic remarks about the Jewish lobby controlling Congress was defended [by another antisemitic argument] as being what most Members of Congress know.

The hearings revealed his lack of courage, as he caved in about his views on Israel, Iran, nuclear disarmament, and Pentagon overspending. Either he spoke foolishly before, or dishonestly at, the hearings. He also appeared confused about U.S. policy on Iran and about the law on the military budget, both the top Pentagon problems awaiting the next Defense Secretary.

But that doesn't matter. The man touted as the great hope of properly directing the Defense Dept. denies his post is a policy-making one. Not Secretary of Defense? So now his defenders, who told us he'd be a great leader, say he'd make a good follower.

Mr. Stephens imagines how our enemies must be pleased with the choice of Hagel. If Hagel had a sense of decency, he'd withdraw his nomination. And if the Republicans were serious about national security, they would block it (Wall St. J., 2/5/13).

The New York Times editors tried to defend Hagel by accusing GOP Senators of harassing him. But I read critical comments by Democrats and found GOP Senators' persistence justified by Hagel's outrageous earlier statements and current evasiveness. The Timesdefended him with the antisemitic argument that the critical questioning proves the power of the Israel lobby. As you saw above, he was questioned on several issues, not just ob Israel. The questions and answers prove Hagel would be a national security risk.

Will the Senate Democrats, whose supporters keep accusing Republicans in Congress of being overly partisan, approve an anti-American as Defense Secretary? When will they realize that the person who nominated him doesn't want a strong America, doesn't want a strong Defense Secretary, just wants a leftist called a Republican, to enervate, not energize, our military?

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


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INAPPROPRIATE USE OF THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION

Posted by Ted Belman, February 06, 2013

The article below was written by Eli E. Hertz who is president of Myths and Facts, Inc. The organization's objective is to provide policymakers, national leadership, the media and the public-at-large with information and viewpoints that are founded on factual and reliable content. Contact him at today@mythsandfacts.org and visit the website at http://www.mythsandfacts.com. This article was submitted February 04, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.com/archives/52693#more-52693

The language of Article 49 was crafted in the wake of World War II and the Nazi occupation — an occupation that led to a war of aggression in which Nazi Germany attacked its neighbors with impunity, committing a host of atrocities against civilian populations, including deportation and displacement of local populations in occupied Europe. Millions were sent to forced labor camps and those of particular ethnic origin, most notably the Jews, were sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. The drafters of Article 49 were concerned with preventing future genocide against humanity.

Critics and enemies of Israel, including members of the UN and organs such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have come to use the Geneva Convention as a weapon against Israel, even when statements by authoritative analysts, scholars and drafters of the document contradict everything said by those who distort history for politically motivated reasons.

It is common knowledge that from its birth, Israel customarily follows international humanitarian law without being told or forced to do so by outside authorities.

"Occupied Territory"

The term "occupied territory," which appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention, originated as a result of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Though it has become common parlance to describe the West Bank and Gaza as "occupied territories," there is no legal basis for using this term in connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, categorically rejected the use of the term "occupied territory" to describe the territories controlled by Israel on the following counts:

(1) Article 49 relates to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable because the West Bank did not and does not belong to any other state.

(2) The drafting history of Article 49 [Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] — that is, preventing "genocidal objectives" must be taken into account. Those conditions do not exist in Israel's case.

(3) Settlement of Jews in the West Bank is voluntary and does not displace local inhabitants. Moreover, Stone asserted: that "no serious dilution (much less extinction) of native populations" [exits]; rather "a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Palestinian] inhabitants since 1967 [has occurred]."

Deportation and Forced Transfer

Arab opposition to Jewish settlements is based on the last paragraph of Article 49. The "Occupying Power" may not "Deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

One can hardly believe this baseless ICJ assertion that Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East used "deportation" and "forced transfer" of its own population into "occupied territories."

Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention applies only to conflicts that "arise between two or more high Contracting Parties," which is not the case at hand, as Israel is the only High Contracting Party (or state) in this conflict, and Jordan never was. Thus, the Fourth Geneva Convention is inapplicable!

Professor Julius Stone, one of the twentieth century leading authorities on the Law of Nations touches on the applicability of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, writing on the subject in 1980:

"That because of the ex iniuria principle [unjust acts cannot create law], Jordan never had nor now has any legal title in the West Bank, nor does any other state even claim such title. Article 49 seems thus simply not applicable. Even if it were, it may be added that the facts of recent voluntary settlements seem not to be caught by the intent of Article 49 which is rather directed at the forced transfer of the belligerent's inhabitants to the occupied territory, or the displacement of the local inhabitants, for other than security reasons.

Support to Stone's assertion can be found in Sir Professor Elihu Lauterpacht's writing in 1968:

"Thus Jordan's occupation of the Old City -and indeed of the whole of the area west of the Jordan river-entirely lacked legal justification; and being defective in this way could not form any basis for Jordan validly to fill the sovereignty vacuum in the Old City [and whole of the area west of the Jordan River]."

Professor Eugene Rostow, past Dean of Yale Law School, U.S. under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and a key draftee of UN Resolution 242, concluded that the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to Israel's legal position and notes:

"The opposition to Jewish settlements in the West Bank also relied on a legal argument — that such settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the occupying power from transferring its own citizens into the occupied territories. How that Convention could apply to Jews who already had a legal right, protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, to live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was never explained."

It seems that the International Court of Justice never explained it either.

Article 80 of the United Nations Charter

The Mandates of the League of Nations have a special status in international law. They are considered to be trusts, indeed 'sacred trusts.' A trust does not end because the trustee dies [or] resigns.

UN Article 80 was specifically created in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 to protect the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine under the mandate against erosion in a world of ambitious states. Jews legal rights of settlements survived the British withdrawal in 1948.

The International Court of Justice [ICJ], Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [ICC), and the Fourth Geneva Convention lack the authority to affect ownership of the Territories of Judea and Samaria known also as the West Bank.

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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ANDREW BOSTOM CHALLENGES BERNARD LEWIS

Posted by Ted Belman, February 06, 2013

The article below was written by Andrew G. Bostom who is the author of the highly acclaimed The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Renal Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital, the major teaching affiliate of Brown University Medical School. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the Washington Times, National Review Online, Revue Politique, FrontPage Magazine.com, American Thinker, and other print and online publications. This article appeared February 03, 2013 in the PJ Media and is archived at
http://pjmedia.com/blog/muhammad-morsis-islamic-jew-hatred-bernard-lewis-islamic-negationism/?singlepage=true

A month has passed since the Middle East Media Research Institute posted a 2010 video interview of Muslim Brotherhood leader, and now Egyptian president, Muhammad Morsi spewing Antisemitic vitriol. Morsi's comments included a characterization of today's Zionists — plainly Jews in his parlance — as "descendants of apes and pigs" — a specific invocation of Koran 5:60, which he had repeated, elsewhere, in print interviews, and commentaries.

That this dehumanizing Koranic depiction was in reference to Jews has been validated by the most authoritative classical and modern exegeses* ("tafsir," or commentaries) on the Koran, the words of Muhammad himself (as recorded in the sira, or pious Muslim biographies of Islam's prophet), as well as a large corpus of Islamic theological writings which demonstrate the motif's application by Muslims over a nearly 1400-year continuum.

Yet to this day, thousands of reports and opinion pieces later (search "Morsi" + "apes and pigs" using Google.com to estimate the vast output), only a handful have noted this irrefragable link to a Koranic verse (i.e., 5:60) declaring the Jews to be apes and pigs. The apotheosis of this negationist trend was captured in a January 27, 2013 Times of Israel interview of Charles Small, head of the itinerant Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). Small piously proclaimed that ISGAP was uniquely committed to addressing what was framed as "Islamic" Antisemitism, because,

There's a reluctance among scholars to open up this subject [i.e., "Islamic" Antisemitism]. This subject is dangerous, embarrassing. It touches on various political interests in international relations that people don't really want to engage with.

However, also ignoring Morsi's repetition of the Koran 5:60 "apes and pigs" reference, Small made this pathognomonic assertion, "The danger does not come from Islam itself."

What explains the almost uniform, egregious omission of Morsi's Koranic reference, and Small's broader see-no-Islam in "Islamic" Antisemitism mindset, displayed even by politically centrist or conservative Western media outlets, and the centrist or conservative "Middle East experts" opining for them? I argue that such willful blindness is rooted in the misrepresentation of Islamic Jew-hatred — indeed its frank denial as a coherent doctrine — by one of the leading contemporary scholars of Islam, turned late-blooming, ubiquitous public intellectual, whose limited, dogmatic investigation of the subject has smothered all such desperately required discussion. That scholar is Bernard Lewis.

What explains the almost uniform, egregious omission of Morsi's Koranic reference, and Small's broader see-no-Islam in "Islamic" Antisemitism mindset, displayed even by politically centrist or conservative Western media outlets, and the centrist or conservative "Middle East experts" opining for them? I argue that such willful blindness is rooted in the misrepresentation of Islamic Jew-hatred — indeed its frank denial as a coherent doctrine — by one of the leading contemporary scholars of Islam, turned late-blooming, ubiquitous public intellectual, whose limited, dogmatic investigation of the subject has smothered all such desperately required discussion. That scholar is Bernard Lewis.

Accrued over a distinguished career of more than six decades of serious scholarship, Bernard Lewis clearly possesses an enormous fund of knowledge regarding certain aspects of classical Islamic civilization, as well as valuable insights on the early evolution of modern Turkey from the dismantled Ottoman Empire. A gifted linguist, non-fiction prose writer, and teacher, Lewis shares his understanding of Muslim societies in both written and oral presentations, with singular economy, eloquence, and wit. These are extraordinary attributes for which Lewis richly deserves the accolades lavished upon him.

But as I will demonstrate, Lewis' remarkable contributions are diminished by yawning gaps in his expressed understanding of Islamic Jew-hatred, and the overall condition of non-Muslims vanquished by jihad, and living as so-called "dhimmis," under the restrictive and humiliating mandates of the Sharia. Ultimately, Lewis takes the rather dogmatic (and apologetic) positions that Islam is devoid of theological Antisemitism, and dhimmitude has never existed as a Sharia-based Islamic institution. Lewis's views on Islamic Jew-hatred and (for Jews, the conjoined institution of) dhimmitude are doctrinally and historically untenable, as the evidence I adduce will make clear. Moreover, Lewis's apologetic tendencies must have been attractive to the Muslim Brotherhood/Saudi Wahhabi front Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, and its pseudo-academic Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs(JMMA), which has been an Abedin family enterprise since 1979. Regardless of whether Lewis was a willing dupe, or not, he served on the editorial board of the JMMA for some 14-years, from 1996 to 2010, despite the fact this "academic" journal was, and remains, a thinly veiled mouthpiece for Sharia supremacism. These critical limitations of his scholarship and judgment have implications which must also be recognized by all those for whom Lewis remains an iconic source of information, and advice, especially policy advice.

The late Orientalist Maxime Rodinson (d. 2004), a contemporary of Bernard Lewis, warned forty years ago of misguided modern scholarship effectively "sanctifying" Islam:

Understanding has given away to apologetics pure and simple.

Lewis's bowdlerized 1974 summary portrayal of the system of governance imposed upon those indigenous non-Muslims conquered by jihad is a distressing, ahistorical example of this apologetic genre.

In his seminal The Laws of Islamic Governance, al-Mawardi (d. 1058), a renowned jurist of Baghdad, examined the regulations pertaining to the lands and infidel populations subjugated by jihad. This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude. The native infidel "dhimmi" (which derives from both the word for "pact," and also "guilt" — guilty of religious errors) population had to recognize Islamic ownership of their land, submit to Islamic law, and accept payment of the Koranic poll tax (jizya), based on Koran 9:29. Al- Mawardi notes that "The enemy makes a payment in return for peace and reconciliation." He then distinguishes two cases: (I) Payment is made immediately and is treated like booty, "it does, not however, prevent a jihad being carried out against them in the future." (II). Payment is made yearly and will "constitute an ongoing tribute by which their security is established." Reconciliation and security last as long as the payment is made. If the payment ceases, then the jihad resumes. A treaty of reconciliation may be renewable, but must not exceed 10 years. This same basic formulation was reiterated during a January 8, 1998 interview by Yusuf al-Qaradawi confirming how jihad continues to regulate the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims to this day.

The "contract of the jizya", or "dhimma" encompassed other obligatory and recommended obligations for the conquered non-Muslim "dhimmi" peoples. Ibn Kathir's important 14th century Koranic commentary describes the essence of the Koran's mandate in verse 9:29 for submissive tribute, or "jizya," under the heading, "Paying Jizya is a Sign of Kufr [unbelief] and Disgrace." He elaborates, as follows:

Allah said, "until they pay the Jizya", if they do not choose to embrace Islam, 'with willing submission', in defeat and subservience, "and feel themselves subdued", disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimma or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced, and humiliated. Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, "Do not initiate the Salam to the Jews and the Christians, and if you meet them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley". This is why the Leader of the faithful 'Umar b. Al-Khattab [d. 644; the second "Rightly Guided" Caliph], may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that ensured their continued humiliation, degradation, and disgrace.

Collectively, these "obligations" formed the discriminatory system of dhimmitude imposed upon non-Muslims — Jews, Christians, as well as Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists — subjugated by jihad. Some of the more salient features of dhimmitude include: the prohibition of arms for the vanquished dhimmis, and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches, synagogues, and temples; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; a requirement that Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims, including Zoroastrians and Hindus, wear special clothes; and the overall humiliation and abasement of non-Muslims. It is important to note that these regulations and attitudes were institutionalized as permanent features of the sacred Islamic law, or Sharia. The writings of the much lionized Sufi theologian and jurist al-Ghazali (d. 1111) highlight how the institution of dhimmitude was simply a normative, and prominent feature of the Sharia:

...the dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle...Jews, Christians, and Majians [Zoroastrians] must pay the jizya [poll tax on non-Muslims]...on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear [i.e., the mandible]... They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells...their houses may not be higher than the Muslim's, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddler-work] is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmis] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public] baths...[dhimmis] must hold their tongue.

The practical consequences of such a discriminatory system were summarized in A.S. Tritton's 1930 The Caliphs and their Non-Muslim Subjects, a pioneering treatise on the status of the dhimmis:

...[C]aliphs destroyed churches to obtain materials for their buildings, and the mob was always ready to pillage churches and monasteries...dhimmis...always lived on sufferance, exposed to the caprices of the ruler and the passions of the mob...in later times..[t]hey were much more liable to suffer from the violence of the crowd, and the popular fanaticism was accompanied by an increasing strictness among the educated. The spiritual isolation of Islam was accomplished. The world was divided into two classes, Muslims and others, and only Islam counted...Indeed the general feeling was that the leavings of the Muslims were good enough for the dhimmis.

Yet over four decades after Tritton published this apt characterization, here is what Bernard Lewis opined on the subject (in 1974):

The dhimma on the whole worked well. [emphasis added] The non-Muslims managed to thrive under Muslim rule, and even to make significant contributions to Islamic civilization. The restrictions were not onerous, and were usually less severe in practice than in theory. As long as the non-Muslim communities accepted and conformed to the status of tolerated subordination assigned to them, they were not troubled.

The assessments of two other highly esteemed Western scholars — Professors Ann Lambton and S.D. Goitein — who were Lewis's contemporaries (and colleagues), make plain that his flimsy apologetic on "the dhimma" does not represent a consensus viewpoint.

From 1972-78, the late Ann Lambton headed the Near and Middle East department, while contributing articles and analyses for The Cambridge History of Islam, which she co-edited with Bernard Lewis. Professor Lambton and Bernard Lewis were also both protégés of the famous School of Oriental and Asiatic Studies Islamologist, Sir Hamilton Gibb. Lambton's obituarist, Burzine K. Waghmar, noted (on August 1, 2008),

Lambton was unrivalled in the breadth of her scholarship, covering Persian grammar and dialectology; medieval and early modern Islamic political thought; Seljuq, Mongol, Safavid, Qajar and Pahlavi administration; tribal and local history; and land tenure and agriculture. Her association with SOAS (School of Oriental and Asiatic Studies) in London, which lasted from her time as an undergraduate in 1930 until her death as Professor Emerita, aged 96, was one of the longest and most illustrious, and Lambton became acknowledged as the dean of Persian studies in the West. Without hyperbole, an era has passed in Middle Eastern studies.

Ann Lambton, wrote the following on the dhimmis, published in 1981:

As individuals, the dhimmis possessed no rights. Citizenship was limited to Muslims; and because of the superior status of the Muslim, certain juristic restrictions were imposed on the dhimmi. The evidence of a dhimmi was not accepted in a law court; a Muslim could not inherit from a dhimmi nor a dhimmi from a Muslim; a Muslim could marry a dhimmi woman, but a dhimmi could not marry a Muslim woman; at the frontier a dhimmi merchant paid double the rate of duty on merchandise paid by a Muslim, but only half the rate paid by a harbi; and the blood-wit paid for a dhimmi was, except according to the Hanafis, only half or two-thirds that paid for a Muslims. No dhimmi was permitted to change his faith except for Islam...

Various social restrictions were imposed upon the dhimmis such as restrictions of dress...Dhimmis were also forbidden to ride horses...and, according to Abu Hanifa valuable mules. The reason for this prohibition was connected with the fact that dhimmis were forbidden to bear arms: the horse was regarded as a 'fighter for the faith,' and received two shares in the booty if it were of Arab stock whereas its rider received one. Dhimmis were to yield the way to Muslims. They were also forbidden to mark their houses by distinctive signs or to build them higher than those of Muslims. They were not to build new churches, synagogues, or hermitages and not to scandalize Muslims by openly performing their worship or following their distinctive customs such as drinking wine...

The humiliating regulations to which [dhimmis] were subject as regards their dress and conduct in public were not, however, nearly so serious as their moral subjection, the imposition of the poll tax, and their legal disabilities. They were, in general, made to feel that they were beyond the pale. Partly as a result of this, the Christian communities dwindled in number, vitality, and morality...The degradation and demoralization of the [dhimmis] had dire consequences for the Islamic community and reacted unfavorably on Islamic political and social life. [emphasis added]

Shlomo Dov [S.D.] Goitein (d. 1985), was a historian of Muslim-Jewish relations, whose seminal research findings were widely published, most notably in the monumental five-volume work, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (1967-1993). Goitein was Professor Emeritus of the Hebrew University, scholar at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a colleague of Lewis. The New York Times obituary for Professor Goitein (published on February 10, 1985) noted, appositely, that his renowned (and prolific) writings on Islamic culture, and Muslim-Jewish relations, were "...standard works for scholars in both fields." Here is what Goitein wrote on the subject of non-Muslim dhimmis under Muslim rule, i.e., dhimmitude, circa 1970:

...a great humanist and contemporary of the French Revolution, Wilhelm von Humboldt, defined as the best state one which is least felt and restricts itself to one task only: protection, protection against attack from outside and oppression from within...in general, taxation [by the Muslim government] was merciless, and a very large section of the population must have lived permanently at the starvation level. From many Geniza letters one gets the impression that the poor were concerned more with getting money for the payment of their taxes than for food and clothing, for failure of payment usually induced cruel punishment... the Muslim state was quite the opposite of the ideals propagated by Wilhelm von Humboldt or the principles embedded in the constitution of the United States. An Islamic state was part of or coincided with dar al-Islam, the House of Islam. Its treasury was mal al-muslumin, the money of the Muslims. Christians and Jews were not citizens of the state, not even second class citizens. They were outsiders under the protection of the Muslim state, a status characterized by the term dhimma, for which protection they had to pay a poll tax specific to them. They were also exposed to a great number of discriminatory and humiliating laws...As it lies in the very nature of such restrictions, soon additional humiliations were added, and before the second century of Islam was out, a complete body of legislation in this matter was in existence...In times and places in which they became too oppressive they lead to the dwindling or even complete extinction of the minorities. [emphasis added]

Lewis's conception of Islam's doctrinal Antisemitism, and its resultant historical treatment of Jews, is a sham castle which rests on two false pillars. These glib affirmations, which amount to nothing less than sheer denial, are illustrated below:

[1984] In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is non-theological. It is not related to any specific Islamic doctrine, nor to any specific circumstance in Islamic history. For Muslims it is not part of the birth-pangs of their religion, as it is for Christians.

[2006] "dhimmi"-tude [derisively hyphenated] subservience and persecution and ill treatment of Jews... [is a] myth.

There is voluminous evidence from Islam's foundational texts of theological Jew hatred: virulently Antisemitic Koranic verses whose virulence is only amplified by the greatest classical and modern Muslim Koranic commentaries (by Tabari [d. 923], Zamakshari [d. 1143], Baydawi [d. ~1316], Ibn Kathir [d.1373], and Suyuti [d. 1505], to Qutb [d. 1966] and Mawdudi [d.1979]), the six canonical hadith collections, and the most respected sira (pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad, by Ibn Ishaq [d. 761 ]/Ibn Hisham [d. 813], Ibn Sa'd [d. 835 ], Waqidi [d. 822], and Tabari). The Antisemitic motifs in these texts have been carefully elucidated by scholarship that dates back to Hartwig Hirschfeld's mid-1880s analysis of the sira and Georges Vajda's 1937 study of the hadith, complemented in the past two decades by Haggai Ben Shammai's 1988 examination of the major Antisemitic verses and themes in the Koran and Koran exegesis, and Saul S. Friedman's broad, straightforward enumeration of Koranic Antisemitism in 1989. Moshe Perlmann, a pre-eminent scholar of Islam's ancient anti-Jewish polemical literature, made this summary observation in 1964:

The Koran, of course became a mine of anti-Jewish passages. The hadith did not lag behind. Popular preachers used and embellished such material.

Notwithstanding Bernard Lewis's hollow claims, salient examples of Jew-hatred illustrating Perlmann's remarkably compendious assessment of these foundational Islamic sources, and their tragic application across space and time, through the present, are summarized in the discussion that follows.

A front page New York Times story published Saturday January 10, 2009, included extracts from the Friday sermon (of the day before) at Al Azhar mosque pronounced by Egyptian-government appointed cleric Sheik Eid Abdel Hamid Youssef. Referencing well-established Antisemitic motifs from the Koran (citations provided, below), Sheikh Youssef intoned,

Muslim brothers, God has inflicted the Muslim nation with a people whom God has become angry at [Koran 1:7] and whom he cursed [Koran 5:78] so he made monkeys and pigs [Koran 5:60] out of them. They killed prophets and messengers [Koran 2:61 / 3:112] and sowed corruption on Earth. [Koran 5:33 / 5:64] They are the most evil on Earth. [5:62 /63]

The crux of all these allegations is a central antisemitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah. It should be noted that Koran 3:112 is featured before the pre-amble to Hamas' foundational Covenant. This central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been "...cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son" (5:78). Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith, "He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: '...curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary'." The related verse, 5:64, accuses the Jews of being "spreaders of war and corruption," — a sort of ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — invoked not only by Hamas and Hezbollah leaders, but "moderate" Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who cited Koran 5:64 during a January 2007 speech which urged Palestinian Muslims to end their internecine strife, and "aim their rifles at Israel."

Indeed the Koran's overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. The Jews' ultimate sin and punishment are made clear: they are the devil's minions (4:60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam — the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113) — they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and swine (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19).

The centrality of the Jews' permanent "abasement and humiliation," and being "laden with God's anger" in the corpus of Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61/3:112, is clear. By nature deceitful and treacherous, the Jews rejected Allah's signs and prophets, including Isa, the Muslim Jesus.

Ikhwanonline.com from November 21, 2004 quoted Muhammad Morsi stating,

...it is confirmed by the Quran that Jews are the most hostile of men to Muslims. The Almighty says: "Certainly you will find the most hostile to those who believe are the Jews and those who are polytheists." [Koran 5: 82] The verse confirms that Jews are the most hostile enemies of the Muslims..

Classical Koranic commentators such as Tabari (d. 923), Zamakshari (d. 1143), Baydawi (d. 1316), and Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), when discussing Koran 5:82, which includes the statement ("Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews..", concur on the unique animus of the Jews towards the Muslims, which is repeatedly linked to the curse of Koran 2:61/3:112. For example, in his commentary on 5:82, Tabari writes,

In my opinion, [the Christians] are not like the Jews who always scheme in order to murder the emissaries and the prophets, and who oppose God in his positive and negative commandments, and who corrupt His scripture which He revealed in His books.

Tabari's classical interpretations of Koran 5:82 and 2:61, as well as his discussion of the related verse 9:29 mandating the Jews payment of the jizya (Koranic poll-tax), represent both Antisemitic and more general anti-dhimmi views that became, and remain, intrinsic to Islam to this day. Here is Tabari's discussion of 2:61 and its relationship to verse 9:29, which emphasizes the purposely debasing nature of the Koranic poll tax:

..."abasement and poverty were imposed and laid down upon them", as when someone says "the imam imposed the poll tax (jizya)on free non-Muslim subjects", or "The man imposed land tax on his slave", meaning thereby that he obliged him [to pay ] it, or, "The commander imposed a sortie on his troops", meaning he made it their duty....God commanded His believing servants not to give them [i.e., the non-Muslim people of the scripture] security — as long as they continued to disbelieve in Him and his Messenger — unless they paid the poll tax to them; God said: "Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practice not the religion of truth [Islam], being of those who have been given the Book [Bible] — until they pay the poll tax, being humble" (Koran 9:29)..

The dhimmis [non-Muslim tributary's] posture during the collection of the jizya- "[should be lowering themselves] by walking on their hands, ...reluctantly

... His words "and abasement and poverty were imposed upon them", 'These are the Jews of the Children of Israel'...'Are they the Copts of Egypt?'..."What have the Copts of Egypt to do with this? No, by God, they are not; but they are the Jews, the Children of Israel....By "and slain the prophets unrightfully" He means that they used to kill the Messengers of God without God's leave, denying their messages and rejecting their prophethood.

The Koranic curse (verses 2:61/3:112) upon the Jews for (primarily) rejecting, even slaying Allah's prophets, including Isa/Jesus (or at least his "body double" 4:157-4:158), is updated with perfect archetypal logic in the canonical hadith: following the Muslims' initial conquest of the Jewish farming oasis of Khaybar, one of the vanquished Jewesses reportedly served Muhammad poisoned mutton (or goat), which resulted, ultimately, in his protracted, agonizing death. And Ibn Saad's sira account (i.e., one of the important early pious Muslim biographies of Muhammad) maintains that Muhammad's poisoning resulted from a well-coordinated Jewish conspiracy.

The contemporary Iranian theocracy's state-sanctioned Jew hatred employs this motif as part of its malevolent indoctrination of young adult candidates for national teacher training programs. Affirming as objective, factual history the hadith account (for eg., Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786) of Muhammad's supposed poisoning by a Jewish woman from ancient Khaybar, Professor Eliz Sanasarian notes,

...the subject became one of the questions in the ideological test for the Teachers' Training College where students were given a multiple-choice question in order to identify the instigator of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad, the "correct" answer being "a Jewess. "

It is worth recounting — as depicted in the Muslim sources — the events that antedated Muhammad's reputed poisoning at Khaybar.

Muhammad's failures or incomplete successes were consistently recompensed by murderous attacks on the Jews. The Muslim prophet-warrior developed a penchant for assassinating individual Jews, and destroying Jewish communities — by expropriation and expulsion (Banu Quaynuqa and B. Nadir), or massacring their men, and enslaving their women and children (Banu Qurayza). Just before subduing the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza and orchestrating the mass execution of their adult males, Muhammad invoked perhaps the most striking Koranic motif for the Jews debasement — he addressed these Jews, with hateful disparagement, as "You brothers of apes." Subsequently, in the case of the Khaybar Jews, Muhammad had the male leadership killed, and plundered their riches. The terrorized Khaybar survivors — industrious Jewish farmers — became prototype subjugated dhimmis whose productivity was extracted by the Muslims as a form of permanent booty. (And according to the Muslim sources, even this tenuous vassalage was arbitrarily terminated within a decade of Muhammad's death when Caliph Umar expelled the Jews of Khaybar.)

Thus Maimonides (d. 1203), the renowned Talmudist, philosopher, astronomer, and physician, as noted by historian Salo Baron, emphasizes the bellicose "madness" of Muhammad — Maimonides refers to Muhammad as "Meshugga" — and his quest for political control. Muhammad's mindset, and the actions it engendered, had immediate, and long term tragic consequences for Jews — from his massacring up to 24,000 Jews, to their chronic oppression — as described in the Islamic sources, by Muslims themselves.

Muhammad's brutal conquest and subjugation of the Medinan and Khaybar Jews, and their subsequent expulsion by one of his companions, the (second) "Rightly Guided" Caliph Umar, epitomize permanent, archetypal behavior patterns Islamic Law deemed appropriate to Muslim interactions with Jews. George Vajda's seminal analysis of the anti-Jewish motifs in the hadith remains the definitive work on this subject. Vajda concluded that according to the hadith stubborn malevolence is the Jews defining worldly characteristic: rejecting Muhammad and refusing to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy and even selfish personal interest, lead them to acts of treachery, in keeping with their inveterate nature: "...sorcery, poisoning, assassination held no scruples for them." These archetypes sanction Muslim hatred towards the Jews, and the admonition to at best, "subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination," as dhimmis, treated "with contempt," under certain "humiliating arrangements."

Lastly, a profound anti-Jewish motif occurring after the events recorded in the hadith and sira, put forth in early Muslim historiography (for example, by Tabari), is most assuredly a part of "the birth pangs" of Islam: the story of Abd Allah b. Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and founder of the heterodox Shi'ite sect. He is held responsible — identified as a Jew — for promoting the Shi'ite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam's "political innocence", culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian strife.

Two particularly humiliating "vocations" that were imposed upon Jews by their Muslim overlords in Yemen, and Morocco — where Jews formed the only substantive non-Muslim dhimmi populations — merit elaboration.

Moroccan Jews were confined to ghettos in the major cities, such as Fez (since the 13th century) called mellah(s) (salty earth) which derives from the fact it was here that they were forced to salt the decapitated heads of executed rebels for public exposition. This brutally imposed humiliating practice — which could be enforced even on the Jewish Sabbath — persisted through the late 19th century, as described by Eliezer Bashan:

In the 1870′s, Jews were forced to salt the decapitated heads of rebels on the Sabbath. For example, Berber tribes frequently revolted against Sultan Muhammad XVIII. In order to force them to accept his authority, he would engage in punitive military campaigns. Among the tribes were the Musa, located south of Marrakesh. In 1872, the Sultan succeeded in quelling their revolt and forty-eight of their captives were condemned to death. In October 1872, on the order of the Sultan, they were dispatched to Rabat for beheading. Their decapitated heads were to be exposed on the gates of the town for three days. Since the heads were to be sent to Fez, Jewish ritual slaughterers [of livestock] were forced to salt them and hang them for exposure on the Sabbath. Despite threats by the governor of Rabat, the Jews refused to do so. He then ordered soldiers to enter the homes of those who refused and drag them outside. After they were flogged, the Jews complied and performed the task and the heads of the rebels were exposed in public.

Yemenite Jews had to remove human feces and other waste matter (urine which failed to evaporate, etc.) from Muslim areas, initially in Sanaa, and later in other communities such as Shibam, Yarim, and Dhamar. Decrees requiring this obligation were issued in the late 18th or early 19th century, and re-introduced in 1913. Yehuda Nini reproduces an 1874 letter written by a Yemenite Jew to the Alliance Israelite in Paris, lamenting the practice:

...it is 86 years since our forefathers suffered the cruel decree and great shame to the nation of Israel from the east to sundown...for in the days of our fathers, 86 years ago, there arose a judge known as Qadi, and said unto the king and his ministers who lived in that time that the Lord, Blessed be He, had only created the Jews out of love of the other nations, to do their work and be enslaved by them at their will, and to do the most contemptible and lowly of tasks. And of them all...the greatest contamination of all, to clear their privies and streets and pathways of the filthy dung and the great filth in that place and to collect all that is left of the dung, may your Honor pardon the expression.

And when the Jews were perceived as having exceeded the rightful bounds of this subjected relationship, as in mythically "tolerant" Muslim Spain, the results were predictably tragic. The Granadan Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela, and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, and in the aftermath, the Jewish population was annihilated by the local Muslims. It is estimated that up to four thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. This figure equals or exceeds the number of Jews reportedly killed by the Crusaders during their pillage of the Rhineland, some thirty years later, at the outset of the First Crusade. The inciting "rationale" for this Granadan pogrom is made clear in the bitter anti-Jewish ode of Abu Ishaq, a well-known Muslim jurist and poet of the times, who wrote:

Bring them down to their place and return them to the most abject station. They used to roam around us in tatters covered with contempt, humiliation, and scorn. They used to rummage amongst the dung heaps for a bit of a filthy rag to serve as a shroud for a man to be buried in...Do not consider that killing them is treachery. Nay, it would be treachery to leave them scoffing.

Abu Ishaq's rhetorical incitement to violence also included the line,

Many a pious Muslim is in awe of the vilest infidel ape

Moshe Perlmann, in his analysis of the Muslim anti-Jewish polemic of 11th century Granada, notes,

[Abu Ishaq] Elbīrī used the epithet "ape" (qird) profusely when referring to Jews. Such indeed was the parlance.

The Moroccan cleric al-Maghili (d. 1505), referring to the Jews as "brothers of apes" (just as Muhammad, the sacralized prototype, had addressed the Banu Qurayza), who repeatedly blasphemed the Muslim prophet, and whose overall conduct reflected their hatred of Muslims, fomented, and then personally lead, a Muslim pogrom (in ~ 1490) against the Jews of the southern Moroccan oasis of Touat, plundering and killing them en masse, and destroying their synagogue in neighboring Tamantit. An important Muslim theologian whose writings influenced Moroccan religious attitudes towards Jews into the 20th century, al-Maghili also declared in verse, "Love of the Prophet, requires hatred of the Jews."

Mordechai Hakohen (1856-1929) was a Libyan Talmudic scholar and auto-didact anthropologist who composed an ethnographic study of North African Jewry in the early 20th century. Hakohen describes the overall impact on the Jews of the Muslim jihad conquest and rule of North Africa, as follows:

They [also] pressed the Jews to enter the covenant of the Muslim religion. Many Jews bravely chose death. Some of them accepted under the threat of force, but only outwardly...Others left the region, abandoning their wealth and property and scattering to the ends of the earth. Many stood by their faith, but bore an iron yoke on their necks. They lowered themselves to the dust before the Muslims, lords of the land, and accepted a life of woe — carrying no weapons, never mounting an animal in the presence of a Muslim, not wearing a red headdress, and following other laws that signaled their degradation.

Here is but a very incomplete sampling of pogroms and mass murderous violence against Jews living under Islamic rule, across space and time, all resulting from the combined effects of jihadism, general anti-dhimmi, and/or specifically Antisemitic motifs in Islam: 6,000 Jews massacred in Fez in 1033; hundreds of Jews slaughtered in Muslim Cordoba between 1010 and 1015; 4,000 Jews killed in Muslim riots in Grenada in 1066, wiping out the entire community; the Berber Muslim Almohad depredations of Jews (and Christians) in Spain and North Africa between 1130 and 1232, which killed tens of thousands, while forcibly converting thousands more, and subjecting the forced Jewish converts to Islam to a Muslim Inquisition; the 1291 pogroms in Baghdad and its environs, which killed (at least) hundreds of Jews; the 1465 pogrom against the Jews of Fez; the late 15th century pogrom against the Jews of the Southern Moroccan oasis town of Touat; the 1679 pogroms against, and then expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Sanaa, Yemen to the unlivable, hot and dry Plain of Tihama, from which only 1,000 returned alive, in 1680, 90% having died from exposure; recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence — including pogroms and forced conversions — throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which rendered areas of Iran (for example, Tabriz) Judenrein; the 1834 pogrom in Safed where raging Muslim mobs killed and grievously wounded hundreds of Jews; the 1888 massacres of Jews in Isfahan and Shiraz, Iran; the 1910 pogrom in Shiraz; the pillage and destruction of the Casablanca, Morocco ghetto in 1907; the pillage of the ghetto of Fez Morocco in 1912; the government sanctioned anti-Jewish pogroms by Muslims in Turkish Eastern Thrace during June-July, 1934 which ethnically cleansed at least 3000 Jews; and the series of pogroms, expropriations, and finally mass expulsions of some 900,000 Jews from Arab Muslim nations, beginning in 1941 in Baghdad (the murderous "Farhud," during which 600 Jews were murdered, and at least 12,000 pillaged) — eventually involving cities and towns in Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Syria, Aden, Bahrain, and culminating in 1967 in Tunisia — that accompanied the planning and creation of a Jewish state, Israel, on a portion of the Jews' ancestral homeland.

At present, the continual, monotonous invocation by Azhar clerics of Antisemitic motifs from the Koran (and other foundational Muslim texts) is entirely consistent with the published writings, and statements of Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi — Grand Imam of this pre-eminent Islamic religious institution since 1996, until his death in mid-March of 2010. Tantawi's case illustrates the prevalence and depth of sacralized, "normative" Jew hatred in the contemporary Muslim world. Arguably Islam's leading mainstream cleric, Grand Imam Sheikh Tantawi, embodies how the living legacy of Muslim anti-Jewish hatred, and violence remains firmly rooted in mainstream, orthodox Islamic teachings, not some aberrant vision of "radical Islam."

Tantawi's Ph.D. thesis [Banu Israil fi al-Quran wa-al-Sunnah] Jews in the Koran and the Traditions was published in 1968-69, and re-published in 1986. Two years after earning his Ph.D., Sheikh Tantawi began teaching at Al-Azhar. In 1980 he became the head of the Tafsir [Koranic Commentary] Department of the University of Medina, Saudi Arabia — a position he held until 1984. Sheikh Tantawi became Grand Mufti of Egypt in 1986, a position he was to hold for a decade, before serving as the Grand Imam of Al Azhar beginning in 1996, for the last 14 years of his life.

The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism includes extensive first time English translations of Tantawi's academic magnum opus. Tantawi wrote these words in his 700 page treatise, rationalizing Muslim Jew hatred:

[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people's wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness...only a minority of the Jews keep their word...[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not. ...[T]he Jews always remain maleficent deniers....they should desist from their negative denial...some Jews went way overboard in their denying hostility, so gentle persuasion can do no good with them, so use force with them and treat them in the way you see as effective in ridding them of their evil. One may go so far as to ban their religion, their persons, their wealth, and their villages.

Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by subsequently being named Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University. These were the expressed, "carefully researched" views on Jews held by the nearest Muslim equivalent to a Pope — a man who for 14 years headed the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam, which represents some 85 to 90% of the world's Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi never mollified such hatemongering beliefs after becoming the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on "dialogue" (January 1998) with Jews, the Jews as "enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs" (April 2002), and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews (April 2002), made clear.

Tantawi's statements on dialogue, which were issued shortly after he met with the Israel's Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, in Cairo, on December 15, 1997, provided him another opportunity to re-affirm his ongoing commitment to the views expressed about Jews in his Ph.D. thesis:

...anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah's book [the Koran], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews...[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation. [i.e., Jews in the Koran and the Traditions, cited above]

Unfortunately, Tantawi's antisemitic formulations are well-grounded in classical, mainstream Islamic theology. However, understanding and acknowledging the Koranic origins of Islamic antisemitism is not a justification for the unreformed, unrepentant modern endorsement of these hateful motifs by Tantawi — with predictably murderous consequences. Within days of the Netanya homicide bombing massacre on a Passover seder night, March 27, 2002, for example, Sheikh Tantawi issued an abhorrent sanction (April 4, 2002) of so-called "martyrdom operations," even when directed at Israeli civilians.

And during November, 2002 ("Tantawi: No Antisemitism" Associated Press 11/19/2002), consistent with his triumphant denial, Sheikh Tantawi made the following statement in response to criticism over the virulently antisemitic Egyptian television series ("Horseman Without a Horse"), based on the Czarist Russia forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion":

Suppose that the series has some criticism or shows some of the Jews' traits, this doesn't necessitate an uproar...The accusation of antisemitism was invented by the Jews as a means to pressure Arabs and Muslims to implement their schemes in the Arab and Muslim countries, so don't pay attention to them

January 22, 2008, it was reported that Tantawi cancelled what would have been an historic visit to the Rome synagogue by the imam of Rome's mosque (Ala Eldin Mohammed Ismail al-Ghobash). The putative excuse for this cancellation was Israel's self-defensive stance — a blockade — in response to acts of jihad terrorism (rocket barrages; attempted armed incursions) emanating from Gaza. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, commenting aptly about these events, observed that the cancellation proved, "...even so called Muslim moderates share the ideology of hate, violence and death towards the Jewish state." Al Azhar, Corriere della Sera, further argued, which constituted a "Vatican of Sunni Islam," had in effect issued "a kind of fatwah." The paper concluded by noting that "What the Cairo statement really means is that Muslim dialogue with Jews in Italy is only possible once Israel has been eliminated."

Annihilationist sentiments regarding Jews, as expressed by Hezbollah, the Iranian regime, and incorporated permanently into the foundational 1988 Hamas Charter, are also rooted in Islamic eschatology, or end of times theology. As characterized in the hadith, Muslim eschatology highlights the Jews' supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl — the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ — or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered — everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree, as per the canonical hadith included in the 1988 Hamas Charter (in article 7). Another hadith variant, which takes place in Jerusalem, has Isa (the Muslim Jesus) leading the Arabs in a rout of the Dajjâl and his company of 70,000 armed Jews. And the notion of jihad "ransom" extends even into Islamic eschatology — on the day of resurrection the vanquished Jews will be consigned to Hellfire, and this will expiate Muslims who have sinned, sparing them from this fate. Moshe Sharon recently provided a very lucid summary of the unique features of Shi'ite eschatology, its key point of consistency with Sunni understandings of this doctrine, and Iranian President Ahmadinejad's deep personal attachment to "mahdism":

Since the late ninth century, the Shi'ites have been expecting the emergence of the hidden imam-mahdi, armed with divine power and followed by thousands of martyrdom-seeking warriors. He is expected to conquer the world and establish Shi'ism as its supreme religion and system of rule. His appearance would involve terrible war and unusual bloodshed.

Ahmadinejad, as mayor of Teheran, built a spectacular boulevard through which the mahdi would enter into the capital. There is no question that Ahmadinejad believes he has been chosen to be the herald of the mahdi.

Shi'ite Islam differs from Sunni Islam regarding the identity of the mahdi. The Sunni mahdi is essentially an anonymous figure; the Shi'ite mahdi is a divinely inspired person with a real identity.

However both Shi'ites and Sunnis share one particular detail about "the coming of the hour" and the dawning of messianic times: The Jews must all suffer a violent death, to the last one. Both Shi'ites and Sunnis quote the famous hadith [Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985] attributed to Muhammad: The last hour will not come unless the Muslims fight against the Jews, and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and the stone or the tree would say: "Muslim! Servant of Allah! Here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!" Not one Friday passes without this hadith being quoted in sermons from one side of the Islamic world to the other.

The rise of Jewish nationalism — Zionism — has posed a predictable, if completely unacceptable challenge to the Islamic order — jihad-imposed chronic dhimmitude for Jews — of apocalyptic magnitude. As historian Bat Ye'or has explained,

...because divine will dooms Jews to wandering and misery, the Jewish state appears to Muslims as an unbearable affront and a sin against Allah. Therefore it must be destroyed by Jihad.

This is exactly the Islamic context in which the widespread, "resurgent" use of Jew annihilationist apocalyptic motifs — Sunni and Shi'ite alike — would be an anticipated, even commonplace occurrence.

Such is the state of ferment we find in the Muslim world of today. It was epitomized by the openly expressed annihilationist sentiments of Muslim Brotherhood "Spiritual Guide" Yusuf al-Qaradawi which marked his triumphal return to Cairo Friday February 18, 2011. After years of exile, his public re-emergence in Egypt was sanctioned by the nation's provisional military rulers. Qaradawi, a vocal advocate of Islam's Jew-hating mainstream canon (like the late Al-Azhar Grand Imam Tantawi), used the occasion to issue a clarion call for the jihad re-conquest of Al-Aqsa mosque, i.e., Jerusalem.

A message to our brothers in Palestine: I have hope that Almighty Allah, as I have been pleased with the victory in Egypt, that He will also please me with the conquest of the al-Aqsa Mosque, to prepare the way for me to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque. May Allah prepare the way for us to (preach) in the al-Aqsa Mosque in safety — not in fear, not in haste. May Allah achieve this clear conquest for us. O sons of Palestine, I am confident that you will be victorious.

This pronouncement was met with thunderous applause by the millions assembled in Tahrir Square celebrating the so-called Arab Spring.

Sadly, if predictably, Bernard Lewis in an April 2, 2011 Wall Street Journal interview, although wary of Qaradawi, ignored the immensely popular cleric's mainstream, canonical jihadism and Jew-hatred. But Lewis did manage to reject his own repeated 1950s characterization of Islam as authoritarian, even totalitarian, while burbling his now oft repeated pieties about the putative tolerant, anti-authoritarian "tradition" of Islam, to cast a hopeful light on the Arab Spring:

The whole Islamic tradition is very clearly against autocratic and irresponsible rule.. We have a much better chance of establishing...some sort of open, tolerant society, if it's done within their systems, according to their traditions.

Historian Robert Kaplan has dispassionately analyzed the views of Bernard Lewis on Islamic Jew hatred. Kaplan's discussion provides broader insights which help elucidate how Lewis may have developed the other self-contradictory, or apologetic positions he has taken on Islamic authoritarianism and dhimmitude. As Kaplan explains, central to Lewis's method are the invalid generalizations he proffers, absent any hard data, i.e., supportive facts.

Lewis puts Islam's record regarding Jews in a favorable light mainly with the generalizations he makes rather than the particular facts he marshals. These generalizations, which crumble under the slightest scrutiny, are of four general types. One holds that the least onerous version of Muslim oppression is typical of Muslim practice....A second type of generalization claims that the worst of the behavior of Christians towards Jews was the norm... A third variety of generalization employed by Lewis claims that Muslim abuses are far less bad than the worst imaginable abuses by non-Muslims... A fourth type of generalization ascribes to "human nature" rather than Islam, with no basis of evidence, the unattractive characteristics exhibited by Muslims.

Kaplan describes perhaps the most egregious example of the first type of generalization, as follows:

Lewis writes "dhimmitude was a minor inconvenience Jews learned to live with ...under Muslim rule the status of dhimmi was long accepted with gratitude by Jews." In making this improbable claim he gives no evidence or explanation. Could he mean that the Jews were grateful for not being killed?

Kaplan also demonstrates how Lewis employs a cynical manipulation of semantics to negate the concept of Antisemitism in Islam.

How does Lewis reach the conclusion that Antisemitism is unknown to classical Islam? He defines Antisemitism as hatred of Jews according to Christian doctrine, not simply hatred of Jews. In doing so he distorts the ordinary meaning of "antisemitism" which in contemporary English means hatred of Jews.

Once again, it is illuminating to juxtapose Lewis's attempt to deny the existence of Antisemitism in Medieval Islam, with the conclusions of S.D. Goitein, based upon the latter's thorough philological and historical analyses of the primary source Geniza documents. Thus, in the specific context of the Arab Muslim world during the high Middle Ages (circa 950-1250 C.E.), Goitein' s seminal analyses revealed that the Geniza documentary record employed the term antisemitism,

...in order to differentiate animosity against Jews from the discrimination practiced by Islam against non-Muslims in general. Our scrutiny of the Geniza material has proved the existence of "antisemitism" in the time and the area considered here...

Goitein cites as concrete proof of his assertion that a unique strain of Islamic Jew hatred was extant at this time (i.e., up to a millennium ago) — exploding Lewis's spurious claim of its absence — the fact that letters from the Cairo Geniza material,

...have a special word for it and, most significantly, one not found in the Bible or in Talmudic literature (nor registered in any Hebrew dictionary), but one much used and obviously coined in the Geniza period. It is sinuth, "hatred", a Jew-baiter being called sone, "a hater."

Incidents of such Muslim Jew hatred documented by Goitein in the Geniza record come from northern Syria (Salamiyya and al-Mar'arra), Morocco (Fez), and Egypt (Alexandria), with references to the latter being particularly frequent.

A concluding example illustrates how Lewis's Islamic apologetics — primarily via the same spurious method of "generalization" Kaplan identifies — morphs into frank moral confusion.

In 1937 Walter Fischel wrote a thoughtful analysis of the Mongol period and its impact on Jews and Christians in the conquered Abbasid Caliphate. The Mongol conquest of Baghdad (seat of the Abbasid Caliphate) in 1258 ended the domination of Islam as a state religion, and with it the system of dhimmitude — a point Fischel makes explicitly:

...the principle of tolerance for all faiths, maintained by the Il Khans [Mongol rulers], (depriving) the [Islamic] concept of the "Protected People", the ahl adh-Dhimma [dhimmi system]...of its former importance; with it fell the extremely varied professional restrictions into which it had expanded, [emphasis added]...primarily those regarding the admission of Jews and Christians to government posts.

The 13th century Christian chronicler Bar Hebraeus and the Iraqi Muslim Ghazi b. al-Wasiti (fl. 1292), author of a Muslim treatise on the dhimmis, made these concordant observations from diametrically opposed perspectives — Bar Hebraeus as a dhimmi celebrating the changes wrought by Mongol conquest, and al-Wasiti as a Muslim lamenting them:

[Bar Hebraeus] With the Mongols there is neither slave nor free man, neither believer nor pagan, neither Christian nor Jew; but they regard all men as belonging to one and the same stock.

[al-Wasiti] A firman of the Il Khan [Hulagu] had appeared to the effect that everyone should have the right to profane his faith openly and his religious connection; and that the members of one religious body should not oppose those of another

Fischel notes that because the Mongols abolished a system Lewis contends never really existed (or a system Lewis ignores), the plight of the dhimmi Jews and Christians improved substantially:

For Christians and Jews, the two groups chiefly affected by the ahl adh-Dhimma policy, current until then, this change in constitutional and religious principles implied a considerable amelioration of their position; whereas for the Muslims it meant they had sunk to a depth hitherto unknown in their history.

Moreover, when the Mongols subsequently converted to Islam, a transition that took place under Mongol rulers Ghazan (1295-1304) and Uljaytu (1305-1316), Fischel maintains,

The concept of the ahl adh-Dhimma once again became a basic fact in the administration of the state, and it is characteristic that under Ghazan and his successor Uljaytu (1305-1316) we hear of renewed enactments against the ahl ad-Dhimma and of sumptuary laws [dress regulations, especially], as well as of the destruction of synagogues and churches, and of the persecution of Christians and Jews.

Bernard Lewis's brief characterization of these events is selective to the point of absurdity. He entirely ignores the imposition of dhimmitude upon the non-Muslim minorities under the Abbasid Caliphate before the pagan Mongol conquests, its amelioration under pagan Mongol rule (when the system of dhimmitude was transiently abolished), or its re-imposition when the Mongols eventually converted to Islam. Neglecting all these facts, Lewis instead, perseverates on his charge of "collaboration" by the Christians and Jews with the Mongols, before the latter converted to Islam:

The Mongol rulers found Christians and Jews — local people knowing the languages, and the countries but not themselves Muslims — very useful instruments, and appointed some of them to high office. Afterwards, when the Mongols were converted to Islam, became part of the Islamic world, and adopted Islamic attitudes, the Christians and Jews had to pay for past collaboration with the pagan conquerors.

German scholar Karl Binswanger ended his brilliant 1977 analysis of the imposition of Islamic law on non-Muslims under Ottoman rule with a valid moral critique of the "dogmatic Islamophilia" epitomized by Bernard Lewis, and Orientalists of Lewis's persuasion.

It is absolutely scientifically justifiable to call cynicism and "evil" by their names.

It is understandable that the Orientalist has a predilection for those peoples with whose history and culture he is concerned and wishes to present them in a good light. All the same, such a process has nothing to do with science...[W]homever — consciously or not — downplays or misrepresents the morally negative aspects of the Dhimma or even distorts it into its (moral) opposite, because he would otherwise have to partially revise his pre-conceived evaluation of Islamic culture, he is behaving like the Marxist "researcher" who simply demonizes every manifestation of "evil" feudalism, instead of, or without (even therefore) investigating the functional accomplishments of feudalism. The Marxist "researcher" acts this way, because there is no place for critical examination of his own position in his pre-conceived conception of the world and science. For him "scientific socialism" is a dogma. Orientalist studies must defend itself from degenerating into an obstinate "scientific Islamophilia." Or it will deserve the teasing name of "orchid specialty" (obscure and unimportant specialty) and not that of a science.

Bernard Lewis's own strain of dogmatic Islamophilia is clearly manifested in his bowdlerized, morally confused assessments of dhimmitude and Islamic Jew-hatred. Given Lewis's iconic status, his glib, negationist formulations have had far reaching ill-effects. Perhaps this deleterious influence, or "DisOrient-alism," is best illustrated by the recent failure of virtually all media accounts, including those quoting "expert" commentators, to identify the Koranic (5:60) origins of Muhammad Morsi's repeated references to Jews as "descendants of apes and pigs."

——————

* Morsi's understanding of this verse (5:60) comports with its classical exegesis in the seminal Tafsir al-Jalalayn, meaning "The Commentary of the Two Jalals," named after its two Egyptian authors, Al-Suyuti (1445-1505), a brilliant multidisciplinary scholar, and his mentor Jalalu'd-Din al-Mahalli (1389-1459). The great contemporary Dutch Islamologist, Johannes J.G. Jansen, notes in his treatise, "The Interpretation of the Koran in Modern Egypt," Tafsir al-Jalalayn remains one of the most popular, as well as the most authoritative Koranic commentaries in Egypt. Here is the gloss on 5:60 from Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

...those whom Allah has cursed and put far away from His mercy and with whom he is angry — turning some of them into monkeys and into pigs by transmogrification — and who worshipped false gods. These are the Jews..."False gods" refers to Shayṭān [Satan]. They [the Jews] worship him by obeying him. Such people are in a worse situation — because they will be in the Fire — and further from the right way (the Path of the Truth) [i.e., Islam]

Popular, authoritative modern commentaries validate this classical interpretation of Koran 5:60. Thus Mawdudi's contemporary exegesis from Towards Understanding the Qur'an. Vol. 2, p. 175, maintains that Koran 5:60,

...alludes to the Jews, whose history shows that they were subjected, over and over again, to the wrath and scourge of God. When they desecrated the law of the Sabbath, the faces of many of them were distorted, and subsequently their generation reached such a low point, they took to worshipping Satan quite openly.

Al-Muntakhab fii Tafsiir al-Qur'aan al-Kariim. [Al-Azhar University paraphrase of, and commentary on the Qur'an, in Modern Standard Arabic]. 11th ed. Cairo1406/1985., p. 158, also states that the Jews were punished because they "worship Satan, and follow error," but views their transformation as purely cognitive:

He [Allah] is angry with you [the Jews] for your unbelieving disobedience, He has obliterated your minds, so become like [emphasis added] apes and pigs...

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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UNRWA IN SYRIA: DERELICTION OF DUTY

Posted by Asaf Romirowsky, February 06, 2013

One of the stories obscured by recent revelations about the breadth of devastation in the two-year-old Syrian civil war is that of the Palestinian refugees of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. Yarmouk, the largest of nine official Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, has been targeted by both the Assad regime and rebel forces - killing many and forcing the reported exodus of at least half of its 150,000 residents (according to UN estimates). As recently as January 8, fighting in and around the camp killed 5,000 of the over 60,000 people killed over the past few months.

Complicating events further, many Palestinians have allied themselves with either the Assad regime's supporters, or rebel supporters, intensifying the internecine violence within the camp itself. Divisions have tended to reflect religious and secular fault lines within the Palestinian ideological spectrum. Secular/socialist groups like the PFLP-GC align with the Assad regime (as longstanding supporters) while Ikhwan/Hamas supporters side with the rebel militias. Yet, in a telling warning, the Assad regime cautioned the Palestinians not to aid the insurgency in its fighting against the regime with the hope of maintaining their historical support.

As a demonstration of "good will" Abbas met with UN chief Ban Ki-moon to seek Israeli permission to bring Palestinians caught in Syria's civil war to the Palestinian areas, or now the "state of Palestine." Consequently, Ban Ki-moon acted as the messenger and was told by the Government of Israel that they would agree "to the return of those refugees to Gaza and the West Bank, but on condition that each refugee ... sign a statement that he doesn't have the right of return (to Israel)."

The offer was flatly rejected; the Palestinian narrative views all of Israel as Palestinian land. Further, such an action may subvert that sacrosanct element of Palestinian ideology - the demand for "right of return" - which, at its core is a rejection of Jewish sovereignty. The unwillingness to entertain a pragmatic solution such as Ban Ki-Moon's offer reflects over six decades of Palestinian and Arab policy and is, in fact, both the genesis and perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee 'crisis' in the first place. It is precisely this type of event which intentionally creates and reinforces the intractability and radicalization of the Palestinian refugee population.

Though the fighting in Yarmouk and Syria is the most acute example of the simmering cauldron of Palestinian ideological violence, it is by no means the only one. Disturbingly, such activity regularly takes place at Palestinian refugee camps not only in war zones like Syria but also in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. As an UNRWA camp, Yarmouk is purportedly under the protection of United Nations auspices. Yet like several other UNRWA camps over the last several years, its inhabitants have not been well served by the organization. As an organization UNRWA has failed its constituency on every level — in terms of budgetary support; education; and protection from infiltration by extremist elements who instigate violence.

Institutional blindness

Many of the refugees from Syria have crossed over the border into Lebanon, seeking respite from the fighting. Yet the experience of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is anything but calm - the largest camp there, Ein el-Hilweh - the most radical of any of the Palestinian refugee camps - is permeated by ideological extremism and violence. As recently as last November, at least three people were killed in a clash there between supporters of the Iranian-backed Islamist terror faction Hezbollah, and Salafists (rival Islamic jihadists). As the administrators of the camp, UNRWA has been abysmally impotent at curbing the violence over the last decades, or blocking the permeation of radicalism within the camp (including its educational facilities).

All in all, despite rapid changes in countries across the Middle East following the Arab Spring that western observers hoped would lead to increased openness and democracy, Arab governments (many driven by Islamists) are still ignoring the needs of their own people while attempting to deflect all the region's troubles on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Even in UNRWA refugee camps within the Palestinian Authority's jurisdiction - an area which should enjoy the close cooperation of the governing authority with the UN agency - UNRWA has been notoriously incompetent at administering its own bureaucracy. The agency has managed to alienate Palestinians not residing in the camps or under the aegis of the UNRWA mandate. In December, as reported by Ma'an News Agency, "The heads of popular committees in refugee camps across the West Bank met recently in Ramallah and agreed to escalate protests against UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Demonstrators were expected to force the temporary halt of operations at all UNRWA offices to protest the dismissal of over 100 staff at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the committee chairman said." Those protests led to the agency closing three more offices due to threats to the safety of its employees; one violent clash ended with a "female employee (being) treated badly by protesters."

Earlier this week, in an illustration of how a culture of unhealthy dependency has been fostered among UNRWA camp residents, Palestinians violently clashed with their own security forces, protesting an end to the exemption of refugee camp residents from paying their electric bills.

Dereliction of duty

Op-ed: UNRWA created a culture of dependence, radicalism within Palestinian refugee camps it is supposed to protect

This article are written by Nicole Brackman and Asaf Romirowsky. Nicole Brackman PhD is a historian who writes extensively on Israeli and Middle Eastern politics. Asaf Romirowsky PhD, who co-authored the article, is an adjunct scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Middle East Forum. Asaf Romirosky is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and co-author of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Dr. Romirowsky publishes widely in the national press as well as in scholarly journals. He makes frequent appearances in the media and lectures to a wide range of audiences around the world. This article appeared February 05, 2013 in the Israel Opinion and is archived at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4341031,00.html

One of the stories obscured by recent revelations about the breadth of devastation in the two-year-old Syrian civil war is that of the Palestinian refugees of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. Yarmouk, the largest of nine official Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, has been targeted by both the Assad regime and rebel forces - killing many and forcing the reported exodus of at least half of its 150,000 residents (according to UN estimates). As recently as January 8, fighting in and around the camp killed 5,000 of the over 60,000 people killed over the past few months.

Complicating events further, many Palestinians have allied themselves with either the Assad regime's supporters, or rebel supporters, intensifying the internecine violence within the camp itself. Divisions have tended to reflect religious and secular fault lines within the Palestinian ideological spectrum. Secular/socialist groups like the PFLP-GC align with the Assad regime (as longstanding supporters) while Ikhwan/Hamas supporters side with the rebel militias. Yet, in a telling warning, the Assad regime cautioned the Palestinians not to aid the insurgency in its fighting against the regime with the hope of maintaining their historical support.

EU Funds

Mideast conflict's wallet / Eldad Beck

Op-ed: European governments funding Palestinian annihilation campaign against State of Israel

As a demonstration of "good will" Abbas met with UN chief Ban Ki-moon to seek Israeli permission to bring Palestinians caught in Syria's civil war to the Palestinian areas, or now the "state of Palestine." Consequently, Ban Ki-moon acted as the messenger and was told by the Government of Israel that they would agree "to the return of those refugees to Gaza and the West Bank, but on condition that each refugee ... sign a statement that he doesn't have the right of return (to Israel)."

The offer was flatly rejected; the Palestinian narrative views all of Israel as Palestinian land. Further, such an action may subvert that sacrosanct element of Palestinian ideology - the demand for "right of return" - which, at its core is a rejection of Jewish sovereignty. The unwillingness to entertain a pragmatic solution such as Ban Ki-Moon's offer reflects over six decades of Palestinian and Arab policy and is, in fact, both the genesis and perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee 'crisis' in the first place. It is precisely this type of event which intentionally creates and reinforces the intractability and radicalization of the Palestinian refugee population.

Though the fighting in Yarmouk and Syria is the most acute example of the simmering cauldron of Palestinian ideological violence, it is by no means the only one. Disturbingly, such activity regularly takes place at Palestinian refugee camps not only in war zones like Syria but also in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. As an UNRWA camp, Yarmouk is purportedly under the protection of United Nations auspices. Yet like several other UNRWA camps over the last several years, its inhabitants have not been well served by the organization. As an organization UNRWA has failed its constituency on every level — in terms of budgetary support; education; and protection from infiltration by extremist elements who instigate violence.

Institutional blindness

Many of the refugees from Syria have crossed over the border into Lebanon, seeking respite from the fighting. Yet the experience of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is anything but calm - the largest camp there, Ein el-Hilweh - the most radical of any of the Palestinian refugee camps - is permeated by ideological extremism and violence. As recently as last November, at least three people were killed in a clash there between supporters of the Iranian-backed Islamist terror faction Hezbollah, and Salafists (rival Islamic jihadists). As the administrators of the camp, UNRWA has been abysmally impotent at curbing the violence over the last decades, or blocking the permeation of radicalism within the camp (including its educational facilities).

All in all, despite rapid changes in countries across the Middle East following the Arab Spring that western observers hoped would lead to increased openness and democracy, Arab governments (many driven by Islamists) are still ignoring the needs of their own people while attempting to deflect all the region's troubles on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Even in UNRWA refugee camps within the Palestinian Authority's jurisdiction - an area which should enjoy the close cooperation of the governing authority with the UN agency - UNRWA has been notoriously incompetent at administering its own bureaucracy. The agency has managed to alienate Palestinians not residing in the camps or under the aegis of the UNRWA mandate. In December, as reported by Ma'an News Agency, "The heads of popular committees in refugee camps across the West Bank met recently in Ramallah and agreed to escalate protests against UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Demonstrators were expected to force the temporary halt of operations at all UNRWA offices to protest the dismissal of over 100 staff at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the committee chairman said." Those protests led to the agency closing three more offices due to threats to the safety of its employees; one violent clash ended with a "female employee (being) treated badly by protesters."

Earlier this week, in an illustration of how a culture of unhealthy dependency has been fostered among UNRWA camp residents, Palestinians violently clashed with their own security forces, protesting an end to the exemption of refugee camp residents from paying their electric bills.

The scope of the failure of UNRWA to advocate effectively or protect the residents of its camps is second only to its duplicity in aiding the perpetuation of the refugees' plight. Whether its institutional blindness is willful or merely a result of radical cooptation and negligence, the agency mandated with the task of 'providing assistance, protection, and advocacy' to Palestinian refugees has become an empty shell. Worse, it has created a culture of dependence and radicalism within its camps and continues to contribute to the failure of the integration of refugees as citizen participants even in the Palestinian Authority, where Palestinians are autonomous.

The devolution of events in Yarmouk and the violence of the protests in the West Bank demonstrate the impotence of UNRWA and its obsolescence.

This article are written by Nicole Brackman and Asaf Romirowsky. Nicole Brackman PhD is a historian who writes extensively on Israeli and Middle Eastern politics. Asaf Romirowsky PhD, who co-authored the article, is an adjunct scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Middle East Forum. Asaf Romirosky is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and co-author of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Dr. Romirowsky publishes widely in the national press as well as in scholarly journals. He makes frequent appearances in the media and lectures to a wide range of audiences around the world. This article appeared February 05, 2013 in the Israel Opinion and is archived at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4341031,00.


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AMERICA'S FUTURE BELONGS TO ISLAM

Posted by FSM SPECIAL, February 06, 2013

The article below was written by Paul L. Williams who is the author of Crescent Moon Rising: The Islamic Transformation of America, The Day of Islam: The Annihilation of America and the Western World, The Al Qaeda Connection, and other best-selling books. He is a frequent guest on such national news networks as ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR. This article aapeared February 06, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/americas-future-belongs-to-islam

capitolprayer

Islam, according to newly released data from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, is now the fastest growing religion in America, verifying President Barack Obama's claim that the United States is "no longer a Judeo-Christian country."

How many Muslims now live within the country remains anyone's guess, since the U.S. Census Bureau neglects to collect data on religious identification. A 2008 study by Cornell University projected that the number of Muslims in America had climbed from 1.6 million in 1995 to 7 million.[i] A U.S. News and World Report survey, which was conducted at the same time, placed the figure at 5 million,[ii] while the Pew Research Center set the number at 2.35 million.

But Pew researchers admit that their survey was not thorough since it neglected to take into account immigrant and poor black Muslims.[iii] What's more, these researchers only contacted Americans with telephone landlines and failed to take into account the fact that nearly 50% of U.S. residents and age 18-35 and the nearly 100% of the illegal immigrants who communicate exclusively by cell phones.[iv]

Muslim organizations, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), supported the Cornell University projection of 7 million - - based on mosque attendance.[v]

In any case, all demographers agree that throughout the coming decades, the faith of the Prophet Mohammed will continue to impact and transform all aspects of American life: social, political, and economic. They further maintain that, save for a cataclysmic sea-change in population trends, Islam by 2050 will emerge as the nation's dominant religion.

Such an assertion may seem hyperbolic, save for these findings:

    The US fertility rate is now below 2.1 per woman, meaning Americans are no longer giving birth to enough children to keep the population from dwindling.[vi] But this statistic does not hold true for the average Muslim American woman who displays a robust fertility rate of 2.8.[vii]

  • Muslims continue to pour into the country to occupy positions vacated by aging Americans as physicians, engineers, and scientists. Others arrive here to perform tasks that American workers are unwilling to perform in food processing plants, agricultural facilities, and telecommunications. In addition to the Muslims who come here with employment visas, thousands more arrive with student visas to enroll in colleges throughout the country. Still others arrive with "diversity" visas to enrich America's racial composition. In 1992, nearly 50,000 Muslims arrived in the US and received permanent residency status. In 2009, that number soared to 115,000.[viii] In truth, no one knows for certain how many Muslims immigrants are presently living in the country. A GEO report released to the press released by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) show that half of the 12 million US illegal immigrants have entered the country legally but have overstayed their visas. Many of the over-stays are from Islamic countries. Five of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas, and GAO found that 36 of the roughly 400 people convicted of terrorism-related charges since September 2001 had overstayed their visas.>[ix]

  • In addition to the legal and illegal Muslim immigrants, 80,000 refugees enter this country under resettlement programs. Nearly, 75,000 come from Islamic countries.[x]

  • As the now defunct Christian Church militant, America is witnessing the mosque militant. Muslims, unlike main-line denominational Christians, are fervent in their beliefs and are eager to spread the faith. Islam, at present, is the most rapidly growing religion in the country with outreach programs on college campuses, in prisons, and within the military.[xi]

  • Islam provides an antithesis to secular America. It offers a return to the country's "traditional values" with a vengeance. The vast majority of US Muslims oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. They call for a curtailment of women's rights and a return to "law and order" (as mandated by sharia). They are enterprising, hard working, and deeply devoted to their families.[xii]

  • Unlike America's political leaders, Muslims do not recognize the legitimacy of all faiths. Their religion, according to Bernard Lewis, divides the world into two: the House of Islam (dar al-Islam), where Muslims rule and the law of Islam prevails, and the House of War (dar al Harb), comprising the rest of the world. "Between these two," Lewis writes, "there is a morally necessary, legally and religiously obligatory state of war, until the final triumph of Islam over unbelief."[xiii] For this reason, Muslims are unlikely to relinquish the cherished claims of their tradition before the prevailing Zeitgeist.

    The belief that America could be transformed into an Islamic state was first expressed by a small group Muslim missionaries in 1922, who declared to a gathering of disgruntled city blacks in Syracuse, New York: "Our plan is: we are going to conquer America."[xiv] The audacity of this remark provoked the following commentary in the Syracuse Sunday Herald:

    To the millions of American Christians who have so long looked eagerly forward to the time the cross shall be supreme in every land and the people of the whole world shall have become the followers Christ, the plan to win this continent to the path of the "infidel Turk" will seem a thing unbelievable. But there is no doubt about its being pressed with all the fanatical zeal for which the Mohammedans are noted.[xv]

    Ninety years later, the remarks made by the early Islamic missionaries no longer seem audacious but prophetic. The transformation of America into an Islamic nation, Muslim scholars say, is a matter of destiny. It is kismet (quisma). The words of the country's future, such scholars contend, have been written - - and these words no mortal man may alter or erase.

    [i] "Michigan Has Largest U.S. Muslim Population," Psychiatric News, The American Society of Psychiatrists, Vol. 40, Number 2, January 21, 2005.

    [ii] Susan Headden, "Understanding Islam," U.S. News and World Report, April 7, 2008.

    [iii] Paul M. Barrett, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion (New York: Faraar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), pp. 8-9.

    [iv] Kathleen Parker, "Pew Study of U.S. Muslims Isn't 'Largely' Reassuring," The Scranton Times-Tribune, February 28, 2008.

    [v]
    http://www.cair.com/Portals/0/pdf/The_Mosque_in_America
    _A_National_Portal,pdf. The most rigorous estimate was from the Mosque Study Project 2000 (Bagby, Perl, and Froehle, 2001) which combined seven lists of mosques, eliminated duplicates, and attempted to verify the existence of each place. This generated a final list of 1209 mosques in 2000. The researchers then drew a sample of 631 and were successful in obtaining information about 416 of the mosques. They found that 340 adults and children regularly participated in the average mosque, and that 1629 were "associated in any way with the religious life of the mosque." This converts to a national estimate of 1,969,000 mosque-associated Muslims nationally. The study supports the projection of 6 to 7 million Muslims in the U.S. by assuming that for every Muslim associated with a mosque, three remain without association.

    [vi] Rob Stein, "U.S. Birth Rate Falls Again: A Possible Effect of Economic Downturn," Washington Post, August 27, 2010.

    [vii] "A Demographic Portrait of American Muslims," Pew Research Center,
    http://www.people-press.org/2011/08/30/section-1-a-demographic-
    portrait-of-muslim-americans/

    [viii] Ibid.

    [ix] Jim Kouri, "Almost Half of Illegal Aliens Entered U.S. Legally, But Overstayed Visas, Senators Say," Family Security Matters, May 20, 2011,
    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.9562/pub_detail.asp

    [x] "Presidential Memorandum - - Refugee Admissions," The White House, Press Release, October 8, 2010,
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/10/08/presidential-memorandum-
    refugee-admissions

    [xi] "The Future of the Global Muslim Population," Pew Research Center, January 27, 2011,
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1872/muslim-population-projections-worldwide-fast-growth

    [xii] "A Demographic Portrait of American Muslims."

    [xiii] Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1988), p. 73.

    [xiv] Daniel Pipes, Militant Islam Reaches America (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), p. 113.

    [xv] Ibid.

    Contact FSM SPECIAL at info@family@securitymatters.org


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    DON'T LET IRAN STALL FOR TIME

    Posted by Daily Alert, February 06, 2013

    The article below was written by Michael Singh who is the Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute and a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council. This article appeared February 05, 2013 in the New York Times and is archived at
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/opinion/dont-let-iran-stall-for-time.html

    FEW of President Obama's original foreign policy goals have eluded him so much as engagement with Iran. Over the weekend, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced during a speech in Munich that the United States was ready for direct talks with Iran. With the risk of war over Iran's nuclear program looming, the offer is prudent, but it is also beside the point. As Iran continues to evade negotiations — literally in this case, since the Iranian foreign minister was in the same building as Mr. Biden — the real question is not whether America should talk to Iran, but how to get the Iranians to talk to us in earnest.

    Diplomatic engagement with Iran isn't a new idea. Every American president from Jimmy Carter on has reached out to Iran. But such approaches have never led to improved relations. That was true of the secret visit by President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, Robert C. McFarlane, to Tehran in 1986 in what became the Iran-contra affair; it was also true of quiet talks over Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s, when the former achieved only fleeting tactical progress and the latter none at all.

    The reasons for failure in all the approaches share a common thread: Iran shrank from any broad bilateral thaw because it feared engagement with the United States more than it feared confrontation.

    "Resistance" to the West — and especially to the United States — was a founding principle of Iran's Islamic regime. And while Iran has gradually normalized relations with many European and Asian allies of Washington, it has not done so with the United States itself, just as it has not with America's ally Israel. To lose those two nations as enemies would be to undermine one of the regime's ideological raisons d'être.

    As a result, serious engagement with the United States is likely to be only a consequence of a strategic shift by the regime, rather than a cause of it. And so far, no such shift has taken place. While there are signs of increasing dissent within the Iranian government as sanctions begin to bite more deeply, there are also indications that existing sanctions have done all they can in this regard: Iran's oil exports are ticking upward after a long decline, and high inflation and unemployment have not produced mass unrest. This provides a good reason for America to offer direct talks — to counter Iran's narrative of "resistance." But there is little hope that Iran will accept this offer, or that talks right now would be productive.

    In fact, the regime may feel that time is on its side. American and Israeli red lines for military action depend on the pace of Iran's nuclear activities, meaning that Iran can delay conflict simply by slowing those activities, as it recently has done. Meanwhile, Iran's leaders may be hoping that black-market workarounds and a pickup in global oil demand will allow their country to expand its exports.

    So the United States must be more creative in the ways it uses engagement and pressure to hasten a change in Iran's strategic outlook. On the diplomatic front, America has made clear that it is ready to meet bilaterally whenever Iran is ready to do so; such talks should be a complement — not an alternative — to the current multilateral talks, which also include Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany. But the bilateral talks would have to deal not just with the nuclear issue; they should also address the full spectrum of American concerns, including Iran's support for terrorist groups.

    Since America's partners in the international negotiations are eager to see direct American-Iranian discussions, and to avoid the military confrontation that could accompany diplomacy's failure, the United States should also insist that the others toughen their own approaches to Iran's government, in hopes of strengthening the hands of those within Iran who argue for a course change.

    These other countries should better enforce existing economic sanctions, and employ other available levers of pressure. They should warn Iran that they would support American military action if necessary and that they are prepared to treat Iran and its envoys as pariahs. In addition, they should support Iranian dissidents and counter Iranian activities abroad, for example by following America's lead in designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group and addressing Iranian arms smuggling to Gaza.

    As the United States and its allies increase pressure on Iran, it is vital that the Americans remain steadfast in their demands, rather than respond to Iranian obstinacy with increasingly generous offers. If Tehran believes it can wait out pressure or escape it via a narrow technical accord rather than a more fundamental reorientation, it will surely do so.

    As the possibility of conflict looms larger and talks drag on, the United States and its allies should worry less about who is on their side of the negotiating table, and more about ensuring that whoever is on the Iranian side actually comes ready to bargain. Otherwise, any American-Iranian talks will not be a diplomatic breakthrough; they will just be another way station on the route to war.

    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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    OBAMA'S LAWYERS OFFICIALLY ADMIT BIRTH CERTIFICATE IS FAKE

    Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 06, 2013

    The article below was written by Susan Posel who is Chief Editor, The US Independent.. She is a globally syndicated research journalist and is Host of Hardline with Susanne Posel. In 2013 Posel joined the iHeartRadio family of broadcasters. She has launched news media platforms that surpass Alternative and Mainstream News in all three quality categories and is the author of over 4,200 original headline news articles. This article appeared April 19, 2013 in the Investigative Headline News and is archived at
    http://www.occupycorporatism.com/obamas-lawyers-officially-admit-birth-certificate-is-fake/

    Lawyers for the Obama Administration announced that Barack Obama's long form birth certificate was a forgery. Under penalty of perjury, the lawyers said they were forced to say that the birth certificate was valid.

    A lawyer representing the Obama administration say the birth certificate was knowingly purveyed to fool the American public into believing he was legitimately able to be President.

    However, they purport that Obama knows he is not a natural born citizen.

    Obama stated at a White House briefing that the birth certificate subject is "irrelevant". He must think that by dismissing it that he can make it go away.

    This invalidates the Obama Presidency and makes him ineligible to be President in 2012.

    Pen Johannson, Editor of the Daily Pen, stated in his editorial that this controversy should set off a firestorm of constitutional questions and a legislative controversy of epic proportions.

    In New Jersey, a case about Obama's eligibility has influenced activist to question the President's legal right to be Commander and Chief.

    Alexandra M. Hill, representative defense attorney for Obama made comments that brought the Tea Party members to question the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate.

    Nick Purpura of Wall Township, NJ, and Ted Moran of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two grounds:

    • No one knows exactly who Barack H. Obama is, because he has had three different names in life. Furthermore, he has never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the Secretary of State. So no one can be sure that Obama was born in the United States. • Obama's father was a British colonial subject. He not only was not a naturalized citizen on the alleged date of Obama's birth, but indeed never sought naturalization. Therefore Obama could never be a natural-born citizen no matter where he was born.

    Attorney for the plaintiff, Mario Apuzzo asserts that the birth certificate is the proof of Obama's citizenship that allows him to be on the ballot in New Jersey.

    On April 10, 2012, these lawyers admitted the forgery.

    Obama is asserting that the document is a fake and should not be allowed into evidence. And the judge in this case agrees.

    By this admission, Barack Obama can be charged with High Crimes and Misdemeanors by lying to the American public about his legitimacy as President. Obama is guilty to criminal activity and blatantly ineligible for Presidency and the electoral process this year.

    Without the birth certificate, Obama cannot prove he is a natural born citizen. Where before this development, the Obama administration adamantly asserted that the birth certificate was legitimate; they knowing lied and therefore should be arrested and charged with their illegal actions against the American people.

    Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il


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    BULGARIA REPORTEDLY ISSUES AN ACCOUNT ACCUSING HEZBOLLAH OF THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN BURGAS

    Posted by Terrorism Information Center, February 06, 2013

    bulgaria

    1. According to reports based on an article in the Wall Street Journal this past week, this week Bulgaria is expected to release a report about its investigation of the terrorist attack in Burgas. The report is expected to accuse Hezbollah of responsibility for the attack. According to Wall Street Journal, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the Bulgarian minister of the interior, will update senior members of the Bulgarian government on February 5 and the report itself will be published (Wsj.com website, February 5, 2013). So far we have no further information about the findings of the investigation.

    The Attack In Burgas

    2. On July 18, 2012, at approximately 1730 in the evening there was an explosion in an Israeli tourist bus at the airport of the vacation city of Burgas, Bulgaria. It occurred a short time after a plane from Israel had landed. The bus was the second in a line of four waiting to take the Israelis from the airport to hotels in the city. The blast killed five Israeli civilians and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorist bomber who blew up the bus was also killed. Thirty-six Israelis were wounded, three of them critically.

    3. The terrorist attack in Burgas was another in a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli tourists and representatives around the world (Turkey, India, Thailand, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Cyprus). The footprints of the attacks led to Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. Hezbollah, as usual, denied any connection to the attack in Burgas.[1]

    4. Israeli spokesmen, the prime minister among them, repeatedly stated that Israel had reliable intelligence information that Hezbollah had carried out the attack in Burgas ("absolutely rock-solid intelligence," Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told FOX TV on July 22, 2012). A short time before the attack a Hezbollah terrorist operative was detained in Cyprus. He had been collecting information about Israeli tourist destinations on the island. In addition, Hezbollah has participated in other terrorist attacks as part of Iran's terrorist campaign.

    5. The body of the terrorist operative was found near the bus. In our assessment, his death was a "work accident," caused by the bomb's detonating earlier than planned. According to the Bulgarian minister of the interior, the terrorist operative was carrying about three kilograms, or 6.6 lbs., of explosives (Agence France-Presse, July 20, 2012). A driver's license belonging to an American citizen was found. Senior American sources reported that no such license was found in any database in the United States (AP, July 19, 2012). The Bulgarian authorities are of the opinion that the bomber was not working alone and that he had at least one person assisting him and providing him with logistical support. According to evaluations, that person tried to rent a car to drive to the airport (AP, July 19, 2012).

    Contact Terrorism Information Center at newsleter@terrorism-info-org.il


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    BROOKLYN COLLEGE PRESIDENT WON'T CANCEL BOYCOTT ISRAEL PANEL

    Posted by Stanislas Sas, February 06, 2013

    This article was written by Ari Paul who is a lecturer at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and has written about politics and labor for The Nation, Dissent, The American Prospect, The Brooklyn Rail, The Guardian and many other outlets.

    The president of Brooklyn College hit back against New York City Council members who threatened to withhold funds to the school if it allows a panel discussion about the boycott Israel campaign to go forward later this week.

    Brooklyn College President Karen Gould insisted the discussion would go ahead as planned and defended the decision as part of the school's commitment to "academic freedom."

    "Providing an open forum to discuss important topics, even those many find highly objectionable, is a centuries-old practice on university campuses around the country," Gould said. "Indeed, this spirit of inquiry and critical debate is a hallmark of the American education system."

    Gould spoke out after 10 City Councilmembers wrote her a letter objecting to the panel. Prominent pro-Israel voices including lawyer Alan Dershowitz also lambasted the panel that will include philosopher Judith Butler and Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti.

    "We don't believe this program is what the taxpayers of our City, many of who would feel targeted and demonized by this program, want their tax money to be spent on," the lawmakers said.

    Supporters of the event praised Gould for standing up to the pressure.

    "We knew this would be controversial. We're not scared of controversy," said Corey Robin, who has taught political science at Brooklyn College for 15 years. "The fact that government officials have chosen to threaten us ... I thought we had moved beyond that."

    Defenders of the panel have likened the move by these City Council members to an incident involving then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani who in 1999 threatened to slash funding to the Brooklyn Museum for showing an image of the Virgin Mary mired in elephant dung.

    This prompted Robin to look to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who very publically and passionately stood up to critics of the lower Manhattan Islamic center, invoking freedom of speech and religion.

    "In some ways, this fight has really just begun," he said. "It's very clear, the terms of the confrontation: the entire academic community against the power of the state."

    Gould also strongly stated that support for the panel should not be seen as the college's endorsement of the divestment movement.

    In addition to Thursday evening's event, at which I encourage those with opposing views to participate in the discussion and ask tough questions, other forums will present alternative perspectives for consideration," she said.

    "The college welcomes participation from any groups on our campus that may wish to help broaden the dialogue," she said. "At each of these events, please keep in mind that students, faculty, staff, and guests are expected to treat one another with respect at all times, even when they strongly disagree."

    Contact Stanislas Sas at stanisas@hotmail.com


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    IT IS DELIBERATE

    Posted by Dave Alpern, February 06, 2013

    The article below was written by Barry Rubin who 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

    The first, most important thing to understand about the Western and especially American debate on Israel is this:

    Never before in history has there been such a concerted, systematic and vicious campaign to discredit and demonize Israel, especially seeking to undermine its support in the Jewish community.

    Without comprehending this fact, the massive attacks from academia, mass media, groups and even in mainstream political and intellectual debate cannot be understood. We aren't dealing with lots of mistakes, but with the mass production of hate speech.

    Obviously, one should always judge based on the specific people and places involved. Yet a good point to keep in mind is this:

    Don't believe that they may have gotten it right this particular time. Many of them aren't trying to get it right; most of them are incapable of getting it right.

    These assaults cannot be taken in isolation and with naiveté as if this time a wild accusation is accurate. Some are obviously outrageous—the British politician accusing Israel of genocide; a cartoon showing Ariel Sharon eating Palestinian children; Egypt's president calling Jews sub-humans; the Swedish newspaper claiming Israel murders Palestinians to steal their organs—but even better-constructed items are equally fallacious.

    The craziest stuff is just the most incautious end of far more apparently credible lies and distortions. And the key "mistake" made is to use the word "Jews," unacceptable, rather "Israel," "Israelis," or "Zionists."

    In other words, "The Jews want to take over the world." No. "Israel wants to take over the Middle East." Okay. "The Jews use children's blood in Passover matzoh." No. "Israel deliberately murders Palestinian children." Okay.

    Not all are aware, of course, of what they are doing, especially those originating or spreading the more "moderate" hate speech. There are dupes as well as demonizers, though dupes often seem all too credulous to be wholly innocent.

    Here are two more aspects:

    Once having been defined as the "bad guy," Israel can be accused of anything, as in a film narrative in which the villain is, well, always villainous.

    Second, Israel is one of the few categories that can be attacked with unbridled vituperation, though some limits still apply in American political life at least. You cannot say the slightest thing against other nations or nationalities, as well as races, religions, or genders. One wrong word, even if uttered carelessly, and the person's career is finished. With Israel, the bile can flow unbridled.

    Equally, there are so many lies—new ones appear each day--and so many facts to counter them with that it is partly a waste of time to counter each offensive in itself. What's necessary is to understand that this is all based on lies, ignorance, and conscious bad faith.

    The categories include, but are not limited to, falsification of photographs and fabrication of events; distortion of history; making up of quotes; publishing disproportionate numbers of anti-Israel books and articles; indoctrination in schools; refusal to mainstream Israeli views and overwhelming emphasis of radical, critical ones; excessive credibility to hostile sources for outlandish tales (a worldwide story on an alleged, since proven false massacre in Jenin based on a single mysterious informant is just one example).

    There is also the creation of new categories of sin designed specifically as part of the anti-Israel campaign and applied only to Israel, i.e., "pinkwashing" (talking about the good treatment of gays as a cover for other crimes!) or the idea of "disproportionate force" in wartime or the idea that causing any civilian casualties at all is a war crime (in sharp contrast to the previous and current wars of every other country in the world).

    Aside from obsessions and double standards is the eagerness, uncontrollable hatred, self-righteousness, unconcern for fairness or balance, and passion that shows the hidden agenda of those involved. They are indifferent to real war crimes, intolerance, and oppression by others in the world. Their behavior should have destroyed their credibility but they are protected instead.

    Some details of interest:

    --This campaign's intensity and one-sidedness has relatively little effect on the actual Middle East situation or on Western government policies.

    --The main single issue is to try to portray Israel as responsible for the lack of peace, just as Jews were historically blamed by those hostile to them for antisemitism. Since the experience of the 1993-2000 "peace process" era, the fact that the conflict continues because of the intransigence of Israel's enemies should have been obvious. Yet this history has been forgotten and its impact on Israeli thinking buried or censored.

    --Much of the new antagonism stems from Western intelligentsias' sharp turn to the left. The question, of course, is why Israel is such a prominent issue among the many causes available to them.

    --What is important is not so much to define specific things as "antisemitic"—which generates distracting debates—but to explicate the creation of a situation equivalent in effect to pre-1945 antisemitism. Since about 40 percent of the world's Jews live in Israel and most of the rest support Israel, the resulting slander and demonization is also a slur and hatred against the vast majority of Jews. The irrationality, obsession, intimidation and slander are quite equivalent to what Jews suffered under historic antisemitism.

    --Israel, Israelis and their supporters are portrayed—as in classical antisemitism--as irrational creatures involved in incomprehensible behavior. Removing from public consciousness their experiences, attitudes, and sufferings leaves the conclusion that their behavior is evil, racist, bloodthirsty and seeking total power.

    For example, as a country under assault, Israel has to act militarily at times. The army and government have no interest in wasting credibility and resources by injuring Palestinians for fun or out of pure meanness. Yet this is how Israeli behavior is often portrayed.

    Similarly, Israel has lots to gain from peace since, if secure and lasting, it would provide such benefits as fewer deaths, less time and money spent in the military, beneficial trade with neighbors and higher living standards, etc. To believe Israel doesn't want peace is to believe it is aggressive and has devious ends.

    And again, if Israel really doesn't face an existential threat—or only an easily defused one—then its acting otherwise is psychotic behavior.

    A major and new theme of this campaign is to convince American Jews that either Israel has become illegitimate or must be bashed for its own good. Undeniably, this campaign has enjoyed success on that front. Others are temporarily taken in by nonsense like the Western expert/media spin on the last Israeli elections as headed toward fascism or some individual event.

    What exists here on the surface as disproportional insanity is actually ideologically determined and politically intentional. The result is an environment in which the virulently antisemitic, genocidal, anti-Christian, anti-American and pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood is the beneficiary of apologetics while Israel is "bad."

    A nut from an extremist cult spit on a teenaged Jewish girl in a small town in Israel and the next thing you know there is a serious Western debate over Israel losing its soul. A few fans from Israel's most nationalist football team don't want Muslim players—Arabs already play for all the other teams and are never harassed—and the next thing you know the New York Times compares Israel to Nazi Germany. [Those few fans were overruled. The most nationalist team now has Muslim players.]

    Or the Israeli election was widely presented as the impending triumph of neo-fascist forces even though the far-right party received less than 10 percent of the vote, what that category usually receives. The New Yorker [in the article by David Remnick] gave us a hitherto unknown professor at a university in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as its expert on Israeli politics. Or the New York Times article claiming that many Israelis were complaining that the Iron Dome system shot down Hamas missiles because it would be better--the reporter lied--if more Israelis were killed or wounded since that would impel the country to change its evil, hard-line ways and seek peace.

    One thing comforting about this campaign is that its activists so often have to resort to lies and exaggerations, showing how little genuine material they possess.

    How much effect is this all having in the real world? Ironically, it is less damaging to Israel itself (attempts at economic boycotts, for example, have yielded no real damage) than to Western Jews who live in the societies so affected. The growing pressure will result in some running for cover—or even joining the assailants—but far more will ultimately wake up.

    Yet again this situation can no longer be dealt with as an ordinary, though rather spirited and emotional, debate. It is a massive, often conscious and deliberate campaign of defamation. No longer on the margins, this campaign has penetrated into using the commanding heights of the Western mass media, intellectual, and academic institutions.

    The reason for pointing this all out is that there are millions of well-intentioned, honest people who would be shocked if they had the paradigm shift from taking a good portion of this material as honest and well-intentioned to understanding that they are being subjected to a concerted propaganda campaign of lies. If they comprehend that, they are far more likely to reject these lies as well as having their eyes opened to wider disinformation campaigns going on today.

    Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@bezeqint.net


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    GO DUTCH

    Posted by Yorum Fisher, February 06, 2013

    The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism.

    The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

    A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads:

    "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model

    And plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people.

    In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role.

    With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.

    The letter continues: "A more obligatory integration is justified Because the government also demands that from its own citizens.

    It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart And eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands.

    The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants.

    For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language,

    And the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

    The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner; "It is not the government's job to integrate immigrants." (How bloody true).

    The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress.

    More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering, Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.

    Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and realized - maybe too late - That creating a nation of tribes will kill the nation itself.

    The future of Australia, the UK and Canada may well be read here.

    READERS NOTE: Muslim immigrants leave their countries of birth because of civil and political unrest

    "CREATED BY THE VERY NATURE OF THEIR CULTURE."

    Countries like Holland, Canada, the UK and Australia have an established way of life that actually works,

    So why embrace the unworkable? If Muslims do not wish to accept another culture, the answer is simple;

    "STAY WHERE YOU ARE!!"

    This gives a whole new meaning to the term; 'Dutch Courage' - Unfortunately

    Australian, UK, and Canadian politicians

    Don't have the ... Guts to do the same. There's a whole lot of truth *here!!!!

    Contact Yoram Fisher at yoramski@yahoo.com


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    "IZRAELIZACJA" STANOW ZJEDNOCZONYCH

    Posted by Stanislas Sas, February 06, 2013

    History has a way of extracting a price -- via inexorable cause and effect -- for fateful national decisions.

    What's happening to our in-jettison-stage civil liberties can accurately be described as the "Israelization" of our nation.

    We helped to create and have until this second supported the Israeli juggernaut. Now we are becoming the image of what we created.

    Like Israel, we've become a nation driven by fear that we'll be attacked by people who've been motivated to hate us, and we're reacting by doing things that geometrically multiply the numbers of people who hate us.

    Like Israel, we're in the process of isolating ourselves in the world.

    Like Israel, we'll trade short-term suppression of possible attacks for the long-term strategic goals of solving underlying problems. Like Israel, we "cut the grass" every so often.

    Like Israel, we assassinate people at will and without any regard for legality or our own Constitution. (Israel, conveniently, doesn't have a constitution. We do -- but does it really matter?)

    During the Cold War, liberals used to say that McCarthyism and other anti-communist measures would make us another version of our opponents. That didn't happen -- but the"war on terror" is succeeding where the old Cold Warriors failed.

    For example, the School of the Americas torture schools now have Yankee offspring, who've applied their lessons in places like Guantanamo and abu Grab.

    We now -- not theoretically, but NOW -- live in a nation where the president has the authority to indefinitely detain and kill any American citizen on the basis of still-secret criteria only he and his designees can employ. Nothing anyone writes in e-mail, social media or on the phone is immune from inspection.

    All because we've already had our Reichstag fire and still live under the "emergency" decrees that followed 911.

    After the right-wing American government and economy collapses under the new debacle guaranteed by the fake reforms in place -- I for one would support the exercise of these new powers by the revolutionary peoples' government that eventually results. As a leftist, I'd much prefer a more peaceful, evolutionary path forward. But more likely, it's going to be a horrible, omelet-making interlude in our history.

    Contact Stanislas Sas at stanisas@hotmail.com


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    THE MYTH OF THE 'RIGHT WING' NETANYAHU

    Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, February 06, 2013

    The article below was written by Carl in Jerusalem who is an Orthodox Jew - some would even call him 'ultra-Orthodox.' He was born in Boston and he was was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991. Before he started blogging he was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact him at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com

    This article appeared February 06, 2013 in the Israel Matzav and is archived at
    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.it/2013/02/the-myth-of-right-wing-netanyahu.html

    Prime Minister Netanyahu is commonly regarded as a man of the Right. I don't believe that characterization is correct. Neither does Evelyn Gordon. Because this one is behind a paywall and I received it by email, I'm going to post a larger excerpt than usual.

    In truth, his stated positions have long been to the left of those espoused by the Left's idol, Yitzhak Rabin. For instance, Netanyahu endorses a Palestinian state; Rabin envisioned an "entity which is less than a state." Netanyahu also imposed Israel's first-ever freeze on settlement construction in 2009; Rabin vowed "not to hinder building for natural growth" in the settlements.

    Simple math similarly refutes the "right-wing" label. Writing in the Times of Israel before the election, Gil Reich aptly compared the world's distorted view of Israel's political map to the famous New Yorker's map of the world, with a huge New York and a tiny rest of the globe (his accompanying graphic makes the point better than words can). In Israel's case, the "right wing" is deemed to encompass well over half the Jewish public; the remaining minority is then arbitrarily divided into "center" and "center-left" (in the international media's parlance, there is no Israeli "left wing").

    Yet even after the election's vaunted "shift to the center," Netanyahu remains smack in the middle of the Israeli electorate. What the media terms the "right-wing" bloc (comprising Likud Yisrael Beiteinu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism) won 61 of the Knesset's 120 seats in the last election. Since Netanyahu is generally considered to represent his own slate's left flank, that puts him exactly in the center of the total electorate — with 59 MKs to his left and 60 to his right — and slightly left of center among the Jewish electorate's 109 MKs.

    Moreover, from 40 to 50 percent of voters for the 19-seat party to his immediate left — Yair Lapid's "centrist" Yesh Atid — define themselves as leaning right politically. So about nine seats to Netanyahu's left also consider themselves part of the media's "right-wing bloc."

    In short, the media has arbitrarily redefined the entire center of Israel's political map as "right-wing" — with such success that Israelis have even adopted this terminology to define themselves, producing the bizarre spectacle of voters to the left of the electoral midpoint describing themselves as "rightist." But in real life, the center of the map is still the center. And that's where Netanyahu is.

    Reich correctly noted that the media's definition is both self-referential and self-serving. It's self-referential because journalists arbitrarily define "center" not as the actual center of the map, but as where they think the center should be (most likely, he suggested, wherever would make them slightly left of center). It's self-serving because it's meant to further their own political goals: Since most voters don't want to be "right-wing extremists," this definition could nudge them leftward; additionally, portraying Israeli leaders as right-wing extremists unrepresentative of the "mainstream" (i.e. the left) makes it easier for foreign leaders and pundits to pressure them "while declaring support for the real Israel."

    Ironically, this tactic seems to have backfired on the first front: Instead, it's made people like Lapid's eminently centrist voters unashamed to call themselves "rightists," by convincing them that diplomatic positions they view as sane and mainstream are actually "right-wing." That's one reason the "right" keeps winning elections.

    But it undoubtedly has worked on the second front: Much of the world — including many Diaspora Jews — really believes Netanyahu is a "hardline right-winger" heading a "hardline right-wing" government.

    Indeed, this narrative is so entrenched that the world simply ignored one of the most salient facts about the election — the fact that, for the second election in a row, Netanyahu managed over the course of his campaign to drive several seats worth of voters from Likud to parties on its right. That constitutes the third reason why terming him "right-wing" is ridiculous: Anyone who was actually "right-wing," or even moderately right of center, wouldn't be so clueless about how genuine right-of-center voters think and feel.

    [...]

    In short, Netanyahu isn't right-wing by any conceivable standard: not in his positions, not in his location on Israel's political map, and not in his gut instincts. Yet he's nevertheless maligned worldwide as a "hardline right-winger" — all because the media refuse to let the facts interfere with their self-serving story.

    I agree for reasons I discussed here and here. Netanyahu is probably closer politically to Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin - both regarded as Center-Left - than he is to Moshe Feiglin and Naftali Bennett (both of whom are classified as 'extreme Right' here) or for that matter to Boogie Yaalon. We should not fool ourselves. If the 'Palestinians' are smart enough to come to the table without Hamas, Netanyahu will cut them a deal.

    Labels: Binyamin Netanyahu

    Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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    MOYNIHAN'S MOMENT: NEW BOOK TRACES LATE SENATOR'S GREAT ZIONIST ROMANCE

    Posted by UN Watch, February 06, 2013

    The article below was written by Marty Peretz who is an American publisher. Formerly an assistant professor at Harvard University, he purchased The New Republic in 1974 and took editorial control soon afterwards. Peretz is known for his strong support of Israel and support for the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003. He retained majority ownership until 2002, when he sold a two-thirds stake in the magazine to two financiers. Peretz sold the remainder of his ownership rights in 2007 to CanWest Global Communications, though he retained his position as editor-in-chief. In March 2009, Peretz repurchased the magazine with a group of investors led by ex-Lazard executive Laurence Grafstein. In late-2010, Peretz gave up his title of editor-in-chief at The New Republic, becoming instead editor emeritus, and also terminated his blog The Spine. This article appeared February 05, 2013 in the New York Observer.

    Not all of America's most eminent public personae are memorialized in public places. But when Pennsylvania Station is finally brought into the contemporary age, Daniel Patrick Moynihan will be, having been so honored in at least two other locations. Pat was still alive but barely out of office when the first of these buildings, the 27-story Moynihan Courthouse at Foley Square (which was named for "Big Tom" Foley, a Tammany Hall pol), was dedicated in his name. (Senior citizens among The Observer's readers may recall that this is where the Smith Act prosecution of the Communist Party leadership and the trial of Judith Coplon for Soviet espionage took place.)

    Moynihan Station will testify to the senator's fidelity to both the commonplace functionality of public transportation and the grand aspirations of civic architecture. He rescued not only this railroad hub, but also the national capital's Union Station. Nothing was too slight for this very big man's attentions, neither the Smithsonian Institution nor this city's Botanical Gardens nor Cooperstown, where he believably feigned an interest in baseball.

    Moynihan's Moment, the new book by the deep and graceful historian Gil Troy ($29.95; Oxford University Press), is about Pat's singular struggle against the rancid anti-Semitism embedded in the United Nations, once thought of as the world's "last best hope for peace." Alas, that world is no longer Eleanor Roosevelt's universe of good intentions. Factually and structurally, the U.N. is now set up in two ways for grand fibbing.

    The Security Council is governed by the veto privilege of its five permanent members.

    Do you want to know why nothing ever was done against the genocide in Sudan or, for that matter, in any other African country? Any measure that could have curbed the slaughter would have been nullified by a Russian or Chinese veto, probably both. The General Assembly, on the other hand, is a mob scene, like the Durban conferences convened by the U.N. Human Rights Council and its equally mendacious predecessor.

    It is, in effect, just another venue for the Nonaligned Movement, which has 120 members, all of them represented in the U.N. and almost all of them voting as one. Mohamed Morsi was last year's chairperson of the NAM; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is this year's. Chairperson, shmairperson: no woman has ever served.

    The November 10, 1975, vote of the General Assembly declaring that "Zionism is racism" was a foregone conclusion. So foregone that, as Mr. Troy explains, it led the Soviet bloc and its odd alliance of some 50 Muslim states—monarchies, "revolutionary republics" and just plain klepto-murderous gangs—to contemplate throwing Israel out of the U.N. altogether. Ultimately, they settled for their umpteenth rhetorical triumph, which accomplished literally nothing for the miserable Palestinians. Of course, the Palestinians have counted for nearly zero in the calculations of their Muslim brothers, and for less than zero in the arbitrage of their mischievous comrades, whose game was less to punish Israel than to encircle the United States with the anger of its beneficiaries and putative clients.

    Mr. Moynihan understood this convoluted chess game, and he trounced the Arabs and their cynical Communist patrons with the straightforward eloquence for which he was beloved. Mr. Troy captures nearly every moment of the intra-bureaucratic American struggle for Ronald Reagan's soul. Henry Kissinger, who clearly did not like Mr. Moynihan, connived against him.

    And many others, like J. William Fulbright, actually an embittered but haughty anti-black racist,New York Times James Reston and a large cohort of diplomat-professors like Columbia's Richard Gardner and Princeton's Richard Falk, an anti-Semitic Jew now in the career service of the Human Rights Council, all of whom did not especially like Mr. Kissinger either—he was a pushy Jew, an arrogant intellectual and, oh, yes, Vietnam and Chile—came down on Mr. Moynihan from the internationalist left. (In 1969, I went to see Mr. Fulbright and his wife in the Senate dining room on behalf of the children of Biafra. He came directly to the point: "Why, for God's sake, are you interested in these pickaninnies?")

    In any case, no one had really gauged the deep and abiding racism of those governments and societies that were so eager to accuse Israel of racism. As it happens, there was hardly a government in the anti-Israel swarm that was not deeply racist. And they are sanguinely racist still: Russia, China, each and every one of the Arab countries, and most of Asia and Africa. This was the prosecution, and this is the prosecution still.

    U.N. Resolution 3379 was ultimately revoked 16 years later. But the bitter fact is that the repudiation of the libel was little more than symbolic. Condemnation of Israel is still a reflex, sometimes noticed, sometimes not. Palestinian "victories" in the Assembly bring no political or economic relief to these orphan Arabs. Those who fight for them on New York's East River are indifferent to their fate, the anger mustered against the Jews a disguise of their disdain and heedlessness.

    So Palestine is now a United Nations non-member state, comparable only to the Vatican. Moreover, the fratricide in Syria, the civil war in Egypt, the coming erosion of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan, the ongoing inter-sectarian murder in Iraq, the escalating carnage in Yemen, the breakup of Lebanon and the religious wars in Africa are all portents of the evaporation of the Muslim center. It may be disguised by oil wealth. But not for long. And, let's face it, the petro-monarchs do not govern integral societies. Their wealth is not at home but in London, New York and Beijing.

    This book is a highly sophisticated intellectual history of liberal America in the last decades of the 20th century. Mr. Moynihan was a major actor in this history, as well as one of its great interpreters. So, too, was that epitome of complicated honesty, Nathan Glazer, who was Pat's partner in the writing of Beyond the Melting Pot, a disturbing narrative picture of race and ethnicity in America. Resentment against the truths in this book spilled over into the hatred that the mere mention of Mr. Moynihan's name sometimes provoked in the self-defined thought capitols of the country.

    But Pat was intrepid, knowing when he was stepping into a shitstorm. Like when he ran against Bella Abzug, Paul O'Dwyer (Mayor Bill O'Dwyer's deep-lefty brother) and Ramsey Clark (LBJ's attorney general), who was just then entering his nutsy period, pronouncing America as guilty of trying at once to rule and destroy the world. Mr. Moynihan was adept in the political arena. He was a brilliant teacher. He was also a diplomat who, with his wife Liz, charmed India and virtually single-handedly persuaded New Delhi that a better destiny lay with the democracies.

    moynahan

    As for the Jews and the Jewish state, Pat grasped the romance of Zionism, its unprecedented revival of Hebrew as a living language, its pioneering esprit, its treacherous experience with Arabs, its transformation of a dispersed people into a modern and democratic polity. Some aspects of the rancor Israel provokes are envy, incompetence and historical hatred, much of it located in the church to which he was faithful. But nothing matches Islam's hatred of Zion, and Gil Troy captures its resentment at its sad and self-defeating worst.

    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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    DOING WHAT WE CAN

    Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 06, 2013

    Several times now I've run information on Zakkai, a two-year old boy in the States who had to undergo three surgeries for a fast-growing (albeit benign) tumor against his spine and lungs. The hope and prayer after the last surgery was that this would be the end.

    But it was not to be, as tiny nodules that remained on his spine began to grow dangerously again. This coming week, on February 11, Zakkai will again go under the knife. This time the tumors will not just be removed, some tissue around them will be excised as well, right against his spine. His parents, who have several other children, including a nursing baby, are drained and beside themselves.

    Please, start praying for Zakkai now, and let's hope that there will be good news in the days after the surgery:

    Rephael Zakkai Avraham ben Yakira Avigael

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    How lucky can we get? First Kerry will be here, and then Obama. The president is due, as I understand it, on March 21, although that still seems a bit uncertain. In addition to visiting Jerusalem, he will be stopping in Jordan and Ramallah.

    message

    According to US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, the visit will be sending a message about the "strong and deep connection between both countries." That's just lovely. But I want to understand Obama's motives and goals in visiting now.

    There are those who suggest that the timing of the announcement -- made while the coalition is in process of being formed -- is meant to pressure Netanyahu to go for a more left wing coalition that would be amenable to what Obama is going to propose regarding negotiations. Perish the thought that our prime minister should be that readily influenced by the mere prospect of Obama's visit. This seems a bit blatant to be the reality.

    And in any event, Netanyahu has already declared intention to form a broad based "unity" coalition in order to deal with what's coming for us with regard to Syria and Iran. He has his own logic.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    That Obama will want to discuss "the two state solution" and a return to the negotiating table is a near certainty. Will he come, as some are saying, with a new "plan"? Not sure. There are denials that this will be so. He would be very foolish to advance concrete suggestions at this time, when matters are so stagnated. He may simply be intending to take the pulse of the situation, offer "encouragement," both here and with Abbas.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    We have to hope, and send messages with regard to the expectation, that Netanyahu will not be unduly swayed by the president's "encouragement." He has got to stand strong in enunciating our rights in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, and be forthright with regard to the security risks we would incur were we to pull back.

    That there will be "good will gestures" towards the Palestinian Arabs before Obama arrives is almost a given. That seems to be the way the game is played, no matter how deplorable it is, that we should have to offer "gestures" to an entity that promotes terrorism against us.

    Already, the government has decided to release tax revenues collected for the PA that had been withheld because of its unilateral action in the UN, to be applied to a huge electric bill severely in arrears. Whether or not it was yet understood here that Obama was coming, when this decision was made, it is likely that we already knew Kerry was, and that the US was going to start talking about the "peace process" again.

    I will not speculate further here on what other "gestures" we might yet see.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Yet with all of this said and done, the fact is that there are other matters on the agenda besides "peace negotiations" between Israel and the PLO -- matters more urgent.

    Primary, is Iran, which is inching closer to nuclear capacity.

    I have observed several things of late:

    In my last posting, I spoke about how Netanyahu told the Cabinet that Iran will be using more efficient centrifuges, which bring their ability to go nuclear closer, and "we cannot live with this." Pretty definitive.

    On the same day, and surely with the prime minister's sanction, Barak said that, "What happened in Syria several days ago [is] proof that when we [say] something we mean it."

    And so, we are inching very close to action on Iran. It seems implicit at this point.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    At the same time, I have observed that we gave the US heads up on our intention to hit in Syria and took the action with American blessing -- even, news reports said, blessing for further attacks of a similar nature. After the attack, Clinton's words were supportive of our position -- there was no hint of criticism.

    What it seemed to me is that while Obama has not the courage to act in Syria, he was ultimately pleased that Israel is acting -- certainly with regard to chemical weapons and transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.

    So there may be a good deal to talk about regarding Syria, as Assad comes closer to falling.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Even more so, talks between the Israeli and American heads of state may be of critical importance vis-a-vis Iran. Here's where sending a message about the "strong and deep connection between both countries" becomes important. And here is where the ikar -- the essence of the matter -- lies.

    My own take is that the pattern that has been established with our hits on Syria will continue here.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I will make one purely tentative prediction here: We may see some movement on "peace negotiations" agreed to by Netanyahu as a quid pro quo for support from Obama on Iran.

    In the end, I believe that if we do act on Iran, Obama will not criticize and may well lend some sort of logistical backup. We will do the dirty work. He'll be clean -- having even offered one-on-one discussions with Iran -- but will be glad that we did what he should have done but had not the will nor courage to do.

    I would not find it terribly upsetting, should Netanyahu make some movement towards negotiations -- as long as nothing of significance were to be conceded up front. This is, first, because taking out Iran is of the utmost importance, and two, because whatever we would do would be only a game: Netanyahu knows full well that the Palestinian Arabs are never going to strike a deal with us.

    What Netanyahu would be doing would not be cementing a deal with the PA, or even making significant headway in that direction. He would be giving a gift to Obama -- lending the impression that the US president had the diplomatic skills, the clout, have it as you will, to influence Israel to be more forthcoming on negotiations.

    I could live with this, without finding that my stomach turned upside-down, if a larger and more important goal were served. As, obviously, could our prime minister. In fact this is his MO.

    Speculation...time will tell.

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


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    PLO URGES OBAMA TO PLAY POSITIVE ROLE IN MIDEAST

    Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 06, 2013

    This article Below was publihed by Palestinian News & Info Agency on February 06, 2013 (WAFA) and is archived at
    http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=21634

    Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, Wednesday urged US President Barack Obama to play a more positive role in the Middle East conflict.

    She said in a statement commenting on Obama's plan to visit the region in March that would also include Palestine that he would be welcome if he leads a more balanced policy in the region.

    "We welcome President Obama's visit if it signals an American promise to become an honest and impartial peace broker," she said. "The U.S. can play this positive role by engaging in an effective and constructive manner rather than by repeating the same policy of negotiations for their own sake."

    Ashrawi said that "for any American initiative to succeed, it should lead to urgent, substantive and serious action that will end the Israeli occupation."

    The PLO official called on Obama to act decisively to curb Israeli "violations and unilateral measures, particularly settlement activity and the annexation of Jerusalem, as well as its siege and fragmentation policies."

    She said that "any initiative must have defined objectives and a binding timeframe. This must happen before Israel succeeds in finally destroying the two-state solution and hence the chances of peace."

    "Maintaining Israel's impunity and sense of exceptionalism, while denying the Palestinian people's rights to sovereignty, freedom and dignity, has been lethal to any meaningful pursuit of a viable and just peace. We therefore expect that this visit will rectify the failures of the past, demonstrate a newfound political will, and lead to urgent, substantive and serious action that will bring the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine to an end," concluded Ashrawi.

    Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com


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    ANOTHER ONE-SIDED EU RESOLUTION

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 06, 2013

    The Council of the EU approved these points:

    1. Take bold steps to peace now. Negotiate directly and substantively without pre-conditions to end the "Israeli-Palestinian" conflict, ending all claims.

    ["Bold" means that Israel risks survival on another pact with the PLO pact-breakers, and the Arabs risk nothing.]

    [Arabs don't relent. They keep raising new claims.]

    2. Success requires a clear basis for negotiations for a "two-state solution." Peace requires meeting Arab aspirations for sovereignty and Israel's for security.

    [But the negotiations were supposed to be without pre-conditions. Now the EU demands a pre-condition of statehood for the Arabs.]

    [The Arabs aspire to conquer Israel. Let's thwart their aspirations, which are not legitimate.]

    3. The EU "opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and in ...the E1 area. The E1 plan ... would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict by jeopardizing the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. It could also entail forced transfer of civilian population." Settlements are illegal and obstruct peace.

    [Why oppose Israeli plans for building and not Arabs'? Is that fair, when Oslo recognizes Israel's right to build? Thought the EU was against pre-conditions, but that is another pre-condition (especially when the P.A. refuses to negotiate unless that pre-condition is met.)]

    [The eastern part of Jerusalem does not belong to the Arabs and it is part of the capital city, so why shouldn't Israel build in it?]

    [The notion that E1 would cut off the P.A. is contrary to what the maps show. It's one of those unchecked claims that gets popular. Anyway, in Arab hands, EI would cut off

    Maale Adumim from Israel, and therefore make it vulnerable to Arab aggression.]

    [If the P.A. were contiguous, then it would cut through Israel and make Israel non-contiguous. What standard has the EU?]

    [The P.A. is too corrupt and militaristic to be viable. Its purpose is as a launching pad for jihad.]

    [Insisting that Jerusalem be divided is still another pre-condition. Perhaps the EU thinks nobody would notice its hypocrisy and double standards.]

    [Forced transfer is what the P.A. proposes be done to Jews. Nobody is proposing it for the Arabs. The EU note is unclear what it is referring to.]

    [Radical Islam obstructs peace. Nothing else, except for EU and other encouragers of the P.A. radicals.]

    [Jewish communities are legal. The Palestine Mandate, endorsed by the UN, recognizes that. Besides, under international law, a country may annex areas necessary for its national security. Most EU countries got their boundaries by conquest. Let's redraw their boundaries, first. The Geneva Convention was referring to occupied territory, which means occupying some sovereign power's territory. It was referring to moving one's population into a sovereign area taken by aggression. But there was no sovereign power in Judea-Samaria and Gaza, and the Arabs are the aggressors. Hence those areas were not occupied by Israel. The Golan was annexed legally by Israel, for security.]

    4. The EU "will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders," including to Jerusalem, unless negotiated. The EU refuses to let any agreements with Israel apply to the Golan, Judea Samaria, and Gaza. The EU won't accept products made by Israelis in the Territories.

    [Israel had no pre-1967 borders. No Arabs negotiated one and Israel didn't declare any. Since the Arabs tried to stifle the Jewish state at birth, it had to fight for its country. So, what the EU calls borders were merely where the armies ceased fire. Those lines have no legal or moral significance. After 1967, negotiations brought borders with Egypt and Jordan.]

    [Considering the P.A. campaign to murder thousands of Jews, the sole EU reaction, to boycott Jewish communities in the Territories is old-fashioned European hypocrisy.]

    5. Israel should not undermine P.A. finances by withholding tax transfers.

    [Israel sometimes suspends transfers after the P.A. does further violations of its peace agreement with Israel. Apparently the EU wants Israel to subsidize the P.A. while the P.A. makes acts of war against Israel. What social justice, that?]

    6. The P.A. should not act to undermine peace prospects.

    [No EU boycott of the P.A., just of Jewish communities?]

    7. The EU wants all goods and people allowed to cross from Gaza into Israel unconditionally. Illegal weapons transfer into Gaza must be addressed, perhaps by restoring EU gate-guarding.

    [Last time, when the EU guards thought that the P.A. was bringing in contraband, the P.A. threatened the guards and the EU guards ran away. What would be different this time, the EU will pick guards who can run faster?]

    [Israel is under no obligation to let anything in to its country. While the EU talks about peace, the Arabs make war, 100 rockets here, terrorist attacks there, incitement to violence everywhere, and constant attempts to smuggle arms and terrorists. J'accuse le EU of facilitating Islamic terrorism.]

    8. The two P.A. factions should unite, so an agreement would cover the whole P.A..

    [So now the EU trusts Hamas, which easily ousted the PLO from Gaza, not oust the PLO from Judea-Samaria? If those two fanatical factions would unite, what kind of a P.A. monster would the EU spawn?

    9. The P.A. is committed to Israeli security and opposes those who embrace violence. Hamas' rejection of Israel's right to exist is unacceptable. The EU will unceasingly combat terrorism and opponents of tolerance and civility.

    [Hasn't the EU noticed Abbas's rejection of the Jewish state's right to exist/]

    [Committed to Israeli security by fostering a terrorist state alongside it and thereby depriving Israel of secure borders? Opposes those who embrace violence by giving them sovereignty and harassing Israel for defending itself? Europe, itself, tolerates Islamic intolerance.]

    10. The EU also supports democracy.

    [Both parts of the P.A. are dictatorships. Journalism is controlled. Dissidents are shot. Other religions are banned. First the EU should acquire some integrity, then it should support democracy.]
    (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/
    foraff/134140.pdf via IMRA, 12/10/12).

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


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    UN PLAN FOR 'PALESTINE': ISRAEL'S DETERRENCE POWER

    Posted by Louis Rene Beres, February 06, 2013

    After further codifications of Palestinian statehood, conditions in the Middle East would become markedly less favorable to both Israel and the United States. The only credible way for Israel to deter large-scale conventional attacks following additional Palestinian progress toward full national sovereignty would be by maintaining visible and increasingly large-scale conventional capabilities.

    Naturally, enemy states contemplating first-strike attacks upon Israel using chemical and/or biological weapons would be apt to take more seriously Israel's nuclear deterrent. Whether or not this nuclear deterrent had remained undisclosed (the so-called bomb in the basement) could also affect Israel's deterrent credibility and, thereby, U.S. security.

    A strong conventional capability will always be needed by Israel to successfully deter and/or preempt enemy conventional attacks. However, any Oslo Agreement and "Road Map" expectations related to Palestinian statehood would critically impair Israel's strategic depth, and thus the IDF's indispensable capacity to wage conventional warfare (possibly in more than a single theatre at a time).

    If, after the creation of "Palestine," any frontline regional enemy states were to perceive Israel's own growing sense of expanding weakness, this, ironically, could strengthen Israel's nuclear deterrent. If, however, these enemy states did not identify such a "sense" among Israel's pertinent decision-makers, they could, animated by Israel's presumed conventional force deterioration, be encouraged to attack.

    The logical result, spawned by Israel's post-"Palestine" incapacity to maintain reliable conventional deterrence, would be: (1) defeat of Israel in a conventional war; or (2) defeat of Israel in an unconventional chemical/biological/nuclear war; or (3) defeat of Israel in a combined conventional/unconventional war; or (4) defeat of Arab/Islamic state enemies by Israel in an unconventional war.

    Ironically, for Israel — hence, also, for the United States — even the "successful" fourth possibility could prove intolerable. The probable consequences of any regional nuclear war, or even a chemical/biological war in the Middle East, would be calamitous for the victor as well as the vanquished. Here, President Obama should take special note: Traditional notions of "victory" and "defeat" would likely lose all reasonable meaning.

    All major Palestinian groups, directly or indirectly, are still committed by their various charters and covenants to both genocide and crimes against humanity. This is hardly an exaggeration, as the published expectations of all Palestinian terror groups plainly call for the physical destruction of Israel. According to the Hamas covenant, the Islamic Resistance Movement is "universal."

    All Palestinian groups, whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and its subunits or any other "revolutionary" faction, share an understanding that "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad...." As for Israel, all Palestinians have a firm and unchallengeable obligation to "obliterate it." The PLO charter mirrors the Hamas covenant, calling the "nucleus" of the Palestinian movement only those who are "fighters and carriers of arms."

    In unassailable Islamic parlance, all war dictated by the shari'ah is necessarily "holy." Yet the Arabic word jihad, which has the literal meaning of "effort," "striving," or "struggle," ought to be approached and understood by President Obama and other world leaders with the greatest seriousness. A basic commandment of Islam, jihad is in an obligation imposed upon all Muslims by Allah, and it is now patently military in intent.

    Derived from the universality of Muslim revelation, jihad calls upon those who have accepted Allah's message and his word to strive (jahada) relentlessly to convert, or, at a minimum, to subjugate, those who have not been converted. Regarding the state of Israel, this obligation is imposed without any limits of space or time. Indeed, this incontestable obligation must continue until the entire world has accepted Islam, or has submitted to the deified power of the Islamic state.

    The Palestinian Authority and its allied organizations are obligated to refrain from incitement against Israel not only by the general body of pertinent and peremptory international law (law so fundamental that it can "never permit any derogation"), but also by the Interim Agreement (Oslo II). Here, at Article XXII, it states precisely that Israel and the PA "shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other...." In the Note for the Record that accompanies the Hebron Protocol of January 15, 1997, the PA reaffirmed its commitment regarding "Preventing Incitement and Hostile Propaganda, as specified in Article XXII of the Interim Agreement."

    President Obama and other world leaders are standing by the Oslo and Hebron agreements, and by the corollary "Road Map." Whichever codification is in preferential force, these leaders seem not to understand that the binding Genocide Convention criminalizes not only various acts of genocide but also (Article III) conspiracy to commit genocide, and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Articles II, III and IV of the Genocide Convention are fully applicable in all cases of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

    For the Conventionto be invoked, it is sufficient that any one of the state parties call for a meeting, through the United Nations, of all the state parties (Article VIII). Although this has never been done, President Obama should consider taking this very step. Israel, too, could become an obvious co-participant in this law-enforcing call, but it is unlikely that Prime Minister Netanyahu would ever proceed to do this without first seeking American approval.

    Louis René Beres is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies. This article appeared in the print edition of the Jewish Press under the title "The UN Plan for 'Palestine' and its Aftermath (Second of Four Parts)." Contact him at lberes@purdue.edu


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    BERNIE MADOFF'S BEN GURION UNIVERSITY CONNECTION

    Posted by Steven Plaut, February 07, 2013

    Ben Gurion University in Israel is probably best known for being home to many of the worst far-leftist anti-Israel radical faculty members in the country, people like Neve Gordon, Oren Yiftachel, and David Newman. While it has some serious scholars, mainly in the sciences and engineering, the social sciences and humanities departments there are by and large centers for leftist indoctrination and anti-Israel agitprop. The entire Department of Politics consists of anti-Israel extremists, and its academic standards are so pathetically low that an international panel of experts recently called for shutting it down altogether. Now it has been learned that the University is also up-to-its-neck involved in the Bernard Madoff mega-scandal. Indeed, it appears that part of the salaries for Neve Gordon and his ilk come from funds stolen by Bernard Madoff from his victims and transferred to BGU.

    In recent months many details have emerged about the connections between Ben Gurion University and the Madoff scandal. In particular, attention is focusing on the role of Israeli lawyer Yair Green, who currently serves as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of Ben Gurion University. BGU was a major beneficiary of donations transferred to it by Green, whose source was money stolen by Madoff. The University has indicated no plans or willingness to return any of the stolen funds.

    Green is being investigated in the United States and in Israel; he has been indicted in the United States by the court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, who is in charge of unraveling and cleaning up the disaster left over by the Madoff Affair. That Affair involved the largest Ponzi scam in human history, in which losses to investors amounted to more than $50 billion. While Madoff's victims came from across the spectrum, a very large portion of them were Jewish institutions, philanthropies, and individuals. Green is suspected of being involved in several funds with close ties to the Madoff operations, and also operating a "charity fund" in Israel that made donations to Israeli universities and other institutions using funds stolen by Madoff from his victims.

    Bernard Madoff, it will be recalled, operated a gargantuan Ponzi "investment" scam. A bit like chain letters and pyramid schemes, a "Ponzi scheme" is one in which investor funds are basically moved about by the operator from investor to investor to create the delusion of profits being earned, as the operator skims off substantial amounts for himself and his partners. When it collapses, investors lose most or all of their investments. The Madoff scam produced enormous damages and losses, but also produced some beneficiaries, including Green himself and Ben Gurion University.

    BGU's Green was connected in a number of different ways to the Madoff operations, including as the managing director of the "Magnify" corporation, a shady investment fund registered in Panama. That fund was originally set up by one Albert Igoin, a Romanian-born French banker and financial manager with close ties to Madoff. After serving in the French underground during World War II, Igoin was the right hand man of a French communist party leader. French intelligence believed he operated as a Soviet spy in France. He was under constant surveillance by French counter-intelligence, and the US refused to allow him to enter its borders.

    At some point Igoin lost interest in Stalinism and instead went into finance. He did exceptionally well. He later teamed up with Madoff back in the 1970s. Igoin was deeply involved in the Madoff operations, and "Magnify" was involved in channeling funds to and from the Madoff "investment house."

    Green not only ran "Magnify," but also some other funds or operations in which Ingoin was involved, including Primero and Strand, based in the Virgin Islands. In 1988 Green set up with Igoin the so-called Yeshaya Horowitz Association, which funded applied research projects in Israel. It is named after an 18th century kabbalist and Rabbi. Its stated purpose was to channel donations to Israeli universities, hospitals and other institutions.

    Before the scandal, the Horowitz Association had raised between 100 and 200 million dollars, mainly for Israeli universities. Press reports claimed that it lost $800 million in the collapse of Madoff's scheme, although all or almost all of those funds were simply money siphoned off to it from Madoff, not trading profits or investment earnings.

    Green was also the direct beneficiary of funds handled by his operations, including a payment of over three million dollars from the "Magnify" fund. Green's children also received cash "gifts." Green claimed that some of these came from the daughter of Albert Igouin, who now lives in Europe. But when contacted by Israel's Channel Ten, she denied even knowing who Green is or having met him. Igoin himself died in 1995.

    Green began raising funds for Ben Gurion University while the Madoff scheme grew. In exchange, he was first granted an honorary PhD by the University and later appointed chairman of the executive committee of the University's Board of Governors by its leftist President Rivka Carmi, a post he still fills. Green also developed political ties with Israeli politicians, especially from the Left. He has close ties with Israeli President Shimon Peres and with assorted Labor Party activists and leaders, including Avishai Braverman, past president of BGU. The Labor Party's one-time Minister of Education Yuli Tamir appointed Green to sit in the country's Council on Higher Education. Peres received funds from Green and granted him honors in exchange.

    Ben Gurion University was not the only beneficiary of Green's activities. So was the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Among the members of the board of the Horowitz Association, overseeing the distribution of funds, was Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, the ex-President of the Hebrew University (who is also on the international board of the far-leftist "New Israel Fund"). The Horowitz Association made large contributions to the "President's Assembly" run by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    The Green-Madoff connections were exposed in a special television exposé a few months back on Israel's Channel Ten in its "Hamakor" documentary, a show roughly analogous to "60 Minutes" in the US. Channel Ten and the Nana news web site claim that Yair Green siphoned off millions of dollars in money scammed by Madoff from his victims, suggesting that this was some sort of hush money to hold his tongue about Madoff's behavior. He held repeated face-to-face meetings with Madoff.

    Green had registered his Horowitz Association as a non-profit institution in Israel. When the registrar for non-profits demanded to know what the source was for the funds that Green was conveying to recipients in Israel, Green refused to answer, claiming the donor had required anonymity. It turned out that the only source of the funds was the Madoff "investment house." Channel Ten claims Green received $3.15 million to his own bank account in 2002 from Magnify (in addition to other payments received). In 2005 each of Green's children received a payment of $100,000 from "Magnify." Green claims the millions were fees due him for legal services.

    After a trustee was appointed to handle the cleanup of the financial mess left behind by the collapse of the Madoff scheme, the trustee filed a suit this past summer (on June 15, 2012) against a group of defendants, including both Green and the Horowitz Association regarding jurisdiction, and the petition was granted. Picard insists that Green and Madoff had an unusually close and warm personal relationship.

    The suit charges that Green was among those who received large amounts of payouts from the Madoff fund, funds that had in effect been stolen from Madoff's victims and were siphoned off to Green (and other defendants). One of the defendants was the "Magnify Corporation."

    The suit went on to charge this: According to the Trustee, "Green and/or Brunner exercised control" over the Accountholder Defendants' accounts. Further, "Green and Brunner had virtually unfettered discretion to manipulate the Accountholder Defendants' accounts," and they "exploited their relationships with Madoff" to do so. Allegedly taking advantage of that power, "Green and Brunner ... funneled millions of dollars of other people's money ... to themselves, their families, Yeshaya, other charitable institutions throughout Israel, and other individuals and entities being investigated by the Trustee around the world."

    The suit charges that group of funds run by Green and Brunner "was inconsistent with legitimate trading activity," as these accounts were rife with "indicia of irregularity." Allegedly ignoring these indicia of irregularity, Brunner and Green exercised control over the entities' accounts "to siphon money from BLMIS for the benefit of the Defendants, particularly Yeshaya, as well as their family members and various Israeli institutions." '

    In spite of his role in the Madoff affair, Green continues to attempt to raise funds for Israeli institutions. And especially for Ben Gurion University.

    Steven Plaut is a native Philadelphian who teaches business finance and economics at the University of Haifa in Israel. He holds a PhD in economics from Princeton. He is author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center booklets about the Hamas and Jewish Enablers of the War against Israel. Write him at splaut@gmail.com His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. This article is archived at http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/steven-plaut/bernie-madoffs-ben-gurion-university-connection/


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    OBAMA CIA NOMINEE JOHN BRENNAN WRONG FOR THE JOB

    Posted by Israel Commentary, February 07, 2013

    Redacted from a terrifying analysis by Steven Emerson and John Rossomando Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) News. This article is archive at http://israel-commentary.org/?p=5852 and published February 05, 2013

    America's top spy needs to be a steely eyed realist, sensitive to emerging threats and keen about our foes' intent to deceive us.

    Unfortunately, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, has shown a tendency to fall for the bait from radical Islamists. Globally, he repeatedly expressed a hope that, 'moderates' within Iran and its terror proxy Hizballah would steer their respective constituencies away from terrorism.

    Domestically, he claims that radical Islam does not pose its own, unique threat to American security. He has helped strip language about "radical Islam," "jihad" and similar terms from government vernacular, choosing instead to refer to "violent extremism" in an attempt to deny terrorists religious credibility. When it comes to jihad, he stubbornly maintains the word does not belong in conversations about terror, no matter what terrorists themselves say.

    Likewise, he also yielded to demands from American Islamists to purge law enforcement and intelligence training material of the terms "jihad" and "radical Islam."

    Despite these positions, some American Islamists still oppose Brennan's nomination because he is considered the architect of the drone program which has killed scores of al-Qaida terrorists.

    That should tell him something. But there is little in Brennan's record to indicate he'll learn from the experience.

    Brennan Promotes Iran-Hizballah Outreach

    Brennan's complacency regarding the jihad threat was made clear in May 2010, when he expressed a desire to encourage "moderate elements" of Hizballah, which is a State Department-designated terrorist organization.

    "There is certainly the elements of Hizballah that are truly a concern to us what they're doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements," a Reuters report quoted Brennan saying.

    He did not explain where such elements could be found, how they could be identified, or what separated them from the Hizballah "extremists."

    That was just the latest in a series of similar statements Brennan has made about Hizballah, the group which ranks second only to al-Qaida in killing Americans in terrorist attacks. The Iranian-founded and funded group "started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early '80s and has evolved significantly over time," Brennan said in an Aug. 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization.

    "However, within Hezbollah, there's still a terrorist core. And hopefully those elements within the Shia community in Lebanon and within Hezbollah at large — they're going to continue to look at that extremist terrorist core as being something that is anathema to what, in fact, they're trying to accomplish in terms of their aspirations about being part of the political process in Lebanon. And so, quite frankly, I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion."

    In a paper published a year earlier, Brennan called on U.S. officials to "cease public Iran-bashing," and recommended that the U.S. "tolerate, and even ... encourage, greater assimilation of Hizballah into Lebanon's political system, a process that is subject to Iranian influence."

    In "The Conundrum of Iran: Strengthening Moderates without Acquiescing to Belligerence," published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and 
Social Science in July 2008, Brennan claimed that Hizballah's participation in Lebanese politics was evidence that it was leaving behind its terrorist roots:

    "This political involvement is a far cry from Hizballah's genesis as solely a terrorist organization dedicated to murder, kidnapping, and violence. Not coincidentally, the evolution of Hizballah into a fully vested player in the Lebanese political system has been accompanied by a marked reduction in terrorist attacks carried out by the organization.

    The best hope for maintaining this trend and for reducing the influence of violent extremists within the organization — as well as the influence of extremist Iranian officials who view Hizballah primarily as a pawn of Tehran — is to increase Hizballah's stake in Lebanon's struggling democratic processes."

    The record since then could not be further from Brennan's idealistic hopes. Four Hizballah members have been indicted by an international tribunal in connection with the 2005 car-bomb assassination of Lebanon's President Rafiq Hariri. Hizballah has helped Iran send fighters and advisers into Syria to try to aid dictator Bashar al-Assad's ruthless assault on his own people. A new report finds Hizballah, working with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is responsible for a wave of terrorist plots throughout the world. Any move away from violence may have been a strategic lull aimed at avoiding being "caught in the crosshairs of Washington's 'war on terror.'"

    That lull appears to be over, the report finds.

    Brennan's analysis also was refuted by a senior Hizballah leader. Engaging in Lebanese parliamentary politics does not make Hizballah moderate and Hizballah politicians are still part of the mother ship.

    "The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions," Naim Qassem, a deputy to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, told the Los Angeles Times.

    The retired Israeli Brigadier General Shimon Shapira observed: "Hizbullah's own analysis of itself contradicts what Brennan has been writing and stating in recent years.

    "Today, saying that Hizbullah has moderate elements that have moved away from terrorism can lead the political echelons in the West to ignore how Hizbullah is serving its Iranian sponsors by directly threatening Israel's civilian population. On May 20, 2010, Hizbullah military sources boasted to the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai that Israel will be bombarded with 15 tons of explosives a day if a future war breaks out. Hizbullah clearly does not care about the implications of its military build-up for the people of Lebanon, because it only seeks to serve the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

    In his 2008 paper, Brennan also advocated direct engagement with Iran despite its well-earned reputation as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. He minimized the threat of Iran's nuclear weapons program and blamed American rhetoric as "brash labeling" for hardening Tehran's position toward the United States. Brennan's recommendations assumed Iranian interest in backing away from terrorism and a nuclear bomb.

    Brennan's abysmal record goes on and on for over 4000 words in the devastating analysis just posted by Steven Emerson and John Rossomando. If your stomach and mind can handle it go to:

    http://www.investigativeproject.org

    (But, the conclusion is irrefutable, President Obama could not have picked a worse man, not unlike Chuck Hagel, to protect the vital interests of the United States of America. Any Senator that votes for this guy's confirmation should truly have his cerebral faculties evaluated. I am sorry to say.) jsk

    Contact the Israel Commentary website at http://www.israel-commentary.org.


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    EZRA'S JUDEA AND SAMARIA

    Posted by Nurit Greenger, February 07, 2013

    The discussions about Judea and Samaria stance is the discussion about the Jewish nations' birth, some 3000 years ago.

    I often wonder why the Israelis did not welcome the land of Judea and Samaria as their lost land, which they regained while protecting the rest of their country from the aggressors Arabs.

    I often wonder why the Israelis in 2013 still debating giving away their own land to Arab squatters who have been at war with them for over 100 years and will never end that war so long they are able to breathe.

    No elected government of Israel has a right to give away Jewish land to the enemy of the Jewish people. The land is not their personal property to give, it belongs and the property of the entire Jewish nation. It is like a museum curator who gives away display items as a gift to the people. That is simply impossible!

    Several months ago I received an invitation to attend a screening of a film about Judea and Samaria. Since the subject is close to my heart I was going to RSVP, but the invitation only had venue street address, without indicating the city and country. I send a message to the host who issued the invitation and that is how I met Ezra Ridgley, a Toronto, Canada resident. I never attended the screening but I gained a long distance friend, a man who is totally in love with the state of Israel, in particularly the land of Judea and Samaria.

    Contact Nurit Greenger at 4nuritg@bca.rr.com


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    DENNIS MILLER~~THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS

    Posted by Richard W, February 07, 2013

    Sometimes an entertaining message is stronger than a scholarly one. I remember talking with the 1980's fictionalized "Shoah" TV producer Green. He said that otherwise educated people came to him saying that they had never know about it before they saw his TV series. Richard Wimberly

    For those of you who don't like Dennis Miller, who is not Jewish, you may want to reconsider after reading his brilliant comments that follow. Please pass it on to your friends.

    For those who don't know, Dennis Miller is a comedian who has a show called Dennis Miller Live on HBO. Although he is not Jewish, he recently had the following to say about the Middle East situation:

    'A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you Really need.

    Here we go:

    The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like 'Wiccan,' 'Palestinian' sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no Palestinians.'

    As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the 'Palestinians, weeping for their deep bond with their lost 'land' and 'nation.'

    So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word 'Palestinian' any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone Points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: 'Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death. ' I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: 'Adjacent Jew-Haters.' Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing: No, they don't. They could've had their own country. Anytime in the last thirty years, especially several years ago at Camp David. But If you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks. And Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

    That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course that's where the Real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.

    Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or 'The Zionist Entity' as their Textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab Countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.

    It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mid east. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

    Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five Million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

    Really? Wow, what neat news.

    Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

    My friend, Kevin Rooney, made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.

    Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of Innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

    However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some. After September 11th our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

    If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan.

    If you agree, pass this on; if you disagree, just delete.

    Contact Richard W at richard.wimberly@gmail.com


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    MIDEAST POLICY AND DOING THE RIGHT THING

    Posted by John Cohn, February 07, 2013

    To the Editor,

    America's Mideast policy is indeed in tatters as Trudy Rubin recognizes. Iran continues development of nuclear weapons while its leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejects America's offer of renewed negotiations. The Arab Spring is now a harsh winter. Violence has spread, with 60,000 dead in Syria alone. Egypt's Islamist leader, President Mohammed Morsi, this week rolled out the red carpet for Iran's president, huddling with him and Turkey to plan common strategy.

    Generations of Palestinian leaders, including the current titular president, never accepted Israeli peace offers, or even the existence of Israel as the Jews' state, although multiple Israeli Prime Ministers, including Bibi Netanyahu, made offers to the Palestinians along the lines of what Amos Yadlin suggests. Israel turned over Gaza to the Palestinians, forcefully removing all its Jews, only to see it controlled by Hamas, another source of violence in a region with no shortage of trouble spots.

    Rubin's response is for our president to once more pressure Israel. Rubin is too much of an optimist—if only fixing the Mideast was that easy, it would have happened decades ago. Then again, she also thinks if Israelis once more do the right thing, this time they will get credit.

    Dr. John Cohn is an allergist-immunologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and has been in practice for 38 years. Contact him at john.r.cohn@gmail.com


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    OBAMA CIA PICK JOHN BRENNAN: JIHADIST APOLOGIST, WRONG MAN FOR JOB

    Posted by Hadar-Israel, February 07, 2013

    The article below was written by Steven Emerson who is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and the author of five books on these subjects, most recently Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US. Steve also writes for the Counterterrorism Blog. This article appeared February 06, 2013 in Breitbart Magazine and is archived at
    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2013/02/06/obama-cia-pick-john-brennan-wrong-man-for-job/

    nominee

    America's top spy needs to be a steely-eyed realist, sensitive to emerging threats and keen about our foes' intent to deceive us.

    Unfortunately, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, has shown a tendency to fall for the bait from radical Islamists. Globally, he repeatedly expressed a hope that "moderates" within Iran and its terror proxy Hizballah would steer their respective constituencies away from terrorism.

    Domestically, he claims that radical Islam does not pose its own, unique threat to American security. He has helped strip language about "radical Islam," "jihad," and similar terms from government vernacular, choosing instead to refer to "violent extremism" in an attempt to deny terrorists religious credibility. When it comes to jihad, he stubbornly maintains the word does not belong in conversations about terror, no matter what terrorists themselves say.

    Likewise, he also yielded to demands from American Islamists to purge law enforcement and intelligence training material of the terms "jihad" and "radical Islam."

    Despite these positions, some American Islamists still oppose Brennan's nomination because he is considered the architect of the drone program which has killed scores of al-Qaida terrorists.

    That should tell him something. But there is little in Brennan's record to indicate he'll learn from the experience.

    Brennan Promotes Iran-Hizballah Outreach

    Brennan's complacency regarding the jihad threat was made clear in May 2010, when he expressed a desire to encourage "moderate elements" of Hizballah, which is a State Department-designated terrorist organization.

    "There is certainly the elements of Hizballah that are truly a concern to us what they're doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements," a Reuters report quoted Brennan saying.

    He did not explain where such elements could be found, how they could be identified, or what separated them from the Hizballah "extremists."

    That was just the latest in a series of similar statements Brennan has made about Hizballah, the group which ranks second only to al-Qaida in killing Americans in terrorist attacks. The Iranian-founded and funded group "started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early '80s and has evolved significantly over time," Brennan said in an Aug. 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization.

    "However, within Hezbollah, there's still a terrorist core. And hopefully those elements within the Shia community in Lebanon and within Hezbollah at large — they're going to continue to look at that extremist terrorist core as being something that is anathema to what, in fact, they're trying to accomplish in terms of their aspirations about being part of the political process in Lebanon. And so, quite frankly, I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion."

    In a paper published a year earlier, Brennan called on U.S. officials to "cease public Iran-bashing," and recommended that the U.S. "tolerate, and even... encourage, greater assimilation of Hizballah into Lebanon's political system, a process that is subject to Iranian influence."

    In "The Conundrum of Iran: Strengthening Moderates without Acquiescing to Belligerence," published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in July 2008, Brennan claimed that Hizballah's participation in Lebanese politics was evidence that it was leaving behind its terrorist roots:

    This political involvement is a far cry from Hizballah's genesis as solely a terrorist organization dedicated to murder, kidnapping, and violence. Not coincidentally, the evolution of Hizballah into a fully vested player in the Lebanese political system has been accompanied by a marked reduction in terrorist attacks carried out by the organization.

    The best hope for maintaining this trend and for reducing the influence of violent extremists within the organization — as well as the influence of extremist Iranian officials who view Hizballah primarily as a pawn of Tehran — is to increase Hizballah's stake in Lebanon's struggling democratic processes.

    The record since then could not be further from Brennan's idealistic hopes. Four Hizballah members have been indicted by an international tribunal in connection with the 2005 car-bomb assassination of Lebanon's President Rafiq Hariri. Hizballah has helped Iran send fighters and advisers into Syria to try to aid dictator Bashar al-Assad's ruthless assault on his own people. A new report finds Hizballah, working with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is responsible for a wave of terrorist plots throughout the world. Any move away from violence may have been a strategic lull aimed at avoiding being "caught in the crosshairs of Washington's 'war on terror.'"

    That lull appears to be over, the report finds.

    Brennan's analysis also was refuted by a senior Hizballah leader. Engaging in Lebanese parliamentary politics does not make Hizballah moderate and Hizballah politicians are still part of the mother ship.

    "The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions," Naim Qassem, a deputy to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, told the Los Angeles Times.

    The retired Israeli Brigadier General Shimon Shapira observed: "Hizbullah's own analysis of itself contradicts what Brennan has been writing and stating in recent years.

    "Today, saying that Hizbullah has moderate elements that have moved away from terrorism can lead the political echelons in the West to ignore how Hizbullah is serving its Iranian sponsors by directly threatening Israel's civilian population. On May 20, 2010, Hizbullah military sources boasted to the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai that Israel will be bombarded with 15 tons of explosives a day if a future war breaks out. Hizbullah clearly does not care about the implications of its military build-up for the people of Lebanon, because it only seeks to serve the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

    In his 2008 paper, Brennan also advocated direct engagement with Iran despite its well-earned reputation as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. He minimized the threat of Iran's nuclear weapons program and blamed American rhetoric as "brash labeling" for hardening Tehran's position toward the United States. Brennan's recommendations assumed Iranian interest in backing away from terrorism and a nuclear bomb.

    A presidential envoy — Brennan suggested Colin Powell — would allow the United States to persuade Iran to behave more responsibly and peacefully and rein in its terrorist proxies, Brennan wrote.

    "Initially, Washington should press Iranian officials to cease their vitriolic anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and to condemn publicly acts of violence that clearly are terrorism. Iran can also take some more tangible steps. For example, Iranian financial and military support to Hezbollah gives Tehran significant leverage over its Lebanese ally, and Iran has the ability to direct Hezbollah to refrain from carrying out any attacks against civilian targets, such as settlements in northern Israel," he wrote.

    History again proved Brennan's assumption wrong. While there is still talk of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, four years of tempered rhetoric and invitations for negotiation have done nothing to slow Iran's march toward the bomb.

    Brennan Lets Radical Islamists Dictate Policy

    During his time as a White House adviser, Brennan displayed a disturbing tendency to engage with Islamist groups which often are hostile to American anti-terrorism policies at home and abroad. Those meetings confer legitimacy upon the groups as representatives of all Muslim Americans, despite research indicating that the community is far too diverse to have anyone represent its concerns.

    A Feb. 13, 2010 speech Brennan gave at the New York University School of Law serves as an example.

    Organized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the talk became an outlet for Brennan's argument that terrorists benefit from being identified by religious terms, including "jihadist." In doing so, Brennan waded into theological revisionism by denying the Quranic foundation exists, even though jihadists routinely cite chapter and verse.

    "As Muslims you have seen a small fringe of fanatics who cloak themselves in religion, try to distort your faith, though they are clearly ignorant of the most fundamental teachings of Islam. Instead of creating, they destroy — bombing mosques, schools and hospitals. They are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said. "We're trying to be very careful and precise in our use of language, because I think the language we use and the images we project really do have resonance. It's the reason why I don't use the term jihadist to refer to terrorists. It gives them the religious legitimacy they so desperately seek, but I ain't gonna give it to them."

    Like his positions on Iran and Hizballah, Brennan's views about using religious references like "jihad" have been uttered repeatedly and consistently. "President Obama [does not] see this challenge as a fight against jihadists. Describing terrorists in this way, using the legitimate term 'jihad,' which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve," Brennan said in an Aug. 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    He returned to the narrative in a May 26, 2010 speech, also at CSIS.

    "Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

    Brennan's interpretation of jihad stands in stark contrast with how the term has been consistently understood, especially by the intellectual founders of the global Islamist movement.

    Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, whose ideas have influenced all subsequent Islamic extremists including Hamas and Al-Qaida, rejected the definition of jihad that Brennan suggests is correct.

    In a pamphlet titled "Jihad," al-Banna wrote: "Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one's ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad). The following narration [athar] is quoted as proof: 'We have returned from the lesser jihad to embark on the greater jihad.' They said: 'What is the greater jihad?' He said: 'The jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego. This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition..."

    Sayyid Qutb, al-Banna's successor in defining Islamist thought, clearly endorsed the idea of violent jihad, suggesting that it should not be fought merely in a defensive manner.

    "Anyone who understands this particular character of this religion will also understand the place of Jihaad bis saif (striving through fighting), which is to clear the way for striving through preaching in the application of the Islamic movement. He will understand that Islam is not a 'defensive movement' in the narrow sense which today is technically called a 'defensive war.' This narrow meaning is ascribed to it by those who are under the pressure of circumstances and are defeated by the wily attacks of the orientalists, who distort the concept of Islamic Jihaad," Qutb wrote in his book Milestones. "It was a movement to wipe out tyranny and to introduce true freedom to mankind, using resources according to the actual human situation, and it had definite stages, for each of which it utilized new methods."

    Even Brennan's NYU host advocated violent jihad. A December 1986 article appearing in ISNA's official magazine Islamic Horizons notes that "jihad of the sword is the actual taking up of arms against the evil situation with the intention of changing it," that "anyone killed in jihad is rewarded with Paradise," and that "a believer who participates in jihad is superior to a believer who does not."

    Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the senior Muslim Brotherhood imam who the Obama administration reportedly has used in its negotiations with the Taliban, connects jihad with fighting in his book Fiqh of Jihad. In it, he says that Muslims may engage in violent jihad in the event Muslim lands are threatened by or occupied by non-Muslims as he contends is the case with Israel.

    These Brotherhood treatises are relevant because Brennan's host, ISNA, was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States, some of whom remain active with the organization. And, although it denied any Brotherhood connection in 2007, exhibits in evidence in a Hamas-support trial show ISNA's "intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood." In addition, the federal judge in the case found "ample evidence" connecting ISNA to Muslim Brotherhood operations known as the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and Hamas.

    ISNA has sought to publicly moderate its image, yet it has kept radicals such as Jamal Badawi on its board of directors and granted a 2008 community-service award to Jamal Barzinji, a founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, as well as a former ISNA board member.

    Badawi has defended violent jihad including suicide bombings and has suggested that Islam is superior to secular democracy. Barzinji was named in a federal affidavit as being closely associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

    Barzinji's name appears in a global phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members recovered by Italian and Swiss authorities in November 2001 from the home of Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano founder Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the international Muslim Brotherhood and an al-Qaida financier.

    At the NYU event, Brennan was introduced by then-ISNA President Ingrid Mattson, who made Qutb's writings required reading in a course she taught. Mattson has advocated against using terms like "Islamic terrorism" since the earliest days after 9/11. During his speech, Brennan praised Mattson as "an academic whose research continues the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship and as the President of the Islamic Society of North America, where you have been a voice for the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam."

    Brennan met privately around the time of the NYU speech with another advocate of ignoring the Islamic motivation driving many terrorists. Both Salam al-Marayati and his organization, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have long records of defending suspected terrorists and terror supporters and of arguing the terrorist threat in America is exaggerated.

    During a 2005 ISNA conference, al-Marayati blasted the idea that Muslims would be used as informants to thwart possible terrorist plots. "Counter-terrorism and counter-violence should be defined by us. We should define how an effective counter-terrorism policy should be pursued in this country," he said. "So, number one, we reject any effort, notion, suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another."

    The White House invited al-Marayati to attend the NYU speech despite his prior comments suggesting Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, condemning the FBI's use of informants in counter-terror investigations, and his argument that Hizballah engages in "legitimate resistance."

    After the meeting, MPAC claimed credit for the administration's policy of sugar-coating terrorist motives. "Mr. Brennan made two important points in his address that signified the importance of MPAC's government engagement over the last 15 years in Washington," an MPAC statement said. Among them, "He rejected the label of 'jihadist' to describe terrorists, because it legitimates violent extremism with religious validation, a point MPAC made in its 2003 policy paper on counterterrorism."

    Terrorists Disagree

    While Brennan and his associates like Mattson and al-Marayati may wish to disconnect terrorism from religi on, this strategy has proven meaningless among those who plot attack s against Americans. Many describe acting out of a belief that America is at war with Islam. Asserting that religious motivation doesn't exist does nothing to lessen the threat.

    When Army Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo's mother asked her son what would drive him to plot a bombing and shooting attack on a restaurant that serves personnel at Fort Hood, Tex., his answer was succinct.

    "The reason is religion, Mom," he said.

    Similarly, would-be bombers Faisal Shahzad and Farooque Ahmed justified their attempts to blow people up in New York and Washington as part of a war, a jihad, they felt compelled to join.

    "This time it's the war against people who believe in the book of Allah and follow the commandments, so this is a war against Allah," Shahzad said at his October 2010 sentencing for trying to detonate a car-bomb in Times Square. "So let's see how you can defeat your Creator, which you can never do. Therefore, the defeat of U.S. is imminent and will happen in the near future, inshallah [God willing], which will only give rise to much awaited Muslim caliphate, which is the only true world order."

    Ahmed, who scouted subway stations along the Washington, D.C. Metro line in hopes of aiding a bombing plot, acted in response to "an incessant message that is delivered by radical followers of Islam," his lawyer said at Ahmed's April 2011 sentencing, "that one cannot be true to the faith unless they take action, including violent action, most especially violent action... that is a message that can unfortunately take root in individuals who feel like if they don't do something, that they literally will not find salvation under their faith."

    Brennan grew prickly when challenged on this view of jihad. The Washington Times editorial board pressed him about the role of armed jihad in history during an Aug. 23, 2010 interview. After acknowledging that history — "Absolutely it has" happened — Brennan tried to deflect the question, saying "I'm not going to go into this sort of history discussion here."

    He cut the interview short and walked out after the editorial board pressed the point, asking Brennan to distinguish between those historical armed jihads and al-Qaida's current jihad.

    Brennan further displayed his eagerness to kowtow to Islamist demands in the fall of 2011. After a small number of materials in FBI training manuals and libraries were found to be excessively negative in describing Islam as a religion and Muslims as a people, Islamist groups demanded a purge of anything they considered offensive.

    An Oct. 19, 2011 letter to Brennan written by Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera and signed by 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations demanded that Brennan create "an interagency task force, led by the White House," that would, among other things, review all counterterror trainers, so as to purge those that the Muslim organizations, which included many with Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood ties, found unacceptable. The task force would also "purge all federal government training materials of biased materials"; "implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training"; and more to ensure that only the message about Islam and jihad preferred by the signatories would get through to intelligence and law enforcement agents.

    Brennan readily agreed, promising in a November 3, 2011 response to Khera written on White House stationery obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, that such an interagency task force was indeed "necessary," and agreeing to purge training programs of all materials that the Muslim groups found objectionable.

    To this day, officials have declined to identify those with whom they consulted in identifying the material to be removed. During an April 2012 talk at the New York Police Department, Brennan refused to answer when asked specifically whether Muslim Advocates was among those consulted.

    "Now I'm not going to, you know, take on any individuals or claim or charge on this. But I just want to underscore that at least from the national government perspective and all my discussions with Commissioner Kelly and others, there is a real interest in trying to make sure that all of the different communities of different religious backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, political affiliations, have an opportunity to express themselves, so that we are able to do this," he said. "When we talk about, you mentioned about, you know, Muslim Advocates... obviously al-Qaeda, which is, purports to be an Islamic organization, is anything but; it's a murderous organization. They certainly misrepresent what they stand for. But we need to make sure that we're able to talk with the Muslim community here in the United States. The Muslim community is as much a part of the United States as any other community of any religious background. The Muslim community is part of the solution on terrorism, not part of the problem. We need to make sure that we have all the expertise, the representation and the perspective, so that we can bring it to bear."

    But in his letter to Khera, Brennan acquiesced to virtually every demand.

    "We share your sense of concern over these recent unfortunate incidents, and are moving forward to ensure problems are addressed with a keen sense of urgency," he wrote. "They do not reflect the vision that the President has put forward, nor do they represent the kind of approach that builds the partnerships that are necessary to counter violent extremism, and to protect our young people and our homeland. American's greatest strength is its values, and we are committed to pursuing policies and approaches that draw strength from our values and our people irrespective of their race, religion or ethnic background.

    "While much work remains, I am confident that concrete actions are being taken to address the valid concerns you raised. Thank you again for your letter and for your leadership in addressing an isue that is crticial to ensuring the security of the United States."

    Denies Religious Dogma Entices Terrorists

    In addition to purging training material at the behest of Islamist groups, Brennan's theories about what drives people to plot terrorist acts betrays a further desire to conceal religious dogma. Economic conditions, more than religious beliefs, account for the draw of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, he has said.

    "This includes those upstream factors — the political and economic causes and conditions that help to fuel hatred and violence, including loss of faith in political systems to improve daily life and the vulnerability of young minds to predators like gangs and terrorist recruiters," Brennan said during his NYU speech. "And while poverty and lack of opportunity do not cause terrorism, it is obvious that the lack of education, of basic human services and hope for the future make vulnerable populations more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death."

    That may be true in some cases. But numerous examples expose this as a misguided stereotype. And terrorist leaders — those who recruit terrorist operatives — hail from professional classes. Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is a physician. So was Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shikaki. Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook has a master's degree and pursued a PhD. Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad had a steady job and a decent wage. Many of the 9/11 hijackers were middle class or affluent. The Times of London observed in an April 3, 2005 article that a large percentage of 500 al-Qaida members had discovered that an overwhelming percentage came from middle class or affluent backgrounds.

    Scholar Daniel Pipes reached a similar conclusion in a Winter 2002 article examining militants held in Egyptian jails.

    "What is true of Egypt holds equally true elsewhere: Like fascism and Marxism-Leninism in their heydays, militant Islam attracts highly competent, motivated and ambitious individuals. Far from being the laggards of society, they are its leaders," Pipes wrote.

    INTERPOL similarly warned in a Sept. 21, 2010 press release that the proliferation of extremist websites showed that al-Qaida recruiters were deliberately targeting middle-class youth.

    "Speaking at the two-day International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) summit (21-22 September) in Paris... INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that terrorist recruiters exploited the web to their full advantage as they targeted young, middle class vulnerable individuals who were usually not 'on the radar of law enforcement,'" the INTERPOL press release said.

    Al-Qaida publications such as Inspire magazine, along with its other media, make it clear that its followers are driven by religious zeal rather than by economics. Its slick, glossy production and the content of its articles appealed to educated people with access to at least some money. "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" is a notorious example.

    Fawwaz bin Muhammad Al-Nashami, leader of the jihadists who killed 22 people in a 1994 attack on Americans in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, invoked Islam's prophet: "We are Mujahideen, and we want the Americans. We have not come to aim a weapon at the Muslims, but to purge the Arabian Peninsula, according to the will of our Prophet Muhammad, of the infidels and the polytheists who are killing our brothers in Afghanistan and Iraq. "

    John Brennan's recipe for fighting terror seems to cast these motivations aside. That's the mindset poised to direct American intelligence gathering for the next four years.

    Contact HaDar-Israel at HaDaR@verizon.net


    To Go To Top

    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT 'PEACE'

    Posted by Steven Plaut, February 07, 2013

    Q: With Obama about to visit the country, should Israel agree to attend new negotiation sessions with the Palestinian Authority?

    A: No. Nothing positive can come out of it. For twenty years Israel has been attending "talks" with the Palestinians and these have achieved absolutely nothing other than Israeli capitulation. In each round of talks Israel has given away more and more assets and made an ever-growing number of concessions, getting nothing in return.

    Q: Why give up hope that the Palestinians will agree to some sort of deal?

    A: Because they have yet to comply with a single punctuation mark in any of the agreements they have already signed.

    Q: So what should Israel offer the Palestinians?

    A: Nothing at all.

    Q: Nothing?

    A: Israel should make demands instead of making offers of concessions. It should make no new offers of anything until long lists of its own demands are fully met.

    Q: But how then can Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians?

    A: It can't. Making endless concessions has no more chance of achieving peace than offering nothing. In other words, since the Palestinians are uninterested in peace, no offer of any sort will produce peace, and therefore they should be offered nothing at all.

    Q: What is the best way to pursue a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict?

    A: By abandoning all attempts to pursue a solution. The pursuit of "solutions" has been the root of all evil in the Middle East these past two decades. Israel should stop looking for solutions and instead pursue military victory.

    Q: Do you seriously want Israel to send troops back into Gaza after the redeployment by Sharon and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza?

    A: Yes, of course. It was obvious at the time of the Israeli unilateral withdrawal that military reoccupation of Gaza was only a matter of time, inevitable and necessary. The sooner it is done, the better.

    Q:Doesn't Israeli occupation cause terrorism?

    A: No, removal of Israeli occupation causes terrorism.

    Q: What should Israel offer Syria?

    A:The right to retain Damascus and other Syrian territory east of the Golan Heights in exchange for Syria's abandoning its demands for the "return" of the Golan Heights.

    Q:Do you seriously expect Syria to agree to that?

    A:No.

    Q:How should Israel deal with terrorism?

    A:First and foremost, by recognizing that there is no NON-MILITARY solution to the problems of terrorism.

    Q: What should Israel do with terrorists?

    A:Summarily execute them without trial whenever they are captured while engaged in violence. Capital punishment should be instituted for all other terrorists.

    Q:How should Israel deal with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad?

    A: By killing as many of their members as it can.

    Q: What is the best strategy Israel can adopt with regard to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank?

    A:R&D, or Reoccupation and De-nazification.

    Q: How should Israel deal with the Qassam rockets?

    A:By R&D, or Reoccupation and De-nazification. There is no way the Qassams will be halted through "talks." They can only be halted by Israel's reestablishment of complete military control over the Gaza Strip.

    Q:Should Israel return Jewish settlers to Gush Katif in Gaza?

    A:Yes, of course.

    Q: What should Israel do about settlements on the West Bank?

    A: Build more of them. It's the best way to take Palestinian statehood off the table once and for all. In any future deal based on "limited autonomy" — which was of course the original concept Israel accepted at Camp David — "settlements" will represent no impediment at all to implementation.

    Q: How should Israel deal with Hezb'Allah?

    A:By helping to resolve the parking congestion problems in the towns and villages of southern Lebanon that are strongholds of Hezb'Allah and loyal to it. That is, by constructing large new parking lots there.

    Q: How should Israel deal with domestic Arab radicals?

    A:Israeli Arabs openly identifying with the enemies of Israel or endorsing terrorism should be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and deported. All Arabs sitting in the parliament, working as senior civil servants or as judges must be required to take an oath of allegiance, on a sacred book of their religion, to Israel as a Zionist state. The extended families of any Arabs involved in terrorism or anti-Jewish violence should be deported and their property seized.

    Q:What about the Temple Mount?

    A:The PLO must be completely stripped of control over it.

    Q.How can "hope for peace" be created in the Middle East?

    A: By eliminating all hopes among the Arabs that they will destroy Israel.

    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.


    To Go To Top

    AS SITUATIONS STAND

    Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 07, 2013

    Returning to little Zakkai for a moment. The family has asked me to express gratitude to all those who wrote to me to say they were praying, wished him well, etc. It matters to them a great deal.

    Then I was asked to post these mitzvah opportunities in merit of good surgery and healing for Zakkai, for those who would like to participate:

    challah baking: http://www.tziporahsnest.com/campaign.asp?id=164

    25-hour tehillim rally: http://tinyurl.com/aepl2x3

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Turning to our world...

    Barry Rubin has written a particularly important article. Its title makes clear what he's talking about: "Not a Mistake, Misunderstanding, or Well-Intended Criticism But a Deliberate Campaign to Bash Israel." (Emphasis is added)

    "The first, most important thing to understand about the Western and especially American debate on Israel is this:

    "Never before in history has there been such a concerted, systematic and vicious campaign to discredit and demonize Israel, especially seeking to undermine its support in the Jewish community.

    "Without comprehending this fact, the massive attacks from academia, mass media, groups and even in mainstream political and intellectual debate cannot be understood. We aren't dealing with lots of mistakes, but with the mass production of hate speech...

    "Don't believe that they may have gotten it right this particular time. Many of them aren't trying to get it right; most of them are incapable of getting it right.

    "These assaults cannot be taken in isolation and with naiveté as if this time a wild accusation is accurate...

    The craziest stuff is just the most incautious end of far more apparently credible lies and distortions. And the key 'mistake' made is to use the word 'Jews,' unacceptable, rather 'Israel,' 'Israelis,' or 'Zionists.'

    In other words, 'The Jews want to take over the world.' No. 'Israel wants to take over the Middle East.' Okay. 'The Jews use children's blood in Passover matzoh.' No. 'Israel deliberately murders Palestinian children.' Okay.

    Not all are aware, of course, of what they are doing, especially those originating or spreading the more 'moderate' hate speech. There are dupes as well as demonizers, though dupes often seem all too credulous to be wholly innocent.

    "...Once having been defined as the 'bad guy,' Israel can be accused of anything, as in a film narrative in which the villain is, well, always villainous.

    "...there are so many lies—new ones appear each day--and so many facts to counter them with that it is partly a waste of time to counter each offensive in itself. What's necessary is to understand that this is all based on lies, ignorance, and conscious bad faith.

    "The categories include, but are not limited to, falsification of photographs and fabrication of events; distortion of history; making up of quotes; publishing disproportionate numbers of anti-Israel books and articles; indoctrination in schools; refusal to mainstream Israeli views and overwhelming emphasis of radical, critical ones; excessive credibility to hostile sources for outlandish tales (a worldwide story on an alleged, since proven false massacre in Jenin based on a single mysterious informant is just one example).

    "...The main single issue is to try to portray Israel as responsible for the lack of peace, just as Jews were historically blamed by those hostile to them for anti-Semitism. Since the experience of the 1993-2000 'peace process' era, the fact that the conflict continues because of the intransigence of Israel's enemies should have been obvious. Yet this history has been forgotten and its impact on Israeli thinking buried or censored.

    "...Much of the new antagonism stems from Western intelligentsias' sharp turn to the left. The question, of course, is why Israel is such a prominent issue among the many causes available to them.

    "...One thing comforting about this campaign is that its activists so often have to resort to lies and exaggerations, showing how little genuine material they possess.

    "How much effect is this all having in the real world? Ironically, it is less damaging to Israel itself (attempts at economic boycotts, for example, have yielded no real damage) than to Western Jews who live in the societies so affected. The growing pressure will result in some running for cover—or even joining the assailants—but far more will ultimately wake up.

    "Yet again this situation can no longer be dealt with as an ordinary, though rather spirited and emotional, debate. It is a massive, often conscious and deliberate campaign of defamation. No longer on the margins, this campaign has penetrated into using the commanding heights of the Western mass media, intellectual, and academic institutions.

    "The reason for pointing this all out is that there are millions of well-intentioned, honest people who would be shocked if they had the paradigm shift from taking a good portion of this material as honest and well-intentioned to understanding that they are being subjected to a concerted propaganda campaign of lies. If they comprehend that, they are far more likely to reject these lies as well as having their eyes opened to wider disinformation campaigns going on today."

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/not-mistake-misunderstanding-or-well.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Having provided this perspective, I want to move to a situation of deliberate misrepresentation about Israel that is masquerading as academic research.

    A report entitled "Portrayal of the 'other' in Israeli and Palestinian School Books," done by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL), has just been released. The study on which it was based -- lead by Professor Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University and Sami Adwan of Bethlehem University -- was funded by a grant from the US State Department and was commissioned by an NGO called A Different Future, which had been founded by a Yale professor of psychiatry, Bruce Wexler.

    Bar-Tal, as we are informed by Seth Frantzman, who wrote a piece on this for the JPost, was "co-editor of the radical left Palestine-Israel Journal from 2001 to 2005 (whose masthead shows the colors of the Palestinian flag next to an Israeli flag that does not include a Star of David)."

    Says Frantzman, "Bar-Tal's views should have led to concern about the potential for bias in the CRIHL study..." With regard to Israel's actions in Gaza during Cast Lead in 2009, Bar-Tal wrote that the war "derived from the continuous dehumanization of the Hamas organization."

    "A university professor who...argues that [Hamas] is a victim of dehumanization by Israel...was supposed to provide an unbiased opinion on Israeli textbooks? One is left with the conclusion that there is overwhelming evidence of pre-existing bias on the part of the authors." (Emphasis added)

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    It is not surprising, then, that the study provides a perspective of moral equivalency, concluding that, "Both Israeli and Palestinian books present exclusive unilateral national narratives that present a wealth of information about the other as enemy."

    The Education Ministry of Israel has slammed this report as "biased, unprofessional and profoundly non-objective."

    One of the problems with the methodology of the research is that negative statements about Palestinian Arabs in Israeli books that were simple statements of historical fact were classified as representing "negative" portrayals of the "other."

    Among statements listed as "negative" portrayals of the Palestinian Arabs were:

    "Ever since 1964, the year the PLO was founded, Palestinian terrorists gangs penetrated [into Israel]." And, [In Iraq] on the holiday of Shavuot, Arabs attacked Jews, and murdered them, including women and children."

    The authors considered such statements to be parallel to such statements in PA books as:

    "[The British facilitated] Jewish migration into Palestine to turn it into a Jewish state after evacuating or exterminating its people."

    You see Frantzman's full piece here:

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=302229

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    We might feel inclined to laugh off this severely biased study, except for the fact that it will do real damage. Palestinian Arabs and their supporters are crowing that the charges that PA textbooks are inciteful and anti-Israel have now been discredited.

    "The results show that there's almost no stereotypes, there is no hate speech, there's no inciting for violence in the Palestinian textbooks," Dr. Sami Adwan, associate professor of education at Bethlehem University, said. As someone who has worked with this subject, and written about it, for years, I will state unequivocally that the incitement and bias do exist in those PA books.

    One of those whom I've worked with and interviewed is Dr. Arnon Groiss, former head translator/researcher with IMPACT -- The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education. I've read Groiss's translations of PA texts, with hair-raising praise for blood flowing in martyrdom and a great deal more.

    You can see a major IMPACT study of PA textbooks here:

    http://www.impact-se.org/docs/reports/PA/PA2011.pdf

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Groiss was actually a (nominal) adviser for this project, but says that the advisers were not allowed to really be involved.

    "They don't combine the specific items to create the full picture...I don't know why -- they didn't put [into the study] about 40 items, significant anti-Israel items in the Palestinian books," Groiss said. "They said, 'Well we have enough quotations. We don't have to put them all.'"

    He's being diplomatic, when he says he doesn't know why.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    "We educate teachers to love," Israel Ministry of Education Director General Dalit Stauber told CBN News.

    "The first word learned by a pupil who is joining the Israeli education system in the first grade is "shalom." We give him a pigeon with an olive branch to start his first day in school. We teach for peace. We do not teach for hatred."

    Stauber was particularly annoyed by the charge in the study that putting the 1972 Olympic Massacre in Israeli history books casts Palestinians in a negative light, because the terrorists who killed the 11 Israeli athletes were Palestinian.

    "If facts included in history books in Israel...are presented as if Israeli books present Palestinians in a negative way, what else do we need in order to prove that this is a libel against the Ministry of Education, against professional work done by the Ministry of Education?" Stauber said.

    Said General Yossi Kuperwasser, Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry Director, "This comparison, something is wrong and distorted.

    "This attempt to compare Israeli textbooks that deal entirely with the question of how you promote peace, how you promote the culture of peace, with the Palestinian textbooks that deal with exactly the opposite, how do you promote a culture of confrontation, how do you promote the readiness of people to carry out martyrdom attacks."

    Kuperwasser is concerned that a report such as this exempts the PA from tackling the major problems in its schoolbooks:

    "And this is the ongoing Palestinian incitement for hatred, incitement for violence, for terror and the ongoing denial of the Palestinians of the rights of the other and the existence of the other, which is the Israelis and the Jews in this piece of land."

    http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2013/February/IsraeliPA-Textbook-Study-Giving-Incomplete-Picture-/

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Well, Ayatollah Khameinei, who has the last word on issues of negotiations, has nixed direct talks with the US, saying he won't condone such talks while the US is "pointing a gun at Iran." He says such talks "would not solve any problems."

    And Obama's next step?

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "We expect Iran and Syria to be the main topics" during Obama's visit to Jerusalem.

    The president will have his hands full if he expects much traction with regard to the "peace process": In Cairo, Abbas has just met with Ahmadinejad in Cairo during an Islamic Summit, and has now invited him to come to Ramallah. No word on whether the invitation was accepted. But PLO officials have already indicated they don't have high hopes for progress with Obama's visit.

    Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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    A LESSON IN STANDING FIRM

    Posted by Shmuel Katz, February 07, 2013

    Dear Friend:

    Our latest post is up!

    You can view it at http://shmuelkatz.com/wordpress/?p=964

    Elliot Abrams' new book offers an important lesson for Israel.

    Comments are welcome.

    Sincerely,

    David

    Elliot Abrams, a member of the National Security Council during the Bush years, recently came out with a book, Tested by Zion, which deals with the Bush administration and the Arab-Israel conflict. His section on the bombing of the Syrian reactor offers a valuable lesson for Israel's leaders about standing firm, an oft-repeated theme in Shmuel Katz's writings.

    In May, 2007, Abrams relates, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan came to the White House with intelligence showing that Syria was building a nuclear reactor with North Korean help. Abrams sat in on the meetings in which the White House struggled with what to do. He describes the debate that developed over a military vs. a diplomatic option.

    The diplomatic option involved going to the U.N. and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Abrams felt this was "faintly ridiculous" as Israel wouldn't accept it, having been down that road before. Its main advocates were Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Although their reasons seemed "flimsy," at least to Abrams, President Bush sided with Rice. "I was astounded and realized I had underestimated Rice's influence even after all this time. The president had gone with Condi," Abrams writes.

    Abrams was in the room when President Bush told then-Israeli president Ehud Olmert that the U.S. would announce a campaign involving the U.N. Security Council and the IAEA.

    Abrams expected Olmert to play for more time, but Olmert surprised him. "He reacted immediately and forcefully. George, he said, this leaves me surprised and disappointed. And I cannot accept it. We told you from the first day, when Dagan came to Washington, and I've told you since then whenever we discussed it, that the reactor had to go away. Israel cannot live with a Syrian nuclear reactor; we will not accept it. It would change the entire region and our national security cannot accept it. You are telling me you will not act; so, we will act."

    The rest is known. Israel destroyed the al-Kibar reactor. Abrams wondered how the president would react. Would Israel's refusal to toe the line result in more American pressure? Abrams was in the Oval Office for that conversation, too. Rather than anger, Bush listened calmly to Olmert, hung up the phone and said, "That guy has guts."

    Shmuel would have been pleased at this example of Israel successfully resisting U.S. pressure in order to do what was in its national interests. He was witness to many instances of what happened when Israel did not stand firm: Israel's position grew worse. As he wrote in "The Prime Minister is Heading for a Trap" (The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 1978):

    Israel's status in Washington has deteriorated considerably ever since her leaders manifested the policy of subservience (or "co-ordination") to American official "ideas", and the extent of their readiness to bend their declared political principles — beginning (in September 1977) with the grotesque idea of confining settlements in military camps (in Judea and Samaria). This provided the first signal to Washington that it is possible to achieve retreats by this government from the policy of the straight back and common sense.

    Similarly, in "The Vance Team Prepares the Landmines" (The Jerusalem Post, August 18, 1978), Shmuel warned the Israeli government not to go to Camp David, as it had by then become evident that Egypt's true intentions had nothing to do with peace:

    It should be clear to [the members of Israel's government] that every present retreat from positions held, every concession, will not only add to the difficulties of the inevitable external struggle, but will gradually weaken the spirit of the people, sowing fatalism and skepticism — those most dangerous of internal enemies.

    Sadly, Israel's leaders collapse under pressure more often than not. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin practically made capitulation his policy. In "Rabin's Risks Won't Bring Peace" (The Jerusalem Post, April 2, 1993), Shmuel relates how Rabin stumbled onto the 'secret' to getting along with the U.S. back in August, 1975.

    [Relations] had been at a very low ebb because of his earlier rejection of the demand by Secretary of State Kissinger -- who had been primed by Egyptian president Sadat -- for territorial concessions in Sinai. So, in August, the Rabin government agreed to give up what in March he had described as territory "vital to Israel's security" -- which included the Gidi and Mitla passes, and also the Abu Rodeis oilfield. (Loss of Abu Rodeis compelled Israel to spend billions a year on oil.) In a twinkling, then, relations improved ...

    So, coming to power in 1992 with sweet recollections of 1975, Rabin made plain that his most important objective was to coordinate policy with the U.S. He lost no time in taking the first crucial steps toward "freezing the settlements" in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Then he launched his publicity campaign for territorial surrender on the Golan.

    If Olmert, widely panned as a mediocre leader, could adopt, however briefly, "the policy of the straight back and common sense," surely those leaders of whom more is expected, can do much better.

    This email was sent by Shmuel Katz website, 1751 2nd Ave. (at 91st Street), New York, NY 10128-5363, using Express Email Marketing. You were added to this list as editor@think-israel.org on 6/15/2012.

    Contact Shmuel Katz website at David_Isaas@shmuelkatz.com


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    JEWISH PHILANTHROPIST, MEDIA MOGUL LAUDER EARNS FRANCE'S HIGHEST HONOR

    Posted by JNS News, February 07, 2013

    (JNS.org) France on Wednesday awarded Jewish philanthropist and media mogul Ronald Lauder with its government's highest honor.

    Lauder—president of the World Jewish Congress, owner of Israel's Channel 10 television station, and son of cosmetics giant Estée Lauder—received the Legion of Honor from President François Hollande.

    "With you, France honors a man of peace, of culture and of commitment. The cause you serve is to preserve the memory in order to build the future," Hollande said, praising Lauder as both a "businessman who has developed with talent an enterprise that is today a world leader" at Estée Lauder as well as the owner of "the most beautiful modern art collection ever assembled by an individual."

    As of September 2012, Forbes estimated Lauder's net worth at $3.4 billion.

    Napoleon Bonaparte established the Legion of Honor in 1802 as a way for France to reward civilians and soldiers on the basis of merit, rather than the pre-French Revolution system of nobility.

    Contact JNS News at editor@jns.org


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    RABBI KAHANE "A JEWISH HEART"

    Posted by Barbara And Chain Ginsberg, February 07, 2013

    "Beyond Words" is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings from 1960 — 1990 that originally appeared in The Jewish Press, other serial publications, and his privately-published works.

    "Beyond Words" also includes a number of extra features:

    Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.

    "Beyond Words" now can be bought at Amazon.com. On the search line, type... Beyond Words Kahane.

    Beyond Words

    Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,

    1960-1990

    Volume7

    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

    Previously sent articles can be viewed on:

    www.barbaraginsberg-barbara.blogspot.com

    "There is a time to love, and a time to hate."

    Ecclesiastes 3:1,8

    "There is a time to live in time of peace and a time to hate in time of war ... there is a time to kill in time of war and a time to heal in time of peace."

    The total contradiction between so much of Judaism and Western, foreign cultural Hellenism could not be more evident than in the case of the heart transplant last November in Israel. Then, the heart of a Jewish soldier, murdered from an ambush in the Gaza Strip, was placed in the chest of an Arab "Palestinian," Hanna Haddad. And how the non-Jewish world exploded in joy! And how the perversion of authentic Jewish values and concepts came crashing down in the sickly need to win favor in the eyes of the nations and to feel the comforting warmth of self-righteousness. And how all the anti-racists privately and not so privately purred with pleasure at the "Jewish heart" that is so "unique" and that climbs mountainous deeds of ethics and morality that no one else could. Indeed.

    "Not only have Jews lost every sense of authentic Judaism, falling prey and victim to all the foreign and gentilized misvalues of Hellenism, but thanks to the debilitating effects of an abnormal exile, they have lost all sense of normality, too. Consider: The widow of the murdered soldier blesses the act. Yossi Sarid writes an article that begins: "How is it possible not to write about Ze'ev Traum's heart, transplanted into the chest of Hanna Haddad — may he live a long life ... "

    "We do not have a Jewish heart and they do not have an Arab heart but a personal human heart, and if we follow our embroiled nationalism we harden our heart, we make it as hard as Pharaoh's heart." And Sarid concludes: "Those who have the heart saved one soul and filled an entire world with hope."

    There were pages and pages and speeches and speeches of similar paeans of praise for the humanity shown by Jews. And the story became the very symbol of the "Jewish heart" that transcends enmity and hatred and war, that saves the life of a man who hates the Jewish state and dreams of its destruction. No matter! The Jew is not supposed to hate the enemy; he is above that. So the conventional wisdom of the gentilized Jews of Hellenism.

    It is hardly new. In Rosh HaShana messages to the Israeli soldiers, both Defense Minister Rabin and Chief-of-Staff Shomron — men deeply rooted in ignorance of Judaism — sent messages of profound Hellenism and madness to the Jewish soldiers facing an enemy filled with venomous hate for the Jews and deep passion for the day when the Jewish state will cease to exist. Rabin said: "Alongside your obligation to crush all attempted violence, you must always remember that the people against whom you struggle today are the same people that in a few months or years we will wish to live with in peace, to be good neighbors." One struggles to recall a similar message to the Allied troops in World War II concerning the Nazi armies ...

    And the Chief-of-Staff told his troops" "In the difficult and complex daily work, we have succeeded, except for minor exceptions, in preserving the basic values and ethics of the I.D.F." Meanwhile, of course, that by giving the soldiers orders that tied their hands; the killing of the Arab enemy was kept to a minimum while guaranteeing the continuation of the Arab rioting.

    And when General Yitzhak Mordechai concluded his term as commander of the southern sector (that included Gaza), he said: "Personally and as a commander, I wish to express my sorrow over every one in the area who was killed or wounded from the (I.D.F.) activities that were necessary." No, there is nothing to say.

    But to return to the "Jewish heart," and to ponder the depths — the sheer depths! — of Jewish psychosis. On the day of the funeral of the soldier who was murdered and whose heart was given to a member of the nation that murdered him, a Jewish contractor named Yehuda Yisrael told how, one year earlier, in December 1988, his brother lay dying, attached to a machine. The family had 24 hours in which to find an available heart. And this is what Yehuda Yisrael told Ma'ariv (Nov. 11, 1989): "At that time in the (Arab East Jerusalem Hospital) Al Mukassed, there were two young Arabs wounded in the intifada and they were already clinically brain dead. We contacted the Arab doctor in an attempt to have him get us a heart, but he refused. When we saw that it was not working, we offered a great deal of money ... "The heart was never given and the brother died.

    But there is more to the story. Yehuda Yisrael, whose brother died because Arabs would not give a heart to the Jewish enemy, continues: "I am happy that Hanna Haddad found a Jewish heart donor. It is a humanitarian gesture. It is good that the world sees Jews prepared to contribute a heart to the Arabs, too, even in these sad times. The fact that they would not give a heart to my brother only proves that we are more humane than they ... "Or perhaps ...

    And as a final point in this descent into the Jewish snakepit of insanity, the same article by Yossi Sarid described how he had been asked to find a heart for the same Jew (presumably he was asked because he is such a good friend of the Arabs). Sarid pleaded with his Arab friends but they would not give the heart. As Sarid quotes the Arabs: "Those killed in the intifada are martyrs, martyrs of the entire Palestinian nation, and their heart already belongs to it ..." (And in addition, what normal Arab would give a heart to save the life of a Jew, his deadly enemy who took his land from him?)

    The tragedy of our times is the loss of Divine Jewish values, one of which is the obligation to hate evil; to hate the enemy. We have — thanks to the gentilized values that have swallowed us up — lost our sense of indignation against evil, forgotten to hate it with a passion. And because of that, good people die even as we allow the evil ones to live, flourish and kill them.

    Hanna Haddad, the "Palestinian" is part of a nation that wishes to destroy Israel and commit horrors on its Jews. He sees the Jews as thieves, as robbers who stole "Palestine" from his people. He sees the Israeli soldiers as oppressors, and he sees Jerusalem, where he lives, as his city, just as he sees Jaffa, Haifa, Ramla, Lydda, Acre, the Galilee and the Negev. He supports the intifada; he wishes the "fighters" success; he takes pride in the rocks and firebombs thrown by the brave young "Palestinians." And Jews give him a heart to save his life, a heart taken from a Jewish soldier murdered by Hanna Haddad's brothers. And Jews cheer and weep tears of happiness over this humane act that only proves that a "Jewish heart" is better than the hard Arab one ...

    We are mad. Would anyone dream of doing such a thing for a German during World War II? Of taking the heart of an American soldier from Sioux City killed in battle by Germans and giving it to a German to save his life? No American or Frenchman or Englishman or Russian or anyone remotely normal would have considered it! Only the Jew, in pathetic and deeply disturbed need to win the love of the Arabs and the world, does it and attempts to cloak his insanity in "Judaism" and "Jewish values." Not only are we mad, but un-Jewish, gentilized, Hellenized perverters of the authentic Jewish Idea and halachic.

    To hate the enemy is a mitzvah, for nothing less than that will give us the understanding that evil must be fought to the end, and nothing less than that will give us the strength and confidence that we are right and that our war is just. And when the Rabbis speak of "a time for war and a time to hate" — what do the gentilized Hellenists of our time think they mean? And what are the voices of the Moderdox from the West Side and Beverly Hills to tell them? To tell themselves?

    "You who love the L-rd, hate evil!" That is the injunction of King David, the sweet singer of Israel, in Psalms 97:10. And in the words of Ibn Ezra (ibid.): "the L-rd is judge, therefore you who love Him, hate every man of evil and be not afraid of them, for the L-rd alone preserves His pious." And again, David in Psalms (139:20-22): "They speak against You wickedly and Your enemies take Your Name in vain. Do I not hate, O L-rd, those who hate You? And do I not contend with those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; I regard them as my own enemies."

    There is a time for war; there is a time for hatred. And at such a time it is a mitzvah to hate, a mitzvah to go to war, and the one who refuses — violates the mitzvah, abhors G-d who created morality. "When you go to war against your enemy ... (Deuteronomy 20:1) Why does it say 'your enemy'? [since obviously one goes to war against an enemy and not a friend]. Said the All Mighty: 'Go against them as enemies! Just as they do not have mercy upon you, so do not have mercy on them'" (Tanchuma, Shoftim 15). That is Judaism.

    Do not be "better" than they, since in the end you will not be better but deader. And certainly do not be "better" than the All Mighty, who commanded you to be cruel and merciless against those who rise up against you and against G-d, "for whoever rises up against Israel is as one who rises up against the Holy One, Blessed be He" (Mechilta, B'shalach).

    And the Sifri (Shoftim 192): "Against your enemies [you go to war] and not against your brothers, neither Yehuda against Shimon nor Shimon against Yehuda who, if you fell into their hands, would have mercy on you ... but against your enemies you go to war, who would not have mercy on you."

    And Eyleh ha'Dvarim Zuta: You go to war against your enemies. If you have mercy on them, they will then go to war against you. It is similar to a shepherd who, while tending his sheep in a forest, found a baby wolf. He had pity on it and nurtured it. His employer saw it and said: Kill it; do not have pity on it lest it be a danger to the sheep. But he did not listen and so when the wolf grew it would see a sheep and kill it, a goat and eat it. Said the employer: Did I not tell you not to have pity on it? So did Moses say: 'But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, then those whom you will allow to remain of them will be thorns in your eyes ...' (Numbers 33:55)."

    That is Judaism. That is authentic Judaism. And true Judaism looks upon every member of an enemy nation as an enemy, unless he proves that he is not. Yes, there is collective punishment in Judaism. Written January 1990

    Contact BarbaraAndChaim at barbaraandchaim@gmail.com.


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    DRONE CONTROVERSY

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 07, 2013

    The drone controversy is liable to divert the Brennan confirmation hearing for CIA Director from Mr. Brennan's useless condoning of Iran's nuclear weapons development. Obviously by now negotiations and our use of sanctions do not end that development. Sanctions are an excuse for inaction when action is vital.

    But the drone controversy is important. We are presented with these sub-issues: (1) Do drones accomplish their purpose without motivating people abroad to join the jihadists? (2) Is the use of drones abroad legal against American citizens abroad, citizens believed to have joined the enemy, and in countries with which we are not at war? (3) Under what rules are they fired? and (4) Is it wrongful to fire at terrorists and then get bystanders killed?

    These questions are worth answering. Some strategists believe that drone strikes are more counter-productive than productive. Shouldn't an intelligence service, one not the same as the one firing drones, evaluate drone use as a strategy?

    War cuts down bystanders. We aim at what our intelligence indicates are enemy troops. Sometimes that intelligence errs. This does not mean we never should use drones or any other non-WMD. It means we should try to check more carefully. The rules of war hold that so long as the military purpose to the attack is primary, we are justified in launching it, even at the expense of bystanders. Terrorists usually encourage civilian casualties by operating in civilian areas. When they do, they commit a war crime; the responsibility for those civilian casualties is the terrorists', not ours.

    We must get away from having our military increasingly directed by lawyers. Lawyers overrun American life and smother it. Think through the basics, get clear directives, and give the lawyers' rifles and put them on the front lines. (Sarcastic wording of my view.)

    The fact that an enemy person is a U.S. citizen should not matter. We are talkibg about citizens who'd bomb or shoot us or who become spokesman for the enemy ideology. We need to expand our law to a new concept of "enemy" as other than direct military. The example of the ex-American killed by a drone was Awlicki. By his propaganda, he roused many fellow Radical Muslims to attempt to murder Americans. He was deadly dangerous!

    But the broader change needed in our view is to redefine the declaration of war. We've left the Executive branch too independent. That is dangerous to democracy, especially in the era of the imperial Presidency and the Obama era of Constitutional violation and Administration sympathy to Radical Islam.

    Congress should issue a declaration of war against Radical Islam. The declaration must define it, exclude non-Radical Islam, and explain that war has changed. The Radical Islamic totalitarian movement is international, recruiting governments, organizations, and individuals, using military and non-military means, military means being conventional and non-conventional, using regular troops and ostensible civilians, and irregular troops and terrorists. We should identify which governments and which organizations are part of this international jihad, whether they have formal alliances or not. Those governments and organizations, such as Egypt and the P.A., should get no U.S. support.

    The declaration should indicate that we do not feel obliged to send troops or missiles everywhere. We choose battlefields where we think we are needed and can be effective. We may use cyber-war and ideology, in some instances, rather than military means.

    The definition must be updated, as new organizations or governments fall into or out of the Radical Islamic orbit.

    The declaration would expose the new situation in which governments do not formally harbor terrorists but, like Pakistan, do informally.

    When the enemy is an ideology, we would be justified in holding enemy combatants indefinitely, because the cessation of armed combat does not end the menace from indoctrinated enemies if they were released. But to avoid mistakes, we must have judicial review permitted of the identity of the incarcerated and some review of the evidence but consistent with not revealing intelligence to lawyers of the enemy.

    You probably can add much to this skeletal proposal. I wrote it aware that the same questions may be asked of Israel.

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


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    SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY SHOWS HE DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT HOW FOREIGN POLICY WORKS

    Posted by Richard Shulman, February 07, 2013

    The article below was written by Barry Rubin who 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

    This is archived at
    http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/01/kerry-shows-he-doesnt-have-a-clue/

    During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State-designate John Kerry was only given a tough time by one questioner, Senator Rand Paul. The exchange between them is interesting not just because of the specific topic, but also because of what it shows about basic foreign policy philosophy — and ignorance — on Kerry's part.

    It is a genuine problem. The leader of a "friendly" nation has been exposed for making anti-Semitic remarks. The United States wants to continue aid to avoid instability in that country that would contribute to even further radicalization, and to use U.S. leverage to produce the best possible outcome.

    Unfortunately, Kerry subscribes — as is so fashionable today in the Obama administration and academia — to what I'll call the "abusive relationship approach" to foreign policy.

    If another country supports you and is good for your interests, you take that country's good will for granted and mistreat it. If another regime — say, Turkey, Pakistan, Venezuela, Egypt, and, at times in the recent past, Syria and Iran — walks all over you, then you chase after it all the more passionately and shower it with presents.

    secretary

    In the hands of a good realpolitik statesman, this balance would be managed well. For example: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would have kept the Egyptian government off-balance and made it understand that Washington was doing it a favor by providing aid. In other words, leverage would be used.

    But in Kerry's hands, leverage is tossed away. He is so afraid of using power or being tough that he throws away leverage, believing there can be no risk of problems. The recipient must not be intimidated or pressed to change, but instead shown that America is its friend — not the imperialist bully that people like Kerry and President Barack Obama see when they look back at U.S. history.

    Precisely the same problem was displayed notably in two other recent cases (though readers can probably add more):

    — When the Palestinian Authority approached the UN seeking membership and recognition as a state, the Bush administration made it clear to the UN and allies that there would be a strong price to pay in U.S. support and donations. The PA backed down.

    With Obama opposing the same thing but not playing any trump cards, America's "friends" almost unanimously voted against Washington's position, and it suffered a serious loss whose costs (including the permanent destruction of the "peace process") have not yet been counted.

    — When it was suggested to Kerry that U.S. aid to Pakistan be held up until it released a political prisoner, a doctor who helped America locate Osama bin Laden and who is now in prison and reportedly has been tortured, Kerry refused.

    America must be the one humiliated; the feelings of other countries cannot be hurt.

    Here's the exchange with Rand Paul:

    Rand Paul: "Do you think it's wise to send [Egypt] F-16s and Abrams tanks?"

    Kerry: "I think those [anti-Semitic] comments are reprehensible, and those comments set back the possibilities of working toward issues of mutual interest. They are degrading comments, unacceptable by anybody's standard, and I think they have to appropriately be apologized for ..."

    Kerry, of course, isn't answering the question. He is detaching the remarks from Muslim Brotherhood ideology and from U.S. policy. This is meaningless rhetoric on his part. It does, however, raise the intriguing problem of what Kerry would do, since President Morsi isn't going to apologize. That would have been a good question. Of course, he would do nothing.

    Rand Paul [cutting Kerry off]: "If we keep sending them weapons, it's not gonna change their behavior."

    Here is the essential question, and the one that Kerry doesn't want to answer. What reason is there to believe that the U.S. supply of arms would change the Brotherhood government's policies? Rather than moderate its policy, wouldn't these arms merely enable the regime to follow a more radical position? Against whom would these arms be used?

    Kerry: "Let me finish. President Morsi has issued two statements to clarify those comments, and we had a group of senators who met with him just the other day who spent a good part of their conversation in a relatively heated discussion with him about it ... "

    Yes, Morsi issued two statements but they were not to take back his prior words but only to double down on them, since he asserted that the statements had been taken out of context by the Zionist-controlled media. The man isn't misspeaking. He's just saying what he believes.

    Kerry and Obama refuse to recognize that he believes these things.

    Lucky for them, they didn't have to answer to Morsi's and his colleagues' anti-American statements. I can't figure out why more use hasn't been made of the strongly anti-American statements (including support for terrorist attacks on Americans, and rejoicing about the alleged downfall of the United States due to Obama's leadership) repeatedly made by Brotherhood leaders.

    Kerry [continuing]: "We have critical interests with Egypt. Critical interests. Egypt has thus far supported and lives by the peace agreement with Israel, and has taken steps to start to deal with the problem of security in the Sinai. Those are vital to us, and to our national interests, and to the security of Israel ... "

    Yes, the United States does have critical interests with Egypt. Yet how can these interests be best maintained? Remember that Kerry previously insisted that the critical interests the United States had with Syria could be best maintained by rewarding the anti-American dictatorship of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Has Egypt so far supported and lived by the peace agreement with Israel, etc.? Well, technically yes, though in a real sense the Egyptian government has not yet begun to govern in its full framework. For example, parliament has not convened yet. Moreover, the government has only acted cosmetically to deal with the security problem in the Sinai, reportedly making a deal with the Salafist terrorists to leave them alone if they cooled it — for a while.

    What Kerry suggests, but doesn't prove, is that U.S. interests are best maintained by not criticizing or pressuring Egypt's government. The only alternative to Obama policy is not breaking with Egypt, but using traditional diplomatic methods to get what the United States should want.

    Kerry: "The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone that you don't completely agree with doesn't give us permission to walk away from their election ... "

    Wow. This is truly ignorant. Just because Egyptians — or anyone else — elected a government does not mean that U.S. policy must accept whatever that government does.

    Yet I think Kerry and Obama actually believe that it does mean that.

    Moreover, the Brotherhood didn't just win but had U.S. backing. It was the party Obama favored. And now, of course, the regime has killed dozens of Egyptians in anti-government riots. It has also jammed through an ultimately anti-democratic constitution. The money and weapons the United States gives the Brotherhood government will help it consolidate power, buy off dissent, and be able to repress the population. Is that what U.S. interests require? The consolidation of an Islamist regime in Egypt?

    (I don't have space now to give the explanation as to why the idea Obama didn't have any such leverage is flatly wrong, but have done so in previous articles.)

    Rand Paul: "This has been our problem with our foreign policy for decades — Republican and Democrat. We funded bin Laden, we funded the [Afghan] Muhjahideen. We were in favor of radical jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy. We've done this so often. I see these weapons coming back to threaten Israel. ... Why not just not give weapons to Israel's enemies [to try and prevent a potential arms race]? That might save us a lot of money and might make it safer for Israel."

    Senator Paul is not exactly right here. It is not true — in fact it is an anti-American slander — to say that the United States funded bin Laden. It did support Afghan Islamist forces, but has not backed other Islamist revolutionary groups to any serious extent in the last four decades or so.

    What Obama is doing is largely unprecedented.

    Paul also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel, and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.

    Kerry: "Better yet, until we are at that moment, where that might be achievable, maybe it'd be better to try and make peace."

    Wow, again. This is the mentality that has repeatedly crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It goes like this:

    — We want peace.

    — Therefore, we should not evaluate what policies are most likely to succeed, but merely those that can allow us to say that peace remains possible.

    For example, even if the PA rejects talks for four years, we shouldn't criticize or pressure it because that might make peace less likely, etc.

    — It might work so we can't "give up," we must "keep trying." Even though this period is not conducive to progress, and even while other U.S. policies (especially backing of Islamists) actually make peace even more impossible to achieve.

    Two final points. First: in Kerry's worldview, the more extremist a state becomes, the more it is necessary to propitiate it so as to avoid losing influence or the "chance for peace."

    Second: he should be capable of making a sophisticated argument about precisely how America being tolerant of Morsi's behavior and providing advanced weapons is going to advance American interests. The unspoken theory is that it will make the Egyptian military happy and able to overturn the regime. But — of course — the regime will name the army's commanders, the armed forces have shown they don't want to get involved in politics, and, at any rate, many officers are pro-Brotherhood or even pro-Salafist.

    In other words, in Egypt (as in Pakistan by the way), there is no credible mechanism for turning financial or military aid into influence.

    Kerry isn't just wrong, he's totally clueless. And as just about the most openly arrogant man in American public life, he will never let reality penetrate his ideological armor.

    Richard H. Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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    BENGHAZI TESTIMONY REVEALS LACK OF COORDINATION IN U.S. GOVERNMENT

    Posted by Jewish Policy Center, February 07, 2013

    According to testimony Thursday to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke with President Obama at the outset of the Benghazi attack during a pre-scheduled meeting, but not again until the attacks were over. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey testified that they had not spoken to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at all during the attacks.

    Panetta's testimony directly contradicted that of Secretary Clinton who said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 23rd, "I directed our response from the State Department and stayed in close contact with officials from across our government and the Libyan government." Clinton added that the State Department's Benghazi Review Board said there had been "timely" and "exceptional" coordination.

    panetta
    US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta testifies on the attack on the US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Feb. 7, 2013

    President Obama delegated his authority, telling Panetta that everything was "up to us." Both Defense Department officials testified Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not reach out to either of them during the attack, nor did they reach out to her.

    Dempsey identified the challenge to protect U.S. diplomatic assets abroad noting he was responsible for American facilities in Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Pakistan, and other locations in the Islamic world. He said he knew about threats to Benghazi from AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham, "But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces." Dempsey went on to say, "Unfortunately, there was no specific intelligence or indications of an imminent attack on that - U.S. facilities in Benghazi. And frankly without an adequate warning, there was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond."

    Panetta defended the Defense Department's actions the day of the attack, specifically citing the response of military assets in the region. "Time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response" Panetta claimed. He continued by saying the Pentagon "spared no effort ... to save American lives." Panetta also cited arming weapons, aerial refueling assets, and accurate targeting information could have taken hours to gather and deploy.

    McCain criticized the lack of U.S. military presence in the area and disputed Panetta's testimony. "It was almost predictable" that "bad things were going to happen in Libya."

    Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. Matthew Brodsky is Director of Policy at the Washington DC Jewish Policy Center (JPC) and editor of its InFOCUS Quarterly Journal. Michael Johnson is a writer for JPC. This article appeared February 07, 2013 in the Jewish Policy Center. It is archived at http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/blog/2013/02/benghazi-testimony-reveals-lack-of-coordination-in-us-government


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    ISLAMIZED UNITED STATES

    Posted by Nurit Greenger, February 07, 2013

    The article below was written by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, the Director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), a research associate of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is the Middle East analyst of the daily Makor Rishon, and is frequently interviewed in the Israeli, Arab and international media. Dr. Kedar served for twenty-five years in IDF military intelligence, specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic organizations and Israeli Arabs. He is one of Israel's leading figures in understanding the Arab world.

    John Walker Lindh is a citizen of the United States who was born in Washington, D.C. in the year 1981. Lindh was not born a Muslim. He converted when he was 16 years old and then traveled to Yemen in order to learn Arabic. In 2000 he traveled to Afghanistan and underwent an educational and training course in al-Farouq, an al-Qaeda training camp. He made contact with the organization of Mujahadeen in Pakistan, and was caught in 2001 in Afghanistan serving as a jihadist with the Taliban. He was convicted of fighting for an illegal organization and sentenced to twenty years in the Terre Haute prison in the state of Indiana.

    In prison, Lindh continued to preach to his fellow prisoners and exhort them to be persistent in their jihad against the United States and the jihad to enforce Muslim Shari'a law on all of humanity. As a result, the prison authorities limited his participation in public prayer to only one time per week, on Friday. He appealed to the court, demanding to be allowed to participate in public prayer five times a day. The judge of the federal court, Jane Magnus-Stinson, found - contrary to the opinion of the prison authorities - that despite the fact that Lindh does not recognize the legality of the American court or the authority of her honor the judge, he nevertheless has the right to pray in public and to meet with his comrades five times every day, even if it means that the prison must beef up its security arrangements in order to accommodate his wishes.

    This is not an isolated case. The United States has been driven for the past several years by "political correctness", which censors any reference to a person's faith, even if this faith instigates him to wage holy war against the United States. According to this approach, if someone claims that the United States is the "little Satan", Americans must accept this characterization as correct and legitimate, and if the American is uncomfortable with this, he should do some soul searching to ascertain the reason that caused the Other - who is clearly miserable, hungry and neglected because of the crimes of the United States - to regard him as Satan.

    Political correctness is what dictates conduct in the highest echelons of leadership in the United States: most citizens of the country consider it to be unacceptable to say that President Obama comes from a Muslim family, and believe that it is not legitimate to refer to Obama's religion in any way. This is why the campaign against Obama, that was based on this fact, failed to prevent him from being re-elected.

    The federal investigative bodies have also been seized by American political correctness; and two years ago, in keeping with instructions from above, training programs for the FBI agents and other investigative agencies were changed, so that today, an interrogator is forbidden to relate to the religion or beliefs of someone under investigation, even if his faith or beliefs actually incite him to murderous jihad against the state. Authorities of the state forbid the use of the expression "Islamic terror", and laundered expressions such as "ideological violence" must be used instead.

    The slaughter that Major Nidal Malik Hasan perpetrated against his comrades at the Fort Hood base in Texas, in order to prevent them from going to Afghanistan, is described by the authorities as "workplace violence". For the adherents of political correctness, the fact that Hasan was in contact with Anwar Awlaki, the Yemeni-American terrorist who was subsequently eliminated, does not contradict the theory of political correctness that characterizes Islam as a religion of peace and love, hugs and kisses. "Islam" - so they believe - is based on the Arabic word "salam", which means "peace", because the superficiality that characterizes the American media discourages people from looking it up and discovering that the real meaning of the word "Islam" is "surrender" or "submission".

    The writer of these lines, together with an American colleague, an attorney by the name of David Yerushalmi, published an article about two years ago, "Shari'a and Violence in Mosques of the United States" (http://www.meforum.org/2931/american-mosques). This article is based on analysis of data and material that was collected in approximately one hundred mosques across the United States. Included in this material are two interesting pamphlets, in clear English: one is "40 Hadiths on Jihad" (a hadith is part of the Islamic oral tradition that relates to the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad), and this booklet is a song of praise to jihad, to the jihadist and to his reward in the world to come. Jihad in this booklet is not against illness, poverty, neglect and corruption, and not even against the evil inclination, but against anyone who is not Muslim, and implicitly, every American who does not convert to Islam.

    Another booklet that is distributed in mosques of the United States is entitled "What should you do if you are arrested or investigated by the racist, fascist and criminal police, or the racist, fascist FBI?". This guide book was written - according to what is printed on the title page - by Dr. al-Hajj Idris Muhammad, and is issued by the publishing house "al-Amin" in New York. In this booklet the writer instructs the reader in how to withstand interrogation relating to his religion and jihad against the "Great Satan", by exploiting the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. These rights are considered the most important rights in the United States, even if by exercising them, the United States is rendered less able to fight the enemies who conduct their jihad against it from within and from its prisons.

    Problematic Islamic activity also exists within the institutions of higher learning in the United States. This writer has collected flyers in the mosques of one of the academic institutions, that instruct Muslim and Arab students how to manage charitable funds, how to stand up to law enforcement agencies, how to conduct oneself and how to identify and protect oneself from intelligence agents who infiltrate Islamic groups. All of this is, of course, legal, but smells quite bad.

    Many mosques in the United States are built today in quiet and serene residential neighborhoods, despite the residents having officially expressed their objection to the building of these mosques. Obviously, in every quiet suburb where a mosque is built, the price of the houses goes down, since the commotion associated with the arrival of the worshipers disturbs the peace and quiet in these areas. Residents are compelled to appeal to the courts to prevent the mosques from sounding the call to prayer on loudspeakers in the early hours of the day because the non-Muslims do not want to wake up at five in the morning. The courts tend to reject these suits and allow the mosques to disturb the quiet of the early morning watch in the name of political correctness. Planning authorities are also influenced negatively by political correctness, allowing mosques to be built even if it will cause a significant devaluation in the prices of real estate and large losses to the owners of the houses, who originally bought their homes in a quiet place and at a high price.

    The building of mosques gained momentum after the planning authorities of New York - who are guided by political correctness - allowed a mosque to be built near Ground Zero, the place where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, which were attacked by Islamic terror on the 11th of September 2001, used to stand. The fact is that no Muslims live in this area; nevertheless, even the objection of many individuals and groups failed to overcome the political correctness of the planning authorities.

    In the United States today, there are approximately seven million Muslims, and their numbers are increasing quickly, owing to the fact that they have a higher birth rate than the low average American rate standing at 1.6 children per woman, and also because of immigration. The Muslims have established organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations - CAIR - whose main mission is to improve the image of Islam in American public opinion. The fact that the people who now head these organizations or headed them in the past are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic movements does not put a damper on the desire of government leaders to cozy up to these organizations, because they are are driven by the obsession to endear themselves to Islam, and they consider these organizations to be the authentic representatives of the Muslims in the United States.

    Many investment companies in the United States offer their clients investment plans that are consistent with Islamic Shari'a.

    Islamic money, much of which comes from oil profits, is invested in academic institutions, and the conduct of an academic institution that receives significant donations from an Islamic source is influenced by these donations. About one year ago the University of Yale closed the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) which was headed by a Jewish professor by the name of Charles (Asher) Small, immediately after this university received a large donation from a Saudi source. The Carter Center, the research center of former president Jimmy Carter, operates out of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with Saudi money. Is there a connection between this fact and Carter's book: Palestine - Peace, not Apartheid?

    The activity of Islamic institutions in the United States often focuses on Israel, and more than a few of these institutions hold yearly events called "Israeli Apartheid Week". Surprisingly, there are Jewish students and staff members, and even Israelis, who take part in this anti-Israeli activity, which are obviously driven by clear anti-Semitic motives. MK Jamal Zahalka from the Israeli Arab National Democratic Assembly party is a star from this movement who is in great demand. The Jewish students are intimidated, and taking a pro-Israeli stance makes them a target for criticism and even violence by those who wish to portray Israel as an apartheid state. The Jewish students are also afraid to express pro-Israeli positions in class, because there are lecturers, and not only from Arab or Muslim countries, who might lower the grades of a student who dares to challenge the statement that Israel is an apartheid state

    The picture in the United States is disturbing; in my opinion the United States is treading in Europe's footsteps of 15 years ago; what one sees today in the United States we saw in Europe 15 years ago, and if America doesn't wake up it will find itself in another 15 years in the situation that Europe is in today.

    To Contact Nurit Greenger visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com


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    STILL NAÏVE ABOUT TERRORISM

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 07, 2013

    Two headlines on the same page show Westerners still naïve about terrorism.

    "EU Weighs Blacklisting Hezbollah Over Attack" in Bulgaria is the first headline (Laurence Norman, Wall St. J., 2/7/13, A9). All of Hezbollah's other attacks and in other years did not make an impression on the European Union. Naïve? Amoral? Let liberals here not admire Europe's ways so much!

    Even as French troops fight in Mali against people with the same goals and means as Hezbollah, the EU lacks the wit to connect the dots between the various Islamist terrorist organizations and states. But the U.S. subsidizes Islamists.

    Obama Visit Stirs Israeli Moderates' Hopes for Talks" is the second headline (Joshua Mitnick). Mr. Mitnick doesn't trust us to decide for ourselves who is moderate, he insists upon telling us who the good guys are.

    The good guys must be those who spent decades getting nowhere with the N. Koreans, Iranians, and Arabs. Repeated failure makes no impression upon naïve ideologues. They persist. Policy fails? Persist. Policy fails? Persist. Policy fails? Persist.

    The policy of selectively timed negotiations doesn't fail for the N. Koreans, Iranians, and Arabs. For negotiating, they get concessions. Not fought down, they near their goals. Negotiations and concessions have enabled Palestinian Arabs to murder thousands of Israelis. Death of innocents is the result of the Left, whom Mr. Mitnick calls "moderate."

    So pathetic are the leftists, that their goal is negotiation and perhaps a signature that means little to the Arabs. The Arabs violate their agreements? Ignore it. The Arabs violate their agreements? Ignore it. Muslim rampage grows, but people call that peace.

    An MK from the Labor Party, quite leftist (appeasement-minded) but called "moderate," welcomes the visit and interest of Pres. Obama, who is anti-Israel, because, "When the Americans are absent, nothing happens, only disaster." But the U.S. always strives for Israel to concede to the jihadists and never the reverse. And that leads to disasters. U.S. policy helped save Arab aggressors and restart wars. U.S. policy got Netanyahu (without too much objection) to withdraw from most of Hebron. This led to terrorism and a growing Hamas presence in Hebron.

    Wisdom, where art thou?

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


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    SHARIA LAW SWALLOWING INDONESIA

    Posted by Ted Belman, February 08, 2013

    The article below was written by Mohshin Habib who is an expert on the effects of religion on Bangladesh. He currently resides in Dhaka, and is fluent in English, German, Bengali and Hindi. This article appeared February 07, 2013 in the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council website and is archived at
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3579/indonesia-sharia

    Although Indonesia, "the world's largest Muslim country" with an 87% Muslim population, was once considered a moderate Muslim country, day by day it has been leaning more and more towards conservative Islam and Sharia laws. Initiated in 2009, bylaws in the light of Sharia rulings were implemented that conflict with the values of human rights, and are creating a difficult land for minorities to live in.

    Indonesian Aceh province authorities recently launched an initiative, despite opposition from human rights activists, to ban women from straddling motorcycles when riding behind a man. Suaidi Yahia, mayor of Lhokseumawe, the second large city of the province, said to the Associated Press, "It is improper for women to sit astride. We implement Islamic law here." He later said, "women sitting on motorbikes must not sit astride: it will provoke the male drivers." Instead, they allow women to sit sidesaddle, which is dangerous on a motorcycle.

    The objectives of the local authorities were apparently to prevent "showing a woman's curves;" it is against Islamic teachings, Yahia went on to say, unless it is an emergency. In a notice distributed to the government offices and villages of northern Aceh, they added that women are not allowed to hold onto the driver.

    Last year, the mayor of Tasikmalaya in West Java proposed to veil all women, including non-Muslims. Mayor Syarif Hidayat vowed to implement Sharia law, to repay Muslim leaders who backed his election victory. The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is serving his second term, also relies on the support of Muslim political parties.

    Sharia law is spreading throughout all of the provinces of Indonesia; citizens are enacting their own variations of Islamic laws, and applying then to non-Muslims as well.

    Although Western leaders have praised Indonesia as a model of "Muslim democracy," as Muslims become more intolerant of its Christian minority, the increased Islamization of Indonesia renders these Christians more vulnerable. A few days ago, six Catholic schools in East Java finally gave in to a local ordinance that requires all Muslim students to be able to read and write Koranic verses, and said it will provide Islamic lessons for their Muslim students.

    The head of the Ministry Office of Religious Affairs, Imam Mukhlis, told the Jakarta Post that the six schools had finally agreed to provide Islamic teachers for their Muslim students. Earlier the Blitar City Administration of East Java threatened to close down the six Catholic schools for their refusal to provide Islamic lessons to their Muslim students. In 2006, President Susilo tightened criteria for building a house of worship. More than 400 churches have been closed since he took office in 2004. The notorious Bali terrorist attack, as well as restrictions on hotels, bars, embassies, have all derived from these decade-long efforts of Islamization. By 2010, Indonesia had over 150 religiously motivated regulations restricting minorities' rights.

    It is not only governmental initiatives that are disrupting the lives of Christians, Shiite Muslims, Bahais, Ahmadiyyans, Sufis and atheists. Individuals and groups have been engaging in terroristic attacks against non-Sunni Muslims. In August 2011, Muslim militants burned down three Christian churches on Sumatra. In an attack, in west Java in February 2011, three Ahmadiyyans were killed. A cameraman recorded the scene, posted on YouTube. In September 2010, Islamist militants burned down two churches, and stabbed an elderly Christian as he tried to defend the third site.

    Western leaders need to understand that Indonesia, under its current government, can no longer be labeled a Muslim country that is risk-free for religious minorities. Even though, after exceptional international pressure, Indonesia's government cracked down on an the Al Qaeda affiliated group Jemaah Islamiyah, it has not yet even tried to apprehend other Islamist militants committing crimes against religious minorities. Indonesia, once a country of diversity, is now becoming a place for one-way Islam.

    Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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    THE U.S. VERSUS THE 'SHI'ITE CRESCENT'?

    Posted by Ted Belman, February 08, 2013

    The article below was written by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi who is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and an intern at Daniel Pipes' Philadelphia-based think-tank, the Middle East Forum. This article appeared February 04, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-US-vs-the-Shiite-Crescent

    The American approach to the Arab world can be criticized for inconsistency on a number of levels.

    observance

    Writing on his blog Karl reMarks, prominent Lebanese blogger Karl Sharro complained of the "decline of narrative" in "Middle East expertise," lamenting the dominance of a "cold analytical approach" to events in the volatile region and the role of foreign powers therein. But is the concept of narrative and grand theory actually useful here? Consider the question of US policy toward the region throughout the course of the Arab Spring. One narrative that has emerged among certain commentators — mainly on the Western political Left, such as Patrick Cockburn — is that the US is aligning itself with Sunni forces, including those of an Islamist nature, in opposition to a perceived "Shi'ite crescent" of power in the region.

    As is often the case, this narrative bases itself on elements of truth. The US shares the concern of the Sunni Arab Gulf monarchies about Iranian influence in the wider region. The most egregious case of alignment is in Bahrain, where Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia have all deployed troops to assist the monarchy in suppressing protests.

    Meanwhile, Washington has called for the Bahraini government to engage in meaningful dialogue with the opposition, but has at the same time approved arms sales to the regime, for the US, with its Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain, is deeply worried about the influence of pro-Iranian Shi'ite Islamists such as Hassan Mushaima, who have slowly and steadily won more standing among Bahraini protestors at the expense of more moderate factions like al-Wefaq.

    It is also correct, as Cockburn noted in a recent article, that the current US government is more sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and associated factions than before. This is evident from the Obama administration's strong reluctance to be openly critical of the present Egyptian government under the MB's Mohammed Morsi, along with a consignment of F-16 fighter jets to Cairo from Washington that began shipment last month.

    The sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in particular is based on two main factors. First, whatever misgivings the Obama administration might express about developments like Morsi's constitutional decree in November last year that gave the president dictatorial powers, the consensus in US policy circles is that an MB-led government can guide Egypt to stable, democratic civilian rule. In other words, the US sees in Egypt's MB a "moderate Islamism" that can serve as a non-violent antidote to the Salafists and al-Qaida.

    Second, it is correct that the US government sees the MB and like-minded factions as a counterbalance to Iranian influence in the wider region. In this case, there is a disconnect between think-tank circles in Washington and policymakers.

    While attention has been drawn in the world of punditry to talks between Egypt and Iran as regards establishing ties, the fact is that these engagements remain nothing more than talk, and a significant warming of relations between the two countries remains a very distant prospect. Above all, on the question of Syria, Egypt and Iran are deeply at odds, as the latter continues to back Assad while Morsi's government insists he must be removed from power.

    In the meantime, the Obama administration has been sympathetic to the MB-dominated opposition-inexile Syria National Council.

    ALL THESE points notwithstanding, those who wish to argue that US policy is aligned with the "Sunni bloc" in a grand sectarian alliance against the "Shi'ite crescent" need to account for the fact that Washington has consistently backed Nouri Maliki — who leads the Shi'ite religious Dawa party — as premier of Iraq, rather than his rival Ayad Allawi, who like Maliki is a Shi'ite but leads a very loose coalition of groups that have widespread backing from the Sunni Arab community of Iraq.

    Indeed, in the case of Iraq, US policy has something in common with the approach of Iran, which likewise backs Maliki. On the other hand, the Gulf states and Turkey have backed Allawi. Even Assad supported Allawi in his bid to become prime minister in 2010, and while Syria outwardly reversed its stance after a sustained lobbying effort by Maliki, the new-found support for Maliki was nothing more than a cosmetic change.

    In contrast, Washington has gone as far as to take Maliki's side in the ongoing dispute with Turkey over Ankara's importing oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government without Baghdad's permission.

    There are two reasons for the American support for Maliki. First, Washington sees him as more competent than Allawi, who is frequently out of the country, leads a very disunited bloc of groups that is constantly marred by internal splits, and is generally perceived as being out of touch with reality on the ground in Iraq.

    Second, as Reidar Visser points out, the US approach towards Iraq is influenced by Yitzhak Nakash's work The Shi'is of Iraq, that emphasized the distinct Arab identity of the Iraqi Shi'ite community.

    Thus, Washington is not all that worried about the question of Iranian influence in the country, and has even maintained friendly ties with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), the Shi'ite political faction that is arguably closest to Iran in terms of ideology and cordial relations. Last month the US ambassador met with ISCI leader Ammar Hakim to discuss the ongoing political crisis and protests in Iraq.

    What about Cockburn's claim of a supposed distinction between a "good" al-Qaida in the jihadist faction Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN) in Syria as opposed to a "bad" al-Qaida, or George Galloway's recent attack on British Prime Minister David Cameron regarding supposed UK support for jihadists in Syria? Here, some conventional wisdom needs to be set aside. The reality is that Western support for Syrian rebel groups has been very limited, and amounts to little beyond mere words calling for Assad to step down as president of Syria and recognizing an opposition- in-exile coalition with little credibility on the ground. The West is not in fact arming rebels in Syria, and Washington in particular has not reversed its designation of JAN as a terrorist organization despite objections within Syria and from the opposition- in-exile.

    It is true that Saudi Arabia has been providing aid to Salafist factions while Qatar and Turkey prefer to back MB-aligned groups, but US policy has been to ensure that these countries do not provide any heavy weaponry and to enforce restrictions on arms supplies.

    They have duly followed this approach, having their own concerns about "jihadist blowblack" a la the aftermath of backing the mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In any case, most of the support Syrian rebel groups receive actually comes from private individuals, from Syrians on the ground or in exile and from some wealthy Gulf Arabs.

    In short, the main error in arguing that US policy follows a sectarian alignment against a Shi'ite bloc is the equation of opposition to Iranian influence with opposition to any expression of Shi'ite identity at the political level. The case of Iraq clearly shows otherwise.

    The American approach to the Arab world can be criticized for inconsistency on a number of levels, but the evidence does not support analyses according to which US policy falls under a broad sectarian paradigm of "pro-Sunni and anti-Shi'ite."

    Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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    US NEEDS TO 'REVERSE OPTICS' IN RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL

    Posted by Arutz Sheva, February 08, 2013

    The article below was written by Rachel Hirshfeld who is an animal rights activist and a lawyer specializing in the area of animal law, pet trusts, and pet protection agreements. She is a frequent author and lecturer, often quoted in newspapers, legal journals and other media outlets including: ABC Nightline, CBS Early Show, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Today Show, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Dow Jones, Newsday, The New York Sun, Bottom Line Retirement, The National Academy of Elder Law Attorney's Journal, Consumer Digest, and Fox News. Ms. Hirschfeld's lectures in continuing legal education have been selected for live web casting by Thomson Reuters' publishing house. Visit her websites at rachel@pettrustlawyer.com. This article appeared February 08, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165031#.VQh2tj8wuC0

    Mideast, US has to "reverse optics" in relationship with Jewish state.

    hagel

    The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations recently published a recording of a speech given by former senator Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's highly controversial nominee for secretary of defense, in which he said that the United States has to "reverse optics" in its relationship with the state of Israel.

    In order to restore its credibility as an honest broker between Israelis and Palestinians, America has to "reverse optics" in its ties with the Jewish state, the former Republican senator from Nebraska said in 2007, as first reported by Breitbart.com.

    "There's no question in the Arab-Israeli issue that Israel is a nation today as a result of the United States," he said, possibly referring to the decision by President Harry Truman to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as continued military, financial and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    While his remarks are not entirely clear, in context, it seems that Hagel was intending to reinforce perceptions of Israel as a client state of the United States, according to Breitbart.

    It was recently revealed that Hagel made further staggering accusations against Israel, alleging that the Jewish state is keeping the "Palestinians caged up like animals."

    The highly controversial nominee does not elaborate on the claim or explain how he believes Israel is keeping "Palestinians caged up like animals," according to the Journal Star report. The comment is, however, consistent with his long anti-Israel and anti-Jewish record.

    The two-term senator chosen by President Barack Obama to replace current secretary of defense Leon Panetta, has come under intense fire for his record on Israel, Iran, Hamas, as well as his comments about "the Jewish lobby," homosexuals and a myriad of other issues.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee postponed a panel vote that was expected to take place Thursday on the contentious nomination after Republicans demanded that he release additional financial information, including details regarding compensation for speeches he delivered since leaving Capitol Hill.

    Contact Arutz-Sheva by email at www.IsraelNationalNews.html


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    BLAMING TERRORISTS FOR TERRORISM

    Posted by Daily Alert, February 08, 2013

    The article below was written by Lee Smith who writes on Arab and Islamic affairs for various newspapers and has often been a guest on radio and television. He is author of "The Strong Horse: Power, Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilizations." He is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute.

    This article appeared February 06, 2013 in theWeekly Standard. It is archived at
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/blaming-terrorists-terrorism_700340.html

    Yesterday the Bulgarian government announced the results of its investigation into the July 18, 2012 bus bombing that killed 5 Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver in the city of Burgas. At least two members of what appears to have been a three-man team belong to Hezbollah. More specifically, explained Bulgaria's interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, they were part of Hezbollah's "military wing"—a peculiar turn of phrase that hints at the political implications of the Bulgarian investigation, which may have a major impact on European Union foreign policy as well as Hezbollah's ability to operate on the continent. And yet the most serious repercussions may be felt inside Lebanon, where Hezbollah is already feeling the pressure.

    Even as late as the night before the announcement, says Matthew Levitt a former Treasury Department official and now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, "U.S. officials didn't know if Bulgaria would go ahead and name Hezbollah. The Israelis seemed more confident, but remained tight-lipped about it." And the Bulgarians, Levitt told me, "spoke truth to power. They made it clear these were Hezbollah operatives, funded by Hezbollah in a Hezbollah plot."

    It would be hard to overstate the resolve the Bulgarian government showed in making the announcement. "Sofia came under enormous pressure from among others the French and Germans to 'nuance' the report and avoid antagonizing Hezbollah," says Omri Ceren, a senior advisor at The Israel Project. "That Bulgarian officials were willing to let the evidence guide them and expose who was behind the attack, even at this very delicate time for the European Union and for Bulgaria's place inside of it, took genuine political courage."

    There had been some speculation that the Bulgarians might hint at Hezbollah involvement without naming the group and likely inviting further attacks from an outfit that has picked up the pace of its terrorist operations abroad in the last three years. As Levitt shows in his new study, "Hizballah and the Qods Force in Iran's Shadow War with the West," since January 2010 the Lebanese group and its Iranian partners have plotted numerous attacks throughout Europe and the rest of the world, targeting Israeli embassies and Jewish communities in, among other places, Cyprus, Turkey, Thailand, Kenya, India, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

    The operation at the bus station in Burgas was one of Hezbollah's few successes, and Bulgaria's response comes in stark contrast to the decision recently taken by the Argentinean government to form a "truth commission" with the Islamic Republic of Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. The purpose of the agreement is to bury the case and whitewash Hezbollah's role in killing 85 people and wounding hundreds, exactly 18 years to the day before the Burgas bombing. Bulgaria chose instead to underscore Hezbollah's bloody career.

    The Obama administration and other U.S. officials greeted the Sofia report with enthusiasm. The White House's counterterrorism adviser John Brennan commended "its friend and NATO ally." Obama's nominee for CIA director has in the past indicated he's somewhat confused about Hezbollah, recommending for instance that Washington should seek to empower the terror group's so-called "moderates." But regarding the Burgas bombing, Brennan was clear-eyed. "Bulgaria's investigation exposes Hizballah for what it is," Brennan said in a released statement, "a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women, and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world."

    In a statement following the report, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued against this idea, saying that "there is only one Hezbollah, it is one organization with one leadership." As it turns out, Netanyahu's interpretation is backed by Hezbollah itself. "All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership," senior Hezbollah official Naim Qassem told theLos Angeles Times in 2009. "The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel."

    The distinction between the two "wings" is simply a convenient fiction invented by European policymakers. No one is fooled against his will, and the reality is that the Europeans aren't even fooling themselves with their hairsplitting. The effect of separating the two "wings" is to give Hezbollah some wiggle room. If only the "military" side is listed then the "political" group can still raise money on the continent. The purpose of the distinction is to give European diplomats an advantage over their American counterparts. Because U.S. officials are not allowed to deal with a designated foreign terrorist organization like Hezbollah, the Europeans are able to step in and fill the gap. But if Hezbollah is designated as a whole, and not simply its "military" wing, then the Europeans will lose one of the few cards they have to play in their Middle East policy.

    Spilling blood on European soil should make it much more difficult for the French and others to avoid designating Hezbollah, but "we're not at a place yet where designation is certain, there's a lot left to be done. There is no longer a debate over the facts," according to Levitt. "The debate now is over policy—is it a smart move to list them?

    Indeed, the Europeans were already pushing back even before the report. EU counterterrorism official Gilles de Kerchove argued the day before the announcement that there "is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack... It's not only the legal requirement that you have to take into consideration, it's also a political assessment of the context and the timing."

    If de Kerchove seems to be making room for some sort of justification that Hezbollah might offer for the attack, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was even more mealy mouthed. "The EU and Member States will discuss the appropriate response based on all elements identified by the investigators," said Ashton, noting "the need for a reflection over the outcome of the investigation."

    The Europeans are primarily worried about losing their diplomatic prerogative, but are also, understandably, concerned about winding up in Hezbollah's crosshairs. Hezbollah and Iran were effectively at war with France in the 80s, often in Paris itself, and with French troops and civilians filling the UNIFIL ranks in southern Lebanon, they'd prefer to avoid shaking the hornets' nest. However, the fact is that Hezbollah has already targeted French UNIFIL troops, and those of other EU members, including Spain and Italy.

    Finally the Europeans reason that designating Hezbollah might destabilize the Lebanese government. This is a particularly odd rationale given that Hezbollah controls the government and destabilizing it, or forcing Lebanese parties to abandon their alliance with the party of God, would serve the interests of Beirut's pro-Western parties. Already the announcement seems to be having an effect inside Lebanon.

    "It will be hard for Hezbollah's allies to back it when Europe turns against it," says NOW Lebanon's managing editor Hanin Ghaddar. "Yesterday, Prime Minister Mikati said he condemns Bulgaria bombing, and the Lebanese government is ready to cooperate." Mikati is not affiliated with the pro-democracy March 14 forces but was handpicked for the premiership by Hezbollah. "If you support them on the bombing then you'll have problems in Europe," says Ghaddar. "Mikati has business in Europe so he's going to be very careful with this."

    According to Ghaddar, the Bulgaria report is as significant as the special tribunal for Lebanon that named four Hezbollah members guilty for the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. "Nasrallah has a speech in ten days," says Ghaddar, "and everyone is saying that Hezbollah will have no comment before that, but I think they don't know what to say. Again Hezbollah is in big trouble."

    It seems that the party of God is fighting on every conceivable front, and not faring well on any of them. In Syria, it's sided with Bashar al-Assad's besieged regime, sending forces to take on a Sunni-majority rebellion that will in time inevitably take its revenge on the Shiite militia. Its terrorist operations around the world are proving failures, except for the one in Bulgaria, which may in time turn Europe as well as its Lebanese allies against it.

    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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    SCHMOOZING

    Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 08, 2013

    schmoozing

    This graphic is from http://denjanewhome.blogspot.com/

    Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il.


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    FOR PLO AGENDA, U.N. EASILY POSTPONES ISRAEL DEBATE

    Posted by UN Watch, February 08, 2013

    The article below was written by Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2001, he served on a three person Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories that was appointed by the United Nations, and previously, on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books. He serves as Chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Board of Directors and as honorary vice president of the American Society of International Law. The United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Falk to a six-year term as a UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights. This article appeared February 07, 2013 in the UN Watch and it is archived at
    http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2013/02/07/u-n-turns-blind-eye-to-palestine-expert-skipping-hrc-session/

    Does it matter if the U.N. Human Rights Council postpones a debate on Israel's alleged violations?

    Terribly so, we were told last week by the council and its defenders, who went into a state of apoplexy when Israel, requesting a postponement, dared to miss a scheduled review session on January 29th.

    Even the New York Times entered the fray — in a rare editorial dedicated to the goings-on of the Geneva body — accusing Israel of undermining human rights. Headlines worldwide echoed the sense of outrage.

    UN Watch has already exposed the rank hypocrisy of these empty charges.

    Yet it now turns out that, at the exact same time as the above media storm was blowing, the council was taking an altogether different approach toward a similar request, made by one of its own top UN officials, to postpone a debate on Israel's alleged violations.

    UN Watch has discovered that the council quietly posted a notice that their own Palestine monitor, the infamous Richard Falk, who was kicked out of Human Rights Watch in response to our campaign, will be skipping a scheduled council appearance, postponing his report by several months.

    Falk, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, was scheduled to present his report on Monday, March 18 — on the special day against Israel that is a permanent feature of every session — at the same time as the council's fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements presents its new report. Instead, we now learn that Falk's report has been postponed until June. No reasons were given.

    Even though the report's postponement means that a scheduled council debate on Israel's alleged violations — supposedly a vital instrument of justice on an urgent situation — will now be deferred by several months, suddenly there is no outrage, no objections of principle, and no questions asked by the council and its defenders.

    Apparently, the council's anti-Israel lobby was concerned that Falk's scheduled diatribe would be drowned out by the competing report on settlements, and so arbitrarily decided to alter the council's schedule in order to space out their propaganda vehicles in separate sessions.

    As it happens, this is not the first time that the council has postponed a Falk report, and council debate, for political reasons.

    In 2010, it was the Palestinians themselves who demanded, and easily won, a deferral of Falk's report from the March to June session of that year.

    Falk had angered Ramallah by his report's grant of UN standing to their bitter enemy, Hamas, and by stinging remarks he had made about the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

    Here's what US diplomats reported, as revealed by Wikileaks:

    [Palestinian deputy ambassador] Zuhairi was visibly upset by [Falk's] reference to Hamas in his draft report. In para 8, Falk states that UNGA resolution 64/10 calls on Hamas — vice the PA — to undertake investigations. Zuhairi argued that he had too often corrected Falk's many errors and that this latest misguided effort by Falk had gone too far. Zuhairi said he might use the February 18 HRC organizational meeting to seek to block Falk's report from being presented to the HRC on the grounds that Falk overstepped his mandate, had addressed issues outside his brief, and had failed to appropriately recognize a UNGA resolution (not to mention the legitimate authority of the PA).

    That was Feb. 16, 2010. Two days later, the Palestinian Authority delegate went ahead and told the UN to delay Falk's report, giving this interesting reason:

    Taking into account the number of reports related to the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories under agenda item 7, in order to treat them with the most appropriate manner, I request to postpone the report of Professor Richard Falk to be considered during the 14th session of the HRC.

    That's right: the Palestinians were complaining that there were just too many reports on Israel!

    Sure enough, the absurdity, irony and hypocrisy of the request notwithstanding, the U.N. obeisantly rescheduled Falk's report — and the surrounding debate — in deference not to any human rights concern, but to the dictates of the PLO's political agenda.

    In response, Hamas — whom Falk in Jan. 2013 compared to anti-Nazi freedom fighters — quickly went to bat for their beloved Richard Falk, reported Ma'an News:

    The delay of Falk's report also caught the attention of Hamas leaders in Gaza. On Monday, The justice minister in the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza, Muhammad Faraj Al-Ghoul, held a news conference denouncing the delay as an effort to "kill the report and give Israel a cover for its crimes."

    No surprise there.

    In the end, does it matter if the U.N. Human Rights Council postpones a debate on Israel's alleged violations?

    In truth, from the standpoint of genuine human rights, it matters not a whit.

    In truth, it matters not a whit that the council postponed last week's review session on Israel, nor the Falk report that had been scheduled for March 18, 2o13.

    In truth, the council's so-called debates on Israel have all the due process of a Stalinist show trial, where the verdict is delivered in advance, and rapists and murderers parade as prosecutors of justice.

    The council's double standard when it comes to deferring reports and sessions is just one more example of the U.N. Human Rights Council's pathological prejudice against Israel, which undermines its credibility and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the world body as a whole.

    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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    ONE OF HAGEL'S DONORS IS 'FRIENDS OF HAMAS'?

    Posted by Sergio HaDar Tezza, February 08, 2013

    The article is from Israel Matzav bloged and it is archived at http://israelmatzav.blogspot.se/2013/02/one-of-hagels-donors-is-friends-of-hamas.html

    Well, I'm shocked. Just totally shocked. Breitbart.com is reporting that the reason that Chuck Hagel doesn't want to disclose his foreign donor list is that one of the donors is 'Friends of Hamas.' And when a White House spokesperson was asked to comment, they hung up the phone without saying a word (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

    On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called "Friends of Hamas."

    Called for comment and reached via telephone, Associate Communications Director at the White House Eric Schultz identified himself, heard the question, was silent for several seconds, and then hung up the phone immediately without comment. Called back via the White House switchboard, Schultz's phone rang through to his answering machine. Called on his cell phone, Schultz's phone rang through to his answering machine.

    And the Senate Democrats are going to vote to confirm this mamzer? Have you no shame?

    Contact Sergio Tezza at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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    WASHINGTON POST AND NEWSWEEK HIT OBAMA

    Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 08, 2013

    Very interesting, even if late. Maybe now the heat, and truth, and facts will surface.....it's about time...!!!

    minutes

    Finally, the Washington Post and Newsweek speak out about Obama. This is timely and tough. As many of you know, the Washington Post and Newsweek have a reputation for being extremely liberal. The fact that their editors saw fit to print the following article about Obama and the one that appears in the latest Newsweek, makes this a truly amazing event, and a news story in and of itself. At last, the truth about our President and his agenda are starting to trickle through the "protective wall" built around him by the liberal media.

    ___________________________

    I Too Have Become Disillusioned.

    By Matt Patterson (columnist - Washington Post,New York Post, San

    Francisco Examiner)

    Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

    Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer;" a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.

    He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

    Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - held to a lower standard - because of the color of his skin.

    Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

    Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon - affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

    Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin - that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is.

    And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

    What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people - conservatives included - ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

    The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that's when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth - it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.

    And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, campaigned for the task. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

    In short: our president is a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.

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


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    BENGHAZI CONTINUES....

    Posted by Mailbox(TTG), February 08, 2013

    The latest story about Benghazi, a totally NEW ONE, as of yesterday, is that the Hillary State Department was providing weapons to Al Qaeda. The amazing twist is this: We are expected to believe that Obama was trying to prevent this. That his direct reports had gone rogue, specifically including Hillary, Petraeus, and the CIA.

    McCain looked totally stunned at this revelation.

    It was also revealed — and now front page news — that both Obama and Hillary were missing in action as Americans died.

    The Benghazi story gets more and more fantastic. I hope that Congress proceeds and moves this to a full independent investigation. The survey below may be useful.

    Sincerely,

    John D. Trudel

    John D. Trudel, Consultant Emeritus, Inventor, Engineer, Author, retired Adjunct Professor (U. of Oregon), and Novelist.

    The Tea Party

    According to sworn testimony, on the night of the Benghazi attack, as our citizens were murdered, neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton did anything to help. They didn't even check in for updates. Is this outrageous to you? Take our survey and let us know what you think: http://www.theteaparty.net/survey-obama-and-hillarys-inaction-during-the-attack-in-benghazi/

    Contact Mailbox(TTG) at mail@trudelgroup.com


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    SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR ON OBAMA'S LEGAL ELIGIBILITY TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT

    Posted by Udi Schayat, February 09, 2013

    Please forward:

    Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the US Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama's legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president.. Donofrio's case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama's citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

    In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama's qualifications for the presidency, the group "Americans for Freedom of Information" has Released copies of President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental College ... Released today, the transcript school indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship.

    This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama's detractors have been seeking. Along with the evidence that he was first born in Kenya and there is no record of him ever applying for US citizenship, this is looking pretty grim. The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama's legitimacy and qualification to serve as President article titled, "Obama Eligibility Questioned," leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama's first official visit to the U.K. In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama's legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president... Donofrio's case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama's citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

    Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama's campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. Attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter...

    LET OTHER FOLKS KNOW THIS NEWS, THE MEDIA WON'T!

    Subject: RE: Issue of Passport?

    While I've little interest in getting in the middle of the Obama birth issue, Paul Hollrah over at FSM did so yesterday and believes the issue can be resolved by Obama answering one simple question: What passport did he use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi?

    So how did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981, without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later?

    And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi, what passport was he offering when he passed through Customs and Immigration?

    The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions, they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama's citizenship a rather short and simple one.

    Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?

    A: Yes, by his own admission.

    Q: What passport did he travel under?

    A: There are only three possibilities.

    1) He traveled with a U.S. Passport,

    2) He traveled with a British passport, or

    3) He traveled with an Indonesia passport.

    Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?

    A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department's "no travel" list in 1981.

    Conclusion: When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a British passport or an Indonesian passport.

    If he were traveling with a British passport that would provide proof that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims. And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.

    Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a "natural born" American citizen between 1981 and 2008.

    Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

    Udi Schayat, Engineer at Intel Corporation from Portland, Oregon Area. Contact him at Udi Schayat at udichayat@yahoo.com


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    WHITEWASHING & SMEARING: NY TIMES ON JIHAD AND ITS CRITICS

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 09, 2013

    Without referring to religion, a TV commercial portrayed as a normal American a man with an obviously Islamic name. A New York Times religion reporter was pleased. He followed up with the man show in the ad, who described jihad as striving to feed people.

    The reporter quoted someone in the field of advertising as calling that ad "brave," apparently because, he believes, "Islamophobia persists."

    The reporter contrasted that ad with a New York City subway ad by "Pamela Geller, the outspoken blogger and critic of Islam, which depicted a worldwide conflict between the civilized West and Islamic "savages." (Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times, 2/9/13, A17.)

    "Islamophobia" does not exist. It was fabricated as part of Islamic propaganda, intended to gain undeserved sympathy, the better to penetrate our society in behalf of jihad. Only a tiny fraction of hate crimes in the U.S. is against Muslims. The rate has been declining since 9/11.

    There is a problem of Muslim hatred against people who do not conform to their ways, including against Muslims. Muslims commit more than their share of hate crimes, although Arabs have prospered in the U.S...

    So the ad may have been nice but it was not "brave." Calling it brave reminds me of leftists pretending they are courageous to oppose the Israeli side of the Arab-Israel conflict. Leftists have media acceptance for Israel-bashing all over Europe and in much of the media of Israel and the U.S.. On U.S. campuses, it is difficult to present a pro-Israel message. I've never seen the Times give a fair presentation of the Jewish nationalist view. Criticize Radical Islam and risk assassination. So who really is brave?

    You can run for Secretary of Defense and engage not only in Israel-bashing but in the antisemitic canard that the Jews control Congress. And you would find the Timesechoing you. Does the Timesreally care about tolerance?

    The Timesdescribed the subway ad misleadingly. The ad did not refer to "Islamic" savages. It referred to jihad, waged by Radical Islamists, who have fomented an international war to impose their religion upon the world, and who favor intolerance and repression. The ad states, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad."

    The subject of the first ad gave a misleading, minor definition of "jihad." The main one setting off wars and terrorism globally, is what the subway ad was referring to. Didn't the reporter understand that? So the ad was not condemning all Muslims. The Timesactually incites people by pretending otherwise.

    An organization in New York, Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam, differentiates between Radical Muslims and non-Radicals. Coalition rallies feature some Muslim speakers who oppose the current international jihad. Those Muslims are valuable allies in behalf of civilization.

    Yes, civilization is at stake. Note the Islamist destruction of Muslim shrines in Mali and ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and attempted destruction of the Pyramids! And yes, jihadists are as savage as anybody ever was. Think of them beheading Danny Pearl for being Jewish; shooting specifically Israeli children; stabbing two lost Israeli men to shreds and exultingly dipping hands in the blood and showing it to the cheering, supposedly moderate Palestinian Arabs; and murdering thousands of people by bombing the World Trade Center!

    The problem here is that however obvious has become the fact of international jihad, some newspapers refuse to recognize that fact. TheNew York Times is notorious for having under-stated the Holocaust. It failed to cover the Soviet years of forced-starvation and purges, overlooked the Communism of Castro for some time, ditto for the Sandinistas. Now the Times often is an apologist for Radical Islam. Such a paper misleads its readers and harms the U.S..

    Brooklyn College

    A similar controversy, in that apologists for Radical Islam pretend they are the aggrieved party, has erupted at Brooklyn College, my alma mater.

    The atmosphere on U.S. and Canadian campuses is one of harassment of students who identify as Zionists or even as Jews. There and in Israel, the Left appoints unqualified professors for being leftists. These professors used the classroom to indoctrinate against Zionism. Students risk poor grades and expulsion from class if they demur. Remember when Muslims tried to prevent the Israeli ambassador from speaking and when they chased PM Netanyahu out of a Canadian college?

    Brooklyn College recently sponsored a pro-Islamist event. Now, it's one thing for a student organization to invite speakers who favor extremists against whom our troops are fighting for their lives. One doesn't expect wisdom from youth. It's another thing for the adult guardian of our tax revenues to sponsor such events.

    Some taxpayers protested against the College administration's sponsorship. Protest is their right. But some newspapers and, unsurprisingly Mayor Bloomberg, pretend that the issue is one of freedom of speech by the Islamists. The Mayor expresses no concern about the intimidation of Jews in his city and about how difficult it is to express Zionist views on campus, but he worries about objection to college administrations actually sponsoring enemies of our country and of civilization.

    If he were Mayor decades ago, would he have favored faculty sponsorship of Nazi and Soviet speakers, so the students would be exposed to their view? To make these situations comparable, imagine if in the past, one heard hardly any view but the Nazi or Communist one. Would the New York Timeshave condemned opponents of the sponsorship as bigoted against Nazis and Communists?

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


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    DEM OHIO POLL WATCHER: I VOTED FOR OBAMA TWICE

    Posted by HaDar-Israel, February 09, 2013

    This article was from BREITBART TV and appeared February 09, 2013. It is archived at
    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2013/02/09/democratic-ohio-poll-watcher-yeah-i-voted-for-obama-twice/

    voted

    John Fund: The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.

    Democrat Melowese Richardson has been an official poll worker for the last quarter century and registered thousands of people to vote last year. She candidly admitted to Cincinnati's Channel 9 this week that she voted twice in the last election.

    Contact HaDaR-Israel@verizon.net.


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    TIME TO RELEASE A CONVICTED SPY

    Posted by Evelyn Hayes February 09, 2013

    The article below was written by Lawrence Korb who is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. He is also a senior advisor to the Center for Defense Information and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Korb has authored, co-authored, edited, or contributed to more than 20 books and written more than 100 articles on national security issues. His articles have appeared in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Public Administration Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings and International Security. Over the past decade Mr. Korb has made over 2,000 appearances as a commentator on such shows as "The Today Show," "The Early Show," "Good Morning America," and "Face the Nation. This article appeared February 08, 2013 in the New York Daily News and is archived at
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/time-release-convicted-spy-article-1.1258110

    release

    With the ongoing fiscal negotiations and the disclosures surrounding the U.S. use of drones, many stories fall through the cracks. Among them was the December publication of a 1987 CIA damage assessment concerning Jonathan Pollard, a U.S. intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty in 1985 to forwarding classified material to the Israeli government and was sentenced to life in prison.

    The release was important to people like myself who have been trying to understand why Pollard received such a severe sentence. I've been involved in national security affairs for over four decades, and the sentence always seemed disproportionate to the crime, which exceeded sentences given to other people who had spied for friendly countries and violated a plea agreement Pollard made with prosecutors.

    For 25 years, members of Congress and former high level officials from the CIA and the Justice Department, including former CIA Director James Woolsey and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, have repeatedly called for Pollard's sentence to be commuted.

    Each time, intelligence professionals have argued against it by claiming that Pollard and Israel withheld the extent of his espionage, and that his spying caused more damage than that of other spies who have received shorter sentences (an average of seven years in prison).

    Still others have pointed out that former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's victim impact statement, sent after Pollard reached a plea agreement, was so damaging that the judge had no choice but to overrule the plea bargain. Finally, the Israeli government initially refused to acknowledge that Pollard was one of its agents and would not return the documents or debrief U.S. intelligence officials, making Pollard seem like a rogue agent.

    But the CIA damage assessment demonstrates that all these claims are bogus. The documents show that CIA debriefers said Pollard cooperated with them fully and in good faith. Moreover, they acknowledge that Pollard did not divulge the most sensitive U.S. national security programs, including military activities, plans, capabilities, equipment or communications.

    Finally, they make clear that Pollard actually resisted attempts by Israeli agents to expand the espionage to include dirt on Israelis who may have been passing information on to the United States. Pollard provided intelligence only on the Soviet Union's activities in the Middle East, the Arab States and Pakistan.

    The new report also debunks the theory that the judge ignored the plea agreement because Pollard had stolen more information than he admitted to. The assessment says that the real reason the judge overturned the agreement was that Pollard and his then-wife spoke to the media, violating a nondisclosure agreement.

    But even that argument does not hold up. Yes, in 1998 Wolf Blitzer interviewed Pollard in federal prison — but how could he have done so without without permission from the U.S. government? The government eventually conceded that the jailhouse interview had been authorized. And indeed, Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the first district ultimately condemned the presiding judge for reneging on the plea agreement.

    Jonathan Pollard committed a serious crime. He deserved to be prosecuted and jailed for spying on his country. But he does not deserve to be in prison 27 years later. He has expressed remorse, the Israeli government has apologized and cooperated with the U.S. and the CIA has acknowledged that he cooperated and did not withhold information. These newly declassified documents make it clear that it is time to let him go.

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


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    '57 SECONDS' TO HELP PROTECT BE'ER SHEVA FROM BOMBS

    Posted by Arutz Sheva, February 10, 2013

    A new organization is raising awareness about the need for more bomb shelters to protect Be'er Sheva residents from Gaza missile attacks.

    The article below was written by Hana Levi Julian who is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Pressand senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism. This article appeared February 10, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165065#.VQmtuD8wuC0

    seconds

    A new organization has been formed to raise awareness about the vulnerability of Be'er Sheva residents to missile attacks, and their need for more bomb shelters.

    "57Seconds" was founded by Yoav Kaufman, a U.S. immigrant who attended the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) program in the northeastern Negev city of Arad prior to moving to Be'er Sheva.

    "Try to imagine right now that a city just 26 miles (42 km) from you is firing live rockets at you," he suggested. "The feeling of being outside and unprotected when a rocket is headed your way is something no one should have to go through."

    Kaufman, who works as vice president of online media at Negev Direct Marketing Inc., said he created the NGO (nongovernmental organization) "as a response to the 12,000+ rockets fired at the South of Israel over the last 12 years by Hamas from Gaza."

    There is no fully effective political or military solution in sight to prevent such attacks from recurring, he pointed out. Most recently, during the November 2012 "Pillar of Defense" counter terror offensive against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Be'er Sheva and southern Israel came under fire from hundreds of rockets and missiles.

    The organization's name, 57Seconds, is "the amount of time we have in Be'er Sheva, Israel from when we hear a rocket siren, to the time a rocket explodes in our city."

    Kaufman appeals to visitors on his website to "help raise awareness about the security situation in the south of Israel," and to raise funds for a public bomb shelter, "so when the rockets fall again, we'll all have a safe place to go."

    At present, Kaufman is hoping to purchase a $13,000 "bell shelter" that can accommodate up to 10 people. "The small size of these type of shelters allows for smooth placement, " he explained. "They are for public, not private use, and they are proven to withstand the blast of a Qassam rocket."

    Bell shelters, each weighing 10 tons, can be used at kindergartens, senior centers, parks, farms, recreational centers and security posts, he added.


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    "THE WHITEWASHING OF HATE"

    Posted by PMW Bulletin, February 10, 2013

    It is hard to imagine a more flawed analysis of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks than the recent report of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, led by Sami Adwan, Bethlehem University and Daniel Bar-Tal, Tel Aviv University.

    The report's inaccuracies start with its methodology of systematically citing all quotes from Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks under the same headings - forcing the appearance of symmetry even when none exists. Another major flaw is giving as much weight to the fringe, ultra - Orthodox school system in Israel as it does to mainstream state schools. This artificially inflates the number of problematic examples on the Israeli side to support the report's misleading attempt to demonstrate equivalence.

    But the ultimate failing of the report is that it intentionally masks the hate and violence promotion that are central to the Palestinian Authority educational system. This hatred, together with the hate and terror glorification expressed by the daily actions and messages of the PA leaders and through their controlled institutions, is rapidly condemning the next generations to continued conflict.

    What did the Adwan-Bar Tal report hide from the world?

    The overall message that permeates the PA's teachings about Israel throughout the school system is its total rejection of Israel's most fundamental right - its right to exist.

    This is how Palestinian schoolbooks teach kids to see Israel:

    "... the Nakba [Catastrophe] that took place in 1948, when the Jews occupied Palestine and established their state on its land, and banished the Palestinian nation into exile and to neighboring states, after they tortured it, massacred, and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, pp.74-75, Revised Experimental Edition, 2012.]

    And like this:

    "Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, destroyed more than 500 villages and cities, and established the so-called the State of Israel." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, p. 104]

    When Palestinian Media Watch published a report on Palestinian schoolbooks in 2007, the text cited above ended with the words: "...and established the State of Israel." According to the PA Ministry of Education's website accessed today, Palestinian children are now being taught about the "so-called State of Israel." Such changes are not coincidental. PA education, as a reflection of PA society in general, may be getting even more hateful.

    Adwan and Bar-Tal list "four primary findings". The first is, "Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other were very rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books."

    This is unequivocally false. The lack of pictures of hook-nosed Jews in the PA schoolbooks does not mean there is no demonization. Certainly, denying Israel its right to exist is the ultimate demonization. This is the foundation upon which the PA builds its entire political ideology and political education.

    Another critical component of the PA's demonization is a 12th-grade book's definition of Israel as a racist, foreign, colonial implant:

    "The phenomenon of Colonial Imperialism is summarized by the existence of foreigners residing among the original inhabitants of a country, they [the foreigners] possess feelings of purity and superiority, and act towards the original inhabitants with various forms of racial discrimination, and deny their national existence. Colonial Imperialism in modern times is centered in Palestine, South Africa and Rhodesia [Zimbabwe]." [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, Grade 12, 2006 and 2007, p. 6, and Revised Experimental Edition, 2011, p. 5]

    The PA's defining Israel as 'racist', 'foreign' and a 'colonizer' is not merely crude defamation; it is the Palestinian Authority's justification for all killings of Israelis by terror since 1948. In another 12th-grade book, the children learn that "international law" grants people living under precisely these three types of regimes the inalienable right to fight the regimes:

    "The General Assembly announced a number of basic principles related to the judicial status of fighters against the colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes: The struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes, for their right to self-determination and independence, is a legitimate struggle, fully complying with the principles of international law." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006 p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101]

    The schoolbook goes on to state that not only is this "armed struggle" protected by international law, but any attempt to stop this violence is a violation of international law:

    "Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes is considered as contrary to the UN convention and the declaration of principles of international law... The armed struggles that are an expression of the struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes are considered as international armed conflict." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006, p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101]

    The PA's promotion of nationalistic "armed struggle" as a right is exacerbated by its mandating violence against Israel as mandatory in the name of Islam - "until Resurrection."

    Islamic Education for Grade 12 teaches that the conflict with Israel is a "Ribat for Allah," which it defines as "one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah and it means being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies." [Islamic Education, Grade 12, 2006 and 2012, p. 86].

    And whereas Ribat can also mean a non-violent struggle, the PA schoolbook makes sure that children understand that their obligation against Israel is military by comparing the Palestinian Ribat to other Islamic wars of the past:

    "The reason for this preference [for Palestinian Ribat] is that the momentous battles in Islamic history took place on its land, therefore, its residents are in a constant fight with their enemies, and they are found in Ribat until Resurrection Day: History testifies that: The battle of Al-Yarmuk decided the fight with the Byzantines, and the battle of Hettin decided the fight with the Crusaders, and the battle of Ein Jalut decided the fight with the Mongols." [Ibid, p. 87]

    Alarmingly, the book teaches Palestinian children that their war over Palestine is not going to end with a secular peace treaty, but is an eternal war for Islam "until Resurrection Day." [Ibid, p. 86]

    It is significant that neither this legitimization of "armed struggle" "against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes" - the PA's definition of Israel - nor the mandating of eternal religious violence against Israel was even mentioned in the Bar-Tal-Adwan report.

    Had the authors included this area of research, they would have been forced to concede that there is no corresponding defense of terror and promotion of violence in Israeli textbooks.

    The failure to cite these significant and dangerous messages in the PA's schoolbooks -- messages which have been promoted actively by PA leaders since 2000 to justify their terror against Israel and killing of Israelis -- is indicative of the report's flawed methodology and fundamental errors.

    These and the many other omissions and misrepresentations necessitate immediate and public rejection of the findings by the US State Department, whose funding in 2009 launched the project. Should the US adopt these findings, the chance for a peaceful future for children on both sides of the conflict will decrease dramatically.

    At a press conference in the US Senate building to release PMW's 2007 report on PA schoolbooks, then-Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the report:

    "These textbooks do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination. When we viewed this [PMW] report in combination with other [PA] media [from other PMW reports] that these children are exposed to, we see a larger picture that is disturbing. It is disturbing on a human level, it is disturbing to me as a mother, it is disturbing to me as a United States Senator, because it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children."

    Tragically, Clinton's words still hold true today. PA schoolbooks, along with PA culture and media, are the recipe for guaranteeing that the conflict, terror and war will continue into the next generation. Only if the international community preconditions its political contacts and support for the PA on the PA's compliance with demands to eliminate its culture of hate and violence will peace become possible.

    While the Palestinian Authority is ultimately responsible for the hatred and terror it promotes, its defenders, especially Israelis like Bar-Tal, are ultimately enablers of this hatred. Such misleading reports could ease the international pressure that has been put on the Palestinians to replace their hate education with peace education.

    Public rejection of this Bar-Tal-Adwan report by the US is not merely the right thing to do. People's lives are depending on it.

    Itamar Marcus is director of PMW - Palestinian Media Watch - (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Barbara Crook, a writer and university lecturer based in Ottawa, Canada, is PMW's North American representative. Contact PMW by email at pmw@pmw.org.il

    THE REPORT ISSUED BY BULGARIA ABOUT THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN BURGAS CLEARLY INDICATES THAT HEZBOLLAH WAS INVOLVED IN ITS PLANNING AND EXECUTION.

    Posted by Terrorism Information Center, February 10, 2013

    bulgaria

    1. On February 5 2013, approximately seven months after the terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria issued a report of the results of its investigation of the event. According to the Bulgarian authorities, the investigation clearly indicated that Hezbollah's so-called military wing[1] was involved in planning and carrying out the attack. The Bulgarian minister of the interior, who presented the report to the Bulgarian National Security Council, said that Bulgaria possessed detailed information about the infrastructure that had planned and carried out the attack. He added that there was reliable, well-founded information linking at least two of the three Burgas terrorists to Hezbollah (Bulgarian News Agency, Sofia, February 6, 2013). The report did not mention Iran, which is behind a global terrorist campaign against Israel, using Hezbollah as its proxy.

    2. According to the report, three terrorist operatives were involved in the attack that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver. One of the terrorists was killed in the attack. The other two carried genuine Australian and Canadian passports. The Bulgarian authorities did not publicize their names or current places of residence, but did appeal to the Australian security services for help in locating one of the suspects. According to the Bulgarian investigation, the three went from Beirut (where they lived for a period of time) to Warsaw and from there took the train to Bulgaria (New York Times, February 6, 2013). The Bulgarians also stated that the counterfeit identities and drivers' licenses found at the scene originated in Lebanon. In addition, according to the report, the terrorist operatives planned to use a remote control device to blow up the bus five or six kilometers from the airport, while it was en route to the tourists' hotel. However, for an unknown reason, possibly a "work accident," the bomb detonated while the bus was still in the airport parking lot, and one of the terrorist operatives was killed.

    3. Rob Wainwright, head of the European police (Europol) said that in his opinion, the conclusion reached by the Bulgarians, namely that Hezbollah was involved in the terrorist attack, was solid and based on evidence. He added that the forensic evidence, intelligence information and previously-used modus operandi all indicated Hezbollah's involvement in the attack. However, he also said that the investigation had not led to Iran or any organization with ties to Al-Qaeda (Novinite News Agency, Bulgaria, February 6, 2013).

    Initial Responses to the Report

    The United States

    4. John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, said in an announcement on February 5 that "The finding is clear and unequivocal: Lebanese Hizballah was responsible for this deadly assault on European soil...The United States is acting decisively and comprehensively to curtail Hizballah's...actions [throughout the world], and we are prepared to do all within our power to assist the Government of Bulgaria in bringing those responsible for the Burgas attack to justice. We strongly urge other governments around the world — and particularly our partners in Europe — to take immediate action to crack down on Hizballah. We need to send an unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in despicable actions with impunity"[2] (ITIC emphasis throughout).

    5. John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said in a statement on February 5, 2013, that "The United States commends the Government of Bulgaria for its professional and comprehensive investigation into the barbaric July 18, 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas...Bulgaria's investigation exposes Hizballah for what it is — a terrorist group...that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world...The United States will continue to provide the Bulgarian Government assistance in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice" (ITIC emphasis).[3]

    Europe

    6. A spokesman for Catherine Ashton, European Union foreign minister, said that the EU was currently examining a number of scenarios regarding Hezbollah, among them the possibility of adding it to the EU's list of terrorist organizations and initiating legal, political and diplomatic measures against it (Website of the Council of the European Union, February 5, 2013).

    7. British Foreign Secretary William Hague called on the Lebanese government to cooperate fully with the investigation, stressing that the EU had to respond strongly to the attack (Website of the British Foreign Office, February 5, 2013).

    Hezbollah and Iran

    8. Sources within Hezbollah made it clear that the organization did not intend at this point to respond to the Bulgarian accusations. The response, said the sources, would be made by Hassan Nasrallah in a speech delivered on February 16 at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the deaths of Sheikh Ragheb Kharb and Abbas Musawi. However, Hezbollah's deputy secretary general said, without directly mentioning the findings of the Bulgarian investigation, that Israel was waging a "scare campaign" against Hezbollah throughout the world after having failed to overcome it militarily. He said that such accusations did not influence the organization and would not change its agenda, whose first priority was its "resistance to the occupation" (Al-Nahar, Lebanon, February 6, 2013).

    9. Gholamreza Bageri, the Iranian ambassador to Bulgaria, denied any connection between Iran and the explosion in Burgas. He added that Iran opposed every form of terrorism, and strongly condemned terrorist activities. He emphasized that Israel's charges against Iran were baseless (Mehr News Agency, February 8, 2013).

    Lebanon

    10. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati said that Lebanon was prepared to cooperate with Bulgaria to shed light on the circumstances leading to the terrorist attack. Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman said an agreement had been reached to finishthe discussion of the issue after the relevant documents had been received from the Bulgarian attorney general (Lebanese News Agency, February 5, 2013).

    11. The Secretariat General of the March 14 forces (a camp of Hezbollah opponents led by Saad al-Hariri) met to discuss the Bulgarian report and the possibility of including Hezbollah in the EU's list of terrorist organizations, which was liable to damage Lebanese interests. The Secretariat announced that the Lebanese were not prepared to be hostages of Hezbollah and have their own interests confront those of the rest of the world (Al-Nashra, Lebanon, February 6, 2013).

    Appendix

    Inclusion of Hezbollah in the EU's List of Terrorist Organizations

    1. Despite the many terrorist attacks carried out by Hezbollah on European soil, so far the EU has not put Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations, although both Britain and the Netherlands have outlawed it in their own countries. The EU's stalling, led by France, is motivated by political considerations, among them the following:

    1) The Europeans' concerns that their influence in Lebanon and relations with it might be harmed if Hezbollah were designated as a terrorist organization;

    2) In our assessment, although not prominently mentioned in public, the Europeans are concerned about the safety of the UNIFIL forces and the security of various Western targets in Lebanon (with the Iranian and Hezbollah terrorist campaign in Lebanon and Europe in the 1980s still at the back of their minds);

    3) Another argument stated publicly is that Hezbollah cannot be designated as a terrorist organization because in addition to what is referred to as its "military wing," it also has a political party which is represented in the Lebanese administration (parliament, government, etc.).

    2. Given Hezbollah's active military support for the Assad regime in Syria, and the fear that the Syrian crisis might trickle into Lebanon, in recent months the discussions regarding the inclusion of Hezbollah in the EU's list of terrorist organizations were renewed. A more assertive stance regarding Hezbollah, encouraged by the United States, seems to be growing.

    3. That encouragement was marked by the speech given in Dublin by John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, in which he called on the EU to include Hezbollah in its list of terrorist organizations. He called Hezbollah the number one joint American-European security challenge and called on Europe to join the United States as "counterterrorism partners." He said that while Britain and Holland had taken steps against Hezbollah's "destabilizing activities," they were insufficient, and that the rest of the EU should take similar steps. He called on the international community to be aware of Hezbollah's true nature as "an international terrorist organization actively supported by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps - Quds Force" and of its "terrorist and criminal activities," and to make attempts to condemn and disrupt those activities. He added that the European refusal to do so made it difficult for the United States to protect its citizens, and in certain instances had prevented Hezbollah suspects arrested for "plotting in Europe" from being prosecuted on charges of terrorism.[4]

    4. It is possible that the findings of the Bulgarian ministry of the interior, which clearly indicate Hezbollah's involvement in the terrorist attack, will strengthen recognition of the need to include Hezbollah in the EU list of terrorist organizations and hasten a European deliberation of the issue. The findings may reinforce the statement made by the Cypriote foreign minister, currently president of the EU, immediately following the terrorist attack in Bulgaria, who said that the EU might change its mind if presented with "tangible evidence" of Hezbollah's involvement in terrorism (Agence France-Presse, July 24, 2013).

    5. For an in-depth analysis of including Hezbollah in the EU list of terrorist organizations, see the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center study "Portrait of Hezbollah as a Terrorist Organization."

    Contact Terrorism Information Center at newsleter@terrorism-info.org.il. The Meir Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (at the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center.)

    ISRAEL'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS--AND THE ARABS WANT TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP. WHY?

    Posted by Uzi26, February 10, 2013

    The article below was written by Errol Philips who is a writer and a blogger in the American Thinker. The following article appeared on the "Save Israel Campaign" web site and is archived at
    http://www.saveisraelcampaign.com/atad/Articles.asp?article_id=13871& Contact her at by email at ep@pinehurst2.com

    1.Scientists in Israel found that the brackish water, drilled from underground desert aquifers hundreds of feet deep, could be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than one-tenth as saline as sea water, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98 degrees on average, proves an ideal environment.

    2.Israeli-developed designer-eyeglasses, promise mobile phone and iPod users, a personalized, high-tech video display. Available to US consumers next year, Lumus-Optical's lightweight and fashionable video eyeglasses, feature a large transparent screen, floating in front of the viewer's face that projects their choice of movie, TV show, or video game.

    3.When Stephen Hawkins recently visited Israel; he shared his wisdom with scientists, students, and even the Prime Minister. But the world's most renowned victim of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, also learned something, due to the Israeli Association for ALS' advanced work in both embryonic and adult stem cell research, as well as its proven track record with neurodegenerative diseases. The Israeli research community is well on its way to finding a treatment for this fatal disease, which affects 30,000 Americans.

    4.Israeli start -up, Veterix, has developed an innovative new electronic capsule that sits in the stomach of a cow, sheep, or goat, sending out real-time information on the health of the herd, to the farmer via email or cell phone. The e-capsule, which also sends out alerts if animals are distressed, injured, or lost, is now being tested on a herd of cows, in the hopes that the device will lead to tastier and healthier meat and milk supplies.

    5.The millions of Skype users worldwide will soon have access to the newly developed KishKish lie-detector. This free Internet service, based on voice stress analysis (a technique, commonly used in criminal investigations) will be able to measure just how truthful that person on the other end of the line, really is.

    6.Beating cardiac tissue has been created in a lab from human embryonic stem cells by researchers at the Rappaport Medical Faculty and the Technion - Israeli institute of Technology's biomedical Engineering facility. The work of Dr. Shulamit Levenberg and Prof. Lior Gepstein, has also led to the creation of tiny blood vessels within the tissue, making possible its implantation in a human heart.

    7.Israel's Magal Security Systems, is a worldwide leader in computerized security systems, with products used in more than 70 countries around the world, protecting anything from national borders, to nuclear facilities, refineries, and airports. The company's latest Product, DreamBox, a state-of-the-art security system that includes Intelligent video, audio and sensor management, is now being used by a major water authority on the US east coast to safeguard the utility's sites.

    8.It is common knowledge that dogs have better night vision than humans and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel's Bio-Sense Technologies recently delved further and electronically analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog's alarm bark, and alert the human operators. This is just one of a batch of innovative security systems to emerge from Israel which Forbes calls 'the go-to country for anti-terrorism technologies.'

    9.Israeli company, BioControl Medical, sold its first electrical stimulator to treat urinary incontinence to a US company for $50 Million. Now, it is working on CardioFit, which uses electrical nerve stimulation to treat congestive heart failure. With nearly five million Americans presently affected by heart failure, and more than 400,000 new cases diagnosed yearly, the CardioFit is already generating a great deal of excitement as the first device with the potential to halt this deadly disease.

    10.One year after Norway's Socialist Left Party launched its Boycott Israel campaign, the importing of Israeli goods has increased by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, statistics Norway reports.

    In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who strive to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than to create hate and bloodshed?

    Contacty uzi26 at uzi26@comcast.net


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    WHAT JONATHAN KAY GOT WRONG

    Posted by Phyllis Chesler, February 10, 2013

    I disagree with my colleague Jonathan Kay's recent article "American super-hawks demand to know: 'Are you Jew enough?'"

    First, let me thank him for referring to me as "a feminist-turned anti-Islamist" and not as "anti-Muslim" or as an "Islamophobe." However, in becoming an "anti-Islamist" I did not check my feminist credentials at the door; my work on honour-based violence, including honour killing among Muslims and Hindus (mainly in India) is pure feminist work. The victims are primarily women of colour, and yes, in the West, they are primarily Muslims. I am championing their cause just as I have championed the cause of non-Muslim Western women. I work with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents who share my Enlightenment values, a single universal standard of human rights, and who, like me, have taken a stand against the persecution of girls, women, homosexuals, free thinkers and pro-Israel advocates in the Muslim world.

    Second, my good colleague Kay is wrong about the early demise of conspiracy theories and blood libels against the Jews. There are so many late 20th- and early 21st-century varieties: Zionism=Racism, the Mohammed al-Dura blood libel, the Jenin massacre libel, not to mention claims that Israelis are sterilizing the Palestinians, harvesting their organs for profit, and killing babies.

    Many people in North America and Europe, as well as in the Muslim world, still believe that the forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a true and accurate picture of Jews. Twenty first century European surveys, media coverage, cartoons, and direct verbal and physical attacks upon European Jews, Jewish Centers, and synagogues all document a rising hatred towards Jews and towards the only Jewish state (which is seen as controlling the world and the media). And, in 2012, a survey in the United States, found that 35 million American adults (or 15% of the population) believe that "Jews have too much power in the United States" and are "more willing to use shady practices." More than 70 million American adults believed that American Jews are "more loyal to Israel than to America."

    I don't know of any surveys that poll Italian-Americans, Polish-Americans, or Muslim-Americans on the dual loyalty question.

    We also know that Canadian universities sponsor Israel Apartheid Week quite regularly and activists, students and professors call for boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) from one country only: Israel. Not from Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or India where Muslim-on-Muslim, Muslim-on-Christian, and Muslim-on-Hindu violence and real gender and religious apartheid are epidemic. On Thursday, at Brooklyn College, in New York City, there was yet another hate fest, this time sponsored by an academic department and featuring Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler, who are both strong supporters of BDS. There are no opposing views being presented. Hate speech and falsehoods are now being granted the protection of academic freedom and, in America, the protection of the First Amendment.

    Thus, I am worried — and Jonathan Kay should share my concern. Like me, Kay is a feminist and a civil libertarian. However, unlike myself, he is unable and unwilling to see how much anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism (today the two are twinned), is emanating from left-liberals: Western intellectuals, academics, artists, and journalists whose "politically correct" racism i.e. anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism has made common cause with Islamist forces who very clearly desire the extermination of one state only: The Jewish state, and who are at war with women and with Western values.

    I welcome the support of Christian Zionists, Evangelicals, and conservatives. I will not mock them merely because we disagree on some other subjects any more than I would mock feminists because we disagree on other burning issues.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I did not label the Shin Bet or the filmmaker of "The Gatekeepers" as "suicidal and traitorous." I wrote this: "To the extent to which this film is accurate I salute it. To the extent to which it is false, defamatory, biased, exaggerated — I consider it suicidal and traitorous."

    By the way, Kay should know that these Shin Bet heads went public in 2003, not in 2012, and that they are the ones who urged Prime Minister Sharon to pull out of Gaza. Which he did. Israel now has Hamastan and constant rocket barrages on her border. Does Kay believe this is actually good for humanity and for the Jews?

    Dr. Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. She is an author and lecturer and co-founder of the still ongoing Association for Women in Psychology (1969). Visit her website at http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/phyllischesler/

    This article appeared Feruary 08, 2013 in The National Post or her wevsite at http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/1108/jonathan-kay


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    DEALING AS IT COMES

    Posted by Arlene Kushner, February 10, 2013

    I had recently shared my assessment that Iran and Syria and not "peace talks" with the PLO would be the main items on the agenda when President Obama visits Israel.

    Now you might want to now see this article, "Barack Obama's visit to Israel 'will focus on Iran, not peace talks'" (emphasis added):

    "...Israeli diplomats said talks with Benjamin Netanyahu would focus on Iran.

    "'The peace process may be the subject that is initially emphasized in public but there are other issues on the table that must be addressed before the summer,' one diplomat said, alluding to Israel's spring deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium. 'The deal they will have done may be on the subject of war, not of peace.'

    "'There are currently bigger and much more urgent issues to address than the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,' one Israeli official said."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9853686/Barack-Obamas-visit-to-Israel-will-focus-on-Iran-not-peace-talks.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    What I've been reading is that Obama has wised up since his first term: he knows that there is not going to be a deal between Israel and the PLO, and understands that pushing on this too hard merely renders him foolish and will cause him to have to backtrack.

    Please, don't write to me telling me not to trust Obama. I don't trust him, but this is not the issue here. What is important is analyzing what Obama thinks is in Obama's best interests, for this is the critical factor in understanding how he's likely to play the situation.

    As a result of the latest assessments of the situation, the prospect of pressure on our prime minister by Obama with regard to freezing settlements and the like seems diminished.

    What also seems clear is that Netanyahu and Obama need to speak face to face on the subject of Iran.

    Since Iran has been obstinate in its behavior and has rejected American outreach, it seems (speculatively) not beyond the realm of possibility that Obama would now be reassessing his position with regard to this country as well.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    However, I make mention of this, which for me remains unconfirmed. According to the JPost today, "unnamed officials" (whose own motivation and political orientation are unknown) told Army Radio that Obama is coming to warn Netanyahu not to take on Iran.

    The urgency on Obama's part, say these officials, "is because in his speech to the United Nations in September, Netanyahu had flagged the spring of 2013 as a significant time in the context of the Iranian nuclear threat."

    It is not for nothing that Netanyahu is talking about a unity government to take on the challenges ahead.

    However, Obama would have to secure Netanyahu's trust, something he does not have at present, in order to convince the prime minister to "let me handle matters with the Iranians according to my understanding, and if necessary I will take action, we have capabilities that you do not."

    http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=302768

    Not a simple matter, as there is no issue on which Netanyahu stands firmer or has greater concern. What would Obama have to do to convince Netanyahu to step down here? That the US has capabilities -- including more powerful bunker-busters -- that Israel does not have is absolutely the case. We'd love to let the US handle this.

    But according to Obama's understanding? There's the rub. The US would let matters in Iran progress a great deal further than Netanyahu believes is either safe or advisable. There is a genuine disagreement here.

    So perhaps the question should be reversed: What would Netanyahu have to do to convince Obama to truly act on Iran in a timely fashion? We cannot rule out that quid pro quo possibility.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    And while Obama may have wised up with regard to the possibility of securing an agreement between Israel and the PLO, there is nothing wise at all about the approach of Secretary of State Kerry. It is Kerry who is most likely to be, shall we say, "bothersome" on this issue. Thus does Aaron David Miller -- who served as an adviser on the Middle East for multiple administrations -- counsel, "Chill Out, John Kerry":

    "The last thing we need (or Kerry needs) is another abortive effort to get talks going. The inconvenient truth is that if you put Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in a room tomorrow, their talks would fail galactically. The gaps on the two least contentious issues (borders and security) are large; the divide on the identity issues (Jerusalem and refugees) are yawning."

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112351/john-kerry-israel-palestinian-peace-process-not-race#

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The findings, which were released last week, of an investigation by Bulgaria into the terrorist murders of five Israelis, plus the Bulgarian bus driver, in the sea resort of Burgas last July, point the finger firmly at Hezbollah:

    The investigation uncovered the fact that a Canadian and an Australian citizen -- believed to be the bomb maker -- were involved, and that both had been living in Lebanon, since 2006 and 2010, respectively.

    Said Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Bulgaria's interior minister, "We have well-grounded reasons to suggest that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah." He indicated that three of the people in the cell had fake driver's licenses that had been forged in Lebanon. (Emphasis added)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/world/europe/bulgaria-implicates-hezbollah-in-deadly-israeli-bus-blast.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    That Hezbollah was implicated was, of course, precisely what Prime Minister Netanyahu said from the beginning. And also of course, the Lebanese immediately put this down as a report predicated on unreliable information.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The mind-blowing matter here has been the stance of the EU in the wake of these findings. Until now, the EU has not been interested in listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It was widely believed that the Bulgarian investigation would turn the trick and convince the Europeans to change their position. Bulgaria is, after all, a member of the EU.

    Hah! What we have seen instead is a model of perversity, cowardice, and lack of willingness to crack down on Hezbollah operations -- financial schemes, infrastructure, etc. -- within several European countries. As the NY Times (in the above cited article) explains,

    "...countries including France and Germany have been wary of taking that step, which could force confrontations with large numbers of Hezbollah supporters living within their borders." (Emphasis added)

    Or, as was explained in a JPost article (emphasis added):

    "..the EU-observer, an online newspaper devoted to EU politics, reported that the union's top counter-terrorism official, Gilles de Kerchove, said responsibility for that blast will not necessarily qualify Hezbollah for the terror blacklist.

    "'There is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack,' he said in a comment that forces a double-take.

    "No, de Kerchove said, it is not only 'the legal requirement that you have to take into consideration, it's also a political assessment of the context and the timing.

    "'You might ask, given the situation in Lebanon, which is a highly fragile, highly fragmented country, is listing it going to help you achieve what you want?' There will, indeed, be many inside the EU asking that exact question, foremost the French, who are fearful that if the EU places Hezbollah on the list, then Paris will lose its leverage inside Lebanon.

    "Placing Hezbollah on the list, these same voices will argue, could lead it to pull out of the Lebanese government, something that could significantly destabilize that country at an extremely volatile time in the region."

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=302237

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    But let's look more honestly at the EU concerns. There is fear of Hezbollah retaliation on their soil, or against their nationals. And fear of loss of investment by Arab nations.

    As the Jpost article explains (emphasis added):

    "The irony is that not all the EU feels this way. The Netherlands, for instance, has placed the group on its terror list, and Britain has blacklisted the organization's military wing.

    But it is precisely against that phenomenon — splitting the organization into a military wing and a political one — that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday in responding to the attack by saying, 'there is only one Hezbollah, it is one organization with one leadership.'

    "The Bulgarians may have opened the door to this type of division by determining that at least two of those involved in the attack were 'members of the militant wing of Hezbollah.'

    "That could give the EU, which needs the consensus of all 27 member states, the wiggle room to ban part of the group, but not all of it.

    "But that would, of course, only be a partial solution. Hezbollah, as The New York Times reported Tuesday, has thousands of operatives and supporters fanned out across Europe raising money.

    "Declaring that the military wing is a terrorist organization will do little to hamper the activities of these fund-raisers, since they will always maintain that they are merely raising money for the 'good' part of the Lebanon-based organization."

    Were Hezbollah, without those artificial distinctions, to be declared a terrorist organization by the EU, it would be forbidden to transfer funds from the EU countries to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Such is the world with which we must deal. A world filled with people -- fools that they are -- who are prepared to let the bad guys thrive, somehow imagining that they will be safe.

    Iran has now announced that it is downgrading diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and recalling its ambassador, because Bulgaria had the temerity to name Hezbollah. According to Tsvetanov, there were pressures put on him from within the country not to name Hezbollah. Fear of repercussions is pervasive.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    What must be noted, however, is that the US has taken a strong stand against the EU position. John Kerry urged nations around the world but particularly in Europe, "to take immediate action to crack down on Hezbollah."

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I said I wouldn't write about the rumors surrounding the formation of the coalition here. But I cannot resist mentioning this: Yair Lapid, who is totally without diplomatic experience, and wants a "two state solution," to boot, has been vying for the plum of Foreign Minister.

    But according to Israel Hayom, as of today, Netanyahu has rejected this bid, and will be bringing back Avigdor Lieberman, once he has moved past his current legal difficulties. According to Lieberman, this arrangement was set in place even before the elections and was made public. As I understand it, in the interim, Netanyahu will serve as Foreign Minister. Lieberman told the "Meet the Press" TV show yesterday that:

    "It is not possible to reach a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians...This [situation] is impossible. It is not possible to solve the conflict here. The conflict can be managed and it is important to manage the conflict..." We take what we can get here.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    What portfolio will Lapid get? Finance Ministry is frequently mentioned. Not that he knows the first thing about finance, either.

    Here is the major flaw in our coalition system. Parties are enticed to enter the coalition via positions that are offered to them, as much as by platform positions. This hardly guarantees that the most competent person will fill each major position. I'm not sure exactly what Lapid's experience as a TV journalist qualifies him to do. But he has 19 mandates.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Today is Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the new month of Adar. This is a month when we are meant to be happy: "Mishe'nichnas Adar Marbin Be'simcha" -- when Adar comes joy increases -- we are told. Two weeks from today is Purim, the silliest, most joyous holiday of the year.

    In the spirit of silly, I provide this link, which will provide a variety of Mishenichnas Adar song versions. Enjoy.

    http://www.veengle.com/s/Mishenichnas%20Adar.html

    Silly and joyous can preserve sanity, I think.

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


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    PEACE DOES NOT COME ON ACCOUNT OF JEWISH BLOOD

    Posted by Nurit Greenger, February 10, 2013

    Two perhaps wrongs — the Arabs and Israel - do not make it right. Israel, certainly must not now take the lead and make it supposedly right.

    How do you know that the other side - the Arabs - want peace is by the way they educate their children.

    From the time the Arab-"Palestinians" took responsibility of their future generations education, following the Oslo [di]Agreements, from the age of ONE they teach their children to hate Israelis and Jews, to kill Israelis and Jews and that the highest they can achieve is to die while killing Jews/Israelis. The result, 1,500 Jews plus, ALL died under the banner of "victims for peace." Was peace achieved, not at all. In fact, peace is now even farther away from the possibility of achieving it.

    The Oslo Accords, the idea to give the Arabs a state, to agree to use their name "Palestinians" and thus give them the seal of approval to be a new Arab nation on account of the Jewish nation was a huge mistake Israel has hastily made.

    With the help of Israel and its lack of public diplomacy, the world has chosen to forget, or never knew, that the Arab population Israel has gained in 1967 were not indigenous.

    According to the Mandate for Palestine, subsequently to become the State of Israel, the Arabs living on that land, if so chose, were to remain live there with all the human rights but no nationality rights.

    From the legal point of International law, Israel is entitled to the ownership of the land of Judea and Samaria, a/k/a "West Bank" and certainly entitled to build there.

    But all that is not what the Arabs learn and thus believe.

    When clueless people, among them now are even Israelis who serve in the government, claim that Israel occupies the land of Judea and Samaria, the question is 'occupies from whom?' After all Israel did not conquer this land from a sovereign state.

    Every Israeli or his or her leader needs to know their rights to the land of Israel an which are they. Once they know they will believe and act on their belief.

    There must be a way to correct the wrong.

    If the Arab-Palestinians really want peace they must teach and learn peace. In 2013, 20 year after the Oslo Accords were signed, the Palestinian Authority media and education narrative is nothing but hate of Jews and Israel. Sadly, while the PA schools and youth centers are full of Jew hatred, there is no ecumenical mindset to counter this hate Jew narrative. If the government of Israel does not utter these words, pretty soon the USA will be no different than the European countries that do not support Israel, in fact are doing the Arabs' job to subvert Israel's stance in the world.

    At Ariel University Center of Samaria, The Center for Law and Mass Media, headed by Prof. Abraham Sion (http://www.ariel.ac.il/projects/law-and-mass-media) they are attempting to investigate the PA and is loyalists. Along with the investigations the center is seeking alternative ways to the two-states fairytale. Though the Arabs, with their own behavior, have null and voided the Oslo Agreement, they still want a state and nationhood, all on account of Israel.

    university

    abraham

    Prof. Abarah Sion

    The Center for Law and Mass Media think-tank think that Jordan should be that "Palestine" state. Since that politicians do not plan further than one day ahead, it is the duty of the lawyers, the academia and the people to envisage Israel in ten years from now and initiate and instill this narrative and agenda. That includes the alternative to the two-states disaster.

    The narrative that needs to be enhanced and disseminated is, to strengthen Israel is to abolish and cancel the two-state [dis]solution.

    First step is to annex Judea and Samaria to Israel. According to the mandate for Palestine, that still holds legally, the Arabs living there will become residents having full human rights and no nationality rights. One reason it to end the undermining of Israel from abroad. The governments of the European Union, specially Switzerland and Britain, are pouring millions of dollars into organizations that politically veer to the Left, working against the interests of Israel by viciously going after the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, they branded as "settlements".

    Another aspect, in many cases Israel's democracy harms Israel. When Arab-Israeli members of Knesset walk out of the swearing of the new elected Knesset so they do not need to be in the hall when the national anthem is sung Israel has a problem from within. The problem is not only coming from the hateful Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who were educated to hate Jews, but from the Arabs holding Israeli citizenship, who act as a fifth column. These Israeli Arabs will turn against Israel in a heartbeat. When an Arab can buy an apartments anywhere in Israel without limitation and a Jew cannot buy home or property in Arab-Palestinian land that legally belong to the Jews, something is very wrong. And no one in Israel puts a stop to it.

    Israel gives way too many rights to the other side, the Arabs, that they do not deserve and have not earned.

    Unfathomable to a thinking person, Israel's case is a story Israel does not tell. Israel does not have to lie, as its story of facts and truth speaks volume for her. Israel is always on the defense and that is because of her lacking proper public diplomacy and public relations. As a result, Israel wins every battle but loses every war. No matter the outcome of event, Israel ends up to be blamed for it. That is the double standard Israel allowed the world to apply to her.

    To correct the wrong you have to do the right thing.

    The President of the United States has his mind set on a state for the Arab-Palestinians on account of the Jews and their homeland, Israel. He needs to be told the facts and to be informed that there will never be peace so long the Arabs are taught Nazi propaganda and genocide.

    The Government of Israel needs to demand of the United States to either help fix the wrong or stay out of it. No matter what, for once and for all end giving a hand to spilling Jewish blood.

    Since its establishment the state of Israel is being mistreated.

    The message is: the state of Israel is the Jewish nation security and insurance policy and no saboteur enemy can be added to that policy.

    Contact Nurit Greenger by email at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com. Visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com


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    EGYPTIAN HOMELESS CHILDREN ARE ALSO BEING RAPED

    Posted by Sergio HaDar Tezza, February 10, 2013

    There's NO DOUBT that animals are much better: they certainly don't do such things. Hence, it is better to be "children of monkeys and pigs", as the Egyptians call the Jews, than being Egyptian. This is just another poisoned fruit of the Obama-sponsored "Arab Spring", still praised by the servant media and by all those who can't see beyond their own noses.

    I read the papers and online testimonials of group attacks on women in the streets. If I had not read the titles, I would have thought the authors had suddenly taken an interest in the daily lives of street children. I would have assumed they had become avid observers who had taken to the street to highlight this prevalence, and its normality in the street culture that very young children live every night.

    But no. The titles indicate these testimonials are about younger and older "welaad naas" women of the middle class — because, remember, street kids are the excluded class. These articles are written because "citizens" have been struck, "citizens'" honor has been violated, and "citizens'" human rights have been wronged.

    But street children? They aren't citizens — they don't even hold IDs. When they arrive, raped, shot or dead in front of the shelter doors, there hasn't been a crime because a citizen hasn't been involved. So, no, this flood of articles about harassment, sexual attacks and gang rape on the streets is not about street kids.

    But this is the everyday reality for these children, and I have come to know these streets in the way that they have been recently discovered by others. So I thought that maybe by writing this, I could shed a different light — a look from a different angle — on a phenomenon that so many are horrified by and so unfamiliar with.

    I am arguing here that this is just one of the ugly faces of the street, just as each human, each friend, has an ugly face, which you get to see, know and get scorned by once you have spent a long enough time with it. Its reality and its crudeness cannot hide forever. The euphoria of the imagined utopia of solidarity that the street brings during revolutionary times begins to crack, and the street and all its non-citizen inhabitants become a reality that you cannot escape.

    Talking about scarring — a lot of attention and horror has been expressed following the attack in which a blade was used on one victim of these assaults. I wonder about the irony of the timing of this. Just last month, I took one of my street girls to a generous plastic surgeon who had offered my girls free reconstructive surgery for the scars they suffered during such attacks on the street.

    The scarring is part of the street rape culture; any boy or girl who has been raped on the street will be "marked." This mark, usually a curve under the eye of the victim, will mean they are no longer virgins. Subsequent sexual attacks — and there will be many — will lead to smaller marks anywhere else on the body.

    One girl, who none of us at the shelter will ever forget, was lucky. She escaped the scarring on the face but needed 16 stitches on her lower back, where she was knifed as she escaped her rapists.

    I am not an expert in conspiracy theories, but I am a consultant on street kids and the risks of the street. And so, when I read the musings that the National Democratic Party, the Muslim Brotherhood or someone else is organizing these mob sex attacks, my better judgment makes me tentative.

    I remember that no one paid the four men in their 30s and 40s to gang rape 7-year-old Maya who had been living in the street for just four days before that. The younger the child, the attackers think, the smaller the risk of contracting HIV.

    Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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    "THE WHITEWASHING OF HATE"

    Posted by Naomi Ragen February 10, 2013

    Friends,

    In 2007, Sen. Hillary Clinton said:" [PA education and media] are "profoundly poisoning the minds of these children." This is still true, and even more so. Yet, a recently published U.S.- funded analysis of Palestinian school textbooks outrageously attempts to 'whitewash hatred' according to an editorial by PMW director Itamar Marcus.

    Itamar Marcus is director of PMW - Palestinian Media Watch - (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. This article appeared February 7, 2013 in the Palestinian Media Watch and is archived at http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8539

    It is hard to imagine a more flawed analysis of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks than the recent report of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, led by Sami Adwan, Bethlehem University and Daniel Bar-Tal, Tel Aviv University.

    The report's inaccuracies start with its methodology of systematically citing all quotes from Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks under the same headings - forcing the appearance of symmetry even when none exists. Another major flaw is giving as much weight to the fringe, ultra - Orthodox school system in Israel as it does to mainstream state schools. This artificially inflates the number of problematic examples on the Israeli side to support the report's misleading attempt to demonstrate equivalence.

    But the ultimate failing of the report is that it intentionally masks the hate and violence promotion that are central to the Palestinian Authority educational system. This hatred, together with the hate and terror glorification expressed by the daily actions and messages of the PA leaders and through their controlled institutions, is rapidly condemning the next generations to continued conflict.

    What did the Adwan-Bar Tal report hide from the world?

    The overall message that permeates the PA's teachings about Israel throughout the school system is its total rejection of Israel's most fundamental right - its right to exist.

    This is how Palestinian schoolbooks teach kids to see Israel:

    "... the Nakba [Catastrophe] that took place in 1948, when the Jews occupied Palestine and established their state on its land, and banished the Palestinian nation into exile and to neighboring states, after they tortured it, massacred, and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, pp.74-75, Revised Experimental Edition, 2012.] And like this:

    "Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, destroyed more than 500 villages and cities, and established the so-called the State of Israel." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, p. 104] When Palestinian Media Watch published a report on Palestinian schoolbooks in 2007, the text cited above ended with the words: "...and established the State of Israel." According to the PA Ministry of Education's website accessed today, Palestinian children are now being taught about the "so-called State of Israel." Such changes are not coincidental. PA education, as a reflection of PA society in general, may be getting even more hateful.

    Adwan and Bar-Tal list "four primary findings". The first is, "Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other were very rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books."

    This is unequivocally false. The lack of pictures of hook-nosed Jews in the PA schoolbooks does not mean there is no demonization. Certainly, denying Israel its right to exist is the ultimate demonization. This is the foundation upon which the PA builds its entire political ideology and political education.

    Another critical component of the PA's demonization is a 12th-grade book's definition of Israel as a racist, foreign, colonial implant:

    "The phenomenon of Colonial Imperialism is summarized by the existence of foreigners residing among the original inhabitants of a country, they [the foreigners] possess feelings of purity and superiority, and act towards the original inhabitants with various forms of racial discrimination, and deny their national existence. Colonial Imperialism in modern times is centered in Palestine, South Africa and Rhodesia [Zimbabwe]." [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, Grade 12, 2006 and 2007, p. 6, and Revised Experimental Edition, 2011, p. 5] The PA's defining Israel as 'racist', 'foreign' and a 'colonizer' is not merely crude defamation; it is the Palestinian Authority's justification for all killings of Israelis by terror since 1948. In another 12th-grade book, the children learn that "international law" grants people living under precisely these three types of regimes the inalienable right to fight the regimes:

    "The General Assembly announced a number of basic principles related to the judicial status of fighters against the colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes: The struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes, for their right to self-determination and independence, is a legitimate struggle, fully complying with the principles of international law." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006 p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101] The schoolbook goes on to state that not only is this "armed struggle" protected by international law, but any attempt to stop this violence is a violation of international law:

    "Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes is considered as contrary to the UN convention and the declaration of principles of international law... The armed struggles that are an expression of the struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes are considered as international armed conflict." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006, p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101] The PA's promotion of nationalistic "armed struggle" as a right is exacerbated by its mandating violence against Israel as mandatory in the name of Islam - "until Resurrection."

    Islamic Education for Grade 12 teaches that the conflict with Israel is a "Ribat for Allah," which it defines as "one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah and it means being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies." [Islamic Education, Grade 12, 2006 and 2012, p. 86].

    And whereas Ribat can also mean a non-violent struggle, the PA schoolbook makes sure that children understand that their obligation against Israel is military by comparing the Palestinian Ribat to other Islamic wars of the past:

    "The reason for this preference [for Palestinian Ribat] is that the momentous battles in Islamic history took place on its land, therefore, its residents are in a constant fight with their enemies, and they are found in Ribat until Resurrection Day: History testifies that: The battle of Al-Yarmuk decided the fight with the Byzantines, and the battle of Hettin decided the fight with the Crusaders, and the battle of Ein Jalut decided the fight with the Mongols." [Ibid, p. 87] Alarmingly, the book teaches Palestinian children that their war over Palestine is not going to end with a secular peace treaty, but is an eternal war for Islam "until Resurrection Day." [Ibid, p. 86]

    It is significant that neither this legitimization of "armed struggle" "against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes" - the PA's definition of Israel - nor the mandating of eternal religious violence against Israel was even mentioned in the Bar-Tal-Adwan report.

    Had the authors included this area of research, they would have been forced to concede that there is no corresponding defense of terror and promotion of violence in Israeli textbooks.

    The failure to cite these significant and dangerous messages in the PA's schoolbooks -- messages which have been promoted actively by PA leaders since 2000 to justify their terror against Israel and killing of Israelis -- is indicative of the report's flawed methodology and fundamental errors.

    These and the many other omissions and misrepresentations necessitate immediate and public rejection of the findings by the US State Department, whose funding in 2009 launched the project. Should the US adopt these findings, the chance for a peaceful future for children on both sides of the conflict will decrease dramatically.

    At a press conference in the US Senate building to release PMW's 2007 report on PA schoolbooks, then-Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the report:

    "These textbooks do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination. When we viewed this [PMW] report in combination with other [PA] media [from other PMW reports] that these children are exposed to, we see a larger picture that is disturbing. It is disturbing on a human level, it is disturbing to me as a mother, it is disturbing to me as a United States Senator, because it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children."

    Tragically, Clinton's words still hold true today. PA schoolbooks, along with PA culture and media, are the recipe for guaranteeing that the conflict, terror and war will continue into the next generation. Only if the international community preconditions its political contacts and support for the PA on the PA's compliance with demands to eliminate its culture of hate and violence will peace become possible.

    While the Palestinian Authority is ultimately responsible for the hatred and terror it promotes, its defenders, especially Israelis like Bar-Tal, are ultimately enablers of this hatred. Such misleading reports could ease the international pressure that has been put on the Palestinians to replace their hate education with peace education.

    Public rejection of this Bar-Tal-Adwan report by the US is not merely the right thing to do. People's lives are depending on it.

    Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.


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    STATE DEPT. RECRUITS RADICAL MUSLIMS

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 10, 2013

    The Obama administration has a Muslim outreach policy:

    1. The Dept. of Homeland Security meets with Islamist organizations.

    2. The State Dept. sent Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam of the Ground Zero mosque project, and who blames the 9/11 attack on U.S. foreign policy, on a Mideast mission to represent and present the U.S..

    3. The Administration eliminated from federal training in counter-terrorism everything negative about Muslims.

    4. "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even signed a special order to allow the reentry of two radical Islamic academics whose terrorist ties long banned them from the U.S."

    One of them is the notorious Tarik Ramadan, who pretends to be moderate while serving as a theorist and apologist for Radical Islam. He calls the new U.S. policy openness to debate. But he supports Hamas, worked for Iran, and donates money for terrorism. He tried to justify the London subway bombers on the grounds that the government of Britain had troops in Iraq killing Muslims.

    5. Mark Ward, the Deputy Special Coordinator in the State Department's Office of Middle East Transition. Mr. Ward held a seminar on career opportunities for Muslim youth. Seminar description: "Besides being a citizenship duty, there are benefits that Muslims can add to the American Muslim community and the global Muslim world by joining the US Foreign Services. This session will shed light on the different career opportunities for Muslim youth in the US Foreign Services Department. It will also clear any concerns that many people have feared about pursuing in this career."

    The seminar was at a convention sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America and Muslim American Society, both associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter probably being its U.S. branch. At the same convention were speakers who praised Gaza terrorists and who raised funds for Hamas.

    Mr. Ward's official function is covert recruitment of Muslims to promote U.S. relations abroad (Zionist Organization of America, press release, 1/30/13.)

    COMMENTS: Judicial Watch, the source for this news, mentions that Mr. Ramadan's grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood. I reject blaming people for what their relatives did. It is true that relatives of Radical Muslims often are Radical, too. That indicates prospects for counter-terrorist investigation, not proof of guilt.

    The Dept. of Homeland Security is supposed to protect us from Radical Islam. Instead it compromises itself by some sort of collaboration with it. Let the Senate investigate this!

    Notice how far Sec. of State Clinton went, in specially inviting two known pro-terrorists into the U.S. and in putting them to work on the U.S. payroll. Why didn't the Senate investigate that at the hearing over the Administration cover-up of Benghazi?

    In attempting to justify the London bombing, Mr. Ramadan was upholding the typical jihadist rationalization that: (a) one may murder untried and innocent individuals for what their government did; and (b) Non-believers commit a crime when they kill some Muslims (Radicals and aggressors) in an attempt to save others (non-Radicals), while Radical Muslims who kill non-Radical Muslims (or innocent non-Muslims) are not criminals. That kind of morality is the totalitarian kind, just plain evil. And that is the U.S. government envoy!

    The seminar did not recruit for any patriotic motive. Imagine how much contempt Radical and wavering Muslims must have for a U.S. that lets such recruits past the security gates!

    When federal trainers eliminated everything negative about Muslims from counter-terrorist training, they forgot that most terrorists are Muslims who base their ideology on a religious foundation. The trainers were eliminating not just possibly inappropriate materials but the basis for combating Islamist terrorism. Unless the U.S. combats the Radical Islamic ideology, it can only try to kill Islamists as fast as they graduate from indoctrination. But the Obama administration is replacing the military approach with a less proactive police approach. The police approach hampers any war on terrorism. Why doesn't the Senate investigate this Obama-inspired enervation of our counter-terrorism?

    The State Dept. has put some years into promoting the U.S. reputation among Muslims. It seems ineffective. All the more so, now that the U.S. recruits P.R. agents from among the enemy, not from among Muslims loyal to the U.S. and its tolerant democratic and publicly secular ways of life. Why doesn't the Senate investigate the effectiveness of State Dept. outreach?

    When you add up all these programs plus other federal practices, you will find a combination of anti-American naivete by most officials, negligent reporting by our overly-partisan media, and subversion by our President. I doubt that voters' unenthusiastic and marginal approval of Obama reflected knowledge of his subversion.

    I consider this domestic menace more serious than the Communist subversion of the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s.

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


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    OBAMA'S STATE DEPARTMENT WHITEWASHES ANTI-ISRAEL HATRED IN PALESTINIAN TEXTBOOKS

    Posted by Dr. History, February 10, 2013

    The article below was written by Itamar Marcus who is director of PMW - Palestinian Media Watch - (http://www.pmw.org.il). PMW is based in Jerusalem. Contact PMW by email at pmw@pmw.org.il. This article appeared February 10, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
    http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=8539

    It is hard to imagine a more flawed analysis of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks than the recent report of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, led by Sami Adwan, Bethlehem University and Daniel Bar-Tal, Tel Aviv University.

    The report's inaccuracies start with its methodology of systematically citing all quotes from Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks under the same headings - forcing the appearance of symmetry even when none exists. Another major flaw is giving as much weight to the fringe, ultra - Orthodox school system in Israel as it does to mainstream state schools. This artificially inflates the number of problematic examples on the Israeli side to support the report's misleading attempt to demonstrate equivalence.

    But the ultimate failing of the report is that it intentionally masks the hate and violence promotion that are central to the Palestinian Authority educational system. This hatred, together with the hate and terror glorification expressed by the daily actions and messages of the PA leaders and through their controlled institutions, is rapidly condemning the next generations to continued conflict.

    What did the Adwan-Bar Tal report hide from the world?

    The overall message that permeates the PA's teachings about Israel throughout the school system is its total rejection of Israel's most fundamental right - its right to exist.

    This is how Palestinian schoolbooks teach kids to see Israel:

    "... the Nakba [Catastrophe] that took place in 1948, when the Jews occupied Palestine and established their state on its land, and banished the Palestinian nation into exile and to neighboring states, after they tortured it, massacred, and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, pp.74-75, Revised Experimental Edition, 2012.]

    And like this:

    "Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, destroyed more than 500 villages and cities, and established the so-called the State of Israel." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, p. 104]

    When Palestinian Media Watch published a report on Palestinian schoolbooks in 2007, the text cited above ended with the words: "...and established the State of Israel." According to the PA Ministry of Education's website accessed today, Palestinian children are now being taught about the "so-called State of Israel." Such changes are not coincidental. PA education, as a reflection of PA society in general, may be getting even more hateful.

    Adwan and Bar-Tal list "four primary findings". The first is, "Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other were very rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books."

    This is unequivocally false. The lack of pictures of hook-nosed Jews in the PA schoolbooks does not mean there is no demonization. Certainly, denying Israel its right to exist is the ultimate demonization. This is the foundation upon which the PA builds its entire political ideology and political education.

    Another critical component of the PA's demonization is a 12th-grade book's definition of Israel as a racist, foreign, colonial implant:

    "The phenomenon of Colonial Imperialism is summarized by the existence of foreigners residing among the original inhabitants of a country, they [the foreigners] possess feelings of purity and superiority, and act towards the original inhabitants with various forms of racial discrimination, and deny their national existence. Colonial Imperialism in modern times is centered in Palestine, South Africa and Rhodesia [Zimbabwe]." [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, Grade 12, 2006 and 2007, p. 6, and Revised Experimental Edition, 2011, p. 5]

    The PA's defining Israel as 'racist', 'foreign' and a 'colonizer' is not merely crude defamation; it is the Palestinian Authority's justification for all killings of Israelis by terror since 1948. In another 12th-grade book, the children learn that "international law" grants people living under precisely these three types of regimes the inalienable right to fight the regimes:

    "The General Assembly announced a number of basic principles related to the judicial status of fighters against the colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes: The struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes, for their right to self-determination and independence, is a legitimate struggle, fully complying with the principles of international law." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006 p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101]

    The schoolbook goes on to state that not only is this "armed struggle" protected by international law, but any attempt to stop this violence is a violation of international law:

    "Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes is considered as contrary to the UN convention and the declaration of principles of international law... The armed struggles that are an expression of the struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes are considered as international armed conflict." [Contemporary Problems, Grade 12, 2006, p. 105, and Second Experimental Edition, 2009, p. 101]

    The PA's promotion of nationalistic "armed struggle" as a right is exacerbated by its mandating violence against Israel as mandatory in the name of Islam - "until Resurrection."

    Islamic Education for Grade 12 teaches that the conflict with Israel is a "Ribat for Allah," which it defines as "one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah and it means being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies." [Islamic Education, Grade 12, 2006 and 2012, p. 86].

    And whereas Ribat can also mean a non-violent struggle, the PA schoolbook makes sure that children understand that their obligation against Israel is military by comparing the Palestinian Ribat to other Islamic wars of the past:

    "The reason for this preference [for Palestinian Ribat] is that the momentous battles in Islamic history took place on its land, therefore, its residents are in a constant fight with their enemies, and they are found in Ribat until Resurrection Day: History testifies that: The battle of Al-Yarmuk decided the fight with the Byzantines, and the battle of Hettin decided the fight with the Crusaders, and the battle of Ein Jalut decided the fight with the Mongols." [Ibid, p. 87]

    Alarmingly, the book teaches Palestinian children that their war over Palestine is not going to end with a secular peace treaty, but is an eternal war for Islam "until Resurrection Day." [Ibid, p. 86]

    It is significant that neither this legitimization of "armed struggle" "against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes" - the PA's definition of Israel - nor the mandating of eternal religious violence against Israel was even mentioned in the Bar-Tal-Adwan report.

    Had the authors included this area of research, they would have been forced to concede that there is no corresponding defense of terror and promotion of violence in Israeli textbooks.

    The failure to cite these significant and dangerous messages in the PA's schoolbooks -- messages which have been promoted actively by PA leaders since 2000 to justify their terror against Israel and killing of Israelis -- is indicative of the report's flawed methodology and fundamental errors.

    These and the many other omissions and misrepresentations necessitate immediate and public rejection of the findings by the US State Department, whose funding in 2009 launched the project. Should the US adopt these findings, the chance for a peaceful future for children on both sides of the conflict will decrease dramatically.

    At a press conference in the US Senate building to release PMW's 2007 report on PA schoolbooks, then-Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the report:

    "These textbooks do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination. When we viewed this [PMW] report in combination with other [PA] media [from other PMW reports] that these children are exposed to, we see a larger picture that is disturbing. It is disturbing on a human level, it is disturbing to me as a mother, it is disturbing to me as a United States Senator, because it basically, profoundly poisons the minds of these children."

    Tragically, Clinton's words still hold true today. PA schoolbooks, along with PA culture and media, are the recipe for guaranteeing that the conflict, terror and war will continue into the next generation. Only if the international community preconditions its political contacts and support for the PA on the PA's compliance with demands to eliminate its culture of hate and violence will peace become possible.

    While the Palestinian Authority is ultimately responsible for the hatred and terror it promotes, its defenders, especially Israelis like Bar-Tal, are ultimately enablers of this hatred. Such misleading reports could ease the international pressure that has been put on the Palestinians to replace their hate education with peace education.

    Public rejection of this Bar-Tal-Adwan report by the US is not merely the right thing to do. People's lives are depending on it.

    Contact Dr. History at drhistory@cox.net


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    GERMAN GREEN PARTY HEAD HIGH-FIVES IRAN'S ENVOY

    Posted by Sacha Stawski, February 10, 2013

    Then article below was written by Benjamin Weinthal who is a European correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Email him at benn@jpost.com. This article appeared February 11, 2013 in the Jerusalem Postand is archived at
    http://www.jpost.com/International/German-Green-Party-head-high-fives-Irans-envoy

    [Sacha Stawski comments is in red]

    Claudia Roth under fire for warmly greeting Reza Sheikh Attar, whom Iranian Kurdish dissidents accuse of massacring Kurds.

    claudia

    BERLIN — Claudia Roth, chairwoman of the large Green Party in Germany, is facing a storm of criticism from media outlets, Iranian dissidents and pro-Israel advocates because she greeted Iran's ambassador to Germany euphorically last week at the Munich security conference.

    Roth's high five, an American form of praise or encouragement, was caught on video. She used it to greet Iranian ambassador Reza Sheikh Attar, whom Iranian Kurdish dissidents accuse of massacring Kurds during his tenure as governor of the Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan provinces between 1980 and 1985.

    Roth's pro-Iranian behavior prompted Germany's largest daily paper, Bild, to dub her "Loser of the Day," on its front page because of her action. This category is reserved for people who engage in shameless, criminal, or embarrassing conduct.

    Henryk M. Broder, a popular columnist for the daily Die Welt, said Roth belongs "in the hall of shame of politics" for her high five.

    Nasrin Amirsedghi, a prominent Iranian- German intellecutal who has written about human rights in the Islamic Republic, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, "It is an open secret that the Green Party lobbies intensively for the mullahs in Germany."

    She added that a "high five normally serves as an the expression of satisfaction about success. And [the Green Party] has contributed greatly to the success of keeping an inhumane system going in Iran since 1979."

    Roth has long been a controversial figure in Germany because of her alleged appeasement policies toward Iran's clerical rulers.

    In 2010, she visited Iran and met with the Larijani brothers, Ali and Muhammad.

    Ali Larajani, president of Iran's parliament, engaged in a form of Holocaust denial at the Munich security conference in 2009, according to Spiegel Online. His brother, Mohammed Javad Larijani, is head of the judicial human rights council and has defended the stoning of women.

    During Roth's visit to Iran she donned a head scarf and refused to criticize Iran's human rights violations, including the government's calls for the destruction of Israel and denial of the Holocaust.

    Speaking at the second Israel congress event, the head of Germany's central council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said: "Should one recall the picture in which we saw Claudia Roth from the Green party, who in Germany so passionately fights for freedom and women's rights, wear a headscarf there, submissive before the Mullahs, one can only shake one's head."

    The German-language website Free Iran Now posted the video of Roth and Attar, which led to fierce criticism in the bloggosphere and on Twitter, of Roth and the Greens.

    Sacha Stawski, the head of the pro-Israel NGO Honestly Concerned, told the Post on Sunday, "The latest high fivebb only fits in too well with the appeasement and double standard, which is all too common among parliamentarians, when it comes to Iran."

    He added, "Instead of leveraging Germany's economic and political strength, showing a clear distance and a cold shoulder to a regime which is denying the Holocaust and threatening the existence of the Jewish state, if not world peace — parliamentarians succumb to silly excuses and dumbfounded explanations for what everyone clearly knows as a gesture of friendship and closeness."

    The Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that a spokesman for Roth said she was "completely surprised by the unexpected gesture from Iran's ambassador, and reciprocated with a short touch of the hand."

    Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy and a leading authority on German-Iranian relations, told the Post on Sunday, "the Greens must explain their relationship to the inhumane regime and say openly how they, in fact, stand to democracy, the USA, and Israel."

    He added that the video shows clearly how Roth crossed the line into appeasement toward a totalitarian dictator.

    "Roth proved with her false pro-Iranian policies" that she is likely deeply anchored in appeasement.

    Stawski said, "There was a time when the Green Party still stood for something. What is left of that one can only speculate."

    He said this helps to explain why so-called human rights experts like Roth "continue to follow a similar path of appeasement when it comes to Hezbollah.

    Instead of advocating that this group be added to the European Union's list of terror organizations, they continue to believe in the illusion that dialogue is going to contain these terrorists."

    Contact Sacha Stawski at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org


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    POISONING ARAB CHILDREN - OR TWO CONTRADICTORY WOMEN

    Posted by Yuval Zaliouk, February 11, 2013

    Dear friends,

    In the Middle East contradictions and strange things abound. Today I bring you two such pieces. It is up to you if you wish to laugh or cry.

    Remember the famous big fat smooch Hillary Clinton bestowed on Suha Arafat following Suha's accusation that Israel is poisoning Arab children?

    arafat

    Evidently, we have two very different Hillarys (Jekyll & Hyde?), one that sides comfortly and shamelessly with the likes of the liar Suha and her false accusations, and one that admits that the "Palestinians" themselves poison the minds of their children.

    Hillary that as Secretary of State insisted day after day that the settlements must cease in order to hand over legitimate Jewish lands to Israel's enemies, the same "Palestinians" she so strongly condemns in the following video:
    http://www.palwatch.org/site/modules/videos/pmw/videos.aspx?fld_id=142&doc_id=2358&sort=d

    Do you really want to see such a self-contradictory woman as the next President of the USA.

    And now look at Suha Arafat, the "trustworthy" wife who received millions of Dollars looted by her husband from his people. Today we hear straight of her horse's mouth that she tried hundreds of times to leave her husband. My heart bleeds for this amazing woman and the trials and tribulations she had to endure in her Paris palatial apartment.

    She claims she wanted to leave Yasser hundreds of times but actually "my life without him is even harder." Now tell me, are you laughing already?

    Your Truth Provider,

    Yuval.

    suha

    Suha Arafat, widow of the late Palestinian leader, tells Turkish newspaper she regrets her marriage: "Even when he was with me, I was forced to defend myself. I was slaughtered by gossip against me" ... "I was with a great leader, but I was all alone."

    Suha Arafat, widow of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, told the Turkish daily newspaper Sabah that she tried repeatedly to leave her husband, only to be refused. She also said she had loved the Palestinian leader but admitted to having regrets.

    "I know there were a lot of women who wanted to marry Arafat. However, it was my fate ... I tried to leave him hundreds of times, but he wouldn't let me," Suha Arafat said. "Everyone knows how he wouldn't permit me to leave. Especially those in his servitude, they know very well what it was like."

    In the interview, Suha Arafat said that she regretted the marriage to the Palestinian leader, who died in 2004, citing the constant gossip surrounding her.

    "Yes, I am regretful. Even when he was with me, I was forced to defend myself. I was slaughtered by gossip against me," Sabah's English-language website quoted her as saying, as reported by the Lebanon-based Daily Star.

    "What they would say didn't even seem to be about me, it was as if they were talking about someone else," she said.

    Describing herself as "the weakest link," Suha Arafat said her husband's battle with Israel spurred the gossip targeting her.

    "It [the gossip] actually all began due to the uprising [intifada] against Israel. Yasser was fighting against the strongest lobby, media and nation, in other words Israel. I was the weakest link," she said. "Even if I regret my marriage, I have no other choice than to accept reality."

    Suha Arafat told Sabah that in hindsight, her decision to marry the Arab hero was a mistake.

    "If I had known what I would have to go through, I definitely would not have gotten married. I was with a great leader, but I was all alone," she said.

    She added that while life with the PLO leader was difficult, "my life without him is even harder."

    Contact Yuval Zaliouk at ynz@netvision.net.il


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    A SIGN OF CHANGE? MALIKI ULEMA PARTNERS AGAINST SAHEL EXTREMISM

    Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy, February 11, 2013

    Extremism halts charity, and creates fear of religion; [it puts] pressure on Muslims and occupies people with controversies at the expense of work and construction in life.

    In late January religious leaders from Algeria, Mali, Niger and Mauritania met at Algiers to found The League of Ulemas of the Sahel. A regional body of religious scholars of the Maliki rite, its aim is to discourage Sahelian youth from taking the path of Salafist radicalism. According to Algerian imam Youcef Mechri, the new body's secretary-general., they plan to work with mosques and youth centers to educate youth about the dangers of extremism.

    The imams "unanimously" denounced crimes committed in Islam. As Niger's imam Boureima Abdou Daouda, the League president put it:

    "We are convinced that only religion can provide a moral solution to the multidimensional crisis and the evils that threaten us. We must defend religious references in our region to cut off the preachers of violence and destruction,"Sheikh Mouadou Sufi of Burkina Faso added: "Everybody knows that our religion teaches us neither violence nor terrorism, but the love of others and tolerance. What is happening in northern Mali [are] serious violations such as forced marriage, amputation of hands and stoning. [They] are a result of misinterpretation of the Qur'an."

    While it might be tempting to laugh off the gathering as just another Muslim conclave where words will most likely and easily outnumber deeds, the Maliki League is potentially a strong voice of reason in a region that threatens to spin out of control. The importance of reaching and serving as a guide to youth is already well-understood in Morocco, which for unexplained reasons did not send a delegation to the founding of the League despite its large number of Maliki. (See "For years Moroccan ulemas guide youths," Magharebia, 27 June 2011.)

    A poll found that, while a majority of Moroccan youth believe in religious co-existence, they are hardly as supportive of their own ulema. Religious scholars are lacking in both education and charisma, and many are seen as practicing the worst sort of extremism. More than a half have received either all or the bulk of their education in a Koranic school (madrassa) -- a situation itself very common throughout the Sahel.

    To enhance the "spiritual security of the nation," the government's Ministry of Islamic Affairs has instituted a training program for imams that involves an effort to make sermons more topical and germane to the modernization occurring everywhere in Morocco.

    Steps to enhance imam training has also been initiated recently in Mauritania. On 6 January 2012 a nationwide sermon, or "khutbah," was sponsored by the Malaki-dominated Association of Ulemas, during which the imams joined together "to denounce extremism and the use of violence" undertaken in the name of Islam. The event occurred just days after the close of a conference sponsored by the youthful, scholarly, and charismatic mufti Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hassan Al-Dedew, perhaps the most impressive imam to emerge in the Mahgreb in recent years.

    Al-Dedew reminded the ulemas that it was their paramount responsibility "to assume their responsibilities in fighting" the evil of extremism.

    The Association of Ulemas has the strong backing of President Abdel Aziz. He has imposed a practice of mosque oversight, and, at a late-2012 meeting with the ulema, warned against "the use of mosques for political ends" and the issuance of "unfounded fatwas."

    SHEIKH ABDUL RAHMAN AL-ALI

    The Maliki League has much work ahead of it, as it must directly confront recent publications that extol the essence of the mujahideen and declare all who oppose their ideology to be Takfir, or apostates to Islam.

    A recently published 600-page tome titled "Issues of the Fiqh [Islamic Jurisprudence] of Jihad," published by Egyptian Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Ali (aka, Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir) is the most recent Salafist ouvre to make its mark. (Among others see, "Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet", "Fursan That Riyyat al-Nabi" by Ayman al-Zawahiri.) It has been labeled the "Fiqh of Blood" ("The Theology of Blood") by some critics. It denigrates the positions held by the Hanbali and Maliki schools of Islamic jurisprudence when it comes to the issue of jihad (in this case meaning holy war). Throughout the book, Al-Ali himself issues dictates that are little short of a religio-judicial sentence, or fatwa.

    The Pakistan-educated cleric uses the hadith and verses from the Koran to reach a conclusion that anyone found outside the Muslim community and not enjoying the right to protection may be killed, including women and children. With regard to the distinction between civilians and combatants, Al-Ali believes that there is none because Islam does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, only between Muslims and infidels.

    Muslims are supposedly secure in their livelihood in all circumstances, while infidels are not -- under any circumstance. Ultimately, the killing of infidels is allowed -- including women, children and the aged -- even if they live with Muslims. And beheading is permissible and even "favored by God and his Prophet." Lest one think that Shia Muslims get off easy, the author encourages their killing and punishment. He claims they are an even more sinister threat to Islam than all its other enemies.

    The nom de guerre Abu Abdullah al-Mujahir was given while the Egyptian served as an Afghan-Arab mujahid in the war for Afghanistan. During that event, he preached in the Islamists' Khalden camp. Thus, it is not surprising that issues of the "Fiqh of Jihad" has found special favor among al Qaeda in general and its leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

    Ironically, the whereabouts of Abu Abdullah is presently unknown. It was rumored that he was captured by U.S. troops when he travelled to Iraq. However, the Salafis claim he is being held in an Iranian prison.

    ADDENDUM: MALIKI WITHIN THE SUNNI LEGAL SYSTEM

    The compilation of the Shari'a (Islamic legal code) was completed just prior to the tenth century. Over time there were created four systems of legal thought: The Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali. The Hanbali is the largest gathering of the four and predominates in India, Pakistan, and generally throughout the nations that once formed part of the Ottoman Empire.

    The Maliki rite developed in Medina, and it was based on the sayings of the prophet (the Hadith) that circulated there. Today, it predominates in Upper Egypt, the Sahel, and in parts of West Africa. In Mauritania its precepts are incorporated along with the legal system brought to it as a colony by France. Much the same circumstance has occurred in other former French colonies.

    The Shafi'i rite is called a synthesis of the Hanifi and Maliki systems. It predominates in the Indian Ocean region and in Indonesia. Finally, the Hanbali derives from the jurist and theologian Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780-855) and demands strict observance. It has the smallest number of followers. Nonetheless, it serves as the official legal system employed in Saudi Arabia.

    It is commonly claimed that the "substantive differences among the four rites are minor except in matters of ritual." An example should suffice: A difference within the rites is noted with regard to their response to women and prayer. The orders all agree that no woman can act as an imam (i.e. leader) to men; however, while the Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali do not allow a woman to serve as an imam at any time, at specific events in the month of Ramadan followers of the Maliki rite allow a woman to lead prayers before other women if no male among the congregation knows the Koran by heart, and if the woman chosen is adept in the knowledge of the Koran.

    THE ATHARI EXAMPLE

    Athari, or textualism, is considered one of the three Sunni schools of aqidah. The word aqidah derives from the Arabic 'aqada or 'aqd, to tie/bind, and it refers to the early ties that bound the ummah together before the development of the sunna (records of the actions and sayings of Muhammed) and interpretation and regionalism set in.

    To place aqidah in its present context, one observer explains that to understand much of what is happening in the Muslim world today events must be visualized within the conflict of a 500-year-old balance-of-power struggle involving Turkey and Iran, or, to use their terms, Othmanli and Safawi.

    When Shi'ism is in decline and less of a threat, Sunnis tend to gravitate to their four traditional schools of legal thought. However, in times of Shi'a expansion, the Sunnis de-emphasize their legal differences and migrate to an early common concept of "the true path" of Mohammed and his disciples (the Ansar). This "textualist" trend, places an emphasis on aqidah over Maliki, Shafi'i, etc.

    Textualism itself opposes theological speculation. Thus, it rejects literalism, allegory and metaphor, or any attempt to toy with the attributes of Allah mentioned in the Koran and the Sunna. The elements of textualism were codified by Islamic scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who is today best known for the Hanbali school of jurisprudence. Its adherents believe that they follow in the tradition of the first three generations of Muslims (the Salaf), and they follow what they believe is a balanced or "middle path of Islam." They are purposeful, yet hardly as bloodthirsty as some modern Salafeen (e.g., al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, etc.,) in their adherence to what they believe is the truth.

    Considered a classical approach, athari is represented by such prominent Sunni scholars as Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi -- the spiritual mentor of the Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) -- who has developed the theory of Wasatiyya (i.e., moderation) in contemporary Islam, and the noted Mauretanian of the Maliki rite, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hassan Ad-Dedew.

    Further Reading

    QIBLA: Have Salafis Taken Over the Muslim World and Muslim Communities

    Bouallem Ghamrasa: Algerian Salafi Leader to Launch New Party

    ANSmed: Tunisia: imams accuse Ennahda of helping Salafis

    Magharebia: Algerian government curbs extreme religious practices

    SUNNIFORUM: Algeria banned "Wahhabi literature?"

    Amel Boubaker: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Algerian Salafi Networks

    J. Millard Burr, author of "Alms for Jihad", is a Senior Fellow with the American Center for Democracy (ACD). This article appeared February 11, 2013 on the ACD website and is archived at http://acdemocracy.org/a-sign-of-change-maliki-ulema-partners-against-sahel-extremism/


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    MASSIVE CYBER-ESPIONAGE CAMPAIGN TARGETING US

    Posted by Arutz Sheva, February 11, 2013

    A new intelligence assessment has concluded that the United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country's economic competitiveness, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed officials.

    According to the newspaper, the National Intelligence Estimate identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of American businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain.

    The document, according to the The Post, identifies energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive companies as the most frequent targets of cyber-attacks.

    Outside experts have estimated the damage to the United States economy in the tens of billions of dollars, the paper said.

    The National Intelligence Estimate names three other countries -- Russia, Israel and France -- as having engaged in mining for economic intelligence, but makes clear that cyber-espionage by those countries pales in comparison with China's effort, the paper noted.

    The Obama administration is trying to counter the electronic theft of trade secrets by lodging formal protests, expelling diplomatic personnel, imposing travel and visa restrictions, and complaining to the World Trade Organization, according to The Post.

    Cyber-espionage is "just so widespread that it's known to be a national issue at this point," one administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the paper.

    The Washington Post and The New York Times have both recently announced that Chinese hackers have breached their computer systems, breaking in and stealing the passwords of high-profile reporters and other staff members.

    This was written by Rachel Hirshfeld and it appeared today in Arutz Sheva.


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    ARAB MODERATION MURDERED: THE MEANING OF AN ASSASSINATION IN TUNISIA

    Posted by GLORIA Center, February 11, 2013

    The article below was written by Barry Rubin who is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at
    http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan) The article appeared February 08, 2013 in the Rubin Center Research in International Affairs and is archived at
    http://www.rubincenter.org/2013/02/arab-moderation-murdered-the
    -meaning-of-an-assassination-in-tunisia/? utm_source=activetrail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feb%2011,%202013%20Newsletter

    tunisia

    And if the good men are murdered by the forces of political evil then they certainly cannot do anything. Hence, the outcome is assured.

    Thus, the "Arab Spring" has just been murdered with bullets and hijacked amid bloodstains. Here is the list of countries in the Middle East area currently ruled by Islamists: Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, and Turkey. Syria will probably join them soon. Qatar has a pro-Islamist policy. Morocco technically has an Islamist government though the king neutralizes it in practice. Saudi Arabia is ruled by a strict Islamic regime but opposes the revolutionary Islamists though its money often spreads their doctrines elsewhere. Everyone is being forced into Sunni or Shia Islamist camps, backing radical forces in other countries so that their religious allegiance can conquer.

    In this situation, only in Tunisia could the non-Islamists win fairly conducted elections. But an election isn't fair if one side uses violence to ensure its victory and its ability to transform the country into a social-political dictatorship afterward.

    I know that whenever I write an article on Tunisia it will have fewer readers than other topics. That's understandable from the standpoint that Tunisia is a small country with little international impact and limited U.S. interests.

    Yet Tunisia was the country where the "Arab Spring" began. And Tunisia is going to be the place where the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Spanish Civil War will be fought. In other words, it is the only place where moderate and "secularist" forces are going to fight and the only country where the moderates have a majority of the population — though not a majority of the guns — behind them.

    Given that bellwether factor, they have just suffered a massive defeat which is simultaneously a major victory for the Islamist forces.

    Briefly, what people who believe the Arabic-speaking world is heading toward democracy don't understand is that they have helped unleash forces quite willing to engage in violence and that will not stop until they've achieve a total triumph. It's sort of like Pandora who opened the box to unleash its spiritual whirlwinds and said, "This ought to be interesting!"

    That's why the assassination of Choukri Belaid is so important. He was leader of the Democratic Patriot party and a leader of the Popular Front opposition coalition. While the story will be obscure in the West it is devastating for Tunisia, the Arab liberals, and the future of the region. Belaid was the single most outspoken and determined anti-Islamist leader in the country, and indeed the most important openly anti-Islamist politician in the entire Arabic-speaking world. He wasn't the only moderate politician in Tunisia but he was the main one who rejected Islamist rule and warned against Islamist intentions.

    And how did the Islamist-dominated coalition react? The moment the leading opposition figure — the man around whom an anti-Islamist coalition might have been built following the next elections — was murdered it called for new elections.

    Get it? The Brotherhood's moderate coalition partners didn't want elections now. And if you eliminate the tough moderate those remaining may be more pliable about caving in. It was quite conceivable that the non-Islamists would get a majority in the next elections—as they did in the previous one. But a majority divided among four parties isn't enough. Last time, the moderate parties got 60 percent but their disunity allowed the largest single party, the Brotherhood, to take control of the government coalition with only 40 percent of the vote.

    But a man like Belaid might have forged a moderate coalition government that would keep the Brotherhood out of power. In other words, though he led only the fourth largest party, Belaid was the key to forcing the Brotherhood out of power by convincing the four moderate parties to work together against the Islamist threat. His elimination isn't just a crime, its a political strategy.

    As I predicted a few days ago, destroying the left is going to be the Islamists' priority and Tunisia is the only country where the political left poses a danger to them. Elsewhere it is too weak, confined to isolated individuals and publications.

    Some decades ago, the killing of a left-wing leader by what Marxists would have called "clerical-fascist" forces would have provoked an outcry from the Western left. Nowadays, they don't even blink — as we also saw in Iran — unless some misdeed can be blamed on the United States or Israel.

    While Belaid stood firm, the two other main moderate parties were willing to try working with the Muslim Brotherhood, Belaid said "no" and warned — just as we have — that the Islamists were determined to create a dictatorship. He was the man to kill, an event which also has an intimidating effect on the other moderates. As Belaid's brother put it: the killing was "a clear message to Tunisians... Shut up or we kill you."

    I don't think the assassination was the result of a high-level conspiracy and especially not from the Brotherhood itself. Most likely, it was done by a small Salafist group.

    But that's the point. The Obama Administration views the Brotherhood as the bulwark against the Salafists. In fact, it is their big brother, often using the Salafists as shock troops to attack Western embassies, oppositionists, secularists, moderates, churches, and women who seek equality.

    Ideally when the leader is going to be murdered the masses stand up and say, "I am Spartacus." In reality, particularly in countries with anti-democratic political cultures, it doesn't happen that way. Even if the four moderate parties do well in elections they still have to cooperate, having to face a wave of Salafist violence, too. Now if the Tunisian army were to stage a coup that would make a difference. But what do you think would happen if the generals went to the U.S. embassy and asked for America's support to overthrow the Brotherhood? In Egypt, we do see a sort of uprising against the regime. But without the army's support it doesn't seem to have a chance of taking power. Still, one must keep an open mind and see what happens.

    Few in the West will be aware that Belaid is the second moderate opposition leader killed in Tunisia during the last three months in Tunisia. During decades of Arab nationalist dictatorship Tunisia-style, murder was rarely employed.

    The Islamists have no such inhibitions. They are the people to be afraid of. Consider that in Libya, the most obvious American client in the Arabic-speaking world, there's no hint of arresting anyone for the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three American officials which happened five months ago! Don't hold your breath.

    A similar strategy to what has just happened in Tunisia took place in Lebanon a few years ago, where the Syrians and their Hizballah and other local allies murdered opposing parliamentarians, journalists, and judges until they came close enough to a legislative majority and to intimidating critics that they won the election and currently form the Lebanese government.

    And what about Syria where Islamists are headed for power with America's blessing? Or Washington where the main lobbyist for supporting the Brotherhood is becoming head of the CIA? And what about Egypt where dozens of demonstrators have been murdered by the Muslim Brotherhood regime as the West still proclaims that government's democratic credentials, the international institutions negotiate the supply of billions of dollars and the United States sends advanced fighter planes and tanks as gifts?

    The tide is only going in one direction and Obama's policies are raising, not lowering, these sea levels.

    Contact the website of the GLORIA Center is at http://www.gloria-center.org


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    IF ONLY THIS WAS THE RULE OF LAW

    Posted by Edward Magi, February 11, 2013

    This was written by a 21 yr old female who gets it. It's her future she's worried about and this is how she feels about the social welfare big government state that she's being forced to live in! These solutions are just common sense in her opinion.

    This article appeared November 18, 2011 in the Waco Tribune Herald, Waco, TX. and is archived at
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/shem-tov/written-by-a-21-year-old-female-wow-this-girl-has-a-great-plan-love-the-last-thi/10151313758643874

    PUT ME IN CHARGE ...

    Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

    Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, then get a job.

    Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

    In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a "government" job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the "common good.."

    Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem," consider that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

    If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

    AND While you are on Gov't subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes, that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov't welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

    Now, if you have the guts - PASS IT ON...I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO GET THIS BACK, IF EVERYONE SENDS IT, I WILL GET OVER 220 BACK!!! I WOULD KNOW YOU SENT IT ON!!!

    Contact Edward Magi at ecarmag@comcast.net


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    SPECULATION BEGINS ON SUCCESSOR TO BENEDICT

    Posted by Daily Events, February 11, 2013

    The article below was written by John Gizzi who has come to be known as "the man who knows everyone in Washington" and, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what's going on in the nation's capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as "Gizzi on Politics" and spotlights of key political races around the country. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This article appeared February 11, 2013 in the Human Events Powerful Conservative Voices magazine and is archived at
    http://humanevents.com/2013/02/11/speculation-begins-on-successor-to-benedict/

    benedict

    Not since Gregory XII resigned as Pope in 1415 to end a schism between competitors for the office, has the Roman Catholic leader voluntarily ended his tenure on the throne of St. Peter. But, that is just what Benedict XVI did Monday morning: announcing that on Feb. 28, he would resign as pope, and, in the process, astonishing the world.

    Whoever becomes pope is always of great interest to the secular world powers. The international contacts of the Vatican as well as the influence of the pope among practicing Catholics, make who holds the position as important to the U.S. as who holds power in Moscow, Beijing, or any Western European capital. Pope John Paul II was considered as much a player in the downfall of the old Soviet Union as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Pope Pius XII was an important fixture in thwarting the Axis powers during World War II.

    Under church rules, the 120 cardinals under the age of 80 will meet in a secluded conclave in the Vatican next month and vote until a pope is elected. The world's press will gather outside the Sistine Chapel, waiting for the white smoke from its chimney that signals a candidate has won a majority of the cardinals and "we have a Pope."

    But, where Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of John Paul's closest associates and secured the papacy on the third ballot of the conclave in 2005, there is no "heir apparent" to Benedict. All of the voting cardinals have been named by Benedict or John Paul and most are considered conservative and traditionalist in the mold of the outgoing pope: strongly in favor of priestly celibacy, supportive and encouraging of traditional reforms to the Mass, and a heightened and renewed evangelization.

    U.S. cardinals in particular are considered more conservative than they were before Benedict assumed his throne. Cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York and Raymond Burke (formerly of St. Louis and now at the Vatican's Supreme Court) are two noted orthodox prelates who will be selecting Benedict's successor.

    Speculation is rampant as to why the former Josef Cardinal Ratzinger would resign the papacy he has held since he succeeded John Paul II in 2005. Some Vatican-watchers say it is his age (85) and signs of failing health. Others say that a string of scandals—including the leaking of inside information by the pope's own butler—had taken their toll on the first German to lead the Roman Catholic Church in 600 years. One conservative possibility is 68-year-old Christoph Cardinal Schönburn of Vienna, Austria, who is close to Benedict.

    As to who will be the next pope and what nationality he will be, no one can say at this point. In 1921, the Vatican's Secretary of State Merry Del Val was considered a shoo-in for the papacy, but the cardinals instead chose Achille Ratti, librarian and diplomat, who became Pope Pius XI. This conclave spawned a phrase that stands to this day as a warning about betting on the next pontiff: "He who goes into the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal."

    Contact Daily Events at HumanEventsdaily@email.humanevents.com


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    ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY OVER JUDEA AND SAMARIA

    Posted by AFSI, February 11, 2013

    Dear Friends,

    Below is the link to the video summary, with English subtitles, of the 3rd Annual Conference for the application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria which was held on January 1st 2013 on the eve of the elections for the 19th Knesset.

    The results of the elections show us that the people in Israel prefer to focus on social and economic issues.This has not taken the matter of applying Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria off the table. On the contrary! In order to advance a social-economic agenda, there is a need for land on which to build affordable housing near the center of the country, there is a need for working hands,there is a need for better residential dispersion of our population.

    All this is achievable - if we apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

    Dear partners, we urge you to forward this movie far and wide to all your mailing lists and facebook friends. The pressure on Israel to cave in and give away our Biblical heartland has not stopped for a moment.The application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is the answer. Passing on this movie to thousands of others will help spread the message that there IS a sane alternative to capitulations, an alternative that should have been implemented 46 years ago. Thank you,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG_xugkaWJ4

    Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI is a pro-active pro-Israel advocacy group. AFSI may be contacted by mail at 1623 Third Ave., Suite 205, New York, N.Y. 10128 (Tel: 212-828-2424; Fax: 212-828-1717); by email at afsi@rcn.com; or by accessing its website: www.afsi.org. Helen Freedman is Executive Director.


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    FAMOUS SURVIVORS OF NORTH KOREAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS TO HEADLINE GENEVA RIGHTS SUMMIT NEXT TUESDAY, FEB. 19

    Posted byr UN Watch, February 11, 2013

    shin

    wbush

    GENEVA, Feb. 11 — Intensifying appeals by UN officials, diplomats and rights campaigners for an international inquiry into North Korea's vast archipelago of political prison camps, to be debated soon by the UN Human Rights Council, will get a massive boost next week when two of the gulag's most famous survivors and witnesses will testify before a parallel Geneva summit of dissidents and democracy activists, organized by UN Watch and 20 other human rights groups.

    Shin Dong-Hyuk, the only known surviving escapee from a North Korean "total control zone" camp, will join author Kang Chol-Hwan, who survived 10 years in the notorious Yodok concentration camp, to headline the 5th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, to be held next Tuesday, on February 19, 2013.

    UN Watch has brought numerous North Korean victims and activists to speak at the UN, and leads NGO campaigns to confront the murderous dictatorship within the world body's assemblies. (Left: UN Watch demonstration against North Korea, August 2011.)

    In January, UN rights chief Navi Pillay called for a "full-fledged international inquiry" of serious crimes committed by North Korea, "one of the worst human rights situations in the world."

    And last week, Marzuki Darusman, the 47-nation council's monitor on North Korean human rights violations, seconded the call, urging an investigation of Pyongyang's "grave, widespread and systematic violations of human rights."

    NGOs in the coalition organizing next week's Geneva summit are hoping that the testimonies of Shin and Kang— to be delivered before hundreds of UN diplomats, activists and journalists—will add powerful momentum to the campaign, days before world leaders gather to open the UN session.

    cooper

    "Shin Dong-hyuk isn't just somebody who was sent to a concentration camp," said Anderson Cooper, who recently interviewed the North Korean survivor on 60 Minutes.

    "This is somebody who was born into a concentration camp. And for the majority of his life up until he was probably 22 or 23, had no idea that there was another kind of way to exist."

    Shin told Cooper the stunning story of how he escaped from Camp 14, a brutal political prison in North Korea.

    At the Feb. 19th conference, Shin and Kang will tell of the forced labor, extreme hunger, violence and brutality they suffered, and of the numerous public executions they witnessed.

    Shin was made to watch his mother and brother executed. Having been born and raised within the camp's Orwellian moral universe, he was the one who had informed on their plan to escape.

    The North Korean survivors will be joining other famous activists at the Geneva Summit from China, Cuba, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sudan, and Syria, in a concerted effort to influence the human rights agenda.

    The widely acclaimed annual conference, a focal point for dissidents worldwide, is timed to take place in Geneva days before foreign ministers gather to open a month-long UN Human Rights Council session on Feb. 25, 2013.

    For activists and journalists, the global gathering provides a one-stop opportunity to hear from and meet frontline human rights advocates, many of whom have personally suffered imprisonment and torture.

    The speakers' compelling and vivid testimonies will seek to inform the UN delegates just prior to their debates on human rights situations around the world.

    Topic areas will include discrimination against women, jailing of journalists, prison camps, Internet freedom, religious intolerance, and the persecution of human rights defenders.

    For a full line-up of the parallel summit's speakers, click here.

    Now in its fifth year, the Geneva Summit has won widespread coverage by major wire services and newspapers, as well as television and radio news outlets. Videos of past speaker testimonies are available at www.genevasummit.org.

    Admission to this year's February 19, 2013 summit is free to the public and media, but registration is mandatory.

    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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    'WAS THE IRAQ WAR WORTH IT?' IS A QUESTION UNWORTHY OF DEBATE

    Posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, February 11, 2013

    unworthy

    With the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaching, a predictable stream of commentary and events asking the familiar question of whether the war was 'worth it' is beginning to arise. This trend has so far included a planned debate at Goldsmiths, University of London featuring prominent pro and anti-war commentators like Mehdi Hasan and David Aaronovitch; a conference hosted by the anti-war activist group 'Stop the War Coalition'; and a few articles in the Huffington Post and the Sunday Sun.

    The main justification invoked for debating whether the war was 'worth it' is so that we might learn 'lessons' for the future. With the Iraq War, however, it is clear that the same old talking points are going to be brought up: 'Saddam was a brutal dictator!'; 'Look how much better off the Kurds are!'; 'Iraq is a democracy today!'; 'The war has killed up to a million people!'; 'The war has only fostered more terrorism!'; 'There were no WMDs!'; 'It was all about oil!'. Is this familiar debate worth having at all? Not really.

    First, the war came about in the very unique circumstances of the immediate aftermath of 9/11, with the idea that 'pre-emptive' military action - including full-scale invasions - against perceived rogue regimes was justified to stop them from allowing terrorists to acquire WMDs. Along with this doctrine came the notion that a war against Saddam would be a quick and easy job dealing with 'unfinished business' from the First Gulf War.

    Further, it was believed that from the overthrow of the dictatorship would arise a self-sustaining Western-style democracy that would serve as an example to other countries in the region.

    Yet the Middle East in particular has changed considerably since the invasion of Iraq, and it is quite clear that none of the above concepts guides Western policy towards the region today. There are no situations at the present time- and for the foreseeable future- analogous to Iraq as regards policy debate. Fretting that any involvement in a conflict is going to be 'another Iraq' is simply a cliché. This was especially so when it came to the Libyan civil war.

    Further, there is nothing to be learnt from the talking points mentioned earlier that have been repeated ad nauseam, for they inevitably lead to cherry-picking narrative. Thus, the pro-war advocates who highlight Iraq's supposed status as a democracy ignore the fact that as of this year, the non-partisan think-tank Freedom House still classifies Iraq as 'Not Free', with scores for civil and political rights downgraded from last year and now equal to those of Iran. While they recognize elsewhere that democracy is not simply about holding free elections, they do not apply this standard to Iraq.

    Similarly, in their idealization of the Kurds' situation, they overlook the authoritarian tendencies of the ruling parties in the autonomous Kurdish government that cracked down on protestors in 2011 and pre-emptively put a stop to further planned demonstrations, rather than addressing the demands for political and anti-corruption reform.

    On the other hand, anti-war commentators tend to throw about greatly exaggerated death tolls of 650,000 (the Lancet survey) or over 1 million (Opinion Research Business Survey). In arguing that the war was nothing more than a project to secure Iraq's oil supplies and impose a neoliberal economic model, they ignore the fact that the West was already buying oil from Iraq before 2003 and that even now, the oil industry and the economy more generally remain centralized and state-run enterprises.

    In truth, the question of whether the war was 'worth it' is something for Iraqis (including me) to decide among themselves. As for Western observers, real lessons from Iraq are not to be learned by debating this old question.

    Instead, what is needed is for researchers, analysts, and historians to write on the history of the decision-making in the build-up to the war, the invasion itself, and subsequent events in the post-Saddam environment, without ideological prejudice. That is, if one reads an account of, say, the aftermath of the invasion, it should not be apparent in any way if the writer in question was for or against the invasion. This does not mean that one cannot have a personal opinion on that matter, but it should not infringe upon one's work.

    It is indeed possible to undertake such an enterprise. In this context I recommend the work of Joel Wing of Musings on Iraq, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, and the Iraq Body Count.

    From objective accounts of the history of the lead-up to and the aftermath of the invasion, there are valuable discussions to be had:. How much of a role did the surge in Iraq really have? Why did no sharp decline in violence similarly accompany the troop surge in Afghanistan? Why was the reconstruction effort generally a failure? When rebuilding the security forces of a country, should the focus be on quality or quantity?

    These are all questions worthy of debate, and questions which will continue to go unanswered while we concentrate instead on whether the war was 'worth it'.

    The article below was written by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University and an intern at Daniel Pipes' Philadelphia-based think-tank, the Middle East Forum.

    This article appeared February 11, 2013 in The Independent and is archived at
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/was-the-iraq-war-worth-it-is-a-question-unworthy-of-debate--so-why-are-we-still-asking-it-8490182.html


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    HAGEL LIED TO SENATE CONFIRMATION COMMISSION

    Posted by Hadar-Israel, February 11, 2013

    The article below was written by Joel B. Pollak who is Senior Editor-at-Large and In-House Counsel at Breitbart News in Los Angeles, California, and also Editor of Breitbart California. Prior to working alongside conservative media pioneer Andrew Breitbart, he was a Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for Congress in his home state of Illinois, and a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, focusing on human rights and international law. The article appeared February 11, 2013 in the Breitbart magazine and is archived at http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2013/02/11/more-hagel-speeches-emerge-suggesting-he-misled-senate/

    hagel

    Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) told Breitbart News Monday that it has uncovered additional speeches given by former Sen. Chuck Hagel, who is awaiting confirmation as Secretary of Defense.

    The speeches suggest that Hagel may have misled the Senate Armed Services Committee twice during his confirmation hearing on Jan. 31: first, when he suggested that the controversy over his views was about "one individual" quote, vote, or statement rather than his consistent and strongly-held opinions over time; and second, when Hagel told the committee: "We have given the committee every copy of every speech that I have that's out there, every video that I have that's out there."

    In fact, there are many additional speeches "out there," and they show Hagel's long-standing devotion to the view that the U.S. should "engage" Iran and back away from traditional support for Israel.

    Emerson told Breitbart News: "These are not once-off mistakes, as Hagel has described them. Hagel's radical views on Israel and Iran are hard-wired, despite what he told the Senate during his confirmation hearing."

    Those speeches found by the IPT include three inside the committee's five-year timeframe—none of which, apparently, were described by Hagel in his formal submissions. One was an address at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee's annual conference in 2008, where Hagel spoke at a fundraiser for the group's political action committee. The second was a speech at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in September 2008. Emerson said that IPT has not uncovered transcripts or videos of these speeches.

    Other speeches uncovered by IPT include an address to the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC in 2007. A transcript of that speech does not exist, but IPT found a description of his remarks by an admiring blogger in attendance, who called Hagel the "highlight": "Hagel scored a very big hit with the audience by recounting his run-ins with the so-called 'Israeli lobby' (that term has about as much finesse as the word 'neoconservative'), in particular with one journalist who suggested that his support for Israel was not strong enough."

    Though the latter speeches fall outside the five-year window, they demonstrate a consistent commitment by Hagel to the view that the U.S. needed to change its relationship with Israel, refrain from the option of military force against Iran, and appease the demands of Arab states as well as the prejudices of anti-Israel activists.

    New recordings of, transcripts of, and accounts of Hagel's speeches are emerging almost daily. On Sunday, Breitbart News revealed the existence of video footage of remarks made by Hagel in 2008, during which Hagel suggested that the U.S. should not attack Iran even to defend Israel from existential danger, and also implied that Israel, not Iran, posed the greatest danger of a first nuclear strike in the Middle East.

    Last week, Breitbart News highlighted a speech Hagel delivered in October 2007 to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in which the former Nebraska Senator said that the U.S. needed to "reverse optics" in its relationship with Israel in order to improve its diplomatic credibility.

    The consistent pattern is not only that Hagel has expressed radical views, but that he has been sought out, and applauded, by those with even more radical views than he has been willing to express openly, including anti-Israel groups in particular.

    Today, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin (D-MI) announced that he would bring Hagel's confirmation to a vote in the committee on Tuesday. Former Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) declared that he was satisfied by Hagel's financial disclosures, and announced that he would oppose any effort by Republican colleagues to walk out of the vote.

    Yet despite plans for a vote by the full Senate later this week, current Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) vowed to place a "hold" on Hagel's confirmation once it reached the Senate floor "for as long as it takes," saying that Hagel's views on Israel in particular disqualified him.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has also said that he would block Hagel's confirmation, as well as the confirmation of CIA Director nominee John Brennan, until the Obama administration provides a full and truthful account of its conduct during and after the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September.

    Hadar Israel is a non-profit educational grassroots organization that builds personal links between English speaking Israelis and the international community in order to encourage understanding and support for the State of Israel as the secure home of the Jewish people. Contact them at info@hadar-israel.org or go to their website at www.hadar-israel.org


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    BDS AND THE JEWISH STUDIES TRAP

    Posted by Barbara Sommer, February 11, 2013

    The article below was written by Alexander H. Joffe who is an archaeologist and historian. He is currently a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow of the Middle East Forum and a research associate of the Institute for Community and Jewish Research. His web site is www.alexanderjoffe.net. This article was published in the Middle East Forum, on Feruary 08, 2013 and is archived at
    http://www.meforum.org/3445/bds-jewish-studies

    The recent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) event at Brooklyn College featuring professional Palestinian Omar Barghouti and celebrity anti-Israel academic Judith Butler was true to form. A dual purpose was served. For one, students and staff were treated to calls for the destruction of Israel, conducted in a quasi-academic setting, with the implicit endorsement of the institution. Second, as always, trap was sprung on opponents of such campus abuses. Having successfully planned the event and represented it as an intellectual exploration of the one state solution, in which Israel is made extinct, the inevitable complaints regarding its one-sidedness and borderline antisemitism were met with the usual howls of censorship and demands for academic freedom. Politicians became involved on both sides. City Council members were opposed to the campus and tax dollars supporting an anti-Israel recruitment rally. Mayor Bloomberg then came out in favor, and with characteristic tact and insight, condemned the event's content and scolded the presumably close-minded opponents, wittily telling them to apply to school in North Korea.

    Never mind that any event promoting a parallel desire to eliminate Palestine would not be able to schedule a room at a university, much less garner faculty support. And never mind that anti-Israel voices are omnipresent on American campuses, and regularly shout down supporters of Israel, sometimes, as Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren found at the University of California at Irvine, quite literally. Lost in the accusations and counter-accusations is how the BDS movement has been relentlessly successful at politicizing American campuses and implicating Jews in its efforts.

    The trap works like this. An outside group such as the "International Solidarity Movement," a group of students, or an individual faculty member sponsors a BDS event, usually without the knowledge of the administration. Then someone, usually from the Jewish community, catches wind and protests, and the administration either plays dumb about having rented a room to haters or is forced to defend the event under the guise of "academic freedom." More perniciously, the college or university's Jewish Studies program is then asked to participate in the anti-Israel rally for the sake of "balance" or to develop a counter-program. Sometimes this is baked in from the beginning by BDS organizers. If Jewish studies faculty members go along, then there is "balance" and the event cannot be attacked. If not, then "balance" has been sought but the resulting lack is the fault of the Jewish Studies program.

    Jewish Studies at American colleges and universities are almost wholly apolitical in the sense that they were created and are maintained — largely by the Jewish community rather than the institutions themselves — as means for placing serious scholarship and teaching about Jewish history and culture into the academic environment. Individual faculty members have a wide range of political viewpoints, most of which they keep to themselves. The programs often offer courses on Zionism and Israel, not as institutional endorsements but as serious treatments of important historical and cultural phenomena. In fact, most such courses take pains to be "fair," unlike many of their counterparts in political science or history departments, which privilege the "expertise" of Norman Finkelstein, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and others.

    Seriousness and fairness are the trap when dealing with the BDS movement. Few Jewish Studies faculty are activists in any way; in fact, the majority of American faculty members are not activists either, another fact counted on by the hard core of deeply political faculty — mostly in the humanities and social sciences — who are bitterly opposed to Israel.

    Specialists in medieval Jewish history, Yiddish culture or Biblical Archaeology are thus compelled to participate or not in the kangaroo courts and to debate individuals who spend their entire lives devoted to the destruction of Israel. Most cannot knowledgeably discuss the Hussein-McMahon correspondence of 1915 or Palestinian politics since the creation of the PLO in 1964, or a hundred other details that are thrown up as factoids to discredit and dismantle Israel. The implication in asking Jewish Studies faculty is that as specialists on the Jews, or as Jews themselves, they should somehow should know everything; the reality is that most do not. This too is a trap. Untenured faculty members rarely take the bait; there is too much at stake, while tenured faculty risk their relationships with colleagues and being forever targeted by professional Palestinian supporters.

    Most Jewish Studies faculty members are quiet teachers and scholars, who also know that the prevailing winds on campus blow against Israel and Zionism. Promotion and tenure, grant money, leadership roles in departments and colleges, and the ability to get along on a daily basis, are often shaped by attitudes toward Israel. The BDS movement turns these undercurrents into an outright litmus test.

    By putting Jewish Studies faculty in the position of being the "balance" against BDS, proponents of destroying Israel successfully put faculty on the defensive, forcing them to either speak out in rigged settings with packed audiences ready to shout them down, or to remain silent. "Good Jews" speak out against Israel, while pro-Israel Jews are cast as favoring the "colonialist-settler" state. Either way they and the university as a whole are implicated and sullied by the sordid pseudo-intellectualism of BDS, which pretends to present alternative viewpoints and arguments regarding the current existence of Israel and its relationships with the Palestinians, by demanding Israel's extinction.

    Exploiting the idea of human rights that is worshiped as a secular religion on campus, relying on spineless administrators and witless politicians who gladly mistake anarchy and hatred for academic freedom, and supported by a hard core of faculty members and students who passionately hate Israel, BDS professionals like Barghouti and their famous faculty enablers like Butler move from campus to campus largely unopposed. Without loudly exposing their game at every stage, they will continue to win.

    Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com


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    NO LONGER A BYSTANDER TO REVOLUTION

    Posted by Fred Reifenberg, February 11, 2013

    The article below was written by Gabriel Schinmann who is a Ph.D. candidate in international relations at Georgetown University. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Jerusalem Post, National Interest, DefenseNews, and The Washington Quarterly. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and is a graduate of Harvard College. This article appeared in the JINSA website February 11, 2013 and is archived at
    http://www.jinsa.org/fellowship-program/gabriel-scheinmann/no-longer-bystander-revolution

    Depending on what one believes, a week-and-a-half ago Israeli fighter jets struck either an arms convoy in Lebanon, the Assad regime's nerve center for biological and chemical weapons research in Damascus, or an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) headquarters, in an attempt to contain the spillover from the Syrian civil war. Irrespective of the targets, the misnamed "Arab Spring" has finally ensnared Israel, which, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has endeavored to avoid being dragged into the unraveling chaos of the Arab uprisings.

    Careful to eschew a public role that could shine the spotlight on "Israel" and the accompanying anti-Semitic conspiracies, Jerusalem has said little, done less, and hoped that the revolutionary tidal wave would not sweep away too many of Israel's regional security maxims. Fearful of both instability and Islamist ascendancy, Israel's strategy has been defensive, clutching to the status quo as best it could.

    Beginning last fall in Gaza and, as indicated by its most recent strike in Syria, Israeli strategy has moved into a second phase. Its deterrence eroded, Israel is now seeking to deny the introduction of elements that could alter a currently favorable military balance. With no end in sight to the changes in Egypt or Syria, this strike is neither the first, nor the last action Jerusalem will take to contain the ripples of the Arab revolts. Once a bystander to the changes engulfing its region, Israel has now begun to proactively shape the security environment more to its liking.

    Over the last two years, the explosive cocktail of Islamist movements and breakdowns in state control has wreaked havoc on the Middle East. Low-level violence along Israel's borders has surged following the collapse of the Mubarak regime as well as the Sunni uprising in Syria. The Sinai Peninsula has become a merge point for two, multi-lane arms-trafficking highways: the "Iranian Interstate" that comes westward by sea and then up through Sudan and Egypt and the "Benghazi Byway" which snakes eastward across the Libyan and Egyptian deserts.

    Flush with arms and the Morsi government's tacit political support, terrorist cells are using the lawless Sinai to launch missiles and attacks directly into Israel. Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of the now ruling Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has also reaped the benefits. It now has two patrons, Iran and Egypt, and an increasingly large volume of more lethal arms that have been smuggled into Gaza. Moreover, IDF positions on the Golan Heights have been shelled, prompting the Israeli destruction of a Syrian mobile artillery unit, the first cross-border fire since the Yom Kippur War.

    Until last November, the Israeli response had been largely defensive. First, it upgraded its passive defenses, hardening infrastructure along the Gaza border and constructing high-tech fences along its Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian borders to stem infiltration. Sinai terrorists had breached the Israeli border in deadly attacks in August 2011 and August 2012 and Assad had instigated a human wave of Palestinian refugees across the Israel-Syrian DMZ in May and June 2011. Second, it accelerated the deployment of Iron Dome, its short-range missile defense system, which has proved instrumental in protecting Israeli communities from lethal rocket fire. Third, Netanyahu, careful to avoid making "Israel" the story, acted with remarkable restraint to the increased rocket fire from Gaza, even as such fire doubled each year from the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead.

    The Israeli governments did not want to embark on an operation that would allow either Assad or Islamist forces across the region to use "Israel's actions" as a rallying cry. As a result, Israeli deterrence power slowly deteriorated. Lastly, Netanyahu's government has been an ardent public supporter of the Obama administration's approach to the Arab revolts, even if the reality behind closed is starkly different. It has remained, like the United States, publicly supportive of Egypt's supposed "democratic" transition, downplaying the palpable anti-Semitism of the new Egyptian president's Islamist movement, and has made sure to never be out ahead of President Obama on Syria.

    Starting last fall, however, Israel's strategy has shifted, moving from defense to denial, in an attempt to shape its future security environment. Knowing it could no longer count on Egypt to prevent weapons smuggling, Israel took matters into its own hands.

    In late October, Israeli fighter jets reportedly destroyed an IRGC-linked weapons factory in Sudan, demonstrating simultaneously that Israel was capable of hitting targets far from home (paging Tehran) and deciding that it was politically easier to interdict arms shipments to Gaza at an earlier transit point.

    A month later, sensing its deterrence decaying as a result of its failure to adequately respond to attacks from Gaza, the Sinai, and Syria - at one point in November, Israel received fire simultaneously across all three borders, a first in nearly 40 years - Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, eliminating a tranche of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership and scores of long-range missiles capable of reaching both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The increase in range and lethality of Hamas arms - the week before the war, Hamas had fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep and had previously launched man-portable anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli helicopters - was quickly challenging Israeli operational freedom in the air and along the Gaza border.

    The recent purported Israeli airstrikes in Syria do not mark a new turn in Israeli strategy, but instead are a continuation of a more proactive Israeli policy begun last fall. Concerned that "game-changing" Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles were being transferred to Hezbollah or smuggled by Sunni jihadist rebels, Israel took preemptive military action in order to maintain its current military superiority.

    Thus far, the shift in strategy has reaped dividends. Israel has not faced any retaliation either for its recent strikes or the Sudan ones back in October and only a single projectile has been fired from Gaza in the two-and-a-half months since the end of the war, the longest period of quiet in over a decade. For the moment, Israeli deterrence power has been restored.

    Israeli actions mark a new phase in how Israel will weather the changes in the region. A strategy of building physical walls and virtual domes in the sky, while vital to Israel's defense, was at best, a delay mechanism. It postponed the day on which Israel would have to make decisions that involved direct military action rather than simple defense.

    As the fallout from the Arab revolts continue to take their toll, Israel will likely directly act to maintain its complete air superiority and prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to any enemy element in the region. Although Israeli military action in Egypt is not on the radar, future IDF arms denial operations either close to home in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza or further afield in Libya, Sudan, and at sea (the "Iranian Interstate" originates as a maritime route) are not unexpected.

    Israel's shift in policy is the natural consequence of the Obama administration's hands-off approach to the Arab revolts. Unable to control the arms flows from Libya and Iran and unwilling to intercede in Syria, the White House should not be surprised that its allies, which are on the frontlines of this instability, will act to prevent a further deterioration of the situation.

    As Israel, and perhaps others, acts to proactively prevent challenges to its operational maneuverability and deterrent power, the Obama administration should unreservedly support Jerusalem's actions. If "leading from behind" is truly the Administration's doctrine, then it should indeed support its allies' leadership.

    Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il


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    MALI: A DIPLOMATIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ISRAEL,

    Posted by Besa Center, February 12, 2013

    The article below was written by Dr. Emmanuel Navon who is CEO, The Business Network for International Cooperation (BNIC), which is located in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Contact BNIC by email at emmanuel@bnic.org. Its website address is http://www.bnic.org. BNIC is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve Israel's international image and business presence. Through BNIC, Israel's business leaders and communications specialists join their resources, talents and efforts to counter the international de-legitimization and defamation campaign orchestrated against the State of Israel. This article appeared February 11, 2013 in the BESA Perspectives Papers 197 and is archived at
    http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/mali-a-diplomatic-opportunity-for-israel/

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: France's military intervention against Mali's Islamists has provided Israel with an opportunity to improve its relations with France and restore its ties with Africa's non-Arab Muslim countries. This opportunity should be seized by Israel's next foreign minister.

    France intervened in Mali to protect its vital interests. For years, al-Qaeda has been trying to overtake the countries of the Sahel region, and Mali is its main target. Without the French military intervention, Mali would have become the first Islamic state of the Sahel region, followed by neighboring Niger, a country on which France heavily depends for its uranium imports. Yet, by defending its interests, France has opened a diplomatic opportunity for Israel.

    Mali, Africa, and the Arab World

    Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traoré had very harsh words for the Arab members of the African Union on the closing day of the organization's summit in Addis Ababa on January 27, 2013. Addressing the Arab states that had condemned France's air attacks against the Islamists — such as Egypt and Tunisia — Traoré questioned their refusal to condemn the horrific actions inflicted by the Islamists on the people of Mali, but willingness to express outrage against a French intervention.

    Mali's political leaders and opinion-makers openly express their feeling of betrayal by the Arab countries, especially those run by Islamist regimes; after cutting ties with Israel under Arab pressure, they expected those same Arab states to aid them in their fight against the Islamists. Instead, the Arab countries condemned France, not the Islamists. A recent article in the Malian daily Le Matin directed its critique specifically at the Palestinians and their ambassador to Mali, Abu Rabah. In addition to being the PLO's ambassador, Abu Rabah is the head of Mali's diplomatic protocol. He is ubiquitous in the media and has managed to put the "Palestinian cause" on top of Mali's national agenda — including the naming of a public square in Bamako, Mali's capital, after the "Palestinian Martyr" Mohamed al-Dura. Yet Abu Rabah did not have a single word to say against the Islamists. Le Matin not only lashed out at Abu Rabah, it claimed that the Islamists are backed by the Arab and Muslim countries. Since Mali has been duped by its so-called Muslim brethren, Le Matin concluded, it should change its foreign policy.

    Mali's feeling of betrayal is reminiscent of Africa's disappointment in the Arab and Muslim world in the 1970s, when Libya and Saudi Arabia tried to use financial incentives to encourage African countries to cut ties with Israel. After the Yom Kippur War, the Arab League threatened to apply its oil embargo to Africa. As a result, all African countries (except Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, and Swaziland) severed their ties with Israel. But they soon realized that their move had no benefit, and that the Arab League was willing to share its enemies but not its oil. More and more African leaders and opinion-makers openly charged the Arabs of racism, reminding them of their past slavery trade in Africa. They were also concerned by Muammar Gaddafi's expansionist and destabilizing policies.

    In the 1980s, Israel proactively re-engaged Africa under the leadership of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Ministry Director-General David Kimche. Most African countries restored their ties with Israel in the 1980s and 1990s. However, some African states changed course in the following decade. Niger severed its diplomatic relations with Israel in 2000 at the outbreak of the Second Intifada, and Mauritania in 2009, after Israel's military operation in Gaza. Both countries are Muslim, and both were influenced by Iran.

    Iran's Influence in Africa

    In 2008, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that his country intended to develop ties with Africa. One year later, he visited many African countries with Iranian diplomats and generals, signing commercial, diplomatic, and defense deals. Israel lost a project of water sewage in Senegal after Iran promised to carry out the same work at lower cost. Iran's influence in Africa also relies on Lebanon's rich and influential diaspora in countries such as Congo, Guinea, and Senegal, which donates money to Hizballah.

    However, with the electoral victory of Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, and with the nearly takeover of Mali by al-Qaeda, more and more African countries are becoming fearful of Iran and of its Islamist allies. Ethiopia, forced to confront Islamist militias backed by nearby rebels in Somalia, has become one of Israel's closest allies in Africa, as well as a major buyer of Israeli defense equipment. Kenya, which also faces Islamist terrorism from neighboring Somalia, is interested in strengthening its military ties with Israel. Even Nigeria reportedly spent about $500 million on Israeli military equipment in the past few years.

    Israel's Opportunity in Mali

    Mali's anger at Arab countries, especially Egypt, is part of a wider African fear of Islamic influence and of Iranian meddling on the continent. Even though France's military intervention in Mali is only meant to serve French interests, it opens a window of opportunity which Israel should seize to improve its relations with Africa and with France itself.

    French military strikes against Mali's Islamists are in stark contrast with France's backing of the Muslim rebels in Côte d'Ivoire during that country's civil war in 2002-2011. There, President Laurent Gbagbo, a Christian, started challenging France's strong economic grip over his country. His defiant policy created a community of interests between France and Côte d'Ivoire's Muslim rebels led by Alassane Ouattara. Hence did France support the Muslim rebels from Côte d'Ivoire's northern region against Gbagbo and the Christian south. The embattled Ivorian president, a close friend of Israel, sought and obtained Israel's logistical help. France and Israel ended up confronting each other by proxy in Côte d'Ivoire. In April 2011, then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a French military commando to oust Gbagbo from his bunker, allowing Ouattara to take the presidency.

    While France and Israel collided in Côte d'Ivoire, the policy of President François Hollande in Mali creates a new community of interests, since France is now fighting forces that are hostile to Israel. Thus, the Malian crisis constitutes an opportunity for Israel to improve its relations with France and with former French colonies in Africa. This opportunity should be seized by Israel's next foreign minister.

    BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family. Visit their websites at http//:www.besacenter.org


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    BENNETT APOLOGY TO PM'S WIFE PAVES WAY FOR MEETING

    Posted by Ted Belman, February 12, 2013

    Comments below by Ted Belman:

    It bothers me that Bennett was forced to apologize as a condition of being in the government. While Bibi has every right to consult his wife. it another matter when he empowers her to enter the fray on his behalf. Bennett has every right to be pissed off with her meddling. But is it right that Bibi should make a Bennett apology as a precondition to entering the coalition.

    This article was written by Gil Hoffman who is the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. He has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, has been interviewed by top media on six continents and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. This article February 11, 2013 in the Jerusalem Postand is archived at
    http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Bennett-apology-to-PMs-wife-paves-way-for-meeting

    Bayit Yehudi chief to meet PM for first time in 5 years after apologizing to Sara Netanyahu for "course on terror" remark.

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will hold a long-awaited meeting with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett on Monday in Tel Aviv, after Bennett took to the airwaves to apologize to Netanyahu's wife, Sara, for saying that he had endured "a course on terror" with her.

    The prime minister has met with the leaders of all of the Knesset's 12 parties since the January 22 election, except Bayit Yehudi. Even though the Likud had announced Thursday evening that Netanyahu would meet with Bennett at the beginning of this week, Netanyahu's office did not even call Bennett's associates to organize the meeting until Bennett apologized.

    The last meeting between Netanyahu and the Bayit Yehudi leader took place five years ago, before Bennett quit his job as Netanyahu's chief of staff following a dispute with Sara. In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday morning, Bennett defended the prime minister's much-maligned wife.

    "The attacks on Sara Netanyahu are unacceptable," Bennett said. "She is a good woman who loves her husband.

    He has a right to consult with her, as I do with my wife. If someone wants to criticize Netanyahu's policies, he's the address, not her."

    Bennett's associates said he would devote the meeting to his socioeconomic agenda, which includes lowering housing costs, rehabilitating poor neighborhoods, an open skies policy for competition with El Al and advancing a bill that would prevent tycoons from owning too many companies.

    Netanyahu intends to check whether Bennett would be willing to join a coalition without Yesh Atid, despite reports of a political deal between Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. Likud sources have said they would be willing to give Bayit Yehudi better portfolios if they become the first party to join the coalition.

    Bayit Yehudi is seeking the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee, and while Bennett wants the Construction and Housing portfolio, he would settle for another top economic portfolio like Transportation or Industry, Trade and Labor.

    Negotiations with Yesh Atid will resume on Monday. Channel 10 reported that if Lapid is not given the Foreign Ministry, he might take the Finance portfolio and give it to a professional economist while taking a less senior ministry for himself. The report said Lapid told Likud officials that he did not have the skills to be finance minister or defense minister.

    Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman has insisted on Netanyahu holding the Foreign Ministry for him until he is cleared of charges in his ongoing corruption trials. He continued his recent attacks on Lapid on Sunday.

    "Lapid is wanted in the next government, as long as he knows he will be a senior coalition partner and not the acting prime minister," Liberman said at a Knesset press conference.

    "As long as he realizes that, he is wanted."

    Liberman has gotten closer in recent weeks with Shas after initially calling for a government without haredim. Bennett, meanwhile, condemned recent statements by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef against Bayit Yehudi and Lapid.

    "The statements of Shas against our party and Lapid are unnecessary," Bennett said. "I don't take such statements personally. But there is no monopoly on the Torah. The world of Torah is no less important to me than it is to Shas. You can learn Torah and serve in the army and work."

    Yosef on Saturday evening criticized the Yesh Atid leader as "contemptible" and a "yeshiva hater." His comments come amid coalition negotiations in which Lapid's insistence on increasing the haredi army draft is at odds with Shas's position.

    Lapid is not the first political opponent that Yosef has lambasted during his weekly Saturday evening sermon.

    During the election campaign, Yosef lashed out at Bayit Yehudi, calling it a "house for goyim [non-Jews]" that religious Jews should not vote for.

    In the Army Radio interview, Bennett blamed his party falling from 15 seats in the polls to 12 seats in the election on two public opinion makers who he said told him they worked to bring down his party: Channel 2 journalist Amnon Abramovich and Muli Segev, who produces the satire show Eretz Nehederet (Wonderful Country).

    Abramovich aired a report before the election that painted Bayit Yehudi candidate Jeremy Gimpel as an extremist and took statements he made about the Temple Mount out of context. Eretz Nehederet portrayed Bennett as a latent extremist.

    Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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    PAKISTAN IS AN ENEMY OF THE UK... BUT WHAT OF BRITISH PAKISTANIS?

    Posted by Paul Murphy, February 12, 2013

    "We are at war and I am a soldier... your support of [your governments] makes you directly responsible... just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters." — Sidique Khan (London bomber)

    london

    Part One: Some Background

    In 2002, MI5 stated that out of 100 terrorists in the UK, 40 were of Pakistani origin.

    Similarly, British Ministers, some time later, said that 70% of terrorism affecting the UK has links to Pakistan. Despite that, two weeks after the London bombings of 2005, a Foreign Office Minister, Ian Pearson, said:

    'The governments of Pakistan is a key ally in the effects we are making to combat extremism, radicalisation and terrorism, both in the UK and overseas."

    Bahukutumbi Rahman, a former Indian intelligence officer, wrote that "the seeds of the radicalisation of the Pakistani Diaspora in the UK were sown during the military dictatorship of Zia [in the late 1970s]". This was partly a reference to General Zia encouraging many Deobandi clerics, from Pakistan, to go to the UK as preachers in the mosques attended by British Pakistanis.

    It can be said that one of the first signs of the Islamisation of Pakistani Brits (before the 'Rushdie Affair') came in February 1984 when a group of British terrorists, of Pakistani origin, kidnapped an Indian diplomat posted to the Assistant High Commission in Birmingham (UK). The British Pakistani terrorists demanded the release of a leader of a terrorist group. The Indian government refused the demand. The UK terrorists killed the diplomat.

    Yet before that, in 1974, an Islamic Foundation was set up in Leicester to propagate the Islamist ideology of the Pakistani political group Jamaat al-Islami, a group which promised to spread Sharia law to both Muslims and non-Muslims. Indeed a former chairman and rector of the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, Professor Kurshad Ahmad, also doubled up as the vice president of the Jamaat al-Islami party in Pakistan.

    Similarly, and a little later, in 1978, a European headquarters of the extreme movement Tablighi Jamaat was set up in, of all places, Dewsbury (West Yorkshire). Tablighi Jamaat was, and is, a huge recruiter for jihad across the world. Indeed the 7/7 bomber, Sidique Khan (see intro) attended the Tablinghi Jamaat Mosque in Dewsbury.

    The Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat, again, who are active elsewhere in the UK, want Pakistani Muslims, and all other Muslims, to return to the basics of Islam and separate themselves from non-Muslims — from you and I.

    Of course it was the demonstrations against Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses which realty brought extreme Islam to our shores.

    At that time, the Saudis encouraged a number of groups, all inspired by Jamaat-I-Islami, in the UK to set up the United Kingdom Action Committee on Islamic Affairs (UKACIA) to run the demos against the Satanic Verses (primarily in Bradford).

    This should be no surprise once we become aware of the propaganda, direct from Pakistan, which is often and frequently beamed into the homes, via satellite, of British Pakistani Muslims. These programmes often inform them about such facts as that the 'Hindus are out to massacre them'.

    On top of that there are the many radicalised mosques throughout the UK. Imams —often supporters of Wahhabism - brought directly over from Pakistan to feed the prejudices of British Pakistanis.

    In addition, the Ahle Hadith Wahhabist movement, also funded by Saudi Arabia, and which runs countless extreme madrasses in Pakistan, also has over 50 'Islamic centres' in England alone (as of 2006). On the Ahle Hadith website it tells its readers that their fellow UK citizens — you and I — are "kuffar" and warns them:

    "Be different from the Jews and Christians. Their ways are based on sick or deviant views concerning their societies."

    Part Two: Some Blood and Guts

    "It can truthfully be said that the roots of the London bombings (2005) go back to Pakistan."

    Sadique Khan was trained in northern Pakistan in July 2003. Indeed three of the four bombers — Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain — visted Pakistan between November 2004 and January 2005 (six months before the London bombings). Two bombers, Khan and Tanweer, also visited madrasses in Lahore and Faisalabad — not just to pray and study, but also to learn how to make explosives.

    The London bombers also received 'advice or direction' from many individuals in Pakistan.

    Muktar Said Ibrahim, the leader of the later 21st July bombing plot — the failed attempt by five British Islamists to attack London's transport system — had also been to Pakistan at similar times to that of Khan and Tanweer. They attended training camps there.

    It is very likely that the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) trained the 7/7 bombers, as well as many other UK Islamoterrorists of Pakistani background. For example, Omar Khyam, who was then a 25-year-old Pakistani from Surrey, was the leader of a group of five men who were found guilty, in April 2007, of a bomb plot in the UK. Previously, in 2002, Omar Khyam had trained in a camp near Muzaffarabad — the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Khyam's family had a history of serving in the Pakistani military and in the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) and it was 'by using [his] military connections' that he was 'found' in Pakistan and brought back to the UK.

    In addition, Dhiron Barot, a British convert (or 'revert'!) to Islam, was given a 40-year prison sentence in 2006 for plotting various bomb outrages in the UK and the US. He had already undergone 'lengthy training in Pakistan' in 1995. The skills he acquired might have been used in his subsequent planned terrorist attacks, which included setting off a radio-active 'dirty bomb' and gassing the Heathrow Express train. He too was probably trained by Pakistan's ISI.

    A camp run by the psychotic terrorist group Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HUM), in Pakistan's Mansehra, had for years taken British volunteers from the Finsbury Park Mosque (Abu Hamza's pad) for training. Khan, the 7/7 bomber, visited this very same camp in July 2001, while Tanweer (another 7/7 bomber) was trained there in handling explosives and arms.

    A Pakistani state-controlled offshoot of HUM is the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), which had many contacts with British UK bombers when these British Pakistanis visited Pakistan.

    Rashid Rauf, also a British Pakistani, was thought to be involved in the August 2006 plot to bomb Heathrow Airport, was also a member of Pakistan's JEM.

    Another JEM of British Pakistani origin was Mohammed Bilal, who, as a 24-year-old in 2000, drove a car full of explosives into an Indian army base, at Srinagar, killing nine people in the process.

    The JEM is known to recruit among British men of Kashmiri and Punjabi (a region of Pakistan) background.

    There is also the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which was partly formed by the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI) and in whose camps hundreds of British Pakistanis have be trained to become jihadists. Some of the 7/7 bombers are thought to have had contacts with LET when they visited Pakistan.

    Contact Paul Murphy at paulaustinmurphy2000@yahoo.co.uk


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    THE NEWEST CHARGE OF THE SPEECH BRIGADE

    Posted by Steven E. Plaut, February 12, 2013

    The Likud government and its leftist Attorney General continue to jihad against freedom of speech in Israel. The Likud has always been devoted to defending freedom of speech for Arab fascists and for Jewish anti-Israel radical leftists, just not for anyone else. Under the Likud (much like under the Labor Party Mensheviks), the Kahanists were criminalized and denied freedom of speech. People making "insensitive" or "racist" comments or having insensitive bumper stickers or Tee shirts were arrested, but only if they were being insensitive towards Arabs. Likudian Israel still enforces Israel's ridiculous "anti-racism" laws that allow the police to arrest Jews making anti-Arab comments. All of Israel is subject to a "speech code."

    Let us be clear. In real democracies it is not a crime to make a racist or insensitive or bigoted comment. If it were, half the universities in the United States would be shut down for issuing anti-Semitic statements. If you make an intolerant racist comment in a real democracy, you might get punched in the nose but the police will not arrest you. Civilized people may repudiate you or mock you or dismiss you. But you will NOT be taken to jail.

    Israel's semi-democratic regime has a long track record of suppressing freedom of speech and arresting people for the "crime" of "racism." Judges studiously refuse to defend freedom of speech. A rabbi who wrote a book deemed "racist" was harassed by the police, as were other rabbis who recommended that people read the book. People have been arrested for wearing "anti-Arab" tee shirts or having bumper stickers on their cars, where "anti-Arab" would include slogans like "Those who want rights must also fulfill obligations," or "I like Rabbi Kahane." A Jewish woman did hard jail time in prison for drawing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed as a pig. [Drawing Jews as long-nosed caricatures drinking the blood of Arab children is protected speech though.] You may regard such a cartoon as vulgar and offensive, but Israel is the only Western democracy where anti-Moslem cartoonists are jailed (unlike Holland and Denmark!). Salman Rushdie could be jailed under Israel's speech code..

    The criminalization of "bigotry" in Israel is entirely selective. No Arabs or leftists are jailed or indicted for making anti-Jewish comments or publishing anti-Semitic tracts or books (such as those by Tel Aviv University professor Shlomo Sand, which are required reading at TAU!). Arab students may chant openly on campus support for suicide bombings against Jews and the campus authorities defend this as academic freedom. But a Ben Gurion University professor who expressed the opinion that it may not be healthy for children to be raised by homosexual couples was fired by BGU president Rivka Carmi. THAT, you see, was intolerable bigotry.

    Arabs calling upon Iran to drop nuclear weapons on Tel Aviv is protected speech in Netanyahu's Israel. Calling upon Jews not to lease apartments in Jewish neighborhoods to Arabs will get you arrested, as will calling on Jewish women not to date Arabs. (Arab women who date Jewish men of course are subject to honor killings.) Even calling on men not to date other men might just get you into hot water. The political establishment in Israel wants the entire country to be subjected to a national speech code, one that prohibits making "insensitive" comments, but only those about Arabs (and gays).

    I have in the past on occasion commented about soccer hooliganism in Israel. Like in most of the rest of the world, soccer fans in Israel get rowdy and vulgar. Some of the soccer teams are those of Arab towns, and, at matches between Jewish and Arab teams, the fans tend to yell things at the other side such as "Kill all the Jews" or "I hate Arabs." I do not approve of such things, and in fact in the past have proposed that the rest of society deal with the vulgarity by requiring that all sports events reporting in the media be conducted in Latin. But I also do not think that those making such catcalls are breaking any law or deserve to be imprisoned. Washing their mouths out with soap would be fine with me.

    But the Likud regime disagrees. Making moronic "racist" catcalls at soccer matches is a crime in Netanyahu's Israel, and only when the catcalls are anti-Arab.

    Think I am exaggerating? Take a look at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165115

    As you see there, the police, no doubt at the orders of the leftist Attorney General, have started rounding up Jewish catcallers but not Arab catcallers. "Massacre the Jews" is protected speech in Israel. Saying "Muhammad was no prophet, just another Arab" however is hate speech. Two young Jews were arrested by the police for the "crime" of making this "anti-Arab" catcall at the soccer match.

    Now just for the record, the number of "civil rights" groups and activists, the number of law professors terribly concerned about freedom of speech, and the number of Israeli Democracy Institute members who have spoken out against this arbitrary assault against freedom of speech for Jews is exactly zero!

    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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    CAMBRIDGE AND OXFORD SET SIGHTS ON JEWISH GENIZAH

    Posted by Arutz Sheva, February 12, 2013

    The article below was written by Rachel Hirshfeld who is a writer and a member of the Arutz Sheva news staff. She recently made aliya. She is an NYU graduate and served as the Jewish Agency representative on campus. She worked for the Zionist Organization of America and is currently the Coordinator of Diaspora Affairs of the Im Tirtzu Zionist movement. Contact her at Arutz Sheva at news@israelnationalnews.com. This article appeared February 12, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165151#.VQxRsT8wuC0

    document

    Cambridge and Oxford universities announced on Friday that they will be conducting a collaborative fund-raising effort aimed at purchasing the Lewis-Gibson Genizah Collection before it is sold off to private collectors.

    Currently owned by the United Reformed Church's Westminster College in Cambridge and worth about $1.6 million, it is made up of 1,700 fragments of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts, of both religious and secular importance, dating from the 9th to the 19th century.

    The documents were part of the Cairo Genizah collection unearthed by chance in the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Egypt by twin sisters Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop and brought back to the UK in 1896. The sisters showed their finds to Professor Solomon Schechter of Cambridge, who realized their significance.

    000 folios. Scholars have been painstakingly reading the Judaeo-Arabic fragments and organizing the collection for years, while others have written on the light the fragments shed on Jewish life.

    "In the late 19th century, Oxford's Bodleian Library and Cambridge University Library were rivals in trying to acquire materials from the Cairo Genizah," said Cambridge University librarian Anne Jarvis.

    "Today we are taking a different stance, seeking to build on our collections while recognising that there would be a greater benefit to scholarship if we joined together to save the Lewis-Gibson collection from division and dispersal," she said.


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    ARE WE REALLY SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE FRYING PAN AND THE FIRE?

    Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, February 12, 2013

    I forget, which side do we want to win again?

    Following are excerpts from a video-clip featuring a Syrian child singing a song of praise for Osama Bin Laden. The clip was posted on the Internet on February 9, 2013.

    Syrian child: Allah is what we strive for, and He is our goal.

    Our Sheik Jolani has raised the banner.

    Our Sheik Jolani has raised the banner.

    Our Emir Mullah [Omar] did not renounce his religion.

    All the soldiers have pledged their souls to Allah.

    All the soldiers have pledged their souls to Allah.

    Our leader is Bin Laden, the Americans' worst nightmare,

    with the power of faith, and our weapon, the PK machine-gun,

    with the power of faith, and our weapon, the PK machine-gun.

    We have destroyed America with a civilian airplane.

    The World Trade Center was turned into rubble.

    The World Trade Center was turned into rubble.

    Just wait, you Alawite police,

    we have brought slaughter upon you, and there will be no compromise.

    We have brought slaughter upon you, and there will be no compromise.

    They call me a terrorist — this is an honor for me.

    Our terrorism is blessed, a divine call.

    Our terrorism is blessed, a divine call.

    Just wait, you Alawite police,

    we have brought slaughter upon you, and there will be no compromise.

    We have brought slaughter upon you — it is a divine call.

    Say: "Allah Akbar."

    Crowd: Allah Akbar.

    Syrian child: We will defend this village, we will not sell it out.

    We will slaughter the Shiites in the towns of Kfariya and Fu'ah.

    We will slaughter the Shiites in the towns of Kfariya and Fu'ah.

    We will defend this village, we will not sell out Taftanaz.

    We will slaughter the Shiites in the towns of Kfariya and Fu'ah.

    We will slaughter the Shiites in the towns of Kfariya and Fu'ah.

    Say: "Allah Akbar."

    Crowd: Allah Akbar.

    [...]

    Contact Sergio Tezza at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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    LAPID: 10 PERCENT OF THE NATION WILL NOT THREATEN US WITH CIVIL WAR

    Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, February 12, 2013

    This article is from The Yeshiva World News (YWN )— Israel Desk, Jerusalem. It appeared February 12, 2013 and is archive at http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/156447/lapid-10-percent-of-the-nation-will-not-threaten-us-with-civil-war.html

    yair

    In his first-ever address before the Knesset as a MK, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid stated "there will be no civil war. 10% of the population is not able to threaten civil war."

    "We cannot ignore the fact that the discussion of sharing the burden has raised these threatening voices again. It negates the entire concept of democracy. The discussion touches their biggest fears but this exactly why the public elected us to sit in this house. We have not come to create a rift but we have come to unite. The time has come to admit that there is a gaping wound in the heart of our Israeli society," are the words of the new MK, who in the coming days or weeks may become a senior cabinet minister.

    He continued, "And we must tell them that there are clear rules of right and wrong. Women are sent to the back of the bus in Jerusalem and the state already does not know what to say. If permitted to continue, tomorrow there will not be a bus. The rules apply to everyone. Outlaws break into IDF bases and all the state can say is they are shocked, accompanied by weak condemnations. In yishuvim in the north and south police dare not enter. It is anarchy."

    Lapid's tone and his words were clear. He is a messenger to implement change, to compel chareidim to serve in the IDF and national service. He then addressed the diplomatic process between Israel and the PA (Palestinian Authority). He stated the peace process cannot be conducted under the threat of violence and everyone's voice should and must be heard. He touched on his economic vision, as well as the fact that he feels "There is more that unites us than divides us."

    "There are differences of opinion between us. There are arguments but this house not only symbolizes the right to disagree, but that they must be an end [to disagreement]..."

    "We are different people. We have among us chareidim, religious and non-religious, Jews and Muslims, Christians, men and women. There is a genuine beauty in this complex colorful mosaic and an intellectual power. The time has come to fight. For this to occur, we must return the sovereignty to the state. It must return and govern as a sovereign authority and that is the job of this house. Our responsibility; and this is the nice aspect, which together we imagine just how nice the State of Israel may look."

    Lapid then pointed his finger at his agenda to sharply cut the size of the cabinet, stating "The cabinet has 12 unnecessary ministers," signaling he is not about to accept entering a coalition with almost 30 cabinet ministers.

    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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    THE REAL ISRAEL LOBBY: IT'S THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, February 12, 2013

    The article below was written by Carl in Jerusalem who was born in Boston, he was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991. Contact him at: IsraelMatzav at gmail.com.

    This article appeared February 12, 2013 in the Republican Jewish Coalition and is archived at
    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-real-israel-lobby-its-american.html

    Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik argues that, contrary to Chuck Hagel's claims, the real Israel lobby is not the Jews. It's the American people.

    This devotion to Israel's well-being was made most manifest to me when I was privileged to deliver an invocation at the Republican National Convention last August. In my prayer, I spoke of the American belief that our liberties were the gift of God, and that in enunciating this principle America had been called to serve as a "beacon of freedom to the world, and an ally of free countries like the State of Israel, an island of liberty, democracy, and hope." The audience, composed almost entirely of non-Jews, broke into applause at these words, an unusual reaction to an invocation. Most overwhelming was the warm reaction I received from the delegates throughout the day, thanking me for my prayer, and expressing their concern for, and blessings on, Israel.

    This expression of love for Israel was not, as is often unfairly suggested, founded on apocalyptic expectations, but rather on the conviction that Israel is indeed an island of liberty in a region that is an ocean of hostility to America and the American idea. As such, Israel's endurance represents a triumph of the American vision—a vision that was, in part, inspired by the Bible, the book bequeathed to the world by Ancient Israel. The depth of this American conviction was most eloquently expressed not in a rabbinic invocation, but rather in a speech made by a non-Jewish former governor of Texas, who never served as a senator from Israel, but did spend eight years as president of the United States:

    The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul...  In spite of the violence, in defiance of the threats, Israel has built a thriving democracy in the heart of the Holy Land. You have welcomed immigrants from the four corners of the Earth. You have forged a free and modern society based on a love of liberty, a passion for justice, and a respect for human dignity. You have worked tirelessly for peace. And you have fought valiantly for freedom.

    These words were spoken by President George W. Bush in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding. If someone had lived his entire life in Israel and never met an American, he might have been surprised by the profound love for the Jewish state expressed by this non-Jewish president. Yet Americans understand that the president was giving voice not only to his own views but also to those of so many other citizens of the United States. It is because of these Americans that the United States has stood steadfastly with Israel. If anyone ought to understand this, it is a certain former "United States senator"—and a Nebraskan, representiing Middle America, no less.

    Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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    NETANYAHU: I STILL BELIEVE IN A TWO-STATE SOLUTION

    Posted by Steven Plaut, February 12, 2013

    Now that Netanyahu is once again waving about the slogan of a "Two-State Solution" (see this: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4343800,00.html), and never mind that he was just re-elected by voters who were convinced he had completely abandoned that delusion, I thought the time was ripe for re-posting my earlier proposal for a Two-State Solution. This is the only two-state solution that is feasible, and one over which all Israelis from all parts of the spectrum can be brought together to back it in consensus. It is based on two states for two peoples.

    It goes like this: The Jews keep their one state, controlling all the land west of the Jordan River. The Arabs then give up 21 out of their 22 states. They retain just one out of those 22 states, which will be centered in the Arab homeland, Saudi Arabia, ending their occupation of all other lands belonging to other peoples.

    That leaves two states for two peoples.

    SImple!

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Jerusalem conference held by US Jewish Organizations: "I still believe in what I said at the Bar Ilan University regarding two states for two peoples, but we must hold negotiations without preconditions."

    Netanyahu addressed the Iranian issue, promoting the utilization of "Military pressure, seeing as nothing else will accomplish our goals, and a nuclear Iran is rapidly becoming a reality." (Shiri Hadar)

    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 appeared February 11, 2013 in the YNet News and is archived at
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4343800,00.html in the YNet News.com


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    MIDEAST: HISTORICAL REALITY OR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS?

    Posted by Matthew Hausman, February 12, 2013

    Israel may be forced to choose between historical entitlement and political expedience - vindication of her existence by some form of annexation or giving land away and risking its survival.

    It didn't take long after his reelection for Barack Obama and his proxies to announce their intention to restart the Mideast peace process. As usual, the statement was aimed more at Israel than the Palestinians, despite their refusal to negotiate, recognize Israel's right to exist, or renounce incitement and terrorism. Nor did State Department mouthpiece Victoria Nuland wait to start hawking a two-state solution based on the indefensible 1949 Armistice Line and a division of Jerusalem.

    The President was hostile to Israel during his first term and looks to be more overbearing now that he never again has to worry about reelection. Based on his record of bullying Israel and coddling Islamists, it seems likely that he will attempt to enforce a plan that could threaten her survival. Therefore, Israel must decide whether she will assert her historical rights or bow to political correctness in the search for resolution.

    Binyamin Netanyahu was criticized for stating he would seek to renew negotiations with the Palestinians. Yair Shamir, for example, publicly chastised him, proclaiming that "the two-state solution is not in the Likud platform." In their criticism of Netanyahu, Shamir and others hearkened back to his 2009 Bar Ilan University speech in which he said he would accept a Palestinian state if the Palestinians would recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish nation, renounce terrorism, and cease their anti-Semitic incitement. That is, they would have to change their entire outlook regarding the Jews and Israel.

    In addressing Mr. Obama after his State Department speech in which the president said Israel should retreat to the 1949 Armistice Line, Mr. Netanyahu declared that Israel would never accept the "Auschwitz borders" or relinquish control of Jerusalem.

    Regardless of the original intent of the Oslo Accords, they became a mechanism for demanding more of Israel despite her compliance, while ignoring the Palestinians' continual breaches.

    Netanyahu's public statements suggest he will resist the continued use of Oslo to enervate Israel. But he is also faced with the reality of a hostile administration in Washington led by a president who has shown by his cabinet nominations how he intends to undermine Israel during his second term. In nominating John Kerry for Secretary of State, Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan for Director of the CIA, the President has selected people with proven disregard for America's only true ally in the Mideast.

    The views, statements and attitudes of this triumvirate regarding Israel and the Islamist threat range from uninformed to incompetent, and their contempt for Israel — particularly Hagel's — is palpable.

    Though the Oslo process is moribund, Netanyahu may feel that Israel cannot be seen as the party that hastened its death. Practically speaking, the PA's push for upgraded UN status may have done that already, considering that Article 31 specifically states: "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations." The PA's UN initiative violates this provision and arguably gives Israel the right to consider the accords abrogated.

    Those who fear the demise of Oslo should consider that it has been used to promote an agenda — land for peace — that the Arabs have rejected for more than forty years.

    The land-for-peace formula presumes the conflict is about geography and that all the Arabs want is yet another independent state of their own. But it cannot work when one side rejects the other's right to exist and adheres to a religious doctrine that bars permanent peace with subjugated peoples and mandates dissimulation in dealing with "infidels." The two-state paradigm misstates the intrinsic nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is not a struggle for Palestinian national rights, but rather a war of extermination against Israel and her people. It also fails to recognize that an Arab state — Jordan — was already created on eighty percent of the Jewish national homeland in 1921.

    Nevertheless, Netanyahu may feel the need to tread lightly given an international climate that has grown ever more hostile and anti-Semitic. His statements regarding negotiations may be motivated as much by the desire to deflect international criticism and build a coalition as anything else.

    On the other hand, if reports concerning his discussions with Yossi Beilin are accurate, he may agree to an interim Palestinian state with tentative borders, excluding the settlement blocs and Jerusalem — whatever that really means. Moreover, it is unknown what effect a new coalition will have on the process going forward, whether it includes Naftali Bennett and Bayit Yehudi (who favor annexation), Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid (who reportedly reject a construction freeze in existing settlements and a division of Jerusalem but do not support the establishment of new towns in Judea and Samaria), or both.

    Thus, Israel is at a crossroad concerning what direction she should take going forward. She can continue playing the Oslo hand, maintain an uneasy status quo, or search for alternatives that make legal, historical and demographic sense even if they generate international ire. That is, she may be forced to choose between historical entitlement and political expedience. The first approach may vindicate Israel's ancestral rights but further erode her international standing, while the second might please her critics but threaten her survival. Still, Israel must consider the pros and cons of all reasonable options.

    Annexation of Judea and Samaria

    A growing number of Israelis favor some form of annexation in Judea and Samaria, which could be justified historically, legally and demographically. Indeed, the incorporation of lands that were part of the ancient Jewish homeland would be consistent with the vision articulated by the San Remo Conference of 1920 and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922.

    Israel has legitimate claims to Judea and Samaria because they were part of the Second Jewish Commonwealth and never constituted sovereign Arab or Muslim territory thereafter. Jews lived there from ancient times through the British Mandatory period; and their habitation was interrupted only when they were attacked and expelled by Arab-Muslim forces from east of the Jordan River in 1948. Transjordan (now Jordan) occupied these lands and renamed them the "West Bank" just as the Romans had renamed the Kingdom of Judea "Philistia" (Palestine) after the ancient Philistines in an effort to break the Jews' connection to their ancestral homeland. Jordan's annexation violated international law and was recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan. Thus, when Israel acquired these lands during the Six-Day War, she actually liberated them from foreign occupation.

    As noted in the Levy Report, Jewish habitation in these territories does not constitute "occupation." Moreover, it is not inconsistent with the Fourth Geneva Convention because the establishment, reestablishment and growth of Israeli communities there never involved forced population transfers. Perhaps even more significantly, the Levy Report notes the continuing vitality of the legal framework of San Remo and the League of Nations Mandate, which recognized the Jewish right of "close settlement" east and west of the Jordan. In their day, San Remo and the Mandate echoed the prevailing international consensus recognizing the Jews' connection to their ancient homeland. Because the provisions of both were preserved by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, this consensus in turn became UN policy.

    Though Oslo has not played out to Israel's advantage, it did establish three administrative divisions (Areas A, B and C) that may yet have some demographic functionality. Area C comprises approximately sixty percent of Judea and Samaria and has a Jewish population exceeding 350,000, compared to an Arab population calculated only in the tens of thousands. It is under Israeli control and borders the greater Jerusalem neighborhoods that have 250,000 or more Jewish residents. Thus, Israel's key to regional stability begins with Judea and Samaria.

    Asserting Israeli Sovereignty in the Territories

    Many believe that Israel should assert sovereignty in the territories, but disagree regarding method and extent. This was the subject of the recent "Conference on the Application of Sovereignty over Judea & Samaria," at which a panel consisting of MK Aryeh Eldad, journalist Elyakim Haetzni, Dr. Martin Sherman of the Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies, and Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post discussed alternative approaches.

    In the scenario advocated by former MK Aryeh Eldad, Israel would assert sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria while permitting Arabs to stay as legal residents but have voting rights in Jordan. This approach would incorporate traditionally Jewish lands into Israel while facilitating Arab enfranchisement in a country that already has a Palestinian majority. It is also consistent with the Levy Report. Because Jordan comprises most of the lands formerly under the Mandate, and because residency thereunder was not intended to be restricted by national boundaries, this approach conforms to the Mandate's original vision.

    However, critics worry about the toll of maintaining a noncitizen population in Israel, and that political enfranchisement in Jordan will require displacement of the Hashemites or a drastic change in how they regard their Palestinian subjects. The feasibility of this approach is tied to the political fortunes of the Palestinian majority in Jordan.

    Elyakim Haetzni advocates phased annexation in which Israel would assert sovereignty over the territories while granting limited autonomy or self-rule in areas with Arab majorities. The idea is to avoid governing Palestinians directly or extending them Israeli citizenship. Although this approach would eliminate Israeli responsibility for Palestinian governance, it would also set the stage for conflict when Palestinian autonomy conflicts with Israeli sovereignty, such as when Palestinian public-works projects intrude on neighboring Jewish infrastructure.

    A third approach calls for Israel to immediately exercise full sovereignty and evacuate the Arab population with financial compensation. This approach is favored by Martin Sherman, who believes many Arabs would welcome the financial incentive. In light of the expulsion without compensation of eight-hundred thousand Jews from Arab countries in 1948, the history of forced population transfers during wartime (such as that between Pakistan and India in 1947), and Jordanian laws prohibiting Jews from residency or citizenship, one could argue historical and legal precedent for such an approach. But it would also create a public relations nightmare from which Israel might never recover.

    A fourth approach advocated by Caroline Glick calls for exercising immediate sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and providing their Arab residents with the opportunity for citizenship. This approach might be seen as more palatable internationally, but it would produce an Arab electorate that could influence Israeli elections and threaten the Jews' hegemony in their own country. While Jews in Israel and the territories combined outnumber Arabs by two thirds, and though Jews now may have significantly higher birth rates, the resulting Arab voting bloc, especially when combined with the secular left, could succeed in diminishing Israel as a Jewish state — politically if not demographically.

    Then there are those who favor partial annexation by the extension of Israeli sovereignty over Area C only — that is, by incorporating the "settlement blocs." and all the Israeli communities. The benefit of partial annexation is that it would bring into Israel areas with undisputed Jewish majorities, including the greater Jerusalem neighborhoods disingenuously labeled "settlements" by the EU and the Obama Administration.

    Proponents say this approach would merely formalize Israel's present control of territories that are essential for her survival, including lands needed to maintain a geographic buffer at her narrowest point and protect her water rights in the Jordan Valley.

    Advocates of partial annexation differ over what to do with lands excluded. Some endorse Arab autonomy and limited self-rule, while others envision federation or confederation with Jordan. However, any areas granted self-rule are likely to become breeding grounds for terrorist activity, as is suggested by the incitement, violence and terrorism that already occur in areas under PA control in the territories and Hamas rule in Gaza. Moreover, the possibility of linkage with Jordan will depend on the fate of the Hashemites and whether they are supplanted by Islamists.

    Promoting Jordan as Palestine

    Given the reality that most Palestinians have no desire for permanent peace, and that many consider negotiated settlement only the first phase of Israel's destruction, many Israelis have come to regard the two-state model as Islamist dissimulation. Some Israelis believe that a two-state solution can be realized only by recognizing Jordan as the Palestinian homeland; and some Palestinians believe likewise, including Mudar Zahran, who has written extensively on the subject. Mr. Zahran believes that Hamas and the PA have no interest in improving the lives of Palestinians outside of the territories and Gaza or in negotiating peace with a Jewish nation. He also acknowledges the demographic and historical factors that recommend a homeland in Jordan; specifically, that it has a Palestinian majority and encompasses most of the territory from the original Mandate.

    Zahran envisions a secular democracy that would protect the rights of minorities, enact a western-style constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech and worship, and build a regional economic partnership with Israel. Most significantly, Zahran's state would offer full citizenship

    To all Palestinians regardless of national origin, a right currently denied them in all Arab countries, including Jordan, in accordance with longstanding Arab League policy. This solution makes demographic sense and takes the onus off Israel to absorb people who have been kept stateless for more than sixty years by their fellow Arabs and Muslims, and whose ancestors came primarily from elsewhere.

    The drawback of this approach is that it would require regime change during a period of great instability. Similar to other Arab countries that have experienced political turmoil these last two years, Jordan has become a hotbed for Islamists eager to seize power, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The rise of an Islamist regime would preclude peace with Israel.

    Maintaining the Status Quo

    Finally, there are those who advocate maintaining the status quo until the Palestinians grow to accept Israel's right to exist. However, the status quo currently includes a Hamas government in Gaza whose continual rocket attacks have provoked two wars since 2006 and a Palestinian Administration in Judea and Samaria that continues to engage in incitement and terrorism.

    Those who favor the status quo until the Palestinians are ready for peace assume they will someday come to accept Israel's right to exist. As shown by reliable polls and the PLO and Hamas Charters, however, the Palestinian majority rejects the concept of permanent peace. The Arab-Muslim world has never abandoned its aim of destroying Israel; and barring a theological reformation within Islam it is unlikely ever to accept the legitimacy of a dhimmi nation, least of all a Jewish one. Those who believe the world of Islam will someday accept a Jewish country within its midst do not understand the doctrinal nature of its antisemitic rejectionism.

    Maintaining a Quasi-Status Quo

    Instead of sticking with an inert course, some advocate maintaining a quasi-status quo in which Israel refrains from any formal declarations while continuing to build facts on the ground without fanfare. Proponents of this approach believe Israel can continue to consolidate her presence in the territories such that the incorporation of at least Area C would become a fait accompli. And if the U.S. really intends to continue pushing Oslo, Israel could perhaps capitalize on it by shutting down all PA ministries, agencies and activities that currently operate illegally in Jerusalem in violation of Article XVII (1a) of the Accords.

    Israel could also adopt the Levy Report, which persuasively states the legal basis for maintaining control over Judea and Samaria. Even if she ultimately decides to retain less than all of the territories, she could strengthen her bargaining position by affirming her legal and historical right to be there without apology.

    Will Israel be Guided by Historical Entitlement or Political Correctness?

    Regardless of whether Israel continues with the peace process, she will likely suffer international censure if she offers anything less than a Palestinian state based on the 1949 Armistice Line and a divided Jerusalem. Such a state would compromise her sovereignty and leave her without secure borders. However, if Israel wants a solution that guarantees her continuing viability, she must build into it a strategy for dealing with the international fallout. She could insulate herself somewhat by reducing her dependence on the United States, working towards energy self-sufficiency, and expanding her economic, strategic and military relationships with nations, such as India, that are interested in her high-tech industry.

    The task may seem herculean, but taking such steps may enable Israel to minimize her reliance on nations that use their strategic or economic superiority as leverage against her national interests. If Israel chooses to act independently in crafting a solution that insures her security and national integrity, she must also find ways to survive independently if she is left out in the cold as a result.

    Matthew M. Hausman is a trial attorney and writer who lives and works in Connecticut. A former journalist, Mr. Hausman continues to write on a variety of topics, including science, health and medicine, Jewish issues and foreign affairs, and has been a legal affairs columnist for a number of publications. Contact Matthew Hausman at mhausmanlaw@msn.com.

    This article appeared February 12, 2013 in Arutz Sheva. It is archived at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12860#.VQxpgT8wuC2 This article also appeared in watchdog.com.

    ARABS ATTEMPT TO FIREBOMB JEWISH HOMES...

    Posted by GWY123, February 12, 2013

    The article below was written by Elad Benari who is a writer for Arutz-Sheva. This article appeared February 11, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165091#.VQxskD8wuC0

    firebomb

    In another terror incident that was mostly ignored by mainstream Israeli media, Arabs hurled three firebombs at a building that houses Jewish families in the Abu Tor neighborhood of southern Jerusalem on Saturday night.

    The firebombs nearly set the whole building on fire, but miraculously missed. Baruch Pross, a local resident, recalled the attack in a conversation with Arutz Sheva on Sunday.

    The incident occurred at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night, when he was out, but as he returned home and approached the building, Pross recalled seeing police forces and border police officers in large numbers busy putting out the fire near the building.

    One of the firebombs nearly hit a gas pipe, said Pross, adding, "If that had happened the whole building would have gone up in flames."

    After the fire was put out, the commander of the local police station arrived on the scene and promised to handle the investigation in person and capture the terrorists. Pross said that the commander of the station gave the residents a feeling that he is seriously committed to capturing the perpetrators.

    Jewish homes in Abu Tor have been the target of firebomb attacks in the past.

    Pross noted that Saturday's incident is just one more in a series of violent incidents directed at Jewish residents of Abu Tor. In the past six months, he said, there has been a decline in the number of firebomb attacks on the building, but previously such incidents would occur once every two to four weeks.

    In addition to the firebomb attacks, the Jewish residents of Abu Tor have been the targets of repeated attacks of other types as well.

    Pross told Arutz Sheva that his son, who is in the seventh grade, was attacked two weeks ago by two Arab children the same age as him. When he tried to escape, another Arab around 20 years of age arrived and threw him onto the road. Another son of his was standing at a bus station last year when he was attacked by a group of Arabs who left the place only when he defended himself with rocks. In addition, Arabs constantly attack Jews as they make their way to synagogue during Shabbat, try to run them over and cause damage to their vehicles.

    Firebomb attacks have come to be the most common form of terrorism in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in recent months, according to statistics recently published by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

    On Saturday night, dozens of residents of the Shomron (Samaria) community of Karnei Shomron protested at the entrance to their community against the ongoing rock-throwing and firebomb attacks by Arabs.

    The latest attack occurred on Friday, when a woman in the seventh month of her pregnancy was lightly wounded when a rock hit the windshield of her car as she drove on the highway.

    Contact GWY123 at GWY123@aol.com


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    CONTROVERSY AT WESTERN WALL, NOT ON TEMPLE MOUNT?

    Posted by Richard H. Shulman, February 12, 2013

    The New York Times reports, "Arrests of 10 Women Praying at Western Wall Add to Tensions Over a Holy Site." Among the women are Conservative and Reform Jews, including two rabbis from the U.S.. They were detained [not arrested] for praying in traditional male religious garb. The site is run by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, whose rules forbid that, there. Israel's Supreme Court has upheld the rules.

    Foundation head, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said that the Wall "is not a place for the individual, where everyone does what they want," "You can't have everyone taking the law into their own hands," and the Wall "is not a site for any kind of protest." Actually, an area along the Wall, where the dress rule does not apply, is set aside for women.

    Women of the Wall is suing against ultra-Orthodox authority over the Wall (Jodi Rudoren, NY Times, 2/12, A9).

    I don't comment on religious issues. But it is common courtesy for visitors to religious sites to honor the rules of the religious authorities.

    Now let us contrast the same newspaper's reporting about the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, which the Wall was built to shore up. An Israeli general had arbitrarily given control over the Mount to the Muslim Waqf, but subject to Israeli law and supervision.

    The Waqf does not acknowledge any subordination to non-Muslim rule or any rights of Jews on the Mount. The Waqf builds on the Mount illegally, but Muslims riot at Israeli law e