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Posted by Yehoshua Halevi, May 31, 2012

Bat Ayin Peach Orchard
"Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment – this very moment – to stay" — Sam Abell


For the first time since I started writing this blog, I am resending a photo I originally posted in January, 2008, before many of you joined my mailing list. The location of this peach orchard is very close to my home and I have returned there on numerous occasions for portrait shoots and to relive the beauty I found on the March day in 2006 and many times since.

Last month, at the height of the spring blossoming, I scheduled a photo session there and arrived to find the entire orchard had been cut down. Where the robust trees had stood a few days earlier, they now lay in neat piles, the beautiful flowers still in full bloom upon their branches. Immediately something stirred in my heart, and after a few gasps, an awkward explanation to my subjects and a quick reshuffling of priorities, I completed my assignment.

Later, I began to reflect on why the scene had upset me. I am well familiar with vanishing landscapes, places whose visual grandeur is limited to a single season. I also understand that this land is used for commercial purposes. I don't know whether the trees had outlived their economic value or whether shifts in other agricultural markets
warranted a crop change.

For years this has been one of my favorite photographs and an exhibition-size print hangs in my office above my desk. Now that irreversible change has set in, I realize that my connection to this spot has as much to do with my success there as a photographer as its inherent beauty. And therein lays the potent power of photography. A photograph seals our relationship to a moment in time and place and the act of capturing that moment in a picture also makes it more special. We do our best to resist change but only a photograph enables time to stand still. Or so it seems.

TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D70, tripod mounted, manual exposure, evaluative metering mode, f16 at 1/125th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 mm zoom at 28 mm. Date: March 29, 2006, 4:19 p.m. Location: Bat Ayin, Gush Etzion.

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

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Posted by Helen Freedman, May 31, 2012

AFSI has visited Netzer many times with Nadia Matar, Yehudit Katzover, and the dedicated members of Women in Green/WIG. On our Nov. 2011 trip, while planting our saplings in the rain, a group of angry Arabs, led by a screaming woman, attacked us. They pulled the saplings out of our hands, and out of the ground. I remember thinking how cruel it was to take these living things and destroy them so heartlessly. It wasn't until the IDF appeared that the Arabs scattered. On our last trip we planted trees in Eitam, enjoying the sunshine, along with the good fellowship supplied by WIG. This time there was no Arab confrontation.

This past Yom HaAtzmaut, April 26, we joined with Nadia, Yehudit, and hundreds of residents of Gush Etzion, along with many luminaries, in celebrating Israel's Independence Day in Netzer. We walked up the hill to the jubilation area, with some of us taking rides in the jeeps that were ferrying people back and forth. We danced joyously to the stirring music, with tears filling our eyes, thinking of the miracle of the redemption of land in our beloved Israel.

Today we received the ghastly news that the IDF will be removing the trees from Netzer, abandoning the land so lovingly held onto by the untiring efforts of WIG and their followers. How is this possible?

We look at the external issue of Iran which menaces Israel's very existence, and which should be claiming its attention. We see the many internal issues which threaten the fabric of Jewish/Israeli society. Instead of concentrating on solving these problems, the demolitions of Jewish homes and trees are on the agenda. It is incomprehensible.

Read the following press release from Women In Green for the full information.

Then please contact Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu:;; to register your dismay.

Also email Minister of Defense Ehud Barak: with the same message.

This morning: Women in Green and the Netzer Gar'in have filed an appeal against the uprooting of trees in Netzer

The Women in Green organization and the Netzer Gar'in filed a written appeal and a request for a temporary injunction against the Commissioner of Governmental and Abandoned Property in order to prevent the uprooting of the planted trees in Netzer, Gush Etzion, located between Elazar and Alon Shvut. As may be recalled, yesterday (Wednesday), we were officially informed that the Civil Administration intends to uproot all of the hundreds of Jewish trees that have been planted in the Netzer hills throughout recent years.

In the petition, the appellants claim they did not receive an eviction order. All they received was a notification that was passed to them via the Head of Gush Etzion Regional Council, Mr. Davidi Perl.

In addition, the appeal states that a year and a half ago a document had been signed stating that we are not claiming ownership over the land or the planted trees. This document was transferred to the Administration by Shaul Goldstein, former Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

Also, all the planting were performed on state lands and not on private Arab properties. The plantings were carried out for one purpose only — to prevent the Arab takeover of the same lands.

As is known, the Palestinian Authority has declared Agricultural war throughout the "C" territories and backed by tremendous international funding, has been taking over thousands of acres of state and survey lands, with the intention of stifling the Jewish communities.

Quote from the appeal:

"Our actions so far speak for themselves and indicate our good faith and pure intentions to preserve state and national lands for Am Yisra'el, the People of Israel, something the respondent was supposed to perform.

"Furthermore it should be noted that the area is adjacent to the Alon Shvut and Elazar communities, in a location that will be used for the Jewish expansion in the future anyway (if the Arabs do not take over it following the implementation, heaven forbid, of the eviction order), as well as the fact that we are willing to clear it in the eventuality that the respondent decides to make use of the land for construction etc.

"In light of the above, there is no real reason or point in evicting and uprooting the trees from the ground and it is governmental arbitrariness devoid of any purpose.

"Furthermore, it should be noted that the uprooting of the trees will create a security risk and will encourage an increased Arab takeover. Many times Arabs accompanied by international anarchist activists create provocations and attack the Jewish travelers in the region. Uprooting the trees will only increase the tensions and create a security risk. If the respondent will insist on the implementation of the eviction we will claim undisputed processing and possession for nearly 10 years, and we will request to register the land in the name of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

"In conclusion, we request the intervention of the distinguished committee, in order to cancel the eviction order."

Last night Women in Green and Netzer activists informed the residents of the Judea region by phone message of the administration's intentions and added: "There is a concern that Ehud Barak and the Civil Administration's trend of uprooting the trees, due to international pressure, is meant to prevent a Jewish continuum between the communities by abandoning the lands and hills to the hands of the Arabs.

We will be continuing our activities in the Netzer hills. A week ago we were requested to put the planed plantings on hold due to negotiations being held to cancel the uprooting decree. We agreed. But since we were informed today that the Administration insists on carrying out the uprooting — we will all come B"H this Friday to the plantings being held at Netzer at 9:00 am next to the lower pergola. Aloh Na'aleh Ve'Ya'rashnu Otah. We shall rise forth and inherit Her (the Land of Israel)."

For details please contact:
Yehudit Katsover 050-7161818
Nadia Matar 050-5500834

See also
to view the Yom Ha'Atzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day) celebrations in Netzer with Nobel Prize Laureate Yisrael Auman, Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council Davidi Perl and hundreds of supporters participating.

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Posted by Amil Imani, May 31, 2012

head shot

Sounds absurd? Why? All kinds of well-meaning and not so well meaning people who are alarmed with Islam Mayhem and Murder, Inc have been proclaiming that their fight is with Islam and not with Muslims. Who knows what motivates these people and how their system of logic runs. Geert Wilder says that his battle is with Islam and he does not hate the Muslims. No one, please, should take my criticism of Muslims as hating them. I certainly am critical of their belief and feel that Muslims must wake up to the destructive nature of their creed. The Muslims not only need to leave or reform Islam, they owe to themselves and the rest of humanity to actively work at putting an end to one of humanity's most harmful dogma.

To my thinking, Islam is the problem because there are Muslims who take its holy book, the Quran, as gospel and carry out its divisive and deadly provisions. Without Muslims, Muhammad's Quran would be just another historic relic sitting on library shelves, next to Hitler's Mein Kampf, gathering dust and criminals of the world have to find other instruction manuals to guide their activities.

What good is it to burn the Quran or desecrate it? The fire from burning the Quran only energizes the already zany fanatical believers of Allah to further engage in their world-dismembering acts.

People who keep proclaiming that they have nothing against Islam, but their battle is with Muslim terrorists are an enigma. Perhaps these people are the politically correct; the delusional who rearrange reality to their fancy; or the naïve who are incapable of dealing with facts. These people are either incapable or do not want to see that it is the Muslims, the active jihadists as well as their masses of supporters who are and remain culprits committing much of what is repugnant and harmful to civilized humanity.

If the fight is with Islam and not with Muslims, then in the interest of fairness we must apply the same standards to other criminalities.

We should condemn arson, but not arsonists: Rape, not rapists: Theft, not thieves: Murder, not murderers, and all other forms of crimes, but not the people who commit them.

islam women's due

Terrorism has no external reality, without terrorists. For as long as there are people who cling no matter how loosely or tightly to Islam, humanity, including Muslims, stands to suffer the consequences. Yet, sadly, many Muslims refuse to recognize the fact that it is their sickly belief system that is at the core of leading them astray and inflicting great harm to all.

It is foolish to wage battle against beliefs that promote mayhem and murder while giving a free pass to those who adhere to those beliefs and whether or not carry out their dogma.

"When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them." Quran 8.12

I fully realize that not every Muslim is a card-carrying hell-bent jihadist. Yet, by being a Muslim, the individual, willingly or unwillingly, directly or indirectly, empowers the zealot jihadist Muslims who live and die to further the cause of Islam.

In what way does your average peaceful Muslim support the work of the not too insignificant cadre of Islamist terrorists, you may ask? In multiple ways. For one, by paying his religiously required tax known as Khums (one-fifth of his income) to the imams and mullahs. What do the Islamic clerics do with the funds? They make a very good living by not breaking a sweat while day and night preaching hatred of non-Muslims, and training wave after wave of impressionable young as soldiers of Allah.

These clerical parasites are equal opportunity haters and promoters of violence. They do not limit their campaign only against all non-Muslims. They even exhort their happy jihadists to wage war against each other whenever it suits them and they can get away with it.

Just look at what is happening these days in the lands of the religion of peace. In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, and even the Islamic show cases such as Egypt and Turkey. Repression and slaughter are in full operation.

Syria's in-power Alawites and their Shiite allies are engaged in shocking butchery of the Sunnis, even under the eyes of the impotent United Nations observers. In one recent brutal attack by the Alawites forces of President Bashar Assad, some 90 people, including many children were murdered.

I hardly need tally the criminality and horrors of these Muslim-inspired regimes. Peace, tolerance and respect for others are alien to the followers of Muhammad, no matter which sect they belong to and irrespective of where in the world they live. No sooner in power, in any place, they shamelessly and brutally begin their mayhem and murderous practices.

shield for creed

This primitive chauvinistic creed is custom-made for the savage male where women are systematically abused in every imaginable way. Not only women are officially worth one-half of a man, they are to serve as a man's property in the tragically ordained manner. Four women to a man in regular marriage and as many women as a man wishes in temporary marriages. Woe upon a woman who thinks of herself as an equal-rights human and violates these Islamic draconian laws. Honor killing awaits the fate of any woman who steps outsides Islam's misogynistic boundaries.

Give the ringleaders of this creed of violence credit. They have perfected their skills at their trade of spreading Islam, the means of making their parasitic living.

These so-called clerics make "good" use of the funds they extract from their followers. For one, they buy the ever ready-for-purchase politicians to further their cause through legislations that would muzzle freedom of expression by any voice that dares to expose Islam for what it is.

For yet another, with their coffers flush with funds, the clerics enlist lawyers and launch lawsuits to destroy any person who speaks the truth about their barbaric beliefs and practices.

For another, they intimidate businesses that in any way fail to toe their line by boycotting their products and services. They force other businesses to withdraw their advertisements from any print or electronic medium that may report honestly about the horrors of their belief.

Tolerance is a great social virtue that becomes vice if extended to those who do not practice it and to criminals who take advantage of this noble human attribute. Muslims are the most oppressive and intolerant people of the world and they justify their intolerance on the teachings of their holy book, the Quran.

Persecution of religious minorities in Islamic states is legend. Yet, these very intolerant people come to the welcoming Western countries and demand one-sided tolerance from their hosts. Over time, these Muslims increase their demands to the point of aiming to subvert the civilized hosts and transform them to their failed savage system ruled by the Sharia Law.

Keep in mind that Islam operates by stealth when not yet quiet powerful, just the way Muhammad himself operated. Then, gradually builds its power to the point that the soft approach no longer is necessary to subdue others and impose its will.

The stealth soft strategy is presently playing out in the United States. Islam's tentacles are expanding into the body of this free and welcoming nation. In 2000 there were 1209 mosques in the United States of America. By 2010, the number has almost doubled to 2010.

If nothing is done, before very long, we end up facing the Islam Mayhem and Murder, Inc. operating with its full evil force.

Islam is a bad idea, and Muslims are guilty of living by it and promoting it. Some Muslims take up arms, following the examples of Islam's founder, Muhammad, in their aim to vanquish non-Muslims. Other Muslims empower the frontline jihadist by supplying them with material support and manpower. In the same manner that an army can't fight without the essential logistics supplied them by civilians, the soldiers of Allah will be incapable of waging their death and destruction campaign without the support of the generality of Muslims. It is long overdue that Muslims be held accountable for the so-called religious belief that controls their actions: actions aimed at destroying anything and anyone non-Muslim.

It is imperative that we see reality and deal with it. No euphemism, no sugarcoating, no politically correct posturing. It is time to abandon all pretenses and place the blame where it belongs. It is the Mayhem and Murder Islam, Inc. that is breeding terrorists. Without Islam, there would be no Islamic terrorists.

Amil Imani is the author of Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and Operation Persian Gulf. This article is archived at

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Posted by Peter Collier, May 31, 2012

jeane kirkpatrick

Jeane Kirkpatrick experienced an epiphany shortly after Ronald Reagan appointed her America's permanent representative at the UN in 1981 when Israel's ambassador Yehuda Blum came to her office for his first official visit.

She had been appalled during the previous four years by what she regarded as the Carter administration's contemptuous attitude toward the Jewish state, and particularly by the way that preceding UN ambassadors Andrew Young and Donald McHenry had, respectively, criticized the Jewish state as "stubborn and intransigent" (and met secretly with the PLO representative), and voted for Resolution 465 condemning Israel's occupation of "Arab territories including Jerusalem."

But she didn't realize how deeply these attitudes had penetrated the US mission until she saw the way the career foreign service officers she inherited from the previous administration dismissively referred to Blum by his first name and rudely interrupted him on this first visit. She sternly pointed out to them that Blum was a Holocaust survivor who spoke nine languages, and angrily ordered them out of the room.

"You can see what it has been like for Israel here," Blum told her after they sat down. Kirkpatrick replied, "It will be different now. No one will be treated better in this mission than Israel."

And this was true. She and Blum cooperated on several initiatives and often escaped with key staff members for private strategy dinners at a small restaurant in Brooklyn they both favored. The personal relationship was political for Kirkpatrick. Seeing the hatred of Israel in her first days at the UN, she told her colleague Richard Schifter with a stricken look on her face, "I think the Holocaust is possible again. I didn't think so before I came to the UN, but I think so now."

She brought this feeling to president Reagan who agreed with her that the US had to stand against "the obsessive vilification of Israel." Along with preventing the spread of Marxism-Leninism in Central America and driving a stake through the heart of the Soviet Union, this became Kirkpatrick's chief objective during her time at the UN.

After the bombing of Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, she argued strenuously that the US should simply abstain from the resolution advanced by Iraq after the attack calling for sanctions against Israel but was overruled by the State Department.

She then worked behind the scenes to get the resolution watered down to a condemnation and made her feelings known when even this question was called by raising her hand reluctantly to half mast and allowing a look to cross her face of someone who has just detected a fecal odor in the room.

Kirkpatrick defended Israel by her unyielding critique of what it faced at the UN. Charging that diplomacy regarding the "Arab- Israeli conflict" at the world body "has nothing to do with peace, but is quite simply a continuation of war against Israel by other means," she said that the UN, as a result, had become a place where "moral outrage was distributed like violence in a protection racket"; a place where Israel is regularly and routinely attacked for manufactured crimes amidst deafening silence "when 3 million Cambodians died in Pol Pot's murderous utopia... when a quarter million Ugandans died at the hands of Idi Amin... and when thousand of Soviet citizens are denied equal rights, equal protection of the law; denied the right to think, write, publish, work freely or emigrate."

She pointed out repeatedly that hatred of Israel deformed all aspects of UN operations: "A women's conference is suddenly transformed into a forum for the denunciation of Israel" because of assertions that "the biggest obstacle to the realizations of women's full enjoyment of equal rights in the world is Zionism....A meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency becomes so absorbed in negotiations and debate over a resolution to expel Israel that it almost forgets to worry about nuclear non proliferation."

Kirkpatrick experienced this malign obsession personally when she headed a delegation to the International Conference on African Refugees in March 1981.

The day before it opened, the Arab States, led by Libya, moved to bar Israel's delegate. Kirkpatrick announced that if this happened, the US would walk out and withdraw the $285 million it had pledged to the refugee problem. She dared the African countries and their Arab allies to choose between their "vile rhetoric" and money that could help their people.

They chose the money.

She saw clearly that isolating and stigmatizing Israel was the USSR's "great project" at the UN, an effort undertaken with diabolical ingenuity by the accusation that the Jewish state was guilty of racism — the greatest of sins in the post-colonial period when newly minted states were regularly entering the world organization — and by making Israel morally equivalent to apartheid South Africa.

She presciently saw that this accusation would be justified not by facts or proof, but by "a systematic assault on language and meaning."

She picked up on the first signs of this brazenly methodical effort to turn the narrative of the Holocaust inside-out by rebranding the Palestinians "the Jews of the Arab world" and the Israelis " Nazis," and she understood the likely consequences: "by successfully claiming that Israel was guilty of genocide, any attack against the state and people of Israel was justified."

The moral outrage over the treatment of Israel at the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick carried with her until her death in 2006 has today been replaced by the cold friendship of the Obama administration, which has justly been compared to Jimmy Carter's in its distant attitude toward Israel. But Carter's treatment of Israel is often cited as one of the reasons Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, who immediately installed at the UN a woman who believed that "to defend Israel was to defend America and western civilization itself." So perhaps the historical analogy carries with it a ray of hope after all.

Peter Collier is the author of the recently published Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick (Encounter Books, 2012). This article appeared in The Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2012, and is archived at

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Posted by Doris Wise Montrose, May 31, 2012

This was written by Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture. It appeared yesterday on Front Page Magazine

huzama habayeb

A female Arab author claims a "cherished victory" by forcing the University of Texas to scrap the publication of an anthology of women's voices from the Middle East — because two of the twenty-nine writers were Israeli.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin was planning to publish the book in honor of the late American scholar Elizabeth Fernea, a professor there whose life and work were focused on the Middle East.

At first, novelist Huzama Habayeb was delighted to contribute as one of fifteen Arab writers. But that turned to "horror," as a Gulf News editorial put it, when she realized that the collection would also feature two Israeli women, Yehudit Hendel and Orly Castel-Bloom. Habayeb withdrew her manuscript, complaining to the Center that Israel is an "occupier" of her land "Palestine" — although she was born in Kuwait, raised in Jordan, lives in Dubai, and has never set foot in Israel.

The university accepted her withdrawal but moved forward with plans to publish. Taken aback by this, Habayeb determined to ban the book altogether. She urged other Arab contributors to withdraw their manuscripts. A friend, Egyptian novelist Radwa Ashour who is married to a Palestinian poet, was the first to go along. Then others got onboard.

The Center shrugged and said the book was already at the printers and would be published as is. Habayeb wasn't about to give up. "There are academic boycott movements around the world protesting the Israeli occupation," she said, then incorrectly claimed that "the only two countries where they don't exist are the United States and Israel." She threatened to embarrass the university: "It doesn't need a genius to figure out that the Texas center wanted to resolve the issue quickly and silently."

According to Dr. Kamran Scot Aghaie, the Center's director, twelve authors asked to withdraw their contributions from the volume, with one additional request from the translator of another submission. "All the Arab writers whom I managed to contact withdrew their contributions," Habayeb exulted.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies refused to censor or discriminate against the Israelis, but the boycott led to enough withdrawals to make the book project no longer viable, so the publication was discontinued. Habayeb crowed to the Dubai-based website Gulf News,

I am so proud of having the book cancelled. I am a Palestinian and to achieve this, to be able to resist the illegal Israeli occupation of my homeland is something that I will cherish forever. It is my own victory in the struggle.
An opinion piece in the Gulf News gleefully reported that "Habayeb has a smile on her face this morning" and described her actions as "those of a resistance fighter." It insisted that "academics the world over need to ensure that Israel is isolated for its immoral and illegal actions in occupying Palestine and repressing the Palestinian people." (Dr. Aghaie offers another perspective on that: "The unfortunate reality is that in Middle Eastern Studies sometimes politics trumps academic ideals.") The editorial closes by saying that "the pen is mightier than the sword" — an odd moral to draw from the censorship of nearly thirty writers. In her own editorial to Gulf News, self-importantly titled "My 'No' Says More, and Matters More," Habayeb waxed melodramatic about what she considers her courageous stand:

I started as a lone voice. In the silence of a rather vigilant night, my keyboard was my sole collaborator. Few words of protest, engulfed by anger and discontent, found their way into a yet-to-be-filled draft email.

My overly conscious heart was heavy. "I cannot accept, ethically and morally, that my voice be shared equally with writers who reflect the voice of an obnoxious occupier," I wrote...

She denounced Israel's presence in the book as "an allegedly legitimate literary Middle Eastern component that desperately seeks acceptance, notwithstanding its 'genocidal' practices against Palestinians." Actually, Israel is not desperate, literally or otherwise; it is flourishing and happy, as always. Thirteen Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to Israeli authors; the Arab world has received one, despite its enormous population advantage.

It is the Arab world that is desperate — desperately impoverished (apart from the oil-moneyed elites), desperately ignorant, desperately backward (apart from the faux modernization of a tiny handful of places like Dubai, where Habayeb lives), and desperately humiliated by the success story that is Israel, a tiny sliver of a country that the Arab world is obsessed with (but incapable of) destroying. As for Israel's "genocidal practices," they are apparently very ineffective, since Palestinians have one of the highest rates of population growth in the world.

Habayeb agonized over her response to the Center's outrageous inclusion of two Israelis, referring to her "defeated self" as "homeless": "How can I refuse to hate a 'killer state' or not turn a deaf ear to voices that reflect its disgrace? I can't. I simply cannot."

So she kept up a "10-day unrelenting campaign, infused with persistent passion and decades-long inherited losses and accumulated pains," until she convinced enough contributors to pull out, and her "no" was joined by other "no's":

In a region caught in defeat and despair, the 'No' turning into 'No's' comes as a symbolic victory. My 'No' is alone no more. My 'No' says more, and it means even more. It is heard loud...

Actually, it is not heard at all, nor will any of the twenty-eight other voices be heard that would have been published in the book. All Habayeb has accomplished, with her hateful determination to excise a mere two Israeli essays from a book of twenty-nine, is the Pyrrhic victory of silencing everyone, including herself and fourteen of her fellow Arabs.

Habayeb and her cohorts' chorus of "no's" is the contrast between the moribund, nihilistic Arab world and Israel's "yes." "We love death more than you love life," they proudly proclaim. Even in a matter so small as an obscure academic publication, Israel's enemies are happy to ruin everything for everyone, even themselves, in their desperate, impotent compulsion to punish Israel.

Doris Wise Montrose is with Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Contact her at

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Posted by Albert Wendroff, May 31, 2012

As a parable, it doesn't matter whether it's authentic. The lesson rings loud and clear.

In 1954, when Ben Gurion was prime minister, he traveled to the USA to meet with President Eisenhower to request his assistance and support in the early and difficult days of the State of Israel. John Foster Dulles who was the then secretary of state confronted Ben Gurion and challenged him as follows:

"Tell me, Mr. Prime Minister — whom do you and your state represent? Does it represent the Jews of Poland, perhaps Yemen, Romania, Morocco, Iraq, Russia or perhaps Brazil? After 2000 years of exile can you honestly speak about a single nation, a single culture? Can you speak about a single heritage or perhaps a single Jewish tradition?"

Ben Gurion answered him as follows:

"Look, Mr. Secretary of State — approximately 300 years ago the Mayflower set sail from England and on it were the first settlers who settled in what would become the largest democratic superpower known as the United States of America. Now, do me a favor — go out into the streets and find 10 American children and ask them the following:

  • What was the name of the Captain of the Mayflower?
  • How long did the voyage take?
  • What did the people who were on the ship eat?
  • What were the conditions of sailing during the voyage?

I'm sure you would agree with me that there is a good chance that you won't get a good answer to these questions.

Now in contrast — not 300 but more than 3000 years ago, the Jews left the land of Egypt. I would kindly request from you Mr. Secretary that on one of your trips around the world, try and meet 10 Jewish children in different countries. And ask them:

  • What was the name of the leader who took the Jews out of Egypt?
  • How long did it take them before they got to the land of Israel?
  • What did they eat during the period when they were wondering in the desert?
  • And what happened to the sea when they encountered it?

Once you get the answers to these questions, please carefully consider the question that you have just asked me!"

Contact Albert Wendroff by email at

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Posted by Zachary Fisher, May 31, 2012

bedouin on camel
Egypt's Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness in recent months with Bedouin tribesmen blamed for attempts to kidnap tourists. (Photo: AP)

Two American male tourists traveling in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula were abducted by armed Bedouin tribesmen early Thursday morning, according to Egyptian police. The two men, both 31, were seized while driving in close proximity to the Red Sea resort town of Dahab, near the Israeli border. The Bedouins demanded the release of a fellow tribesmen who was taken into custody on drug charges, and they planned on holding the Americans hostage until authorities would give into their demands. Luckily, after Egyptian army and police spent hours negotiating with the Bedouins, the Americans were freed unharmed.

This situation is unfortunately not all that unique in today's Egypt-controlled Sinai Peninsula. In recent times, indigenous Bedouins have kidnapped American tourists, holding them hostage until their demands for released captives and improved basic services have been met. And with Cairo now focused on Egypt's uprising and post-Mubarak stability, it has paid little attention to the precarious Sinai, allowing Bedouin tribes to run wild. Certain Sinai Bedouin tribes are allegedly smuggling African migrants and stealing their internal organs to sell for a profit.

Egypt's Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness in recent months with Bedouin tribesmen blamed for attempts to kidnap tourists. (Photo: AP) The Sinai has become overrun with violence as well by militants who adhere to a jihadist ideology. On August 18, 2011, the region played a part in a devastating and nefarious three-pronged attack launched by Islamist terrorists against Israelis near Eilat. The militants opened-fire at a civilian bus, detonated a roadside bomb near an Israeli army position, and launched a guided missile at a private vehicle — killing eight Israelis. The militants penetrated Israeli territory from their starting position in Gaza by crossing into the Sinai through smuggling tunnels, and from there into Israel's south. The terrorists reportedly counted amongst themselves three Egyptian Sinai residents, one of whom was jailed under Mubarak. The organization responsible for the attacks has yet to be determined, but al-Qaeda is considered a prime suspect.

The Eilat incident highlights two alarming trends in the Sinai: the emergence of al-Qaeda and other terror cells, and the relocation of former Mubarak-era detainees to the Sinai upon their post-uprising release or escape. Many of the Mubarak-era prisoners have strengthened al-Qaeda's presence in the peninsula. Salafist organizations are also taking root. These new terrorist organizations have launched rockets and fired bullets at Egyptian positions.

Egypt has a lot to lose and nothing to gain from chaos in the Sinai. The prospect of a jihadist-infested, anti-West desert does not bode well for Egypt's national security, Israel's security, or the 1979 peace treaty. A violent and terror-filled region would also be detrimental to Egypt's lucrative tourism sector. For these reasons and more, it's time for Egypt to take responsibility for ending Sinai's lawlessness.

This article appeared today in InContext, a publication of the Jewish Policy Center.

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 31, 2012

1. Leftist Attorney General Circles the Wagons to defend Leftist who Incited to Murder

For those who think I am exaggerating when I say that Israel has a corrupt politicized dual justice system, one for leftists and the other for everyone else, then just consider the following news item:

You may recall the reports here about one Eyal Nir, a far-leftist anti-Israel lecturer in chemistry at Ben Gurion "University," the Bir Zeit of the Negev. Nir posted calls and threats to murder non-leftists on his Facebook page. The same Attorney General's Office that rounds up and arrests Rabbis by the bushel if they dare to recommend that people read a book of which the Leftists disapprove was petitioned to prosecute Nir. Today it was announced that Nir will not be prosecuted.

And don't hold your breath waiting for Rivka Carmi, the Cabbagehead president of Ben Gurion "University," to do anything about Nir either.

Case Closed Against Inciting Lecturer

The State Attorney's Office announced, Thursday, that it was closing the file of a Ben Gurion University lecturer who had called, on his Facebook page, to "break the necks" of right wing participants in last year's Jerusalem Day Flag Dance parade. The announcement cited lack of evidence.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which filed the complaint has announced that it will appeal the "surprising" decision. "Law enforcement cannot ignore such a blatant incitement to murder, said Forum Director, Nachi Eyal.

Here is the earlier story about Nir's incitement to murder:
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Published: 6/12/2011, 12:46 PM/
Last Update: 6/12/2011, 1:04 PM

A senior Ben Gurion U. professor urges people to "break the necks of right-wing scoundrels," but the university blocked protests on its website.


Ben Gvir: Protest 'Victim' Was Really a Leftist Radical

Reports that right wing activists beat an 'alleged' African illegal alien later revealed the 'victim' was a radical Israeli leftist.
By David Lev

Media reports in Israel on Thursday morning said that protesters at a rally Wednesday night demanding the government do something about illegal African migrants had attacked a passerby from among the illegal aliens.

Several reports said that right-wing protesters beat the African, while others said that they just cursed and insulted him. But as it turned out, the "passerby" was not an an African migrant. Actually, said right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, the "victim" is an Israeli, an Ethiopian Jew. He apparently went to the protest in order to create an incident for the cameras so it would appear that right-wing activists were harassing and attacking Africans.

The leftist "victim," Hanania Vanda, is an archaeology student at Ben Gurion University and a self-declared radical leftist, Ben Gvir said. Vanda has allegedly written that he envisions "radical" solutions to several of the burning issues in Israeli society, including the illegal alien issue. Ben Gvir said Vanda presented himself as a Sudanese refugee on Wednesday night, and joined a group of illegal Africans congregating near the protest by residents of south Tel Aviv against the ongoing crime by the Africans and lack of enforcement by police.

He then moved towards the body of the protest and began shouting out epithets and curses, apparently in an attempt to incite the protesters. While some of the protesters responded in kind, no one hit Vanda, Ben Gvir said, and none of the footage taken by television and other media showed that Vanda had been struck.

"Vanda tried to pull a fast one, and unfortunately some media outfits allowed themselves to be suckered into believing his story, failing to check the facts," Ben Gvir said. "While the easy story for the media is the one they tried to portray of 'right wing activists attack Africans,' the fact is that the photos and video do not back this up. Actually, when Vanda finally admitted that he was an Ethiopian Jew, he was welcomed by the protesters."

Ben Gvir also protested the fact that many of the news outlets that reported the "attack" did not seek to get a response from him or other right-wing activists who actually participated in the demonstration. "I cannot remember an incident in which right-wing activists complained that they were attacked by leftists that the media did not follow through and seek the other side of the story, as they reported what they said were the 'claims' of the right wing victims. When it comes to claims against the right though, anything goes — there is no investigation by the media, and they don't even bother looking at the materials that they themselves filmed."

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

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Posted by Gabe Kahn, May 31, 2012

Iran has razed two buildings near a suspected nuclear-trigger test site inside of its sprawling Parchin military complex.

Satellite images taken on May 25 confirm the destruction of two buildings IAEA inspectors have sought access to were published on Wednesday by the Institute for Science and International Security.

"These activities raise further concerns of Iranian efforts to destroy evidence of alleged past nuclear weaponization," the Washington-based ISIS said in a six-page written analysis.

Diplomats had alluded to the satellite images in closed-door meetings on Iran's nuclear program earlier this week.

IAEA inspectors have been wrangling with Tehran over access to the Parchin facility since January, where it is believed Iran had constructed a high-explosives test chamber for nuclear detonation research.

"The razing of the two buildings may also indicate that Iran has no intention to allow inspectors access soon," David Albright and Robert Avagyan wrote for ISIS.

"Iran should immediately allow the IAEA access to Parchin and explain the significance of these apparent clean-up activities," they added.

Last week, IAEA officials announced they had reached an agreement with Iranian authorities for greater access to Tehran's nuclear sites, including Parchin.

Iran is under multiple international sanctions stemming from concerns Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons, a charge the Islamic republic denies.

Two IAEA reports published since late 2011charge Iran has engaged in nuclear research of a military nature, and is enriching far more uranium to 20% than its claims of nuclear medicine research can justify.

Iran has systemically obstructed IAEA inspectors seeking access to its nuclear sites in contravention of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In March, as tensions over access to the Parchin site reached a crescendo, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said "Iran is not telling us everything."

The building's destruction — now publicly confirmed — has been broadly interpreted as a part of an Iranian attempt to cover up illicit military nuclear weapons research.

Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon on Wednesday remarked "Iran is deceiving the West all the way to a bomb."

For "the last three months, while it talks with world powers, Tehran has significantly accelerated the pace of Iranian nuclear enrichment, Yaalon said at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.

In that time "they have produced 36 pounds, one-third of the amount that the Iranians need [for a bomb], has been enriched to 20% in the face of Western demands," he explained.

Yaalon's comments come ahead of a third round of talks between the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — and Iran in Moscow on June 18 and 19.

Ahead of the second round of failed talks in Bagdad, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said "I see no evidence Iran is ready to end its nuclear program."

He was joined by Defense Minister Ehud Barak who told reporters he was "skeptical" that Iran was serious, and charged Tehran was using the talks to buy time for nuclear weapons research.

This article appeared today in Arutz-Sheva (

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 31, 2012


Right wing Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv in favor of expelling illegal African aliens coming there and staying by the tens of thousands. The Israeli media reported that the crowd grabbed one of the Africans and beat him up.

Turns out, the alleged victim was not beaten up and was not an illegal immigrant. All of the videos taken do not show any beating. He was an Israeli citizen, a Jew originally from Ethiopia. He also was a leftist. As such, he taunted the crowd in the hope of invoking violence that would undermine the protest's standing. The most the crowd did was yell back at him.

When the crowd found out he was an Israeli Jew from Ethiopia, protestors welcomed him.

Journalists reported the allegations without checking them. When left wingers are accused of harassing right wingers, the journalists check the story. The story they publicized was refuted by their own videos. This double standard shows the Left's ideological hypocrisy, their insincerity about violence (Prof. Steven Plaut, 5/30/12, via email).

If the crowd really welcomed him, it was misguided. He was trying by fraud to provoke violence in order to injure their reputation. He is not worthy of his citizenship.


Israel released to the P.A. the remains of five Palestinian Arab terrorists. All told they had murdered 33 Israelis in stores, a bus, and a nightclub. The attacks occurred after the PLO had signed the Oslo Accords pledging to end terrorism. The P.A. stated regret for the loss of civilian lives.

This time, instead of immediately turning the remains over to their families for burial, the P.A. held a state ceremony in Ramallah. "...the Palestinian Presidential Guard carried the coffins of the "martyrs", covered with Palestinian flags, on their shoulders as an honor guard fired a 21-gun salute and PA President Mahmoud Abbas laid a wreath."

The conventional media did not report this P.A. approval of the terrorism it was obliged to eradicate on the way to peace (Dr. Aaron Lerner,, 5/30/12).

The major media seem to omit much news that would enable the public to see through P.A. pretensions of moderation, and peace-making. A full news presentation would reveal what barbarians Israel has to face.

The U.S. government often professes abhorrence of mass-murder, but not much abhorrence when Israelis are the victims.

Cries are arising for U.S. action against certain murderous Arab regimes, but never against the murderous P.A. and its population. Worse, the U.S. subsidizes the P.A. and pressures Israel to reduce its defenses against P.A. terrorists.

And what of the ethics of PM Netanyahu's government? Israel released the bodies supposedly to win goodwill. As with the other releases of terrorists, usually alive, the P.A. turns the occasion into a celebration of another triumph against Israel. The effect is to reinforce jihad against Israel. What kind of goodwill is that? Isn't that counter-productive? Who will tell the government to stop encouraging 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

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Posted by Abigail Klein Leichman, May 31, 2012

peppers in arava
Peppers growing in the Arava. (Photo by Eyal Izhar)

How many peppers can Peter Piper pick? Well, if the protagonist in the old tongue twister were picking them in Israel's Arava Desert, the surprising answer is about 150,000 tons.

Once a deserted 112-mile strip of land stretching from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, the Arava now has some 600 farms supplying more than 60 percent of total Israeli exports of fresh vegetables and about 10% of ornamentals.

In addition to dozens of varieties of peppers, Arava farmers produce tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, melons, watermelons, table grapes, herbs and dates — many raised organically and all with minimal pesticides. Other Arava agriculturists specialize in flowers or aquarium fish such as the "Nemo" clownfish.

Israeli technology — most notably, drip irrigation — is a major factor in this desert-to-farmland story. But just as important is the constant sharing of ideas, methodology, research and experiences facilitated by Central and Northern Arava Research and Development.

Cooperation key to success

Arava R&D, founded in 1986 by the Jewish Agency, originally served the agriculture development needs in periphery areas. Idealistic would-be farmers, eager to make the proverbial desert bloom, already had established three kibbutzim in the Arava back in 1959.

baby peppers in arava
Baby peppers at Yair Experimental Station (Photo by Eyal Izhar)

"They were considered meshugenners, crazy people," relates Aylon Gadiel, director of Arava R&D. "You couldn't live in the Arava, let alone grow vegetables there. But it was proven that it is possible, and one reason is the development of drip irrigation in the beginning of the 1960s."

Zohar Experimental Station, one of Arava R&D's two research facilities, is named for Yuval Zohar, an Israeli pioneer of modern drip irrigation.

Yet this advance alone was not enough to turn Arava agriculture into a thriving venture. Neither were the innovative greenhouses, shade houses and walk-in plastic tunnels that the desert farmers put into use.

Hothouse strawberry plants at Yair Experimental Station. (Photo by Eyal Izhar)

By 1997, when the Jewish National Fund took over Arava R&D in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other government agencies, regional councils and private sponsors, it was already clear that cooperation is the main ingredient of success.

The researchers, scientists and farmers involved in Arava R&D's eight agricultural villages — comprising about 8,650 acres — interact through regularly scheduled site tours, seminars and online forums in order to learn about one another's problems and solutions, Gadiel tells ISRAEL21C.

Tomatoes at Yair Experimental Station (Photo by Eyal Izhar)

"You can see what the growers are doing, and they can see what you think could help. Some farmer may be trying something new and we will go test it on an academic level," he explains. "The interaction is ongoing and constant between all the parties. We try to get the knowledge flowing back and forth."

New farmers in 2012

This year, many new farmers are being trained in basic agriculture, says Gadiel. Instructors from the agricultural extension service, Arava R&D, business and academia teach topics including the most updated methods of irrigation and plant protection.

"We sponsor meetings with R&D people so that they will get to know the farmers and discuss new options in growing," adds Gadiel. "We're testing all kinds of things: Our farmers are growing more and more dates, mangos, table grapes and ornamental fish."

The next promising crop is strawberries. "They cannot grow in saline water, so we're trying to grow them with desalinated water from a small plant we have in our Yair Experimental Station. We are developing a protocol for that, and we hope we will have good quality water in a couple of years."

Arava R&D has also developed a hardy variety of fig tree and a less odiferous guava fruit. "We're trying apricots now, and we developed a protocol for organic table grapes," Gadiel says.

World model

The United Nations chose the Arava region as a global model for agricultural education on saving water. Israel's agricultural researchers are constantly improving and refining "fertigation," in which water and fertilizer are dripped uniformly onto the root system of crops from a specially constructed pipe.

Over the last 15 years, says Gadiel, the Arava has become an international school for agricultural trainees.

"We have a lot of students coming here for year-long projects to study and work with families of Arava farmers — mainly from Thailand, Myanmar and other Far East countries, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry. When they go back home, each student becomes an ambassador for Israel."

Experts from Arava R&D travel to countries such as Ethiopia to give practical courses through MASHAV, Israel's international development agency.

Experts from Arava R&D travel to countries such as Ethiopia to give practical courses through MASHAV, Israel's international development agency.

Back on home soil, Arava R&D is working with local companies to develop hardier seed varieties and a new type of plastic covering for greenhouses that would reduce the need for expensive heating in cold months.

"I think Israeli agriculture in general is an example for the whole world of how you can develop an area and live in it, too," says Gadiel. "We learned how to use our advantages, especially in winter, to produce good-quality vegetables for export to Europe and the United States."

Last February, Arava R&D hosted its 21st annual Arava Open Day Exhibition, the largest agriculture expo in Israel, attracting 30,000 visitors and 200 companies. The next expo is scheduled for January 23-24, 2013.

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984. This article appeared May 29, 2012 on the UCI website and is archived at It originated at the ISRAEL21C website and is archived at

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Posted by Seth J. Frantzman, May 31, 2012

In recent annual report, Amnesty International accused Israel of a laundry list of human rights violation.

In its recently released annual report, Amnesty International accused Israel of a laundry list of human rights violations, almost all of which had to do with the occupied Palestinian territories. Most interesting was the list of complaints related to Gaza.

"The humanitarian crisis affecting the Gaza Strip's 1.6 million residents continued due to Israel's ongoing military blockade...36 Palestinians were killed in accidents or in Israeli air strikes on tunnels used to smuggle goods between Egypt and Gaza...the Israeli authorities hindered or prevented hundreds of patients from leaving Gaza to obtain medical treatment."

The continuing saga of Gaza is an important symbol of a larger phenomenon. The occupation of the Palestinian territories can never end because of the vested interest many organizations have in maintaining the fiction of Israeli control, even when control is withdrawn. It is well known that Israel does not control the border between Egypt and Gaza and yet the condemnation for not providing access to hospitals for Gazans assumes that Israel is responsible for providing medical treatment for people in Gaza; once again perpetuating the idea that Israel's occupation can never be allowed to end.

Human rights organizations and the peace industry are beholden to the occupation, addicted to it — no less than Israel's most extremist right-wing voices. This may seem a contradiction: how can organizations devoted to ending the occupation in fact support the occupation? The answer: Because the occupation is their raison d'etre and without it they cannot exist. This is typical of the NGO world. For example, those organizations that devote their existence to ending poverty require that poverty be perpetuated because NGOs have become an industry and choice place of employment. That is why we see in the world of NGOs a multiplication of overlapping groups with "mission creep." This multiplication becomes an intense lobby to support a professional class, to the extent that entire university degrees are now devoted to the phenomenon of the NGO profession.

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) is emblematic of this issue. Initially established in 1994 to monitor events in the city following Baruch Goldstein's murder of 29 Palestinians, it is still around today. Supported by five European countries and Turkey it has a relatively small operating budget of $2 million, excluding salaries. Yet when one factors in the salaries paid to up to 90 international members of the team, the figure is closer to $10m. (TIPH does not publicly disclose its complete budget).

In truth, there is nothing "temporary" about this mission.

It maintains three buildings, a fleet of small cars and has its own dining facility. It also helps local Palestinians with such projects as providing protective clothing to the Hebron fire brigade and building the Tariq Bin Zaid Sports Center. Were Israel to withdraw from Hebron, is there any supposition that this sizable mission would pick up and leave? TIPH is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. Between 1999 and 2007 Norway provided NIS 3.5 billion ($560m.) in aid to various Palestinian projects. Obviously, all this aid does not go to activities related to Israel or the occupation.

However, in the discussion of aid to hospitals, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation Annual Report for 2009 notes that "the hospitals are also important for strategic reasons, as [is] the maintenance of Palestinian services, and the right to access to Jerusalem for Palestinians." Should one therefore assume that if Israel were to leave east Jerusalem, the aid would dry up because the hospitals would no longer be "strategically" necessary? Additionally, European aid to the Palestinian Authority totals some $600m. annually, with the latest EU deal signed in March totaling $397m. Much of this goes toward Palestinian salaries and investment in certain projects such as the the building of a waste treatment plant.

Other financial commitments find their way to the Palestinians via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (annual budget, $1.23b.). Some $600m. is spent by the US on aid in the West Bank and Gaza, of which about $200m. is spent by USAID on infrastructure and other projects. Some of these infrastructure projects are purposely constructed without building permits in the West Bank, so that 10 percent of all buildings Israel demolishes for code violations in the West Bank are foreign-funded projects.

Out of all this largesse, the amount of money that goes to the peace industry is relatively small. It was revealed in a 2010 WikiLeaks cable that the New Israel Fund, which funds many Israeli NGOs involved in human rights work, has a budget of around $18m. for 350 NGOs.

B'Tselem, the premier NGO that reports on human rights abuses in the West Bank, has a budget of around $2.3m.

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, an EU organization that grants money to human rights NGOs, spent around $5.2m. in 2009 and 2010 on aid to various organizations in Israel and the West Bank that deal with the occupation.


RECENTLY IT has become fashionable to promote a boycott of products made by Israeli settlements. These products include vegetables, Psagot wine, Dead Sea Labs beauty products and Beigel pastries. This is supposed to put a stake through the economic heart of the Jewish enterprise in the hills of Judea and Samaria and break the will of the state to maintain the settlements. A Globes report, meanwhile, notes the total value of goods exported from the settlements is in the "tens of millions of dollars annually."

The overall funds devoted to promoting "peace" and "human rights" and combatting the occupation are therefore more than equal to the total value of goods produced in the settlements. So who has a greater financial incentive to keep the settlements where they are: Psagot wines or B'Tselem, Peace Now or Shamir Salads? This is an irony, of course. That more money is devoted to fighting the occupation than the occupation ever produces shows how an industry — a "peace industrial complex" — has grown up around the occupation. It supports "peace" and works towards a "just settlement," but it needs conflict.

Tens of thousands of Europeans and other international workers would be out of work if the occupation ended — TIPH alone has 100 employees. And how many educated Palestinians are sucked into the web of NGOs that combat the occupation, that apply for permits for people to go to hospital in Jerusalem, for permits to study at Bir Zeit from Gaza and other causes? Israel can survive withdrawing from the West Bank, but can the international community, the Palestinians and the Israeli NGO networks truly countenance such a future? If the conflict's stakeholders are any indicator, the answer is no. Palestinians and Israelis might consider questioning the motives of these outsiders and whether they are in it for the money or for the people. It seems the occupation must be maintained at all costs. Literally

Seth J. Frantzman was born in Maine and received his Ph.D from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010. He is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. His current interests include the history of the Holy Land, the Beduin, land laws, Jerusalem and Arab Christians. As a commentator on current affairs and politics he attempts to provide new views on old canards, hence his column's name, Terra Incognita. He is currently The Jerusalem Post's op-ed editor. This article appeared yesterday in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at

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Posted by Matzav Editor, May 31, 2012

Sheba Medical Center geneticists have found that a population of Indians in the U.S. state of Colorado has genetic Jewish roots going back to the expulsion of Jews from Spain.

The common marker was a unique genetic mutation on the BRCA1 gene. This mutation, commonly known as the "Ashkenazi mutation," is found in Jews of Ashkenazi origin and is associated with an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

The trail began with research conducted by Prof. Jeffrey Weitzel, an oncogenetic (cancer genetics) expert at the City of Hope Hospital in California. Weitzel examined samples from 110 American families of Hispanic origin, and followed them through a computational genetics study, and in 2005 published an article pointing to their common ancestry: People who had immigrated to the United States from Mexico and South America.

Weitzel's discovery of the BRCA1 mutation in these Hispanics led him to suspect that there was a genetic connection between them and European Jews, and he sought to confirm the connection.

A study recently conducted at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer whose findings have been accepted for publication by the European Journal of Human Genetics has found the missing link: The mutation was also found in a group of Mexican Indians who had immigrated from Mexico to the United States over the past 200 years and settled in western Colorado.

When their samples were submitted to a computational genetic study, it emerged that they, along with Weitzel's original Hispanic subjects, all had a common ancestor: A Jew who immigrated from Europe to South America up to 600 years ago, the period in which Christopher Columbus discovered America and the Jews of Spain were expelled.

The Sheba research was performed by a team headed by Prof. Eitan Friedman, head of the medical center's Oncogenetics Unit, and student Yael Leitman, and sought to identify the original source of the BRCA1 mutation, found in about 1.5 percent of Jews of Ashkenazi origin and 0.5 percent of Iraqi Jews.

To do this, they collected samples from 115 families carrying this mutation from all over the world. These included Jewish families of Ashkenazi and Iraqi origin, and Jews originating from the Indian city of Cochin. They also, with Weitzel's help, collected samples from 16 mutation-carrying families among the Mexican Indians in Colorado, five British families from Manchester, and three families from Malaysia.

The study was based on previous Sheba research from 15 years ago, during which primitive analyses were done on the mutation found in Ashkenazi and Iraqi Jews; at that time, it was thought the mutation had first occurred 2,500 years earlier, during the dispersion after the destruction of the First Bais Hamikdosh.

However, the new analysis, which checked 15 different genetic markers associated with the mutation, demonstrated that the Iraqi version of the mutated gene traces back only 450 years, which testifies to a migration of Ashkenazi Jews to Iraq - most probably merchants - that has not been well documented.

Meanwhile, the mutation found in the Colorado Indians was found to be identical to that of Ashkenazi Jews, and dates to a period more than 600 years ago. Researchers say this offers incontrovertible genetic proof that some of the Jews expelled from Spain who reached the New World intermarried with local Indians whose descendants later migrated to the United States.

This is from, the online voice of Torah Jewry. It is archived at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 31, 2012


Shimon Erem

Shimon Erem, a giant Jewish leader in Los Angeles and beyond, succumbed to cancer on Sunday, May 27th, 2012, at the age of 90.

The "buzz" term is that 'they do not make then like Shimon anymore.' And indeed, Shimon was part of a generation that have not been duplicated, i.e. David Ben Gurion, Shmuel Katz, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Moshe Sharet, Yitzchak Shamir, et al. A generation of leaders who put their country, Israel, and the Jewish nation before their own life. Their dedication, devotion and commitment to defend and stand for the state of Israel had no boundaries.

So if they do not make them like Shimon Erem was, then either there is something wrong with the present generation or, we need not take this insult and show everyone that they do make them just like Shimon and his like today.

Shimon was like the watchman on the tower. Nothing that concerned Israel and the Jewish people passed him unspoken or, when needed, defended or rebuttal.

Shimon was a one man army; but we can be a collective watchman on the tower and an army of many and continue his legacy with more vigor and as much dedication. Shimon taught us the ropes, he opened the doors for us and he left us the instruction manual and all we need to do is run with it.

There is a book by Malcolm Gladwell, named 'The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference'( If each one of us does only one little thing for Israel and the Jewish nation, together, we will make a HUGE difference; we will be an army Shimon Erem would be proud of as his legacy will emerge stronger.

Shimon was among those who took upon themselves the crucial role in the founding and survival of the State of Israel. A man with many hats. Military, political, and community leader. He built the Golden Bridge for Jews and Christians to walk on, meet and cooperate. Take actions together that benefit mankind.

For the past 75 years Shimon devoted his life fighting for Jewish survival and the nation state of the Jewish people, Israel. He very well knew that Israel needs to have friends. A country that was established by many Holocaust survivors, the latest victims of the hate so many, world over, have for the Jews, needed allies. So for the past three decades Shimon worked tirelessly to bring Christians onto Israel's side so they support the Jewish state and Jewish communities in their midst. When he saw his idea can work and work well, in 2002 he founded the Israel Christian Nexus-ICN (, its main goal is to unite and mobilize Jewish and Christian communities in the support of the Israelis, the people of the state of Israel.

Many of us are graduates of Shimon Erem's university of community leadership and devotion to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Now we all need to take what we have learned and teach others to duplicate and do the same. Take the torch and run with it.

Today we are mourning the loss of Simon. Tomorrow we will celebrate that he has not left a world empty of cause behind him.

Shimon followed, Psalm 121:4, 'Behold, he that keepeth Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.'

We owe him to do the very same.

Victor Frenkl said, everything can be taken away from a person, except one thing, attitude.

Goodbye Shimon and please watch over us from His heavens.

L-R Rev. Robert Stearns & Gen Shimon

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog at

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Posted by Michael Freund, May 31, 2012

Last Thursday evening, hundreds of guests milled about, chatting amiably as they awaited the start of the joyous ceremony.

Bedecked in white, the striking bride made her way down the aisle, each step drawing her closer to the wedding canopy where her groom stood smiling broadly.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

As a light breeze stirred the air, the wife-to-be circled her intended seven times in the traditional manner, her eyes closed in concentration as she uttered a silent prayer.

After the rabbi guided the young couple through the rituals that would culminate in the forging of their matrimonial bond, a glass was shattered to recall the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Cries of "Mazel Tov" rang out, which were hastily followed by blissful and energetic dancing, as the guests pushed forward to take part in the celebration.

From New York to London to Tel Aviv, it is a scene that has become fairly common, as a new generation comes of age and fashions the next link in the chain of Jewish destiny.

But this was no ordinary Jewish wedding.

What made it unique was that it took place in Warsaw.

That's right: Warsaw, the Polish capital. Less than seven decades after the Germans and their henchmen murdered over 90 percent of Poland's three million Jews, the city is once again witnessing a revival of Jewish life.

The once unthinkable has now become reality: there is a minyan three times a day at Warsaw's Nozyk synagogue, and a well-stocked kosher store offers a wide array of items. There is even a kosher falafel stand that has opened near the synagogue. If gastronomy is any guide, Warsaw's Jews are definitely on the upswing.

The city also now boasts a number of Jewish social, cultural and educational institutions.

Indeed, the wedding last week was held in the courtyard of the Lauder Morasha school, a Jewish day school that was established in Warsaw by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in 1994.

Prior to the Holocaust, the school building had housed a Jewish senior citizens' home. Its halls now echo with the sounds of Jewish children learning Hebrew and singing Jewish songs under the guidance of Polish-born Rabbi Mati Pawlak, who serves as director.

The freshly-minted groom, Maciej Kublinski, who goes by the Hebrew name Chaim, embodies the revitalization of Jewish life that is taking place.

After visiting Israel with his grandmother in 2000, Chaim decided to delve more deeply into his Jewish roots. In 2003, he joined the Polish Union of Jewish Students and became an active member.

A critical turning point for him was his participation in a 2008 seminar on Judaism organized in Krakow by Shavei Israel, the organization that I founded and chair. He later attended Shavei's annual summer seminar in Jerusalem for Polish Jewish youth in 2010, which further strengthened his commitment to Jewish life and learning.

Four years ago, Chaim started attending services at Warsaw's synagogue, and he now studies in the kollel there which is headed by Rabbi Yona Simons.

Chaim also teaches at the Lauder Morasha school and works as a youth counselor and educator for the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee. His new bride, Katarina, who originally hails from Slovakia, has been living in Poland since 2010, pursuing a master's degree in developmental economics. Together, they will now begin to build a new Jewish home.

The miracle taking place in Warsaw — and that is truly what it is — is largely thanks to the efforts of one very dedicated man: Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, who has been working in the country for nearly two decades, devoting himself to rebuilding Jewish life.

Where others saw only devastation, he saw opportunity, a chance to salvage something from amid the ashes.

All across Poland, there are untold thousands of people who have been discovering, or rediscovering, their Jewish roots in recent years, much like Chaim. Known as the "hidden Jews" of Poland, many of their forebears were forced to conceal their Jewish identity because of Nazism and Communism.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the changes that have taken place in Polish society, it is now much easier for people to "come out of the Jewish closet" and explore their heritage.

To be sure, anti-Semitism remains a significant problem in Poland, and no one is under any illusions that Polish Jewry will once again recoup its pre-war glory.

But the Jewish people have an obligation to reach out to Poland's "hidden Jews" and help them to recover their birthright. After nearly being snuffed out by Hitler and his henchmen, and then quashed by Stalin and his surrogates, the indestructible Jewish spirit somehow managed to survive.

Many Jewish organizations are now hard at work on the important issue of restitution of Jewish property in Poland. But the restitution of Jewish souls is no less crucial, and more resources need to be directed to this effort.

As I stood and watched Chaim and Devora's wedding in Warsaw, I suddenly felt as if I was catching a glimpse of a profound and undeniable truth. However bleak our situation might be, and regardless of the challenges we face, let no one have any doubts: the Eternal One will never abandon His people Israel.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (, which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his first term in office. This article appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at

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Posted by Robert Hand, May 30, 2012

Stan Goodenough is editor of the Jerusalem Watchman. He writes that "he is a Christian Zionist, a South African national; a Mayflower descendant; an 18-year resident of the State of Israel; husband to a wonderful wife; father to five extra-ordinary children; a journalist by profession; and a Bible-believer by God's mercy and grace." This article is archived at:

Seven years ago, Israel carried out a unilateral "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip with catastrophic consequences for the Jewish state.

The action saw Israeli forces uprooting 10,000 of their countrymen from their homes and demolishing their communities, thereby facilitating the establishment of a permanent terrorist mini-state in the enclave.

Massive quantities of weapons have since been smuggled into Gaza, and thousands of rockets have been fired out of it into southern Israel.

Ten months after the disengagement, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit was kidnapped and held hostage for five years, with a demoralizing affect on the IDF. Over 1,000 imprisoned "Palestinian" terrorists were set free in exchange for Schalit.

In 2008/2009 Israel's military carried out Operation Cast Lead in an effort to dampen the rocket fire from Gaza. The operation led to the publication of the UN's Goldstone Report, which charged Israel with committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

In 2000, during his tenure as prime minister, Barak ordered Israel's unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, enabling the Hizb'Allah to move its forces and thousands of rockets right up to the border.

This withdrawal saw Israel's abandonment of its loyal ally—the Southern Lebanese Army. It was followed by the kidnap and killing of two Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev—whose dead bodies were later exchanged for five—living—notorious Arab terrorists.

That withdrawal also put Hizb'Allah in position to launch thousands of rockets into northern Israel, triggering the 2006 Second Lebanon War in which Israel failed to achieve any of its military objectives.

As a result of Israel's failures in that conflict, the Hizb'Allah is stronger than ever, now a major player in Lebanese politics.

It has deployed as many as 50,000 rockets towards Israel, and boasts of its ability to hit not just the north of the country, but any population center in the land.

Barak Suggests Unilateral Disengagement in Judea, Samaria

On May 30, 2012, in his capacity as defense minister, Barak dared to voice his readiness to consider a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Samaria and Judea, and the surrender of that territory to the Palestinian Arabs if the "peace process" remains stalled.

Samaria-Judea—universally labeled with the anti-Israel epithet "the occupied West Bank"—comprises the strategic high terrain dominating Israel's densely populated and industry-heavy Coastal Plain. Israel's lone international airport—Ben Gurion—is within shoulder-launched missile range of the Judean foothills.

Samaria-Judea is also the cradle of Israel's nationhood, and is home to more than 10 percent of Israel's population (600,000) in 121 towns, villages and outposts.

Barak is understood to have seized on the recent creation of the broadest coalition in Israel's history to float his policy proposal.

Some of his fellow ministers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Israeli public at large could send a loud and clear message to the man:

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Contact Robert Hand at

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Posted by Rachel Ehrenberg, May 30, 2012

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos/Strategic Studies Group. This article appeared May 21, 2012 on the Gatestone Institute website and is archived at

It recently emerged that British police had known for more than a decade that Muslim rape gangs were targeting young girls, but they ignored the evidence of rapes because "they were petrified of being called racist." Rather than acknowledge that there is a problem, Muslim groups have decided to play the victim card instead. They are working overtime trying to silence public discussion about Muslim sex crimes by branding critics as "far-right racists" and "Islamophobic." Several of the men on trial in Liverpool apparently told their victims that it was all right for the girls to be passed around for sex with dozens of men "because it's what we do in our country."

Nine Muslim men belonging to a child-rape gang in northwestern England have received hefty prison sentences for trafficking and raping young British girls.

The three-month sexual grooming trial at a court in Liverpool, which ended on May 9, has drawn nationwide attention to the sexual abuse of children and women by Muslim immigrants, and British police are currently investigating at least 40 other cases of child rapes perpetrated by Muslims in northern England.

While Muslim groups have sought to discredit the police investigations by accusing British authorities of "racism" and "Islamophobia," it recently emerged that British police had known for more than a decade that Muslim rape gangs were targeting young girls in England, but they ignored evidence of the rapes and failed to act because they were afraid of being accused of racism.

The Liverpool Crown Court heard horrific testimony from five victims — the youngest was 13 when the abuse began — who were plied with alcohol, drugs and gifts so they could be "passed around" among a group of men aged between 24 and 59 for sex in apartments, houses, cars, taxis and kebab shops.

The nine defendants — eight are from Pakistan and one is from Afghanistan — were sentenced to a total of 77 years in prison after being convicted of rape, aiding and abetting rape, conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, sexual assault and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

All of the Muslims live in Rochdale, a grimy suburb of Greater Manchester in northwestern England. Some of the men were regarded as pillars of their community.

One of the men, Abdul Rauf, 43, is a married father-of-five and an Islamic studies teacher at a local mosque. According to court testimony, Rauf asked a 15-year-victim if she had any younger friends and he drove some of the girls to other men who would use them for sex, even though he knew the girls were minors. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Another man, Adil Khan, 42, who is married with one child, fathered the child of a 13-year-old victim; he received an eight-year sentence. Hamid Safi, 22, an illegal immigrant with no fixed address, will be deported to Afghanistan at the end of his four-year sentence.

Mohammed Sajid, 35, was sentenced to 12 years for rape, six years for conspiracy, one year for trafficking and six years for sexual activity with a child. Known as "Saj," he would regularly ply victims with alcohol before having sex with them at his apartment, where groups of men would gather and "pass around" the girls.

Judge Gerald Clifton said: "One of the factors leading to that [rape] was the fact that they [the victims] were not part of your community [Pakistani] or religion [Muslim]. Some of you, when arrested, said it [the prosecution] was triggered by race. That is nonsense. What triggered this prosecution was your lust and greed."

Clifton said that in some cases, the girls had been raped "callously, viciously and violently" at a time when they were going through difficult periods in their lives. "One had left her parents' home, another had been in [foster] care for many years. You attracted them to your company by flattery, free food, and alcohol. Some of you acted to satiate your lust, some to make money out of them. All of you treated them as though they were worthless and beyond all respect."

The guardians of British multiculturalism have been quick to argue that it is merely coincidental that the rapists in the Rochdale case are Muslims and that sex abuse also occurs in white gangs. Some in British have also sought to portray the Muslims as the true victims in this case.

Defense attorney Simon Nichol told the BBC that his client "has objected from the start for being tried by an all-white jury, and subsequent events have confirmed his fears. He believes his convictions have nothing to do with justice but result from the faith and the race of the defendants. He further believes that society failed the girls in this case before the girls even met them and now that failure is being blamed on a weak minority group."

But Simon Danczuk, Labour Party MP for Rochdale, said in an interview that "it would be daft not to believe that race plays a part." He added: "There is a subculture of a small group of males that are Asian, that are collaborating to abuse young white girls who are vulnerable. The subculture is under the radar. Some people in communities are in denial about it but we need some home truths if we are going to address this."

According to experts interviewed by The Telegraph, while white pedophiles generally operate in isolation, the Muslim-led grooming is being done mostly by large numbers of men acting as a group. Several of the men on trial in Liverpool apparently told their victims that it was all right for them to be passed around for sex with dozens of men "because it's what we do in our country."

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's most senior Muslim politician, told the London Evening Standard that there are "Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first."

Warsi said the color of the victims' skin, as well as their vulnerability, helped to make them a target. She also said that some Pakistani men "see women as second class citizens and white women probably as third class citizens" and that these men "are to be spoken out against."

Warsi called on British authorities to stop being squeamish about investigating allegations involving Muslims. "Cultural sensitivity should never be a bar to applying the law," she said.

Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] have apologized for failing to protect the first victim — a 15-year-old known as Girl A — following her plea for help in August 2008.

Girl A told police that she had been raped and provided DNA evidence from her attacker, but the CPS twice decided not to prosecute him.

Girl A's abuse intensified and she was being driven to apartments and houses to be raped by up to five men a night, four or five days a week. She was singled out because she was white, vulnerable and under-age. Her ordeal only ended when her teachers forced social workers to intervene after she became pregnant and they became concerned by the number of Muslim men picking her up from school.

Girl A said that in a six-hour interview she gave police details about her abusers and where the attacks took place. She said: "I hoped they were going to do something and it would stop. But it just carried on. It just started again with different men and more men this time, and that's when it started becoming up to five men a day."

When the Greater Manchester Police finally forwarded a file on Girls A's rape to the CPS in 2009, a government lawyer decided not to charge anyone because he said she would not be a sufficiently credible witness to put before a jury. A second CPS lawyer backed that opinion.

It was only after social workers noticed an upsurge in cases of "child grooming" — pretending to befriend children with attention and gifts to gain their trust, and eventually lead them to think that underage sexual activity is "normal" — that police reinvestigated and made a series of arrests which led to the convictions on May 9.

According to Ann Cryer, a former Labour MP for the town of Keighley, who has campaigned to draw public attention to the issue of Muslim sex gangs, complaints to social workers and the police were ignored because they were "petrified of being called racist."

Cryer said: "This is an absolute scandal. They were petrified of being called racist and so reverted to the default of political correctness. They had a greater fear of being perceived in that light than in dealing with the issues in front of them."

Rather than acknowledge that there is a problem, Muslim groups in Britain have decided to play the victim card instead. They are also working overtime to try to silence public discussion about Muslim sex crimes in Britain by branding critics as "far right racists" and "Islamophobic."

The Muslim Council of Britain has complained about a "climate of hate" against Muslims and it has warned Muslims to brace themselves for "Islamophobic" attacks on Muslims and mosques.

Faith Matters, a pro-Muslim "inter-faith think tank" which established a helpline called Tell Mama to monitor "Islamophobia" when the Liverpool trial began in February, said the "Islamophobic hatred" prompted by the case has added to the "poison" against Muslims.

Fiyaz Mughal, a spokesman for Faith Matters, said: "This is dangerous for community relations. There's lots of discussion about 'Muslim paedos,' like saying the prophet Mohammed married a young girl. All of this disgusting talk is adding to the poison against Muslims."

Although five girls testified at the trial in Liverpool, British police are pursuing leads that the Rochdale gang exploited at least 50 other girls.

On May 12, just three days after the nine Muslims from Rochdale were sentenced to prison, Greater Manchester Police arrested another nine Muslims, aged between 24 and 38, on suspicion of sexually abusing a child. And on May 19, police arrested two more Muslims, both aged 33, on suspicion of sexual assault and rape.

In January 2011, researchers at The Times newspaper identified 17 prosecutions in Britain since 1997 — 14 of them in the past three years — involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16.

The victims came from 13 towns and cities and in each case two or more men were convicted of offenses. In total, 56 people, with an average age of 28, were found guilty of crimes including rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child. All but three of the men were Muslim.

Rachel Ehrenfeld hosts the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI) website. Contact her by email at

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Posted by UN Watch, May 30, 2012

Olivier de Schutter, who holds the U.N. Human Rights Council's Cuban-sponsored mandate on the "right to food," is appearing this afternoon at a special briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Charged with speaking out for starving people, he recently announced that he is seeking to investigate America. His event today is sponsored by Rep. James P. McGovern and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro. UN Watch director Hillel Neuer sent them the following letter today.

Dear Congressman McGovern,

I know that you are a sincere activist for the cause of hungry people and I salute you for that. At the same time, I must tell you that I was surprised to see that you and Rep. Rose DeLauro are today co-sponsoring a congressional briefing by such a dubious authority as Olivier De Schutter, the UN Human Rights Council's "Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food"—who, inexplicably, seeks to launch an investigation of America.

Your notice for this afternoon's event was sent out by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which you co-chair, yet I am confident that the late Tom Lantos would never have granted a platform to someone with such a skewed sense of judgment and priorities. On the contrary, it was Tom who hosted UN Watch chairman Alfred Moses and myself to address Congress on precisely such abusers of U.N. mandates.

During today's discussion period, I hope you will ask Mr. De Schutter to answer the following questions.

1. Despite dire food emergencies around the globe, why did he just spend 11 days investigatng the food situation in Canada—a country that ranks at the bottom of global hunger concerns? Surely the scarce time and resources of the international community could have been more effectively allocated to help those who are truly starving. All of his explanations defy basic common sense.

2. Why is Mr. De Schutter now attempting to launch an investigation of the United States? Human rights should not be exploited by an extreme political agenda that seeks to blame the West for all of the world's ills. When the U.N. General Assembly was headed by former Sandinista ideologue Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann—the one who called America a "monster," and who hugged Ahmadinejad after the latter's hateful U.N. rant against America and Israel—De Schutter, together with Noam Chomsky, were named his top advisers.

3. Why does De Schutter refuse to say anything for the people of Syria? On May 4th, I asked his Geneva spokesperson, Ms. Yoonie Kim, what De Schutter planned to say about the genuine hunger crisis facing 500,000 people in Syria. She replied that De Schutter had no plans to say anything at all about Syria. This, she explained, was because he had "no first-hand knowledge of the situation," and because other UN officials were "already dealing with it." Yet neither of these supposed obstacles ever prevented De Schutter from opining sharply on all manner of other situations around the globe.

4. What credibility should De Schutter have in the U.S. Congress when the chief sponsor of his mandate is the Communist police state of Cuba, a country where women have been documented as resorting to prostitution for food? De Schutter's various websites mention nowhere that Havana's government created his post, nor that the co-sponsors included China, North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe, all of whom were seeking a political weapon to attack the West.

5. Why does De Schutter continue to praise his U.N. predecessor, Jean Ziegler, the co-founder of the Muammar Gaddafi Human Rights Prize?

6. Why does De Schutter suggest that he speaks for the U.N., when in fact many serious hunger experts within the U.N. system completely reject his ideologically extreme policy prescriptions? As noted by World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy, U.N. experts fundamentally disagree with De Schutter's assertion that countries need to limit reliance on international trade to achieve food security objectives. Similarly, Wikileaks revealed that the World Food Program in 2002 privately informed Kofi Annan that De Schutter's predecessor engaged in "profoundly immoral" politics which harms millions of starving people. Click here for more.

7. Even when De Schutter does visit legitimate countries of concern, why does he repeatedly reach the wrong conclusions? De Schutter did once go to Syria—in 2010, long before the current crisis. His report mentioned several problems, but took pains to repeatedly praise the Assad regime. De Schutter actually went at the invitation of the Assad regime. Likewise, the Communist regime of China also ran after De Schutter. These regimes never seek out independent investigations. Why the exception for De Schutter? During his visit, De Schutter held out Syria's Assad regime as a model. He praised the Assad regime for its "very high, excellent" level of cooperation and "openness." He said it was "extremely encouraging, the sign Syria is giving by being so open and transparent in its co-operation with the human-rights council." Click here for more.

8. Why does he misuse his sacred mandate on hunger as a global platform to attack his political targets on unrelated subjects? Like his predecessor Jean Ziegler, De Schutter has repeatedly made one-sided attacks on Israel lacking any nexus to his mandate. Last July, he issued a pre-emptive attack against his own boss, in a press release titled "UN Special Rapporteur opposes Ban Ki-Moon's conclusions on flotilla." De Schutter was outraged that a panel appointed by the UN chief found that Israel's blockade of Gaza, to stop Hamas importing Iranian missiles, was actually legal—contradicting what De Schutter's human rights council had said the year before.

Congressman McGovern, I understand that you may well have been unaware of the above. That said, given your role today in granting Mr. De Schutter a congressional platform, I believe the American people—who fund large portions of the UN's work—will want you to clarify these important matters. I look forward to our discussion and thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Hillel Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch

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

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Posted by Tabitha Korol, May 30, 2012

TO: The Washington Post
Letter to the Editor
Fred Hiatt (

Mr. Pincus's agenda is clear, although inaccurate and not unbiased. He does not promote the discontinuation of funds for Palestinians, more than $70 million per year, 22 percent of Unesco's budget. He does not advocate control over how the funds are utilized, although the public knows the monies fill the coffers of Hamas terrorists, and replenish the weapons used to kill Israeli citizens. He did not advocate against the new release of another unsupervised $88.6 million by the House Foreign Affairs Committee to the Palestinians.

Rather, Pincus advocates to limit US aid to Israel that would cripple Israel's self-deffense system and make her more vulnerable to the totalitarian governments that vow to annihilate both Israel and America! Is this not a form of treason? He speaks of $3.1 billion in aid to Israel, without once noting that, according to agreement, Israel is required to spend the "aid" in the US, in the form of jobs for American workers, and to keep the manufacturing facilities operational to build new American fighter planes to replace our retiring, aging fleet.

Frequently, I come across names that reflect their owners, whether in personality or deed. In this instance, considering the columnist's bent against a democracy, Israel, and the endangerment to our own, I deem PINC-us, to be such an aptonym.

Tabitha Korol began her political writing upon her retirement, earning a writing award from CAMERA. Her op-eds have appeared in Arutz Sheva, JewishIndy, RenewAmerica, Right Truth, The New Media Journal, and others. A fashion designer in New York City, she later moved with her family to Ohio, where she became the consumer advisor/writer for two major manufacturers and a freelance editor.

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Posted by Joseph Farah, May 30, 2012


As the 45th anniversary of the 1967 "Six-Day War" and the capture of Jerusalem by the children of Israel approaches, it occurs to me the best evidence God is real is the mere existence of the modern state of Israel.

Sure, as the Bible says, we can look at Creation itself for proof: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. ..." (Romans 1:20-22)

We can see hundreds of other specific prophecies beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation — many already fulfilled and some still being fulfilled before our eyes.

But, it seems to me, the very best intellectual and tangible proof of the existence and sovereignty and almighty power of Yehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the reality of the rebirth of Israel just as it was predicted millennia ago — and facing the exact "controversies" and adversities that were foretold.

It's undeniable — except for those who choose to deny it or refuse to examine the overwhelming evidence.

For generations, the God of Israel was known through the self-descriptive name "The Lord that led the children of Israel out of Egypt." It was indeed a historical miracle that millions of Hebrew were led out of Egypt, across the Red Sea into Arabia where they wandered for 40 years before entering the Promised Land.

However, this was nothing compared to what God Himself suggested, through the prophet Jeremiah, was coming in the future. (Jeremiah 16:14-15)

"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

In other words, the miracle we are still witnessing today, as Jews from all over the world flock to their reborn homeland 1,900 years after its destruction, is a bigger miracle than the one seen by the children of Israel who saw the Red Sea parted — allowing them to cross over while destroying the Egyptian army pursuing them.

And indeed it is.

Nevertheless, we all tend to think that if we had witnessed the parting of the Red Sea and the plagues of Egypt, we would believe.

Yet, it is the non-believer today who is without excuse, for we have witnessed an even greater miracle. No other nation in the history of the world has been revived after 1,900 years — and surely not one prophesied to do that.

No other dead language has been revived after all those who spoke it, read it and wrote it were assimilated into other nations and cultures for 19 centuries.

It was predicted, too, by Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 11:11-12): "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."

It was predicted, too, by Ezekiel the prophet (Ezekiel 37) in the famous " dry bones" prophecy.

And, most remarkable of all, perhaps, is Isaiah's prophecy that this nation would be reborn in one day. (Isaiah 66:8)

All coincidence?

Self-fulfilling prophecies?

What kind of a grand conspiracy could account for such accuracy over 19 centuries?

Who could mastermind such a plot?

God could.

And God did.

Now you know why they are His chosen people — and the purpose for which they were chosen.


Hannity confronts Ground Zero mosqueteer
by _Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller cheers Fox host pressing Rauf on Shariah, anti-Americanism

Ground Zero mosqueteer Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is pushing a whole new narrative on his deception book tour. So it was particularly delicious to watch Sean Hannity interview, or interrogate, the sly imam on his show last week. The imam Rauf has almost never been challenged by a fawning, complicit media, and he was visibly taken aback as Hannity courageously pressed him on his dishonesty and anti-Americanism.

Sean pressed Rauf on his most disgusting and outrageous statements, like " United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened" on 9/11, and that "in fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA." Hannity also asked Rauf about a _story I broke_ ( involving statements the sneaky Rauf made in Australia: "We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims. You may remember that the U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children."

The slippery imam apologized to Hannity repeatedly for these statements. That was news in itself, as Rauf had never apologized for his statements before, although he claimed to Hannity that he had done so in order to advance his new narrative. Rauf kept insisting to Hannity that the problem isn't Islamic jihad. The problem, he said repeatedly, is the extremists on both sides. By this Rauf meant Robert Spencer and me on one side, and Osama bin Laden on the other. Rauf considers my work in defense of freedom "extreme" — as if truth in the extreme were a bad thing, or defense of freedom in the extreme were a bad thing. But Sean was having none of it. He was brilliant, and he was relentless.

Still, Rauf kept on slipping in his lies. He said that the need for women to produce four male witnesses to prove rape was "cultural." He was lying. In fact it is specified in the Quran (24:4 and 24:13). He also said that no Muslims want to bring Shariah courts to the U.S., contradicting his own words in previous books about how Shariah is one unified whole and cannot be separated into parts, and clearly suggesting that it is something that ought to come to the U.S. He listed six things Shariah is designed to safeguard, including life, liberty and dignity — but these are only safeguarded for Muslim men; Muslim women and non-Muslims are deprived of basic rights under Shariah.

Hannity did what TV pundits and journalists are supposed to do. They're not supposed to be the PR arm or delivery service for subversives' press releases. But that's just what Hannity's counterpart on Fox, Bill O'Reilly, was for Rauf last week.

Two weeks ago in my WND column (, I excoriated Bill O'Reilly for whitewashing and fawning over Rauf. O'Reilly was either woefully uninformed or complicit. In either case, he did his millions of viewers no service by misleading them about this stealth jihadist. If Rauf is as moderate as O'Reilly would have us believe, why didn't he sign the _Former Muslims United pledge
( ty-from-harm-for-former-muslims.html) for "religious freedom and safety from harm for former Muslims"? Why didn't Rauf stand against the Shariah death penalty for apostasy, and for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is about to be executed for this in Iran? Why didn't he mention our AFDI/SIOA Summer Night for Human Rights on June 23, calling for religious liberty and freedom from violent intimidation for Muslim apostates?

It also bears noting that the sales rank at for Rauf's deceptive and disingenuous new book was well into the thousands after the "Hannity" show — which is unheard of for someone who appeared on both O'Reilly and Hannity. That goes to show you that the American people weren't buying it, even when Bill O'Reilly was dishing up this mush.

I am sure it was not Sean's intent to show up Bill O'Reilly, but show him up he did.

And he showed American journalists how they should be challenging the Islamic supremacists that they spend so much time fawning over. I don't know who is more evil: the Islamic supremacists who think we are clueless and stupid, or the non-Muslims like Bill O'Reilly who heap praise upon those who seek to impose their brutal ideology on Americans, using our freedoms to destroy our freedom.

Rauf is one of the worst of the Islamic supremacists who are lionized by the mainstream media these days. He should be relegated to the very fringe of decent, freedom-loving societies. Instead, he is lauded. That is perverse and morally ill. And so Sean Hannity deserves our congratulations and thanks.

Joseph Farah publishes World News Daily (WND). Contact him at

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 30, 2012

1. You know the name Shlomo Sand, the anti-Semitic pseudo-historian from Tel Aviv University who has a "book" out consisting largely of recycled myths taken from Neo-Nazi web sites and claims that the Jews were never a people. You know, unlike the Palestinian people, which has been a people since antiquity. Comrade Sand has a new "book" out now about how Jews have no ties to the Land of Israel either. Unlike Arabs.

Sand was in the news a few days back for claiming he received "death threats" (in my opinion these claims being fabrications). Sand is an expert on the French cinema who woke up one morning a few years back and decided that he is actually an expert in Jewish history. He has no academic publications in Jewish history.

Well, Sand is now back. It seems he is now claiming to have suffered from suppressed memory syndrome regarding a vicious murder of a Palestinian by them Zionists. Sand claims to have suddenly remembered this 45 years after the "fact." In an interview with a jihadist web site in Australia, here is the latest discovery by Tel Aviv University's leading "historian":

Shlomo Sand, the pseudo-historian Stalinist from Tel Aviv University, claims he witnessed murder of a Palestinian and did nothing about it. Also admits being a Stalinist. (see web page for full interview)


One night in September 1967 he witnessed soldiers abusing an elderly Palestinian man who had been arrested with a large amount of dollars in his possession. "I climbed onto a crate and watched a harrowing scene through the window," he writes. "The detainee was sitting tied to a chair, and my good buddies were beating him all over and occasionally pressing burning cigarettes into his arms. I climbed down from the crate, threw up and returned to my post shaking and frightened. A little later, a pickup left carrying the body ... My friends shouted to me that they were going to the Jordan River to dump the body."

You were armed - why didn't you intervene? You could have fired in the air, summoned help.

"I lost my senses completely. I was afraid to intervene. The fact that I did not try to do anything to stop them depressed me for years and resonates within me to this day. That is why I write about in the book, because I still have guilt feelings. I am ashamed that I did not do anything. When I got back from reserve duty in Jericho, I went to see MK Meir Wilner [head of the Israel Communist Party]* and told him about it. I also consulted with [the writer] Dan Omer, whom I had met during the fighting, when we both shook as we shot in Abu Tor. Omer, who was five years older than I, adopted me. He and Wilner said there were too many cases like that and there was nothing to be done. That night I felt that I had lost my homeland, namely my childhood neighborhood in Jaffa, along with my parents, the neighbors and the school. A concrete homeland that I lost at that time."

Why are you invoking this now?

"In the book I do a national reckoning. You know, I am not anti-national. ... Did you go back to the murder of the Palestinian man in order to say , "Look, I am one of you and once I was even made to be a bit of a war criminal"?

"Like everyone, I too am a bit of a war criminal. That is part of my life. Some time after that reserve service in Jericho I became a daily activist in Matzpen (the Maoist organization - SP) and distributed leaflets and sprayed slogans on walls at night and got beaten up. I was a member of the political fringe. I am not a victim, but my psychological distress started then, at the age of 20. The years in Matzpen** gave me a great deal, and the political activity was a type of healing. I later left the organization heartbroken, and in despair sank into drugs. My partner and my best friend got into heroin. Maybe because I am Polish I did not follow them, and instead of heroin I took matriculation exams and entered university. The best friend committed suicide. Others left the country."

* Vilner was a hard-core Stalinist who ran Israel's communist party. Note how Sand's first instinct is to report the "story" to his party Kommissar

** Matzpen was a treasonous Maoist group whose members formed an espionage and terror cell led by Udi Adiv in the 1970s. Adiv is out of prison and teaches at Israel's taxpayer supported "Open University" today.

2. Lost in Translation: CAMERA Report on Haaretz' English edition's habit of treason and lying through mis-translation:

Meanwhile, Haaretz' ace traitor-reporter is about to be indicted for espionage:
(,7340,L-4236080,00.html) Journalist Uri Blau to be indicted. Journalist implicated in Anat Kam affair to be charged with unauthorized possession of confidential information.


Blau has been running special features in recent weeks in the Haaretz weekend magazine attempting to smear anti-Left watchdog groups and web sites.

3. Occupying Palestinians is one thing but now LSD-touting Rabbi Moonbeam, Mikey Lerner, the pseudo-rabbi editor of Tikkun Magazine, and Rabbi Woodstock Waskow, his sidekick from the "Renewal" pagan movement, have found a crime that Israel has perpetrated that simply cannot be forgiven. This atrocity is the worst crime Israel has ever carried out, said Lerner: Israelis develop 'cannabis without the high', May 30th, 2012, in Biology/Biotechnology

Israeli scientists have cultivated a cannabis plant that doesn't get people stoned in a development that may help those smoking marijuana for medical purposes, a newspaper said on Wednesday.

According to the Maariv daily, the new cannabis looks, smells and even tastes the same, but does not induce any of the feelings normally associated with smoking marijuanathat are brought on by the substance THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

"It has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant — it's all the same — but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared," said Tzahi Klein, head of development at Tikkun Olam, the firm that developed the species.

"Many of our patients who tried the new plant come back to us and say: 'You tricked me,'" because they assumed they had been given a placebo, he said.

According to Maariv, Tikkun Olam sought to neutralise the effect of the THC and to increase the effect of another substance called CBD, or cannabidiol, which has been shown to help diabetics and to ease various psychiatric disorders.

Not only does it leave users stone-cold sober, it also doesn't induce the munchies, the hunger pangs that the drug's smokers generally suffer.

Despite the innovation, it is unlikely to have any impact on Israeli law, which outlaws the use of marijuana as illegal except for medical purposes.

According to figures published earlier this year by Sheba Medical Centre and the Israel Cancer Association, medical marijuana has been approved for use by about 6,000 Israelis suffering from various illnesses. (c) 2012 AFP

"Israelis develop 'cannabis without the high'." May 30th, 2012.

4. Israel is currently debating four different proposals designed to criminalize the use of Holocaust imagery and rhetoric by ultra-Orthodox "chareidim." The black suited anti-modern folk and their children have conducted some rowdy protests in Israel in which they bedeck the kids in yellow Jewish stars reminiscent of those of the Holocaust.

Some of Israel's radical leftists are suddenly free speech absolutists regarding this. In reality, Israel's leftists are generally fascists who oppose democracy and freedom of speech. But they are afraid that the new bills, if passed, could be used to prosecute leftists who proclaim each morning with their lattes that Israel is a Nazi regime.

In any case, today two leftist law professors write an Op-Ed (Hebrew only) in Maariv denouncing the new bills. The two are Mordechai Kremnitzer, from the Hebrew University law school and a stalwart of the Leftists Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI)
( He has a long track record of worrying about the "rights" of terrorists but not of their victims. He is joined by Amir Paz-Fuchs, one of the most anti-Israel radical leftists
( teaching law in Israel. Fuchs teaches, or rather preaches, his extremist ideology at the Kiryat Ono community college. Both have been active in demanding that the government crack down on the freedom of speech of rabbis and settlers and Im Tirtzu students
( Fuchs is also associated with the IDI.

The two are suddenly great believers in free speech absolutism. It must be protected speech to call people Nazis and call Israel a Nazi regime, claim the great democrats.

One itsy bitsy problem with this. Neither of these two great defenders of freedom of speech ever had a single word to say about the fascist SLAPP suit against me by anti-Semite Neve Gordon nor about the anti-democratic decisions by anti-democratic judges in Israel, when they chose to close ranks with Gordon and find in his favor.

Just to remind you, Neve Gordon illegally entered Ramallah in 2001 to interfere with Israeli military anti-terror operations and to act as a human shield to express solidarity with wanted Palestinian murderers and protect them from the Israeli military. On an internet site I described his "human shield" solidarity group as a group of "Judenrat wannabes." After all, they were self-appointed Judenrat-like representatives "negotiating" with the world's worst mass murderer of Jews. Gordon filed a frivolous SLAPP suit against me for "libel" for use of that expression. He filed in Nazareth court in order to get an Arab judge. The Arab woman judge in Nazareth court issued a verdict agreeing with and endorsing Gordon in all things, a verdict in which she also proclaimed support for Holocaust "revisionism" and proclaimed Israel a country sitting entirely on lands stolen from another people.

Then, in the first round of appeal, the Nazareth Appeals court overturned most of the verdict but left standing the judgment that use of the word "Judenrat" in a sentence about someone engaged in illegal treasonous activities is not protected speech. It allowed Gordon to retain 10,000 NIS in damages. Later a panel of three justices at Israel's Supreme Court refused to overturn this residual part of the judgment and agreed that use of the word "Judenrat" in a sentence about someone's illegal treasonous activities, in which he was protecting wanted murderers, is NOT protected speech. The writer of that anti-democratic ruling was Eliezer Rivkin, the Deputy Chief Justice, who retired this week from the bench.

So use of the word "Judenrat" is libel, ruled the gaggle of anti-democratic judges. Of course, leftists and Arabs calling people Nazis is always protected speech in Israel and not a single Leftist has ever been convicted of libel for doing so.

Suddenly the leftist duo from the Israel Democracy Institute think prohibiting use of "Holocaust era rhetoric of symbols" is undemocratic and that use of these should be protected speech. Yet neither has ever had a single word to say about the judicial atrocity committed by those anti-democratic judges in the Gordon-Plaut suit. And it is obviously NOT because they have never heard about the suit. Tel Aviv University's law journal ran an article (albeit biased and distorted) about the court case last year.

In short, as usual leftist "academics" in Israel only believe in freedom of speech for leftists. Anti-democratic infringements on the freedom of speech of non-leftists are never matters deserving of comment or condemnation.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 30, 2012



What about Syria? The Wall St. Journsl and some Internet news agencies reported about it on May 29 and May 30. The massacre has upset Western countries, which condemned the Assad regime. A later report, however, indicates that the shelling by Assad's forces claimed only a few of the victims, while execution by unknown persons at close range claimed most.

Russia and Syria blame the massacre on foreign elements. Iran blames Israel.

The UN still is working on ceasefires that Syria ignores. The Secretary-General appeals to Syrian decency.

President Obama and the State Dept. still are working on Russia to intervene with its ally, Syria. Few Western diplomats anticipate success in that approach.

Then Mitt Romney waded in with criticism of the Obama administration for not taking strong action against Assad. Gov. Romney suggests arming Assad's opponents. He does not define who they are or how they would act.


Some leaders never learn or they stick to a failed script as a cloak for their agenda. The futility of the UN's appeal to Syria to behave in a civilized manner is demonstrated the attacks on civilians he is asking Syria to end.

The UN is a failed ideal. But the ideal is so powerful, that countries overlook the failure so they can pretend to make this an ideal world. It makes no sense to depend on the UN. The UN is a membership organization. Most of the members are not democratic; many are not civilized. They use the UN to protect aggression and intolerance, and in the name of tolerance to promote intolerance.

The world should understand that ethnic and religious wars by Arabs states are caused and prosecuted by war criminals and war crimes. This is what Israel has had to confront. The world does not seem to realize or admit that the attacks on Israel usually are war crimes. The UN was trying to accuse Israel's minimal and responsible defense of being war crimes.

Israel, itself, does not seem to realize that it is faced by war criminals or, it does not say so out loud. Then Israel wonders why it enemies have better public relations than itself.

Likewise, to expect much decency from the dictators of Russia and China, who support rogue Muslim states, is equally fatuous. The Administration is equally foolish in expecting much from them on Iran, too. Perhaps his diplomacy is meant to forestall action against enemies of the U.S.

In any case, Iran is Russia's and China's customer and fellow troublemaker for the West, doesn't Obama see? China probably has the additional motive of not wanting foreign intervention lest it set precedents for other allies and even for China.

President Obama thinks that by making concessions to Russia at the expense of U.S. national defense, he can get Russia to act against Mideast rogues. How many rebuffs from Russia, China, and Iran will it take to convince Obama he is wasting valuable time and resources. It's almost as if Obama is using negotiations as an excuse for inaction, so as to let Iran develop nuclear reactions. Obama operates from failed scripts most of the time in foreign and domestic policy.

Now, Romney seems to be showing himself up, too. The Syrian crisis shouldn't be put in a partisan way, as he does. It is true, that when the Arab uprisings started, the State Dept. should have begun working out a plan of reaction. Planning this takes some time. Romney indicates he wants precipitous action.

What U.S. leaders seem unable to grasp is how Islamists take over democratic uprisings and turn them into opportunities for coups or electoral victories. Then the Islamists would impose a worse regime. Pres. Obama has been too uncaring about Islamists. It's not only his fault. The media also erroneously depicts the current Islamists taking over the Mideast and Turkey as "moderate."

Obama is the one who sat back as Libyan arms caches were looted and smuggled into terrorists' hands in other war zones. That is what Romney should point out. That is a fair election issue.

Before Gov. Romney suggested giving U.S. arms to Assad's opponents, he should have identified who they are, whether we can trust them, and how they would behave. We don't want to repeat the mistake of giving Islamists weapons that we made in Afghanistan when Russia invaded it.

Many opponents of Assad are Islamists. Assad has been complaining of that for some time, but he lacks credibility. Why didn't the State Dept. investigate that important aspect? Can't they do anything right any more?

One of my reliable sources, though I forget the citation, reported ominously that jihadists are pouring into Syria from other countries. They are said to have become an important military faction. This is a great menace. Would Gov. Romney want to take a chance on arming them by rushing in without reconnaissance?

Our recent wars and our financial crisis should have taught us that: (1) Our resources are exhaustible, and must be husbanded. We can defeat enemy forces, but cannot afford to rebuild countries; (2) Before entering a war, we should know what other parties are involved, what they want (as contrasted with what they say to deceive us), how far we will go, what we think we can achieve, and how much our involvement would cast. This should be debated nationally, so better options are not overlooked. Bottom line: no more open-ended and blind-sided wars.


Watch out, Christians, the Talmud prescribes your deaths. So wrote As'ad Al-'Azouni, "a Jordanian writer of Palestinian Origin" on 3/27/12 in a Gaza-based website.

He claims that the Talmud prompts "the Jews" to hate Christianity and Christians. Accordingly, Jews use Christian blood to bake Passover matzas. The Jews also insult Jesus' mother and instigate strife between Muslims and Christians. These dire facts were learned from several Jewish converts to Christianity (

Writing in the P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 'Adel Abd Al-Rahman instructs us that Israel exploits the Holocaust while committing one against the "Palestinian" people
( in , Middle East Media Reseaerch Institute, 5/7/12 from IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis, , 5/12/12).

Mr. Al-Rahman should coordinate his instruction about there having been a Holocaust against the Jews with that of Abbas, whose doctorate denied there was a Holocaust.

Those Arab writers make grave charges, charges that the major media seem unable to report on (and then refute). Grave charges should be backed up with facts and citations. They are not. Do you think that this is because the charges are fabricated?

Consider the claim that Israel commits a Holocaust against what are called Palestinian Arabs. How many million Palestinian Arabs were killed by Israel? Not millions. A few thousand, and only in response to Arab aggression and terrorism. Palestinian Arabs have one of the world's highest birth rates. They have multiplied several times over, since Israel introduced public sanitation and potable water. In a real Holocaust, a people don't multiply, they decline.

The Talmud is alleged the basis of religious hatred by Jews. No volume and page are cited and no sentence about hatred is quoted. Why should anyone believe it? The Talmud says little about Christianity and Islam, for basically it was completed before Christianity crystallized and before Islam started. Therefore, the problem really is not that of Judaism denigrating other religions but the reverse.

It's an old story of claiming statements by the Talmud not in it. The Arab defamer of the Talmud admits he accepted the accusations made by former Jews. In the Middle Ages, a few Jews converted and became darlings of the Church for accusing the Talmud of being anti-Christian. Standards of proof and of logic were poor then. But Muslims now accept those accusations as well as the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Nazi propaganda.

Mr. Al'Azouni thinks that the Talmud is a textbook for most Jews. He doesn't seem to know that a high proportion of Jews do not read the Talmud and it is not read to them. His statement is absurd.

These Arab writers make it sound as if Christian-Arab relations would have been harmonious, except for Talmudic writers. They forget a little matter of the Christian Testament blaming the Jewish people for the execution of Jesus.

Unlike Arab Muslims, there is no Jewish doctrine and no Jewish education in hating other religions. At Friday mosque sermons, Jews are denounced in the most degrading terms. As usual, the Arabs falsely accuse the Jewish people of doing with they do.

Israeli education stresses tolerance. At least it stresses tolerance of Arabs. (Arab schools in Israel use some of the same textbooks as does the P.A. and Jordan, which are anti-Zionist and worse.) Israel's notion of tolerance goes too far. The Education Ministry instructs the schools to mourn the foundation of the State of Israel on the anniversary of its founding, as a tragedy for the Arabs. But the new State did not declare war on the Arabs, the Arabs declared a war of genocide on the new state. The IDF did not expel more than a handful of Arabs, the Arab masses fled on their own, including 200,000 Arab upper class people before the war even started. I don't think Israel should mourn the failure of the Arab to exterminate the Jews. By contrast, Israel celebrates Purim, which was the failure of an ancient Persian prime minister to exterminate the empire's Jews. (Later, Persia became more tolerant.) Rather than tolerance of Arabs, the new education policy seems to reflect leftist self-hatred of Jews.

Jews wouldn't dare insult Jesus' mother — Jews had enough difficulty staying alive, without adding that to it. Nor do the thousands of Jews whom I met every have anything against her, though they may not believe the traditional Christian story about her. The worse I've heard is suspicion that many Christians are antisemitic.

The matzoh blood libel was invented by bigoted Christians centuries ago. Ironically, Judaism abhors consuming blood, and kosher meat must be treated carefully to remove all the blood. Anything bad about Jews or Judaism, Muslim Arabs seem ready to accept without verification.

MEMRI has an amusing description of the writer from Jordan. He is described as a Jordanian of "Palestinian" origin. That goes too far in accepting the fabricated "Palestinian" nationality. MEMRI really knows that when modern Palestine was defined and for more than 25 years of the Palestine Mandate, the trans-Jordanian provinces were included. "Palestine" is a geographic concept, not a national one.


President Obama promised he would establish good relations with Islam. His Cairo speech flattered the Muslim world excessively. He also has censored references to Islam from U.S. security documents, and ordered NASA to make Muslims "feel good" about themselves. He goes too far.

"...naivety and censorship have so thoroughly penetrated the war colleges and intelligence agencies—evinced by a politically-correct Pentagon, an Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense who absurdly refuses to associate "violent Islamist extremism" as motivating al-Qaeda, and an Intelligence Chief who thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular."

As contrasted with the former USSR, the Islamic world is militarily inferior to the U.S.. Therefore, it need not be appeased. Indeed, it should not be appeased. Appeasement gives enemy states and jihadists time and opportunity to continue their subversion of us and of our allies. Islamic doctrine encourages subversion and deceit. Hence Iran is becoming a nuclear power while our President supposedly thinks he is negotiating a solution with them.

Obama, like Pres. Bush, seems to think that their values are like Western ones, and so we and they can come to terms. But their values are different. The conflict with us that they have been generating for 1,400 years cannot be resolved by mutual consent so long as they believe in their duty to impose their culture on ours.

The Western world is in "a sort of slow-motion suicide (Raymond Ibrahim,, 5/28/12)


Israel both waged its brief war in Gaza with restraint. The IDF did not destroy Hamas and its military, it just decimated it. Israel leaves Gaza alone. [Nevertheless, many of the media and governments still criticize it as oppressing Gaza. Israel-bashers never let facts deter them. They were misguided even during the fuller embargo, because Gazans kept attacking Israel and Israel does not owe anything to people making war on it.]

The result is that Hamas has doubled its arsenal of rockets and multiplied its power. It continues to arm, partly by its own efforts and partly with gifts from Iran. [Same occurred with Hizbullah.]

Israel formerly had an official policy of intercepting or destroying heavy weapons brought into Gaza. Now, so long as Hamas does not use these weapons, Israel does not interfere with the military build-up in Gaza.

Israeli officials may have had the conceit to think Hamas' restraint was due to Israeli deterrence. Now however, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center suggests that Hamas launches fewer attacks so is to build a military force with longer-range rockets, uninterruptedly. Among Hamas' thousands of rockets are Iranian ones that can reach Israel's main population centers ( via , 5/29/12).

It seemed obvious that Hamas wanted time to build a stronger military in anticipation of starting another war. I never thought that Israel had much deterrence. One indicator is that Israel absorbed many attacks without retaliating. Another indicator is that Israel lists all the military targets in Gaza, but waits until being attacked before blasting any, and only blasts a couple at a time, leaving the others intact and able to fire into Israel. Islamists consider Israeli restraint as a reflection of fear, though their propaganda claims that Israel often attacks them.

Israeli policy has jeopardized national security by letting both Lebanon and Hamas pose existential threats to Israel. If enemy rockets killed a couple of hundred thousand Israelis in a few days, Israelis would realize their governments had left them vulnerable. But when other anti-Israel Muslim states see what damage can be inflicted on Israel, they are likely to join in.

Governments, especially ones considering themselves democratic, are reluctant to make difficult decisions that cost a lot and that can lose votes in the next election. They put off immediate "pain" that would solve the problem at lower cost in favor of claiming to have forced peace and allowing the problem to strike much harder in a few years. Think of the Social Security and Medicare systems running into fiscal trouble years ago, without corrective measures.

Israel has a uniquely Jewish problem of fearing gentile criticism. Israelis never got used to it and never felt sufficiently independent to do what is necessary for national security until their backs are to the wall.

A New Way to Argue

I met a young man who expressed disturbance of what is happening in the "West Bank." Perhaps I should have asked him what he meant, and then advised him that he was misinformed. Instead, this time I told him that I agree. I am disturbed, I said, about the Arabs constantly making terrorist assaults on Jews.

He changed the subject to persecution of gays, especially in Egypt. Again I agree with him. I said it must be due to Islam, because the same thing happens in Judea-Samaria. Gay Arabs there sometimes flee for their lives, to Israel. Israel tolerates gays.

I complained, in turn, that gay organizations tend to side with the Arabs against Israel. Shouldn't it be the other way around?


P.A. TV asked a girl to recite a program for the audience of children. The show's host declared that this poem reaches "responsibility and belonging."

The poem recounts some of the major Islamic victories in ancient times, in glorifying war against non-Muslims. The poem also teaches bigotry, for which the girl was praised.

She said of contemporary Christians and Jews: "They are remnants of the [Christian] crusaders and Khaibar [Jews]," and are "inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised." She labeled Christians and Jews as "the enemies of destiny." She accused Israel of defiling and destroying al-Aqsa mosque (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, 5/23/12, via IMRA, 5/27/12).

Palestinian Media Watch has documented many instances similar to those. Note that Christians are insulted, too. But when Abbas makes propagandistic press releases, he poses as the champion of Christians against Israel.

When people tell me that there must be many Arabs in the P.A. who want peace, do they realize that the P.A. is indoctrinating the whole younger generation in religious hatred and fervor for jihad?

Why don't the media expose that bigotry and bellicosity, instead of praising Abbas and his regime?

Since this vicious propaganda is P.A. daily fare, how can peace have a chance? Remember when people advised Israel to "give peace a chance?" Wrongheaded advice! The Muslim Arabs should give peace a chance. They don't, their religion forbids it.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 30, 2012

Every so often a project comes along that demands my full time and attention, so that for a period of some days I am unable to devote myself to posting.

I am about to become involved with such a project and simply wanted my readers to know that there will be several days during which I will not be doing my postings, which (while I love writing them) are considerably time-consuming. Nothing is wrong. I am fine, as, thank G-d, is my family.

What I ask of my readers — PLEASE! — is to refrain from writing to me, so that when I check my e-mail, I am not overwhelmed and do not have a vast number of items to read and to which I must respond. If I am on your list for information you routinely or frequently send out, please remove me until you see that I am back to routine. Thanks for understanding.

If and as times allows — no promises — I may put up something brief on my website during this period when the time required to do full postings with e-mail transmissions would be prohibitive.



I am delighted to close here with good news:

Little Zakkai, who had surgery recently, went for a follow-up check yesterday. He must still be monitored, but — Baruch Hashem! — there is no sign of any remaining tumor or return of tumor. His lungs look good and he is healing well.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 30, 2012

The journalist Melanie Phillips just wrote a extraordinarily good article she named 'Zionism and bigotry' ( In the article she wrote, "Judaism is like a stool supported on three legs — the nation, the religion and the land," and "Zionism is no more, nor less, than the self-determination of the Jewish people - as a people, and not just as adherents of the Jewish religion. Jews are in fact the only people — as a people — for whom Israel, ancient Judea and Samaria, was ever their national homeland. Those who deny Zionism, thus deny Jewish peoplehood and the fundamental right of Jews to live as a people in their own ancestral homeland, Israel."

There is only one state on earth that has the legal and moral right to protect all Jews and it is Israel. However, way too many Jews, in Israel and all over the world, are behaving as if this profound right and obligation has no meaning, and thus they are constantly attempting to sabotage it.

Since David Ben-Gurion announced the state of Israel as an independent Jewish state the state has been lacking true independence. Since that for 2000 the Jews were sub-citizens in every country where they lived, subject to discrimination, mayhem and carnage, the emerging leadership in Israel did not have reference as to how to be really independent.

The Jews who settled in Israel have carried and brought along with them a Ghetto mentality, the need to appease in order to survive. And the leadership have been doing whatever it takes so the world approves and loves them and their countrymen. In other words, a policy of not getting under anyone's skin of fear of retribution. And though the world has approved the establishment of the Jewish state, it has since been treating Israel as a vassal state. Each country with just a bit of world's clout has stuck her nose in Israel's affairs to one degree or another.

Since 1948, the leaders of Israel have managed to operate along schizophrenically ambiguous policy that, in the world's political arena has caused the country to become less and less accepted among the world's nation. Israel has become the punching bag for politicians, media and opinion makers and the only country in the world her legitimacy is constantly challenged. Israel's leaders must take the blamed for all that is happening as they have been acting as if Israel is all but a sovereign state.

One prime minister of Israel after another, especially since the country signed the Oslo Accords, has failed to hold the Judaism's chair three legs stable and thus the nation, the religion and the land have been lacking cohesive elements. Consequently, quite a rotten political system and constant lack of demands for world's respect. Instead, we see the "please love me" vacillating policy, much to the detriment of Israel from within and abroad.

What does a vacillating policy and wobbling three chair's legs mean?

Once Benjamin Netanyahu became the Prime Minister of Israel from the Likud party he abandoned the Likud's platform on which he ran, causing divisiveness in his own party and loss of constituents' trust,

The government conducts a covert construction freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria while not fighting the ongoing illegal Arab constructions all over the country,

The government of Israel treats Jews, living in Judea and Samaria, as leprosy cases; Pogroms of destroying Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have become kind of "a national sport",

There is a giving thumb up and helping building Arab communities and destroying Jewish communities,

The willing to negotiate with genocidal Arabs a two states and thus making Jewish land, legally belongs to the state of Israel, negotiable material,

Chasing and chitchatting with the scumbag Mahmoud Abads — Abu-Mazen, Mr. Holocaust denier, the Munich Olympics massacre architect, and a child-murderer, and thus getting no respect, rather ridicule,

Propagating to establish a state named Palestine on Jewish historical land that legally belongs to the Jewish people,

Irresolute in defending Jews and Jewish heritage and tying the IDF hands while performing its above all duties to defend the state and its citizens,

Abandoning Jewish heritage sites such as Temple Mount and Hebron and neglecting to protect others heritage sites,

Abandoning the land in the Negev and the Galilee and allowing Bedouin and Arabs take it over,

Preventing a legislation, supported by the majority of the people, that will protect the democracy and prevent the destruction of real freedom of Israelis,

Taking Zionist pioneering out of the national priority, in the most corrupt and deceptive manner.

And there are other issues that work against the cohesiveness of the nation, the religion and the land that can be added to this ugly and most disturbing list.

All of the State of Israel is in existential threat yet, Israel has a worrisome lack of leadership who believe in Zionism, Judaism and the word of God, the legality of the land of the Jews, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and in all the rules one needs to obey so the outcome is what is the best for the state.

The political system in Israel is awfully porous and without constitution the law vacillates from Ottoman, to Jordanian, the British to modern Israel laws, all very confusing and much of it is working against the Jewish state's interests.

When one is tired one can get lax and then make mistakes.

One cannot blame Israel for being tired; 64 years of daily worry for her survival and engaging in physically fighting will make one tired, very tired.

WAR is made to win or it turns into a political fraud and much of Israel's 64 years have been immersed in political fraud. Israel was victorious in wars of defense, all the result of Arab aggression, yet, she had to return 95% of the land she gained and peace was not achieved, but political hoax was. All of Israel's so called victories were resulted in hudna, the Arabic term for ceasefire, called by Moslems to regroup, rearm and plan the next attack or war. And that is exactly what the Arabs have been doing these past 64 years. Israel has been at war, hudna, war, hudna, for 64 years.

Today, this war has taken a new jihad dimension; countries in the world, not Israel, decide, based on their contempt for the Jewish state, what land belongs to Israel and what not. They think they are the International law and they do so through commerce jihad. For example, Migros Swiss supermarket chain says it doesn't support boycott of Israel calls by pro-Palestinian groups, but it wants to let its customers decide which products they want to buy. And so the chain will label products made in Israel and separately products made in Judea and Samaria, meaning, Migros Swiss supermarket does not recognize Judea and Samaria as an integral part of the state of Israel. In 2012, a supermarket chain puts its two cents into Israel's affairs to "help" decide the fate of the nation state of the Jewish people (,7340,L-4235720,00.html).

Then there are the infiltrators from Africa who crossed the border and imposed their illegal and costly stay on the Israeli tax payers. Israel must stand up for its code of laws and deport the illegals now or she will be furthermore disrespected by all. These are Illegal aliens, infiltrators, economic migrants, or whatever the terminology is used to identify them, but at the end of day, Illegal is illegal. If Europe complains about the "injustice" of deportation, Israel can offer to send the invaders to Europe so the enlightened continent takes them in! Without the rule of law there is anarchy and that is where it is all heading!

If the government of Israel does not protect the state from all those who are bent to destroy her, in whatever mean they find and can use, even if it is a Swiss supermarket chain or some European of African anarchists, then they do not deserve to lead.

Israel needs a leader who will put his or her citizens' priorities above all, no matter what the world thinks and has to say and that includes undoing all the wrongs former Prime Ministers laid for Israel.

We, Jews, have no one to protect us but ourselves; we must not let this asset we have earned and accomplished and now, after 2000 of lack, have, slip away. Zionism was created to protect Jews through sovereignty.

Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955 once said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and, Israel Zangwill, 1864 — 1926, a British humorist and writer, once wrote, "the past: our cradle, not our prison; there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition."

Today, in the 21st century, the heirs of the failed utopian movements of the 20th century have joined forces with the Islamist-jihadist heirs of the Mufti of Jerusalem to deny the Jewish people their sovereign rights to their land, and thus deny Zionism. If they succeed they will finally and irrevocably destroy Herzl and the Zionist Movement's greatest achievement, the state of Israel and the gathering of the Jews from all four corners of the world into their homeland.

It is now an urgent matter that the Jews find a leader of Herzl's stature, capable of acting upon Zionism call. This means demanding and commanding the world's recognition and respect for the Jewish people rights, and having the ability to finish Herzl's work, by convincing the Jewish people that it is their right and duty to assert and secure their destiny in their land.

I therefore present the question no one wants to ask: for all the wrongs that the government of Israel keeps insisting on repeating, do we, Jews, need a land of our own? A land where Jews are more and more unsafe and the government, with its thoughtless decisions and actions, makes it even more unsafe?

Change the course already.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by P. David Hornik, May 30, 2012

The US Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an important amendment to a bill. Proposed by Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, the amendment would change the definition of "Palestinian refugee" such that the number of people now given that status would shrink from about five million to about thirty thousand.

The U.S. currently contributes annually about $250 million of the approximately $600 million budget of UNRWA, the UN agency that provides housing, education, and welfare to Palestinian "refugees." The U.S. has funneled a total of $4.4 billion to UNRWA since it was founded in 1948.

Under the Kirk amendment, the funding to those no longer considered refugees would not necessarily end; they could be defined as poverty cases. But only the thirty thousand, instead of five million, would still be designated as refugees.

What explains the vast differential in numbers? Before and during Israel's 1948-49 War for Independence, about 650,000 Palestinian Arabs (many of them very recent immigrants from other Arab countries) left the territories that became Israel. About thirty thousand of them are still alive today.

But in 1965 and 1982, UNRWA made decisions—unique in history, never applied to any other refugee population in the world—to define children and grandchildren, too, of displaced Palestinians as "refugees." Hence the swelled numbers of today, with "refugees" kept in "camps" in Syria,Lebanon, Jordan, and even the Palestinian Authority. Jonathan Schanzer notes that, according to a study, if this situation persists their number will reach fifteen million by 2050.

Why define so many people as "refugees," and why keep them in "camps" indefinitely? The answer, as Shoshana Bryen notes, was given in an interview to Lebanon's Daily Star by the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah.

Abdullah told the Daily Star "unequivocally" that even if a Palestinian state were to be established in the West Bank and Gaza—that is, the much-vaunted "two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict"—the Palestinian refugees "would not become citizens" of it. The reason is that "The state is the 1967 borders, but the refugees are not only from the 1967 borders. The refugees are from all over Palestine." [emphasis added]

And: "How the issue of the right of return will be solved I don't know...but it is a sacred right that has to be dealt with.... [Statehood] will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees." And: "even Palestinian refugees who are living...inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens."

In other words: the reason for keeping so many "Palestinian refugees" around in "camps" indefinitely, at U.S. and European expense, and instead of resettling them in Arab countries or even in an Arab West Bank-Gaza country if one were established, is to keep alive their "right" to "return" to Israel and demographically destroy it—a "right" whose "sacredness" would transcend any "two-state solution."

Thus Kirk's amendment seems to make eminent sense. Why fund, as "refugees," people who are not refugees by any normally accepted parameters, and are defined that way only so as to constitute an eventual fatal weapon against a U.S. ally, Israel?

Yet the State Department is dead-set against the amendment. Bryen quotes Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides: "This proposed amendment would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue." But the U.S. is already prejudging the issue by allowing this situation to fester. Continuing to treat this burgeoning population as "refugees" only means cultivating an anti-Israeli, anti-peace time-bomb.

Some proponents of adopting the Kirk amendment as U.S. policy say it would enable the "two-state solution" to progress. With only thirty thousand aged Palestinians defined as refugees, the "right of return" could be implemented and a major stumbling block to an agreement removed.

Such notions, though, miss the point. The whole cynical, grotesque reality of the UNRWA camps stems, in the first place, from a profound, culturally and religiously rooted Arab/Muslim rejection of Israel. Ceasing to define as "refugees" millions of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in the late 1940s would not change that.

It would, however, be a step in the right direction. It would mean ceasing to play along with a deception of historic proportions, and refusing to keep nurturing ever-growing millions of Arabs trained to believe that Israel is their home. It would also mean affirming that if any truly constructive steps areever to be taken, they will have to be based on truth and not lies.And: "How the issue of the right of return will be solved I don't know...but it is a sacred right that has to be dealt with.... [Statehood] will never affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees." And: "even Palestinian refugees who are living...inside the [Palestinian] state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens."

In other words: the reason for keeping so many "Palestinian refugees" around in "camps" indefinitely, at U.S. and European expense, and instead of resettling them in Arab countries or even in an Arab West Bank-Gaza country if one were established, is to keep alive their "right" to "return" to Israel and demographically destroy it—a "right" whose "sacredness" would transcend any "two-state solution."

Thus Kirk's amendment seems to make eminent sense. Why fund, as "refugees," people who are not refugees by any normally accepted parameters, and are defined that way only so as to constitute an eventual fatal weapon against a U.S. ally, Israel?

Yet the State Department is dead-set against the amendment. Bryen quotes Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides: "This proposed amendment would be viewed around the world as the United States acting to prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue." But the U.S. is already prejudging the issue by allowing this situation to fester. Continuing to treat this burgeoning population as "refugees" only means cultivating an anti-Israeli, anti-peace time-bomb.

Some proponents of adopting the Kirk amendment as U.S. policy say it would enable the "two-state solution" to progress. With only thirty thousand aged Palestinians defined as refugees, the "right of return" could be implemented and a major stumbling block to an agreement removed.

Such notions, though, miss the point. The whole cynical, grotesque reality of the UNRWA camps stems, in the first place, from a profound, culturally and religiously rooted Arab/Muslim rejection of Israel. Ceasing to define as "refugees" millions of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in the late 1940s would not change that.

It would, however, be a step in the right direction. It would mean ceasing to play along with a deception of historic proportions, and refusing to keep nurturing ever-growing millions of Arabs trained to believe that Israel is their home. It would also mean affirming that if any truly constructive steps areever to be taken, they will have to be based on truth and not lies.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the new book Choosing Life in Israel. He blogs at This article appeared in Front Page Magazine and is archived at

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Counting Palestinian Refugees

Posted by Ted Belman, May 29, 2012

This is by Daniel Pipes and it appeared today in National Review Online ( Daniel Pipes is President of the Middle East Forum and Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

The Senate nudges us toward a proper understanding of the issue.

The fetid, dark heart of the Arab war on Israel, I have long argued, lies not in disputes over Jerusalem, checkpoints, or "settlements." Rather, it concerns the so-called Palestine refugees.

So called because of the nearly 5 million official refugees served by UNRWA (short for the "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East") only about 1 percent are real refugees who fit the agency's definition of "people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." The other 99 percent are descendants of those refugees, or what I call fake refugees.

Worse: Those alive in 1948 are dying off and in about 50 years not a single real refugee will remain alive, whereas (extrapolating from an authoritative estimate in Refugee Survey Quarterly by Mike Dumper) their fake-refugee descendants will number about 20 million. Unchecked, that population will grow like Topsy until the end of time.

This matters because the refugee status has harmful effects: It blights the lives of these millions of non-refugees by disenfranchising them while imposing an ugly, unrealistic irredentist dream on them; worse, the refugee status preserves them as a permanent dagger aimed at Israel's heart, threatening the Jewish state and disrupting the Middle East.

Solving the Arab—Israeli conflict, in short, requires ending the absurd and damaging farce of proliferating fake Palestine refugees and permanently settling them. Nineteen forty-eight happened; time to get real.

I am proud to report that, in part based on the work carried out by the Middle East Forum's Steven J. Rosen and myself over the past year, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on May 24 unanimously passed a limited but potentially momentous amendment to the $52.1 billion FY 2013 State Department and foreign-operations appropriations bill.

The amendment, proposed by Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) requires the State Department to inform Congress about the use of the annual $240 million of direct American taxpayer funds donated to Palestine refugees via UNRWA. How many recipients, Kirk asks, meet the UNRWA definition cited above, making them real refugees? And how many do not, but are descendants of those refugees?

The Kirk amendment does not call for eliminating or even reducing benefits to fake refugees.

But despite its limited nature, Kirk calls the reporting requirement a "watershed." Indeed, it inspired what a senior Senate GOP aide called "enormous opposition" from the Jordanian government and UNRWA itself, bringing on what Foreign Policy magazine's Josh Rogin called a raging battle.

Why the rage? Because, were the State Department compelled to differentiate real Palestine refugees from fake ones, the U.S. and other Western governments (who, together, cover over 80 percent of UNRWA's budget) could eventually decide to cut out the fakes and thereby undermine their claim to a "right of return" to Israel.

Sadly, the Obama administration has badly botched this issue. A letter from Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides opposing an earlier version of the Kirk amendment demonstrates complete incoherence. On the one hand, Nides states that Kirk would, by forcing the U.S. government "to make a public judgment on the number and status of Palestinian refugees . . . prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue." On the other, Nides himself refers to "approximately five million [Palestine] refugees," thereby lumping together real and fake refugees — and prejudging exactly the issue he insists on leaving open. That "5 million refugee" statement was no fluke; when asked about it, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell confirmed that "the U.S. government supports" the guiding principle to "recognize descendants of refugees as refugees."

Also, by predicting a "very strong negative reaction [to the amendment] from the Palestinians and our allies in the region, particularly Jordan," Nides invited Arabs to pressure the U.S. Senate, a shoddy maneuver unworthy of the State Department.

Through all of Israel's 64-year existence, one American president after another has resolved to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet every one of them ignored the ugliest aspect of this confrontation — the purposeful exploitation of a refugee issue to challenge the very existence of the Jewish state. Bravo to Senator Kirk and his staff for having the wisdom and courage to begin the effort to address unpleasant realities, initiating a change that finally goes to the heart of the conflict.

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 29, 2012

American Leftists keep muttering indignation against the Jews of Judea-Samaria for how they treat the Arabs. When asked what they mean, they may allege, falsely, that the Jews steal land from the Arabs. Here is news that the government is helping Arabs steal land from the Jews.


Upon capturing Hebron in 1948, the Jordanian army leased dozens of buildings, owned by Jews, to Arabs. In 1967, Israel captured Hebron, but let the Arabs stay in the stolen property.

Eventually, Israel closed the Old City's market place, gave the storekeepers compensation [for being evicted from stolen property], and set up a new market for them in the Arab zone.

To maintain security [from Arab attacks], Israeli authorities approved construction of an apartment house above the stores. The Jewish community asked the government to let it use the empty property. The government did not reply. Some families renovated the property for residential use. In 2007, the Civil Administration ordered those families to evacuate. The families appealed to the military appeals committee. The committee felt that the repairs benefitted families, by contrast with abandoned buildings left in disrepair. The Civil Administration overruled the military committee. By 2010, Peace Now and Arab merchants petitioned the Supreme Court to expel Jews from their house.


Israel retains some provisions of Ottoman law. One such is that holding land one does not own, for 10 years without opposition, gains title to the land. Much of the ownership of privately held land inside the Green Line was established that way. [Connecticut has or had a similar rule.]

The law benefits actual sales by Arabs to Jews. An open sale would subject Arabs to execution by the Palestinian Authority. So the sale is done clandestinely, the Arab makes no complaint, and after 10 years, the purchasers gain title as if by squatting. This is a way for Arabs to make money and keep their heads on.

Deputy Attorney-Gen. Mike Blass called the acquisition of land by settling on it immoral and anarchistic. He asked the Supreme Court to terminate the 10-year rule and to void Jewish land ownership in Judea-Samaria already gained by that rule. He did not move against Arabs who use the rule.

Meanwhile. Capt. Ronit Levin, legal advisor to the Military Prosecutor, attacked the rule piecemeal. First she decreed that each time a farmer changes the type of crop, the 10-year countdown begins all over again. The Supreme Court concurred.

Then Capt. Levin decreed that the Civil Administration may rule, without any documentation to support its position, that a person's ownership is illegitimate if it may raise political or security issues.

Four years ago, the Civil Administration issued such a ruling against the apartment house in Hebron mentioned before. By now, It has issued such orders for 20 properties.

Most Jews' property in Judea-Samaria has come under risk of dispossession (Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA, , 5/28/12) from "Legal Chaos" by Akiva Bigman, 5/18/12, Makor Rishon).

Anarchy was created by the government, by subjecting each Jewish property owner to arbitrary expulsion. Peace Now is sure to bring every Jewish owner to court.

Anarchy is when people can be dispossessed without due process of law. No one can be secure in his property. How undemocratic! Israel takes false pride in being very democratic.

When such a power to dispossess is wielded only against Jews, the wielder is anti-Zionist if not also antisemitic.

Talking about seizure of rights, the self-appointed Supreme Court has seized the right to overturn common law and Knesset law and to legislate its own, blatantly anti-Zionist law. When the Court upholds an anti-Zionist prosecutor's irrelevant decree that rotating crops turns the clock back to day one, the Court is demonstrating its own anti-Jewish bias. Obviously, the prosecutor is hoping that Arabs will make a security problem, so the Jews would be dispossessed. She will have induced rioting, so she can claim it is too dangerous to let the Jews keep the land. So the Arabs get property by committing or at least threatening violence. Another invitation to anarchy and bitter inter-communal relations. Obviously unjust, too.

The prosecutor based the new rule partly on whether property ownership has political implications. Since her procedure weakens Jewish property ownership in favor of Arab property ownership, it is her procedure that is political. What duplicity!

Deputy Attorney-Gen. Blass referred negatively to the ethics of the old Turkish rule. But he and the other anti-Zionists who seem to run the government, under the supposedly right-wing PM Netanyahu are keeping the old Turkish rule for Arabs. The same Left that approves of measures harming Jews in Judea-Samaria also approves of tens of thousands of Bedouin in Israel squatting on property and approves of providing them with municipal services rather than jail services. What kind of ethics is such hypocrisy? Let the Left stop pretending any decency behind its machinations! The Left is no better than Medieval antisemites who let Jews be robbed of their property.

If PM Netanyahu were right wing and ethical, he would overrule those arbitrary and anti-Zionist measures and restore to rightful Jewish owners all the property stolen from them by Arabs.

A consistently firm Israeli stance for a democratic adherence to due process and to law enforcement against violence, without favoritism for Arabs, would end much of the Arab agitation and rioting. People could settle down to lead their own lives more at peace. That should be the goal of an organization that calls itself Peace Now. Otherwise, it should change its name to Strife Now and War Soon.

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

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Posted by Barbara Sommer, May 29, 2012

Alex wrote:


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. He is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century. This article appeared in Front Page Magazine
( It ends the argument about whether the Democrat Party has taken sides in the Israel-Palestine dispute and whether it's in the pockets of Islamists. Contrary to the claims by Democrat officials that the Obama administration "has the back of Israel," these new disclosures refute them. Added to the statements of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, our Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, all blasting Israel, we now have the top Democrat member of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, appointing a radical Muslim, Faiz Shakir, to be her top advisor. He was, as well, a former DNC employee. The words of this administration are meaningless and without credibility. Their actions are to be viewed as: anti Israel and pro Muslim. See for yourself and remember this on November 6th.

See also: It was written by Daniel Greenfield, who blogs on the Sultan Knish website.

In 2000, he oversaw a week of events that raised money for Islamic terrorists murdering Jews. From 2005 until the present, he oversaw a left-wing blog whose contributors used language that even he admitted was anti-Semitic. And now Faiz Shakir is about to become a senior advisor to the Democratic Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

What happens to a top left-wing operative when he loses control of a media operation so badly that the White House has to distance itself from its allied think tank? He gets a job offer from Nancy Pelosi.

After the use of bigoted language by ThinkProgress contributors turned into a growing scandal, the White House publicly distanced itself from ThinkProgress, an outlet of the Center for American Progress, which Time Magazine called the think tank with the largest influence on the Obama administration. Jarrod Bernstein, the White House's liaison to the Jewish community, described the events there as troubling and stated that the Center for American Progress's attitude was not that of the Obama administration.

This distancing has however proven to be only momentary with Faiz R. Shakir, ThinkProgress's longtime Editor-in-Chief and Vice President at the Center for American Progress, who had made the site what it is, going off to work as a senior advisor and new media director for Nancy Pelosi. Moving Faiz Shakir into such a prominent role where he will be able to influence policy and messaging for a key Democratic Party figure, while keeping Danielle "Jewbags" Gilbert on as the DNC liaison to the Jewish community, is proof once again that the Democratic Party does not take bigotry seriously when it is directed at Jews. Not only that, but it even rewards the bigots with plum posts.

Faiz Shakir had co-authored the "Fear Inc." report, which had implicitly claimed that Islamophobia was the product of a Jewish conspiracy, and had written positively about the Tunisian Islamist Al-Nahda Party and its genocidal head, Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, who has engaged in blatant anti-Semitism, and has said, "There are no civilians in Israel. The population—males, females and children—are the army reserve soldiers, and thus can be killed."

During his time at ThinkProgress, Faiz Shakir had repeatedly attacked the Jewish State, endorsing the Hamas aid flotilla to Gaza and attacking Israel's attempts to defend itself against terrorists. Unlike some of his more radical junior colleagues, like Ali Gharib and Zaid Jlani, his position has forced Shakir to be somewhat more discreet.

But Shakir's sympathy for Islamists and antipathy for the Jewish State are no surprise at all considering his activities during his college days when he was a member of the Harvard Islamic Society.

While the Harvard Islamic Society's affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood's MSA is somewhat vague, its Constitution states that its independence does not preclude "affiliation with the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada."

HIS was co-founded by Yusuf Ibish, the father of Hussein Ibish, who is a veteran pro-terrorist and anti-Israel activist, and Syed Hossein Nasr, an Islamic philosopher and opponent of the United States and Israel, who claims to be able to trace his ancestry back to Mohammed. During Faiz Shakir's time there, HIS was presided over by Zayed Yasin, who became infamous for his "My American Jihad" speech.

In 2000, The Harvard Islamic Society held an Islamic Awareness Week and Faiz Shakir served as the co-chair for the week's events. One of those events included a fundraiser for the Holy Land Foundation, a group which acted as the fundraising arm for Hamas in the United States. As co-chair of the week's events, Shakir would have unquestionably been involved in the selection of organizations to donate to. That he chose a fundraising for a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization can only be regarded as highly significant.

Though the Holy Land Foundation was only raided in the year after that, it was well known at the time that the group was a front for terrorists, and the Harvard Islamic Society faced complaints and scrutiny for its terrorist fundraising. Zayed Yasin's defense of the Holy Land Foundation made it quite clear that he was familiar with its true mission.

At the time, Shakir was quoted as saying that, "We want to give them a couple ways for them to think about Islam." But apparently there was really only one way to think about Islam. There still is.

Under Shakir, ThinkProgress has promoted Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamists, much as he tried to direct funds to Hamas during his Harvard days. It has been a long time since Shakir was a student and as someone who claims to be a foreign policy expert, there is no doubt that during his tenure at ThinkProgress he knew exactly what he was doing.

ThinkProgress is not just a site; it's the messaging apparatus for the most influential think tank in the country. It's where Democrats and their media allies pick up their talking points in their war on truth, justice and the American Way. And as senior advisor to the Democratic Minority Leader in Congress, and aspiring Majority Leader, Faiz Shakir will be doing what he was doing all along.

The Center for American Progress is the Soros Shadow Party's tool for influencing domestic and international policy, but it is also filled with members of another shadow party: the agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a senior advisor to Nancy Pelosi, Faiz Shakir will be doing directly what he once did indirectly, openly what he once did covertly.

Putting a man like Shakir into such a position is a statement that the Democratic Party no longer cares what it reveals about itself as the last vestiges of caution that it adopted after September 11 fall away and the dark blotch of the two shadow parties covers it over. And so a man who chaired a week of events that raised money for an Islamic terrorist group, whose charter calls for the extermination of the Jewish people, and who ran a messaging apparatus whose contributors used anti-Semitic language, will now run the messaging apparatus for the leader of congressional Democrats.

The elevation of Faiz Shakir is yet another reminder to Jews that there is no longer a place for them in the Democratic Party.

Contact Barbara Sommer at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 29 2012

We have a HUGE problem!

John C Hagee, chairman of CUFI, declares that all — including Jews — will bow down and acknowledge Jesus as lord and savior of all mankind.

When I first met Pastor Hagee his claim to fame was/is that he is a Zionist.

Let me remind the honorable pastor that being a Zionist means to be part of the Zionist Movement and the straight forward definition of Zionism is no more nor less than the self-determination of the Jewish people - as a people, and not just as adherents of the Jewish religion. Jews are in fact the only people — as a people - for whom the land of Israel, the ancient Judea and Samaria, from the Jordan river — east and west banks - was ever their national homeland. Those who deny Zionism to materialize in the ancient Jewish land borders denies Jewish peoplehood and the fundamental right of Jews to live as a people in their own ancestral homeland, Israel.

In March 2012 Pastor John C. Hagee, Founder and National Chairman, Christians United for Israel-CUFI ( visited Israel as he does each year.

On this visit Pastor Hagee got permission to go to the rooftop of Aish HaTorah building from where one can see the entire Temple Mount area.

Pastor Hagee stood on the rooftop of Aish HaTorah's building in Jerusalem and spoke from there to his fellow Christians, see video: John Hagee exposes all on Aish HaTorah's Old City rooftop overlooking Temple Mount (March 2012), added by Jewish Israel on March 25, 2012 -

AND, Pastor John Hagee of CUFI uses Aish HaTorah's Jerusalem facilities overlooking the Kotel (Western Wall) and Har Habayit (Temple Mount) to declare that all will bow to and acknowledge Jesus as lord and savior. Read the response by Aish and the full report at: Hagee Preaches the Gospel from the Aish HaTorah Rooftop -

So, here is the HUGE PROBLEM as I see it, we, Jews, have:

When Pastor John Hagee, who represents an organization that calls itself Christians United For Israel, stands on the rooftop of a building in Jerusalem, the Capital of the nation state of the Jewish people, and points to the direction of Temple Mount, the Holiest of Holy to the Jewish people, and tells his Christian Evangelist followers that "there is no question that this is where the temple of the Lord Jesus Christ will be when he rules and reigns the earth from the city of Jerusalem for 100 years of perfect peace..." this is part of the Christian replacement theology, where Jews are no longer the people with whom God made a Covenant and the people He chose as His Chosen. The Jews were replaced by the Christians. With these words, Pastor Hagee is no different than the Moslems who want Temple Mount as their own and claim Jews have no right to this site.

So let me tell Pastor John Hagee and his followers: If there to be any temple on Temple Mount, where the First and original and the Second Jewish Temple stood, it will only be the Third Temple of the Third Jewish Commonwealth, the modern State of Israel.

For that, Pastor Hagee and his followers need to know that if their support for Jews and the state of Israel, in funds and morale, is for the purpose of capturing Jews off guard and when the time comes to conquer the land and make it their own, as the Crusades did while murdering any Jews who came their way, then thank you but no thank you.

This kind of support is dangerous to the existence of the Jewish state.

I hereby demand that Pastor Hagee issues a public retraction of this grotesque statement.

Nurit Greenger,
Los Angeles, California

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Paul Lademain, May 29 2012

Dear Mssrs. Sokatch and Rosenn of the New Israel Fund (NIF):

Good morals and a strong sense of propriety bars the SC4Z from participating in your quest to shame your fellow Jews. The fact that you leverage your Jewishness for to harass Israeli Jews prompts us to remind you people that we are already aware of your ignorance (thanks to the misbegotten views of your Mr. Goldstone) of middle eastern politics and the challenges they pose for not only the Jewish Homeland and the Christians of Africa. We support Israel because it is the Jewish Homeland and we support Israel's intent to banish illegals who entered Israel on a ruse or a falsified tale.

Why is your organization is so obsessed with Israel? Because George Soros, the former Jew, hates his tribe?

Surely applying your limited resources to the plight of African Christians would accomplish greater good than pushing yourselves into the internal matters of Israel that are none of your concern.

Moreover, if your Jewish hearts cannot resist obsessing over Africans, why not use the full might of your Jewishness to support African-Americans? Many of them are in need of financial support and improvement to their neighborhoods. Why not pay for decent neighborhood lighting? Cleaning the streets? Providing gardens and secure parks for American children? Why not spend your donated millions on the poor of New Orleans? Or East Oakland. Or East Palo Alto? (You people are a US citizens, are you not?) As US citizens, you ought to focus on solving the many problems on your own doorstep instead of wasting your resources (and those of the former Jew George Soros) on foreign matters about which NIF-ers have already demonstrated that they are ignorant or woefully misinformed.

If more Israeli blood is spilled because of NIF-er incitement against Israeli citizens, I hope your organization and it's agent provocateurs will be held accountable as co-conspirators. As it is, perhaps a strong case can be made that the NIF bears some responsibility for the murders of Israeli arabs by Yasser Arafat's heirs.

Sincerely, Paul la Demain, the SC4Z (Secular Christians for Zion.)

On May 29, 2012, at 10:55 AM, Daniel Sokatch, NIF wrote:

Paul —

Did you see this note from David on Friday?

The response we got over the holiday weekend was truly moving. People really stepped up to help NIF with the resources needed to fight for justice in moments of crisis.

If you're just getting back online today, take a moment to read David's email below. Then add your support here.

Daniel Sokatch
Chief Executive Officer, NIF

------------ Forwarded message ------------

From: Rabbi David Rosenn, NIF
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2012 2:04 PM
To: Daniel Sokatch
Subject: Update on African refugee situation

Daniel —

On Wednesday night, years of neglect reached a boiling point.

The Israeli government's failure to implement a coherent policy to handle the stream of refugees reaching Israel from Sudan and Eritrea resulted in thousands of refugees clustering in the poorest neighborhoods of Israel's cities. There, tensions grew between the long-time residents — themselves poor and neglected — and the refugees.

Rather than addressing the problems, some Israeli politicians stoked the tensions. They pitted the needs of the refugees — some of whom came to Israel to escape unspeakable horrors in their homelands — against the needs of the urban poor, using racist and xenophobic language.

On Wednesday night, things got out of hand. Residents of south Tel Aviv held a demonstration to voice their frustrations. Politicians incited the crowd. A mob spun off, smashing windows and attacking bystanders.

In the wake of these events, many leaders in Israel, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, have condemned the demagoguery, the incitement, and the violence. That's a start, but we need to make sure that the underlying problems get addressed.

NIF is already mobilizing. We're not going to let extremists dominate Israel:

1). We're making the case that meeting the needs of refugees need not come at the expense of Israel's poor. That's a false choice. A demonstration we helped organize today in Jerusalem protested both the government's abandonment of the urban poor and the incitement against refugees that we'd witnessed.

2). We are stepping up our community organizing efforts in south Tel Aviv, making sure that the resident's needs are really heard at City Hall and at the national level. And we are fostering dialogue between the veteran residents and the refugees.

3). We are providing financial resources to the front-line organizations working with African refugees. And we're offering expertise and training to help the refugees speak for themselves to the media, to the politicians, to all of Israel.

I need your help to continue this type of work. And even to step it up.

At the demonstration in Jerusalem today, we heard from the director of the African Refugee Development Center — an organization that we've been supporting for years. He told us that fear and confusion is plaguing the refugees' communities and that there is an urgent need for security and community organizing work.

He wasn't shy. He said that they will soon ask us for emergency funding to pay for:

1). Security at the women's hostel they run.

2). Community organizing work vis-a-vis the different refugee communities they serve.

And certainly, we'll be hearing from other groups that look out for the needs of the urban poor and of the refugees.

NIF keeps reserves on hand to address these types of emergencies, but our resources are going to be stretched by the dictates of this moment.

Help us do what needs to be done. Any amount you can provide at this moment will make a huge difference.

Israel needs a sensible immigration policy that respects the human rights treaties it has signed and balances the ideal of the Jewish homeland with the Jewish obligation to help the stranger. That's the long-term goal.

But right now, we must act to protect the physical safety of the refugees. We must act to help cooler heads prevail. We must act to help Israeli society live up to the best values of the Jewish tradition.

We'll be in touch,

Chief Operating Officer, NIF

P.S. — I heard this morning from one donor who is kicking in $25,000 in response to this crisis. That's a huge start. With your help, and that of everybody we're contacting today, I know we'll be able to do what it takes to stand up to the extremists.

COMMENT: If it will damage Israel, NIF is for it. In fact, this should be NIF's motto: If it hurts Israel, we support it. If it endangers Israel, we support it big.

No matter how touchingly NIF presents its false case, it is still ridiculous. If these Africans were real refugees, they could solicit help from UNHCR and get it in a minute. They aren't. They came because Israel is an easy mark. They commit robberies and rapes. They're on the dole. They have no respect for others. There is no reason for Israel to let them stay. Other nationalities like people from the Philippines who come to work and are civilized have been welcomed.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 29, 2012

For years I have been part of a small cadre of determined individuals who saw clearly the damage being done by UNRWA — the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees. Damage to prospects for peace in this region, and damage directly to Israel.

There is so much wrong with this agency that it's impossible to document it all in this post. Suffice it to say the following:

UNRWA is the only international refugee agency in the world dedicated to one group of refugees — the Palestinian Arab "refugees." All other refugees are tended to by the UN High Commission for Refugees. And what's astounding is that UNRWA's rules for "its" refugees are different from the rules for all those other refugees.

UNHCR works to get refugees resettled as quickly as possible — even if the only alternative is settling them permanently in the place to which they had fled or to a third place — so that they might get on with their lives.

UNRWA, however, which is functioning from an orientation that is highly politicized and heavily anti-Israel, says that "its" refugees continue to be refugees even if they get citizenship elsewhere. ONLY "returning" to Israel would eradicate that status. What is more, UNRWA says descendants of refugees are also refugees, indefinitely via the patrilineal line. Which means UNRWA promotes "return" to Israel of people who have never been here, and whose parents or even grandparents have never been here either.

So, while other refugee populations diminish over time, the rolls of UNRWA have grown exponentially. Hey! the idea here is to invade Israel by demanding that "right" for some roughly five million counted locally, or seven million world-wide. A good way to conquer Israel without lifting a machine gun.


Over the years, I have examined this approach of UNRWA and written about the fact that the so-called "right of return" does not exist. But I have also considered the deprivation of human rights endured by those refugees; the tendency for them to be radicalized because of their frustrations; the inciteful nature of UNRWA education; and the close link to UNRWA of Hamas — which, for starters, controls its school system in Gaza.


But now the focus has turned on the matter of refugee status within UNRWA, with regard to the number of descendants (which is increasing) vs. the number of original refugees (which is clearly diminishing as time passes).

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is attempting to have an amendment attached to the funding bill for the State Department, for fiscal year 2013, that would require the State Department to provide to Congress: 1) the number of Palestinians physically displaced from their homes in what became Israel in 1948, and 2) the number of their descendants administered by UNRWA (that is, on UNRWA's rolls today as refugees).

Senator Mark Kirk
Senator Mark Kirk (Credit: alternet)

This is just a beginning, but a fantastic one that is long overdue. It calls public attention to the games being played by UNRWA, and ultimately will call into question US funding for UNRWA. The US is the single largest donor to UNRWA and the fact that a great deal of the US funds for UNRWA go to assist grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who fled in 1948 is not going to be received well in many quarters.


It is, however, a tough battle. The State Department is on UNRWA's side. (Are you surprised?) UNRWA itself, along with its adjunct American Friends of UNRWA, does exceedingly good PR. At any given time you can find an article in one place or another documenting the splendid work that UNRWA does for these poor, long-suffering refugees.


If you live in IL, and are thus a constituent of Senator Kirk, let him know if you are pleased with what he is doing:


I'd like to share links to two articles on this issue, to which I will undoubtedly return in time:

"Counting Palestinian refugees" by Daniel Pipes, founder and president of the Middle East Forum.:

"Counting Palestinians," by Shoshana Bryen, an analyst of ME affairs and former Senior Director for Security Policy at JINSA


Let me add here, as well, that Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) has taken a very active interest in UNRWA as well: He has focused on the textbooks, and deprivation of human rights of the refugees. His contribution is valuable, and there is hope that he will advance his work via Congressional hearings on the issue.

Congressman Chris Smith (Credit: Awrambatimes)

And again, if you are a constituent of Congressman Smith (4th Congressional district of NJ), let him know if you are pleased that he is looking into UNRWA's school books and related problems:


The hot topic now is "Flame" — a massive piece of computer malware that is apparently affecting computers in Iran. Larger than, and quite different from Stuxnet, it is designed primarily to spy on the users of infected computers and steal data from them, including documents, recorded conversations and keystrokes. (I'm reading that it also opens a backdoor to infected systems to allow the attackers to tweak the toolkit and add new functionality, and I share this for those who comprehend.)

Recently discovered, and named, by the anti-virus firm of Kaspersky Lab in Russia, it has apparently been around for at least two years; speculation is that it may have been a companion to Stuxnet. While the greatest number of infections appears to be in Iran, it has also been picked up in PA areas, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

For more detailed information: .


Iran, of course, is blaming Israel for this malware.

Minister of Security Affairs Moshe Ya'alon commented on Army Radio today:

"Israel has been blessed with a prolific hi-tech sector that opens possibilities in both the business and security fields."

But many nations have high tech capability and see Iran as a threat. "Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a significant threat is likely to take various steps, including these, to hobble it."


This is a good example of Israeli ingenuity:

A company that makes heavy-duty locks, Multi-T-Lock, and a company that makes GPS tracking devices, Starcom Systems, have jointly developed a product that was conceptualized by Maxim Prilutsky of Starcom: A "smart lock" that sends a message if it has been tampered with.

This represents a great advance in security systems and can even protect trucks.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Bryna Berch, May 29, 2012


Israel's Rights under International Law

By Ted Belman (19 September 2010 here.)

In 1920 the victors over the Ottoman Empire in WWI met to redraw her borders as they saw fit. This they had every right to do by international law.. The San Remo Resolution incorporated the Balfour Declaration of being "in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.". This resolution was enshrined in the Palestine Mandate in 1922 by the League of Nations pursuant to the provisions of Article 22 of the its Covenant. The provisions of this Mandate are still in full force and effect..

Israeli authority lawfare against jewish land ownership in Judea and Samaria

by Joe Gemeiner, May 29, 2012

Regarding Ownership of Land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea

The Great Powers who had the power of disposition divided the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East among the Arabs and the Jews. They awarded Palestine to the Jews to reconstitute their National Homeland there, recognizing their historical connection to the land.

The League of Nations approved the division of the Middle East section of the Ottoman Empire and Britain was appointed a Mandatory to carry out reconstituting Palestine. According to Article 5 of the Mandate, Britain had no right to vary the terms of the Mandate.

Notwithstanding, Britain has given 77% of Palestine to the Arabs to build an Arab land in Palestine [now called Jordan — BSL] contrary to the terms of the Mandate. [The Palestine Mandate was less than 1 tenth of 1% of the Ottoman Middle East. The remaining 99.99% of the Ottoman Middle East holdings was used to create many of the Arab states. — BSL] However all the land from the west side of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean remains Jewish land for the purpose of reconstituting the Jewish National Homeland therein. While Arabs could live there they had no political rights there.

All the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea was for reconstituting the National Homeland for the Jewish people and this was approved by the league of Nations. Thus it became an international treaty. And when the League of Nations expired, the United nations inherited the Leagues position and had no right to vary it.

According to Article 80 of the UN charter the UN has no right to vary these borders. The Jews have the right to settle in every sqare inch of the land including Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

Article 70 of the Vienna Convention and the Southwest Africa ruling on Mandates confirm Israel's rights to all these lands.

The Israeli government should not give away rights that belong to the Jewish People, not to them.

So many countries tried to take away our land — the Assyrians, the< Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Turks, the Mamaluks, and others. The Israel government should not assist them. They do not need the Israeli government's help.

We always knew that the Jewish people have brains. But to use these brains to assist the Arabs who wish to destroy us — to use their brains to assist the Arabs, to give them rights that they don't have under any circumstances — to we need the army to do it? Do we need our own Supreme Court to do it?

Even the British didn't try so hard.

Joe Gemeiner lives in Toronto, Canada. He and his wife, Renanah Goldhar-Gemeiner, have petitioned Canada to "affirm and uphold" Israel's legal right to Judea and Samaria (See:, 28April 2012).

This below is about Israeli authority lawfare against Jewish land ownership in Judea and Samaria. It is by Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA and was published 28 May 2012. Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of IMRA, Independent Media Review and Analysis, an Israel-based news organization which provides an extensive digest of media, polls and significant interviews and events relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Its website address is Write him at

The article was gleaned from a comprehensive article. "Legal Chaos" by Akiva Bigman published in the 18 May edition of Makor Rishon. Makor Rishon has developed into a quality publication rivaling and at times exceeding the depth of the Hebrew print edition of Haaretz. Contact IMRA@NETVISISION.NET.IL for the article as a pdf.

Section 1 - How a Jewish owned home in Hebron blocked from use by Jews.

Joseph Ezra's father owned a home in Hebron. When the Jordanian Legion captured the city in 1948 all the assets of Jews were put under the control of the National Custodian, under the title 'Enemy Property'. There are dozens of such buildings in Hebron. The properties were leased out to Arabs. In this case as stores.

In 1967 when Hebron came under Israeli rule the leases to the Arabs were continued by the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli authorities approved erection of a large apartment house above the stores called "House of Nahum and Yehuda" . In 2001 it was decided for security reasons to close the Arab market place and move it - with full compensation to the store owners - to the Arab part of town.

The property remained empty. After repeated requests of the Jewish community to use the assets were not answered, a few families entered the empty property and renovated it, turning the property into proper homes.In 2007 an eviction order was issued. The eviction was appealed to the military appeals committee, which functions as a kind of court of appeals with regard to decisions of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria. The committee observed that it was the obligation of the authorities, as custodian for the property, to insure that beneficial use comes from it and that in contrast to the abandoned buildings near it that were in disrepair, the property in question had been improved and under the circumstances "the correct and effective use of the property is to allow families to live in the shops ... ".

Following the instruction of the military appeals committee, the Jewish community in Hebron- together with Joseph Ezra - submitted a request for an orderly take over the property. The Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria ruled that while the military appeals committee was indeed the format for appealing their decisions that the rulings of the committee were not binding and could be overruled by the Civil Administration and the request was denied.

In November 2010 Peace Now petitioned along with the Arab merchants to remove the Jews from the property.

Section 2 - How rules for agricultural land ownership changed

One common way to to register the ownership of land in Judea and Samaria is by applying the provision of Ottoman law, that if someone held land for ten consecutive years without opposition he owns the property. In fact, the ownership of much of the privately held land inside the Green Line was established this way.

This method of property transfer is especially useful in the case of Palestinians who face the death penalty for selling land to Jews. This way money crosses between the parties and all the Palestinian has to do is keep quiet for ten years.

In a move to undermine this procedure, Mr. Mike Blass, who serves as Deputy Attorney General, filed with the Supreme Court that "at present ... the seizure of land ... is seen as a forbidden and immoral, and as a basis for anarchy." Blass asked the court to not only bar the future use of the ten consecutive year provision to record future property ownership but to void the ownership registrations made to date in Judea and Samaria (by Jews) on this basis.

At the same time, Captain Ronit Levin, acting as the legal advisor to the West Bank Military Prosecutor's Office, issued a series of orders and directives to strip the ten year rule. She ruled that the ten year count begins again each time a farmer changes the type of crop that he grows on the land.

Two months ago the Supreme Court upheld this position.

Ronit Levin also came up with an additional legal innovation, called a "disturbing use" order. It allows the Civil Administration to rule that a person's possession of property is illegitimate because it may raise political or security issues. The Civil Administration is not required to provide any documentation to support the "disturbing use" order.

This order was first issued by the Civil Administration against residents of the "House of Contention" in Hebron four years ago.

According to lawyer Bezalel Smotritz of the Regavim movement this order has been used this order twenty time.

The combination of these innovations is a pincer movement which threatens almost every Jewish farmer in the West Bank.

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Posted by Shavei Israel, May 29, 2012

He served as a Protestant minister in Japan's fourth-largest city, presiding over a prominent Christian congregation where he was loved and respected by all. But growing doubts about the veracity of his faith led Nobutaka Hattori on an unexpected spiritual journey. Now, he is a kollel student in Jerusalem, where he follows the customs of the Vilna Gaon, and is currently completing his study of the Talmudic tractate of Makkot ... for the third time.

Every week, Moshe Hattori sits down in front of a computer screen in Jerusalem, and begins to type. With painstaking care, he tackles issues of faith and Jewish law, preparing a brief commentary on the weekly Torah reading, which he disseminates both far and wide via fax and the Internet.

moshe hattori

Japanese Jew Moshe Hattori

Hattori culls material from an impressive variety of sources, including the Talmud, the Rishonim and the writings of latter-day luminaries such as the Vilna Gaon, the Meshech Chachmah and Rabbi Aharon Kotler, z"l. As a devoted student at the Great Synagogue's Be'er Miriam Kollel in Jerusalem, he spends most of his waking hours immersed in sacred texts. Clearly, the 45-year old enjoys spreading knowledge and wisdom, which explains why his weekly analysis is now in its fifth year of publication.

What makes this periodical unique, however, is that it is issued simultaneously in two different languages: Hebrew and Japanese, Hattori's native tongue, making it perhaps the only one of its kind in the world.

Even more remarkable, though, is the story of the man whose spiritual journey over the past two decades took him from serving as a Protestant pastor in the Far East to learning as a full-time kollel student in the heart of Jerusalem.

Nobutaka Hattori was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan's fourth largest city, which is located 200 miles west of Tokyo and serves as the capital of Aichi prefecture. He grew up in a religious Buddhist family, where the demands of custom and tradition were strictly upheld.

From a very young age, he was visually impaired, which prompted concerns among his parents as to where he should be educated. Ultimately, they decided to send him to the local Christian missionary school because they had heard that the teachers there were kind and would be more understanding of their son's needs.

"It was ... at the Christian school that I became acquainted with the Bible," Hattori recalls. "They presented it as the 'Old Testament,' and [they] also taught us various Christian works."

Much to his parents' dismay, Hattori began attending church, and by the time he was sixteen, he decided that he wanted to become a practicing minister. "They were not so pleased," Hattori says. "When I told them that I wanted to attend a seminary and become a Christian minister, they were shocked, but they could not really do anything about it."

While still in high school, Hattori notes, he and his classmates were taught very little about the Jews. "I remember being surprised by the fact that even though they taught us the contents of the 'Old Testament,' they taught us next to nothing about the Jewish people itself."

One teacher, he says, posed a rhetorical question to the class, "What is the State of Israel?" before proceeding to explain that "the Jews had removed the Arabs, the previous residents, and then built a new state, which is the State of Israel."

"I thought it strange that, on the one hand, he taught us the history of the Jews during the time of Moses and the Prophets, yet on the other hand he would speak this way about the Jewish people," Hattori says.

Nonetheless, the one Jewish-related subject that did receive a great deal of attention in his studies was the Holocaust. "In high school, they taught us a lot about the Holocaust, what the Nazis had done, and what a human tragedy it had been." Hattori's class was even taken to see Charlie Chaplin's famed 1940 film "The Great Dictator," which ridiculed Adolf Hitler and fascism.

As a seminary student in Tokyo, Hattori began studying Christian theology more intensively. But as he did so, questions and doubts began to surface. "They were the types of questions which were forbidden for me to ask, such as those regarding the Christian belief in the Trinity," he says. Driven by a desire to find the truth, Hattori explored the belief systems of various Christian sects, delving into theology, philosophy and mysticism, but it left him feeling distinctly unfulfilled.

During the course of his intellectual and spiritual search, there was one thing that caught his attention, piquing his interest in a way that he still cannot explain, even today.

"It was the Hebrew language, the language of the Bible, which I learned in the seminary as part of the training to become a minister," Hattori says. "I really enjoyed it. I don't know why, but I simply loved the Hebrew language." After spending six months learning Hebrew grammar, Hattori picked up the Bible and began reading sefer Bereishit in the original.

Armed with his knowledge of Hebrew, Hattori visited Israel twice with organized groups of Japanese Christian pilgrims. And even though he was a student at a Christian seminary, he quickly found himself drawn to the cadences and rhythm of the Hebrew language, while being pulled inexplicably toward anything Jewish.

"I traveled throughout the Land, but the churches that I saw did not interest me—it was the Hebrew prayers that I heard at the Western Wall and the mezuzot that I saw on doorposts across the country, and anything else connected to Judaism, which interested me," Hattori says. He took leave of his fellow pilgrims, and headed over to Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood, where he purchased books about Judaism in English and Hebrew, so that he could pursue his growing interest after returning to Japan.

After graduating from the seminary and receiving his formal ordination, Hattori took up a post as minister of a small Christian congregation on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands.

In addition to his pastoral and communal duties, Hattori served as principal of the congregational kindergarten, leaving him with little time to spare for other pursuits. When he did find some free time, often at the end of a demanding day, he would closet himself in his room and study Judaism, using the books he had acquired on his visit to Jerusalem.

As a Protestant minister, Hattori notes, he was ostensibly required to get married, because a minister's wife plays an important role in assisting her husband with his various duties in the church. So his fellow ministers fixed him up with a young Japanese Baptist woman named Chie, and the two were married shortly thereafter. What Hattori did not realize at the time, however, was that his bride would come to play a central part in his move toward adopting the Jewish faith.

Not long after the wedding, as his doubts about Christianity continued to mount, Hattori decided to share them with Chie, although he had no idea how she would react. "I told her that although I am a minister, and I work in the church and the kindergarten, and I teach every day about matters such as the Trinity, I really do not understand what it means." To which his wife replied, "Neither do I."

"From that day onward, I found a partner to study Judaism with," Hattori recalls with a smile. And so, the minister and his wife would secretly study Torah together, while continuing to carry out their various communal responsibilities toward the church and the congregation.

While Hattori and Chie enjoyed the learning, it remained in the realm of theoretical knowledge only, having no direct impact on their day-to-day lives. Until, that is, one fateful Friday evening fifteen years ago.

"After we had been studying together for a period of time, my wife suggested that she light two candles in honor of the Sabbath," Hattori says. "She insisted that according to what is written in sefer Shemot, the day we are obligated to honor is the Sabbath, and not Sunday." Hattori agreed to her proposal, and his wife went ahead and prepared a special meal, in addition to kindling the Shabbat candles.

Initially, the couple agreed to limit their observance to the meal and the candles, if only because they were living in the minister's residence and serving in their posts at the church. Slowly, however, they nonetheless proceeded to add additional elements to their practice of Judaism. "It reached a point where my wife was baking challot every Friday morning, and I would then recite Kiddush in Hebrew on Friday night, using an ArtScroll prayer book that I had bought in Israel," Hattori recalls. "On the day of the Sabbath, we sat there and did nothing, because we did not know what one was allowed to do or not."

They watched the clock until the end of the day, when Hattori would make Havdalah, the service marking the close of Shabbat. Afterward, he ran to his room in order to prepare his church sermon for the next day.

"As a minister, I was required to give a forty-minute sermon every Sunday morning," Hattori says. So after carefully observing Shabbat, he would sit down to organize his thoughts for the preaching he would have to do the next morning.

Even in retrospect, Hattori is unsure what prompted him and his wife to take upon themselves practical observance of Jewish rituals. "I don't know why we took that first step beyond lighting Sabbath candles," he says. "Until today, there is no answer to this question other than what Chazal say: 'One mitzvah leads to another.'"

Subsequently, Hattori and Chie moved back to his hometown of Nagoya, where he began ministering to an even larger congregation. But their level of Torah observance continued to grow, albeit in secret.

Nevertheless, neither he nor Chie were considering conversion to Judaism. "We really did not have any intention at the time to convert," Hattori says. "We simply liked the Jewish lifestyle, and so we tried to implement it in our own lives. At that point, I felt a connection with the Jewish religion, but not yet with the Jewish people."

The turning point came one Sunday morning, when Hattori stood before his congregation to perform a Christian rite involving bread and wine, similar to that practiced by Catholics. Holding up a tray of bread, he accidentally began to recite the Hamotzi blessing, having become accustomed in the privacy of his home to saying it before consuming bread.

The Hebrew word "baruch" started to leave his lips, when he suddenly caught himself and stopped. While none of the church-goers seemed to notice, his wife most certainly did, saying to him afterward, "You almost said 'baruch,' didn't you?"

This incident led Hattori and Chie to conclude that it was time for them to leave the church. "I realized that I no longer believed in the Christian faith, and that were I to continue working as a Christian minister just in order to make a living, I would be nothing more than a big fraud, and that is something I could not do."

Hattori requested a leave of absence from the church, explaining that he wished to go to Israel to study the Bible. In June 1993, he and his wife arrived in the Holy Land with just two suitcases. They rented an apartment in Jerusalem, but remained unsure of what path to take.

"Even at that stage, we did not have an answer as to what we would do next," Hattori says. "Yes to conversion, no to conversion, perhaps we would abandon all faiths. The one thing that was clear was that we could not return to the church."

Hattori began attending an ulpan at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he improved his knowledge of modern, spoken Hebrew. He and his wife continued to discuss the possibility of conversion, though they feared how their families in Japan would react, and remained unsure as to whether they would be accepted in Israel.

Two months after their arrival in Israel, the couple decided that they could no longer continue living in between two worlds, practicing Judaism yet remaining non-Jews. They did not wish to drop their observance of the mitzvot, so they contacted Rabbi Shlomoh Slomoviz in Jerusalem in the hopes of studying toward conversion.

Initially, Rabbi Slomoviz refused to teach them, pushing them off for nearly three months before he finally relented and agreed to give them a single class. "He came to our apartment and wanted to begin by teaching us sefer Bereishit, but he was amazed to see this Japanese couple who was not only familiar with Bereishit, but also knew things such as the recitation of the blessings and the rules of the Sabbath, albeit imprecisely," Hattori says.

At the end of the lesson, the rabbi suggested that they meet again the following week, and he gave them the names of various books to read, such as Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin's To Be a Jew. The classes were conducted in English, with Hattori translating each sentence into Japanese for his wife.

They continued to progress, and eventually opened a conversion file with the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court. Hattori began studying in a yeshivah, while Chie started learning Hebrew.

Finally, a year after their arrival in the Jewish state, the former Protestant minister and his wife were formally converted to Judaism, with Hattori adopting the Hebrew name Moshe, and Chie choosing Tzipora.

Asked how he felt after the Rabbinical Court agreed to accept them into the Jewish people, Hattori recalls the immense joy that it brought him. "I was truly happy," he says. "I was certain that I wished to observe the mitzvot as a Jew, and I wanted to be able to say '...Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us...' with a full heart, because so long as I was not Jewish, I had not been commanded."

After their conversion, Tzipora quickly found employment in her field, working as an acupuncturist and earning enough to support them both. With Tzipora's backing, Hattori decided to continue studying Torah, and he has not stopped since.

His passion for learning is clear: "I love learning a sugya be'iyun [topic in depth]," he says. "First, I will study a certain topic in the Talmud together with the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot, and then I will look in the Rishonim before examining the Shulchan Aruch to see how the halachah is determined. And then, I will study the views of the Acharonim on the subject.

"This type of learning," Hattori states, "is truly a delight for me. It allows me to gain a more in depth understanding of the mitzvot."

Using this methodology, he is currently studying the Talmudic tractate of Makkot for the third time, noting with pleasure the chiddushim (new insights) it has brought him in his comprehension of the text.

Having dedicated himself to full-time Torah study for over a decade, Hattori has amassed a vast amount of knowledge. Asked if he has ever thought of becoming a rabbi, he is quick to reply, "I do not have rabbinical ordination, nor do I want it. Many people ask me why I don't get ordination, but I have no desire to do so because I want to learn Torah only for the sake of learning Torah, and not for any other reason."

Hattori's schedule is a demanding one. During the day, he studies at Be'er Miriam Kollel, where he also delivers a weekly lecture on Thursday mornings. In the evenings, Hattori regularly takes part in a Talmud class in Jerusalem's Shaarei Chesed neighborhood, where he and Tzipora will be moving to shortly. The class is held in a synagogue known simply as "the Gra," after the Hebrew acronym used to refer to eighteenth-century scholar Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, the Vilna Gaon.

Hattori is a keen student of the Vilna Gaon's writings and commentaries, as well as those of his disciples, such as Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin. Prior to his conversion, Hattori was profoundly inspired by stories he read about the Vilna Gaon and his commitment to Torah. As a result, when he embraced Judaism, Hattori adopted many of the Vilna Gaon's customs, and continues to view him as a mentor.

There is one story in particular about the Vilna Gaon that resonates deeply with Hattori, due to a painful experience he had six years ago, when word reached him that his father back in Japan lay on his deathbed.

In the wake of his father's illness, Hattori found himself facing a dilemma. "In Japan," he explains, "when a person dies, everyone bows down to him, and people pray to him. The deceased is treated like a deity. Since I was my father's firstborn, I knew that were I to go [to Japan], I would be expected to do this, which is clearly a form of avodah zarah."

In the end, after consulting with a number of rabbis, Hattori decided not to travel to Japan, knowing that his family would likely never forgive him as a result, in effect cutting his last remaining ties to the place of his birth.

After recounting this episode, Hattori relates a famous incident involving the Vilna Gaon and a Polish nobleman named Count Potocki, who had converted to Judaism and adopted the name of Avraham ben Avraham. After local church authorities learned of Potocki's conversion, they arrested him and sentenced him to death.

The Vilna Gaon went to visit Potocki in prison, and found him weeping in his cell. Asked why he was crying, Potocki said that his only regret was that he would die without having had a Jewish father, brother or children. The Vilna Gaon comforted him, citing a midrash on a verse in Yeshayahu to tell him that since he had thrown his lot in with the Jewish people, G-d would take the place of his family and loved ones.

It is evident that the story means a great deal to Hattori, who left behind his own past to tie his fate with that of the Jewish people. "After my conversion, I lost many things: my mother country, my friends and even my family," Hattori explains. "But, thank G-d, I was able to find my place in our Holy Torah. If I no longer have a motherland, then the Five Books of Moses are my motherland, and if I lost my friends, then the Talmud and the Codes of Jewish Law are my companions. And if I no longer have a family, then the mitzvot will serve as my parents, my brothers and my offspring."

Shavei Israel reaches out and assists Lost Tribes and "Hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. These include the Bnei Menashe of India, the Bnei Anousim of Spain, Portugal & South America, the "Hidden Jews" of Poland and others. Its website is at It welcomes your support.

This article is archived at jews-in-japan/from-japan-to-jerusalem-the-story-of-moshe-hattori/? lang=en. It is an excerpt from a much larger article entitled "Choosing Judaism," featuring the life stories of converts from all different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. These remarkable modern-day converts, following in the footsteps of Ruth, left behind everything they knew to find their spiritual home in Judaism. It was published in Jewish Action, the Magazine of the Orthodox Union.

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Posted by Arutz Sheva, May 29, 2012

1. The 'Flame' Computer Virus Strikes Iran, 'Worse Than Stuxnet'
by Chana Ya'ar

Iranian security experts report a virus far more dangerous than the Stuxnet worm has struck the country's computer systems.

Dubbed the "Flame," the virus is one that has struck not only Iran, however, but a number of other enemies of Israel as well.

The Kaspersky Internet security firm is calling the "Flame" data-stealing virus the "most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed" and hinted it may have been created by the makers of the Stuxnet worm.

Kaspersky called the virus a "cyber-espionage worm" designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily in Middle Eastern countries.

The "Flame" has struck at least 600 specific computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, Kaspersky malware expert Vitaly Kamluk told the BBC. He added that the virus has probably been operating discreetly for at least two years.

"This virus is stronger than its predecessor," he said. "It is one that could only have been created by a state or other large entity."

Problems in Iran's computer systems are also continuing to surface in connection with the 2010 "Stuxnet" virus. The malware successfully disabled the computers that operated Iran's uranium enrichment facility. More than 16,000 of the Natanz facility's centrifuges were destroyed as a result of the cyber attack.

2. Yaalon Hints Israel behind Flame Malware
by Gil Ronen

Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon appeared to hint strongly in a radio interview Tuesday that Israel is behind the Flame malware that has attacked computers in Iran and elsewhere.

Asked about the attack, Ya'alon told IDF Radio: "Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a meaningful threat — it is reasonable he would take various measures, including this one."

"Israel has been blessed with being a state rich in top level high-tech. These tools that we take pride in open up various possibilities for us," he added.

Ilan Froimovich, the representative for Kaspersky in Israel, told IDF Radio that the malware is able to collect information in methods that have never been seen before. "The program can transfer files, send screenshots, give keyboard typing patterns and even record audio files," he said.

The program is controlled from a remote computer, the expert said, and only begins operating when it receives an instruction to do so. "That is why it is hard to detect, because it is not active all of the time. This virus is so sophisticated that it can change [its own] characteristics and develop in accordance with instructions. It is a masterpiece of programming, not something that a bored student or some guy, talented as he may be, could do."

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 29, 2012

1. Israel's Left is having a field day in attacking the Israeli public for its "racism" against African infiltrators. The Left always thinks that attacking and demonizing other Israelis will make them want to vote for the Left. Haaretz is including such denunciations as part of its daily morning doses of treason. And the foreign press and its anti-Semitic fellow travelers are chortling in delight.

So just what is going on?

First, let's shine some light of accuracy upon the usual media horse manure about Israel. Israel has for many years been an attractive employment base for foreign "guest workers," who have been welcomed into the country by the many tens of thousands and come to Israel in the first place because of employment opportunity and attractive wages. Almost all of the home care workers for elderly Israelis are foreign guest workers. These usually enter the country legally, although there are often problems when their visas run out because they do not want to leave. They prefer to remain in Israel and be "exploited," the nonsense term universally used by the Left to refer to their employment by Israelis.

Second, until recently the bulk of guest workers were from the Far East. Filipino day care workers became so common that the Hebrew word "Filipino" is used as a synonym for day care workers, such as "Where is your Filipino from? Mine is from Sri Lanka!" For years the bulk of guest workers (including in the construction industry and in agriculture) were Thai, Filipino, and Chinese, with a handful from Sri Lanka and Romania and Central/South America. They were accepted with affection and approval by almost all Israelis and were never regarded as much of a social problem, even when they stayed on too long beyond their visas. They were hard working and well behaved, almost never involved in crime. The East Asians of course were not "white" and so their welcome and acceptance shows the lie in the claim that Israelis are protesting against the Africans because the Africans are not "white" like Israelis.

Things began to change a few years ago when masses of African infiltrators started entering the country. In most cases they simply walked in from the Sinai Peninsula, where even today the border with Egypt is wide open. Successive Israeli governments refused to erect a security fence along much of the border, to preserve the pretense that Israel is at peace and in harmony with Egypt, even after repeated terrorist infiltrations and atrocities carried out along this unsecured border. The gap in the border controls was also used to smuggle in the bulk of the prostitution "manpower" in Israel, largely women from Eastern Europe. It is how all the drugs enter Israel.

And it is how the masses of African infiltrators came in.

At first, the media tried to paint the Africans as desperate "refugees" fleeing the massacres in the Sudan, and indeed a handful were from the Darfur. The media hectored Israelis about how "we too were desperate refugees" and with "remember the stranger among you" quotes from the Bible, almost the only quote the Leftist journalists know from the Bible. (Never mind that the Bible is referring to righteous converts to Judaism.) Never mind that to enter Israel the Africans had to enter Egypt first where no one was murdering them or preventing them from seeking work THEREt. But the wages in Israel for such "refugees" were at least ten times higher than in Egypt. And they did the math.

Meanwhile, the business about the infiltrators coming from the Sudan is literally an urban myth. At least two thirds of the infiltrators now in Israel are from Eritrea, an impoverished despotic Moslem country on the Red Sea crawling with Islamofascist terrorist groups. They come to Israel for the wages. It is widely believed that al-Qaeda terrorists are among them.

And unlike the Thais and Filipinos, they are decidedly NOT hard working and well behaved. Many carry diseases and many more take to crime. There have been repeated attacks on Israelis, especially women, by the Eritreans, and the crime stats in South Tel Aviv are in the stratosphere.

The Israeli Left is overjoyed by the flooding of Tel Aviv by the Eritreans. That is because the Left supports ANYTHING that makes Israel a less Jewish country or undermines the existence of the country demographically. The Lefties would prefer an unlimited Palestinian "right of return," but are willing to make do with south Tel Aviv being converted into an African slum. The Africans live eight to a room and seek work illegally, getting paid under the table. Until now the government turned a blind eye to the problem.

The Left loves seeing Tel Aviv Africanized just as long as no Africans move into any buildings in which leftist yuppies live. Instead, the Eritreans crowd into the neighborhoods of low-income blue-collar Israelis who do not have the capital to flee the neighborhoods for safer, better ones. Curiously, the Leftists have never proposed that maybe the Moslem Eritreans should all seek work and move to nice homes in the Gaza Strip or in the territories now under the control of the Palestinian Authority, their fellow Moslems. I have not heard of a single Eritrean moving there.

South Tel Aviv residents are enraged and are increasingly holding rowdy street protests demanding a solution. In some of these, the protesters let of steam and throw curses and even a few rocks. No African has been killed by the hotheads and as far as I know none has even been injured. This has not stopped the anti-Semites from painting the protesters as the moral equivalents of Nazis on Kristallnacht.

Far too little and far too late, the Israeli government is reluctantly looking for "solutions," including putting illegals into holding prisons in the Negev for up to three years. A smarter move would be to pay Eritrea some cash and then ship them all back home from out of Eilat. And of course the Netanyahu people are STILL not seriously trying to close the border. I would also suggest that, until the Eritreans are deported, they be sent to live in Hashomer Hatzair (Marxist) kibbutzim and in the buildings in which anti-Zionist leftist faculty members at Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion "University" live. I am sure at least 60 could be fit into Neve Gordon's apartment.

2. Always a pleasure and a duty to read Melanie Phillips:
28 May 2012
Zionism and bigotry
Published in: Daily Mail

In the wake of the festival of Shavuot, when Jews have been celebrating the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai from where he presented them to the Jewish people camped at its foot, I have been brooding over the fact that Zionism has become a dirty word in Britain and the west.

For many in these societies, Zionism has now become equated with racism. This group libel, once regarded with revulsion by decent people when the Soviet-Arab axis got the UN to endorse it in 1975, has now become the prism through which the BBC, academia, the artistic and theatrical world and much of the rest of the cultural establishment now frame all references to Israel.

This helps explain the attempted boycott of the Israeli theatre company Habima, playing Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at London's Globe theatre this evening in conditions of the tightest security (apparently the expected interruptions by bigots have so far been relatively minor). The profound malice and ignorance behind such reflexive demonisation of Israel are rendered all the more hallucinatory by the sanctimonious and unchallenged assumption of the moral high ground which these idiots believe they occupy.

This is as grotesque as it is terrifying. Zionism is no more nor less than the self-determination of the Jewish people — as a people, and not just as adherents of the Jewish religion. Jews are in fact the only people — as a people — for whom Israel (ancient Judea and Samaria) was ever their national homeland. Those who deny Zionism thus deny Jewish peoplehood and the fundamental right of Jews to live as a people in their own ancestral homeland, Israel.

Unique in the world, Jews are both a people and adherents of a religion. Intrinsic to and inseparable from the religion of Judaism is the land of Israel; more specifically, the centrality of and longing for Jerusalem and its Temple. Deny that centrality and you rip the heart and soul out of Judaism. Those who deny the right of the Jews to Israel and Jerusalem deny the right of the Jews to their own religion.

Judaism is like a stool supported on three legs — the nation, the religion and the land. Saw off any of these legs and the stool collapses. Does this mean that all Jews are Zionists? Of course not, no more than it means that all Jews are religious. But just as the hatred of Jews on theological grounds has always threatened the lives and safety of all Jews including those who are not religious, so the anti-Zionist hatred of Jewish self-determination is a form of bigotry which threatens the lives and safety of all Jews, whether or not they are Zionists. And the fact that there are some anti-Zionist Jews who themselves hate the expression of Jewish self-determination in the form of the State of Israel is a manifestation of that same self-same bigotry no less for being such a tragically twisted example.

The anti-Zionist madness of our time is thus far more pernicious even than hatred of Israel, pathologically obsessive and malevolent as that is in itself. Bad enough that for so many people in Britain and the west, Israel has been successfully demonised as a pariah state on the basis of a unique systematic campaign of falsehoods, distortions and libels about its history and behaviour, untruths which have nevertheless become the unchallenged basis for public discussion.

But far worse even than this is the assumption underlying this lazy defamation, that Zionism is a creed that is itself a particularly aggressive kind of racism or colonialism. This vicious prejudice has turned truth, reason and decency inside out. The right of the Jews to their own historic national homeland has been recast, entirely falsely, as a usurpation of the 'right' to that land of 'Palestinians' — who never actually existed as a discrete people in the first place. Those Jews who are Zionists now find themselves as a result cast as racists and social pariahs — merely for asserting the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their own historic homeland.

Those who are driven by a vicious and bigoted hatred have thus been allowed to cast the victims of their hatred as themselves hateful people. Zionist Jews are thus defamed and victimised many times over — and by those who have the gall to claim the moral high ground in doing so, from luvvies Emma Thompson and Ken Loach to the boycotters and thugs who harass and bully Zionist Jews on campus.

This is a truly chilling situation, reminiscent of the mass brainwashing and hijacking of thought that took place in the Soviet Union — not surprising when you consider the Soviet-Arab axis that back in the seventies set out to destroy Israel by capturing and subverting the western mind. In practical terms, it means that by definition it is not possible to persuade people what has actually occurred and what the true facts are, since such propositions will be dismissed out of hand — on the basis that everyone knows that the lies about Israel are actually the unchallengeable truth.

But just as in the former Soviet Union, there are plenty of decent, rational people who do understand very well what is happening here, and its broader and lethal implications for the safety of the entire western world. For those people and others who have yet to be persuaded — not to mention the duty to record this infamy into the memory of the world — the truth behind this terrible departure from reason and decency over Israel and Zionism must continue to be publicly told.

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

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, May 29, 2012

Will Professional Boycotters Retaliate?

The Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank fired a Christian employee who refused to wear a scarf to cover her hair as part of uniform for female staff. Salameh said that she "refused to wear the partial head cover because it is against my principles," and is religious coercion. "The bank uniform registered at the trade and industry ministry does not include wearing anything to cover my hair," she added.

Hijab - traditional Muslim dress - is not required by law in Jordan and not all Muslims, let alone non-Muslims, choose to wear it. Queen Raina of Jordan is frequently seen in public and on TV without a headscarf. She has stressed that all women should have the right to choose whether to adopt hijab.

Just imagine how much news it would create if a Muslim woman was sacked by a Western bank for her religious beliefs! This is a perfect opportunity for Israel's antagonists to prove that they are not anti-Semites. Will they protest against this act of discrimination and call for boycott of Dubai oil and its banks?

There have been many anti-Israel boycotts instigated in recent history by so-called Palestinian supporters. Those people who have been supporting them have a perfect opportunity now to prove that they are not anti-Semites. Will they start a boycott movement against the Dubai Islamic Bank? Will they exercise the same ferocity and zealousness protesting against Muslim countries, including Palestinian Authorities for discriminating again st Christians and other minorities? Will they protest against discrimination and abuse of women? How many Westerners must rot in Islamic prisons of so-called friendly to the West Muslim countries and denied justice in the shadow of deafening silence due to the Western countries' oil dependency ?

Another Proof that Pakistan is not Friend

A Pakistani surgeon, Shakeel Afridi, recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason. In addition to his jail sentence, he was fined 320,000 rupees ($3,500). He had worked for years as a surgeon in Khyber, a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. He was sacked as a government doctor two months ago. (Pakistan, as all are Muslim countries, from Indonesia to North of Africa, is not a friend of Western democracies. How many snubs are required before realising it?)

Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak

Why are Western democracies allowing immigration of Sunni and Shiite refugees, when there are so many Arab/Muslim Sunni and Shiite dominated states? In Iran or Saudi Arabia they would enjoy familiar culture and language, and would happy living under Sharia Law. Deliberate resettlement of Muslims to Western countries is a planned Islamization of the world!

Something International Archaeology does not Discuss

Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,700-year-old seal that bears the inscription "Bethlehem," in what experts believe to be the oldest artifact with the name of the ancient Jewish town, Bethlehem. The tiny clay seal's existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said. (International Archaeologies, in fear of reprisal from Muslim countries, do not like to talk about Jewish roots of the Holy Land. Archaeological digs are not allowed or conducted under close government 'supervision' in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Syria and Lebanon. Arabs are afraid of proof of their illegitimate claim!)

No Loyalty - No Citizenship!

Jewish students and parents attending the Hebrew University graduation ceremony for students who earned their BA degrees in Social Sciences were shocked when Arab students refused to sing Israel's national anthem. One father of an excited new graduate said: "This is not a single event, but a symptom of a much larger phenomenon in which Israeli Arabs refuse to recognise the Jewish character of the state. We lie to ourselves as a people: they enjoy everything that Israel has to offer, but at the moment of truth they do not identify with the country. If they are unable to sing the anthem, at least stand and show respect." (What would Saudi Arabia do to its citizens in the case like this?)

Knesset Lobby for Annexation of Judea and Samaria

A new Knesset lobby will be formed. The new lobby will call for Israeli law to be applied in Judea and Samaria . The lobby aims to provide a public platform for discussion of various issues relating to annexation of Judea and Samaria, including diplomatic, security-related, financial and demographic concerns.

Another Neglected Issue

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning that Israel could be swamped by illegal migrants from Africa. He says if Israel doesn't stop it, then "60,000 infiltrators are liable to become 600,000, and lead to the eradication of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state." More than 50,000 Africans have poured into Israel since 2005, seeking to escape wars and poverty. (Israel has a history of not addressing issues and creating chronic problems!)

PA TV Encourages Violence Against Christians and Jews

A poem was recited during a PA TV children's program. This poem, according to the host of the show, teaches children "responsibility and belonging." The messages of "responsibility and belonging" in the poem include insulting Christians and Jews, referring to them as the enemies of destiny and encouraging violence against them. (Forget about violation of the Oslo Accords, this is the Islamic barbarism in the 21st century!)

Israel Becomes Lab for Electric Car Network

After more than $400 million in outlays and months behind schedule, dozens of electric cars have hit the road in Israel. Drivers can swap their depleted batteries for fully charged ones at a network of stations, receiving a charged one with 100-mile range in five minutes. The concept: to wean the world from oil and eliminate the biggest hurdles to environmentally friendly electric cars - high cost and limited range.

Iran just Wants to Build N-Bomb

Talks in Baghdad were the second round in the latest series between the P5+1 group of world powers and Iran over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear programme, with earlier negotiations held in Istanbul last month. An Iranian official said, that "the Western parties want to continue these negotiations at any cost. This is not our position".

Israel Revives Military Option

Israel has withdrawn its pledge to US President Barack Obama not to strike Iran's nuclear sites before the November presidential election after he rejected its minimal demands for nuclear negotiations with Iran . Obama had rejected Israel's toned-down demands for Iran to at least to halt high-grade uranium enrichment, export its stocks of material enriched higher than 3.5 percent grade and shut down production at the Fordo nuclear plant near Qom. For six months, the Obama administration tried to sweeten the bitter pill of this rejection by bumping up security aid.

Setting Stage for the Strike

The Republican-led House of Representatives has approved the use of force if Iran threatens the US and its allies with nuclear weapons. "It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States , its allies or Iran's neighbours with a nuclear weapon."

Regime Change is Objective - Israel May Suffer later

Syrian rebels have received their first third generation anti-tank weapons, 9K115-2 Metis-M and Kornet E. They are supplied by Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies following a secret message from President Barack Obama upping the military stake in the effort to oust Assad. (Helping Islamic terrorists does not work and creates more problems! CIA trained and supplied weapons to Al Qaida during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? The US has not learnt its lesson!)

Quote of the Week:

"All the shady characters of the world are at work against us. Rich, servile Jews, dark, fanatic Jewish obscurantists, in combination with the Vatican, with Arab assassins, English imperialist antisemitic reactionaries - in short, all the dogs are howling" - Weizmann - Anti-Semitic bigots, of any shade, just love hating Jews. There is nothing new under the sun!

Torah Doesn't Allow Giving Up Land by Elad Benari

A senior delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met on Tuesday with Ambassador Andrew Standley, the Head of the European Union in Israel, to present the Torah view on the issue of giving up land to the Arabs.

The rabbis made it clear that the majority of rabbis in Israel and abroad are of the opinion that it is absolutely forbidden, according to Jewish law, to give up an inch of the Promised Land to the Arabs.

The rabbis also cited the halakha in the Jewish Code of Law Chapter 329, that the sanctity of life overrides all other considerations and giving up land has proven more than once that it leads to violence, bloodshed and instability.

"As rabbis we are committed to peace and to promoting peace, but a true and lasting peace, not one that will blow up in our faces before the ink of the agreement has a chance to dry," they told the ambassador.

Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin, Director-General of the RCP, asked the ambassador how long the EU will continue the futile exercise of supporting a "territory for peace" formula, which has proven over and over again that it is really "territory for terror."

"The EU is urging Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. We did that in Gaza and what did we get - 10,000 missiles. Do you want that to happen in Judea and Samaria too?" Rabbi Lewin asked Standley.

Rabbi Shlomo Rosenfeld, the Rabbi of Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley, emphasised that it is precisely the EU, representing the European countries where the Holocaust took place, that must bear the responsibility for a secure Israel.

"What is happening today is an extension of the Holocaust," he told Standley. "The Jewish people are again being made a scapegoat for the lack of world peace while the Palestinian terrorists and murderers are depicted as innocent peace seekers. I want to state in no uncertain terms that the EU's one sided support of the Palestinian demands is an extension of the Holocaust."

... Legally, Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is not occupation, despite the widespread use of the term in this regard, as the land in question was actually illegally occupied by Jordan in Israel's 1948 War of Independence, although it was originally slated to be part of the Jewish homeland.

Israel Ancient Map -Empire Kingdom of King David and King Solomon
Israel Ancient Map -Empire Kingdom of King David and King Solomon

Israel-Ancient Israel
Israel-Ancient Israel

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

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Posted by Jacques Neriah, May 28, 2012

Executive Summary

  • The battle over Syria has descended into sectarian strife led by extreme Salafists and other Islamic splinter organizations in a carefully orchestrated uprising coordinated and fueled by al-Qaeda operatives.

  • The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group, could well be in a process of disintegration, as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) did not recognize its authority. Yet the FSA is no longer the sole force in the fight against Assad.

  • As in Egypt, in Syria the Muslim Brothers have succeeded in appropriating (some would call it hijacking) the revolt and ultimately becoming its backbone. Moreover, Muslim fighters from around the globe are coming to join the ranks in the battle against Assad.

  • The gradual transformation of the Syrian opposition into a movement led by extremist Muslims allied with al-Qaeda does not serve the opposition well. The majority of Syrians do not identify with those radicals. The more the opposition wears the mask of al-Qaeda, the more there is cohesion in the ranks around Assad.

  • Recent street fighting in Tripoli, Lebanon, between Alawites and Sunnis is a reflection of the wider war between two alliances, with Syria, Iran, and Hizbullah opposed by an alliance led by Saudi Arabia and its allies, including its Salafist and Muslim fundamentalist troops.

  • In addition, the battle over the future of Syria is symptomatic of the revival of the Cold War between the West - with the U.S., UK, France, and Turkey backing the anti-Assad forces - and Russia, steadfast behind the Alawite regime.

Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. This article was published in the Institute for Contemporary Affairs (Vol 12 # 13, 28 may 2012) by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA).

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 28, 2012

I've done this a few times lately, and each time the situation has been a crisis. But the urgency of this situation transcends every other situation I've written about.

There is a boy of nine here in Israel who has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer around his heart. It was discovered because he had a persistent cough that would not go away. Every major medical center — including top flight places in the US — that has had its doctors review the pictures (MRI, whatever), has said that it is inoperable. They will not touch it.

The prognosis is so grim that the mother has made a decision to decline chemotherapy, so that he should not be made totally miserable in his last weeks or months.

There is, then, nothing but prayer. And I ask it of each of you, and that you put out the word as extensively as possible. Miracles do happen, and we cannot turn our back to that possibility.



I know of his case because his father lives across the street from my daughter, in Beit Shemesh. I know that Jay is a lively, active little boy who just days ago was riding his bike. He is aware — as much as a nine-year-old can be aware — of his medical problem, but he is restless and bored in his hospital bed and wants to go back to riding that bike. He does not understand that he may never leave his bed. He has a seven year old brother who is deeply attached to him.



And then, on to the news...

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared during an interview with ABC News yesterday that the military option to hit Iran is available and ready if needed. This echoes a statement made recently by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.

However, Panetta made clear, the preference is still to go with negotiations


Just a day before Panetta provided this throw-away statement, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, vice president of Iran and head of its Atomic Energy Organization, said that Iran has "no reason" to stop enriching uranium at 20%.

Abbasi-Davani also announced that "Iran will build a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Bushehr next year," near Iran's sole existing nuclear power plant.


And as if this were not enough, Abbasi-Davani declared that the "reason and documents" provided by IAEA have not convinced Iran to give the agency permission to inspect the Parchin military complex (where it is believed that work towards development of nuclear weapons may be going on).

Last November, the IAEA had reported that Iran had built a large containment vessel at Parchin for tests that were "strong indicators of possible weapon development." Now the suspicion is that work is being done at Parchin to cleanse the site of evidence of that testing.


A day before that, on Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report indicating that Iran's average monthly enrichment of uranium has accelerated drastically since February — actually almost doubling the stockpile of 20% uranium in three months. What is more, the IAEA found traces of uranium that had been enriched to 27% at the Fordo facility.

The US Institute for Science and International Security says Iran's total production, if additionally refined, would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons.


So we see that Panetta's declared "preference" for negotiations is in the face of this evidence that neither negotiations nor sanctions is having the slightest effect on Iran's behavior and nuclear intentions:

The US and its negotiating partners are prepared to wait a month and then go into another round of "negotiations." (Which will apparently will be in Moscow and not Geneva as I had read.)

There is no conclusion on the part of American decision-makers that the military option is "needed."

I might call the situation pathetic, or contemptible, but this would not begin to describe it.


I should add in passing that Iran has now confirmed that it has sent troops to aid Assad in his crackdown on his people in Syria. (More about Syria below.)

Spin is an amazing phenomenon. The Iranian take on this, from General Ismail Qa'ani, deputy-commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Qods Force:

"If the Islamic Republic was not present in Syria, the massacre of civilians would have been twice as bad. [Iran] physically and non-physically stopped the rebels from killing many more among the Syrian people."


Beyond supporting Assad, Iran is also assiduously courting Lebanon in case Assad does fall:

"Iran's ardent courtship of the Lebanese government indicates that Tehran is scrambling to find a replacement for its closest Arab ally. It is not only financing public projects, but also seeking to forge closer ties through cultural, military and economic agreements.


Again? Still? Fatah and Hamas are said to be renewing efforts to form that ever elusive unity government. Today officials from the Central Election Committee were to meet in Gaza with an eye towards setting up the situation for elections — which are now anticipated to take place in about six months.

In the interim, it is said that there will be a temporary government established. According to the Palestinian Arab news agency Maan, Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah reconciliation team, says Abbas and Maashal will be meeting soon. An organizational meeting in Cairo will establish the time for that meeting — Egypt is brokering these negotiations.


If you're dubious about whether this deal will finally come together, you should know that, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, so are a great many Palestinian Arabs:

"...the Cairo agreement came as a surprise because it coincided with mounting tensions between Fatah and Hamas, particularly in wake of the PA's ongoing security crackdown on supporters of the Islamist movement in the West Bank."

And then there is the fact that Abbas has just sworn in a new cabinet for the West Bank, an act that Hamas said was a fatal blow to the unity agreement.


I should add here that in April, Hamas held the first round of secret leadership elections in Gaza — with elections in Judea and Samaria and external areas to follow. The outcome of these elections is seen as significant and may perhaps impact the unity arrangements.

According to Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the results so far indicate:

1) An increase in the power and independence of leadership in Gaza. This is at least in part because external leadership — currently headed by Maashal — left Damascus and has dispersed to various places.

2) A rise in power of Hamas's military-terrorist wing. This indicates a desire of those heading this wing to be involved more broadly involved in the political sphere. This does not indicate that there will be a shift in policy at present, for there are restraining factors. But down the road this shift is likely to create more instability in Gaza that makes the situation more explosive. (Emphasis added)

For details:


But speaking of Palestinian Arabs...

A number of people have sent me the link below, from MEMRI, and I thank them. It provides a clear (undoubtedly inadvertent) statement, from the mouth of a Palestinian Arab, as to where his "people" are really from. English subtitles.
This should be bookmarked and shared broadly.


Elliott Abrams writes in today's Israel Hayom about "Disgrace in Syria":

"Headlines around the world this weekend tell of a massacre in Syria:

"...President Barack Obama's announcement of a new 'Atrocities Prevention Board' a little over a month ago defies parody, when he is in fact watching atrocities occur.

" is it that Assad is still in power?"

"How indeed? In large part because Obama has provided no leadership, apparently preferring to watch these massacres rather than taking the risk of acting. He is, to use Clinton's phrase, standing idly by, making speeches from time to time..." (Emphasis added)


Aaron David Miller, writing for CNN, weighs in on the subject of Obama's relationship with Iran:

"The nuclear issue needs to be seen in the context of the broader dysfunction in the relationship between Washington and Tehran...

"There's almost no issue on which Washington and Tehran agree. Given the level of suspicion and mistrust, the odds of finding a sustainable modus vivendi soon are slim to none.

"We wouldn't have the tough sanctions we do if it weren't for President Obama's and the Europeans' fear of an Israeli strike. The Iranian regime won't stop, and will inch closer to a breakout capacity to produce a weapon. The Israelis will then have to decide whether to launch a military strike or bring enough pressure on the Obama administration to do so..." (Emphasis added)


It's time we had a "good news" article:

From the JPost:

"Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has registered a patent for a new technique that improves tenfold the performance of any type of sophisticated microscope and imaging system without making hardware changes.

"The discovery, which has just been published in the Nature Materials journal, has aroused great interest in the scientific world and industry, being described as a 'breakthrough with the potential to change' these fields.

"Their innovative method substantially improves the resolution — the ability to distinguish between details — of images seen through microscopes.

For details:

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, May 28, 2012

American intellectual Will Durant's The Lessons of History — co-written with wife Ariel and published in 1968, when the Soviet Union posed a threat to the United States — still offers insightful lessons, especially concerning American-Muslim relations.

In the chapter titled "History and War," the Durants posit some hypothetical speeches and approaches concerning war. First, an imaginary U.S. president says before the leaders of communist Russia:

If we should follow the usual course of history, we should make war upon you for fear of what you may do a generation hence.... But we are willing to try a new approach. We respect your peoples and your civilizations as among the most creative in history.


We shall try to understand your feelings, and your desire to develop your own institutions without fear of attack. We must not allow our mutual fears to lead us into war, for the unparalleled murderousness of our weapons and yours brings into the situation an element unfamiliar in history. We propose to send representatives to join with yours in a persistent conference for the adjustment of our differences, the cessation of hostilities and subversion, and the reduction of our armaments.... Let us open our doors to each other, and organize cultural exchanges that will promote mutual appreciation and understanding.... We pledge our honor before all mankind to enter into this venture in full sincerity and trust. If we lose in the historic gamble, the results could not be worse than those that we may expect from traditional policies. If you and we succeed, we shall merit a place for centuries to come in the grateful memory of mankind.

Once the imaginary president concludes, "the general smiles," write the authors, and retorts:

You have forgotten all the lessons of history and all that nature of man which you described. Some conflicts are too fundamental to be resolved by negotiation; and during the prolonged negotitiations (if history may be our guide) subversion would go on. A world order will come not by a gentlemen's agreement, but through so decisive a victory by one of the great powers that it will be able to dictate and enforce international law, as Rome did from Augustus to Aurelius. Such interludes of widespread peace are unnatural and exceptional; they will soon be ended by changes in the distribution of military power.

Now, consider how well this hypothetical exchange, written in 1968, applies to the current situation between the U.S. and the Muslim world:

First, the "imaginary" president has become all too real, in the person of Barack Obama. Above and beyond his so-called "historic Cairo speech," where he reached out to and cloyingly flattered the Muslim world, everything this man has subsequently said and done—from expunging all references to Islam in U.S. security documents, to ordering NASA to make Muslims "feel good" about themselves—far exceeds the expressed outreach of the imaginary president.

Next, the situation has changed in a way that makes it even more naïve and irrational for the U.S. to be so appeasing of the Islamic world. Whereas the U.S.S.R was a nuclear-armed superpower—making dialogue and cooperation logical, practically risk-free options, since, as the imaginary president concluded in his speech, the alternative was war, anyway—that is not the case with the Islamic world, which is currently militarily inferior, and thus need not be appeased.

Quite the contrary, by giving one's opponent time and freedom, "subversion would go on," as the imaginary general correctly points out, whether Muslim nations like Iran grow to become nuclear powers, or whether Muslims in the West work to subvert their host nations. This threat of subversion is especially apt considering that Islam's own teachings promote subversion and deceitful tactics.

Likewise, the imaginary president's idealistic approach was directed at Russia, which, while communist for several decades, still shared in the Western heritage and worldview, and so may have been better expected to reciprocate and cooperate—certainly more so than the Islamic world, the culture of which is fundamentally alien to such utopian principles expressed by the imaginary president, the utopian principles expressed by Obama. Accordingly, the general's observation, "Some conflicts are too fundamental to be resolved by negotiation," is especially applicable to today's conflict with the Islamic world—a conflict that stretches back some 1400 years.

Even so, as the Durants indicated, no matter how utopian an American president might be, it was a safe assumption (in 1968) that at least America's generals would maintain sobriety. Yet today, that, too, no longer appears to be the case, as naivety and censorship have so thoroughly penetrated the war colleges and intelligence agencies—evinced by a politically-correct Pentagon, an Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense who absurdly refuses to associate "violent Islamist extremism" as motivating al-Qaeda, and an Intelligence Chief who thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular."

What, then, are the "lessons of history"? This: Ideas that were once recognized as overly naïve, put only in the mouths of imaginary characters, have, in the course of half a century, become so mainstream, despite the fact that the political circumstances that may have warranted them then, vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, have changed to make their application now, with the Muslim world, wholly irrational—a sort of slow-motion suicide.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Contact him at This article appeared in Front Page Magazine entitled 'A President's Appeasement Politics' and is archived at:

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Posted by Aryeh Zelasko, May 27, 2012

hebrew inscription. iberian peninsula
Archeologists of the Jena University found this marble plate with a Hebrew inscription at an excavation site in the south of Portugal. (Photo: Dennis Graen/FSU)

This article was reprinted from materials provided by Friedrich Schiller University Jena, via AlphaGalileo.

Archaeologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) found some of the oldest archaeological evidence so far of Jewish culture on the Iberian Peninsula at an excavation site in the south of Portugal, close to the city of Silves (Algarve). On a marble plate, measuring 40 by 60 centimetres, the name "Yehiel" can be read, followed by further letters which have not yet been deciphered. The Jena Archaeologists believe that the new discovery might be a tomb slab. Antlers, which were found very close to the tomb slab in the rubble gave a clue to the age determination.

"The organic material of the antlers could be dated by radiocarbon analysis with certainty to about 390 AD," excavation leader Dr. Dennis Graen of the Jena University explains. "Therefore we have a so-called 'terminus ante quem' for the inscription, as it must have been created before it got mixed in with the rubble with the antlers."

The earliest archaeological evidence of Jewish inhabitants in the region of modern-day Portugal has so far also been a tomb slab with a Latin inscription and an image of a menorah — a seven-armed chandelier — from 482 AD. The earliest Hebrew inscriptions known until now date from the 6th or 7th Century AD.

For three years the team of the University Jena has been excavating a Roman villa in Portugal, discovered some years ago by Jorge Correia, archaeologist of the Silves council, during an archaeological survey near the village of São Bartolomeu de Messines (Silves). The project was aiming at finding out how and what the inhabitants of the hinterland of the Roman province of Lusitania lived off. While the Portuguese coast region has been explored very well, there is very little knowledge about those regions. The new discovery poses further conundrums. "We were actually hoping for a Latin inscription when we turned round the excavated tomb slab," Henning Wabersich, a member of the excavation reports. After all, no inscriptions have been found so far and nothing was known about the identity of the inhabitants of the enclosure.

Only after long research the Jena Archaeologists found out which language they were exactly dealing with, as the inscription was not cut with particular care. "While we were looking for experts who could help with deciphering the inscription between Jena and Jerusalem, the crucial clue came from Spain" Dennis Graen says. "Jordi Casanovas Miró from the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona — a well-known expert for Hebrew inscriptions on the Iberian Peninsula — is sure that the Jewish name "Yehiel" can be read, — a name that is already mentioned in the Bible." Not only is the early date exceptional in this case, but also the place of the discovery: Never before have Jewish discoveries been made in a Roman villa, the Jena Archaelogist explains.

In the Roman Empire at that time Jews usually wrote in Latin, as they feared oppressive measures. Hebrew, as on the re-discovered marble plate, only came back into use after the decline of the Roman supremacy, respectively in the following time of migration of peoples from the 6th or 7th century AD. "We were also most surprised that we found traces of Romans — romanised Lusitanians in this case — and Jews living together in a rural area of all things," Dennis Graen says. "We assumed that something like this would have been much more likely in a city."

Information about the Jewish population in the region in general was mostly passed down by scriptures. "During the ecclesiastical council in the Spanish town Elvira about 300 AD rules of conduct between Jews and Christians were issued. This indicates that at this time there must have been a relatively large number of Jews on the Iberian Peninsula already," Dennis Graen explains — but archaeological evidence had been missing so far. "We knew that there was a Jewish community in the Middle Ages not far from our excavation site in the town of Silves. It existed until the expulsion of the Jews in the year 1497."

In the summer the Jena Archaeologists will take up their work again. Until now they have excavated 160 square metres of the villa, but after checking out the ground it already became clear that the greater part of the enclosure is still covered in soil. "We eventually want to find out more about the people who lived here," Graen explains the venture. "And of course we want to solve the questions the Hebrew inscription has posed us."

Aryeh Zelasko lives in Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem. He is Director of Sales and Marketing of Israel Visit ( which provides information and an internet buying facility for American visitors to Israel. This article is archived at It was reprinted from materials provided by Friedrich Schiller University Jena, (2012, May 25) via AlphaGalileo.

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Posted by Norman Berdichevsky, May 27, 2012

This is an edited and abridged translation of the Danish transcript of a talk presented at Grundtvig Hall, Vartov, Copenhagen, May 15, 2012.

With my apologies to Rudyard Kipling for paraphrasing his famous quote about England, "What do they know of England who only England know?" I was only convinced of the validity of his remark upon being invited by the Danish Free Press Society to deliver an address on May 15, 2012. The subject of my talk was my recently published book "An Introduction to Danish Culture" (Why I Wrote These Two Books NER, June, 2011) and why the book is also relevant to a Danish readership and not just an orientation for foreigners. The audience agreed with the conclusion of my talk that knowing and appreciating one's one culture and history enables one to understand how and why its uniqueness deserves to be preserved and the loss that would ensue if it were gone.

Lars Hedegaard: Our guest, Norman Berdichevsky is unusual in that he is an American and lives in Florida yet speaks Danish! He lived in Denmark for a number of years and taught geography at Aarhus Katedralskole. By his education, Norman is a cultural geographer and that is noted in his work. The evening's starting point begins in Norman's latest book, 'An Introduction to Danish Culture' that I have had the pleasure of reading and I recommend it highly. Even though I have read a great deal of Danish history and culture, I can say that in certain regards, Norman knows more than I do on the subject. It is unusually well written and can be bought for the meager sum of 200 Kroner this evening. Hurry, there aren't many left. It is always exciting when someone from abroad comes and is able to provide new perspectives on our culture and history and I must say also gives a certain pride in us having grown up in this land. At the end of his talk, we will have coffee and a round of questions. I give the floor to Norman.

Norman Berdichevsky: Thank you for that recommendation and the invitation from Lars Hedegaard and the Danish Free Press Society to speak here this evening as their guest, and also for the VIP treatment I got — being driven from the airport in a taxi just like the Prime Minister or a sports star. It is for me a great honor and pleasure to use the same podium as have many outstanding foreign writers and freedom fighters such as Geert Wilders, Ibn Warraq, and Melanie Phillips.

I must admit that I was surprised when I learned that it was my book, "An Introduction to Danish Culture" and not the other one, "The Left is Seldom Right", also published in 2011 that was chosen as the subject for this evening's topic. That book is here and sells for only $20 via Amazon and $10 as an e-book!

I wrote the book on Denmark precisely in order to inform Americans about Danish culture and Denmark. Unfortunately, they have a well-deserved reputation for poor geographic knowledge about the rest of the world but I asked myself what could I present in order to teach the Danes about their own country?

As I am a Jew, a relevant speech occurred to me — that of Meir Aaron Goldschmidt's words from his famous address in May, 1844 at Skamlingsbakken in support of the pro-Danish movement in South Schleswig, "I am a Jew; What am I doing among you?" And then he answered his own question. "I am your brother, Here is my hand; It can write and it can strike — Decide how it will be used!"

To avoid any difficulties as Lars has experienced with the courts, I wish to stress that these words taken from the quote are to be understood only metaphorically! I don't have any weapons — just my two hands!

I am also glad to refresh my knowledge of spoken Danish. I have just come from a 10 day visit to Israel where I met with old friends and family and spoke Hebrew most of the time. I hope I don't come to mix the two languages up. They are both languages I am very fond of and have played a large role in my career and research interests. I was proud of the fact that I was given the task in 1987 from a committee of the Knesset to translate all the Danish electoral laws into Hebrew — this was thought of as part of a reform proposal to changes in Israel's electoral system — based on proportional representation; probably the most democratic but also the most impractical and unstable electoral system. An easier and more entertaining task was to translate Danish film producer August Bille's film — with the American title "Twist and Shout." Perhaps someone remembers this film — it was a good one and a lot more fun that the Danish electoral laws.

The idea to write the book stemmed from my reaction to the Mohammad Cartoon crisis. It was shocking for me that a large segment of the American press and media, and of course, first of all The New York Times as well as EU forums did not support Denmark. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Denmark's, history, culture, traditions and tolerance must have known that the widespread misjudgments of the country were totally incorrect and misleading and a form of a spiritual pogrom.

The contributions of Danes to Western civilization and their many accomplishments made me anxious to work in instituting a "Buy Danish" campaign. I made all those I knew and through my contacts with New English Review for which I write an essay each month, to support the campaign and to know that the crisis was due to several extremists among the country's Muslim imams who bore responsibility for misleading provocations.

When I had completed the book, I had learned much more than I had expected regarding Danish contributions to science, especially astronomy, physics, chemistry, and art, literature, philosophy, religion, architecture, navigation, exploration, agriculture, engineering, film, humor, music, dance, and sport.

Why begin with Tycho Brahe and astronomy? A is the first letter of the alphabet — I thought it appropriate to start with astronomy — as recommended by Lars Hedegaard and because I knew nothing about him when I began. Tycho Brahe was indeed the pioneer of modern science — he was the first to observe a super-nova and draw the conclusion in defiance of church doctrine that although God may have created the universe — it was not unchangeable but scientists had the obligation to observe and measure it carefully to explain how it behaves.

What then is my relationship to Denmark and how was it established? I was married to a Dane for 16 years. My son and three grandchildren live here and I am proud to call a half dozen Danes as my old and true friends.

I lived in Aarhus from 1978 to 1984 and taught geography for three years at a Danish gymnasium (junior college) - Aarhus Katedralskole, which, by the way celebrated its 800th anniversary a few years ago. So I consider myself a colleague of Grundtvig whose statue is kneeling outside in the courtyard — he graduated in 1798 from Aarhus Katedralskole. I have a close knowledge of the country's history, language, humanist and Christian traditions, tolerance, respect for human rights, democracy, folklore and customs acquired during the seven years I lived and worked here.

As a writer, I felt that these experiences were sufficient for me to use in the form of a book for the benefit of a wider public. According to Lars Hedegaard, the Danish Free Press Society and other friends, my book could make a contribution to remind many Danes about their own country, heritage, honor and self-respect.

Where did my original interest in Denmark begin — even before Danish girls? - I was an enthusiastic viewer of foreign films in my youth and have always loved languages and literature. I believe that the movie theater still exists in Manhattan on Broadway and 95th Street called the "Thalia." I remember that it was there, as a 16 year old, that I saw two films that made a very strong impression on me. They were Dreyer's Ordet (The Word) based on Pastor Kaj Munk's play and Martin Andersen Nexø's novel 'Ditte Mennesbarn' (Ditte, Child of Man).

How could it be, I asked myself, that these two writers, just like Hans Christian Andersen could use such a small language as a canvas to paint such a great work — similar to the Hebrew language and the Bible? To give an impression of how little most Americans know about Denmark, whenever I asked friends and acquaintances — many with a higher education — what they regarded as the most translated work in literature's history, there was no one who could guess it was Hans Christian Andersen's most popular "Fairy Tales." You can find the most translated (into more than 120 languages) in the museum in Odense and even though Andersen is hardly popular in the U.S. today, his work is an integral part of the educational syllabus on literature in China and Russia!

In 1963 I travelled to Israel and met a beautiful Danish girl volunteer, Bente Elizabeth from Aarhus. We met each other in a kibbutz in Galilee, fell in love, and married. I remember that I had to "explain" to friends in the United States that my sweetheart was an authentic Dane even though she had dark hair (very much against their preconceptions), just as later the same issue arose when Anders Fog Rasmussen became Prime Minister — again a Dane with very dark hair. Whenever I mentioned Jutland (Jylland in Danish), my American friends didn't know anything about the geographic contours of Denmark and where Jutland was — they thought it must be an imaginary country in Disneyworld.

My book starts with the country's geographical situation and how ferries and bridges were created between Jutland and the islands. Next is a chapter on Denmark's wind power and the success it has brought in the creation of a mighty export branch. This is followed by my presentation of the special climatic, geographic and cultural characteristics in Faroes, Greenland and Bornholm and the special status of these regions and their peripheral character.

The next chapter deals with The Danish West Indies (The contemporary U.S. Virgin Islands) and how they came to be sold to the United States in 1917 after 60 years and several unsuccessful rounds of negotiations and almost comic episodes and scandals committed by three different Danish scoundrels. This chapter also illuminates the extraordinary role played by Sephardim (Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin) in the development of the islands' economy.

I then take up the Danish pedestrian streets which I have researched and written about in various topical magazines and how the project was originally rejected by the entire Danish press who argued that Danes would never accept any limitation on the sovereignty of the automobile and that it would be simply unrealistic to expect that they would wish to imitate an urban model that was more suitable to the outdoor life of Mediterranean countries. By the way, the idea was also rejected as "typically American" because the architect who introduced the idea was an American who first tried it out in Kansas City. Of course, the press was proven totally wrong.

The book then turns to the second section on language, culture and social conditions. For most English speakers, their impression of Danish is that of someone speaking with marbles in his mouth. They claim they can't understand a word of Danish but when they see it as a text, they are often able to make out as many as half the words. I give the English reader a Danish text in which every word has a cognate (word of common origin) and challenge the reader to comprehend it.

(See pages 65 and 74 in the book for the text of the story in Danish and English respectively. During my Copenhagen talk, I read the short story in English and challenged the audience to immediately do a mental translation into Danish). Just to give the first sentence (among 20) as an example: Min far kom hjem med skib. (My father came home by ship).

In the next chapter, I visit the Jewish cemetery in the provincial town of Faaborg and interpret the Hebrew inscription on several tombstones. I report on how the Danish Jews living outside Copenhagen completely disappeared from the landscape and the possible ways that they assimilated.

Then I turn to the confrontation and polar opposites often expressed about the relationship of Jutland (Jylland in Danish) and Copenhagen. Can I see from a show of hands how many of you grew up in Jutland? (about a third or more of the audience). Copenhagen, more than any capital city with the possible exception of Montevideo in Uruguay, totally dominates the country's political power, economic and cultural center.

I am certain that the great majority of Danes know very little about the history of Danish-Americans and how they differed from other Scandinavian immigrants to America and the unusual and embarrassing episode in the state of Iowa in 1918 when the governor angrily advised Danish immigrants who were dissatisfied to return to Denmark. If you want to know more about this episode — read the book. I also go through the most difficult period of Danish-American relations during the Vietnam War.

When I was living in Denmark, I was proud to carry my photo I.D. card as a foreign resident with the right to live and work in the country. I was also clear about there being some Danes, just as among every people, who have prejudices against others because of their origin, religion, skin color, race, sex, language and political views. I can certainly testify that while I lived here from 1978-85, the majority of prejudices expressed publicly were regarding Americans.

As an incentive to read my book on this matter, I will read from an article I wrote to the Aarhus Stiftstidende (daily newspaper), published 20 December 1981, to prove that the criticism of "Something is Rotten in Denmark" or USA must always be measured relatively with regard to the circumstances found in different societies to determine where immigrants can best thrive as trusted and valued fellow citizens and where they have the greatest chances to develop their skills on an equal basis.

I read my letter to the editor explaining how as a teacher of Geography, almost all the material recommended by the Ministry of Education to learn about American society appeal only to the most negative, crass commercial and vulgar examples found and portrayed by the mass media and sarcastic dramatizations such as the television series Scum and Dallas that were popular at that time. I mention that important American figures who came as immigrants just before or after the world wars such as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski were foreign born and continued to speak English with a strong accent and ask the audience a rhetorical question: Can you imagine in the near future a similar situation in Denmark where leading figures in public life will have such names?

I believe so. We can today hear Danes boast about their tennis star Caroline Wozniacki — as much beloved as the queen. I am certain that in the future there will also be ministers and other "stars" with foreign names but who will be authentic Danes in every way and just as authentic as any Larsen, Hansen or Rasmussen!

What do Americans who have lived here think of Denmark? That was the subject of three articles that appeared in the newspaper Information in 1981, "Americans in Denmark — Who are They, Why did they come? Some were politically active on the radical Left — socialists, Vietnam war opponents, those who had supported the Black Panther Party, feminists, Jewish intellectuals and those who just wanted out of the "rat race." They felt themselves in exile like Emory, Carol, Bob, Thea and myself and all had, despite their belief that Denmark was a "saner or healthier society" than the USA, some critical observations after a residence of ten years or more that something was lacking in Denmark — that in spite of their many differences they felt that one had to be careful not to excel or work at too fast a pace because of the reluctance of many Danes to be exposed to competition.

(I quote from the article in Danish in Information relating the experiences of the individuals in their own words)

We should remember the words of Grundtvig from 1848. "All those belong to a people who consider themselves as such — have an ear for its mother tongue and a passionate love for the fatherland." If one thinks so, and if you love the Danish language and the Danish homeland, then you are Danish.

Chapter 11 deals with the immigration of Danes to the USA and their motives. The twelfth explores and explains the concept of hygge (roughly translated as coziness) and challenges the oft repeated claim that the Danes are the "World's Happiest People" — if only that were so! Many polls claim this as a fact but use statistics essentially based on economic and social well being which is not the same as happiness. I doubt the claim — in any case, many Danes are themselves surprised to discover that according to objective, accurate statistics, there is almost an identical frequency of suicides in Denmark as in the United States.

This question is also important because it is often exploited in the American political debate where Denmark is frequently represented as the archetypal West European social welfare state. Can hygge (coziness) exist simultaneously with janteloven (i.e. the envy many Danes feel about those who are better off than they are)? Was Shakespeare right when he wrote "Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark" or did he actually mean Sweden?

The third part of the book looks at eleven famous Danes - Piet Hein, Victor Borge, Grundtvig, Kirkegaard, H C Andersen, Arne Jakobsen and Danish Design, Arne Sørensen and the Dansk Samling (Danish Unity) movement, Queen Margerethe, Tycho Brahe, Niels Bohr and Karen Blixen.

I'll read now a brief excerpt in the original English text from the book on Hans Christian Andersen. Every salesman knows that it's worth giving the public of potential buyers a sample taste of the product.....

(I read aloud an excerpt in English from the book on Andersen's significance as an opponent of terrorism and the need for writers to face the problem of evil. His work 'Det Utroligste' (The Most Incredible Thing) from 1872 places him among those great writers who opposed Nazism and Communism in the 20th century yet many Americans have a naive picture of him as a kindly old grandfather reading fairy tales. A groups of Danish scholars helped publish new editions of Det Utroligste as part of the Resistance Movement to the occupation in World War II.

I also take up and explain why the long lived myth about King Christian X and the yellow Star of David has persisted and refuses to die and disappear. Another chapter on Danish-German-Jewish relations deals with the Danish minority in South Schleswig in the 1930s and the help they rendered to the Jews in the town of Flensburg. It was a completely unknown episode when I began my research. Flensburg became the only city in Nazi Germany where a large unruly crowd defied the Nazi S.A. guards in the streets and broke through their blockade to do business with a Jewish owned department store.

Some of my conclusions will probably be surprising or humorous for a Danish audience. Among these are:

Hans Christian Andersen's legacy for the Danish resistance movement in World War II.

Woody Allen's misuse of Soren Kirkegaard's philosophy.

What the Danes mean by the phrase "Swedish Conditions" and what the Swedes mean when they talk of "Danish conditions."

The fourth section of the book describes important historical events and epochs; first of all the period of the great Viking sea voyages and conquests that created a powerful Danish empire that crossed the North Sea to the British Isles and across the North Sea to the Baltic islands and coasts. This is recalled in the poem that speaks of Denmark's glorious past when "You were once the master in the entire North, now you are called weak" and makes one aware of a certain Danish schizophrenoia with two national anthems.

In contrast to the one recalling the great mythical and powertful past is the modest one that sings of the country's more modest present, mild landscape and its mother tongue. The period of decline continued unabated and there are those Danes who welcomed the decline, reduction and weakness resulting in the loss of Norway, Southern Sweden (Skåne), Schleswig-Holstein, control over the Sound separating Denmark and Sweden, Iceland, the West Indies and perhaps Greenland and the Faroes in the future. They are always ready to place the blame on Denmark being weak and small and find fault with the great powers, Germany, Sweden, the U.S., Russia, Britain, the U.N., the EU, God or fate.

After that are two chapters on the long Danish-German conflict over the border that stretched from the Middle Ages to 1947 when the Danish government finally decided to end the debate without a new plebiscite.

It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote "What do they know of England who only England know." Those who know Denmark best are those who are most aware of what they would miss living somewhere else. They know that in other lands and climes and among other nations, they would miss much that is typically Danish — they know what makes Denmark Danish and what will remain so even if the country is not as homogeneous as it once was! It is no longer a snailshell but it is their home they value and love and bound with tradition. This is what many Danish readers told me they were reminded of by reading my book.

I concluded my talk with a lengthy quote from H.C. Ørsteds comments in 1843, "Betragtninger over den danske karakter" (considerations of the Danish national character) — that the rolling hills and cultivated fields of a landscape manicured by the sustained effort of many generations of Danes, while not so breathtaking as a majestic mountain range or a striking waterfall, are just as individually distinct and characteristic of the people who nurtured it through the generations and are indeed worthy of respect.

Norman Berdichevsky holds a Ph.D. in the geography of Israel and the Middle East from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1974). He is the author of 'The Danish-German Border Dispute' (Academica Press, 2002), 'Nations, Language and Citizenship' (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004), 'Spanish Vignettes; An Offbeat Look into Spain's Culture' (Santana Books), and one of the contributors to the anthology, 'Best Jewish Writing, 2003. His latest book is 'The Left is Seldom Right.' Contact him by email at This article appeared in the New English Review (

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Posted by Fred Reifenberg, May 27, 2012


Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at See more of his graphics at

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at See more of his graphics at

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Posted by Ted Belman, May 27, 2012

The wanton slaughter by Syrian forces of 92 confirmed victims, 32 of them children under ten, at the Homs village of Al-Houla Friday, May 25, was the most horrifying atrocity in the Middle East this week, but not the only one: In Sanaa, six days ago, al Qaeda's suicide bombers, having penetrated Yemeni military ranks, detonated two tons of explosives at a parade rehearsal killing more than 100 soldiers and civilians and injuring 400.

Yet, according to the New York Times, after 15 months of bloodshed, President Barack Obama is working on the Yemenbi model for a plan to push Bashar Assad out of office, while "leaving remnants of his government in place. The Yemeni model replaced President Ali Abdullah in Sanaa with his vice president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Whereas US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Assad and his "cronies" for the al-Houla massacre, the "Yemen plan" would leave in place those very "cronies," including Assad's close relatives, who are responsible for massacres not only in al-Houla, but also in Homs, Hama, Idlib and Deraa, to name a few.

According to the NYT, when Obama tested the idea with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the Group-of-8 summit in Camp David last Saturday, May 19, the Russian prime minister raised the example of "Mubarak in a cage," referring to Mubarak's court appearance at his trial. Obama then "countered with Yemen, and the indication was, yes, this was something we could talk about."

This scrap of dialogue lifted the veil from a key aspect of Obama's broader Middle East program and the role he has assigned Moscow for carrying it through. This role was first revealed exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 542 of May 25 which reported that the US president is acting to bring the Russians into a partnership for securing deals on the Iranian nuclear program and the Syrian crisis.

So far, his venture has had two results:

1. The Iranian nuclear impasse and the outcome of the Syrian civil war have been more tightly integrated than ever before.

2. Any deal reached by the US, Russia and Iran on the two issues would have to entail a carving-up of Middle East influence among those three powers.

As for Israel's role in the ongoing bargaining, we also disclosed in DEBKAfile of May 19 that Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak had agreed to stand back for Barack Obama to put his interim deal with Iran to the test. Despite their reservations, they decided to go along with it after receiving assurances from the White House that Iranian violations would result in the immediate termination of negotiations and bring military action forward as the sole remaining option for stopping a nuclear Iran.

The US president promised to put his accord with Israel before the G-8 summit. And he did.

But for now there is no deal although Israel, in effect, gave Obama six months' grace to explore his diplomatic initiative with Vladimir Putin and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before turning back to the military option.

But as the days pass, major hurdles are piling up in the path of what some observers hail as Obama's "Grand Bargain," and others his "Grand Failure:" The Six-power talks with Iran have failed to persuade the ayatollahs to give up uranium enrichment up to weapons-grade; the world wants actions not words to halt the brutal massacres in Syria; rising bloodshed in Yemen continues to cripple the country. Obama's hopes of a crisis-free six months for electioneering in peace look more and more like pipe-dreams.

The bargaining with Tehran is likely to stay stalled because Iran's leaders take Obama's deal with Israel as a six-month respite from a military threat. So why should they hurry in May or even June to reach a compromise with America on its demand to stop 20 percent uranium enrichment?

Bashar Assad and his army chiefs likewise feel US hands are tied by Obama's hopes of a breakthrough with Iran and they can safely carry on with their "unspeakable crimes" for the next six months under the Iranian-Russian umbrella. Words however strong will not discourage him from sending tanks to crush every last opponent and their children. And Israel, seeing the US president lurching from one bargaining position to another to keep his initiative afloat, shifts uncertainly in and out of its unwritten commitment to withhold military action against Iran until May.

None of the parties involved in granting Obama his six-month grace period, whether Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei, Binyamin Netanyahu or Bashar Assad, can be sure that he will in fact be returned to the Whie House in May. And even if he is, how much will be left of his Grand Bargain.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel.
This article is from DEBKAfile and is archived at:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 27, 2012


About 200,000 immigrants from Lebanon and Syria live in Mexico. Islamists have been subverting Mexico, as gateway to the U.S.. Close to the border, they smuggle and run drugs into the U.S., extort, kidnap, and enslave people. Hizbullah has long worked with S. American drug dealers, but the routes to the U.S. are new to it. The beheadings we hear about in Mexico probably are done by Hizbullah men in Mexican drug gangs.

They pose as Mexicans, in order to enter the U.S.. The border is not well guarded. A Muslim cleric has discussed the ease of smuggling in anthrax in a briefcase, and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans in an hour.

They also have organized a process of converting Mexicans. Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Muslims go from village to village, preaching the Salifist, or most radical version of Islam, specifically imbuing hatred of non-Muslims. Islamist doctrine approves of deception, extortion, and of kidnapping non-Muslims and having sex with the kidnapped women.

One of their techniques is to fabricate grievances [as they do against Israel and against the U.S..] Women wear the jijab. Former jihadist Tawfik Hamid finds a correlations between wearing Muslim headscarves and increased terrorism in Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, and the U.K.. [I think he means that the headscarves reflect the ideology that also foments terrorism.] The Mexican government is worried and is investigating.

One form of deception in Mexico builds racial suspicion. The jihadists tell villagers that Islam accepts people of any race, but that Christianity accepts only whites. [Tell that to the Baptists in New York, the Christians in Korea, and the growing Protestant churches in Puerto Rico! Tell that to the blacks in Sudan, suffering from genocide by Muslims.]

Mexico eliminated a Hizbullah network in Tijuana. That network intended to strike against the West and Israel. Hizbullah coordinates with Iran, which works with Venezuela's dictator, who supports FARC, a narco-terrorist organization.

Another group had an arsenal, including heavy weapons, smuggled from Iraq (Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, 5/11/12,

We must, must, decriminalize the taking of narcotics.

Isn't interesting that Radical Islam foments and exploits racism, but leftists ignore it in favor of falsely denouncing Israel as racist.

Kidnap and rape. Now what was that about liking Islam for strong family values?

Against the U.S. and Israel, too, Islamists fabricate grievances. They rely upon ignorance of how Islam works. They are successful, since many Americans feel sorry for Muslims in the U.S., although they are one of the most successful groups of immigrants. Many people feel sorry for Arabs in the Territories and Israel, where Israel treats them better than do any Arab governments.

Banning the use of headscarves that prevent police from recognizing fugitives and that make it easier for Muslim enforcers to keep their own people in line is perhaps too late. A more important prophylactic would be to bar and expel Muslim immigrants. Islamists both hide among them, get support from many of them, and have a native, captive audience to radicalize. A few of the immigrants tip off police, but just a few. If more would, then we could count on whole communities to cooperate against the Radicals. If a country wants to improve national security and to reduce crime, it must review its immigration policy.

The U.S. if finding it too expensive to seal the long, southern border from illegal immigrants. It had better find a way to do this, to keep terrorists out.

In Mali, Radical Muslims have seized the northern half of the country and intend to impose Islamic law (New York Times, 5/27/12). Muslims have seized part of all of Bosnia, Serbia, Nigeria, Armenia, Sudan, are fighting for part of the Philippines and Thailand.


MP Yasser al-Qady asked the Speaker of Parliament for more information about Israeli PM Netanyahu's formation of a coalition with the main opposition party.

MP al-Qady knows that such a coalition is meant to pass legislation and make decisions without delaying for politics. He suspects that the decision is about war, indicating that Israel is preparing for it. He thinks this endangers Egypt and the whole region ( , 5/28/12).

I think those suspicions reveal how regional Arabs analyze facts. The MP came to one explanation for forming the coalition, but, as I've discussed before, there are others. We know that Israel doesn't think sanctions on Iran will work in time to prevent the need to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons capability. Also, Iran keeps threatening Israel. So of course Israel is preparing for war. Should it be unprepared?

The MP should realize that Israel has no desire to war with Arabs; its concern is with Iran. Most Arab states would welcome cutting Iran's military down to size. Syria and Hizbullah might not, so there is where the Arabs could get involved.

If the odds were against Israel, the Palestinian Authority might join in. One could expect Abbas to broadcast an appeal for help, claiming as his group often does, that Israel is attacking al-Aksa mosque. Israel never has attacked it. Such an attack is foreign to the way Israelis think. In certain respects, the Arabs do not seem to understand how Israelis think.

The last thing Israel would want is for Egypt to join in. Unfortunately, Arab states have joined in wars on Israel, before. Any Arab state that refrains from such wars need not worry about Israel. The Arabs, however, have a myth about Israeli aggression, so they may think themselves in danger. This is not a rational anticipation by them. It seems to be taking seriously the Arabs' own false propaganda against Israel.

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

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 26, 2012

'We are in the direction of Germany of 30 years; half of Greek society does not believe in democratic values more..." says Greek Nikolas Marandzidis, a professor of Political History at the University of Macedonia, Greece. Mr. Marandzidis, is one of Greece's intellectuals. He is shocked by the rapid rise of extremists, particularly right-wing neo-Nazis. In an interview with the Globe, the professor did not mince words: "Greece is in the way of a Weimar Republic, established in Germany after World War I in the midst of a severe economic crisis which led to the rise in 1933, the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler."

Mr. Marandzidis said that the Greek extremists have now more than 7% of votes in parliamentary elections, the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party. (

How can a country that was the birthplace of democracy come to the current situation, with a right-wing Nazi success in the elections?

In Mr. Marandzidis's opinion, the first reason is the deep economic crisis that has overwhelmed the country. Another reason is the doubts of the legitimacy of the political system. He claims that a decade ago the Greek nation saw a great part of society challenging the political elites who are seen as corrupt and incompetent. The third reason is the existence of this language nationalists, populists and demagogues use, which breaks the barrier of the extreme right. This language, blames Western banks, Germany and the capitalists, and thus led the society to vote for a Nazi party. Adding all the other extremist parties and demagogues, 7% of the vote for right-wing rise to between 20% and 25%.

The result, Constantin Costopoulos, a biologist with two doctorates, sold everything he had in Greece and moved to Brazil. He thought it would be best to bet on an emerging market, such as Brazil. At 53 years, the biologist, an expert on fish farming in Greece and known in several countries, has just become an exile from the crisis, which is gathering strength. When Mr. Costopoulos boarded a plane to Brasilia, he took with him projects to make Brazil a major exporter of fish. His farewell words were, Greece is over, there is no hope in this country.

Mr. Costopoulos is not only a world-renowned biologist, he is also a man of property. And therefore in Greece they are astonished that he is selling everything. Meaning, four apartments in Athens. He had not yet decided whether to sell his home in the idyllic island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Greece. His wife, an architect, will wait for him to settle in Brazil and then close the bags and office and she will be off to Brazil as well.

The biologist has had seven companies in Greece, which mainly exported, globally, his great knowledge in aquaculture companies' operations. With Greece sinking, he thought it would be best to bet on emerging markets but excluded China, Russia and India, and chose Brazil. Late last year Mr. Costopoulos traveled in Brazil for two months to choose the place where he could apply his technology. He returned to Greece, convinced that Brazil, which imports fish, has enormous potential to become one of the largest producers and exporters of tropical species in the world.

Upon arrival, Mr. Costopoulos initiated a series of meetings with government officials to present his project and thus started a new life.

In the meantime, the distrusted Greek leaders have met without achieving a coalition. This triggered the Greek historian Alexis Tsipras, a star at the left end to say, "austerity in Europe political impasse further undermines the spirit of Greece; we are in the direction of Germany of 30 years."

And in France, the new president, François Hollande in planning to rob the rich and give their money to the poor, and so the rich have their own plan, they are leaving France in droves to take residency across the border in the French speaking Swiss cantons, i.e. the area of the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura as well as the French-speaking parts of the cantons of Bern, Valais, and Fribourg.

So what this all mean to the man in the European street?

We need to wonder if the illuminati understand that extremism for so called liberal causes will, invariably and inevitably result in a reaction of equal power in the opposite direction.

Apparently neither side does, so are we bound to face repeated cycles of the same ole same of the 20th Century with two World Wars that Europe has brought about?

People have had its fill of being used by the political "elites". Greece is an example were their policies have led to the collapse of the country. Greece is in terrible danger and so is, on a slight lesser degree, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and France while Italy is barely better.

In the United States, if Obama will remain the president, his country will join the club of the failing economies of Europe. And then, the world will no long have the American exceptional leader nation and it will keep on tumbling in the black hole it has dug for itself.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 26, 2012

Administrative detention by Israel of Arab terrorists will remain controversial, now that Israel has made concessions to the prisoners. Having found hunger-striking effecting in marring Israel's reputation, its enemies will do it again. Whereas Westerners think of concessions as resolving problems, Israel's enemies think of each concession as a stepping stone along a path to victory.

Administrative detention much be carefully structured and monitored, so it is not subject to abuse. Israel's structuring and monitoring of it has been ignored by the media. I believe that the system has not been abused against terrorists. I believe that the system has been abused against Jewish nationalists who oppose governmental appeasement of the Arab enemies of Israel. Against a few of those Jews, administrative detention, false prosecution, and internal exile have been used arbitrarily and sometimes brutally to prevent their public dissent.

The system, being an exception to standard procedure, was meant for protecting national security from dire threats. Israeli Jews who may or may not break the law do not threaten national security. Their being enmeshed under authoritarian measures really is political oppression.

Now see how NGO Watch shows that the issue was distorted. When it comes to Israel, anti-Zionist NGOs that may call themselves humanitarian favor inhumane persons and contend in their behalf unethically.

The NGOs try to slant public emotions by portraying the Arab prisoners as victims, whereas they are perpetrated war crimes.

The NGOs and media also imply that most Arab prisoners fall under administrative detention. Actually, only about 5% are. The issue is minor.

Most of the hunger strikers were Palestinian Arabs convicted of murdering Israeli civilians; only a few were held for suspected terrorist activity.

NGO Monitor accuses the NGOs of failing to acknowledge that most of the prisoners have been found guilty by trial. The rest have had a hearing by a judge. Indeed, Israel gets them before a judge fairly promptly. The judge bases rulings upon what must be credible evidence. If the ruling is unfavorable, prisoners have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Before the government struck a deal with the strikers, Israel's Supreme Court rejected the appeal for release by the two original strikers. The Court cited the men's continuing terrorist funding and other activities. It determined that they continue to menace Israeli citizens.

For all the noise about mistreatment made by the NGOs, the Court [which often sides with Arabs against individual Israelis or their State], found that the Israel Prison Service meets and even exceeds international legal standards about treatment of prisoners. The NGOs try to give an opposite impression. They are using the favorable notion of human rights to make Israel a pariah. [This would have the effect of enabling serial abusers of their own people's human rights to destroy Israel and its people's human rights.]

Another fact ignored by the NGOs is that administrative detention is a common practice for protecting national security in countries that respect human rights.

Likewise, the NGOs ignore the legitimate concerns by governments and their citizens over national security from terrorist attacks. These NGOs do not suggest alternatives so security agencies could produce evidence without its blowing the cover of government undercover agents. Defense lawyers could inform terrorist organizations what the security agencies know about them. Then the terrorists could thwart national security.

The NGOs have a political agenda against Israel. They feed their slant into media agencies such as New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, Huffington Post. Those media organs accept the press releases apparently without verifying them and perhaps without showing what Israeli authorities would answer. Here are some examples:

Human Rights Watch:

"It shouldn't take the self-starvation of Palestinian prisoners for Israel to realize it is violating their due process rights," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Israel should stop holding prisoners for extended periods without charge." (5/2/12

B'Tselem, 5/4/12, per Christian Science Monitor:

"Administrative detention is not meant to be used as a substitution for a criminal process," says Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem. "All the evidence is secret. It removes the ability of a person to defend themselves."

Amnesty International (AI), 3/23/12:

"Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to release Hana Shalabi and other Palestinians held in administrative detention, unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards."(

Addameer/PHR-I, 5/6/12:

"Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh are at risk of death as they enter their 69th day of hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention. In spite of their rapidly deteriorating health, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) is still denying regular access to them by independent Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel)-Addameer and PHR-Israel are outraged by the blatant breach of medical ethics committed by the IPS in regards to these most urgent cases and by the negligence of the Israeli High Court judges who have yet to make a decision regarding their petition." (

PCHR, 5/2/12:

"The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply concerned over the lives of two administrative detainees, Bilal Diab and Tha'er Halahla, who have been on hunger strike for 64 days. PCHR holds the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the two detainees' lives. PCHR calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israeli occupation authorities to immediately release Diab and Halahla, as they have been placed under administrative detention."
( 5/8/12 from IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis, 5/12/12).

HRW CONTENDS THAT ISRAEL VIOLATES prisoners' due process rights. As NGO Monitor explained, Israel does give them due process. In my opinion, terrorists are not entitled to due process. They are neither ordinary criminals nor POWs, but a lesser category, like pirates.

B'Tselem contends that prisoners should not be convicted by secret evidence. That is true of ordinary prisoners, but not terrorists, who would learn from revealed evidence valuable intelligence useful for their terrorist organizations' war on Israel.

AI is treating terrorism like ordinary crime, which it is not. Terrorists are like criminal soldiers. In wartime, one does not reveal one's intelligence sources and agents to enemy soldiers.

Adameer claims the prisoners have a right to medical review by a medical organization that is part of the effort to defame Israel. The prisoners do not have such a right. Nor is there any indication that Israel does not treat the prisoners medically.

PCHR holds Israel responsible for the lives of hunger strikers. But Israel doesn't make them starve.

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

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Posted by GWY, May 25, 2012

A short time ago, Iran's Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khomenei urged the Muslim World to boycott anything and everything that originates with the Jewish people. In response, Meyer M. Treinkman, a pharmacist, out of the kindness of his heart, offered to assist them in their boycott as follows:

"Any Muslim who has Syphilis must not be cured by Salvarsan discovered by a Jew, Dr. Ehrlich. He should not even try to find out whether he has Syphilis, because the Wasserman Test is the discovery of a Jew. If a Muslim suspects that he has Gonorrhea, he must not seek diagnosis, because he will be using the method of a Jew named Neissner.

"A Muslim who has heart disease must not use Digitalis, a discovery by a Jew, Ludwig Traube.

Should he suffer with a toothache, he must not use Novocaine, a discovery of the Jews, Widal and Weil.

If a Muslim has Diabetes, he must not use Insulin, the result of research by Minkowsky, a Jew. If one has a headache, he must shun Pyramidon and Antypyrin, due to the Jews, Spiro and Ellege.

Muslims with convulsions must put up with them because it was a Jew, Oscar Leibreich, who proposed the use of Chloral Hydrate.

Arabs must do likewise with their psychic ailments because Freud, father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew.

Should a Muslim child get Diphtheria, he must refrain from the "Schick" reaction which was invented by the Jew, Bella Schick.

"Muslims should be ready to die in great numbers and must not permit treatment of ear and brain damage, work of Jewish Nobel Prize winner, Robert Baram.

They should continue to die or remain crippled by Infantile Paralysis because the discoverer of the anti-polio vaccine is a Jew, Jonas Salk.

"Muslims must refuse to use Streptomycin and continue to die of Tuberculosis because a Jew, Zalman Waxman, invented the wonder drug against thi killing disease.

Muslim doctors must discard all discoveries and improvements by dermatologist Judas Sehn Benedict, or the lung specialist, Frawnkel, and of many other world renowned Jewish scientists and medical experts.

"In short, good and loyal Muslims properly and fittingly should remain afflicted with Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Heart Disease, Headaches, Typhus, Diabetes, Mental Disorders, Polio Convulsions and Tuberculosis and be proud to obey the Islamic boycott."

Oh, and by the way, don't call for a doctor on your cell phone because the cell phone was invented in Israel by a Jewish engineer.

Meanwhile I ask, what medical contributions to the world have the Muslims made?

The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world's population.

They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1988 - Najib Mahfooz

1978 - Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 - Elias James Corey
1994 - Yaser Arafat:
1999 - Ahmed Zewai



1960 - Peter Brian Medawar
1998 - Ferid Mourad


The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world's population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:

1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer World

1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin

1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - William Howard Stein
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Roald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Albert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1989 - Sidney Altman
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1995 - Martin Perl
2000 - Alan J. Heeger

1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 - Robert Fogel

1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1995 - Edward B. Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino

TOTAL: 129!

The Jews are NOT promoting brainwashing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non-Muslims.

The Jews don't hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants.

There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church.

There is NOT a single Jew who protests by killing people. The Jews don't traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.

Perhaps the world's Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.

Muslims must ask 'what can they do for humankind' before they demand that humankind respects them.

Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel's part, the following two sentences really say it all:

'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel."

Benjamin Netanyahu: General Eisenhower warned us. It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect: 'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened'

Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offends' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.

It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.

How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center 'NEVER HAPPENED' because it offends some Muslim in the United States?

Contact GWY at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 25, 2012

When Egypt's military regime disqualified a Salifi presidential candidate, among others, the Salafist, Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Gamaa Islamist parties demonstrated in front of the Defense Ministry. The media called this a "general" demonstration, although non-Islamist groups refused to participate.

The three Islamist parties had held a demonstration there earlier, too. Their banners proclaimed, "Jihad! Jihad,!" "Victory or Death." They shouted the Islamic war cry, "Allahu Akbar!" Leading them was Muhammad al-Zawahiri, recently released from prison for planning military operations in Egypt, etc.. With him was Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the Islamist party that had slaughtered about 60 European tourists in 1997.

At the Friday protest, Salafis tried to break into the Defense Ministry and tear down a barbed wire barrier. They had homemade bombs with them.

From a minaret nearby, jihadists fired upon the military. Troops stormed the mosque and arrested the snipers. The Muslim Brotherhood commented not against jihadist criminals but, "We also condemn the aggression (from the military) against the house of God and the arrest of people from within."

Unlike the ruling military council, the Egyptian army is popular. The public noticed that Islamists attacked their own country's army, killing one and injuring others. Egyptians, including reporters, are wondering who is the enemy. Against whom are the Islamists waging jihad? Not, in this case, Israel. Islamists are. It doesn't matter which group of Islamists, all are violent and extremist.

Egyptians used to think of jihadists as fighting for Egypt's honor. Now they find themselves under attack. They are starting to realize that jihadists would oppress them (Raymond Ibrahim,, 5/10/12,

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

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Posted by Roberta Dzubow, May 25, 2012

As you well know, turning over any soil anywhere in Israel may well lead to more Jewish history. Gaza — where Samson brought down the Temple of Dagon, and David defeated Goliath, Bethlehem — Rachel's Tomb and David's birthplace, Jerusalem — Israel's Eternal Capital, the Site of the First and Second Temple, Shiloh — the Ark of the Covenant was enshrined here for 389 years, and on and on. The few listed areas on the map are only a tiny portion of the incredible three thousand years of Jewish Biblical history.

map top map bottom

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Posted by Roger Bodle, May 25, 2012

David Littman passed away yesterday. His life story as a comfortable British Jew who became a Mossad agent, human rights activist and historian is extraordinary and heroic. In recent years, Littman has spoken before the UN challenging their anti-Israel agenda and publicizing Hamas's commitment to extinguish Israel. His single most notable accomplishment was the clandestine evacuation of 530 Moroccan Jewish children to Israel, which was undertaken in 1961, the same year that the photo on the left at the top of this post was taken.

Read this piece by Michael Garrote and ask yourself the question, would 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon, who recently and repeatedly has sought out stories denigrating Israel, ever consider doing a segment on Mr. Littman?

In 2009 he was presented with the "Hero of Silence" citation by Israeli President Shimon Peres for his role in bringing to Israel Moroccan Jewish children. In his acceptance speech, Littman recounted what North African Jews endured:

I wish to say now a few words on the history of North African Jewry, which offers us a profound lesson in courage, perseverance and moral force, in spite of constant humiliation and discrimination that lasted well into the 20th century in Morocco. It only ended in 1912 with the French Protectorate, when the dhimmi system was abolished, whereby even the Chief Rabbi of Fez, Vidal Sarfaty, had to go barefoot on leaving the mellah as described in a 1911 document that I published in 1975.

Littman's wife, who goes by the pen name Bat Ye'or, is a well-known writer about the plight of non-Muslims in the Middle East

by Michael Garrote,

I met the late David Littman and his wife, the author Bat Ye'or, in 1983 in Geneva. Since then, their respective works have often guided me. I would like to tell here a little known episode of his career.

The late David Littman, representated several NGO's at the UN. Few know, however, he was also a sayan (Hebrew for "helper") for Mossad.

For over twenty years, Littman fought the influence of Islamic countries at the United Nations with his legendary composure. David Littman was the first to invite the famous Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky to speak at the UN on March 5, 1987. The USSR delegation left the hall in protest. No other speaker has so disturbed the dictatorships of the Middle East. In 2008, he caused an outcry by referring to the lack of women's rights in Muslim countries. In 2009, Littman was again taken to task by the Egyptian Ambassador to the UN Council on Human Rights, for having aroused the ire of Pakistan. His courage was not new.

In 1961, the young idealistic Littman landed in Morocco, where, at the age of 27, he became an undercover agent to help Jewish children in the Kingdom emigrate to Israel. Aliyah was prohibited at that time and Jews suffered humiliation and persecution in an Arab world inflamed by Egyptian President Nasser's nationalism.

A few months before Littman had started his mission, Moroccan security dismantled a Mossad human smuggling ring. The officers captured were mercilessly tortured. However, the Mossad refused to abandon the Jews of Morocco.

They decided to mount a new operation and awarded substantial resources to the Mossad Moroccan network. The legendary director general at the time, Isser Harel, who had captured the Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina, had appointed Alex Gatmon as station chief in Casablanca. Gatmon was one of the most experienced field officers of the service. In Tel Aviv the mission was overseen by the number two in Mossad, Shmuel Toledano, a specialist on the Arab world. The operation was officially headed by the Jewish Agency, operating through an NGO, the Work to Save the Children (OSE), based in Geneva.

The idea was to send someone to Morocco, to take the children out of the country under false pretenses and secretly transfer them to Israel. Mossad found in Littman a providential man. They gave him a codename, "Mural".

Over the period from March to July 1961, Littman went to Casablanca and was introduced into high society as an Anglican who came to Morocco to promote holidays for disadvantaged children. He explained to Moroccan authorities, that his NGO had set up a camp in Morgins, in Western Switzerland. Supported by his wife Gisele, and Diana, their 5 month old daughter, the young Englishman organized the clandestine departure of hundreds of Jewish children. Littman did not know he was working for Israeli intelligence, and thought that he was working for a humanitarian organization (OSE) and the Jewish Agency. Yet his contacts with Mossad agents in Morocco, "George" (Gad Shahar) and "Jacques" (Pinhas Katzir), enabled him to accomplish this mission beyond all expectations. Secret transmissions , clandestine meetings, false identities, Littman spent 130 days in hostile territory, under exceptionally hazardous conditions.

If he had been discovered, he could have been condemned to life imprisonment and possibly death. Thanks to his ingenuity and his innate sense of communication, Littman facilitated the emigration of 530 children to Israel. The "collective passports" that Littman had obtained for Moroccan Jewish children were reused by the Mossad to negotiate with King Hassan II for the departure of most Moroccan Jews. 100,000 of them were able to emigrate to Israel during "Operation Yakhin" between 1962 and 1964. David Littman was celebrated in Israel on May 1, 1986 by Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, his deputy, and Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. He was also recognized in January 2004 in Ashdod by the then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz [now Deputy Prime minister in the new unity government in Israel].

This unknown page in the history of Israel was revealed in a documentary ("Operation Mural" Casablanca 1961). The film was released in Israel in 2007 and initially on television. It was premiered at the Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco and shown at other festivals around the world including French Television in Canada. On June 1, 2008, the Littmans, their two daughters and three granddaughters, as well as key Mossad agents in Operation Mural were honored at the official residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem to commemorate the Operation. [On July 1, 2009 Littman received Israel's intelligence high honor, The Hero of Silence Order].

Translated and edited from the original French Reproduction authorized with mention of the blog,

Contact Roger Bodle at

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Posted by John Cohn. M.D., May 25, 2012

Dear Dr. Alberts,

I am writing in reaction to the cover photo selection and accompanying caption the May 18 edition of Science that addressed the issue of human conflict. While I applaud your effort to present this problem in a truly scientific way, and recognize that elsewhere in the publication you report on the terrorism that triggered such a response, it seems disingenuous to claim that of all the world's conflicts, a building identified as destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces was not selected for "any political message or endorsement".

The picture was of a severely destroyed building, perhaps an apt illustration of the destruction that the planet's many wars, and the hatred that drives them, has caused. Looking back over several years of Science covers, available on your website, it is rare, however, to see any recognizable humans, let alone one which would trigger such a negative visceral response. The covers appear to be selected, as with most use of photographs, to add visual impact. Most of your covers are abstract, nice to look at while illustrating the marvels of science.

In this case, the explanation reads, "We are all too familiar with human conflict, such as this bombing on 13 August 2006 in Beirut, Lebanon, by the Israel Defense Forces. In the special section on Human Conflict (see page 818), we examine the origins of conflict, trace its path through history, and consider its modern manifestations. We also analyze our innate ability to foster peace and look at societies that eschew war. This cover was chosen for visual imagery and not for any political message or endorsement".

I would respectfully suggest that explanation rings hollow. Nobody eschews war more than Israelis, who, unfortunately, also know the consequences.

If you wanted to show the universality and damage of war, the cover photo speaks for itself. If you wanted greater visual impact, there are many far better choices; from the killing fields of Cambodia, to the destruction of the World Trade Center, Rwanda, Hiroshima, Normandy, Auschwitz...unfortunately the list is endless. Those, of course, might all have been recognized as taking a particular side between victims you did not want to take as a global journal.

Indeed, I would have thought an editor would argue that the best part of the selected photograph was its lack of specificity, and use it without identifying where it came from. Humans do bad things to humans. Was that not the point of the special edition? Does it really matter who did what to whom in this particular picture, if that was your point?

But, in this case, you directly identified both who did the damage and who were the recipients. It no longer represented abstract human violence, but in a journal with global impact one more illustration of Israel, taken out of context, trying to defend itself from the very same violence and ethnic hatred you claim to reject.

Not good science, I am afraid—but unfortunately bad politics.

Best regards,

John R. Cohn, M.D.
Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics
Thomas Jefferson University & Hospitals
1015 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Posted by Roger Bodle, May 25, 2012

This was written by Itmar Eichner and it appeared May 23, 2012 in YNET news (,7340,L-4233225,00.html). Daniel Edelson contributed to this report

Nadav dreamt of being youngest Israeli to conquer world's highest peak. But his plans changed 300 meters from the summit, when he saw a Turkish climber lying unconscious on the ground — and decided to rescue him

Only 300 meters were between Nadav Ben-Yehuda and the title of "the youngest Israeli mountain climber to conquer the Everest summit." But Ben-Yehuda didn't hesitate for a second when he saw a Turkish climber lying unconscious on the ground.

"If I had continued climbing, he would have died for certain. Other climbers just passed him by and didn't lift a finger, but I had no second thoughts. I knew that I had to save him," said the 24-year-old law student from Rehovot.

Ben-Yehuda's dream has always been to conquer the Everest summit. Being a professional mountain climber, he has already scaled many mountaintops around the world. Just two months ago, before leaving for Nepal, Ben-Yehuda broke an Israeli record in stair climbing when he ascended 76 floors in the Moshe Aviv tower in Ramat Gan, 13 times consecutively.

Ben-Yehuda arrived in Nepal on March 19 and shed 18 kilograms from his weight while preparing to climb the world-famous peak.

But this climbing season, Mother Nature was unkind, causing massive snow storms and avalanches that claimed the lives of at least six people so far. Rescue helicopters that were called to evacuate stranded climbers only made the situation worse by creating wind turbulences that caused more snow avalanches.

Politics don't matter (Photo: Nitzan Arni, Nepal Embassy)

Ben-Yehuda was scheduled to start his journey to the summit last Friday, but decided to delay it by one day, due to the weather conditions and over-crowdedness at the base.

"I didn't want to get stuck at these heights, so I decided to sleep at a base that is located at an altitude of 8,000 meters," he explained. "It was a difficult night. I slept in a sleeping bag inside a rickety tent set up in between rocks."

'I didn't think twice'

The following day, Ben-Yehuda started the final stretch of his climb. "Throughout the route, I kept seeing bodies of dead climbers," he recalled. But Ben-Yehuda was focused on his goal, and knew that at the rate he was going he could reach the peak as early as sunrise.

Then, only 300 meters before reaching the coveted destination, Ben-Yehuda spotted Aydin Irmak, a Turkish climber whom he met at camp, sprawled unconscious on the icy ridge.

"People passed him by and didn't do a thing. I didn't think for a second about politics — the fact that he was Turkish and I was Israeli. I also didn't think about the glory. All I though about is that I can save this person — and that's what I did," Ben-Yehuda noted.

Everest peaks

The resourceful climber described the difficult journey down the mountain. "I attached him to my harness, and we started the descent. It was very hard to carry him because he was heavy. At times he would gain consciousness, but then faint again. When he woke up he would scream in pain, which made it even more difficult," he said, adding that it took 8 to 10 hours until they arrived at the closest base, located at an altitude of 7,900 meters.

However, the young mountain climber had one last hurdle to overcome on the way down when his oxygen mask broke. Shortly afterwards, Ben-Yehuda encountered another climber, from Malasia, who was also in his last breaths. At that moment he spotted a group of climbers who were making their way up the mountain. He shouted over to them, and asked that they give the two injured climbers some oxygen. By doing so, Ben-Yehuda also managed to save the Malaysian climber.

'Politics don't matter'

After they reached the base, Ben-Yehuda and Irmak were evacuated by helicopter to Katmandu, where they were hospitalized. Ben-Yehuda suffered from severe frostbites in his fingers because he had to remove his gloves during the rescue operation.

"I hope the doctors don't have to amputate them, because I want to keep climbing," he said, adding that despite the heavy cost, he does not regret saving his Turkish friend.

"I faced a choice — to be the youngest Israeli to ascent the Everest summit, which would have been good for my career, or to take the climber off the mountain and save his life. I picked the second option. I managed to do so thanks to all the training I did, which gave me enough power to descend the mountain while carrying another person on top of me."

Expressing his gratitude, Irmak, 46, told Yedioth Ahronoth, "If Nadav wasn't there, I would have died on the mountain. It was a miracle.

"I remember falling down. I woke up with Nadav standing over me and shouting my name. Nadav did a great thing. He built a bridge between Turkey and Israel, and our leaders can learn a lot from him. Politics doesn't matter much, what matters is human nature.

"I may have missed the summit, but I gained a new brother. Who knows, maybe one day we'll climb the Everest together," Irmak noted.

Meanwhile, in their living room in Rehovot, Nadav's parents — Yoram and Dorit — are bursting with pride. "He did the right thing, no doubt," said Yoram. "This is the education he received not only at home but also from his military service in Golani — a friend in need comes first."

Despite the hero's welcome that awaits him at home, Ben-Yehuda is upset about one thing — when people will ask him whether he reached the summit, he would have to say no.

Contact Roger Bodle at

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Posted by GWY, May 25, 2012

This was written by Ruth Spindler

Dear Friends-

We Jews believe that things do not happen by accident. There is a relationship between our efforts and the results-and the ways in which we bring G-d's presence into the world. Yet, even our ancient Sages acknowledged that not all aspects of our lives could be easily explained. Our Sages taught the following in the Talmud: "Everything depends on luck, even the Torah in the Ark."

What did they mean by using this example? In many congregations there are several Torah scrolls in the aron kodesh at any time. And yet, only one or two of the Torah scrolls are read from frequently — the others simply stay in the ark are hardly used. Anthropomorphizing the Torah scrolls that are not read from frequently, the Rabbis ask: "Why should this Torah have had such poor luck as to be read from so infrequently?"

We could argue equally that some Jewish holidays have mazal while others do not. If this were the case, certainly Shavuot would certainly be considered a holiday without a lot of mazal. Although it is one of the three pilgrimage festivals, it is the only one that is celebrated in the Diaspora for two days — instead of eight — as Passover and Sukkot are celebrated. In addition, every Jewish holiday has a symbol that is unique to that holiday: On Pesah we eat matzah for eight says; on Sukkot we sit in a sukkah and wave the lulav and etrog. But what is the symbol of Shavuot? Is it blintzes?

In fact, the symbol of Shavuot is Torah. Shavuot celebrates Zman Matan Toratenu — the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. But of course there is no symbol for the Torah. The Torah is unique unto itself. That is why we celebrate this Festival by studying Torah. In essence, Shavuot is the most important of all of our Festivals — because its central symbol — the Torah-is what we are asked to commit to each and every day of our lives — 365 days a year.

May this Shabbat and Shavuot increase our love for Torah, and our commitment to its teachings in our daily lives.

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameah,

Contact GWY at

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Posted by Stephen Kramer, May 25, 2012

Having recently finished the Pesach/Passover festival, Israelis are gearing up for the next religious festival, Shavuot, or Shavuos, the shortest of the three agricultural festivals (Shavuot, Succot and Pesach) during which pilgrims visit Jerusalem. Since ancient times, Jews have thronged the capital, Jerusalem, to celebrate there. Originally, until the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans, Jews would bring offerings to be sacrificed at the Temple. These could be purchased in the vicinity of the Temple or brought from afar. Then, as now, Jerusalem would be packed full of pilgrims (or tourists). Right before dawn of the holiday, one can see tens of thousands making their way to the Wall (Kotel) for early morning prayer services.

While Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, historically it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The period from Passover to Shavuot ("counting the Omer") is a time of great anticipation, covering 49 days or 7 full weeks. The counting of the Omer reminds us of the important connection between Passover and Shavuot: Passover freed us physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavuot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality. The sages point out that we are in a process of receiving the Torah on a daily basis, but that it was first given to us on Shavuot at Mt. Sinai. It is the giving, not the receiving, that makes the holiday significant.

Many (religious and secular) will have stayed up all night studying on the eve of the holiday. The practice of learning all night is a custom, rather than a biblical commandment, and is the expression of a desire to draw closer to God. It is also carried out to counter the behavior of the Jews who slept at Mount Sinai instead of waiting for the giving of the Torah! By staying up the entire night and studying, their descendants are rectifying the slight caused to the honor of the Torah. In the last decade, the phenomenon of all-night study has attracted many who are not religious, but nevertheless want to learn more about Judaism.

The world over, it is customary for Jews to eat a dairy meal at least once during Shavuot, but in Israel there is a mania for dairy foods at this time of year, especially soft white cheeses and cheese cake. Why dairy? Some say it is a reminder of the promise regarding the land of Israel, a land flowing with "milk and honey." Others say it is because our ancestors had just received the Torah (including the dietary laws), and did not have both meat and dairy dishes available.

The agricultural aspects of the holiday have made it a big deal for the kibbutzim (pl). Over the past century, non-religious Jews here celebrated the holiday in a nationalistic way, especially on the kibbutzim, the agricultural communes which are influential on Israeli culture beyond their numbers. Although the kibbutzim were (and are) mostly non-religious, Shavuot, like its autumn counterpart Sukkot — the Feast of Tabernacles, is a chance to show off their best crops with pageants and parades, attended by many visitors.

Shavuot is also a time when we recognize the significance for Judaism of conversion by reading the Book (Scroll) of Ruth. The story begins with the migration of a wealthy man named Elimelech from the land of Israel to the immoral society of Moab with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons. Soon after their arrival, Elimelech dies and the two sons marry royal Moabite princesses, Orpah and Ruth. After a short time, the two sons also die.

Having lost both her husband and her sons, the righteous Naomi decides to return to her homeland and bids farewell to her daughters-in-law. Orpah, at first refusing to abandon her mother-in-law, remains in Moab. Ruth, on the other hand, refuses to abandon Naomi, and is willing to encounter the harsh poverty which awaited them in the Land of Israel, stating, "Your people are my people, and your God is my God" (Ruth 1:16). Poor and hungry, Ruth gathers bundles of wheat that have been dropped by the reapers in the vast fields of Boaz, a relative of Elimelech. Eventually, Boaz takes notice of Ruth's righteousness and marries her, according to the Levirate tradition (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Their great-grandson is King David, Israel's great warrior-king.

For Michal and me, Shavuot conjures up images of Israel in biblical times. We prepared for the holiday with a visit to the Eretz Israel Museum (Land of Israel Museum) of Tel Aviv. We saw two fascinating exhibitions there. The first was Images from the Land of the Bible: People, Lives and Landscapes, 1898-1934. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the American Colony photographers of Jerusalem commemorated the lives, people, and sites of "the Holy Land."

Thousands of high-quality photographs documented the traditional daily life of inhabitants of the cities and villages, permanent residents, and wanderers. As Christian believers, the American Colony photographers thought that they were opening an important window to the way of life in biblical times by portraying the background of the biblical stories. For example, Arab peasants were posed in a field of grain, simulating Ruth gleaning grain in a field of Boaz. Some of the photographs were hand-tinted by artists, making them look just like color photos, and sold to tourists and researchers. This exhibition closes at the end of September.

We were also fascinated by the exhibit, A Yemenite Portrait - Photography and Memory, 1881-1948. At the end of the 19th century, many Jews emigrated from Yemen, where they had resided for thousand of years, settling near Jerusalem. Their number steadily increased, reaching 35,000 by 1948, when the State of Israel was reborn. During those years, members of the Yemenite community were an important subject for the period's photographers, the majority of them of European origin.

Because the Yemenites were considered backward by Western standards, they were regarded as representatives of the mythical and romantic biblical Jews, exotics from the European, Orientalist perspective. The exhibition documents the Yemenite figures in Eretz Israel, including many rabbis and scholars, through pictures taken by some of the finest photographers of the period.

The two photography exhibitions at the Eretz Museum, with relatively modern photos which evoked the Israel of thousands of years ago, were an excellent segue into the Shavuot holiday. The photos showed Middle Easterners dressed, and sometimes posed, like the Jews and other peoples who inhabited this land in biblical times. We left the museum and reentered modern Israel, where the ancient festivals are celebrated by both secular and religious Israelis, and quite a few Christian tourists too. A wonderful, thoughtful, and tasty Shavuot to all my readers!

Steven Kramer's website is at www.encounteringisrael.ocm

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Posted by David Kupelian, May 25, 2012

PC is, strictly speaking, a totalitarian philosophy.
Newsweek, Dec. 24, 1990, "Thought Police" cover story

A major engine for the left's insatiable quest for power goes under the strange name of "political correctness" — an insidious frontal attack on common sense and conscience through language manipulation.

Many people mistakenly regard political correctness as just a nutty liberal fetish for not hurting people's feelings. Words and phrases are continually decreed to be "insensitive" to various "minorities" and therefore replaced with euphemisms so as to avoid real or perceived offense.

People who are mentally retarded used to be called "idiots," "imbeciles" and "morons" — psychological terms that correspond to different IQ ranges (0-25 for idiots, 26-50 for imbeciles, 51-70 for morons). But as those words gradually came to be considered offensive, the euphemism "retarded" came into vogue. When "retarded" came to be regarded as insensitive, new-and-nicer euphemisms like "intellectual disability" and being "intellectually challenged" emerged, culminating with "special." It's hard to be offended over being "special."

In like manner, the deaf became "hearing impaired," the blind "vision impaired" and the crippled "mobility impaired," inspiring a new breed of cocktail-party jokes wherein the bald are "folically challenged" and so on.

More subversively, however, people's ignoble or criminal qualities became disguised and excused with euphemisms: "Illegal aliens" became "illegal immigrants" and then "undocumented immigrants" and presto-chango, something bad was magically transformed into something good. Homosexuals became "gay," abortion advocates became "pro-choice" and atheists became "brights," each euphemism converting a negative association into a positive one. Today, increasing numbers of people refer to pedophilia as "intergenerational sex" and child molesters as "minor-attracted persons" or MAPs. (In Islam, the popular euphemism for pedophilia is "child marriage," just as adultery is called "temporary marriage." Really.)

Of course, Islam has become a major beneficiary of political correctness, reminiscent of what George Orwell called "Newspeak" in his novel "1984." After 19 Muslim terrorists, acting in the name of Islam, murdered almost 3,000 Americans in a wanton act of war on Sept. 11, 2001, the government and media, to avoid offending Muslims, declared Islam to be a "religion of peace." The Islamic jihad declared on America was mysteriously referred to by our leaders as a "war on terror" involving some unnamed enemy. But even that awkward and evasive expression was deemed too insensitive toward Islam, so under Obama the euphemizing turned surreal when "war on terror" morphed into "overseas contingency operations." Likewise, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano came up with a friendly new phrase for mass-murder terror attacks. Announcing that she was deliberately avoiding the term "terrorism" in speeches because "we want to move away from the politics of fear," she adopted the term "man-caused disasters."

All of this is not, however, just a matter of annoyingly manipulative "word games." Our civilization is literally being turned upside-down through the strategic redefinition (and therefore transformation) of our society's operating principles.

Today's most obvious case in point: Barack Obama, a far-left radical manifestly hostile toward free-market capitalism and American exceptionalism — in fact, to just about everything American — but who campaigned using powerfully evocative words of national restoration and reconciliation. "Hope," "change," "fairness," "justice," "reform" and "transparency" would usher in a bright new era of "healing" and "unifying" America and the world through this charismatic young leader's "post-racial," "post-partisan" presidency. What we got instead was a jarringly narcissistic, supremely demagogic and corrupt Chicago politician, lacking both in experience and wisdom, and displaying breathtaking contempt for America's Constitution and its best-in-the-world system of government.

If the ongoing language war consisted solely of one man's use of emotionally compelling catch-phrases — like Obama's current re-election favorites ("Everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules") and his ceaseless appeals to raw envy (attacks on "millionaires and billionaires," "hedge-fund managers" and "oil-company executives") — it wouldn't be difficult for truth to prevail.

But the political and cultural left has hijacked virtually our entire language in the last couple of generations. It has redefined many key words, phrases and concepts, changing not only the words we use, but the way we think. Consider:

"Equality" has been utterly redefined. To previous generations, equality — as in Jefferson's phrase in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" — referred to our being equal in our God-given rights before the law. Today's idea of equality, however, is based on the virtual repudiation of meaning and morality and God Himself. Good and evil are basically "equal." As I write in "The Marketing of Evil":

Today, in the rarified but toxic air of multiculturalism and political correctness, all cultures and all values are of equal value. The most ignorant, oppressive, suffocating, women-hating kind of culture — where people's hands and feet are amputated as punishment for petty offenses — is now worthy of equal respect to Western culture, which has provided most of the world's knowledge, progress, food, medicine, technology, quality of life, representative government, and liberty. This moral inversion, which proclaims that all cultures are equal, has extended to virtually every area of society.

"Love" too has been redefined. At its finest, love is a spiritual quality of selfless, sacrificial caring about others, epitomized by Jesus when He said on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The soldier who falls on an enemy grenade to save the lives of his fellow warriors acts out of love. But today, "love" has reached a low point — the word is used to sanctify same-sex marriage and celebrate what once were called "vile affections." Even pedophiles creepily talk about "men and the boys they love" to justify their crimes. After all, how can love be vile? For many, our idea of "love" — basically, our feelings of attraction toward anything to which we are addicted — is now firmly in the gutter, like "equality."

"Justice," likewise, has been redefined. Phrases such as "social justice" and "economic justice" are euphemisms for confiscating, by threat and raw force, what belongs justly to others — in other words, injustice. Likewise, "affirmative action" is imposed and defended in the name of justice, but is inherently unjust: The most qualified applicant for a job is turned down in favor of another, because that other person has the right skin color. That used to be called racial discrimination (a great injustice), but now the same act is rationalized as "social justice."

Freedom is slavery

In Orwell's "1984," the outside walls of the "Ministry of Truth" (headquarters for propaganda and revisionist history) are adorned with three "Newspeak" phrases — slogans of the political party ruling the total surveillance state of Oceania. They are: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

America today is rapidly becoming Oceania, where many key political and cultural concepts actually amount to the opposite of what their labels profess:



A 180-degree inversion of reality has been codified within our political and cultural vernacular. Whereas the poor and disadvantaged once were the grateful recipients of charity, thanks to the generosity of individuals, churches and organizations, today what used to be charity is an "entitlement." The idea that charity — whether through private-sector generosity or governmental "safety-net" programs — is something to which the recipient is "entitled" is bizarrely presumptuous and discordant to all right-thinking people. It's almost as though the government intends to program recipients of charity to become arrogant and ungrateful; after all, why would you be grateful for receiving something to which you were already entitled?

Likewise, "tolerance" today often amounts to not only acceptance, but virtual celebration of sexual immorality — or at the very least, an agreement not to utter or write a word of disapproval over immoral, corrupt or self-destructive behavior. However, homosexual activists condemning the "intolerance" of others are notoriously intolerant of all who hold to the millennia-old moral code of the Western world.

Why are the most perverse, immoral and confusing programs imaginable being instituted so easily throughout our nation's public schools under the banner of "anti-bullying"? Because "gay" activists figured out that the best way to intimidate everyone into embracing their agenda was to package it that way. This is pure conditioning. For most people, the very thought of opposing any "anti-bullying" program is chilling, because we fear being condemned as haters of children.

The emotional programming inherent in words and phrases is so compelling that it affects our behavior in many areas of life. So, for instance, many conservatives automatically conclude that "environmentalism," "conservation," "hybrid" vehicles, "recycling" and "organic" foods are things to avoid, just because they associate them with liberals.

The hidden power of political correctness

The whole idea of political correctness is an assault on the freedom of the human mind.

The operating principle behind political correctness is raw intimidation: In a politically correct culture, if you dare use certain words — and by logical extension, even think a certain way — you are ignorant, insensitive, intolerant, bigoted or hateful.

If you criticize the president of the United States as a "socialist" or "Marxist," for instance, you will likely be accused of "McCarthyism." Regardless of the real history of the "McCarthy era" —yes, there really were Soviet agents honeycombed throughout the U.S. government — the phrase has become a verbal weapon with which the left attacks conservatives.

(Personal story: As a guest on Sean Hannity's "Great American Panel," I used the words "socialist" and "Marxist" to describe Obama,and rattled off highlights of far-left associations and exploits from his teen years to his presidency. Liberal panelist Bob Beckel, taking offense at my use of the word "Marxist," turned to me and angrily accused me of being "worse than Joe McCarthy," insisting I should "apologize to the president." Apologize for what? Telling the truth? For the record, I like Beckel, he's a very nice man off-camera.)

The point is, the weaponization of a word like "McCarthyism" has nothing to do with history or reality; it is the intimidation factor that's programmed into the word — almost like a post-hypnotic suggestion — that we automatically associate with fears of being ostracized, diminished, marginalized and ridiculed. Remember Saul Alinsky's famous Rule No. 5 from "Rules for Radicals": "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

Nobody wants to be scorned and mocked, and therefore many of us, consciously or unconsciously, avoid intimidating situations by refraining from standing up for what we really believe.

At its core, then, political correctness is nothing more nor less than the unjust intimidation of others into thinking and speaking a certain way. As such, it is pure totalitarian mind control.

The preceding was excerpted from a much more comprehensive report — titled "Magic Words: The left's secret weapon for transforming traditional America" by David Kupelian — in the May issue of Whistleblower magazine, "The Alinsky Code."

David Kupelian is with World Net Daily (WND). This article is archived at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 25, 2012

There comes a time when it is important to move beyond the trap of current events and look higher. Such a time is coming with the holiday of Shavuot, which will be celebrated on Sunday here in Israel, and also on Monday outside of Israel.

Shavuot marks the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

It was a transformative and singular moment of direct revelation. It involved all of the people of Israel, who were present and received the word of the Almighty with fear and trembling.


I rather like this Aish video about Shavuot, and so share it here:

The world is decidedly reluctant to give us, as Jews, our rightful place. But the reality is that through the transmission of a code of values at Sinai, the Almighty set into action the process by which Am Yisrael (the people Israel) would become a light unto the nations.


The struggle of how to be true to that heritage, marks, I think, one particular painful and difficult controversy in which Israel is currently embroiled: That is, the controversy over what to do with the thousands of African immigrants (currently about 80,000) who have made their way illegally into Israel.


We Jews are bidden by the Torah to welcome the stranger in our midst. And to an extraordinary degree we have done just that. For Heaven's sake, the Egyptians have no compunction about shooting them in the back.

For the most part, they have come through the Sinai to reach Israel. The claim is that they are political refugees, but the reality is that many — if not the majority — are simply economic refugees, that is, not fleeing violence or persecution, but rather seeking a better quality of life.

They are illegal in the country, and either are unemployed or work illegally. They live poorly and are without health care and other benefits accorded by the State. They are tended to in large part by volunteers and NGOs.

And yet they consider this a utopia compared to what they left behind. This tells us a good deal about us, and about their nations of origin — in the main, Eretria and Sudan.

The word is out — even in small villages in Eretria — that Israel is the place to come. A fact of enormous irony considering the accusations of "racial cleansing" and "apartheid" leveled against us. And so their numbers have been growing, leaving us with a problematic and untenable situation:

We simply cannot, nor do we wish to, absorb Africa's poor. We would become, very quickly, something different from what we are intended to be as a Jewish state. We would be swallowed up. And our resources would be overwhelmed.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beitenu) is on record as saying that "a million Sudanese and Eritrean migrants are currently making their way to Israel, some are near the security fence already and some are in Cairo."


Already we are seeing a host of social problems, particularly in south Tel Aviv, where there is a concentration of 25,000 Africans. There are issues of greatly increased crime rates, and rapes. There is major disruption to the community: Cooking fires lit in parks, people wandering the streets at all hours, heavy drug usage.

I will come back to this below.


An article by Dr. Gabi Barbash, the CEO of Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, which appeared a week ago in the JPost, struck me as a particular poignant and disturbing picture of what we are dealing with, and how we have conducted ourselves.

Children are being admitted into the hospital with measles, something that hasn't been seen here in years. Immigrant African children. African women with particular problems are also being admitted: they have twice as many emergency cesarean sections as the Israeli population, and their babies require treatment in the neonatal unit three times as often.

This is just the beginning. The number of cases of active tuberculosis doubled this past year because of the Africans. "Many of those refugees also suffer from extrapulmonary tuberculosis (in the spine, or central nervous system) that requires special interventional diagnostic procedures and biopsies performed under general anesthesia in operating rooms."

All of this is before we even talk about malaria, and HIV: "The HIV carriers are characteristically diagnosed with advanced AIDS-associated illnesses requiring prolonged hospitalization, extensive and repeated laboratory tests and treatments with expensive drugs."


In 2011, the cost to the hospital of treating the illegal immigrants was 27 million shekels ($7.5).

"This expenditure is not funded by any government agency: it is paid for with the hospital resources that were earmarked to benefit the citizens of Israel who are often treated side-by-side with the migrant patients. Nevertheless, the message conveyed to the medical team by hospital management is clear and unambiguous and based on inflexible medical ethics: treatment of this population must be in every way identical to the treatment given to Israeli citizens, and no financial considerations can be allowed to enter into the medical decision-making process." (emphasis added)


In a similar vein, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has said that the municipality has spent millions in taxpayers' funds to create schools and improve infrastructure in neighborhoods where the Africans constitute a majority.

"They are human beings," he said yesterday. "What can I do, I can't see human beings thrown into the street."

So we might say that we are pretty wonderful.

But we must also say that this is an untenable situation that cannot be sustained.


On Wednesday night, there was a major demonstration by Israeli residents of south Tel Aviv, demanding that the illegal African immigrants go. Their anger spilled over, resulting in rioting and incidents of violence against some of the Africans.

Unequivocally and across the board Israeli leaders and politicians condemned this violence. In no terms is it acceptable. Not in any instance, but especially not perpetrated by Jews, who are bidden to a different standard of behavior, and who have been on the receiving end of violence so often in our history.

Yet, the mother who keeps her children in after dark for fear of who may be walking the streets, the father of a girl who was raped by Africans, these people and many others from this depressed economic neighborhood, resentful of the strain on limited resources, are angry with reason.

It is platitudinous and unfair to simply say they should welcome the stranger within their midst.


The point has been made that representatives of NGOs that work with the Africans so identify with them that, in advocating for them, they are prepared to trample the human rights of the Israeli residents of the area where the Africans live.

And the vehemence of the demonstation alerts those same politicians and leaders who criticize the violence to the necessity of acting speedily and effectively to peacefully ameliorate this situation.

The question, of course, is what to be done.


The answer that is being provided is two-fold. On the one hand, a fence is being constructed along our border with the Sinai to keep additional immigrants from flocking into Israel in large numbers. Good enough.

And on the other hand, there is talk about sending those who would not be at risk back to their native lands.

The attorney general has ruled that repatriating illegal immigrants is permissible under law. Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) has pledged that they will be moved out in toto by the end of the year.


I myself wonder how he reconciles his "across the board" political declaration with the commandments he, as a religious man, believes in upholding. Perhaps he can, and I am missing something. But the situation is vastly complicated:

It is being said that those who are genuine seekers of political asylum would be permitted to stay. Yet it is difficult to determine precisely who is a genuine political refugee — and I'm not certain how much of an attempt has even been made or if there is any standard for criteria to use.


There was a time when many of the Sudanese here were counted as political refugees. That was when Sudan was in the throes of a violent civil war. The situation has shifted since South Sudan — where a number, but not a majority, of the Sudanese here are from — became an independent nation. We have an excellent relationship with this fledgling nation and are eager to lend support in a variety of ways. The South Sudanese government is grateful for various assistance Israel has provided, and wants good relations — but plays it low key because in largely Muslim Africa (Sudan is Muslim, South Sudan is Christian and animist), strong relationships with Israel are, shall we say, frowned upon.


South Sudanese President Salva Kiir visited Israel this past December. In meetings with Netanyahu, it was agreed in principle that arrangements would be made for sending the South Sudanese back home.

Kiir concurred, at least in principle, that his people should come back. And the Israeli ambassador to South Sudan, Dan Shaham, has been coordinating arrangements for their return.

But those Sudanese who danced in the streets of Tel Aviv when their nation declared its independence are none too eager to go. South Sudan, after all, is a poor a struggling nation. It's still better for them here in Israel. "Yes, yes," some of them say. "Of course we want to go home. But just not yet." They protest in the streets for permission to remain here.

When Agricultural Minister of South Sudan, Betty Achan Ogwaro, visited Israel just weeks ago, she said that the people from her country came here for a better life, and she appealed on a humanitarian basis for them to be allowed to remain.


They came as political refugees, but we were being asked to keep them for economic reasons.

But we will not be keeping them: Minister Yishai has just given the order to begin rounding up the 3,00 South Sudanese here in order to deport them home.


Yet even when those who are from South Sudan are deported, there is still the question of those from Sudan, and from Eretria.

Israel has no diplomatic ties with Sudan and it would be problematic to send people back there. MK Danny Danon has alluded to possible arrangements by which Africans from here would be accepted in east European nations. This may be a possible answer.

As to Eritreans — who constitute a full 70% of the illegal Africans who are here — it is my understanding that it will take more time to determine how to handle their situation:

The Eritrean ambassador to Israel Tesfamarian Takeste has said those illegals who are Eritrean can come back home, and that his embassy would make every effort to facilitate their return.

Representatives of NGOs working with the Africans, noting the horrendous human rights record of Eritrea, scoff at the notion that people can be safely sent back there.

MK Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) advocates a more thorough investigation of the situation there — rather than simply adopting the position of the NGOs. The UN High Commission for Refugees, he says, accepts the testimony of Eritreans (that they are political refugees) on face value.

Interestingly, however, Herzog cites as potentially problematic the repercussions that would be met by returning Eritreans who were draft dodgers. But is it Israel's place to provide refuge to draft dodgers? This speaks directly to the need to determine criteria for legitimate claims of political asylum.


There have been some creative proposals advanced. But I fear that in the rush of the heated moment they will be given scant attention. These proposals involve sending people back home slowly and under constructive circumstances.

One, for example, suggests training Africans in the skills of Israeli agriculture. Then when they are sent back they would not be unemployed (a major concern for the returning Africans), but would, rather, be welcomed back by their home countries that are eager for these skills. Not incidentally, Israel would be assisting the countries to which they return — so that there would be gratitude towards Israel and not resentment.

Herzog has proposed that arrangements be made for some of the African infiltrators here illegally to work legally — as people from the Philippines, Thailand and other places do — for a defined period of time, and then be required to go back, but now with money in their pockets.


From my own vantage point I see the absolute necessity for the majority of the illegal Africans to be moved out of Israel, but I hope that it can be done with humanity and wisdom. With sufficient care taken for individual cases. And with the acceptance and legalization of some who are legitimately seeking political asylum.

Until such time as final decisions are made, it also seems to me that temporary actions by the State may be required — affording of health insurance is a key example, and perhaps finding ways for them to be legally and gainfully employed (so that crime can be reduced).

The fear, of course, is that once such accommodations are made, "temporary" quickly and almost irrevocally morphs into "permanent," with the Africans crying about how well they've settled and how they should be permitted to remain indefinitely. I understand this.

Perhaps simply acting quickly is the best of the alternatives. Proposals I've read that we simply allow these Africans to become Jews and stay in Israel are nonsensical ideas from bleeding hearts. (People are only supposed to become Jews because they are committed to Judaism, not because they want to stay in a particular locale.)

Exactly where the line should be drawn between protecting Israel and responding to the "other" is no mean task.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Robert Hand, May 24, 2012

 This article was written by Melanie Phillips and is archived at:

We can now all see, can't we, with what fathomless contempt the Obama administration treats the security of America and the west. Documents released under US freedom of information laws suggest that defence department and CIA officials have jeopardised national security by giving Hollywood filmmakers access to top-secret information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Telegraph reports:

'Congressman Peter King of New York, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Wednesday that the emails told a "damning story of extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration" between top Obama officials, the filmmakers and a Left-wing lobbying firm.

'"If this facility is so secret that the name cannot even be seen by the public, then why in the world would the Obama Administration allow filmmakers to tour it?" Mr King asked.'

Why in the world indeed; and why in the world did the Obama administration also leak, with potentially even more catastrophic effect, operational secrets of the recent intelligence coup which foiled an al Qaeda airline bomb attack on the US? On that occasion, sources within the administration actually blew the cover of the British-run Saudi double agent who foiled the plot, thus compromising not only that man's personal safety but also similar future intelligence stings and a priceless source of anti-terrorist intelligence out of Yemen.

Once could just about be put down to sloppiness. Twice, however, suggests some kind of malevolent myopia or active malice — and fingers point to the Obama campaign. The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has ordered an inquiry into the Yemen leak, but this does not cover the White House (or National Security Council officials).

As for the bin Laden movie, now scheduled to open in December, its original October release date has fuelled suspicions that it was intended to boost Obama's re-election chances in May — a suspicion enhanced by the revelation that some of the contact between officials and the film's producers was brokered by the Left-leaning lobbying firm the Glover Park Group, whose senior employees include former Clinton administration staffers.

In both cases, it would seem that the only thing these unknown official leakers could see both in the operation to kill bin Laden and the thwarting of the Yemen bomb plot was a PR opportunity for Obama. As far as the continued security of the US and the west is concerned, either these individuals actively wish to frustrate its defence or they just couldn't care less whether or not it succeeds. Thus the treacherous administration of the man who is seeking re-election as the leader of the free world.

Contact the poster at

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Posted by Robert Hand, May 24, 2012

 This article was written by Melanie Phillips and is archived at

The jailing by Pakistan of the doctor who led the CIA to bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad is clearly an outrage. The Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi who has been thrown into prison for 33 years for treason, should be regarded instead as a national and global hero for helping run bin Laden finally to earth. His jailing — in a farcical 'trial' without a judge or his own lawyer — is the clearest demonstration that Pakistan, which the west treats as an ally against the Islamic jihad against the free world, is actually its enemy.

When Dr Afridi was jailed, US security officials expressed horror, as well they might. But was Dr Afridi actually betrayed by the Obama administration itself?

New York Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, certainly thinks so:

'King said that the administration gave away the doctor's name and discussed the DNA samples he collected to verify it was bin Laden living in the compound in Abbottabad.

'... King, a Republican from New York, said that Obama's team should not have spoken about the doctor and his program, effectively giving away his identity. "They put him out there," said King adding that he is unaware of any efforts the administration made to get the physician out of Pakistan. "I'm focused on that they disclosed his identity."'

The smell rising from the Obama administration becomes more noxious by the day.

Contact Robert Hand at

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Posted by P. David Hornik, May 24, 2012

The Iranian regime with which the P5+1 countries launched their second round of nuclear talks on Wednesday in Baghdad is not the real Iranian regime. That is to say, the Western, Russian, and Chinese diplomats will—at best—be negotiating with a fantasy-projection of the Iranian regime, and Tehran's negotiators will be all too compliant in playing the part assigned to them.

At worst, the P5+1 diplomats will actually be aware of the true nature of the Iranian regime, but will act out the script of "negotiating constructively" with it so as to further certain ancillary goals—like lowering oil prices, boosting political fortunes, and above all, forestalling a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

This constructive, reasonable Iran, ready to strike a deal and essentially having the same aims as the P5+1 countries except for a few bridgeable areas of disagreement, cannot be the same Iran that just this week called for the "full annihilation of Israel," that has taken a steady toll of American lives in Iraq, that bragged earlier this month of its navy's ability to threaten New York City, that has been responsible for an ongoing string of terrorist atrocities for over three decades, and that continues to intimidate its Persian Gulf neighbors with subversion and very real threats of conquest.

There is, indeed, a situation in which a regime like Iran's would sue for reasonable terms and real compromise—if it were truly on the ropes. But, while the sanctions are taking an economic toll, not even the most determined optimists claim that Tehran is anywhere near teetering. Not while its nuclear program continues at full speed, and while, as Israeli analyst Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall notes, it has been continuing a policy of strategic "buildup, defiance, and power projection" in the face of all Western blandishments.

IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano's claim on Tuesday, then, about an imminent—but still-unsigned—deal with Iran allowing inspection of some of its nuclear sites was a kind of ominous prelude to the Baghdad talks. It was the IAEA whose report last November—confirming all of Israel's warnings about Iran's unceasing progress toward the bomb—seemed to create a more serious atmosphere regarding the threat. It was Amano himself who heightened the sense of crisis in March by warning that Iran had tripled production of higher-grade enriched uranium.

The apparent ease, then, with which Amano sounded sanguine notes on Tuesday—after his first trip to Tehran since becoming IAEA chief in 2009—seems to further confirm the fatal flabbiness of will in the face of Tehran's steadfast march toward its objective.

Indeed, as the talks got under way on Wednesday the mood in Israel—the country with the least room to indulge either outright fantasies or convenient fictions about the mullahs' regime—ranged from skeptical to somber. As one official put it: "The Iranians are serial agreement violators. We know from past experiences how all these agreements between the IAEA and Iran end. Iran continued to establish uranium enrichment facilities in Natanz under the nose of the international community...."

A commentator was even more scathing, writing that: "The free world is pulling a fast one on us. And on itself. The agreement that the International Atomic Energy Agency reached with Iran is a pact among thieves. Thieves and liars. Everyone knows that this deal is not worth even the few words used to announce it."

On Wednesday evening AP reported that in Baghdad the six world powers had offered Tehran a proposal focusing on its highest-level uranium enrichment at 20 percent, that "the proposal may meet a swift refusal from Iran," and that "no breakthrough accords are expected," so that

the negotiation process is likely to be long.

That could allow U.S. and European allies to significantly tone down threats of military action. But it would likely bring objections from Israel, which claims that Iran is only trying to buy time to keep its nuclear fuel labs in full operation.

In fact, Israel has already been objecting. Earlier on Wednesday Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated Israel's demand for "a complete halt to Iranian uranium enrichment"—at all levels and in all venues, including the underground Fordow facility—and criticized Western "foot-dragging" in the talks.

But if the same pattern continues—Iran stringing the world powers along, the world powers all too willing to be conned, Israel issuing ultimatums and threats but not acting on them—the result will be a nuclear Iran.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the new book Choosing Life in Israel. He blogs at This article appeared in Front Page Magazine and is archived at

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Posted by AFSI, May 24, 2012

Sanitizing Terror

President Obama refuses to allow the words 'Islam' and 'Jihad' to be used in describing the war on terror. Instead, we read euphemisms like 'violent extremism' and 'criminal activity'. Just see the whitewashing of the Ft. Hood murders as a case in point. Obama's determination to sanitize radical Islam is incredibly dangerous since it is impossible to defeat an enemy who cannot be identified. Read the article below by Cliff Kincaid describing Obama's neutering of the war on Islamic terrorism. His article is reprinted from Accuracy In Media: It is archived at

Then take the time to watch the youtube, its link appearing at the bottom of this email. Anyone who could possibly believe that President Obama is a friend of Israel's must re-think the subject after seeing the evidence presented here.

AFSI welcomes your comments on these subjects and urges your active participation in disseminating this material. Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, should hear from you: 202-226-8417 and Congressman King is also on the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee: 202-225-4121 and Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan is the Chairman. Contact these Congressmen with your concerns. They need to hear from us.

Helen Freedman

Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on Tuesday that the Obama Administration is rapidly revising federal counter-terrorism training materials in order to eliminate references to Jihad and Islam.

Government bureaucracies usually take a long time in changing a policy. In this case, he said, "I have never, ever seen such a wide ranging review executed with such alacrity."

Although he blamed Quintan Wiktorowicz, a member of Obama's National Security Council, for implementing the Obama Administration's new overall policy of accommodating radical Islam, including the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, Gorka said Spencer Ackerman [1] of Wired Magazine had helped sparked the review of federal counter-terrorism training materials through a series of controversial articles. One of those articles ran under an inflammatory headline [2] about "Islamophobia" supposedly characterizing the federal government's response to global Islamic terrorism.

As a result of this kind of coverage and the new policy, Gorka said the Obama Administration today forbids the use of the word "Jihad" to describe the terrorists that target America for destruction, even though they are members of the Muslim religion and openly declare their Islamic aims. What is happening in terms of redefining the threat is "unprecedented" and dangerous, he said.

The battle against radical Islam has been transformed into a concern, under President Obama and his adviser Quintan Wiktorowicz, about "violent extremism," not Islamic terrorists or Islamists, he said.

Gorka said that the administration believes there are "good" Islamists and "bad" Islamists and the former can be dealt with. He said this policy is apparent in the decision by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to have contact with the Muslim Brotherhood "Supreme Guide" Mohammed Badei.

While some Islamists are violent and others use democratic methods to achieve power, Gorka said the fact is that they share the same goal-a world-wide system based on Sharia, or Islamic law, resulting in the destruction of America's constitutional system of government.

Gorka said the process of changing the U.S. approach to radical Islam has even become "un-American" in the sense that training materials, including his own, are being censored by federal authorities without the trainers being told who is ordering them altered or deleted and why. "I was one of the victims of that review," he said, explaining that certain slides from one of his FBI presentations were ordered removed. There is no "recourse to appeal" in the unfair process, he said.

Ominously, he said that U.S.-based groups sympathetic or linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are reported to have had an influence on the federal committee set up to review the materials, a fact confirmed by Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst with the Clarion Fund [3]. Mauro reported [4] that Islamists are even exercising influence over what the FBI is telling its agents.

Mauro told Accuracy in Media that another factor behind the ongoing review, in addition to the inflammatory reporting of Wired blogger Ackerman, is the influence of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), which issued a "Fear, Inc." report [5] attacking critics of radical Islam as bigots involved in "Islamophobia."

To understand the dramatic nature of the change that is taking place, Gorka noted that the 600-page bipartisan 9/11 commission report, released in 2004, mentioned Islam 322 times and Jihad as a form of "Holy War" against the West 126 times. But the Obama Administration's 2009 National Intelligence Strategy [6], a presidential-level document, doesn't mention Islam or Jihad once, he said.

"The enemy has achieved what Sun Tzu, the Asian master of strategy, defined as the ultimate form of victory — if you can win without fighting, you can do no better," Gorka said. "If your enemy has successfully determined the limits of what you can say about him, he is already winning."

He went on, "The fact that it is now forbidden to use the word Jihad in government counter-terrorism training means that the enemy is controlling what we are allowed to say about him. That makes it very difficult to defeat him."

Demonstrating the sensitivity of his remarks, delivered during a conference sponsored by the Westminster Institute [7], Gorka said that his speech should not be construed as necessarily representing the views of the U.S. Government. He has worked for or with various government agencies for eight years. The title of the Tuesday event was "Dangerous Embrace: The U.S. and the Islamist."

Gorka's disclosures about the unprecedented nature of the radical rewriting of government counter-terror manuals and presentations came as a new book by Edward Klein [8] discloses that Obama's former Christian pastor, Jeremiah Wright, said he was not sure if Obama had ever repudiated his Islamic upbringing and background. "That's hard to tell," Wright said, when asked if Obama had given up Islam, a religion in which he was raised and trained. Obama today claims to be a Christian.

Gorka and Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, another speaker, discussed the advance of radical Islam under the Obama Administration, but did not hold the President personally responsible for what is happening. Instead, Sookhdeo criticized Rep. Peter King, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for not doing enough, in his view, to expose the radical nature of Islam. In fact, King has held several hearings [9] on the topic and has been a strong critic of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Robert R. Reilly, Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council and former director of the Voice of America, was the final speaker at the conference and discussed "the Fallacy of the Islamist Road to Democracy and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy."

Obama's foreign policy has been demonstrated in the overthrow of Egypt's pro-Western ruler, Hosni Mubarak, during the so-called "Arab spring," making way for representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood to take power. The Obama Administration meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood that have followed this disaster represent a policy previously advocated [10] by the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

Gorka, who recently became an American citizen, highlighted a photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Muslim Brotherhood "Supreme Guide" Mohammed Badei. But he did not comment during the question-and-answer period when an audience member asked the speakers whether President Obama's Islamic background, as discussed and acknowledged by Jeremiah Wright, was playing a role in the transformation of U.S. foreign policy in a direction that favors the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reilly, who has also taught at the National Defense University and is the author of the new book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist [11], replied that the flawed U.S. Government approach to radical Islam was bipartisan in nature.


[1] Spencer Ackerman:

[2] inflammatory headline:

[3] Clarion Fund:

[4] reported:

[5] "Fear, Inc." report:

[6] 2009 National Intelligence Strategy:

[7] Westminster Institute:

[8] a new book by Edward Klein:

[9] several hearings:

[10] advocated:

[11] The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist:

Both Obama and Hillary Clinton condemn Israel and demand that Israel ends Jewish Settlements and the "Occupation". If that's an ally, who is our enemy?

Now we are concerned about Homeland Security here in the United States.

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 24, 2012

It: the absolute intransigence, the lack of good intentions, the ultimate malevolence of Iran.

Today in Baghdad, the Iranians rejected a proposal that had been put forward by P5+1. What was being sought by the international community was a cessation of enrichment of uranium to 20% (not even all enrichment!). In return Iran would have received benefits such as medical isotopes and spare parts that Iran needs for its for civilian airliners.

But what Iran wanted was the easing of economic sanctions on Iranian oil export in return for Iranian pledges that UN inspectors would be permitted wider inspection of their facilities. (Remember: agreeing to permit inspections is not agreeing to halt the process towards nuclear capability.)


The Iranians are saying that world powers are making the atmosphere "difficult."

And my favorite accusation, coming from Iranian al-Alam TV:
"The discourse of the six powers during the talks is very similar to that of Israel's prime minister and his defense minister."

If, at all, it may be true that the stance of the negotiating nations is tougher because of Israel's position, this is a blessing. Not because the tougher stance might have positive results, but rather because it exposes Iranian intentions.


One can trace a line from the situation that the world powers who are now negotiating find themselves in backwards to the conciliatory stance offered to Iran over the last few years by the Obama administration and the Europeans.

Obama's "I-don't-want-to-appear-aggressive, rather-I-reach-my-hand-out-to-you-so-we-can-achieve-dialogue" approach delivered the message that the US was going to be a pushover.

One Iranian diplomat, cited by YNET today, said that the package that had been offered fell short of a "compromise."

A compromise?? Excuse me? Thinking is seriously out of line here.


Before today's negotiating session had been held, Iran's media were putting out messages of optimism and reflecting the attitude that they had "a strong negotiating position." Greatest criticism was directed at the US Congress, which, in proposing tougher sanctions, "was not giving a good message which shows they are not yet ready to show good will....

"Some have mistakenly thought that if they pressure Iran, Iran will give up." Translation: you cannot defeat us with your sanctions.


Iran is the greatest danger to world peace in the world today. The greatest purveyor of terrorism. It is on the edge of achieving nuclear capacity, has said it will destroy Israel, and would, if nuclear, create a shield around renegade groups and nations. Not incidentally, it also want to come after America.

And the world believes it can negotiate with Iran's leaders. The world, incredibly, still imagines that giving something to Iran in good spirit will move it towards a less belligerent, more cooperative stance.

But Iran understands only an iron fist. There should be no compromise, no gift-giving. Rather, a message: "We consider you a threat to all we represent. Cease and desist or we blow your heads off. You decide." Diplomatically said, of course.


An IAEA report now says that Iran recently installed 350 additional centrifuges in the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility near Qom. This is while Iran is supposed to be in the course of negotiations.

This is how it is, folks.


In spite of the failure of the current talks, parties have agreed to meet again in Geneva, Switzerland in mid-June. What this means is that from now until mid-June the Iranians can sail along, uninhibited in their progress towards nuclear capacity.

Declared on US official, "We think we still have some time for diplomacy." Some optimism was expressed that the pace of the talks would "pick up."

Not every official in the US is this obtuse or self-deluding. This eager to pretend that negotiations work.

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and Independent Joe Lieberman, in an op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, declared,. "The U.S. must be prepared, if necessary, to use military force to stop Iran from getting a nuclear-weapons capability."

But unfortunately these gentlemen are not running the country.


Said Israel's Minister of Security Affairs Bogie Ya'alon:

"As long as the centrifuges are spinning, we will not remain calm." In the end, he observed, if all other methods for trying to stop Iran fail, "someone may have to launch a military strike on Iran."



Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has written a powerful piece on this issue that merits serious attention here:

"It's no longer possible to pretend we don't know the intentions of Iran's rulers. They keep telling us, candidly, clearly and repeatedly. Most recently on Sunday: Addressing a gathering in Tehran, Maj. Gen Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, vowed the 'full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.'

"A few days earlier, during a presentation at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a respected Israeli think tank, the former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, recalled a 'private discussion' in Tehran in October 2000 with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who told him: 'Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth.'

"...Khamenei also told Aznar that the goal of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 has remained unchanged — to rid the world of two evils: Israel and the U.S. Eventually, there must be an 'open confrontation.' Khamenei said it was his duty to ensure that Iran prevailed.

"With this as context, it is no longer possible to pretend that the acquisition of nuclear weapons is not a priority for Khamenei. The notion that he is merely making — as Reuters has charmingly phrased it — 'a peaceful bid to generate electricity,' or has not decided whether he wants nuclear weapons, or wants them only as a deterrent because he fears foreign aggression, or has issued a fatwa declaring possession of nuclear weapons a sin, or favors diplomatic conflict resolution but requires a series of 'confidence-building measures' is wishful thinking and self-delusion, if not blatant disinformation.

"...Testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week, Mark Dubowitz, my colleague at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, warned Congress that Iran's negotiators would offer concessions that sound meaningful, but are not, in exchange for Western concessions that sound trivial but amount to capitulation.

"Dubowitz cautioned that it will require vigorous Congressional oversight to make sure that Western diplomats do not provide Iran with 'sanctions relief in the shadows,' meaning that insurance, energy, financial and shipping-related sanctions that have already passed into law will fail to be strictly enforced to keep 'the process' going. That will be seen as preferable to acknowledging diplomatic failure. The major media are likely to miss this, or misreport it.

"In his presentation in Jerusalem, Aznar recalled also a meeting he had with Vladimir Putin, in which he advised the Russian president against selling surface-to-air missiles to Iran. 'Don't worry, I, you, we can sell them everything, even if we are worried by an Iranian nuclear bomb,' Aznar quoted Putin as saying. 'Because, at the end of the day, Israel will take care of it.'

"Aznar told this story in Washington about a year ago but at the time asked those of us in the room to keep it off the record. I remember that he added incredulously: 'But that's the Russian policy? To let Israel take care of it?'

"If, in the days ahead, this becomes the de facto policy of the U.S. and Europe as well, we should not pretend we don't know, or that we don't understand the profound implications of that."


Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Ted Belman, May 24, 2012

Laura notes: Economic sanctions will never be effective in preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. In any case many countries, including western democracies, will not even abide by sanctions. These useless negotiations with Iran are merely a strategy on the part of the west to prevent an Israeli military attack on Iran rather than preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, which the west knows is far too late to achieve by means other than militarily. The P5+1 is doing what they perceive to be in their own best interests, and that is to appease Iran and restrain Israel. They have no concern whatsoever to the existential danger Iranian nukes are to Israel. It is time for Israel to act in its own best interests by ignoring the EU, Obama and the State Department and make a preemptive strike against Iran and save itself from a nuclear holocaust. The west will not save Israel. Israel must save itself and it has the capability to do so. Global condemnation be damned.

According to Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff, The British Ambassador to Israel, Michael Gould, told Army Radio that the current time is not right for an attack on Iran, suggesting instead tougher sanctions and an open channel of communication as a means of blocking Iran's nuclear aspirations • BBC reports that British government ministers are discussing what role U.K. could play in possible military confrontation over Iran.

The U.K. would not support an Israeli attack on Iran at this time, British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould told Army Radio on Wednesday, explaining that the current timing was not right for such a move.

Gould insisted that tougher sanctions and an open channel of communication were the best means of resolving the standoff with Iran.

Israel and the West believe that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran insists that its nuclear program is purely peaceful.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported Wednesday that British government ministers were discussing what role the country could play in a possible military confrontation in the Middle East over Iran's nuclear program.

Ministers are considering whether any involvement from Britain would be legal if talks with Iran break down and Israel bombs Iran's nuclear facilities. Such a move would risk sparking a wider war in the region and a closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil-shipping sea lane, the report said.

Britain is examining a number of options, from diplomatic support for Israel to the involvement of Britain's Royal Navy in the region, the BBC reported.

Britain's Foreign Office was not immediately available for comment.

Global powers were meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday for talks on Tehran's nuclear program and officials said the Western-led coalition was ready to make an offer on a way forward if Iran showed willingness to curb its nuclear program in a transparent way.

The U.N. nuclear agency director said on Tuesday he expected to sign a deal soon to unblock an investigation into suspected Iranian nuclear work following a trip to Tehran.

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

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, May 24, 2012

Egypt's long awaited and much anticipated presidential elections—the first of their kind to take place in the nation's 7,000 year history—are here. As we await the final results—and as the Western mainstream media fixate on images of purple-stained fingers—it is well to remember that there is much more at stake in Egypt's elections than the mere "right" to vote.

At Egypt's voting booths, where it tends to be easy to determine who is voting for whom, and why.

While some Egyptians are certainly voting according to their convictions, the fundamental divide revolves around religion—how much or how little the candidates in question are in favor of Islamic Sharia law. In other words, Islamists are voting for Islamists—Abdel Mon'im Abul Futuh and Muhammad Mursi—whereas non-Islamists (secularists, liberals, and non-Muslims) are voting for non-Islamists, such as Amr Musa and Ahmed Shafiq.

Bear in mind that this is not the same thing as American voters being divided between "liberal" Democrats and "conservative" Republicans; rather, this election is much more existential in nature—possibly cataclysmic for Egyptian society. For, whereas both American Republicans and Democrats operate under the selfsame U.S. Constitution, in Egypt, an Islamist president will usher in Sharia law, which will fundamentally transform the nation.

One veiled woman interviewed yesterday at the voting polls put it best: "We came to elect the man who implements Sharia (Islamic law). But I am afraid of liberals, secularists, Christians. I am afraid of their reaction if an Islamist wins. They won't let it go easily. But God be with us."

Interestingly, while she sums up the ultimate purpose Islamists like herself are voting—to empower "the man who implements Sharia"—she also projects her own Islamist mentality onto non-Islamists, implying that if a Sharia-friendly president is fairly elected, non-Islamists will rebel. In fact, it is the Islamists who are on record warning that if a secularist emerges as president, that itself will be proof positive that the elections were rigged, and an armed jihad will be proclaimed.

None of this is surprising, considering that Islamists have not hid their abhorrence for democracy as an infidel heresy to be exploited as a gateway to a Sharia-enforcing theocracy which will, ironically, eliminate democracy. Some have gone so far as to insist that cheating in elections to empower Sharia is an obligation. And, rather than encourage Egyptians to vote for whom they think is best suited for Egypt, days prior to these elections, various authoritative Muslim clerics and institutions decreed that Egypt's Muslims are "obligated" to vote for Sharia-supporting Islamists, while voters are "forbidden" to vote for non-Islamists—a proclamation with threats of hellfire.

One of the blocs not voting for the Islamists consists of Christian Copts, who make for some 12-15 million people. Not only does an AFP report capture their mood well, but it demonstrates how Egypt's Christians are so convinced that any Islamist president, including the oxymoronic "liberal Islamists" like Abul Futuh, will lead to even more religous intolerance for them—a reminder of reality from those non-Muslims on the ground:

[V]oting lines were long, and the worry and tension felt by many Christians was palpable. "I don't want the Islamists. If they come to power and I oppose them, they will say I am criticizing their religion and who knows what they'll do to me? We can't talk to them," said 57-year-old Sanaa Rateb after casting her ballot.... Nassim Ghaly, a young man with a cross tattooed on his wrist in the distinctive manner of Egyptian Christians, interjected: "God protect us if the Islamists come to power and they control the parliament and the presidency at the same time.".... "What we want is a non-religious state," which would guarantee the rights of all religious groups, Sanaa Halim, in her sixties, said. "The Islamist trends are worrying," one of her friends added, declining to give her name. "And what have they done in parliament? Nothing, except talk about women and female circumcision."

Indeed, above and beyond the recent clash between Egypt's Islamists and the military—where the former exposed their jihadi face, losing some popular support—the elected Islamist-majority parliament is increasingly seen as a disappointment, more interested in banning toys that "humiliate Islam" and legalizing "death-sex," rather than addressing the country's economic woes. As another voter put it, "I voted for the Brotherhood in parliament elections. Now they want to control religious tourism, this is what I got from them. The parliament has failed."

Likewise, Ryan Mauro reports that "the secularists have benefited from a sharp fall in Islamist popularity. In February, 43% of Egyptians supported the Muslim Brotherhood, 40% supported the Salafist Nour Party and 62% felt that it is positive to have a strong Brotherhood presence in parliament. A Gallup poll in April found that the statistics fell to 26%, 30% and 47% respectively."

Notwithstanding all this, perhaps the most decisive voting bloc consists of those tens of millions of impoverished Egyptians who care little about voting, who care little about Sharia or secularism, and are more than happy to exchange their vote for a temporal boon. These, the well-organized Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis—funded by Saudi petro dollars—have been busy buying, including with food and drink.

The outcome of the elections remains uncertain. While Egypt is home to the modern day Islamist movement—giving the world several headaches, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the "godfather of jihad" Sayyid Qutb, and al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri—up until recently it was also home to one of the Islamic world's most secular and "fun-loving" societies (it's not called the "Hollywood of the Middle East" for nothing). Yet, based on the spectacular advance of political Islam in the last few decades, one remains pessimistic.

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article is archived at:

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Posted by Richard Shulman, May 23, 2012


When Egypt's military regime disqualified a Salifi presidential candidate, among others, the Salafist, Muslim Brotherhood, and Al-Gamaa Islamist parties demonstrated in front of the Defense Ministry. The media called this a "general" demonstration, although non-Islamist groups refused to participate.

The three Islamist parties had held a demonstration there earlier, too. Their banners proclaimed, "Jihad! Jihad,!" "Victory or Death." They shouted the Islamic war cry, "Allahu Akbar!" Leading them was Muhammad al-Zawahiri, recently released from prison for planning military operations in Egypt, etc.. With him was Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the Islamist party that had slaughtered about 60 European tourists in 1997.

At the Friday protest, Salafis tried to break into the Defense Ministry and tear down a barbed wire barrier. They had homemade bombs with them.

From a minaret nearby, jihadists fired upon the military. Troops stormed the mosque and arrested the snipers. The Muslim Brotherhood commented not against jihadist criminals but, "We also condemn the aggression (from the military) against the house of God and the arrest of people from within."

Unlike the ruling military council, the Egyptian army is popular. The public noticed that Islamists attacked their own country's army, killing one and injuring others. Egyptians, including reporters, are wondering who is the enemy. Against whom are the Islamists waging jihad? Not, in this case, Israel. Islamists are. It doesn't matter which group of Islamists, all are violent and extremist.

Egyptians used to think of jihadists as fighting for Egypt's honor. Now they find themselves under attack. They are starting to realize that jihadists would oppress them (Raymond Ibrahim,, 5/10/12,


This month, Palestinian Authority (P.A.) head Abbas denied Jews' 3,000 years of history in Jerusalem. He claimed Jerusalem was solely an Arab, Muslim, and Christian city. Therefore, he called Israeli activities an attempt to create an artificial heritage in Jerusalem, a "Judaization."

On 3/27/10 over Al-Jazeera TV, Abbas described it as the highest level of religious obligation of Muslims to take Jerusalem from Israel. (He does not differentiate the Old City from the New City [built by the Jewish people in modern times).

P.A. Min. of Religion Mahmoud Al-Habbash described Jerusalem "throughout history the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people." He warned that there would be religious war over Jerusalem, until it no longer is "occupied" (P.A. TV, 8/20/10).

Actually there never was a Palestinian state [until modern Jordan]. Nor was Jerusalem ever the capital of an Arab or a Muslim state.

P.A. Mufti Muhammad Hussein denied that the Temple Mount ever had a Jewish temple on it (P.A. TV, 1/5/12).

Abbas told Arab ambassadors to Tunisia that Israel is Judaizing the city, destroying Arabs' houses, causing "Palestinians" to emigrate, imposing high taxes, and excavating under Al-Aqsa Mosque (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, 5/1/12). (He did not buttress his claims, including about emigration.)

Abbas' advisor on Jerusalem, Ahmed Al-Ruweidi, accused Israel of seizing "the land" in the city. [He cited no figures or examples.] (Overall source: Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, via , 5/12/12. More was said in that vein, but no sense in repeating it here.)

All those statements and more, fabricating a non-existent Palestinian history for the early centuries of Jerusalem, denying the early Jewish history there, falsely accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing there, and threatening war to capture the city, were made within a relatively short period. Thus this is an intense campaign. Oddly, the U.S. calls the P.A. Israel's "peace partner."

Many Arabs have fled from the P.A. to Jerusalem! Many Christians have fled from the P.A. to foreign lands. But this flight isn't due only to persecution. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Arabs have emigrated from the P.A., too. Perhaps half the residents of Gaza told pollsters that they would like to emigrate, too. In other words, the P.A. is an unpleasant and persecuting place, just what the P.A. mistakenly calls Israel, whose Christians are staying.

In view of those facts, the P.A. speeches purportedly in behalf of Christians not only are hypocritical, but they cynically piggyback Muslim claims on Christian history in Jerusalem. But in recognizing Christian history, he implicitly denies Christian history that depicts Jesus as a rabbi of the native Jewish people in Jerusalem and at the Temple on the Mount.

I would like to see an organized Christian effort to set the record straight about this and not let Abbas and his cohorts get away with their fabrication of history. I also would like to see a unified Christian objection to Islamic persecution of Christians in many countries. Why hasn't this occurred? Is it for lack of solidarity? Is it preoccupation with helping the Muslims against the Jews. (That would be a foolish as well as unjust strategy, considering that Islam poses a grave threat to Christianity, the Jewish people do not, and Israel could be a valuable ally against Jihad, as it really has been already.)

President Bush did not take up this mantle in behalf of Christians, but he did help some countries regain liberty. President Obama has expressed no interest in acknowledging Islamic persecution.

Israel does not destroy Arab houses unless illegally built and very few of even those. The problem is not Israel but illegal Arab construction. The Arabs often act without regard to Israeli authority. This is a kind of arrogance. They get away with it because of internal leftist preference for the Arab cause and external bias against Israel.

No special taxes are imposed on Arabs in Jerusalem. However, Islamists now taking power in Arab countries are thirsting to impose the traditional Islamic heavy tax on Christians. Read statements by Egyptian clerics.

Israel doesn't practice ethnic cleansing of non-Jews, but non-Jewish have practiced ethnic cleansing of Jews. Ethnic cleansing of Arabs is difficult to imagine in a city where the Arab population has at least doubled during Israeli rule. Ethnic cleansing has been, and still is being practiced by Muslim Arabs against Christians and Jews.

Arabs are excavating under al-Aqsa mosque, apparently both for building more mosques there, so as to expropriate the whole Mount for mosques, and also, perhaps incidentally, destroying ancient Jewish artifacts so as to buttress P.A. denials that the Jewish have a history in Jerusalem.

As usual, all the accusations by the P.A. against Israel are for crimes and sins committed by the Arabs, including the P.A., against Israel. That is the pattern of Arab propaganda. This is a pattern our media do not acknowledge if they even notice. They are not very analytical.

The Arab desire for large-scale emigration is a cue for a patriotic Israeli government, when Israel gets one, to foster that emigration. The smaller the Arab population, the less the danger of Arab aggression and the fewer the terrorist attacks.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 23, 2012

No legislation regarding "unauthorized" communities in Judea and Samaria came to the floor of the Knesset today.

Prime Minister Netanyahu requested that the sponsors of these bills give him two weeks to work out the situation in Ulpana without legislation. One can never be sure what he'll pull out of his sleeve, but I advise my readers not to expect a miracle solution from him.

While Likud MKs had been released from coalition obligations, he had not given Likud ministers latitude to vote their conscience — they would have been expected to vote according to coalition instructions. This in itself made a win unlikely. Ministers can buck coalition discipline, but are liable for disciplinary action if they do. And they'd be very unlikely to do so in light of the prime minister's request. Which meant that pulling the legislation off the floor was a prudent move.

First MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) withdrew his proposed legislation.

Ya'akov -Ketzeleh- Katz (Chair, National Union) withdrew with great reluctance and only at the last minute.


I've been told by a source inside the Knesset that Netanyahu pledged that Defense Minister Barak would make no move towards the demolition of the Ulpana houses until after the two weeks.

Then I was told that there was a "sort of" commitment from Netanyahu to release the ministers from coalition discipline if he is unable to resolve the issue and the legislation is brought to the floor. Can't say exactly what "sort of" means.


For the record, I've been advised that there are some real (if not overwhelming) differences between the two versions of the legislation, with Katz's version more broadly applicable to a variety of communities.


I want to turn to the issue of Iran. It is by far THE overriding issue. The number of statements being made, and of words flowing from computer keyboards with regard to what is going on is rather daunting.

In a nutshell: The world is being "had."

Or is allowing itself to be "had," and there's a very good case to be made for this position. See "Talks aim not to thwart Iran nukes, but to stop Israeli attack":


Two things are going on.

Negotiations have begun again in Baghdad. Just days ago the NY Times announced that the representatives of the international community who are negotiating with Iran (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) have said they are prepared to offer "an incentives package" if Iran will agree to end enrichment of uranium.

Incentives? That was fast in coming.

Meanwhile IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has been in Tehran for talks with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. On Monday they announced an agreement regarding inspections of nuclear sites. But there is so very much wrong with all of this. Amano announced before the meeting that he and Jalili had determined that they would come to an agreement.

This being the case, we can speculate with reasonable certainty that Amano didn't go in with intentions of being tough. He did not declare, "You want an agreement? THIS is what we demand." It was more like, "Oh, we've already said we need that agreement, so let's see how we can arrange this." Questions have been raised regarding the cleaning of key sites prior to any inspections, and time limits that Iran wants placed on the IAEA's right to do inspections.

You don't have to be a nuclear scientist (forgive the awful pun) to see what's going on here.

The world is ever so hungry for "success." Iran will accommodate to a point, to give the international community the sense of having achieved something — and then will run rings around them all.


In the face of all of this, I remain relatively calm, for the simple reason that I know neither Israel's prime minister nor defense minister is buying into all of this.

Monday night, Netanyahu said (emphasis added):

"Iran wants to destroy Israel and it is developing nuclear weapons to fulfill that goal. Leading world powers need to display determination and not weakness in the face of this malicious intention. They should not make any concessions to Iran.

"They need to make clear and unequivocal demands that Iran stop all of its nuclear enrichment activity, remove all the material that has been enriched until now and dismantle the underground nuclear facility near Qom. Only then can we be sure Iran will not get an atomic bomb."

Netanyahu made it clear that Israel's views on this matter "will not change."


And today, in an Israel Radio interview, Barak said (again, emphasis added):

"Obama and the representatives of the West are not naive. But they want to achieve progress, so they are willing to compromise.

"Israel is demanding a complete halt to Iranian uranium enrichment." Barak added that the West was setting the bar too low and demanding too little. "We mustn't blink, concede, or cave at the last minute."

As to Amano's negotiations in Tehran, Barak observed:

"The Iranians orchestrated things in such a way that when the Baghdad talks rolled around they would be able to tell the world powers that they were already coordinating the procedural details with the IAEA, and when Amano wanted to talk about the essential issues they could say that they were working those out with the world powers. It gives them a little wiggle room."


Please, understand this critical point, which is being made by Israeli officials in the Prime Minister's Office, the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry:

The IAEA agreement only relates to monitoring and is not enough to halt Iran's nuclear progress.

As one senior official was cited as saying (emphasis added), "The problem is [that] Iran's program is continuing unabated and needs to be stopped. We have seen what happened with agreements between the IAEA and Iran in the past. Terms were agreed but facilities were still set up openly, like Natanz in 2002 and Qom in 2009. The latest IAEA report reveals Iran's scams and deceptions."


Maj. Gen. Itai Baron, head of the Military Intelligence research department, provided a briefing yesterday for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

What he said was that Iran was moving ahead with its nuclear program — enriching uranium and maintaining full operation of the facilities near Qom and Bushehr. Iran has trebled its pace of uranium enrichment to 20 percent. Baron estimates that by the end of 2012, Iran will have enriched sufficient uranium to 20% to build a single nuclear device.

I've read elsewhere that beyond this point it would take Iran somewhere between six and 18 months to produce a bomb.

So, with so many people patting themselves on the back with regard to "progress" in Iranian negotiations, precisely who is paying attention to this critical information?


In closing, I leave you with this: Barak has made it clear, once again, in the face of these "negotiations," that Israel does not rule out any option. What this means is that if a deal is struck with Iran, and Israeli leaders deem it insufficient, so that Iran remains a danger to Israel and the world, we will act as we see fit.

We'd stand alone, and so be it. It would hardly be the first time.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Michael Ordman, May 23, 2012

The wheat harvest is one of the central themes of the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which begins on Saturday evening. Whilst the Jewish State has been enjoying particularly good agricultural yields this year, its cutting-edge technology has also been reaping dividends for the growing populations of an ever-hungry world.

As a result of Israel being short of water and arable land, it has had to develop advanced agricultural methods, technologies and products in order for its citizens to survive. The latest of these innovations were on display at Agritech 2012 in Tel Aviv. The many exhibits included mites that eradicate pests and a machine that could literally harvest rain from a cloudless sky. 2000 Indian farmers, including 600 each from the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra flew in to learn how to obtain a larger and better quality of crop, with less use of water and pesticides. The event also provided an opportunity for Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and South Sudan's Minister of Agriculture, Betty Ogwaro to promote the establishment of an agricultural village in South Sudan that will be constructed based on Israeli methods and technologies and will serve as a model for other villages in the future.

Alongside Agritech 2012, was the 2012 International Committee for Plastics in Agriculture Conference: Plasticulture for a Green Planet. Delegates from over 54 countries observed Israel's innovative use of sustainable plastics in irrigation systems, greenhouses, netting and other systems. Meanwhile, in Holland, more hi-tech Israeli agriculture was on show at the Floriade agriculture expo. 60,000 people visited Israel's two pavilions, learning about Israel's genetic engineering of plants and using an application to create prospective new fruits and vegetables. Once crops have been harvested, another Israeli discovery will keep them fresh for longer. Yissum — the research and development company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem — has licensed the discovery of four of its professors. Their cyclopropene derivative both increases crop yields and extends shelf life.

Israel's importance to world farming has been recognised even by the usually hostile United Nations. Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, (MASHAV) and the UN Industrial Development Organization signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation in food security, water management, women empowerment and industrial development in developing countries. Israel and Japan are also involved in a joint agricultural program — the Peace Corridor project, which entails the establishment of an agro-industrial park near the PA city of Jericho. This is a little-known recent outcome of the 60 years of diplomatic relations that Israel and Japan have enjoyed. And Israel's organic farmers announced another surprise agricultural bond. One of their breeding pairs of barn owls that they use to control rodent pests, consists of an Israeli owl and a Jordanian owl.

There is no point having a good harvest if you can't enjoy it. Israel's Sialo Technology has just received Europe's CE mark for its unique dental implant — the Dynamic Implant Valve Approach or DIVA. Then my jaw dropped when I read how a 24-year old Israeli escaped by the skin of her teeth after she accidentally swallowed her toothbrush. Following a CT-scan, Dr. Uri Segol, at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, used a diagnostic endoscope to inch the toothbrush up the woman's esophagus, into her throat and out of her mouth, to a standing ovation from hospital staff. And there was an even bigger sense of achievement for all those involved in the first-ever Israeli cooking workshop for the blind and the visually impaired organized by the Lions volunteer organization.

The festival of Shavuot also commemorates two events of Biblical proportions. The Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai is the central feature of our Synagogue service, so it is appropriate that the Young Israel Movement has just dedicated a new Torah scroll to the IDF's Iron Dome anti-missile unit. Secondly, the new Beit David Museum in Tel Aviv — dedicated to the House of David — is celebrating the holiday, which also marks King David's 3,025th birthday. The museum has 1st and 2nd Temple exhibits, plus ancient slingshot stones like the one with which David killed Goliath. So it was especially satisfying to hear US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro's admiration of how Bar Ilan University's scientists were breaking into new areas of knowledge whilst holding the utmost respect for the wonders of creation. As he put it, they were working at the cutting-edge of science with Jewish values.

Finally, returning to agriculture and that bumper harvest. This year's cherry crop was so huge that Israeli farmers had to take the rare step of thinning the fruit before it ripened in order to allow each cherry to grow and to avoid overweight tree limbs crashing to the ground. Or as the good book says:
"The land will give its fruit and you will eat your fill".

Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel. See To subscribe, email a request to
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Posted by PMW Bulletin, May 23, 2012

Imagine the outcry if a Christian TV station said this about Muslims. But no one will take notice of this from the "moderate" Palestinian Authority. "PA TV teaches kids: Christians and Jews are inferior, cowardly and despised," (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik for Palestinian Media Watch, May 23, 2012.)

A young Palestinian girl was asked to recite a poem during a PA TV children's program. This poem, according to the host of the show, teaches children "responsibility and belonging."...

PA TV host: "You are going to recite a poem, which also teaches us responsibility and belonging."

Girl: "... The occupier stole my land and my grandfathers' land...

Where is your sword, Khaled (Arab warrior)?

Where is your courage, Saladin (Muslim conqueror)?

But no one answered me.

Where is my weapon? I found it — a stone. I took it and threw it at the enemies of destiny. I taught the world that the Muslim in the name of Allah cannot be defeated...

They challenge us with the White House, and we challenge them with the [Islamic] awakening and the Kaaba [in Mecca]. They aren't stronger than Khosrau and Caesar (rulers of Persian and Byzantine Empires).

They [Christians and Jews] are inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised. They are remnants of the [Christian] crusaders and Khaibar (i.e., Jewish village destroyed by Muslims in 629)...

Oh Muslims of the world: Awaken, you have slept too long.

Your fathers and your sons are being massacred, your Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is defiled and destroyed."

Host: "Bravo! Applause for our friend Lara."

[PA TV (Fatah), May 11, 2012]

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Posted by Jerusalem Center for Publication, May 23, 2012

This article was written by Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall and is archived at: Vol. 12, No. 12, 22 May 2012. IDF Lt.-Col. Segall, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, terrorism, and the Middle East, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Terrogence company.

  • The April 11, 2012, visit by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Musa, which is close to where the Strait of Hormuz opens into the Persian Gulf, has severely exacerbated the dispute between Iran and the UAE over possession of the island and two others.
  • This dispute joins a long series of Iranian-Saudi rivalries elsewhere. In Bahrain, Iran is investing great efforts (in propaganda and subversion) to help the Shiite majority in its struggle with the royal house; in Yemen, Iran has recently stepped up its activity; and in Syria, Iran is working to preserve Bashar Assad's rule while Saudi Arabia backs his opponents. At the same time, Iran claims that both the UAE and especially Bahrain belong to it historically, leading to intensified tensions in the wake of the Saudi plan to confederate with Bahrain and other Sunni Gulf states.
  • Amid the intensifying conflict with the West, Iran is maintaining a policy of projecting force in the Gulf and surrounding areas, building new military bases along the Gulf's shores, performing naval maneuvers, and practicing ship takeovers and special-forces activities.
  • With these moves Iran is trying to signal that it is prepared for a conflict with the United States in the naval domain, seeking to convey both to the United States and its Gulf neighbors that it is the ascendant power in the region, and that the region's security is in its hands and not those of external powers. Yet this activity has had a unifying effect on the GCC member states which fear Iran's lengthening shadow.
  • Given the Arabs' weakness and lack of a charismatic figure who could lead a Sunni Arab response to the mounting Iranian challenge, the need for American power in the region — to create the necessary balance against Iran and protect energy sources — has only grown.

Three Disputed Islands Near the Strait of Hormuz

The April 11, 2012, visit by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the island of Abu Musa, which is close to where the Strait of Hormuz opens into the Persian Gulf, has again severely exacerbated the dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over possession of Abu Musa and the two nearby islands of Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb. The UAE's foreign minister condemned Ahmadinejad's visit to the island, which Iran conquered in 1971, as a gross affront to the UAE's sovereignty, asserting: "This visit will not change the legal status of these islands which are part and parcel of UAE national soil."[1]

The Iranian-UAE quarrel over this issue is of long standing. It is now, however, erupting at an especially sensitive time. The sanctions on Iran are intensifying; the United States has declared its intention to deploy a defensive anti-missile shield in the Gulf states as well as F-22 Raptor stealth aircraft in the UAE, stoking tensions in the Gulf; and Iran — in the wake of the sanctions on its oil sector, which Tehran regards as a "declaration of economic war" — has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the oil for the global energy market passes. The islands' strategic location adds further to the military tensions between the United States and Iran, which often emphasizes its naval-warfare capabilities — particularly of the asymmetrical kind — and preparedness for possibly initiating a naval clash with the United States.

Another issue accompanying this crisis concerns the name of the Gulf. Whereas the Gulf states call it the Arab Gulf, Iran calls it the Persian Gulf. Google Maps decided that, to remain neutral, its maps would no longer refer to the region. This discomfited Iran, which protested the deletion of the Gulf from the maps.

Ahmadinejad's brazen stop in Abu Musa was part of a visit to Iran's Hormozgan province on the Gulf coast. In Abu Musa he asserted that, even though geographers were agreed in using the name Persian Gulf, certain "uncivilized" Arab and Western states chose to call it the Arab Gulf.[2] The Majlis, Iran's parliament, aims to pass a law creating a new Iranian province that is to be called the Persian Gulf and to include, among other things, the three disputed islands.[3]

Ever since Ahmadinejad visited Abu Musa, the issue has remained on Iran's agenda and is referred to almost daily by senior political and military figures as well as commentators in Iran's print and electronic media, who fully support the government's stance. Moreover, Iran has held several well-publicized events on the island to demonstrate its sovereignty and intention to retain it, develop it, and make it an inseparable part of Iran as well as a tourist center. For example, Farhad Daneshjoo, president of Iran's Open University and brother of the science minister, announced the establishment of a branch of the university on Abu Musa.[4]

Iran versus Saudi Arabia

The Iranian-UAE dispute over Abu Musa negatively affects Iran's relations with the rest of the Gulf states and with the Arab system as a whole, particularly with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis, too, have taken the UAE's side in an emergency meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers. This dispute can be added to a long series of Iranian-Saudi rivalries elsewhere in the Middle East against the backdrop of the "Arab Spring. In Bahrain, Iran is investing great efforts (in propaganda and subversion) to help the Shiite majority in its struggle with the royal house, which is receiving assistance from the Saudis (including military intervention by the Peninsula Shield Force and a plan initiated recently to confederate with Bahrain, which yet again revived Iranian claims that Bahrain is an Iranian province); in Yemen, Iran has recently stepped up its activity; and in Syria, Iran is working to preserve Bashar Assad's rule while Saudi Arabia backs his opponents.

Iranian Warnings

In response to a statement issued by the GCC foreign ministers' emergency meeting in Doha, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed regret over the reiteration of the council's "baseless claims" concerning "the three Iranian islands." The spokesman condemned the statement and stressed that Iran's possession of the islands is something that "cannot be changed and is not at all open to negotiation."[5] He characterized the disputes between the states of the region as a "Zionist plot," of which the region's rulers should be well apprised, and declared that the "Islamic awakening" (Iran's term for the Arab Spring) had put U.S. and Israeli interests in jeopardy.[6]

Mohammed Karim Abdi, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, "recommended" to the Arab League's member states (given their support for the UAE's stance regarding Ahmadinejad's visit to Abu Musa) "to deal with their tense situation" and with "the slaughter of the Arabs in Bahrain" instead of interfering in Iran's domestic affairs. "The Arab League and the UAE are now knuckling under to the British-American-Zionist triangle and acting to strengthen the Zionist regime."[7] Another member of the committee, Zohre Elahiyan, called on Iran's Foreign Ministry to take a firmer stance toward the UAE's claims and toward what she called its senior officials' inappropriate behavior.

Yehiya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), warned the region's states not to become a tool in the hands of foreign states regarding "the three Iranian islands," and affirmed that the "Persian Gulf" is the only correct, original, and historical name for this body of water as documented in all the books and historical maps. He further asserted that states should not try to create tensions in the region with baseless claims, and warned: "Know, then, that if a crisis erupts in the Persian Gulf region, this crisis also will hurt you."[8] A senior official in the Iranian Armed Forces also warned that "if a crisis breaks out, the UAE is the one that will be most grievously harmed by it."[9]

IRGC naval commander Ali Fadavi underscored Iran's full and absolute sovereignty over Abu Musa and added regarding the president's visit there: "The application of Iran's sovereignty to the island of Abu Musa is no different than the application of our sovereignty to Tehran, and the president's trip to this island is no different than his trip to Isfahan." Fadavi referred to Iran's capabilities to defend the strategic islands and said both defensive and offensive systems had been deployed in them, including brigades of IRGC marines. Because of these islands' strategic location, he stated, the IRGC navy (IRGCN) would not allow any enemy to enter them, and any hostile move would elicit a crushing response. IRGC deputy naval commander Alireza Tangsiri said regarding the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz:

According to international sources, 40 percent of the world's oil passes through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and the entire length of this route is under the full and tight control of the IRGC navy that is stationed in the strait. When any kind of vessel enters the Persian Gulf, the Revolutionary Guard identifies it with listening devices, naval units, drones, and radar systems and closely monitors it. Each day 82 vessels pass through the Strait of Hormuz and they respond to the questions presented to them by the IRGC forces.[10]

Iran Has Claims to the UAE and Bahrain

Beyond Iran's threats and insinuations about its military capabilities to defend its sovereignty over the islands, Iran claims that both the UAE and Bahrain belong to it historically. Majlis member Musalreza Servati claimed that historical documents indicate that states such as the UAE and Bahrain[11] are linked to Iran, as are the disputed islands.[12]

The nationalist-conservative newspaper Jomhouri Eslami is identified with former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani. When the UAE foreign minister protested Ahmadinejad's visit to Abu Musa, Jomhouri Eslami, under the headline "A Recommendation to the Sheikhs of the Emirates," called on the UAE sheikhs to beware of their limits and not go beyond them. According to the paper, in his reaction to Ahmadinejad's visit, the UAE foreign minister

did not even adhere to minimal rules of speech and honor, like primitive Arabs using terms that are outside of accepted diplomatic practice. He used a language from past eras in which the residents of the principalities of the southern Persian Gulf did not yet have dollars from oil revenues, and chose to make his incorrect claim in inappropriate language. He claimed that Abu Musa is part of UAE territory and hence the Iranian president's trip to the island was a violation of the UAE's sovereignty! If these words do not indicate his ignorance of history, then "hands of imperialist powers and Zionists" must be behind them. Whoever carries the title of foreign minister of any country, even if it is small and similar to the smallest province of Iran, ought to be familiar with the history of the soil on which he lives. If we make the optimistic assumption that the UAE foreign minister indeed forgot or did not know history, we will remind him that not only Abu Musa but all the principalities of the southern Gulf were part of greater Iran and administered by the central Iranian government. This is a historical reality that is also documented on maps of the past (emphasis added). In light of this undeniable reality, I see a need to remind the UAE sheikhs of a few points:

  • The three islands are an inseparable part of the soil of Iran and any claim regarding them is considered an affront to Iran's territorial sovereignty.
  • The conditions of the region have changed completely amid the tumultuous waves of the Islamic awakening. Is it not preferable that you use all of your capacities to preserve your seat and your crown? And avoid creating problems with your tongues?
  • The region and the world will view such false claims as a way of covering up the crimes and treacherous nature of the Zionists. Today the heads of the Zionist regime urgently need to distract the peoples of the region with marginal and unrealistic matters so as to shield themselves from the heavy blows of the uprisings in Arab countries. Part of this endeavor is directed, of course, at you, the sheikhs of the Emirates. We recommend that you, sheikhs of the Emirates, not become fuel for the fires of Hell that the Zionists and Western imperialism want to ignite in the region.[13]

Iran Wants U.S. Forces Out of the Region

In the midst of the crisis, the United States announced the deployment of its F-22 aircraft to a base in the UAE. In response, Iranian defense minister Ahmad Vahidi (formerly commander of the IRGC Qods Force) called the planes' deployment a "damaging move that undermines security in the region and constitutes a psychological ruse aimed at sowing instability in the region, and hence Iran does not regard it as a beneficial step." Vahidi reiterated Iran's traditional position that the region's security must be achieved by the local states and not by external forces.[14] He added that he viewed the foreign forces in the region as "unwanted guests whose presence has no justification" and emphasized that it is Iran that plays the principal security role in the region of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, while foreign forces endanger the region's security and pollute the Persian Gulf's eco-system with their nuclear-powered ships. He criticized the UAE for its claim to the three islands, stating, "Other countries flourish at our expense and then they propose unjust and wrong ideas."[15] The lieutenant commander of the IRGC navy, Alireza Tansiri, asserted in this context that "Iran's enemies are trying to stoke Iranophobia among the countries of the region so as to justify their presence in the region and increase weapons sales to the Gulf states."[16]

The U.S. missile-defense program for the Gulf was also a target of Iranian criticism, and a senior official of the Iranian navy said those Gulf states that were joining the program were "naively playing into the hands of the plot that the Zionist regime and the United States are concocting in the region." This plot, he said, was aimed at ensuring Israel's survival, and "Iran hopes that the states along the southern shores of the Persian Gulf will seriously reconsider the matter and realize that the United States will not remain loyal to them." He asserted that "the United States, which has many bases in the region, was trying to protect them against Iran by using Arab money (an allusion to Saudi Arabia) and stationing an anti-missile system in the region."[17]

Iran Prepares for Asymmetric Naval Warfare

In light of U.S. commitments to give the Gulf states a missile-defense umbrella and boost their security through the deployment of advanced aircraft amidst the latest round of escalation over Abu Musa, Iran again stressed its superior asymmetric capabilities to fight any U.S. naval force in the Gulf, and particularly to engage in swarm attacks against U.S. ships. Recently, the director of the Maritime Industries Organization of the Iranian Defense Ministry, Mostafa Esbati, said Iran was first in the world in the manufacture of speedboats, this having been one of the lessons of the Iran-Iraq War. He claimed that the Iranian Defense Ministry regards support for research in this field as imposing a heavy obligation on those working in it. Speedboats indeed play a critical role in Iran's asymmetrical-warfare strategy, particularly against aircraft carriers and destroyers.

Ali Fadavi, the IRGC naval commander, said that mass-produced speedboats equipped with rocket launchers have made the IRGC navy a unique force in the world. He added that while the U.S. battleships can move at a speed of 31 knots, the Iranian boats can travel twice as fast.[18] Fadavi added that the capabilities of the advanced, rocket-launching Tondar frigates of the IRGC navy have been greatly improved. Referring to statements of former U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates at the United States Naval Academy about the failure of the aircraft-carrier strategy, Fadavi said the United States had admitted to the carriers' inability to cope with missile-, rocket-, and torpedo-launcher-equipped speedboats moving at a speed of 60 knots.[19] Iran also emphasizes its capabilities in launching shore-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles and its ability to hit all U.S. bases in the region.

What Next?

Amid the intensifying conflict with the West and the continuing nuclear talks, Iran is maintaining a policy of projecting force in the Gulf and surrounding areas. Iran is entrenching itself militarily along the Gulf's shores, building new military bases and performing naval maneuvers, thereby signaling that it is prepared to confront any threat or attempt to infringe on its sovereignty. Recently Iran conducted a five-stage, week-long exercise to protect its shores and ships, practicing ship takeovers and special-forces activities.[20]

Despite the tightening of sanctions, Iran is projecting great confidence toward its Gulf neighbors, particularly through naval power and its assets in the region (including the disputed islands). At the same time, Iran is exploiting the weakness of the Arab system — which is now concerned mainly with internal survival amid the Arab Spring, which has particularly affected the Gulf states of Bahrain and Qatar.

Ahmadinejad's visit to Abu Musa was meant to defiantly and bluntly underline both Iran's sovereignty over the (mostly unpopulated) island and its ability to control what happens at the entrance to the strategic Strait of Hormuz. This deliberate Iranian move was accompanied by proclamations by senior government and IRGC officials about Iran's advanced naval capabilities, which they said can contend well — albeit asymmetrically — with quantitatively and technologically superior American power in the Gulf. This, incidentally, involved revealing new capabilities in the areas of coastal defense, missiles, radar systems, and speedboats.

In addition, with these moves Iran is trying to signal that it is prepared for a conflict with the United States in the naval domain in case the nuclear talks with the West ultimately fail and its nuclear facilities are eventually attacked. Iran is thereby seeking to convey, both to the United States and its Gulf neighbors, that it is the ascendant power in the region, and that the region's security is in its hands and not those of external powers. Past efforts by Iran to limit the foreign presence in the region, which even involved signing some agreements with the Gulf states, did not succeed in diminishing the presence of U.S. bases.

At the same time, exploiting the tailwind of the "Islamic awakening," Iran keeps trying to boost its influence over the Shiite population in the Gulf states, especially in Bahrain, thereby seeking to further weaken and divide the Arab regimes.

Iran has also discerned the fragility of Bahrain and an opportunity there in light of continuing demonstrations that seek to tip the balance of power in favor of the Shiite majority in the kingdom. Therefore, Iran has come out forcefully against the announced Saudi intention to confederate with Bahrain, and has emphatically repeated its historic claim to sovereignty over Bahrain. Yet this activity has had a unifying effect on the GCC member states, which again backed the UAE on the disputed-islands issue. They fear Iran's lengthening shadow and stepped-up activity, both in the naval domain and in political subversion in every one of these countries. The Iranian threat also enhances the Gulf states' ties to and security dependency on the United States, with its protective umbrella.

The Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia (Egypt has "retired" from the race), are trying to muster an Arab and international response to Iran's buildup, defiance, and power projection — so far with no great success. In any case, the present crisis concerning the islands, and the name Persian Gulf versus Arab Gulf, well reflects the changes occurring in the Middle East: essentially, the lengthening of Shiite Iran's shadow and the shortening of that of the moderate Arab camp.

Changes in the balance of forces in the Middle East have further escalated the rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran with regard to the core cleavages in the Middle East: Arabs vs. Persians, Sunni vs. Shiite, and the continued independence of the Gulf states in the face of Iran's wish for hegemony in the region.

Given the Arabs' weakness and lack of a charismatic figure who could lead a Sunni Arab response to the mounting Iranian challenge, the need for American power in the region — to create the necessary balance against Iran and protect energy sources — has only grown. Western capitulation in the nuclear talks with Iran will only convey a negative message and encourage Iran. In light of the weak Arab system and Western dithering, Tehran could well be tempted to make additional aggressive moves in the turbulent waters of the Persian/Arab Gulf.












11. Iran has claimed sovereignty over Bahrain ever since it was under Persian rule (1602-1783). In 1968, when Britain announced its intention to withdraw its forces from the Gulf, Iran renewed its claim to sovereignty over the island. In a referendum held under UN auspices in 1970, the residents of Bahrain had to decide between independence and annexation to Iran. They chose independence, and in August 1971 they received it. Subsequently the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ceased to raise the issue. Since the Islamic Revolution, however, Iran has occasionally asserted that Bahrain is one of its provinces.

12. Fars News Agency, May 6, 2012.



15. Mehr News Agency, May 8, 2012






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Posted by midenise, May 23, 2012

The cartoon is by Dry Bones. The article is by David M. Weinberg, a spokesman, speechwriter, columnist and lobbyist. He lectures widely in Israel, the U.S. and Canada to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. He speaks on international politics and Middle East strategic affairs, Israeli diplomacy and defense strategy, intelligence matters


According to this piece by David M. Weinberg yesterday in Israel HaYom (
Don't underestimate Obama's willingness to undercut current allies (including Israel and Saudi Arabia) in the process of cutting a deal with the Iranians. There is much more at stake here than the mere stymieing of Israeli attack plans.

The interim agreement with Iran that the P5+1 powers seem set to conclude with Iran in the Baghdad talks this week — involving the suspension of Iran's 20 percent uranium enrichment — is dangerous on four levels.

Firstly, the deliberations over the exact details of this agreement are likely to drag out for months, into the fall, giving the Iranians time to surreptitiously enrich even more uranium and to continue their explosives testing work. Of course, this suits Obama's election timetable just fine because Israel dares not strike Iran while supposedly "positive and successful" negotiations are under way.

Secondly, according to all reports, the emerging understanding with Iran would leave all its nuclear development facilities intact, including the Fordow underground center, instead of dismantling them. This allows the Iranians to continue refining their nuclear skills. Even at low levels of enrichment (3.5 and 5 percent, which is not useful for a bomb) this provides a framework with which Teheran can bypass Western restrictions and hoodwink Western inspectors.

After all, Iran has clandestinely crossed every "red line" set by the West over the past 20 years — putting nuclear plants online, building heavy water facilities, refining uranium, working on explosive triggers and warheads, and generally breaching all its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — and has gotten away with it.

So any deal that scales back sanctions and allows Iran to keep operating its advanced nuclear development facilities even at a low-level — is a fatal bargain. So says a new study by Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute and Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the IAEA. Centrifuge technology is easy to hide, and reaching low-level enrichment is 75 percent of the work towards a bomb, they warn.

Worse still is the nagging suspicion that Obama's emerging deal with the Iranians involves tacit recognition of their hegemony in the Gulf region — which is what Teheran is truly after. This was the implicit warning brought to Israel last week by one of America's top experts on Iran, Dr. Amin Tarzi, director of Middle East studies at the Marine Corps University in Quantico. "Iran wants nuclear capacity and a warhead," he says, "for imperial purposes, to prove that Iran is a special and great country, and to be able to dominate the Gulf region and the broader Middle East. Teheran is unlikely to use a nuclear warhead, but it wants to have one in order to achieve the status of a regional superpower, to be an equal partner with the US in dominating the Middle East."

Could it be that Obama is prepared for a seismic shift in US alliances in the region, moving from partnership with the much-weakened princes of Saudi Arabia to a "grand civilizational bargain" with the ayatollahs of Iran? Might he quietly acquiesce in an Iranian leap to nuclear status in exchange for understandings with Tehran on division of power in the region? Keep the American withdrawal from Iraq in mind. Iraq controlled by the Shiites (and heavily influenced by Iran) could easily become a bigger oil exporter than Saudi Arabia.

Finally, could all this be a prelude to implementation of Obama's grand (second-term) vision of nuclear thinning-out and global disarmament? Obama could yet turn to the Russians, Chinese, French, Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians, and yes — to Israel too, with the demand to disarm. Israel has understandings with the US about its nuclear policy, originally reached by Richard Nixon and Golda Meir and reportedly reaffirmed in 1998 (by Clinton and Netanyahu) and in 2009 (by Obama and Netanyahu). But in the context of grand bargain with the Iranians (and by extension, with much of the Moslem world), might Israel's nuclear status also be targeted for troublesome attention?

I say: Beware Obama's Baghdad understandings. Heed his long-term goals of resetting America's relations with the Moslem world, and don't underestimate his willingness to undercut current allies (including Israel and Saudi Arabia) in the process. There is much more in play than the mere stymieing of Israeli attack plans.

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Posted by IAM e-mail, May 23, 2012

This article was written by Petra Marquardt-Bigman and is archived at Marquardt-Bigman is a historian who runs a blog called The Warped Mirror, which focuses on on how the world sees Israel and other contemporary subjects. She writes:

I grew up in the southern part of Germany, in the small village of Schlat not far from Stuttgart. My parents were "Flüchtlinge" — refugees from the part of Germany that is nowadays Poland. The fact that we didn't speak the local Suebian dialect was perhaps one of the reasons why I've always felt a bit like a foreigner there.

Yet, I spent close to three decades in the Schwabenland, attending the Freihof Gymnasium in Göppingen and studying at the Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen.

In 1986, I got a scholarship as a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University to do the research for my Ph.D. on US intelligence on Germany in the 1940s. I left for Washington D.C. in August 1986, and a few days after my arrival there, I met a certain David Bigman...

That was the beginning of a twenty something-years-long period of a rather nomadic existence. To be sure, we always had a base in Israel, and for much of the 1990s, we lived in Washington, D.C. But we also lived for a few years in the Netherlands, spent some fascinating time in India, Korea, Vietnam and China and got to visit many other countries.

As exciting and interesting as all the globetrotting was, I've been ready to settle down again for some time, and I'm more than happy that we have now done so right on the beach of Bat Yam.

Peter Beinart, author of the widely discussed — but apparently less widely read — book The Crisis of Zionism, can't be held responsible for what his admirers write in their reviews. However, if an author tweets a review and highlights its complimentary character, I think it's fair to conclude that he welcomes this review.

The review in question is published in the June issue of The New York Review of Books (NYRB) under the title "Israel in Peril." It was written by David Shulman, Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University; as Shulman's biographical note at NYRB adds, he is also "an activist in Ta'ayush," a group that describes itself as "a grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to break down the walls of racism and segregation by constructing a true Arab-Jewish partnership."

Shulman begins his review by ridiculing Israel's response to a planned "Air Flotilla" organized by various supposedly "pro-Palestinian" groups adamantly opposed to Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. Ignoring the fact that the "Air Flotilla" organizers were hoping to bring some 2000 activists to Ben Gurion airport, Shulman asks why "a handful of harmless demonstrators" should "elicit so severe a reaction" and he then proceeds to answer his own question by claiming that there is a "logic—that of the endless war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness—[that also] underlies Netanyahu's constant dwelling on the Holocaust in relation to Iran."

Shulman then goes on to claim:

"Like many Israelis, he [Netanyahu] inhabits a world where evil forces are always just about to annihilate the Jews, who must strike back in daring and heroic ways in order to snatch life from the jaws of death. I think that, like many other Israelis, he is in love with such a world and would reinvent it even if there were no serious threat from outside."

So here you have it, from a professor of humanistic studies, no less: Those Jews — at least most of those Israeli Jews — are paranoid idiots who just love to imagine a world full of terrible threats that allows them to fantasize about their "daring and heroic " defense against these threats. Moreover, in their stupidity, those paranoids don't realize that it is their own policies — specifically the capital O Occupation of the West Bank — that pose the greatest peril for Israel's continued existence as a Jewish state.

To be sure, I largely share the concerns about a one-state scenario that Shulman professes to have. However, it is not entirely clear if Shulman's enthusiastic activism for Ta'ayush really reflects his commitment to a two-state solution. According to the organization's own website, "Ta'ayush" is the Arabic word for "living together" and the group was founded in the fall of 2000 — that is to say at the beginning of the so-called Al-Aqsa intifada, about which I could find as little on the group's website as about Palestinian terrorism and rejectionism in general. Indeed, it seems that Ta'ayush believes that its supposed goal of "constructing a true Arab-Jewish partnership" is best pursued by focusing exclusively on denouncing Israel's policies in the West Bank, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the group also counts among its supporters an extremely controversial activist like Neve Gordon.

There is absolutely nothing on the Ta'ayush website that would contradict the conclusion that "the walls of racism and segregation" which the group wants to "break down" are all Israel's fault. It should thus hardly come as a surprise that most of the Palestinians presented by David Shulman in his NYRB piece are helpless and destitute victims of Israel's "malevolent campaign" to make their lives "as miserable as possible." NYRB readers encounter a desperately poor "Palestinian widow with nine orphaned children" who, on a "freezing, rainy day," is left "standing barefoot, still shocked and traumatized, in a neighbor's tent" because Israel cruelly demolished her "ramshackle hut." Then there is a cave-dwelling friend of Shulman, who — thanks to "benevolent" and generous European donors whose projects are opposed by Israel — gets to use a light bulb in his cave. According to Shulman, this prompted him to declare gratefully: "For the first time in my life, I feel like a complete human being."

The message is clear: Palestinians are wonderful, simple, innocent people whose struggle to eke out a meager living is cruelly sabotaged by a malevolent Israel.

This one-dimensional view betrays not only hostility towards Israel, but also a profoundly patronizing attitude towards the Palestinians. A story posted by Shulman on the Ta'ayush website in April provides an excellent illustration. After a detailed account of a day spent helping Palestinians to challenge Israeli restrictions on the use of land near a settlement, Shulman concludes his post by describing an encounter with some "village boys:"

"We linger in the wadi together with the sheep and the village boys. [...] The village boys are into theology. "What's your name?" they ask me. "Da'ud," I say. "Named for the Prophet Da'ud! Are you a Muslim?" "No, I'm a Jew." "Do you know how to pray?" "Maybe a little." I can recite the Fatiha, the opening to the Qur'an. This makes a positive impression. "Sing it," they say to me, "like the Mu'ezzin does." I try. They correct me. It's not so easy to get my voice to the upper register you need for the second phrase, but they seem happy with my efforts. "So why don't you become a Muslim?" they ask me. "I don't want to," I say; "I already told you I'm a Jew." "But on the Day of Judgment, yaum al-qiyama, only Muslims will go to Paradise, Al-Jannah, Firdaws; the rest will be burned in fire." "I like the fire."

They laugh. This has to be put to the test; they borrow a cigarette lighter and hold it to my finger. I fail the test. "Well, maybe we Jews won't be thrown into the fire," I say. "Maybe it will be cold there in Hell." "No way!" They're very certain. "Fire means fire. The believers and only the believers don't get burned." "OK," I say, "but couldn't a Jew also be a believer of some sort?" "Absolutely not."

Now again: "So why don't you take on Islam?" I'm having trouble explaining, in halting Arabic, the rationale of my choice. [...] One thing we can all agree on: on the Day of Judgment, the settlers will be sent to the fire. The boys laugh again in the relief that certainty brings. Sinners are sinners, and God knows right from wrong.

I hope He does, though sometimes I'm not sure. Or maybe this is the definition of God, which we've arrived at together, gently teasing one another on this hill of rocks and thorns. It's midday: a fierce sun offers a slight, still bearable taste of hellfire. I promise them that, infidel that I am, I'll be back here next week or the one after."

Just imagine what Shulman would write about an encounter with a group of Jewish village boys who would be "into theology" the same way these Muslim village boys are... Well, actually, there is no need to imagine much: if the boys came from a village in Judea or Samaria, Shulman already agreed with the Muslim village boys that "on the Day of Judgment, the settlers will be sent to the fire."

That should count for something, coming from the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Department of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University...

It's really a pity that the readers of Shulman's piece in the NYRB will not know that this fierce critic of Israel reacts with amusement — and even seems enchanted — when he meets Muslim village boys who "are into theology" and are absolutely certain that non-Muslims deserve to burn in hell. Outside the Ivory Tower, many understand that millions of Muslim youngsters are brought up with this certainty, and that this has grim implications for minorities in the Muslim world and the well-documented endemic Muslim hostility towards Jews.

In stark contrast to Professor Shulman's baseless assertions about the supposed eagerness of many Israeli Jews to indulge into paranoid fantasies about living in a hostile world, most Israelis dream of the day when Muslim youngsters will be brought up to accept Jews at least as believers "of some sort" who don't deserve eternal hellfire.

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Posted by Arutz Sheva, May 22, 2012

 This article was written by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and is archived at

A Toronto native living in Jerusalem literally got away with his life when Arab school students smashed the windows of his car and tried to attack him Monday morning.

The near-deadly rock-throwing attack occurred as Ephraim Silverberg was making his annual pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives Cemetery for the anniversary of the death of his grandfather, who was brought to Israel for burial after he died in Toronto.

He was driving from Mount Scopus to the Mount of Olives via the A-Tur Arab neighborhood. Silverberg, armed with a hand gun, took the precautions of locking his doors and turning on his mobile phone.

"About midway through the trip, there was a traffic jam, and the traffic slowed to a halt near the entrance of a boy's high school with the pupils just arriving for a day of studies," he told Arutz Sheva.

"A few yards beyond the entrance to the school grounds, I heard a boom and immediately realized that a rock had struck my side of the car. At that point, I called emergency services on my cell phone and reported that I was under attack," he related.

"The first rock was followed by many others as well as youths coming up and kicking the car. The traffic jam started to ease and I managed to move slowly forward. I informed emergency services that I was not attempting to exit the car but rather move forward as best as I could ... I heard the sound of shattering glass and realized that the rear window and perhaps others were gone."

The high school students ran after the car just as the traffic jam was breaking, and Silverberg managed to drive fast enough to outdistance them and reach the cemetery safely. Police arrive on the scene and later arrested one of the attackers, whom Silverberg was able to identify. He said that the police advised the youth of his rights to a lawyer and called the youth's parents because he is a minor.

He said that if the traffic jam had remained, "they would have tried to drag me out of the car, and then I would have had to use my handgun — but I was outnumbered." He added that he never thought to pull out his weapon during the attack.

After he guided his half-windowless car to the cemetery, a tourist bus parked beside him, and the driver told Silverberg that he had been behind him and had also called the police.

Silverberg also noted that his army service in the IDF helped save him. "I know how to keep my cool under fire, and I tried to deal with the situation in an analytical manner," he said.

He added that he will continue to travel to the cemetery every year, although by a different route. Silberberg usually uses goes to the cemetery through the Old City road that winds up to the cemetery, but the area was closed to traffic Sunday morning because of Jerusalem Unification Day celebrations.

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Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, May 22, 2012

Diana West is a syndicated columnist and author of "The Death of the Grown-Up." She may be reached at: This article is archived at:

Parallels run deep with the story of the "Lamed He" (, the 35 Jewish fighters massacred by the arabs in 1948 because they encountered an arab shepherd and let him go instead of killing him, and he revealed their position to the villagers of Tsurif who then killed and dismembered ALL of them.

This article has been widely distributed by the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors(CJHS) website, which is "committed to the promotion of Western values against the dual threats of complacency at home and political Islam abroad. We believe that a safe and secure Israel, prospering as a Jewish State, is a prerequisite to long-term global peace."

leavenworth 10

Here I am again in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., the highest appeals court for the U.S. military. Last month, I was here to cover Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna's final appeal. Now I am waiting for Army Sgt. Evan Vela's final appeal to begin. I glance over at Evan's father, Curtis Carnahan, and Evan's wife, Alyssa, sitting together in the otherwise empty first row, and I can't believe it's been more than four years since Curtis first emailed me:

"I am Sgt. Evan Vela's father. I do not know if you have followed my son's case, but some people have drawn similarities between the Luttrell situation and Evan's."

Curtis was referring to Marcus Luttrell, whose 2007 best-seller "Lone Survivor" tells of four Navy SEALs, Luttrell among them, whose 2005 mission in Afghanistan was compromised when two unarmed Afghan goatherds discovered the SEALs hiding deep in Taliban territory. I had written a column discussing the excruciating fact that the thought of being brought up on legal charges in a military court back home weighed so heavily on these young Americans' minds that they decided not to save their own lives and their mission by killing the two Afghans, but rather to take their chances against the veritable Taliban army the pair would summon against them.

"It was the stupidest, most Southern-fried, lame-brain decision I ever made in my life," Luttrell later wrote of his decisive vote to let the two Afghans go. As a result of the decision the SEALs made on an Afghan mountaintop far from any courthouse, 19 Americans — Luttrell's three SEAL teammates and 16 more special forces — would be killed that same day.

But no one went to court.

In Evan's case, the leader of his elite sniper squad chose the other path. It was May 2007, in insurgent-controlled Iskandariyah, Iraq. When an unarmed Iraqi man compromised the team's "hide" and refused to cooperate quietly, the team leader chose not to risk drawing local insurgents to their position, but instead ordered Evan to kill the man. As a result of this decision, all of our soldiers came home that day.

But then they went to court. Long saga short, Evan Vela became the only soldier convicted of the killing. He was sentenced to 10 years at Fort Leavenworth military prison — the shortest sentence of the so-called Leavenworth 10, as Curtis reminded me this week, using the nickname for a group of veterans who are incarcerated for a variety of desperate, blurry, fog-of-war shootings.

Listening to the procedural review of Evan's case, I am struck again by the ghastly surrealism of their plight — the penalties the U.S. government has forced on its most dutiful sons for not committing, in effect, suicide as the Navy SEALs did in choosing to escape prison rather than death.

Meanwhile, literally thousands of incarcerated terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have been granted clemency or otherwise found their freedom. Recently, Ali Musa Daqduq, a Hezbollah mastermind who confessed to kidnapping, torturing and killing five American soldiers in 2007, walked free in Iraq. In December 2011, President Obama turned over Daqduq to an Iraqi court, which released him this month. According to the most basic moral calculus, this is neither fair nor right. As Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida recently wrote to President Obama, it's an "utter betrayal."

I steal another glance at the Carnahans, now focused on the court proceedings. Like the other Leavenworth families, they have been counting off the years by trials, appeals, clemency boards and pleas for congressional support. Back in early 2009, there were flutters in the news about a possible pardon for Evan from outgoing President Bush. Then nothing. No pardon. Which was, to my mind, unpardonable. George W. Bush should have pardoned Evan and the other soldiers, now prisoners, whom he ordered into a confusing, rules-restricted war against an army without uniforms on a battlefield without lines.

And so, the Leavenworth 10 sit in prison: Michael Behenna, Corey Clagett, John Hatley, William Hunsaker, Larry Hutchins, Michael Leahy, Joseph Mayo, Michael Williams, Evan Vela. Newcomer Derrick Miller has joined them. Miller last year drew a life sentence after unsuccessfully claiming self-defense in the killing of a suspected Afghan insurgent who had penetrated his defensive perimeter.

Memorial Day — the day we mourn our war dead — is coming. President Obama, give these men another chance at life. Pardon them.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 22, 2012

Fighting the good fight is something that must be done without let-up. And it means fighting here at home as well as internationally.

I want to begin by sharing an excellent article by Moshe Dann, "The fundamental misconception about Arab-Israeli peace."

Dann addresses a very basic issue for our nation with clarity (all emphasis added):

"'The "peace process' between Israel and the Arabs, touted as part of a 'two state' plan, failed not because of disagreements over settlements and boundaries, but because of a basic false assumption: that Palestinianism could be fulfilled in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It failed not because Israel did not give enough, but because nothing would have been enough...

"The dispute is not over territory, but ideology — Palestinianism, the basis of their nearly hundred-year war against Zionism and the State of Israel, the national historic homeland of the Jewish People. For Arabs, Palestinians and most Muslims, that struggle is jihad against the infidel.

"Since a 'peace process' requires Arabs to give up their opposition to a Jewish state, it contradicts their basic principles and historic mission. While some might make temporary concessions, the goal is the same. It explains not only why the "peace process" failed, but why that failure was and is inevitable.

"The primary goal of Palestinian nationalism is to wipe out the State of Israel, not to legitimize its existence. "...Palestinianism is not an authentic national identity, but a political construct developed in the mid 1960s as part of the PLO's terrorist agenda. 'Liberation' did not refer to Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, which Arabs then controlled, but to Israel itself.

"...Trying to convince Palestinian Arabs to change their concept of Palestinian identity and accept Israel, therefore, means throwing out the struggle to 'liberate Palestine from the Zionists.' It assumes that their struggle is to achieve statehood alongside Israel, not to replace Israel with an Arab Muslim state.

"...Statehood means denying the Nakba (catastrophe), the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It means admitting that everything for which they fought and sacrificed was in vain.

"...Statehood means giving up 'the armed struggle' against Israel, the heart of Palestinian identity. It means that the concept of Palestinianism created by Arabs and the PLO, accepted by the UN and the media, and even by Israeli politicians was a hoax, a fake identity with a false purpose. It means that their suffering was for naught.

"Statehood involves taking responsibility and ending incitement and violence, confronting the myths of 'Palestinian archeology,' and 'Palestinian society and culture,' and it requires building authentic nationalism, with just and transparent institutions.

"In this context, for Palestinians, Arabs and most Muslims, a 'peace process,' the 'two-state solution' that accepts Israel, is a metaphor for defeat.

"As long as massive funding and proposals for solutions are based on establishing a second (or third) Arab Palestinian state west of the Jordan River they ignore inherent contradictions, fan the flames of resentment and undermine Israel's security and viability.

"And, as long as Palestinianism can tap into the unlimited cesspools of Western Jew-hatred and Arab bank accounts the conflict will continue..."


For many of us who have been witnessing events here with clear eyes and a sense of horror, what Dann writes is axiomatic: The "two state solution" ain't gonna work. There was never a chance.

He says, "We need to return to reality and leave dreamy visions and hype where they belong." "Ein breira (no choice)."

Agreed. It's absolutely essential to begin the dialogue in earnest about the inherent failure of the Oslo vision and the "two state solution."

We have to start. Yet this will be a long hard haul, not just internationally, but even here at home.

Some people are reluctant to surrender that lovely vision — they cling to it in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Our president, Shimon Peres, falls into this category. He waxes eloquently optimistic even when there is no cause for optimism — and is greatly loved abroad for his embrace of this international fantasy.

Others — whatever they know in their hearts — are without the courage to buck the international consensus. Our prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, can be counted in this category. While I certainly cannot see into his heart, I am convinced that he knows full well that there is no chance of a peace process succeeding, no possibility of negotiations coming to a meaningful fruition.

Yet, instead of standing up before the nation and telling the unvarnished truth, he plays that game — speaking of his fervent hope that Abbas will come to the table, and of his commitment to a Palestinian state (albeit a "demilitarized" state — yet another fantasy).

It is likely that he has convinced himself that he is sparing himself and his nation unnecessary grief by playing it this way. I imagine that he hopes to incur less international wrath and secure more support. But in the final analysis he is bringing Israel to a diplomatic dead end (a dead end, admittedly, that he hopes to blame on Abbas), without helping us to move on in positive and constructive terms.


What we require now, of course, is serious dialogue at a national level regarding what comes next. Various proposals have been advanced, and must be examined. They include but are not limited to:

[] Annexation of all of Judea and Samaria, with the Arabs resident within our borders being granted full citizenship. (In spite of much of the hype you've likely heard, they are not a demographic threat.)

[] Annexation of only area C, which is fully under Israeli control according to Oslo and encompasses all Jewish areas plus areas important for security, but does not encompass the major areas of Arab residence. This might be done as a first stage towards eventual full annexation, or this might be an end unto itself — in which case questions remain as to what happens to areas A and B, where the Palestinian Arabs have full or partial control (see following).

[] Movement of the Palestinian Arab "refugees" (those registered with UNRWA) to a third country for resettlement, with an autonomy that provides local control accorded to those remaining Palestinian Arabs who live between the river and the sea.

[] Establishment of "cantons" in Judea and Samaria, in Palestinian Arab areas, each to be governed by a local clan (hamula). This is the proposal of Dr. Moti Kedar, who says that as the Palestinian Arab society is clan-based only this will truly allow peace. (He actually sees a good deal of the Arab Middle East ultimately breaking back down into clan-controlled regions, rather than remaining as the artificially created "nations" that currently exist.)

[] Encouragement of voluntary movement of Palestinian Arabs into Jordan, which is the true Palestinian state (although the Jordanian king is loath to acknowledge this). Perhaps along with this an annexation of Palestinian Arab areas of Judea and Samaria to Jordan, so that the Arabs would be franchised via Jordan and not Israel. Or, in another permutation, autonomous areas for Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria that would be federated with Jordan and permit Jordanian citizenship.


There is obviously a great deal to consider: precipitous decisions cannot and should not be made with regard to matters of such import for the nation. But we must begin to talk about the possibilities — in their various permutations — and the implications of each.

(Please! Do not write to me to tell me which way forward is obviously best. I am simply explaining the various options here.)

With a prime minister who is not on board, this will come slowly.

But I do see hopeful signs of a nationalist turn within the Knesset and the nation. I see good people who are willing to confront the issues. This is not going to move forward without a whole lot of angst. It may even be two steps forward and one step backward.

But I have hopes that over time it indeed will move forward. And — to the very best of my ability — I will be tracking and celebrating that progress.


One of the really good people right now is Miri Regev (Likud), who is about to start a Knesset lobby to promote annexation of Judea and Samaria. Right on! It will at least be a subject of conversation in the Knesset now. And a other good people will be joining her. I would bet on the firebrand Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and the long-time fighter for the nationalist cause, Arieh Eldad (National Union).

Another is Ze'ev Elkins (Likud and Coalition Chair), who has, most recently, promoted a bill to provide tax breaks of 35% for donations to NGOs that encourage settlement, including in Judea and Samaria. That bill passed in the Knesset yesterday.


Then we've got the good people who are fighting the fight for Ulpana and other "unauthorized" communities. Battle is being done by people such as Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Ya'akov Katz (chair, National Union).

I've been alluding for some time to that fact that they will be bringing legislation to the Knesset to address this issue. And tomorrow is the day! Quite a tense day it promises to be.

Originally Orlev said he wouldn't bring the legislation forward unless the prime minister released the government ministers to vote their consciences and did not require coalition discipline. And there was considerable lobbying to try to convince Netanyahu to do just that.

But the latest word is that he will not. Both he and his "coalition buddy" Mofaz have announced that they will not support this legislation. Mofaz particularly irked me with his statement that he would not contravene a ruling of the High Court. This is circular reasoning, since the High Court ruling was based on the position of the government.

Why the legislation is being brought forward in spite of the opposition at the top is not clear, for if it doesn't pass it may not be brought back for several months. Might be some arrangements in process behind the scenes that have yet to become apparent.


Again, for the record: broadly, the proposed legislation says that if a certain period of time (roughly four years) has passed during which Jews are living in housing in Judea and Samaria and an Arab suddenly claims ownership, that ownership must be documented in court. But even if it proves valid, if more than 20 Jewish families live in the community, it cannot be dismantled. Instead the Arab owner will be compensated with funds or an alternative site of land.


Speaking of "an alternative site of land," Netanyahu, who had made all sorts of noise about how he would find a way to save Ulpana, is now offering the residents an alternative so that the houses in question can be dismantled. He could save Ulpana. By allowing ministers to vote their conscience on that legislation, or by giving the word that the IDF should take the land, which would enable it to be fully and unquestionably legalized. What he is offering here feels like his attempt to pretend to help the people without actually saving Ulpana.


Other points of political interest:

The two nationalist parties, National Union (Ihud Leumi) and Habayit Hayehudi (formerly Mafdal), are in process of making arrangements to merge. I see this as positive, because, for maximum political effectiveness, there must unity of nationalist elements. This merger will not be accomplished easily, but is necessary.

I have learned that some polls indicate an increase in support for these parties, combined.

Naftali Bennett, formerly a key aide to Netanyahu, had planned to start his own nationalist party. But as elections won't be held for some 18 months, he has shifted strategies and will be joining Habayit Hayehudi. This, too, I see as positive. For he has considerable political expertise and support — via his work as head of the Yesha Council — and will be an asset. MK Uri Orbach is backing him to head the party.

Many of you may feel the need for a score card, or a spread sheet, to keep track of all of this. But I share it because the import — with the advancement of a nationalist agenda down the road — is so great.


Please, see my most recent article, up on American Thinker. It deals with the true meaning of hudna, a word used by the Palestinian Arabs that is often erroneously translated as "truce."

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, May 22, 2012

Christianity is one of the best examples in history of a little religion that made it big in the world. At the death of Jesus (and the conversion of Paul), there were twelve apostles, the original disciples of Jesus who were imbued with the Holy Spirit to teach Christianity to the masses. At the beginning, each had equal status, and the major doctrine (developed by Paul) was salvation for those who believed in the saving grace of Jesus and who underwent Baptism., the ritual which cleansed the soul. Paul added the theological point that Christians were the "true Israel," the Israel of faith rather than the crude Israel of the flesh (the Jews).

The Christians felt that because they were preaching to non-Jews, they had to discredit the status of Jews by emphasising their lack of faith and their fall from favour because they didn't accept the teachings of the Messiah, of Christ.

As in all new religions, Christianity had birth-pangs. The major assumption of the budding religion was that the Messiah had come and that the New Age was at hand. This idea could not last for very long before it started losing its immediacy. If the New Age was at hand, why wasn't anything new happening? Paul's answer was that something new was happening. The Christians just had to look inside themselves to see how much change there was.

...The leading Christian thinkers from 80 CE until 420 CE spent most of their time writing defences and arguments against heretical arguments; applying proof texts from Scripture to their theology, and concretising the beliefs of the new religion. These writings were called Apologies, and the early Church fathers were called Apologists.

In their zeal to justify early Church doctrine, the Apologists inevitably vilified the Jews. In making Christianity the New Israel, they had to explain the sins of the Old Israel, the fallen Israel, the false Israel.

The first apologist to do this was a newly-converted Christian named Justin Martyr. In 145 CE (ten years after the Bar Kochba Revolt) Justin Martyr wrote an apology in which he was having a dialogue with a Jew named Trypho. He blasted the Jews for rejecting Jesus, for killing Jesus (but he was later killed by the Romans — same as Jesus), for leading people away from salvation. He gloated over the destruction of the Temple as being just punishment for Jewish perfidy. Justin Martyr's writings became incorporated into early Christian thought, and were the origins of Christian anti-Semitism.

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

In order for Israel to gain true sovereignty and ability to reunite all Jewish land the issue of Israel's dependency on support of Western anti-Semitic hypocrisies must be addressed and resolved. By maintaining instability in the region so-called friends of Israel have created political, military and economic leverage, and able to get Arab oil in exchange for expensive weaponry. Establishing peace between Israel and Arabs is not in their interest!

Jews in Samaria Take on IDF Function

In light of a wave of attacks and carjackings on Judea and Samaria highways, civilians in the area have begun taking over from the IDF. A newly established group of Binyamin-area Israelis aims to protect the roads where the military has failed. The volunteer guards expressed hope that they would not permanently replace the IDF, but rather, would serve as a temporary back-up to army. (When government fail people, they take control of their destiny!)

Al Jazeera Wins Freedom of Speech Award

The Roosevelt Foundation, a private establishment dedicated to the ideals and achievements of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, has presented Al Jazeera with its 2012 Freedom of Speech and Expression Award. The foundation recognised Al Jazeera Media Network for "its longstanding efforts to provide independent, impartial news for an international audience and to offer a voice to a diversity of perspectives from under-reported regions". (I have to admit that Al Jazeera, compare to the Western networks — like BBC, is quite a good source of the international news. It is even more balanced about reporting news from Israel. But it is shy off the reporting bad news from the ArabGulf states and deliberately full of anti-Western subliminal propaganda!) Robots to Patrol Borders Instead of Soldiers

A new project currently being developed will have robots replacing IDF soldiers on patrols along Israel's borders. The project was initiated by the families of Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sawaid, who were kidnapped by Hizbullah terrorists in October of 2000. On January 29, 2004, the bodies of the three soldiers were returned in exchange for 435 terrorist prisoners.

Hizballah Rushes Arms to Syria

The shocking impact of the twin explosions which killed 55 people and injured almost 400 in Damascusprompted Iran into frenetic activity. Within hours, Tehran had ordered its Lebanese proxy Hizballah to open up its arms stores and run quantities of weapons and military equipment across the border to the Syrian army.

Jerusalem Hospital Tries anti-Cancer Vaccine

The therapy, which targets a molecule found in 90 per cent of cancers, eventually could provide an injection that would allow patients' immune systems to fight off common cancers including breast and prostate cancer. The first results of trials in people, at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, suggest the vaccine can reduce levels of disease. The human work is so preliminary it has yet to be published in a scientific journal.

Another Surrender to Islamic Terror

Among the concessions made by Israelwas an agreement to stop placing prisoners in solitary confinement. In addition, Israelagreed to allow prisoners to call relatives, to pursue academic studies, and to allow prisoners from Gazaas well as from Judea and Samaria to receive visits from family members. Hamas-allied terrorists blocked kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from receiving any visitors whatsoever for more than five years in Gaza.

Should PM Have Said "Jordan is Palestine"?

MK Aryeh Eldad criticised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's letter to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the Knesset plenum. "The letter should have included the fact that the resolution of the conflict lies with the possibility the Jordan will become the PA homeland when the Palestinian Arabs overthrow King Abdullah," he said. (Jordan is not Palestine — It is 77% of Jewish land, which was legally allocated for Eretz-Israel. It is occupied by Arabs! Jews must remember it and aim for reversing the injustice of the past.)

Quote of the Week:

"The international clock is ticking and the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is in danger. For years Israeli leaders have been burying their heads in the sand, occupying themselves with political exercises and spin and in that time the threat to Israelhas only grown." — Tzipi Livni, the former head Kadima party — Why didn't she worry about future of Jewish democratic state when she was in power, but did everything possible to undermine its Jewish Zionist ideals? Her comrades are still " burying their heads in the sand"!

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 21, 2012

Prof. Steven Plaut emailed his readership several instances of undemocratic or illegal stances in Israel, summarized below.


At an assemblage of radical leftist groups in Israel, Hebrew University Prof. Amiram Goldblum advised that it is futile to try to persuade voters to adopt leftist policies. The demographic trend is against the Left. Instead, he urged the audience to try to get foreign powers to pressure Israel into adopting leftist policies.

Prof. Goldblum called residents of Jerusalem suburbs across the Green live evil settlers who should be evicted. [Depriving people of their property for ideological reasons is another example of anti-democratic ideology.]


Retired Judge Uri Struzman criticized Israeli court policy on evicting people from disputed property. Judge Struzman posits a human right to a hearing before a writ of eviction is executed. He believes such rights belong even to the Bedouin, despite their obviously fictional claims to own the whole Negev, and even to convicted Arab terrorists.

When it comes to Jews in the territories, the courts deny rights to a court hearing and due process. [This unequal enforcement of the law occurs often, but there are some hearings, and at them, the rulings are biased against the Jews' evidence.]


Haifa's middle class, mostly integrated Christian Arabs are becoming politically extremist. On Israeli Independence Day, they displayed PLO flags on some of their houses downtown. The Municipal government, headed by a Far Leftist, did not object. This year, every Arab school in Haifa was closed on "Nakba Day," to mourn Israel's creation and existence, which is illegal (Zman Haifa, 5/18/12).


An anti-democratic streak runs through American liberals, too, though not exclusively by them. They now believe that their ends justify their means. So they want the Supreme Court to help them thwart the Constitution, as on their wish to restrict campaign donations. They are one-sided about this. They would bar corporate donations but not union donations. They think that only the GOP gets much campaign funds, not realizing that in recent elections until 2012, Democrats raised more money than Republicans. They do not know how much unions donate in dollars and in services, nor that unions give it almost entirely on Democrats, whereas Business usually splits its donations so as to mollify both parties. In condemning lobbies, liberals think only of business lobbies, not realizing that every group has lobbies that seem to put their own interest before the national interest.

Liberals favor the patently unconstitutional requirement that people buy medical insurance, because Obamacare would be even less affordable without it. Again, they think the ends justify the means, even if undemocratic such as ignoring the Constitution.

Democrat state legislators in, if I recall, Wisconsin, hid in order to prevent a quorum they believed would lead to defeat of their program.

The Democratic leadership refused to let Members of Congress see key legislation and discuss it, before voting. Both parties have used parliamentary manipulation in order to prevent certain votes.

The Obama administration has tried to tell the medical profession what it must say and not say to patients.

Labor unions boycott contributors to opponents' political campaigns.

The Administration has been campaigning with an "enemies list" of "bad" people who contributed to GOP campaigns. Un-American, the kind of trick Pres. Nixon was notorious for.

The Administration has set up a consumer bureau outside of congressional funding and oversight.

President Obama sometimes rules by decree, contrary to law. He initiated some regulations despite the law's banning them.

The thrust for more regulation compromises freedom and stifles business initiative rather than solving problems.

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

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Posted by Laura, May 21, 2012

 This article was written by Daniel Greenfield and is archived at:

When Jordan's Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed the city — the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett and Major Bob Slade, under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam, invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

Since then, the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is, however, standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as "settlers" living in "settlements," and describe them as an "obstruction to peace." Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.


Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world's oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as "settlements" is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have "settlements" in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that, you would have to ask London and Washington D.C., where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough, this religion's name isn't even Islam — it's diplomacy.

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that, when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while, when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.

Vice President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, "It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice President who didn't deserve that." David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an "affront" and an "insult." Two for the price of one.

Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration. "Israel's Provocation", the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a "diplomatic bomb" that went off in Biden's face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.

Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It's in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It's insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.

That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it's completely and undeniably true.


When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn't come crying that he's been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were, then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It's only the Jews who are the problem.

The entire Peace Process is really a prolonged solution to the latest phase of the Jewish Problem. The problem, as stated by so many diplomats, is that there are Jews living in places that Muslims want. There were Jews living in Gaza before 1948, but they were driven out, they came back, and then they were driven out again by their own government in compliance with international demands. Now only Hamas lives in Gaza and it's as peaceful and pleasant without the Jews as Nazi Germany.

But there are still Jews in the West Bank and they have to be gotten rid of. Once enough Jews have been expelled, there will be peace. That's not a paragraph from Mein Kampf, it's not some lunatic sermon from Palestinian Authority television — it is the consensus of the international community. This consensus states that the only reason there still isn't peace is because enough Jews haven't been expelled from their homes. The ethnic cleansing for peace hasn't gone far enough.

There will be peace when all the Jews are gone. That much is certainly undeniable. Just look at Gaza or Egypt or Iraq or Afghanistan, which has a grand total of two Jews, both of them in their seventies. Or Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria where peace reigns now that the Jews are gone. Some might say that violence seems to increase proportionally with the number of Muslims, but we all know that would be a racist thing to say. On the other hand suggesting that violence increases with the number of Jews living on land that Muslims want, that's just diplomacy. A common sense fact that everyone who is anyone in foreign policy knows to be true.

How will we know when the Muslims have gotten all the land that they want? When the violence stops. Everyone knows that agreements mean nothing. No matter how many pieces of paper are signed, the bombs and rockets still keep bursting; real ones that kill people, not fake ones that upset Vice Presidents. The only way to reach an agreement is by groping blindly in the dark, handing over parcel after parcel of land, until the explosions stop or the Muslims fulfill their original goal of pushing the Jews into the sea.

That's the wonderful thing about diplomacy if you're a diplomat and the terrible thing about it if you are anyone else without a secure way out of the country when diplomacy fails. And diplomacy in the region always fails. Camp David and every single agreement Israel has signed with Muslim countries aren't worth the paper they're written on. The only peace treaty that counts is the one made by tanks and rifles. It's the one made by Israeli planes in Egyptian skies and Israeli soldiers walking the border. It's the one made by Jewish farmers and ranchers, tending their sheep and their fields, with rifles strung over their backs. The only peace that's worth anything is the peace of the soldiers and settlers.

In 1966, Jerusalem was a city sundered in two, divided by barbed wire and the bullets of Muslim snipers. Diplomacy did not reunite it. Israel pursued diplomacy nearly to its bitter end until it understood that it had no choice at all but to fight. Israel did not swoop into the fight, its leaders did their best to avoid the conflict, asking the international community to intervene and stop Egypt from going to war. Read back the headlines for the last five years on Israel and Iran, and you will get a sense of the courage and determination of the Israeli leaders of the day.

When Israel went to war, its leaders did not want to liberate Jerusalem, they wanted Jordan to stay out of the war. Even when Jordan entered the war, they did not want to liberate the city. Divine Providence and Muslim hostility forced them to liberate Jerusalem and forced them to keep it. Now some of them would like to give it back, another sacrifice to the bloody deity of diplomacy whose altar flows with blood and burnt sacrifices.

As we remember Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, it is important to remember that the city is united and free because diplomacy failed. The greatest triumph of the modern state happened only because diplomacy proved hopeless and useless in deterring Muslim genocidal ambitions. Had Israel succumbed to international pressure and had Nasser been as subtle as Sadat, then the Six-Day War would have looked like the Yom Kippur War fought with 1948 borders — and Israel very likely would not exist today.


Even as Jews remember the great triumph of Jerusalem Day, the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices are busy searching for ways to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, out of towns, villages and cities. This isn't about the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who have repeatedly asserted that they want to remain part of Israel. It's not about peace, which did not come from any previous round of concessions, and will not come from this one either. It's about solving the Jewish problem.

As long as Jews allow themselves to be defined as the problem, there will be plenty of those offering solutions. And the solutions invariably involve doing something about the Jews. It only stands to reason that if Jews are the problem, then moving them or getting rid of them is the solution. The bloody god of diplomacy always assumes that they are the problem. There is less friction in defining Jews as the problem, than in defining Muslims as the problem. The numbers alone mean that is so.

Jerusalem Day is a reminder of what the real problem is and what the real solution is. Muslim occupation of Israel is the problem. The Islamization of Jerusalem is the problem. Muslim violence in support of the Muslim occupation of Israel and of everywhere else is the problem. Israel is the solution. Only when we liberate ourselves from the lies, when we stop believing that we are the problem and recognize that we are the solution. Only then will we be free of the Joe Bidens and the Peter Beinarts, the Jimmy Carters and Barack Obamas, the Gilad Atzmons and Jeremy Ben Amis. Only then will the liberation that began in 1967 be complete.

Only then will we have liberated our Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of the soul. It is incumbent on all of us to liberate that little Jerusalem within. The holy city that lives in all of us. To clean the dross off its golden gates, wash the filth from its stones and expel the invaders gnawing away at our hearts until we look proudly upon a shining city. Then to help others liberate their own Jerusalems. Only then will we truly be free.

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Posted by Laura, May 21, 2012

 This article is by Gershon Mesika, Shomron Regional Council Head and is archived at

The dynamic and intrepid head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, gave a stirring speech at the official meeting of the EU Parliament in Brussels. It was well received.

Editor's Note: The speech was delivered in Hebrew and translated simultanously to the languages of the listeners. English translation by Arutz-Sheva writer Gil Ronen (

Heads of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Members of Parliament from European countries,

Distinguished guests,

The prophets of Israel predicted that before the Messiah comes there will be a time of confusion, when good is turned into evil and evil is turned into good.

We see this clearly today.

The Shomron, or Samaria, which I am honored to represent in this distinguished place, the European Parliament, is a region that is in the center of international attention, since it is a sizable part of the territory that is in dispute between the Jewish nation and its neighbors in the Middle East.

But this area, which for many in the world is nothing but "disputed land," is a homeland for us, the place that characterizes and determines our national and religious identity, the scene of the great events described in the Book of Books, the Bible.

The Middle Eastern confrontation and the Islamic terror campaign against the citizens of Israel are attempts by reactionary forces to oppose the historic process of the Return to Zion: our return to our historic homeland after nearly 2,000 years, during which we were scattered all over the world — weak, humiliated, trampled, rejected, but strong in our spirit and faith.

During all those years, we did not cease for a moment to remain faithful to our homeland and to maintain a living, continuous, day-to-day connection with it. This bond was expressed in prayers and in the most important religious ceremonies, thanks to which it was only natural for us to realize the dream when opportunity came.

The connection also manifested itself in the continuous existence of Jewish settlement on the Land throughout the long years of exile. Jews always lived in the Land of Israel, throughout the years of Roman, Persian, Greek, Christian and Muslim occupation.

And indeed, even after 2,000 years of exile, the nations of the world recognized the Jewish people's right to its homeland. In the course of the First World War and immediately after it, the victorious powers made a series of decisions that culminated in the historic decision in 1922 by the League of Nations, to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

It is interesting and important to look at the words used in the mandate that was given to Britain to implement this project.

"Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country..."

The justification that the League of Nations gave as the grounds for establishing the Jewish national home in the Land of Israel was the historical connection between the nation and the Land. What caused this? It was the power of the Bible and the Jewish insistence on maintaining the connection to the Land of Israel.

In 1945, with the establishment of the United Nations after World War II, the organization's founding charter included the recognition of the Jewish people's legal rights to the Land of Israel as eternal ones that cannot be revoked without the consent of the Jewish people.

Article 80, known as the "Land of Israel article," determines that "nothing in the Charter shall be construed ... to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments." In other words, the continued legal rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel are anchored in the binding UN Charter.

These include the rights of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria, which the UN has no right to take away from it.

We hear the word "occupation" repeatedly. From whom, exactly, did the state of Israel take the land in order to occupy it?

After the establishment of the state of Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan conquered the area of Judea and Samaria. Except Britain and Pakistan, no one in the world recognized Jordanian ownership of these territories. This was an illegal occupation of the area that the occupying power called "the West Bank of the Jordan."

This occupied territory served for years as a base for launching terror attacks, and for repeated firing on and shelling of Jewish population centers on the coastal plain, which is completely controlled by the Samaria mountains.

In 1967, the surrounding countries again tried to annihilate us. To realize what danger we were facing, one needs only to look through the newspapers from that time to see the threats of murder and destruction, the sickening cries — "We will throw the Jews into the sea," "The men are for the sea and the women are for us" — and the Nazi caricatures, this time with Arabic captions.

But this time we won a decisive victory and took back our heartland.

Before Israel regained them, Judea and Samaria were under illegal Jordanian occupation. That was preceded by the British Mandate, which by definition was intended for transferring the Land to the Jews. The British were preceded by the Turks who gave up the land, along with the rest of their empire, in the 1923 Lausanne Accord.

They, in turn, were preceded by the Mamelukes, the Crusaders, the early Muslims, the Persians, the Byzantine Empire and the Romans.

Where are all these nations? They are in the museum. Who preceded them? The Jews. And now the Land is back in the hands of its original owners.

Throughout all the years of exile, no conqueror established a political capital in the Land of Israel. This land was never considered the homeland of any nation except the Jews, and Jerusalem is the most holy and central place for the Jewish people.

Distinguished guests,

The three large religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam, believe in the Bible. One of its central themes is the promise of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people and their commandment to settle in it. No other nation in the world has a deed of ownership over its land as powerful as the one the Jews possess for their land — the Land of Israel.

The Nation of Israel implements, in the very establishment of the state of Israel, and especially in the acts of settlement and construction throughout Israel, the Divine promise and commandment, and the leaders of the world must stand beside the Nation of Israel and assist it in this.

Now that we have dealt with the central matter, our natural right to our homeland, let us devote a few words to security.

All of the western Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria or the Shomron, is a tiny strip of land. A glance at the map of the Middle East shows an Arab Muslim ocean that starts next to the Atlantic Ocean in the west and ends on the border with India. Inside this territory, Israel is so small that on maps, its name is usually written in the Mediterranean Sea.

Israel is a small David facing a large and menacing Goliath who threatens it with destruction every single day, and means it, and prepares for it.

Israeli control of the mountains prevents this. Handing over this territory to the enemy means suicide.

The Shomron is the cradle of the birth of the Jewish People. It is a vital strategic component for the existence of the state of Israel, which measures 70 kilometers in width from the sea to the Jordan River, of which 55 kilometers are in Shomron.

Some of the distinguished Members of Parliament here in this hall have visited us and can attest to the truth of what I am saying. Anyone who arrives in the Shomron can see with his own eyes the acute importance of the Shomron for the state of Israel, both as a cradle of the Israeli nation's culture and roots, and as a protective buffer for the state of Israel.

The state of Israel, without the Shomron, is completely indefensible. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel is left with a narrow strip just 15 kilometers wide, in which most of the centers of population, commerce, finance and transportation are concentrated in the Tel Aviv area and controlled from above by the Shomron Mountains.

Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, and southern Israel is now under ceaseless bombardment. Handing over Judea and Samaria will create a similar and even worse situation in central Israel.

Those in Europe pressing for the establishment of a Palestinian state are actually advocating cutting out the heart of the Land, and creating an existential danger to the state of Israel.

If we go, terror will replace us.

Beside us in the Land of Israel live Arabs. In the Middle East, it has been proven that an Arab has no problem living under Jewish rule, but an opposite situation in which an Israeli populace will live in peace under Arab rule is impossible, of course. The reasons are clear to all thinking people.

This is also the sad fate of Christians, who are gradually disappearing all over the Middle East because of pressure from radical Muslims, while their numbers grow under Israeli rule.

The life of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria has also improved drastically under Israeli rule. Unlike them, the Arabs of Gaza who have gone back to living under Arab rule have become poor and unhappy.

Leading public figures from the Arab sector in Israel are seated here with us. They seek coexistence and help to create a better life for Jews and Arabs, side by side under Israeli control, in peace and security.

Unfortunately, the Oslo Accords imported into Israel thousands of terrorists and criminals from Tunisia and the Arab countries. This created a rotten and corrupt regime that violently steals the donations and aid money intended for the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, and that does all that it can to sabotage coexistence, and the ability of the two nations to live in peace and fraternity.

But like any country, Israel, too, has small extremist margins, tiny ultra-leftist organizations that have no real weight within Israel's population. These organizations act to undermine our state's legitimacy and attempt with all their might to incite the world against us with false accusations.

I, Gershon Mesika, son of Yosef and Gita, whose two older brothers were murdered by the damned Nazis in the Jado Concentration Camp in Libya, stand before you and hereby declare, for the world to hear, that the Jewish people now possess our own state, and not only are we not selling it — we are redeeming it again and again with our blood, and paying for the right to maintain it, safeguard it and settle in it. Unfortunately, these people receive large sums of money in support from European nations and from various institutions within the European Union.

In these times, as we all face a common terrorist enemy and attempts by extremist Muslims to achieve domination, it is strange that European governments see fit to pour funds into such radical hate organizations, which failed to gain influence democratically because of their small size and general insignificance.

Under the cover of nice words like "peace" and "human rights," foreign countries fund numerous harmful and shameless groups that do everything to shrink Israel's borders, rob it of its right to self defense, undermine its culture and thus strengthen the Islamic terror organizations.

It is odd that at a time in which some European countries are in a state of near collapse, and their stronger sisters have to dip deep into their pockets to save them, certain elements in Europe continue to spend billions of euro on this anti-Israel activity. There is no logical explanation for this behavior.

In my opinion, this is the immediate and practical conclusion we all need to reach in this honorable conference: take robust action to cut off the flow of funds to subversive groups within Israel, as well as within the Palestinian Authority. If these groups succeed in assisting our common enemies, Europe and the free world will be the next victims.

Our role is to hold on to our very existence. Israel is a forward outpost, both culturally and physically, of the free world, in the heart of an extremist Islamic ocean that is getting more and more radical and is threatening to flood Europe. The European interest is to strengthen this outpost as much as possible.

We have come back to our Land and we have no intention of leaving it.

Almost 700,000 Jews now live in the area liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967. This is a number that cannot be reversed, and it is constantly growing, despite the political and diplomatic pressure.

Without Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria there can be no state of Israel. It will be deprived of its roots and of the most basic security.

The Nazi propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, used to say in his ugly and bestial manner, that if the Jews had a state they would sell it for money.

I, Gershon Mesika, son of Yosef and Gita, whose two older brothers were murdered by the damned Nazis in the Jado Concentration Camp in Libya, stand before you and hereby declare, for the world to hear, that the Jewish people now possess our own state, and not only are we not selling it — we are redeeming it again and again with our blood, and paying for the right to maintain it, safeguard it and settle in it.

The countries of Europe must understand that without the state of Israel, there is no one to stop the Muslim flood from washing over Europe, and without Judea and Samaria, the state of Israel cannot exist.

If the European Union supports the state of Israel and strengthens Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, it will be bringing peace and quiet upon itself.

I will conclude with the immortal words of King David in the Book of Psalms: "May G-d give courage to His nation; may G-d bless His nation with peace." If we stand up for our rights with ferocity and strength, we will reach peace, too, by the grace of G-d. Thank you very much.

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Posted by Laura, May 21, 2012

  This article was written by Rick Richman and is archived at

Last week, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research held an extraordinary conference in New York, with 18 scholars presenting formal papers on "Jews and the Left," addressing such issues as "present-day understandings of Jewish attraction to the Left in the 19th and 20th centuries," whether today's left is "in whole or in part anti-Semitic," and the relationship between the left and Israel.

The response to these issues — coming from a group of scholars who were largely leftists or liberals themselves — was quite remarkable.

In his "Introductory Remarks," Prof. Jack Jacobs of CUNY asserted that "the one-time ties between Jews and the left can best be explained by political, economic, and sociological conditions which existed in the 19th century, and which went out of existence in the twentieth" — that Jewish leftism was thus a creation of a time and place that no longer exists, not an enduring reflection of either Jewish religion or Jewish traits.

The uncertain relationship between Jewish leftism and Jewish religion was the theme of Michael Walzer's keynote address, "The Strangeness of Jewish Leftism." He listed the various ways in which Jewish leftism and Judaism are inconsistent and noted that Jewish leftism was a historical rejection of both Jewish tradition and traditional Jews. He quoted what he called the "profoundly accurate" observation by Polish poet Czesław Miłosz about many Jewish leftist intellectuals of the 1920s and 1930s:

From general ideas about the equality of men, they drew the conclusion that the past does not count. They were unwilling to take an interest in Yiddish literature or translations into Polish, because they saw it as provincial and inferior, left over from the ghetto, the very mention of which was a tactless blunder. If anyone mentioned the Jews in their presence, they took offense, at once reading racism into the remarks. They tried at all costs to forget who they were.

But one result of forgetting "who they were," in order to become immediate universalists, was an inability to transmit that culture over generations, in the way traditional Jewish culture reproduces itself each year with its particular rituals and readings. Prof. Walzer called for a re-engagement by Jewish leftists with Jewish tradition, acknowledging the remarkable political achievement of Jewish politics in exile, sustaining a national existence for 2,000 years without sovereignty or territory. He seemed effectively to be proposing a sort of particular Jewish leftism, one he hoped that, unlike the Jewish leftism of the past, "might be strong enough to pass on to our grandchildren."

But the problem is not only that Jewish leftists left the Jews, but that leftism itself has left them as well. Ron Radosh of the Hudson Institute and PJ Media made a fascinating presentation, entitled "When the American Jewish Left Loved Israel," reviewing the critical support given to the re-creation of Israel by the Soviet Union, the Nation, and I.F. Stone — whom Radosh called second only to Leon Uris in creating a wave of support for a beleaguered people trying to return to their homeland while opposed by the "true colonial power" of the time (Britain). He closed by noting that such leftist support for Israel is long gone.

These days, the Nation is the source of vitriolic opposition to Israel, and a significant part of the left is not only anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic. Prof. Mitchell Cohen of CUNY, who co-edited Dissent for nearly two decades, said he has gotten indigestion from "what parts of the Left have swallowed without getting indigestion." He said the left "has a Zionist problem," and part of it has a Jewish problem as well, and he repeated British novelist Iain Pears' observation that anti-Semitism is like alcoholism: "You can go for 25 years without a drink, but if things go bad and you find yourself with a vodka in your hand, you can't get rid of it."

University of Manchester Professor Emeritus Norman Geras presented a stunning paper, entitled "Alibi Anti-Semitism," describing the anti-Semitic climate that now affects what he called a "substantial section" of the left, which uses Israel as its "convenient alibi" for views that cannot be regarded as merely critical of particular Israeli policies. His conclusion, which he described as painful for a leftist such as himself — but as "necessary" in light of what his paper described — was this:

It is a moral scandal that some few decades after the unmeasurable catastrophe that overtook the Jewish people in Europe, these anti-Semitic themes and ruses are once again respectable; respectable not just down there with the thugs but pervasively also within polite society, and within the perimeters of a self-flattering liberal and left opinion. It is a bleak lesson to all but those unwilling to see.

University of Chicago Professor Moishe Postone, another leftist scholar, offered "Thoughts on History, the Holocaust, and the Left," extending some themes he has described elsewhere — that the Jews "have once again become the singular object of European indignation," with some forms of fascistic Arab nationalism "coded as singularly progressive" in order to provide a form of anti-Semitism "that was 'legitimate' for the Left, and was called anti-Zionism."

Was Jewish radicalism a break with Jewish tradition or a movement inspired by Jewish history? In a historical look at "Jews and Communism in the Soviet Union and Poland," Brandeis Professor Antony Polonsky juxtaposed two remarks — one by the great Jewish historian Simon Dubnov, and the other from Vassili Grossman's novel Forever Flowing. In a 1917 speech, Dubnov observed that:

[M]any demagogues came from among us, who joined the heroes of the street and the prophets of power grabbing. They use Russian pseudonyms because they are ashamed of their Jewish origin (Trotsky, Zinoview etc.), but maybe it is their Jewish name which is not genuine, because they have no roots to bind themselves to our people.

Grossman wrote about the "powerful flame of fanaticism" that captured one of his characters — a "sad, sly shopkeeper from the shetl" who had no reason to hate capitalism based on his own circumstances and who caught the flame, perhaps, from the "wisdom" of the Communist Manifesto, or the suffering of "the impoverished people right beside him" — or perhaps something else that extended further back:

Or was it that the smoldering coals were buried deep within his thousand-year inheritance, ready to burst into flame — to do battle with Caesar's Roman soldiers, to confront the bonfires of the Spanish inquisition, to join in the starving frenzy of the Talmudists, to emerge in the shetl organization for self-defense during the pogroms? Was it the age-old chain of abuses, the anguish of the Babylonian captivity, the humiliations of the ghetto, or the misery of the Pale of Settlement that had produced and forged that unquenchable thirst that was scorching the soul of the Bolshevik Lev Mekler?

Prof. Polonsky ended his paper with a touching reference to the Polish-Jewish poet Stanislaw Wygodzki, who emigrated to Israel in 1968 and whose 1990 interview in a Polish paper was entitled "I Served an Evil Cause." The poet said he nevertheless still believed in the ideals of "something that was once called Communism" — which he characterized as the rejection of "exploitation, oppression and subjugation."

For one who heard the two days of presentations at YIVO, however, what was most striking was not the old ideals of the utopian left, or Michael Walzer's eloquent call for a leftist engagement with Jewish tradition in the future, but the ugly picture of "actually existing" leftism now. Prof. Geras ended his paper with this:

We now know, as well, that should a new calamity ever befall the Jewish people, there will be, again, not only the direct architects and executants but also those who collaborate, who collude, who look away and find the words to go with doing so. Some of these, dismayingly, shamefully, will be of the left.

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Posted by Barry Shaw, May 21, 2012

JERUSALEM is the one and only capital of the Jewish people. For all their protests it is not the capital of the Islamic people. How many capitals do they want? They have Mecca and Medina. They have Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Tehran and Beirut, Cairo and Baghdad, Tripoli and Sana'a. The Palestinians have built their national infrastructure with Israeli approval in Ramallah. This is where their government offices are. This is where their President and Prime Minister sit. This is where their dead leader is ceremonially entombed.

Some would say that the Islamists want to add Cordoba and London, Paris, and Berlin, New York and Ottowa to their collection in their global jihad to their desired Caliphate. One thing is certain. Jerusalem is a primary goal in their crusade for world dominance. It has nothing to do with the establishment of a peaceful Palestinian state.

Jerusalem is the cradle of the three main religions, but its origins date back to Jewish heritage and history. Throughout the centuries it has been the scene of conquest and pillage. Despite the long history of creation, development, and beautification of Jerusalem by the Jews, it has been the altar of the destructive power of invaders in which the Jews have suffered most.

The Jews, as they are doing today, were the ones who united the city, nurtured it, and made it a light of freedom to all.

Yet, there are those, Jews among them, who, to placate a seething Islam disguised as Palestinian nationalism or Pan-Arabism, would sacrifice Jerusalem and carve it up in a regressive gesture with little understanding of the consequences.

It is instructive to study Israel's motivations, mindset, or lack of them, prior to the outbreak of the 1967 war as it faced a survival-threatening war of aggression by multiple Arab armies. There is great relevance in learning from the pages of history when countering the misinterpretation of events as expounded in a false Palestinian narrative today.

In May 1967, the movement of Egyptian armoured divisions into the Sinai and the closing of the Tiran Straits by Nasser that prevented ships heading for the Israeli port of Eilat put Israel on a war footing. Soldiers were mobilized in readiness for an outbreak of hostilities with an Egypt that was being whipped into violence by General Nasser.

This was to be a war with horrendous losses for Israel. The country discreetly began preparing 30,000 graves. In Jerusalem, the municipality bulldozed a large area near Mount Herzl in readiness for massive funerals. Estimates of Jerusalem dead ranged from 2000 to 6000 with even more expected to be seriously wounded. Such was the gloomy mood of the country as Israelis, and the world, watched Nasser position his troops and recruited neighbouring Arab armies to join him in battle.

Meanwhile Israel's beleaguered Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, was being pressured by Russia, America, and Britain, not to open the war, even if to do so would put Israel in a slightly better strategic position. President Lyndon Johnson told Israel's Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, that "Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go it alone." Echoes of Israel's position today against a nuclear Iran.

The Israeli generals advised the Prime Minister not to rely on dubious promises of international assistance. Hadn't Israel been let down in the past by false promises of so-called allies? They warned the political echelon that inaction was making a weakness out of the IDF's deterrence. It was a stormy meeting in which the cabinet was split. Yigal Allon sided with the generals warning that an Egyptian strike against Israel could come at any time.

"Whoever is first, even by half an hour, will win this war," he warned.

The atmosphere was so tense that a retired and worried David Ben-Gurion was concerned that there may be a military coup by Israel's generals if the politicians did not accept their military advise.

"This would be a final disaster," he told a friend. "I am very anxious."

The danger of a coup was very real. General Ariel Sharon told some of his colleagues that if the cabinet would not listen and act the generals would have said, "Listen, your decisions are endangering the State of Israel, and since the situation is now very grave you are requested to step aside."

Eshkol needed a friend in Washington to help rearm Israel and Israel could not take that risk of positioning America not to support Israel in time of battle and beyond.

On May 30th, King Hussein of Jordan flew to Cairo and signed a military pact with Nasser which was identical to the one that Egypt had signed with Syria. Jordan had missed the last war. Hussein could not afford to miss this one. His own people would not accept Jordan to remain neutral twice. When King Hussein returned to Amman he was met with wildly cheering Jordanians at the airport, eager to go to war against Israel.

At that time, Moshe Dayan, the new Defense Minister, and Uzi Narkiss, Commander of the Central Front, stood on the peak of a hill known as The Castel and looked over the Judean Hills. It was possible to make out Israeli and Jordanian positions dug into the landscape facing each other on the approaches to Jerusalem.

The Jordanians had the advantage of controlling the main artery linking Jerusalem to the coastal plain including all the major towns of Israel. At this meeting they decided to strengthen the IDF's defensive positions. Dayan went from position to position where he repeated his command to strengthen Israel's defensive positions against the Jordanians. They was no thought at that time of opening a front against Jordan, such was the serious concern of the impending outbreak of war by a massive Egyptian assault.

Dayan's tour of the military positions was interrupted with a call for him to report to the Prime Minister's office which was in Tel Aviv. Jordan's military alliance with Egypt had changed the mind-sets both in Jerusalem and in Washington. Israel's Prime Minister Eshkol now saw war as inevitable. On June 2nd, he formed a war cabinet that included the Opposition, including Menachem Begin. America was tied up in its war in Vietnam. If the United States continued to prevent Israel from acting in its own defense it would have the moral obligation to intervene if Israel were attacked. This would have been militarily challenging to America. The decision to go to war was set on that date. It was made by Eshkol, Dayan, and Yizchak Rabin. The decision was to be put to the cabinet for approval two days later.

Iraqi forces were on their way to Jordan. Egypt was throwing massive number of troops into the Sinai so quickly that several units were left without food and water for a couple of days before supplies could reach them. Israel wanted the war to be confined to the Egyptian front. The IDF did not have any overall battle plans against Jordan.

At the decisive cabinet meeting on June 4th, several ministers requested the war to be delayed but Eshkol insisted that further delays would increase the number of casualties. Washington had not given Israel the green light to open the war but the red light had gone off. Dayan informed the cabinet members that if Egypt struck at Israeli air bases and "will do to us what we want to do to them" it would, at a stroke, remove Israel's main card in this war. He further advised that the deployment of Egyptian troops showed that they intended to cut off the southern Negev and capture Eilat in conjunction with Jordanian forces. The Egyptian commando force deployed in Jordan could easily deploy to Beit Safafa, an Arab town half in Jordan and half in Israeli Jerusalem, which would be a knife into the heart of Jerusalem causing a massacre.

Early on June 5th, the Commander of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, General Odd Bull, who was headquartered in Government House on the height of southern Jerusalem, received a phone call requesting him to go to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Sirens had gone off prior to receiving this phone call, and Israeli Radio was reporting heavy clashes on the Egyptian front. On arrival, he was given a message for King Hussein that said if Jordan kept out of the war Israel would take no steps against his country, but that if Jordan did join in the war then Israel would fight with all means at its disposal.

The reply that Israel received from King Hussein was that Israel had started the war and that Israel would be receiving his reply by air. Within half an hour, Jordanian planes hit Netanya causing little damage, but they did destroy a transport plane at a small civilian airfield.

King Hussein was informed by the Egyptian High Command that three quarters of the Israeli air force had been destroyed and that the Egyptian army was pushing north toward Beer Sheba. Jordan opened fire in this war two hours after the Egyptians. Morale was high. Radio Cairo was reporting spectacular gains in Arabic. Hundreds of Arab men demanded arms at the police stations in Arab Jerusalem. Holding the Jordanian line from the Damascus Gate to Ammunition Hill was the tough fighting force of the King Hussein Battalion. Another held the Old City while others controlled Abu Tor, the Augusta Victoria above the Mount of Olives, and Sur Baher in the south of the city.

As Jerusalem mayor, Teddy Kollek, watched the battles, he saw Jordanian guns methodically blowing his city to pieces.

The goals of the Israeli cabinet declared "The government has decided to take military action which will liberate Israel from the military noose tightening around it." In the cabinet, Menachem Begin called for liberating Jerusalem, and Yigal Allon said that Israel should either annex it or ensure access to the Jewish holy places. At this point it was still a minority view. The emphasis was the Sinai front, the capture of Sharm el-Sheikh which controlled the Tiran Straits, and the defeat of the Egyptian army.

No decision was taken against Jordan until the Arabs seized Government House from the United Nations. This galvanized the Israeli command. Attitudes towards Jordan were now shifting. Initially, intentions were to keep the Jordanian front quiet. At the time that reports were coming in to Israeli Command of astounding Israeli successes against the Egyptian air force and troops, the Jordanians were intensifying their assaults on the eastern front. They were firing not only against military targets but also against the Israeli civilian population. Despite Jordanian aggression, Rabin and Dayan agreed on a second ceasefire appeal which was delivered to King Hussein by General Bull. When Jordanian fire did not stop restraint against the Jordanians was lifted. The Jordanians, through Ata Ali, were preparing an attack on Mount Scopus, the location of the Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University. This enclave behind Jordanian lines had been set at the conclusion of the 1948 War of Independence in which Jordan had over run most of Jerusalem including the Old City. They had destroyed all the ancient synagogues inside the walled city as well as desecrating the Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives. Now, a generation after, a handful of reservists prepared to dig in to defend the symbols of a reborn Jewish homeland on Mount Scopus from further Jordanian attacks. It would become a pivotal battle in prying Jerusalem out of the hands of the Jordanians.

When an Israeli member of the Mixed Armistice Committee told his opposite number in Jordan that the Egyptian Air Force had been destroyed, the Jordanian officer did not believe it and boasted that "We'll soon be in Tel Aviv!"

Up to this point, King Hussein's main enemy had been Egypt and Nasser who had deceived him with lies about the battle situation. At 12.30 p.m. Nasser phoned Hussein to tell him that the Egyptian Air Force was bombing Israel when he had no planes left to bomb anything. The absence of Israeli counter claims at that time seemed to lend substance to Egyptian High Command claims.

As Israeli ministers made their way to a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem they could hear the Jordanian shelling and the sounds of battle. Smoke was in the air and fires were burning. This was to be a historic meeting with biblical references. They were reminded that David Ben-Gurion had, after the 1958 Sinai Campaign, been harangued by President Eisenhower for wanting to retain the Sinai as a buffer zone for Israel. Ben-Gurion had also been threatened by Russia. Now they had to discuss Jerusalem and consider world opinion while conducting a war of survival. They even questioned what would be the Vatican response to Jewish sovereignty over Christianity's hold places even though nobody seemed to have objected to guardianship of these religious sites when Jordan controlled Jerusalem and was destroying Jewish holy places.

The proposal put forward by Abba Eban that the capture of the Old City was clearly in response to the Jordanian military assault and deference to the retaining of it be kept for a later consideration was adopted for its pragmatic and actual reasoning. The resolution stated

"We are going to take the Old City of Jerusalem in order to remove the danger of bombardment and the shelling incessantly being carried out by Jordan."

Most of the ministers were sure that, once the Israeli flag had been raised over the Old City, Israel would never disown a central relevance to its national being and aspiration. The memory of Jerusalem had sustained the Jews as a people throughout history. Now the opportunity was there for the reborn Jewish state to liberate the holy city.

That night the news from the south was that, for the first time, Israel was fighting on Egyptian territory. Speaking on Israeli radio, Yizchak Rabin told the nation that Israeli troops had reached El Arish in Sinai, and that Jenin had fallen indicating progress against Jordanian forces. Then Moti Hod, head of the Israeli Air Force, announced that Israel had destroyed 400 enemy planes.

The battle for Ammunition Hill was long and bloody. In other places Israeli troops captured Government House and Sur Baher. The IDF had not yet gone on the offensive at Mount Scopus. A message from the Jordanian capital said that tank reinforcements were on their way from Jericho to Jerusalem. Loud explosions could be heard as Israeli jets attacked this convoy, wiping it out. General Narkiss's troops had been reinforced by a reserve brigade led by Colonel Motta Gur, who had been diverted from the southern front to assist in the battle for Jerusalem. They attacked by the most direct route and through the heart of the strong Jordanian defense around Ammunition Hill. At the height of the battle King Hussein called Egypt's Nasser for advise and instruction. Nasser told him, "We had a few problems at the beginning, so what? We'll come out of it all right. Our planes have been bombing Israeli airfields since early morning."

Hussein must have known that Nasser was lying.

The bravery of the Jordanian solders at Ammunition Hill saved Jordan's reputation. They weren't helped by the desertion of their officers. The lack of officers among the casualties at the hospitals on the Jordanian side was telling. On the Israeli side it was the performance of the IDF officers that won the day as they led their men into bitter, often hand-to-hand, fighting in the trenches of the defense system. The casualty list on the Israeli side was high among the officers that fought on Ammunition Hill.

Across a wide front the Jordanians were in retreat. King Hussein requested a ceasefire. It was rejected by Moshe Dayan who said he was ready to discuss peace terms with Jordan, but not a ceasefire.

Early on June 7th, General Haim Bar-Lev ordered General Narkiss "You are to take the Old City but with common sense," meaning to avoid heavy casualties, and to protect the holy and ancient sites. There was no battle plan on how to capture the Old City. No details were drawn up through which of the seven gates the city should be taken. Instead, Narkiss heard Gur ordering his men to break in to the Old City through the Lion's Gate that faces the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives. Narkiss raced after Gur's men in his jeep accompanied by General Bar-Lev.

"Let's not go in if it's just to go out again."

"We'll never leave again," replied Bar-Lev.

The Old City was liberated at the cost of two paratroopers. Fewer than a dozen Jordanian soldiers were killed. The rest fled or surrendered. Damage to holy places was minimal. Guards were posted the keep Israelis from entering the Al-Aksa and the Dome on the Rock mosques. A Vatican representative reported to Rome that damage "was so minimal it hardly seems possible there was a fierce house-to-house battle there."

The secular general, Motta Gur, declared to the IDF Command, and to the world, that "The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat. The Temple Mount is in our hands!"

With that message biblical prophecies came true. Religious and secular, Jew and Christian, were awed by that moment on June 7th, 1967.

It was only when Israeli intelligence picked up an order from King Hussein to his troops to withdraw to the eastern banks of the Jordan River that Moshe Dayan order Rabin to take over the territory on the West Bank of the river.

Dayan, Rabin, and other senior officers sat in the basement command post in Jerusalem to consider Israel's position as the war was reaching its conclusion.

"How do we control a million Arabs?" asked Rabin.

It is a question Israel is still asking itself 45 years later. One thing is as relevant today as it was then, and also in 1995 when, in his last address to the Israeli Knesset just one month before his assassination, he declared that Israel must retain the Jordan Valley "in the broadest sense of the word."

Today there are discordant voices. Many hold that Jerusalem must remain undivided, the united capital of Israel.

Others favor relinquishing East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs. But have these people really considered the real estate implications of what they are asking for? Do we really want to surrender Jerusalem to the enemies of Israel? Is it certain that the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority is a pragmatic peace partner seeking a permanent pragmatic solution? Or are they playing a deceptive game of gaining territorial concessions while rejecting the notion of ever living in peace alongside the Jewish State of Israel? And what are the chances that Hamas will, sooner or later, take over the Palestinian Authority and, with it, control of the West Bank to enhance their grip on the Gaza Strip? Is this the time that Israel should seriously, if ever, grant such significant, sensitive, and defenseless land concessions to an enemy still bent on Israel's destruction?

Some of those who call for the removal of Israeli presence in that part of Jerusalem are regressive Jews. It is shocking how Jews who, during the Passover Seder service, can sing "Next Year in a Rebuilt Jerusalem!" then call for an Israeli withdrawal. Does this ancient prayer have any significance for them? Do they ever recite the ancient promise "If I forget you, Oh Jerusalem, may my right hand wither!" Do they really want their fingers to fall off? This ancient longing and belonging for Jerusalem goes way back to the days of exile when the Jewish People were in Babylon longing to return to Zion. Suddenly it seems that, like a spoiled child with an unwanted but expensive toy, the desire to cherish Jerusalem fades with its possession for certain Jews who are easily led to dispense with our heritage for a vain altruistic, but baseless, reason.

Let's look at the real estate involved should Israel divest from east Jerusalem in a vain peace gesture to placate the Palestinians and a world made up of the vicious and the naïve.

Should Israel foolishly withdraw from parts of Jerusalem, as the world demands, these are just some of the property assets that will be transferred to Palestinian hands;

The Old City of Jerusalem and, with it, the Temple Mount. The Western Wall of the old Temple. The Jewish Quarter with its synagogues. The Christian Quarter with the Church of the Holy Sepulcre and the Via Delorosa. The City of David. David's Tomb. The Room of the Last Supper. The Garden Tomb. The Mount of Olives. The Garden of Gethsemane. The Rockefeller Museum. Hadassah Hospital, and the Hebrew University.

I suppose, when Hamas takes over the Palestinian Authority, the university name will be changed to the Islamic University.

In researching my new book, to be called "God Supports Israel! Do You?" I was taken to the roof over David's Tomb which is outside the walls of the Old City to peer over the rooftops at a distant Temple Mount. This was the closest vantage point afforded to Jews to the Temple Mount when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem. It was from there that they prayed in the direction of the ancient Temple, and from there repeated the ancient prayer "Next Year in Jerusalem!" They were in Jerusalem but not in its true heart. Can anybody doubt that a determined Israel will not retain possession of its Jewish heart?

So let me ask you. Who do you prefer to the Guardians of the major holy shrines of Jerusalem, to keep them safe and open to all?

Israel? Or Hamas, and the Islamists?

Footnote. I am indebted to Abraham Rabinovich and his e-book edition of "The Battle for Jerusalem" for some of the insights into this subject. A fascinating read that puts today's events into historic perspective.

Barry Shaw is Author of Israel Reclaiming The Narrative. (Www.Israelnarrative.Com). This article is archived at

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Posted by Daily Alert, May 21, 2012

 This article was written by Gili Cohen and is archived at:

Security forces intercepted a Palestinian terror cell affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that attempted to kidnap Israeli citizens in the West Bank, the Israel Security Agency indicated Sunday. The cell's nine members, all residents of the Ramallah area, were led by Muhammad Ramadan, 22, of al-Bireh. According to the indictment in the Judea military court, members attempted to kidnap Israelis on three different occasions, driving a rental car and equipped with a taser, tear gas, clubs and a replica gun.

Driving in the Benjamin area north of Jerusalem, they sought to stun Israeli drivers and hide them in a cave or a safe house. They then planned to film their victim, and upload the video to the Internet in order to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners.

On March 11, cell members assaulted an Israeli driver between Rantis and Kiryat Sefer, but he got away. On the following day, they attacked a female Israeli driver near Ma'ale Levona. She managed to escape. The third attempt took place on March 15, when cell members blocked the car of a woman driving with her daughter from Givat Asaf to Beit El. This time they managed to shatter the windshield, but fled after another Israeli vehicle arrived.

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Posted by Babu Suseelan, May 20, 2012

Note: Taqiyya (alternate spellings taqiya, taqiyah, tuqyah), meaning religious dissimulation.

This means a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are under those risks. This practice is emphasized in Shi'a Islam whereby adherents may conceal their religion when they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion. Taqiyya was developed to protect Shi'ites who were usually in minority and under pressure. In the Shi'a view, taqiyya is lawful in situations where there is overwhelming danger of loss of life or property and where no danger to religion would occur thereby. The majority Sunni Muslims rarely found it necessary to hide their beliefs. However, there are examples of practicing Taqiyya among Sunnis where it was necessary. In the Sunni view, denying your faith under duress is "only at most permitted and not under all circumstances obligatory". —

Recently I have traveled all over the Islamic Arab world. I have studied Islamic culture, their life style, Arab Spring, Islamic fervor, Jihad Terrorism, and political turmoil in the Islamic world. I have witnessed the rebellion of the Muslims against the hypocrisy of the brutal Islamic rulers and the estrangement from Islamic culture and the system of the Islamic rulers. Phony Western liberals, pseudo secularists and the gutless media call it Arab spring. But I think the present political turmoil in the Islamic Arab world is Al-Taquiea in action.

I have witnessed misery, distress, discrimination and agony of Muslims in the Middle East. The present generation of Muslims long for a new political existence. They are craving not for Islamic reformation or renaissance but of the wholeness of Islamic life. Again the revolutionaries have shown the world the deficiencies of the existing rulers, corruption, and industrial ugliness. The world has witnessed the political upheaval in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait.

In spite of rapid technological and digital development, Muslims cannot slough off their all exclusive, rigid and closed dogma. Mullahs and Islamic rulers brutally repress real freedom, democracy, pluralism, secularism, religious tolerance and the transcendental quest of Muslims. Although in many ways identical with the traditional revolution in the Islamic Arab world, the outcry this time was linked to a vague the leftist political expression of the bourgeois life style and corruption of the existing rulers. The political crisis we witness in the Islamic world is actually Al Taquiea in action. The political revolution is not for democracy, secularism, pluralism, coexistence, religious tolerance or for real democracy. The political revolution and mass killing is against the existing regimes. The political protest has frozen into a new Islamic orthodoxy. I have noticed that the political protest would have become much more pragmatic if the protesters were interested in reforming Islam, revisiting the Koran and cultural hostility against other religions.

I heard voices for Islam, speeches denigrating reason, hostility against democratic Israel, secularism, religious tolerance as they have made periodically in Islamic countries. Paradoxically, Muslims were highlighting their cultural grievances against Jews, Hindus, and Christians and against modern technology. Islamic countries have undergone revolution and social crisis before; Muslims were successful in changing regimes in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the past decades. But unfortunately, the new regimes championed a new form Islamization. The new administration and the Islamic public took the notion that Islamic cultural factors alone are capable of overcoming their economic, political and social decline. To me, the so called Arab spring is a psychodrama, a projection of Islamic principles and its irrational ingredients in to politics. Muslim Brother Hood may gain more strength and they may propose Islamic idealism without accountability for solutions to their problems.

It is surprising that the educated have been moved by the Islamic ideology; it is strange that they continued to believe in it. They never understand that Islam is the root cause of hostility and terrorism. Even in this digital era, Arabs clung all the more desperately to the outdated Islamism. To them, the appeal of the Mullahs and their interpretation of Islam are immense. In turn, they emphasized that the appeal of Islam and admit the cultural rottenness and political irresponsibility of their rulers. They blame western technology, Israel and Jews for their social, political and economic problems. They fail to make social and political turmoil in Arab countries today to outdated Islamic practices. It may seem correct to make a connection between the political crisis and the ideas of Islamism.

It is a dangerous time in the Islamic world. Islamic world need sensible thinkers, social reformers and social leaders to speak up and finding support for Islamic reform and a social renaissance. The Islamic world is facing a dangerous period, as deep hatred against Jews and other non Muslims are encouraged. There is also a rush to wipe out Israel from the earth. Muslims all over the world should eliminate sectarian thinking, and hatred against non Muslims. Islam is not a political solution for all ills created by Muslims. Arab Muslims cannot or will not win by confrontation with Israel or the powerful west. The current state of social and political crisis has a great to deal with the west's misunderstanding and ignorance of Islam. America and the west deal with Jihad terrorism as committed by certain disgruntled Muslims. Muslims want to create a Dar-Ul-Islam where there will be no more democracy or pluralism. Muslims want to impose Sharia law rather than educational reform, coexistence or reformation. Muslims rich or poor, educated or uneducated never reach for knowledge or ethics or social responsibility that may exceed their grasp. For Muslims, Islam is the final answer to all social-political-psychological problems. For Muslims, Islam is a closed and pure religion which needs no reformation or revision. Those who criticize Mullahs are called apostate and beheaded. Instead of reform they preach Islamic virtues of Islamic fighters and Jihad warriors.

It is important that western rulers, instead providing grants and military assistance must insist on educational change and Islamic reformation.

In the United Arab Emirates, I saw the marvels of western technology. Western technology and foreign professionals have elevated the standards of life of Muslims in UAE. Yet, people in UAE are confronted by a number of psycho-social-political problems. There is no democracy, pluralism, independent judiciary, secularism, religious tolerance in UAE. Indigenous Islamic population and foreign workers are confronted by number of problems and face discrimination and face stress, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, divorce,, homicide, terrorism violence and other form of deviant crime Statistics and simple observation inform us that there is hardly an individual, family, group, or community that is untouched by the rules of the Sheiks and Sharia law in UAE. The Islamic rulers use modern technology and the media for sophisticated mans and manipulation including brutal Sharia judges to oppress the public into receptive, passive consumer of unwanted ideas of the Islamic rulers. Islamic dogma is used instead of democracy. People in all Islamic countries spend more time not for introspection and think critically and creatively. Mullahs and ruling Sheiks impose strict censorship. Any news critical of Islam and several websites are banned in UAE and all Islamic countries. For Muslims, ignorance of liberalism, democracy, empiricism and western thought is bliss.

There is growing tendency to find simplistic solution to issues in Islam. It is dangerous. The cultural pessimism and western technology have been recognized as an important factor by Muslims Brotherhood to propagate and converting Muslims for jihad. Failure to understand the deeply rooted Islamism in Arab culture will have disastrous consequences for the free world. Elite western political leaders and administrators are restrained from recognizing the root cause of social-political crisis the Islamic world. This aspect of the rise of jihad has been over looked by our liberal/Marxist educators and misunderstood by our political/intellectual leaders.

Oil money from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries have made our intellectuals and academicians either abashed or apologetic. It is about time to speak against the brutal verses of Islam and facing up to Jihad terrorism. Or else we will face terrible dangers to our life, liberty and life style. It is hoped that the current political turmoil in Islamic countries may serve to put the era of ad hominem of tolerance, commerce and profit making behind us. With the weight of evidence of worldwide Jihad terrorism now clear, may be fake liberals and phony secularists will give up their addictive thinking and cognitive disorder. Free world must face Islamic reality, overcome denial and escapism. IF not, Islamism will destroy more lives, and will rob us our liberty and free thinking.

It is our duty, responsibility and obligation to preserve our freedom, protest peace by forcing Muslims to reform Islam.

Dr. Babu Suseelan is a professor of clinical psychology and the director of a drug and alcohol treatment program in Pennsylvania. A former Muslim, he writes on the subject of Islamic terrorism and its effect on Hindu society. This article is archived at:

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Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, May 20, 2012

 This article was written by Adam Kirsch and is archived at:

"Why so many alte kockers? Where is the rising generation?" The grumbler sitting behind me at the conference on "Jews and the Left," sponsored by YIVO last week at the Center for Jewish History in New York, was not exactly being fair. Any academic conference will attract an older-skewing audience, and for all the gray hair in the seats and on the dais, the YIVO conference did have its share of eager young attendees.

Behind the complaint, however, it was possible to hear a larger, more painful question. For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, from the first immigrant generation through the baby boom, the radical and revolutionary left played a hugely important role in defining how the rest of America saw Jews and how Jews saw themselves. From Mike Gold's proletarian novel Jews Without Money all the way down to Tony Kushner's Angels in America, the literature and mythology of American Jewish radicalism has often appeared identical—to a certain audience—with Judaism itself. Even now there are people who revel in bygone lore about the Forverts and the Freiheit, Jay Lovestone and Max Shachtman. But living heirs to that tradition can be hard to find. Somewhat plaintively, my neighbor at the conference —like many of the participants —seemed to be asking, Is there still such a thing as a Jewish left? And if not, ought we to regret it?

The left that was at issue in the YIVO conference had little to do with what we now, in the shrunken spectrum of American political discourse, call the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. A 2005 Pew study found that Jews were the single most liberal religious group in America. Last month, a poll of American Jews showed that 62 percent planned to vote for Barack Obama in May—down from the 78 percent he got in 2008, but still more than twice as much as the 29 percent who said they would vote for Mitt Romney. Depending on your point of view, the still-durable association of Jews with liberalism and the Democratic Party is a source of either pride or bafflement (as in Norman Podhoretz's plaintively titled Why Are Jews Liberals?).

Looked at another way, however, the softening mainstream liberalism of American Jews can be seen as the feeble remnant of what was once a fiery and uncompromising leftism. Indeed, as historian Tony Michels said at the YIVO conference, the history of American Communism "cannot be understood without Jews." But the mood of the conference was best summed up in the title of the keynote address, by the political philosopher Michael Walzer: "The Strangeness of Jewish Leftism." What was once a proud inheritance now seems like a problem in need of a solution. For many Jews, it remains axiomatic that Judaism is a religion of social justice and progress; the phrase "tikkun olam" has become a convenient shorthand for the idea that Judaism is best expressed in "repair of the world."

In his speech, and in his new book In God's Shadow: Politics and the Hebrew Bible, Walzer offers a contrary vision of traditional Judaism, which he argues "offers precious little support to left politics"—a truth that he recognized would surprise those who, like himself, "grew up believing that Judaism and socialism were pretty much the same thing." If a leftist political message cannot readily be found in the traditions of Judaism, it follows that the explosion of Jewish leftism in the late 19th century was actually a rupture with Jewish history, and potentially a traumatic one.

Walzer's reluctance to associate Judaism too simply with leftist politics, or indeed with any politics, represents a break from his earlier thinking. In his influential 1985 book Exodus and Revolution, for instance, Walzer argued that the Exodus narrative had provided a template for generations of revolutionaries and progressives in Western society, offering a model of how to escape an oppressive past and create a better future. The contrast with his new book could not be sharper. In this work, Walzer reads the Bible with an eye to its explicit and implicit teachings about politics and finds that its most eloquent message on the subject is silence. "The political activity of ordinary people is not a Biblical subject," he writes, "nor is there any explicit recognition of political space, an agora or forum, where people congregate to argue about and decide on the policies of the community."

Coming from Walzer, who co-edited a multivolume treatise on "The Jewish Political Tradition," and who has been one of the leading theorists of mainstream left-liberalism for decades, this emphasis on the antipolitical nature of the Bible is striking. In his YIVO speech, he listed six central features of traditional Judaism that made it a conservative force, including the very idea of Jews as a chosen people—an idea that cannot easily be made to harmonize with universalism and egalitarianism.

Where the Greek tradition made room for public decision-making, Walzer argues, the same space in the Bible is filled entirely by God: All historical and legal initiatives must come from the deity, or appear to do so. In fact, the Pentateuch contains three separate legal codes, in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, which contradict one another in many details and clearly were written by different groups of Israelites at different times. But because of the pious fiction that all these laws came from the same God, it was impossible for the legal deliberations that created them to become public; the lawmakers hid themselves behind a divine facade. They were, Walzer writes, "the secret legislators of Israel," and as long as legislation remains secret, it cannot be truly political.

The same principle holds true of the later history of the Israelite kingdom. Much of In God's Shadow deals with the ambiguous status of the prophet in the polity of ancient Israel. When contemporary liberals and leftists want to anchor their beliefs in Jewish tradition, it is to the prophets that they most often turn: the scathing denunciations of Amos and Jeremiah, the messianic vision of Isaiah. "We have a picture in our mind of the people described by Amos," Walzer writes. "They are, so to speak, the local bourgeoisie," and Amos speaks for the Israelite proletariat.

But if you look at the actual content of the prophets' message, Walzer points out, its political bearing is not so clear. "Theirs was ... a fiercely antipolitical radicalism," he writes, which had little to say about the power structures of Israelite society. Indeed, one of the themes of In God's Shadow is that the writers of the Bible were so uninterested in politics that they included remarkably little information about how the Israelites were actually governed on a day-to-day basis—almost everything we can say about the functions of kings, judges, and royal officials is speculative. When the prophets called for justice, they didn't mean a redistribution of power but a society-wide submission to God: "God's message overrode the wisdom of men."

The same thing was even more dramatically true when it came to international politics. Jeremiah, for instance, was active toward the end of the Kingdom of Judah, at a time when that small nation was caught between the empires of Egypt and Babylon. Much of the last part of Kings is made up of the attempts of successive Israelite monarchs to ally themselves with one of these imperial powers against the other. But, as Walzer emphasizes, the prophets simply refuse to accept that this geopolitical problem is a problem at all. If the Israelites trust in God and obey him, all will be well; if God is determined to punish them, nothing they do will avert his justice. "All that he and his fellow prophets have to say in the global arena is 'the God of Israel, the God of Israel,' " Walzer writes, "implying that diplomacy and defense are unnecessary so long as faith remains firm."

The long-term effect of this usurpation of the public sphere by God, Walzer concludes, was the growth of Jewish messianism. "The secret source of messianic politics is a deep pessimism about the self-government of the covenantal community. ... Israel was more often the subject of absolute judgment than of conditional assessment and counsel." And while Walzer does not say so explicitly, it is easy to imagine what his denigration of messianism means for the modern Jewish radical tradition, which has so often prided itself on holding out for a messianic transformation of human society. If the Messiah is what we demand when we can't or won't engage in politics, then the Revolution, too, must be seen as fundamentally antipolitical, a dangerous dream that rests on the abdication of human judgment. The rejection of Revolution as a concept is perhaps the dividing line between liberals and leftists, and Jews increasingly find themselves on the liberal side of that line.

The left's rejection of Judaism, Walzer concluded in his speech at YIVO, was both "necessary and profoundly wrong." Necessary, because traditional Judaism did not offer a basis for a social justice movement; but also wrong, because the severance with tradition rendered the Jewish left culturally disoriented and spiritually impoverished.

While a number of speakers at the YIVO conference invoked Isaac Deutscher's concept of the "non-Jewish Jew"—figures like Trotsky or Rosa Luxemburg, who rejected on principle any definition of themselves or their goals in Jewish terms—both Walzer and Ezra Mendelsohn warned against the idea that identity could be so abstract and universalized. Walzer called instead for a renewed critical engagement with Jewish tradition, including a return to the Jewish calendar and Jewish lifecycle events.

If this represents a kind of retrenchment on the part of the left, it is partly because the Jewish left has lost any certainty that the future is on its side. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is the strongest and most popular leader in decades; in both Israel and America, the fastest-growing section of the Jewish population is the Orthodox, a right-leaning group who 50 years ago, Mendelsohn recalled, seemed headed for extinction. Still, political fortunes can always change, and Mendelsohn concluded his speech, and the conference, with a wan prophecy that the Jewish left would return: "Maybe I won't see it, but my grandchildren will."

More difficult to accept is the idea that the past, too, no longer belongs to the Left—that its own history is no longer a source of pride but of doubt and even shame. Jonathan Brent, the head of YIVO, set the tone for the conference in his opening remarks, which began by recalling the fate of YIVO—Der Yiddisher Visenshaftlekher Institut (Jewish Scientific Institute)—in World War II Vilna. Zalman Rayzen was one of the original heads of YIVO, the author of a textbook of Yiddish literature. Like so many of his colleagues, he did not survive the war. Rayzen, however, was killed not by the Nazis but the by Soviets, after the Red Army invaded Lithuania in 1940.

Brent, a pioneering historian of the Soviet Union who was responsible for the opening of many Soviet archives after 1989, wanted to emphasize the fact that the Soviet Union—for generations a lodestar of Jewish leftists—was in fact a deadly enemy of Jewish culture. Stalin, whose Red Army defeated Hitler and thus saved the lives of millions of Jews, was also a paranoid anti-Semite, who when he died was preparing a mass purge and deportation of Soviet Jews, under the cover of the so-called "Doctors' Plot."

There remains to this day a tendency on the Jewish left to take pride in, or at least indulge, the history of Jewish admiration of Communism. Jewish Communists are more often defended as misguided idealists than condemned as accomplices of a murderous totalitarianism. At "Jews and the Left," however, speaker after speaker agreed that the embrace of Communism by many Jews was a moral disaster. Mendelsohn spoke for many when he declared, "I am not feeling particularly forgiving of Jews who joined the Communist movement."

If the historical Jewish association with the left has become a source of such profound doubt, it is possibly because the current relationship between Jews and the left is so troubled. One reason for that trouble, of course, is the State of Israel, which over the last 10 years has become the target of automatic condemnation and outright hostility on the left. Ronald Radosh, the author of a recent book about Harry Truman's role in the creation of Israel, noted that this represents a historical irony, since "Israel couldn't have been created without the support of the American left." In particular, Radosh focused on the contributions of the radical journalist I.F. Stone and the Nation editor Freda Kirchwey to the postwar debate over the creation of the Jewish state, noting that by 1948 The Nation had become a "mouthpiece of Zionism." As Israel has morphed in the leftist imagination from a brave socialist outpost to an imperialist colonizer—a view shared, in what was easily the conference's most provocative talk, by the Israeli leftist Yoav Peled—this early history has been almost totally forgotten.

Mitchell Cohen, who as co-editor of Dissent has bravely held out against this trend, began the first day of the conference with a presentation on "Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism on the Left," in which he toured a horizon all too familiar to most of the attendees. "Does the left have a Zionist problem? Yes," Cohen declared, going on to quote anti-Zionist and quasi-anti-Semitic statements by luminaries such as the American Jewish literary theorist Judith Butler, who has spoken indulgently about Hamas and Hezbollah, and the leading French philosopher Alain Badiou, who as Cohen put it is "obsessed with Jews and Israel."

Cohen deftly united the two themes of the conference by arguing that the part of the left that is currently anti-Zionist is the same part that "hasn't learned from the twentieth century": that is, the left that still indulges in nostalgic reveries about Communism and revolution. On this view, the struggle over left attitudes to Israel carries on an ancient struggle for the soul of the left, which has always vacillated between hostility to Jews, as symbols of the capitalist order, and defense of Jews, as victims of reactionary anti-Semitism. In his speech, the British Marx scholar Norman Geras traced this dualism back to Karl Marx—specifically to Marx's notorious essay "On the Jewish Question," which is full of the most vile anti-Semitism, calling Judaism a religion of money and bargaining, and calling for the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. Yet in the same essay, Marx also called for national liberation and self-determination, a call that historically attracted many Jews to the banner of the left.

The problem for the left today is that it has gone over largely—but not, Geras and others insisted, wholly—to the negative view of Judaism as an obstacle to human progress. Israel, Geras held, "has been an alibi for a new climate of anti-Semitism on the left," a development whose full venomousness can only be seen in Europe. ("I don't think people here realize," he said mournfully, "what it's like to be a Jewish leftist in Britain today," comparing it to living in a sea of poison.) This is the atmosphere that the Anglo-Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson evoked so powerfully in his recent novel The Finkler Question: one in which hostility to Israel is a reflex and insinuations about Jewish power and the "Jewish lobby" go unchallenged.

If the left in Europe and, increasingly, the United States is so hospitable to anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic ideas, what does that mean for the future of "Jews and the Left"? Michael Walzer explained the historical Jewish affinity for the left as a straightforward matter: "We have supported the people who support us." The historical insights of the "Jews and the Left" conference suggested that things were never so simple—or mutual. So, when that basic equation no longer holds—if the left are no longer "the people who support us"—will we continue to support them? The "rising generation" of the left will contain its share of Jews, maybe even more than its share; but whether it will be a Jewish left, as it was in the past, is very much in doubt.

Sergio Tessa can be reached at

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 20, 2012

Today, April 20, 2012, in the Hebrew calendar 28 Iyar 5772 is Jerusalem Day, in Hebrew Yom Yerushalayim.

Looking back, it will be worthwhile putting on paper a story I own that directly relates to that historical day, most emotional for the Jewish people. It is when, on the second day of the Six Day War, Mordechai "Motta" Gur, then the Commander of the Paratroops Brigade that regained Jerusalem shouted, and which was recorded for the history books, "Har Habayit Be'yadeinu," Temple Mount is in our hands...

On June 5 at 7:45AM Israeli time, Israel's civil defense sirens sounded all over the country and the Six Day War began.

On June 7, 1967, IDF paratroopers broke into the old city through the Lions' Gate, advanced through the Old City toward the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, bringing Jerusalem's holiest site under Jewish control for the first time in 2000 years. As Lt. General Gur's brigade approached the Old City he announced to his company commanders, and there are sound recordings of the scene, "We're sitting right now on the ridge and we're seeing the Old City. Shortly we're going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City..." and shortly afterwards, "The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!" General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then the chief chaplain of the IDF, sounded the Shofar at the Western Wall to signify its liberation from enemy hands. To Israelis and Jews all over the world, this was a joyous and momentous occasion. Many even consider it a gift from God. Israel conquers Jerusalem.

Immediately after the war, on my last days in military service, I was privileged to take a "tour" of Gaza, the Golan Heights, "West Bank" and Jerusalem. For the first time I saw the land our army returned to us, land that legally belongs to the Jewish nation and was taken from us, in an aggressive war, the Arabs launched on Israel the day after David Ben-Gurion declared our independence, on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708).

Being in Jerusalem, walking its mystical narrow streets, standing at the Western Wall and leaving a prayer-wish note in its cracks was the highlight of that first visit to the Holiest of Holy to the Jewish People, the outside Wall to the Jewish Temple.

Since then, though I am living abroad, I visited Israel and the Kotel-the Wall many times.

When my son was about to turn thirteen, on December 7, 1985, in the Jewish tradition a symbolic birthday named Bar-Mitzvah, I have decided that there is no other place on earth to celebrate this special birthday date than the Wall.

From the USA, where I live, with the help of my sister, now deceased, who lived in Israel, I planned a Bar-Mitzvah day event that turned to be one of the highlights of my life. My son A. and I arrived to Israel few days earlier. We could only schedule the ceremony at the Wall for Monday, December 23, 1985, slightly later than my son's authentic birthday date being December 7th.

The night before it rained especially hard. Since the ceremony was to be under the skies I could not sleep; if it continued raining the ceremony could not take place.

But God was there, the entire day and beyond. The clouds moved on and the sun, specially bright that day, warmed the earth, smiled at us and caressed us lovingly. So that people would not have to travel and fight traffic, I hired a bus and a tour guide for the day. What better day could it be to have a tour guide to deliver, even to Israelis a lesson in geography and history about their own country. The bus arrive on time and we departed from my, now deceased, mother's home in Haifa, heading to Jerusalem and picking up guests along the way. It was great kinship to see and get together with many family members and friends who I invited to share the special day with us. When we got to the Wall, the rabbi who was assigned to guide my son through the ceremony greeted us. He was concerned that since the Bar-Mitzvah boy did not speak Hebrew he will not be able to recite well the Biblical chapter and the Haftarah assigned for his birth date and for which he studied for months. I was nervous too.

(The Haftarah is a series of selections from the books of Ne'vi'im-Prophets of the Hebrew Bible-Tanach that is publicly read in synagogues as part of Jewish religious practice. The Haftarah reading follows the Torah reading on each Shabbat.) At the Wall the guests split; men were to stand near the Bar-Mitzvah groom on the Wall's courtyard while the women stood in close proximity behind a stumpy wall.

My son A. was nervous; his blood was drained from his face. Since I was divorced, his father did not attend the ceremony and my brother-in-law and a childhood friend took over the father's position to assist him.

My son was sent to an enclosure near the Wall to fetch the Bible scroll from which he was to read. He emerged majestically embracing and carrying the scroll and walked to put it on the podium table where he was to stand and read. Then the ceremony began; my son began to read his assigned Bible chapter and Haftarah in perfect order. First he read softly with slight nervous vice and then he picked up the tempo. His voice grew louder and the reading flawless. As he was reading, in flowing Hebrew the rabbi's face lit up; he was impressed how well my son was trained to deliver the reading. And the guests, oh' the guests, they were in happy land. The sun was especially caressing and the Jerusalem wind was cooling; standing by the Holiest of Holy Wall, the tears and smiles of joy while being among friends and family and the flawless Bar-Mitzvah ceremony all reminded us how proud we need to be as Jews.

I was in Heavenly Jerusalem and in heavenly happiness. I could not have been happier. There is no other place on earth where a Jewish boy can celebrate his beginning of manhood and his entering a an adult life of responsibility than the Wailing Wall, near where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood. The candies the guests threw at the birthday boy, the singing and the smiling faces attested to that.

From there we all gathered in the Holy Land Hotel where we held the most delicious later lunch event.

The day turned as perfect as God can deliver in His city, Jerusalem

There is no greater national joy that I enjoy more than knowing that All of Jerusalem is in Our Hands, in Jewish Hands. There are no other emotions to compare with to the emotions that engulf me and burst out of me when I stand at the Wall, before, then, at my son's Bar-Mitzvah and till today.

Har Habayit Be'yadeinu. Har Habayit Hu She'lanu-Temple Mount is in our hands, it is ours.

To anyone who still accepts the myth that so-called "East" Jerusalem is an Arab city, historically separate from Israel's is a video to watch.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 20, 2012

An EU resolution denounces undefined "settler" violence against Arabs, and rocket attacks from Gaza, but not (Palestinian Authority) P.A. Arab violence against Jews. Israel is urged to bring perpetrators to justice. [The government of Israel curbs Jewish property rights in favor of Arab squatters. That helps perpetrators.]

The EU affirms a "two-state solution" as more urgent now that the Arab world is changing. Why now is unexplained. How long the two states would last is unexplored.

Likewise, the EU approves what it calls the "aspirations" of Palestinian Arabs for statehood and of Israelis for security. Fulfillment would stabilize the area. How would setting up a jihadist Arab state stabilize the area? Why think the P.A. aspiration is for statehood and not for conquest? Statehood would greatly facilitate conquest.]

How would the conflict be ended? The EU thinks by conforming to various resolutions, such as the Madrid principles and the Saudi plan. Those plans have dubious conditions not explained by the resolution. [The P.A. works against peace, being jihadist. Nor does the Saudi plan promise peace, recognition, and normalization with Israel, it just says maybe. The Saudi plan is for Israel to surrender and wait to be destroyed. Read it.]

International humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention on civilians, the EU claims, applies in the "occupied Palestinian territory. [It is not Arab territory, so it is not occupied. Therefore, the Geneva Convention does not apply except inasmuch as Israel uses it as guidelines. The EU is relying upon a duplicitous misinterpretation of the Convention, designed to prevent expulsions by foreigners, as if it meant Jews were not allowed to move into an area whose legal status is under the Mandate that ratifies Jewish rights to settle there.]

Rocket attacks from Gaza that deliberately target civilians appall the EU. The EU urges regional powers to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza. [Of what concrete benefit is such an exhortation? Remember, much of the EU boycotts Jewish products from Judea-Samaria, but not Gaza.]

The EU "expresses deep concern about marked acceleration of settlement construction" and Israel's decision to regularize some outposts and to resettle Jews from Migon "within the occupied Palestinian territory." The resolution refers to the Roadmap, which the Arabs disregard without any deep concern from the EU. How long must Israel be held to a coerced agreement that the other side flouts? Actually, PM Netanyahu pretended he wasn't blocking new construct ion by Jews, when he was. Why no objection to Arab settlement?]

Next the EU mentions that in Jerusalem there are "ongoing evictions and house demolitions, changes to the residency status of "Palestinians," expansion of Jewish neighborhoods, and "prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social, or political activities." [Evictions and demolitions are too few to uphold the law, which Arabs violate extensively, and are biased against Jews having proof of ownership of disputed houses. Apparently, when Arabs claim an area under Jewish administration, normal municipal law does not apply to Arabs. Any activities being prevented, often really winked at rather than prevented, are subversive ones by which the P.A. tries to insinuate its control over the area in which its has signed agreements that it has no legal authority.]

[Even if the UN believes that Israel occupies the area, this occupation would have resulted from a war of Arab aggression, hence an occupation would be legal. Therefore, the UN should stop interfering in municipal administration. Apparently the UN does not regard P.A. agreements as binding. So a city has to get ruined and property may be stolen.]

Another part of the resolution claims "worsening living conditions of the Arabs in area C [under full Israeli control and containing only 2% of the Arabs of the P.A. or of just the Arabs in Judea-Samaria]. It cites no statistical evidence of worsening. [The P.A. economy has grown, thanks largely to Israeli help.]

Israel is asked to give the P.A. more control over Area C. [In other words, Israel should relinquish territory to which it has a superior historical and ethical claim or which can serve as a bargaining chip in negotiations. The Arabs never have to give up anything. How does that coax the Arabs into civilized behavior? Does the EU want peace or Jewish destruction?]

The EU alleges "plans of forced transfer of the Bedouin communities, in particular from the wider E1 area. [I was not aware that Bedouin were there, but my friends showed me an E1area where Arabs seize land that they do not own. The EU standard is that Jews may not keep land they own and Arabs may usurp land they do not own. Why special privileges for Arabs and special punishments for Jews?]

Financial troubles of the P.A. adversely affect its state-building. The EU calls for a common effort among the P.A., donors, and Israel.

[Why set up a state dependent upon foreign donors? That means trouble. Besides, the purpose of a new Arab state would be to wage war on Israel. Israel would be wise to stop subsidizing and training the P.A., to enforce the law more strictly against the Arabs there, to nullify Oslo over Arab violations, and therefore to annex parts of the P.A. on which Jews live or that are vacant. I question Israel acting as tax collector for the P.A., at least without charging for it — it is like being an accomplice to jihad against itself. Israeli policy should preclude formation of an Arab state there. In effect, the EU urges Israel to donate money to the very people whose mosques weekly preach murder of Jews and whose TV daily teaches that the Jews stole not only the Territories but all of Israel from them! This is more urgent as Islamists take control of more Arab governments, making further Arab aggression likelier.]

So the EU declares "settlements" illegal under international law, meaning by Jews and not by Arabs, who have no sovereign legal rights there. "The EU reiterates that it will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders," including that of Jerusalem. [What pre-1967 borders? There were no borders. There was an armistice line of no legal significance. Thanks to earlier Arab aggression, Israel was formed without borders.]

Accelerate P.A. building plans, the EU demands. [The P.A. builds in order to establish facts on the ground, which prevents Jews from living there. The EU opposes favors Arab building but not Israeli building.]

The EU wants the "P.A. to continue pursuing reforms." [What reforms? Let it end capital punishment for selling land to Jews, extortion from the remaining Christians, incitement to murder, violations of agreements.]

At least "The EU is concerned about recent reports of arrests of journalists and underlines the importance of freedom of expression, including via traditional and new media. In this regard, it welcomes President Abbas' instructions to lift the ban on several websites." [P.A. repression of the media is not of recent vintage.]

The EU also is concerned about recent incitement in P.A. media and elsewhere. What does "elsewhere" mean, schools, summer camps, and mosques, as has been going on since the beginning of the P.A.?]

The EU wants internal P.A. reconciliation, i.e., between Fatah and Hamas. [The EU willfully deceives itself that Fatah rule is not totalitarian and jihadist, but surely it knows that Hamas rule is. Reconciliation with Hamas terrorism is what the EU wants?] ( ,IMRA, 5/15/12).

The EU is going broke, but it is the main foreign donor to the P.A. The EU sides with barbarians against civilized people, even while similar barbarians within the gates of Europe plan to destroy its culture.

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

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Posted by Ted Belman, May 20, 2012

This article was written by Jerry Gordan who writes for The Iconoclast. It is archived at:


This Yom Yerushalayim Day is the 45th Commemoration of the Reunification of Jerusalem

This evening in Israel begins the commemoration of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, the 28th of Iyar in the Hebrew Calendar. The occasion marks the 45th anniversary of the reunification of the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Nineteen years after Jordanian Legionnaires routed valiant defending forces, destroyed Jewish landmarks and expelled Jewish residents of the Old City; IDF forces retook the eastern half of Israel's capitol on June 7th, 1967, after fierce fighting.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's book, Jerusalem: The Biography captures the moment of liberation during the climactic moment of the June Six days of War in June 1967 with this excerpt published by the National Post, "The Temple Mount is in our Hands":

First the Israelis bombarded the Augusta Victoria ridge, using napalm; the Jordanians fled. Then Israeli paratroopers took the Mount of Olives and moved down towards the Garden of Gethsemane. "We occupy the heights overlooking the Old City," the paratroop commander Colonel Motta Gur told his men. "In a little while we will enter it. The ancient city of Jerusalem which for generations we have dreamed of and striven for — we'll be the first to enter it. The Jewish nation is awaiting our victory. Be proud. Good luck!" At 9:45 a.m., the Israeli Sherman tanks fired at the Lions' Gate, smashing the bus that was blocking it, and blew open the doors. Under raking Jordanian fire, the Israelis charged the gate. The paratroopers broke into the Via Dolorosa, and Colonel Gur led a group onto the Temple Mount. "There you are on a half-track after two days of fighting with shots still filling the air and suddenly you enter this wide open space that everyone has seen before in pictures," wrote intelligence officer Arik Akhmon, "and though I'm not religious, I don't think there was a man who wasn't overwhelmed with emotion. Something special had happened." There was a skirmish with Jordanian troops before Gur announced over the radio: "The Temple Mount is in our hands!"

Meanwhile on Mount Zion, a company of the Jerusalem Brigade burst through a portal in the Zion Gate into the Armenian Quarter, hurtling down the steep hill into the Jewish Quarter, just as soldiers of the same unit broke through the Dung Gate. All headed for the Wall. Back on the Temple Mount, Gur and his paratroopers did not know how to reach it, but an old Arab showed them the Maghrebi Gate and all three companies converged simultaneously on the holy place. Holding his shofar and a Torah, the bearded Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief chaplain of the Israeli Army, strode to the Wall and began to recite the Kaddish mourning prayer as the soldiers prayed, wept, applauded, danced and some sang the city's new anthem "Jerusalem of Gold."

At 2:30 p.m., Dayan, ?anked by Rabin and Narkiss, entered the city, passing "smouldering tanks," and walking through "alleys totally deserted, an eerie silence broken by sniper fire. I remembered my childhood," said Rabin, and reported feeling "sheer excitement as we got closer" to the Kotel. As they proceeded across the Temple Mount, Dayan saw an Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock and "I ordered it removed immediately." Rabin was "breathless" as he watched the "tangle of rugged battle-weary men, eyes moist with tears," but "it was no time for weeping — a moment of redemption, of hope."

Rabbi Goren wanted to accelerate the messianic era by dynamiting the mosques on the Temple Mount, but General Narkiss replied:

"Stop it!"

"You'll enter the history books," said Rabbi Goren.

"I've already recorded my name in the history of Jerusalem," answered Narkiss.

"This was the peak of my life," recalled Rabin. "For years I had secretly harboured the dream that I might play a role in restoring the Western Wall to the Jewish people. Now that dream had come true and suddenly I wondered why I of all men should be privileged." Rabin was granted the honor of naming the war: always modest and dignified, gruff and laconic, he chose the simplest name: the Six Day War. Nasser had another name for it — al-Naksa, the Reversal.

In 1980 Israel's Knesset passed a law proclaiming Jerusalem as its 'eternal and indivisible' capital. The Muslim Ummah suggests otherwise. They contend that Allah had supposedly given Jerusalem and the world as an endowment for Muslims, but not for Jews or Christians. The mainstream media parrots the line that the world hasn't recognized Jerusalem as Israel's unified capital since a final peace agreement has yet to been concluded.

As noted in a CNS report successive Presidents beginning with former President Clinton have avoided implementing an Act of Congress mandating moving the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel's capital:

Congress in 1995 passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and stating that "the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999." An inbuilt waiver authority allowed the president to postpone the move, in the interests of "national security," for consecutive six-monthly periods. Reflecting the strong level of support in the U.S. for Israel and for Israel's claim to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act passed 374-37 in the House and 93-5 in the Senate. Last June 6th, President Obama elected to invoke the waiver authority. These acts by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama suggest that the circumstances of such recognition would not be in this country's interests. Thus, preserving the fiction that a Palestinian State would be entitled to East Jerusalem as its future capitol. The US Jerusalem consulate has been largely staffed with Palestinians in the local interests section with Arabic the predominate language of choice in handling issuance of Visas and other matters. According to Israel Matzav the US consulate in Jerusalem functions as "the unofficial US embassy to the Palestinians".

In the wake of the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism virtually surround the Jewish State of Israel this failure of will by US Presidents to implement the sense of the Congress in the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995 and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem looks like abject dhimmitude by the US government.

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

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Posted by Paul Lademain, May 19, 2012

obama's acton and dystel blurb

This article was written by Jack Cashill and is called "Why Kenyan Birth Claim was no 'Fact Checking Error'. It is archived at

No sooner did the literary agency brochure in which Barack Obama was said to be Kenyan-born surface than the media went to work to deep-six it (

"This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time," Miriam Goderich, now a named partner in the literary agency, Dystel & Goderich, wrote in an emailed statement to Yahoo News, which was then picked up ABC News. "There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more."

This confession rings false to the point of preposterous for any number of reasons. Let us start with the obvious. At the time, 1991, the Acton & Dystel agency listed 90 clients, Obama among its least significant. How likely is it that Goderich would have remembered enough about a 1991 "error" to know it was hers, especially since it went uncorrected through several revisions until changed in 2007? To make this claim credible, there would have to be an existing paper trail leading to an Obama submission in which he lists an Hawaiian birth. I am confident that there is no such submission.

Former publisher Tom Lipscomb does not buy Goderich's explanation for a New York minute. "As someone who has run a number of top bestseller publishers, I think this is an amazing MIRACLE," writes Lipscomb emphatically on Power Line. "It is the ONLY case I have ever heard of in which an editorial assistant INVENTED a biographical detail. I have heard of typos, wrong dates, misspellings of names. But to pick a really weird country of origin like Kenya for an author?"

The Breitbart people followed up with a piece by Steve Boman, a Jane Dystel client in the mid-1990s, who noted, "All material she used in our proposals came directly from me and my writing partner." This is standard. In the eight books I have written under my own name, I have reviewed all biographical information sent out about me either by agent or publisher. Like most authors, I have let a little fluff pass, but not much.

The most interesting "tell" in the 1991 Acton & Dystel brochure relates to what was said about Obama's career in the business world. Obama, the reader learns, "worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation."

In Dreams from My Father, Obama inflated his stint at Business International even more and transformed it into a faux moment of racial awareness, one of at least a half-dozen concocted racial melodramas in the book. As Obama tells the story, a "consulting house to multinational corporations" hired him and promptly promoted him to the position of "financial writer."

Here, he felt like "a spy behind enemy lines," and a guilty one at that. "As far as I could tell," he adds, "I was the only black man in the company." He does not boast of his racial uniqueness. Rather, in full grievance mode, he considers it "a source of shame." Indeed, the whole experience troubled him:

I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors-see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand-and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.

As early as July 2005, however, former co-worker and Obama fan Dan Armstrong revealed Obama's whole account to be a "serious exaggeration." Obama worked at not a multinational corporation, but a "small company that published newsletters." He was not the only black person who worked there. He did not, as claimed, have his own office, wear a jacket and tie, interview international businessmen, or write articles. He mostly just copy-edited business items and slipped them into a three-ring binder for the company's customers.

Are we supposed to believe that Goderich not only changed Obama's birthplace from Hawaii to Kenya, but also transformed him from a grunt filling three-ring binders into a "financial journalist and editor"?

When this discrepancy surfaced years later, pundits in either camp were confused as to why Obama would lie about such seemingly irrelevant details. There are two good, non-exclusive possibilities. For one, the exaggeration enables the reader to see Obama as he would like to see himself — "a spy behind enemy lines." For another, Obama's co-author, Bill Ayers, once again took the framework of Obama's life and roughed in the details.

In Fugitive Days, Ayers' 2001 memoir, he uses the phrase "behind enemy lines" almost literally to describe his and his comrades' quiet infiltration of the opponent's position. Wife Bernardine Dohrn has said the same in public. When the Weather Underground declared its state of war with the United States in May 1970, Dohrn warned that people fighting "Amerikan imperialism" all over the world "look to Amerika's youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire."

The bottom line is this: Obama has been creating and shifting identities his entire adult life. If the agency brochure was a snapshot of the 1991 Obama, Dreams captured him in his 1995 pose: hip, black, progressive, wounded by racial slights but able to overcome them, just the man to lead Chicago into the 21st century, then the extent of his and Ayers's ambition for him.

"I met [Obama] sometime in the mid-1990s[,]" Bill Ayers would tell Salon, likely pushing the actual date back several years. "And everyone who knew him thought that he was politically ambitious. For the first two years, I thought, his ambition is so huge that he wants to be mayor of Chicago."

Friend Cassandra Butts traced that ambition back at least to Harvard. "He wanted to be mayor of Chicago and that was all he ever talked about as far as holding office," she would tell early Obama biographer David Mendell.

No one would have challenged Obama's biography had he not gone beyond Chicago, but he did. And so where he was born matters, and whether he even wrote his own biography matters, too. As much as I know about Obama, I don't know or pretend to know the answer — at least to the first of those two questions.

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

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 19, 2012

"Countries may vary, but civilization is one, and for a nation to progress, it must take part in this one civilization. The decline of the Ottomans began when, proud of their triumphs over the West, they cut their ties with the European nations. This was a mistake which we will not repeat." — Kemal Ataturk, 1924

Spinning in his grave, indeed, for now his successors not only think they can revive a Turkish-ruled imperium, but have made the very mistake of turning their backs on the West, which the republic's founder rightly saw as the downfall of that earlier incarnation of his country. I'd change Ataturk's wording slightly: the Ottomans turned their backs on the modern world then being developed in the West while still forming alliances with European powers.

Once upon a time there was a country named Turkey whose republic was created by Kemal Ataturk, who famously said: "Peace at home; peace abroad."

He and the Turkish people had seen their Ottoman Empire collapse after failing to modernize, engaging in chauvinistic nationalism (under the Young Turks), and entering an unnecessary war that led to 20 percent of its population dead and the country prostrate.

And so Ataturk and his colleagues saved the country based on two basic principles: at home, joining Western civilization through modernization and secularization; abroad, avoiding foreign ambitions and conflicts. Whatever their faults, they did a remarkable job. Turkey made steady progress far in excess of what happened in Iran or the Arabic-speaking world.

But then came the regime of the Justice and Development Party. Pretending to be moderate and democratic, it was actually a radical Islamist party seeking to — if I may coin a phrase — fundamentally transform Turkey. This regime was not moderate but merely patient in achieving its radical goals.

It insisted that under its rule Turkey would be everyone's friend and no one's enemy. And President Barack Obama thought this would be a great model for the Middle East. In fact, though, the regime didn't see everyone as an equal friend. It preferred the company of Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hizballah.

Soon, as events developed in the region, the veneer of modesty boiled away and the aggressive ambition was revealed. And that ambition was expressed most clearly by the devious Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to parliament in late April:

We will manage the wave of change in the Middle East. Just as the ideal we have in our minds about Turkey, we have an ideal of a new Middle East. We will be the leader and the spokesperson of a new peaceful order, no matter what they say.

Wow. Off with the "everyone's buddy" image and out comes the raving would-be dictator over the Middle East. But the problem is that there are these people called "Arabs" who don't want to be bossed around by a Turk, even if they both are Sunni Muslims. In addition, those Arabs have their own ambitions. So when they hear stuff like this they become even more angry and suspicious.

"No matter what they say," intones Davutoğlu, a man who has gone even further in addressing his party's convention in a closed meeting, where he said that somebody ought to run the Middle East so why not him and his colleagues. Since his speech was reported in a U.S. embassy message, it was available to the White House. Yet it has been Obama's naiveté about Turkey that has even further puffed up the arrogance of such people.

Sounding like another man who wanted to become the dictator of the Middle East — Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who once said that those who didn't like him running things could "go drink the Nile" — Davutoğlu says:

I'd like to advise those who are criticizing us: Go to Cairo. Go to Tripoli. Go to the streets of Beirut, Tunisia, Jerusalem, and ask about Turkey's policy on Syria. They will hug you and express their appreciation for Turkey's honorable policy.

Yes, this regime has supported the overthrow of its former close ally in Syria in order to install an Islamist regime friendly to Ankara. It has even obtained full support from Obama for creating an anti-American government in Damascus.

After the foreign minister spoke, an opposition leader, Osman Korutürk, explained that he was just back from Cairo for a regional conference of parliamentarians and did not find such a love and worship of Turkey there. On the contrary, they were not thrilled with the idea of Turkey dominating Syria, or anything else in the area for that matter.

The increasingly power-drunk behavior of Turkish leaders may go unnoticed by a worshipful Obama, who touts the "Turkish model," but the Arabs have been alienated by such attitudes. Having also threatened Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, while partly antagonizing Iran — though the Ankara regime continues to break trade sanctions with Tehran, sabotage totally accepted by the pliant Obama administration — the Turkish leaders have destroyed their own foreign policy. While this regime began with a realistic chance of being everyone's friend, it has now made itself everyone's enemy.

Regarding domestic governance, the power-drunk arrogance is also increasingly contradicting democratic practice. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once said that democracy was like a trolley. You ride it until you get to your destination and then get off. Presumably that's at the point where you have consolidated power to the point you can do whatever you want and have turned Turkey into an Islamist state.

Speaking in Adana and threatening retaliation to Kurdish PKK terrorist attacks, he abandoned the pose of moderation and pluralism to threaten:

We have four fundamental principles. And these principles are:

1. One people

2. One flag

3. One religion

4. One government.

While there are echoes here of traditional Turkish centralization under the old republic established by Ataturk, the third principle shows not only the abandonment of Turkish secularism but its replacement by Islamic rule. Where Erdogan is willing to compromise is that he left off the demand for one language, accepting some use of the Kurdish language.

Thus, Turkey, which had done so well for decades under pragmatists, has now fallen under the sway of megalomaniacal ideologues who believe that they can impose Islam on Turkey and Turkey on the region.

Meanwhile the regime is arresting scores of former high-ranking officers — here and here — destroying the army that used to protect secularism. The time will come when it appoints Islamists or opportunists who act as if they were Islamists to the top commands.

And the U.S. government has finally given some tiny indication of dissatisfaction with Turkey's hostile policy toward Israel. Obama and the top officials have done nothing while the Islamist regime has behaved as if Israel is its worst enemy in the world and sided with radical terrorist groups that seek Israel's extinction. Of course, this statement of mild dissatisfaction was dragged out of a junior official by critical members of Congress and was narrowly limited. In other words, for all practical purposes the Obama administration has done zero after two years of the Turkish regime's bashing of Israel.

Also read Andrew McCarthy's "There are Birds and There is Turkey."

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at Contact him at The website of the GLORIA Center is at and his blog, Rubin Reports,

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 19, 2012

Tonight begins Yom Yerushalayim — Jerusalem Day.

The day is celebrated according to the Hebrew date of the liberation by Israeli troops of eastern (historic Jewish) Jerusalem, in 1967.

"Har Habayit b'yadenu! Ani chozer: Har Habayit b'yadenu! The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!"

So declared Gen. Motta Gur when he and the paratroopers he commanded reached the Mount.

You can hear an historic recording of this event, which includes prayers by Rabbi Shlomo Goren, and see a translated transcript here:


In the 3,000 years since King David first made Jerusalem his capital, the city had been divided only once: during the 19 years that Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem following the War of Independence.

When Israel liberated that part of the city, on the third day of the Six Day War, Jerusalem was reunited — never, ever to be divided again.

The myth is that "east" Jerusalem is "Arab." But this only appeared to be the case because Jordan rendered it Judenrein — not only banishing all Jews, but destroying synagogues and desecrating cemeteries. The reality is that the very heart of ancient Jewish heritage is in the eastern part of the city.


Today, almost half of the population of eastern Jerusalem — more than 225,00 people — is Jewish. Any notion of being able to divide the city — with western Jerusalem for the Jews, and eastern Jerusalem for the Arabs, is pure nonsense.

In fact, the notion that the Palestinian Arabs have a legitimate claim to any part of Jerusalem is equally nonsense. And let it be clearly understood: They say they want the eastern part of the city for their capital. But a serious analysis of statements made by the Palestinian Authority makes it clear that they intend to have all of the city.

We made a grievous error, in turning over the daily administration of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Wakf after we had liberated it. Let there be no more mistakes.

To surrender the very heart of Jewish heritage would be to seriously weaken our national resolve, and to rob us of our deepest purpose. And don't imagine the Arabs are not aware of this.

Under no circumstances may Jerusalem be divided.


Any so-called Jewish leader or thinker or writer, whether here in Israel or outside, who proposes such a division — imagining it to be somehow necessary either in the interests of "peace" or to satisfy international demands — does a serious disservice to Am Yisrael and the State of Israel. Such a move would serve only to weaken the Jewish people and to subvert the cause of true peace.


Almost immediately after the city was reunited, a law was passed for the protection of holy places; it reads:

"The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places..."

It must be noted that only under Israeli sovereignty will Christian holy places in Jerusalem be guarded.

In July 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, declaring, "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." Eastern Jerusalem is indivisibly part of the capital.


If you have never visited Jerusalem, I urge you to do so. There is no way to truly value her in your heart without knowing her. When you come, be sure to take a tour of the ancient Jewish sites in eastern Jerusalem.

Of course, the Kotel, and the tunnel adjacent, and the nearby archeological gardens. And go up on the Mount — an important thing to do — with a guide.

Not to be missed, as well, is Ir David — the City of David, outside the city walls. This is the original ancient city, and archeologists regularly uncover new evidence of life there:

But it doesn't end with these sites. A guide can show you old Jewish neighborhoods, and much more. See .


Im eshkachech:

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not set Jerusalem above my greatest joy.

From Psalm 137.

I offer here in closing what I still think is the best of the videos offering the song Im Eshkachech. A few years old, it remains very moving.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Nurit Greenger, May 19, 2012

When, in 1993, Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the arch terrorist Yesser Arafat, it paved a delegitimization of its existence path on which the world has been traveling ever since. The time has come to redirect the happy travelers onto a new path that will serve Israel's interests and will change her stance in the world.

Twenty years of stepping in one place, with no peace with the Arabs in sight, better yet, regressing and being pummeled in the international arena has made many Israelis finally catch their heads with an epiphany that the Oslo Accords, that gave birth to the "peace process" and the "two state solution," all invented and imposed on them by Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin et al was nothing more than horrific mistake. More so, such a solution could be described as the end of the nation state of the Jewish people, Israel.

Even when we bear in mind that the facts of twenty years of the "peace process" charade shine in front of every human being who chooses to face and admit to the truth, there are those who still peddle this idiotic idea.

Early this week, I received a mail from the Jewish-Israel News & Views; its title: "Should North American pro-Israel Jewish Organizations Be Advocating Support For The 2 State Solution?" written by Bill Narvey, from Calgary Alberta Canada.

When I saw the title, in it the "2 State Solution", I did not proceed to read the article because for me the two state is not a solution for Israel rather its dissolution. Since I belong to few Internet debate groups I was copied many replies to this article, from pundits as well as sensible activists from around the world.

To me, the two state "solution" tops among the five greatest mistakes Israel has ever made. An agreement that was never thought through and have been frantically pursued by one government of Israel after another and that I define as foolish at best and schizophrenically insane at worst.

After much thinking I have decided to make some of these replies public, in order to assert the fact that the Peter Beinart, Thomas Friedman, Bill Narvey et al of the world are in the minority and DO NOT speak for the Israelis, who, at the end of the day are the ones who will have to decide their fate. They will have to decide if they want to give up Judea and Samaria to a bunch of terrorists who want to annihilate their existing state and kill every Jew living there or find a solution that will be best for them and the generations to come; a solution that will ensure that Israel exists, if not in peace with the Moslem states around her, then at least with total security and deterrence.

The truth is that two Jews hardly agree on anything, let alone a whole nation, but I believe that the majority of Israeli-Jews will agree with all the opinions presented below.

Here are the gems responses I have collated — with names kept confidential:

MS: Israel cannot — and will not — survive a two state solution. This failed fraudulent notion must be removed from the debate as soon as possible

The access to leadership is function of the vigor of Israeli diplomacy. The situation we see today is a reflection of the lack thereof.

Imagine if Israel decided to allot for the next decade 0.005 of its GDP for public diplomacy, i.e. one billion dollars, to make its case loud and clear instead of the pathetically puny sums assigned today.

With a billion dollars you can buy a lot of friends and influence, and access.

The problem is that Israel has lost the will to win — because the Left who control the discourse in the land have made "victory" an inadmissible concept. Because if victory is feasible there is no need to concede [to give up land] and that would invalidate the Left world view, which brings them so much goodies.

BC: I don't believe in a 2-state solution, not even the one in which Jordan is Palestine. The whole land was stolen, and the Jews have, by far, the best legal case. If Israel wants the land, it has to take it, get rid of the little "Liar King" of Jordan, and start encouraging Arabs to take his place over there.

Re-electing that psychopath and liar US president is a great concern. However, I really doubt Netanyahu formed a broad coalition for this purpose. Because Bibi caves in to US presidents, no matter what. Lucky Israel he doesn't need to deal with Ahmadinejad face to face, otherwise he would cave in, too. He scores points by kowtowing to Ehud Barak and the High Court and expelling Jews, whom he does not deal with face to face.

So let us continue the fight, because a 2-state solution, principally west of the Jordan river, may be worse than death for Israel.

As SH says, most Israelis are unfit to govern Israel. In my view, that weird system of election and governing they have in Israel only exacerbate what SH says.

EK: From my position, it seems that only Left wing pacifiers are willing to give in to the "Two State Solution".

I disagree with your observation. By all international laws, biblical laws and other practical reasons, I will never agree to a two state solution, especially when I believe that the only solution is a ONE Jewish State solution. Only Left wing liberal weenies believe that the Arabs, who lost the wars they waged on Israel, are entitled to a state called Palestine on the west side of the Jordan River. Do you actually believe that once we give the Arabs that state they will love the Jews? Of course not. That being the case, why should the Arabs have their state in the proximity of Israel where they would be a constant threat to the safety of her citizens? The Jordan River is a natural border that can provide a common defense for both, Arabs and Jews. The same holds true for Gaza; 6 million Jews need to be secure from one billion Arabs who, at a blink of an eye, would cut the head off any Jew.

Israel and Jews around the world need to stand up to Obama and the EU and their pitiful threats. If Israel takes the proper steps to finally annex Judea and Samaria, Obama would be neutered.

All those who advocate, support and promote a two state solution do so for only one reason. They hope it will be the final solution to the Jews. All of them know clearly that such a situation would lead to the mass murder of all the Jews in Israel and later in the rest of the world and that is exactly what they want. To those Jews who promote this, all I can say is why wait? Kill yourself today and avoid the rush.

Bill, I still do not understand your acceptance of the status quo of Israel. To me it sounds that you have surmised that there is nothing that Israelis can do to change the political position that exists in today's Israeli arena. Again, if this is true, I disagree. Israel must strike while the iron is hot, while there is confusion in the ranks of the Arabs with their so called "Arab Spring" revolutions. The existential threat of Iran looms large and, by doing nothing it becomes more dangerous for Israel by the day.

Do Israelis deserve to live under this threat each day and accept their fate, which would be in the hands of Muslims? Or will Israel act for its own welfare and break the bonds? In my opinion, so long as Jews and Arabs live within the same confines, there will never be peace. Natural, geographic borders will be the only answer for any chance of a peace to exist for Israel. The taking, even if by force, all of Judea and Samaria and Gaza, annexing, occupying and fortifying the borders will give Israel the breathing room she needs for a long period of time. Even in the future, if this is true, for the Muslims, as stated in the Koran, Jews must die, let it be on the Jews' terms and not the Arabs'.

What I have not mentioned in this context is that today there are almost 8 million citizens in Israel — Jews and Arabs — and I forecast that in ten years there will be fifteen million and growing, largely because of Jew baiting in Europe that will increase Aliyah, thus the need to have the land that, anyhow, legally belongs to Israel.

SH: I cannot help noticing that those who, by design, either been to Israel for some time, or live in Israel permanently, have completely different positions with reference to Eretz Israel, from those who have never been to visit the land or spent a short visit here.

My brother, who is very much on the left side of things, once said something that I remember as point of reference.

Galut-Diaspora Jews are no different than other human beings. Most people adopt positions that would make their lives easier. Jews in Eretz Israel cannot bend to that.

Those Jews who choose to remain in the Galut cannot possibly relate to Har-Gerizim or Kever Yoshua ben-Nun, etc., in the way Jews who live in Israel do.

While on a visit to Samaria, few weeks ago, we ascended Mount Gerizim, walking up the mountain on an ancient trail. We stopped to look down the valley to where Kever Yoseph is located.

Our younger son was with us; he picked up a pebble that I later on placed on the shelf over my desk. He wrote about the stone: could this stone have been there when Yoshuah ben-Nun led the Jews to the Altar in Mount Gerizim, after they crossed the Jordan River? Sure it was, he wrote. Plain and simple.

Regardless of protestations, we will not follow what is convenient to foreigners, be them Jewish or Goyim-non-Jews. Nothing doing.

Nothing will be permanently changed in Israel by following compromises to come or past ones, made to please foreign folks.

Even the Sinai peninsula is seemingly back in the cauldron.

There will be NO compromises so that other governments, or people, feel better and secure outside Eretz Israel. Oil and trade maybe important to others but to US, Eretz Israel trumps it all.

BM: Though oftentimes I agree with your op-ed pieces, this time I strongly disagree with the conclusion you have drawn — that North American pro-Israel Jewish organizations should support a two-state solution. One of the main arguments you have made to reach that conclusion is the following:

If mainstream Jewish organizations were to suddenly adopt the positions of the anti-2 state solution, even if such positions are unassailably proven, mainstream Jewish organizations would find themselves taking a position antithetical to government policy and majority attitudes. The result, they would quickly find that the access to government and the power elite, they have, successfully cultivated over the years, being denied to them.

Don't you think that the politicians would be interested in the Jewish vote despite leadership's adoption of that "antithetical" position? And, don't you think they would still be interested in the political dollars represented by some of the people comprising that vote? Politicians will always be interested in the Jewish vote and in attracting Jewish political contributions! That being said, wouldn't it be nice for those politicians to hear the truth for a change? It might even make sense to them!

Bill, as you are probably well aware, some of Israel's most esteemed members of the Knesset have publicly stated that implementation of the two-state solution would result in Israel's destruction.

In 2007, Brig. Gen., Retired, MK Dr. Arieh Eldad, who was the head of the burn unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem during the height of the Intifada, said: "The two-state-solution is dead. The Palestinians never wanted it. If they did they would have had an independent state as early as 1948. Israelis understand that any land given over to Arabs serves only as the next terror base against Israel."

In September 2008, Prof. MK Yuval Steinitz, an active member of Peace Now, before Oslo and a former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said: "The idea of a two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel's demise... [Such a Palestinian state would] immediately become an outpost for Iran." "I felt that what we did was a terrible mistake [signing on to the Oslo Accords in 1993] ... I realized that, to my frustration, we were giving up land for war and terror and incitement." As the Palestinians continued with their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric, he worried that "instead of a demilitarized Palestinian state we might end up with a militarized Palestinian state in the center of the country."

Steinitz said that the only reason Qassem rockets had not been fired at the center of the country or at Ben-Gurion International Airport was because Israel had a military presence in the West Bank.

When President Mahmoud Abbas (The "moderate") hugged Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, the man who killed three Jews in Naharyia, including a four-year-old girl, it showed Steinitz that Abbas was no different than the former PA leader Yasser Arafat.

in April, 2010, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, said: "Those who want to continue the Oslo process, who want us to continue to give and give and give, without a Palestinian willingness to recognize our right to a national home, are cooperating with the phased plans for Israel's destruction."

In May 19, 2011, Likud MK Danny Danon said: "Barack Hussein Obama adopted Yasser Arafat's staged plan for Israel's destruction, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister. All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders, without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: Tell Obama to forget about it."

Tuesday, 12.13.2011, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said that the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank is a "dangerous move" which will not "bring peace."


It is incumbent upon the supporters of Israel to educate mainstream Jewish leadership about the suicidal two-state "solution" paradigm. Then, it is incumbent upon the leadership to strongly lobby their local and national politicians — with confidence and conviction — about the likely disastrous results of that failed "peace" plan.

Imagine if the Jewish organizations were united in opposition to the two-state "solution," and they advertised it in major newspapers and on TV. Don't you think that would be a better approach than agreeing with a position to which they oppose, just to get an ear in the Capitol and White House and to keep things the way they are? What they/we are doing is not working. In fact, Israel is in much more peril than ever before! We must try something DIFFERENT. The Truth sounds like a great place at which to start.

Caroline just published the article, Let's embrace our friends — friends are the 350,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria.(

Judea and Samaria happened to be the heart of ancient, historical Israel. Therefore, there should be no capitulation to any demands from anyone for a "two state solution." A solution between two parties — in this case the Arabs and the Israeli-Jews — implies some kind of equity of outcome for each side. Giving up Judea and Samaria serves only one side, the Arab side, and that side still teaches each new generation to murder Jews who are their eternal enemy.

The emphasis is on leadership. We need strong leadership in Israel who does what is right for Israel's survival no matter what pressure and international demands they face. Putting up the security wall and fences with check points was just such a bold strategy that protects Israeli lives well. And all over the world Israel suffers from bad PR as a result yet, it was the right thing to do and it works.

Those who lie about Israel already out there claiming that Israel is an expansionist state, wanting to "occupy" and take over all the land as far as the eye can see. So why not simply leave the land that already belongs to historical Israel and be done with it?

The Israeli-Jews will suffer world condemnation no matter what steps they take. That is the nature of our lot, as Jews, in life. So because of, or in spite of that fact, Israel should act, selfishly, and on behalf of Israel and her future survival.

The time is now to unite, shred the two-state idea and put the entire Judea and Samaria under Israeli law. Then find a solution to the terrorist enclave Gaza that works for Israel and be done with the Hamastan cesspool. And finally open a new and politically healthy page in modern Israel history.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at Visit her blog:

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Posted by IDF Blog, May 18, 2012

This photo, taken by Mahmoud Zayyat at the refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh, was published by AFP on April 17, 2012, which was also commemorated as the Palestinian Prisoners' Day.

misleading photo
(Mahmoud Zayyat/Getty Images)

Here's the current photo caption from the Washington Post (

"Palestinian refugees pose as Israeli soldiers arresting and beating a Palestinian activist during celebrations of Prisoners' Day at the refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh near the coastal Lebanese city of Sidon on April 17, 2012 in solidarity with the 4,700 Palestinian inmates of Israeli jails. Some 1,200 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails have begun a hunger strike and another 2,300 are refusing food for one day, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) said."

Wait, so it's not IDF soldiers in that photo, right?

Right, but the impact of the photo alone has already made its mark. Lots of people don't read the caption, and don't see the full picture. For the untrained eye, this photo shows IDF soldiers arresting and beating a Palestinian activist. It shows brutality, inhumanity and unnecessary aggression.

Unfortunately, this case is one of many trying to delegitimize the IDF and Israel. These kind of photos constantly circulate online and are meant to demonize IDF soldiers. Of course, such behavior is completely at odds with the IDF Code of Conduct - but who reads the fine print, right?

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Posted by Elder of Ziyon, May 18, 2012

This comes from the Kuwait Times
( It was written by Nawara Fattahova, Staff Writer. It is archived at

Read no evil — Senior censor defends work, denies playing Big Brother

dalal al-mutairi

Dalal Al-Mutairi

Different professions have different tastes. Sometimes we wonder how the work of some people goes on, especially if it is not very common. The censors who are responsible for censoring books and other publications do an interesting job, which becomes harder during some periods of the year, yet it seems they enjoy it. In Kuwait, freedoms are respected yet within certain limits. "The limits of freedom in the press, TV, radio or other media is organized by law no. 3/2006 concerning Press and Publications, law no. 61/2007 concerning Visual and Audio Media, and related by-laws," Dalal Al-Mutairi, head of the Foreign Books Department at the Ministry of Information told Kuwait Times.

These laws set the basic rules to deal with right and wrong acts announced or published in the media. "This is also related to books, electronic publications and games and many other things. There are certain red lines that should not be crossed by the publishers, writers, authors and others. In order to check the application of the laws and that it's not violated, there are inspectors and censors working at the Ministry of Information," she added.

Dalal started her career as a censor at the Foreign Books Department and became the head of the department after a few years. "Many people consider the censor to be a fanatic and uneducated person, but this isn't true. We are the most literate people as we have read much, almost every day. We receive a lot of information from different fields. We read books for children, religious books, political, philosophical, scientific ones and many others," she pointed out.

"As a censor, I read a book from beginning to the end, word by word. In case the censor makes a mistake, the head of the department will be responsible for this mistake, as they should also read the book. The time to finish censoring a book depends on the kind of the book. For instance, a philosophical book needs about four days to read," Dalal added.

This department was set up in the year 2000. "Before we were working in the censorship department that included newspapers, magazines, books and any other printed material. It was then separated into a foreign books section and an Arabic books section. The censor in the foreign department is responsible for many different languages. We have censors who speak French, German, Urdu, Hindi and others but 95 percent of the publications are in the English language," noted Dalal.

"We have a list of banned books in Kuwait and we deal with publications containing forbidden material that are not on this list, and which we have to censor. The author or the distributor of this censored publication can appeal the decision issued by the censorship department at the ministry, and then another committee will review the publication to give its decision. Usually we are not very strict with foreign books," she admitted.

According to the law, if there is a violation, the censor writes a report about it. "Nobody can distribute any book unless he has a license to do so. The distributor should bring a copy of the book to our department. Sometimes we receive complaints from people regarding some books. Then we investigate with the printing press that published and printed this book. The printing house is responsible for the material and books printed by it and they should inform the Ministry of Information that they are printing a book, and then the book is not distributed without a license. There are some censors and inspectors from our department who inspect different printing presses to check their license," Dalal stated.

Some distributors import huge quantities of books, which may contain restrictions, and in this case it will bring him great financial losses. "We always advise the distributors to bring just one or a few copies in the beginning to submit them to the censorship department. After acquiring the approval to distribute them, he can then ship in the rest of the stock," stressed Dalal.

The greatest load on the department is during the Book Fair. "We start censoring the books in this fair about three months before it is held. We receive about 7,000 to 8,000 books to read. There are about 15 censors working on this fair. These censors take the books home with them to finish their reading. If we find a book containing restrictions, we write a report that is passed to a committee which decides that certain books will be banned from the fair," she highlighted.

The media or press sometimes exaggerates in describing the situation or news. "Always during each Book Fair, the media writes about banning hundreds of books from being sold. And they blame us for this. The committee that decides the ban consists of members in high positions from outside and inside the Ministry of Endowments and the Ministry of Information. The censor is not responsible for the ban. He only reads and gives his opinion according to the law," she added.

Working as a censor is interesting. "I like this work. It gives us experience, information and we always learn something new. It takes about a year or a year and a half to become a censor, as the person is first employed as a censor assistant. The employee first starts slow in reading and it takes him a week or days to finish a book. Also, beginners are not given political or religious books in the beginning as these are difficult. Instead we give them children's books or some scientific books, which are easy," said Dalal.

In some religious books, the censorship department cooperates with the Ministry of Endowments. "Religious opinions may differ and that's why we demand a professional explanation, although we have some censors who are graduates of the Faculty of Islamic Law. Some religious issues are transferred to the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. The banned books include publications printed in Israel, Christian missionary and Jewish books and other similar books," she noted.

During regular days, we receive books that need to be approved for distribution in the morning itself. "The censors don't have any particular timing, they just have to read, and we can't press them as we don't want them to make mistakes. If there is pressure such as during the fair time, the head of the department works with the censors to finish the work," Dalal pointed out.

The censors have to pass some courses and practicals to be eligible to do this job. "After graduating and appointment to this job, the new censor receives practical training at the Ministry of Information. For instance, he or she is given a book containing violations to be censored and we see how good they are. Within a year or so, they will be completely trained. Also the employee receives a course about the laws related to censorship. Usually the employees are graduates from the college of political science, history and similar fields," she concluded.

The Elder of Ziyon blog contains analysis, commentary and human interest stories about Israel and the neighbors it has to contend with.

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Posted by Arutz-7, May 18, 2012

Sheila Mediena, who frequently comments in Canadian Jewish News notes, "Palestinians have to be begged to curtail the execution of a man whose crime was selling property to Jews. Torture and execution are meted out to Palestinians who conduct business with Jews. Jews are pleading for the life of a sick Palestinian man who was tortured by his own legal system.

"Scotland released a mass murderer, the Lockerbie bomber who was found guilty of killing 270 people, because they became convinced he was dying of cancer and had only 3 months to live. Granted a reprieve on the basis of mercy, the terrorist lived 3 years beyond."

This article was written by Gabe Kahn. It was published in Arutz-7 and is archived at

European Union Committee for Foreign Affairs chairman Dr. Fiorello Provera said this week that the EU was obligated to intervene on behalf of Muhammad Abu Shahala.

Abu Shahala was sentenced to death by a Palestinian Authority court for selling the Beit HaMachpela (House of the Patriarchs) to Jewish families in Hevron.

beit hamachpela

Beit Hamachpela (Israel news photo: Flash 90)

"Abu Shahala's conviction has no justification, and therefore the European Union will intervene to save his life," Provera wrote in response to a plea by Hevron's Jewish community asking the EU intervene on Abu Shahala's behalf. "It is inconceivable that a man who sells his house will be convicted of a crime and sentenced to death."

"The PA is the foremost beneficiary of a European assistance, so we must intervene interest and demand the PA immediately cancel Abu Shahala's death sentence. And, to remove the death penalty for the sale of property and land [to Jews]."

Provera indicated media reports in Israel had prompted EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton to intervene on Abu Shahala's behalf — adding that European Union policy opposed the death penalty in all cases.

Provera concluded, "I call on the PA to immediately block the implementation of death sentence on Abu Shahala, as required by the UN General Assembly."

Abu was arrested four months ago and questioned about selling Beit Machpela to local Jews. Initially, he was released, but was rearrested 66 days later, reportedly tortured into confessing, and placed in solitary confinement.

The execution order against Abu Shahala still requires the signature of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Meanwhile, Abu Shahala, who suffers from heart disease and has had four catheterizations, is said to be in deteriorating health.

Jewish leaders David Wilder and Noam Arnon in Hevron have petitioned UN chief Ban Ki-moon, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton; European Council president Herman Van Rompuy; and the director general of the International Red Cross, Yves Daccord, among others, to intervene on Abu Shahala's behalf.

"It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a 'capital crime' punishable by death," they wrote to the leaders. "The very fact that such a 'law' exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages."

"What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews? Less than one hundred years ago, such acts were legislated and practiced, in the infamous 'Nuremberg laws...."

UPDATE: As of June 2012: Aaron Klein of World Net Daily reports "At least 16 Palestinians currently are in Palestinian Authority prisons for selling property to Jews, WND has learned.

"Nine of the 16 face possible capital punishment for their direct involvement in the land sales, according to PA sources. The sources said that of the 16 Palestinians incarcerated, seven are employees of the PA, including its security forces. Most of those in prison are housed in PA jails in Hebron, Jericho and Ramallah. The land sales to Jews include four deals in the region of Hebron, three in Jerusalem and one more deal in the West Bank city of Beit El."

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Posted by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, May 18, 2012

 This article was written by J. Millard Burr, who is a Senior Fellow at ACD and author of Alms for Jihad. It is archived at: It is EWI Digest Posting No. 192

In October 1987 Paraguayan residents were surprised to read in La Tarde, Asuncion's afternoon newspaper, that plans were afoot to open a huge section of the Paraguayan Chaco to 500 Muslim families. Paraguayans with some knowledge of the isolated Chaco, and the difficulty the settlers would encounter there, felt certain that the proposed Nueva Andalucia settlement in Boqueron Department had to be a bogus operation. It was the sort of land scam that had been customary during the more than three-decade reign of dictator Adolfo Stroessner.

This time, however, the report elicited more than the usual share of criticism. There seemed no logic to the undertaking, especially since the project was reportedly underwritten by the shadowy World Islamic Council (WIC) and would involve settlers from an unnamed country or countries. Only Mennonite settlements had successfully tamed the central Chaco, and the phlegmatic Paraguayans were aware that they had done so because they were unbelievably industrious. They had persisted in an environment that had defeated every group that had preceded them.

Acting as spokesman for the WIC was Elio Massagrande, the Italian-born resident in Paraguay who was himself under investigation in Italy. It was reported that he had been granted usufruct right to 100,000 hectares (1,000 sq. kilometers) of Chaco land. Massagrande was said to be financing the construction of a large fertilizer plant within the WIC colony. In Asuncion, citizens aware of Massagrande's vile history, and his barely disguised belief that most Paraguayans were moronic country bumpkins, were left to wonder what the Italian really had in mind.

A month later, the anti-Stroessner Paraguay monthly journal Patria Libre informed the public that in the nineteen seventies Massagrande had acquired in northern Italy the reputation of a brutal fixer, train bomber, and terrorist. The journal tied Massagrande to Licio Gelli, infamous leader of Italy's P-2 Masonic Lodge — and it noted both men traveled on a Paraguayan passport. The two reportedly were also involved in the purchase of a bank and finance company in Asuncion, a large percentage of which was owned by Stroessner insiders. Once that article was published, for many Paraguayans the smell of narcotics trafficking was in the air.

Economists estimated that by 1988 the Government of Paraguay had run up a total current account deficit of $2 billion. How that deficit was being financed could not be explained — unless one took into account the growth of narcotics trafficking. Paraguayan contraband agents (transitistas) purchased cocaine in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and transported it to airstrips in the Chaco. From there were a myriad ways to move the commodity, a favorite being the use of Paraguayan merchant vessels (which were subsidized by the Government and ran at an annual loss). As much as 1,000 kilos a month was transiting Paraguay en route to Latin America, Europe and the United States. In addition, a small amount was shipped to the Middle East where Bolivian cocaine had already made an appearance in Beirut circles. It was estimated that Paraguay was then earning as much as $300 million per-annum from cocaine, in addition to which the annual sale of its marijuana crop exceeded $50 million.

The Paraguay police were convinced that Massagrande and his Arab friends planned to use the WIC cover to transport cheap processed coca paste from Bolivia to Massagrande's fertilizer plant in the isolated Nueva Andalucia settlement. There it would be refined into Cocaine HCl. The mark-up from paste to powder was terrific and everyone involved could get rich. And when it came to narcotics trafficking, Gustavo Stroessner, the President's son, was already aboard.

Massagrande was nearly forgotten until the following year, and interest in his Nueva Andalucia was not revived until June 1988 when newspapers reported that six Lebanese Shiites had just been expelled from Paraguay. They were among a group of forty Lebanese Shiites that had arrived in April and were all expelled after it was found they held illegitimate visas.

The police were soon forced to admit, however, that the media was in error and the papers had been legitimate. It was then rumored that they were a minuscule percentage of an estimated 3,500 visas that had been issued by the Paraguay Honorary Consul in Beirut since the start of the year. Hundreds of young men with Lebanese passports had been transiting Brazil and were appearing en masse in the Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay tri-border region. Most simply disappeared after arriving in Paraguay's Ciudad Stroessner, the kleptocrat's paradise located on the Parana River just south of the dam at Foz de Iguacu. If there was an eminence gris who took charge of the Lebanese Shiites once they arrived in the tri-border region, no one could name him. If the Paraguayan police seemed baffled, Argentine public safety officials looked the other way. And Brazilian police could be bought even more cheaply than the Paraguayan police on the take in Puerto Stroessner.

In the convoluted way that politics was carried out under Stroessner, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had long contended that the President and his circle of friends were aware and personally benefitted from the narcotics activity of certain Arab businessmen in Puerto Stroessner. Stroessner's political opponents were certain that the police had orders not to interfere in the trafficking that was known to occur in various Arab hotspots, including the Casa Mona Lisa, La Casa de Ali, and the Allstar Sports Shop. But just who was profiting from the arrival of Arabs was discerned only much later when a number of foreign intelligence agencies discovered Hizbollah's financial involvement.

As for the flow of Arabs, after Stroessner was deposed it was learned that Paraguayan consuls and honorary consuls living abroad had participated in the sale of untold thousands of Paraguayan passports, visas and travel documents. Senior Colorado Party officials had been involved in traffic worth millions. Also involved included was a former Stroessner mistress who headed the Paraguay's Foreign Ministry consular section in Asuncion. Paraguay Consuls and Honorary Consuls generally purchased their commissions from the Minister of Interior, and they would take their percentage from the sale of documents that ranged from residence visas to a diplomatic passport. The latter, cherished by everyone from traffickers to Arab sheikhs, was available to foreigners if they were willing to pay the price.

In the late nineteen eighties Beirut and Hong Kong were the two factories where representatives of Paraguay pumped out most of the bogus paper. Most Chinese hoped to use Paraguayan documents as a trampoline to enter the United States. But Beirut was different. No one outside of the participants and the Minister of Foreign Affairs seemed to comprehend the vast extent of the passport racket and the papers issued in the honorary consul's office in Beirut. That racket was controlled by Cristina, the daughter of Paraguay's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sabino Montanaro. She served as First Secretary at the Paraguayan embassy in London and supervised the Beirut operation where documents were almost universally delivered either to Lebanese Shiites or Palestinian Arabs.

The Beirut racket only surfaced after a number of angry cables Cristina sent her father complaining that their man in Beirut was skimming more than his share of proceeds on the sale of Paraguayan paper were leaked by Stroessner's enemies. After that, the Paraguay police learned that the Beirut consular office had sold as many as 5,000 visas between 1986 and 1988. Their analysts were convinced that Iran was bankrolling a Hizbollah operation, but they could not prove it.

By the Fall of 1988 the Stroessner's kleptocracy was falling apart. The Arab settlement plan for the Chaco had disappeared like a puff of smoke, taking Massagrande along with it. The Asuncion office of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, that planetary Ponzi scheme which devoured $9.5 billion dollars in deposits from more than sixty countries was nearing its end. Stroessner himself was sick and would have to undergo a prostate operation that he had long postponed. The 'old man' had learned of his son's involvement in various narcotics arrangements, including a scheme involving the transport of cocaine concealed in electronics to Brazil and Argentina from two airstrips located on the outskirts of Ciudad Presidente Stroessner. It didn't seem to matter. Gustavo was forced to lay low while his father laid plans to promote him to senior General in the Air Force and retire certain senior military officials who would oppose the move. Indeed, retirement was in the cards for a number of Stroessner war-horses including his old ally General Andres Rodriguez.

The Army was demoralized but Rodriquez was ready to act. Stroessner could not be allowed to pass the Presidency to his utterly corrupt son. Rodriguez informed the U.S. embassy that Paraguay could not continue along its present path. Aware that the DEA El Paso Intelligence Center had a thick folder with his name on it, the General swore that he was not involved in narcotics, and offered to tell the Embassy everything he knew on trafficking in Paraguay.

In August 1988 Stroessner underwent prostate surgery. Shortly after that, a list circulated of senior military officials to be retired. It was clear that Stroessner was clearing the way to promote his son to full Colonel, and then to the eventual command of the military itself. Aware that Stroesser wanted to force his retirement, General Rodriguez led the coup d'etat that was carried out on the night of February 1, 1989. Stroessner and his son were sent off to exile in Brazil. Rodriguez assumed the Presidency, but then surprised nearly everyone when he began the planning that would return Paraguay to civilian government. After 34 years and nine months the Stronato was over, and after nearly forty years of military rule the government would be returned to civilian control.

The illegal sale of Paraguayan "paper" was shut down, and Foreign Minister Sabino Montanaro was placed under arrest. By then, however, it was a case of too little, too late. No one really knew for sure how many Muslim Arabs had landed in the tri-border region. One report issued in 2005 could only generalize that there were anywhere from 12,000 to 40,000 Arabs (Hugh Smith, Terrorism in the Iguazu Falls Region, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 31 August 2005.) By then one detail was certain: In conjunction with the Arab immigrants the Hizbollah had created a toehold in South America.

Rachel Ehrenfeld hosts the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI) website. Contact her by email at

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Posted by Paul Lademain, May 18, 2012

We wonder how many of Israel's elderly politicians, (Shimon Peres in particular?) are familiar with the "common law" that underpins the laws of European and Western nations (such as the UK and the US and Hong Kong, etc.) and yes, to some extent, even Mexico.

Understanding the legal maxim, "Possession is 9 points of the law" is fundamental to understanding how to behave as a nation on par with other nations, such as the US, the UK, and other European nations.

Failure to understand this maxim also explains why Israeli politicians and its High Court have behaved so fecklessly in the past: They failed to grasp the principle underlying Israel's right to its lands, and therefor ignored Israel's obligation to behave according to this maxim. Failure to behave according to this fundamental principle allowed other ethnicities and religions to stake their claims to the Jewish Homeland and then to justify their attempts to seize possession of ever larger sections of the Jewish Homeland, such as Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Here, below, is an excellent explanation of the meaning of "Possession is 9 points of the law." It was written authoritatively to educate people who, like certain elderly or other Israeli Jews, lack experience in or knowledge of the fundamental precepts of good governance based upon international and "common law":

Although it is most likely too late to impart this understanding of "common law" into the minds of those who are either too vain to admit their ignorance, or too embarrassed to admit that they are not infallible, it is NEVER too late for the younger generation of Israel to grasp why it is folly to allow flags, other than the flag of Israel, to fly anywhere in the Jewish Homeland (as defined under the terms of the San Remo Resolution.)

Allowing foreign flags and foreign languages to displace Hebrew and other Israeli symbols of sovereignty throughout Israel have always been regarded by every stripe of arab predator and their enablers as a sign that Israel is willing to be dismantled, piece by piece, and so the infiltrating arabs have assiduously engaged in their predatory antics (violence, bribery, extortion, etc.) with impunity. These infiltrators, exploiting Israeli ignorance of "the Maxim" persuaded politically naive Jews to share possession of their lands with arab predators. In short, the Jews of Israel and its High Court, foolishly glorying in their Jewish Wonderfulness, let their own lands slip entirely into the hands of those who would destroy them, and then, worse still, they were puzzled when they were ridiculed, attacked, and scapegoated. What Israelis failed to grasp is that they were being scapegoated and ridiculed for having been made into their enemies' fools,and not because they were "Jews."

The flag of Israel must be planted firmly everywhere throughout the lands "between the ocean and the sea. All foreign flags must be limited and always accompanied by an Israeli flag mounted highest above them. All symbolic or other claims to the Jewish Homeland must be in the name of Israel and never in the name of any other group, entity or nation. All streets must be named in Hebrew, with smaller type fonts in English or arabic.

Once Israel educates itself to the meaning of "Possession is 9 points of the law" and dedicates itself to the higher principle of putting its own citizens first and protecting them from marauders and pretenders, it will finally learn how to protect itself from such fatally foolish gestures as handing away part of the Jewish Homeland (Gaza, the Sinai) to its potential oppressors. Then, and only then, will Israel gain respect and a sure-footedness that will preserve its people from quivering every time some European churchly state attempts to ridicule or insult Jews. And this goes double for the Vatican and every other ambitious "faith."

Viva to the Patriots of Israel from the SC4Z.

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

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Posted by Janet Lehr, May 18, 2012/26th of Iyyar, 5772

BRET STEPHENS IN HIS WALL STREET JOURNAL OP-ED DISCUSSION of Peter Beinart's "The Crisis of Zionism", reawakened awareness of Breira, a 1970's organization supported primarily by academic protestors of the Vietnam war and communist sympathizers, pointing out the influence of Arnold Jacob Wolf, CONAME and Breira. Wolf was a Chicago rabbi who served for a time as Hillel Rabbi at Yale, was the chairman of Breira in 1977, (the first in what would become a series of Jewish anti-Israel organizations pretending to attack the state out of concern for its welfare, Seeds of Peace, Shalom Akshav). Tom Friedman, New York Times' chief columnist and 'deep thinker', was an early Breira acolyte and Sandy Berger, prominent actor in the Camp David 2000 Summit, in 2005 Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material from the National Archives in Washington and foreign policy adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign, was active in one of its lineal descendants, Americans for Peace Now. J Street's Jeremy Ben Ami, is spiritually the son of Breira. And Breira, most especially its rabbis, have largely taken over Jewish communal organizations (which indeed they set out to do).

There is no better example than John Ruskay who started out in the vicious CONAME, forerunner of Breira, went on to become one of Breira's two initial paid staffers, then went on to become president of Jewish Theological Seminary and for the past 10 years serves as executive vice president and CEO of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. The funding of left wing radical groups (including ones spouting anti-Zionism) by Jewish communal organizations has become such a scandal that watchdog groups have sprung up around the country to protest their actions-but have as yet affected no change. [Note the protests against the JCC in NYC] It seems that executive vice presidents and executive directors have taken control of once pro-Israel organizations, and are not/can not seem to be replaced?!? by presidents and their boards of directors.


UJA Executive Director John Ruskay Has Chosen To Include The Nif (New Israel Fund). Nif Continues To Fund Groups That Have A History Of Working For Anti-Israel Global BDS Campaigns.

The Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3rd is a joyous event for the New York Jewish community, when we demonstrate our love and support of Israel. So why are organizations dedicated to destroying Israel's economy through boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) being given the privilege of marching with us?

One of these groups is openly organizing a boycott against targeted Israeli companies, including Ahava Cosmetics. Others have supported the infamous Goldstone Report, and funded organizations that urged Norway to divest from Israel.

At the center of the controversy is the New Israel Fund (NIF), which was granted permission to march in last year's parade. Other extremist groups marched with NIF, displaying their individual banners, including B'Tselem, Partners for Progressive Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights. This year, New Israel Fund is slated to march again, and we expect B'Tselem and the other groups will once again join NIF, displaying their banners.

New Israel Fund has been exposed as receiving funds from the European Union, which seeks to influence internal Israeli politics through a front organization. NIF, in turn, funds numerous Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

For instance, five grantees of the New Israel Fund (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa) signed a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, urging it to divest from Israel.

Partners for Progressive Israel (also known as Meretz USA) prominently displays on its website, under the heading "boycott these Settlement products sold in the US, "a list of Israeli products that it wants Jews to boycott. These products include Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream products, and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.

And the chair of B'Tselem's board, Oren Yiftachel, has publicly called for "effective sanctions" against Israel. B'Tselem is a major grantee of the New Israel Fund.

As a result of public controversy, the New Israel Fund issued a statement in 2010 opposing BDS. However, despite this stated policy change, NIF continues to fund groups that have a history of working for anti-Israel global BDS campaigns.

We who count ourselves among Israel's true supporters believe that Jewish groups that organize for the economic destruction of other Jews should not be given the honor of marching with our community. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the example we set for our children. Do we teach them that it's acceptable to try to harm other Jews and weaken Israel?

In light of this unacceptable decision on the part of the parade organizers, I formed the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade, along with several community-minded members. Our goal is to inform the parade organizers that the Jewish community rejects the participation of these groups, and to ask them to withdraw their acceptance.


Op-Ed: INN - Israel National News
Richard Allen
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8:07 AM

Why are Jewish groups that attempt to inflict economic damage on Israelis through BDS and blacken Israel's image given a place in the Israel Day Parade? They have crossed a line, why are we letting them get away with it?

As word has spread about the participation of the New Israel Fund in the parade, many prominent leaders, rabbis, and organizations have added their name to our cause. We are proud to acknowledge the support of Ron Carner, President of Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek, Rabbi Lisa Malik, PhD of Temple Beth Ahm, Rabbi Jonathan Glass of Civic Center Synagogue, Rabbi David Algaze of Havurat Yisrael, Rabbi Steven Axelman of Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Rabbi Ari Jacobson, Young Israel of Monsey/Wesley Hills, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, and many other outstanding community leaders.

When Jewish groups hear that organizations linked to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement are permitted to march in the parade, they're astounded and puzzled. Why would the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which officially organizes the parade, permit such anti-Israel organizations to participate?

I believe the answer may lie in the political ideology of John Ruskay, CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York. Dr. Ruskay exerts significant influence on the JCRC through his organization's funding. Published reports show John Ruskay worked with Noam Chomsky in one of the first political bash Israel groups; CONAME (Committee On New Alternatives in The Middle East). John Ruskay also gave over one million dollars of UJA-Federation donations to a radical political group, funded by George Soros, Jewish Funds for Justice.

The issue is clear: Jews who actively work to economically sabotage Israel should not be included in the Celebrate Israel Parade. We ask that you join us in making your views known to the Jewish Community Relations Council and the UJA-Federation New York.


AFSI-Americans For a Safe Israel
1751 Second Avenue (91st Street)
New York, NY 10128
Tel: 212-828-2424; 800-235-3658; Fax: 212-828-4538

To receive AFSI email contact Helen Freedman at;

Dear fellow parade participants,

Many have spoken up loudly and clearly that you do not want groups that support Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel to be included in the Celebrate Israel Parade. Have you? Many have sent emails, letters and made phone calls to the UJA-Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), telling them that you do not want to march alongside radical anti-Israel groups like New Israel Fund, B'Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights. [Editor's Note: Have you?]

New Israel Fund and its allies actively promote economic warfare against Israel through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions, and are funded by the European Union for the express purpose of undermining Israel. Yet, despite all your brave efforts, John Ruskay and UJA-Fed refuse to listen. They insist that New Israel Fund and its allies march in the Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3rd, thereby legitimizing their radical anti-Israel views.

"It is shameful that the UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) are supporting the New Israel Fund in their efforts to delegitimize and fund Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel," said Richard Allen, active member of the Pro-Israel Parade Committee. "It's time the UJA Federation stops supporting radical groups that work for BDS against Israel." Are you still supporting UJA/Federation with your contributions? [Editor's Note: If your synagogue statement includes a 'donation' to UJA/Federation, have you voiced your disapproval and not paid this portion of the bill?]

We need to redouble our efforts in the next few weeks to prevent this travesty. If the BDS supporting groups are allowed to march, we will call for posters and leaflets on the day of the parade. [Editor's Note: If you wish to have hand-out materials, please contact AFSI Tel: 212-828-2424; 800-235-3658; Fax: 212-828-4538 To receive AFSI email contact Helen Freedman at;]


  • Last year, the New Israel Fund (NIF) was allowed to march in the parade. Other groups marched with the New Israel Fund, displaying their individual banners, including B'Tselem, Partners for Progressive Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights.
  • This year, New Israel Fund is slated to march again, and we expect B'Tselem and the other groups will once again join NIF, displaying their banner.
  • New Israel Fund finances numerous Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which promote Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
  • For instance, five grantees of the New Israel Fund (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa) signed a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, urging it to divest from Israel.
  • Partners for Progressive Israel (also known as Meretz USA) prominently displays on its website, under the heading "boycott these Settlement products sold in the US, " a list of Israeli products that it wants Jews to boycott. These products include Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream products, and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.
  • The chair of B'Tselem's board, Oren Yiftachel, has publically called for "effective sanctions" against Israel. B'Tselem is a major grantee of the New Israel Fund.
  • B'Tselem produced the video that was shown at the infamous "Israel Apartheid 2012" events held at Universities and Colleges worldwide.
  • Despite the New Israel Fund's stated opposition to Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), their continued funding of these groups shows their actions are not in line with their statements.

To voice your opinions and concerns please contact the following:

1) John Ruskay at the UJA-Federation by calling 212-980-1000
2) The UJA-Federation President Jerry W. Levin at
3) Rabbi Michael Miller at the JCRC by calling 212-983-4800 or via email at

We thank you for your attention to this crucially important issue, and look forward to participating with you in the Celebrate Israel Parade.


Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade

H. Fragman Abramson / National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA)
Rabbi Ari Jacobson / Young Israel of Monsey/Wesley Hills
Rabbi David Algaze / Havurat Yisrael, Forest Hills
Stuart Kaufman / The United West
Richard Allen / Founder of
Rabbi Eluzer (Eli) Kowalsky / Pro-Israel Activist
Rabbi Steven Axelman / Whitestone Hebrew Centre
Janet Lehr / Israel lives
Dr. Marvin Belsky / Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam
Lori Lowenthal Marcus / President, Z Street
Ron Carner / President, Maccabi USA/ Sports for Israel
Shera Nusbaum / National Conference of Jewish Affairs
Helen Freedman / Executive Director, Americans for a Safe Israel
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld / Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills
Beth Gilinsky / Executive Director, National Conference on Jewish Affairs
Rabbi Allen Schwartz / Congregation Ohab Zedek
Eli H. Hertz/Founder "Myths and Facts"


Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought"
"Israel Hayom" May 16, 2012

World opinion should not deter Israel from enhancing Jewish roots and national security, expanding the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights and pre-empting Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism.

Adverse world opinion and Global pressure have always been an integral part of the Jewish People and the Jewish State. The aim of this global campaign has been to eliminate the unique national, religious, cultural and territorial features of the Jewish People, including Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel.

The bolstering of Jewish sovereignty, while deflecting world opinion, generates negative world opinion (except in the USA and a few other countries), but enhances respect towards a conviction-driven Jewish State. On the other hand, retreating Jewish sovereignty, while submitting to world opinion reflects weakness, never satisfy world opinion, and therefore fuels global pressure, eroding respect towards the Jewish State.

Thus, world opinion towards the Jewish State was not upgraded by Israel's 1957 and 1982 mega-retreats from the Sinai Peninsula (almost three times as large as Israel!), the transfer of 100% of Gaza and 45% of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinian Authority, and the 1993 Israeli importation of PLO terrorists to the door steps of their intended victims.

However, walking against the grain has been a prerequisite for game-changing human endeavors in general and Jewish initiatives in particular.

Walking against the grain has been a Jewish trait since the introduction of Abraham's monotheism. Moreover, a defiant Jewish People has preserved and advanced the Jewish vision and strategic Jewish goals - while contributing uniquely to humanity - in the face of devastation, decimation, exiles, pogroms, expulsions, public burning, discrimination, forceful conversion and the Holocaust. Intimidation by world opinion would have doomed the Jewish People to oblivion.

Theodore Herzl, the father of modern day political Zionism, was considered a messianic wishful-thinker at the end of the 19th century. He was initially resented by most Jews, ridiculed by demographers and dismissed by world opinion.

Prime Minister Ben Gurion's 1948 decision to declare the independence of the Jewish State was opposed by most of his party-members, as well as by the US Secretary of State, General George Marshall who was then the most charismatic US leader; the Department of State bureaucracy; James Forestall the US Secretary of Defense; the CIA and the New York Times. Israel's Founding Father had to overcome a US military embargo, while the British supplied arms to the Arabs. Following the War of Independence, he ignored global bullying, did not consider a return to the pre-war lines and the internationalization of Jerusalem, declared the Israel-controlled parts of Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State and did not end "occupation of the Negev."

Prime Minister Eshkol preempted Egypt and Syria, in 1967, in spite of adverse world opinion and specific warnings by the US Administration. Eshkol also defied Washington and the world by reuniting Jerusalem and launching construction projects in Jerusalem, across the 1949 ceasefire (Green) line.

Prime Minister Golda Meir dared world opinion, laying the foundations for four major neighborhoods in Jerusalem across the Green Line, housing today some 150,000 residents.

Prime Ministers Begin and Shamir were criticized and condemned by world opinion for their claim that Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the whole of Jerusalem were inalienable parts of the Jewish State. However, their slackened global popularity was matched by deep respect for their principle-driven policies, which made them worthy allies in the face of mutual threats, triggering a significant enhancement of US-Israel strategic cooperation. Prime Minister Begin's 1981 destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactor - which spared the US a nuclear confrontation in 1991 - was carried out despite US-led global condemnation, depicting Israel as a lawless entity.

Contemporary Israeli leaders benefit from dramatically improved circumstances, compared with the meager resources at the disposal of their predecessors, demographically (over six million Jews live in Israel), economically (the best ever economic indicators), technologically (the site of 400 high tech global giants), industrially (unprecedented trade relations) militarily (expanded cooperation with Western military forces) and scientifically (a leading space power). Moreover, the world is increasingly exposed to the anti-Western explosive Arab and Palestinian Street, the deeply and violently fragmented Arab World, the rising threat of Islamic terrorism in the USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, the intensifying demographic Islamic threat in Europe and Iran's nuclearization. Recent polls document bolstered support of Israel in the US (71% favorability according to Gallup, compared with 19% support of the Palestinians), while 63%:18% of Americans believe in a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West (according to Rasmussen).

History and current global reality reaffirm that Israel is facing a unique window of opportunity to enhance its strategic posture. Israeli leaders should not sacrifice such an opportunity on the altar of world opinion. Leaders who fluctuate policy in order to appease world opinion, exercise followership and not leadership, jeopardizing the survival of their own people.

Happy Jerusalem Day,

Janet Lehr is editor/publisher of the daily e-mail "Israel Lives." She can be contacted at

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 18, 2012

It doesn't end; the insults to Israel, the attempts to delegitimize Israel, the lies about Israel.

According to the Country Ratings Poll of the BBC World Service, which was just released, the percentage of people in various nations polled that has a negative view of Israel has increased. More than 24,000 people were polled in 22 countries. In EU countries — particularly Germany, Spain, Great Britain and France — negative rating are very high.

Is the world totally daft? The negative ratings for Israel are similar to those for Pakistan and North Korea.

The only exceptions to this trend are the US, Nigeria and Kenya, where the percentage viewing Israel as positive has increased.


These ratings have much less to do with reality than with perceptions, which are influenced by deliberate campaigns of delegitimization. Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US, wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal recently.

And, I must add, by anti-Semitism, which has become more politically correct these days. It is, of course, no accident that Europe, which views Israel negatively, also has a strong tradition of anti-Semitism.


I especially like the hard-nosed and optimistic take on this offered by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, who frequently comments on the political scene.

His position here is different from what many are saying (all emphasis added):

"World opinion should not deter Israel from enhancing Jewish roots and national security, expanding the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, and pre-empting Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism.

"Adverse world opinion and global pressure have always been an integral part of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. The aim of this global campaign has been to eliminate the unique national, religious, cultural and territorial features of the Jewish people, including Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel.

"The bolstering of Jewish sovereignty generates negative world opinion (except in the U.S. and a few other countries), but enhances respect toward a conviction-driven Jewish state. On the other hand, when Jewish sovereignty retreats and Israel submits to world opinion, it just reflects weakness. Israel will never satisfy world opinion, and such action only further fuels global pressure, which erodes respect toward the Jewish state.

"...going against the grain has been a prerequisite for game-changing human endeavors in general, and Jewish initiatives in particular.

"Going against the grain has been a Jewish trait since the introduction of Abraham's monotheism. Moreover, a defiant Jewish people has preserved and advanced the Jewish vision and strategic Jewish goals — while contributing uniquely to humanity — in the face of devastation, decimation, exiles, pogroms, expulsions, public burning, discrimination, forceful conversion and the Holocaust. If they had allowed themselves to be intimidated by world opinion, the Jewish people would have been doomed to oblivion. "

Right on, Yoram!


A very specific sort of outrage is found with regard to this:

In 1972, at the Olympic Games in Munich, Arab terrorists made their way into Olympic village, where participants stayed, and massacred 11 Israeli athletes and their coaches.

The games went on...

This year, prior to the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in London, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, acting on behalf of two widows of the murdered athletes, sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge requesting one minute of silence at the games in memory of these athletes.

Rogge has refused. Forty years after the fact, one minute is still too much. And I have no doubt that it's too much because we're talking about Israelis.

Ayalon's response:

"Unfortunately, this response is unacceptable as it rejects the central principles of global fraternity on which the Olympic ideal is supposed to rest. The terrorist murders of the Israeli athletes were not just an attack on people because of their nationality and religion; it was an attack on the Olympic Games and the international community. Thus it is necessary for the Olympic Games as a whole to commemorate this event in the open rather than only in a side event.

"This rejection told us as Israelis that this tragedy is yours alone and not a tragedy within the family of nations. This is a very disappointing approach and we hope that this decision will be overturned so the international community as one can remember, reflect and learn the appropriate lesson from this dark stain on Olympic history."

The Foreign Ministry intends to mount a campaign in an attempt to secure a reversal of this decision.


And speaking of the Olympics, Jibril Rajoub, former head of Palestinian Preventative Security Service in the West Bank, and now chair of the Palestinian Football (that is, soccer) Association, has called for Israel to be expelled from all international Olympic Committees until it "honors its international agreements."

They don't let up, do they? No matter how outrageous, they give it a shot. And if a particular gambit doesn't work? It still reinforces in peoples' minds the "fact" that Israel is a renegade state.


As to Israel as "negative," the world pays no attention to news such as this:

Scientists at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have developed a device that allows blind people to "see," by converting pictures taken by a camera into "soundscapes," that the user can interpret.

How many people who see Israel as "negative" will benefit from this and dozens of other medical advances coming out of Israel?


Shabbat is coming, and so I end with a story that can bring a laugh:

Suspicious chirping? Merops Apiaster

This lovely looking bird, Merops Apiaster, is commonly known as the European Bee-Eater. A farmer in Turkey found one of these birds dead recently. When he examined it, he saw that it bore a metal band on its leg that said "Israel." Not only that, its nostrils were unusually large, suggesting that there was a device implanted in the bird for espionage purposes.

Could I make this up?

The bird has been turned over to Turkey's security services, which are apparently not aware of the practice of banding migrating birds (of which Israel is temporary home to millions).

More evidence that the world is crazy, and that when it comes to Israel they'll believe anything.

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 18, 2012

Dorit Beinisch was the Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court until retiring recently. While already retired, she is still writing verdicts for some cases that began while she was on the bench.

Beinisch was the worst Israeli practitioner of the anti-democratic doctrine of "judicial activism," which holds that court judges can just make up laws and "right" as they go along and that unelected judges should have the right to veto and dictate laws against the will of the elected representatives of the people. In other words, judicial activism is judicial tyranny.

Yesterday Beinisch and two other judges issued what is without a doubt one of the very WORST court rulings in Israeli history, and for that matter one of the worst in the history of the democratic world.

The ruling is based on illiteracy and ignorance. But even worse, for all intents and purposes it overrides the fundamental principle of all democracies that one is innocent until proven guilty. Beinisch's latest venture into judicial activism is to reverse that principle when it comes to women claiming to be victims of discrimination. Henceforth in Israel employers will be presumed guilty unless they can prove that they are innocent whenever any woman can be found who drew a salary less than any man.

This act of sabotage of Israeli democracy was triggered by a suit in which a woman claimed she was underpaid due to the fact that she was a woman. Under Beinisch's new "law," employers will be presumed guilty of discrimination whenever a woman employee claims she was paid less than a male employee. It does not matter WHY she was paid less. And the woman does not even have to prove she suffered any damages from the discrimination she alleges took place.

So a panel of three judges who have probably never taken an economics course in their entire lives presume to pontificate about what the causes and sources of pay disparities are in the labor marketplace. Their position is clearly that each and every wage disparity must be presumed to be a reflection of discrimination unless it can be proven otherwise. And proving otherwise is an extremely complicated and burdensome affair.

Consider the following: it has been established statistically that fat people on average earn less than thin people. Under the Beinisch rules the simple fact of such a disparity must be presumed to be a reflection of discrimination against fat people. But there is no reason at all to think this is the case, and at least a thousand alternative explanations for why such a gap in wages exists, having nothing at all to do with discrimination. Fat people may be less healthy on average than thin people, may suffer more injuries, may be unable to perform certain job functions (such as climbing telephone polls). In addition fat people may be characterized more often by certain personality characteristics than are thin people. They may have less self-discipline, less ability to delay gratification, less perseverance. Certainly less energy. They also may have less interest in certain types of education or jobs compared with what appeals to thin people. If ANY of these many reasons explains the gap in wages, discrimination has been ruled out.

But notice the difficulty. It is not a trivial matter to prove in a statistical or legal way which of the reasons explains the fat-thin pay gap. Ordinarily, the burden of proof for any fat person claiming that the reason for a lower pay is discrimination against fat folk would be on the plaintiff, who would have to provide persuasive evidence that the other 1000 conceivable factors and reasons are not the actual cause.

And the exact same problem exists for pay disparities between the tall and the short (which also exist), or male-female, or Jewish-Arab, or Ashkenazi-Sephardi, or young-old pay disparities. The truth is that in many cases it is not clear at all what precisely produces a specific pay disparity. My wife is a university faculty member like me and makes more money than I do. Under the Beinisch rule this proves I am a victim of discrimination and I can sue the university. (She would insist that the REAL reason is that she is simply smarter than me, which is why it is just and proper that I have to do all the hoovering in the house.) I have not done sued — I prefer the legal redress solution of helping my Missus spend all the extra wampum.

I have never in my life met a student who believes he got the grade he deserved, and I have never met a person who gets the salary he thinks he deserves. Since everyone thinks they have been cheated and shortchanged by the universe in some way, everyone has a grievance. Courts that operate based on common sense do not make judgments based on complaints and feelings of people. Plaintiffs have to prove their claims with hard evidence.

But not in the post-Beinisch version of Israel's Brave New World. Every feeling of resentment and sense of having been shortchanged will be presumed to be objectively valid and reflecting discrimination. Equality patrols and a Soviet-like wage boards of bureaucrats will intervene and dictate to every single employer in the country what wage should be paid to which employee. Employers will have to spend the bulk of their resources fighting off the Equality Patrols and producing proof that they have NOT discriminated, leaving them with little time to do things like produce goods and services.

Israel's feminists are beside themselves with glee at all this. Part of the irony here is that the immediate defense tactic of many employers will be to desist from hiring women altogether, to avoid comparisons of male and female pay, in order to save themselves from being harassed by the Equality Terrorists.

But the more serious and long-lasting damage is that in her last gasps as a judge, Madame Beinisch is underlying the basic principles of judicial democracy in Israel. Here is a dangerous precedent that regards you and me as guilty unless we can provide overwhelming econometric evidence and scientific analysis showing that we are innocent.

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

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Islamic Hate for a Dead Pope

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, May 17, 2012

Pope Shenouda III (L) and Muslim preacher of hate, Wagdi Ghoneim

Inasmuch as the recent death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III exposed the humanity of some Muslims, it also exposed the inhumanity of Islamic teachings.

Consider some examples of Muslim sympathy following his death: Egypt's Al Akhbar newspaper called the Pope's burial "the funeral of the century," reporting that a million Egyptians—likely more Muslims than Christians—came out to mourn him; "His death is a tragedy and a great loss for Egypt and its people, Muslims and Christians," declared Egypt's Grand Mufti; a recent episode of Al Dalil, famous for criticizing Islam, gave several more examples of Egyptian Muslims mourning and sympathizing with their Christian counterparts—including one Muslim who had tried to give his kidney to the ailing Pope.

Pope Shenouda III (L) and Muslim preacher of hate, Wagdi Ghoneim In short, human nature took over. Some of Egypt's Muslims saw in Pope Shenouda a beloved national figure—much to the chagrin of Islam's clerics, like Khaled Abdullah, who, in amazement, said, "I can't believe it—what I saw today [the Pope's funeral], I can't believe it! If a Companion [of Muhammad, among Islam's most revered people] died we wouldn't do this for him"; he added that Muslim participation and mourning in the funeral was "hurtful to the feelings of 80 million Muslims."

Accordingly, Islam's clerics rushed in, pointing out Sharia law's teachings concerning the death of an infidel, or non-Muslim, like Pope Shenouda. Fatwas appeared, many saying it is forbidden to offer condolences to the Copts, others saying it is permissible—but through carefully crafted words, and in the hopes of attracting Christians to Islam (reminding one of Sheikh Muhammad Hassan's assertion that smiling to non-Muslims is permissible, but only as a way to attract them to Islam). Salafi leader, Yassir al-Burhami, permitted minor condolences—mostly by way of tawriya, using words that console, but that have a generic or pro-Islam meaning—while insisting it is forbidden to pray for deceased infidels (since all non-Muslims are destined and deserving of hell, Koran 9: 113).

The most vicious condemnations came from Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim, formerly a Californian mosque prayer-leader, who, a day after Pope Shenouda's death, referred to him as an "accursed criminal" and praised Allah for his death: "Yesterday [March 17], thanks be to Allah, the head of infidelity and polytheism, this so-called Shenouda, died—may Allah be avenged on him. He perished, and all were relieved of him—people, worshippers, trees, and animals; Egypt is relieved of him, for he initiated sectarian strife."

While Ghoneim engaged in the usual lies and projections—saying the Pope wanted to create a Coptic state and "set Egypt ablaze"—there is no denying that Ghoneim's position on condemning dead infidels is grounded in Islam: the remainder of the cleric's "eulogy" is riddled with quotes from Islam's core texts, the Koran, Hadith, and scholarly [ulema] consensus.

For instance, he quoted Caliph Omar's famous ejaculation upon learning that a Muslim had hired a Christian scribe: "What is wrong with you—may Allah curse you?! Have you not heard Allah's words: 'O you who believe: do not take the Jews and the Christians as friends and allies; they are friends and allies of each other' [Koran 5:51]? Why did you not employ a hanif [a Muslim]? The man replied, "I profit from his [the Christian's] writing, and his religion is his own affair," to which the pious Omar rebounded, "I will not honor them, when Allah has humiliated them, nor will I be close to them, when Allah has cast them away."

Incidentally, Omar is the same "righteous caliph" who gave the contradictory commandment to "Humiliate them [Christians] but do not wrong them"—as if humiliating people does not amount to "wronging" them. (For more Islamic quotes, see this fatwa.)

All this hate is in keeping with doctrines that command Muslims to have enmity for infidels; Koran 60:4 has the famous Muslim position concerning non-Muslims: "Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone." Indeed, according to other fatwas, even cursing dead infidels, as Ghoneim cursed the Pope, is legitimate—with the caveat that the curse should only be made public if not detrimental to Muslims (in increasingly Islamist Egypt, Ghoneim must have concluded his maledictions for the beloved leader of some 15 million Christian "dhimmis" would have no negative repercussions for Muslims).

When it comes to how Muslims should feel about Pope Shenouda's death, the question is, who is right—the Muslim clerics, learned in Sharia, or Egypt's nominal Muslims? As Wahid of Al Dalil concluded, "Inasmuch as many Egyptian Muslims were kind and sympathetic to us Christians, there is no doubt that the clerics, like Ghoneim, have Islam's teachings on their side."

Which leads to the great irony of Islam: while it boasts that it is the religion of fitra, the religion of "nature," which is why all humans are supposedly born Muslims, its teachings—from "adult breastfeeding" to "death-sex"—often contradict the most natural human impulses. Worse, while many religions try to ennoble humanity, by making them strive to a higher level, here is yet another example of Islam forcing people downwards, to tribalism and egoism, to rancor and hatred.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Contact him at This article is archived at:

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Posted by AFSI, May 17, 2012

 This article was written by Yori Yanover, Senior Internet Editor. He has published two fun books: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote. This article is archived at: m

migron 1

Security forces were brutal last night, clashing violently with teenage girls in two Jewish outposts (Taztpit)

In what could be a dress rehearsal for the evacuation and demolition of Ulpana Hill, Israeli security forces accompanied a bulldozer which overnight demolished a stone structure in the Ramat Migron outpost and two temporary structures in the Oz Zion outpost in the Benjamin region of Judea and Samaria. Clashes erupted during the demolition, between right-wing activists, most of them teenage girls, and security forces. The Tatzpit news agency reports that six activists were arrested, five of them girls.

Police, Border Guard and Civil Administration troops arrived at a little before midnight last night at the Ramat Migron Outpost in Benjamin region, with a bulldozer.

Dozens of right-wing activists flocked to the scene to protest the planned destruction. The outpost was celebrating a wedding that night, of a young man and woman who are both local residents.

Protected by the troops, the bulldozer, which was using the path that had been cleared in preparation for the wedding, proceeded to level a stone structure, which was home to the boys living in the outpost.

After the successful destruction of the building in Ramat Migron, the forces left the area and moved toward the Oz Zion outpost, where they were met by and clashed with several right-wing activists, all of them teens. Despite the teens' resistance, the security forces demolished two temporary structures.

According to the Tatzpit report, six teens were arrested during the clashes, including five girls.

migron 2

The agency reports that government forces were brutal in their treatment of the protesting teenagers, using unrestrained violence. Some of the girls are reported to have been injured. The Oz Etzion outpost is considered a closed military zone and reporters were not allowed in to cover the clashes. Photographers were attacked by police with blinding projectors that prevented covering the violence.

As has been their habit in such confrontations, the Border Guard policemen did not wear their name tags on their uniforms — a violation of police regulations — and only agreed to reveal them after being pressed to do so by reporters.

Some police covered their faces with bandanas throughout the operation.

A local resident told the Tatzpit agency: "It appears that police intelligence discovered our plan to build a new home in Israel, and decided to try to destroy our celebration. In the past we've observed this pattern of the police, to commit their destruction just when we celebrate a joyful wedding or an engagement of local residents. But we will not be deterred."

Americans For a Safe Israel (AFSI) is based in New York City. To receive AFSI emails, contact Helen Freedman at or send an email to

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, May 17, 2012

child flogged in sa
The price children pay for failing to memorize the Koran?

In Saudi Arabia, it was recently revealed that a 5-year-old boy was "severely beaten" and whipped by his teacher, with "wounds appearing on various parts of his body." According to Garaa News, it is unknown why the teacher scourged the child, and the teacher's identity has been withheld to protect him from the boy's father who is attempting to press charges.

What is known, however, is that the man was a teacher of Koran studies and memorization, and the location of the school is Mecca, the holiest city of Islam — two facts that speak for themselves, and Islam, much more honestly than the ongoing depictions of Islam as the "religion of peace" championed by Muslim apologists in the West.

Contact Raymond Ibrahim at This article was cross-posted at It is archived at

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Posted by Robert Hand, May 17, 2012

This was written by Joshua Mitnick and it is archived at

A new unity government in Israel was expected to give the country's PM more flexibility on Palestinian peace talks. But moves on Jewish suburbs at Judea and Samaria suggest otherwise

TEL AVIV — (TCSM) When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined forces last week with the centrist Kadima party to form one of Israel's largest-ever coalition governments, it appeared to give him maneuvering room to pursue Palestinian peace talks over the objections of his hardline political base.

But twin efforts by coalition lawmakers last weekend to strengthen the legal status of Jewish settlements suggest that the political fulcrum of Mr. Netanyahu's government in fact may not have shifted all that dramatically away from stalwarts in his Likud party who oppose ceding land to the Palestinians on both ideological and theological grounds.

"The prime minister doesn't intend to advance the peace process," argues Shlomo Molla, a member of parliament from the centrist Kadima party who said he has misgivings about the unity government and might lead a faction to bolt the coalition if it doesn't make progress with the Palestinians. "Ideologically, he won't be able to sign an agreement because he is ideologically linked to Judea and Samaria. The Likud is an extreme right-wing party, and when he signs, they will overthrow him."

To be sure, the newly expanded government has sent out mixed signals to the Palestinians during its first week.

On Friday, a panel of politicians from the hardline wing of the coalition huddled to discuss a law that would retroactively legalize settlement outposts. Netanyahu ultimately overruled the annexation idea, while the outpost law is still under discussion.

At the same time, however, Netanyahu dispatched his personal envoy to Ramallah over the weekend to deliver a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel remains committed to establishing a Palestinian state. And on Monday, he agreed to ease the conditions of Palestinian prisoners and release 100 bodies of militants killed by Israel, as a gesture to Mr. Abbas that he was serious about talks.

Despite that, Israel Waisner-Manor, a political science professor from the University of Haifa, says he expects no major change in government policy on the peace process.

"I doubt the Netanyahu would suddenly become a dove because [Kadima] joined the coalition," he says. "But he also doesn't want to be perceived as someone who doesn't seek out negotiations."

By bringing in Kadima and its leader, Shaul Mofaz, as a deputy prime minister, Netanyahu boosted his coalition from 66 seats to 94 seats of the 120 member parliament. That means that no single political party can bring down the government on its own, giving Netanyahu new freedom to pursue his avowed support for a Palestinian state. During his first three years in office, he was seen as too dependent on hardliners to risk his political future on the issue.

Still, the grassroots of Netanyahu's own Likud Party has seen an influx of religious Jewish settlers. Any serious progress toward and agreement with the Palestinians is likely to cause a rebellion among Netanyahu's core supporters.

"I don't see Netanyahu getting close to the even the minimal conditions of [Abbas]," says Akiva Eldar, a political columnist for the liberal Haaretz newspaper. "They are negotiating with themselves."

Moreover, Kadima and Mr. Mofaz's influence on policymaking seems limited. Despite the fact that Kadima represents nearly one-third of the coalition, Mofaz is Kadima's sole representative in the cabinet as well as the "nonet" forum of ministers that Netanyahu consults on foreign policy. And there were apparently no Kadima representatives on the two panels that discussed reinforcing the legal status of the settlements last weekend.

"We have to look at the outposts very closely, as a weathervane," says a Jerusalem-based foreign diplomat who follows Israeli politics but declined to speak on record. "We can see the real Netanyahu now if he so wishes. He can go whichever way he wants. He has run out of excuses. He gets to describe himself at this point."

If Netanyahu continues to avoid a confrontation with settlers and looks for an alternative solution that leaves the houses in place, as his aides have suggested he will, it will be a sign that he is sees himself as very much dependent on the hardliners in his own party.

If Netanyahu should dismantle the homes at the Givat Ha'ulpana settlement, it will be seen as a sign that he is striking a more independent path on foreign policy and may rely on Kadima despite being imperiled among his core constituency.

But Danny Danon, a Likud parliamentary hardliner, isn't worried. "Netanyahu knows that if he wants to keep his base for the next election, he cannot count on Kadima," he says. "If not, he will be dependent on the goodwill of the center-left, and he knows that when they will have the first opportunity, they will go against him."

Contact Robert Hand by email at

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 17, 2012

J Street met with Jordan to discuss their mutual wish for initial results of negotiation between the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and Israel: a new Palestinian Arab state. The King of Jordan asserted that such statehood would boost regional security.

To get a new state would require, they agree, U.S. "leadership."

What they really mean, remarks Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA, is that J Street has given up on persuading the government and people of Israel. In other words, they want the U.S. to cajole Israel, i.e., pressure it ( from IMRA, 5/14/12).

That is the Left's usual stance: call Israel a democracy, but ignore the will of its people, because the Left's ideology is bankrupt.

When Bush was President, leftists accused him of bullying foreign countries. He and Sec. of State Rice did bully Israel. But now the leftists want the incumbent President to bully Israel. Now U.S. bullying is all right. Hypocrisy is widespread, but seems to be spread wider among leftists, as their stock in trade.

Dr. Lerner recently wondered whether by "two-state solution" its proponents really mean a two-state interim arrangement leading to the Arab state absorbing the Jewish one. J Street gives no indication it is aware of jihad's intentions against Israel and, as Arafat explained, whatever territory the P.A. gains control over would be used to gain control over Israel. (Gaza is an example of this.) It is difficult to concur with J Street's self-assessment as pro-Israel when it favors those seeking to destroy Israel.

It also is difficult to imagine J Street as being pro-Zionist when a significant proportion of its donors, at least its initial ones, were Muslims. I discussed that shortly after its founding. At that time, those Muslims were Iranians. More recently, the Muslim funders were described as Arabs. J Street has to make certain sources of funding public, but not other sources; its financing is not transparent.

Incidentally, Vice-President Biden had accepted much Senatorial campaign funds from the Iranian lobby, and had much to say in favor of Iran. That fact was not brought out during the Presidential campaign.

As for the King of Jordan, he often positions his stance above the fray. He says a new state would be good for regional security. Actually, it would be bad for regional security. A new state would not have Israeli forces culling the ranks of P.A. terrorists and preventing the P.A. from importing heavy arms. A new state would have great power not only to take the first steps in support of Arab armies invading Israel, but it would have great power to subvert Jordan.

The King may be better off with the status quo. However, he is afraid that if the P.A. doesn't become a separate state, a mass-movement would arise to bring the P.A. Arabs into the same state as Jordan. After all, he once tried to make Judea-Samaria part of Jordan. After all, Jordan was given independence from the same Palestine Mandate. After all, not only are his people mostly the same as those in the P.A., but many of his citizens are of families that fled from the Arab-Israel conflict and still have members living in the P.A..

Jordan may depict itself as high-minded, but it is a multiple aggressor, a combination of imperialist and jihadist. Everything the King and his officials say about the Arab-Israel conflict is anti-Israel. Often they use underhanded slander similar to that of the P.A..

What kind of peace would you anticipate from a culture that hates, slanders, wars, and terrorizes?

Why do supposed friends of Israel visit gutter level slanderers and support pro-terrorists like the P.A.? Hw come they never find fault with the Arab side, although the Arab side is the aggressor, the hater, and the violator of all its agreements with Israel?

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

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Posted by Michael Freund, May 17, 2012

It might sound absurd, but if we cannot overcome some empty Palestinian stomachs, then Israel may be in for a diplomatic diet we will soon come to regret.

Photo: Tovah Lazaroff

Amounting crisis of gastronomic proportions was averted this past week when Israel and hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners agreed to a deal that was brokered by Egypt, ending the stand-off between the two sides.

After more than a month of missed meals, skipped snacks and disregarded desserts, the jailed terrorists have at last returned to the prison cafeteria, prompting sighs of relief from throughout the international community.

Having successfully highlighted the wilted waistlines of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, Amnesty International can now finally get back to addressing some of those other pesky issues bedeviling the region, such as the slaughter in Syria or the tumult in Egypt.

But have no fear, dear reader. Israel drove a really hard bargain this time around. In exchange for the Palestinians' grudging willingness to resume indulging in three hearty meals a day courtesy of the Israeli tax payer, the Jewish state agreed to a series of demands aimed at easing the prisoners' conditions.

These included lifting a ban on visits to detainees by relatives living in Hamas-ruled Gaza, and freeing 19 dangerous prisoners from solitary confinement.

Not without reason, Hamas was delighted by this turn of events, as Israel handed them a scrumptious propaganda victory. As Reuters reported, "Gaza's Hamas leaders hailed the strike as a successful campaign against Israel and celebrations quickly spread to the streets where motorists honked horns, and passersby embraced and shouted 'Allahu Akbar."

"This is a first step toward liberation and victory," crowed Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

The reaction in Israel was somewhat less sanguine, and rightly so.

After all, this was an obtuse and short-sighted deal, the likes of which will only encourage further mischief and misconduct down the road. Rewarding the prisoners by giving in to their demands sends a dangerous message and virtually invites future hunger strikes and other disturbances as a means of squeezing still more concessions out of Israel.

Indeed, parliamentarians on both the Left and the Right were sharply critical of the government's handling of this affair, with Labor MK Isaac Herzog correctly noting that it only serves to strengthen Hamas, and Likud MK Danny Danon slamming it as a "prize for terrorism."

Why, then, did the government agree to it? According to spokesman Mark Regev, the move was intended as a "gesture" to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the same guy who has been refusing to sit down and negotiate with Israel.

"It is our hope," Regev said, apparently with a straight face, "that this gesture by Israel will serve to build confidence between the parties and advance peace."

But the Palestinian leader did not seem particularly moved. Barely a day later, Abbas gave a speech in Ramallah to mark "Nakba Day," when Palestinians bemoan the "catastrophe" of Israel's establishment. In his remarks, Abbas repeatedly blasted Israel, demanding that it hand over all of Jerusalem to Palestinian control.

"We insist on each particle and each stone in Jerusalem," Abbas said, apparently not feeling the need to make any like-minded "gestures" towards Israel.

This sorry episode demonstrates a deeply troubling weakness which lies at the root of Israeli policy. Instead of caving in to Palestinian demands, Israel should have tackled the matter head on and simply forced the prisoners to eat.

This is common practice. Just two months ago, an inmate in Connecticut who had embarked on a hunger strike to protest the judicial system lost his battle against prison officials when the state's Supreme Court upheld their right to feed him against his will.

William Coleman, who is serving an eight-year sentence for raping his wife during divorce and custody proceedings, was said to have dropped from 237 to 139 pounds, prompting officials to fear for his health.

The court supported a lower court's ruling which found that the State Department of Corrections' responsibility to preserve life and prevent copy-cat hunger strikes outweighed Coleman's rights to free speech and privacy.

This is so patently obvious that it is hard to comprehend why Israel's prison officials did not adopt a similar stance.

To be sure, force-feeding hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would have prompted a media maelstrom and generated still more heat in Israel's direction.

But caving in to the inmates' demands has only bought short-term peace and quiet at the expense of long-term security and order.

An opportunity was missed here, one that could have put a dent in the persistent efforts by the Palestinians to test Israel's mettle and probe for still more areas in which to weaken our resolve. We have once again sent a message that if you push us hard enough, we will not hesitate to falter.

At this rate, it won't be long before Palestinian prisoners start launching more hunger strikes and demanding far greater concessions.

Land for lunch, anyone? It might sound absurd, but if we cannot overcome some empty Palestinian stomachs, then Israel may be in for a diplomatic diet we will soon come to regret.

Michael Freund is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (, which assists Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America to return to the Jewish people. He served as an adviser to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his first term in office. This article is archived at:

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 16, 2012


Israel's Supreme Court recently ordered the government to evict some Jews from their homes in the Territories and refused to order the government to evict Bedouin from Negev land they squatted on.

MK Michael Ben-Ari produced and distributed leaflets criticizing the judges' inconsistency.

The court administration director general asked the Attorney General to prosecute MK Ben-Ari for "incitement. Prof. Steven Plaut defines "incitement" in Israel as "any opinion with which the radical Left disagrees. The director general forbids people from criticizing any judge's rulings.

He must think he is in a dictatorship. And the Left must be anti-democratic, since they oppose freedom of speech. Democracy is precarious in Israel, where the Left is not popular but retains control over the courts and other institutions.

Fortunately in this case, Ben-Ari has parliamentary immunity (Prof. Steven Plaut, 5/11/12, via email).

Didn't the director general know that an MK has parliamentary immunity?

The Left is a major threat to democracy in Israel, the U.S., and Europe. It wants to prosecute political dissent. Its governments try to ban, and sometimes succeed, criticism of Islam or its advocates as hate speech or racism, no matter how objective and scholarly, factual and important. Israel has a law like that of most dictatorships, criminalizing criticism of public officials that they pretend is insulting. So what if it were?

Basically, the Supreme Court of Israel is self-appointed, lacks separation of powers, and is unrestrainedly activist in promoting leftist doctrine. It usually favors Arabs over Jews in matters of crime and ownership of real estate. Facts don't matter to the overly ideological Court.


The traditional version of the rise of Muhammad and the foundation of Islam are being challenged by analytical scholars, just as were conventional versions of Judaism and Christianity.

The challenge began 132 years ago in Muslim Studies, by a Jewish scholar, Ignaz Goldziher. Mr. Goldziher found that the hadith (sayings and deeds of Muhammad) were devised during debates 2-3 centuries after the life of Muhammad. There is no historical validity for them.

Since that seminal research, scholars have been developing the theme, but within their special circle. Now, however, mature studies have been issue for the public by Tom Holland, in In the Shadow of the Sword, and Robert Spencer in Did Muhammad Exist? Spencer's book is being translated into major Islamic languages.

Mr. Spencer shows inconsistencies and incoherency in the conventional account of early Islam. The Koran denies that Muhammad performed miracles, the Hadith cite some, such as multiplying food, healing the injured, etc.. The Hadith's claim that Mecca was a great trading city is not confirmed by the historical record.

Puzzling aspects of the Qur'an become understood when given a Christian context. Qur'an chapter 96 invites people to a Eucharist. Coins and inscriptions from the 7th century (600s) do not mention Muhammad, the Qur'an, or Islam!

When did the new religion appear? About 70 years after the traditional death of Muhammad. In the first decades of Arab conquest, the Arab armies had a religious creed combining elements of Christianity and Judaism.

By about 700, the Arab rulers wanted a common creed, so Iraq's governor, Haijaj ibn Yusuf, devised a political religion with martial elements.

What is the significance of all this? Perhaps as this higher criticism sinks in, Islam will become less literal and less doctrinaire and fanatical (Daniel Pipes, National Review Online, 5/16/12,

If that scholarship gains ground, the religion might be reformed and stop being a danger to civilization. One can imagine a lot of terrorism being perpetrated upon those who propose the new view. Christianity and Judaism had largely matured when the higher criticism produced similar insights into errors in their traditional beliefs about their origin. Therefore the orthodox reaction was more civil.

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

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Posted by Robin Ticker, May 16, 2012

This is not just about the Parade. It is about the dangerous infiltration of leftist agenda into mainstream Zionist groups and media who then allow a wolf to masquerade as a sheep among us, like the New Israel Fund (NIF) masquerading as a Pro Israel group. NIF is much more dangerous than Neturei Karta, though they have a lot in common. Neturei Karta is outside the Parade, protesting the Parade, siding with Iran and against the State of Israel and there we know a spade is a spade.

Are Jews allowed at the Israel Parade to march with quotes from the Torah regarding the delineated boundaries of Israel? Can we carry signs on behalf of Hebron, Migron, Ulpana and all of Judea and Samaria and against the pending demolitions of Jewish Homes? Can we have signs and banners protesting a Palestinian State with a Nazi Agenda that glorifies suicide bombers and who educate their children that all of Israel, including Haifa, Acco and Tel Aviv is not legitimate?

Or is this what the organizers considers to be "political" in nature which has no place in the Israel parade?

But NIF who grants money to NGO's who support BDS and delegitimize Israel and call us Occupiers and supports Palestinian rights to the Land of Israel is allowed to march?

Fellow Jews, will we allow Federation to buy our silence?

Another example: How can UJA-Federation under CEO John Ruskay get away with giving over $1,000,000 to Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ), the George Soros-funded activist group that recently made headlines for its high-profile war against Fox News host Glenn Beck.

Beck is a true friend of Israel and quotes the Torah and speaks out for our entitlement of Israel.

Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I know that there are many good programs for Jews funded by Federation. Chances are that you and I are grateful recipients.

We are only interested in weeding out the cancer, the anti Israel elements that will hurt us all.

The Israel Parade is a very special day expressing our love for the Land of Israel. Let us keep it that way. Please do your part to raise consciousness to get the NIF outside the Parade.

Asking for unity after inviting groups that disunite is like asking us to show hospitality to an intruder. Disinviting such divisive groups is the best expression of unity. The request is nothing short of oxymoronic! — Rabbi David Algaze

From: Rabbi Eli Kowalsky
To: Nachum Segal
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:31 AM
Subject: Fw: Op-Ed: Why are Anti-Israel Groups in the Israel Day Parade?

Shalom U'vracha. Good Morning Nachum,

I do not know if you have been alerted to the fact that the New Israel Fund, which as you probably know is heavily funded by the EU and supports BDS activities (and worse) against the State of Israel, is marching (again — it already marched last year) in the Celebrate Israel Day Parade to be held I"yh on June 3rd. Richard Allen, a businessman with a strong passion and love for Medinat Yisrael, formed an ad-hoc committee. the Pro-Israel Parade Committee, to bring this issue to the forefront and to arouse parade marchers and sponsors to protest this obscene gesture on the part of the JCRC (a UJA-Federation funded organization). While many people have joined the chorus and have contacted the parade organizers to voice their dissent, it seems that the parade organizers are hell-bent on allowing the NIF (and other groups that they fund — see below) to march. Mr. Allen previously alerted the UWS (Upper West Side) and the general Jewish NYC Community of similar trends at the Jewish Community Center of the UWS when he organized the "JCCWatch" group to protest pro-Palestinian activities emanating from the JCC without proper balance. His efforts there have borne some fruit with the JCC now more carefully balancing programs to make sure that pro-Israeli voices are heard or from eliminating activities that were totally negative and an anathema to the Jewish State.

Please read through the Arutz-7 Op-Ed piece below (you might also want to follow some of the links for more in-depth coverage of the issues raised) and please allow Mr. Richard Allen (whom I know personally and talk to and see frequently) to be given a few moments ASAP to air his concerns to your radio audience, many of whom, if not all of whom, support Medinat Yisrael (and are Parade participants) who would find this to be an obscene gesture on the part of the JCRC and Parade organizers. Unfortunately, the man that stands at the helm of the UJA-Federation, John Ruskay, is a former advisor to the NIF and worked closely with Noam Chomsky years ago to form the first Leftist-Jewish anti-Israel group, called CONAME, to oppose the State of Israel on many key issues.

Please give Mr. Allen a few moments to let your listeners know who this group that is marching (unfortunately) really is and when they see them at the Parade, to give them a "Bronx Cheer" to let them know that they are really outside our Tent and rather than march along with all the other pro-Israel groups, they should be participating in the anti-Israel protests led by the Neturei Karta or by Palestinian-Arab groups.

Your cooperation in this all-important effort is greatly appreciated — "Le'ma'an Tzion Lo Echesheh, U'le'ma'an Yerushalayim Lo Eshkot". The participation of the NIF and their cohorts in the Parade, is only a small indicator, but an important barometer, of the level of infiltration that the Leftists have managed to accomplish these past few years, into mainstream Jewish-Zionist groups. Your allowing Mr. Allen to speak out against this phenomenon will be a worthy contribution to this cause of filtering out these elements from within our Jewish-Zionist organizations.

B'yedidus U'behokarah Rabbah,
Eluzer (Eli) Kowalsky
A Member of the Pro-Israel Parade Committee

From: Pro-Israel Parade Committee
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:57 PM
Subject: Op-Ed: Why are Anti-Israel Groups in the Israel Day Parade?

Op-Ed: Why are Anti-Israel Groups in the Israel Day Parade?

Published by Arutz Sheva, May 8, 2012

This was written by Richard Allen, a prominent New York business executive and an outspoken supporter of Israel. He is the founder of JCC Watch, an NGO established to monitor interaction between American Jewish organizations, and groups that support boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

Why are Jewish groups that attempt to inflict economic damage on Israelis through BDS and blacken Israel's image given a place in the Israel Day Parade? They have crossed a line, why are we letting them get away with it?

The Celebrate Israel Parade on June 3rd is a joyous event for the New York Jewish community, when we demonstrate our love and support of Israel. So why are organizations dedicated to destroying Israel's economy through boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) being given the privilege of marching with us?

At the center of the controversy is the New Israel Fund (NIF), which was granted permission to march in last year's parade. Other extremist groups marched with NIF, displaying their individual banners, including B'Tselem, Partners for Progressive Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights. This year, New Israel Fund is slated to march again, and we expect B'Tselem and the other groups will once again join NIF, displaying their banners. New Israel Fund has been exposed as receiving funds from the European Union, which seeks to influence internal Israeli politics through a front organization. NIF, in turn, funds numerous Israeli NGOs (non-governmental organizations), some of which promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

For instance, five grantees of the New Israel Fund (Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Social TV, and Mossawa) signed a letter to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, urging it to divest from Israel.

Partners for Progressive Israel (also known as Meretz USA) prominently displays on its website, under the heading "boycott these Settlement products sold in the US, "a list of Israeli products that it wants Jews to boycott. These products include Ahava cosmetics, SodaStream products, and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.

And the chair of B'Tselem's board, Oren Yiftachel, has publicly called for "effective sanctions" against Israel. B'Tselem is a major grantee of the New Israel Fund.

As a result of public controversy, the New Israel Fund issued a statement in 2010 opposing BDS. However, despite this stated policy change, NIF continues to fund groups that have a history of working for anti-Israel global BDS campaigns.

We who count ourselves among Israel's true supporters believe that Jewish groups that organize for the economic destruction of other Jews should not be given the honor of marching with our community. Furthermore, we must be mindful of the example we set for our children. Do we teach them that it's acceptable to try to harm other Jews and weaken Israel?

In light of this unacceptable decision on the part of the parade organizers, I formed the Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade, along with several community-minded members. Our goal is to inform the parade organizers that the Jewish community rejects the participation of these groups, and to ask them to withdraw their acceptance.

As word has spread about the participation of the New Israel Fund in the parade, many prominent leaders, rabbis, and organizations have added their name to our cause. We are proud to acknowledge the support of Ron Carner, President of Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel, Rabbi Allen Schwartz of Congregation Ohab Zedek, Rabbi Lisa Malik, PhD of Temple Beth Ahm, Rabbi Jonathan Glass of Civic Center Synagogue, Rabbi David Algaze of Havurat Yisrael, Rabbi Steven Axelman of Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Rabbi Ari Jacobson, Young Israel of Monsey/Wesley Hills, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, and many other outstanding community leaders.

When Jewish groups hear that organizations linked to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement are permitted to march in the parade, they're astounded and puzzled. Why would the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which officially organizes the parade, permit such anti-Israel organizations to participate?

I believe the answer may lie in the political ideology of John Ruskay, CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York. Dr. Ruskay exerts significant influence on the JCRC through his organization's funding. Published reports show John Ruskay worked with Noam Chomsky in one of the first political bash Israel groups; CONAME (Committee On New Alternatives in The Middle East). John Ruskay also gave over one million dollars of UJA-Federation donations to a radical political group, funded by George Soros, Jewish Funds for Justice.

The issue is clear: Jews who actively work to economically sabotage Israel should not be included in the Celebrate Israel Parade. We ask that you join us in making your views known to the Jewish Community Relations Council and the UJA-Federation New York.

Contact Robin Ticker by email at

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Posted by IAM, May 15, 2012

Editorial Note:

Professor David Newman, dean of social sciences at Ben Gurion University (BGU) has been busy denouncing what he calls the "extreme right," -his terms for anyone that does not agree with radical neo-Marxist, critical scholars. In a move typical of left-wing demagogy, he lumps a number of groups in this category, namely Israel Academia Monitor that exposed serious flows in the Department of Politics and Government, contributing to its censure by the Council of Higher Education and NGO Monitor that was founded to fight the rabid anti-Israel rhetoric of some pro-Palestinian NGOs.

Newman has good reason to launch a preemptive offensive against the "nefarious right." As a long time head of the Department of Politics and then dean of social science, he is directly responsible for the hiring and promotion of self-described neo-Marxist, radical scholars such as Neve Gordon who, in spite of Knesset legislation, still promotes BDS. Newman has also approved a MA program for international students whose graduates should have no problem getting a job in anti-Israel NGO's.

Readers of Newman's 2004 essay (co-written with Haim Yacobi) "A Hidden Battlefield: The Representation of the Border and the EU in the Israel/Palestine Conflict" should further question his academic credibly. He quotes research by Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan to support the contention that Israeli text-books promote a racist and xenophobic view. Peled-Elhanan is a leading radical political activist who has, among others, testified before the Russell Tribunal (a group of self-appointed radical leftists) that Israel is an apartheid state. Her research has been roundly denounced by legitimate scholars in Israel and abroad.

Newman is right that BGU is a premier institution in certain fields like a desert research. But, under his stewardship, BGU has emerged as a leader in neo-Marxist, critical scholarship that nourishes the BDS and other activities created to delegitimize Israel in the international arena. A fair observer may question whether both donors and Israeli tax payers should support this endeavor.

Borderline Views: Time to promote the humanities
By David Newman

We invite your interest so that you, too, can contribute to the future of the Israeli soul

The month-long Board of Governors season got underway this week as the philanthropic supporters of Israel's universities arrived to participate in a program of lectures, cultural events, openings of new buildings and the awarding of honorary doctorates.

The competition between universities, and a host of other Israeli institutions — such as hospitals, yeshivot, welfare organizations and even political movements — has become increasingly intense in recent years. Economic recession, Madoff, and uncertainty about the future of the global money markets have reduced the total amount of philanthropy. The older generation of donors, for whom giving to Jewish and Israeli causes was a no-brainer, has been dying off, and it is much more difficult to find a new, younger, generation of potential donors who demonstrate the same commitment to the causes which were supported by their parents.

In recent years, spurred on by extremist right-wing groups, members of the Boards of Governors have also become increasingly involved in the political debate surrounding Israeli universities and their academic staff. Many of them have blindly supported the false assertions of well-oiled and funded groups, such as Im Tirtzu, NGO Monitor, IsraCampus and Academic Monitor, that the universities have become hotbeds of "anti-Zionism" without ever bothering to check the facts on the ground.

The right-wing protagonists would have us believe that basic universal values such as freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and academic freedom are not compatible with being an upright and law-abiding citizen of the state, and they have partially succeeded in selling these dangerous ideas to many of the well meaning, but largely ill informed, supporters of Israel from abroad. Some of them have even fallen into the trap of reassessing their donations and, as such, have inadvertently caused damage to one of the great Israeli miracles of the past 60 years — the development of seven institutes of higher education (Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, Haifa University, Bar Ilan University, the Technion and the Weizmann Institute), all of which have achieved international status for their research and their teaching and which have, during the past decade, produced Nobel prize winners who are second to none in the world.

There are many challenges facing Israel's universities as they attempt to identify the research frontiers facing the world during the next two to three decades. All too often this is translated into the important fields of health sciences and medicine, or the recent "in" topics such as nanotechnology and cognitive sciences. Each university has its own unique and specific areas of relative advantage, and my own university, Ben-Gurion, is without doubt one of the world leaders in the study of desertification and the use of water in arid environments — research which has global, and not just local, implications as it helps to eradicate poverty and starvation in many critical regions of the world, not least in Africa and Asia.

Unfortunately, the world of the social sciences and the humanities has been largely forgotten and discarded by most university donors. The Board of Governors program may include annual lectures on contemporary political issues (such as the so-called "Arab spring") or a new insight into European history and the Holocaust, because these are "sexy" topics of great interest for our visitors, and the auditoriums are usually full. But these same topics are nowhere to be found in the priority list of the universities when it comes to soliciting donations and future endowments.

Come listen to a fascinating lecture by Deborah Lipstadt or Baroness Ruth Deech or Sir Martin Gilbert about European and Jewish history, and then come speak to us about giving money to the life sciences or nanotechnology laboratory. The decision makers in the universities have partially forgotten that the original role of the university was to contribute to the morality, philosophy and culture of the society, through a deeper understanding of history, ethics, theology, literature and basic humanistic values, and that these too require resources (albeit of a smaller scale) if they are to continue to flourish.

The crisis of the humanities, which was all too apparent during the past decade, has finally been recognized by the Council of Higher Education (the MALAG) which is beginning to redirect resources to this field. In financial terms, the liberal arts and the humanities will not always stand up to the stringent measures of economic feasibility. They require an input of resources which will not necessarily show a profit margin at the end of the day. Our friends and supporters from the Diaspora should understand how important it is to ensure that Israel retains its place as one of the countries in the world where books and literature and ideas are reinvigorated and given a new breath of life, in the very best of Jewish traditions.

So if you are looking for an alternative investment opportunity in Israel's future, here is a short list:

• We require investment in libraries so that our best philosophers and historians do not leave Israel for universities in Western Europe and North America, arguing that the country no longer has the necessary humanities research "laboratories" which will enable them to undertake their research here in Israel.

• We need investment in the teaching of languages, which has fallen to an all-time low in Israel, so that our future research students can acquire the necessary skills to engage with texts which are written in languages other than Hebrew or English.

• We need investment in the consolidation and expansion of Jewish Studies, through which the Jewish experience can be analyzed from a diversity of perspectives and understandings. In recent years, student numbers have fallen due to the lack of programs, while the center for research and originality in Jewish Studies has shifted its locus from Israel to North America.

• Hebrew culture and literature, which is so unique and special to this country, require strengthening so that the amazing achievements of the past 150 years focusing on the renaissance of Hebrew as a modern, live, spoken language do not disappear in a flood of globalization.

• We need investment in the development of centers for human rights in a country where these rights are being challenged; in the study of minorities and ethnic groups in a country of new migrant groups; in centers of Middle East studies in order to better understand our neighbors to the east and their turbulent politics; in European studies to better understand our neighbors to the west; in programs of social intervention and training in a country where the basic levels of welfare and poverty, social inequalities, lack of access to opportunities, is far greater than it was in the past.

• Projects which strengthen our democracy and enable critical studies of Israeli society, its government and its public institutions, within the context of a bitter conflict between Israel and her neighbors, need to be encouraged and supported. Strong academic programs in conflict resolution, peace studies, the rule of law and the ability to "dialogue" with the other, should be at the forefront of Israeli academic endeavors.

The list of potential projects which do not simply focus on technology and laboratories is endless.

Without such centers of activity, the country's universities are on their way to becoming little more than top quality institutes of technology and medicine, but where the heart of the society, its values, ethics, philosophies and debates, have been relegated to the margins. We, the community of scholars in the field of humanities and social sciences, in all of Israel's universities, invite your interest so that you, too, can contribute to the future of the Israeli soul.

Israel Academia Monitor (IAM) monitors the excesses of the Marxist Left, which controls many departments and some Universities in Israel. The Marxists are not noted for allowing freedom of speech or expression by those who disagree with their ideology.

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Posted by Melanie Phillips, May 15, 2012

On and on it goes, this deranged vendetta against Israel and the Jews that we are not allowed to call by its proper name, on and on with obsessional intensity into ever-more alarming and astonishing bigotry and violence that is even now passing virtually without comment in wider British society.

Last night Richard Millett, an Israel supporter who tirelessly records and thus brings to light the venomous anti-Israel bigotry coursing through campuses and elsewhere, was assaulted and racially abused at a meeting of the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

The pretext for this assault was that he refused to stop filming -- even though this was a public meeting, and according to him there were others present who were also filming. You can view his footage here.

Last year, another Israel supporter was attacked at SOAS when his cheek was bitten by an anti-Israel demonstrator — an incident which was also filmed. At the subsequent trial, however, the individual being prosecuted was acquitted.

This latest outrage at SOAS occurred a few days after a jaw-dropping edition of HardTalk on BBC TV, in which Sarah Montague interviewed the rabid Israel-hater Norman Finkelstein.

Giving a platform to this noxious individual was bad enough. But to introduce him, Montague stated the following:

'American Presidents have long been criticized for being too in thrall to the Jewish lobby. The American Jews influence US foreign policy and that explains Washington's unwavering support for Israel.'

Now it is possible that she was not asserting this as fact but merely representing the views of such critics in order to introduce the discussion. But she went on to say:

'So what happens if American Jews fall out of love with Israel? That's what the Jewish American academic Norman Finkelstein claims is happening ... Could he be right? And if he is, what does that mean for Middle East policy?'

So looking at her introduction in the round, there was nothing to suggest that she was merely reporting the views of those who claim the 'Jewish Lobby' controls US foreign policy. It seems that she was stating this as fact.

In other words, the BBC is now peddling the ancient racial libel that the Jews exercise a unique control over the levers of power. And that is unvarnished Judeophobia. On the BBC. Paid for by the British public. The BBC won't report the Muslim element of paedophile gangs in northern towns, but they will libel the Jewish people by stating a notorious bigoted trope as fact.

The terrifying thing is that the BBC really does seem to believe American Jews control the Presidency. That's why they treat as a legitimate contributor to public debate an individual whose record is summed up by CAMERA thus:

'Finkelstein has called for solidarity with Hezbollah, mocked Israel as a "lunatic state," "an insane state," and "a Satanic state" bent on war. He labels Jewish leaders involved in Holocaust restitution "gangsters" and "crooks," terms Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel "the resident clown of the Holocaust circus." He calls Israelis "Satanic, narcissistic people" and claims Israel committed a "slaughter, a massacre" in Gaza and "wants war, war and war."'

With the BBC giving airtime to the kind of anti-Jewish venom that was once confined to neo-Nazis and their ilk, the demons of irrationality about the Jews are once again terrifyingly brainwashing the credulous. And just as in the 1930s, it is the high-minded and the highly educated who are leading Britain into this darkness -- under the camouflage of hating the Jewish homeland.

In March, a bunch of luvvies including Emma Thompson, Richard Wilson and Alexei Sayle called for a boycott of Israel's Habima theatre which has been performing Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (oh the irony of it!) in Hebrew at the Globe in London. This was on account of what they described as Israel's 'policies of exclusion' against the Palestinians and its 'human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land'.

Dear oh dear -- does one laugh or cry at such mindless parroting of demonstrable untruths? Quite apart from the fact that Habima is totally apolitical and a call for such a cultural boycott is, as the author Howard Jacobson put it, Kafkaesque, have these high-minded souls called for a boycott of Lebanon where Palestinians are excluded from citizenship? Have they called for a boycott of Syria where countless thousands have been slaughtered? Have they called for a boycott of Iran for threatening a second genocide of the Jews and jailing, torturing, stoning and hanging its own dissidents, women and gays?

Have they indeed called for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority for censoring and intimidating Palestinian and western journalists, and for brainwashing Palestinian children with Nazi-style propaganda in order to raise them to hate and murder Jews and Israelis?

No, of course not. The only country they want to boycott is the one country in the whole of the Middle East that is a true democracy, that affords human rights to all its citizens, that allows freedom of worship to all religions, that treats women as equals and safeguards the welfare and liberties of gay people — and treats in its own hospitals, alongside its own citizens, Palestinians from these 'excluded' territories including those who are trying to murder as many Israeli citizens as possible.

This irrational obsession is madness. It is terrifying. And no-one in the wider community is saying anything about it.

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

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Posted by K Hallal, May 15, 2012

This is by Ronn Torossian, an American public relations executive, author, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of New York City-based 5W Public Relations (5WPR). This article is archived at

The U.S. Public Relations industry is one which is very high profile, but is a tiny, close knit industry, with only perhaps 75 American PR firms having more than 50 employees (i.e. enough scope/influence to represent a foreign government or foreign interests). Over lunch recently, one of my peers, who like me owns one of the 25 largest US PR agencies, explained why his firm would no longer work with Jewish organizations and pro-Israel concerns. He explained there is simply too much money working for Arab organizations and interests, and between front groups, organizations and projects, from a business perspective, he was no longer working for pro-Israel or Jewish organizations. It's a trend which will grow — and will see Arab interests even more positively portrayed in American media.

In the latest news, Bahrain in the last 12 months has hired at least ten public relations companies since last year. Yes, you read it right — ten — including Qorvis, the Washington company hired by Saudi Arabia to salvage that kingdom's reputation abroad after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The regime of Bahrain, which tortures its own citizens, has an awful human rights record and doesn't recognize the existence of Israel, also hired Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, and Sanitas International, whose partner Christopher Harvin is a former Bush White House aide.

In the "new" Middle East a lot has changed — except recognition of Israel, and millions are spent by Arab interests on professional public relations campaigns:

Harbour Group, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm has been hired by the new Libyan government. As the Hill recently revealed, Harbour recently signed a new $15,000 per month contract with the Libyan embassy. Patton Boggs, another large K Street lobbying group, is also now representing the new Libyan regime. They previously worked with Gadhafi, alongside the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Monitor Group and held a hefty $250,000 per month contract with Tripoli, recruiting prominent American academics to praise the Libyan government.

It's nothing new in the Middle East — Arab governments spend lots of money on public relations. The Syrian regime continues to butcher thousands of their people in the streets — and its by and large missing from the mainstream media (and one of the things a good crisis PR agency is able to do is ensure negative stories never be printed). One day we will read about who is working for Syria now. A few months ago hackers released hundreds of e-mails from Syrian President Assad's office, which revealed a document preparing Assad for his December 2011 interview with ABC's Barbara Walters.

This week, the glowing profile and stunning full-page picture of Asma al-Assad, Syria's First Lady, which appeared in Vogue in February 2011 with the titled: "Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert" was quietly removed from Vogue's website. Vogue wouldn't comment on why the story was removed — but the story which described her as "glamorous, young, and very chic — the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies," ran as the Syrian government was butchering anti-regime protesters. APR firm, Brown Lloyd James, worked for Syria to arrange the story in the past.

Brown Lloyd James worked in the past to boost the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadaffi. They said, "...we assisted the Libyan government in its efforts to reach out to the international political community through the United Nations and to the U.S. political and university community."Terrorist organizations Hamas, Hezbollah, and certain Arab nations have hired PR agencies to lobby for them in the press and on the world stage. Terror groups have engaged reporters and journalists, shared meals and drinks with them and won their favor.

Fenton Communications, a New York City—based PR firm, works with the Arab state of Qatar to develop a campaign to essentially delegitimize Israel by orchestrating an international anti-Israel campaign aimed at breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Fenton Communications also works for "Al Fakhoora," a Qatar-based pro-Palestinian initiative that has "launched an advocacy campaign to file legal charges against Israel and change the public perception in the West about its actions." An April 2012 website spoke of working with NYC Fenton Communications to help campaign to help end the blockade in Gaza. They continue to assist terror groups clearly.

The PLO Mission in the U.S hired Bell Pottinger, a leading International PR agency, to provide "advice on strategic communications, public relations, media relations and congressional affairs."

U.S. PR giant Burson-Marsteller, in response to Israel's request for a meeting, said: "We will not deliver tender to such a project... we are running a commercial venture. If we accept this project, this will create a great amount of negative reactions...Israel is a particularly controversial project."

There's a reason the Arabs win in the media — they hire communications professionals — they spend money and will continue to win. In the Middle East, slaughtering of innocent people continues — from Bahrain to Syria and Public Relations pros allow them to continue to sell their stories.

I was saddened this week over lunch when my peer explained to me why his agency would no longer work for Jewish or Israel interests — and while 5WPR wouldn't work for the barbarians who slaughter innocent people, our competitors make millions selling terror and brutality.

K Hallal is with Europeans Who Support Israel. Contact her at

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Posted by Israel Hayom, May 15, 2012

 This article was written by Yaakov Ahimeir and is archived at:

I am still reeling from the shock of reading a recent article about what is happening in higher education, or in other words, at Israel's universities. Just one day after Tel Aviv University authorized a ceremony marking Nakba Day (or Day of Catastrophe — as many Arabs refer to the day Israel was established), I began to understand what is really happening in our universities — by way of an in-depth, well supported, 10-page article written by Prof. Ziva Shamir. Shamir is known as one of the country's foremost experts on our national poet — Hayim Nahman Bialik.

In this article, printed in the journal New Directions (Volume 26, June 2012, Zionist Federation Publishing, Hebrew), Shamir explains to readers what is happening in higher education. Upon reading her article, one can understand why Israeli students are now commemorating Nakba Day. After all, Israel's rich culture is being wiped from memory at Tel Aviv University and other universities.

In the literature department, for example, according to the most up-to-date student course catalog, there is not a single class dedicated to the works of Bialik, or other celebrated Israeli writers like Natan Alterman or Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Shai Agnon). On the other hand, Shamir writes, "there are courses dedicated to literature on the occupation, to refusing [military orders], gender and other topics in which the lecturers first insert the arrow, and only then, with a steady hand, draw bulls-eye around it."

Prof. Shamir is not a political activist, and her name has never appeared, as far as I can recall, among the signatures on various petitions — be it from the Left or the Right. But she sees the politicization happening within the universities, especially at Tel Aviv University where she taught for 40 years. She laments the fact that instead of teaching Bialik, a course called "the female author as a high-class prostitute, literature as a pimp" is offered. And this course has become a highly respected academic subject (!) Shamir notes. Fashion and politics have taken hold of the curriculum.

She warns against politicization becoming the dominant power: expressions of politicization, she stresses, turn academic instruction into nothing less than uncontrollable and unrestrained brainwashing and indoctrination.

Pulling from her own experience, she maintains that there are quite a few "crusader" lecturers who try to convert their students to their "religion." The days during which teachers understood that they can't turn their classrooms into branches of their political parties are long gone. Teachers no longer feel the need to avoid troublesome political dictates that promote discrimination and segregation. Shamir also calls for an examination of the academic establishment — she urges the establishment of a committee, comprising jurists, philosophers, linguists and researchers — but without politicians — that would formulate the essential distinction between research and political propaganda.

We must eradicate the improper practice, which has spread among quite a few faculty members, of turning classrooms and university offices into branches of the political parties whose flag they wave, while making undue use of the university's mail services, internet services and telephones.

Shamir also calls on universities to impose the following prohibition, which should go without saying but is not implemented: university staff will be barred from preaching their personal political views from the professor's podium. A faculty member's political agenda has no more weight than that of a passerby on the street. Fearlessly, Shamir calls for the immediate dismissal of lecturers who promote boycotting Israeli academic institutions: "they themselves can have the honor of teaching abroad," she says. She further calls on the top academic echelon to take action.

Shamir's article, which relies on facts as well as Shamir's own practical life experiences, is a warning bell. The Council for Higher Education should hear the bell and wake up. In my opinion, Shamir's charges are harsh, but true. The Council for Higher Education, and its chairman Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, cannot maintain indifference in the face of such accusations. Without fearing what others may say, they must reach tough conclusions. This is not about limiting academic freedom, not by a long shot. Politicization, according Shamir's indictment, is the most dangerous weapon in the battle for academic freedom.

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 15, 2012

New York Times reporting on the terrorist prisoners' hunger strike and on Palestinian Authority (P.A.) security leaves the situation unclear. A clear picture would rebut the Times' general policy of Islamic aggrandizement at Israel's expense. Times readers are likely not to know that a jihad is being waged against Israel.

Here are two examples from 5/15/12:

(1)Israel's internal security agency stated that the agreement to end the strike requires the prisoners "to completely halt terrorist activity inside Israeli prisons" and "to refrain from all activity that constitutes practical support for terrorism, including recruiting people for terrorist activities, guidance, financing, coordinating among recruits, aiding recruits," etc.

(2) P.A. head Abbas had said that the death of a hunger striker could be "disastrous" and might push the whole security system in the P.A. down (Isabel Kershner, 5/15/12, A4).

A newspaper is not obliged to explain background information, but that newspaper often does. Have you noticed that its background information more often is biased editorial judgment, seldom provides the background analysis for readers to judge the Arab-Israel conflict for themselves, seldom challenges misleading statements, and rarely provides the underlying facts?

Consider the hunger strike. The first Times articles on the subject insinuated that most terrorist prisoners were held under administrative detention. A later article slipped in the figure of 300 out of 6,000 prisoners, or 5%. The minor figure of 5% makes the alleged problem much less grave.

New York Times articles start by stating Arabs' grievances, as if legitimate. Do readers know that terrorists, violating the rules of war, are not entitled to POW status, and that the prisoners' demands imply they are being unfairly deprived? Do readers know that those terrorists are genocidal? What does Israel owe them? It could execute them, the way Britain used to execute captured pirates summarily, as common enemies of mankind.

Israel does not execute them. Most of the world opposes executions. This stems from humanitarian sentiment. The result in the case of the Arab-Israel conflict is that thousands of terrorists get released and murder hundreds more innocent people. How humanitarian is that?

The terrorists expect to be released. Hence they are not as deterred by the prospect of capture. Even less deterred are they when the P.A. and Arab states have paid allowances to the families of terrorists. That is a kind of loss-of-income insurance that greatly eases the concerns of potential terrorists. The P.A. even pays a stipend to the prisoners.

Where does the P.A. get the funds to compensate prisoners and their families? The P.A. gets foreign aid or other revenue from the U.S., Israel, and European "humanitarians." Radical Islam gets ever stronger in the P.A., party from use of that money, but foreign donors pretend that their contributions will make peace and civilization in the P.A.

If there is any reason for executing people, it is the original terrorism (and genocide) for which they were convicted. Well there may be something else. That something else is committing terrorism in or from the prisons. There must be an incentive in prison for them not to commit terrorism.

Israel thought that incentive would be to rescind prisoners' privileges. But the hunger strikers worried Israel. So Israel restored the privileges for a promise not to resume terrorism. Terrorists' promises have no credibility. Neither does Israeli threats.

Why was Israel worried about deaths of hunger strikers? It was worried that it would be blamed for those deaths. Abbas said his people would blame Israel. The terrorists, who have no moral standing, voluntarily risk their own lives starving themselves to extort privileges that they had abused and therefore lost, and then if the starvation terminates their lives, the Arabs would blame Israel? Arabs hold other people responsible for problems they cause. Is this part of the Arab shame-honor complex or their anti-Israel propaganda?

What kind of people are they, blaming suicide upon other people, lynching people based on rumors, as they do, and repeatedly falling for slander that Israelis are plotting to destroy al-Aqsa mosque? After the 10th time such an accusations does not pan out, shouldn't their people stop believing their rabble rousers?

In blaming Israel for deaths from extortionate self-starvation, Abbas can foresee security dissolving. How that statement cries out for exploration!

For years, The State Dept. and the New York Times, among others, urged Israel to make concessions to the P.A. to strengthen the PLO. Concession after concession was made. And more concessions were urged. No end to them. It seemed that Abbas never got strong from them. Of course he didn't, his weakness was based on domestic unpopularity.

Did it ever occur to people that the point of those demands was to promote the PLO over Israel? Those demands were not sincere. Remember, the State Dept. and Times long have been anti-Zionist.

Then the tune changed. Now the song suggests that the P.A. brought law and order to every city from which the IDF departed. Ignore that Israeli forces often have to make nighttime raids to arrest terrorists whom the P.A. does not arrest. That inconvenient fact, which is out of harmony with the tune, is simply ignored. Logic is not part of the journalistic conversation.

If the P.A. imposed law and order, how come it can't maintain law and order if hunger strikers die? These are the possibilities: (1) They really can maintain law and order, but pretend they need concessions; (2) The P.A. is liable to piggyback onto the cause of the hunger strikers in order to lead the uprising; (3) The P.A. never imposed law and order, and it was lying and so were its supporters in claiming to have brought law and order. Recent disorder in Jenin exposed the P.A. claim as false.

If hunger strikers' deaths would spark an uprising that overthrows the P.A., so could other triggers. In that case, why are Western countries pouring money onto the P.A. sponge? Why are foreign countries building a P.A. army? Will foreign countries reconsider their policies toward the P.A.?

One such policy is to promote P.A. statehood. No matter how many times repeated with false premises and no justification, statehood for such an unstable and violent society makes no sense. Statehood for the P.A. makes no sense for other reasons, too, but I have discussed those other reasons before. Why can't foreign governments reconsider their futile policies? The reason is they cannot overcome their prejudices and their ideology. Rather than admit they wasted billions of dollars on poor policies, they waste billions more.

To be fair, the New York Times is not the only newspaper whose news columns let false impressions reign. So does the Wall St. Journal. There is a real question whether the West can defend its civilization from jihad, when it fails to inform its public, disseminate the truth, and vigorously criticize the enemies of its country but instead allows the enemies to criticize our ally and penetrate our own society, whose President bans the term, "Islamist terrorist," from government statements.


A few days later, the New York Times finally stated how many Arab terrorists are being held under administrative detention. "more than 300." As I had understood, the figure is a fraction of the total in prison.

Considering that Israel has about 6,000 terrorists in prison, this statement means that Israel convicted 95% of captured terrorists and is holding only 5% under administrative detention. This fact demonstrates that Israeli justice is much more open to the Arabs than the hunger-strikers claim. It lends credence to Israel's claim that the 5% cannot be given a trial for security reasons and they cannot be released for security reasons.

Since Israel is at war, and these prisoners, being terrorists, mostly are war criminals, the 95% are lucky that they are given a trial.

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

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Posted by Steven Shamrak, May 15, 2012

When I started my weekly Internet editorial letters six years ago, the term Hasbara, pro-Israel propaganda, was dormant. Fighting the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda is only the first step. The main and ultimate goal is to unite Jews and our genuine friends behind the true Zionist inspiration and create a Jewish state on all Jewish ancestral land, Eretz-Israel. Generally speaking, I believe that it is a waste of time to reply to accusations and fabrications of anti-Semitic or anti-Israel bigots, if there is a difference. We must focus on our own goals and actively pursue them!

At the same time, because of the use of modern communications and the Internet by Jew-haters, in addition to the traditional anti-Israel media bias, it would be foolish to ignore or dismiss the damage being caused to Israel in the area of the public perception of the Arab-Israel conflict and the right of Jews to the land of Israel. For several years, I have been watching the rise of anti-Zionist activities on YouTube, MySpace, Wikipedia as well as in many blogs and chat-rooms. Information about Israel and Jewish history has being systematically distorted by Jew-haters, who are either twisted-minded hateful individuals or well organized campaigners of some interest groups, organizations and even governments.

Propaganda is a weapon used to manipulate people's opinion. It is a very important tool of warfare. It has being successfully applied by many countries: Communists in former USSR, by Nazis in Germany, as well as by the US in order to join WW2. The Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels used to say: "The 'Big Lie' was simple — tell the biggest, most outrageous lie; tell it often enough; tell it loudly enough — and eventually people will believe it." That's what the enemies of the Jewish people have been doing for a long time unopposed. As a result even Jews start to believe in their lies!

Jew-haters have been resurrecting the same false accusations and fabrications even after they had been proven wrong many times over. Even now, some Christians still believe that Jews use the blood of Christian babies in ritual preparation of matzos. "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is still used by traditional anti-Semites and the book has successfully migrated from anti-Semitic Europe to the bookshelves of Muslim countries, where it has become a best seller and even made its screen debut as a TV serial.

Enemies of Jews do not care about facts! Their brains are completely short-circuited and consumed by hate. They are not just unwilling but unable to process or accept facts. They jump from one issue to another, from country to country in their hateful asymmetrical propaganda war against Jews! The aim is to create the perception that their lies have some element of truth. They often say: "There is not smoke without fire." And, they are very good at creating lots of smoke!

Surprisingly, most of the so-called independent Western press, exploiting the anti-Semitic inclination of the general population, is a willing participant in the Israel-bashing game. Journalists are only too happy to report anti-Israel information, often without checking the source and its validity. Editors use screaming headlines like: "World Bank Blames Israel for Poor PA Economy", "Olmert Ready to Give Up Temple Mount" or "Will Israel Return Golan Heights to Syria?" to increase the sale of their papers, but in the process they are creating the perception of Israel's wrong-doing and an atmosphere of uncertainty which only encourages PA terrorists to perform their blood-thirsty acts. Many of those editors and journalists are quite knowingly and eagerly participating in this scam!

At present, many Jews do not believe in or even have any knowledge about the rights of Jewish people to the land called Palestine. They are even afraid to express any support for Zionist ideals. We are living in a dangerous time, when the corrupt and self-hating government of Israel is so eager to give up more of Jewish land to the enemies for the illusion of peace, but is not wiling to end Arab occupation of our land and finish Jewish suffering from terror in Israel.

From a Jewish existential point of view, we can't ignore or dismiss the activities of our enemies as either naïve or harmless. That is why I implore you to participate in actively promoting and defending the Zionist ideals. By the co-ordinated effort of many supporters of Israel, we'll be able to positively refute the disinformation, which Jew-haters and self-hating Jews have been spreading, and propagate the right of Jews to live in peace on Jewish ancestral land. I know that we are facing uphill battle, but somebody must do it. It was partially achieved 60 years ago. We just have to finish the job: "If not me than who, if not now then when?"

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

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Posted by Richard H. Shulman, May 14, 2012


Here is my digest of a 30-page article by a specialist in terrorist financing. For dozens of footnotes and a point-by-point build-up toward conclusions, see the original article (Rachel Ehrenfeld,

U.S. KNOWS SAUDIS BETRAY US: The U.S. government secretly considers Saudi Arabia dependent upon the CIA for counter-terrorism. Saudi Arabia's main enemy is supposed to be Iran. Nevertheless, Iran announced that the Saudis will not replace sanctioned Iranian oil. [Saudi Arabia had promised the U.S. to make up for Iranian oil cutoffs.] Saudi Arabia generally betrays the U.S. in behalf of Radical Islam. It's a survival technique.

Although American administrations describe S. Arabia as strong against terrorism, the State Dept. knows that S. Arabia continues to help finance al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hamas, etc.. Secretary of State Clinton's secretly complains that the Saudi government hardly stops the funding. Saudis both financed and staffed most of the 9/11 skyjackers.

After some terrorists turned on Saudi Arabia, the country did mount counter-terrorism operations, but domestically. Saudi Arabia publicly condemns terrorism and joins international anti-terrorist organizations. As soon as S. Arabia announces a ban on some form of assistance to terrorism, a U.S. official praises it, but the millions keep flowing. Sec. Clinton asserts privately that Saudi donors are "the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." Saudis resort to the use of anonymous couriers to evade the new regulations.

The Saudi government does not share much intelligence with Western authorities. It does tip them off about plots by al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), but AQAP is one of its chief domestic terrorist threats.

SAUDI JIHAD: Saudi Arabia geared up in 1962 to impose its Wahhabi form of Islam upon the world. It formed "charity" fronts that helped create the global jihad confronting us today. Saudi individuals donate half a billion dollars a year to Islamist groups, including religious teachers and schools and terrorist organizations. The government has exhorted citizens to support foreign terrorist organizations! Government, ruling family, and their rich dependents unite on this.

Between 2006 and 2010, Saudis sent $1.5 billion to North Waziristan, from which most of it entered Afghanistan. Emanating from Waziristan in Pakistan, the Taliban have killed and wounded thousands of GIs.

Saudis also support terrorists attacking Pakistan and India. Through a charity designated by the U.S. as a terrorist sponsor, a Saudi charity financed an al-Qaida affiliate in the Philippines. The U.S. asked the Saudi government to stop assisting the terrorists.

Although the U.S. knows that the IIRO "charity" finances foreign radical Muslim groups, the U.S. designates only part of the organization as terrorist. IIRO was able to join a UN organization, within which it expands its contacts.

Israel informed the U.S. that Saudis were financing Hamas, and the Hamas leader admitted using a $1 million contribution from Saudis. While Israel was fighting against Hamas in 2009, Saudi Arabia pledged a billion dollars to reconstruct Gaza. Saudi Arabia has held telethons and donated tens of millions of dollars to families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers.

Think that negotiating treaties with jihadists ends holy war? Saudi Arabia ratified the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The treaty requires mutual cooperation in inquiries and on terrorist financing. A major Saudi bank refused to answer a subpoena to a U.S. trial of a Saudi foundation that used that bank to finance terrorism. That transaction went to Chechnya. The Saudis claim to have shut the organization but the General Accounting Office reported its continuing activity. The accused was convicted, but the U.S. did not impose sanctions on the Saudi bank.

As the U.S. media knows, the Saudis spent tens of millions of dollars financing the insurgency in Iraq. The biggest foreign contingency of that insurgency were Saudis.

NON-MILITARY SUBVERSION: Saudi Arabia also spends hundreds of billions of dollars on non-military penetration of other countries. It subsidizes proselytizing, mosques, madrassas, prisoners in Western jails, foreign Middle East Studies centers, student-exchange programs, and Islamic Centers. Saudis spent $700 billion in the Balkans. Half of foreign mosques promote Radical Islam.

Some European countries are opposing Saudi-financed Islamic projects. Among them are Britain and Norway. The U.S. is slower to realize this is war rather than freedom of religion. In 2003, about 80% of mosques in the U.S. were under Wahhabi control. The proposed center near Ground Zero was organized by people with connections to Muslim Brotherhood fronts, including some designated as unindicted coconspirator. Many Islamic cultural centers are planned for the U.S., as in Tennessee, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Boston, Wisconsin, California, and Kentucky.

Saudi Arabia has been donating tens of millions of dollars each to universities in Texas, California, and Georgia. In Georgia a new institute will give Saudis applied science degrees. The kingdom sends tens of thousands of Saudi students to American universities.

American schools get millions of dollars for teaching about Islam. [You may be sure it is propaganda]. British universities get hundreds of millions. Universities are "bribed" not to assess Islam critically, and are rewriting the history of the Mideast. The centers are strongly anti-Israel. The student bodies seek academic boycotts of Israel. Som centers not only preach Radical Islam, they urge violence. Most of the British student Muslim societies believe in killing for religion and imposing a global caliphate.

WHAT SHOULD BE OUR SELF-DEFENSE? Just wait for fighters to attack and for academic penetration to unnerve us? Or oppose Saudi Arabia.

Problem is, the West deals in coexistence, negotiation, compromise, and multiculturalism. Islam deals in destruction and conquest. Radical Islam has many American fellow travelers who think they are being idealistic and tolerant.

We have to stop trusting S. Arabia and expose its Radical Islamic ideology. We have to get the government to stop covering up for S. Arabia. The U.S. must disclose Saudi "financial, political, educational and social influence in America." Going further, we should ban countries that deny religious freedom from donating to American educational, religious, and charitable organizations. We also should penalize those who receive such funds. We should close organizations, such as CAIR, whose leaders promote terrorism, and ISNA, which was found to insinuate chaplains into prisons to spread Radical Islam. They all subvert our freedom. [This is the economic and cultural counterpart to our banning donations to terrorist fighters.]

The media has to stop depicting radical Islamic organizations, such as CAIR and Islamic Society of N. America, as moderate and legitimate. They help turn U.S.-born people into terrorists.

Congress should pass the Justice Against Terrorism Act. This would remove the prohibition against suing foreign states and officials for damages from terrorism.

Congress did pass a law, sponsored by the author, protecting U.S. writers and publishers from foreign lawsuits aimed at intimidating criticism of Radical Islam. So did some American states. There remains libel harassment by Saudi-sponsored organizations here, such as CAIR and ISNA. Countries need to ban those, to protect free speech.

The U.S. also should crack down on banks that let terrorist funds through. The U.S. government and media are suspiciously silent about this.


Notice the perverted meaning of "charity" in Islam. You understand that support for the families of terrorists, whether by S. Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, or Saddam, encourages terrorists who thereby know that their families will not suffer financially from their deaths.

I would suggest barring students and immigrants from countries behind jihad.

The author's recommendations would work. But how do we start? It seems more likely that Islam will repress any fight-back.

Two-faced diplomacy by Saudi Arabia, aided by our government and media, has deceived Americans. As Sec. Clinton's leaked cables show, the government knows the truth. But what it has been telling us about jjihad in general is as false as what it has been telling us about the Israeli front in jihad. Americans do not realize how much falsehood comprises their image of world affairs.

Our President is uninterested in fighting Radical Islam. Many of our liberals are too interested in condemning Israel. They call it bigotry to fight Radical Islamic bigotry but do not object to Radical Islamic bigotry. How subverted are our universities? Our banks? Our other businesses in which foreign Muslims have invested? Can we still win, or are we too tied up by our enemies and our ignorance and inability to think?


A major broadcaster of news, the BBC releases programs criticizing and even insulting Christianity, but admits censoring what it thinks that Islamic gunmen would object to.

Former Director General Mark Thompson said that BBC treats Christianity less sensitively because it is "a broad-shouldered religion, compared to religions which in the UK have a very close identity with ethnic minorities." In Britain, he said, Islam is "almost entirely a religion practiced by people who may already feel in other ways isolated, prejudiced against, and where they may well regard an attack on their religion as racism by other means."

Here is an example of BBC double standards. Despite Christian protests, BBC ran Jerry Springer: The Opera, which ridicules Jesus. Would BBC run a similar program except that it mocks Muhammad? No, replied Mr. Thompson. It would be too emotional for Muslims.

But this particular sensitivity is not his whole motive. Referring to death threats against Salman Rushdie affair and the 911 murders, he said, "A threat to murder...massively raises the stakes." He explained, "'I complain in the strongest possible terms' is different from 'I complain in the strongest possible terms and I'm loading my AK47 as I write." The BBC heeds complaints backed by violence.

Four years earlier, Mr. Thompson still had some sensitivity to freedom. He noted a "growing nervousness about discussion about Islam and its relationship to the traditions and values of British and Western society as a whole." The BBC was a defender of "freedom of speech and of impartiality." BBC has "a special responsibility to make certain that debate on any religion "should not be foreclosed or censored."

Half a year later, however, he said that "Islam, as a minority belief system, requires careful treatment. "There's no reason why any religions should be immune from discussion, but I don't want to say that all religions are the same." At that time, BBC had displayed the Danish Muhammad cartoons. But then he stopped treating religions equally and worried about violence from one. He has had a biased standard for eight years.

In an internal BBC memo In 2006, executives found it acceptable to show a Bible but not a Koran being thrown into the garbage. "Former BBC radio host Don Maclean lamented in 2009 that programs 'seem to take the negative angle every time" regarding Christianity, even as they are "keen on Islam.' News anchor Peter Sissons, who left the BBC several years ago, echoed him in a book published in 2011: 'Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.'"

A 2008 archaeology drama Bonekickers" showed a fanatical British Christian beheading a peaceful Muslim. As Christians complained, Christians don't behead enemies but but Islamic terrorists do. The drama might give Muslims the false idea that British Christians seek to murder Muslims.

Likewise, a spy series, Spooks, showed fictional Christians throwing grenades at Muslims and a bishop plotting the assassination of an Islamic cleric. A 2007 BBC medical show, Casualty, barred depiction of Islamic suicide bombers, lest it "perpetuate stereotypes." So the show made animal rights extremists the villains.

A film about the 2005 London transit bombings was canceled because dramatizing actual terrorism might offend Muslims. Ironically, the BBC censorship implies that all Muslims are potential supporters of terrorism.

As for real life dramas, BBC barred the Christian Choice alliance from calling Tabligthi Jamaat a "separatist Islamic group," in 2008. It had to call the group merely "controversial." But the Times of London reported that Tablighi Jamaat "preaches that non-Muslims are an evil and corrupting influence." Going further, BBC rejected favorable mention of "moderate Muslims" opposed to erection of a huge mosque near an Olympics site. Why? BBC thought this implied that Tablighi Jamaat was not moderate. [Does BBC think that that jihadist group is moderate?]

This year, the hate preacher Abu Qatada, who has ties to al-Qaeda, was not allowed to be described as an "extremist." That no-no would reflect a value judgment. They may call him a "radical."

When a Question Times panelist managed to accuse the Muslim Council of Britain in 2009 of promoting attacks on British forces, BBC offered an apology and $30,000 pounds to the Council.

When in 2009 the Church of England complained to BBC's chief of religious programming, a Muslim named Aaqil Ahmed, that the BBC was neglecting stories on Christianity, Mr. Ahmed called that wanting to "live in the past." [Did the BBC question who rouses native-born British Muslims to go to Afghanistan to fight NATO forces?]

Honest Reporting and CAMERA have reported the BBC's slant in favor of Islam and even the Islamists in Mideast conflicts.

The BBC has subordinated itself to Islam. This self-censorship sets precedent for others. It helps keep citizens uninformed about a major issue. It encourages jihadists. For that the public is taxed to support BBC!

Mr. Thompson advised the public, if you don't like a show, "don't watch it." But he does not demand civilized behavior from Muslims. Instead, he caves in to their intimidating behavior (David J. Ruskin, PJ Media, 5/8/12

I would not throw anybody's holy book into the garbage, but would discuss its political efforts affecting people's rights. People have a right to study and compare religions.

Democracy means free press, majority rule, and minority protection. The BBC excuse for coddling Islam because it is a "minority" makes no sense. Critical truths are critical truths, which the public is entitled to know. In Britain, the majority needs protection.

Radical Islam may be a minority in Britain, but it is striving to conquer the Island by false propaganda and coercion. It has committed violence, and plots more. Whereas the BBC may think itself tolerant, it is intolerant of dissent and supportive of sedition.

Anther excuse for censorship is that Muslims may consider objective criticism of Muslims' political behavior as "racism" or offensive is equally absurd. It makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact that many Muslims falsely accuse others of hatred does not make it so nor require others to kowtow to them. Their alleged "sensitivity" really is part of the Islamic effort gradually to turn a native culture into an Islamic one.

The accusation "racism" is an old club against legitimate criticism. Let's stop fearing its inappropriate use by unscrupulous demagogues. (Ones who are prejudiced, at that.)

Should minority views be treated with special consideration, as BBC contends (but it does not apply to the Arab-Israel conflict)? No. Minority views should be able to be heard, but they should not be the only ones to be heard. Majority views should not be stifled in favor of minority ones. In stifling the majority view, BBC is complicit in jihad.

When BBC portrays Christian clergy as terrorists and Muslims the victims, it defames Christianity and misleads the public. Now that is being insensitive!

Still another specious excuse to censor is to deny someone's speech because it includes a value judgment. Civilization and ethics depend on value judgments. Nobody stops Muslims from freely expressing their value judgments, even when falsely accusing non-Muslims. Only non-Muslims are stopped from expressing value judgments critical of Islamic and even Islamist behavior. Earlier, the BBC had referred to the values of British civilization. BBC is being hypocritical.

How much of BBC pro-Islamic censorship is due to leftist ideology, such as favoring Muslim claims against Israel, is not clear. Just a few years earlier, the BBC defended free speech. Well, the BBC motive of fear is explicit. The BBC, the rest of the media, and the government should end Islamic violence. There are many ways to do so. The problem is to summon up the will. Is Britain, once so tough, already subdued? Its people have a last chance to remove leftist politicians. Have they been kept too uninformed to realize that? The media represses their discontent with the Islamic assault on their culture by calling them names, such as "far-right" and "extremist." But British Muslims boast they will take over the country, as they boast in other European countries, so there really is an Islamic assault on European culture.

The U.S. is not much better. President Obama ignores Islamist ideology and insists that Federal officials not used properly descriptive words of the danger to U.S. national security, such as "terrorist." Prominent Americans pretend that terrorism has nothing to do with Radical Islam, even though most terrorism does.


P.A. head Abbas complained that Israel forbids his security forces to import sufficient arms. An Israeli representative explained that Israel blocks the P.A. from importing heavy weapons.

In response to PM Netanyahu's well-known request that the P.A. recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said that is not his responsibility.

And that is where the New York Times left those issues (Jodi Rudoren, 5/13/12, A11).

The reporter might have reminded the audience and Mr. Abbas that the Oslo Accords set certain limits, including arms, upon the autonomy that Israel granted that portion of the Arab nation. Also, the P.A. has turned its arms against Israelis and encourages terrorism. Israel legitimately keeps the P.A. from continuing joint Arab attempts to exterminate Israeli Jews — remember, Abbas has urged foreign Arab forces to attack Israel.

Leaders do not always answer questions, but reporters always should ask and report the answers, including evasions. The first question should have been what kind of arms did the P.A. seek to import. Without the answer, what does Abbas' statement mean? Perhaps he is using helplessness as an excuse to blame Israel for the recently discovered lack of security in the P.A., now that the IDF no longer patrols most of his cities there.

The IDF stopped patrolling there, because the P.A. said it could be responsible for security. Now that the P.A. has demonstrated inability to maintain security, the reporter might have asked both sides whether the IDF should return its forces there and the world should stop suggesting that the P.A. be granted sovereignty.

Does Abbas use his security failure as a pretext for demanding heavy arms useful for war on Israel and not on maintaining internal security?

How will New York Times readers learn the significance of PM Netanyahu's request that the P.A. recognize Israel as a Jewish state? I haven't seen any explanation to them. To them, the request may seem insignificant. But if the P.A. doesn't recognize Israel as a Jewish state, then it still does not acknowledge the Jewish people's right to their own country in their own homeland. Abbas still upholds the Islamic view that non-Muslim sovereignty there is illegitimate. Then hlis answer remains jihad. Then despite the PLO peace agreements with Israel, it does not intend peace. Now that is significant!

After bringing that out, and making sense of these issues, the reporter might wonder whether the U.S. is making a mistake in supporting eventual P.A. statehood. Who needs another anti-Western, pro-terrorist state, just like ones we are fighting elsewhere?

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

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Posted by Daniel Mandel, May 14, 2012

Losing an unwise war, refugees wear their predicament as a badge of honor

Today, Palestinians and their supporters, as they have done increasingly over the years, mark what they call the "naqba" (Arabic for catastrophe) day. But commemoration is only one aspect of the day. The clue to the real meaning of the naqba lies on the previous day, May 14, the day Israel declared independence upon the termination of British rule.


On the actual day in 1948 now commemorated as the naqba,neighboring Arab armies and internal Palestinian militias responded to Israel's declaration of independence with full-scale hostilities. Tel Aviv was bombed from the air, and the head of Israel's provisional government, David Ben-Gurion, delivered his first radio address to the nation from an air-raid shelter.

Israel successfully resisted invasion and dismemberment — the universally affirmed objective of the Arab belligerents — and Palestinians came off worst of all from the whole venture. At the war's end, more than 600,000 Palestinians were living as refugees under neighboring Arab regimes.

In the immediate years that followed, the refugees generally resisted the term naqba. That implied a permanence never contemplated. After all, they largely had evacuated the scene of hostilities under the impression that they would be returning speedily on the heels of Israel's imminent defeat. When that failed to materialize, they yet hoped for a speedy return upon the destruction of Israel in a renewed round of fighting. When that, too, failed to materialize, however, the term naqba and the commemorations around it held on May 15 became fixtures.

So the term naqba is misleading. It smacks of falsehood, inasmuch as it implies a tragedy inflicted by others. The tragedy, of course, was self-inflicted.

As Israel's U.N. ambassador, Abba Eban, was to put it, "Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged."

However, the Palestinians do not mourn the ill-conceived choice of going to war to abort Israel. They mourn only that they failed.

This is contrary to normal historical experience of disastrous defeat. Germans today mourn their losses in World War II, but not by lauding their invasion of Poland and justifying the attempt at European subjugation. They do not glorify Nazi aggression.

The Japanese mourn their losses in World War II, but not by lauding their assault on Pearl Harbor and their attempt to subjugate Southeast Asia. They do not glorify Japanese imperialism.

The very fact that naqba commemorations are held today is therefore instructive in a way few realize: It informs us that Palestinians have not admitted or assimilated the fact — as the Germans and Japanese have done — that they became victims as a direct result of their efforts to be perpetrators.

It informs us that Palestinians still would like to succeed today at what they miserably failed to achieve then.

It also informs us that they take no responsibility for their own predicament, which is uniquely maintained to this day at their own insistence.

If readers doubt my word, consider this vignette from January 2001. That month, Palestinian rioters in the West Bank burned in effigy John Manley, then foreign minister in Jean Chretien's Canadian government. His sin? Mr. Manley had offered to welcome Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Canada after a peace settlement. The Palestinian response? Legislator Hussam Khader of Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' party — not Hamas or another of the Islamist groups — threatened Canada, saying, "If Canada is serious about resettlement, you could expect military attacks in Ottawa or Montreal."

Though scarcely a typical response by a government official to an offer of refugee relief, Mr. Khader's was nonetheless illuminating. Setting up a Palestinian state and resettling the refugees and their descendants inside it or abroad would remove any internationally accepted ground for conflict. That is why helping to solve the Palestinian refugee problem is regarded as a hostile act — by Palestinians.

Thus, naqba commemorations inform us that the conflict is about Israel's existence, not about territory, borders, holy places, refugees or any other bill of particulars.

Only when Palestinians accept that Israel is here to stay will the possibility of the conflict's end come into view.

In the meantime, responsible governments can discourage and repudiate naqba commemorations as a small but important step toward bringing that day closer.

Daniel Mandel (PhD Melbourne, 1999) is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at Melbourne University and author of H.V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). This article is archived at:

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 14, 2012

I wrote not long ago about an excellent up-beat film on Israel called "Israel Inside," with Tal Ben- Shahar, produced by Rafi Shore.

Now, to coincide with Israeli Independence Day according to the secular calendar, JerusalemOnlineU, the creator and distributor of the movie, is offering viewing via free streaming — for one week starting today. You can access it here:

Please, take the time to see it, pass it along quickly so that others might see it, and publicize it via blogs and lists.

We have so very much to be proud of, in terms of who we are.


So very much to be proud of.... But oh the angst about the things that are going in the wrong direction here. I seem to have pushed a lot of buttons with my posting yesterday, if reader response is any indication.

My very favorite (and very "on the mark") observation came from reader Sandor S:

"Jews debating destruction of Jewish homes and worrying about convicted enemies who choose not to eat?? "This is the theatre of the absurd."

Yeah... it is.


I wrote yesterday that a source (whom I normally find highly reliable) advised me that Israel was involving the military government of Egypt (SCAF) in negotiations on the prisoners in order to give it a needed boost.

But I have now uncovered another, related but deeper, reason for Egyptian involvement:

A small number — perhaps as many as five — of the prisoners currently protesting their administrative detention are people previously in Israeli prisons who had been released as part of the trade for Shalit. They were tracked, and when it was clear they were again (or still) involved with terrorism, and thus a danger to Israel, were picked up once again and are being held in administrative detention. (With thanks to Judith N on this.)


Egypt was key to the negotiations between Israel and Hamas regarding the trade of Palestinian Arab prisoners for Shalit.

Hamas is now saying that Egyptian officials assumed responsibility for guaranteeing that the prisoners, once released, would not then be rounded up again by Israel.

(If Egypt did make such a pledge, did this include those who were again involved in terrorist activity? I can safely conjecture that no differentiation was made — or put the other way around, that it was assumed they would be involved in terror, no matter the promises that were extracted, and that this was irrelevant to the deal.)

Saleh Aruri, who holds the prisoners' portfolio in Hamas, said there would have been no deal if not for the assurances provided by Egyptian authorities:

"I think the Egyptian government is bound morally and legally to demand the immediate release of the rearrested prisoners. We are going to contact the Egyptian brothers to press them to intervene."

While Issa Karaki, PA Minister for Prisoners' Affairs, has said:

"By re-arresting some of these freed prisoners in violation of the Egyptian-mediated deal, Israel is demonstrating contempt and disregard for Egypt and its government. I believe the proverbial ball is squarely in the Egyptian court."


And so now we truly see a reason for Egypt to want to be involved, as well as a reason why Israel would agree to that involvement in order to try to save SCAF embarrassment in the Arab world.

What I had yesterday was merely the surface of the story. Here we learn a lesson, once again, regarding how complex these matters can be.


As I write, the word is that Egypt has put together a proposal to which Israel and the prisoners have now agreed. It is clear that Israel was eager to cool matters, so that it would not be necessary to deal with rioting prisoners and possibly rioting sympathizers as well.

And so concessions have been made.

I have read that leaders of the prisoners were brought to a prison in Ashkelon to discuss the potential agreement with Israeli officials — with the Shin Bet representing Israel. This scenario makes my stomach very tight indeed.

All of the details of the agreement have not been released. While Israel — whose officials seem to be saying little — has refused to do away with administrative detention entirely, there will apparently be some modification of this practice. This is worrisome in terms of what it may do to the security of the Israeli populace.

According to at least one report, there will be some prisoners released. If they are the prisoners who had originally been released in the exchange with Shalit, and then picked up again, this will be very bad news indeed. But I would not be surprised, for this would be Israel "redeeming" Egypt's position in the Arab world.

Other concessions involve the conditions for the prisoners — family visitations, solitary confinement, etc.


Hard for me to believe — that I've devoted the bulk of a posting to this prison issue. I am not proud of what I've had to write. The PA has the death penalty for people who sell land to Jews, and the world is trying to hold us accountable for how we treat murderers. And we cooperate.

This comment from MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union):

"Netanyahu's 'just talk' government has folded yet again instead of striking with an iron fist.

"It turns out that baby killers will keep living the high life in Bibi's rest center."


Much more to write about, and it will have to wait until tomorrow...

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Center for Near East Policy, May 14, 2012

 This article was written by David Bedein and is archived at:

Photo by: Courtesy

Former Palestinian leader's vision of destroying Israel influences PA's curriculum.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, people in Israel stand in silence to recall the victims murdered by the Nazis and their allies. Tragically, the Palestinian Authority's curriculum and media still carry the legacy of Haj Amin Al Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Palestinian Arab community, who forged a pact with Adolf Hitler on May 28, 1941.

The Hitler-Mufti pact, presented as evidence against the Mufti in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, explicitly states that Hitler would exterminate the Jews in Europe, while the Mufti would enlist Nazi aid to exterminate Jews in Palestine. Then they would establish a "JudenRein" state of Palestine.

With such an agenda, the Mufti ensconced himself in Hitler's bunker and recruited an Islamic unit of the Waffen SS to actively engage in the mass murder of Jews. On Nazi radio, he issued appeals in Arabic inciting Muslims to join the Führer's cause and prepare for the mass murder of Jews in Palestine.

The protocols of the Nuremberg trial testimony against the Mufti were published in Maurice Pearlman's 1946 book, Mufti of Jerusalem.

Pearlman cites affidavits from senior SS prosecution witnesses who testified that the Mufti, working directly under Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler, was instrumental in ensuring that millions of Jews were murdered rather than ransomed.

The affidavit of Dieter Wisclicenty, an officer under Eichmann who appeared as a witness for the Nuremberg prosecution, is unambiguous on the Mufti's intentions:

"The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry for the Germans and had been the permanent collaborator and advisor of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of the plan. According to my opinion, the Grand Mufti, who had been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews, the importance of which must not be disregarded, He had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with who had been in contact, above all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry. He considered this as a comfortable solution of the Palestinian problem. In his messages broadcast from Berlin, he surpassed us in anti-Jewish attacks. He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures."

While historians such as Bernard Lewis and Rafael Medoff cannot find corroborating evidence that the Mufti played a central role in the execution of the Final Solution, there is no question the Mufti loyally served the Nazi cause.

In 1961, when Eichmann was brought to justice in Jerusalem, Israel's then foreign minister, Golda Meir, called for the Mossad to apprehend the Mufti and to sit him alongside Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem.

Pearlman traces the Mufti's escape to Cairo, where he influenced the newly formed Arab League to state in its charter that its purpose was to wipe out any forthcoming Zionist entity. Indeed, the Mufti-inspired charter would soon form the basis of the Arab league declaration of war against the nascent State of Israel in 1948.

The UK's refusal to arrest the Mufti in Cairo, Pearlman reports, caused the head of the Zionist revisionists in the US at the time, Ben Zion Netanyahu, father of Israel's current Prime Minister, to launch an unsuccessful campaign for the US to demand the arrest of the Mufti in Cairo.

A little known fact concerns the Mufti's special relationship with a young relative in Cairo, whom he affectionately gave the name "Yassir Arafat." In December 1996, Haaretz interviewed Yassir Arafat's younger brother and sister, who said that the Mufti served as a surrogate father figure to the young Arafat.

In 1964, years after the Arab League failed to destroy the newly formed Jewish State, the Mufti returned to the Arab League and urged the group to launch the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The organization's covenant of purpose was almost identical to the charter of the Arab League: to exterminate new state of Israel. But the PLO's focus was organizing Arabs who remained in Israel and refugees who languished in United Nations refugee camps into an effective grass roots movement to liberate all of Palestine from Jewish rule.

Until 1967, Arabs who had fled Israel used the school books of Jordan and Egypt, which were rife with direct calls for Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews.After Judea and Samaria were liberated by Israel, the clauses in these books were deleted by the new Israel Civil Administration.

Yet in April 2000, seven years into the Oslo process, my employer, the Center for Near East Policy Research, visited a Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education laboratory in the Dutch consulate in Al Bira and found that the PA had re-introduced all the violent material.

Throughout the spring of 2000, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education was reported to be hard at work preparing new school books meant to promote peace and reconciliation with Israel.

At that time, the agency I work for, the Center for Near East Policy Research met with representatives from Italy, Belgium, Finland and Ireland, which each had poured funding into the PA Ministry of Education's new school books, believing that these would include a curriculum of peace.

In August 2000, our agency purchased five sets of the new PA school books from the PA Ministry of Education. Working with the late Jack Padwa, the former honorary chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, we shared the new books with the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi, then the Pope's ambassador to Jerusalem, with a request for the Vatican to examine the contents. Archbishop Sambi said the Vatican concluded that the books were "manuals of war." The Vatican asked Italy to withdraw its funding for the books, which Rome did.

Essentially, the PLO charter served as a basis for PA school books, demonizing Israel and praising those who kill Jews.

Arnon Groiss, a veteran journalist with a doctorate in Islamic studies, spent 11 years producing translations and analysis of Arab school books and concluded that the books represent a "curriculum of suspended war."

Noa Meridor, examined and translated the new Palestinian Authority textbooks for Israeli intelligence, and concluded that the theme of murder through martyrdom pervaded the new PA textbooks.

Meridor states, the book stress "importance ascribed to battles, particularly those held in Palestine, and that Muslim who dies as a martyr for the sake of Allah (shahid) serves as a role model."

She also wrote that, "according to the textbooks, this kind of death is an honorable one and the Palestinian nation remembers for the better those who sacrificed their lives for Allah," and that "The inculcation with the value of shahid is also done through repeated citations of the term "shahid" in every subject on the curriculum, even outside of thematic context: the word al-shuhada' (the "shahids") is used as an example within the context of studying the rules of the Arabic language, as are the sentences: "shahids live with their Lord" and "the warrior goes to war faced with one of the good options: victory or shahada [martyrdom for the sake of Allah]."

Meridor assessed that the new Palestinian Authority school books are "indoctrinated with the idea that death as a shahid is a highly important value, and the danger to-be lies in the student's practical translation of this notion with regard to the struggle against Israel"

In conclusion, the new curriculum of the Palestinian Authority is imbued with the Mufti's vision of a Jew-free Palestine. It is taught in every educational institution of the Palestinian Authority as an ideal for Arab students.

Could the PA have had it otherwise?


A staff of educators at Beir Zeit University, an institution of higher education in the Palestinian Authority fostered a curriculum that stressed reconciliation with the Jewish state.

But, the Palestinian Authority rejected that curriculum.

David Bedein is Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency. ( He is president of Center for Near East Policy Research. Contact him by email at

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Posted by Eli E. Hertz, May 14, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the evacuation of Jews from a Hebron home based on erroneous legal advice. Netanyahu was told that:

"According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupier moving population into occupied land constitutes a war crime" (Haaretz, May 13, 2012). It seems that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein based the above conclusion on the inappropriate use of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states in Article 49, paragraph 6: The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Israel, the only free and democratic state in the Middle East, never used "forcible transfers" or "deportation" of its own population into "occupied territories." Article 49 seems thus simply not applicable.

Eli E. Hertz is president of Myths and Facts, Inc. The organization's objective is to provide policymakers, national leadership, the media and the public-at-large with information and viewpoints that are founded on factual and reliable content. Contact him at

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Posted by David Wilder, May 14, 2012

This time of the year is jam-packed with holidays. Beginning with Passover, leading into Independence Day, then Jerusalem Day, and finishing twenty-four hours later, with Hebron Liberation Day.

On Passover, the Jewish people were born. The exodus from Egypt, as slaves transformed into a free people, is the root of our faith, as a nation. The Ten Commandments do not being saying "I am the L-rd thy G-d, who created heavens and earth." Rather "I am the L-rd thy G-d, who took you out of the land of Egypt to be your G-d." No one was around to witness creation of the heavens and the earth. However, well over a million people, not only witnessed, but actually took part in the Exodus. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel and Leah, were an extended family. Those that left Egypt weren't a family. They were a people.

Of course, way back when, the Israelites were led into the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert. But our stay was temporary. Twice the heart of our existence, the holy Temple, Beit HaMikdash, was destroyed. Twice we were exiled from our land; first for 70 years and then for almost 2,000 years. Independence Day, 1948, represents the rectification of Galut, of exile. We returned home, again, not as individuals, but as an Am, as a people. Once again, we ruled ourselves, in our land. This is, perhaps, the end of the long trail of the exodus. The last time Jews wll have to 'come home.' Now we are here to stay.

Jerusalem Day, the return to our holy city, represents another side of redemption. On May 15, 1948, the physical State of Israel was created. June 7, 1967 represents our spiritual homecoming, with the liberation of Temple Mount and the unification of Jerusalem. True, this salvation is still incomplete; the Temple has yet to be rebuilt. But now we'd come home, physically and spiritually.

The next day, June 8th, was the closing of the circle. Finally, the Jewish people, as a people, returned to the city of Abraham, where the first Jewish family commenced, almost 4,000 years ago. Here, enrooted in Hebron, are the seeds of the eternal Davidic monarchy. David ruled in Hebron for seven and a half years, establishing here a Divinely-appointed kingdom, embodying the timelessness of Am Yisrael. With the return to Hebron, another stage in our redemption was reached.

It would seem that the Jewish people had reestablished paradise on earth.

Unfortunately, it appears that much of this paradise in nothing more than an optical illusion. True, we were here in body. Some also in spirit. But our national presence, as expressed, not only by our being here, but by our actions, again, not as individuals, but as a nation, are far from any kind of redemptive actuality.

Many many examples can be enumerated. I will use only one, the latest in a series of disgraces perpetrated by our distinguished national leadership, as personified by the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, three of the most influential people in our society.

A short time before Passover a group of Jews moved into a newly purchased building in Hebron. Named Beit HaMachpela, the property is situated within the complex containing Ma'arat HaMachpela, the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, just opposite a large parking lot, used by tourists arriving at this holy site. The building was legally purchased; Hundreds of thousands of dollars passed hands. One of the Arabs involved in the deal was arrested by the palestinian authority and sentenced to death. Sale of property to Jews is a capital offence, according to PA law.

Within days, following a government decision to leave the people in the house for at least a few weeks until further investigations could be concluded, Netenyahu gave Barak a green light to expel the building's residents. Within an hour after the operation began, the structure was empty, with only two Israeli flags hanging from the windows, reminders as to the site's new owners. It was locked and fenced off with border police left to guard there, twenty four hours a day, to ensure that the Jewish owners of the building not return.

Last night HaAretz correspondent Chaim Levinson published an article citing the ostensible reason for the expulsion: Fear of the goyim. Levinson writes: (AG) Weinstein reportedly told (PM) Netanyahu and (DM) Barak that the expropriation of Palestinian land and homes, such as the Hebron takeover, could lead to Israeli officials being indicted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague...Sources in the Justice Ministry indicated that they fear the State of Israel or Israeli officials could be charged by the ICC, in operation since 2002. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupier moving population into occupied land constitutes a war crime.

Accordingly, Netanyahu gave Barak the green light to throw the Jews out.

There are a few minor issues here.

1. First, is the use of the word 'expropriate' (l'hafkiya in Hebrew). This is defined as dispossession of ownership, usually by a ruling power or government. In other words, any legal purchase by Jews from Arabs in Hebron, or perhaps anywhere in Judea and Samaria, is viewed, by the Attorney General of the State of Israel, as 'expropriation.' Purchase is 'dispossession of ownership.' It makes no difference that the property was purchased for legal tender. It makes no difference if the party selling the property agreed to the sale, and preferring cash to real estate.

2. The attempt to use the Fourth Geneva Convention to prevent Jews from purchasing property has already been disproven by the Israeli government itself. A position paper, published on May 20, 2001, by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clearly states:

International humanitarian law prohibits the forcible transfer of segments of the population of a state to the territory of another state which it has occupied as a result of the resort to armed force. This principle...was intended to protect the local population from displacement, including endangering its separate existence as a race, as occurred with respect to the forced population transfers in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary before and during the war. This is clearly not the case with regard to the West Bank and Gaza.

The attempt to present Israeli settlements as a violation of this principle is clearly untenable. As Professor Eugene Rostow, former Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs has written: "the Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the local population to live there" (AJIL, 1990, vol. 84, p.72).

The provisions of the Geneva Convention regarding forced population transfer to occupied sovereign territory cannot be viewed as prohibiting the voluntary return of individuals to the towns and villages from which they, or their ancestors, had been ousted.

3. After all of this, since when should the mighty state of Israel fear The Hague? Since when should the Prime Minister of Israel fear being charged with war crimes as a result of settlement of Eretz Yisrael — the Land of Israel? Buying a house in Hebron is a war crime?

Fear was not a trait characteristic of Abraham. Otherwise, he never would have purchased Ma'arat HaMachpela. He would not have gone to war to save his nephew Lot. He never would have attempted to convince anyone to believe in only one G-d.

Fear was not a trait characteristic of King David. Ask Goliath.

Fear was not a trait characteristic of David ben Gurion. Otherwise the State of Israel would not have been declared.

Fear was not, and is not a characteristic of Jews. Otherwise we would never have survived 2,000 years of exile, we would never have survived the inquisition, we would never have survived the pogroms, we would never have survived the Holocaust, we would have given up and left Israel, all of us, a long time ago.

Roosevelt said the only thing to fear, is fear itself. Jews, on the other hand, with faith in the Almight, do fear, but only One: G-d. And G-d commanded us, in the Torah, to settle our Land. G-d did not command us to fear Hague, certainly not people, who, if they had their way, would have prevented the rebirth of our people in our land, people who did nothing to prevent extermination of between six to seven million Jews a few decades ago, people, whose governments participated, actively or passively, with Nazi Germany.

The Prime Minister of Israel, together with his government, should be an exemplary model of Jewish faith, of Jewish attributes, of Jewish pride and courage. That means, first and foremost, not only allowing, but encouraging Jewish settlement throughout all our land, snubbing all those who say that this land is not ours.

Bibi — Snub the Hague!

David Wilder is spokesman for the Jewish Hebron community. This article is archived at: You can contribute directly in Israel to The Jewish Community of Hebron,
POB105, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, email: or phone: 972-52-431-7055.
In USA, write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, email: or phone: 718 677 6886.

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Posted by Steven Plaut, May 14, 2012

1. It seems that Israel's radical anti-Israel "academics" have a new tactic. A series of them pretend to be "victims" of threats. (A different series, including an "academic" at Ben Gurion University, keep issuing death threats to murder non-leftists!) You may recall that anti-Semite Neve Gordon ran to the police a couple of years ago with the claim that he had received a "death threat." What he then showed was a note in a child's hand — which you can see here (

It says "I will tell Ben Gurion to kill you, signed Im Tirtzu." Not clear if it means Ben Gurion University, since Ben Gurion himself is dead.

Some death threat! In any case, there was reason to believe that Gordon himself invented it or asked a 10 year old to scribble it out for him so he could clame Im Tirtzu. Why do I say that? Because during Gordon's fascist SLAPP suit harassment against me he also filed a false police complaint against me that I was supposedly threatening him, this after he got an email letter from Italy insulting him. The police dismissed it with mirth. So there is precedent for believing that Gordon invented this "threat" as well.

Well, now the latest academic anti-Semite to report a "death threat" is Shlomo Sand, the Stalinist pseudo-historian who took his expertise on the French cinema and decided to use it to write a "book" claiming that modern Jews are simply converted Turks and other pagans and that all real Jews became Palestinian Arabs. He also claims the Jews were never a "people," you know — unlike the ancient Palestinian Arab nationality. Much of Sand's "thesis" consists of myths taken from Neo-Nazi web sites and recycled. Ronen Shoval, head of Im Tirtzu, writing in Haaretz (Hebrew accuses Sand of being an accomplice of Holocaust Deniers. He says that Sand uses the same "methodologies' as Holocaust Deniers and seeks to adopt the ideas of Holocaust Deniers in order to delegitimize Israel and bring about its extermination.

And then all of a sudden Sand claims to have gotten a "death threat." The evidence is that he says he got one. He claims he got a note with some talcum powder in it sent to him and threatening him. The news report on this from Haaretz appears below.

Well, I personally do not believe a word of it. Sand, who has a book called The Invention of the Jewish People could plausibly himself be "The Inventor of the Talcum Powder Threat." There is also the possibility that a critic sent Sand talcum powder as a sort of editorial comment of Sand's diaper rash.

Here is the Haaretz report:
Police investigating death threat, white powder sent to Tel Aviv University Historian
"Prof. Shlomo Sand, author of 'The Invention of the Land of Israel' says letter calls him 'anti-Semite, Nazi'."
by Talila Nesher, May.13, 2012, 9:50 PM

Prof. Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv University history professor, said Sunday that he had received an envelope containing white powder and a letter that included death threats. In the letter, which was received by the secretary of the university's Department of History, the professor was accused of being an "anti-Semitic," among other things. The letter also threatened Sand that he would "not live much longer." In a conversation with Haaretz, Sand said, "I opened a series of letters as usual, and then all of a sudden a white cloud jumped out. I was shocked that the powder got on to my hands and threw down the letter. It's been brought to the attention of the security officer and the police sent a squad car to the site and the substance was taken for a test."

Sand, who intends on filing a complaint with Israel Police on Monday, said he was concerned after having received the letter. "They wrote that I'm an anti-Semite, Nazi, that my time will come. It's a very unpleasant feeling," he said. The history professor said it was possible that his new book, The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland, might have been what caused someone to send him the letter. "Four years ago, when I published my previous book, The Invention of the Jewish People, there were fewer crazy people than there are today," Sand told Haaretz.

Throughout the day, the police examined the substance and discovered it was not of a chemical nature. The police also opened an investigation into the case. In Sand's book on the Jewish people, the author attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the Kingdom of Judea during the First and Second Temple period. Their origins, according to him, are in varied peoples that converted to Judaism during the course of history, in different corners of the Mediterranean Basin and the adjacent regions. Not only are the North African Jews for the most part descendants of pagans who converted to Judaism, but so are the Jews of Yemen and the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe.

2. The Soros team vs. kosher food: (

3. Suggestion for Tel Aviv University, from Steven Plaut

Gents: Since you have decided to approve a Nakba Day event on campus property to mourn the creation and existence of Israel and to demand the recognition of the "Palestinian Right of Return," I would like to suggest that you show us the courage of your convictions. After all, this week is also the exact date of another tragic event in history, the defeat of another national struggle for self-determination and human rights.

That is right, this week is the anniversary of the Tragischer Tag, the Tragic Day, the date in which the great tragedy of the German people took place, in which Hitler was defeated and the Reich was overrun and its independence lost. The British and American aggressors and their allies and accomplices won their imperialist war and carried out a terrible ethnic cleansing of the Volkdeutsch, just as the Jews carried out ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Nakba that Tel Aviv University is about to commemorate. Moreover, the Germans evicted en masse by the millions from their homes in Central and Eastern Europe have never been granted their inalienable "Right of Return" to their homelands.

SO why should not Tel Aviv University ALSO approve the holding of a Tragischer Day mourning event in Antine Square, smack on campus property (even though Tel Aviv University spin PR people have been trying to lie to people and claim it is not campus property!). Indeed, since most of the same people who will be holding Nakba Day will also want to participate in Tragischer Day, maybe the two events can be held together, together with PLO flags and swastikas. I am sure the communist atheists and the Islamofascists who plan to say a special "alternative Yizkor Prayer" at the Nakda Day event can also say one for the German victims of ethnic cleansing and aggression. Can there be any doubt that many faculty members from Tel Aviv University, including most of the departments of history, psychology department, linguistics, political science, sociology, and law will be interested in attending both events.

4. David Newman (AKA Neve Gordon Lite), the anti-Israel leftist McCarthyite from BGU who produced an anti-Semitic "documentary" for British television, a notorious enemy of freedom of speech, has a hysterical McCarthyist article in the Jerusalem Post for a change,, in which he writes:

"In recent years, spurred on by extremist right-wing groups, members of the Boards of Governors have also become increasingly involved in the political debate surrounding Israeli universities and their academic staff. Many of them have blindly supported the false assertions of well-oiled and funded groups, such as Im Tirtzu, NGO Monitor, IsraCampus and Academic Monitor, that the universities have become hotbeds of 'anti-Zionism' without ever bothering to check the facts on the ground."

Well oiled and funded, he said? Once again Newman proves what sort of "scholar" he is and what sort of academic standards exist at Ben Gurion "University." Newman by the way is on the board of Tikkun magazine, which I guess passes for a learned academic journal these days at Ben Gurion "University."

5. Here is a thought. Obama's sudden endorsement of "gay marriage" is likely to alienate many of Obama's key constituencies. Hispanics, blacks, and Moslems are notoriously anti-homosexual. If Obama's posturing loses him significant support, this could be pink lace curtains for him! Indeed, the only solid Obama constituency that will approve of his endorsement of "gay marriage" will be the non-Orthodox Jews, you know — the same people who claim they practice the ethics of the religion.

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

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 13, 2012

How can one write satire when the Obama Administration has created an Atrocities Prevention Board to prevent mass murder and genocide at the same time as it has been largely supporting the forces most likely to commit mass murder and genocide? We can almost call these regimes the Organization of Atrocity-Exporting States (OAES).

With the exception of Libya—an issue I'm not going to debate in this article--the Obama Administration has been distinguished by its accommodation with those who have committed and are most likely to commit atrocities.

For example, Obama gave a speech in Afghanistan welcoming into political life those members of the Taliban who would renounce violence and obey Afghan law or, more accurately, those who would say such things for just long enough for the American military to leave the country. But the administration has been negotiating with a Taliban that has done neither and has no intention to stopping its violence or accepting the current regime. It has committed past atrocities, including complicity in the September 11 attack which would presumably be pardoned. No matter what it pretended, the Taliban would put Afghans under an oppressive regime again if—or should I say as soon as—it has the chance. My June 2011 article on Obama's Afghanistan policy remains quite relevant.

Once again in his speech, Obama made the deadly error of claiming that, in effect, al-Qaida is America's only real enemy in the world. Even the Taliban (whose name he cannot pronounce correctly) is redeemable, though it answered him with a suicide attack in Kabul. As for Obama's other claims (international consensus for stability in South Asia, etc) he can't even get Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban and concealing al-Qaida leaders. And India has been treated by Obama in a manner reminiscent of his policy toward Israel.

So is his administration working to prevent atrocities and is al-Qaida America's only enemy?

Let's start with the terrorist group Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip and has committed atrocities, keeps trying to do so, and openly advocates genocide against both Israel and Jews. The Obama Administration has opposed a serious effort to overthrow it, has accepted de facto its coalition with the Palestinian Authority, and pressed Israel in the past to reduce sanctions to a minimum.

Regarding Lebanon, the Obama Administration has ignored a law precluding interaction and aid to a government that includes a group—like Hizballah—on the State Department terrorism list. It has not been bothered by investigations showing Hizballah involvement in assassinations in Lebanon. The 2006 UN ceasefire, in which the United States played a leading role, promises to keep Hizballah from building up a military zone in the south and to help prevent its importing weapons from Syria. Yet this has not prevented U.S. officials from dallying with Hizballah.

Among others, General David Petraeus, Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker have testified in detail about how Hizballah has committed terrorist attacks against Americans in Iraq and elsewhere in addition to training terrorists.

In Syria, the Administration didn't just engage but actually rewarded the Arabic-speaking world's worst dictatorship. On one notable occasion, junior administration staffers visiting Damascus sitting within screaming distance of the prisons known for torture, tweeted away about what a good time they were having and how great the coffee tasted. And what about the Muslim Brotherhood, elected by the graduating class at Terrorism High School the group most likely to succeed in committing really big atrocities? Every day its leaders and publications pour out bloodthirsty hate and support for violence. And every day the Western mass media tells us it is moderate and has renounced violence.

I could go on to recount the White House's softness on Sudan, arguably the most atrocity-generating government in the world. Obama has, however, announced his profound opposition to the Lord's Resistance Army, an east African group that has not surfaced for years. It apparently has two advantages: it isn't revolutionary Islamist and it probably doesn't exist any more.

The Board is to be headed by Samantha Power whose pre-Libya ideas about atrocities seemed to revolve largely around blaming Israel exclusively. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to participate and legitimize a UN human rights' council run by and for atrocity-producing states. It has been largely silent on Iran, late and ineffective on Syria, has worked to save the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip and empower the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and was on the wrong side in the Sudan and a number of other countries.

That all of this was announced at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC adds to the bad taste and bad faith of the whole enterprise. And by the word "enterprise" I'm not just referring to the Atrocity Prevention Board.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His original articles are published at PJMedia.

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Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, May 13, 2012

"Our porous southern border is a nightmare waiting to happen."

As the United States considers the Islamic jihadi threats confronting it from all sides, it might do well to focus on its southern neighbor, Mexico, which has been targeted by Islamists and jihadists, who, through a number of tactics—from engaging in da'wa, converting Mexicans to Islam, to smuggling and the drug cartel, to simple extortion, kidnappings and enslavement—have been subverting Mexico in order to empower Islam and sabotage the U.S.

According to a 2010 report, "Close to home: Hezbollah terrorists are plotting right on the U.S. border," which appeared in the NY Daily News:

Mexican authorities have rolled up a Hezbollah network being built in Tijuana, right across the border from Texas and closer to American homes than the terrorist hideouts in the Bekaa Valley are to Israel. Its goal, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper that reported on the investigation: to strike targets in Israel and the West. Over the years, Hezbollah—rich with Iranian oil money and narcocash—has generated revenue by cozying up with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In this, it has shadowed the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Tehran, which has been forging close ties with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who in turn supports the narcoterrorist organization FARC, which wreaks all kinds of havoc throughout the region.

Another 2010 article appearing in the Washington Times asserts that, "with fresh evidence of Hezbollah activity just south of the border [in Mexico], and numerous reports of Muslims from various countries posing as Mexicans and crossing into the United States from Mexico, our porous southern border is a national security nightmare waiting to happen." This is in keeping with a recent study done by Georgetown University, which revealed that the number of immigrants from Lebanon and Syria living in Mexico exceeds 200,000. Syria, along with Iran, is one of Hezbollah's strongest financial and political supporters, and Lebanon is the immigrants' country of origin.

A jihadist cell in Mexico was recently found to have a weapons cache of 100 M-16 assault rifles, 100 AR-15 rifles, 2,500 hand grenades, C4 explosives and antitank munitions. The weapons, it turned out, had been smuggled by Muslims from Iraq. According to this report, "obvious concerns have arisen concerning Hezbollah's presence in Mexico and possible ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO's) operating along the U.S.—Mexico border."

As far back as 2005, an article entitled "Islam is gaining a Foothold in Chiapas" showcased the inroads of Islam in Mexico:

Long a bastion of Catholicism, southern Mexico is quickly turning into a battleground for soul-savers. Islam, too, is gaining a foothold and the indigenous Mayans are converting by the hundreds. The Mexican government is worried about a culture clash in their own backyard... Muslim women in headscarves have become a common sight....

"Life is cheap" in impoverished Mexico. You want a job? Fine, pray five times a day, etc...

Kidnappings, as part of a drug cartel or as part of a jihadist operation, which legitimizes crimes such as kidnapping and child slavery, have become increasingly common. To convert non-Muslims to their cause, Islamists also whip up—and then exploit—a sense of "grievance" against the "white man."

In addition, according to counterterrorism experts in this report, Islamic terrorists blend in better with Mexicans than with Europeans, thereby enabling them to sneak into the U.S. across the southwest border. This Muslim cleric, for example, discusses how easy it is to smuggle a briefcase containing anthrax from Mexico into America, thereby killing at least some 330,000 Americans in a single hour.

Similarly, Michael Braun, formerly assistant administrator and chief of operations at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said that the Iran-backed Lebanese group has long been involved in narcotics and human trafficking in South America; however, it is relying on Mexican narcotics syndicates that control access to transit routes into the U.S. Hezbollah relies on "the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels."

Only a few months ago, Washington announced that FBI and DEA agents disrupted a plot to commit a "significant terrorist act in the United States," tied to Iran with roots in Mexico. The increased violence—including beheadings, Islam's signature trademark—is even more indicative that Islamists are well ensconced in Mexico's drug cartel.

The threat is not limited to Hezbollah; back in 2006, according to an ISN, "Mexican authorities investigated the activities of the Murabitun [a da'wa, or missionary-outreach, organization named after historic jihadists along Spain's borders] due to reports of alleged immigration and visa abuses involving the group's European members and possible radicals, including al-Qaeda."

Even innocuous reports, such as this Muslim article, are cause for concern: "Today, most Mexican Islamic organizations focus on grassroots da'wa. These small organizations are most effective at the community level, going from village to village and speaking directly to the people." Although this may not sound problematic, the strain of Islam being spread by many of these da'wa organizations is the radical, "Salafist," anti-American variety. Here, for instance, is a popular Egyptian TV cleric saying that while Muslims must never smile to non-Muslims—who, as "infidels," are by nature the enemy—they are free to do so if the Muslim is engaged in da'wa, trying to win over the infidel into the fold of Islam, especially if the potential convert can help empower Islam in any way.

These are but a few of the many reports on Islam in Mexico. The evidence that many Islamists in Mexico are plotting against the U.S., using all means—such as drug trafficking, which is not forbidden in Sharia law if it serves to empower Islam—is overwhelming.

Under various methods—from the violent to the subversive to the exploitative—Islam allows Muslims to lie and commit other duplicitous acts in the furtherance of Islam. Taqiyya [dissimulation] permits Hezbollah and other Islamists To engage in Mexico's drug cartel, just as "pious" members of the Taliban in Afghanistan pursued the heroin trade. Aside from sheer violence, justified as "jihad," or holy war, tactics pursued by Mexico's Islamists include:

  • Kidnappings and enslavement, for which Mexico is already notorious. Sharia permits kidnapping, and even enslaving the infidel, in this situation, any non-Muslim in Mexico. The Quran not only approves of this, but allows male jihadists to have sex with female captives of war (Sura 4, verse 3). Here, for example, is a Muslim politician trying to legalize the institution of "sex-slavery."
  • Extortion and blackmail, features of the Mexican landscape, are also permissible in Islam. According to Sharia, during jihad, Muslims are permitted to hold for ransom infidels to be sold back for large amounts of money. Here, for instance, is a popular Egyptian sheikh saying that the Islamic world's problem is that it has stopped plundering and enslaving its infidel neighbors. He even boasts that under true Sharia, he could go to the local market and "buy" a female "sex-slave."

In using subversive elements for da'wa, Muslims might comfortably use false arguments to turn Mexicans against their northern neighbors. They might, for instance, argue that Islam is a religion of "racial equality," whereas Christianity is the "white man's" religion, imposed on their ancestors by racist whites who sought to keep them "impoverished" beyond the border. Islamist strategies in Mexico amount to trying to win the unbelievers over to their side, whether through conversion or just cooperation. For those who refuse to cooperate, they are infidels to be used in any way that seems fit.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. This article is archived at:

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Posted by Laura, May 13, 2012

This article was written by Giulio Meotti and archived at:,7340,L-4228025,00.html. Giulio Meotti is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism

The Coliseum, where thousands upon thousands of "Judaeis" have been massacred by the Roman emperors, became for one night an arena for alliance between Christians and Jews against "odium fidei," or religious hatred.

Last Wednesday in Rome, Jewish leaders for the first time rallied alongside Christians in a candlelit vigil to denounce the attacks in the Middle East and Africa. It was "interfaith" or "ecumenical" dialogue at its best. Forget the theological questions, which remain unsolvable. There is an urgent mutual solidarity about the single most defining issue of our time: religious freedom.

It is about the right to life of Jews and Christians in an Islamicized Middle East. Speaking at the Coliseum, Rome's Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni slammed Western "indifference" surrounding the massacre of minorities in the Middle East.

Jewish eschatology contains many references to an alliance between Esau (Rome, the Christian West) and his father-in-law Ishmael (Islam) against the Jewish people. Historically, it has proven to be correct.

In the Islamic world, Jews paid racist taxes, had to wear an article of clothing that set them apart from Muslims, were prohibited from building synagogues, were required by law to take a subservient role in business partnerships with Muslims and were, by law, second-class citizens. It was the "golden age."

In the Christian world, Jews could not own land, lived in ghettos, occupied only certain niches in the economy and were despised as the "killers of Christ." Yet today, Christians and Jews both live under the shadow of Islamic fundamentalism; in a world threatened by jihad, they are true partners.

A new report from one of the world's most respected NGO, Open Doors, shines a spotlight on the oppression of Christians in Muslim lands. It addresses the diminution, subjugation, emasculation, conversion, massacre and deportation of the indigenous Christians who came under the rule of Muhammad's faithful.

The survey demolishes the mainstream media's obfuscation. With the only exception being North Korea, an atheistic nightmare where 70,000 Christians are held in ghastly camps, 9 of the 10 worst persecutors of Christians are Islamic countries (Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan.) Of the 50 countries on the Open Doors' list, 35 are Muslim (the Palestinian Authority is listed, but not Israel.)

Islamic groups recently issued an ultimatum to the Christians in Nigeria: "You have three days to leave, or you'll die." Over 13,750 Christians have already been killed in Nigeria since the introduction of Sharia laws in 2001. Some 500 Christians have been slaughtered since last December and 300 churches have been demolished.

Israel a Christian haven

Islam's supersessionary doctrine catalyzes destruction, oppression and hemorrhaging of Christians in eastern lands. While there were moments of laxity in applying this domination, Islam did not recoil from razing churches in ancient Damascus and slaughtering Christians in the Sub-Saharan plateau, inflicting atrocities in Aleppo or Mesopotamia.

While the West is now endlessly focused on "Islamophobia," a potential genocidal Christianophobia is spreading through Islamic lands. And as the rally in the Coliseum has clearly shown, it pairs up with another kind of hatred: Judeophobia.

Today there is only one country in the Middle East in which Christian numbers are not declining but continues to increase: Israel. The Jewish State hosts a multitude of Christian creeds, confessions and cultures.

Meanwhile, Yasser Arafat and Ahmed Yassin, Ayatollah Khomeini and Hassan Nasrallah, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden relentlessly linked the wanton murder of Jews with the liquidation of Christianity. They don't see Jerusalem as an urban terrain of conflict, but as a sweeping religious symbol of historical significance.

This week, the Coliseum catalyzed the two most important litmus tests we are facing today: The dormant anti-Jewish genocidal demons lurking in the shadows of the Middle East and of the civilized veneer of the West, and the invisible eastern Christians who are going extinct. After the Rome rally, the Jews should expect the same Christian solidarity next time that a rocket hits a school in Ashkelon or a settler family is slaughtered in the hills of Samaria.

Christians should see Israel as the first line of Western defense in the battle for non-Muslim survival and prosperity in the world. The sagacious American author Eric Hoffer, longshoreman-philosopher from San Francisco, gave voice to a profound and tragic Holocaust-related 20th-century truth: "I have a premonition that will not leave me, as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us."

Contact Laura at

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Reviewed by Marion DS Dreyfus, May 13, 2012

Directed by Tewfik Saleh
Writers: Naguib Mahfouz (screenplay), Tewfik Saleh
Cast: Berlanty Abdel Hamid, Tewfik El Dekn and Shukry Sarhan

Mid-May, 2012: MoMA plays the 1955 Egyptian film, Fool's Alley. The year 1955 was significant because of all of my writing cohort [group of wealthy Egyptian Jews summarily ousted by Nasser, along with their entire families, in 1955—without any of their property or possessions], and I watched with interest as the pre-Mubarek B/W film unspooled, as it showed women flirting with men, drunken whores, family life among the hard-scrabble lives of a small town-like locale. The men were all working in low-wage manual labor or trifling tasks, the women had no jobs other than housewife and nagging presence to husbands who treated them casually. Men pushed and shoved each other, and women, without self-awareness. The terms for Allah and provenance and accepting one's fate came up incessantly, and the people seemed to have no thought beyond the day's expenses and making it into tomorrow.

The poverty is pandemic in the film, and the homes — though huge floor space is evident — were poorly outfitted. The town sloven, a kind-hearted person, was notable for her having a flat festooned with American and British actresses all over her walls. She is clearly making an unhappy living off her back, lacking a husband. Her treatment by locals is at the edge of tolerance, and she is called names when the plot became a bit nasty. Men treated her badly as a matter of course. The town fool, who 'wins' a lottery given him incidentally when the protagonist is forbidden to have a lottery ("gambling!") is a beatifically smiling daft fool who gives Allah's blessing to anyone with a piaster or quaff. He goes about with a tall staff and bells, and attached to him by a tether is a young goat wearing undershorts. It goes without saying, although I shall venture to say it, that the fool is the only one living with beaming joy on his face, and gladness in his heart, no matter what accosts him. Or whom.

Young urchins crowd the street, badly dressed and smudged, their clothing raggedy, their families apparently nowhere around to care for them. Song breaks out unexpectedly when the town fool wins the lottery — L1,000 pounds sterling, one assumes, which is far beyond anyone's imaginings for his or her earnings in the village. People sing from their balconies, through slatted windows, from street stools. Sheep wander through the town from time to time, evoking not so much as a mention. A single taxi however evokes annoyance and disturbance of everyone on the street.

The hero, Ta'ha, is handsome, though dressed in tatters and patched trousers and a patterned shirt. The woman he is affianced to is lovely, flirtatious, and far rounder of face and figure than our current lot of actresses are. No one has enough money to marry. Everyone still lives — at the age of 25, 30, or older, with their parents. No one thinks much about more than marrying and children; but even those short-listed dreams do not come packed with aspirations beyond putting a bit aside for a nice bed, a decent suit. Sharia is not a thought in anyone's mind, though the men are conventionally observant enough to pray in the mosque and invoke Allah whenever they have a thorny question to decide.

Allah is invoked every other sentence, but the major sentiment one sees is hypocrisy. Almost to a man, people are avaricious and resentful of each other, mean in their dealings, and unhappily ensconced in unsatisfying relationships. The hypocrisy of parents to kids, of children to parents, of man to man, all speaks volumes.

I thought the film interesting because it shows where you all fortunately departed, though you were all far more financially secure than these poor villagers were. It is not a place anyone would like to revisit, frankly. One doubts such a film could be made today: Far too many non-islamist and sacrilegious elements threading throughout the film.

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

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Posted by Arlene Kushner, May 13, 2012

My information, as I write, is that the committee appointed by the prime minister to solve the problem of Ulpana has met twice now — on Friday and today — but that there is not yet resolution. The issues are said to be "complex" and they will be meeting again. I don't have great expectations, but there is still some modicum of hope.


In the meantime, The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has joined with two residents of Ulpana, and today filed an appeal with the High Court requesting a delay on the demolition of five houses in this community.

It argues, first, that the Court has violated Basic Law, which protects human dignity.

Then it states that the High Court acted unreasonably in ordering the demolition of the homes before a lower court has ruled on a lawsuit regarding ownership of the land. People in Beit El (where Ulpana is located) have said, I will add, that they have submitted information regarding the ownership of this land that has not yet been examined.

I am "just" a layperson. But to me the argument regarding the necessity to first legally determine the ownership of the land is such irrefutably basic logic that anything else is unthinkable. And yet... here we are.

Lastly, the petition to the High Court notes that the expulsion order was issued with no discussion regarding compensation that would allow the families to purchase different homes.


No one can predict how the Court will respond to this. A representative of the Legal Forum pointed out to me today that this was an unusual petition, because it challenges the ruling of the Court itself.


For those of you who want a more serious look at this contentious and problematic issue, I share the Israelnationalnews link to a translation from Makor Rishon on the question of whether the law demands the demolition of these houses. According to the article:

"In actual fact, the courts never ruled that the law requires destroying the five Ulpana hill buildings in Beit El.

"The court never ruled that they are on private land, and that the claimants are the owners of that land.

"The court never discussed the above three questions. It [the court] asked the government what its position on the matter is, what it recommends, and the legal department answered that its position is that it is private land and that the government's policy concerning land on which Jews have settled is as follows: if construction is on government land, it must be legalized and if construction is on private land, it must be removed. The courts made decision in accordance with that government policy. (Emphasis added)

"Is the government's policy mandated by law? Does the law demand that the houses be destroyed?"

Professor of Law Shalom Lerner has written a detailed letter to the prime minister explaining why the answer to both of these questions is negative. His thinking is outlined in this article. Of particular note is the "good faith principle," which certainly applies in this instance.


MK Miri Regev (Likud) attempted today bring a bill forward that would have extended Israeli civil law to recognized Jewish communities beyond the Green Line.

Bravo to her. This is something else that seems imminently logical and fair to me, and which would solve a host of problems. It is past-due.

But it was shot down in the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs after the committee understood that Netanyahu was opposed. According to Times of Israel, Minister Benny Begin (Likud) said, "This bill is an unrealistic display, and for such displays we pay a heavy price in the international arena."

To which Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (HaBayit Hayehudi) replied, "We shouldn't just think about the message this is sending to the nations of the world, but also about what message this is sending to the people of Israel."

So it didn't pass this time, but at least we know someone has his head screwed on right. Bravo to him as well.


Let's turn now to the on-going issue of the hunger strike by the Palestinian Arab prisoners, which is every bit as maddening as the above.

I learned with great bewilderment last night that the Egyptian government is doing negotiations with Israel regarding these prisoners. Egypt? Why have we sought/permitted their involvement?

Again: We're dealing with people who have killed or attempted to kill innocent Jews and were convicted of their crimes, and others — some smaller number — directly associated with terrorists in such a way that Israel deems them to be an immediate threat but is unable to prosecute in open court because of the sensitivity of intelligence and the need to protect sources. In these latter cases the courts have approved administrative detention for them.


I then called a source who has multiple Arab contacts. What he told me is that it is the intention of Israel to involve the Egyptian government in this because it is desirable to provide prestige to the ruling military — The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) — as it battles with radicals for control of Egypt. Interesting.... And, I would imagine, this promotes good will on the part of SCAF as well — we need them for such matters as combating terrorism in the Sinai .


The Arabs are using this burgeoning prison unrest to the maximum. The prisoners themselves are threatening to riot, while the radical Islamic Movement in Israel has promoted massive rallies in support of the prisoners. And according to one report, PA president Abbas has appealed to Secretary of State Clinton to intervene and secure the prisoners their demands. Shall I title him king of chutzpah (moxy, gall)? I don't know how Hillary responded.

My own sentiments are pretty much in line with those of a friend who expressed the desire to form (I am paraphrasing here) "a committee to permit the Palestinian Arab prisoners to starve to death if they wish."

But this, of course, will not happen. At a bare minimum, those in severe condition — there are at present six in dire shape — will be hospitalized and put on IVs. Every effort will be made to keep them alive. One prisoner who is not eating described the situation succinctly: We win either way — either they give us what we demand or we die and become martyrs.

For the record: There are 1,600 said to be on that hunger strike, of the 4,600 Palestinian Arabs in our prisons.


So, the question — painfully — is how much the Israeli Prison Authority will cave here for the sake of quiet and avoiding bad international PR. We don't want "martyrs."

Some things have already been conceded. Some others will be. Hamas's Haniyeh in Gaza said yesterday that "there is an important development on the issue of prisoner demands."


Some background on this: Israeli authorities were, from my perspective, for too generous in allocations to the Palestinian prisoners for a long time. Apparently at least some of the perks that were permitted the prisoners came as the result of prior prisoner strikes and prior negotiations.

When tensions grew over Gilad Shalit, who was not even permitted a visit by the Red Cross, as mandated by international law, authorities here decided it was time to cut back on what Palestinian Arabs were provided in Israeli prisoners. To the thinking of many of us, this was a case of Israeli authorities finally coming to their senses. Higher education/conjugal rights for these killers?

But the prisoners are now saying that they had a deal with the authorities. And, OK, perks were cut when things were bad for Shalit. But he's out now, and it's time to reinstate those perks.

This reminds me of a spoiled child who gets her way when she has a tantrum. It's even more difficult for parents to say no once a precedent has been set.

I don't think I'm going to like how this is likely to end.


Please see an NGO-Monitor statement on the way some ostensible "human rights" NGOs are handling the prisoner hunger strike:

"A hunger strike by Palestinians convicted of murdering dozens of Israeli civilians in suicide bombings and other attacks, as well as a few prisoners held in Israeli administrative detention for suspected terrorist activity, is being publicized by a number of political advocacy NGOs.

"As in the past, NGOs claiming to promote human rights are promoting a one-sided image in which the Palestinians are automatically being portrayed as victims, removing the context of violent attacks that deliberately target Israeli civilians." (Emphasis added)

This is important information to have, should you see publicity by these NGOs.


Yitzhak Molcho, who serves as an envoy for Netanyahu, met last night with Abbas in Ramallah. He carried to the PA president a letter that was a response from our prime minister to a letter that Abbas had sent him last month.

The contents of the letter were not released. Scuttlebutt has it, however, that it offers to begin negotiations with no preconditions, and little beyond this.


The Palestinian Arabs are already saying that they don't expect anything to come of this, and don't believe that the new coalition will change the essential situation.

The PLO Executive Committee has examined the letter. Committee member Hanan Ashwari then put out a statement to Reuters indicating that, "The content of [Netanyahu's] letter did not represent grounds for returning to negotiations."

A delegation from J-Street — good old J-Street! — visited Abbas yesterday. According to the Palestinian news agency Maan:

"Abbas said that the Palestinian side is committed to peace based on the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"He stressed that the Palestinian leadership will resume negotiations with Israel if it approves the principle of the two-state solution and halts all settlement activities in the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."

Entirely predictable. Round and round we go...

Contact Arlene Kushner at and visit her website:

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Posted by Barry Rubin, May 13, 2012

Egyptian wants

Yes, friends, it's once again time for that exciting game of Spin the Polls by the Pew Foundation. Here are the rules:

Rule 1: Pew does a good job on the poll itself.

Rule 2: The Pew analysis ignores or misunderstands the implications of the poll.

Rule 3: The Western media and government misread the poll, often misinterpreting the results into the exact opposite of what they actually mean. They then adopt the wrong policies.

Rule 4: If correctly interpreted the polls are a gold mine that can help us comprehend the present and predict the future.

Some years ago, for example, I analyzed a Pew poll that we were told proved moderation because it showed that people in Arab and Muslim-majority countries had a low opinion of al-Qaida. In fact, as I wrote the poll showed a shockingly high level of support for revolutionary Islamism, especially in Egypt and Jordan.

Once again we have the misleading spin beginning with the headline: "Egyptians Remain Optimistic, Embrace Democracy and Religion in Political Life."

If I were writing the headline it would be: "Egyptians Want Radical Islamist State More Than Anything Else."

To be fair to Pew, the lead of their analysis is something very significant that couldn't have been imagined before now: "Opinions of the U.S. and President Obama continue to be overwhelmingly unfavorable." This is somehow spun, however, to imply that there is no real crisis and that U.S. policy need not be reexamined or changed.

After all, the Obama Administration's role in helping to overthrow not just President Husni Mubarak (a reasonable action) but the entire regime brought no gain for the United States whatsoever. Instead it has been helping bring to power an anti-American regime likely to destabilize the region and bring war.

The poll concludes that Egyptians still want the same type of relationship with the United States. But what does this mean other than continuing to take U.S. aid money? Using America as a scapegoat—as Middle Eastern dictatorships have done now for more than a half-century—it won't be long before hate-America rallies, demagogic anti-American speeches, a lack of cooperation on issues, and violence-inciting broadcasts or articles become routine.

You won't be surprised to hear that two-thirds of Egyptians want to throw out the peace treaty with Israel. The U.S. Congress has properly determined that this would lead to an end of U.S. aid. So what will the next Egyptian government do? Simple, don't throw out the treaty formally but just break it in every way possible.

What's most critical is how Egyptians think of their own country. Here's a very revealing apparent contradiction. Read carefully.

The Pew poll's headline says that Egyptians are optimistic but that they also believe the economic situation is not good. Half of them claim things have gotten worse since Mubarak fell. Why then do even more Egyptians believe the country is headed in the right direction?

The answer is that they are happy with the political direction—toward radical Islamism—but do not think it will improve their material lives. They make a distinction between material benefit and spiritual-ideological preference. Such a choice is never understood in the West, especially by those who argue that everyone wants the same things in life, so an Islamist regime must deliver prosperity or fall, and consequently that radicals must moderate in order to fill their people's stomachs.

Remember what Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, architect of Iran's revolution, said back in 1979: People in the West don't understand that we didn't make this revolution to lower the price of watermelons.

No, the substitute for such material success is repression plus finding the right scapegoat and subsidizing certain key constituencies (notably the military), which brings us back to the need to build antagonism against the United States, Israel, and the West in order to distract from the economic mess, doesn't it?

Another apparent contradiction is equally revealing. When asked whether they preferred to model Egypt on Saudi Arabia or Turkey regarding religion's role in government, thy chose Saudi Arabia by a 61 to 17 percent margin. Note that Western pundits and experts keep insisting that there is some kind of Turkish model of moderate Islamism. Aside from the fact that Turks aren't Arabs, this is a sign of the base of support for a fully sharia state. Remember that as Sunni Muslims, Egyptians are not going to cite Iran as their model. And when they are talking about Saudi Arabia they are not indicating its basic alliance with the United States but its extreme form of Islamic rule in domestic life.

When asked if Egypt's laws should strictly adhere to the Quran, 60 percent said yes while another 32 percent said it should follow the values and principles of Islam more generally. Let's say that this 60 percent (see the Saudi model, above) is the firm base for Islamist rule. This is less than the 75 percent the Islamists received in the parliamentary elections, suggesting that 15 percent of these voters are not so totally for an Islamist society.

That 32 percent are not "moderate Muslims" or "secularist Muslims" but they are non-Islamist Muslims. A few years ago there were a lot more of them but their ranks are steadily eroded by the advance of revolutionary Islamism. Since there is no strong alternative theological or political leadership in that direction, this is unlikely to be strong enough to block an Islamist transformation. And who is left as the genuine, secular or for a minimally religious state? The Christians, that's about all.

Pew makes much of supposed moderation by pointing out that two-thirds of those who endorsed the Saudi model also said democracy is their preferred form of government; 64 percent want a free press; 61 percent want free speech.

But what does this really mean in the context of Egypt? Of course they support "democracy" since the alternative they have in mind is the hated Mubarak dictatorship. And what does democracy mean to them? A landslide victory for the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists! Thus, when they think about, "This is what democracy looks like," that means eternal Islamist victories.

As for a free press and free speech, that means diversity, though we should remember that newspaper reading in Egypt is tiny compared to the West. Yet what would happen if someone used this free press or free speech for something deemed critical of Islam?

Already we are seeing people brought to court for saying things the Islamists don't like. Yet the cases are heard by Mubarak-appointed judges. What will happen when the Islamists appoint the judges?

The hypnotized observers in the West keep chanting that the Brotherhood has renounced violence and would never ever use force and intimidation. If you want to know what Egypt has in store consider the following:

In 1992—under Mubarak's regime—Farag Fouda, a fearless secularist, debated a Muslim Brotherhood leader at the Cairo Book Fair. Five months later, an Islamist assassinated Fouda. At the trial, a Muslim Brotherhood leader testified as a defense witness that the killing was the proper punishment for an apostate, at which point the defendant shouted, "Now I will die with a clear conscience."

That was a Mubarak court and the killer was found guilty. What will happen in an Islamist regime's court?

Many Egyptians will die, as will U.S. interests. Will the Western apologists and enablers have a clear conscience?

PS: The Washington Post covered very briefly the debate between two presidential candidates, the radical nationalist secularist, Amr Moussa, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. The Post article informs us that Aboul Fotouh is "considered a moderate Islamist." By whom? In the debate, Aboul Fotouh said he would implement Sharia with supposed moderation. His formula, which the report missed, is that Sharia might not be imposed 100 percent. So much for moderation.

The Post also reported that he called Israel the enemy of Egypt. But the article missed Aboul Fotouh's signal about Israel, which he called " built on occupation." To any Egyptian that says: Israel is an illegitimate entity that has no right to exist. Abu Moussa personally has shown he hates Israel but also demonstrates why he would make a president more likely to keep Egypt out of war and disaster:

"We have lots of disagreements. Most of our people consider it an enemy, but the responsibility of the president is to deal with such things responsibly and not run after hot-headed slogans."

In broader terms, this is the choice Egypt will have to make—radical ideology and hot-headed slogans or pragmatism. The electorate's views; size of Egypt's problems; lack of resources that would allow constructive policies that would improve people's lives materially; parliament; drafters of the new Constitution, violent Salafists (who support Aboul Fotouh), and probably the president will all be in the former camp.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and co-author of "Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography" and "Hating America: A History" (Oxford University Press). His latest book is The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). Prof. Rubin's columns can now be read online at Contact him at The website of the GLORIA Center is at and his blog, Rubin Reports, This article is archived at:

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Posted by Darlene Casella, May 12, 2012

United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) could have been dreamed up by Blackbeard. The Jolly Roger should fly over the Law of the Sea Treaty. It is theft of the high seas.

President Obama hopes to leave a legacy, ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty. (LOST)

If you want the United States Navy and American deep sea companies to fall under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, you will love the latest incarnation of LOST.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that it is time for the United States to ratify the pact which sets rules on navigation and exclusive economic zones; because it gives the United States a "seat at the table" of the International Seabed Authority, and restores US leadership. Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar push for ratification.

United Nations agenda for wealth redistribution began decades ago with "The New International Economic Order." This became the work of Karl Marx admirer Elisabeth Borgese, "Ocean Development Tax." Adopted by LOST, it transfers wealth and technology from the USA to other nations; disguised as fees. Transfer is accomplished by the Jamaica based International Seabed Authority (ISA).

Countries that have ratified the Treaty are controlled by ISA regulations for all mineral related activities in the world's ocean sea beds.

President Carter supported the plan. President Ronald Wilson Reagan vetoed it. Reagan led an anti UNCLOS international campaign causing many countries not to sign. Presidents H.W. Bush, W.J. Clinton, and G.W. Bush backed the Treaty. None got it ratified.

Former Ambassador John Bolton and former Defense Department Official Dan Blumenthal wrote "Time to Kill the Law of the Sea Treaty — Again." They discuss the duplicitous game that China, a member of LOST, plays in the South China Sea which prohibits lawful military surveillance activities. Champions of LOST say that US laws are already compatible with the Treaty. Ambassador Bolton responds "This may be true, but why should we give up sovereignty?"

With ratification of LOST, a claim against an American company would bring a lengthy process. American companies could be ruled against and pay substantial fees. The redistribution plan also calls for financial transfers to "developing states, and people that have not yet attained self governing status." Think of Gaza and Palestinians!

Another devilment is security. Former State Department Legal Advisor, William Taft IV, testified "Each party has the right to determine which of its activities are 'military activities' and such determination is not subject to review." Think of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Heritage foundation's Steven Groves describes LOST as a bureaucratic power to regulate trade, exploration, and America's authority to defend itself.

President Kennedy perceived a missile threat from the Soviet Union to Cuba, and ordered inspections out at sea to insure there were no missiles or offensive weapons. Under LOST, a United Nations tribunal would make that determination, final and binding with no recourse.

Sean Hannity, of FOX News interviewed Dick Morris, author of Screwed. Morris believes President Obama will sign the Treaty and have it ratified by the lame duck Senate.

War is not neat in the world of terrorism. The Treaty admonishes "The high seas are reserved for peaceful purposes." Will terrorists follow the rules? Interception of a suspicious ship at sea would require arbitration within 10 days for release. We would lose the right to detain terror suspects caught at sea.

The Christian Science Monitor claims that ratification of LOST would promote peace. That may be true, but peace at what price?

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" — Patrick Henry

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Posted by k_hallal, May 12, 2012

This article was written by Joseph Farah, Editor and Chief Executive Officer of

Did you see the reaction of the "press" to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's report on the fact that Barack Obama's birth certificate is a crude forgery?

Did the media assembled in Phoenix gasp in shock at the carefully presented findings?

Did reporters run out of the room to file Page 1 stories explaining that the first law-enforcement investigation of the document found overwhelming and compelling evidence of criminal fraud?

Did the shocking report lead the news on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN?


Let me tell you why I think it's important and why I am personally making a donation to this cause.

Instead, the media questioned Arpaio's motives for presenting the facts.

And they filed stories characterizing the report as conspiracy-mongering.

Or, they ignored the press conference and the report altogether.

What a shameful and disgraceful exhibition by my colleagues!

No wonder most law-enforcement agencies in this country won't look under rocks the way Arpaio will. No wonder we can't have a thoughtful, free and open discussion of the facts surrounding Obama's eligibility for office. No wonder most people are afraid to speak out publicly about this important constitutional issue.

I know how reluctant the investigators were to take an honest look at the evidence. I know they would have preferred to debunk the conclusions of Jerome Corsi and others who had investigated before them. I know there were no predetermined conclusions and a strong inclination toward validating the document if only it were possible.

But honest and independent law-enforcement people don't do that.

I have immense respect for Sheriff Arpaio, who showed a great deal of courage and integrity.

The press, for the most part, demonstrated no integrity. Unable to dispute the facts, they attempted to smear the messenger.

Click here to learn more about how you can help.

Take a look at a sampling of some of the accounts I read in the media:

Check out this report from the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world:

PHOENIX — America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff finds himself entangled these days in his own thorny legal troubles: a federal grand jury probe over alleged abuse of power, Justice Department accusations of racial profiling and revelations that his department didn't adequately investigate hundreds of Arizona sex-crime cases.

Rather than seek cover, though, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is seeking to grab the spotlight in the same unorthodox fashion that has helped boost his career as a nationally known lawman.

Arpaio scheduled a news conference Thursday to unveil preliminary results of an investigation, conducted by members of his volunteer cold-case posse, into the authenticity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, a controversy that has been widely debunked but which remains alive in the eyes of some conservatives. Last year, Donald Trump most prominently revived the issue while entertaining a possible bid for the presidency.

The 79-year-old Republican sheriff has declined to offer clues to what the probe may have found — but defends his need to spearhead such an investigation after nearly 250 people connected to an Arizona tea party group requested one last summer.

You might get the impression this article was written before the press conference — since it suggests Arpaio "declined to offer clues to what the probe may have found." In fact, it was written and published after a two-hour press conference that meticulously laid out shocking details of why the birth certificate is actually a crude forgery.

How about this report from CBS News:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, announced Thursday that his six-month investigation had found that "probable cause exists indicating that forgery and fraud may have been committed" in the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate.

The publicity-hungry Arpaio, a strong opponent of illegal immigration who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," said the evidence gathered by his investigators suggests Mr. Obama's birth certificate and selective service registration card are fakes. ...

Arpaio's press conference puts him in league with the "birthers," the conspiracy theorists who claim — against overwhelming evidence — that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States and thus is not eligible to be president. (Many "birthers" believe the president was born in Kenya.) The White House's decision to release the president's long-form birth certificate in April has quieted such claims, though it did not extinguished [sic] them.

At least this article actually reported some of what Arpaio said between highly opinionated slurs against anyone who would take such matters seriously.

Support Sheriff Joe Arpaio's continuing investigation of this breathtaking scandal. He may represent our last chance to see justice done.

I could give you dozens more examples of such shoddy "reporting." But you have probably seen them for yourself.

America is in a very sad state when the media are controlled by people who seem to think their job is to protect the powerful and the status quo, while debunking and maligning anyone who steps forward to present some inconvenient facts.

My suggestion?

Don't get mad. Get even.

That's why I urge you to make a donation to this active investigation right now — no matter the amount. If everyone who reads this appeal gave the minimum amount of $5, it would raise millions, far more than the necessary resources to get the job done and the truth about Obama out.

Joseph Farah
Editor and Chief Executive Officer

K_Hallal is a member of the Europeans Who Support Israel organization.

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Posted by Ted Belman, May 12, 2012

Syrian government blames 'terrorists' for twin bombings; one of the blasts rips facade off military intelligence building.

This report is from the Associated Press and Reuters. It is archived at:

Twin bomb blasts in the Syrian Al Qazzaz Neighborhood of Damascus killed 55 people and wounded more than 200, Syrian state television said on Thursday.

The blasts, which ripped the facade off a military intelligence building, occurred around 7:50 a.m., when employees are usually arriving at work.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said medical workers were collecting human remains from the streets after the explosions and heavily damaged cars and pickup trucks stood smoldering in the area. The outer wall of the headquarters collapsed, although the structure inside appeared intact.

The Syrian government blamed "terrorists" and said dozens were killed or wounded, most of them civilians.

Central Damascus is tightly under the control of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad but has been struck by several bomb attacks, often targeting security installations or convoys.

An image grab taken from Syrian state television shows a destroyed vehicle at the site of twin blasts in Damascus on May 10, 2012 (Photo by AFP)

The latest major explosion in the capital occurred on April 27 when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt near members of the security forces, killing at least nine people and wounding 26.

There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday's blasts. But an al-Qaida-inspired group has claimed responsibility for several past explosions, raising fears that terrorist groups are entering the fray and exploiting the chaos.

Syria's conflict started in March 2011 with mass protests calling for political reform. The government swiftly cracked down, dispatching tanks, troops, snipers and pro-government thugs to quash dissent, and many members of the opposition took up arms to defend themselves and attack government troops.

The UN said weeks ago that more than 9,000 people had been killed. Hundreds more have died since.

International diplomacy has failed to stop the bloodshed, and the UN has ruled out military intervention of the type that helped bring down Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, in part out of fear that it could exacerbate the violence.

Special envoy Kofi Annan brokered a peace plan last month, but the initiative has been troubled from the start, with government troops shelling opposition areas and rebels attacking military convoys and checkpoints after the cease-fire was supposed to begin on April