Monday, 5 October 2009

Love of the Land: IAEA Chief: Israel's Nukes "Number One Threat" to Mid-East

IAEA Chief: Israel's Nukes "Number One Threat" to Mid-East


Peter Noonan
The Weekly Standard
05 October 09

Perhaps he meant "Israeli nukes number one threat to Arab plans to decimate Israel." This coming off Israel's 40 year track record of nuclear restraint, even after the near collapse of IDF lines during the Yom Kippur War.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that "Israel is number one threat to Middle East" with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

At a joint press conference with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.

"Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses," ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

Maybe ElBaradei is worried about an Israeli nuclear strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, but even through such twisted logic, wouldn't that make Iran's weapons program the number one threat to Mid-East peace?


Love of the Land: IAEA Chief: Israel's Nukes "Number One Threat" to Mid-East

Love of the Land: Barack Obama's 1967

Barack Obama's 1967


Zalman Shoval
JPost Opinion
05 October 09

US President Barack Obama's inspirational speech at the UN included more than a few passages about the Middle East conflict. He expressed the hope for "a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine, and the Arab world," a wish shared by all Israelis. Upon closer look at some of the president's statements, several question marks arise.

The speech didn't, for instance, mention Islamic fundamentalism or Jihadism, the principal reasons for instability in the Middle East and beyond. Nor did it condemn the Arab world's refusal to acknowledge the Jewish people's right to a state of its own. No less problematic, the reference to ending "the occupation that began in 1967" puts history on its head, as it implies, perhaps unintentionally, that Israel's occupation of the West Bank is the cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This clearly inverts cause and effect.

As the writer and historian Simon Schama wrote, history should endeavor "to disentangle fact from fable," also reminding us that one of America's Founding Fathers, John Adams, had said "Facts are stubborn things." Well, the facts regarding the conflict in the Holy Land, though often deliberately or inadvertently distorted or ignored , are indeed "stubborn." Terrorist activities against Israel had started years before the "occupation," and the PLO committed to the destruction of the Jewish state was founded in 1964

NO LESS important in the factual and historical sense are the actual antecedents of the "Six-Day War" which resulted in the "occupation" to which the president's speech referred.

On May 13, 1967 the Egyptian dictator Gamel Abdel Nasser announced that two Egyptian divisions would move into the Sinai Peninsula bordering on southern Israel - contrary to international agreements, US commitments and UN guarantees. Caving in to Nasser's blustering, the then UN Secretary U Thant agreed to remove the UN emergency force from the area.

The next day, Egyptian armored and infantry columns crossed the Suez Canal and started moving towards the Israeli frontier. Shortly after, Cairo announced that it would block all shipping to the port of Eilat, Israel's only maritime outlet in the south, while Egyptian Mig21 war planes began flying over Israeli territory including the Dimona area. Concurrently, Syrian and Iraqi forces were ordered to prepare for an assault on northern Israel. The minimum strategic aim of the Egyptians, as was revealed later, was to cut off Israel's Negev from the rest of the country - but Nasser himself, in both public and secret statements, left no doubt that his ultimate aim was the complete annihilation of the State of Israel.

A decisive turning point leading up to the Six-Day War and grievously affecting the history of the entire Middle East to this day, occurred on May 30, 1967. On that date, King Hussein of Jordan, who had been regarded both by Israel and the US as a paragon of peace and moderation, without warning, infamously signed a military agreement with Egypt's Nasser, his former bitter enemy, including a Jordanian commitment to join Egypt in any war with Israel, stationing Egyptian and Iraqi forces inside Jordan. The "Arab Legion," considered by many as the Arab world's best fighting machine, was put under Egyptian command. Cairo radio crowed that now Israel's only escape was the sea.

Jordan (formerly Trans-Jordan) had in 1948 occupied and later annexed the western part of Palestine, hence called the "West Bank" - thus making the kingdom Israel's next door neighbor, abutting on most of the latter's population centers, including west Jerusalem and Israel's only international airport. King Hussein's precise motives are debatable; some believe that he wanted to placate the Palestinian majority inside his country, others ascribed it to the King's desire to get part of the spoils if the Arabs were be victorious against Israel.

The rest, as the expression goes, is history. The war broke out on June 5; the Egyptian air force was totally destroyed on the first day and the IDF advancing toward the Suez Canal, wiped out the Egyptian forces in its wake. The blockade of Eilat was lifted. In the north, the Golan Heights from which the Syrian army began its attack on Israel, were taken - and Jordanian troops, after an unsuccessful attempt to force their way into West Jerusalem, were, after several days of hard fighting, expelled from all of the land west of the Jordan River. Israel had achieved complete victory in a war of legitimate self-defense against blatant aggression whose declared aim had been its obliteration.

ALL OF the above was fully acknowledged by most of the nations of the world, though not, of course, by the Arab countries and their allies, or by the Soviet Union which according to some views, had actually egged on the Arab governments in their aggressive designs. Successive American leaders declared that Israel should never be asked to go back to its former vulnerable borders, while the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242 which specifically linked any Israeli withdrawals from "territories" to achieving secure borders.

This is what 1967 is all about: not "ending" occupation, but making sure that Israel will never again be put in a situation like the one it faced in that fateful year.

The writer is the former Israel Ambassador to the US, and currently heads the Prime Minister's forum of US-Israel Relations.


Love of the Land: Barack Obama's 1967

Love of the Land: An Offering of Thanks to Hashem on Succot

An Offering of Thanks to Hashem on Succot


Netivotgirl
Shilo Musings
05 October 09

The crisp autumn air blew through our schach and the multi-colored decorations in our Succah swung back and forth in the gentle breeze. Succot in Eretz Yisrael is a unique experience. In the States, I recall that only Orthodox Jews building a Succah. Not so here in Israel.

Even the marginally traditional here in Netivot opt for erecting some kind of Succah, whether it be made from wood or merely some sheets thrown haphazardly around the "pargula" covered porch. (A "pargula" is a special hand constructed latticed covering over a porch which I've never seen outside of Israel.) There are markets for the Arba Minim in many cities, and again, you can see chassideshe Jews standing next to men without tzitzit at the same stand checking out the wares.

I had an extremely moving moment this year during Succot, as I sat outside with my husband, and several children and grandchildren. The air was crisp and singing came from some neighboring Succot while music piped in from tapes came from others. The evening had just began—that hour when sunset has heralded the end of a day, yet the moon has yet to put in an appearance.

I looked around our table sated with joy at the presence of so many beloved family members, and suddenly I was thrown back almost forty years. I recalled a Succot holiday spent in upstate N.Y. (I grew up in the borscht belt.) Although it was Succot, I, alas, had no Succah that year. My parents were on the verge of becoming frum, but had not yet made that final leap of faith that requires changing of lifestyle, an incredibly difficult step to take in one's middle age. I felt absolutely bereft. Succot without a Succah, without Yom Tov meals; no decorations; no singing….. absolutely nothing. I never felt more alone or bereaved in my entire life. I was in mourning, for the Succos that never was. Or at least, not yet part of my newly Shomer Shabbos life.

I pushed aside the beige curtains and peeked outside in the twilight, the witching hour, at the mountain across from our home. My eyes took in the red, orange, purple, and yellow autumn foliage high above near Sam's Point and in the trees surrounding my home. I raised my tear-filled eyes to the sky and prayed, "Hashem, please let me have the zechus of marrying a Ben Torah and raising frum children who will never lack for a real Yom Tov or Shabbos! Please, Hashem, allow me to build my home in Eretz Yisrael!" Yes, even then barely Bat Mitzva, I knew that only Israel would sate my thirst for a truly Jewish lifestyle.

Time spiraled forward, and I found myself thrown back into my Succah in Netivot, filled with incredible angst and upset, feeling the desperation and frustration of that previous Succos holiday of yesteryear. I burst out crying. My husband was taken back and asked what was wrong. "Nothing," I answered. "Nothing at all!" Sitting together with him, our children and their children in Eretz Yisrael in OUR Succah, I could honestly answer him, "Nothing is wrong. Baruch Hashem, on the contrary….. !"

Love of the Land: An Offering of Thanks to Hashem on Succot

Love of the Land: The Places Stephen Walt Goes

The Places Stephen Walt Goes


Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
04 October 09

A Norwegian university has decided to assemble a cast of Israel haters to teach a seminar on Israel. Ilan Pappe, of Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine notoriety, is involved. Pappe, a Marxist Israeli who left his native land for the UK—which is far more welcoming of people like him who support economic and academic boycotts and the destruction of Israel—will be joined by a group of similarly obscure quasi-academics whose major qualification is their hatred of Israel. As Haaretz reports,

Other speakers invited by NTNU Dean Torbjorn Digernes include Moshe Zuckermann, who in a January interview for Deutschlandradio—a widely-heard German program—said that operation Cast Lead cost hundreds of thousands of Gazan lives.

The members of the seminar’s organizing committee—Morten Levin, Ann Rudinow Saetnan and Rune Skarstein—have all signed a call for an academic boycott of Israel.

Who would feel comfortable sharing the stage with such people? Well, Stephen Walt, of course, who has joined the seminar as a lecturer. For someone who was once lauded as one of America’s greatest foreign-policy thinkers, it must be a little embarrassing to be forced to take your act to an obscure university set in a small city of a country whose major export is pacifistic moralizing. Or maybe Walt’s desire to participate in some high-octane Israel-bashing is so intense that he can only get his fix abroad, what with all the intimidation from the Israel lobby in the U.S. Who knows.

During the Chas Freeman controversy, one of Walt’s ways of defending Freeman was to compile lists of American Jews who opposed his nomination and accuse them of dual loyalties and then express puzzlement at how anyone could suspect him of animosity to Israel. After all, as he insisted, he and his co-author, John Mearsheimer,

have consistently declared our support for a Jewish state, said we “admired its many achievements,” and wrote that the United States “should come to Israel’s aid if its survival is ever in jeopardy.”

Stephen Walt is just a concerned friend, you see. Is it really possible that he is traveling all the way to Norway to appear next to Ilan Pappe so he can declare to the assembled his admiration for Israel’s many achievements and his support for the Jewish state?



Love of the Land: The Places Stephen Walt Goes

Love of the Land: Weighing Truths for Gilad

Weighing Truths for Gilad


Paula R. Stern
A Soldiers Mother
04 October 09

When you are young, there is often one great truth to all things. It doesn't matter what the situation is, it's just a way you have of looking at something and deciding what is right or wrong in that simple moment. It is a singular truth that seems obvious and clear. As you get older and your life gets more complicated, shades of other truths blur the picture. There is no longer one side, one truth. Every action has a reaction; every cause not just one result but often many.

There's a scene in Fiddler on the Roof where someone says something to the main character, Tevye. Tevye confirms that the man is correct. Another man comes forward and voices an opposing position. "You are right," Tevye tells him.

Another steps forward and says, "but they can't both be right."

To which, Tevye responds, "and you are right too."

I felt that way in the last few days listening to the debate about the release of 20 security prisoners in exchange for a two minute video of Gilad Shalit this past Friday. There are so many sides, so many truths that perhaps the greatest relief comes from not being in a position to have to choose that path.

His mother has suffered so long, his father traveled so many miles begging people to listen and help free their son. Don't they deserve, don't they need this reassurance that their son is alive. This is truth.

Although 14 of these security prisoners were wanted for attempted murder, all would have been released in the coming months...certainly within the next year or so. Israel is a land that follows the rule of law. Unlike Hamas, we do not hold prisoners without trial and with trial comes a just sentence. The sentence is served and remorseful or not, the prisoner is released, often to return. This is the strength and the weakness of a democracy and so these prisoners, once freed, may well choose to attempt to murder another Israeli. This is truth as well.

The cost of this exchange boggles the mind. The value, as set by Hamas is staggering. A video of an Israeli is equal to 20 prisoners; the value of his life set at a minimum of 450 Palestinian prisoners - murderers, terrorists, killers. Twenty prisoners for one video. As one blogger wrote, "guppies cost more." This too is truth.

After so many months of silence, Israel needed a sign that we were negotiating for a live human being. We've given hundreds of prisoners for coffins; this time, it was right to get proof before any agreement and dealing with Hamas is not the same as dealing with human beings who respect life. This organization and the people who belong to it feel nothing about endangering their own people. They fight from within their own schools, mosques and hospitals.

How could we expect them to do what is legal, what is just, what is moral, what is human? They relish the suffering of others; they crave it. This is a culture that worships death and cares nothing for the suffering of an Israeli mother or her family. If this is what holds Gilad and we want proof that he is alive, this is the cost. And here too, there is truth.

"We aren't like them," said a friend. "We couldn't stand by and not do something to alleviate the terrible pain of the family." More truth.

Trade for Gilad? Accept a video in exchange for 20 prisoners - 14 wannabe killers? "What do you think of this?" I asked Elie.

"They've endangered us all," he said without hesitation. What joy I felt at hearing that we'd received the videotape and it showed a healthy, if thin, Gilad, evaporated with those words. This is a truth every Israeli mother knows and doesn't want to hear. Yes, when you reward terrorism, you get more terrorism. It is, perhaps, the greatest of all truths.

"Already Hamas has said they are going to try to kidnap more soldiers," Elie continued. More truth, more shades to consider.

He's right on so many levels and wrong on others. Or, perhaps wrong is not correct. He has yet to marry and have a child, yet to understand the awe, the love, the responsibility that comes with that.

Gilad Shalit is alive. This Hamas has proven. This young man has spent the last three years of his life a prisoner of our enemies, separated from his family, denied all contact. Night after night his mother goes to sleep not knowing where he is, if she will ever see him again. It is enough to weaken any mother's heart.

But Elie doesn't have a mother's heart. He has a soldier's heart. He loves his country, he loves his family. He's right - this endangers them all. In Elie's world, right is right; weakness damages our position. He has rules that he lives by, just and legal. There is a sense of morality, but more, there are rules of engagement. Hamas continues to violate international law, refuses to even allow Gilad to be seen by international representatives.

If he were my son...but I can't begin that thought because the pain is too great, the fear, the worry. Is there anything I wouldn't give for my children? Anything I wouldn't do? This is why it isn't correct for Gilad's parents to determine policy in this case, why mothers shouldn't be asked. We love our sons, desperately want Gilad home. This is their truth, our truth, a mother's truth.

But there is a greater truth that Hamas lives by and that truth is cheering now because they know that for a video we will release 20 prisoners, for Gilad we will release killers...who will kill again.

How many people have been murdered by the same terrorists we released in exchange for past captives? Did their families love them any less than Gilad's family loves him? This is the dilemma. Gilad on one side, a healthy, prisoner, begging us to do what we can to finally bring him home...and untold numbers of others on the other side, including Elie, telling us that what deal we make, if the price is high, will only encourage them to try to kidnap more soldiers. This is truth.

What the government has done endangers them all, while what we don't do, endangers Gilad. Sometimes, everyone is right and no one wins. The weight of that truth keeps me awake at night as I watch the video of Gilad over and over again and pray that in this bargain we made with the devil, at least his mother will find some comfort.


Love of the Land: Weighing Truths for Gilad

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' preplanned 'spontaneous' riots on Temple Mount

'Palestinians' preplanned 'spontaneous' riots on Temple Mount

There is an eerie familiarity to this story - so much so that my friend who posted the video you will see below on LiveLeak posted it with a story from the 2000 intifada. But the story happened this week - today in fact.

As I mentioned earlier, the 'Palestinian Authority' has ordered riots on the Temple Mount in order to distract attention from its withdrawal of a motion at the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' that would have referred the Goldstone Report to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council and to the International Criminal Court. That process has now been pushed off by at least six months.

Along with the riots, the 'Palestinians' are trying to convince the world that Israel has nefarious plans on the Temple Mount and to 'Judaize' Jerusalem generally. Those plans include things like 'planting' evidence that the Holy Temples existed on the Temple Mount, as if such evidence even needs to be planted. To that end, the 'Palestinian Authority' has invented an assault by 'extremist Jewish settlers' on the Temple Mount that supposedly took place last Sunday, the eve of Yom Kippur.

Fayyad's description of last Sunday's events bears no resemblance to Israel's version. According to senior Israeli officials, members of a right-wing Jewish organization did indeed declare their intent to ascend the mount on the morning of September 27, but police prevented them from even entering the Temple Mount compound.

Shortly thereafter, however, a group of French tourists - most of them Christians - came to the mount for a previously arranged tour, and hundreds of Palestinian worshipers, who had apparently been awaiting the right-wing activists, began hurling stones at them. Police responded with tear gas, and in the ensuing clashes, 30 people were wounded - half of them policemen and half Palestinians.

Nevertheless, Fayyad's plea drew a swift response from the United States and many EU countries, all of which demanded explanations of last Sunday's events from Israeli officials.

The United States was satisfied by Israel's explanation and dropped the matter. However, several European countries - headed by Sweden, whose relationship with Israel has also been deteriorating - sent worried messages demanding that Israel work to calm the situation.

The tensions reached a peak last Tuesday, when the Palestinians told several foreign embassies that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intended to accompany right-wing activists to the East Jerusalem village of Silwan to dedicate a new tunnel.

In fact, Netanyahu was merely planning to treat his senior aides to dinner at a nearby restaurant - an event that was ultimately canceled due to a heavy work load. Nevertheless, both American officials in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Israel contacted the Prime Minister's Office to demand explanations for the alleged tunnel dedication, while senior officials in Sweden's Foreign Ministry demanded similar explanations of Israel's ambassador in Stockholm.

On Sunday, there was 'spontaneous' stone throwing by 'Palestinians' on the Temple Mount, and as a result, the Temple Mount was closed. But it turns out that Sunday's stone throwing was anything but spontaneous. Like the outbreak of the 'al-Aqsa intifada' in 2000, which started with a planned 'Palestinian' riot on the Temple Mount, Sunday's events were planned - apparently by our 'peace partner,' the 'Palestinian Authority.'

Police revealed Monday that officers had discovered wheelbarrows filled with bricks and heavy rocks on the Temple Mount on Sunday. The rocks were apparently prepared by Muslims who planned to use them against police and Jewish worshippers in case of a riot.

The discovery was one of the factors that led to the closure of the Temple Mount to Jews and to limited entrance to Muslim worshippers, police said.

Another factor was ongoing incitement from Muslim leaders, several of whom have accused Israeli Jews of planning to harm the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. On Sunday and Monday, Muslim leaders in Jerusalem and around the country called on young Muslims to “come and protect Al-Aksa.”

The call to protect the mosque from alleged Zionist plots spread quickly, and on Monday thousands of Muslims in Gaza, Judea and Samaria took part in solidarity rallies calling to protect Muslim control of the Temple Mount compound.

Between the incitement and the prepared rocks, police came to believe that rioters were planning more trouble, and that previous riots were not merely a spontaneous response to the presence of religious Jews on the Temple Mount, as Muslim worshippers had previously claimed.

Israel's Channel 2 News reported the police evidence on Monday evening's news broadcasts.

Let's go to the videotape. Sorry, but I only have the broadcast in Hebrew right now, but you all know what stones look like.
See Video, Click here : Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' preplanned 'spontaneous' riots on Temple Mount

Israel Matzav: Another reason sanctions against Iran won't work: Smugglers

Another reason sanctions against Iran won't work: Smugglers

This is from a New York Times report on the problems that the United States has had in enforcing its own sanctions against Iran.

Black market networks have sprouted up all over the globe to circumvent the sanctions. A typical embargo-busting scheme was detailed in a plea agreement filed in federal court here on Sept. 24, the day before Mr. Obama and European allies announced the existence of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear enrichment facility near Qum.

In the court filings, a Dutch aviation services company and its owner admitted that they had illegally funneled American aircraft and electronics components to Iran from 2005 to 2007. Under the scheme, Iranian customers secretly placed orders with the company, which served as a front, buying the parts and having them shipped to the Netherlands, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. The materials were then quietly repackaged and shipped on to the real buyers in Iran.

The Dutch company was eventually caught. But the ease with which it had operated until then illustrates a key hurdle facing the United States: even if diplomatic challenges can be overcome to persuade countries with significant economic ties to Iran, like China, to approve sanctions, it is virtually impossible to make an embargo airtight.

“The Iranians have a lot of experience at this point in evading sanctions,” said Michael Jacobson, an intelligence and sanctions specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They are adaptable, learn from mistakes, see where the United States cracks down and move elsewhere. And on the part of businesses, there is a lot of willful blindness.”

With months at most until Iran becomes a nuclear power, there is no time for sanctions to work. There is only one way to stop Iran before it goes nuclear. That way is not sanctions.



Israel Matzav: Another reason sanctions against Iran won't work: Smugglers

Israel Matzav: ElBaradei's parting gift to Iran?

ElBaradei's parting gift to Iran?

The Iranian media is playing the country's meeting with the P 5 + 1 powers in Geneva as an Iranian victory. For example, the Tehran Times reports that

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has said that in the Geneva talks on Thursday, the 5+1 group did not raise the issue of uranium enrichment suspension, as has been demanded by the recent United Nations Security Council resolutions.

...

And Iran’s proposals were the focus of the negotiations, he noted.

Commenting on the country’s new nuclear fuel enrichment plant, he said Iranian negotiators told the 5+1 group diplomats that while the Natanz facility is operated under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and it is the country’s inalienable right to have such a facility, certain countries dare to threaten Iran with military action, and therefore Iran decided to build a more secure plant.

And that is why the Islamic Republic decided to construct the Fordoo nuclear facility, he explained.

But of course that's why they built it. Gee, why didn't I think of that?

But if there's anything to this report, we have another problem on our hands.

State television on Monday quoted Iran’s atomic chief Ali-Akbar Salehi as saying that both inspection of the new site and exchange of uranium were covered under an agreement between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog.

Salehi said he would go to Vienna on October 19 to discuss with the US, Russia and France the new Iranian initiative to enricht 3.5-per-cent-enriched uranium from the Natanz plant in central Iran to 20 per cent through foreign countries.

The 20-per-cent-enriched uranium is supposed to be used for the Tehran reactor, which is a basic research reactor producing medical isotopes.

Salehi said he hoped ElBaradei’s November report on Iran would normalize the Iranian nuclear dossier.

Iran has several times demanded a return of its dossier from the UN Security Council in New York to Vienna, as well as the end to financial sanctions against the Islamic state for having defied UN resolutions on suspending uranium enrichment
.

Could Mohamed ElBaradei be preparing a departing gift for his 'Iranian brothers' before his term of office expires in December: The 'normalization' of the Iranian nuclear file?

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: ElBaradei's parting gift to Iran?

Israel Matzav: US backs limits on freedom of expression

US backs limits on freedom of expression

In its new position at the United Nations 'Human Rights Council,' the Obama administration has joined the world's dictatorships in calling for limits on freedom of expression.

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.

Even the normally feeble European Union tried to salvage the American capitulation by expressing the hope that the resolution might be read a different way. Speaking on behalf of the EU following the resolution's adoption, French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattéi declared that "human rights law does not, and should not, protect religions or belief systems, hence the language on stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals . . . and not of ideologies, religions or abstract values. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religions." The EU also distanced itself from the American compromise on the media, declaring that "the notion of a moral and social responsibility of the media" goes "well beyond" existing international law and "the EU cannot subscribe to this concept in such general terms."

In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

But not under the Obama administration, which is willing to prohibit criticism of the 'religion of peace' to further its agenda of 'engaging' with the Muslim world.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: US backs limits on freedom of expression

Israel Matzav: When all else fails, order a probe and a riot

When all else fails, order a probe and a riot

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has come under pressure from his 'people' for bowing to Western pressure to delay a vote at the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' on referring the Goldstone Commission report to the United Nations General Assembly and the International Criminal Court. So he's doing what all good bureaucrats do when they have no other solution: He's appointing a 'commission' ... to 'investigate' himself and fomenting violence to distract the 'Palestinian street.'

Facing an unprecedented wave of condemnations and accusations of treason, beleaguered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the circumstances that led the Palestinians to abandon their demand that the UN Human Rights Council endorse a resolution condemning Israel's failure to cooperate with Justice Richard Goldstone's Cast Lead fact-finding mission.

The attacks on Abbas are the fiercest since he was elected to succeed Yasser Arafat as PA president in January 2005.

The violence that has erupted in Jerusalem's Old City in the past few days can be seen in the context of the PA leadership's attempts to divert attention from what a Palestinian minister described as "one of the worst scandals since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority."

...

A PA minister scoffed at Abbas's decision to establish a commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the PA's move at the UN.

"What's the president [Abbas] trying to tell us - that he didn't take the decision to kill the resolution that would have seen the UN endorse the findings of the fact-finding commission into the Gaza war?" the minister wondered sarcastically.

"Well, if he didn't take the decision, then we want to know who's running the Palestinian Authority? If he was responsible for the [deferral] decision, then this is a very serious matter. If he knew, it's bad; if he didn't know, it's even worse."

But Abu Mazen has learned the most important lessons a dictator needs to learn from the Goldstone Commission: He has appointed a 'commission' whose 'findings' are a foregone conclusion and it will report to a body in which support for Abu Mazen is a foregone conclusion.

Abbas's commission of inquiry will be headed by Hana Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee. The other two members of the commission will be Azmi Shuaibi, head of the non-governmental Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), and Rami Hamdallah, secretary-general of the Palestinian Central Elections Committee.

The commission has been asked to present its findings to Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee within two weeks, said Yasser Abed Rabo, a senior PLO official who also serves as an adviser to the PA president.

The Executive Committee, which is dominated by veteran Abbas loyalists, is one of the Palestinians' key decision-making bodies.

But if this story wasn't farcical enough based on the fact that the 'Palestinian Authority' urged Israel to destroy Hamas during the war, and provided intelligence for Israel to do so there's now more. The 'Palestinians' are now blaming Israel and the United States for exposing 'secret understandings' about postponing the vote - understandings that would have been obvious to any moron in the postponement's aftermath - and that included China, Russia and France.

Abu Mazen will never take responsibility for the postponement. Being a 'Palestinian' means never having to take responsibility for one's own actions. Even when those actions are otherwise completely rational - as agreeing to the postponement was.


Israel Matzav: When all else fails, order a probe and a riot

Israel Matzav: ADL slams Obama's buddy for Jewish conspiracy theory

ADL slams Obama's buddy for Jewish conspiracy theory

The Anti-Defamation League has slammed Barack Obama's pal Manuel Zelaya for charging that a 'Jewish conspiracy' was behind his ouster as President of Honduras and efforts to dislodge him from the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.

The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League cited statements made by ousted President Manuel Zelaya as well as the news director of a radio station that was closed by the interim government in Honduras and by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, among others.

Most of the comments repeat widely circulated rumors that Israeli soldiers - or in some versions, mercenaries - worked with the troops backing interim President Roberto Micheletti, allegedly supplying some form of tear gas used at the embassy and providing other assistance.

The interim government denies having received assistance from Israelis or the Israeli government, but even if it had received assistance from individual Israelis it would not justify the kinds of stories that Zelaya and his supporters have been spreading.

The Jewish group also criticized Chavez for claiming at the United Nations that Israel is the only country to recognize the coup-installed government, something Micheletti's administration has denied.

The ADL also cited an interview with The Miami Herald in which Zelaya said that "Israeli mercenaries are torturing him with high-frequency radiation."

Again, if Israel had recognized Micheletti's government, there would be nothing wrong with it. There are many people who believe that would be the right thing to do, including many non-Jewish Americans.

And it seems that at least one of Zelaya's key supporters is self-hating semi-Jew.

Among the remarks criticized by the ADL is a statement by David Romero, news director of Radio Globo, which supports Zelaya.

On Sept. 25, commenting on the rumors alleging Israeli involvement in the crisis, Romero referred on air to the "famous Holocaust" and added that "I believe it should have been fair and valid to let Hitler finish his historic vision."

Romero apologized for the remarks Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press, saying that they were "stupid" statements made in the heat of the moment and that don't reflect his real views.

He said his grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Czechoslovakia who came to Honduras to escape persecution in Europe.

"I apologize to the Jewish community here and throughout the world," Romero said.

I'm sure you're all as not shocked by that as I was. Someone ought to tell the moron that if that comment reflects his true feelings (as it probably does) then an apology is woefully insufficient.

I admire the people of Honduras for sticking with Michelletti. I believe that all freedom-loving people should admire them. After that election in January, I hope Israel will be the first country to recognize the new government.

Am I saying that Barack Obama isn't freedom-loving? It's about time you figured that out.


Israel Matzav: ADL slams Obama's buddy for Jewish conspiracy theory

Israel Matzav: Hamas to build homes for 'human shields' on Gaza - Israel border

Hamas to build homes for 'human shields' on Gaza - Israel border

Hamas is planning to build temporary homes - mainly 'caravans' (trailers) - for Gazan civilians displaced by Operation Cast Lead along the Gaza - Israel border. The Gazan civilians would then serve as 'human shields' for activities like rocket fire and tunnel digging.

The army learned recently of the plan, initiated by Hamas Housing Minister Yousef al-Mansi, under which thousands of Palestinians who are waiting for their homes that were damaged during Operation Cast Lead to be repaired will be housed in temporary structures and caravans along the border with Israel.

The IDF believes that Mansi plans to set up the temporary villages to serve as obstacles in the event that Israel sends ground forces into Gaza. The border villages will also likely serve as cover for tunnels that Hamas will dig under the security fence and into Israel to carry out attacks.

"This is part of Hamas's overall strategy to use built-up areas to hide in and to launch attacks," a senior defense official said. "This basically means that Hamas will want to use the people it places there as human shields against Israel."

The picture at the top of this post is a group of Hamas children re-enacting the kidnapping of IDF corporal Gilad Shalit, something that Hamas has said recently it would like to repeat.

But I'm sure the next 'Goldstone Commission' will decide that it was Israel that turned these 'Palestinians' into 'human shields' since if Israel had only allowed Hamas to import building materials build more rockets, they would not be caught in the border area like that.

So once again, the obtuse Goldstone Report is encouraging placing civilians in harm's way. After all, if Hamas got away with it the last time, they will get away with it this time.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Hamas to build homes for 'human shields' on Gaza - Israel border

Israel Matzav: Obama empowers the Iranian narrative

Obama empowers the Iranian narrative

The upshot of last week's meeting in Geneva, says Barry Rubin, was that the Iranians are being allowed to continue their pursuit of nuclear weapons under the guise of a 'peaceful' pursuit of nuclear energy.

The third point is the most significant and interesting. Iran has agreed in principle—note that since this implies that once details are discussed the promises will either be less attractive or not implemented at all—to send much of its nuclear fuel from the Natanz enrichment plant—the one we’ve known about--to Russia where it will be further enriched and then sent to France to be converted into fuel, making it far less suitable for making into weapons.

But guess what? And this is so important I'm going to put it in bold: Iran's ambassador to Britain has denied that Iran agreed to turn over the nuclear fuel. And this has not even been reported in the Iranian media yet.

Get it? Iran is getting credit for a concession that it has not even made yet and probably doesn't intend to make!

And so when I say: The account we are getting of the meeting's significance is too good to be true there's a lot of evidence for that conclusion.

It’s hard to believe otherwise. After all, one must take into context the nature, history, ideology, policies, and leadership of the Tehran regime as well as its immediate need to consolidate power at home and defuse pressure from abroad. If ever there was a situation that seemed ripe for trickery this is it.

But here’s the best argument: To believe that Iran is ready to act sincerely in giving up its nuclear fuel which can be used to make atomic weapons, you have to conclude that the regime’s goal all along has just been to build nuclear energy power plants, not weapons of mass destruction.

From Tehran’s viewpoint, in just about seven hours of talks it made the threat of sanctions go away for months without taking any actual action of significance. Indeed, Iran and those it met with have a common interest: to make the public and confrontational aspects of the problem go away.

U.S. officials said that the issue of repression in Iran was raised at the meeting—probably very much in passing—but that sanctions were barely mentioned. Of course, the Iranians knew all about the sanctions already but the point here is that the tone of the meeting was to downplay pressure and to give the Iranian regime a chance to “go straight.”

The responses of President Barack Obama show clearly his strategy. He will support Iran doing reprocessing in exchange for the regime pursuing only a peaceful nuclear energy option. Remember that this is what Iran has insisted it has been doing all the time and will go on insisting until the day that nuclear weapons are obtained. In a sense, Obama—to use current jargon—is empowering the Iranian narrative.

But consider this. Let's say that the United States, the Europeans, and Iran agree that Tehran is just seeking peaceful nuclear energy and should get it. What happens when some time in 2010 it becomes clear the regime was lying and that it's made dramatic progress toward getting atomic bombs? Won't this make Obama look to be about the most fooled world leader since Nevil Chamberlain waved that piece of paper saying Hitler only wanted western Czechoslovakia and should get it? How would the administration react in that event?

Read the whole thing.

The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl says that the West doesn't believe that it can stop Iran and that ultimately, the West will pursue a strategy of 'containment.'

The Obama administration and its allies have said repeatedly that they will pursue diplomacy until the end of the year and then seek sanctions if diplomacy hasn't worked. That sets up a foreseeable and very unpleasant crossroads. "If by early next year we are getting nothing through diplomacy and sanctions," says scholar Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, "the entire policy is going to be revealed as a charade."

What then? Pollack, a former Clinton administration official, says there is one obvious Plan B: "containment," a policy that got its name during the Cold War. The point would be to limit Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons or exercise its influence through the region by every means possible short of war -- and to be prepared to sustain the effort over years, maybe decades. It's an option that has been lurking at the back of the debate about Iran for years. "In their heart of hearts I think the Obama administration knows that this is where this is going," Pollack says.

I suspect he's right. I also don't expect Obama and his aides to begin talking about a policy shift anytime soon. For the next few months we'll keep hearing about negotiations, sanctions and possibly Israeli military action as ways to stop an Iranian bomb. By far the best chance for a breakthrough, as I see it, lies in a victory by the Iranian opposition over the current regime. If that doesn't happen, it may soon get harder to disguise the hollowness of Western policy.

The problem with 'containment,' as I have explained many times, is that it doesn't work with an apocryphal dictator. And so, if it begins to appear as if Iran's going nuclear as imminent, I believe that the Israelis will attack Iran, hoping to draw the United States into the battle.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Obama empowers the Iranian narrative

Israel Matzav: Why a third 'intifada' is unlikely - for now

Why a third 'intifada' is unlikely - for now

Haaretz reports that a third 'intifiada' (violent uprising by the 'Palestinians') is currently unlikely.

"There is a state of disengagement between the people and its political leadership so people are not ready to sacrifice as they did before," said Zakaria al-Qaq of al-Quds University.

"At the same time there is a build-up of anger that is waiting for the spark. No one can predict when the spark will come. But it could take years yet."

Factors mentioned include disillusion that 4,000 Palestinians deaths in the years of uprising since 2000 have brought few benefits, while Israel has walled off the West Bank and closed the Israeli job market to Palestinians.

The schism that has seen Islamist Hamas seize the Gaza Strip and being suppressed in the West Bank by new, Western-trained security forces loyal to Abbas is also likely to limit organised violence from the West Bank against Israel.

...

Analyst Hani Masri said sporadic and largely spontaneous demonstrations that turn into clashes like those this past week in Jerusalem may become more common.

But he said: "The wariness among the people about popular resistance is greater than before, following the huge losses they suffered in the Second Intifada.

"Israel has used the Second Intifada as an excuse to build the wall and to avoid committing to signed agreements. Palestinians should not give them this excuse again."

Samir Awad, a political science professor at Birzeit University, said: "It would be a mistake to expect a popular wave of protest. I cannot see it happening.

"But if Israeli provocations in Jerusalem continue, we may expect clashes arising from religious and patriotic emotion."

I would add a few more reasons why a third 'intifada' is currently unlikely. First, there is no one to lead and organize it. The first 'intifada' was spontaneous but accomplished nothing; the second was led by Yasser Arafat, although that was not proven until much later. Now, there is no leadership and as noted above there is no spontaneity. A good reason to keep Marwan Barghouti under lock and key.

Second, Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to be at least as brutal as Ariel Sharon was in putting down an 'intifada.' Simply put, if the 'Palestinians' choose to go to war again, they will pay a price. Ehud Barak made the mistake of responding with kid gloves - it was two months from the first terror outrage to the first targeted assassination, and it was only Ariel Sharon - three years after the fact - who sent the IDF into the 'Palestinian' cities to put the 'intifada' down. You can bet that Netanyahu - after seeing their experiences - would send the IDF in a lot more quickly.

Third, the 'Palestinians' now recognize that they have paid a heavy price for what they did between 2000 and 2004. That price was sealed by what happened in Gaza after 2005. Israelis don't trust them any more and most Israeli Jews are unwilling to make concessions to them. That's why the Netanyahu government was elected. It will take years - or a major transformation - before most Israeli Jews would consider the kinds of concessions offered by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.

Fourth, the 'Palestinians' recognize that they now have a good life in Judea and Samaria. Why would they want to spoil it? Most of them don't want a 'state' anyway. They understand that right now their choices are to live decently under Israeli rule, or to go back to a military occupation where they can't leave their villages. Which would you choose?

Finally, let's be realistic: The 'western trained security forces loyal to Abbas' will be totally useless at best if there is another 'intifada.' Those troops - also known as the Dayton force - are more likely to join an 'intifada' than to fight one.

So no, as long as Israel doesn't do anything stupid like create a 'Palestinian state,' there won't be an 'intifada' for now.


Israel Matzav: Why a third 'intifada' is unlikely - for now

Israel Matzav: 1,000 cases pending, three lawyers to handle them

Israel Matzav: 1,000 cases pending, three lawyers to handle them

Israel Matzav: Raw video: 'Palestinians' escape into Israel

Israel Matzav: Raw video: 'Palestinians' escape into Israel

Israel Matzav: And again: Hamas kiddie television calls for murdering Jews

Israel Matzav: And again: Hamas kiddie television calls for murdering Jews

Israel Matzav: Ironic juxtaposition

Israel Matzav: Ironic juxtaposition

Israel Matzav: ElBaradei: Israel biggest threat to Middle East

Israel Matzav: ElBaradei: Israel biggest threat to Middle East

The Torah Revolution: Stanley Fischer

The Torah Revolution: Stanley Fischer

The Torah Revolution: The shallow truth

The Torah Revolution: The shallow truth

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 1 [On the Jewish Right to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem]

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 1 [On the Jewish Right to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem]

Love of the Land: Discussion on the Guardian: Should we take the legal or statutory route to get a fair hearing for Israel in the UK?

Discussion on the Guardian: Should we take the legal or statutory route to get a fair hearing for Israel in the UK?


Robin Shepherd
Think Tank Blog
05 October 09

Let me say from the outset, that as a former journalist I am instinctively opposed to the use of legal or statutory remedies to sort out disputes in the public domain. Bad arguments, even hateful and defamatory arguments are best met with better arguments not with recourse to the courts. But what happens if your right to reply is refused? What happens if you are cut off in a broadcast and your character or motives are impugned? What happens if you are left with the choice of taking it on the chin and getting no redress or taking action?

I do not know the answer. But since publishing A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel a couple of weeks ago, I have personal reasons for wanting one. Of course, this is not simply a problem for me. Many others have suffered abuse and misrepresentation for calling for a more reasoned approach to Israel.

It is in the interests of the wider issue, therefore, that I offer an account of the way I was treated in today’s Guardian and then by its editorial team which refused my request for a proper response to a wholly distorted rendition of one of my arguments. This was compounded by implied defamation in the comments section.

I would be grateful for thoughts in my own comment section below as to what readers think, both about the case in point and the broader question of what to do about it. (There is another pertinent issue which would add to the discussion involving LBC Radio but it is now in the hands of the UK’s broadcast standards commission, Ofcom. I cannot, therefore, comment at this stage.)

Since it is impossible to be objective about a case involving oneself, I offer the following version of events from Cif Watch, an important new website which monitors anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic articles and remarks on the Guardian’s Comment is Free (Cif) website.

The link to the Cif Watch piece is below. Please click through to read it and familiarise yourself with the site and then comment both there and here as you please. All views are welcome.

http://cifwatch.com/


Love of the Land: Discussion on the Guardian: Should we take the legal or statutory route to get a fair hearing for Israel in the UK?

Love of the Land: Bad Options on Iran

Bad Options on Iran


An Israeli strike won't suffice

by Michael Rubin
Middle East Forum
National Review Online
October 5, 2009

On October 1, President Barack Obama ascended the podium in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House and declared negotiations with Iran a tentative success. "The P5-plus-1 is united, and we have an international community that has reaffirmed its commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament. That's why the Iranian government heard a clear and unified message from the international community in Geneva: Iran must demonstrate through concrete steps that it will live up to its responsibilities with regard to its nuclear program. In pursuit of that goal, today's meeting was a constructive beginning," Obama said, adding, "but it must be followed by constructive action by the Iranian government."

Where Obama sees tentative success, reality suggests failure. Faced with irrefutable evidence, Tehran acknowledged that it had built a second, covert nuclear-enrichment plant, squirreled away in an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base near Qom. Neither Obama nor the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, acknowledged that Iranian confirmation of its second enrichment plant belied the veracity of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate. Regardless, Tehran's decision to confess when confronted with proof of cheating should not be considered the same as Iranian transparency and goodwill. Many scientists within the International Atomic Energy Agency believe that the Iranian regime now has "sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable" nuclear bomb.

Obama's supporters have rallied to put the best face on the P5+1 dialogue. "Obama . . . got more concessions from Iran in 7½ hours than the former administration got in 8 years of saber-rattling," Juan Cole, president of the one-man Global Americana Institute, wrote on his blog. Former Carter administration adviser (and October Surprise conspiracy theorist) Gary Sick was likewise effusive, calling the meeting a "historic moment after thirty years of mutual recriminations and hyperbole." The truth, however, is that any agreement was short of specifics. Iran pledged to allow inspections, but offered no specifics as to when and under what conditions. While Iranian authorities pledged to ship uranium to Russia for further enrichment, the West has no guarantee that Iranian scientists will not simply enrich the fuel further when it is repatriated to Iran.

Not surprisingly, the Iranian regime has been defiant in recent days. Ahmadinejad called Obama's criticism of Iran's second enrichment plant a "historic mistake," hardly a sign that the Iranian regime feels sincere about complying with international demands. Jomhouri-ye Eslami, a daily closely associated with the Islamic Republic's intelligence apparatus, editorialized, "The announcement of the enrichment facilities forced the West into a defensive position," and Kayhan, which voices the line of the "supreme leader," wrote, "The announcement of the enrichment facilities will be Iran's winning card in October negotiations."

The Obama administration may convince itself that it remains in control of the diplomatic process and has placed serious constraints upon any Iranian breakout capability, but countries with more at stake know better. Last month's Iranian test of ballistic missiles capable of hitting Saudi Arabia and Israel underscored both the danger and questions about Iranian sincerity.

Threat Perception

Different threat perceptions muddy the international approach to the Iranian nuclear challenge. For the European Union, the Iranian nuclear challenge revolves around the viability of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as the efficacy of European foreign policy on the international stage. After all, the Islamic Republic's proliferation activities marked the first international crisis in which the European Union consciously sought to lead. Should Iran go nuclear despite years of critical engagement, it would be a blow to the multilateralism-and-incentives approach favored by European foreign ministries.

For President Obama and most of the American foreign-policy apparatus, a nuclear-weapons-capable Islamic Republic would be strategically untenable. A nuclear Iran would embolden Tehran to act out conventionally and by proxy, hiding behind its own nuclear deterrence. Growing Iranian prestige and ability to project power would force other regional states to make accommodations with Tehran that might not be in the U.S. national-security interest. Any additional nuclear power in the Middle East would also unleash a cascade of proliferation: If Iran went nuclear, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would need to develop their own capabilities. If Saudi Arabia and Turkey went nuclear, Egypt and Greece would as well. A nuclear Egypt would lead Libya to reconsider its decision to abandon the bomb, which in turn might lead Algeria to reconsider its own position. In short, a nuclear Islamic Republic would be a game-changer that would complicate U.S. interests in the region for decades to come. That said, Washington need not fear that an Iranian leadership with a handful of nuclear weapons would cause the U.S.'s demise.
(Full Article)


Love of the Land: Bad Options on Iran

Love of the Land: PMW Bulletin: Hamas repeats threat to capture more "Shalits"

PMW Bulletin: Hamas repeats threat to capture more "Shalits"


Bulletin
Palestinian Media Watch
04 October 09
TY to IMRA

Hamas repeats threat to capture more "Shalits"
Khaled Mashaal repeats message of Hamas video animations mocking Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit and threatening more kidnappings

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Following the release of the Gilad Shalit video in exchange for 20 Palestinian female terrorists who were involved in attempted murder, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has repeated the organization's threats to kidnap more soldiers. Hamas sees the release as vindication of its kidnapping-for-hostage policy.

Mashaal said:
"The resistance, which has succeeded in capturing Gilad Shalit, keeping him alive and well for more than three years, giving him proper treatment, and excelling in conducting indirect negotiations, is capable of capturing [another] Shalit and [another] Shalit and [another] Shalit, until not a single prisoner will remain in the enemy's jails."

["Palestine Information Center" - Hamas website, Oct. 2, 2009]

The following documentation was publicized by PMW in its bulletin of Sept. 30th 2009:

Two video animations showing hostage Gilad Shalit as Hamas's prime leverage for prisoners' release have appeared on Hamas TV. Both applaud the Palestinian kidnapping-for-hostage policy, and advocate more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers.

One animation shows a Hamas child using a stone (symbolizing Gilad Shalit) to scrape away at a chain (symbolizing Israeli prisons) painted on a wall. A song promises that many "Gilads" will be the means to release Palestinian prisoners. The boy tells the chain that the Palestinians are patient and can wait for the chain to break. The boy then drops the stone, and on it appears a picture of Gilad Shalit. The boy tells Shalit that Hamas will be back to "finish the job." The video ends with Shalit crying, and calling "Mommy!" Click here to view

The second animation shows Gilad Shalit being held prisoner and talking to a Hamas child. The Shalit character says Israel does not care about him, and suggests that the only way for him to be released would be for Hamas to kidnap more soldiers. The child understands that further kidnappings would cause drafted Israelis to refuse to serve in the army out of fear of being kidnapped, and thus scare Israeli leaders -who otherwise don't care about Shalit - into accepting Hamas's terms. Click here to view

The following is the transcript of the first Hamas TV animation mocking Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit and promising more kidnappings of soldiers:

(Song) "In the prisons, our heroes cried with joy: Our day of release has come; this land is our country! You [Israelis] will all be 'Gilads'. We'll capture you."
Hamas child uses a stone to scrape away at a chain painted on a wall.
Child [to chain]: "You don't want to break- that's OK. Take your time; we're not in a hurry, we're very patient."
Child drops stone, and image of Gilad Shalit appears on stone.
Child [to stone - Shalit]: "You stay where you are; don't move. Tomorrow we'll be back and we'll finish the job."
(Song) "It is inevitable that the chains will be broken."
[The video ends with the stone - Gilad Shalit - crying: "Mommy!" (in
Hebrew)]

[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), April 21, 2009]

The following is the transcript of the Hamas TV animation mocking Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit and promoting the kidnapping-for-hostage policy:

Gilad Shalit: "Mommy!"
Hamas child: "Who is it? Gilad [Shalit]? [Child laughs] Poor you! You've been rotting here for 3 years, and no one cares."
Gilad Shalit: "Please release me!"
Hamas child: "Are you asking me to be a collaborator and a traitor, that I'll betray my people and my homeland? Are you crazy!"
Gilad Shalit: "I have an idea: You [Hamas] go and capture more soldiers, they [Israelis] will be afraid and accept your terms to free me."
Hamas child: "Ah, they will free you not because they love you, but to prevent anxiety among your soldiers, so they won't be afraid, and stop their military service."
Gilad Shalit: "True."
Hamas child: "Gilad, stay here, and pray that [Hamas] succeeds in capturing another [soldier], so you'll be freed. Bye."
Gilad Shalit: "Mommy! Mommy! (in Hebrew) Free me!"

[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 6, 2009]

Both Fatah and Hamas have stated that the kidnapping-for-hostage policy is the Palestinians' most effective tool to force the release of terrorist prisoners. Following are two examples of PA and Hamas ministers advocating kidnapping of Israeli soldiers:

Ashraf Al-Ajrami, PA Minister of Prisoners:

"The language of peace and negotiations is not enough to urge Israel to cooperate positively regarding prisoners. The way Israel likes, it seems, is to exchange [prisoners] with kidnapped Israeli soldiers."

[PA TV (Fatah), June 5, 2008]

Click here to view

Said Siam, PA Minister of Interior (Hamas):

"In the past, Hamas succeeded in kidnapping many Zionist soldiers. From among our forces there are thousands of prisoners. They (the forces) have to think how to free these prisoners, and I believe that there is no alternative but to kidnap soldiers to exchange for them. Hamas has kidnapped 10 soldiers. There is nothing the Resistance cannot do. When there is a goal and a good plan, the goal can be achieved, especially about prisoners, which is top priority.

During the PA administration, Hamas has succeeded in kidnapping and hiding bodies, but unfortunately, two bodies were handed over for nothing. When there is a kidnapping, and it is secured, each case at its own time has its own negotiations."

[Abu Dabi TV, June 26, 2006]

Click here to view

It should be noted that months before the Shalit kidnapping, PMW released the Siam speech, and warned that kidnapping-for-hostages was Palestinian policy.

To read PMW op-ed on Hamas's kidnapping-for-hostage policy, click here.
To see more statements on PMW's website confirming the Palestinian
kidnapping-for-hostage policy, click here.

To see a previous PMW bulletin (featured on the old PMW website), released
prior to the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, "Hamas Plans to Kidnap Israeli Soldiers for Prisoner Trade," click here.

Love of the Land: PMW Bulletin: Hamas repeats threat to capture more "Shalits"

Love of the Land: My Word: From the UN podium to Succot booths

My Word: From the UN podium to Succot booths


Liat Collins
JPost
04 October 09

Speeches to the UN rarely leave a lasting impression. The exception that proves the rule is the case of the late president Chaim Herzog who, as Israel's ambassador to the international body, shocked the General Assembly with an address followed by an action that spoke even louder than his words.

On November 10, 1975, the 37th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the UN General Assembly approved Resolution 3379, infamously declaring that Zionism is a form of racism. Following the decision, Herzog made the speech still considered one of the most important in Israeli diplomacy and definitely of his very full life.

Warning the other ambassadors that they would be accountable for the next holocaust, Herzog stated: "For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance is devoid of any moral or legal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such." He then proceeded to tear the document to shreds.

Herzog's address survived the test of time and a couple of years ago was included in a book edited by a team of British historians entitled Speeches that Changed the World. It obviously did not change the world enough, however.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address to the UN General Assembly on September 24 was not aimed at changing the world. When Libya is allowed to preside over the General Assembly despite its human rights record - and the welcome it gave Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi when he recently returned home - you might wonder if the world even can be changed. Netanyahu's speech, given in English to allow the largest number of people to understand it, was more of an attempt to change, or at least soften, world opinion.

NETANYAHU'S SPEECH was not as dramatic as the build-up to it: In today's world, the hype preceding a speech can be more important than what is actually said. It was not even the most memorable moment of last month's gathering. That honor probably belongs to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's antics and ramblings, which went on so long that the noteworthy points were lost on the way.

And Netanyahu's appearance was certainly not the most significant in the annals of UN history. Among the contenders for that distinction is Yasser Arafat's idea of diplomacy when in November 1974 he became the first representative of a nongovernmental agency to address a plenary session of the General Assembly. The leader of the PLO, wearing a holster, proudly proclaimed: "I come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun." The PLO soon became an official UN observer. It was a few months after 21 schoolchildren were killed in the Ma'alot massacre, two years after 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics, and at the height of the PLO's terror campaign and hijackings that cost the lives of hundreds.

It was one of those moments that casts considerable doubt over the UN's ability to carry out its mandate - to prevent wars, rather than wait to investigate how they are conducted. After all, we need peace or at least quiet from missile attacks far more than we need Richard Goldstone's lecturing us on how we should not have fought back.

Of Netanyahu's speech two phrases echoed with me. They sounded out across the uncomfortably small global village and resonated in my Jerusalem neighborhood, where many victims of Arafat's combination of war and peace process used to live until they were blown up on the No. 18 bus or in the city's streets and restaurants.

The first phrase was Netanyahu's resounding: "To those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" He was, of course, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who seems to be turning Holocaust denial into a political survival technique. If he makes sure the spotlight centers on his outrageous claims that the systematic destruction of the Jewish people did not take place, the world might pay less attention to the fact that he is busy trying to ensure he has the means of a nuclear apocalypse.

Clearly, just a few decades later, those who can deny that the murder of six million Jews took place have no shame. Can the same be said for future generations? They might be tempted to use ignorance as an excuse. Young adults growing up today on a diet of Hollywood movies in which mega-hit fictional versions like Inglourious Basterds are the staple might lose sight of the truth as the real survivors with their only-too-true stories die off. What will shape the thoughts of viewers of films like Valkyrie, The Reader, Good and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas which Post movie critic Hannah Brown pointed out "can be grouped in a category I'll call "A Few Words from the Nazis"?

This is the danger in the larger-than-life world in which we live - a world in which "Survivors" are those fighting for attention in reality TV shows.

The other phrase that struck a chord in Netanyahu's speech was his "We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland."

It is a message worth repeating. It could be heard echoing throughout the land, our land, as religious and secular alike erected succot, the booths that gave the Feast of Tabernacles its name and remind us of the temporary abodes erected by the Children of Israel as they wandered through the desert. True, today's booths might not resemble those desert dwellings of yore. Many in Israel are incongruously decorated with made-in-China Christmas-colored trappings. But nonetheless, Succot is one of those oh-so-Jewish festivals for which we have been reviled and admired over the millennia. Like Passover, marking the Exodus, or Tisha Be'av, commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples, it is a sign not only of our ongoing national identity - united in joy and in sorrow - but also of our unbroken link to this land.

Succot's essence as an agricultural festival has in the New Age turned it into a "green holiday," helping Jews of all types to find it relevant even after thousands of years.

There is only one place to truly celebrate Succot. In Israel. Like the other Jewish festivals, here it not only feels right, it feels natural. This year, however, I couldn't help wondering whether some human rights group wasn't monitoring all the booths going up and preparing to file criminal charges against Israelis who dared add dwelling places without international permission.

Only in Israel do the local municipalities put out palm fronds to use as roofing. Only here do the meteorologists on the TV and radio pronounce whether the weather conditions will be favorable. And only here do we count it as a blessing if it rains anyway.

Netanyahu's words should act as a reminder to the world that we live here by right - as writer Haim Gouri puts it: Not because of the Holocaust but in spite of the Holocaust.

It's about time our neighbors learn to live with it. Peacefully.

Love of the Land: My Word: From the UN podium to Succot booths

Love of the Land: Whitehouse Blues

Whitehouse Blues


Obama's Whitehouse Pressures Israel : Dry Bones cartoon.

I am off on a speaking tour in the States until the end of October. I wrote, drew, and posted a set of cartoons to provide you with a daily chuckle while I'm away.

This is one of those cartoons.





Love of the Land: Whitehouse Blues
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