Monday, 12 October 2009

CNN on Israel's Economy

CNN on Israel's Economy

I don'tusually watch CNN, but since they're being bullish about our economy, how can I resist?
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Love of the Land: An Early Arab Attack on Petah Tikvah

An Early Arab Attack on Petah Tikvah


Elder of Ziyon
09 October 09

I just came across a book called New Judea, published in 1919, discussing what Palestine was like at that time from a Jewish perspective. This episode, about Petah Tikva, was interesting:

ln the course of a conversation, the old agriculturist related many episodes connected with the early history of the colony, one of which impressed itself on my memory. "It was a short while after we came to occupy this land," he said, "before a permanent buildings was completed, and we were all squeezed together in one old Arab mud hovel called "hushot." The place was then wild, and we were busy cleaning away stones, grading the land, making roads, defining the boundaries of our colony and ploughing the hard soil."

"l was watching a field of wheat whose green crops had just made its appearance. One day while patrolling the wheat field, I noticed the Arab Sheikh, of the neighboring village, El Yehud, had turned his horses into our wheat. I chased the horses away and went over to the intruder and warned him not to do it again, as we would hold him personally responsible for all damages. The Sheikh glanced at me scornfully and turned away. A few weeks passed, the wheat field was already proudly waving in the air. l saw from a distance one early morning the Sheikh wrapped in a black "Abba" and a large "Kephiyah" on his head coming toward the colony. l gave a signal to my comrades. In a few minutes they were up and we assembled behind a cactus hedge to decide what steps to take with the treacherous intruder. After some discussion it was decided that we must once for all show the marauding neighbors that we do not fear them and that we are ready to repell and punish all attacks made on this colony. While reaching this decision we noticed the same Sheikh leaving the highway and turning his horse into the wheat. A few of us immediately jumped on our horses and chased after the intruder. He began to run and we followed him until we brought him to a stop. We brought him and his horse back to the village, where he was given a good thrashing, and we sent him off to his home warning him that if this happened again his punishment would be much more severe. He stared at us with an expression of vengeance and then spirited away among the hills. About a month passed and nothing was heard of the Sheikh. One morning we learned from one of our Arab laborers that we were to be attacked on a certain night of that week by the tribesmen of the Sheikh. Not knowing how many were coming, we despatched one of our men to the neighboring colonies for assistance. We did not notify the authorities in Jaffa, thinking it would be more effective and would make a better impression on the Arabs if we convinced them once for all that we did not fear them and that we could use firearms better than they. Pretending that it was a holy day, we dismissed all the Arab laborers for a few days so as to be sure that our enemies would not be informed of our plans, for we discovered that they were spying on us. On the afternoon preceding the night of the expected attack, a score of men and women, comrades, from Rishon L'Zion, Ekron and Katra, mounted on fine horses and armed with new guns at their backs, revolvers at their girdles and belts with cartridges around their waists, rushed on our villaee like a company of trained cavalry ready to close in on the enemy. They dismounted from the horses and sat down to consult with us about our plan of warfare.

"Towards evening each man was assigned to a strategic position. We knew that they were coming down the main road and that they were to use our field of wheat as the fighting ground. Some of us concealed ourselves near the entrance of the village, behind piles of stones, other in ditches and behind hills; while still others were encamped behind the village houses that were in process of erection, and on the roof of the hut we were occupying.

"The expected hour came. The vanguards, who were patrolling about the fields, having heard from a distance the trotting of horses and wild voices of people, signalled to us, They are coming! Be ready for action! As soon as the enemy entered the grounds of the village two shots were heard. We knew it was the signal for action. A volley of fire from our comrades of the lower side of the colony broke out. The marauders were quickly encircled by our men and they surrendered before we had a chance to fire a shot at them. They were completely taken by surprise. We made prisoners of about twenty Arab ringleaders, including the Sheikh, bound their hands and feet and took them the next day to Jaffa, where we gave them over to the authorities. The others did not need much warning. They were glad to be allowed to get away.

"Since that incident," continued my new friend, "we gained the respect of our neighbors, and we have no organized attacks, except now and then individual robberies that may happen anywhere.

Keep in mind that the area of Petah Tikva was legally purchased around 1883.



Love of the Land: An Early Arab Attack on Petah Tikvah

Love of the Land: Amira Hass Gets Lifetime Award

Amira Hass Gets Lifetime Award


Snapshots/CAMERA
11 October 09



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President Obama isn't the only one receiving awards based on as-yet-unattained accomplishments. On Oct. 20, the International Women's Media Network will reward Ha'aretz'sAmira Hass the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

According to IWMF's press release:

[Hass] has demonstrated her ability to defy boundaries of gender, ethnicity and religion in her pursuit of the truth in her reporting. In covering the Palestinian Occupied Territories, her goal has been to provide her readers with detailed information about Israeli policies and especially that of restrictions of the freedom of movement.

Presumably, her "ability to defy boundaries" includes her two illegal entries into the Gaza Strip this year. Likewise, her "pursuit of the truth" apparently include her false claimsthat Israel banned diapers and toilet paper from entering the Gaza Strip and her understatement concerning the amount of industrial fuel that Israel permits into the Gaza Strip.

Perhaps her award should be Lifetime Achivement for Going Where No Diapers and Toilet Paper Have Ever Gone Before.


Love of the Land: Amira Hass Gets Lifetime Award

Israel Matzav: Turkey: There's a chill in the air

Turkey: There's a chill in the air

In light of Turkey's cancellation of its participation in the Anatolian Eagle exercise, Israel has decided to review its arms sales to Turkey.

It is also possible that Israel will stop supporting Turkey's position on the Armenian genocide - support that never really made sense. That decision could be irrelevant anyway (but may not be) in light of Turkey's and Armenia's decision last week to restore diplomatic relations and open their borders.

According to defense officials, several Turkish requests are currently under consideration by the Defense Ministry's Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization (SIBAT). These will now need to be reviewed due to the change in the diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Ankara.

"This is a country that appears to be distancing itself from the West and there could be repercussions," one official said, adding that in the 1970s, Israel sold Iran military equipment up until the Islamic Revolution.

The officials would not reveal which new military platforms Turkey had requested.

This review is long overdue. You may recall that several months ago, I reported on concern that Syria would gain access to Israeli and American military technologies as a result of joint military exercises that Turkey was conducting with Syria. There is no way we should risk having our military technology - or America's - fall into the hands of Syria or Iran or Hezbullah.

Israel's foreign ministry is attempting to downplay the controversy with Turkey out of fear of pushing it into the arms of Iran. I'm afraid that Turkey is already in Iran's embrace (and Syria's - see the picture above).

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Turkey: There's a chill in the air

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 4 [On the Arab's economy]

The Torah Revolution: Re: # 4 [On the Arab's economy]

The Torah Revolution: To Associated Press

The Torah Revolution: To Associated Press

Understanding the Goldstone Report

Understanding the Goldstone Report

A group of fine people has come together to look at the Goldstone Report. Their website is now up, and getting better by the day. Their goal is to be the go-to place for information about the report and its myriad defects.

Due disclosure: I'm loosely affiliated with them, though since many of them are more serious than I and more knowledgable, I don't think you'll find any sign of this anywhere.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Professor Amazed at Nobel Winner's Quotes - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Professor Amazed at Nobel Winner's Quotes - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

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Netanyahu Tackles %u2018Extremist%u2019 Muslim Lies over Temple Mount - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu Tackles %u2018Extremist%u2019 Muslim Lies over Temple Mount - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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Army Bans Land of Israel Activists From Home - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Army Bans Land of Israel Activists From Home - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

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Abbas, Fatah on Warpath: Jewish Settlements Are Suicide Bombs - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Abbas, Fatah on Warpath: Jewish Settlements Are Suicide Bombs - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

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Preparing for Service in the Rebuilt Temple - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Preparing for Service in the Rebuilt Temple - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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RubinReports: Palestinians Choose the Illusion of "Victory" Over Negotiated Peace

Palestinians Choose the Illusion of "Victory" Over Negotiated Peace

By Barry Rubin

This may be a very big development, a turning point. Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders are now openly complaining about President Barack Obama, saying he has hurt the Palestinian cause, by accepting less than a complete freeze of construction on settlements from Israel, pressuring PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to stand next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the president's UN photo opportunity, and pushing the Palestinian Authority to ease off on demanding the UN put sanctions against Israel over the Goldstone Commission issue.

Obama is now going to discover what gratitude is worth in the Middle East. All his pro-Palestinian, pro-Muslim pronouncements, all his criticism of Israel, and everything else he's tried to do to show his warm support for that side have availed him nothing. In the eyes of the Palestinian leadership it isn't enough. It can never be enough.

I predict that within a month or two, Obama is going to be denounced in the Palestinian media--with the Syrians and others picking this up--that he is just another George W. Bush. Will he get angry or just keep pretending this isn't happening?

Here's how one Palestinian activist puts it, "We had more than a little hope that things would change with an Obama administration. Now the almost universal feeling among Palestinians is one of disappointment." This view isn't just coming from high-level officials but also has broad popular appeal.

Once again, the Palestinians have made clear choice. They can seek a mythical victory or real negotiations and a solution. They are choosing the illusion of victory over the reality of getting peace and a Palestinian state through negotiations.

Victory:

Fight on for decades, shed rivers of blood, try either to defeat and destroy Israel or to force it militarily or through international pressure to withdraw to the 1967 borders and give the Palestinians everything they want without concession on their part.

It is always tempting to try to get everything and give up nothing. It is also a good stance for a politician to tell his constituency that if they support him they can have all they want at no real cost.

But it doesn’t work.

Now Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has made a major public speech in which he calls for the UN Human Rights Commission to hold a special session on the ridiculous Goldstone report. The goal is that the Commission will condemn Israel and call for sanctions against it, the UN will endorse the sanctions, and Israel will face massive sanctions.

The next step, unless the U.S. government vetoes this camaign, would be the passage of sanctions condemning Israel for committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip that never happened, rubberstamping the claims of Hamas, an antisemitic terrorist group which preaches genocide against Jews.

Feeling that it is winning, the PA won't be interested in negotiations. Feeling, understandably, that the world is against it, neither will Israel.

In short, the PA’s strategy would wreck President Barack Obama’s policy of trying to negotiate peace.

Or, there would be a U.S. veto of sanctions, which would make Obama and his administration angry and make them look bad in the world and to the very Muslims they’ve been trying to court.

In short, the PA’s strategy could wreck Obama’s international policy generally, undermining the popularity of someone who is obsessed with being popular.

Either way, the Palestinians would lose, assuming they really wanted peace and a state.

Negotiation:

The PA could actually try to compromise and get an independent state, the withdrawal of all Jewish settlements on its territory, more than $20 billion in aid, and the ability to return all refugees who so wished to live in Palestine.

So here’s the problem: the West and especially Obama wants to act as if the Palestinians are desperate to end the occupation and get a state and have peace.

But they show that they want victory, even if it sacrifices all those things, damages the Obama administration, and destroys its policy of supporting them.

This is what Bill Clinton and George W. Bush learned through experience. Now it’s Obama’s turn to discover that the Palestinian Authority isn’t some poor suffering force that he will rescue but rather a problem, the barrier to peace, and an enemy to U.S. interests.

Don't underestimate the importance of what's unfolding here. One thing politicians can't forgive is someone making them look foolish. Yasir Arafat and the PA did that to Clinton by rejecting his plan for negotiations offered at the Camp David meeting in 2000. Mahmoud Abbas and the PA did that to George W. Bush by lying to him about their arms deal with Hizballah and Iran to smuggle a huge arms shipment that, if not intercepted by Israel, would have led to a bloodbath.

Now the PA is doing the same thing to Obama. Will he be any more forgiving than his two predecessors?

RubinReports: Palestinians Choose the Illusion of "Victory" Over Negotiated Peace

RubinReports: Middle East Lunatics Run Asylum; West Hands Them The Keys

Middle East Lunatics Run Asylum; West Hands Them The Keys

By Barry Rubin

It’s bad enough that lunatics are running the asylum but to make matters worse they’re charging us rent! UN General Assembly chaired by Libya; EU chaired by Sweden; UN Human Rights committee run by Sudan. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received as a great statesman by the UN after stealing the election and repressing demonstrators. President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo and at the General Assembly. Yep that about sums it up.

So let’s see what’s happening in the Middle East today….

There have been several days of Palestinian riots in Jerusalem based on a false rumor of some Jewish radical assault on the Temple Mount when it was just a group of French tourists visiting the area. Wild rumors and lies create violence and hatred.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the radical Islamist Movement in Israel was convening under the slogan “Al Aqsa Is in Danger,” rallying thousands. One of the movement’s leader—President Barack Obama take note—said in a radio interview that it was unacceptable for “an [Israeli] Ethiopian policeman, a Negro, would ask a Muslim for his identity card” at the entrance to the Temple Mount compound.

Massive criticism and protests over this racism? Muslim groups lambast the Islamists for displaying racial prejudice? Guess not. Instead, violent demonstrations were organized by Fatah, Hamas, and Hizb al-Tahrir based on an untrue rumor.

So what did Fatah do after it helped provoke riots? Why it ran to the UN and demanded it intervene to keep Israel from escalating the situation in Jerusalem. The request was made by PA “foreign minister” Riyad al-Malki, a veteran leader of the terrorist PFLP group, though he is no longer with them..

What a wonderful metaphor. First, attack Israel; then complain that Israel is aggressive and committing war crimes. Of course, that’s what Hamas did and the world has leaped to its defense, so maybe that works.

[Which reminds me, a couple of months ago I spoke at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The representative of some Muslim group asked, “Why should anyone give you any more credibility [that is, the Israeli position] than to Hamas?” He was being generous. Hamas clearly has far more credibility even with the Europeans.]

Which brings us to the European Union’s endorsement of the Goldstone Commission report. LINK Note that the EU’s membership as a whole will almost certainly not support serious sanctions against Iran (even if Britain, France, and Germany do). Also note that the Swedish foreign minister, who chairs the EU, refused to condemn an article in Sweden’s largest newspaper saying Israel deliberately murdered Palestinians to steal their organs.

Incidentally, you may think the Goldstone Commission report is just being criticized by some because it condemns Israel as having committed war crimes during the war in Gaza. Actually, if one totally ignores the specific topic, it is one of the most amazingly sloppy and irresponsible international documents I’ve ever seen. It is based on the unchecked testimony of Hamas officials and Palestinians who hate Israel, plus plagiarism from various reports by NGOs that have a roughly similar position.

There was no independent investigation or verification of facts. Compared to this, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a scholarly document.

But that doesn’t mean PA and Fatah and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas is happy. Oh, no. He has committed the dreadful sin of “moderation” in Palestinian eyes and so must repent (hence one of the reasons for his role in provoking the riots).

What did Abbas do wrong? First, he stood next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN because President Barack Obama asked him to do so. And second he agreed to withdraw the PA’s being the main sponsor of the Goldstone resolution at the UN to accuse Israel of war crimes.

Why does he need to do anything? He can just let the EU do the job for him.

Not that Abbas is all “bad” from the radical standpoint that dominates Palestinian thinking. After all, he refuses to negotiate with Israel unless there is a total freeze of construction on settlements, despite the Palestinians accepting this in practice for 16 years.

And this is the man and movement that Nobel Laureate Obama would have us believe is about to make peace? He can’t even do a small favor for Obama, much less make the big compromises necessary for real peace.

So how do you win popularity? Well, Hamas knows. Firing rockets and mortars at Israel, breaking the ceasefire, and using civilians as human shields have brought it big international gains. Now, Hamas, according to a Reuters report, is “enjoying a wave of popularity” because it got 20 female prisoners released in exchange for a video showing that Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit is alive.

Get that? Minor acts of moderation make you unpopular so you must repent by organizing riots and escalating extremist rhetoric. Violence and punishing your own people makes you popular.

Welcome to the Middle East!

One government that understands this is that of Turkey, which has now canceled participation in a joint U.S.-NATO-Israel-Turkey air force exercise, after participating for 15 rounds in the past. The authorities in Washington haven’t caught on yet that the Turkish government is taking the country down the Islamist path and is bringing the armed forces there to heel as well. They still think it is a very model of a moderate Muslim government.

Ironically, the exercise was known as Anatolian Eagle but there will be no Anatolians.

The United States, however, is still participating in a big joint air defense exercise with Israel, a sign that bilateral relations continue to function smoothly.

Note also that the Turkish government has imposed a $2.5 billion fine (that is not a typographical error) on the Dogan Group, the largest company backing opposition media. This is a huge danger to freedom of the press in Turkey and a dangerous sign of where that country’s government is going.

Sorry to go on so long. Blame the news, not me.

RubinReports: Middle East Lunatics Run Asylum; West Hands Them The Keys

RonMossad: What. The Hell. For.

RonMossad: What. The Hell. For.

CHESTER CHRONICLES - Western Justice for Honor Killers

Western Justice for Honor Killers

The British Are Doing Something Right

When girls or women suddenly disappear, we tend to assume that they’ve been kidnapped by pedophiles or traffickers. Some of us think they were probably prostitutes and either deserved to die or were, tragically, lured to their deaths by a serial killer.

We do not think they might have been killed by their own families. And, we always assume that the slavers are men. Both beliefs are wrong.

For example, in 1999, in a suburb north of London, a fifteen year old Kurdish Turk, Tulay Goren, suddenly disappeared. The family insisted that she had simply run away. Now, a decade later, her father, Mehmet Goren and her paternal uncles Cuma Goren and Ali Goren are on trial at the Old Bailey for her murder and for having conspired to kill her much older boyfriend, Halil Unal.

This case may be the first honor killing which the British police have re-opened after a decade and which they are trying as an “honor killing.” There might be many more such cases, both here and all over the world. I am not usually one to praise the British but I will do so here. They are leading the European pack in terms of dealing with honor killings.

What was this poor child Tulay’s crime? She fell in love with a Sunni Muslim; Tulay was from the Alevi branch of the faith. Her father demanded that she take a “virginity test” and felt “dishonored, humiliated.” He punched and kicked her. Wisely, Tulay ran away from home twice and asked to be put in a children’s home. Tulay wanted to marry Halil (he had asked for her hand in marriage) but she had already been “promised” to her first cousin.

Tulay’s mother, Hanim, sweet-talked her into returning home. Meanwhile, Tulay’s father consulted with his older and younger brothers on the matter and with their approval and encouragement, killed his daughter. At least one of the brothers helped dispose of Tulay’s body which has never been found. At least fifteen family members attended a meeting which led to the decision to murder Tulay. Tulay was viewed as a “worthless commodity” who had shamed her entire family.

Now, her mother is testifying for the prosecution. Although she was sent away the night Tulay was murdered, Hanim has now recanted what she formerly told the police, namely that Tulay had run away. Now, Hanim admits that she noticed the “earth being disturbed in the garden, knives and bin-bags disappearing and her husband washing his shirt.” She has also testified to seeing a “deep injury” to her husband’s palm and her daughter’s clothes missing.

Sadly, Tulay tried to escape and was even able to warn her boyfriend which saved his life.

And, by the way: Mehmet Goren apparently had a hard time assimilating. He could not master the English language, had a gambling problem, and was never regularly employed. Thus, while Mehmet may or may not have been a religious fundamentalist (I can find no information about this), he and his family certainly upheld the cultural traditions of Kurdish Turks who are Muslims.

I have recently completed a major study about honor killings on five continents over the last twenty years which analyzed the fates of 230 victims in Europe, North America, and the Muslim world. Hopefully, it will be published in an academic journal in the near future; rest assured, the findings are very powerful as well as surprising.

But I will say this: Tulay’s case is a classic honor killing, one in which a fairly young girl—a female child really—is killed by multiple perpetrators, all members of her family of origin, especially her father, with her mother’s complicity. Her crime? She refused to marry her first cousin and dared to choose her own husband-to-be. Based on my own study, I suspect Tulay may have been stabbed multiple times, stabbed excessively—although this may remain unknown as long as her body is not discovered.

Tulay was assimilating, she was becoming “too westernized.” This alone is a capital crime. She imagined a future of her own, one not entirely chosen for her by her family. Tulay had to be stopped, an example had to be set so that other immigrant girls would not take this path and would continue consenting to arranged marriages to their first cousins so that they may “breed” acceptably inbred babies.

I wonder what influenced Tulay’s mother to now break with her entire family. What will the consequences of doing so be?

Tulay Goren: Rest in Peace.


Western Justice for Honor Killers

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DoubleTapper: Army and Police Exhibition in Tel-Aviv Israel starts Today

ISDEF 2009 - התערוכה הבינלאומית לצבא וביטחון

Their Website is here: http://www.isdef.co.il/




DoubleTapper: Army and Police Exhibition in Tel-Aviv Israel starts Today

Israel Matzav: The Obaminator

The Obaminator

Heh (Hat Tip: Benny).


Israel Matzav: The Obaminator

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Dahlan compares 'settlements' to suicide bombings

Dahlan compares 'settlements' to suicide bombings

Fatah's former Gaza 'security chief' Mohamed Dahlan compared Israel's establishment of 'settlements' on 'Palestinian land' to suicide bombings, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan on Sunday compared Palestinian suicide bombings to Israel's establishment of settlements on Palestinian land, Israel Radio reported.

"What is the difference between blowing up a bus in Tel Aviv and taking over Palestinian land?" Dahlan asked.

Dahlan warned against a "loss of control" on the Palestinian street, in light of recent clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters in Jerusalem, but added that the Palestinians were not interested in a protracted conflict with Israel.

The Fatah man also warned that riots in Jerusalem will not subside as long as Israel's prime minister "keeps sending settlers to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Dahlan, a favorite of the Clinton and Bush administrations, was responsible for the mortar attack on a school bus in Kfar Darom in November 2000, in which two Israeli teachers were killed and three children from one family lost limbs. Dahlan and his deputy, Rashid Abu Shbak, are also believed to be responsible for the murder of three American security contractors who were protecting American diplomatic personnel in Gaza six years ago this week. The diplomatic personnel were coming to Gaza to conduct interviews for Fulbright scholarships.

In light of his own history of terror attacks, Dahlan's comparison of 'settlements' (which don't kill anyone) and suicide bombings (which murder innocent civilians) is particularly odious.

According to Arutz Sheva, Dahlan made the comparison regarding Jews praying on the Temple Mount.

/But just give them a state.


Israel Matzav: Dahlan compares 'settlements' to suicide bombings

Israel Matzav: Lebanese villagers blow up Hezbullah weapons warehouse

Lebanese villagers blow up Hezbullah weapons warehouse

A Kuwaiti newspaper reports that on September 29, a group of Lebanese villagers blew up a Hezbullah weapons warehouse in the village of Marwahin. The newspaper, Al-Siyassa, cites Lebanese security sources, and attributes the action to a desire by Sunni residents to expel the Shiite Hezbullah from the village.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Lebanese villagers blow up Hezbullah weapons warehouse

Israel Matzav: 'Those who would destroy you will come from among you'

'Those who would destroy you will come from among you'

Some 2,500 years ago, the prophet Isaiah warned that those who would destroy the Jewish people would come from among us. We may have another example of that here.

An employee of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has blasted both the 'Palestinian Authority' and the 'Human Rights Council' for delaying consideration of the incredibly biased Goldstone Commission Report.

It's quite unusual for an employee of the OHCHR to blast the 'Human Rights Council,' to whom the OHCHR is subordinate.

The employee's name is Saul Takahashi, and as the name implies, he is part Japanese.

But here's where UN Watch's Hillel Neuer's narrative gets a little unusual:

Assuming this post from Saul Takhashi of Vienna is from the same person, his original name was Saul Israel Chodos and he is the grandson of the late Rabbi Israel Chodos, who served at L.A.’s Sinai Temple in the 1950s, and is presumably the son of L.A. lawyer Rafael Chodos and Japanese artist Junko Chodos (née Takahashi).

Sinai Temple is today one of the leading pro-Israel synagogues in America. Ironic if the grandson of its former rabbi is now spending his time in Gaza acting more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinian Authority itself.

Ironic. But predictable.


Israel Matzav: 'Those who would destroy you will come from among you'

Israel Matzav: Joint military exercise in Turkey canceled

Israel Matzav: Joint military exercise in Turkey canceled

Israel Matzav: All the time in the world

All the time in the world

Someone needs to light a fire under Congress. They apparently think they have all the time in the world.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a motion on Thursday giving U.S. President Barack Obama until January 31st 2010 to achieve any progress in his diplomatic outreach with Iran over its controversial nuclear drive. The West has been talking with Iran for the past seven years in an effort to get it to rein in its illegal nuclear program.

In a provision of the 2010 defense budget bill, U.S. lawmakers required Obama "no later than January 31, 2010, to deliver a report to Congress on U.S. engagement" with Tehran. After that date, the House made a non-binding request that sanctions be imposed on the Iranian regime.

And the odds of Obama complying with that 'non-binding request'? Somewhere between slim and none.

Israel Matzav: All the time in the world

Israel Matzav: President Obama's Iranian policy disaster

President Obama's Iranian policy disaster

Iranian exile Amil Imani appeals to President Obama not to throw Iran's mullahs a lifeline.

Now, is it your turn President Obama? You are about to be hood-winked by the same Machiavellian Shi'a gang that took Carter on a ride of infamy.

Mr. President. I wish you well. I truly do. But, I dread your game plan with the Mullahs; because these masters of deceit make the likes of Kim Jong-Il, seem most forthright by comparison.

Mr. President, are you planning to charm the Mullahs to play it your way? Is that what you are thinking? Are you, Mr. President, thinking that the Mullahs will fall for your teleprompter speeches in the same way that the good-hearted American people got mesmerized and voted you into office?

Didn't you have a bit of reality check just recently in Copenhagen when your personal appearance so moved the Olympic Committee that your appeal for choosing your hometown of Chicago came fourth out of four cities?

...

Mr. President, you and democracy have invaluable allies in Iran. There are some 50 million Iranians who are the best hope of the world in that part of the world. These enlightened Iranians despise the Mullahs and have no animosity toward Israel or the United States. Most of these people are well-educated and smart and have broken away from the slavery and fraud of Islamism. They are in the best position to send the Mullahs packing for good. Instead of throwing a lifeline to the sinking ship of the Mullacracy, you must act resolutely in doing everything non-violent to help them defeat the Mullahs. It is your best bet.

Maybe Obama can't bear the thought of an Iranian government that has no animosity toward Israel.

Read the whole thing.



Israel Matzav: President Obama's Iranian policy disaster

Israel Matzav: Let Obama get his own ratings up

Let Obama get his own ratings up

I always assumed that the reason an American has to give up dual citizenship when he becomes an Israeli Knesset member, Supreme Court judge or ambassador was because American law provides that you automatically lose your citizenship when you swear loyalty to another country or to its laws.

Not too long ago, I read in a profile of Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, that the requirement that you give up your US citizenship is an Israeli requirement, and that you must actively forfeit your US citizenship, presumably so that you remove any doubt regarding issues of dual loyalty. I thought that was rather strange given that most of us with dual citizenship have chosen to live to Israel, and if anything, it ought to be the United States that questions our loyalty and not Israel.

The same Michael Oren made a strange statement at Washington's Hudson Institute think tank on Thursday that leads me to believe that Israel is actually quite wise to insist that ambassadors give up their foreign citizenship. It also makes me wonder whether Oren's forfeiture of his US citizenship was sincere and whether Israel ought to require more before appointing an immigrant to Israel to represent it abroad, particularly where the immigrant is being posted to his country of birth. Oren seems to have forgotten whose side he is on.

Oren cited recent polling figures that show that only 4% of Israelis believe that President Obama is pro-Israel. He points out - correctly - that it is unlikely that Israelis will be willing to take 'risks for peace' (i.e. to forfeit land as Oren would love for us to do) if they don't feel that they have a friend in Washington. (At this point, it's doubtful that Israelis will take 'risks for peace' anytime soon even if we do feel we have a friend in Washington, but that's almost beside the point).

Had Oren then gone on to say something on the order of "if President Obama wants Israelis to make sacrifices for peace with the Palestinians, he has to do a better job of convincing them that he is their friend," I would not have batted an eyelash, although I would have told you that I believe that there is no hope of Obama successfully doing that short of (maybe) bombing Iran back to the 8th century. But instead, Oren came up with this rather bizarre statement:

"Those Israelis who are going to make peace with their neighbors are going to be asked to take immense risks, extraordinary risks with themselves, their families, their children. In order to take those risks, they need to be able to trust the administration. It's crucial," he said.

"We have to get this number up," Oren stressed, noting that the White House and Congress were well aware of that need. "If we're going to move forward, it is a sine qua non for progress in the peace process."

Who is "we"? Surely Oren doesn't believe that the Netanyahu government has to run a campaign to get Israelis to trust Obama, does he? But if that's not what he believes, to whom does "we" refer? Whose side is Oren on? Whom is he representing in Washington?

Much more on these and other disturbing questions presented by Oren's speech here.

Israel Matzav: Let Obama get his own ratings up

Israel Matzav: One man's peace is another woman's surrender

One man's peace is another woman's surrender

Phyllis Chesler points out the striking similarity between Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and Amira Hass' courage in journalism award.

As I’ve pointed out, Amira Hass has not been beaten or truly or dangerously imprisoned for her heartbreakingly libelous critiques of Israel and yet she is being honored together with three women journalists (Iryna Khalip, Agnes Taile, and Jila Baniyaghoob) who have been nearly killed for telling the truth.

Hass tells lies but lives quite safely. Her inclusion in this mix is meant to confuse us. The Norwegians wish to reward Obama for his Pro-Un Third Worldism. Both Obama and Hass are being awarded prizes for their pro-Islamic, pro-terrorist, anti-democracy, and anti-Israel political views.



Israel Matzav: One man's peace is another woman's surrender

Israel Matzav: Reason TV on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Israel Matzav: Reason TV on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Israel Matzav: Al-Guardian omits Israeli peace prize winners

Al-Guardian omits Israeli peace prize winners

In a stunning piece of media bias, al-Guardian published an article on Friday that omitted Israeli winners of the Nobel peace prize (Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres). The article has since been corrected. The author, Simon Rogers, was called on the omission by commenters. Here is a screen shot of the 1994 winners in which Rabin and Peres are omitted.


Here's Rogers' rather disingenuous response:
Hi all

It's my fault, I'm afraid. I decided where there was more than one winner to put the joint one in the second column. Unfortunately, this caused a few problems, which we've now rectified.

Please let me know if you spot any other missing names.
A statement issued by the Guardian added:
"For the Nobel Peace Prize winners list, we used data from nobelprize.org. However, there was a technical issue during the data transfer from the site, which meant that many of the names of the joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize were accidentally omitted, although the country of origin of the winners was not. This has now been corrected," a Guardian spokesperson said.
Really? It's pretty funny that the names of all the other co-winners appear in the screen shot (which is why I called Rogers' response 'disingenuous'). Anyone else believe the Guardian? I don't.

The fact that Rogers took more than three hours to respond to the initial commenter who pointed out the problem doesn't exactly add to his credibility either.

Hmmm.
Israel Matzav: Al-Guardian omits Israeli peace prize winners

Israel Matzav: Saturday Night Live on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Israel Matzav: Saturday Night Live on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Israel Matzav: Investigating the investigators

Investigating the investigators

In a scathing critique in Sunday's JPost, Richard Landes calls on the State of Israel to investigate the Goldstone Commission.

GIVEN ALL this, I'd like to suggest a different approach to the question of "investigation." I propose that either the State of Israel, or an International Citizens' Tribunal, should begin an investigation into the Goldstone Fact-Finding Mission's proceedings.

In it they should ask the fundamental question: "How could this Mission have conducted itself with such systematic violation of the simplest rules of equity in judgment?"

In doing so Israel could bring to light three fundamental issues that the Goldstone report systematically downplayed in its considerations: Israel's plight (Sderot, surrounding population, long-term negative trends); the repugnant behavior of Hamas - its use of human shields, indoctrination of genocidal hatred, suicidal death cult; and the role of the mainstream news media and NGOs in giving credence to Palestinian claims, many of which could not stand up to serious examination.

An investigation team should gather high-level legal and military experts, summon witness testimony that Goldstone either refused to hear - Yvonne Green, Richard Kemp; or ignored - Dr. Siderer, Noam Bedein; people who have worked on the "data" - Jonathan Dahoah Halevy, Elihu Richter, as well as specialists on urban warfare to compare Israel's records to other nations. Not just to those like Sri Lanka and the Soviet Union, who have no concern for civilians, or to Arab "armies" who target civilians as in Sudan and Iraq, but also to the US, Great Britain and other countries who uphold the Geneva Conventions.

Read the whole thing. It's spot-on.

At the end of the article, the JPost notes that Professor Landes has just launched a new collective website: Understanding the Goldstone Report. I am pleased to inform you all that I am one of the participating bloggers in that collective website. I urge you all to bookmark it and to visit it regularly (as of this writing, parts of it are still under construction).

Israel Matzav: Investigating the investigators

Israel Matzav: Official Israel wakes up to the danger of J Street

Official Israel wakes up to the danger of J Street

In what might be described as something of a watershed event, the Israeli embassy in Washington has described J Street, the 'pro-Israel, pro-peace' organization that is actually pro-'Palestinian,' as something that could hurt Israel's interests.

Despite early indications the embassy was looking to engage the group, [Ambassador Michael] Oren has yet to meet with executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami or agree to participate in the [J Street's annual] conference.

Instead, the embassy has "communicated to J Street its views on the peace process and on the best way to ensure Israel's security," according to embassy spokesman Yoni Peled.

The message, Peled said, is that "while recognizing the need for a free and open debate on these issues, it is important to stress concern over certain policies that could impair Israel's interests."

J Street's response is what you might expect:

"It's not a surprise that we disagree with certain Israeli government policies," J Street spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. "Our bottom line is that we always support the State of Israel and its future as a democracy."

"That's why J Street exists - to have this open debate" on differing points of view, she explained, adding that the organization still hopes Oren will attend the conference to further that discussion.

According to Spitalnick, some 1,000 Israel activists will attend the multi-day event. In addition, 160 members of Congress have signed onto the host committee for the conference gala.

I question whether those are 'Israel activists.' Or at least whether they are 'pro-Israel activists.' We already know that J Street receives significant support from people who seek to undermine the existence of the Jewish state.

Read the whole thing.

Spitalinick's response later in the article to criticism related to Stephen Walt's support for J Street is disingenuous, to put it mildly. And I understand that the list of 160 members of Congress who have signed onto the 'host committee' is quite a piece of work that includes almost no Republicans and that also does not include many Democrats who are known to be strong supporters of Israel.



Israel Matzav: Official Israel wakes up to the danger of J Street

Israel Matzav: Obama's Nobel will hurt the 'peace process'

Obama's Nobel will hurt the 'peace process'

In an earlier post, I discussed how President Obama's misbegotten Nobel peace prize may adversely affect the possibility of stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. In this post, I discuss how Obama's Nobel peace prize will lessen the possibility of Israel reaching a peace accord with the 'Palestinians.' This is illustrated by Obama's initial reaction to receiving the Nobel:

"We must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years," Obama told reporters in the White House Rose Garden.

"And that effort must include an unwavering commitment that finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security in nations of their own."

Note that - as I have argued consistently since he took office and even before - Obama has made resolving the Israeli-Arab 'Palestinian' conflict the keystone of his foreign policy.

But the conflict is currently unresolvable and is unlikely to be resolvable at any time in the foreseeable future. The conflict cannot be resolved until the 'Palestinians' accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state in its current location. And the 'Palestinians' are further than ever from that acceptance.

The effect of decades of incitement to destroy Israel is fully reflected in Palestinian polls. A June 5-7 poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that three-quarters of Palestinians reject any possibility of reconciliation with Israel in this generation, even if a final peace agreement were signed and an independent Palestinian state created.

As long as Obama continues to push Israel to make 'concessions' and 'gestures' without any demand for reciprocity from the 'Palestinians,' as long as he continues to to demand that Israel move ahead with the 'road map' regardless of the 'Palestinian' failure to fulfill any of their obligations under the 'road map,' there is no chance of peace.

Obama will justifiably take the Nobel as an international stamp of approval for his approach to his number one foreign policy priority - resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict. He will continue to pursue the same misguided policy that has encouraged the 'Palestinians' to voice maximalist demands while waiting for the United States to 'deliver' Israel on a silver platter. Since that priority and the manner in which it is being pursued are deeply misguided, the Nobel will only move peace further away and not bring it closer.

Israel Matzav: Obama's Nobel will hurt the 'peace process'

Israel Matzav: Obama's Nobel will hurt efforts to stop Iran

Obama's Nobel will hurt efforts to stop Iran

President Obama's Nobel peace prize could be bad news for Israel on two fronts: First, it may act to ensure that Obama will not attack Iran or go along with Israel attacking Iran (if any such assurance was necessary). Second, it will act as support for Obama in pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions to the 'Palestinians' even if most Americans disagree with with that pressure. I will treat that second front in a separate post - this post deals only with the implications of Obama's Nobel on the effort to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

This is from Aluf Benn in Haaretz on the Nobel's effect on Iran.

Nobel Prizes are given for proven accomplishments, and not for intentions and hopes. Israeli chemist Ada Yonath won a Nobel prize after decades of effort in her Weizmann Institute laboratory. In contrast, Obama is receiving a Nobel for a research proposal, for a speech in Cairo full of promises and one at the United Nations, where he presented his vision for a better world of mutual respect and a world free of nuclear weapons.

Actually, it's not being given for either of those since they both happened after he was nominated at the beginning of February. In fact, this Nobel is being given for aspirations and not for accomplishments (unless being the anti-Bush is an accomplishment) but that's almost beside the point.

Still, the prize committee was correct in that Obama is a worthy recipient for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation. The world has changed over the past year, and Obama - and no one else - is responsible for the change.

In granting him the prize, the Norwegians are signaling to Obama that he should continue along his current path, that he should avoid an escalation in Afghanistan and a war against Iran; and that he should take serious steps to advance peace in the Middle East and to reign in nuclear weapons, even if there is a potential conflict between the two goals. (Depriving Iran of nuclear weapons may ultimately require the use of force.)

I disagree with Obama being a worthy recipient - he has nothing to show and may never have anything to show for his efforts. Obama is a less worthy recipient than Yasser Arafat or Al Gore, since they had something to show even if it turned out to be fraudulent (and in Arafat's case, anyone with their eyes open knew it was fraudulent). Obama is on a par with Mohamed ElBaradei (who had accomplished nothing when he received the prize and has since allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons) and with Obama's idol, Jimmy Carter (who has made a lot of noise but accomplished nothing - the Israel-Egypt peace treaty fell into his lap and in any event he did not receive the prize for that treaty).

The world has indeed changed over the past year and Obama is responsible for that, but the world has not changed for the better. The world has changed for the worse because Obama has denied America's exceptionalism and degraded its world leadership role. If that had brought the world closer to peace, that might have been an argument for a Nobel peace prize. But America's degradation has not brought the world closer to peace - it has brought it closer to war. Without a strong America, rogue countries like Iran and North Korea have confidence that no one will put them in their place and stand up to their aggressive actions. If anything, what Obama has done in the past year makes him less worthy of the prize - not more.

Benn is correct about the message that the Norwegians are sending to Obama, particularly regarding Iran. It is a dangerous message that can only hurt Israel. It will weaken the hand of those in the United States (the majority according to recent polls) who believe that the United States cannot and should not live with a nuclear Iran.

It's interesting that Benn limits the message to being a message sent by the Norwegians - a country whose elites are known to be vehemently anti-Israel - and perhaps the Nobel has to be looked at in that light and its importance should therefore be minimized. I'm sure that was not Benn's intent.

There is little doubt that this prize will hurt the effort to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, and that is bad news for Israel, which is isolated even more than before in its contest with Iran as a result.

A second post will deal with the implications of the Nobel on our 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'

UPDATE 1:17 PM

Professor Jacobson agrees.

Israel Matzav: Obama's Nobel will hurt efforts to stop Iran

Love of the Land: Ha’aretz Writers are Subversive

Ha’aretz Writers are Subversive


FresnoZionism.com
09 October 09


The Ha’aretz newspaper is… something else.

Called the “NY Times of Israel”, Ha’aretz writers are often far more anti-Israel than those of the NY Times, which is no slouch in that department.

The previous editor, David Landau, famously told former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Israel was a ‘failed state’ which needed to be ‘raped’ into a settlement with the Arabs by the US (I originally thought that Landau must have been thinking of the Hebrew word “לאנוס” which means both ‘to force’ and ‘to rape’, but then I discovered that he had come to Israel from the UK at the age of 23). He also said that this would be a “wet dream” for him.

One writer, Gideon Levy, accused Israel of committing ‘war crimes’ on the first day of the Gaza war. And Amira Hass, here validating the libelsof the Goldstone report, is as eloquent a spokesperson for the Palestinian cause as you will find anywhere.

Today it’s Akiva Eldar doing the devil’s work:

The U.S. administration is furious over Israeli incitement against President Barack Obama, Democratic congressmen close to Obama told an Israeli source who returned from a visit to Washington this week.

The congressmen even hinted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been personally involved.

The source, who met in Washington with administration officials and members of Congress, told Haaretz he was stunned by the level of anger there over attempts to portray Obama to the American public as an enemy of Israel because of his efforts to restart peace talks and freeze settlement construction.

This appears in the ‘diplomatic news’ section of Haaretz.com (English).

So an unnamed source is ’stunned’ by unnamed congressmen who are ‘furious’. One of the most basic principles that an intelligent person applies when making judgments about accusations like this is to ‘consider the source’, but Eldar — in a news article — doesn’t tell us. This is more ‘National Enquirer’ material than responsible journalism.

I haven’t heard Netanyahu say anything like “Obama is an enemy of Israel”, have you? And if Obama is “furious” at Netanyahu, I haven’t heard him say that either. So why present an unsourced slander against the PM in a news article?

There can be only one reason, which is to strike a political blow against him in Israel and to discredit him in the US.

This is not a bit surprising, when you consider Eldar’s degree of left-wing extremism. Recently, he argued that the concessions Olmert offered in negotiations with the Palestinians were insufficient to compensate them for years of ’struggle’! Struggle indeed.



Love of the Land: Ha’aretz Writers are Subversive

Love of the Land: Goldstone says Israel guilty until proven innocent

Goldstone says Israel guilty until proven innocent


Ted Belman
Israpundit.com
09 October 09


The Goldstone Commission Inquiry reported that “Israel was guilty of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.” But I thought it was a fact finding inquiry only.

The Forward reports Goldstone: ‘If This Was a Court Of Law, There Would Have Been Nothing Proven.’.

WOW. What an admission.

Tellingly, in an interview with the Forward on October 2, Goldstone himself acknowledged the tentative nature of his findings.

    “Ours wasn’t an investigation, it was a fact-finding mission,” he said, sitting in his Midtown Manhattan office at Fordham University Law School, where he is currently visiting faculty. “We made that clear.”

    [..] For all that gathered information, though, he said, “We had to do the best we could with the material we had. If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.”

    Goldstone emphasized that his conclusion that war crimes had been committed was always intended as conditional. He still hopes that independent investigations carried out by Israel and the Palestinians will use the allegations as, he said, “a useful road map.”

This is disgusting. Even the ICC holds the accused, innocent until proven guilty. Goldstone reverses this and holds Israel guilty and requires her to prove her innocence.

    He recalled his work as chief prosecutor for the international war crimes tribunal in Yugoslavia in 1994. When he began working, Goldstone was presented with a report commissioned by the U.N. Security Council based on what he said was a fact-finding mission similar to his own in Gaza.

    “We couldn’t use that report as evidence at all,” Goldstone said. “But it was a useful roadmap for our investigators, for me as chief prosecutor, to decide where we should investigate. And that’s the purpose of this sort of report. If there was an independent investigation in Israel, then I think the facts and allegations referred to in our report would be a useful road map.”

    Nevertheless, the report itself is replete with bold and declarative legal conclusions seemingly at odds with the cautious and conditional explanations of its author.

This article goes on to analyse the Report. But in my opinion what I have quoted above says it all.

I also read Richard Landes’ excellent fisking of Goldstone’s NYT Op-Ed but wanted to add something. The indented comments are those of Goldstone.

    But above all, I accepted because I believe deeply in the rule of law and the laws of war, and the principle that in armed conflict civilians should to the greatest extent possible be protected from harm.

He has this backwards. The law prohibits “intentional killing” of protected persons. His language ignores the prohibition and uses language that mandates a duty to protect. The is no such duty.

    Many civilians unnecessarily died and even more were seriously hurt.

Once again he invents a new standard, namely whether civilian deaths were “necessary”.

This is not part of the language of war crimes. The only question is whether civilians were intentionally targeted.

To some extent the law demands that you attack your military object in the way that minimizes civilian casualties if you had options. If you failed to avail yourself of alternatives, it might be said that the ensuing deaths were “unnecessary”. But this is debatable. My legal advisors tell me that the IDF doesn’t have a duty to use smart bombs and can use artillery.

Reading Goldstone carefully, it appears he wanted to force the issue and make Israel carry on an investigation to avoid the ICC. So the inquiry was not so much a fact finding mission as it was a prod to force Israel to hold its own investigation. That’s why he said Israel was guilty. Had he only said Israel might be guilty then the need for Israel to investigate is much reduced.

This is what all the NGO’s do. They don’t say Israel may have committed war crimes but that Israel did commit war crimes. Its all about putting pressure on Israel.

As I mentioned about the ICC itself says that all accused are to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a basic human right. Too bad that the HRW and the others, couldn’t care less.

I wonder if Goldstone can be sued for libel. He made an allegation that Israel was guilty that he himself says has not been proven?

Love of the Land: Goldstone says Israel guilty until proven innocent

Love of the Land: 'J Street Could Hurt Israel's Interests'

'J Street Could Hurt Israel's Interests'


Hilary Leila Kreiger
JPost
11 October 09

("Could" is a much too polite term for damaged and continues to damage.)

WASHINGTON - The Israeli Embassy informed J Street of its concern that the new lobbying group advocates policies that could "impair Israel's interests," an embassy spokesman has told The Jerusalem Post.

The 18-month-old self-described "pro-Israel, pro-peace" organization has been reaching out to the embassy and invited Ambassador Michael Oren to speak at its first annual conference in late October. Despite early indications the embassy was looking to engage the group, Oren has yet to meet with executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami or agree to participate in the conference.

Instead, the embassy has "communicated to J Street its views on the peace process and on the best way to ensure Israel's security," according to embassy spokesman Yoni Peled.

The message, Peled said, is that "while recognizing the need for a free and open debate on these issues, it is important to stress concern over certain policies that could impair Israel's interests."

J Street has taken several positions at odds with the Israeli government in recent months, including arguing against the immediate imposition of additional sanctions on Iran even as Israel pushes for greater action, and backing US President Barack Obama's call for a complete settlement freeze in the face of Israeli opposition.

The organization has also been criticized in certain Israeli and American Jewish circles for attacking other Jewish groups in ways that some feel breed division.

At the same time, J Street has stressed that it is supportive of Israel and believes its positions will best help ensure the Jewish state's survival.

"It's not a surprise that we disagree with certain Israeli government policies," J Street spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. "Our bottom line is that we always support the State of Israel and its future as a democracy."

"That's why J Street exists - to have this open debate" on differing points of view, she explained, adding that the organization still hopes Oren will attend the conference to further that discussion.

According to Spitalnick, some 1,000 Israel activists will attend the multi-day event. In addition, 160 members of Congress have signed onto the host committee for the conference gala.

With its annual conference, political action committee endorsing Congressional candidates, new campus presence and opening of field offices, J Street is looking to become a force to be reckoned with on the American Jewish scene.

While some have welcomed its creation, the group has also received pushback from quarters of the American Jewish community that charge its positions call into question the group's pro-Israel credentials and lend credence to Israel's detractors.

One such critic, former Commentary magazine editor Gabriel Schoenfeld, lambasted J Street on Thursday for not repudiating the backing of Stephen Walt, whose book The Israel Lobby and Foreign Policy Schoenfeld described as using anti-Semitic tropes.

"For a Jewish organization to make common cause with anti-Semitic voices in order to tear down others to establish its place at the table is nothing less than shameful," Schoenfeld said, pointing to a link on the J Street Web site to one of Walt's articles mentioning J Street, on the group's news citations page. He also referred to Walt's recent praise for J Street in a Washington Post story.

Schoenfeld was speaking on a panel on divisions within American Jewry organized by the Hudson Institute. Ben-Ami had been schedule to appear with him but canceled due to illness.

In response, Spitalnick said, "The only thing shameful here is an offensive and scurrilous attempt to turn blatant lies into stated facts. It is only through conversations rooted in actual fact and integrity - rather than lies and smears - that we'll move forward in our goal of securing Israel's future as a Jewish, democratic homeland."

She said Ben-Ami has frequently spoken about his disagreements with Walt's analysis in his book, which he co-wrote with John Mearsheimer.

"There are plenty of people who talk about J Street that we don't agree with. Just because they mention us in an article doesn't mean that we therefore endorse their analysis," Spitalnick said. "We don't come out with a statement on every person who's spoken about us."•
Related: J Street is Selling Snake Oil
Peeling Off J Street’s Invisibility Cloak
The Soros-Axelrod Axis? The J-Street Gang

Love of the Land: 'J Street Could Hurt Israel's Interests'

DoubleTapper: IDF MDT David Combat Vehicle

IDF MDT David Combat Vehicle

Arotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTX) announced that its Armor Division has signed an agreement with Israel Military Industries Ltd (IMI) to jointly market the MDT David in markets worldwide. IMI's Land Systems Division has been specializing in development, integration and production of combat proven systems for Main Battle Tanks (MBT) and Armored Personnel Carriers to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and selected customers around the world.

David

Light Armored Combat Vehicle

Land Rover-UK / MDT - US/Israel

The IDF selected the British Land-Rover Defender, up-armored by the Arotech subsidiary MDT for a replacement of the Israeli based Automotive Industries Storm (Sufa) vehicles.

Promising to be a more flexible 'Urban Combat Vehicle', "David" uses a large chassis based on the LandRover Defender, designed in Israel by Arotech's MDT Protective Industries in collaboration with the IDF.


The 'David' will be built in MDT Armor's Alabama facility. With a small footprint, considerably shorter, lighter and narrower than the up-armored HMMWV, the 3.7 ton armored defender is well suited for operating in urban and other densely populated areas. The vehicle offers full 360 deg. Protection against assault rifles at point blank velocities, limited protection against IEDs, roof protection designed to defeat typical threats fired at very short range and augmented floor protection. The vehicle is fitted with run-flat inserts to maintain mobility even with deflated or damaged tires. The 2.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine develops maximum power of 122 bhp, coupled via manual 5 gear transmission to the 4x4 propulsion system. MDT followed a modular design allowing for several armor options, seating arrangements and equipment installations carrying 4, 5 or 6 soldiers in full battle gear. Gun ports in all 4 directions allow for accurate return fire as soldiers have full view of gun sites and surrounding area through the armored windows.

Robert S. Ehrlich, Chairman and CEO of Arotech Corporation said in an interview, "We are proud that the IDF has decided to equip its soldiers with our armored vehicles. We believe the “David” can be appropriate to many urban warfare situations, and we are planning on presentations of the David to other militaries facing similar urban warfare situations.”

If anyone in Alabama can send me some pictures of MDT Armor's facility, I'll post them here.





DoubleTapper: IDF MDT David Combat Vehicle
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