Opinions And Editorials By Our Readers


Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 01, 2013

When you do a bad job you deserve to let go and thus President Shimon Peres I fire you.

In Israel the president does not get involved in politics, but President Shimon Peres does get involved and his politics are destructive. Peres is destroying Israel with his former USA president Jimmy Carter style lies.

Had he been honest, instead of the corrupt, deceptive and egotistic he is, he would have been, first and foremost, apologizing for concocting the Oslo Accords, mind you, behind the nations' back, that has caused his nation so many "victims of peace" deaths.

Then he would be saying that now he knows what a tragedy the Oslo Accord has been and is, because he now understands the Palestinian Authority represents an Islamic jihad ideology agenda according to which it has been operating all along.

And finally, he would be calling the entire Osloid-2-state idea off, saying: there will be no Palestinian state on our land and thus I call for this mistaken idea to be immediately removed from Israel's political agenda.

Many times I wonder if Mr. Peres knows the truth and he is saying what he I saying because he is a self hating Jew; or, if he knows the truth he is saying what he is saying because he knows he was instrumental in making one of the worst mistakes in Israel's short history and does not want to be caught and have fingers pointing at him from all directions. I really do not know what motivates someone of Peres position to be so destructive to his homeland, which means destructive to the Jewish people over whom he presides.

I kind of understand the hard core, Jewish Left hate-Israel ideology, because their ideology is based on hating themselves as Jews which they willingly adopt. But Peres is one of the state of Israel founders and so I don't get his constant nonsensical babbling that is opposed to Israel's interests.

Nevertheless, it does not matter what I do not get; it matters what I do get, that Peres is destructive to Israel, in a way worse than Jimmy Carter and not too far behind Barack Obama.

A truth teller president must replace Peres and the sooner the better. The president of a country should be telling the truth, not Leftist fables. Had Israel have a fine tuned, true telling, President, some of the pressure constantly put on Prime Minister Netanyahu by international forces would be lifted.

Today, Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein said that Peres' comments hurt Israel's public diplomacy efforts; "We spit blood trying to counter the Palestinian propaganda, and Peres takes our efforts backwards," the minister grumbled.

What President Peres keeps on saying is that the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas-Abu Mazen is a partner to peace and that is right out lie. Surely Peres knows that the history of the Palestinian Authority's chairman Abu Mazen is ingrained in anti-Semitism and terror. He is a graduate of Moscow University where his Ph.D. thesis was: Holocaust Denial; he managed the logistics of the Munich Massacre in which eleven Israeli athletes were murdered in 1972 and same Abu Mazen is one of the engineers and supporters of contemporary Palestinian hate education, which has become a production line for terrorists with no end in sight. So the question to Peres is: is that what you call a peace partner?

Edelstein was right when he told Arutz Sheva
( that it is now clear that the Oslo Accords were a nightmare, a nightmare Peres was its mastermind.

It is rather shocking that Israelis have elected for president the architect of the disastrous Oslo Accords when the destructiveness of these agreements were already apparent. Honoring Peres with the president post was in fact an insult to every victim of terror and their families.

It is becoming clearer by the day that Israelis have woken up from the Oslo Accords strike, by Peres et al, that kept them in a state of concussion for twenty years. The Oslo Genie lie is out of the bottle and even Peres cannot put her back in with his twisted words of deception. The Israelis are tired of these lies which they no longer prepare to buy.

I think that Israelis are ready for a truth teller as a president, not one who minces words, a real honest to goodness truth teller.

However, liberals do not apologize for their wrongs and since Peres is a liberal and the architect of the Oslo Accords, he will not admit his awful mistake.

In Israel the president does not get involved in politics but it appears that Peres thinks he is above the law; time to show him he is not and send him home for an early retirement, in January 2013.

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Posted by Mendel Siegel, January 01, 2013

BACKGROUND: Rabbi John L. Rosove, the Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood wrote an article in Times of Israel defending his decision to subscribe to a letter by 400 US rabbis and cantors, claiming that by building in E1, Israel will cut off the north and south of the West Bank and effectively block the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state. They see the building of E1 as a dagger aimed at the heart of a two-state solution.

This article below is Maurice Ostroff's response to Rabbi Rosove. It is archived at

Dear Rabbi,

I read with extreme sadness, your article in Times of Israel titled "An honorable tradition: rabbis dissent on E1 settlement plans for the sake of Israel"

Sadness, because your subscribing to the letter by 400 American rabbis and cantors protesting E1 building plans contradicts the letter and spirit of your stated mission "to build Jewish community and draw Jews and their families closer to God, the Torah, Jewish tradition, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel as a Jewish national home".

Since you state that you regard social justice and high ethical practices as essential core Jewish religious values I assume Sir, that the erroneous statements that you and your fellow letter writers publicized widely, were not made with intent to mislead but rather as a result of misinformation to which you have been exposed in the media.

Your claim that building in E1 would cut off the north and south of the West Bank and effectively block the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state is dangerously misleading. At a glance at a readily available Google map shows immediately that a wide area remains between the eastern border of Maale Adumin, the Dead Sea and Jericho comparable with Israels 15km waist between Tulkarm on the West Bank and Netanya. For more detailed information please refer to my letter to the NY Times.

Your dramatic statement that you see the building of E1 as a dagger aimed at the heart of a two-state solution is therefore seen to be completely unjustified and irresponsibly harmful. On December 16, the NY Times published the following correction which should convince you of the fact that your public statements about E1 are false.

An article on Dec. 2 about Israel's decision to move forward with planning and zoning for settlements in an area east of Jerusalem known as E1 described imprecisely the effect of such development on access to the cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and on the West Bank. Development of E1 would limit access to Ramallah and Bethlehem, leaving narrow corridors far from the OldCity and downtown Jerusalem; it would not completely cut off those cities from Jerusalem. It would also create a large block of Israeli settlements in the center of the West Bank; it would not divide the West Bank in two. And because of an editing error, the article referred incompletely to the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. Critics see E1 as a threat to the meaningful contiguity of such a state because it would leave some Palestinian areas connected by roads with few exits or by circuitous routes; the proposed development would not technically make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.

You say that you and your fellow signers believe you have a Jewish and moral obligation to speak out now because decisions such as this are endangering the basic principles on which Israel was established, but Sir, I trust you will agree that while you are entitled to your opinions you do not have the right to misrepresent facts.

I agree with your belief in a two state solution with two states living side by side in peace like the USA and Canada. But as a Machalnik who served as a volunteer from abroad in the 1948 war of Independence, I am conscious of minimum security considerations as was our late revered Yitzhak Rabin. I remind you that contrary to the current call for returning to indefensible 1967 lines, President Obama in a video message to the November 8, 2009 Rabin Rally in Tel Aviv urged us to follow in the footsteps of Yitzchak Rabin. And this is what Rabin z'l said in his last speech to the Knesset a few weeks before the tragic assassination

"We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the JordanValley, in the broadest meaning of that term.. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the "Green Line," prior to the Six Day War. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one inGush Katif".

As Rabin intended to retain Ma'aleh Adumim, it would be beyond reason to envisage that he intended to leave it disconnected from Jerusalem by leaving E1 vacant. In fact in October 1994 Rabin expanded Maale Adumim to include E1 and he provided the mayor of Maale Adumim Benny Kashriel with annexation documents.

Your claim that any Jewish leader who criticizes the Israeli government is immediately targeted as a fifth columnist is an exaggeration. And here I paraphrase your quote from the Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 54b) that all who can protest against something wrong and do not protest, are held accountable. When Rabbis, J Street and others publicly offer ill-considered and potentially dangerous advice to Israel based on misconceptions and distorted information, concerned citizens are duty bound to protest as I am doing now.

Rabbi Rosove, I assume you are familiar with the social sciences law of unintended consequences. Let us assume that as a result of pressure by well meaning but misinformed Rabbis, the US government forces Israel to accept a Palestinian state with inadequate security considerations in regard to borders. I ask, in all sincerity, on what you base your confidence that Hamas will not soon assume control of the new state (as appears very likely) and launch missiles at aircraft landing at nearby Ben Gurion airport and that your well meant efforts will not result in more Israeli and Palestinian deaths as happened after evacuation of Gaza?

You state that the lack of a two-state solution is a threat to Israels existence and I ask you to consider that a hastily designed solution without adequate security guarantees poses a much greater existential danger. In the circumstances I plead with you to please examine all relevant factors before publicizing opinions that affect us all and with respect I suggest you view this video clip and recommend it to your congregation.

In the spirit of your stated mission "to build Jewish community and draw Jews and their families closer to God, the Torah, Jewish tradition, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel as a Jewish national home," I earnestly seek your support in ensuring the survival of Israel by protesting the current popular but uninformed call for returning to indefensible 1967 lines rather than to defensible borders as called for in resolution 242.

I will be grateful if you will kindly distribute this letter to the other 399 signatories.

Moreover, I trust you will accept that truth and recanting of erroneous statements are fundamental to the justice and ethics to which you subscribe and that in the same manner as the New York Times corrected their misstatements you will not only have the courage to publicly correct your erroneous statements in the light of the above information, but that you will also recommend that your fellow signatories do the same. Sincerely,

Maurice Ostroff

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Posted by Israel Commentary, January 01, 2013

Dear Mr. Leibler,

Your latest commentary on Habait Hayehudi and Naftali Bennett simply reflects the same kind of wishful thinking dealing with the Arabs, the United States and the rest of the world that you have exhibited many times before. There was never any chance of obtaining real peace with the Arabs or of satisfying the rest of the world who, in their heart of hearts, resent Israel's success.

As to the United States, if you take away the State Department and the Obama administration — the rest of the country and the Congress are overwhelmingly on the side of Israel. If the whole discussion, starting with Israel's Six Day War, G-d given victory of 1967, had proceeded from a position of strength, understanding that the land obtained was supposed to have been Jewish in the first place, Israel would never be in this difficult position.

The Shimon Peres of the world along with the Chaim Weitzmanns the Abba Ebans the Benjamin Netanyahus, the Ehud Baraks and you have never truly understood Jewish political and biblical rights to the entire land and delude themselves as to the motivation of the rest of the world. You grossly overrate yourselves as to the Jew's ability to somehow, with proper obeisance and cleverness, woo these people to our essential position. This is a concept I believe is naive nonsense and wishful thinking with no history of success in the last 3000 years.

You and I have had this discussion before, You don't truly appreciate the crucial importance of Judea and Samaria to a strong enduring, growing, safe Israel and never will. The gargantuan self destructive failure of giving up Gaza and the retreat from the Lebanese Security Zone has somehow never penetrated your innate prejudice against the religious or your considerable brain, I am sorry to say.

And, may Hashem help us. He is the only one upon whom we can rest any hope and faith. The Bible admonishes us very clearly, to never trust our leaders, and current events and your current article are obvious proof of this irrefutable truth.

Happy New Year,

Jerome S. Kaufman, Publisher/Editor Israel Commentary

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 01, 2013

Well, it's New Year's Day. Knowing both how busy I am (it's a "regular" day here), and how likely it is that many will be away from the computer for New Year's Day, I was not going to write. But my prime minister's recent statement motivated (compelled?) me to do so.

First, let me wish everyone a happy secular new year. It is never the wrong time for wishes for blessing and good things.


And to the subject at hand:

There has been a good deal of political discussion here of late regarding a Palestinian state -- whether there is a commitment to one, whether it would good, whether we should support one, etc.

Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) said recently that a Palestinian state has never been part of the Likud platform. Sa'ar is a big vote-getter and a good guy in Likud.



Then the political newcomer who is fourth on the Likud list and sure to be in the next government, Yair Shamir -- son of former prime minster Yitzhak Shamir, wrote an op-ed about "Why I oppose a Palestinian state":

"...we must remove the idea of a Palestinian state in our area from the Israeli agenda immediately, if not sooner."


I regret that he spoke only in security terms, about what damage such a state would bring in its wake, and not about our rights to Judea and Samaria, but OK. He is opposed.

And it was important that Shamir referred back to Yitzhak Rabin, who signed on to the Oslo Accords. Many people imagine -- this myth has been refined over time -- that Rabin was solidly for a Palestinian state. But he was not. Shortly before his death, Rabin spoke of what he envisioned with Oslo, which was an autonomy short of a full state. In his article, Shamir presented evidence of Rabin's opinion on the matter.


MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) ventured the opinion at Hebrew University yesterday that when Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about a Palestinian state in his 2009 Bar Ilan talk, it was "a tactical speech for the world...Netanyahu made the speech in response to accusations from the Arab world and to expose Mahmoud Abbas, who refuses to recognize the Jewish state."

Going good. Her implication is that he wasn't really devoted to that concept.


Of course, we also saw that President Shimon Peres made a statement about "peace" being a top priority, and referred to Abbas as a "partner for peace."

But this is Peres, who, at 89, is not about to change. He's one of those "head in an alternate reality" people and I sense that he really believes what he is saying.

Anyway, there were a number of responses to him.

Because I always enjoy a laugh, I rather liked the irritated reaction of PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, who observed that, "He's meddling in Palestinian politics and deciding who can and who can't be a party to talks." Peres should take a hint from this, but he won't.


The most solid response to the president came from Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett, who declared, "enough already" with "peace process" talk. The Oslo Accords, he reminded Peres, "brought us more than 1,600 murdered Israelis [via terrorist attacks]."

"Enough, already. The President of the country is supposed to represent all of the country, not just a part of it.

"Mr. President, it is clear that your intentions were good, but that does not make any difference. The time has come for some soul searching. Perhaps giving land to our enemies does not work?"


All of this said and done, a spokesman for the Likud-Beitenu joint list declared, in response to what has been going on, that Prime Minister Netanyahu stands by his support for a Palestinian state under the conditions described in his 2009 Bar Ilan talk.

Of course, then there were all the qualifiers: a Palestinian state will be possible when the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, will agree to the end of conflict, and will make appropriate arrangements regarding Israel's security requirements (which includes demilitarization).

But it is with regard to this that I ask if the prime minister really really needed to do it.


Qualifiers aside, I see it as a huge mistake.

There are those now claiming that Hotovely was wrong -- that he is really supportive in principle of the idea of a Palestinian state and that his Bar Ilan speech was not simply tactical.

I am not sure that is correct. Much that Netanyahu does is "tactical." He "plays" various situations for various purposes. And I suspect the statement about his standing by his support is also tactical. He has taken a tougher stance of late, saying that we will build in Jerusalem no matter what the world says, and so on and so on.

But he's not ready to take that additional step. He has, I would guess, sufficiently incurred the wrath of the world with the announcements about planning to build in E1 or establishing new neighborhoods in Jerusalem past the Green Line, so that he does not wish to push it further.


Netanyahu knows full well that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that Abbas will come to the table and seriously negotiate that two state solution. Thus, there is absolutely no risk to him on that score. It's a throw-away offer, meant, I believe, to show the world, still, that the PLO is at fault and he is willing.

If hell froze over and Abbas did come to the table, would Netanyahu negotiate a Palestinian state? I cannot see into his heart. But I believe if everything were equal he would rather do without it. He's not Livni, nor Olmert -- he's not pining to rectify the terrible "wrong" we have done in "occupying" "Palestinian land."


But even if this is just tactical. It's a terrible tactic. To me it smacks of groveling: See, see, how I am willing?

He might have said something like:

"I meant it when, over three years ago, I offered a Palestinian state, with appropriate conditions. And I was the one -- the only Israeli prime minister ever -- who froze building in communities in Judea and Samaria for 10 months, because this is what Mr. Abbas wanted.

"And what have we gotten for it? The PA still teaches its children that jihad is good and that Israel belongs to them. It still venerates terrorists. Venerates terrorists? It's talking about a unity government with the terrorist Hamas. In fact, Hamas is gaining strength in Judea and Samaria and intends to topple the PA there, as it did in Gaza. While, at the same time, the PA security forces have reduced security cooperation with Israel. And as if this were not enough, Mr. Abbas acted unilaterally in a fashion prohibited by the Oslo Accords when he went to the UN.

"The PA, which is awash in corruption and as a result is falling apart fiscally, has done everything but build a state-in-the-making in positive ways and genuinely prepare its people for peace.

"I do not wish to kid myself or to delude my people. There is no reason to entertain thoughts of a Palestinian state."


In truth, he comes so very close to this. Today, Netanyahu said:

"Everyone knows that Hamas could take over the Palestinian Authority. It could happen after an agreement, it could happen before an agreement, like it happened in Gaza. Therefore, as opposed to the voices that I have heard recently urging me to run forward, make concessions, [and] withdraw, I think that the diplomatic process must be managed responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste."

So, he demonstrates clearly what is not viable -- but insists on referring to a "diplomatic process" as if there were one. There isn't.


I mentioned above prominent members of Likud, such as Shamir and Sa'ar, who are against a Palestinian state. And there are others. MK Ze'ev Elkin, Coalition Chair, for example, and Minister of Public Diplomacy Yuli Edelstein. More good guys.

Quite simply, a good number of the people in the Likud faction are unhappy with their leader right now. Tonight I spoke with someone who works within the party (not in an elected position) and he indicated precisely this to me.

And so this situation must play itself out. Because what we're seeing is that the party of Naftali Bennett is gaining in the polls at the expense of Likud.

The Israeli electorate is moving right:

A poll just released by Israeli Channel Two Television indicates that 70% of Israelis (and this includes Arabs) do not think it's possible "to reach a solution to the dispute with the Palestinians in the near future."

While a poll announced by Israel Hayom yesterday indicates that "about 83 percent of Israelis believe pulling back to the pre-1967 armistice lines will not bring an end to the conflict nor a peace accord with the Palestinians."

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, January 01, 2013

The article below was written by Mary Chastain who is a journalist at Breibart News. She is also a writer, an editor and currently works at Breitbart News Network. This article appeared January 01, 2013 at Breitbart News and is archived at


In November, Breitbart News reported Hezbollah's growing influence in South America. The terrorist organization is now expanding to the north, teaming up with dangerous Mexican drug cartels and engaging in weapon trafficking in and out of Mexico. These weapons may include guns from gun-walking operations by the US government.

Operation Fast and Furious was an ATF gun-walking scheme that placed over 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. These guns are linked to the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and 300+ Mexican citizens. They have been found at crime scenes across the US and South America. Hundreds of guns are still missing. Another gun-walking operation out of Dallas, TX is linked to the death of ICE Agent Jaime Zapata.

The ATF did not track the guns or make any effort to intercept them. No one knows where the missing guns are now, but if someone follows the tracks it is easy to posit where they may have landed.

The House Committee on Homeland Security went detailed how Venezuela and Iran managed to skate around sanctions placed against them, making it easy for Venezuela to ship anything like weapons or money or drugs to Iran. For example, last month the UN placed sanctions on two Iran firms because they were caught supplying weapons to Syria.

Hezbollah is also teaching the drug cartels how to build elaborate tunnels under the US-Mexico border. The tunnels are almost identical to the ones the terrorists built under the Gaza-Egypt border. Cartels are able to smuggle drugs, humans, and weapons into the US with these tunnels. More guns from gun-walking operations could easily find their way back to America.

The enemy is on the door step. Will 2013 finally be the year President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stop claiming the border is as secure as ever?

Sergio Tessa can be reached at

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 01, 2013

Gang Rape is Part of Islamic Jihad

Wherever in the Western world you find large groups of Muslims, you also find a correspondingly large amount of gang rape with Muslims the perpetrators and native white girls the victims.

Reports about "Asian" rape gangs appear almost every day in the British press, yet almost all media outlets and politicians are strangely reluctant to discuss the fact that most of these vile crimes are committed by Muslim immigrants and their descendants.

After the reporting of the Muslim gang rape epidemic in Australia, it fell to Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, Australia's senior Muslim cleric, to state what has since become painfully obvious to those who truly understand the sheer horror of Muslim attitudes toward non-Muslim women:

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem... if she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

The United States carried out 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012. Israel was pressured to stop retaliating to 800 rockets fired from Gaza just 8 days after the operation " Pillar of Defense" began. What a hypocritical and anti-Semitic world we are still living in!

Turkey Lifts Veto on NATO Cooperation with Israel

Turkey, a member of the NATO, has agreed to lift its veto on non-military cooperation between the alliance and Israel. Ankara cut ties with the Jewish state in May of 2010, after Israeli naval commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara flotilla, filled with pro-Palestinian terrorist activists. (It is time for Israel to impose a 'veto' on Turkey and other international prostitutes!)

Please Quit, We Can't Wait

Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, until recently the Foreign Minister, reacted with joy on Friday as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas threatened to quit and disband the Palestinian Authority if Israel does not renew talks after January poll. Abbas has refused to negotiate in absence of several Israeli concessions, including a complete freeze on construction east of the 1949 armistice line.

Hamas Preparing for West Bank Takeover

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal instructed the terror group's sleeper cells in the West Bank to prepare themselves for armed struggle to take control of the West Bank, Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had been warned by Israeli intelligence services of Hamas's possible usurpation of power.

School Security in Israel

Americans could learn a lot from the Jewish state. In Israel threats of terrorist strikes in crowded locations including schools, takes an all-of-the-above approach to safety in the classroom. Fences, metal detectors and armed private guards are part of a strategy overseen by the country's national police. And the idea of armed teachers in the classroom, which stirred much controversy in the wake of the US attack, has long been in practice in Israel, though a minority carry weapons today. (Armed guards at restaurants, stations, shops, and shops are an ugly reality, imposed on Israel by the 'peace process'.)

Unity did not Last Long

The positive atmosphere that prevailed between Fatah and Hamas following Operation Pillar of Defence and the UN vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians' status appeared to have ended on Thursday, as the two rival parties resumed their verbal attacks on each other. The new crisis erupted after Fatah announced the cancellation of celebrations in the Gaza Strip that were scheduled for the end of this month to mark the 48th anniversary of its founding.

No International Condemnation or Pressure on the US?

The statistics, published by the U.S. Air Force and published by Wired's Danger Room blog, show that there were 333 drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2012 alone, up from 294 in the previous year and 278 in 2010. (As soon as Israel started operation against Hamas in response to over 800 rockets fired from Gaza in 2012 the international bigots exerted pressure on Israel to end it after just 8 days. They are the same Islamic terrorists, different international attitude!)

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

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 02, 2013

A new directive that prohibits planes from taking off during prayer times has prompted ridicule throughout social networks. Ali Taheri, spokesman for the Majles Culture Committee, announced last week that, in accordance with the committee's decision, flights will not be allowed to take off during the prayer call.

It comes as no surprise that the report on the take-off ban at prayer time has drawn ridicule from Iranian social network users and bloggers affiliated with regime opponents. They have taken issue with the timing of the new directive, just when the Iranian aviation industry is gripped by a severe crisis, and made satirical posts in response to the new restrictions.

A new directive that prohibits planes from taking off during prayer times has prompted ridicule throughout social networks. Ali Taheri, spokesman for the Majles Culture Committee, announced last week that, in accordance with the committee's decision, flights will not be allowed to take off during the Azan call to prayer, particularly during the call to morning prayers. Flights will be authorized to take off at least half an hour after the prayer call. He noted that the directive was forwarded to the Iran Civil Aviation Organization. Taheri reported that the committee also decided to step up the enforcement of the Islamic dress code on planes and in airports (Mehr, December 26).

It comes as no surprise that the report on the take-off ban at prayer time has drawn ridicule from Iranian social network users and bloggers affiliated with regime opponents. One such blogger discussed the question of how it will be possible to implement the new directive in case the flight is forced to land after the prayer time due to a take-off delay or weather conditions. He listed four possibilities:

1) The pilot will stop the aircraft in the middle of the flight to let the passengers pray while the plane is suspended in mid-air. He will resume the flight once the prayer has ended. 2) The pilot will return to the point of departure since flying during prayer time is illegal. 3) The pilot will proceed with the flight as usual. In this case, however, he may encounter opposition from the passengers or the flight crew, who will wonder why he has chosen to continue flying instead of stopping the plane during the prayer time, as the prayer is obviously more important than the flight. 4) The pilot will leave the cockpit and join his passengers in prayer. The plane will consequently crash and all the praying passengers will die and go sraight to heaven with their flight tickets (, December 26).

In another post, the same blogger wrote that, while developed countries in the world focus on improving flight quality and safety, the authorities of Iran work on banning flights during prayer times. This, according to the blogger, is a reflection of Iran's decline under the current regime. If Iran was once much more advanced than its neighbors—the Arab Persian Gulf states—in the field of aviation and had the airline with the most advanced planes in the world, it has now fallen behind other countries in this field while the Persian Gulf states have made impressive progress (, December 26).

Another blogger took issue with the fact that the authorities of Iran have prohibited planes from flying during prayer times just when the Iranian aviation industry is gripped by a severe economic crisis due to the effect of the sanctions. If Iran's national airline was one of the world's leading airlines three decades ago, it is now on the brink of bankruptcy. In a country where no new planes are purchased and the ones that there are date back to the time of the Shah, the authorities impose restrictions on flights during prayer times. Every hour of flight means money, the blogger said, and this is doubly true in a country plagued by aircraft shortage


Yet another blogger posted a satirical weblog entry with a so-called report saying that top conservative cleric Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani has found a creative solution to the problem of flights during prayer times. According to the "report", the top cleric thanked the Majles members for the directive they issued, but argued that their plan is detrimental to the economy and is a waste of passengers' time. He said that the pilots need to be told that, when the time comes to pray, they should park the plane in the appropriate spot in the sky—that is, where the clouds are relatively firm—and then call the passengers to prayer. The top cleric said that the plan was developed with input from top clerics in the religious centers in Qom and Najaf, and that there will soon be a prayer leader assigned to each flight so that this important divine commandment can be fulfilled whatever the conditions. This will make it possible to avoid waste of time and money, allowing flights to reach their destinations on time
(, December 26).

This is not the first time that the Iranian authorities have brought up the need to adapt flight schedules to prayer times. In November 2008 Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of the obligation of prayer in Islam and expressed his discontent with the lack of mosques and prayer chambers in Iran. Among other things, he said that flight schedules need to be adapted to prayer times so that passengers can pray before they board their flight. Khamenei stressed that, on flights whose schedule cannot be adapted to prayer times, some space inside the planes themselves must be allocated to prayer.

In the wake of the Supreme Leader's remarks, Iran's Civil Aviation Organization announced that flight schedules would be adapted to the Islamic prayer times. Hossein Khanlari, chairman of the Civil Aviation Organization, reported that, following the Supreme Leader's decree, a directive on the issue was forwarded to all airlines in Iran, and that flight schedules would be adapted to prayer times to allow travelers to perform their prayers at the airport at the appropriate times throughout the day. The directive also stated that, on long flights, the airlines would be required to set aside a special place for prayer on the planes themselves (Farda, November 20, 2008).

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Posted by David Hornik, January 02, 2013

Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics has released its population data for 2012, the year that just ended. As usual, the trends are favorable. The total Israeli population rose to just under eight million, while the Jewish population—for the first time—rose to just over six million.

Naturally, the number has a certain resonance. Aside from the grim association, it has a special positive ring to it as well. At the time Israel gained independence in May 1948, its Jewish population stood at about 600,000, meaning that as of the end of 2012 it had grown tenfold.

By most accounts the Israeli Jewish population also surpassed the American Jewish population in recent years. The comparison, though, is misleading, since American Jewry is undergoing high intermarriage and assimilation rates while in Israel intermarriage is negligible and, with the Israeli Jewish culture dominant, there is nothing to which to assimilate.

The year's end has brought other good news as well. The recent one-week skirmish with Hamas not only unveiled awesome Israeli defensive (Iron Dome) but also offensive capabilities, including revolutionary intelligence and drone innovations. Hamas celebrated a "victory" in which its 1500 rockets managed to kill six Israelis while Hamas's side suffered about 180 fatalities, the considerable majority of them combatants.

The war, of course, was hardly enough to tame the wild Middle East, but rational actors observing it would realize that taking on Israel is a risky proposition.

Israelis have also heard in recent weeks that: Israeli students have improved substantially on standardized tests and now rank seventh in the world in math; 2012 saw the country's lowest total for traffic deaths in 50 years, population growth and all; and illegal immigration from Africa through the Sinai—which only last spring seemed a menacing problem—has been almost stopped by the building of a border fence.

And this just in: Israel's economy came in best in the West for 2012, its 3.3 percent growth rate outpacing all other Western countries.

With such achievements, the incumbent government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to win big in Israel's elections three weeks from now, and the center-left opposition is reduced to proclaiming that its patron saint, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, is the real deliverer of Israel.

The picture at the start of 2013, then, appears to vindicate the claim of Zionism—a movement originating in 19th-century Europe—that the Jewish people in the modern era needed their own state to thrive. It is, though, already a truism that another major claim of Zionism—that creating such a state would be the solution to anti-Semitism—has not been borne out.

The inaccuracy of that contention was again illustrated on New Year's Day 2013 when Dr. Essam el-Erian, an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official, predicted that "Israel will be destroyed within a decade." As he elaborated:

The Zionist project in Palestine came to prevent the existence of democracy in the Arab countries, and to prevent the presence of Arab unity and development in the Arab region. It came to deplete the wealth of the Arabs by making them stockpile weapons in countries that do not fight at all but spend billions on buying aircraft.

It was, at least, a novel account of the crafty objectives that really drove Zionism. El-Arian, it should be noted, is a senior adviser to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whose rapidly progressing Islamist takeover of the country has been characterized by some, including the Obama administration, as a flowering of democracy.

Meanwhile Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland quotes a French diplomat who told him that "Iran has responded to the toughening of sanctions by speeding up its work on a bomb, not slowing it down.... We now have only a relatively few months to act before Iran's nuclear effort becomes irreversible."

The diplomat told Hoagland that the West should make Tehran a final offer and, if rejected, the only remaining alternative would be "an American-led military strike to destroy Iran's nuclear capability at some point in 2013."

Whether or not Obama has any such intention is a matter of speculation; his former adviser Dennis Ross insists that he does, while John Bolton dismisses the possibility.

For Israel the issue is one of continuing to thrive or facing a sworn genocidal enemy with nuclear weapons. The overarching question for 2013 is whether Israel will have to resolve that issue by itself.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. Contact him at The article appeared January 02, 2013 on Frontpage Mag and is archived at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 02, 2013

One flight for us — a flight over Auschwitz -The video presentation is in Hebrew with some interviews in English; watch with someone who speaks Hebrew. Every Jews must watch this and share with other Jews.

The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy. The opposite of education is not ignorance, it is apathy.

America did not do what it should have done.

We need to tell the truth; at the beginning Hitler did not want to exterminate the Jews; he simply did not want them. But he then found out that NO ONE wanted the Jews, for sure not the United States, the great power that on its flag is etched superior values such as the freedom of the human beings. The USA did not want to save Jews. It did not have this human spark to do something enormous to at least minimize the killing. The president, Roosevelt, and the top bureaucrats in the State Department were aware of these moods and thus they made basic considerations that rescuing Jews will not score they any points with the American public.

Hitler wanted to have a Judenrein (clean of Jews) Germany, a Europe clean of Jews, bit after the July 1938 Évian Conference he realized that NO ONE wanted the Jews and so came about the Final Solution, to kill all the Jews.

I once said that after Nazi Germany, Britain has the most Jewish blood on her hands. I now say that after Nazi Germany Britain and the USA — President Roosevelt - have the most Jewish blood on their hands

Remember, no one in the world will have Israel's back but Israel. In WWII the United States could have saved millions of Jews but did not because there was no place to settle the saved Jews; NO ONE wanted them. So remember Israel is the ONLY safe haven for every Jew.

The following video are a must watch for those who understand Hebrew.

Why a must? It teaches us that when the time comes, the only people who will do anything to help save Jews are the Jews of Israel themselves.

In 1943 the Allies knew they are winning the war. But Hitler kept on murdering Jews, in fact increased the murdering of Jews industry to 12,000 Jews killed each day.

In London, Washington, Vatican and United Nations' halls they kept their mouths shut and Hitler understood that it is all right and he can go on with his murderous industry brining Jews alive in Auschwitz.

By end of 1943 the sin of the world's leaders turned from terrible apathy to criminal inaction. The excuses of 'we are pouring blood in a difficult war and are unable to help. From now on this argumentdoes not hold.

You cannot launder history

We, Jews, owe much to the Allies for their war against fascism. But, in this magnificent victory there is a dark stain that we, Jews, must never, ever, forget.

A formation of three Israeli air force F-15 planes took off from Radom air force base in Poland, and flew over the concentration extermination camp Auschwitz -Birkenau, and saluted the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The formation pilots carried with them witness-names pages of Jews murdered 60 years ago almost at the same time the formation flight took place - On September 4th, 1943, names the crewsearched in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem before the flight to Poland. In the communication system betweenthe planes that was heard on the ground, the formation-mission commander, Brigadier General Amir Eshel — today the IAF commander, said: "We, the pilots of the [Israeli] air force in the skies of the atrocities' camp, we rose from the ashes of the millions of victims, are carrying their silent cry, salute their heroism and promise to be theshield for the Jewish people and the land of Israel." From below, a "Witnesses in Uniform" mission, made of 180officers and commanders from regular and reserve ranks, led by Gen. Ido Nehushtan, commander of the Air Group, watched.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Act for America, January 02, 2013

The article below was written by Reza Kahlili who is author of the award-winning book "A Time to Betray." He served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, counterterrorism expert; and currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress, and on the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI). He regularly appears in national and international media as an expert on Iran and counterterrorism in the Middle East. The article appeard December 11, 2012 in the WND Weekly Magazine and is archived at


Iran has infiltrated a team of Quds Force terrorist leaders into the United States to attack from within in 2013, according to a source.

The source within the office of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic regime, said the team is to create instability in America through terrorism should the U.S. fail to accept the regime's illicit nuclear program, increase sanctions, confront Iran militarily or intervene in the Syrian civil war.

Members of the team, no more than 10 Quds Force officers, each lead cells totaling about 50 terrorists already in the U.S.

The source is risking his life not only to reveal the terror operation but to warn that Iran is pursuing its nuclear bomb program around the clock from several secret sites.

Details of the terror plot, meant to disrupt the West, have been passed on to U.S. officials, who are taking countermeasures.

The source said the team members, unlike the alleged Iranian operative Manssor Arbabsiar, who was arrested in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. in 2011, are highly trained and sophisticated.

The team leaders are all senior Revolutionary Guard officers who were recruited for this specific mission nine years ago on the recommendation of the Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, and with the approval of security advisers to Khamenei.

Some of these individuals held high-level posts before joining the mission. One served as the security officer in the supreme leader's office, another was a member of the special forces for intelligence and security in charge of protecting regime officials, two were in charge of security of ground and air transportation, another was a commander of recruiting assets, and others had experience in security and intelligence.

Most of the team members have been in America for a year; a few were successfully placed here about five years ago.

The families of the team members are financially supported by the regime, but team members are financially supported through various means as they do not maintain any contact with Iran.

Two wealthy Iranian businessmen in Iran with ties in Europe are used to finance the team; one routinely travels to the U.S.

One well-established Iranian businessman in America who often travels to Iran was approached by the Quds Force for his collaboration in return for incentives in Iran. He acts as the sponsor of the team, transfers cash to team members, hosts meetings at his residence and passes on information from the regime to the team. He also takes care of any legal issues, leases, contracts and such.

Information and pictures of potential targets have been submitted for Khamenei's approval, the source added. They include high-voltage towers to create blackouts, cell towers, water supplies, public transportation and various other buildings belonging to the Defense Department and military.

The source said the planned attacks could be greater than what happened on 9/11 and that in the last phase of the attack, al-Qaida operatives will also be involved.

After Osama bin Laden's death, Khamenei has taken a greater role in leadership on the collaboration with al-Qaida, and according to the source, four top al-Qaida commanders visit Khamenei every two months.

The plan is that if by next six months America does not accept Iran's nuclear program and either increases sanctions or a military confrontation occurs, the assets have been ordered to carry out their mission. The regime feels it must act by then because current sanctions, which have already had a serious effect on Iran's economy, could spark civilian rioting.

As reported in the Washington Times on Oct. 5, a secret memo by the regime's Intelligence Ministry warned that deteriorating economic conditions from international sanctions had greatly increased the possibility of an uprising and urged them to take appropriate action.

The United States has set a March deadline for Iran to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency demands on its nuclear program or face much harsher measures.

The regime believes, the source said, that if the U.S. fails to accept Iran's nuclear program, Israel will be much more likely to attack its nuclear facilities and military installations.

Previously an exclusive report in WND revealed that terror cells of the Islamic regime were on high alert to attack targets in America. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri, deputy head of Iran's armed forces, stated that, "In the face of any attack, we will have a crushing response. In that case, we will not only act in the boundaries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, no place in America will be safe from our attacks."

Iranian officials also see the possible overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad as a red line, and with the looming confrontation over their nuclear program, they have taken several measures, one of which is to retaliate against Israel through several fronts and in coordination with their proxies, such as Hezbollah. As reported in WND, 170 ballistic missiles have been pre-targeted on Tel Aviv alone, some with biological warheads. And an attack on America from within would create economic havoc on the fragile U.S. economy.

The source warned that the IAEA has no idea that the Islamic regime is actively working on its nuclear bomb program at secret sites, that it has even enriched uranium to over 90 percent — weaponization grade — and that with the help of North Korea, it is working on a plutonium bomb.

The assumption that Iran is far from accomplishing its goals is a hoax, the source warned. The regime next year will make operational intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. Armed with nuclear weapons, it would be too late for the world, he said.

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Posted by Tabitha Korol, January 02, 2013

Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren's Op-ed of November 28 concerned the Islamic jihad against Israel, fought on many fronts, not the least of which are false narratives for Palestinian propaganda and outside pressure demanding equal casualties. Not so oddly, the Left never suggests that Israel return an equal number of rockets and missiles. Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization, uses its youth to throw stones at civilians and cars, employs rockets and missiles to terrorize Israeli citizens, and engages mainstream media to portray Israel as the aggressor. Unable to win militarily, Hamas is aided by the media's depicting Israel as the invader to delegitimize her internationally.

Islam breeds a contempt of women, recognized by their treatment in Muslim societies, including female genital mutilation; prohibiting their public appearance unaccompanied by a male escort and forced enshrouding under threat of rape; forbidding their driving cars, attending schools, working; condoning their honor killings by male family members; forced marriages, and more. These beleaguered women and children are also used by terrorists as human shields during rocket attacks on Israel, to increase the number of citizens killed and blame Israel's retaliatory strikes. Thus can mainstream media "attest" that Israel has done more damage and killed more people. Hamas can turn world opinion by claiming the higher body count, and boost the Palestinian accusation of war crimes against "innocent civilians," because journalists never report the millions of dollars Israel spends in early-warning systems and bunkers to protect her citizens from frequent attacks.

Granted, Israel's media coverage is second only to England's because her democracy is transparent, whereas the authoritarian Arab regimes strictly control the press corps, what they see and write, and whether they'll travel safely. So, in complete dishonesty, journalists fail to report that Gaza fired more than 2,256 rockets into Israel from January through November, 2012, and exceeded 13,000 since the beginning of the century, and nurture the enmity for the State of Israel. Because written media and television emphasize visuals over substance, as Amb. Oren proved, news agents eagerly print a story with photos that are often staged, inaccurate, obtained from other conflicts, or are of deaths caused by the Palestinians' own rockets — but the pictures are effective.

Mass media often uses terminology to turn the truth on its head, even as they know that Islamists represent a malevolent society. Under the harsh laws of Sharia, Muslims choose to continue their hostilities against women and homosexuals, and incite to murder Jews and Christians alike, worldwide, in the name of jihad, global conquest. The media will not inform that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is known to call the Gazans or drop leaflets announcing a forthcoming retaliatory effort to warn the civilians to leave the premises or be treated and counted among the obliging combatants.

The New York Times and the Post have led the way in implementing enlarged photographs of civilian Palestinians' suffering to play on Western opinions, never showing their sons of all ages dressed in their radical face coverings and belts of explosives, rallying in reverence of death and martyrdom. By contrast, they more often show Israeli soldiers while avoiding photos of heinous crimes perpetrated against Jewish families, housing destroyed by missiles, children trembling in fear of the next attack and having fifteen seconds to reach a safe bunker. PBS has all too often produced hour-long programming of seriously distorted pro-Palestinian misinformation, hosted by Islamists Christianne Amanpour, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Bob Simon, et al. Reuters has frequently been called to task for supplying the wrong photos for articles. When discovered and held accountable, a perfunctory correction is quickly replaced by another story, another hour of slander, another deceitful photo.

While the media applies the Islamic disproportionality tactic for Israelis, Arabs are held to a different standard. Israel's expulsion of four Palestinians earned far more headlines than Kuwait's deportation of hundreds of thousands, or 2459 barbaric attacks against five religions in 22 countries during 2012, or burning churches and parishioners, or President Assad's slaughter of more than 60,000 Syrian citizens, imprisonment and torture of 37,000. Journalists have taken to calling Gaza the most densely populated area on earth to give false purpose to Palestinian "unrest," when, in fact, Tel Aviv has twice the population.

There is no longer any semblance of honor, respect for their craft, their reputation, or for the people they are supposed to serve My praise goes to Amb. Michael Oren for attempting to enlighten us. We must challenge the media, recognize these Islamic war strategies, and understand that America is no longer even a "stone's throw" away from indoctrinational warfare. It is here.

Tabitha Korol, who began her political writing with letters to the editor after her retirement, earned 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." She was cited as one of America's modern-day, articulate, patriotic women in Frederick William Dame's Three American Fur Hat/Fighters for Freedom. Her essays have appeared on RightTruth, RenewAmerica, NewMediaJournal, JewishIndy, Israel's Arutz Sheva, and others. She revised a book of Holocaust survivors' accounts for publication, and proofreads/edits for a monthly city newsletter. She can be contact at

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 03, 2013

a) Gas - Israel's recent discovery of mega gas fields titled Tamar and Leviathan are located off the Israeli coast from Haifa. These massive discoveries will soon transform Israel as they will adequately look after Israel's domestic needs forever and thereafter to supply foreign markets. A number of countries are pursuing involvement in these finds. Among them are Russia, China, Europe and South Korea. Putin was in Israel two months ago pursuing a contractual relationship with Israel on its gas development projects. Nothing has been signed yet.

Tamar is due to come online sometime in 2013 and Leviathan to follow in early 2014. Additional target areas are being explored all the way down the Mediterranean coast of Israel.

The likelihood is that a pipeline from the gas discovery area will be built to Cyprus and on to Greece. This will help Greece with some of its financial troubles. It is expected there will be a plant built to liquify the gas at the Greek end of the underwater pipeline.

b) Oil - geologists have recently completed a large mapping of most of southern Israel and preliminary findings indicate there are vast amounts of oil trapped in rock layers under about 15% of the State of Israel. This shale oil is technically difficult to extract but Israel and the companies involved are becoming very familiar with the methodology to extract this oil called 'fracking'. Retired Canadian experts in this system are now resident in Israel working on this huge project.

The World Energy Council and Israel Energy Initiatives have completed a detailed study and presented it to the government on their estimates of Israel's shale oil potential. They estimate that Israel's shale reserves could contain as much as 250 billion barrels of potentially recoverable oil. This would be putting Israel on a par with Saudi Arabia in terms of its oil reserves!

Israeli planners believe that if the gas and oil finds reach the levels that the potential indicates, Israel's current group of allies, trading partners and opponents could drastically change. Israel's geo-political standing in the world will also change. It's amazing what friends can be made when you have oil and gas to export!

MED-RED RAILWAY - China is in very serious negotiation (contracts have been exchanged) - the Chinese will build and finance most of a high speed railway from Eilat to Ashdod. This would allow tankers and freighters to avoid the Suez Canal as well as cut the time frame from canal usage in half, by using the railway. This is a huge development for Israel as it will open up the Negev, which was always the dream of David Ben Gurion. It would not be surprising that a major announcement on this development with all its details, should be expected by mid 2013.


The Chinese Government, while they are negotiating the Med-Red Railway, have made it clear to Israel that they have a multi-billion dollar fund that they would put to use, to fund Israeli hi-tech start-ups and companies needing mezzanine financing. The Israeli Government is very amenable to this opportunity, and the Chinese have already agreed to the stringent conditions that Israel wants to apply on any of the investments. Look for an announcement on this in 2013.

You should be aware that the Israeli Government and various Agrarian companies are extremely busy today in China - assisting the Chinese with their need to get much more production out of their land, while following the Israeli system of water economy. Further, the Chinese are learning every possible method Israel has on how to maximize milk production, and other elements necessary for the Chinese to raise the level of feeding their huge population. This relationship is being very well received by the Chinese and its government.

ALIYAH - Numerous European countries are seeing their Jewish populations diminishing because of a resurgence of anti-semitism and violence against their Jewish communities. Islam is on the march in many of the European countries. In particular, sizable numbers of French, British and smaller numbers of Jews from other EU countries, have left or are in the process of going to Israel. The Jewish Agency for Israel is planning for a significant aliyah to continue as well as increase over time with Jews leaving Ukraine and Russia.

Again the planning of the Jewish Agency indicates that Ben Gurions dream of large communities in the Negev is now nearer to realization than ever before. Hi-tech companies are being offered significant inducements by the government to establish their campuses and their R&D facilities in communities being formed in the Negev. Currently the hi-tech campuses are extremely crowded in an area south of Tel Aviv. Bear in mind that nothing is far in Israel.

EMP (Electromagnetic impulses)

The magnitude of this enormous devastating project is hard to fathom. Whoever develops this will have a commanding position facing any adversary. EMP could cripple a country by shutting down its electronics. It uses non-lethal gamma energy to react with the magnetic field and produces a powerful shock wave that can devastate any power grid and communications system. Try as I did, I could not get anyone to make any kind of comment regarding Israel's involvement. All I got were small, relatively short smiles.


The problems of Iran and the Palestinian State and a horrible neighbourhood need to be dealt with Israeli resolve. Assuming all of the things described previously like oil, gas, Chinese investment, Med-Red Railway, as well as things still to be developed, the future for Israel is extremely bright.

The IDF, the IAF, the MOSSAD, the SHIN-BET, the AMAN, are amongst the best of their kind in the world and will do their utmost to safeguard the State of Israel and the Jewish people wherever they are to be found.


This is the last of my report covering nine subjects that I spent over 26 hours discussing with special friends in Israel.

I hope you have found it interesting and informative. It was not easy condensing all of the material I had into suitable e-mail form. Thanks for reading these.

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

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 03, 2013

This past week as well Palestinians continued to attack IDF soldiers, a manifestation of the trend towards an increase in violence in Judea and Samaria since Operation Pillar of Defense, and especially since the UN status of the PA was upgraded. There has been an increase in the number of stones and Molotov cocktails thrown, as well as attempts to attack Israeli security force personnel. Some of the more glaring incidents were the following (Ynet):

On December 27 a homemade bomb was thrown at Israeli security forces near the Tomb of Rachel (Bethlehem). The explosive device fell in territory under Palestinian control. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. Dozens of Palestinians also threw stones at the Tomb precinct.

On December 27 stones were thrown at the vehicle of an Israeli security officer near the Horasha outpost (northwest of Ramallah). IDF soldiers responded by employing riot control equipment.

On December 27 Palestinian rioters threw stones at IDF forces in the region of Izhar (south of Nablus) and near the Esh Kodesh outpost. IDF soldiers dispersed them with riot control equipment.

On December 29 a Palestinian in the village of Beit Umar (southern Judea) threw a large stone during a demonstration, wounding an IDF officer in the head. The officer was evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment. The Palestinian who threw the stone was later detained.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 03, 2013

This past Tuesday, here in Jerusalem, the Women in Green -- joined now by some other groups -- sponsored their third annual conference: Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

The turnout was incredible. Not only did it exceed numbers for the previous two conferences by a good deal, planners had to move the venue because registration was so robust. And even in that larger venue the hall was packed. This provides strong evidence for what I have been saying -- that the Israeli populace is moving right, and is, indeed, weary with notions of a "two-state solution."

What I would like to do here is provide an overview and then touch on highlights.


If there was an over-arching message delivered by speakers (many, not all) it is that sovereignty is something that has to be approached in stages. It is simply not realistic to imagine that the Israeli government is going to get up one fine morning and declare all of Judea and Samaria annexed and fully part of Israel.

What is important, first of all, is the stimulation of public discourse on the issues. People just do not understand, do not have solid information.

It falls to those of use who do understand, and do wish to promote sovereignty, to create the atmosphere for dialogue. And that dialogue must be advanced rationally, via the sharing of facts, and not emotions.


And then, there are measures that might be taken to move the process along. Speakers differ on exactly what those measures should be: application of civil law to all of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria; annexation of area C; etc..


Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, suggested that without initiatives such as the current conference, the issue would not arise on the government's agenda.


Edelstein warned that application of sovereignty would not automatically resolve international challenges couched in legal language. But sovereignty would send the world a message, none-the-less.

It is easier to face the international community when we are united by a consensus, he observed. The problem now, however, is that the government sends an ambivalent message instead of stating clearly that we have rights over our land.

He sees several scenarios being pushed: The far left is ideological and sees the need to relinquish land to the Arabs for ethical reasons. The pragmatic left concedes that we have rights to the land, but says that in the current international climate we have no choice but to concede it.

An optimistic scenario to the right of these positions says that we must approach the situation in stages, and this is what he supports. To the right of this are groups not content with stages and pushing for immediate sovereignty as an expression of our rights.


Yari Levin (Likud), Chair of the Knesset House Committee, warned that we must not confuse historical merit in terms of our claim to the land, which is solid, with a legislative process, that is going to take time.


What we can do, says Levin, is apply Israeli law to all those Jews living in Judea and Samaria, put in place laws that permit Jewish development in Judea and Samaria, and pass other constructive legislation that will apply to all of Judea and Samaria.

(As to laws that permit Jewish development in Judea and Samaria, there is a great deal to say --- I have already touched upon this in several contexts but expect to be revisiting it in greater detail with regard to the Levy Report. The bias against Jewish development is currently horrendous.)

Levin is adamant in his opinion that there should be no singling out of major settlement blocs. Any legislation put in place must apply to all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Following this, there should be an attempt to apply full Israeli law to all of Judea and Samaria. But now we must advance plans by building another school and another house.


Moshe Feiglin heads the Jewish Leadership faction in Likud and is currently on Likud's list.

Feiglin made an extremely important point, and one we cannot afford to lose sight of: We have to pay attention to places where we are supposed to already have sovereignty, but are losing it. This is true in communities such as Lod, where there are neighborhoods that Arabs have taken over.

And it is particularly true on Har Habayit -- the Temple Mount. The attorney general has said that Israeli law applies on the Mount, and the High Court has said Jews have a right to pray there. But the police have determined that Jewish praying on the Mount will foment Arab violence and thus have forbidden it.

Earlier on the day of the conference, Feiglin went up on the Mount, as he regularly does, bowed down and began to pray, and was promptly arrested by the policeman who had been following him.

Every time I write about this sort of incident, I find myself ashamed to the core. This is not how a Jewish government should be managing matters on the site that is the holiest to the Jewish people simply in order to appease or avoid confrontation with Arabs. And, indeed, perhaps we need to raise our voices and promote activism on this issue before we talk about annexing Judea and Samaria.

It's all of a piece, of course. A government that does not have the courage to protect sovereignty on the Mount is not going to promote legislation for sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.


Adv. Alan Baker, an international lawyer, former Israeli ambassador to Canada, and a member of the Edmund Levy Committee, which issued the Levy Report, spoke about that report.


What he had to say was exceedingly important. His presentation touches upon so much however, that I want to return to examine it in greater detail on another day.

The mandate of the three-person Levy Committee was to examine the status of Judea and Samaria and to recommend ways to deal with the land.

This was with regard to considering the highly ambiguous situation that pertains there, not with an eye to legalizing illegal construction. An important point must be made, however: Former prime minister Sharon had mandated Talia Sasson with examining the situation in Judea and Samaria, as well. Her report was never formally adopted by an Israeli government. But she made a list of outposts that had been constructed without full authorization -- they were "unauthorized" -- and changed the term to "illegal" (which is not the same thing). The concept of "illegal outposts" was then adopted by the international community.

For a long time, there was a freeze on construction that prevented the issuance of permits. There was no possibility of continuing construction with full authorization (with all proper signatures). Construction done in this manner was termed "illegal."

The over-riding question is whether Israel has rights in Judea and Samaria on the ground. Is Israeli presence there "illegal"?

The committee examined the idea that public lands -- not privately owned -- in Judea and Samaria were automatically Arab and rejected this approach. Ottoman, Jordanian, Israeli and international law were considered in depth.

We do not have "occupation" in the sense implied by international law because we did not move onto the land of a legal sovereign. Our situation is sui generis, which means one of a kind -- without precedent or basis in international law.

The committee rejected completely application of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

We are the indigenous people in this region. After examining the legal history, the committee concluded that the Jewish people has well established rights that cannot be negated or denied. We are talking here about San Remo, the Balfour Declaration and more. These declarations are treaty statements.

Instead of apologizing, we should state our rights. People simply don't know.

The land is not Palestinian -- there is no document that gives the Arabs the right to the land. What we are dealing with is "disputed" land, not "occupied Palestinian territory."

The committee hopes the next government will relate seriously to the Levy Report.

More to follow, including on the Levy recommendations.


Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), Chair of the Coalition and Chair of the Knesset Eretz Yisrael Committee, alluded to two historical periods here in Israel since 1967.


From 1967 until 1992 or 1993, the trend was preserving the status quo in Judea and Samaria. Communities were built there, and there was an assumption that matters would unfold on their own as facts were established on the ground.

From 1992 [with the advent of Oslo] until the present, there has been a back-stepping. We are in a state of confusion now and he hopes this second period is coming to an end. He believes (there is not consensus on this yet) that what Abbas did at the UN has brought the Oslo period to a finish.

Israel postponed the discourse on sovereignty and now we need a new approach. We must apply sovereignty to the maximum possible at any given moment. Slowly we can change the public discourse.


Dr. Moti Kedar, Middle East expert and lecturer at Bar Ilan University, was asked to speak on the Arab reaction to sovereignty.


But, asked Kedar, did Arabs ever agree to sovereignty over Tel Aviv or Haifa? Have Egypt and Jordan -- both of which have peace treaties with Israel -- ever recognized Israel as the state of the Jewish people?

Kedar said that we urgently require an international television station that broadcasts in English and Arabic and that simply tells the truth. People have access to CNN and a host of other stations biased against Israel, while Israel is simply missing from that broadcast discussion.

He further observed that the courts should have nothing to do with determination of borders. This is a political issue, for the Knesset. The courts should be involved strictly with legal issues, which he believes calls for a change in Basic Law.

Kedar, an expert on Muslim/Arab culture, said that only those who are victors can secure their place in the Middle East. Those who seek peace are seen as vanquished and get kicked.


Caroline Glick, columnist, senior editor at the Jerusalem Post and senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs for the Center for Security Policy, was one of four persons on a panel that discussed the issue of the status of Arabs after the application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.


People are afraid of the demographic issue, she said -- the fear that if we incorporate Judea and Samaria into Israel fully we will be demographically overwhelmed. Birthrates are shifting, however, and the public needs to be educated on this. She sees a population 2/3 Jewish and 1/3 Arab.

The precedents that exist on this issue were with Jerusalem and the Golan, and there were no problems encountered in either of these areas. Every Arab would be given the opportunity to request citizenship, provided he or she met the criteria established by the Ministry of the Interior -- with regard to renouncing terrorism and accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

Glick says we are now entering a period that is historically revolutionary. To proceed the issue must happen in the context of a larger change in the Israeli public, and changes in the Israeli legal system will be required. People are tired of the way things currently operate, specifically with regard to the High Court (B'gatz).

She noted the fact that Habayit Hayehudi is expected to be part of the next coalition (from her mouth to Heaven!) and it is advocating annexation of Area C. This represents a huge change.


Other participants on the panel included MK Arieh Eldad, Adv. Elyakim Haetzni, and Dr. Martin Sherman.

You can see the entire conference dubbed in English here (skip the first five minutes, as that is a film of last years conference):

In a few days Women in Green will be providing links to each speaker separately, in English and Hebrew.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 03, 2013

The Jordan Valley (a vital component of strategic borders for Israel) is located in the Territories, mostly in a closed military zone. That zone is closed for use military training and as a firing range.

Nevertheless, a number of Arab families have plunked down on that land and build houses illegally. Israel has demolished some of those houses, be not all. In anticipation of new military exercises in the Jordan Valley, the IDF ordered about a hundred Arab families to evacuate. But the IDF informed them that when the exercises are done, they may move back in to their illegal dwellings (IMRA, 1/4/13).

You realize that not only is the Arab construction there illegal, but the land built upon probably was stolen, too.

The IDF has declared certain areas closed military zones for political reasons, to keep Jews out, not for military reasons. Yet the Left, which often urges mutiny in troops patrolling the West Bank (the anti-Zionist nickname for Judea-Samaria), and the government get upset when some troops refuse orders, also given for political reasons, to evacuate Jews. The argument against Jews is that military orders must be obeyed, but the arguers urge that military orders not be obeyed in defending the country against the Arabs.

What does that tell you about Israeli treatment of Palestinian Arabs? And About Israel being the state of the Jews

Compare the attitude of the government and the media and universities when a Jew buys some property and has proof of having done so, but some Arab squatters refuse to move out. The attitude is hysterical. Demands are made that the Jew be kept out or if already in be forced out. The Supreme Court usually issues an evacuation order. And leftists declare that the ruling vindicates the rule of law. But when a hundreds times as many Arabs build illegally, really illegally as compared to the mostly false allegations against Jews, the government, the media, and the universities do not complain until the rare government action to dispossess. What does that tell you abut the rule of law by Israel?

Since the Jordan Valley must be kept by Israel in order to have a safe border, should Israel be allowing Arabs to infiltrate it?

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

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Posted by FSM, January 03, 2013

The article below was written by Michelle Malkin, who is Contributing Editor at FSM and the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies (Regnery 2009). Her e-mail address is This article appeared on January 3, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at

President Obama will kick off the new year the same way that he kicked off the old year: by demanding that the wealthy pay their "fair share" in taxes. But while millions of small-business owners, struggling entrepreneurs, inventors and investors brace for a double whammy of fiscal cliff tax hikes and new Obamacare taxes, the class-warrior in chief's richest pals are getting a pass.

It's a Golden Pass for liberal millionaires and billionaires who support higher Obama taxes for everyone but themselves. Meet the Democratic tax evaders of the year.

-- Google. The left-wing Internet giant provided Silicon Valley's biggest campaign finance boost to Obama, with individual employee donations supporting the tax-hiking candidate by a ratio of more than 31-to-1. Google rank-and-file workers pitched in some $800,000 to Obama. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President David Drummond, and Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf are all vocal Obama supporters and top donors.

In December, Google's Netherlands subsidiary disclosed in a tax filing that it had shifted nearly $10 billion in revenues to a Bermuda shell company. That's "almost double the total from three years before," according to Bloomberg News. In response to criticism, Google defended the scheme as a legal response to government incentives. "It's called capitalism," Schmidt snarked defiantly.

Wonder what all of Obama's operatives and media lapdogs who bashed evil, selfish Republican offshore tax havens have to say about that? Cue crickets chirping.

-- The Washington Post. Speaking of media lapdogs, this newspaper sanctimoniously supported Obama for president and singled out his support for "revenue (tax) increases." Its endorsement editorial castigated Mitt Romney for embracing an America "in which an ever-greater share of the nation's wealth resides with the nation's wealthy, at a time when inequality already is growing."

The privileged wealthy barons at The Washington Post, however, increased that inequality at the end of the year when they joined a growing number of companies who are giving 2013 dividends in 2012 to protect investors from paying higher Obama taxes on dividend income. It's "proof positive," my friend and guest-blogger Doug Powers noted, "that no matter what happens in the negotiations, the country is definitely going off the irony cliff."

Bonus irony: The $70 million year-end dividend payment will be a windfall for other "higher taxes for thee, but not for me" Obama supporters, including donor Warren Buffett's firm Berkshire Hathaway. According to The Associated Press, "Berkshire is its largest shareholder, with an estimated 1.7 million shares, which means it could get a roughly $17 million dividend payment."

-- Costco. The mega-retailer's co-founder, Jim Sinegal, is a lifelong Democrat and top Obama fundraiser. He crusaded aggressively for Obamacare and sent out a campaign dispatch defending his candidate from criticism over his "you didn't build that remarks." But while Sinegal purported to speak for beleaguered small-business owners, his company was availing itself of rarified tax avoidance strategies. Like The Washington Post, the Costco board of directors voted to pay special $7 per share year-end dividends to avoid higher taxes. In addition, Costco will borrow $3.5 billion to finance the payout, according to The Wall Street Journal. Higher taxes, more debt. They built that.

-- Facebook. The social networking giant's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, told Obama in 2011 at a town hall forum that he was "cool" with paying higher taxes. But neither Zuckerberg nor his many Facebook execs are actually down with following through. Co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his American citizenship in a blindingly obvious bid to evade nearly $70 million in taxes. In addition, Zuckerberg and a half-dozen Facebook insiders are all skirting hefty estate and gift taxes on their family Facebook shares held in annuity trusts. According to Bloomberg News, the legal maneuver is called a "grantor-retained annuity trust, or GRAT," and the total Facebook tax avoidance sum adds up to at least $200 million. A "cool" $200 million, that is.

-- George Lucas. The billionaire Star Wars director called Obama a "hero" and parroted his candidate's capitalism-bashing rhetoric in a January 2012 interview with PBS dinosaur Charlie Rose. "I do not believe that the rich should be able to buy the government," Lucas lectured. He does, however, believe in shirking higher taxes the one-percenter way. In October, Lucas sold his film company to Disney for a whopping $4 billion in cash and stock to evade anticipated capital gains tax increases and Obamacare Medicare surtaxes on investment income.

-- Andre "Dr. Dre" Young. Forbes magazine named this California gangsta rapper-turned-music industry mogul the highest-paid musician in the world in 2012. He raked in an estimated $100 million, mostly from sales of his Beats headphone company, along with concert revenue. Dre's music electronics company was co-founded with Jimmy Iovine, who also founded Dre's parent record label, Interscope Records. Interscope was funded by "progressive" billionaire Ted Field, heir to the Marshall Field retail empire and one of the nation's biggest Democratic Party donors.

Dre boosted the careers of prominent Obama hip-hop cheerleaders Eminem and 50 Cent. But overseas, he's rolling like a Romney supporter. The rap mogul is now using a County Cork, Ireland, tax haven to protect his global headphones empire subsidiaries and avoid high U.S. corporate tax rates. The Irish Examiner newspaper explained that the elaborate structuring "allows for money to be (channeled) between the separate companies in the form of royalty payments or (license) fees to artificially but legitimately reduce profits as a means of reducing tax liabilities."

To paraphrase Dre and his Obama-endorsing rap partner Snoop Dogg: Ain't nuthin' but an E thang. Elitism. Exemptions. Evasion.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, January 04, 2013

A good man and American, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, passed away this past December 27th. G_d rest his soul.

When the Syrian Assads' twin butcher to the east, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, grabbed that giant oil well also known as Kuwait, he had crossed a line that was indeed taboo.

Previously killing hundreds of thousands (some claim millions) of human beings was one thing--especially if they were non-Arab Kurds a la gassed babies in Halabja, the Al-Anfal Campaign, and such. But hijacking one of the world's most important sources of oil--now that was a crime that simply could not be forgiven or overlooked, especially since key leaders in the West (including the then current American President) had direct links to that black gold themselves.

I will never forget the venom which spewed out of the mouths of folks like President Reagan's Chief of Staff, James Baker III, and Vice-President George H.W. Bush when Israel destroyed Saddam's nuclear facility at Osirik just a decade before Stormin' Norman commanded 1991's Operation Desert Storm ( Reagan, himself, reportedly reacted to the news by saying, "Well, boys will be boys."

Bush the First would later also be known for such things as taking Israel to task for building in "occupied territory" (East Jerusalem--where the Jews' age-old Temple Mount and such are located) and then demanding that it keep its hands tied behind its back while being sucker punched by Saddam's Scuds during Desert Storm--Jews being punished for America's attempts to save some Arab oil fat cat derrieres from other Arabs' aggression.

Who knew at the time whether or not Saddam would be tipping those forty or so missiles targeting Israeli cities with biological or chemical warheads? As for the Patriot missile batteries America placed inside Israel allegedly as a trade for keeping the Jews from nailing Saddam like he needed to be nailed, most agree that they were virtually useless

It made no nevermind. After all, what was more important, Gentiles gassing Jews again or that allegedly "indispensable" aid we got from the Saudis and Egyptians. And yes--I know about that Arab cover argument too.

Baker would become even more famous for such actions and comments as "F#*k the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway." Among other things, his law firm has represented Saudi Arabs against American 9/11 victims, his partner was Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and so forth. Indeed, Baker is a specialist supreme at milking the Arab oil teat while at the same time speaking about the Jews' alleged love for money.

I think of such things now because of the non-stop news coming out of the region affecting all parties involved.

Sadly, I can't recall General Schwarzkopf without cringing at how his boss and the latter's close buddy, whom he appointed as Secretary of State (the Bush I and Baker team, once again), encouraged the Kurds in the north and the Shi'a Arabs in the south to revolt against Saddam, but then stood by and allowed them both to be mercilessly slaughtered while our own forces were just a few virtual stones' throws away from the action.

True, later on, due to the scale of the carnage and suffering, we were embarrassed by our European allies into setting up a no-fly zone (one which, to the State Department's dismay, allowed for the evolution of a semi-autonomous KRG in Iraq and perhaps something even more yet to come), but we did so only very reluctantly and after tens of thousands of people were massacred and even more displaced. Unlike Arabs, Kurdish refugees did not have almost two dozen other states to flee to--for whatever reason and regardless of who was to blame.

Recall that Bush I allowed Saddam to not only remain in power (indeed, had supplied weapons to him earlier as a counter to the Iranian mullahs) but to also keep the bulk of his elite Republican Guard forces intact so not to anger our alleged Arab "allies" and petro-despot buddies too much. After all, it would not look good to have some Arabs suffer a humiliating defeat (primarily at the hands of "Infidels"), regardless of what they were doing to others--including other Arabs.

So, Norman wasn't allowed to go stormin'--however that nickname was allegedly earned.

And while the General went along with these decisions from above (what other choice did he really have?), he knew better himself. It bothered him until the day he died--especially since we had to do a replay in 2003.

When America concluded its ceasefire with Saddam, amongst the other tragic mistakes (however much some folks try to cover for them and which resulted in our having to go to war to finally oust Saddam later anyway) was one which allowed him to use non-fixed wing aircraft against Iraq's own residents. And he did so horrendously.

I will never forget the news conference or interview--I forget which it was--that I watched in which Schwarzkopf complained about how he was duped. This occurred after Saddam had unleashed hell on the Kurds and Shi'a after the ceasefire and American withdrawal, when our forces were right over the border in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. This was nothing less than an American disgrace--and one engineered by the same Arabists at the State Department who are now supporting Islamists just about everywhere else in the region and undermining more democratic, inclusive forces begging for assistance. Like the Syrian Democratic Coalition in Syria, for instance. Worse yet, they had done this to the Kurds years before as well.

Later, the General defended the American position by simply saying that the Kurds had been battling the Iraqi regime for years and would continue to do so regardless of what America did or said. "Yes, we are disappointed that that has happened. But it does not affect the accomplishment of our mission one way or another."

Stormin' Norman had no control over those who make American foreign policy. He was just their faithful servant. But those folks have largely been in bed with Sunni Arab oil potentates for some three quarters of a century now. It has been rare indeed when an American leader could/would operate at least somewhat independently of their enormous influence.

American officials have had oil tankers named for them; scores of millions (probably more) of Arab petro-dollars have come to former Presidents' libraries, foundations, and such; and folks like James Baker III, Cap Weinberger, the Dulles Boys, and a zillion others have moved through the revolving doors of government and petro-businesses. Together, this influence has made the relative "power" of Israel's much talked about supporters at AIPAC look like that coming out of a BB gun.

Having been deeply engaged in Kurdish and other Middle Eastern issues on academic, professional, and/or personal levels for well over forty years now, I can say that we have, quite possibly, finally arrived at the dawn of a new momentous era in history.

Change is in the wind--unlike I have ever seen before.

The much-touted Arab Spring has sprung in some very nasty ways--as at least some of us feared all along. Secular despots have simply been replaced by theocratic, even less tolerant ones. And the plight of scores of millions of non-Arab peoples like Kurds, Copts, Assyrians, Imazighen/"Berbers," Jews, and so forth--has become even more dangerous as a result. Many, many thousands have already fled abroad.

Again, perhaps as the collective poster child for all of this, some forty million Kurds are still struggling for the same human and political rights in (at least) one federated or independent state that Arabs demand for themselves in almost two dozen others. It is for this reason that I devoted a good portion of my own book to the Kurdish cause (, and it is no accident that the book's Foreword was mostly written by the President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, Sherkoh Abbas.

Given this change, current events in both Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan are both worrisome and encouraging.

The recent power vacuum, for instance, in Syria, with Assad being preoccupied with events elsewhere in the country, has allowed Kurds more freedom than they have ever known to date, at least in modern times. But they are caught in the middle between Sunni Arab Islamist forces (and Turkish supporters) and those of Shi'a Arab Alawis (and their Lebanese Hizbullah and Iranian supporters).

In the end, however, no matter who comes out on top, almost all Arabs--regardless of stripe--will see the hopes of Kurds as they do that of the Jews and have called the birth of a potential "Kurdistan" another Israel.

Arabs may kill Arabs and certainly do--but all agree that Kurds, Assyrians, Copts, "Berbers," and whomever else should remain the ruled while Arabs alone will be the rulers. And in case you haven't noticed, that's also the Arab-Israeli conflict in a nutshell.

Add to these bloody, historical events in Syria the amazing, ongoing economic and political development of the KRG region in Iraq, the potential for conflict with Arabs there over the heartland of Kurdistan's oil, complications which arise due to the involvement of both Iran and Turkey, and the balancing act Kurds must engage in to mollify all parties involved.

Keep in mind that such recent developments also have impacts on tens of millions of Kurds in those above non-Arab nations. Over one half of Iran consists of non-Iranian minorities suppressed to one degree or another. Millions of Kurds are among those folks--some being hung of late, many others slaughtered earlier. And according to the Turk's own stats, over 22 million (!!!) of its own citizens are Kurds, aka "Mountain Turks" (

The relative good news discussed here is somewhat offset by the potential (if not necessarily likely) response in the long term of those in the majority who still want to suppress such progress--be they Turks, Arabs, or Iranians. Not long ago there were joint meetings between the three over how to handle their common Kurdish "headache."

The question is, will the world stand by, yet again, and simply watch another slaughter?

My guess, unfortunately, is yes. After all, Arabs are slaughtering Arabs daily in Iraq and Syria as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of Kurds and all of these other long-oppressed peoples must finally be taken seriously-- and if that means having to redraw some post-World War I maps, then so be it. There was/is nothing sacred in at least most of those regional internal and/or external imperial lines to begin with. And despite Arab claims to the contrary, the whole region is not just "purely Arab patrimony."

The creation of a more inclusive, tolerant, post-Assad Syria which allows for autonomous federated Alawi, Kurdish, Assyrian, Sunni, Druze, and possibly other states is light years ahead of what the American State Department-supported Arab Islamist opposition forces have in mind. For them, look at the Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt as the model. Ask some twelve million native, non-Arab/pre-Arab conquest Copts what they think of that idea.

Again, it's long past due that we demand something better than the virtual bed partnership which has existed between the Foggy Folks and the Sunni Arab oil potentates over the good part of the past century. The policies of State towards a reborn Israel (fighting President Truman over its very resurrection) and the struggles of the Kurds have been virtually the same--and for many of the same reasons.

General Schwartzkopf's disappointing response to the Arabs' repeated slaughter of Kurds would not have been necessary if the cause of this much used and abused people, promised independence after World War I, but then sacrificed via a collusion of British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism, had not been abandoned. My own heavily-documented doctoral studies detailed this travesty in depth over three decades ago. We continue to witness the tragic consequences of all of this today. There is still no "roadmap" for Kurdistan nor a "Quartet" demanding it.

While some of the players have changed a bit over the past century in the new age of nationalism erupting in the region, the Kurds (along with the Imazighen/"Berbers" of North Africa) have remained the area's most numerous, stateless victims. On this issue, the Arabs are thus largely correct--the Kurds of today are the oppressed, often slaughtered, stateless Jews of yesterday. Recall that over half of Israel's Jewish population (and another million Jews who fled elsewhere) are from refugee families from the so-called "Arab"/Muslim world.

Given all the above, it is time for all good people and nations to come forward and, as the Arabs and their supporters continuously act to create a 22nd state of their own, force the issue at a non-stop pace.

The cause of scores of millions of truly stateless Kurds must finally continuously make it into the front pages, op-eds, and editorials of the mainstream media; onto course syllabi and required reading lists in academia; and into the halls of the United Nations and other world bodies the same way the demand for the creation of that additional Arab state does. And we must press forward despite the relentless opposition that such endeavors will receive from members of the Arab League, the Turks, Iranians, and others elsewhere--like those right here in the American State Department who still insist that Kurds remain tied to those who habitually subjugate and massacre them.

Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications. Contact him at

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy, January 04, 2013

The article below was written by Ken Jensen who is associate director of the American Center for Democracy for its Economic Warfare Institute. Contact him at Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy at

Today and tomorrow, we turn back to the Middle East with a collection of articles that are a bit out of the mainstream news but important. Today's offerings are on Syria and Egypt


J. Millard Burr has sent us an interesting Reuters piece that provides, as he says, an excellent example of economic warfare. The article's lede tells most of the story:

"In Syria's eastern town of Deir al-Zor, a rebel commander flush with cash was swapping his dollars for Syrian pounds to pay fighters battling President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

"Money changers said that influx of foreign currency earlier this month helped push the pound's black market rate in the impoverished town up by at least 10 percent.

"Hundreds of kilometers away in Damascus, panicked Syrians bracing for more violence sold pounds for dollars, driving the pound, which has lost half its value since the anti-Assad uprising erupted in March last year, the other way.

"The events at opposite ends of the country illustrate the contrasting pressures on a currency whose sharp decline has been cushioned by factors including central bank intervention, flows of cash from Assad's friends and foes abroad, and even long term hopes for a wave of foreign investment if Assad were to fall."

The point of the Reuters story is that external cash flows to the rebels is party responsible for the Syrian pound's resilience. According to a Syrian banker, "'All the money sent to the opposition comes in foreign currency and this is supplying the market with dollars and keeping the pound afloat.'" However, the picture is more complicated than this. Read the piece and see what I mean.


The Guardian UK has confirmed that the Syrian government's former spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, has defected and is in Washington cooperating with intelligence officials. The piece included today says that

"Makdissi is the most senior member of the regime to defect since Syria's prime minister, Riyad Hijab, fled with his family to Jordan in August. While not a member of the inner sanctum, Makdissi was central to shaping the regime's message and privy to many of its most sensitive communications."


We've come across an odd little piece by one Scott Winchell on that reports that in July U.S. Major General Paul Vallely (Ret.) and a team from an organization called "SUA" (otherwise, not identified) met with, what the article calls, "the Syrian opposition on the ground." This is to distinguish it from the Syrian National Council (at the time). The piece seems to dub the Sunni opposition as the "real one," and disassociates it from al Qaeda. If anyone can tell us more about Vallely and this ground, I'm sure we'd all be most appreciative.


Our regular correspondent Ganesh Sahathevan in Sydney has sent us a piece from The Australian that indicates that more than 100 (largely Sunni) Australians have joined the civil war in Syria. Australian security agencies fear that these men would be "hardened with combat skills and training" and bring jihad back home to Australia. The piece also says that "The concerns come amid fears that hundreds of thousands of dollars a month are leaving Australia, bound for the conflict zone, with some flowing to rebel jihadists."


Writing for Digital Journal, Katerina Nikolas illuminates an interview with the head of Syria's Jabhat Al Nusra, considered by many to be the most powerful opposition group fighting in the country now. Sheikh Abu Ahmed, its military commander, makes it clear that the group will push for a radical Islamist regime to replace Assad. The piece also notes that there are still some 1.8 million Christians in Syria.


Fred Gedrich has sent us a Washington Times piece he's written on the political direction of things in Syria. Although he sees an eventual Sunni victory over the Assad regime, he believes that Washington may be able to help effect a regime of religious legal equality that isn't a threat to its neighbors. How that might happen, he doesn't say.



It can be argued that the roots of contemporary Islamism lie as much in the legacy of socialism as they do in the writings of Sayyid Qutb. In the Middle East, Islamism in a sense grew out of the failure of socialism. In Europe, the Left, having run out of causes, turned to the championing of immigrants and Islamists took immediate advantage, adapting to the basic dispositions of the Left and taking over. But like nationalism, socialism didn't die out to be wholly replaced in the Middle East by whatever economic system advocates of Shari'a could dream up. In fact, Shari'a finance itself owes a great deal to socialism.

Accordingly, I'm pleased to see that someone has noticed this. Bill Frezza, writing for Forbes, has produced a piece on the socialist tenets in Egypt's new constitution. And he lays them all out there for us to see. A full recipe for Egyptian economic disaster. Very useful, no?


Earlier in December, the Financial Times' Borzou Daragahi did a piece on the Muslim Brotherhood that reinforces one's sense that it is a proto- or crypto- or already-full-totalitarian party. That's useful, but hardly unique. Daragahi, however, does call our attention to something that can be used against those who still argue that "Egyptian democracy" will change the Brothers into classical liberals.

Daragahi points out that, in power, the Brotherhood has become more secretive and "top-down" than ever. Considering that before the creation of the Freedom and Justice Party the Egyptian MB was run by seven individuals and that discipline in the ranks was strictly enforced, what the author says indicates that the challenges to the Brotherhood since taking power have only pushed it further in the totalitarian direction.

We know that totalitarian parties can implode, especially when their economic programs fail, but will that happen in Egypt?

The Telegraph UK's Robert Spencer, ostensibly writing about the Egyptian constitutional vote and the attitudes of the non-MB man on the street, produced a piece that points to the fundamental political problem of invoking Shari'a as a constitutional "inspiration" or informing principle. He reminds us that the old constitution obliged the Mubarak regime to follow the principles of Shari'a. The Mubarak regime was noted for turning "the Islamist tap" on and off at will, according to its short-term interests. Almost anything of an oppositional sort could be judged in violation of the spirit of Shari'a. Nothing has changed under the new constitutional draft that changes circumstances that have obtained (since 1937, in fact). Shari'a in Egypt is, as it was with Mubarak, "also simply a means of state repression."

ITEM 1a: Katerina Nikolas: Jabhat Al-Nursa's plans for a new Syria under sharia

Dec 23, 2012

Jabhat Al Nusra has emerged as the most powerful fighting group amidst the Syrian rebel opposition. The Islamist group has outlined its plans to impose sharia law once President Assad is ousted. Sheikh Abu Ahmed, military commander of Jabhat Al Nusra, spoke with a reporter from the National. The Salafist leader said: "Our first goal is to get rid of Assad. Then we want a state where the Quran is the only source of law. Sharia is the right path for all humanity - all other laws make people unhappy." His vision of Syria under sharia is sure to make the populace happy, with alcohol, tobacco, cinema and immoral television shows banned. Ahmed claimed the people "will get used to it eventually." Al Qaeda has endorsed Al Nursa as the purest Islamic group in Syria. Abu Ahmed also said the minority groups including Christians and Alawites will have nothing to fear under sharia law. However, Christians in Syria are alarmed, fearing their religious freedoms will be abolished, Persecution.Org reported. Syria's new Greek Orthodox leader, Youhanna al-Yaziji, has appealed for the 1.8 million Christians to stay in Syria. Naharnet reported the Patriarch said "We Christians are here in the country and we will stay here. We believe that Christ is always present in this region, which is where Christianity was born."

ITEM 2a: Fred Gedrich: Syria on track to become Islamic state. Shariah law threatens democracy, stability

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The conflict raging in Syria for 20-plus months to oust Bashar Assad from power has evolved into a sectarian battle for Middle East supremacy by two ancient enemies: Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Sunni rebels appear poised for victory. It's vitally important for the Obama administration to discourage a new Syrian government from supplanting the secular dictatorship with a more dangerous regime based on Islamic law. Another Islamic state in the Middle East could threaten regional residents with more religious tyranny, perpetual war with neighbors and another caliphate.

Syria's Sunni Muslims, who comprise nearly 75 percent of the country's 22.5 million people, sparked the uprising by demanding more freedom and a greater role in government from Mr. Assad's oppressive minority Alawite regime. Mr. Assad responded with a brutal military crackdown. Demonstrations spread and escalated into full-fledged war involving other countries and foreign fighters, mostly along religious lines. This almost exclusively Muslim-on-Muslim conflict has claimed 60,000 civilian and warring-faction lives and displaced an estimated 2.5 million people.

At stake is a historically prized, diversely populated and strategically important land. Syria's rich history dates back 4,500 years. Its population includes Muslims, Alawites, Kurds, Christians, Druze, Turkmen and Palestinians. Moreover, it borders Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea. Since 1971, it has been ruled by the Assad family's Baathist dictatorship, Hafez and then his son Bashar.

Here are some particulars about the main warring parties:

Alawites (members of a Shiite Muslim offshoot) represent about 12 percent of the population, yet occupy most of Mr. Assad's top military and government posts. They are also Mr. Assad's most trusted, best-armed and best-trained military components and serve as shabiha paramilitary (irregular) enforcers against his enemies.

Iran's Shiite regime is Mr. Assad's most important ally in the Middle East. It supplies Mr. Assad's security forces with arms, ammunition, missiles, fighters and trainers mostly via the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds force. Iran's most lethal terrorist proxy, Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah, also has joined the fight on Mr. Assad's side. The loss of the Syrian alliance will be a devastating setback for Iran's regional ambitions, especially because it serves as a strategic gateway for this non-Arab state to other Arab countries, Palestinian refugee camps, the West Bank, Gaza, Syrian seaports and Israel's border.

Sunni Muslim rebels (about 100 local militias filled with many Syrian military defectors) form the opposition's core and operate under various non-unified umbrellas such as the Free Syrian Army and National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces. Opposition forces also include transnational Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi units, as well as al Qaeda affiliates. Arms are supplied openly to rebel units by Middle Eastern states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that promote Sunni interests and, to varying degrees, interests of Sunni Islamists.

Muslims consider the dominion of Islam - with a man serving as temporal or spiritual successor to the Prophet Muhammad - as the central pillar of their global-domination political program. Sunnis and Shiites disagree sharply on which of them, and who, should lead. They agree that the prime basis of governance and administration of justice should be Islamic (Shariah) law as enunciated in the Koran and traditions of Muhammad, and further elaborated by classical Muslim legists.

Many Westerners, including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, argue that the Arab Spring is bringing democratic transition to Arab world countries such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. After elections, however, the democratic model envisioned by many of them with similar political rights and civil liberties as free-world nations instead are progressing toward intolerant Shariah-based models.

Therein lies a major problem and danger. Shariah is incompatible with democratic theory. As implemented and practiced by many Muslims, it totally subordinates women and mandates many other human rights violations, such as relegating non-Muslim minorities to a much lower legal status than Muslims and dispensing cruel and unusual punishment. It also rejects freedom of speech and conscience and mandates aggressive jihad until the world is brought under Islamic hegemony.

Americans will welcome the fall of the Assad dictatorship and with it the end of the Syrian-Iranian alliance. The U.S.-designated terrorist state duo and their terrorist proxies are responsible for a three-decade Middle East rampage of mayhem and death that also took many American lives. However, U.S. and regional security will not be enhanced if a Sunni Islamic state with caliphate aspirations rises from the ashes of the Assad regime's ruins.

Ideas abound on what the United States could best do to facilitate a more peaceful Syria and Greater Middle East when Mr. Assad falls. One bold action Mr. Obama could take is to publicly urge new Syrian leaders to install a government that promotes gender, ethnic and religious legal equality, outlaws cruel and unusual punishment and isn't a threat to neighbors.

Fred Gedrich, who served in the departments of State and Defense, is a foreign policy and national security analyst.

ITEM 3a: Scott Winchell: MG Vallely meets with Syrian Opposition Leaders

July 2, 2012

Does anyone really know what is going on in Syria? Who are the combatants? Who is supporting the regime, both internally and externally? Who is supporting the opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad? Where is aid actually going and why?

With so much conflicting information, it's very hard for anyone, including our own intelligence and diplomatic services to understand the composition of the 'freedom fighters', their needs, and the forces they face, internally and externally.

One thing we do know, there are parties here in the US and in other capitols that have the ear of the administrations and have vested interests in the region. However, these are not the interests of the people on the ground actually fighting.

The Syrian National Council (SNC) has a PR firm working for them, but not for the true freedom fighters. A man named Ausma Monajed speaks and lobbies for the SNC, but who lobbies for the people on the ground?

Due to the fact that these questions, ones the State Department, the White House, the Armed Services Committee, and others cannot or will not answer, MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (ret.) and his team accepted an invitation to go on a fact finding mission to the region to see this first hand, and they just returned on Friday, June 30.

With the team's long and robust relationship in the Middle East, they met with key leaders of Syrian opposition forces at the border of Turkey and Syria, and toured the area.

SUA was able to glean much information on the Syrian struggle from the team, including the political situation in Turkey and in the entire region. It is with this type of information that SUA ensures that policy makers listen, they will prevent taking the wrong path diplomatically, and committing the same mistakes seen in Libya and Egypt.

It is also apparent now, that the opposition forces certainly have a voice now, heretofore deprived of them in the halls of power. That voice is MG Vallely.

They asked the General to accompany them to Turkey to see and hear firsthand, to meet with those without voices, and to offer guidance in achieving aid for the people.

Once in Antakya, Turkey they were interviewed by Turkish, and other regional media outlets as the first private team to come to the region to research and evaluate the situation inside Syria. They also visited a refugee camp in Hatay Province near Antakya.

A tour was arranged to bring the team to the border (See Video #1) to talk with the leaders of the freedom fighters and determine what they needed, and what the facts were regarding the struggle; to learn just who is who inside the opposition forces.

Now they are trusted friends.

Leaders from Homs and Idlib came across the border that day specifically to meet the General and his team at their own peril. There were also leaders from other locations inside the battle zones of Syria among the more than 40 leaders who attended, including the Mayor.

These leaders were predominantly from the Syrian Liberation Army (SLA) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). There is a distinction, one the world seems to overlook. SUA asks why? More on this later.

Initially, they openly expressed amazement that this man, a retired general would risk so much to come and see them; to listen to them, as a private citizen of the USA. They were very adamant about this point because he was the first private American to come see them, and they expressed a great distrust of Americans prior.

They were quickly endeared and ready to talk for hours, and they did. A meeting area was set up, and Vallely and Qdemati answered their questions and spoke of what most of America thinks. They also listened, a new thing for these leaders: to be listened too. (See Video #2 below)

They described their plight and their plans for an emerging Syria, one without Assad and his thugs in charge any longer. They also described that the Sunnis are united, and al Qaeda is not helping them. They know there is much misinformation out in the public, and they are incensed that their message is not being heard, or even cultivated. It is also clear to them, that others are getting credit for their deeds, yet they get no help. They know they do not have those kinds of connections in DC and the UN.

They do know at this time though; that they must work together for the time being to erase the current regime, then tackle their permanent future despite their differences.

They are deeply saddened, that no one is consulting them about their future, as if they are children in need of direction from other world leaders and the UN. The world is ignoring the 20 million Sunnis of Syria. Kofi Annan is not respected, nor liked. They distrust the UN and its leadership.

The Sunnis described the carnage and attacks as an attempt at 'ethnic cleansing' mainly in the Lattakia province in the Kurdish mountains where the regime forces are clearing 12 Sunni villages. They are systematically being expunged from their ancestral homes in a most heinous fashion by Shiites and their allies (Including Alawites who are Shiia).

They explained that soon, when times of last resort arrive, they know chemical weapons will be used and they know where they are. The problem is, they possess almost no defensive equipment for such an eventuality, and are woefully deficient in medicines, food, and other logistics just to survive.

They described a need for securing pathways for humanitarian aid to be provided along the Turkish border. To this end, MG Vallely gave them a tactical plan on how to establish and secure these pathways with the aid of the Turks and other supporters.

They asked Vallely to spread the word, to be their voice in America. A confidence and trust developed, one that opened a line of communication, and the dialogue now continues. Vallely pledged to continue to spread their voice, now for world leaders to actually listen.

In addition to the insight on Syria, MG Vallely and his team evaluated the political climate in Turkey as well. They spoke with the common people in their homes. What they heard was not a surprise, but it validated previous inquiries.

MG Vallely has constituted a detailed report and pledged to bring their voices to leadership in the US, to offset that of the powerful Middle Eastern interests, like those who have worked for, and have the ear of the White House. More on this to follow as well.

ITEM 4a: Suleiman Al-Khalidi (Reuters): Syria's war-battered pound floats on rebel funds

AMMAN | Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:02am EST

(Reuters) - In Syria's eastern town of Deir al-Zor, a rebel commander flush with cash was swapping his dollars for Syrian pounds to pay fighters battling President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Money changers said that influx of foreign currency earlier this month helped push the pound's black market rate in the impoverished town up by at least 10 percent.

Hundreds of kilometers away in Damascus, panicked Syrians bracing for more violence sold pounds for dollars, driving the pound, which has lost half its value since the anti-Assad uprising erupted in March last year, the other way.

The events at opposite ends of the country illustrate the contrasting pressures on a currency whose sharp decline has been cushioned by factors including central bank intervention, flows of cash from Assad's friends and foes abroad, and even long term hopes for a wave of foreign investment if Assad were to fall.

By comparison, Iran, Assad's staunchest regional ally, has seen its own currency fall more sharply than Syria's, losing about two-thirds of its value since June 2011 because of Western sanctions imposed over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Damascus-based currency dealer Abdullah Abu Saloum, who also has an office in Deir al-Zor, said the rebel fighter's cash was one of many anomalies affecting Syria's foreign exchange market.

"There was a large quantity of dollars that were offered for sale at an attractive price," he said, adding ruefully that he was not able to capitalize on the opportunity because the ongoing violence, which has killed more than 40,000 people, prevented him transferring pounds from Damascus to Deir al-Zor.

"When problems grow, people decide to buy dollars, not sell dollars, but this is what Syria's conflict is producing -- all types of distortions and contradictions."

The pound is trading at 94 to the dollar on the black market compared to 48 before the uprising - a steep fall but less calamitous than might be expected given the devastating loss of state revenues and long term damage wrought by the conflict.


It hit a record low of 105 to the dollar earlier this year before recovering slightly, even allowing the central bank to recoup some losses from its heavy intervention by buying back dollars as they eased slightly, bankers say.

A banker in a Damascus-based subsidiary of a regional bank said cash flows to the Deir al-Zor rebel commander and his comrades were partly responsible for the pound's resilience.

"All the money sent to the opposition comes in foreign currency and this is supplying the market with dollars and keeping the pound afloat," he said.

Assad's foreign backers have also helped.

"The only logical explanation why the regime is able to defend the pound ... is the aid it is primarily getting from Iran," said Samir Seifan, a prominent Syrian economist living abroad, adding that Russia and Iraq were also providing support.

Iraq's Shi'ite government has "opened its trade, helping the country get foreign currency", he said. Baghdad has given preferential access to Syrian exports since the crisis, making it Syria's main trading partner as Gulf and Turkish flows dry up.


At one stage last year, Syria's central bank supplied dollars relatively freely to stabilize the exchange rate; bankers estimated it spent an average $500 million every month.

It also sought to manage a multi-tier exchange regime as part of its efforts to stem the decline - including one for importers buying raw materials and another set daily by the Central Bank to cover other financial transactions.

But the intervention came at a price. Syrian officials say Central Bank reserves stood at around $18 billion before the crisis, and regional bankers say those reserves have diminished by at least a half to around $8 billion.

As the crisis deepens, authorities' ability to maintain the pound's relative stability is being strained, with signs that the central bank is less able to intervene effectively, several exchange dealers contacted by telephone from Damascus said.

"The Central Bank is no longer pumping dollars. The supply is low and the demand is high from the black market, so the dollar has gone up," Wael Halawani, a money changer in the main Seven Lakes business area in central Damascus said.

In the last month alone, as the conflict reached the edge of Assad's power base in Damascus, the pound shed 15 percent. Bankers said the absence of central bank response was notable.

To conserve scarce foreign reserves, the monetary authorities have also stopped selling up to $5,000 to Syrians at preferential rates for personal use, undermining a key hallmark of the multi-tier exchange rate regime.

They had already halved the entitlement from $10,000, and also priced the exchange rate for personal use closer to the black market rate, said one exchange dealer.

Even importers, who are supposed to have priority access to foreign currency at around 77 pounds to the dollar, said they were finding it hard to get hold of dollars.

Last month the Central Bank sought to give the state-run Commercial Bank of Syria exclusive rights on foreign exchange after complaints that currency dealers were exploiting the discounted import rate to sell on to the black market.

"They would take dollars and not channel them to real importers. We would go to a leading exchange dealer who would say 'Dollars in such quantities are not available', and in fact they would have taken $3 million and hoarded it," said a prominent importer of foodstuffs.

But bankers say the move to curb currency dealerships just put more pressure on the pound at a time when central bank intervention had fallen sharply from around $15 million a day.

"For almost a month they have been injecting no more than $1 million a day and this is not helping the pound," said a banker.

The cumulative impact of reduced intervention and a move away from the multi-tier exchange rage could bring Syria closer to allowing its official rate to fall to the prevailing market rates and may amount to a recognition that reserves could no longer be run down rapidly to defend the currency, bankers said.

But rebel funds are taking over in large parts of Syria.

"As long as there are large infusions of dollars coming to the rebels there will not be a total collapse of the Syrian currency and only if it dries up then we will see a free fall of the currency and we will see increasing dollarization of the economy," said Samir Aita, a prominent Syrian economist who before the uprising was involved in economic decisionmaking.

Some businessmen see a gleam of hope if the conflict can be brought to a close, either by a political deal or a military victory by the rebels who are backed by wealthy Gulf Arab states.

Many expatriate Syrian businessmen who transferred their wealth abroad during 40 years of rule by Assad and his father, late President Hafez al-Assad, would be likely to repatriate some of their savings.

Syria, often cut off from international finance over the last four decades, could also attract significant international inflows of money.

"The important thing is, what solution is on the horizon?" a Damascus investor said. "There will be reconstruction and if one of the solutions is that someone like Qatar says 'we will pick up the bill and inject investments' then the pound will rise."

"One of the extreme scenarios is that if Qatar wants to gain the good will of Syrians then you will see the dollar go down to 40 pounds," said the investor who gave his first name as Wasim and has wide investments in the hotel and banking sectors.

ITEM 5a: Martin Chulov (Guardian UK): Senior Syrian official in US and co-operating with intelligence agencies. Guardian understands that US intelligence officials helped Jihad Makdissi to flee, though details of journey are unknown

Monday 24 December 2012 12.57 EST

The Syrian government's former spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, is co-operating with US intelligence officials who helped him flee to Washington almost one month ago, the Guardian understands.

Makdissi became one of the most prominent regime defectors in late November when he left Beirut after first crossing from Syria. The Guardian reported at the time that he had fled for the US, possibly in return for asylum. This has now been confirmed.

The latest development comes after almost a month of debriefings, which have helped intelligence officials build a picture of decision-making in the inner sanctum of the embattled regime.

Syrian officials have denied that Makdissi has defected, saying he had instead taken three months of administrative leave. However, at the time of his departure, Hezbollah's television network in Beirut - not known to be out of step with the regime line - announced that the spokesman's views had strayed from official positions and that he had been fired.

The state department did not respond immediately to requests for comment, and the CIA was unwilling to discuss the story.

Makdissi is the most senior member of the regime to defect since Syria's prime minister, Riyad Hijab, fled with his family to Jordan in August. While not a member of the inner sanctum, Makdissi was central to shaping the regime's message and privy to many of its most sensitive communications.

Makdissi, a former senior diplomat at the Syrian embassy in London, worked closely with foreign minister, Walid al-Mouallem and information minister, Adnan Mahmoud, whom he dealt with regularly as security steadily decayed over the past 18 months.

Despite the worsening situation, the Syrian security establishment has remained largely intact and committed to defeating the armed insurrection that aims to topple it. Key decision makers in Syria are largely drawn from the Alawite sect, to which Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Intelligence officials in states that are hostile to the regime are not known to have close links to the inner sanctum. Until recently, debriefings of Hijab and former general, Manaf Tlass, both Sunni Muslims, have been instrumental in shaping western views of how decisions are taken in Syria and the influence of foreign stakeholders.

Details of Makdissi's journey to the US are not yet known, although Britain has previously denied that he arrived in the UK after fleeing Beirut. Lebanese officials had previously suggested he was either staying with his family in a Christian area near Beirut or had been captured and returned to Syria.

ITEM 6a: Paul Maley, Cameron Stewart: Australians Rush to Join Way in Syria

AUSTRALIAN security agencies believe more than 100 Australians have joined the civil war in Syria, sparking fears the conflict could produce a wave of home-grown jihadists hardened with combat skills and training.

The concerns come amid fears that hundreds of thousands of dollars a month are leaving Australia, bound for the conflict zone, with some flowing to rebel jihadists. The Australian Federal Police's deputy commissioner in charge of national security, Peter Drennan, confirmed the Syrian conflict had resulted in a spike in the number of Australians travelling overseas to fight. "For several years we have seen individuals who plan to, or (do), travel overseas to train and fight as terrorists," Mr Drennan told The Weekend Australian.

"These have been relatively few, but even one is a concern. With increased areas of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, we have seen an increase in the numbers, albeit still low, of Australians travelling overseas to be involved in these conflicts. The most recent conflict attracting Australians is Syria."

"These individuals then return with training in the use of weapons and explosives and experience fighting in armed conflict," Mr Drennan said. "The individuals could well use these skills and knowledge for terrorism in Australia."

There are concerns the war, which has pitted Syria's Sunni majority against the minority Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad, could stoke religious divisions in the migrant heartlands of Melbourne and Sydney. The Weekend Australian has been told security officials put the number of Australians suspected to have travelled to the Syrian and northern Lebanon theatres at "more than 100".

Officials suspect they may be participating in the conflict in a variety of roles, including as combatants. The passage of Australians to Syria is part of a general Islamification of the Syrian opposition movement, which has seen thousands of foreign fighters pour across Syria's northern, southern and eastern borders to participate in the fighting.

Syria's main opposition group is the Free Syrian Army, a secular armed fighting force for the Syrian Opposition Coalition, which has been officially recognised by Australia, France, the US and Britain.

Fighting alongside the FSA, which has sought to distance itself from the extremist groups, are a range of Islamist factions. They include conservative, but mainstream, Salafist groups as well as hardcore jihadists with international links. One of those groups, Jabhat al-Nusra, was recently listed as a terrorist organisation by the US due to its links with al-Qa'ida in Iraq. US officials credit al-Nusra with more than 600 attacks across Syria, including the summary execution of prisoners. In a sign of how prominent the Islamists have become in the Syrian opposition, al-Nusra boasts about 7000 fighters and has become one of the most effective military brigades in the fight against the Assad regime.

Aside from the risk of injury or death, Mr Drennan said Australians who travelled to foreign hotspots risked being prosecuted in Australia for terrorism or foreign incursion offences carrying penalties of between seven and 20 years' jail.

Australian officials say the Syrian uprising represents the first time al-Qa'ida has played a frontline fighting role in the Arab Spring, which began in December 2010. They believe Australians have been drawn to the conflict mainly for two reasons: sectarian loyalty with their fellow Sunnis or the desire to wage jihad. The latter reason is of most concern to counter terrorism officials. Mindful of the precedent set in Afghanistan during the 1980s, when the struggle against Soviet occupation produced a generation of well-trained, highly radical jihadists who would later wage war against the West, officials worry the Syrian cause could produce a crop of Islamists with combat skills and training.

They stress the problem is not yet on the same scale as the Soviet jihad nor are there indications any of the returned Australians have evinced a desire to attack targets in Australia. They add that community leaders in Sydney and Melbourne have been quick to recognise the threat to social cohesion that the conflict poses and for the most part have been effective in quelling sectarian tensions.

Most of those known to have travelled to Syria are Lebanese dual nationals who enter Syria via northern Lebanon. However, other dual nationals are suspected to have travelled to the conflict zone. Although separated by a line on the map, the territory around southern Syria and northern Lebanon forms a single cultural community. Many of Australia's Sunni Lebanese citizens have family in northern Lebanon which, like Syria, has been wracked by periodic outbursts of sectarian fighting since the uprising began 21 months ago.

Two Australians are known to have been killed in Syria, apparently while taking part in the fighting. Sydney sheik Mustapha al-Majzoub was killed in a rocket attack in August. His supporters said he was conducting humanitarian work, but counter-terrorism officials contacted by The Weekend Australian confirmed he was a known extremist. In October, Melbourne kickboxer Roger Abbas was killed, according to his family, after he was caught in crossfire while carrying out humanitarian work. Abbas had posted on a Facebook tribute page set up to honour al-Majzoub.

ITEM 7a: Borzou Daragahi (Financial Times): In power, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood remains secretive, defensive, critics say

CAIRO - For years, Mohamed el-Gebba bristled under the dictates of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the secretive and hierarchical organization he had embraced as a teenager, only to be told by his elders that it could not emerge as either a real political party or a bona fide charity under the rule of Hosni Mubarak.

But even after Mubarak was overthrown in last year's revolution, Gebba said, he found that the Brotherhood refused to open up and that, in many ways, it became less transparent once it began to acquire real political power.

Protests in Egypt. A decree issued by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi giving the military temporary authority to arrest civilians and protect "vital facilities of the state" took effect Monday, as a standoff continued over a Dec. 15 referendum on a controversial draft constitution and more protests were called for Tuesday.

"You have seven people who are all the time managing the Muslim Brotherhood," said Gebba, who broke with the group last year after 12 years as a member. "Now they think they can manage Egypt in the same way."

The downfall of Mubarak's regime raised hopes that the Brotherhood would abandon decades of opacity to embrace the pro-democracy spirit of the Arab spring revolts.

But as President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the group, attempts to push through a constitution roundly rejected by liberals, leftists, Christians and secularists, critics say the Brotherhood's autocratic tendencies have come to the fore.

"The Muslim Brotherhood needs to understand that democracy is not just a way to gain power but an end in itself," Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former Brotherhood leader who broke with the group last year to pursue a presidential run, told an audience at the University of Chicago last month.

On Monday, Aboul Fotouh urged his supporters to vote against the constitution in Saturday's referendum. Most liberal groups have called for a boycott of the plebiscite.

After a week of unrest in which seven people have died and hundreds have been injured, Morsi on Monday gave the Egyptian army, against which the Brotherhood struggled for decades, powers of arrest over civilians and the authority to oversee Saturday's constitutional referendum.

In part, as even critics of the Brotherhood acknowledge, the withering attack on the organization by liberals, the private media, former supporters of Mubarak and the powerful judiciary has only entrenched the group's leadership.

"Now what's happening is the opposition is putting pressure on them in a way that makes them less democratic," said Ibrahim Zafarani, a former member of the Brotherhood who now leads a small moderate Islamist party. "That forces them to close in on themselves and become more defensive."

Upon his election, Morsi resigned from leadership positions in the Brotherhood and vowed to be a president to all Egyptians. But as Egypt's crisis has deepened, the lines delineating the Brotherhood organization, its political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, and the presidency have blurred.

"For better or worse the Brotherhood has become more intertwined with Morsi," said Shadi Hamid, of the Brookings Doha Center, a think-tank. "In his more autonomous months as president, Mr. Morsi said he was independent of the Brotherhood. But now is a time to close ranks."

Last Wednesday, Brotherhood loyalists, wearing motorcycle helmets and wielding clubs, marched in formation towards a protest at the presidential palace in an attempt to crush Morsi's opponents physically. Gebba said even though the Brotherhood leadership severely frowns upon the use of violence or weapons, the militants "must have had the permission" of those higher up to take such a visible step in defence of the presidency.

The Freedom and Justice party stated it was forced to take to the streets, "in partnership with a number of national and popular parties, groups and movements," in order "to protect the legality and legitimacy of the elected Egyptian president and popular will."

To defend Morsi, and perhaps bolster his sometimes choppy rhetoric on the political stump, both Muhammad Badie, the famously reclusive supreme guide of the Brotherhood, and its powerful number two, Khairat el-Shater, appeared live in rare, lengthy press conferences on Saturday.

"How can I rule Egypt when I cannot even protect my own office," Badie said, denouncing allegations that the Brotherhood's leaders control Morsi and referring to a series of attacks on the group's offices.

Regardless of the ability of Morsi and his allies to run Egypt, the president appears for now to be largely consulting his most fervent loyalists. Token liberal and Christian advisers have all abandoned him, and most opposition leaders have refused to meet him until he delays the constitutional referendum.

The impression that Morsi is listening almost exclusively to his Islamist political base was reinforced by his surprise decision on Sunday to announce the imposition of new taxes on everything from mobile phone calls and beer to fertilizer, only to rescind the decision 12 hours later following public criticism by the Freedom and Justice party.

Critics of the Brotherhood point out that under Mubarak, the Brotherhood exhibited a high degree of pragmatism in order to survive as an organization, and say that staying in power remains Morsi's preoccupation.

"The Brotherhood wants power more than money or ideology," charged Gebba. "To achieve that, they will make a deal with evil."

ITEM 8a: Richard Spencer: Egypt constitutional vote: 'Things are definitely worse than under the old regime'

As Egyptians vote on whether to adopt the new constitution, Richard Spencer talks to those promoting the new rules - and those fearful of what is to come.

Cairo 3:14PM GMT 22 Dec 2012

When Alber Saber's mother called police to protect him from a mob baying for his blood, something odd happened: they arrested him. They then threw him in prison, encouraged his cellmates to attack him, and finally took him to court where he was jailed for three months.

Mr Saber's alleged offence was all the more significant in light of the new constitution - being voted on by millions of Egyptians on Saturday - that is at the heart of Egypt's political crisis. The mob in his Cairo suburb accused him of atheism and disrespect of the Prophet Mohammed, and demanded he be killed; a neighbour had alleged he had posted to his Facebook page the now notorious Islam-mocking video that triggered protests across the world in September.

His mother, Kariman Ghali, cries frequently as she describes visiting him in prison the day after the mob surrounded their apartment block. "He had blood all over his T-shirt," said Mrs Ghali, who claims her son was put in a wing reserved for dangerous inmates. "The policeman told the prisoners, 'This guy insulted the Prophet, I want to see what you can do with him.' Someone stabbed him with a razor."

He was then taken to another cell where the inmates were urged to see if they could outdo the first set. Some 250,000 police and soldiers were deployed across Egypt on Saturday to protect voting in the second half of the referendum on the draft constitution, which was drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel from which Christians and liberals had withdrawn in protest.

Among the many charges levelled against the constitution by both human rights groups, secular and liberal activists, and the Coptic Christian minority, is that its defence of basic freedoms is heavily curtailed when i t comes to religion and politics. Specifically, it will forbid any law that would permit anything deemed insulting either of people or of religion, the Prophet Mohammed or the other figures considered by Islam to be God's messengers. Such a clause could clearly have a chilling effect on free thinking and speech.

Demonstrations continued right to the eve of Saturday's vote, which was expected to lead to a clear but not convincing victory both for the constitution - drafted by an overwhelmingly Islamist assembly - and for President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers, who have pushed it through. In the first phase of voting in the split referendum last weekend, 57 per cent backed the document, albeit with a low turnout, and a similar result was expected on Saturday.

Yet many are alarmed that it will further enshrine an intolerance that is already on the rise. "Things are definitely worse than under the old regime," said Gamal Eid, of the Arabic Human Rights Initiative. "It is because of the Islamists having power - their sense that they have won." That is only part of the story. Despite regular descriptions of ex-President Hosni Mubarak's old dictatorship as "secular", it too made Egypt a country constitutionally obliged to follow the "principles of Sharia". The laws it promulgated were wide enough and flexible enough to turn the Islamist tap on and off at will, according to the Mubarak's regime's short-term interests.

Blasphemy laws have been in place since 1937, and can be used to defend Christianity as well as Islam. But in practice the law was deployed regularly, both as a sop to the Muslim Brotherhood and also simply as a means of state repression. Nevertheless, Mr Eid says there is a sense that religion can now be invoked to pursue any manner of grievances, in a way designed to emphasise a conservative vision of society.

In one case he has taken up, an 18-year-old girl from a provincial village was arrested for blasphemy after a row with her mother and brother, who had discovered she had met a boyfriend after going away to university. It was the girl who had complained to the police first, alleging that her mother and brother had beaten her, but when questioned, the mother claimed the girl had cursed her and cursed her religion. That was enough for the police to switch the focus of their attention.

Until the start of the referendum campaign, it appeared that this tightening of personal freedoms was at least going to be kept within a legal framework. Events since have brought this into question. A lot changed on the night of December 5. During the afternoon, a group of Muslim Brotherhood supporters swept down on a tent encampment outside the presidential palace, occupied by anti-Morsi protesters, and tore them down.

The counter-demonstration that evening was violent and bloody, with both sides hurling stones at each other, and the Muslim Brotherhood claiming that several of its members were shot dead. But also disturbing was the role earlier of what appeared to be a Muslim Brotherhood militia who seized protesters off the streets and took them for their own "interrogation" before handing them over to police. "After they caught me they dragged me away and started threatening me," said Walid al-Ganzouri, no youthful stone-thrower but a 35-year-old, British educated engineer. "They said they were going to kill me, and started beating me up."

Along with scores of others, he was eventually handed over, bruised and with cuts to his head, to the prosecution service, which released them for lack of evidence. This did not stop Mr Morsi, during a late-night address, saying that "evidence from confessions" obtained from some of those seized showed they were plotting against the government.

This talk of a coup has been used to heighten the atmosphere in ways that stretch beyond the politics of the constitution itself. A preacher linked to the Brotherhood, Safwat Hegazi, for example, was not disavowed by the movement after he threatened in a speech to "splash Christians with blood" if they tried to join in attempts to bring Mr Morsi down.

Gehad el-Haddad, a senior Brotherhood adviser, told The Sunday Telegraph that he accepted that there had been "inflammatory language" on all sides. But he said the Brotherhood's supporters had been forced to act against the protesters because the police had refused to do so.

It is true that the loyalty of the police has been in doubt since their leaders were arrested after last year's overthrow of Mr Mubarak. Some of those opposed to Mr Morsi, and the constitution, are undoubtedly prominent Christians. But a "no" vote of at least 43 per cent in last week's part of the referendum vote suggests that opposition also runs deep among many Muslims.

Mr Saber is of Christian origin too, something that lends extra concern to his case. But his mother claimed that was less relevant than the active positions he took. She says he was really seized because he had posted a photo on his Facebook page of a banner in Tahrir Square accusing the Brotherhood of having hijacked last year's revolution.

His jail sentence was imposed for atheism despite no evidence being found of his ever having posted the video. Last weekend, he was released on bail pending an appeal. "The verdict was an absolute inquisition," Mrs Ghali said. "They didn't listen to the lawyers' defence." She is now joining the protests outside the palace. "This is not only for my son's case - but also for all our sons' futures."

ITEM 9a: Bill Frezza: Forget Sharia, The New Egyptian Constitution Enshrines Socialism

12/19/2012 @ 9:48AM

Thousands of Egyptian demonstrators march through the streets of Cairo to protest against Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi's power grab, on November 23, 2012. Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has assumed temporary sweeping powers that supporters say will cut back a turbulent and seemingly endless transition to democracy, but outraged critics say he has now become a dictator. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

It isn't every day that the world gets to watch the birth of a new constitutional democracy. As the political drama in the land of the Pharaohs unfolds, the Western commentariat seems totally focused on the extent to which Egypt's new constitution will be informed by Sharia law. Alas, nary a peep can be heard about a far greater threat to Egypt's freedom and prosperity.

The drafters of the new Egyptian constitution are blessed with having the history of two centuries of constitutional democracies to study. Evidence abounds on what works and what doesn't, of which economic policies lead to rapid growth and which to stagnation and bankruptcy. Yet with all this information at their fingertips, the Egyptian people appear set to go to the polls to endorse ... socialism.

Let's peel back the draft Egyptian constitution and count the ways in which it paves the road to ruin.

PART I: Chapter Three: Economic Principles

Article 14

National economy shall be organized in accordance with a comprehensive, constant development plan, ensuring the increase of national income, enhancement of standard of living, elimination of poverty and unemployment, increase of work opportunities, and increase of production.

The development plan shall establish social justice and solidarity, ensure equitable distribution, protect consumer rights, and safeguard the rights of workers, dividing development costs between capital and labor and sharing the revenues justly.

Wages shall be linked to production, bridging income gaps and establishing a minimum wage that would guarantee decent living standards for all citizens, and a maximum wage in civil service positions with exemptions regulated by law.

Bang, right out of the blocks-a centrally planned economy. No doubt this will be managed by just and wise bureaucrats, appointed on their merits and without regard to connections, and magically immune to graft-given how corruption is so rare in Egypt's political culture. How could central planners possibly fail with all the tools the constitution puts at their disposal, like wage and price controls, unconstrained income redistribution, and centralized allocation of capital?

Article 15

Agriculture is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect and increase farmland, work on the development of crop and plant varieties, develop and protect animal breeds and fisheries, achieve food security, provide the requirements of agricultural production, its good management and marketing, and support agricultural industries.

The law regulates the use of land, in such a way as to achieve social justice, and protect farmers and agricultural laborer from exploitation.

A centralized farm policy, no doubt based on its long track record of success in other democracies. I wonder how long it will be before the Egyptians build their first cheese cave?

Article 17

Industry is an essential asset of the national economy. The State shall protect strategic industries, support industrial development, and import new technologies and their applications.

Long live protectionism! And whose businesses do you think will be declared "strategic," earning the right to be shielded from competition? Only your lobbyist-or uncle ensconced in a government ministry-knows for sure.

Article 18

The natural resources of the State belong to the people, who have a right to their revenues. The State is committed to preserving such resources for future generations and putting them to good use.

Communal ownership of all natural resources. No private investment or development here! Prospectors be gone, Allah forbid that the one large Arab country not awash in oil might encourage entrepreneurs to search for shale gas deposits.

Article 27

Workers shall have a share of the management and profits of enterprises. They shall be committed in turn to the development of production, to protecting its means and to the implementation of plans in their production units, in accordance with the law.

Workers shall be represented on the boards of directors of public sector units within the limit of 50 percent of the number of members of these boards. The law shall guarantee for small farmers and small craftsmen 80 percent of membership on the boards of directors of agricultural and industrial cooperatives.

A lesson in corporate governance straight from the Jimmy Hoffa School of Management. This will surely attract multinational companies to rush in and set up lots of cooperatives, well-known engines of progress.

Article 28

Saving is encouraged and protected by the State. The State shall also safeguard insurance and pension funds, in accordance with legal regulations.

The new government isn't even functioning yet and it's already being set up for TARP on the Nile.

Chapter Three: Economic and social rights

Article 58

High-quality education is a right guaranteed by the State for every citizen. It is free throughout its stages in all government institutions, obligatory in the primary stage, and the State shall work to extend obligation to other stages.

Yes, high quality and free because wishing it so will make a great education fall like manna from heaven.

All educational institutions, public and private, local and otherwise shall abide by the State educational plans and goals, and realize the link between education and the needs of society and production.

Don't forget central planning of all curricula, including private schools and universities. That should contribute to progress and diversity.

Article 59

The State shall guarantee the freedom of scientific and literary research. The autonomy of universities, scientific and linguistic academies, and research centers shall be safeguarded; the State shall provide them with a sufficient percentage of the national revenue.

Because nothing ensures the "independence" of scholars and scientists like putting them on the government dole.

Article 62

Healthcare is a right of every citizen, and the State shall allocate a sufficient percentage of the national revenue.

The State shall provide healthcare services and health insurance in accordance with just and high standards, to be free of charge for those who are unable to pay.

All health facilities shall provide various forms of medical treatment to every citizen in cases of emergency or life danger.

The State shall supervise all health facilities, inspect them for quality of services, and monitor all materials, products and means of health-related publicity. Legislation to regulate such supervision shall be drafted.

Obamacare, meet Morsicare. Top quality for all, of course. But it doesn't stop there. Get a load of the parade of goodies to be provided by the new government. Egypt's new founding fathers must be wealthy indeed to make all these promises.

Article 63

The State guarantees for every worker the right to fair pay, vacation, retirement and social security, healthcare, protection against occupational hazards, and the application of occupational safety conditions in the workplace, as prescribed by law.

Article 65

The State shall provide social insurance services. All citizens unable to support themselves and their families in cases of incapacity, unemployment and old age have the right to social insurance guaranteeing a minimum sustenance.

Article 66

The State shall provide an adequate pension for small-scale farmers, agricultural workers, casual workers, and all who do not have access to the social insurance system. All are subject to law regulations.

Do you think Egypt will adopt the successful Chilean private pension model for its Social Security system? Nah. If you are going to establish a Ponzi scheme the salad days are right at the outset! No doubt all of the money collected from Egyptians' payroll taxes will be safely invested in a trust fund. Maybe Al Gore can lend them his lock box.

Article 67

Adequate housing, clean water and healthy food are given rights. The state adopts a national housing plan, its basis in social justice, the promotion of independent initiatives and housing cooperatives, and the regulation of the use of national territory for the purposes of construction, in accordance with public interest and with the rights of future generations.

What good is democracy if it doesn't guarantee a roof over your head? I hear the executives that used to run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are looking for work; perhaps they can land a good gig showing the Egyptians how it's done.

Article 71

The State shall provide care for children and youth; shall support their development spiritually, morally, culturally, educationally, physically, psychologically, socially and economically; and shall empower them for active political participation.

I guess no constitution these days is complete without a promise of free day care, with a wee bit of political indoctrination.

What the people of Egypt need is neither sharia nor socialism but free enterprise, which doesn't even merit a passing mention in the draft constitution. If rich countries like those in Europe and the U.S. are running out of other people's money pursuing redistributionist central planning, how is a basket-case economy like Egypt's supposed to pay for similar schemes? What entrepreneur in his right mind would not book the first flight out after this constitution passes seeking a better life where he can keep what he earns? (Not that there are many countries like that left.)

If you want proof that human beings are incapable of learning from history, the new Egyptian constitution is exhibit A.

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Posted by Ted Belman, January 04, 2013

The article below was written by Hillel Fendel who is former Senior News Editor for Israel National News. He is a resident of Beit El and author of One Thing I Ask on the siddur (Jewish prayer book). This article appeared January 3, 2013 on Israpundit website and is archived at

As of this week, it's no longer just another fringe campaign: the drive to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria — all or parts thereof — is now a bona-fide, full-blown national drive, with the support of government ministers, Knesset Members and candidates, academics, and members of the media. This became abundantly clear on Tuesday night in Jerusalem, when more than 1000 people crowded into a 900-seat Jerusalem hall — after the original location was abruptly changed — for the Third Annual Conference on the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (Yesha).

Organized by Women in Green, and co-sponsored by the Jewish Press (, the conference dealt with specific and practical methods by which to actually get the sovereignty ball moving and thus prevent the formation of a Palestinian state.

Talk of a two-state solution, while widely prevalent, is largely irrelevant. It was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009 that gave the concept new life, and it specifically emphasized that Israel would agree only to a demilitarized Arab state in parts of Judea and Samaria. This being an arrangement that both Fatah and Hamas have categorically turned down, an agreed-upon two-state solution can basically be dismissed.

What will take its place?

What will ensure that active and passive preparations on the ground for such an eventuality do not continue? The answer, according to an increasing portion of the Israeli public, is Israeli sovereignty — at least in part of the areas in question. At the conference, Women in Green co-chair Yehudit Katzover presented the results of a new survey, in which 73.2% of right-wing voters (some 56% of the population)—-not including residents of Yesha or hareidim—support sovereignty. The conference speakers essentially addressed three major issues: 1) How to bring about the desired sovereignty; 2) what will be the status of the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria; and 3) whether to push for full sovereignty over all of Yesha or to work gradually.

The Slow but Sure Approach

Three Likud members — Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein, MK Ze'ev Elkin, who is widely expected to be named a Cabinet minister following the upcoming elections, and MK Yariv Levine — supported what Elkin called the "salami approach." We must learn from the Palestinians, he said, "take what we can now, and discuss the rest later."

He said that we are "hopefully" now entering a new era in terms of Judea and Samaria: "For the first 25 years after the Six Day War, the 'status quo approach' reigned; beautiful Jewish communities were built, but the status of the areas did not change. Since 1993, we began a period of withdrawals — Oslo, then the Disengagement, etc. — and it is now clear to most that this has brought us less security, and increased demands from the PA... We must now begin to take proactive steps to improve our situation, and begin to apply sovereignty, or aspects thereof, on whatever areas we can at any given moment. It will not be easy, but it is necessary."

The "This Is our Land" Approach

Others demanded full sovereignty now; coincidentally or not, they are not currently in the governing coalition. MK Aryeh Eldad said that Israeli law must be immediately imposed on all of Yesha, and Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin called upon the Israeli public to internalize the idea that "This Is our Land" — the name of the grass-roots movement he founded 20 years ago — and that sovereignty is the only solution. Popular thinker Caroline Glick echoed her position of the last conference, saying then that sovereignty, whether complete or partial, will cost us the same in terms of international opposition, "so why pay full price for half a job?"

Former MK Elyakim HaEtzni added that Arab autonomy leading to statehood is catastrophic, but that autonomy under the framework of full Israeli sovereignty in Yesha is the desirable way to go.

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, running for Knesset on the Jewish Home ticket, quoted the Y'hi khvodparagraph in the Morning Prayers, in which the verse citing God's choice of the Land of Israel precedes His choice of the people of Israel. And regarding the Arab minority living in our midst, he said that Yehoshua Bin Nun dealt with the same issue by simply insisting that they rid themselves of idol-worship and recognize Jewish control over the land. "This must be our clear red line," Rabbi Ben-Dahan emphasized: "the recognition that there can be no foreign rule in Eretz Yisrael."

Caroline Glick also cited Yehoshua Bin Nun, and said that his demand to forego all idol-worship has a parallel today: "They must agree to stop all terrorism."

Citizenship — or Expulsion?

The issue of Yesha Arabs under Israeli sovereignty was thoroughly explored in an hour-long panel discussion concluding the conference. Glick took the most extreme approach: "All of them should be offered the right to apply to the Interior Ministry for citizenship. Based on past experience in Jerusalem and the Golan [which have both been annexed - HF], we know that most of the Arabs will not apply. And even if they would all become citizens, the Jewish population in Israel would still retain a two-third majority, buttressed by growing birth and Aliyah rates. Nothing is simple, but we need not fear taking the bold steps that are necessary; we have come to inherit our land!"

Dr. Martin Sherman, founder of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, former Tel Aviv University lecturer, and former ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir's government — said there is no choice but to compensate the Arab residents and have them take up residence elsewhere. "Ultimately, there can be only one sovereignty between the Jordan and the Mediterranean — and we'd better make sure it's ours, not theirs." Dr. Sherman elaborated that Arab self-rule won't work, because they have no loyalty to the Israeli government overseeing the autonomy, and that granting full rights would also fail because "two peoples who do not share basic nationalist cultures can simply not live together over time." Therefore, he concluded, "the only option that remains is compensation/evacuation," a solution first proposed by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose name was not mentioned at the conference.

Wanted: Israeli TV

Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University, who was asked to speak on the expected Arab reaction to Israeli sovereignty, said, "They haven't accepted the results of the War of Independence, do we expect them to accept the results of the Six Day War?" Both the Arab world and the international community, Dr. Kedar predicted, can be expected to react moderately to strongly to a declaration of Israeli sovereignty. Part of the solution, he suggested, lies in launching an Israeli satellite TV channel for the general worldwide public. "It would not cost more than $15 million a year," he assessed.

Co-chairs Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover, as well as other speakers, emphasized that the recent report submitted by the Justice Edmond Levy committee, outlining the legal foundation for Jewish settlement in Yesha, must be adopted: "It must take its proper place in open governmental discourse, and action must be taken in accordance with it." MK Eldad, in a not-subtle dig at the Jewish Home party, demanded that all future coalition partners resign from the next Netanyahu government if the Levi Report is not legislated into law within three months.

The Day Will Come! All the speakers agreed on two things: a Palestinian state would be catastrophic for the State of Israel and must be avoided at all costs, and the very fact of the conference and its success is a great step forward towards applying Jewish sovereignty over all of Israel. In the inspiring words of an unusually uplifting Latma musical skit produced especially for the Conference, "The day will come — it must come — when only truth will be spoken, and all the world will say, without apology: This is Israel's land — Israel's!"

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at

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Posted by Ted Belman, January 04, 2013

The article below was written by the Washington Post Editorial Board. It appeared in Israpundit on January 3, 2013 and is archived at

FACING AN election in which his most dangerous competition is from the far right, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has adopted a familiar tactic: a flurry of announcements of new construction in Jewish settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The predictable result has been a storm of denunciations by the United States and every other member of the U.N. Security Council, along with dire predictions that the new building would "make a negotiated two-state solution ... very difficult to achieve," as British Foreign Secretary William Hague put it.

The criticism is appropriate, in the sense that such unilateral action by Israel, like the unilateral Palestinian initiative to seek statehood recognition in November from the U.N. General Assembly, serves to complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace. But the reaction is also counter-productive because it reinforces two mistaken but widely held notions: that the settlements are the principal obstacle to a deal and that further construction will make a Palestinian state impossible.

Twenty-five years ago, Israel's government openly aimed at building West Bank settlements that would block a Palestinian state. But that policy changed following the 1993 Oslo accords. Mr. Netanyahu's government, like several before it, has limited building almost entirely to areas that both sides expect Israel to annex through territorial swaps in an eventual settlement. For example, the Jerusalem neighborhoods where new construction was announced last month were conceded to Israel by Palestinian negotiators in 2008.

Overall, the vast majority of the nearly 500,000 settlers in Jerusalem and the West Bank live in areas close to Israel's 1967 borders. Data compiled by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace show that more than 80 percent of them could be included in Israel if the country annexed just more than 4 percent of the West Bank — less than the 5 percent proposed by President Bill Clinton 12 years ago.

Diplomats were most concerned by Mr. Netanyahu's decision to allow planning and zoning — but not yet construction — in a four-mile strip of territory known as E-1 that lies between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim, a settlement with a population of more than 40,000. Palestinians claim that Israeli annexation of the land would cut off their would-be capital in East Jerusalem from the West Bank and block a key north-south route between West Bank towns. Israel wants the land for similar reasons, to prevent Ma'ale Adumim — which will almost certainly be annexed to Israel in any peace deal — from being isolated. Both sides insist that the other can make do with a road corridor.

This is a difficult issue that should be settled at the negotiating table, not by fiat. But Mr. Netanyahu's zoning approval is hardly the "almost fatal blow" to a two-state solution that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described.

The exaggerated rhetoric is offensive at a time when the Security Council is refusing to take action to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians — including many Palestinians — by the Syrian regime. But it is also harmful, because it puts pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make a "freeze" on the construction a condition for beginning peace talks.

Mr. Abbas had hinted that he would finally drop that demand, which has prevented negotiations for most of the past four years, after the General Assembly's statehood vote. If Security Council members are really interested in progress toward Palestinian statehood, they will press Mr. Abbas to stop using settlements as an excuse for intransigence — and cool their own overheated rhetoric.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at

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Posted by Zvi November, January 04, 2013


Whenever I turn on my Israeli radio I suffer (justifiably) an attack of paranoia.

Last Tuesday, January 1, 2013 I attended a conference in Jerusalem dedicated to the proposition that Israel should and must extend its sovereignty to Judea and Samaria including our side of the Jordan River valley. The justification for such an initiative is overwhelming. Judea and Samaria is the historic heartland of the Jewish people. The Arab claim to this ancient homeland is baseless since there never ever was an autonomous Arab state in these territories. Israeli control over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan valley is absolutely essential for the country's defense. Transferring this "West Bank" to Arab rule would invariably result in a belligerent Hamas bastion that will threaten Israel more seriously than is now the case with the terrorist base in Gaza. Given the great increase in radical Islamic jihad fervor all over the Arab world (paying particular attention to the unstable situation in Jordan today), it would be sheer idiocy to relinquish control over these strategic hills. About 500,000 Jews live over the 'green line' (the pre-1967 cease-fire lines NEVER recognized as a border). This figure includes east Jerusalem neighborhoods. Demographers who rely on Palestinian statistics and improbable projections exaggerate the number of Palestinian Arabs in the "territories". There are other estimates of the Arab population that lead to the conclusion that the annexation of Judea and Samaria and granting Israeli citizenship to 1.5 million Arabs would be acceptable and not seriously endanger the overall Jewish majority. Such a dramatic move would undoubtedly arouse strong condemnations from the international community but Israel has weathered adverse reactions in the past when it unified Jerusalem and integrated the Golan Heights into Israel.

All of the above was pretty much ignored by the mainstream media that is not interested in honestly debating the merits of annexation. However, they pounced on Moshe Feiglin who is now on the ruling Likud party's list of candidates for the Knesset (elections will be held on Jan. 22). Feiglin suggested that Israel should pay substantial sums of money to Arab families willing to relocate to Arab countries where their language, culture and religion dominate the public sphere or to liberal European countries that are sympathetic to Palestinians. The media's reaction to this idea was one of revulsion. The very same reporters who supported the forcible expulsion/disengagement of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria in 2005 are the same pundits who refuse to contemplate paid Arab relocation programs. [By the way, large numbers of Arabs regularly move from one Arab country to another.] And these are the very same commentators who claim to be dedicated to Israel as a 'Jewish and democratic' country. They assert that the only way to maintain a solid Jewish majority is by surrendering Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority (that demands the removal of Jewish residents and re-division of Jerusalem) because we have to avoid absorbing large numbers of unfriendly Arabs.

More to the point, Israel's media mandarins are obsessed with the unworkable 'two-state' solution that would greatly diminish Israel's chances of survival. These folks are not really bothered by creating a truly dangerous situation. They are addicted to a "peace process" based on the enemy's narrative, indifference to Jewish/Israeli rights to Judea and Samaria and a naïve reliance on the international community. These media mandarins dominate public discourse in Israel. Their "enlightenment" is frightening and causes paranoia in suspicious people like me.

Contact Zvi November at

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Posted by Dr. History, January 04, 2013

The article below was written by Diana West who is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007). Her weekly newspaper column is syndicated by Universal Uclick. West also serves as Washington Correspondent for the European weekly newspaper Dispatch International. West is one of 19 co-authors (including Frank Gaffney, Andrew C. McCarthy and James Woolsey) of Shariah: The Threat to America, a 2010 publication of the Center for Security Policy. Visit her blog at

Americans, Gallup tells us, admire Hillary Clinton more than any other woman in the world -- again. This latest accolade marks the 17th time Gallup has found Clinton to be the Most Admired Woman (MAW?) since she became first lady nearly 20 years ago. Only Eleanor Roosevelt (13 MAWs) comes close. Only Mother Teresa (1995 and 1996) and Laura Bush (2001) have interrupted Clinton's winning streak, and even then, Clinton came in second.

And therein lies America's cosmic flaw. A country that could time and again embrace Hillary Clinton as its MAW has lost its mind or its memory or both.

Does the phrase "congenital liar" tinkle any bells? I know such non-admirable sentiments are thought to be in the worst of taste, if not also banishable offenses. Still, as conjured by the late New York Times columnist William Safire in 1996, the phrase described the then-first lady for her shameless prevarications. These included what sure looked like bribery ("cattle futures"), defrauding taxpayers ("Whitewater"), obstructing justice -- or, rather, "finding" her Rose Law Firm billing records (under subpoena for two years) just days after the statute of limitations ran out -- among other corrupt behaviors that must have slightly suppressed Hillary-admiration that same year. The phrase remains apt.

"I remember landing under sniper fire," Clinton declared on the presidential campaign trail in 2008, describing a 1996 trip to Bosnia. "There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down (chuckles) to get into the vehicles to get to our base." It was a vivid but debunkable whopper, as CBS footage of the event proved. In reality, Clinton, accompanied by daughter Chelsea, made her ceremonial way into Bosnia through a warm throng marked by smiling faces and a kiss from a local girl -- not bullets. Admirable?

On a more nationally significant level, Clinton recently supported President Obama's Big Lie that a movie trailer of "Innocence of Muslims" on YouTube "resulted" (her word) in the September attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya -- a concerted falsehood for which neither Clinton nor Obama nor former CIA Director David Petraeus has yet answered. Even several days after intelligence agencies determined that a planned assault, not a video-driven protest, had taken place, Clinton went so far as to promise a grieving Charles Woods, father of slain former SEAL Tyrone Woods, that "we" were going to have the video maker "arrested and prosecuted."

Why was Clinton still perpetuating the false narrative that the exercise of free speech under the First Amendment, not Islamic jihad, had resulted in the attack? Was that admirable? Clinton has lately let it be known that she will voluntarily testify about Benghazi following her hospitalization for a blood clot, but I seriously doubt whether mere House members will risk asking this crucial question of the Most Admired Woman in America, especially now that she has risen from her sickbed. If they don't, they're not admirable, either.

Meanwhile, the video maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was indeed arrested and swiftly prosecuted, and is now serving one year in jail for "parole violations." His incarceration, however, is better understood as punishment for violating the Islamic ban on free speech about Islam. To be sure, one year is nothing compared to the death penalty an Egyptian court recently slapped on Nakoula and other Americans associated with the movie in absentia -- and without a peep of protest from the Obama administration, including Clinton.

The fact is, Hillary Clinton has worked assiduously with the Islamic bloc nations, known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to promote Islamically correct speech codes through the so-called Istanbul Process. The goal of this process -- and the goal of transnational Islam -- is to implement Shariah speech codes via U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which seeks to criminalize "defamation" -- free speech -- about Islam. In leading this drive against free speech, Hillary Clinton is actually leading a drive against the First Amendment.

Most Americans don't know about the Istanbul Process, let alone how Islamic speech codes are unconstitutional, but it is this policy against free speech that may stand as Clinton's enduring legacy as secretary of state. It is of a piece with having presided over, first, the shredding of U.S. alliances with Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and then supporting jihadist factions and organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, now implementing Islamic law across the Middle East. This, of course, is President Obama's policy, but Hillary Clinton has been an active team player.

Another aspect of this same foreign policy Clinton has spearheaded is the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. The forum's roster of 29 nations plus the European Union is stunning for its exclusion of Israel, a leading counterterrorism force as much as it is a leading terrorism victim. But not so, according to Islamic definitions. Knowingly or not, as a leader of this forum, one-third of whose members come from the Islamic bloc, Clinton has accepted the Arab League and OIC definitions of terrorism, which both deny the existence of Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers) and legitimize the terrorism of Hamas, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah.

How could this be? What influences have led Clinton to formulate or follow such policies? We don't know, although it is hard not to wonder about the input of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, a young woman with well-established familial and personal ties to Muslim Brotherhood figures and front groups (including a "charity" linked to al-Qaida and a group banned in Israel for ties to Hamas). Indeed, what may be most astounding and mysterious about Clinton's whole public tenure is how Abedin ever received the security clearance necessary to work so closely with the secretary of state.

Even broaching such a simple if burning national security question, as Rep. Michele Bachmann and others discovered last summer, is also a banishable offense. After all, Hillary Clinton is our MAW!

That's life. But it isn't admirable.

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Posted by Medicine Hat, January 04, 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. Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community. Spencer is the Vice President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). He is 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 January 3, 2013 on Jihad Watch and is archived at

Horrors! The reach of Islamophobic fearmongering is even greater than we thought! Now even Egyptian magazines are succumbing to its fiendish lure!

Those of us who have warned about Muslim Brotherhood influence and infiltration in Washington, and were smeared and vilified as "bigots" and "Islamophobes" by the Muslim Brotherhood's propaganda minions in the U.S., are vindicated yet again.

"Egyptian Magazine: Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Obama Administration," by John Rossomando for IPT, January 3 (thanks to David):

"An Egyptian magazine claims that six American Islamist activists who work with the Obama administration are Muslim Brotherhood operatives who enjoy strong influence over U.S. policy.

The Dec. 22 story published in Egypt's Rose El-Youssef magazine (read an IPT translation here) suggests the six turned the White House "from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood."

The story is largely unsourced, but its publication is considered significant in raising the issue to Egyptian readers.

The six named people include: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

Alikhan is a founder of the World Islamic Organization, which the magazine identifies as a Brotherhood "subsidiary." It suggests that Alikhan was responsible for the "file of Islamic states" in the White House and that he provides the direct link between the Obama administration and the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.

Elibiary, who has endorsed the ideas of radical Muslim Brotherhood luminary Sayyid Qutb, may have leaked secret materials contained in Department of Homeland Security databases, according to the magazine. He, however, denies having any connection with the Brotherhood.

Elibiary also played a role in defining the Obama administration's counterterrorism strategy, and the magazine asserts that Elibiary wrote the speech Obama gave when he told former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave power but offers no source or evidence for the claim.

According to Rose El-Youssef, Rashad Hussain maintained close ties with people and groups that it says comprise the Muslim Brotherhood network in America. This includes his participation in the June 2002 annual conference of the American Muslim Council, formerly headed by convicted terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi.

He also participated in the organizing committee of the Critical Islamic Reflection along with important figures of the American Muslim Brotherhood such as Jamal Barzinji, Hisham al-Talib and Yaqub Mirza.

Regarding al-Marayati, who has been among the most influential Muslim American leaders in recent years, the magazine draws connections between MPAC in the international Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure.

Magid heads ISNA, which was founded by Brotherhood members, was appointed by Obama in 2011 as an adviser to the Department of Homeland Security. The magazine says that has also given speeches and conferences on American Middle East policy at the State Department and offered advice to the FBI.

Rose El-Youssef says Patel maintains a close relationship with Hani Ramadan, the grandson of Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, and is a member of the Muslim Students Association, which it identifies as "a large Brotherhood organization."

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Posted by Medicine Hat, January 04, 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. Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community. Spencer is the Vice President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). He is 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 January 3, 2013 and is archived at

What's happening is a reaction to Assad saying Syria was a secular state." There is an analysis of the cause of the Syria uprisings that has never been discussed in any depth in the mainstream media.

"After Assad, is strict Islamic rule ahead for Syria?," by Tom A. Peter for USA Today, January 3 (thanks to AINA):

ALEPPO, Syria The voice of Islamist groups is growing louder in Syria as a number of Syrians in the battleground province of Aleppo are expressing increasing interest in establishing a government that leans toward a strict Islamic state....

The U.S. State Department implicitly recognized the growing influence of extremist groups in Syria last month when it designated as a terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is fighting the Assad regime in Syria. The State Department said the group's ties with the group al-Qaeda in Iraq were among the main reasons for its decision.

While many in Syria look upon Jabhat al-Nusra with trepidation, it has won support among many Syrians who see it as both an effective military organization and a generous humanitarian group.

"Through aid, Jabhat al-Nusra can enlarge its base of public support more and more," said Abu Ali, a Syrian involved in relief efforts in Aleppo. "Many people are starting to support them because of the aid."

Among its ranks are Syrians and foreign fighters who have battle experience in Iraq and elsewhere, according to the State Department. Jabhat al-Nusra receives considerable funding from Persian Gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, according to several news reports.

The funding has allowed Jabhat al-Nusra to increase operations in Syria at a time when moderate groups simply lack the resources, rebel commanders say....

"If it continues like it is now, groups like Jabhat al-Nusra will have a lot of influence after the Assad government falls," said Abdul Rahman, an opposition military commander in Aleppo who considers himself a moderate.

Even some Syrians who want an Islamic state in a post-Assad Syria view groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra as extreme.

One former member, Abu Osama, said he left the group after it tried to get him to sign an oath pledging to fight with the group anywhere in the world. Now fighting with the rebel Free Syrian Army, Abu said some fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra consider Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an infidel because he has not enforced sharia "" strict Islamic law "" in Egypt.

The group, which forbids tobacco use, has also been known to pull cigarettes out of the mouths of smokers going through their checkpoints.

Not everyone thinks Jabhat al-Nusra will have significant influence in a post-Assad Syria.

"These groups are no more scary to us and the general population than fringe groups in the U.S. like the skinheads," said Abu Ahmad, executive officer of the Free Lawyers Association in Aleppo, which opposes Assad's regime.

After 40 years of the Assad family's harsh rule, Syrians simply want a government that is the opposite of what they've known, Ahmad said.

"What's happening is a reaction to Assad saying Syria was a secular state," Ahmad said.

Few Syrians interviewed in Aleppo believe that a brand of Islam like that practiced by Jabhat al-Nusra can survive in Syria. Even so, any regime that succeeds Assad is likely to be Islamic in nature, some Syrians say.

"We want a regime that applies sharia law, but that is fair and just," said Abu Mohammad, a Free Syrian Army commander in Aleppo and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Many Muslims believe that if we apply the true Islam, we can use it to get rid of corruption and problems like bribery," he said.

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Posted by Medicine Hat, January 04, 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. Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community. Spencer is the Vice President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). He is 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 January 3, 2013 and is archived at

This report apparently focuses on where Muslims are "radicalized," rather than on the much more important question of how — probably because investigating the latter would take Canadian authorities straight into the Qur'an and Sunnah, which is the one place they don't want to go. Jihadists make recruits among peaceful Muslims by claiming that they are the exponents of authentic Islam, and making their case from core Islamic texts. The "moderates" have never mounted any effective rejoinder to this appeal. But to admit this would be to contradict central elements of Canadian immigration policy and the entire multiculturalist enterprise. And so we get this report on where, but never ever discuss the really important questions.

"Islamist extremists radicalizing Canadians at "˜a large number of venues," secret report reveals," by Stewart Bell in the National Post, January 3 (thanks to Twostellas):

"Islamist extremists are now radicalizing Canadians at "a large number of venues," according to a secret intelligence report released to the National Post under the Access to Information Act.

While mosques with hardline imams are often singled out for spreading violent Islamist ideology, the study found that radicalization has been taking place at a much longer list of locales.

"Radicalization is not limited to religious centres," says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, titled Venues of Sunni Islamist Radicalization in Canada.

The heavily censored report identifies the role of prisons, the Internet and foreign travel in turning some Canadians into extremists who wage or support violence. But it also points a finger at the family home.

"Parents have radicalized children," reads the Intelligence Assessment, "husbands have radicalized wives (and some wives have radicalized or supported their husbands) "¦ and siblings have radicalized each other," it says....

Since al-Qaeda's attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an increasing number of Canadians have become lured into Islamist extremism, an intolerant, anti-democratic and virulently anti-Western worldview that preaches that violence against non-Muslims is a religious duty and a path to paradise.

Why, where would "Islamist extremists" get that crazy idea? Surely not from the Qur'an!

"What they call jihad." Of course. As everyone knows, the only accepted and genuine meaning of jihad involves getting in your exercise and taking the kids to school.

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 04, 2013


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

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Posted by Act of America, January 04, 2013

The article below was written by John Griffing who is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and is published across an array of conservative media, both in the realm of commentary and research. This article appeared January 3, 2013 in the Minority Report and is archived at


In the 70 percent of Texas public schools where a private curriculum has been installed, students are learning the "fact" that "Allah is the Almighty God," charge critics of a new online curriculum that already is facing condemnation for its secrecy and restrictions on oversight.

The program, called CSCOPE, is a private venture operating under the umbrella of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, whose incorporation documents state its independence from the State Board of Education of the Texas Education Agency.

Other reports previously have raised alarm over the curriculum's depiction of the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist act on par with the 9/11 attack.

According to documentation that has leaked out, the program describes the Boston Tea Party this way: "A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country's government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens."

There also have been reports that the curriculum — contrary to recent Supreme Court rulings — says the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right to bear arms, is limited to state-run organizations.

"The collective right's advocates believed that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals; rather it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia. It recognized limited individual rights only when it was exercised by members of a functioning, organized militia while actively participating in the militia's activities."

Now come concerns about what critics describe as a definitively pro-Islam bias.

The critics say the studies border on proselytizing.

In one scenario, students are asked to study the tenets of Islam, and critics say the materials provided exceed impartial review of another faith, extending into requirements of conversion and moral imperatives.

A computer presentation utilized as part of a study of Islam includes information on how to convert, as well as verses denigrating other faiths.

According to excerpts, under the heading, "Who Is Allah?," students are told:

"Allah is the Almighty God."


Muhammad is described as having become "disillusioned with the corruption in the city and the growing gap between the urban dwellers and the Bedouins (nomadic herders)."

But there is no mention of his documented sex activities with a child or his penchant for beheading entire indigenous people groups.

CSCOPE's geography curriculum also is being scrutinized.

A high school question on a geography test asks, "Which of the following has been a benefit of globalization?" Possible answers are as follows: a) pandemics, b) increased standard of living, c) loss of local culture, and finally, d) widespread environmental impacts.

The only "correct" answer accepted in the context of the test is "an increased standard of living."

WND recently reported the Texas State Board of Education was hearing concerns expressed by parents.

The debate carries national significance because of the influence Texas has on textbook and curriculum publishers as the only state that adopts uniform standards.

CSCOPE advocates say that the volume of information to which students now have access outside the classroom necessitates the move away from textbooks.

"If they're sitting in a classroom with a textbook, that's not the world anymore," said Anne Poplin, Education Service Center Region 9 executive director.

"We're moving to Bring Your Own Devices. It's a disadvantage (for children) not to have access to their devices. It's not a textbook-driven environment. If it is, they're behind," Poplin said.

An estimated 70 percent of Texas schools already are involved in the program.

But one of the concerns is that state law requires textbooks to be reviewed by the board of education, and parents are allowed to have access, since CSCOPE is considered a private venture it operates independently of state or local school board oversight.

The state attorney general's office has ruled that CSCOPE is a government organization subject to requirements of transparency, but because of loopholes in the Texas Public Information Act and Senate Bill 6, passed in 2011, CSCOPE has thus far been able to keep its content from public review. Even parents are denied access.

Kimberly Thomas, a teacher in the Lubbock school district, calls CSCOPE a "joke," identifying a ninth-grade lesson that asks students to circle capital letters in a sentence.

Her department was rated exemplary by the state prior to the installation of CSCOPE. As Thomas notes, CSCOPE "forces our own department to undo the proven, successful curriculum we have developed that gave us an exemplary rating."

Just days ago, Thomas Ratliff, a member of the state board and supporter of CSCOPE, said CSCOPE was "supplemental" and that textbooks still are being used.

"CSCOPE is not designed to eliminate textbooks or other instructional materials. It is designed to complement them for the benefit of the teacher and the student," he wrote in a prepared statement.

CSCOPE employees, on the other hand, claim the software is designed to replace textbooks and, indeed, has in many Texas school districts.

Addressing the issue of the program's secrecy, Ratliff slammed critics who say they want government to be "run like a business" but then get upset when that happens.

But critics argue private schools, the closest thing to a school being run like a business, still make instructional materials available to parents, something that CSCOPE refuses to do.

The "parent portal" provided on the public portion of CSCOPE's website has not allayed critics' concerns. Some of the lessons leaked to the public have contained wide disparities from the summary pages viewable in the public section of CSCOPE's website.

Ratliff defends this dichotomy by saying that, like iTunes or any other "business," some things must be placed behind a "pay wall" as part of a business plan. Ratliff claims that CSCOPE is created by "teachers, for teachers."

But teachers must sign a gag order when required to use CSCOPE in their classrooms.

Complicating the issue is the fact that school districts usually purchase CSCOPE with state tax dollars.

While Ratliff calls the curriculum "instructional material" he said state oversight wouldn't help, and "I would much rather have 7,000 locally elected school board members decide what content is best for their students, not the 15-member SBOE. Allowing CSCOPE to be developed and implemented at the local level is the 'local control' Texans say we want. Injecting SBOE oversight into this would shift us into a 'controlling the locals' approach."

Critics say that's not the way the system is set up, and CSCOPE actually ends local input since it prevents, on penalty of copyright litigation, distribution of its content to parents.

A vocal critic has been Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican.

"I did pretty well with textbooks. Benjamin Franklin did pretty well with textbooks. Are they going to say reading books is not effective? Should we all stop reading our Bibles?

"Call me old-fashioned, but there is something about the feel, smell, holding a book; there is a lot to be said for holding a hard copy," she said.

Separately but in a related issue, Attorney General Greg Abbott has released an opinion that is being quoted by critics as disqualifying Ratliff from the state board because of his connections to companies doing business with schools in Texas.

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Posted by Donald Hank, January 05, 2013

This (see picture below) is the 'religion' that the West supports in the Middle East. Mubarak, who was friendly to Christians in Egypt, was told he had to leave. Obama and the rest of the Western leaders insisted on this. Ghadaffi, another Christian friendly leader, was also told to leave and when he fought the jihadists, he was brought down by NATO.

Hillary cackled with laughter when she heard of his brutal torture and death at the hands of his--and our--enemies. You see, our enemies are now our 'leaders.' Since the Arab Spring, hailed as a glorious democratic grass roots movement, Christians in these countries are being forced to leave for fear of being murdered.

Now your Western 'leaders' are coming after Assad, the last Christian-friendly leader left in the region. And you are supposed to believe he will be replaced by people who, to quote candidate Romney, 'share our values.' But Al Qaeda and other like groups are emerging as the new leaders in Syria. How can America lift her head with pride knowing that our tax money and our military are supporting the ideology that burned the Christians whose charred remains are shown below?

The nation that wept over the horrors of Hitler's gas chambers is turning a blind eye to the savage murders of people who truly share our values and our faith. BTW, I was able to verify this story by going to the Spanish language site where the original text appears (see below this commentary). Nigerian Christians have had their churches burned by the local Muslims for many years so this is nothing new. It just happens to be perhaps the first time a photo of the charred remains has been sent to the public. But note that Facebook banned it on their social media and the world msm will remain as silent as the sphinx as long as they can. Their silence is consent. They are complicit in murder.

This is the way all totalitarianism starts, with the full support of sold-out media. But this time, it is worldwide. The conditions for Armageddon--the very one mentioned in the Bible--are coming together like never before in world history. There is no longer a city on a hill to look to for help. Our only hope is in God, where it should have been in the first place.




Donald Hank has been the owner/operator of the Christian news and views site Laigle's Forum ( His straightforward and common-sense articles on politics, economics, science, government and culture have been published in WorldNetDaily, Canada Free Press, Christian Worldview Network, Etherzone, FedUpUSA, American Daily Herald, Renew America, Desert Conservative and Midia Sem Mascara. His extensive language background leads him to believe that the founders meant what they said in the Constitution, God meant what He said in the Scriptures and the grassroots are the true authorities on natural language, word definitions and the government that is best for them. He is also the founder of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, a volunteer organization that provided Christian counseling for non-custodial parents. Contact him at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2013

Al Gore sold his failing cable channel to Al Jazeera, owned by Qatar. Time Warner and other companies that carry cable channels refuse to carry Al Jazeera's, as is their privilege. The New York Times editorial urges the companies to carry it, because it is "an important news source."

"Many American policy makers and cable companies have had doubts about the impartiality of Al Jazeera...", and question Mr. Gore's wisdom in selling out to Qatar. Qatar works with the U.S. on some matters "but has issues and agendas that are sometimes at odds with U.S. interests. Recently, for instance, Qatar, along with other Arab nations, is believed to have provided arms and other assistance to terrorist organizations operating in Syria." The question is whether the station is independent of the Emir.

Instead of pre-empting the station by cutting off its outlets, the cable companies should give it a chance to prove itself — it can bring an important international outlook to American broadcasting. The editors think that Al Jazeera distinguished itself by its reporting on the "Arab spring." A prize for good reporting was cited. Let the people make up their own minds! (1/4/13.)

Mr. Gore reportedly expressed pride in having sold his station to Al Jazeera. The Wall St. Journal noted that he hastened to complete the sale before tax increases took effect.

Praise and prizes by themselves mean nothing in this tendentious era of advocacy journalism and ideological awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize. How much weight should one gives to a recommendation by a newspaper that is biased in favor of Islam against Israel and that runs as an adjunct of the Democratic Party?

Al Jazeera is a jihadist propaganda outlet controlled by a jihadist Emir. What is the value of the Times endorsement about Al Jazeera reporting on the "Arab Spring," when the Times' own reporting under-estimated Islamist strength and the Times still doesn't realize that Turkey, Egypt, and Gaza have turned so Islamist that their dictatorial imperialism threatens our own country? Some of the misguided reporting may have been in sympathy that led it to funnel Ghadafi's arms to Islamists in Syria and to let Islamists triumph over our ambassador in Benghazi.

The Times coyly describes news about Islamists as if it doesn't know what is news, it merely repeats what some people say. That is mendacious, not reporting.

Give Al Jazeera a chance, the editorial urges. Imagine if during WWII and the Cold War, the Times urged that Nazi-owned and Communist-owned newspapers be given a chance to wage propaganda war against us in support of their hot and cold wars against us!

Al Jazeera may well pull its punches, in order to get accepted. That is the kind of stealth jihad that Islamists practice.

Al Jazeera does not have an "international" view but a jihadist view. "International" and un-American viewpoints are found in the Times. Unfortunately, the Times makes some of those views its own and camouflages its intent. Times readers I know have no understanding of the spread and menace of international jihad, of the jihadist cause of the Arab-Israel conflict, of how our economy works, and of federal curbing of our freedom. Most of the U.S. media resembles the Times. Bringing in Al Jazeera to our ill-informed country would add to the problem

As for Al Gore, his pride in his sale makes one wonder what kind of a President he would have made for our country. In office, would he have been as good for jihad as he is out of office?

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2013

As protests mount in Egypt over the Muslim Brotherhood coup d'etat, Islamist defenders of the new dictator claim they are there to defend democracy. President Morsi was democratically elected, they assert.

That snap election without democratic institutions having had time to develop, and which elected a regime that is crushing institutions that were becoming democratic does not make Egypt democratic.

Many Westerners make too much not only of democratic elections, but also of democracy. Suppose the people, as in Europe and among U.S. democrats, insist that the government keep spending until the country is pushed into a debt-ridden depression? Is that good?

Suppose a country votes Islamists into power, so they can repress non-Islamists. Not only is that not good, it is not democratic. Repression of minority rights is not democratic.

The U.S. long has subsidized Egypt's military. Now that military is controlled by Islamists. Islamists are raising a cry to repudiate the treaty with Israel and to re-occupy the Sinai. At this time, Pres. Obama has increased U.S. subsidy of Egypt, lest the government collapse. I think that collapse of Islamist regimes is a desirable goal, rather than our President's paving the way for them and building them up. If they collapse, they can do less damage and their people will feel less positive toward jihad and less contemptible of Western society.

Just as we don't have the funds for all the military spending we might like, neither have we all the funds for foreign aid that our leaders propose. We have to be smart (and patriotic) about spending on military and diplomacy.

The conventional wisdom is to keep subsidizing the Egyptian military under the theory that it would not make war lest it lose those funds. That theory has serious flaws.

The U.S. has not penalized Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the P.A., or Jordan for violating agreements with the U.S. on which those subsidies are based. Egypt has absorbed enough arms to acquit itself well in a war with Israel. Jihadists there want war. Arab governments do not always embark upon war rationally but can get carried away by war fever. It is true that the new dictator is intent upon monopolizing power and preserving his economy, but Islamists care less about national welfare than about advancement of Islam.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2013

In one of the bi-partisan measures that Congress supposedly doesn't take, legislators from both parties were getting behind a bill to reduce funding for the P.A. and to close its office in D.C., because it violated its Oslo peace accords with Israel. Oslo II Article 31.7 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 U.S. media complain that Jewish construction in certain parts of Israel and of the Territories violates that Article, which they don't quote. It does not violate Oslo. It does not change the status of the Territories. Suppose it did. Then so would Muslim construction. But the media do not complain about Muslim construction. (Neither do they complain about P.A. violations of Oslo.) This inconsistency reveals that the complaints about Israel are just anti-Zionism with a phony excuse. Phony excuses by the New York Times and the State Dept., which know the excuses are false, should cost their credibility.

Sen. Graham observed that if the P.A. uses its new UN status to file a complaint against Israel in the International Criminal Court, as it admitted planning to do, then its goal is to marginalize the Jewish state rather than make peace with it. [Ironically, the P.A. commits many war crimes, Israel does not. The P.A. also mischaracterizes UN resolutions as giving it certain rights.]

Sen. Barasso said the way to peace is by negotiation. [Negotiation cannot bring peace, because the Islamist goal, and the theme of P.A. education and media is bigotry and conquest, not peace. That is why the P.A. pledged peace but refuses territorial offers and makes war.]

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) explains that the P.A. has been violating Oslo accords by not disbanding and arresting terrorists but glorifying them, without losing a U.S. subsidy (ZOA, 12/5/12). Obama increased the subsidy. I didn't realize that the U.S. can afford billions of dollars for Radical Islam. But if President Obama thinks that is good for America, Inshallah.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2013

The EU spends tens of millions of Euros financing foreign organizations that advocate political policies. NGO Monitor finds that the EU subsidies for foreign NGOs are clandestine. NGO Monitor petitioned the European Court of Justice to provide documents that would shed light on what goes on.

The Court ruled that the EU failure to provide the requested documents in a timely manner is equivalent to refusing to provide them. But the Court also ruled that the EU action is proper. [This is like the Obama administration declaring that the fee for not carrying medical insurance is a penalty and not a tax, and that the fee also is a tax and not a penalty.]

Those NGOs contradict declared European foreign policy; the activities include BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions), "one state" proposals, anti-normalization with Israel campaigns, and abusing the courts through frivolous 'war crimes' cases. Not only do these activities contradict European policies, but they promote conflict and violence."

The EU effort appears to have "been unethically seeking to manipulate Israeli democracy by funding political advocacy NGOs such as Adalah, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Mossawa, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel." Perhaps that explains EU secrecy about its spending.

NGO Monitor concluded from the one non-censored document about a funding meeting that the EU plan to support manipulation of Israeli voting is explicit and concerted.

NGO Monitor spent a decade tracing the funding. When the EU finally sent Israel documents, all the relevant information was edited out, as if involving national security and proprietary interests. The Court found that the EU had censored the meaningful data.

But the Court held no hearing on the petition, denied NGO Monitor an opportunity to make its case in court, and took no evidence, but upheld the denial.

NGO Monitor is left to expose and shame those governments. NGO Monitor will shame them for curbing democracy and human rights that they purport to advance (IMRA, 12/31 from NGO Monitor oxrc1RJnlHtPLDYGcNPDYNzQ0ZeZYa6dhjY8HUYRX8b69u3Iqwt10GVKfgnq9Hs TlV5VmpZ9AQ3Iu2KenlBkAt8V79DZPd9JZEUvn5d6TTw%3D%3D).

What hypocrisy! Europe pretends to be liberal and humane, but subsidizes illiberal and inhumane anti-Zionists. EU tax euros at work.

The NGOs pretend to be liberal, humane, and peace loving. But they really subvert a really liberal country in behalf of benighted Islamists, who want war.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2013

Israel has allowed the Islamic Waqf to set the rules for access to the Temple Mount and to behavior on it. The government enforces the Muslim rules.

Police discriminate against visitors who appear to be Jews. Jews must wait separately, until escorted under police and Waqf scrutiny. Prominent scholars and rabbis are banned indefinitely and without explanation. If a Jew soundlessly moves his lips, he is suspected of making Jewish prayer, which is forbidden by the Waqf. [He is escorted off the Mount.]

The Zionist Organization of America reported in detail on such discrimination. It finds Israelis increasingly opposed to this Islamic takeover of the Mount. And ZOA has been working with Israeli legislators to rectify matters. MK Arieyeh Eldad has drafted a bill to allow Jews and Christians opportunities to pray on the Mount. Muslims retort with invective (Jeff Daube, ZOA Report, Fall 2012, p.26).

The government of the supposedly Jewish state proudly asserts that Israel has freedom of religion. That freedom is partly myth. In various ways, the State is hostile to Judaism and Jews. On some issues, such as property rights, the State is anti-Zionist. On the Temple Mount, there is an element of Muslim extortion, threatening riots if Jews get equal rights. When Muslims riot in Israel and get hurt when police try to stop the riots, most of the media blame the police and exonerate the rioters. That's the meaning of "living side-by-side" with Muslim Arabs who consider themselves superior beings and entitled to repress other religions.

ZOA is trying to rebalance matters. ZOA is genuinely pro-Israel, preferring to foster Jewish rights to pretending Israel is not denying some of those rights.


The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives is about 3,000 years old. For many years, Muslims have been desecrating its tombstones and attacking Jews on it.

Israeli police have not patrolled it regularly. However, this violence is organized and systematic. Emplaced cameras caught some hired vandals in the act. They arrested the vandals, but the government imposed very light sentences.

ZOA leaders testified about this at the Knesset. Some members of Knesset visited the Mount several times. They declared security and police accountability a priority. ZOA has been working with police, the municipality, and the Prime Minister's office to implement those priorities.

Vandalism has been reduced, though not ended.

It must be difficult for Americans, one of the more tolerant peoples now, to understand the relentless Arab Muslim violence against other religions, innocent people, and differing national heritages. Perhaps if Americans took more interest in relevant history, they would be less naïve against the Islamic menace to Western civilization and realize that the U.S. is as much a target of jihad as is Israel. Israel is our breakwater against jihad.

Some of my friends hear only the Arab side. Interestingly, antisemites complain that all people hear is the Israeli side. Ironically, the Israeli government half goes along with the Arab side and certainly makes little effort and to even less effect to counter Muslim propaganda and advance the Jewish national interest.

Israeli governments may be called right wing, but they prefer "quiet" to defending Jews in Jerusalem and against terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon. They shrink away from foreign criticism, as if its Muslim-appeasing foreign critics and foreign anti-Zionists will respond receptively to Israeli bending over backwards in attempting to show Israeli decency.

One of Israel's major critics is the traditionally anti-Zionist State Dept. in that country called an ally of Israel. When Israel defends itself, U.S. officials may threaten what they call a close or "special" relationship with Israel. It is special in expecting the sovereign Jewish state to stick closely to hostile State Dept. positions. Some closeness!

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

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Posted by Midenise, January 06, 2013

The article below was written by an Egyptian Muslim cleric. It appeared January 03, 2013 in WND World and is archived at

A Muslim cleric from Egypt is forecasting an end times annihilation of every Jew on the face of the Earth and says that will be the ultimate victory for Islam.

In a recent broadcast on Al-NAS Television in Egypt, cleric Mahmoud al-Masri pontificated on his belief about the future of the nation of Israel and the Jewish people.

"The final annihilation [of the Jews] will come at the time of the Mahdi, or shortly before the Mahdi appears. Then the Muslims will regain the Al-Aqsa mosque, if they do not manage to spread Islam throughout the land," he said.

"A small group of Jews will remain, but not the Jews living in Palestine. A group of Jews from Isfahan will survive, and they will follow the Antichrist, but eventually, they will also be killed, along with the Antichrist," he continued. "Ultimately, not a single Jew will be left on the face of the Earth. Victory is coming, Allah willing."

The Mahdi is believed by some sects in Islam to be the 12th imam, an end times figure who will arise to lead Muslims on a worldwide rampage in which all "enemies" of the belief are eliminated. Some Christians believe the Mahdi is the same as the biblical Antichrist, the personification of evil.

Former terrorist turned Christian Walid Shoebat noted the report, and said, "As the West attempts to split hairs when determining if Islamists with this view are part of al-Qaida or not, the words of Islamists like this fall on deaf ears. His idea of victory is for the Earth to be uninhabited by a single Jew."

Shoebat has posted online the video that was assembled by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors and publicizes statements from media outlets in the Middle East.

Shoebat continued, "Note that this guy is rooting for the Syrian rebels."

Al-Masri has positioned his comments in the context of Islam rooting for the "rebels" in Syria, who have engaged in a civil war with one of their own, Muslim President Bashar al-Assad.

Estimates are that more than 40,000 Syrians have died as a result of the rebels, who include terror-linked Muslims, fighting against al-Assad, who is trying to remain in power.

"We must all make an effort for the sake of our country, because if Egypt rises and the Syrian revolution prevails — I swear that this will be the end of Israel, Allah willing," he said.

"The Zionist entity has become nervous about us for a simple reason: They cannot forget the utter defeat they suffered in the 1973 war. If some of the superpowers had not intervened to stop that war — if President Sadat had been allowed to continue — it would have been the end of Israel. They stopped the war, but if it had continued, Israel would have been finished off. It would have been erased from the face of the Earth. But Allah decreed otherwise."

He continued, "Allah willing, Israel will be annihilated, because the Prophet Muhammad said so. Don't believe it because I said so. Believe it because I say that the Prophet Muhammad said so: 'Judgment Day will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.'"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also repeatedly has made statements about the annihilation of the Jews and the removal of Israel from the face of the Earth.

WND previously reported that a Pew Research poll said two-thirds of a billion Muslims expect the Mahdi — the last Islamic imam they believe will come and rule the world — to arrive in their lifetimes.

Those results affirmed the warnings from author Joel Richardson, whose book, "Mideast Beast," is a sequel to his New York Times bestselling 2009 "The Islamic Antichrist."

In a column written in WND, Richardson noted that he has been criticized repeatedly for believing many Muslims have a faith in the coming Mahdi, especially that there are a significant number who believe that will happen soon.

The survey by Pew Research at that time noted that in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, "half or more Muslims believe they will live to see the return of the Mahdi. This expectation is most widespread in Afghanistan (83 percent), Iraq (72 percent), Tunisia (67 percent) and Malaysia (62 percent).

The survey said that belief drops to about four-in-10 across Central Asia, except for Turkey, where 68 percent expect to witness his return. It drops slightly further across southern and eastern Europe.

"In some countries with sizable Sunni and Shi'a populations, views on the Mahdi's return differ by sect. In Iraq, for example, Shi'as are more likely than Sunnis to expect the Mahdi to return in their lifetime, by an 88 percent to 55 percent margin. In Azerbaijan, the difference between the two groups is also large (25 percentage points)," the report said. "Differences between Shi'as and Sunnis on this issue may reflect the more central role that the Mahdi's return plays in Shi'a Islam."

The result? An estimated 672 million Muslims expect to witness the Mahdi's return.

Richardson has reported that one of the recent surface-to-surface missiles launched by Iran was inscribed "Ya Mahdi" — the equivalent of "Go Mahdi."

He notes that while many believe the Antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire, which many have assumed is associated with the Roman Catholic Church and the European Union, he doesn't believe that is the case.

"The Bible abounds with proofs that the Antichrist's empire will consist only of nations that are, today, Islamic," Richardson explained. "Despite the numerous prevailing arguments for the emergence of a revived European Roman empire as the Antichrist's power base, the specific nations the Bible identifies as comprising his empire are today all Muslim."

Richardson believes the key error of many previous prophecy scholars involves the misinterpretation of a prediction by Daniel to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel describes the rise and fall of empires of the future, leading to the end times. Western Christians have viewed one of those empires as Rome, when, claims Richardson, Rome never actually conquered Babylon and was thus disqualified as a possibility.

It had to be another empire that rose and fell and rose again that would lead to rule of this "man of sin," described in the Bible. That empire, he says, is the Islamic Empire, which did conquer Babylon and, in fact, rules over it even today.

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Posted by Dr. Sanford Aranoff, January 06, 2013

A cancer patient visits a doctor, who advises a treatment plan that will defeat the cancer. The statistics of the success of this plan are such that out of 100 similar patients with this treatment, 80 will survive and live normal lives. All our decisions must be based upon statistics, for all reality is based upon statistics. There is no absolute truth.

The patient then goes to another doctor to get a second opinion, something we must all do. The doctor advises a treatment that will degrade the cancer. The statistics are that out of 100 similar patients with this treatment, 10 will survive and live normal lives. It is suicidal for the patient to opt for the treatment to degrade the cancer. Cancer must be defeated and not degraded, for it can flare up and become fatal.

The first doctor's name is retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who presented a war goal to the White House to defeat the Taliban. The other doctor is President Barack Obama, who advised to degrade the Taliban. The White House plan is suicidal to the United States, for the Taliban can attract more converts spreading their dangerous evil.

We Americans must stop discussing politics and numbers of people who support various issues. We must cease doing suicidal acts. We know many Americans are suicidal, people who take guns killing many other innocent people before killing themselves. It seems that our national leadership is also suicidal. We must do what we can to defeat our leaders and save our country.

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Posted by Reportsny, January 06, 2013

December 16, 2012. 9.30 P:M. A 23 year old woman, a para-medical student, accompanied by a 28 year old male friend, boarded a bus in New Delhi at Munirka where the driver misguided them that it was going to Dwarka, the destination of the girl and her male friend.

They did not know that the bus was not running on regular duty. There were six people, including the driver, on board. They were not passengers but a gang of friends, from among the bus employees.

Encouraged by the law and order breakdown in India, particularly in Delhi, the gang misbehaved with the girl. The male friend objected. The lustful gang brutally attacked him.. When the woman jumped into the fray to protect her friend, they hit her with an iron rod, dragged her to the back seat and gang raped her.

All this happened in the moving bus which passed through many police check posts. Finally, the criminals bared both of them and dumped them on the roadside, with girl unconscious and in dying stage.

Delhi youth, especially the students, rose in almost-revolt. The government was scared. It ensured special medical attention to keep her alive. The Indian Cabinet, on December 26, in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, took the decision to make special arrangements to airlift the girl to Mount Elizibeth Hospital in Singapore. But on December 29th, she succumbed to her injuries.

With her death, she leaves behind a question: Can India correct itself societally? Will India remain engaged only in economic debate or think of its deteriorating law and order, also?

The painful tale of the Delhi Bus gang rape as narrated by the victim's male friend is a clue to the solution to reverse and perhaps halt the rising crime in India.

The 28 years old boy laments that he could have saved the gang raped victim, had the passers-by been sympathetic and law-supporting citizens. His narration as it appears in an IANS news shows the paradox, the Indians are a victim to. They let the victims suffer for fear of being identified as witnesses. But later, rose in an almost-revolt when the social media gave them a call and they became unidentifiable.

Here is what he says. "We were lying in the cold night for 20 minutes. We had no clothes. Many cars and auto-rickshaws came and passed by us but no one stopped to offer us help even though I was crying for help,"...He further says that three Police Control Room vans came and left as they were unsure of the jurisdiction of the crime. And finally when a police van came, none of the 20 persons standing there came to his aid to lift the seriously injured and unconscious girl into the van. The boy's tale is a painful stricture on the situation in hospitals. He says that they had no clothes but in the severe cold night of December, "In the hospital, no one even thought of giving us a quilt."

The question is: will another stringent law prevent such tragedies and protect the weaker people from the criminally oriented villains who mostly work in gangs? No body can tell in advance. The politicians, the activists and even the media shout hoarse, only to fall silent when people forget the events.

But I think that before the nation busies itself with unending debates and discussion on the type of legislation, it shall make certain rules and apply them in letter and spirit. I offer a few as preventive measures.

1st: Police response: shall be standardized. Any information to the police control room, by the victim or a watcher, who identifies himself/herself, shall be followed up within 5 minutes. Any officer on duty who fails to respond for 5 times shall be demoted and a ten time response-failure shall result in dismissal. There shall be an internal audit and a CAG type audit to determine the results.

2nd: Watchers' Response. Any watcher, or a passer-by, walker, rickshaw puller or vehicle, shall stop there and then to report the matter to the police control room. (No excuse, everyone seems to own or have access to a cell phone). In case, it is proved that a watcher did not respond by making a help-call or other possible means, shall be punished with fines and even prison. After having done their duty, watchers shall have the freedom to become witnesses or not to become. However, those who join street demonstrations shall have the moral courage to help the law in getting the guilty punished.

3rd: Medical aid or emergency response: The hospital and nursing centers are notorious for giving special attention to the rich and mighty, even at the cost of sufferers who deserve priority. A hospital or nursing center ignoring the needs and medical attention to the victims of rape with life-threatening symptoms shall run the risk of losing its license. The hospitals shall have arrangements with other facilities to transfer patients and material in time of need.

4th: Prosecutional Response: In high-profile cases like the Delhi bus gang rape, everybody from a journalist to the home minister becomes pro-active. But have you ever heard them talking if a poor woman is raped in a village, where the police does not register a complaint and openly sides with the criminal. The time has come when the prosecutional rules be framed, standardized and strictly followed. Instant filing of the complaint, appointing a 2-man investigation team(preferably with one lady-officer) within 24 hours, completion and reporting back of investigation within a week, resulting in the arrest of the criminal and filing the charge sheet within six months to begin the judicial battle shall be the prosecutional rules. There shall be proper audit of each case and the chief of the related police station shall be held responsible and punished for not adhering to these rules.

A Lesson, unforgettable: The justice depends on two factors-quantum of punishment and the adherence to rules that ensure justice. Which is more important in curbing crime? At a time when everybody seems to be demanding a stringent law, we are conveniently forgetting that a criminal can be exposed to justice only by following four types of rules, suggested above. A judge will order death penalty only if prosecutors prove beyond doubt that the person standing in the criminal box is really a rapist.

How to succeed: Only by following the rules and by severe punishment, including loss of job/position, to the persons who are paid for that. The Supreme Court lawyer, Ram Jethmalani advocates "Some heads must role" and I completely follow his views on this front.

To halt and reverse the ugly forces of crime, we shall create a parallel system of support to the victims. Governments have miserably failed. Introduce the following two ingredients to comfort the victims and weaker sections.

1st: Parallel Help-Units: Some NGOs shall come up to substitute police help and first aid helps. Any such NGO with proof of owning medical vans, ambulances and the full-time or part time availability of doctors shall be given licenses without fuss and shall be rewarded by the local government with per-person aid provided.

2nd: Parallel Prosecution units: Some NGOs of women-lawyers shall come up to provide free legal aid to the victims of rape. If a victim chooses to go to such an NGO, the lawyer thus provided shall be complimentary to the prosecution lawyer. The woman-lawyer shall become a part of judicial battle to see that the police and its prosecutor is not diluting or weakening the case of the victim. Nobody can ever deny that the criminals use money power, muscle power and political power to use police against the victim, rather than the criminal. The NGO shall be given a pre-fixed fee for every case, thus handled, by the state government and a special reward of at least five lakhs to the woman-lawyer who wins the conviction. This is the only way to morally boost and embolden the victims of rape. They will, thus, face any financial difficulties, nor will they have any fear of police, which mostly fails to be helpful.

3rd: Gang breaking-units: The police commissioners will have to form gang-breaking units within student bodies and labor unions. Their job description shall be to watch and monitor individuals and groups engage in anti-social activities. They are in fact the breeding grounds of lawlessness and terrorism. They shall report exclusively to a Special officer on duty in the office of the police commissioner and shall no contacts with anyone else in the police department. The commissioner shall pass on their un-named reports to his /her assistants for verification and action. Thus, a data base of gangs in the commissioner's office shall enable the police to nip the evil in the bud.

4th: PARLIAMENTARY ACTION COMMITTEES: Nation would be very grateful to its politicians if they, instead of fighting only power battles and on legislations that serve their political agenda, watch the state of affairs of the nation and correct them. This is possible only if along with the standing committees, they form Action Committees also. The job of Action Committees shall be to prepare reports, and data bases on their allotted area. If they find that their department, ministries and commissions are not following the law or are facing hurdles, they shall discuss ways and means to reach the desired goals. They shall amend, propose and make rules compatible with the nation's requirements. Parliamentarians cannot be ignorant of the fact that the rules affect the national life more than the law.(Ranjit Singh)

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Posted by Laura, January 06, 2013

The article below was written by Ari Lieberman who is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region. The article appeared December 19, 2012 in the American Thinker and is archived at

Two career politicians are all but certain to be nominated for top cabinet posts within the Obama administration -- John Kerry for secretary of state and Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense. While Kerry's record on Israel is troubling at best, Obama's man for secretary of defense is downright hostile. What's more, a deeper look at Hagel's record reveals a deep-seeded hatred of Israel far beyond the norm for ordinary run-of-the-mill Israel critics.

I hate to use the term "anti-Semitic" because its overuse results in dilution of its negative connotation. The term "anti-Semite" should be used sparingly and with extreme caution, and only when one is absolutely certain that the recipient of the pejorative is indeed an anti-Semite. I have come to the reluctant conclusion that not only does Hagel harbor animus toward Israel, but he displays anti-Semitic tendencies.

Anti-Semitism has morphed throughout the years, and only the most boorish cling to the old-school style. We see this type of xenophobia prevalent in the Arab and Muslim world. When the Islamo-fascist dictator of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, concurs with an anti-Semitic screed that calls for the destruction of the "yahuds" -- that's old-school anti-Semitism. Similarly, when government-controlled Arab and Iranian media spew forth claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in ritualistic fashion to prepare matzoth for Passover, that too is classic anti-Semitism and very easy to identify.

But today's anti-Semitism has taken a more insidious form; it masks itself as legitimate criticism of Israel, with the purported aim of advancing "human rights." Famed humanitarian and Soviet dissident Nathan Sharansky recognized the problem and postulated a test -- which he termed the 3D-test -- to distinguish between "legitimate" criticism of Israel and veiled anti-Semitism masquerading as such.

While Hagel doesn't fit as neatly into Sharansky's 3D-test as, say, someone like Alison Weir, the notorious chief of a hate-mongering organization, his past actions and veiled references to Jewish influences in Washington make him come pretty darn close.

With the possible exception of former KKK member Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Chuck Hagel is arguably the most hostile anti-Israel U.S. senator ever to serve. His record features a laundry list of anti-Israel actions that include his failure to sign a bipartisan letter to the European Union to add Hezb'allah to its list of terrorist organizations. He was one of only a handful of senators who refused to sign the letter.

Prior to September 11, 2001 Hezb'allah was responsible for more American deaths than all other terrorist organizations combined. It was also responsible for targeting and destroying Jewish centers in Argentina, resulting in countless of civilian deaths, for no reason other than its lust for the murder of Jews.

Chuck Hagel currently serves as chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy blog. On December 11, 2012, the Atlantic Council published a front-page article entitled "Israel's Apartheid Policy." Of all the anti-Semitic canards and libelous statements about Israel, perhaps none is more egregious than labeling Israel an "Apartheid state."

The article notes that Israel maintains separate roads for Arabs and Jews and implies that this situation has existed since the Six-Day War, which is utter rubbish. Prior to the Oslo War (also known as the Second Intifada), Jews and Arabs were freely able to utilize the same roads. It was only after Arafat unleashed his wave of homicide bombers and drive-by shooters that security concerns dictated curtailment of terrorist movement. The Palestinians have only themselves to blame for their predicament. Violence entails consequences, and no responsible nation can allow its citizens -- women and children -- to fall prey to violence of the most horrific sort.

Moreover, the article neglects to note that Israeli courts, at the request of Arab-affiliated organizations, periodically review the security situation and allow for the loosening of restrictions as the situation warrants. The article also repeats the lie that planned Israeli construction in the E-1 section near Jerusalem would sever land links among Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem. Even the New York Times, with its lengthy history of anti-Israel bias, acknowledged (belatedly) that this was simply not the case.

It seems highly unlikely that Hagel, as chairman of the Atlantic Council, was unaware of this article's intended publication, and this is especially true in light of its timing. The likelihood is that Hagel either agrees with this vitriol or wishes to perpetuate it even if he doesn't believe it. It's bad any way you look at it.

But what is perhaps most disconcerting is Hagel's 2006 pejorative reference to the so-called "Jewish lobby," conjuring up the old anti-Semitic canard -- very popular in the Arab world and among Nazi conspiracists -- of rich, powerful Jews pulling the strings of Washington. Images of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion come to mind, and perhaps this is what Hagel wanted his audience to absorb.

Sorry, Chuck, but there is no "Jewish lobby." There is an organization called AIPAC, composed of American citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, who believe that close cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is advantageous to both countries. These citizens hold the opinion that at a time when chaos, mayhem, and fanaticism grip the Muslim world -- for reasons having nothing to do with Israel -- it is important now more than ever to recognize Israel's strategic importance and its underlying moral similarities with our nation.

But someone like Hagel, who views matters through the narrow prism of Jew and non-Jew, sees only the "Jewish lobby." His reference to the "Jewish lobby" is demonstrative of his myopic outlook that precludes any possibility that many non-Jews are supportive of Israel for a plethora of reasons, including but not limited to shared values and strategic interests. In fact, a recent Pew research poll confirms that Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, and this poll is consistent with past polls that revealed similar results.

I could be wrong, of course, but I believe that Chuck Hagel meets the criteria as set forth in Sharansky's formulation. If he is nominated and confirmed, U.S.-Israeli relations will likely spiral, and that will be bad for both countries.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 06, 2013

The major Western media does not often publish Muslim threats and even less often evaluates them. Readers have little on which to base an assessment of those threats. Apparently, when Westerners hear brutal and primitive Muslim threats, they don't believe them or they don't take them seriously. But they are serious.

Dr. Abdullah Badr, professor of Islamic exegesis, told his Egyptian audience that whoever speaks against Islam and enactment of Islamic law will not be tolerated. He said in the rough Islamist manner, such as that they are "dogs," that their tongues will be cut out. Westerners probably don't think Radical Muslims primitive and brutal enough to mean it. Nevertheless, they mean it.

In November, Salafis ib Suez beat a grocery store work and tried to cut off his hand for not letting one of them use the bathroom. (He had not insulted Islam.) The clerk's brother called the gang names, so they tried to cut off his tongue, but people helped him escape.

The gang had murdered an Egyptian man for walking in public with his fiancée, in May 2011.

Also in May, 2011, "unknown assailants" cut the tongue out of a poet in Yemen, whose poem praised the ruler who opposed the Islamist uprising. That deed emulates the prophet of Islam, who saw to the assassination of poets who offended him.

In April, 2011, a muezzin in Bahrain was beaten, tortured as with boiling oil, and had his tongue cut out, to the Islamic war cry, "Allahu Akbar!"

In Australia, a Muslim broke into the apartment of a non-Muslim woman "he was formally involved with," smashed her eye socket with a bottle, cut her face and severed her tongue. He was sentenced to 8 ½ years in jail.

To Muslims, the tongue can expose Islam. As 13th century Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya put it, "Waging war verbally against Islam may be worse than waging war physically." As Dr. Badr put it, he'd rather see the whole world in flames than Islam insulted (Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, 12/12/12 ).

Now what was that about expecting Iran to make decisions about whether to use nuclear weapons on the basis of what we would consider rational thinking?

No wonder Islamic movements seek to curb free speech in the West, however factual and logical! We had better take seriously the dictatorships' attempts to get UN control over the Internet. We also had better disband or enervate the UN, before it gains control over other areas, as it is trying to do over marine resources and international taxation.

The 8 ½ year sentence against the Australian Muslim seems like a penalty conceived under normal law. The tongue-remover, however, is more like a fanatical war criminal. For jihadists, special laws are needed, because their ideology is too strong for a jail sentence to deter or reform or even punish. It is as if we have identifiable SS or Soviet secret police in the U.S., waiting for a signal or circumstance to attack.

Some Westerners think they might escape Islamist fury by giving in to them or even converting. But most of the examples we cited were assaults on Muslims. Islamists find an urge to commit violence against almost anyone, nobody being pure enough for their particular gang.

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

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 06, 2013

1.The Turkish Islamist media recently spread the false claim initiated by the IHH that Turkish Jews fought alongside IDF soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara. Yenisafak, an Islamist newspaper affiliated with the Turkish government published an op-ed column on December 13 entitled "Are there murderers in our midst?" Three days later Hüseyin Oruç, deputy IHH president, interviewed by the small Islamist Kanal A TV station, made the false claim that five of the IDF soldiers who belonged to force that took control of the Mavi Marmara were Turkish citizens. He also said that the IHH demanded that the Turkish government and the Turkish intelligence service (MIT) locate the five Jews and bring them to trial.

2. The IHH, which organized the Mavi Marmara flotilla and whose operatives were the main force in fighting the IDF, has turned the show trial in Istanbul into an anti-Israeli hate campaign, which the Turkish government has so far done nothing to prevent. The campaign, whose objective is to turn the trial into an indictment of Israel and its policies, included a mass demonstration in front of the courthouse on the opening day of the trial, where demonstrators carried signs equating Israel ("Zionism") with Nazi Germany and Hitler. Later on, the campaign also integrated anti-Semitic incitement against the Turkish Jewish community.

3. IHH and its president, Bülent Yildirim, have a long history of anti-Semitic incitement and hate propaganda, usually focused on making political capital from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion myth that the "Zionists" [i.e., the Jews] rule the world, especially the United States (See Appendix C). This time, however, the IHH and the Islamist Turkish media directed their anti-Semitic hate propaganda inward towards the country's small Jewish population, which had no connection or involvement whatsoever with the Mavi Marmara affair.

4. Attacking Turkey's Jews with anti-Semitic hate propaganda and incitement was the direction taken by IHH leader Bülent Yildirim. Interviewed by the Islamist newspaper Sabah Gazetisi several months before the opening of the show trial, he claimed that there were Turkish-speaking Israelis aboard the Mavi Marmara (Sabah Gazetisi, May 26, 2012). The remark made by deputy IHH president Hüseyin Oruç about "five Turkish-speaking suspects" among the IDF soldiers was intended, in out assessment, to reinforce and give credibility to Bülent Yildirim's accusations, using the classic anti-Semitic allegation that Jews have dual loyalty.

5. Following a protest by the American-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Turkish ministry of the interior issued a statement intended to moderate the damage to its image. It again took the familiar Turkish government stand that for centuries Turkey has provided a safe haven for the Jews and that it regards anti-Semitism and racism as a crime against humanity (See Appendix A). In out assessment, however, it is doubtful whether the statement indicates the Turkish administration's intention to take vigorous action to keep the show trial in Istanbul from becoming a stage for anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic incitement and hate propaganda (the distinctions between which are lost on Bülent Yildirim and other anti-Semitic figures).

NOTE: There are appendices available at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 06, 2013

Some months ago I wrote a number of times about a little boy named Zakkai, in the US, who was undergoing severe medical problems. I learned about his situation from his grandmother, whom I know -- who had written and asked for prayers: He had an extensive tumor growing up his spine and into his thoracic area. At first it was thought be a rare form of malignancy and then was declared benign. This was cause for celebration, but he certainly wasn't home free. Non-cancerous, rapid growing tumors can do extensive damage.

Zakkai underwent two serious surgeries to remove the tumor. The surgeries, in spite of minor hitches, were considered successful, and he then received follow-up treatments -- physical therapy because of damaged muscle, etc. A scan indicated that there were two small spots on the spine and it was not clear at first what they were.

Now, with the latest scan it is clear: the two lesions on his spine were tumor-tissue and are now growing, rapidly. The doctors have not yet determined what to do.

But we can do starting immediately is pray for this brave and happy little boy, who is now a little over two:

Rephael Zakkai Avraham ben Yakira Avigael



We are now deep into the throes of an election campaign, which is just a bit more then three weeks away. I am not going to write about all of the inter-party goings on, which often have something of a "madhouse" tone about them and frequently make me very weary.

All this said, however, this is potentially a very significant election, with shifting alliances, new people coming to the fore, and a chance for some real changes.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu and his fellow Likud members are clearly nervous and handling themselves badly. Finally they have begun to aim their criticism at the center-left after a very unfortunate bout of attacking Habayit Hayehudi, their natural coalition partner.


The issue of coalition formation is critical in a variety of ways. There is, of course, the obvious: How the coalition shapes up -- whether, for example, a victorious Netanyahu will include center/left parties instead of Habayit Hayehudi-- will have an effect on who controls key ministries and what gov't policy will be.

But there is more: After the elections, the president meets with all of the parties and asks for recommendations as to which faction's head should be asked to form the coalition. Usually, the head of the party with the most mandates (and that will almost certainly be Likud) is asked, but this is not a given.

If the center-left parties say they will consider being included in a Likud coalition, then they presumably will recommend Netanyahu to form that coalition. But what they -- notably Shelly Yachimovich of Labor and Tzipi Livni of the Tzipi Livni party -- are saying now is that they will band together in refusal to join the coalition, making it more difficult (but hardly impossible) for him to form a coalition. Peres might be "inspired" to ask someone else.

Peres would be delighted to encourage a left wing coalition. (See more below.) This is well understood and a tad worrisome.

Yet another aspect of the left/center declarations of refusal to join a Likud coalition (for today, anyway -- except for Lapid of Yesh Atid, who says he might), however, is that Netanyahu might be asked to form the coalition and then actually have no choice but to include Habayit Hayehudi in order to make the requisite number of mandates. Which would be great and precisely as it should be

Are you confused yet? I'll track this more clearly as the factors sort themselves out.


PM Netanyahu (Likud) has been accused (not without reason) of waffling on what he stands for. That is more or less his MO.

And so today Avigdor Lieberman (head of Yisrael Beitenu and former foreign minister) came forward with a clarification. Remember that Likud and Yisrael Beitenu are running together on a joint list. Lieberman says that Yisrael Beitenu is for the formation of a Palestinian state, and that a Likud-Yisrael Beitenu government will base its policy on Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech.

Well...that's pretty clear.

Voters who will not vote left have a choice, most significantly, between this and Naftali Bennett's position as head of Habayit Hayehudi, which is solidly against a Palestinian state. (There is also the small, strongly nationalist Otzma l'Yisrael -- Strength to Israel party.)

Bennett recommends annexing area C, and offering citizenship to the small number of Palestinian Arabs who live there. Habayit Hayehudi is in a merged list with National Union, which most certainly is not for a Palestinian state.


I see media reports that refer to Bennett as "radical right," "extreme." I see this as a joke. It's an attempt to render what he is saying in defense of our rights as not legitimate. (Anything that rejects that "two state solution" is represented as not legitimate.)

In truth, Bennett's position is moderate. He advocates expelling no one from his or her home -- including no Arabs. Those Arabs in the area he recommends annexing would stay where they are and be given full rights.

Beware of politically-inspired labels.


There were rumors that Lieberman said his party would break apart from Likud and form a separate faction after the elections, which he is now denying -- although there are suggestions that this was understood when the lists were merged. That would leave Likud further weakened.


One other political observation here: President Shimon Peres has been making political statements of a sort that are simply inappropriate for a man in his position. The presidency is not a political office.

He recently said that PA putative president Mahmoud Abbas was a partner for peace, and then found himself in the position of having to defend this because of severe criticism.

Yoel Marcus, in a piece -- "President Peres - resign" -- he wrote in Haaretz on Friday, provides us with a quote from Peres on the subject: "'The role of our diplomacy has always been to stretch out a hand to anyone willing to talk,' said Peres. He added: 'I've known Abu Mazen...[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] for 30 years, he's open and ready for rapprochement.'"

And here I thank David Bedein for calling this to my attention: Thirty years is ten years before Oslo. How did Peres happen to be acquainted with this PLO leader and protégé of terrorist Yasser Arafat back then?


As to that "peace partner" Peres has been referring to, we should heed the statement of IDF Ezion Sector Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf.


Alaluf, one of Central Command's top ranking officers, said after a training session (emphasis added):

"We're no longer on the verge of a third intifada — it's already here. We anticipate many more [clashes] from now on. We may not be facing thousands of demonstrators storming border fences with AK-47s, but that doesn't diminish the seriousness of the situation.

"The process lead by Abu Mazen [Abbas] is over, replaced by the attitude promoted by Hamas. Abu Mazen is trying to survive the Arab Spring and he understands that the path of negotiations with Israel is over.

"The question is — what will follow? We may see regional anarchy...

"The third intifada won't be like the second one, which surprised us. We're ahead of the game now and terror won't be able to slither up to central Israel because we're better prepared.",7340,L-4328957,00.html


I want to turn here (with thanks to Reisa S.) to a new documentary -- "Jihad in America: The Deception" --from The Investigative Project on Terrorism, founded and run by Steve Emerson. Emerson reliably documents the threat in America from Islamists. Before 9/11 he had made predictions about an imminent major terrorist attack and was written off as an alarmist kook. After 9/11, he was sought all over as a commentator in the know. It is prudent now to learn what he has to say.

His concern is not "just" the fact that Islamist groups such as Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda seek world domination and imposition of sharia (Muslim) law, it is the fact that these groups masterfully disguise their intentions from the general public and are accepted as moderates within the halls of American power.

Here you can see a video interview of Emerson, with a discussion of the documentary and accompanying text:

In the course of the interview, Emerson speaks of Siraj Wahhaj who "is a major imam from Brooklyn who... was the first Muslim to open the invocation in Congress in 1991, but in fact is a very, very radical militant Muslim cleric who has called for jihad, he has supported terrorism. In fact he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. And believe it or not, despite all that has come out including his unindicted status, to this very day he is still being invited to and paid for by US government agencies to speak at counterterrorism conferences." (Emphasis added)

None of this should be dismissed or taken lightly.

The DVD documentary can be ordered via Amazon:


As to the good news, there is some:

The Jewish community of Rachelim in Samaria, which had been built with full support from the Housing Ministry but was referred to as "illegal" for lack of one Defense Ministry signature, has now been fully authorized.


Please see here for the full story of how this was accomplished

"Rachelim was built in 1998 in memory of two Rachels both murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists. Rachel Druck, 35, was murdered in a shooting attack on a bus in 1991 as she and her son traveled from Shilo to Tel Aviv. Rachel Weiss, 26, was burned alive in 1988 as she desperately tried to save her three young children, who were trapped in the flames after a terrorist hurled a firebomb at a bus."


And then there is the weather. Last night and today there was heavy rain in the north, causing flooding. By tomorrow the rain is expected to move to the center of the country, and last most of the week. The level of the Kinneret is going up, perhaps about to reach better levels than it has in 20 years. All together a great blessing for us.


Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, January 06, 2013

1. A demonstration of the remarkable success of Naftali Bennett and his party is apparent in the vicious attack ads and dirty tricks being used by Netanyahu and the Likud against them. The Likud has joined forces with the radical Left in trying to demonize Bennett and his team, because they all find Bennett's success so alarming.

Nevertheless, the tactic of the Likud over the past week in trying to paint Bennett as "anti-women" is the finest illustration of the lack of integrity and decency in the Likud and the extent to which it feels threatened by Bennett's growing juggernaut.

Last week the Likud, probably under direct orders by Bibi, placed attack ads in all the Israeli media accusing Bennett of having "woman haters" on his party slate. Likud statements accused Bennett of hostility to women. The accusations were entirely based on the fact that one member of the Bennett (Jewish Home Party) slate, Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan who is number four on the list of candidates, had called for the elimination of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. What further proof is required?, scream the Likud hacks.

Well, first of all, eliminating the Knesset Committee on the status of women would not be such a bad idea. Its main activities in the past have been in pressing for dumbing down standards, promoting the implementation of gender quotas, "affirmative action" and nature double standards, gender preferences, and other silly ideas that harm women and create the general suspicion that any woman who is successful must have made it up the slippery pole because of such discrimination. Ask why many black families in the US refuse to send their children to a black dentist and you will understand the point.

But that is just MY reason for thinking the committee should be shut down. So what is Rabbi Ben Dahan's reason and what did he really say? Well, it turns out, and you would know this only if you read Makor Rishon, that the actual quote by Rabbi Ben Dahan was to call for the elimination of the Knesset Committee on Women because he wanted to merge it together with the Knesset Committee on the Welfare of Children, claiming that the merged committee would be far more powerful and effective and influential!

Yes, the guy who the Likud claims is the epitome of male chauvinism in Bennett's slate simply called for making the efforts of the Committee on Women MORE effective!! The Likud showed its lack of integrity and willingness to engage in sleaze and distortion in order to make a few fleeting political points, and counted on no one ever checking to see what Ben Dahan had REALLY said! But that is what he really said!

The other interesting point being that Bennett has three times as many women in the senior positions on his party slate than the Likud has.

2. The editorial today in Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew, is a broadside attack on the decision by the government to allow the Shalem Center to operate its own college. The college would NOT be funded by the taxpayer. You can read the editorial here:

Let me explain. The Shalem Center is a Jerusalem-based think tank run by a team headed by Dr. Yoram Hazony, who is politically close to Bibi Netanyahu. Hazony has served as a close advisor for Bibi in the past. In the 1990s Hazony sought to set up a policy think tank roughly based upon the role models of the Heritage Institute or the American Enterprise Institute in the US, and initially it was thought that it would deal mainly with domestic Israeli social and economic policies. At that point I was loosely associated with it and wrote a few policy papers for the Center.

For a variety of reasons, within a few years the Center changed its focus and decided to devote its energies to philosophical and religious discourse regarding the mission and nature of Israel, including things like Religion-State relations, but even more so - the threat and evil of "Post-Zionism." Since my "comparative advantage" was in the economic policy issues, I had little of value to offer this refocused Shalem Center and played no further role in it, other than privately enjoying its publications.

For the past few years, Hazony and his Center have been proposing to open a "college" that would teach mainly things like philosophy, Jewish thought, and maybe political science, and it would be from a decidedly Zionist and liberal (in the good sense of the word) perspective. A few days ago the government agreed to grant accreditation to the new College. Among the people involved in its establishment are world-class intellectuals Martin Kramer and Menachem Kellner (the latter being an expert on Maimonides and Jewish Thought, well left of center and a friend of mine).

Haaretz is aghast. Here is a citation from its editorial:

'According to the subtitle of this mission statement, "Shalem College is a historic opportunity to create visionary leaders for the Jewish state and people." This makes it clear that academics at the institution will be subordinate to higher purposes with a distinct ideological identity. Constant skepticism, a key academic principle since Medieval times, is not mentioned.

'After last week's announcement Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who chairs the Council for Higher Education, called it "another step toward rehabilitating the humanities." In effect, the accreditation was a narrow partisan measure concealed in the robes of officialdom. It would have been better for Sa'ar and the council to find ways to increase undergraduate enrollment at Israeli universities, particularly in the humanities, than to encourage private, donor-supported institutions with a political agenda.'


Subordinating academic activity to partisanship and ideology, you say? Skepticim is needed in academia? Hmmm.....

First let us note that Israel has plenty of one-sided partisan ideological "academic institutions" already, and the Haaretz editors have never objected to any of them. Even if we do not count the non-accredited "Socio-Economic College" run by the Israeli (Stalinist) Communist Party, which engages in Marxist indoctrination, the Beit Berl College, which IS accredited, is only slightly less partisan and conscripted. We posted a few days ago the story about a mandatory course at Beit Berl in Anti-Zionism and Demonization of Israel, which is forced upon students by a fanatical pro-terror communist woman lecturer there. The Bezalel College has behaved in only a slightly less extreme manner of partisan self-conscription.

But that does not even scratch the surface. There are scores of departments in the mainstream Israeli universities in which it is prohibited to express a pro-Israel or Zionist opinion. Haaretz has long been the main (in fact the only) journalistic defender of the abomination at Ben Gurion "University" calling itself the Department of Politics, a university unit in which Israel bashing and anti-Zionist indoctrination are its main activities. An international panel of experts called for shutting down that department altogether, because of its extremist ideological biases, its total lack of pluralism, and its abysmally low level of academic quality. None of that prevented Haaretz from championing the department and demanding that it be preserved in the name of "academic freedom." Some skepticism!

All or almost all the departments in Israel of political science, sociology, law, linguistics, education, and - of course - women's studies are monolithic uniformly-pure bastions of far-leftist anti-Israel indoctrination. They are the occupied territories of the Tenured Far Left. ohilosophy departments are just as bad. The history department at Tel Aviv University is for all intents and purposes a branch of the Israeli communist party.

Haaretz has never expressed any discomfort with any of THAT!

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 06, 2013

In the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes review's Anat Berko's The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012. 212 pp., $42 ISBN: 978-1-4422-1952-6 ). In many years of interviewing imprisoned terrorists, Ms. Berko has gotten them to discuss themselves. Apparently, these women dream of endless sex in paradise (just as the men do). Terrorism emerges from romance. Many of them have sexual relations with their dispatchers right before their missions.

Many Palestinian Arab women have such miserable, abused home lives, that they pretend to be attacking, in order to be imprisoned and taken away from home and forced marriages and abuse. Some prefer death in order to end a life of misery,. They also find that by violence, the sexual dishonor they may have been accused of gets excused. In jail, they find that Jews take better care of them than do Arabs. When they leave prison, they find Arab men less interested in them, fearing they will have learned to be independent-minded.

Fortunately, women, being less ideological, are not as effective in terrorism as men. But they do raise less suspicion

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

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Posted by Marcia Leal, January 06, 2013

The article below was written by Bruce W. Davidson who teaches at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan. The article appeared January 06, 2013 in the American Thinker and is archived at

In contrast to the American presidential election, the recent election in Japan displayed better sense among Japan's electorate, a majority of whom voted the incumbent leftists out of office. However, Japan continues to be afflicted by widespread leftist ideology among academics and the mass media. One of its unfortunate fruits is pervasive anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment in Japan.

One prominent advocate of anti-Semitism in Japan is the photojournalist Ryuichi Hirokawa. I first encountered his work in the early 1990s, when I discovered that my women's junior college students were making use of his books to write research papers in a class I was teaching there about the Arab-Israeli conflict. I had been baffled to read papers from the mild-mannered Japanese young women in my class condemning Israel and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state as the only solution to the conflict. Investigating their references turned up the name of Hirokawa, a radical leftist with close ties to academia in Japan.

Hirokawa's view of events in the Middle East is much the same as that of Noam Chomsky and other Israel-bashing academics in the US and Europe. In brief, this is the thesis that Israel is the root of all Middle Eastern evil, since it represents an outpost of Western imperialism. According to this view, the origins of the Palestinian problem can be traced solely to a ruthless and unprovoked expulsion of Palestinians from their villages when Israel became a state. This view also entails the necessity of the elimination of the state of Israel, which will then presumably turn the Middle East into a haven of peace and harmony. Sol Stearn appropriately dubs this narrative about the origin of the conflict "The Palestinian Big Lie." Unfortunately, thanks to the efforts of Hirokawa and others, the Big Lie has become the conventional wisdom in Japanese academia and the mass media.

Among Hirokawa's publications in Japanese are collections of photographs like Children of a Stolen Land: Documentary Photographs of Palestine, which uses children to pull at the heartstrings of readers and inflame them against Israel. The title says it all about the book's outlook on who is responsible for all their suffering. Hirokawa has also collaborated with academics to produce works such as the two-volume Yudayajin (The Jews). The second volume, named Merchants of Diamonds and Death: Israel's Global Strategy, spins a web of intrigue implicating Jews in economic and military oppression all over the world, extending from Africa to the Middle East and involving Israel, South Africa, and Taiwan.

This leftist conspiracy-mongering resembles the mentality of people like the movie director Oliver Stone. Their Marxist interpretation of historical events is increasingly irrelevant to a Middle East where violence often springs from militant Islam, not class conflict, yet this leftist vitriol continues to find an audience among Japan's intellectual elite. Academics who have joined Hirokawa in his mission to demonize Israel include Tokyo University's Yuzo Itagaki, who helped to establish an office for the PLO. Ignoring the difference between scholarship and political advocacy, scholars such as Itagaki equate Zionism with Nazism and make Israel morally equivalent to the Third Reich. America's support for Israel they explain away as Jewish financial dominance of US politics. As Goodman and Miyazawa point out in their book Jews in the Japanese Mind, their anti-Semitic ideas come directly from Soviet and Arab propagandists.

Hirokawa is still very active and influential. In 2009 he produced a documentary film series available on DVD named Nakba: Palestine 1948. Nakba is the Arabic word many Arabs use to label the establishment of the state of Israel and means "catastrophe." The DVDs focus almost exclusively on the suffering of the Palestinian refugees, with the intention of evoking pity and outrage on their behalf against Israel. Two copies of the series, a bound set of 30 disks, stand on a shelf in my university library's DVD collection. I pointed out to library staff that this DVD series is pure, unadulterated political propaganda, with little or no scholarly or educational merit, but it remains in place. Outside Japan, Hirokawa's work has been featured in the British press and elsewhere, such as one online site named "My Hero Project" that lionizes him.

Ideas can be deadly. Hirokawa has been pushing some poisonous ones for over four decades now. People like him and his fellow-travelers in leftist academia in Japan have molded public perceptions of the Arab-Israeli conflict in lamentable ways. Like their European and American counterparts, it is not an overstatement to say that the Japanese intelligentsia has been an accessory to terrorist violence in the Middle East. Sometimes the influence has been more direct: In 1972, acting on belief of the Palestinian terror group named the PFLP, three Japanese Red Army terrorists murdered 24 and injured another 76 in an attack on Lod Airport in Israel in an incident now known as the Lod Massacre. They were acting out of the same kind of leftist revolutionary idealism that Hirokawa espouses. Needless to say, academic institutions and journalists have a responsibility to help people beware of dishonest and destructive propaganda, not aim it at them.

Contact Marcia Leal at marcia.leal.eejh

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Posted by Yoram Fisher, January 07, 2013


We read all the jokes and forward the good ones but I just wonder who will pass this one on. How about you sending it on and back to me if you got the guts to do so. I am and just wonder how many I will get back? AND very happy to be of the 1%. Someone please tell me what the HELL's wrong with All the people that run this country!!!!!!

Both Democrats and Republicans We're "broke" And can't help Our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless,


In the last years we have provided direct cash aid to

Hamas - 351 M,

Libya 1.45 B,

Egypt - 397 M,

Mexico - 622 M,

Russia - 380 M,

Haiti - 1.4 B,

Jordan - 463 M,

Kenya - 816 M,

Sudan - 870 M,

Nigeria - 456 M,

Uganda - 451 M,

Congo - 359 M,

Ethiopia - 981 M,

Pakistan - 2 B,

South Africa - 566 M,

Senegal - 698 M,

Mozambique - 404 M,

Zambia - 331 M,

Kazakhstan - 304 M,

Iraq - 1.08 B,

Tanzania - 554 M,

With literally Billions of Dollars and they still hate us!!!!

Our retired seniors Living on a 'fixed income' Receive no aid

Nor do they get any breaks while our government And religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions Of $$$$$$'s and Tons of Food To Foreign Countries!

We have Hundreds of adoptable Children who are shoved aside To make room for The adoption of Foreign orphans. AMERICA: a country where we have Homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medication and mentally ill without treatment -etc.


They have A 'Benefit' For the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, Ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies.

Imagine if The *GOVERNMENT* Gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries.

Sad isn't it?

99% of people won't have the guts to forward this.

I'm one of the 1% --

I Just Did =

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

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Posted by Arutz Sheva, January 07, 2013

The article below was written by Gil Ronen who is Veteran journalist and an INN newswriter, who previously served on IDF radio. He currently hosts the 'News, Views & Call-In Show'


A new archeological find at ancient Shilo fits in with the Biblical narrative regarding the war at Even Ha'ezer, and could confirm scholars' conjectures as to how Shilo was destroyed.

The First Book of Samuel does not say when and how Shilo, which served as the Israelite capital for 369 years, was destroyed. The latest archeological find at the Shilo site — a broken vase and remains of ashes from a fire — indicate large scale destruction. The remains are from the same period in which the War of Even Ha'ezer against the Philistines was waged.

Israel suffered a crushing defeat in that war, which is believed to have been waged near present-day Afek. The two sons of Eli the High Priest were killed, and Eli himself died upon hearing the news. Worst of all, the Holy Ark, which the Israelites had brought to the battleground, was taken by the Philistines.

Archeologists and scholars now have more evidence to back the assumption that after defeating the Israelites at Even Ha'ezer, the Philistines advanced upon Shilo and sacked it.

Other Biblical passages, in Psalms and Jeremiah, confirm that Shilo was destroyed by Phlistines.

Contact Arutz Sheva at

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 07, 2013


1. EuroPalestine is an anti-Israeli French organization headed by Olivia Zemor, a far-left Jewish-French activist. The organization participates in the campaign to delegitimize Israel and in the anti-Israeli BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) campaign.

2. EuroPalestine spearheaded three unsuccessful attempts to send thousands of activists to Israel on three occasions, twice through Ben-Gurion international airport (April 2010 and July 2011) and once over the Allenby Bridge (August 2012). All three events were intended as provocation, fodder for the media and to embarrass Israel. However, they did not receive the coverage the organizers hoped for and the event at the Allenby Bridge completely failed to attract media attention.

3. EuroPalestine recently sent a delegation of close to 100 activists to the Gaza Strip. On arrival they were received by members of the de-facto Hamas administration. They went to the border fence to hold a small low-profile display. They promised to promote Hamas' political agenda and propaganda in French discourse and in French and international legal forums. They were accompanied by members of other networks connected with the campaign to delegitimize Israel, among them nine activists from an anti-Israeli network called Freedom Flotilla Italia, involved in the Gaza Strip flotilla campaigns. Network activists met in the Gaza Strip with operatives of the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other terrorist organizations.

3. EuroPalestine recently sent a delegation of close to 100 activists to the Gaza Strip. On arrival they were received by members of the de-facto Hamas administration. They went to the border fence to hold a small low-profile display. They promised to promote Hamas' political agenda and propaganda in French discourse and in French and international legal forums. They were accompanied by members of other networks connected with the campaign to delegitimize Israel, among them nine activists from an anti-Israeli network called Freedom Flotilla Italia, involved in the Gaza Strip flotilla campaigns. Network activists met in the Gaza Strip with operatives of the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other terrorist organizations.

The EuroPalestine Delegation's Visit to the Gaza Strip

4. A delegation of activists organized by EuroPalestine's "Welcome to Palestine" campaign entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing on December 27, 2012. According to the members of the delegation (who aimed their arrival to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Operation Cast Lead) they came to "break the illegal siege of the Gaza Strip." The visit lasted five days. Before their departure for the Gaza Strip they campaigned in a number of cities in France, primarily to collect donations and contributions for the Gazans. As part of the campaign dozens of letters were sent to French President Hollande demanding the imposition of sanctions against Israel (EuroPalestine website, December 17, 2012).

5. The delegation was headed by Olivia Zemor, a far left Jewish French activist who is president of EuroPalestine (See Appendix C). Arriving in the Gaza Strip she said that she was very emotional and happy because it was the first time a EuroPalestine delegation had succeeded in entering the Palestinian territories (Press TV, December 27, 2012). [Note: The three previous attempts, two through Ben-Gurion international airport and one over the Allenby bridge, failed).


6. Most of the members of the delegation (an estimated 60%) were French, but there were also members from Belgium, the United States, Ireland, and 25 activists from Egypt. They brought medicines, foodstuffs (mainly candy) and French textbooks. They were the guests of Nabil Abu Shamala, director of planning and policy in the ministry of agriculture of the de-facto Hamas administration. At a press conference held on the eve of the visit he said that he regarded such visits as having great public relations, legal and political importance. He said that these kinds of solidarity activists served as "pressure groups" within their own countries and were a direct means of transmitting information about the situation in the Gaza Strip (Qudsnet website, December 28, 2012; Al-Aqsa TV December 30, 2012).

7. According to Olivia Zemor, the objective of the visit was to send the international community the message that the Israeli "siege" of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was illegal and had to be lifted. (Note: The Palmer Committee, appointed by the UN secretary general after the violent confrontation aboard the Mavi Marmara, determined that Israel's security closure of the Gaza Strip was a "legitimate security measure" and was motivated by purely security concerns.) She also said she was willing to act in France on behalf of the Gazan fishermen and for the rights of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails (Interviewed by Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, December 31, 2012). In addition, members of the delegation said they were planning to document the suffering of the Gazans and to present their findings to legal groups in France and the rest of the world (Shihab website, December 31, 2012).


8. In Cairo the delegation was joined by nine activists from the Freedom Flotilla Italia network. During their stay in the Gaza Strip they met with senior figures of the PFLP and representatives of the other terrorist organizations. Freedom Flotilla Italia is an Italian network involved in the campaign of dispatching flotillas to the Gaza Strip, currently enlisting contributions for a project called Gaza's Ark. The goal of the project is to build a boat and sail it from the Gaza Strip loaded with goods as a way of defying the Israeli "siege." In addition, the network is planning to construct a park in Italy and name it for Italian journalist and ISM activist Vittorio Arrigoni, abducted and murdered by a Salafist-jihadi network in the Gaza Strip on April 15, 2011.

Visiting the Gaza Strip and Creating a Display near the Security Fence

9. During their stay in the Gaza Strip the activists were taken on guided visits organized by Hamas. They visited the Al-Shifaa hospital and various sites in the Gaza Strip hit by the IDF during Operation Pillar of Defense. They repeated the Hamas propaganda mantra that the destruction indicated "Israel's desire to damage the civilian infrastructure," particularly criticizing the IDF hit on the Gaza stadium (Europalestine website, December 28, 2012). (Note: The IDF struck weapons stockpiled in the stadium, which served as a launching pad for rockets fired into Israel.) The activists also visited the Islamic University (a Hamas stronghold), the port of Gaza and the monument erected for the Mavi Marmara flotilla (Al-Aqsa TV, December 30, 2012).

10. On the afternoon of December 31, members of the EuroPalestine delegation, including the members of the Italian network, gathered near the Israeli border security fence (apparently in the central or northern Gaza Strip). They later claimed they had seen the damage done by the IDF and expressed solidarity with local farmers and residents living near the fence. They held a low-key display against the so-called "the occupation forces" and used it for a photo-op near the fence (Shihab News Agency and the Freedom Flotilla Italia websites, December 31, 2012).

Contact Terrorism Information Center at

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Posted by Dusty, January 07, 2013

There are going to be a whole lot of thirsty BDS'ers down in San Diego, as tap water is added to the boycott list. IDE Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Israel's IDE Technologies Ltd, will design a desalinization plant in San Diego - the largest of its kind in western hemisphere.

From the Jerusalem Post:

The Israeli desalination giant that is already responsible for the brunt of Israel's salty-to-fresh water transformation is now taking on San Diego, in the biggest desalination project to hit the western hemisphere.

IDE Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Israel's IDE Technologies Ltd, will be designing a 204,412-cubic-meter seawater desalination plant for the San Diego region, the company announced on Sunday. The $922 million plan, called Carlsbad Desalination Project, is being administered by Poseidon Resources (Channelside) LP, a subsidiary of Poseidon Water LLC, and will be carried out in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority.

Kiewit Shea Desalination, a joint venture between subsidiaries of companies Kiewit Corp. and J.F. Shea Construction Inc., will be providing the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the facility as well as the 10-mile (16- km.) pipeline required to deliver the treated water per day produced there, according to Poseidon Resources. Meanwhile, IDE Americas Inc. will design the processing plant, and will also be responsible for operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plant under a 30- year contract.

For the design contract, IDE will be receiving $150m., while the O&M agreement will bring the company $500m. Construction of the plant will begin this year and is slated to begin bringing high-quality drinking water to the San Diego area by 2016, a statement from IDE Technologies said. The hope is that the new desalination plant will help San Diego County Water Authority alleviate its water shortage and achieve its goal of supplying 7 percent of the region's water through desalination by 2020 — "creating a new map of the American water market," the statement added.

"The Carlsbad Desalination Project is a significant milestone for us, California and the US at large, as we believe it will set the stage for the future of desalination in America," said Avshalom Felber, CEO of IDE Technologies Ltd. "For decades, we've successfully completed similar projects in countries all over the world, and we're excited to be a part of what will be the largest desalination plant in the US."

Israel is at the forefront of water-saving technology, and Israeli technology is helping to save a thirsty world.

Contact Dusty at

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Posted by Stanley Zir, January 07, 2013

Accept it, Obama is not going to stop Iran, and Congress lacks the will and stomach to stop him, they give lip service to proposals that lack the teeth to overcome Obama's agenda, (Authorizing War Against Iran and Preparing the Military Action) non binding of course). The People" must hold their feet to the fire. This is the house our founders built, they built it for us, and Obama and Congress are burning it to the ground. The greatest threat the world has ever faced is from a nuclear armed Iran, still the GOP continues to battle Obama's draconian domestic polices on the home front, oblivious to this reality.

The call to protect our Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic should have been issued when Iran started their march to create a nuclear terrorist state, but it fell on deaf ears.

Meanwhile Iran moved forward unimpeded while America's world leadership was being diminished, The scope, size and damage of Obama's foreign policy, leveled against America, Israel and the free world, is now reaching critical mass. While we were distracted by Obamacare and the rise of his entitlement society the transfer of world leadership to rogue enterprises was being accomplished. Our opportunity to avert a cataclysmic occurrence is about to vanish.

Yet, they say I am preaching to the choir when I say we must destroy Iran's nuclear sites now, there is no choir, only a moratorium on attacking Iran from those who protest the loudest against Obama's foreign policy towards Israel. Why isn't this the Jewish' s people's top priority.

Americans of Jewish descent, more than other citizens, must rise up in one voice and demand Obama take immediate action to protect both American and Israeli citizens from the threat that an Iranian Nuclear Terrorist State would pose It is time to put to rest Obama's "Let them eat cake" agenda. Where the hell does he get the nerve to talk to the American people in such a manner? We didn't elect a monarch.

Be assured every petty dictator hates to be upstaged, and Obama is no different, when we rise up in mass and declare that Obama cannot protect America from the Iranian nuclear threat, this is the key to making Obama take action. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must not be given the opportunity to accomplish his unequivocally-announced and pursued goal.

Now is the time to make the final push to eliminate the Iranian threat. Will you stand with me?

We must overcome Obama's Shari compliant foreign policy, or we will lose our independence. Call Congress, the time for effective sanctions has long past. Stop playing Russian roulette with American and Israeli lives, demand America destroys Iran Nuclear Terrorist War Machine, Now, everything else is a diversion.

Be assured, for those who honor and protect and defend the Covenant, and the Constitution of the United States of America, victory is guaranteed. The campaign, "The Hate Stops with Us, Six Million Voices Must be Heard, details will be forthcoming.

Never Forget Never Again is Now,

Contact Stanley Zir at

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 07, 2013

Israel Should Annex Jewish Land

Likud Minister Erdan called for the "immediate annexation of the Jewish population" in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) in response to the Palestinian Authority's attempt to upgrade its status at the United Nations on November 29.

When asked if he was concerned that annexing the settlements would anger the United States, Erdan responded that as long as the PA was going against American wishes at the UN, Israel should sit idly by without acting. "We don't always see eye-to-eye with the US," he said.

European and Arab foreign ministers failed to jointly endorse the unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations during a meeting in Cairo, calling instead for a negotiated two-state solution.

But when it came to talking about obstacles to the peace process, the European and Arab ministers blamed only the West Bank settlements and Israel's security barrier. (Annexing settlements is good first step, but this half-way measure will not bring peace to Israel and will not change Arabs' intention to destroy Israel. All Jewish land must be freed from occupation by terror-infested population and reunited Eretz-Israel!)

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

It's amazing how many Jews wrote to me that they agree with almost all my views - some up to 99%. I often ask them why not 100%? I understand that it is difficult to break frame of fake political correctness imposed on us and fully adopt ideas that are right for one's own people. It seems selfish, but must Jews be the only altruistic nation in the world?

Intifada was Planned Sabotage of the Camp David

Yasser Arafat's widow, Suha, admitted that the late Palestinian leader planned the second intifada immediately after the failure of the Camp David, because he refused to negotiate. He said to her "I am going to start an intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so." Her comments run contrary to claims that former prime minister Ariel Sharon's infamous visit to the Temple Mount triggered the intifada, which international media was eagerly propagated. (It is not a revelation, but it is nice to see conformation of what we new for a while. This interview, not surprisingly, has not been shown by international media bigots! Arafat's widow used this interview, most likely, as a part of her extortion/blackmail campaign from PA. Information of Arafat's AIDS related death is a main card!)

Rise of Muslim Propaganda in the US

The Arab television network Al Jazeera said it has acquired Current TV, the US network started by former US Vice President Al Gore. Al Jazeera's coverage will soon be available in more than 40 million US households, up from 4.7 million prior to the deal. (No 'screaming' is heard from usual idiots - Just imagine if it was an Israeli company! For several decade by now Arab countries waging 'media war' - changing opinion of the enemy population using propaganda - without any opposition from the US government!)

Friend of Obama Predicts - Israel will Cease to Exist

Deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party, announced Tuesday that Israel would cease to exist by the end of the decade. Essam el-Erian, who serves an advisor to Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, had attempted to dispel a recent controversy over comments he made in an interview last week, in which he invited Egyptian born Jews to return to the country, by saying "There will be no such thing as Israel. Instead there will be Palestine which will be home to Jews, Muslims and Druze and all the people who were there from the start." (Notice - no room for Jews!)

Another Farcical Arab Outrage

A bag of yellow peppers labeled "made in Israel" was discovered on the shelves of one of the country's largest supermarkets. Enraged shopper contacted local authorities who then contacted the Lebanese Army to investigate the perturbing event. Military intelligence and police officers quickly arrived at the scene to discover 13 similar bags containing yellow peppers with the word "Israel" printed on the sale tag. (This is a gross violation. They must call emergency session of UN Security council!)

Will Lapid Keep his Promise?

Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid (Future) party, announced that his party would not join a nationalist government headed by Likud - Yisrael Beytenu. (Let hope that he and his traitorous kind will not be invited to govern Israel any more!)

UAE Busted Egypt Brotherhood Cell

Security forces from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have arrested more than 10 people belonging to the leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Members of the group held "secret meetings" across the country and "recruited Egyptian expats in the UAE to join their ranks". According to report they also set up companies and collected "large amounts of money which they sent illegally to the mother organisation in Egypt" and also gathered secret defence information on the UAE. (US is still 'friend' with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and subsidizing Egypt's militarization)

Quote(s) of the Week:

"Any rocket attack mandates a wide-scale ground invasion of Gaza& Such an operation shouldnt be restricted by any means, it should see (the IDF) take full control of Gaza. We have no other choice - the world needs to know that." - Avigdor Lieberman, former Foreign Minister of Israel - Once again, just empty words of a Israeli polititian! Why do goverments of Israel are not able to behave as representative of a sovereign nation?

Forgotten Jewish Refugees.

It is estimated that almost 900,000 Jews were forced from their homes in Arab and Muslim countries in the course of the 20th century. Even the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has twice affirmed that Jews who fled the persecution of Arab countries were indeed refugees in every legal sense of the word.

It is estimated that Jews were robbed of more than $100 billion in personal and communal assets by Arab and Muslim governments. The Israeli governments ignored and refuse to use those facts to neutralize fictitious claims of the Arab propaganda war machine against Israel. As a result, unfortunately, the world only knows about so-called Arab refugees and their well-advertised fictitious claim on Jewish land.

Based on population poll information at the time (conducted by Ottoman empire and British later - not Arab anti-Israel propaganda) around 460,000 Arabs left currently controlled land by Israel, during the war of Independence in 1948. They were ordered to leave by Arab political and religious leaders. The plan was to expose Jews, who were facing the might of Arab armies, to complete their annihilation. It would make it easier to kill every Jew, without bothering about identification of Arabs. Another genocide of Jewish people was planned!

When Israel won the War of Independence, the number of so-called Arab refugees almost doubled over night by the end of 1948, after the UN announced that they are entitled to refugee status and international assistance! For several more years after the war, the world was still betting that the tiny Jewish state would disappear. International anti-Semites were hoping that Arabs would finish what they started in Europe!

Since then the Arab Palestinians have been 'milking' the international community for almost 60 years. This is the longest running UN 'humanitarian' program, designed to perpetuate Middle East conflict and keep the international anti-Semitic flame running. It has been assisting the mob of professional refugees in their 3rd or even 4th generation.

World War-II in Europe created almost 50 million refugees. Many of them received assistance and/or had been resettled. Now they and their children are living productive and independent lives in their own countries or somewhere else! This approach has never been applied to Arabs who left Jewish land. They are still not absorbed by the Arab countries, from where most of them had originally come since 1880's. The United Nations has never respected the state of Israel as an independent and equal state, not according to the record of the adopted resolutions, nor by attitude. The need of Jewish people to live in peace in their independent state, on the land of their ancestors is completely ignored! Jews must realise this international hypocrisy, and start to be creators of their own destiny!

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 07, 2013

Alexander Joffe of the Middle East Forum assesses PM Netanyahu differently from the way I do. Since he makes a good case for his view, I share it with you.

Mr. Joffe expects Netanyahu to win re-election handily, there apparently being no strong opposition, and the people are satisfied with Israel's stability compared with their imploding neighbors. The Israeli Left, the Obama administration, most European leaders, and many U.S. Jews will not be pleased. The Palestinian Arabs resent him particularly, as they did Ariel Sharon, because those Israelis share the Arab strategy of steadfastness.

Palestinian Arabs believe their cause to be good and their methods to be just. They also believe that Israel is not a legitimate nor a durable state. They expect it to fall apart or shrink away. Hence they are stubborn. Hence they are ruthless, violent, and duplicitous. P.A. leaders mobilize their society to endure. They indoctrinate children via family, education, and media, then encourage terrorism and other "resistance."

The P.A. plans for the long range, but they do not plan for financial independence.

Here is how Netanyahu emulates their tactic of steadfastness and expressions of legitimacy for the Jewish state. His policies and statements emphasize legitimacy, necessity, and permanence. He describes Jewish history, in which the Holy Land is a Jewish right and an Israeli symbol.

"Addressing the United Nations in September, Netanyahu highlighted his core message for all, especially Israelis: "Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region, and that it will soon disappear." Such rhetoric compliments a long-term strategy of strengthening Israeli control over core areas, especially Jerusalem and its suburbs."

Israeli construction in the Territories continues, though slower. Israel has reduced terrorist pressure by the security fences. Israel's economy and foreign relations keep improving, despite hostile rhetoric from Europe and elsewhere." The U.S. government dislikes this prime minister not caving in to it, not compromising, and having strategic cunning. He keeps talking about Israel's security requirements in its strategic environment and explaining Jewish history [and therefore Israel's rights there], while making conciliatory remarks about negotiating with the P.A., which refuses to negotiate. If the P.A. did try to make an agreement that Israel could accept, it would drop such demands as flooding Israel with Arabs. Then Hamas would oppose the P.A.. Hence, the P.A. is boxed in.

This upsets the Obama administration, still thinking it has an understanding with "moderate" Islamists. And Netanyahu may rule Israel and the Palestinian Arabs for some time (Alexander H. Joffe, Project Syndicate, 1/2/13 ). Netanyahu does have a supposedly right-wing opposition that polls indicate would get sufficient votes to keep Netanyahu from leftist policies. That's the party of Bennett. Here is what an Israeli source of mine reports about Bennett:

"Bennett flip flops depending on who interviews him. He, too, favors what amounts to P.A. independence. Area A and B [full Arab autonomy now and P.A. civil rule and IDF military rule now, Resp.]go to the Arabs for autonomy which is a step away from Palestinian State. Area C [full Israeli rule would go] to the Jews and Arabs living inside can get citizenship."

"First he said that he won't throw Jews or Arabs out of their homes. So, he considers them equal by saying that. As if the land is also theirs. [But the Arabs stole much of their land or built on it illegally, and they settle on land in a pattern so as to gain control.] He said he will not give troops orders to evacuate people from houses. Three days later, he said he would follow orders to throw Jews out. [What he said may be more subtle than that.]"

"Bennett is a self-man millionaire who came out of nowhere and bought a party. A new face on the scene. So was Obama. A new face is not always the savior. He has money to spend on the campaign, which gets votes. Now if he goes together with Likud as he wants to do, he has to vote their way. As you read, settlements are being dismantled by Likud before elections. Can you imagine after elections what will be?"

Ariel Sharon was not steadfast. He withdrew from Gaza and half of Samaria.

The Muslims may believe their cause and methods just, but by our standards they are imperialistic and barbaric.

P.A. failure to plan for financial dependence means it intends to keep over-hiring and then begging for foreign aid so it won't have to lay off people. That makes the P.A. more of a racket than a state. Do people who favor a "2-state solution" have any idea what is required of a state? They know it violates international law, refuses to make peace, and does not control its territory.

Netanyahu always took a nationalist line of rhetoric and an appeasement-minded line of action. He withdrew the IDF from most of Hebron. When he was asked about the contradiction before, he rationalized. I had criticized him for not making Israel's case, but he seems to be making it more, recently.

An improvement in Israel's foreign relations is debatable. Antisemitism has increased. Pres. Obama is hostile to Israel. The EU subsidizes subversive organizations in Israel and the Territories.

I think that Netanyahu weakens Israeli control over Jerusalem and the Territories. He lets the Waqf destroy ancient Jewish artifacts during illegal excavation, he helps them bar observant Jews, he lets the P.A. perform governmental functions in eastern Jerusalem, he lets Arabs get preference over Jews in property disputes in which Arabs are squatters, and he lets police side with the Arabs who attack Jews and their fields in Judea-Samaria.

Although the P.A. plans for the long run, PM Netanyahu does not. He should be using time to let the P.A. economy fail, instead of helping to keep it going. He does not treat the P.A. as an enemy. Even in his propaganda about Jewish rights, he talks about an eventual Arab state when he should be disabusing other countries of their naïve belief that the Palestinian Arabs will make peace in the foreseeable future. He is treading water, leading his country nowhere.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 07, 2013

There they go again. The P.A. claims to have another financial crisis. Largely because Arab states are not fulfilling their pledges for large sums to the P.A., and partly because Israel is holding back about $100 million in excise taxes in protest against the P.A.'s fundamental violation of the Oslo Accords by seeking a final settlement via the UN, the P.A. is out of money. Congress also held up $200 million in subsidy for the same reason as Israel has. Pres. Obama wants to increase the subsidy by $250 million.

The P.A. can't pay the salaries of 150,000 government employees.

The P.A. was meant to be a temporary status until it could become a state, reports the New York Times (1/7/13, A6).

The Oslo Accords do not mention statehood. The newspaper is mis-reporting, a case of wishful thinking. Some form of autonomy could be what was envisioned by Israel.

Why should foreign countries subsidize a jihadist entity that cannot support itself? In the case of Pres. Obama, it may be because it is jihadist. He seems to help Radical Islam often, even though he didn't stop, using screeching brakes, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Why is the P.A. out of money? It employs many thousands of people more than it has use for. Then it pleads for donations to pay for this patronage. This is a kind of welfare racket.

It could have used funds for economic development instead of for propaganda and war and patronage. Then why do countries recognize it as a state, roguish as it is? For ideological reasons and because of antisemitism.

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

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Posted by Liz Berney, January 08, 2013

The article below was writen by Giulio Meotti who is a writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book A New Shoah that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just published a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books. This article appeared December 18, 2012 in the Arutz Sheva International News and is archived at

Surprised that Israelis entering Jordan are required to deposit religious Jewish items, like skullcaps and tefillin, for "security reasons?

It's happening in many European countries as well, where Jews are once again in grave danger and Judeophobia has become the common currency of politics.

Jews in Denmark have just been warned by Israeli officials not to appear publicly wearing Jewish religious symbols such as yarmulkes or stars of David in order to avoid increasing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic altercations. "We advise Israelis who come to Denmark and want to go to the synagogue to wait to don their skull caps until they enter the building and not to wear them in the street, irrespective of whether the areas they are visiting are seen as being safe," said Israel's ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon.

Got that? To be identifiable as a Jew in public in Europe is to invite violence. There are European areas in its bigger cities where you cannot go outside looking like a Jew - it's like being in Gaza.

In the last few weeks, an Israeli representative of the Magen David Adom was attacked at Copenhagen Central Station, while in central Copenaghen Jews who were wearing a kippah were have been phisically and verbally attacked.

An elderly Israeli man was assaulted by a group of Arabic-looking men when he ate a kebab at Nørrebro. They kicked the victim several times and tore his necklace, on which a visible star of David was hanging, off.

That's why today most of Danish Jews think twice before deciding whether to wear a necklace with a Star of David on it.

In the enlightened Europe of today, there is witch hunt against any authentic Jew with a beard and a skullcap.

Jewish students have been advised not to wear a kippa in the streets in Germany either. The Jewish Abraham Geiger Theological College in Potsdam advises its rabbis against wearing a kippah in public, while the orthodox Or Avner school in Berlin has issued similar guidelines.

Whenever its pupils go on trips to the zoo or the museum, Jewish pupils are warned: "Speak German, not Hebrew, put a baseball cap over your kippah so you don't give stupid people something to get annoyed about." Camouflaged in this way, young Jews travel on Berlin's metro trains. The rector of the school has explained that "it is safer to not appear to be a Jewish person".

A few days ago Finland's Jewish community was advised not to wear the skullcap in public for fear of anti-Semitic attacks.

In Malmö, Sweden, the country which once gave the world saints like Raoul Wallenberg, members of the local synagogue decided not to keep on their kippahs upon exiting their synagogue.

Norway's Jewish Community has advised its members against speaking Hebrew loudly on the streets or wearing Jewish emblems. Norwegian police have just increased security around Oslo's main synagogue.

A teacher, Inge Telhaug, who was wearing a Magen David around his neck under a T-shirt, was informed by the Kristiansand Adult Education Center that wearing the star could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school.

In France several Jews were attacked and beaten in the streets after wearing the skullcap. In Paris it is safer for young Jewish men to walk in groups, not alone. They should wear baseball caps instead of the traditional head covering to avoid being attacked by anti-Semites. In many neighborhoods of Marseille and Lyons, it is no longer safe for Jews to walk the streets.

A few weeks ago a Jewish man was attacked and rendered unconscious in a Paris metro. How did the anti-Semitic mob recognize that he was Jewish? Because of a philosophy book by the chief rabbi of Paris that he was reading in the metro when he was attacked.

Meanwhile, half the Jewish families in Villepinte, working-class suburb north of Paris, have left due to anti-Semitism, fleeing to other Paris neighborhoods considered safer for Jews, or out of France entirely. Villepinte's 40-year-old synagogue, already torched in 2001, will close because it often lacks a minyan.

In the UK, there have been many cases like that of an Orthodox child, who was wearing a kippa and tzitzit, verbally threatened and physically intimidated by a hooded youth as he travelled on a London bus.

When the faithful leave Rome's main synagogue they immediately hide the skullcap. Police patrol the area day and night.

In the Netherlands, the country of Baruch Spinoza, police officers began wearing yarmulkes to catch Dutch Jew haters in the act of physical or verbal assault. Jewish students are told to "put a cap over your kippah".

In Amsterdam, the shelter of Spanish Jews who fled from Inquisition, the twenty-five Lester M. Wolff van Ravenswade described the difficulties faced by Jews living in an open letter to the newspaper NRC Handelsblad: "I cannot go to public events dressed as a Jew, let alone go out on Saturday night. Which party do I have to vote for in order to live safely with the kippah on my head?".

Everywhere in Europe, steel barriers are in place outside certain buildings with Jewish or Israeli connections to prevent parking.

In many British areas where Jews live the "Shomrin", or guardians, patrol the streets like Israelis do in isolated "settlements" in Israel.

Last autumn the ancient Dutch synagogue of Weesp became the first synagogue in Europe since the Second World War to cancel Shabbat services due to the threats to the safety of the faithful.

Eighty years ago next January, Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany.

Every time I see a Jewish child walking down the street in Vienna, Paris or Rome wearing a kippah, I know that Hitler did not get to finish his job. It makes me feel proud - or at least somewhat better.

But the Holocaust, in which two thirds of European Jewry were annihilated, did not end when Nazi Germany and its satellites were routed militarily. The spirit of annihilation continues eighty years later. That's why Israel's former chief rabbi, Meir Lau, predicted that European Jewish history is nearing its end.

Indeed, it seems a tragic but unavoidable process: Europe as a Jew-free continent or a realm of fear in which Jews will survive as "invisible", like during the Inquisition, where even lighting candles on Shabbath is a hazard because someone could see the holy flames from the street.

Europe's streets are getting very dark these days and the sublime orchestras are playing Richard Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" and "Die Meistersinger" once more, while the faith in "truth as beauty and beauty as truth" can again meet its horrible end.

Contact Liz Berney at

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Posted by Liz Berney, January 08, 2013

The article below was written by Bruce Bawer who is a highly respected author, critic, essayist and translator. He is the author of several collections of literary and film criticism and a collection of poetry. His political journalism is widely published in print and online journals and he reviews books regularly for the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, and Wall Street Journal. Visit his website at He lives in Oslo with his partner. This article appeared January 08, 2013 in the "Middle East and Terrorism" Blog and is archived at

I wrote about it here recently: Israel's ambassador to Denmark and the head of Copenhagen's Jewish community have both warned Jews in that city that if they don't want to be roughed up on the street by anti-Semites, they'd better not wear anything that would identify them as Jews — and, for good measure, they should also lower their voices when speaking Hebrew. The other day, in a supremely depressing article for Israel National News, Giulio Meotti provided a round-up of similar developments from around Europe.

For instance: a Jewish theological seminary in Potsdam has asked its rabbis not to wear yarmulkes in public. Pupils at a Jewish school in Berlin have been warned to speak German, not Hebrew, on school trips — and to wear baseball caps over their yarmulkes "so you don't give stupid people something to get annoyed about." Jews at Rome's main synagogue now remove their yarmulkes when leaving services; so do Jews in Malmö, Sweden. A Jewish teacher at an adult education center in Kristiansand, Norway, has been told "that wearing the star could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school." And so on.

The reason for all this cautious behavior, of course, is to avoid the fate of people like the Paris Metro passenger who, Meotti noted, was recently beaten unconscious by a mob who pegged him as Jewish because he was reading a book by Paris's chief rabbi.

Even Meotti's laundry list didn't come close to covering the full range of despicable anti-Semitic outrages, and reactions thereto, that have occurred in Western Europe of late. One example: in early December, it was reported that in the wake of episodes at Edinburgh University in which an Israeli diplomat was "mobbed" and a speech by Israel's ambassador was "disrupted by chanting students waving Palestinian flags," many Jewish students, fed up with the "toxic atmosphere" (and, in some cases, scared to publicly identify as Jewish) had left for other colleges — and other countries.

Meotti is among the few journalists who have been sounding the warning for some time about the rise of Jew-hatred in Europe. The last few weeks, however, have seen a flurry of articles on the topic in relatively high-profile places. Can it be that the see-no-evil approach to this international catastrophe is finally giving way under the increasingly heavy weight of reality?

For example, Haaretz, which in late December ran an article entitled "France's Jews on High Alert," followed it up on New Year's Eve with a piece by one Joel Braunold, who — after recalling that as a Jewish kid in London he found Americans' and Israelis' comments about anti-Semitism in Europe "hyperbolic," ignorant, and almost racist — admitted that Europe does indeed have "a serious anti-Semitism problem" now, and that "the number of safe European capital cities has shrunk to a tiny number." To make matters worse, Europe's governments "are not taking the issue seriously": either they dismiss anti-Semitism as a far-right pathology, or they blame it on Israel. This, Braunold says, won't do:

As Europe's demography changes, governments have to start systemically educating their citizens that hating Jews is not ok, and that it is unjustifiable. This means going beyond Holocaust education and getting into touchy, hard topics such as Israel and Palestine. If the hate, fear and loathing come from today's political situation, states have the obligation to make sure their citizens are not being brought up on a diet of racism. That starts with educating each and every child.

Nowhere in Braunold's piece, incidentally, does he mention Islam or Muslims. There's nothing unusual about this, of course: this is the New Reticence, to which millions around the world now devoutly subscribe. Yet I would submit that this reticence — this readiness to acknowledge the offense but not name the offenders — is an essential part of the problem that Braunold claims to be determined to help overcome.

Also on New Year's Eve, the website of Public Radio International ran a piece headlined "Anti-Semitism a growing problem in France." Noting that France has Western Europe's largest Jewish and its largest Muslim populations, and that the Toulouse school shootings last March were only the most widely reported of "an alarming number of anti-Semitic attacks across France this year," PRI quoted anti-Semitism expert Sammy Ghozlan as saying that French Jews now "avoid going out late, going to certain neighborhoods, wearing yarmulkes."

PRI also interviewed a rabbi who travels around France with an imam, meeting young Muslims and trying to talk them out of their Jew-hatred. The rabbi explained that many Muslims justify their prejudice by citing Israel's purportedly brutal treatment of Palestinians. Curiously — but, alas, not very surprisingly — the rabbi, instead of informing his Muslim interlocutors that they've been fed lies about Israel, said that he tells them not to think about Israel, but to focus rather on France. Sigh.

To its credit, PRI didn't try to hide the fact that the problem at hand is, indeed, anti-Semitic prejudice and violence by Muslims. On the other hand, it did what it could — in familiar mass-media fashion — to spread the guilt around, as it were, making references to intercultural "tensions" and suggesting that the answer lies in "mutual understanding." Needless to say, anyone who understands Islam understands that those whose mantra is "mutual understanding" just don't understand at all.

Another article, on December 18, sought to sum up recent developments in Western Europe that have negatively affected people of faith. The authors referred in passing to bans on kosher and halal slaughter and to efforts to outlaw circumcision — matters, in short, of concern to both Jews and Muslims. But anti-Semitic violence? Not a word. Not even the Toulouse massacre rated a mention. On the contrary: the article's main thrust was that a certain religious group — not Jews — is currently the object of cruel, widespread, and systematic attack:

  • France and Belgium now ban people from publicly wearing full-face veils while Switzerland, the Netherlands, and other European states have debated similar prohibitions. Islamic dress restrictions for teachers exist in some Swiss and German states.
  • "The distinctive dress of conservative Muslims has fueled a fear of "the other' ...The increasing restrictions on religious practice and expression in Western Europe both arise from and encourage a climate of intolerance against religious groups, especially those with strong truth claims and vigorous demands on their members. Muslims, in some instances, clearly are being targeted. This increasingly hostile atmosphere in turn triggers private discrimination, and sometimes even violence, against members of these groups."

The authors' conclusion: "If the lamp of liberty is to remain lit, Western Europeans must accept that the age of conformity to an official monoculture — secular or religious — is at an end. In the coming year, their countries should embrace their religiously diverse future and accord religious freedom to all."

Where did this mischievous, duplicitous piece of nonsense appear? In the National Interest, no less. And who wrote it? Two members of an "independent, bipartisan, federal body" called the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF): Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former American ambassador to the Holy See who was appointed to the commission by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Azizah al-Hibri, a lawyer and philosopher who writes about "women's issues, democracy, and human rights from an Islamic perspective" and who was named to the commission by President Obama.

In other words, the very arm of the federal government that should be joining Meotti and others in raising the alarm about the crisis of Muslim anti-Semitism in Western Europe would seem to be making a very explicit point of pretending that the crisis doesn't exist at all — and of pretending, moreover, that the perpetrators of faith-based violence are, in fact, its victims. The grim truth about the plight of Jews in Europe, then, is starting to be articulated here and there — but U.S. authorities are doing their best, apparently, to turn that truth on its head.

Contact Liz Berney at

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 08, 2013


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

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Posted by Barry Shaw, January 08, 2013

Let's not be too downhearted. There are other solutions to a failed two-state paradigm that do not include a one-state answer. These alternatives have simply not been allowed the air and space to germinate and take hold.


Mahmoud Abbas said on November 11 that Palestinians "would continue the march until victory when Palestinian flags are hoisted over the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its mosques and churches."

As if this wasn't bad enough news, notice he did not say anything about synagogues, or Jewish holy places. In case you were wondering, this has nothing to do with his respect for our sacred sites. He hasn't got any. On the contrary, if we are to believe what official Palestinian TV News is saying.

The Palestine Media Watch NGO of Itamar Marcus exposed an item: The Palestinian Authority has denounced the existence of any Jewish history in Jerusalem. In this report, it claimed that the Jewish Temple "exists only in the minds of radical organizations."

Not only do they deny Jewish identity to Jerusalem and the land, they actively reject and destroy all evidence and facts placed before them.

Instead, they invent an ancient Palestinian history in its place. The Palestinian Authority, from Abbas down, accuses Israel of stealing Palestinian heritage when confronted with the evidence of our history.

So what hope is there for mutual understanding and recognition? There is none.

What do Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem mean in real-estate terms? And what are the potentially explosive repercussions of such a move? Would they be hoisted over the Temple Mount, the Western Wall? They have already said they do not recognize such a place.

What about David's Citadel, or the Hurva Synagogue? Will you be willing to stand in Mamilla and see Palestinian flags flying over the walls of the Old City and Zion Gate? Apparently, those who support the division of Jerusalem would. They naively think this would herald peace.

The battle for real estate comes down to this. Can you see Hadassah University Medical Center-Mount Scopus and the Rockefeller Museum under the sovereignty of a Palestinian Authority? Will Christians, worldwide, tolerate having the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the hands of the Palestinians? Do they care, at all, who are the guardians of their holy shrines? How about the Mount of Olives?

And here's the clincher. Even if Israel were to be naïve enough to hand over this real estate to Palestinians, will we be able to live with ourselves, will be able to live, when Hamas takes over the feeble Palestinian Authority and rules over these vital assets in the heart of Jerusalem? What would we have sacrificed for peace when that day comes, as it inevitably will? Will we see the Islamic flag, alongside the Palestinian one, flying over sacred Jewish and Christian sites, announcing yet another conquest in their regional and global crusade? At that point we will realize, too late, that our "peace gesture" was, in reality, surrender and submission to their will.

On that day, will the Hebrew University be renamed the Islamic University? Surely it is better to live with their "Nakba" than to perpetrate our own? As if this wasn't bad enough, in June 2012, an Egyptian cleric close to newly elected President Mohamed Morsi, in an amazing display of Islamic chutzpah, claimed Jerusalem will be the capital of Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood rule.

Safwat Hagazy said on Egyptian religious Annas TV, "Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, with Allah's will. Our chant will be 'Millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem!'" I wonder what the Palestinians think about this, that their new capital will be overrun by an emerging Egypt? What is meant is that Jerusalem is to be the center of the Islamic global caliphate achieved on the back of the Palestinian movement, even if they have to take it by force. Hagazy proved this by adding, "Yes. We will either pray in Jerusalem, or we will be martyred there!" Masked rioters have already been seen carrying the green Hamas flag through the streets of Jerusalem. Better to give it peacefully to the Palestinians and avoid the bloodshed, we are told. No self-respecting Jew would tolerate this hideous scenario.

All this is not to say we should cease striving for a solution to the Palestinian problem, if only to get them off our backs. It may take the form of a two-state solution. It may take other forms. Clearly, after decades of failure, it will require creative, even original, thinking.

Perhaps a two-state solution is not the answer? Despite the overwhelming opinion that this, and only this, is the only game in town, it is obviously not happening. How can it given our negotiating partner.

Who, on the other side, can deliver a final and permanent peace to us, even if we were to give them everything they want? Who, in fact, speaks for the Palestinians — all the Palestinians? Answer: No one.

So let's stop dreaming and get real. Let's not waste time trying to persuade a weak, cowardly, rejectionist and devious leader of a Palestinian minority who, in recent local elections in the West Bank, failed to secure majorities in any of the main towns and cities, including Ramallah, to recognize the Jewish state and live in peace alongside us.

It's a futile exercise. It's something he is loath to do. In any case, even if he agreed on a deal he is incapable of delivering any solution.

The Palestinian Arabs, beyond his parochial parish area, have no intention of settling for anything less than the elimination of the Zionist entity.

It is clear, from their public incitement and declarations, that none of them has any desire to live alongside us in peace and harmony.

On the contrary, as we recently witnessed, they really want to kill us.

A people whose bible doesn't mention Jerusalem once, a people who, when they pray in Jerusalem do so with their backsides facing the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, cannot claim Jerusalem as a capital based on religious grounds, despite their protests.

In truth, they want it as a statement of conquest, to plant their flag to displace the Jewish infidel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. It's less about having their state. It's more about destroying our state and planting their victory flag over Jerusalem.

Planting a flag is a sign of sovereignty, but sovereignty over what? A state, or a staging post? Here's what Yasser Arafat said back in 1993; "...the Palestinian state is within our grasp. Soon the Palestinian flag will fly on the walls, the minarets and the cathedrals of Jerusalem.

"Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel."

Interesting to note that he said this on the same day he signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn with president Bill Clinton and Israel's Yitzhak Rabin.

Such is the deception of the Palestinians. Can we believe that Mahmoud Abbas, raised in the spirit of Arafat, is any different? Jerusalem is the springboard to the rest of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas holds to the same desire as Hamas, which recently declared, during its recent missile attacks on Israel: "We are announcing a war against the sons of apes and pigs, which will not end until the flag of Islam is raised in Jerusalem."

Hamas's Ismael Haniyeh went further. At an international conference, believe it or not on education, he said, "Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be removed and uprooted."

So you tell me if flags over Jerusalem will be a sign of peace, or a warning of future provocations and violence? Some people see Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem as a positive end to conflict. Believe me when I say that this will be no paradise.

They will not be lovely pennants of peace. Rather they will result in hell. These flags will be banners of war, leading to a continuing desire for conquest as expressed by Arab leaders.

It is time for crisis management, not crisis solutions. In politics, as in business, you should only enter into crisis solutions when you are absolutely sure that everyone gathered around the table is ready, honest and capable of delivering a permanent agreement. Do we have that with the Palestinians? Absolutely not.

Given a referendum, the majority of Israelis would readily accept a pragmatic and guaranteed end of conflict agreement. Nobody can claim this to be true of the other side. Crisis solution, therefore, is out of the question when the opposing proponent is a minority representative of a fractious society and has proven to be incapable of uniting his people around him. Hence, crisis management and original alternatives must be the order of the day.

Let's not be too downhearted. There are other solutions to a failed two-state paradigm that do not include a one-state answer. These alternatives have simply not been allowed the air and space to germinate and take hold.

But time is on their side, and Palestinian and Islamic flags over Jerusalem are certainly not an option.

This article was written by Barry Shaw who is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. He is also the special consultant of delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at the Netanya Academic College. He writes the "View from Here" columns from Israel. To sign up to receive his emails, contact him at The article appeared January 13, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, January 08, 2013

The US Senate vote on the nomination of John Brennan and Chuck Hagel to the positions of CIA Director and Defense Secretary, respectively, will shape US power projection and posture of deterrence, global sanity, war on Islamic terrorism and the US determination to avert the wrath of a nuclear Iran.

John Brennan presented his position on Iran in the July, 2008 issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: ''A critical step toward improved US-Iranian relations would be for US officials to cease public Iran-bashing, a tactic that may have served short-term domestic political interests, but that has heretofore been wholly counterproductive to U.S. strategic interests.''

John Brennan believed that Iran halted its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, as reported by the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report. He criticized President Bush for refusing to ease the pressure on Iran. Brennan opined that "preventing Iran from making a nuclear weapon could only be achieved through persuasion."

On August 6, 2009, John Brennan presented his worldview on countering-terrorism in a speech on "A New Approach to Safeguarding Americans" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: "The President does not describe this [war on Islamic terrorism] as a 'war on terrorism.' That is because 'terrorism' is but a tactic.... The President does not describe this as a 'global war....' It plays into the misleading and dangerous notion that the U.S. is somehow in conflict with the rest of the world.... Nor does President Obama see this challenge as a fight against 'Jihadists.' Describing terrorists in this way—using a legitimate term, "Jihad," meaning to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal—risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek...."

Brennan's ideological ambiguity/confusion towards Islamic terrorism — and his misrepresentation of Jihad and ignoring the dominance of hate education in the Muslim Middle East — could be transformed into operational ambiguity/confusion in the battle against Islamic terrorism.

At the beginning of President Clinton's 2nd term, Senator Shelby placed a "hold" on the nomination of Anthony Lake, then the National Security Advisor, to head the CIA. Senator Shelby succeeded to block the nomination, contending that Lake was an ideologue, while a CIA Director should excel in management and operations.

According to the December 19, Washington Post editorial, John Brennan and Chuck Hagel approach Iran in a similar manner: "Mr. Hagel's stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.... Mr. Hagel was similarly isolated in his views about Iran during his time in the Senate. He repeatedly voted against sanctions, opposing even those aimed at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which at the time was orchestrating devastating bomb attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq. Mr. Hagel argued that direct negotiations, rather than sanctions, were the best means to alter Iran's behavior."

Chuck Hagel serves as a Co-Chairman of the Presidential Intelligence Advisory Board and a Senior Director of the US/Middle East Project, promoting his worldview at-large and on the Middle East in particular.

Hagel considers the Palestinian issue to be the core cause of Middle East turbulence, a root cause of anti-US Islamic terrorism and the crown jewel of Arab policy makers, irrespective of the seismic, stormy Arab Winter, which has erupted independent of the Palestinian issue, refuting such oversimplified and misleading assumptions.

Senator Hagel was — along with Senator Kerry — one of the few supporters of Hafiz and Bashar Assad on Capitol Hill. In October, 2009, Hagel stated: "I believe there is a real possibility of a shift in Syria's strategic thinking and policies.... If we can convince Damascus to pause and re-consider its positions and support regarding Iran, Hezballah, Hamas and radical Palestinian groups, we will have made progress for the entire Middle East, Israel, and the U.S. Syria wants to talk — at the highest levels — and everything is on the table.... The next bi-lateral peace treaty for Israel is with Syria."

As the Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Hagel has subscribed to the centrality of the UN — which is not the home court of US interests - in the conduct of international relations. He does not believe in US exceptionalism in the international arena and espouses the superiority of multilateralism over unilateral independent US national security actions.

Both Brennan and Hagel are out of the American mainstream on crucial national security issues. What does that portend for global stability and the US national security?

Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger, the Executive Director of "Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative," an expert on Middle East politics and US-Israel relations, served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington and 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:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, January 08, 2013

We are smack in the middle of the worst winter storm of the year in Israel, and parts of the country look more like Venice than the arid Levant. The Ayalon highway, which is built next to the Ayalon creek, was flooded yet again today. The "creek" is usually a Los Angeles "River"-like dry "river" bed. When this most advanced of Israeli highways was first opened, it was predicted that it would flood once every 50 years. When it flooded two years in a row after it was opened, the joke was that the first one was for the preceding 50 years and the second for the NEXT 50 years. Meanwhile it has flooded at least 4 years in the past decade, and, when it floods, it shuts down the main highway and the train lines, paralyzing the country.

Given the stormy weather, I want to do two fast uncharacteristic things. First, below I re-paste a story I post every winter or two about the problems Israelis have with rain, with the concept of rain. Hope it amuses you. Second, I want to post a short story of the sort that I usually save for Israel Independence Day, one of those "only in Israel" stories about daily life over here on this side of the pond. Yes, an Israel Apartheid Story. Here goes:

Two days ago, when the storm was just getting started, the Missus and I were driving to Jerusalem to attend to some family business. Just past Ramle on the main Highway, which runs from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of our front tires blew out violently, possibly from a stone or glass on the highway. We were going quite fast and the situation was potentially dangerous, but I was able to keep control of the car and get it onto the shoulder safely. I slowly drove it on the shoulder for a few hundred meters to get it onto a side ramp. The weather was terrible and I had no idea what I would do once I got to the ramp. With so many cars breaking down, cars bashed by falling trees, and blown out tires in the storm, I expected to spend many an hour on the ramp waiting for a cop or some sort of rescue.

A passing truck saw me struggling to nudge the vehicle onto the ramp and saw the shredded remains of the front tire, which was actually giving off smoke (no exaggeration!). The truck pulled over onto the ramp a little ahead of me and the driver got out. He was a young Israeli Arab. I must have looked pretty desperate and distressed. He took charge, got our spare out, changed the tire for the geezer. But the spare (which I had not inspected in several years, being a dumb-ass professor), had no air in it either. No problem, he said. He had an air hose attached to some sort of tank on the undercarriage of the truck and so he pumped air into the spare, telling me not to go faster than 80 kmh till I reached Jerusalem.

I insisted on paying him for his help and he vehemently refused. I insisted again and my wife told him he would offend us if he refused payment, and he offended us by vehemently refusing payment. I told him I wanted to contact his employer to praise him and he refused. But you literally saved us, we said, and he just waved his hand and drove off. I suspect the special Mal'Ach messengers to the parents of Samson before he was born or to Abraham before Isaac was born were all Arab lorry drivers.

Not so easily deterred, I jotted down his truck number and have every intention of tracking him down and sending his family the nicest flower arrangement that money can buy in Israel and - believe you me - you can get some really nice flower arrangements in Israel. I wanted to go to the vehicle registration station today to try to track him down but they were flooded (!!!) so it will take a few days.

From several years back:


Here is another of my "Seinfeldian observational" efforts. Perhaps some day I will gather them all and put them out as the Negev Prairie Home Companion.

Be that as it may, yesterday it rained pretty hard in Israel. Not enough to really fix the Sea of Galilee and the water deficit. The authorities say Israel would have to have 133 days just as rainy to fill the Kinneret.

But it did get me thinking, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you about Israelis and rain. Israelis invented the disk-on-key (memory stick), invent cures for cancer, and Israeli components were on the rocket that landed on the moon. But Israelis simply do not understand rain.

I suppose it is all pretty understandable. After all, rain is a very unusual event in Israel, so Israelis have never quite figured out how to cope with it. In the monsoons, it may rain in an hour in East Asia more than it rains in Israel in a year.

First of all, Israelis are convinced that going out in the rain is lethal. Humans melt in the rain. Especially children. And it does not have to be very hard rain. It is highly common to hear Israelis saying things like, "I need to go to the post office but I can't go because it is drizzling." Katyusha rockets just make loud noises, but a bit of precipitation will kill you for sure.

At the first drops of rain, Israeli streets empty out. Thunder is so unusual that Judaism has invented a special blessing one says when one hears it. Winters in Israel are so mild that typical daytime temps in January and February are in the 60s and 70s (Fahrenheit). (There is a math prof at my university who has taught for 40 years and has yet to come to campus wearing long pants or shoes.) When the wind blows together with rain, Israelis are convinced that the Angel of Death is stalking the country. I once left my building on campus up in the Carmel hills when the temperature was 50 degrees F and the wind was blowing. While waiting for the bus, all the Israelis around me were complaining and screaming that Israel had morphed into Siberia. A couple of Russian Israelis from Siberia stood nearby and fell on the floor laughing.

Because rain is so unusual, Israelis do not know how to drive in it. If a car's wheels spin when the traffic light turns green because the street is wet, Israelis believe that you have to gun the gas pedal to make them spin faster until they move you out of the spot with poor traction. Israelis have no experience with ice on roads and do not recognize the feeling of a car skidding. So on the occasion when they come across a slippery road, they do not even notice the car skidding about.

Israelis also have never figured out that hats keep light rain off your face and head. Their major fear in rain seems to be that the hat could get wet. Religious Israelis always wear hats, but they cover their hats with plastic covers in the rain so the hat will not get wet and so the rain flows down the plastic into their faces. For ultra-Orthodox Israelis, defying the weather is an article of piety and pride. That is why, when it is 112 degrees F outside in the shade in August, the Ultra-Orthodox will show their contempt for meteorology by wearing winter coats. It is best not to sit next to a black-coated fellow on a bus in the summer with the windows closed.

Part of the Israeli problem with rain is manifested also in the Israeli dread of eating ice cream in winter. Israelis are universally and passionately convinced that if you eat ice cream in the winter, you will get a throat infection and die a horrible death. The infection, by the way, is caused by the calendar month, so you will get it if you eat ice cream in January even if it is 80 degrees F outside. I once sat on a bench in winter eating ice cream, and the people walking by kept coming up to me to ask if I had gotten a special inoculation that winter against throat infections. Israelis who own dogs always make the dog wear wool sweaters when they go out into the rain in 50 degree F evenings, so the dog will not freeze to death.

Every Israeli believes it is the case that winter ice cream will kill you. Bibi Netanyahu probably eats ice cream in winter, but that is because he spent part of his youth living in the US. No other Israeli cabinet minister and no general has ever endangered himself and tempted fate by eating ice cream in the winter.

For a while, Israel was unique in the world because Israeli supermarkets were marketing something they called "winter ice cream." No one anywhere else on earth has heard of such a thing. Winter ice cream is slightly softer than regular ice cream, and the idea was to convince Israelis that it was not as cold as regular ice cream (never mind that it was stored in the same freezer), so they could eat it in winter without risking immediate agonizing death. But it never caught on, I guess because Israelis preferred not to tempt the Angel of Death.

The other thing is that no Israeli in history has ever written in his or her "personal ad" or Facebook status that he or she likes to go for long romantic walks in the rain. And if you want to date an Israeli, never write that in YOURS. Israelis believe that walks in the rain will kill you. While we are at it, you should also never write that you eat ice cream in winter.

And if Israelis do not understand rain, they have even MORE problems understanding snow. Granted that snow is highly unusual in this part of the world, Christmas manger scenes notwithstanding. Jerusalem usually gets snow once or twice a year. Safed can also get snow, as can the Golan.

Israelis do not understand snow. A snow storm instantly binds together all the North American and Russian Israelis, who get together in fraternal fun and mock the sabras, while doubling over in laughter. First of all, Israelis always carry umbrellas in the snow, so the flakes will not damage their hats and their hair. Second, they usually tie large plastic garbage bags around their shoes so that the snow will not touch the leather or plastic and destroy it. And it goes without saying that swallowing a snow flake will kill you on the spot.

Israelis do not understand rain and snow. But they also do not understand elevators. Every single Israeli believes that if you are standing on the ground floor and want to go up to the tenth floor, then you need to press the DOWN button so that the elevator will know that it should come DOWN to get you and then take you up. Israelis are as convinced that this is how elevators work as they are that the sun will rise tomorrow. I tried a few times to explain to Israelis who had pushed the down button in order to go up that they had pressed the wrong one. Hearing my heavy American accent, they would jab one another in the ribs with their elbows and make comments about how simpleminded and naïve Americans are.

In some cases, compulsively pushing the wrong elevator button has its advantages. I am convinced that many a plot by terrorists to assassinate Israelis in large buildings has been foiled because the Israelis escaped the gunmen by pressing the wrong elevator button. You may recall that there was one successful assassination by terrorists of an Israeli cabinet minister, Rehavam "Ghandi" Zeevi, in a Jerusalem hotel. I have investigated the incident and, alas, the poor man was killed because he accidentally pressed the correct elevator button.

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

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Posted by Eli E. Hertz, January 08, 2013

To whom did the Obama administration grant permission to fly the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO] flag in Washington D.C.?

The answer: Palestinian Arabs - A society whose overwhelming majority nurtures a blind hatred of Israel, and has created a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death. This organization, which has been directly responsible for the murders of American civilian and security personnel, now has its recognition and flag waving in our capitol.

Here is just a subset of articles from the PLO Charter that the American administration has no shame to honor:

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

*Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.

* Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war.

* Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and to their natural right in their homeland, and inconsistent with the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly the right to self-determination.

*Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.

And if their charter was not convincing enough, the United States Congress, on numerous occasions, has reaffirmed the PLO's status as a terrorist organization.

Although past U.S. presidents have attempted to circumvent this law, its conclusions are concise and unequivocal:

"Therefore, the Congress determines that the PLO and its affiliates are a terrorist organization and a threat to the interests of the United States, its allies, and to international law and should not benefit from operating in the United States."

The violent and disturbing history of the PLO and its Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is one that has dreadfully affected the lives of countless Israelis, Americans, and many others. The PLO is transparent in its criminal and malicious ways, whether it is via their charter, public statements, or incitement that one must question the State Department's wisdom of continual support of the PLO's DC office and the waving of its flag in our Capital.

For Israel, the Palestinians and the rest of the world, the PLO must face reality and reject a culture of hatred; only then should the State Department legitimize the organization and its renewed culture.

This article was written by Eli E. Hertz who is the president of Myths and Facts, an organization devoted to research and publication of information regarding US interests in the world and particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Hertz served as Chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting. The article appeared January 08, 2013 in the Myths and Facts and is archived at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 08, 2013

Having successfully deployed security fences to keep infiltrators, including Islamists, from walking into Israel from the P.A. and Egypt, Israel now plans another one to bar their entry from Syria.

Journalist Isabel Kershner's report (NY Times, 1/7/13, A6) about the new plan is so misleading or leads one to infer that previous reports were misleading, that it requires comment.

1. False or double standards on territory acquisition. The fence will be constructed at the Israeli edge of the Golan Heights. Ms. Kershner calls that edge the armistice line, which it once was. Later she explains, "Israel seized a large portion of the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that overlooks northern Israel, from Syria in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move that has not been internationally recognized."

Her standard is not international law, ethics, or common sense. Her standard is what most foreign governments favor. Most of them favor the Arabs over Israel and even Arab destruction of Israel. Discrimination is her standard.

When the U.S. and Canada produce more natural gas, the Mideast oil states will exert less influence over other countries.

What does international law hold? International law permits unilateral annexation of another country's territory if needed for national security. Ms Kershner should have explained why the Golan Heights are a "strategic plateau." From it, Syrian forces were able to bombard Israeli towns and farms in the valley below. Syrian tanks could sweep down and conquer Israel, if properly deployed. Only by near miraculous heroism and good luck was Israel able to prevail there. Thus the common sense of Israel annexing it.

Considering that the Golan Heights originally was part of the Palestine Mandate for a Jewish national home, and that it supplies most of Israel's water, the annexation has an ethical element in addition to its being a check on imperialists.

Many countries that refuse to recognize Israel's annexation, for political reasons, themselves benefitted from conquests. Thus the U.S. still holds onto Puerto Rico without justification. Russia seized parts of Eastern Europe and Japan. Much of the world is hypocritical about this.

Further hypocrisy is that although Egypt and Jordan seized part of the Palestine Mandate in a war of aggression, there was little or no talk of "occupation."

You will notice that New York Times historical background statements do not begin with Arab aggressors seizing territory. They begin with Israel's later acquisition of such territory. These statements always use the word, "seized," and fail to explain that the land was captured in self-defense. If you wanted to make Israel look bad, would you describe those events any differently from Times stories?

2. Implications of jihadists at Golan border. PM Netanyahu's fence plan notes that the Syrian Army has moved away from the border with Israel, and jihadist forces move toward it. "Apprehension has been mounting, with Israeli experts warning that Syria is becoming a haven for Islamic extremists. Israel says that thousands of Islamic militants have entered Syria to fight against forces loyal to Pres. B. al-Assad, and Israeli leaders have expressed particular concern that chemical weapons and advanced weaponry like ground-to-air missiles amassed by the Assad government could fall into the hand of radical groups."

Why objections at the last minute, instead of when such forces were building up for you know what? Remember when Israel was tracking certain weapons shipments, but the U.S. told Israel to let them through?

Why isn't the current concern bolstered by reminding us that Ghadaffi's weapons were warned about, but the U.S. did not secure much of them? Turns out, the U.S. was distributing some of those weapons to Islamists in Syria, while approving of Saudi Arabia and Qatar also arming Islamists there. The U.S. also releasing statements that it was trying to keep arms from going to Islamists. That helped me conclude that Pres. Obama is an Islamist, himself. A newer reason is his nomination of people soft on terrorism to the Defense Dept., State Dept., and National Security Advisor then to the CIA. Gen. McCrystal was sent to the CIA, but I see that move as getting our best general away from where he was defeating the Islamists.

Notice that the U.S. and other Western countries still favor the rebels over Assad. They do not think ahead. I favor neither side.

The article does not mention that Iran sent 5,000 Hizbullah terrorists into Syrian combat. I wish Iran had sent 50,000, so that both Sunni and Shiite terrorists would wear each other down.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 08, 2013

This is one of those times when it all seems a bit much. Bad enought that Obama has now nominated Hagel for the position of Secretary of Defense. But then we have a Democratic lobbying group, the National Jewish Democratic Council, which has released a statement saying that it is confident that Hagel:

"will follow the president's lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel.

"President Barack Obama's unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the president."



Daniel Greenfield, writing in Frontpage Magazine, says that this NJDC statement reflects an unwillingness to endorse Hagel:

"The shorter version is, 'Hagel may hate Jews, but put your faith in Barack Obama.'"

All fine and good, but... "Obama's unprecedented pro-Israel credentials"?

Greenfield then asks the very same question that had occured to me:

"If Obama's support for Israel is so unrivaled, why did he nominate a man that even the NJDC can't bring itself to support?"

In any event, any Jewish group that chooses to allude to "Obama's unprecedented pro-Israel credentials" is either seriously out of touch with reality, or seriously into being court Jews. I find this very worrisome.


Much to my bewilderment, since he claimed to support Israel, Alan Dershowitz was an Obama supporter throughout the campaign. But now he says that Obama's appointment is a mistake:

"I think it makes it more likely that Iran will persist in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. This will send a message to the Iranian Mullahs of softness, to nominate a man who is opposed to sanctions and who is opposed to the military option.... (Emphasis added)

"The Iranians are celebrating this appointment in Tehran, this was a great appointment for Tehran...

"I makes it more likely that Iran will actually move towards developing a nuclear program and it makes it more likely that there will have to be a military response. This is a very bad nomination for peace."


In an interview with Breitbart today, Dershowitz said that he has been approached about possibly testifying against Hagel on the issue of Iran, and if asked is prepared to do so.

He believes this appointment was inspired by Obama's personal relationship with Hagel and says that some within the White House itself were opposed. In fact, he says he's been told that the head of the National Jewish Democratic Council was opposed to the nomination -- which may be a clue that Greenfield was correct.

Part of the problem, said Dershowitz, is that J Street was for the nomination and this gave Obama cover "as it often does."


The thrust of Deshowitz's concern here, regarding Hagel and his softness on Iran, points to the fact that this nomination is of concern for reasons that transcend Jewish issues.

Not only is Hagel soft on Iran, he has been soft more generally on terrorist organizations. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CNN that Hagel said "Israel should directly negotiate with the Hamas organization — a terrorist group that lobs thousands of rockets into Israel — he also was one of 12 senators who refused to sign a letter to the European Union that Hezbollah should be designated as a terrorist organization." (Emphasis added)

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, In a statement on Hagel's nomination Sunday, declared that this is the "worst possible message" the United States can send to its Middle East allies.


Ed Koch, former NY mayor and long time political commentator, also gave an interview on the issue of Hagel's nomination, which makes him decidedly unhappy. What this interview does, however, is make me feel just a tad better about Koch. He had been anti-Obama and then reversed himself and come out an Obama supporter before the election. My own question was, How could he? Well, here he tells us:

"Frankly, I thought that there would come a time when he would renege on what he conveyed on his support of Israel. It comes a little earlier than I thought it would. (Emphasis added)

"I did what I thought was warranted and intelligent. He was going to win! There was no question about it. I thought it would be helpful to have a Jewish voice there, being able to communicate."

Well, he guessed wrong about Obama, but, apparently, was not supporting him out of strong conviction that the man would be consistently good for Israel and the Jews. And it's clear that his voice has counted for less than nothing.

Now about the Hagel nomination he says:

"I'm sure that the Arabs are drinking orange juice and toasting Hagel's good health.

"I believe it will encourage...the jihadists. They will say 'ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel.'"


Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Leader, put out a statement about the nomination, as well:

"I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama's nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel, to be secretary of defense....Hagel's views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally..." (Emphasis added)

Senator Cornyn, cited above, concurs in this view, having said that:

"Chuck Hagel, if confirmed...would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation's history." (Emphasis added)


Note that Hagel has said that the US relationship with Israel "need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships."


To all of the above, add the following:

"In October 2000, Hagel was one of only four Senators who refused to sign a letter expressing support for Israel during the Palestinian intifada."

"In November 2001, Hagel was one of 11 Senators who refused to sign a letter requesting President Bush not meet with Yasser Arafat until Arafat's Fatah terrorists ceased attacks on Israel."

"In November 2003, the Senate, by a vote of 89 to 4, passed the Syria Accountability Act authorizing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and its occupation of Lebanon. Hagel didn't vote."

"In 2006, after Hezbollah attacks sparked a war with Israel, Hagel called on the Bush administration to open direct talks with Hezbollah's sponsors, Iran and Syria."


So, Hagel has been nominated and Senate Armed Service Committee chair Carl Levin (D-MI) seems ready to clear him through his committee. But the Senate still has to confirm him.

That is where you come in, my friends. Please! Contact your Senators without delay. Ask that they vote against the Hagel confirmation.

You have here numerous sources to quote from, and numerous facts to present regarding his lack of qualifications for the position. But it is best to keep the message simple. And emphasize the fact that Hagel is bad for America.

You can find your Senators here:


Not, I will add here, that all of this means Kerry is a great choice for secretary of state, or John Brennan for CIA director. But I'll return to this another day.


In case you haven't heard: about a week ago, former vice president Al Gore sold the cable news network -- Current TV -- he co-founded seven years ago. It was purchased for $100 million by Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arabic cable news network owned by Qatar, and overseen by Sheik Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, a member of Qatar's royal family.

The purchase boosted Al-Jazeera's English language reach in the US nine-fold to about 40 million (although Time-Warner has dropped it). There is no rule against foreign ownership of a cable network. Al-Jazeera says it plans to develop something called Al-Jazeera America. This channel will be headquartered in New York and half its broadcasts will focus on US news.

And the other half? Well Gore explained in a statement that confirmed the sale:

Al-Jazeera, he said, shares Current TV's mission "to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling."

Oh joy.


This is what Barry Rubin has to say about the sale (emphasis added):

"First, al-Jazeera was originally run by Arab nationalists but these people were replaced by Islamists about four or so years ago. It is thus a radical media outlet run by people who are anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, and anti-Western. In other words, it is an instrument of extremist revolutionary movements. On a number of occasions it has lent itself to promote and be used by violent terrorist groups.

"Second, while al-Jazeera is more open to dissenting views than previous state-controlled media this is misleading. It is more open in English than in Arabic but former staffers in the English-language section have spoken about how it is not a free agent but the news is slanted to please the Qatari government which owns it...So al-Jazeera is also an instrument of concealed propaganda.

"Third, when al-Jazeera does have on dissenting views it tends to follow a formula....much of the nominal openness is used to create a frenzy of hatred...

"But there's more! Qatar, except for the (possibly soon to be overthrown) Syrian regime, is the most pro-Iran Arab government...

Rubin says al-Jazeera is not a station a former American vice president should want to associate with, and that Gore had every reason to know what he was doing.

Al-Jazeera is anti-Israel and anti-American, "and, again, Gore should know this.... the former vice-president of the United States cannot tell the difference between a free media and a state-controlled propaganda organ, or--which is worse--doesn't care."

"In former, sane, times, doing something like this would have finished Gore's credibility forever. Needless to say, sanity has long since jumped out the window.

"By the way, remember that al-Jazeera is controlled by an oil-producing state whose goals include maintaining the highest possible use of petroleum, a goal that is contrary to Gore's obsession with what he says is the threat of man-made global warming to destroy the planet in the near future. "


Frank Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, says this about Gore's sale to al-Jazeera:

"The effect will be to create vast new opportunities for our enemies to propagandize the American people, a key ingredient of their 'civilization jihad' against our country.

"It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this treachery." (Emphasis added)


The kicker here is that Glenn Beck now says he tried last year to buy Gore's network. The response he received from Gore's negotiators was (paraphrased), "...our legacy is too important and there would quite frankly be too many people, too many friends that the vice president would have to explain why he's selling to Glenn Beck.",0,4227302.story

But sell to al-Jazeera, no explanations necessary.

In the past, al-Jazeera English's managing director spoke of a "very aggressive hostility" from the Bush administration, which had discouraged cable and satellite companies from accepting al-Jazeera. And the Obama administration now? This is most certainly just fine and dandy with them.


The anxiety I feel for the American nation right now is huge. No, it's more than this: the America I knew is gone.


You can find this on my website at:

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Billy Mills, January 08, 2013

I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the coming implementation of the health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the young man exclaim, "Isn't Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick."

The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, "Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market would work for health care."

Another said, 'The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate."

At this, I had more than enough. I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. "Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?"

They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

"I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money, and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?"

They looked at each other in astonishment.

"Why would you do something like that?" asked a young man. "There isn't anything for free in this world."

They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point.

"I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money whatsoever. Anyone interested?"

In unison, a resounding "Hell Yeah" fills the room.

"Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain."

I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust.

"I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules."

Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces.

The perky young woman asked, "What are the rules?"

I smiled and said, "I don't know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you."

They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, "What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man."

I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. "I am serious, this is a legitimate offer."

They gaped at me for a moment.

"I'll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?" boasted the youngest among them.

"Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?" I asked.

The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. "Oh hell yeah! Where do I sign up?"

I took a napkin and wrote, "I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction."

I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature.

"Where are the keys to my new house?" he asked in a mocking tone of voice.

All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.

"Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys."

I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

"Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?" the young man appeared irritated.

"You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement."

The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people.

"You can shove that stupid deal up your a** old man. I want no part of it!" exclaimed the now infuriated young man.

'You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends. You cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master."

At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent.

"What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn, and for that which you did not earn, you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away. Therefore, it is not freedom at all."

With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. "This is the nature of your new health care legislation."

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation -- and was surprised by applause.

The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, "Thank you, Sir. These kids don't understand Liberty."

He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, "You earned this one. It is an honor to pick up the tab."

I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

Contact Billy Mills at

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Posted by Darlene Casella, January 08, 2013

The Yin and Yang of China and Israel — Provident safeguards against latent trouble spots in the Middle East, the Suez Canal and the Straits of Hormuz.

Israel might be seen as David with China as Goliath, on a world map. However, a symbiotic relationship has developed between them, while the Palestinian Authority remains a thorn in their affection.

President Barak Obama presents a cold shoulder to Israel, and Secretary of Defense in waiting, Chuck Hagel, would increase the freeze. Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reciprocates warm overtures from The Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The relationship blooms in spite of China's support for Palestinian Statehood and refusal to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

China has been involved with the Middle East since the time of the Roman Empire, and used the Silk Roads to trade throughout the area. Mao Zedong recognized the Jewish State of Israel. Subsequently China supported Yasser Arafat. The PLO opened an embassy in Beijing. Deng Xiaoping reduced support for the PLO after the Camp David Accords. Following that, China continued support for Israel and established full diplomatic relations in 1992. Deng's successors have followed in his footsteps. Hu Jintao, CPR Secretary General, claims a balanced approach to dealing with the Israeli's and the Palestinians.

Marking the 20th anniversary of Israel-China diplomatic relations (2012), the Israel Cabinet ratified an agreement that expands bilateral research and development projects. China seeks Israel's expertise in solar energy, manufacturing, robotics, irrigation, and desalination technologies. China plays an important part in the $10 billion kosher foods industry with over 500 factories across China producing kosher foods for American and Israeli markets.

Protocols were signed with lines of credit, and grants for various projects. Israel companies are setting up water projects in the Chinese provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang. Agriculture and technology projects are underway, and over 200 joint Israel-China ventures in the medical and communications fields are being developed.

Military cooperation has increased between Israel and China. It is estimated that China purchased $4 billion worth of Israeli arms last year, and is second only to Russia in military equipment to China.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited China in June. General Chen Bingde, Chief of the PLA General Staff was received with an honor guard in Tel Aviv. In August vessels from the PLA 11th fleet led by Rear Admiral Yand Jun fei anchored at Haifa Naval Base. He and Commander of the PLA Navy, Wu Shengli, were welcomed by Brigadier General Eli Sharvit.

Israel Export Institute Director Avi Hefetz reported "Non military Israel exports to China were more than $1 billion in the first half of last year; a 33% increase over the year before."

Groups of Chinese dairy farm manager trainees go to Israel learning how to boost milk production through advanced systems for herd management, monitoring and feeding.

A commercial algae farm was launched by Israel's Seambiotic clean tech company in China. Algae ponds generate 30 times more feedstock than land based crop alternatives. The plants also produce a popular Chinese food additive.

Chery is the biggest exporter of cars in China and also makes the QQ mini car. Chery has teamed up with a start up Israeli car maker called Qoros. The Joint venture plans to introduce a sedan in China next year. They plan to produce about 150,000 units annually in a planned factory northwest of Shanghai.

Following Israeli Cabinet approval for construction of a high speed train between Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea, and Eilat on the Red Sea; an historic agreement to build the Eilat Railway, was signed between Israel and China. The 180 kilometer electrified line with speeds up to 300 kilometers an hour will boast 63 bridges and five tunnels. Travel time between Eilat and Tel Aviv will be around two hours. Estimated cost of $20 billion shekels will be financed through the China Development Industrial Bank; Israel will handle project operations. Minister of transportation, Yisrael Katz opined "The professional capability of the Chinese companies in the construction of railway systems and transport is among the best in the world." This will be a cargo and passenger line.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared "The Eilat Railway is a national priority, because of its strategic importance. It will change the face of the country. This will be a line for the shipment of goods from Asia to Europe. It has strategic, national, and international importance."

Suggestions are rebuffed by Israeli officials that the railway plan is in response the turmoil in Egypt, the rise of Islamic parties, and would reduce tariffs to Egyptian revenues. Netanyahu calls it an insurance policy which provides a safeguard to bypass the Suez Canal.

A pipeline which will transport Israeli natural gas from Ashdod's Mediterranean Platforms of Tamar and Leviathan; to Eilat, on the Red Sea. This will provide direct access to Asia, and sidesteps the Strait of Hormuz; it is another joint venture with China.

Darlene Casella is a freelance writer, former English teacher, stockbroker, owner/President of a small corporation. She and her husband live in La Quinta, California. She can be reached at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 08, 2013


A. Charles Hagel for Sec. of Defense

Thomas Friedman reminds us that Hagel won a purple heart. That is like recommending Ehud Barak as Defense Minister and Prime Minister, at which has been disastrous, on the grounds that as a younger man he won the most medals.

Mr. Friedman is disgusted with opposition to Mr. Hagel for having said that as a senator, his job was not to take orders from the Israel lobby but to advance U.S. interests. Mr. Friedman finds Hagel smeared as anti-Zionist. Mr. Friedman's paper has begun accepting the antisemitic line that Mr. Hagel was insinuating, that the Jews control Congress. Even in this article, Mr. Friedman says that most federal legislators accept that line, "But most U.S. Senators, policy makers and Jews prefer to stick their heads in the sand, because confronting Israel is so unpleasant and politically dangerous. [What an exaggeration, as the election of some anti-Israel legislators demonstrates!]

Mr. Friedman might have stated the fact that most Americans favor Israel, but he picks on the Jews, and like an antisemite, claims they are controlling.

Both men imply that the two countries have diverse interests, but never explain. [Both countries have the common interest is that both can be civilized barriers to jihad.]

Mr. Friedman criticizes Israel's policy, more apparent than actual, of settling Judea-Samaria and "obviating a two-state solution." He contends that Mr. Hagel opposes that policy but not Israel. [There is no peaceful solution with the Islamist war society. Therefore, for Israel to settle the Territories would enervate jihad and therefore war.]

Israel needs U.S. backing, so it should support U.S. interests, again not defined. [Mr. Friedman asks Israel to cede strategic interests and borders -- a two-state disaster.]

Mr. Friedman does welcome debate about Mr. Hagel's preference to negotiate a nuclear stand-down by Iran and Hagel's willingness to engage Hamas. Actually, Mr. Hagel opposed sanctions and refused to designate Hamas as terrorist. Mr. Friedman believes in testing whether Iran would negotiate a solution.

Iran used negotiations to advance nuclear development. Iran is just a few months away from nuclear weaponry. It has the materials, centrifuges, and underground workshops, and is developing a nuclear trigger and long-range rockets. How many decades does it take for Friedman and Hagel to recognize that fanatical enemies do not resolve problems with other countries, they make problems! (NY Times, 12/26/12, A25).

Mr. Friedman acknowledges that Mr. Hagel's views are out of the mainstream, but, he says, the President needs to hear such views. [Unfortunately, those are the President's views and that is all he hears. His other nominees would present the same views.]

Here is what the Zionist Organization of America finds about Mr. Hagel (Press release, 12/17/12): The nomination indicates further that Pres. Obama is not serious about stopping Iran's nuclear program and is no friend of Israel. Hagel is co-chair of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board [so his nomination elevates a dangerous official].

* In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to begin direct negotiations with Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist group committed in its Charter to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. President Obama didn't.

* In 2008, Hagel was "solely responsible" for blocking an Iran sanctions bill (Seth Colter Walls, .

* In a 2006 interview with former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller, Hagel said that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people" on Capitol Hill ,' Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 29, 2009).

* In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to formally call upon the European Union to declare Hizballah a terrorist organization ,' National Jewish Democratic Council press release, August 7, 2006).

* In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hizballah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire .

* December 2005: Hagel was one of only 27 senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.

* June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit and was one of only two senators to vote against renewal of the Libya-Iran sanctions act.

* November 2001: Hagel was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasser Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.

* In July 2001, Hagel was one of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iranian sanctions bill.

* October 2000: Hagel was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.

Josh Block, president of the Israel Project has said, "While in the Senate, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. Another operative called this the wrong appointment when the U.S. is asking Israel to trust it on Iran. A nuclear Iran would endanger the U.S., not just Israel. "We urge people to call upon their U.S. Senators (Capitol Hill switchboard: 202-224-3121) to urge President Obama not to nominate Chuck Hagel."

B. Sen. Kerry, for Sec. of State

(Zionist Organization of America, press release, 1/2/13).

  • December 2012: Kerry was one of only 26 senators not to sign a letter urging President Obama to reiterate his readiness to use military force against Iran if all other measures fail to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capacity.
  • September 2012: Kerry was one of only 25 senators who refused to sign a letter urging the European Union to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization.
  • June 2012: Kerry was one of only 13 senators who refused to sign a letter supporting Israel's right to self-defense and affirming the legality of Israel's naval blockage of Hamas-controlled Gaza, following the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident.
  • 2011: Kerry, the Washington Post stated, "pushed the more cautious Mr. Obama toward ... endorsement of Hosni Mubarak's departure from the Egyptian presidency," a ruinous policy which has resulted in the Islamist, extremist Muslim Brotherhood taking control of Egypt, formerly America's most important ally in the Arab world. The same editorial notes that "Mr. Kerry shares one of Mr. Obama's greatest weaknesses: an excessive faith in the potential benefits of 'engagement' with rogue regimes and dictators. In particular, Mr. Kerry's repeated attempts to foster a dialogue with Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad offers a case study of how such diplomacy can go wrong."

April 2010: Kerry again met with Syrian dictator Assad and called Syria "an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region." A few months later, the Assad regime embarked on its campaign, still in progress, of killing thousands of unarmed civilians in its bid to remain in power.

  • April 2010: Kerry was one of only 13 senators who refused to sign a letter stressing the need for "direct, face-to-face negotiations without preconditions on either side" for Israelis and Palestinians and affirming the "unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together."
  • April 2010: Kerry was one of only 19 senators who refused to sign a letter calling for imposing crippling sanctions upon Iran.
  • August 2009: Kerry was one of 29 senators who refused to sign a letter supporting President Obama's call for Arab states to normalize relations with Israel.
  • January 2009: During a visit to the Middle East, he described Syria's role in the region, but said nothing about the Assad regime's barbaric history of state-sponsored terrorism, or its role in permitting terrorism to enter Iraq from Syria to kill U.S. servicemen after the overthrown of Saddam Hussein, or its role in the assassination of Lebanon's Rafik Hariri. Instead, Kerry said... we are going to renew diplomacy [with Damascus] but without any illusion, without any naivety, without any misplaced belief that, just by talking, things will automatically happen." [But deferring action in order to talk with fanatics is naïve and has failed for decades.]
  • March 2007: Kerry was one of only 21 senators not to sign a letter requesting "no direct aid and no contacts with any members of a Palestinian Authority that does not explicitly and unequivocally recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce terror, and accept previous agreements."
  • December 2003: Kerry said he would appoint as presidential ambassador to the peace process someone like former Secretary of State James Baker or former President Jimmy Carter — both men distinguished by their public and long-standing animosity towards Israel. (New York Post, December 4, 2003). [That is, biased and supportive of failed policies.]
  • October 2003: Kerry, addressing an Arab American Institute conference in Dearborn, Michigan, condemned Israel's security barrier, which has been credited with stopping a portion of Palestinian terrorist attacks, saying "We do not need another barrier to peace" (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 4, 2004).
  • 1993: Kerry was one of 45 senators who refused to sign the Grassley/Lautenberg letter urging then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher to include Hamas in the terrorism report.

"Sen. Kerry has ignored evidence of the Palestinian Authority's continuing refusal to implement its Oslo commitments to arrest terrorists and end incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and instead pushed for further Israeli concessions while also criticizing legitimate Israeli counter-terrorist defensive measures like the security fence. [The media ignores the P.A. record.]

"Sen. Kerry has ignored evidence of the Palestinian Authority's continuing refusal to implement its Oslo commitments to arrest terrorists and end incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and instead pushed for further Israeli concessions while also criticizing legitimate Israeli counter-terrorist defensive measures like the security fence. [The media ignores the P.A. record.]

In its 1/3/13 and1/4/13 press releases, ZOA pointed that Sen. Kerry gained initial prominence by condemning the entire U.S. military in Vietnam as sadistic war criminals. He illegally met with Vietcong representatives and signed agreement with their demands. [He is a younger Jane Fonda.] Sen. Kerry opposed the first Gulf War against Saddam's seizing other oil countries. He voted for the second war on Saddam and then became a critic of it. First he admitted that all intelligence experts believed that Saddam was redeveloping nuclear weapons, then accused Pres. Bush of misleading the public. [He gets confused.]

He opposed the surge, which succeeded.

He persuaded Congress to stop funding the anti-Communists in Nicaragua. Next day, the Sandinistas went to Moscow and got $200 million. ZOA also calls that poor judgment by Kerry, but I think it is of a piece with his siding against the U.S..

Kerry urged loosening sanctions against his "friend," Assad, saying he would reform.

He urged the P.A. to bring Hamas into its government. He criticized Israel's invasion of Gaza, a couple of years ago.

Kerry wants Israel to negotiate away the Golan Heights, necessary for its survival. He also wants it to give up eastern Jerusalem, though in Arab hands it was used for shooting into western Jerusalem.

C. Brennan Nomination for CIA

A 1/7/12 ZOA press release describes John O. Brennan: "currently President Obama's chief security adviser for counter-terrorism, has been a leading figure in the failure of the Obama Administration to name the enemy — radical Islam — waging war on the U.S.; has called Jerusalem by its Arabic name, Al-Quds, has whitewashed the Lebanese terrorist group, Hizballah; and been implicated in serious intelligence failures."

In July 2008, Mr. Brennan attributed poor U.S.-Iran relations to U.S. Iran-bashing.

Brennan also accepted the 2007 intelligence re-assessment that Iran had stopped its nuclear program. The re-assessment was false. (It was obviously doctored. Any decent and intelligent person could see that.]

He supported the Obama administration refusal to use terms such as "Radical Islam," "Islamism," and "Jihad," on the grounds that it would confirm Muslim concerns that the U.S. is at war with Islam. [No, those terms indicate that Radical Islam, at least, is at war with the rest of the world.] He also chose the minor meaning of jihad, a form of self-purification. [When Muslim preachers and masses cry for jihad, they mean war!]

He claimed in 2009 that although Hezbollah started as terrorist, it has evolved beyond it. [Yes, the way the Nazis started with storm troopers and came to run Germany. But such control enabled it to expand terrorism.]

Although warned about the shoe bomber, Mr. Brennan did not add him to the no-fly list. Congressional oversight committees called for his resignation.

He describes terrorists as victims of their systems, and says they should not be described in religious terms. [They describe their crimes in religious terms.]

By 2008, Mustafa Kifah had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in terrorist financing. He sang songs glorifying murder of Jews. But in 2010, when Brennan was Obama's adviser on counter-terrorism, Mr. Kifah "was permitted to tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center, FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., and the FBI training academy at Quantico." Again, top intelligence officials called for Brennan's dismissal.

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

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Posted by Arutz Sheva, January 09, 2013

The article below was written by Maayana Miskin who is a writer at Israel National News. Visit their website at

The nationalist camp's harsh criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could lead to a second Oslo, says Danny Dayan, who recently stepped down as head of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council.

"Today I shall recall my sins," he told Arutz Sheva. "In 1992 I was the secretary of Tehiya [Knesset faction] and together with Geula Cohen and Elyakim Haetzni we brought down [Prime Minister] Shamir over some nonsense."

Shamir was succeeded by Yitzchak Rabin. "We brought Oslo on ourselves," Dayan lamented. "We're likely to make the same mistakes today."

"The residents' committees have been publishing movies that compare Netanyahu to Arik Sharon.... I'm afraid of where this will lead us," he said. "Yes, three houses were destroyed in Migron, I was there and I cried together with the families, but when they say that because of what happened in Migron Tzipi Livni is preferable [to Netanyahu] — that will bring the Left to power."

Dayan stepped down this week in order to freely express his political opinions in advance of the elections. He believes the right should show its support behind Likud.

"First of all, it's not clear that Netanyahu will be reelected," he warned. "I see all the president's warning signals, I see Diskin's attempts at a putsch... I see Left's attempts to form a large bloc and that still might happen after the elections."

In addition, he said, the Likud is unlikely to continue to show support for Judea and Samaria if residents of the region vote in Likud primaries but vote for other parties in national elections.

Dayan noted that he spoke out against several of the Likud's policies over the past four years, including the construction freeze and Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech. "But when you look at results, today after four years, this government had a building push both in the settlement blocs and deeper in... Despite the awful Bar Ilan speech, the results show that a Palestinian state looks farther off," he argued.

"We have to act wisely, and to do everything we can so that Binyamin Netanyahu will continue as Prime Minister," Dayan concluded.

When asked about his decision to step down as Yesha Council leader, Dayan said he is satisfied with the work he did. "I went into office with 260,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, and I'm giving back the keys with 360,000," he said.

"I hope the next chairman will be a young person," he said. "We need younger leadership in Judea and Samaria."

Contact Arutz Sheva at

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Posted by FSM Security, January 09, 2013

The article below was written by Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran--The Clock is Ticking." He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues. The article appeared January 09, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at

"Weekend at Bernie's" was a 1989 comedy film in which two bumbling businessmen, invited by their boss to his beach home, arrive there only to find he has been murdered. Worried they will be suspected, they transport the body to various places, waving Bernie's arms in distant greetings to people and engaging the corpse in other antics to give the impression Bernie is still alive.

On January 10th, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 58, is supposed to be sworn in for his fourth term in office. But Venezuelans still don't know whether the cancer-stricken quasi-democratic president is alive since experiencing complications following his fourth surgery on December 11th in Cuba to remove, as he described beforehand, "some cancerous cells." The constitution requires a January 10th swearing in or, alternatively, installation of an interim president with a new election to be held within 30 days. Not wanting to relinquish power, however, Chavez's inner circle may be contemplating a "Weekend at Bernie's" approach, trying to make Venezuelans believe their president is still capable of functioning.

Ever since Chavez reported he had cancer in June 2011, neither he nor government representatives have released much more detail. The type of cancer is unknown and, therefore, so is the prognosis. Chavez has not been seen for a month now as officials remain tight-lipped, suggesting days ago he may not return in time for the inauguration. Meanwhile, opposition leaders doubt whether officials are speaking truthfully and want a delegation to go to Cuba to determine the president's status. They want to know if Chavez is capable of waving his own arm or whether he has been "Bernieized," i.e., like Bernie, someone else is doing it for him.

Opposition leaders want the obvious intention and interpretation of the constitution to be upheld. This means if Chavez is incapacitated or dead, a new election has to be held, with the 30-day clock starting to tick as of the 10th. Reigning officials, however, may be preparing to take a more liberal position, arguing the constitution allows the inauguration to be postponed. While there is no basis for such an argument, the issue may have to be determined by the country's supreme court, whose judges always support Chavez, whether dead or alive, and, therefore, his cronies as well.

Chavez knew as he departed for Venezuela for Cuba on December 10th, there was a chance he might not return alive. That was why he indicated should that happen, he was to be succeeded by Vice President Nicolas Maduro. There is no debate that Maduro is to so serve, but only as an interim president. There should be no debate, however, that Chavez's inner circle is not to retain power beyond what the constitution mandates-and that is a new election and transition of power to the newly elected president.

There are 30 million Venezuelans in the dark as to whether Chavez is mentally capable of serving, or not. Should he be in a comatose state, lingering on for months or even years, a constitutional interpretation allowing the inauguration to be delayed would leave Maduro in control until Chavez either became capable or died. Undoubtedly, a Cuban economy subsidized by Chavez robbing Venezuela's oil resources to provide Havana with free oil would motivate the Cubans to maintain Chavez on life-support for as long as possible-i.e., until overtaken by natural causes. Such action by the Cubans would receive Maduro's blessing, securing his long-term authority.

During the 13 years Chavez has been in power, he has manipulated his people and their constitution to slowly transition a democracy into a dictatorship. While claiming his mission is to socialize Venezuela, his reign has seen the country ruined economically, oil revenues drastically reduced by incompetent management and "freebies" to allies to spread Chavez's influence, opposition to his authority silenced, corruption and the murder rate reaching epidemic proportions and the nation become a safe haven for Iranian terrorists.

In perhaps the ultimate irony of Chavez's life, the president who took on the Vatican to challenge Catholic influence over his own, was pleading, prior to his most recent surgery, for prayers he would survive. Just like the atheist in a foxhole who only finds religion when his own life is endangered, apparently so too does Chavez.

Venezuela's journey toward socialism and dictatorship has been interrupted by Chavez's cancer. A Maduro presidency, tied to the "Bernieization" of Chavez, means that journey will be continued-with a pro-Chavez replacement in the driver's seat as the only difference. A free election, as mandated by the constitution, may well place an opposition driver behind the wheel, putting Venezuela back on the road to democracy and the rebuilding of its shattered economy.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 09, 2013

P.A. diplomats are starting to issue passports as if UN General Assembly partial recognition makes the P.A. a state. A Wall St. Journal news item referred to Judea-Samaria (using its nickname "West Bank") as a place "which Israel says it controls for security reasons and where Arabs (using their alias, "Palestinians," as if a different nationality from other Arabs) exercise little sovereignty."

Slanting the news. Do the journalists at the Wall St. J. use the same pro-Arab propaganda workbook as those at the New York Times? Their misuse of terminology favoring the Muslims, with whose phony tendentiousness I showed some impatience, above, is more understandable like the big lie technique after years of being practiced. But the article also follows the Times practice of referring to what Israel does or claims as if questionable and to what the Arabs do or claim as if factual. Thus, Israel only says it controls Judea-Samaria for security reasons, but the Arabs in fact exercise little sovereignty there.

Why is doubt cast on Israel, which strains for accuracy, and why is credibility conferred upon the P.A., which almost invariably makes false propaganda, from statements about history, to statements about what is in written agreements, to blood libels against Jews, to professions of peace-loving in English while warmongering in Arabic? The answer lays not in the behavior of the principals but in the biases of the reporters.

Misimpression by omission. The article implies that the General Assembly conferred sovereignty upon the P.A.. It has no power to do so. The article should have explained that. Is the reporter's mission to give false impressions to readers or to inform them?

The article also should have explained that one of the requirements of UN membership, according to the UN Charter, is not to make war on other UN members. The P.A. violates that basic rule. It violates most of the criteria for sovereignty. Its leaders are thugs who, instead of exercising sovereignty, really should be exercising their necks at the ends of a rope.

P.A. Arabs don't merit autonomy. The P.A. signed up with Israel and the U.S. not to be sovereign unless it negotiated that status with Israel. The Oslo Accords granted the P.A. autonomy, under certain conditions, of which it violates all the major ones. Its bellicose violations of autonomy prove it doesn't merit sovereignty.

How Judea-Samaria is ruled. The Accords divide Judea-Samaria in zones A, B, and C. In Area A, the P.A. exercises domestic and security autonomy, but not control over movement in and out of people and goods, to limit its ability to make war, and limited armed forces (which provisions it also violates). Israel retains overall security responsibility. In Area B, Israel also exercises immediate security, except where the IDF lets the P.A. patrol. In Area C, Israel is in full legal control. There is no need to report that Israel "says" it controls Judea-Samaria for security reasons, read the Oslo Accords. Nor is it quite fair to write that the P.A. exercises "little sovereignty" — its self-rule is considerable.

Since the P.A. has used the Accords to make war instead of ending terrorism, Israel ought to consider voiding the accords and remove P.A. authority that permits the buildup for hatred and terrorism, without taking on responsibility for the Arabs' economy.

P.A. Arabs undeserving of sovereignty. We've indicated that Palestinian Arabs are not a distinct nationality. You probably know that the state of Israel is 17% of the former Palestine Mandate, the territories are 4%, and the Arab kingdom of Jordan is 79% of Palestine. Thus although not a nationality, Palestinian Arabs have sovereignty in 79%, the bulk, of the Palestine Mandate. Declaring and demonstrating murderous and imperialistic intent, was there ever a population which, as a whole, in the 4% area, is less deserving of sovereignty?

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

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute, January 09, 2013


The holiday season brings new "traditional" threats to airline passenger from al Qaeda, to nontraditional threat from wireless communication devices that carried and used on board the planes. Would be terrorists may be discoverer before detonating sophisticated hidden explosives, but would not come under any suspicion for using their smart phones, tablets and PCs during flight.

However, a well trained martyr could hack into the plane's computer system, take over all or part of the controls, commandeering its communication, or air system to shut down, etc. "When the plane is air-side, you can insert a set of commands and codes that may initiate, on signal, a set of processes," the former scientific adviser to the British Home Office, Sally Leivesley. He went on to describe how someone familiar with sophisticated systems engineering, could hack into the plane's controls by sending a radio signal from a small device.

In the aftermath of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappearance, aviation experts have been considering the possibility of hacking into an airplane and gaining complete control of on-board systems, "including plane navigation and cockpit systems."

Today's airplanes are very sophisticated systems. They are comparable to a complex network in which each system runs its software component that could be compromised exactly like the information exchanged by the parts.

According to Pierluigi Paganini, the Editor-in-Chief at Cyber Defense magazine, "Security is fundamental for the aviation industry. Considering the availability of numerous tools on the market that could be exploited in a hypothetical attack against a plane, cyber security is becoming even more crucial. It's time to adopt for civil uses the same technologies designed for a military environment

More Cyberthreats, Less Cybersecurity


The lack of cybersecurity continues to pose the biggest threat to the United States. Describing it "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face," President Obama went on to issue Executive Order 13696, to Improve Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. This order led to the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program — which requires the Department of Homeland Security to offer critical infrastructure industries protections against a "potential catastrophic hack." The success of the program is dependent on public-private information sharing regarding cyber intrusions.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was ordered to create a Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. NIST's first report, focusing mainly on homogenization of the format for reporting on cyber intrusions to the government was released on February 12, 2014.

While DHS boasts about its active collaboration "with public and private sector partners every day to respond to and coordinate mitigation efforts against attempted disruptions and adverse impacts to the nation's critical cyber and communications networks and infrastructure," only three of 16 critical sectors—energy, communications services, and the defense industrial base—are part of the program.

On August 11, the DHS Inspector General issued a report noting that "health care, banking and other key sectors at risk of cyberattacks" have yet to join the ECS program, which transmits confidential indicators of threats so that the Internet service providers of companies can update their network-protection systems. However, only two Internet/Communication Service Providers, AT&T and CenturyLink, have been authorized to receive classified information. When asked about the ECS, a representative of one of the critical industries responded, "We're not familiar with the specific program." Another source is quoted as saying "the threat indicators provided were redundant, formatting was not standardized, and a majority of the information provided was unclassified and available through other sources."

DHS has promoted the program through media requests, public testimony and its website. However, it didn't specify any benefit for participating in the program, or mention that the "security validation and accreditation process in order to participate in the program" can take more than eight months of dealing with government bureaucracy.

Of all industries, financial institutions are said to be the preferred target of hackers, as 95 percent of all 'money' is digital. According to Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer for Trend Micro: "More than 98 percent of bank heists occur in cyberspace and this is being exacerbated by mobile banking and the correspondent rise in mobile mugging. Financial institutions adhere to higher standards of security than other industries, however they are also targeted by the world's elite hackers." However, the ease with which financial institutions can be hacked poses a growing hazard to consumers whose identity is stolen while their accounts are breached. Armed with stolen identities, hackers go on to collect billions through health insurance, social security and other kinds of fraud.

Not surprisingly, public confidence in the nation's cybersecurity undertakings is abysmal. A recent survey of 600 IT and information security executives who hold positions at electric, gas and water utilities, as well as at oil distributors, alternative-energy companies and chemical and industrial manufacturers conducted by the Ponemon Institute noted that only three percent of IT executives at utilities and other critical infrastructure businesses believe that federal security rules and standards decrease the threat to the digital systems running their operations. The report also found that this was not because those polled didn't know about cyber standards developed by NERC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Some 57 percent were at least somewhat familiar with them. The problem is that directives and recommendations become outdated too fast to be of use. The cost of following government protocols was listed by a quarter of the respondents as the reason they do not comply.

The administration's rhetoric on cybersecurity is met with the public's reluctance to share information with the Executive Branch. On Capitol Hill, several bills have been introduced over the years, but none has been approved by the both the House and the Senate.

On June 8, 2014, S. 2588, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), authored by Senator Diane Feinstein, was passed by the Senate. CISA "would essentially remove the legal restrictions that currently bar companies from sharing information with the government."

On July 28, 2014, just before the summer recess, the House passed three cybersecurity-related bills: H.R. 3639 — "The National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014;'' H.R. 3107 — "The Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act;" and the fourth version of CISPA, H.R. 624 — "The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act."

These bills, which have yet to become laws, are intended to facilitate the much talked about public-private information sharing. However, they deal mostly with the privacy and liability issues involved. Private involvement remains voluntary and the government is put under no compulsion to share classified information with the private sector.

Yet the success of the public-private information sharing program is dependent on the trust of the public to share its private data with the government. A cybersecurity thought-leader, Dan Geer, Chief Information Security Officer at In-Q-Telart, does not trust the government's pubic-private information sharing. "I don't trust a situation where I have not only no control about its use, but no visibility about whether it is being used. Take electronic health records. We're obviously going towards it in a big way. But I ask you, who owns the electronic health records?" However, if and when your information is breached, the government refuses to share that information (classified just because it has been collected by the government) with the public.

Until the government finds a way to safely reveal and share its information with the public, our vulnerability to cyber attacks will increase. One wonders what will it take for this administration to heed its own experts' warnings that escalating cyberattacks are rapidly undermining our economic and national security. Any further delays would make it most difficult to diminish the threat, not to mention stay ahead of them.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Founder and CEO of the New York-based American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld is an authority on economic warfare, including Weapons of Mass Effect (WME), lawfare, terror financing, disinformation, jihadist movements and corruption. Dr. Ehrenfeld has published widely, lectured and organized international conferences/workshops and specialized briefings and wargaming in many countries and advised governments, law enforcement and the financial industry. Ken Jensen is associate director of the American Center for Democracy for its Economic Warfare Institute.

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center of Democracy, January 09, 2013

The article below was written by Soeren Kern who is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios. The article appeared January 2, 2013 in the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council and is archived at

Muslim immigrants and their supporters have been using a combination of lawsuits, verbal and physical harassment -- and even murder -- to silence debate about the rise of Islam.

Opinion surveys show that to voters in France -- home to an estimated 6.5 million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in the European Union -- Islam and the question of Muslim immigration have emerged in 2012 as a top-ranked public concern. The French, it seems, are increasingly worried about the establishment of a parallel Muslim society there.

But government efforts this year to push back against the Islamization of France were halting and half-hearted and could be described as "one step forward, two steps back."

A chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in France during 2012 includes:

Muslim immigrants, as of January, began to find it more difficult to obtain French citizenship. New citizenship rules that entered into effect on January 1, 2012 now require all applicants to pass exams on French culture and history and also to prove that their French language skills are equivalent to those of a 15-year-old native speaker. Moreover, candidates seeking French citizenship will be required to pledge allegiance to "French values."

Muslim applicants make up the majority of the 100,000 people naturalized as French citizens each year, and the new citizenship requirements form part of a larger effort to promote Muslim integration into French society.

In February, the Persian Gulf Emirate of Qatar announced plans to invest €50 million ($65 million) in French suburbs, home to more than one million disgruntled Muslim immigrants.

Qatar said its investment was intended to support small businesses in disadvantaged Muslim neighborhoods. But as Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, subscribes to the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam, critics say the emirate's real objective is to peddle its religious ideology among Muslims in France and other parts of Europe.

Shortly before Qatar announced its plans to invest in France, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who has long cultivated an image as a pro-Western reformist and modernizer, vowed to "spare no effort" to spread the fundamentalist teachings of Wahhabi Islam across "the whole world."

The promotion of Islamic extremist ideologies -- particularly Wahhabism, which not only discourages Muslim integration in the West, but actively encourages jihad against non-Muslims -- threatens to further radicalize Muslim immigrants in France.

The Qatari investments are being targeted in blighted French suburban slums, known in France as banlieues, where up to one million or more mostly unemployed Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East try to get by on an impoverished existence.

The banlieues are already being exploited by Islamist preachers from countries such as Morocco and Turkey which are leveraging the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in France to create "separate Islamic societies" ruled by Islamic Sharia law.

Also in February, a French television documentary revealed that all of the slaughterhouses in the greater Paris metropolitan area are now producing all of their meat in accordance with Islamic Sharia law.

The exposé broadcast by France 2 television on February 16 also alleged that much of the religiously slaughtered meat known as halal is not labeled as such and is entering the general food chain, where it is being unwittingly consumed by the non-Muslim population.

Halal, in Arabic meaning lawful or legal, is a term designating any object or action that is permissible according to Sharia law. In the context of food, halal meat is derived from animals slaughtered by hand according to methods stipulated in Islamic religious texts.

According to the France 2 documentary, French slaughterhouses produce far more halal meat than is needed to serve the 6.5 million Muslims who live in France. The documentary reported that roughly 30% of all the meat produced in France is halal, while the Muslim population in France makes up approximately 7% of the total French population.

To avoid the costs associated with running separate production lines for halal and non-halal customers, French slaughterhouses are selling the remaining halal meat as non-halal. As a result, a significant amount of the meat being sold in French grocery stores is actually not labeled as halal and, according to France 2 television, French consumers are being tricked into buying products they normally would not eat.

In March, a 23-year-old Islamic jihadist named Mohamed Merah confirmed the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorism in France when, on March 11, he killed three French paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi with close-range shots to the head. Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, filmed himself carrying out the attacks to "verify" the deaths. He later died in a storm of gunfire on March 22 after a 32-hour standoff with police at his apartment in the southern French city of Toulouse.

According to French police, Merah attacked the French Army personnel because of France's involvement in the war in Afghanistan, and the Jewish schoolchildren because "the Jews kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine."

Also in March, the referee of a woman's football match in the southern French city of Narbonne refused to officiate the game when players for one of the teams took to the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves. The March 18 incident involved players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in a regional promotional tie.

The international governing body of football, known as FIFA, banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf, also known as the hijab, in 2007, saying it was unsafe. But on March 3, FIFA accepted in principal that female footballers could wear headscarves when playing in official competitions. The rule change, instigated by Ali bin al-Hussein, a FIFA vice president who is also the brother of the King of Jordan, entered into effect on July 2.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Vacke said al-Hussein successfully convinced FIFA that the hijab is a cultural rather than a religious symbol, and that the rule change would allow women all over the world to play football. But the change angered many Europeans, including some feminist groups, who say the Muslim headscarf is a sign of "male domination."

In a March 19 interview with the French newspaper Le Parisien, Asma Guenifi, the director of a women's rights group called Ni Putes, Ni Soumises [Neither Prostitutes Nor Submissives], said the rule change is "a total regression." She added: "I think FIFA is influenced by intense lobbying from rich Middle Eastern countries, such as Qatar."

In May, Muslims determined the outcome of the French presidential elections. An analysis of the voting patterns that barreled François Hollande to victory on May 6 as the first Socialist president of France since 1995 showed this was due in large measure to Muslims, who voted for him in overwhelming numbers.

According to a survey of French voters conducted by the polling firm OpinionWay for the Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro, an extraordinary 93% of French Muslims voted for Hollande. By contrast, the poll showed that only 7% of French Muslims voted for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy.

An estimated two million Muslims participated in the 2012 election, meaning that roughly 1.7 million Muslim votes went to Hollande rather than to Sarkozy. In the election as a whole, however, Hollande won by only 1.1 million votes. This figure indicates that Muslims cast the deciding votes which thrust Hollande into the Élysée Palace.

During the campaign, Hollande had offered an amnesty to all of the estimated 400,000 illegal Muslim immigrants currently in France. He also pledged to change French electoral laws so that Muslim residents without French citizenship would be allowed to vote in municipal elections as of 2014. These measures, if implemented, would enable the Socialist Party to tighten its grip on political power, both at the regional and national levels.

As the politically active Muslim population in France continues to swell, and as most Muslims vote for Socialist and leftwing parties, conservative parties will find it increasingly difficult to win future presidential elections in France.

In June, a French appeals court granted permission for the construction of a mega-mosque in the southern city of Marseille, home to the largest Muslim community in France.

The ruling, which overturned an October 2011 decision by a lower court to annul the construction permit for the mosque, represented a major victory for proponents of the mosque, long touted as the biggest and most potent symbol of Islam's growing presence France.

The €22 million ($27 million) project would have the Grand Mosque -- with a minaret soaring 25 meters (82 feet) high, and room for up to 7,000 worshippers in a vast prayer hall -- built on the north side of Marseille's old port in the city's Saint-Louis district, an ethnically mixed neighborhood that suffers from poverty and high unemployment.

Several decades in the planning, the project was granted a construction permit in November 2009. At the time, city officials said the new mosque would help the Muslim community better integrate into the mainstream and would foster a more moderate form of Islam.

The first cornerstone of the 8,300 square meter (90,000 square foot) project was laid in May 2010. The elaborate stone-laying ceremony was attended by Muslim religious leaders and local politicians, as well as more than a dozen diplomats from Muslim countries.

Full-scale construction of the Grand Mosque -- which will include a Koranic school and a library, as well as a restaurant and tea room -- was scheduled to begin in February 2012, but the project has faced stiff opposition from local residents and businesses. Opponents of the Grand Mosque have argued that it would be out of harmony with the neighborhood's economic and social fabric. The appeals court ruling, dated June 19, means that construction of the mosque can now continue unimpeded.

In July, the Socialist government began paying down some of its political indebtedness to the Muslim community by officially inaugurating a new mega-mosque in Paris as a first step towards "progressively building a French Islam."

The 2,000 square meter (21,500 square foot) three-story mega-mosque, located in the northern Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise, is not only vast in its dimensions (photo here), but is also highly visible and symbolic: its towering minaret, which critics say has been purposely designed to change the suburb's skyline by being taller than any church steeple in the neighborhood, is supposed to become the "new symbol of Islam in France."

Speaking on behalf of President Hollande at the mosque's inauguration ceremony on July 9, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls articulated the Socialist government's policy vis-à-vis the construction of new mosques in France: "A mosque, when it is erected in the city, says a simple thing: Islam has its place in France."

In August, the French government announced a plan to boost policing in 15 of the most crime-ridden parts of France, in an effort to reassert state control over the country's so-called "no-go" zones (Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims).

These crime-infested districts, which the French Interior Ministry has designated as Priority Security Zones (zones de sécurité prioritaires, or ZSP), include heavily Muslim parts of Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Lille and Amiens.

The crackdown on lawlessness in the ZSP began in September, when French Interior Minister Manuel Valls deployed riot police, detectives and intelligence agents into the selected areas. The hope is that a "North American-style" war on crime can prevent France's impoverished suburbs from descending into turmoil. If the new policy results in a drop in crime, Valls is expected to name up to 40 more ZSP before the summer of 2013.

Many of these new ZSP coincide with Muslim neighborhoods that previous French governments have considered to be Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaine Sensibles, or ZUS), which are "no-go" zones for French police.

At last count, there were a total of 751 Sensitive Urban Zones, a comprehensive list of which can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated five million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

Also in August, around 100 Muslim youths in the impoverished Fafet-Brossolette district of Amiens went on a two-day arson rampage after police arrested a Muslim man for driving without a license. Muslims viewed the arrest as "insensitive" because it came as many residents of the neighborhood were attending a funeral for Nadir Hadji, a 20-year-old Algerian youth who had died in a motorcycle accident on August 9. It later emerged, however, that police were called to an estate in northern Amiens after they received reports that youths were loading fireworks into a car. Police also discovered the ingredients for petrol bombs, including empty bottles and a canister of gasoline, which led to the arrest.

In response to the August 12-13 riots, about 150 policemen and anti-riot police were deployed to the Fafet neighborhood and used tear gas and rubber bullets, and even mobilized a helicopter after Muslim youths shot at them with buckshot, fireworks and other projectiles from nine in the evening until four in the morning.

At least 16 police officers were injured in the melee, one of them seriously. Youths also torched and destroyed a junior high school canteen, an anti-juvenile delinquency sports room, a leisure center, and a kindergarten, as well as 20 automobiles and 50 trash bins. The cost of repairing or rebuilding structures that were damaged or destroyed could run to €6 million ($7.4 million). (Photos here.)

Gilles Demailly, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, said the violence reflected a descent into lawlessness, orchestrated by ever younger troublemakers: "It has been years since we have known a night as violent as this with so much damage done. The confrontations were very, very violent." He added, "For months I have been asking for the means to alleviate the neighborhood's problems because tension has been mounting here. You have gangs of youths playing at being gangsters who have turned the area into a no-go zone. You can no longer order a pizza or get a doctor to come to the house."

The clashes in Amiens followed more than five days of violence between rival Muslim gangs in Toulouse. Police in the city's Bagatelle district (officially classified as a ZUS "no-go" zone) characterized the Muslim-on-Muslim violence as "a kind of guerilla war" among two gangs whose members are between ages of 15 and 20. The violence was apparently "the result of a settlement of accounts between drug dealers, as well as because of old resentments exacerbated by boredom and the heat of the month of Ramadan."

On August 14, two local imams in Bagatelle organized a march through the streets and called on the youths to stop the violence. Local media reports said the residents of the neighborhood knew the names of the perpetrators but "nobody dares to speak for fear of reprisals." According to the deputy imam of Bagatelle, Siali Lahouari, "it looks as if we are in Bosnia or Afghanistan, not Mirail [a suburb of Toulouse]."

In September, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls officially inaugurated the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, the second-largest mosque ever built in France. The Strasbourg mega-mosque has a capacity of 1,300 square meters (14,000 square feet) and seats 1,500 worshippers, and is slightly smaller than the massive Grand Mosque d'Évry at Courcouronnes in the southern suburbs of Paris.

At the inauguration ceremony on September 27, Valls said: "France's Muslims can congratulate themselves on the singular model that they are building. The Islam of France shines through the strength of its serenity. The mosque is less than two kilometers from the Notre-Dame Cathedral, giving Islam its full place in France."

But Valls also issued a warning to Islamists: "The preachers of hatred, the partisans of obscurantism, fundamentalists, those who attack our values and our institutions, those who deny the rights of women, those people do not have their place in the French Republic. Those who are on our territory to defy our laws, to attack the foundations of our society do not have to remain there. I will not hesitate to expel those who claim to be of Islam, and represent a grave threat to public order, by not respecting the laws and the values of the French Republic."

In October, tensions flared over the proposed conversion of an empty church into a mosque in the central French town of Vierzon. The controversy involved Saint-Eloi's, a small church located in a working class neighborhood which has been taken over by immigrants from Morocco and Turkey.

With six churches to maintain and fewer faithful every year, Roman Catholic authorities in Vierzon said they could no longer afford to keep Saint-Eloi's. They now want to sell the building for €170,000 ($220,000) to a Moroccan Muslim organization whose members want to convert the church into a mosque.

In an interview with the French weekly newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur, Alain Krauth, the parish priest of the largest Catholic church in Vierzon, said: "The Christian community is not as important as it used to be in the past. If moderate Muslims buy Saint-Eloi's, we can only be happy that the Muslims of Vierzon are able to celebrate their religion." His comments were greeted with outrage by local citizens opposed to converting the church into a mosque.

Also in October, in the nearby city of Poitiers, around 70 members of a conservative youth group known as Generation Identity occupied a mosque that is being built in the heavily Muslim Buxerolles district of the city. The dawn raid on October 21 was intended as a protest against Islam's growing influence in France.

The protesters climbed onto the roof of the mosque (photos here) and unfurled a banner with the symbolic phrase, "732 Generation Identity" -- a reference to the year 732, when Charles Martel halted the advance of the invading Muslim army to the north of Poitiers (also known as the Battle of Tours.)

In November, a new opinion survey found that a majority of people in France believe that Islam is too influential in French society, and almost half view Muslims as a threat to their national identity.

The survey revealed a significant degradation of the image of Islam in France. The findings also showed that French voters are growing increasingly uneasy about mass immigration from Muslim countries which has been encouraged by a generation of political and cultural elites in France dedicated to creating a multicultural society.

The survey conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion (or Ifop, as it is usually called) and published by the center-right Le Figaro newspaper on October 24, showed that 60% of French people believe that Islam has become "too visible and influential" in France -- up from 55% in an earlier survey two years ago.

The poll also revealed that 43% of French people consider the presence of Muslim immigrants to be a threat to French national identity, compared to just 17% who say it enriches society.

In addition, 68% of people in France blame the problems associated with Muslim integration on immigrants who refuse to integrate (up from 61% two years ago), and 52% blame it on cultural differences (up from 40% two years ago).

The poll also showed a growing resistance to the symbols of Islam. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of French people say they are opposed to Muslim women wearing the veil or Islamic headscarves in public, compared to 59% two years ago. Moreover, the survey showed that only 18% of French people say they support the building of new mosques in France (compared to 33% in 1989, and 20% in 2010).

"Our poll shows a further hardening in French people's opinions," Jerome Fourquet, head of Ifop's opinion department, told Le Figaro. "In recent years, there has not been a week when Islam has not been in the heart of the news for social reasons: the veil, halal food, dramatic news like terrorist attacks or geopolitical reasons," he said.

In December, two Muslim groups launched legal proceedings against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, accusing it of inciting racial hatred after it published provocative cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed on September 19.

Members of the Algerian Democratic Union for Peace and Progress (RDAP) and the Organization of Arab Union said they were claiming a total of €780,000 ($1 million) in damages. They said the lawsuit was to "defend and support Islamic and/or Arabic people." According to the complainants, the drawings were "damaging to the honor and reputation of the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim community."

Earlier, the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo were destroyed in an arson attack after it "invited" the Prophet Mohammed to be its "guest editor." The November 2011 firebombing attack took place just hours before an issue entitled "Sharia Hebdo," featuring a cartoon of Mohammed on its cover, hit the newsstands.

Both the arson attack and the lawsuit mark a serious escalation in a long-running Islamic war on free speech and expression in France. Muslim immigrants and their multicultural supporters in France and elsewhere have been using a combination of lawsuits, verbal and physical harassment -- and even murder -- to silence debate about the rise of Islam there.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Founder and CEO of the New York-based American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld is an authority on economic warfare, including Weapons of Mass Effect (WME), lawfare, terror financing, disinformation, jihadist movements and corruption. Contact American Center for Democracy at

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American for Democracy, January 9, 2013

The article below was written by J. Millard Burr who is American authors and a former USAID relief coordinator. The article appeared January 8, 2013 in the American Center for Democracy and is archived at

News Report: 06 January 2013, "The brother of al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri has reportedly been arrested by Syrian military forces in Dara'a, southwest of Damascus."

Muhammad Al-Zawahiri: "I do not belong to Al-Qaeda or any other organization, but ideologically speaking, I am in agreement with all these [Salafist] organizations. Our common denominator is the Islamic shari'a. ... I did not recognize the previous president [Mubarak], and I do not recognize this one [Morsy]. I recognize the rule of Islamic religious law." Cairo interview, MEMRI, 12 October 2012.


When Albania's rigid Communist regime collapsed in 1992, both Islamist militants — many blooded in Afghanistan — and CIA agents began arriving in country at approximately the same time. Among the Islamists who arrived during the first wave was Muhammad al-Zawahiri. He was the younger brother of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the terrorist Egypt Islamic Jihad organization and close associate of Osama Bin Laden who was then residing in the Sudan. Reportedly, the younger Zawahiri had been working as an engineer employed by the Islamic International Relief Organization (IIRO) headquartered in Saudi Arabia before being tapped by his brother to take a direct part in the Egypt Islamic Jihad organization.

Muhammad Zawahiri had no known record of terrorist involvement while working for the IIRO, the powerful Saudi charity. Founded in Jeddah in 1978, it operates throughout the world. Practically from its inception, the IIRO has been labeled by Western institutions (e.g., the United Nations) a nongovernmental organization, or NGO. It certainly is not. In its own words it would respond "to the increasing need to alleviate the suffering of human beings worldwide"; In fact, it serves as the charitable arm of the Saudi royal family, and it practices a Saudi-dominated Wahabbi outreach program (daw'a).

Thanks to the tremendous infusion of petrodollars, by the nineteen eighties the Saudi royal family had emerged as the predominant element in support of Islamic charitable activities. Of the 19 Saudi Arabia ministries, seven had a very direct interest in charitable giving and thus in the IIRO: The Ministry of Finance (especially its Directorate General of Zakat and Income Tax), and the ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Health. Also included in the mix were ministries involved in higher education, in pilgrimage, Islamic endowments, and Islamic outreach, or Daw'a.

On 1 March 2002 a weekly news magazine, published online by the Saudi royal family, detailed the Saudi royal family's effort to spread Islam throughout the world. The article noted that by then, "The cost of King Fahd's efforts in this field has been astronomical, amounting to many billions of Saudi riyals." Some 210 Islamic centers had been wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia. And more than 1,500 mosques and 202 colleges had been constructed and staffed along with nearly 2,000 schools "for educating Muslim children in nonIslamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia." ('AynAlYaqeen at http://www.ain-al-yakeen.comand report at, MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 360.)

By 2000 it had more than 100 offices in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and supported "humanitarian activities in more than 120 countries in different parts of the world." And offices such as the one it would soon open in Tirana, Albania, benefitted directly from the annual Sanabel Al-Khair Charity Festival held in Riyadh. In that single event sponsored by the Royal Family, over a billion riyals ($266.6 million) was collected in support of charitable activities. Among members of the royal family that played an important part in the event were King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. The latter was Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Benevolent Society; he succeeded King Fahd in 2005.


More than a dozen Muslim charities had opened in Tirana, more within a year of the fall of the Communist regime. Mohammed al-Zawahiri would arrive to take charge of the staffing of the IIRO office. Some reports have it that he had begun work with the Saudi charity in the mid-nineteen seventies, shortly after obtaining an engineering degree from the University of Cairo. Although abroad at the time of the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, his name was included among the revolutionaries held responsible for the crime. In the trial that followed, he was acquitted in absentia. Other reports have it that Zawahiri joined the IIRO following the trial, and had represented the charity in Indonesia, Bosnia and Malawi.

In any case, after arriving in Albania Mohammed Zawahiri would assist more than twenty senior mujahedeen — mostly members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) organization, but other Islamists as well — land jobs with nascent Islamic charities that participated in the construction and staffing of mosques, orphanages, schools and clinics throughout Albania. In January 1993, Mohamed Zawahiri personally recruited Mohamed Hassan Tita, an architect and EIJ member, to take charge of work in the Saudi-funded IIRO office.

Albania would assume great importance to Ayman al-Zawahiri after his EIJ home base in Sudan was forced to close following the failed attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the bombing of the Egyptian Embassy and Pakistan's Embassy, both in 1995. The EIJ, as was generally the case, was cash-poor and Ayman Zawahiri began a trek through Europe, hat in hand, soliciting funds. Albania, where his brother had found paying jobs in Muslim charities for footloose EIJ, was the organization's one bright spot

By the mid1990s, however, the CIA was monitoring both the activity of a sixteen-member EIJ cell in Tirana, and the Muslim charities active in Albania. Unknown to Mohammed Zawahiri, the CIA was closely tracking the Al Qaeda, EIJ, and Egypt Jamaat operatives employed by Islamic charities. Then, with the budding insurgency in nearby Kosovo, the CIA moved from just monitoring the EIJ cell "to crushing it." In early 1998, the CIA worked together with the governments of Albania and Egypt to end the Jihadist presence in Albania. The most important step was taken in June 1998 when Egypt secretly issued arrest warrants for six activists wanted in Egypt. Eavesdropping equipment had already picked up phone calls between Mohammed al-Zawahiri and his brother who had joined bin Laden in Afghanistan. In joining Osama Bin Laden's umbrella organization the EIJ benefitted from Al Qaeda's funding stream, and in return it expanded its outlook to attack the USA as well as Egypt.

In 1998 the CIA was behind the move to extradite 12 EIJ members active in Albania and wanted in Egypt. By 1999 at least five EIJ terrorists were tracked, captured, and then flown to Cairo in a covert operation "scripted and overseen by American agents." Among those flown to Cairo was Zawahiri's agent Mohammed Tita, the enforcer and "dues collector" for the EIJ. As Tita later admitted in a confession (almost assuredly coerced), "I think that all Jihad members employed at the organization were employed through Mohamed Zawahiri." The CIA would later call the operation to limit the impact of mujahedeen infiltration, "one of the agency's great successes." (A. Higgins and C. Cooper report, The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 1998 [?])

Shortly following the rendition of at least six of the senior EIJ members operating in Albania, one Ahmad Salama Mabruk was arrested in Baku, Azerbaijan. A search of his laptop revealed essential information, providing names of senior EIJ members operating in Europe. Meanwhile, in Egypt the prosecution of EIJ cell members was the largest trial of terrorists since the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. The Egyptian government was able to jail the remnant of the EIJ in Egypt and finger the EIJ operatives acting abroad.

In all, 107 people were tried in the socalled ReturneesfromAlbania Case. Two EIJ members, Ahmed Al Naggar and Ahmed Ismail Osman were sentenced to death in 2000. Mohammed al-Zawahiri was fingered but somehow managed to escape the dragnet. His name circulated in European police circles, and though only an administrator, an Egyptian court in 1998 had passed a death sentence against him, asserting he had been in charge of the EIJ's military training in Albania and had planned military operations in Egypt.

Mohammed Zawahiri did not escape the roundup for long. It was later reported that he had broken with his brother sometime in 1998 after opposing the EIJ integration into Al Qaeda. In reality, little was known of Mohammed's activity within the EIJ. He followed his brother when Dr. Ayman moved his operation to the Sudan in 1991. He was likely involved in the early planning of the Islamist penetration of the Balkans, but that is only a supposition. When Ayman and the EIJ were forced from the Sudan in 1995 the EIJ already had its European pied-a-terre in Albania.

Following his departure from Albania, Mohammed al-Zawahiri reportedly found work in Yemen and moved there with his wife and six children. In the course of his employment he was reportedly arrested at Dubai airport sometime in March or April 1999. The arrest itself occurred under very mysterious circumstances — including the day, month, and year of his capture. Flown to Cairo, he was not executed. Held incommunicado for years, when he surfaced his enemies would claim that he survived because he had told Egyptian authorities all they wanted to know about the EIJ. Zawahiri's wife who followed him to Cairo, was arrested, but released shortly thereafter. So too was Hussein, the Zawahiris' youngest brother who was arrested in Malaysia. Flown to Cairo, he was held without charge for six months, reportedly tortured, and then released. The family finally learned in February 2004 that Mohammed was alive after the London newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that he was alive and published a photograph of him.


Mohammed al-Zawahiri remained a non-person, still under threat of execution, when in March 2011 the Cairo media reported that he had been re-arrested. It was just days after he had been freed along with dozens of political prisoners in a general amnesty announced by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. (, 20 March 2011).

After the jailed Egyptian Islamists were released in the early days of the Arab Spring, Muhammad al-Zawahiri was soon seen in the presence of EIJ activists. Indeed, he often acted as spokesman for them. In October 2012, CNN reported that Zawahiri scoffed at United States preoccupation with the expanding presence of Islamist militants in Egypt. ("Militants at large," Mo. Fadel Fahmy, et. Al., CNN, 4 October 2012.) Still paying the innocent, two weeks later he responded when asked: "I do not belong to Al-Qaeda or any other organization, but ideologically speaking, I am in agreement with all these organizations. Our common denominator is the Islamic shari'a."


If the reports that Mohammed al-Zawahiri has been captured in Syria are true, and if as suggested he is serving with the al-Nusra Front group — a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq — perhaps his luck has finally run out.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Founder and CEO of the New York-based American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld is an authority on economic warfare, including Weapons of Mass Effect (WME), lawfare, terror financing, disinformation, jihadist movements and corruption. Contact American Center for Democracy at

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 09, 2013


The Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue honoring the understandings reached at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. In Judea and Samaria confrontations and friction continue between Palestinians on the one hand and Israeli security forces and Israeli settlers on the other. Palestinian spokesmen continue inciting the Palestinians to violence.

In the Gaza Strip a mass rally was held to mark the anniversary of Fatah's founding, which turned into a display of force of Fatah against Hamas. In Judea and Samaria there were events in the large cities and elsewhere. In some of the locations (Al-Dheisheh, Beir Zeit) signs of militarism were prominent (masked activists, models of rockets, dummy guns, clubs, axes and knives).

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Posted by Yogi R Us, January 09, 2013

The article below was written by Robert R. Reilly who is a member of the board of the Middle East Media Research Institute and the author of "The Closing of the Muslim Mind." The article appeared on Special to IPT News and is archived at


The Muslim Brotherhood has made another giant step forward in consolidating its rule in Egypt through the successful passage of the newly drafted constitution by some 64 percent of those who voted. Next come the parliamentary elections in two months through which the Brotherhood will regain control of the legislative branch. In the interim, it has stacked the upper house of Parliament, called the Shura Council, with its own members who will have the power to legislate until the new lower house is elected.

President Mohammed Morsi has already successfully decapitated and made peace with the powerful Egyptian military. The new constitution has given him the power to purge the Supreme Constitutional Court by reducing its size from 18 to 11 members. The president of the Lawyers' Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, pointed out the goal: "These are monopolistic plans. The Brotherhood wants to control all aspects of the state."

In other words, this will be a clean sweep.

Why worry? Isn't Islamist democracy just a step on the way to democracy as it is understood in the West? Isn't that why the United States is supporting Egypt, and why the US administration has courted the Muslim Brotherhood since President Barack Obama seated its members in the front row for his famous speech in Cairo in 2009? Isn't this all part of the Arab spring?

The novelist Saul Bellow once wrote that, "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." To maintain the illusion that the Muslim Brotherhood is intent on transforming Egypt into a democracy requires the application of considerable ignorance. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in reaction to Kemal Ataturk's abolition of the caliphate in 1924. Its ultimate aim is to restore the caliphate. Its vehicle for doing so, according to founder Hassan al-Banna, is a one-party system akin to that of the Soviet Union under Stalin. Al-Banna envisaged a bottom-up strategy in which people would be Islamized at the local level first. For this purpose, he created his party. After winning the masses, the Muslim Brotherhood would take total control.

Why is total control necessary? The chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb, wrote that, "Islam chose to unite earth and heaven in a single system." What does this mean? It means that the separate realms of the divine and the human have collapsed into each other, and that it will now be possible, as Qutb said, "to abolish all injustice from the earth."

This, of course, is a millenarian vision similar, in many ways, to the Marxist dream of creating a classless society based on the abolition of scarcity. If perfect justice is to be achieved here, rather than before God's throne in the final judgment, several things will be required by those who institute it. They will, in fact, need the very same things that God is thought to possess in his ability to achieve perfect justice. Those two things are omnipotence and omniscience. The omnipotence will be gained through the establishment of a totalitarian regime. The omniscience will be obtained, as it always has been in totalitarian regimes, through an extensive secret police apparatus.

What does the Brotherhood's version of Islam look like in this scheme? As indicated above, it does not look like a normal religion, which preserves the distinction between the earthly and the transcendent. It is a revolutionary ideology aimed at the total transformation of reality. Here is its view, as expressed by the de facto spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: "Islam is a comprehensive school of thought, a creed, an ideology, and cannot be completely satisfied but by [completely] controlling society and directing all aspects of life, from how to enter the toilet to the construction of the state."

However, some analysts suggest that, since its founding 84 years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood has evolved and, when in power, will evolve even more. This is always the hope of those who fail to recognize the essentially totalitarian nature of certain political movements and principles that are not subject to change. Similar hopes were expressed about the Nazi Party and various Marxist parties. They would mature in power, the exercise of which would transform them in a moderate direction. This, of course, did not happen, though these parties often fostered the impression that it was. Rather, these widely held illusions actually enabled these totalitarian parties to consolidate their power.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a hard-core cadre party. It takes eight years of training to become a full member. Let us listen to the Brotherhood's leadership today concerning its mission and its prospects of changing. The Deputy Guide of the Brotherhood, Khairat al-Shater, said: "The mission is clear: restoring Islam and its all-encompassing conception; subjugating people to God; instituting the religion of God: the Islamization of life, empowering of God's religion; establishing the Nahda of the Ummah [Muslim nation] on the basis of Islam."

As for change, al-Shater proclaimed that, "no one can come and say: 'let's change the overall mission'... No one can say, 'forget about obedience, discipline and structures'... No. All of these are constants that represent the fundamental framework for our method; the method of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not open for developing or change."

So, this is where Egypt is now headed. Some, such as Alber Saber, 27, who was accused of blasphemy this past fall, say of the Brotherhood, "They are no different from the former regime. The weapons have changed, but they are both oppressive regimes." He might very well wish this were so, but it is common experience that authoritarian regimes are considerably more limited in their reach and cruelty than totalitarian regimes. They wish to maintain power, but do not have the metaphysical ambition of transforming reality. This, in other words, will be worse than Mubarak.

Sudanese writer Al-Hajj Warraq, got this exactly right in an Egyptian television interview earlier this year: "Democracy is about more than just the ballot box. Democracy is a culture engraved upon the cerebral box before it is the ballot box. One cannot talk about freedom in the absence of free minds. The tragedy of the Arab Spring is that when the tyrannical regimes fell, the fruits were reaped by movements that preach closed-mindedness, rather than free thinking. The outcome will be regimes that are worse than those that were toppled."

As indicated earlier, totalitarian regimes, before achieving total control, can display considerable tactical flexibility. When the economy of the Soviet Union was near a state of collapse in the 1920s, Vladimir Lenin had no trouble in instituting a limited free market New Economic Policy, which was later revoked once the danger had passed. The Soviets were expert in creating the impression that they were changing in some fundamental way in order to gain aid from the West to save the revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood has already displayed this kind of tactical dexterity through its use of democratic rhetoric and elections to gain assistance from the West and to lull its opponents. As the Islamist Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan once said, "democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination." Displaying this kind of flexibility, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, suggested that Islamic law, sharia, should be implemented gradually in Egypt: "I think that in the first five years, there should be no chopping off of hands." One must prepare the ground first.

However, the final destination has been clear from the beginning. Brotherhood founder al-Banna announced: "it is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its laws on all nations and extend its power to the entire planet."

Stop the train: I want to get off.

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Posted by Yogi R Us, January 09, 2013

Cohen is a classic example of a Jew (unmistakably so) trying too hard to show he is not really THAT Jewish, in order to suck up to the Inside the Beltway establishment. Madeleine Albright and John Kerry (both outed as Jews by the press in recent years) fall into the same category.

Richard Cohen may yet take first prize as the worst of the pro-Hagel flaks. If for no other reason than the pure irrationality and slander employed in his criticism of anti-Hagel critics. It's one thing to suggest that Leon Wieseltier's criticisms of Israeli policy may be motivated by "...a caring regard for the aspirations of Zionism", it's quite another to suggest Hagel has similarly benign intentions. He's a crude Republican reactionary who wouldn't get the time of day from Obama (and Cohen) if it weren't for purposes of firing a shot over the bow of Israel and her supporters.

Can you imagine the outrage if a nominee with a similarly crude record of personal invective toward Blacks were being advanced for a cabinet-level appointment by a white President? And a Republican nominee, no less! The bizarre nature of this sudden exercise in bi-partisanship only serves to emphasize the presence of an unsavory ulterior motive.

There are two things that are strongly suggested by this appointment. First, Obama's decision to elect confrontation with Israel for no apparent reason at this time even by his own warped standards, and, second, the alacrity with which a motley crew of high-level media accomplices are prepared to make common cause with him at Israel's expense. Journalists who under normal circumstances would look with contempt upon Hagel and his cronies. In addition, it would suggest some high-level stakes involved to cement such an unholy alliance of ideologies, personalities and interests.

A pox upon those Democrats who stand with the President in this effort. The Democratic Party will now be faced with the prospect either of acquiescence in an obscene confirmation, or internal bloodletting in opposition to a Democratic President who seems hell-bent on subverting relations with a democratic ally as well as damaging the standing and internal unity of his own party. This is why I wanted him defeated. Let's hope on this vote he will be.

The article below was written by Richard Cohen and is entitled "The Tarring of Chuck Hagel."

Before they were girls, they were women. Before that, they were girls. I am not talking here of the chronology of females but of acceptable usage. Back in the 1970s, for instance, the use of "girl" could trigger a stinging rebuke and the damning charge of male-chauvinist piggism — or why else would a man call a woman a girl? This was the Golden Age of political correctness, which now, it seems, has its last redoubt on, of all places, the opinion pages of the robustly anti-PC Wall Street Journal.

There, Chuck Hagel is accused of uttering the no-no phrase "the Jewish lobby" — supposedly a virtual confession of anti-Semitism.

The absurdity of this charge, leveled last month by editorial writer and columnist Bret Stephens, ought to be apparent to anyone who reads what Israelis themselves write. I direct Stephens and others to page 426 of Anita Shapira's new book, "Israel: A History." She writes that when the George H.W. Bush administration in 1992 withheld $10 billion in loan guarantees, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir "enlisted the help of the Jewish lobby in the U.S. Congress, but in vain." Shapira is professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University.

It is true, as Stephens writes, that Jews are not the only ones who support Israel, and it is likewise true that not all Jews support Israel — or at least the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu. But Stephens's real beef with Hagel is not over speech but policy. Not only does the former Nebraska senator and Barack Obama's choice for defense secretary march to a different drummer, but in some cases the average ear can hear no drummer at all. On Iran, for instance, Hagel's preferred policy — no sanctions but lots of talk — would hardly compel Tehran to abandon its (strongly) suspected nuclear weapons program. That may not happen anyway, but there's something to be said for the effort.

I, too, have some qualms about Hagel. He earned his wariness of war the hard way — two Purple Hearts in Vietnam — but sometimes muscle, not talk, is what works. And he has been remarkably retrograde when it comes to homosexuality. He opposed a Clinton administration ambassadorial nominee for being "openly, aggressively gay." Hagel has since recanted — openly and aggressively.

The very best thing about Obama's choice of Hagel for the Pentagon is that the president did not back down, as he did with Susan Rice. A number of Hagel's fellow Republicans promise a fight, but they probably don't have the votes to block the nomination. Whatever his views, Hagel will be an implementer of policy, not its originator. Bob Gates, another Republican who served as Obama's defense secretary, opposed U.S. intervention in Libya. Obama went ahead anyway, and Gates made it happen. This is the way it's supposed to work.

The most depressing aspect of Hagel's nomination is not his severe case of Vietnam Syndrome and not even some of his foreign policy views. It's been the unremitting and underhanded attack on him, especially the imputation of anti-Semitism. In fact, he could be the necessary corrective to the Netanyahu government's expectation that anything Israel wants from Washington it's entitled to get. Nothing Hagel has said about Israel is not said in the Israeli press on a daily basis. Trust me: By the Wall Street Journal's standards, Israeli media would be deeply anti-Semitic.

I thought the day had long passed when a skeptical attitude toward this or that Israeli policy would trigger charges of anti-Semitism. The accusation is so powerful — so freighted with images of the Holocaust — that it tends to silence all but the bravest or the most foolish. Israeli policy of late has been denounced by some steadfast champions of the Jewish state — the New York Times' Thomas Friedman or the New Republic's Leon Wieseltier, for example — so being caustically critical is hardly evidence of anti-Semitism. Rather, it can be a sign of good judgment, not to mention a caring regard for the aspirations of Zionism.

The article that implied Hagel was a touch anti-Semitic was headlined "Chuck Hagel's Jewish Problem" and suggested that Hagel's statement that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here" in Congress had "the odor" of prejudice. A PC sort of guy might have put things more delicately: If there is an odor here, however, it is not the rancid stench of anti-Semitism but instead of character assassination.

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Posted by David Hornik, January 10, 2013


On Tuesday Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, was in Jordan meeting with U.S. envoy David Hale "until the late hours of [the] night."

They reportedly talked about pressuring Israel to stop settlement construction and about the PA's severe financial crisis. It would be a safe bet that the topic of the U.S. possibly doing something to ease the PA's crisis came up.

On Wednesday, Abbas was off to Cairo to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (reports on these occurrences here and here). There, the subject was expected to be another attempt at unification between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas.

One could say, then, that there was a certain versatility in Abbas's appointments schedule. On Tuesday, he met with a representative of the world's leading democracy and ally of Israel; on the very next day, with Mashaal—who, in a speech in Gaza last month, proclaimed:

We are not giving up any inch of Palestine. It will remain Islamic and Arab for us and nobody else. Jihad and armed resistance is the only way.... We cannot recognize Israel's legitimacy.

And the host of Wednesday's meeting was to be Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi—who has also let loose some unkind remarks in the Israeli direction, as in a 2010 interview in which he called Israelis "the descendants of apes and pigs."

Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile several times since 2007, when Hamas seized full control of Gaza in a bloody clash between the two, but so far have always failed. The last major attempt came with the Doha agreement last February, seen by some analysts at the time as Abbas's capitulation to the Islamist tide of the Arab Spring.

But while the Qatar-based Mashaal pushed for the deal, the Gaza-based Hamas leadership was cool toward it; in the end, Doha, too, fell through.

There are many reasons why Fatah and Hamas have trouble getting along. There is the sheer, naked power struggle between them, the bitter legacy of confrontation, with each group jailing and torturing each other's members to this day.

There is also the difference between Hamas's Islamism and Fatah's more secular-nationalist coloration. That, in turn, is related to a difference in method, with Fatah playing the diplomatic game and seeking to impose "Palestine" on Israel through the UN, while Hamas stands aloof in ideological purity and fires rockets.

Some, though, believe this time Fatah and Hamas may really be warming to each other. On Friday night Fatah marked the 48th anniversary of its first terror attack on Israel with a rally attended by tens of thousands—in Gaza, for the first time since Hamas's 2007 takeover.

One can also entertain all sorts of conjectures about Morsi's hosting of Wednesday's Abbas-Mashaal tête-á-tête.

On the one hand, since Israel's Pillar of Defense operation against Gaza terror in November, Egypt has reportedly been playing its part of intercepting arms shipments headed for Gaza. With Egypt's economy tottering on the brink, Morsi remains desperately in need of U.S. and other Western aid and seems willing to comply with this role for now.

On the other, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood outlook and virulent negation of Israel are a matter of record. Promoting a Fatah-Hamas "reconciliation" ultimately aimed at giving the latter the upper hand would well suit the larger Brotherhood goals.

It is, though, too early to say whether this latest effort at meshing the two Palestinian movements will get anywhere. What can be noted at this point, however, is the ease with which Abbas—the designated "moderate" of U.S. administrations and the Israeli left—can sustain his flirtation with openly genocidal Hamas and get away with it.

It wasn't lost on the Israeli prime minister, who remarked Wednesday night: "[Abbas] is in Cairo together with the head of Hamas. They are looking into a possible unity deal between Fatah and the terrorists who have been trying to annihilate the state of Israel..."

While the U.S. may be perennially soft toward Abbas and his intra-Palestinian maneuvers, Netanyahu—who has already moved to withhold PA tax revenues—knows that a rightward-tending Israel is no longer in the mood for it.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. Contact him at This article appeared January 10, 2013 in the FRONTPAGE MAG and is archived at

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Posted by John M Stembridge, January 10, 2013

The article below was written by Eli E. Hertz who is the president of Myths and Facts, an organization devoted to research and publication of information regarding US interests in the world and particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Hertz served as Chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting. The article appeared January 08, 2013 in the Myths and Facts and is archived at

To whom did the Obama administration grant permission to fly the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO] flag in Washington D.C.?

The answer: Palestinian Arabs - A society whose overwhelming majority nurtures a blind hatred of Israel, and has created a cultural milieu of vengeance, violence and death. This organization, which has been directly responsible for the murders of American civilian and security personnel, now has its recognition and flag waving in our capitol.

Here is just a subset of articles from the PLO Charter that the American administration has no shame to honor:

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

*Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.

* Article 10: Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war.

* Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and to their natural right in their homeland, and inconsistent with the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, particularly the right to self-determination.

*Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.

And if their charter was not convincing enough, the United States Congress, on numerous occasions, has reaffirmed the PLO's status as a terrorist organization.

Although past U.S. presidents have attempted to circumvent this law, its conclusions are concise and unequivocal:

"Therefore, the Congress determines that the PLO and its affiliates are a terrorist organization and a threat to the interests of the United States, its allies, and to international law and should not benefit from operating in the United States."

The violent and disturbing history of the PLO and its Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is one that has dreadfully affected the lives of countless Israelis, Americans, and many others. The PLO is transparent in its criminal and malicious ways, whether it is via their charter, public statements, or incitement that one must question the State Department's wisdom of continual support of the PLO's DC office and the waving of its flag in our Capital.

For Israel, the Palestinians and the rest of the world, the PLO must face reality and reject a culture of hatred; only then should the State Department legitimize the organization and its renewed culture.

Contact John M Stembridge at

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 10, 2013

The differences of opinion between the government and the Majles over the implementation of the second phase of the subsidy reform have reached new heights in recent days in the wake of statements made by top government officials according to which the government is soon going to launch the next phase of the reform despite the decision made by the Majles to put its implementation on hold. The president has hinted recently that he intends to continue the implementation of the subsidy reform and even raise the cash benefits paid under the reform plan by five times.

Majles member Ali Motahari warned this week that if the president implements the second phase of the reform without the approval of the Majles, he will be impeached.

Meanwhile, the government is coming under increasing criticism from its critics for its intention to move forward with the reform plan despite the severe problems that emerged during the implementation of its first phase. The plan's critics warned that, if its implementation continues, it will further exacerbate the inflation crisis and cause more damage to the industry and agriculture sectors. A number of Majles members warned that the Iranian people cannot shoulder any additional economic burden caused by the reform plan if its implementation continues. Economic experts, too, had reservations about the way that the first phase of the reform was implemented, saying that, given the current economic conditions, implementing the second phase will have severe consequences for the state of Iran's economy.

As the differences of opinion between the Majles and the government over the reform's implementation are increasing, this week a website affiliated with government supporters posted the results of a public opinion poll allegedly showing that most Iranians expressed support for the plan to go forward.

The differences of opinion between the government and the Majles over the implementation of the second phase of the subsidy reform have reached new heights in recent days in the wake of statements made by top government officials according to which the government is soon going to launch the next phase of the reform despite the opposition of the Majles. In November 2012 the Majles passed a law suspending the implementation of the reform's second phase. Majles speaker Ali Larijani told President Ahmadinejad last week that, according to the law approved by the Guardian Council, he is not entitled to implement the second phase of the reform or raise the cash benefits paid under the reform plan before the end of the current Iranian year (March 2013).

Despite the opposition of the Majles, two top economic ministers announced this week that in recent days the government discussed ways to proceed with the reform, whose implementation began in late 2009. Shamseddin Hosseini, the minister of economy, said that the government discussed the various scenarios for the implementation of the second phase of the reform plan but has not made any decision on the issue so far. Mehdi Ghazanfari, the minister of industry and commerce, also said that the reform headquarters launched discussions overseen by the president, and asked all economic bodies and government ministries to submit their assessments on the implementation of the reform's next phase. Last week the Iranian media reported that the president instructed his government ministers and other top economic officials to prepare for the implementation of the second phase of the plan (Mehr, January 6).

In a recent TV interview, the president hinted that his government is soon going to implement the second phase of the reform and even raise the cash benefits paid to Iranians under the reform plan by five times. In an interview given to the Iranian TV on December 22, the second anniversary of the reform's launch, Ahmadinejad strongly criticized the Majles and accused its members of delaying the implementation of the plan. The president noted that only 30 percent of the subsidy policy reforms have been implemented so far. Speaking about the price increases caused by the implementation of the first phase of the plan, the president said that it's not the reform that has brought up the prices but other factors, including the rising prices in the world, the foreign currency crisis, and faults in Iran's banking system. Ahmadinejad noted that most people in Iran support the reform plan, and that the changes introduced in the original plan by Majles members delayed its implementation.

Majles member Ali Motahari, one of the president's strongest critics in the conservative camp, warned this week that if Ahmadinejad issues an instruction to implement the second phase of the reform without the approval of the Majles, he will be impeached by the Majles members. In an interview to ILNA News Agency, Motahari said that the government is not entitled to implement the next phase of the plan before the end of the current year. He said that the government has the right to submit to the Majles a proposal to implement the reform plan, which would include details on the budget sources required for that purpose. If the proposal is approved by the Majles, the government will then be able to implement it (ILNA, January 7).

This coming Wednesday, January 9, the president is expected to make an appearance before the Majles on his own initiative to discuss various economic issues, including the further implementation of the reform. Lotfollah Forouzandeh, deputy president for parliament affairs, said in an interview given to IRNA News Agency that the president will appear before the Majles and hold a discussion on issues having to do with the economic situation and management of the sanctions (IRNA, January 7).

Meanwhile, the government is coming under increasing criticism from its critics for its intention to continue the implementation of the reform plan despite the severe problems that emerged during the implementation of its first phase. The plan's critics warned that, if the government does continue with the plan, it will push up the cost of living even more and cause additional damage to the industry and agriculture sectors. In recent months the government's critics have argued on several occasions that the way the first phase of the plan was implemented was wrong. According to the critics, the government rushed to implement the reform within two years instead of five years, created a severe budget deficit due to a miscalculation of the expenses required to pay the cash benefits under the reform plan, paid equal benefits to all Iranians regardless of their income, did not meet its obligations to allocate 20 percent of the reform revenues towards strengthening the industrial sector, which exacerbated the unemployment crisis and pushed many factories to bankruptcy, and exceeded the budget approved for the reform to keep up with the cash benefit payments.

In the wake of the remarks made by government officials on the government's intention to continue with the implementation of the reform's second phase, Nasser Mousavi Largani, member of the Majles Economic Committee, warned that the people of Iran won't be able to shoulder an additional economic burden and will rise up if their distress grows. In an interview given to the Majles news agency, Largani noted that the economic situation of the citizens is highly difficult and that the government must not exacerbate it any more by implementing the second phase of the reform (, January 6).

Mohammad Qasim Osmani, member of the Majles Budget and Planning Committee, also expressed his objections to the implementation of the reform's next phase. In an interview given to the Fararu website, the Majles member said that the implementation of the second phase of the plan is intended for political purposes and is not a wise economic move. He noted that the president's decision to appear before the Majles this coming Wednesday is meant to try and persuade the Majles members to remove their objections to the implementation of the plan. He estimated that the Majles members will not be swayed, since they believe that the current economic situation makes it impossible to move forward with the reform. According to Osmani, the Majles members feel the heavy economic pressure facing the citizens, and there is no doubt that they will oppose the further implementation of the reform. He added that he is opposed to the launch of the reform's second phase before the presidential elections slated for June. He noted that while the reform plan was correct, its implementation by the government was wrong and inconsistent with the reform law (Fararu, January 7).

Reza Rahmani, chairman of the Majles Industry Committee, also criticized the way the reform was implemented by the government. In an interview to the Khabar On-line website, the legislator said that the government should have allocated at least 20 percent of its reform revenues towards strengthening the productive sector; however, according to the Majles Research Center, the government provided the industry with no funds at all as at June 2012. He noted that there is no use continuing the reform if the government does not meet its obligations to help the productive sector, and that this was one of the considerations underpinning the decision made by the Majles to put the plan's implementation on hold (Khabar On-line, January 3).

Economic experts also had reservations about the manner in which the first phase of the reform plan was implemented and the intent announced by top government officials to implement the second phase of the program. In an interview given to the Farda website, economist Dr. Mehdi Taqavi said that the botched implementation of the plan's first phase has led to an increase in prices, a decrease in product quality, and a drop in sales, which have fueled discontent among the Iranian people and endanger national production. He warned that if the second phase of the reform plan is implemented under the current economic conditions and the cash benefits paid to Iranians are significantly raised, there will be severe consequences for the state of the economy (Farda, January 7).

Dr. Hojjat Ghandi, an Iranian-born economist at Washington and Lee University, said in an interview published by Fars News Agency that while the subsidy reform plan was reasonable and correct, its execution was problematic. He noted that the lower sectors of society in Iran have gained more from the reform due to their consumption habits and the cash benefits that they were paid. On the other hand, the income of the higher sectors has been hit.

Speaking about the implementation of the second phase of the reform plan, Ghandi said that the government is faced with two options: to pay higher cash benefits without updating the prices, or to raise the sum of the cash benefits and increase the prices at the same time. He noted that, if the government updates the amount of the cash benefits in accordance with the expected increase in its revenues as a result of the price increases, the long-term result will be positive, even though it is impossible to prevent the inflationary consequences resulting from the further implementation of the reform and the sanctions imposed on Iran. If the government raises the cash benefits without raising the prices, it will be forced to borrow funds from the Central Bank, which will exacerbate the inflation crisis, lead to a departure from the goals of the reform plan, and worsen the economic situation. If the government chooses to pursue this course of action, Ghandi said, it is a pre-election political move rather than one that can be economically justified (Fars, January 7).

As the differences of opinion between the Majles and the government over the reform's implementation are increasing,, a website affiliated with government supporters, posted this week the results of a public opinion poll allegedly showing that most Iranians expressed support for the reform plan to go forward. The website reported that, according to the results of the poll, conducted in recent months on behalf of the Students of Social Sciences Association at the University of Tehran, 68 percent of respondents in the cities and 78 percent of respondents in rural areas expressed their support for the implementation of the plan's next phase. Over 70 percent of respondents said that the subsidy reform has contributed to the people of Iran and the country's development, and changed consumption habits for the better. 53 percent of respondents said that the reform has contributed to the reduction of socio-economic differences. 67 percent of respondents said that the reform has had no particular effect on the price increases and blamed the rising cost of living on the effects of the sanctions and the foreign currency crisis. 69 percent of respondents said that the government's performance in controlling prices during the implementation of the reform has been satisfactory. 77 percent expressed support for cancelling the cash benefits for people in the upper income deciles and diverting them to support the weaker sectors of society (, January 7).

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, January 10, 2013

The article below was written by David P. Goldman who writes the "Spengler" column for Asia Times Online, and contributes frequently to The Tablet, First Things, and other publications. He was global head of debt research for Bank of America (2002-2005), global head of credit strategy for Credit Suisse (1998-2002), and also held senior positions at Bear Stearns and Cantor Fitzgerald. Goldman was a senior editor at First Things 2009-2011, and a Forbes magazine columnist from 1994-2001. The article appeared January 03, 2013 in PJ Media "Spengler" and is archived at

Let's cut through all the pious pronouncements about the horrible Assad regime in Syria. We err when we apply majoritarian democratic criteria to tribal societies. There is a reason that Syria has labored under brutal minority regimes for half a century, since the Ba'ath Party coup of 1963 led by the Christian Michel Aflaq, followed by the Alawite Assad dynasty's assumption of power in 1971. If you create artificial states with substantial minorities, as British and French cartographers did after the First World War, the only possible stable government is a minority government. That is why the Alawites ran Syria and the minority Sunnis ran Iraq. The minority regime may be brutal, even horribly brutal, but this arrangement sets up a crude system of checks and balances. A government drawn from a minority of the population cannot attempt to exterminate the majority, so it must try to find a modus vivendi. The majority can in fact exterminate a minority. That is why a majority government represents an existential threat to the minority, and that is why minorities fight to the death.

In a 2012 essay for Asia Times Online, I conjured the ghost of Cardinal Richelieu to explain this simple exercise in game theory:

"Isn't there some way to stabilize these countries?" I asked.

Richelieu looked at me with what might have been contempt. "It is a simple exercise in logique. You had two Ba'athist states, one in Iraq and one in Syria. Both were ruled by minorities. The Assad family came from the Alawite minority Syria and oppressed the Sunnis, while Saddam Hussein came from the Sunni minority in Iraq and oppressed the Shi'ites.

It is a matter of calculation — what today you would call game theory. If you compose a state from antagonistic elements to begin with, the rulers must come from one of the minorities. All the minorities will then feel safe, and the majority knows that there is a limit to how badly a minority can oppress a majority. That is why the Ba'ath Party regimes in Iraq and Syria — tyrannies founded on the same principle — were mirror images of each other."

"What happens if the majority rules?," I asked.

"The moment you introduce majority rule in the tribal world," the cardinal replied, "you destroy the natural equilibrium of oppression.

"The minorities have no recourse but to fight, perhaps to the death. In the case of Iraq, the presence of oil mitigates the problem.

The Shi'ites have the oil, but the Sunnis want some of the revenue, and it is easier for the Shi'ites to share the revenue than to kill the Sunnis. On the other hand, the problem is exacerbated by the presence of an aggressive neighbor who also wants the oil."

"So civil war is more likely because of Iran?"

"Yes," said the shade, "and not only in Iraq. Without support from Iran, the Syrian Alawites — barely an eighth of the people — could not hope to crush the Sunnis. Iran will back Assad and the Alawites until the end, because if the Sunnis come to power in Syria, it will make it harder for Iran to suppress the Sunnis in Iraq. As I said, it is a matter of simple logic. Next time you visit, bring a second bottle of Petrus, and my friend Descartes will draw a diagram for you."

That, by the way, also explains the high incidence of atrocities. The really ugly developments of the past several weeks, including air attacks on civilians with mass casualties, probably are a calculated crime on the part of the Assad regime. Syria's Alawites face the not-so-remote prospect of the end of their ethnic existence if a Sunni Muslim regime should accede to power. The Bashar al-Assad regime commits atrocities that are designed to be unforgivable, in order to persuade their base to fight to the end. In practice, that means holding out for an Alawi state on the Mediterranean nestled against the Turkish border. The Assad regime's behavior resembles that of the Nazi regime, which went out of its way to ensure that the German population knew about its worst atrocities, the more to make them complicit in the crimes and persuade them to fight to the bitter end. Benjamin Schwarz of the Atlantic reviewed new research supporting this interpretation in 2009, concluding, "New histories reveal that the Nazi Regime deliberately insinuated knowledge of the Final Solution, devilishly making Germans complicit in the crime and binding them, with guilt and dread, to their leaders."

Syria's Alawites do not trust any international guarantees to keep them alive if and when the Assad regime collapses. The record of international guarantees is pretty shabby, and no-one knows this better than Bashar al-Assad. Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice forced Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in August 2006 with the promise that an international force would disarm Hezbollah. Instead of a disarmed Hezbollah, Israel got some 60,000 Hezbollah missiles pointed in its direction, with the backing of the Syrian regime. Having shredded international guarantees with impunity, the Assad regime is not liable to trust them. The West goes through the motions of assembling a Sunni government-in-the-wings, but finds that all the available candidates are tainted by terrorist connections and atrocities. And the punditeska clicks its collective tongue at the horrors that arise from the Arab Spring, without registering the obvious fact that these horrors spring inevitably from the Arab Spring itself.

The obvious and humane solution would be to separate the warring parties: let the Alawites establish their Alawistan in the country's Northwest, and let the Sunnis rule most of the rest— but the "most" is the sticking point, for there are 2 million Syrian Kurds who do not want to be ruled by a majority Sunni regime, any more than their cousins in Iraq want to be ruled by Sunni Arabs, or their cousins in Turkey want to be ruled by Turks. The breakup of Syria would set loose an ethnic avalanche with deep ramifications for the stability and territorial integrity of Turkey as well as Iraq, which is why no Western government will support the obvious and humane solution. In an earlier essay for JINSA, I showed that Turkey's inherent demographic instability lurked behind its stance towards Syria. No-one likes Turkey, but everyone fears its failure. The Saudis want a Sunni army next door to threaten Iran. The Russians want a stable government next to their witches' kettle in the Caucasus to contain the local jihadis. America wants to maintain the fiction that Turkey is still a NATO ally. No-one will sacrifice Turkey to mitigate a humanitarian catastrophe in Turkey, much less to aid the national aspirations of the Kurds, who have proven the hard way that they deserve a state as much as any people on earth.

Consideration for Turkey, or rather fear of the consequences of Turkish failure, requires Western diplomacy to pretend that it is possible for some kind of Sunni coalition to rule Syria in peace. That is hypocritical cant rather than policy, and it contributes to Syria's descent into ever grimmer atrocities.

It is helpful to recall that the Syrian civil war began with demonstrations against higher food prices, as I reported in March 2011. The unraveling of the old Middle Eastern dictatorships began with a sharp deterioration in the terms of trade of oil-importing Arab countries: Higher energy and food prices made it impossible for the dictators to guarantee security in the essentials of life to their long-suffering populations. Once the fragile equilibrium of ethnic rule was destroyed, however, the logic of civil war led straight to the present calamity. Iraq, the other former Ba'ath Party state, is at constant risk of disintegration, but with a crucial difference: the prospectively parties to a civil war can be placated by a cut in the country's oil revenues. Syria has no oil. It doesn't even have enough water to grow the food it needs to feed itself. To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, the viciousness of the fight is in inverse proportion to the size of the stakes.

Is there a better way to handle the Syrian calamity? I believe so.

First, neutralize Iran, by which I mean air strikes to destroy its nuclear weapons program and a few other military capabilities. That would remove the Assad regime's main source of support. It would also make the Turks dispensable: without the Iranian threat, the Turkish army is just a makework program with obsolete weapons. Let the Alawites have their enclave, and let the Sunni Arabs have a rump state, minus the Syrian Kurds, whose autonomy would be an important step towards an eventual Kurdish state. The Turks and the Russians would be the biggest losers.

Sergio Tezza can be reached at

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Posted by Act of America, January 10, 2013

The article below was written by Neil Munro who is the White House Correspondent for The Daily Caller. The article appeared January 04, 2013 in The Daily Caller and is archived at

Muslims discovered the Americas long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, the head of a D.C.-based jihad-linked Islamic lobbying group told a Saudi TV station Dec. 27.

"There are historical accounts according to which the Muslims preceded Columbus, who is said to have discovered the U.S.," claimed Nihad Awad, the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

"Some documents and accounts indicate that Muslim seafarers were the first to reach the U.S., [so] the bottom line is that Islam played a part in the establishment and development of the U.S.," Awad told the Saudi interviewer, in an interview in a New York studio.

CAIR did not respond to The Daily Caller's request for an explanation of Awad's comments, which were recorded by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Awad's group bills itself as a "civil rights" group, but five of its former employees have been jailed or deported for terror offenses, and FBI officials refuse to meet Awad because of his ties to jihadi groups, such as Hamas.

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Posted by Drhistory, January 10, 2013

The article below was written by David Blumenfield who is freelance photographer. The article appeared January 09, 2013 in the Israel Resource Review and Behind the News in Israel and is archived at

After nearly 20 years, the Palestinian Authority, the PA, has achieved the dubious reputation of being one of the largest recipients of foreign aid per capita in modern times. However, the PA has not achieved stability, democracy, transparency, or accountability. One the most corrupt regimes in the Middle East, the PA remains a fiefdom, at this point in time under the control of chairman Mahmoud Abbas, his sons, and his cronies.

The security forces established by the PA, unsurprisingly, share a similarly dubious reputation. Despite decades of money, training and equipment from western democracies, the PA armed forces-more than 30,000 PA security and intelligence person­nel-have in the main behaved little better than militias and are marked by considerable corruption. Rather than improving over the years, however, the forces have becoming increasingly problematic:

Throughout the course of 2012, a pattern was established in which senior commanders were increasingly allied with organized crime and renegade militias.

In many areas, PA security presence has dwindled as personnel and commanders- trained for the most part by the US-have been recruited by organized crime groups engaged in extortion, as well as in the smuggling of weapons and narcotics. In Jenin alone, this has been the case with scores of PA officers, as evidence mounts of similar phenomena in other cities under PA control, including Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Tulkarm.

This situation was exacerbated in the latter part of 2012 by a fiscal crisis.

As monthly salaries were withheld or only partially issued, many PA security personnel, with the consent of their commanders, clocked in and then went off to other jobs, often in the employ of private security agencies or for local criminals impressed by their Western training and equipment.

The presence of armed Hamas personnel has become a major factor in PA controlled areas in several different respects:

Having benefited from major donations from such nations as Iran and Qatar, Hamas has been in a position to exploit the financial crisis of the PA. Numerous PA security personnel have been quietly engaged to working for the Islamist group, particularly the military wing Izzadin al-Kassam.

Hamas penetration into PA security has been strong in several areas under ostensible PA control, particularly in the Hebron region where senior PA intelligence officers are believed to provide intelligence to Hamas.

The PA security services now allow Hamas to organize huge rallies in areas under PA control. This arrangement, a departure from earlier policy, enables Hamas to openly recruit members as well as to mobilize supporters, as efforts are made to restore the Islamist military infrastructure in areas under PA control. Most of these rallies have ended up as confrontations with the Israel Army.

Senior members of the ruling Fatah movement have touted Hamas' war with Israel and called on the PA to prepare for another uprising in areas under PA control. Fatah, in statements reported in official PA-run media, has already announced the establishment of units assigned to fight the Israeli Army.

As a function of Abbas' unilateral push for a state, PA security cooperation with Israel sharply declined in November and December 2012. Palestinian officers facilitated and even aided Hamas-aligned attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. In some cases, PA personnel have attacked Israeli soldiers in broad daylight. PA security forces have also tried to stop the Israeli Army from capturing suspected Palestinian insurgents.

The Israeli army has privately acknowledged that Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis have been allowed to join PA security forces and receive U.S. training.

None of the above issues has diluted solid Western support for Palestinian Security Forces.

Under President Barack Obama-who seeks to expand PA paramilitary units-the United States has pledged to continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars a year into Abbas' coffers, with large sums dedicated to the security forces. This is despite objections from Congress and appeals by Palestinian human rights organizations. Obama has exercised waivers to continue to fund the PA security forces.






Legacy of the PA Security Forces

Numerous conflicting agencies, controlled by Arafat

The Palestinian Authority was founded in 1994 by Yasser Arafat, who appointed his top cronies as heads of various agencies of the Palestinian Security Forces. Arafat imported personnel from the Palestine Liberation Army from such countries as Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. The Palestinian security forces served as patronage for Arafat loyalists and within a year at least 17 agencies were formed, with authority overlapping and generating rivalries.

The PA intelligence agencies, initially be limited to six, were quickly adopted by foreign sponsors, including the UK, Egypt, France and the United States. There was, however, little oversight of the forces, which engaged in extortion of Palestinians and received commissions on major deals in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Clashes with Israel and decimation

Without oversight, PA units became involved in attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. In September 1996, PA security forces clashed with the Israel Army throughout the areas under PA control in the wake of Israel's opening of a tunnel contiguous to the Temple Mount. Four years later, Arafat recruited security forces to organize ambushes and other attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers in what was called the "second intifada". The Israeli military responded with Operation Defensive Shield. By the end of 2002, the PA security forces were decimated, with facilities demolished and weapons seized.

US involvement: Security Coordinator

The United States recruited NATO and other partners to restore PA security forces. Yet despite pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars, the Palestinian security forces remained fiefdoms and ineffective. Amid White House assurances to the US Congress, PA security forces were overwhelmed by Hamas fighters, who took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.

The PA defeat led to an overhaul of Palestinian security forces in the West Bank directed by the office of the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC), established in 2005.

Since 2008, the focus of Washington has been to develop a PA security force with paramilitary capabilities, having the capacity to protect the regime of Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, from Hamas and the ability to quell massive demonstrations. Abbas, however, failed to implement laws and directives on the restructuring of the security forces, delineation of responsibilities, and the imposition of effective civilian oversight.

The office of the U.S. Security Coordinator, located in Jerusalem, is comprised of 16 U.S. military officers assigned to the State Department.

The Coordinator-supported by such countries as Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Turkey-reports directly to the secretary of state and oversees security aid to the PA as well as cooperation between Israel and the PA-administered areas. The U.S. goal is to assist in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state under the control of Abbas and the Fatah.

The U.S. strategy for achieving this goal began with the rebuilding of the PA security force structure, infrastructure, equipment and training.

By 2011, the strategy of the U.S. Coordinator's office, with a staff of 145 personnel, shifted to the development of PA indigenous readiness, training, and logistics programs as well as the capability to maintain and sustain operational readiness and support infrastructure. The Coordinator's office also envisioned enhanced security between Israel and the PA, as well as the improvement of the PA justice and prison sectors.

By July 2011, U.S.-financed training programs graduated 4,761 Palestinian cadets from the U.S.-supported Jordanian International Police Training Center in Amman. The Coordinator's office also conducted training in the West Bank attended by 3,500 security commanders and troops. Washington helped build joint operations centers for planning, command, and control as well as the National Training Center in Jericho. The facilities were meant to help the United States transition into a new role of "advise and assist" for the PA Interior Ministry and security forces. In mid-2011, the USSC determined that PA security forces were becoming a "responsive and effective professional force."

The most influential U.S. official involved with nurturing the PA security forces was Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, who served for five years in the post of Coordinator.

Dayton, alone among his peers, was involved in PA operations, training, appointments and even deployment of forces. To the consternation of senior Palestinian officials, the U.S. general established a system of rewarding those individual commanders who cooperated with him and worked to secure the dismissal of those who did not. As a result, PA commanders followed Dayton because of either a personal or political agenda, or because they wanted their units to receive American equipment. One Palestinian critic who lost his position as a result of criticizing Dayton was Col. Tawfiq Tirawi, then chief of the General Intelligence Services.

EU involvement

The European Union has been training PA police, with more than 3,000 personnel trained via Britain's Hart Security. Over the last two years, EU focus has been on developing Special Forces, with France overseeing the training and equipping of Special Forces for site and diplomatic security. The three-week course designed for this — referred to a "train the trainer" — has been sponsored by France's Compagnies Republicaines de Securite. This is a program that has sought to develop indigenous PA security capabilities. French instructors have taught PA police such skills as public order, defensive tactics, communications, and crowd control.

A Closer Look at the PA Forces


In 2005, Abbas reorganized the Palestinian Security Services into six main units.

The PA chairman issued a decree to dismantle branches such as Force 17, the praetorian guard of the late Yasser Arafat. Efforts were launched to coordinate security agencies such

s the Preventive Security Apparatus. Abbas, under a policy that called for mandatory retirement at age 60, also dismissed veteran commanders in the PA and replaced them with younger and more modern-thinking personnel. The PA Interior Ministry reduced the number of armed personnel by 90 percent, as of the end of 2010.

However, aging commanders loyal to Abbas remained.

Indeed, the ruling Fatah movement has not lost any of its influence over the PA security forces. Despite efforts by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to professionalize the security forces, some 80 percent of all officers were either Fatah members or affiliated with the movement. The commanders of all six major agencies have been members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, regarded as the monitoring body of the movement. The Interior Ministry, which oversees much of the security forces, is also dominated by Fatah members. The commanders of all six major agencies have been members of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, regarded as the monitoring body of the movement.

PA Civil Police

The civil force of some 8,000 remains the least affected by the halt in PA salaries. Most of the members of this force are young men who still follow orders of their superiors and believe the promises that Arab states will end the fiscal crisis in Ramallah.

This force, the first to reappear in the West Bank after the second uprising in 2000, has been under the tight control of Brig. Gen. Hazem Atallah, who regards the financial crisis as a key challenge of his command. Although salaries are still forthcoming for this force, the crisis has affected operations in other ways. Fuel has been at a premium, thus limiting the reach of PA police operations. Plans to open and maintain police stations in rural areas of the West Bank, particularly in the north, have also been hampered.

National Security Force (NSF)

This U.S.-trained unit of nearly 10,000 officers has been significantly hurt by the fiscal crisis. Training of NSF personnel declined and corruption rose significantly in 2012. The problem has been compounded by the fact that at least 20 percent of the force was meant to protect the regime against plots within PA security units.

The Force's biggest problem has been NSF commanders who often see themselves as fiefdom chiefs, particularly in the northern West Bank. Many of them have lent themselves out as muscle for organized crime in such cities as Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm. Connected to a lead security agency, these commanders have been able to dismiss pressure from the Interior Ministry or even rival agencies. NSF was heavily implicated in the death of Jenin Gov. Khadoura Mussa, who threatened to hamper the growing relationship between militias and their partners in NSF. The force was said to have been split over the last year in wake of the resignation of longtime chief Maj. Gen. Dib Al Ali. Al Ali, close to Abbas and on excellent terms with Israel and the United States, was replaced by Nidal Abu Dukhan, who has marginalized those seen as loyal to his predecessor.

Presidential Guard (PG)

The 3,000-member PG has been in decline despite U.S. programs to enhance this praetorian force of Abbas. The PG has been on alert amid the growing protest movement, which has included demonstrations outside the presidential compound in Ramallah. It has dealt harshly with largely peaceful sit-ins, dispersing protests and threatening human rights monitors. The fiscal crisis has led to an increase in moonlighting within the PG, and to extortion of Palestinian businessmen.

Intelligence Services: General Intelligence; Preventative Security;Military Intelligence

The intelligence services have sustained less damage from the fiscal crisis than other forces. This is because several of the intelligence agencies receive funds from Western donors rather than simply from the Palestinian government. France has been helping the General Intelligence Services. GIS, which plans to train 1,200 officers in such technical skills as surveillance and data analysis, reports directly to Abbas.

The United States has been pumping money into the Preventive Security Apparatus, the largest of the intelligence agencies. PSA, with 4,000 members, has led most PA counter-insurgency operations, particularly against Hamas and Jihad. Formally, PSA reports to the Interior Ministry as well as the prime minister's office, but many of these operations remain under the supervision of the United States and are monitored by Israel. Officially, Washington ended support for PSA, but U.S. aid has been quietly channeled to PSA as part of an effort to bolster forces loyal to Fatah in case of any war with Hamas.

Washington's efforts to encourage a merger of PSA and GIS have been unsuccessful. A key reason is that the commanders of the agencies represent rival constituencies. GIS officers come largely from exile, particularly Tunis, while PSA stems from Fatah fighters who led the first uprising against Israel in the late 1980s.

Military Intelligence has sustained a greater decline in morale amid the fiscal crisis than the other intelligence agencies. This force, nominally under NSF, has become a factor amid the power struggle within Fatah as MI officers provide muscle for rival factions. Despite efforts at reform, MI has failed to move from a political to a professional force and efforts to coordinate with NSF have failed.


In August 2012, some 20 PA officers were investigated on allegations of working with organized crime and gun-running. The probe determined that crime families in almost every major city under PA control were offering police and security personnel part-time work doing everything from protecting homes to providing tips on police patrols and investigations. The biggest cases of corruption were in cities.

Abbas ordered a crackdown on Fatah and PA officers in Jenin after the death of its governor, Khaddoura Mussa. He died hours after his home was fired upon, it was believed. by PA personnel.

Two of the shooters were identified as loyalists of outgoing NSF commander Al Ali, who was involved in a power struggle at the time of his resignation. The crackdown included Fatah militia commander Zakaria Zubeidi, accused of killing an Israeli Arab filmmaker in 2011, as well as participating in the attack on Mussa. During his subsequent five months in prison, Zubeidi was also interrogated in connection with the assassination of Hisham Al Rukh, deputy commander of PSA in Jenin in March 2012.

The corruption of the PA security forces has been exacerbated by the fiscal crisis in 2012. For most of the year, Palestinian civil servants received at most only a portion of their salaries and sometimes nothing. The failure to pay salaries has been blamed on Israel as well as Arab and Western donors. But many Palestinians assert that the real cause is official corruption and nepotism.

By December 2012, the 180,000 civil servants of the PA worked no more than three days a week and planned additional walkouts. The PA requires $200 million a month for salaries, more than half of which was meant to come from tax revenues from Palestinians who work in Israel. The rest of the salary budget was meant to come from foreign aid. The Palestinian Monetary Fund says the PA is in debt for $1.5 billion.

In the past, PA security officers walked off their jobs more than other Palestinian civil servants. During the crisis in 2007, as few as 20 percent of PA officers showed up to work. Abbas and his ministers could do little as most of the PA agencies retained their autonomy and commanders rejected all civilian oversight.

Abbas Uses Forces to Quell Criticism, Fight Rivals

Squashing protests about corruption

Abbas has used PA security forces to retaliate against critics who accuse him of corruption.

Major allegations of corruption involve his two sons, whom he has allowed to gain major stakes in Western-financed development projects in the West Bank. Abbas has been able to manipulate foreign investment through his control over the Palestine Investment Fund. Inexplicably, PIF still operates in the Gaza Strip, captured by Hamas in 2007.

In all, Abbas' sons have won contracts for more than $250 million. For his part, the PA chairman was said to earn $1 million a month. Abbas has charged donors for personal expenses of more than $1 billion since he became chairman of the PA in November 2004. In a recent move, Abbas, whose fleet included two Western aircraft, requested a presidential jet from Russia.

Yasser, the elder Abbas son, has been allowed by his father to enjoy a monopoly on the sale of U.S.-origin cigarettes in the West Bank. The other Abbas, son, Tarek, has been allowed to peddle influence through his father in contracts for the U.S. government.

The Palestinian media have been unable to report this because of the fear of Abbas' security forces. Those who raised this issue have been arrested. In the first half of 2012, at least nine Palestinian journalists were arrested by the PA. A blogger, Jamal Abu Rihan, was arrested soon after he wrote on his Facebook page "The people want an end to corruption."

As a result, the allegations have been aired abroad and the PA chairman has threatened law suits against media outlets in Qatar, Israel, and the United States.

Abbas' two sons have also been using their father to shield business partners wanted for criminal activities. The U.S. Congress has been told that in 2009 the PA granted diplomatic passports to Issam and Devincci Hourani that provide them with immunity in their travels. Devincci, a U.S. citizen, has worked with Yasser Abbas for Caratube International Oil Co., based in Sudan. Devincci was also partnered with Yasser Abbas in the construction of a hotel in Sudan.

Abbas has used almost all of his forces to stop dissent. PA police have established a special women's unit to violently disperse women protesters, including peaceful demonstrations against PSA. The PA women officers operate in civilian dress and were trained to kick and slap women and children as well as journalists.

The Presidential Guard has been used to break up sit-ins near Abbas' office. PG personnel, many of them trained by the United States, have also been ordered to harass and threaten human rights workers. Even PA civil police were ordered to stop protests in Ramallah, and in June and July 2012 anti-riot police and plainclothes officers attacked and injured marchers as well as journalists. The assault was led by Col. Latif Khaddoumi, police chief in Ramallah, and his assistant, Mohammed Abu Bakr, and aided by GIS, who sought to stop media coverage of the marches, which began as a protest of a meeting between Abbas and an Israeli politician. The European Union expressed concern over the use of police to quell peaceful protests, but stressed that the training program would continue.

Many of the protests were organized through the social media. In response, the PA, in an order by Attorney General Ahmed Al Mughni and deemed a major shift in policy, blocked websites of independent news outlets. Al Mughni was believed to have been directed by Abbas himself or the head of an intelligence agency.

PA security forces also play a major role in monitoring schools and teachers. The PA-approved Independent Commission for Human Rights has received more than 400 complaints from teachers who were either dismissed or refused employment because of their political orientation. Those working for the Palestinian media also require security clearance.

Pursuing political enemies

Abbas has used his U.S.-trained security forces to destroy or exile rivals in the Fatah.

In 2011, Abbas ordered security units to attack the Ramallah home of Mohammed Dahlan, where aides were arrested, and millions of dollars worth of cars and equipment confiscated. Abbas' feud with Dahlan goes back 20 years when Arafat appointed him commander of PSA in the Gaza Strip. The post allowed Dahlan and his cronies to gain information about corruption in the PA, including by Abbas and his family. In July 2011, Abbas arrested 15 supporters of Dahlan and purged the security forces of anybody believed to be a sympa­thizer. A month later, Fatah said Dahlan's expulsion from Fatah was final. By that time, Dahlan and his family had fled to exile.

Despite international criticism, Abbas has bolstered the powers of such agencies as GIS and PSA. In 2007, the PA chairman granted PSA the power of arrest and detention. Four years later, GIS said it would no longer issue arrest warrants against civilians or try them in military courts. PSA, however, continues to hold dozens of civilians while Military Intelligence has been allowed to act against civilians.

U.S. Difficulties in Tracking Aid to PA

Washington has sought to avoid dealing with the question of PA corruption and particularly the use of American aid by Abbas' family. Indeed, critics, supported by internal U.S. reports, have asserted that a significant percentage of U.S. aid to the PA has been given in cash, in US currency.

Since 2008, the United States has provided the PA with nearly $3 billion. Once the cash payments are made by Washington, it becomes "impossible or nearly impossible to track." The result: U.S. aid was found to be funding Palestinians who were deemed by the US to be terrorists — via the PA budget. The State Department was not seen as making any genuine effort to prevent security funds from reaching members of terrorist organizations. In 2007, the U.S. Agency for International Development, which funds UNRWA refugee camps controlled by Hamas, concluded that it was unable to "reasonably ensure" that assistance was not ending up in the hands of terrorist organizations.

PA Security Operations in Jerusalem

Abbas, despite agreements with the US and with Israel, has encouraged PA security forces to operate in Jerusalem. Israeli police have repeatedly arrested PA security and intelligence officers assigned to enforce Palestinian law in Israel's capital. PA officers were alleged to have abducted Arab residents of Jerusalem and escorted them to Ramallah for interrogation and detention. In other cases, PA officers were used to harass residents of Jerusalem. The PA security presence was believed to be especially strong in Jerusalem's northern neighborhoods near Ramallah. At one point, every PA security agency, including GIS and PSA, was said to maintain a presence in Jerusalem. The PA, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, has proclaimed the right to operate anywhere in Jerusalem, saying this was part of its policy to transform Jerusalem into the Palestinian capital.

The PA presence in Jerusalem, which began immediately after Arafat arrived in the Gaza Strip in 1994, has resisted years of Israeli security and political moves to oust Palestinian troops from Jerusalem. This has included Israeli coordination with Jordan in an effort to marginalize the PA, particularly on the Temple Mount, another stronghold of PA security forces.

In 2004, Israel was assessed-albeit mistakenly-to have ended the PA penetration of Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem after a decade of killings, abductions and extortion.

PA Forces Used Against Jews

The Palestinian Authority has used its security forces against Jews who engage in land deals with Arabs. The PSF has investigated all land deals by Palestinians to see if the buyers were Jews. PSF has arrested and detained Palestinians for agreeing to sell property in and around Jerusalem.

On December 10, 2012, a PA court in Bethlehem sentenced two Palestinians to hard labor on conviction of selling land to Jewish developers from Betar. The Jews were alleged to have offered $45,000 for a dunam of land, nearly 10 times the market price. The two Arabs, residents of the Bethlehem-area village of Hussan and owners of 38 dunams were sentenced to 10 years in prison. The investigation of the Arab "suspects" was conducted by the PSA, which has been monitoring all land sales in Area C, where Israel retains full civilian and security control.

NSF and other PA forces have also tried to stop Jews from reaching religious sites.

Despite an agreement between Israel and the PA that allowed Jews to visit Jewish holy sites in PA areas, NSF and police fired toward 17 Jewish pilgrims who were leaving Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Under the Israel-PA agreement, the Israeli Army was to have maintained full control over Joseph's Tomb. After numerous Palestinian attacks, including those joined by PA troops, Israel turned over control of the tomb to the PA, which in 2011 took responsibil­ity for protecting the site.

However, on April 24, 2011, during the Passover holiday, NSF troops opened point blank fire on Jewish worshipers who were leaving Joseph's Tomb, after morning prayers.

Five people were struck by PA fire, among them, Ben Yosef Livnat, a nephew of a senior Israeli minister, was killed instantly. The PA, despite Israeli pressure, refused to condemn the killing of the Jewish civilian. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, while acknowledg­ing that the visit of the Jews was not coordinated with the IDF, insisted that this did not justify the shooting by PA troops. Barak called for an investigation. For several days, the PA refused to confirm that its troops opened fire on Jewish pilgrims. Nablus Gov. Jibril Al Bakri said a PA police patrol had been assigned to guard the tomb and blamed any problems on lack of Israeli coordination.

An Israel Army investigation pointed to serious failures in the vetting of PA security forces, including those accepted for U.S. training in Jordan.

The investigation, bolstered by witnesses, asserted that NSF officers began firing in the air as soon as the Jewish worshipers entered Joseph's Tomb. The Jews rushed to their three cars and began to leave when five NSF officers again opened fire on vehicles. An NSF non-commissioned officer, screaming "God is great," ran toward one of the Jewish vehicles and began shooting at close range from at least three sides. The NSF unit did not inform either its commanders or Israeli authorities of the shooting. The three cars filled with worshipers — one dead and four injured — reached an Israel Army roadblock where they were taken to a hospital.

The Israeli army and Israel Security Agency, the ISA, also known as the Shabak, responsible for domestic intelligence, reached the conclusion that the incident was a "Palestinian terrorist attack" and determined that the NSF officers intended to kill Jewish worshipers. On the other hand, the PA investigation concluded that the NSF officers did not intend to kill the Jews, while commanders claimed that the Jews, who did not carry weapons, opened fire, threw stones, and sought to run down the Palestinians. The PA found the five PA officers guilty of "grave negligence" and were placed in prison in Nablus out of concern that they would be arrested by Israel.

The Israeli investigation determined that the main NSF shooter, in his late 20s, was known to the IDF and ISA as a terrorist arrested in connection with shooting attacks on Israelis. Under agreement, Israel is supposed to vet and approve every cadet in the PA security forces to ensure that those convicted of terrorist offenses are not included. In practice, however, an undetermined number of Palestinians have been arrested by Israel on security offenses have been recruited by PA security forces.

PA officers stationed at Joseph's Tomb — identified as Mohammed Tsabana, Saleh Hamed, Wa'el Daoud, Nawaf Bani Uda and Turki Zuara — were also part of two NSF battalions in Nablus trained in Jordan by the United States. This also required Israeli vetting.

There is no evidence that the US State Department, responsible for U.S. security aid to the PA, has conducted any investigation at all of the killing of the Jewish worshiper, whose mother is an American citizen.

In April 2011, Abbas signed a bill that called for a monthly stipend for all Palestinians as well as Israeli Arabs who have been convicted and sentenced by Israel for murder or attempted murder of Jews. The Palestinian Media Watch testified in the US Congress that funds which emanated from the U.S. and other donations were allocated for the "glorification and role-modeling of terrorists."

Hamas-PA Rapprochement

The nightmare of the Israel Army is that the PA, directed by the ruling Fatah movement, would reconcile with Hamas and begin joint operations against Jews.

That is what is now transpiring.

In November 2012, in the aftermath of the missile war between Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza, Fatah and PA officials expressed admiration for Hamas and said they were ready for a serious reconciliation effort to force Israel to conduct a full retreat to the armistice lines, which existed from 1949 until 1967.

A Fatah group proclaimed that it formed a military brigade in Hebron, long a Hamas stronghold.

Fatah's military also pledged to continue attacks on Israel and avenge the assassination of Hamas military chief Jabari.

An officer in Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, loyal to Abbas, claimed its militia had fired 600 mortars and rockets into Israel and the arsenal had not been depleted.

The Al Aqsa statement came amid a series of declarations by Fatah leaders, including those close to Abbas, that the PA would work with Hamas against Israel. At least five members of the Fatah Central Committee welcomed the Hamas missile war on Israel in November and said this has dissipated their opposition to sharing power with the Islamist movement.

Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and founder of the PA's Preventive Security Force loyal to Abbas, declared at a rally in Ramallah that the Palestinians will fight until they establish a state and all Jews are removed from Palestinian areas. In an address broadcast by the PNC Palestinian state television, Rajoub, regarded as an intimate of Abbas, declared that Fatah was ready to shoot and urged Hamas to join the effort.

The Israel Army has already detected evidence of Fatah-Hamas coordination in areas under the direct control of the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli military and security units have been tracking the resumption of activities by Fatah gunmen who had benefited from an amnesty by Israel in 2007.

Israel has arrested former members of Fatah's military wing in the area south of Hebron.

Some of these Fatah gunmen were later offered work in PA security forces and have been linked to the killing of Israelis in the Hebron area. One of those arrested was identified as Waal Al Araja, an officer for PSA, accused of killing an American Israeli citizen Asher Palmer, 24, and his infant son Yonatan in September 2011. Al Araja was believed to have headed the insurgency cell that planned the attack.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority praise of Jabari, responsible for the death of more than 1,000 Israelis over the last decade, came even from those considered the most moderate elements in Fatah. Former PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath called on Palestinians to "have mercy" for Jabari, and described him as a hero. Shaath, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, and also an intimate of Abbas, called for unity with Hamas, which, he asserted, would "win further victories for us."

Shaath vowed that, with Hamas cooperation, Fatah and the PA would escalate what he termed the struggle against Israel in 2013.

Another PA official who is often described in the public domain as a moderate, Mahmoud Al Aloul, stressed that neither Fatah nor the PA has ended the option of "armed resistance." Instead, this option required the suitable climate both within the Palestinian sector as well as in the international community. Al Aloul expressed the hope that the "Arab Spring" would be the trigger for another war against Israel.

Abbas, himself, has funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Hamas regime in Gaza. The PA has continued to pay 36,500 security personnel in the Gaza Strip despite that none of them have worked for the PA since the Hamas takeover in 2007

Hamas has exploited the renewed reconciliation with the PA to expand its military infrastructure in areas under the control of the PA. Israel's intelligence community has determined that Hamas political bureau Chief Khaled Masha'al, has ordered the establishment of military cells to take over areas now under the control of the PA.

An intelligence assessment, relayed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, asserted that Masha'al's orders reflected Iranian guidance and assistance to oust Fatah from the all of the Palestinian leadership, the same way that the Abbas-led movement was destroyed in the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Hamas strategy was based on the reactivation of sleeper cells established in all areas controlled by the PA over the last decade.

The PA has been tolerant of other Islamist groups in its midst, particularly those that draw support from rich Gulf Arab sheiks. Even Salafist groups, inspired by Al Qaida, have been allowed to receive Gulf funds and establish a presence in mosques monitored by the PA. Indeed, the Salafists have enjoyed the support of Fatah and were appointed to PA agencies in an effort to compete with Hamas, particularly in Nablus. The arrangement was conditioned on a ban on Salafist criticism of Abbas himself even as members espouse war against Jews and other non-Muslims.

Indeed, PA control over mosques have been weak, a factor exploited by Hamas. Hamas has quietly dominated many if not most of the mosques, even those staffed by civil servants. In some cases, Hamas was believed to have been storing weapons in mosques as PA-appointed preachers, often inspired by Muslim Brotherhood figures around the Arab world, gave Friday sermons that severely criticized the Abbas regime.

Israel-Palestinian Authority Cooperation

Cooperation between Israel and the PA has been linked to a range of political and economic factors, including unrest in Palestinian Arab cities and the fiscal crisis in the PA. In mid-2012, however, cracks began to widen in the relationship between the Israel Army and PA security forces. At the same time PA police and security forces began to harass Israel Army patrols and operations around PA administered cities.

In November, 2012, the PA National Security Forces prevented an Israel Army patrol from entering Tulkarm. Two days later, NSF stopped a similar Israeli operation in Jenin. In both cases, Israeli troops, reflecting orders by the General Staff, chose to suspend their mission rather than confront the PA. For its part, the PA, in wake of the UN vote for official non-state membership, ordered its security forces to hamper Israel Army operations and defined every Israeli soldier as "a conqueror on occupied land."

The Israeli military has warned the PA against this new policy, which included the lifting of the ban on Hamas rallies. Hamas rallies have been held on a weekly basis and often end in clashes with Israeli troops. The rallies are seen as part of the PA policy to escalate unrest against Israel without harming relations with the United States.

A focus of Hamas unrest has been in Hebron, a divided city with 250,000 Arabs and 1,000 Jews. At one point, Israel threatened that its military would battle Hamas unless the PA intervened, which prompted some Palestinian armed units to try to restore order. Still, the PA leadership has been willing to mar security cooperation, including blaming Israel for the current fiscal crisis as well as decisions to construct Jewish housing in Jerusalem and its suburbs. Without their monthly salaries, PA troops could be placed in the position where they would sabotage any cooperation with Israel. [58] At the same time, Abbas warned that the PA was prepared for any contingency should Israel build housing near Jerusalem.

The biggest threat to the Israel Army stems from the PA forces trained by the United States since 2008. Israeli military intelligence regards the eight National Security Forces battalions trained in Jordan under U.S. sponsorship as a "significant military force."

The Israel Army's Central Command has determined that NSF was showing significant skills in complex operations as well as in command and control. In mid-2012, the Command was impressed by the response of the PA security forces to the death of Jenin Gov. Khaddoura Mussa. The Jenin operation was regarded as noteworthy. Within hours of Mussa's death on May 2, the PA organized a joint operation command under Interior Minister Said Al Ali. The command coordinated operations in UNRWA refugee camps around Jenin and Nablus, where around 150 people were arrested on suspicion of belonging to militias linked to Fatah dissidents, including members of the intelligence services. PSA officer Ibrahim Ramadan led the operation and detained even those suspected of possessing a weapon. Members of PSA and NSF were also arrested on allegations that they were working for former PSA commander Mohammed Dahlan, expelled from Fatah in 2011.

At the same time, the Israeli Army saw the PA crackdown as the latest demonstration of signs that NSF and other U.S.-trained units were forming breakaway squads that could eventually attack Israeli troops and civilians. [62] Despite statements to the contrary, the Israeli Army has long been wary of a blow-back by U.S.-trained PA forces. As early as 2009, Israeli officers expressed concern that U.S. training could produce PA units proficient in small group tactics, weapons and operational skills that could be used against Israeli soldiers and civilians. The assessment envisioned Israeli forces taken by surprise at the start of any insurgency war in the West Bank, particularly by those PA officers trained as snipers. Then-Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi assessed that as few as four snipers could "shut down an urban area." Mizrahi regarded the NSF troops as a "proper infantry force."

As a result, the Israeli Army has sought to stop the PA from acquiring weapons and platforms agreed to by the Israeli government. The most intense opposition has been to 50 armored personnel carriers donated by Russia to the PA in 2005. While Israeli leaders repeatedly promised Moscow to approve delivery of the combat platforms, the Russian vehicles, painted twice to prevent rusting, have been stranded in neighboring Jordan. The army has demanded that the PA remove mounts for the 12.7 mm guns, with a range of nearly four kilometers. Another demand was that the vehicles do not include communications systems. The PA has refused these demands.

At the same time, the Israel Army has been looking for PA officers suspected of forming insurgency squads. These squads were believed to be in Hebron and in Nablus. In late 2011, tensions escalated among PA officers as their colleagues were arrested in Israeli raids. Those nabbed included NSF and PSA officers, some of them suspected of links with Hamas cells. The arrests within the PA intelligence community have included top officers assigned to monitor and crack down on Hamas. In December 2012, Israel acknowledged that two senior intelligence commanders were arrested in the Hebron region. Ahmed Bhais was the operations director of the PA General Intelligence Service in Hebron, and Mohammed Abu Eid was GI commander in the Hebron-area town of Yatta.

As early as 2010, intelligence agencies under Abbas' control were ordered to increase operations in Area C, particularly Hebron. GIS, for example, increased its informant network, and under Western guidance enhanced such skills as data analysis on intelligence regarding Israeli communities. The requirement for such intelligence had been deemed one of the greatest weaknesses of PA intelligence and security agencies.

The Israeli Army has been preparing for the prospect of PA attacks in cooperation with Hamas. In December 2012, Central Command conducted what was termed a surprise exercise north of Ramallah that sought to demonstrate coordination between the army and police. The exercise envisioned Fatah and PA gunmen opening fire toward Israeli troops during a civilian demonstration. The command deployed the Israel Artillery Corps, as well as the Israel Border police and Israeli civilian police units.

Abbas, Fayyad on the Wane

Until 2011, PA Prime Minister Fayyad sought to separate security policy from Fatah efforts to win unilateral Israeli concessions on such issues as withdrawal and statehood. Fayyad told security commanders that any snag or stalemate in relations with Israel would not constitute justification for ending either security cooperation with the Jewish state or a robust counter-insurgency effort against Hamas. The price for Fayyad's demand was Fatah approval for major appointments in the security agencies as well as reform, human rights and restructuring. Fayyad knew that even with control of the purse strings, he could only go so far without provoking a violent backlash by Fatah.

By mid-2012, Fayyad had lost most of his authority over the PA security forces. Over the last year, Abbas has marginalized Fayyad as the chairman sought to accommodate the rise of Hamas. Meanwhile, Abbas and Fayyad are barely on speaking terms, and the prime minister, who retains excellent relations with donor nations, has been reduced to a "glorified accountant."

However, President Barack Obama did not halt or slow down U.S. aid to the PA — even after it successfully sought non-state membership in the United Nations. Moreover, U.S. diplomats have refused to acknowledge increasing PA civil rights violations, which have been attributed to the PA security forces that are trained by the US. The administration has also opposed moves in Congress to stop funding PA security programs.

There are indications that there is increasing coordination between Fatah and Hamas in planning attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. In December 2012, in some areas of Jerusalem, Palestinian squads engaged in nightly attacks on Israeli police patrols. At least one squad has deployed Hamas operatives assigned to conduct what the PA terms "non-violent resistance," which include firebombs and stones.

Israeli intelligence sources report that the PA-Hamas coordination of these squads reflects an agreement between Abbas and Hamas leader Masha'al to spark a war against Israel based on the use of Palestinian civilian fighters. Both men agree that a military confrontation with Israel would be unsuccessful and therefore Hamas and the PA must use civilians and massive protests to drag Israel into a shooting war. This would isolate the Jewish state and bring it under massive international pressure for a unilateral withdrawal from Jerusalem and the West Bank. Abbas' concession was the renewal of Hamas rallies throughout the West Bank.

At this point, Abbas and Masha'al appear to disagree on the goal of the next uprising, meant to be based on the first intifada in 1987-1991. Abbas hopes the next uprising would force Israel to duplicate its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 — this time from all PA controlled areas. Masha'al sees the next confrontation as the destruction of Israel. So far, both men have decided to shelve their differences and focus on escalating tension and mobilizing Palestinians for a long confrontation with Israel.

The difference between the 1987 uprising and the next one is that the PA has some 30,000 active troops and another 36,500 on the payroll. Hamas has at least 25,000 fighters in the Gaza Strip and thousands of armed men in PA controlled areas.

The prospect that any civil uprising would remain limited to stones or even firebombs appears nil. With Palestinian arsenals brimming with weapons and advanced U.S. security equipment, Israel could find itself fighting a war against Palestinians who are armed, trained, and financed by its greatest ally — the United States.

Contact Dr. History at

To Go To Top


Posted by Billy Mills, January 10, 2013

The article below was written by Cliff Kincaid who is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism. From 2003 — 2010 he was Editor of the "AIM Report." A veteran journalist and media critic, he currently specializes in election coverage, the Fairness Doctrine, coverage of the U.N., and coverage of financial bailouts. AIM's founder, Reed Irvine, hired Cliff as an intern and then a staffer in 1978, and Cliff has been associated with AIM in some capacity ever since. Cliff also writes frequent columns and special reports for AIM. He wrote and narrated the AIM documentary, "Terror Television: The Rise of Al-Jazeera and the Hate America Media." He also represents AIM at the annual shareholders' meetings of several key media companies, including the New York Times and FOX News Channel. The article appeared January 3, 2013 in Accuracy In Media and is archived at


Al-Jazeera, once considered the voice of Osama bin-Laden and known for anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, has announced the purchase of Al Gore's low-rated cable channel, Current TV, in a transparent attempt to buy access to the U.S. media market for operatives of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Gore has reportedly made $100 million from the $500 million deal.

The Arab government-funded TV channel, labeled "Jihad TV" by Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, says the purpose of the unprecedented acquisition of Current TV is to create a channel called "Al-Jazeera America" and reach a potential audience of 40 million U.S. homes. It claims this will bring Al-Jazeera "into closer competition with American news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox."

Current TV features liberal programs hosted by such figures as former Democratic governors Jennifer Granholm and Eliot Spitzer. These programs will presumably go off the air as the channel takes on the Jihadist leanings that characterize Al-Jazeera's Arabic and English channels.

But it is not at all clear that the new "Al-Jazeera America" will be able to hang on to Current TV's existing contracts with cable television providers.

As noted by writer Henry Blodgett, "...Al Jazeera wanted access to America's TV viewers—specifically, the cable distribution contracts that enable Current to be watched in tens of millions of American households."

But Current TV co-owner Joel Hyatt, in a Wednesday memo to employees, revealed that one of Current's distributors, Time Warner Cable, did not consent to the sale to Al-Jazeera and as a result "Current will no longer be carried on TWC."

Even after Time Warner dumped Current because of the sale, Current TV is available in about 30 million American households, notes Blodgett. But the cable distributors into those remaining households will have the same right as Time Warner to drop the channel as its programming changes. Whether they do this or not will depend on public opinion and reaction to the blatant power grab by the regime in Qatar and its attempt to manipulate the U.S. media market.

Many observers are watching the cable giant Comcast, which owns about 10 percent of Current TV, for its next move.

AIM originally raised awareness on the issue in 2006 with the documentary, Terror Television: The Rise of Al-Jazeera and the Hate-America Media, and was instrumental in defeating the channel's efforts to seek carriage in U.S. markets.

Jeff Timmons, a communications lawyer, told AIM that there are federal restrictions on foreigners owning the means of communication but not the programming itself. As a result, he foresees no successful legal challenges to Qatar's acquisition of Current TV.

But Florida broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a strong critic of Al-Jazeera's attempts to enter the U.S. media market, says, "If this doesn't fall under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, nothing does."

Kenney had previously filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that Al-Jazeera and other foreign propaganda channels are violating the law by not disclosing in their broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers. Other foreign channels operating in the U.S. include Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT), Iranian Press TV and the Chinese regime's CCTV.

According to Kenney, "Al-Jazeera America" should be required to register under the law and identify its broadcasts on the air as foreign propaganda.

But will conservatives in Congress challenge Qatar's media power play?

The "Emir" or dictator of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, financially sponsors Al-Jazeera and postures as a friend of the United States. His regime spends lavishly on public relations and lobbying in the U.S., including Congressional junkets to Qatar, visits to Al-Jazeera studios, and fancy media conferences with representative of terrorist groups at expensive hotels.

Although Al-Jazeera has been portrayed by some in the U.S. media as an exercise in freedom of press and speech, it can be a crime to criticize Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in Qatar itself. Bloggers and others who do criticize the regime sometimes disappear at the hands of the security forces. A recent case involves a Qatari poet who received a life sentence after a secret trial for a verse of poetry said to be insulting to the emir.

Al-Jazeera's most famous media personality is the anti-American and anti-Semitic cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He returned to Egypt from his base in Qatar to supervise the transformation of that one-time U.S. ally into an Islamic state after the Obama-backed revolution there.

Last October the Emir of Qatar made a massive $400 million donation to Hamas, an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, making the Qatari regime in effect a state sponsor of terrorism even while hosting a U.S. military base. Obama himself hosted the Emir in 2011, calling him "Your Highness."

Al-Jazeera was regarded by the Bush Administration as hostile to American interests after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 when information surfaced showing that the channel's managing director, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, had been acting as an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime.

The Obama Administration, however, has praised Al-Jazeera, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying the channel had provided "real news" coverage of the Middle East riots and revolution that ushered in a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt and the rise of Islamists in such countries as Libya and Syria.

Although the channel masquerades as an independent "news" operation, the U.S. State Department's own human rights report on Qatar notes that "the government exercised editorial and programmatic control of the channel through funding and selection of the station's management."

As such, the assumption is that the Obama Administration encouraged the sale of Current TV, since it financially benefits not only Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the other co-owner who is also a prominent Democrat, but the Muslim Brotherhood and its backers in Qatar.

We noted in a 2008 column, "Al-Jazeera for Obama," that the channel promoted Barack Obama's candidacy for the presidency and that one of its reporters actually contributed financially to the Obama campaign.

A website associated with Glenn Beck confirms that Glenn Beck and TheBlaze TV, a television network owned by the former Fox News personality, tried to purchase Current TV and were rejected. "Had TheBlaze successfully purchased Current TV, the current lineup of TheBlaze TV would have replaced the existing progressive programming in 59 million homes in the United States," Beck's website reports.

Hyatt reportedly wanted to turn over Current TV to an entity aligned with his own "point of view" and rejected Beck on that basis because of Beck's conservative outlook.

For many years, mostly because of vigorous opposition from Accuracy in Media, Al-Jazeera failed to get widespread carriage in the U.S. media and has been viewed as an organ of enemy propaganda in an ongoing terrorist war that began with al-Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001, that claimed almost 3,000 lives in New York City and the Pentagon. The 9/11 commission report noted (on page 90) that Qatar had been protecting terrorists, including the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Al-Jazeera became known after the 9/11 attacks as a reliable outlet for the propaganda statements and videos of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Al-Jazeera's Kabul, Afghanistan-based reporter Tayseer Allouni conducted interviews with Osama bin Laden and was later convicted of being an agent of al Qaeda and sentenced to seven years in prison in Spain.

On the other hand, Al-Jazeera promoted conspiracy theories that Muslim terrorists were not really behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Despite the bad image, controversial programming, and terrorist connections, Al-Jazeera Arabic gave rise to an Al-Jazeera English channel that desperately tried to get access to the American media through cable giants such as Comcast by claiming that it was fair and impartial in its programming.

The high-powered campaign suffered a major setback when former ABC Nightline correspondent Dave Marash quit his anchor job at Al-Jazeera English, citing anti-American bias and saying that the "standard for journalism on Al-Jazeera in the United States didn't seem consistently to be as good as their standards elsewhere."

Comcast has refused to carry the channel on a national basis, although Al-Jazeera's programs are carried on some of its cable systems in cities such as Washington, D.C. In addition, Jerry Kenney has documented how Al-Jazeera and other propaganda channels are getting access to the U.S. media market through dozens of taxpayer-supported public television stations that carry their programs in violation of Federal Communications Commission rules. The Virginia-based taxpayer-supported broadcaster MHz Networks is the vehicle for these questionable transmissions on behalf of regimes in Qatar, Russia and China.

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 11, 2013

For The Arab-"Palestinians" it is less about having their Palestine state; it is more about destroying the State of Israel and waving their victory flag over the skies of Jerusalem.

On January 6, 2013 Mahmoud Abbas went the extra mile with his non-compliance of the Oslo Accords and declared: It is not longer the Palestinian Authority; the Palestinian Authority has officially changed name to 'State of Palestine' (

Some background facts:

The decision by the international bodies of that time, i.e. the League of Nations, the UN, the World Court, the US congress and senate, to return to the Jewish nation its right to the land and establish a Home for the Jewish nation in the land of Israel, on both sides of the Jordan River banks, and later on all the land West of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, that includes, not excludes, Judea and Samaria, was irrevocable. That decision cannot be revisited or over turned. The irrevocability of this decision is founded on the Doctrine of Estoppel - Res Judicata in Canada = a final judgment that is no longer subject to appeal. Based on both, the integral quality continuity of to the statues of the San Remo Resolutions and the Doctrine of Estoppel, the Nations of the World, the membership of the League of Nations, the UN, including the Arab states and the Supreme Council, are all legally bound by the San Remo Resolutions.

The Jewish nation's title and its historical connection to the land of Israel was recognized by the legal powers of the World, beginning in the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920, which was and is binding on the world today.

The Jewish nation's title/deed to the land was given to them by G-d, some 3500 years ago, as evidenced in the Old Testament/ Bible. History unequivocally confirms the Jewish nation's sovereignty in the land and the continuity of Jews living there, that culminated in modern history when Jews were given the green light to return to and restore their ancient land. No other nation can make similar claims to its land and the Jewish nations' history in the land of Israel is unique, as it has formed the basis values of civilization as we know it to be today.

The two-state solution, Israel and "Palestine" born in the Oslo Accords, has been proven to be a disastrous proposition to every Israeli. It was an agreement Israel thought will deliver peace. However, it was a thoughtless agreement that has turned to be one of the worst mistakes Israel has ever made in its modern history. It was an agreement to establish a Judenrein Arab state within ten minutes drive from the official residence of the prime minster of Israel, in Jerusalem. The question is what guarantee Israel has that this new Arab state will not turn to be another rocket frenzy Gazastan? None!

If the two state [dis]solution, as I address it, is not the answer for Israel to have peace from Arab aggression, then what is the alternative to keep Israel safe and Jewish? What can Israel do with the baggage of 2 million Arab squatters it inherited in 1967, when it freed its land from Arab illegal occupation?

Recently the Women For Israel's Tomorrow- Women in Green (, Nadia Mata and Yehudit Katsover held the 3rd annual Sovereignty Conference in which the future of Judea and Samaria was discussed. It is now clear that the movement towards annulling the "2-state' wrongful idea is gowning fast.

Watch the entire conference dubbed in English here

Applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria has to be approached in carefully thought stages. We all know that the government of Israeli will not get up one fine morning and declare to the world that all of Judea and Samaria is now under Israeli sovereignty and each citizen there falls under Israeli law. But the public discourse is now leading as Israelis finally woke up to know that Israel cannot give up Judea and Samaria to become an Arab state, a bait to have peace that cannot be and is not guaranteed.

And thus this discourse must continue in this direction; end the separation of Judea and Samaria from Israel the whole and fulfilling the San Remo Resolution, the state of Israel from the River to the Sea.

Many people simply do not understand the entire issue of the status of Judea and Samaria and the 2-state "solution" some people decided on, because they do not have solid information. And thus it falls on those who understand and wish to promote Israeli sovereignty on all the land from the River to the Sea, to disseminate the information and created the proper atmosphere for this discourse. And this dialogue must be advanced in the most rational way, via the sharing of facts, and not emotions. After all it is the future of the state of Israel we are speaking about here.

To begin with, here are the facts as presented by Advocate Alan Baker, an expert in international law, former Israeli ambassador to Canada and a member of the Edmund Levy Committee, which issued the Levy Report, its three-person Levy Committee mandate was to examine the status of Judea and Samaria and to recommend ways to deal with the land: 'Jews building settlements in Judea and Samaria is legal-Ten Basic Points Summarizing Israel's Rights in Judea and Samaria' -

Now that we have covered the facts, here are some of Israel's pundits notable suggestions and well deserve careful attention as to the alternatives to the "two-state" proposition and issues connected with this matter. There must be practical aspects of applying sovereignty; how it should be done, what status the Arabs in Judea and Samaria will have, what will be the expected reaction from the Arab and Western world and what will Israel's response be.

Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs (Likud): application of sovereignty, couched in legal language, would not automatically resolve international challenges Israel would be facing, therefore, he calls to return to discourse on the rights to the land, from the historic aspect; sovereignty would send the world a clear message, this land is our land and it will be easier for Israel to face the international community hostility when the nation is united by a consensus. He calls for the remedy of the lexicon used; Israel did not conquer land of another state, definitely not a Palestinian state, because there wasn't one and so the term "occupation" is false. Use Judea and Samaria, not West Bank, use Jewish communities not settlements.

MK Yariv Levin, Chair of the Knesset House Committee, (Likud): advocating gradual acre by acre sovereignty application method but, even if sovereignty is applied over the existing Jewish community blocs first, it is not to become the final step. Israel needs to first apply its law to all those Jews living in Judea and Samaria, both personal and general laws, first and foremost Construction laws so Jews can develop Judea and Samaria and Jewish communities to grow there, rather than being suffocated by the military.

MK Moshe Feiglin, Chairman of the Jewish Leadership faction in Likud and currently on Likud's list: thinks it is extremely important that Israel first pays attention to and cannot afford to lose sight of places where it suppose to already have sovereignty, but is losing it. A government that does not have the courage to protect sovereignty on Temple Mount, the holiest place to Jews is not going to promote legislation for sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

MK Ze'ev Elkin, Chair of the Coalition, (Likud), and Chair of the Knesset Eretz Yisrael Committee: The Jewish state has been in a state of confusion and he hopes this period is now coming to an end. He finds it difficult to take the Oslo Accords seriously as the Arabs squandered it. What Abbas achieved at the UN, which is upgrading the Palestinian Authority status has brought the Oslo period to its end but there is no government final consensus on this yet. He suggests that Israel adopts the Arabs' 'Salami method' approach, maximize possible sovereignty application at any given moment and slowly the public discourse will change as well.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Islam, Muslim/Arab culture and Middle East scholar and expert and a lecturer at Bar Ilan University: claims that the courts in Israel should have nothing to do with determination of borders; this is a political issue, for the Knesset to work out as only those who are victors can secure their place in the Middle East. Those who seek peace are seen weak and vanquished and continuously get kicked. He claims that Arabs believe Israel has no priori right to exist, only a posteriori, because it forced its way in and won the wars. He supports an inch by inch sovereignty application and expects disorderly incidents in Judea and Samaria but not a full scale Intifada (Uprising).

Caroline Glick, a columnist, senior editor at the Jerusalem Post and senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs for the Center for Security Policy: every Arab in Judea and Samaria shall have the opportunity to request citizenship, provided he or she meets the criteria established by the Ministry of the Interior with regard to renouncing terrorism and accepting Israel as a Jewish state. She believes Israel is entering a period that is historically revolutionary and the more the public speaks about adding Judea and Samaria to Israel's sovereignty the more it will catch on and become inevitable. The Israeli public must be convinced, especially in terms of demographics, that the ratio of Jews to Arabs will remain in Israel's favor. To be able to keep on the sovereignty course, matters must take place in the context of a larger change in the Israeli public mindset as well as changes in the Israeli legal system and claims Israel is now in the drivers' seat.

MK Aryeh Eldad, M.D., member of Strong Israel party: there is a problem with the Israeli Arabs who think they are the "owners" of our land and that notion must be uprooted. He is not against the 'salami method', but Israel needs to be the one to be holding the salami slices. He calls to adopt the Levy Report as Israel cannot afford for the Report to accumulate dust. His vision, the Arabs can be residents of the State of Israel and the citizens or Jordan, which is Palestine, and if they do not like this situation they door is open, they can leave.

Adv. Elyakim Haetzni, former member of Knesset: claims that the act of annexation has been done already and that Israelis are already partially there to gain sovereignty over Judea and Samaria along a 1967 Knesset amendment law to govern, which says that the Israeli law and administration will apply to all of the land of Israel on which the government decided by injunction. In other words, the Knesset already gave the key to the government for an act of sovereignty and the government of Israel already has the power to annex all of Judea and Samaria without the need to the Knesset's legislation. So in the morning the government of Israel declares the annexation of all of Judea and Samaria. The following day the Knesset passes an autonomy law for areas 'A' and 'B' with a certain volume of authority for Arab home rule with limits by what the government of Israel will give them, which the Knesset can cancel because it is the one that has passed to law. This autonomy will be in the frame of Israeli sovereignty and the Arabs will vote in the Palestinian State of Jordan. The Arabs must rule themselves as their civilization is different from the Israeli one and it is no good for Israelis to mix with them...for how long? Till every Israeli is permitted to reside, if so he or she chooses, in the land east of the Jordan River, land that was illegally taken away from the Jewish nation.

Dr. Martin Sherman, a political scientist, believes in evacuation with compensation is the answer. He claims that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there will be either full Jewish sovereignty or full Arab sovereignty and the side that is to prevail is the stronger side that has more political wisdom and at the moment it is Israel but signs are not promising that this status will remain as such.

Sovereignty means, there is no room for Arab collective between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In order for Israel to survive as the nation state of the Jewish people, the state of Israel must deal with two issues, the demographic and the geographic. It will be impossible to reach government stability if Israel leaves large areas of Arab collective between the 'River and the Sea'.

Technically, full rights for the Arabs simply does not relate to reality that will be created on the ground. As for Arab self rule and autonomy, it is not reasonable from theoretical and pragmatic point of view. The Arabs will have autonomy not because they accept the sovereignty of the state [of Israel] but because they deny this sovereignty. Besides, what autonomy can Israel give them that will not harm the Jewish state? None, and with autonomy the present situation will only worsen.

There is a story of an American diplomat who came to visit Israel and was taken to visit the Biblical zoo where he saw a lamb in the lion's cage. He turned to his host and said, you see the Biblical prophecy came true right here. The Israel host replied, not exactly, as each day the zoo keeper provides the lion with a new lamb. The lamb is Israel. Since its establishment it was the lamb and the Arabs the lion. Since the Oslo accords, and the peace bait that came with it, Israel not only remained the lamb but acted along the hope that things will fall into place by themselves; they did not. The Arabs have declared political and diplomatic, economical and physical jihad on the Jewish state and Israel went along to get along and remained the lamb. Now is the time to end the lamb mentality and become the lion. The sacrifice of Jewish life and Jewish land ends right here, right now; Israelis, together and in unison, must put Judea and Samaria, the whole, under Jewish sovereignty. It is legal, it is moral, it is the right thing to do to make sure the state of Israel prevails.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, January 11, 2013

The Israeli Left is all worked up these days about the "fascism" of the Israeli Right and dangers from it to democracy. It is hyperventilating in anguish because the "Right" supposedly is trying to suppress freedom of speech. Its anger is focused on two recent minor incidents. In the first, a "researcher" at the Knesset was demoted and sent off to work in the Knesset archives. The Knesset has a small internal research service, kind of a mini Congressional Research Office. There one Dr. Gilad Natan worked as a "researcher," except he insisted on inserting into every "report" that he churned out for Knesset committees his own personal far-leftist ideology. Since he was not being paid to spout off his personal views, the Knesset brass, led by the speaker, decided to boot Natan off into the archives, where he can spout leftism all he wants to the mice while dusting the racks. (See this:

In the second incident, there has been growing public outrage against a Tel Aviv high school principal who co-authored an Op-Ed in Haaretz (together with a Tel Aviv University tenured leftist) endorsing the Communist Party (Hadash). See this story ( Note the statement in that Haaretz article by the Stalinist communist party hack Dov Khanin about dangers to Israeli democracy!) It was part of a leftist cat fight within the Left conducted at Haaretz, where the principal and his sidekick were upset when the leftist professor Shlomo Avineri endorsed the Labor Party rather than the Stalinists.

Now school principals, like generals and some other public servants, are supposed to keep their political opinions to themselves. So Comrade Ram Cohen, the principal, is under attack by Hizzonuh the Tel Aviv mayor.

In both these cases, the tenured Left has been organizing petitions to protest the "suppression of freedom of speech, " and they are joined by Haaretz, which is so devoted to freedom of speech that non-leftists are essentially banned from writing in the newspaper (except for one token conservative Op-Ed piece every week or two). Pluralism at Haaretz is considerably less than pluralism in Pravda back in the days of Brezhnev.

The suppression of freedom of speech in Israel by the Left is on display for all to see almost every day. Take the coming elections. There is an elections supervisory commission, headed by the leftwing Elyakim Rubinstein, a yarmulka-wearing lawyer who is so far-Left that he used to be the Attorney General. He is now one of the many leftists serving as a Supreme Court judge. He was part of the original team headed by Beilin that "negotiated" the original Oslo "Accord." He was one of the Supreme Court judges who ruled that Arabs in senior governmental positions in Israel need not sing the country's national anthem.

Elyakim oversaw much of the McCarthyist assault against freedom of speech in Israel in the days after the Rabin assassination, when the Left sought to criminalize speech by "Rightists." Rubinstein was also the sponsor of the law that criminalized and banned the Kahanist splinters and denied freedom of speech to them. For many years the real litmus test of whether a person believes in freedom of speech in Israel has been whether that person criticized this arbitrary anti-democratic denial of freedom of speech. The point is not whether or not the Kahanists are fringe loons (they are!). The point is whether you think that everyone, including fringe loons, are entitled to freedom of speech. And if fringe loons are to be denied freedom of speech, how come it has not been denied to any of the fringe loons on the Far Left or to any Arab fascists?

In any case, as Elections Supervisor, Comrade Elyakim has been striving hard to suppress freedom of speech. He first banned a campaign ad by one of the parties of the Right that featured the slogan, "Without duties and obligations there can be no rights." Elyakim claimed it was racist and anti-Arab. Later he banned an ad by the Likud because it featured a pop singer singing that Bibi was "The Bomb" (she meant it as a compliment) and olde Elyakim thought that was inappropriate. While he did ban one ad by an Arab fascist party (Balad, the party of Hanin Zoabi) because it featured an Arab mockery of Hatikva, the national anthem, all the rest of Elyakim's measures have been implemented to stifle the Israeli Right. Can you guess which of all the above bans was the only one that the Left criticized?

The most outrageous decision by Elyakim was his decision this week to ban an election ad by the SHAS party. Now let me say that I do not like the SHAS party and disagree entirely with the ad in question. I also think that the banned ad was the most original and amusing of any of the election campaign ads being broadcast, the bulk of which are mind-numbingly stupid and infantile. In the SHAS ad, they show a young Israeli under the Hoopah with his bride, a blond with a heavy Russian accent. Just before the ceremony commences, she takes out her cell phone and dials "*-conversion" and immediately the fax machine under the Hoopah prints out a conversion certificate for her. "You mean you are not Jewish?" The groom asks. "Now I am," she answers and tries to smooch him as he ducks back. The ad is a SHAS attack against Lieberman and some other groups that want to reduce and ease conversion procedures. You can agree or disagree with the message of the ad (I disagree with it) but it was refreshingly entertaining. And Elyakim banned it.

So just what did Elyakim NOT ban? He was awfully quiet when the Knesset was trying to ban the terrorist Hanin Zoabi from running on the Balad slate for the parliament, and he voted with the other Supreme Court judges to overturn the ban on Zoabi and let her run. Curious how the same Supreme Court judges have nothing at all to say about the ban on the Kahanists.

The Far Leftists that are wetting themselves in anguish over the "assault by Rightwing zealots against freedom of speech" in the cases of the communist principal and the leftist "analyst" in the Knesset research office have not had a single word to say about the behavior of Comrade Elyakim. Not a single one of them has ever spoken out against the denial of freedom of speech to the Kahanists. Not a single one of them has protested when Jews are arrested on the Temple Mount for the crime of moving their lips there (moving lips by Jews is prohibited on the Temple Mount). Not a single leftist has ever protested against the McCarthyist assault led by Elyakim against the freedom of speech of non-leftists, an assault operated by the Left in the years following the Rabin assassination. Not a single one protested when Ben Gurion University's president fired a professor from a position because he expressed a skeptical opinion about the wisdom of allowing children to be raised by homosexual couples. Not a single one of them, including the law professors whom I challenged on a professors chat list to do so, expressed any criticism when a high school teacher was fired because he called for schools to stop indoctrinating students into the "Rabin legacy" regarding Rabin's Oslo ideology. Not a single one.

Finally, Haaretz is all upset because of cases where Far-Leftist professors find themselves "boycotted." This is the same Haaretz that has long championed the Far Leftists who promote and organize world boycotts against Israel. There was the case where Bibi Netanyahu refused to allow a far-leftist professor from Tel Aviv University to participate in a state ceremony held with the Prime Minister of Germany. The professor was not exactly "boycotted," just not invited. Now Haaretz has found an even more outrageous assault on democracy. It seems the Hebrew University was organizing a ceremony to honor its Far-Leftist anti-Israel extremist professor Moshe Zimmerman, best remembered for his comments calling the children of Jewish settlers "Hitler youth." Well, Nobel Laureate professor Robert Aumann from the Hebrew University (retired) let everyone know he would not be attending. How dare he "boycott" Herr Zimmerman, screams Haaretz!!!

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

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Oleg Atbashian, a writer and graphic artist from the former USSR. He is the author of Shakedown Socialism, of which David Horowitz said, "I hope everyone reads this book." In 1994 he moved to the U.S. with the hope of living in a country ruled by reason and common sense, appreciative of its freedoms and prosperity. To his dismay, he discovered a nation deeply infected by the leftist disease of "progressivism" that was arresting true societal progress. American movies, TV, and news media reminded him of his former occupation as a visual propaganda artist for the Communist Party -- a job he reluctantly held, as he knew that no intelligent person would take such art-by-numbers agitprop seriously. Oleg is the creator of a satirical website, which Rush Limbaugh described on his show as "a Stalinist version of The Onion." His graphic work frequently appears in the American Thinker. The article appeared January 11, 2013 in the American Thinker and is archived at

Has Pravda gone anti-Communist, as many of its opinion pieces suggest?

First, let's just say that the hard-copy version is not the same as its digital namesake. The original newspaper had been started by Lenin in 1912 and shut down by Yeltsin in 1991. It was later restarted; it changed several owners, including some foreign millionaires, and in 1997 became the official organ of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

At some point during these troubled times, the online edition split from the paper version and left to seek its own destiny. It is now shamelessly whoring for internet traffic around the world, in an effort to maximize advertising revenues.

Even a cursory glance at the English and Russian digital editions (they have different content, tailored to their respective audiences) reveals a radically apolitical tabloid with a wild mix of real news, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and contradictory opinions, topped with headlines whose main function is to attract search engine traffic. The other two foreign-language versions -- Portuguese and Italian -- probably follow the same pattern.

To use the Marxist vernacular of the erstwhile Party Organ, its glorious ideological monogamy has all but withered away, to be replaced by the historically inevitable capitalist promiscuity.

While the old Pravda's homogenized, truth-free purism made it a respectable but neutered organ with the word "truth" in its title, the new "hands-off" approach allows sporadic diamonds of actual truth to shine through the dirt -- a mind-boggling change from what I remember reading on its pages when I still lived in the USSR.

Pravda to Americans: 'Never give up your guns!'

The best example of that change is an opinion piece by Stanislav Mishin, reprinted by Pravda from his blog, in which the author earnestly advises Americans to "Never Give Up Your Guns."

Putting aside vague nods at sinister conspiracies by Wall Street and international bankers -- which, like flies in the ointment, defile this author's writings -- Mishin's article offers a compelling historical lesson.

Below is a compressed, edited, and "de-flied" version of the Pravda article:

This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societies on earth. This was, of course, when we were free under the Tsar. Weapons -- from swords and spears to pistols, rifles, and shotguns -- were common items. People carried them concealed or holstered. Daggers were a prominent part of many traditional attires.

Various armies -- the Poles, Napoleon, or the Germans -- found out that holding Russian lands was much harder than invading them, as every occupier faced a well-armed and aggressive population, hell-bent on driving out the aggressor.

This well-armed population was what allowed the various groups to rise up in 1918 and wage a brutal civil war against the Red Army. Disorganized politically and militarily, many factions of the White Army were mostly armed peasants, villagers, farmers and merchants, protecting their own property.

When the Reds approached Moscow, the city was a home to over 30,000 active and retired military officers, all with their own issued weapons and ammunition, plus tens of thousands of armed citizens. The Communists promised to leave them alone if there would be no armed resistance. The Muscovites believed them and didn't intervene when a few hundred White military cadets and their instructors died defending the city against ten thousand Reds. Shortly afterwards, the Communists asked everyone to register their weapons. Those who showed up, where promptly shot.

Once they won the civil war, the Reds disarmed the entire population. From that point on, mass repression, mass arrests, mass deportations, mass murder, and mass famine were a safe game. The worst the Communists had to fear was a pitchfork in the guts, a knife in the back, or the occasional hunting rifle.

For those of us fighting for our traditional rights, the US 2nd Amendment is a rare source of light in the ever darkening world.

If politicians really believe that our society is full of incompetent adolescents who can't be trusted with weapons, let them explain why we should trust them or the police, who also come from the same society and grew up in this culture.

While various governments try to limit gun ownership so as to protect the people from lunatics and criminals, what they really protect is their own power. Everywhere the guns are banned, gun-related crime increases. If lunatics want to kill, they can use cars (NYC, Chapel Hill NC), swords (Japan), knives (China), or home-made bombs (world over). They can throw acid (Pakistan, UK), or fire bombs (France). Often times the only way to stop a raging maniac on a killing spree is a bullet to the head fired by an armed citizen.

Do not believe for a moment that progressives and other leftists hate guns. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who will not march in lockstep with their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves, refuse to comply, and eventually will have to be scheduled for a bullet behind the ear.

Do not fall for their false promises. Do not extinguish the last remaining light that allows humanity a measure of self-respect.

Father of Soviet Political Poster who worked for the Nazis

Let me illustrate the above with this Soviet propaganda poster, published in 1918 in Moscow, during the described events: "Citizens, hand over your weapons!"


Curiously enough, the artist, Alexander Apsit, who is rightfully considered the father of the Soviet political poster, later escaped the communist system for which he advocated with his prolific propagandistic imagery. Shortly after the civil war, he settled in his native Latvia, leaving behind the "workers' paradise" where many of his colleagues were being harassed, jailed, and murdered.

In yet another ironic twist, after Latvia's annexation by the Nazis in 1939, the father of the Soviet political poster moved to Germany and worked for the Nazis until his death in 1943, in the middle of his adopted country's war against the Soviet Union.

Red Terror and America

This story would be incomplete without a quote from the former Pravda editor and prominent Party theoretician Nikolai Bukharin: "We asked for freedom of the press, thought, and civil liberties in the past because we were in the opposition and needed these liberties to conquer. Now that we have conquered, there is no longer any need for such civil liberties." In a strike of poetic justice, in 1937, Bukharin was declared an enemy of the people and, after a show trial, executed on bogus charges.

Back in 1918, in the times of Lenin's Red Terror, head of the Communist International Grigory Zinoviev issued this pronouncement: "To overcome our enemies we must have our own socialist militarism. We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia's population. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated." Quite ironically, Zinoviev himself was later purged and executed in 1936.

Unlike his followers, the father of Communism, Karl Marx, was lucky to die peacefully in his bed -- but not before he wrote: "There is only one way to shorten and ease the convulsions of the old society and the bloody birth pangs of the new -- revolutionary terror."

Perhaps the most ironic historical mind-bender of all is found in the United States, where history was much kinder to communist rebels. In the 1960s, the leader of the KGB-supported communist terrorist group Weather Underground, Bill Ayers, repeated Zinoviev's idea of annihilating ten percent of the population -- 25 million Americans -- so as to advance the revolution in the United States.

Ayers summed up the ideology of his movement as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents." Unlike his Soviet role models, however, this communist didn't have to leave the country or suffer any discomfort. Supported by the left-dominated academic establishment, Ayers became a prominent member of and later vice president for curriculum studies at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), exerting great influence over what is taught in America's teacher-training colleges and, through indoctrination of a generation of teachers, its public schools.

According to this must-read article by Daren Jonescu, Ayers simply altered his strategy, replacing annihilation with re-education -- or, rather, pre-education, thus reducing the number of potential targets. Since then, "the educational establishment has progressed so far that the KGB-supported communist revolutionaries, who received training and funds from Cuba's DGI, have been welcomed, first as honored guests (in lieu of a prison sentence), and finally as leading members of the establishment."

For many years now, the "imperialist" America was being quietly transformed, under our noses, into a socialist country through mind conditioning of at least three complete K-12 generations of public-school students. USSR is dead; long live the USSA.

And you thought Pravda turning anti-communist was a big deal!

Sergio Tezza can be reached at

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Posted by Ted Belman, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Elyakim Haetzni who is an Israeli lawyer, settlement activist and former politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Tehiya from 1990 until 1992. The article appered January 09, 2013 in the YNet News and is archived at,7340,L-4329908,00.html

The political map of the Middle East was drawn shortly after World War One and following 400 years of Ottoman rule. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and "Palestine" — the Land of Israel — were established out of nothing as "mandates" — territories that were administered on behalf of the League of Nations for the benefit of the local Arabs and to secure the establishment of the "national home of the Jewish nation." This home stretched to the Iraqi border, from both banks of the Jordan River. Within these territories the world powers only recognized ethnic groups (apart from the Jewish nation) and secured their religious and civil rights. The south-Syria ethnic groups had no idea they were the "nation" known as "Palestinian." Only when their king, Faisal, was expelled from Syria by the French and the Mandate for Palestine was established in the Land of Israel did they reinvent themselves as a "Palestinian nation" that has a right to a national home of its own.

The Palestinians substantiated this new identity with riots and pogroms that continue to this day. Way back in 1922, when the Mandate for Palestine was approved, the British tried to calm them down by dividing the land. About 3/4 of Palestine, the entire area east of the Jordan River - was handed to them, but to no avail. In the remaining area, west of the Jordan River, the attacks persisted. The lands east of the river were placed under the rule of Emir Abdullah, who would later turn them into the "Jordanian" - not "Palestinian" — kingdom, although Arabs also consider Jordan to be "Palestine," and 70% of the kingdom's inhabitants are Palestinians. So the British Mandate was actually revised for the benefit of another nation, the Palestinian nation, which received most of the territory.

Seemingly, this was the realization of the "two states for two peoples" vision, but the new nation demanded two countries — "Jordan" in the east and Palestine in the west — so far only in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The new Middle East that was shaped during the 1920s is crumbling before our eyes. In Iraq, Syria and Lebanon the Sunnis, Shiites, Druze and Alawis are going their separate ways. And where will the Palestinians go? Two possible scenarios concern the Hashemite Kingdom: 1) After the Palestinian state in the West Bank gets the Jordan Valley it will 'swallow' Jordan, and this will be seen as a natural and legitimate unification of the Palestinian people. 2) The Palestinian majority in Jordan will revolt and cross the Jordan River from the opposite direction. The result of both scenarios will be the same.

But they would still be faced with a problem, because there is a Jewish country in this area, and as far as it is concerned, one Palestinian state is enough. Judea and Samaria are stuck between this state (which is the same state regardless of whether it will be called "Jordan" or "Palestine") and the Jewish state in the west. Seemingly, this territory should be a part of Israel, as it is included in the one-fourth that was left for the Jewish people, who also have a historical right to the land. However, despite the settlement enterprise, thanks to which about a third of all of Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem's residents are Jewish — the vast majority of Judea and Samaria's residents are Palestinian.

The necessary compromise is autonomy: Israel will extend its sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, and the Knesset will enact a law granting autonomy to Arabs living in areas A and B. The residents will vote once for their "local regime" and a second time in the state located to the east, which they will be citizens of. Meaning, the West Bank Arabs will be citizens of Palestine and residents of an Israeli autonomy. According to the UN's Partition Plan for Palestine, the Arab residents of the Hebrew state would be allowed to obtain citizenship in the neighboring state and vote there. Even the Oslo agreement, which the Left is so proud of, calls for autonomy: Security, foreign relations, infrastructure, water, airspace, border crossings and the basic economic structure all remain under Israel's control.

In the new Middle East there is room for one state for the Jews and a state plus autonomy for the Palestinians. Nothing more.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at

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Posted by GWY123, January 11, 2013


With the extreme conditions this week culminating in heavy snow on the high ground, the IDF, the Civil Administration and the Palestinian security forces have coordinated rescue activities in several operations throughout the Judea and Samaria region: Seven people were rescued near Jenin, five in Hirbat Jabara and five near Nua a-Shams.

IDF forces also rescued an Arab-Israeli school bus carrying 30 children near Jenin, as well as two cars and an a Palestinian ambulance — all stuck due to rising water.

Fifteen people had to escape to the roof of their building in Baqa-jatt, near Haifa, after the area was flooded. The Air Force has been able to rescue them and they were taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera in mild condition.


Two Arab Nazarenes meet at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, fall in love, get married and move back home to start a high-tech business financed only by the sale of their car.

Doesn't sound like a recipe for success? Well, it worked out fine for Imad and Reem Younis, whose company Alpha Omega is a world leader in producing pioneering products for neurosurgery and neuroscience research.

Last June, Alpha Omega named the 2012 American Israeli Company of the Year by the American Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta, Georgia. One of its international sales and support offices in based in Alpharetta, near Atlanta.

Reem Younis, a civil engineer (her husband's degree is in electrical engineering), explains: "Alpha Omega's knowhow is 'driving' safely inside the brain with an electrode, recording neural activity, stimulating neural tissue, processing and analyzing the data.

"In simple terms, you can look at it as a GPS inside the brain that guides the neurosurgeon to the required location, where a permanent electrode is implanted. This treatment is supposed to eliminate disease symptoms, and the patient can go back to his or her normal life."

The company's recording and stimulation tools, which have both FDA (US) and CE (Europe) approvals, are helpful in two realms. Neuroscientists use them in the lab to understand more about the human brain, and neurosurgeons use them for treating patients with a variety of neural disorders such as Parkinson's disease and dystonia, a nervous system disorder that causes involuntary muscles contractions and spasms.

"In Europe this method is used also for treating people with [clinical] depression," says Younis.

Meeting future needs

Alpha Omega was established in 1993 in Nazareth, a Christian Arab city that recently hosted its first Startup Weekend event. The company's sophisticated machinery is manufactured locally and sold through offices in the United States, Israel and Germany, as well as by sales representatives in China, Japan and South America.

The mainly Christian and Muslim Arab staff of 35 in Alpha Omega's Nazareth headquarters are graduates of the Technion or Tel Aviv University.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, Reem and Imad Younis went from one northern Arab municipality to another, explaining their company's technology and entrepreneurship model to high school students with the goal of encouraging other innovators like themselves.

"We are 20 percent of the [Israeli] population and also need to be 20% of the Israeli high-tech scene, but we are not," says Younis. "It's closer to 1%. Alpha Omega is about bringing high-tech to Nazareth and giving employment to very highly qualified engineers."

She says the company's equipment is well known around the world for accuracy and stability. "We are in more than 100 hospitals and more than 500 labs on six continents. Our main market is, of course, the USA."

Younis says one reason for the company's success is its close relationship with the research community, particularly at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and other top researchers in Israel and beyond.

"Because Alpha Omega is involved in both the medical and research fields, we hear about new needs and trends," says Younis. "We know where the market is leading in five or 10 years, so that our excellent teams will develop the appropriate systems for serving humanity and fulfilling the company's mission."


The world's supply of fish from natural habitats is being depleted, and the quality of marine ecological systems throughout the world is declining, except in a few places where environmental awareness is more evident and strict enforcement is applied. In order to supply the constantly growing demand, the branch of aquaculture in Israel has been developing at a rapid rate over the past few years.

There are a number of natural causes that can bring about the deterioration of water quality, for instance the growth of algae, invasion of non-endemic species, or changing quantities of sediment. But man-made factors, including unsuccessful developmental strategies, have caused, and still cause, some of the gravest damage to marine ecological systems, hastening their deterioration to the extent that all life in the water is threatened, as it is on land.

The world's lakes and seas are closely connected to the daily life of the communities that surround them. Many lakes were and still are the only source of livelihood and of communities which depend mainly on fishing. Non-sustainable use of soil, nonexistent development, and the desire for quick profits are some of the reasons for the widespread deterioration. In many cases unplanned development has critically affected the communities living in the area of the water, severely damaging their quality of life, nutrition and food security.

The communities of fishermen, fish breeders and farmers or settlers with access to water sources, and those who want to breed fish, are the main target populations for MASHAV's, the overseas development arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, development assistance activities in the field of mariculture.


MASHAV has been working for many years in the field of agricultural assistance to the developing world, based on the accumulated experience of 70 years of fish breeding in Israel. Israel's know-how and experience are uniquely valuable and meaningful for developing countries, some of which face a lack of natural resources or arid or semi-arid conditions.

In the field of aquaculture, Israel has achieved impressive results that have made it a leader in several areas that are at the heart of development cooperation:

Fish breeding — diversified technologies for production of different fish species, under changing intensification conditions (ponds, cages and recirculating systems).

Planning and management of a farm — structural principles of fishponds, kinds of facilities and equipment for fish breeding; data collection and registration.

Water quality — water as a medium for life, limnology of fishponds. Importance of water quality for fish breeding; health aspects of fish, dependent on water quality; adaptation of fish breeds to different water qualities (salinity, temperature, etc.).

Fish and marine animals- morphology and anatomy; fish breeds in aquaculture, biological aspects of different breeds; types of interface according to fish species.

Fish health — causes of disease, diagnosis and treatment, prevention interface.

Feeding and nutrition — principles of fish nutrition; feed production for different fish species (use of raw materials).

Fish propagation — production of fingerlings, naturally or induced, with hormonal control; production of mono-sex population; planning and maintenance of breeding schools.

Feasibility analysis and economical consideration — cost and production aspects for establishment and continuous maintenance.

Contact GWY123 at

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Posted by Roberta Dzubow, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Giacomo who is New Jersey born associate of the 'family' who has known and worked with politicians over the years. Visit his website at The article appeared January 7, 2013 in the Godfather Politics and is archived at

How would you like to live a life of luxury without spending a dime out of your own pocket? You can fly anywhere in the world on a private jet, have staff waiting on you hand and foot and even have your mother-in-law live with you for free.

This past weekend, I did a piece on Obama's recent Hawaii vacation costing US taxpayers over $7 million. I thought and still do believe, that this is outrageous. They used Air Force One for their PRIVATE vacation at a cost of $180,000 per hour and it's an 18 hour round trip. Barack Obama made the trip twice, so just the cost of two round trips on Air Force One rang up to a grand total of $6.48 million.

However, if the cost of the one family vacation upsets you like it did me, wait till you see the grand total cost to taxpayers for a whole year of supporting the First Family in White House.

Robert Keith Gray just wrote Presidential Perks Gone Royal: Your Taxes Are Being Used For Obama's Re-election. According to the description of the book found on, Gray reveals how the cost of maintaining the First Family has gone completely out of control costing taxpayers $1.4 billion per year:

"From the sublime to the ridiculous to the truly obscene, the various perks and privileges bestowed on our Chief Executive, our self-proclaimed man of the people, include the extravagant foolishness of having twenty-six cabin crewmembers on Air Force One, along with FIVE (5) chefs! In the White House theatre, two projectionists sleep in in order to remain on duty at all times, should a First Family member or guest fancy a film. A dog walker is also always on hand. One was reported to be paid $102,000 a year to walk and pick up after the first-family's canine. On at least one airline trip in the presidential fleet, the only passengers aboard were the First Canine and his handler. In 2009, the military payroll at Camp David was $8,000,000. And these men and women were not there as replacements for the Secret Service to protect the President, but rather to serve the First Family and its guests."

"On the political front, we learn that in the first months of his presidency President Obama appointed 43 high-priced czars, a number far greater than any previous president, and not one of these professionals voted to office by taxpayers or subject to the approval of any other governmental body or official. During his current term he has also appointed 469 professionals who could be called, assistant presidents. 226 of them are paid over $100,000 a year and 77 of them paid as much as $172,000 a year."

"The British spent $57.8 Million on its royal family last year. We Americans spent nearly $2 Billion on housing, transporting, entertaining, staffing, our First Family and paying a hefty portion of the president's campaign expenses."

Now consider the fact that some Democrats in Congress want to give Obama an unlimited debt ceiling and the power to bypass Congress when it comes to spending. Who in their right mind would trust anyone who is that out of control with other people's money, enough to give them a limitless blank check?

As a natural born US citizen and taxpayer, I find Obama's careless spending and luxurious lifestyle to be offensive and insensitive to the American people. I agree with Gray that there is no way Obama can relate to the average American. He had his schooling handed to him by others. He had his jobs handed to him by others. Now he is living the life of the top 1% because it is being handed to him by others. I'm one of the others and I don't want to hand him anything else. I especially don't want to give him the power of an unlimited debt ceiling and spending. But the foolish people that have free Obama phones put him back in the White House so that he can continue to live a lifestyle that they could never even fathom.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at

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Posted by Sanne DeWitt, January 11, 2013

The article Below was written by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer writes a weekly political column and is also a Fox News commentator, appears nightly on "Special Report with Bret Baier." Krauthammer joined The Post as a columnist in 1984, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1987 for "his witty and insightful columns on national issues." Krauthammer began his journalism career at The New Republic, where he was a writer and editor and won the 1984 National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism. Before going into journalism, he was a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980, he helped direct planning in psychiatric research for the Carter administration, and he practiced medicine for three years as a resident and then chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Krauthammer was born in New York City and grew up in Montreal, Quebec. He attended McGill University, Balliol College, Oxford and Harvard Medical School. The article appeared January 10, 2013 in the Washington Post and is archived at

The puzzle of the Chuck Hagel nomination for defense secretary is that you normally choose someone of the other party for your Cabinet to indicate a move to the center, but, as The Post's editorial board pointed out, Hagel's foreign policy views are to the left of Barack Obama's, let alone the GOP's. Indeed, they are at the fringe of the entire Senate.

So what's going on? Message-sending. Obama won reelection. He no longer has to trim, to appear more moderate than his true instincts. He has the "flexibility" to be authentically Obama.

Hence the Hagel choice: Under the guise of centrist bipartisanship, it allows the president to leave the constrained first-term Obama behind and follow his natural Hagel-like foreign policy inclinations. On three pressing issues, in particular:

(1) Military Spending

Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in August 2011 that the scheduled automatic $600 billion defense cuts ("sequestration") would result in "hollowing out the force," which would be "devastating." And he strongly hinted that he might resign rather than enact them.

Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in August 2011 that the scheduled automatic $600 billion defense cuts ("sequestration") would result in "hollowing out the force," which would be "devastating." And he strongly hinted that he might resign rather than enact them.

Asked about Panetta's remarks, Hagel called the Pentagon "bloated" and needing "to be pared down." Just the man you'd want to carry out a U.S. disarmament that will shrink America to what Obama thinks is its proper size on the world stage; i.e., smaller. The overweening superpower that Obama promiscuously chided in his global we-have-sinned tour is poised for reduction, not only to fund the bulging welfare state — like Europe's postwar choice of social spending over international relevance — but to recalibrate America's proper role in the world.

(2) Israel

The issue is not Hagel's alleged hostility but his public pronouncements. His refusal to make moral distinctions, for example. At the height of the second intifada, a relentless campaign of indiscriminate massacre of Israelis, Hagel found innocence abounding: "Both Israelis and Palestinians are trapped in a war not of their making."

This pass at evenhandedness is nothing but pernicious blindness. Just last month, Yasser Arafat's widow admitted on Dubai TV what everyone has long known — that Arafat deliberately launched the intifada after the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in July 2000. He told his wife to stay in the safety of Paris. Why, she asked? Because I'm going to start an intifada.

In July 2002, with the terror still raging, Hagel offered further exquisite evenhandedness: "Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace." Good God. Exactly two years earlier Israel had proposed an astonishingly generous peace that offered Arafat a Palestinian state — and half of Jerusalem, a previously unimaginable Israeli concession. Arafat said no, made no counteroffer, walked away and started his terror war. Did no one tell Hagel?

(3) Iran

Hagel doesn't just oppose military action, a problematic option with serious arguments on both sides. He actually opposed any unilateral sanctions. You can't get more out of the mainstream than that.

He believes in diplomacy instead, as if talk alone will deter the mullahs. He even voted against designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization at a time when they were supplying and supporting attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most tellingly, he has indicated that he is prepared to contain a nuclear Iran, a position diametrically opposed to Obama's first-term, ostensibly unalterable opposition to containment. What message do you think this sends the mullahs?

And that's the point. Hagel himself doesn't matter. He won't make foreign policy. Obama will run it out of the White House even more tightly than he did in the first term. Hagel's importance is the message his nomination sends about where Obama wants to go. The lessons are being duly drawn. Iran's official media have already cheered the choice of what they call this "anti-Israel" nominee. And they fully understand what his nomination signals regarding administration resolve about stopping them from going nuclear.

The rest of the world can see coming the Pentagon downsizing — and the inevitable, commensurate decline of U.S. power. Pacific Rim countries will have to rethink reliance on the counterbalance of the U.S. Navy and consider acquiescence to Chinese regional hegemony. Arab countries will understand that the current rapid decline of post-Kissinger U.S. dominance in the region is not cyclical but intended to become permanent.

Hagel is a man of no independent stature. He's no George Marshall or Henry Kissinger. A fringe senator who left no trace behind, Hagel matters only because of what his nomination says about Obama.

However the Senate votes on confirmation, the signal has already been sent. Before Election Day, Obama could only whisper it to his friend Dmitry. Now, with Hagel, he's told the world.

Contact Sanne DeWitt at

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Posted by Natan Nestel, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi. Ben-Tzi lectured in international relations in the 1970s. He has taught at the University of Chicago, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Cornell University and Georgetown University, among others. He has published numerous books and articles on international relations, including "The American Approach to Superpower Collaboration in the Middle East, 1973-1986"; "The United States and Israel, The Limits of the Special Relationship"; and "Decade of Transition: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Origins of the American-Israeli Alliance. Ben-Zvi is a regular contributor to publications on the Middle East, including "Middle East Focus"; "Strategic Assessment"; and "The Jerusalem Journal of International Relations." The article appeared January 11, 2013 in Israel Hayom and is archived at

It has been over seven decades since the policy of appeasement pursued by Western democracies in their dealings with the evil Nazi empire crashed and burned. Now, as we begin 2013, we come away with the impression that the man who is in line to serve as the Obama administration's next defense secretary, former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, harbors political and diplomatic philosophies that are deeply entrenched in those dark days of myopic appeasement.

Judging from numerous past statements, Hagel clearly believes that the key to ensuring global and regional stability is adopting a soft policy toward any radical entity working to fundamentally change the rules of the game and threaten the prevailing world order, including Iran. According to the man who has been tapped as the next Pentagon chief, the Tehran regime's moderation is contingent upon shelving the military option as a viable alternative in neutralizing the Iranian nuclear threat.

As Hagel sees it, instead of saber-rattling and tougher sanctions, American diplomacy will offer a package of confidence-building measures in the form of economic and political incentives, which would then ensure regional stability while removing the horrifying specter of a nuclear Iran, which would undoubtedly cast a menacing cloud over the entire Middle East.

Yes, Hagel does specify a limit to his conciliatory, appeasing approach. He is careful to note that in the event of a direct, immediate threat on U.S. national security interests, there remain options of deterrence, containment, intervention, and even the use of force, which Hagel believes should be the last alternative.

Nonetheless, these are scenarios that have little chance of taking place in the long term. The U.S. would likely call upon the application of force in the event of a very serious threat (particularly from China) to the global balance of power and vital American interests. If, however, one takes into account the litany of short-term, immediate threats, Hagel's philosophy posits that offering carrots and incentives is far more preferable than threatening with the sticks of sanctions and punishment (without mentioning the use of military force).

At Hagel's core, the strategy of appeasement is a precondition for attaining stability. If and when this sought-after stability is attained, then the American hegemon could realize its dream of hunkering down in its own isolationism, just as the designate secretary of defense planned it. This would enable the U.S. to relieve itself of the arduous burden that comes with managing the complexities inherent in the international system. On a related note, it is worth recalling that Hagel, in this context, is an enthusiastic supporter of massively cutting the defense budget.

A disturbing element

Given this belief system, the elements of which are intertwined, it is easy to understand the deep disdain that the former senator harbors for any country that he perceives as putting obstacles before the realization of his vision. Once Hagel came to the conclusion that Israel is primarily responsible for the prolonged conflict in the Palestinian sphere and its destructive regional ramifications, little doubt remained as to the cumulative consequences of his statements as they relate to Israel.

Despite his unconvincing denials from recent days — which are intended to soften the stiff bipartisan opposition to his nomination that is expected in the Senate — there is little doubt regarding Israel's place on Hagel's list of priorities as reflected in his core values and belief system. Irrespective of whether the topic at hand is the second intifada, the Second Lebanon War or Operation Cast Lead, Israel is invariably perceived by Hagel as a trigger-happy country that endangers regional stability.

In echoing sentiments that were often heard during the less-than-pleasant days of the 1950s, Hagel believes that Israel is a clear strategic burden. In addition, he feels that regional crises precipitated by Israel's actions have dragged U.S. governments into the Middle Eastern swamp against their will, thereby sapping American resources while jeopardizing Washington's ties with regional allies.

Judging by the worldview espoused by the former senator from Nebraska, Washington's traditional support for Jerusalem (which Hagel believes is based on the threats and intimidation tactics employed by the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the American capital) is a very bothersome element that has complicated the task of forming a united, pan-Arab bloc that would be closely allied with the West.

It seems that the far-reaching concessions offered by Israel at Camp David in 2000 as well as during peace negotiations in 2008 — which failed to convince the Palestinian Authority to show more flexibility in laying down its conditions for a final settlement — left no impression on the incoming defense secretary's attitude toward the Jewish State.

As such, Hagel remains convinced that the State of Israel and its policies are the main source of the chronic instability that has bedeviled the Middle East. In his view, even today Israel and the talk surrounding the nuclear threat increase the odds that the entire world (including the American giant) could be dragged toward the precipice of a new, highly destructive Iranian apocalypse.

Since this is a very entrenched, crystallized set of positions and opinions, it would be a mistake to toy with illusory notions regarding what we can expect from the new top man at the Pentagon in the event that his nomination is confirmed, irrespective of how much clout he wields in the administration.

Gearing up for battle

Nonetheless, it is reasonable to assume that the Hagel's road to confirmation is bumpy. Not only does nominating Hagel constitute a provocative move toward the Republican opposition (many of whose members view their fellow Republican as a wayward step-child), but it is also noteworthy since Hagel's positions significantly undermine the traditional base of support for Israel, which has enjoyed tremendous backing on Capitol Hill for decades.

The fact that Hagel has yet to be quoted expressing even minor acknowledgement of the cultural, ideological, and historical ties that are shared between the two allies could serve as the key factor that thwarts his nomination. The battle for Hagel's political future has begun.

While Hagel's bread-and-butter ideology is rooted in matters of strategic and diplomatic importance, the Israeli aspect of this confirmation battle holds special importance, particularly because it is hard to find central players in the current administration (including in the White House) that will make a special effort to balance the hostile views that Hagel harbors toward Israel. This stands in stark contrast to the two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan.

During that period, then-Pentagon chief Caspar Weinberger consistently demonstrated hostility toward Israel. In contrast, however, the governments of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir enjoyed warm ties with Reagan himself as well as with his secretaries of state, Alexander Haig and George Shultz. Despite many points of friction and disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem, Haig and Shultz were able to balance out, and even neutralize, Weinberger on numerous occasions.

The only thing left to do is to hope that the current battle will end without the State of Israel being vulnerable, and that Chuck Hagel's dream of isolationist-driven appeasement will quickly subside into oblivion.

Contact Natan Nestel at

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Posted by Natan Nestel, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Daniel Gordis who is senior vice president and Koret Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. His newest book, The Promise of Israel: Why Its Seemingly Greatest Weakness is Actually Its Greatest Strength, was recently named by Jewish Ideas Daily as one of the best Jewish books of 2012. The article appeared January 10, 2013 in the Jerusalem Postand is archived at

Our enemies are not fools. But they are consistent.


"What was the hardest thing about making aliya?" people still ask me.

They expect, I imagine, that I'll say something about our kids going to the army. Or about living in less than half the space we had when we lived in the States. Or, if they knew, they might imagine that I'd mention having one car for four drivers, rather than two cars for two drivers.

For me, though, it's not that. What's been hardest has been watching the worldview on which I was raised crash and break like a ship washed violently against a forbidding shore. I was raised in one of those (then-) classic American Jewish suburban families. Democratic voting, opposed to the Vietnam War, passionate advocates for civil rights, my parents taught their kids that most people were reasonable and that all conflicts were solvable. When it came to the Middle East, the prescription for resolution of the conflict was clear — we would give land, and we would get peace. The only question was when.

We were not the only ones who believed that, of course. A significant portion of Israeli society believed the same thing — until the Palestinian Terror War (mistakenly called the second intifada) — that is. Those four years destroyed the Israeli political Left because they washed away any illusions Israelis might have had that the Palestinian leadership was interested in a deal. And, to be fair, why should the Palestinians be interested in a deal? Their position gets stronger with each passing year. No longer pariahs, they are now the darlings of the international community. They have seen the world shift from denying the existence of a Palestinian people to giving them observer status at the UN. If you were the leader of the Palestinian Authority, would you make a deal now? Of course not. With the terms bound to get sweeter in years to come, only a fool would sign now.

Our enemies are not fools. But they are consistent. Hamas's Mahmoud al- Zahar, in a much-quoted statement, said last year that the Jews have no place among the nations of the world and are headed for annihilation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared to Egyptian TV that he would never, in a thousand years, recognize a Jewish state. Bibi gave the Bar-Ilan speech, but Abbas refused to return to the table; he still insists on the refugees' right of return, which he knows would spell death for the idea of a Jewish state. Egypt's Mohamed Morsi makes no bones about the fact that he would like to annul the treaty between Israel and Egypt. In videos recently posted by MEMRI (which were recorded in 2010, before he was worried about being closely watched), he openly described Jews as descendants of pigs, called Zionists "bloodsuckers" and said that Jews "must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land.They must be driven out of our countries."

When Bashar Assad falls, will the Syrian victors be more likely to accept Israel's existence? When Jordan follows, will the quiet on the Jordanian border persist?

ISRAELIS LIVE in a world of utter cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, our region is becoming ever more dangerous and our foes ever more honest about their desire to destroy the Jewish state. And on the other hand, much of the world insists that "land for peace" simply must work; some American Jewish leaders actually urged Israel, even in the midst of the Gaza conflict, to return to the negotiating table. It would be funny were it not so sad and so dangerous.

That is why the upcoming election, sobering though it is, may actually prove important. Israelis across the spectrum are acknowledging what they used to only whisper: the old paradigm is dying.

Naftali Bennett of the Bayit Yehudi party explicitly states that "land for peace" is dead and advocates annexing the portion of the West Bank known as Area C. Yair Shamir of Yisrael Beytenu says that regardless of Netanyahu's Bar- Ilan speech, the Likud never endorsed a Palestinian state. Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party's website makes no mention of going back to the negotiating table.

Neither does the Labor Party platform.

Even Meretz recently acknowledged that Oslo is dead.

To give up hope for peace is not to choose war. Egypt's present and Jordan's future indicate how little is guaranteed by a treaty; the Palestinian present shows that we can have quiet even in the face of stalemate. What Israelis now want is quiet, and a future. Nothing more, nothing less. And most importantly, no more illusions.

The demise of the peace addiction is no cause for celebration; it is merely cause for relief. There is something exhausting about living a life of pretense; with the death of illusion comes the possibility of shaping a future. After a new government is formed, a genuine leader could actually lead Israelis into a "what next" conversation. Deciding what comes next, now that we sadly know that the idea of "land for peace" is dead, will not be easy. Israel could make wise decisions or terrible mistakes.

But if, as a result of this election, we begin to have a conversation about a future that we can actually have, the Jewish state will be much better off.

Israel, though, is likely to make much better choices if it is joined in its hardearned realism by forces outside the country too. Now that Israelis are getting honest, the question is whether the international community — and then American Jews — will follow suit. On the former front, there are occasional causes for optimism. The Washington Post, for example, recently acknowledged that the international community's rhetoric has become an obstacle rather than a help. "Mr. Netanyahu's zoning approval is hardly the 'almost fatal blow' to a twostate solution that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described... If Security Council members are really interested in progress toward Palestinian statehood, they will press Mr. Abbas to stop using settlements as an excuse for intransigence — and cool their own overheated rhetoric."

Amen to that. But what about American Jewish leaders? They will likely find admitting that "land for peace" is dying no less difficult than anyone else. Will they listen carefully to what the Israeli electorate, across the spectrum, is saying? I hope so. Because loving someone means helping them to fashion a future that is possible, not harboring an exhausted illusion that can only yield pain and disappointment. The same is true with loving Israel.

In the midst of the cacophony and sobriety of this Israeli election, a new, mature and infinitely more realistic resignation seems to be emerging. Those who care about Israel might see it as failure, as moral weakness or as sad exhaustion. Alternatively, we could see it for what it is — the enduring Israeli desire to live, to thrive and to work not for a future that others pretend is still possible, but rather for one that we can actually build and then bequeath to our children.

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Posted by Israel Commentary, January 11, 2013

The article below was written by Susan Combs. Visit her website at The article appeared January 10, 2013 in Israel Commentary and is archived at

President Obama is expected to name Jack Lew as his Treasury secretary on Thursday, continuing his cabinet's second-term makeover in his own image. He is assembling a team of personal and ideological loyalists whose job will be less to offer independent advice than to advance and implement his agenda for a larger, more redistributionist government.

Mr. Lew's nomination will disappoint those (mostly naive CEOs) who were hoping for a second-term agenda more hospitable to business and private economic growth. Save for a stint in Robert Rubin's Citigroup, where Democrats go to monetize their political connections, and a few years as an academic, Mr. Lew is a Washington lifer whose expertise is politics. He brings no special knowledge or experience in economic policy, private industry or global finance.

It's notable how Mr. Lew's reputation has changed during the Obama years. As White House budget director in the Clinton era, he was viewed by Republicans as a reasonable liberal they could do business with. But as budget director and chief of staff in the Obama White House, Mr. Lew has been the President's most partisan and implacable negotiator.

Our sources who have been in the room with the 57-year-old say he is now a fierce defender of entitlements in their current form, resists all but token spending restraint, and favors higher tax rates. In taking these positions he no doubt reflects Mr. Obama, but no one should think he'll emerge as his own man at Treasury.

It's also worth noting how different Mr. Lew's selection is from most modern Treasury secretaries, of either party. Democrats have tended to select men with credibility in the business or financial worlds. JFK chose Republican financier Douglas Dillon, while Bill Clinton chose moderate Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen and then Mr. Rubin of Goldman Sachs. George W. Bush picked former or current CEOs, though until Hank Paulson economic policy was run out of the White House.

Mr. Lew's selection signals similar White House dominance, as well as a degrading of Treasury's traditional role as the voice for pro-growth policies. Mr. Lew is not the economic general you choose if you're looking for tax reform or a bold growth agenda.

He's the man you pick if you expect months of political trench warfare over taxes and spending. He's the partisan you nominate if your overriding political goal is to destroy House Republicans in the midterm elections, not strike a deal with them.

Mr. Lew's nomination would continue the post-election trend of Obama Unfettered. There's no more restraining his progressive agenda, as during the last two years. Chuck Hagel will be unleashed to shrink the Pentagon and reduce America's global military footprint. John Kerry will be dispatched to give engagement with Iran and other U.S. adversaries another try, whether or not they're interested.

But Mr. Obama's main project is to reorder the relationship of Americans to their government. His goal is to extend and entrench entitlements into the daily expectations of the middle class—from cradle to college to health care during the working years to retirement and then the grave. The productive engines of the private U.S. economy are to be reoriented to finance this income redistribution.

His first four years, at least before House Republicans rudely interrupted, were about extending and entrenching the entitlements. His next four years will be about protecting every inch of that expansion while trying to find the means to pay for it.

Mr. Lew's main job will be to cajole or pound that money out of Republicans. And if he can't do that, he'll try to position Democrats to retake the House in 2014. Then in Mr. Obama's final two years, the President and Nancy Pelosi could finish what they started and impose the new energy tax or value-added tax they know is essential to finance their dreams because it taps the middle class.

Mr. Lew only makes sense as a Treasury secretary if this is the agenda. Policies to grow the economy will be an afterthought. The GOP should calibrate its expectations and strategy accordingly.

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Posted by Richard Shulman, January 11, 2013

"The creditors are coming, the creditors are coming!," cries the NY Times, a modern Paul Revere, riding to warn of the approaching menace. The menace, however, is not unusual but an annual shakedown routine by the P.A.. [The editorial admits that the crisis is perennial.] The menace is not approaching us but the P.A.. A P.A. failure would not be a burden to us but, given the P.A.'s bigoted, imperialistic aspirations, a potential financial and military relief to us.

The editorial makes these points [and I comment about them]:

1. "Arab states have a responsibility to make sure the P.A. remains viable."

Why are the Arab states not keeping their pledges tdo subsidize the P.A.? Not explained. Why do the Arab states have a responsibility for the P.A.? Also not explained. Is it just that the NY Times likes to tell everybody their duty about everything? Is it that, as the Arab states often do, the editors want a viable P.A. as a spearhead against Zionism? Is it that the Arab states are of the same nationality, Arab, as the P.A. people, but then why give the P.A. a separate state?

2. The P.A. is "...finding it increasingly difficult to pay 180,000 government employees including security forces as well as other civil servants."

The P.A. has proportionately more police [really troops] than almost everywhere else. Why doesn't the NY Times examine the P.A. use of foreign funds to pay for patronage, terrorism, and future aggression?

3. "Whatever the criticisms of the P.A., and there are many, Israel has increasingly depended on it to manage and keep the peace in a strategically critical swath of territory."

Let's hear what are the many criticisms of the P.A.! It would be a rare privilege to read about them in that newspaper, which focuses on its many and undeserved criticisms of Israel.

"Strategically critical swath of territory?" What an unusual acknowledgment by that newspaper, which usually pretends that Israel can safely give up what Jewish nationalists demonstrate is strategically critical territory. Critical to Israel's survival, that is.

No, Israel does not depend on the P.A. to keep the peace there. It did not ask the P.A. to, though it has a right to expect the P.A. to do so, as its binding commitment in the Oslo Accords makes clear. But signed commitments do not bind those Arabs.

Actually, the P.A. asked Israel to let P.A. troops patrol P.A. cities, and the newspaper and its partner, the State Dept. urged Israel to acquiesce. Israel acceded. Result? The P.A. did not round up terrorists; Israel had to make night raids to do so. Nevertheless, the P.A. got praised as if successfully securing the area from terrorism.

4. For peace, the P.A. must have a state with a competent government "and leaders with whom to make a deal."

"Leaders with whom to make a deal," means someone who would sign a deal that the P.A. would not fulfill, whether that leader reneges or Hamas liquidates him. The editors' know that the P.A. would not honor the deal. The Times' thirst in getting such a deal reflects its anti-Zionist agenda.

Who cares whether the P.A. is competent! The point is whether it is peace loving. So far, the P.A. tells its people that Israel belongs to them and that they should hate and kill Jews. Note the Times' hurry for Israel to make a deal with those fanatics.

5. Oslo was supposed to bring peace, but it is weakened by P.A. financial woes.

Peace has nothing to do with finances or territory. Peace can develop only if Islam has a Reformation and drops its intolerance and imperialism.

Oslo has been weakened by the many P.A. violations, such as making war, preaching hatred, encouraging terrorism, permitting terrorist organizations, vicious slander against Israel, and many refusals to cooperate with Israel.

6. Why a financial crisis? The P.A. blames: (1) Israel for withholding $100 million in excise taxes in protest for P.A. violation of the Oslo agreement on not seeking statehood outside of Oslo; (2) Congress for withholding $450 million in subsidy, for the same reason; and (3) Mostly Arab states that had pledged bigger subsidies but not delivered them.

The editors sequence the reasons in order of least important ones first. That puts Israel first, so Times readers can be induced to think of Israel as the big problem.

7. P.A. PM Fayyad has proposed raising taxes on the wealthy and reducing expenses, but was thwarted.

So noted by the editors, but no exploration of that major fault. Does the Times prefer that U.S. taxpayers subsidize the P.A. to having the P.A. curb its wasteful spending?

8. "There are many threats to a two-state solution, including an Israeli government that could become even more hard-line... after the Jan. 22 election..."

You must realize by now that "hard-line" is more propaganda than descriptive. Israel is called "hard-line" if it defends its existence. The real hard-liners are the far leftists, who prefer risking Israel's existence for still another pact with Muslim pact violators and whose people favor "armed resistance" when it can be effective.

You won't find the NY Times calling the P.A. "hard-line" no matter how many times it rejects offers of 95%+ of the Territories and walks out of negotiations. Nor will that newspaper question why the Arabs don't simply make peace any more than that newspaper will ask why Iran doesn't comply with the nuclear treaty.

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

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy, January 12, 2013

Under Obama's administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, bears little resemblance to the international aid agency that President John F. Kennedy initiated on Nov. 3, 1961.

USAID's stated goal was to further "America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while also extending a helping hand to people struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country."

However, upon issuing the first USAID loan guarantee of $1.15 million to an Islamic bank in Indonesia in August 2011, the agency's blog justified the move, stating: "The finance guarantee agreement builds on President Obama's speech in Cairo, which called for deeper engagement with the Muslim world."

The development of Islamic banking was made possible by Malaysia.

A recent Economist article, "Banking on the ummah," reviewed the country's Islamic banking industry and pointed out the lack of standardized regulations and transparency. But the piece ignored the country's role in implementing the Muslim Brotherhood's larger agenda to create a "parallel economy" by first infiltrating and co-opting the Western economy.

Islamic banking is a concept that was slow to catch on until 1993, when Anwar Ibrahim — then Malaysia's finance minister — helped to introduce newly invented "Islamic banking windows" into conventional banks. This measure, which familiarized the clientele with and built confidence in the unknown Islamic banking system, proved central to the development of the global Islamic finance industry.

The establishment of an independent "Islamic economy" is an important factor in the Muslim Brotherhood agenda. Consequently, the development of Islamic banks is viewed as critical to facilitating the establishment of a global Islamic umma, or state.

Islamic banking was introduced in Malaysia in 1963 with the establishment of the Tabung Haji (Pilgrim's Fund), a savings institution created to help Muslims save toward their pilgrimage to Mecca. But the Islamization of Malaysia began in earnest in 1981, when Mahathir bin Mohamad became prime minister. He immediately established the Islamic Consultative Body to oversee the implementation of national development programs according to Islamic values.

Mohamad's ambition to turn Malaysia into a "model Muslim nation" seemed to convince Anwar, then president of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement, to join the government. Soon he became a major proponent of the Islamic Banking Act and the establishment of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad in 1983. But the Malaysians were slow to trust a newly invented banking system.

To remedy the situation, Anwar's finance ministry issued regulations facilitating the establishment of "Islamic banking windows" in the conventional Western banks that operated in Malaysia in 1993. Making Islamic banking familiar helped win the public's trust and paved the way to independent Islamic banks in Malaysia and elsewhere.

The artful Muslim Brother Anwar often sprinkles his presentations with Arabic phrases from the Quran and other Islamic books while touting the socio-political aspects of Shariah banking. He claims that Islamic banking and economics, based on "maqasid al-shariah," i.e., "the objectives of Islamic law," could help create wealth and eradicate poverty.

Anwar's talks of eradicating poverty and spreading justice and democracy seem to have confused his Western supporters, who clearly ignored his commitment, as a Muslim Brother, to replace Western political, social and economic principles with Islamic law.

Incredibly, throughout his political career, Anwar has openly rejected Western values while promoting Islam. In his 1983 speech, "Development and changing political ideas," at the 50th anniversary conference of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Anwar criticized the "wholesale imitation of Western values and practices" in Malaysia. These should be replaced, he argued, with Islam, which "provides an ideological alternative to the dominant paradigm."

Speaking at Australian National University on Nov. 15, 2010, Anwar declared: "Democracy ... is presumed [in part] to be defined by the conditions of the free market. And this is where the founding fathers of the French Revolution with their clarion call for liberty, equality, and fraternity missed the mark. ... [T]his is because a free market is based on competition, and competition, being a zero-sum game, has no truck with equality. On the contrary, free markets engender inequality. ... Islam enjoins that while society may pursue commerce to the fullest, justice and fairness must remain the chief criterion ... in order to establish a humane economy." Anwar posted this speech, along with most of his others, on his website.

Anwar's advocacy of "Islamic democracy" and Islamic banking as "ethical banking" ostensibly means to fight for social justice and freedom of religion. This made him popular with Westerners, ignorant of Muslim Brotherhood duplicity, who desperately seek moderate Muslim leaders.

Even a cursory review of Anwar's speeches on democracy and Islamic finance over decades shows Anwar is as a committed Islamist, as is one of his favorite authors, Sayyid Qutb, whose writing inspired al-Qaida and other radical Islamic groups.

In 1999, in prison on previous charges of corruption and sodomy, Ibrahim wrote to Abdul Hamid Abu Sulaiman, former rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia and a fellow director of the Virginia-based Muslim Brotherhood's International Institute of Islamic Thought: "I'm trying to keep myself busy — with prayers and ... reading. ... My old copy of Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Quran is most valuable because of my earlier short notes and references from Ibn Kathir, al-Qurtubi, Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Maududi's tafsirs (interpretations)."

Yet, Anwar is the darling "moderate Muslim" to his many admirers in the U.S. and the West.

Indeed, the list of prominent U.S. admirers of Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's former deputy prime minister, is impressive. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened on his behalf during her visit to Malaysia in November 2010 when he was tried on charges of sodomy and corruption. Letters of support from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former World Bank President James Wolfensohn among others praised his leadership and fight "for international justice, peace and development."

Strangely, these prominent figures fail to notice Anwar's deception. His fight — like President Mohamed Morsi's in Egypt — is not for democracy, justice and peace according to Western principles. Instead, his call is for democratization "on the platform of Islam" and for replacing the competitive Western principles with a more "just" Islamic system.

With so much readily available information on Anwar's advocacy of Islamic supremacy and his ties to sponsors of violence against the West, it is disconcerting that his Western supporters consider Anwar a hero and Islamic banking a solution to Western economic mishaps. Like Hillary Clinton, they laude Malaysia's "creative approach" to Islamic banking.

Clinton's enthusiasm for Islamic banking is not surprising, considering USAID's support of Shariah-compliant financing institutions instead of developing conventional banking services. In January 2010, together with the World Council of Credit Unions, it established "a network of credit unions, known as Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives, whose management and products are Shariah compliant.

In June 2011, USAID organized online discussion on Islamic banking with 61 participants from 25 countries. The topics included the fundamentals of Shariah financing and the development of a new business model to address the needs of Islamic finance (different than conventional banking). In addition to Indonesia, USAID provided grants to develop Shariah finance institutions in Shariah-ruled Afghanistan, Kenya and elsewhere.

In the meantime, facing criticism for lack standard regulations, Malaysia and Dubai announced new regulatory regime that would help to "strengthen a 'parallel economy' — free from conventional and interest-based financial practices."

Assisting to develop Islamic regimes — which by definition are anti-democratic and anti-capitalist — is not in the U.S. foreign or domestic interest.

Adhering to the Obama doctrine of "deeper engagement with Islam," USAID is likely to increase its support — your tax money — to Shariah-based economies that are strapped for cash, such as Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya.

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 and Ken Jensen is associate director of the American Center for Democracy for its Economic Warfare Institute This article appeared January 10, 2013 on the American Center for Democracy (ACD) website and is archived at

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 12, 2013



Learning from Obituaries....

It seems that every couple of days New Orleans loses one of its treasured


Let's get the players straight before we go on with this..


His Companion : Kawanner Armstrong

His Sons : Christian Allen

Kwan Allen

Larmondo Allen, Jr.

His Daughters : Deidra Allen

Larmenshell Allen

Lamonshea Allen

Larmomdriel Allen

Larmerja Allen

Korevell Allen

AT AGE 25 - He had 9 Children.

His Father: Burnell Thompson

His Mother: Esther Allen

His Stepfather: Bruce Gordy

His Brothers: Burnell Thompson

Edgar Thompson

Wil Willis

Danta Edwards

Reshe Edwards

Mattnell Allen

Burnell Allen

Lester Allen

His Sisters: Shannail Craig

Lekiksha Thompson

Gwendolyn Carter

Jessica Willis

Katina Gordy

Grandparents: Delors Allen

J.C. Allen

Anna Laura Thompson

Will Thompson




He was 25 and had 3 sons and 6 daughters.

NINE welfare recipients collecting $950 each ...

That equals $8,550 a month !!! Now add

Food Stamps,

Free medical, Free school lunches, and on and on

Do the math...$102,000+ /year.

Anyone out there, sittin' on their butt while reading this e-mail, making

A HUNDRED GRAND doing nothing?

Now that, to me, is a real Entrepreneur.












$11,700,000 PER YEAR...


(And demands 100% the Taxes Paid by 1,000 avg. taxpayers)

And THAT is why this once great country is



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

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 12, 2013





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

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Posted by Yoram Ettinger, January 12, 2013

Chuck Hagel established himself as a Palestine Firster on October 27, 2009, speaking at "J Street's" 1st national conference: "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central, not peripheral, to US vital security interests in combating terrorism, preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, stability in the Middle East and US and global energy security."


In contrast with the worldview of Hagel and other Palestine Firsters, none of the tectonic developments on the stormy Arab Street derives from the Palestinian issue, the Arab-Israeli conflict or Israel's policies or existence.

For instance, Iran is developing nuclear capabilities in order to intimidate the US into a diminished global and regional power-projection, which would facilitate the alteration of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean into an Iranian basin.Egypt has shifted from a pro-US military dictatorship to an increasingly anti-US, pro-Iran Islamic despotism, dominated by the transnational Muslim Brotherhood, which aspires to spread its own version of Islam in the Muslim world and beyond.Iraq aligns itself with Iran, serving as the most critical route of military and civilian supplies to the Assad regime, while disintegrating into Shite, Sunni and Kurdish sections, constituting an arena for domestic and regional terrorism. Libya has switched from a decreasingly anti-US Qaddafi dictatorship to a tumultuous break-up along tribal, ethnic, geographic, ideological and religious lines, replete with increasingly anti-US Islamic-driven terrorism. InYemen, the departure of the relatively-stable tyrant, Ali Abdullah Saleh, paved the road to further disintegration and intensified terrorism, targeting domestic leaders, the Saudi regime and other US interests.Syria has been violently split into rival fiefdoms with over 50,000 fatalities since March 2011, serving as a battleground for domestic, intra-Muslim, intra-Arab and global rivalries.

Irrespective of the Palestinian issue, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Algeria experience boiling seismic undercurrents, exacerbating the 1,400 year oldintra-Muslim instability, unpredictability and violence, as well as anti-US sentiments.

Moreover, the Palestinian issue is not the crown-jewel of Arab policy-makers. For example, all Arab League Foreign Ministers were supposed to visit the Palestinian Authority (PA) to celebrate the November, 2012 UN vote for Palestinian non-member statehood. However, only the Egyptian Foreign Minister and the Arab League Secretary General arrived. A March, 2012 Arab League Summit committed $100MN to the PA; nothing has been delivered. Arab leaders have repeatedly reneged on their financial pledges to the PA, marshaling their rhetoric, but not their blood or funds, on behalf of Palestinians. Thus, the October, 2010 Arab Summit pledged $500 million to the Palestinian; only 7% was delivered. Arab nations pledged more than $2 billion in support of the first and second Palestinian Intifada against Israel; less than $500 million reached the Palestinians. The October, 2000 Arab Summit committed itself to $1 billion in aid to the PLO, but delivered only $200 million.During the 1980s, Arab financial support of the PLO was less than 10% of the Arab financial support of the anti-Soviet Muslims in Afghanistan. No Arab support was accorded to the Palestinians during the 1982 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon, or during the recent Israeli operations against Palestinian terrorism in Judea and Samaria ("Operation Defensive Shield") and Gaza ("Operation Cast Lead" and "Operation Pillar of Defense"). Arab governments provide dramatically less financial assistance to the PA and UNRWA than the US or Europe.The Red Carpet, which welcomes Palestinian leaders in the West, is transformed into a shabby rug upon landing in Arab capitals. What do Arab regimes know about the Palestinian issue that Western policy makers fail to comprehend?!

In contrast to the Palestine Firsters, Arab societies minimize assistance to Palestinians, as evidenced in the reluctance of Jordan — as well as Lebanon and Egypt - to absorb Palestinian refugees from Syria, while welcoming over 100,000 Syrian refugees. Jordan and other Arab countries are aware of thesubversive and corrupt Palestinian track record. Currently, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorizes Syrians on behalf of Assad. In 2007, the Palestinian Fatah al-Islam assaulted Lebanese officials and soldiers. In 1991 and 2003, Palestinians fought alongside Saddam Hussein. In 1990, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas collaborated with Iraq's plunder and destruction of Kuwait, which provided a home to 300,000 Palestinians. During the 1970s and 1980s, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas fueled Lebanon's civil wars. In 1970, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas terrorized Jordan, attempting to topple King Hussein, who had hosted them since 1968. During the 1950s they led the Palestinian cell of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, and were forced for flee for subversion. Palestinian subversion triggered Arab retaliation, which produced more Palestinians killed, arrested and expelled by Arabs than by Israel.

The dwindling club of pro-US Arab leaders are currently traumatized by the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, the raging Arab Winter, emboldened Islamic terrorism and the potentially erupting Iraqi, Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood lava, which may consume Jordan, Morocco and the Gulf States.

However, while the Middle East is burning - irrespective of the Palestinian issue - Chuck Hagel and the Palestine Firsters are playing the Palestinian fiddle, sacrificing and inflaming Middle East reality on the altar of oversimplification and wishful-thinking.

Shabbat Shalom and have a pleasant weekend,

Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger, the Executive Director of "Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative," an expert on Middle East politics and US-Israel relations, served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington and 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:

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Posted by Billy Mills, January 12, 2013





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

Statement by Father Juan Carlos Martos cmf, Secretariat of PV Clarettiani Missionaries

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."

Contact Billy Mills at

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Posted by Roberta Dzubow, January 12, 2013

Instead of appeasing, placating, acquiescing, wouldn't it be great if the Israelis stood up tall? Israel allows others to say what Israel is, does, owns, acts. A strong backbone and an assertion of its own rights is so needed. What great results could be produced. This essay explains and promotes that idea.

The article below was written by Mordechai Kedar who is an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University. Kedar is an expert on the Israeli Arab population. He served for twenty-five years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena. The Los Angeles Times' Edmund Sanders described him as "one of the few Arabic-speaking Israeli pundits seen on Arabic satellite channels defending Israel". The article appeared January 11, 2013 in the Middle East and Terrorism and is archived at

The elections are approaching in Israel, and polls are predicting what the Arab media calls, with great dread, "the meteoric rise of the radical right in Israel". Every article about the Israeli political map has the latest polls, showing the obvious trend that all of us here are aware of. In recent days this writer's telephone has been ringing constantly, with a representative of one Arab media outlet or another on the other end, all of whom are absorbed by one great concern: the strengthening of the Jewish spirit in Israel. The radio stations in the Palestinian Authority, where - I must admit - I am often interviewed, express the most apprehension.

The question is: Why is the Arab world so concerned and what are they worried about? One possible answer is that the radical right will take over the country and Israel will go to war against the Palestinians in order to destroy the Palestinian Authority and undo all of the achievements, especially the international recognition that they won in the General Assembly of the UN about two months ago. Even if I cannot deny this possibility, it doesn't seem to me that this is the real reason for the anxiety, because there are many - especially in the Palestinian Authority - who wish to dissolve the PA, as we saw last week in the article that we published on this honorable platform.

The reasons for the concern are deeper than this, and stem from the cultural mindset of the region. An Israel that has a strong character and is confident of itself and the justice of its cause, might stop behaving like a dishrag, as it has done in the past, more than once, under the irresponsible leadership of the bleeding hearts who are the "Pursuers of Peace", and might adopt a pattern of behavior typical to the Middle East. More than a few Israeli politicians, some of them prime ministers, who sought "a solution now" have earned for Israel the image of "peace seekers", according to their point of view, but which the Middle East understood as "Obsequious beggars pleading for a little peace and quiet". In the Middle East only the vanquished, pleading for his life to be spared, begs for peace, and usually he will get a big, strong kick that will hurl him all the way down the stairs. Peace is the last thing you get when you beg for it.

In the embattled region where Israel is situated, the weak individual gets beaten up: he is shot at, missiles rain down upon him, his buses are blown up, he is de-legitimized, marginalized diplomatically, sued in international courts, states are established on his back that threaten him and declare their violent struggle against him again and again, and he - the weak one - must take all of this garbage that is rained down upon him and say, "It's only words". Sometimes he issues a warning but few take him seriously because he is weak and obsequious; he "seeks peace".

In contrast, only the strong and self-confident, he who can pose a threat, who does not restrain himself at all from utilizing full force, who will not surrender anything due to him, will have peace and tranquility. Everyone else will leave him be because they fear him, and this is the only peace that is recognized in the Middle East. Peace belongs to the one who responds with great power to the first missile that falls into his territory, even if it falls in an open area; who doesn't say on the radio, "no damage was caused", because the truth of the matter is that indeed great damage was caused to his sovereignty, and nothing is more important than his sovereignty. Would a normal person accept someone shooting at his house, even if "no damage was caused"?

The Arab world fears an Israel that after the elections might be - good heavens - more Jewish, because then the world might remember that the Jews, not the Israelis, were expelled from here 1942 years ago, and now the Jews have returned to their historic land - Judea. A more Jewish Israel might be a "bad" example to Europe, where a sense of national identity is in continual decline and where they watch with indifference the alien invasion that is threatening the character of Europe. The strengthening of the Israeli Right might therefore encourage the European Right to put an end to the great immigration of the masses who expect to turn Europe into their land.

A Jewish Israel could be a magnet attracting Jews the world over to immigrate to Israel and to make Israel the center of their life, and thus it will be strengthened demographically, economically, socially and politically. This process might be encouraged by the antisemitism in Europe, which is rising as the Jews lose their influence and the public weight is transferred to groups of immigrants that don't become part of the society of old, sleepy Europe.

A Jewish Israel will concentrate within it the educated Jews, the entrepreneurs, the inventors, the developers and the cutting-edge scientists who brought the Jewish people a prodigious number of Nobel prizes, and thus Israel will become a bastion of science, technology and development, innovation and entrepreneurship, while everything around it - chiefly in the past two years - becomes a quagmire of blood, fire and tears, pillars of smoke, destruction and devastation.

A sovereign and self-confident Jewish Israel will prove to its neighbors again that the Jews are not just another "protected people" ("ahl dhimmi" in their language) who must live according to rules determined by the imams, and must "pay the head tax in a humiliated condition" (Qur'an, Sura 9, Verse 29) according to the custom in the Arabian Peninsula of the seventh century CE. A Jewish Israel will cling with more determination to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews since 3000 years ago, long before the sons of the desert broke into it and invented a history that supposedly grants them the rights to Jerusalem since the creation of the world.

With a Jewish Israel, the mutual bonds of responsibility will be strengthened among Jews, and they will establish a more just, unified, fair and humane society, and Jewish society will be stronger and more robust, more determined and more able to stand the tests of life that anyone who wants to survive in the Middle East are subjected to. This society will have a clearer self image, and will not need to discriminate against minorities only in order to prove to itself that it is "different". As a result of this, the way the state relates to minorities, especially the Muslim minority, will be more humane and understanding, because - after all - many of the Jewish majority and the Muslim minority see eye to eye concerning the true problems of traditional society in a modern and permissive physical and virtual environment. Jews and Muslims alike aspire to promote the education of the young generation, ethical behavior of the sons and daughters of their society, restricting the use of drugs and alcohol, honoring parents and teachers and adherence to religious and traditional values.

A Jewish Israel will present a solid wall of defense against Islamic radicalization and tribalism in the Arab world, and will prove that only a people who clings to its identity and is faithful to its heritage can stand strong against the tidal wave of radicalization and violence that engulfs the Middle East, and this is exactly what frightens our neighbors: those who hoped that with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel would be paralyzed with fear and would flee from all of its assets, discover that, contrary to their theory, Israel is the state of the Jewish Brotherhood, and will not flee from an enemy. A Jewish state such as this will prove to those near and far that the Jews have returned to their historical and eternal homeland and will remain there forever and ever, and only this way will Israel win peace from her neighbors. It will not be a peace of hugs and kisses, because there is no such thing in the Middle East, but rather it will be a peace that stems from our neighbors' recognition of the reality that the Almighty has imposed upon them, and the realization that they have no choice but to accept it as it is. Within Islamic tradition, there is a way to give peace to infidels who are invincible; temporary peace that continues as long as the enemy is invincible. This is the peace that Israel can win from her neighbors, and it will continue forever, but only if Israel is invincible forever.

A more Jewish Israel will ensure peace among all of the citizens and will oblige her neighbors to leave her in peace, and this is the reason that her neighbors fear a more Jewish Israel.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 13, 2013

The legal system in Israel is frustrating and rather unfair, lacking much justice. The Supreme Court is an intimidation power. Time to make the proper change in the law that will remedy the way this court operates.

As if it is not enough that since the state was established Israel has enemies who have tagged to her like a brand, the Jewish state also has a Supreme(High) Court that is the enemy of the state, for which it works but disobeys.

In Israel the Supreme Court is above the law while it drafts and enacts the law.

The reason to this Op-Ed is that I read in the Israeli papers: 'Supreme Court overturns decision barring Arab MK Zoabi from running for Knesset'...that ended my silence of much dismay about the legal system in Israel.

First it is a confused system; it relies on Ottoman, British, Jordanian, and Israeli law. That is what one can call obfuscating law that has a huge margin to err.

Just about every publicized decision the Supreme Court in Israel takes makes no sense whatsoever. More so, it appears to be a clear cut subversive to the state it works for. It ignores the policy of the government and just about every law the legislative power - the Knesset — passes it does not comply with even though its job is to represent the interest of the state. The way the Supreme Court acts borders a pure case of soft tyranny.

In fact the way the Supreme Court in Israel operates is a clear case of a state within a state; the Supreme Court in Israel is its own state within the state of Israel.

In one recent case, the Supreme Court of Israel was after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberam for alleged illegal activities for sixteen years but only now, an hour before elections, it has found "enough evidence" to make the minister resign. Is it a case in which the Supreme Court wants to affect election by weakening the Right and strengthening the Left it supports and represents?

Is Minister Lieberman more of a criminal than treasonous Arab MK Hanin Zoabi, who is a clear case of a traitor and has no interest in Israel other than to see her destruction!? I do not think so.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is his own head of state. Hardly any decision this legal autocrat takes makes any legal sense. He has his own agenda of a king in his own kingdom.

The headline, 'AG rejects all petitions seeking to bar parties, Arab candidate from elections' ( is disturbing if the Israeli law cannot find Zoabi to be unfit to be a member of the Knesset. According to Weinstein's law, the Balad MK Zoabi, who, in 2010 joined the anti-Israel flotilla to Gaza, can run for Knesset again despite her actions which are 'bordering on the forbidden'.

In Lieberman's case, he could no longer tolerate the Supreme Court's harassment, that went on for years, over alleged illegal activities, that unfortunately more often than not characterize political bureaucrats' behavior, and thus he resigned.

The Declaration of Independence of Israel defines the state as a 'Jewish state', not as it is defined today a 'Jewish democratic state.' Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court, made a quasi no man's land grab and changed the original definition. If I try to change the definition structure I would face indictment. And why the Knesset did not oppose and stopped Barak? Because everyone, including the Prime Minister of Israel, are very afraid that if they act against the Supreme Court, whoever opens his mouth to object, the court will open a criminal case against him or her and thus end his or her career.

Likud MK Ofir Akunis expresses chagrin over Weinstein's verdict regarding Zoabi, and so should every Israeli who is concerned with good citizenship of loyalty to the state.

"It is clear that much of the public in Israel has lost faith in the judges and does not recognize the legal system as a moral one. The judges have adopted an authority that was never given to them, in order to shape the public's agenda" he claimed.

It is interesting to know that the Supreme Court Justices are appointed — not elected - by the Judicial Selection Committee. The Selection Committee is composed of nine members: Three Supreme Court Justices, including the President of the Supreme Court, two cabinet ministers, one of them being the Minister of Justice, two Knesset members, and two representatives of the Israel Bar Association. The committee is chaired by the Minister of Justice.

Though the three organs of the state—the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government—as well as the bar association, are all represented in the Judges' Nominations Committee that is shaping the judicial body, through the manner of judicial appointment, carried out by an agreement of all the authorities together, the outcome is totally different.

Conclusion: the Supreme Court in Israel took over the country and it is forcing its rule in a dictatorial and intimidation manner. It wrongly translates and obfuscates the laws the Knesset passes and it acts to subvert the state.

There is an urgent need in Israel to elect enough Knesset members who will agree to pass laws that will end the Supreme Court tyranny and end their power to determine the borders of the state of Israel. And that needs to be the Knesset first priority as in reality it is either a safe and secure democratic state of Israel or the tyranny of the Supreme Court, but it cannot be both.

For not making a change in the way the Supreme Court's system operates, Israel is allowing the courts to intimidate the government, politicians and citizens and make the fairness of the law a dangerous twist of reality from which all of Israeli society suffers.

Not being able to dismantle the Supreme Court and annul its power grab, Israeli society suffers from a Stockholm Syndrome.

Explanations are needed. We all know the reality but it appears that only few support doing anything about the Supreme Court syndrome Israel suffers from..

So, can anyone in Israel explain to me this Supreme Court illogic?

The enlightenment of Israel would have a bitter end.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, January 13, 2013

The article below was written by Robert Spencer and it appeared January 12, 2013 in Jihad Watch. It is archived at

You remember when George Washington made the British line up beside a trench and beheaded 900 of them, don't you? And when he consummated his marriage with John Adams' nine-year-old daughter?

I had to laugh: "Huff Po Off the Rails: Touts 'Connection' between 'Prophet Muhammad' and George Washington,"" by Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs, January 12:

"I've pointed out many times here at Atlas how compromised and pro-jihad the Huff Po is, but this is ridiculous, starting with the "Prophet" Muhammad reference in the headline. He ain't my prophet.

It's to vomit. Muhammad and George Washington are polar opposites. A man of honor who respected human life and refused the title of king and a bloody warlord who preached conquest, subjugation and slavery.

An Unlikely Connection Between the Prophet Muhammad and George Washington Puff Ho 01/10/2013 2:55 pm

"In seventh century Arabia, a middle-aged man had a vision to create a new religious and social order for a largely pagan and tribal society. The man, Muhammad, told his band of followers to behave wisely and civilly. "The best among you," he said, "are those who have the best manners and character." More than 1,000 years later, Muhammad's wisdom would be echoed again, this time in the British colony of Virginia, by a 13-year-old schoolboy jotting down a lengthy set of behavioral rules that would later be published as "Rules of Civility." The schoolboy was none other than George Washington, who would one day become the first president of the United States of America."

"Some people from 'Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them, so Allah's Apostle (pbuh) allowed them to go to the herd of camels (given as Zakat) and they drank their milk and urine (as medicine) but they killed the shepherd and drove away all the camels. So Allah's Apostle sent (men) in their pursuit to catch them, and they were brought, and he had their hands and feet cut, and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron and they were left in the Harra (a stony place at Medina) biting the stones." (Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 577)

"Muhammad and Washington may seem like an unlikely connection, but in fact, they share strikingly similar biographies. Muhammad and Washington were students of history, restorers of justice and fierce warriors who led their respective nations through successful revolutions. Both men united a large swath of political territory and served as the founding father for two unprecedented social movements — Islam and the United States of America — whose universal ideals would both spread throughout the world respectively."

"The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." (Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88)

"Washington's contemporary, Richard Henry Lee, once said that he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington's nemesis, Britain's King George III, said that Washington was "placed in a light the most distinguished of any man living" and had "the greatest character of the age." Similarly, Muslims worldwide see Muhammad as the perfect human being. In "The Prophet of Islam," Professor K.S. Rao said we witnessed "the union of the theorist, the organizer and the leader" in him. Even a non-Muslim, such as Mohatma Gandhi, called Muhammad "a treasure of wisdom not only for Muslims but for all mankind."

"Narrated Abu Huraira: 'Allah's Apostle said, "If anyone of you performs ablution he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep." (Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 163)

"The connection between Muhammad and Washington can be explored further in the Holy Quran, the Islamic Scripture which documents God's revelations to Muhammad, and "Rules of Civility," a book which outlines Washington's advice for the proper conduct of young American gentlemen. For Muslims, the Holy Quran is the literal word of God, while "Rules of Civility" is less concerned with religious affairs and more focused on social rules and behavior. The Holy Quran and "Rules of Civility" have different frames, but both texts — in a wider sense — offer guidance toward achieving a more peaceful and noble life."

"Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: 'Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' "'" (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 176)

"Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Qur'an 9:29)

"Muhammad and Washington advised their peers to keep their mouths free of foul language. In the Holy Quran, offensive name-calling is forbidden: "Let not some men among you laugh at others ... Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connecting wickedness" (49:11). In "Rules of Civility," Washington said "[u]se no reproachful language against anyone, neither curse nor revile" (Rule 49). He added: "[s]peak not injurious words, neither in jest nor earnest" and "[s]coff at no one, although they give occasion" (Rule 65). Muhammad and Washington taught their peers to improve relations with others by using kindness and positive words. Both men hoped that using civil language would help groups avoid misunderstandings and create a more harmonious society."

"Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle, nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning)." (Qur'an 7:179)

"Along with his affinity for modest language, Washington also wrote about the importance of a modest appearance. "In your apparel, be modest and endeavor to accommodate nature rather than to procure admiration" (Rule 52), he wrote. "Keep to the fashion of your equals, such as are civil and orderly, with respect to times and places" (Rule 52). Modesty is also a theme in the Holy Quran: "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity; in this they will be more considerate for their own well-being and purity..." (24:30-31). The Holy Quran requests that women "not display the charms of their bodies beyond what may be apparent thereof; hence, let them draw their head-coverings over their bosoms" (24:31). Muhammad and Washington wanted their peers to dress appropriately because a modest and clean appearance is an indication of healthy inner feelings and humble attitudes."

"Alqama and Aswad reported: A person stayed in the house of A'isha and in the morning began to wash his garment. A'isha said: In case you saw it (i. e. drop of semen), it would have served the purpose (of purifying the garment) if you had simply washed that spot; and in case you did not see it, it would have been enough to sprinkle water around it, for when I saw that on the garment of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). I simply scraped it off and he offered prayer, while putting that on." (Muslim, Book 2, Number 566)

"Muhammad and Washington also believed in the virtue of humility. The Holy Qur'an states that "(t)he servants of the Merciful are those who walk on the earth in humility" (25:63) and that the "(s)uccessful indeed are the believers who humble themselves in their prayers" (23:02). In Islam, there is even the term ujb, which warns mankind of arrogance and the danger of exaggerating one's accomplishments. Comparatively, Washington believed that "a man ought not to value himself of his achievements or rare qualities, his riches, his titles, his virtue or his kindred" (Rule 63). The humility of Muhammad and Washington was crucial to the early success of their fledgling nations. The direction of the Arab and American society could have had a much different history if Muhammad and Washington were egotistical and presumptuous leaders."

"Abu Huraira reported many ahadith from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and one is that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I am most close to Jesus, son of Mary, among the whole of mankind in this worldly life and the next life. They said: Allah's Messenger how is it? Thereupon he said: Prophets are brothers in faith, having different mothers. Their religion is, however, one and there is no Apostle between us (between I and Jesus Christ)." (Muslim, Book 30, Number 5836)

"Respect, especially for one's parents, is also mentioned in the Holy Quran and "Rules of Civility." Washington wrote that people should "[h]onor and obey" our natural parents, "although they may be poor" (Rule 108). Similarly, the Holy Quran calls for "good treatment" of parents: "Whether one of both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as] 'oof' [i.e., an expression of irritation] and do not repel them but speak to them a nobel word" (17:23-24). Muhammad and Washington understood the correlation between high character and respect. Both men realized that the key to a strong society is for people, especially families, to treat each other how they wished to be treated."

"Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: 'Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone.'" (Qur'an 60:4)

"While it may appear as an obscure similarity, Muhammad and Washington also cared a great deal about good hygiene. The Holy Quran, for example, states that, "Allah ... loves those who keep themselves pure and clean" (2:22). Similarly, in "Rules of Civility," Washington wrote that people should keep their "nails clean and short, and your hands and teeth clean, yet without showing any concern for them" (Rule 15). Washington added that people should wear clean clothing: "Wear not your clothes foul, ripped or dusty ... and take heed that you approach not to any uncleaness" (Rule 51). Both Muhammad and Washington stressed the importance of maintaining a clean, well-presented physical appearance. They believed that good hygiene was a projection of a positive body image, which, in turn, reflected a healthy mind."

"Narrated 'Aisha: 'I used to wash the traces of Janaba (semen) from the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water were still on it (water spots were still visible).'" (Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 229)

"Ultimately, Muhammad and Washington were gentlemen of the highest degree. This is no more evident than in the connection between them in the Holy Quran and "Rules of Civility." Perhaps Muslims worldwide and American could forge better relations if each group adhered to the advice Muhammad and Washington provided."

Ultimately, the PuffHo is dhimmi asshattery of the highest degree. This is no more evident than in this article.

Sergio Tezza can be reached at The article appeared January 12, 2013 on the JIHAD WATCH and is archived at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 13, 2013

And getting tougher...

After putative PA president Abbas went to the UN late last year to seek recognition as a state, PM Netanyahu made several announcements, including the fact that planning for building would be advanced in the area between Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem known as E1.

This caused a furor among the Arabs and their supporters because, went the claim, building in E1 would prevent a contiguous Palestinian state from being established.

This is simply not the case, and I want to review the situation once again before proceeding.

Here you see a map of the E1 area and Ma'aleh Adumim. Note the arrows saying "To Ramallah" to the north, and "To Bethlehem" to the south. What the Arabs want is continuity of Ramallah and Bethlehem via a tract of land that is directly adjacent to eastern Jerusalem. That is because they still covet eastern Jerusalem (at a bare minimum, and all of Jerusalem, more honestly) as the capital of their state some day. That requires that state to be up against eastern Jerusalem.

Once there is contiguity between Ma'aleh Adumim -- which is itself only seven kilometers (just over four miles) to the east of Jerusalem -- and Jerusalem, via E1, a swath of Arab land that runs along all of Jerusalem's eastern border is no longer possible. This does not mean, it should be noted, that a theoretical Palestinian State could not abut Jerusalem at some eastern points. There just wouldn't be contiguity along the whole eastern border of the city.


But in any event, Jerusalem will never again be divided and is not going to serve in any part as the capital of a Palestinian Arab state. Jerusalem was only divided once in its 3,000 year history: During the illegal occupation by Jordan of eastern Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967. Since then full Israeli sovereignty has been applied to eastern Jerusalem and Israel's basic law stipulates that the undivided city is the capital of Israel.

And the government has consistently envisioned Ma'aleh Adumim -- with a population now of some 40,000 -- as being contiguous with Jerusalem, were there to be a Palestinian Arab state; there has been no intention to either abandon it or to allow it to be surrounded by an Arab state on all sides.



Now look at this map of Judea and Samaria and see where Ma'aleh Adumim is. There is considerable area from this city eastward to the Jordan River. You'll see that Jericho, controlled by the PA, is to the (north) east of Ma'aleh Adumim. Thus it is obvious: Were there to be a Palestinian Arab state, it could still have contiguity of area from north to south even if E1 were developed. That continuity would simply flow east of Ma'aleh Adumim. Building in E1 would not "jeopardize" the non-existent "two-state solution."

And, I should add, lest there be any doubt about this, this city and E1 are fully and solidly within Area C, allocated by Oslo to full Israeli control.



All of this background is essential, not because I am envisioning a Palestinian Arab state but, because of what is being claimed now by the Arabs.

Two days ago, some 250 Palestinian Arabs and "activist" supporters -- organized by the non-governmental Popular Struggle Coordination Committee -- set up an "outpost" with more some 25 tents on Area E1 to protest Israeli plans for the area. They declared that they were building a new village, which they were calling Bab el-Shams (Gate of the Sun). "Bab el-Shams is our gateway to Jerusalem," the committee told the media.

Hanan Ashwari, of the PLO, said that the Palestinian Arabs "had a right to live anywhere in their state."



Netanyahu immediately ordered roads to the area closed and then had the area declared a closed military zone. Several PA ministers were prevented from entering.

Before full action could be taken, however, an attorney for the group, Tawfiq Jabareen, claiming that the land was private Palestinian Arab land, filed a petition with the High Court for a temporary injunction against the State of Israel.

Everything is "private Palestinian land," if you believe PA and PLO representatives.

Jabareen maintained that the property had been "misclassified" as Israeli land. He said he was representing four Bedouin families, that the land was theirs, and that the outpost was being established as part of a project to attract tourists to learn about their culture. Allegedly, they were planning to teach people how to grind wheat on stones and make pita bread.

They are inventive, I'll say that much.


The temporary injunction was granted -- as long as there was not an emergency warranting an evacuation.

The Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria (which operates under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense), says the land belongs to the State and that those who pitched the tents did so without permits. It issued eviction notices.

And the injunction was appealed by the State. A representative of the state attorney's office said that "An urgent evacuation is needed because of urgent security concerns in order to prevent a serious breach of public order." According to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, relying upon "up-to-date intelligence," the outpost was set up to provoke riots "of national and international consequence."

In the small hours this morning, Israeli police entered the site and evacuated some 150 persons who were there. With the exception of Mustafa Barghouti, Palestine National Initiative Director, and one other person, they were not arrested but, rather, escorted out, put on buses and brought to Kalandiya.

Apparently the tents will not be removed until there is documentation of the ownership of every plot of land on which they stand.


With certainty, things are tough and getting tougher in Syria. As of now, it is estimated that 60,000 have died there, and the count goes on. While the world watches.

As Palestinian Arabs there have on some occasions taken the side of the government and on other occasions taken the side of rebels, their position is hardly secure.

Thus, last month Abbas appealed to the UN to make it possible for these Palestinian Arabs to come to PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria and to Gaza. And the UN successfully brokered a deal in which Israel would permit them to come. Israel's condition was that they relinquish their "right" to return to Israel.

Abbas has now given an interview to the media in which he described this deal and his subsequent decision to reject it:

"So we rejected that and said it's better they die in Syria than give up their right of return."

An indication of how deeply Abbas cares for "his people," of course. Did they all sign off on this refusal? But let's look at what's underneath it: In today's radicalized climate, were he to agree to relinquish the "right of return," he would lose whatever leverage he has politically and possibly his life. (See below on reconciliation with Hamas.)

He is willing to let others risk death in order to save himself. No surprise at all.


Lt. Col (ret.) Yonaton Halevi, in a briefing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, takes a closer look at Abbas's more radical tone (emphasis added):

On January 4th of this year, he gave a speech honoring the founding of Fatah in which he advanced a radical political doctrine.

# In his speech Abbas avoids all mention of a historic compromise with Israel that would bring the conflict to an end. Nor does he "He did not mention the land-for-peace formula or the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel. Instead, Abbas chose to reemphasize that the Palestinian people remain on the path of struggle to realize 'the dream of return' of the Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.

"Abbas pledged to continue the path of struggle of previous Palestinian leaders, mentioning the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who forged a strategic alliance with Nazi Germany, and heads of Palestinian terror organizations who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Israeli civilians. All are equal and suitable partners in the Palestinian struggle, and their ideological platform, even if it is terrorist and/or radical-Islamist, is a source of inspiration for the Palestinian people.

"...Anyone who expected that Abbas would follow a more moderate course after the UN General Assembly resolution of November 29, 2012, upgrading the status of the PLO's Observer Mission to that of an observer state, was undoubtedly disappointed with Abbas' remarks. He was not preparing the Palestinian people for making peace, but rather reverting to rhetoric perpetuating and even escalating the conflict."


Ambassador Dore Gold, president of the JCPA, has written about Abbas as well:

"...What is important is not the vapid debate over whether Abbas can still be regarded as a partner for peacemaking, but rather to internalize that the political environment in 2013 no longer resembles what the Middle East looked like when Israel began talking to the Palestinians in 1993.

"The next Israeli government must accept the fact that given what is going on in the Middle East, it is completely unrealistic to propose a negotiation to reach a full-blown final status agreement with the Palestinians.

"Given the regional dangers on the horizon, any political arrangement in the future must have a much stronger security component than what was proposed in the past. More than ever, Israel needs to preserve the ability to defend itself, by itself, no matter how the declared intentions of its neighbors change."


It is much to be regretted that many in the international community are oblivious to how " completely unrealistic it is to propose a negotiation to reach a full-blown final status agreement with the Palestinians."

That certainly applies to the Europeans, who have no business whatsoever telling us what to do. But attempt to tell us, they do:

The word now is that France and Britain, with support from Germany, are honing a new "peace proposal," which they hope to unveil in March.

"...the goal of the EU plan is to bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. The report said the EU intends to set a clear timetable for negotiations between the two sides in 2013."

They are totally daft, but, harboring more than a bit of malice towards us, they can be a very painful thorn in our collective side.


What occurs to me, as I read this, is that Netanyahu is likely to factor in these international nuances as he shapes his coalition. Several alternatives lie before him. He might move right, incorporating Habayit Hayehudi, with intention of standing strong. Or he might bring in left-center parties to show the world how amenable to compromise he is.

Oh, how he needs backbone now! I'm not going to predict what is going to happen, but will say that I'm glad he acted with alacrity with regard to E1.


Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah has announced that he may host talks between Israel and the Palestinians in as little as a month. For that's when there will be "a window of opportunity." What window? Obama's inauguration for a second term. He's communicating with the Europeans but expects input from Obama as well, as he works to develop "fresh ideas."

One happy piece of news after another.

What I don't know is if this is simply Abdullah talking -- as this might strengthen him internationally, or if there has been some very quiet agreement on meeting. The likelihood that Abbas would buy into this, considering his current negotiations with Hamas, seems remote indeed. But for the first time recently I've seen talk -- however vague -- about a Palestinian-Jordanian federation in mainstream media.

What is clear to me is that Israel will not push Abdullah or make him look weak. He is balancing a very unstable situation, as Islamists eye his throne. I might see Netanyahu reasoning that a (token) meeting in Amman might have consequences far less serious than if Obama or the EU were breathing down our neck.


Last week, Abbas met with Hamas politburo head Khalid Mashaal in Egypt, as Egypt's president Morsi worked to broker reconciliation arrangements between the two groups. While unity is hardly a done deal, Fatah and Hamas are now on better terms than they have been in a long time. This follows Hamas's engagement with Israel and Abbas's unilateral bid in the UN.


And the good news.

Last week Israel had storms, first rain and then snow. Days of storms and drenching rain.

Now it has been announced that Israel has moved from a situation of water crisis to a period of water stability. The Kinneret, which is now at its highest level in 20 years, had 100 million tons of water poured into it in the course of the storm -- and there is still melt-off from the Hermon to come. The winter is not yet over and already 130% of the nation's average in rain has already fallen.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 13, 2013

Although the Left does not command a majority, it pretends that it does. It uses stacked polls as evidence. Then the Left pretends that the people of Israel favor big concessions to the Arabs. I've seen many unfair or misleading questions in those polls.

A few weeks ago, Haaretz and a polling group started by Peace Now founder Amiram Goldblum published a particularly distorted poll finding that most Israelis support apartheid.

The Israeli public so roundly supports military operations against Gaza terrorists, that Haaretz cannot pretend that the public is aligned with it on that issue. The paper admits that 84% of Israelis want the terrorists stopped. Among Israeli Jews, 90% do. Thus counting Arab opinion brings the total down only by 6 percentage points, even though Arabs constitute 18% of the population. This means that twice as many Arabs want Israel freed from rocket bombardment as favor it (

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 13, 2013

Former legal adviser to the State Dept. Abraham D. Sofaer has come up with another way to deter Iran. He plots a mid-course between ineffective sanctions, warnings, condemnations and invasion. He claims this mid-course helped deter the USSR.

He would have the U.S. target the military structure of the Revolutionary Guards. The Guards for the small army of fanatics that keep the regime in power, handle special weapons, train foreign troops, and have been gaining control over Iran's economy.

The Revolutionary Guards and their satellite forces have attacked and killed a thousand U.S. troops. That gives us justification for attacking the Guards. Loss of the Guards would harm the regime greatly.

While attacking them, we would negotiate or offer to negotiate.

If destroying it does not force to cease nuclear weapons development, then we would raid its nuclear facilities (Daniel Ppes, The Washington Times, 1/9/13

I recall that we imposed effective sanctions on the USSR but not decisive ones, and that we fought Soviet proxies but not Soviet forces. Mr. Sofaer's strategy has its merits, but I do not think it is the same as we used against the USSR.

One advantage of the strategy is that it is strong, unlike Obama-waived sanctions and empty threats. Another advantage is that it removes much of Iran's defensive, retaliatory, and aggressive power, even before we would raid its nuclear facilities. It also exacts a measure of justice, by punishing the Guards.

Just as Americans did not understand why we invaded Iraq a second time, they would not understand why we would be raiding the Guards, unless the government thoroughly explained why. I don't think that anybody can reasonably expect the Obama administration, which sabotages the very sanctions on which it urges Americans to rely, and which pretends that our only enemy is al-Qaida, to denounce Iran's Guards and to dramatize how dangerous Iranian nuclear development is to us.

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

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Posted by Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy, January 14, 2013

The article below are written by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Ken Jensen. Rachel Ehrenfeld who is Founder and CEO of the New York-based American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute. Dr. Ehrenfeld is an authority on economic warfare, including Weapons of Mass Effect (WME), lawfare, terror financing, disinformation, jihadist movements and corruption. Dr. Ehrenfeld has a unique ability and an impressive track record to connecting the links between seemingly unrelated foreign and domestic event into identifiable threats to the US economy, financial, social and political systems and its national security in general. Dr. Ehrenfeld has published widely, lectured and organized international conferences/workshops and specialized briefings and wargaming in many countries and advised governments, law enforcement and the financial industry. Dr. Ehrenfeld has testified before Congressional Committees, as well as the Canadian and European Parliaments, and provided evidence on states, organizations and individuals' support and methods of funding terrorist groups also to the British Parliament, consulted government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Treasury and Homeland Security.

Ken Jensen is associate director of the American Center for Democracy for its Economic Warfare Institute. The article appeared January 13, 2013 on the American Center for Democracy and is archived at

Thanks to columnist Diana West for a series of revealing articles on the question of Rupert Murdoch's and News Corp.'s relationship with Saudi money and, therewith, Saudi influence. What West turns up is revealing: from the fact that Murdoch co-owns "what amounts to a Muslim Brotherhood channel in the Middle East," Al Risala, to, well, this:

"Ever since Al Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, the network founded and funded by the oil-rich emirate of Qatar, the former vice president has drawn continuous fire in conservative media. Fox News, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, for example, have all castigated Gore, a man of the left and leading avatar of 'global warming,' for such hypocrisies as timing the deal to avoid lefty tax hikes and bagging $100 million in greenhouse-gas money.

"These same news outlets share something else in common: They all belong to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. That means they also belong to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

"Alwaleed owns the largest chunk of News Corp. stock outside the Murdoch family. Shortly after his purchase of 5.5 percent of News Corp. voting shares in 2005, Alwaleed gave a speech that made it clear just what he had bought. As noted in The (U.K.) Guardian, Alwaleed told an audience in Dubai that it took just one phone call to Rupert Murdoch — 'speaking not as a shareholder but as a viewer,' Alwaleed said — to get the Fox News crawl reporting 'Muslim riots' in France changed to 'civil riots.'"

There's a lot more. Happy (or unhappy) reading! Who's on what side in the Muslim-Western culture wars? As I've said before, there's them against us, and then them against them, and then us against us.


Khaled Abu Toameh tells it like it is: "Democracy is forbidden in Islam." Well, that is, at least as far as the Salafists in Jordan are concerned. Furthermore, he begs the question as to whether any other sort of Muslims count much anymore. Toameh asks why radical Muslims oppose the upcoming parliamentary election in Jordan. His answer is

"Because they believe that democracy is in contradiction with Islam's concept of the sovereignty of Allah's law. They argue that Islam and democracy cannot go together, and they are obviously right, especially if one considers the experiences of people living under Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood."

Referring to Abed Shehadeh, leader of the Salafi Jihad movement in Jordan, Toameh says that he urged Jordanians to boycott the elections because "choosing legislators other than Allah is forbidden."


The Egyptian economy has had it. "Extremely bad and getting worse quickly" is hardly understatement. The U.S. Administration and the IMF have been largely mute about this. Meanwhile, the Morsi regime is celebrating in advance the still-to-be-negotiated IMF loan, which they want Egyptians and everyone else believes displays the great confident everyone has (or should have) in the soundness of its rule.


Abdel Latif El-Menawy, writing on Al Arabiya from the UK, tells the whole awful story of incompetence, deception, and denial regarding the Egyptian economy very clearly. Most interesting to me, however, is what he has to say about sukuk. Menawy says that the Center for Islamic Research (CIR) has rejected Egyptian proposals to float Islamic bonds:

"Despite my reservations on the interference of religious institutions in political and economic issues, I have to say the CIR took a very commendable stance because it did not deal with the bonds issue as a religious matter, but rather as one related to national sovereignty and did so as a national and not a religious entity. However, this kind of reaction would only happen in the presence of scholars of that type and under the leadership of al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb and this is not always guaranteed. Bottom line is that the center rejected the Islamic bonds project, stressing that it involves many risks to national sovereignty, including the right of foreigners to own land in Egypt. CIR explained that based on this project, everything in Egypt would be for sale and noted that the word "authoritative" means incontestable by any other law."


Al Arabiya's Carina Kamel reports on an upshot of the recent slide in the dollar value (6 percent) of the Egyptian pound. The Central Bank gets a new government and a shift "in the bank's policy from tightly controlling the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound — as it has done for years — to presiding over a more balanced currency market driven by supply and demand, experts say." Hisham Ramez, the new governor has said that there's no reason to worry: "The situation is not out of control." Rubbish!


Reuters reports that the $2bn loan Qatar vouchsafed to Egypt in December has probably already been spent. It was apparently used to defend the currency before the foreign reserves crisis became public late in 2012. Of course, the government had lied to the Egyptian people about this:

"News of the Qatari loan broke this week, and markets assumed that Egypt therefore had a cushion that would allow it to keep the pound's depreciation orderly, supporting Egyptian assets. Political strife in late November and early December set off a rush to convert Egyptian pounds to dollars, sending the currency to record lows on concerns the government might devalue or bring in capital controls.

"The central bank, which has spent more than $20bn defending the pound in the two years since Egypt's popular uprising, said on December 29 that its foreign reserves had reached a 'minimum and critical limit' and announced a new currency regime as it struggled to stabilise the pound."


In other "financial" news, AFP reports that Egypt's official MENA news agency claims that Hosni Mubarak has been questioned about receiving seven million Egyptian pounds from the country's flagship state newspaper, Al-Ahram.


The Economist recently reported that the Muslim Brotherhood is making a comeback in Libya after the substantial electoral defeat of its Justice and Constitution Party last July. The Brothers' abilities as organizers have never been disputed. Their political party only had about four months to get ready for the elections, after all. The Economist says,

"For one thing, it is rapidly building a sophisticated organisation, even as most of its competitors dither or fight among themselves. Starting from a much weaker base than in Egypt and Tunisia, where the Brothers have been strong for decades, the Libyan party has opened offices across the country, including a seven-floor tower in Benghazi, the second city. It has signed up hundreds of members in places where other parties have handfuls, including 1,500 in Benghazi's central district alone.

"Outside Tripoli, the capital, the Brothers are represented in many local councils, often the best-functioning part of the new state. In Misrata, the third city, they ousted the elected mayor. Omar Sallak, a Benghazi councillor and longtime Brother, envisages a slow, consensual rise for the party. 'We may win control eventually, but first we all have to work together,' he says."


So, you think they're not all in it together, do you. Well, maybe you should think again.

Sharona Schwartz, writing on, notes that the Times UK has reported that the head of Iran's Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, made a secret two-day visit to Egypt just after Christmas to meet with officials close to President Mohammed Morsi: "'Mr Suleimani, who oversees Iran's proxy militias across the region, including Hezbollah and Hamas, travelled at the invitation of Mr Morsi's Government and his powerful backers in the Muslim Brotherhood.'"

I doubt that Iran and Egypt will become allies in the Islamist cause. However, they certainly are birds of a feather in the totalitarian one. Schwartz says

"The spy chief met Essam al-Haddad, foreign affairs adviser to Mr Morsi, and officials from the Brotherhood to advise the government on building its security and intelligence apparatus independent of the national intelligence services, which are controlled by Egypt's military."

The party needs its KGB, its Securitate, what? In time, the leader of the party will need his own apparatus within the apparatus.

Contact Economic Warfare Institute/American Center for Democracy at

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Posted by Sergio, January 14, 2013


France has expanded its assault on Islamists in northern Mali, pounding rebel positions with four days of air strikes and bringing additional troops into the country through the capital, Mali. France did not wait for UN approval, and it tired of what even the New York Times acknowledges was the reluctance of the United States and the international community to do anything about the seizure of half a country by Al Qaeda-linked forces.

Call it "leading from behind," Part II.

What is worse is that the Islamist rebellion has used American-trained soldiers and officers who defected from Mali's regular army last year, taking their counter-terrorism training, their advanced combat skills, and their knowledge of western intelligence methods with them. France is now facing off against an Islamist foe that the United States has unwittingly assisted--and the U.S. is barely offering help.

When Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney raised the issue of Mali during the debates last fall, the media reacted with amusement. A few briefly notedthat Mali was, indeed, a "serious problem"--that the collapse of the country could create a safe haven for Al Qaeda in the heart of Africa. Others, such as Bill Maher,mocked Romney, secure in the understanding that nothing the Republican said could be taken seriously.

One reason that Americans had not heard much about Mali is the near-total lack of interest by the mainstream media in focusing on the flaws in President Barack Obama's foreign policy. During the Bush administration, there were near-daily reports of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deep analyses of how U.S. intervention policy was creating new dangers. Today, the media are uninterested in foreign policy--even in U.S. deaths.

But the chaos of one day in Cairo and Benghazi--a scandal still underreported by the mainstream media, lest it hurt President Obama--pales in comparison to what has transpired in Mali for several months, partly as a result of Obama administration policy. The New York Times notes that four years of "deliberate planning collapsed swiftly when heavily armed, battle-hardened Islamist fighters returned from combat in Libya."

The coup in Mali--carried out by an American-trained officer--surprised U.S. intelligence as U.S-trained Malian defectors teamed up with ex-Libyan soldiers and Islamist militias to carve out an Al Qaeda haven in the north of the country. "The same American-trained units that had been seen as the best hope of repelling such an advance proved, in the end, to be a linchpin in the country's military defeat," the Times notes.

The Islamist rebels are imposing sharia law, and busily destroying ancient tombs, historic landmarks and UN World Heritage Sites in Timbuktu--much as the Taliban destroyed the 2,000-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan, among other priceless artifacts of pre-Islamic civilization, in early 2001. Meanwhile, paltry U.S. efforts to help neighboring states contain the rebellion have failed--and the French have decided to act decisively.

We have reached a new low in American foreign policy when France leads international intervention against Al Qaeda to fix a mess partly of American making. It is worth noting that France did not wait for a mandate from the UN, from the Arab League, or even from NATO in order to do what is necessary to prevent a regional collapse from becoming a global menace. Leading from behind is not leading at all--much to the world's detriment.

Contact Sergio at

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Posted by Israel Commentary, January 14, 2013

The article below was written by Cal Thomas who is a writes for Tribune Media Services. Visit his websites at The article appeared January 11, 2013 on the Columbus Dispatch and is archived at

Biography isn't policy. President Barack Obama's choice for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, former Nebraska Republican senator, has a resume most politicians can envy: a clean senatorial record, no ethical lapses and two purple hearts from a war many opposed and many more tried to avoid.

Some think Hagel's 2006 comment about "the Jewish lobby" should disqualify him, believing it a code word for anti-Semitic sentiments. There is nothing wrong with criticizing the policies of any Israeli government. Israelis likely do this more than foreigners. It's just that Jews are rightly sensitive to the use of words like these because it may mean the person using them wishes to put the nation and policies of Israel on an equal footing with Israel's enemies who have vowed to destroy it.

Hagel will likely be confirmed, but that should not mean Republican senators must roll over and relinquish their constitutional power of "advice and consent."

Of even greater concern than Hagel's apparent attitude toward the only functioning democracy in the Middle East is what he thinks about American defense in an increasingly tumultuous world. Yes, the defense budget is "bloated," as Hagel has said, but does that mean the best solution is to dismember it?

In an interview with the Financial Times last fall, Hagel said: "I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down. I don't think that our military has really looked at themselves strategically, critically, in a long, long time."

Maybe not, but outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, when it appeared that the just averted "fiscal cliff" might bring $600 billion in cuts to defense, indicated that defense budget cuts that large would bring "dire consequences" to national security.

In remarks to the American Iranian Council in June 2001, Hagel said, "The national security of the United States is not served by isolating Iran." He also opposed sanctions against Libya and was one of just two senators who voted against renewing sanctions on both countries.

At the Council on Foreign Relations in 2005, Hagel said, "Any lasting solution to Iran's nuclear-weapons program will also require the United States' direct discussions with Iran." A private letter to President George W. Bush also urged the pursuit of "direct, unconditional and comprehensive talks" with Iran.

In 2007, Hagel voted against an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

Also in 2007, Hagel said, "The Palestinian people have been chained down for many, many years." Whose fault is that? If he suggests Israel is to blame for their situation, he either misunderstands history or accepts the propaganda of the "Islamist lobby."

In his 2008 book, America: Our Next Chapter, Hagel wrote, "Regime change (in Iran) should not be our objective." He did allow that getting rid of Iran's fanatical leadership might be desirable.

According to the Boston Globe, Hagel and a number of former senior U.S. officials and one current adviser sent a letter to Barack Obama days before he took office, asking him to "talk with leaders of Hamas to determine whether the militant group can be persuaded to disarm and join a peaceful Palestinian government." Hamas leaders have pledged to eradicate Israel. U.S. policy has been that Hamas must first renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept all previous agreements signed by Palestinian leaders, which they, in fact, have not done.

There's one more.

In 1999, Hagel was the only U.S. senator not to sign a letter condemning anti-Semitism in Russia.

Republican and even some Democratic senators should question Hagel about all this and more during confirmation hearings. It's their job and responsibility.

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Posted by Yogi R Us, January 14, 2013

There's a fresh face among traditional politicians vying for votes in Israel's Jan. 22 elections — an observant Jew, who's a former officer in an IDF elite commando unit and also made millions as a high-tech entrepreneur. His name is Naftali Bennett whose Jewish Home party has risen to third place in the latest polls — behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud leading alliance with another rightist partner, Israel Our Home, and the runner-up Labor Party.

Why the sudden emergence of another right-wing party, this one led by Bennett? Aren't Israeli conservatives, nationalists and hawks already well represented without Bennett intruding on traditional turfs? Not really. What makes Bennett special and unique is that he has sounded with great clarity the death-knell of the two-state solution. He makes no bones about turning his back on a two-state bromide that has run into growing popular disenchantment and wariness about Palestinian statehood as an integral part of ending the conflict.

Bennett instead would annex 60 percent of the West Bank, an area currently under full Israeli control, and leave the rest for some form of Palestinian self-rule short of statehood.

Wetern media have started to report about the Bennett phenomenon, but they tend to attribute it to some general rightward trend, without fully probing its actual causes. Witness, for example, the Washington Post's Joel Greenberg, who dwells on Bennett's youth, charisma and appeal across traditional divides, while paying insufficient attention to existential security worries of Israeli voters that resonate with Bennett on the ballot ("Message of unity, land annexation lifts Israeli party — Jewish Home's Naftali Bennett siphons support from Netanyahu," Jan. 13, page A12).

The motive elements behind Bennett's rise actually can be summed up in four words — Lebanon, Gaza, Arafat, Abbas.

When Israelis withdrew from Lebanon expecting peace across the official UN-recognized border, they instead got Hezbollah with an arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets.

When Israelis completely evacuated Gaza, they hoped this Palestinian enclave might blossom into a thriving Singapore. Instead, Gaza became a Hamas launch pad for tens of thousands of rockets fired at civilian targets in Israel. Recently, Iranian-supplied advanced rockets demonstrated terrorist fire from Gaza could reach the heart of the Jewish state — as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel's electorate also has painful memories of putting Palestinians under increasing self-rule with the 1993 Oslo accords and offering Yasser Arafat a Palestinian state on all of Gaza, 95 percent of the West Bank and a division of Jerusalem, only to be rewarded with an Arafat-orchestrated terror war that killed more than a thousand Israeli civilians.

And more recently, there are Israel's sour experiences with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who like Arafat rejected an even more generous statehood offer — with Jerusalem's Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious shrines shorn from Israel's capital and placed under an international consortium run by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the U.S., Palestine and Israel. To top it offer, Abbas has abandoned all pretense of willingness to negotiate a two-state solution and instead has launched a full-scale propaganda campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state. All this, and Abbas's glorification of terrorist killers and his latest affront — a glowing eulogy of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the notorious Arab collaborator in Adolf Hitler's Final Solution.

Given this context for Israel's Jan. 22 balloting, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of Israelis view a two-state solution — still part of Netanyahu's platform -- as a bitter joke and are inclined to reward Bennett for offering a more clear-eyed security vision for the Jewish state.

Palestinian actions spawned the Bennett phenomenon. It will take a Palestinian Nelson Mandela to defuse it.

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, January 14, 2013

A US court has ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has the right to cover up a document linking it to a 2002 suicide bombing that killed two Americans and one Israeli teenager. The suicide bombing was perpetrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a constituent faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The secret memo was mistakenly given to lawyers representing the teens' parents as plaintiffs in a $300 million lawsuit against the PA and PLO. The case is being tried in a Washington, DC federal court, with plaintiffs represented by New York attorneys David Schoen and Robert Tolchin and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv's Shurat HaDin — Israel Law Center. The families contend that they have evidence that the PA provides funding to the PLO and PFLP, including paying the rent for the designated terrorist group's offices in the West Bank.

According to media reports, the memo reveals a close relationship between the bomber and a PA security officer who planned the suicide attack. The document, written by Major Ziad Abu Hamid of the PA's intelligence service, additionally supports the plaintiffs' allegations that the PA provided material support and resources for the PFLP bombing which took the lives of the three teens and seriously injured numerous others.

Once attorneys for the defendants realized their mistake they sought to retrieve the document from the plaintiffs insisting it was privileged. The attorneys for the plaintiffs, however, argued that the memo was evidence in the murder of American citizens and should not be returned to the Palestinians nor destroyed. The defendants then asked the district court judge to compel the plaintiffs to destroy the memo. In a recent ruling, the court surprisingly granted the defendants' motion and ordered the plaintiffs to destroy the document. The terror victims' families have now filed for a stay of that order pending an appeal to the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

On Feb. 16, 2002, a Palestinian terrorist blew himself up in a packed pizzeria in the Israeli town of Karnei Shomron, killing American citizens Keren Shatsky, 15, and Rachel Thaler, 16 and Israeli teenager Nehemia Amar, 15.

Scott Shatsky, the father of one of the victims, remarked: "This decision is incomprehensible. It makes me feel that justice is not being done. Maybe I'm missing something, but to me it's just outrageous." The families have written to the Department of Justice, the FBI and several congressmen asking them to intervene in the matter.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner stressed: "We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will understand the importance of this document and will reverse the ruling and not allow the memo to be destroyed. It is hard proof of the defendants' role in this heinous suicide bombing that took the lives of three young teenagers. We are insisting that the truth be allowed to come out and the details of the Palestinian Authority's role in this murderous terrorist attack be presented to an American jury."

Attorney David Schoen stated in his filings with the court: "Defendants' illegitimate cover-up efforts must not be permitted with impunity. If returned or destroyed, this critically important evidence of murder will likely be lost forever. It would also deprive Congress of the kind of evidence it must have to evaluate whether to continue funding these defendants, only to see the money go to support and reward terrorism against Americans."

In November, Shurat HaDin, representing 24 Americans living in Israel, filed a civil action against the State Department claiming the latter was not providing adequate oversight concerning its funding to the PA in the West Bank and Gaza. The group alleges US funds were possibly being utilized for terrorism. The suit, filed in the district court for Washington, D.C., claims that the State Department has failed to observe congressional safeguards, transparency, and reporting requirements in its funding of the PA.

Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center is an Israeli based civil rights organization and world leader in combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world. Established in 2003 and based in Tel-Aviv, Shurat HaDin works together with western intelligence agencies and volunteer lawyers around the world to file legal actions on behalf of victims of terror. It has succeeded in winning more than $1 billion in judgments, freezing more than $600 million in terrorist assets and in collecting $120 million in actual payments to the victims and their families.

Contact Barbara Sommer at

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Posted by Yogi R Us, January 14, 2013

The article below was written by Charles Krauthammer who writes a weekly political column. He is also a Fox News commentator and appears nightly on "Special Report with Bret Baier." This article appeared January 10, 2013 in the Washington Postand is archived at

The puzzle of the Chuck Hagel nomination for defense secretary is that you normally choose someone of the other party for your Cabinet to indicate a move to the center, but, as The Post's editorial board pointed out, Hagel's foreign policy views are to the left of Barack Obama's, let alone the GOP's. Indeed, they are at the fringe of the entire Senate.

So what's going on? Message-sending. Obama won reelection. He no longer has to trim, to appear more moderate than his true instincts. He has the "flexibility" to be authentically Obama.

Hence the Hagel choice: Under the guise of centrist bipartisanship, it allows the president to leave the constrained first-term Obama behind and follow his natural Hagel-like foreign policy inclinations. On three pressing issues, in particular:

(1) Military Spending

Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in August 2011 that the scheduled automatic $600 billion defense cuts ("sequestration") would result in "hollowing out the force," which would be "devastating." And he strongly hinted that he might resign rather than enact them.

Asked about Panetta's remarks, Hagel called the Pentagon "bloated" and needing "to be pared down." Just the man you'd want to carry out a U.S. disarmament that will shrink America to what Obama thinks is its proper size on the world stage; i.e., smaller. The overweening superpower that Obama promiscuously chided in his global we-have-sinned tour is poised for reduction, not only to fund the bulging welfare state — like Europe's postwar choice of social spending over international relevance — but to recalibrate America's proper role in the world.

(2) Israel

The issue is not Hagel's alleged hostility but his public pronouncements. His refusal to make moral distinctions, for example. At the height of the second intifada, a relentless campaign of indiscriminate massacre of Israelis, Hagel found innocence abounding: "Both Israelis and Palestinians are trapped in a war not of their making."

This pass at evenhandedness is nothing but pernicious blindness. Just last month, Yasser Arafat's widow admitted on Dubai TV what everyone has long known — that Arafat deliberately launched the intifada after the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in July 2000. He told his wife to stay in the safety of Paris. Why, she asked? Because I'm going to start an intifada.

In July 2002, with the terror still raging, Hagel offered further exquisite evenhandedness: "Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace." Good God. Exactly two years earlier Israel had proposed an astonishingly generous peace that offered Arafat a Palestinian state — and half of Jerusalem, a previously unimaginable Israeli concession. Arafat said no, made no counteroffer, walked away and started his terror war. Did no one tell Hagel?

(3) Iran

Hagel doesn't just oppose military action, a problematic option with serious arguments on both sides. He actually opposed any unilateral sanctions. You can't get more out of the mainstream than that.

He believes in diplomacy instead, as if talk alone will deter the mullahs. He even voted against designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization at a time when they were supplying and supporting attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most tellingly, he has indicated that he is prepared to contain a nuclear Iran, a position diametrically opposed to Obama's first-term, ostensibly unalterable opposition to containment. What message do you think this sends the mullahs?

And that's the point. Hagel himself doesn't matter. He won't make foreign policy. Obama will run it out of the White House even more tightly than he did in the first term. Hagel's importance is the message his nomination sends about where Obama wants to go. The lessons are being duly drawn. Iran's official media have already cheered the choice of what they call this "anti-Israel" nominee. And they fully understand what his nomination signals regarding administration resolve about stopping them from going nuclear.

The rest of the world can see coming the Pentagon downsizing — and the inevitable, commensurate decline of U.S. power.Pacific Rim countries will have to rethink reliance on the counterbalance of the U.S. Navy and consider acquiescence to Chinese regional hegemony. Arab countries will understand that the current rapid decline of post-Kissinger U.S. dominance in the region is not cyclical but intended to become permanent.

Hagel is a man of no independent stature. He's no George Marshall or Henry Kissinger. A fringe senator who left no trace behind, Hagel matters only because of what his nomination says about Obama.

However the Senate votes on confirmation, the signal has already been sent. Before Election Day, Obama could only whisper it to his friend Dmitry. Now, with Hagel, he's told the world.

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 14, 2013

Bibi has no one to Blame but Himself by Dr. Moshe Dann

For more than three years PM Netanyahu has been able to slip back and forth between the Right and Left. He recognised the legitimacy of a Palestinian state (albeit "demilitarised"), agreed to a 10-month building freeze, allowed DM Ehud Barak to withhold building permits and destroy Jewish homes, and refused to accept an official report on the legal status of Judea and Samaria which he commissioned... With political rivals gaining on him, primarily over the issue of 'settlements', PM Netanyahu will be forced to clarify where he stands...

His advantage is that the Right does not want to topple him; they want him to implement policies that support the settlement movement. To his disadvantage, he does not want to be seen as leading a Right-wing government. The Left would like to defeat him, but have neither the votes nor a credible candidate.

Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, has challenged conventional Israeli politics by offering a clear agenda that has wide appeal and confronts the issues which PM Netanyahu has until now successfully avoided. Bennett's challenge is not only to PM Netanyahu, but to every other candidate as well, because of his shifting the campaign from personalities to issues.

Bennett's threat to the political system is that he says what he believes, he has a plan and he can be trusted. For Israeli voters disappointed by candidates they elected, frustrated by broken promises and cynical politicians, Bennett has changed the rules of the game.

For Bennett, it's not about power, it's about integrity. This has stirred a revolution in Israeli politics that voters understand and politicians would do well to heed.

PS: Likud's chief asset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, may also be its chief liability. His silence and ambiguity, his failure to preempt a nuclear-armed Iran and his alignment with Barak Obama on Middle East affairs affecting Israel's vital security are hurting his party.

Netanyahu Can't be Trusted

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has stopped progress on plans to build in the E1 area of Maaleh Adumim. Facing international criticism after the government approved new construction in the area, Netanyahu is reportedly delaying sending it onward to a planning committee. The move proves he was never serious about the plan. MK Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi - Tekuma) accused: "Stopping the publication of the building plans for E-1 proves that his talk about settlement is an illusion (political deception)."

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

Israeli voters are disillusioned with 20 years of a useless and self- destructive peace process, imposed on Israel by a self-hating and corrupt political Left. At the same time they no longer trust, after so many broken promises, the empty rhetoric of Netanyahu, who forsake the Likud party charter. Let us hope that the new political wind will reestablish national pride and set a new/original Zionist agenda!

No International Pressure on Colonial Britain to Negotiate

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has released a public letter urging the United Kingdom to relinquish its control over the disputed Falkland Islands. She accused Britain of taking part in an act of "blatant colonialism" in claiming the archipelago and called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to honour UN resolutions, 16 December 1965, which stipulated that both sides should sit at the negotiating table to resolve the sovereignty of the Falklands (Malvinas). (It seems that any sovereign country can ignore UN resolutions when it suits them! Why is Israel the only country which 'must' negotiate surrender of its lands - Judea, Samaria and Gaza - to its enemy? Any self-respecting country would not!)

US-made Missiles Destined for Gaza

Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula intercepted a shipment of American-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles destined for the Gaza Strip. Late last month an attempt was made to smuggle 17 French-made TDI model rockets into the Gaza. (Hamas fakes the hardship of 'poor Palestinians' in Gaza in order to get more international aid to buy weapons!)

Fake Right-Wingers or Traitors

Avigdor Lieberman, former Foreign Minister, declared on Sunday that he believes in the "two state solution". Israel has no imperialistic aspirations, Lieberman said. The government is ready to agree to a new Arab state, "Palestine", when conditions are right and there is a partner for peace. In his Bar Ilan speech, Netanyahu called for "a demilitarized Palestinian state, side by side with the Jewish state." (They forgot to mention that over 80% of Jewish land is already occupied by Arabs, who have only one idea in mind - destroying Israel and killing Jews!)

PA's Fake Refugee Policy - Refused to Take Refugees

The PA governments in Gaza (Hamas) and the so-called "West Bank" (Mahmoud Abbas) have refused to take so-called Palestinian refugees from war-ridden Syria after the UN Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA), which was created to handle the issue of Palestinian Arab refugees, asked the PA governments to allow their brothers from Syria to enter. Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh refused to take the refugees on the grounds that doing so would set a dangerous precedent for more Palestinian refugees to come to the Gaza Strip. He declared that these refugees should return to Israel and not to the Gaza Strip. (A two-states solution will not end conflict. The enemy will insist on the 'return' of bogus refugees to Israel later!)

Obama's Direction is Obvious

Obama has nominated Chuck Hagelto to succeed retiring Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta. Hagel's confirmation faces a fight for endorsement in Congress over his views on Israel and Iran. Critics focus on his calls for direct negotiations with the Palestinian extremist Hamas, his votes against some Iran sanctions and opposition to military option against a nuclear Iran. Hagel also once said that the Jewish lobby was "intimidating". (Israel is, as always under most US administrations, on her own - it is time to fully realise it and pursue our own national aspirations!)

Islamic Enemy Supported by Obama

Long before he was elected as Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs" and called for a "military resistance within the land of Palestine against those criminal Zionists". As a member of Hamas's parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010, comments he made were posted to the internet that called to boycott products made in the United States because of its support for Israel.

Ego and Self-Interest Perivale in Israel Left Politics

Three Israeli centre-left parties have failed in an initial attempt to form a united bloc that might have cut into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's lead in polls before the January 22 election.

The Vatican is still Profoundly Anti-Semitic

The Vatican tried to reaffirm its (pretend) commitment to dialogue with the Jewish people after Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), said "the enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the modernists in a video in late December, which is currently circulating on YouTube. (Being a nice and politically correct person, he did not mention the rise of Islam!)

Renaming the PA is Violation of the Peace Agreement!

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked his West Bank-based government to prepare for replacing the words "Palestinian Authority" with "State of Palestine". Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, dismissed the name change as insignificant. (When will deliberately 'ignorant' Israeli politicians understand that where Jews are concerned, everything is significant? Israel must stop any negotiation with terrorists, who are representing the fake nation!)

Quote(s) of the Week:

"Most (intelligent) American legislators and policy makers understand that the strategic cooperation between Israel and the US does not hinge on the Palestinian issue or on the settlement issue, not even on the overall conflict between Israel and the Arab nations. Rather, it is based on mutual and common interests in the Middle East and the world over, such as Iran's nuclear threat, counter-terrorism, missile defence, intelligence-sharing, battle tactics, defense and commercial industrial research, where Israel has a competitive edge over any other country in the world." - Yair Shamir, Deputy Head, Yisrael Beytenu.

Egypt Oppose Peace.

Current Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, whose government received support from the United States and most of the international 'prostitutes', asserted in September 2010:

  • Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are "a waste of time and opportunities" as Arabs and Muslims get nothing out of engagement with "the descendants of apes and pigs."
  • Morsi denounced the Palestinian Authority as a creation of "the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people." Therefore, he stressed, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track."
  • "Either (you accept) the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war," Morsi said, "This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know - these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
  • Morsi called on Arabs and Muslims worldwide to "employ all forms of resistance against...those criminal Zionists, who attack Palestine and the Palestinians."
  • Morsi affirmed that "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine... What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognise their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists."

Note: Just imagine what amount of noise and international condemnation would be generated if similar ideas about Arabs and Muslims were expressed by Netanyahu! Anti-Israel bigots can say and do anything against Israel and it is ignored and quietly accepted by anti-Semitic idiots!

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

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Posted by Israel Commentary, January 15, 2013

The article below was written by Brian Slattery who is an American writer and an editor at The New Haven Review. He has published three novels, Spaceman Blues: A Love Song (Tor, 2007), Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America (Tor, 2008), and Lost Everything (Tor, 2012). The article appeared January 9, 2013 in Israel Commentary and is archived at

Last week, after long delays, Russia made operational a new ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), or nuclear submarine, for the first time in over 20 years. This marks a significant step forward for the Russian Navy, which has pledged tens of billions of dollars to revitalize its fleet in the near future. The U.S. Navy unfortunately has had trouble both in revitalizing its SSBNs as well as its overall naval fleet.

The Russian navy made the announcement that the Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955)—the first-in-class of the new Borey-class SSBN—made operational status as it prepares for one of its largest naval exercises since the end of the Cold War. In fact, Russia's commitment to increasing naval strength has been a central theme during Russian President Vladimir Putin's tenure as president—despite Russia's historically meager performance as a naval power. The Borey-class subs were first designed in the 1980s and the Yury Dolgoruky construction was launched in 1996.

Meanwhile, the U.S. navy has shrunk significantly since the Reagan years. The days of the 600-ship fleet have long since ended, and now U.S. naval leaders are struggling to find ways to meet a new requirement of around 300 ships. Currently around 285, the fleet will shrink further if more investment isn't made in naval modernization.

The U.S. fleet was eroding long before the Budget Control Act and sequestration became part of the equation. In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that actual funding levels for 2005—2010 fell below the CBO's and the Navy's estimates to achieve fleet goals. Predictions show current funding levels would reduce the fleet to 263 ships. While the sequestration cuts to defense have been temporarily delayed as part of the fiscal cliff deal, they are still a looming possibility and would shrink the fleet to its lowest level since 1915.

While Russia has shown improvements in its strategic SSBN fleet (two more Borey-class subs are under construction), the U.S. has fallen behind its own standards. The legal minimum for the U.S. Navy's SSBN fleet is 12 boats. Given this fleet's status as the most survivable leg of the U.S. nuclear triad, the requirement should not be taken lightly. However, the Obama Administration delayed the development of an Ohio-class SSBN replacement for two years, which will in turn cause the fleet to fall below 12 boats for a 14-year period. As rogue states such as Iran and North Korea get closer to having nuclear weapons and increasing ballistic missile technology, the significance of this fleet is certainly not shrinking.

Obama has downplayed the size of the fleet by making oversimplified arguments that each ship's capability makes strength in numbers less significant. Yet with Russia aggressively growing its naval capability, resulting in a greater presence on the high seas, as well as China paying increased attention to naval capability, the U.S. must continue to uphold its status as the dominant global naval power.

The fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act states that "the continuous at-sea deterrence provided by a robust and modern fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines is critical to maintaining nuclear deterrence and assurance and therefore is a central pillar of the national security of the United States."

Both Congress and the President need to keep this support up to maintain America's robust naval fleet. As Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has argued, "[Q]uantity has a quality all its own."

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Posted by PMW, January 15, 2013

The article below was written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch (, was Israeli representative to the Tri- Lateral Anti Incitement Committee established under the Wye accords, and has written reports on Palestinian Authority, Syrian and Jordanian schoolbooks. Nan Jacques Zilberdik who is Nan Jacques Zilberdik is an analyst at PMW, focusing on the opinions and messages of the Palestinian Arab leadership as transmitted to the Palestinian Arab public, with an emphasis on the impact on peace, messages and values communicated to children, and glorification of terrorists.

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, said recently that all of Jerusalem and the Western Wall are "the sole right of Palestinians." To back this up, he falsely claimed that "no person besides Muslims ever used it [the Western Wall] as a place of worship, throughout all of history, until the ominous Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917." This denial of the Jewish nation's history by the PA minister came in response to a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel's 3,000 year history in Jerusalem, as he lit the eighth candle of the Chanukah holiday last month at the Western Wall. The PA minister said Netanyahu's statements were "nothing but nonsense and an attempt to manipulate both history and geography, and are worthless from a religious, historical, or legal point of view." His statements were reported by WAFA, the official PA news agency.

Al-Habbash's statement that Jews did not pray at the Western Wall in the past is historically unfounded. Both Jewish and non-Jewish sources document that the Western Wall was used for Jewish worship and prayer. For example, US President Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State William H. Seward visited Jerusalem in 1871 and described his experience in his book Travels Around the World. He wrote in detail about the intense devotion of Jews in prayer at the Western Wall, which he called the "Jews' Wailing-Place." (See below a long quote from his book describing Jews' devotion at the Western Wall.) The above illustration of Jews in prayer at the Western Wall is from his book.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that this ongoing PA denial of Jewish history in Israel and especially Jerusalem is a fundamental component of the PA's political program to deny Israel's right to exist. (See below.)

The following is the PA minister's statement denying a Jewish connection to the Western Wall:

"Minister for Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash said that Jerusalem and all its features, its geography, and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, and this includes the Western Wall, are the sole right of Palestinians. (The Arabic throughout the text for the Western Wall is Al-Buraq Wall - Ed.) In a press release he stressed that [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu's recent statements concerning the occupation's (i.e., Israel's) ownership of the Western Wall are nothing but nonsense and an attempt to manipulate both history and geography, and are worthless from a religious, historical, or legal point of view. (See Netanyahu's exact quote below - Ed.) Al-Habbash made clear that Netanyahu's statements about Jerusalem and the Western Wall lack the elementary scientific basis for approaching history which has always proven Islamic ownership of the Western Wall... that no person besides Muslims ever used it as a place of worship, throughout all of history, until the ominous Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917." — WAFA, official PA news agency, Dec. 17, 2012,
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 18, 2012]

The following is the statement by PM Netanyahu at the Western Wall, as he lit the eighth candle of Chanukah, which prompted the PA minister's statement:

"In recent days, I have heard that the Palestinians are saying that the Western Wall is occupied territory. I want to tell them from the closest possible place to the miracle of the jar of oil: The Western Wall has been ours for 3,000 years, and it and the State of Israel will b ours forever." — [Israeli Prime Minister's website,, accessed Dec. 27, 2012]

Below are excerpts from Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State William H. Seward's book Travels Around the World describing Jewish worship at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Cited at

"June 13, 1871... Jerusalem is now divided according to its different classes of population. The Mohammedans are four thousand, and occupy the northeast quarter, including the whole area of the Mosque of Omar. The Jews are eight thousand, and have the southeast quarter... The Armenians number eighteen hundred, and have the southwest quarter; and the other Christians, amounting to twenty-two hundred, have the northwest quarter...

The Jewish Sabbath being on Saturday, and beginning at sunset on Friday, the weekly wail of the Jews under the wall takes place on Friday, and is a preparation for the rest and worship of the day which they are commanded to "keep holy." The small rectangular oblong area, without roof or canopy, (i.e., the Western Wall) serves for the gathering of the whole remnant of the Jewish nation in Jerusalem. Here, whether it rains or shines, they come together at an early hour, old and young, men, women, and little children--the poor and the rich, in their best costumes, discordant as the diverse nations from which they come. They are attended by their rabbis, each bringing the carefully-preserved and elaborately-bound text of the book of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, either in their respective languages, or in the original Hebrew. For many hours they pour forth their complaints, reading and reciting the poetic language of the prophet, beating their hands against the wall, and bathing the stones with their kisses and tears. It is no mere formal ceremony. During the several hours while we were spectators of it, there was not one act of irreverence or indifference. Only those who have seen the solemn prayer-meeting of a religious revival, held by some evangelical denomination at home, can have a true idea of the solemnity and depth of the profound grief and pious feeling exhibited by this strange assembly on so strange an occasion, although no ritual in the Catholic, Greek, or Episcopal Church is conducted with more solemnity and propriety." — [Travels Around the World, William H. Seward, quoted at At same link, read Seward's description of his visit to the Hurva Synagogue]

The PA's denial of Jewish history in Israel is an integral part of the PA's political program. This denial is used as the basis for the PA's denial of Israel's right to exist. This was expressed explicitly in a recent article by a PA daily columnist who argued that Zionists have no connection to the Biblical Hebrews and therefore Israel has "no historical or legal basis" to exist:

"The Zionist movement's leaders and their broad group of followers have no relation even to the [Biblical] twelve tribes of Israel, as the great Hungarian historian [Arthur] Koestler proved, and as Jewish and Israeli researchers clarified later. This means that the superfluous [nation] in this region, and the one harming its security and stability, is the occupation (i.e., Israel) in all its shapes and stages, whether in the past or in the present, and whether in the form of military occupation, settlement, or fabricating Judaization that have no historical or legal basis." — [Op-ed official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 15, 2012]

In keeping with this policy, PA TV broadcast a documentary in 2010 and 2011 that described Jews praying at the Western Wall as "sin and filth."

Itamar Marcus is director of PMW ; Palestinian Media Watch ( PMW is based in Jerusalem. Contact PMW Bulletin at

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Posted by US 4Israel, January 15, 2013

The article below was written by Josh Hasten who is the president of the Jerusalem-based Bar-Am Public Relations Firm, specializing in working with non-profit organizations, NGOs and municipalities. Josh recently launched the website as a service to assist pro-Israel writers in getting their letters and op-eds published. He is also the host of several radio shows including Israel Hasbara Hour, on Josh was the CAMERA organization's 2009 Letter Writer of the Year, and resides in Elazar, Israel. Email Josh at The article appeared January 15, 2013 on the Jerusalem Postand is archived at

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In 2011, Women in Green... hosted a conference to discuss applying full Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria... In total there were just over 200 participants...However, on January 1 of this year, the third annual Women in Green conference on the "Application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria," drew over 1,000 diverse attendees, from college students, journalists and bloggers to veteran activists and pensioners, and was held in a jam-packed, standing room-only Jerusalem hall, featuring some of most influential government leaders and policy makers in Israel today. To put it the concept of establishing Jewish sovereignty over all of the land from the River to the Sea has grown into an entire movement. Read more:

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Posted by John Cohn, January 15, 2013

The article below was written by Bret Stephens who is an American journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013.[1] He works for The Wall Street Journal as the foreign-affairs columnist and the deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the editorial pages of the Journal's European and Asian editions. From 2002 to 2004, he was editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. Write to

Below is the author's comment to the former secretary: "The former secretary of state offers a dubious defense of Chuck Hagel and his comments about the 'Jewish lobby.'"

Colin Powell thinks Chuck Hagel's use of the term "Jewish lobby" was an innocent mistake, for which he should atone by writing "Israel lobby" 100 times on a blackboard.

"That term slips out from time to time," the former secretary of state told David Gregory on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Mr. Powell also thinks that when Mr. Hagel's critics "go over the edge and say because Chuck said 'Jewish lobby,' he is anti-Semitic, that's disgraceful. We shouldn't have that kind of language in our dialogue."

OK, I get it. An errant slip of the tongue isn't proof of prejudice. We have all said things the offensiveness of which we perhaps didn't fully appreciate when we opened our mouth.

Like the time when, according to Bob Woodward, Mr. Powell accused Douglas Feith, one of the highest-ranking Jewish officials in the Bush administration and the son of a Holocaust survivor, of running a "Gestapo office" out of the Pentagon. Mr. Powell later apologized personally to Mr. Feith for what he acknowledged was a "despicable characterization."

Or the time when, according to George Packer in his book "The Assassins' Gate," Mr. Powell leveled another ugly charge at Mr. Feith, this time in his final Oval Office meeting with George W. Bush. "The Defense Department had too much power in shaping foreign policy, [Powell] argued, and when Bush asked for an example, Powell offered not Rumsfeld, the secretary who had mastered him bureaucratically, not Wolfowitz, the point man on Iraq, but the department's number three official, Douglas Feith, whom Powell called a card-carrying member of the Likud Party."

Anyway, on this business of hypersensitivity to prejudicial remarks, real or perceived, here is Mr. Powell in the same interview talking about what ails the Republican Party:

"There's also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor [Alaska's Sarah Palin] say that the president is shuckin' and jivin,' that's a racial-era slave term. When I see another former governor [New Hampshire's John Sununu] say after the president's first debate when he didn't do well, he said he was lazy. Now it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there's a third word that goes along with it."

So let's get this straight. Mr. Powell holds it "disgraceful" to allege anti-Semitism of politicians who invidiously use the phrase "the Jewish lobby." But he has no qualms about accusing Mr. Sununu—along whose side he worked during the George H.W. Bush administration—of all-but whispering the infamous N-word when he called Mr. Obama's first debate performance "lazy."

It's hard to decide whether Mr. Powell is using a double standard hypocritically or inadvertently. I'll assume the latter, since he seems to have missed the reason why Mr. Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense has run into so much opposition.

Consider the following hypothetical sentence: "The African-American lobby intimidates a lot of people up here." Would this pass Mr. Powell's smell test?

Or this: "I'm a United States senator, not a Kenyan senator." Such a statement would be considered as so weird and unwonted that no amount of spinning (let's say it was uttered in the context of a discussion of U.S. policy toward Africa) would have saved the person making it from immediate disqualification.

Now maybe someone can explain how that's materially different from Mr. Hagel's suggestion that "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here" and "I'm a United States senator, not an Israeli senator."

One of the arguments I've come across recently is that there's nothing unwarranted about using the word "intimidate" and that it's something all lobbies do. Remarkably, however, a Google search yields zero results for the phrases "the farm lobby intimidates," "the African-American lobby intimidates," or "the Hispanic lobby intimidates." Only the Jewish lobby does that, apparently.

There is also the argument that supporters of Israel really do intimidate politicians on Capitol Hill. The word itself means "to make timid or fearful," to "frighten," and "to compel or deter as if by threats." It would be interesting to see valid evidence that any group commonly associated with the Israel lobby ever employed such Mafia-like tactics. What I've seen instead are crackpot allegations, such as the letter I recently received charging that the Jewish lobby was responsible for William Fulbright's 1974 senatorial defeat in Arkansas. Who knew?

In the meantime, maybe Mr. Powell could show that he's as sensitive to the whiff of anti-Semitism as he is to the whiff of racism. If George Packer's description of Mr. Powell's last meeting with President Bush is inaccurate, he should publicly disavow it. If it's accurate, he should publicly apologize for it. Nobody questions where Mr. Powell's loyalties lie. If he has called the loyalties of other patriotic American public servants into question, that would be, to use his word, disgraceful.

A version of this article appeared January 15, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Colin Powell's Double Standard.

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Posted by GWY123, January 15, 2013

This article are written by JPost.Com Staff and appeared January 15, 2013. Visit their website at:

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

US President Barack Obama has stated repeatedly in private conversations that "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are," regarding Jerusalem's advancement of new settlement plans, influential Jewish American columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reported Tuesday.

Following the November 29 UN vote to upgrade the Palestinians to non-member observer state status, Israel announced that 3,000 housing units would be built in areas beyond the Green Line, and zoning and planning for thousands of other units throughout Judea and Samaria would be authorized, including in the controversial project between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim called E1.


UN chief renews call to halt E1 building plans

In his weekly Bloomberg column published on Tuesday, Goldberg wrote: "When informed about the Israeli decision, Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, didn't even bother getting angry. He told several people that this sort of behavior on [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's part is what he has come to expect, and he suggested that he has become inured to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart."

Building in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has prevented. The Palestinian Authority has contended that construction in E1 could split the West Bank and damage the prospects of the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The White House publicly criticized the E1 building plans immediately after they were announced in late November, stating that "these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution."

According to Goldberg, Obama said in private that Netanyahu was leading Israel down a path toward near-total isolation by advancing settlement plans.

"On matters related to the Palestinians, the president seems to view the prime minister as a political coward, an essentially unchallenged leader who nevertheless is unwilling to lead or spend political capital to advance the cause of compromise," Goldberg wrote.

If, as widely expected, Netanyahu forms the next government following the January 22 elections, the first meeting of his second term with Obama is expected to take place in Washington in early March.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has invited Netanyahu to address its annual policy conference in Washington, which will be held on March 3-5. Once there, it is widely expected that Netanyahu will meet with Obama, who will also just be embarking on his second term.

Even though the possible meeting is some two months off and as yet unconfirmed, messages have been passing between Jerusalem and Washington in recent weeks regarding the likely meeting and ways to set a more positive tone in the relationship at the outset of both leaders' new terms.

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Posted by Mailbox(TTG), January 15, 2013

The article below was written by Jerome R. Corsi who is an American author, political commentator and conspiracy theorist best known for his two New York Times bestselling books: The Obama Nation and Unfit for Command. This article appeared January 14, 2013 in the WND and is archived at

NEW YORK — The real unemployment rate for December 2012 is closer to 23 percent, not the 7.8 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to economist John Williams. Williams, author of the Shadow Government Statistics website, argues that the federal government manipulates the reporting of key economic data for political purposes, using methodologies that tend to mask bad news. In the BLS news release Jan. 4, the unemployment rate for December 2012 was reported to have remained unchanged at 7.8 percent. Williams recreates a ShadowStats Alternative unemployment rate reflecting methodology that includes the "long-term discouraged workers" that the Bureau of Labor Statistics removed in 1994 under the Clinton administration. The BLS publishes six levels of unemployment, but only the headline U3 unemployment rate gets the press. The headline number does not count "discouraged" unemployed workers who have not looked for work in the past four weeks because they believe no jobs are available.

Get Jerome Corsi's scorching new exposé of the ACLU, "Bad Samaritans: The ACLU's Relentless Campaign to Erase Faith From the Public Square," from WND's Superstore

Williams has demonstrated that it takes an expert to truly decipher BLS unemployment statistics. For instance, in Table A-15, titled "Alternative measures of labor underutilization," the BLS reports what is known as "U6 unemployment."

The U6 unemployment rate is the BLS's broadest measure. It includes those marginally attached to the labor force and the "under-employed," those who have accepted part-time jobs when they are really looking for full-time employment. Also included are short-term discouraged workers, those who have not looked for work in the last year because there are no jobs to be had.

Since 1994, however, the long-term discouraged workers, those who have been discouraged for more than one year, have been excluded from all government data.

While the BLS was reporting seasonally adjusted headline unemployment in December 2012 was only 7.8 percent, it was also reporting the broader U6 seasonally adjusted unemployment in December 2012 was 14.4 percent.

In his subscription newsletter, Williams contended the "headline changes" reported by BLS for the December 2012 unemployment rate of 7.8 percent "lack statistical significance."

"To the extent that there is any significance in the monthly reporting," he said, "it is that the economy is not in recovery, and that unemployment has made a new high, at a level that rivals any other downturn of the post-Great Depression era."

The only measure BLS reports to the public as the official monthly unemployment rate is the headline, seasonally adjusted U3 number.

Williams calculates his "ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment Rate" by adding to the BLS U6 numbers the long-term discouraged workers, those workers who have not looked for work in more than a year but still consider themselves to be unemployed.

Williams believes that his ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment measure most closely mirrors common experience.

"If you were to survey everyone in the country as to whether they were employed or unemployed, without qualification as to when they last looked for a job, the resulting unemployment rate would be close to the ShadowStats estimate," Williams explained to WND.

The headline BLS unemployment rate has stayed relatively low, because it excludes all discouraged workers, Williams argues.

As the unemployed first become discouraged and then disappear into the long-term discouraged category, they also vanish from inclusion in the headline labor force numbers. Those workers still are there, however, ready to take a job if one becomes available. They are unemployed and consider themselves to be unemployed, but the government's popularly followed unemployment reporting ignores them completely.

Here is a more complete unemployment table that includes the seasonally adjusted unemployment percentages for U3 unemployment, as well as the same for U6 unemployment, followed by the ShadowStats Alternative Unemployment rate for both December 2011 and December 2012:

Increasingly, critics like Williams believe the seasonally adjusted U3 numbers reported by the BLS as the official monthly unemployment rate do not give a reliable picture of the true magnitude of unemployment in the United States.

The definitions used by the BLS exclude from the calculation of the monthly U3 unemployment rate anyone who has not looked for work at any time during the past four weeks. Those workers are considered to be "discouraged" and "not in the labor force."

In the U6 calculations, the discouraged workers are only those who have actively looked for work in the past year.

The BLS definitions don't consider those who would look for work if there were a reasonable chance they could find employment.

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Posted by Terrorism Information Center, January 15, 2013

A conference convened in Cairo to support the Arab minority in the region of Khuzestan has drawn criticism and anger from media and social networks in Iran in recent days. The "Conference to Support the People of Ahvaz[1]" (the capital of Khuzestan Province, which gives the province its Arabic name) convened in Cairo last Thursday, January 10.

The conference was attended by representatives from the separatist movement for the liberation of Ahvaz, clerics from the Muslim world, representatives from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, as well as several representatives from Egyptian political movements affiliated with the Islamic bloc, mainly President Morsi's advisor Emad Abdel Ghafour, who has links to the Salafi faction, and Egyptian parliament member Talaat Ramih. In Abdel Ghafour's address to the conference, the president's advisor expressed his support for the struggle of the Arab minority members in Iran and stated that, for them, Egypt will remain a refuge. He noted that Egypt's support for the Arab residents of the region stems not from racial considerations but rather from its support for human dignity and justice, and stressed that, in terms of its area, the region is the equivalent of four Arab countries put together: Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

Sabbah al-Musawi, one of the leaders of the movement for the liberation of Ahvaz and co-organizer of the conference, spoke about the "Iranian occupation" of the Ahvaz region and thanked the government of Egypt for holding the conference. He accused Iran of trying to change the Arab identity of the region and pull it apart from the Arab world. Saudi cleric Muhammad al-Urayfi delivered a speech saying that the Arab and Muslim countries need to extend assistance to "the Arab brothers in Ahvaz" and accused Iran of using the oil resources of the region to cause a rift and provoke wars among Muslims.

Iranian websites attack the government of Egypt over the conference

This weekend the Tabnak website strongly criticized the fact that the conference was held in Cairo during Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi's visit to Egypt. A report published by the website on January 11 said that, while the foreign minister was meeting with top Egyptian officials in Cairo, a group of "terrorists and separatists calling themselves Iranian Arabs" was holding a conference in cooperation with Morsi's government to discuss the secession of the Khuzestan region from Iran and "the occupation of the Arab land of Ahvaz by the Persians". The website referred to Sabbah al-Musawi as a "known spy with links to England".

The website noted that, while the management of Al-Azhar University denied having anything to do with the conference, the presence of an Egyptian parliament member for the Muslim Brotherhood at the conference is a reflection of the movement's new policy against Iran. Iran must keep its eyes and ears open in light of the events, Tabnak said, rather than looking the other way from the extremist members of the Muslim Brotherhood who seek to dominate the region and fulfill their objectives.

The website personally attacked President Morsi, saying that, at best, he is a "second Mubarak", at worst, he plays the role fulfilled by Iraq's President Saddam Hussein against the Iranian people. President Morsi, whose path to the presidency of the republic is perfectly clear, has no other option but to follow this path, which is based on his obedience to his masters in London and Washington, the website said.

According to Tabnak, despite the limitations imposed on Iran when it comes to its ability to contend with the new Egyptian regime, it cannot turn a blind eye to the conduct of President Morsi and his supporters. The website called on President Ahmadinejad to require a formal apology from the government of Egypt as a condition for his participation in the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and to stay in Egypt for no more than a few hours.

The daily Javan also strongly criticized the government of Egypt in the wake of the conference. In an editorial titled "Desperate nationalism and passive tribalism in Egypt", published on January 13, the daily expressed amazement that top Egyptian officials allowed the conference to convene while Salehi was visiting Cairo, despite the perfectly obvious British-Israeli nature of the confrence and its objective to undermine the power of the Muslim world and split it along ethnic, racial, and religious lines.

If the conference was convened deliberately, the article said, then it is an indication of desperate nationalism in the Egyptian government, which gives rise to suspicions that it is involved in a British-Israeli scenario. In this case, the uprising in Egypt is best defined as a "coup" staged by a group that wished to replace Mubarak and Sadat, rather than as a "revolution". If the conference was not convened deliberately, then it is quite regrettable that the senior officials in Egypt are this negligent.

The daily condemned the cooperation between the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and the Wahhabiyya school of thought in Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood knows that the aim of the Wahhabis is to work in service of the British and the Zionists and instigate religious conflicts in the Muslim world. If the Muslim Brotherhood falls into this trap, Egypt may be pushed to division, civil war, and everything that makes its enemies happy. How is it possible that the United Arab Emirates, whose history goes back a mere 70 years, and the other tribal governments of the Persian Gulf dictate a strategy for Egypt, with its glorious history? How is it possible that the Muslim Brotherhood government has become a partner in the humiliating policy of the United States and Israel as a result of political and economic pressure as well as security and military warnings? If the new Egypt is the product of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna, then its logical behavior should manifest a struggle against the colonialist policy of Britain, America, and the Zionists, rather than coordination with the Arab reactionaries and the tribal tyrannies.

The news agency of the Iranian Ahlul Bayt association also spoke out against the conference convened in Cairo, saying that, instead of thinking about convening such a "funny and divisive" conference, Al-Azhar University and the political parties in Egypt had better turn their attention to their Arab neighbor, Palestine, which has been under Israeli occupation and oppression for 60 years and is ignored by the Arab countries, including Egypt (, January 10).

Reactions from web users

Iranian web users, too, expressed their anger over the conference in Cairo. A number of them called for a strong reaction from Iran against Egypt. One web user demanded tough action against the Salafis in Egypt, Palestine, and the Arab world, saying that these "infidel Salafis" must not be allowed to hurt the Shi'ites simply for fear of compromising the unity of Muslims.

Another web user called for a struggle against any person, nation, or separatist group trying to separate even a small part of Iran's sacred land, for whose sake thousands of people spilled their blood. A web user who referred to himself as an "Iranian Azeri" wrote that separatists have no place in Islamic Iran, and that they serve the interests of the West and its conspiracies. The Iranian people and government must not remain silent and show mercy to the separatists and the Arab leaders that act in accordance with the policy of the West, the web user wrote.

Yet another web user called on the government to work for a change in the population make-up of Khuzestan. Residents of Iranian descent should be transferred to any city where there is talk of separatism and race so that no one can talk about race anymore. In response, a web user replied that all nations and races need to be respected. He went on to say that changing the population make-up in the region is a "Zionist idea", and that such an idea will lead to the establishment of small cities in Iran's border regions for the sole purpose of changing their population make-up.

Another web user argued that there is no reason for Iran to act politely to Egypt just because of the revolution that took place in that country. Why does Iran act politely to a country like Egypt and treats the United States, an economic and military superpower, as an enemy? Still another web user noted that if the government of Egypt is challenging Iran's territorial integrity, it needs to be answered in accordance with the directive issued by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who formerly stated that Iran will hit the interests of any country that will threaten its territorial integrity.

A number of web users lashed out against the government of Egypt and President Morsi. Egypt depends on the Wahhabis, one web user wrote, and there is no question about the hostility that the Salafis and Wahhabis have for Iran. The sole desire of Egypt and the other Arab countries is to hurt Iran, and everyone knows that Morsi's statement during his meeting with Foreign Minister Salehi, in which he expressed friendship towards Iran, is a lie. One of the web surfers defined Morsi as "dangerous", while another argued that Egypt under Mubarak's leadership was closer to Iran than it currently is under Morsi's leadership. Morsi became president thanks to the support of the West, one web user wrote, and the Iranians do not believe his allegedly Islamic behavior.

The region of Khuzestan: the center of the Arab minority in Iran

Khuzestan Province, in the southwest of Iran, is home to the Arab minority, making up about three percent of Iran's population. The region's tremendous importance derives from its strategic location on the Persian Gulf coast, its oil reserves, and the important oil facilities located there. The Arab population of Khuzestan has its origins in Arab migrants who arrived in the region following the Muslim conquest in 641. The migration persisted throughout the next centuries and significantly increased starting in the 16th century.

In the 20th century the Iranian regime attempted to weaken the pronouncedly Arab ethnic identity of the province by transferring Iranian citizens of Persian descent to the region. When Iran consolidated its control over the region following a successful military campaign waged by the authorities in 1924, the name of the province was officially changed from Arabestan, as it had been called since the 16th century, to Khuzestan, while Persian became the language of instruction in the province's schools and the official language of administration. In the late 1950s Iran became increasingly concerned over the growing influence of Arab nationalism on the Arab residents of the region. This period also saw the emergence of the Arabistan Liberation Front (established in 1958), which called for a separation of the province from the Iranian state and its handover to Arab control.

After the Islamic revolution of 1979, a number of demonstrations took place in the province calling for a limited autonomy in the region, increasing its share in the oil revenues, teaching Arabic as a first language, and giving preference to Arabs in local positions. However, these demonstrations did not evolve into a significant challenge for the regime, and nor did the outbreak of the war with Iraq in 1980 spur the Arab resistance movement in the region.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 15, 2013

Are Nuclear weapons passé? Ward Wilson, senior fellow at the James Martin Center for non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Center of International Studies believes they are passé.

He makes some strong arguments, but, in my opinion, not a strong case. I think he fails to examine some of his cultural assumptions and ask enough questions.

He wants a nuclear-free world, but since he thinks nuclear weapons will not be used by anybody, why bother? If not to be used, no danger.

Mr. Wilson cites the prevailing fear of nuclear weapons in certain other countries' possession. He accuses Pres. Bush of having "exploited anxiety of nuclear weapons to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq." Mr. Wilson also states that Republican candidates for President said they would wage war on Iran to keep it from getting nuclear weapons.

This issue about Iraq is not relevant to U.S. possession of nuclear weapons. This is gratuitous partisanship. It is misleading, too. He forgets that Pres. Obama said that all options are on the table, which would include military ones. Pres. Obama is not a Republican, but officially would wage war on Iran to keep it from getting nuclear weapons.

This line also insinuates deception by Pres Bush, which is the standard Democratic Party line. However, all the intelligence services working with and in the U.S. believed that Iraq had such weapons. Pres. Bush had no reason to doubt them. He was not deceiving us. Mr. Wilson makes him a scapegoat.

The standard line of Democrats also is that that was the only reason for the war. When they get conspiratorial, they then claim that the real reason was to show his father that he could follow through or to punish Iraq for having plotted to murder his father. No evidence is shown for this view. Don't accuse without knowledge.

As for the reasons given by Bush, there were several that Democrats conveniently forget: (1) The Gulf War was suspended, not ended. Sanctions were imposed on Iraq. Iraq violated them. The UN authorized military enforcement of the Security Council sanctions. (2) Saddam violated the food for oil program, by selling otherwise embargoed oil to pay for food supposedly for his people, but which he sold on the black market or gave to his military. Nevertheless, people blamed food shortages in Iraq on the sanctions and especially on U.S. backing for those sanctions. (3) Saddam continued to commit genocide against segments of his people, if I remember correctly. (4) Saddam was wriggling out of sanctions. Unless stopped soon, his oil bribery of foreign states would get him free to spend on military build-up, including for weapons of mass-destruction WMD). Remember, he had kept on the payroll and ready to work his WMD staff.

Mr. Wilson states that a small group in the U.S. still believes in having nuclear weapons. He says this group made Pres. Obama agree to spend money on modernizing warheads and delivery systems. If the group were so small, how did they carry the legislation? In the absence of authorization to destroy our nuclear weapons, why would Pres. Obama have to be pushed to modernize them? Should we maintain an arsenal that becomes inoperable?

The belief in such weapons, according to Mr. Wilson, is based on myths. One is that their use against Japan shortened WWII. He claims new evidence shows that Japan was influenced more by Russia's entry into the war against Japan. As for the a-bombs, 66 Japanese cities already had been destroyed by conventional means, so dropping the super bomb on two cities was not particularly persuasive. But their use was a good excuse for Japan to surrender without losing face.

Maybe he is right. However, that historical event is not relevant. We possess the weapons as a last ditch defense and as a deterrent. These weapons can deter rational regimes, but Iran's is outside of Western rationality. Iran's regime doesn't worry about its own casualties, so long as it wins for Islam. The ruling ideology there is that an Armageddon will bring the final triumph of Islam. If we have nuclear weapons, we could swiftly destroy enough of Iran so it might be unable to continue nuclear attacks on the U.S..

If we don't have nuclear weapons, and we let Iran get nuclear weapons, Iran could threaten and dominate other countries and attack ours. We would want to destroy its nuclear sites with conventional arms. However, Pres. Obama and his supporters are trying to reduce our conventional forces too.

Mr. Wilson fails to examine the ideology of Iran's rulers also in another aspect. Iran and Islamists believe in ethnic cleansing and mass-murder. They also would want to weaken the U.S., their main obstacle to victorious jihad, and Israel, another key obstacle.

A colleague of mine points out the horrible possibility of error in attacking countries based on what we think they may do. He said that if we felt sure about it, then instead of threatening, we should attack to make sure we could not get attacked.

A second myth is that bombing civilians ends war. Again Mr. Wilson cites WWII. He is correct about that, which is similar to myth 1. However, Pres. Clinton's bombing of Serbian civilians did force Serbia to stand down. But more likely, use of nuclear weapons against Iran would seek out their military and their underground military sites. It would mean terrible mass-destruction.

The third myth is deterrence. Countries have attacked nuclear powers, such as Britain in the Falklands. I don't think that nuclear weapons were meant to deter non-existential conventional wars. Israel, for example, did not use nuclear weapons but might have if it felt it was about to be overrun.

The argument falls flat in the Cold War example that U.S. possession of nuclear weapons did not deter the USSR from an aggressive foreign police, short of major war directly on the U.S.. That is because Soviet a-bombs deterred the U.S. The prospect of mutually assured destruction led both countries to reserve nuclear weapons for a last resort.

Fourth, there has been a long peace, attributed to nuclear weapons. There is no proof that nuclear weapons were responsible. Agreed. But actually, there have been many wars. Iran has been killing U.S. troops for some time.

Fifth, the argument that we cannot go backwards on this is said to fail because the nuclear option has become not practical. Mr. Wilson concludes that nuclear weapons are not useful, because they were not used since WWII. It is just as easy to say there weren't used because they intimidate serious attacks on nuclear powers. They never were meant to be used casually.

Most people don't know, Mr. Wilson asserts, that several countries gave up nuclear weapons. How does he know what they know? But the point is, the countries that gave them up do not expect to be attacked. His point does not much support his case.

He thinks Israel might give up its nuclear potential. He says it has a powerful military, is allied with the U.S., and its military leaders appreciate the reality that nuclear weapons are more dangerous against a small country.

Apparently Mr. Wilson does not understand the Arab-Israel conflict and that the State Dept. favors the Arab side. Congress is friendly toward Israel but favors arming the Arab side. Israel is a declared ally of the U.S., but the State Dept. treats it as a satellite. The U.S. demands that it not much defend itself from Arab attacks. Pres. Obama told Israel not to send troops into Gaza and eliminate Hamas. Obama refuses to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. He won't help Israel do it, either. He relies on negotiations that are farces when they even take place. He waives away most sanctions on Iran while pretending that they are having a satisfactory effect. Some effect when they fail to stop Iran's accelerating use of centrifuges to make more weapons' fuel!

What good is Israel's military, when the U.S. and the whole world demand that Israel not use it, when Israel is reluctant to use it, and when it is doubtful whether Israel can raid Iran's nuclear facilities? Nor could Israel likely fight the increasingly Islamist countries united against it. Hence Israel's Arab enemies, who indoctrinate in Jew-hate, insist that Israel relinquish nuclear weapons. Let Mr. Wilson tackle that rebuttal!

Has Mr. Wilson listened to what Israel's military leaders say? Most of them are short-sighted in strategy and left-wing in policy. Their policy keeps failing, but they draw no lessons and make no reforms. They condemn those who would defang Iran's nuclear capabilities.

Small countries, writes Mr. Wilson, should seek a nuclear-free world and ally themselves with big powers. It is naïve to seek a nuclear-free world. Let us instead ignore the UN and unilaterally protect ourselves and keep nuclear weapons from rogue states and terrorists. That would not be easy.

He thinks nuclear weapons are a status symbol, citing France. He just throws assertions around. France is an example of his point, but certain other countries are not. Mr. Wilson argues too much on the basis of examples that overlook contrary examples.

An agreement to give up all nuclear weapons would have to have stringent inspection. Is he admitting that the existing bans lack stringent inspection or does he think they are stringent and overlooks their failure? He fails to account for every later nuclear power deceiving the UN. To put one's reliance upon international bodies, such as the UN, which is unreliable and often takes dictators' side, would be foolish.

If we stand down our own nuclear weapons, what does Mr. Wilson think North Korea is likely to do?

He says the world is safer with chemical weapons bans than without them. But it is the rogue states that make the danger, now. He misses that point.

He treats chemical weapons the same as nuclear, but can't say they weren't used since WWII. Egypt used chemical weapons against Yemen; Saddam used poison gas against Kurds in his own countrymen. Meanwhile, terrorist groups have been trying to get "dirty" nuclear devices. Terrorists murder for the same of murder, for the sake of gaining publicity, for the sake of gaining power, and for the sake of Radical Islam. They do not care how many innocent people they slay. If they kill fellow Muslims, they claim they did them a favor by sending them to Paradise as martyrs. And they blame their deaths on the Radicals' enemies, a blame that the UN is likely to endorse. We must understand that part of the whole picture.

We must conclude that we have to combat Islamist ideology and also try to eradicate it. Of course, eradication would not involve our use of nuclear weapons. But it behooves us to curb proliferators of nuclear weapons into less responsible hands, to safeguard against hasty use of such weapons, and to guard them well.

The trend, we are told, is toward smaller, smarter weapons. Nuclear weapons are obsolete, writes Mr. Wilson (NY Times, 1/14/13, A23). He is right about the trend, wrong about obsolescence. One nuclear bomb exploded in the air could knock out a country's electronics. That would render the country defenseless. It could not retaliate. If the country has a large population, it would not be able to feed its people. A high percentage would perish. Iran must be salivating at the prospect! Why didn't Mr. Wilson take up that point?

Like the financial crash and the mass-shootings at schools, many people react in haste and panic. The issues are more complex than Mr. Wilson's simplistic notions. We had better think and look before we leap.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 15, 2013

It isn't often that I am rendered speechless, and even when that happens, I am likely to recover my words in short order.

Although, when I write that I'm speechless now, I do not mean it literally: It's rhetorical. More that I cannot quite wrap my head around what I know -- which comes at me, day by day, with ever greater clarity and certainty. For it is both incredible and terrifying. And so I search for the words that will bring the message home.

I am referring, my friends, to is the situation in the US and the ramifications of that situation.


Please, pay careful attention to what Frank Gaffney Jr, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, has just written (all emphasis added):

"Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly declared that 'a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.' While that sentiment won't be embraced in President Obama's inaugural address next week, all other things being equal, it seems likely to be the practical effect of his second term.

"Of course, Iran's regime seeks a world literally without America...

"For his part, Barack Obama seems to have in mind bringing about a world without America in a geo-strategic sense."

Gaffney then quotes political analyst Mark Steyn, who refers to a "fundamental transformation" of America's place in the world, evidently intended, says Gaffney, "to be the President's second-act..." after a first act that focused on the domestic.

"That agenda is strongly evident in Mr. Obama's choices for key national security cabinet positions: John Kerry at the State Department, Chuck Hagel at Defense and John Brennan at the CIA. The three are, like the President, imbued with a post-American, post-sovereignty, post-constitutional, transnationalist outlook. In his administration, it would appear that their mission would be, as the American Enterprise Institute's Danielle Pletka puts it, to manage the United States' decline.

"Having addressed previously in this space the serious problems with the judgment, records and policy proclivities of Messrs. Hagel
( and Kerry
(, let's consider those of John Brennan to further illustrate the syndrome.

Brennan is a textbook example of a U.S. official who has 'gone native.' He speaks Arabic and was formerly the top CIA officer in Saudi Arabia. He has shown himself to be deeply sympathetic to Islamists -- for example, excusing and dissembling about their commitment to jihad and the necessity of not offending them.

"After President Obama himself, John Brennan is, arguably, the single most important enabler of the Islamic supremacists' agenda in government today. In his role as Homeland Security Advisor to the President... Brennan has helped legitimate, empower, fund, arm and embolden them abroad, and embraced and appeased them here at home.

"Of particular concern is the fact that John Brennan has presided over: the policy of engaging the Muslim Brotherhood, which has consequently been portrayed by a politicized intelligence community as 'largely secular' and 'eschewing violence'; the shredding of training briefings and the proscribing of trainers that might upset Muslims by telling the truth about shariah and the jihad it commands; the penetration of U.S. agencies by Muslim Brotherhood-associated individuals as employees and/or senior advisors; and misrepresentations to Congress about the true, jihadist character of the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi last September 11th.

"Of particular concern is the prospect that Team Obama's second-term team will, if confirmed, be even more insistent than their predecessors on engaging Iran. Make no mistake about it: The practical effect will be to buy the regime in Tehran the last few months it evidently needs to achieve what it has sought for decades: the means to have the world not only bereft of America's leadership and stabilizing force, but to neutralize and perhaps eliminate the United States as a 21st Century society."


If this does not make your blood run cold, or make it difficult for you to catch your breath, you're not getting it. Frank Gaffney is a very reputable and knowledgeable commentator and he knows full well whereof he speaks. Dismiss this at your own peril, and the peril of the US.

And that leads me to the second reason that I am (rhetorically) speechless: Most Americans don't get it. I know this because they voted for Obama a second time in spite of the evidence: Much was written well before the election about such alarming situations as the infiltration into the government of Muslim-brotherhood associated individuals. But very few were listening.

And I know because the American people are not marching in the streets by the millions.

There is a shrugging, and a turning of the head. There are pathetic comments like, "I may not agree with Hagel but the president needs to nominate someone he's comfortable with." (This from Congressman Peter King.) There is a reluctance to take on a battle that might sour the relationship with the president. (This from American Jewish leadership, which is comprised in the main of court Jews.)

In the end, only Americans can save America, and I am not at all convinced that it is going to happen.


Gaffney further says:

"The Senate's constitutional responsibility to confirm senior executive branch appointees is one of the few it hasn't compromised, or allowed the president to expropriate. It must exercise its authority to assure "quality control" with respect to his picks for top national security cabinet posts.

"Indeed, the fact that President Obama seeks not one or two, but three individuals who share his determination to achieve the radical and dangerous national security transformation he seeks in his second term demands that Senators defy him. After all, should the Senate fail to object to this trajectory by rigorously debating and defeating any -- and preferably all -- of these problematic choices, its members risk not only allowing, but becoming party to, the realization of a world without America."

Don't let your Senators off the hook. Let them know hear from you on this:

And share this posting, share it, share it!


What further renders me speechless (and for all my very deep love and concern for America, this is perhaps the worst) are the implications that must be faced within the Western democratic world of what it means that America is imploding. The agenda of Iran and Islamists more broadly is being advanced, and the security of those democracies is being rendered more vulnerable.

A 154-page report authored by five non-proliferation experts in the US-- "US Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East" -- is about to be released. It says that Iran may produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one or more nuclear bombs by mid-2014. And it recommends that the US and its allies should intensify sanctions on Tehran before that point is reached. It further recommends that:

"The president should explicitly declare that he will use military force to destroy Iran's nuclear program if Iran takes additional decisive steps toward producing a bomb."

But Obama has nominated as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a man who not only does not believe in military action against Iran, he does not support sanctions and favors instead "negotiations."


Obama has made statements innumerable times about the fact that he would not let Iran reach nuclear capability. This was usually in the context of making sure Israel didn't attack Iran -- as in, "trust me to take care of it." Who could believe this now? Who can trust Obama?

Of course, he also said he has Israel's back. Lots of Jews loved that, which was his goal, of course. Is there a single Jew now who would be willing to come to Jerusalem and look me in the eye and tell me that he or she truly believes Obama has our back??

But apparently, this duplicity is not considered sufficiently important to merit raising of voices -- or marching in the streets.


PM Netanyahu says that in his next term he is going to focus on Iran. I take issue with him on some things, but here he is spot-on. Brave, in my book, and determined. And the only leader in the world with his eyes open, it seems.


Obama has moved past re-election mode and is now into "legacy" mode, which means he worries about achieving successes that he can be remembered for. Irrationally, he still apparently thinks achieving some sort of successful Israeli-Palestinian Arab negotiations may be possible. And to that end, he's been complaining about Netanyahu's readiness to build in Jewish communities (otherwise referred to as "settlements") in Judea and Samaria: he actually has the unmitigated gall to say that "Israel doesn't know its own best interests."

Considering that he's bringing his own country down, I guess this, too, leaves me speechless.


For the record, ISRAEL -- a sovereign state with a democratically elected government -- will decide what is in Israel's best interests.

And this is what our prime minister says (emphasis added:

"In the Middle East, the real Middle East, any territory that we evacuate will be captured by Iran. The stronger we are, the more we will be able to guarantee our future and make peace with our neighbors."

Amen to this!

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 15, 2013

I sense that this week of January 13 brought us to a turning point against Radical Islam.

Last week seemed to be a low point. President Obama was proceeding with three nominations of appeasers and apologizers of Radical Islam, including the antisemite who blames Israel for Arab Muslim terrorism against it. They would back up Obama's policy of holding Israel hostage over Iran until Israel caves in to Palestinian Arab demands. Their unrealistic and almost antisemitic view is that the Arab-Israel conflict is the source of all Mideast tension. Battles unrelated to that conflict flare all over the region and beyond, but they notice them not.

Last week, the New York Times was complacent about the Islamic conquest of northern Mali, which seemed to have quieted down. Actually, the Islamists were busy severing people's arms. But the respite seemed to the newspaper to have ended jihad there.

Pres. Obama still thought that al-Qaida was just about the only Islamist enemy and that it was crippled.

A new friend of mine refused to understand that jihad is a movement for international supremacy, just as were the totalitarian movements of Nazism and Communism. When I named many countries mired in jihad, he rationalized that they Islamists in each were of different organizations. I replied that they share the same ideology. I might have added that they share training bases and weapons, and travel to help each other in combat. They may not have the same names, but many gangs affiliate with of al-Qaida. The liquidation of Osama bin Laden was inconsequential, a diversion from Obama's pro-Muslim policies.

Most of the media and Western governments were deceiving themselves and the population that the Islamist regimes of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and of Turkey regimes were moderate. They were under the further illusion that the U.S. was working against Radical Islam instead of for it, directly or indirectly in Libya, Syria, and the P.A. as well as in Egypt.

That was last week.

This week, the renewed advance southward of Islamist forces in Mali brought the French back into action, to stop them. France did not wait for the UN, which the Islamic world more or less controls. [Note, although most of the Islamic regimes in the UN are not Islamist, they nevertheless oppose UN opposition to Islamist war crimes as in Sudan and Gaza, not to mention Afghanistan.] It finally dawned on the New York Times that the Islamists and al-Qaida have spread and have become a global menace.

Then an antisemitic speech a few years ago by the Muslim Brotherhood leader and now President of Egypt, Morsi, came to light. The pretense that he is moderate became difficult to maintain. The Times now questions it. Actually, Morsi has been tightening Islamist and general dictatorial screws on Egyptians for months. The Times should have realized that, but now they are a bit more open to these facts.

Ironic, isn't it, that the media is supposed to inform us but appears uninformed, itself.

Let us hope that the newspaper and other anti-Zionist centers will find they must give priority to defense of the American homeland over their lust for enervating the Jewish homeland!

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 15, 2013

Which letters should editors publish? Consider this letter, typifying many that the New York Times selects.

Going further against Israel than did the editorial it comments on, [an editorial that I had criticized as making false insinuations against Israel], the letter urges the editors not to blame Arab states for letting the P.A. down. The writer points out that since 1993, Arab states and the U.S. poured billions of dollars into the P.A.. "They ended up paying for Israel's occupation and colonization and relieving it of its international obligations."

[So the Arabs try to exterminate the Jews, and the Jews end up with financial international obligations to those Arabs? What money did Israel get from the foreign aid? No evidence cited in behalf of that claim. Most foreign aid went for military forces, propaganda, and politicians' pockets, as it often does elsewhere. Oh, and much Arab money has gone for housing construction whose purpose was to block Jewish construction, not to boost the P.A. economy. Perhaps the U.S. wasted its money on a P.A. welfare type racket. More important, the writer makes accusations that have no backing, no explanation, and no logic.]

[The letter writer implies something wrong with Israeli construction in the Territories. Guess he doesn't know that the Oslo Accords do not bars Jews from building there. The Arabs didn't have a state there that would justify a claim about being occupied. Actually, the Palestine Mandate mandates Jewish construction there, and the Mandate still governs the legal status of the Territories, since they were not made independent of the Mandate, as were Israel and Jordan.]

The letter goes on to complain that the P.A. can't develop its economy while Israel controls the movement of people and goods and "swallows up most land and water resources."

[The letter writer may get away with his claims, because the newspaper does not report the real restraints on the P.A. economy. Indirectly, the Times admits that the economic problems stem from the P.A., when it praises the Prime Minister of the P.A. for reforms that improved the P.A. economy. He is credited for having overcome much corruption, meaning P.A. corruption. Other proposed reforms were thwarted. I've written about the bulk of the budget bloated with employees not productive, monopolies for cronies, extortion of businesses, money spent on war and propaganda. By not raising those issues, the writer implies unconcern about the people, just an interest in libeling Israel.]

[Israel controls movement, but lets most goods pass through but not terrorists and not masses of Arabs to go through Israel, except on special occasions. Nobody has shown how Israel interferes with the economy. Israel, however, has taken many steps to facilitate the P.A. economy. On the other hand, the P.A. has interfered with trade with Israel. It has discouraged its people from working in Israel. It has rejected all sorts of cooperation with Israel. Israel tried to have joint enterprises with the P.A. and with Jordan, but the Arabs expected too much from it, discouraged it, and sometimes attacked it.]

[Israelis built on no more than 5% of Judea-Samaria. To claim that it swallows up most of the land is a lie. Arabs have about the same amount of water per capita as do Jews, despite propaganda against Israel.]

The letter ends up asserting that the "first step to a just and lasting peace " is to end the occupation." (Nadia Hijab, 1/15/13.)

Notice that the ending is a non-sequitur. What has the economy to do with peace? Nothing in the letter supports this claim. The first step to peace really must be reform of Islam, ending its hate-filled intolerance, its violence, its deceit, and its religious war. Remember, modern Israeli acquisition of the Territories was the result of Islamic jihad against Israel. How can the writer now be logical in claiming that acquisition is the cause of war? The assertion is particularly absurd now that we find many countries set on fire by Muslim movements, all having nothing to do with Israel.

Ms. Hijab did not define "occupation." The P.A. tells its own people that Israel, itself, is occupied land. In other words, Israel can't make peace with people determined to conquer it. The Muslims use the term "occupied," not accurately but pejoratively for propaganda. But they don't tell you that. Neither does the newspaper.

Likewise, "just and lasting peace" is a term used for the favorable impression it makes on Westerners. What Muslims actually mean by that term is Islamic triumph, probably by conquest.

It's one thing to print honest differences in judgment about the facts. It's another thing to print dishonest propaganda in behalf of jihad and based on lies and distortion. That goes for NY Times reporting on the Arab-Israel conflict.

Unfortunately, the editors do not debate such letter writers. Neither do they provide readers with the facts on which to come to sensible conclusions. What purpose does that newspaper serve in coverage of this subject?

I see my friends gradually being indoctrinated against Israel, as they revere that newspaper and screen out opposing coverage. They think they are fair, but their premises come from unfair propaganda.

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

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Posted by BorntoLose3, January 16, 2013

The article below was written by Josh Hasten who is a writer, a media expert, freelance journalist and the host of Reality Bytes Radio on The article appeared January 15, 2013 on the Jerusalem Post and is archived at

While just several years ago annexing Judea and Samaria seemed liked an implausible, unrealistic, or even taboo suggestion, today the concept of establishing Jewish sovereignty over all of the land from the River to the Sea has grown into an entire movement.

In 2011, Women in Green, a grassroots organization dedicated to safeguarding the Land of Israel for the Jewish people, hosted a conference to discuss applying full Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. The inaugural event was held in a small banquet hall in Hebron, adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs.

A few busloads of attendees, apparently mostly retirees, arrived for the conference from Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Samaria and several other places throughout the country. In total there were just over 200 participants in attendance to hear various MKs and academics discuss what seemed at the time a far-fetched delusion at best.

However, on January 1 of this year, the third annual Women in Green conference on the Application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, drew over 1,000 diverse attendees, from college students, journalists and bloggers to veteran activists and pensioners, and was held in a jam-packed, standing room-only Jerusalem hall, featuring some of most influential government leaders and policy makers in Israel today.

To put it simply, while just several years ago annexing Judea and Samaria seemed liked an implausible, unrealistic, or even taboo suggestion, today the concept of establishing Jewish sovereignty over all of the land from the River to the Sea has grown into an entire movement.

While perhaps not yet embraced by all in this country, and certainly not by many of those in the international community, there is no doubt that the notion of sovereignty has become intellectually mainstreamed.

According to Women in Green co-chairwoman Nadia Matar, who along with fellow chairwoman Yehudit Katsover organized the event, the large turnout proves that after 20 years of our minds being poisoned by Oslo and land giveaways, we are now at the beginning of a new stage in the history of Judea and Samaria, where people are willing to openly say, this is ours and we want to apply sovereignty over it.

In addition, Matar says that over time, the fact that more and more politicians are willing to speak at the event and are not afraid to tell the truth shows that while it might not be easy, we are confident that it [annexing Judea and Samaria] is possible.

Featured speakers at the conference included Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin, Knesset House Committee chairman MK Yariv Levin, MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad, Arab affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar, international law expert and Levy Committee member Alan Baker and Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, among others.

While a variety of opinions were expressed as to the strategies and methodologies Israel should utilize and implement toward annexation, an analogous theme presented by many of the speakers was that the path toward overall sovereignty would have to be accomplished gradually over time and through numerous stages.

Another concern tackled from many perspectives was the issue of the future status of the Arabs living under Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria. Some suggested providing them with full Israeli citizenship, while others favored offering them citizenship in next-door Jordan.

In addition, several speakers, including Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin as well as Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies director Dr. Martin Sherman, suggested offering the Arabs in Judea and Samaria some form of incentive- based compensation plan encouraging emigration.

Without divulging which plan she feels would be most effective or most realistic, Matar admits that no suggestion is perfect.

There will be problems with annexation, she says. But all of the problems are nothing compared to the tragedies weve been suffering as a result of the Oslo agreement.

While Knesset elections are looming, Matar says her organization is nonpartisan and thus she refuses to endorse one candidate over another. But she is willing to share her thoughts on current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose Likud-Beytenu party is predicted to garner enough seats to be tasked with forming the next government.

Im sure in his heart he [Netanyahu] is against the creation of a Palestinian State, as he wrote the book explaining the dangers of a PA state... but he doesnt have the strength to come out and express that publicly. She adds, We know Bibi will be the next prime minister, but in the upcoming election we have to pull him to the right so that he cant implement his policy, which he continues to discuss namely establishing some form of demilitarized PA state.

Matar continues, We have been riding on a ship, for the past 20 years a ship that has been going in one direction toward capitulation and weakness, but we are now forcing the captain of the ship to swerve in another direction toward Zionism, love of the land, Jewish pride, and declaring that this land is ours. It wont happen overnight, but were on our way.

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Posted by Besa Center, January 16, 2013

The article below was written by Prof. Efraim Inbar who is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. The article appeared January 15, 2013 and is archived at

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Though much of the international community sees Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a serious partner for peace, Abbas' words and actions prove that he is interested in nothing less than the ruin of the State of Israel. Instead of preparing his people for painful concessions and peaceful coexistence with Israel, Abbas glorifies armed struggle, insists on Palestinian refugees' "right of return" to Israel, and acts to criminalize and demonize Israel.

A little-noticed Reuters story on January 10, 2013, reports that Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), rejected a conditional Israeli offer to let Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria resettle in the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas rejected Israel's offer because he thought it would compromise the claims of these refugees to return to their homes in Israel lost during the 1948 war. According to this report, Israel agreed to the resettlement on the condition the refugees sign a statement relinquishing claims of return to Israel. Yet Abbas rejected this condition and said "it is better they die in Syria than give up their right of return."

Instead of helping his people in distress, Abbas prefers to cling to "the right of return" — a demand that no Israeli government will ever accept. Palestinian leaders have for years rejected attempts to alleviate the condition of their refugees by resettling them in proper housing in Gaza and the West Bank, instead preferring to keep the refugees and millions of their descendants in shanty towns and camps, as political pawns in the struggle against Israel. These refugees constitute an important element in the Palestinian self-image of victimhood and martyrdom.

Most of the international community rejects this Palestinian demand, understanding that a mass influx of Palestinians could destroy Israel's Jewish character, and that this is a deal-breaker issue. No Israeli-Palestinian peace can develop if the PA insists on the "right" of return. Yet nobody in the international community spoke out against Abbas' obstinate and radical refusal to take up Israel's offer to resettle Syrian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinian leadership missed another opportunity to demonstrate that it can behave in a constructive fashion and be of help to its people. Instead of pragmatic politics, we once again see Palestinian adherence to radical goals that prolongs Palestinian suffering and produces obstacles to peace.

Another recent display of this typical Palestinian preference for intransigence was provided by the so-called "moderate" Abbas when he addressed his countrymen on a Fatah movement anniversary on January 4, 2013. Abbas avoided mentioning the land-for-peace formula or the establishment of a Palestinian state beside Israel that could bring an end to the conflict and the suffering of his people. He did not prepare his people for the need to make concessions for the sake of peace. Instead, Abbas stressed the perennial need to adhere to the path of armed struggle in order to realize "the dream of return" of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

The only explanation for this behavior is that the Palestinian national movement is very serious about the "right of return." Despite attempts of pundits who suggest that goodwill and Israeli territorial concessions can bring about a Palestinian flexibility on this issue, there is no evidence that the PA is ready to put aside its long-term goal of "return."

Dismissing Palestinian behavior and rhetoric, or belittling its importance with regard to the refugees, amounts to ostrich-type behavior of sticking one's head in the sand. The international community, either due to naïveté or wishful thinking, has never recognized that so long as Palestinians insist that refugees have a right to settle in Israel, they are not prepared for meaningful negotiations nor will Israelis believe that they are. People do not easily give up their dreams, and over the past twenty years since the Oslo accords were signed, the PA has not moderated its demands one bit.

The insistence on a "right of return" complements Abbas' refusal to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish state and his denial of any links of the Jews to their ancestral homeland. Moreover, Abbas is conducting a campaign at home and abroad to demonize Israel and to portray Israelis as colonialists and war criminals. These acts do not indicate moderation or a quest for coexistence with Israel.

Abbas is also taking measures to encourage armed struggle against Israel, even if these measures undermine the state-building efforts of the PA. He supported several December 2012 parades of armed members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the militia of Fatah, in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the Fatah movement. Tolerant attitudes toward Palestinian militias run counter to the main litmus test of a state, which is the monopoly over the use of force. Turning a blind eye to the reemergence of armed groups in Palestinian society erodes the main achievement of the PA in recent years — the restoration of law and order, following the formal dismantlement of militias.

The Palestinian armed groups may be tempted to engage in violent clashes with Israel, which will turn out to be disastrous for Palestinian self-determination and peaceful coexistence. While declaring his preference for non-violence, Israeli leaders suspect that Abbas is hoping that a third Intifada will bring better results than the second.

Abbas promised negotiations and moderation after the winning by "Palestine" of an upgraded status at the UN as an "observer state." However, since that November 2012 vote, Abbas has only ramped up his inflammatory rhetoric and irresponsible policies. The Palestinians continue to be in urgent need of better political leadership to extricate themselves from pathological patterns of self-destructive behavior.

Contact Besa Center at Besa.Center@MAIL.BIU.AC.IL

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Posted by Robin Ticker, January 16, 2013

Translated: And it is this [covenant] that has stood for our Forefathers and us. For not just one enemy stands (present tense, changed from Haggadah text 'stood', past tense) against us to wipe us out. But in every generation there have been those who have stood against us to wipe us out, and the Holy One Blessed Be He saves us from their hands.

Obama is empowering evil (
Patronizing the Palestinians ( and Israel has been afraid to take a stand against Obama and his reelection and Obama's anti Israel nominations out of fear of "interfering" with America's election process? I fear much worse things. Hagel, Brennan and Kerry all support and empower Israel's enemies who publicly call out for Israel's destruction". How can we be silent and foolish to allow Obama to drill a hole in "his" cabin on our ship?

So in order that we learn the correct way to stand resolutely with uprightness and justifiably "interfere", Obama shows us the way. He tells us that Israel is working against her own interest towards her own destruction which is of course the exact opposite if we listen to him

Yes! Let's finally begin to interfere with America's elected officials and work to impeach this Obama, a Nazi empowerer and American imposter (and I don't use these words lightly) (His empowerment of Edrogen, Ahmadinahjad, Afghan rebel terrorists that support al Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood Morsi who says Jews come from Apes and pigs and the infiltration of radical Islam and Muslim Brotherhood in his administration in our midst and his zealousness for gun control is sufficient proof for these serious allegations! and if you still need further proof check out Metamorphosis (1 picture = 1000 words)

It is our lives, Israel, America etc. at stake!.....We can not be SILENT!

  • Netanyahu was quiet and did not express opposition to the reelection of Obama nor endorse Republican candidate ) (didn't want to interfere in American elections) and is silent about Obama's choice of nominations: Hagel, Kerry and Brennan (does not want to interfere with American politics),
  • Feiglin is quiet about Obama and demolition of Settlement Outposts under Netanyahu yet talks of Jewish values and faith but not Torah. (Hopefully next time, Moshe Feiglin will get his own bullet with a bigger font when he is not a subordinate)
  • Aipac is quiet and even
  • Naftali Bennett is quiet about Obama nominations of Hagel, Kerry and Brennan though he is quite vocal against taking aid from America. He is quiet about Israel's Covenant and is unwilling to annex all of Judea and Samaria. If we speak about our Covenant, we can not annull even a small part of G-d's Torah. Even the Jordan is Palestine paradigm solution is not a solution nor consistent with Torah since the East Bank of the River Jordan is not supposed to be an Islamic terror state. It is supposed to be the inheritance of Reuvein Gad and part of Shevet Menasheh. If the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is replaced with a terror Palestinian State, Israel's borders are seriously in danger.

Our response must be to Return to and Renew out Covenant "Zocher Habrit" and unite the right parties and speak out strongly for G-d's Covenent with Israel to inherit the Land and settle the Land including all of Judea and Samaria and against OBAMA and his policies and nominations. How dare we allow him to defy's G-d's will and the Torah!!! We have no other option but to defy his arrogance.

  • Obama is nominating those who are empowering a Nuclear Iran and cozies up to those who are Holocaust deniers and glorify and honor Hitler Yimach Shemo VeZichro (like in the upscale mall in Istanbul who honors Hitler
  • He is at the same time weakening America's nuclear capabilities
  • He is trying to empower a leftist gov't in Israel that would support a 2 State Solution out for Israel's destruction yet Obama proclaims ' Israel doesn't Know What's Good for It' Jeffrey Goldberg: Obama said repeatedly, "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are." By Gil Ronen
  • Hitler enlisted Jews to do his dirty work. Obama does the same. He recently enlisted:
    • Aipac

      If Aipac, Israel's lobby is quiet about anti Israel nominations how can we expect our Senators to be more pro Israel than Israel itself? In this case the silence of Aipac seriously weakens support for Israel in Congress. Is it no surprise that Schumer a Jew, endorses Hagel?


    • Lew,
      • Obama Hopes Senate Will Confirm Lew Quickly President Barack Obama officially picks Jack Lew as his new Treasury secretary, calls on the Senate to confirm him quickly

      Obama now has a perfect Jewish scapegoat, Lew, when the economy goes from bad to worse he can always blame it on the Jew and an Orthodox one, noch besser.


      How did Hitler succeed in rounding up the Jews without serious protest? He enlisted the Jews to help him. Ideally, a local Judenrat was to include Rabbis and other influential people of their local Jewish community. Thus, enforcement of laws could be better facilitated by the German authorities by using established Jewish authority figures and personages, while undermining external influences. For example in Salonika in Turkey the deportations were organized with the assistance of the Jedenrat or Jewish Council headed by Chief Rabbi Zvi Koretz, who appointed the president of the council in December. 1942. In occupied Europe, the Nazis entrusted Jewish officials with the task of making such lists of Jews along with information about the property they owned. The Judenräte also directed the Jewish police to assist the Germans in catching Jews and loading them onto transport trains leaving for concentration camps. In her book, Arendt wrote that: "To a Jew this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark

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Posted by Israel Commentary, January 16, 2013

The article below was written by Bret Stephens who is is an American journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He works for The Wall Street Journal as the foreign-affairs columnist and the deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the editorial pages of the Journal's European and Asian editions. From 2002 to 2004, he was editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. This article appeared January 15, 2013 in Israel Commentary and is archived at

Colin Powell thinks Chuck Hagel's use of the term "Jewish lobby" was an innocent mistake, for which he should atone by writing "Israel lobby" 100 times on a blackboard.

"That term slips out from time to time," the former secretary of state told David Gregory on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Mr. Powell also thinks that when Mr. Hagel's critics "go over the edge and say because Chuck said 'Jewish lobby,' he is anti-Semitic, that's disgraceful. We shouldn't have that kind of language in our dialogue."

OK, I get it. An errant slip of the tongue isn't proof of prejudice. We have all said things the offensiveness of which we perhaps didn't fully appreciate when we opened our mouth.

Like the time when, according to Bob Woodward, Mr. Powell accused Douglas Feith, one of the highest-ranking Jewish officials in the Bush administration and the son of a Holocaust survivor, of running a "Gestapo office" out of the Pentagon. Mr. Powell later apologized personally to Mr. Feith for what he acknowledged was a "despicable characterization."

Or the time when, according to George Packer in his book "The Assassins' Gate," Mr. Powell leveled another ugly charge at Mr. Feith, this time in his final Oval Office meeting with George W. Bush. "The Defense Department had too much power in shaping foreign policy, [Powell] argued, and when Bush asked for an example, Powell offered not Rumsfeld, the secretary who had mastered him bureaucratically, not Wolfowitz, the point man on Iraq, but the department's number three official, Douglas Feith, whom Powell called a card-carrying member of the Likud Party."

Anyway, on this business of hypersensitivity to prejudicial remarks, real or perceived, here is Mr. Powell in the same interview talking about what ails the Republican Party:

"There's also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor [Alaska's Sarah Palin] say that the president is shuckin' and jivin,' that's a racial-era slave term. When I see another former governor [New Hampshire's John Sununu] say after the president's first debate when he didn't do well, he said he was lazy. Now it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there's a third word that goes along with it."

So let's get this straight. Mr. Powell holds it "disgraceful" to allege anti-Semitism of politicians who invidiously use the phrase "the Jewish lobby." But he has no qualms about accusing Mr. Sununu—along whose side he worked during the George H.W. Bush administration—of all-but whispering the infamous N-word when he called Mr. Obama's first debate performance "lazy."

It's hard to decide whether Mr. Powell is using a double standard hypocritically or inadvertently. I'll assume the latter, since he seems to have missed the reason why Mr. Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense has run into so much opposition.

Consider the following hypothetical sentence: "The African-American lobby intimidates a lot of people up here." Would this pass Mr. Powell's smell test?

Or this: "I'm a United States senator, not a Kenyan senator." Such a statement would be considered as so weird and unwonted that no amount of spinning (let's say it was uttered in the context of a discussion of U.S. policy toward Africa) would have saved the person making it from immediate disqualification.

Now maybe someone can explain how that's materially different from Mr. Hagel's suggestion that "The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here" and "I'm a United States senator, not an Israeli senator."

One of the arguments I've come across recently is that there's nothing unwarranted about using the word "intimidate" and that it's something all lobbies do. Remarkably, however, a Google search yields zero results for the phrases "the farm lobby intimidates," "the African-American lobby intimidates," or "the Hispanic lobby intimidates." Only the Jewish lobby does that, apparently.

There is also the argument that supporters of Israel really do intimidate politicians on Capitol Hill. The word itself means "to make timid or fearful," to "frighten," and "to compel or deter as if by threats." It would be interesting to see valid evidence that any group commonly associated with the Israel lobby ever employed such Mafia-like tactics. What I've seen instead are crackpot allegations, such as the letter I recently received charging that the Jewish lobby was responsible for William Fulbright's 1974 senatorial defeat in Arkansas. Who knew?

In the meantime, maybe Mr. Powell could show that he's as sensitive to the whiff of anti-Semitism as he is to the whiff of racism. If George Packer's description of Mr. Powell's last meeting with President Bush is inaccurate, he should publicly disavow it. If it's accurate, he should publicly apologize for it. Nobody questions where Mr. Powell's loyalties lie. If he has called the loyalties of other patriotic American public servants into question, that would be, to use his word, disgraceful.

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100 WARS

Posted by Paul Rotenberg, January 16, 2013

The article below was written by Daniel Greenfield who is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. My original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and my blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. I have a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and my op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation. Read more at

The French are in Mali now, being shot at by Islamists armed with the very same weapons that France airdropped into Libya. Either those or the weapons that France sold to Gaddafi in the preceding period when European countries were competing to be his arms dealers. The joke is equally bleak, either way.


It used to be that decades would have to pass before a bad policy unraveled, but these days it only takes a few years to go from arming a tyrant to arming the rebels to shooting at the rebels.

In less time than it takes a pop star to go from fresh faced to train wrecked, Saif Gaddafi went from the toast of European academics to a mass murderer, Gaddafi's opposition went from Al Qaeda terrorists to brave rebels, then the brave rebels, many of whom were actually Iraqis, Tunisians and Jordanians, shot up an American diplomatic mission, hooked up with some of Gaddafi's Tuaregs to take over Northern Mali, shot them up and began carving out their own Islamist Emirate.

In barely two years, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, went from screaming that Egyptian children "must feed on hatred" to the toast of foreign diplomatic circles as the same geniuses behind the invasion of Libya try to make the best of handing over the most powerful country in the region into the hands of a terrorist organization.

In that same period, Syria's Assad went from the pages of Vogue and meetings with John Kerry to being the most reviled man in the world. But two years from now, if he survives the worst that the Syrian rebels, most of whom are Al Qaeda or wish they were, you might well find him meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry while his family gets another four pages in Vogue Magazine.

In two years, the evil ruthless dictators who kill and torture their own people have been replaced by ruthless democratically elected dictators who kill and torture their own people. In Egypt and Tunisia things are worse now than they were under the "dictators" and unsurprisingly the one thing that they can all agree on is that it's America's fault.

The press can't be expected to pay much attention to these events. The media will provide the obligatory coverage of Muslim Brotherhood torture chambers in Egypt and the labor riots in Tunisia. But it would really like to spend its time lamenting Israel's fall to the far right by covering the rise of a political party which holds the shocking and outrageous position that the twenty year old peace process has failed and should be wrapped up and put away.

It seemed like only a few weeks ago that the cognoscenti were enthusiastically predicting a new Middle East, sending reporters in droves to be kidnapped and molested at the celebrations of freedom and democracy. And now the new Middle East looks a lot like the old Middle East.

Columnists still pen the occasional column urging patience. Rome wasn't burned down in a day, they say, all revolutions take time. Look how long it took Germany, Russia and Japan to stop killing millions of people and get down to the business of making engines, accidents and wristwatches. They stop by Doha, take in the stores packed full of the finest French and Italian luxury goods, the terrified Filipino maids and the surly Thai workers and proclaim that the Middle East is just like Europe.

Arab Spring fever got the UK and the US, both of whose leaders had replaced unpopular predecessors associated with unpopular Middle Eastern wars, and France, which had been the poster brat for not going into Iraq, so fired up that they decided to bomb Gaddafi in the name of democracy.

Since the UN wasn't about to approve their regime change operation, the Libya liberators bombed the country's air force and then its armored vehicles in the name of protecting civilians. France got so caught in the excitement of protecting civilians, that it began airdropping assault rifles, RPGs and anti-tank missiles, despite the arms embargo. When asked about it, their spokesman explained that the French government was just helping civilians protect themselves. And an anti-tank missile certainly packs a lot of protection.

Now the civilians of Mali are about to come under the protection of some of those civilians and their toys. Between Somalia and Nigeria, Al Qaeda already has far too much of a presence in Africa. But Mali is its biggest footprint yet.


Having learned nothing from Libya, the same gang jumped eagerly into Syria. Hardly a day passed without shrill editorials insisting that we do something about Syria before it's too late. The pace of those editorials has slowed down as the Syrian opposition has made it clear that it is allied with the local Al Qaeda affiliate and depends on it to do much of the fighting. The Brave Syrian People were following in the footsteps of the Brave Libyan People who were following in the footsteps of the Brave Afghan People.

There's no telling what all this will mutate into, but our brief history here suggests that it will be ugly and fast.

Chaos breeds conflict in the region that eventually resolves into tyranny. And then an empire or two falls into the dust and the whole cycle begins again. The Ottoman Empire collapsed, the British Empire faded away like a sad song and the Soviet Union called it quits. Each of those events unleashed a new wave of violence and chaos, nationalistic movements and terrorist groups rushing to take advantage of the new opportunities.

The Arab Spring coincided with the collapse of the fourth empire. The Pax Americana. Hardest hit were the countries closest to the United States. Of the Middle Eastern countries who are close to the United States and aren't oil giants, only Israel and Jordan survived the spring intact. And Jordan isn't out of the woods yet.

The fall of the British Empire destroyed many of the region's monarchies. The fall of the USSR and the US marked the end of the Arab Socialists. And that just leaves the Islamists as the only game in town. But if Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait go under, then a fifth empire will collapse and take them with it. Oil made it possible for backward countries ruled by fat sheiks to become players on a global and regional level. It even made it possible for them to set their sights on colonizing the West. But if the energy revolution finally kicks in and the rest of the world stops crawling to OPEC, then a new wave of chaos will begin again.

The fifth empire, that jumble of slave-built skyscrapers and foreigner-tended oil industries, that mass of overpopulated cities and straggling countrysides, the clutter of minarets and billboards, palm trees and satellite dishes, is writhing in its own chaos, its own madness and violence, but surging out to colonize America and Europe.

While French soldiers battle Salafists in Mali, there are Salafists in the basements of Paris who are planning to do to France what they have done to Mali. And the demographics are on their side. America tried to fix Somalia and now there's a Somali on trial for plotting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. America tried to fix Iraq and there are plenty of Iraqis locked up in American jails. To say nothing of the United Kingdom and Pakistan.


The West is trying to impose its moral norms on the Muslim world with bribes and interventions, while the Muslim world imposes its norms on the West by settling and blowing up Western cities. Within that chaos, the passenger planes depositing their cargoes of Pakistanis, Jordanians and Somalis at Heathrow, JFK and Charles de Gaulle Airport (the latter two names being quite fitting considering JFK's impact on immigration policy and de Gaulle's impact on North Africa) and the fighter jets and drones flying over North Africa and the Middle East, are a hundred small wars.

Those wars occupy our attention, but they are symptoms, not causes. The conflicts that we have seen are all the outcome of a prolonged process of political decay in the West. They are flares warning that power abhors a vacuum and fills it with bullets and bombs, with small wars that get bigger and bigger until they become the war. The big war whose battles will decide who rules and who is ruled.

The war hasn't gotten that far yet. For now we watch from afar while Salafist terrorists take apart the Western and Soviet trained and equipped armies of regional dictators. And then we watch while they fight our armies on their territory. It does not occur to most of those flipping through the channels, watching men in black masks riding Toyota pickups, shooting into the air and beheading their enemies that what is now Aleppo and Timbuktu may one day be London and Paris.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 16, 2013

A New York Times editorial and a news story credited the Obama administration with denouncing Egypt's President Morsi for having made antisemitic remarks about two years ago. I think that those denunciations are phony, a form of damage control, and covering themselves from criticism for having helped antisemites in the Muslim world. His remarks were too flagrant to ignore, so they feign moral indignation.

They feign surprise, too. But in explaining the situation, they reveal it was no surprise. As the editorial put it, "The sad truth is that defaming Jews is an all too standard feature of Egyptian, and Arab, discourse; Israelis are not immune to responding in kind, either."

If "all too standard," then no surprise. Muslim Brotherhood speech is replete with antisemitism. Antisemitism is a particular emphasis of Radical Islam, based on general Islamic holy teachings. The Muslim Brotherhood is like the earlier antisemitic totalitarian movements of Nazism and Communism in how it treats people. Why was Morsi thought different, because he says so? All three international totalitarian movements used deception. Why wasn't Morsi's record researched before the U.S. facilitated his taking power, welcomed him, and started showering his country with more of our scarce tax dollars?

Our President grew up as a Muslim, and cited his background as giving him understanding of Islam. Why doesn't he know what to expect of the Muslim Brotherhood? Or does he know?

The newspaper and the White House ask Morsi to repudiate what really is part of his basic philosophy, the antisemitism that his people have been indoctrinated in for decades and centuries. Weak basis for hope, there. Morsi might follow Abbas' and Arafat's technique. They get money and diplomatic support from the West by saying in English what the West wants to hear, but speaking to their own people in Arabic and telling them what they want to hear. In Arabic, they incite their people to hatred and war fever. And that is the real obstacle to peace, not Israel. The editorial admits that teaching children to hate fuels regional conflicts. The editors must have forgotten that their standard line is that Israeli housing policy is the obstacle to peace. Compared to the P.A. brainwashing its people in hatred, the notion that Israeli construction in 5% of Judea-Samaria prevents peace is absurd.

It's not just Abbas and Arafat who incite to aggression; their lieutenants, their media, their schools, and their preachers all incite to bigotry.

Antisemitism has two forms. One form denounces Jews as Jews. The other denounces Israel and its leaders, in either of two ways. One is to deny only the Jewish people a national homeland and national rights. The other discriminates against Israel.

Those who discrimination claim to be pro-Israel. But they are not pro-Israel when they purport to criticize Israel for immoral actions, usually false, and almost never criticize the Arab side for immoral actions usually accurate. What sense of ethics is that? The criticism always is in the Muslim side's behalf, generally criticizing Israel for most methods of self-defense against Muslims' crimes against humanity and war crimes that fail to disturb the critics' sense of right and wrong. If Israel can't defend itself against those who propose genocide, it can't survive. Trying to put Israel in that position is antisemitic.

One person who does not mean to be antisemitic related the excuse that such people hold Israel to a higher standard. Thus they condemn Israel for minor policy differences with them and fail to condemn savage behavior by the Arabs. How are such critics acting differently from antisemites?

The excuse is patronizing toward the Arabs. Why can't the Arabs be held to account for bad behavior? Does the Arabs' backward culture excuse their crimes? Shall they never advance? At the same time, the excuse undermines the Arab case, when even the Arabs' supporters think the Arabs are barbaric.

And what is their excuse for "holding Israel to a higher standard," thereby letting Israel be criticized more than everyone else, including the U.S.? And those critics claim to be pro-Israel? Likely some of Israel's critics don't have standards, if they are super humanitarian about Israeli housing policy and blasé about Islamists firing rockets at Israeli cities or about ethnic cleansing by Sudanese Muslim Arabs.

The insinuation that Israelis sometimes respond equally defamatory of the Arabs as their critics speak of Israelis is stated as a generalization without examples. We are left wondering how many and which Israelis say what. As stated, the Times' statement sounds defamatory. The few odd examples the editors might conjure up may well be true, but would not balance out the constant P.A. preaching that the Jews are sons of pigs. Why doesn't the editorial point out that whereas Israel gives Arabs "affirmative" preferences, the P.A. has a death penalty for sellers of land to Jews. Whereas Israeli schools teach tolerance, P.A. schools teach intolerance.

The sad truth is that defaming Jews is an all too standard feature of the New York Times, and Obama administration, discourse. The Administration pretends that Israel could help it deal with Iran if Israel gave in to P.A, demands. Israel offers to negotiate, and Abbas refuses to negotiate, but the Administration and newspaper accuse Israel of refusing to negotiate. The newspaper likes to call the government of Israel right-wing extremist, without evidence and explanation. Read that newspaper for a while, and find many more examples.

A sadder truth to learn and absorb emotionally is that our leaders of policy and information pretend. We must become skeptics.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 16, 2013

The U.S. is arranging for Egypt to get 20 more F-16s (IMRA, 1/14/13).

The deal is called a sale, but usually the U.S. government pays for it. The more we "sell" arms to Egypt, the greater our deficit.

The justification or explanation for the deal is that the new planes replace older models and won't affect the balance of power. They always say it won't affect the balance of power. But with enough firepower, the Arabs could win if the IDF is not perfect. Israeli assessment of enemy intentions is far from perfect.

They also describe the deal as showing confidence in Egypt's military and bolstering the morale of that military. Is it America's duty to bolster the morale of a military controlled now by Islamists? Egypt long has been an aggressor and its people are calling for aggression, so why give it the means for aggression?

This is an opportunity to let Egypt's military become less capable of starting another war or joining a new jihad against Israel. It also is an opportunity to reduce our deficit.

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

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Posted by Steven Plaut, January 17, 2013

In a few months it will be the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the "Oslo Accord" on the White House lawn. In that signing, Yassir Arafat, on behalf of the so-called "Palestinian Liberation Organization," committed himself and his "people" to conduct negotiations with Israel that would lead to a peaceful resolution of the Middle East Arab-Israeli conflict. He forswore unilateral actions and decisions.

Since then, the "Palestinian Authority," which was set up by the PLO, has violated every single clause in that and the subsequent Oslo Accords. Twenty years hence, the "Palestinians" as represented by the "Authority" have yet to comply with a single one of their obligations. Arafat and his gangsters simply used the Accord as a cover to gain control over part of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They then converted all the territory they controlled into bases for launching terrorist aggression against Israel. The Palestinian terrorist groups have murdered at least 1700 Israeli civilians since signing that first "peace accord." Thousands of Palestinian rockets have been launched into Israel aimed at Israeli civilians, and not just by the Hamas. "Palestinian leaders" repeat several times each day before breakfast that their aim is the obliteration of Israel altogether and that they will never recognize the legitimacy of Israel within any set of borders.

The media controlled by the "Authority" and the terrorist organizations have been thoroughly nazified; they broadcast anti-Semitic filth that exceeds what the German Nazis broadcast in the 1930s. The Gaza Strip has been completely nazified. Very little distinguishes the Islamofascism of the Hamas from the Islamofascism of the PLO, and the "president" of the Palestinian Authority is a certified Holocaust Denier.

And now to top it all off, the "Palestinian Authority" has unilaterally declared itself to be a sovereign state and applied for United Nations membership as such. This is just the latest and not even the worst violation of "Palestinian" obligations under the Oslo Accords.

There is growing debate about how Israel should respond to the behavior of the "Palestinians." Indeed, there have already been calls in Israel to implement part of the proposals that follow here. This unilateral "declaration" of Palestinian statehood and bid for international recognition is not just a wholesale repudiation of the Oslo Accords by the "Palestinians." It is also as much a declaration of war as was the secession of South Carolina. Any similar "secession" would be casus belli in any other country on the planet and would be suppressed with arms. And any country endorsing or supporting such secession would be treated as an enemy belligerent.

Israel must make it crystal clear: the experimental Israeli willingness to consider acquiescing in the creation of a separate Palestinian state is over. The "Palestinians" never had a legitimate claim to statehood in the first place, although in exchange for peace Israel was in the past willing to overlook this. The "Palestinians" forfeited any shaky claim they might have had to statehood because of their behavior during the past two decades, indeed during the past century, their nonstop barbarism and mass atrocities. This is much like the East Prussians and Sudeten Germans forfeiting all THEIR rights to self-determination and even to autonomy after World War II. Israel must declare: The game of pretense and fiction is over. Israel is no longer willing to pretend that there exists some sort of "Palestinian people" entitled to statehood. The "Palestinians" are Arabs, and Arabs already have 22 states. They will not get yet another inside Israeli lands. Any Palestinian wishing to enjoy national sovereignty is free to move to one of those 22 Arab states, but no Arab sovereignty will exist in Israeli territory, meaning the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The "Palestinian declaration of statehood" must be dealt with by means of a unilateral Israeli settlement imposed on the West Bank and de-nazification of the local population.

The principles upon which such a unilateral Israeli concordance and resolution must be founded are these:

1. The West Bank belongs to Israel and is Israeli in all ways. No non-Israeli sovereignty of any form will be permitted in the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The West Bank is part of the Jewish national homeland, always was, and always will be.

2. "Palestinian" Arabs living in the West Bank will not receive Israeli citizenship and will not vote in Israeli national elections.

3. The land and resources in the West Bank will remain under Israeli supervision, control, and regulation.

4. "Palestinians" who do not wish to live under Israeli sovereignty will be free to leave. Israel may consider providing financial support, property compensation, or incentives for those so wishing to leave.

5. Most "Palestinians" choosing to remain in the West Bank will live in reservations, in some ways resembling Native-American-Indian territories that function inside the United States (possibly even including casinos), although in some ways they will differ. Reservations will be operated in those parts of the West Bank that have large concentrations of Arab population, meaning Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, Tul Karem, and a few other areas. Reservations will NOT have territorial contiguity. In each reservation, the "Palestinians" will be permitted autonomy and limited self-rule to manage their own local affairs as long as violence is completely absent from the reservation. Where violence is present, they will be denied autonomy. Reservations from which terrorism arises may be shut down and their populations dispersed. Arabs engaging in or supporting terrorism in any way will be deported.

6. "Palestinians" in the West Bank will be considered to be resident aliens within the Jewish state. Many still have Jordanian passports and citizenship and will be considered resident Jordanians. "Palestinians" who do not have Jordanian citizenship will be stateless unless they obtain citizenship from some other country.

7. Jews will have the right to live anywhere they wish in the West Bank outside the reservations assigned to the "Palestinian" Arabs. The territory in the West Bank in which Arabs do not live or live sparsely, and this includes the Jordan Valley and the sparse areas in between the reservations, will be opened to unlimited Jewish settlement.

The villages and towns with the Arab reservations will be assigned to two lists, a white list and a black list. Those in the white list will manage their own affairs without interference from the Israeli central authorities. Residents of white-list towns may hold commuter jobs in Israeli cities and industrial parks. The local authorities in the white areas will manage their schools and other local institutions.

They will collect their own taxes and may benefit from revenue sharing arrangements with the Israeli fiscal authorities, like other Israeli towns. They might be allowed to operate their own local police forces. Residents in white-listed areas will be fully and freely mobile, able to move freely within and among all white-list areas. They will be allowed to develop local industry and tourist services. Their residents will have access to Israel universities, health facilities, and other services.

Those towns and villages in the black list will enjoy none of the above. Their residents will be denied the opportunity to hold day jobs in Israeli cities and industrial parks. They will have no access to Israeli services. They will have control over nothing. Their residents will be prevented from moving freely outside their reservation, except in cases where they wish to leave the country altogether. They will receive no shared revenues, no fiscal incentives.

Villages and towns will be assigned to the two lists based entirely on one single factor: violence. Areas in which violence occurs, and this includes rock throwing, will be assigned to the black list. Areas in which violence is absent will be assigned to the white list. Towns and villages will be reassigned to the black list from the white list when terrorism, sniping, mortars, rockets, or other forms of violence occur there. Towns and villages in the black list will be assigned to the white list only when the local population cooperates fully with Israel in apprehending and arresting the terrorists and those engaged in violence, and takes other effective actions to end the violence.

Otherwise they will remain on the black list indefinitely. Entry into black list areas will be denied to foreigners, journalists, and especially to the "International Solidarity" anarchists and their ilk. Any such anarchist infiltrating the areas of the black list will be denied permission to leave them and will remain there indefinitely, or else will be imprisoned by Israel.

This of course leaves the dilemma of the Gaza Strip. As noted, because of the Israeli folly of withdrawing from and abandoning its control over the Gaza Strip, the area is now nothing more than a large rocket-launching terrorist base. I happen to believe that, in the long run, Israel will have no choice but to re-impose its complete control over the Gaza Strip.

But for the immediate future, an Israeli unilateral set of moves will be necessary here as well. Basically these must consist of a three-pronged assault against Gaza the very first time that a rocket is launched into Israel from that territory. In this assault, Israel will seize a strip of land several kilometers wide that will divide the Gaza Strip from Egypt and this will end the massive smuggling of weapons, explosives, drugs and other materials into Gaza.

The other two prongs will split Gaza into three smaller segments. Israel will control movement of people and materials among these segments. It will arrest and shoot terrorists on the spot. And eventually it may impose the system of reservations and the white-black lists upon Gaza as well.

This is how Israel should respond to the declaration of war by the "Palestinians" in their unilateral declaration of statehood.


2. As we have been noting here, the most dramatic development in the current Israeli election is the rise of Naftali Bennett's Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party. The polls are giving him between 14 and 18 Knesset seats and I am hoping he will do even better. He has a serious chance of pushing aside the Menshevik Party of Shelly Yachimovich (a.k.a. the Israeli Labor Party) to become the Number Two party in the next Knesset.

Bennett's rise is so dramatic that the Obama White House has been issuing statements about the "danger" to the world from the success of Bennett and his party. I cannot think of a more persuasive reason to vote for them.

The bulk of the Likud's campaign these past weeks and the lion's share of Likud election ads have been devoted to trying to discredit Bennett and his people. The Likud continues to hammer away at the supposed "anti-women" position of some of Bennett's people, a blatant lie by the Likud, and never mind that Bennett's slate has three times as many women on it as the Likud's. The Likud dug up an old alleged statement (I am not sure he really said it) by one of the people on Bennett's slate in which he supposedly said that the murdered murderer Baruch Goldstein (who shot up the Hebron Mosque 19 years ago) was a victim. (Goldstein was lynched after he had been disarmed after committing his atrocity; had an Arab terrorist been killed after being disarmed, you can bet he would have become the martyr saint of the Israeli Left!) And the Likud keeps insisting that Bennett and his party will be considered untouchables and will not be part of any Likud led government coalition after the election. Netanyahu has the advantage though of ever being believed by anyone so it will be easy for him to backslide after the election.

Bennett has responded not with ad hominem anti-Netanyahu ads but rather by running new ads showing Bennett and Netanyahu side by side smiling and cooperating in the next government. Moreover, Bennett is consistently refusing to wash any Likud dirty laundry in public. Bennett had once been the director of Netanyahu's Prime Minister's Office until resigning under somewhat mysterious circumstances, but widely believed to be because Netanyahu's wife was interfering with and harassing Bennett. However, Bennett has simply refused to comment on that matter at all, saving Netanyahu embarrassment, and similarly has refused to engage in any other Lashon Ha-Ra regarding other head-to-head conflicts he has experienced over the years with other people. In short, Bennett is an Old School Gentleman and that is one more reason why he deserves to win.

The Likud's attempt to bash Bennett over "women" is amusing to say the least. It should be noted that women in current Israeli politics tend to be extremely incompetent and incapable, probably because competent women do more productive things than politics. Golda Meir of course made it without any affirmative action, but just take a gander at the women currently in positions of political leadership. There is Shelly Yachimovish, whom I call Little Bo Peep (because she has lost so many of her Menshevik sheep). There is the arrogant and vulgar Zehava Gal-On, the Madam DeFarge of the Meretz bolsheviks. (Now would be a good time to remind readers that when Stalin died, the party newspaper of MAPAM, which is today one of the central factions comprising Meretz, ran a banner headline reading, "The Sun of the Nations has Set.") Many of Israel's worst tenured anti-Zionists are strongly backing Meretz. And then there is Tzipi Livni. Every time she opens her mouth I am tempted to run over, pat her on her shoulder and say NOW NOW, and offer her my handkerchief.

Not exactly a great set of figures to persuade us to endorse the feminist demands for quotas in political representation!

Livni is now the head of one of three centrist Seinfeldian parties running in the election. You recall that Seinfeld boasted that his was a show about nothing. Well, these are parties about nothing. Quite a few Israelis tend to vote for Seinfeldian parties, because they dislike the parties that actually stand for something. Little White Bird (that is what Tzipi Livni's Hebrew name means) heads just one of these. Her erstwhile sidekick Mofaz heads a second party, but support for him is so low that he is not expected to make it past the cutoff into the next Knesset. Then there is Yair Lapid, a good-looking airhead whose political agenda is nothing more than his being a good-looking airhead. He is a TV host, not a very good one, and that seems to be his entire novelty.

Shelly Bo Peep's party is also becoming increasingly Seinfeldian. Her remaining support seems to be coming from the sorts of people who sat in the protest tents in Tel Aviv last year demanding government handouts and price controls. (Almost no one believes in the Labor Party's Peresian delusions about the New Middle East and Palestinian peace partners.) Shelly promises the adolescents cheap housing in central Tel Aviv, but refuses to explain just how she plans to provide any. She appeals to young pampered middle class kids who do not want to work hard or pay market prices for anything.

The Radical anti-Israel Left is also hysterical about the rise of Bennett and his party. Haaretz devotes part of the front page every day to bashing and discrediting them. (As an example of how detached from reality Haaretz has gotten, take a look at this: Haaretz believes that treason is the most effective method for attracting votes for the parties of the Far Left. )

In today's Bash-Bennett smear, Haaretz publishes a grand scoop: the brother of Yigal Amir, the assassin who murdered Yitzhak Rabin, published on his Facebook page the claim that his brother Yigal plans to vote for Bennett.

Well, I have my own scoop. The favorite newspaper of Iran's Holocaust Denying president Mahmous Ahmadinejad is Haaretz, and the heads of the Hamas are all supporting the political parties of which Haaretz approves: BALAD (as in terrorist Hanin Zoabi), the Stalinist HADASH party, and - when Haaretz is forced to compromise and moderate itself - Meretz/MAPAM.

3. On many an occasion we have commented on the Literary Left in Israel. But there also operates in Israel the Cinematic Left, which is at least as extremist and anti-Israel as the Literary Left. Propped up by subsidies from the government, far-leftist film-makers churn out bash-Israel films. The foreign anti-Semites love them. The leftist-run "Jewish film festivals" in bastions of civilization like Berkeley all feature them. Especially when they paint Israel as the New Nazi Germany. Not every single director of Israeli films is an anti-Israel loon, and not every single Israeli film is atrocious, and "The Footnote" from last year and its director were unusual exceptions.

There are two films right now by Israeli directors that are so anti-Israel that the Hollywood Left has them down as candidates for an Oscar. Please take a look at this expose of the Cinematic Left: See also,7340,L-4332078,00.html and this: and

4. Here is a remarkable piece, even more remarkable because it ran on the Haaretz web site (but not in the print version of the paper):

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

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Posted by FSM Security, January 17, 2013

The article below was written by Patrick Dunleavy who is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections. He is the author of "The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism's Prison Connection," details of which can be found at his website, and he can be contacted at: Mr Dunleavy is currently a consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School, "Dynamics of International Terrorism" and has testified as an expert witness before the House Committee on Homeland Security regarding the threat of Islamic Radicalization in the U.S. Prison System. This article appeared January 17, 2013 in the Family Security Matters and is archived at


A federal district judge, Jane Magnus-Stinson ruled that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies even to convicted terrorists in prison. John Walker Lindh, also known as "The American Taliban" sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the right to congregate with other Islamic terrorists in the Communications Management Unit of the federal prison, in Terre Haute, Indiana. Lindh who was captured in 2001 fighting alongside Taliban members in Afghanistan is serving a twenty year sentence for collaboration with the terrorist organization in fighting against U.S. forces.

At his sentencing he told authorities that he went to Afghanistan to help establish an Islamic state, in accordance with the Taliban ideology. He has been in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons since 2002 held under strict Administrative Measures (SAMs) that control his movement within the prison.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett who represented the government in the lawsuit and prison security officials contended that allowing Lindh and other inmates to meet outside their cells five times a day was a serious threat to the security at the prison as well as to the outside world. Prison officials gave testimony that Lindh's group of Muslim inmates were acting more akin to a Gang, issuing intimidation and threats to other inmates, then a bonafide religious group. Furthermore prior cases, such as that of El Sayyid Nosair, demonstrated that terrorists often used their religious privileges in the prison environment to conspire to commit acts of terrorism beyond the prison walls. Nosair was an inmate in Attica state prison in 1993 when he conspired with Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to bomb the World Trade Center killing six and injuring over one thousand civilians. Nosair used his position as the Chaplain's clerk and the freedom it gave him to be out of his cell to forge the plan for the act of violence.

Judge Mangus-Stinson in the ruling felt that the law, which was passed to protect against undue burdens being placed upon citizens in the free exercise of their religious beliefs by the government, extends to radical ideology such as Lindh and the Taliban hold.

Some examples of that ideology were the public stoning of women who were raped and the execution of non-believers.

If the ruling is allowed to stand it may then be applied to prisoners being held in Guantanamo. That would mean that Kahlid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, would be able to meet with his fellow terrorists outside his cell five times a day to "pray"

Why is it that the average citizen can see this decision as insanity and yet the ACLU and the other inmate rights advocates do not? We are not talking about abridging or forbidding the exercise of religion. We are talking about preventing the abuse of such rights by jailed terrorists who want destroy this country.

The Judges description of John Walker as "a low security prisoner who wishes to engage in a brief communal activity with other inmates" make him appear to be docile, socially pleasant, and non-threatening. That narrative almost makes you want to invite him over for coffee.

Judge Stinson overlooks the fact that he is a terrorist and that when he was initially held in a military prison near Mazār-e Sharīf in Afghanistan a riot broke out and CIA officer Johnny "Michael" Spann was killed by the inmates. The riot began shortly after Spann had conducted an interview of Lindh.

The Court it seems cannot discern between a genuine rehabilitation and someone who has become "jail-wise" after more than ten years in the system Prison officials and security experts must be given the leeway to administer measures which prevent convicted terrorists from acting again.

Anything less would be an insult to the memory of those who gave their lives in the fight against terrorism.

Contact FSM Security Update at

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Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, January 17, 2013

Someone says they know what's best for you. Or, that you don't know what's best for yourself.

Too often it really means that they know what's best for themselves, and that they want you to play ball in order to make it happen.

I've learned a few other things also over the years--like to often be wary when someone says that they have your back. Best to then ask how long the blade is that you'll be stuck with.

I'm sorry to have to say what comes next, but for some reason--after close observation of both events and deep personal associations over the decades--the name Barack Hussein Obama comes to mind followed by "Israel." Yes, many will have a fit over my saying this--but will pathetically stumble when hit between the eyes with overwhelming solid documentation and other evidence.

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg--rival to Thomas Friedman of The New York Times for the Arabs' dhimmi kelbi yahudi (Jew dog) man of the year award--recently wrote a widely-reported piece for the Bloomberg View ( Among other things, he seems to have quoted President Obama stating that Israel simply doesn't know what its own best interests are.

Understand that, like his powerful good friend in High Places, Goldberg also sees Jews--wishing to live in a state larger than the nine to fifteen-mile wide virtual sardine can that Israel was left as as a result of the U.N.-imposed armistice lines in 1949--as expecting too much and behaving like provocative, expansionist, right wing zealots.

The problem of the relationship between the current two American and Israel leaders is well known. There is no need to rehash all of the fine details yet again. The open microphone conversation between Obama and his French counterpart was revealing enough, not to mention the episode at the White House where Netanyahu was left stewing for hours by himself while Obama took off to dine with his family.

It's one thing for an American president to claim, after Israel's destructive and deadly experience in the wake of its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza years ago, that he has that nation's best interests in mind when he demands that it forsake the promise of the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242 in the wake of the Arabs' renewed attempt on its life in 1967. American-supplied F-16s (the same ones given to Israel's assorted Arab enemies) won't stop Arabs from allegedly "moderate" Fatahland (let alone from Jihadi Islamist Hamastan) from once again slitting the throats of Jewish families and decapitating their infants if more sane borders are not created. But for Jews to parrot such claims is worthy of the Nazi Kapo experience.

Best interests?

There is no way, regardless of anything else, that you can claim that you are concerned about Israel's security and next demand that it return to those '49 Auschwitz/armistice lines. No way.

Michelle Obama likely travels farther to shop at Target than the width of Israel by that travesty.

While much has been made of the animosity Obama feels towards Netanyahu, despite the real or imagined flaws in the latter's personality, the fault really does not lie in that leader's person.

If Arafat's supreme Hebrew derriere-kisser, Shimon Peres, or runner-up, Ehud Olmert, did not cave into Obama's demand that Israel abandon 242's promise of more secure, defensible, and real borders to replace the suicidal '49 armistice lines, they too would have become persona non grata.

At least since the days that he was still Senator Obama, the President has repeatedly stated that Israel would be crazy--exact words--to not accept the alleged Saudi Peace Plan, which remains the basis for the non-negotiation negotiations he envisions.

One of the key provisions of that plan demands a total withdrawal of Israel back to the Auschwitz lines. The latter were never meant to be final political borders and merely marked the points where the combined invasion by a half dozen Arab countries of a re-born Israel in 1948 was stopped. They did nothing but invite subsequent Arab attempts on Israel's life long before Israel changed that reality in the aftermath of its being blockaded (a casus belli) in 1967--one of the main origins of the Six Day War.

As some of us have constantly stressed, the major heat generated over the settlement issue and things like Jews building in the environs of Jerusalem or in the rest of Judea (as in Jew) and Samaria (aka, only since the 20th century, as the "West Bank")--where Jews have been committing that same alleged crime long before most other peoples ever became known in history--is all about whether Israel gets the territorial compromise promised to it by 242 or not.

Despite Obama's claims to the contrary, his demands do not mesh with what all other important folks (with the main exceptions being President Clinton and the forever hostile State Department) have stated over the years. The follow examples cannot be cited too often in light of the hostility Israel now faces over this crucial issue.

Here are excerpts from Great Britain's Lord Caradon, the chief architect of the final, accepted draft of 242:

It would have been wrong to demand Israel return to positions of June 4, 1967. Those positions were artificial, just places where soldiers of each side happened to be on the day fighting stopped in 1948, just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand Israelis return to them.

Furthermore, earlier American leaders supported Lord Caradon's position and the need for Israel to get a meaningful territorial compromise--not a mere return to the status quo ante--as an end result of any peacemaking deals with Arabs who repeatedly sought its destruction.

Note President Lyndon Johnson on June 19, 1967, soon after the war ended:

A return to the situation on June 4 (the day before the actual shooting began) was not a prescription for peace but for renewed hostilities.

Johnson next called for "new recognized boundaries that would provide security against terror, destruction, and war."

President Ronald Reagan stated the following on Sept. 1, 1982:

In the pre-1967 borders (sic), Israel was barely 10-miles wide--the bulk of Israel's population within artillery range of hostile armies. I'm not about to ask Israel to live that way again.

And even much more recently, the man Hebrews like Jeffrey Goldberg love to despise, President George W. Bush, gave Israel an official letter upon its withdrawal from Gaza which also promised that it would not be expected to return to the 1949 armistice lines--and he called them just that, not borders.

Unlike the current occupant of the White House, the gentlemen above truly had both America's and Israel's best interests in mind--and had the latter's "back" as well. At the same time, they were seeking justice for all parties involved. Opposing the Arab demand for Israel's destruction or suicide did not make them anti-Arab.

Please keep all of this in mind as the increasing nastiness of the next four years gets underway.

Contact Gerald A. Honigman at

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, January 17, 2013


This is insanity and criminal incompetence of the highest degree. Have the Mayor of Yerusaliim and the members of the City Council lost their minds? Do we have to wait for the kind of disaster we saw in the North before they will act like responsible people?

The Story of a Southern Jerusalem Fire House

The firemen assigned to the Givat HaMatos fire station in the southern capital are now in a recreation center in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, sleeping on mattresses on the floor of a kibbutz library. The firemen explain that cannot continue like this for much longer and if an acceptable solution is not found they will have to abandon their post, leaving 200,000 southern capital residents without area firefighting services.

The High Court of Justice evicted the firemen after a contractor took his case to court. He purchased the land in the area to build residential homes. He offered the city to rent the firehouse for 40,000 NIS monthly, but City Hall said no deal. Realizing he was not getting rent and could not build, he took his case to court, obtaining an eviction order.

Officials told the firemen to remain in their vehicles 'on call' during their shifts, but their commander rejected any such arrangement. Now they are in the area kibbutz, but firemen are having a most difficult time on a good day. Despite the kibbutz's hospitality they lack basic amenities including a place to hang their gear, beds, and showers to use after returning from a fire call. One official stated it is simply a disgrace that firemen are subjected to this kind of abuse in the 21st century.

Officials add that response from the kibbutz is significantly delayed since they must pass schools and kindergartens, demanding they drive slowly. In addition, there is a gate at the exit to the kibbutz that results in yet another delay, precious minutes when the response is critical.

City officials explain they were compelled to evacuate the firemen from the house and they are sparing any effort towards finding a new suitable home for the fire station, hopefully in Givat Shmuel. Simultaneously, there are ongoing efforts to establish a new permanent fire station for the area covered by the Givat HaMatos firefighters.

(YWN — Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

In the history of the world, no tyranny has ever voluntarily relinquished power or been replaced by peaceful means.

Have a nice day

Contact Aryeh Zelasko at

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, January 17, 2013

The article below was written by Nadav Shragai who was been covering Jerusalem and the settlements in Judea and Samaria for Haaretz since 1983. Shragai is a grandson of one of Jerusalem's first mayors, Shlomo Zalman Shragai. This article appeared January 17, 2013 in the Israel Hayom and is archived at

During the Oslo process, Israel felt warmth from the White House. Then rivers of blood began to flow here.

If it had been up to U.S. President Barack Obama or even previous American presidents who were friendlier to Israel, Jerusalem would have been left sealed off and divided. If it had been up to the Americans, the United Nations would have controlled the Old City to this day; Israel would have been prevented from uniting Jerusalem; the alleyway at the Western Wall would still be as ridiculously narrow as it was during the British Mandate; the Golan Heights would have remained devoid of Jewish settlement; Israel would have been prevented from bombing the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981; and David Ben-Gurion would have withdrawn from his "occupation" of the Negev in 1948.

If it were up to the U.S., it is very possible that the state of Hamastan would have extended not just throughout the south, but would have reached the gates of Kfar Saba, Netanya and Tel Aviv, and tens of thousands of Jews would have been expelled from their homes in Judea and Samaria in the same way they were expelled from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip.

Not that many years ago — 19, to be precise — when the disastrous Oslo Accords were signed, the Israeli government and those at its helm were very much loved and admired in Washington. Israel, then, got accustomed to warmth and great popularity in the White House. Afterward, rivers of blood flowed through our streets — the fruits of the Oslo leaders' diplomacy — and those leaders became all the more popular. Bleeding, weak and popular. When Operation Defensive Shield began in 2002, our popularity again diminished. And when the suicide attacks started, our popularity rose again. Sometimes — and what can you do? — the prime minister of Israel must proudly suffer a lack of popularity and international disdain to defend the interests of his own nation, even if that nation will suffer sanctions, more sanctions and punishments.

Even if Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres think differently.

Olmert, by the way — who now accuses Netanyahu of abandoning Israel's relations with the U.S.— understood that he had to wrangle with Washington over the unification of Jerusalem when that was still a guiding principle for him. Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Shamir also endured arduous moments with Washington, but they were uncompromising when they thought that Israeli interests demanded it. Then Prime Minister Menachem Begin once clarified to the U.S. ambassador that "Israel is not an American banana republic."

Maybe someone needs to answer Obama in the polite yet assertive manner in which Begin approached President Jimmy Carter, who was insistent on dividing Jerusalem. Begin said: "We shall never disagree; we may only agree to differ."

Sergio Tezza can be reached at

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Posted by Yoram Fisher, January 17, 2013

Australian Gun Law Update? Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts....

Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law, created by liberal politicians to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent, Australia-wide, assaults are up 96 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)! In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

(Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in 'successfully ridding Australian society of guns....'

You won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information. The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Americans, before it's too late! Will you be one of the sheep to turn yours in? WHY? You will need it.


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

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Posted by Act for America, January 17, 2013

The article below was written by Harris Zafa who is National Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA - among the eldest Muslim organizations in America - and a frequently lecturer about Islam throughout the country. The article appeared January 17, 2013 on the Washington Postand is archived at

While many celebrated the winter holidays, news broke of the arrest in Saudi Arabia of liberal writer Turki Al Hamad for allegedly insulting Islam on Twitter. We also heard of another Saudi activist, Raif Badawi, who was arrested in June and will now continue with his trial, accused of apostasy for ridiculing Saudi Arabia's religious police and making other comments that officials found insulting. These incidents have re-ignited the age old debate about the use of freedom of speech, especially with regards to Islam.

The difference between Islam's view on free speech and the view promoted by free speech advocates these days is the intention and ultimate goal each seeks to promote. Whereas many secularists champion individual privileges, Islam promotes the principle of uniting mankind and cultivating love and understanding among people. Both endorse freedom for people to express themselves, but Islam promotes unity, whereas modern-day free speech advocates promote individualism.

Let me explain.

The ultimate goal of Islam is to unite mankind under a single banner of peace. The Koran— Islam's holy scripture — says God created everyone in unity, but our own man-made differences has compromised our unity (2:214). In order to unite mankind, Islam instructs to only use speech to be truthful, do good to others, and be fair and respectful. It attempts to pre-empt frictions by prescribing rules of conduct which guarantee for all people not only freedom of speech but also fairness, absolute justice, and the right of disagreement.

The Koran instructs people to speak the truth (33:71), to speak in a manner that is best (17:54), to speak to others kindly (2:84) and to refrain from inappropriate speech (4:149). With Islam's guidance to purify our intentions, it promotes free speech when our intention is to serve a good purpose, promote peace, bring people closer to God and unite mankind. If, however, our intentions are to insult others or promote disorder or division, we should refrain.

The most vocal proponents of freedom of speech, however, call us towards a different path, where people can say anything and everything on their mind. With no restraint on speech at all, every form of provocation would exist, thereby cultivating confrontation and antagonism. They insist this freedom entitles them the legal privilege to insult others. This is neither democracy nor freedom of speech. It fosters animosity, resentment and disorder.

Rather than focusing on privileges, Islam focuses on the principle to avoid speech that causes separation and conflict. Our words should have a positive impact on people's lives, promote truth and promote justice. We agree with former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who once said: "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." Treating speech as supreme at the expense of world peace and harmony is an incredibly flawed concept. No matter how important the cause of free speech, it still pales in comparison to the cause of world peace and unity.

Opponents of Islam claim it denies freedom of speech and censors those who insult Islam. This is factually incorrect. Islam does not prescribe any worldly punishment for unseemly speech. So people who insult should not be persecuted. Islam grants everyone the right to express disagreements with others. After all, the Prophet Muhammad called differences of opinion a blessing in society and never sought to censor or threaten those who verbally attacked him.

[Editor's note: Zafar is either ignorant of accepted Islamic history, including authoritative Islamic sources, or he is practicing taqiyya (deception.) Muhammad dealt harshly with those who dared to mock or criticize him, including ordering their assassination.]

According to the Koran, disbelievers called him "a mad man," "a victim of deception," a "fabricator" and treated him as a liar. Some claimed he was taught by another person instead of receiving revelations from God. They called the Koran "confused dreams" and "mere stories of the past" and even tore it into pieces.

Through this all, he courageously endured all verbal assaults. Rather than calling for any punishment, the Koran instructs us to "overlook their annoying talk" and "bear patiently what they say." The lesson here for all Muslims is that we are not to be afraid of insults. Rather, we must have the same courage as our Prophet to face such insults in the eye and respond with forbearance and calm, righteous speech. Muslims must learn how their faith instructs them to respond when they are verbally attacked. No riots; no violence. We respond to speech with speech, but our speech is to be better and more dignified.

So while antagonists and enemies of peace create slanderous videos, cartoons or advertisements — like the "Innocence of Muslims" film, Pamela Geller's new ignorant NYC subway ads and Charlie Hebdo's cartoon about Prophet Muhammad — let us not fall for their claim that an individual's privilege to say whatever they want is more important than the higher principle of uniting people and saving this planet from a path of animosity, hatred and destruction. Rather than falsely accusing Islam of censorship, let us understand the beauty of giving higher consideration to mankind over our own personal privileges. And let us listen to the wisdom of the Khalifa of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who said: "Let it not be that in the name of freedom of speech the peace of the entire world be destroyed."

Contact Act for America at

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Posted by Paul Rotenberg, January 17, 2013

The article below was written by Aaron Klein who is WND's senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's WABC Radio. This article appeared January 16, 2013 in the WND and is archived at


Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for defense secretary, serves on the board of a George Soros-funded group that advocates a nuclear-free world.

The Ploughshares Fund has a long history of anti-war advocacy and is a partner of the Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies, which has urged the defunding of the Pentagon and massive decreases in U.S. defense capabilities, including slashing the American nuclear arsenal to 292 deployed weapons.

The Poughshares Fund has also partnered with a who's who of the radical left, including Code Pink, the pro-Palestinian J Street, United for Peace & Justice, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the Demos progressive group, where Obama's former green jobs czar, Van Jones, serves on the board.

Ploughshares Fund identifies itself as a "publicly supported foundation that funds, organizes and innovates projects to realize a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons."

The fund calls itself "the largest grant-making foundation in the U.S. focusing exclusively on peace and security issues."

Since its founding in 1981 by San Francisco philanthropist and activist Sally Lilienthal, Ploughshares says it has awarded many hundreds of grants "whose aggregate value exceeded $60 million."

The fund is in turn financed by a small number of foundations, including Soros' Open Society Institute, the Buffett Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Occupy, MoveOn, Soros

A primary Ploughshares donor is the Tides Foundation, a money tunnel in which leftist donors provide funds to finance other radical groups. Tides is itself funded by Soros.

Another grantee of Tides is Adbusters magazine, which is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Tides funds hundreds of radical groups. Its partners have been chief defenders of Hagel's nomination.

Fenton Communications is a far-left public relations firm closely partnered with Tides that routinely crafts the public relations for Tides grantees, including J Street, and other prominent far-left causes, organizations and activists, from Soros himself to Health Care for America Now to a litany of anti-war groups.

Discover the Networks documents how Ploughshares in 2007 hired Fenton Communications to create and administer something called the "Peace Primary," an online contest in which Ploughshares grantees developed their own "peace platforms" on a wide range of topics such as the Iraq War and the genocide in Darfur.

Earlier this week, the Washington Free Beacon obtained emails showing a group of anti-Israel activists and journalists are engaged in a coordinated campaign to stifle criticism over Obama's pick of Hagel by attacking the former Republican senator's critics.

Fenton communications chief executive officer David Fenton participated in the email exchanges along with other progressive activists, the Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported.

Former Fenton executive Jeremy Ben Ami now directs J Street, which has partnered with Ploughshares.

J Street supports talks with Hamas, is heavily critical of Israeli military actions aimed at curbing terrorism and is staunchly opposed to a military strike against Iran.

Discover The Networks notes how Ploughshares donated $25,000 to J Street "to support congressional advocacy and education against the use of a military resolution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program."

Two months later, J Street produced a Web video and policy campaign urging against military force targeting Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

Opposes U.S. missile defense

Ploughshares, meanwhile, opposes America's development of a missile defense system and contributes to scores of anti-war groups highly critical of U.S. foreign policy and military expansion.

Ploughshares is directed by Joseph Cirincione, who served as an advisor on nuclear issues to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Cirincione also served as director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress.

Among the groups Ploughshares donates to the anti-Israel Americans for Peace Now, the Arms Control Association, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Policy Alternatives, the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity, the radical Citizen Action, Citizens for Environmental Justice, the Coalition for New Priorities and the radical the Institute for Policy Studies.

More grantees include the New America Foundation, the Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Nuclear Freeze Foundation, the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Peace Action, the Peace Studies Association, Physicians for Human Rights and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Ploughshares has also funded the Soros-financed Connect US Fund, which urges more U.N. helmets on U.S. troops, as well as the Center for American Progress, which is highly influential in informing White House policy.

Also on the list of Ploughshares grantees is The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has long petitioned for the U.S. to reduce its nuclear stockpiles. According to Pavel Sudoplatov, a former major-general in Soviet intelligence, the work by the magazine editors was for the benefit of the Soviet Union.

Two of the magazine's founding sponsors, Leo Szilard and Robert Oppenheimer, were accused of passing information from the Manhattan Project to the Soviets. Both were also key initiators of the Manhattan Project.

Ploughshares funds the International Crisis Group, a small organization that boasts Soros on its board and is a key promoter of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine used to justify the NATO airstrikes in Libya last year.

Massive defense slashes

Another Ploughshares grantee is the Institute for Policy Studies.

Ploughshares is listed on the institute's website as a partner organization.

The institute works with the Center for American Progress to release an annual "Unified Security Budget," which reportedly has influenced White House military policy. Previous recommendations from the two groups' yearly Unified Security Budgets have been adapted by the Obama administration.

The 2012 budget, reviewed in full by WND, called on Obama to use the U.S. Armed Forces in part to combat "global warming," fight global poverty, remedy "injustice," bolster the United Nations and increase "peacekeeping" forces worldwide.

The budget called for massive, second-term slashes to the military budget. The savings are to be used to invest in "sustainable energy" and in fighting worldwide climate change.

The report makes clear the stated objective of transforming the U.S. Armed Forces to stress conflict resolution and diplomacy.

The report takes issue with the use of forces on the ground in various countries to secure or influence the longer-term strategic position of other nations.

It recommends scaling back all U.S. ground forces by 20 percent and reducing the Navy's surface fleet by 20 percent, including two carriers and carrier combat air wings. It also calls for reducing the Air Force by two combat air wings while cutting standing peacetime overseas deployments in Europe and East Asia by up to 50,000 troops at a time.

The budget's authors strongly argue for the reduction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to no more than 292 deployed nuclear weapons and the complete elimination of the Trident II nuclear missile. It's a process Obama already initiated in April 2010 when he signed a deal with Russia reducing stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.

The accord with Russia was signed at a nuclear summit in Washington arranged by Obama at which leaders of 47 nations committed to reducing the world's nuclear stockpiles. One week earlier, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Obama signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, committing both countries to reducing their deployed nuclear arsenals.

Obama had broadly proclaimed his disarmament intentions during a 2007 campaign speech: "Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons."

By 2010, as president, he was arguing: "We need to change our nuclear policy and our posture, which is still focused on deterring the Soviet Union — a country that doesn't exist."

Obama's declaration came just as Russia was signing a major arms deal with Syria and began to revive its Cold War-era naval bases in the Middle East, including in the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia on the Mediterranean.

The joint CAP and IPS report, meanwhile, recommends the U.S. cease all further development of missile defenses.

The report goes through a list of current missile defense programs, including Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptors and a number of others, pushing for all programs to be cut.

"It is unwise to fund more advanced systems for missile defense while current ones have yet to be proven effective against their targeted threats," complains the report.

The military's vital Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation program is to be cut by $10 billion across the board.

Next on the chopping block: the complete cancellation of the second SSN-744 Virginia Class submarine. While the Unified Security Budget describes the new model as "unnecessary to address any of the threats facing the United States today" and "a weapon looking for an enemy," the SSN-774 is designed for covert collection of intelligence, transportation of special operations teams, and launching of tactical Tomahawk missiles — flexible capabilities tailored to rapid responses required by the 21st-century's conflicts with irregular combatants.

Similarly targeted for cancellation are the V-22 Osprey helicopter and the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Combating 'global warming'

The 2012 Unified report sets the tone of its lofty agenda by demanding immediate reductions in the military's already heavily slashed budget. But there is one exception requiring massive increases in funding — any spending that funds "alternative energy" or that focuses Defense Department resources on combating "climate change as a security threat."

The report authors recommend investing "the lion's share" of the few allotted military increases in addressing the "threat" of so-called climate change.

The report wants Obama to take billions of dollars from the U.S. military and instead use them for a "green stimulus."

These groups also envision the military as a tool to fight so-called global warming. In 2011, the IPS released a 40-page CAP-endorsed report titled "The Green Dividend," a term the IPS defines as "a major shift of resources from the military budget to sustainable energy."

The IPS research paper identifies the Pentagon as the "largest institutional energy user — and greenhouse gas emitter — on the planet," arguing that if it undertook a "crash program" to convert to renewable energy sources and clean vehicles, it could make a significant impact on global emissions.

The IPS calls on the Pentagon to contribute to a green world "by simply getting out of the way,by handing over unneeded military installations to be converted into green job incubators."

The report lauds Obama's first-ever U.S. Global Development Policy, which was issued in September 2010 and declares that the primary purpose of our development aid is to pursue broad-based economic growth as the means to fight global poverty.

The report goes on to recommend that massive funds be sent to combat global woes, including an increase of $3.5 billion to "Global Health" investment and $2.14 billion to support United Nations peacekeeping and ensure that the United States does not fall behind in U.N. payments.

Contact Paul Rotenberg at

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Posted by JNS News, January 17, 2013

( "No one decides for the citizens of Israel," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom. The prime minister was responding to a recent article by Jeffrey Goldberg in Bloomberg View that quoted U.S. President Barack Obama as saying that "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are."

Netanyahu said he did not know whether Obama was behind Goldberg's article, but he stressed: "I think that President Obama knows that the ones determining Israel's vital interests are the citizens of Israel, and they will be the ones to choose who will protect thos