Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Chester Chronicles - The Israelis and the Iranian Bomb

Chester Chronicles -The Israelis and the Iranian Bomb

Love of the Land: Anti-Israeli Swedish government pushes EU towards backing unilateral declaration of Palestinian state and division of Jerusalem

Anti-Israeli Swedish government pushes EU towards backing unilateral declaration of Palestinian state and division of Jerusalem

Robin Shepherd
01 December 09

Sweden, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, is pushing the EU to make an official statement next week backing both a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood and also the division of Jerusalem, a draft resolution obtained exclusively by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper shows.

EU foreign ministers may now make a declaration along such lines at a meeting on December 7. It would be the first significant foreign policy initiative following the creation of a de facto EU foreign ministry under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty which came into effect today.

Israel is still reeling from the refusal of the Swedish government to distance itself from a report during the summer by the country’s top selling newspaper, Aftonbladet, which alleged an international Jewish conspiracy in which the Israel Defence Forces were said to be harvesting the bodily organs of Palestinian children for sale on the black market. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was, however, among the first to condemn Switzerland for its decision on Sunday to ban the construction of Muslim minarets which he described as “an expression of quite a bit of prejudice and maybe even fear”, adding that it was “a negative signal in every way.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Love of the Land: Anti-Israeli Swedish government pushes EU towards backing unilateral declaration of Palestinian state and division of Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Venezuela to send ambassador to 'Palestine'

Venezuela to send ambassador to 'Palestine'

Venezuela plans to send an ambassador to 'Palestine' and has signed several agreements to 'aid' the 'Palestinians.'

"We have decided to designate an ambassador and open an embassy in Palestine," Chavez said after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We now have a charge d'affaires; we will name an ambassador in coming days as part of accords to boost our bilateral relations," he said.

This should be interesting. Israel has no diplomatic relations with Venezuela since the Venezuelans cut them off during Operation Cast Lead. I wonder whether Israel will let the 'ambassador' pass through the diplomatic line at Ben Gurion Airport or the Allenby Bridge, both of which Israel controls. Hmmm.

Among aid agreements signed Friday were scholarships for 20 Palestinians to study medicine in Venezuela. Chavez said he saw Venezuela offering many more educational grants.

"We must tell the Palestine people how many scholarships we will give to Palestinian youth so they come and study what they need," he said. "They can be short and long, pre-graduate or post-graduate, technical and training studies."

Maybe the Venezuelans can offer to let the 'Palestinians' stay there.

Chavez also referred to Colombia as 'the Israel of South America.' Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Venezuela to send ambassador to 'Palestine'

Israel Matzav: Iranian Revolutionary Guard takes over Persian Gulf defense

Iranian Revolutionary Guard takes over Persian Gulf defense

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has taken over the defense of the Persian Gulf after a significant upgrade in its capabilities over the last two years.

Iran has restructured its naval forces to give an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard full responsibility for operations in the strategic Persian Gulf in the event of a conflict, according to a new U.S. intelligence study.

The concentration of fast attack boats and cruise missiles in and along the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, known as the IRGCN, "better allow Iranian naval assets to contribute to and extend Iran's layered defense strategy," the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence said in the study, dated Fall 2009.

The Revolutionary Guard has gradually expanded its naval capabilities over the years by incorporating Chinese, North Korean and Italian designs and technology, both military and commercial, and it now deploys some of the fastest naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, the study said.

It said the Revolutionary Guard also reportedly wants to develop or acquire "unmanned" naval vessels.

As part of the reorganization, which began in 2007, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, or IRIN, has positioned its own naval assets further into the Gulf of Oman, according to the study, first disclosed by the Secrecy News Web site last week.

I get the sense that Iran is preparing for war. Unfortunately, the United States is not. Israel will have to fight alone, and once it engages Iran in combat, Iran will have unchallenged control of the Gulf.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Iranian Revolutionary Guard takes over Persian Gulf defense

Israel Matzav: No virgins for you!

No virgins for you!

It turns out that Monday night's explosion in a car in the Shatti refugee camp near Gaza City was a 'work accident' and not an Israeli targeted assassination. No virgins for that one.

Depending upon whom you believe, the dead terrorist was either from Islamic Jihad (Hat Tip: Jihad Watch) or from Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Bye-bye sucker!

Israel Matzav: No virgins for you!

Love of the Land: Olmert's Offer

Olmert's Offer

01 December 09

olmert abbas shake.jpg

Many recall Ehud Barak's peace talks with Yasir Arafat, during which the late Palestinian leader rejected unprecedented offers that would have created a Palestinian state.

But a later peace offer by Ehud Olmert, which was rejected by current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, seems less embedded in the public consciousness. One possible reason for this lack of awareness is that, relative to the earlier Barak-Arafat negotiations, which were conducted under the media spotlight and detailed in books such as Dennis Ross's The Missing Peace, the specifics of the Olmert-Abbas negotiations have not been very well publicized.

Thanks to journalist Greg Sheridan's interview with the former Israeli prime minister, published Saturday in The Australian, more know about the specifics those peace talks.

Olmert explained:

"On the 16th of September, 2008, I presented him (Abbas) with a comprehensive plan. It was based on the following principles.

One, there would be a territorial solution to the conflict on the basis of the 1967 borders with minor modifications on both sides. Israel will claim part of the West Bank where there have been demographic changes over the last 40 years." [...]

In total, Olmert says, this would have involved Israel claiming about 6.4 per cent of Palestinian territory in the West Bank: "It might be a fraction more, it might be a fraction less, but in total it would be about 6.4 per cent. Israel would claim all the Jewish areas of Jerusalem. All the lands that before 1967 were buffer zones between the two populations would have been split in half. In return there would be a swap of land (to the Palestinians) from Israel as it existed before 1967.

(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: Olmert's Offer

Israel Matzav: Syria snubs its nose at the IAEA

Syria snubs its nose at the IAEA

Outgoing IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei complained on Thursday that Syria is not cooperating with his agency's investigation of its destroyed nuclear facility. The facility was destroyed in an Israeli air raid in September 2007. Syria is unconcerned about ElBaradei's complaints.

“The UN cannot just say ‘we will visit this site, or we will go to that place’, they do not have the power under international law,” said an official from the ruling Baath party, on condition of anonymity. Smartly dressed in a well-cut suit and red tie, he appeared unperturbed by the ongoing nuclear controversy.

IAEA inspectors would certainly not be given permission to carry out new searches for evidence on Syrian military bases, he said. They had been allowed one set of inspections and, as far as Syria was concerned, that meant it had fully met its obligation to co-operate.

“These are issues of sovereignty and self-determination,” the Baathist insisted. “It’s a question of dignity.”

Syria has not forgotten how supposedly independent UN weapons inspectors in Iraq during the 1990s were, in fact, reporting back to western intelligence agencies, something Damascus – still at war with Israel – does not want to let happen in its case.

The IAEA is already overstressed with Iran and North Korea. Look for the Syrian case to be put on a back burner.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Syria snubs its nose at the IAEA

Israel Matzav: Israeli technology in the clouds

Israeli technology in the clouds

When it comes to technology, this country is on a hot streak. Any company that's not sold on "the Cloud" yet, will be when they hear this:

According to Eddie Resnick, CEO of Israeli start-up Clouds 'R Us, 85 percent of computing power in many companies goes unused: i.e., companies are buying seven times the average computing power they need, whether in processor speed, memory or other expensive hardware.

"It's because companies buy for peak needs," Resnick says. Although that peak may come just once every few weeks, he adds, organizations have, until very recently, had no choice but to be prepared.

Thanks to the Cloud, though, companies can now "outsource" their computer usage, using - and paying for - expanded capacity only when they need it.

"Now that the Cloud is technologically feasible, scalable infrastructure - the ability to take advantage of computing power when needed - is attracting many organizations," Resnick says.

With smaller - and even larger - businesses taking their computing work online, doing their computing on servers provided by a large IT infrastructure company, companies hope to save big on deployment, upgrade and security costs.

Eighty-five percent unused capacity? Well, I'm sold! But there's more. Resnick, who helps companies navigate the Cloud and get the services they need without hassles, believes the Cloud is the next big growth area for Israeli hi-tech.

Read the whole thing. And if you need a lawyer, send me an email.

/Mrs. Carl wants me to make money off this blog.

Israel Matzav: Israeli technology in the clouds

Love of the Land: The EU’s New Effort to Thwart Israeli-Palestinian Peace

The EU’s New Effort to Thwart Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Evelyn Gordon
01 December 09

For a body that prides itself on its “soft power,” the European Union has a remarkable capacity to stymie its own diplomatic goals through inept diplomacy.

A classic example was the UN-brokered agreement to reunify Cyprus in 2004, when the EU promised to admit Greek Cyprus regardless of whether it accepted the agreement, whereas Turkish Cyprus would be admitted only if both sides accepted the plan. The results were predictable: Greek Cypriots, their reward assured regardless of their behavior, had no reason to make even the minimal concessions the plan entailed, so they rejected it. But Turkish Cypriots, who approved it, were penalized: even the minor economic benefits the EU pledged after the vote never materialized, because Greek Cyprus used its shiny new EU veto to block them. Five years later, the negotiations drag on, and the island remains divided.

The EU is now poised to make the same mistake in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, via a draft document proposed by its rotating president, Sweden, that Israeli diplomats say EU foreign ministers look certain to adopt on December 7. The document reportedly details every concession the EU expects Israel to make to the Palestinians but specifies noreciprocal Palestinian concessions. And it thereby feeds Palestinian illusions that they need not make any concessions; the international community will simply force Israel to accept all their demands.

Specifically, the document says that East Jerusalem must be the capital of the Palestinian state and that the 1967 lines must be its borders, unless the Palestinians choose otherwise. It also implies that the EU would recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state in these borders “at the appropriate time.”

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: The EU’s New Effort to Thwart Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Love of the Land: The Illegal-Settlements Myth

The Illegal-Settlements Myth

David M. Phillips
Commentary Magazine
01 December 09

(This is a major and well written presentation, based on both historical fact and international law)

The conviction that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal is now so commonly accepted, it hardly seems as though the matter is even open for discussion. But it is. Decades of argument about the issue have obscured the complex nature of the specific legal question about which a supposedly overwhelming verdict of guilty has been rendered against settlement policy. There can be no doubt that this avalanche of negative opinion has been deeply influenced by the settlements’ unpopularity around the world and even within Israel itself. Yet, while one may debate the wisdom of Israeli settlements, the idea that they are imprudent is quite different from branding them as illegal. Indeed, the analysis underlying the conclusion that the settlements violate international law depends entirely on an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative that the West Bank is “Arab” land. Followed to its logical conclusion—as some have done—this narrative precludes the legitimacy of Israel itself.

These arguments date back to the aftermath of the Six-Day War. When Israel went into battle in June 1967, its objective was clear: to remove the Arab military threat to its existence. Following its victory, the Jewish state faced a new challenge: what to do with the territorial fruits of that triumph. While many Israelis assumed that the overwhelming nature of their victory would shock the Arab world into coming to terms with their legitimacy and making peace, they would soon be disabused of this belief. At the end of August 1967, the heads of eight countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (all of which lost land as the result of their failed policy of confrontation with Israel), met at a summit in Khartoum, Sudan, and agreed to the three principles that were to guide the Arab world’s postwar stands: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. Though many Israelis hoped to trade most if not all the conquered lands for peace, they would have no takers. This set the stage for decades of their nation’s control of these territories.

The attachment of Israelis to the newly unified city of Jerusalem led to its quick annexation, and Jewish neighborhoods were planted on its flanks in the hope that this would render unification irrevocable. A similar motivation for returning Jewish life to the West Bank, the place where Jewish history began—albeit one that did not reflect the same strong consensus as that which underpinned the drive to hold on to Jerusalem—led to the fitful process that, over the course of the next several decades, produced numerous Jewish settlements throughout this area for a variety of reasons, including strategic, historical and/or religious considerations. In contrast, settlements created by Israel in the Egyptian Sinai or the Syrian Golan were primarily based initially on the strategic value of the terrain.

(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: The Illegal-Settlements Myth

Love of the Land: Syria and Turkey: Walking Arm in Arm Down the Same Road?

Syria and Turkey: Walking Arm in Arm Down the Same Road?

David Schenker
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Vol. 9, No. 13
01 December 09

The rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus is only the culmination of the increasingly problematic policies pursued by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Two factors in particular seem to have led to Turkey's shift away from Israel and toward Syria. First, Turkey no longer needed Israeli assistance to pressure the Syrian government to change its policy of providing safe-haven to the terrorist Kurdish Worker's Organization (PKK). Second, in the past seven years, once secular Turkish politics have undergone a profound Islamist transformation.

At the same time, the dynamic between the Turkish military and the state's civilian leadership has changed. No longer does the military have the upper hand. Today, the Turkish military can do little to impact the policies of the Islamist AKP, which promote solidarity with Islamist, anti-Western regimes while dismissing secular, pro-Western Muslim governments.

As Ankara's politics under the AKP have shifted and Turkey has become seemingly less committed to Europe, the state has seen its star rise in the Middle East. Syria's Assad regime likely sees its bourgeoning relations with Turkey as an opportunity to shuffle the existing architecture of regional alliances.

Perhaps more worrisome is the prospect that Ankara may over time pursue a closer foreign policy alignment with Iran that would undermine U.S. and Israeli regional interests. Ankara's shift toward Damascus and Tehran makes it even more unlikely that Turkey will participate in "crippling sanctions" to help prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Syria and Turkey: Walking Arm in Arm Down the Same Road?

The Torah Revolution: Black preacher from Harlem praises Zionists and Kahane

The Torah Revolution: Black preacher from Harlem praises Zionists and Kahane

Israel Matzav: Yet another brilliant Israeli invention

Yet another brilliant Israeli invention

I can think of some military uses for this one....

A miniature robotic hovercraft that can navigate in midair and take pictures independently has been built by students and researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

The helicopter-like aircraft can serve in special missions, including surveillance and observation. Its existence was disclosed Monday in the Technion's computer sciences faculty newsletter, Homepage.

"The hovercraft can enter a building via the window, do its work and exit," said Prof. Ehud Rivlin, who headed the project and whose students contributed by processing data and performing computerized vision.

Using sensors added to the vehicle, the developers were able to help it identify barriers and prevent crashes, preserve altitude and keep its bearings in different environments using a three-dimensional map, Rivlin said.

At this stage, the camera is installed on the belly of the hovercraft, but the researchers are working on adding another camera that will make it possible to capture images 360 degrees around.

Remember Abu Ali Mustafa? The hovercraft could have come right into his office instead of firing from outside.... Heh....

Israel Matzav: Yet another brilliant Israeli invention

Israel Matzav: Surprise: China still opposes sanctions

Surprise: China still opposes sanctions

Remember how China and Russia were supposed to be on 'our side' after the IAEA Board of Governors vote? Well, earlier on Tuesday, I reported that Russia isn't on 'our side' and now I can report that China isn't on 'our side' either.

Speaking at a regular press conference, the Chinese spokesperson said that sanctions "are not the goal" of new UN pressure on Iran. "We should properly resolve this issue through dialogue," he said. "All parties should step up diplomatic efforts."

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Surprise: China still opposes sanctions

Israel Matzav: Civil war?

Civil war?

It's been a busy day in Judea and Samaria.

Building inspectors have been barred by protesting residents from entering Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron, Revava, Talmonim and Har Gilo to enforce the 'settlement freeze.'

The inspectors were more successful on Monday, when they managed to issue 50 stop-work orders at sites where they felt the foundations were not yet properly set. Four bulldozers and tractors, as well as building material, were also confiscated.

Also Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak stressed that the security cabinet's decision on a ten-month moratorium on new construction in Judea and Samaria will be fully implemented.

"Government decisions must be obeyed and will be fully implemented, in a way that will ensure as much dialogue with the settlers as possible," a conciliatory Barak said after meeting with reserve soldiers at the Judea and Samaria Division headquarters, ahead of a session with the IDF commanders charged with reinforcing the edict.

"The Judea and Samaria leadership is responsible, patriotic and Zionist, and withstood many ordeals. I believe and hope we shall overcome this ordeal, while executing the government's decisions," he said.

Good luck with that. Anyone else have the impression that the government didn't expect this kind of opposition? Maybe Obama can send the Marines. This is probably the one place in the world that he's willing to commit troops.


Israel Matzav: Civil war?

Israel Matzav: Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Haaretz claims that some right-wing organizations have decided that if the Left can take foreign funding for its NGO's, so can the Right. According to Haaretz, a group called the Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has been handing out money to soldiers for refusing to evict Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria.

The money has been coming from the United States. The Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, the organization that offered every soldier refusing to evacuate a settlement, and the Kfir Brigade soldiers who publicly demonstrated their opposition to evacuation, NIS 1,000 for every day they spend in military prison, is a registered non-profit organization and has a license to operate.

The group receives donations from a U.S. based group that are tax exempt. No comment was available from the organization.

The Global Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land, established in 2003 and rising to fame during the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, melds positions of the extreme right wing and the messianic Hassidic Chabad sect. The group is headed by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, a Chabad Hassid of the messianic stream, who lives in Kiryat Gat. In recent years the group began offering monetary rewards to soldiers and civilians.

Among the rewards it has given was NIS 20,000 to each soldier who lifted a sign of "The Shimshon Battalion does not evict from Homesh" at the Western Wall a month ago, and gave NIS 1,800 to the soldier Tzach Kortz, who shot a terrorist in Kiryat Arba last week.

The IDF should have given a reward to the soldier who shot the terrorist.

As to the idea of this organization being funded from abroad, see above. If the Left can do it, so can the Right.

Israel Matzav: Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Israel Matzav: "Gone" Barack Obama

Israel Matzav: "Gone" Barack Obama

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad the blogger

Ahmadinejad the blogger

Yes, really. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a blog.

It's hard to believe in light of this Internet repression, but Iran's president is himself a blogger. "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Personal Memos" is the place where he goes to vent and stay in touch with the common folk. He says he allots himself 15 minutes a week to write on his blog, but admits that at times he exceeds this limit.

Ahmadinejad wrote of his blog that "The magnitude of the reception and acclamation from the viewers was beyond expectations." It is a half truth at best. The English version of the site is full of scathing critiques by readers. Nicholas from the United States writes "You're one of the most stupid president [sic] ever. I'm sure about half of the comments posted on this blog are just totally fake and used as propaganda." Gary from Great Britain adds "Why would anybody want to listen to you. You're suppressive." Jack opines: "I hope someone puts a bullet in your head very soon."

What sort of tyrant allows for open debate and harsh critique on the front-page of his own blog? Someone who has clearly studied the playbook of Yasser Arafat. The Palestinian leader mastered the art of offering platitudes about peace in English while simultaneously rallying his people to jihad in Arabic.

I asked one of Britain's leading Iranian bloggers to help me translate the Farsi version of Ahmadinejad's Memos. His homepage in Farsi contained not a single negative comment by readers. The closest one gets to criticism is "Homayan" who wrote prior to the June election: "Last night by seeing your supporters in the streets I realized that you will win. I wanted to say as someone who opposed you to congratulate you . . . I had a lot of criticism but I feel none of them are that important to stop me from voting for you. It's interesting to me how you turned your opponent into your supporter." One Canadian-Iranian student gushed: "I am proud to be the citizen of a country who has a brave President like Ahmadinejad."

I wonder if he blogs in his pajamas. Heh.

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad the blogger

Israel Matzav: Is Iran bluffing?

Is Iran bluffing?

An awful lot of people seem to be taking it for granted that Iran's announcement earlier this week that it is building ten new nuclear enrichment plants is a bluff.

Iran's bold announcement Sunday appears to be largely impossible to achieve as long as sanctions continue to throw up roadblocks and force Iran to turn to black markets and smuggling for nuclear equipment, said nuclear expert David Albright.

"They can't build those plants. There's no way," he said. "They have sanctions to overcome, they have technical problems. They have to buy things overseas ... and increasingly it's all illegal."


Further dimming the credibility of the plan, 10 new facilities on the scale of Natanz would put Iran in league with the production levels of any of Europe's major commercial enrichment suppliers, said Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.

"And also they don't have enough uranium. They would need a massive amount of uranium," he said.

A diplomat from one of the six world powers attempting to engage Iran on its nuclear program described the Iranian announcement as a "political move" with little immediate significance beyond demonstrating Tehran's defiance.

The diplomat, who follows the nuclear dossier the IAEA has gathered on Iran, noted that Tehran appears to have significant problems with its present enrichment program, to the point that it cannot even keep the centrifuges it has set up at Natanz running without breakdowns.

The diplomat demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the issue.

But the Iranian announcement cannot be dismissed.

Still, the announcement is of major concern because it could signal an intention to put up numerous decoy sites to deceive the outside world, while building perhaps a few secret military enrichment sites on a small scale that could be put to use in weapons production if Tehran decides to do go down that path, Albright said.

Or an intention to put up decoy sites to deceive the outside world about already-built but undiscovered facilities, as Qom was until September.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Is Iran bluffing?

Israel Matzav: Say it isn't so: Charles Johnson trivializes the Holocaust

Say it isn't so: Charles Johnson trivializes the Holocaust

Once upon a time, I was a mere commenter on Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs. Eventually, I posted so many well-received comments on LGF that I started this blog. I admired Charles Johnson as one of the righteous gentiles. Life was good.

But like more than 1,500 other people, when Charles turned Left in November 2008, I became expendable and was eventually banned from posting on LGF. From what I can gather, since I was banned in August, LGF has continued to lurch Leftward.

On Monday night, Charles published a screed entitled Why I parted ways with the Right (Hat Tip: Memeorandum) in which he tries to explain what we bloggers on the Right see as inexplicable - unless the photoshop above is true. Among the reasons Charles cites for his parting of ways is

4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)

It's almost beside the point to point out that the whole notion of whether 'climate change' exists has been called into serious question over the past week. But what the heck is 'climate change denialism'? Ron Rosenbaum explains.

When I started paying attention again to the controversy after the release of the pathetic CRU e-mails, I noticed the most desperate of the last ditch defenders of the CRU charlatans — and indeed the CRU charlatans themselves — would resort to calling any of those who disagreed “denialists.” That the use of “denialist” had grown as the failure of their predictions (the discredited “hockey stick” chart) increased.

To me that shameful, trivializing word use alone is more exposure than any e-mail could be of their lack of critical intelligence of the sort that makes them unfit to call themselves scientists, or, in the case of many of their “green journalist” sycophants, ignorant of how actual science works.

Are they really so stupid they can’t see the difference? Let me try to explain it in simple terms for them: The holocaust happened. Already. It’s history. Up to six million were exterminated. They’re gone and their families still mourn. Climate scientists show us graphs and charts and predictions of terrible things that will happen (but have not or may not) because of human perpetrators. Unfortunately, many of their predictions have not come true. Others are based on (we now know) flawed or terminally tweaked models and dishonestly skewed data sets. There is doubt, there is room for skepticism. There may be warming, but it may not be caused or curable by man. So you see, denying every tenet of anthropogenic global warming is not the same as denying the Holocaust. Get it?

Having dealt with the question of Holocaust denial in my book, Explaining Hitler, and a number of later essays, I find it hideously offensive, this conflation of an unimaginably horrific history of mass murder with an alleged immutable “scientific consensus” that (if it isn’t dodgy and sketchy) is at best a majority vote, not the same thing as scientific truth. Using the bodies of the dead to stifle dissent when your “science” isn’t persuasive to some.

Indeed. Do you think the use of the term 'denialist' with respect to 'climate change' isn't intended to evoke images of the Holocaust? Consider this (Hat Tip: Clive Hamilton).

If the David Irvings of the world were to succeed, and the public rejected the mountain of evidence for the Holocaust, then the consequences would be a rewriting of history and a probable increase in anti-Semitism.

If the climate deniers were to succeed, and stopped the world responding to the mountain of evidence for human-induced global warming, then hundreds of millions of mostly impoverished people around the world would die from the effects of climate change.

They will die from famine, flood and disease caused by our unwillingness to act.

Is it a coincidence that Holocaust denier and White Supremacist Nick Griffin of Britain's British National Party (a group that Charles has correctly criticized for their neo-Nazi leanings in the past) will be representing the EU at the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen?

One of the things Charles has never understood is that very little in this world is black and white - it's mostly different shades of gray. Holocaust denial is one of the few things that is either black or white. Please Charles, tell us you haven't joined the deniers.

Israel Matzav: Say it isn't so: Charles Johnson trivializes the Holocaust

Israel Matzav: EU to recognize 'east' Jerusalem as 'Palestinian' capital

EU to recognize 'east' Jerusalem as 'Palestinian' capital

A document obtained by Haaretz and drafted by Sweden, the current EU President, says that the EU will call next week for Jerusalem to be divided and will recognize a unilateral declaration of 'statehood' by the 'Palestinians.'

Jerusalem is waging a diplomatic campaign to keep the EU from issuing such an endorsement, but diplomats close to the EU deliberations believe it is virtually inevitable.

EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on December 7 for a two-day meeting in Brussels on the peace process, after which a statement outlining the body's Mideast policy is expected.

The Swedish draft represents the first official EU articulation of a solution for one of the core issues of the final-status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The document expressed the EU's concern over the stalemate in the peace process and calls for the immediate renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in accordance with a prescribed timetable. The goal, it states, is "an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital."

The draft refers directly to the situation in East Jerusalem, calling on "all parties to refrain from provocative actions" and stating the EU Council "has never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as capital of two states. The Council calls for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem in accordance with the road map. It also calls on the Israeli government to cease all discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem."

And for those of you wondering about our 'friends' in Europe, Haaretz reports that Britain and France are supporting Sweden, while Germany, Spain and Italy are 'disinclined' to side with Israel.

How's that 'settlement freeze' working out Bibi? A lot of good it's done, eh?

The picture is Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt SR"Y (may the names of the wicked rot).


The Foreign Ministry says the European position is nothing new.

"There is nothing new in the European position, but the process being led by Sweden damages the EU's capability of being a significant player in the mediations between Israel and the Palestinians."

The Foreign Ministry's response asserted, "Following significant steps taken by the Israeli government to allow for the renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Europe must put pressure on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Moves such as the one spearheaded by Sweden have an opposite effect."


More on the Foreign Ministry reaction:

However, as one Israeli diplomatic official pointed out, what is maddening from an Israeli view point is that the call for east Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state is not coupled with a call to recognize west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"This disrupts the balance," the official said, adding that the resolution is being pushed forward by the Swedes, who hold the rotating presidency of the EU, without any prior coordination with Israel.

I could care less about the 'balance.' Jerusalem is and should remain a united city under Jewish control.

Israel Matzav: EU to recognize 'east' Jerusalem as 'Palestinian' capital

Israel Matzav: Russia double dealing again

Russia double dealing again

Just two days after his country voted in the IAEA Board of Directors to censure Iran for its nuclear program, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko met with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki about the sale of refined oil products to Iran.

Shmatko met on Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and was scheduled to meet Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. Shmatko and Salehi will visit the delayed Bushehr nuclear power station. He will also meet Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi, an Energy Ministry spokesman said.

“We’re going to be discussing downstream projects as well as upstream projects. There’s a project to develop Iran’s petrochemicals industry, and Sibur is very interested,” Shmatko told reporters Friday in Moscow.

Sibur, controlled by Gazprombank, is Russia’s largest petrochemicals company.

“Plans for deliveries of oil products by Russian oil companies will also be discussed,” Shmatko said.

There is a widespread expectation that European countries could approve sanctions, including a halt on fuel exports to Iran. The country imports about 40 percent of its oil products at a cost of between $5 billion and $7 billion annually, depending on prices.

Russia currently does not export oil products to Iran, said Mehdi Ghazanfari, Iran’s commerce minister, who in June listed only iron, steel, wood, electrical equipment, paper, fertilizers and vehicles as imports from Russia.

Spokespeople for Rosneft, LUKoil and TNK-BP said they were unaware of any plans by their companies to begin oil product exports to Iran or whether company executives would accompany Shmatko on the trip.

“Everything depends on the price,” said LUKoil spokesman Dmitry Dolgov, when asked about prospects for such export deals.

Rosneft spokesman Nikolai Manvelov said: “If it’s interesting, we will go for it.”

A call to the Iranian Embassy went unanswered Friday afternoon.

It should be clear from this meeting that a Russian vote in favor of sanctions is not in the bag, that Russia is willing to play both sides of the fence, and that Russia is taking advantage of the Obama administration's weakness. Unlike China, I doubt Russia would feel threatened by a possible cutoff in Gulf oil exports in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran. If anything, the resulting rise in price would probably benefit the Russian economy.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Russia double dealing again

Israel Matzav: Join the IDF, play on Twitter, Facebook

Join the IDF, play on Twitter, Facebook

Finally, something in the IDF I'm not too old or out of shape to do.

The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office is to begin drafting computer experts with an eye toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit, Army Spokesman Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu said Monday.

Speaking at the Eilat Journalists Conference, Benayahu said the new department would focus on the Internet's social media networks mainly to reach an international audience directly rather than through the regular media.

The new unit, as well as an initiative by the Information and Diaspora Ministry to train people to represent Israel independently on the Internet and in other arenas, were presented Monday at the conference during a panel discussion on Israeli public relations abroad.

Responding to criticism of Israel's ability to face hostile entities on the Web, Benayahu said the new program would be able to deal with the problem. He said that from each group drafted to the Army Spokesman's Office, between eight to 10 young people who are experts in Web 2.0 - YouTube, Facebook and Twitter - to be identified before induction, would be assigned to the new department. The new recruits would be put to work in the new media unit after undergoing a general Army Spokesman's Unit training course.

I don't like Facebook (too much personal stuff), but I do YouTube and Twitter and I blog.

I wonder if the IDF would let me do it without making me quit my day job.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Join the IDF, play on Twitter, Facebook

Israel Matzav: Obama excuses 'Palestinian' violence

Obama excuses 'Palestinian' violence

Jeffrey Goldberg cites the following statement by President Obama and asks whether the President 'inadvertently' excused 'Palestinian' violence (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

This is what the President had to say after the Israeli announcement that 900 apartment units would be built in the South Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo:

I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security. I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors. I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.

Goldberg then goes on to assert that the Obama administration doesn't understand that Gilo is different from the 'settlements' because

Palestinian negotiators have fairly consistently recognized that Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb built over the 1967 Green Line, but south, not east, of the city, would remain inside Israel in a final-status peace deal, as part of a dunam-for-dunam land-swap with the Palestinian Authority. So it doesn't matter if Israel adds 900 apartments, or 90 shopping malls, to Gilo.

I haven't heard 'Palestinian' negotiators recognize anything of the sort, nor, for that matter, have I heard Israeli negotiators issue an exchange offer for land retained in Jerusalem - that offer only pertained to land retained in the 'settlement blocs.' It doesn't matter what Israel adds to Gilo because under Israeli law Jerusalem, including Gilo, is Israeli territory and isn't being negotiated.

Then Goldberg gets to a more troublesome issue.

The second issue is the more consequential one: Having made Gilo an issue when it did not previously exist as an issue (as a matter of fact, Gilo, during the second Uprising, stood for Israeli resilience in the face of Palestinian violence) Obama then warned that Gilo is making Palestinians embittered "in a way that could end up being very dangerous." This is euphemistic, of course, but not too euphemistic, given the history of Palestinian violence. Obama's statement reads almost as a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest. It's never a good idea, of course, for an American president to forecast Palestinian violence, but it's especially unfortunate now, just when Israel had announced a moratorium on new settlement building.

Obama's statement doesn't read as "almost... a kind of preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest." It reads as a preemptive rationalization for violent Palestinian protest. No 'almost' and no 'kind of.'

It should be apparent that Goldberg answers the question that is the title of his post in the affirmative, namely that Obama 'inadvertently' excused 'Palestinian' violence in the statement quoted above. I would go even further.

Given that Obama gave what was obviously a prepared statement, I don't believe his excuse was inadvertent at all. It was intentional.

In Obama's world, we can't restrain Muslim violence and we're not going to fight it (because then we couldn't 'engage' with it) so we may as well just excuse it.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama excuses 'Palestinian' violence

Love of the Land: An Interview With Hamas

An Interview With Hamas

Phil Johnson, Ph.D.
Global Next Research Group and Leadership Institute
Sderot Media Center
30 November 09

(One thing about Hamas is they are real clear about what they believe, and what their goals are. That they live in a fantasy world is also quite clear)

In October of 2009, I had the opportunity to sit down with Talal Nasser, a senior Hamas official in the Hamas office in Damascus, Syria. Hamas is designated by the West as a terrorist organization and is viewed as a resistance movement in the Arab world. The most recent and significant clash with Israel occurred in the winter of 2008- 2009 and was called Operation Cast Lead by the Israelis and was known as the Gaza massacre in the Arab world. The following is an interview that attempts to shed light on the purposes, philosophy and goals of Hamas as a political and military organization.

What is your role in Hamas?

I am one of the members in Hamas. I am responsible for PR and just recently I gained a new position in the political decisions making area of Hamas. I am currently wanted by the Israeli forces because I am one of the founders of the al-Qassam Brigade - the military wing of Hamas.

Is your life in danger from the Israelis?

I have security, but I am not afraid. Why? Because we have a superior target - or goal which is to kick the occupiers out from the land. We work for our people and for our interests.

What is the strength of Hamas after the latest war with Israel that ended in January 2009?

The movement is strong and was strong even before the Israeli Holocaust in Gaza.

Our popularity is growing - as a movement because of the martyrs who gave their lives for this cause.

Hamas showed a good example for a resistance movement - in how they handled everything from their vision to distributing food to those in need during the war According to a Swedish NGO, Hamas's popularity is now at 82.2% within the Palestinian West Bank.

How many people were killed in Gaza, including civilians?

We consider all people killed in this war were from Hamas - children, women and men. But as the real fighters go, 89 fighters were killed. This does not include the number of policemen and civilians.

Do you believe that you have impacted Israel's position in what you consider to be occupied territory? Has significant pain been inflicted upon Israel?

Israel is a criminal state and they never respect any international laws. If we don't make any pain against them, they won't accept a cease-fire. An Israeli writer said that what Hamas's army did, no other Arab army could do or has done. And the Israelis were afraid that Hamas could launch rockets against Tel Aviv. And they were afraid that we could kidnap more soldiers - and we could and we did, but the Israeli's bombed our position and killed their own soldiers.

So what did we did in the Gaza war was create the situation where even our enemies would have to respect us.

(Continue full interview)

Love of the Land: An Interview With Hamas

Love of the Land: The Deal for Gilad Shalit

The Deal for Gilad Shalit

Jacob Shrybman
1 December 09

As an oleh chadash (new immigrant) that came to land of the Jewish people not due to persecution or suffering but because of deep-rooted beliefs in Zionism, like many I have a big problem with all the latest discussions over Gilad Shalit.

As an oleh chadash that has recently received a profile score of 97 to serve my mandatory army service in a combat unit, and as an oleh chadash that for the past year has lived in the Gaza border city of Sderot I have an enormous problem with the latest discussions over Gilad Shalit.

I do not hold some seat in the government with some fancy title but I know what is going on now is wrong and it pains me to watch it happen.
Why is the discussion during the past week about how many terrorists we are going to give Hamas, Fatah, and the PA as a whole for Gilad’s return? Why isn’t the discussion about how we are going to make Hamas pay a huge price for the kidnapping of Gilad or about a plan to retrieve him?

Because we simply have entered into the Arabs’ shuk of hostage negotiating they have already declared a victory that will only empower them to kidnap more soldiers. It is laughable if one believes that they care if they get back 400, 1000, 980 or even 5 of their terrorists because they are in no way lacking numbers, and moreover as they use their own sons and daughters as human shields they clearly don’t value the lives of those they are receiving.

After a 21 day operation inside the Gaza Strip and we didn’t see Gilad back home, and now with our government, providing our enemies with the future opportunities to kidnap more of our sons and brothers- what am I supposed to think as someone soon entering the Israeli Defense Forces for ideological reasons when I know that my homeland won’t rescue me and will minimally take over 3 years to trade me only at the cost of future capture of others like me?

As someone living in Sderot since Operation Cast Lead it is hard to believe that this cowardly surrender to our enemies will bring anything but more missiles to more cities in Israel. It is awing to me when even the Defense Minister Ehud Barak has accepted the reality of rockets in our lives when last week in Sderot he described the situation as quiet. Friday before Shabbat we surpassed a count of 280 qassams, mortars and grads fired since Operation Cast Lead- apparently an acceptable amount to our elected leaders.

So what am I supposed to think as someone who lives in Sderot for the same ideological reasons that I have come to my homeland and will serve in our army, when I know our government is giving our enemies the opportunity to fire more missiles at me and others like me?

(Continue reading)

Jacob Shrybman is a writer for the Sderot Media Center.

Love of the Land: The Deal for Gilad Shalit

Love of the Land: UN solidarity with Palestine

UN solidarity with Palestine

Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror
29 November 09

In 1977, the UN's General Assembly designated November 29 as "International Solidarity Day for Palestinian People." It was of course no coincidence that the day chosen for this event was the very same day on which the UN had voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.

But this was arguably a rather unfortunate choice: by selecting this historic date, on which the UN endorsed a decision that was rejected by the Arab League and Palestinian representatives, the UN seemed willing to retroactively approve this rejection and the subsequent Arab aggression.

It is worthwhile to recall the straightforward condemnation of the Arab conduct by the first UN Secretary General, Trygve Lie:

The invasion of Palestine by the Arab States was the first armed aggression which the world had seen since the end of the war [i.e. World War II]. The United Nations could not permit such aggression to succeed and at the same time survive as an influential force for peaceful settlement, collective security and meaningful international law."

Even before the partition plan was endorsed by the UN, the Arabs openly threatened war. During a meeting with Jewish Agency representatives David Horowitz and Abba Eban in September 1947, Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha declared:

The Arab world is not in a compromising mood. It's likely, Mr. Horowitz, that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight. You won't get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you. I am not sure we'll succeed, but we'll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it's too late to talk of peaceful solutions."

These few lines illustrate how little today's political discourse reflects the historical reality: Azzam Pasha categorically ruled out any peaceful resolution, openly threatened a war of aggression, and - unrestrained by concerns about "political correctness" - didn't hesitate to frame the conflict in terms of the centuries-old quest for Arab domination.

The threats of the Arab League Secretary were not empty words. During the week after the UN had endorsed the partition plan, Arabs killed more than 60 Jews in Palestine, and by May 15, 1948, more than 1200 Jews had been killed, most of them civilians. Jews who lived in Arab countries were also targeted, and a New York Times report in May 1948 described their dire situation. The article also noted that the World Jewish Congress had warned the UN already in January 1948 that "the very survival of the Jewish communities in certain Arab and Moslem countries is in serious danger unless preventative action is taken without delay."

But just three years after Auschwitz had been liberated, these warnings were ignored by the UN and the international community. The Jews were left to fend for themselves - after all, the UN had endorsed their right to set up a state of their own on a tiny piece of land.

Today's political debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflect hardly any trace of these events. More than 6000 Jews killed by Arabs in the violence unleashed in the wake of the partition resolution and the subsequent war, some 15,000 wounded and more than 800,000 Jewish refugees from Mideast countries are simply ignored in a political climate that indulges those who relentlessly seek to demonize Israel as evil aggressor, while the Palestinians are cast in the role of the hapless victims.

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: UN solidarity with Palestine

Love of the Land: Ban Ki-Moon vs. George W. Bush

Ban Ki-Moon vs. George W. Bush

30 November 09

Could he be more wrong?

Palestinian statehood is a “vital” component necessary for regional peace, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said, in a message to mark Monday’s annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

I’ve only recently touched on the UN, so I won’t get off on that again. I do want to mention that the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” is held on November 29 for a reason. In the words of Our United Nations,

In 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). On that day, in 1947, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II)).

So I suppose this ’solidarity’ is their way of making up for what they must view as the terrible mistake of 1947!

Just two years before, on November 10, 1975, the UN had passed the notorious resolution 3379, which asserted that Zionism was a form of racism. The sponsors of that resolution also must have had a keen sense of the significance of dates, since November 10 was also the day, 37 years before, of Kristallnacht, the day that marked the beginning of the Nazi Final Solution.

Back to Ban Ki-Moon’s remarks. It’s obvious that Palestinian statehood, far from being vital to peace, would be a cause for war.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Ban Ki-Moon vs. George W. Bush

Love of the Land: An Israeli Comes to the Defense of Obama and His Frum* Jewish Aides and Supporters. Well, Sort Of

An Israeli Comes to the Defense of Obama and His Frum* Jewish Aides and Supporters. Well, Sort Of

Lenny Ben-David
1 December 09

(First time usage I've seen of Newest Testament" Jews; Jews who have embraced the new American Jewish religion of tikkun olam [fix the world] liberalism.)

This week a senior respected Israeli analyst asked me to look back and decide, "Are we seeing the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations? Is this the worst ever administration from Israel's perspective?" Also this week an Israeli minister termed President Obama's administration "awful," and an Israeli political activist was quoted in Israel's largest circulation paper as saying, "The Obama regime is anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic."

To all, I respond with the strongest possible retorts: balderdash, tripe, silliness and stupidity! There are other serious ideological problems with this U.S. administration which results in rock-bottom popularity for the US president in Israel but the labels of "anti-Semitic" or "the worst" are bum raps.
Just look at the history.

IN 1957, the Eisenhower administration threatened to come down hard on the fledgling Israel, including removing UJA's tax-exempt status, as a way of pressuring Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.

In 1970, Richard Nixon threatened to cut the supply of 50 F-4 Phantoms to Israel because of insults hurled at French Premier Georges Pompidou by Jewish-American activists in New York. The demonstrations led the notoriously anti-Israel columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak to bray, "More than any president since Dwight Eisenhower, Mr. Nixon has shown a tough realism in trying to stake out the correct US policy in the inflamed Middle East without kowtowing to the large and highly influential Jewish vote." [Note Evans and Novak beat by more than 35 years professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, the authors of the 2007 The Israel Lobby a distinctly unoriginal diatribe against Jewish influence on foreign policy. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same.)]

Observers feared the worst in U.S.-Israel relations in 1975 when the Ford Administration weighed a "reassessment" of American policy in the Middle East, including cutting aid to Israel.

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan earned a place in history as one of Israel's strongest friends, but his administration included strong critics of Israel such as vice president George H.W. Bush and defense secretary Caspar Weinberger. The sale of AWACS, just the tip of a massive arms sale and a realignment of US policy to embrace Saudi Arabia, took place under Reagan's watch, and the political war cry of "Reagan or Begin" was broadcast to suggest American Jews' dual loyalties. Arms to Israel were embargoed and delayed after the 1981 Osirak reactor bombing and the 1982 Lebanon War. And the Pollard affair pulled the U.S.-Israel relationship to new lows.

Could relations have been worse than when George Bush Sr. went on national TV to challenge 1000 Jewish lobbyists to block $10 billion in housing loan guarantees over the issue of settlements at a time when hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews were flowing into Israel? Actually, yes, they worsened when his secretary of state, James Baker, was quoted as saying, "F*** the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway."

YOU GET the point: Anti-Semitism and crises in the U.S.-Israel relationship have existed in the past, and there is simply nothing like it in the current U.S. administration. Arms embargos and aid cut-offs then truly endangered Israel's security and gave Arab states tangible proof that American support for Israel was assailable. There is no such talk of cuts today. In fact, the strong support given to Israel by Congress and the unprecedented joint anti-missile exercise carried out by US and Israeli armed forces last month should put to rest the canard of an anti-Israel America.

So why the pervasive malaise about the Obama administration - a distrust so deep that Obama's popularity in Israel is equal to the margin of error? Well, Obama's failure to visit Israel doesn't improve his popularity, nor does his repeated cold-shouldering of Israel's prime minister.

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: An Israeli Comes to the Defense of Obama and His Frum* Jewish Aides and Supporters. Well, Sort Of
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