Wednesday, 4 November 2009

DoubleTapper: Israeli Airport Security Technology

DoubleTapper: Israeli Airport Security Technology

Love of the Land: Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009

Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009

The Israel Navy intercepted the "Francop" cargo ship, which was laden with roughly 500 tons of weapons hidden amongst civilian cargo. The 36 weapons containers were sent from Iran and meant for the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. For further information on how the interception occurred and what was uncovered.

Love of the Land: Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009

Love of the Land: The New Karine A

The New Karine A

Noah Pollak
04 November 09

Israeli Navy commandos seized a cargo ship last night en route from Iran to Syria. It contained 10 times the arms that the Karine A attempted to deliver from Iran to the Palestinians in 2002, enough weapons, according to the head of the Israeli Navy, to keep Hezbollah supplied in a hot war for a month. Along with 3,000 rockets, the ship contained:

107-millimeter rockets, 60-millimeter mortars, 7.62-rifle Kalashnikov-ammunition, F-1 grenades and 122-millimeter Katyusha rockets. On the side of some of the cases inside the containers the words “parts of bulldozers” was written.

The Syrian foreign minister, Walid Moallem, soared to Baghdad Bob levels of hilarity by trying to deny the reality of what the Israelis discovered.

“Unfortunately there are official pirates disrupting the movement of goods between Iran and Syria,” he told reporters on a visit to Teheran. “I stress, the ship was not carrying Iranian arms bound for Syria, nor was it carrying material for manufacturing weapons in Syria. It was carrying [commercial] goods from Syria to Iran.”

Moallem says there were no arms on board. The IDF has released a video of the ship’s weapons being unloaded in the port of Ashdod — rows and rows of mortar shells, rockets, and crates filled with grenades.

What will Obama say about all this? Being that evidence of Iranian-Syrian hostile intent complicates the administration’s desire for “engagement,” whatever that means anymore, the answer is: probably nothing.

What will the human-rights hustlers say? Where is Judge Goldstone? Where is the flurry of outraged press releases from Human Rights Watch? These weapons are intended for one purpose only — to terrorize Israeli civilians and drag the region into war. Shouldn’t this be an easy call for peace-loving human-rights activists? HRW has condemned Israel for violating international law over the way it funds public schools. I would bet a large sum that HRW will say nothing about the 500 tons of arms Iran just tried to send to Hezbollah. Priorities, you see.

And where is the UN Security Council? The arms ship violates numerous UNSC resolutions banning Iran from exporting weapons and forbidding the arming of Hezbollah. Don’t expect any leadership from the Obama administration on this score, either; to make a big deal out of Iranian bad faith would be tantamount to admitting that the engagement policy is the stuff of fantasy.

Love of the Land: The New Karine A

Love of the Land: Analyzing Human Rights Watch’s Defensive Response to Robert Bernstein

Analyzing Human Rights Watch’s Defensive Response to Robert Bernstein

NGO Monitor
04 November 09

Human Rights Watch founder Robert Bernstein’s highly critical op-ed in the New York Times (Rights Watchdog, Lost in the Mideast, October 19, 2009; see also Robert Bernstein’s rebuttal to HRW's response) led to a defensive campaign by Human Rights Watch (HRW) officials and supporters. Many of the press releases, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, and media interviews (14 to date, as listed in Appendix 1) use identical language and format, repeating claims made by executive director Ken Roth in Ha’aretz.

As shown below, the three main themes repeated by HRW’s defenders are: balance, methodology, and “open” and “closed” societies. These responses are misleading and do not address Bernstein’s most serious claims, including HRW’s role in “turn[ing] Israel into a pariah state” and its loss of “critical perspective” on Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah.

1) “They say we disproportionately focus on Israel, and neglect other countries in the Middle East... Israel is a small fraction of what we do.” [1]

This response from HRW greatly distorts Bernstein’s statement that “in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.” Bernstein specifically discusses Israel within the context of the Middle East, where even HRW’s misleading response admits a disproportionate focus.

HRW claims that “Israel accounts for about 15 percent of our published output on the region.” [2]

Assuming this were correct, it would mean that HRW’s Middle East division, which covers 17 countries, focuses significantly more than the proportionate level of resources (6 percent) on Israel.

But the data show that this claim of 15 percent is highly misleading. In 2009 (through November 2), HRW has published 284 documents on the Middle East and North Africa. 88 (31 percent) of these documents have dealt with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza. In comparison, only 39 documents focus on Iran. Of the 88 documents on Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza, 5 are full-length reports, versus only 3 on Saudi Arabia, 2 on the United Arab Emirates, and 1 each for seven other countries. ( HRW had completed and planned to publish yet another report, on “wanton destruction” by Israel in Gaza, in parallel to the Goldstone report. But the publication was shelved following the growing criticism. This is a tacit admission that the level of resources targeting Israel is excessive and unjustified.)

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Analyzing Human Rights Watch’s Defensive Response to Robert Bernstein

Love of the Land: More Swedish Blood Libels

More Swedish Blood Libels

Honest Reporting/Backspin
04 November 09

Not only has Donald Bostrom reiterated his bodysnatching charge against the IDF, Sunday's Aftonbladet reported (and Haaretz picked up on) that the Swedish daily has been in contact with

"a woman in Geneva whom, together with a lawyer, is preparing a letter to the UN concerning 15 illegally autopsied Palestinians, of whom eight have been proven to have missing organs - as late as in 2008."

Haaretz elaborates:

The piece, written by culture section editor Åsa Linderborg, claims that the material has not yet been disclosed as the Palestinian families in question are scared to death of Israeli reprisals.

Linderborg referred to a recent organ trafficking case in Haifa, in which two men were jailed, and the case of Yehuda Hiss, Israel's chief state pathologist and former director of the Abu Kabir forensic institute, who admitted to have taken tissue from a deceased Israeli soldier in 2001.

"Two months after the publication by Aftonbladet, the first verdict hits [in the Israeli organ affair]. There will be more," said the piece.

The Haifa incident was indeed shameful, and the case of Yehuda Hiss even more so. But Aftonbladet's attempt to link them (and the New Jersey scandal) to the IDF is based on no evidence.

The same Haaretz report also describes a telling exchange between Bostrom and one of his Swedish critics:

Economist Anna Vider also attacked Boström's working methods, citing his use of witness reports solely from Palestinians, his failure to follow up with the Israeli authorities, the lack of interviews, and research. She also slammed him for linking a 1992 incident to allegations of organ trafficking in New Jersey in 2009.

"It takes a lot of research, it´s not just something you do in a week," Vider said: "As a journalist, he [Boström] should have taken it further. I think it's dishonest."

Boström rebuffed the criticism by saying: "I'm a reporter, not an investigator."

"He links the events, but refuses to discuss the connection," Vider continued. "It is indecent to wait for the scandal in New Jersey before publishing it. Why didn't he do it in 1992? This article has great impact on how Israelis look on Sweden and our involvement in the conflict."

Whoa! Bostrom's shirking off a reporter's basic responsibility of fact checking. As every student learns in Journalism 101: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

Related: Anatomy of a Swedish Blood Libel

Love of the Land: More Swedish Blood Libels

Love of the Land: U.S.-Syria Relations: Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad Complains that America isn’t Giving Him Enough Concessions in Exchange for Nothing

U.S.-Syria Relations: Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad Complains that America isn’t Giving Him Enough Concessions in Exchange for Nothing

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
04 November 09

As I’ve previously reported, policy toward Syria has been the best-run aspect of Obama Administration foreign policy. That’s largely because it has been left in the hands of State Department officials who have no illusions about that radical dictatorship which is Iran’s closest ally and is determined to remain that way.

Now Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad has complained to the country’s official news agency, November 1, that while the U.S. government is talking instead of “commanding” nothing much has changed with the Obama Administration. "It is hard to say that big steps have been taken in bilateral relations," Assad said.

More American official delegations are going to Damascus but they’re not being converted by the trip. One topic they are pressing is better Syrian control over its border with Iraq, a euphemism for: stopping helping terrorism in Iraq.

More than four months after the U.S. government announced it would send an ambassador to Syria for the first time in years, nobody has been named.

Now, the problem with tough diplomacy can be that it does not “work” immediately or seemingly not at all. This is a persistent Obama Administration criticism of its predecessors: they were tough on Iran and other radicals but the problems didn’t go away. Right! But what’s better:

--To be tough on enemies in order to weaken them, isolate them, put them on notice to change their behavior, and reinforce the determination of those being attacked by them in the region (in this case, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia) OR

--To be soft on enemies, persuading them you are weak so they will be more aggressive, giving them concessions all the better to eat you with, and demoralizing the radicals’ victims by acting as if you are on the side of the “bad guys?”

After all, Syria continues to:

Arm, finance, transport, and encourage terrorists murdering American soldiers and Iraqi civilians; oppose peace with Israel; try to seize control over Lebanon; sponsor terrorism against Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan; refuse to cooperate with the international tribunal investigating past Syrian terrorism in Lebanon; deny human rights at home and torture peaceful dissidents; and a long list of other such things.

The main criticism I have toward Obama Administration policy on this issue is the failure to support Iraqi government complaints against Syria for sponsoring terrorism and giving safe haven to its leadership, a failure you can read about
here and here. Remember that these groups are openly part of al-Qaida and even the Obama Administration says that the United States is at war with al-Qaida.

Love of the Land: U.S.-Syria Relations: Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad Complains that America isn’t Giving Him Enough Concessions in Exchange for Nothing

Love of the Land: Britain and France continue dance of deception as Goldstone Report goes to UN General Assembly

Britain and France continue dance of deception as Goldstone Report goes to UN General Assembly

Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd Online
04 November 09

If you want a comparison that illustrates the difference between the United States and Europe on attitudes to Israel in particular and basic standards of moral clarity in general, consider the following. Yesterday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution deriding the Goldstone Report on Gaza as “biased and unworthy of further consideration” by 344 to 36, not much short of a 10-1 margin. That’s moral clarity.

Representing the European Union, Britain and France by contrast will be dancing through hoops at the United Nations General Assembly today with assorted dictatorships and tyrannies in a desperate attempt to massage and amend a motion based on the odious UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) October 16 resolution endorsing the Goldstone Report and effectively throwing Israel’s right to self-defence out of the window. The French and the Brits could not even be bothered to turn up to vote at the HRC session in October, but under pressure from Israel and the United States now say they might possibly vote against the resolution in the General Assembly. Then again, they might vote in favour if they can get a couple of changes to the text. And then again (again) they might just abstain if they can’t make up their minds. That’s not moral clarity. It’s a moral dunghill.

But how quaint can I get? Moral clarity, Europe, and Israel all in the same sentence?

Read the rest of this entry »

Love of the Land: Britain and France continue dance of deception as Goldstone Report goes to UN General Assembly

Love of the Land: Meet the Machine

Meet the Machine

Dry Bones cartoon: the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist Machine.

Well gang, I'm back from my U.S. tour. I spoke for two important American organizations: the ZOA and CAMERA. I was also able to deliver my first presentation as a Yale Fellow at YIISA (the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism)YIISA is a lone, shinning light on the western Academic scene.

Today's cartoon covers some recent activities of the anti-israel machine.

Love of the Land: Meet the Machine

Love of the Land: How Iran Skirts Sanctions

How Iran Skirts Sanctions

Avi Jorisch
Wall Street Journal
04 November 09

With a financial mechanism reminiscent of the Oil For Food scam, it seems Iran is using a United Nations office headquartered in Tehran to skirt U.S. sanctions. Once again, a rogue regime appears to be abusing a U.N. body in obtaining access to hard currency. The White House and the Financial Action Task Force - set up by the G-7 to combat money laundering and terrorist financing - have so far failed to identify this threat.

The Asian Clearing Union was established in Iran in 1974 as a U.N. initiative to expand trade and forge closer banking relations among ACU members. The organization's primary goal is to "facilitate payments among member countries," which include the central banks of Iran, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Burma.

Iran has used the organization to route over $13 billion overseas in 2008 and over $5.6 billion so far in 2009 to pay for many of its goods and services, according to the ACU's financial documentation.

The danger is that the ACU is potentially being used as a classic money laundering instrument. Iran might be using the U.N. body as a third party to circumvent the U.S. sanctions program, which prohibits with limited exceptions, such as for certain foodstuffs, textiles and medicine, American-Iranian business deals. The sanctions program does not only target domestic companies, however. Unless specifically allowed under the sanctions act, U.S. financial institutions are supposed to freeze all Iranian dollar transactions - including those involving Iran's non-American business partners.

The ACU mechanism is deceptively simple and described in detail on the ACU Web site ( An Iranian company or government office initiates a transaction for the purchase of a foreign product or service by remitting Iranian rials via a local Iranian bank. The money is then transferred to the Central Bank of Iran, which then sends the funds to any ACU member using "Asian Monetary Units," the currency of the ACU. Each of these units is equal to either one U.S. dollar or euro, depending on the customer's preference. Once the Iranian money is in the ACU pot, it is difficult, if not impossible, for foreign banks to know whose money it is. Unlike the Iranian Central Bank, the other ACU members' central banks can transact freely with any U.S.-based correspondent bank.

Imagine the Iranian regime wants to buy machinery from an Indian company that insists on getting paid in dollars. A U.S. correspondent bank should theoretically be involved because the American government owns the greenback. Normally, the money would be sent from an Iranian bank via a U.S. correspondent bank to the company's account. But because this type of transaction is not specifically allowed under the sanctions regime, the U.S. correspondent bank would be obligated to freeze the money instead of sending it on to the company.

(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: How Iran Skirts Sanctions

Love of the Land: Amnesty Water Report Falsehood #5

Amnesty Water Report Falsehood #5

03 November 09

Page 12 of Amnesty's "Troubled Water" report alleges that Israel has almost entirely frozen development of water infrastructure in the Palestinian areas. The report states:

Under the new Israeli military regime imposed in the OPT, Palestinians could no longer drill new wells or rehabilitate or even just repair existing ones, or carry out other any water-related projects (from pipes, networks, and reservoirs to wells and springs and even rainwater cisterns), without first obtaining a permit from the Israeli army. In theory such permits for drilling or rehabilitating wells could be obtained after a lengthy and complicated bureaucratic process; in practice, most applications for such permits were rejected. Only 13 permits were granted in the 29 years from 1967 to 1996 (when the PWA was established), but all of these were for projects for domestic use only and they were not sufficient to make up even for the replacement of wells that had dried up or fallen into disrepair since 1967. . . .

The regime put in place by the Israeli army not only prevented the development of new Palestinian wells and infrastructure, but also limited the use and upkeep of existing ones. It prevented the rehabilitation of old wells. . . (Emphasis added)

First, Amnesty ignores significant development in infrastructure since 1995. As the World Bank states:

The water and wastewater sector [in the West Bank and Gaza] has come a long way since 1995:

* A capable national institution, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), has been built.

* The foundations for policy and operational coordination with Israel have been established;

* Several existing municipal distribution networks have been rehabilitated, new networks developed, and supplies improved; and several new wells have been drilled and many rehabilitated.

* Backbone primary network of bulk-water carriers are under construction in the West Bank and ready to be launched in Gaza;

* In Gaza not only have municipal networks and systems have been significantly upgraded, under an internationally recruited management contractor, effective managerial and operational systems have been established. . .

To be sure, the World Bank goes on to list more work that still needs to be done.

Second, what about Amnesty's claim that only 13 new wells were drilled from 1967 to 1995? As reported earlier by CAMERA here, during this period Israel drilled or permitted the drilling of over 50 new wells for the Palestinian population, laid hundreds of kilometers of new water mains and connected hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns to the newly built water system (Background: Water, Israel and the Middle East, Israel Foreign Ministry 1991; Marcia Drezon-Tepler, "Contested Waters and the Prospects for Arab-Israeli Peace," Middle Eastern Studies, Vol 30, No. 2, April 1994)

Related: Amnesty Water Reports #1 #2 #3-4

Love of the Land: Amnesty Water Report Falsehood #5

Forever. Forever?

Forever. Forever?

Hillary Clinton is (or was) in Cairo. While there she clarified that

Washington does not accept the legitimacy of the West Bank enclaves and wants to see their construction halted "forever."

Forever can be a long time. Americans can remember a history of a few centuries. There have been people of European stock in America for a bit more than half a millennium. Latin was the main language in Europe for, what, a thousand years? Islam has been around for almost 1,500 years, and Christianity for 2,000. The European Union got into stride a few decades ago; there is reason to hope that the United Nations in its present form won't last even one century - though it probably will. But I wouldn't bank on 500 years.

There have been Jews in Eretz Yisrael, if you believe the archeological evidence, since at least 3,000 years ago. Seen in that context, settling or not settling "forever" is probably a bit of a stretch.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Islamic and Nazi Antisemitism

Islamic and Nazi Antisemitism

Robert Wistrich is an archetypal professor. He knows a lot about his subject, by which I mean a lot. He speaks many languages, fluently (I've heard him sounding like a native in Hebrew, English, German, Russian and French, but there are more). He reads all the time, except when he's writing; he has published many books. He's the kind of fellow who encourages me not to be a full-time historian, since there's no way I could compete; better to dabble in many things and not have to be measured by success in one.

One of his more important books is to be published in America in January: A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. Amazon offers, among others, this review:

"A message of this remarkable work is that the Holocaust did not only discredit anti-Semitism. In a sinister way, the murder of six million Jews has also inspired fantasies of completing what the Third Reich had begun, and has led to widespread defamation of Israel by equating its policies with Nazism. The grim case that Robert Wistrich advances in A Lethal Obsession is overwhelming. In the awesome scale of its research, in its moral and literary force, and in its compelling political urgency, there is no book quite like it."—Stephen J. Whitfield, Professor of American Civilization, Brandeis University.

Yesterday Wistrich published an op-ed in Haaretz about the similarities between Nazi antisemitic propaganda and what's going on these days in the Muslim world, and the lack of recognition of the problem in the West. The column has the advantage of being about 1198 pages shorter than the book.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Augean Stables on Goldstone

Augean Stables on Goldstone

Prof. Richard Landes, author of Augean Stables, has a long post about Goldstone's methodology, based upon lots and lots of quotations from the report itself. The thesis: the fact finding mission carefully chose what interested it in a way that would ensure the result it wanted to have.

How surprising.

The House voted yesterday for the anti-Goldstone resolution. As I said, it's non-binding and the administration can disregard it if they choose, but it's nice to have.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Parashat Vayera: One Difference between Avraham Avinu and Lot

Parashat Vayera: One Difference between Avraham Avinu and Lot


[Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah – Bereshit p. 171 – edited by Rav Aviner]

Both Avraham Avinu and Lot welcomed in guests in our parashah, but there is a major difference between them. There is a story about a great Rabbi who was delayed in his travels and was unable to find lodging at such a late hour. He knocked on the doors of the Jewish houses, but did not reveal that he was an important person. He knocked on the door of a wealthy person and the owner yelled at him: "This is not a hotel! This is a private home! No and no!" In the end, a simple Jew welcomed him in. His identity became known in no time and word quickly spread throughout the city that the famous Rabbi was there. Everyone came to visit him, including the wealthy man who had said that his house was not a hotel, and he jumped forward and said: "Rabbi, Rabbi, come with me. I will provide you with a spacious room." This is the difference between Avraham Avinu and Lot. Avraham Avinu welcomed in "men" (Bereshit 18:2), while Lot welcomed in "angels" (ibid. 19:1). It is certainly worthwhile to welcome in angels, they are important, but Avraham Avinu welcomed in men. We clearly see the humanity and righteousness that we must possess in relation to simple people. The incredible greatness Avraham Avinu possessed toward Hashem flowed directly into his humanity towards human beings.

CHESTER CHRONICLES - Censored! The Truth About Hizb ut-Tahrir

Censored! The Truth About Hizb ut-Tahrir

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Knesset Law Keeps Consumer Purchases 'Kosher' - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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Missionary Event for Teenagers in Ashdod - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

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Three Jewish Neighborhoods Destroyed - Politics & Government - Israel News - Israel National News

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US Generals Flood Israel for Exercise against Specific Threats' - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

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More Jews Enter Illegal Settlement in Eastern Jerusalem - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

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A Week of Yahrtzeits - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Howard Berman revises his resolution

Howard Berman revises his resolution

Representative Howard Berman (D-Cal) has revised his resolution calling on the White House to prevent the Goldstone Commission report from being used to condemn Israel in the Security Council or from being referred to the International Criminal Court. A vote on the resolution is due to take place on Tuesday.

There are two changes. The first one is designed to concede that Judge Goldstone attempted to change his commission's mandate to a more neutral one, but nevertheless continues to insist that no change in the mandate was legally made (which is true).

The second change is a doozer. Here's the full paragraph with the changes highlighted in bold:

(3) calls on the President and the Secretary of State to continue to strongly and unequivocally oppose any endorsement of the `Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ in multilateral fora, including through leading opposition to any United Nations General Assembly resolution and through vetoing, if necessary, any United Nations Security Council resolution that endorses the contents of this report, seeks to act upon the recommendations contained in this report, or calls on any other international body to take further action regarding this report.

Do you have the impression that given the opportunity, the Obama administration just might do something other than what Berman has in mind, and that Berman knows it?

Just curious....

Israel Matzav: Howard Berman revises his resolution

Israel Matzav: NY Times op-ed writer paid by Arab countries?

NY Times op-ed writer paid by Arab countries?

During the night on Monday night, I mentioned an op-ed by Henry Siegman that appeared in Monday's New York Times. The always anti-Israel Siegman argued that there is no peace in the Middle East because Israel irrationally refuses to return to the suicidal 1949 armistice line.

At The American Thinker, Ed Lasky explains that Siegman is a paid shill for certain Arab governments.

What motivates Siegman? How about money?

The New York Sun examined Siegman a few years ago and noted that he is the senior fellow and director, U.S./Middle East Project at the Council of Foreign relations. They noted that all his writings are indistinguishable from Arab propaganda and then looked at who were his benefactors.

[W]hy would the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based American institution, fund this "expert" at the level of $204,151 in salary and benefits, making him, in the most recent year for which tax returns are available, its fourth-highest paid employee? It turns out that much of the funding for the Council's "U.S./Middle East Project" comes from overseas, including the European Commission, the government of Norway, Kuwaiti and Saudi businessmen, a Lebanese politician, and, for one year, an official of the commercial arm of the Palestinian Authority, Munib Masri.

Siegman's writing of an earlier anti-Israel column in the International Herald Tribune prompted the examination by the Sun into his compensation. The Sun queried the editor of the Herald Tribune about Siegman and the source of his pay. The editor (Serge Schmemann) says the paper never asked about, and Siegman, never mentioned where his money was coming from. Bu the Sun informed them that he was basically a paid PR agent and promoter of propganada.

Why is this relevant? Because the Herald Tribune is owned by the New York Times. Did anyone at the Times already know about Siegman's history? Or care?

One more point. Siegman is also a member of J Street, the new anti-Israel lobby posing as a pro-Israel lobby that the newspaper of record has been trying to promote as being moderate and supportive of Israel. The paper neglected to mention this association. J Street is also connected to George Soros, who has a long record of hostility towards Israel. J Street's leadership has admitted that it wants to serve as Obama's blocking back with the Jewish community in America (i.e., to further Obama's agenda).

Seems like the "paper of record" shares those goals. Similar to Siegman's op-ed, it is biased propaganda masquerading as something else.

Given the Times' history, that shouldn't surprise anyone.

Israel Matzav: NY Times op-ed writer paid by Arab countries?

Israel Matzav: Dutch journalist praises Saudi freedom, criticizes Israel's

Dutch journalist praises Saudi freedom, criticizes Israel's

This is part of a longer posting from Honest Reporting that deserves to be read and watched. But I had to highlight this part.

Gross was particularly disturbed by comments made by senior Dutch journalist Connie Mus, correspondent for the Dutch stations RTL 4 and RTL 5, and for Belgium's VTM TV, about how wonderful the Saudi authorities are:

The gentleman from the Netherlands, from Dutch TV - he was praising the Saudis, significantly praising them after his trip there. He even praised women's rights in Saudi Arabia, which I find quite incredible. He praised prison conditions in Saudi Arabia and then he severely criticized Israel, Israeli press freedoms, Israeli prison conditions.

Now I think we all know that Israel's not perfect but the idea that an objective European journalist from the Netherlands can think that Saudi Arabia gives more press freedom, more women's rights, better treatment of prisoners, where prisoners often die of torture in Saudi jails. He was so unobjective that I found it disturbing.

You may be wondering after reading that how this journalist and others like him believe that they are being objective. That's what the article and the video are about so read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Dutch journalist praises Saudi freedom, criticizes Israel's

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinian Authority' Television: Jews have no connection to land of Israel

'Palestinian Authority' Television: Jews have no connection to land of Israel

On 'Palestinian Authority' Television, a 'Palestinian' historian and a senior PLO official have denied that Jews have any connection to the land of Israel.

In an interview on official PA television, historian Nabil Alqam first denied thousands of years of documented Jewish history in Israel, then replaced it with "4,000 to 5,000 years" of fictitious Palestinian history.

Israel has publicized many archeological finds in recent years, including coins with Hebrew writing and even stamps [bullas] with names of biblical figures. It is possible that Alqam was responding to these numerous finds when he went on to accuse Israel of creating "artificial Israeli symbols."

Nabil Alqam, PA historian:

"Why does the occupation [Israel] concern itself with stealing, [cultural] theft, distorting and erasing the Palestinian heritage? Because it [Israel] seeks a history [in the land] while [Palestinian] heritage is a history that proves our connection to the land... [The Palestinian heritage] has historical depth of 4,000 to 5,000 years. And here [Israel] attempts to steal these symbols to create fake Israeli symbols and identity."
[PA TV (Fatah), Oct. 22, 2009

Let's go to the videotape.

Saleh Rafat, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said earlier this month that Israel has even stolen "cuisine, clothing [and] architecture" that were Palestinian in origin and claimed they are part of Jewish history. He denies that the Jewish Temple ever existed, arguing that the tunnels near the Western Wall of the Temple ruins are merely the remains of old aqueducts:

"We revive this [Palestinian] heritage and cling to it in order to counter all of the attempts by Israel, by the Israeli occupation, to steal the national heritage and to falsify it with the claim that it is their heritage - from cuisine to clothing, and architecture. Every part of our heritage in our land, they claim is their heritage - even the tunnels they are trying to dig beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque and under Jerusalem. Many of these tunnels are ancient tunnels that carried water to Jerusalem, and they [Israelis] claim that they are seeking an alleged Temple."
[Al-Filistiniya (Fatah) TV, Oct. 15, 2009]

Let's go to the videotape.

This is how they prepare their 'people' for 'peace.'

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinian Authority' Television: Jews have no connection to land of Israel

Israel Matzav: Israeli military intelligence: No possible civlian use for Qom

Israeli military intelligence: No possible civlian use for Qom

In a Tuesday morning briefing with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chief of military intelligence Amos Yadlin told Knesset members that the newly disclosed Iranian nuclear facility at Qom has no possible civilian use.

Yadlin said that the Qom facility is designed for enrichment of uranium and at full capacity can hold 3,000 advanced centrifuges.

Yadlin said that the Israeli intelligence assessment was that Iran was interested in a horizontal expansion of its nuclear production capacity, so that when Teheran decides to advance to nuclear weapons capability, it will be able to do so in the shortest possible period of time.

Yadlin emphasized that Iran is "competent in enrichment technology" and has not thus far been moved by the international response to its nuclear program.

Yadlin believes that due to current economic conditions, sanctions against Iran have a chance of success, but only if Russia and China sign on.

Unfortunately, the chances of Russia and China signing on for sanctions are somewhere between slim and none. And the clock keeps ticking.

Israel Matzav: Israeli military intelligence: No possible civlian use for Qom

Israel Matzav: A 'Palestinian' Marshall plan?

A 'Palestinian' Marshall plan?

The Marshall plan was provided by the United States to reconstruct Europe after World War II. Now, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (pictured) has asked Arab countries to set up a similar plan for the 'Palestinians.'

A top Israeli official urged Arab states on Tuesday to create a 10 billion dollar "Marshall Plan" to boost the Palestinian economy and support Middle East peace talks.

"The Arab countries could do much more. First and foremost is Saudi Arabia," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told a meeting of foreign diplomats and journalists.

"In order to create hundreds of thousands of jobs -- which can easily be done -- we need a kind of a Marshall Plan that will really build an industrial base and in order to do that the Palestinians need foreign investments.

"If you look at Saudi Arabia, with the trillions upon trillions of dollars that they have from exporting oil, they certainly could allow some money to go to the Palestinians in a way which will be conducive to the economy.

"My estimate, which is a very conservative one, is that 10 billion dollars now in Judaea and Samaria (the West Bank), in the Palestinian economy, could do marvels, miracles."

There are two huge differences between Europe after World War II and the 'Palestinian Authority' today. One is that Germany and its allies had been totally defeated militarily. Unfortunately, the 'Palestinians' have not been so defeated, and therefore there is a far greater chance that money provided to them will go to waste.

Second, at the time that the Marshall plan was provided, the United States and its allies occupied Germany and completely ran the country. That's not true in the 'Palestinian Authority' either. While there is an IDF presence, the 'Palestinians' for the most part manage their own affairs. If they choose to siphon money off to Swiss bank accounts, as Yasser Arafat did, it is possible that no one will be able to stop them.

Would you invest $10 billion in the 'Palestinian Authority'? I wouldn't. And neither will the Arab countries, who couldn't care less about the 'Palestinians.' The 'Palestinians' have to build their economy from the bottom up - just like nearly every other country in the world did.

Israel Matzav: A 'Palestinian' Marshall plan?

Israel Matzav: Top 10 cleantech countries of 2009: Israel ranks number 5

Top 10 cleantech countries of 2009: Israel ranks number 5

Israel has been ranked number 5 in a survey of the top cleantech countries. Here are the criteria for making the list:

I analyzed what I thought were the most important factors, such as government initiatives and programs, large investment mandates, entrepreneurial innovation as well as cultural and social drivers.

What are the key objectives of the countries on my list? For starters, the creation of green collar jobs, continued economic development, and a desire to achieve energy independence.

Here's what they say about Israel:

Israel, the 'Silicon Valley' of water technology, is fast becoming the cleantech incubator to the world (see Israel to export $2.5B in water technologies by 2011). Israel recycles 75 percent of its wastewater, invented drip irrigation, and is home to the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant (see Israel plans largest desal plant in $513M deal). Israel certainly isn't the world's biggest cleantech market, but it might just be one of the world's most important centers of cleantech innovation and R&D, with innovative companies such as CellEra, Aqwise, and Emefcy. Better Place is also making Israel the first test-market for a nationwide electric vehicle recharge network (see Electric cars are coming to Israel). Leading Israeli VCs include Israel Cleantech, Aqua Argo Fund and Terra Ventures.

Other countries making the list (in ranked order and omitting Israel): Denmark, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States, United Arab Emirates, China, Canada.

Not bad for a little besieged country with few natural resources.

Israel Matzav: Top 10 cleantech countries of 2009: Israel ranks number 5

Israel Matzav: Is sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

Is sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

This is from an assessment of President Obama's first year in office (Hat Tip: Miriam Shaviv):

In his inauguration speech, he declared: “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” Yet roughly once a week since that day, he has ordered the assassination of suspected terrorists. These assassinations, carried out with Hellfire missiles fired from hovering drones, are often messy. According to the New America Foundation, a think-tank, it took 15 attempts to kill Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader in Pakistan who was finally blown to scraps in August. Hundreds of people, some of them children have died in these drone attacks. Mr Obama would presumably include “not killing children” among his ideals. Sometimes, however, he sets aside this ideal in the interests of safety.

Is that wrong?

If the US were doing it purposely, it would be wrong. But they're not.

And what if Israel did it? We'd be condemned from the very first attempt, even if it were successful (think Sallah Shehadeh).


Why did Richard Goldstone investigate Israel and not the United States?

Israel Matzav: Is sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

Israel Matzav: Saudi funding for terror down, but only in Saudi Arabia

Saudi funding for terror down, but only in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government is going all-out to stop Saudi citizens and charities from funding terror organizations, and they have had some success, but only in Saudi Arabia.

Still, the report cited a US state department study made public in February that found that “Saudi individuals and Saudi-based charitable organisations continue to be a significant source of financing for terrorism and extremism outside of Saudi Arabia”.

US treasury officials responsible for tracking terrorist financing told the GAO “that Saudi-based individuals are a top source of funding for al Qa’eda and … the Taliban”, though the officials “did not cite an estimated amount” for that funding.

The GAO report, issued in September, also noted concerns that during Haj, when an estimated two million to three million Muslims visit Saudi Arabia, “non-Saudi individuals associated with extremists groups could exchange funds to support terrorism and violent extremism outside of Saudi Arabia”.

Pilgrims have already started arriving in Saudi Arabia for Haj, which officially starts on November 25.

Like criminal enterprises, terrorist groups use cash couriers to evade the oversight of banks. These couriers are difficult to detect and to regulate.

This whole region operates on cash. Most Americans would never dream of defying US law by carrying more than $10,000 in cash or financial instruments into or out of the United States without reporting it, but my sense is that people in the Middle East do that all the time (recall all the Hamas cash that was smuggled into the Gaza Strip).

Read the whole thing. The US government acts like the Saudis are cooperating, but I have to wonder how much of that is just being diplomatic.

Israel Matzav: Saudi funding for terror down, but only in Saudi Arabia

Israel Matzav: Good news: Hamas missiles can reach Tel Aviv

Good news: Hamas missiles can reach Tel Aviv

Military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said on Tuesday that Hamas has upgraded its missile capability and is now capable of shooting a rocket 60 kilometers from Gaza, enough to reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

In recent days, several successful tests of Iranian-made rockets have been carried out, he said, adding that the rockets have a range of up to 60 kilometers.

As a result, the Tel Aviv area is under threat of rocket fire from the Strip.

During Operation Cast Lead last winter, Grad-type rockets, Kassam rockets, and mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory, with projectiles hitting Beersheba, some 40 kilometers from the Strip.

Though rocket fire from the Strip has decreased since the three-week offensive, weapons are continually smuggled through tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor, on Gaza's southern border with Egypt.

DEBKA fills in details about the missiles.

Israel's military intelligence chief Brig. Amos Yadlin revealed Tuesday, Nov. 3, that the Palestinian Hamas had successfully tested a new 60-km range Iranian shore-to-sea missile firing it west from the Gaza coast. When fired north overland the missile could reach Tel Aviv.

Brig. Yadlin's report to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee confirmed DEBKAfile's Oct. 25 disclosure of intensive Iranian efforts to arm Hizballan and Hamas with extended-range missiles and rockets capable of reaching Israel's strategic heartland. He revealed that Iranian arms were reaching Hizballah and Hamas through Syria and, for the first, time via Turkey.

The intelligence chief did not specify the source of the missiles delivered to Hamas or disclose who their instructors were. DEBKAfile's military sources report that the Hizballah on orders from Tehran apparently took charge of smuggling the new missiles to their Palestinian allies and its officers instructed them in their use.

Our military sources identify the new missile in Hamas' arsenal as a C-802 of the Silkworm series (of Chinese origin), of the type Hizballah fired to cripple the Israeli missile ship Hanit on July 15 2006 during the second Lebanon war.

Tehran has since showered thousands of these missiles on Hizballah. They are positioned along the Lebanese Mediterranean in closer formation than almost any coastal defense array in the world.

Yes, that's a picture of a C-802 Silkworm at the top of this post.

There are two pieces of bad news here. One is that Hamas has the missiles - let's see whether Israel will retaliate immediately and powerfully (without worrying about human shield casualties) if Hamas fires one. The second piece of bad news is that Turkey is apparently helping smuggle them, further moving Turkey into Iran's Islamic orbit.

Israel Matzav: Good news: Hamas missiles can reach Tel Aviv
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