Monday, 31 August 2009

Israel Matzav: Horror: Hamas accuses UNRWA of trying to teach Holocaust; UNRWA denies it

Horror: Hamas accuses UNRWA of trying to teach Holocaust; UNRWA denies it

This story is rich.

If this weren't so sadly typical it would almost be funny. But sadly, it illustrates everything that's wrong with the 'Palestinians' and their narrative. You see, they're the only people in the world who have ever been persecuted. So they don't want to hear about anyone else. They're just not capable of seeing the other side of any story.

Hamas is accusing UNRWA of trying to teach about the Holocaust in its Gaza Strip schools. Hamas refers to the Holocaust as "a lie invented by the Zionists." And UNRWA - which ought to be teaching the Holocaust in the schools - denies that it would do anything so horrible. Because UNRWA is there to serve the 'Palestinians' and perpetuate their victimhood status.

Calling the Nazi genocide of the Jews "a lie invented by the Zionists," Hamas wrote in an open letter to a senior UN official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in the UN schools.

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which educates some 200,000 refugee children in Gaza, said the Holocaust was not on its current curriculum. He would not comment on Hamas's statement that it was about to change, Reuters said.

Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included a chapter on the Holocaust.

In an open letter to local UNRWA chief John Ging, the movement's Popular Committees for Refugees said: "We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists."

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said: "There is no mention of the Holocaust in the current syllabus." Asked if UNRWA planned to change that, he declined to comment.

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Israel Matzav: Horror: Hamas accuses UNRWA of trying to teach Holocaust; UNRWA denies it

Hamas is Horrified

Hamas is Horrified

Yes, there are things that scare Hamas. The mere rumour, most likely quite unfounded, that the UN may try to teach the children of Gaza that there once was a Holocaust. I don't see why anyone would take such a rumour seriously; it's quite unlike anythng UNRWA might think up; still, the Jew-hating thugs of Hamas were swift to condemn the mere thought.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Yehoshua Bichler, RIP

Yehoshua Bichler, RIP

My friend Yehushua Bichler died earlier this month, age 80.

His friends from his own generation called him Robino, from Robert, but I felt that would be disrespectful of me so I called him by his Israeli name, Yehoshua. I first met him in a graduate seminar about the SS, in the winter of 1982 I think. He was not a particularly good speaker, and he had trouble focusing what he wished to say into concise paragraphs, so when Prof. Yehuda Bauer anounced one week that the following week Yehoshua would take over for as long as he needed, we were puzzled. We remained puzzled for the first 20 minutes of the next class, too, until it dawned on us that Yehoshua was telling a story none of us had ever seen in the history books.

In a nutshell, we all knew that the Nazi murder policy began with the invasion of the Soviet Union in summer 1941, and it was carried out by the infamous Einsatzgruppen, in which there must have been a few thousand men at most. Bichler, however, had uncovered documents that told of SS Brigades no-one had ever noticed, numbering in the tens of thousands, who had also been part of the operation. They were subordinate to a different part of the SS, their logistics were supported by different units, and their existance changed the picture of general complicity in the murder program.

I recognize this isn't that important to most people, but in all the years since I've never again run into a historian who was able single handedly to rework the outlines of the accepted story in such a clear way. Yehoshua was aware of the stir he was creating, but it didn't go to his head. Perhaps the fact that he himself had been at Auschwitz, had watched the death of his father, and had lost 57 (fifty seven) members of his family, tempered his perspective on things.

A few years later I became the head of archives at Yad Vashem; Yehoshua ran the archives at Givat Haviva, a small research center dedicated to the Zionist youth movements. So now we were colleagues. I came to my task with the energy of youth and lots of big ideas; Yehoshua ran a smaller place and knew every file; he also knew many of the people, places, and the events, in a way I never could. We were friends, but in a very unequal way.

If you ever have two or three spare days, you should go to Yad Vashem and watch Yehushua's 8-hour video testimony about Slovakia, and Auschwitz, and death marches. It's a tape of a man in his sixties, with the mein of a confused and uncomprehending boy, unable to understand the story he was telling, or unable to believe it, or make any sense of it. This, from the man who had uncovered an entire branch of the SS.

Offhand, I don't think I ever saw him not smiling, in an unassuming, slightly embarrassed way.

Nucho Eden, may he rest in peace.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Arab Nation Seizes N. Korean Arms Headed for Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Arab Nation Seizes N. Korean Arms Headed for Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News
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IDF Bombs Northern Gaza Tunnel Following Kassam Attack - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Bombs Northern Gaza Tunnel Following Kassam Attack - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News
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IAF Adding Firepower to Helicopter Fleet - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IAF Adding Firepower to Helicopter Fleet - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News
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Beach Killers Indicted for Murder, Failure to Aid - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Beach Killers Indicted for Murder, Failure to Aid - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News
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Shomron: We'll be Glad to Take Ethiopian Kids from Petach Tikva - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Shomron: We'll be Glad to Take Ethiopian Kids from Petach Tikva - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News
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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Israel Matzav: Rabbis to ban sales of homes and land to Arabs

Rabbis to ban sales of homes and land to Arabs

A cross-section of National Religious and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Rabbis are to meet on Monday to place a ban upon sales of homes in Jerusalem and land in northern Israel to Arabs. The need for the conference arose, King said, after he began receiving numerous complaints from residents of northern Jerusalem neighborhoods who told of religious Jews who sold their homes to Arabs. King hopes that the rabbinical statement which will be issued Monday will be signed by prominent rabbis like Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef and Rabbi Menachem Porush, and that these will be joined by the rabbis of French Hill and Pisgat Ze'ev. Such a statement will have a meaningful impact on the religious public.

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Israel Matzav: Rabbis to ban sales of homes and land to Arabs

Israel Matzav: Haaretz's ode to Obama

Israel Matzav: Haaretz's ode to Obama

Esser Agaroth: Jewish Cover-Up

Esser Agaroth: Jewish Cover-Up

Israel Matzav: Obama will learn about Israel's strike on Iran from CNN

Obama will learn about Israel's strike on Iran from CNN

Micah Zenko looks back at four prior Israeli military actions - the 1956 attack on the Suez Canal, the 1967 Six Day War, the 1981 attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor and the 2007 attack on Syria's nuclear reactor - and concludes that when and if Israel decides to attack Iran, President Obama will learn about it on CNN. The Israelis won't ask permission. But if diplomacy fails, the world should be prepared for an Israeli attack on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons facilities. As Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently acknowledged: "The window between a strike on Iran and their getting nuclear weapons is a pretty narrow window."

If Israel attempts such a high-risk and destabilizing strike against Iran, President Obama will probably learn of the operation from CNN rather than the CIA. History shows that although Washington seeks influence over Israel's military operations, Israel would rather explain later than ask for approval in advance of launching preventive or preemptive attacks. Those hoping that the Obama administration will be able to pressure Israel to stand down from attacking Iran as diplomatic efforts drag on are mistaken.

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Israel Matzav: Obama will learn about Israel's strike on Iran from CNN

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Olmert indicted

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Olmert indicted

Israel Matzav: Video: Shma Yisrael

Video: Shma Yisrael

Legend tells that after the Holocaust, R. Yosef Kahaneman zt'l , the Ponevezhe Rov began looking for Jewish children who had survived the war. It was known that some of the children had ended up in churches and were being raised as Christians. The Rov encountered one church that denied the existence and presence of Jewish children within their midst... He was granted permission to enter the children's quarters to inspect for himself -- when he entered he began calling out "Shema Yisroel" and instinctively many of the children raised their hands to cover their eyes and started calling out "mama! mama!"

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Israel Matzav: Video: Shma Yisrael

Israel Matzav: Video: The pig of Arabia

Video: The pig of Arabia

Dutch MP Geert Wilders has asked the country's foreign minister Maxime Verhagen to summon the Saudi ambassador over a news report that a father has returned his 10-year old daughter to her 80-year old husband. Wilders asserts that the husband is behaving like a pig, just like Mohamed.

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Israel Matzav: Video: The pig of Arabia

Israel Matzav: The Shabbos goy

The Shabbos goy

Many of you have probably heard the term 'Shabbos goy,' many more of you may not know precisely what it means. I'm going to explain it to you and then give you a specific example. There are certain types of activities that Jews are not allowed to do on the Sabbath. Sometimes, we need those activities performed on our behalf. The person who performs them is called a 'Shabbos goy.'

For example, there was one wintry Friday night when we lived in America that someone bumped into the thermostat and accidentally turned the heat down to an intolerable level. I went next door to the non-Jewish neighbor and asked his 16-year old son to come to our house. The boy came in and I told him that it was cold in the house and the thermostat had been turned down. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said "let me show you how to turn it up." He turned it up to a reasonable temperature. We gave him a piece of cake and sent him on his way.

But finding a Shabbos goy in a neighborhood like our Jerusalem neighborhood - where the entire neighborhood is populated by religious Jews - is much more complicated. So much so that one of the synagogues has taken upon itself to house a Shabbos goy within the synagogue in case someone needs one. We have used the Shabbos goy in the past, but it had been a couple of years. This past Saturday, we needed the Shabbos goy again.

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Israel Matzav: The Shabbos goy

Israel Matzav: Al-Jazeera less anti-American than CNN and BBC?

Israel Matzav: Al-Jazeera less anti-American than CNN and BBC?

Israel Matzav: Israelis invent new treatment for bed sores

Israelis invent new treatment for bed sores

This is slightly off my usual fare, but it caught my eye because my Mom a"h (may she rest in peace) suffered greatly from bed sores during the last years of her life. Mom was immobile in the last years of her life and quite simply, nothing helped the bedsores. Contrary to what many of you may believe from their name, 'bed sores' don't just come from lying in bed. Ask anyone who uses a wheelchair for a prolonged period of time. Now, there's hope.

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Israel Matzav: Israelis invent new treatment for bed sores

Israel Matzav: Hebron's Jews called the 'definition of Zionism' by... The Wall Street Journal

Israel Matzav: Hebron's Jews called the 'definition of Zionism' by... The Wall Street Journal

Israel Matzav: Number of 'Israeli Arabs' doing national service quadruples

Number of 'Israeli Arabs' doing national service quadruples

Israel has a concept of national service, which essentially means that post-high school men and women volunteer for a year or two. In the Jewish community, it's mostly done by women who don't serve in the army for religious reasons and by men who don't serve in the army for medical reasons.

Most 'Israeli Arabs' don't serve in the army. Over the last few years, efforts have been made to encourage them to vounteer for national service instead. Those efforts have apparently been paying off.

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Israel Matzav: Number of 'Israeli Arabs' doing national service quadruples

Israel Matzav: Foreign Ministry: IAEA still hiding material on Iran

Foreign Ministry: IAEA still hiding material on Iran

The IAEA released a report on Iran's nuclear activities on Friday that was 'critical,' but according to Israeli foreign minisry spokesman Yigal Palmor, it wasn't critical enough. IAEA officials said Iran was stonewalling the agency about "possible military dimensions" to its program. In the report, the IAEA said it has pressed Iran to clarify its uranium enrichment activities and reassure the world that it's not trying to build an atomic weapon.

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Israel Matzav: Foreign Ministry: IAEA still hiding material on Iran

Clarity on Iran's Nuclear Program

Well, perhaps not.

The IAEA has just published its semi-annual report. Apparently, it doesn't say anything.
It is no secret that there are disagreements over the report, and Haaretz has reported more than once that ElBaradaei's deputy, Olli Heinonen, would like the reports to state unequivocal facts. However, as is common in an international bureaucratic organization, efforts are being made to maintain the impression of unity, with differences being kept under wraps.

taken from Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Gaza: Is It Starting Again?

Let's hope not, but I'm noting that the calm isn't total. Also, there are disagreements even about simple things such as if the IDF did or didn't attack anyone:
The Palestinian Maan news agency reported on Saturday that the Israel Defense Force fired artillery rounds at gunmen at the central Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. The IDF said in response that no such attack took place.
In cases such as this you can't even apply the "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" logic. How would it work? "One man's artillery shell is another man's no-artillery shell"?

How about one man's lie is another man not lying? It sort of lacks the pleasing balance, that one.

taken from Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Health Care and the Jewish Problem

There has just been a birth in the Californian branch of our family. I called the new father to say mazal tov and he described how at the last moment there had been various complications, but everything is alright. So, he summed up, since you've been mentioning healthcare on your blog, Yaacov, you might want to mention that my vote is for the system. It works well.

(Actually, I think he was talking about the system before it changes, i.e. as it already is, so his point may have been different than he meant - but I really don't think this is the moment in his life to be quibbling about politics. His agenda at the moment is way above politics).

Then there was Dennis who slammed into me last week, going so far as to call a post of mine that mentioned healthcare as a travesty.
You rightly criticize those of us here in the United States for doing not understanding the complexities of the Israel/Arab/Palestinian conflict. But you do the same thing when you say that you are agnostic on "who's right and who's wrong, who's fibbing and who's fibbing more."Don't mean to be harsh, because I read you constantly but you have this wrong.
Ouch.

In between Dennis and the new father, I had a chat the other evening with a fellow who lives here but works as a phisician in the States (you'd be surprised how many such extreme commuters there are). He told me that philosophically he's all for revamping the American health system, and would even be willing to take a financial hit if it would be for the general good, but in his opinion nothing being discussed right now will make things any better, and probably they'll get worse, though he expects his income to remain unaffected.

This blog is not about American health care. It's mostly about Jewish stuff, though from time to time I jump around. Yet it occurs to me that the healthcare metaphor really can be useful, precisely because it demonstrates how impossible it is for an outsider to really understand what's going on.

I have no doubt that were I was prepared to spend six solid months studying the matter I could form an educated opinion, unless I'd need 12 months, or 24. If I didn't think so I couldn't be a historian, since historians have the fundamental conceit they can understand times and places they've never been to. Yet short of dedicating oneself totally to really understanding, I'm here to report that following the media doesn't work. These folks swear by their narrative; those folks swear by the opposite one. These chaps admonish that there's an imminent danger; the other blokes shrilly warn of a whole different set of apocalyptic threats. These guys quote statistics; the other ones wave different ones. Somehow there are Nazis involved on both sides of the argument, though I haven't been able to figure that out at all.

Not to mention that the single most important part of the story is not visible through the media at all: what's it like living in the system? I don't mean, which horror stories each side trots out. I mean the regular living part of the story. What's it like right now to live in the present system, what's wrong with it, and how ought it be different. What do you do when your kid has the sniffles? When she has something worse than sniffles? When, heaven forbid, she has something radically worse than sniffles? How does it work? What decisions need to be made, by whom, under which constraints?

This type of understanding cannot be had merely by following the media. Can't.

Which brings me back, unsurprisingly, to the things I do know about, such as living in this conflict-torn land. Or being a Jew. Without wishing to be arrogant, I expect these issues are more complicated than health care in America; they've certainly been around a lot longer... Anyway, you see where I'm going with this...

taken from Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Israel Matzav: Australia confirms ship had weapons heading for Iran

Israel Matzav: Australia confirms ship had weapons heading for Iran

DoubleTapper: IWI Micro Tavor

IWI Micro Tavor

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

The IDF is rolling out the Tavor to more and more units, replacing the M4 and M16 variants. Basic trainees will begin their service with the Tavor and use it throughout their conscription.

IDF Special forces units will use the Micro Tavor.

Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni,
the proud recipient of the first officially deployed
Micro-Tavor rifle.


The IWI Micro Tavor (M.T.A.R 21), also designated X-95 and sometimes called Tavor-2, is a stand-alone extremely compact weapon specifically designed for special forces units, as well as military personnel who are normally not issued long assault rifles.




With the use of a relatively simple conversion kit, the M.T.A.R 21 can be converted from a 5.56 mm assault rifle to a 9 mm submachine gun loaded with 20, 25, and 32-round magazines. A suppressor can also be added to the weapon, it is part of the 9 mm conversion kit.












Issued to IDF Brigade Reconnaissance Companies.

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DoubleTapper: IWI Micro Tavor

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 1 [On secularists]

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 1 [On secularists]

The Torah Revolution: When it comes

The Torah Revolution: When it comes

Love of the Land: International Justice (1998)

International Justice (1998)


Dry Bones cartoon: The Double Standard in International Justice (1998).


Today's Golden Oldie is from ten years (11) ago this month. July 1998.

Saying that Israel is judged by a double standard is a waste of time. We know it. They know it. So in this cartoon I tried to wring a wry laugh out of the unfair and ugly situation.

A classic goal of much of Jewish Humor.

Taken from Love of the Land: International Justice (1998)

Israel Matzav: New blog: Reuters Middle East Watch

Israel Matzav: New blog: Reuters Middle East Watch

Israel Matzav: Dershowitz on Aftonbladet

Israel Matzav: Dershowitz on Aftonbladet

House MD- A walk through five years-The Beatles (Season 1- Season 5 ending)

Center tries to drop references to muftis Nazi cooperation | International | Jerusalem Post

Center tries to drop references to muftis Nazi cooperation International Jerusalem Post

LIFE – Israel 1960 by Paul Schutzer

LIFE – Israel 1960 by Paul Schutzer

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Love of the Land: Everyone Seems to Agree That Israel Must Solve the "Iranian Problem"

Everyone Seems to Agree That Israel Must Solve the "Iranian Problem"


JINSA Report #: 919
August 26, 2009

They say nothing happens in Washington in August - the President is away, Congress is out, even traffic is easy. But it isn't true. In Washington in August, everyone is getting ready for September. Word is out that the Obama Administration is working on a grand strategy to present at the UN when the General Assembly opens. The rumored outlines:

Israel agrees to a settlement freeze of some sort and some duration, allowing the administration to claim that it has done the world a favor and beaten Israel into submission.
Some Gulf States agree that people with Israeli stamps on their passport (though not necessarily Israelis) can enter their countries, and agree to accept limited trade with Israel. Others do not. Saudi Arabia's failure to publicly object allows the administration to claim that Israel has been accepted in the region and has nothing to fear from additional concessions to the Palestinians.
Abu Mazen agrees to accept the additional concessions from Israel, allowing the administration to claim it is on the way to a Palestinian State. The question of who Abu Mazen represents is papered over. The Hamas-Fatah (-al Qaeda?) civil war in Gaza - complete with suicide bombers, rockets fired into and out of mosques and dozens of civilian casualties - is papered over.
It doesn't sound like much of a deal for Israel - Syria, which is busily funneling al Qaeda fighters into Iraq and partying with Ahmadinejad in Tehran - is not involved; Egypt has declined; the Palestinians are no closer to agreeing in public or private that they will settle for a rump split state wedged between a hostile Israel and a hostile Jordan - its own two parts not talking to each other. So what does Israel get? An anonymous administration source is reported to have said, "Settlements are not strategic; Iran is strategic."

So in exchange for fuzzying up its red lines, a series of papered over semi-agreements, and an excellent photo op with the President at the UN, Israel gets stronger American rhetoric on Iran? Or, some sort of American green light for Israel to take care of the problem itself?
Read All at :
Love of the Land: Everyone Seems to Agree That Israel Must Solve the "Iranian Problem"

Israel Matzav: When doesn't anyone care about dead 'Palestinians'?

When doesn't anyone care about dead 'Palestinians'?

When doesn't anyone care about dead 'Palestinians'? When they're killed by other 'Palestinians' of course.

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, Hamas put down what it called a revolt by an al-Qaeda-linked organization - Jund Ansar Allah - that claimed that Hamas was 'not Islamic' enough. Well, Hamas proved that it is definitely Islamic enough. This looks like a gangland execution, not a war.
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Israel Matzav: When doesn't anyone care about dead 'Palestinians'?

Israel Matzav: Germany gives Hamas a deadline

Germany gives Hamas a deadline

The German daily Der Spiegel is reporting that the BND German intelligence agency has offered Hamas 450 'Palestinian' terrorists in exchange for kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit. Hamas has until the end of the month to respond to the offer.

According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, Israel would release at least 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit. After his release, the Israeli government has expressed a willingness to release further prisoners.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that the prisoner releases be done as a humanitarian gesture and without any time pressure. Hamas has been given until the beginning of September to respond to the proposal.

The German negotiator has been activated at the explicit request of the Israeli government and has been commuting since mid-July to conduct negotiations with the parties to the conflict. Shalit was kidnapped in June 2006 on Gaza Strip border and has been in the hands of the Islamist Hamas ever since.

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Israel Matzav: Germany gives Hamas a deadline

Israel Matzav: When the Democrats were pro-Israel

When the Democrats were pro-Israel

JPost has an editorial about Ted Kennedy in Friday's edition that moves on from Kennedy to the Democratic party itself. Here's the bottom line:

THE PRO-ISRAEL liberalism embodied by Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jacob Javits seems archaic nowadays.

Their generation knew first-hand that the Arabs' rejection of Israel's existence was at the root of the conflict. Today, calls for throwing the Jews into the sea have been replaced by reasonable-sounding Arab initiatives for a two-state solution. Only the fine print - pertaining to recognition, borders, militarization and refugees - suggests something else. Once there were no settlements, and still the Arabs sought Israel's destruction. Yet yesterday, a CNN primer of the conflict pointed to settlements as the stumbling block to peace.

Maybe the old Kennedy liberals were really centrists, and today's progressives are really leftists. Or maybe, 60 years on, liberals have just grown uncomfortable and impatient - after Lebanon wars, intifadas, checkpoints, barriers and Gaza blockades.

The liberal catechism is 1. All conflicts are soluble; 2. Israel is the stronger party; 3. And so it must take the greater risks for peace.

Liberals are exasperated by Israel's failure to embrace these principles categorically. Yet we survive in this region because we don't.

Edward Kennedy understood all this and more. Israel feels his loss acutely.

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Israel Matzav: When the Democrats were pro-Israel

Israel Matzav: Seized Iranian weapons intended for Hezbullah?

Seized Iranian weapons intended for Hezbullah?

Shavua tov - a good week to everyone.

During the night on Friday night, it was reported that on August 15, the United Arab Emirates seized a Bahamian-registered ship that was carrying weapons from North Korea to Iran in violation of UN sanctions.

The United Arab Emirates has seized a cargo ship bound for Iran with a cache of banned rocket-propelled grenades and other arms from North Korea, the first such seizure since sanctions against North Korea were ramped up, diplomats and officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

The seizure earlier this month was carried out in accordance with tough new UN Security Council sanctions meant to derail North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but which also ban the North's sale of any conventional arms.

Diplomats identified the vessel as a Bahamas-flagged cargo vessel, the ANL Australia. The diplomats and officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"We can confirm that the UAE detained a North Korean vessel containing illicit cargo," a Western diplomat told the AP.

Turkey's deputy UN ambassador, Fazli Corman, who chairs the Security Council's sanctions panel, also confirmed the incident without providing details and said council members are examining the seriousness of it.

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Israel Matzav: Seized Iranian weapons intended for Hezbullah?

Love of the Land: Déjà Vu Diplomacy

Déjà Vu Diplomacy


Rick Richman
Contentions/Commentary
28 August 09

The day before George Mitchell met with Benjamin Netanyahu in London this week, in the continuing effort to meet Palestinian preconditions for new final-status negotiations, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced a plan to create a Palestinian state within two years—“regardless of progress in the stalled peace negotiations with Israel.”

For those familiar with the history of the peace process, the Palestinian announcement and its timing provided a sense of déjà vu.

In the spring of 1998, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was stalled. Prime Minister Netanyahu was seeking “reciprocity” from the Palestinians before further Israeli withdrawals from West Bank territory. Arafat was offering the umpteenth Palestinian promise to “crack down” on terrorism and agreed—“in principle”—to produce a detailed security plan in exchange for a further Israeli withdrawal that met his demands and a move to final-status negotiations.

That was good enough for the State Department, which turned to Netanyahu and told him it needed a “second yes.” Netanyahu raised concerns about the scope of the withdrawal—and Arafat threatened a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. On April 28, 1998, Hanan Ashrawi, then the Palestinian minister of higher education, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington and said Palestinians would declare statehood in one year regardless of where the peace process then stood.

At the time, no American administration had ever endorsed a Palestinian state. A week later, as Dennis Ross was traveling to Israel to meet with Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton spoke (via satellite hookup arranged by the State Department) to Arab and Israeli teenagers attending a “peace summit” in Switzerland. In response to a student who asked about her use of the word Palestine, Hillary used the word state nine times, sayingit would be “very important” for “Palestine to be a state.” In case Israel missed the significance of her words, the American embassy in Tel Aviv immediately released a report entitled “Hillary Clinton: Eventual Palestinian State Important for Mideast Peace.”

The White House said she was “not reflecting any administration policy”—only a “personal view.” But William Safire wrote in the New York Times that the explanation was “laughably implausible” and was “a calculated move by both Clintons to ratchet up the pressure on Israel” by warning that American policy might change if Netanyahu did not promptly move the process forward.

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Love of the Land: Déjà Vu Diplomacy

Love of the Land: Column One: The Rigged Game

Column One: The Rigged Game


Caroline Glick
JPost
28 August 09

On Tuesday the Guardian reported that the Obama administration is now making Israel an offer it can't refuse: In exchange for a government order to freeze construction for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the administration will adopt a "much tougher line with Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program."

German Foreign Minister Frank...

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prior to their meeting in Berlin, Thursday.
Photo: AP

Israel should refuse this offer.

What the Guardian account shows is an Obama administration looking to blame Israel for the failure of its policy of attempting to appease the likes of Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Come September, US President Barack Obama is going to have a difficult time of it. He set a September deadline for his strategy of diplomatically courting the mullahs. This policy involves deferring further sanctions against Teheran and all but openly renouncing the option of using military force to destroy Iran's nuclear installations while waiting politely for the mullahs to sit down for tea with US officials.

Far from accepting Obama's offer, the Iranians have spit on it. Indeed, they have been too busy brutalizing their own people and building bombs and missiles to even respond to him directly. Instead, they have signaled their contempt for Obama by promoting known arch-terrorists to high office. For instance, Ahmadinejad just appointed Ahmad Vahidi, the suspected mastermind of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia where 19 US servicemen and women were murdered to serve as defense minister.

In support of Obama's appeasement efforts, both the House and the Senate Foreign Relations committees set aside veto-proof bills that would place sanctions on companies exporting refined fuel to Iran. But Congress, now on summer recess, reconvenes in September and members are anxiously awaiting a green light from the White House to put the bills before a vote.

So unless something saves him, Obama will look like quite a fool next month. His appeasement policy has given the mullahs eight precious months of unimpeded work at their nuclear installations. Their uranium enrichment facility at Natanz is now operating some 5,000 centrifuges, with another 2,400 centrifuges about to go on line. That is an eightfold increase in centrifuge activity from a year ago.

Obama now turns to Israel to avoid embarrassment. If he can convince Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the White House will only get serious about Iran's nuclear weapons program if Netanyahu freezes Jewish building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, then Obama can present his sudden willingness to sign on to veto-proof congressional sanctions legislation not as a consequence of his own failure, but as a result of Israeli pressure.

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Love of the Land: Column One: The Rigged Game

Love of the Land: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Virgin boss Richard Branson play on the Holocaust to advance case against Israel

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Virgin boss Richard Branson play on the Holocaust to advance case against Israel


Richard Shepherd
Think Tank Blog
28 August 09

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Virgin boss Richard Branson play on the Holocaust to advance case against IsraelIt is a sign of the corrosiveness of the anti-Zionist agenda that even some of the most admirable and well-regarded of international luminaries feel no compunction these days about using the greatest crime against the Jewish people as a convenient weapon against the Jewish state. Holocaust inversion has now entered the mainstream. No-one, it seems, is immune from its temptations.

Enter former anti-apartheid campaigner, Nobel laureate, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who has used an interview with the liberal-Left Israeli newspaper Haaretz today to make some typically ill considered remarks of his own:

“The lesson that Israel must learn from the Holocaust is that it can never get security through fences, walls and guns,” he was quoted by the paper as saying. “…in South Africa, they tried to get security from the barrel of a gun. They never got it. They got security when the human rights of all were recognized and respected.”

This is crass even by Tutu’s standards when talking about Israel. But it was nothing compared to the truly disturbing comments made earlier this week by Virgin Atlantic boss and international NGO financier Richard Branson.

Asked to draw on his business and public relations skills to advise Israel on how to improve its image, he said:

“I think it’s something similar to what happened after 9/11. You know after 9/11 the world had enormous sympathy for America, and you know that sympathy was somehow lost. And obviously after the Second World War, the world had enormous sympathy for the Jewish people. Over a number of decades, that sympathy has been lost …. You’ve got a great country, but you’ve just got to hold the hands of your neighbors, and then you’ll get back on top again.”

I have remarked on a number of occasions on how submersion in the anti-Zionist agenda leads otherwise reasonable and sane individuals to say things which make them look ridiculous. But “you’ve just got to hold the hands of your neighbours, and then you’ll get back on top again.”? Don’t these people ever think about what they are saying? The mind boggles.

That aside, the first thing to note about Branson and Tutu is that it is obvious that neither of them has any idea of what they are talking about. They seek to pronounce on a matter of great complexity while demonstrating that the history and basic facts of the conflict are simply lost on them. All we are left with is the standard UN/NGO narrative in which a belligerent and colonialist Israel is juxtaposed with oppressed third-world freedom fighters struggling against all odds for justice and recognition.

Tutu in particular has form in this regard. As an attentive reader reminded me earlier today, he made some particularly vicious remarks in a commentary in the Guardian along such lines in April 2002. In an article tellingly entitled Apartheid in the Holy Land he said of the struggle against Israel:

“For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.”

Well, I’m glad that Desmond Tutu thinks we are living in a “moral universe”. And one trusts he is confident that, when confronted with the higher authority he invokes, his Faustian pact with the forces of anti-Zionist bigotry is not held against him.

As for Richard Branson, one really has to marvel at his audacity. I am not Jewish myself, but I would venture to say that “sympathy” is not quite what the Jewish people were looking for in establishing their state after the Holocaust.

Even so, if defending that state against extremism is all it has taken for all that “sympathy” to evaporate I am not convinced that it was all that deeply rooted in the first place.

Originally posted at :Love of the Land: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Virgin boss Richard Branson play on the Holocaust to advance case against Israel

RubinReports: To the Media: Higher Standard for Israel? Then Higher Standard for Coverage of Israel

To the Media: Higher Standard for Israel? Then Higher Standard for Coverage of Israel

By Barry Rubin

A friend who deals professionally with the media says that when he complains about coverage of Israel in the media he is told: ""We expect more from the Jews and Israel."

I suggested he respond like this:

You are saying that because of historical factors you have higher expectations from Jews and Israel. Ok. But there are other historical factors to take into account: antisemitism, deliberate slander and honest misunderstanding of Jews, and deliberate slander and misunderstanding of Israel. You should also have higher standards on how Jews and Israel should be treated fairly.

For most of history people have held mistaken concepts--Jews killed the guy from Nazareth, Jews killed the guy from Mecca, Jews poisoned wells, Jews sought to destroy Christianity, Jews were behind capitalism and communism, Jews were disloyal citizens, and so on. Incidentally, these all are not only ideas common in the Muslim majority world today but are once again spreading quickly into the West, in part due to your coverage.
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RubinReports: To the Media: Higher Standard for Israel? Then Higher Standard for Coverage of Israel

RubinReports: Key Saudi Prince Injured in Terror Attack: Shaking Up the Kingdom

Key Saudi Prince Injured in Terror Attack: Shaking Up the Kingdom

By Barry Rubin

Of Saudi Arabia it has been said that a bird doesn’t move without the royal family’s permission. That a suicide bomber was able to get close enough to wound the Saudi Assistant Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Nayef is a very worrisome development that will shake up the kingdom.

This is not just anybody nor even just any Saudi prince but the man whose father leads the regime’s intelligence and counterterrorist operations, and who himself plays an important role in this campaign. The government knew he was a high-priority target and provided the best security possible. The—presumably al-Qaida linked—terrorists knew it also and thus calculated that making such a hit would show their strength and effectiveness.

As a traditional tribal leadership, Saudi royals frequently hold open meetings, secure in their forces’ tight security control. The terrorist was thus able to approach closely, though the prince was not seriously wounded and no one was killed.

But this is a message: the insurgency against the Saudi regime is not dead, despite many arrests and executions. It is also a reminder that Saudi security can be pretty lax, as has been seen in past attacks where seemingly secure areas were penetrated by terrorists.
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RubinReports: Key Saudi Prince Injured in Terror Attack: Shaking Up the Kingdom

RubinReports: Here's Your Story: No Engagement Game Because Iran Burned Down

Here's Your Story: No Engagement Game Because Iran Burned Down

By Barry Rubin

Gerald Seib’s article in the Wall Street Journal is worth responding to because it does symbolize the curious mentality about Iran prevailing in American policymaking and opinion-making circles. The article is entitled, "Iran Collapse Complicates U.S. Moves."

On the contrary! I think it makes things much simpler and clearer.

But first a story told to me many years ago by famed radio host Barry Farber:

A reporter is dispatched to cover a high school basketball game but doesn’t file a story. As deadline approaches the editor irritably calls the journalist into his office and asks where is the story?

“There isn’t any story,” says the reporter.

“Why not?” asks the editor.

“There wasn’t any game,” the journalist replies.

“Why not?” asks the editor.

“The gym burned down.”

For those of you who are journalists with certain mass media outlets, I should explain the point of the anecdote: The gym burning down was the story.

Now back to Seib.

He explains there is an alleged irony in the fact that, “America's most vexing enemy is plagued by growing internal dissension, a vocal opposition movement that won't die and a crisis of legitimacy.”

What is it?

“The upheaval there actually is making the job of crafting an American strategy more difficult.”

Why?

Because, you see, it is harder to engage Iran when it is so busy with domestic matters and in disarray. I’ve heard this from others in Washington as well. And Seib gives us the likely Obama administration conclusion:

“And here's the most likely outcome: The U.S. will leave the door open to engagement with Iran, but won't be trying as hard as before to coax the Iranians into walking through it.”

Well, why are we even talking about this? It is time for a new view of Iran and U.S. policy. Memo to Obama: The situation has changed big-time.
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RubinReports: Here's Your Story: No Engagement Game Because Iran Burned Down

Friday, 28 August 2009

RubinReports: Obama Administration’s Arab-Israeli Policy Adjustment: Out of the Frying Pan Into the…Saucepan

Obama Administration’s Arab-Israeli Policy Adjustment: Out of the Frying Pan Into the…Saucepan

By Barry Rubin

The Obama Administration is slowly adjusting its policy on Arab-Israeli issues but doing so in a way that ensures it still won't work. They understand they were doing it wrong, they still don’t understand what they were doing wrong.

Briefly, in phase one the administration demanded Israel unilaterally stop construction on settlements in the West Bank, activity which not only all previous U.S. presidents in practice accepted but so did the Palestinians. By accepted, I don’t mean the Palestinians didn’t complain about it but that fact never stopped the negotiations’ process for 15 years. Obama has now achieved a full stop to the bilateral talks.

Once the United States raised the bar, the Palestinian Authority and Arab states could do no less. Now negotiations are frozen while construction isn’t.

In phase 2, U.S. policy did more unintentional damage, even though the shift was in the right direction. It asked Arab states and the Palestinians to give some confidence-building measure to Israel. They said “no,” and probably they would have done so under any conditions. That was predictable but it leads to an interesting and extremely important point.

Everyone speaks of how popular President Barack Obama is, and when it comes to the Middle East this is exaggerated. But the key word here isn’t “popular” but “credible.”

“I like you but I’m not going to bet on you,” is the way it could be expressed. If you are perceived as weak, it doesn’t matter if they think you’re a nice guy. In Middle East politics, nice guys really do finish last.

Once the whole Arab world plus Iran plus Israel defies you and you just smile and nod and don’t do anything about it, you’re credibility is even lower. Perhaps it will stay that way for four or eight years.

Now we are in Phase 3, characterized by bubbly optimism from Washington—everything’s going well, everyone’s cooperating—but still quite out of tune with reality. I have noted that false optimism--pretending progress is being made when it isn’t--can in part be a good strategy. But the administration is going about it in a way that ensures failure.

How? In the “Godfather,” Don Vito Corleone made people an offer they couldn’t refuse. If they do, they know he will back up his proposals with power. Obama makes people offers they’ll never accept. Not only do they know they'll get away with it but they can expect he will offer them even more afterward.
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RubinReports: Obama Administration’s Arab-Israeli Policy Adjustment: Out of the Frying Pan Into the…Saucepan

RubinReports: Iran’s Regime Chooses A Terrorist Who Has killed Americans as Defense Minister; Still Want to Engage Them, President Obama?

Iran’s Regime Chooses A Terrorist Who Has killed Americans as Defense Minister; Still Want to Engage Them, President Obama?

By Barry Rubin

It is beyond belief: Iran’s government has named a wanted terrorist, Ahmad Vahidi, as its defense minister.

And even that’s not all: Vahidi ran the Qods force in the 1980s and 1990s, making him responsible for liaison between Iran and foreign terrorist groups, you know, the people to whom a nuclear device might be given, exploded somewhere, and then Iran can disclaim responsibility.

And there’s more: he was also involved in the June 25, 2006, car bombing attack on the Khobar Towers which killed 19 American soldiers and a Saudi civilian. More than 400 were wounded.

Even the European Union has him on their “no-talk” list.

Can you imagine all the terrorist operations he ordered and planned that we don’t know about?

So please forgive me if I use capital letters:

A MAN WHO ORDERED AND ORGANIZED TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST AMERICANS IS GOING TO BE IRAN’S DEFENSE MINISTER.

This is the man who would have control over Iran’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

And the United States has said…. And the Western reaction is….

I can’t hear you!

Right, that’s precisely the problem, and neither can Tehran.

But let's consider this development for a moment. In all other countries, the defense minister's job is to run the armed forces. He has to decide what weapons to buy, how to use resources, and how to conduct operations of regular soldiers.

In contrast, in Iran, the "military" forces being used are terrorists. Therefore, a background in terrorism is the best credential for defense minister. Terrorism is the projection of military force by Iran, to destroy its foes, expand its influence, spread revolution, and subordinate other countries to its will (and perhaps even rule).

Institutionally, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the extremely radical and highly ideological parallel force to the regular military, is the base of power for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. To a large extent, it has become the ruler of Iran, that is with the permission of the leading figure, Spiritual Guide Ali Khamenei. Therefore, being a high-level IRGC operative is the best credential for being defense minister.

On July 18, 1994, the Jewish community center building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was attacked. Eighty-five people were killed, over 240 were wounded.

After an extensive investigation, the Argentinian government concluded in its October 2006 report that this attack was ordered by Iran’s government and carried out by Lebanese Hizballah. Vahidi was one of five Iranian officials mentioned by name as having planned the attack. One of his tasks was to coordinate with Hizballah on the operation. Interpol put him on its wanted list.
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RubinReports: Iran’s Regime Chooses A Terrorist Who Has killed Americans as Defense Minister; Still Want to Engage Them, President Obama?

The Israel Test

The Israel Test

Israel Matzav: Merkel: No connection between Iran and Holocaust?

Merkel: No connection between Iran and Holocaust?

Coming from the Chancellor of the country that perpetrated the Holocaust at a press conference with the leader of the country that most embodies its survivors regarding the country that denies the Holocaust and threatens to produce another one, this statement is simply incredible.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in response to a question about the analogy being made between Iran and Nazism, "There is no comparison between the Holocaust and the Iranian nuclear program. Things have changed since then.

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Israel Matzav: Merkel: No connection between Iran and Holocaust?

Israel Matzav: Obama setting Israel up to be Iran 'fall guy'?

Obama setting Israel up to be Iran 'fall guy'?

Caroline Glick has an interesting theory of how the Obama administration will use an Israeli 'settlement freeze' to blame Israel for the inevitable change in course he is going to have make on Iran.

So unless something saves him, Obama will look like quite a fool next month. His appeasement policy has given the mullahs eight precious months of unimpeded work at their nuclear installations. Their uranium enrichment facility at Natanz is now operating some 5,000 centrifuges, with another 2,400 centrifuges about to go on line. That is an eightfold increase in centrifuge activity from a year ago.

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Israel Matzav: Obama setting Israel up to be Iran 'fall guy'?

Israel Matzav: Englewood, New Jersey v. Gadhafi and the US State Department

Englewood, New Jersey v. Gadhafi and the US State Department

Writing in the New York Post, former Israel Radio New York correspondent Benny Avni sizes up the chances of the City of Englewood, New Jersey keeping Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi from (literally) pitching his tent in the town.

Standing in the other corner is Englewood's mayor, Michael Wildes. He estimates that the visit of the dictator and a terrorist could cost the town $20,000 a day -- and asks, "Why should I pay while he entertains his guests in my city?"

Can he prevent the visit? He says Khadafy has failed to file required town paperwork and violated several town building codes, and should get at least rhetorical support from politicians statewide.

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Israel Matzav: Englewood, New Jersey v. Gadhafi and the US State Department

Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work

Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work

Israel Matzav: Likud in revolt?

Israel Matzav: Likud in revolt?

Israel Matzav: One good 'gesture' deserves another?

One good 'gesture' deserves another?

With 'progress' being reported in the 'negotiations' to release hundreds of Hamas terrorists in exchange for one kidnapped IDF corporal named Gilad Shalit, YNet reports that the Olmert government agreed with the 'Palestinian Authority' that in the event that Israel releases hundreds of terrorists to Hamas in exchange for Shalit, it will release hundreds more to Abu Mazen Bluff to boost his standing among the 'Palestinians.'

Palestinian sources told Ynet that during talks with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government, it was agreed that if and when a deal is sealed, Israel will also release hundreds of prisoners with the purpose of boosting Abbas' standing

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Israel Matzav: One good 'gesture' deserves another?

Israel Matzav: Israel to gain energy independence?

Israel to gain energy independence?

Business Week reports that because the natural gas tracts discovered off Israel's Mediterranean coast are substantially larger than previously believed, Israel may actually gain energy independence.

As CEO of Delek Drilling, an Israeli oil and gas exploration company, Zvi Greenfeld is a self-proclaimed optimist in an extremely risky business. But even Greenfeld was taken aback by the news on Aug. 11 that the huge natural gas reserves off the country's central and northern Mediterranean coast discovered by Delek and its partners in January are 16% bigger than estimated just one month ago. Independent energy experts reckon this once energy-poor country now has enough natural gas to meet its needs for the next two decades and may ultimately even transform itself into an energy exporter.

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Israel Matzav: Israel to gain energy independence?

Israel Matzav: Let the 'Palestinians' abrogate Oslo

Let the 'Palestinians' abrogate Oslo

Alan Baker, the former legal adviser to the foreign ministry, argues that 'Palestinian' Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to declare a 'Palestinian state' by 2011, with or without Israeli approval, would violate the Oslo 'interim accords' that were signed in 1995.

THE 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with all its faults and difficulties, nevertheless still remains the valid source of authority for the Palestinian administration in the territories, as well as for the entire functioning of Palestinian governance. This agreement sets out and enables the establishment and functioning of the Palestinian Council (which serves as the parliament of the Palestinian Authority), details the mode of election of its members and appointment of its ministers, and defines its jurisdiction, its legislative and other powers, structure and prerogatives.

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Israel Matzav: Let the 'Palestinians' abrogate Oslo

Israel Matzav: Video: Hamas recruiting commercial

Israel Matzav: Video: Hamas recruiting commercial

Israel Matzav: And then there were 4% who believe Obama is pro-Israel

And then there were 4% who believe Obama is pro-Israel

A new Smith poll in Friday's JPost shows that only 4% of Jewish Israelis believe that President Obama is pro-Israel. With a 4.5% margin of error, the poll leaves open the possibility that there is no statistically significant number of Jewish Israelis who believe that the President is pro-Israel - a stunning result in a country that is still considered an American ally. The poll also found that 51% of Israelis - an absolute majority - consider the President pro-'Palestinian,' 35% consider him neutral and 10% had no opinion or were not sure.
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Israel Matzav: And then there were 4% who believe Obama is pro-Israel

Love of the Land: An Open Letter

An Open Letter



President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Sir:

In your Cairo speech [June 4, 2009] you referred to the West Bank as "occupied" by Israel. You implied that the Palestinian Arabs were being denied the sovereign rights to their homeland. But the West Bank was never a sovereign state to Palestinian Arabs. In the ancient world, Judea and Samaria belonged to what was then a sovereign Jewish state, a state from which the Jews were repeatedly driven by foreign conquerors: among them Babylonians, Romans, and Christian crusaders. However often they were driven from their ancient homeland, Jews always returned.

The millennial claims of the Jews contrast with the fact that the Palestinian people of today have no such historic claims. In fact, the Palestinians whose national identity you recognize did not exist before 1967. The West Bank was conquered in 1948 by Jordan, which subsequently annexed it and then later de-annexed it. It was de-annexed when the King of Jordan discovered he had added to his kingdom Palestinians who wanted to overthrow his monarchy. For the same reason, Israel does not want to add enemies to its body politic.

During the 19 years that Jordan controlled the West Bank, not a word was heard of a Palestinian people. After Israel's victory in 1967, Palestinian nationalism was a creation of the larger Arab world, which saw in a Palestinian state a platform from which to launch Israel's ultimate destruction. But they recognize that that victory will never come until America's support of Israel is sufficiently undermined.

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Love of the Land: An Open Letter

Love of the Land: Mr. Obama, Hebron is an eternal home for Jews

Mr. Obama, Hebron is an eternal home for Jews


Eighty years after a massacre of Jews here and despite ongoing Arab threats, we yearn for peace. But will Obama's pressure on settlements force us to leave?

The Obama administration is pressuring Israel to agree to a total building freeze of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It may not be long before Israelis are forced to withdraw from places such as Hebron, in order to "prevent terror" and "achieve peace."

It's commonly thought that "if only" Israel would give up all land outside the 1967 borders, then peace would be at hand. However, Arab terror against Jews did not begin after the Six-Day War in 1967.

Eighty years ago today, Arabs massacred 67 Jews in Hebron and wounded 70 more. Incited by the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, and shouting "Kill the Jews!", the perpetrators raped, mutilated, tortured, beheaded, or dismembered men, women, children, and even babies in a two-day spree of violence. The victims were guilty of no crime. Jews had lived there for hundreds of years in peace with their neighbors. But Arab instigators preached hateful sermons and spread malicious rumors that boiled over into bloodshed.

Of the many accounts of betrayal and courage that day in 1929, here are two:

Ben-tzion Gershon, a doctor and pharmacist who treated Jews and Arabs in Hebron, defied his wife's warnings and opened the door to an Arab woman who feigned that she was about to give birth. The woman moved aside, and a murderous mob stormed in and gang-raped his wife. When Dr. Gershon begged them to stop, they answered: "If you don't want to see it, you don't have to" – and gouged his eyes out before killing him, according to the testimony of one of Gershon's daughter.

Some Arabs showed great courage in protecting Jews that day. One Arab landlord refused to allow his Jewish tenants to be murdered. He stood fast outside the door of their home, even when a fellow Arab put a sword to his throat and drew blood. The landlord refused to budge and finally the mob relented.

As British High Commissioner Sir John Chancellor put it: "I do not think that history records many worse horrors in the last few hundred years...."

Three days after the massacre the ruling British expelled the surviving victims from Hebron, leaving the city without a Jewish presence for the first time since 1260.

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Love of the Land: Mr. Obama, Hebron is an eternal home for Jews
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