Saturday, 17 October 2009

Israel Matzav: Video: Richard Kemp speaks to the 'Human Rights Council'

Israel Matzav: Video: Richard Kemp speaks to the 'Human Rights Council'

Israel Matzav: Video: Olmert prevented from speaking at University of Chicago

Israel Matzav: Video: Olmert prevented from speaking at University of Chicago

Israel Matzav: Smoking gun on Iran's nuclear program

Smoking gun on Iran's nuclear program

A three-minute video proving Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons has been smuggled out of Iran (Hat Tip: David Hazony via Twitter).

The video depicted a room made of stone. At the center stood a Perspex mock-up - equipped with a flashing red light - of a ball-shaped bomb resting in the metallic, gold-plated cone of a missile warhead. In the most important scene in the film, the computer simulation shows the launched warhead reentering the atmosphere and exploding 600 meters above the earth's surface. According to experts, this is the ideal altitude for detonating a nuclear bomb in order to generate the maximum degree of destruction on the ground.

At the briefing, Heinonen noted that the type of warhead represented by the model could fit an Iranian Shahab missile.

...

In addition to the video, Heinonen displayed documents in Farsi, which he said dated back to July 2003-January 2004, and which included a number of sketches. Both the film and sketches showed a machine that can produce light-weight aluminum warheads.

Heinonen was very cautious, emphasizing there was no evidence proving that what they had seen was necessarily a mock-up of a nuclear warhead; it could have been a conventional one. Nonetheless, his listeners were stunned. It was clear to most of them that it was likely a nuclear device.

As one of those who was present explained to Haaretz: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck." That is, one can assume the Iranians have conducted research and calculations for weaponization - how to assemble a nuclear device - as part of a secret military nuclear program alongside their civilian one.

At the briefing, Heinonen told participants that he and other IAEA officials had asked the Iranians for an explanation of the video - specifically, about the warhead, its simulated reentry into the earth's atmosphere, the detonation of its nuclear payload at an altitude of 600 meters, the ball-like mechanism and so on. However, as befitting their usual tactics, the Iranians delayed their response, and then argued that the materials - the footage, photos and sketches - were a total fabrication, produced by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency or Israel's Mossad, or perhaps by both of them together. According to the Iranians, the forgery was intended to frame them, to present Iran as a country engaged in developing nuclear weapons, and thus operating in blatant violation of international conventions.

The Iranians' next move was to admit half-heartedly that the video was authentic, but that it depicted a computer simulation of a reentry vehicle of a conventional warhead - not a nuclear one.

...

Albright explained last month that the scientist who smuggled out the secret data was indeed an agent for German intelligence, who suspected Iran's security services had discovered his espionage activities. For that reason, he gave his wife the "electronic media," including the video, and instructed her to go to Turkey and hand it over to American diplomats there. A short while afterward, reported Albright, the scientist-agent vanished without a trace: Apparently, he was arrested by Iranian intelligence and executed for treason.

When it reached the United States, the data was sent to the Sandia National Laboratories to verify whether it was authentic and whether the simulation of the detonation of a nuclear device had, in fact, been carried out. Subsequently, probably in 2005, the information was transmitted in censored format to the IAEA. However, after examination, the organization's experts could not determine definitively whether it was genuine.

Nonetheless, the data convinced the IAEA's board of governors that Iran had indeed reneged on its obligations, and the agency decided to submit a report on the matter to the UN Security Council. In 2006, that body imposed sanctions on Iran for breaching its safeguards agreements and called upon it to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities. However, because of the internal dispute within the IAEA, the Vienna briefing was held only two years later.

Heinonen and his team compiled a 67-page report and asked ElBaradei to include it as an appendix to one of the IAEA's seasonal reports on Iran. However, on this issue, ElBaradei gained the upper hand: Convinced that there was no evidence of an Iranian military program, he refused to append the internal report and even asked that the fact of its very existence be concealed.

Read the whole thing.

Anyone still doubt what they're up to?

Israel Matzav: Smoking gun on Iran's nuclear program

Israel Matzav: An open letter to BBC reporter Katya Adler

An open letter to BBC reporter Katya Adler

An open letter from Maurice Ostroff to BBC reporter, Katya Adler

October 16, 2009

Dear Katya Adler,

I was intrigued by your report on the UNHRC resolution today which, although basically factual, nevertheless misinformed your viewers by omitting highly relevant FACTS.

Firstly, you mentioned that Mahmoud Abbas initially asked for postponement of the resolution "presumably" (sic) due to US pressure. But if your viewers are to be kept properly informed, they need to be told too, that some reliable sources "presume" different reasons. For example Al-Ahram hinted at bribery, suggesting that Israel had threatened the PA with refusal to license the new Palestinian mobile phone company, Wataniya, which is partially owned by one of Abbas's sons.

The Arab Monitor (October 2) was more blunt. Under the headline "Palestinian Authority sells human rights issue for Wataniya company's interests," it reported that "in the run-up to the current UN Human Rights Council meeting, Israel squarely blackmailed the PA, threatening to withhold frequencies for Wataniya altogether and indefinitely, unless the Palestinian delegation retract[ed] its endorsement of the Goldstone Report."

And in Al-Ahram's view, the most likely reason for the PA decision may have had to do with an Israeli threat to release records of conversations between Israeli and PA officials, in which the PA pleaded with Israel to pursue the war on Gaza to the end and crush Hamas.

Secondly, you led your listeners to believe that Israel alone is blockading Gaza. I believe that intellectual honesty would require that you keep your public fully informed by disclosing that Israel is only one party to the blockade. The other is Egypt. In fact, Israel's blockade is best described as partial, in view of the the continuing supply of electricity, water, food and medical supplies to what is virtually an enemy state, while Egypt's blockade is tighter.

As this is an open letter it will be publicized and I would appreciate a considered response that will be publicized in the same manner.

Sincerely
Maurice Ostroff

Heh.

I believe that Israel has tapes of Abu Bluff urging the IDF to crush Hamas. It's no secret that he was quite happy about Operation Cast Lead while it was going on. The blockade thing is obviously true.

I've discussed the phone company thing before, but I can't be sure it's reliable.

Israel Matzav: An open letter to BBC reporter Katya Adler

Israel Matzav: Explosives laboratory found in 'east' Jerusalem

Explosives laboratory found in 'east' Jerusalem

Have you ever thought that the 'Palestinians' might want 'holy Jerusalem' as their capitol for reasons other than religion? Here's one possible reason.

It was disclosed on Friday that special police forces, assisted by the Shabak Israel Security Agency, located an explosives laboratory on September 17th in Abu-Dis, south of Jerusalem. Different chemicals for the making of devices were seized, along with some weapons.

Three terrorists, including an explosives engineer, were arrested and detained for investigation.

A weapons lab containing explosives and pipes that were apparently meant to be used to assemble rockets was discovered in a joint Border Police-IDF-Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] operation last month in Abu Dis, next to Ma'aleh Adumim, security officials announced Friday.

...

The discovery followed intelligence gathered by the defense establishment.

The Shin Bet revealed in a report last year that Hamas terror operatives in the West Bank had increased efforts to obtain a rocket capability and to develop Kassam rockets that could be fired into central Israeli cities.

Does anyone really think a piece of paper is going to stop this?

Israel Matzav: Explosives laboratory found in 'east' Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: US 'considering rewriting' 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran

US 'considering rewriting' 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran

The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States intelligence agencies are considering rewriting the 2007 National Intelligence Assessment on Iran, which concluded that Iran had stopped developing nuclear weapons in 2003 and took the military option out of George W. Bush's hands.

The intelligence agencies' rethink comes as pressure is mounting on Capitol Hill, and among U.S. allies, for the Obama administration to redo the 2007 assessment, after a string of recent revelations about Tehran's nuclear program.

...

So far, intelligence officials are not "ready to declare that invalid," a senior U.S. intelligence official said, emphasizing that the judgment covered the 2003-2007 time frame only. That leaves room for a reassessment of the period since the December 2007 report was completed, the official suggested.

The spy agencies "have a lot more information since we last did" a national intelligence estimate, the official said. Some of it "tracks precisely with what we've seen before," while other information "causes us to reassess what we've seen before," the official added.

If undertaken, a new NIE likely wouldn't be available for months.

...

A shift in the U.S. intelligence community's official stance -- concluding Iran restarted its nuclear weapons work or that Iran's ambitions have ramped up -- could significantly affect President Barack Obama's efforts to use diplomacy to contain Tehran's capabilities.

Let's say that I doubt that last sentence. I find it hard to believe that there is ANYTHING that is going to motivate President Obumbler to go to war against Iran. He has staked his presidency on 'engagement,' and while he may be willing to see 'engagement' fail (and Israel - God forbid - destroyed) and say 'we tried,' I doubt he is willing to go to war with Iran and certainly not while he is pursuing the 'just war' in Afghanistan.... Well, sort of pursuing....

"At some point in the near future, our analytic community is going to want to press the reset button on our judgments on intent and weaponization in light of Qom and other information we're receiving," the senior intelligence official said, referring to Mr. Obama's recent revelation that Tehran was secretly assembling a uranium-enrichment facility at a military base outside the holy city of Qom.

Intelligence analysts have been plying the White House with shorter two- or three-page analyses on Iran, and Vice President Joe Biden's office and National Security Council officials have expressed interest in a new estimate, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Representatives for the director of national intelligence, the vice president and the NSC declined to comment.

Can someone please promise me that once the current occupant of the White House has been put out to pasture, the words "reset button" will leave our political discourse just as the words "kinder, gentler" have left our political discourse once Bush left? "Reset button" is just about the biggest fraud I've heard in the last nine months.

Anyway, my guess is that the NIE will be rewritten but far too late to have any effect, and that Obama wouldn't do anything with it anyway.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: US 'considering rewriting' 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran

Israel Matzav: Richard Kemp's testimony before the 'Human Rights Council'#links#links#links#links

Richard Kemp's testimony before the 'Human Rights Council'

Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan testified on Friday before the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' in Geneva in connection with the Goldstone Report.

You may recall that the Goldstone Commission itself refused to hear Kemp, claiming disingenuously that it wasn't looking into how to prevent civilian casualties in crowded urban warfare.

Here's what Kemp told the 'Human Rights Council' on Friday.

Mr. President,

I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.

Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.

More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.

Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.

And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Well, you didn't expect the 'Human Rights Council' to listen, did you?

I also have two videos of Kemp for you in which he elaborates on his views. This is an interview with the BBC that took place during Operation Cast Lead.

Let's go to the videotape.




And this is Kemp speaking at a conference held in Jerusalem and sponsored by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in July (I've actually seen the entire speech - it's about 17 minutes long - but I wasn't able to download it at the time).

Let's go to the videotape.




Kemp's message has been very consistent. Unfortunately, the world won't listen.

Israel Matzav: Richard Kemp's testimony before the 'Human Rights Council'

Israel Matzav: 'Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone Report 25-6 with 11 abstentions; GOLDSTONE 'SADDENED'!?!

'Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone Report 25-6 with 11 abstentions; GOLDSTONE 'SADDENED'!?!

The United Nations 'Human Rights Council' has just endorsed the Goldstone Report 25-6 with 11 abstentions a few minutes before I started this post (yes, this one is live). From putting together Hillel Neuer's Tweets from Geneva, the following countries voted no:

United States (also here and here)
Panama
Canada
Australia
Italy? (not sure of this one).

I believe the sixth country is France.

Among those abstaining: Norway, Mexico, Uruguay, Slovenia

But here's Neuer's most curious tweet of the day:
Israel: Goldstone said in Le Temps that the resolution saddens him because it only makes accusations against Israel.
If that's true, Goldstone is either being totally disingenuous or he's a bigger fool than I thought he was.

Given that nearly the entire report is accusations against Israel, what the *&^% did he expect?

Or has he just been horrified to discover that he's destroyed his daughter's chances for a shidduch (mate)?

UPDATE 2:17 PM

Soccer Dad provides the full quote:
Even Goldstone himself, who was in Bern for a conference Thursday, criticised the UN Council resolution for targetting only Israel and failing to include Hamas.

The UN resolution is peppered with references to “recent Israeli violations of human rights in occupied east Jerusalem” but failed to mention Hamas even once.

“This draft resolution saddens me as it includes only allegations against Isreal. There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report. I hope that the council can modify the text,” he said in remarks published in Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

The issue was also raised by the United States, whose ambassador told the council on Thursday: “The report looks at allegations on all sides of the conflict and (the Human Rights Council) must do the same.”
Unbelievable. What did he think was going to happen? Hopenchange?

UPDATE 2:59 PM

Here's the original quote in French from Le Temps (Hat Tip: Yisrael):
Richard Goldstone ne cache pas son irritation: «Cette proposition de résolution m’attriste, car elle ne fait part que d’allégations à l’encontre d’Israël. Il n’y a pas une phrase pour condamner le Hamas comme nous le faisons dans le rapport. J’espère que le Conseil pourra encore modifier ce texte.» Le juge défend en revanche ses conclusions: «Les Américains parlent d’erreurs dans notre rapport, mais ils n’avancent pas un seul fait tangible pour le démontrer.» Malgré l’instrumentalisation politique de son rapport – notamment par le Hamas – qu’il ne peut que déplorer, il demeure confiant sur le fait qu’il fera son chemin et sera un soutien à la paix dans la région. Quant à la virulence des attaques israéliennes, il s’y attendait, «mais pas à un tel venin. C’est une triste expérience.»
Or with Google translation:
Richard Goldstone did not hide his irritation: "This proposed resolution saddens me because it indicated that allegations against Israel. There are no words to condemn Hamas as we do in the report. I hope the Council can still edit this text. "The judge, however, defends its conclusions:" The Americans talk about errors in our report, but they do not advance a single fact to demonstrate tangible. "Despite the politicization of his report - including Hamas - it can only regret, he remains confident that it will make its way and will support peace in the region. As for the virulence of Israeli attacks, he expected, "but not to such venom. It is a sad experience. "
Disingenuous.

UPDATE 3:14 PM

Here's the vote breakdown (Hat Tip: Anne H).

25 Yes, 11 Abstain, 6 No

Abstain:
Belgium
Bosnia
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Gabon
Japan
Mexico
Norway
Korea
Slovenia
Uruguay


No:
Hungary
Italy
Netherlands
Slovakia
Ukraine
USA


Countries that did not vote:
United Kingdom
Madagascar
Kyrgyzstan
France
Angola


Yes:
Argentina
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
China
Cuba
Djbouti
Egypt
Ghana
India
Indonesia
Jordan
Mauritius
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Pakistan
Philippines
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
South Afrivca
Zambia

Israel Matzav: 'Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone Report 25-6 with 11 abstentions; GOLDSTONE 'SADDENED'!?!

Israel Matzav: You don't 'get over' 3,000 years of Jewish history

You don't 'get over' 3,000 years of Jewish history

In Friday's New York Times, Roger Cohen (yes, him again) makes many of the same arguments that were made by Haaretz's Gideon Levy three weeks ago in a piece criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu's references to the Holocaust at the United Nations. Levy had argued that Netanyahu had 'cheapened' the Holocaust by proving that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial is false. Cohen believes that we should forget about the Holocaust altogether (Hat Tip: Dafoh).

I dealt with Levy's arguments here, and to the extent that Cohen's argument is that we should forget the Holocaust, I respond in the same way I responded to Levy. But Cohen makes other specious arguments that cannot go unchallenged.

Cohen has a misconception as to the nature of the State of Israel and why it exists. Not surprisingly, it's a misconception shared by Barack Obama. Here's what Cohen writes:
More than 60 years after the creation of the modern state, Israel has no established borders, no constitution, no peace. Born from exceptional horror, the Holocaust, it has found normality elusive.
He then goes on to argue that our belief in our own exceptionalism is unrealistic and that we should just accept that we're like everyone else and live like a 'normal' country.

Sixteen years ago, Israel took a huge (and in my view excessive) risk for the sake of trying to live as a 'normal country.' It was called the Oslo Accords. Those who foisted the Oslo Accords and the 'process' that went with them upon us kept telling us that if we did what was asked - gave up our claims to our biblical heartland and heritage, accepted the existence of a second state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and reached some accommodation on sharing our capital city and compensating 'Palestinian refugees,' we too would be allowed to live as a normal country without having to send our children to war (or something close to it) an average of once every six years. The conception was dead wrong.

After seven years that saw more Israelis murdered by terror attacks than any previous period in our history (going back to the pre-State era), Ehud Barak went to Camp David and offered Yasser Arafat the deal of his life: All of Gaza; more than 90% of Judea and Samaria; land within the 1949 armistice lines to compensate for the rest of Judea and Samaria (to avoid having to pay for 'relocating' hundreds of thousands of Jews); a shared governance of Jerusalem - including the Temple Mount; and the admission of a limited number of 'refugees' into what was left of Israel with compensation for the rest. Arafat turned down the deal and then unleashed four more years of even worse terror, which only came to a halt when the IDF was redeployed into 'Palestinian' cities.

Lest any of us be mistaken that anything has changed since the Arafat era, the Washington Post reported in May that Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas an even better deal than what Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat - and Abbas turned it down. The lesson for Israelis ought to be clear: We are not and never will be a 'normal country.'

One reason for that is that, contrary to Cohen's (and Obama's) conception, we were not born out of the Holocaust and the motivating factor for the establishment of the Jewish state was not the Holocaust. The original Zionist idea was that the reason that Jews were persecuted worldwide - and that's been a fact of our lives in some place just about constantly since our First Temple was destroyed some 2,600 years ago - was because we were homeless. The concept was that by giving Jews a place that we could call home, the persecutions would stop. That's why the Zionist movement predates the Holocaust by more than 50 years. The Zionist movement chose to establish its state here in Israel rather than in Uganda or elsewhere, because of our historical connection to this land. Yes, we Jews have a thing about history.

With all of its accomplishments, the Zionist movement has failed to end anti-Semitism. (In fact, it may be argued that the Zionist movement has caused much of the Jewish people to congregate in one place so that we may all be wiped out together, God forbid). There's a reason for that too. God said it would be that way. Read the 26th Chapter of Leviticus (VaYikra) and the 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy (Dvarim) and it's all there in black and white.

But God also promised us something else: The Jewish people will never be destroyed. While the ancient civilizations - the original Egyptians, Greeks, Romans etc. - have all disappeared, Jews and Judaism remain and God has promised that we will remain.

I believe that makes us exceptional.


Israel Matzav: You don't 'get over' 3,000 years of Jewish history

Israel Matzav: Majority of Nobel Committee originally opposed giving prize to Obama

Israel Matzav: Majority of Nobel Committee originally opposed giving prize to Obama

Israel Matzav: Obama: We get results?

Obama: We get results?

Charles Krauthammer looks at the results of the first nine months under President Obumbler's foreign policy.

What's come from Obama holding his tongue while Iranian demonstrators were being shot and from his recognizing the legitimacy of a thug regime illegitimately returned to power in a fraudulent election? Iran cracks down even more mercilessly on the opposition and races ahead with its nuclear program.

What's come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking human rights off the table on a visit to China and from Obama's shameful refusal to see the Dalai Lama (a postponement, we are told)? China hasn't moved an inch on North Korea, Iran or human rights. Indeed, it's pushing with Russia to dethrone the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

What's come from the new-respect-for-Muslims Cairo speech and the unprecedented pressure on Israel for a total settlement freeze? "The settlement push backfired," reports The Post, and Arab-Israeli peace prospects have "arguably regressed."

And what's come from Obama's single most dramatic foreign policy stroke -- the sudden abrogation of missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic that Russia had virulently opposed? For the East Europeans it was a crushing blow, a gratuitous restoration of Russian influence over a region that thought it had regained independence under American protection.

Read the whole thing. He's entertaining as always.

Israel Matzav: Obama: We get results?

Israel Matzav: J Street is not the Israeli Left

J Street is not the Israeli Left

Anshel Pfeffer takes Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren (pictured) to task for refusing to attend J Street's convention in Washington at the end of the month. In doing so, Pfeffer confuses J Street with the (sane) Israeli Left.

Is it legitimate for a Jewish organization to call upon the U.S. administration to apply pressure on Israel to force it to make concessions to advance the stalled peace process? Should American Jews be second-guessing the Israeli government when they are not the ones who will suffer the consequences? Do they represent a significant stream in American Jewry or are they just a group of defeatist self-hating do-gooders?

The facts are that while the Israeli left was decimated in this year's elections, J Street's views mirror those held by a portion of Israeli politics which is still part of the "legitimate" Zionist mainstream.

And during a period when interest among young American Jews in their Jewish identity, let alone in Middle East politics, is at an all-time low, this is one group which is bucking the trend and motivating thousands to get engaged with the fundamental questions concerning Israel's future.

...

Whatever one thinks of J Street's policies, at least they give a damn. The old guard of the Jewish "leadership" is now trying to delegitimize the lobby, but it is not their business to tell others how they should support Israel. And it certainly isn't for the Israeli ambassador to bestow or withhold his approval from Jewish organizations.

It is quite possible that Oren is simply caving in to pressure from the old Jewish establishment, threatened by the new kids on the street, but his refusal to meet J Street smacks of good old Israeli arrogance. What do these limp-wristed shtetl Jews who have never held an M-16 know about running a country?

J Street is not the Israeli Left. The Israeli Left does not include the likes of Trita Parsi (whose organization argues against any sanctions against Iran), Robert Malley (who claims that Ehud Barak was responsible for Camp David's failure) or the Muslim Public Affairs Council (which supports Muslim terror). In Israel, there is a wall-to-wall consensus - including from the sane Jewish Left - that all three of them (and many other people associated with J Street's leadership) don't 'give a damn' about Israel.

Sorry, but Oren is right on this one. Pfeffer and too many other people on Israel's Left cannot tell the difference between themselves and J Street. But there is a difference. J Street has earned the pariah status that it has in the established Jewish community, and no one connected with the government of Israel should release them from it.

Israel Matzav: J Street is not the Israeli Left

Israel Matzav: Israelis and Jews, please stay out of India

Israelis and Jews, please stay out of India

There are serious and credible terror warnings against Israelis and Jews in India.

Yes, that's Moshe Holzberg with his Indian nanny.

It's been nearly a year since the Mumbai attacks, and last weekend the JPost ran a lengthy article about the aftermath (sorry, I can't find the link). Bottom line: There were only two people who were specifically targeted by the terrorists in Mumbai. Rabbi and Mrs. Gavriel Holzberg HY"D (may God avenge their blood).

It's a sick world out there. Be careful.

Israel Matzav: Israelis and Jews, please stay out of India

Israel Matzav: No time to be wishy washy

No time to be wishy washy

On Thursday, I noted that the United States, Britain and France have all called on Israel to conduct 'credible investigations' into the Goldstone Report allegations. Of course, the call implies that there is substance behind the allegations and that Israel's investigations to this point have not been credible. Each of the call's implications is scurrilous.

The New York Daily News points out that this is not the time for Western democracies to be wishy-washy in their defense of Israel. It calls for the Report to be killed.

Given the slightest hint of approval, the report will set back Mideast peace efforts and tie the hands of all countries that come under attack from radical terrorists.

The U.S. has some say in this matter as a newly installed member of the council. The Obama administration's representative has committed to opposing the report, but yesterday he slipped into wishy-washy diplospeak at the Security Council.

While reiterating "serious concern" about the "unbalanced focus" of the report, Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff added, "we do take seriously the allegations in the report" and urged Israel to "seriously investigate" its allegations.

This is no time for on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand equivocation. It is a time to stand staunchly with an ally that was forced to fight back against unrelenting terrorism, that strove to minimize civilian harm and that now faces trumped-up, destructive condemnation.

It is doubtful that the 'Palestinians' will come back to the negotiating table anytime soon regardless of what happens with Goldstone in the Security Council. Their expectations were raised so high by the Obama administration's out-of-the-gate pressure on Israel for a total 'settlement freeze,' that it is doubtful that they will come to the table for anything less. On the other hand, no Israeli government can or will give the type of settlement freeze that was sought. The only thing Goldstone can accomplish in terms of the 'peace process' is to ensure that Israel will also stay away from the table.

Second, 'wishy-washy diplospeak' is part of the very nature of the Obama administration. Obama acceded to power by attempting to be all things to all people, all form and NO substance. Many people were shocked when they found out what his true intentions were, because all they heard throughout the Presidential campaign was "hope" and "change." Well, who is against hope? And unless you think you have a perfect world, who is against at least some change? That meaningless talk is what swept Obama to power - he's not going to drop it now.

But employing empty talk where everyone is right and no one is wrong is dangerous for the United States and other Western countries in this case. While defending Israel against the Goldstone libel is the right thing to do, it's not why it's in the interest of the US and its allies to defend us (and recall that famous quip that in international relations there are no friends, only interests). What ought to motivate the US and its allies to defend us is the possibility of the shoes being on their feet a year or two from now.

Imagine a Goldstone Report that accuses the United States of intentionally causing civilian casualties in Fallujah (to take an obvious example). Would the administration then argue that the allegations should be taken seriously and be subjected to a 'credible investigation' beyond those already conducted by a Judge Advocate General in the US army? (This administration just might call for credible investigations of Fallujah, because Fallujah happened under Bush, so substitute any 2009 battlefield in Afghanistan to make the question more realistic).

If I were solely concerned about the United States or Britain or France, I would be arguing that Israel should be supported in the UN because if Israel is haled before the International Criminal Court, the United States, Britain and France will be next. Somehow, that possibility appears to be lost on Obama and his emissaries, or he believes that if the United States is haled into court, it will only affect functionaries of the previous administration. They're not taking the long view.

Contrast that with Israel, where everyone seems to have forgotten that Operation Cast Lead took place under Olmert and Livni. Were the government to drop its defense against Goldstone altogether, no one is able to prosecute Netanyahu, who was then the opposition leader. And yet, Netanyahu has taken the lead in defending us against Goldstone.



Israel Matzav: No time to be wishy washy

Love of the Land: Now I'm Not Going to Be as Nice as My Partner...

Now I'm Not Going to Be as Nice as My Partner...

posted by parrhesia
Jstreetjive.com
14 October 09




The BAD COP just walked into the interrogation room. Ben Ami buddy and beneath- the- radar J Street operative, M J Rosenberg got tag-teamed by his boss to apply the brass knuckles to Ambassador Michael Oren. Screeding on the Huffington Post, Rosenberg, who, like his comrade, Jim Gerstein, pretends not to be intimately connected to the nexus propelling the anti-Israel group, delivered the "or else" message to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. There are obviously serious doubts about the existence of The Israel Lobby, but now there are no doubts concerning the existence and influence of The
Anti Israel Lobby
.

Imagine the effrontery of the distinguished scholar and statesman, Michael Oren, declining to attend a three day lynching of the country that he has put his life on the line for multiple times. Imagine his reluctance to hobnob with phony "supporters" of Israel who appear to be more supportive of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs than of the democratically elected government of Israel. Imagine the gall of this man hesitating to attend the "destroy the settlements" soiree directed by Obama and carried out by his toadies. What nerve for Ambassador Oren to not lend his prestigious name to a group of "Pro Peaceniks" who want fair play for Iran.

Rosenberg is a Senior Fellow for the George Soros funded (via his Democracy Alliance group) Media Matters hard left organization. Among other accomplishments, Rosenberg was a staunch defender of the unqualified supporter of the Walt/Mearsheimer conspiracy canard, Chas Freeman, whose nomination for head of the National Intelligence Council by Obama was derailed when his intense anti-Israel and pro Chinese track record came to light.

Ben Ami delivered the condescending "plea" to Ambassador Oren while his bad cop partner applied the rubber truncheon.

Heady days for J Street, flush with funny money, Saudi lobbyists and State Department Arabists. Look for the background involvement of the shadowy Tides Foundation and the Grass Roots Policy Project (Anne Bartley) all interlocking with the puppet master, the bizarre and deep pocketed Soros.

Love of the Land: Now I'm Not Going to Be as Nice as My Partner...

Love of the Land: Presbyterian Peacemakers Promote Hezbollah Website and Anti-Israel Incitement

Presbyterian Peacemakers Promote Hezbollah Website and Anti-Israel Incitement


Dexter Van Zile
CAMERA
14 October 09

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA), is promoting anti-Israel incitement from a number of different sources, including Al Manar, a Hezbollah-controlled television station which was designated as a “Global Terrorist Entity” by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2006. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) was established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2004.

In addition to mainstreaming Hezbollah's Al Manar to Presbyterians and to the general public, the IPMN is also promoting false allegations about Israel tunneling beneath the Temple Mount – allegations which in the past have incited violence. The IPMN is also relaying a false report of Palestinians attacking right-wing Jews who had entered the Temple Mount to pray the day before Yom Kippur. In fact, Palestinians had attacked non-Jewish French tourists.

IPMN promoted the articles in a blog entry dated Oct. 11, 2009. The entry reports on the alleged “decline of sovereignty by Palestinian Muslims over the Haram al-Sharif Mosque on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.” The entry depicts the presence of Israeli Jews in Jerusalem as an alien intrusion that results in the “culture of Palestine slowly being displaced by immigrants from Europe and the US.”

Accompanying this thinly disguised xenophobia were links to ten articles, most of which dealt with the recent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police near the Temple Mount. The IPMN encouraged its readers to view the articles under the heading "Articles of the Week."

The clashes began on Sept. 27, 2009 when Palestinians attacked a group of non-Jewish French tourists (whom they had likely mistaken for Israeli Jews intent on praying on the Temple Mount). Israeli police officers intervened, rescued the tourists, arrested some of the Palestinians involved in the attack and then blocked off the compound. The compound remained closed to allow for the peaceful celebration of Yom Kippur at the Western Wall, or Kotel, which is at the base of the Temple Mount. (Agence France Press, Sept. 27, 2009)

On Oct. 3, 2009, Israeli officials imposed another closure on the site in an effort to prevent further violence after Palestinian religious leaders called for further protests against an alleged Jewish “takeover” of Haram Al-Sharif. Prior to closure, imposed the day before a Sukkot celebration at the Western Wall, Israeli police had discovered wheelbarrows filled with stones at a number of sites on the Temple Mount. (UPI, Oct. 5, 2009).

Given the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount (or the Haram Al-Sharif as it is called by Muslims), IPMN's peacemaking agenda would seem to require that it post links to factual articles about the confrontations and encourage people of all faiths in Jerusalem to remain calm.

Instead, the organization directed its readers to articles promoting false charges designed to provoke hostility toward Israel and to justify continued violent acts by the Palestinians.

For example, the IPMN promoted an article published by Ma'an News, a Palestinian news agency that falsely reported that the violence that began on Sept. 27 started after “right wing religious Jews entered the Al-Aqsa compound ahead of the holy day of Yom Kippur.” In fact, Palestinians attacked non-Jewish French tourists, as noted above.

The IPMN also promoted an article falsely accusing Israel of digging a tunnel under the Al Aqsa Mosque. This charge is regularly leveled at Israel in an effort to promote hostility toward Israel.

Al Manar

These links are outrageous enough, but what is even more shocking is the IPMN's decision to promote an article published by Al Manar, which is controlled by Hezbollah. This article titled “Palestinians Stand Up to Israeli Attempts to Desecrate Al-Aqsa” speaks of “Israel's continuous bids to desecrate the Muslim site.” The article also reports that Israeli settlers have allowed Jewish settlers to enter the compound and desecrate the holy site.” In fact, Israeli officials have worked to prevent Jewish groups from setting foot on the site.

What makes IPMN's decision to promote this article shocking is that Al Manar has been designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a “Global Terrorist Entity.”

Al Manar raised funds for Hizballah through advertisements broadcast on the network and an accompanying website that requested donations for the terrorist organization. As recently as late 2005, Hizballah-affiliated charities aired commercials on al Manar, providing contact information and bank account numbers for donations. Moreover, Hizballah Secretary General Nasrallah publicized an invitation for all Lebanese citizens to volunteer for Hizballah military training on al Manar and al Nour [a Lebanese radio station].
In addition to supporting Hizballah, al Manar has also provided support to other designated Palestinian terrorist organizations, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, notably transferring tens of thousands of dollars for a PIJ-controlled charity. PIJ is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Government, and is also named on the European Union's list of terrorist entities.
Hizballah Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah, along with Hizballah's Executive Council, managed and oversaw the budgets of al Manar and al Nour.(Emphasis added.)

By portraying Jewish settlement in Israel in such xenophobic terms and by promoting propaganda broadcast by a known supporter of anti-Israel terrorism, the IPMN has revealed its true colors.

It is not a peace organization.

It is an anti-Israel organization that promotes the lies told by groups in the Middle East to justify attacks on Israeli civilians.

Love of the Land: Presbyterian Peacemakers Promote Hezbollah Website and Anti-Israel Incitement

Love of the Land: Peace vs. the 'peace process'

Peace vs. the 'peace process'

Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
14 October 09

"WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY," the late Irving Kristol once observed, "they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict." Maybe "destroy" was putting it a bit strongly, but there is no denying that American presidents seem irresistibly drawn to the belief that they can succeed where others have failed and conjure a lasting peace between Israel and its Arab enemies. This diplomacy has gone by various names -- Oslo, the Roadmap, Camp David, and so on -- but time and again it has led not to the end of the conflict but to its intensification.

In his memoirs, former President Bill Clinton describes Yasser Arafat's refusal to accept the extraordinarily generous terms for a permanent settlement offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000. That refusal led to a Palestinian terror war, the bloody Second Intifada, and when Arafat called Clinton in January 2001 to tell him what a great man he was, Clinton was bitter. "I am not a great man," he told Arafat. "I am a failure, and you have made me one."

Of course, if Clinton was a failure so were the two George Bushes. Each made it his goal to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, each convened a grand international conference for that purpose (Bush 41 in Madrid, Bush 43 in Annapolis), and each left the situation worse than he had found it.

In his first nine months as president, Barack Obama has shown every sign of succumbing to the same temptation. Two days after moving in to the White House, he named George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader, his special envoy to the region. He pressured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intoendorsing a "two-state solution." He declared that "the moment is now for us to act" to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Unlike his recent predecessors, Obama has gone out of his way to signal a distinct coolness toward Israel and its interests. At a White House meeting with the leaders of American Jewish organizations in July, he suggested that because there had been "no daylight" between Israel and the United States when George W. Bush was president, there had been "no progress" toward peace.

In fact, there had often been "daylight" between Washington and Jerusalem during the Bush years. There had been plenty of movement too, from the adoption of the Roadmap to the Israeli "disengagement" from Gaza to the final-status negotiations that followed the Annapolis conference.

Still: Obama was right when he said there had been no progress toward Arab-Israeli peace under Bush. Nor had there been any under Clinton. Nor, as things stand now, will there be any under Obama.

Why? Because the "peace process" to which all of them, their sharp differences notwithstanding, have been so committed is not a formula for ending the decades-long war in the Holy Land, but for prolonging it.

Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands at the White House in September 1993, launching the Oslo "peace process." What resulted was not peace but an intensified war.

In an important article in the current Middle East Quarterly, Daniel Pipes reviews the terrible failure of the 1993 Oslo accords, and homes in on the root fallacy of the diplomatic approach it embodied: the belief that the Arab-Israeli war can "be concluded through goodwill, conciliation, mediation, flexibility, restraint, generosity, and compromise, topped off with signatures on official documents." For 16 years, Israeli governments, prodded by Washington, have sought to quench Palestinian hostility with concessions and gestures of goodwill. Yet peace today is more elusive than ever.

"Wars end not through goodwill but through victory," Pipes writes, defining victory as one side compelling the other to give up its war goals. Since 1948, the Arabs' goal has been the elimination of Israel; the Israelis', to win their neighbors' acceptance of a Jewish state in the Middle East. "If the conflict is to end, one side must lose and one side win," argues Pipes. "Either there will be no more Zionist state or it will be accepted by its neighbors."

Diplomacy cannot settle the Arab-Israeli conflict until the Palestinians abandon their anti-Israel rejectionism. US policy should be focused, therefore, on getting them to abandon it. The Palestinians must be put "on notice that benefits will flow to them only after they prove their acceptance of Israel. Until then -- no diplomacy, no discussion of final status, no recognition as a state, and certainly no financial aid or weapons."

So long as American and Israeli leaders remain committed to a fruitless Arab-Israeli "peace process," Arab-Israeli peace will remain unachievable. Let the newest Nobel peace laureate grasp and act upon that insight, and he may do more to genuinely hasten the conflict's end than any of his well-meaning predecessors.

(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.


Love of the Land: Peace vs. the 'peace process'

Love of the Land: How Turkey Was Lost

How Turkey Was Lost


Caroline Glick
Jewish World Review
16 October 09

Turkey's decision to betray the West holds general lessons for Israel and for the free world as a whole. These lessons should be learned and applied moving forward not only to Turkey, but to a whole host of regimes and sub-national groups in the region and throughout the world

Once the apotheosis of a pro-Western, dependable Muslim democracy, this week Turkey officially left the Western alliance and became a full member of the Iranian axis.

It isn't that Turkey's behavior changed fundamentally in recent days. There is nothing new in its massive hostility towards Israel and its effusive solicitousness towards the likes of Syria and Hamas. Since the Islamist AKP party first won control over the Turkish government in the 2002 elections, led by AKP chairman Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the Turks have incrementally and inexorably moved the formerly pro-Western Muslim democracy into the radical Islamist camp populated by the likes of Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, al Qaida and Hamas. What made Turkey's behavior this week different from its behavior in recent months and years is that its attacks were concentrated, unequivocal and undeniable for everyone outside of Israel's scandalously imbecilic and flagellant media.

Until this week, both Israel and the US were quick to make excuses for Ankara. When in 2003 the AKP-dominated Turkish parliament prohibited US forces from invading Iraq through Kurdistan, the US blamed itself. Rather than get angry at Turkey, the Bush administration argued that its senior officials had played the diplomatic game poorly.

In February 2006, when Erdogan became the first international figure to host Hamas leaders on an official state visit after the jihadist group won the Palestinian elections, Jerusalem sought to explain away his diplomatic aggression. Israeli leaders claimed that Erdogan's red carpet treatment for mass murderers who seek the physical destruction of Israel was not due to any inherent hostility on the part of the AKP regime towards Israel. Rather, it was argued that Ankara simply supported democracy and that the AKP, as a formerly outlawed Islamist party, felt an affinity towards Hamas as a Muslim underdog.

Jerusalem made similar excuses for Ankara when during the 2006 war with Hizbullah Turkey turned a blind eye to Iranian weapons convoys to Lebanon that traversed Turkey; when Turkey sided with Hamas against Israel during Operation Cast Lead, and called among other things for Israel to be expelled from the UN; and when Erdogan caused a diplomatic incident this past January by castigating President Shimon Peres during a joint appearance at the Davos conference. So too, Turkey's open support for Iran's nuclear weapons program and its galloping trade with Teheran and Damascus, as well as its embrace of al Qaida financiers have elicited nothing more than grumbles from Israel and America.

Initially, this week Israel sought to continue its policy of making excuses for Turkish aggression against it. On Sunday, after Turkey disinvited the IAF from the Anatolian Eagle joint air exercise with Turkey, and NATO, senior officials like Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Opposition leader Tzipi Livni tried to make light of the incident claiming that Turkey remains Israel's strategic ally.

But Turkey wasted no time in making fools of them. On Monday eleven Turkish government ministers descended on Syria to sign a pile of cooperation agreements with Iran's Arab lackey. The Foreign Ministry didn't even have a chance to write apologetic talking points explaining that brazen move before Syria announced it was entering a military alliance with Turkey and would be holding a joint military exercise with the Turkish military. Speechless in the wake of Turkey's move to hold military maneuvers with its enemy just two days after it cancelled joint training with Israel, Jerusalem could think of no mitigating explanation for the move.

Tuesday was characterized by escalating verbal assaults on the Jewish state. First Erdogan renewed his libelous allegations that Israel deliberately killed children in Gaza. Then he called on Turks to learn how to make money like Jews do.

Erdogan's anti-Israel and anti-Semitic blows were followed Tuesday evening by Turkey's government-controlled TRT1 television network's launch of a new prime-time series portraying IDF forces as baby and little girl killers who force Palestinian women to deliver stillborn babies at roadblocks and line up groups of Palestinians against walls to execute them by firing squad.

The TRT1 broadcast forced Israel's hand. Late Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry announced it was launching an official protest with the Turkish embassy. Unfortunately, it was unclear who would be coming to the Foreign Ministry to receive the demarche since Turkey hasn't had an ambassador in Israel for three weeks.
(Full Article)


Love of the Land: How Turkey Was Lost

Love of the Land: Weekly Commentary: It's Not Always About Israel

Weekly Commentary: It's Not Always About Israel


Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA
15 October 09

We Israelis sometimes get so caught up in ourselves that we actually start to believe that we are the explanation for everything going on in our region.

And it simply isn't true.

Turkey isn't courting Syria and Iran because of Israeli construction in Ramat Eshkol. Turkey's moves are driven by a myriad of domestic, regional and global considerations.

Iran doesn't represent a threat to its neighbors -and beyond - because of its pronounced goal to bring about the destruction of the Jewish state. Iran's activities would constitute a clear and present danger even if Israel didn't exist.

Syria's destructive role in Lebanon is also not related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And the list goes on.

There are two important policy ramifications to this simple truth:

For Israel: When we weigh the risks associated with a given move, we have to take into consideration the possibility that changes may take place - through no fault of our own - that could make the move considerably more dangerous.

For the "West": Turning the screws on Israel to conclude a house-of-cards deal with the Palestinians so that the Arab-Israeli conflict can be [temporarily] removed from the diplomatic "do list" won't clear off the rest of the list of trouble spots.

Love of the Land: Weekly Commentary: It's Not Always About Israel

Love of the Land: Obama’s Diplomacy Dilemma

Obama’s Diplomacy Dilemma


Peter Wehner
Contentions/Commentary
15 October 09

Earlier today Jen highlighted a Washington Post story, which reports this:

After nine months of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. special envoy George J. Mitchell, the gap between Israeli and Palestinian leaders appears to have grown, and it now includes not only a dispute over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, but also renewed tension over Jerusalem, disagreement over the framework for the talks and controversy over a UN report on alleged war crimes during Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter.

This report about events on the ground merits comparison to Joe Klein’s column in Time, in which he lays out his thoughts on how President Obama could earn his Nobel Peace Prize. (Even Klein admits he didn’t deserve it yet on the merits.) While acknowledging that Mitchell’s efforts seem to be “slouching toward catatonia,” Klein writes:

An opportunity for a grand gesture may be developing in the most unlikely of locales: the Middle East. . . . The moment may be at hand for a dramatic U.S. initiative, even from a no-drama President. “The two sides seem unable to make peace on their own,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser. “I think it would make a lot of sense for the President to announce what he thinks a Middle East peace plan should look like.” The elements of such a plan are widely known. Bill Clinton announced a version of it in December 2000, as he was leaving office. Brzezinski cites four major components: a return to 1967 borders, with land swaps enabling Israel to keep many of its existing settlements; no right of return for Palestinians who left, or were forced off, their lands when Israel became a state; Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine; and an international peacekeeping force replacing the Israelis currently patrolling the Jordan River Valley.

I have gone on at length before about Klein’s geopolitical and national-security record and the quality of his analysis. Let’s just say he was once a fine reporter on urban issues. (Bill Clinton did announce his version of a Middle East peace in December 2000. The Israelis met almost every conceivable Palestinian demand — and in response the Palestinians declared a second intifada against Israel.)

But what of Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the architects of the many and sundry Carter calamities? I could go on at length about those, too, but perhaps it’s sufficient to draw attention to a memorandum from Brzezinski to President Carter on the topic of “Islamic Fundamentalism.” Here (found on page 564/Appendix II of Brzezinski’s paperback volumePower and Principle) is what he wrote on February 2, 1979:

The conclusion from several studies done in the intelligence community is that we should be careful not to overgeneralize from the Iranian case [the overthrow of the Shah and the ascent to power of Ayatollah Khomeini]. Islamic revivalist movements are not sweeping the Middle East and are not likely to be the wave of the future. The foreign policy consequences of this strengthening of Islamic sentiment are mixed. It is more difficult to resolve the Arab-Israeli disputes; moreover, conservative Muslims are often xenophobic. If we emphasize moral as well as material values, our support for diversity, and a commitment to social justice, our dialogue with the Muslim world will be helped.

The Iranian revolution, of course, ranks with the French Revolution in terms of its reach and influence, one of the few revolutions that actually deserves the name. And the consequences of that revolution have been harmful for America, for the Muslim world, and for civilization itself.

Apparently Dr. Brzezinski’s strategic insights and foresight were as good then as they are now.


Love of the Land: Obama’s Diplomacy Dilemma

Love of the Land: Amnesty International UK branch signals support for anti-Zionist extremism with endorsement of Israel apartheid analogy

Amnesty International UK branch signals support for anti-Zionist extremism with endorsement of Israel apartheid analogy


Robin Shepherd
Think Tank Blog
16 October 09

In a deeply disturbing move that marks the end of any pretence at impartiality as well as another new low in British attitudes to Israel, Amnesty International’s UK branch has now indicated that it endorses the notion that Israel is an apartheid state.

For an event scheduled for October 28 entitled “Discriminatory and unsustainable: Water and politics in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories” Amnesty has revealed that its keynote speaker will be Ben White, author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide” which was published in June by Pluto Press.

On its website, Amnesty is promoting White’s book and describes him as “a writer and freelance journalist specialising in Palestine/Israel.”

In fact, White is an anti-Israeli ideologue whose book is riddled with distortions aimed at smearing the Jewish state by association with apartheid South Africa. In promoting his book and honouring him as keynote speaker, Amnesty has endorsed the legitimacy of the apartheid analogy in relation to Israel and thus placed itself inside the extremist wing of the anti-Israel camp.

Amnesty has simultaneously put itself in the company of far-Left and militantly anti-Zionist groups such as the charity War on Want which has been the subject of investigations by the UK’s main charity watchdog, the Charity Commission, after it too promoted White’s book at an event over the summer.

Until recently, the use of the apartheid analogy to demonise and deligitimise Israel was the preserve of mavericks on the fringes whom mainstream organisations would have shunned as untouchable.

But in the last few months and years it has gradually gained currency in the mainstream through the efforts of NGOs, Muslim groups, the Guardian newspaper and high profile international figures such as former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

The Nazi analogy has also begun to move from the fringes towards the centreground and was widely used to attack Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

A once respected human rights organisation (of which I was once a member), Amnesty International’s credibility has been severely damaged by its anti-Israel stance as many observers, including Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, have remarked.

However, the latest move marks a point of departure since it takes Amnesty out of the ranks of NGOs which are merely characterised by anti-Israeli leanings and places it inside the realm of anti-Israel activism.

Human Rights Watch has moved in a similar direction. It admitted earlier this year that it had used its disputes with pro-Israel groups as a marketing tool for its fund raising efforts in Saudi Arabia.

As I have remarked before, the anti-Israeli agenda is not simply a problem for Israel. Its adoption also has the effect of corrupting those who participate in it. Few examples are more illustrative of such dangers than the corruption of the global human rights agenda by Human Rights Watch, the UN Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

It is a depressing and shameful state of affairs. But since so few people (in Britain and Europe at least) seem motivated to do anything substantial to address it, it is likely to get worse rather than better as time goes by. I really wonder where this is all going.

Anyone who wants a fuller discussion of such matters should get a copy of my new book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel. Click here to read about it and purchase it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/State-Beyond-Pale-Europes-Problem/dp/0297856642/ref=pd_sim_b_1



Love of the Land: Amnesty International UK branch signals support for anti-Zionist extremism with endorsement of Israel apartheid analogy
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