Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Iran wants to retrade the deal

Iran wants to retrade the deal

By Wednesday, Iran is supposed to give an answer as to whether it will agree to send some 75-80% of its known low enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France for enrichment to the 30% level and casting into rods for use in a medical reactor. While that is not a great deal for the West, for reasons I have discussed elsewhere, on Tuesday afternoon it was reported from Tehran that Iran wishes to retrade the deal, a scenario that could cause the deal to be canceled.

Among the central planks of the plan opposed by Iran -- but requested by the West to cut the risk of an Iranian atom bomb -- was for it to send most of its low-enriched uranium reserve abroad for processing all in one go, state television said.

Iran says it is enriching uranium only for power plant fuel, not for nuclear warheads. But its history of nuclear secrecy and continued restrictions on U.N. inspections have raised Western suspicions Iran is latently pursuing nuclear weapons capability.

Citing an unnamed official, the Iranian state Arabic-language satellite television station al Alam said on Tuesday Iran would present its response to the proposed agreement within 48 hours, a week after a deadline set by its author, U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

Al Alam said Iran would "agree to the general framework of the draft proposal but will request some important amendments."

It did not elaborate on the changes Tehran would seek to the draft agreement ElBaradei hammered out in consultations with Iran, Russia, France and the United States in Vienna last week.

But senior lawmakers have said Iran should import foreign fuel rather than send abroad by the end of this year much of its own low-enriched uranium (LEU) stock -- a crucial strategic asset in talks with world powers -- as the proposal stipulates.


"It's not a good sign ... it is a bad indication," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told reporters at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, referring to the latest, ambiguous Iranian statements.

"Time is running out for the Iranians... This (Middle East) region is inflammable. It's an explosive circle and I do not think that in such a context the Iranians can play for time. That is very dangerous," he said.

"If there is the necessity -- but we might not see it until the end of the year -- we would start work on new sanctions," Kouchner added.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Iran wants to retrade the deal

Israel Matzav: Survey: American support for Israel, support for striking Iran stronger than ever

Survey: American support for Israel, support for striking Iran stronger than ever

A survey released on Monday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows that American support for Israel is stronger than ever and that American support for striking Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons is increasing.

The full poll is available online at

Key findings on Israel and the Palestinians

-- 67%, the highest figure in recent years, see Israel as a country to be counted on as a strong, loyal U.S. ally.
-- By a 3-1 ratio, the American people express more sympathy with Israel
than with the Palestinians.
-- 64% of Americans continue to believe that Israel is serious about reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
-- Americans see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as difficult to resolve. Of the 26% who believe the prospects for peace have worsened, 51% blame the Palestinians.
-- There is increased support for U.S. involvement in the process --39%, up
from 30% in 2007, but still a significant plurality - 48% -- believe that the sides must solve their own problems with minimal US involvement.
-- Americans are skeptical about "peace dividends" that would result from a
freeze on settlements. 53% believe leaders of the Arab world will continue to refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, even if Israel stops all further construction settlements; only 25% believe the Palestinians would be prepared to achieve a final resolution of the conflict if Israel stopped further construction of settlements.
-- 61% of Americans believe that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians will drag on for years. Only 29% believe that the two sides "will never have a better opportunity to reach a peace agreement than they do at the present moment."
-- While Americans support the creation of a Palestinian state, 56% believe it must not be established until the Palestinians end the violence and accept Israel's legitimacy.
-- A majority place the onus for peace on Palestinians because of the division between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and the Arabs, because of their refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as the major obstacle to peace other than Israeli settlements. 51% believe Palestinian division stands in the way of peace.

Key Findings on Iran

-- 63% of Americans now see Iran as an immediate or short-term security threat to the Middle East, up from 50% in 2007.
-- 83% believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, up from 71% in 2007
-- 57% support Israeli military action to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program, up from 42% in 2007
-- 54% support U.S. military action to keep Iran from developing a nuclear
weapons program, up from 47% in 2007.

The American people are smarter than their President. A lot smarter.

Israel Matzav: Survey: American support for Israel, support for striking Iran stronger than ever

Israel Matzav: Back to 1938? Nazis in the Ivory Tower

Back to 1938? Nazis in the Ivory Tower

We've seen it all before. So concludes Steven Plaut after reviewing The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower by Stephen H. Norwood (Cambridge University Press, 2009). What we've seen on American college campuses since the early 1990's is remarkably similar to what went on at American college campuses in the 1930's. Harvard, Yale, Columbia - Norwood covers them all and Plaut reviews them all (Hat Tip: Ashan).

The simple lesson from examining the behavior on American universities in the 1930s is that that the appeasement, the support for totalitarian aggression and terror, the academic bigotry, and the anti-Semitism that today fill so many American universities were all predominant forces on many campuses in the 1930s, especially at America’s elite schools, including on much of the Ivy League. The Chomskies, Coles, Beinins and Massads of today could easily be fit into the campus atmosphere of the 1930s.

Norwood sums up the situation at American universities in the 1930s thus:

“The leaders of American colleges and universities remained for the most part uninvolved as others in this country forcefully protested the Nazis’ barbaric treatment of Jews. The Nazis anti-Semitic terror in 1933 precipitated demonstrations and boycotts (of Germany) on an unprecedented scale… But although academicians were the Americans most conversant with European affairs, few engaged in public anti-Nazi protest…. American universities maintained amicable relations with the Third Reich, sending their students to study at Nazified universities while welcoming Nazi exchange students to their own campuses. America’s most distinguished university presidents willfully crossed the Atlantic in ships flying the swastika flag, openly defying the anti-Nazi boycott, to the benefit of the Third Reich’s economy. By warmly receiving Nazi diplomats and propagandists on campus, they helped Nazi Germany present itself to the American public as a civilized nation, unfairly maligned in the press.” (Norwood, page 34)

Norwood’s book is a must-read, but also a sad and uncomfortable read. He details the reactions of America’s professors and universities to the rise of Hitler. The responses on American campuses ranged from complete indifference and refusal to join in campaigns against Nazi Germany to widespread support for German Nazism, including for German atrocities committed against Jews. This was not mere Yankee provincial ignorance of what was happening outside the country.

Read the whole thing.

And if anyone can get me a review copy of the book, I'd be grateful.

Israel Matzav: Back to 1938? Nazis in the Ivory Tower

Love of the Land: Regional Outreach

Regional Outreach

J.E. Dyer
27 October 09

Iranian ships loaded with weapons keep turning up in the darnedest places. The latest report is that Yemeni authorities on Monday seized an Iranian ship in their waters trying to deliver anti-armor rounds to Yemen’s Shia Zaidi rebels. Especially noteworthy is that the ship was seized on Yemen’s Red Sea coast. Yemenis say the ship is not the first to pull into the Eritrean port of Asmara and then cross the Red Sea to deliver weapons to the Zaidi insurgents. The Yemeni press, in fact, reports that Iran is training Zaidi rebels in Eritrea. Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh insisted earlier this year that the Zaidi (or al-Houthi) rebels are being trained by Hezbollah.

Iran’s 2008 basing agreement with Eritrea has received minimal attention in the West, in part because there is little new information on any developments related to it. Radio France International reported in May that Iranian warships and a submarine had been observed in Asmara along with a unit of Iran’s Pasdaran, the Revolutionary Guard’s paramilitary force. If a submarine were actually present, it would have been one of Iran’s mini-submarines, small one- or two-man submersibles with a very restricted range of operations. Iran has long cultivated a mini-submarine threat to shipping in restricted waters. As for the warships, Iran is using Asmara for the replenishment of its antipiracy patrol ships.

Israel, of course, has expressed concern over this Iranian Red Sea presence, and analysts have connected it with the overland arms route for Hamas, interdicted in a dramatic air raid over Sudan in February. Somalia watchers continue to warn that Iranian arms are flowing to al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgency in southern Somalia, through Eritrea. Riyadh is now increasingly concerned about Iran’s support to the Yemeni rebels, whose stronghold in western Yemen is on the poorly guarded border with Saudi Arabia. The rebels claimed last week that they came under attack from Saudi forces when operating near the border, a credible claim given the level of Saudi disquiet.

The evidence is relentless: arming regional insurgents and terrorists is what Iran commits its limited resources to. Arranging forward logistics for the effort in a strategically positioned port is a measure of that commitment. The same commitment is to be expected to threats like holding global shipping at risk and deploying ballistic missiles to the Red Sea coast. We are already seeing the regional initiatives Iran will feel even freerto mount once it has nuclear weapons. It is a fatal error to suppose that we will feel just as free, under those conditions, to oppose them.

Love of the Land: Regional Outreach

Love of the Land: Blumenthal Lets It Slip

Blumenthal Lets It Slip

Jennifer Rubin
27 October

Jeffrey Goldberg catches Max Blumenthal telling a nugget of truth at J Street about the authors of the Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Blumenthal at the J Street fest declared:

I personally think they provided cover for J Street to be able to exist to fill this void but Jeremy capitulated, he sort of prostrated himself before the serious man, Jeffrey Goldberg, and he said yes, it’s true they wrote the modern version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, they’re anti-Semites. And to me, when you call Stephen Walt and John Meirsheimer anti-Semites — first of all it raises the question: if you’re going to capitulate before Jeffrey Goldberg, if you can’t stand up to Jeffrey Goldberg, how can we trust you to stand up against the settlers, how can we trust you to stand up against the government of Netanyahu and Lieberman?

Just think, the book that made it onto Osama bin Laden’s list also provided “cover” for J Street.

As an aside, it is remarkable that the villains in the J Street drama are Goldberg, Netanyahu, and Lieberman. Hmm. You’d think a pro-Israel group would think of the “enemies” as being those who hide behind women’s skirts and use baby carriages as barricades. But no, the focus of J Street’s ire is the Jews who disagree with J Street and criticize its grab bag of Israel-hating friends and allies. They are not, it seems, “pro-Israel” but “anti-pro-Israel.” Or maybe they should be renamed in honor of their intellectual godfathers: W and M Street.

Love of the Land: Blumenthal Lets It Slip

Love of the Land: Open Letter To Judge Goldstone: “A Judge Is Expected To Look At Least For Some Evidence And Verification”

Open Letter To Judge Goldstone: “A Judge Is Expected To Look At Least For Some Evidence And Verification”

posted by Daled Amos
27 October 09

In 2002, while the media and NGO’s such as Human Rights Watch accepted as fact the Palestinian claim that there was a massacre in Jenin–Dr. David Zangen couldn’t stand the lies and came forward with the facts. In the end, Palestinian claims of at least 500 killed were refuted and it was discovered that 54 Palestinians–mostly terrorists–were killed.

Dr. Zangen appears in the movie The Road To Jenin, which refutes the inaccuracies and falsifications in the Palestinian propaganda film Jenin, Jenin (read the CAMERA review).

Eventually, the truth of Jenin came out and Israel was vindicated.

Now Dr. David Zangen addresses the flaws in the Goldstone Report in an open letter to Judge Goldstone:

Dear Judge Goldstone,

My name is Dr. David Zangen, I am a consultant in Pediatric Endocrinology and diabetes at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. Over 50% of my patient population is Palestinian from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. I speak Arabic and initiated the first training program for Palestinian physicians in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology. The trained physicians were fully respected and were included as first authors on our studies that are published in world leading professional journals.

But, at the same time I happened to be the chief medical officer of my brigade during the Defensive Shield Operation in Jenin 2002. I was responsible for the medical treatment of our soldiers but also for enabling the hospital in Jenin to provide full medical services to the civilian population and I was personally involved in numerous medical treatments that Palestinians (including warriors) received from Israeli physicians.

During and after the operation the director of Jenin hospital was a source to what has been falsely called the “Massacre in Jenin where 5000 people were massacred” this same person Dr. Abu Rali has also claimed that one part of the Jenin hospital was destroyed by Israeli tank missiles “12 tank rockets were shot at the hospital …” etc

You should know, honored Judge that these statements have been proved and documented as straight lies not only by Israeli sources but also by the Human Rights Watch and the UN organizations counting only 52 dead people on the Palestinian side (23 on the Israeli side). These organizations and photographs of Jenin hospital following the operation showed no evidence for any destruction at the hospital buildings etc.

This Dr. Abu Rali a director of a hospital, a physician, lies and incites in the service of the Shahids. It is hard to believe that a director of a hospital can give such an obvious false testimony. I can’t understand it and you can’t understand it but unfortunately this is what has happened. Even persons who would usually be considered reliable sources become advocates of straight lies. Tragically, moral misbehavior of doctors in the Palestinian Authority is not new.

The Pediatrician George Habash sent his terrorists to kill children in Israeli schools and so did the Hamas leader the pediatrician Dr. Rantisi…and so continues to do the Pediatrician encouraging the sending of rockets from Gaza on innocent Israeli schools Dr Mahmud Zaher.

Please judge Goldstone, you should really be careful when such straight liars serve as the basis for your report. I am sure that you mean well but being an eye witness both to the events in Jenin and to the subsequent media and initial false UN reporting I do understand what happened to you. How a person of such stature and integrity could become associated with such a faulted report.

Look Judge Goldstone at your report on the Al Fakhura event on January 5-6th 2009 (paragraphs 651-688). You do report how Israel was accused for directly bombing the UNRWA school. It took 2 weeks to withdraw from this accusation but you, honored Judge, went back to get your testimony only from the same people who spread the blood libel of bombing the school.

Moreover when analyzing the scene you claim that you could not verify the numbers of 24 dead and 40 wounded but these numbers are not considered exaggerated. Finally in the Factual findings part you already determine that 24 people were killed and 40 injured!

Did you by any chance try to validate any of these invented and inciting details? Did you look at the Al Jazeera or BBC reports from the same very date of the event? Did you try to validate your “factual findings” conclusions by getting at least Emergency Room charts on the people admitted to their trauma department on this very day? Did you go over the I.D.’s of the “dead” people and the place or cemetery where they were supposedly buried?

Well you didn’t!

In all the scene of “40 dead and 40 wounded” filmed by Al Jazeera and other channels reporters and screened at the same day all over the world you could not see bodies or blood spots in the streets beside two or three casualties and one footage of a single wall damaged by a bomb. As a physician who was at terrible suicide events with smaller number of casualties I can testify how it looks like for hours following the event….The media documentation of the Al Fakhura event does not verify and definitely does not go along with the fantasy and lies of your witnesses.

As a judge I must be sure that you did not mean to hurt Israel, I try to believe that you came to Gaza without prejudice…but a judge is expected to look at least for some evidence and verification (media, ER registration, burial places etc….) of the testimonies and not accept impossible “facts”. You have let yourself to be misled by fabrications made by either terrorists or even doctors such as Dr. Abu Rali from Jenin.

I and my colleagues in Israel are proud of the medical service that is given equally to every human being regardless of his origin; we are also proud to belong to a nation that has the imprint of having higher moral standards than others.

The price that we pay for this status is very high. The Palestinians and other Muslims around the world, either common people or even respected doctors, use straight lies as part of the war against us. The Western world media criticizes us and tries to find where we were not behaving up to the extremely high moral standards that we made ourselves.

I call on you Judge Goldstone take this Al Fakhura event, look at the media coverage from the very same date…see the events in the context…try to live one day with the responsibility for the existence of this small nation of 6 million Jews threatened constantly by 300 million Muslims. I call on you to try and not draw conclusions from such lies and misleading witnesses even if they come from so-called professionals. In the modern world propaganda and lies are definitely a part of the war and as a judge you should not serve as a tool for augmenting hatred and conflicts.

We look for peace , we love peace and we do try our very best to fight for our right to exist in the highest possible moral standards even at the cost of our lives.

David Zangen M.D.

This letter is also available in a Hebrew translation.

Love of the Land: Open Letter To Judge Goldstone: “A Judge Is Expected To Look At Least For Some Evidence And Verification”

Love of the Land: Turkey: An Ally No More

Turkey: An Ally No More

Daniel Pipes
28 October 09

Love of the Land: Turkey: An Ally No More

Love of the Land: The Unfinished War

The Unfinished War

Jonathan Spyer
15 October 09

The explosion in the south Lebanese village of Tayr Felseir offers the latest evidence of the way in which Hizbullah is rebuilding its infrastructure following the Second Lebanon War in 2006. In the pre-2006 period, Hizbullah maintained its military infrastructure in open countryside areas often declared off-limits to all but the movement's personnel. The rebuilt infrastructure, by contrast, has been constructed within the fabric of civilian life in south Lebanon. This process has taken place largely undisturbed by the Lebanese and UN military personnel conspicuously deployed throughout the south.

Just over a year ago, The Jerusalem Post described some of the methods used by Hizbullah in building its new infrastructure. Fortifications were being constructed in private homes whose owners had left the south for the Beirut area. The owners were offered friendly advice not to inquire too closely regarding the alterations. Evidence suggests that this and similar practices have continued apace.

Hizbullah's decision to make use of populated areas is primarily a result of the increased presence of UNIFIL and LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) personnel in the area south of the Litani River, a presence which was enforced under the terms of UN Resolution 1701. Of course, the movement has made use of civilian-populated areas in the past. During the 2006 war, Hizbullah often launched Katyushas from villages (generally non-Shi'ite ones). But the placing of arms caches and permanent positions within residential areas has served to render the renewed military infrastructure largely off-limits to international inspection. Past experience indicates that the embarrassing publicity deriving from the Tayr Felsair explosion is unlikely to alter this picture.

This week's explosion was not the first time in recent months that Hizbullah ordnance has accidentally detonated in south Lebanon. On July 14, a series of large explosions took place in the village of Khirbet Silm. The events that followed and the UNIFIL investigation into the explosions show the extent to which both the international forces and the Lebanese Army are adopting a "live and let live" attitude to Hizbullah's preparations for the next war.

At the time, Hizbullah actions in Khirbet Silm followed a similar pattern to those observed on Monday in Tayr Felsair. First, Hizbullah agents removed the evidence. As this was being done, a number of "outraged residents" from the area held demonstrations to prevent UNIFIL troops from inspecting the scene. Peacekeepers eventually conducted their investigation, and concluded that the site at Khirbet Silm contained large quantities of 107 mm.

Katyusha rockets, heavy machine gun rounds and mortar tubes of a type used by Hizbullah.

Investigators from the international force also discovered that the site had been permanently guarded by Hizbullah personnel. They recorded that all this constituted a "serious violation" of Resolution 1701.

Beyond this declaration, the investigation has had no discernible result. No one was ever named, much less held accountable. Nor did UNIFIL's modus operandi change to take into account the likelihood that if there was an arms depot in Khirbet Silm it probably wasn't the only one.

UNIFIL REMAINS deployed mainly in unpopulated areas. It enters Shi'ite villages only with an escort of Lebanese army personnel. Its vehicle and air patrols, taking place along recognized patrol paths and in rural areas, have produced some tangible results in terms of discovering unused bunkers and old munitions. But the international force, which maintains no independent checkpoints, does its best to stay out of the way of Hizbullah and the civilian population.

Except for cases where there are obvious signs pointing to the presence of ordnance - such as when a large explosion occurs - UNIFIL simply prefers not to act on the evidence. And there is no indication that the latest explosion at Tayr Falseir will change this situation. Rather, it is more likely that UNIFIL's investigation will be rapidly forgotten and the results quietly filed away as the media moves on.

Even more problematic is the role being played by the LAF. The Lebanese army and UNIFIL were prevented from entering the house in Tayr Falseir immediately following the explosion. Once LAF representatives were permitted to enter, they swiftly endorsed Hizbullah's version of events.

The Lebanese army, which is much more visible on the ground than UNIFIL, undoubtedly has a far better sense of what is really going on. The problem with the LAF becoming an obstacle to Hizbullah rearming and reorganizing itself in south Lebanon is that the army is a deeply divided organization. Many of its members are sympathetic to the "resistance." Thirty percent of the LAF officer corps, and a majority of its rank and file, are Shi'ite, like Hizbullah. More fundamentally, the official position of the LAF is one of "endorsement" of Hizbullah's "right to resist." The LAF defines Israel as its "primary antagonist and enemy." So neither UNIFIL, nor the LAF, nor their respective employers - the United Nations and the government of Lebanon - are going to be standing in the way of Hizbullah's program of rearming in populated areas any time soon.

Ultimately, the situation in southern Lebanon is a facet of a larger problem, namely, the existence of a Hizbullah state within a state, which is answerable to no one but the movement's leadership and its Iranian patrons. Since the mini-civil war of May 2008, it has been clearer than ever that there is no force in the country able to challenge Hizbullah's independent foreign and "defense" policies. The movement maintains a parallel army, parallel security services, a parallel communications network and also, of course, independent educational and social structures.

The winners of last June's elections in Lebanon do not like the current situation, but they are helpless to prevent it, as they have not even succeeded in forming a government since their victory. The extent to which the Hizbullah state within a state is subservient to Iran or maintains its own agenda remains debated by analysts. But there is no debate that it is entirely free of any control or supervision from the official Lebanese state.

Preparations for the next round of fighting are going on daily, undisturbed, in the heart of the populated areas south of the Litani River, and the occasional "work accident" is the only reminder the world receives that it is happening. UNIFIL conducts its patrols and doesn't get in the way, and the LAF plays an even more ambiguous role. Anyone who thought that the war between Hizbullah and Israel ended on August 14, 2006 was surely mistaken.

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Herzliya, Israel

Love of the Land: The Unfinished War

The Phoneys at "J" Street

The Phoneys at "J" Street

J Street’s Spiritual Conceit
By: David M. Weinberg
Oct 24, 2009

The pious spiritual claptrap that characterizes J Street’s conference in Washington this week is both a conceit and a new form of Jewish apostasy. Conference speakers earnestly broadcast their “profound” Jewish and “spiritual” identities in order to besmirch the mainstream Jewish community and engender a distancing in US-Israel relations. This certainly does not fool the American Muslim leaders who are speaking at the conference. They know and appreciate exactly what J Street is up to.

It was the Buddhist seders that tipped me off to the real conceit behind J Street. The sensitive “progressive” types behind the new Washington lobby are deeply concerned, it seems, for the morality and soul of Israel.

Gee, thanks.

A love for Buddhist seders, a penchant for avant garde poetry (including a ballad entitled The Queer Intifada), and an abiding concern for Israel’s spiritual quintessence – all while being intermarried down to nearly the last Jewish soul among them — is how The New York Times recently characterized the founders and key staff members of J Street. They seek, you see, justice and holiness and Jewish meaning in the world. Especially in the Arab-Israel conflict.

This explains the preponderance of numerous, vaporous spiritual types at this week’s big J Street hug-in in Washington. Rabbi Sharon, Rabbi Amy, Rabbi Tirzah, Rabbi Jennie, Rabbi Julie, Rabbi Toba and Rabbi Melissa are among the prominent speakers. They are “diversity facilitators,” “spirituality counselors,” and “interreligious leaders” at places called Neve Kodesh, Brit Tzedek, Dorshei Tzedek and Just Vision.

So much “Tzedek”! So much “Kodesh”! So much overflowing of honey, holiness and justice! At a political lobby conference, no less. Perhaps the organization should be renamed Spiritual Street.

You know that all this righteousness just needs to be exported – through tough love, if necessary — to Israel. To repair the Middle East. To spiritually save Israel in spite of itself. Or at least to salve the sacred American Jewish soul.

Well, enough, I say, of this misty, sentimental and self-serving gobbledygook. All this soft spiritual urgency, supposedly on “behalf of” Israel, belies a triple conceit; or should we say, a great deceit.

Firstly, J Street is peddling the nutty notion that spirituality has anything to do with Mideast peace. The latent chutzpa is the insinuation that authentic identification with the Jewish prophets and morality dovetails with the dovish side of the political map. If only American Jews and Israelis were more religiously dovish and in touch with the forgiving and compassionate side of their Jewish souls – we would do the “left” thing and concede more generously to the Palestinians. Then, lo and behold, peace would come to the Mideast.

The second conceit is that such J Street-peddled nonsense – along with J Street support for talks with Hamas, opposition to military action against the Hamas, and opposition to sanctions or military action against nuclear Iran — represents the majority of American Jewry. Hogwash. Patently false.

The third conceit is that, if only Israel were to change – and it is J Street’s job to get America to force Israel to change – then peace would come to the Mideast. As if Israel was the party unwilling to compromise. As if Israel hasn’t already offered the Palestinians at Oslo and Camp David and Taba and Annapolis just about everything they want of post-67 Israel. As if the Palestinians have compromised on their demands one wit since the great handshake on the White House lawn. But it is Israel that needs to be pressured, say the J Street moral oracles.

J Street is a new form of Jewish apostasy. Its adherents hasten to embrace their Jewishness (even if they don’t really know much about authentic Jewish tradition and morality) in order to besmirch Israel and the mainstream Jewish community. They earnestly declare how “profoundly” Jewish they are, in order to engender a distancing in US-Israel relations.

I guess that’s why J Street has spent most of its resources bashing long-standing supporters of Israel – calling them extremists and right-wingers and accusing them of a ’silencing’ – and listing things that Israel must be made to do. All this, instead of calling out the dangers of Iranian nuclear weapons or Palestinian genocidal anti-Semitism. That’s why they fret over the Jewish soul instead of working to save and protect the physical Jewish State of Israel.

The only people clearly not fooled by all this spiritual mumbo-jumbo are Salam al-Mayarati, Ziad Asali, Trita Parsi and other leaders of the American Muslim Public Affairs Council, American Task Force on Palestine and the National Iranian American Council – all of whom are speaking — surprise, surprise — at the J Street Jewish soul jamboree this week. They undoubtedly see past the pious claptrap, and know – and appreciate – exactly what J Street is up to.

* Originally published in
The Jerusalem Post on October 23, 2009.
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