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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: SPRING WILDFLOWERS IN THE JUDEAN MOUNTAINS
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, March 31, 2009.
 

Spring wildflowers in the Judean Mountains
 

This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Fortunately, I now have spies who send me cryptic emails like, "There's some pink stuff on the hill across from your house. You better check it out." Sounds simple enough, until you understand that the hill in question is on the opposite side of a deep valley and only accessible by foot. For several weeks now the terraced hillsides adjacent to Efrat, where I live, have been colorfully segmented into patches of green, pink or yellow enclosed by stone walls that neatly delineate each farmer's plot. And if you're me, you traipse across the valley in the late afternoon, only to discover the sun is on the wrong side of the hill for the shot you want so you decide to wake up before dawn the next morning and repeat the hour-long trek. At least the second time out I knew the trip would be worthwhile.

I pitched my camera under this almond tree, in a spot I had discovered the day before. I had been concentrating on photographing the flowers and vines, but felt dissatisfied because the layout of the hill demanded that a portion of the sky, which was empty of clouds, be included in the shot. In this photo, the silhouetted branches fill the void created by the still cloudless sky. I mounted my camera on a tripod and pointed it to the northeast, with the rising sun — off to the right of the frame — throwing soft, morning sunshine on the wildflowers and stones while the bowed almond tree and stumpy vines retain their dark and mysterious form.

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

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NO TO PALESTINE & NO TO JEWISH EXPULSION
Posted by Yosef Rabin, March 31, 2009.
 

Obama gave a speech (March 25) where he made it very clear that he will be pushing a Pali-State on us and just today Netanyahu also declared that he will be continuing with the "peace process".

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Call and fax the Orthodox Union now and demand that the lead the fight against a Arab State in Israel and the expulsion of Jews. Or in short " No to Palestine & No to Jewish expulsion"!

Ask them to stand up for Jewish and Torah values!

The OU Washington Office
800 Eighth Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-513-6484
Fax: 202-289-8936
Email — ipa@ou.org

Send a free fax via http://faxzero.com/

Important: If you go to a Jewish days school, high school, Yeshiva, girls school, let the OU know that you will convince your entire school to also call, fax and email.

TO OUR NON-JEWISH ALLIES:
Do not be afraid to contact the OU and express your shock that they are standing silent as the Land of Israel is handed over to non-Jews, which is against Torah law.

Contact Yosef Rabin by email at yosefrabin@yahoo.com

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TWIN ESSAYS DISPEL WORST LIES ABOUT POLLARD
Posted by Justice For Jonathan Pollard, March 31, 2009.
 

Over the last 24 years, the fight for justice for Jonathan Pollard has been severely hampered by the constant, consistent, deliberate repetition of lies about the case by anonymous officials in both the US and Israel.

A willfully gullible media continues to swallow these lies without question and to regurgitate them, over and over again, making it increasingly difficult to dispel them.

Recently, two pernicious articles were published in the Jerusalem Post, one after the other, trumpeting many of the worst lies and canards of this more than two-decades-old case. In each instance, a Right of Rely essay was submitted and published.

Together, these two Right of Reply essays dispel the worst lies about the Pollard case.

Each essay was limited to no more than 1200 words. Despite their brevity, each essay packs a payload of critical information about the case. Each one stands on its own. But together, they provide a comprehensive rapid-read primer about the case.

The twin essays are recommended reading for anyone who wants to know the truth about the Pollard case, but does not have copious time for research. Here are links to the essays:

1) "Right of Reply: Not treason, not dual loyalty, but equal justice is the issue", by Esther Pollard, The Jerusalem Post.
http://www.jonathanpollard.org/2009/021509.htm

2) Right of Reply: Not a security risk but a bargaining chip: by Esther Pollard, The Jerusalem Post
http://www.jonathanpollard.org/2009/022209a.htm

Reach Justice for Jonathan Pollard by sending an email to justice4jp@gmail.com

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OBAMA: I KNOW BETTER THAN ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS
Posted by Barry Rubin, March 31, 2009.
 

President Obama got it wrong in answering a question about Israel-Palestinian issues in his press conference, March 25. But his mistakes are different from those everyone noticed.

The reporter asked:

"Mr. President, you came into office pledging to work for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. How realistic do you think those hopes are now, given the likelihood of a prime minister who's not fully signed up to a two-state solution and a foreign minister who has been accused of insulting Arabs?"

The reporter's wording betrays typical aspects of many mainstream media messages:

  • Any fault must be Israel's and Israel is the sole focus of why there's a problem. At least he formulated terms carefully. Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be "not fully signed up to a two-state solution," instead of being labeled as opposed; Avigdor Lieberman is merely "accused" of insulting Arabs rather than being an evil racist.

  • Palestinians only exist as victims so their politics aren't worth studying or analyzing. After all, the PA's prime minister just resigned, there's a Hamas-Fatah civil war, the PA announced elections in a year, and the current leader is ailing. As if that isn't enough, the Palestinian leaders are really "not fully signed up to a two-state solution" and constantly insulting Jews.

What should Obama have said? If he were really professional something like this:

"It isn't for me to characterize Israel's new government. We'll have to wait to see. But whatever it is we will keep trying and I'm sure we can count on Israel's cooperation....."

Here's what he said:

"It's not easier than it was, but I think it's just as necessary. We don't yet know what the Israeli government is going to look like and we don't yet know what the future shape of Palestinian leadership is going to be comprised of. What we do know is this: that the status quo is unsustainable; that it is critical for us to advance a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in their own states with peace and security."

The first half-dozen words, could be taken as hostile to Israel's leaders. He shouldn't have said it but not that big a deal. He even balanced by saying the Palestinian leadership's future is also unclear.

The problem is not in the first but the third sentence: "What we do know is this: that the status quo is unsustainable..." Whenever someone says that, short of outright anarchy, they're naïve. All status quos are unsustainable in a sense since time brings change. On the other hand, this status quo can continue for years. In fact, a serious study of underlying forces and factors indicates this is likely, probably inevitable.

Obama's statement, like thousands in recent decades, basically says: things are so horrible change is vital no matter what the risk or cost. Things can't possibly get worse. He adds, "We're going to be serious from day one in trying to move the parties in a direction that acknowledges that reality."

To some extent, this is just rhetoric, a promise to work real hard. In practice, the policy is closer to saying: sure we'll pretend to be serious but this looks tough and we have more urgent priorities on domestic and even foreign policy.

Yet to a considerable extent Obama — though not Secretary of State Hillary Clinson — thinks he understands true reality and the parties don't. In fact they know far better than him. Back in the 1990s U.S. and European leaders would say: The status quo is unsustainable and Palestinians are desperate for a state so we have to move real fast? Today some of the same people — including Bill Clinton — say their big mistake was trying to force a resolution to the conflict when Yasir Arafat really didn't want one.

Today, the PA believes the status quo is sustainable (at least if they can make a deal to reunite with Hamas) because they're unwilling to make the compromises and concessions required for peace (full recognition of Israel, end of conflict, resettling Palestinian refugees in Palestine, security guarantees, stopping incitement, and so on).

Israel — no matter who leads it — believes the status quo is sustainable (at least if it can stop rocket firing from the Gaza Strip) because it won't make any more concessions to a side that can't and won't deliver anything serious toward full and lasting peace.

So, no, Obama will not persuade anybody that very bad change is better than a bad status quo. And because he doesn't comprehend that all his efforts are doomed to failure.

There's one other feature to his answer that went unnoticed. He mentioned a recent St. Patrick's Day meeting with "previously sworn enemies celebrating here in this very room," people who, "even a decade ago, people would have said could never achieve peace."

Well, he did have the St. Patrick's day event but, leaving aside the huge differences between the two conflict, his answer shows how detached he is from the continuity of U.S. policy and Middle East history, things he had no role in and knows nothing about.

One might expect an American president to recall his predecessors' brokering of Egypt-Israel, Israel-PLO, and Israel-Jordan agreements. They didn't solve everything but made progress for which America can claim credit. By citing them Obama might have also shown some understanding of the reasons they fell short.

But that, too, is part of the problem. He's coming into office thinking that a solution is easy and nothing can go wrong. In dealing with the Middle East, that's the direct path to, at best, miserable failure and, at worst, outright catastrophe.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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CARL LUTZ (1895-1975). NEW ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTHDAY
Posted by The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, March 31, 2009.
 

Carl Lutz was the inventor of the "Protective Letters"

Swiss Vice-Consul Carl Lutz arrived in Budapest in early 1942. As chief of the Swiss Legation's Department of Foreign Interests in Budapest, he was in charge of the interests of 14 belligerent nations — among them the United States and Great Britain. Lutz established his home at the British Legation at Szabadsadter in Pest. Among his duties was the protection of 300 Americans, 300 English nationals, 2,000 Romanians, and 3,000 Yugoslavs who were stranded in Hungary.

When the Germans occupied Hungary on 19 March 1944, persecution of the Jews grew more and more flagrant.

Thousands seeking Lutz's protection besieged his offices every day. As an engaged Christian, Carl Lutz felt he had to protect these people. At that time he had already helped 10,000 Jewish children and young people to emigrate to Palestine. He cared for refugee Jews who had come to Hungary from many nations and for Hungarian Jews who were within British and Palestine interests.

When deportations to Auschwitz began on 15 May, Lutz decided to place the staff of the Jewish council for Palestine under his diplomatic protection and to rename it the "Department of Emigration of the Swiss Legation". A special relief organization had to be created for this stupendous task. With the aid of volunteers, Lutz increased his staff from 15 to 150.

Taking advantage of the fact that neither Hitler's proconsul in Hungary, Edmund Veesenmayer, nor the Sztojay government had formally challenged the right of 8,000 to emigrate to Palestine, Lutz kept "negotiating" with the German and Hungarian authorities. In the process he changed his objective. He wanted to save as many Jewish lives as possible.

As a ruse, he and his staff started to issue tens of thousands of added "protective letters", even though these were no longer backed by any Palestine certificates. In Order to hide the new approach, Lutz was always careful to repeat numbers one to 8,000 and never to surpass them. Each 1,000 names were grouped together into one Swiss collective passport. This meant that the applicants stood under formal Swiss protection.

As the Hungarian authorities insisted on concentrating all Budapest Jews into one large ghetto, Lutz placed part of the Jews protected by Switzerland — about 30,000 people — in 76 protected houses. The inhabitants of these houses were precariously fed and helped out by the Consul meager financial and material resources. Meanwhile, the young Jewish Chalutzim (pioneers) provided communications within the entire Jewish community and the underground.

In 1941 about 742,800 Jews lived in Hungary. In Budapest, some 124,000 survived the war. Between 15 May and 9 July, 437,402 people died in Auschwitz. Carl Lutz helped 62,000 Jews to survive.

Life Milestones

  • (1895) — March 30 Born in Walzenhausen, Canton Appenzell.
  • (1910-1913) — Apprenticeship and commercial training with a textile company in St. Margrethen, Switzerland.
  • (1913) — Emigration to the United States.
  • (1913-1918) — Worker in Granite City, Illinois, USA.
  • (1918-1920) — Study at the Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, Missouri, USA.
  • (1920) — (June-September):Summer-job as correspondent at Swiss Legation in Washington.
  • (1920-1926) — Chancellor at Swiss Legation, Washington. Enrolment at George Washington University (law and history) .
  • (1924) — Bachelor of Arts, Washington University, Washington D.C.
  • (1926-1934) — Chancellor, Swiss Consulate, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
  • (1935-1941) — Vice — Consul at Swiss General Consulate, Jaffa, also responsible for the German interest and the Swiss Consulate, Tel Aviv.
  • (1942) — (January-April) 1945 Vice-Consul in Budapest, chief of the Department of Foreign Interests of Swiss Legation. During this time he was responsible for saving the lives of more than 62,000 Jews.
  • (1945-1954) — Berne and Zurich, section for Foreign Interests if the Federal Political Department.
  • (1951) — Special Mission for the Lutheran World Federation in Israel in connection with German missions.
  • (1961) — C.L. retires from the Consular Service.
  • (1975) — February 13, 1975, deceased in Bern.

Contact the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation at comunicacion@irwf.org.ar

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A NICE STORY, BUT SLIPS IN PROPAGANDA; HOLYLAND FOUNDATION NOT SO HOLY; THE PRO-WAR 'ANTI-WAR' PEOPLE
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 31, 2009.
 

A NICE STORY, BUT SLIPS IN PROPAGANDA

Some children, musicians from Jenin, P.A., came to Holon, Israel, to play for Holocaust survivors there. All had a good time, though the language barrier hampered communication. [Did that preclude bitter argument?]

Journalist Isabel Kershner described the Jenin refugee camp as: (1) "once a notorious hotbed of militancy and violence;" and (2) "The capital of suicide bombers to the Israelis and a symbol of resistance to the Palestinians (sic) (NY Times, 3/26).

What does she mean, "once?" P.A. Islamist culture has not changed. Indoctrination having persisted, hatreds are more likely dug in. The journalist gives an impression of violence having abated. Actually, the IDF still has to raid terrorists in the P.A., including in Jenin. IDF control tamps terrorism down.

Note the parallel characterization of Jenin. Having different views doesn't make them of equal merit. That would be specious logic. Just imagine it applied to Hitler's and Stalin's warped views, similar to the Islamists'. The Times either elevates the Arabs to Israel's level or levels Israel's down to the Arabs'.

The whole P.A. is Islamist, but Jenin was somewhat more notorious for terrorism. That is fact. Terrorism never is justified. That war criminality trumps any grievances that the Arabs may allege about Israel. Or does the Times now excuse terrorism?

The Arabs don't have legitimate grievances. They have holy war. They fabricate grievances in order to persuade ignorant Westerners, whose ignorance is preserved by Times omissions and warped labels, that they have a legitimate cause. They do not.

Neither do the P.A. Arabs have a right to fight against Israel, even according to the laws of warfare that as terrorists they flout. They signed peace agreements with Israel, starting 15 years ago. Let them abide by them, before the Times urges more agreements that the Arabs would break with Israel. In any case, they are supposed to negotiate, not "resist." Killing innocent Israelis is not "resistance," it is just plain evil. Murder is not, what the Times calls, "militancy."

The Jewish philanthropist who sponsored the concert meant well. The musicians may have meant well. But do Kershner and the Times mean well, when they distort simple matters of right and wrong? How confusing the Times is, when its ideology makes it close its eyes to evil or equate guilty and innocent on this issue! In its editorials, it fulminates against certain politicians, but since it doesn't know right from wrong, how can one take its editorials seriously?

It couldn't refrain from injecting propaganda into this simple human interest story.

HOLYLAND FOUNDATION NOT SO HOLY

The Islamic Holyland Foundation and its leaders were convicted of material support for terrorism, money laundering, and tax evasion. It underwrote Hamas.

Closing such a foundation is a better method of combating terrorism than waiting to chase terrorists after they have killed people.

Donors claim they don't intend to donate to terrorists, but they have no control over the ultimate use of the money. They could patronize genuine charities (Jewish Political Chronicle, winter 2009, p.20 from Moshe Yaalon, Azure, autumn 2008). I think that many donors know very well where their money is headed.

HIRSI ALI SPEAKS IN FLORIDA

Hirsi Ali, former Muslim, former immigrant to Holland, and former member of their parliament, was driven out of her adopted country by Muslim death threats. She was threatened for having helped make a documentary exposing Islamic oppression of women, such as genital mutilation.

Miss Ali warned that Muslim immigration to Europe still is growing, while the native population still is shrinking. Islam likely will take over Europe. She defines Islam as a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can. Low birth rate Europeans can anticipate living under Islamic law. In Islamic society, associating with infidels is a sin, women mustn't leave home without male guardians, intercourse with a child and polygamy are permitted, and homosexuals are liable to be executed. [Dictatorship is their norm.]

Ali said, "Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side." "They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands." [Attention peace processors!]

A higher proportion of Europe's Muslims are on welfare. Prejudice is not the cause. One cause is uneducated Muslim mothers' inability to help their school children. Muslims often use religion as an excuse not to work, she said. [The newspaper report did not buttress that claim.]

John Ederer, imam of the Islamic Foundation of S. Florida, said she describes fringe ideas by ignorant Muslims. He said they take a few verses out of context. The reporter said, "Some aspects of her biography have been disputed." (Palm Beach Daily News, 3/21) Which aspects? Unsaid. Therefore, unhelpful. Are almost all the imams of Pakistan, S. Arabia, Iran, the P.A., Egypt, and Jordan ignorant of Islam? Hundreds of millions of people follow them. Hardly matters whether they follow the faith accurately. They have guns and money.

ISRAELI MEDIA CAMPAIGNS TO FREE PRISONER

Yaron Dekel, Israeli broadcast journalist, accuses his country's major media of not reporting but campaigning on the matter of Hamas' Israeli prisoner. It seeks his release at almost any cost. By "campaigning," Mr. Dekel refers to extensive publicity given to childhood pictures of the prisoner and his parent's protest tent, while mostly ignoring the tent of protestors against the proposed deal.

The proposed deal would free hundreds of Hamas prisoners. The media fails to ask the consequences to Israel of negotiations on other matters, after Israel will have paid such an unbalanced price on this one. The media also fails to discuss what the freed prisoners are likely to do. Obviously, many of them are likely to attempt terrorism, again. Then what will have been gained?

The media slanted an earlier prisoner deal. It muted mention of the fact that the two Israeli prisoners actually had been killed. Instead, it kept emotions high in anticipation of getting the soldiers back. When coffins came back, instead, most Israelis were shocked (3/13).

Do the math. One successful terrorist attack easily can murder more Israeli lives than might be saved by the release of the one soldier. Again, to capture the hundreds of Hamas terrorists and get them out of circulation, IDF soldiers risked their lives. Perhaps one or more were killed. After the hundreds will have been returned to the streets, and half of them resume terrorism, Israeli soldiers again would have to pursue them at the risk of their own lives.

There must be a better way to force Hamas to release the prisoner. I think weekly executions of dozens of their apprehended terrorists would do it. Unfortunately, the government wouldn't approve. It would be more afraid of the international outcry against the death penalty. In this case, executions would take evil lives to spare innocent ones.

THE PRO-WAR "ANTI-WAR" PEOPLE

NY Times headline: "Canada: Antiwar Briton Is Barred." The article went on to describe that Briton, MP George Galloway, as "a pugnacious opponent of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq..." who "had bragged about innovating financial support for Hamas" "and had celebrated Taliban militants fighting Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan." (A5.)

He is pro-war, not anti-war. He favors the Islamist side in those wars. Hamas is just a gang of Islamist aggressors, whom he helps. The Times is as dishonest about this as the Communists and Nazis used to be when they alleged peaceful intent as they planned and instigated wars.

THE HARM OF BLOOD LIBEL

Blood libel is a false accusation that Jews murdered someone for being of another religion. The Palestinian Arabs and French TV fabricated a tale of Israeli troops having murdered a Palestinian Arab boy. The fishy "evidence" eventually was disproved. Meanwhile, great indignation arose against Israel. P.A. Arabs redoubled their violence against (ZOA Report, spring 2009, p.4).

Some promoters of the hoax are modern Westerners! When presented with poor evidence against Israel, they accept it and disseminate it, without checking.

France, like the Arabs, are most reluctant to admit mistakes. It took France years to pardon Dreyfus from his unjust prison sentence.

DUBIOUS "EYEWITNESSES"

Ethan Bronner accepts "eyewitness accounts" of Jewish religious nationalist prompting to kill more Gazans. The paper print them before the IDF investigated. His report made generalized accusations without particulars about lax rules of combat and unjustified killing. Absence of facts makes his report suspect.

Horrors, rabbis called the war in Gaza religious. That's an accusation? It's a fact. The Muslims admit it. The Times ignores Islamic motivation so it can advocate secular remedies (that won't work), and make it seem as if religious Jews are aggressors. Did Bronner forget that the Muslims started the war?

Bronner claims that the Talmudic admonition against being over-merciful, reiterated to rev up IDF troops, encouraged wanton killing. The Talmud doesn't. The admonition goes something like this: he who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful. What does that mean? It means that letting go people who are too evil to reform gives them an opportunity to commit further evil against the very people who showed them mercy. Makes sense. Realistic. Bronner distorted the Talmud. Ignorant or malicious, is he?

Raising an alarm against Jewish nationalists who refused orders to disband settlements, Bronner failed to discuss the unethical if not illegal nature of such orders, on an issue not proper for the military to be involved in. The dismantling, often done with brutality ignored by the NY Times, harms Israeli security and benefits the Arab enemy.

Bronner mentioned without the same indignation an officer's refusal to guard religious Jews visiting Nablus, P.A.. Unmentioned: Nablus is the site of one of Judaism's holy cities. The P.A. agreed that Jews had a legal right to visit there.

P.S.: On 3/28, Bronner revisited the issue, in the face of strong Israeli efforts to counter-act the impression of wanton brutality by its forces. Bronner included a statement that the "eyewitnesses" admitted all they said was rumor. However, the way Times writers put such admissions, sandwiched within false accusations, they obscure their own failure to verify accusations and their own share in defamation.

Also obscured by the tone, pace, and emphasis of the wording was the perspective and balance that Israelis tried to provide. They did point out how few were the civilian casualties compared with most wars. They did refer to the Hamas gunman not shot when he crouched behind a woman bearing a white flag and towing her children. Missing from this controversy are acknowledgments of these key points: (1) Anti-Israelis' record of defamation; (2) Jihadists' record of brutality; and (3) Israel's record of restrained warfare. The Times' anti-Zionist ideology interferes with objective and factual reporting.

I find it difficult to figure out how much of a wrong-headed position stems from ill will and how much from incompetence. I mentioned the obfuscating language that Bronner used. I scrutinize Times wording, to determine whether it is inadvertent. Perhaps it is to some extent, but mostly I find it deliberate. It fits into a pattern of several propaganda techniques that militate against Israel. When the same reporters want to, they can write clearly. Therefore, when they write unclearly and in a way that leads to unfair conclusions against Israel and fails to give more than faint hints against the Arabs, both failures advancing the Times' anti-Zionist ideology, it must be intentional.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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FROM ISRAEL: FALLING FLAT
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 31, 2009.
 

So, the new government was sworn in today, and I find myself unable to work up much enthusiasm. Yes, it's a very good thing that Olmert will no longer be PM, and that Kadima — with "two state solution" Livni at its helm — will be in the opposition.

But this new government was so long in the making that its establishment seems almost anti-climactic. Not to mention the fact that is carries within it seeds of dissension — intra-party both within the Likud and Labor parties, and inter-party between Shas and Yisrael Beitenu, for example. This, even as Netanyahu boasts that the addition of Labor to the government ensures stability.

We've got some good people, experienced people, in the government — such as Moshe Kachlon, Gideon Sa'ar, and Yisrael Katz — but they are not necessarily in positions where they will do the most good.

I'm truly distressed that Labor is part of the government and National Union is not.

~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, Moshe Ya'alon, who was slated to be Defense Minister before Barak was brought in, has been given the post of Strategic Affairs, as well as being named a Vice Prime Minister. And so he hasn't resigned before even starting. Presumably he will have a say in formulating policy with regard to trouble areas.

"Vice prime minister," as I under stand it, designates the person who would take over in times of absence or incapacitation of the prime minister, with "deputy prime minister" being more an honorary title.

~~~~~~~~~~

The most disgruntled member of Likud is Silvan Shalom, who had hoped for — expected — the post of foreign minister, which was in the end given to Avigdor Lieberman as part of the coalition deal. There has been a flap about this already: Lieberman has been under investigation for several matters (sigh... again) and there was speculation that if he had to leave the government because he was indicted, Shalom would get the post. But Lieberman has let it be known that if he had to resign — a possibility he considers unlikely — and the post were to go to Likud rather than be kept within his party, Yisrael Beitenu would move to opposition and bring down the government.

When Shalom didn't get the Foreign Affairs ministry, he then sought Finance. (He has served in both positions in the past.) But that ultimately went to Yuval Steinitz, a Netanyahu loyalist. (It was said for a while that Netanyahu would retain that ministry himself, and he will surely keep involved in financial decisions and policy.)

Shalom was offered Regional Affairs Minister (do not ask me what this is — it's invented) and a position as vice prime minister (with Netanyahu saying it's OK to have two people with this designation), and finally Minister for the Development of the Negev and Galil. It wasn't until just before the swearing-in that he agreed to this.

Shalom is not, shall we say, one of Netanyahu's closest associates.

~~~~~~~~~~

The position of Minister of Health has not been filled as this ministry is being saved for UTJ, should it join the coalition. There is distress about the fact that UTJ representative Moshe Gafni would administer the ministry as a deputy minister only (by choice of UTJ), which people in the Ministry of Health feel would create a disadvantage when it comes to such matters as budget.

~~~~~~~~~~

This government is the biggest ever. The splitting of posts, invention of new positions and formation of deputy positions was deemed necessary to satisfy everyone — those who joined Netanyahu's coalition and those within his own party.

I hope to have a full and accurate list of all ministers and deputies in short order.

~~~~~~~~~~

If this doesn't make your blood boil, likely little will.

Balad is an Israeli Arab political party with members elected to the Knesset. A new member, Haneen Zuabi (first ever woman elected from an Arab party), had a few things to say in a couple of English interviews reported upon by the Post:

She thinks Iran's development of nuclear weapons is a good thing. This would offset the military edge Israel has in the region, which is "dangerous to the world."

Asked if she was afraid of Iran's development of nuclear weapons, she replied, "No, I am not." She said was "more afraid from the Israeli nuclear [weapons]....It would be more supporting me to have a counter-power to Israel. I need something to balance [Israel's] power."

What is more, she thinks Iran's role in Palestinian affairs is more useful than the role of Egypt and Jordan. That's because these countries are afraid of a free Palestine (in truth, afraid of the terrorism within Palestine).

Iran stands more firmly "against occupation than a lot of the Arab countries. This is our interest."

Please note this very carefully. In "our" interest. She speaks as a Palestinian and not an Israeli, although she is not only an Israeli citizen but a member of the Israeli parliament — provided with freedoms and receiving perks she would never receive in the PA. Her loyalty is with them and not us.

~~~~~~~~~~

There has been a whole lot of indignation about Avigdor Lieberman's charges against the Arabs here and his call for a loyalty oath. But he is on to something very serious. And it's people's weariness with disloyalty among some Israeli Arabs that was a considerable factor in his gaining the mandates he did.

It's time we confronted this problem realistically.

~~~~~~~~~~

An article in Time magazine this week, citing Israeli sources, provided additional information on the bombing of the convoy of trucks bearing weapons bound for Gaza — with just one operation focused on here.

In addition to drones, dozens of planes were used — primarily F-16s were utilized, with F-15s as back-up in case the squadron was attacked.

This was not the first time the Iranians had used a Sudan route to get weapons to Hamas, but this was the biggest shipment. The Mossad discovered that 120 tons of explosives and weapons were on the way, and had one week to plan the operation. Refueling was done over the Red Sea.

An IAF F-16i.

This was said to be a warning to Iran and a show of our intelligence capabilities.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to journalist Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker, presidential elect Barack Obama put pressure on Olmert to stop our military action in Gaza before his inauguration.

This is simply confirmation of something that's been widely bandied about, but it's irksome none-the-less. An official (or official to be) of another country has no business interfering in our defensive action. And Olmert was foolish in the extreme to accede and terminate the operation prematurely to suit him.

~~~~~~~~~~

A two-day Arab summit convened in Doha, Qatar, yesterday to address a number of issues, but President Mubarak of Egypt opted not to attend, sending Mufid Shehab, Minister of Legal Affairs, instead.

Of major concern to the leaders was the March 4, arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes because of his actions in Darfur.

Bashir was at the conference and received a warm welcome; the Arab League has indicated it will not honor the arrest warrant.

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

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OBAMA'S MUSLIM OUTREACH. ISRAEL IS BEING THROWN UNDER THE BUS
Posted by Ted Belman, March 31, 2009.
 

No matter how strong this connection was, the main stream media and ultimately Jewish Americans ignored it.

"The person who made me proudest of all," Obama wrote, "was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol."

On February 27th, Barack Hussein Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth."

Although Obama played he Christian card while campaigning, he is playing the Muslim card now in such a blatant fashion that even I am astounded.

Here is his record to date after inaugeration,

  • Obama's first call was to Mahmoud Abbas who is not even a head of state. Obama was delivering a message to Israel and the world.
  • Obama's first interview, within days of inaugeration, was with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Networks In it her stressed his own Muslim ties and his hopes for a Palestinian state. His message was "U.S. not your enemy"

    "And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us,"

  • on Febuary 10th, Obama ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.
  • In February, he pledged to provide $900 million in aid for rebuilding the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip
  • On March 19th Obama delivered to customary speech to the Iranian people on their New Year but sold them out by referring to the Islamic Republic of Iran which amounted to an acceptance of the regime.
  • Obama has been reaching out to Syria for some time now but in the last two months he has matched words with deeds, He has lifted sanctions on Syria and intends to meet personally with Assad hereby bringing him in from the cold. He wants to see if Syria is serious about peace, which means breaking from Iran, in which case he will force Israel to give up the Golan.
  • Obama has also been calling Erdogan and Gull in Turkey looking to imrpove relations with Turkey. He praised Erdogan for his efforts at peace making between Syria and Israel and wants him to continue. He is looking to Turkey to help with Iran and Afghanistan and to permit US forces to exit Iraq throught Turkey.

Essentially this outreach is intended to upgrade the relationship between the US and the Muslim world which will necessitate downgrading the relationship with Israel.

For decades now this is what the State Department has wanted but couldn't say so publically. As I pointed out in Give the Palestinians what they want or else , there is a coordinated attack under way to bring about the downgrading of the US/Israel relationship.

In the last few weeks, I posted many articles which made this point. Here are two.

The West is tiring of Israel

'I have every reason to believe, based on what I've seen at my level of clearance especially over the last several years, that Israel will soon be completely on their own... or worse.' When asked what could be worse than losing the support of the United States, he stated: 'when our administration provides more support to Arab countries financial and military aid, undercutting Israel's defense efforts all while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.'

CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

These are only a few of the articles published since Obama's inaugeration which provide the handwriting on the wall. The core issue that the West is now recognizing is that given the emnity of the Arabs to the state of Israel, the Sate of Israel is doomed and shouldn't be supported to the detriment of the US.

Debka reported this week,

Obama set to betray Israel, big time Mar 29th

DEBKAfile's Washington sources report that the Obama administration is on the threshold of a major rapprochement with Tehran, a reversal of US policy dramatic enough to block out international sanctions. Iran will be allowed to keep its nuclear program, including military elements and enriched uranium stocks, up to the point of actually assembling a weapon.

The US president is willing to ditch Israel as a friend. This will be brought home to Jerusalem when he makes his big speech on April 7 appealing for a grand US-Muslim global reconciliation. The US president is preparing to tie a Palestinian-Israeli settlement — on Washington's terms — to such unrelated issues as Afghanistan and Pakistan as the currency for purchasing Muslim and Arab backing for accommodations of these outstanding terrorist fronts.

To lend wings to Obama's outreach to the Muslims, White House circles Monday, March 30, leaked word that his team took a hand in persuading Israel to accept a ceasefire which cut short its anti-Hamas operation in Gaza in January. The radical Islamist terrorists had to be spared from total defeat by Israel and their leaders from capture otherwise Assad, as their backer, would be restrained from resuming peace talks with Israel for some time.

The ceasefire gave Assad enough political room to continue the negotiations without losing credibility in the Arab world.

Its not going to get better.

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

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CARYL CHURCHILL'S SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN
Posted by Steven Plaut, March 30, 2009.

This was written by Kenneth Levin and it appeared in today's Front Page Magazine
www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID= 19A621DD-191B-4407-A7C9-A3EAD027626C

 

"... [T]he Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, says: 'The hour of judgment will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones and each tree and stone will say: "Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him..."."

So declares the charter of the Palestinian organization Hamas, now ruling Gaza. Nor is this genocidal agenda limited to a statement in Hamas's founding document. It is taught in Hamas-controlled schools, preached in its mosques, and promoted in Hamas media, including children's television.

The same incitement to genocide is purveyed in the schools, mosques and media of the PLO, or Palestinian Authority. In addition, both Hamas and elements of the PA, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, aggressively seek to translate their murderous agenda into action, attacking Israelis with rockets, mortar barrages and suicide bombings and particularly targeting children.

Successful terror operations against Israeli civilians are celebrated by both PA and Hamas operatives by the handing out of sweets to Palestinian children and adults, reinforcing the message of what actions Palestinians ought most to emulate and delight in.

Yet in the United Kingdom, it has become popular in various circles to stand this reality on its head: to ignore the incitement to genocide and excuse the terror that it inspires, and even to claim falsely that it is, rather, the Israelis who seek to dehumanize the Palestinians and delight in their slaughter.

Thus in Caryl Churchill's play, Seven Jewish Children, the Jews of Israel are murderous interlopers who are sensitive only to their own pain and feel justified in coldly visiting pain on their Arab neighbors. One character declares:

"... [T]ell her [that is, tell the Jewish child] they're animals living in rubble now, tell her I wouldn't care if we wiped them out, the world would hate us is the only thing, tell her I don't care if the world hates us, tell her we're better haters, tell her we're chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? tell her all I feel is happy it's not her."

Are there some Israelis, or non-Israeli Jews, who feel this level of hatred? No doubt. Churchill's Big Lie is the implicit claim that this is commonplace among Israelis or other Jews, when in reality every major organ of Israeli and Jewish society, including Israel's political parties, consistently condemns such hatred, while every major organ of Palestinian society explicitly promotes it.

What inspires Churchill and those like-minded in the UK to this inversion of reality? Obviously, it's difficult to plumb from a distance the psychological warp of any particular individual. What can be said is that such views have a pedigree in Britain.

George Eliot, writing largely of her fellow countrymen, observed in an 1878 essay, "It would be difficult to find a form of bad reasoning about [the Jews] which has not been heard in conversation or been admitted to the dignity of print."

Even Churchill's silence on and apparent indifference to the genocidal agenda of the Palestinian leadership and its effort to translate that agenda into action has entrenched precedent in Britain. There have long been circles who have had such a distaste for the Jews as to be impervious to efforts to exterminate them and, indeed, have regarded such efforts as having attractive pragmatic advantages. For example, a spring, 1943, Foreign Office memo to the State Department urging rejection of any efforts to save European Jews, declared — expressing sentiments conveyed in other communications as well — "There is a possibility that the Germans or their satellites may change over from the policy of extermination to one of extrusion, and aim as they did before the war at embarrassing other countries by flooding them with alien immigrants."

Anti-Jewish bias of murderous dimensions was so rife that Winston Churchill was prompted during the war, as well as at other times, to warn against what he described as "the usual anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic channel." In response to such concerns, Churchill was attacked for being, in the words of one colleague, "too fond of Jews."

Given this tradition, it is perhaps not surprising that promotion and pursuit of the extermination of the Jews by Palestinian groups hardly merits comment in Britain. Rarely is it noted, for example, by the BBC or the most respected British print media or other outlets of what constitutes the UK's chattering classes. That silence, like Caryl Churchill's, to Hamas's program, and to the similar agenda of competing major Palestinian parties, extends also to their explicit declarations that their determination to kill the Jews is unrelated to borders or "settlements" but is a response rather to the Jews' temerity in claiming rights of national self-determination routinely accorded other peoples and doing so in land Palestinians regard as properly the exclusive preserve of Muslims. The absence of this reality from British commentary on Israel and the Palestinians can only be construed as reflecting widespread perception of the latter's murderous agenda as not particularly noteworthy or troubling. Moral outrage is reserved, instead, for Israeli attempts to defend themselves from the genocidal assaults of their neighbors.

Reflective of this bias was the response in Britain to the terror war launched by Yasser Arafat against Israel in 2000. As Israelis were being killed by the score each month in suicide bombings, roadside shootings and other terror attacks, media coverage in Britain tended to portray the slaughter as nothing worthy of exceptional attention. In April, 2002, however, the Israelis finally launched a ground offensive in response to the terror assault — after 133 people had been killed in anti-Israel attacks the previous month. Israel invaded the terrorist safe-haven in the center of Jenin, an operation that, according to a UN investigation and reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, resulted in about 23 Israelis and 52 Palestinians killed, the latter mostly armed combatants even as the terror groups used civilians as human shields. The Israeli operation was almost universally decried in Britain as the "Jenin massacre," and Israel condemned in the most lurid of purple prose:

"We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide," feverishly exclaimed A.N. Wilson in London's Evening Standard. (He also accused Israel of "the poisoning of water supplies," perhaps throwing this in because the other accusations didn't satisfy his appetite for traditional anti-Jewish libels.)

"Rarely in more than a decade of war reporting from Bosnia, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, have I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life," emoted Janine di Giovanni, the London Times correspondent in Jenin.

"Every bit as repellent" as Osama Bin Laden's September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was the measured assessment of the Guardian in a lead editorial.

Similarly, Hamas's incessant rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli communities in the three years since Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza, attacks undertaken with the exclusive aim of killing civilians and forcing survivors to flee the area for safety, received minimal coverage in British media. Instead Israel was condemned for not being sufficiently forthcoming in allowing supplies to this government bent on its annihilation. It was also falsely charged with withholding essential food and medical supplies from Gaza. In fact, there has never been a shortage of either, except to the extent that Hamas has commandeered provisions and either offered international contributions for sale to Gazans or diverted them to the organization's own use.

And, of course, when Israel sought to end Hamas's attacks by an air and ground offensive this past December, there was little in British reporting about the precipitating Hamas assaults or Hamas's use of civilians as human shields. And there were few truthful accounts of the number of Hamas fighters and civilians killed or factual assessments of damage to buildings not part of Hamas's infrastructure or not used as launching pads for Hamas attacks.

Instead, there was the familiar shoddy, biased reporting of the "Jenin massacre" ilk, and there is Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children, to satisfy what for many in Britain is an apparently insatiable thirst for anti-Jewish libels and indifference to the targeting of Jews.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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HAS THERE BEEN A 'SOLUTION' FOR EVERY RESIDENT OF GUSH KATIF, GAZA?
Posted by Helen Freedman, March 30, 2009.
 

Dror Vanunu, International Coordinator for the Gush Katif Committee, arrived in New York on Sunday afternoon, March 22, for a four day whirlwind visit to New York City. Vanunu's visit was prompted by the need to report to the media, and all interested parties, on the situation that exists today with the former Gush Katif residents, three and one-half years since their expulsion from their thriving communities in Gush Katif/Gaza.

There is no need to reiterate the disastrous results of Sharon's unilateral Gush Katif expulsion plan. All the dire warnings about the rockets that would fall on Sderot, Ashkelon, and Ashdod, have proven true. In addition, the forced departure of the 8800 Jews from Gush Katif, who served as the front-line of defense for the IDF, created a vacuum, quickly filled by Hamas. Israel is dealing with the problems of Hamasistan to this very day.

But what of the government's promise, "There is a Solution for Every Resident" just one month before the August, 2005 expulsion plan went into effect? This 'solution' was advertised as being a complete government plan to absorb and assist the residents with all the needs that displaced persons might require — housing, education, employment, compensation, social services, new farm lands for the farmers, synagogues, cultural centers, and all the elements that make up a healthy living environment.

Today, 3 1/2 years later, Vanunu reports that 92% of the former residents of Gush Katif have not begun building permanent homes. There are 24 potential sites for the displaced persons; building has started on only five of the sites. Barely a fifth of the displaced farmers have gone back to developing some agricultural land. At least one fifth of the people are unemployed, many of them too old or too broken to begin their business activities from scratch. A number of deaths have occurred, attributed to the emotional stress involved in the loss of home, job, and community life. Compensation payments, designed originally to pay for new homes, have been spent for daily needs.

Former Gush Katif residents, 4,000 of whom live in thin-walled trailers, in locations spread throughout the western Negev, are constantly under attack by Hamas rockets. They received delivery of large sewer pipes during the Gaza war. These were to act as "shelters" should rocket shrapnel occur during a missile attack. Unfortunately, they wouldn't be sufficient if there were a direct attack. This, however, was the temporary 'solution' to the lack of actual shelters.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Gush Katif Committee, representing the 21 former Gush Katif communities, some positive achievements have been made. Over 85% or 1,400 families have remained with their communities. Unfortunately, they are living in 18 temporary sites which were not designed for long term use, thus impacting on every facet of daily living. However, the determination to remain together as a group has enabled the Gush Katif Committee to make up somewhat for the lack of government concern. There has been coordination of relief efforts, the building of a social welfare infrastructure, the creation of a teenage support program, and attention paid to various projects on behalf of the children, youth and adults. There is active coordination with the representatives of all the dispersed communities, and there are ongoing efforts to work with government agencies involved in finding the 'solutions'.

Due to the efforts of the Gush Katif Committee, many other dedicated friends of Gush Katif, and 88% of the Israeli public who believe the government has failed in its obligations to the people of Gush Katif, this March, a state inquiry commission has begun investigating the failure of the Israeli government to live up to its promises. Hopefully, this investigation will hasten the day when Gush Katif residents will be restored to a semblance of the life they enjoyed prior to the 2005 expulsion. The State of Israel will benefit from the 'solution' also, because researchers have determined that each additional year of delay damages the gross national product, and costs approximately $35 million.

Until the situation is rectified, those interested in helping to rebuild the new communities can do so by contributing to the matching funds needed for the public buildings. Even where the government provides some funding, private funds are needed for synagogues, cultural centers, youth centers, and the variety of social service programs that complete a community. Those interested in helping should contact Dror Vanunu — gkatif@netvision.net.il. Contributions can be made out to, and sent to: Friends of Gush Katif, POB 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666. In Israel, the address is: The Gush Katif Committee, PO Box 450, Ahuzat Etrog, 79411. The website is: www.katifund.org.

Helen Freedman is the former National Executive Director of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI .

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THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE DESERVES BETTER LEADERSHIP
Posted by Sacha Stawski, March 30, 2009.
This was written by Philippe Karsenty, a French media critic. and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1238423642866&pagename= JPArticle%2FShowFull
 

If ever an issue begged for the intervention of a Jewish organization of international stature, it was the Mohamed al Dura affair. This notorious blood libel accused Israeli soldiers of shooting to death an Arab boy in Gaza on September 30, 2000. Though the event was actually a staged hoax, it was broadcast the same day on French public television station, France 2. Mohamed al Dura became an icon for all Muslim children. The story triggered rioting, terrorism and mayhem throughout the Muslim world; unleashed the Second Intifada; was the pretext for Daniel Pearl's beheading, and was referenced in Osama bin Laden's recruitment tapes prior to 9/11.

For seven years I worked to expose that hoax, and was sued for my effort.

The American Jewish Committee is one of the world's most active Jewish institutions. It would have been entirely consistent with its mission to have stepped forward to aid me in my efforts to counter a libel that dishonored every Jew.

But under David Harris as executive director, only silence and obstruction were forthcoming.

Harris is renowned for his diplomatic skills, his warm friendship with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and his contacts at the highest levels of other European governments. Some have complained to him that his representative in France, Valerie Hoffenberg, never once objected to France 2's hoax or supported my efforts to expose it. In fact, Hoffenberg was waging a behind-the scenes counter-offensive to cover-up the al Dura lie by blocking my access to some French officials, lobbying Jewish leaders against me, and claiming that the phony news report was authentic. Harris' response was always polite and reassuring: "I will look into it," he promised.

Yet nothing ever changed. It finally became clear that Hoffenberg was not acting on her own initiative, but faithfully adhering to AJC policy. Because of Hoffenberg's activities, AJC France was actually my most destructive foe.

Nonetheless, in May of last year I was vindicated in a French court.
 

DAVID HARRIS' antipathy to exposing the al Dura hoax is entirely consistent with his advice to the Obama administration (as well as other foreign governments) to participate in the planning of the Jew-hating stimulus package known as Durban II — against the wishes of the State of Israel. Now he is viciously attacking three of Israel's best defenders — Caroline Glick, Melanie Phillips and Anne Bayefsky — for advocating an immediate and unequivocal boycott.

Harris' claims that he deserves the credit for the current US disengagement from Durban II or improvements in its draft declaration — after undermining boycott efforts repeatedly — are more examples of the same practice I witnessed in the al Dura context: AJC's mastery of the double game.

When the French Court of Appeals ruled in my favor, the AJC immediately issued a statement in praise of French justice. But that statement was only for its US audience. When asked to comment in French, the AJC representative in France refused, afraid it would appear as criticism of the French government which owns and controls the French public TV station that broadcast the al Dura hoax.

On December 2006, the AJC published an excellent report called "Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism" by Alvin Rosenfeld. AJC received requests that it be translated into German.

Harris wrote to his Berlin bureau chief, Deidre Berger: "I believe there would be a mini-firestorm in Germany if this [the Rosenfeld report] appeared and, therefore, do far more damage than good to our image and reputation in a key country."

In other words Germany is a "key country" and Harris had important relationships to protect.
 

I'M NOT ALONE in my concerns about Harris' European involvement.

The following is an unsolicited note from a prominent German Jew that came to me in November 2008 and confirmed my perception of Harris' "policies":

"While you experienced problems with AJC Paris, AJC Berlin has been making problems in Germany. This is no coincidence. The explanation is that this AJC policy is supported by David Harris. AJC wants to sit in the first row among the Jewish organizations when it comes to contacts with European governments. For this reason they try to get along well with the establishments in the various countries...

"It is thus working against, and even sabotaging, other Jewish and non-Jewish NGOs that are more serious about combating anti-Semitism and supporting Israel. In short, AJC is practicing appeasement toward the European governments and elites. That establishment, for its part, appreciates AJC giving them the kosher stamp of approval. AJC is thus working against Jewish interests in Europe."

Worldwide, Jew-hatred is skyrocketing and Israel's enemies have never been as united as they are now. The UN's Durban II is a forum intended to confer official legitimacy on that hatred and unity — no less than the fiction of Mohamed al Dura, the UN's poster child for Israeli atrocities. Not surprisingly, the painful but phony image of the "dead" Al Dura boy adorned the walls of the places that hosted Durban I.

AJC attracts donors by claiming to protect Jewish interests, but in reality, under Harris' leadership, its actions provide cover for our enemies. Sacha Stawski is with the Honestly Concerned organization. Contact him at sstawski@honestly-concerned.org

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ISRAEL MISSED OPPORTUNITIES?; CLINTON DAMNS WITH PRAISE; FATAH MODERATION; ISRAELI MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 30, 2009.
 

NETANYAHU'S COALITION

Likud, Labor, Shas, and the Russian party all are leftist, at least in their leadership and in Shas' willingness to let territory be given to the Arabs so long as money is given to its schools. This didn't surprise you — I had predicted it.

A BIT OF HONESTY AT THE NY TIMES

In a rare bit of honest self-examination, NY Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof suggests "It's time to hold us pundits accountable." They should engage in more self-examination, he suggests. He admits he was mistaken in predicting that the "surge" would fail in Iraq. (Ironically, the day before, another Times columnist reported signs that the surge's initial success has eroded from lack of funds and continued Shiite suspicion of Sunnis.)

Mr. Kristof doesn't seem to understand the problem with the modern media. That problem is advocacy journalism. Thus, in addition to the traditional, inherent weaknesses of the media, nowadays most of the media advocates certain ideological lines, rather than reporting the facts and then relating their conclusions from those facts. Instead, they present a fraudulent tale, at least about the Mideast, economics, and nutrition, and draw conclusions from false statements. Worse, they have become adversarial. They are in the fray, instead of above it. Thus the Times screens out most facts and effective statement of opinions contrary to its ideology. Even its token conservative columnist, David Brooks, was criticizing Pres. Bush, which criticism helped the Times' goal.

I notice a tendency to become more insistent, myself. We should be more humble. At least I have studied the main issues I write about and I try to be truthful and fair. Can't be perfect. There is a great difference between the occasional mistake an earnest historian will make, or that I will make, and the constant manipulation by the major media.

I would welcome more comments by readers to keep me on my toes. Have I gone too far or sound too cocksure? Flaws in my logic?

"ISRAELI LEADERS MISSED OPPORTUNITIES"

Israeli leaders are said to have missed opportunities for peace. What opportunities? Arab leaders never wanted peace but conquest. They might have made more one-sided agreements against Israeli national security, just like the agreements they did make and break. Those agreements did not provide security; they reduced security and the chance for peace. The treaty with Jordan was not consequential, since Jordan already had wanted no terrorists to raid Israel and invoke Israeli retaliation in Jordan.

IRAN SMUGGLES ARMS

UNO sanctions against Iran prohibit its export of arms or materials for making weapons. The US caught an Iranian ship loaded with weapons (IMRA, 3/11).

That's the country that Pres. Obama thinks he is going to make friends with.

SEC. CLINTON DAMNS WITH PRAISE

In her visit to the P.A., Sec. Clinton effusively praised its Prime Minister. This made him seem to be a tool of the US, just as Arabs think the P.A. President Abbas is. The rest of Fatah resented the praise as US interference. PM Fayyad subsequently resigned (Arutz-7, 3/11).

Guess she is not experienced enough. How much study does the State Dept. give its diplomats in preparation for working in Muslim Arab cultures?

She doesn't praise Israel much. She routinely interferes with Israel by criticizing.

Isn't terrorist Pakistan a more important problem for the Sec. of State to work on?

DEDUCING FROM POLLS

Ehud Barak was elected on a platform of keeping Jerusalem indivisible. Then he offered to divide it. A pollster reported that the Israeli public readily accepted that shift (Thomas Friedman, NY Times, 3/25).

They didn't accept it. They defeated Barak next time they got a chance to vote. They were disappointment by his betrayal of national security. They still don't accept division of Jerusalem. There is no basis for Mr. Friedman's and the pollster's belief, but it helps advance their case for Israeli territorial cession.

DEDUCING FROM UNO REPORTS

"...in a report presented to the Human Rights Council on Monday, the UN special rapporteur for the occupied territories (sic), Richard Falk, concluded that Israel's recourse to force in Gaza was not legally justified given the diplomatic alternatives available, and that it was 'potentially a crime against peace." (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 3/24). Ms. Kershner omitted that Mr. Falk wasn't allowed into Israel because of his pre-conceived, extreme bias against Israel. There is no "crime against peace." Peace was broken by Hamas, which initiated religious war and ended its ceasefire. Self-defense against a terrorist organization is lawful. There is nothing to negotiate with genocidal fanatics. If the UNO were decent, it would be rallying the world against terrorists instead of against their victims.

NOTION OF FATAH MODERATION

The ZOA initiated in Congress resolutions calling upon Abbas, head of Fatah, "...to rescind Fatah's murderous, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic Constitution." The resolution quoted from articles in that Constitution:

"(4) The Palestinian Struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism and international imperialism;"

"(7) The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial and aggressive in ideology, goals, organization and method;"

"(8) The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism;"

"12) Complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence;"

"(17) Armed, public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine;"

"(19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab people's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated;"

"(22) Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian Cause or impose any international mandate on its people;"

"(23) Maintaining relations with Arab countries...with the proviso that the armed struggle is not negatively affected."

"(24) Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist Zionism and imperialism;"

"25) Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem." (ZOA Report, spring 2009, p.6.)

This isn't specifically antisemitic, except in calling "racist" Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement. Amidst the defamation and old-fashioned phraseology about "imperialism," omitting, of course, Islamic imperialism, is the key point that Abbas' Fatah wants to destroy the Jewish state. Contrast those facts with the NY Times (Robert F. Worth, 3/24) assertion of "Fatah's moderate stance toward Israel!"

EGYPT-ISRAEL NON-AGGRESSION PACT

This is the 30th anniversary of the non-aggression treaty between Egypt and Israel. Here is the Israeli Foreign Ministry's description of the treaty. Sadat accepted PM Begin's offer of peace, setting an example for the region. The two countries benefit from the resulting open dialogue. Their armies and leaders consult each other. They promote mutual trade; Israel trained thousands of Egyptian farmers. "Other areas of bilateral cooperation, albeit somewhat limited, are the areas of tourism, transportation, communications and health." "Despite the solid foundations of Israeli-Egyptian relations, there are still many goals to be achieved. The primary objective is building stronger bonds of mutual understanding and tolerance between the two peoples, fostering a broader cultural dialogue, and the development of a culture of peace."

Dr. Aaron Lerner commented, "The Israel Foreign Ministry declines to mention one of the major 'achievements' of the treaty: the arming of Egypt to the teeth with the most advanced weapons the United States can supply to them for free (including mobile anti-aircraft systems to provide cover for an invasion of Israel — something that they regularly practice)." Another omission: "The ongoing Egyptian failure to stop the flow of weapons from Egypt to Gaza..." (IMRA, 3/24.)

Israel trained Egyptians. What has Egypt done for Israel? Blocked most tourists and trade. Egypt still has a culture of intolerance and violence.

The armies consult, but Egypt prepares to invade Israel and it lets terrorists get arms with which to attack Israel. Not a happy relationship.

The leaders consult, but Egypt leads the diplomatic offensive against Israel. "Open dialogue?" No; when Israel complains about Egypt letting arms get to Hamas, Egypt threatens to break relations. This is a relationship between Muslims, who consider their religion the only true one, and an infidel state whose existence Muslims consider an affront to their religious imperialist designs.

Israel engages in wishful thinking. That is the way to get conquered.

ISRAELI MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH

Israeli surgeons welded wounds shut by beaming a surgical laser on albumen placed over the wound. This is much safer and surer than sewing the skin closed (Jewish Political Chronicle, Winter 2009, p.58, from Judy Siegel, Jer. Post, 11/25/08).

Israel makes many medical breakthroughs, rarely gets credit for it. Nothing has yet come of Israel's claim to have found how to neutralize radioactive waste. Feeling the pinch at the grocery store? Make dinner for $10 or less. Feeling the pinch at the grocery store? Make dinner for $10 or less. Feeling the pinch at the grocery store? Make dinner for $10 or less. Feeling the pinch at the grocery store? Make dinner for $10 or less.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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WHY I AM A BAD JEW
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 30, 2009.

This was written by Rami Kaminski, MD, Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York City. Rami Kaminski, MD, is Director and Founder of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York, a not-for-profit organization aimed at evaluating current psychiatric services and how they integrate with medicine, such as the mutual effects between medical and psychiatric conditions. He was for many years Director of The Schizophrenia research Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Dr. Kaminiski also served as the Medical Director of the PMHP and consultant to the committee in charge of developing the Special Needs Program.

 

For centuries, we lived in Berdichev. In the brutal Ukrainian winter of 1941, SS soldiers arrived there and rounded up eighty-seven members of my family — babies, young adults, octogenarians — stripped them naked, marched them to a nearby ditch, and executed them. Their lifeless bodies fell silently into a mass grave.

Like most Jews in Europe, my family "cooperated" with the Final Solution. They did not resist or fight back. Six million Jews were slaughtered in a period of four years. They received little sympathy while they were still alive and hunted down like animals. There was no public outcry because the Holocaust fit the world's narrative for Jews during the past 2000 years: a people destined to be persecuted and slaughtered.

During their two millennia in the Diaspora, Jews were not known to resist. There are few recorded instances in which Jews turned against their host nations or retaliated against their murderers. Instead, the survivors — if there were any — were expelled or left for another place. The murdered were regarded as "good" Jews. They accepted their fate helplessly, without resistance.

Not true...........over the centuries Jews did resist and fought extensive battles

This narrative of the Jews has played out on the historical stage with boring monotony: Jews get killed because they are Jews. Nothing novel about it. After the Holocaust, however, the world, disgusted by this particularly ghoulish period of history, accorded some sympathy for the Jews. Media commentary about the ongoing Gaza War reveals the world has now reverted to its pre-Holocaust perspective. Today, the only good Jew is a powerless Jew willing to become a dead one. The Zionist Revolution is to blame. It changed everything. Jews re-created their own country. The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler's genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again. Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.

With Zionism, the Jews stubbornly refused to follow the centuries-old script. They refuse to be killed without resistance. As a result, the world has become increasingly enraged at their impertinence.

The recent events in Gaza and Mumbai make this plain. In 2005, Israel eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it "Judenrein," and handed it over to the Palestinians.

Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel's withdrawal was complete.

Where these structures once stood, the Palestinians built military bases and installed rocket launchers to shell Israeli civilians. To date, some 7,000 missiles have fallen on Israeli cities and towns, killing and maiming dozens, and sowing widespread terror. Medical studies reveal nearly all Jewish children in the communities bordering Gaza suffer from serious, trauma-induced illness.

The Gazan Palestinians then elected Hamas to lead them. Hamas proceeded to kill or imprison their political rivals, and its leaders, true to the Hamas charter, were unabashed in clearly stating their aims: they will not stop until they achieve their Final Solution, kill all the Jews, take over the land of Israel, and establish a theocracy governed by Islamic law.

As killing Jews for being Jews has been a national sport for centuries, Islamic militants are justified in believing they are merely fulfilling historical tradition in Argentina, India and Gaza. Surely the Jews in Mumbai did not occupy Gaza. They were tortured and killed just for being Jews. And predictably, in the eyes of the world, they immediately became good Jews, just like my murdered family in Bertishev.

Good Jews would wait until Hamas has weapons enabling its members to achieve their ultimate goal of absolute mass murder. Those enraged by Israel's defensive military action insist Hamas uses only "crude" rockets, as if Qassams were BB guns, and military inferiority were somehow equivalent with moral superiority.

In fact, Hamas now has Iranian-supplied Grad missiles which have landed on Be'er Sheva and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Westerners have had only sporadic exposure to the indiscriminant killing in the name of "holy war" which Israel has lived with for years. Memories of 9-11, Madrid, and London have dimmed. This is not because the Islamic militants made a careful choice of weapons. They simply have not yet acquired nuclear bombs. Once they do, the West will develop a less detached view about the Islamists' professed intentions for the "infidels."

The only enlightened people in the civilized world who actually get it are the Israelis. They've not had time for detached philosophical ponderings. They've been too busy confronting the reality of Islamic fundamentalism.

Soon, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It will give them to Hezbollah and Hamas. Today, Jews must take a position: either be "good" Jews willing to be slaughtered without resistance, or be "bad" Jews who defend themselves at the cost of being pariahs of our enlightened world. Good Jews would wait for another six million to be murdered, and pick up to leave for another country to start the cycle again. The bad ones refuse to go calmly into the ditch.

I confess: I'm a bad Jew.

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IRAN HAS ASSEMBLED NETWORK OF LOBBYISTS THAT HAS 'PENETRATED' ADMINISTRATION
Posted by Barbara Sommer, March 29, 2009.
 

WASHINGTON — The number of significant pro-Iran lobbyists has grown and key players have gained access to the new administration of President Barak Obama, a report said.

The Center for Security Policy said veteran Iranian lobbyists, several of them former government officials, have been granted access to the Obama administration.

"A complex network of individuals and organizations with ties to the clerical regime in Teheran is pressing forward in seeming synchrony to influence the new U.S. administration's policy towards the Islamic republic of Iran," the report, titled "Rise of the Iran Lobby," said.

"Spearheaded by a de facto partnership between the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs' party line, the network includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world."

The report, authored by Clare Lopez, said the lobbyists have been funneling money to key members of Congress as well as penetrating the Obama administration. The lobbyists were said to be supported by the highest level of the Iranian leadership.

"Of special concern is the growing penetration of the Obama administration by a number of individuals with such associations," the report said. "Specifically, the de facto alliance between CAIR, one of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates named by the U.S. Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials, and groups such as NIAC and its predecessor, the American-Iranian Council, which long have functioned openly as apologists for the Iranian regime, must arouse deep concern that U.S. national security policy is being successfully targeted by Jihadist entities hostile to American interests."

The report said the establishment of the Iranian lobby took about a decade as it has sought to recruit prominent American academics to support the Teheran regime. Today, the report said, key figures in such U.S. think tanks as the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for Science and International Security and the Woodrow Wilson Center have become supporters of a diplomatic approach toward a nuclear Iran.

Obama began talks with the Iranian lobby during his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. The report, based on open sources, said Obama met a leading pro-Iranian lobbyist, Hassam Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, in May 2008. Since then, Obama has been appointing or preparing to name such leading pro-Iranian speakers such as Richard Haas, Vali Nasr, Dennis Ross to senior positions in the administration. Ross has been selected to be Obama's special envoy to Iran.

"That so many respected Middle East and foreign policy experts seem to have bought into the Iranian regime's agenda is testament to the extraordinarily effective information operation that has been waged against U.S. national security interests by the Iran Lobby's network over the last several years," the report said.

Charles Freeman, appointed chairman of the National Intelligence Council, was identified as a key member of the Iranian lobby. Others cited by the report were U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, a predecessor, Thomas Pickering, [Ret.] Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering, former National Security Council official Gary Sick, former Rep. Robert Ney and Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat.

Ney, convicted of accepting bribes in 2006, was directed by his then-aide Trita Parsi, who later became a key pro-Iranian lobbyist and president of the National Iranian-American Council. The report identified Parsi, a Swedish-Iranian, as a leading organizer in winning support for a U.S. rapproachment with Iran from prominent Americans, many of whom with access to Obama.

"Under the leadership of Mr. Obama's prospective National Intelligence Council chairman, Chas Freeman, the Middle East Policy Council has closely aligned with Trita Parsi's NIAC in urging the U.S. to adopt an agenda of dialogue and rapprochement with Teheran," the report which was written before Freeman withdrew from the post said.

"It is inconceivable that a man as publicly and closely aligned with the views of Iran and its agents of influence in America will be able to exercise truly independent judgment about what the mullahs are up to, let alone offer objective intelligence analysis about how best to contend with them."

U.S. oil majors have also backed a new American policy that supports the Teheran regime. The report cited the American-Iranian Council, founded more than a decade ago with support from Aramco, Chevron Texaco, and Conoco Phillips.

"At present, a major objective of the Iran lobby is to weaken U.S. support for Israel," the report said. "The lobby advocates permitting the Iranian nuclear weapons program to push forward with no serious consequences, while urging an 'evenhanded' policy that would ban all nuclear weapons from the Middle East region. An impressive array of prominent think tanks and Middle East experts has been lining up to echo this party line."

"If the Obama administration does not hear a persuasive alternative position, cogently presented, and soon, Iran's carefully-crafted clandestine intelligence operation to exercise effective control over America's Iran policy could succeed — to the profound detriment of U.S. national interests and those of our friends and allies in the Middle East region and around the world."

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 29, 2009.
 

For the second time now, the EU has delivered a message that its relationship with Israel will suffer if we do not maintain a "two state solution" stance.

Not long ago, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solan said that the EU might re-evaluate its relationship with Israel if the new government isn't committed to a "two-state solution."

On Friday, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, said if the new Israeli government does not commit itself to establishing a Palestinian state, "relations would become very difficult indeed."

"At one of our next ministerial meetings we would have to discuss what consequences the EU would draw from that."

And the Czechs were said to be our friends. Threatening friends is not nice.

~~~~~~~~~~

Said Schwarzenberg, "Both parties must stick to their commitments from the past: A two-state solution and all agreements reached over the past few years."

So in theory he's holding both sides to former commitments. But in reality he chooses to overlook that fact that there is no one with whom Israel might negotiate a "two-state solution." There is still not one address for the Palestinians and should there be a unity government it would adhere to Hamas policy, which says no end to terrorism, no commitment to former agreements of the PLO, no recognition of Israel.

In fact, things are so bad that Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan has admitted that even FATAH never recognized Israel's right to exist, only the PLO did. Fatah was just along for the ride, while maintaining its own obstructionist policy.

So, given this, why — why!! — should the EU, if it is balanced in its approach, expect us to continue to support that non-starter, a "two state solution?

The answer is that the EU, whatever lip service it gives to being balanced, in fact is not. The EU is on the cusp of recognizing Hamas if it just "respects" former agreements. And it is promoting that unity government, without giving due attention to what it will stand for.

Its eyes are closed, willfully.

~~~~~~~~~~

Which leads us to yet one more examination of where Netanyahu stands on this.

It is making news here that "sources" report that in coalition negotiations he refused a request to say there would be no "two-state solution."

I knew then that this would have prevented the entry of Labor into the coalition, which is something Netanyahu sought. Furthermore, it would have labeled us, within the international community, as right wing obstructionist. The stand of the EU is an early sign of this.

The question remains one not of what he would or would not put into a coalition agreement — but of what he will and will not sign off on in real time.

He countenances something short of a genuine sovereign state for the Palestinians. And I find, looking back, that he's been quite consistent on this. He says we shouldn't rule them, but they should not have the power to bring us harm. To that end he envisions a Palestinian entity that is internally autonomous — electing mayors, having a police force, managing their own schools, etc. The restrictions he would put on this entity are several: no army, no control of their air or electromagnetic space, no right to make treaties, etc. In addition, we keep all of Jerusalem, united, and maintain strategic areas in Judea and Samaria. And there is that small matter of incitement of PA children to jihad via their textbooks.

If he holds to this, there will be no deal at all, as this is less than the Palestinians will accept.

~~~~~~~~~~

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has gone on the offensive with regard to this, in a Washington Post op-ed. The PA is for peace, you see, and Israel is not. Unfortunately some Washington Post readers will buy this. The only thing that is acceptable is a fully sovereign Palestinian state based on (please note!) '67 lines. Otherwise there will be no peace deal and it will be Israel's fault.

There is, of course, no mention of the PA meeting its obligations.

~~~~~~~~~~

We are being told that our new government will be sworn in on Tuesday, but, as I write, Netanyahu still hasn't decided which of the few available ministry posts which of the big names in Likud will be offered. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Moshe Ya'alon has now said that he joined Likud and agreed to run in the elections because Netanyahu told him he needed him. But as that may not be the case, he may resign. He has been publicly very gracious but must be steaming (with reason) at almost being named Defense Minister and then seeing it go to Barak.

Negotiations with UTJ have apparently broken down because the party refused the Health Ministry it was offered. No mention of the National Union, which has toughened its stance again after the dismantlement of the Meoz Esther outpost next to Kochav HaShachar last week.

~~~~~~~~~~

I reported very recently about an attack we apparently made (there is no official confirmation) on a convoy of Iranian weapons traveling across Sudan to Egypt and destined for Gaza. A great deal more information has surfaced since then:

ABC, citing an unnamed US official, on Friday night released a report that Israel carried out three different aerial attacks to stop the transfer of weapons to Gaza: two hit convoys in the desert in Sudan — on January 27th and February 11th, and subsequently one hit a ship at sea.

If this information is reliable, it is most reassuring both with regard to our intelligence and our readiness to act.

Today's Sunday Times (London), citing Israeli security officials, reports that our air force used drones — UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) — to carry out the attacks. It says that Hermes 450 drones, accompanied by huge Eitan UAVs, were used. The advantage of a drone over a plane for a mission like this, which involves hitting a moving target, is that a drone can hover for up to 24 hours at great heights where it cannot be seen, until its target is in place; it is controlled by satellite.

According to the Times, this smuggling operation had been masterminded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who paid local smugglers well to do the job. The convoys were carrying Fajr-3 rockets, which — with a range of 40 miles — have the capacity to reach Tel Aviv. They had been manufactured in pieces and were to be assembled by Hamas experts in Gaza who had been trained in Iran and Syria.

~~~~~~~~~~

Americans: You might want to point out to President Obama what Iran's role was here, and remind him that soft-pedaling it with Iran will give this terrorist-promoting nation more latitude to do damage. Demand that Israel be supported in her right to defend herself.

Fax: 202-456-2461 White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111
e-mail form via: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

~~~~~~~~~~

A number of defense issues are making news:

  • The Iron Dome — a short-range missile defense system — tested well last week, intercepting mock Katyushas and Kassams. It is slated for deployment in the north , against Hezbollah missiles, and in south, against Hamas missiles. The system is slated to be operational in 2010, and there is now thought being given within the Air Force to establishing a Battalion to operate this defense system by the end of 2009.

  • Israel has had her eye on American F-22 fighters, the ultimate in stealth fighter jets, for a long time. However, Congress has forbidden foreign sales of these jets — which operate successfully in enemy air space because of a combination of factors, including shape, color, and the composite materials it's composed of.

    Now there is some speculation that Congress may change the rules because foreign sales would be needed to keep the project afloat.

    -

      Israel is concerned about the delivery from Russia to Syria of advanced MIG 31E fighter jets — something that the Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency reports is coming soon. When news of a possible sale of these jets to Syria surfaced in 2007, Moscow denied it.

      Until now Syria's air force has been obsolete. Prospective delivery of these fighter planes, which can fly at almost three times the speed of sound while simultaneously shooting at several targets, is worrisome.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Again, rumors fly with regard to negotiations on Shalit. The Olmert government presumably has two days left, and it is considered exceedingly unlikely that anything can happen in this very narrow window of time. But key Israeli negotiator Ofer Dekel left the country yesterday to parts unknown; this has prompted speculation that he has gone to Cairo for last minute talks.

    Our government is denying this, saying that Hamas has not submitted new names to replace the names of prisoners we will not release, and so negotiations are deadlocked.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Our Cabinet, just today, approved a proposal by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to impose sanctions on Hamas members in our prisons.

    Friedman said: "Just because we're the only democracy in the Middle East, doesn't mean we have to be the only suckers. We must not radiate weakness."

    Bless him for this.

    From now on prisoners' benefits would be cut to the "legal minimum" — according to both international and local law.

    Family visitation would be reduced to the legal minimum, and the Red Cross would still be permitted to visit prisoners.

    But there would be no more television and radio rights, and no more opportunity to study [towards a degree]. This last has always made me crazy: men who have Jewish blood on their hands able to work towards a degree in our prisons? Suckers, indeed. Bleeding hearts.

    I see no indication of the rule regarding prisoner use of cell phones, which enables them to be in touch with their comrades on the outside.

    Said MK Meir Sheetrit on this: "It's not reasonable that Shalit is living [in the Gaza Strip] without seeing his parents and Hamas prisoners live here almost like they're in kindergarten."

    So what took so long? This now must be passed into law.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    A look at our "partner for peace":

    Last Wednesday, the 13 members, aged 11 through 18, of the "Strings for Freedom" orchestra located in the Jenin refugee camp played a concert for elderly Holocaust survivors in the Israeli town of Holon.

    Palestinian children from the...

    AP

    Lovely, yes?

    Depends on whom you ask.

    The PA has now dismantled the orchestra, boarded up the apartment where the orchestra practiced, and banned the conductor, Wafa Younis, from the camp.

    Younis, 50, of the Arab village Ara inside of Israel, apparently made the arrangements with help from another Israeli Arab woman. This was done for "Good Deeds Day," sponsored annually by an Israeli organization. She told the survivors gathered that the children would sing a song for peace before playing their instruments.

    Leaders in the camp joined in condemning the orchestra's participation; they said they saw this as an exploitation of children for "political purposes."

    Adnan al-Hinda, director of the Popular Committee for Services in the camp, said that "suspicious elements" were behind this event — people seeking to "impact the national culture of the young generation and cast doubt about the heroism and resistance of the residents of the camp during the Israeli invasion in April 2002." This was a "dangerous matter" because it was directed against the cultural and national identity of the Palestinians.

    Ramzi Fayad, a spokesman for various political factions in the Jenin camp, said all of the groups he represented were strongly opposed to any form of normalization with Israel.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The Jenin camp was a hotbed of terrorism a few years ago, and thus was a major target of IDF operations in Defensive Shield in 2002. That is what is being referred to above. The orchestra was established to raise morale.

    But this entire scenario raises several thoughts and questions for me.

    It strikes me with particular potency that these Palestinians are identifying resistance against soldiers who were seeking to weed out terrorists as a part of their culture that requires protection. This tells us a great deal.

    I asked myself why being kind to elderly Holocaust survivors, and singing a song of peace to them, was perceived as diminishing Palestinian "bravery" in a completely different context. And I moved toward a conclusion that it was the promotion of peace by children of the camp that was disturbing, as it was perceived as undermining that "resistance" mentality, which they are not yet prepared to release. Also teaches us a lot.

    And then there is the whole issue of the Holocaust, and an acknowledgement that it happened and that Jews suffered. The youngsters in the orchestra in the main had never heard of the Holocaust. In the eyes of the Palestinian leaders involved, it would seem that an acknowledgement of Jewish suffering diminishes or undercuts their self-image as a suffering people enduring victimhood — definitely a key part of their culture as well.

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

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UNRWA, WHERE IS THE MONEY going?
Posted by Barbara Taverna, March 29, 2009.

This article was posted by Anav Silverman and is archived at
http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/rocketlife/entry/unrwa_where_is_the_money

 

In recent years, billions of dollars have poured into Gaza from hundreds of countries and international organizations. How much of that money has actually reached Palestinian civilians, effectively improving their quality of life and economy, has yet to be completely determined, thanks to vague audits and on-line information.

Only recently, with a relatively silent international press, have there been questions from top political leaders, primarily from the US, about the way in which the donor money will be transferred into Gaza.

At an Egyptian donors' conference organized by Norway and Egypt in early March, more than 75 international donors and organizations met to announce their financial support of the reconstruction in Gaza. Over $5.2 billion were pledged at the conference, surprising the Palestinian Authority, which had originally called for $2.8 billion.

In light of the US pledge of $900 million, the second largest following Saudi Arabia's $1b. pledge at the conference, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that no US funds earmarked for Gaza would end up in the "wrong hands."

By the wrong hands, Clinton meant Hamas, which has complete control of the Gaza Strip. Over $300m. dollars of the US pledge money will be going to Gaza reconstruction, while the rest has been earmarked for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

However, there is another set of "wrong hands" in this scenario through which the funds may very well pass, hands not considered to belong to a neutral player in the Arab-Israeli conflict. US State department spokesman Gordon Duguid stated that Gaza support would be provided through USAID, in coordination with UN agencies that will most likely include UNRWA. UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Works Agency, established in 1949 to aid Palestinian refugees, has shown dangerous partiality to Hamas terrorists.

In 2004, former UNRWA commissioner-General Peter Hansen revealed to the Canadian Broadcasting Company that UNRWA may very well employ Hamas members. "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as crime," Hansen infamously stated. He further added that "We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another."

UNRWA has employed several high profile terrorists. which include top Islamic Jihad rocket maker Awad al-Qiq, who was killed in an Israeli air strike last May. Al-Qiq was the headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. Another terrorist, Hamas's interior minister and head of the Executive Force, Said Siam, was a teacher for over two decades in UNRWA schools.

Fox News recently reported that UNRWA does not ask its employees whether they are members of, or affiliated with, a terrorist organization such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad. UNRWA also offers no formal screening to ensure that its employees are not affiliated with terrorist organizations.

During Operation Cast Lead, UNRWA officials accused Israel of firing into an UNRWA school, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians seeking refuge. Israel maintained that Palestinian rocket launchers located next to the school had fired mortars on IDF soldiers, which prompted the army's response. Later, UN official Maxwell Gaylord reversed the UN's stance, stating that the shelling and fatalities had actually taken place outside of the school. But the media damage to Israel had already been done.

Jonathan Halevi, a former IDF intelligence officer who specializes in Palestinian terrorist organizations, recently told Fox News he estimated that 60 percent of homicide bombers are educated in UNRWA schools. Past UNRWA textbooks blatantly deny the Jewish connection to Israel and are filled with anti-Semitic remarks.

In any case, the United States remains UNRWA's largest sponsor, providing the organization with over 75% of its initial budget, according to UNRWA's former senior legal advisor, James Lindsay.

Lindsay, who served as an attorney for the US Justice Department for two decades, asserts in an article for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy which was published January 29 that UNRWA is providing services to those who are actually not in need of them.

The almost 2 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan have Jordanian citizenship and are fully eligible for government services, but are continuing to receive UNRWA assistance as the agency regards them as refugees, according to Lindsay's report.

Michael Danby, a longstanding legislator in the Australian Parliament, has also accused UNRWA of being "notoriously corrupt." Since 2007, Australia has provided $30m. in funding for the Palestinians through the UNRWA agency, which Danby accused of diverting funds to "arms purchase, terrorist operations and anti-Israel incitement, as well as into the pockets of the PA leadership."

"It is a betrayal of that generosity [by Australians] for this money to be wasted, stolen, or misspent on rockets, guns and terrorism," Danby told the Australian Federal Parliament on February 26.

Other countries actively fundraising for Gaza include France, which hosted a Paris donors' conference for Abbas in December 2007. The conference raised over $7.4b. dollars in Palestinian aid (for a three-year period: 2008-2010) from over 90 countries and international organizations that attended. During 2008, over $3b. pledged at the conference were distributed through the PA.

But that's not all. By mid-January 2009, TV stations across the Arab world collected over half a billion dollars in a telethon for Gaza, according to Johan Eriksson, a spokesperson for the UN.

As the Gaza Strip will soon be teeming with money, world donors and leaders must ask the following question: Who will monitor the transfer of these funds and be accountable they are indeed effectively used for Gaza reconstruction and not for restoring Hamas's terror infrastructure?

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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EUROPE, WE HEAR YOU; NOW YOU HEAR THE WORD OF GOD
Posted by HandsFiasco, March 29, 2009.

This was written by Stan Goodenough, who is Editor in Chief of Jerusalem Newswire (www.jnewswire.com)

 

This is a message to the foreign minister of the Czech Republic and to his counterparts in the European Union, over which his government currently presides: Mr Karel Schwarzenberg,

Israel this weekend heard your clear and unequivocal message; your demand that its new government embrace and facilitate the division of Jewish lands for the creation of an Arab state; your warning that Israel will pay if it fails to acquiesce.

As the Jews went into their synagogues Friday evening to worship their God, you were loudly applauding the already-intensive efforts of the new Obama administration to oversee and direct the slicing and dicing of the Land He gave to them.

Once their Sabbath was over, observant Jews would have read about how your friend from Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, said: "We must tell the Israelis that it is not allowed to walk away from the peace process..."

You both came hard and fast behind the arrogant and bullying diktat that erupted from Javier Solana earlier this month, when he looked directly into the cameras and spelled out his message to Israel: "Let me say very clearly that the way the European Union will relate to an [Israeli] government that is not committed to a two-state solution will be very, very different."

Indeed, there was nothing at all unclear about that. But gentlemen, even clearer than your threats are God's words to Israel, and His warnings to you, concerning this land.

To Abraham, God repeatedly promises ownership forever of the land upon which you plot and plan to build a Palestinian state: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." (Genesis 12:8) And the LORD said to Abram, after lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are-northward, southward, eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." (Genesis 13:14,15,17)

Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:3,7,8) In Isaac this promise was established, when God told Abraham that: "... in Isaac [not Ishmael] your seed shall be called." (Genesis 21:12 c).

To Isaac the deed of the land was confirmed: Then the LORD appeared to him and said: "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; (Genesis 26:2,3,4)

Isaac passed on the covenant to Jacob when he blessed him:
"May God Almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples;
And give you the blessing of Abraham,
To you and your descendants with you,
That you may inherit the land
In which you are a stranger,
Which God gave to Abraham." (Genesis 28:3,4)

God changed Jacob's name to Israel, and confirmed that the covenant of the land was passed onto him and his descendants (and not to Ishmael, Esau or any of their descendants):

And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be
called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name." So He
called his name Israel. Also God said to him: "I am God
Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations
shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land
which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants
after you I give this land." (Genesis 35:10,11,12)

On his deathbed, Israel assured his son Joseph:
"Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you back
to the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to you one portion
above your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my
sword and my bow." (Genesis 48:21,22)

Joseph passed the promise onto his brothers:

And Joseph said to his brethren, "I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." (Genesis 50:24) God, citing His everlasting promise to the founding fathers of the nation of Israel, commissioned Moses to implement Joseph's words:

Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ˜The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.' Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ˜The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."' (Exodus 3:15-17)

And after the 12 Tribes of Israel had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, God passed the charge onto Joshua, saying: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory." (Joshua 1:2-4)

Israel conquered the Land" destroying and driving out its inhabitants in a way that doubtless would have appalled and enraged the EU, had you existed then, but in direct accordance with the instruction of the Creator of heaven and earth.

The nation took root and grew on this land. Here it was established and here, 3000 years ago, it made Jerusalem its capital. Because of the people's unfaithfulness towards God, He sent them into exile, but He never ended His covenant with them; never revoked their ownership of the land, and repeatedly promised through prophet after prophet to one day bring them back and establish them again inside their borders. "Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that it shall no more be said, "The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,' but, "The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.' For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers." (Jeremiah 16:14,15)

God gave them this land, exclusively and forever. He is keeping His promise to restore them to this land and, scoff though you may; it is in His purpose to make little Israel chief among all the nations of the world.

The "great" and arrogant nations you represent have two choices ahead of them: They will either serve Israel, or they will perish.

You might not believe in God, Messrs Solana, Schwarzenberg, and Asselhorn. You might disregard His word, sneer at it and dismiss it out of hand, it matters not.

You will stand before Him one day to give account for your actions. Your nations will be brought into the valley and be judged according to their treatment of the Jewish people and your dealings with their land.

"For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
I will also gather all nations,
And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
And I will enter into judgment with them there
On account of My people, My heritage Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
They have also divided up My land." (Joel 3:1,2)

Note that God continues:

"They have cast lots for My people," (v.3)
If you know the Bible, then you know what happened to another man and
nation that dared cast lots for the people of Israel.
Lot means Pur and as they have every year for millennia"
the Jewish people have just celebrated Purim, their deliverance and the destruction of Haman and those who had volunteered to implement his planned genocide of the Jews of Persia.

But to Zion (you know, from which word and place comes the universally-vilified movement called "Zionism"), God says:

"The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls,
And their kings shall minister to you;
For in My wrath I struck you,
But in My favor I have had mercy on you.
Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
They shall not be shut day or night,
That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
And their kings in procession.
For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
And those nations shall be utterly ruined. " (Isaiah
60:10,11,12)

These are not my words.
This is the word of the LORD.

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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OLIPHANT'S TRASH
Posted by Paul Lademain, March 28, 2009.
 

Re: Cartoonist Pat Oliphant's recent abhorrent, filthy and slanderous, cartoon against Israel and Jews.

Your editors apparently think its fashionable to leap onto the Saudi-boughten dog-pile regurgitating Islamic lies and Syrian slander about Jews and Israel.

We are the NON-evangelical Christians for Zion. By "Non-evangelical" we mean "secular". We are the majority, and our view is that one need NOT be a Jew (ethnic) or Jewish (religion) to support the brave people of Israel who are almost single-handedly combatting the Saudi- and UAE-funded arab infiltrators who slip into Gaza and the West Bank to use terrorism against unarmed civilians in their attempt to dismantle the State of Israel in order to steal its lands and its potentially rich off-shore gas fields. (Abdullah "the Saud" used the same terrorist techniques to seize the Arabian Peninsula in 1932.)

Pat Oliphant's purple nose should be rubbed, and rubbed hard, in historical facts as to how arab tribes use terrorism to conquer and loot. Their bloody habits began long before Mohammed declared himself their prophet; Mohammed merely justified pre-existing bloody savagery in the name of the religion that accreted around his sordid adventuring.

Pat Oliphant's trashy cartoon not only displays his ignorance of terrorism but also, how also how readily this man is capable of applying his narrow skills to promote the very same sort of lies that the Third Reich used for to demonize Jews in order to steal their "stuff" and systematically butcher them.

The New York Times owes Americans an apology for giving Pat Oliphant a forum to vent his malicious stupidity.

Naomi Ragen sent us a copy of your Tom Kuntz's tepid explanation for your tragic gaffe. His explanation is ridiculous — "oopsy" just won't do. We recommend something more along these lines: Pat Oliphant's name should be affixed to a cartoon of himself being slowly beheaded by his lovely arabs while masked Sudanese mercenaries videotape his slow death for the delectation of the same Islamic mob that orgasmed at reporter Danny Pearl's murder.

Every knows that the New York Times has fallen on hard times as a consequence of allowing its reach get to exceed its grasp. We are referring to the NYT beggaring itself via its real estate adventures and then shamelessly casting about for greasy arab money to help the NYT directors climb out of the hole they dug, which in turn reduces the newspaper to the status of a "dhimmi" who must lick the hand that feeds it. Which necessarily means that the NYT, in complete submission to arab money, is obliged to trash Jews and Israel. Assuming this is so, and we believe it is, how is the NYT any different from Eliot Spitzer, who prosecuted prostitution rings whilst consorting with whores?

Tom Kuntz's reply to Naomi Ragen is making the rounds of the Internet. It is insufficient. It is shamefully tepid. Were Jews possessed of the same medieval nature as today's Islamics, the NYT headquarters would by now have been reduced to a pile of smoking rubble.

We demand a full apology to the People of Israel, not this "oopsy — we made a mistake" rubbish.

Paul la Demain

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net

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OBAMA IS AS IF MESSIAH; VIDEO FOR VIDEO; MUSLIM VIOLENCE GLOSSED OVER
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 27, 2009.
 

RADICAL ISLAM IN U.S. PUTTING IT OVER ON AMERICANS

C.A.I.R., the organization that defends whatever radical Islam does and opposes whatever Israel does, and whose leaders foment terrorism, now lobbies locally. It visited New York's Mayor Bloomberg, to protest his supporting Israeli self-defense in Gaza. That self-defense was too hard on the bigots in Gaza.

He's supposedly intelligent. He had designs on the presidency. Why did he receive representatives of a pro-Islamist organization? Doesn't know they are extremist. He means to be fair to both sides. In fact, he is unfair, unfair to his own peoples — the Jewish and the American peoples. He's not half as sophisticated as he pretends.

LIBERAL STILL ACTS AS IF OBAMA IS MESSIAH?

Some of my friends campaigned for Obama. Shows how little influence I have. One of them recently asked me how I think he is doing. I replied, "Let's put it this way. In case we don't meet in the same after-world, later this year, I want to say we had some nice times together."

"What do you mean?" I explained that he is not stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons, and they should have one operational in a very few months. He's also continuing Sec. Rice's policy of turning so much Israeli land over to the Arabs, that they could conquer Israel and commit another Holocaust.

She responded, don't worry, Obama is going to make friends with the Muslims or buy them off, within 18 months. "They are not our enemies." No? Then why have they been attacking us and almost everyone, before Bush's time, committing genocide and ethnic cleansing? She said it's just the crazies. I said 20% of a billion people means 200 million crazies, and they control countries.

How naïve! The Islamists are no different from the Nazi totalitarians, which whom no real accommodation could be made. I urged, do the math: Obama expects to reach a non-aggression pact with Iran in 18 months, but they'll have nuclear weapons for a year before that. Poof goes New York!

We'll buy them off? I pointed out that they have more money than we, at present. They have been buying us off! Think of the withdrawn intelligence report maker, a former ambassador to S. Arabia. He heads a Saudi-financed lobbying institute. Many of our diplomats become consultants to S. Arabia. S. Arabia sets up mosques and madrassas here and elsewhere, to radicalize Muslims. S. Arabia donates textbooks to our schools. Those books spread their propaganda, too. S. Arabia, like Congress, helps endow university centers of Islamic studies. They take a pro-Arab line. Obama is worse than ordinary!

EVALUATING WHAT THE P.A. DID

Aganst Hamas, Abbas' P.A. arrested gunmen, seized weapons, and closed a training site and two underground facilities (Jewish Political Chronicle, winter 2009, p.12 from Jeffrey White, Washington. Inst. For N. E. Policy, 12/9/08).

Previously, the P.A. had done nothing against Hamas' terrorist apparatus, and had not improved Israeli security. How should we evaluate these seizures?

Too soon to. Too limited a action. The Arabs taking minor action for show, as when Egypt closed a few arms smuggling tunnels out of hundreds. The act is jus enough to gather a favorable headline.

Abbas, like Arafat, prefers to unity with Hamas against Israel.

TERRORISM IN YEMEN

Suicide bombers killed four S. Korean tourists in Yemen, on 3/16. They shot dead two Belgian tourists and driver in 1/2008. A suicide bomber killed eight Spaniards and two Yemenis in July, 2007. Bombings at the US Embassy killed 10, in September, 2008 and others on the USS Cole, in 2007! (NY Times, 3/16).

VIDEO FOR VIDEO

Arab videos portray Israelis negatively. The Israeli media portrays settlers negatively. In response, Arutz-7, the settler radio station, has developed a video about media-settler relations. The particular narration is fictional, but realistic. I think it is fun.

The video shows a reporter expelled from a settler's house. Indeed, most Jews in Judea-Samaria refuse to confer with journalists; they have found that journalists use the discussions to get local color in their smears of settlers.

In this video, the journalist is attacked by a terrorist. He pleads for the settler to rescue him. Settler joins him. Journalist urges him to shoot down "the dog." Replies the settler, I thought you liked Arabs, besides, I don't have a gun, since you urged the government to disarm settlers. Slyly, the journalist stands up to address the terrorist, explaining that as a leftist, he sympathizes with the Arabs. He ignores the settler's advice to take cover, because the terrorist doesn't care about his politics, only about his religious background. Settler knocks out journalist, to save him, then captures terrorist. Revived, the journalistr accuses settler of attacking him because of his views (Jewish political Chronicle, Winter 2009, p. 56 from Nadav Shragai, Haaretz, 12/9).

WHEN LIBERALS ARE SILENT

When something bothers liberals, they speak out. They believe they stand for honesty and justice.

Here's a test case of their sincerity. Dishonesty is utilized in behalf of injustice, when radicals accuse Israel of committing a holocaust in Gaza. The injustice is defamation. That defamation is in behalf of a Muslim people that, ironically, are trying to commit a holocaust against the Jews of Israel and beyond.

Do the liberals speak out against false accusations of genocide made against Israel? Do they demand that the US stop donating money to the accusers? Not that I heard.

Since the liberals don't speak out against such defamation, then apparently it doesn't bother them. Indeed, many liberals, and especially those further left, side with the Palestinian Arabs against Israel. It would take integrity to condemn people with whom they side. If they did condemn the Palestinian and other Arabs for wrongfulness, they would be kept busy at that. It wouldn't take long for people to learn from the frequent condemnations that peace cannot be made with the Arabs and concessions should not be made to the Arabs.

The liberals prefer to ignore the defamation, even though that defamation aims to: (1) Isolate Israel diplomatically, so as to precipitate its destruction; and (2) Inhibit Israeli self-defense against mass-murder of Jews.

Challenge liberals to speak out against the Palestinian Arabs, who defame Israel!

Note to Jewish leftists: when the Muslims become strong enough to carry their extermination program further, it won't help a Jewish leftist to protest that he was on the Arab side. The Muslim view of the Jews is racist, and one's political views do not cancel out one's alleged genes.

WHAT "COMPROMISE"

The media has slipped into a slanted phrasing that calls all the agreements Israel makes with the Arabs "compromises." The media does not state what the Arabs contributed to the pot. Indeed, the Arabs did not compromise.

In some cases, the Arabs did not get some of what they had demanded. But Israel got nothing. Therefore, the Arabs did not compromise. Besides, what Arabs demand is that Israel make itself vulnerable to Arab conquest, hence their demands are not valid. Challenge the media to stop such slanted phrasing!

SYRIA & OIL

Not known as an oil extracting state, Syria once pulled up 600,000 barrels a day. Although it earns 20% of its income from oil, it now produces only 380,000 barrels a day. It probably consumes that much, itself.

The US has removed a couple of sanctions on Syria, to signify willingness to improve relations (IMRA, 3/9).

MUSLIM DESECRATION IN HEBRON

On special occasions, the IDF gives Muslims exclusive use of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The Muslims vandalize Jewish holy books or other items and even furniture and pipes. The IDF guards outside can view this on closed circuit TV. They do not act against the vandalism.

The Hebron Jewish community urges the government to refuse the next Muslim request for exclusive use of the Cave. Imagine the uproar if after the Jews had exclusive use, Muslims came in to find their apparatus wrecked? (Hebrew Jewish Community, 3/9 & IMRA, 3/10.)

MUSLIM VIOLENCE GLOSSED OVER

Sweden reports a 50% increase in rapes there, in 2004. Malmo police find that 68 percent of the rapists were minorities (i.e., Muslims). As Islamic scholar Robert Spencer has noted, Islamic teaching views rape as a legitimate act against women and girls who behave in "non-Islamic" ways. In much of Scandinavia as well as in Muslim neighborhoods in France, women have begun wearing veils in order to protect themselves against roving gangs of... Muslims."

Apologists for Islam attribute Muslim rioting and defilement of women to IDF operations in Gaza. Nonsense! It results from their pathological culture, which condone the violence, and from "...Western governments and intellectuals who make excuses for it. ALL OF THIS is hidden away from the public thanks to Western liberals' willingness to accept the legitimacy of events like Israel Apartheid Week." Discussion about Muslim crime "...is diverted to false allegations against Israel. Any attempt to point out that Hamas is genocidal; that Iran stones women to death and systematically executes homosexuals; that Saudi Arabia is the most repressive society on the planet; that Egypt permits and indeed encourages female genital mutilation; that Jordan does not prosecute fathers, sons, husbands and uncles who murder their female relatives; is attacked and delegitimized. Those who raise these issues are accused of hating Muslims and of being secret Zionist agents. So too, Islamic violence in the West is swept under the rug (Caroline Glick in IMRA, 3/9). Oh for freedom of press!

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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FROM ISRAEL: IT STINKS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 27, 2009.
 

IDF forces, under orders from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, together with police, went into the community of Kochav HaShachar yesterday and destroyed four buildings in the start-up neighborhood of Meoz Esther. They then moved south, and destroyed another house in Ma'aleh Shlomo.

Kochav HaShachar ("morning star") is part of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council in Samaria, at the edge of a mountain range overlooking the Jordan Valley. The outposts that were destroyed are surrounded on the east and west by barren hills, and on the north by Bedouin squatter encampments; some 18 miles to the south is Jerusalem.

~~~~~~~~~~

Government authorities have stated that the outposts were "illegal." But it must be understood how political this judgment is. There is a broad impression that some communities are legal and some illegal — white and black. But it's a matter of permits. Some communities have all permits, which renders them obviously "legal," but it's almost always the case that even those that are termed "illegal" have some. A permit to build a road, or to bring in water pipes or electricity. Which means some ministries in the government signed on, somehow. The government can work to make sure the community secures its final permits, or can point its finger and say: Ah ha! You have no right to be here. That is a politically motivated decision.

~~~~~~~~~~

It must be emphasized that these fledgling communities that we're talking about — the charges of Peace Now not withstanding — are not built on privately owned Palestinian land. There have been no communities erected on private Palestinian land for over 30 years.

It must also be emphasized that — again, left wing claims aside — there is nothing "illegal" about Jews building in Judea and Samaria. This land is unassigned Mandate land, and our claim to it is strong. The Mandate specifically endorsed settlement by Jews across the land.

This is NOT Palestinian land, regardless of what the PR of the Palestinians maintains. Yet much of the world, and our own left wing, has bought this narrative now. Nothing in the Oslo Agreements forbade additional Jewish building in Judea and Samaria. And it is the Oslo Agreements, and only those agreements, that the government of Israel is bound to by virtue of having signed.

Should we — however foolishly — decide to cede this land or part thereof to the Palestinians in a final agreement, then and only then would what was ceded become Palestinian land. Not now. And as you may have noticed, the Palestinians have shunned every opportunity for a deal they don't really want. They wish only to diminish us and harrass us, and delegitimize us.

And our defense minister is serving as their tool in this act.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Binyamin Residents Committee put out a statement in response to the destruction: "This is apparently the gift that Barak wishes to give on the eve of his entry into the [new] government...This is his usual modus operandi: Every time the left attacks him, he gives them a consolation prize in the form of evicting Jews."

This may be so: Barak has been roundly criticized on the left for joining a right-wing government. Is this his way of showing how "tough" he is against settlers, to mollify that left wing?

~~~~~~~~~~

To know how much this really stinks, it's important to know what was destroyed:

One of the four structures leveled in Meoz Esther was a Torah study hall/synagogue dedicated in memory of Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav HaShachar, murdered in the Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav massacre just over a year ago.

How does a Jewish army destroy a synagogue? A synagogue, yet, dedicated to the memory of a young man who was sitting and studying Jewish texts when he was gunned down.

Another of the buildings destroyed in Meoz Esther was the home of the daughter of Esther (Ettie) G'alyah, and her family. Esther G'alyah had been a resident of Kochav HaShachar and was murdered by terrorists in 2002; the outpost was named in her memory.

Arutz Sheva quotes an observer to the scene, who said: "There was a time when building a new Jewish locale in the Land of Israel was widely considered the proper Zionist response to terrorism, but at least in this case, the opposite appears to be true..."

~~~~~~~~~~

In the course of 16 months, Meoz Esther has been put up and taken down four times. People in Kochav HaShachar are ready to start again. Where Zionist dedication persists, it has been my observation that sometimes the people win.

Strength to them.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are articles suggesting that this is a sign of things to come. Maybe. But I don't feel we know this yet. Yes, Barak — most regrettably — will still be defense minister in the new government. But Netanyahu and not Olmert will be prime minister, and the majority of the coalition will be to the right.

What happens with this new government still depends, at least in part, on how that majority asserts itself.

It also depends on whether Netanyahu has sold out to the left in order to secure Barak in his government.

~~~~~~~~~~

There is a great deal more to write about, but Shabbat preparations call. After Shabbat, other topics...

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

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SUNSET
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, March 27, 2009.
 

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il and visit
http://fred343-enjoy.blogspot.com/ and http://fred343-fredfoolswithfotos.blogspot.com/ to see other examples of his graphic art.

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ANTI-ZIONISM AS ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE
Posted by Raphael Israeli, March 27, 2009.

This is archived at
http://www.icjs-online.org/index.php?eid=5699&ICJS=6031&article=1885

 

Since the 1980s several high level European politicians have made radical anti-Semitic declarations which accorded with Arab and Muslim positions. In a public statement in 1982, Greek Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou compared Israelis to Nazis. But no mainstream European leader went as far as Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti, many times the Prime Minister and then the President of Italy, who declared in Geneva, during an inter-parliamentary conference in 1984,his support for a Saddam Hussein's Iraqi motion, which equated Zionism with racism, supported the boycotting of Israel, and defended the right of the "armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine [that is terrorism]. Italy was then the only Western country to vote with the Soviet Bloc for this motion. Later, such occurrences became even more frequent.

In April 2002, Franco Cavalli spoke at a demonstration of the Swiss-Palestinian Society in Bern. He was then the parliamentary leader of the Social Democratic Party (SP), which is part of the Swiss government coalition. He claimed that Israel, "very purposefully massacres an entire people" and undertakes the "systematic extermination of the Palestinians." Was he ignorant of the comparatively higher number of Palestinians massacred by the Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, and their own infighting, or did his anti-Semitism drive him to ignore the numbers? Or could he not explain why the Israelis were so inadequate and impotent at "annihilating" the Palestinians, that they are stronger and more numerous than ever before. Senior members of the Greek Socialist Party routinely used Holocaust rhetoric to describe Israeli military actions against Arabs, even when they are defensive in nature. In March, Parliamentary Speaker in Athens, Apostolos Kaklamanis, referred to the "genocide" of the Palestinians, forgetting that no one people can undergo so many genocides and still survive. Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat MP in the U.K. declared at a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in 2004 that she might consider becoming a "suicide bomber" if she lived in the Palestinian territories. But in contrast to the other cases, which remained undisputed, her party distanced itself from her statement, explaining that it did not condone terrorism.

Raising the very question of Israel's legitimacy, or even "recognizing its right to exist," in itself carries a connotation of suspicion, uncertainty, hesitation, temporariness, and remonstration, as if it were under probation, like a criminal on parole, who has to prove constantly that he deserves his freedom. If Israel concedes, withdraws, shrinks back to its "natural size" (as the Egyptians would have it), obeys, effaces itself, admits "guilt" or plies to, in short behaves like a dhimmi of old, then it is considered by the nations of the world as peaceful, reasonable, moderate, and conciliatory. But when she stands up to her enemies, demands that her rights, territory, heritage, security, people, way of life, and sovereignty be safeguarded and respected, then the world is amazed at her arrogance, self-assertion, aggression, selfishness, spirit of rebellion, fanaticism, extremism, and disregard of others. When diplomats and world leaders admit Israel's right to exist (thank you), this is often taken as a special favor to her and some Jews are happy at the daily confirmation of that favor, which they never take as a matter of natural right. The dhimmi spirit that they perpetuate dictates to them a grateful mode of behavior towards anyone who condescends to affirm what otherwise would have been considered a matter of course. Perhaps that is the reason why sixty years after Independence Jews continue to express in their national anthem the "hope" of attaining freedom in their land. They cannot believe they already have it.

Consider this: a major or minor world leader tells Israel that she has the right to exist, but she ought to evacuate territory, allow Palestinian refugees to go back to their previous homes, give up her defences, (fences) and depend on international guarantees. This means that her right to exist is conditional on her meeting certain expectations even if they run contrary to her interests or to her very chances of survival in a hostile environment. Thus, not only is Israel, of all nations, required to take steps towards her own demise, as a prerequisite to her conditional recognition by others, if she does not comply, her admission into the family of nations may be rescinded. Can anyone tell the British that they would be recognized provided they return the Falklands to their owners, or the Americans, the Canadians, and the Australians that they can be recognized only if they restored rights to the dispossessed natives that they had conquered, or that the Japanese, Syrians, Iraqis, and Sudanese will be accepted only when they recognize their minorities and stop persecuting them, or Iran, China, and Egypt — only if they accepted democracy or stopped threatening their neighbors? Unthinkable?

Not in the case of Israel, even though it cannot be reproached for any of those violations or improprieties. Take for example the question of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and the Jewish people for the past 3,000 years. In December, 1995, the General Assembly of the UN adopted a resolution, with an overwhelming majority, as in previous years, denying the validity of the Israeli laws, which confirmed united Jerusalem as the capital of modern Israel once again. That resolution also condemned the "Judaization" of Jerusalem as if someone could blame the Chinese for the Sinification of Beijing or the French for the Francification of Paris, or Saudi Arabia for the Islamization of Mecca. When the Arabs dominated East Jerusalem, which they never made their capital, not only did they effect a full Arabization of the city, but they did that to the detriment of Jewish sites such as Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, the Jewish Quarter, and no one complained (except Israelis, but they are not counted). But as soon as the Jews restored their sites to their sovereignty, without so much as touching the Aqsa compound, which the Muslims had knowingly constructed upon the holiest site of the Jews, outcries about "Judaization" began, which was heralded as "threatening world peace." So, when the UN declares that the Israeli measures were "null and void," one wonders whether the restored Jewish Quarter, which had been destroyed by the Arabs, should have remained in ruins, or demolished again after it was repaired, or that the reparations of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, which had been demolished by the Jordanians and its tombstones used to pave a road, should revert to its state of profanation in order to qualify for the terms of that resolution.

In October 1996 the European community demanded that Israel should rescind all those measures of restoration and construction and return things to their "original state." Original since when? If the splendor of Jerusalem is returned to its Davidic and Solomonic origins, then al-Aqsa Mosque should be removed to allow for the original Temple to re-emerge. Or perhaps they meant that the latrines that the Jordanians had constructed on the sites of the synagogues that they destroyed in the Old Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem should be reinstituted on the ruins of those now reconstructed sites? The occasion for those European demands was the reopening of an ancient tunnel, dating back 2,400 years in history, to the times of the Jewish Hasmonean Dynasty, before there was any idea of Europe, of Christianity, Islam, Arabs, or Palestinians. And because the Muslim Palestinians who had usurped the holy Jewish Temple Mount, now claim that the tunnel endangered their holy sites, themselves built on the ruins of the ancient Jewish Temple, the Europeans moved to make Israel close it again. And all that, under the Palestinian threat of violence if Israel would not conform. Which one of those new European nations would have acquiesced in a situation where its right to relate to its ancient heritage was called into question?

Jerusalem is but an example. At stake is the self-appointed right of Western countries to determine the standards of behavior to which Israel is held and their presumption to act as supreme arbiters of that conduct. Exactly like the Jews in their midst, treated with suspicion and guilty till proven innocent, so is the Jewish state. It is in this sense that the Jewish state has become the Jew among states. For decades, most nations took the right to call Israel "the Jewish State,"or the "Tel Aviv Government," lending to it the same legitimacy as the "Vichy Government" ; they made their representations and sent their representatives to that non-existing address; the international media also dispatched their reports from Tel Aviv, while the pictures they showed often originated from Jerusalem, the seat of the government of Israel. All that in order to avoid recognition of Jerusalem, the ancient capital of Israel, which had predated their own respective capitals, as the reconstituted center of modern Israel. So widespread has been that fiction that many people ended up believing that it was Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, that was the capital of Israel. What other country in the world would have been submitted to such treatment, or accepted the systematic negation of its legitimacy, of which the choice of a capital city is part?

This inordinately critical view of the Jews in history has somehow carried over and rubbed off on Israel as well, and directly aided the Arabs and Muslims in their rejection of Israel, lock, stock, and barrel. The intense scrutiny and obsessive coverage of Israel's every fault and detail sends to Tel Aviv (but more to Jerusalem) regiments of reporters and correspondents, more than to any other world capital save Washington, DC. And all those journalists have to justify their presence in Jerusalem (under the Tel Aviv disguise) and they hunger for news to feed their avid media audiences. Thus, the most absurd of gossip can become reported news, and the most insignificant events can become "history."

In reports about the Intifadah, for example, articles were written about the special wood used to manufacture police truncheons to maintain order, and the workshops where they were made. Similarly, we have seen that the tedious and repetitive detail that is of no interest elsewhere finds its way into international media news. The nature of the "Jewish" truncheon, which caused suffering to the Palestinians and also tarnished the Jewish reputation, was only a symptom. No one has ever checked the truncheons used by the British police in Northern Ireland or by the French police in quelling street riots in the Parisian slums. But a Jewish truncheon deserves special scrutiny. Palestinian children and adolescents can throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli police, occasionally killing, wounding, or maiming them, but those are "only kids" standing up courageously against their oppressors; repressed by police wielding those redoubtable Jewish truncheons, for Jews have to submit to special standards of conduct, unlike all others.

A Palestinian spokesman made the remark: "We are so lucky that our enemies are the Israelis. If they were Singhalese, who would care to mention us?" The late Father Marcel Dubois, Head of the Dominican Order in Jerusalem, made a similar comment: "Had the occupied territories been under Margaret Thatcher's responsibility, the Intifadah would have lasted three days only and no one would have talked about it any more" Both statements were corroborated by a former member of the foreign press corps in Jerusalem Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times, who repeated the same observation in almost the same words: "the great luck of the Palestinians is that they are in a state of conflict with Israeli Jews."

Boris Celser is a Canadian. Contact him at celser@telusplanet.net

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SAY IT OUT LOUD: THE TALIBAN ARE TERRORISTS
Posted by Jonathan Schanzer, March 27, 2009.
 

A U.S. drone attack on Wednesday on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border killed at least seven Taliban members, including a number of foreign fighters, Reuters reported. U.S. drones have carried out more than 30 strikes over the last year, including 7 under the watch of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama, meanwhile, has ordered the deployment of 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan in an effort to stamp out the threat of the Taliban.

Curiously, however, as the war in Afghanistan stretches into its seventh year, the U.S. State Department has not designated the Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

From what is known, the problem may have initially stemmed from the fact that, by law, the State Department could not designate a government. This is no longer a hang-up; the Taliban government that sheltered al-Qaeda and Usama bin Laden from its rise to power in 1996 until its demise in 2001 is now dead and gone. The new organization that has sprouted up in its stead can perhaps be best described as an al-Qaeda "affiliate group." It remains committed to carrying out a violent jihad against both U.S. servicemen and civilians in Afghanistan, and likely maintains contact with the al-Qaeda and Taliban forces that challenged the U.S. military during Operation Enduring Freedom. However, it no longer enjoys the government infrastructure that housed the Taliban for five years until 2001.

The bigger question at Foggy Bottom is now whether the Taliban should be viewed as a terrorist organization or an insurgency organization. Indeed, language from the 2007 State Department country report on Afghanistan seemed to imply that the Taliban was both.

In fact, the consensus at State is that the Taliban is made up of two factions — one moderate, and another one radical. Or, to put it another way, there may be a Taliban with a capital 'T' and a taliban with a lower case 't'.

President Obama underscored this notion in a March 8 interview with the New York Times, when he expressed an interest in reaching out to moderate forces among the militants, similar to those that helped bring stability to Iraq. "There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region," he said.

The Taliban quickly dismissed Obama's musings as "illogical." Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a spokesman for the Taliban, insists that the Taliban are "united, have one leader, one aim, one policy." The group claims that their campaign of violence will not end until the U.S. led forces in Afghanistan are defeated.

Meanwhile, the State Department continues to add less relevant terrorist groups to its FTO list. Peru's Shining Path or the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (two recent additions) have little to do with the broader war on Islamist terror, yet their listings give the sense that they might pose more of a national security threat than the unlisted Taliban.

Designating the Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is long overdue.

For one, it would demonstrate that the United States views the Taliban as part of a dangerous jihadi network that is undoubtedly terrorist in nature. It is a mistake to allow the world to believe that even parts of the Taliban should be viewed as a legitimate "resistance" organization. A number of American allies, including Great Britain, the European Union, and Australia have followed America's lead. They have also left the Taliban off their terrorism lists. Most recently, Russia indicated that it would hold talks with "moderate elements" of the Taliban after Obama indicated that he was considering a similar move. A designation would help reverse this dangerous trend.

More importantly, a Taliban designation would also recognize the great work that our military has done in Afghanistan. It would be tantamount to officially relegating the former Taliban government to an affiliate group — the first and only instance in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

In other words, a designation would relay our belief that the Taliban cannot, under the current circumstances, mount enough strength to retake Afghanistan.

If moderate elements wish to negotiate with the U.S. military or even our diplomatic corps, they should not be allowed to approach the negotiating table as members of the Taliban. If they recognize the defeat of their banned terrorist group, they should be welcomed with open arms.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury intelligence analyst, is deputy executive director for the Jewish Policy Center and author of Hamas vs Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.

This article appeared today on the Jewish Policy Center website:
jewishpolicycenter.org/881/say-it-out-loud-the-taliban-are-terrorists

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AMERICA 'MOVES TOWARDS ABANDONMENT OF ISRAEL'
Posted by LEL, March 26, 2009.

This comes from Arutz-7
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/130501. The original article includes a like to a video of Hagmann when he appeared on Israel National Radio's Weekend Edition with host Tamar Yonah.

 

IsraelNN.com) An unnamed former highly-placed U.S.intelligence official has broken silence and says that America may soon be abandoning Israel in favor of the Arabs. "This is just the beginning", he said, "Israel could be about to lose the support of the United States."

The source made these remarks in an exclusive interview with Douglas J. Hagmann, the director of the Northeast Intelligence Network (NIN), which is comprised of veteran licensed professional investigators, analysts, military affairs specialists and researchers. The group has combined their resources to provide accurate and well-sourced information via their website.

When questioned about the possible abandonment of Israel by America, Hagmann told Yonah, "The Obama administration is no friend to Israel, is no friend to the Jews in America and is no friend to democracy or freedom in America. ...Just by his very appointments, we can see him filling positions of power with people who are anti-Semitic, who want to see Israel essentially dissolved as a nation, if not by diplomacy, then certainly by war."

In his report, the unnamed intelligence source told Hagmann, "I have every reason to believe, based on what I've seen at my level of [security] clearance especially over the last several years, that Israel will soon be completely on their own... or worse." He explained this would happen "when our administration provides more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel's defense efforts all while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation."

Hagmann told Yonah that this official broke silence because he had already retired from his highly placed position, and because of his knowledge of the NIN's (Northeast Intelligence Network) position as pro-Israel and the way it valued the relationship between Israel and America. Another reason, he said, was his own perception of the Biblical aspect of this scenario developing.

The intelligence officer explained that the turnover of American policy towards Israel could occur through a manner that he dubbed 'malicious intelligence," which Hagmann defined as information that is taken from its raw form. It then is morphed into something else to promote different interests, "where intelligence and politics meet and often collide," he said. A method "that has been molded and massaged to advance the agendas of a select few," he elaborated.

In the case of the relationship between America and Israel, he noted, malicious intelligence is being used to turn over the U.S. to a more anti-Israel policy and forge ahead with a more pro-PA or pro-Islamist one.

Hagmann told Yonah in the radio interview, "A perfect example of this is when there was a shooting in Seattle a couple of years ago at a Jewish center. The police were ordered by the city officials and by the Federal Government, basically, to not protect the synagogues and other Jewish centers in Seattle, but to have protection details [instead] at the mosques in Seattle."

U.S. administrations have apparently been following a policy of abandoning Israel for several years, according to Hagmann's report. His interview with the intelligence official cited "the 2005 surrender of Gush Katif to the Palestinian Authority as one critical example of the slow dismantlement of Israel as a viable nation. Despite critical intelligence outlining in every possible manner imaginable that this would be a disastrous move leading to the events we are seeing today [rocket and missile fire on Israel], it was done anyway," he stated.

In the report that Hagmann posted on the NIN (Northeast Intelligence Network) he cited one of his sources explaining, "Now you can see where intelligence and politics meet and often collide,... " the Obama administration is being purposely filled with people who are truly anti-Israel, either because of their own financial interests or a larger globalist agenda that does not include Israel, or for that matter, the United States as a sovereign nation.

"Whatever the reason, the anti-Israel, pro-Islamist policy makers will be appointed or have already infiltrated nearly all levels of the U.S. government. These are the people who place anti-Semitic references in school textbooks, promote revisionist history regarding Islam, 9/11, and are the same people who allow or even promote the Islamic agendas in all aspects of Western society, especially the restrictions on speech against Islam.

"With regard to the latter, note that the United Nations is quite involved in forcing the restriction of "hate speech" and the implementation of global standards, some that have already been adapted by European nations," noted the source.

Hagmann reports that "the Middle East will be the site of 'the coming war,' and Israel will be at its epicenter. If we survive as a nation, the U.S. will not be on the side of righteousness in this war, instead turning our back to — or our guns against — our only true friend in the Middle East — Israel," he said.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: THE MESS PERSISTS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 26, 2009.
 

The political mess I wrote about yesterday is not resolving itself.

When Netanyahu presents his government to the Knesset next week, it is possible that as many as five members of the Labor faction will abstain from voting for it. They have indicated they would prefer to vote against it, but Labor by-laws would prevent them from running with the party in the next election if they did that (bucking a party decision), and they're not prepared to leave Labor.

Eitan Cabel, who is Labor's secretary-general, put it thus: "I want to respect the convention's decision, but I can't vote for this government and I certainly don't want to join it."

~~~~~~~~~~

And just as there is discontent with the coalition agreement in the ranks of Labor, so, it seems, is there in Likud. Members of the Central Committee of Likud today filed an emergency petition with the party's court, claiming that party by-laws require that the Committee review coalition agreements. They want Committee Chairman Moshe Kahalon to convene the Committee for this purpose. The petitioners maintain that if the Committee does not approve the agreements, they won't be binding and members of the party's Knesset faction can vote against them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Doesn't exactly promise good things for coalition unity down the road — if this coalition does get approved by the Knesset. What have Netanyahu and Barak wrought?

~~~~~~~~~~

HaBayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) has now signed a coalition agreement with Likud. This will make the head of the party, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Science Minister.

This brings the coalition to 69 mandates.

~~~~~~~~~~

HaBayit Hayehudi is pushing a law (a variation of what is called the Norway Law) that would permit one member of a party who had become a minister in the government to resign from the Knesset, allowing the next person down on that party's list to become an MK. (I believe if the minister is no longer in the government, his/her position in the Knesset would be re-instated.) This would bring some new people into the Knesset if it is passed.

~~~~~~~~~~

Even though UTJ negotiations had stalled over the issue of conversions, there is indication of an attempt to reach a compromise that would bring this group into the coalition

~~~~~~~~~~

And National Union? Two sides to this story persist. I stand by what I had said yesterday, regarding the regrettable way that this party, which boasts good people and solid principles, has handled itself. In fact, I've had further confirmation of this in the last 24 hours, including from someone inside Likud who said the party is not seen as "a team player."

However, the other side is the suspicion that Netanyahu would just as soon not have his government associated with a group that is internationally perceived as very right wing.

~~~~~~~~~~

Arutz 7 ran a story quoting Ya'akov Katz (Ketzeleh), head of the party, who was certainly sounding conciliatory now:

"Our talks with the Likud were broken off when Netanyahu suddenly started talking with Labor. But Labor's entry into the coalition does not mean that we are out. We are still waiting for the Likud to contact us and resume the talks, but we can't force them.

"The issues between us can be reconciled. An agreement between us and the Likud can certainly be signed, enabling us to do what we were elected to do — serve the People of Israel with a strong nationalist government.

"...It appears that now that he [Netanyahu] has won, he has become scared; he would rather have in his government those who fight against the Land of Israel [Labor]."

Ketzeleh says that Barak demanded that National Union not be part of the coalition and Netanyahu rejected this.

We'll see soon enough...

A very strong case can be made that Netanyahu has an obligation to bring in all of the right wing/nationalist parties, as this is what the electorate chose.

~~~~~~~~~~

In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday, Head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin spoke about Iran:

They have crossed the technological threshold necessary for building a nuclear bomb, Yadlin said, and so now they are in no rush to do so. "Their strategy is to obtain the ability" to build a bomb quickly once the decision to do so has been made, he said. "They operate based on a strategy that would make it hard to incriminate them."

"They are enriching fissile material in a low percentage of 4.5, but whoever knows how to enrich [uranium to] 4.5% knows also how to enrich it to 20%, 60% or 93%. With 4,000 centrifuges spinning, to change from 4.5% to 93% takes only a few months to a year."

"They are enriching great quantities. They are doing it under the cover of civilian activities, as if they need the stuff for civilian enterprises."

(They are currently running 4,000 centrifuges, monitored by the IAEC, with the claim that they need this for 30 reactors for power.)

~~~~~~~~~~

"The Iranian threat is a threat to the global order, not just to Israel, and to convince the world of the need for action, we need to present evidence that will incriminate Iran," Yadlin told the Committee. "The campaign to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear is not yet over."

Unfortunately, the Western world is not paying serious attention to Israel's warnings with regard to what Iran is up to.

~~~~~~~~~~

CBS News broke the story today that about two months ago our air force hit a convoy of 17 trucks in Sudan carrying weapons to Egypt that were intended for Gaza.

This information came not from Israel, but from sources connected to Pentagon reporter David Martin; it was released by Washington-based correspondent Dan Raviv on his CBS-associated blog.

According to a Sudan Tribune website, Israel intelligence tracked down the convoy northwest of Port Sudan, as it was moving north; it was bombed near Mount al-Sha'anoon.

~~~~~~~~~~

While there has been no direct Israeli confirmation of this story, PM Olmert, speaking at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, today, referred to it obliquely: "Israel has never had stronger deterrence than it has gained in the last few years. Those who need to know are aware that there is no place that Israel can't reach."

These words are also seen as a veiled threat to Iran. The greatest threat, he said, is the Iranian threat. "Israel is not the main player but it's contributing to the international effort to prevent Iran's nuclear armament."

"The main player who should lead on Iran is the United States."

"The choice is not between total war and total failure; there is a lot to be done between those two choices and the countries that can do these things know how to do them. Israel knows how to position itself on this issue in a way that reflects its uniqueness and capabilities."

~~~~~~~~~~

What Olmert then addressed was disconcerting in a different way. This man who is obsessed with striking a "peace agreement" with the PA declared, not for the first time, that in the future if we wanted an agreement we would have to offer the Palestinians "more than what Ehud Barak offered at Camp David."

Nary a word about making sure the PA met its obligations first, or what constraints are placed upon us by security issues or what our inherent rights are here. Only what we "must" do concerns him. Concessions, concessions, concessions.

Then he offered the information that he had made a concrete offer that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has not responded to.

Abbas would not accept, because it is not his intention to seal a deal for a "two state solution." He values his life too much to compromise on any of the demands of the PA. But Olmert doesn't suggest that the ball is the other court now.

What occurred to me here is that Shas stayed in the Olmert government with the understanding that Jerusalem was not being negotiated. Ha!

~~~~~~~~~~

For the record, under no circumstances could Olmert have signed away part of Jerusalem unilaterally. Basic law requires that any change in the boundaries of Jerusalem be brought before the Knesset and to a national referendum. This applies as well to the Golan, but not to Judea and Samaria, to which Israeli civil law has not been extended.

However, the day will probably come when we will be told by the international community and the Palestinians that we must start new negotiations where Olmert left off. That is what is always demanded. But it's not written into law — not ours and not international law. (Olmert signed nothing, in any case.)

This is when a right wing government and a strong PM become very important.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hamas official Ali Barakeh says that indirect negotiations with Israel on the release of Shalit, via the offices of Egypt, have begun again. There is no direct Israeli confirmation of this, or of our having sent negotiators to Cairo again — just a statement from Barak about how we must continue to pursue this issue.

~~~~~~~~~~

Three Palestinians were detained yesterday on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. They were detained near Nablus, at Beit Dajan, by IDF Givat forces, called after Molotov cocktails had been thrown. They were found to be in possession of a pipe bomb, weapons, and maps of the area.

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

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ISRAELI WARPLANES CONDUCTED AIR STRIKE ON ARMS SMUGGLERS IN SUDAN
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 26, 2009.

I saw many interesting articles on http://www.vosizneias.com Succinct introductory paragraphs well done makes it a quick review. With time constraints. I chose this. It is archived at
http://www.vosizneias.com/29439/2009/03/26/ jerusalem-israeli-warplanes-conducted-air-strike-on-arms-smugglers-in-sudan/

 

Jerusalem — A government minister in Sudan is accusing the United States Air Force of killing dozens of people in that north African country this past January — but the semi-official American version of the story is very different.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has been told that Israeli aircraft carried out the attack. Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza.

In January, the U.S. signed an agreement with Israel that calls for an international effort to stop arms smuggling into Gaza. Hamas was showering rockets on Israeli towns, and Israel had responded by invading Gaza. More than 1,000 Palestinians were reportedly killed in the December-January war, and 13 Israelis lost their lives.

In the airstrike in Sudan — said to have been "in a desert area northwest of Port Sudan city, near Mount al-Sha'anoon," according to SudanTribune.com — 39 people riding in 17 trucks were reportedly killed.

The first government official in Sudan to talk about it was the state minister for highways, Mabrouk Mubarak Saleem, who said: "A major power bombed small trucks carrying arms — burning all of them. It killed Sudanese, Eritreans, and Ethiopians and injured others."

According to SudanTribune.com, the airstrike was an "embarrassment" to Sudan's government, and it discussed the matter with Egypt's government — allied with the U.S. on most issues — "to gather more information to formulate a response."

The Web site added: "American and Israeli diplomats said the [January] agreement includes intelligence coordination to prevent arms from Iran from entering Gaza, maritime efforts to identify ships carrying weaponry, and the sharing of U.S. and European technologies to discover and prevent the use of weapons-smuggling tunnels."

If Israeli airplanes carried out the attack in Sudan, it would suggest that there is a shadow war against Hamas and its weapons sources that is wider than the Israeli or U.S. government has revealed.

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WHITE HOUSE RECEIVES 1,800 COPIES OF MK ELDAD'S LETTER AGAINST A P.A. STATE INSIDE ISRAEL
Posted by UCI, March 26, 2009.

This was written by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz and it appeared in Arutz-7

 

(IsraelNN.com) Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama, others in his administration and prominent Israeli officials each received emails from over 1,800 members of the Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI). Their letters questioned the wisdom of establishing a terrorist Arab state in the middle of Israel.

The strongly worded message to the U.S. administration came in the wake of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent trip to the Middle East. During her visit to the region, she indicated that the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state is a priority for the new Obama Administration.

In their letters responding to the Secretary of State, UCI members echoed and excerpted an open letter to Clinton written by Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad of the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party....

In addressing the Secretary of State, MK Eldad said, "You came here from the world`s greatest and strongest democracy. You come from the Democratic Party and you know how to recite the familiar mantras, claiming that the United States respects Israel`s democracy and will cooperate with any elected Israeli government.

"Well, Israeli democracy has spoken: Most Israeli citizens do not wish to establish an Arab terror state in our homeland. If your democracy is real, you should of course respect the democracy of others as well."

Eldad goes on to say, "At this time it appears that the U.S. is planning to appease the Iranians, Syrians and Palestinians by paying with `Israeli currency`. As you recall, dear Mrs. Clinton, we have too much history. We remember what happened when the Free World was willing to sacrifice Czechoslovakia in order to appease Hitler. We are unwilling to risk our very existence in order for the U.S. to buy itself a quiet withdrawal from Iraq."

After making a number of pertinent points regarding the threat Israel faces from Iran, Eldad continues, "We are also unwilling to see the desire to appease the Sunnis in Iraq to prompt an American payment to the Syrians and Palestinians.

"Don`t you understand that pressing Israel to renounce the Golan Heights in order to buy Syrian cooperation with the withdrawal from Iraq will not calm the Mideast, bring peace or reinforce Western democracy? Rather, it will encourage the Arabs to continue on the path of terrorism because you will prove to them that terrorism pays off."

Concluding on a sharply sardonic note, Eldad writes, "The U.S. is not fighting jihadist terror in Afghanistan and Iraq because Israel is building houses in the West Bank...."


Excerpt from "Israel's Christian Friends"
Michael Freund
The Jerusalem Post

...ACCORDING TO THE Pew Center's 2008 Religious Landscape Survey, 26.3 percent of American adults identify themselves as evangelical Christians, making them the largest religious grouping in the US. And a study conducted by Pew three years ago found overwhelming support for Israel among evangelicals, concluding that "seven-in-ten white evangelicals (69%) believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people, and a solid majority (59%) believes Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy." Naturally, these believers "are much more likely than others to sympathize with Israel in its dispute with the Palestinians," said the report.

Indeed, the list of Christian personalities and organizations working on behalf of Israel in fieldsranging from social welfare to public affairs is almost dizzying.  

UCI — The Unity Coalition for Israel (http://www.israelunitycoalition.org) — is "the largest worldwide coalition of Jewish and Christian organizations, with more than 200 groups representing millions of people dedicated to Israel. Though we have many different backgrounds, we have one common goal: A Safe and Secure Israel."

"Israel is not just a Jewish issue. Millions of Christians resolutely endorse the principle of peace with security for the state of Israel. Because we work closely together and speak with a united voice, our message is being heard!"

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NY TIMES CONCEALS YANK' TERRORIST AFFILIATION NY TIMES INSINUATES AGAINST ISRAEL LOBBY
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 26, 2009.
 

NY TIMES CONCEALS YANK' TERRORIST AFFILIATION

"37-year old American was badly hurt on Friday in a clash between Israeli troops and demonstrators protesting the extension of Israel's separation barrier in the W. Bank." He was with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), "a Palestinian-led (Arab-led) group that opposes Israel's occupation of the W. Bank. It leads demonstrations against the barrier every Friday at several W. Bank locations."

The IDF said that many of the 400 demonstrators threw rocks at them. Hence the troops fired tear gas at them. One canister injured the American (Ethan Bronner, 3/14, A7).

ISM is a terrorist auxiliary. Forbidden from entering Israel and the Territories, members sneak in. Their protests are usually violent and seldom reported in the newspaper. They have attempted physically to block Israeli troops from fighting against terrorists, but not terrorists from attacking Israelis. The Times report failed to mention those key facts. The omission distorts readers' understanding of the events, leading them to sympathize for the injured American and to resent Israeli troops for injuring him.

The Times is one of the few papers having staff in the area. The locations of ISM riots probably are known in advance or could be reached quickly. Were the paper conscientious, it would assign a reporter to cover some such protests. Then it could report facts, such as that the crowd initiated attacks on the troops, rather than report that the IDF "said" so and ISM members said nothing about violent protest. If the Times had revealed ISM's terrorist affiliation, readers would discount ISM testimony.

When the IDF alleges a fact, the paper refers to it as the Army "said." When ISM alleges an Israeli occupation, the paper treats it as a fact, not as ISM "said." That is a subtle form of discrimination.

I would have put it as the man was hurt "when he and other demonstrators attacked Israeli troops involved in extending the security barrier in the W. Bank." (They should use the official name, Judea and Samaria, but they long ago switched to a name that hides its Jewish origin. Palestine" was coined for that same purpose.)

PHILIPPINES: MUSLIMs STILL NOT SATISFIED

The government of the Philippines and an organization of Muslim rebels in the South agreed to set up a joint committee to devise autonomy for the Muslim area. A bigger group of Muslim rebels wants a bigger area (IMRA, 3/14).

NY TIMES INSINUATES AGAINST ISRAEL LOBBY

Charles W. Freeman, Jr., has withdrawn his name from nomination for "a top intelligence post." He claimed to be the "victim of a concerted campaign by what he called the "Israel lobby.'"

Mr. Freeman has long been critical of Israel, with a bluntness that American officials rarely voice in public about a staunch American ally. In 2000, he warned that, "left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them, and enrage those who are not."

"The critics who led the effort to derail Mr. Freeman argued that such views reflected a bias that could not be tolerated in someone who, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, would have overseen the production of what are supposed to be policy-neutral intelligence assessments destined for the president's desk."

Sen. Schumer "...said that Mr. Freeman showed an 'irrational hatred of Israel'..." Another critic suggested that Freeman's views are as if from the Saudi Foreign Ministry, to which he once was ambassador.

His defenders suggest that the criticism was just political, and that one is not allowed to criticize US support for Israel.

To avoid criticism over his other choices of aides, candidate Obama distanced himself from Mr. "Brzezinski, the national security adviser under Pres. Jimmy Carter, who has sometimes been critical of Israel."

"As head of the Middle East Policy Council, he [Freeman] was a frequent critic of policy toward Israel. In a speech in 2005, he said that "as long as the US continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected." (Mark Mazzetti & Helene Cooper, NY Times, 3/12, A1). (See below for ZOA statement of Freeman's record.)

This article omits key facts that would correct the false judgments it quotes. It pulls its punches against Freeman, leaving him almost a reasonable and sympathetic character. It leaves an misimpression of censorship against mere criticism of some Israeli policies. Here is how.

To be sure, the Times' usual non-sequential reporting tends to obscure the story. But as too often to seem coincidental, the paper often leaves the best argument for Israel to the end paragraphs, which many readers never reach. Mr. Freeman has made some antagonistic statements about Israel, reflecting extreme bias and poor understanding. The first statements of his quoted in the article were mild. That makes him really seem persecuted. The last statement reveals more of his antipathy towards Israel.

That antipathy refutes his contention, one shared by antisemites and the anti-Zionist NY Times (which does not give "full disclosure" about its own, traditional bias against Jewish sovereignty), that a mere criticism of some Israeli policy is censored by the Israel lobby. Something is made to seem wrong with Israel having a lobby but not Greece, whose lobby once was powerful, nor the Arab lobby, which remains powerful, more so than the Israel lobby that can't stop arms shipments going to the Arabs, etc.. Another double standard against the Jews.

Freeman's nostalgia for the "former peace process" tips us off about the poor quality his intelligence reports would have been, based as they are on bias. What they called "peace process" was a one-way series of concessions to the Arabs, who never ceased their bigotry and terrorism. They exploited the concessions to make war. The concessions were leading Israel to insecure borders and other weaknesses. Since the Arabs retained their belligerency, not only were further concessions futile, they were foolish.

"Peace process" is a euphemism for Arafat's Phased Plan for the Conquest of Israel. It was phony.

Let me alert you to a major propaganda technique by the Times and by the biased officials it defends. Almost all the criticism is of Israel. That is suspicious. It indicates bias. Almost the only criticism of the Arabs is when their intransigence or their aggression hinders the State Department's anti-Zionist diplomacy just as that diplomacy has cowed Israel's leaders into being amenable to it. But rarely does those critics of Israel criticize the Arabs, who, after all, are anti-American, genocidal, and part of the global jihad against civilization. A genuinely pro-American policy would be to help our ally defeat the jihadists, just as the US needs to do in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc..

Criticism certainly isn't censored in the Times, which, instead, minimizes coverage of Israeli defenses against such criticism. The last quotation of Freeman begins to show that what he calls specific criticism really is part of the Western drive to appease jihad and render Israel defenseless, by taking up the Arab side and disregarding Jewish claims to the Territories and need for secure borders.

Let us distinguish between criticism of Israel based on facts, logic, law, and ethics, and criticism based on prejudice. Let us distinguish between criticism of some policy here or there, and criticism that would undermine Israel's survival. Freeman's and the Times' are based on prejudice against Israel and its survival. To add insult to injury, the Times pretends that its criticism of Israel is in the national interest both of Israel and of the US.

No, that criticism would take from Israel and give to the Arab aggressors, leaving Israel non-viable and with indefensible borders (as I've discussed in many articles). The first result of this would be to boost jihad morale and power. The second result would be to get Israel destroyed. The result of that would be to deprive the US of a strong ally and to enable jihadists to consolidate their region against the US.

Freeman's final statement hints at a warped anti-Zionist record, which is not suitable for a national security adviser to the President. Therefore, the earlier defense of him, as being the victim of politics, is misleading. A misleading statement should not be allowed to stand unchallenged. Readers would have to peruse the whole article, to find, at the end, the Freeman statement that hints that the criticism of him is what is reasonable, not his criticism of Israel.

To allege that Jimmie Carter "has sometimes been critical of Israel" extreme journalistic distortion. Carter devotes books to deliberately false claims against Israel so defamatory as to support efforts to dismantle or destroy the Jewish state. Carter raves. His book reviewers don't. The Times' understatement is disgracefully deceptive. What an insight that gives into the paper's own bias!

Many former US diplomats who served in Arab states retire to serve Arab states. A Saudi prince boasted that while in the US employ, those diplomats and their successors learn to accommodate to Saudi views, to they can retire to cushy jobs. In other words, S. Arabia indirectly but consciously bribes the State Dept. That's a serious subversion, which the Times, ostensibly pro-American, should be exposing. We should be questioning how pro-American is the State Dept., due to its biased agenda and its short-sightedness.

On the other hand, there is a type of criticism of Israel that is censored. One almost never finds it in the Times. That criticism is Jewish nationalist or patriotic Israeli. That criticism finds that the rulers of Israel have defeatist policies and oppress their own, Jewish people. Thus the real censorship is of views from Jews loyal to the US and Israel, who see Israel's policies as appeasement of the Arabs and of the State Dept. and as leading to Israel's demise.

I criticize Israeli policies the dissident way. I criticize its failure to enforce the law against Arab rioting, land seizure, illegal building, illegal immigration, destruction of ancient Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount. I criticize its preferences for Arab college and civil service admission, its subsidies on Arab non-citizen residents of Jerusalem and its arrests of Israelis who criticize those policies.

What do the Times and State Dept. say Israel should do about illegal Arab building? They say Israel should ignore it. Case closed!

ZOA STATEMENT OF FREEMAN'S RECORD

These are just the most clearcut examples. The Middle Eastern Policy Council is endowed by S. Arabia and lobbies for the Arabs. [Thus Freeman part of the Arab lobby, has a conflict of interest that the newspaper failed to advise readers of.]

The Council published favorably the anti-Jewish Mearsheimer-Walt tract [that takes up the old antisemitic cry that the Jews are too powerful]. Freeman blamed 9/11 and assaults on US forces on US support for Israel. [He exaggerates that support, which rather than being "total," really is mostly non-stop criticism of Israeli self-defense, efforts to take land from the Jews and give it to the Arabs, and subsidy of Arab terrorists.] He blames on Israel "brutal oppression" of the Arabs in the Territories (IMRA, 3/11).

I know of brutal Arab attacks on Jews, but those who criticize Israel as treating Arabs brutally do not document it. That's because it is not brutal. On the other hand, the Times rarely publicizes P.A. Arab indoctrination in brutality.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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NETHERLANDS: GOV'T TO FIGHT FOREIGN INFLUENCES IN MOSQUES
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, March 26, 2009.
 

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IslamInEurope/~3/iC9VMLNUH-A/ netherlands-govt-to-fight-foreign.html
Source: Trouw(Dutch)

The cabinet will make it more difficult for lenders from, for example, the Middle East, to secretly obtain influence in mosques in the Netherlands, Guusje ter Horst (Labor), the Dutch minister of internal affairs, announced Wednesday.

Foundations must be more open in the future about their finances. The cabinet will make a law proposal already this year for regulating that. This law will also concern mosques, since most are foundations, says Ter Horst.

The parliament asked Ter Horst to study how much danger there is from foreign people or institutions who put money into mosques in the Netherlands. The parliament fears that they sometimes do that in order to get influence, aiming to oppose integration or advance radicalization.

Ter Horst recognizes the risks, but also says that they 'shouldn't be overestimated'. Foreign Islamic financiers mostly give money to mosques out of charity and are not out to get influence.


Norway: Immigrant women active in society
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IslamInEurope/~3/ rtPhsmBN2Bg/norway-immigrant-women-active-in.html
25 Mar 2009 07:14 AM PDT

Immigrant women participate in several social arenas as much or more than the rest of the population, which conflicts with the image of the oppressed immigrant women.

Local politicians Aisha Ahmed (19) and Hatice Elmacioglu (40) in Drammen are among the many women of immigrant background who have took control of seats on municipal boards around the country last elections. With that they contributed to the fact that immigrant women and men in local politics are much more equal then the rest of the population.

While women make up 46% of the immigrant representatives in municipal councils, women make up just 38% among all municipal council representatives. In Drammen 12 non-Western representatives were elected for the council in 2007, the most in the country. The wish to influence drives Norwegian-Pakistani Ahmed and Norwegian-Turk Elmacioglu.

Elmacioglu says she's a single mother of three and saw that there was a lot missing in the schools. "I decided to go into politics and came up from 20th to 8th place on the Conservative Part's list by actively getting votes," says Elmacioglu.

Ahmed was active in the Labor Party since she was 15 and was told she's a role model for young girls.

"It's important to participate in the debate. I think that it can motivate and engage other minority women to do the same."

The report "Immigrants and the municipal elections 2007" from Statistics Norway also shows that immigrant women usually vote more in elections than immigrant men. Adviser Vebjorn Aalandslid of Statistics Norway points out that there are great different between different immigrant groups, but thinks that the finds are interesting.

"This corresponds badly with the image of the oppressed immigrant woman which is often described," he says.

Minority women differentiate themselves positively not only in local politics: Women of immigrant background own their own company almost as often as Norwegian women, they complete upper secondary school more often than immigrant boys, get higher education more often compared to the rest of the population, and participate more often than immigrant men in Norwegian courses.

Equality and Discrimination Ombudsman Beate Ganges this this clearly shows the great resources among immigrant women in Norway.

She says that these numbers give a nuancing of the image which is often created of oppressed immigrant women who live on the sidelines of Norwegian society. The facts show that there are many resource-strong women who actively participate in society.

Hatice Elmacioglu and Aisha Ahmed work for including and socializing minority women. Ahmed heads a Pakistani women's organization in Drammen and Elmacioglu is a female representative in the Turkish national association and regularly arranges women's parties in Drammen. The parties are open for everybody, but Norwegian women seldom come.

"I'm concerned by Norwegian women. I think they're so occupied by their own lives that they don't engage in what happens outside," she says.

The women's movement was accused this week of failing immigrant women. Ahmed agrees.

"Why doesn't the women's movement cry out that immigrant women don't get jobs. It's easy to accuse culture and different values and it leads in some cases to immigrant women not being taken seriously," she thinks. Conservative Elmacioglu emphatically disagrees.

"I wanted to go into politics and now I'm there. There are possibilities, but you must fight for it," she says.

Last week Elmacioglu invited the deputy mayor in Drammen and Frp man Freddy Hoffmann to her home so he could learn more about non-Western culture.

"We must fight prejudices. I got praise from Hoffman for being a good role model," she says.


' US: Obama backs Tariq Ramadan's visa rejection'
25 Mar 2009 05:35 AM PDT

Although it has made a break with many of George Bush's controversial, self-declared war on terror policies and has promised to reach out to Muslims, the Obama administration has decided to back a Bush decision to deny one of Europe's leading Muslim intellectuals entry.

"Consular decisions are not subject to litigation," Assistant US Attorney David Jones told the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

He asked the court to uphold a decision to bar Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor, from entering the country.

Jones argued that if the court questioned a consular officer's decision to bar Ramadan, this would leave the administration in a "quagmire" with others seeking such reversals.

When one of the judges asked how high the review of Ramadan's case has gone within the Obama administration, Jones said it was "upwards in the State Department." (..) The Obama administration's position came as a shock to many.

"It's disappointing to come here and hear Obama administration lawyers argue the same sweeping executive power arguments," Jameel Jaffer, lawyer and ACLU National Security Project director, said after the hearing.

He told the court that the government had failed to identify "legitimate and bona fide reasons for the exclusion."

Civil rights groups had hoped for a reversal of Bush policy of excluding foreign scholars from on the basis of their political beliefs.

(http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=3DArticle_ C&pagename=3DZone-English-News/NWELayout&cid=3D1237705564938)

Source: Islam Online(English)


More from the FOX News report on Brussels and Molenbeek:

Announcer: Old Europe is looking less and less European these days and that's giving rise to a clash of cultures. Correspondent Greg Burke reports from Brussels.

Burke: When you think about Brussels, Belgium, you tend to think about the heart of old Europe, a city that's been standing there for centuries, a place where visitors find lots of excellent beers and very fine chocolates. Think again. Think about one of the biggest and youngest Muslim populations in Europe. Right-wing Belgians are worried for their future.

Dewinter: It's terrifying for me and its' dreadful for everybody in Brussels. and it's important to know that the capital of Europe — this is the capital of Europe — will be Islamized within ten, twenty years.

Burke: Belgium needed immigrant workers in the 1960s and 70s, but integration didn't come easily for the Moroccans and Turks who arrived. While there are no hard figures, as much as 25% of the city is Muslim. Molenbeek is a part of Brussels with one of the largest percentage of Muslim residents. The socialist mayor of Molenbeek thinks Belgians of different creeds can learn to live together.

Moureaux: Be realistic. They're here, they're relatively numerous and they're growing. Do you want your children and grandchildren to live a kind of civil war, or do you want them to live in peace?

Burke: The imam of one of the city's main mosques takes a similar line, saying eveyrone's in the same boat and has to work together so the boat doesn't sink. The mosque shows the vibrancy of the Moroccan community in Molenbeek, with thousands showing up for Friday prayers. But there are problems.

The neighborhood is so dangerous, police gave us an escort while taping, and told us it would be safer to stay in the car. It's a double danger, both rampant street crime and anti-Western sentiment. Some Belgians claim Muslim enclaves are forming in Brussels, and charge that the government is bending over backwards to appease the Islamic community.

Dewinter: It's not Muslims who are integrated in our society, but it's our society who adapts to the demands of radical Islam.

Burke: While Molenbeek may not the breeding ground for Jihadists that some claim it is, dozens of North Africans have been arrested in Belgium over the last few years years on terror charges. In Europe they're already talking about what big city will be the first to have a Muslim majority. It could be here in Brussels.

The United States, of course, is still a long way away from that, but if America has something to learn from Europe, it's that the lack of integration of the Muslim community, comes with a very heavy price. In Brussels, Greg Burke, FOX News. h/t Brussels Journal

See also: Brussels: Capital of Eurabia
http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2009/03/brussels-capital-of-eurabia.html


BH: Church moved off former mosque
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IslamInEurope/~3/8-wbwKru280/ bh-church-moved-off-former-mosque.html
25 Mar 2009

Church leaders are spending 100,000 GBP moving a chapel half a mile — so it doesn't offend Muslims.

The Orthodox church was built on the site of a derelict mosque in Divic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is being taken away to improve relations with local Muslim worshippers.

Builders will spend a week driving the church to its new location on a massive low loader truck.

Source: Austrian Times
http://www.austriantimes.at/index.php?id=3D12018 (English)


Sweden: Chechen recruiters arrested at border
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IslamInEurope/~3/IL_JDBxXwVQ/ sweden-chechen-recruiters-arrested-at.html
25 Mar 2009

Last March three Chechen men were stopped by customs in Sweden. Three automatic weapons, ammunition and a silencer were hidden in the spare tire of their Audi. The Chechens said they were on their way from Austria to Norway to visit friends and go fishing.

Swedish police and the prosecution think they would have used the weapons to commit robbery and that in Norway they would have collected money and recruited soldiers for separatist activity in their homeland.

When the three Chechens were stopped by customs in Trelleborg, Malmö, the custom officials quickly got suspicious. The suspected leader and later convicted 27-year old sat in the backseat of the Audi A3. While the leader was missing his right arm, the men in the front seat was missing both arms. A third man was therefore hired as driver.

The 27 year old leader left the war in Chechnya when he lost his right arm because of the Russians, and moved to Austria.

When the custom agents took out the spare tire and scanned it, they discovered there was something hidden inside the tire. When they cut it up they found weapons, ammunition and a silencer hidden behind newspaper and a black jacket.

When the leader was left on his own in the interview room, he destroyed a USB stick, who he partially tried to hide behind a radiator. Later he explained that the memory stick contained pictures of his sister mother, whom he hadn't seen for several years.

Lawyer Ola Sjöstrand in Malmö confirmed to Dagbladet.no that one of the main theories of the police was that the three planned a robbery. "When somebody comes with so many weapons, ammunition and black clothing, ..."


Copenhagen: Crime and religion
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IslamInEurope/~3/wWQp9k0234E/ copenhagen-crime-and-religion.html
25 Mar 2009

The Copenhagen Police annual report of 2008 says the following regarding gangs:

Religion can play a role among the group members. Some maintain a relatively strict interpretation of their religion, while others are divided about this, which is seen [by the fact] that towards the parent generation they keep their faith, while 'out in the city' they consume liquor and drugs.

Danish blog Uriasposten brings the following from a subscriber-only Jyllands-Posten article:

The Copenhagen police are very guarded about explaining what's behind the wording, but Chief Police Inspector Per Larsen says: It's not so that I can say that he and he and he are religious. But it's a question of describing the complete picture of the situation and which theories we work with. The extensive study that we have ongoing should uncover whether there are connections between religion and crime. At the same time the study will uncover whether there's a flow of money from the criminal communities to the religious communities.

As Uriasposten points out, there's no mention of Islam or of terrorism funding, either in the article or in the original police report. I think they don't really need to. "Immigrant gangs" is a euphemism that everybody's comfortable with and which nobody misunderstands. Sources: Uriasposten
http://www.uriasposten.net/?p=3D6680>; Copenhagen Police annual report 2008;
Jyllands-Posten
http://jp.dk/morgenavisen/maindland/article1640482.ece>(Danish)

See also: Denmark: Internal justice in Muslim communities
http://islamineurope.blogspot.com/2008/09/ denmark-internal-justice-in-muslim.html



Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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IS TIMESMAN ROGER COHEN, THE NEW "WALTER DURANTY?"
Posted by LEL, March 25, 2009.

By The Iconoclast in the new British Review
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/20146

 

Timesman Roger Cohen appears to be the latest embodiment of legendary Moscow bureau chief in the 1930's, Walter Duranty. Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his fawning reportage on Joe Stalin's first five year plan and collectivization of agriculture that resulted in the starvation murder of more than 5 million Ukrainian Kulaks. Witness the implied comparison between Cohen and Duranty in this Wall Street Journal op ed comment by Bret Stevens today, "Will Obama Listen to Iran's Bloggers? Stephens highlighted an interview with a courageous Iranian blogger, Kianoosh Sanjari, who survived the Mullah's gulag and torture to tell the truth about the Islamic Republic's supreme rulers. Sanjari is in the US seeking asylum. A comrade and fellow blogger, Omid-Reza Mirsayafi died in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. This was just two days prior to Obama's Nowruz (Persian New Year) video appeal to Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Iranian people. Note what Stevens said:

Mr. Obama's solicitous message, timed to the Persian New Year's celebration of Nowruz, met a blunt response from the Islamic Republic's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei: "He insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day," he said. "If you are right that change has come, where is that change?" To this, soi-disant Iran experts and latter-day Walter Durantys explain that it is merely Mr. Khamenei's opening gambit in what promises to be a glorious new chapter in Iranian-U.S. relations.

Let's examine the Walter Duranty comparison vis a vis an op ed by Timesman's Roger Cohen, "From Tehran to Tel Aviv" that appeared in Sunday's New York Times.

I was in Iran in January and February. The visit convinced me that confrontational American high-handedness has been a disaster; that facile analogies between the Iranian regime and the Nazis dishonor six million victims of the Holocaust; that the regime's provocative rhetoric masks essential pragmatism; and that the best way to help a young, stability-favoring population toward the reform they seek is through engagement.

Obama has now taken all the steps I called for then. The policy changes emerged from an interagency review of the failed Iranian policy of recent years. The shift demanded courage.

The hard part has just begun.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to Obama with a scathing speech at the country's holiest shrine in Mashad, recalling every past U.S. misdeed, describing prerevolutionary Iran as "a field for the Americans to graze in," and demanding concrete steps — like a lifting of sanctions — rather than words.

View all that as an opening gambit. Khamenei also quieted the crowd when it began its ritual "Death to America" chant and he said this: "We're not emotional when it comes to our important matters. We make decisions by calculation."

That's right: the mullahs are anything but mad. Calculation will demand that Iran take Obama seriously.

But Cohen gets down to cases in his real agenda to have Obama stick it to Israel. Note this comment regarding discussions with an unidentified senior Israeli Official on the Iranian nuclear threat:

And where, I asked, is Israel's red line? "Once they get to 1,500 kilos, nonproliferation is dead," he said. And so? "It's established that when a country that does not accept Israel's existence has such a program, we will intervene."

I think there's some bluster in this. Israel does not want Obama to talk, talk, talk, so it's suggesting military action could happen in 2009, within nine months.

Still, this much is clear to me: Obama's new Middle Eastern diplomacy and engagement will involve reining in Israeli bellicosity and a probable cooling of U.S.-Israeli relations. It's about time. America's Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy has been disastrous, not least for Israel's long-term security.

Cohen clearly doesn't understand, as this Israeli official does, that Israel has 'en brera' (no option in Hebrew) to take out the Iranian nuclear threat. Appeasement and dialogue with the implacable Supreme Leader Khamenei could bring a catastrophic nuclear Holocaust to the Jewish nation. Now, let us see what Stephens's interview with Sanjari, the courageous Iranian blogger, has to say about the dangers of dialoguing with Iran's Supreme Leader.

Shortly after Mr. Obama's inauguration, Mr. Sanjari put his name to an open letter to the new president, signed by several prominent young Iranian dissidents, calling on him "to pay special attention to the repressive, unaccountable nature of the regime" that now threatens and provokes the U.S. and our allies. Its conclusion is as fitting a tribute as any to Mirsayafi's notable and too-brief life: "Mr. President, you marked your first day in the White House by ordering the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison. But in our country, many Guantanamos exist, only our Guantanamos are home to students, women's rights activists, labor organizers, political activists, and journalists. We, as former student activists who spent time in Iranian prisons under inhumane conditions, call on you and all those who defend human rights, freedom and equality to express solidarity to the people of Iran as they wage their struggle for freedom."

Perhaps, Stephens is correct: Roger Cohen of the Times may be the latest embodiment of Walter Duranty. How else could we explain Cohen's abandonment of his own Jewish people at risk of nuclear annihilation by the same implacable totalitarian Mullahs who imprisoned Iranian blogger Sanjari and denied terminal medical treatment to the late fellow blogger Iranian freedom fighter Mirsayafi?

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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ADL CALLS OLIPHANT CARTOON 'HIDEOUSLY ANTI-SEMITIC'
Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, March 26, 2009.

This article appeared yesterday in The Yeshiva World
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=32285
(YWN Desk — NYC)

 

Anti-Semitic Gaza Cartoon by Pat Oliphant

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) labeled a syndicated cartoon by Pat

Oliphant appearing today in newspapers across the country and on the Internet as "hideously anti-Semitic" because of its use of Nazi-like imagery and hateful evocation of the Jewish Star of David.

The cartoon portrays a headless, jack-booted figure marching in a goose step with a sword in one hand and pushing a Star of David on a wheel with the other. The Jewish Star has fangs and is chasing after a woman carrying a child, labeled "Gaza."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Pat Oliphant's outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic. It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart.

Israel's defensive military operation to protect the lives of its men, women and children who are being continuously bombarded by Hamas srael's defensive military operation to protect the lives of its men, women and children who are being continuously bombarded by Hamas rocket attacks has been turned on its head to show the victims as heartless, headless aggressors.

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

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CAN ANYONE DOUBT THAT G-D IS PROTECTING US?
Posted by Gary Cooperberg, March 25, 2009.
 

It is amazing to listen to leftist Jews condemning a Jewish demonstration in Um al Fahem. This town in central Israel has become a defacto Arab autonomous zone — a mini "Palestine" if you will. It took 2,500 police to protect 100 Jews who merely waved the Israeli flag as they marched on the outskirts of the town. What really happened here is that Jews reminded the Arabs and everyone else that Um al Fahem is part and parcel of the Jewish State. The Arabs rioted because they look at the Israeli flag as representing an enemy. Yes, the "Israeli" Arabs look at the Jewish State as an enemy and seek to replace it with an Arab State. All this demonstration sought to accomplish was to show everyone the truth which they prefer not to acknowledge.

When the "demonstrators" waved the Israeli flag, the Arabs waved the PLO flag and threw rocks at the Israeli police. This was an act of rebellion and should have been treated as such. Those Arabs who engaged in such activities should have been shot. Instead they were treated as if they were engaged in a peaceful demonstration! Thus the Israeli authorities only encouraged our enemies to continue to rebel! No country in the world tolerates an element within its midst that seeks to destroy it.

And if this is how "loyal" "Israeli" Arabs view the Jewish State, how can any normal person presume that we can make peace with enemy states which all seek our destruction? Have we gone mad? It is bad enough that we have Netanyahu who has declared that he will continue to "negotiate" with those who seek our destruction. But now, even after the Israeli electorate roundly defeated Barak and his labor party, we see that Netanyahu is likely to include labor as a key member of his government! What happened to the will of the voters? Does anyone care? Once again, after the elections are over, the will of the people is ignored and the power brokers continue their reckless efforts at self destruction with nothing to stop them besides Jewish Destiny.

The Living G-d of Israel has begun the process of Biblical Redemption. He has enabled the Jewish People to return to our ancient homeland and re-establish Jewish sovereignty here. Instead of accepting and working with this miracle, our leaders deny it and seek to turn light into darkness. Rather than work at being an example for the nations to follow, our leaders seek to follow in the footsteps of the nations and become just like all of the other nations. Our destiny is to be a nation that stands alone, not to be reckoned among the nations of the world.

Indeed, despite all of the tireless efforts on the part of our leaders to become accepted among the nations, we are continuously rejected and maligned by "friends" and enemies alike. The only way we will gain the respect of the nations of the world is if we stop being ashamed and afraid of simply being the Jewish State we were destined to be. Peace will never result from our surrender or appeasement. It will only come when we are honest and unafraid to stand up to all who dare challenge our exclusive sovereignty over our only homeland.

Gary M. Cooperberg will be making another whirlwind speaking tour in the states between June 21-July 2. He expects to be in Texas through June 24th. After that he is prepared to go anywhere he is called upon to go. Don't wait until his limited time is all booked up. If you have a venue which would benefit from hearing him speak send him an email today. His is not a fund raising mission, rather a labor of love. He genuinely wishes to promote Biblical Zionism and only seeks a welcome ear. He also would be grateful to be invited to spend the Sabbath in a Jewish community which would welcome him to speak about aliyah. Write to him today, at gary@projectshofar.org

Project Shofar is dedicated to spreading these truths wherever it is possible to do so. It is sounding the alarm, to Jew and Gentile alike,to open our eyes to the G-dly process that is presently underway, and work to support it. We dare not stand idly on the sidelines.

If you would like to support the concepts espoused by the Voice from Hebron, and the physical work of Project Shofar, click here to make a donation

Or, you can send a tax deductible contribution to:
Project Shofar, Inc. — P.O. Box 181191 — Casselberry, FL 32718

Thank you for your support of Project Shofar!

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BEDOUIN TRY TO DRIVE JEWS OUT; OBAMA CONTINUES BUSH'S P.A. POLICY; BRITAIN'S CONFUSED POLICY
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 25, 2009.
 

ISRAEL PROPOSES SOLUTION TO NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

Israeli scientists propose adding the element, Americium, to nuclear fuel, so as to prevent it from being enriched to weapons grade. That fuel would be made available to nuclear power plants that otherwise would use fuel that could be turned into weapons (Arutz-7, 3/3). If they are right, this is a breakthrough.

BEDOUIN ATTEMPT TO DRIVE JEWS OUT

A Bedouin tribe in the Galilee region of Israel has been identified as squatting on public land and trying to usurp private land. The tribe cuts open ranchers' barbed wire fence, then drive in their own cattle to graze. One farmer estimates that the latest year of vandalism ruined $25,000 of his investment — he is not flush with funds. He claims to have been shot at. He has complained to the police many times. The police ignore this (Arutz-7, 3/3). Here is an opportunity for those who accuse Jews of stealing Arabs' land to protest and show they have some concern for fairness. Here is an opportunity for those who claim that Jews have usurped Arabs' land in the Territories to show that they are people of principle and not just of anti-Zionism. Arab theft and destruction of land, crops, cattle, and equipment, is widespread. I have never seen it reported in the NY Times. Is this a conspiracy of silence? Hostility to Israel would diminish if foreigners knew what Israelis put up with from hostile Arabs. It also would reveal to people that the government of Israel is anti-Israel, too. PM Olmert fulminated against Jews residing in an outpost he called illegal, and insisted that Israelis must follow the law. He does not insist that Israeli Bedouin follow the law. Israel needs a Zorro to deal with officials like him and the Lone Ranger and Tonto to deal with thieves like those Bedouin.

SECRETARIES OF STATE & CHECKPOINTS

When Sec. of State Clinton arranged to visit some Arab town in Judea-Samaria, the IDF set up checkpoints to bar Arab traffic from her roads. She took a circuitous route that avoided other Arab towns. After she left, Israel dismantled the checkpoints, in accordance with US demands to reduce their number. The same was done for Sec. of State Rice (Arutz-7, 3/3). Try the reverse. Remove the checkpoints for her trip; restore them afterwards. Let her face the danger she cavalierly commends to Jews in behalf of Islamist bigots. Then she'll understand.

TRACTOR TERRORISM, AGAIN

For the third time within a year, an Arab drove a tractor into other vehicles in Jerusalem, in an obvious attempt at murder. He struck a police car, injuring two offices, and tried to crush them against a bus. He was shot dead. A patriotic organization demands that his house be demolished, as should be the houses of his predecessors, so as to deter emulators (Arutz-7, 3/4/09 & 3/6). If he were captured, he would have been able to look forward to release under a lopsided prisoner trade. Wonder if Israel then would have let him stay in Israel and keep his driver's license and trade. Road building is getting to be a sensitive security industry from which, national security requires, Muslim Arabs be banned. Israel tries to have tolerance and integration, but the Arabs increasingly make war on it. This is an anomaly as important, thoughless obvious, than Israel bombing Gaza while letting supplies into Gaza for the same population that works with Hamas to murder Israelis.

JERUSALEM VS. CLINTON

After the Sec. of State criticized Jerusalem for planning to demolish some Arab houses, the City criticized her disinformation. It corrected her erroneous statements. Arutz-7 suspects that her staff had given her the facts, but she went ahead anyway with her defamation of Israel and her exoneration of Arab illegality (Arutz-7, 3/5).

OBAMA CONTINUES BUSH'S P.A. POLICY

Pres. Bush had the US train Abbas' forces as preparation for statehood. Pres. Obama is continuing that policy (IMRA, 3/6). It does not prepare the P.A. for statehood. It prepares the P.A. for civil and foreign war. Due to P.A. corruption and inefficiency, it would lose the foreign war. Its arms and forces probably would fall into the hands of Hamas, which would turn them on Israel. If Abbas survived the civil war, and got sovereignty, he would turn them on Israel, too.

To prepare the P.A. for statehood, the P.A. must repudiate jihad, eradicate terrorism, stop indoctrinating the people in bigotry, develop independent civil society, institute business law, and stop extorting from the people and embezzling foreign aid. Doesn't the State Dept. know that? Could be. Perhaps the State Dept. doesn't really care, and exploits the concept of statehood to taking land from the Jewish people.

U.S. POLICY ON SYRIA & IRAN

The US now knows that Iran has sufficient radioactive material for nuclear weapon, and is amassing more centrifuges for refining it into a weapon. The US also knows that Syria has been running a clandestine nuclear development program and lying to the International Atomic Energy Agency about it.

Nevertheless, the US is pursuing a policy of appeasement of Iran and Syria. Pres. Obama seems to be following the advice of Lee Hamilton of the Baker-Hamilton report recommending concessions to them. The Administration has the theory that Iran and Syria want to preserve a stable, democratic Iraq. What an imagination the Administration has! Syria and Iran fomented instability! They continue to support terrorist proxy groups there and elsewhere.

Sen. Kerry turns out to be the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He came back from Syria to urge that Israel weaken itself by concessions to Syria, in order to wean Syria from Iran. But he acknowledges that Syria wouldn't turn away soon. Something for nothing! Nor is he watching the clock tick on Iran's bomb-making. [Syria's policy won't matter when Iran gets the bomb.]

Kerry also urges the US to loosen trade embargoes against Syria, asserting that that would be good for US business. [The old capitalist argument?] Syria wouldn't have to reform, first [or ever]. Although he doesn't want the US to make demands upon Syria, he does make demands upon Israel. That a double standard. He demands that Israel block all Jewish building in the Territories. He also asserts that it is "unacceptable" for the new Israeli Administration not to support statehood for the P.A.. [Who made Kerry dictator of Israel?]. Clinton backed him up by opposing demolition of illegal Arab buildings in Jerusalem but not illegal Jewish buildings. The implies that Israel has no right to treat Jews and Arabs equal in its capital, because she wants Israel to throw hundreds of thousands of Jews out of much of it, to make it an Arab capital; she wants Israel to give Arabs preference there, now. She calls Israeli law-enforcement anti-peace. The US is not trying to stop Iranian nuclear development (Caroline Glick)

When Iran blows us up, Americans will have an instant left to realize that almost our whole political class is stupid or worse. Obama, Kerry, and Clinton will have brought us down. Obama may as well be a Muslim, since he is giving Islam its final victory. Think about Sec. Clinton, making a crusade out of statehood for the Palestinian Arab terrorists, without explanation and without justification! They stand for everything we don't. What then, does Clinton stand for?

IDF PREPARATION

Two programs prepare for military service youths who otherwise would have difficulty qualifying or adapting. One program is the Army's. Its' enrollees are wayward youths. A number of them have become paratroopers or entered other units. A current graduate left a life of crime to make a proud contribution to his country as an officer. The other program assimilates religiously observant immigrants. It is located on the Golan (IMRA, 3/6).

BRITAIN'S CONFUSED POLICY

Britain expects not to attend the Durban II Conference. It also withdrew from negotiations to move its embassy to Jerusalem, because, as if there were a moral issue here, the building it was to purchase is owned by a company that builds in the Territories. Meanwhile, Britain is beginning diplomacy with Hizbullah, claiming that Hizbullah participation Lebanese politics makes it ripe for outsiders to moderate. An Israeli official countered — the real question is what part does Hizbullah take in Lebanese politics (IMRA, 3/6). The part Hizbullah takes in Lebanese politics is to keep Lebanon at war with Israel. That is not constructive. It is for jihad, which also aims at Britain.

What ethno-centric conceit it is to imagine having some influence over a fanatical terrorist organization! Terrorists have greatly influenced British policy. Dealing with Hizbullah contradicts, ethically, the boycott of Jewish building in the Territories. That boycott pre-judges Israel and unfairly assumes that Jews have no rights there, and that, self-contradictorily, Arabs have rights in Israel.

SYMPATHETIC NY TIMES ARTICLE OR BUNKER MENTALITY? The NY Times finally had a human interest story about Israel and even about how a town there copes with rocket assaults from Gaza. A rich man donated the funds to build an armored playground for children. [Nice, but solves nothing for long. The article reinforces Israel's futile bunker mentality.] The article did not discuss the trauma Israeli children experienced, but did discuss the killing and damage that Israel did in Gaza. Mr. Bronner gave equal billing to Israel's reason for the offensive and Hamas' false excuse for firing rockets. Hamas claims it is in response to Israel's blockade (Ethan Bronner, 3/12, A9).

Mr. Bronner failed to ieave readers with the correct sequence: First Hamas attacked Israel via war crimes and with stated intent to destroy it. Then, in self-defense, Israel set up a partial blockade. I see in that report further bias and manipulation of readers' opinion. This manipulation exculpates the jihadist enemy of mankind, insinuates sour emotions about Israel, gnores Israel' s real needs, and fails to identify the problems and solutions. The solutions, including thorough anti-terrorism and upholding of Jewish territorial claims, go against the Times and State Dept. policy of appeasement of terrorism at Israel's expense. Thus this news article about Israel, like almost all in that paper, dishonestly uphold editorial policy.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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JUSTICE AND THE LOYALTY OATH: A SOCRATIC ISSUE
Posted by LEL, March 25, 2009.

This is by Professor Paul Eidelberg.

In "Should Israel" require a loyalty oath for citizenship, I supported Lieberman's desire for a loyalty oath. Matt Hausman, a U.S attorney, then wrote at my suggestion, "Are Loyalty Oaths Consistent with Citizenship Values in a Democracy?" I also wrote to Paul Eidelberg for his erudite thoughts. Here they are.

 

Avigdor Lieberman has been accused of racism for proposing a loyalty oath for Arab citizens of Israel. I'm no fan of Mr. Lieberman, but this charge of his being a racist is absurd. It has been well-established that most Arab citizens of Israel, while enjoying all the rights of this country, nonetheless identity with its enemies. Justice demands that those who enjoy the rights of citizenship fulfill the duties of citizenship.

Otherwise, justice would be reduced to indiscriminate egalitarianism — the tendency in Israel whose ruling elites derive their legitimacy and respectability from Israel's reputation as a "democracy."

Justice is the central theme of Plato's greatest dialogue, The Republic. What has this dialogue to do with a loyalty vote for Israeli Arabs? Let us proceed step by step.

The key figure of the Republic is of course Socrates. Socrates was a poor man. Poor men tend to be partisans of democracy. Why? Because democracies usually equate justice with equality. Democracies therefore give the poor the same rights as the rich. Not that Socrates was a partisan of oligarchy. But he saw that democratic equality benefits the ignorant as well as villains. Socrates was a philosopher, a seeker of truth.

Hence he was skeptical about democracy, whose egalitarianism made no distinction between the wise and the unwise, the virtuous and the vicious. Even disloyal individuals may vote in a democracy. Can this be truly just?

The answer to this question is so obvious that it is not discussed in the Republic. Even though Athens was a democracy, none of the various definitions of justice discussed in that most subtle and profound dialogue entails the indiscriminate egalitarianism found in contemporary democratic societies, where individuals of hostile beliefs and values enjoy equal political rights.

Although members of the Athenian assembly were chosen by lot — seemingly the most democratic of all systems — still, to be eligible for the lot certain qualifications were required. First, one had to be an Athenian, meaning a person more or less identified with Athenian culture. Second, one had to have performed military service and/or be a tax-payer. In short, one had to be a patriotic or law-abiding citizen and not mere consumers of rights typical of today's democracies.

Now, of the various definitions of justice discussed in the Republic, only one conforms to these rational qualifications, namely, that justice means "giving to each his due." This is a matter of proportionate equality, not of arithmetic (or indiscriminate) equality. The latter results in the democratic principle of one adult/one vote, which renders a person's intellectual and moral character irrelevant. This is why democracies are ruled not by the wise and the virtuous but by mediocrities, if not worse. Which means that democracy is not the best regime; indeed, it may not even be a truly just regime. (This was also the conclusion of Aristotle.)

Socrates led Athenian youth to this subversive conclusion. He willingly paid the penalty for undermining their loyalty to Athens in the process of liberating them from their Athenian, i.e. democratic, prejudices. Democratic Athens sentenced him to death.

Well, we don't give hemlock to philosophers any more; we ignore them. And no wonder: Philosophy, understood as a passionate love of truth, is dead. Still, what would the "gadfly" of Athens do were he in Israel today? He would surely inquire about justice. Sooner or later some Israeli would say justice is "giving to each his due." Socrates would probably lead him to a more refined definition, perhaps something like the following.

JUSTICE IS GIVING EQUAL THINGS (SUCH AS RIGHTS AND HONORS) TO EQUALS, AND UNEQUAL THINGS TO UNEQUALS IN PROPORTION TO THEIR INEQUALITY, i.e., IN PROPORTION TO THEIR MERIT (AS IS DONE IN CLASSROOMS), OR IN PROPORTION TO THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMON GOOD.

Any sensible Israeli would then see that to give Arabs, who strive for Israel's demise, the equal political rights of Jews, who struggle for Israel's welfare, is not consistent with justice. He would then conclude that if justice is to prevail in Israel, its Arab inhabitants must either be disenfranchised or undergo a profound political and religious metamorphosis.

If Socrates led Israelis to this conclusion he would probably be condemned by Israel's political and intellectual elites and indicted for "racism" or "incitement." True, he might point out, during his trial, that Israeli Arabs do not perform military service; that they engage in massive tax evasion; that they aid terrorists and commit terrorist acts; hence that it is unjust to endow such disloyal Arabs with the equal rights of Jews.

All this would probably be of no avail at Socrates' trial. He would almost certainly be convicted and imprisoned, and any appeal to Israel's egalitarian Supreme Court would be futile. This is quite a commentary on Israel's political and judicial elites, from whose lips the honeyed word "Democracy" is ever dripping but hardly a word about JUSTICE. There is hardly a public figure in Israel that has the courage as well as the wit to tell the truth about the manifest injustice (and deadly consequences) of giving the vote to this country's Arab inhabitants. Indeed, IT IS AGAINST THE LAW IN ISRAEL TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

Now we are prepared to go to the root of things. What needs to be said, and what no one dares say in Israel, is that THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED, IN 1948, ON A MONUMENTAL INJUSTICE: GIVING TO JEWS AND ARABS — TO LOYAL AND DISLOYAL INHABITANTS OF ISRAEL — THE EQUAL RIGHT TO VOTE IN THIS SUPPOSED-TO-BE JEWISH STATE.

Not Peace but JUSTICE is the true and most fundamental issue in Israel today. In Israel, however, justice has been reduced to a leveling equality, which is why the sense of justice has been murdered in this country. This is why the killers of so many Jews in this country go unpunished. This is why Arabs who have murdered Jews have been released by various Israeli governments. This is why various Israeli politicians have clasped the bloodstained hands of Yasser Arafat or his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

You will not go to the root of things by explaining their behavior in terms of their desire for "peace." You will not truly explain their surrender of land for which Jews have so long yearned for, fought for, and bled for, in terms of "American pressure." No, the suffering and humiliation of Israel today is the inevitable result of the monstrous injustice prescribed in the very Proclamation of the Establishment of the State, that all inhabitants of this State — Jews and Arabs alike — would receive equal political rights. This is not justice but the negation of justice and even of common sense.

This negation has made children of Israel's rulers. It has made fools of Israel's intellectuals. It has driven this country to suicidal madness — the prey of Arabs armed by mindless Israelis posing as men. All this is described in Isaiah 3:4; 5:20; 28:7, 15-18; 29:9, 14; 44:25. It was injustice compounded by stupidity that led to the Oslo "peace process."

Until this issue is faced — until Jews pursue Justice — NEITHER POLITICS NOR POLITICAL ANALYSIS WILL SAVE ISRAEL FROM RECURRING DISASTERS.
http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=3D11431

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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PAIN IRAN CAN BELIEVE IN
Posted by Family Security Matters (FSM), March 25, 2009

This was written as an FSM Editorial. in
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123793752240531921.html

 

Despite being a leading oil exporter, Iran imports roughly 40% of its gasoline because it lacks adequate domestic refining capacity. Any cut-off in supply would do immediate damage to the fragile Iranian economy. Iran is supplied with gasoline by a handful of foreign companies, all of which do substantial business in the U.S. Diplomacy will have no chance without the threat of sticks, so Congress could help by passing pending legislation affecting Iran's energy supply. The goal of the sanctions is to sharply raise the costs to Iran for pursuing its nuclear programs. The only way Iran's regime is going to stop its nuclear program is if it feels some pain it can believe in. (Wall Street Journal)

In an article entitled "The World Cannot Live with the Threat of a Nuclear Iran" in U.S.News, Mortimer Zuckerman wrote

"Iran is making fools of everyone. Even as it lies about how close it is to acquiring nuclear missiles, it continues to menace the political order throughout the Middle East, pressing on with rocketry rearming Hamas and Hizbullah. And that mischief is nothing to what it will do if it is allowed to become a nuclear power.

Nuclear Iran will be a threat to U.S. national security, worldwide energy security, the efficacy of multilateralism, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty."

[...]

" It will be emboldened to use terrorism to threaten or subvert others in the area — especially those who might be inclined to pursue peace with Israel. ... If Iran succeeds in going nuclear, pro-Western Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf states may decide to join Iran rather than fight it

[...]

"Death to America!" has provoked the Iranian street for over a quarter of a century and is the venom upon which an entire generation of Iranians has been raised. ... The inescapable fact is that the U.S. just cannot take the risk of nuclear missiles in the hands of a clerical regime that preaches genocide. It is pathetic that appeasement continues to beguile.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org

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THE GUARDIAN GOES TO PALLYWOOD
Posted by Barbaras Taverna, March 25, 2009.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared yesterday in the Spectator
www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3470006/ the-guardian-goes-to-pallywood.thtml

 

Not to be outdone by the Ha'aretz blood libel, the Guardian today devotes a front page splash, two inside pages, three separate videos, a commentary by Seumas Milne and an editorial to what it claims is evidence from a special investigation by Clancy Chassay that Israel committed war crimes' in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead by deliberately targeting civilians, using young boys as human shields and deliberately targeting ambulances and medical personnel and hospitals.

It presents these allegations as facts. It does so even though they are only allegations, unsupported by any evidence whatever. It does so even though the allegations are made by people with a proven track record of systematic lying to journalists and fabrication of stories and images. It does so even though such people either support Hamas or are controlled and schooled by Hamas to tell lies under pain of torture or death.

It does so without providing any verifiable information — full names, dates, specifics. It does so without making any mention of the extraordinary lengths to which the Israel Defence Force went in trying to avoid civilian casualties, by leafleting targeted houses to warn the inhabitants to get out and even calling them on their mobile phones to urge them to do so. It does so without acknowledging the fact that it was Hamas which used Gazan civilians as human shields — indeed, it dismisses this in a sentence by stating that Amnesty and Human Rights Watch found 'no evidence' that it had done so.

Hardly surprising since Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly shown themselves to be wholly partisan in the Palestinian cause and viscerally prejudiced against Israel. But aren't Guardian reporters supposed to be journalists rather than passive conduits of NGO propaganda? In his 'month-long investigation', didn't investigative reporter Clancy Chassay himself come across any of the copious evidence that Hamas used Gazan civilians as human shields — indeed, effectively used the whole civilian population as either a collective hostage or missile fodder? Did special investigative reporter Chassay manage somehow not to see this, or this, or this, or this, or this evidence that Hamas was guilty prima facie of the war crime of repeatedly using civilians as a weapon of war?

Looking at this Hamas propaganda sicked up by the Guardian (and in a pale imitation, the similarly implausible tale in today's Independent) it is blindingly obvious that, as so often before, Hamas has chosen to deflect attention from its own war crimes — the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians and the use of Palestinian civilians as hostages, human shields and missile fodder — by claiming that it is instead Israel that is guilty of that very behaviour. And the evidence that the Guardian has presented as fact to support this claim turns out to be at best paper-thin and at worst demonstrably ridiculous.

Take the first video, featuring the family of six who we are told were killed by an Israeli drone — whose pinpoint accuracy must have meant, says Chassay, that Israel deliberately targeted civilians in that house. But the evidence presented shows nothing of the kind. We are left with absolutely no idea why this house was targeted — whether it was actually a terrorist stronghold, whether terrorists were firing nearby, whether it was erroneous intelligence or even whether a drone was indeed responsible. There whole thing is only allegations. In addition Carl at Israelmatzav adds this intriguing observation:

By the way, the part of the video where the two girls were allegedly killed looked very familiar to me. To me, it looks remarkably like the neighborhood in which the Hilles clan lived. There are some shots of that neighborhood in the video here. Were the people in this video Fatah supporters who were set up to be killed by Hamas?

Now take the second video, in which we are told as a fact that three young brothers were used by the IDF as human shields. Again, all we have to go on is the brothers' allegations. We see them posing self-consciously in positions replicating how the Israeli army had reportedly used them, including supposedly kneeling in front of Israeli tank positions to deter Hamas from firing.

But a moment's thought suggests this is hardly plausible. The whole point of human shields is that they are a deterrent against attack because the other side will not want to kill civilians being used in such a way. That is undoubtedly true of the Israelis: there have been countless examples of their aborting attacks because Palestinian children were seen or suspected to be present.

But that's the point: children and other civilians are present because Hamas use them as human shields. We know from Palestinians' own testimony and other evidence (see above) that they deliberately kept families in houses which the IDF warned would be targeted — even putting them on the rooftops — in order that they should be killed as martyrs to the cause of destroying Israel. And as we know, they also turn their own children into human bombs for the same reason. So is it really likely that the Israelis would assume that if they used Palestinian children as human shields, Hamas would not fire at them?

Most ludicrously of all, the video shows what it solemnly states is an Israeli army magazine found in one of the destroyed houses showing a picture of one of the brothers bound and blindfolded before he said he was stripped to his underpants and used as a human shield.

Rub your eyes. Operation Cast Lead lasted from December 27 to January 18. Are we supposed to believe that the Israelis managed to publish during that time a magazine with a picture of a boy they had captured during that same operation? And then left it lying around in the rubble — miraculously without so much as a tear in its pages — for him conveniently to find it?

The boys shown are healthy, well fed and bright-eyed. Their mother is consumed by grief as she describes what happened to them... hang on, let's read that one again. Her children are healthy, well fed and bright-eyed. So why is she weeping as if they have all been killed? Looks suspiciously like another Hamas 'Pallywood' production to me.

Now let's look at the third video which claims Israel targeted ambulances, hospitals and medical personnel. No mention that Hamas regularly hijacks ambulances, as reported here; nor that they and their NGO mouthpieces claimed medics were killed when they were in fact terrorists, as reported here:

Last week, the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian NGO, quoted statistics obtained by the Palestinian Health Ministry according to which 15 Palestinian medics were killed during the three-week operation. But, said the CLA, some of those reportedly killed were not medics, while in other cases the reports of deaths turned out to be false. One of the 'medics' reported dead was Anas Naim, the nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed during clashes with the IDF on January 4 in the Ash Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.

Following the clashes, the Palestinian press reported that Naim was killed and that he was a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent. However, an investigation by the Gaza CLA discovered numerous pictures of Naim posing holding a RPG launcher and a Kalashnikov assault rifle posted on a Hamas website. Two days earlier, on January 2, a Hamas website reported that Israel had shelled the Dabash family home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City and that a medic, named Id Ramzan, was killed. But in a report posted on the same website several hours later, Ramzan, who was described as a member of Hamas's Civil Defense Unit, was reported to be alive and to have just conducted a live interview with Al-Aksa Television.

No mention of any of this. Instead the video presents as fact a claim by a man wearing an ambulance vest that his ambulance was struck by an Israeli tank shell containing 8000 'flechettes', or small winged darts. He describes how his colleague was hit by hundreds of these flechettes — whereupon he sank to his knees, raised his hands in the air and prayed. But my understanding is that flechette shells rip to pieces anyone they hit. So how could a man hit by a shell containing 8000 flechettes have been able to raise his hands and start praying?

What's striking about these videos is how scrappy these claims are. So much so, in fact, that the second one seeks to shore up its case by footage from 2007, claiming to show the IDF using Palestinians as human shields on two previous occasions. But once again, these brief clips show no such thing. We see IDF soldiers going up a staircase into a building preceded by a Palestinian youth — we have no idea why, or what role the youth is playing. And we see a child sitting on the bonnet of an IDF jeep with his hand chained to the windshield — which is most likely to have been done to stop him from running away rather than using him as a human shield.

To pad out these preposterous and absurd claims, the Guardian cites the now infamous Ha'aretz allegations — which it manages to distort even further, saying that these included the admission by an Israeli soldier that an Israeli sniper had shot dead a Palestinian mother and her two children without saying a) that even Ha'aretz had said this was an accident and b) that the soldier subsequently admitted he hadn't even been there and was merely recycling rumour and hearsay.

In his commentary, the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas mouthpiece Seumas Milne misrepresents the Ha'aretz travesty yet further still by stating:

Last week, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that a group of Israelis soldiers had admitted intentionally shooting dead an unarmed Palestinian mother and her two children, as well as an elderly Palestinian woman, in Gaza in January.

But the group of soldiers had 'admitted' doing no such thing. They had not 'admitted' doing anything themselves at all — merely reported what they had heard others say. Milne also sought to prop up the 'human shield' claims by dragging in other events:

Or take the case of Majdi Abed Rabbo — a Palestinian linked to Fatah and no friend of Hamas — who described to the Independent how he was repeatedly used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers confronting armed Hamas fighters in a burned-out building in Jabalya in the Gaza strip. The fact of Israeli forces' use of human shields is hard to gainsay, not least since there are unambiguous photographs of several cases from the West Bank in 2007, as shown in Chassay's film.

The 'unambiguous photographs' are of course, as discussed above, anything but unambiguous. And as far as Majdi Abed Rabbo is concerned, once again a moment's thought suggest this is most implausible. Since Hamas has been killing large numbers of Fatah operatives who it considers to be its deadly enemies, is it really likely that 'a Palestinian linked to Fatah and no friend of Hamas' would be used by the Israelis as a human shield against Hamas?

Lazy, malicious use of partisan, uncorroborated, thin, ambiguous and on occasion demonstrably absurd allegations, with the purpose and effect of demonising and delegitimising the Israeli victims of terrorism by painting them as the terrorists and their Palestinian attackers as their victims.

In similar vein, no mention at all in the Guardian of the enormous bomb planted in a shopping mall in Haifa last Saturday evening — 100 kg of explosives packed with ball bearings — which, had it not been defused, would most likely have killed hundreds of people.

Truly, the Guardian is an evil newspaper.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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US MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS TO BOYCOTT COOPERATION WITH THE FBI
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, March 25, 2009.
 

A group of major Muslim groups has announced that they will no longer cooperate with our FBI, claiming 'bias' and 'targeting':

In a statement, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT) cited in particular an incident in California, in which it says that "the FBI sent a convicted criminal to pose as an agent provocateur" in several mosques. A federal agent allegedly told one of the mosque-goers that the FBI would make his life a "living hell" if he did not agree to become an informant.

"Muslims are law-abiding and productive citizens who uphold the democratic principles of freedom, equality and justice," AMT contended.

Another leading Muslim coalition, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), recently issued a statement headlined "FBI Losing Partnership with American Muslim Community."

MPAC warned that "federal law enforcement cannot establish trust with American Muslim communities through meetings and townhall forums, while at the same time sending paid informants who instigate violent rhetoric in mosques.This mere act stigmatizes American mosques and casts a shadow of doubt and distrust between American Muslims and their neighbors."

Yet another Muslim umbrella group, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, suspended "outreach" to the FBI in February.

AMT's recent statement protested the 2007 designation of Muslim groups such as CAIR, the Islamic society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), as "unindicted co-conspirators" in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, Texas.

I suppose the fact that those groups fully deserved the label of unindicted co-conspirators has absolutely nothing to do with it as far as these people are concerned.

And the bit about 'instigating violent rhetoric in mosques' is especially rich..as though it would never happen unless the FBI fanned the flames..

"We call on the FBI to reassess its positions on profiling and the use of informants as agent provocateurs within the Muslim communities," the Muslim groups declared, adding the caveat that "this possible suspension, of course, would in no way affect our unshakable duty to report crimes or threats of violence to our nation."

I guess their lawyers insisted on that last bit. Not reporting a crime would lay them open to the charge of being an accessory, although actually proving they had foreknowledge would be difficult. But not cooperating with law enforcement is a crime as well in most jurisdictions, and I find it interesting that groups like this feel emboldened enough to openly state this.

What we have here is a bunch of diverse groups which might differ on tactics and focus but have a common goal of creating an Islamist political foothold under sharia law here in America, and ultimately control of our country and its institutions.

After 9/11, the common narrative we were given was that Islam was a religion of peace who had been "perverted by radicals"...and in any event, we were told that we didn't want to go to war with 1.3 million people, did we?

This last line was frequently used by Muslims belonging to Saudi-funded groups like the ones above themselves, and I personally heard it come out of the mouth of Muslim Public Affairs Council Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati when he was pressed on a local talk radio show.

That line of reasoning was always ridiculous, because going to war against our enemy in this case the segment of Islam that wanted to conquer or destroy America meant a war against those enemies who chose to define themselves as our enemies through their actions. The majority of Muslims in America, at least by their own admission, claim to have distanced themselves from Islamist terrorism, attacks on Americans and the forced implementation of sharia over our Constitution.

The same goes for the rest of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims. The red lines and the enemies aligned against us in this war were always theirs to define.

All of the other squabbles between the various jihadi groups — Shia versus Sunni, al-Qaeda versus main stream Wahabi or Deobandi, al-Qaeda as opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood — were and are meaningless in this context no matter how much they fight amongst themselves, because Islamist domination and the implementation of Sharia is a goal they all have in common, and there is a long history of various disparate Muslim factions putting aside their differences temporarily and uniting to wage jihad on the infidel.

Jihad in America is promulgated at mosques and madrassahs across the country, as researchers like ex-intel officer Dave Gaubatz, award winning journalist and authors Steven Emerson, Zahdi Jasser, Daveed Garthenstein-Ross, Robert Spencer and others have amply documented. A number of terrorist attack attempts and jihad money laundering have come directly through these institutions or by Muslims that were radicalized through them.

If groups like MPAC, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, CAIR and others are suspending their 'cooperation' with the FBI and don't want these mosques and other institutions put under surveillance and investigated, there's obviously a connection between them and the radicalization of America's Muslims that they would rather not see come to light. And that position, I think, self-defines them as our enemies.

All you have to do is connect the dots...

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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PRO-HAMAS J-STREET LOBBY TARGETS JEWISH WOMAN WHO CALLED FOR ISRAEL TO FIGHT TERRORISM
Posted by Sultan Knish, March 25, 2009.
 

J Street, the pro Hamas lobby funded by George Soros, which nevertheless insists on referring to itself as Pro-Israel though its only relationship with Israel is a consistently hostile one, not being satisfied with releasing a phony Jewish survey claiming that American Jews back their agenda, launched a vicious attack on a Jewish woman who called for Israel to start fighting terrorism.

First the J Street poll, which far too many Jewish blogs and outlets are taking seriously. The J Street poll was set up by Gerstein Agne Strategic Communications. That may sound like a generic name, but in fact it's a hard left wing group, both of whose founders Jim Gerstein and Karl Agne are also the Executive Director and Senior Adviser for Democracy Corps, part of the George Soros machine, whose mission was and is distributing biased polling data to fit the Obama campaign's talking points and agenda. Naturally the Gerstein Agne J Street poll was filled with distortions and bias to ensure the desired political outcome.

Fresh off that scam, J Street has proceeded to launch a hate campaign against Nadia Matar of Women in Green, who spoke at the Safra Synagogue and called for Israel to win the war against terrorism.

"We must kill the terrorist leaders, starting with Mahmoud Abbas and all the others. Nobody had any qualms in destroying the Nazi regime, we have to abolish the Oslo agreements, there is no difference between the PA, the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, whatever names they have. They're all terrorists and we cannot have peace with them."

J Street instantly distributed a letter accusing her of violent incitement, because apparently calling for your government to fight terrorism is now violent incitement, according to this Pro-Hamas lobby. J Street quickly gained a craven apology from Rabbi Elie Abadie, previously a decent man, and his promise to never allow AFSI to use his synagogue again. Not satisfied with bullying a house of worship, the Pro-Hamas J Street thugs then went after AFSI, Americans For a Safe Israel, the event's sponsors, demanding that they in turn "renounce" her "violent incitement".

Of course J Street are actually big fans of "violent incitement" by terrorists and their supporters in favor of killing Jews, whether it's by Hamas, Abbas or at Durban. What they're not in favor is Jews talking about fighting back, as Nadia Matar did. Their agenda, along with the far left, has been to crush any idea of resistance to terrorism.

Nadia Matar called for a change in Israel's policy toward terrorism, from submission to resistance. J Street's campaign against her, AFSI and the Safra Synagogue is nothing more than a shameless attempt to terrorize and silence Pro-Israel views. Not satisfied with merely co-opting a Jewish agenda in favor of their Pro-Hamas agenda, J Street is working to silence any dissent from a pro-terrorist position.

Let's contrast Matar's response with genuine incitement to violence from Abbas' terrorist regime.

Voice of Palestine Radio, the official voice of Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, declared Sunday night that both of today's attacks on Israelis were carried out by members of the Fatah organization headed by PLO leader Abbas.

At least three people were murdered and another five wounded-including women and children — in the two drive-by shooting attacks that took place within minutes of one another: one on a group of civilians at a bus-stop south of Bethlehem, the other on the road between Jerusalem and Nablus.

That's what actual "incitement to violence" looks like.

These are the names of only two of Abbas' victims on that day.

Kineret Mandel, 21 years old.

Matat Adler, 22 years old.

This is how they died. This is how Abbas' men murdered them.

Returning to Carmel, Kineret and her newlywed cousin, Matat Rosenfeld-Adler, were waiting at the Gush Etzion junction for a ride home. A car from Carmel drove past and picked up hitchhikers, but there was no room for the two young women. A few minutes later, they were killed in the attack along with Oz Ben-Meir and three others were wounded.

The names go on and on and so does the list. And month after month the list grows, as Abbas' Fatah thugs continue killing innocent people.

This is what "incitement to violence" really looks like.

ON the very day that five Israelis were murdered and over 60 injured outside a shopping mall in the coastal city of Netanya earlier this month, the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had approved fresh financial assistance to the families of suicide bombers. The family of each "martyr" will now receive a monthly stipend of at least $250 — a not inconsiderable amount for most Palestinians — from the Palestinian Authority. Altogether, the families of these so-called martyrs and of those wounded in terrorist attempts or held in Israeli jails might receive $100 million, according to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

100 million dollars worth of incitement. Or this.

A typical instance is the elevation of Al-Moayed Bihokmillah Al-Agha, who murdered five Israelis in a suicide bombing in December 2004. When the Rafah crossing, the scene of his terror attack, was re-opened at the start of this month, the Palestinian Authority renamed it "in honor of Shahid (martyr) Al-Agha." Then there is the soccer tournament named in honor of the terrorist who murdered 30 people at a Passover celebration in Netanya, or the girls' high school named by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education after a female terrorist who murdered 36 Israeli civilians and an American nature photographer. (The school was recently renovated with money from USAID, channeled through the American Near East Refugee Aid.)

This is what Abbas has been doing over and over again. Last week Abbas' terrorists plotted to murder diners at a restaurant with an odorless, tasteless, slow release poison to maximize casualties. That's not incitement to violence. Just violence. Plain and simple. The violence that left wing groups such as Peace Now, ISM and J Street support by repeatedly pressuring Israel and the US to stop fighting terrorism and to continue rewarding terrorists like Abbas with aid, with weapons and with territory to continue their crimes.

This is what anyone who supports J Street and redistributes their materials supports. What Nadia Matar is guilty of is speaking the truth, and calling for an end to the violence, by calling for an end to the terrorist leaders responsible for the violence. Rabbi Elie Abadie's pathetic apology for letting a pro-Israel group hold an event in his synagogue is despicable. It is not consistent with the beliefs of Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbis and Leaders. It is plain and simple toadying before J Street, a Pro-Hamas hate group calling itself a Pro-Israel lobby.

In the 1930's, calls to fight Hitler were meant with threats and intimidation by the official liberal Jewish leadership toadying to FDR. Today calls to fight terrorists are met with threats and intimidation not only by the official liberal Jewish leadership toadying to Obama, but by the radical left's groups such as J Street which find the mainstream liberal leadership, not radically anti-Jewish enough.

Feel free to make your views clear in support of fighting terrorism and free speech to Rabbi Elie Abadie at the Safra Synagogue or to AFSI to Barry Freedman. I wouldn't waste my time mailing anything to J Street, unless it's a one way ticket to Tehran.

Contact Sultan Knish at sultanknish@yahoo.com.

This article appeared on the Sultan Knish website http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ and is archived at

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2009/03/ pro-hamas-j-street-lobby-targets-jewish.html

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SPEAKING TACHLIS TO MALCOLM HOENLEIN
Posted by Buddy Macy, March 25, 2009.

The following is an email I sent to Malcolm Hoenlein this past December after having attended his lecture a couple of days earlier. I think it is important for all to read now that there has been a change in Administration in America, and the situation has grown significantly more perilous for Israel and the Jewish People. I have updated said email in red, to reflect the current situation.

 

Dear Mr. Hoenlein! I wrote it this way because when I approached him after the lecture, I called him Malcolm, and he responded: "Mr. Hoenlein."

I appreciated the opportunity to hear you speak, and to talk directly with you after the program.

At the beginning of Tuesday's speech [December 16, 2008], you provided an account of Chanukah with President Bush. The conclusion you drew from your experience there was: "Look how far we have come — we got served a kosher meal at the White House." Malcolm, apparently you are so impressed with your own coup, that you have been blinded as to the infinitely more significant reality. The Jewish People have come far? You and a few others get to eat kosher at the White House, while the President and State Department vigorously pressure Israel to commit suicide! This pressure has increased exponentially since President Obama's election this past November. Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell and others are raining tremendous pressure on Israel to perform self-destructive and suicidal acts upon herself, such as opening the Gazan border (Former Secretary of State Rice's pressure on Israel to give up control of the Philadelphi Corridor a couple of years ago was one of the key causes of the increased rocket attacks on Israel which made it necessary for the IDF to enter Gaza to protect Israel's 1,000,000 citizens at risk.) and negotiating the abandonment of her G-d-given, legally-owned land in Judea & Samaria (the West Bank). Your egotistical analysis is analogous to Abe Foxman boasting about his accomplishments in a local case involving free speech, while Israel's Arab enemies fire rockets at Jewish men, women, children and the elderly, causing death, destruction and lifelong trauma.

You received a lofty, god-like introduction on Tuesday. "Tonight's speaker meets regularly with world leaders and is considered by many to be the most influential Jew in America." Based on Israel's peril, easily the most extreme and threatening in her sixty-year modern history and now, significantly more so for Israel, and for Jews everywhere, either you do not have the influence attributed to you, you do not have Israel's and the Jewish People's best interest at heart, or, you're really bad at what you do!

Israel's government desperately tries to give away more land for "peace" this must cease immediately in a Netanyahu Administration while the "Palestinian" Arabs continue to incite violence and hatred against Jews and Israel in their mosques, government, media and schools this has occurred, non-stop, for two generations; and while her peace efforts in the South have led to the constant bombardment of her civilian population and the amassing of a large trained force of terrorists and a huge cache of weaponry less than a kilometer away. Have you been screaming at Olmert, Livni, Barak and Peres to halt all negotiations until their enemies stop preaching hate against them, and until attacks against Israel have ceased completely? We practically had to force you to hold a pro-Israel rally outside the UN during Israel's necessary war of self-defense this past January. And, why are you not screaming at George Soros and J Street for their recent anti-Israel survey and their constant actions against the interests of Israel — actions that, if successful, would bring about the destruction of the Jewish State?

Barak and Olmert have breached the civil rights of some of the nation's most dedicated citizens in Judea & Samaria, banning some from living in their homes and communities, and subjecting others to administrative detention. Have you protested the middle-of-the-night, terror-filled expulsion of the Federman and Tor families, and the destruction of their home and farm? Have you screamed at the government for ordering the expulsion of the Jews from legally-purchased Beit HaShalom in Hebron? Your position of Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents does not prohibit you from speaking out on behalf of the most vulnerable Jews among us — rather, it makes it your obligaton to help! Where have you been???

Jonathan Pollard has been in prison during your entire 20-year service with the Conference. Jonathan's plight has never been more stark. You were unable to convince President Bush to pardon Pollard before leaving office two months ago. In that time, Israel has made massive compromises with her enemies. She has released thousands of terrorists from her jails...many of whom have blood on their hands. Where was your voice when Olmert was desperately trying to free another 1400 or so terrorists last week before Netanyahu assumed the Prime Ministership? Yet, you could not obtain the release of one man!

Your true colors came to light several months ago when you uninvited Sarah Palin from participating at the "Stop Iran Now" rally. Your excuse for sabotaging your own event was that the 501(c)(3) status of the sponsor agencies would be put at risk were Palin to speak without the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate also present. I find it more than curious that the issue of tax status did not arise while Hillary Clinton was the demonstration's only announced national political speaker. In addition, it was reported that two or three of the rally's co-sponsors had threatened to leave the coalition were Palin to have remained on the program. Come on, Malcolm, do you really think they would have removed themselves from a rally organized to bring attention to a promoter of genocide against our People? Outside of the morality and ethical issues, do you know what type of effect that would have had on their fundraising campaigns? Why didn't you call their bluff? You and I both know the real reason.

In our discussion after your speech, you told me that you advocate for the Jews in secret. You said that when I publicize certain actions, it removes your ability to effect change. Did you work on the Soviet Jewry project in private? Did you ask others to remain silent so that you could help obtain freedom for our fellow Jews in Russia? Why did you encourage all of the MJE participants to call and write about Israel, if you wish to work in secret?

You also told me that you would love to leave the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, but that you won't because you would fear what the group would do without you at the helm. That is not the main reason! Malcolm, you feed on your position of power, influence [perceived?], social standing and financial rewards...not to mention, your membership in the CFR. There are two prominent differences between you and Howard Rieger: You are much smarter, and Howard is honest — so honest, that he had me and my female friend, a survivor of the Holocaust, escorted out of UJC's Joel Alperson Farewell Brunch by a security guard, even though I held an invitation to the event in my hand. Some reward for my more than 25 years of volunteer service to the Jewish Federation of Greater Clifton-Passaic, at which I was considered one of the best fundraisers. But, at least I now know where Howard stands!

Malcolm, we both know that you are first and foremost a politician — and a very shrewd one, at that. Politicians do not leave office gracefully; especially, when doing so would mean the relinquishing of such an attractive financial, social and psychological benefits package. It is clear to me that you desire your position of Jewish "leadership" more than anything else in life — so much so that you have long ago decided to sacrifice your principles, including your concern for Israel and the Jewish People, to remain at the 'top'.

This world is full of irony: My fellow unpaid activists and I have become maligned outcasts and "bad boys" by doing the right thing and helping to save our People, while you receive all of the prestige and benefits of membership, including the perceived power to effect real change, by keeping your mouth shut. The justice is: you must ultimately answer to yourself and your Maker.

Most sincerely,  Buddy Macy

Contact Buddy Macy by email at vegibud@gmail.com

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FROM ISRAEL: A HUGE MESS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 25, 2009.
 

That's the state of the world, actually. And I'll get to that. But what I have in mind right now is the political situation here. All is hardly sweetness and light.

Barak, it is being said, is going to have trouble maintaining discipline in his party. Apparently there are some who don't really want to consider themselves part of the coalition (and they are being courted right now by Meretz, although I don't know if this will go any where).

There are two issues involved. One is the future of the Labor party. The other, far more important for the nation, is the stability of the new gov't coalition. If all 13 Labor MKs don't vote with the gov't then it becomes shaky.

This is one of those situations to be watched closely.

~~~~~~~~~~

Along with this comes great tension in the Likud party because so much has been given away by Netanyahu in the course of coalition negotiations that there's little left for Likud party regulars. Needless to say, they are less than happy with the situation and with Netanyahu. Moshe Ya'alom, who was slated to be defense minister (and in my opinion would have been an excellent one) was gracious, saying that for the good of the country, etc. etc... But everyone is not responding this way. Silvan Shalom — a Netanyahu rival — is enormously disgruntled, as are others.

This doesn't promise good things for party unity, cooperation on the issues, etc. either, although I've sure Likud party discipline will be maintained.

~~~~~~~~~~

Apparently Likud will be negotiating with Habayit Hayehudi and UTJ. What they can be offered is not clear. But it makes sense as back-up. If Labor doesn't cooperate in total, or ultimately pulls out, it would be helpful if Netanyahu still had a majority (albeit a slim one) without Labor.

The party least likely to be in the coalition is National Union. From everything I know about him (and I know people who know him personally, although I don't myself), Ya'akov — Ketzeleh — Katz is a very fine human being. But the word is that he's an abysmal politician. Better put, maybe, he's no politician. That's not an insult, except that he has a political position right now. According to Gil Hoffman, political analyst for the Post, Netanyahu's associates call him "delusional." Hoffman says that after the Likud-Labor deal, Katz commented that, "Netanyahu has given everyone what they wanted, so he will give us what we want, too."

I would hope (but don't expect necessarily) that something can be worked out. As I've said before, the National Union has some good people, and I think in particular of MK Aryeh Eldad, and some solid positions. They should be participating in the government and wielding what influence they can.

~~~~~~~~~~

The good news I can offer politically is this: Netanyahu spoke at an economic conference in Jerusalem yesterday, and once again he emphasized negotiating with the Palestinians on economic matters.

As the Palestinians are very restive about this, he explained that, "It's a compliment to them," because a strong economy is a "strong foundation for peace." Thus he will negotiate with the Palestinians for peace, he says, by which he means on economic matters.

He never utters the word "Palestinian state." May Heaven keep his spine strong.

~~~~~~~~~~

Now as to the state of the world. As most of you undoubtedly know, President Obama gave a talk last night, which was primarily focused on economic matters. But in response to questions he did address issues in the Middle East. Making peace between Israel and the Palestinians was not going to be easier now, with Netanyahu at the helm, he conceded, but it was still necessary.

As to Iran, he volunteered this: People criticized him with regard to his recent conciliatory message to Iran because there was no visible change in its leaders in response. But, said the president, "...we didn't expect that. We expect that we're going to make steady progress on this front." You see, he explained, "That whole philosophy of persistence...is one that I'm going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come as long as I'm in this office. I'm a big believer in persistence."

And me? What I'm going to be emphasizing over and over is what a dimwit philosophy this is. Yes! in some contexts persistence is appropriate and productive. But not here! There is not the time, which is what Israeli leaders have been trying to convey to him. While he's working away on progress, and being persistent, and not expecting any response yet because there are months and years to come, Iran will be developing nuclear weaponry.

There are some who write to me to say Obama is not stupid, he knows exactly what he's doing. In some contexts I agree. But here I have my doubts. He wants to be everyone's friend. He wants the Muslim world to embrace him. But can he really want Iran to have nuclear weapons that threaten US troops in the area (he's doubly deluded if he thinks they wouldn't be threatened) and upsets the whole balance of the area??

~~~~~~~~~~

The hope I have for the US now resides with the information I am receiving about massive grassroots unrest and anger — tea parties and the like. Only the people can turn things around.

~~~~~~~~~~

The entire libel that has been publicized regarding our "war crimes" in Gaza is a source of both huge anger and much pain here. No other nation has its actions dissected the way ours are, and no other nation has such charges leveled at it wholesale without foundation. The fact that we truly do have the most moral of armies makes the charges obscene.

That members of our own left wing are party to this is exceedingly distressing. What we have is this: Dani Zamir, a left wing instructor with an agenda solicited observations from former students who were in Gaza. They repeated stories that were unverified and in the main were hearsay, but those stories were picked up by media (beginning with Amos Harel in Haaretz), and in one instance were broadcast on the radio. Broadcaster Ofer Shelach of Channel 10 used actors to read the soldiers' statements but many listening thought they were hearing the voices of the actual soldiers.

That these "reports" — in particular Shelach's — have transcended journalistic ethics is a given. To me this approaches (though it is not quite) treason, for it undermines our position.

~~~~~~~~~~

With that said, I turn to the UN, which demonstrates an unequivocal, unmistakable anti-Israeli bias that is vicious.

Now we have UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, who charged yesterday that our military incursion into Gaza "was not legally justified given the circumstances and diplomatic alternatives available, and was potentially a crime against peace."

What the hell is a "crime against peace"? He just made this up. Why doesn't this man condemn Hamas for crimes against peace committed via the launching of rockets against our civilians? Actually, those rockets, deliberately aimed at civilians, constitute a war crime.

But speaking of war crimes... Falk made this comment in the course of a report to that august body, the Human Rights Council, in Geneva. There he explained that our military operation appeared to be "a war crime of the greatest magnitude." Of the greatest magnitude yet. We're not only very bad, we're the very worst.

He then alluded to the rockets launched at us as "retaliatory," referring in his report to the "Palestinian right of resistance."

Falk and his ilk are serious enemies of the State of Israel.

For the record, what we did in Gaza indeed was legally justified.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Roni Leshno-Yaar responded to Falk, saying that his report was a "poorly veiled" support for terrorism against Israeli citizens.

He further said that when Israel acted in self-defense, "wild accusations are made," but "when Palestinians use the terrorists' tactic — the coward tactic — of using civilians as shields while leaders make pathetic demonstrations of bravado from bunkers in Gaza and luxury hotels in Damascus, this council condemns Israel."

Charged Leshno-Yaar, the council "finds fault only in Israel's most basic right — the right to defend its citizens. It is a double standard that offers a searing view of the dangers of abusing this forum for narrow, politicized objectives."

Falk's response to this sounded incredibly like a litany of Hamas claims, and ignored the years during which Israel has endured Hamas attacks. He was factually off base when he claimed that Israel had the alternative of renewing the cease-fire with Hamas, as it was Hamas that refused to renew it. What is more, his data on the number of civilians who were killed, not surprisingly, differed significantly from what Israeli investigation has revealed. (His claim: Only 235 of the 1,434 of the Palestinians fatalities were combatants, another 239 were policemen. Of the 960 civilians who lost their lives, 288 were children and 121 women. More on this below.)

~~~~~~~~~~

The fight against these people and these charges must be fought; the fallacious arguments and data, the bias, must be exposed. But it's a long, hard haul.

Make no mistake about it: This is as much a part of a war against us as the rockets. There is an attempt to delegitimize us internationally, and international forum are participating.

~~~~~~~~~~

Southern Command chief Major-General Yoav Gallant spoke out about charges against the operation in Gaza for the first time yesterday, declaring:

"I'm proud that we have such a moral army, which respects international law.

"The Palestinian gunman held his arms cache in his home, came out to fight and went back to the house believing that we will not target him there.

"All in all, 800 terrorists and 300 civilians we did not want to hurt had been killed in the operation. This ratio, of almost a quarter uninvolved [victims] is an unprecedented accomplishment in the history of campaigns of this nature."

(Note here: I have reported previously on the ways in which the IDF scrupulous investigated the numbers killed and the percentage that was terrorists — many of whom were not in any uniform.)

"The soldiers were faced with tough moral dilemmas, and at the same time the command was required to exercise moral balance, when every mistake could lead either to the failure of the mission or to the killing of civilians."

The general said he was in the process of doing an inquiry of all units that participated in Gaza, "and the results give the sense of a moral, disciplined army."

~~~~~~~~~~

A correction: I cited recently, from a source, 200,000 houses as being the number given by Ashkenazi that were called by phone in Gaza to warn people to leave before an attack, and I expressed the comment that this was incredible. Well, this must have been a typo, more likely the number of flyers released or something. General Galant indicated that about 300 houses were called, which makes more sense — houses that were going to be directly bombed because of caches of weapons or the presence of terrorists. Only once did a family refuse to leave, he said. This is the case I had referred to, the case of Nizar Rayan.

But, in any event, how many nations in how many war situations, call houses first to warn civilians to get out before the houses are bombed? Does anyone know of a parallel to what Israel — that most maligned of nations — does to protect civilians?

~~~~~~~~~~

Lastly today then, I have this:

According to a report in Ma'ariv, an IDF officer who fought in Gaza did a personal investigation of the charges I have referred to above.

Zamir's charges focused on one brigade and the brigade commander took it upon himself to investigate. His findings will now be presented to Brigadier General Eyal Eisenberg, commander of the Gaza division, and after approval, to the head of the Southern Command, Major General Yoav Gallant.

"Regarding the incident in which it was claimed that a sniper fired at a Palestinian woman and her two daughters, the brigade commander's investigation cites the sniper: 'I saw the woman and her daughters and I shot warning shots. The section commander came up to the roof and shouted at me, "Why did you shoot at them?" I explained that I did not shoot at them, but I fired warning shots.'

"Officers from the brigade suspect that fighters who remained in the lower story of the Palestinian house thought that he hit the women, and from there the rumor that a sniper killed a mother and her two daughters spread."

"Regarding the second incident, in which it was claimed that soldiers went up to the roof to entertain themselves with firing and killed an elderly Palestinian woman, the brigade commander investigation found that there was no such incident."

An officer of an elite unit told Ma'ariv: "...non-combatant civilians were killed without doubt. But there was no deliberate harm done to innocent civilians. I am fully convinced that there was no soldier who shot for no reason out of a desire for revenge. I don't know of any such cases."

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

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THE ONLY HOPE — THE NATIONAL REFERENDUM
Posted by Miki and Herb Sunshine, March 25, 2009.

This article was written by Rabbi Meir Kahane and it appeared in the Magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea, Nissan-5737, April-1977.

It is distributed by Barbara Ginsberg, who writes: "Anyone reading this Rav Kahane article and is not on my personal list to receive the weekly articles written by Rav Kahane and would like to be, please contact me at: barhow@netvision.net.il "

Previously e-mailed Rav Kahane writings are available at
http:/www.barbaraginsberg.blogspot.com

 

The election of a national emergency government for four full years, consisting of one party (rather than the impossible coalition of today) that will be obliged and have full power to implement the following program:

A) Putting an end to the Arab uprising with all means that the army deems necessary. This will include automatic and compulsory expulsions of law-violators and their families, the free use of weapons against stone-throwers and other attackers of Israelis, as well as permission for Jewish civilians traveling in the territories and under attack, to use their weapons freely in the same manner as soldiers.

B) The annexation of the liberated areas (Judea, Samaria, Gaza) by incorporating them into the State of Israel. Full Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel, including the Temple Mount, and free Jewish settlement throughout the land.

C) Offering both the Arabs of the territories and those within the pre-1967 Israel the choice of: 1) remaining in the land with full individual rights (cultural, social, religious, economic) but no national ones (they will not be citizens, will not vote, nor sit in the Knesset) as they recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, 2) leaving the country willingly with compensation for property or, 3) refusing both of the above and being removed from the land.

D) Dismantling the country's present bureaucratic, government-bobbled economy and introducing a free economy with private initiative, incentives to investors, and freedom from obsessive regulation and red tape. The opportunity to make Israel an economic super-power lies down the road of free enterprise.

E) A total overhaul of the country's educational system to put an end to the disastrous ideological bankruptcy of the young Israeli who has little if any knowledge and emotional links with Zionism, Judaism, or Jewishness. A curriculum that will include large doses of Jewish values and Jewish sources as well as Jewish national pride and Zionism, taught by ideologically competent teachers.

F) The creation of a new state television and radio authority with positive values toward Judaism and Jewish nationalism. An end to the deliberate distortions of the news and the undermining of national morale and values.

G) The compulsory learning by every Jewish youngster of a manual trade so as to recreate the Jewish worker that was the dream of Zionism and is the basis of any normal national economy and state.

At the end of four years, another referendum will be held to see if the people agree that the aims of the national emergency government have been achieved or if another four years will be needed.

The referendum will declare and mandate that, if approved the Knesset will be dissolved and a free election held within 30 days to elect one party with full and absolute powers and obligations to implement the program mandated by the referendum. Any party or list will be eligible to run and be elected on condition that it pledge to full accept and fully implement the above program.

This will be the reply to the enemies of Israel who dream of its destruction. This will be the reply to those within the State whose policies would destroy the Jewish body and eliminate the Jewish soul.

As World War II struck Great Britain with all the frightening implications of defeat, British democracy froze the democratic political system, suspended elections and major political rights. It did so because Great Britain faced a threat to all that was dear to it. How much more should Israel, faced with a threat to its very existence, not shrink from this.

And one can fairly taste the reaction of the demagogues of democracy to the above. On every high hill and under every leafy tree the declaimers of democracy cry out in well-rehearsed fury: This is a threat to democracy!

Ah, how shrill the squeal of the stuck, the bowl of the hypocrites of political history. They bemoan the threat to democracy. They warn against the treat to democracy. The democracy that does not exist and that never really did in the state of heartbreak. Israel.

Herb Sunshine is a lawyer, qualified to practice in U.S.A. and Israel. He and his wife Miki live in Jerusalem. Contact them by email at sunshine.h@012.net.il

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OBAMA PRO-ISLAMIST?; FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN ISRAEL; ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICT ANOMALY
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 24, 2009.
 

WHAT ISRAELI DETERRENCE?

The Israeli government claims that its brief foray into Gaza (and earlier into Lebanon), has re-established Israeli deterrence. Now the IDF worries that Hamas' continued firing of rockets into Israel soon after the Gaza combat, is destroying that alleged deterrence, because Israel is retaliating mildly. Residents of cities under bombardment know there has been no deterrent (IMRA, 2/28).

If the invasion of Lebanon had re-established Israeli deterrence, Hamas would not have emulated Hizbullah by attacking Israel in a similar manner.

The Gaza incursion did not re-establish Israeli deterrence. The resumption of Hamas bombardment proves it has not.

Israel's leaders talk nonsense. They won't fight to win. They fear foreign criticism more than they favor national security. Ironically, it is the criticism of Israel, rather than the combat by Israel, that was disproportionate.

OBAMA PRO-ISLAMIST?

All of Obama's advisors on the subject are anti-Zionist. He is not stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. He is moving towards recognizing and aiding Hamas and Syria, at the cost of endangering Israel mortally. He encouraged Pakistan to turn a large part of Pakistan over to Islamist control.

He also started working with the Durban II agenda committee, is reducing means of dealing with captured terrorists, is withdrawing US forces from Iraq, and may reduce the military budget (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 2/28).

The US sat with the agenda committee but did not try to get it to reform. Then it decided not to attend the full Conference. It's inconsistency is confusing. Where does the US stand? Why not be consistent against bigotry against all?

It is not yet clear whether Obama rejects measures for dealing with terrorists because the methods are abusive and ineffective. He is turning the matter over to civilian courts, which are not equipped to deal with war. Unable to cope with secret evidence well, they may have to let many culpable terrorists go.

Withdrawal of some forces from Iraq is reasonable, given the reduction of the war there and its increase where he is sending troops.

He wants to eliminate weapons systems that don't work. He proposed enlarging the armed forces, so they don't get over-worked by repeated tours of combat. The Pakistan policy is worrisome. Not all his measures are not pro-Islamist.

FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN ISRAEL

With help from Abbas, Israel approved 3,458 applications for P.A. residents to reunite with family members in Israel. Abbas called this part of the ideology of "right of return." (IMRA, 3/1.) Israel claims there is such a right. Then why does it let the Arabs, who want to take over Israel, gradually institute it?

Why didn't Israel let them reunite outside Israel? After all, the government claims it is trying to maintain the Jewish character of the state and protect the people.

U.S. TRYING TO FIND TALIBAN TO WORK WITH

Pres. Obama wants to try the same tacic on the Taliban in Pakistan that the US tried with Sunnis in Iraq. That tactic is to work with a moderate faction against the extremist faction, to stop the jihad (NY Times, 3/8).

This is risky. It requires good intelligence. Otherwise, it backfires. The British made truces with the enemy in both Iraq and in Afghanistan. They ended up turning Basra over to the insurgency and areas of Afghanistan over to jihadists.

The US situation in Iraq may have been different. The ones with whom Gen. Petraeus made an alliance originally supported the Sunni insurgency. A major reason was for protection from the initial Shiite belligerency towards them. Al-Qaida, however, treated Sunni areas so brutally, that the local tribes turned against them. Tribesman and US troops together expelled al-Qaida from some provinces. Whether the Shiite-dominated government will treat those Sunnis decently remains to be seen. On that could hinge the success of the war there.

ISRAELI ARMED FORCES WOO ULTRA-ORTHODOX

The IDF has been asking the small number of Ultra-Orthodox veterans to re-enlist and make the military their career. They would serve as counselors for the larger number of Ultra-Orthodox men whom the IDF wishes to enlist (Arutz-7, 3/2). Population increases in Ultra-Orthodox make this change important.

The article fails to indicate whether the IDF is doing anything to make military life consistent with religious life. The military has exhibited much prejudice against religiously observant Jews.

PILGRIMAGE & ESPIONAGE

Israeli Arabs make pilgrimages to Mecca. There, terrorist agents sound them out and try to recruit them. One was indicted for contact with enemy agents, though he did not go through with his stated inclination to help them (IMRA, 3/1).

ARAB-ISRAEL CONFLICT ANOMALY

Hamas has restored its arms-smuggling tunnels. It transmits anti-helicopter missiles and stronger rockets. A recent armor-penetrating rocket is 2 1/2 times the size of previous ones. Launching has returned to pre-IDF invasion volume.

Meanwhile, in a neighboring country, 80 states and organizations, led by Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, pledged billions of dollars to Gaza. That is the anomaly. (This ill-serving program is in the name of good intent. US policy-makers, however, do not show good intent towards Israel.)

By contrast, the US has started restricting military aid to Israel. The weapons must be only defensive and needed to preserve Israel's qualitative edge. The distinction is meaningless. "Edge" doesn't take into account that enough good weapons can overwhelm a small quantity of slightly superior ones. The US sells the Arabs top quality arms. It restricts Israel from upgrading purchased US arms so as to gain a significant qualitative advantage. "Edge" is lip service.

HOW KADIMA DID SO WELL IN ELECTION

The foreign policies that Kadima sponsored or approved have failed badly. PM Barak's flight from southern Lebanon let Hizbullah turn it into a base against Israel and war. The Olmert-Livni show, in that next war, basically was treading water until a ceasefire was imposed. The duo claimed the ceasefire as a great achievement. Achievement for Hizbullah, they should say. Israel's withdrawal this time enabled Hizbullah to amass three times the rockets it had before the Israeli invasion [and to gain control over Lebanon]. The Sharon-Olmert-Livni expulsion of the Jews from Gaza put Hamas into position to bombard Israel. The Kadima regime had Israel go back in but superficially. If Israel re-conquered Gaza and took over running it, which is the only way it could prevent Iran's proxy there from resuming battle, Kadima would be admitting that its policy of giveaway, which it still favors, failed and is irrational. Hence the bombardment has resumed, and heavier rockets are being fired. With that record of failure, how did Kadima to elect the most Members of Knesset?

Leftist Kadima ignores failure and claims success; the leftist media collaborate in that. Kadim claims to have attained deterrence against Hamas. After the election, the renewed Hamas bombardment of Israel disproved that. Instead, the world is in a financial offensive to help Hamas and in a diplomatic offensive against Israel. Since Kadima never admits failure, it won't acknowledge that the Obama regime is hostile. Neither does it fight hard against Abbas' efforts to have IDF commanders indicted. Criticizing him would admit he is no better than Hamas, and is not one to give land to. Instead, Livni criticizes Netanyahu for not promising P.A. sovereignty (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 3/2).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: A FLOWERY SLOPE ON THE GOLAN
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, March 24, 2009.
 

A flowery slope near the Ophir Lookout on the Golan Heights
 

This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

I still recall the first time I set foot in a back country forest in New England and my disappointment at the chaos and debris which littered the woods in every direction. Though the petals of a rose may appear flawless, nature often falls well short of a tidy perfection. It's important to keep this in mind when attempting to photograph the grandeur of the natural world. Even as the camera is sometimes able to remove from view what the photographer finds undesirable, it still must contend with the disorder of what remains within the frame.

I spent two days in the north of Israel earlier this month, hoping to record some of the annual spring renewal. I met with some good fortune on my first morning when a heavy squall drenched the landscape, and, more importantly, cleared away dust and pollution that are a nagging impediment to good landscapes. After taking shelter in my car for about 20 minutes, I emerged to a virtual Brigadoon, a moist and magical (and very muddy) yet short-lived sunshine and crystal-clear air. With the storm still visible on the horizon, I set up my tripod in the sodden ground and composed a shot that, more than anything, was an attempt to capture the clarity and brilliance of that vanishing moment. My wide angle zoom pulled all the way back to 12mm brings together in absolute sharpness the heavy clouds, the wet sheen on the rocks, the streaking yellow mustard flowers, and the blades of grass bent by lingering raindrops. My boots stayed wet for hours but my heart danced the whole day through.

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

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IT'S WORSE THAN A CRIME, IT'S BLUNDERING ANALYSIS
Posted by Barry Rubin, March 24, 2009.
 

The problem, as we see repeatedly, with much media coverage of issues involving Israel is the way the story is defined. There need not be any sense of bias by a reporter. Merely copying what other journalists do or from a specific ideological framework — not because reporters have preconceptions but because they make far less effort than in the past to balance them — leads to a conception of the story that is skewed.

This appears subtly in news stories but very openly in analysis pieces. Consider Steven Gutkin, "Analysis: Mideast peace up to interlocking deals," March 16, 2009. The lead is innovative but a bit clunky:

"The fate of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a collection of moving parts that somehow need to come together in a single package: an Israel-Hamas prisoner swap, a truce for Gaza, and new governments on both sides of the firing line that could pursue peace."

There is an attempt to present the issue as involving a number of aspects. Yet the article mixes two very different things: the situation between Israel and Hamas regarding Gaza, and prospects for a comprehensive peace. In a very real sense, these are not related or, to put it another way, they are inversely related.

The undercover assumption here is that the more peace there is between Israel and Hamas, the more likely a comprehensive peace becomes. In fact, the first would damage the second. The reason why should be obvious: Hamas is against any compromise peace but favors long-term, bloody struggle using terrorism. If Hamas survives as ruler in Gaza, and even more damaging if the Palestinian Authority and Hamas make a coalition, the chances for a comprehensive peace — low enough already — decline to zero. All-out war is guaranteed.

The article next discusses the ups-and-downs of Israel-Hamas negotiations over a prisoner exchange and continues:

"Such a swap could have helped pave the way for a long-term Israel-Hamas truce deal that in turn might have opened the Gaza Strip's blockaded borders to allow for reconstruction after Israel's punishing offensive there."

This can be summarized as: truce brings open borders brings reconstruction to repair damage caused by Israel.

The words "rockets" or the phrase cross-border attacks do not appear in the article. There is no hint that Hamas aggression is the cause of conflict, nor that the fighting started because Hamas unilaterally rejected the existing truce (which it wasn't enforcing any way). Equally, there is no mention that the issue is not just opening the borders but what is allowed to go across them, nor that there is some problem with rebuilding things in order to benefit a radical and repressive Islamist regime to keep it in power.

Thus the story is this: Israel attacked and destroyed Gaza, let's have a truce so it can be rebuilt.

And who do you think that places the blame on?

Then we turn to an equally important — and misexplained — subject:

"Rebuilding Gaza will almost surely also depend on the success of current reconciliation talks in Egypt between Hamas militants and the Western-backed Fatah movement in efforts to reverse the results of a brief 2007 civil war that left rival Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank."

At least the reporter wrote "Western-backed" rather than moderate, though no hint is given that the civil war was started by Hamas. It was a rather one-sided civil war.

Yet next comes a truly terrible and profoundly misleading sentence:

"Getting Hamas and Fatah to reconcile is also key to the success of U.S.-backed Mideast peace talks, as it's unlikely Israel would sign on to a deal if moderates are in control of just the West Bank while militants rule Gaza. The latest news from Egypt is that the Hamas-Fatah talks are not going well."

Well, where to begin? While it is true that Israel understandably wants to sign a peace deal only with a united Palestinian side which can deliver on its pledges, putting Hamas and Fatah together will ensure no such deal can ever be signed.

There is no hint in this article of why the word "militants" is used to describe Hamas. A lot of people critique the media for not using the word "terrorists" I don't agree. Terrorism is a tactic and Hamas uses terrorism yet that does not encompass the organization's views or goals. I'd prefer to see such phrases as: radical Islamist or determined to wipe Israel off the map or repressive, or even genocidal.

But the implication is not that Hamas would block peace — much less that the Palestinian Authority would — for we are next told:

"The biggest question now is whether Israel would sign a deal under any circumstances. Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, a political hawk, early Monday initialed a coalition agreement with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu Party, increasing the likelihood that Israel's next government will spurn peace talks." "The bottom line is that the obstacles to Palestinian unity, open borders for Gaza and a peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood seem as formidable as ever."

Note that there has not been one phrase or sentence to suggest that Hamas or Fatah or the PA are obstacles, only Israel. The Palestinians problem is just that they cannot unite, not that they oppose peace.

By the way, from a purely analytical point of view it should be pointed out that the reason PA-Hamas talks don't go well is that both want to be in command, while Hamas is not going to give up control of Gaza. There isn't going to be any Palestinian unity at all. You can bet on it.

And of course both Netanyahu and the Yisrael Beitenu party support a two-state solution.

But that one sentence is so important let me repeat it:

"The bottom line is that the obstacles to Palestinian unity, open borders for Gaza and a peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood seem as formidable as ever."

So this is what is allegedly needed for peace:

  • Palestinian unity (in which Hamas would veto any peace);

  • Open borders for Gaza (which would not only make Hamas rule permanent but would allow in items used for military purposes so Hamas could build up its army).

  • "A peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood"

As always, there is no mention of a peace deal that would: end the conflict forever, bring full recognition of Israel, or provide Israel with security structures and guarantees.

This is the standard practice of AP and a lot of the media. What Israel wants in a peace deal is never ever mentioned.

The rest of the article discusses the prisoner exchange using such phrases as "Israel's crushing economic blockade of Gaza" and "bloody Israeli military offensive in Gaza." No criticism of Hamas; no mention of rockets; no mention of repression and executions of oppositionists in Gaza.

And we are told: "Hamas is desperate to reopen the area's borders to allow in reconstruction supplies." This makes Hamas seem humanitarian. But usually those who are desperate are ready to make concessions to get what they need. This is not true in Hamas's case.

And finally, the ending:

"If Hamas sticks by its refusal to recognize the Jewish state, as seems likely, a new right-wing Israeli government could use that as an excuse to shun a future Palestinian unity government, and perhaps even intensify the blockade of Gaza."

Let us consider the full implications of this sentence: If Hamas says that it will never recognize Israel, will continue to attack Israel, does continue to attack Israel, teaches children to be terrorists, and has the goal of wiping Israel off the map, this merely gives Israelis of the "right-wing" an "excuse" to be mean to them.

Can people really be writing this kind of drivel, the slightest examination of which shows its absurdity? Can the AP and other news organs sneeringly reject any criticisms and assert that this is fair and balanced and good and accurate coverage?

Yes.

But is this fair, balanced, accurate, and accurate coverage?

No.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html. Contact him at profbarryrubin@yahoo.com

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RESPONSE TO HITCHENS
Posted by Kenneth Price, March 24, 2009.

Christopher Hitchens wrote in the JTA
(http://blogs.jta.org/telegraph/article/2009/03/24/1003934/ hitchens-bewar-of-holy-warriors/) an item entitled, "Beware of holy warriors." He said

Peering over the horrible pile of Palestinian civilian casualties that has immediately resulted, it's fairly easy to see where this is going in the medium-to-longer term. The zealot settlers and their clerical accomplices are establishing an army within the army so that one day, if it is ever decided to disband or evacuate the colonial settlements, there will be enough officers and soldiers, stiffened by enough rabbis and enough extremist sermons, to refuse to obey the order. Torah verses will also be found that make it permissible to murder secular Jews as well as Arabs. The dress rehearsals for this have already taken place, with the religious excuses given for Baruch Goldstein's rampage and the Talmudic evasions concerning the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Once considered highly extreme, such biblical exegeses are moving ever closer to the mainstream. It's high time the United States cut off any financial support for Israel that can be used even indirectly for settler activity, not just because such colonization constitutes a theft of another people's land but also because our Constitution absolutely forbids us to spend public money on the establishment of any religion.

Below is my response.

 

Would Mr. Hitchens, sadly infected with British uppercrust anti-Semitism, please be kind enough to make a list for us of any country in the world so morally pure as to be unfettered by settlers who allegedly stole the natives' land? The U.S.? Obviously not. The U.K.? When will the Normans who invaded in 1066 go back to French Normandy, and thence to Scandinavia whence the Norsemen originated? An estimated 100k English or Saxon were killed by the Normans during their settlement of England. And France? Where are the Gauls and the Huns who conquered them? When will the Spanish and Portuguese abandon Mexico, Central and South America and return to Spain and Portugal, or perhaps their original homes in Italy or wherever? And the Arabs? When will they return to Arabia and give back to the North Africans the land they stole over a millennium ago? Oh, yeah, when will the English, the world's most rapacious colonialists, abandon their settlements and political control over Scotland, Ireland and Wales? For creepy Jew-haters like Hitchens, it's only the Jews who don't have a right to their own homeland.

Perhaps there can be peace when the Arabs of "Palestine" go back where they came from, to Egypt and Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Transjordan — all artificial entities created in the British and French foreign offices — before they emigrated to pre-State Israel, to take advantage of the jobs and health care brought to the barren area by the Jews? Compare what Israel has done for the world in the past 60 years (think drugs for MS, camera-in-a-pill for GI studies, voice mail, cell phones, saving the world from Saddam's nuclear bomb, etc.) to what the entire Arab world, never mind the Pals, have done in the past 1300 years (think suicide vests and stabbing daughters and sisters to death, called "honor killings" in the Arab culture — have I left out any other contributions to civilization)? Which people are more deserving of an independent State — the Jews (along with the Druze, and Bahai) of Israel or the Arabs, for whom nationalism is, itself, an unknown political concept imported and imposed by European states?

Contact Dr. Price at consultingdoc@sbcglobal.net

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THE HA'ARETZ BLOOD LIBEL
Posted by Steven Plaut, March 23, 2009.

This was written by Melanie Phillips and it appeared in the Spectator
http://www.spectator.co.uk/print/melaniephillips/3464331/ the-haaretz-blood-libel.html

 

On his eponymous BBC TV show this morning, I listened open-mouthed as Andrew Marr invited Tory foreign affairs spokesman William Hague to express his views about the pretty appalling looking reports coming out of Israel where members of the Israeli Defence Force who were involved in the Gaza operation have talked about effectively being told to shoot at civilians. Hague replied:

Well those are absolutely appalling stories. There is no question about that. We don't yet know the truth of them. I think it's very important to say that. This is evidence that now has to be looked at, of course, by Israel's military investigations unit; and it is a good thing that Israel does have provision for that, for investigating these things and for bringing to book any who were responsible for behaving in such a way. But we will expect. I think across the world, we will expect Israel to deal decisively with anybody who committed such crimes. It will be very important for Israel to do that if it is to keep any moral authority in these situations in the future. So we're all appalled by that and we hope that it will be dealt with.

Of course Hague was careful to say the truth of this evidence was not yet known. But there is no evidence. So far, there is simply nothing to prove or disprove from these reports of the soldiers' discussion carried in Ha'aretz last week, here and here — just innuendo, rumour and hearsay, demonstrably (read the second account) wrenched out of context and refracted through the patent prejudice of the soldiers' instructor Danny Zamir, an ultra-leftist who had previously been jailed for refusing to guard settlers at a religious ceremony and who said of the soldiers who spoke at the meeting in question that they reflected an atmosphere inside the army of 'contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians.'

So what are these pretty appalling looking reports and absolutely appalling stories?

There are precisely two charges of gratuitous killing of Palestinian civilians under allegedly explicit orders to do so. One is what even Ha'aretz made clear was an accidental killing, when two women misunderstood the evacuation route the Israeli soldiers had given them and walked into a sniper's gunsights as a result. Moreover, the soldier who said this has subsequently admitted he didn't see this incident — he wasn't even in Gaza at the time — and had merely reported rumour and hearsay.

The second charge is based on a supposedly real incident in which, when an elderly woman came close to an IDF unit, an officer ordered that they shoot her because she was approaching the line and might have been a suicide bomber. The soldier relating this story did not say whether or not the woman in this story actually was shot. Indeed, since he says 'from the description of what happened' it would appear this was merely hearsay once again. And his interpretation was disputed by another soldier who said:

She wasn't supposed to be there, because there were announcements and there were bombings. Logic says she shouldn't be there. The way you describe it, as murder in cold blood, that isn't right.

So two non-atrocity atrocities, then. What else?

Soldiers mouthing off — in conversations of near-impenetrable incoherence — that instructions to kill everyone who remained in buildings designated as terrorist targets after the IDF had warned everyone inside to get out amounted to instructions to murder in cold blood. There cannot be an army in the world which would not issue precisely such instructions in such circumstances, where Hamas had boasted it had booby-trapped the entire area.

Gloating graffiti left in the houses of presumed terrorists.

Tasteless T-shirts emblazoned with motifs crowing about killing, condemned immediately by the IDF.

Rabbis distributing to soldiers psalms and religious opinions about the conflict.

That's it. Not one single verifiable actual incident of intentional killing of civilians. No evidence whatever of any such rogue incidents — let alone any order by the IDF to tear up its actual rules of engagement which forbade the deliberate targeting of civilians. Talk by one soldier about the IAF having killed a lot of people before the soldiers went in contradicted by another who said:

They dropped leaflets over Gaza and would sometimes fire a missile from a helicopter into the corner of some house, just to shake up the house a bit so everyone inside would flee. These things worked. The families came out, and really people [i.e., soldiers] did enter houses that were pretty empty, at least of innocent civilians. [my emphasis]

Funny sort of unethical military behaviour, that goes to some lengths to empty houses of civilians before storming them. Indeed, the soldiers' discussion contains more such material totally contradicting the impression of gross violations of ethics. Such as this:

'I am a platoon sergeant in an operations company of the Paratroops Brigade. We were in a house and discovered a family inside that wasn't supposed to be there. We assembled them all in the basement, posted two guards at all times and made sure they didn't make any trouble. Gradually, the emotional distance between us broke down — we had cigarettes with them, we drank coffee with them, we talked about the meaning of life and the fighting in Gaza. After very many conversations the owner of the house, a man of 70-plus, was saying it's good we are in Gaza and it's good that the IDF is doing what it is doing.

The next day we sent the owner of the house and his son, a man of 40 or 50, for questioning. The day after that, we received an answer: We found out that both are political activists in Hamas. That was a little annoying — that they tell you how fine it is that you're here and good for you and blah-blah-blah, and then you find out that they were lying to your face the whole time.

What annoyed me was that in the end, after we understood that the members of this family weren't exactly our good friends and they pretty much deserved to be forcibly ejected from there, my platoon commander suggested that when we left the house, we should clean up all the stuff, pick up and collect all the garbage in bags, sweep and wash the floor, fold up the blankets we used, make a pile of the mattresses and put them back on the beds.

'...There was one day when a Katyusha, a Grad, landed in Be'er Sheva and a mother and her baby were moderately to seriously injured. They were neighbors of one of my soldiers. We heard the whole story on the radio, and he didn't take it lightly — that his neighbors were seriously hurt. So the guy was a bit antsy, and you can understand him. To tell a person like that, 'Come on, let's wash the floor of the house of a political activist in Hamas, who has just fired a Katyusha at your neighbors that has amputated one of their legs' — this isn't easy to do, especially if you don't agree with it at all. When my platoon commander said, 'Okay, tell everyone to fold up blankets and pile up mattresses,' it wasn't easy for me to take. There was lot of shouting. In the end I was convinced and realized it really was the right thing to do. Today I appreciate and even admire him, the platoon commander, for what happened there. In the end I don't think that any army, the Syrian army, the Afghani army, would wash the floor of its enemy's houses, and it certainly wouldn't fold blankets and put them back in the closets.'

This is what instructor Danny Zamir described as 'contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians.'

No mention of any of that in the world's media, is there? Do you think Andrew Marr or William Hague read those bits? Do me the proverbial. All they've picked up and run with is the lazy and malicious boilerplate carefully spun by Ha'aretz: rumour and hearsay about two incidents related by two soldiers (one of whom wasn't even in Gaza) — one an accidental killing, the other maybe not a killing at all — plus some wild mouthing-off by soldiers, some unpleasant graffiti, ditto T-shirts, plus some leaflets by unidentified rabbis making statements that carry no weight with the IDF or reflect Israeli policy whatsoever.

On that basis, however, it's proof positive for the likes of Andrew Marr, William Hague, the New York Times, Guardian, Independent, BBC and Uncle Tom Israelbasher and all, that yes!! Israel is now shown (unless specifically disproved — and how do you disprove something for which no evidence is offered whatever?) to have been committing atrocities after all in Gaza; and so has now forfeit what remains of its moral authority, which was already hanging by a thread as a result of all the previous blood libels, and almost certainly its right to exist at all.

This is not just bigotry. It is medieval witch-hunt territory. And it's global.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is
http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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HOW TO OVERCOME U.S. DIRTY WORK; TUNNELS & ROCKETS; STATE DEPT. & ISRAELI NEVER-NEVER LAND
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 23, 2009.
 

HOW TO OVERCOME U.S. DIRTY WORK

US envoy Mitchell and associates are demanding that Israel, even under a new regime, elected to provide better security, demolish Israeli outposts in Judea-Samaria. Mitchell says that Olmert promised that demolition to Pres. Bush. He claims that this promise binds Olmert's successors. How does a treasonous "promise" really extorted and not endorsed by treaty, bind a government? Doesn't the US does consider democratic Israeli elections binding? [The US does not consider formal and informal agreements with Israel binding, having broken several key ones of those.]

The State Dept. and its Israeli collaborators, the Olmert regime, are striving to get Fatah into a unity government with Hamas. Then they could pretend that the huge increase in subsidy for the Arabs, that they thinks taxpayers can afford, would not be going to Hamas. Of course, it would be. If Israel, however, refused to cooperate with that regime, the US would complain about Israel. It was the Olmert regime that left Hamas in power, then negotiated indirectly with it, thereby paving the way for others to do it directly. Israel failed to hold the Gaza people responsible for having elected and approved of the Hamas terrorist regime. Olmert falsely distinguished between Hamas and the population, which supported Hamas. Although the people there were not innocent civilians, the Olmert regime assumed responsibility for their welfare, pushing relief supplies through. Hence now the US can demand that Israel end its blockade altogether.

In anticipation of a coalition regime, Abbas released the few terrorists that its US-trained forces had arrested. Abbas demands that such forces take over patrolling more P.A. cities. That would reduce Israel's counter-terrorism. Eventually, Hamas would oust Fatah and turn Judea-Samaria into another rocket-firing base, reaching the rest of Israel's cities.

The Olmert regime also made a false distinction between Fatah, as if moderate, and Hamas. That overlooked Abbas' refusal to recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, his continuing support for terrorism, and his political war against Israel. If Abbas is legitimate, then so is terrorism. Then so is Hamas. Accordingly, Europeans and other leftists propose negotiations with Hamas. "Based on all that, "...the Obama administration feels comfortable escalating its demands that Israel give land, security powers and money to Fatah, even as it unifies its forces with Hamas and so expands Hamas's power from Gaza to Judea and Samaria."

Netanyahu will have his work cut out, explaining that the prevailing concepts there and in the US are mistaken. He will have to overturn the false terms, "humanitarian," "peace process," and "moderates." (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 2/28.)

He will have to stand up to the US and show it acts out of misunderstanding. Is he up to that task, this time? He wasn't, before.

GULF STATES WANT SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

The Gulf states, largely desert, import much of their food. They consider that dependency a security risk. Previous efforts to boost agricultural output degraded the environment, causing an agricultural decline. S. Arabia finds that it must stop subsidizing certain crops, because they consume too much water.

Better technology still could boost output. Australia has developed some methods that would apply to deserts elsewhere (IMRA, 3/1).

So has Israel. Now why don't the Arabs bury the hatchet and gain Israeli advice? Because those Muslims are ashamed to be helped by infidels they would rather murder.

Rising Arab population puts greater pressure on the poor environment.

ARAB-ISRAEL COOPERATION

Two villages in Judea-Samaria, one Jewish and the other Arab, had a mutual problem. Pipe lines got blocked; sewage backed up; streams by both villages got polluted.

The villages cooperated on a solution, and no longer pollute their streams that way (IMRA, 3/2).

TUNNELS & ROCKETS

"In response to the heavy barrage of Qassam rockets and mortar shells fired from the Gaza strip in the last week, the Israel Air Force recently attacked

six smuggling tunnels in the Rafah border area." "Large secondary explosions were noticeable...proving the presence of weapons and munitions," which aren't always where the tunnels are bombed, at the time. "The IDF will continue to respond to any attempts to destabilize Israel's South." "...200 humanitarian aid trucks carrying food and medical supplies, as well as 440,000 liters of fuel, are scheduled to cross into the Gaza strip today. (IMRA, 3/3.)

The IDF statement implies that if Hamas did not fire into Israel, but just accumulated smuggled materiel for a while, the Israeli Air Force would not have attacked the tunnels. That is not a responsible policy, to allow enemy build-up.

How much comfort does the IDF's vow to continue bombing half a dozen tunnels out of hundreds give to the beleaguered Israelis of Ashkelon and Sderot, where the rockets blew up buildings? The 200 trucks contradict the vowed threat.

STATE DEPT. & ISRAELI NEVER-NEVER LAND

Sec. of State Clinton said that "the first step" is a "durable truce," which can be achieved only "if Hamas stops firing rockets." She called for a halt to arms smuggling from Sinai into Gaza. To end the strife, the P.A. must be made into a state, she reiterated. She gave no explanation, she just insists.

PM Olmert changed his policy of retaliating for every attack from Gaza. Now he files complaints with the UNO and threatens dire retaliation (Arutz-7, 3/3, IMRA 3/5). Firing off paperwork is much cheaper than firing off missiles. That's the one virtue of Olmert's change. The UNO will do no more with his complaints than it did when Israel complained years ago about Hizbullah violations. Back to threats that Hamas ignores, is he? Hamas prefers empty threats to bombing.

Clinton is careless with thoughts and with words. If a fanatical aggressor withholds rocket-launching, is that a "durable truce?" No. Truces with Hamas have proved brief. Hamas returns to the fray, sometimes immediately, usually in small but escalating doses. Where then is peace? In tatters.

She called for a halt to arms smuggling. Various anti-Zionist sides keep paying lip service to that concept, even while some of them demand that what Gaza imports should be left entirely up to the P.A.. That means smuggling. The sovereignty that Clinton demands for the P.A. means importing freely what formerly was smuggled, the sinews of war.

It is easy to call for a halt to Hamas arms smuggling. It is like a throw-away joke. One tosses it out; it is good for a laugh; and there is no follow-up. Unless she has a feasible plan to halt arms smuggling, it won't be stopped. It won't halt of its own accord. Smuggling is big business for Hamas.

What would end it? Eradication of Hamas and the return to Israeli border control. Clinton is not asking for that, though it actually would solve much of the problem. She just talks as if constructive, but her policy, Obama's policy, is not constructive. It's all, take from Israel and give to the Arabs, plus lip service to principles of peace. Her principle is, appease the aggressors. That's how the region keeps reverting to combat. Nothing gets settled.

How can anything get settled, when we have Secretaries of State and even Presidents and advisors who base their policy on the unjust principle of siding with the jihadist aggressors and "calling for" what they don't have a program to institute? Can't get sillier than calling for Hamas to end its bombardment of Israel. Hamas exists to bombard. It won't stop of its own accord. She ought to check the polls of Arabs — they want conquest of Israel, not peace. She should switch to proposing victory over the anti-US jihadists.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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STOP AHMADINEJAD'S PLANNED NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST
Posted by Emanuel A. Winston, March 23, 2009.
 

We have just heard President Barack Obama plead with the Mullahs of Iran to "just dialogue with us and we Americans will "kiss" you with so much respect that all will be forgiven". Perhaps Obama with his extraordinary lack of experience and plentiful naivete has overlooked Europe's kissing up to Iran for more than 30 years.

Nevertheless, the U.S. cannot allow the Mullahs to control the Gulf Oil States and the Saudi oil fields. Arabists in the Washington loop, including the State Department, many of the 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies, such as the advisory NIC (National Intelligence Council), 'et al' do not wish to tweak Islam's nose by having the U.S. strike Iran's nuclear infrastructure first. To view the sites where Iran has scattered its various nuclear R&D plants, see the map in the August 2008 National Geographic Magazine which shows these sites in plain view.

Knowing that Israel will be one of the Mullahs first targets, according to the frequent proclamations of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, all of the above assumes that Israel will be forced into a live-or-die strike at Iran's nuclear facilities.

That way the U.S. can claim they had no part of the "necessary" strike on Iran.

In fact, to prove how clean American hands were in the matter, the President, his Arabist advisors and the U.S. State Department will punish Israel in every way possible — after the strike — even to the point of breaking off relations.

Some will recall when Israel destroyed the French nuclear reactor (Osirak) in Iraq, how the U.S., Europeans, U.N. and Arabs went ballistic. The U.S. cut-off a shipment of F-16s Israel had paid for — among other penalties. However, all those seemingly angry nations were secretly delighted that the Jews had defanged Saddam Hussein's nuclear capability just before the nuclear plant went live — especially when American soldiers entered the first Gulf War against Saddam's attack and occupation of Kuwait.

In this case, as before, the nations who fear the Islamic backlash for daring to de-fang the Mullahs of Iran, want Israel to do the job but, they probably won't say so out loud.

If Israel is successful, they will castigate Israel and possibly use Israel's successful attack as an excuse to assemble a "Peace-Keeping Army" to bring foreign troops into the region so the world (read: OIL) will be safe.

The wheels of the Propaganda Machines in the White House, State Department and 16 Intel Agencies and their counterparts in Europe will be well-prepared to use the willing Leftist Media to slam Israel and get world propaganda so worked up that nothing they do against the Jewish State will cause objections.

I have written 7 articles in the past about "The Gathering of the Nations Against Israel". I have written about how NATO, now without a purpose or mission, is being prepped for a move against Israel under the dis-information that they are to be a "Peace Force". All of this is in motion even now.

"Two Birds With One Stone" would be an appropriate operation's title. The Arabist State Department in linkage with the Multi-national Oil Companies and Oil countries and the Jew-killing Europeans have wanted Israel to be overrun ever since the U.N.'s partition of 1947. It was widely assumed that the well-armed Armies from 7 Arab Muslim countries would annihilate the minuscule new State of Israel armed only with World War 1 and 2 junk weapons they scavengered out of Europe — especially Czechoslovakia. Once those Arab armies overran the Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps streaming into Israel, the "Solution to the World's Jewish Problem" would be complete — or so they planned.

The U.S. under President Harry Truman and the Europeans in 1948 cut off all arms shipments to Israel, claiming they could not ship into a war zone. All were certain Israel would vanish in a sea of Arab soldiers. The partitioned area of Israel would be split up between the Arab armies of Egypt and Syria primarily. Naturally, the U.S. and Europe would send in supplies, body bags, medical equipment to 'supposedly' care for the Jewish survivors of the expected massacre in Israel and also show how concerned and humanitarian they were after this probable second Holocaust — which, of course, they participated in as much as they did in the first.

Now the "Two Birds With One Stone" plan supposedly knocks out Iran's nuclear capability and then crushes Israel as righteous vengeance.

Suppose Israel adopted the same defensive attitude that the U.S. would rightfully take against invading forces.

Suppose Israel also adopted the NATO 'raison d'etre' (reason for being) which was to hold off and destroy Soviet troops invading Europe during the Cold War.

Suppose Israel objected to a conglomeration of forces coming to invade and control Israel — supposedly for the 'good of all'.

Should Israel adopt the same defensive position as the incoming invaders and simply do their best to blow them out of the air and water? (Think about it!)

Because Israel was small and dependent upon re-supply from America, she bowed to pressure after each defensive war against the attacking Arab Muslims. She did not force a surrender and an authentic agreed peace.

Each time the Muslim Arabs lost a war, the U.S., Europe and the Russians stepped in to save the vaunted pride of the defeated Arabs and then sold them the arms to re-build for the next war. It was profitable business for the military/industrial complex of the West. Nothing like on-going wars for the arms manufacturers and their political regimes.

But now, Israel is faced with a radical Islamic regime which is building nuclear weapons that could obliterate Israel population centers. It's no longer possible to please the West by sacrificing the Jewish nation.

Many see this in a different light. We Jews think that the Biblical prophecies are not children's tales or myths. We Jews believe that the forecast of War between Gog and Magog will occur. We believe that it could be an Armageddon. Strangely, so do the Mullahs of Iran who strongly believe their Mahdi (their Muslim Messiah) will only come in the midst of a Holocaust (read: Nuclear War). They want it to come so they get a quick trip to Allah's Warriors' paradise with the promised rewards of rivers of Honey, 72 brown-eyed virgins, and all denied them on earth. So, Ahmadinejad will use Iran's burgeoning nuclear capabilities to attack Israel. His missiles have demonstrated that his nuclear warheads can reach into Europe, Russia and, via submarines and/or ships, even hit America.

Will Ahmadinejad try to attack Israel despite Obama's childish overture to dialogue? In a word, Yes! Especially if Israel is forced into surrendering more ancestral G-d given Jewish "Land for Peace", which would increase the Arab Muslim World's perception that she is vulnerable.

In the Torah (Jewish Law) it is said that if a thief comes to kill you, it is permissible — even required — to kill him first. The Mullahs of Iran have pledged to kill Israel and later the Christian "infidels" (non-believers in Islam) within all nations.

It is time to kill Iran as Ahmadinejad increases Iran's nuclear capabilities and missile accuracy and distance as he creeps up to kill Israel. Regrettably, rogue American Arabists side with the Mullahs, at least until they kill the Jewish State of Israel. Perhaps the chaos of the world, coupled with drought, famine, disease and destruction of the world's rapidly failing money economies is merely the first phase of Gog making war across the Planet Earth.

Some know what happens to the nations for gathering against Israel. G-d Says: "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you." For those who use computers, look up the "ring of fire", a 10,000 mile crack in the earth's mantle. Should it open up a bit more, we would see a veritable linear volcanic wall of fire. Perhaps that is what is described in Biblical prophecy that "fire will sweep over the Islands" (Read: Nations).

But, if you don't believe in all that mystical stuff, watch the money dissolve, the drying up of continents, the rampant incurable diseases like AIDS/HIV and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) which even our best antibiotics cannot touch. Observe the rioting — especially the radical religious rioting — in some countries as overpopulation competes with dwindling food and water resources. Wait for the inner cities of America begin to writhe up in pain and burn down whatever is around them. Historians (if there any left) will speak about his as a natural phenomenon. Observant Jews, familiar with Torah forecasts will take a different view.

Using Israel as a lightning rod to re-direct the pain of the nations is a huge mistake and for which we are all paying — even now!

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

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SETTLING AN OLD ARMY CAMP
Posted by Hillel Fendel, March 23, 2009.
 

Facing opposition from the government, army, and skeptics, pioneers continue their campaign to make Shdema, south of Jerusalem, a Jewish town.

The struggle is being waged on several fronts at once: Visits to the site, planting trees and planning construction, lobbying Knesset Members, speaking tours abroad, Youtube videos, and more.

Shdema is the strategic site of an army camp between Jerusalem and eastern Gush Etzion, which played a significant role in stabilizing the capital's southern front after the Six Day War. The IDF reinforced Shdema with a rampart and bulletproof concrete structures during the Oslo War (September 2000), when bullet fire from nearby Beit Sahour became common. In 2003, however, as part of the IDF's gradual withdrawal from areas in Judea and Samaria, the dismantling of Shdema began as well.

In 2008, reports began to be circulated that Shdema was actually to be given over to the Palestinian Authority. As a result, Jews of Kiryat Arba, Gush Etzion and elsewhere began their activities to keep Shdema Jewish — and have not ceased since.

The latest video, a professional production, features a visit to Shdema by a busload of Land of Israel loyalists from Raanana, as well as guest appearances by former Lechi fighter and MK Geulah Cohen, MK Aryeh Eldad, attorney Elyakim HaEtzni, columnist Caroline Glick, Shdema campaign leaders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover, and others.

A carnival for kids in Shdema

The film begins with a typical Shdema scene. Matar, leader of the grassroots Women in Green organization — which has taken a leading role in the struggle for Shdema, as in other Land of Israel causes — is seen helping clear the road for the ascent to Shdema. "The army is not here yet to open it for us," she laughs, "so, as the Sages say, 'When there's no man around, be a man — or a woman!'"

The Message: Grassroots Organizations Can Make a Difference!

Other familiar Shdema settings featured in the film, and in many of the ascents to the site over the past year, include speakers, planting, singing, painting and refurbishing the buildings — and inculcation of the idea that, though chances for success appear slim, grassroots movements can succeed in making a difference.

Event during Sukkot Holiday at Shdema

An example is the Dagan Hill neighborhood of the nearby Gush Etzion city of Efrat. "Fifteen years ago," Matar recalls, "ten women, and a few men as well, went up to a barren hill, determined not to let it fall into Arab hands. We were thrown out, we were arrested, we were ridiculed — but we kept at it, and finally, with G-d's help, it is now a full-fledged neighborhood — with dozens of young couples, a yeshiva, and more. That is how we have to work."

Katzover agrees: "The People of Israel don't have the luxury today of being weak... Just like we went to Hevron in 1968 and reclaimed land that had been stolen from Jews, that's how it always is: We go out, set up facts on the ground, then the officials have to come in [etc, and then we set out for our next mission."

Speakers on the video emphasize that the government's policies facilitate Arab takeover of the land: laws against illegal Arab construction are not enforced, while Jews are barely able to "close off a porch." Also accentuated is that any land Israel abandons, such as Gush Katif and Shechem, is soon used to launch terror attacks against the Jews.

Eldad: Israeli Withdrawal Won't Solve Global Jihad

"We suffer here from a local symptom of a global disease named Global Jihad," says MK Aryeh Eldad, on the backdrop of a Hizbullah mob chanting 'Death to America!' and scenes of the World Trade Center destruction. "The true nature of the conflict is a religious war, and that's why no division of the land or drawing of a new border in Israel will solve the problem."

Abandoned Shdema as activists found it before restoration efforts began

Developing Shdema

The plan for Shdema is now two-fold, the activists say: 1) To make sure the government enforces its current demolition orders on the illegal Arab destruction on the bottom of the Shdemah hill, and 2) to build a Jewish "Shdema Cultural Center." The Center will teach the theoretical and practical skills necessary to maintain Jewish independence and full sovereignty over the Land of Israel, including agriculture, construction, self-defense, Bible studies, Jewish history, and Israel advocacy.

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com).

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CULLING, BIODIVERSITY AND THE EVILS OF GOV'T CONTROL; WHY THEY HATE; SHORT HISTORY OF HONOUR KILLINGS
Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, March 23, 2009.
 

1) Culling, biodiversity and the evils of government control

March 14, 2009

It was recently revealed that Kruger National Park in South Africa is considering 'managing' its elephant population by shooting thousands of them. The reason is to maintain 'biological diversity'. The problem with 'managing' the environment is that man is bad at it and that it is exceedingly arrogant. The environment can manage itself, it doesn't need man introducing, re-introducing and then culling species in order to create some sort of delicate diverse fantasy. Perhaps however we will need to 'manage' the human population in order to insure its diversity. Such things have been tried before.

Kruger National Park is roughly 19,000 sq. km, larger than many small countries. By comparison Belgium is 30,000 sq km and Puerto Rico is 13,700 sq. km. It is larger than several U.S states. It is, according to reports, bulging at the seams with some 13,000 (2005 census) African elephants. By contrast Puerto Rico only has 4 million people. So the managers of Kruger National Park have decided to 'manage' the elephant population by 'culling' (killing) between 2,500 and 6,000 of them.

Until 1995 the park's authorities culled about 7% (about 500) of the population annually. At that time the population stood at 8,870. The moratorium on culling inaugurated in 1995 was a result of the fall of apartheid when the new government, wanting to please every liberal special interest decided that culling was decidedly un-politically correct. In 10 years the elephant population thus grew by 4,000, which is less than 500 a year and thus less than the 7% that had been culled before 1995. What this means is that somehow, as if by magic, once the culling stopped the growth rate of he elephants actually stopped, since culling before 1995 had never been intended to decrease the elephant population on along term basis, but to 'manage' it.

Now with the park supposedly 'bursting' with 'too many' elephants, although the density is less than one per square kilometer, the park's officials are calling for hunters and others to come and get rid of them. It is perhaps an irony since the recent 'explosion' of elephant population is only a phenomenon of the last 20 years. In the 1980s the problem was poaching and elephant populations in Africa were decimated. People feared for the survival of the species, much as they now do the mountain gorillas. But the elephant has survived. There are supposed to be some 500,000 elephants in Africa with 300,000 of them in Southern Africa. But "elephant experts, scientists and wildlife managers" have warned that "they fear [so many elephants] will destroy vegetation crucial to the survival of small species." Oddly enough the original moratorium on gunning down the elephants had been passed in 1995 after efforts "to protect the park's biodiversity. The practice [of culling] was stopped when it was acknowledged there was insufficient evidence to determine how a fixed number of elephants might affect the park. The new plan seeks to answer that question."

Nevertheless in the name of 'diversity' the elephant must go. At Pilansberg national park in South Africa the mantra of biodiversity is drummed into visitors who must read signs that claim "biological and cultural diversity are the foundations of stability." So diversity is the excuse behind a plan to destroy half the population of the elephants of Kruger National Park. The entire idea of 'managing' an ecosystem is typical of the leftist view of wildlife and humanity. There is a belief that humanity, like animals and plants, must be managed. Towards this end the Soviet and other Communist regimes culled some 100 million people throughout the world in the 20th century. Now the mantra is 'diversity'. The idea is that too many elephants are destroying other plants and that this harms other species. So man must 'manage' the ecosystem. How better to 'manage' it but through the muzzle of a gun. It is quite ironic that the knee-jerk reaction to 'too many' animals is the desire to shoot them. Why not give the elephants to neighbouring countries or to zoos? Kruger is not without some intelligence. One idea has been to use 'elephant contraceptives'. Other ideas have been "to kill or sterilize females about to become pregnant for the first time." This is according to an article published in Animal Conservation entitled 'Managing the elephants of Kruger National Park' in 1998. It is ironic that the publication is called 'conservation' because the animals aren't actually being conserved. According to the same report "To achieve zero population growth, about three-quarters of the adult female elephants would need to be on contraceptives." This is about what European, Japanese and Russian human females have achieved in their own sex lives without the need for government management and intervention. It is strange that so many elephants must be killed in order to achieve 'diversity' when one considers how slow elephants are to produce offspring. According to one article "an African elephant cow may first conceive from the age of 9-11 years and the gestation period is almost 2 years. The interval between subsequent births can be anywhere between 4 to 9 years depending on conditions such as drought or overcrowding. Birth rates peak during the rainy season when conditions are most favourable for the new calf. Twin births have been known but are rare."

There are a whole range of issues that the story of the elephants at Kruger brings to light. One is the idiocy of it all. The elephants don't threaten anything. Their population is miniscule. By contrast the human population is more destructive. The ant population is probably more destructive. The growth of the elephant population is quite low and slaughtering so many will push the size of the herd back to its levels in the 1970s, sort of like the direction of the stock market. But what is most disturbing is the way in which, in the name of conservation and 'diversity', murder is always the answer. It has been the answer in other regimes, except it has been humans who have born the brunt of it. At the heart of the idea of culling is the idea that man knows what is best. It is an irony that it is the same environmentalists who create national parks that then want to brutally manage them. The heart of the idea of culling is that man must 'manage' wildlife, as if wildlife does not manage itself. But Kruger national park is not some miniscule place where a few too many animals running wild can indeed harm all the other species. Kruger is a massive place, a place where wildlife should be able to survive naturally, the way it would, in the wild. Before man became so numerous and so arrogant in his 'management' of animals the animals seem to have done just fine. Yet today, under the albatross of liberalism, the ecosystem and its 'diversity' must be managed. In the spirit of this mismanagement and manhandling of the environment is the liberal tendancy to 're-introduce' species all the time. >From wolves to other beasts, species have been 'reintroduced' only to find that they harm other species, like some rare mountain sheep, and then man must go in to manage them all. The problem is that it should have been left alone in the first place and absent of that it is best, once it is already screwed up, to leave it to sort itself out. Wildlife, like the planet, does a good job of sorting itself out, yet in the need of magic solutions and immediate changes man, liberal environmental man, desires immediate change. But these extreme changes, such as culling, can also harm other species. Overpopulation is not inherently a problem, it is something that happens from time to time among animal populations which periodically 'boom' and 'crash'. Sort of like stock markets.

Managing animals is as bad as managing markets. Government intervention, quick fixes, radical stimulus and other extreme measures upset systems that can naturally work themselves out. But it is all part and parcel of the evil of government intervention in general, from the environment to the market. Consider two small examples. One is of a spring named Ein Handok in Israel. Recent signs placed by the government help guide hikers to this spring. Now fences and further signs have grown up around it. Soon, no doubt, the increased traffic of hikers will be said to 'harm' the archeological site and it will be closed. It is the irony, had the government not interfered in the first place no on would have come and it would'nt have to be closed due to 'pollution'. Then there is the case of Acadia National Park. Once upon a time one could walk in its mountains with freedom and enjoyment. Now large wooden fences guide the hiker. Once upon a time hikers built stone pyrimids, called cairns to mark trails. Not he government builds them and inevitably large ugly signs adorn them explaining "cairns are carefully placed piles of rocks built by trail crews to mark trails and guide hikers...adding to cairns or building other cairns or rock objects detracts from the natural landscape, causes soil erosion and plant loss and misleads hikers...do not add to or build cairns or other rock objects." Its too bad no one could have told the native Americans not to have built their rock objects or carved anything, lest they ruin the environment. Little did they know the erosion and plant loss and misleading they were causing. But the idiocy of such signs is the product of the sign itself, the creation of trails for people who should'nt be hiking in the first place, now tramping like hordes on such trails and needing fences to keep them from getting lost.

From the elephants of Kruger to the cairns of Acadia the environment has been destroyed by environmentalism. Only in such an upside down world could the destruction of half the elephant population of a park be considered a positive step towards preserving 'diversity'. One day we may indeed face a government that tells us we need to 'cull' certain races in order to preserve the 'diversity' of our world. Anything is possible in the extremism that requires gunning down things in order to preserve them.

2) Why they hate

March 14th, 2009

In Brigitte Gabriel's 2006 book Because They Hate, the Lebanese born Christian woman argued that terrorism and other conflicts was primarily an outgrowth of hatred within Islam. Then in a March 2008 editorial by extreme-leftist Israeli Gideon Levy titled 'Has anyone stopped to ask why the Swedes Hate us?' the writer argued that the Swedes and Europeans hate Israel because of Israel's behavior in Gaza. Levy explained that during a recent tennis match between Israel and the Swedes, anti-Israel demonstrators, protesting against the fact that an Israeli was allowed to play in their country, turned extremely violent. They also "waved banners against racism and violence." Levy asked "Was there really no violence in Gaza, and is there no racism in Israel? If we were Swedes, wouldn't we protest against the pointless killing and destruction wrought by Israel?" Levy prophesied that "Maybe the time will indeed come when the world will get fed up with this aggression and violence of ours, which endanger world peace, and will say at long last: No more occupation, no more wars perpetrated by Israel for which the world has to pay."

What is most interesting about these two publications is the use of the word 'hate' in the title. Gabriel argues, persuasively that there is a deep hatred endemic to Islam. But Levy points the way to something not usually understood or examined; the deep hatred that is endemic to leftism and 'human rights activism'. Levy accepts the fact that Israel should be hated for is 'crimes' in Gaza. In accepting this he is accepting the general dialectic of leftism, the dialectic of hate.

People are often misled to believe that the left is not the province of hatred because the left so often protests against 'right wing hate' and against 'racism'. But in fact, while the left claims to protest against stereotypes and generalizations and judgment and claims to want to break down barriers between us and the 'other', it in fact is a milieu full of hatred in the most vigorous form.

The hatred manifests itself every time there is a protest. Whether it is burning flags or burning people in effigy or comparing people to Nazis, and thus insinuating they should be killed as the Nazis were, the entire spectrum of leftist protest, activism and thought is predicated on hatred, hatred of groups and hatred of nations and hatred of religions. Consider the case of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and one time vice-presidential candidate. Mary Mitchell wrote in the Chicago Sun Times on September 14th, 2008 that "Sarah Palin makes me sick. I hate that she was able to steal Barack Obama's Mojo." Consider Sarah Palin's daughter who recently announced she is breaking up with the father of her young baby. For some reason one writer posted "Reminds me again why I hate the hell out of Sarah Palin." Hate. Hate is the main message of the left. It is something so natural and instinctual to the left that when one is alone with leftists they speak freely of their hate the way people who are afraid of making racist jokes in public make them at home.

Its not such a secret in fact. On Amazon.com one can buy The I Hate the Republicans reader. It is part of a series by Clint Willis including I hate Ann Coulter and I hate Dick Cheney and I hate George Bush.

Part of the problem is the elasctisity of the word 'hate'. Like 'love' it has been degraded so that its true passion is not always felt. But leftists and do-gooders always seem to be quick to condemn what they perceive as hate speech and hate filled societies. Brian Freedman's recent editorial in the Jerusalem Post entitled 'A Fading Peace' he condemned teenage Israeli kids in Ofakim for saying to him that they hate Arabs. For Freedman, an American English teacher for the Jewish Agency this "bigotry and hatred — among both the Arabs and the Jews — is the fuel that fires this ongoing conflict and the main obstacle to forging peace between the two peoples." Really? But hate is such a popular word among those who speak of peace and anti-racism and protest against violence. Remember again Levy's headline "why they hate us." They hate. The leftist protestors hate. And yet the right, the youth, are condemned for their hatred and it is said to be an obstacle to peace. But if peace and hatred really did not go hand in hand then one would not see the same pasty-faced wealthy bourqouise khaffiya clad Europeans hating Israel and calling for peace.

The truth is that the natural instinct of the left and its European and western adherents is hate. It has always been based on radical hatred. The bibles of the left, from Karl Marx to Clint Willis have expressed the need to hate and then exterminate ideas and people who do not march with them. In the name of ant-racism leftist conferences such as Durban II actually are racist. Should one be surprised? Anti-racism is racist against the groups said to be racist. So if Israel is a "racist society" then we must "hate" it for its "racism". If Southern whites are "racist" then we must "hate them" because of their "racism". That is always the rubric. One group is said to be racist, then they are all racists and must all be destroyed for their racism. The Nazi label rhetoric is part and parcel of the same hatred. Labeling others 'nazis' is equivalent to saying they and their nation should be destroyed the way the Nazis were.

We cannot defeat hate, whether it is Islamic or European-leftist. So instead of worry about it and thinking it can be cured we should understand it. There is no difference between the leftists in Malmo Sweden who don Khaffiyas and violently protest the existence of an Israeli tennis player, and the Muslims who wear Khaffiyas and prepare their bombs in caves in Pakistan. They are part and parcel of the same thing. The support of Hamas is greater in the UK than it is among the Palestinians. In fact a recent poll found Marwan Bargouti, a jailed Fatah terrorist, beating Hamas by 65%. But among the UK's liberal elites, the ones who listen to Ahmadinjed on Christmas, who invite David Irving to Oxford, and who vote for Ken Livingston and George Galloway, the support of Hamas is more than 90%. George Galloway recently did the white-mans-leftist-thing and wore the Khaffiya and the long black Ghallabiya and travelled across North Africa with a convoy of other white Europeans on a pro-Palestinian tour. In El-Arish Egypt his convoy of liberals was stoned by Arabs who oppose Hamas. No matter, he went through Rafah to Gaza and kissed the ground and embraced Ismail Haniyah. This isn't fanciful exaggeration. He, a British citizen, really kissed the ground. Haniyeh wears a western tailored suit, but the white man wore the Ghallabiya and the Khaffiyah. No doubt any women on the convoy wore the Hijab. At the same time as he was kissing the sand the UK was announcing plans to welcome Hizbullah members to London. The same UK that denied Dutch activist Geert Wilders a visa because he dared to make a film critical of Islam and the same UK that threatens to arrest Israeli soldiers on 'war crimes' if they visit.

Andy Ram, the Israeli tennis player, recently travelled to the United Arab Emirates to play. Originally the UAE had feared protests and banned Shaher Peer, a female Israeli tennis star, from travelling there to a tennis tournament. But Ram was allowed and there were no protests. But when Ram travelled to Sweden the tennis match had to be played without spectators for fear of violence. Think again. For fear of violence in the midst, the heart of Europe, but not in the UAE, the stands had to be cleared. This is the result of the hate. The hate that runs wild like a cancer among the European leftists. When the European leftists will vote for Hamas in greater numbers than the Palestinian one has to ask which is worse. When the European leftist kisses the ground of Gaza and not even the Gazans will kiss it. When the Europeans host Hizbullah and will not host their own politicians. When the European leftists will place the Jew in prison for 'war crimes' but will host the terrorist who murders the Jew, that is the product of hate. It is the product of the cancer of Leftist hate that is so deeply ingrained in our way of life that we have come to accept it, leftists even ask questions like "has anyone stopped to ask why the Swedes Hate us" as if to imply that 'us' should change so that their hate will stop.

This has a parallel in the recent controversy over the candidacy of Charles Freeman for National Intelligence Council in the U.S. The New York Times acknowledged that his radical hate-filled views "are extreme only when seen through the lens of American political life." That is true. His hate and his extremism would have been welcomed in Europe or the Islamic World, which are drifting closer and closer together in their political choices and their views of the world. When confronted with the leftist Gideon Levy's admonition that amounts to 'if they hate us we should change' and Brigitte Gabriel's view that hatred is wrong and must be opposed we should adhere to the later. Hatred and its peddlers must be confronted, whether it appears as a bourgouise UK citizen in his khaffiya or the Muslim terrorist. Each fights and each can be considered a soldier in the war of liberalism and Islam against the world. Each is an enemy of mankind and the struggle against each is part of the struggle for existence of all nations. We must not hate them, hate is an irrational response and it is the realm of the extremist. But we must recognize that our enemy knows himself by his hate. When we find ourselves wondering 'why do they hate us' it must no cause us to question ourselves but to recognize that their hate is their tragedy. Whether it is wealthy people from Malmo, the same neutral Swedes whose cowardice and weakness prevented them from fighting either on the side of the Nazis or against them, or the cowardice of the Muslim terrorist who fights civilians, the hatred is natural to their political choices. One should not fear them either. There is nothing to fear in those seemingly violent European protestors, they are natural cowards only operating in large groups as is the nature of modern Europe. Think of the Europeans who 'protested' against the Chinese Olympics by 'heroically' assaulting Chinese athletes carrying the torch on the streets of Europe. This is the European. So heroic, assaulting an athlete running with a torch. They didn't travel to China to protest though, did they. Their hate is confined to the place where they can get away with it.

3) A Short History Of Honour Killings

March 18, 2009

Why are honour killings always ascribed to 'culture' and 'tradition' and not to religion. Recent cases show the depth to which 'tradition' is a cover up for the truth. In addition recently discovered newspaper accounts from the 1930s and 1940s show that even then judges accepted the 'tradition' excuse and spoke of how 'progressive' societies would help end this societal ill. But instead the West has become host to honour killings, rather than the honour killing societies ending this practice.

On November 4th, 2008 thirteen year old Aisha Ibrahim Buhulow was forced into a small hole dug in he ground. She was covered with dirt up to her neck and stoned to death by a crowd of grown men. A crowd of 1,000 men cheered as fifty of their peers pelted the little girls head with stones. But fifty grown men apparently had trouble killing the thirteen year old. She was removed twice from the hole, found to be still breathing, she was placed back in so the stoning could continue. Her crime? She had been raped by three men and this 'adultery' had meant she had to die to cleanse the 'honour' of the community. This was in Kismayo in Somalia. Despite the fact that locals spoke of the stoning as "what Allah instructed us" Mohammed Fatihi noted that "This is a justice system which has adopted a façade of Islamic law to apply what are, in reality, age-old tribal customs." Houssine Mohamed, a Muslim scholar in Algeria claimed "sentencing her to death cannot be related to Islam."
 

Three months earlier on August 30th, 2008 it was reported that five women, three of them teenagers, were beaten, shot and thrown into a ditch and buried, some while still alive. Their crime? Wanting to marry husbands of their own choosing. But according to one Pakistani lawmaker from the province of Baluchistan, where the killings took place, "these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," said Israr Ullah Zehri.
 

In February of 2009 Muzzammil Hassan, founder of Bridges TV, a station devoted to countering negative stereotypes of Muslims in the U.S, was arrested for beheading his wife, Aasiya Hassan. On March 2nd Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya noted that seven women whose bodies had been found dumped by the roadside had "loose morals" and had been killed for "running around." According to the New York Times "Honor killings are considered part of Chechen tradition." Natalya Estemirova, a prominent human rights activist in Grozny noted that "If women are killed according to tradition then it is done very secretly to prevent too many people from finding out that someone in the family behaved incorrectly."

In Canada it was revealed in December of 2008 that Aqsa Parvez, a 16 year old Canadian whose family was from Pakistan, had been buried in an unmarked grave after she had been strangled to death by family members who were subsequently arrested. Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, noted that "a victim of an honour killing is always left in an unmarked grave."
 

The 'tradition' of Honour Killing is not new. Reports from the Palestine Post, the ancestor of today's Jerusalem Post reported on hundreds of them during a decade and a half of publication under the British Mandate. In one sympathetic ruling in December of 1939 Justice Copland noted that "I am quite aware of the unfortunate tradition and custom which is particularly prevalent in the villages...you have committed a crime and killed a human being." The murderer, Mohammed Joumeh Abu Kalbein of Silwan was given only ten years imprisonment for "manslaughter." Joumeh noted that he was innocent and had merely "defended" his honour. Copland felt the situation in the country had improved in his time and recalled that his first years as a judge had seen two "honour killings" a month.

However 6 years earlier a writer in the newspaper had noted "all enlightened Iraqis must view with misgiving the lenient attitude which is still shown by courts of justice towards certain crimes of a mot heinous nature which, in a more advanced country, would never be pardoned. The writer was referring to the case of Salman ibn Khadayer who stabbed his neice 48 times after she had run away with a man she had fallen in love with. The police had brought her back to her family home where the uncle "felt compelled" to kill her to clean the 'honour' of the family. The court was lenient "having regard to his reasons for committing the murder." The murderer received 10 years in prison.

But other cases from the Mandate show that the phenomenon of honor killings were common. In may of 1941 there were two such cases on the same day. Stabbing was the preferred method of 'defending' themselves by these grown men. In an April 1937 case Ahmad Khalil Mustafa and Abdul Jalil el Abed of Dura near Hebron murdered the sister of Mustafa for wanting to divorce her husband. One contemporary voice noted that "many persons in this country will commit a murder where family honour has been sullied with as little feeling as a solider who runs his bayonet through another soldier wearing a different uniform." (June 13, 1933).
 

Today Israel faces the honor killing scurge once again. Eight women in Ramla have been murdered by male members of their abu Ghanem clan, some in their teens for rejecting to marry men selected by their male relatives. Things were no different seventy years ago. Two members of the Mughrabi family, Mohammed Bin Wannas in 1944 and Mohammed Ali in 1947, were convicted of killing female members of their family. In fact a member of the same Abu Ghanem clan, Abdul Hamid Ghanem was sentenced to two years for attempting to murder his wife in May f 1941.

The recent revelation that Sharia courts, called Muslim Arbitration Tribunals, have been set up in the UK, with the power to rule on incidents of domestic violence reminds us that very little has changed in terms of honor killings since the 1930s, if anything the West has become more tolerant of it and have come to adhere to Justice Copland's "tradition" excuse.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com and visit his website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com

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FROM ISRAEL: BLOOD LIBEL
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 23, 2009.
 

I raise this issue because you might hear about it elsewhere; I want not only to present the facts for you, I would like to ask you to write letters to the editor, where appropriate, and otherwise explain to those who might be under a regrettable misimpression now with regard to the IDF.

What happened? "Testimonies" have been provided from a couple of our soldiers about "war atrocities" in Gaza committed against Palestinian civilians by IDF soldiers, when they were allegedly ordered by their commanders to shoot Palestinian civilians in cold blood. Haaretz (the extreme left paper) picked it up as a front page "expose." From there it went who-knows-where.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here I share the official IDF response, as well as information that sheds considerable light on the issue.

The response comes from Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who said:

"I don't believe that IDF soldiers cold-bloodedly targeted Palestinian civilians. We will wait for the results of the investigation, but my impression is that the IDF behaved in a moral and ethical manner. If there were any incidents, there were isolated.

"We have opened an investigation into the statements published recently. I can say that the IDF is the most moral military in the world with high values. We must remember what region we were operating in — in a place in which Hamas turned residential neighborhoods into fighting zones and public facilities into warehouses for storing ammunition.

"I have known the IDF for many years. I accompanied the preparations for this operation. I was also in the field and I saw a moral and ethical army operating properly, according to my impressions."

~~~~~~~~~~

Commentator Melanie Phillips addressed this issue in her latest column, which appeared in the Spectator:

"There are precisely two charges of gratuitous killing of Palestinian civilians under allegedly explicit orders to do so. One is what even Ha'aretz made clear was an accidental killing, when two women misunderstood the evacuation route the Israeli soldiers had given them (emphasis in the Phillips material is hers) and walked into a sniper's gunsights as a result. Moreover, the soldier who said this has subsequently admitted he didn't see this incident — he wasn't even in Gaza at the time — and had merely reported rumor and hearsay.

"The second charge is based on a supposedly real incident in which, when an elderly woman came close to an IDF unit, an officer ordered that they shoot her because she was approaching the line and might have been a suicide bomber. The soldier relating this story did not say whether or not the woman in this story actually was shot. Indeed, since he says 'from the description of what happened' it would appear this was merely hearsay once again. And his interpretation was disputed by another soldier who said:

"'She wasn't supposed to be there, because there were announcements and there were bombings. Logic says she shouldn't be there. The way you describe it, as murder in cold blood, that isn't right.'

"So two non-atrocity atrocities, then. What else?"

"Soldiers mouthing off — in conversations of near-impenetrable incoherence — that instructions to kill everyone who remained in buildings designated as terrorist targets after the IDF had warned everyone inside to get out amounted to instructions to murder in cold blood. There cannot be an army in the world which would not issue precisely such instructions in such circumstances, where Hamas had boasted it had booby-trapped the entire area."

~~~~~~~~~~

I note here the extraordinary lengths to which the IDF went during the war to warn civilians to get out of the way. Leaflets were dropped by the hundreds of thousands, advising civilians to leave one area or another.

Phone calls were made to 200,000 households. No, this is not a typo. This is what Ashkenazi said. That in particular astounded me. The most publicized phone call took place before the house of Hamas leader Nizar Rayan was bombed. His family was in the house with him and the IDF urged them by phone to leave; they chose not to.

Sometimes, as Phillips describes, a missile was dropped from a helicopter on the corner of the house to shake it up a bit and get people to leave. Who stays after all these warnings? The terrorists.

So in light of this fact, and the warnings that were delivered, what does it mean that a soldier said: "When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up story by story... I call that murder"?

~~~~~~~~~~

These charges of "atrocities" were solicited and disseminated by one Dani Zamir, founder and instructor of a pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College. Zamir is clearly a far left ideologue with an agenda: he was once jailed for refusing to guard settlers. A month after the military operation in Gaza, he called together graduates of his course to discuss with them their experiences in Gaza and printed a transcript of this discussion in his programs bulletin. Haaretz ran excerpts from this transcript.

~~~~~~~~~~

Phillips records the testimony — culled from amidst the accusations — of a platoon sergeant, who said his soldiers were in a house that belonged to Hamas people who were sent for questioning. At the end of their time in that house, "my platoon commander suggested that when we left ... we should clean up all the stuff, pick up and collect all the garbage in bags, sweep and wash the floor, fold up the blankets we used, make a pile of the mattresses and put them back on the beds."
www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3464331/the-haaretz-blood-libel.thtml

~~~~~~~~~~

Said Ashkenazi: "It is a great privilege to stand at the head of this army. "

The damage done to us by the likes of Zamir and Haaretz is shameful. It puts the lie to the true nature of Israel and provides fodder for those who would attack us.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement of Israel, was arrested today on charges that he tried to attack police at an illegal convention in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem that was part of the "Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture" event the police shut down.

Raed Salah — who was previously convicted of raising money for Hamas and regularly seeks to incite Israeli Arabs by spreading falsehoods about Israeli plans to destroy the Al Aksa Mosque — is really bad news.

A spokesman for the Islamic Movement commented:

"Salah's arrest is another step toward 'Judaizing' Jerusalem. Nobody broke the law, there was merely an intention to establish a popular committee to deal with declaring Jerusalem the capital of Palestinian culture."

I love the term "Judaizing Jerusalem." Jerusalem is the ultimate Jewish city. It's eastern part is heavily Arab only because King Hussein of Jordan had rendered it Judenrein for 19 years, banishing Jews and destroying synagogues. The fact of those dozens of synagogues, not to mention Har Habayit and the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, speaks eloquently for the Jewishness of eastern Jerusalem. And, in any event, note, please, that he didn't say they were declaring "eastern" Jerusalem the capital of Palestinian culture. He said "Jerusalem." It's important to monitor their words carefully.

Besides which, what they did WAS against the law, as Palestinian Authority events are forbidden in Jerusalem.

~~~~~~~~~~

Raed Salah was once mayor of Umm al-Fahm, an Arab city in the north of Israel that is the site of Islamic Movement headquarters. And it happens that this city has been in the news of late in a different context.

A march in the city by "extreme" right wing Jews bearing Israeli flags is due to take place tomorrow. I put "extreme" in quotes for a reason, although they would be widely described thus. For I have come to see a wisdom in their "extremism." Umm al-Fahm is a place inside of Green Line Israel populated by Arab Israeli citizens, some of whom are not loyal to Israel. The Jews who are marching intend no violence, they simply want to establish a presence there to mark the fact that it IS Israel and Jews have a right to be there, as anywhere else in Israel.

That Arabs there view what is about to take place as a provocation cannot be reason to stop the march.

We have lost ground in so many places and we cannot afford to let this continue to happen if we are to keep this nation Jewish. I think in particular of the Arab day-to-day control of Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount). There has been such a passive willingness to permit Arab ascendancy, to look the other way in the name of being conciliatory.

~~~~~~~~~~

It was back in September of last year that right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gavir sought permission for a march through the city bearing Israeli flags. He was denied the right to parade by the police because they believed it would lead to a confrontation that would endanger public order.

Ben Gavir, along with Baruch Marzel, then went to the courts asking that the police order be reversed. The High Court ultimately sided with the petitioners, saying that a claim that there was a hazard to public safety was not sufficient reason to block a march in a city which is under Israeli jurisdiction, particularly when the State permits left-wing activists to rally in the city of Hevron and the gay community to hold gay-pride parades in Jerusalem.

Arab residents of Umm al-Fahm were enraged with this ruling.

~~~~~~~~~~

The police delayed the march several times, saying they were concerned for the lives of the marchers. Finally tomorrow's date was set after the court rebuked them for the delays.

Justice Edmond Levi said, "The State of Israel has to demonstrate sovereignty within one of its cities." He did not understand, he said, how "the State of Israel, that boasts an army and police officers, cannot secure such a meager demonstration."

This is a point of great significance. Can it be that there is a place in Israel where the police will not let Jews march with Israeli flags? Where the police are controlled by the Arab populace?

~~~~~~~~~~

In all there are expected to be about 100 right-wing activists marching in the city tomorrow. Joining them will be MK Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party. The march will not go through the main streets of the city and its route has been coordinated with the police.

Chairman of the Arab party Balad, Jamal Zahalka, who lives in the area, warned, "These people have a history of shooting at Palestinians and I warn that if they come tomorrow carrying weapons, they will start shooting and this could escalate into a major disaster." The suggestion that the Jews may be coming to shoot at Arabs is ridiculous, and a form of incitement. (How much more likely is it that Arabs will come out bearing guns because this was said?)

MK Ben Ari observed that, "It's provocation to say this is provocation. If waving Israeli flags is provocation — then this is the greater provocation."

The Arabs of the city have said they will block the entrance of the Jews with their bodies.

~~~~~~~~~~

Shas signed a coalition agreement with Likud last night. The party will be given the portfolios for Construction and Housing, and Religious Services. Shas will also have a minister-without-portfolio in the prime minister's office and a deputy minister in the Finance Ministry.

Negotiations now move to UTJ and HaBayit HaYehudi (the Jewish Home, formerly NRP).

~~~~~~~~~~

Also negotiating with Likud right now is a Labor team appointed by Barak, but not sanctioned by all of the party. Barak in fact is furious with members of Labor who sent Netanyahu a letter saying they wouldn't abide by an agreement.

Barak is hoping that he will have an agreement to bring to the Central Committee tomorrow when the vote on joining the coalition is taken, but that seems most unlikely.

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, a member of Labor's team, said:

"As someone who was close to the informal talks that were previously conducted, nothing has been agreed upon and it certainly could be the case that there is no partnership with the Likud.

"The difficulties aren't simple, they are even harder than I expected...We too have our red lines."

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Haaretz, a senior PA source is saying that Hezbollah or other groups associated with Iran may be responsible for the attempted bombing in Haifa.

The PA claims to have intelligence that Hezbollah has been trying for some time to recruit members of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to carry out a massive attack, presumably to avenge the assassination of its mastermind terrorist, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus in February 2008, for which it blames Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

Haim Ramon, a member of the Ministerial Committee on Security Prisoners, told Israel Radio at the end of last week that Hamas did not negotiate on the issue of a prisoner release, they delivered an ultimatum for Israeli capitulation.

He emphasized the fact that of Hamas prisoners released in the past, two-thirds had returned to terrorism.

The Israeli government is currently saying that there will be no further negotiations unless Hamas comes in with a new proposal.

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

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SAUDI CLERICS URGE BAN ON WOMEN, MUSIC ON TELEVISION
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 23, 2009.

I don't really care how Moslems treat women in their own countries.

I do care that these guys are so successful at infiltrating the non-Moslem world, manifesting inhumane practices on our soil, permeated into non-Islamic States and countries. That few of their target States seem to pay these facts any mind. Nor wonder the impact on democracy, our Government at its highest reaches, and the full range of our financial institutions bribed and manipulated to accept anti-Israel, anti-Semitic agenda. For that matter anti-American protocols and usurpation of our financial supremacy that sets a standard for national interests hostile to America's SuperPower status.

The fruit of American ingenuity and creativity should not be up for sale nor available to thieves. Nor foreign interests entitlement to American people's earnings and treasure used against our national interests, security and future.

This is from yesterday's Fox News,
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,510079,00.html

 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A group of Saudi clerics urged the kingdom's new information minister on Sunday to ban women from appearing on TV or in newspapers and magazines, making clear that the country's hardline religious establishment is skeptical of a new push toward moderation.

In a statement, the 35 hardline clergymen also called on Abdel Aziz Khoja, who was appointed by King Abdullah on Feb. 14, to prohibit the playing of music and music shows on television.

"We have great hope that this media reform will be accomplished by you," said the statement. "We have noticed how well-rooted perversity is in the Ministry of Information and Culture, in television, radio, press, culture clubs and the book fair."

Although it raises the pressure on the new minister, the recommendation is likely to have little effect. Khoja's appointment was part of a government shake-up by Abdullah that removed a number of hardline figures and is believed to be part of an effort to weaken the influence of conservatives in this devout desert kingdom.

"No Saudi women should appear on TV, no matter what the reason," the statement said. "No images of women should appear in Saudi newspapers and magazines."

Saudi Arabia was founded on an alliance with the conservative Wahhabi strain of Islam that sees the mixing of sexes as anathema and believes the playing of music violates religious values.

The former information minister, Iyad Madani, earned the ire of hardliners several years ago by allowing music in government-run TV and female journalists to interview men, despite the country's strict gender-segregation rules.

Women also appear on Saudi television with their faces showing, though most in public totally cover themselves.

Newspapers publish pictures of Saudi women, but almost always with their heads covered, while pictures of Western entertainers are shown but bare arms and cleavage are painted over.

The clerics include several professors from the ultra-conservative Imam University, Islamic research scholars, a judge in a court in the resort of Taif and some government employees.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in town for meetings with Saudi officials, told a news conference that during lunch he sat between a female Saudi surgeon and a female journalist. He said while one woman is allowed to perform surgery and another is allowed to teach, neither is permitted to drive.

"I find that bizarre," he said.

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THE GREAT REFUGEE SCAM
Posted by Steven, Shamrak, March 22, 2009.

This was written by Shmuel Katz.

 

The Great Refugee Scam by Shmuel Katz.

The story of the Arabs who left the coastal areas of Palestine in the spring of 1948 encapsulates one of the great international frauds of the 20th century. The Arabs are the only declared "refugees" who became refugees by the initiative of their own leaders. The concoction of the monstrous charge that it was the Jews who had driven out the Arabs of Palestine was a strategic decision made by the leaders of the Arab League months after the Arabs' flight.

The Arab 'refugees' were not driven out by anyone. The vast majority left at the order or exhortation of their leaders — always with the same reassurance — that it would help the Arab states in the war they were about to launch to destroy the State of Israel.

For example: The prime minister of Iraq, Nuri Said, thundered: "We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down."

The total number of Arabs who evacuated, even according to the British Mandate's statistics, could not have been more than 420,000. This figure conforms roughly also to the figure published from Arab sources, and by the UN.

It was in the immediate aftermath of the war that the refugee scam was developed into an international operation. As soon as the UN Disaster Relief Organization started providing food, shelter, clothing and medical attention to the Arabs who had fled Palestine, a mass of needy Arabs descended on the camps from all over the Arab states. The organization had no machinery for identification; so the arrivals simply signed the register as refugees and received the free aid.

Already in December 1948, the director of the Relief Organization, Sir Rafael Cilento, reported he was feeding 750,000 "refugees." By July 1949 the UN reported a round million.

The Red Cross International Committee joined the party. It pressed for the recognition of any destitute Arab in Palestine as a refugee. Thus about 100,000 were added to the list.

To add a touch of mordant humour, the Red Cross authority wrote about the additional people that: "It would be senseless to force them to abandon their homes to be able to get food as refugees." So these people stayed at home, received their free services there, and were added to the rolls of the refugees. (Please, do not give your financial support to this deeply anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization!)

Thus — and by other more expectable means of humanistic falsification we have, in the third generation, a large amorphous mass of Arabs, all of them comfortably lumped together in official UN lists as Arab refugees, described as "victims of Israeli aggression" and demanding the right of "return."

NOTE: We apologise for technical problems that occurred last week due to the move to a new server and mailing system.

A major terrorist car bombing was averted at a Haifa mall on Saturday night when one of several explosive devices hidden in a parked vehicle malfunctioned. The sappers found a partially exploded bomb in the trunk of a car, which was parked outside the shopping center. A further search of the vehicle uncovered several more unexploded bombs.

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

I respect the determination of our Arab enemies to destroy Israel as a part of their grand plan toward creation of the world Caliphate. I despise anti-Semitic gentiles, of any religious and political persuasion, who support their own arch Muslim enemies against Israel. I pity the disturbed minds of self-hating Jews who have joined them.

The Truth is Out Again, but No one Cares! Senior Fatah official Mahmoud Dahlan has called on Hamas not to recognize Israel, and says his own Fatah organization does not recognize Israel either: "This is a big deception. For the one thousandth time, I want to reaffirm that we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so, because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist." The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized Israel's existence, Dahlan said, but the PLO's decision did not obligate Fatah to recognize Israel. The statements were made in an interview with the Palestinian Authority's official television station. (Every one knows about it, but the deceptive game of the Peace process must go on, mustn't it? The enemies of Israel even do not bother to pretend! Why is Israel still participating in this self-destructive game?)

Nothing has Changed in 'Good Old Europe'. According to a recent study in Germany on 15 year olds, one in 20 people is affiliated with a neo-Nazi movement. One young person in ten has objects with swastikas. (This is yet more proof that Israel and Jews must start to think about their self-interest first. We will never be able to please our oppressors and haters! They do not care about 'public opinion', so why should we?)

The Deal Hamas has never Intended to Make! Hamas spokesman Iman Tehe said on Tuesday that the reason the prisoner exchange deal for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit fell through is because Israel agreed to release more than 320 ('only') of the 450 terrorists requested by Hamas. He also said that Israel has to allow all the terrorists to remain in Gaza or Judea and Samaria (so they will be able to kill more Jews) and that the group will not allow them to be deported. (Sadly, the negotiation is a smoke-screen and another form of terrorism — emotional! That is why Hamas has been continuously changing its position.)

Quote of the Week: "Traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, denial of or assault upon the rights of Jews to live as equal members of whatever host society they inhabit. The new anti-Semitism involves the discrimination against the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations." — Irwin Cotler, MP for Mount Royal and former minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada.

<Creating and Resettling Refugees, but NOT fake Palestinians! According to figures issued by the US defence department, 4260 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the intervention there in March 2003 and 591 US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan since in October 2001. (Hundreds of thousand Iraqis have been killed during this war. Over 4 million refugees have fled Iraq and many more have been internally displaced during the legally questionable war in Iraq. Nobody cares! Over 4 million refugees have been created during recent years in each of Darfur, Sudan and Uganda (over 12 million in total). Only Israel is not allowed to get rid of less than 4 million members of a hostile population from the Jewish land, in order to establish internal peace in the country!)

Crocodile Tears. Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh said that the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza proves that retreating from territory is a mistake and encourages terrorism: "Giving away territories does not bring peace — in fact to the contrary, it is interpreted by the Arabs as a sign of weakness." "In any case, any withdrawal from the Golan should be preceded by a national vote." (It was an obvious and predictable 'mistake', but Kadima did it anyway. But, even now they are still pushing for 'withdrawal' from the Golan. Jewish self-haters will never learn!) Italian newspaper La-Republica published on Wednesday an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad in which he said that Olmert had agreed to retreat from the Golan in exchange for (the illusion of) peace with Syria.

What Peace? The Egyptian ambassador in Israel, Yasser Rida, is threatening not to attend the ceremonies marking the 30 years after the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace accords in 1979 next Wednesday in Jerusalem. (Just a piece of paper that is worth nothing!)

French did it and British Also did it! The Supreme Court gave a green light for the destruction of the house of tractor terrorist Husam Dwayat in Eastern Jerusalem. He killed three people and injured dozens more when he went on a rampage in Jerusalem during July, 2008. (How many times must the same issue be discussed? The destruction of terrorists' homes must be always swift and decisive! Otherwise no one learns the lesson.)

Lieberman on Hypocrisy and Racism!
(Personally I am not his fan, but he has a point.)

Lieberman: The dividing line for Yisrael Beytenu is who supports terror and who fights terror. We cannot accept that there are people in Israel that even during even the war openly supported Hamas. First of all, to outlaw these parties and these political leaders . When I suggested the exact procedure like in the United States for the pledge, everybody here said, "You're a racist, you're a fascist."

What is reason for so longstanding a conflict? Many people say it's about occupation, settlements, settlers, etc. I think that's a misunderstanding. Before 1967, it was the same. And what was before 1948? It was the same.

We respect every American administration, every American president. We'll respect any choice the American people. We expect you respect any choice of the people of Israel.

The problem is hypocrisy. Every time people from the United States start to condemn Israel's violations of human rights, I'm still waiting for a congressional hearing on human rights in Saudi Arabia. After that, I'll be ready to hear about human rights in Israel, not before. (While investigating Saudi Arabia, focus must be made on modern slavery, women and religious rights, and support of terrorism. But, strangely and predictably, most of the international human right organizations, as well as governments, are mute about Saudi Arabia's 'behaviour'!)

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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PICKING ON THE INNOCENT?; SENSE & NONSENSE ABOUT SANCTIONS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 22, 2009.
 

U.S. AID TO JORDAN

US subsidy of Jordan has passed $5.6 billion. More has been authorized. It is justified as "...founded upon a strong partnership linking the Jordanian and American peoples..." (IMRA, 2/25.)

Bad enough that the US still gives away billions to the undeserving. Worse that it does so under the illusion that the American people, basically decent, have a partnership with the people of Jordan, basically bigoted, especially hating the US, as a recent poll confirmed. If Jordan held free elections, anti-American Islamists probably would win. They do control the kingdom's professional organizations.

PICKING ON THE INNOCENT?

Iran is roiling the Gulf states. It threatens their territory but simultaneously offers friendship. It threatens to attack them, if the US attacks its nuclear plants. The Gulf states protest their innocence, pointing out that they don't approve of the US dealing with Iran by force (IMRA, 2/25).

Maybe they don't approve of it, but some of them have let the US have bases on their soil. From those bases, might not the attack come? In any case, if the US attacks Iran, one could expect Iran to attack those bases, whether used against Iran or not, for they belong to the US.

SAUDI-SYRIA TIES ON THE MEND

That's what is reported (IMRA, 2/25).

The Arabs and Iran alternate between tiffs and reconciliation. The West should not consider either status permanent. Don't count on them as allies.

BLOW TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN ISRAEL

The rulers of Israel let the Left and Arabs say anything inflammatory and false, but prosecute right-wing Jews who criticize the Arabs truthfully. A Jew was convicted for having a "racist" bumper sticker: "Where there are no Arabs, there is no terror." It's true. [In the US, truth is a defense against libel.]

Arabs and leftists are not prosecuted for: (1) Chanting "Death to the Jews"; (2) Waving Hamas and PLO flags on campus; (3) Calling for annihilation of Israel; (4) Denying the Holocaust; and (5) Cheering terrorist murders of Jewish children (IMRA, 2/25). In the US, the test is whether the speech presents a clear and present danger. The bumper sticker and Holocaust denial do not. Calling for murder, however can and often does excite the excitable Muslim Arabs to act.

ANOTHER POSSIBILITY WITH LIKUD REGIME

Pundits have speculated that if Netanyahu forms a right-wing government, about a third of Kadima MKs would bolt their party and join the government.

Here's another possibility. Suppose he forms a leftist government with Kadima and Labor. Then he adopts some of their most anti-nationalist policies. About a third of his MKS might bolt their party out of conscience. That is, if they are as devotedly right wing as alleged.

AM I TOO POLEMICAL OR UNCLEAR?

Reviewing my articles, I noticed they have become more polemical. Are they too strident for your taste?

Usually I expect most of you to be regulars, who are familiar with the basics of the subject. Should I back up more and explain more? You may ask to do so for specific articles. With your request, please send me the paragraphs in doubt.

SENSE & NONSENSE ABOUT SANCTIONS

The US went to war in Iraq, because international sanctions against Saddam were weak and slipping off. Some Western countries tried to get UNO sanctions imposed on Sudan, but couldn't get the resolution past Sudan's customers, allies, and sympathizers. Sanctions rarely work.

Nevertheless, we still hear talk about sanctions. Israel's Defense Min. Barak suggested them against Iran, with the caveat that they be very firm, widely imposed, and judged soon, while there still is time.

Calling for a brief period for testing the sanctions is a piece of sanity in an otherwise unrealistic proposal. Russia, China, the Muslims states, and countries that think that they must maintain solidarity with "developing" nations, oppose sanctions. Why then do people call for sanctions? It puts off the difficult decision to raid Iran's nuclear facilities.

One difficulty with raiding those facilities is the habit of waiting for UNO approval. UNO dithering hinders international security. Another difficulty is that after Iran, will we have to raid N. Korean and Pakistan? How much of that can we do? Every few years, raid again what those countries rebuild? What if the raided countries fire nuclear missiles? Will we have touched of the nuclear war we don't want? Will we have set a precedent for countries to raid us? Yet how can we avoid raiding states with insane or fatalistic leaders, such as N. Korea and Iran, Resp.? My wisdom is not adequate for this problem. Help!

US envoy Mitchell and associates are demanding that Israel, even under a new regime, elected to provide better security, demolish Israeli outposts in Judea-Samaria. Mitchell says that Olmert promised that demolition to Pres. Bush. He claims that this promise binds Olmert's successors. How does a treasonous "promise" really extorted and not endorsed by treaty, bind a government? Doesn't the US does consider democratic Israeli elections binding? [The US does not consider formal and informal agreements with Israel binding, having broken several key ones of those.]

The State Dept. and its Israeli collaborators, the Olmert regime, are striving to get Fatah into a unity government with Hamas. Then they could pretend that the huge increase in subsidy for the Arabs, that they thinks taxpayers can afford, would not be going to Hamas. Of course, it would be. If Israel, however, refused to cooperate with that regime, the US would complain about Israel. It was the Olmert regime that left Hamas in power, then negotiated indirectly with it, thereby paving the way for others to do it directly. Israel failed to hold the Gaza people responsible for having elected and approved of the Hamas terrorist regime. Olmert falsely distinguished between Hamas and the population, which supported Hamas. Although the people there were not innocent civilians, the Olmert regime assumed responsibility for their welfare, pushing relief supplies through. Hence now the US can demand that Israel end its blockade altogether.

In anticipation of a coalition regime, Abbas released the few terrorists that its US-trained forces had arrested. Abbas demands that such forces take over patrolling more P.A. cities. That would reduce Israel's counter-terrorism. Eventually, Hamas would oust Fatah and turn Judea-Samaria into another rocket-firing base, reaching the rest of Israel's cities.

The Olmert regime also made a false distinction between Fatah, as if moderate, and Hamas. That overlooked Abbas' refusal to recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, his continuing support for terrorism, and his political war against Israel. If Abbas is legitimate, then so is terrorism. Then so is Hamas. Accordingly, Europeans and other leftists propose negotiations with Hamas. "Based on all that, "...the Obama administration feels comfortable escalating its demands that Israel give land, security powers and money to Fatah, even as it unifies its forces with Hamas and so expands Hamas's power from Gaza to Judea and Samaria."

Netanyahu will have his work cut out, explaining that the prevailing concepts there and in the US are mistaken. He will have to overturn the false terms, "humanitarian," "peace process," and "moderates." (Caroline Glick, IMRA, 2/28.)

He will have to stand up to the US and show it acts out of misunderstanding. Is he up to that task, this time? He wasn't, before.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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HAMAS'S FREE LUNCH
Posted by Barbara Sommer, March 22, 2009.

This was written by Caroline Glick and it appeared March 19, 2009 in the Jerusalem Post

 

Today Hamas stands on the cusp of international acceptance. It may take a week or a month or a year, but today Hamas stands where Fatah and the PLO stood in the late 1980s. The genocidal jihadist terror group is but a step away from an invitation to the Oval Office. Two events in the past week show this to be the case.

First, last Saturday, The Boston Globe reported that Paul Volcker, who serves as President Barack Obama's economic recovery adviser, and several former senior US officials have written a letter to Obama calling for the US to recognize Hamas. As one of the signatories, Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser under president George H.W. Bush, explained, "I see no reason not to talk to Hamas."

Scowcroft further argued, "The main gist is that you need to push hard on the Palestinian peace process. Don't move it to end of your agenda and say you have too much to do. And the US needs to have a position, not just hold their coats while they sit down."

Congressional sources claim that Obama has selected Scowcroft to replace Chas Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council.

The second reason that it is becoming apparent that the Obama administration is poised to recognize Hamas is that on Thursday, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman held talks at the State Department with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and enjoined the administration to support the reestablishment of a Hamas-Fatah unity government to control and reunify the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

This is significant because it is becoming apparent that top administration officials only meet with people who tell them what they want to hear.

Case in point is IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's trip this week to Washington. Ashkenazi went to the US to brief top administration officials on Iran's progress toward a nuclear bomb. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Ashkenazi's counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, both managed to be out of town. Defense Ministry sources say that Ashkenazi only met with National Security Adviser James Jones, who reportedly wished to speak exclusively about the Palestinians, and with Clinton's Iran adviser Dennis Ross, whose role in shaping US policy toward Iran remains unclear.

Hamas, for its part, prefers the unconditional recognition recommended by Scowcroft and Volcker and their colleagues, (who include unofficial Obama advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Lee Hamilton), over the option of forming a government with Fatah. After all, why should Hamas agree to share power with Fatah to gain international acceptance if Washington power brokers close to the administration endorse unconditional recognition of the terror group?

Scowcroft's statement that recognition of Hamas is necessary because "you need to push hard on the Palestinian peace process" is indicative of how Obama's milieu views the peace process. For them, pushing hard on the peace process is more important than determining or even caring if the Palestinians involved in the said process are genocidal terror groups or not, or determining or even caring whether the said peace process has any chance whatsoever of leading to peace.

AND THE Obama view is not particularly new. After Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections, in the interest of the peace process, the US and the EU placed certain conditions on Hamas which they claimed it would have to meet before the West would recognize it.

The US and Europe said they would recognize Hamas if it announced that it forswore terror, accepted Israel's right to exist, and committed itself to carrying out previous agreements signed between the PLO and Israel. The Americans and the Europeans undoubtedly viewed these conditions as a low bar to cross. After all, the PLO crossed it.

The West's conditions were given with a wink and a nod. Everyone understood that the only thing it wanted was for Hamas to say the magic words. They didn't have to be true. If Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh would just tell the US and Europe what they wanted to hear, all would be forgiven. Hamas — like the PLO before it — would be removed from the US and European terror lists. Billions would pour into the bank accounts of Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus. The CIA might even agree to train its terror forces.

It is obvious that all that the West wanted was for Hamas to lie to it, because that is all it ever required from the PLO. After Yasser Arafat said the magic words, the Americans and the Europeans were only too happy to ignore the fact that he was lying.

When immediately after signing the initial peace accord with Israel on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, Arafat flew to South Africa and gave a speech calling for jihad against Israel, no one cared.

When Arafat destroyed the free press in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and transformed the Palestinian media into propaganda organs calling for the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people, the world yawned.

When he launched his terror war against Israel and his US-trained forces began plotting and carrying out bombings of Israeli civilians, the US announced its chief goal in the Middle East was to establish a Palestinian state.

And when Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, announced that Fatah didn't accept Israel's right to exist and considered terrorism against Israel legitimate, he was declared the indispensable and sole legitimate Palestinian leader. Indeed, when his US-trained forces surrendered to Hamas in Gaza without a fight, the US showered an additional $80 million on Fatah forces.

ON TUESDAY, Fatah strongman and the West's favorite son of Palestine Muhammad Dahlan tried to explain the facts of life to Hamas.

In an interview on PA television, Dahlan became the first senior Fatah official to openly admit that Fatah has never accepted Israel's right to exist. Dahlan denied reports that in the negotiations toward a Hamas-Fatah government, Fatah representatives are pressuring Hamas to recognize Israel. In his words, "I want to say in my own name and in the name of all my fellow members of the Fatah movement, we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist."

Dahlan went on to explain how the fiction worked. Arafat was the head of the PLO but also the head of Fatah. While as chairman of the PLO he recognized Israel and pledged to end terrorism and live at peace with the Jewish state, as head of Fatah he continued his war against Israel. Dahlan even bragged that to date, Fatah has killed 10 times more Palestinians suspected of cooperating with Israel's counterterror operations (the same operations the PLO committed to assisting) than Hamas has.

Dahlan explained that all Hamas needs to do is to follow in Fatah's footsteps. It should say that the PA government accepts the West's terms, but in the meantime, those terms will remain inapplicable to Hamas as a "resistance group." In that way, Dahlan explained, Hamas will be able to receive all the West's billions in financial assistance.

As he put it, "Do you imagine that Gaza's reconstruction is possible under the shadow of this bickering between us and the international community? [Gaza reconstruction] can only be dealt with by a government... that is acceptable to the international community so that we can... benefit from the international community."

Not surprisingly, Dahlan's statement went almost completely unnoted. Only The Jerusalem Post and one or two other Jewish publications and a few anti-jihadist blogs made note of it. The US, European and pro-peace process Hebrew media all ignored it. No government spokesman anywhere in the world commented on it.

Unfortunately, though, for the likes of Dahlan and his admirers in the West, Hamas isn't interested in joining Fatah's fiction. It refuses to say those magic words. So now the West looks for ways to lower its bar still further.

THE WEST'S nonresponse to Dahlan's statements, like its growing eagerness to treat with Hamas despite Hamas's unabashed refusal to even lie about its intentions, tells us something important about what the West is actually doing when it says that its paramount interest is to advance the so-called peace process. It tells us the same thing that the West's courtship of Damascus and Teheran tells us about what the West means when it speaks of peace processes.

Syrian President Bashar Assad this week told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper that he and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were just a stone's throw away from a peace deal last year. Last week Assad participated in what was supposed to be an anti-Iranian conference in Saudi Arabia.

Both of Assad's gestures were meant to make the Americans feel comfortable as they renew their diplomatic relations with Syria, cast aside their backing for the UN tribunal set up to investigate Syria's assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, begin pressuring Israel to surrender the Golan Heights, and recognize Hamas.

And just as Arafat understood that after he said the magic words the West would ignore his bad behavior, so Assad knew that Washington and Paris would pay no attention when upon returning from Riyadh he announced that Syria's relations with Iran will never be weakened. He knew they will never question his false account of his indirect negotiations with Israel. He and Olmert couldn't have been a stone's throw away from a peace accord, because Assad refused to have any direct contact with Israel.

If Damascus is the state equivalent of the PLO, then Teheran is the state equivalent of Hamas. Today, as the mullahs sprint toward the nuclear finish line, the Obama administration is pretending that the jury is still out on whether or not the Islamic republic wants a nuclear arsenal. As with Hamas, so with Teheran, the Americans have dropped even the pretense of requiring a change in Iran's rhetorical positions as a precondition for diplomatic recognition. The US now pursues its diplomatic reconciliation with Teheran with the sure knowledge that this peace process will lead to Iran's emergence as a nuclear power.

So the question is, if the American and European pursuits of peace with Fatah, Hamas, Syria and Iran have not caused them to change their behavior one iota, what are the Western powers talking about when they say that it is imperative to push the peace process or engage the Syrians and the Iranians? After all, Western leaders must know that these processes are complete farces.

Sadly, the answer is clear. Western leaders are not pursuing peace in these processes. They are pursuing appeasement. They call this appeasement process a peace process for two reasons. First, they know their countrymen don't like the sound of appeasement. And second, by claiming to be championing the noble goal of peace in our time, they feel free to attack anyone who points out the folly of their actions as a warmongering member of the Israel Lobby.

Contact Barbara Sommer at lsommer_1_98@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: CLOSE THE BARN DOOR
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 22, 2009.
 

In this case it's not escaping horses we're concerned about, but positions of the US government that have to be discouraged before the damage is done.

I have two matters in mind:

The first is US participation in Durban 2. To review: The US, under the administration of President Obama, reversed prior Bush policy and decided to send a delegation to participate in the planning committee, operating in Geneva, to construct a document that would serve as a basis for Durban 2. When it was recognized that the planning was going in a direction decidedly and overtly hostile to Israel, the US delegation pulled out.

But that pullout wasn't absolute: room was left for participating again if improvements were made in the draft document. One proviso had to do with a clean-up of the language but another proviso dealt with the document not re-affirming in toto the Durban Declaration from 2001.

What happened was that additional anti-Israel language had been added to the document and was then withdrawn. This made it look as if major concessions had been made and the tone had changed. But the very anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Durban 1 Declaration is still being re-affirmed in toto. Anne Bayefsky referred to this, by its legal terminology, as "incorporation by reference."

~~~~~~~~~~

This brings us to the present.

On Friday, France's Ambassador for Human Rights Francois Zimeray told The Jerusalem Post that the changes were welcomed by the EU, although a decision had not yet been made as to whether France specifically and the EU more broadly would participate in Durban 2.

The US State Department, on the other hand, has indicated that the changes have been insufficient and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs James Warlick said that, "There's certainly been no decision for us to rejoin the negotiating process on the basis of this document."

What we want to do is keep it this way. Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama need to hear this. Tell them that there is strong approval for the pullout from the preparatory committee, and that there is great opposition to US participation in the planning of the document for the conference or in the conference itself, as the entire process is still inherently unfair and grossly anti-Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is the issue of whether Hamas will be held to former conditions for acceptance: renunciation of terrorism, acceptance of Israel's right to exist, and commitment to agreements previously made between the PLO and Israel.

At present there is an attempt by Egypt to get the US to reduce its terms, and permit Hamas to simply say it "respects" previous agreements. This attempt to water down the terms is both outrageous and worrisome. Egypt's goal is to establish a unity government so that there will be one administrative authority for overseeing re-construction in Gaza. Following this there would be attempts to push Israel to negotiate with the new unity government, even if it was not on board with full recognition of Israel and commitment to prior agreements.

Both Obama and Clinton need to know that there is fierce opposition to watering down the requirements for accepting Hamas. It would be counterproductive, as the unity government that would be formed would still promote terrorism and resist recognition of Israel, but it would be more broadly accepted internationally.

~~~~~~~~~~

And so, my friends, I ask you please to contact Obama and Clinton, with messages regarding the two issues above. Offer praise for decisions that have been made that are proper, and demand that the government stand strong now. Tell them that it's excellent that the US pulled out of Durban planning and demand that there be no US participation in Durban. And demand that the terms for accepting Hamas as part of a unity government not be weakened.

Simple messages are good. Phone calls and faxes are most effective.

President Barack Obama
White House Comment line: 202-456-1111 Fax: 202-456-2461
e-mail form via http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Public Communication Division (accepts opinions from the public):
Phone: 202-647-6575 Fax: 202-647-2283
secretary@state.gov

~~~~~~~~~~

The terrorist attack averted in Haifa last night would have been of huge proportions. The amount of explosives — some 90 to 100 kilograms — found in a stolen car parked adjacent to the Lev HaMifratz shopping mall would have generated a disaster, as it would have set up a chain reaction causing the fuel tanks in other cars in the lot to explode.

The car, which is said to have been registered to a Jewish woman living in Jerusalem who was not involved, was parked in the exterior lot of the mall. And, it turns out, there was security only for the internal parking area, not for this particular parking lot.

It is felt that the planning for this attack originated in Judea-Samaria. An unknown group called "Free Men of Galilee" claimed responsibility for the attack; there is currently speculation as to whether this group actually exists or is a front for another group. While there was considerable planning put in place for the attack, and the amount of explosives secured was large, because of the way in which the explosive partially misfired, it is suspected that novices executed the set-up. For which we can thank Heaven.

A major investigation is underway, with little revealed to the press; there is determination to find those behind this effort.

A high alert has been put in effect for the northern part of the country.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday is the day set for a Labor convention to vote on the issue of whether to join the Likud-run coalition. (Yes, it's being held in less than the three weeks that were indicated.) The majority of the Labor faction is opposed to joining, but how the Central Committee votes remains to be seen.

There were tense words today between Barak and Olmert, who leveled criticism at the idea of joining a unity government with Likud.

In the meantime, Barak has appointed a negotiating committee to start talking to Likud in case the decision of his party is positive. He has pledged to abide by the vote of the committee and not break away from the party or split the party.

Likud, for its part, was negotiating coalition deals with Shas and UTJ today, with the Shas deal said to be on the verge of completion.

~~~~~~~~~~

It was announced today that Netanyahu was appointing attorney Zvi Hauser, formerly a PR adviser, to the office of cabinet secretary.

~~~~~~~~~~

Again we're in the realm of rumors and accusations. But, in a nutshell, it's being said in various quarters that the negotiations for Shalit are not over. Certainly, with Netanyahu seeking additional time to form his government, Olmert still has a window for acting — if acting is possible.

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

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NAZI MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS ON JEWISH CHILDREN
Posted by Rock Peters, March 22, 2009.
 

The Jewish "Mona Lisa" in a Nazi Death Camp

This is the Holocaust picture that horrifies and haunts me the most.

Look at the innocence and beauty of these little Jewish children. The one girl's face (on the far left) is absolutely angelic. She has been starved, maimed and tortured by the Nazis. She is humiliated, stripped and naked but despite her captivity and Hellish surroundings she sits like royalty. In her nakedness, she remains majestically clothed with startling poise, undisturbed refinement and profound elegance. It's a though she is not in a death camp but is a little princess in a French salon waiting with agitation to be served. She refuses to give up her serenity and composure and miraculously ....she somehow manages to retain her untouchable human dignity. She is resistant. I see quiet defiance in her eyes. She knows that she is far, far above her Nazi tormentors. She looks down upon the savage Aryan barbarians with quiet but enormous indignation and unmolested supremacy over the, "Master Race."

Her silence speaks volumes. "I am above you and I am better than you!" she says in superior moral outrage. She almost seems impatient with their primitive Nazi brutality and she curtly asks her ruthlessly cruel captors, "Are you through yet?" This little girl's picture is the, "Mona Lisa" of the Holocaust. It is overwhelmingly apparent that she has not, and will not surrender. She is a prisoner, but still free. This Jewish child is Victorious over Evil and she says to the Nazis triumphantly, "You can starve me, you can torture my little girl's frame with your sadistic Nazi medical experiments, you can destroy and annihilate my tiny female body — but you Nordic savages CAN NOT and WILL NOT ever touch my God given human soul.

Note: I personally will never be able to comprehend or understand how the Holocaust could have happened and it haunts and plagues me that it did. In the name of the, "God of Israel" I am determined and swear, and we should we all be solemnly pledged — that it will never happen again!

No Second Jewish Holocaust!

Yours in Liberty,
Rock Peters

Rock Peters is author, songwriter, poet and patriot. email him at rockpeters@aol.com and visit his web site: WWW.GODSAVEUSA.COM

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HEY KRISTOF...YOU'RE LATE!
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, March 22, 2009.
 

While The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof is no stranger to these positions throughout the year, he frequently comes out with his gems of Middle East wisdom right around Bike Week here in Daytona Beach, Florida, when tens of thousands of Harley enthusiasts arrive to also spread their hot air exhaust around town. This year Nick was a few weeks late

Like others of his ilk — Thomas Friedman (better of late), David Ignatius, Richard Cohen, just to name a few, who are also obsessed with creating a 22nd Arab state (second, not first, Arab one within the original April 25, 1920 borders of the Mandate of Palestine before the Brits gave some 80% away to Arab nationalism creating Transjordan in 1922) — Kristof loves to lecture Israel, practically invisible on a map of the world, about the need to bare the necks of its kids so that Arabs, who conquered over six million square miles of territory from mostly non-Arab peoples in the name of their nation, can have that additional state as well.

Kristof's latest jewel published in the Daytona Beach News-Journal on March 20, 2009, "Like Minds Cluster When Grazing >From The Daily Me," compared academics Juan Cole and Daniel Pipes as sources of information regarding the Middle East.

Kristof prefers Juan Cole...shocking (not)!

I have never met Cole, but I had — unfortunately — studied under a number of his academic clones in my own graduate school days.

While also — but a bit more subtly than President Obama's dear friend, Rashid Khalidi, Juan Cole, et al — promoting the themes of nasty Zionists and the need to create Arab state # 22, Carter Findley never mentioned the plight of some thirty-five million Kurds who remain stateless to date. They had been gassed and slaughtered by Arabs repeatedly and had their one best chance at statehood aborted by a collusion of British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism after World War. Indeed, the only time Findley ever mentioned Kurds in his doctoral seminar was when he mocked their plight in Turkey.

In Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog of February 11, 2009, he proclaimed Israel's new incoming government as being prone to racism, apartheid, and so forth. Nothing new...his positions from the get-go. That has been how one gets ahead in Middle Eastern Studies for quite some time now. Israel is routinely placed under the high power lens of moral scrutiny, while a blind eye is turned to literally millions of victims of Arab massacres, gassings, genocide, enslavement, dhimmitude, subjugation, and so forth. And woe unto the student who dares to question such duplicity. Been there, done that...unfortunately.

Turn the clock back several decades again as we return to Findley's doctoral seminars.

I'll never forget one Greek Orthodox woman who I'm sure has a great position at some university today...can't think of her name, but remember her well. Unlike myself, she wasn't denied a Ph. D. dissertation advisor to finish her doctoral work. Geez...I wonder why?

Her idol was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who spent World War II in Berlin at Hitler's side and organized a division of Muslim Nazis, 'the Hanzar.' He also played a first-hand role in instigating the genocide of Europe's Jews, Serbs and Gypsies.

When she presented her research on the Mufti at our seminar, all the above was either white-washed or ignored altogether. Findley, of course — her mentor and featured guest at her wedding — sat through it all approvingly.

Now, contrast this with my own research about Ze'ev Vladimir Jabotinsky...the man most responsible in the early Mandate era for Jewish defense against Arab slaughter. Findley had no problem emphasizing his alleged "fascist connections" and so forth.

Unlike too many of his pipe-dreaming Zionist opponents on the Left, Jabotinsky was not delusional about what the Arabs' true intentions were regarding the resurrection of the Jew of the Nations — regardless of its size. A reading of his Appetite Versus Starvation speech in the early 20th century reveals a man truly concerned about justice for Arab and Jew alike. If the so-called Arab World had produced such "fascists," the Arab-Israeli conflict would have been resolved long ago. But none of this makes a difference to the Juan Coles...Kristof's sources of enlightenment.

Jabotinsky's heirs are now set to take office in Israel. I hope they do justice to his memory.

So, the Rashid Khalidis, Juan Coles, Nicholas Kristofs, and so forth now bemoan the end of the so-called peace (of the grave) process because at least most Israeli Jews have finally woken up to the reality that the end game for both the West's alleged Fatah good cops of Abbas and the bad cops of Hamas is the same regarding Israel. The façade of a difference is largely about who will gain access to the billions of dollars in foreign aid that is and will be pouring in. Arafat's stashed $$$ millions or more are legendary. Hamas is simply more honest.

Daniel Pipes has long approached the Middle East with a far more realistic and objective appraisal of the facts at hand. He has been virtually prophetic regarding such things as 9/11, militant Islam, and so forth.

On the other hand, the Juan Coles of the Ivory Tower have blamed solely Israel and America as the culprits.

The fact that the vast majority of conflicts today, for example, involves militant Islam and/or real Arab racism is of no concern to them.

What does the fight in the Philippines have to do with Israel?...Thailand?... Kashmir?...the Balkans?

What do the murder and subjugation of Egyptian Copts, North African Berbers, Assyrians, those Kurds mentioned above, or Arab genocide in black Africa's Sudan have to do with Israel?

The truth is that Israel — one half of whose Jews who are from refugee families from the "Arab World" where they were known as killers of prophets and kilab yahud, Jew dogs — is on the front lines of the age-old war the Arabs and Arabized have continuously waged for over thirteen centuries now, the conflct of the Dar ul-Islam versus the Dar al-Harb.

Here's a few examples of the real problem, the one largely Arab petro-dollar sponsored, Arab, and hypocritical Lefty professors like Cole won't touch with a ten-foot pole...

The Sudan's ex-president, Gaafar Muhammad al-Nimeiry, stated during the earlier slaughter of nearly a million blacks (over a million more since):

The Sudan is the basis of the Arab thrust into... black Africa, the Arab civilizing mission ("Arabism and Pan-Arabism in Sudanese Politics," Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 11, no. 2, 1973, pp. 177-78).

While Kristof's Juan Cole mentors are passionate about such things as Rudyard Kipling's late 19th-century poem, "The White Man's Burden," supposedly typifying continued Western colonialist and imperialist attitudes towards the Third World, why are such Arab racist attitudes and mindset ignored?

Is it that the Arab Man's Burden is kosher but the White Man's isn't ? Recall, again, Cole's recent blog worries about alleged Israeli "racism."

Consider also this quote from the Syrian Arab Constitution...something, I'm sure, Juan Cole's students never heard a peep about...

The Arab fatherland belongs to the Arabs. They alone have the right to direct its destinies.... The Arab fatherland is that part of the globe inhabited by the Arab nation that stretches from the Taurus Mountains, the Pacht-i-Kouh Mountains, the Gulf of Basra, the Arab Ocean, the Ethiopian Mountains, the Sahara, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Can't tell for sure — are any Eskimos included in this Arab plan of conquest?

The Juan Cole-type "scholarly" reaction: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil...After all, these are Arabs we're talking about — not Jews. And besides, it's all just made up fascist Zionist propaganda anyway...

As I like to remind folks and as exemplified above, Arabs have habitually referred to most of the region as purely Arab patrimony — the Arab-Israeli, Arab-Kurd, Arab-black African, Arab-Berber, and other such conflicts in a nutshell.

So, summing it up, here's a rule of thumb for those truly interested in a realistic and objective analysis of what's really going on over there...

When it comes to sources such as Juan Cole and Daniel Pipes, whatever Kristof tells you, choose the opposite.

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php

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STRATEGY NEEDED TO PRESERVE IMPORTANT DURBAN 2 SUCCESSES
Posted by Gerald Steinberg, March 22, 2009.
 

With only one month to go before the opening of the UN's very controversial Durban Review Conference, the battle over the terms of the final declaration to be adopted by the participating governments has intensified. Faced with a growing number of countries which have declared that they would not participate in another anti-Semitic and anti-democratic conference, the organizers suddenly changed the text. The hate language, attacks on Israel, and attempts to restrict free speech and give Islam a preferred status — all using the façade of human rights — were removed.

For the governments that had already declared that they would not go to this conference, scheduled for April 21 in Geneva, and for others considering a similar move, this poses a policy dilemma. Canada (the first to denounce the anti-Semitism of the Durban process), Israel, the US, and most recently, Italy confronted UN human rights officials with public embarrassment. Following Rome's lead, a number of other democratic governments — Holland, Britain, Denmark, Australia, and the Czech Republic — were also on the verge of pulling out. This would have triggered a cascade of additional dropouts, leaving the room half-empty.

Now that this text has been changed, should these governments, including Israel, acknowledge this important diplomatic victory that forced a change in text — over the heads of the Libyan and Iranian officials — and agree to participate on the basis of a revissed document? Or is this a diplomatic sleight of hand — a temporary change in language used to bring an end to the revolt of the democratic delegations?

This victory, while incomplete, is nevertheless substantial and almost unique — it may represent a tipping point in the wider "soft war," including anti-Israel boycotts and lawfare cases that abuse human rights as a weapon. The efforts of Iran, Libya, Syria and Egypt to extend the Durban strategy of demonization have been repudiated within the UN — the same body that has led this process since the 2001 original Durban conference.

In parallel, the powerful NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and their Palestinian allies, have also lost prestige and perhaps some influence in this battle. Not only have their campaigns failed to force Canada, the US, and Italy to change their policies, but the vitriolic NGO Forum from the 2001 Durban conference will not be repeated. If these successes can be "locked in," to insure that the text and frameworks will not be changed at the last minute, this would be a strategic success.
 

HOWEVER, THE CASE against re-engagement appears stronger. From this perspective, the entire Durban process and the UN human rights framework is corrupt beyond repair. In this scenario, the war led by the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will resume as soon as the Obama administration and other democratic governments announce a return. When the conference begins, Libya and Iran, with the support of Egypt, Syria, Cuba, and the rest, will use their majority to restore terms like "apartheid" and Israeli "genocide."

Critics, including the Israeli government, also note that the latest text, which was prepared by Russian "facilitator" Yuri Boychenko, remains problematic, particularly in adopting the final declaration from the 2001 Durban Conference. The Israeli and the American delegations withdrew from that conference over the demonizing language ("apartheid," "war crimes," etc. in the draft declaration), and the "compromise text," negotiated by Canada and the Europeans, still singled out Israel. It emphasized "the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation," recognized "the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination," and promoted the claim to a "right of return." An endorsement of this discriminatory language by the 2009 Review Conference would reinforce the damage done eight years ago in Durban.

While the debate on strategy will continue in the next month before the opening of the conference, the record clearly shows that the only means of defeating the OIC in this venue is through a credible threat of a mass withdrawal. A conference limited to Arab and Islamic regimes — among the worst violators of human rights in the world — would delegitimize the entire process.

Without unity among the democracies on the critical issues, the OIC will succeed in creating the appearance of legitimacy, and in restoring the hate-filled sections of the declaration. Instead, leaders who are inclined to declare victory and participate in the review conference must first insure that, at the first sign of this tactic, they will all walk out together, including every member of the European Union. And if this is impossible, particularly regarding the Europeans, they should stay away.

Dr. Gerald Steinberg is the Executive Director of NGO Monitor and chairs the Political Science department at Bar Ilan University.

This article appeared in the Jerusalem Post
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1237461637122&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

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ARE THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST SHILLS FOR PEACE NOW?
Posted by LEL, March 22, 2009.

This comes from the New English Review
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/20092

 

The New York Times had a brace of articles by Ethan Bronner reporting from Jerusalem in Friday and Saturday's editions on the 'furor' caused by IDF soldiers' reports alleging actions against Gaza civilians during the recent Operation Cast Lead. Read here and here. The titles of the two pieces, "Soldiers' Accounts of Gaza Killings Raise Furor in Israel" and "More Allegations Surface in Israeli Accounts of Gaza War", give rise to the impression that IDF soldiers violated traditional IDF military doctrine of 'purity of arms' and savagely targeted unarmed Gazan civilians.

The IDF military doctrine of purity of arms (Tohar HaNeshek in Hebrew) is clear:

The soldier shall make use of his weaponry and power only for the fulfillment of the mission and solely to the extent required; he will maintain his humanity even in combat. The soldier shall not employ his weaponry and power in order to harm non-combatants or prisoners of war, and shall do all he can to avoid harming their lives, body, honor and property.

This current furor was created by the alleged soldiers' accounts compiled in February by an notorious Israel reserve refusenik and Chomsky acolyte, Dani Zamir. Zamir teaches at Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon. There is more afoot according to an analysis published in the Jerusalem Post by Herb Keinon, yesterday, entitled, "The crucial morality of the IDF's cause."

As an Israeli friend and Zionist who lives in Europe observed: I have read all the articles and watched TV stations, both from Israel and in France. This is a Peace Now-Amnesty Leftist ideology being used to hit at Israel. What they want is to condemn Israel all around the world.

Note these excerpts from the Bronner articles:

Now testimony is emerging from within the ranks of soldiers and officers alleging a permissive attitude toward the killing of civilians and reckless destruction of property that is sure to inflame the domestic and international debate about the army's conduct in Gaza. On Thursday, the military's chief advocate general ordered an investigation into a soldier's account of a sniper killing a woman and her two children who walked too close to a designated no-go area by mistake, and another account of a sharpshooter who killed an elderly woman who came within 100 yards of a commandeered house.

When asked why that elderly woman was killed, a squad commander was quoted as saying: "What's great about Gaza — you see a person on a path, he doesn't have to be armed, you can simply shoot him. In our case it was an old woman on whom I did not see any weapon when I looked. The order was to take down the person, this woman, the minute you see her. There are always warnings, there is always the saying, 'Maybe he's a terrorist.' What I felt was, there was a lot of thirst for blood."

An Israeli newspaper gave a fuller account on Friday of testimonies by soldiers alleging loose rules of engagement in Israel's war in Gaza, which they said led to civilian deaths and wanton property destruction. One soldier asserted that extremist rabbis had told troops they were fighting a holy war.

The soldier was quoted as saying that the rabbis had "brought in a lot of booklets and articles," adding, "their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land."

He said that as a commander, he had tried to explain to his men that "not everyone who is in Gaza is Hamas," and that "this war was not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Qassam rockets."

The Washington Post piled on these allegations with a piece in today's edition entitled, "Israeli Soldier Says Military Rabbis Framed Gaza Mission as Religious" containing accusations from an interview with an elite Givati Brigade non com that military rabbis urged on 'ethnic cleansing'. Note the allegations drawn from a Maariv article:

A soldier involved in Israel's recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip said in published reports Friday that the military's rabbinical staff distributed material characterizing the operation as a religious mission to "get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land."

In the second day of published accounts from soldiers critical of the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, the daily Maariv ran excerpts of an interview with a squad commander in Israel's Givati Brigade. He was identified only by his first name, given as Rahm.

The daily quoted him as saying that the Gaza operation from the beginning had "the feeling of almost a religious mission."

While military rabbis provided routine services — such as distributing books of psalms and leading prayers at the start of the operation — some religious materials veered in a political direction, he said. "The military rabbinate brought many magazines and articles with a very clear message: 'We are the Jewish people, a miracle brought us to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, and now we have to struggle so as to get rid of the gentiles who disturb us from conquering the holy land.' All the feeling throughout all this operation of many of the soldiers was of a war of religions," he said. "As a commander, I tried to explain that the war is not a war of Kiddush Hashem [the sanctification of God's name, including through martyrdom] but over the stopping of the launching of the Qassam rockets."

Now let's see what Keinon of the Jerusalem Post uncovered about the author of this heedless anti-IDF kerfuffle abetted by the New York Times and the Washington Post, the left wing Israel reservist refusenik, Dani Zamir:

The second piece of context is Dani Zamir, the head of the program, who had the soldiers‚ words transcribed and published. A story in Haaretz on Thursday said that in 1990 Zamir, then a parachute company commander in the reserves, was tried and sentenced to prison for refusing to guard a ceremony where "right-wingers" brought Torah scrolls to Joseph's tomb in Nablus.

Zamir, in an interview on Israel Radio on Thursday, said that the soldiers from Operation Cast Lead who spoke at the meeting reflected an atmosphere inside the army of "contempt for, and forcefulness against, the Palestinians."

Zamir himself appears in a 2004 book titled Refusnik, Israel's Soldiers of Conscience, compiled and edited by Peretz Kidron, with a forward by Susan Sontag. The book, which earned commendation from no less a personage than Noam Chomsky, includes a section by Zamir, described as "an officer in the reserves from Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar who was sentenced to 28 days for refusal to serve in Nablus and now heads the Kibbutz Movement's preparatory seminary for youngsters ahead of their induction in the army."

"With stupid resolve and the smugness of the all-knowing, primitive preachers and unbridled nationalists are leading and misleading us to calamity, while Pompeii is preoccupied with watching boxing matches and with banquets in advance of the disaster," he wrote. "I see a volcano in the land where one-third of the inhabitants are banned, by dint of their national and ethnic origins and geographical location, from voting as equals, where they don't have basic civic rights and where thousands are detained under administrative decree — under a military justice system that is farcical."

"A land, a third of whose inhabitants have been subjected to extended military occupation for over 20 years — which means restrictions of rights and a different code of law for Jewish and Arab residents in the selfsame land — is not a democratic country. "

"Accordingly, collaboration with a regime or government that forces or orders me to be part of an anti-democratic apparatus that leads to self-destruction, disintegration and national decay, along with the utter denial of its own foundations, is illegitimate, unjust and immoral, and will remain so as long as the state does not take one of only two feasible actions: annexation of all or most of the territories conquered in 1967 and granting full civil rights to those residing there; or withdrawal from densely populated areas and a settlement that will release us of responsibility for the residents of those areas, who will chose for themselves whatever regime they desire (of course with security arrangements included)."

That was what Zamir wrote in 1990, reprinted in 2004. The testimonies of the soldiers that he brought to the public's attention seem to corroborate — what a coincidence — his thesis.

Now let's return to one of the authors of this 'furor', Ethan Bronner of the New York Times. I received an email from a friend in Connecticut who penciled in some interesting background about Bronner:

Ethan Bronner is from Hartford. His father is a prominent semi-retired professor at UConn Health Center and his Uncle was a well known Israeli labor party big wig with name change from Bronner to something close in Hebrew, Baram. Believe me, Ethan was brought up a Zionist and good Jewish background.

What I draw from these remarks is that Timesman Bronner is a leftwing "Zionist" who doesn't stint from filing reports from Jerusalem that appear to follow the extreme Peace Now propaganda. In effect he demonizes both Israel and the brave soldiers of the IDF with questionable reports from a Chomskyite acolyte, Mr. Zamir. If that is the case then Bronner has truly lost his moral compass.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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THE CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY TO IMPLEMENT SOCIALIST REVOLUTION
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 21, 2009.

This was on the Cloward-Piven website
http://cloward-piven.com/

 

Cloward-Piven is a strategy for forcing political change through orchestrated crisis.

The strategy was first proposed in 1966 by Columbia University political scientists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven as a plan to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. Sometimes known as the "crisis strategy" or the the "flood-the-rolls, bankrupt-the-cities strategy," the Cloward-Piven approach called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants — more than the system could bear. It was hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism.

The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), founded by African-American militant George Alvin Wiley, put the Cloward-Piven strategy to work in the streets. Its activities led directly to the welfare crisis that bankrupted New York City in 1975.

Veterans of NWRO went on to found the Living Wage Movement and the Voting Rights Movement, both of which rely on the Cloward-Piven strategy and both of which are spear-headed by the radical cult ACORN.

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute.

On August 11, 1965, the black district of Watts in Los Angeles exploded into violence, after police used batons to subdue a man suspected of drunk driving. Riots raged for six days, spilling over into other parts of the city, and leaving 34 dead. Two Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were inspired by the riots to develop a new strategy for social change. In November 1965 — barely three months after the fires of Watts had subsided — Cloward and Piven began privately circulating copies of an article they had written called "Mobilizing the Poor: How it Could Be Done." Six months later (on May 2, 1966), it was published in The Nation, under the title, "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty."

The article electrified the Left. Following its May 2, 1966 publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called "crisis strategy" or "Cloward-Piven strategy," as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

Richard A. Cloward was then a professor of social work at Columbia University. He died in 2001. His co-author Frances Fox Piven was a research associate at Columbia's School of Social Work. She now holds a Distinguished Professorship of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor. By providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Cloward and Piven wanted to fan those flames. Poor people can advance only when "the rest of society is afraid of them," Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system. The collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation. Poor people would rise in revolt. Only then would "the rest of society" accept their demands. So wrote Cloward and Piven in 1966.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. This Cloward and Piven proposed to do, in classic Alinsky fashion, by forcing welfare bureaucrats to live up to their own book of rules.

The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a "massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls." Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be "a profound financial and political crisis" that would unleash "powerful forces... for major economic reform at the national level."

Their article called for "cadres of aggressive organizers" to use "demonstrations to create a climate of militancy." Intimidated by black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of a "a federal program of income redistribution," in the form of a guaranteed living income for all; working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act.

The Cloward-Piven strategy never achieved its goal of system breakdown and a Marxist utopia. But it provided a blueprint for some of the Left's most destructive campaigns of the next three decades. It will likely haunt America for years to come since George Soros' Shadow Party has now adopted the strategy, honing it into a far more efficient weapon than any of its Sixties-era promoters could have foreseen.

Cloward and Piven recruited a militant black organizer named George Wiley to lead their new movement. For more information on Wiley and his welfare rights movement. In the summer of 1967, Wiley founded the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), with headquarters in Washington, DC. Wiley's tactics closely followed the recommendations set out in Cloward and Piven's article. His followers invaded welfare offices across the nation — often violently — bullying social workers and loudly demanding every penny to which the law "entitled" them. By 1969, NWRO claimed a dues-paying membership of 22,500 families, with 523 chapters across the nation.

Regarding Wiley's tactics, The New York Times commented on September 27, 1970, "There have been sit-ins in legislative chambers, including a United States Senate committee hearing, mass demonstrations of several thousand welfare recipients, school boycotts, picket lines, mounted police, tear gas, arrests — and, on occasion, rock-throwing, smashed glass doors, overturned desks, scattered papers and ripped-out phones."

These methods proved effective. "The flooding succeeded beyond Wiley's wildest dreams," writes Sol Stern in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal. "From 1965 to 1974, the number of single-parent households on welfare soared from 4.3 million to 10.8 million, despite mostly flush economic times. By the early 1970s, one person was on the welfare rolls in New York City for every two working in the city's private economy."

As a direct result of its reckless welfare spending, New York City — the financial capital of the world — was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1975. The entire state of New York nearly went down with it. Leftist agitators swooned in triumph. The Cloward-Piven strategy had proved its effectiveness.

The Backlash

The Cloward-Piven strategy depended on surprise. Once society recovered from the initial shock, the backlash began. New York's welfare crisis horrified the nation, giving rise to a reform movement which culminated in "the end of welfare as we know it" — the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which imposed time limits on federal welfare, along with strict eligibility and work requirements. Both Cloward and Piven attended the White House signing of the bill as guests of President Clinton.

Most Americans to this day have never heard of Cloward and Piven. But Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to expose them in the late 1990's. As his drive for welfare reform heated up, Giuliani accused the militant scholars by name, citing their 1966 manifesto as evidence that they had engaged in deliberate economic sabotage. "This wasn't an accident," Giuliani charged in a 1997 speech. "It wasn't an atmospheric thing, it wasn't supernatural. This is the result of policies and programs designed to have the maximum number of people get on welfare."

Cloward and Piven never again revealed their intentions as candidly as they had in their 1966 article. They learned to cover their tracks. Even so, their activism in subsequent years continued to rely on the tactic of overloading the system. When the public caught on to their welfare scheme, Cloward and Piven simply moved on, applying pressure to other sectors of the bureaucracy, wherever they detected weakness.

The Cloward-Piven strategy — first proposed in 1966 — seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse. Application of this strategy contributed greatly to the turmoil of the late Sixties. Cloward-Piven failed to usher in socialism, but it succeeded in generating an economic crisis and in escalating the level of political violence in America — two cherished goals of hard-Left strategists.

Radical organizers today continue tinkering with variations on the Cloward-Piven theme, in the perennial hope of reproducing '60s-style chaos. The thuggish behavior of leftwing unions such as SEIU and of certain elements of George Soros' Shadow Party can be traced, in a direct line of descent, from the early practitioners of Cloward-Piven.

Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every jot and tittle of every law and statute; every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet; and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one.

In its earliest form, the Cloward-Piven strategy applied Alinsky's principle to the specific area of welfare entitlements. It counseled activists to create what might be called Trojan Horse movements — mass movements whose outward purpose seemed to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real purpose was to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers.

The specific function of these Trojan Horse movements was to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown — providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That, at least, was the theory behind the Cloward-Piven strategy.

In 1982, partisans of the Cloward-Piven strategy founded a new "voting rights movement," which purported to take up the unfinished work of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like ACORN, the organization that spear-headed this campaign, the new "voting rights" movement was led by veterans of George Wiley's welfare rights crusade. Its flagship organizations were Project Vote and Human SERVE, both founded in 1982. Project Vote is an ACORN front group, launched by former NWRO organizer and ACORN co-founder Zach Polett. Human SERVE was founded by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, along with a former NWRO organizer named Hulbert James.

All three of these organizations — ACORN, Project Vote and Human SERVE — set to work lobbying energetically for the so-called Motor-Voter law, which Bill Clinton ultimately signed in 1993. The Motor-Voter bill is widely blamed today for swamping the voter rolls with "dead wood" — invalid registrations signed in the name of deceased, ineligible or non-existent people — thus opening the door to the unprecedented levels of voter fraud and "voter disenfranchisement" claims that followed in subsequent elections.

The new "voting rights" coalition combines mass voter registration drives — typically featuring high levels of fraud — with systematic intimidation of election officials in the form of frivolous lawsuits, bogus charges of "racism" and "disenfranchisement" and "direct action" (street protests, violent or otherwise). Just as they swamped America's welfare offices in the 1960s, the Cloward-Piven team now seeks to overwhelm the nation's understaffed and poorly policed electoral system. Their antics set the stage for the Florida recount crisis of 2000, and have introduced a level of fear, tension and foreboding to U.S. elections heretofore encountered mainly in Third World countries. For more information on the Voting Rights Movement, see the entry for "Project Vote."

Both the Living Wage and Voting Rights movements depend heavily on financial support from George Soros's Open Society Institute. It is largely thanks to money from Soros that the Cloward-Piven strategy continues even now to eat away at America's political and economic infrastructure.

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FROM ISRAEL: SMALL SIGNS OF STRENGTH
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 21, 2009.
 

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

We need a whole lot more, but I'm grateful for what I'm seeing:

It begins with our new Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat, who is standing strong on the issue of demolition of illegal Arab housing in eastern Jerusalem.

The issue at hand right now is housing put up illegally by Arabs in Silwan, which is next to Ir David (the City of David); an archeological park is planned for the land on which these houses sit.

This is one of the most strategic sites in the city, on an international level, which must be an open public area," Barkat told The Jerusalem Post. "It is certainly much more important than Central Park in New York."

The city is making efforts to find new housing sites for the residents who will be dislocated. But, says Barkat, "It is inconceivable that we will not follow the rule of law in the city....We are talking about a small group who built homes on a park in an open area, where it is very fair to assume that [in the end] there will not be residential housing."

~~~~~~~~~~

And it extends at the moment to Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, as well.

Seems that for the Palestinian Authority today was "Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture for 2009' day." Certainly Palestinian leaders used the event to make the most of the issue of the planned housing demolitions. At one gathering in Bethlehem, Abbas declared that our policy of "racism, oppression, land-grabbing and demolitions" had to stop before there could be further peace negotiations.

The PA had planned a whole series of events in Jerusalem to celebrate the day. However, according to existing agreements signed with Israel, the PA is prohibited from organizing events within Israel. And so, Dichter signed injunctions ordering police to "suppress any attempts by the PA to hold events in Jerusalem and throughout the rest of the country."

Arabs students were prevented from rallying on the Temple Mount with PLO flags; marches in the city were blocked; women distributing paraphernalia for the event were arrested; a conference organized by the PA was shut down; and much more.

I'm sure we'll hear about how this was not a constructive move for peace. But this feels to me like a welcome and unapologetic movement towards taking back what is ours. May the trend grow.

~~~~~~~~~~

What will be happening at a national level politically in the next couple of weeks is still up in the air. In addition to anger within the Labor party because of Barak's push to join the Likud-led coalition, there is now anger within Likud because Netanyahu promised Barak too much as enticement, leaving too little for the MKs of Likud itself.

~~~~~~~~~~

The other day, I had cited information about Egyptian feelers to US and European leaders to find out if they might find it acceptable if a Palestinian unity government were formed that simply "respected" past PLO agreements instead of accepting or honoring them. My comment was that the Egyptians apparently did not receive a positive response to this, or the Palestinian factions wouldn't have walked away so fast.

Seems I was premature. The Egyptians are still working on it. Omar Suleiman, Egypt's intelligence chief, went to Washington this past week to try to convince the Obama administration to abandon the conditions set by the US in 2006, after Hamas won PA elections. Suleiman's feeling is that there has to be accommodation of Hamas on this matter because it's so important to have unity, with the Palestinians speaking with one voice.

~~~~~~~~~~

The perversity — no, the stupidity — of this position is considerable, however. What Suleiman is saying is that it doesn't matter what the unity government stands for or commits to, as long as there IS a unity government, and that it should receive world recognition.

(Egypt, of course, has its own motivations for promoting that unity government. Success in promoting this would enhance Egypt's standing in the Arab world, and would reduce pressure for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing or otherwise be responsible for Gaza.)

What the unity government might stand for would be of little consequence, if it were not for a couple of matters that directly impinge on us here:

That government would be the authority overseeing reconstruction of Gaza, which would mean millions flowing to an unrepentant Hamas that would turn the assistance to its own ends. Pressure would grow for us to open the crossings into Gaza.

And the Western world, in its infinite wisdom, would then turn to us and tell us that now that there is one voice for the Palestinians, we must negotiate with them.

This might well happen yet. We may see a (very unstable) unity government formed that has not committed to renouncing violence, or recognizing Israel's right to exist, or to honoring previous PLO agreements, and we'll be told to negotiate "peace" with it. Obama, friend to the Muslims and the ultimate promoter of "outreach," might well embrace this.

Makes a strong Israeli right-wing government capable of saying no all the more important.

~~~~~~~~~~

What we must hope for, as well, is that Fatah and Hamas will not be able to get their act together on other issues, even if the West caves on this one.

The PA is said to be happy that negotiations on Shalit failed, because the release of hundreds of Hamas terrorists would strengthen Hamas and weaken Fatah. It would increase Hamas popularity in the street. And, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, "The top 10 Hamas prisoners whom Israel has refused to release in return for Gilad Shalit are regarded by the PA as the 'commanders of Hamas's army staff' in the West Bank."

Doesn't sound like Fatah-Hamas unity is around the corner.

~~~~~~~~~~

Friday was Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and Obama took the opportunity to send a video message to Iran, which carried Persian subtitles.

Referring to Nowruz as both "an ancient ritual and a moment of renewal," he called upon Iran's leaders to consider engagement with the US that is "honest and grounded in mutual respect."

"...The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. You have that right — but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.

"...let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: "The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.'"

The naiveté of such a message is breathtaking.

~~~~~~~~~~

The response of Iran's leaders today was pretty much what might have been expected.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Iranian government does not see any change in American policy, as the US continues to say the country supports terrorism and is seeking nuclear weapons.

A adviser to Ahmadinejad observed that "minor changes will not end the differences" between Teheran and Washington.

"Obama has talked of change but has taken no practical measures to address America's past mistakes in Iran. If Mr. Obama takes concrete actions and makes fundamental changes in US foreign policy toward other nations including Iran, the Iranian government and people will not turn their back on him."

Iranian Energy Minister Pervez Fatah said his government welcomes Obama's greetings but would continue with its nuclear program, none-the-less.

~~~~~~~~~~

A terrorist attack on a mall in Haifa was adverted this evening when a car holding several kilograms of explosives was discovered parked (as I understand it) in the lot of the mall.

The discovery was made when one of the smaller of several bombs malfunctioned and exploded prematurely, causing an employee in the mall who heard the explosion to call the police.

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

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AFRAID OF VICTORY
Posted by HandsFiasco, March 20, 2009.
 

In 1933 FDR hinged his first inaugural address on his "firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Binyamin Netanyahu should inaugurate his second administration with this exact sentiment, stated as boldly and as unambiguously. Unlike the morale issues of Depression-era America, in our case irrational fear is an existential threat.

Successive governments have been crippled by fear. This already manifest fear — contagious as it is — might also overwhelm Netanyahu's psyche and infect the new Likud-led government. We have every cause to fear the establishment's transmittable fear. We'd be crazy not to fear it. The danger of fear in high places reasserting itself is too palpable to pooh-pooh.

Fear has come to dominate our zeitgeist ever since Oslo — perhaps itself born of the fear to defend our interests, if need be, in defiance of a world that keeps turning against us. Our two most recent military showdowns — 2006's Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead — illustrate the fiascos which fear-engendered inhibition produces. In both campaigns we patently hadn't achieved much of anything. We demonstrated impressive firepower but failure of will to follow through effectively enough to inflict instantly recognizable defeat on the enemy and amend the bad situation which forced us into the battlefield to begin with.

Things look abysmal even without factoring in the thorough diplomatic trashing and disastrous image-tarnishing to which we were subjected. When the deafening din died down, the enemy was left standing upright and ready to fight another day. We didn't eradicate or even significantly reduce its rocket arsenals. Indeed, both Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south continue to arm themselves. Hamas, moreover, also continues its intermittent barrages on civilians, with the international community chillingly indifferent and evidently taking no notice.

Action in both cases didn't spring Israeli hostages. In the fighting's aftermath both Hizbullah and Hamas still held out for the entire ransom. Though battered and bruised, they were the ones who strove to dictate terms and impose their will on us and not vice versa. So, with neither Hizbullah nor Hamas prostrate, who's the winner here?
 

IT'S NOT that the country under Olmert/Livni couldn't win. It was afraid to. We were turned into the unhappy real-life equivalent of the unnerved athletes in a uniquely effective episode of TV's animated Batman series. Aptly entitled "Fear of Victory," this classic features the recurrent villain Scarecrow, who slips star sportsmen an adrenalin-activated fear-toxin. As they gear themselves up for competition, they get scared of winning. Scarecrow then bets against them, sure that, despite these champions' legendary abilities and proven experience, they cannot succeed.

Hamas, Hizbullah and their Iranian/Syrian masters similarly bet against this country, sensing that it's intimidated against going the whole hog and actually trying to crush them. They're not blind to the paradox that the more hi-tech, scientifically advanced and militarily-sophisticated we become, the weaker our leadership's resolve. In the psychological combat zone, the Arabs make mincemeat of us — time and again. The last thing we should do is belittle our antagonists. They are way shrewder than us and see right through our poses. They remember our spirited stand in the face of their terrorist onslaughts in the 1970s.

They remember our refusal to bow to extortion when they hijacked planes and buses, invaded homes and captured children in schools and baby crèches. We were willing to risk casualties but not to yield and thereby enhance terrorist incentives to take more hostages.
 

ARABS MUST now be so buoyed by the perverse spectacle of Israelis demonstrating against their own government to free Gilad Schalit. This hostage after all wasn't kidnapped by official Israel but by our enemy. That enemy must be delighted that "useful fools" press its demands for the full exorbitant payoff. Hamas henchmen must be mystified that Israelis clamor to release captive enemies back into the arena to butcher more of us. We've become a timid, compromise-addicted lot. The long-term outcome of the life-and-death conflict foisted upon us no longer takes precedence.

We once mocked terrorist bluster. Today we listen to Nasrallah or Mashaal with trepidation and seek ways to appease them. They know our mind-set has mutated. They know yesteryear's Israelis expected daring commando responses to terrorist outrages, yet today we hesitate to venture out-of-the-box lest we incur wrath abroad. They know that our fallen, once regarded as heroes, are today counted as victims of avoidable slipups. They are aware of the numbing risk-aversion of our politicians, who fear media carping and commissions of inquiry more than genocidal foes.

Above all, our enemies know that they managed to get politically-correct Jews to perceive themselves via the lenses of Arab propaganda. We even resort to the vocabulary of its distortive narrative. In our own school curriculum, we acknowledge that slanderous narrative's depiction of our independence as a Nakba (catastrophe). Like them, we describe their terrorist aggression against ordinary people as an intifada (valiant uprising), a cease-fire as a hudna (a deceptive truce) and a lull as a tahadia (temporary respite of convenience).

We blabber about "occupation" without asking by which line Arabs demarcate areas where a sovereign Jewish existence might possibly be accepted. Is it the 1949 line? 1947? None at all? Does "occupation" refer only to territories we have held since 1967 or also where Jews settled in 1870?

By adopting the other side's verbal icons, we buy into its thought manipulation. Without bothering to understand the cultural context and definitions of the jargon we obsequiously borrow, we play the Arab game and forgo the justice of our cause. In this region especially, self-deprecation doesn't improve one's negotiating posture.

On the eve of the Annapolis conference, for instance, PA "moderates" under Mahmoud Abbas vehemently refused that the two-state formulation specify Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. It became an absolute nonstarter. Fearing commotion, Olmert and Livni backed down.

The upshot: Israel is tolerated provisionally as some pesky transient evil, with an indeterminate ethnic identity which could be Arabized in future.
 

IN THESE PSYCHO-POLITICAL circumstances it would be very gutsy to aim to win instead of insecurely trying to conciliate an in-your-face uncooperative "peace partner." Netanyahu is now tasked with the mission of inducing Israelis to lose their fear of victory, assuming of course that he himself isn't afflicted by that peculiar fear.

If FDR spoke of "efforts to convert retreat into advance," Netanyahu's unparalleled challenge is not to allow collective defeatism to convert advance into yet another retreat. It's now up to Bibi. No Batman will rescue us from the Scarecrow of our own making.

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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LITTLE JEWISH SKETCHES
Posted by Boris Zubry, March 20, 2009.
 

"This is Rabbi Abramson".

"Hello, Rabbi. How are you?"

"I am fine. Thank you. And you?"

"Oh, I am fine too. A little bit of this and little bit of that, some pain but the rest of it is fine. Thank you for asking. Tell me, please, Rabbi, do you have a brother who is a Rabbi?"

"No, I am the Rabbi".

"Hm... Too bad. If you had a brother who was a Rabbi, you would be the other brother."


"This is Rabbi Abramson and his brother Menachem".

"Hello, Rabbi. How are you?"

"I am fine. Thank you. And you?"

"Oh, I am fine too. A little bit of this and little bit of that, some pain but the rest of it is fine. Thank you for asking. Tell me, please, Menachem, do you have a brother who is a Rabbi?"

"Yes, I do. This is my brother and he is a Rabbi."

"Hm... Too bad. If you did not have a brother who was a Rabbi, you would be the Rabbi and he would be the other brother."


"Where were you all day long, Nahum? The dinner is cold and I worry. What the matter with you?"

"I was interrogated in the militia. They kept me there for almost three hours."

"What did they want? What did you do, Nahum?"

"They wanted to know where I hid the money, Hannah. They wanted the money."

"What money. We don't have any money."

"I told them that, but they kept questioning me. No food, no water and this room in the basement with red cracked walls and the naked electric bulb hanging from the ceiling. I was not comfortable at all. And, they kept asking the same thing over and over again. So, I asked them why they needed my money."

"And?"

"They said they were building the Socialism and needed money."

"And, what did you say?"

"I told them that, if they had no money, they should not build anything. They called me an idiot and let go."


"Friends, relatives, I just came back from Moscow. Last night I went to the Red Square to see the Kremlin. I wanted to see everything and hear the big clock on the Spasskaya Tower striking midnight. And when midnight arrived the clock came alive but it was only eleven BOMs and not twelve." "Oy, gevolt."

A few days later a large group of Jews from a small village gathered at the Red Square in Moscow a few minutes before midnight waiting for the bid clock on the Spasskaya Tower to strike. They were agitated but quiet. Both hands of the huge clock finally rested on number twelve.

"BOM" sounded the huge clock.
"Oh!" said the Rabbi.
"BOM" sounded the clock again.
"One" counted the Rabbi.


"This is the best kosher meal I had in a long while. Very good."

"What kosher meal? This is not kosher. Nothing is kosher here. Look at this place. And the Chinese cook. We had the salami sandwiches and this salami has pork in it."

"Look, when I am hungry as this, everything tastes kosher to me. Is it wrong? How does it taste to you?"

"Good, but not kosher. Okay, very good but still not kosher. Waiter, I'll have some more. Would you?"


"Rabbi, I cannot live in my house. The house is too small, children, chickens, cats, dogs, a cow, relatives, mother in law. I don't even want to go home any more. There is no enjoyment there. What can I do?"

"I'll tell you what to do. Take a goat in the house and let it stay there for a week. You would not like it but do it anyway, and keep it there for a week. After that come back to me and I'll tell you what to do next."

"What goat, Rabbi. I have no goat. Can I do whatever you want me to do with a chicken?"

"No, chicken is no good. You have no goat? Buy one."

"Rabbi, if I had money to buy a goat, I would just move out."


"Did you hear what they are saying now about this big Spanish/Italian/Portuguese ganef (thief), Christopher Columbus? They are saying that he was a Jew."

"You don't say."

"I do say."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because he spit on all these anti-Semites and the stinking goyim (not Jewish) country of theirs and went to America."

"So?"

"He made some money and, then, he found more of the same. In a little while it was like he never left the beloved meshuga (crazy) country. It could not happen to a better person but it could happen only to a Jew."


This is an ad in a classified section of a very popular newspaper:

"Wanted a trade:
Two lovely but somewhat loud Jewish wives in Israel for one gentile but wealthy wife in America."


Judaism as a form of art — ridiculous but effective.


"Can you accept Judaism in its entirety and without questioning? Can you do as Muslims do with Islam? Can you be a pure fanatic?"

"I don't think so. If I could, I would be a Muslim."


"What makes you believe in Judaism so much?"

"Nothing. This is all a "baba maisse" (grandmother's tale) but food and music are great. What can I do? I am addicted to it."


As far as I know, there are only two cultures where mothers are elevated to the level of a cult: Italian and the Jewish. That makes me think that Italians are Jews only a little on the crooked side.


I never met an Italian Rabbi but I met many Jewish crooks. Go figure.


If God created us in his image, he was Jewish. I wonder who did his circumcision.


Homosexuality and Judaism are not really made for each other. We, Jews, are not built well to bend over that way but Muslims should take a hard look at it. Islam ultimately conditions the faithful, mentally and physically, for this kind of practices. God built us that way and we have to obey the god's will. Allah Akbar!


The Jewish way of life is to live and let live to everyone. The Muslim's way of life is not to live and let live to anyone. Christians still have to decide.


"What could be more Jewish than the Jewish wife?"

"The Jewish mother-in-law."


I was young, Jewish available and with money.

She was young, Jewish, available but with no money.

I am still young, Jewish, available but with no money, and she is still young, Jewish, available but with money now.


Torah is the well-written Jewish prolog to "1001 Arabic Nights".

Bible is a collection of stories that did not make the first edition of "1001 Arabic Nights".

Koran sounds like the 1002 story of the "1001 Arabic Nights".


"What good came out of Judaism?"

"Jews, Christians, the common laws, republics, democracy, music, visual arts, literature and much more."

"What good came out of Islam?"

"Muslims...?"


I think I always wanted to be Jewish, even before I was born. And, that is why I was born Jewish. God works in mysterious ways.


"In all fairness, being a Jew is not fair."

"Why did you say that? You were chosen and God is always on your side."

"Very often I prefer not to be chosen and be on the other side. But God is on this side so I have to be here as well supporting him."

"So, what's wrong with that?"

"Well there is no fun there and one may get hurt that way. And, that is no fair at all."

"I guess you may say that if you put it that way. Would you like to go and check the other side? Just to make sure. What are you doing now?"


What is the Jewish life? Is it like Kosher food in a Trefah (Hebrew — opposite to Kosher; not fit to eat) restaurant or is it like Trefah food in a Kosher restaurant? No matter how you slice it and what you do, you are just an inch from breaking the rules. Do you think rules were meant to be broken? Can we defy and break the laws of physics? I thought so. Not all the rules could be broken but the breakable ones.


Every Jew I met here in America tells me that his or her parents or grandparents originally came from Russia, Ukraine or Poland. No one ever came from Israel. Are you sure Jews ever lived there? Do we have witnesses? And, if they did live there, they probably called it Russia. I think we, Jews, should claim Russia, Poland and the Ukraine as our god-given right. We'll call it the Promised Land. The UN should kick the Goim out from there and we should move in and, if the scripture does not call for that, change the scripture. How difficult should that be? No one had ever seen the original document anyway. It could be written that way, you know.


The English Queen Elizabeth I once said: "Dutch do not have religion. They have cheese." It was very wise and come to think about it could apply to almost all of us.

Well, French do not have religion. They have wine and Italians have sex. Americans have baseball and the Arabs have camels. Russians have vodka and the Jews have the circumcision. So, regardless to anything, everyone has the own favorite pastime.


"First, God created a man."
"Why did God create a man?"
"For the company."
"Second, God created a woman."
"Why did God create a woman?"
"For the other company."
"Then God created Jews."


"Why did God create Jews?"
"For the entertainment."
"Then there were Christians."
"Why did God create Christians?"
"Well, someone had to work."
"Then we got the Muslims."
"Why did God create the Muslims?"
"It was an accident, son."


Jews stay honest so you can benefit the most from lying.


Honesty is not a virtue. It's usually the business necessity.


In the well-corrupted society often one cannot give a bribe without giving a bribe fist.


Most of problems cannot be solved in twenty-four hours or just by throwing money at it or by blaming Jews.

Boris Zubry is a mechanical engineer. He was born in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United State. Mr. Zubry is also author of "Chess Master," a political thriller; "Miles of Experience," a collection of short stories and "Arrogance of Truth," a collection of satiric short stories and poetry. He also wrote novel "Puska" (published about a year ago). This is a diary of the American cat. Find his books at Amazon.com. Contact him by email at boriszubry@comcast.net or at his website, http://www.boriszubry.us

This was published today at
www.jewishindy.com/phpnuke/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=9657

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ABBAS NOT THE ONLY EXTREMIST LEADER IN P.A.; FRESH START IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 20, 2009.
 

ABBAS NOT THE ONLY EXTREMIST LEADER IN P.A.

Abbas' organization in Gaza fired a rocket at Israel and committed some suicide attacks. The Mayor of Nablus told a crowd of 100,000 that if Israel does not "want peace," Fatah would return to armed struggle (Arutz-7, 3/4/09).

They already are in armed struggle, demonstrated by periodic attacks. But it is at a low level, because Israel keeps raiding terrorists in Judea-Samaria.

What the Mayor means is that if Israel does not give in to the suicidal concessions that Fatah demands for making a final "peace agreement," Fatah would fight full-scale. But Fatah demands would render Israel indefensible, so one would anticipate that if Israel gave in to those demands, the Arabs would attack it. In other words, whatever Israel does, jihadists intend war. Abbas makes the same point as does the Mayor. Why not? He is a life-long terrorist, Arafat's chief aide and paymaster for terrorism in violation of the Olso accords.

Now what is this nonsense from Sec. Clinton about "moderate forces" in the P.A.. Neither she nor her predecessor identified them, except for Abbas, who both favors terrorism and who has no power. He is not a force, he's a cardboard ruler.

ISRAELI EXPERT INSTRUCTS U.S.

Eytan Bentsur, former director of Israel's Foreign Ministry asserts that the US must address "a number of burning issues," including the rehabilitation of Gaza. Pres. Obama wants to establish a new order in the Mideast. Syria wants, among other things, to strengthen its control over Lebanon. Mr. Bentsur proposes how to satisfy all those goals. Instead of proposing a comprehensive peace with Syria, Israel should propose a limited withdrawal from the Golan, the area evacuated to be demilitarized, as Kuneitra was earlier. Then [principle having been abandoned] the rest could follow. Demilitarization means the IDF could get there before Syrian Army units, therefore would not be at risk (IMRA, 2/27).

My fellow Americans did not elect Obama to give our money to Gazans who hate us and attempt genocide. We need all the resources we can muster to rehabilitate our own economy. Neither was he elected to keep the Lebanese people under the terrible Syrian dictatorship that Pres. Bush helped them get out from under, for a while.

Bentsur goes into the area's recent history in excessive detail, but omits the key facts. Truth is, the plan was tried, before, and didn't work. Kuneitra and that part of the Golan was returned to Syria, and is not really demilitarized. Syria fills it with Army reservists. They would do that again. They could get to any area Israel leaves, first. As Syria builds up forces, the US would tell Israel to wait.

"FRESH START IN THE MIDDLE EAST"

From that NY Times headline to its conclusion, the editorial makes controversial assertions without factual or logical explanation. The Times line is that almost everything the Bush administration did was wrong and that the new Administration is making a "fresh start." To the contrary, the Times is cheering Sec. Clinton for demanding what Sec. Rice did. Sec. Rice demanded Israeli concession on territory, checkpoints, Jewish construction in the Territories, etc.. Same old anti-Zionist policies for decades. Result: a series of Arab aggressions, Arab armies rebuilt to swing back into action, Israel insecure, and jihadists threatening to unite the whole Mideast against the US or atom-bombing the US. We do need a fresh start in US policy; we don't need stale Times proposals.

"Mrs. Clinton made clear that America's compelling interest lies in a two-state solution anchored by a broad regional peace." She did not make that clear. Neither the US government nor the Times has explained why setting up a state run by corrupt PLO terrorists is a solution rather than a problem. Neither has the government nor the Times defined "the US interest."

I will. The underlying US national interest is: (1) Victory over jihad, the barbarian assault on civilization; (2) Freedom of the seas, to facilitate trade; and (3) Peace.

"Peace" means genuine peace, not phony Muslim Arab truces and treaties that they break. Their doctrine treats agreements with infidels as respites to end when Muslim forces can take up the offensive again. One needs to know that about enemy ideology, before making policy. If the US government and the Times know that, they are aren't exploiting that and informing our people.

Just as Putin's notion of great power rivalry addresses obsolete challenges that divert him from the major problems of Russia, so, too, the State Dept. and Times anti-Zionist policy addresses obsolete prejudices that divert them from jihad. Jihad is a more immediate great problem than global warming.

How does Clinton think she is advancing the US interest? By diplomacy with Syria and support for P.A. head Abbas. How Abbas helps the US interest is not explained. His people are the most anti-American among about ten Muslim countries polled. He doesn't want peace. In other words, Abbas is jihadist — he threatens war on Israel unless Israel submits to demands that make it helpless, thereby inviting war. It's war either way. Unnecessary war is not in the US interest. Successful Arab jihad would weaken the US strategically.

Jihad is global and unrelenting. One cannot defeat jihad by giving it territory and undermining the defenses of our ally, Israel. If the US keeps betraying allies whose solidarity with us makes them immediate targets of terrorists, they will hang back. Now, if the Times reported what Abbas has done and what he tells his people, its readers would understand. If the Times honestly disclosed that it and the State Dept. traditionally have been anti-Zionist, readers would be less credulous about government and journalistic machinations against Israel.

Suppose Abbas were not a terrorist. Could he be strengthened? Israel has made dozens of concessions to him. Nevertheless, the demand for more concessions never ends, so weak is he. The Times admits he is weak. Why never evaluate the assertion that concessions strengthen him? Why never identify what makes him weak?

Abbas is weak, because: (1) He is disloyal to his party's militia, and it is disloyal to him; and (2) His regime steals most foreign aid and extorts from subjects, so they reject him. To a certain extent, he is the victim of radical indoctrination by his regime. As in S. Arabia, indoctrinating citizens in fanatical ideology breeds hotheads who find their regime insufficiently extremist. Ironic!

How could Abbas gain popularity with his bigoted people? He'd have to drop diplomacy and go to all-out war in the name of Islam. His people don't understand the PLO plan to conquer Israel in phases, by a combination of: (a) Diplomacy, to win territorial concessions; and (b) Terrorism, to exert pressure for more concessions, until a final drive to conquer Israel. How wise is it to undermine Israel in order to make him popular with such a vicious people?

The editorial blames Pres. Bush's shunning of Syria for "pushing Syria further" into Iran's orbit. First came Syria's becoming a proxy/ally of Syria, and then came the shunning. The paper confuses cause with effect.

The editorial phrase about peace with the P.A., "anchored by a broad regional peace," misunderstands the Arab-Israel conflict. The nature of that conflict is further obscured by the misnomer, "Israeli-Palestinian conflict." People don't know what the strife is about. That's after 80 years of reporting and billions of dollars of US aid. Sad commentary about journalism and the State Dept.!

Let's test the Establishment's understanding of the conflict. Has the Establishment noticed that the other Arabs don't care for the Palestinian Arabs? If so, they don't deduce conclusions from it. Let's deduce.

Since the Arab states don't care for those particularly Arabs, then they don't care particularly whether those Arabs get territory or not. This was manifested in the 1940s, when the General Assembly suggested statehood for the P.A. Arabs, but Egypt and Jordan seized the areas where most of those Arabs resided. Egypt and Jordan neither treated those people decently nor let them have a state of their own. Instead, they used the territories as bases for raiding Israel. Israel was their real objective. That reveals the real conflict. The real conflict is that Islam cannot abide infidel sovereignty in an area it once had conquered and especially one in its midst. The source of the conflict is religious.

The Arabs have no legitimate grievances. They just have their bigotry against other religions. Since the religion is not loosening but hardening, there can be no broad peace in that mostly Islamic region. There can be only fake peace agreements, only temporary in duration.

If Syria were weaned from Iran, the Times asserts, Iran would be more isolated in its nuclear weapons program. Iran is just months away from completing such weapons. A setback in Syria, if our fumbling State Dept. could manage it, would take much longer. Even if immediate, it would not deter Iran from attaining the great power that such a weapon would confer upon it. The Times is dreaming.

Asserting that Abbas remains key to peace, the editorial elaborates: "Fatah's rival, Hamas, disqualifies itself so long as it permits rocket fire and terrorism against Israel and rejects past agreements between Israel and the Palestinians" (Arafat's Arabs and not the ones in Jordan). "Rocket fire and terrorism" imply that rocket fire against civilian Israeli cities is not terrorism? But it sure is!

Suppose Hamas suspended terrorism, long enough to make a profitable deal. Then it would resume the armed struggle. That is what Fatah is doing. Fatah does not say it rejects past agreements. But it always has violated those pacts to foment prejudice and violence against Jews and Christians. That is not making peace. The Times is deceiving readers if not itself. That's the newspaper that originally praised the Soviet regime, downplayed the Holocaust, favored Castro, accepted the Sandinista Communists, denied the success of the "surge," and placed vain hopes in other Arab leaders. Not sound judgment.

"Yet the widespread civilian suffering in January caused by Israel's counter-offensive against Hamas in Gaza damaged Mr. Abbas's credibility as an effective defender of Palestinian interests. Washington must convince Israel's leaders to help rebuild it."

Warped logic! Hamas commits aggression via war crimes, but Israel gets criticized. It is blamed for the suffering of a people whose regime steals relief supplies and diverts large funds to unnecessary war. Warped to demand that Israel subordinate self-defense to boost Abbas' credibility, a credibility to be based on Israel taking casualties undefended. MK Netanyahu remarked that while Hamas still is bombarding Israel is no time to be rebuilding Gaza. Have the Times and the State Dept. no shame?

Rebuilding the Arabs' destroyed property during or right after their failed aggression helps keep the jihadist drive going. What can they lose, when infidels pay to rebuild what jihad lost? The Times thus pursues the old, failed policy. When first proposed, its failure was predictable. Now that it repeatedly has failed, its continued pursuit becomes stubborn insistence upon failed ideology.

In furtherance of boosting Abbas' (hopeless) popularity, the editorial suggests, "In the W. Bank, that means freezing further settlement construction and expansion. It means lifting roadblocks between Palestinian (Arab) cities and towns that are not needed for security. In East Jerusalem (sic) it means stopping the humiliating eviction of Palestinians. And in Gaza, it means expanding exceptions to the blockade to allow the import of cement and reconstruction materials. These moves will benefit Mr. Abbas more than Hamas, which feeds on Palestinian suffering." (3/6/09.) No explanation given for theory and linkage.

The Times is suggesting that the Jewish people give up their claim to the Jewish provinces of Judea and Samaria in order to make its enemy, Abbas, popular with his antisemitic people. What type of logic is that? An unjust type!

What do the editors mean, removing roadblocks "not needed for security?" Do they mean that all roadblocks are not needed or only some? Burden of proof is on it to identify which ones. Roadblocks have barred terrorists and helped them be captured. Good for security. Taking them down means innocent deaths.

Has the Times no awareness that cement and construction materials were brought in by Hamas before the Israeli incursion, in order to build bunkers? Can the editors guarantee that if such materials were exempted from the blockade, Hamas would not misuse them in the same way? No.

On what is the Times theory based, that Hamas gains popularity from misery in the area it controls? No evidence cited. Besides, Hamas creates misery by neglecting the population's needs to make religious war. Isn't reducing the blockade more likely to boost Hamas' popularity, because Hamas can claim that in the long run, its warfare did not damage Gaza, being rebuilt at foreign expense? Every time Israel withdraws or makes a concession, terrorists claim to have forced it upon Israel. That's the Arab way of thinking. The Times is wrong.

What "humiliating" demolition of Arabs' houses in eastern Jerusalem? I read the reports by the Times and by reliable sources in Israel. There was nothing humiliating about the demolition of a few dozen houses out of hundreds illegal? The demolition was ordered via legal proceedings that endorsed demolition requests against illegal buildings. The buildings usually sat on public land designated for municipal purposes. The Times failed to report that; it quoted false Arab implications of discriminatory denial of building permits.

What's humiliating is the Times' cavalier and hypocritical pattitude toward Israeli self-defense. It tells Jews not to build in their towns in Judea-Samaria, though that building is legal. It tells Israel not to dismantle Arabs' houses in Jerusalem, though that building is illegal. The Times' tale is false, misleading, and unthinking.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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REP. SHELLEY BERKLEY'S LETTER TO U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON
Posted by HandsFiasco, March 20, 2009.
 

Madam Secretary:

I write to you today regarding the situation in the Middle East. In the wake of Hamas' attacks on Israel, and Israel's defensive operations, I understand the U.S. government has pledged to grant $900 million for the rebuilding of Gaza and for assisting the Palestinian Authority. I am concerned that this money will end up helping Hamas and hurting the very Palestinian people we intend to help.

For years, the U.S. has infused money into the Palestinian Authority (PA), with very little to show for it. Their leaders are no more ready to govern today than they were before we began our funding. After years of mismanagement, their basic institutions are in shambles and they have shown very little ability to govern in the West Bank without the presence of the Israeli Defense Forces. Instead of helping average Palestinians, our money has lined the pockets of the Arafats and other corrupt Palestinian leaders.

I also understand our funding will not be conditioned on any reciprocal actions by Hamas or the PA. Despite Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding on Hamas' reciprocating with these basic demands. Without such links, Palestinians will see the U.S. as providing aid while Hamas continues to terrorize the Israeli people, with no consequences from the U.S. government.

I am also concerned that much of the funding will be directed through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Unfortunately, UNRWA has proven itself to be a biased agency, with very little oversight. During the most recent violence in Gaza, UNRWA issued numerous statements attacking Israel for their self-defense actions, while failing to criticize Hamas for launching missiles at innocent Israeli citizens. Much of UNWRA's money and services end up in the hands of people who are wealthy enough not to need the assistance, or worse, with members of terrorist organizations. UNRWA officials have even admitted that they cannot ensure their money does not go to Hamas. I believe helping UNRWA does not further the cause of peace.

Contact HandsFiasco at handsfiasco@webtv.net

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JIHAD JEWISH LEADERSHIP: "DURBAN DUPLOMACY"
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 20, 2009.

This is from Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs
(http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/), which wrote:

The Jewish lay leadership has, for years, been failing, misinforming and deceiving the Jewish American diaspora.I am thrilled that Glick, Phillips and Bayefsky have finally called these assclowns on their complicity with Jew haters. I have been railing at these kapos for years. They have been selling their brothers down the river for years (Mort Klein not included in this motley crew of craven sellouts.)
 
Durban II Alert
(http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/guest/entry/a_response_to_david_harris)

A Response to David Harris (AJC)
By Caroline Glick, Melanie Phillips and Anne Bayefsky (J Post)

It stands to reason that that David Harris would be sensitive to criticism of the AJC's participation in planning "Durban II." [David Harris blog, "Durban Diplomacy", March 15, 2009] After all, by taking part in the Durban II planning process on a US government delegation, AJC contemptuously ignored repeated calls from Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Minister Isaac Herzog for the United States government to stay away and announce it will not participate, period. Israel's priority, and the priority of much of the American Jewish community was to delegitimize the hate-fest, not place an AJC representative on its planning committee.

The fact of the matter is that the only reason the US made a tactical retreat from the process was the pressure created by criticisms such as ours, along with protests made by Israel, Canada, and other American Jewish organizations and leaders.

For more than a year, the AJC has conducted an extensive lobbying campaign of the American government and of foreign governments to stay in Durban II.

On December 11, 2008 Harris told The Jerusalem Post: "We can't afford to declare Durban II lost without more focus on diplomacy." On January 12, 2009 the AJC's human rights arm, the Blaustein Institute, wrote to Secretary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice: "The Durban Review Conference provides an opportunity to review states' progress in the implementation of their commitments to combat racism made in 2001... While some organizations are calling for a US boycott, we believe that is the wrong decision at this time." As recently as February 22, 2009 Harris told the Post: "Our position on Durban II is clear. We have publicly praised France and the Netherlands, among other countries, for insisting on clear red lines and threatening to withdraw if they are breached."

If they are breached? The AJC's own UN monitoring body, UN Watch, reported the breach had occurred on October 28, 2008, in a report aptly called "Shattering the Red Lines: The Durban II Draft Declaration." Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations told the Post on December 11, 2008: "We clearly see that all the red lines that have been enumerated by the Europeans have been violated."

Under the guise of ever-shifting red lines (that in any incarnation Israel and the rest of the Jewish world understood were crossed long ago), AJC has caused great damage to Israel's diplomatic standing.

Contrary to much misinformation, the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has not made a final decision about whether it will attend Durban II. Its recent departure from the planning sessions in Geneva left the door open for cosmetic changes to the text of the conference declaration that, if made, would allow its negotiators to claim a spurious victory.

The key point which Harris chooses to ignore is that the agreed objective of Durban II is to reaffirm and implement the 2001 Durban Declaration. That document singles out Israel for censure and says that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism. Consequently any attempted sanitizing of the latest text will be worthless, since by definition the new Declaration will re-affirm the 2001 singling out and demonization of Israel.

Then too, Harris's claim that the US's tactical withdrawal from the planning sessions will make other nations more likely to walk away from Durban II is both incorrect and misleading. The ambiguity of the US's current position has held back the Australians and the British from withdrawing since they do not want to be double-crossed by an Obama administration that eventually attends. Absent a clear American stand, the French and the Germans are putting enormous pressure on Italy and the Netherlands not to break ranks with the rest of the EU — which have no intention of leaving. Initial suggestions by both countries that they would not go are now in doubt.

Worse still, as a quid pro quo for its tactical retreat from Durban II, the US is on the verge of announcing that it will run for a seat (election is a foregone conclusion) on the UN Human Rights Council — a move strongly advocated by none other than the AJC's human rights institute. In the words of an AJC press release January 29, 2007: "The human rights arm of the American Jewish Committee is urging the United States to seek membership on the UN Human Rights Council." The Council has adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than all other 191 UN member states combined. By joining the UN Human Rights Council, the Obama administration will be legitimizing a body dedicated to the delegitimization of Israel.

It is shameful that the AJC has chosen to join this cynical and sinister process, whose outcome can only be to weaken Israel and strengthen her enemies. And it is outrageous that the AJC has sought to defend its participation in the process by attacking those who point out the consequences of its actions.

No one knows whether the Obama administration or other Western governments will finally stand their ground against pro-Durban, anti-Jewish and anti-democratic forces. What is certain, however, is that if the Obama administration, European countries or Australia do decide to stay out and the West thus finally says no to the substance of Durban I, it will be through the efforts of all those who have tried to delegitimize the process rather than those whose actions have effectively helped an unconscionable exercise come to fruition.

OT but related: Jewish Organizations Are Failing the Jews

Anti-Semitism sweeps across the West and most Jewish groups are more concerned about glad-handing and global warming.

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AUSTRALIAN IMAM CAUGHT LYING BY AUSTRALIAN ABC CHANNEL 9 TV
Posted by Gabrielle Goldwater, March 20, 2009.

This comes from Keith Davies, Director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation.

 

Click and watch this You Tube report from Australian TV 9 one of the few main stream media networks willing to expose the Islamists. Walid just completed an interview for Australian ABC 9 which will air in September in Australia.

http://www.youtube.com/user/vladtepesblogdotcom

The above video proves the level of lies and deception used by Islamic clerics all over the world for the sake of Jihad and Isalmic domination. We have testimonies from many former Muslims as to the lies and propaganda that is taught from the pulpit by virtually every mosque in the world.

Please share this You Tube video with as many friends as possible.

Please also visit our new sister web site which we just launched today: http://www.ffmuorg.com

Gabrielle Goldwater lives in Switzerland. Contact her at III44@aol.com

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FROM ISRAEL: WAIT A MINUTE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 19, 2009.
 

I've seen it in a variety of different places with changeable climate (Calgary comes to mind as one): natives of the area say, "You don't like our weather? Wait a minute, it'll change."

Right now that's about how I'm feeling with regard to reporting on the process of forming a new coalition here. Don't like what I told you now? Wait a minute, the news will change.

I will be brief here in my reportage, precisely because everything is up in the air:

After saying he would not be seeking an extension, Netanyahu has decided to seek one. On Sunday, when his time will be up (according to a Mazuz ruling), he will be asking President Peres for two more weeks to form his coalition, as he is permitted to do under law.

This is because of Barak, whom he approached again (with the two men having come to some private understanding). Apparently, it was said, Labor would be unable to meet until next Tuesday to decide about whether to join. There was some indication that Barak might convince his party — some reason for Netanyahu to delay.

But since that indication was made public, I waited a minute, and now there is indication of enormous resistance to Barak's hauling Labor into the coalition. So much resistance that there is talk of holding a primary and replacing him as head of the party. There is fury inside the party about Barak's manipulations.

And what is more, there may be some legal technicality that prevents a decision on this. The Labor by-laws may forbid a convening of the Central Committee in sufficient time. It apparently takes three weeks, and that's more time than Netanyahu has.

Those who are adamantly against joining the coalition are insisting that the party constitution cannot be "trampled with." But wait a few more minutes and we'll see what comes next. The issue of making Barak defense minister again is being bandied about.

In the meantime, Netanyahu had better be continuing his negotiations with the outstanding four parties on the right with great intensity, so that he will, at least, have a right wing coalition at the end of the day. The coalition agreement with Lieberman stipulated that there might be changes if a unity government is established, and he would presumably do this across the board.

~~~~~~~~~~

Does it pay to say it? Don't know. But I must: This is not how it should be. We are facing a world that is increasingly against us. For starters, the parties on the right should be cooperating for the sake of the nation. And even on the left, were that there were less divisiveness. Either way, whether Labor joins or not, there will be tensions within the party that generates turmoil.

But that is human nature. And at times such as this, I feel sad: We should have had a new government already. One established in cohesiveness and strength, for the larger goals. Ha!

~~~~~~~~~~

On the other hand, I'm pleased about dissension between Palestinians, for their unity would do us no good.

The Hamas-Fatah talks have broken down. The only thing they agreed upon is that there would be elections next January. But they couldn't decide upon a program for a joint government.

And the whole issue of recognizing Israel and honoring past agreements was a stickler. How's this for fancy footwork (they are creative): Instead of committing to past agreements, Hamas wanted the new unity government to say it "respected" PLO commitments. Words only.

But dangerous words. According to the Post, earlier this week Egypt sounded out the US and European diplomats regarding whether they would accept a unity government that offered something less than full commitment to PLO agreements. Apparently they would not, or the negotiations would not have ended so soon.

Today the Egyptian negotiators told the Palestinian factions to pack their backs. They may come together again after an Arab summit at the end of March. But possibly not until there's reason to believe there can be resolution of the difficulties, which would mean a long wait.

~~~~~~~~~~

And there was another failure to reach an agreement this week.

A meeting of European parliamentarians was held on Tuesday in Paris as part of a forum launched by the Middle East subcommittee of the Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly to facilitate the peace process without interfering in negotiations.

MK Danny Ayalon (Israeli Beiteinu) was there on behalf of the Knesset, while Palestinian MP Abdullah Abdullah (Fatah) represented the Palestinian Legislative Council. They failed to agree upon a joint declaration aimed at promoting peace and cooperation.

The Palestinians wanted a clause that said a settlement would be based on pre-67 lines, and the Israelis rejected it.

Do the European parliamentarians not see something significant in this?

~~~~~~~~~~

According to the Washington Post, Obama today abandoned a proposal to bill veterans' private insurance companies for treatment of combat-related injuries. This was in response to public and Congressional outcry. (Thanks, Bob H.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Now to Durban 2: When the US delegation pulled out, they didn't make it final, but instead made noise about the fact that they might reconsider if the wording of the declaration were changed.

Well, now there has been some change in the wording but the situation remains very troublesome. What was dropped were recently added references to Israel that went beyond what had been in the text that was adopted in the 2001 conference.

Thus the changes are political/cosmetic only. For the draft text for the second conference, to be held in Geneva next month, states in its first paragraph that it affirms that first document from 2001, which was virulently anti-Semitic. As has been previously explained by analysts such as Anne Bayefsky, this conference must affirm the first document, for it is being convened to oversee enactment of the principles of the first conference. Israel's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Roni Leshno-Yaar explains:

"We have come full loop and we are back to square one, where we reaffirm and single out Israel as a racist state.

"What we have gone through is that the Iranians and their friends...loaded the draft document with all kinds of paragraphs and then removed them, hoping we would forget that ancient thing, which is back in full force in the first paragraph."

~~~~~~~~~~

Writes Bayefsky:

"The new draft is a textbook example of diplomatic double-talk. Diplomats often couch objectionable outcomes in superficially unobjectionable language, using a tool that lawyers call 'incorporation by reference.' Don't repeat the offensive words in the new document; just include them by referring to another document where they can be found — and which most people won't bother to read."

There is no indication at this time that the US delegation will return, but this is what must be watched carefully.

Bayefsky says that one of the conditions set out by the Obama administration for renewed participation was that the Durban 2 declaration, "not reaffirm in toto the flawed 2001 Durban Declaration." But indeed it does reaffirm it in toto. See her entire article at:
http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/17/united-nations-durban-opinions-bayefsky.html

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

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<>U.S. CASE AGAINST AIPAC EMPLOYEES; PEACE NOW EXAGGERATION; HOW ABOUT CREATING A JEWISH STATE?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 19, 2009.
 

IDF RETALIATION

Every day, Hamas fires rockets or mortars into Israel. The IDF retaliates by bombing about five arms smuggling tunnels (IMRA, 2/26).

How effective is this? Gaza has hundreds of tunnels, perhaps a thousand. At the rate of five per day, it would take 200 days to bomb that many. Only part of a tunnel is bombed. In 200 days, Hamas could restore that many tunnels.

Israel isn't accomplishing much. This tit-for-tit exposes the futility of the January incursion, which was shallow and brief, did not make a fundamental cleanup.

U.S. CASE AGAINST AIPAC EMPLOYEES

Two former employees of AIPAC were charged not with espionage but with conspiring to obtain classified documents to be shared with former diplomats, reporters, and others.

Defense counsel wanted to subpoena certain documents and officials. They said the documents would show that the information was neither classified nor on national defense, so its disclosure did not break the law. The information the defendants shared is of a type that Washington "insider" commonly share and the government tacitly approves.

Subpoenaed Bush administration officials would be questioned to show that it is standard practice to let AIPAC have such information to send quietly to Israel. Why punish the AIPAC people now for what the government usually approves?

The prosecution objected, claiming that the documents were classified. An appeals court unanimously upheld the defense request (Arutz-7, 2/25).

Let defense counsel throw suspicion on the government's motives for its cracking down on AIPAC without warning, with discrimination against AIPAC, and with trying to keep necessary testimony out of trials!

HAMAS & RUSSIA

Hamas boasted of good relations with Russia. It appreciates Russian efforts in the region's problems (IMRA, 2/27). Other news is that Russia is helping Iran test its nuclear reactor. After that, it's only the presence of international inspectors that would seem to keep it from turning the material into a weapon.

What is Russia doing to merit praise by fanatical murderers? Shouldn't that embarrass Russia? It would if Putin were decent.

PEACE NOW EXAGGERATION

Peace Now claims to have discovered from an Israeli government website plans to build 73,302 apartments for Jews in Judea-Samaria.

The claim is some combination of error, gross exaggeration, and discrimination against Jews. If the claim were correct, it would mean that the government intended to double the population of Jews in those provinces. [This is the same appeasement-minded government that has been trying to get the Jews out of those provinces, or at least out of 95% of it. The Olmert regime did get the Jews out of northern Samaria and out of Gaza. Those Cabinet leftists hardly would be striving now to do the opposite.]

Actually, the government has retarded building by requiring that plans be subject to veto by the Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister. Not being housing experts, the purpose of veto power is to judge their political effect. [Anti-Zionist micro-management.]

Builders filing plans customarily state the number not of housing units intended but of the potential number in the whole property. That could account for much of the exaggeration (IMRA, 3/4/09).

The discrimination against Jews is in objecting to Jewish building in that part of the Jewish homeland, and not to Arab building there or in Israel. Why should the genocidal Arabs be a favored ethnic group?

IDF RETALIATION PHONY?

The IDF bombed a few more arms smuggling tunnels, in retaliation for rocket firing at Israel. This happens on other days, too (IMRA, 3/4/09).

One does not suppose that every day, the IDF learns about another few tunnels. It must have known before. Then it should have bombed them all. Instead, it spares them until it needs a target to strike in pretense that it is retaliating against Hamas. Waiting for that allows more arms to be smuggled into Gaza and to be fired at Israelis. The injuries, psychological trauma, and property damage Israeli targets suffer is what would be spared, if the government did its duty. The hypocritical government complains about the smuggling of arms that it could stop, because it knows there the tunnels are.

Alternatively, the government does not know where the tunnels are, but there are so many that bombs strike some by chance. Not likely. Another alternative is that the bombing is of so small a piece of tunnels that it hardly slows up smuggling, but makes a show of retaliation. The people need action, not a show.

HOW ABOUT CREATING A JEWISH STATE?

The four biggest political parties in Israel all seek to set up another Arab state within the Jewish homeland. Whether the party is called right wing, such as Likud and Lieberman's, or Centrist, such as Kadima, or Leftist, such as Labor, all the party heads make a major priority of granting the enemy P.A. sovereignty. (Lieberman promised during the campaign to oppose P.A. statehood.) One would think that there is some justification for doing that, some gain for the great risk of getting Israel conquered. If there is, the party heads have not bothered offering justification. They get away with it because of the leftist monopoly of the media there. The media censors in favor of appeasement. The media does not raise serious questions of leftist proposals. It is not a watchdog for national security, vis-à-vis the Muslim Arabs, external or internal.

I suggest that the party heads devote themselves to securing and creating a Jewish state, instead of rendering the state they have insecure by ceding defensible borders to its enemies.

Isn't Israel already a Jewish state? Well, the government discriminates against Jewish property owners and in favor of Arab squatters. It lets Arabs steal land belonging to the supposed Jewish state. The government discriminates against Jews for entry into the civil service and colleges. The government persecutes and frames Jewish nationalists, but hardly arrests Arabs who riot or break the law to encourage the enemy. The government has made it difficult over the decades for religiously observant Jewish immigrants or draftees. Jewish history is largely ignored in education, and the false Arab version of the history of the country now gets equal billing with the historical version. Jews are not allowed to pray at their holiest religious site, and various Jewish sites were given over to Muslim control and destruction. Muslim Arab defamation of Israel hardly is answered, leaving the world to think there must be some truth to the slander.

There are some requirements for observance of Jewish law, such as in marriage within the country for Jews, and a declining amount of Sabbath observance. But Jewish entitlement to the homeland hardly is defended, only a plea is made that the Jews already in the State of Israel should be made secure. To that, the Muslims will reply, you're admitting that you are not entitled to the country, so get out and find security elsewhere.

The government hardly defends its people any more. For release of a kidnapped soldier, the government warns that the price would be high. Probably that means releasing many terrorists for the one soldier. That many terrorists would kidnap another soldier and murder dozens of Israelis. What would Israel have gained? A Jewish-oriented government would make the price too high for Hamas to keep the kidnapped soldier. The government is no firmer than a wet rag.

I think that someone else could expand on this theme.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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THE ONLY HOPE
Posted by Miki and Herb Sunshine, March 19, 2009.

This article was written by Rabbi Meir Kahane and it appeared in the Magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea, Nissan-5737, April-1977.

It is distributed by Barbara Ginsberg, who writes: "Anyone reading this Rav Kahane article and is not on my personal list to receive the weekly articles written by Rav Kahane and would like to be, please contact me at: barhow@netvision.net.il "

Previously e-mailed Rav Kahane writings are available at
http:/www.barbaraginsberg.blogspot.com

 

"And He gave them the lands of the nations. that they might keep His statues and observe His laws." (Psalms 104)

The willful refusal to recognize calamity is the surest guarantee of its not being realized. And so, those who truly love Israel are obliged to be willing to look, to see, and recognize the potential calamity that is almost immutable unless immediate, radical action is taken.

Like some Biblical déjà vu, set against a backdrop of prophecy, the words echo across the ages: "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness." The state of Israel that just two decades ago, in the wake of an incredible war of Six Days, saw its Jewish armies sweep away enemies, sweep across the lands of the Bible to close the circle of history. The state of Israel that twenty years later, has plunged from a height of spiritual certainty, confidence, vision, and sense of destiny, to the depths of gloom, depression, and, yes, real fear. "She has that was great among the nations.how is she become tributary." (Lamentations 1)

More than a year of rioting and uprising in the liberated territories — as the army of the Six-Day miracle is, inexplicably, incapable of putting down rock-throwing youths. A Jewish State that was so supremely confident in its power and future, in its allies and support in the international community, in the twinkling of an historical eye, finds itself condemned, isolated, become the proverbial Biblical lamb surrounded by seventy (say, rather 150 and more) wolves. The nation that was so certain of both its power and its internal support becomes a state gripped by real fear of the future, of isolation, of fear itself.

The Arabs. But two decades ago, they sat in fear and terror as they waited for the Jew to expel them, and worse. And the Jew — fearful of the world and lacking in faith in G-d to the end — allowed the golden opportunity to slip through history. And so, today, a new "Palestinian" has arisen who knows not the fear of the Jew but whose confidence in his ultimate ability to destroy Israel grows as the bumbling, bungling, confused Israeli policy of no-policy stumbles along. To the Arab stones and firebombs, there is nothing but a confused, contradictory Jewish policy that ties the hands of soldiers, frustrates them, endangers them and even puts them on trial for reacting normally. To the political and diplomatic initiatives of "Palestinians", which demand a Palestinian state and "justice", the hapless and hopeless Israeli politicians offer only a continuation of what is clearly an occupation (as both Right and Left fear to annex the liberated lands of Eretz Yisrael and thus proclaim both justice and Jewish sovereignty).

A "Palestinian" state becomes more and more a reality. A state that would be a dagger aimed at Israel's heart, a mere phase in the total Arab dream of Israel's elimination. A "Palestinian" state looms ever larger and ever closer as the hapless Israelis frantically discuss "autonomy" and "elections" and "international peace conferences" and "dialogues" — and the "Palestinians" see and hear and understand that all of this has come about only because of Jewish weakness and lack of confidence and growing fear. Nothing is more calculated than Jewish concessions to insure the continuation and growth of the uprising. And every Jew murdered and burned and every Jewish vehicle attacked and every time Jewish fear rises to new heights so that Jews fear to walk or ride in yet more parts of their land — the desecration of the Name grows and Arab appetite and confidence leap forward.

And parallel with Arab confidence and hope moves Jewish guilt and despair. "The stranger within your midst shall climb higher and higher and you shall descend lower and lower."

A Jewish state that was united in supreme confidence of the justice of its cause now sees segments of its own people, stricken with moral madness and blindness as they flagellate themselves, berating and beating themselves with the whips of masochism. Incredibly, they compare their state and people to the Nazis! Unbelievably, they equate the Palestinians who would wipe us out if they could, to their own Jews, the blameless victims of the Holocaust!

In their hands, the news media — including state TV and radio — become brutal and daily-nightly weapons of guilt and self-hate, eroding the morale and moral conscience of the Jew, with a barrage of warped and corrupted condemnation of normal sense of self-preservation. The murderous Arab becomes an innocent victim of the Jewish-Nazi-like brutality and the sense and certainty of the justice of the Jewish cause becomes less and less clear to the Jewish victim of the left-liberal self-haters.

And thy are joined by fellow-lemmings of the Mosaic faith from the west, who in an inexplicable but ghostly Jewish galut psychosis, have a need to love every aberration that creeps on the earth, including those that would destroy the Jew.

And the deeply troubled liberal intellectual and "artistic" types, who are inevitably to be found moralizing at the expense of others, come out of their holes of ego and self-importance as they prattle and preach "love" and "peace" to the mere mortals of the Jewish people. The very same liberals who would not allow Jewish "extremists" and "racists" to darken their temple or school or office, fairly fly to embrace the semi-bearded and fully blooded arch-murderer, Arafat. They spit in the graves of the hundreds and thousands of Jews massacred and murdered by the "Palestinians" and frantically lay the groundwork for a similar fate for many more.

The demon of demography roars with satanic laughter as the huge Arab birthrate and the pitiful Jewish one (with the advice and consent of abortions, an absurdly low rate of aliyah and soaring flights of Israelis to the lands of hope in the west) combine to threaten the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish State. The Galilee is already majority Arab; the 'little' "Triangle" that lies just back of the Mediterranean coast with its Jewish heartland, is a solid block of 200,00 Arabs (Israelis)' cities such as Acre and Jaffa and Ramle and Lydda are laboratory studies in the transformation of Jewish cities into Arab ones. That which Arab rocks and bullets have not succeeded in doing, Arab babies can. Demography and democracy — the catastrophe that hovers over Israel's future.

A Jewish State, created for a people that suffered untold tragedy because it had no sovereign state of its own that it could control, is faced with the presence of a large and growing minority of Arabs who differ from them in every way and who see the Jews as robbers of their "Palestine". These are Arabs who live inside Israel, who are citizens, who vote, who threaten to become the majority or at least an impossibly large minority. The blunt contradiction between Zionism-Judaism and western democracy is glaring as Israel faces a clear threat to its existence either through Arab bullets or babies.

The economy crumbles, as factories are bankrupt, and kibbutzim, moshavim, and Histradrut enterprises — the pride of Labor Mafia — dip their hands into the national pocket, to cover the disastrous results of their own arrogant polices of robber-barony. Unemployment zooms; hidden unemployment continues its tragic destruction of the economy; interest rates are outrageous even by the most capitalistic standards; people seek to flee the country and escape anywhere, even as aliyah dries up.

And the Holy Land of the Holy People becomes a social and moral cesspool, the depository and repository of all the moral corruption, filth and perversion of sacred values that were once the province of a people that prided itself on its Chosenness. Values that are at best shallow, and at worst non-existent. The people that stood tall at Sinai stoops to gorge itself from the mud of the nations.

And in the face of all this, the cynicism and bankruptcy of the political parties of Israel, reach new heights — lows. A state cursed with problems of gigantic magnitude is doubly plagued by leaders of impressive tinyness. Almost two months of the shallowest, most ignominious of back and front-room machinations, promises, lies and cynical pledges followed by even more cynical breaking of the word; and finally a government of national paralysis, as Israel's two-headed hydra is resurrected.

The state is burning and the political parties are obsessed with narrow party and factional interests. It is truly a time for weeping as tragedy grips us and there is so little time, so little time. The destiny of the Jewish people, the iron law that is unbreakable and unmoving, is the cry of, "If you shall walk in my statues." Then, and only then, is there hope.

And so, with the time running out there must be a total substantive change in the very form of the government, a radical transformation that will allow those forces that grasp and cleave to the authentic Jewish Idea to save the Jewish State and people from their enemies — and from themselves. There must be a transfer of power by the people to a new system of strong and forceful government.

There must be — in these waning moments before tragedy strikes us — a democratic demand by the people to freeze democracy and allow a strong Jewish hand, a truly Jewish hand, to take over the rudder of the ship that, today, d rifts, toward the shoals and rocks of catastrophe.

Herb Sunshine is a lawyer, qualified to practice in U.S.A. and Israel. He and his wife Miki live in Jerusalem. Contact them by email at sunshine.h@012.net.il

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DOES THE U.N. REALLY MATTER?
Posted by Barbara Taverna, March 19, 2009.

This was written by Claudia Rosett, a journalist in residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. She writes a weekly column on foreign affairs for Forbes. This article is archived at
http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/18/united-nations-descoto-iran-opinions-columnists-obama_print.html

 

His travels apparently bankrolled in part by Iran, his excellency the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, recently took a three-week trip to Syria, Finland, China, Bahrain and Switzerland, plus five days in the Islamic Republic of Iran, complete with a photo-op bear hug with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

D'Escoto, upon his return to U.N. headquarters in New York, held a press conference Tuesday at which he praised Ahmadinejad and denounced "the Western, arrogant, traditional attitude" — particularly the policies of Israel and the U.S.

More specifically, d'Escoto, who served in Cold War days as the foreign minister of Nicaragua's Sandinista junta, lauded Iran — which is in breach of U.N. sanctions — as a country enjoying "great respect." He denounced the U.S. as having "demonized" Ahmadinejad. Describing himself as "speaking on behalf of the immense majority," d'Escoto described Americans as laboring under "a political handicap," accused Israel of apartheid, compared former President Bush to mobster Al Capone, and called for "dialogue" with all, including such terrorist groups as Hamas.

Having rounded this off with a call for the U.S. to place itself in the service of his brand of "multilateralism," d'Escoto demanded "a united nations, not a subjugated nations." After 45 minutes of this, delivered in a soft, lilting voice, he removed his substantial girth from the press room stage, presumably to carry on with his duties from his lavishly furnished office overlooking the East River.

It might be tempting to dismiss this performance as just one more case of the U.N. buffoonery to which Americans have become accustomed, just another item for the Turtle Bay scrapbook, a lesser variation on such historic histrionics as Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe and Yasser Arafat wearing a gun holster. After all, does the U.N. really matter?

Yes. The U.N. matters a lot. And it matters for reasons much bigger and more disturbing than America's billions in outsized contributions poured every year into the U.N.'s murky coffers, though it does bear noting in d'Escoto's case that the financial arrangements are intriguing. The U.S. pays the lion's share of the cost for his fancy facilities in New York, but apparently U.N.-sanctioned Iran picked up part of the tab for his trip to Tehran.

My queries about who paid for the recent trip were answered by d'Escoto's spokesman, with an e-mail message that said, "The entire trip was paid" by "the countries he visited, except the two days staying in Geneva ... as for the air travel, each country provided the air tikets [sic]."

That raises some interesting ethical questions about whether the president of the U.N. General Assembly should be accepting such frills as air tickets from member states, as well as how, exactly, the payments were arranged, or logged in by U.N. book-keepers. Neither d'Escoto's office nor Iran's Mission to the U.N. replied to my follow-up questions about these matters.

But for a handle on the larger problem with the likes of d'Escoto, and his activities under the U.N. logo, let us turn to an important essay published in 1989 by a former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Jeane Kirkpatrick. Writing in Commentary, Kirkpatrick explained "How the PLO Was Legitimized." The gist of her eight-page article was that it was done through the U.N., by way of "international diplomacy — reinforced by murder."

In richly documented detail, Kirkpatrick chronicled how, when Israel's military victories in 1948, 1967 and 1973 "made the price of large wars too high," Arab states moved their struggle to the U.N.: "An arena whose chief activity is not conflict resolution (as is generally believed) but what has been correctly termed 'collective legitimization' and 'collective delegitimization.'"

Such exploitation of the U.N. proceeds by way of appropriating vocabulary (such as "holocaust"), twisting words or emptying them of any real meaning (such as "terrorist," for which the U.N. still has no agreed-upon definition), staging conferences that import select initiatives into the U.N. agenda and introducing resolutions that craft what is presented as "world opinion," to be translated into effect on policy and international law.

While Americans were prone to dismiss many of the U.N.'s doings as mere semantic battles, Arafat and his colleagues knew better. Kirkpatrick explains: "They recognized the U.N. as a political opportunity and knew how to grasp it. They devised tactics for practicing the distinctive brand of bloc politics that passes for diplomacy in multilateral organizations, and they worked relentlessly in the U.N. committees, commissions and agencies to deprive the state of Israel of legitimacy and to legitimize their own struggle and claim to power."

When Kirkpatrick wrote that, 20 years ago, such tactics had already borne considerable fruit. Since then, the process has continued. Thus do we have a U.N. in which democratic Israel is treated as a pariah state, repeatedly condemned, kept off a Security Council that in recent years has included Syria and is being chaired this month by Libya.

Thus do we have a General Assembly dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, overseeing a Human Rights Council that spends most of its time condemning Israel and is now spawning a repeat of its anti-Semitic, anti-democratic 2001 Durban conference on "racism."

What's shifting today is that America, since defying the U.N. in 2003 over Iraq, now looks increasingly inclined to acquiesce to these tactics in the name of "engagement." President Obama, to his credit, recently declined to send delegates to the U.N.'s Durban Review conference this April in Geneva (though his administration has left the door open for further haggling).

But Durban II is just one skirmish in a broad front on which the U.S. and its most basic principles and values are under attack by the U.N. And from the U.N., thanks in great part to America's money, hospitality and trust, America's enemies derive a form of legitimacy and influence they would not otherwise enjoy.

That is the real meaning of d'Escoto's road show and ensuing press conference, framed with the baby-blue regalia of the U.N. draperies, stage and logo, in which he called for "A United States committed to respecting the sovereign equality of all member states." In this formulation, that "respect" for "sovereign equality," would erase vital distinctions between the free and democratic society of America, and the totalitarian, terrorist-wielding strategies and ambitions of a regime such as that of d'Escoto's pals in Tehran. It is not only Israel that today is the target of this campaign to delegitimize; it is the system and sovereignty of America itself.

From the stage of the U.N. briefing room Tuesday, helping himself to a word from Obama's playbook, d'Escoto hailed today's era of increasing American "engagement" as "an opportunity for change. Real change."

He's right. There is a real opportunity here for folks like d'Escoto and his generous hosts in Tehran to rally the mob. We have seen how this works, and it is far from harmless.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

To Go To Top

BLAME THE CULTURE; CHARLES FREEMAN AND ISRAEL; ABOUT MADOFF
Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, March 18, 2009.
 

1) ENOUGH SYMPATHIZING WITH THE WOMEN, BLAME THE CULTURE

March 9th, 2009

Recent stories about strip clubs and prostitution and sex slavery once again remind us of the destructive influence of culture and feminism in Western states. The turning of women into objects, the fact that women riot to get on America's Next Top Model, is not a one to one correlation in every culture. In only one culture in the world do middle class and upper class women desire to be human clothes hangers.

In the past this newsletter has argued that the evils of sex trafficking and prostitution were directly linked to culture and even to ethnicity and religion. The author has been particularly harsh on the cultures that produce wonton prostitution and the cultures that are the sources of women for the trafficking. But the truth is that we must go beyond the culture and condemn the women themselves and the culture, as interwoven, because the two are responsible. The men and sometimes women, the traffickers, must always be condemned. It is the position of this newsletter that pimps and traffickers in women should be tortured and hung publically. No mercy should be shown to those who deny others the right to their lives, those who enslave others in the most degrading manner. But absent of an honest and moral society that will hang the pimps in public we must turn our attention to the source, for without the source their would be no pimps.

There is a never ending lie associated with prostitution and the trafficking in human slaves that argues that economics drives this evil. But this is the greatest lie ever pulled over man's eyes. If economics drives it then where are the Muslim prostitutes? Muslims are, in some cases, poor. In Hebron they are poor. But Hebron does not have as many whores per capita as Berlin. In fact it is western wealthy women that prostitute themselves willingly more often per capita than poor women in other cultures. Many strippers in western countries are college students, middle class women. There is no correlation between wealth and whoredom. There is a correlation between culture and the selling of sex. There is a connection between liberalism and post-humanism and the selling of women and the trade in women. While it may be true that some poor immoral societies, such as some African countries, produce numerous prostitutes, even they are behind the West. The number of black prostitutes in South Africa or Uganda is less per capita than the number of white prostitutes in the U.S. That is a fact. Poor and even with loose and liberal morals, South African black women do not prostitute themselves. Why? Their culture. Culture is always the answer. There is no other answer. Personal experience is enough to answer this. There is not a white person who grows up in the West who does not know women in school who did not become a stripper or a prostitute or at least wanted to be one.

If one expands the realm of immorality beyond it one can surely not find anyone in the West who doesn't know numerous women who wanted to be 'models' but never achieved their 'dreams' because they were 'not good looking enough'. But let's compare. If we take the upper class of Palestinian Arab Muslim society and we ask them how many of them want to be models we will find almost none. None. But if we take a similar cross section of western women we will find that the numbers maybe in the 10% range. That is the evidence. Culture. The line between women who dream of being 'models', human clothes hangers, and those who willingly allow themselves to be raped and trafficked through Egypt to work behind iron bars as slaves in Israel as prostitutes, is very narrow. The line that connects the western middle class feminist liberal woman and the western white woman who works as a Geisha in Japan is very short. And the line between the same woman in any other culture is quite long. Yes. It is long. How many of those upper class secular Palestinian women, just 40km away from Tel Aviv, work as Geishas in Japan? But their peers in Israel work as Geishas. So let's be honest. Culture. Secularism and post-humanism, is to blame. That is the line that is much longer than the 40 km. For the Western women to become a Geisha or a model or a stripper or a belly dancer or a trafficked prostitute is only about 10km. But for a similar women in another culture it may be 1,000km. It may be 1,000,000km. In essence, in some cultures it is not possible. No woman in some culture from the middle or upper classes, or even the lower classes, would ever want to be a human clothes hanger, a piece of meat parading on a stage rubbing up against men, a slave in a cage having sex with 13 men a day. Why? Culture. Culture.

Why the decision to indict the culture and the women themselves? Because of four recent stories in Haaretz. The first, a story about an Admiral in the IDF who frequented a strip club called Go-go girls. When it came to light the owner, Kobi Mizrahi, claimed that his strip club employed respectable women, including a former police officer, a art student and a law student. Then there was the story on March 15th of the "Tel Aviv stripper found roaming" Ramallah, an Arab town on the West Bank. The worker at the Pussycat strip club "said she had gone out drinking with a group of people agfter her shift...lost consciousness and woke up at a house in Ramallah." It is ironic that she loves the Arab culture so much to willingly be drugged and taken there and then not press charges, were she an Arab they would have killed her to preserve their honour. But such is the realm of the western woman, she will love the culture that, were she a member of it, would not let her behave as she does. Then there was the story of 'L', a Lithuanian women in Beersheba about to be deported by Israel. L is 29 today but when she was 15 she decided to come to Israel responding to an ad to work as a "child care worker." She arrived and was beaten and placed in an apartment and "put to work as a prostitute." At 16 she met a client, an Israeli-Arab Muslim from Lod and she did her duty as a good liberal, she converted to Islam and began having Muslim religious children. She produced four children before her husband began beating her and forbid her to speak and leave their house. Liberalism triumphed for her. She lived the liberal coexistence dream. Now she is to be deported since she lived in Israel illegally for 14 years. Then there is the recent story of the Tel Aviv police busting a human trafficking ring. They "smuggled hundreds of women, perhaps 2,000, from the former Soviet Union to Israel over the past few years." They used "threats of violence" to "force" the women into prostitution. They were said to have gone on a "shopping spree for women" in the former Soviet countries.

The "detectives discovered that the central suspect ran the ring through a network of criminals who, at his behest, located hundreds of women from villages and small towns in Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Uzbekistan, and manipulating them in to traveling to Israel. The suspects promised the women that they would be employed in Israel as waitresses and club dancers... the ring leaders began to divert their activity to Cyprus, where they opened strip clubs in which hundreds of women were forced, through use of threats and violence, to prostitute themselves."

And then, to cap it all off, there is the story of the 18 year old Russian woman who served in the IDF and worked as a prostitute in Tel Aviv. What else would she do? Liberalism gave her the chance to carry an M-16. She manned the checkpoint one day and at night she sold herself to the same men she checked at the checkpoint. What else would she do? What else would Western and that former satanic Soviet culture have provided her with as the tools to success in life? What else would feminism have given her but the ideology that makes it seem logical to go to the army and work as a prostitute at night? What other culture could transform policewoman, a supposedly empowering position, into strippers. I mean what woman wouldn't want to work as a stripper rather than a police officer? In some cultures women might choose policing. But in the West and those secular cultures associated with the West the women value prostitution and stripping over working in the army or the police. Can we say feminism was successful? Yes, it was successful if you are a man. It transformed every women into a wanna-be prostitute rather than just some women. Before feminism some women ended up as prostitutes, usually because they were forced to. But today women choose this profession. That is the victory of feminism, to turn all women into sexual objects, sexual beasts of burden to be bought and sold, rather than just a few women. The evidence for this is obvious. Cultures without widespread feminism don't have women that yearn to be strippers and models. They consider even waitressing degrading. Let's be honest. In Arab countries the men are waitresses. But Islamism is worse for women in terms of rights? Is it? Compare the fate of women in the former Soviet Union to those in Muslim countries. Women in Muslim countries have few rights. But women in the FSU sell themselves into slavery by the millions, to the extent that there are few women left between the ages of 15 and 25 in the Ukraine and Moldova. So which is worse, a culture that enslaves women or a culture where the women enslave themselves? Which liberalism is worse, the liberalism of Islam or the liberalism or post-humanism? They are both the same. Which slavery is worse, the slavery in Gaza or the slavery of the thousands of FSU women who married Gazan Arabs, abandoning their culture and work as slaves? Choice is worse. Choice is always worse. Let's examine it another way, which slave is judged worse, the slave of the American South of 1813 born into slavery or some African who sells themselves into slavery. In fact Africans never sold themselves into slavery. But if they had which would be judge harsher? We would judge those who choose slavery more harshly, not those born into it. Muslim women are born into, western women idolize it.

Who do we judge worse, Nicole Simpson and Rihanna, abused American women who returned to their abusers gladly, or women in Muslim societies where it is legal to beat women? We judge the women in the free society more and deservedly so. But we premise this judgement on the idea that feminism and all the liberal 'women's rights' things we taught in school should have made them 'know better'. But our culture and cultures of the West only pretends to teach them not to enjoy being abused. In truth they are also educated to want abuse, to return to abusers, to love it, to not 'judge' it, to love the 'other', to submit, to think it's romantic and a 'symbol of his love'. At least the Muslim women just ascribe it to God. At least in some cultures men go to the abuser and say "you should not treat your cherished female property like this, she is yours to guard and protect." In our culture we don't guard and protect women, we don't cherish them, we spite them and spit on them and care less about them when they are imprisoned and abused, because liberalism and feminism says that women are independent so why should their men care what becomes of them. Beasts of burden in Muslim societies, in our society they are just beasts, not even ones to be looked after or cared for. The Muslims kill their women for 'honour', but we don't even honour our women. They are independent so who cares if they disappear into the meat grinder of sex slavery, they were never honoured by us in the first place and their disappearance into some dungeon doesn't dishonor us. We aren't the main character in Taxi driver or Sonny in The Godfather or Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven and Gran Torino. Why would we care. Its not our business. Let them be slaves.

To judge culture is harsh. But let us reason. What 15 year old girl has the power and agency to leave her country and travel to Israel as a 'child care worker'? No one cared when 'L' disappeared. The Ukrainian women fleeing Gaza in 2009 were asked about returning to their 'homeland'. But they said 'there is nothing for me there.' Of course not. Their own families could care less where they were. The men in those families, who no doubt don't even know they have children, might be surprised to learn that those women weren't aborted before birth. But no man is even existing in those families and if they did exist we can't describe them as 'men' for they never bothered to find out what befell their daughters. In fact there doesn't appear to be one man in all of the FSU who ever cared at all about what befell the millions of women sold into slavery between 1989 and 2009. In some cases they probably sold their own daughters for profit. Why not? With no morality, why not sell your own children? We would call it chauvinistic were a man, a husband or father or brother, to want to know what his 15 year old family member was doing in 'child care' work in Israel. The Muslims, bless their soul, at least care. They murder the women for family honour, but at least they care, for the wrong reasons, but at least. Can that really be worse than a satanic culture where the drunk useless irresponsible men simply toss the women out the door like another bottle of alcohol?

A culture where the law students and police women and female soldiers become whores and strippers is not worth itself. A culture where millions of women still sell themselves into slavery after an entire generation (1989-2009) doesn't deserve to exist. Yes. Those FSU cesspools don't deserve themselves. They aren't deserving of the word 'humanity'. Neither is the Muslim world. They are two sides of the same coin. Inhuman societies that destroy half of humanity, the female half, the decent half that, at some point, far back in history, was once valued. Yes. The darkness of Islam, as regards women, is no different than the darkness of the Western post-human culture. Both represent a prison. To destroy it, both man and women, must rise above it and build a new culture. Empowerment for women should not mean slavery. Independence should not mean choosing which breast enlargement to pay for. Honour should not mean being buried alive and stoned. We live in a dangerous world, between the hammer of Islam and the anvil of the West and we ask "who shall save us and our most cherished asset, women, from these twin satans?"


2) OF DICTATORSHIPS AND DOUBLE STANDARDS: CHARLES FREEMAN AND ISRAEL

March 13th, 2009

Charles Freeman and Israel: (in memory of Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S ambassador to the U.N) The almost appointment of Charles Freeman to oversee the coordination of America's intelligence agencies once again reminds us of the importance of Jeane Kirkpatrick's 1979 essay on dictatorships and Double Standards. Freeman never met a despotism he didn't like but when it came to the Israeli occupation he was absolutely livid.

On February 22nd, 2009 it was revealed that Charles 'Chas' Freeman was to be named as the chairman of the National Intelligence Council which is responsible for coordinating intelligence reports and briefing the President. On March 10th Freeman withdrew his name from consideration and, in a sharply worded and angry letter, accused the 'Israel Lobby' of slandering. The Freeman outburst and controversy regarding his appointment are important topics but what the entire incident reveals is the degree to which anti-Israel rhetoric, even at the highest and most educated levels, has become polluted by the double standard of excusing dictatorship and repression in one place while castigating it in others.

Charles Freeman was born in 1943 in Rhode Island and his youthful experiences including living in the Bahamas and studying in Mexico. He attended Yale and Harvard before joining the U.S foreign service in 1965. He served in various positions in India, Taiwan and Thailand but his principle experience was in China where he served as an attaché to Nixon's groundbreaking 1972 trip to the country. He was made ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1989 and served during the tense months of Operation Desert Storm. His work with the Saudis paved the way for a 1997 appointment as the head of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), a non-profit organization that seeks, among other things, to influence the American government from the perspective of Saudi Arabia and includes as a member Talat Othman, a Palestinian-American businessman who is treasurer of the American Task Force on Palestine. In 2004 Freemen took on additional responsibilities as a board member of the China National Offshore Oil Corp. In 2006 the MEPC published John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy.

In a November 3, 2006 speech at the 15th Annual U.S-Arab policymakers conference Freeman advocated on behalf of the Saudi sponsored peace initiative of 2002. He claimed "It would exchange Arab acceptance of Israel and a secure place for the Jewish state in the region for Israeli recognition of Palestinians as human beings with equal weight in the eyes of God." He predicted that if Israel did not accept this plan that "Arabs will revert to their previous views that Israel is an ethnomaniacal society with which it is impossible for others to coexist and that peace can be achieved only by Israel's eventual annihilation, much as the Crusader kingdoms that once occupied Palestine were eventually destroyed."

With Freeman's own experience of being funded by the Chinese and Saudi governments and coming to identify with their ideologies and perspectives he had a unique understanding of what he called the 'Israel lobby'. In a 2007 speech to the Washington Institute for Foreign Affairs, another pro-Arab leaning think tank, he noted that "American identification with Israel has almost become total" But he took his views of Israel one step further, arguing that the existence of the country "has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs." He had made similar statements in the 2006 speech; "Israel, a country that has yet to be accepted as part of the Middle East and whose inability to find peace with the Palestinians and other Arabs is the driving factor in the region's radicalization and anti-Americanism."

Why someone with such a radical, almost conspiratorial view, was considered to head the NIC is not clear but what is most unusual is Freeman's own contradictory behavior. In 2007 Freeman spoke of "The brutal oppression of the Palestinians by Israeli occupation." However in comments regarding the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests by China Freeman wrote in May of 2006 that "The only surprise to me... was that the Chinese leadership did not act earlier to restore order. We would have done so... The main lesson those leaders who survived the affair have drawn from it, in fact, is that one should strike hard and strike fast rather than tolerate escalating self-expression by exuberantly rebellious kids." He concluded that "I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' 'Bonus Army' or a 'student uprising' on behalf of 'the goddess of democracy' should expect to be displaced...from the ground they occupy." Ironically he made these comments just two months before Israel's 2006 Lebanon War after which he accused Israel of working to " bomb Lebanon into peaceful coexistence with it and to smother Palestinian democracy in its cradle."

The most dangerous aspect of the fact that Freeman came so close to the nexus of the U.S intelligence apparatus is not his critique of Israel, but the double standards in that critique, his work as a disseminator of Saudi Arabia's opinions and his excusing of the excesses and suppressions of the Chinese government. The most dangerous potential U.S policy is that which judges her allies, such as Israel, harshly and which excuse other regimes, such as China and given them a carte blanche to occupy and suppress. Freeman was a victim of his own alliances to his former postings and while he accused the Israel Lobby of forcing him to withdraw his candidacy he also accused it of being a "Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government." He himself was a member of such a lobby, one funded by China and the Saudis, one less visible than those who support Israel, but one that engenders a dangerous hypocrisy involving dictatorships and double standards.


3) SOME POINTS TO CONSIDER ABOUT MADOFF

March 16th, 2009

How much money did Madoff really make vanish? Where did it go? How did his scheme work and what does it say about greed? Is only he to blame? Is he being vilified and scapegoated far beyond logic and beyond others, such as Kenneth Lay or Jerome Kerviel who also made billions disappear? Those calling for Madoff's blood should do well to realize their anger reflects more on them, than on Madoff.

Viewers of the media in recent weeks have gotten used to the vitriol poured on Bernie Madoff and his family, including his wife Ruth and his brother Peter and his two sons. The extreme comments seem to say more about those making them then about Madoff. Governor Mike Huckabee who hosts a show on Foxnews and who is usually calm and composed gave a long list of punishments he would like to see Madoff involved with, including living on the streets or even execution. Execution? For someone who stole money? But as Huckabee pointed out some people have claimed that Madoff's theft was a bad as if he had murdered. Other shows have happily and cheerfully welcomed guests with 'smash Madoff' dolls. There is a mass psychosis taking place in relation to Madoff. In contrast there was never such a psychosis about Kenneth lay of Enron or Sir Allen Stanford.

The truth is that the psychosis is dangerous. People need a scapegoat in these hard times and the glee with which they are roasting Madoff is part of this. It is glee. In fact the smirks of people involved, the cheering, the populism, the tragic joy with which people watch this is all shameful.

There are numerous problems with the hatred being directed at Madoff. But there are more problems with the dishonesty of the reporting about the affair. Madoff is said to have absconded with $65 billion. Even that number is dishonest.

Bernard Madoff was born in 1938 in New York City. He graduated Far Rockaway high school and attended the University of Alabama, Hofstra University and Brooklyn Law School. He studied political science and law but never obtained the latter degree. With earnings from working as a life guard and sprinkler installer in 1960 he founded his own firm, Bernard Madoff LLC. Madoff's firm became a 'market maker' and helped develop the software and technology behind NASDAQ's early success, where he once served as chairman. On December 10th, after a life of operating in the highest circles of the American elite Madoff confessed to his sons that the asset management part of the firm was a giant ponzi scheme. On March 13th, 2009 his bail was cancelled and he was placed in prison until his sentencing in June 2009. He has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud.

The media has focused on his 'lavish' lifestyle including an apartment on the upper East Side of Manhatten, mansion in Palm Beach and another home in the Riviera. He supposedly has a net worth of $800 million, although his actual assets may total no more than $130 million, still a chunk of change. His 'opulent' living has also included a yacht and another boat. But those feasting on this supposed opulence should wonder who exactly were the people who invested with Madoff. Where did the $65 billion come from.

What has supposedly made the Madoff scam so terrible is that it bilked charities, most of which were Jewish, out of their money. From Eli Wiesal to Steven Spielberg many well known Jews and Jewish organizations such as Yeshiva University and Hadassah hospital lost money. It's hard not to sympathize with a charity. But there are some cases where sympathy can be reserved. Yeshiva University channeled its endowment through another investment firm, which took handsome fees, and then the money was fed into Madoff. The firm was run by Ezra Merkin who was also a trustee of Yeshiva University and who was trusted with investing its money. If one doesn't see the conflict of interest here, then this author cannot help them. But Mr. Merkin isn't coming in for scorn. Charities have a responsibility to manage their money modestly and conservatively. They don't need wild Madoff like returns every year. They need normal returns. Endowment funds of Universities don't exist to make money on the stock market, but to be invested over time in the University. However it seems obvious that charities and their investment advisors liked playing the market, or at least liked making fees and earning money and placed their money with Madoff for these ulterior motives.

What of the individuals? They were the nation's elite. Investing with Madoff was a sort of viral marketing strategy. It began at select golf clubs and other places of elite gathering. Then it spiraled out, like degrees of separation, to include foreign elites and banks. Once Madoff had drained Jewish charities and Jews of their money he took his road show abroad, selling snake oil to the Gulf Arabs, who were oil-rich. Banco Santander and other European banks were also bilked. In fact the bulk of the $65 billion came only in the last years of the scam, from wealthy Gulf Arab investors.

Madoff claims he began cheating his accounts in the 1990s. He claims that he was unable to keep up with the returns he had promised and, not wanting to disappoint, he began to fudge the books. Other traders have done similar schemes, at Societe General and the Rogue Trader, Nick Leeson, at Barings bank. Leeson gambled away $1.2 billion and caused the destruction of his bank as a trader in Singapore. Jerome Kerviel, the trader at Societe, cost the bank some $7 billion. Kerviel and Leeson didn't become objects of scorn however, they only lost the banks' money.

If he is to be believed, Madoff began depositing investors' money in his own bank account in the 1990s and paying out any redemptions from that account. Otherwise the 'accounts' he kept were imaginary and investors received statements of holdings and returned that never existed. When an investor requested money Madoff simply cashed them out based on their paper earnings. However the amount in his own account necessarily would never be enough to cover all the redemptions should everyone want their money back. Along the way the scam snowballed. More money rolled in but of course that meant more fake profits. Consider that when the total value invested in the firm was $10 billion he was expected to earn at least 10% or $1 billion a year. That meant at the end of the year he would have to have $11 billion on the books, an amount that could only be created by getting another $1 billion of investment. But for that $11 billion he would need to show $1.1 billion in profits the next year. The more money invested the more profits needed, the more money that would need to be brought in. Thus at the supposed total amount of $65 billion he would have to show $6.5 billion of returns a year. This is what must have been too daunting in the fall of 2008.

But there are unanswered questions. Where did the money go. Some portion of the $65 billion was not real money, it was just earned income, fake profits. Consider these facts. Hadassah hospital initially claimed it 'lost' $90 million. But revealed later that $60 million had been profits earned on the initial $30 million investment. The American Technion Society, an endowment for the Technion University in Haifa, invested $29 million and that grew to $72 million. Yeshiva University first claimed it lost $110 million. It has since noted it only invested $14 million. Thus its 'disaster' of 'losing its endowment' is partial myth, it merely lost money that it had earned, at least thought it earned, on an investment.

In these select cases that have been revealed the real losses are around 30% of the reported losses. That means the newly revealed $65 billion dollar 'losses' might actually total much less in terms of actual investment. What is often forgotten is that some people actually got their money out before the thing collapsed. Fairfield and Tremont holdings, two hedge funds that invested with Madoff and 'lost' $11 billion, actually had money cycling in and out of their accounts. So some people got paid off. Now lawyers are even seeking to sue those people under the logic that they were paid with others' money, which is true.

The investors who gave their money last got hurt the most. Those who began with small amounts, such as Yeshiva university, appear to have lost more on paper but their actual loss was less. When one considers that the DOW and S&P are at 1996 levels it seems fair to say that Yeshiva University cannot exactly claim that had it invested elsewhere it would have made a great deal of money. Its actual loss is $14 million, no pocket change, but not as much as initially thought.

Another thing to consider is where the money actually went. Some of the money went to pay those who redeemed their investments. But it appears that Madoff must have lost some of the money through investing it himself in bad investments that unwound in the fall of 2008. It's not clear what became of the money. Madoff didn't take it himself, his lifestyle and Net worth were not that lavish. The big question will be where it all went. If it turns out much of it was redeemed by some investors then the actual amount 'lost' will once again have to be ratcheted down.

News commentators seem to insinuate that Madoff stole money from his clients. But his 'lavish' living was not so much more lavish than other members of his elite circle. To see them all gloating at his fall seems to say more about their greed and hatred than it says about him. Madoff appears to have worked hard under a lot of stress to pull off his massive fraud. To say that he is worse than Kenneth lay, who destroyed an entire company and thousands of its employees lives, is not logical. Lay destroyed the lives of middle class employees, Madoff bankrupted a few charities and dented the great wealth of a few elite groups. Unfortunate but not really the same. The Madoff losses seem large, but it wasn't as if he stole from children and poor people.

The tirades against Madoff are maddening because they come from a perspective of ignorance and gloating. One person claimed "Madoff is going to kill more Jews than Hitler." Did he mean that the rise in anti-semitism associated with the scandal, by those claiming Madoff is an example of the classic Jewish banker who destroys world economies, will lead to people harming Jews? Did he mean that Jews will die of poverty because they were impoverished by Madoff or because Jewish charities won't be able to support worthy Jewish causes? Either way it's ridiculous.

I defend Madoff because he has been so misunderstood. Did he rob decent charities and abuse his community and use his friends and connections. Yes. Is he a reputable character? No. But is he some sort of anti-christ, evil incarnate who deserves to have people call for his death and torture. The truth is that that a lot of reasonably greedy people and those who didn't want to do due diligence invested with him. They didn't complain when their money doubled in a few years. Then they enjoyed it. Now they are angry, sometimes over losing money they never even had. Bernie Madoff deserves less attention and less fame and more understanding. His scheme was big, but it was big because people allowed it to be big like all stupid investments where people throw money at things that are too good to be true. Consider that Madoff was another .com, another stock that simply turned out to be worthless.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com and visit his website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com

To Go To Top

FROM ISRAEL: WHERE TO BEGIN?
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 18, 2009.
 

Sometimes the issues seem so diverse and overwhelming that it truly is difficult to know what merits first attention.

Nothing, but nothing, that comes to me (and so much does!) with regard to what is going on in the US is good news.

There will be many issues to visit, but today I picked up an editorial in The Washington Times (thank you, Dianne E.) reporting that Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program that allowed pilots on commercial flights to carry a gun if they completed a federal safety program.

This was instituted after 9/11, when terrorists hijacked planes with intention of ramming them into the Twin Towers. Says the editorial, Obama is "risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology."

~~~~~~~~~~

Then there is a proposal, backed by Obama, which I find deeply offensive, that would require civilian insurance companies to cover medical claims by veterans for service related injuries. This is to save money, at a time when projects worth billions and trillions are bandied about.

As JINSA put it: "The Obama Administration appears willing to sell out its moral obligation to our armed forces for $540 million. Words fail us — and regular readers know that words almost never fail us."

~~~~~~~~~~

On Monday, former vice president Dick Chaney told CNN that he believes President Barack Obama has made Americans more vulnerable to attack, because of his decisions to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, end harsh interrogations, and close down secret CIA detention sites abroad.

~~~~~~~~~~

Several people have sent me information about the fact that Israeli Chief of Staff Ashkenazi found doors closed to him on his recent trip to the US. He wasn't seen by Defense Secretary Gates, or, as it turns out, by US Chief of Staff Mullen (who I thought had see him). He did see Dennis Ross, whose new portfolio includes Iran, and possibly Sec. Clinton.

I took the time today to check this with a very informed source in the US and was told that indeed doors were closed but the reason why is still unclear. It may be a new policy, or, I've been told, it may be because Israel is between governments and US officials are uneasy about meeting with Ashkenazi when they are unsure who he speaks for. (My source says US officials would be more caught up in this than Israelis, who tend to see the military as separate.) If I learn more I will share.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is something that should be marked very very well, especially when US spokespeople come knocking at our doors telling us what we should do for Abbas's Fatah.

Mohammad Dahlan, who was previously head of Fatah security in Gaza and is an all-around bum, has called on Hamas not to recognize Israel. Speaking during an interview on PA TV, he explained that Fatah never has.

Let me repeat that: a major figure in Fatah says that this Palestinian faction — which dominated the PLO when Oslo was signed and until 2006 dominated the PA — has never recognized Israel.

What he said was:

"They [Hamas people] say that Fatah has asked them to recognize Israel's right to exist and this is a big deception. For the one thousandth time, I want to reaffirm that we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Rather, we are asking Hamas not to do so because Fatah never recognized Israel's right to exist."

Dahlan makes it all clear (clear to someone with Arab thinking, at any rate):

"We acknowledge that the PLO did recognize Israel's right to exist, but we are not bound by it as a resistance faction."

I've heard this argument posed to Hamas by Abbas before: Don't worry, you don't have to recognize Israel, just join a unity government and the government will recognize Israel.

This is the first time I've heard it applied overtly to Fatah, although what has always been on the record is that Fatah's charter still calls for Israel's destruction. Everyone just ignores this.

~~~~~~~~~~

As a side point: Dahlan has not been heard from in some time, and his appearance now may signal renewed influence within Fatah.

~~~~~~~~~~

The issue of Shalit and negotiations with Hamas is still being hotly discussed here. Suggestions have been made — what took so long!! — that we reduce the conditions for Hamas prisoners we are holding.

What conditions would be restricted? Oh, things like their right to take courses, or use cell phones, receive family visitations or be provided with television privileges. Am I joking? No, unfortunately I'm not. Men in our prisons who planned and assisted in terrorist acts that killed innocent Jews get to watch TV, talk to people on cell phones, and earn credits towards college degrees. Are we the ultimate do-gooder nation, or what?

There are international laws regarding treatment for prisoners, but, as we are way beyond the required minimum, we can cut back and still conform to those standards. In spite of this, there are groups on the very far left protesting what they say would be collective punishment. Heaven help us, that there should be some among us concerned with defense of the terrorists when so much in this world cries out for attention.

My own opinion is that they should consider themselves lucky that they are in a nation where there is not capital punishment. Because that is what the worst of them deserve.

~~~~~~~~~~

Netanyahu still hopes to come in under the deadline for forming a coalition (that deadline being slightly vague, but falling within the next few days). But he has not yet finalized agreements with the other groups, and has once again, now that Livni has declined to join him, started courting Barak and Labor.

It seems that Barak is genuinely interested but that strong ambivalence remains within the party.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is making news that Russia may be selling S-300 air defense missiles to Iran, after all. The deal to do this was signed two years ago, but Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, had assured Israel that nothing would be done that changes the balance of power in the region. This would change the balance of power.

There were also suggestions that Obama's courting of Russia had diminished the possibility that this deal would go through.

At this point, for all the talk, there is still uncertainty — about which version of the missile would go to Iran (one version being considerably more effective than another), and when the missiles might be delivered, none having been shipped yet.

This air defense system would make an attack on Iran considerably more difficult, and if delivery is imminent presumably might push forward Israeli attack plans.

~~~~~~~~~~

But the is another factor that needs to be considered: There is talk of deploying the US-made F-22 jet — which can survive in airspace defended by the S-300 — to the region.

Even more speculative is the possibility of the US lifting its ban on foreign sales of the F-22, thus perhaps paving the way for Israel to acquire it.

~~~~~~~~~~

Soon to be revisited: issues concerning Durban 2.

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

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HEZBOLLAH AND THE BYZANTINE LEBANESE NATIONAL DIALOGUE
Posted by Elias Bejjani, March 18, 2009.
 

On Monday, 02/09/09, the fifth questionable Lebanese National Dialogue Round was convened at the Baabda Presidential Palace under the patronage of State President, General Michele Suleiman. After two hours of futile and intricate debates the 14 participants who represented the majority of the Lebanese mosaic and multi-cultural communities were only able to agree on setting a new date for the sixth round.

Unfortunately all the Taqiyya, (Deceptive) fake and theatric hand shakings, hugging and confabulations that took place between the participants in front of the cameras before and after the session were the only outcome of the gathering. The participants did not address in any meaningful way the "defense strategy", which was supposed to be the main topic of the dialogue.

During the session numerous hot topics were debated openly, but strikingly, not the defense strategy that was transiently mentioned by President Michel Suleiman at the opening of the session: "The national defense strategy requires time and it is based on a set of elements and components, including political ones, both internally and externally," A clear hint that very serious obstacles and threats hindered putting it on the session's agenda

It is no secret that the "Defense Strategy" item was omitted from the session's agenda by President Suleiman because of the blatant refusal of Iran, Syria and their militant tool in Lebanon, Hezbollah Militia, to put on the table for debate under any current given circumstances, the fate of Hezbollah's weaponry, power and authority. The axis of evil which runs and controls the mini state of Hezbollah in Lebanon has been hindering by force and terrorism the functionality of the Lebanese legitimate government and preventing it from reclaiming its sole authority through its own armed forces on all the Lebanese territory.

It is worth mentioning that on June 07/08, Hezbollah with other Lebanese and Palestinian pro Syrian and Iranian armed militias criminally invaded West Beirut and unsuccessfully attempted to take over Mount Lebanon. They put their invasion under the slogan: "Weapons, protects Weapons", and warned the Lebanese people and their legitimate government that they intend by force to hold on to their weaponry and authority against the will of all those who say otherwise.

During its deplorable occupation era of Lebanon (1976-2005), Baathist Syria had forced since1982 the armed Hezbollah Shiites organization on the Lebanese people under the disguise of resistance against Israel, as well as many other armed Lebanese and Palestinian militias. Syria, the occupation power, safeguarded the outlaw status quo of the Cantons it created for Hezbollah, and in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. During its occupation era of Lebanon Syria encouraged and was (and still after its army's withdrawal in 2005) a full partner with Hezbollah and all other armed militias in corruption, assassinations, kidnapping, fraud, knavery, treason, lying and cheating.

An Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia with cantons based in southern Lebanon, Beirut and Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah was and still is the only Lebanese armed militia allowed by Syria to remain armed since 1990 when Christian, Druze and Sunni Lebanese militias were all disarmed in accordance with the "Taef Accord." Syria also did not disarm any of the Palestinian militias and at the same time did not allow the Lebanese authorities to carry on this duty.

The question that imposes itself strongly: what are the justifications for this futile and time consuming Dialogue, and for what purpose is the presentation of the defense Strategy proposal, as long as Hezbollah leadership affirms publicly that they would not discuss with anyone their party's weaponry, but are only open to look into means and ways that facilitate the annexation of the Lebanese state and the Lebanese people into their resistance strategy?

Hezbollah leadership openly, arrogantly and blatantly, and in an ongoing basis, describe their weaponry as holy and sacred. They stridently tie its fate to the Holy Quran and Holy Bible; "our weaponry will and shall remain intact under our full control as long as the Bible and Quran remain. We will amputate the arms, decapitate the heads, cut the necks, and slice open the bellies of those who dare to attempt disarming us." On top of all these stone age slogans they also tie the fate of their weaponry with the existence of the State of Israel: "Our weaponry will remain in our hands as long as the State of Israel remains in the region."

So, why the dialogue with Hezbollah, and for what purposes are Lebanon's leaders, including President Michele Suleiman, cajoling and appeasing Hezbollah, giving the people false hopes and wasting time and resources when they all definitely know for sure that such dialogue will lead nowhere as far as disarming Hezbollah? Any Dialogue on any problem without the presence of a specific declared goal and without the means needed to implement its out come remains useless, ineffective and pointless. Accordingly, it is much better and more respectful for all parties not to engage in such a dead dialogue.

Numerous brave and well informed patriotic politicians have openly addressed this big deceptive lie that is given the "National Dialogue" slogan, and predicted even before the start of its sessions, that this kind of vague and indecisive approach is not going to work in disarming Hezbollah.

This dim, but realistic stance took in consideration the dire fact that Hezbollah is an Iranian Army in Lebanon, while its decision making process, as well as its finances, strategy, education, weaponry and aims all lie in Iran's Mullahs hands, and not in Lebanon.

Ahmad Al Assad, a patriotic Shiite Lebanese leader was one of these brave politicians: "It is naive for any Lebanese to delude himself that Hezbollah will hand over its weapons to the Lebanese state and give up its powers and authority through such dialogue mechanism. The problem lies in the fact that the state and the politicians did not create a mechanism to pressure Hezbollah to take such steps prior to the start of the dialogue sessions."

Hezbollah's bizarre imposed current armed status quo is in defiance of the Lebanese constitution and of both the "Taef Accord" and UNSC Resolution 1559 and 1701, as well as the "Armistice Agreement" that regulated the Lebanese — Israeli borders (signed in 1949). The UN Resolutions and "Taef Accord" all call for the disarmament of all militias, for the Lebanese army to patrol the Lebanese Israeli border and for the Lebanese government to enforce its control and authority on all the Lebanese territories through its own legitimate armed forces.

In the shadow of the sad current status quo imposed on Lebanon's state and the Lebanese by Hezbollah via force, terrorism, extortion, crime and intimidation, there should be no shred of doubt, that the fate of Hezbollah's weaponry will not find a practical and viable solution within Lebanon, and solely by Lebanon's leaders

Therefore, and due to the fact that Hezbollah is actually an Iranian Army in Lebanon, and an Iranian foreign military occupation tool, its entire file must and should be brought to the UN Security Council.

The Lebanese President, if he can and is willing, and if not, the religious and political leaders of the Lebanese multi-cultural communities ought to call on the UN Security Council as soon as possible to step in and take full control of Hezbollah's arms problem. All what is legally needed is for the UN Security Council to proceed its mission by putting UNSC Resolution 1701 Resolution under Chapter Seven. The UN troops are already patrolling the Lebanese — Israeli border and the Lebanese shores.

Otherwise, every Lebanese community will have no option but to abandon the state's umbrella, that is non-functional because of Hezbollah's hegemony, and take the security of its territories into its hands as was the situation during the civil war.

Under such a status of instability and standstill, the Lebanese need to renegotiate peacefully and agree on the kind of state in which they can live in peace and security. Many Lebanese and non-Lebanese strategists see in the Switzerland Federation a viable model for Lebanon.

The Lebanese leadership are all required to take a clear-cut stance on this matter and declare publicly what kind of Lebanon they actually want.

After more than thirty years of turmoil, pain, and agony, the Lebanese people are entitled to enjoy peace and live freely in their own country without terror and the wars of others. It is time to put an end to Lebanon being a battlefield and the arena of constant non-Lebanese conflicts.

Elias Bejjani is a Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator. Email him at phoenicia@hotmail.com go to http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com.

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ANTISEMITES: LIKE MEDIEVAL IGNORAMUSES; THE "MODERATE," "INNOCENT CIVILIAN" P.A. ARABS
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 18, 2009.
 

HUMAN PROMPTING OF PESTILENCE

I've been enjoying reading The Extraordinary Origin of Everyday Things. Although it exposes early models of many inventions as unsatisfactory, it lacks skepticism about some others. Overall it is interesting.

Plumbing, for example, goes back thousands of years. Ancient Israel-Judea had it. The laws of Moses require sanitation.

Two thousand years later, Christianity found bathing immodest, and banned it. Plumbing ended in Europe. People illegally emptied chamber pots of human waste into the street, and others made it in the street. Paris stank. Pestilence flared. [Their scapegoat for the bubonic plague was the Jews, who seemed much less harmed by it. The gentiles deduced from that immunity that Jews poisoned the wells. The actual reason was that the Jews were more sanitary.]

[Nowadays, antisemites, who accuse the Jews of everything, including a non-existent spread of certain diseases, are as ignorant as the Medieval Europeans.]

A LITERAL COVER-UP

You know that Syria built a missile plant right over the nuclear reactor that Syria denies was a nuclear plant but which Israel bombed for being one.

What is suspicious about this? For one thing, Syria is surprisingly acquiescent to that bombing. If the site really were innocent, Syria and other anti-Zionists would have raised an outcry. For another, the bombed plant was in a remote area. Why build a non-nuclear plant so out of the way? Why was the same site rebuilt on before international inspectors were finished checking whether the original plant had been a nuclear reactor? Answer: cover-up.

UNDERSTANDING PRESIDENTS

A politician can easily deceive the Americans for years. He just has to smile, listen, and receive petitions. Then they think he is sympathetic or open-minded.

Pres. Roosevelt held refugee conferences, so the Jewish people thought he sympathized. But the conferences ignored Jewish refugees, the major refugee problem then. His policy until almost the end of the Holocaust was to let it burn.

Pres. G.W. Bush said nice things about Israel and accepted petitions about Jonathan Pollard. In the end, however, he departed without granting clemency for the miscarriage of justice. For that, a higher justice would make him take Pollard's place.

WITHDRAWAL CAMP'S UNETHICAL TACTICS

When the Right and Left criticize the Israeli government's policy on territorial withdrawal, they help and hinder Israeli diplomacy, respectively. The Right's criticism, against withdrawal and about the unacceptable disadvantage it puts Israel into, strengthens the government's bargaining position. The Left's criticism, for withdrawal, weakens the government's bargaining position.

Some leftists go further. They urge the US to pressure Israel to concede more territory. That can lead to dangerous US policies. It also is anti-democratic (Dr. Aaron Lerner, IMRA 2/26). The Left is unethical to ask a foreign power to impose a policy that the Left can't persuade its countrymen to support. And the Left calls itself pro-democracy?

THE "MODERATE," "INNOCENT CIVILIAN" P.A. ARABS

A recent World Public Opinion poll of Muslims in Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, Nigeria, and P.A.-controlled areas showed that P.A. Muslims hate the US more than the others polled. Jordan came in second. [Its people are Palestinian Arabs.]

88% of P.A. Arabs said a US foreign goal is spreading Christianity in the Mideast.
89% "said the US was "definitely" or "probably" trying to control Mideast oil resources," as do the others.
70% "said the US the US was 'definitely' hoping to divide and weaken the Muslim world."
50%+ "said the US was 'definitely' or 'probably' interested in creating "an independent and economically viable" PA state. However, 90 percent said the US was also planning to expand Israel's borders."
49% "said the US "purposely tries to humiliate the Islamic world."
83% said they approved of some or most terrorist attacks on US citizens.
90% approve strongly or somewhat of attacks on US troops in Iraq.
61% approve of attacks on US troops in the Persian Gulf. 6% disapprove.
24% approve strongly or somewhat of attacks on US civilians inside the US (Arutz-7, 2/26). Not based on facts. Either paranoid or jihadists are hiding aggressiveness by pretending to be the victims.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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WHICH WAY WILL THE WIND BLOW FROM DAMASCUS?
Posted by Olivier Guitta, March 18, 2009.
 

Syrian President Bashar Assad has become the hottest ticket in the world, from Washington to Paris and from Riyadh to Cairo. Everybody wants to meet him, be seen with him and get on his good side. That is an amazing turnaround from three years ago where he was shunned and viewed as a pariah. Syria has suddenly become the key to solving the insoluble problems of the Middle East. And in a way it is true, but the question remains: what does Assad really intend to do and ask for?

The Syrian president has been testing the waters for a few months now regarding a rapprochement with the West. It started with France and French President Nicolas Sarkozy's active overture to Damascus, due in part to the constant advice and friendly pressure from Qatar. This French diplomatic move was not well viewed at the time by the George W. Bush administration because since 2004, France and the United States had worked hand in hand in isolating Assad. Assad knew quite well that the new incoming Barack Obama administration would be very much inclined to reach out. Which it did very recently by sending two emissaries to visit Assad in Damascus.

The thinking is that Syria is the weakest link to getting at Iran and if a wedge could be driven between the two countries, then it would be much easier to pressure Tehran and decrease the mullah's leverage on the international community.

In fact, by getting Syria to switch camps, Hezbollah and Hamas, Tehran's two most powerful proxies would be dramatically weakened.

But easier said than done, Damascus is not ready to give up its alliance with Tehran. Most probably Assad knows he has the upper hand in negotiations. He will likely have extensive demands, such as the end of U.S. sanctions, the withdrawal of Syria from the U.S. State Department list of countries supporting terrorism, the Israeli evacuation of the Golan and financial aid to make up for the loss of Tehran's help.

All these listed potential demands are in the realm of the possible, but what Assad really wants more than anything is to get the international tribunal investigating the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri off his back. Indeed, the investigation from the start has pointed out the responsibility of Damascus in the attack, potentially involving very high-ranking members of Assad's entourage and most prominently Syria's powerful former head of the Security services and Assad's own brother-in-law, Asaf Shawkate.

After a five-year investigation, the special tribunal located in The Hague finally saw the day on March 1, though it is unlikely that proceedings will start overnight. Some believe that the court is unlikely to start proceedings before two to three years.

Nonetheless, troubling news coming from the Netherlands is boding ill for things to come. According to the Swiss daily Le Temps, citing a Dutch security source, some individuals that were taking pictures of a village near The Hague where the tribunal is located, belong to the Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian and pro-Syrian Shiite militia. Also three "incidents" (no more precisions were given) have been recorded by Dutch authorities.

Assad is definitely feeling the heat of the tribunal. During a recent interview by the Emirati daily Al-Khaleej, when asked about the tribunal, Assad reportedly warned that if the tribunal is politicized then "Lebanon will be the first to pay the price." A warning that must have sent shivers down the spines of most Lebanese politicians from the March 14 majority.

History has shown ? though it remains to be proven in a court of law — that Syria has the capacity of upsetting the apple cart in Lebanon. Several Lebanese politicians, as well as U.S. officials have accused Syria of being behind a spate of political assassinations in Lebanon.

Assad also hinted that regardless the outcome of next June's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, he nevertheless expected a status quo, meaning that Hezbollah would retain its right to veto on any government decision.

One of the dangers facing Lebanon is if Assad includes it as part of his negotiation package. John Kerry said after his visits to Damascus and Beirut a few weeks ago that the United States would stand by Lebanon. Hopefully that is a statement the Lebanese can take to the bank. But just how solvent are the banks these days remains to be seen.

Olivier Guitta is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant. You can read his latest work at www.thecroissant.com/about.html

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FROM ISRAEL: NO SHALIT DEAL
Posted by Arlene Stern, March 17, 2009.
 

Well, last night Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin and Ofer Dekel, chief negotiator on the Shalit issue, returned from Cairo amidst rumors that there would be no deal. Today, after a three hour meeting, the Cabinet declared the issue "stuck."

While Hamas is saying their demands were consistent throughout, PM Olmert has reported that Hamas reneged on earlier understandings, hardened its position, and made extreme demands.

There was talk of red lines that could not be crossed, and after the meeting Justice Minister Daniel Friedman said, "Hamas made demands that no Israeli government would have been able to accept."

Part of what is said to be causing the problem is the question of deporting some of the more high level prisoners to be released. But it seems that the key issue is still which prisoners would be released. There were 450 hard core terrorists that Hamas wanted let go, all of whom Israel did not agree to (and perhaps another 1,000 prisoners in addition — this is unclear). The Cabinet approved a suggestion by Diskin that the names of all those that Hamas wanted freed be made public.

The final word was that efforts would continue, but I don't imagine that anyone truly believes much will come of these efforts.

~~~~~~~~~~

There have been suggestions here that all of the hoopla about bringing Shalit home made the negotiating more difficult. Hamas negotiators saw the eagerness, the pressure on Olmert, and thought they could shoot for the maximum.

Olmert had attempted to use Netanyahu as a negotiating chip — telling Hamas that they'll get more from him than the new prime minister will give them, so they had best settle now. But Hamas was not convinced and declared itself prepared to deal with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has refrained from making any comment on the subject until he is at the head of the government.

~~~~~~~~~~

Gerald Steinberg, head of NGO Monitor, has called upon ostensible human rights organizations — Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem — to end their silence on Shalit:

"Gilad Shalit has been denied even the most basic of human rights for almost 1,000 days. The unwillingness of human rights organizations to campaign on his behalf is immoral. Their shameful silence on Shalit's fate amounts to a betrayal of universal human rights."

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Exactly when he will begin his term as head of the government is not yet clear, and today there are hints again that Netanyahu may ask the president for a two week extension to put together his coalition.

In the small hours of Monday morning, an agreement was signed between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. Under this agreement, head of the party, MK Avigdor Lieberman, will be foreign minister and MK Danny Ayalon will be deputy foreign minister. MK Uzi Landau will head the ministry of infrastructure; Stas Meseznikov, ministry of tourism; and MK Sofa Landver, ministry of absorption. MK Yitzhak Aharonovitch will be public security minister; MK Dudu Rotem will head the Knesset Law Committee.

The agreement touches upon issues of aliyah, absorption, citizenship, strategic goals, and conversion.

~~~~~~~~~~

Beyond this, however, there has not yet been an agreement with other potential members of the coalition — Shas, United Torah Judaism, Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) or Ichud Leumi (National Union).

With regard to this, I call your attention to Caroline Glick's latest piece, "Israel's balance of delusion," which is so very much on the mark.

With regard to the right wing parties, she focuses on National Union:

"THE ONE POLITICIAN who has been outspoken in opposing the mass release of terrorists has been MK Ya'acov (Ketzeleh) Katz, the leader of the National Union party. Together with the families of terror victims who oppose the government's intention to release their relatives' murderers, Katz has been the loudest voice in politics stridently opposing the deal. He has made clear that it will endanger the country and guarantee the murder and abduction of still more Israelis.

"Katz and the National Union have it right on this issue. Indeed, they have it right on just about every major strategic issue they have championed. From their opposition to the failed Oslo process to their opposition to the failed Camp David summit, from their opposition to the withdrawal from south Lebanon and Gaza to their opposition to the failed road map peace process and the failed Annapolis peace process, the National Union has been right all along. It has always stayed true to its principles. "...[However] FOR ALL of its strategic wisdom and clearheadedness, the National Union is a political home for delusional politicians. In all of its various incarnations...the party has never been able to understand what it means to govern. It has never been able to recognize that politics is the art of compromise."

Glick then traces an historical pattern of National Union insistence on staying pure, adhering absolutely to its principles — thus bringing down the right-center governments it has been part of at various times and paving the way for leftist governments to come in. An absolutism that became counter-productive.

Netanyahu's renewed courting of Kadima (which has come to nothing once again), Glick says, was motivated by his unease about depending on the right to stand strong with him in a government. This was clear to anyone following the events. So clear that, this time, even though I prayed that Livni would decline, I understood.

Until this very moment National Union has not declared a final intention to be in the coalition. Very sad, when the good people of National Union should have something to contribute to governing the nation.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1237114843484&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
[Also see full article below.]

~~~~~~~~~~

With regard to politics as the art of compromise, I would add this:

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has declared that the EU will significantly change its relationship with Israel if we don't pursue the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The first response from anyone who is adamantly opposed to such a state is to tell Solana where he can go. But in a largely hostile world, with the US no longer a dependable ally, that is not necessarily politic. And I see that Netanyahu has been playing it a different way: Sure we'll continue to talk to the Palestinians, he says. It's just that they have to have a sound economic base first, so we'll be discussing that.

A hedge. A softer approach. He has been adamant about not committing to a "two-state solution." His refusal to do so is what kept Livni from agreeing to a unity government.

Now if only he won't slip, under duress, and move to where he shouldn't go.

~~~~~~~~~~

Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, in the US yesterday, met with Dennis Ross, the designated U.S. envoy to the Persian Gulf to discuss the Iranian issue. He told Ross that Israel would not tolerate a nuclear Iran. While a diplomatic approach to Iran with regard to its nuclear program must tried first, he said that Israel must also prepare for other possibilities.

Now, today, Reuters has released news of a very relevant report entitled "Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran's Nuclear Development Facilities," put out by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

According to this, ballistic missiles may be Israel's first choice of weapon if Iran is hit in a pre-emptive strike. The assumption is that Israel has Jericho missiles, which would be capable of hitting within a few meters of Iranian targets.

It is estimated that 42 of the most advanced Jerichos, which carry 1,650 pounds of conventional warheads, would be sufficient to "severely damage or demolish" Iran's core nuclear sites at Natanz, Esfahan and Arak.

"If the Jericho III is fully developed and its accuracy is quite high then this scenario could look much more feasible than using combat aircraft," which carries risks of limits on fuel and ordnance, and perils to pilots.

~~~~~~~~~~

Two police officers, David Rabinovitch, 42, and Yehezkel Remzarker, 50, were killed in a shooting attack near the community of Massua in the Jordan Valley very early Monday. A group calling itself the Imad Mughniyeh Group" (after the Hezbollah terrorist killed by a car bomb in Damascus in early 2008).

~~~~~~~~~~

Note, please, the convoluted thinking here:

At the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Olmert made a statement about his attempts to forge a peace agreement with the PA:

"If we have not reached [this agreement] by now, this is — first and foremost — the result of the Palestinian leaders' weakness, lack of will and lack of courage in reaching an agreement. Everything else is excuses and attempts to divert attention from the main issue."

Of course the PA denied this, saying Israeli negotiators didn't even supply maps. But never mind. Olmert was saying he offered enough — more than ever offered before — to make a deal possible, but the PA wasn't courageous enough to take it.

But then what does he say? "The State of Israel will need to make unprecedented dramatic and painful concessions in order to reach peace."

This is the logic: we offered enough for a peace deal and the PA wasn't up to it, so in the future Israel will have to make painful additional concessions.

How does one read this without screaming? Typical left wing apologist thinking. Destructive thinking.

Olmert would never say, as he should, we did our part, and we see now that the other side isn't really interested, so it's time to call a halt. Never. Better give away the country first.

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

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ISRAEL'S BALANCE OF DELUSION
Posted by Shaul and Aviva Ceder, March 17, 2009.

This article was written by Caroline B. Glick and it appeared in the Jerusalem Post. It appeared in the Jewish World Review March 17, 2009 / 21 Adar 5769

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.

 

A balance of delusion exists in Israeli politics between Left and Right. On the Left, we have leaders who, when given the facts about strategic options, decide they don't like the facts and make new ones up that suit them better. And on the Right, we have leaders who, when given the facts about their political options, decide they don't like the facts and make up new ones that suit them better.

The Left's latest fantasy is its enthusiasm for a deal with Hamas that would free Gilad Schalit. By tonight, Israelis should know whether or not our outgoing leftist government will agree to release between 450 and 1,000 Palestinian terrorists — including mass murderers serving multiple life sentences — in exchange for Schalit whom Hamas and it sister terror groups have held hostage since June 2006.

Schalit's plight presents two stark choices. We can surrender to all of Hamas's demands and reunite Schalit with his suffering family, or we can keep a stiff upper lip, refuse to negotiate with terrorists and wait until we receive actionable intelligence on his whereabouts and attempt to rescue him. We know what will happen in both cases.

If we surrender to Hamas's demands, we will ensure more families will suffer the same plight as Gilad Schalit's family. We know that this will happen because we have been through this process repeatedly. Every single time we have released terrorists for hostages, the result has been more murdered Israelis and more hostages. As before, the only thing we still don't know is the names of the next victims. They could be any of us. And so, in a very real sense, they are all of us.

If on the other hand the outgoing government opted for the stiff upper lip approach, we know that we would increase the chance that Schalit will be murdered. Hamas can kill him at any time. And in the event that the IDF stages a rescue raid, there is a good chance that both Schalit and his rescuers will return to their families in wooden boxes. Then again, we also know that by not negotiating with terrorists, and by keeping jailed terrorists in prison, we stand a better chance of protecting the lives of the rest of us.

Both choices, of course, are miserable ones. But they are the only choices. We can surrender or we can fight. There is no third option.

In keeping though with the Left's penchant for dreaming up imaginary choices, the Kadima-Labor government decided to negotiate Schalit's release with Hamas, but to pretend that in doing so, it is doing something other than surrendering. Rather than admit that by agreeing to release hundreds of murderers from jail he is placing every single family in the country at risk, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes his urgent pleadings to Hamas as a noble gesture towards the Schalit family, a gesture which supposedly gives expression to Judaism's commitment to Jewish captives. That is, he has moved the discussion of the terrorist release from the realm of reality to the realm of metaphysics.

Much to his discredit, Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to criticize the outgoing government's surrender to Hamas. There is some justification for his silence. The media is so adamant about moving forward with the release of mass murderers that were he to speak out, he would set the media against him even before he is sworn in to office. But then again, the overwhelmingly leftist media will treat Netanyahu with hostility regardless of what he does. So it seems unreasonable that he has maintained his silence on this issue.
 

THE ONE POLITICIAN who has been outspoken in opposing the mass release of terrorists has been MK Ya'acov (Ketzeleh) Katz, the leader of the National Union party. Together with the families of terror victims who oppose the government's intention to release their relatives' murderers, Katz has been the loudest voice in politics stridently opposing the deal. He has made clear that it will endanger the country and guarantee the murder and abduction of still more Israelis.

Katz and the National Union have it right on this issue. Indeed, they have it right on just about every major strategic issue they have championed. >From their opposition to the failed Oslo process to their opposition to the failed Camp David summit, from their opposition to the withdrawal from south Lebanon and Gaza to their opposition to the failed road map peace process and the failed Annapolis peace process, the National Union has been right all along. It has always stayed true to its principles.

One might think that given the National Union's consistent track record that it would be the largest party in the Knesset. Surely voters would reward it for its wisdom. But one of course would be wrong.

The National Union received four seats in the Knesset. Its sister party, Habayit Hayehudi won three mandates. The two parties ran separately despite their ideological and cultural affinity because their members simply couldn't get along. They couldn't compromise on who would appear where on the party list.

And this is the beginning of the story.
 

FOR ALL of its strategic wisdom and clearheadedness, the National Union is a political home for delusional politicians. In all of its various incarnations — from Tehiya to Herut to Moledet to the National Union — the party has never been able to understand what it means to govern. It has never been able to recognize that politics is the art of compromise.

In 1992, angry that Likud under prime minister Yitzhak Shamir bowed to US pressure and participated in the Madrid peace conference, Tehiya brought down his government. In so doing, it brought in Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and brought the country the Oslo process and Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.

In 1999, angry at Netanyahu for bowing to US pressure and agreeing to the Wye Plantation accords, the National Union brought down his government. In so doing, it brought in Ehud Barak and Yossi Beilin, the withdrawal from Lebanon and the Camp David summit.

In all, the total of Israelis who have been killed due to Oslo, the withdrawal from Lebanon and the Palestinian terror war which followed Camp David comes to around 2,000. The country's weakened position today in the US and Europe as well as in the Arab world, would have been inconceivable in 1992.

In both 1992 and 1999, the National Union and its predecessors were faced with two choices. They could remain ideologically pure by bringing down their own government and so risk empowering the Left, or they could recognize that governance is the art of compromise, keep a stiff upper lip and work from within the government to mitigate the strategic damage that in their view Shamir and Netanyahu caused by bowing to American pressure.

And in both cases, the National Union rejected its real choices in favor of an imaginary one. Both in 1992 and 1999 it chose to leave the government while pretending that there was no difference between Likud and Labor. By choosing this route, it effectively committed itself to strategic as well as political blindness since it was forced to claim — wrongly — that there was no difference between Madrid and Oslo or between Wye Plantation and Camp David.

Last Friday it was disclosed that on Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu had reopened coalition talks with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. Those talks had ended weeks ago after Livni demanded that Netanyahu agree to share the premiership with her through a rotation agreement, give her full control over strategy for dealing with the Palestinians and adopt the establishment of a Palestinian state as the primary goal of his government. All of Livni's demands were nonnegotiable and all of them, both separately and together, were unacceptable for Netanyahu. And so, he rejected them and for the past two and a half weeks has been concentrating his efforts on building a governing coalition with the right wing and religious parties.
 

AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN's Israel Beiteinu with its 15 Knesset seats is set to be Likud's main coalition partner. Lieberman has been the most outspoken champion of a Likud-Kadima-Israel Beiteinu coalition. This makes sense from his perspective. Lieberman is viewed both by the West and by much of the country's leftist elite as a racist. Due both to his legal worries and to the fact that his actual policy preferences of surrendering the Galilee and the Negev to the Arabs are far left of center, Lieberman cares deeply about what the Left thinks of him. In his view, the only way to be accepted as legitimate in leftist circles is to compel Likud to move to the left by bringing Kadima into the government.

In part to satisfy Lieberman — without whom he cannot form a government — and in part because he remembers that it was the National Union which brought down his government 10 years ago, Netanyahu began his coalition building talks with Kadima. They collapsed only because Livni made demands that he could not meet.

In the current round of talks, Livni has reportedly maintained her demands, but now Netanyahu is reportedly accepting them — at least partially. The question that needs to be asked is what has changed in three weeks? Why has Netanyahu decided that Livni's previously unacceptable demands are now acceptable? The only reasonable answer is the National Union. Last week Katz scuttled negotiations with Likud because it refused his demand for the Construction and Housing Ministry. On Thursday, he joined hands with Habayit Hayehudi chairman MK Daniel Herschkowitz and announced that neither of the two parties would join Netanyahu's government if he doesn't meet all of their demands, including the Ministry of Education for Herschkowitz. Without the two parties, Netanyahu lacks a parliamentary majority.

It is possible that Katz and Herschkowitz are bluffing. In fact, it is likely that they are. But what their behavior shows clearly is that Netanyahu is correct when he says that a coalition that relies on them is inherently unstable. And so, he has moved back into Kadima's orbit.

If the Olmert-Livni-Barak government goes ahead with its plans to spring hundreds of mass murderers from prison in its last days in office, the threat they will unleash will just be added to the long list of serious threats that our strategically delusional leftist government has created and expanded during its tenure in office. It would be the height of irony — and tragedy — if due to the Right's proven political incompetence, the same political Left remains in power as the main partners in the Netanyahu government and so is given yet another opportunity to ruin the country.

Contact Shaul and Aviva Ceder at ceder@netvision.net.il

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OPEN LETTER TO BOYCOTTING BRITISH SCIENTISTS
Posted by Jock Falkson, March 17, 2009.

Kenneth Preiss' Open Letter to British Scientists makes a meritworthy case for British scientists to stop agitating against cooperation with Israeli scientists. Highly refreshing to read one of ours who presents a convincing case for continued cooperation.

Kenneth Preiss is Emeritus Professor, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

 

When the German government of the 1930's forbad the teaching of "Jewish science" such as relativity, they were operating rationally within their perverted frame of logic. In a rationality accepted by most of the public, including scientists, Jews had been deemed to be a pestilent menace. For the sake of humanity they needed to be eliminated from every aspect of society, and the urgency of this mission took precedence over the search for scientific truth.

This policy was based on a lie, and we know now that in its treatment of the Jews, Germany lobotomized itself. Germany has to this day not returned to the standing it had then in the scientific world. It does not escape attention that a country that in the 1920's was at the pinnacle of scientific achievement, by the 1940's had plunged to the lowest depths of vile, cruel and immoral wickedness. If this happened in Germany, it can happen elsewhere.

This is what comes to mind when I hear of the proposal to boycott the presentation of Israeli scientists at the venerable Science Museum near my fondly remembered alma mater of Imperial College. Israelis are tired of justifying themselves to the world. Israelis, both as individuals and as a society, do much for the less fortunate of the world and they do so because this is their character, not for approval of others.

Despite the ongoing quest by the Arabs to destroy Israel, this includes infrastructural, medical, trade, scientific and cultural assistance to many, including the Palestinians — a group that has brought upon themselves much suffering but manages to convince a willing world that its problems are due to others. This is not the place to amplify upon this matter that has been written about abundantly elsewhere. In today's world many people prefer to remain ignorant of that reality. It is enough to wander around any Israeli hospital, enquire where the staff and patients come from, and see the equality of treatment each gets, irrespective of whether they are Jews or Arabs.

Free and honest debate would show that Israel treats the Palestinians better than any other nation would, including the British. The Palestinians have much to thank Israel for, even though mendacity about this subject seems to fill the airwaves, the Internet and newspapers. As for the mini-war in Gaza I cannot recall a conflict in which the party attacked and defending itself adhered so assiduously to the laws of war while the aggressor so blatantly disregarded those laws. In the Orwellian reports of that war the roles have been reversed.

The text below shows the process we observed in the 1930's and where it led, and the parallel process observed today.

In 1929 a very serious global financial crisis started.

In 2008 a very serious global financial crisis started.

Over the next decade a medium sized power (Germany) armed in contravention of international agreements, threatened its neighbors, and used latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

A medium sized power (Iran) is arming in contravention of international agreements, threatens its neighbors, and uses latent and overt hate of the Jews locally and world-wide to strengthen its standing.

The world powers, led by England, tried to convince Germany to cease its threats. Appeasement did not work.

The world powers try to convince Iran to cease its arming and its threats. Appeasement is not working.

At the end of the decade a world war started that lasted 6 years and in which 56,000,000 people, 2.2% of a world population of 2,500,000,000, died.

Does history repeat itself? If so, 150,000,000 people, 2.2% of the world's current population of 6,700,000,000, will die.

In the decade leading to World War 2 there were those who said that war was inevitable, but no one anticipated, nor could even imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity inherent in that catastrophe.

There are those who say that war is now inevitable, but even they do not anticipate, nor can they imagine, the enormous scale and cruel depravity that would be inherent in that catastrophe.

We understand in retrospect the process that led to the tragedy called World War 2. Had that prior process not existed, the trigger that included Austria, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain, Churchill and Poland would never have materialized. We do not know whether we are now in a process that could lead to over 100 million cruel deaths, and if we are we certainly do not know what will trigger that war.

In light of the proposed boycott of Israeli scientists it is worth remembering that it was difficult for German scientists to oppose the boycott of Jewish scientists in the face of German public opinion. Had they done so the chain of events that led to World War 2 may have been diverted. If indeed we are now in a process where eventually an unpredictable event will trigger the tragedy of World War, you the boycotting British scientists, probably unsuspectingly, will have been part of that process.

You have stepped onto the slippery slope.

To be put on Jock Falkson's email list, contact him at falkson@013.net

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THE OSTRICH POLICY: A REVIEW OF KARIN IN SAUDI ARABIA
Posted by Alex Maistrovoy, March 17, 2009.
 

Have you ever read a story that combines love lyrics, Orwell's plots and Kafka's nightmares? If not, you should read the book by Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist, living in Germany (before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University). It is not a novel, and the events are not set in medieval Europe. Dr. Sami Alrabaa's book Karin In Saudi Arabia is research. It is based on real events which took place in Saudi Arabia, a state the West considers friendly and moderate.

Karin is a real story of a German woman, who lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and fell in love with a Saudi man. Later, this love turned into a devastating nightmare. The Saudi "Morality Police", notorious for their bestial brutality, raped Karin and threw her in prison. Her crime was, she was driven alone downtown by a taxi-driver. Her German-Saudi baby son was taken away and she was deported to Cyprus without passport and money.

This story is not an exception to the rule. It is a rule. Dr. Sami Alrabaa gave many examples of this kind. Muna, a young Moroccan woman was luckier. She managed to smuggle herself and her baby out after a one-night marriage with Sultan, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Mimi and Najat were brutally stoned to death. Najat, a deaf-dumb was caught by the "Morality Police", suspected of being a prostitute. In reality she was waiting for her brother to pick her up in front of shop window.

The Morality Police Chief quickly passed sentence on Najat. He wrote, among other things: "Najat was working as a prostitute and was caught in the very act of picking up a client. We advise that she be stoned to death..." Two muttawas (Morality Police) delivered the document to Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh. He jotted down a verdict to match the suggestion, then signed it. Najat was to be publicly stoned to death the following Friday.

Mimi, a house-maid from the Philippines, was denounced by the wife of Karin's lover. She was picked up by the "Morality Police" and also stoned to death. These stories happen very often, and people are defenseless There are no courts in Saudi Arabia, and the princes there possess absolute power.

Nisrin, a Bangladeshi woman, who married a Saudi, was deported and the marriage was annulled. Before that she was raped by one of those "Morality Police". A Saudi who belongs to an important tribe, cannot just marry anyone.

Mohammed, a Syrian truck-driver had both hands amputated for allegedly stealing the truck he was driving. In March, 2002. The Saudi Morality Police prevented school girls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing the correct Islamic dress. As a result 15 girls were burned alive. These stories happen day in, day out.

All of it happens before our eyes: tortures, mockery, ridiculous medieval prejudices based on patriarchal clan customs. Absurdity turned into dogma. On March 9, 2009, in Saudi Arabia a 75-year-old woman was sentenced to 40 lashes, 4 months in jail and deportation ... The basis for such a ruthless sentence was her dialogue with two men who had brought her a loaf of bread. One of organizers of this "orgy" was her husband's nephew. He too was sentenced to lashes and a prison term.

Laws of Saudi Arabia strictly forbid women to appear in public with men who are not their close relatives. Law also forbids them to drive, play musical instruments, dance and watch some films. The 75-year-old woman has broken the law.

The issue has become a pathology. In Saudi Arabia a new prohibition has come into force. The sale of cats and dogs, as well as walking them in parks and streets, is banned. The Islamic religious police think that walking pets makes their owners more attractive to the opposite sex. According to the law pets of violators will be confiscated.

Saudi Arabian clerics consider pets are a result of "noxious Western influence", as are fast food, shorts, jeans and pop music.

People in the West close their eyes to these monstrous phenomena calling them "infringement of human rights". This is absurd! Would you use such language to describe a witch hunt in medieval Europe, with its bloody slander and its public executions of animals accused of cooperation with the Devil? Human rights watchers and liberals should understand: one can break only existing laws or norms. The concept of "human rights" simply does not exist in the Arab World, so it is impossible to break them .

We speak about religious dogmas which set human life and human respect at nought. And, Dr. Sami Alrabaa maintains, the problem is not in "bad Islam" or "good Islam". It is in Islam itself.

Dr Alrabaa writes, "When you study Islam; the Quran and Shari'a, and live in Saudi Arabia for a while, you find out that the Saudis are in fact applying the Islamic law. 'The woman who commits adultery must be stoned to death.' (Quran, 36:18). 'And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.' (Quran 5:38). For more details, check out europenews.dk/en/node/13862 and Understanding Muhammad by Ali Sina."

Violence and suppression penetrates all Muslim society from top to bottom. The book shows that not only are the Saudi regime and its religious fanatic establishment oppressive, but so are other groups in society: Saudi men oppress and ill-treat women, and Saudi men and women oppress and abuse foreigners.

Can democracy and liberal values be compatible with the Islamic dogmatism, rooted in patriarchal pagan traditions? To reconcile Islam with our days is even more difficult than it would be to find common language with Ivan the Terrible, Torquemada or medieval flagellants, scourging themselves in public.

Dr. Alrabaa writes, "When I delivered the manuscript of this book to friends outside of Saudi Arabia, asking them to read it over, their response was uniform: they shook their heads in disbelief. Nobody in the civilized world seemed able to fathom the extent of the arbitrariness and atrocities to which victims in Saudi Arabia are subjected. To them, it was incredible. Some remarked that I was telling stories about the actions of monsters from another planet."

The last issue is the main problem. The West not only does not try to resist the threat of medieval fanaticism proceeding from the Islamic world, but even pretends that this threat does not exist. An ostrich hides his head in sand, hoping to escape the danger of death. Alas, it does not help him.

Alexander Maistrovoy is a journalist with the Russian-language Israeli newspaper Novosty nedely.

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CLINTON: US STARTING TALKS WITH SYRIA; ARABS BITE EUROPE WHICH IS FEEDING THEM
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 17, 2009.
 

"WALTZES WITH BASHIR"

Prof. Plaut says it should be called "Waltzes With Self-Hatred." It jibes with the international campaign to depict Israel as the new Nazis.

The film, in accordance with obsolete Israeli socialist policy, was subsidized by the government. If people want to see a movie, they will pay for it, and should not have to be forced to pay, via taxation, for movies they don't want to see (Plaut, 2/23).

From the coming attraction, I recognized an anti-Israel theme. It was unjustified. Israel fought against the PLO that had been raiding it. The IDF minimized casualties among Lebanese. Israel is not the new Third Reich, but the Islamists are. They have incorporated Nazi racism against Jews, are totalitarian, imperialist, and genocidal.

The film may have been well made. Americans get diverted by the mechanics of things, and thrill over that, without sufficient regard to deleterious or vapid substance.

CLINTON: US STARTING TALKS WITH SYRIA

She remarked that the talks must have some purpose. "...there has to be some benefit accruing to the US and our allies." (NY Times, 3/4/09, A11."

The US routinely betrays allies, especially Israel. That is the purpose of the talks with Syria. Get Israel to pay Syria in territory and national security, as the State Dept. has been attempting for decades. The Administration would claim to have accomplished something great — peace and perhaps weaning Syria away from Iran. Better to have let Israel bring down Syria. In any case, the weaning would be temporary. It might last longer, if the US kept paying Syria funds the US doesn't really have, in order to build up a military easily able, in coordination with the US-funded Egyptian army, to conquer Israel. How that would boost jihad against the US!

What does the US President care about the fortune it would take to keep Syria bribed! He is spending the US into oblivion, half on liberal programs that would leave government in control of our lives, right after years of liberal complaints that the Bush administration overspent.

PROPOSED NAME CHANGE

US university Islamic Studies Centers propagate lies for a cruel ideology. Let's call them Centers for Islamic Denigraphics & Sadistics!

CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS

As the Arab become urbanized and educated, their birth rates fall all over the Mideast. It has stabilized in Israel and Judea-Samaria, where Arabs are becoming an aging population. This trend reflects "...a most successful integration by Arabs into the country's infrastructure of education, health, human services, commerce, finance, culture, sports and politics. Judea-Samaria Arabs are typified by 'large-scale emigration, entrenched family planning, a reduction of teen pregnancy, rapid urbanization, expanded education especially among women, record divorce rate and higher median marriage age."

The Jewish birth rate has been rising. The Jewish population is becoming a younger one. Russian Jewish immigrants have adopted the Israeli pattern of more births per family than in Russia. Since 1995, the percentage of Jewish births in Israel has risen from 69% to 75%. The challenge is to encourage the trend in Jewish population growth (Yoram Ettinger in Jer. Post from Central Bureau of Statistics, in IMRA, 2/24). The figures show that it wouldn't be long before the majority of Jews are Untra-Orthodox. There are suggestions to mass-convert Russian gentile immigrants.

The six point increase in the percentage of Jewish births seems small, to me. Some of it may include Russian gentile immigrants who abused the Law of Return or came in fraudulently as Jews. The mass-conversions would be dilute, therefore not according to traditional Judaism — a phony rationalization. These false conversions would split the Jewish people into those who genuinely are Jewish and those who aren't and can't, under Jewish law, inter-marry with the genuine half.

Mr. Ettinger fails to suggest encouraging Arab population reduction. He should start with the fact of Arab emigration from Judea-Samaria, and increase it.

ARABS BITE EUROPE FEEDING THEM

European governments, including Britain, finance a radical Palestinian Arab NGO, Al-Haq. Ironically, A-Haq is proceeding in a legal action against some UK Secretaries of State. The suite alleges that UK ties with Israel, such as selling it some arms, violate international law. Other lawsuits intended to isolate Israel had no basis. Neither does this one. That's not the point. The point is getting publicity and pressuring Israel. These lawsuits, a warfare tactic called "lawfare," abuse the legal system.

Al-Haq is not a human rights organization rather but related to a terrorist organization. The evidence of this has convinced Jordan as well as Israel. Its pretense is belied by its failure to condemn Hamas for its definite war crimes against Israel.

The Europeans may think that they are promoting co-existence and justice by supporting Arab NGOs that pretend to be humanitarian. Instead they are promoting war (IMRA, 2/24).

Are the Europeans that unaware, or do they know what their money finances and that is what they want? I wish Israel would ask them that question and topple their dangerous self-righteousness.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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TOWARD AN INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY FOR ISRAEL
Posted by PRofessor Paul Eidelberg, March 17, 2009.
 

In my report of March 9, I said that with Barack Obama in the White House, the American government has become an overt enemy. I noted that 0bama has made appointments of persons who are openly hostile to Israel. Like him and various Israeli politicians, they advocate an Arab-Islamic state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. This would lead to Israel's demise.

Whatever the motives of the Israelis, they are obviously influenced by Washington's commitment to Palestinian statehood. More fundamental is their perception of Israel's military and economic dependence on the U.S. They see an umbilical chord with a one-way flow of nutrients from America to Israel. This image distorts reality because America receives enormous nutrients from Israel. Trouble is, no one, to my knowledge, has made a strategic assessment of this two-way flow; hence neither government has adequate knowledge of their mutual dependency.

The citizens of both countries are ignorant of how much each country contributes to the well-being of the other. Virtually everyone believes Israel could not survive without America. But is this belief based on a solid assessment of Israel's military capabilities? After all, Israel is a nuclear power, and despite its minute size, its Gross Domestic Product exceeds that of all its neighbors — in fact, is the average of countries in Europe.

Although American politicians speak of Israel as America's "most reliable ally in the Middle East," no one takes this vague expression seriously. To be a reliable ally, Israel must be capable of defending itself. Why, then, does Washington want to shrink Israel back to indefensible pre-1967 borders? Obviously, Washington has interests that compete with if not outweigh Israel's value as a U.S. ally — for example, Saudi oil and purchases of U.S. arms.

Washington should be reminded that

  • If [Israel] were to simultaneously hit only five of the many sensitive points in Saudi Arabia's downstream oil system, th[at] could put the Saudis out of the oil-producing business for about two years. Simply blowing of Abqaiq's up the East-West pipeline's Pump Station One to smithereens would be enough to bring the world's oil-addicted economies to their knees, America's along with them. [Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil.]

  • Neither the U.S. nor Europe should disregard Israel's nuclear capacity, and what Israel, small as it may be, is capable of doing if driven to desperation. Its air force and navy extend the country's effective size and range of power.

  • Israel's timid government plays mum about this power. It prefers to make Israel appear as a teddy bear — as if meekness endears Israel to America and Europe and does not arouse Arab states to obtain or develop nuclear weapons. Syria and Iran have made nonsense of Israel's meek image. Dare Israel develop an image that intimidates Europe where anti-Semitism or hatred of Israel is rampant? Europe's hatred is not the result of Israel's nuclear power, which endangers no European country. Europe does not fear and respect Israel.

  • As for the United States, an anti-Israel lobby in Washington wants to terminate the (misleading) image of America's pro-Israel foreign policy. This lobby has the ear of Barack Obama who certainly does not have an adequate understanding of the extent to which America's well-being depends on a secure and flourishing Israel.

  • Hence, we need to reveal Israel's contribution to America, first, by quoting Dr. Joseph Sisco, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs. Sisco told Israeli author Shmuel Katz, "I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us."

  • For FY2006, U.S. military grants to Israel was $2.28 billion (= $2.28B). Since Israel's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006, this aid to Israel was less than 1.5% of its GDP!

  • Viewed over a longer time period? — say between 1991 and 2006 — total U.S. military grants and economic assistance to Israel was approximately $47.5B.

What has the U.S. received from Israel in return?

  • Israel must spend about 74% of U.S. military aid in the United States, where it provides jobs for an estimated 50,000 American workingmen.

  • Total exports from America's 50 states to Israel between 1991 and 2006 was $102. 4B — more than twice the $47.5B Israel received in U.S. aid during this period. The annual average of U.S. exports to Israel was $6.4B per year, more than twice the average American aid package. In fact, total exports to Israel from the 50 states in 2006 was almost $11B — more than four times the U.S. military-economic aid package!

  • Moreover, U.S. military aid to Israel creates a demand for, and the purchase of, tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S. weaponry by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. U.S. grants to Israel — far from burdening the American tax payer — actually enriches the U.S. economy. Arms manufacturers know this. So do Senators who represent states in which corporations such as Boeing and Lockheed are loca ted. They have vested interests in opposing any sanctions against Israel if it were to take a more independent stand against Palestinian statehood.

  • According to Gen. George Keegan, a former chief of U.S. Air Force Intelligence, between 1974 and 1990, Israeli aid to America was worth between $50-80B in intelligence, research and development savings, Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the Pentagon, and testing Soviet military doctrines up to 1990 when the USSR collapsed. Senator Daniel Inouye put it this way: "The contribution made by Israeli intelligence to America is greater than that provided by all NATO countries combined."

  • Yoram Ettinger reports: Israel relays to the U.S. lessons of battle and counter-terrorism, which reduce American losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, prevent attacks on U.S. soil, upgrade American weapons, and contribute to the U.S. economy. Innovative Israeli technologies boost U.S. industries.

  • The vice-president of the company that produces the F16 fighter jets told Ettinger that Israel is responsible for 600 improvements in the plane's systems, modifications estimated to be worth billions of dollars, which spared dozens of research and development years.

  • Without Israel, the U.S. would have to deploy tens of thousands of American troops in the eastern Mediterranean Basin, at a cost of billions of dollars a year.

  • In 1981, Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, thus providing the U.S. with the option of engaging in conventional wars with Iraq in 1991 and 2003, thereby preventing a possible nuclear war and its horrendous consequences.

  • In 2005, Israel provided America with the world's most extensive experience in homeland defense and warfare against suicide bombers and car bombs. American soldiers train in IDF facilities and Israeli-made drones fly above the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan, providing U.S. Marines with vital intelligence that saved many American lives.

  • Finally, since Israel has phased out economic aid, U.S. military aid is only 1.3% of Israel's GDP! This figure would be zero if Israel did not spend billions on security fences and military redeployments resulting from territorial retreats.

This is only a thumbnail sketch. We need experts to assess other types of U.S. contributions to Israel's economy and vice-versa. Hence, we need to know and translate into monetary terms:

  • The number of engineers and scientists Israel provides the U.S.

  • The medical technology Israel provides the U.S. and the number of lives saved thereby.

  • The agricultural technology Israel provides the world in general, and the U.S. in particular, and the number lives saved by this technology.

  • The U.S.-Israel scientific research projects.

  • The U.S.-Israel military projects.

  • The monetary significance of U.S-Israel tourism.

These are just a few items that need to be assessed. The public in Israel as well as in America should be informed in quantitative and qualitative terms what Israel contributes to the security, health, and economic prosperity of the United States. Once this research is complete, Israel — of course depending on wise and courageous leadership — will be able to pursue a foreign policy vis-a-vis the U.S. that does not affect the borders of the country.

Professor Paul Eidelberg is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. Contact him at list-owner@foundation1.org

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: A FLOWER FARM
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, March 17, 2009.
 

A commercial flower farm in central Israel
 

This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

Israel exports some 1.5 billion stems of commercially grown flowers every year, but most of the farms are tucked away on far-flung kibbutzim. Occasionally, a commercial field is planted along a main thoroughfare, but they are often covered with netting to protect the fragile flowers from the withering effects of the hot Israeli sun, leaving them in constant shade and not as appealing to photograph. On rare occasions, however, a field is left in the open, such as this anemone farm I discovered on the road south from Beit Shemesh toward Beit Guvrin.

I was set up in the early morning hours and nearly finished photographing when a truckload of foreign workers from Thailand pulled up to begin their day's work, astonished to find a stranger already on the job in their fields. I shot a range of close-ups as well as wider shots, looking for one image that summed up the feeling of standing amid the small sea of red and purple flowers. I like this shot because the effect of blurring the foreground brings the viewer's eye toward the less dominant purple flowers in the middle of the frame. Alternatively, placing the red flowers in sharp focus and maximizing depth of field diminished the visual impact of the purple and yellow at the top of the photo. If digital cameras have provided any new freedoms for photographers, it's the ability to take more pictures at virtually no additional cost. I've made a habit of taking a variety of shots during every shoot, so that I have a wide range to choose from when I sit down to edit the results.

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

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MAINSTREAM MEDIA'S REPORTING AIDS VIOLENCE IN THE MIDEAST
Posted by Israel Resource News Agency, March 17, 2009.

This was written by Herb Denenberg and it appeared today in The Bulletin (Philadelphia)

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@thebulletin.us.

 

At a time when many major cities may soon have no major newspapers, Philadelphia is still blessed with two. One of the beauties of two newspapers is that they serve as a check on each other. For example, when a regular columnist of one of the papers consistently displays moral blindness, intellectual bankruptcy, overarching bias and overpowering stupidity, in a one-newspaper town you have to grin and bear it. But in a two-newspaper town, when a columnist displays the qualities I've enumerated above, someone can tell you why and send a message to the other newspaper and the world. (As the readers of this column know, in my heart of hearts I think there would be more beauty in a one-newspaper Philadelphia ... provided it was The Bulletin and not The Inquirer.)

So here we go with my explanation of why Trudy Rubin, who regularly writes on the Middle East and foreign policy for The Inquirer, displays all the qualities I've enumerated above. That's just my opinion, and I've tried to be kind so I have not given you what might be a more complete enumeration of my opinion.

Let me try to convince you that I'm right with my analysis of Ms. Rubin's Philadelphia Inquirer column of March 15, titled "Decision Time on the Middle East." The column addresses three tough decisions that Ms. Rubin says the Obama administration will have to make in the near future on the Israeli/Arab conflict.

What is so striking about the column is that her criticism is only directed at Israel. I would suspect the uninitiated reader would assume that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are governed by angels or at least great statesmen. Yet every tic in every Israeli leader is expounded upon with the full fury of the columnist sparing us no detail, but no reference is made to Palestinian leadership.

She starts by noting that Benjamin Netanyahu is about to form a "right-wing" government for Israel and his policies will "complicate nearly every aspect of Obama's strategy for the Mideast." For example, he has chosen Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister. Ms. Rubin writes that he is "a figure whose inflammatory views may undercut any new peace moves in the region." Mr. Lieberman has said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should "go to hell" and proposed Israel bomb the Aswan Dam in the event of a war with Egypt. (I have to agree with Mr. Lieberman: Anyone that facilitates the work of terrorists, by not policing tunnels on the Gaza-Israel border, should go to hell, and as far as I'm concerned, they should make the trip sooner rather than later.) But I should add any "inflammatory" views of Mr. Lieberman are mild compared to the calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews made by Hamas all the time with machine-gun regularity. But Ms. Rubin only has time to criticize the Israeli and cannot find it in her heart to utter criticism of terrorism and genocide.

Now consider Ms. Rubin's indictment of the Israelis — a right-wing government, with someone who said Mr. Mubarak should "go to hell." She goes on and on nit picking the Israeli leadership to death to prove it is an obstacle to peace. But she has no criticism of Hamas, the terrorist organization, ruling Gaza, or the Palestinian Authority, that like Hamas is dedicated to inciting its people to hate and murder Israelis. I ask my readers as fair-minded observers which leadership poses the greater obstacle to peace. Don't you think Hamas' genocidal dedication just might be a greater obstacle to peace than that posed by Israel?

You decide what is the threat to peace — the right-wing Israeli government or the terrorists and advocates of murder and genocide that represent Palestinian leadership in Gaza and the West Bank. You probably know enough about the terrorist organization Hamas to know where it stands — its very charter and all the pronouncements of its leadership call for genocide to be committed to exterminate the Israelis. Hamas also reject any concept of negotiation with Israel or accepting Israel's right to exist. What would you rather face and what do you consider the greater threat to peace?

You may know less about the Palestinian Authority, which in fact is the same kind of "peace partner" as Hamas. Consider what it just broadcast on its official television station — on March 12 and March 15, 2009, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast an hour-long special celebrating the single most murderous attack against Israeli civilians in the history of Arab terrorism.

Let me refresh your memory of what the Palestinian Authority commemorates, celebrates, and glorifies. Arabs penetrated Israel using rubber dinghies from Lebanon and then carried out what is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Terror Attack on March 11, 1978. The terrorists hijacked a tourist bus and killed 38 civilians including 13 children. Among the dead were Gail Rubin, an American nature photographer and a cousin of the late Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, D-Conn.

This is how this hour-long terror attack celebrated, commemorated and glorified the slaughter of men, women and children. The Palestinian Media Watch reported what the narrator said in opening the special:

"... one of the most important and most prominent special actions, executed by the Palestinian revolution by sea, on the coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv. The action, which was carried out by a group of heroes and led by the heroic fighter Dalal Mughrabi [a woman], had a great impact on continuing events in the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Notice the Arabs and the Palestinian Authority not only perpetrate the slaughter of innocents, but they call those that carry out this kind of barbaric butchery "heroes." An article published in the July 10 edition of the Palestinian Authority's Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda daily newspaper called the leader of the slaughter of men, women, and children "a living legend and a wonderful example for all women." This broadcast should tell the world what kind of a peace partner Israel has in the Palestinian Authority.

This hero worship of those who butcher of men, women and children is widely held in the Palestinian and Arab world. All Jazeera TV aired a program in 2008 focusing on Al-Mughrabi and praised her exploits. This occasion for paying tribute to these barbarian butchers was the transfer of her body to Hezbollah as part of the ransom for the bodies of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

I wrote most of this column before I saw the Monday newspapers (March 16, 2009). But when I first saw a notice of the Palestinian broadcast, I knew it would not be reported on in the traditionally anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times. I so describe those papers not because of one edition, but of a long history, which sadly thoroughly documents my conclusion on them. It is also interesting The Bulletin not only reported on the story on Monday, but also made it the lead front-page story. Almost alone among the 12 newspapers I check daily, it recognized the importance of the story as it reveals once again that the Israelis still do not have a partner for peace and that the Palestinians should not be trusted with statehood at this time. And The Bulletin, unlike The Inquirer, has someone on the scene in David Bedein, one of the best reporters on what is going on in the Middle East.

But all this is of no concern to Ms. Rubin. She only has time to worry about an Israeli saying Mr. Mubarak should go to hell. She apparently is not offended by the slaughter of innocents, but is outraged by a comment that someone should go to hell.

She also complains about the fact that Israel (to keep terrorists at bay) has imposed constant blockages of imports and exports, but she has no complaints or concerns about the parade of terrorists and child-killers that Hamas and the Arabs have tried to get into Israel. Like most of the mainstream media, she would deny Israel its right of self-defense and its right to take measures at its border to protect itself.

With that in mind, Ms. Rubin says Mr. Obama must make his first decision: "He must declare his administration believes 'economic peace' cannot substitute for political progress." In the context, Ms. Rubin clearly intends this declaration be directed to Israel. That's because Mr. Netanyahu believes in economic development in the Palestinian Authority before statehood. So Ms. Rubin advises Mr. Obama to tell Israel to start making political progress. But based on her views here and her writing in general, she thinks Israel should start moving toward peace and making concessions, while the Palestinian Authority and Hamas continue to wage war against it and continue to incite their people to hatred, murder and genocide directed at Israelis. Ms. Rubin only has declarations, orders, and concessions for the Israelis. She has none for the terrorists, who will continue their usual work ... unimpeded by Ms. Rubin.

If Ms. Rubin were acquainted with the negotiating posture of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, she would call him the hardliner, not Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Abbas wants the return to the 1949 boundaries of Israel that would make it absolutely indefensible. In addition, he wants the right of return of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants. That would overwhelm Israel with a hostile population and destroy it as a Jewish state. So he wants Israel to accept a guaranteed national suicide pact certain to destroy Israel in two different ways. He could hardly take a more unreasonable and unacceptable negotiating position if he tried.

In contrast, Mr. Netanyahu, in Ms. Rubin's own account, has two reasonable approaches. He wants to stress economic development in the Palestinian Authority, something that is workable and sensible. In addition, he doesn't think the Palestinians are ready for statehood. Ms. Rubin admits in the column that there are more than three million "bitter" Palestinians in the disputed territories (which she mistakenly calls occupied territories, a term only applicable to territory seized by aggression ... not in a defensive war). They are not only "bitter" but have been brainwashed by their leadership into hating Jews and Israelis and told that they must drive them into the sea. Statehood would only give the Palestinians additional methods of stepping up their ongoing war against Israel that has gone on for decades. So you can understand why Mr. Netanyahu is not eager to equip these people that have been taught only to hate and destroy Israel with the power to do so. The Palestinians must stop their incitement and try to bring forth new generations ready to leave in peace, not with hate and genocidal intentions in their DNA.

Notice that Ms. Rubin does not call for Mr. Obama to tell the Palestinians to stop their incitement.

Then she comes to Mr. Obama's second decision. He must firmly confront the Israeli government and tell it to stop its settlement expansion. She forgets that Israel has a right to expand settlements and only promised to stop on condition that the Palestinians stop the terrorism, stop waging war against Israel, honor its previous agreements, and stop inciting its people to hatred, murder, and genocide of Israelis. The settlements can be viewed as a defensive measure. But Ms. Rubin, as is her custom, only has duties and responsibilities for the Israelis, but apparently is content to let the Palestinians continue terrorism, murder, genocide, and incitement ... business as usual for the Palestinians — and Ms. Rubin.

Then comes Mr. Obama's third decision. Ms. Rubin says this decision involves talks with Syria. Mr. Netanyahu said he would never give up the Golan Heights and return them to Syrian control. He said he is willing to talk to Syria, but he hasn't said he's open to giving back any territory.

Ms. Rubin writes, "Obama must try to convince Netanyahu that such an effort is in Israel's interest, and decide how hard to push if the Israeli leader resists." This suffers from sloppy and ambiguous writing on Ms. Rubin's part, but apparently she means Mr. Obama should push for a return of territory such as the Golan Heights. She doesn't tell us why Mr. Obama or anyone else knows better than Israel how to protect its security. Remember that the Golan Heights were taken from Syria in response to Syrian aggression. Israel paid a terrible price in blood for the capture of the Golan Heights, and perhaps that gives them a better insight into their security and strategic importance.

Ms. Rubin concludes: "This is a crucial moment. The new U.S. president needs to show that, besides being a close ally of Israel, he is committed to a stable Middle East." I think that President Obama and Ms. Rubin should both be advised that the first order of business to bring about a stable Middle East and a real and lasting peace there is to start pressuring the Arabs to stop terrorism, to stop murder, to stop attempts at genocide, and to stop incitement to hatred of Israelis. Ms. Rubin should also be advised that if you want a real and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East, you should not limit your criticism to Israel and call on concessions and actions by Israel, while writing and thinking like you are perfectly happy to let the Arabs, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas continue to wage a genocidal war against Israel.

By chance, right next to Ms. Rubin's column in The Inquirer is one by Michael Smerconish titled, "As newspapers fight for life, a reminder of their vital importance." That title tells you exactly what the column is about. But the column overlooks one important consideration. Newspapers are valuable and are of vital importance when they are fair and balanced, not when they are biased, fraudulent and dishonest. They play a vital role when they advocate American values and America's best interests. But, as this column has often reported, when newspapers are anti-American, anti-military, anti-family-values, anti-law enforcement, and seem to be more interested in protecting terrorists and America's enemies than in protecting Americans, and when their coverage is so distorted they do not present a truthful portrayal of the world scene, then newspapers may be doing more harm than good.

We would be better off if newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and New York Times went out of business ... as well they might. In discussing the reasons for the trouble most newspapers find themselves in, one factor seems to be overlooked. One reason readers are turning away from them is that they feel they can't trust them and they feel they are enemies, not friends, of America and Americans.

I should note that Israel is a tiny sliver of land with a population of about seven million. But it is surrounded by a ring of iron and hate of dozens of Arab and Muslim countries with hundreds of millions of population that want to destroy it, and that anti-Israel faction is backed by an alliance of many more countries in the Third World that subject it to endless unjustified attacks in the United Nations. With that to deal with, I would suggest that Ms. Rubin and The Inquirer kindly get off of Israel's back.

There's one more important point, which my brother Mike, the orthopedic surgeon in California, made to me in an e-mail after reading an early draft of this column. It provides a perfect summary of the column and at the same time makes a powerful suggestion on how peace in the Middle East can be obtained, so I reprint it verbatim:

"The irony of Ms. Trudy Rubin, who arrogates to herself knowing how to attain peace in the Middle East, is that writing like hers only delays the conditions that might actually bring peace, and encourages the violence, terrorism and wars the Arabs/Muslims have used against Israel. She shows the Arabs/Muslims that their use of these actions will be accepted and there are no consequences that might encourage them to abandon terrorism, violence and war, which is their stated goal that they may use any means to destroy Israel/Zionism/Jews. By promising them rewards, by putting pressure on Israel to make compromises and relinquish their territory while requiring no reciprocation from the Arab/Muslims, even to stating they recognize Israel's right to exist and to live in a secure peace, presents no reason for them to offer peace. Her one-sided self-righteous erroneous condemnation of Israel shows she neither understands the Middle East nor knows how to progress toward a peaceful Middle East. The Arabs/Muslims need very, very tough love if there is going to be any hope for peace, and the media only maintains their addiction to violence, terrorism and war. Ms. Rubin should write about other topics, which she hopefully might better understand. Perhaps what would best promote peace in the Middle East best would be better, more balanced and educated journalism on the Middle East."

Contact Israel Resource News Agency by email at media@actcom.co.il

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THE HIGH COST OF ISLAM
Posted by Sultan Knish, March 16, 2009.
 

Add up the cost of every terrorist attack on American and European soil, including 9/11 and 7/11. Then add the much larger cost of anti-terrorist security measures. The cost of expanding the Air Marshall program, the cost of all the extra security at airports and government buildings. And then there's the more intangible cost, of people who don't fly planes, don't feel safe, of children who grow up with their first memory of the towers falling down. Of parents who will never come home and wars fought around the world in pursuit of those who sent their parent's murderers to these shores.

Add all that up, the tangible cost in trillions of the dollars, and the intangible cost in human woe, and you only have the first portion of the real cost of Islam to the West.

The tidal flood of Islam driven to Western shores has brought with it a greater threat of terrorism, but it has also caused a heavy strain on social services. Whether it's Pakistanis in the UK, Somalis in the US or Indonesians in Australia — Muslim immigrants remain heavy consumers of social services. Breeding large families on limited incomes is difficult, and liberal politicians have long ago learned that the surest way of binding new immigrants to their political machine, is to foster their dependency through social services. Today some of the worst enemies of England live heavily on the dole.

Furthermore one mechanism behind the large Muslim birthrate is polygamy. While in their home countries polygamy tends to be reserved for those who can afford it, Western social services create a boom in state sponsored polygamy. Muslims who are Western citizens will import young brides from their home countries as their sisters or nieces, legalize them, privately marry them and then when they're pregnant, on official records they're single mothers living with their "brother" or "uncle", while being supported by the state.

Under the shadow of these arrangements, Muslim men can harbor several wives, creating constantly expanding families where abuse and honor killings easily proliferate. And the taxpayers foot the bill.

When the quiet violence goes public when a body is found, the newspapers wonder how this happened. The real answer of course is that it was happening all along. Polygamy is slavery. Muslim men trafficking in women is a form of sex slavery, regulated by Muslim religious authorities and enforced with ruthless brutality. The difference is that it's the only form of sex slavery funded by Western taxpayers.

And then there's the crime. Beyond the actual terrorism, funded by Jizya, or 10 percent of every believing Muslim's income, there is the culture of crime that Muslim immigration brings with it. From gangs such as the Muslim Boys in the UK, to the glorification of violence against non-Muslims common among French Muslim rappers, to the common street level violence pervading everywhere from Oslo to Sydney to Paris, crime is part of the high cost of Islam.

Islam does not merely teach Muslims to reject the laws of the land they live in as the law of the Kafir from the Dar Al Harb, the portion of the world yet not conquered by Islam, but teaches them to view themselves as conquerors bringing the rule of Islam wherever they go. Little wonder that Muslims routinely practice rape, robbery and smuggling — all practices that date back to Mohammed's campaign against the "infidels".

Beyond the human cost of Muslim crime, in the form of murder, assault and rape victims — there is the large scale social disruption. Drug smuggling, car theft rings and riots are all examples of large scale Muslim organized acts of crime that tear apart the very fabric of society. In France, even rape has managed to reach that scale with the Tournade becoming a large scale social problem as well.

The social and personal cost of all this continues to climb as Muslim immigration and birth rate rises. It means more police have to be hired, while at the same the police become less capable of enforcing the law This feeds a vicious cycle of riots and police inaction that create a state of utter lawlessness. People flee Muslim occupied neighborhoods, devaluing real estate prices and the tax base withers. This requires a stronger national government to divert money from more secure areas to help fund the problem Muslim areas.

Every time Muslims riot, more money is poured on the problem in the form of social service centers, many of them run and funded by Muslims in order to stop radicalism. This money naturally goes to fund the very problems they're meant to stop. Since the problems are themselves inherent in Islam.

All this adds to the high cost of Islam. As the social problems of the Muslim world are exported to the West by way of immigration or terrorism, promoted by our dependence on fossil fuels and the dhimmi political correctness of cowed majorities in the West, the cost continues to skyrocket. And ultimately the final cost of Islam will be the destruction of the West, if the dread tide is not turned back first.

This article appeared on the Sultan Knish website http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ Contact Sultan Knish at sultanknish@yahoo.com.

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WHOSE VIEW OF ISLAM DO YOU TRUST: PA. PROFESSORS OR PA. POLICE?
Posted by LEL, March 16, 2009.
This article was written by Leonard Getz and Steve Feldman and it appeared February 26, 2009 in the Bulletin
www.thebulletin.us/articles/2009/02/26/commentary/op-eds/ doc49a68792942f3449669724.txt

Leonard Getz is national vice president of the Zionist Organization of America; Steve Feldman is the executive director of the Greater Philadelphia District of ZOA.

 

Which Pennsylvania institution do you think is doing the better job educating its students about Islam, West Chester University or the Municipal Police Officer Education & Training Commission?

The answer lies in a comparison between a conference West Chester University hosted recently called "Islam In America: Understanding Intercultural Differences" and a course the Commission is mandating for its law enforcement personnel, "Radical Islam: A Law Enforcement Primer."

The panelists chosen for the West Chester University program appear to have been plucked from a who's who of apologists for Islam.

There was Iftekhar Hussain, chairman of the Council on America Islamic Relations (CAIR) for Pennsylvania. The U.S. Department of Justice, labeled CAIR as part of a Hamas-affiliated conspiracy in the United States. "Since its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders," says Justice, "CAIR has conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists."

At the conference, Mr. Hussain portrayed CAIR and other like-minded groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Muslim American Freedom Foundation, Islamic Society of North America and Muslim Students Association as merely civil-rights or benign social organizations. When he was asked whether the terrorist-front group, the Holy Land Foundation, helped finance CAIR, Mr. Hussain dismissed the allegation as the amount was only $5,000. When he made the unsubstantiated claim that hate crimes against Muslims were increasing, but then told that the FBI found hate crimes against Muslims were actually decreasing, he called the FBI findings "lies."

Then there was Imam Hassan Qazwini. In the 1980s, just after the onset of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Qazwini immigrated to Iran with his family. In 1998, he founded the Young Muslim Association, aimed at educating Muslim American youth. He also heads a mosque that hosted avowed anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. When Minister Farrakhan called Jewish Americans "forces of evil" with a "Satanic mentality," Imam Qazwini and his congregants gave Minister Farrakhan a standing ovation. At the WCU conference, he described "jihad" as "the inner struggle one has to go through to be a better person ... not to gossip, not to steal, not to lie." He made no mention that radical Muslims understand "jihad" to mean Islamic revolution, and the motivating force behind Muslim terrorism. He claimed: "Over 99 percent of Muslims are peace-loving and law-abiding" when most experts say 10 percent are radical Islamists. At 120 million people, this is equal to about one-third of the population of the United States. Imam Qazwini is also reportedly a close associate of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, spiritual leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, which has murdered scores of Americans.

But if these special guests of West Chester University, (and its numerous co-sponsoring university groups) didn't show up, WCU could have relied on their in-house propagandists.

Dr. Lawrence Davidson, professor of history, teaches courses in modern Middle Eastern history and is the author of America's Palestine: Official and Popular Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood. In a January 2009 article in Counterpunch, Dr. Davidson defends the terrorist group Hamas, (a group that openly calls for the murder of Jews), and makes the patently false and hysterical claim that Israel (not Hamas) "has slowly turned the Gaza territory into a besieged ghetto "and accuses Israel of "committing crimes against humanity" without any evidence to support his scurrilous accusation. He offers not a word about Hamas stealing U.N. aid meant for the people of Gaza.

In the same article, Dr. Davidson puts forward other delusional ranting that causes not a stir among university officials, probably because it fits neatly into their agenda of teaching falsehoods about Israel. Dr. Davidson writes that the United Nations Security Council, which includes Libya, China and Russia "follow[s] the lead of their basically pro-Zionist governments," and that "resistance groups of Gaza had only their home made missiles to fight back offensively." The fact that the U.N. confirmed Gazans fired at Israeli civilians using Iranian supplied and Chinese-made Grad and Katyusha rockets (smuggled through Egypt) is immaterial. He, like the debunked Jimmy Carter, accuses Israel of being an apartheid society, despite the fact that 10 Arab Israelis serve in the Knesset, one Arab Israeli serves on its Supreme Court and several other Arab Israelis serve as diplomats and cabinet ministers. Not to mention Israeli Arabs and other minorities enjoy equal rights and have a higher standard of living than Arabs in other Middle Eastern lands.

At the conference, he asked and answered his own question: "Why were we attacked on 9/11? According to Bush, because Muslims hate our values." Of course, President Bush differentiated between the Muslim faith and radical Islam. But Dr. Davidson kept Mr. Bush's distinction a secret. Dr. Davidson openly admitted coercing his students to attend this one sided conference, saying "some of the students have been dragooned here — it's for your own good." Some faculty members dangled the carrot of extra credit in front of their students, making it difficult to choose not to attend.

Then there is Dr. William Leslie Hewitt, professor of history and graduate coordinator, who doesn't attempt to hide his contempt for America. At the conference he exclaimed: "There is "self-delusion" among Americans. We think of ourselves as a peaceful people" but do not use the term "genocide" to describe what Americans have done to, say, native Americans ... .Our historical approach is a violent one ... . When the U.S. invades a country, we call it 'offering democracy." No one offered an opposing view.

And let's not forget Dr. Helen Schroefper, assistant professor in the department of philosophy/religious studies who developed courses on Women and Religion, Religion in America, and Islam. What better candidate to whitewash Islam's violent tendencies toward women. She cited Quran Sura 4:34 which instructs men to "beat them [women] lightly," and spun it as a positive thing, saying "this is meant to limit violence against women, not encourage it, ... ." But the fact is "The Quran says the Husband should first verbally admonish her, next ground her to the bedroom like a child, and finally when all else fails, to beat her." See:
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-wife-beating-koran-4-34.htm

Perhaps out of professional courtesy, Dr. Davidson invited retired Penn State professor of Middle Eastern history Dr. Arthur Goldschmidt. Dr. Goldschmidt — who not surprisingly collaborated with Dr. Davidson on a book — made outlandish statements such as "militant Muslims only want people to respect them" ignoring the fact that militant Muslims pose a critical threat to Western society. He said: "I have a fairly positive attitude about the Muslim Brotherhood," a view shared by Osama Bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sayyid Qutb, the man who inspired the formation of al-Qaida. He claimed that "Muslims are more likely to suffer from war and violence than to initiate them" when in fact there are currently 17 conflicts or wars in the world begun by Muslims.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_in_the_Muslim_world#Modern_Wars

But the most insulting, self-servicing and laughable invective from Dr. Goldschmidt was in telling the students to beware of the works by Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer as these men are not scholars. It's understandable that Dr. Goldschmidt would steer his students away from Mr. Pipes and Mr. Spencer, as people like Dr. Goldschmidt are on their radar screen. Daniel Pipes' CampusWatch monitors distorted teachings about Islam on college campuses and Robert Spencer's latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs, describes institutions of higher learning like West Chester University, and professors like Dr. Goldschmidt and Dr. Davidson perfectly: "American universities have become propaganda centers not only for the anti-American Left, but for stealth Jihadists and their allies — the apologists who are dedicated to lulling Americans into believing there is no jihadist threat."

When the Zionist Organization of America suggested to WCU interim President Dr. Linda L. Lamwers that balance be added to the program, and offered to make recommendations prior to the opening of this conference, she shot us down, despite the fact that their announcement reads: "Don't Be Surprised If We Add Special Guests!" She justified her response to us in a letter with this gem:

"I do want to point out that West Chester University has proudly established a Holocaust and Genocide Education Center which has offered of a number of courses."

Either its Holocaust Center has failed to teach, or Dr. Lamwers has failed to learn that when Nazism first came on the scene it too was not taken seriously. But by the time its tyranny was finally understood, it was too late.

A more honest approach to the study of Islam occurs about 50 miles northwest of West Chester where the Municipal Police Officers Education & Training Commission offers a course to its law enforcement personnel to "illuminate the foundations of radical ideology known as Jihadism and make clear that "radical Islam poses an ominous and ever present threat to the West in general and to the United States and its allies in particular." The course was developed to "better understand the mindset, motivations and actions" of the various radical Islamic groups.

It is interesting to point out that while both the university and the Commission claim to present "an understanding" of Islam, it is the Commission's training course that discusses the verses in the Quran that call for the killing of non-believers, the abrogation of Jewish and Christian scriptures, and that Islam means "submission to the will of Allah." While the training course reiterates that most Muslims observe only the moderate teachings of Islam, the university doesn't even acknowledge the threat of radical Islam.

Contributors to the Commission's training course include Dr. Emir Caner, the dean of Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary and a former Muslim; Dr. Mark Gabriel, who has a doctorate in Islamic history and culture and is a former Muslim; Dr. Lawrence Goodson, a professor of Middle East Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College; and Dr. Walid Phares, a Senior Fellow and Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, born and raised in Lebanon.

Unlike West Chester University which promoted the white washing of the meaning of "Jihad," the Commission's training manual quotes Dr. Phares: "Jihad is not benign, and the West's denial of that fact is terribly ironic. The United States is paving the way for its own defeat by blurring its vision, confusing its mind and moderating its reactions to the early danger signs."

Where WCU allows Dr. Goldschmidt to give short shrift to the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Commission's training course clearly warns that the "Muslim Brotherhood is the operational organization that controls the Islamist movement and its ideology helped spawn various radical groups including Hamas." The course includes the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hasan Al Banna's article, "The Way of Jihad" which includes the following passage: "Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah as dead ... whosoever fights in the Cause of Allah and is killed is victorious."

The irony here is that one Commonwealth of Pennsylvania institution is training its police to protect people from an evil that another Commonwealth of Pennsylvania institution denies even exists. Go figure.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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BRITAIN CHANGES POLICY ON RADICAL ISLAM; WHY DOES NETANYAHU TURN LEFT?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 16, 2009.
 

BRITAIN CHANGES POLICY ON RADICAL ISLAM

According to Arab News, the BBC reports that Britain no longer will seek dialogue with radical Muslims. Instead, Britain will seek to isolate and challenge each one who preaches against tolerance and democracy (IMRA 2/23). What does "isolate and challenge" mean?

GENTILE NUMBERS THREATENING JEWISHNESS OF ISRAEL

Interior Min. Meir Sheetrit finds that Israel has a big problem. Hundreds of thousands of non-Jews have become citizens of Israel. This threatens the purpose of Israel, being a state for the Jewish people. Many have entered under abuses of the law of return, meant to succor Jews. Min. Sheetrit has formed a committee to review that law.

The law includes people with a Jewish grandparent who may not, themselves, be Jewish. The law includes people who converted to Judaism outside Israel. [How sincere is it, when Reform conversions can be easy?],

About 1 million illegal immigrants currently reside in Israel. Among them are tens of thousands of P.A. Arab women married to resident Israeli Bedouins,16,000 Arab women receiving Israeli welfare stipends while residing in Judea and Samaria, and 46,000 non-Jewish Ethiopians.

One suggested amendment would require immigrants to prove ties to the Jewish people, loyalty to Israel, and proficiency in Hebrew, before receiving citizenship. Another would limit the number of regional Arabs allowed into Israel through marriage to Israeli Arabs and employment as workers (Arutz-7, 2/23).

How come Israel pays welfare benefits to illegal female Arab aliens? How did non-Jewish Ethiopians get in, by accompanying Jewish relatives?

The amendments appear to be half-measures. They don't include measures such as extensive deportation and ending harmful subsidy. How come there is so much infiltration? Terrorists could infiltrate the same way.

WHAT DO ISRAELIS THINK OF THE CEASEFIRE?

Rockets and mortar shells are landing in Israel every day, now. 56% of Israelis believe that the government ended combat in Gaza prematurely, and should have finished off Hamas (Arutz-7, 2/23).

That means that a sizeable minority are satisfied with the premature ending that failed to attain national security. That doesn't make sense.

ON HAMAS-FATAH RECONCILIATION

Israel is not commenting about Hamas-Fatah P.A. negotiations to form a coalition regime. Israel is withholding judgment until it can tell which party gave in to the other. Will Hamas agree to negotiate with Israel, or will Fatah adopt the Hamas program of war without negotiated settlement?

I think Israel had better plan now to react immediately after a Hamas-P.A. decision, so as to have maximum effect in heading off unwise Western reactions.

Hamas may feign compromise, to give Europe and the US a pretext for subsidizing it. After Hamas will have used the money and the time to rearm, it then would be able to discard Fatah and turn Judea-Samaria into a terrorist base.

Will Israel plan its policy in advance? Probably not. Israeli governments rarely prepare. Worse, they join the rest of the free world in pretending a significant difference between Hamas and Fatah.

WHY DOES NETANYAHU TURN LEFT ON ARABS?

My Ultra-Orthodox friend in Israel speculates it may be due to: (1) US bribery. No evidence [but the US does subvert]; (2) Avoid being crushed by the leftist ruling class. To prevent that, he would have to swiftly democratize society; and (3) Secularist fear of religious domination. She goes into that.

[Many secular schools fail to teach safely, well, or much of substance and Jewish values.] Religious schools draw secularist students, but the secularist authorities obstruct them. Given democratic access to the media, the religious brought hundreds of thousands of Jews back to observance. Hence the government denied religious people broadcasting licenses. Those people set up "pirate" stations. The government claimed that those stations interfered with airport signals, and closed them. Inconsistently, the government scarcely closed Arab pirate stations. The government gives preference for Arabs to join the civil service, but not for the Ultra-Orthodox, disproportionately absent from it. Medical schools reject Ultra-Orthodox applicants for not having completed military service, but welcome the non-veteran Arabs with "affirmative" discrimination.

My friend translated Israel Eisler's interview with a religious politician. The politician observed that the state cuts funds for Ultra-Orthodox children but not for Arab students, who often cost more. [Most land and housing is owned or built by the State.] The Housing Ministry sets standards for the type of housing it permits, types that don't suit the Ultra-Orthodox, who need large dwellings and community life. It ordered that no Ultra-Orthodox housing be built in the Negev or in certain other places.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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JIHAD, K-12
Posted by Barbara Taverna, March 15, 2009.

When it comes to Islamic Saudi Academy textbooks, forget trust — just verify.

This was written by Nina Shea, the director of the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute. It appeared in National Review Online
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=
YWEzZjZhOTQyMzgzZWFhZTk1NGYwNjczZTJhMTc2ZGQ=

 

For years, the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, the Institute for Gulf Affairs, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and various Washington Post journalists have been documenting the fact that the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in northern Virginia — a school founded, funded, and controlled by the Saudi embassy — was teaching religious hatred and violence. More precisely, the Saudi Academy used Saudi Ministry of Education textbooks that sanction what is known in the United States as murder against Jews, adulterers, homosexuals, and converts from Islam, and that encourage Muslims to break various other American laws. The Saudi Academy is now putting out the word that its textbooks have been "revised." Should we declare victory and move on? Not so fast.

The Associated Press, which ran a story this week headlined "Saudi Academy in Virginia Revises Islamic History Books," relies on quotes from three individuals who give the academys new textbooks a Good Housekeeping seal of approval: Academy director Abdulrahman Alghofaili, Brown University visiting fellow Eleanor Doumato, and University of North Carolina anthropology professor Gregory Starrett. As AP makes clear, all three were paid by the Islamic Saudi Academy to review the textbooks.

A fourth commentator quoted in the AP report, Ali Ahmed, who is the president of the Gulf Institute and who is not funded by the Saudis, gives a somewhat different assessment. As the AP reporter paraphrases, "The revised texts now being used at ISA make some small improvements in tone. But he said it's clear from the books that the core ideology behind them — a puritanical strain of Islam known as Wahhabism that is dominant within Saudi Arabia — remains intact."

Ever since September 11, 2001, there has been a highly funded publicity campaign by the Saudi embassy to persuade Americans that the Academy's textbooks have been completely revised. Saudi ads in American political magazines, speeches by various Saudi ambassadors and foreign ministers before the Council on Foreign Relations, a national speaking tour by the Saudi ambassador — all have spoken along the lines one of those ambassadors, Turki al-Faisal, took when he told a Town Hall meeting in Los Angeles in 2006: "The Kingdom has reviewed all of its education practices and materials, and has removed any element that is inconsistent with the needs of a modern education. Not only have we eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old textbooks that were in our system, we have implemented a comprehensive internal revision and modernization plan." A number of prominent Americans — Charles Freeman, for example — have repeated such claims, despite our annual reports that show this is far from true.

At this point, forget trust; we must verify.

The AP story reports that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a large regional educational accrediting agency, was conducting a review of the Saudi Academy curriculum. Unfortunately the Association may not be up to the task. In 2005, it accredited the Academy, not knowing — since it did not have the capacity to translate the texts from Arabic — that the school countenanced religiously motivated killing. Although the accrediting association now says it has improved its procedures, it still relies on volunteers to do its inspections.

The State Department, which had been requested to sponsor a textbook review by Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.), the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, which oversees its budget, refused to get involved.

In the light of these institutional failures, the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, Mr. Ahmed, and outside expert translators are currently working on a thorough, independent review of the Academy's new textbooks, which will be released later this spring.

Readers may recall ["Teaching Terror"] that the Saudi curriculum has been blamed — including by a growing number of Saudi commentators — for helping to form the ideology underlying such jihadi terrorists as Osama bin Laden, the 11 Saudi members of the 9/11 hijacking team, the Saudi Gitmo detainees (who formed the largest contingent there, after persons from Afghanistan), the Saudi suicide bombers in Iraq (who formed the largest such foreign contingent), the Pakistani Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and its network of radical schools that trained the Mumbai terrorists ["Tread Softly"], and even a former valedictorian of the Saudi Academy itself, to name but a few.

What the Islamic Saudi Academy teaches is important. This Saudi government entity in our midst is now educating some 1,000 students and has said that its mission is to be "the premier educational institution" for the American Muslim community.

No less than our national security and way of life are at stake.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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EVER PRESENT JIHADIST DANGER
Posted by Lawrence Uniglicht, March 15, 2009.
 

Does bombing Iran's ever evolving nuclear infrastructure make sense? Presuming such a preemptive strike was somewhat successful, how then might Israel prevent her mortal enemy from purchasing fissile materials as well as rocket launchers and radar devices from a large variety of arms merchants lurking in the shadows; then launch missiles with mass destructive war heads at major cities such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, et al? The nuclear horse has already left the barn on this globally connected dysfunctional planet. Furthermore, there is no way to take out each and every Iranian missile silo, nuclear armed battle ship or submarine, nuclear armed suicide bomber, and so forth. If Israel strikes Iran first, Persian leaders will be forced to react and possibly inflict staggering amounts of damage on the Jewish homeland and her citizens.

The concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is the best way to deal with maniacal AhMADinejad and those manipulative mullahs pulling his strings. Much of Iran's despicable president's anti-Israeli rhetoric is designed to stir up Middle East tensions, cause oil dependent nations to panic believing supply routes are at risk, thus enabling the per barrel price of Iran's primary source of revenue to rise. As crazy as Iran's despotic government appears to be, it is not likely suicidal, more likely intent on stoking the fears of all those nations dependent on its abundant reservoirs of oil. Bibi Netanyahu ought to confront Iran's bluff, announce loudly to the world and in no uncertain terms that Israel is prepared to "wipe Iran off the map" and will do so if Israel's state of the art intelligence senses an impending attack originating within or without Iran's borders i.e. don't arm a terrorist or you will soon be cavorting about your Shiite paradise above the clouds in Allahland. Such a warning will be taken seriously, shake up the raging Persian mouthpiece and the true leaders of this religious dictatorship, suggest to them they've crossed the line in their game of chicken, force them to cease engaging in threatening behavior, do more to protect Israel's security than any risk-laden bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities.

A less obvious but likely more imminent threat to Israel resides in nuclear armed Pakistan; a nation infected by ever metastasizing Taliban and Al Qaeda jihadists virtually unopposed by an ever weakening pro-Western government and untrustworthy military. These radical Sunni terrorists are not nationalists, reside within diffuse areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and owe allegiance only to their demented misogynist perceptions of the Koran. Mutually Assured Destruction holds little sway with these madmen; their collective psychopathic nature less amenable to reasonable or threatening discourse than Iran's despotic rulers. Attacking Israel with weapons of mass destruction, more deadly than the 9/11 attack on America's Twin Towers and Pentagon, cannot be ruled out. The Obama Administration realizes how significant a threat these terrorists are to America including her allies, authorizes bombing missions into Pakistan with some regularity, will deploy significantly more boots on the ground in Afghanistan while reducing troop levels in Iraq, indeed understands the strategic advantage of directly monitoring activities within a stone's throw of Pakistan, provided he is not constrained by economic factors. It would indeed be wise for Israel to pay close attention to developments within this hostile asylum of anti-secular souls cerebrally stunted by aggressive anti-Semitic fundamentally warped values. Israel could surely offer intelligence assessments to the evolving United States juggernaut attempting to patrol the region, comprehending the imperialistic jihadist intent of Bin Laden and his crew no doubt a whole lot better than European allies with porous borders and a more tolerant nature for the intolerant ever plotting Muslim fundamentalist invaders filling their ghettos.

Other bastions of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism are emerging throughout the continents of Africa and parts of South America, not quite under the radar but with less exposure than deserved, at least within the Western media. Wherever there is turmoil, poverty, and brutality, Islamic jihadists have opportunities to disseminate their forces, make inroads, expand a network of cells, some independent some more centralized, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the infidel, building a planetary caliphate where Islamic fundamentalist men rule, women are virtually enslaved, and all follow the tenets of an intolerant sharia mandate. Israel, of course, is the ever present symbolic bogeyman in this scenario. The Jewish homeland, especially allied with the United States, must have eyes everywhere, must detect and combat all jihadist bases of operation, especially those with nuclear infrastructure. This is surely a monumental task. Quelling the Iranian and Pakistani threats are the most urgent but the list of concerns grows. Fortunately, BiBi Netanyahu and his realistic Administration will be steering Israel's ship of state. 'Captain my captain', prescient guidance is required!

Lawrence Uniglicht is a career civil servant. He advocates for the State of Israel with an American perspective. He writes, "Advocating for the disrespected underdog has been my passion, no doubt Israel falls into that category." Contact him by email at larose@snip.net

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FROM ISRAEL: WORRY AND REPRIEVE
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 15, 2009.
 

Worry? With regard to some of my concerns right now, this word is an understatement. Deep apprehension might better describe my state of mind. Near panic? Serious foreboding? You've got the picture.

And no where is this more the case than with my concerns about the US. I've been taking to heart the analyses of some serious and respected commentators who have left me quite troubled. The issue here is the financial stability of the country and the very real danger that the US might implode fiscally.

~~~~~~~~~~

In brief, the situation as described both by Michael Barone, a senior writer with US News and World Report, and Tony Blankley, a visiting senior fellow in National Security Communications at the Heritage Foundation, is this: What Obama is doing is tacking on to his fiscal recovery program enormously expensive, tax-guzzling projects that reflect his progressive-left agenda, but which threaten to bring the whole system down.

This is how Blankley describes it:

"But vastly more dangerous to the Obama presidency (and the nation) was his decision to go full steam ahead to immediately start to transform health care; fight carbon dioxide energy sources with new taxations that will increase the cost of all energy, goods and services; and increase new expensive education entitlements as part of a federalization of American education.

"It is this decision not to postpone those multi-year, multi-trillion-dollar programs until the economy and the financial system are revived that exposes Obama's presidency to a possible catastrophic meltdown in its first term.

"Obama not only is failing to focus more or less exclusively on protecting the financial system and the economy that depend on it but also is letting his ideological ardor drive him to expend both his own and his administration's attention, along with the vast new tax dollars, on those programs rather than on the financial and economic crises.

"Thus — and here is his political danger — if the financial system fails (and much of the economy along with it), it will be a fair, true and politically lethal charge against Obama that he didn't do all he could as soon as he could to protect us from the catastrophe."
http://townhall.com/columnists/TonyBlankley/2009/03/11/obama_ leverages_his_political_risk_in_first_50_days?page=full&comments=true
http://townhall.com:80/Columnists/MichaelBarone/2009/03/14/ criticism_shows_obama_is_losing_focus?page=full&comments=true

~~~~~~~~~~

I urge every single American reading this to ponder this material carefully, and then to respond before it is too late. An enormous outcry from within your nation is urgently needed.

This is not a question of political orientation. It is possible to be for universal health care, new educational entitlements, etc., and still understand that the poor state of the nation's economy will not tolerate support of these programs at present.

Barone points out that Franklin Roosevelt did not institute the New Deal until he had worked for two years to bring increased strength to the economy. Contrast this with the comment of Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, who said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste" — implying that the fiscal crisis and ensuing legislation will provide the opportunity for getting new programs passed.

America, you are in trouble.

~~~~~~~~~~

Word on whether there will be a prisoner trade for Shalit is still out.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, in Cairo this afternoon, told AP that Olmert's actions in sending Dekel and Diskin to negotiate was nothing more than a bargaining tactic. "We have not received anything new. We will not change our position."

However, the Egyptians have summoned Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas politburo in Damascus, and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad, to Cairo. This is reportedly so that there can be work on the issues surrounding Palestinian unity negotiations.

But the timing made it clear that the Shalit issue was also on the agenda for Mashaal. And indeed, a Palestinian source cited by YNet confirmed this, saying that only small issues (how do we define small?) separate Israel and Hamas at this point, but that a deal would not be finalized in the next few days.

My own take is that the issue will be resolved by the Cabinet (and perhaps the Security Cabinet). Either it will cave on this issue, and accede to Hamas demands — which is certainly possible — or they will not. I know that at least until very recently there were prisoners on the list submitted by Hamas that were not acceptable even to very concession-minded members of the government; another issue of contention is Israel's insistence that the more dangerous or notorious of the prisoners who would be released had to be deported — something Hamas objected to. But with all this, there is that pressure I wrote about yesterday, and the feeling that it's now or never because Netanyahu's take will be different.

Yet, according to an Olmert confidante speaking on Channel 10 today, "We will be surprised if a deal to release Gilad Shalit is effected in the coming days." Those close to Olmert were said to not be optimistic that efforts would yield success before his term ended.

~~~~~~~~~~

And tonight it's looking a bit better regarding how soon Olmert will be vacating the position of prime minister. Yesterday I reported that Netanyahu had thought he might have to request a two-week extension to cobble together his coalition. But a lot has happened since then.

This morning there were reports of unofficial feelers going out to Livni again, regarding formation of a unity government. This time — even though the prospect definitely did not go down well — I understood. Netanyahu was tired of dealing with right wing parties who thought they could demand the maximum, making formation of that government very problematic.

Should Livni have come on board, she would have been given the Foreign Ministry and would have demanded a rotation of the prime minister's position — something Netanyahu was definitely not keen on.

There was, therefore, some speculation that these feelers were a negotiating gambit to deliver a warning to the right wing, so that they would not think they had him over a barrel. This now seems to be the case, as there are reports that an agreement with Yisrael Beitenu is imminent.

Let us hope so.

~~~~~~~~~~

It appears that negotiations between Hamas and Fatah for forming a unity government have failed. Just about every issue on the books remained a source of contention without resolution:

There was Fatah's failure to release all Hamas detainees in its prisons. And there continued to be a dispute over the reforming of the PLO, which Fatah now controls and Hamas would like to control. And there was the issue of elections — with Hamas saying presidential elections had to be now and Fatah saying not until next year when the legislature is elected.

If all of this has a deja vu feeling about it for you, you're not wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~

But the really big issue, said Hamas, was the Fatah demand that it accept previous agreements with Israel and recognize Israel's right to exist. And this is one place where the dynamic is fascinating.

Hamas negotiator Salah Bardaweel said that this demand was Fatah's "way of foiling talks," for they were setting "impossible conditions." (Note once again that Hamas is up-front about its policies.)

"Unless the Egyptian hosts exert pressure on Fatah to change its position, there is no point in continuing the talks," declared Bardaweel.

~~~~~~~~~~

Another Hamas official blamed the US for the failure of the talks. For during negotiations Fatah revealed that they had been warned by the US that they will not deal with any government that does not accept the three Quartet conditions.

Said this official: "Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas have succumbed to American pressure once again." This is true, because Abbas knows on which side his bread is buttered. This dynamic explains the shift in Abbas's position, for I had been observing for some time that Abbas was not making demands of Hamas regarding recognition of Israel.

But then the official made a statement that was essentially erroneous: "The Americans don't want to see the Palestinians reunited." The Americans want this very much, on their terms, so that there can be peace negotiations and everyone can live happily ever after.

What the Americans have yet to learn is that they cannot manipulate events in the Middle East to their liking and that attempts often backfire.

~~~~~~~~~~

Adm. Mike Mullen gave an interview on the Charlie Rose show the other day that merits attention. Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi is in Washington right now, and Mullen said with regard to him:

"I've been with my Israeli counterpart a number of times and, by and large, we see it the same way... We are in agreement and have been for the better part of six months or so. There was a time that we weren't, but we've actually worked pretty hard to understand where we both are, so I think that generally we're in agreement. But the Israelis for sure believe that the Iranians are on a path and are going to develop nuclear weapons."

Interesting...

Mullen indicated concern about the destabilization of the area, and the risk to US troops, that would occur with an Israeli attack on Iran.

However, with regard to a US attack on Iran, he said:

"We have the capacity to do it but we are stretched. My ground forces are very stressed, very worn... On the other hand we've got a very strong strategic reserve in our Air Force and in our Navy and in fact that's a part of the world, it's a maritime part of the world, where the emphasis would certainly be on those two forces. And it's not like the Navy and the Air Force haven't been working hard at what we've doing but there's plenty of capacity there."

Does this suggest the possibility of this happening? Don't know. I do believe that the Americans are more likely to go for it if they're afraid that we're going to go it alone and cause "destabilization."

See a video of Mullen's interview at:
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10142 (move to minute 32 of the video)

~~~~~~~~~~

According to a NY Times analysis:

"The Israelis have seized on the Iranian milestone [UN confirmation that Iran had collected enough nuclear material to produce a bomb] to redouble pressure on the United States for a tougher stance against Iran and to remind the new American president that their patience has a limit. In fact, Israeli officials have quietly been delivering the message that the diplomacy Barack Obama wants to start with Iran should begin promptly — and be over quickly."

Added the Times:

"Mr. Obama's top aides suspect that Netanyahu, Israel's likely next prime minister, will not risk acting alone. It would undercut his relationship with his most important ally before that relationship really gets going. But that's a guess."

I would call it a very bad guess. Obama's people, and I would guess many others, do not understand how seriously Israelis take this existential threat. From my perspective the notion of putting our relationship with Obama ahead of eliminating that threat is nothing if not ludicrous.

Most reassuring was the statement that Jeffrey G. Lewis, a nuclear specialist at the New America Foundation, in Washington, gave to the Times:

"In the race between an Iranian bomb and bombing Iran, we would win. We would cave in the roof before they got a bomb's worth of material."

I would like to believe he's right.

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

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EVANGELICALS FOR ZIONISM; WHY IS POLLARD STILL IN JAIL?
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 15, 2009.
 

"PROPORTIONALITY' IN GAZA COMBAT?

The UNO did nothing to stop Hamas from aggression against Israel. Then it condemned Israel for dealing with Hamas on its own. Ruthe Wisse levels deserved sarcasm at the "world's" misuse of the term, "proportionality." The world expected Israel to use the same force against Hamas as Hamas used against it. In the vein of her commentary, since Hamas fired 8,000 rockets at Israel, that would mean that Israel should have fired 8,000 rockets at Gaza.

She added that if Israel really had to fight "proportionally," then Israel would have: (1) Spent 60 years denying that the Arabs had any territorial rights, rather than giving up more land than Israel's square mileage; (2) Sought UNO resolutions condemning Arab ideology as racism and denounced the Arabs as interlopers [which I think would have been justifiable]; (3) Taught domestically and abroad a hatred of Arabs and other Muslims; [I think it should teach that their jihadist ideology makes them an enemy] (4) Trained suicide bombers against Muslims and mutilated the bodies of slain Muslims. [Why not bury them with pigskin, so they disqualify for heaven, and fewer would attack?]; (5) Declared Jerusalem, like Mecca, a city exclusively for one religion, its own; (6) Arrest, demonstrate against, or assassinate critics; (7) Blame all its troubles on the Arab Muslims, the way Muslims on Western campuses blame all the Palestinian Arabs' troubles on Zionism. Indeed, false anti-Israel propaganda is loud, everywhere, and disproportionate. Wisse shows jihad worse than I had realized.

EVANGELICALS FOR ZIONISM

Liberal Jews are suspicious about Evangelical support for Israel. They are put off by the Christian theory that the second coming of their savior requires the Jews to return to Israel for conversion or death. People with more sense of humor suggest crossing that bridge when we come to it and meanwhile accepting Evangelical political support.

[Some Evangelicals are not pro-Israel]. Evangelicals, however, have a stronger Biblical reason for supporting Zionism. The Bible quotes God promising the land to the Hebrews. Evangelicals have no ulterior motive in that.

Jews have dialogues with all sorts of groups. Why not with Evangelicals, on Zionism? (Jonathan Gurwitz, Commentary, 3/2009, p.67.)

Why haven't liberal Jews expressed suspicion about liberal Christian antipathy towards Israel? I think of their negligence about that, when I hear them express great fear about the religious Right. I answer by expressing fear abut the religious and irreligious Left. The Left being more influential, and increasingly allying itself with jihad against the Jews, my fear is more germane.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DIPLOMACY

The IAEA issued reports about nuclear development in Iran and Syria. Iran keeps enriching nuclear material in violation of a Security Council resolution. Material found on the site of the bombed nuclear reactor in Syria, was nuclear and not, as Syria claims, from Israeli bombs (IMRA, 2/22).

Those countries that operate secretly and against the law are the ones with which the US, in its conceit, thinks it can reach fruitful agreement not to do such things and to become friendly with us. Not probable.

The US recently admitted that Iran has sufficient material for a nuclear weapon, just has to enrich it. Iran is enriching it. It keeps adding centrifuges faster than intelligence experts identify the fact. Now how much credence does last year's CIA report have, that Iran is years away from nuclear weapons? How did Iran get that capability? Was it all from Pakistani proliferation? I recall that Muslims states, including Iraq and Iran, had thousands of students at American universities, studying technical subjects. Were where our watchdogs? They still don't bar foreign Muslims.

Commentary magazine remarked about the Democrats' charge that Pres. Bush had politicized federal agencies. He did do that to environmental agencies. The magazine pointed out, however, that the CIA [and State Dept.] was political and subversive against his policies. Why didn't and don't the Democrats complain about that? Because such subversion accords with their ideology?

As the magazine writer put it, too bad Pres. Bush did not have the courage to purge his agencies of subversives who sabotaged his policy by lying about Iran's capability, etc.! I oppose subversion regardless of whom it is for.

WHY IS POLLARD STILL IN JAIL?

His information is too old for him to be a security risk. His relatively minor crime has been punished several times over, by excessive sentence. Dennis Ross admitted one main, real reason. As he had recommended to Pres. Clinton, Pollard is kept in prison as a bargaining chip with Israel. Another is because high officials do not like the so-called special relationship between the US and Israel, so they keep grating it with the Pollard case (IMRA, 2/22).

Subversion again, as there was subversion in the denial and falsification of intelligence the US had promised Israel! Ross and Clinton, if not also their successors, deliberately kept a political prisoner for bargaining chips. How disgraceful! As for Pres. Bush and Obama, they will have released some terrorists, but they keep imprisoned the man who stopped some terrorism.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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PURIMFEST 2009!
Posted by Ron Mossad, March 14, 2009.

[Editor's Note: Hebrew quotes in the original text are not reproduced.]

 

The whole world is against us, nevermind we'll overcome Saturday, March 14, 2009 Purimfest!

This week was one of my favorite Jewish holidays of the year — and not just because of the rabbinic decree to dress up in costumes and drink yourself into oblivion (although that is a consideration). That's right boys and girls I'm talking about Purim, one of the few great post-King Solomon stories of Jewish triumph. Without going into too many details of Esther's Megillah, I'll give a brief summary of the story:

The Jews are exiled all across the world. A new Persian king, Achashverosh (you may know him better as Xerxes, of 300 fame) comes to power and throws a big party during which he wants to show off his gorgeous wife Vashti by having her dance naked in front of his disgusting princes and ministers. She refuses in one of the first acts of feminism in recorded history. Naturally her drunk, Iranian husband has her killed...and immediately regrets it. He ends up choosing a new wife, Esther — who's cousin Mordechai orders her not to tell her new husband that she's in fact Jewish, lest he divorce her at the thought of having the entire Persian treasury spent on nosejobs and Sak's Fifth Avenue. Mordechai then spends his days sitting at the entrance to the king's palace waiting for word from his cousin. One day he overhears a plot to kill Mr. Xerxes and in one of the first acts of Jewish assistance to their gentile rulers, warns and saves the king so he can go on to kill the Spartans and overrun Greece. Naturally, this act goes unrewarded and instead the Jews are targeted for stereotyping and oppression.

Enter the villain, Haman. The king's new hotshot prime minister is so full of himself that he has everyone bowing down to him on penalty of death. The only man who doesn't do it is Mordechai, in one of the first (and last) acts of Jewish resistance in recorded history. Naturally his arrogant, Iranian persecutor decrees that all Jews must die on the same day as a result. He decides to leave it up to the gods for when this day will occur so he spins a wheel with all the dates of the year on it and picks whichever date it lands on. After being miserable for a few days, Mordechai realizes that destiny has handed him the ultimate trump card. The king's new wife is not only Jewish but she's Mordechai's cousin! Mordechai now has a direct link to the throne — he convinces Esther that she was placed into her position as queen by fate specifically for this reason and she must fulfill her destiny of saving the Jews.

Esther invites the king and Haman to a party just for a three of them and tells Xerxes that Haman plans to kill her. Xerxes storms out of the room to compose himself and Haman begs and pleads with Esther not to have him killed. He throws himself at her feet — just as Xerxes walks back into the room and in a rare (for the Bible) and hilarious misunderstanding assumes he is trying to put the moves on his wife while he is in the house! The ultimate in disrespect!

Xerxes is not amused

Haman is executed — hanged on the same gallows he had built for Mordechai. The Jews are allowed to defend themselves from their Persian attackers and have parties of their own to celebrate. Mordechai is named prime minister instead of Haman (and in true gangster fashion moves into the deposed man's house), Haman's 10 sons are hanged from the same gallows as their father and Xerxes goes to the Greek isle of Ahnus to launch his war against Sparta. All live happily ever after. Except for Leonidus of course.

The holiday is named named "Purim" because it is the ancient Hebrew word for "lotteries" which is how Haman decided which day to exterminate the Jews.

So great story — but is there any real relevance for us today? Well aside from the fact that here we are thousands of years later being threatened by yet another Persian loudmouth there are a few passages which are brought up in this story that speak volumes about Jewish history and culture. For example when Haman is expressing to the king his desire to destroy the Jews he describes them as follows:

There is one nation, which is scattered and spread amongst all others, in all the lands you rule. And their views/religious beliefs are different from all others. They refuse to do the will of the king and there is no reason for you to tolerate their existence.

Wow.

Could there be a better description for the way the rest of the world has viewed the Jews for thousands of years? Could there be a better description for the way we Jews have viewed OURSELVES for thousands of years?! And furthermore, later in the story when the Jews come out on top, the narrator describes it in the following way:

On the day in which the enemies of the Jews had chosen to rule over them...it was the opposite as the Jews ruled over those who hated them.

Even then it was considered "opposite day" when the downtrodden, exiled Jews exacted vengeance over their would-be murderers. It is no surprise then that when 10 of the worst perpetrators of the Holocaust were hanged in Nuremberg after the war was over, the subject of Purim came up. The last man to be brought up to the gallows, Julius Streicher made quite a spectacle by screaming "PurimFest 1946!" to the room. What makes it even more interesting (aside from the coincidence of 10 Nazi executions to go with Haman's 10 children) is that the Nuremberg hangings occurred about six months before Purim and there was no reason for Streicher to declare that day as "Purimfest."

Or was there?

Many rabbinic interpreters have pointed to the similarities between the 10 literal sons of Haman and the 10 ideological sons of Hitler. All sought to destroy the Jews. And what makes it even creepier was that there were supposed to be 11 Nazis executed on that day but Hermann Goring (who often dressed as a woman) killed himself by swallowing a cyanide capsule earlier in the day. While it's not in the megillah itself, there is a rabbinic tradition that Haman had a daughter...who committed suicide. Could it be that these 11 murderers were in fact somehow connected to Haman's children? Maybe reincarnations of them? It sounds like something more suited for Halloween than Purim (both holidays also involve costumes by the way).

I have a different interpretation than the rabbis — although I have to admit that's a lot of coincidences and if nothing else, does make a pretty excellent ghost story. Streicher was a master propagandist and expert on Jewish history and culture. It is also extremely likely he was also an admirer of Haman and knew the story of Purim well. So it is only natural that a man who sought the destruction of a people who had historically almost never come out on top of their enemies would think of the Jewish story whose theme was "opposites" on the biggest opposite day of his entire life.

In reality — the only other "opposite days" the Jewish people have had since that Purim were the story of Chanuka (when the Jews defeated the Greeks) and the foundation of the state of Israel (when the Jews defeated an seven Arab nations at the same time). Although one could argue that everyday that Israel exists is another miraculous opposite day that without a doubt drives our current oppressors insane in much the same way that Mordechai's lack of respect for Haman drove him insane.

Here's hoping that we will again soon see a victorious nation of Israel and another Persian oppressor put to the gallows.

Here's to Purimfest 2009...

This comes from Ron Mossad's website
http://ronmossad.blogspot.com/2009/03/purimfest.html. It is on the connection between Haman, the Nazis and our current Persian oppressors.

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FROM ISRAEL: AS A NEW WEEK BEGINS
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 14, 2009.
 

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat)

The traditional greeting at the end of Shabbat is "Shavua tov" — have a good week. And dearly do I wish for all of us a good week. But as I look at the news I have more than a little ambivalence.

~~~~~~~~~~

Big news here (which may come to nothing) is that Ofer Dekel, chief negotiator on the release of Shalit, and Yuval Diskin, head of Shin Bet, have been sent to Cairo by Olmert for last ditch negotiations on Shalit before a new government takes over. With the Shalit family in a protest tent this past week, pressure has been growing to secure a final deal. They will remain in Cairo until tomorrow night, and will return to report any progress to the Cabinet, which would be called into special session on Monday.

There is such a hullabaloo with regard to Olmert's obligation to secure the release of our kidnapped soldier, that it's difficult for me to tell whether I'm in the minority in opposing what is being projected: the trade of Shalit for hundreds of terrorists who have taken many Jewish lives and would undoubtedly work towards that end again if freed. I shudder at the prospect.

While Olmert is thinking about becoming a hero at the last minute, I am thinking ahead to what this projected deal means:

There is an issue of justice: The urgent necessity to hold those who kill our people accountable and make them pay for their deeds. There is enormous compassion for the pain of the Shalit family, but what of the disregard for the pain of the families who lost members to these terrorists, and the ultimate insult of letting the murderers of their loved ones go free? This is also essential so that potential terrorists understand what would be facing them if caught and are disabused of the notion that they would be freed in a trade.

And there is the risk posed to others in several regards — the soldiers who would be at risk of kidnapping so that the release of additional terrorist prisoners might be secured, and the ordinary Jews living here would be at increased risk of terrorist attack.

The price is not acceptable.

~~~~~~~~~~

And I think of something else, as well: We are supposed to have just "won" a war with Hamas. This is what is necessary following a victory? Does this not make fools of us?

We stopped too soon. That much is clear. And we failed to sufficiently weaken them. We should be setting terms, and this is not what is happening.

We indeed should secure Shalit's release; he deserves this from us, but in ways other than what is now under consideration.

~~~~~~~~~~

More on Hamas.

According to a Reuters report, the US, the UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway have just signed on to an agreement to try to stop smuggling of weapons into Gaza. They have devised an anti-smuggling policy which would include interception at sea, information sharing and diplomatic pressure, declaring that they will "take action, to the extent that national legal authorities permit and consistent with international law, to support interdiction efforts."

Hamas's reaction, as might be expected, has been one of anger. They accuse these nations of "canceling our right to resistance." According to Arutz Sheva, "Hamas leaders claimed that international law allows them to smuggle weapons, which are then used against Israeli civilians, as a means of 'resisting the occupation.'"

I give Hamas leaders credit for one thing: they are honest in their intentions and don't endorse subterfuge. If we listen to their words, we know where they stand.

~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately, not everyone listens.

According to the Boston Globe, Economic Recovery Adviser Paul Volcker, former national security advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, and six others have signed a letter to the president calling on him to talk with Hamas in order to coax them to disarm and join the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

The other members of this group are former Republican senators Chuck Hagel and Nancy Kasselbaum Baker, former House International Relations Committee chairman Lee Hamilton, former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, former United Nations ambassador Thomas Pickering, former US trade representative Carla Hills and former special counsel to President John F. Kennedy Theodore Sorensen. The full contents of the letter have yet to be made public.

I ask you (rhetorically, of course): Where are their heads, that they can even suggest "coaxing" Hamas to disarm?

Anyone who suggests this likely has not the remotest concept of the revolutionary Jihadist ideology espoused by Hamas. To stop trying to destroy Israel would be for Hamas to surrender its raison d'etre. Would that more people understood this.

Or perhaps these particular letter writers really do understand Hamas ideology, but don't particularly care, and are using this as a lead-in to the ultimate suggestion that Hamas be embraced with eyes averted.

Either way, beware.

Reportedly, the White House has said they will be given an opportunity to make their case with the president.

~~~~~~~~~~

In phone calls yesterday to leaders in the Philippines, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, President Obama has declared that he will forge new ties with Muslims.

But he's not yet at the place of embracing Hamas. Recently, Great Britain began outreach to Hezbollah, and now a top US official has said that the Obama administration is not in favor of this. The reasoning is worth noting:

A State Department official said that while the Obama administration is ready to meet with regimes such as those of Syria and Iran, which support terrorism, their governments might be swayed on the basis of national interests, while terrorist organizations have a single agenda. Hezbollah and Hamas are both listed as terror organizations in the US.

~~~~~~~~~~

A coalition agreement has still not been signed between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. Seems Lieberman is playing his hand for all it's worth. Some of his demands — e.g., civil marriage — are unacceptable to religious groups slated to also join the coalition and compromises must be worked out.

There is still time, but it is scant, and there is now the possibility that Netanyahu will request of the president a two-week extension for completing negotiations.

This is distressing first because it signals a coalition that will not come together smoothly at a time when stability in government is urgently needed, and then because we need very badly to be done with the Olmert administration.

There are rumors — just unsubstantiated rumors that I am hoping carry no weight — that Barak might reconsider joining the coalition now that Friedmann, to whom Labor objected, will not be Justice Minister. This would likely place Barak as Defense Minister again, and it is Yaalon who would be best in this position. Along with these rumors are reports that other members of the Labor faction are still adamantly opposed to joining the coalition.

None of this is a done-deal until it's over. Let that be soon.

~~~~~~~~~~

IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi is in Washington this weekend. Iran is high on the agenda in meetings, and, if truth be told, the issue of Iran trumps all the rest in importance.

Just days ago, US Intelligence Director Dennis Blair indicated that it would be "difficult" to get Iran to give up nuclear efforts via diplomatic efforts. (Is Obama listening?) They might reign in their nuclear development, he said, via "credible" incentives and "threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures," but "it is difficult to specify what such a combination might be."

What is more, this would not indicate a change of Iranian heart, so much as a response to a particular set of circumstances, and efforts might resume at any time.

~~~~~~~~~~

Can I avoid mentioning this? It is an uncomfortable, but very public subject: That of the indictment, at last, of former president Moshe Katzav on sexual charges that include rape. This entire process has not been one of the prouder moments for the legal/justice system of our country, for the matter has dragged on altogether too long and with too much vacillation. The issue at hand was whether the witnesses were truly reliable and whether the charges should include rape. The public has been left with the uncomfortable impression that what should have been irrelevant side issues helped to shape the final charges.

Katsav, who has been prone, during the unfolding of this process, to furious responses that border on the hysterical, called a press conference Thursday night that went on for 2-1/2 hours. During this time he blasted law enforcement officials, the attorney general, the witnesses, and others involved. Sadly, while it is credible to believe that he has reason for anger, this behavior does not serve his cause well.

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

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EASIER TO PRESSURE THE REASONABLE SIDE
Posted by Truth Provider, March 14, 2009.

"Almost invariably, Israel is the loser — because Israel is the party most dependent on the United States, most subject to US pressure and most susceptible to the inevitable chorus of received wisdom from Western diplomats, media and the intelligentsia demanding concessions. When pressure must be applied to make compromises, it's always easier to pressure the more reasonable side." J.B.

Dear friends,

Do not come to me in a year or so to tell me I was right. I know I was and I know I am.

Your Truth Provider,

Yuval

The article below is called "Team Obama's Anti-Israel Turn" and was written by John Bolton. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton is an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow. This was published in the New York Post
www.nypost.com/seven/03132009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/team _obamas_anti_israel_turn_159276.htm?page=0

 

THE Obama administration is increasingly fixed on resolving the "Arab-Is raeli dispute," seeing it as the key to peace and stability in the Middle East. This is bad news for Israel — and for America.

In its purest form, this theory holds that, once Israel and its neighbors come to terms, all other regional conflicts can be duly resolved: Iran's nuclear-weapons program, fanatical anti-Western terrorism, Islam's Sunni-Shiite schism, Arab-Persian ethnic tensions.

Some advocates believe substantively that the overwhelming bulk of other Middle Eastern grievances, wholly or partly, stem from Israel's founding and continued existence. Others see it in process terms — how to "sequence" dispute resolutions, so that Arab-Israeli progress facilitates progress elsewhere.

Pursuing this talisman has long characterized many European leaders and their soulmates on the American left. The Mideast "peace process" is thus the ultimate self-licking ice cream cone — its mere existence being its basic justification.

And now the Obama administration has made it US policy. This is evidenced by two key developments: the appointment of former Sen. George Mitchell as special envoy for the region, and Secretary of State Hillary's Clinton's recent insistence on a "two-state solution" sooner rather than later.

Naming Mitchell as a high-level, single-issue envoy — rather than keeping the portfolio under Secretary Clinton's personal control — separates Israel from the broader conduct of US diplomacy. Mitchell's role underlines both the issue's priority in the president's eyes and the implicit idea it can be solved in the foreseeable future.

Obama and Mitchell have every incentive to strike a Middle East deal — both to vindicate themselves and, in their minds, to create a basis for further "progress." But there are few visible incentives for any particular substantive outcome — which is very troubling for Israel, since Mitchell's mission essentially replicates in high-profile form exactly the approach the State Department has followed for decades.

When appointed, Mitchell said confidently: "Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings." This is true, however, only if the conflict's substantive resolution is less important than the process point of "ending" it one way or another. Surrender, for example, is a guaranteed way to end conflict.

Here, Clinton's strident insistence on a "two-state solution" during her recent Mideast trip becomes important. She essentially argued predestination: the "inevitability" of moving toward two states is "inescapable," and "there is no time to waste." The political consequence is clear: Since the outcome is inevitable and time is short, there is no excuse for not making "progress." Delay is evidence of obstructionism and failure — something President Obama can't tolerate, for the sake of his policies and his political reputation.

In this very European view, failure on the Arab-Israeli front presages failure elsewhere. Accordingly, the Obama adminstration has created a negotiating dynamic that puts increasing pressure on Israel, Palestinians, Syria and others.

Almost invariably, Israel is the loser — because Israel is the party most dependent on the United States, most subject to US pressure and most susceptible to the inevitable chorus of received wisdom from Western diplomats, media and the intelligentsia demanding concessions. When pressure must be applied to make compromises, it's always easier to pressure the more reasonable side.

How will diplomatic pressure work to change Hamas or Hezbollah, where even military force has so far failed? If anything, one can predict coming pressure on Israel to acknowledge the legitimacy of these two terrorist groups, and to negotiate with them as equals (albeit perhaps under some artful camouflage). The pattern is so common that its reappearance in the Mitchell-led negotiations is what is really "inevitable" and "inescapable."

Why would America subject a close ally to this dynamic, playing with the security of an unvarying supporter in world affairs? For America, Israel's intelligence-sharing, military cooperation and significant bilateral economic ties, among many others, are important national-security assets that should not lightly be put at risk.

The only understandable answer is that the Obama administration believes that Israel is as much or more of a problem as it is an ally, at least until Israel's disagreements with its neighbors are resolved. Instead of seeing Israel as a national-security asset, the administration likely sees a relationship complicating its broader policy of diplomatic "outreach."

No one will say so publicly, but this is the root cause of Obama's "Arab-Israeli issues first" approach to the region.

This approach is exactly backward. All the other regional problems would still exist even if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got his fondest wish and Israel disappeared from the map: Iran's nuclear-weapons program, its role as the world's central banker for terrorism, the Sunni-Shiite conflict within Islam, Sunni terrorist groups like al Qaeda and other regional ethnic, national and political animosities would continue as threats and risks for decades to come.

Instead, the US focus should be on Iran and the manifold threats it poses to Israel, to Arab states friendly to Washington and to the United States itself — but that is not to be.

President Obama argues that he will deal comprehensively with the entire region. Rhetoric is certainly his specialty, but in the Middle East rhetoric only lasts so long. Performance is the real measure — and the administration's performance to date points in only one direction: pressuring Israel while wooing Iran.

Others in the world — friend and foe alike — will draw their own conclusions.

Yuval Zaliouk writes the Truth Provider columns. To subscribe, send an email to ynz@netvision.net.il

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COMBINATIONS
Posted by Fred Reifenberg, March 14, 2009.
 

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il and visit
http://fred343-enjoy.blogspot.com/ to see other examples of his graphic art.

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TALL SHIPS, NETANYAHU & AMERICA
Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, March 14, 2009.
 

It was a moment in time never to be forgotten...July 4, 1976.

I was watching those spectacular tall sailing ships from numerous countries passing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn in salute to America's two hundredth birthday. Tears of pride were in many of our eyes that day.

I was there with my best friend Arie, who is from Israel and — at almost the very same moment that those tall ships were sailing by — something else was happening which would link Israel and America together in many a mind forever after.

In the night before and the early morning hours of July 4, 1976, Israel launched Operation Thunderball aka Operation Thunderbolt aka...

Operation Entebbe.

On June 27th, Air France Flight 139 was hijacked by Arabs and European soul mates. The plane was taken to Idi Amin's Uganda, where the hijackers were met with open arms.

The passengers were soon asked to form two lines — one for Jews, the other for Gentiles. Most of the latter were freed, the Jews became Idi Amin's "guests." Amin's buddies next announced that the Jews would be killed if demands were not met.

I won't prolong this now...it's an amazingly true story which sired several movies and so forth. Look it up on the Internet, rent one of the movies, or whatever.

But, what you need to know, is that on July 4, 1976, Israel raided Entebbe, freed the hostages, and showed the world that it was possible to defeat terror...a lesson some still need to learn today. It was a wonderful present commemorating America's own liberty as well.

There was one Israeli combat fatality.

Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, of Israel's elite Sayeret Matkal, had commanded the strike force and was killed by a Ugandan soldier.

Yoni was a Dean's List Harvard scholar who returned to Israel to resume his combat officer role during the stressful years leading up to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He was a remarkable human being — both a man of the world as well as a true son of Zion reborn.

When my own son was born (G_d bless), we named his first name Jonathan, in honor of King Saul's son, Prince Yonatan — King David's closest friend — and Yoni Netanyahu.

Today, the mainstream media would portray Yoni as a right wing extremist. Just look at how most of it has dealt with Israel going after the non-stop terror machine and its willing supporters in Gaza.

Any Jew who refuses to stick his head in the sand regarding what the Arabs' true intentions are regarding the Jew of the Nations is branded this way.

That brings me to another Netanyahu — Binyamin (there's no "J" in the original Hebrew )...Bibi.

Unlike too many other Israeli leaders who feel that they have to prostrate themselves and resume a ghetto Jew stance while begging the Gentile world just to survive, this Netanyahu also refuses to fit into that pathetic mold...as does the man he's likely to form a coaltion government with, Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu's main opponent, Tzipi Livni, was too comfortable with ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The latter's non-stop, suicidal demands (which her boss had to approve) were an abomination in light of what Israel really faces regarding either the Foggy Folks's alleged good cops of Abbas or the bad cops of Hamas. The latter are merely more honest in their murderous intent.

Bibi knows this...

And, G_d willing, this time he'll have the will to resist even more powerful turns of the screw which will probably be coming in American President Obama's new administration.

Resuming his earlier role as Prime Minister, Netanyahu has promised to renew both the Jewish and Zionist spirit — something lacking in recent Israeli leadership.

Such "attitude" scares folks like the New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, NBC, BBC, and others of their ilk.

For them, Netanyahu and Lieberman are right wing, racist hardliners because they refuse to bare the necks of Jewish kids to either the Palestinian Arab Authority's Fatah or Hamas — neither of which show Israel on a map or in their own kids' textbooks while raising those children on nothing but pure Jew-hatred. And they're really extremist because the refusey to have Israel return to its '49 armistice line — not border — nine-mile wide, rump state status. I travel three times that distance to go to work.

Arabs claim twenty-one states to date in their Arab League, on over six million square miles of territory, forcibly Arabized from mostly non-Arab peoples (with Abbas's PLO having observer status as the 22nd in waiting), but how dare Jews claim a sole, miniscule, resurrected one of their own — practically invisible on a world map.

On July 4, 1976, Yonatan Netanyahu, of blessed memory, re-sent America and the entire world a message that Jews have been delivering for thousands of years.

Rabbi Hillel, who lived during the Roman occupation of Judaea, restated already ancient Jewish teachings when he proclaimed...

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But, If I am not for others, what am I?

Israel has tried very hard to come to fair accommodations with current others who see the entire region as merely purely Arab patrimony. Justice, through Arab eyes only...

That's what Darfur and the south of the Sudan is about in black Africa, as are gassed, massacred, and/or subjugated Kurds, Copts, Berbers, native kilab yahud ( "Jew dogs"), and so forth.

Those compromises Israel has sought are light years beyond what Arabs have offered to the scores of millions of non-Arabs whom they have clashed and competed with themselves.

But nothing will really change until that above Arab mindset changes.

Until then, Israel must concentrate on that other half of Hillel's famous quote.

It's long overdue for Israel to again have leaders who will place Israel's own crucial national interests first before being pressured into consenting to any new deals with Arabs which will only endanger it further down the road. The Arabs have openly bragged about the progress they've made in their well-known destruction-in-phases scenario.

Given this reality check, Bibi must send the same message Yoni did over three decades ago...

He must demand — not beg — empathy for live Jews, not crocodile tears of sympathy for dead ones.

What would over three hundred million Americans in a three thousand mile wide America do given the true — not State Department pipedream — nature of the beast Israel faces?

If I am not for myself, who will be for me...

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php

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TRUTH: THE FIRST CASUALTY OF WAR IN GAZA
Posted by Rachel Neuwirth, March 13, 2009.
 

No war has ever demonstrated more clearly than the recent Gaza war the accuracy of the saying of the late Senator Hiram Johnson, "the first casualty when war comes is the truth.[1]" Not only is the general impression created by the reporting of the international media and the United Nations Relief and Works Administration (UNRWA), that Israel devastated Gaza and killed large numbers of Gaza civilians during its counter-terrorist operation of December 2008-January 2009, false;[2] but the specific stories of Israeli atrocities circulated by the media and UNWRA are equally false. This is the conclusion that has emerged from a careful reading of several reports by independent-minded Western journalists who have visited Gaza and investigated the atrocity stories "on the spot," as well as from the painstaking and careful investigations of the Israel Defense Forces Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), headed by Lt.-Col. Moshe Levi.[3]

Levi's research has been carried out with great thoroughness and integrity by an Israeli officer who has taken the allegations of Israeli atrocities seriously and has researched each of them meticulously, often consulting with officials of the Palestinian Authority in order to obtain more information about them. Indeed, the CLA is still investigating several of the atrocity stories and has yet to issue reports on them, even though it would have been in Israel's public relations interest to have issued immediate denials of the these stories. Its findings thus cannot be dismissed as mere Israeli propaganda.[4]

Here we have time and space to examine only a handful of the more sensational of the Israeli atrocity stories and compare them to the facts in each case that have emerged from the subsequent investigations:

Media Story: Israel bombed a UN school that was being used as a shelter by Palestinian civilians, and killed 43 civilians, many of them children, who were sheltering in the school.

This is how the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs, in a statement issued on January 7, described an Israeli attack alleged to have been carried out on the previous day: "43 persons were killed following an attack on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school transformed into a refugee site for displaced persons." The day before, "John Ging, UNRWA's operations director in Gaza, had accused Israel of deliberately carrying out a 'horrific' attack by targeting its school and claimed Israel knew it was targeting a U.N. facility. Following the U.N. claim, the whole world condemned Israel over what was perceived as a blatant attack on a school" (RTT News)[5]

Later investigations have shown that Israel never bombed the school, or even the grounds around the school, as initially reported; rather, Israel shelled a Hamas mortar firing position on a street corner some distance away from the school. The civilian death toll from the Israeli shells was three, not 42 as was alleged by UNRWA and widely reported by the international media. Nine Hamas fighters were also killed, which supports the Israeli investigators' conclusion that what an Israeli tank gunner had hit, with three shells, was a Hamas military position, not a civilian facility or building.

That the school building was never hit by Israeli fire was first demonstrated on January 29 by Toronto Globe and Mail reporter Patrick Martin, who investigated the event "on the spot.;" Martin's report even includes a map of the area, showing that the Israeli shells fell on a street corner some distance away from the school. Teachers at the school told Martin that no one in the building had been killed by Israeli bombs or shells, although they asserted that "a few" people on the school grounds suffered injuries.[6] Another reporter, Yvonne Green from Britain, also visited the scene, where she could see that the school building was undamaged:

Seeing Al-Fakhora [School] made it impossible to understand how UN and press reports could ever have alleged that the UNWRA school had been hit by Israeli shells. The school, like most of Gaza, was visibly intact. I was shown where Hamas had been firing from nearby, and the Israeli missile's marks on the road outside the school were unmistakable. When I met Mona al-Ashkor, one of the 40 people injured running toward Al-Fakhora — rather than inside it as widely and persistently reported — I was told that Israel had warned people not to take shelter in the school because Hamas was operating in the area, and that some people had ignored the warning because UNWRA previously told them that the school would be safe. Press reports that fatalities numbered 40 were denied. [7]

The IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration completed and released to the Jerusalem Post the results of its investigation of the alleged school massacre on February 15,: it not only confirmed that the Israeli shells had exploded some distance away from the school, but also established that the total death toll from the IDF fire was less than a third of the number given out by UNRWA and the media, and that three-fourths of those killed had been Hamas soldiers, not civilians. The CLA's findings dovetailed with what the school's teachers had told Patrick Martin: that three of the school's students had been killed in the attack, but while they were outside the school grounds, not inside them.[8] Hamas' exploitation of children to assist them in their "work" is notorious, and may well explain the presence of three schoolboys at the Hamas firing position[9]

Eventually the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, and even John Ging of UNRWA, admitted that their story that Israel had bombed the UNRWA school was false. However, Ging had the effrontery to claim that the false report originated with Israel, not him![10]

Israeli surveillance aircraft have repeatedly photographed Hamas gunmen firing rockets and mortars from the grounds of, or very close to, this UNRWA school as well as others. Several of these video recorded sequences have been released by the IDF for broadcast by YouTube, where it is possible for everyone to view them.[11] Despite this flagrant abuse of the school and its children as human shields by the Hamas aggressors, the Israelis managed to avoid striking the school with their return of fire. But because of the late release of the IDF's response to the school massacre report, Israel did not avoid the damage to itself inflicted by Hamas' and UNRWA's false accusations.

Media Story: Israel Bombed a Hospital, Forcing the Evacuation of Its Patients.

Here the IDF investigation concluded that the hospital in question, al Aksa in Gaza City, had not in fact been bombed or in any other way attacked by Israel. A few Israeli shells did strike a warehouse located several blocks from the hospital, which was owned by the hospital and used to store supplies for it; Israeli soldiers had returned fire that was directed at them by Hamas fighters who had occupied the warehouse and who were using it as position from which to fire on the Israelis. Hospital and UNWRA officials never informed the Israelis that the warehouse was owned by the hospital and used to store its supplies, even though the Israelis had on several occasions asked the UN agency to provide them with the location of all such facilities, in order to avoid damage to them.[12]

A separate investigation conducted by the U.S. media monitoring organization CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), also concluded that the hospital had not been harmed by the Israeli military. In support of its finding, CAMERA has published a photograph of the hospital taken after the fighting was over, showing it to be completely undamaged. This did not prevent many major media outlets from reporting that the completely intact building had burned to the ground! The international media widely circulated a photograph of a slightly damaged building that it incorrectly identified as the hospital; according to CAMERA, it is actually the building next door.

The hospital administration had dramatically ordered the evacuation of all patients while the fighting was going on in Gaza; this was widely reported in the international media, together with photographs of the event. It was much less widely reported that all of the patients were moved back into the hospital within five days. The reason for the evacuation, to the extent that there was one, was that a water pipe servicing the building had been damaged during the fighting, not that the hospital itself had been bombed. According to a little noticed bulletin released by the International Red Cross, the patients were returned to the hospital once the damaged sewer pipe was repaired.[13]

Several Gazans interviewed by a reporter for Newsweek confirmed that Hamas gunmen had been firing at the Israelis from positions close to the hospital and its warehouse:

Asked if there were any militants firing from the hospital or the Red Crescent buildings, hospital director general Dr. Khalid Judah chose his words carefully. "I am not able to say if anyone was using the PRCS buildings [the two Palestine Red Crescent Society buildings adjacent to the hospital], but I know for a fact that no one was using the hospital." In the Tal-al Hawa neighborhood nearby, however, Talal Safadi, an official in the leftist Palestinian People's Party, said that resistance fighters were firing from positions all around the hospital. He shrugged that off, having a bigger beef with Hamas. "They failed to win the battle." Or as his fellow PPP official, Walid al Awad, put it: "It was a mistake to give Israel the excuse to come in."[14]

Media story: Israel bombed the UN headquarters in Gaza and burned it down.

In reality, fragments of Israeli shells aimed at Hamas terrorists who were firing at the Israelis accidentally struck a gas tank and warehouse on property owned by UNRWA — not the "UN headquarters," as most of the international media alleged. The UNRWA relief administration's offices were undamaged. The total casualties reported by UNRWA to have occurred in its "compound" — three wounded, but none killed — would almost certainly have been much higher had the UN administrative center had been hit. Although UNRWA sources apparently led the media to report that the "UN headquarters" had been bombed, the actual wording of UNRWA's initial press release about the incident referred only to Israeli tank shells landing "inside the UNRWA complex," or "compound," in Gaza, and setting fire to a warehouse.[15]

While the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration has yet to issue a report on this alleged attack, Israel's Minister of Social Welfare, Isaac Herzog, who is coordinating Israel's relief efforts to help Gazans displaced or injured by the fighting, gave this account of it:

"The incident is still under investigation, but it seems that there may have been a sequence of events where gunfire was shot at Israeli soldiers from the adjacent premises," he said at a press conference at the Erez crossing. The IDF fired back, and shrapnel from that return volley went over the fence and into the compound, where it set ablaze some of the gas supplies that UNRWA had stored there, he said[16]

According to the Jerusalem Post, a "senior officer in the IDF Spokesman's Unit" added that "ground troops were responding to fire which placed them in mortal danger." Another "senior IDF source" also told the newspaper that "The IDF's current information pointed to Hamas fighters shooting from within or near the UN buildings.[17]"

Confirming the Israeli version of the event, an Arab resident of Gaza, calling himself by the nickname "Abu Issa" to protect himself from Hamas retaliation, told Italian reporter Lorenzo Cremonesi of Corriere della Sera that Hamas gunmen had been attacking Israeli soldiers in the immediate vicinity of the UNRWA compound:

Practically all of the tallest buildings in Gaza that were hit by Israeli bombs, like the Dogmoush, Andalous, Jawarah, Siussi, and many others, had rocket launching pads on their roofs, or were observation decks for the Hamas. They had also put them near the big UN warehouse, which went up in flames[18]

Media Story: Israel Bombed a Private House Used as a Bomb Shelter by Large Numbers of Arab Civilians and killed scores of innocents.

The British reporter Yvonne Green investigated this alleged Israeli massacre "on the spot" after the war. She reports her observations on the scene this way:

I WAS TOLD stories at Samouni Street which contradicted each other, what I saw and later media accounts. Examples of these inconsistencies are that 24, 31, 34 or more members of the Fatah Samouni family had died. That all the deaths occurred when Israel bombed the safe building it had told 160 family members to shelter in; the safe building was pointed out to me but looked externally intact and washing was still hanging on a line on one of its balconies. That some left the safe building and were shot in another house. That one was shot when outside collecting firewood. That there was no resistance — but the top right hand window of the safe building (which appears in a BBC Panorama film Out of the Ruins" aired February has a black mark above it — a sign I was shown all day of weaponry having been fired from inside. That victims were left bleeding for two or three days.

I saw large scoured craters and a buckled container which appeared to have been damaged by an internal impact (its external surfaces were undamaged). Media accounts of Samouni Street don't mention these possible indications of explosive caches (although the container is visible on media footage). The Samouni family's elder told me during a taped interview that he had a CD film of the killings. As far as I'm aware, no such film has been made public. He also told me that there are members of his family who have still not been found.

The media have manufactured and examined allegations that Israel committed a war crime against the Samounis without mentioning that the family are Fatah and that some of its members are still missing. They have not considered what might flow from those facts: that Hamas might have been active not only in the Samouni killings but in the exertion of force on the Samounis to accuse Israel.[19]

The evidence that Ms. Green describes, suggesting that the casualties at the al-Samouni compound might have been caused by an "internal" explosion inside the house, is reinforced by the fact that such "work accidents," a result of the Gaza terrorist groups practice of manufacturing and storing explosives in densely populated residential areas, have been very common in Gaza for years, and have caused hundreds of casualties.[20] The Israeli operation in Gaza would have provided an excellent opportunity to "cover" such an incident by blaming it on Israel. The other possible explanation suggested by Ms. Green for some of the Samouni losses, that Hamas may have inflicted them as a reprisal for the Samouni's allegiance to Fatah, is strengthened by numerous media reports that Hamas took advantage of the distraction created by Israel's operation to kill, maim and torture many Fatah members, whom it accused of being "collaborators" with Israel.[21]

With regard to the number of casualties at the Samouni house, a Gaza named Masoda Al Samoun [a member of the allegedly bombed family] told Lorenzo Cremonesi that

When the bomb landed on their houses [the Al Samoun family] reported that they had 31 dead. And this is how they were registered with the officials of the Health department which is controlled by Hamas. But then, when the bodies were effectively recovered the sum total was doubled to 62 and this is how they are computed into the final balance.[22]

Yes, the truth was the first casualty of the Gaza war; Israel's reputation, already bleeding for years, was the second. Can the wounds inflicted on either of these innocent victims ever be healed?

Footnotes

[1] Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty. New York : Harcourt, 1975; vii.

[2] http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.2468/pub_detail.asp

[3]http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304831643&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

[4] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304831643&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter;
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788705&pagename=
JPArticle%2FShowFull;
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788684&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

[5] http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=846813&SMap=1

[6]http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090129.
wgazaschool29/BNStory/International/home;
http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/
Did_IsraelShell_a_UN_School_The_Truth_Exposed.asp

[7] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235898327903&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

[8] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788684&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull;
www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304788705&pagename=
JPArticle%2FShowFull ;
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304833139&pagename= JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull;
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090129.wgazaschool29/ BNStory/International/home.

[9] http://www.pmw.org.il/Bulletins_Jan2009.htm

[10] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090129.
wgazaschool29/ BNStory/International/home;
http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/ critiques/new/Did_Israel_Shell_a_UN_School_The_Truth_Exposed.asp

[11] http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/hamas-uses-schools-
and-ceasefire-to-shoot-rockets-at-israel/13864006;
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/hamas-uses-schools- and-ceasefire-to-shoot-rockets-at-israel/13590241;
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/hamas-rockets-during-cease-fire-
and-from-schoolyard-8-jan-09/13678752;
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/idf-vlog-update-hamas-terrorists-in-un-school-
capt-benjamin-rutland-6-jan-2009/13678773;
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/mortar-bombs-shot-from-un-school-in-gaza-
29-oct-2007/13678763 .

[12] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304831643&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter .

[13] http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context
=2&x_outlet=2&x_article=1599

[14] http://www.newsweek.com/id/180691/output/print;

http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/45884734/critiques/new/
Gaza_Doctor_Says_Death_Toll_Inflated.asp

[15] http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/
ALeqM5hWVWNvaYOLbOduOExnxo3vz4n21Q

[16] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/
ShowFull&cid=1232292898771

[17]
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/
ShowFull&cid=1232292898771

[18] http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/28/cremonesi-article-in-english/

[19] http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1235898327903&pagename=
JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

[20] http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/
eng_n/html/gaza_120608e.htm

[21] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/130208 ;
http://www.israelunitycoalition.org/news/article.php?id=3545;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OGhj43GAE;
http://www.pmw.org.il/Bulletins_Jan2009.htm

[22] http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/01/28/cremonesi-article-in-english/

Rachel Neuwirth is a Los Angeles-based analyst on the board of directors of the West Coast Region of the American Jewish Congress and the chairperson of the organization's Middle East committee. Contact her by email at rachterry@sbcglobal.net

John Landau contributed to this article, which appeared in IsraPundit
http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=10918

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UNWELCOME BACK CARTER — JIMMY CARTER'S NEW BOOK
Posted by Jewish Policy Center, March 13, 2009.

This is a review by Jonathan Schanzer of

We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land
By Jimmy Carter
Simon & Schuster; 228 pages; $27

Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury intelligence analyst, is deputy executive director for the Jewish Policy Center and author of Hamas vs Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.

 

Jimmy Carter does not apologize for the historically inaccurate and inappropriate use of the word "apartheid" to describe the security wall that has effectively prevented Hamas suicide bombers from killing and maiming Israelis in restaurants and discotheques. He does not acknowledge that it has saved countless lives.

But this should come as no surprise. As with his last book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Carter doesn't even feign a balanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict in We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land. He ignores the fact that a majority of Palestinians still refuse to accept the existence of the State of Israel, while insisting that peace would be achieved if Jerusalem would simply accede to the demands of the Palestinians. And because Israel refuses to unilaterally take those steps, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land is a 180-page harangue of the Jewish state.

Part of the problem is that Carter is a man who once enjoyed prominence as a peacemaker — he presided over the 1978 Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt — but now lacks access to most of the power brokers in the Middle East. If one can somehow ignore the incessant snipes at Israel's defense policies, the book reads like a tedious and depressing political diary of an elderly man who can't quite remember where and when he misplaced his clout.

By Carter's own admission, many high-level Israeli officials refused to meet with him during his "fact-finding" missions to the region. Similarly, officials from the George W. Bush administration kept their distance. The Palestinians, however, have Jimmy's number. They continue to roll out the red carpet for him so he may regurgitate their narrative in provocative books in America.

By blindly embracing the Palestinian narrative, Carter does a grave injustice to the complex history and vexing dynamics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This short book may well have more errors and inaccuracies than pages.

Carter wrongly states, for example, that Hamas seeks to "remove Israel from the Holy Land using violence if necessary." Actually, if Carter had bothered to read the Hamas charter, he would know that Hamas sees jihad as an imperative to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic Palestine. For Hamas there is no "if necessary." War with Israel is its raison d'etre.

Carter also wrongly notes that the election of Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister in 1996 "spelled the end of the peace process." In fact, Netanyahu signed the Wye Plantation Memorandum of 1998, which perpetuated the Oslo peace process through the end of the decade.

He errs when he claims that Israel had an "iron grip on Gaza" in 2008, when in fact it unilaterally withdrew in 2005.

Carter erroneously writes that the Palestinians "returned peacefully to their homes with purchased goods" after breaching the wall separating Egypt from Gaza in 2008. In fact, the Palestinians brought huge quantities of long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and materiel for rocket production back into Gaza. Egyptian security forces also captured suicide bombing belts on Palestinians in the Sinai Peninsula, believed to be intended for Israeli or Western tourists at Egypt's beach resorts.

Carter, who visited the Hamas terrorist organization against the expressed wishes of the State Department, also asserts that Hamas accepts Fatah faction leader Mahmoud Abbas as "spokesman for all Palestinians." Carter somehow missed the civil war raging between Hamas and Fatah. Indeed, Hamas executed a brutally violent coup against Abbas's faction in the Gaza Strip in 2007.

These sorts of errors, along with a plethora of other gross mischaracterizations and distortions, were exactly what prompted distinguished Emory University professor Kenneth Stein to resign from the Carter Center after years of dedicated service when Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid was released.

According to a rejoinder Stein published in Middle East Quarterly, "Carter allows ideology or opinion to get in the way of facts." Stein then went about identifying "egregious errors of both commission and omission."

In short, Carter has done it again.

Inexplicably, Carter also claims he is "no longer involved in partisan politics," when in fact he is a superdelegate for the Democratic Party who actively endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama and then vigorously opposed Obama's consideration of Hillary Clinton as vice president. He is also the current and first-ever honorary chair of Democrats Abroad, an official organization of the Democratic Party that encourages expatriates to participate in the Democratic primaries and to vote for the Democratic candidate.

Once the reader wades through 173 pages of error-laden muck, Carter unveils his piece de resistance — the peace plan he proudly touts on the book's cover. It is, in a word, vapid. It demonstrates no evidence of original thought. He merely apes what others have (unsuccessfully) proffered in the past, drawing heavily from parameters set forth in a Saudi proposal from 2002, a plan the Palestinians love because it requires few concessions on their part. Indeed, the Saudi plan calls for Israeli concessions and withdrawals in return for the possibility that the Arab states might accept Israel, but not necessarily as a Jewish state.

Carter's latest will certainly not lead to "peace in the Holy Land." Like his last book, it parrots the worst of the intransigent Palestinian positions, and offers nothing to forge common ground.

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THE BEST ISLAMIC STATE IS SWEDEN
Posted by Sonia Nusenbaum, March 13, 2009.

Dear friends

What has happened since your observation and surprise over the number of Moslems already in Sweden in '89 pts to the fact the Islamization process has been ongoing and what we now see is hardly an overnight phenomenon. The incursions of Islamic populations has ratcheted up designed to undertake and overtake the non-Moslem world through clearly delineated Qu'ranic dictate exemplified by Mohammed's rise to power and conquests I believe in the 7th Century. As such by his followers twice since! Intracine violence that has marked Islamic war-mongering on desert turf, mirage-like subterfuge, diabolical scheming between/among families through the centuries has served as both practice and instruction since galvanized against the non-Moslem world. As such an unfamiliar culture, its strategies, and singular ambition, conquest covers the map of the world. And that world, our world now directly confronted preferring — in the main — to ignore the enemy in our midst. The denial aspect a phenomenon in and of itself!

Further, the demonization of Israel in league and via the promulgation of the "Palestinian" canard was is and will be 'the beard', the coverup of the scheme — all else — Islam intends doing to democracy. As such not only against Jews but the world. The unfortunate twinning of Sovietesque strategy with Islamic dictate has implanted in nation after nation — and has us in its mouth. The question remains will the world wakeup before it chomps down its teeth to eviscerate and consume our world?

It is the same as Hitler and his henchmen both as intent and strategy. Islam steals through lies, obfuscation, subterfuge and terror ultimately inflaming the entire world. Perhaps some may believe not to destroy after all look at the benefits Islam derives from America's existence? The question then left begging is how then would Islamic realize its ambition of ultimate rulership? Through peace?

Islam believes in order to bring about heaven the world must first be destroyed. It informs Iran's purpose in the grip of mullacratic rule. Its destructive impetus.

The parallels to Hitler startles as does the fact democracy and its infrastructure prefer to ignore the facts on the ground even as war rages. Indeed aid and abet Islam's war in the belief — in the main — the problem for Islam is Israel and if that problem were to go away — Islam and the rest of us will find peace. Anti-Semitism and the appeasement approach all too familiar to us whose fruit was the destruction of 1/3 of the Jewish people.

Given the sophistication of military technologies, its delivery systems, communication device and infrastructure — satellite honing and pursuit tactologies — and the willingness of non-Islamic countries not only Russia but including our own to sell, look the other way at outrageous thefts of our inventions — for money — for oil — the risks if all are to keep safe — is not to be ignored.

This below comes from yesterday's Atlas Shrugs website
(http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/). It was posted by Pamela Geller

~Sonia

 

STARK, BRUTAL ACCOUNT OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SWEDEN: Malmö, Sweden: Growing Muslim Influence

CBNNews.com — MALMO, Sweden — A few years ago, the London Guardian newspaper called Sweden the most successful society the world has ever known. But Sweden today is being transformed by a large influx of immigrants from the Middle East.

Sweden's third largest city, Malmö, sits just across the water from Copenhagen, Denmark. To visitors, Malmö seems quiet, nice, maybe a little boring; in other words, quintessentially Swedish. But under the surface, Malmö has serious problems.

On Saturday when Israel played Sweden in a Davis cup tennis match in Malmö, an estimated 6,000 Leftists, Arabs, Muslims and anarchists protested the Israeli presence in the city, and hundreds attacked police. Almost no fans were allowed inside to watch the tennis series, because authorities feared disruptions or possible violence against the Israeli team.

Swedish City's Population One-Quarter Muslim

Massive immigration has made Malmö today one quarter Muslim, and stands to transform it into a Muslim majority city within just a few decades. One of the most popular baby names is not Sven, but Mohammed. Pork has been taken off some school menus. Want to learn to drive? You can attend Malmö's own "Jihad Driving School."

But despite Malmö's usually placid appearance, this experiment in multiculturalism has not gone well. In the Rosengaard section of Malmö, a housing project made up primarily of immigrants, fire and emergency workers will no longer enter without police protection.

Unemployment in Rosengaard is reported to be 70 percent. An immigrant-fueled crime wave affects one of every three Malmö families each year. The number of rapes has tripled in 20 years.

But Malmö has been so accommodating toward immigrant Muslims that a local Muslim politician, Adly Abu Hajar, has declared that "The best Islamic state is Sweden!" Jews Cannot Walk The Streets

Don't ask Malmö's Jews to give the city the same glowing assessment. Jews who dare walk the streets wearing their yarmulkes risk being beaten up.

"It's true. Jews cannot walk the streets of Malmö and show that they're Jews," said Lars Hedegaard.

Hedegaard lives across the water from Malmö in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was a columnist for one of Denmark's largest newspapers. He says pro-Israel demonstrations in Malmö, like the ones during the fighting in Gaza earlier this year, were met with rocks, bottles and pipe bombs from Arabs and Leftists.

"I was there for demonstration; a pro-Isra eli demonstration with about 400 or 500 people," Hedegaard told CBN News. "Jews and non-Jews, and I came over to cover it.. The police allowed, I'd say a hundred Palestinians or Arabs to shout and threaten and throw bombs and rockets at us. A homemade bomb landed about ten yards from me, and went off with a big bang. And now of course, I thought the police were going to jump these guys, get them out of the way. They didn't. They just let them stand there." Swede Ted Ekeroth helped film the Arab-Left counter-demonstrations. He saw Arabs throwing rocks at a 90-year-old holocaust survivor.

"I filmed the police chief and asked him why are they not reacting to this," Ekeroth said. "Why are they not doing anything? And he simply answered, 'It's their right according to the Swedish constitution.' We apparently did not have the same right, because we were forced out of there. Our manifestation for Israel is always peaceful, and theirs is always the quite opposite — Death, hate and killing of Jews. They come and they shout different slogans," he continued. "It can be everything from Arabic slogans inciting killing of Jews to in Swedish and Danish, 'Kill the Jews.' There's more. They're finished.

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CLINTON IMPORTS PA STUDENTS; DEEP MUTUAL DISTRUST; RECESSION — BEYOND BUSH; SYRIA — DIPLOMACY BY SNUB
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 13, 2009.
 

TALIBAN IN PAKISTAN

The Taliban are doing more than using border areas of Pakistan as jump off points for raiding Afghanistan. They are terrorizing the people in Pakistan and bidding to expand their influence in that country.

Residents of the SWAT area who have been emigrating to the US find themselves considered enemies of the Taliban. They get notes threatening their relatives remaining in SWAT. One immigrant visited relatives in SWAT, only to find himself kidnapped for ransom and his relatives warned they must go, too (Kirk Semple, NY Times, 2/17, A1)

Threatening relatives in the homeland was a Soviet tactic for recruiting spies. Stalin considered them suspect, too. The Taliban Islamists have much in common with Communism and Nazism. Though some of their theories are different, they mistreat people just as oppressively.

INDIAN MUSLIMS

The nine cadavers of Islamist terrorists remain unburied in Mumbai. Mumbai Muslim leaders will not admit them into a Muslim cemetery, because of their crimes. Those leaders call them terrorists, rather than martyrs. In addition to attacking innocent people, they also deliberately got themselves killed, which theologically also is unforgivable (Thomas Friedman, NY Times, 2/18, Op.-Ed).

Mr. Friedman is biased about jihad. He also oversimplifies issues. He wants to fit this story into a neat extremist-moderate struggle. It remains to be seen whether this is true. Sometimes a Muslim minority makes accommodating statements, which the majority is aroused over an Islamist atrocity. The statements aim to deflect outrage from themselves. Then they go on supporting Muslim takeover of the host country.

CLINTON BRINGING P.A. STUDENTS TO AMERICA

She plans to give P.A. college students scholarships to study in the US. Eventually, they would be able to rely upon their own colleges. This is part of her crusade to set up a second Palestinian Arab state [in the Jewish homeland]. She thanks the American people for sponsoring the program (IMRA, 3/6).

The American people were not consulted. Why has the State Dept. so much devotion to such a violently anti-American people, now ratcheting up war against our ally, Israel? How does she dare bring in such people, after the State Dept. let in the 9/11 terrorists? Hasn't she noticed that such students, already in the US, promote bigotry? Our funds should not go for pro-terrorists.

"DEEP MUTUAL DISTRUST"

US diplomacy finds itself caught in between "deep mutual distrust" between the P.A. and Israel (Mark Landler, NY Times, 3/2).

Why should Israel distrust the P.A.? (1) The P.A. has violated all its peace agreements and truces violently and in major ways;

(2) The Arabs fight dirty, largely by war crime. They've singled out children.

(3) Both terrorist organizations running the P.A. share the Islamic/Islamist ideology of: (a) Conquering the world and dominating if not dispossessing if not exterminating the Jews; (b) Of conquering Israel in phases, meaning using diplomacy to gain territory by agreement, in order to have more bases to gain territory by combat; (c) Of negotiating in poor faith. They let diplomats negotiate and get concessions, and then repudiate the delegates as not having been authorized. They walk out but insist that if negotiations reopen, what was promised to them in return for peace, which was not mutually agreed to, be the start of negotiations during which they demand more in return for peace. After having signed an agreement, they claim it means something different. They make demands which would render Israel indefensible;

(4) They fabricate history in order to manufacture territorial and national claims, as for example claiming that the Jewish Temples mentioned in Christian and Jewish Bibles did not exist and Palestinian Arabs did, then. They defame vilely Israel and the Jewish people. They preach a duty of murdering them, while the Fatah part of the P.A. pretends to be moderate. One could go on.

Why should the P.A. distrust Israel? (1) Israel keeps its peace agreements and truces until Muslim Arab violation has become intolerable; (2) The IDF fights according to the rules of war, more than any other country;

(3) Israelis have more than one ideology, but in common they: (a) Want peace rather than to conquer; and (b) Negotiate in good faith with the Arabs, making offers to their defeated enemies beyond what other countries would do. (I think that is not in good faith to the Jews);

(4) Do not defame the Arabs or Islam. Israel preaches tolerance.

Israel has ample justification to distrust the Arabs, although their naïve diplomacy and education indicates they are too trusting. The Arabs have no cause to distrust Israel. It serves their propaganda to pretend that both sides distrust the other and to imply an equivalency in justification for it. Therefore, the NY Times serves Islamist propaganda. It misleads readers in behalf of enemies of the US. It should ask why the blundering US, troubled on its own, is interfering there.

PRE-ANNOUNCED INTENT, DISCRETION, & INTEGRITY

"Israel's Attorney General announced... that he intended to indict the departing prime minister...in a corruption case..." (Isabel Kershner, NY Times, 3/2.)

Wasn't this announced before? Other cases against PM Olmert have been speculated about, too. They do that a lot in Israel. You might call it government by trial balloon or by manipulation. That Attorney-General let Olmert retain office as long as he was able to promote the Attorney-General's leftist agenda.

The problem here may be worse than indiscretion. It is a lack of integrity, part of Israel's anti-democracy. Leaving excessive discretion to the Attorney-General, as Israel does in letting him overrule legislative and administrative decisions on the basis of his personal views, also is part of Israel's anti-democracy.

Police investigations should be kept confidential until suspects are indicted or cleared. Officials leak out news. Since out of partisanship or ideology they loudly investigate or indict officials, many of their right-wing targets are innocent. Reputations unfairly are sullied for months. Targets may lose an opportunity to serve their country in the Cabinet. (That the idea of it.) It is disgraceful.

The NY Times spreads leaks almost daily. Do reporters elicit leaks, or do officials elicit reporting? Often the articles explain that government officials related matters under anonymity, because they were not authorized to relate such matters at that time. In other words, the officials were violating their duty. If the matter were whistle blowing over serious danger or corruption, publicity would be justified. Crimes by management ethically release their employees from bonds of discretion. Usually, leaks are not of grave acts but merely of arrangements not yet completed. Sometimes management wants to test how the issue would be received before they officially commit to a resolution. Other times, premature publicity could wreck satisfactory resolution. I think that sources and disseminators of leaks usually go too far.

RECESSiON

Commentary's March issue explains that economists don't know what remedies work. Why no official, expedited study of what caused the recession? The US is attempting to fix what it doesn't know the causes of. Gradually, causes are being identified. Recently another one was found to be Federal Reserve policy of reducing interest rates. Loans being cheap, people borrowed too readily. Now Paul Krugman attributed cheap money to hoarding by some Asian and European countries. That raised our balance of trade deficit and lowered interest rates while making a flood of cash available to lenders. We bought so much, we bid up the price of real estate. We had so much, we though ourselves rich.

PRINCE BIN TALAL'S DONATIONS FOR ISLAMIC STUDIES

I came across an old, full-page spread of the NY Times, worth contemplating. The Prince donated the start-up funds for the Prince Alaweel Bin Talal Center For Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown U. and the Islamic studies program at Harvard. The ad stated, "All religions teach the value of life. Christianity and Islam alike promote love, tolerance, justice and moderation." "In the spirit of caring for humanity..." "part of the Prince's continuous efforts to serve knowledge and religious understanding" "The Center will focus on building bridges between Islamic and Western civilizations, creating a think tank for the study of Muslim-Christian relations globally." "The Harvard program would be an academic resource for the studies of the Islamic religion." (3/14/06.)

Not all religions teach the value of life — some teach the value of death in the taking of life, i.e., of non-Muslims during jihad. Not all religions promote tolerance and justice — Islam teaches intolerance; some Christianity sects evolved into tolerance. The Prince has indicated his own intolerance. One suspects that the center would not try to improve relations between religions on the basis of equality, but on the basis of pretending Islam is benign and that Christianity should make one-way concessions to it. Notice the ad did not mention tolerance of Judaism, which Islam hates more than Christianity.

Has anybody kept count of existing academic resources for studying Islam, to determine whether we have enough? Shouldn't Congress, which subsidizes many university centers of Islamic studies, evaluate the results? How much control, formally or informally, do donors command over who staffs the centers? Congress is investigating whether some charities fulfill their purposes. Why not investigate whether the university Islamic studies centers fulfill theirs?

We really know now. They usually are run by terrorists or pro-Islamists feigning scholarships. They downplay jihad, therefore work against civilization. They pervert American education. The Prince's donations are a Trojan horse. Praise be to Mayor Giuliani for having refused a gift from that Prince!

SYRIA — DIPLOMACY BY SNUB

Western diplomats call on Syrian officials, who snub or insult them. Syria wants complete Israeli capitulation. There is no basis for hoping that Israeli concessions and the shrinking US Treasury could keep Syria from its profitable Iranian alliance longer than it would take for Syria to regain the Golan in a phony peace treaty. Syria would feel indebted to Iran, whose pressure got the Golan for Syria. One can imagine Syria, once in control of a supposedly de-militarized Golan, secretly re-militarizing it. Syria believes that Israel [and Lebanon, and Jordan] belong to it (Bret Stephens, Commentary, 3/2009).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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JEW-HATRED AND ATTACKS SPIKE IN FRANCE
Posted by David Meir-Levi, March 13, 2009.

When Soviet Jewry was oppressed, Jews all over the world, but especially in the USA, stood up and spoke out. It worked.

Now we are all engaged in World War 4: the West against Jihadist Islamo-fascism.

The front line of that war right now is in Israel, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.

But the Jihadist Islamofascists are very successfully launching behind-the-front-lines infiltration and sedition into Europe, the UK, South America, and the USA.

One horrifying example of this seditious behavior is the rise of Jew-hatred and attacks on Jews in France. This trend is not yet on our radar screen, because our mainstream media refuse to publicize anything that might embarrass the USA's Arab "allies."

But these very "allies" are part of the underlying support system for the front-line war and for the behind-the-lines sedition.

Victory in this war requires our recognition that these "allies" are really our enemies; and that their role in the front-line and behind-the-line aggression includes the recent sudden jump in anti-Semitic attacks throughout Europe, and especially most recently in France.

Then we need to bring to the attention of our Congress the plight of the Jews in France and the connection between the cause of that plight and the Arab "allies" whom our Presidents have so enthusiastically wooed for decades.

How can we get Congress and/or our President to make the issue of Jew-hatred in France a high-priority agenda item with the French government, and at the same time unmask the role of the Jihadist "allies" in the rise of that hatred?

Here is an e-mail that came from a Jew living in France. David ML

 

"I AM A JEW — therefore I am forwarding this to everyone on all my e-mail lists. I will not sit back and do nothing. Nowhere have the flames of anti-Semitism burned more furiously than in France.

In Lyon, a car was rammed into a synagogue and set on fire.

In Montpellier, the Jewish religious center was firebombed so were synagogues in Strasbourg and Marseilles so was a Jewish school in Creteil — all recently.

A Jewish sports club in Toulouse was attacked with Molotov cocktails on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus, in Paris, the words 'Dirty Jew' were painted.

In Bondy, 15 men beat up members of a Jewish football team with sticks and metal bars.

The bus that takes Jewish children to school in Aubervilliers has been attacked three times in the last 14 months.

According to the Police, metropolitan Paris has seen 10 to 12 anti-Jewish incidents PER DAY in the past 30 days.

Walls in Jewish neighborhoods have been defaced with slogans proclaiming 'Jews to the gas chambers' and 'Death to the Jews.'

A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop in Toulouse.

A Jewish couple in their 20's were beaten up by five men in Villeurbanne (the woman was pregnant).

A Jewish school was broken into and vandalized in Sarcelles

So I call on you, whether you are a fellow Jew, a friend, or merely a person with the capacity and desire to distinguish decency from depravity, to do — at least — these three simple things:

First, care enough to stay informed. Don't ever let yourself become deluded into thinking that this is not your fight. I remind you of what Pastor Neimoller said in World War II: 'First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Second, boycott France and French products. Only the Arab countries are more toxically anti-Semitic and, unlike them, France exports more than just oil and hatred. So boycott their wines and their perfumes. Boycott their clothes and their foodstuffs. Boycott their movies. Definitely boycott their shores. If we are resolved we can exert amazing pressure and, whatever else we may know about the French, we most certainly know that they are like a cobweb in a hurricane in the face of well-directed pressure.

Third, send this along to your family, your friends, and your co-workers. Think of all of the people of good conscience that you know and let them know that you — and the people that you care — about need their help.

The number one bestselling book in France is.....'September 11: The Frightening Fraud' which argues that no plane ever hit the Pentagon!"

David Meir-Levi is an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto. His expertise is in Near Eastern studies and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative (www.ipi-usa.org). Contact him at david_meirlevi@hotmail.com

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NO SYMPATHY FOR ROXANNA: PEOPLE AND NATIONS MUST PAY FOR COLLABORATION WITH IRAN
Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, March 12, 2009.
 

No Sympathy for Roxanna: People and nations must pay for collaboration with Iran: Roxana Saberi was recently reported by her father to have been wrongly imprisoned by the Iranian regime. She was charged with buying alcohol but her real reason for detention was 'illegal reporting'. On the face of this it seems like another reason to protest the Iranian regime's treatment of journalists. However it is time to start asking 'why are the journalists there in the first place'. Roxanna was no longer a reporter, her press credentials had been revoked a year ago by the regime. She was instead getting in touch with her heritage and learning Farsi. The truth is that there is a great deal of collaboration by journalists and scholars and others with Iran. The same people that would have boycotted South Africa or some other place are all too happy to fraternize with this regime and that is why it is important to have less sympathy for them.

Pictures of journalist Roxana Saberi show her enjoying her time with ayatollahs. She covers her head in a tight fitting headscarf, tightly stapling it below her chin in order to follow and "respect the dress code." She "loved Iran" and "loved the place." She was "finding her roots" and studying Farsi. She was a minor celebrity, "filing reports for press all over the world." She helped the world understand and love Iran. In order to make them love it she, like all journalists in the country, made sure to paint a good picture of it. There was no discussion of human rights violations, of extremism, of terrorism, of anti-semitism. There was the typical, could-have-been-produced-by-the-government, reports of wonderful exotic Iran. No controversy. No investigation. Not criticism. No judging. When the government revoked her credentials she blindly followed orders and stopped reporting. Then she was arrested for buying wine, which is illegal in Iran. No protest followed. Her parents preferred to keep quiet and hoped the arrest would be resolved. Had Roxanna been released she would have gone back to loving Iran and telling the world how great it and its president, Ahmadinjed, were. But she wasn't released. And now the media is telling us all about this prisoner of conscience and how she may be in danger.

But there is something problematic about all this. The journalists who go to Iran never do their duty in subjecting the country to the kind of criticism they subject other, usually freer societies to. They collaborate with the regime. They never mention the regimes radicalism and Antisemitism and racism. They march in lockstep with the ayatollahs. They never report on dissidents. They follow the official line of describing Iran as a Persian Shia paradise. There are no minorities in their reports, no talk about the blacks in Southern Iran, or the Arabs in the southwest, or the Baluchis in the southeast or the Azeris and Kurds in the north. Nope. They even weave stories about how the "Jews love Iran", reporting as if they are working for the government's information ministry. They never dare to look behind the curtain. The same journalists in the west who can't wait for another version of 'Brokeback Mountain' or 'Milk', two movies about homosexuals, to be released, are the same ones who would never dare ask what becomes of homosexuals arrested for their 'immoral and indecent behavior' in Iran. There is no discussion of the minors hung in Iran for various offenses. In fact there is no discussion of the death penalty. There is no discussion of the discriminatory divorce laws or the rampant legal prostitution that takes place under the guise of 'temporary marriage' in Iran. The wine swilling westerners who probably can't go a day without a drink in the West don't report about laws that make it illegal to buy wine. In fact we only found out about this extremist law when Saberi was arrested. There is no discussion about the discriminatory dress 'code' that forced women to cover their hair while men wear what they please.

The western media collaborates with the Iranian regime. There is not one media outlet that is not guilty. The BBC is the worst with its month long 'Taste of Iran' program, a hagiography of the country. But Foxnews and other networks are no better. And yet every once in a while the public is supposed to believe that some arrested journalist deserves to be felt sorry for. Let's just recall the sheer numbers who have been arrested, without undue complaints or repercussions for Iran. Akbar Ganji was jailed in 2001 and was still in prison in 2005 when he got sick from prison conditions. Ali Farahbakhsh was sent to prison in 2007 for three years for going to a conference in Bangkok. He was held in solitary confinement for 40 days. In the same year three female members of a 15 member Iranian female Journalists delegation about to travel abroad were arrested and taken to the infamous Evin prison. Emadeddin Baqi, who ironically wrote on prisoners rights, was arrested in October of 2007 and released in September of 2008 from Evin. Like Ganji he had become sick and required medical treatment for his time in prison. Soheil Assefi, Fashad Gorbanpour and Masoud Farshad of the Sharq newspaper were arrested after their newspaper gave an interview to a poet who wrote about homosexuals. Sina Motallebi was arrested for blogging. Iranian Kurdish journalist Mohamed Sadiq Kabudvand was arrested in 2007 after his daily paper was banned. He suffered a stroke at Evin prison in May of 2008 and is still sick. Asr Iran and Mohamed Khadeghi-Nejad, both journalists who had reported dissident protests, were attacked by anonymous men on motorcycle in December of 2008. Omid Memarin was another blogger arrested. Iranian-American journalist Parnaz Azima was prevented from leaving the country. An Arab journalist in Iran, Yousif Aziz-Banitaraf from Khuzestan who wrote about nomads was arrested in 2005 for "fomenting revolt" among Arabs in Iran. He was sentenced to five years in prison. But no matter how many they arrest, how many they torture and beat and rape in Evin prison and how many are released almost at the point of death or with other serious health problems, the journalists will keep pouring in, usually female journalists from the West dutifully covering their hair and following the regime's party line. But its only part of a larger collaboration. When the former Iranian president, Mohammed Khatami, was invited to Spain in 2002 the Spanish agreed to not serve wine at the host banquet, lest the Iranian delegation be offended, but the Spanish did request that women attendees not be forced to wear headscarves. In the end the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Aznar and Queen Sofia neglected to come lest their hair offend the Iranians (this is in line with the western liberal post-human idea that in our countries we must respect their culture and in their countries we must respect their culture). The collaboration runs deep.

No. There can be no sympathy for collaborators with such a regime. If Saberi had reported on just one of the issues discussed above perhaps then we could have sympathy. But until western journalists subject Iran to the same harsh critique, the same obsession with minorities and 'human rights' that western nations are subjected to, then there can be no sympathy for them. They collaborated, much the way the New York Times did with Stalin and numerous French journalists did with Pol Pot and the Hutu genocidaires. Collaboration must be punished. Since we can't punish it in the west we must not shed tears when, in an odd and ironic way, the Iranian regime does it. Roxana wanted to find her roots. She loved Farsi and Iran. Now she is hearing plenty of Farsi in her interrogation cell. She is learning about her roots. But when she is released she will secure that headscarf tightly around her neck and keep her eyes down and propagandize for Iran once again. There must never be sympathy for the collaborators, whether I is Emma Goldman, who came to America and then preached anarchism and was deported only to find her Soviet utopia was not as she thought, or the Americans who went to Stalin's utopia in the 1930s or Rachel Corrie who aided and abetted Palestinian terrorists or the British charitable workers helping the Arab genocidaires in Khartoum today (recall the women who was sentenced to be whipped for comparing a teddy bear to Mohammed). No sympathy for collaboration. We must judge them as harshly as if journalists had gone to give us a 'taste of Germany' in 1939 and neglected to mention the concentration camps. No sympathy. No empathy. Stubborn cold heartedness must be our face when confronted by the bleeding heart ignorance of the left and its abysmal fraternization with Islamism and totalitarianism.

Contact Seth J. Frantzman at sfrantzman@hotmail.com and visit his website: http://journalterraincognita.blogspot.com This essay appeared March 1, 2009 on his website.

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PROPOSAL AT U.N. TO CRIMINALIZE 'DEFAMATION OF ISLAM'
Posted by Barbara Taverna, March 12, 2009.
Read the resolution at UN Watch. This article is archived at
www.unwatch.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=bdKKISNqEmG&b=1314451&ct=6831061
 

Geneva, March 11, 2009 — A new U.N. resolution circulated today by Islamic states would define any questioning of Islamic dogma as a human rights violation, intimidate dissenting voices, and encourage the forced imposition of Sharia law. (See full U.N. text below.)

UN Watch obtained a copy of the Pakistani-authored proposal after it was distributed today among Geneva diplomats attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled "Combating defamation of religions," it mentions only Islam.

While non-binding, the resolution constitutes a dangerous threat to free speech everywhere. It would ban any perceived offense to Islamic sensitivities as a "serious affront to human dignity" and a violation of religious freedom, and would pressure U.N. member states — at the "local, national, regional and international levels" — to erode free speech guarantees in their "legal and constitutional systems."

It's an Orwellian text that distorts the meaning of human rights, free speech, and religious freedom, and marks a giant step backwards for liberty and democracy worldwide.

The first to suffer will be moderate Muslims in the countries that are behind this resolution, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, who seek international legitimacy for state-sanctioned blasphemy laws that stifle religious freedom and outlaw conversions from Islam to other faiths.

Next to suffer from this U.N.-sanctioned McCarthyism will be writers and journalists in the democratic West, with the resolution targeting the media for the "deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons."

Ultimately, it is the very notion of individual human rights at stake, because the sponsors of this resolution seek not to protect individuals from harm, but rather to shield a specific set of beliefs from any question, debate, or critical inquiry.

The resolution's core premise — that "defamation of religion" exists as legal concept — is a distortion. The law on defamation protects the reputations of individuals, not beliefs. It also requires an examination of the truth or falsity of the challenged remarks — a determination that no one, especially not the UN, is capable of undertaking concerning any religion.

Tragically, given that Islamic states completely dominate the Human Rights Council, with the support of non-democratic members like Russia, China, and Cuba, adoption of the regressive resolution is a forgone conclusion. E.U. diplomats hope at best to win over a handful of wavering Latin American states to the dissenting side.

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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WAS CLINTON 'S FIRST MIDDLE EAST FORAY GOOD FOR ISRAEL?
Posted by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, March 12, 2009.

Top Diplomat's Words and Actions Proved Anything but 'Helpful'

This appeared in the Jewish Exponent. It is archived at
http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/18455/ Lori Lowenthal Marcus writes on the Middle East for local, national and international publications.

 

In her first Middle East visit as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton called the establishment of a Palestinian state "inescapable," and labeled as "unhelpful" Israel 's planned demolition of illegal Arab Palestinian construction, closing of border crossings to a terrorist entity and expanding construction in land acquired through a defensive war. In what was termed a "new path," the Clinton team sent diplomats to renew a courtship with the tyrannical Bashar Assad's Syria, and suggested that there should be a "unity" Palestinian government, which means a merger of the terrorist Hamas regime with the more moderate terrorists of Fatah.

But words like inescapable and unhelpful, when applied to dangerous ideas and realistic responses to terrorism, are themselves unhelpful.

Is now really the time to underscore to the Palestinians that their leadership has achieved what at least some see as their ultimate goal — statehood — without the renunciation of terror? Is the stewardship of Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas — or, even more grotesquely, Ismail Haniya and the leadership of Hamas — deserving of approbation rather than opprobrium?

What should be inescapably obvious is that the Abbas-Haniya hydra will continue on the path of terrorism. Yet the single attainable goal that Clinton voiced was that there will be a Palestinian state. So much for carrots and sticks; Clinton already gave away the farm.

In the extreme sport of throwing money at the Palestinians, the current U.S. administration is going for the gold. At the Sharm el-Sheik global aid-apalooza on March 2, Clinton pledged $900 million to rebuild the Hamas infrastructure in Gaza and boost the Fatah economy.

The official party line about the $900 million was that the "money was not being channeled through Hamas," according to State Department spokesman Robert Wood. But a senior State Department official acknowledged that "everyone" knows that "having a unified authority for the Palestinians" would be "a positive step toward statehood."

Israel's planned expansion of residential housing in disputed sections of Israel was called "unhelpful" to the peace process, while Israel 's plans to demolish Arab buildings illegally constructed in disputed sections of Jerusalem earned a tongue-lashing from Clinton. [THIS WAS EDITED OUT: The Arab residents of those homes utilized every level of the Israeli judicial process to block the demolitions. It was determined that the Arabs' homes were built illegally. That was far more process than was given to the thousands of Israeli residents of Gaza whose homes (built with full Israeli authority) and lives were demolished so the Arab residents could have free reign throughout the territory.]

Clinton also denounced Israel 's restricted passage of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israel was faulted for closures of its borders to the terrorist regime next door. The Hamas regime has a more liberal border policy — that of allowing any Palestinian to export mortars and increasingly sophisticated rockets over its border and into Israel. The U.S. administration chastised Hamas for failing to curb the enthusiastic export from Gaza, but it is Israel 's border policy that is being hammered in the diplomatic arena.

The plan to revive a " Syria track" of diplomacy is au currant. Clinton sent deputies to begin the process of re-establishing relations with Syria. Following their meetings, the two U.S. envoys said that " Syria can play an important and constructive role in the region."

Yes, they are talking about the same Syria in which tests by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency found, despite years of Syrian protest to the contrary, traces of enriched uranium to be evidence of covert nuclear activity.

Yes, the same Syria that America designated a foreign terrorist organization for hosting and supporting the regimes of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Yes, the same Syria that attended Iran 's alternative to the Gaza aid-apalooza that opened with Iran 's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's statement that "resistance" against Israel, a "cancerous tumor," is the only way to save Palestinians.

Most of Clinton 's efforts merely repeat the fruitless steps taken by the Bush administration, except for the outreach to Syria, with which President Bush refused to engage. This courtship is intended to woo Syria away from its current puppeteer, the ultimate evil empire, Iran.

But even this effort is a retread of another Republican: Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. For decades, his snarled response to queries about his playing footsy (and squash) with terrorist-abetting Syria was this mantra: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Yet some of those enemies you are holding close may just be drawing a bull's-eye on your back.

Contact the poster at lorilowenthalmarcus@yahoo.com

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FROM ISRAEL: STANDING STRONG
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 12, 2009.
 

I cannot let the Freeman incident pass without an additional comment:

I have picked up some observations that Jews should perhaps have stayed out of the fray with regard to appointing Freeman to a sensitive US intelligence post. Because, those making these observations say, look at the anti-Semitism that will now be aroused, look how the anti-Semites have been given a hook: that Jews control the government. (Which was Freeman's charge.)

But I would disagree. Anti-Semites will find reasons to attack if they choose. It is important for Jews to be able to voice legitimate concern without fear. And not only was this legitimate — the issues regarding Freeman far transcend his antipathy to Israel.

~~~~~~~~~~

Egypt, which is mediating talks between Palestinian factions in an effort to forge a unity government, has told these factions — primarily Fatah and Hamas, but including other smaller groups — that they need to complete an agreement in power sharing for a government by the end of the week. Egypt believes this government must be formulated before reconstruction of Gaza can begin in earnest.

There are, however, major stumbling blocks on the way to forging the government.

One is the treatment of members of Hamas by the PA in Judea and Samaria. A Hamas official has revealed that in the last few days PA security forces have arrested 38 Palestinians on charges of belonging to Hamas. All in all the PA is holding over 400 Hamas-affiliated persons in prison without trial. Hamas, infuriated, has said talks will fail unless all detainees are released and the PA stops pursuing members of Hamas

~~~~~~~~~~

This is a fascinating scenario. For, until very recently, this is what the PA was supposed to be doing, and had been trained to do with US support. Hamas members were the bad guys, and Fatah, fashioned as the good guys, were supposed to keep them down.

But now, the magical formula calls for a unity government in which all factions are supposed to be good guys. It's a very rapid 180 degree turn-around.

The problem is that, whatever Fatah is or is not, Hamas does not consist of good guys. And who is to say (I've picking up nothing on this) what Hamas might be planning inside Judea and Samaria to weaken Fatah or attack Israelis. One Hamas charge is that some of the people picked up by the PA forces just came out of Israeli prisons — names are mentioned, four from the Nablus area and four from the Hevron area. The accusation is that Fatah is working at the bidding of Israel. Interesting...

~~~~~~~~~~

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman had made the suggestion at the beginning of negotiations that a cabinet be formed of independent experts who are not party-affiliated at all. This has been rejected roundly.

Each group wants the upper hand in the formation of the government. A PA officials says that, according to the PA constitution, only Abbas, as president, has the authority to appoint a prime minister and other ministers.

Hamas disputes this, arguing that as Hamas won the majority in the legislature in the last elections it should select the prime minister.

Please, do not hold your breath waiting for a satisfactory and stable resolution here.

~~~~~~~~~~

What I notice is that Hamas is not challenging Abbas in his position as president. If you remember, Hamas had said his term ended in January, as he had served four years, while Abbas claimed that he had another year in order to have presidential and legislative elections at the same time.

And I note here that Salam Fayyad — who was appointed prime minister by Abbas in lieu of Ismail Haniyeh after Hamas took over Gaza and the two factions split — has submitted his resignation for the end of March, to make way for a unity government.

Fayyad, who belongs to neither party, is the favorite of the Western world.

~~~~~~~~~~

Another stumbling block to forming a Palestinian unity government that would facilitate Gaza construction is Secretary Clinton's reiteration the other day of the US insistence that there cannot be dealings with Hamas unless it recognizes Israel, renounces terrorism, and accepts previous PA-Israeli agreements.

This is simply not going to happen. Hamas will not renounce terrorism and accept the principles of Oslo. The question is whether the US will stand strong on these demands or find ways to look the other way in order to proceed with Gaza reconstruction. Europe is already moving in the direction of looking the other way.

The stipulation that Hamas must "recognize Israel" is the one that I see as most slippery. Hamas has said on occasion something like: "Israel (the Zionist entity, or whatever they call us) exists. We don't deny that it exists. We even have indirect talks with them."

Will this sorely inadequate statement, or one similar, suffice? There are two words missing from the demand that Hamas "recognize Israel." One is that Israel has a RIGHT to exist. And two that she has a right to exist AS A JEWISH STATE. That will never ever be forthcoming — even Abbas wouldn't agree to this. And it bothers me more than a little that this is not an explicit and on-going part of the demand, part of the formula of what's expected. What does this say about the US? (No, I don't expect this of the UN, or the EU.)

This bears close watching.

~~~~~~~~~~

Here at home formation of the government is moving slowly. It had been expected that a coalition agreement would be signed between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu today, but this did not happen as there are still outstanding issues.

One of those issues is the retention of Daniel Friedmann as Justice Minister, which Lieberman has been pumping for. Friedmann, who has taken on the justice system in Israel and challenged the amount of control it wields, is controversial in the eyes of some. (Not my eyes.)

Unofficially it's now being reported that Lieberman is willing to show some flexibility on this — permitting someone Lieberman proposes and both parties can agree upon. The names now being suggested are either Uzi Landau — formerly of Likud and once a public security minister, now Lieberman's second — or Yaakov Neeman — who was Minister of Justice under Netanyahu but does not now sit in the Knesset.

After this agreement is signed, Shas will be next, followed by United Torah Judaism and HaBayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home — formerly NRP). Whether National Union will be part of the coalition is still not clear.

Netanyahu wants all of this completed by next Wednesday.

~~~~~~~~~~

Obama, in an interview with the NY Times the other day, spoke about reaching out to the moderate members of the Taliban. What struck me immediately is that "moderate Taliban" is an oxymoron, if ever there was one.

And, it turns out, the head of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar, seems to agree. According to a Reuters report cited by Jihad Watch, a spokesman for the Taliban said, in response to a Reuters query in Kabul:

"This does not require any response or reaction for this is illogical. The Taliban are united, have one leader, one aim, one policy...I do not know why they are talking about moderate Taliban and what it means.

"If it means those who are not fighting and are sitting in their homes, then talking to them is meaningless. This really is surprising the Taliban."

~~~~~~~~~~

What is not surprising, sadly, is that in his eagerness to do this "dialogue," this reaching out, Obama is not doing his homework regarding what is possible and risks making a fool of himself and his nation.

That point was made by several persons commenting on this posting on Jihad Watch.

One said:

"What ticks me off the most is that Obama and the liberal leaning press would never have questioned the farce of the term 'moderate Taliban' if the Taliban themselves did not do so.

"What kind of dream world are we living in if 7th century barbarians have to correct world leaders...And how will Obama deal with national security if he cannot even acknowledge our enemies or their nature?"

~~~~~~~~~~

Ofer Dekel, Israel's key negotiator for the release of Gilad Shalit, is in Cairo, having extended his stay because of reported "progress." But exactly what that progress might be was not made clear. Hamas is demanding the release of over 1,000 prisoners, some 450 of whom have been involved in deadly terrorist attacks against Israel. The very notion that they might be released wrenches the stomach.

And, apparently, the powers that be in Jerusalem deciding on this matter are also finding the terms objectionable. The end is not in sight. This in spite of the PR pressure that Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, is putting on Olmert to finalize a deal before he leaves office.

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

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AN APPEAL TO CULTURAL MUSLIMS
Posted by Amil Imani, March 12, 2009.
This appeared in New Media Journal
www.newmediajournal.us/staff/imani/2009/03122009..htm
 

There are some 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of which are Cultural Muslims who are generally called moderate Muslims. Muslims are born into Islam, where a great many never go through the process of deciding for themselves if they want to be Muslims. It is not a religion that they choose, it is a belief they inherit. For whatever reason, this great majority of Cultural Muslims are Muslims of sort without fully toeing the line of Islam. The real Muslims are the jihadists, a small minority who lives and dies by the dictates of the Quran and the Sunna, the life examples of Muhammad. http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/imani/2009/03122009..htm

Contact Amil Imani at editor_amilimani@yahoo.com

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VIRGINIA ISLAMIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS; KEY TO MIDEAST PEACE?; BARD COLLEGE VS. AMERICA
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 12, 2009.
 

IDF BASES & ENEMY ASSAULT

A few years ago, an investigation found that IDF bases have notoriously lax security and great vulnerability to missiles. A year ago, the Army set up a new department to deal with this. The assumption is that in wartime, Syria would fire accurate missiles at army bases. This would interfere with Israeli air support.

So far, the department has been inspecting base security and briefing officers about it (IMRA, 2/23).

The government has failed to adopt a fairly inexpensive, reliable anti-missile system that would have been ready. It adopted a fairly expensive anti-missile system of uncertain reliability and not yet ready. Now if only the enemy cooperates by waiting until Israel's system is installed!

This is another, critical menace to Israel that Barry Chamish pointed out many months ago. They didn't pay enough attention to him. They move slowly, whereas the enemy may not.

He and others have warned that in a war, the enemy might attack troops en route to mobilization stations. Others have warned that the half-hearted feints into Lebanon and Gaza allowed those places to pose a great threat to at least parts of Israel. Proper strategic planning by a sensible government would devise a plan to remove such threats, rather than let them grow. They've been growing.

IRANIAN DIPLOMACY

Iranian diplomats offered various European counterparts quietly a deal. If the West dropped opposition to Iran's nuclear program, Iran would stop supporting groups that fight the West in Iraq (IMRA, 2/23).

It's an admission that Iran was a belligerent. (This is something that during the presidential debates, McCain seemed to understand but Obama did not.) It's a typical jihadist offer: if we stop opposing one improper action of theirs, they will stop committing another. But the one that they would continue would enable them eventually to murder millions of us.

VIRGINIA ISLAMIC SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS

Contrary to a Saudi prince's claim, Saudi textbooks sent to foreign Islamic schools subsidized by S. Arabia contain authors' remarks authorizing Muslims to murder for religion. Under criticism, the Virginia Islamic school purged hundreds of pages of four textbooks (IMRA, 2/23). The states should review the curriculum of such schools or ban such schools.

THE EVER PENDING SAUDI DEMOCRATIC REFORM & THE EVER HOPEFUL NY TIMES

I discarded my copy of the Times a few days ago. Now I remember an editorial about some proposed Saudi government proposal for democratic reform.

What happened to the prior reform? The editorial did not point out that it was minor. It had not lived up to its billing in the Times. Therefore, it is evidence against the Times' cautious optimism about the new proposal.

Saudi proposals for democratic reform have been fraudulent, just like what they call peace proposals for Israel. They propose reform to get favorable Western review, as the Times can be counted on to give in ostensible innocence. This P.R. neutralizes some of the disgust informed Westerners may feel about the primitive oppression in S. Arabia. It serves to defuse action and even recognition that S. Arabia is a font of terrorism against civilization. That makes it a major enemy. The US would have been justified in overturning that country's regime.

KEY TO MIDEAST PEACE?

The US and Israeli ruling circles claim that establishing a PLO state would solving Israel's security problem [and may even bring peace to the entire region]. That claims "has been overtaken by Iran's rise as a regional hegemon and aspiring nuclear power dedicated to the eradication of Israel." (IMRA, 2/23.)

Iran has border disputes with neighbors. Its proxy took over Lebanon. It keeps Syria armed. It sent gunmen into Iraq. It seeks global conquest. The source of the Arab-Israel conflict is not Israel, the victim, but Islam, especially now its radical version, whose religious imperialism generates conflicts.

ANOTHER AMNESTY INTL. (A.I.) ERROR

A.I. [and Human Rights Watch] do not verify sources. They are fed misinformation. In turn, they misinform journalists, who should know better, after their proven exaggeration of Arab casualties in Jenin and Lebanon. Recently A.I. accused Israel of the war crime of attacking ambulance workers in Gaza. The IDF later explained that those workers really were Hamas agents. The war crime was that of Hamas posing its men as ambulance workers.

A.I. offers the excuse that Hamas' war crimes are obvious, so they don't need attention, whereas Israel's are not, so they need to be put into reports. But it is bias, to condemn basically one side. [It's a poor excuse to pretend that that doesn't let Hamas get away with it.] One should not keep falsely accusing one side of war crimes. Biased too is A.I. failure to condemn Hamas' genocidal goal.

APOLOGY TO OBAMA

The Administration concluded that the approved agenda for Durban II was unacceptable. It gave out word that the US would boycott the main conference unless many amendments were made to the agenda (IMRA, 2/28). No way would the UNO's ruling Muslim bloc accept cutting out all their unfair points.

Commentators criticized Pres. Obama for having dispatched US delegates to the meeting preparing the agenda for Durban II. We remarked that it was condoning antisemitism. We did not accept the Administration's rationale that the US should try to reform the agenda. Reports came back that it didn't try. However, if the US does boycott Durban II, then we under-estimated Obama. I apologize to him and to you. I judged too soon.

However, I think it was naïve and a mistake to have attended even the pre-planning meeting. I guess the President wanted to give the other countries a chance. He over-estimated them. He would have been better advised to have excoriated the Conference based on the instructions given by Durban I to use Durban II to enforce Durban I conclusions and based on the dubious composition of the rest of the agenda-planning committee.

SUBVERSIVES AT COLLEGES

A recent graduate of Bard College, a nice drive from New York City, mentioned favorably his College's pairing with an Arab university in Jerusalem.

When mishandled naively like that, higher education teaches enemies of civilization how to fight us. At that very same university in Jerusalem, the curriculum for chemistry included bomb-making. American, Canadian, and Israeli colleges have been hiring Islamists, often without academic credentials, who falsify history and distort education into "improperganda." Muslim students often harass Jews on campus.

The youth argued that not all the Palestinian Arabs are like that. True, but basically their society is. The few exceptions don't count, because extremists run their society.

His logic was like arguing during World War II that not all Germans were Nazis, so let Germans study military science at American colleges. Not all were Nazis, but almost all would be used by them. This is not a matter of disliking contrary opinion of screening out of college student bodies and faculties people from areas making holy war against us. At age 18, freshmen may not have ties with terrorists, but upon graduation, they would be of great use to terrorism. This requires thinking through whether we can be so open a society as to be taken advantage of by mortal enemies.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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FROM ISRAEL: POST PURIM
Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 12, 2009.
 

Well, the celebration of Purim — with both its frivolity and its message of import — has ended, and we are back to the every-day world of here and now, such as that may be. I will begin to pick up on what has been going on.

~~~~~~~~~~

The good news is that Chas Freeman has withdrawn from the position of chair of the National Intelligence Council even before his vetting has been completed. This is a stunning example of the way in which raising our voices in concern over issues can make a difference.

Freeman, however (providing more evidence of his lack of qualifications for the position), has turned on the "Israel lobby" for doing a smear job on him.

What he actually said was: "There is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired...The tactics of the Israel lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter regard for the truth."

Did he leave anything out?

~~~~~~~~~~

The simple fact of the matter is that Freeman's appointment was inappropriate for reasons that had nothing to do with Israel: he has been in the paid employ of/and has lucrative business connections with foreign governments — and has demonstrated a bias towards those governments.

As JINSA points out (Report #868 ), Freeman sits on the board of the Chinese state oil company, which pumps oil in Sudan:

"Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Sudan's President Omar Bashir for crimes in Darfur. Bashir, in retaliation, ousted several of the nonprofit food and medical organizations that keep the people of Darfur alive...A few of the civilized countries, including the United States, tried to get a UN Security Council resolution condemning Bashir for tossing the food and medical people. China has a history of defending Sudan in the Security Council and in this instance threatened to exercise its veto on behalf of its state oil company."

Says JINSA: "Forget Israel. Try defending that in front of Congress."

JINSA's conclusion: "...once he aroused public and then Congressional interest and knew he would have to explain himself outside his cozy circle, he had neither the desire nor the ability to defend being paid by Saudi Arabia and sitting on the Board of a Chinese state oil company."

~~~~~~~~~~

I had thought by now Netanyahu would have put together his coalition, but it's moving slowly.

Word is that Moshe Ya'alon, former Chief of Staff who fell into disfavor with Sharon for speaking out against the "disengagement," will be Minister of Defense. This would be good news.

Apparently Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) is holding tight in his demand that he be given the Foreign Ministry post. This is a case of coalition politics generating a situation in which the best man for the job is not appointed, but rather the one who brings in a solid number of mandates. Silvan Shalom (Likud), who had previously held the position of Foreign Minister and coveted it again, is greatly disgruntled, and has the capacity to cause problems.

~~~~~~~~~~

A Freudian slip by Hillary Clinton? Or a deliberate statement?

As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, Clinton was interviewed live on Sunday for a Palestinian TV show for teenagers. One of her young interviewers asked her about a particular exchange program, and how it might help to bridge a cultural gap.

Clinton responded: "I am hoping to play a big role in working to connect the Palestinian people and American people more closely. As you know, we have many Palestinian Americans, we have very successful Palestinians in every walk of life; in business, in academia, you name it, in every walk of life. And I want to do more to connect up our two countries..."

Connect our two countries?

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

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OBAMA: PRO-ISRAEL TALK, ANTI-ISRAEL WALK
Posted by LEL, March 11, 2009.

This was written by Adam Hasner and is archived at
www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/obama_proisrael_talk_antiisrae.html

Florida State Representative Adam Hasner (R-Boca Raton) is the Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives. He served as the Jewish Outreach Chairman in Florida for McCain/Palin during the 2008 election. He can be reached at adamhasner@hasner.org.

 

Barely a month into the presidency of Barack Obama, a profound realization is spreading among the pro-Israel community: we do not have an ally in the White House. The growing threat that Israel and the Jewish People now face demands an immediate acceptance of the "facts on the ground" regarding President Obama's perspective and agenda, and decisive action to prevent the frightening reality that he may play a leading role in creating.

So how exactly did this get by most Jewish voters during last year's election? While some, including this author, warned of his dubious associations and likely course of action regarding Israel, Obama brilliantly pandered to Jewish crowds around the country with his scripted and amorphous proclamations of support for Israel, while utilizing an array of prominent Jewish surrogates in order to avoid any real accountability.

Under the new Obama administration, our federal government is now beginning to comfortably operate within the realm of the anti-Israel perspective espoused by the likes of Mearsheimer and Walt, who argue that the political clout of American Jews is used to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israel at the expense of broader American interests. On one hand, President Obama receives advice on Israel, Iran and the entire Middle East from advisors such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and Chas Freeman, all of whom possess strong anti-Israel biases that are well documented. Freeman, whose nomination to a top intelligence post faces growing criticism, was quoted as saying "the primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today... is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation." As if that were not bad enough, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is apparently now joining the fray with her recent remarks intended to unduly pressure Israel.

On the other hand, there is also a faction of prominent Jewish politicians who don't seem willing to speak out against the President's judgment or the actions we are now witnessing. While allowing President Obama to tout their Jewish identities for political gain, these politicians are also helping the Administration to confer mainstream status and legitimacy upon treacherous new Jewish agencies like J-Street, whose vision for Israel more readily identifies with that of her enemies. Combined, the forces at work within the Executive branch are helping to create conditions that will allow President Obama to force dangerous concessions upon Israel.

The policies put forth by President Obama during his first 30 days in office paint a disturbing picture as well. In light of his first Presidential news interview having been granted to the Al-Arabia television network, his first head-of-state phone call placed to Mahmoud Abbas, and his allocation of $20 million dollars of taxpayer money to resettling Palestinians with ties to Hamas in the United States, what we have witnessed is a clear pattern of taking the pressure off terrorist groups, the Islamist regimes that support them and other tyrants who hate Israel and America in favor of offering them legitimacy and leniency. The growing danger of the Iranians and their nuclear weapons program, along with the network of villains they are organizing and arming, are without a doubt today's greatest threat to America, Israel and the Western World. As President Obama offers the Iranians more time, despite plenty of credible evidence that their nuclear weapons program is speeding ahead, he is also granting a reprieve to their vicious surrogates. For example, numerous overtures and contacts are taking place between the Administration and the Al-Assad regime, less than a year and a half after Israel was forced to destroy Syria's secret nuclear reactor facility built by the North Koreans.

Another Iranian proxy, the Hamas terror organization, is also benefiting from President Obama's appeasement and accommodation. Special Middle-East Envoy George Mitchell recently signaled U.S. approval for Hamas to join in governing the Palestinian Authority. That is in addition to the $900 million in U.S. taxpayer money that will shortly be gifted to Hamas-controlled Gaza for "aid," which will only help to ensure that the terrorists need not spend their own money on anything other than arms and death. Once Hamas is finally legitimized, which now appears to be likely, one can only imagine how their international acceptance will adversely impact the prospect of peace.

Anti-Israelism and other forms of latent anti-Semitism have also received a boost from President Obama's initial decision to send a delegation to the negotiation sessions of the upcoming Durban II conference. The U.S. representatives' silence in the face of repeated attempts to demonize Israel and vilify Zionism did plenty to gratify the gathering of wolves, before the President ultimately realized that America's presence was making things worse rather than better. The damage has been done however, and while the U.S. has indicated after the fact that it likely will not participate in the plenary session, many nations that would have otherwise followed the U.S. in boycotting Durban II will now be lending their credence. Israel's supporters must understand that this set of circumstances significantly helps our enemies' effort to delegitimize Israel's right to exist by harkening back to the "Zionism is racism" days of U.N. Resolution 3379.

In looking squarely ahead to the grave challenges we face on the horizon, it is important to keep in mind that we are still early in the new President's term, and that there are a variety of ways to demand action on the promises we were assured of during his campaign. To begin, we must call upon pro-Israel Congressional leaders and Jewish activists — those who supported President Obama and those who didn't — to hold him to his word and protect the America-Israel relationship. We cannot afford to be passive in performing this task. Where there is inaction or resistance, we must withhold all support from politicians who won't stand up to the Administration's harmful policies. The solemn oath of "Never Again" must not be forgotten in our time.

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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SAUDIS ORDER 40 LASHES FOR ELDERLY WOMAN FOR MINGLING
Posted by LEL, March 11, 2009.

This is archived at
www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/03/09/saudi.arabia.lashes/archives/oldindex.html

 

(CNN) — A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports.

According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, troubles for the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, began last year when a member of the religious police entered her house in the city of Al-Chamli and found her with two unrelated men, "Fahd" and "Hadian."

Fahd told the policeman he had the right to be there, because Sawadi had breast-fed him as a baby and was therefore considered to be a son to her in Islam, according to Al-Watan. Fahd, 24, added that his friend Hadian was escorting him as he delivered bread for the elderly woman. The policeman then arrested both men.

Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism and punishes unrelated men and women who are caught mingling.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, feared by many Saudis, is made up of several thousand religious policemen charged with duties such as enforcing dress codes, prayer times and segregation of the sexes. Under Saudi law, women face many restrictions, including a strict dress code and a ban on driving. Women also need to have a man's permission to travel.

Al Watan obtained the court's verdict and reported it was partly based on the testimony of the religious police. In his ruling, the judge said it was proved that Fahd is not Sawadi's son through breastfeeding.

The court also doled out punishment to the two men. Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes; Hadian was sentenced to six months in prison and 60 lashes. In a phone call with Al Watan, the judge declined to comment and suggested the newspaper review the case with the Ministry of Justice. Sawadi told the newspaper that she will appeal, adding that Fahd is indeed her son through breastfeeding.

A top Saudi human rights lawyer, Abdulrahman Al-Lahem, volunteered to defend the woman and the two men and has been given power of attorney by them. He told CNN he plans to file an appeal in the case next week.

Efforts to reach Saudi officials at the Justice Ministry, religious police and other agencies were unsuccessful. A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington said he had no details on the case.

The case sparked anger in Saudi Arabia.

"It's made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother," Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider told CNN. "Forty lashes — how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it."

This is not the first Saudi court case to cause controversy.

In 2007, a 19-year-old gang-rape victim in the Saudi city of Qatif was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for meeting with an unrelated male. The seven rapists, who abducted the woman and man, received sentences ranging from 10 months to five years in prison.

The case sparked international outrage and Saudi King Abdullah subsequently pardoned the "Qatif Girl" and the unrelated male.

Al-Lahem, who has taken on many high-profile cases in recent years, represented the girl and received an award from Human Rights Watch last year. However, a travel ban issued by Saudi authorities kept him from traveling to London, England, to receive it.

Many Saudis hope the Ministry of Justice will be reformed. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz announced in February a major Cabinet reshuffling in which many hard-line conservatives, including the head of the commission, were dismissed and replaced with younger, more moderate members.

The new appointments represented the largest shakeup since King Abdullah took power in 2005 and were welcomed in Saudi Arabia as progressive moves on the part of the king, whom many see as a reformer. Among ministers who've been replaced is the minister of justice.

The actions of the religious police have come under increased scrutiny in Saudi Arabia recently, as more and more Saudis urge that the commission's powers be limited. Last week, the religious police detained two male novelists for questioning after they tried to get the autograph of a female writer, Halima Muzfar, at a book fair in Riyadh, the capital of the kingdom.

"This is the problem with the religious police," added Al-Huwaider, "watching people and thinking they're bad all the time. It has nothing to do with religion. It's all about control. And the more you spread fear among people, the more you control them. It's giving a bad reputation to the country."

Contact LEL at lel817@yahoo.com

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A SHAM ENGAGEMENT: THE U.S. PARTICIPATES IN A HUMAN-RIGHTS TRAVESTY
Posted by Eye on the UN, March 11, 2009.

For Immediate Release:
March 11, 2009
Contact: Anne Bayefsky
info@EYEontheUN.org

This article, by Anne Bayefsky, originally appeared in National Review Online.

 

Engagement — the centerpiece of the Obama administration's foreign policy — is currently making its debut in the heart of the U.N. human-rights world in Geneva. And U.S. diplomats have become sitting ducks on a firing range.

U.S. representatives are participating, for the first time, in a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. This is the second half of a policy decision that the administration unveiled a week ago: The U.S. would attend the Council, but remain on the sidelines in the U.N.'s Durban II "anti-racism" conference.

Obama's real agenda is to join the Council as a full member. Elections take place in May, and the campaign to get the U.S. to run has now reached fever pitch. Rooting for this is a motley crew of current Council members and human-rights lowlifes pining for good-guy credentials, together with U.N. personnel, State Department officials, U.S.-U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, and NGO representatives.

The Council is the U.N.'s lead human-rights body. It was created back in 2006 out of the ruins of the U.N. Human Rights Commission (once chaired by Libya). At the time, the U.S. proposed making the actual protection of human rights a criterion for membership in the "reformed" agency. When the idea was rejected as a gross interference with the entitlements of human-rights abusers, the U.S. refused to participate in or to pay for the Council — until, that is, the arrival of President Obama.

Understanding the Council is a no-brainer. It is divided into five regional groups, with the African and Asian regional groups together forming the majority. The Islamic bloc holds the balance of power because it has successfully elected a majority to each of the African and Asian regional groups. The Western bloc controls a mere 7 of 47 seats. Current membership boasts such human-rights stalwarts as Saudi Arabia, China, and Cuba.

Electioneering is in the air, and U.S. officials apparently have instructions to grin and bear it. The State Department announcement justifying the U.S. participation claimed: "We . . . will do more to . . . advance human rights if we are part of the conversation." That would assume that the conversation was about advancing human rights, not setting them back. Under the newly minted U.S. engagement strategy, here is some of what has passed for human-rights conversation at the Council over the past week:

  • Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki called for the elimination of "the illegitimate Zionist regime" and support for "the legitimate resistance . . . of Hamas." He also declared that "in accordance with its Constitution . . . Iran makes every effort to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms." That would be the same constitution that allows stoning, amputation, and the murder of homosexuals for the crime of existing.

  • Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission chairman, Bandar bin Mohammed al-Aban, told those assembled at the Council that "the kingdom continues a consistent policy of promoting and consolidating principles of justice and equality among all members of society." He didn't mention that last week another Saudi woman was arrested for being behind the wheel of a car.

  • The Egyptian minister for legal and parliamentary councils, Mufid Shehab, said it was paramount that "freedom of expression should not lead to abuse of religions and religious standpoints. . . . Societies should be obliged to punish acts of free expression when they damage the rights of others. . . . Opinions cannot be expressed freely if this affects . . . religious sensibilities.

  • Cuba's justice minister, Maria Esther Reus González, ranted about U.S. "plans for global domination," "wars of pillage and conquest," and "twenty long years . . . of blockade and aggression." (A Council decision of 2006 takes Cuba's human-rights record permanently off the table.)

  • Sudan's justice minister, Abdel Daiem Zumrawi, gave an account of his country's positive "endeavors in Darfur" — also known as genocide. He told the U.S. "to increase [its] contribution to a peaceful solution by exercising pressure on all of the armed groups" — excluding the government of Sudan.

  • The "Palestine Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs," Ahmad Soboh, spoke warmly of "the outstanding progress" of the Human Rights Council as compared with the Commission. Over 40 years, 30 percent of all the country condemnations made by the Commission were directed at Israel. The Council has already directed over 50 percent of all condemnations at Israel.

  • China's representative, Li Saodong, made a nice speech about China's "democracy" and "democratic institutions" and its "continued policy of ethnic equality . . . to protect religious [and] cultural identities, and heritage" — which of course would be news to the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans. He then called for states to "engage in dialogue and cooperation." Sound familiar?

In the context of all of this human-rights shop-talk, U.S. representative Mark Storella was excited to be a part of it all. On behalf of the United States, he declared: "It is my great pleasure to be here today, and to address this body, on behalf of the United States. My government has made the affirmative decision to actively reengage as an observer in the Human Rights Council. We look forward to participating in the Council's deliberations and working closely with you in the coming weeks and throughout the year. . . . As President Obama said in his recent address to a joint session of the United States Congress, 'In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun.'"

This kind of ingratiating language is not harmless. It has the tangible effect of leading other countries to believe there is no downside to using the Council to criticize the U.S., rather than to work with it. By Friday, the Cuban and Venezuelan delegations had mounted verbal attacks on various alleged U.S. violations of international law and human rights. In response, no right of reply was exercised by U.S. diplomats. Engagement is apparently a one-way street.

At Friday's session, one NGO had the audacity to mention Muslim incitement to religious hatred of Jews. It was contained in books produced by a prominent Muslim organization that were flogged in the halls of the U.N. itself. The speaker was interrupted by the Council chair and ruled out of order. No comment from U.S. diplomats.

The Obama administration is not sitting in Geneva just to present itself as ignorant, naïve, incompetent, and weak. It wants a permanent seat at this anti-human-rights travesty.

The U.N. has promised a five-year review of Council operations in 2011. If "engagement" stands for anything other than drivel, the administration should stay out and leverage future participation against demands for changes during the review. The membership of the world's greatest democracy ought not to be taken for granted by the U.N. — it should be earned. If the current form of "engagement" sloganeering takes precedence, however, all genuine human-rights victims will lose.

Contact Eye on the UN at list@eyeontheun.org

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SYRIA INCREASING TIES WITH IRAN; VERDICT ON BUSH'S IRAQ WAR; NETANYAHU
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 11, 2009.
 

MORE ELECTION CAMPAIGN REVERSAL

"Last summer, with oil prices above $100 a barrel, Iraq was so flush with cash that many in the US were arguing that a country so rich should be paying for its own reconstruction and possibly even reimbursing American taxpayers." Now, fallen oil prices are leaving Iraq unable to meet expenses it is responsible for (Campbell Robertson and James Glanz, NY Times, 2/26, A1).

"Many in the US were arguing?" Candidate Obama made that a major point of two debates. The first time he made some sense, though one could not count on extraordinary prices to stay high. The second time, prices were falling. The argument no longer made sense. Candidate McCain could have scored a great debating point against his opponent and diminished that opponent's credibility.

Why didn't the Times mention that Obama made an issue of Iraq's prosperity?

That prosperity, by the way, reflected a major achievement of our war effort. Previously, the insurgents and crooks enriched themselves by stealing and smuggling oil, depriving the government of the revenues. The fact that, by October, Iraq was accumulating so much money, meant that the insurgency had been beaten back. Our achievement was overlooked.

During the campaign, the surge's success was denied by Obama and the Democrats. Obama still doesn't explicitly admit it, though his plan to withdraw troops from Iraq tacitly admits it. Congressional Democrats now do acknowledge that the surge worked. I think that they were so ideologically against the war, and so imbued with partisanship, that they did not want to admit that the war had turned back in our favor. That lack of integrity is a problem with our politics.

SYRIA INCREASING TIES WITH IRAN

The two states plan several joint ventures. That means Iranian investment in Syria (IMRA, 2/28).

So much for hopes by Obama and supporters that he could wean Syria from Iran! That may save Israel from US pressure to give strategic homeland to Syria.

YORK U. IN CANADA PREPARES FOR DURBAN II

York's Islamic hate groups have resorted to intimidation. B'nai B'rith Canada asked the university to prepare now to prevent Durban II becoming a pretext for strife. The President said he'd suspend hate groups and their victims. B'nai B'rith doesn't think the victims should be punished for what others do wrong (IMRA, 2/28). Colleges won't heal society when by wounding it.

VERDICT ON BUSH'S IRAQ WAR?

Sometimes defensive wars succeed or fail according to how much they deter further aggression. Deterrence succeeds or fails according to whether a war is thought to have succeeded or failed. How well it is thought to have succeeded depends largely on how the government defines its objective and the public believes that objective achieved. How much the public believes that objective achieved depends on how clearly, thoroughly, and persuasively the government states its case.

You may know by now that I think that the Bush administration mishandled its statements of goals and of achievements. It let partisan political and media opponents get away with misinterpreting the goals and understating the achievements. It left people not knowing why we fought, whether we had a right to fight, and whether we must fight again elsewhere.

Here is an example of popular confusion. At a psychology association's public meeting on aggression, a psychological analyst and lawyer, who works with the International Criminal Court, accused the Bush administration of reacting to 9/11 by taking it out on Iraq. She failed to ask, then why Iraq? Did she forget that the US reaction was to invade Afghanistan? War in Iraq came later and largely for other reasons, except that really it preceded the Afghanistan war, being a continuation of the first Gulf War.

Why Iraq? It had primarily to do with violating the terms of the first war's truce and with Saddam gaining traction against UNO sanctions, secondarily with jihad.

As for international terrorism, a phenomenon that Bush failed to explain sufficiently, he would have been justified in working against S. Arabia and Iran as the chief promoters of jihad.

By posing a doctrine of preventive war, also without sufficient and persuasive explanation, Pres. Bush left people wondering whether we were in for a series of wars. I suspect we might have been, if Sec. Rumsfeld's optimistic hope of quick, cheap, and settled victory would have immediately worked, freeing our armed forces to move on. Against that scenario is the regime's not having started a case against any other country, to prepare public opinion for another war.

Having left the nation in confusion and his political and ideological opponents the main stage, Pres. Bush not only undermined his Party's next presidential candidate. He also undermined his policy. It now would be more difficult for the US to defend itself against radical Islam by fighting it abroad. We are less likely to have allies now, in such an endeavor. Our dwindling economic resources seconds the motion or lack of motion or lack of emotion. Ironically, if Iraq holds together, and stays democratic and non-Islamist, Bush will have proved that Arabs can have decent government. What an accomplishment!

NETANYAHU

People still think Netanyahu is a right-winger, a nationalist. Cannot they see that he is trying again and again to form a coalition with the Left and not with the Right?

The religious parties meanwhile bicker over Cabinet portfolios. They are oblivious to the country's chances of going down under a holocaust. If Israel were conquered by jihad, they would be murdered. What use would be their portfolios? Their antics make a good case for separation of religion from government. Religion in politics demeans both. Governmental power over religion can oppresses both.

Caroline Glick suspects that MK Livni refuses to join a coalition with Netanyahu, in the hope that he will be forced out of office soon by pressure from the US, Pres. Peres, and the defeatist heads of the IDF. She might have added the pressure from Livni, the Attorney-General, the Supreme Court, and the media. Livni's attitude is deplorable for a country in crisis.

If Netanyahu wants to resist that, he must end the many undemocratic ways by which the Left crushes opposition. The trick is to take these actions in the right order, and with the right public introduction, moving swiftly before the opposition could organize to block him. He's got to get public opinion on his side. The best argument is that his opponents fouled up or disregarded the national security that the public wants.

(1) Reform the appointment process of the Supreme Court, put its jurisdiction into separation-of-powers bounds, and curb its power to act on the basis of personal ideology. Reconstitute it with jurists who are not Far-Left ideologues;

(2) Pare the Attorney-General's powers down and replace the incumbent;

(3) Reform the broadcasting agency. Make it stop denying radio licenses to qualified nationalists, and grant one to Arutz-7. Stop government TV channels from censoring news and from partisanship or privatize them. That would give the people an opportunity to hear both sides. Government subsidy in general gives government officials too much power. Subsidy of unpopular theatres merely supports unpatriotic Far Leftists;

(4) Replace the defeatist Chief-of-Staff and his ideological protégés with leaders who understand, foresee, and don't pretend military dangers can be ignored;

(5) When Peres steps out of bounds, cut him down to size. Warn that his office is ceremonial except for the power to pardon; tell everyone he is acting out of his jurisdiction. Threaten to impeach him [if there is such a procedure] if he continues. Question his patriotism, reminding people of his having sabotaged the 1982 war in Lebanon because it was run by a Likud regime. But don't eat dinner alone with Peres, if one wants to survive. Purge Peres' rogue secret service agents and reduce secret service power to persecute Jewish dissidents;

(6) Reform the police to end their brutality. Professionalize their forensics and chain-of-evidence practice. Rescind their special rules for persecuting the Jews of Hebron and in the rest of the Territories. Prepare the police and the nation to face down Arab riots;

(7) If the US interferes, publicly or privately tell them to stop. Point out that the Democrats had criticized the US before for interfering and blundering in foreign countries' affairs, yet here the new regime is doing that. Mention that the result of US effort to halt every successful Israeli self-defense, prompted by an anti-Zionist State Dept., has been continued aggression against Israel. Demand that the US free its political prisoner, Pollard. I'd demand that anyway. Before US recrimination occurs, ask the US to forgive Israel's debt to it, as it did for Egypt's, and suggest that the US cease its foreign aid to the Egyptian military, Hizbullah's Lebanese Army auxiliary, Abbas' Islamist and corrupt regime, and then to Israel. Inform the world that Abbas' media is pro-terrorist, his school curriculum describes Israel as part of an Arab state to be reclaimed, and that he threatens war, honors terrorists, and refuses to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state. If the US then cuts off aid just to Israel, cut off Israeli funds going to the P.A.. [Do that anyway, but with advantageous timing.]

(8) Forestall Livni's political machinations and prospects by exposing her disastrous foreign policy. Same for Barak and whose limited war in Gaza failed to stop rockets from being fired into Israel.

(9) Prosecute Israeli Arab leaders for treason and ban their parties. Beware, however, that Arabs can simply switch their influence to a Jewish party, making the Left more powerful in Knesset.

(10) Therefore, and to reduce Arab subversion and sabotage, Israel needs to get Arabs out. This requires my standard program for ending Arab immigration for family reunification or marriage, and removing illegal Arab immigrants. End the Jerusalem Arabs' option to become citizens and then end their welfare benefits, travel privileges, and for those whose primary housing has been outside the City for more than a couple of years, their Jerusalem residency permits. Stop affirmative action discrimination for Arabs. Require civilian national service from their youth. Enforce taxation of Arabs. Reverse their public land theft. Confiscate or demolish their illegal housing. Rescind Waqf jurisdiction over the Temple Mount other than their property on it. Stop their illegal building and their destruction of Jewish artifacts. Punish those who did it. Enforce the law and stop coddling them, and they will emigrate.

(11) Strengthen Israel's strategic position, thereby reducing the opportunity for mischief by the US. Do so by authorizing many outposts and communities that have not been fully approved merely for bureaucratic reasons. Rule in favor of Jews expelling Arab squatters and taking possession of their houses. Re-take control over the Gaza side of the Egyptian border, to end arms smuggling.

(12) Reform higher education to restrict tenure to qualified professors. Reform the elementary and high school education. Change the curriculum from pro-Muslim to one stressing Jewish history, values, and entitled to the Land and exposing jihadist aggression. Education needs other reforms, too, such as keeping students disciplined and educating better. But that is aside from the plan here, to keep power by democratizing the country.

(13) Reform the IDF so that it is hospitable to Ultra-Orthodox Jewry, and then work with them to end the practice of disinterested students staying on at Yeshivas to avoid the religiously distasteful and hostile military regimen.

(14) Tangling with the US means economic repercussions. To withstand this, Israel must boost its economy and make it more attractive. Netanyahu should increase the economic reforms he started. The problem is that Israel has come under the grip of subsidy-seeking lobbyists, as has the US. In addition, a few families run most industry there. Organized crime is too powerful to be curbed by the unprofessional staff.

I think that all these things are related. The first few tasks must be done swiftly, simultaneously, and in the name of democracy. Some of the rest must be done serially, so as not to range too many lobbies against the regime before it has accomplished most of the tasks.

Has Netanyahu the desire, comprehension, courage, and initiative to do this? He would be criticized before he would be adored for having saved the country.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com

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THE THIRD DELUSION
Posted by M.S. Kramer, March 11, 2009.
 

I recently wrote about two delusions which the world has cherished since the Oslo Accord was signed in 1993. The first is that land for peace is a viable formula to achieve peace between Arabs and Jews. The second is that the Muslim world is ready to recognize a Palestinian, nationalistic state alongside of a Jewish state. Now I will describe the third delusion, that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fundamental to resolving the problems of the Middle East and southwest Asia, which includes Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and India.

As the war in Iraq winds down, one hopes that the nascent democracy will be able to prosper after the withdrawal of Western troops in the next several years. There is no guarantee of that happening. Iraq is composed mostly of three separate Muslim groups: Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The Kurds, non-Arabs who constitute about 20% of the population, speak an Indo-European language related to Persian and fiercely protect their autonomy against the other two major groups.

The Shiites, the largest group, were subjugated by Saddam Hussein and are now the dominant political force. The Sunnis, who were on top politically under Saddam, are unhappy with their diminished status. Add to this unstable mix the (Shiite) Iranians, who agitate for the Iraqi Shiites from their side of the border and the Islamist groups like al-Qaeda, both of whom would benefit from the downfall of democracy in Iraq.

The establishment of a Palestinian state would do little to alleviate the problems in Iraq, which is separated from Israel by 550 miles and the countries of Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

As the war in Afghanistan begins to take precedence over the fight in Iraq, one hopes that an allied force will be able to subdue the Taliban fighters there. The prospects are not good. Ever since Ahmad Shah defeated the Moghuls in 1747, Afghanis have been embroiled in warfare. Beside the numerous internal revolts among the indigenous tribes, there have been wars with Persians, Sikhs, British, Indians, Pakistanis, and Russians. Many of the conflagrations have been serial, especially those with Britain and Russia.

The Taliban, who are the offspring of the Mujahadeen Islamist fighters, were seemingly defeated after an American-led, short-lived war in Afghanistan after 9/11. But they were not so much defeated as delayed. Absent Western occupation of the country, the Taliban have been able to regain power in regions of the country by skillfully co-opting tribal groups and taking advantage of the disorganized, Western-supported leadership.

The Russians lost a major war in Afghanistan in 1989. There's no great likelihood that America will do much better, given the fact that allied armies, willing to fight, are not lining up in great numbers. The establishment of a Palestinian state would do little to alleviate the problems in Afghanistan, which is separated from Israel by 1,800 miles.

To many pundits, Pakistan presents a larger problem to the West than Afghanistan, which has an isolated location and a not so large population. Pakistan is a member of the exclusive club of nuclear-armed countries and it's known to have sold nuclear technology to North Korea and others. In addition, Pakistan has been at odds with nuclear-armed India ever since 1947, after the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent. Many pundits are nervous about the possibility of one or both of the countries exercising its nuclear option during one of their frequent confrontations.

(West and East) Pakistan were created by the British to drain India of most of its Muslims, although the Muslim minority in India is currently more than 135 million. (East Pakistan became the independent country of Bangladesh in 1971.) During 1947-48 there was a huge population transfer of more than 12 million Muslims and Hindus between the areas designated as Pakistan and India, which nevertheless failed to resolve all of the problems between the two countries.

The border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1640 miles in length, is home to some of the world's most rugged country and some of its fiercest tribal warriors. The warlords, jihadis, and Taliban factions have free rein in the wild, mountainous region, which is politically and militarily uncontrolled by both governments and is largely inaccessible to outside military forces.

This treacherous region has few laws and little industry, and its biggest business is smuggling weapons and heroin. The benighted villagers are isolated, impoverished, and mostly illiterate. The Taliban, and to a lesser degree al Qaeda, can carry on their battle against Western forces with little interference from the tribal areas, unless the West risks a confrontation with Pakistan, whose general population supports the Islamist agenda.

In addition to Pakistan's influence on the war in Afghanistan, there is the conflict between Pakistan and India over the Indian state Jammu-Kashmir, which was one of more than 560 autonomous princely states which once owed allegiance to Britain. In 1947, the rulers were of these states were advised to join either India or Pakistan. The maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir eventually decided to join India, presumably because it was to his personal benefit.

Because the majority of the Jammu-Kashmir's population of more than 10 million, concentrated in the valley of Kashmir, is Muslim, Pakistan has long agitated among the Kashmiris to secede from India. Naturally, India has fiercely resisted this and there have been numerous wars between the two countries over this issue. In 1998, the world held its breath as the two countries were poised on the brink of nuclear war over Kashmir, which is an ever-present threat.

The establishment of a Palestinian state would do little to alleviate the problems the West faces in Pakistan, which is separated from Israel by 2,000 miles, or in Kashmir, 3,000 miles away from Israel.

Regardless of the state of affairs between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Middle East and southwest Asia are fraught with disputes over religion, territory, and population. The Western preoccupation with our conflict plays into the hands of the Islamists, who have succeeded in diverting the West's attention from the major problem in the region — Islamic jihad. The above summary of obstacles to regional and world stability hardly mentions the 800 pound gorilla in the room, Iran, which will be calling the shots in the region if, or when, it joins the nuclear arms club.

Until the West gets over its fixation to "solve" the problem with the Palestinians, who anyway aren't ready to sign and implement a peace treaty based on land for peace, the imminent danger of the Islamization of Europe, and the prospect of nuclear-armed Iranian hegemony over the Middle East, won't be addressed. It's imperative that the delusions which are diverting the West from its major problems be recognized, and then, discarded.

Steve Kramer lives in Alfe Menashe. He has written a weekly opinion column for the Jewish Times of southern New Jersey (www.jewishtimes-sj.com) for the last ten years. He writes, "They're about history, politics, touring, or whatever excites me."

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SHOULD ISRAEL KEEP GIVING WATER TO NEIGHBORS?
Posted by Daisy Stern, March 11, 2009.

"Despite drought and impending water crisis, Jewish state continues to uphold agreements according to which it must provide 85 million cubic meters of water to Jordan, West Bank, Gaza, and has even supplied more than required." — Ynet, March 6, 2009

 

The State of Israel is on the brink of a water crisis, but according to agreements signed by the State, it is required to transfer significant amounts of water to Jordan and the Palestinians.

According to a position paper filed by the Foreign Ministry to the State commission of inquiry on the water crisis, Israel has even been transferring larger amounts of water to its neighbors than required in the agreement.

Despite drought, agreement with Jordan upheld

In accordance with Israel's peace agreement with Jordan, Israel provides its neighbor to the east with 35 million cubic meters of water per year. In addition, Jordan has the right to ask Israel to pump 20 million cubic meters of flood water from the Yarmouk River per year. Israel is meant to keep the water and transfer it to Jordan in the summer.

Due to low precipitation and Syrian over-pumping of water from the river's sources, Israel finds it difficult to come up with the required 20 million cubic meters of water. Despite this, Israel was able to provide the full amount to the Jordanian minister of water and irrigation last year.

Foreign Ministry sources said similar demands were made in the prior drought years of 2007 and 2005, and Israel's willingness to supply the water despite difficulties has contributed to strengthening the ties between the two countries.

Palestinians getting more than agreed upon

Israel also supplies residents of the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip with water, in according with signed agreements. Until a permanent treaty is signed between the two entities, Israel is required to provide the Palestinians with 28.6 million cubic meters of water per year, with 5 million of them going to the Gaza Strip.

In practice however, Israel has given the Palestinians, through direct supply and drilling permits in new wells, over 65 million cubic meters of water — over double the required amount.

Israel is required to supply its neighbors with a total of 85 million cubic meters of water per year, but in reality actually transfers some 120 million cubic meters each year. According to the Israel Water Authority, the State will be 80 million cubic meters short of water, even after a number of water-saving steps are taken.

Should Israel continue to uphold agreements?

Since water has no political boundaries, it is difficult to settle disputes over rights to bodies of water. Israel has had its share of "water wars" in the past, when the Syrians and Lebanese diverted the Banias springs and the Hazbani River. The Palestinians have also made claims to rights of the water in the Jordan River Basin and the Mountain Aquifer.

Because of these disputes, the Foreign Ministry has stressed that the water issue is a strategic one. Water is part of Israel's general ties with its neighbors that hold the water sources under their sovereignty. At the same times, all water agreements have clear and significant repercussions on the Israeli water situation, and the ability for long-term planning.

Water is also used as a bridge between the parties. Foreign Ministry sources said that even in times of tension with the Palestinians, the joint water commission continues to convene. Water is also at the center of many regional development programs in which the United States, European Union and Japan, among others, are involved.

Furthermore, there is the humanitarian matter, and each person's basic human right to have access to clean water. Not to mention the aspect of international laws on water that Israel cannot violate.

Contact Daisy Stern by email at daisystern1@gmail.com

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THE AL DURA STORY CONTINUES TO UNRAVEL — DOCUMENTARY AIRS ON GPTV
Posted by Naomi Ragen, March 10, 2009.

Friends,

Who can forget the little boy in his father's arms machine gunned by the Israelis? It was the great Pallywood achievement, a blood libel of worldwide proportions, and just as true as the myth of Christian blood in Jewish matzos (only a deranged goy who never ate a matzo could have imagined that one). Now, with the French court victory over the perpetrators of the myth, Charles Enderlin and France 2 television, the world is beginning to understand the monstrous dimensions of this fraud, and other things have come to light. German television is airing a documentary which shows that the face of the child buried and that of the child supposedly shot are different. That the child was brought to the morgue at 10 a.m., and the filming of the shooting started at 2:30 p.m. And that's just the beginning. Below, an e-mail from Phillipe Karsenty, who brought this truth to light.

Naomi

This was written by Philippe Karsenty.

 

Dear friends,

I'm writing to inform you of a new documentary by the German public TV station ARD as well as unprecedented support from the Israeli minister of Foreign Affairs.

The German public TV, ARD, broadcast, on March 4, 2009, a documentary which confirms that the news report, narrated by Charles Enderlin and broadcast by France 2 on September 30, 2000, is a fraud.

Here is the evidence revealed, and confirmed, by this documentary:

  • Thank to a biometric analysis of the faces, it has been proven that the boy who was filmed by France 2 is not the boy presented at the Gaza morgue and buried later. The eyebrows and the lips are very different.

  • The German TV used the lip-reading technique to read the father's lips. They discovered that Jamal al Dura gave instructions to the people who were behind France 2's cameraman during the filming of the scene.

  • The boy filmed by France 2 moves a red piece of cloth down his body for no specific reason.

  • In France 2's news report, there is no blood — neither on Mohammed nor on Jamal al Dura's body, whereas the two were supposed to have received 15 bullets all together.

  • The boy shown at the funeral as Mohammed al Dura arrived at the hospi tal before 10am, whereas France 2's news report was filmed after 2:30pm.

German media outlets widely covered the ARD documentary. Specifically, the prestigious Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published two pieces about the film.

In order to read a press review about all this, click here.

The French translations of those articles are here: Debriefing.

For automatic translations into English, you could use Reverso.

In order to see Schapira and Hafner's documentary broadcast on March 4th, click on the following links:

On the Israeli side, things are heading in the right direction.

During my recent speaking tour in Israel, I met many Israeli officials, as well as many members of the coming Netanyahu administration.

Their reaction was very positive: "The al Dura story has to be solved once and for all and pretty soon".

Though he had not been very encouraging after France 2's defeat, I met the spokesperson of the Israeli minister of Foreign Affairs, Ygal Palmor.

The meeting was warm and friendly.

For the first time, Ygal Palmor had access to most of the documentation gathered about the al Dura story. After our meeting, Palmor said that he was "very impressed by the remarkable work achieved" where he found "no mistakes".

Nevertheless, Palmor stated that his minister doesn't intend to sue France 2 because "it's not a habit, nor part of diplomacy".

Nevertheless, Mr Palmor authorized the publication of Israel's minister of Foreign Affairs' major change of attitude about the al Dura story which "played a major role in the demonization of the State of Israel."

Next actions scheduled

  • In order to present the most recent information available and to answer questions from journalists, I'll hold a press conference on May 31st in Paris where the most important parts of the German documentary will be screened. In order to attend this press conference, please send your contact info at: confpresse@m-r.fr

  • Screenings will soon be organized in France and all over Europe in order to present the evidence of the al Dura story that is sinking France 2. If you would like to be invited, please send your complete contact info to: presentations@m-r.fr

  • DVDs of the German documentary, with explanations, will soon be sent to French and European members of parliament.

Please, spread this message as much as you can.
Merci et à bientôum;t,

Philippe Karsenty

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and journalist who lives in Jerusalem. She can be contacted at www.naomiragen.com, where you can subscribe to her newsletter.

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OBAMA'S NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE CRACKPOT
Posted by Barbara Taverna, March 10, 2009.

What does the Jewish lobby have to do with China's dissidents?

This was written by Bret Stephens and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123664226505177651.html#printMode). Write to Bret Stephens at bstephens@wsj.com

 

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a letter from 17 U.S. ambassadors defending the appointment of Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council. The same day, the leaders of the 1989 protests that led to the massacre at Beijing's Tiananmen Square wrote Barack Obama "to convey our intense dismay at your selection" of Mr. Freeman.

If moral weight could be measured on a zero to 100 scale, the signatories of the latter letter, some of whom spent years in Chinese jails, would probably find themselves in the upper 90s. Where Mr. Freeman and his defenders stand on this scale is something readers can decide for themselves.

So what do Chinese democracy activists have against Mr. Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia? As it turns out, they are all, apparently, part-and-parcel of the Israel Lobby.

In a recent article about Mr. Freeman's nomination in the Huffington Post, M.J. Rosenberg of the left-wing Israel Policy Forum writes that "Everyone involved in the anti-Freeman effort are staunch allies of the lobby." Of course: Only the most fervid Likudnik mandarins could object to Mr. Freeman's 2006 characterization of Mao Zedong as a man who, for all his flaws, had a "brilliance of . . . personality [that] illuminated the farthest corners of his country and inspired many would-be revolutionaries and romantics beyond it." It also takes a Shanghai Zionist to demur from Mr. Freeman's characterization of the Chinese leadership's response to the "mob scene" at Tiananmen as "a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership."

Mr. Freeman knows China well: He served as a translator during Richard Nixon's historic 1972 visit to Beijing. More recently, Mr. Freeman served on the advisory board of CNOOC, the Chinese state-owned oil giant. Is this also a qualification to lead the NIC?

But the Far East is by no means Mr. Freeman's only area of expertise. For many years he has led the Middle East Policy Council, generously funded by Saudi money. It's a generosity Mr. Freeman has amply repaid.

Thus, recalling Mr. Freeman's special pleading on behalf of Riyadh during his stint as ambassador in the early '90s, former Secretary of State James Baker called it "a classic case of clientitis from one of our best diplomats." Mr. Freeman has also been quoted as saying "It is widely charged in the United States that Saudi Arabian education teaches hateful and evil things. I do not think this is the case." Yet according to a 2006 report in the Washington Post, an eighth grade Saudi textbook contains the line, "They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied." Maybe Mr. Freeman was unaware of this. Or maybe he doesn't consider it particularly evil and hateful.

Whatever the case, Mr. Freeman has been among the Kingdom's most devoted fans, going so far as to suggest that King Abdullah "is very rapidly becoming Abdullah the Great." No sycophancy there.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Freeman was a ferocious critic of the war on terror. Not surprising, either, was his opinion about what started it: "We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel's approach to managing its relations with the Arabs," he said in 2006. "Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home."

This is not a particularly original argument, although in Mr. Freeman's case it becomes a kind of monomania, in which Israel is always the warmonger, always slapping away Arab hands extended in peace. Say what you will about this depiction of reality, there's also a peculiar psychology at work.

Then again, as Middle East scholar Martin Kramer points out, Mr. Freeman's recent views on the causes of 9/11 contradict his view from 1998, when he insisted that al Qaeda's "campaign of violence against the United States has nothing to do with Israel." What changed? Mr. Kramer thinks Mr. Freeman was merely following the lead of his benefactor, Citibank shareholder Prince Al-Waleed, who opined that 9/11 was all about U.S. support for Israel, not what the Kingdom teaches about the infidels.

Is Mr. Freeman merely a shill? That seems unfair, even if it's hard to square his remorseless "realism" in matters Chinese with the touching solicitude he feels for Israel's victims (who, by his count, must be numbered in the tens of millions). James Fallows of the Atlantic has argued that Mr. Freeman's "contrarian inclination" would serve him well in the NIC post. But the line between contrarian and crackpot is a thin one, and knowing the difference between the two is a main task of intelligence.

Adm. Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence who asked Mr. Freeman to serve, is testifying today in Congress. Somebody should ask him if any of Mr. Freeman's views quoted above meet the definition of "crackpot," and, if not, why?

Contact Barbara Taverna at bltaverna@yahoo.com

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BEHIND THE HUMANITARIAN MASK: THE NORDIC COUNTRIES, ISRAEL AND THE JEWS — AVAILABLE ON THE WEB!
Posted by Institute for Global Jewish Affairs, March 10, 2009.
 

Summary

In the past decades many pioneering efforts to demonize Israel have come from elites of the Nordic countries. The motifs of this anti-Israelism are similar to those of classic anti-Semitism, of which it is a new mutation. Such highly discriminatory prejudices are in particular expressed in Norway and Sweden by leading socialist and extreme-leftist politicians as well as journalists, clergy and so-called humanitarians.

Behind the Nordic countries' appearance and oft-proclaimed concern for human rights lurk darker attitudes. This book deals mainly with lifting the humanitarian mask as far as Israel and Jews are concerned. This disguise hides many ugly characteristics such as false morality, a pretense of superiority, as well as profound humanitarian racism.

The best-known Swedish statesman of the postwar period, Olof Palme was one of Europe's first prominent Holocaust inverters. He was at the origin of the permeation of anti-Israelism in segments of the Social Democrats, Sweden's classic government party.

In recent years major anti-Semitic incidents have taken place in Norway even though there are very few Jews there. The country is a European leader of anti-Semitic cartoons, sometimes similar to Nazi ones. Norway is one of the very few countries that forbids Jewish ritual slaughter. At the same time, it is one of only three countries in the world that permit the cruel killing of whales.

In this book, thirteen essays and interviews discuss various aspects of the attitudes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland toward Israel and the Jews.

From the Foreword by Professor Gert Weisskirchen

The fight against anti-Semitism is still necessary. That is the conclusion I have had to draw as the Personal Representative of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Chairman-in-Office on Combating Antisemitism. One of the central problems is the psychological and rhetorical entanglement of criticism of the State of Israel with anti-Semitism. Analyses show that the projection of anti-Israeli sentiments onto Jewish communities is a widespread pattern throughout Europe.

This book deals specifically with anti-Israeli, and sometimes anti-Semitic occurrences within the political and societal discourse in the so-called Nordic countries in Europe. The case studies presented here take a closer look at such phenomena as officials evaluating Israeli policies from a standpoint of moral superiority, strongly biased news reporting on the Middle East conflict, the failure to adequately protect Israeli institutions, the reluctance to put war criminals on trial, and so on. The incidents and patterns discussed here should be regarded as serious. It is the merit of this volume to put the spotlight on underreported phenomena that occur too close to what we see as our consensual political discourse for them to be ignored or trivialized.

Recommendations

"This book is an impressive and serious survey of different forms of anti-Semitism in the Nordic countries. The author also shows how anti-Semitism has become synonymous with anti-Israelism. The book is therefore a valuable tool in the public debate for all those who want Israel to remain as a nation and for the Jewish community to live in a safe environment in our countries."

Annelie Enochson, Member of the Swedish Parliament "In the early days of the State of Israel, there were very strong ties with Norway. Today, relations are still strong, although far from being uniform. The media's unbalanced reporting of the situation in the Middle East is responsible for this. Therefore, as friends of Israel, we welcome honest information from other points of view. This book is a good example of such information."

Ingebrigt S. Sorfonn, Member of the Norwegian Parliament "Almost no scholarly works existed on the Nordic Countries and Israel until this recent contribution by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld. His research offers a pioneering and thought-provoking analysis based on existing source material and interviews. Since his work is multi-focused on economic, political and moral issues, it will certainly give new impetus to a wider societal discussion. This book is of interest to anyone concerned with modern history and its implications evident in current relations between the Nordic countries and Israel."

Hannu Takkula, Member of European Parliament (Finland), Vice Chair, Committee on Culture and Education "The media in the Nordic countries are often accused of being biased and anti-Israeli in their coverage of the Middle East conflict. This book demonstrates that the accusations are justified. Manfred Gerstenfeld's thorough analysis shows that many media, despite their reputation for humanitarianism, seriousness and fairness, come surprisingly close to the 'new anti-Semitism' when it comes to their coverage of Israel. The results of this analysis will be difficult to dismiss — for the media in question as well."

Jacques Blum, cultural sociologist and chief editor of Goldberg Magazine. (Denmark)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments......................................................................................................9

Introduction .............................................................................................................11

Gert Weisskirchen: Foreword .................................................................................15

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel, and the Jews ....................................................... .........................18

ESSAYS AND INTERVIEWS ON INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Anti-Israelism and Anti-Semitism in Sweden: An Interview with Zvi Mazel ..........................................................................................78

Mikael Tossavainen: Arab and Muslim Anti-Semitism in Sweden ............................86

Gerald Steinberg: The Swedish International Development Agency's Support for NGO Campaigns against Israel ..............................................................98

Efraim Zuroff: Sweden's Refusal to Prosecute Nazi War Criminals, 1986-2007 ............................................................................................................103

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Norway: Extreme Expressions of Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Attitudes ............................................................................................127

Erez Uriely: Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Norwegian Caricatures ........................139

Odd Sverre Hove: The Cut-and-Omit TV News: Norway ....................................156

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Norway: The Courage of a Small Jewish Community; Holocaust Restitution and Anti-Semitism:

An Interview with Bjarte Bruland ...........................................................................162

Arthur Arnheim: Anti-Semitism after the Holocaust: Also in Demnark ...................168

Vilhljámur Örn Vilhjálmsson and Bent Blüdnikow: Rescue, Expulsion, and Collaboration: Denmark's Difficulties with Its World War II Past .....................176

Gerald Steinberg: Finnish State Funds Support Palestinian NGO

Campaigns against Israel .......................................................................................201

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Finland's Tarnished Holocaust Record: An Interview with Serah Beizer ...................................................................................206

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson: Iceland, the Jews, and Anti-Semitism, 1625-2004 ...........................................................................................................216

Contributors and Interviewees ...............................................................................237

Index ....................................................................................................................241

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ISRAEL THE BEAUTIFUL: VIEW FROM THE HAAS PROMENADE, JERUSALEM
Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, March 10, 2009.
 

Jerusalem: View from the Haas Promenade
 

This is one of Yehoshua Halevi's Golden Light Images.

Wishing everyone a Chag Purim Sameach!

Yehoshua Halevi writes: "HOW I GOT THE SHOT:

Extra sensory perception — also called the sixth sense — is the ability to foresee things before they happen. I've never been particularly adept at this, but occasionally I make photographic decisions that do make me wonder if there really is a skill to seeing things before they materialize. Returning home from Jerusalem on a wintry morning, I noticed a clearing in the sky and decided to make a brief detour to the Haas Promenade, one of the city's best viewpoints of the Old City. I was hoping to see — and photograph — well, exactly what transpired.

Photographing in inclement weather is essential to capturing unique and transient interpretations of the natural world. I am familiar with the behavior of sunlight in stormy conditions, but have never sought to isolate a fixed part of the landscape in the sun's spotlight. Instead, I have stuck to shooting whatever specific area is enhanced by the unusual lighting. I strolled around the beautiful promenade for about 10 minutes, inhaling the damp air, admiring the glistening stones and watching the light on the horizon. I moved back in the direction of my car, about to give up, but paused to watch a group of about 80 Nigerian tourists, in full African regalia, pose for a group portrait. As the colorful ensemble stood with their backs to the Old City, the sky opened up and the sun cut a swath of light across Jerusalem that seemingly recognized where the walls of the Old City stood. I snapped a few shots and then lowered my camera to admire the view, grateful for my decision to always have a camera near to hand.

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

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AMERICA: PEOPLE VS GOVERNMENT!
Posted by Steven Shamrak, March 10, 2009.
 

An overwhelming number of Americans are supporting Israel and blame Hamas for the war in Gaza, according to an Israel Project survey. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents believe that the Arab-Israeli struggle is based on ideology and religion and not on claims for land.

"This poll demonstrates that Americans ... understand the security dilemma and threats to its survival with which it must deal and — far better it seems than our political leaders [and] understand that the Arab war on Israel is largely an aggressive war of religious ideology, not a mere territorial dispute," said Morton A. Klein, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President.

It seems that people of the United States are more honest and astute about the Arab-Israel conflict than their government. They can see, especially after 9/11, that Fatah, Hamas and Al-Qaida are the part of the same Islamic ideology: Global domination by Islam! Major sponsors of this religious agenda are Saudi Arabia and Iran, and it is being supported and implemented in various forms by most Muslim countries! The Muslim world might have their differences, but they do hate passionately all Crusaders and unfaithful ones!

One would think, considering the time spent and resources that have been devoted to the conflict, that the US government would have more understanding of the true political situation. It has! But in policies where Jews are involved, "all bets are off". The logic of fact is ignored and political games are quite predictably skewed against Jews. The United States, regardless of what anti-Semitic propaganda tries to convince people, is an integral part of the modern anti-Israel bias campaign! There is no other country in the world that has been visited so often by the US high-ranking dignitaries and pressured so intensely by the US officials like Israel. There is no other national leader who has been called onto 'the red carpet' in Washington as often as the Israeli Prime Minister.

After so many years of conducting the 'peace experiment' on Jews in Israel it would be prudent to admit that this approach has failed and start searching for alternative solution. Unfortunately, in order to secure the flow of strategic oil supplies and please Saudi Arabian sponsors, one US administration after another has continuously and relentlessly promoted the delusional two-state solution, generously offering the enemies of Israel, and of the United States, more of the Jewish land, perfectly knowing that it will never bring peace to Israel and the region! Why? Because continuous instability in the region allows American corporations to sell arms to both sides of the conflict in exchange for oil and it gives the US an excuse to keep an American military presence in the region for "security reasons" — or, perhaps more accurately, due to deeply the embedded animalistic anti-Semitic character of the political elite. Without outside interference and pressure, Israel would have been able to end the conflict a long time ago!

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has been publishing an Internet editorial letter about the Arab-Israel conflict since August 2001 and has a website www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com

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DESECRATION OF HOLY BOOKS AT MA'ARAT HAMACHPELA IN HEBRON
Posted by Hebron Jewish Community, March 9, 2009.

(IsraelNN.com) Muslims in the city of Hevron were allowed to access the entire Tomb of the Patriarchs (Maarat HaMachpelah) this week in honor of the birthday of Mohammed, whom Muslims revere as a prophet. Worshipers took advantage of the opportunity to desecrate Jewish holy texts, including prayer books and books of Psalms.

The damage was discovered on Monday when Jews were allowed to return to the prayer halls usually set aside for Jewish use. The desecration caused upset and anger among the returning Jewish worshipers.

Jewish community spokesman David Wilder said such damage is unfortunately common. Jews have often returned after Muslims made use of the entire holy place to discover ruined holy books, damaged mezuzah cases and other destruction, he said. Jews try to remove all holy objects from the sanctuary before turning it over to Muslim use, he explained, but books are occasionally accidentally left behind.

The damage is not accidental, however, Wilder clarified. "They know exactly what it is that they are doing," he said of those who destroy the holy texts.

The IDF is aware of such incidents, he added, as video cameras in the building allow them to see what takes place in the prayer halls. "It's very unfortunate that more care isn't taken to prevent these things from happening," he said.

Hevron's Jews are now calling on the IDF to refuse the next request for Muslim access to the Jewish prayer halls. If the desecration is not met with punishment, such acts will continue, they say.

The article below appeared in Arutz-7
(www.IsraelNationalNews.com) and is archived at
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3683844,00.html It is entitled "Prayer books at holy site vandalized" and was written by Efrat Weiss.

 

Jewish settlers accuse Palestinians of destroying prayer, psalm books at Cave of Patriarchs

Police launched an investigation Monday after Jewish settlers in Hebron accused Palestinians of destroying prayer and psalm books in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Spokesman for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, Noam Arnon, claimed a double standard was at play. "If Quran books had been torn up I have no doubt the case would be handled drastically and immediately, but when it's damage done to Jewish holy sites there is disregard and whitewashing," he said.

Every year Jewish and Palestinians worshippers are allowed 10 days at the holy cave. On Monday Jewish prayer-goers arrived to find their holy books vandalized during one of the Muslim days of worship at the cave.

According to Arnon, the incident was not the first to occur. "After every such day we gather shards and appraise the damage. This time the damage occurred to prayer and psalm books; in the past it was mezuzot, furniture, pipes, and faucets," he said.

He added that complaints had been filed before, to no avail. "No one has ever been interrogated or brought to justice. No sanctions exist to prevent such incidents," he said.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) responded to the incident by saying, "The barbaric behavior of the Hebron rioters, who destroyed holy books in the Cave of the Patriarchs, proves once again that they are an agitating and destructive presence that finds itself among cultured people."

He added that the next government, in which his party is predicted to participate, would strive to secure full Jewish control over the holy site.

Police stated that an investigation has been launched. So far no arrests have been made.

You can contribute directly in Israel to The Jewish Community of Hebron, POB105, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, email: hebron@hebron.org.il or phone: 972-52-431-7055. In USA, write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, email: hebronfund@aol.com or phone: 718 677 6886.

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YES IRAN CAN: NUKE PROGRAM PASSES POINT OF NO RETURN
Posted by Hillel Fendel, March 9, 2009.
 

(IsraelNN.com) IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Amos Yadlin confirmed on Sunday, in his monthly briefing to the Cabinet, that ayatollah-controlled Iran has the technology to develop a nuclear bomb — and that it is taking advantage of U.S. President Obama's dialogue policy.

"Iran has crossed the technological threshold," Yadlin said, "such that its reaching military nuclear capabilities is a matter of adapting its strategy to the target of manufacturing a nuclear bomb." The bottom line, according to Yadlin, is that it is entirely up to Iran's decision makers, independent of outside considerations and factors, to decide when to proceed with producing the bomb.

Mullen and IAEA, Too

Yadlin thus confirmed earlier reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander Admiral Mike Mullen. Mullen said two weeks ago that Tehran now has enough fissile material to build a bomb. The IAEA announced last week that its earlier reports were mistaken, and now acknowledges that it has evidence that Iran has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Practically while Yadlin was making his report, Iran announced that it had successfully tested a new long-range air-to-surface missile.

Iran Hoping to Buy Time

"Iran continues to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-grade enriched uranium," Yadlin said, "and is hoping to take advantage of the dialogue with Washington to buy time to advance towards the ability to build a bomb." Iran will not stop this activity while the dialogue continues, Yadlin implied, because though "Iran and its allies hope that the spirit of change in the United States is genuine, they think that it is a step before the formulation of a more effective coalition against them."

Not only Israel has cause for concern, Yadlin said: "The moderate Arab nations fear that the [Obama] administration's dialogue with Iran will come at their expense, and that it will be exploited by Iran and Syria, which will continue engaging in arming and terrorism while appearing to dialogue."

Iran currently has 4000 active centrifuges, the IAEA reported, which produce the low-grade enrichment of more than a ton of uranium. In addition, Iran now has the wherewithal to enrich the uranium to a high-grade level; 25 kilograms of high-grade enriched uranium is sufficient for a bomb.

New Form of Appeasement

Some see Obama's approach of talking with Tehran a modern form of the appeasement that enabled Nazi Germany to actualize its threats. Elements of this policy include:

Last week's invitation by the U.S. to Iran to an international conference on Afghanistan — a clear break with the Bush policy of viewing Iran as part of an "axis of evil."

Obama's desire to fight jointly with Iran against the Taliban — although only the more extremist elements thereof.

Obama's offer of economic incentives to Iran to stop its nuclear program.

Obama's expression of "recognition" of Iran's strength and regional position.

However, as Gen. Yadlin told the Cabinet on Sunday, Iran plans to use the new American dialogue policy to its own advantage — and that of its nuclear program.

Hillel Fendel is Senior News Editor for Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com).

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MISERY PAYS
Posted by Rachel Ehrenfeld, March 9, 2009.

This was posted today on the Huffington website
www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-rachel-ehrenfeld/misery-pays_b_172882.html

 

Giving $5.2 billion to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will do little to bring real change in the condition of the Palestinian refugees or security in the Middle East. Instead of rebuilding the "shelters" in the refugee camps as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has done for decades, this huge sum of money should go to build new communities, industry and a civilian infrastructure for a viable Palestinian state.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the U.S. has "worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands."

The World Bank recommending that the donors give their "budget support" to the PA directly through its Central Treasury Account. It also suggested direct donations through other organizations such as: "the EU-PEGASE, the World Bank administered PRDP-Trust Fund," and a few others.

The U.S., the World Bank and other donors rely on Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's promise that the money would not reach Hamas or be used for any terrorist activity. Yet, Fayyad, a former Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the West Bank and Gaza, has little control over PA funds in Fatah-controlled West Bank, let alone in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Fayyad himself stated many times that controlling Palestinian finances "is virtually impossible." Moreover, last month, despite Fatah-Hamas bloody disagreements, Fayyad diverted $21.5 million sent from Israel to Gaza to pay PA employees' salaries, to rebuild the houses of Gaza residents that were destroyed during Operation Cast Lead. On March 7th, Fayyad announced his resignation, to facilitate the Fatah unity government with Hamas.

This was not the first time the Fatah-led government was sending money to Hamas. On Jan. 15, 2008, Fayyad's government declared it would give Hamas 40% ($3.1 billion) of the $7.4 billion that was pledged in December 2007 by international donors. Furthermore, in October, 2008, despite the bloody crackdown on Fatah members in Gaza, the PA was paying the salaries of at least 77,000 "loyal employees." Yet, before Hamas took over, there were only 21,000 PA paid loyalists in Gaza. Once the power-sharing negotiations between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are completed, billions of dollars will go to Hamas, which continue to call for the destruction of Israel.

Since the Oslo Accords, the PA received some $14 billion to $20 billion in international aid, according to a 2007 Funding for Peace Coalition (FPC) report to the British Parliament. Each Palestinian received $4,000 to $8,000 per year. However, of the $7 billion pledged international aid, only $5 billion were spent to assist more than 5 million Tsunami victims in more than 15 countries on two continents.

If the newly pledged $5.2 billion are distributed, each of the 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza would receive $1,300 dollars. In comparison, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provided in humanitarian aid for 2.5 million Darfur refugees from 2003 to 2006 — only $100 per person annually.

The PA uses a large amount of the aid it receives to support the terrorist activities against Israel. Each Palestinian or Israeli Arab, imprisoned in an Israeli jail, is entitled to financial assistance from the Palestinian Authority, if he (or she) was sentenced for activity connected to the "struggle against the Israeli occupation."

Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi documented at least $40 million per year, paid to at least 11,600 (in march 2008) Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails. In addition, the PA uses its budget to assist thousands more released prisoners and pay bonuses to the families of suicide bombers. Thus, foreign aid to the PA should be given only when the PA publicly denounces terrorist activities against Israel and stop the support to the terrorists.

The billions of dollars poured into Gaza since Israel pulled out in 2005, have resulted in the strengthening of the radical Islamic Hamas. It keeps the Palestinians under its thumb poor and oppressed and uses their children and women as human shields. Hamas strives not only for the destruction of Israel. It hosts other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, and uses the Gaza Strip as training grounds. With Iran's help, it threatens to undermine pro Western regimes in the region.

The only way to ensure the $5.2 billion produces a real change to the lives of the impoverished Palestinian in Gaza, create a viable Palestinian state and stability in the region, is by conditioning this money on the PA's cessation of all terrorist activities. Moreover, to ensure the funds do not reach Hamas and are used properly, the money should not be administered by any Palestinian organization, or Hamas supporting UNRWA, but by an international monitoring group.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is Director of American Center for Democracy and author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed — and How to Stop It.

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HOW ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION REVERSES CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE WEST
Posted by Sultan Knish, March 9, 2009.
 

Somewhere around the middle of the 19th century, General Napier was approached by a delegation that protested the British ban on Suttee.

Napier responded by saying, "It is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and hang them. Build your funeral pyre and beside it my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your national custom — then we shall follow ours."

That was India then. Today Britain not only does not follow its national custom abroad, of hanging men who murder women, but does not even follow its own national customs at home.

The "New Britain" is a Chimera, a creature covered with grafted on parts and shiny logos, beneath which stirs a great deal of ugliness.

Europe's large immigrant population has brought along its own customs and beliefs, at a time when Europe's native population no longer has any faith or confidence in its own "national customs". When even the idea of a national identity is controversial.

Nor is the problem limited to Europe alone. A combination of post-modern liberal moral equivalence and Dhimmi cowardice has rendered Western societies incapable of addressing all the ugliness that stirs beneath.

The same political establishment which in the name of social reform and open mindedness has degraded every possible national tradition across Europe, in America, Australia and in first world nations around the world — has treated the brutal customs imported by Muslim immigrants as sacrosanct.

The moral hypocrisy bred by this double standard has in turn begun wrecking the reforms that the West has achieved, paradoxically disempowering the very vulnerable populations on whose behalf liberals once fought.

Women who in many cases went from having few rights, including the right to travel without a male guardian, take out loans, be protected against domestic abuse at home and rape outside the home, are seeing those rights reversed by the tidal flood of immigration and the refusal by political authorities and social critics to admit what is going on.

Honor killings are the endgame in repression, but there are quite many stages in between.

Muslim immigrants who import tribal practices that mandate female inferiority do their best to impose them, first on their own women, and then finally on their new country as a whole.

The epidemic of gang rapes by Muslim immigrants in Sweden, Australia and elsewhere in the West are a cultural and religious problem that goes unacknowledged.

They are the outgrowth of a belief system that views first non-Muslims and especially non-Muslim women as inferior and open to the taking.

But they could not continue without a political and academic climate that discourages any criticism of Islam, and presumes that Western beliefs are inherently bad and non-Western beliefs are inherently good.

There could hardly be a better sanction for the whole ugly parade of atrocities carried out by Muslims in the West, than the belief imposed on their own victims that it is they who are at fault for centuries of colonialism, as if the descendants of Middle Eastern conquerors are somehow nobler than the descendants of European conquerors.

Rather than confronting the double standard and its high cost, Western politicians and academics instead insist on trying to equate Islamic cultural and religious standards with their own standards.

And so there is a cottage industry for generating articles, books and slogans insisting that Islam is just as committed to equality and respect for women and minorities, as the West... if not more so.

The wages of this obscene charade, on a par with Theresienstadt, a show concentration camp maintained by the Nazis to show how well they were treating the Jews, is to cover up the real atrocities and the real erosion of civil rights for minorities in the West.

The Anti-Jewish riots, like the Tournade gang rapes in France, the terrorist bombings, the intimidation of cartoonists, the persecution of disabled people by Muslim cabbies, and so much else is part and parcel of the same problem — Muslim intolerance for others, and their insistence that their hateful and bigoted beliefs should be considered supreme.

With growing concessions toward Islamic law, those beliefs are moving ever closer to becoming the law of the land in Western nations.

But in many neighborhoods and areas, they are already the law. When women in France are intimidated into covering their heads, when an Israeli flag cannot hang in a Berlin window, when a Danish cartoonist cannot draw a cartoon, when British police wink at honor killings, when Americans can't catch a cab while carrying alcohol — the law of Islam reigns supreme. And in doing so it robs hundreds of millions of people of their civil rights.

The suicide bombings, the honor killings, the acid throwing and other atrocities are only the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg itself is the culture of fear, violence and shame created by Muslims in the West that intimidates both Muslims and non-Muslims into obeying Sharia law, rather than the law of the land.

The hardfought legacy of human freedom is being sacrificed on the altar of Muslim immigration, and the constant pandering to Muslim sensibilities over public civil rights.

We have come a long way from Napier, as Muslim women in Britain well know. Not only does England not enforce national customs abroad, but even at home, the law of the sword has replaced the laws of the United Kingdom.

King Sharia rules across Europe, violence and brutality is his penal code, and the silence and complacency of nations is his throne.

The challenge is to uproot that throne before it hardens and becomes permanent. Before custom becomes law, that generations have grown up with.

And the paradox is that it is the very people aiding Muslim immigration who have the most to suffer from it. The ideal of a liberal society is incompatible with a Muslim society.

The two cannot and will not co-exist for long.

Either the Sword of Islam of the Guarantees of Human Freedom must prevail.

This article appeared on the Sultan Knish website http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ Contact Sultan Knish at sultanknish@yahoo.com.

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MASKS
Posted by Evelyhn Hayes, March 9, 2009.
 

As children parade in the costumes of Esther and Mordechai,
and everything imaginable,
As adults frolic in the frenzy of drunkenness,
As reality twirls in unsettling madness:
Confusing and deluding;
truth or consequences?
Masks are for unmasking.

Even Esther wore a mask and might have forsaken her real self
as queen of the palace, comfortable in assimilation,
if not for Mordechai telling her that she would be a victim
no matter the disguise, because of the disguise.
Mordechai the Jew didn't bow, wouldn't bow, was firm in his beliefs;
Neither did Benyamin bow when in the womb of Mother Rachel
Lineage is a legacy, a link, a revelation against alienation, assimilation, masks.

As Haman is Hamas, the wicked of every generation,
and Hamas is today's Haman in murderous jihad;
As Peace Now appeases, accepts bomb after bombs in a Gaza War against the Jews
where the bombed are to blame.
The shame is a "vocal monopoly" excuses notoriety
siding with the enemies of society.
Let us remember that the reaffirmation of Esther
won the war against the devious and destructive.
Unity within invalidated hate.
The unmaskings exposed love as a positive trait.

Then Haman the hater was hung
and Hamas would be unsung
when masks unconcealed reveal the Islamists are not Palestinians, nor Jews, nor Israelis, are not the victims of a Holocaust, apartheid, genocide,
Islamic Jihad are not the natives of Jewish Palestine but Syrians, Egyptians, the 22 Arab states, an imperialist pan-nation.
The Jews are not the aggressors, the Nazis, redefined as their foes
The libelous others are denying the truth, covering up,
aligning with their enemies,
are at risk again like the British in partnership with their Nazis antagonists,
just as the Europeans are in partnership with pan-jihad warlords,
patsies and pawed, accepting sharia law
and not the Bill of Rights and Judeo Christian law..

Freedom is a mighty cause
With justice and identity for all,
humanity's call
with all the masks off.
REMEMBER, It was one man's choice; Abraham chose the ways of the Lrd,
discarded immorality, depravity, mutilation, murder and theft.
ZACHOR, the ponzi press unimpressively masks like the masqueraders
in a media madness where the medium is masks, deception,
one-sidedness for the wrong side
equating evil and good,
preferring evil to good, unbalanced for a ruse in abuse.

Chag Purim! No longer bowing to pressure, materialism, to impress,
in an exodus from slavery by fraud,
glowing with innate pride, dignified,
accomplishments are gathered,
sowing the seeds for growing worthier and stronger,
Unmasked, revealing themselves, rooted for right.

When the people of Esther fast,
When group anarchy is trashed,
and individuals are recognized as ethnically clean;
When thought is an asset not a dysfunctional fad
and religion is a higher morality where creation is applauded
and not a lowly destructive cult.

When the nation re-established around Mordechai
Praising his stature, surety, purity
and the children know not fear, despair,
know clarity and security,
When crime is punished
and Jewish rights and good deeds are encouraged
when masks unmask masks
and good defeats evil...
The joy of Purim is a kosher seuda of delight.

Forget alien palaces, keeping up by falling down, intermarriage, change —
Reclamation and Rectification with Torah leads to purification, perfection, peace —
A one way aliyah towards higher and better.

Praise truth. Take off the masks. Yours and theirs.
Accept His will and His inheritance as willed with blessing and simcha.
Chag Sameach Purim.

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

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CIVILIAN:MILITARY DEATHS; CEASEFIRE QUIZ; ABBAS SETS PRECONDITIONS; BARBARISM SPREADING
Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 9, 2009.
 

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Iraq signed the international convention against chemical weapons. Satellite images show Syria building a chemical weapons plant. The plan adjoins a missile-launching base over hardened, underground silos (IMRA, 2/18).

CIVILIAN:MILITARY DEATHS

An Israeli expert in international law said that the usual ratio of civilian deaths to military deaths is at least 4:1. [In Gaza, it was more like the reverse, 1:3.] Instead of celebrating Israel's achievement, some foreign countries are trying to get Israelis charged with war crimes against civilians. An Israeli called that effort a type of terrorism (IMRA, 2/18) by trying to discourage Israeli self-defense against terrorism. Thus is an auxiliary effort for terrorism.

The use of legal proceedings to support radical Islam has been called "lawfare."

DAILY COMBAT

Every day, Gaza gunmen fire rockets or mortars at Israeli civilians [where is the effort to try them for war crimes?] or plant bombs along the border. Israel now retaliates for every attack (IMRA, 2/18).

Israel used to accumulate grievances and then retaliate. Can't just sit and take it, but the minor retaliations do not stop the attacks. The Israeli ground forces should have blown up the tunnels in which the Hamas men were hiding or otherwise eradicated Hamas

ISRAELI'S BOAST, MY LAMENT

Israel's Justice Minister Friedman boasted, "There is no country in the world treating a minority more liberally than Israel treats the Israeli Arabs. They identify with our enemies, but we take care of them. Imagine if they had done that in another country. They are represented in Parliament. This would not happen anywhere else in the world." (Arutz-7, 2/20.)

That is because no other country is as foolish as Israel. His boast is my lament.

ARAB LAWLESSNESS PAYS, IN ISRAEL

A group of houses built illegally in Silwan, Jerusalem, sit atop an archeological site. Israel wants the site. It offered to pay the Arabs to relocate. Apparently it fears adverse publicity for enforcing the law (IMRA, 2/19). Government of law?

ECONOMIC STIMULUS

Pres. Obama has spelled out one part of his Economic Relieve & Recovery (ERR) plan. He is ordering the purchase and distribution of 100,000 tin cups.

I'll leave it to others to describe their engraving, on one side, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," and on the other side, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

CONSISTENCY & LOGIC ABOUT APARTHEID

Apartheid S. Africa treated blacks brutally, as inferiors, paid less for the same work, and eventually moved them to outlying areas. Israel treats Arabs not brutally, not as inferiors, not paid less for the same work, and does not dispossess them. Israel is not apartheid. The Muslim Arabs, however, treat minorities brutally and as inferiors and expel them. Call them apartheid! Since the Muslim Arabs want to kill and dispossess the Jews, Israel should expel them.

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF "NATIONAL UNITY?"

MK Netanyahu seeks a Cabinet of national unity. So does Foreign Min. Livni, but under her policy. Netanyahu said that the issues are so important, that Israeli parties should join together in the Cabinet to resolve them.

That is fairy tale thinking. If parties have significantly different policies on crucial issues, then they can't join with opponents whose Cabinet Members would block the major party's policy. When Likud let leftists into the Cabinet, before, the leftists sabotaged the government's policies.

Perhaps Netanyahu uses his fairy tale logic to cover a goal of having a leftist coalition, including himself. He would give excuses, but freeze out the real right-wingers.

CEASEFIRE QUIZ

What's the difference between the period before an Arab ceasefire and the period afterwards?

Afterwards the broadcasters call the combat, "ceasefire."

What's the best disguise for Islamist propaganda?

Setting oneself up as a humanitarian NGO.

NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER — more

Pres. Obama told the members of Congress: "The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank. We have known for decades..." "We still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt both as individuals and through our government than ever before."

Decades! That precedes Pres. Bush. Individuals and government! That means more than Pres. Bush was responsible. During the campaign, the Democrats blamed the recession entirely on Bush and "his failed tax policies." It wasn't about taxes.

Obama went on to blame deregulation and banks for pressing people to take out mortgages they couldn't afford. He forgot to blame regulators for pressing banks to issue such mortgages. And the Federal Reserve made borrowing cheap.

I liked the part about eliminating failed education programs, subsidies to agribusiness that didn't need them, and ending the purchase of weapons we don't use. I didn't hear the whole speech, but when he mentioned agribusiness, the applause was tepid. Congress still gives priority to their lobbyists and their constituents when in conflict with the national interest.

ABBAS SETS CONDITIONS FOR ISRAEL

He said the P.A. won't negotiate with Israel unless it unfreezes Gaza and freezes "settlements" and agrees to eventual statehood for the P.A.. Meanwhile, Europeans secretly are meeting with Hamas, though they claim they are "not negotiating" (IMRA, 2/21).

After Arabs lose wars, they still try to set the terms of settlement.

"Not negotiating" probably is a dissembling rationalization for not signing documents but reaching understandings just short of doing so.

U.S. BUILDING ELITE P.A. FORCE

Gen. Dayton is pleased with the military skills and confidence he is instilling into Abbas' Presidential Guard. Buried in the congratulations of the street safety they are bringing is this: "But the Israelis also said that if they did not carry out their night raids on Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the W. Bank, the area would be a lot less stable." (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 2/27, A12.) In other words, they still are not anti-terrorist, not even anti-Hamas terrorist. Then who is their enemy that the US is preparing them for? If not Hamas, that leaves Israel.

NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER — more

Pres. Obama told the members of Congress: "The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank. We have known for decades..." "We still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt both as individuals and through our government than ever before."

Decades! That precedes Pres. Bush. Individuals and government! That means more than Pres. Bush was responsible. During the campaign, the Democrats blamed the recession entirely on Bush and "his failed tax policies." It wasn't about taxes.

Obama went on to blame deregulation and banks for pressing people to take out mortgages they couldn't afford. He forgot to blame regulators for pressing banks to issue such mortgages. And the Federal Reserve made borrowing cheap.

I liked the part about eliminating failed education programs, subsidies to agribusiness that didn't need them, and ending the purchase of weapons we don't use. I didn't hear the whole speech, but when he mentioned agribusiness, the applause was tepid. Congress still gives priority to their lobbyists and their constituents when in conflict with the national interest.

ABBAS SETS CONDITIONS FOR ISRAEL

He said the P.A. won't negotiate with Israel unless it unfreezes Gaza and freezes "settlements" and agrees to eventual statehood for the P.A.. Meanwhile, Europeans secretly are meeting with Hamas, though they claim they are "not negotiating" (IMRA, 2/21).

After Arabs lose wars, they still try to set the terms of settlement.

"Not negotiating" probably is a dissembling rationalization for not signing documents but reaching understandings just short of doing so.

U.S. BUILDING ELITE P.A. FORCE

Gen. Dayton is pleased with the military skills and confidence he is instilling into Abbas' Presidential Guard. Buried in the congratulations of the street safety they are bringing is this: "But the Israelis also said that if they did not carry out their night raids on Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists in the W. Bank, the area would be a lot less stable." (Ethan Bronner, NY Times, 2/27, A12.) In