Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Chester Chronicles - Obama at Ft Hood Memorial: No Mention of Terrorism or Jihad

Chester Chronicles - Obama at Ft Hood Memorial: No Mention of Terrorism or Jihad

Chester Chronicles - Women’s Reproductive Rights Thrown Under Obama’s Bus

Chester Chronicles - Women’s Reproductive Rights Thrown Under Obama’s Bus

RubinReports: Exclusive! A Case Study: Why Do Western Liberals Support Eastern Illiberals? Bill Clinton Endorses Turkey’s Islamist Regime

Exclusive! A Case Study: Why Do Western Liberals Support Eastern Illiberals? Bill Clinton Endorses Turkey’s Islamist Regime

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By Barry Rubin

Without realizing it, Westerners constantly empower Islamism and other reactionary forces in the Muslim-majority countries. Here’s a good example, thanks to a Turkish reader, Okan Altiparmak. Speaking at the Bosphorus Conference in Istanbul, November 2, 2009, former President Bill Clinton thinks he’s being a nice, genial, non-arrogant, sympathetic American while blithely handing out ammunition to an anti-American regime.

As far as Clinton knows, I presume, he is being interviewed by a friendly and liberal-minded Turk. In fact, this man is the head of a construction company known for two things: being close to the regime and—according to one reliable source--disregarding environmental considerations. By the way, it should be mentioned that although Bill holds no official position in everything he says he is reflecting Obama Administration policy, which is of course implemented by his wife, Hilary, the OC (Other Clinton).

Clinton discusses a variety of issues openly but when he comes to Turkey itself the whole content is one of flattering the current regime. He thinks of it as a moderate Islamic-oriented government which proves that you can combine Islamic politics and democracy. I, and many Turks, think of it as an Islamist wolf in moderate sheep’s clothing that is continually narrowing the margin of freedom in Turkey and taking anti-American stances (for example, by supporting Iran and Syria).

But there is no hint that Bill understands any of this. Naturally, if he were to criticize some regime policies, the government wouldn’t like it. The regime, and those who support it, would say that Clinton is an arrogant American bully who wants to tell Turkey what to do.

Yet if he praises the regime--without even a hint of balance, much less criticism--he is still telling Turkey what to do, though unfortunately it is to do things quite dangerous for U.S. interests and regional stability. Moreover, the opposition—which includes a wide spectrum of political views--has good reason to conclude that Clinton and America is against them and pro-regime. This demoralizes them, especially after the lavish favor President Barack Obama has shown to the regime, honoring it with his visit and praising it as a great model in his own speech given in Istanbul.

At the same time, even among those who have voted for the AK, many are nervous about its intentions and wonder whether the regime is as its critics warn. (I've even met members of the party's parliamentary delegation who would like to see U.S. policy be more critical. The approach taken by Clinton and many other in the West helps convince them that it is safe to back the current government. Of course, seeing that U.S. policy supports the regime also makes the army forget any thoughts of pressuring or even overthrowing it some time if things get out of hand.

Yet as far as Bill is concerned, Turkey under the AK party regime is a big success. In the last ten years, he says, Turkey’s role in the world has grown and many of its domestic problems have been solved. He praises the AK’s leaders for moving from the historic secularist state to a society which respects freedom of religious expression.

Actually, secularists have been put on the defensive, facing harassment and also poor job prospects if they hold government jobs. Journalists and media have been intimidated. The small Jewish community is frightened as the government whips up passions which often cross the line from attacks on Israel to inciting antisemitism. I've seen all these things first-hand. Many are scared to criticize the regime, though others show courage, albeit without no encouragement from Western democracies.

In other words, the former U.S. president is praising the destruction of the Kemalist state and society in favor of an increasingly Islamic and Islamist-dominated one. He makes the new Turkey sound like the United States whereas the trend is actually (though one shouldn’t exaggerate it) in the direction of Iran.

What are the other things Bill sees as great accomplishments? The list is strange to say the least.

1. Turkey has a better position in the world. Really? The main forces with which Turkey has improved its relations are Iran, Syria, Sudan, Hamas, and Hizballah. Have U.S.-Turkish or Turkish-European relations improved? No.

2. There is more support for Turkey becoming a member of the European Union. This makes it sound like the Europeans are rewarding the current government with the great prize, so why should any Turk oppose it? Of course, opposition to Turkey’s membership has grown even stronger despite Turkey’s attempts to meet the EU’s demands for reforms. Only recently has it been clear beyond doubt that Turkey will never be admitted into the EU.

3. Turkey has a more mature policy toward Israel, criticizing it when it is wrong and praising it when it acts constructively. There hasn’t been too much praise under the AK, but to Turkish ears this sounds as if Bill is giving U.S. endorsement for the regime’s anti-Israel policies. In effect, Bill is praising the collapse of an alliance which benefited and was supported by the United States.

4. Turkey has made “progress toward building a more just society.” What has the regime done to make Turkey a fairer society? One might argue that things have not gotten much worse but it is ridiculous to say they have gotten better.

Then, his interviewer lays a trap for him by asking: "Turkey will constitute the middle road in the clash of civilizations. How do you see Turkey's place in this role?"

What does this mean in the Turkish context? Not the traditional idea of Turkey being a bridge between east and west in cultural terms—which Turkey was sometimes said to be doing when it was staunchly pro-Western in political terms--but rather the Islamist path as an alternative (a third way) to Communism and capitalism.

Basically, the interviewer is asking subtly whether Clinton will endorse the regime’s Islamist world view! Anyone who has closely followed Islamist rhetoric should understand this point. The question is a virtual paraphrase of the kind of thing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran's revolution, used to say all the time.

And Bill falls right into the trap: "You are in a position to help the US and EU understand what is going on with those countries that are predominantly Islamic. You are also in the unique position to explain to the Islamic nations how they are viewed in the West."

In other words, he is telling Turks to define themselves as neutral at best rather than pro-Western. He is arguing that Turkey is better off seeing itself as an Islamic nation acting as a bridge than as a Western ally. More subtly, a Turkish listener sees this as a suggestion to define themselves in Islamist rather than as ethnic Turks. And the whole concept is silly any way since anyone who has really studied the Middle East knows, Arabic speakers never think of Turkey as a role model.

But there’s something far worse here, far far worse! Look at Clinton’s wording: Turkey will help the West understand Islamic countries and tell Islamic countries how the West views them. What’s missing? How about advocating Western values and interests in the Islamic world? Clinton doesn’t tell the Turks to spread democracy or liberalism or the views of the NATO alliance, or even democracy. He instead suggests that they act as the Muslim press agent in the West and the Muslim public relations’ advisor to the Muslims!

Again, this is so startling that it should be underlined: It is as if he is counseling the Turks: abandon the idea that you are part of the West and share the same interests. Think of yourself as mainly Muslims and join the other side.

Now, many anti-regime Turks will view this as a conspiracy, as Washington's way to back the Islamist regime to keep Turkey weak, or—more accurately—because the United States wants to create a model of a “moderate Muslim” regime at the cost of their freedom.

There is some truth in the latter view. But we understand that the main explanation of Bill’s view is simple ignorance. And this is what we too often see in the Obama Administration: praise the “Muslims” meaning praise the Islamists; praise the “Arabs” meaning praise the dictatorships; exalt engagement with Iran by turning your back on the democratic insurgents; and so on.

It is a form of multi-culturalism, telling Third World peoples to be your authentic selves; in this case: don’t be just an imitation of the West as Turks but instead act as real and proper Muslims.

Not only is all this profoundly shocking but it is profoundly shocking that the current U.S. leadership and large portions of the American elite don't realize that it is profoundly shocking.

In the name of apology, modesty, empathy, this is a policy that does terrible evil to the people supposedly being gratified, appeased, and helped. Yes, Turkey is a model, but it’s a model of a badly mistaken U.S. policy that assists a camouflaged advance of anti-American and radical Islamist power under the guise of moderation.

Note: Thanks to Okan Altiparmak, a Turkish filmmaker whose work can be found on his production company's website . He made a video of the interview which he sent to me and provided his thoughts about analyzing it. While the conference was broadcast live on CNN Turk the station’s links to it on Internet don’t work.


RubinReports: Exclusive! A Case Study: Why Do Western Liberals Support Eastern Illiberals? Bill Clinton Endorses Turkey’s Islamist Regime

Sharansky: No Clash in Identity, Human Rights Values - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Sharansky: No Clash in Identity, Human Rights Values - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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New York Mets Stand Up to Anti-Israel Pressure - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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Netanyahu Leaves White House with No Comment - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

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Prime Minister Urges Abbas to Restart Talks - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel-Jordan Joint Earthquake Drill Held Despite Friction - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel-Jordan Joint Earthquake Drill Held Despite Friction - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbis to Debate Releasing Terrorists to Free Captives - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbis to Debate Releasing Terrorists to Free Captives - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Israelis Win Top Awards at Hollywood Student Film Festival - Made in Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Israelis Win Top Awards at Hollywood Student Film Festival - Made in Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Iran thumbs its nose at a desperate Obama

Iran thumbs its nose at a desperate Obama

President Obumbler is desperate for a deal - any deal - with Iran. In fact, he is so desperate, according to the New York Times, that he even sent back channel messages to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that sending Iran's uranium to fellow up and coming Islamist Turkey is acceptable. And Ahmadinejad is laughing in Obama's face all the way to the bank.

The Obama administration, attempting to salvage a faltering nuclear deal with Iran, has told Iran’s leaders in back-channel messages that it is willing to allow the country to send its stockpile of enriched uranium to any of several nations, including Turkey, for temporary safekeeping, according to administration officials and diplomats involved in the exchanges.

But the overtures, made through the International Atomic Energy Agency over the past two weeks, have all been ignored, the officials said. Instead, they said, the Iranians have revived an old counterproposal: that international arms inspectors take custody of much of Iran’s fuel, but keep it on Kish, a Persian Gulf resort island that is part of Iran.

A senior Obama administration official said that proposal had been rejected because leaving the nuclear material on Iranian territory would allow for the possibility that the Iranians could evict the international inspectors at any moment. That happened in North Korea in 2003, and within months the country had converted its fuel into the material for several nuclear weapons.

The intermediary in the exchanges between Washington and Tehran has been Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the energy agency. He confirmed some of the proposals — including one to send Iran’s fuel to Turkey, which has nurtured close relations with Iran — in interviews in New York late last week.

And what are the Israelis doing about this?

Officials in Israel, which feels the most threatened by Iran, have hinted that if Iran does not accept the Geneva deal they will revive their consideration of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mr. Obama’s own aides say they cannot determine whether the Israelis are bluffing.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is visiting the White House on Monday evening. I heard he is going to give President Obama a couple of baseballs as a gift.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Iran thumbs its nose at a desperate Obama

Israel Matzav: You know you're biased when al-Reuters is unbiased by comparison

You know you're biased when al-Reuters is unbiased by comparison

Israel's United Nations delegation has been carrying on a running battle with the New York Times over the newspaper's coverage of the Goldstone Report.

The Israeli mission’s letter to the Times states: “Over and over, The New York Times’ articles on this matter employ language that easily leads the reader to believe that the Goldstone Report found conclusive evidence that Israel committed war crimes. In Neil MacFarquhar’s ‘U.N. Council Endorses Gaza Report’ (Oct. 16), the article states that the Goldstone Report ‘details evidence of war crimes committed by the Israeli Army…’ In Sharon Otterman’s ‘Gaza Report Author Asks U.S. to Clarify Concerns’ (Oct. 22), the Goldstone Report is described as having “found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel…”

The letter provides a third similar example as well, and then states, “In stark contrast, a Reuters article carried by The New York Times on Oct. 14, ‘Israel Urged to Investigate Gaza War Crimes Charges,’ describes the Goldstone Report as reflecting ‘U.N. allegations of possible war crimes.’”
“In sharp contrast, the aforementioned Times articles fail to reflect this vital distinction, as readers will falsely assume that the Goldstone Report found conclusive evidence of Israeli war crimes.”

Cohen concludes, “I wish to reiterate Israel’s position that the Goldstone Report is deeply flawed and one-sided as it offers legitimacy to Hamas terrorism and its deliberate strategy to launch attacks, store weapons and use as shields the civilian population and infrastructure of Gaza. At the same time, [it] wrongly condemned Israel’s legitimate exercise of its right to self-defense. The tendency of The New York Times to gloss over such realities must be rectified and I sincerely hope that the paper will use accurate and appropriate language to ensure that its coverage of the Goldstone Report and the wide Middle East is fair and honest.”

You know you're biased when al-Reuters is unbiased by comparison.


Israel Matzav: You know you're biased when al-Reuters is unbiased by comparison

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

"And all those who faithfully engage in public needs, the Holy One Blessed Be He will pay their wages, and will remove all sicknesses from them, and will heal their entire bodies and forgive all of their sins and send blessing and success in all of their handiwork with all of their brothers in Israel (the Jewish people) and let us say Amen."

Let's go to the videotape. It's Yehuda Green singing.





Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Columbia by the Canyon

Columbia by the Canyon

Right wing students are afraid to express their opinions in courses at Tel Aviv University (ironically, this story was originally published in Haaretz, Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily).

An internal memo, revealed by the Haaretz newspaper, shows that right wing students studying at Tel Aviv University are afraid to voice their opinions. According to an internal memo sent by Prof. Nira Hativa, responsible for the assessment of teaching at the university, feedback received from students shows that many of them are afraid to express right wing opinions as they fear this will hurt their grades.

According to the memo: "There are quite a few students of professors (with left-wing opinions) who have complained bitterly, that they are very hurt by the presentation of material contrary to their beliefs but are afraid to express their opinions lest it hurt their grades or in other ways that the lecturers can affect them.”

Perhaps the David Project needs to open a branch in Tel Aviv (yes, the poster came from the Tel Aviv University web site).

Israel Matzav: Columbia by the Canyon

Israel Matzav: Why the Israeli foreign ministry called an American blogger

Why the Israeli foreign ministry called an American blogger

At Pajamas Media, Connecticut Yankee's Bob Owens explains why he got a call on Monday from the Israeli foreign ministry:

This morning, I was contacted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry about a photo I had blogged about on July 15, 2007, regarding a Shiite rocket attack on U.S. forces in Iraq.

The rockets recovered by the Israeli Navy last week, bound for terrorists in Lebanon, are identical to those Iran provided to Shiite militias targeting American soldiers in Iraq. There are numerous similar reports of Iranian weapons being shipped to the Taliban in Afghanistan, including one cache uncovered just two months ago.

The top photo is one of the rockets recovered in Iraq in 2007. The bottom photo is one of the rockets recovered from the ammunition ship that was headed for Hezbullah that Israel intercepted last week.

On October 4, 2001, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to convince the world that the same people who pulled off 9/11 were also attempting to destroy Israel. Those people were and are Iran and the Islamist terror groups it supports. Then-President Bush rejected Sharon's efforts. President Obama is continuing with the Bush policy of ignoring the fact that Iran is arming America's and Israel's enemies.

Does anyone other than Obama and the American Left believe that Bush was right and Sharon was wrong?

Read the whole thing.




Israel Matzav: Why the Israeli foreign ministry called an American blogger

Israel Matzav: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Whenever I try to fix a couple up, I tell them that they will have to decide for themselves whether they find the other person attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here is the ultimate proof:

"When I married him, I knew what I was in for," she said. "I knew that his first love was always Palestine and its capital, Jerusalem. But it was an honor for me to be the second love, after Palestine."

When Suha first met Yasser, she was frightened, she told the paper.

"At the beginning I was attracted to the leader of the revolution, then to the courage and masculinity and intelligence, and then also to the romance there was in him," she said.

EWWW! By the way, I guess Suha doesn't know about this guy.

Israel Matzav: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Israel Matzav: Stop the 'peace process,' I want to get off

Stop the 'peace process,' I want to get off

Writing in the New York Times, Tom Friedman (Tom Friedman!) urges the Obama administration to dust off an old line from the Bush 41 administration, fold up its tent and go home.

This peace process movie is not going to end differently just because we keep playing the same reel. It is time for a radically new approach. And I mean radical. I mean something no U.S. administration has ever dared to do: Take down our “Peace-Processing-Is-Us” sign and just go home.

Right now we want it more than the parties. They all have other priorities today. And by constantly injecting ourselves we’ve become their Novocain. We relieve all the political pain from the Arab and Israeli decision-makers by creating the impression in the minds of their publics that something serious is happening. “Look, the U.S. secretary of state is here. Look, she’s standing by my side. Look, I’m doing something important! Take our picture. Put it on the news. We’re on the verge of something really big and I am indispensable to it.” This enables the respective leaders to continue with their real priorities — which are all about holding power or pursuing ideological obsessions — while pretending to advance peace, without paying any political price.

Let’s just get out of the picture. Let all these leaders stand in front of their own people and tell them the truth: “My fellow citizens: Nothing is happening; nothing is going to happen. It’s just you and me and the problem we own.”

Indeed, it’s time for us to dust off James Baker’s line: “When you’re serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix.”

Of course, when Baker uttered that line, it was directed only at one side (Israel), whereas Friedman would direct it at both sides.

Meryl Yourish thinks Friedman is advocating going back to the Bush 43 policy of ignoring the problem until the parties are ready to deal with it, and perhaps she's correct.

That sounds to me like an endorsement of George W. Bush’s refusal to repeat the Clinton administration’s mistakes. And coming from the guy who threw the Saudi peace plan on the world and pushed it for years as the only real move forward in negotiations—well, let’s just say I’m having a major schadenfreude moment.

I don't agree with Meryl's conclusion that Israel would give up all of Judea and Samaria if only the 'Palestinians' would agree to make peace. At this point, very few of us trust the 'Palestinians' intentions. But since the 'Palestinians' aren't willing to live with a State of Israel of any size, that argument is moot.

I'd be happy to see the Obama administration lower the focus on Israel and let both of our countries go back to building our economies. We do that pretty well together. Maybe Baker (pictured) was almost onto something for once.


Israel Matzav: Stop the 'peace process,' I want to get off

Israel Matzav: Three Americans in Iran charged with espionage

Three Americans in Iran charged with espionage

Three Americans who strayed across the Iran-Iraq border in August have been charged with espionage.

The three, Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, crossed into Iran from Iraq and their families say they strayed across the border accidentally.

"The three are charged with espionage. Investigations continue into the three detained Americans in Iran," Tehran general prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told IRNA.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested in an interview with the American television network NBC in September that the Americans' release might be linked to the release of Iranian diplomats he said were being held by U.S. troops in Iraq.

Under Iran's Islamic sharia law, espionage is punishable by death.

The only way the United States is going to get these people released (short of a rescue mission) is if it has something that Iran wants. Let's hope it's diplomats and not uranium.

Israel Matzav: Three Americans in Iran charged with espionage

Israel Matzav: America buries its head in the sand

America buries its head in the sand

Robert Spencer spoke with Front Page Magazine's Jamie Glasov. Here's part of the interview.

FP: Why does the media and liberal-Left so reflexively deny and ignore these conclusions?

Spencer: They reflexively deny and ignore these conclusions because they are completely sold out to the idea that Muslims, as non-white, non-Christian, non-Westerners, cannot possibly be anything but victims. (The facts that there are white Muslims, and that the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism are not racial issues, but constitute an ideological and societal challenge, are completely lost on them. Likewise the non-white victims of the jihad matter nothing to them.) We can see from the avalanche of "backlash" stories in the mainstream media - even in the absence of any actual backlash - that it is simply impossible for these people to conceive of a paradigm in which Muslims can perpetrate any kind of evil at all. In the lenses through which they view the world, only white Judeo-Christian Westerners can do anything wrong.

FP: What does this massacre, and the media response, indicate about what is coming down the line for our country?

Spencer: The more we remain in denial about how these things happen, and from what wellsprings they come, the more we will see of attacks like this. Why? Because nothing is being done to prevent them. Instead of the endless stories about backlash that we are seeing, we should be seeing stories about authorities calling the American Muslim community to account. We should be seeing stories about authorities demanding transparent, inspectable programs in American mosques and Islamic schools, teaching against the Islamic doctrines that inspired Nidal Hasan. This is not a religious freedom issue - these are political doctrines with a lethal edge, as Nidal Hasan illustrated. It is an entirely Constitutional matter of self-protection to move to restrict it.

But that won't happen. Political correctness has the media and government in a stranglehold. That will only ensure that nothing will be done to address this problem at its root, and we will see many more Nidal Hasans.

Reading this makes me think that changing attitudes about Israel through better hasbara (public relations) is hopeless.



Israel Matzav: America buries its head in the sand

Israel Matzav: What Israel can learn from Major Nidal Malik Hassan

What Israel can learn from Major Nidal Malik Hassan

One of the most remarkable things about being in the US for the past few days has been the extent to which Americans have been caught off guard by the actions of Major Nidal Malik Hassan, the Muslim who murdered thirteen American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas last Wednesday. While I doubt that Israelis would have been so surprised had something similar happened among us - God forbid - there are some important lessons to be learned by us from this post by Hugh Fitzgerald.

Yes, Nidal Malik Hasan was an American citizen. And Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a major in the American, Infidel army, and Major Hasan hated the world's Infidels. For he had been taught, since childhood, and he did believe, that they, those Infidels, were at war with innocent Muslims. Infidels, he knew, were the cause of all the world's woe. They were the ones who were fighting innocent Muslims. Never mind that the American army had bombed the Serbs to protect - in its own ignorant and confused fashion - Muslims in Bosnia, had delivered food aid to Somalia and attempted to avert civil war in that country, had been generous in aiding the ferociously-Muslim inhabitants of Aceh after the tsunami, had delivered earthquake aid to Paksitan, had spent two trillion dollars in Iraq to make it a semi-decent place and, what's more, to hold it together, had given Pakistan thirty billion and had just announced it would give that country that is run of, by, and for Muslims, another 7.5 billion. Never mind that the U.S. was shelling out aid to Muslims all over the world and despite every conceivable provocation, treating Muslims inside and outside America with kid gloves that would, with any other enemy, been taken off long ago.

Israel participated in many of the same relief projects that the United States did. We took in Muslim refugees from Bosnia, we provided aid to tsunami-stricken Aceh, we tried to establish relations with Pakistan and Iraq (and we even had people trying to do business in Iraq until the kidnappings started). Does anyone really believe it mattered? Does anyone really believe that if we give the 'Palestinians' a state, the Muslim world will learn to love (or at least tolerate) us and stop trying to destroy us?

Inevitably, some American or European is going to come on here and rip me for stereotyping. For you, no, not all Muslims are terrorists, but all (or nearly all) terrorists are Muslims. And those Muslims who are not terrorists are far less insistent on punishing the terrorists than are Christians or Jews or Buddhists or Hindus. The proof? Guess who constitute the largest number of victims of Muslim terrorism? You guessed it, Muslims.

But we who have bothered to find out what the texts of Islam contain, and what the tenets inculcated by those texts are, know that Major Nidal Hasan was not a Muslim in name only, not a Muslim prepared to ignore much of Islam (even if only out of calculations of temporary self-interest), but was truly devout. He thus could not possibly, though an American citizen, have been an American citizen in the sense of being loyal to America and to the principles of the American Constitution, for that Constitution is, in its letter and spirit, flatly contradicted by the Shari'a.

So it would seem to be obvious that Major Malik Hasan acted on his deepest beliefs. That they are not our beliefs. What we who are not Muslim think of the ideas of Islam that prompt what we call "suicide bombers" or "suicide killers" (and what Muslims call "shahid" or "martyrs") is irrelevant. Yet we, or many of us, still refuse to perform the most obvious of pressing tasks - to learn what Islam contains, instead of continuing to blandly content ourselves with airy references to the "three abrahamic faiths" or to rely on such notions as "all religions are essentially the same" or even to lazily agree that Islam is accurately described merely as a "religion" when, in fact, it is a Total Belief-System unlike any "religion" or any other "religion" on earth. It is a Total Belief-System in the claims it makes on its adherents, on its clear politics and geopolitics - that is, its organization of all power, within a society or state, and its claim to rightfully dominate the entire world. It views this as a rightful claim which only the obstinacy or malevolence of Infidels refuses to accept, as they refuse to accept a faith that is suffused with violence, that teaches the uses of violence, that describes the fruits of those successful in the practice of violence, that offers a worldview in which violence in the end decides (along with the practice of what Muhammad himself defined as the essence of War -deception) who will be Victor and who will be Vanquished.

Read the whole thing. And stop fooling yourselves. It's not paranoia when they really do hate you.

Israel Matzav: What Israel can learn from Major Nidal Malik Hassan

Israel Matzav: Another reason to leave the UN

Another reason to leave the UN

At the Volokh Conspiracy, Kenneth Anderson discusses another reason to leave the United Nations - or at least to try to gain control over its budgetary process. It seems that the United Nations is a champion at spending and wasting other people's money (Hat Tip: Instapundit).

I’m in favor of public art and spending money on it, even at the UN. Then there’s the kind of extravagance one might hope would cause, say, special rapporteurs and the US delegation and the NGOs that pressed for the embarrassment of the Council to replace the Commission in 2005 to stare up at the ceiling during meetings and think about what $20 million of that $23 million would do for World Peace or Human Rights or something. The UN’s Climate Adaptation Fund, for example, which started in 2008 to help poor nations with climate change issues currently $18 million — not enough to pay for the current round of Copenhagen talks.

I mentioned it at a couple of academic meetings offhand, and the audience comments were that I was either mistaken or merely expressing hostility, because the only people who had talked about this (in English, anyway) were FoxNews and UNWatch, or that it was unworthy to dwell on such minor things. If you looked at these kinds of issues, you were mistaking the forest for the trees.
Why does the UN get a free pass? I believe it's because the one-country-one-vote system ensures that the UN gives the illusion of spending money for good causes, while allowing much of the 'enlightened' West to fool itself that it is doing good and not paving the way for its own destruction. For example, did your kids 'trick or treat' for UNICEF this year? If so, this is what they were financing.

If you or your children are planning to "trick or treat" tomorrow, keep in mind this article by Dave Kopel published in the National Review two years ago, wherein he describes how;

"UNICEF has been a major financier of Palestinian 'summer camps' which encourage children to become suicide bombers. One such camp is named for Wafa Idris…"

Wafa Idris was the first female Palestinian suicide bomber who, at 28 years old, killed herself, an 81 year old man and injured one-hundred others outside a shoe store in Jerusalem. Those of you who have seen our documentary "The Making of a Martyr" know that we interviewed Wafa's mother and nieces for the film. Each of Wafa's young nieces (all between the ages of 10 and 14) eagerly described their desire to follow in Wafa's footsteps and 'martyr' themselves while Wafa's mother explained to us, though she missed her daughter, "she did nothing wrong, by god."

Before you slip any spare coinage in a UNICEF box, note Militant Islam Monitor's 2007 report on the UNICEF school here.

Equally disturbing is the fact that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN arm responsible for providing aid and education in the Palestinian territories, employs the school curriculum of its hosts: Hamas, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Read the whole thing.

And yes, that picture is the $23 million mural. It reminds me of the stalactite cave near Beit Shemesh.
Israel Matzav: Another reason to leave the UN

Israel Matzav: Erdogan: Israel worse than Sudan

Erdogan: Israel worse than Sudan

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has shot off his mouth again, and it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the man is simply hysterical. This time, Erdogan claims that 'atrocities' committed by Israel in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead are worse than the mass murder of the Bashir regime in the Sudan.

Erdogan said he would rather confront Bashir, indicted for orchestrating crimes against humanity in Darfur, than discuss state killings of civilians with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Turkish prime minister also said that he did not believe that Bashir was guilty of the crimes for which he was indicted.

"I cannot discuss this with Netanyahu but I can easily discuss such issues with Omar al-Bashir. I can say to his face: What you are doing is wrong," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said Bashir is free to join an Istanbul summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference this week. The 57-nation group holds its main meetings Monday.

Bashir is not coming to Turkey on Monday, because the European Union (which apparently still wants to admit Turkey) objected.

To give you some indication of what a maniac Erdogan has become, even Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is begging him to maintain relations with Israel so that he can act as a 'mediator' between Israel and Syria. Good luck with that, Baby Assad. There is no way Erdogan can be a 'mediator' any more.

Israel Matzav: Erdogan: Israel worse than Sudan

Love of the Land: The Times Indulges a Palestinian Temper Tantrum

The Times Indulges a Palestinian Temper Tantrum


John Podhoretz
Contentions/Commentary
09 November 09


With Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama slated to meet this evening, the New York Timeshas splashed a story written in a tone of deep alarm across the front of its website: “Collapse Feared for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resigns.”

The central theme is: He really means it this time! He’s gonna quit! And it’s Israel’s fault!The true purpose of the piece is to ensure that Obama and Netanyahu do nothing but discuss the condition of Mahmoud Abbas’s tenure as president of the Palestinian Authority. Because they have so little else to talk about. Like Iran. Nothing to talk about there.

Ethan Bronner assumes a startlingly inappropriate tone in this article—an elegaic, mournful spirit:

The prospect that the Palestinian Authority, the government in the West Bank, might fall apart loomed on Monday, as those close to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow. “I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?”

Mr. Abbas warned last week that he would not participate in elections he called for January. But many viewed that as a ploy by a Hamlet-like leader upset over Israeli and American policy, and noted that the vote might not actually be held, given the Palestinian political fracture and the unwillingness of Hamas, which controls Gaza, to participate. In the days since, however, his colleagues have come to believe he is not bluffing. If that is the case, they say, the Palestinian Authority could be endangered.

Evidently the crime of the Israelis is that, as Bronner writes, Netanyahu wants “negotiations without preconditions.” Usually in a negotiation, that would be considered a good thing. But not in this negotiation, because in this negotiation, Israel is supposed to come to the table having already agreed to the creation of a Palestinian state “within the 1967 borders and Jerusalem.” Netanyahu, Bronner writes, “declined” this preposterous demand of Hillary Clinton’s—preposterous because the idea that Israel would agree to surrender parts of Jerusalem and would preemptively agree to the loss of neighborhoods like Maale Adumim even before talks commenced is to presume magic fairy dust has been sprinkled upon the land of milk and honey and caused pacific and loving feelings to swell within the breasts of both parties.

This is not an article about Abbas and the tragic possibility of his early departure along with Saeb Erakat, a mouthpiece propagandist who is a Palestinian “peace negotiator” like I am a Jewish “pentathlete.” This is an article intended by design to overshadow the meeting of the American president and the Israeli prime minister and to make the “collapse” of the ineffectual and dishonest Palestinian Authority leadership the news of the day. It has the quality of an indulgent babysitter running to a parent to report breathlessly that a 5 year-old has threatened never to eat again because it is his brother’s birthday and he doesn’t like the flavor of the cake.



Love of the Land: The Times Indulges a Palestinian Temper Tantrum

Love of the Land: Winner of BBC general knowledge show believes Israeli secret intelligence service is called “Al Qaeda”!

Winner of BBC general knowledge show believes Israeli secret intelligence service is called “Al Qaeda”!


Robin Shepherd Online
09 November 09

For anyone who believes that the average Brit has even the faintest idea of what is going on in the Middle East they might like to know that the winner of today’s general knowledge quiz show “The Weakest Link”, which runs weekdays on the BBC, had an interesting take on Israeli intelligence matters.

I just happened to be watching the last few minutes of the show which precedes the 6 o clock news when the final two contestants were fighting it out in a head to head. The contestant, Rob, was asked to name Israel’s most prominent secret intelligence service. With a shrug of his shoulders, he ventured his answer: “Al Qaeda”?

Even the notoriously severe Anne Robinson, who hosts the show, could not repress a despairing smile. The hapless Rob went on to win the show. God bless Britain’s finest…


Love of the Land: Winner of BBC general knowledge show believes Israeli secret intelligence service is called “Al Qaeda”!

Love of the Land: Covering the Disturbances on the Temple Mount: Insights into the Intimidation of Journalists

Covering the Disturbances on the Temple Mount: Insights into the Intimidation of Journalists


Augean Stables
Richard Landes
09 November 09

The following is an account written up by an Israeli journalist who feared for his life while covering the disturbances. S/he wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.


The following occurred on October 9, 2009, after a week of heightened tension in east Jerusalem and the Old City….


A group of reporters – myself included – had been covering a potential flashpoint in the Wadi Joz neighborhood of east Jerusalem, just opposite the Old City, on Friday morning, as hundreds of Muslim worshippers participated in a prayer session at the entrance to the neighborhood, meant to protest “Israeli aggressions” on the Temple Mount .


All ages of men from the neighborhood had come out into the street, and approached a police road block, which was meant to stop younger residents of the area from flocking to the Temple Mount for noon prayers, which were expected to be tense. Nonetheless, tension made its way to Wadi Joz as well, as scores of police in riot gear faced the the massive gathering of worshippers, who in turn listened to a fiery speech from their imam, as he spoke through a bullhorn.


But nothing happened. The prayers concluded, and worshippers loitered in the street momentarily before heading home. The tension in Wadi Joz eased.


Around the same time, my police beeper went off, notifying reporters that a number of young men in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, next to the Mt. of Olives Cemetery, were throwing rocks at police officers and setting fire to piles of debris. A friend and I hopped into a cab and rushed up the hill from Wadi Joz (around the walls of the Old CIty) to Ras al-Amud, hoping to catch the story.


Upon arrival, the smell of burning trash was thick in the air, and a large Border Police presence was visible. But the main square of the neighborhood, which includes the local mosque, a few small grocery stores and vegetable stands, was quiet. A few people milled around, but, as we soon found out, the “action”, as it were, was down in the alleyways of the neighborhood.


So we made the descent, and almost immediately, saw a group of some six officers behind riot shields, being slammed with salvos of rocks. A group of young men, “shababs” as they’re called colloquially, were seen in the distance, their faces wrapped in t-shirts and keffiyehs, hurling the stones and other objects at the officers.


Now, for a reporter, this is certainly a story, and one in which every development can be used for “color” or extra detail in an article. And nothing beats being there, seeing it for yourself, and then relying on your own eyes and testimony to paint the re-paint the picture. So I ventured farther in, at first behind the police, but in the chaos that ensued, I soon found myself in the crossfire - between the officers and the rock-throwers. While I am not required to take pictures, I do bring a camera with me, and I found a “safe” place between two cars, and began to snap some shots.


The shababs soon noticed me, and while other press were in the area, I could tell that a few of them had begun looking at me strangely. Suddenly, one of them ran up to me, his face shrouded in a t-shirt, and he grabbed me by the straps of my backpack. “You’re an undercover cop!” he screamed in Arabic, a rock in his right hand as he grabbed onto me with his left.


“No, I’m a journalist!” I answered back, caught off guard at by the sudden jolt.

“No you’re not- you’re an undercover cop!” he screamed back. “Prove to me that you’re not an undercover cop!”


I reached into my pocket and pulled out my government-issued press card, thinking at the same moment that he would see the name of my publication, realize that it was an Israeli one, and my troubles would only grow. But as he was scanning the card, another journalist, an Arab photographer, approached the both of us, and told the young man in Arabic that I was in fact a journalist.

“Enough, let him go,” he told him. And the young man did as he said.

But as the shababs made their way past me - onward towards the officers - another Arab photographer, from an Arab news outlet, told me, “You should get out of here.”


I didn’t heed his advice – in truth, I found it insulting – but was more careful from that point on. At a later point during the day, another young shabab, his face also wrapped in a t-shirt, yelled at me from a balcony - “Are you a journalist or an undercover cop?”


(Continue reading...)



Love of the Land: Covering the Disturbances on the Temple Mount: Insights into the Intimidation of Journalists

Love of the Land: The Right Way to Investigate Gaza

The Right Way to Investigate Gaza


NATO Belgrade bombing campaign in 1999

Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
09 November 09

A group of South African immigrants to Israel submitted a novel proposal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week. Netanyahu, they said, should accede to the UN’s demand that Israel investigate its own actions during January’s war in Gaza. But it should do so in the only way that makes sense: not by focusing on Israel’s actions in a vacuum but by comparing them to those of other Western military campaigns in populated areas – for instance, American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan or NATO’s bombing of Serbia.

“I particularly mention Serbia, where the number of bombs dropped on a civilian population was tremendously high,” Charles Abelsohn, one of the proposal’s authors, told Haaretz. “This is how war is conducted. But all of a sudden, when Israel is involved, there is a law of human rights that doesn’t appear to apply anywhere else.”

The South Africans are right: The Gaza war can only be understood comparatively. Only by analyzing how the level of civilian casualties and efforts to minimize them compared with casualty levels in other Western military campaigns, only by assessing how Hamas’ efforts to use civilians as cover compare with those of other terrorist groups in other conflicts — only then can a fair determination be made about whether Israel is a war criminal, as the Goldstone Report claims, or whether it “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare,” as British Col. Richard Kemp claims.

Abelsohn is also right that such data would “assist those who are fighting the good fight on Israel’s behalf.” Without comparative facts and figures, Israel’s assertion that its Gaza operation was a model of morality will not convince anyone not predisposed to believe it – unless, like Kemp, they have the firsthand knowledge needed to make their own comparisons. But because most people have no combat experience, they have no basis for comparison.

During World War II, according to historian William Hitchcock, the British bombing of one single city, Rouen, on one single day, April 19, 1944, killed 900 allied civilians. And that figure, which was not atypical, does not even include combatants and enemy civilians.

By comparison, according to IDF figures, Israel killed 1,166 Palestinians in Gaza over the space of three weeks, of whom 709 were combatants. Hence, even if, as Palestinians claim, the total casualty figure was higher and the proportion of combatants lower, Israel would clearly not fare badly in an international comparison.

I doubt that would matter to the Goldstones of the world. But it would matter to those who would like to think well of Israel but are troubled by the endless stream of accusations, which Israel has done too little to counter. Israel needs to produce the necessary comparative data, and its friends need to make sure it gets disseminated. Indeed, this should have been done long ago. But better late than never.



Love of the Land: The Right Way to Investigate Gaza

Love of the Land: Tel Aviv students afraid to challenge leftist professors

Tel Aviv students afraid to challenge leftist professors


Or Kashti
Haaretz
09 November 09

Tel Aviv University students are hesitant to express their political views in class, lest lecturers perceived to have left-wing political views penalize them with lower grades, the head of TAU's Department of Curriculum and Instruction wrote in an internal memorandum last month. Prof. Nira Hativa's comment in the faculty memo ignited controversy among professors, with some declaring that her sentiments should not be made public.

Hativa wrote: "There are no small number of students of lecturers with left-wing views who complain bitterly that they are extremely offended by the presentation of materials that oppose their views, but are fearful of expressing contrary viewpoints in class, lest it harm their grades."

In response to the uproar, Hativa, who is currently abroad, wrote Haaretz this weekend that "the things I wrote in the context of an internal disagreement are based on intuition and my personal impressions."

The chair of the university's students' union, Shahar Botzer, said his organization receives a number of complaints each year from students dissatisfied with what they view as lecturers' biased portrayal of material in favor of left-wing positions. He said that such complaints are the exception, however, rather than the rule.

"If lecturers express their views in class in a way that makes it illegitimate to express contrary views - that is inappropriate and unacceptable to us," Botzer said. "This university is founded on pluralism and on the ability to express a variety of opinions."

Hativa's statements were prompted by a story in the Haaretz English Edition on rightist activists monitoring lecturers who are considered to have leftist views, as well as an article in Maariv on what it described as the right-wing views of Daniel Schueftan, deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa.

"At the end of each semester, I read comments from several hundred students on the teaching they receive," Hativa wrote on October 23. "I have come across many complaints from students about a small number of lecturers in various fields, who express radical left-wing opinions in their classes - that they are lashing out at the State of Israel, the army, the Zionist movement and worse."

TAU said in response that "informal discussions are held frequently on controversial issues, and people feel 'at home' in expressing opinions based on their understanding and intuition. The university is an institution where pluralism is a guiding principle."



Love of the Land: Tel Aviv students afraid to challenge leftist professors

Love of the Land: Analysis: Coalition agreement not withstanding, Hizbullah will continue to hold sway in Lebanon

Analysis: Coalition agreement not withstanding, Hizbullah will continue to hold sway in Lebanon


Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, as a famous Chinese leader once said. In Lebanon, the guns are in the hands of Hizbullah.

Jonathan Spyer
JPost/Opinion
08 November 09

Following statements from both government and opposition sides in Lebanon over the weekend, it now looks likely that Prime Minister-elect Saad Hariri will announce the formation of a new governing coalition in the next few days.

The announcement that a deal has been reached on a unity government was made by the Hizbullah-led March 8 opposition movement after a meeting on Friday.

The details of the deal have not yet been made clear, but it appears that the main stumbling blocks have been overcome.

The formation of a new government will bring to an end four months of political paralysis in Lebanon, following the victory of the pro-western March 14 coalition in general elections in June.

However, the new government will have no bearing on the key political fact looming over Lebanon today: namely, the existence of a parallel state maintained by Hizbullah, which makes its decisions without consulting the nominal rulers of the country.

The deadlock regarding the formation of the government was itself related to the agenda of the Hizbullah parallel state. It is worth remembering that agreement for the formula of cabinet appointments was reached in July. But this agreement solved little.

Hariri was determined to prevent the opposition from obtaining veto power in the new government. To exercise a veto over cabinet decisions, the opposition needed to control at least 11 portfolios in the 30-member cabinet - that is, one-third plus one of the cabinet seats.

In July, both sides accepted a formula of 15 portfolios for the March 14 coalition, 10 for the opposition, and five to be appointed by President Michel Suleiman.

The key issue then became the identity of the ministers to be appointed by the president. If only one of them were to be inclined toward the opposition, this would mean that Hizbullah would effectively have kept the veto it exercised before June. Since the final names have not yet been announced, it is too soon to draw any firm conclusions in this regard.

It looks likely, however, that Hariri has compromised in another key area.

Hariri announced after the election that he was determined to keep the Telecommunications Ministry for his party. The Hizbullah-led opposition was equally determined to obtain this portfolio for themselves.

Hizbullah maintains a large-scale independent communications network which is an essential part of its military stance vis a vis Israel. Its determination to keep this network away from government scrutiny was one of the factors that triggered the fighting in Beirut in May 2008.
(Continue to read...)


Love of the Land: Analysis: Coalition agreement not withstanding, Hizbullah will continue to hold sway in Lebanon

Love of the Land: Exposing the Western Wall Tunnels

Exposing the Western Wall Tunnels


The Western Wall Heritage Foundation

In the nineteenth century, the most distinguished Jerusalem scholars were already trying to determine the precise measurements of the Western Wall and describe the methods used in its construction. However, their information was incomplete, mainly because they were unable to discover the wall's entire length. Nevertheless, British researchers Charles Wilson, in 1864 and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870, uncovered the northern extension of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. The shafts that Charles Warren dug through Wilson's Arch can still be seen today.

Immediately after the Six Day War, the Ministry of Religious Affairs began the project of exposing the entire length of the Western Wall.

It was a difficult operation, which involved digging beneath residential neighborhoods that had been constructed on ancient structures from the Second Temple period and were built up against the Western Wall. Some residents used underground spaces as water holes or for sewage collection. The excavations required close supervision by experts in the fields of structural engineering, securing subterranean tunnels, archeology, and of course, Jewish Law.

After almost twenty years, and despite enormous difficulties, the Western Wall Tunnels were excavated. This lengthy project unearthed many archeological finds which can only be described as remarkable. These finds revealed new and unknown details about the history and the geography of the Temple Mount site.



When the Western Wall Heritage Foundation was established, it was given the responsibility of continuing the excavations, which revealed ancient Jerusalem in all its glory, and bringing them to the public’s attention by opening the tunnels to visitors.

Due to the great delicacy of the Western Wall and its environs and the complexity of the excavations, they were carried out with great caution and under constant rabbinic and scientific supervision. Thus, slowly but surely, a magnificent Jerusalem from over 2,000 years ago was rediscovered. The process of these complicated excavations was decided upon after much deliberation and care, while taking into consideration aspects that are not characteristic of other archeological excavations.



The excavators were faced with complicated engineering problems, such as maintaining the stability of the structures above them while ensuring that the courses of Western Wall stones that had been uncovered would not be damaged in any way. They also had to divert the sewage from the houses above them, which on occasion flushed down unexpectedly on top of the archeologists in the tunnels, into the general sewage system.

Advancing at a snail's pace, they uncovered genuine treasures. As time went on, the tunnels became a time tunnel, transporting anyone in them to the heyday of Jerusalem, in the first century c.e., the greatest days in the history of the city.

They found enormous courses of distinctively carved stone that were remarkably well preserved. There were also remains of the Herodian road which ran alongside the Temple Mount, ancient cisterns, impressive construction efforts from the Muslim era, and a Hasmonean period aqueduct that had been blocked by Herod’s construction of the Western Wall.

All of these amazing portholes to the past can be seen at the Western Wall Tunnels, which is why visiting them is so thrilling. A visit to the Tunnels is not just an awe-inspiring journey through time, but also a fascinating lesson in Jewish history and in the archeology and topography of Jerusalem.

Opening the tunnels to the public required complicated and unique engineering and safety solutions to allow safe and enjoyable access. It was a long process, which included the development of walking paths, air conditioning, signs and lighting, and insuring that the site is wheelchair accessible and can accommodate visitors with disabilities. Audio/visual aids were developed and guides were trained to help visitors explore the mysteries of the Tunnels.

The work is far from completed. Much more still lies hidden than has been revealed at the foot of the Temple Mount.


Love of the Land: Exposing the Western Wall Tunnels

Love of the Land: Missing Ambassador's Media Appearance

Love of the Land: Missing Ambassador's Media Appearance

Love of the Land: Where's the compromise over the Temple Mount?

Where's the compromise over the Temple Mount?


David Kirshenbaum
JPost Opinion
31 October 09

In seeking to present a modus vivendi for the Temple Mount that "mainstream" Israelis can support, The Jerusalem Post's editorial, "The 'Third Templars'" (October 27, 2009) falls surprisingly short in fairness and substance.

The characterization of those who seek to change the status quo on the Temple Mount as "post-Zionists," "messianic followers" of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and "Third Templars" is false. A number of synagogues in my hometown of Beit Shemesh schedule regular visits to the Temple Mount. The vast majority of the members of those synagogues are immigrants from Western countries. We yearn to pray on the Temple Mount and not be muzzled and followed every step of the way by the religious bigots of the Wakf.

Far from being post-Zionists, we made aliya by choice, and as our children have grown, we watched with pride and knots in our stomachs over the years as they joined their fighting units in and around Gaza and Lebanon.

Wild-eyed messianics? Cultists? After we come down from our visits to the Temple Mount, we can be found at our day jobs as doctors in this country's hospitals, university professors, educators at prominent religious institutions, participants in the country's thriving hi-tech industry and lawyers at the most prominent law firms and financial institutions. Our rabbi, who has led many of our visits, is a former tanker in the IDF and was one of the subjects of a Jerusalem Post article last year about an interfaith legal studies program.

SIMILARLY, EVEN the most cursory good faith check would expose the speciousness of the "post-Zionist" and "messianic" labels the Post uses to deride the many rabbinical figures who are advocating that Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. This, for example, is how Haaretz described the Temple Mount conference in its October 26 issue. "Top religious Zionist leaders came together Sunday at a rightist conference advocating Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount. It's hard to remember when was the last time Israel saw such a unity between its religious Zionist leaders. Political rivals such as MKs Uri Orbach and Michael Ben-Ari sat side by side on the center stage. Moderate rabbis 'respectful of the government' like Rabbi Yuval Cherlow and Rabbi Ya'acov Medan came together with 'rebellious haredi nationalists' such as Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and Rabbi Dov Lior. "

One of the most widely respected Zionist rabbis in the country, Chief Rabbi of Haifa She'ar Yashuv Cohen, has long championed a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount. Cohen, who has chief responsibility for the Chief Rabbinate's dialogue with the Vatican and has had tremendous success in working together with the large non-Jewish communities in Haifa, has for many years been trying to gain support among both his rabbinic colleagues and the political echelon for establishing a synagogue on the Temple Mount.
(Continue reading...)

Love of the Land: Where's the compromise over the Temple Mount?

Love of the Land: Benign Neglect for the Peace Process

Benign Neglect for the Peace Process


Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
08 November 09

Thomas Friedman’s column today is utterly sensible and completely realistic.

The only thing driving the peace process today is inertia and diplomatic habit. …

Right now we want it more than the parties. They all have other priorities today. And by constantly injecting ourselves we’ve become their Novocain. We relieve all the political pain from the Arab and Israeli decision-makers by creating the impression in the minds of their publics that something serious is happening. “Look, the U.S. secretary of state is here. Look, she’s standing by my side. Look, I’m doing something important! Take our picture. Put it on the news. We’re on the verge of something really big and I am indispensable to it.” This enables the respective leaders to continue with their real priorities — which are all about holding power or pursuing ideological obsessions — while pretending to advance peace, without paying any political price.

Let’s just get out of the picture. Let all these leaders stand in front of their own people and tell them the truth: “My fellow citizens: Nothing is happening; nothing is going to happen. It’s just you and me and the problem we own.”

Let me be the first to congratulate Friedman on joining the ranks of us killjoy, spoilsport, wet-blanket neocons, who have been saying exactly this for years — and have been assailed for doing so by people like, oh, Tom Friedman. I recall writing a year ago that the peace process existed to “cater to the illusions of what has become a self-sustaining diplomatic, bureaucratic, and media industry.” It’s nice to have Friedman on our side.


Love of the Land: Benign Neglect for the Peace Process

Love of the Land: Sudden Jihad or "Inordinate Stress" at Ft. Hood?

Sudden Jihad or "Inordinate Stress" at Ft. Hood?

by Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com
November 9, 2009



Love of the Land: Sudden Jihad or "Inordinate Stress" at Ft. Hood?
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