Friday, 4 December 2009

Israel Matzav: Sabbath music video

Sabbath music video

I guess this one is the inevitable choice for this Sabbath because part of it comes from the weekly Torah portion (the part about Yaakov wrestling with the angel - here described as a man). It's sung by Mordechai Ben David. Here are the words with translation into English and Spanish.

V'nisgav

Vaivater Iaakov levado
(And Iaakov stayed alone)
(Y Iaakov se quedó solo)

Vaieavek ish imo
(And a man wrestled with Him)
(Y luchó un varón con él)

Ad alot alot hashajar
Ad alot hashajar
(Until it lined the dawn)
(Hasta que rayó el alba)

Venisgav venisgav HaShem levado
(And HaShem will only be exalted)
(Y HaShem solo será exaltado)

HaShem levado vaiom hahú
(in that day)
(en aquel día)

Let's go to the videotape.




Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone.
Israel Matzav: Sabbath music video

Israel Matzav: Putin's blinders

Putin's blinders

Russia's Vladimir Putin has his blinders on when it comes to Iran's nuclear intentions.

Russia has no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"We have no information that Iran is working on the creation of a nuclear weapon," Putin said when asked by a reporter if Iran was close to making an atomic bomb.

Hey Vlad - I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.


Israel Matzav: Putin's blinders

Israel Matzav: End 'endism,' build peace

End 'endism,' build peace

This piece of advice from Rick Richman in Contentions may be the best advice President Obumbler could get right now on the Middle East.

A year ago, Uzi Arad, a prominent Israeli foreign-policy academic, suggested that the way forward in the “peace process” is to put an end to “endism” — the belief that “we are within reach of resolving everything in one fell swoop.” Endism is what marked the two-week final-status negotiations at Camp David; the subsequent four-month process, culminating in the unsuccessful Clinton Parameters; and the failed one-year Annapolis Process under President Bush. Against advice from both the Left and Right, President Obama tried his own hand at endism, and his efforts cratered in less than a year.

Netanyahu has endorsed a two-state solution, as long as the Palestinians recognize one of them as Jewish and demilitarize the other so it cannot threaten Israel. Both conditions have been rejected even by the peace-partner Palestinians, not to mention those in control of the land handed over to them in 2005. Thus another attempt at endism is proving to be futile– and four times is enough in any event. Endism needs to be ended, not mended.

It is time, as the title of Gross’s article suggests, for “Building Peace Without Obama’s Interference” — and long past the time for Obama to turn his full attention, as Arad suggested a year ago, to Iran.

Read the whole thing. There is nothing wrong with the status quo.


Israel Matzav: End 'endism,' build peace

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' signal: Freeze is pointless

'Palestinians' signal: Freeze is pointless

'Palestinian negotiator' Ahmed Qrei Abu Ala has told the European Union that despite Israel's freeze on all new construction in Judea and Samaria there is no point to going back to negotiations.

The PA’s Maan news agency reports that former PA prime minister Qureia, who now heads the PA’s Jerusalem Affairs Department, told Christian Berger this week, “As a result of the ongoing violations and Israel's refusal to recognize the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, as well as its rebuffing of its commitments under the Road Map plan and under international law, returning to negotiations will be meaningless."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other Israeli government leaders have emphasized that the controversial freeze is being implemented in order to persuade the PA to agree to resume negotiations with Israel.

If things continue this way (and there's no reason to believe that they won't - having been promised a total freeze by the Obumbler, there's no reason to believe that the 'Palestinians' will accept anything less), do we get to thaw the 'freeze' early?

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' signal: Freeze is pointless

Israel Matzav: About those 'illegal' Jewish settlements

About those 'illegal' Jewish settlements

With President Obama the first American President since Jimmy Carter to call Israeli 'settlements' in Judea and Samaria 'illegal' or illegitimate, Commentary has a lengthy article this month with a legal analysis of why the 'settlements' are neither.

Here's their conclusion:

The idea that the creation of new settlements or that the expansion of ones already in place is an act of bad faith on the part of various Israeli governments may seem without question to those who believe those settlements constitute an obstacle to the ever elusive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whether this argument is well-founded or not, the willingness of Israel’s critics to assert that these communities are not merely wrong-headed but a violation of international law escalates the debate over their existence from a dispute about policy into one in which the Jewish state itself can be labeled as an international outlaw. The ultimate end of the illicit effort to use international law to delegitimize the settlements is clear—it is the same argument used by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state entirely. Those who consider themselves friends of Israel but opponents of the settlement policy should carefully consider whether, in advancing these illegitimate and specious arguments, they will eventually be unable to resist the logic of the argument that says—falsely and without a shred of supporting evidence from international law itself—that Israel is illegitimate.


Israel Matzav: About those 'illegal' Jewish settlements

Israel Matzav: Ukraine joins the organ theft blood libel

Ukraine joins the organ theft blood libel

Here's a reminder that you don't have to be a Muslim to be an anti-Semite. Ukraine has adopted the organ theft libel.

Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.

The claim, which was made by a Ukrainian philosophy professor and author at a pseudo-academic conference in Kiev five days ago, is the latest expression of a wave of anti-Semitism in the country. It comes a few months after a Swedish tabloid ran an article alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers have killed Palestinian civilians for their organs.

Jews, Israel and anti-Semitism have become a major motif of the presidential election campaign in Ukraine, with some figures making anti-Semitic statements and others condemning them. Some candidates, including a Jew and someone whose rivals claim is Jewish, blame a third rival - Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [pictured. CiJ] - for bringing anti-Semitism into the race.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of anti-Semites in the world. With the current focus on Islamist Jew-hatred, we forget that for centuries, Jews were relatively safe (albeit with dhimmi status) in Muslim countries and were in danger in Christian countries. The Ukraine itself has a rich history of anti-Semitism. We must always be vigilant (without becoming paranoid).

Israel Matzav: Ukraine joins the organ theft blood libel

Israel Matzav: Some people don't want peace

Some people don't want peace

One of the presumptions underlying the 'peace process' is that everyone in the region wants peace. Cliff May points out that presumption is false.

It doesn't require Donald Trump to know that the art of the deal starts with an understanding of what each side wants. Yet for more than half a century, Western politicians and diplomats have built upon a mirage: the belief that because we see peace as a benefit, everyone in the Middle East must see it that way, too.

This assumption is most obviously false in regard to Hamas, which has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since Israel withdrew from that territory in 2005. Hamas' leaders have been candid: Their goal is the annihilation of Israel, an "infidel" nation occupying land Allah has endowed to the Muslims. A "two-state solution" or any other compromise is out of the question.

Of course, serious people do not envision Israeli-Hamas negotiations. It is rather talks between Israel and Abbas, who maintains tentative control of the West Bank, which President Barack Obama would like to get under way again.

But any agreement Abbas might strike with Israel, no matter how advantageous for average Palestinians, would be denounced by Hamas as an act of treachery and apostasy. Abbas' life would be in danger. If you were advising Abbas, what would you tell him? Probably, to do exactly what he is doing: Pocket any Israeli concessions the Americans can wring out of the Israelis while dismissing them as woefully insufficient; refuse to negotiate; but behind the scenes work with the Israelis on security -- not least your own -- and economic development. If nothing else, that may prevent Hamas from gaining additional ground.

And the 'Palestinians' are not the only ones who aren't interested in peace. May lists Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia as other parties who have no interest in peace and then suggests that we try to achieve the only kind of peace that is achievable rather than pursuing a mirage.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Some people don't want peace

Israel Matzav: Video: Israelis teach 'Palestinians' to grow strawberries

Israel Matzav: Video: Israelis teach 'Palestinians' to grow strawberries

Israel Matzav: 'Our friends the Egyptians' promote the organ theft libel

'Our friends the Egyptians' promote the organ theft libel

Yet another example of how little a peace treaty with an Arab Muslim country is worth. Picking up on the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Egypt is promoting the blood libel that Israel steals organs from 'Palestinian martyrs.'

The following are the remarks by the head of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate as reported in the PA daily, Al-Ayyam:

"The head of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, Dr. Hamdi Al-Sayed, said yesterday that the decisions of the [Egyptian] medical associations were based on a rejection of relations with Israeli doctors, since they took part in grave abuses against the Palestinian people. He stated, in press releases in Cairo, that the Egyptian Medical Syndicate views any type of normalization with the Israeli occupation as a crime.

In response to the Israeli doctors' protest over Egyptian authorities not issuing them permits to enter Egypt for a medical conference, he said: 'We have no regard or respect for the Israeli doctors because the medical community has condemned them due to their participation in the torture of Palestinian prisoners.' He added: 'The Israeli Medical Association has acknowledged having participated in torture, noting that it had done so with the aim of protecting Israeli citizens.' He stated that the Israeli doctors are also guilty of stealing the organs of Palestinian prisoners, and that 'such people will not be permitted to take part in our medical activities."

[Al-Ayyam, Nov. 27, 2009]
By the way, the conference in question was the Susan G. Komen Foundation conference on breast cancer. The Israeli doctors were eventually allowed to attend the conference.

Love of the Land: Blood libels then and now

Blood libels then and now


FresnoZionism.org
03 December 09

All four of my grandparents emigrated from the Ukraine in the beginning of the 20th century. They came to America because they heard that it was a land of opportunity where Jews weren’t restricted to where they could live or what kind of work they could do; but mainly they left the Ukraine because they were sick and tired of periodic murderous pogroms in which Jews were brutalized and murdered while the authorities stood by or even took part. Many of these pogroms were incited by ‘blood libels’, accusations that Jews killed Christians, usually children, for their blood.


Well, guess what. Although there are far fewer Jews living there today than in 1900-1914, the descendants of the antisemitic pogromists are still at it.


Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.


The claim, which was made by a Ukrainian philosophy professor and author at a pseudo-academic conference in Kiev five days ago, is the latest expression of a wave of anti-Semitism in the country. It comes a few months after a Swedish tabloid ran an article alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers have killed Palestinian civilians for their organs. — Ha’aretz


The organ-harvesting story — which the Swedish government, like the Ukrainian authorities in 1905, refused to condemn – has spread around the world.

(Full article)



Love of the Land: Blood libels then and now

Love of the Land: Netanyahu is positioning himself left of Rabin

Netanyahu is positioning himself left of Rabin


Ari Shavit
Haaretz
04 December 09

(Those familiar with Ari Shavit will know which parts to discount, but there is definitely what to take notice of here.)

Benjamin Netanyahu made history twice. The first time was when he adopted the two-state solution in his Bar-Ilan speech, and the second was when he decided last week to freeze settlement construction. The Palestinians dismiss his steps and the Europeans say they're not enough. The skeptics are skeptical and the cynics are cynical. But the truth is that Netanyahu circa 2009 is situating himself to the left of Yitzhak Rabin circa 1995.

Unlike Rabin, Netanyahu now accepts the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Unlike Rabin, he is issuing orders prohibiting construction throughout the Jewish West Bank. Netanyahu has crossed the Rubicon, on both ideological and practical levels, and reinvented himself as a centrist.

At the beginning of this decade, Ariel Sharon underwent a similar process, with the road map his equivalent of Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech. The road map expressed his support for the two-state concept, while insisting that essential basic conditions be fulfilled before the establishment of a Palestinian state.
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But a short time after accepting the road map, Sharon revealed that its trails led to a dead end. No Palestinians met the basic conditions, no Palestinians were capable of signing a final-status agreement, no Palestinians had the power to implement peace. When the father of the settlements finally came out in favor of dividing the land, it turned out that there were no Palestinian leaders likewise committed to dividing the land.

Thus was the disengagement born. Although Sharon was aware of its flaws, he realized that disengagement was the only plan of action a centrist Israeli leader could advance without a real partner for real peace.

Six years later, Netanyahu has reached the exact same point. He accepts the principle of two states, and receives no response. He suspends construction in the settlements, and is rejected. He courts Mahmoud Abbas, and is disparaged. The son of Ze'ev Jabotinsky's personal secretary wants a historic reconciliation with the Palestinians, and the Palestinians are slamming the door. He is offering the Palestinian national movement negotiations over the establishment of a Palestinian nation-state, and has found that there's no one to talk to and nothing to talk about. Zilch. A brick wall.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Netanyahu is positioning himself left of Rabin

Love of the Land: War zone 2.0

War zone 2.0


Gwen Ackerman/Bloomberg
Health & Sci Tech/JPost
03 December 09

A new IDF unit formed to help fight the nation's public-relations war is recruiting and training soldiers for the virtual battlefields of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

"The Internet, and especially social networks, Web 2.0 and bloggers, are an increasingly important and powerful way to disseminate information," said Sgt. Aliza Landes, who heads the unit, which was formed in September.

"Facebook has the same number of subscribers as the entire population of the US and provides a new opportunity for us to reach audiences we wouldn't reach otherwise," she said.

Israel first began seriously using the Internet as a publicrelations tool during Operation Cast Lead. The army launched a YouTube channel in December 2008 and broadcast footage of IAF attacks on Gaza targets, including one of a missile aborted once officers realized civilians were in the area.

Individual video views on the army's YouTube channel have reached more than 8.5 million people, Landes said. On Twitter, the army has 1,485 followers. It recently also started a blog and will soon launch an official presence on Facebook.

"There was awareness before Cast Lead that this was an area where the Israeli army spokesman's office should get involved and the Gaza operation galvanized the effort," Landes said in a telephone interview. "What we are doing right now is a starting point."

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: War zone 2.0

Love of the Land: Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable

Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
04 December 09

Let me start with a true story. In 1984 I founded what was just about the first program on terrorism in the United States, at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a small grant from the Ford Foundation. We brought together journalists, officials, and academics to discuss the threat of terrorism to the United States and U.S. policies. I edited three books on terrorist groups.

After the grant ended I went to the Ford Foundation office in New York to discuss renewing it. The grants’ officer had made up his mind before I stepped into his room. “We aren’t going to renew the grant,” he said, “because we don’t believe terrorism will be a problem in the future.”

This experience came into my mind as I was conversing with a leading world expert on terrorism who asked me an interesting question: Has state sponsorship of terrorism declined nowadays? It was a very good question indeed.

A superficial examination would say that the answer is “Yes.” But a more careful look suggests that this is illusory in two respects. First, the state sponsorship that is continuing is largely overlooked. Second, terrorism has gone big-time and mainstream.

In the old days, a wide range of countries systematically supported terrorism internationally. These particularly included Cuba, the Soviet bloc, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and North Korea. Iran and Afghanistan entered the field after Islamist revolutions there. Several of these countries were Communist, and with the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991 their involvement declined. With the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq dropped out. The same U.S. invasion of Iraq that brought down Saddam also intimidated Libya, that most wild-eyed of dictatorships, into caution.

Then, too, there arose Usama bin Ladin and the many radical Islamist groups that formed part of his organization. The word was that terrorism had been privatized, backed by the bin Ladin family wealth rather than the treasury of any specific country. Moreover, the PLO largely transformed itself into the Palestinian Authority, which negotiated with Israel and looked to the United States as its main aid-giver. State sponsorship, it appears, has gone out of fashion.

(Continue reading...)


Love of the Land: Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable

Love of the Land: Disturbing absence of compensation provisions in settlement freeze

Disturbing absence of compensation provisions in settlement freeze


Weekly Commentary
Dr.Aaron Lerner
IMRA
03 December 09

It could have been different.

It should have been different.

The announcement of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria could have already established both the mechanism and formula for compensating Israelis expected to suffer a financial loss as a result of the freeze.

And this with steps taken so that sufficient funds were already earmarked from the budget to cover the projected compensations.

But that's not what happened.

Israeli property owners, possessing all the necessary permits to build their homes, will now face the costs of having the completion of their homes delayed by ten months.

And the building contractors and others associated with the construction activity that has been frozen will also face various costs through no fault of their own.

One might debate if the Government of Israel has the right to impose a building freeze on private Israeli housing construction in Judea and Samaria, but the unspoken assertion that such a move might be taken without the provision of appropriate compensation is something that deserves condemnation regardless of one's position on the freeze itself.

That's why I, as an Israeli, am embarrassed, disappointed - and yes - concerned - that my government had no qualms seriously impacting the property rights of Israeli citizens without making provisions, in advance, to compensate those harmed by its decision.


Love of the Land: Disturbing absence of compensation provisions in settlement freeze

Love of the Land: Falling Into Place

Falling Into Place


Russia, Turkey, and Latin America are falling into the Iranian camp: Dry Bones cartoon.

With all the debate going on in America about the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the "situation" with Iran, it is interesting that the vast majority of Americans have no idea of where these countries actually are!!
* * *
A look at the map shows what seems to be forming as a spreading Iranian area of influence bordered by Israel on the West all the way to India on its Eastern border. A worrying development for both of our countries.
map of Iranian influence

Love of the Land: Falling Into Place

Israelis in America: What Are They?

Israelis in America: What Are They?

Are they Israelis?Americans? Jews just like the other Jews around them? None of the above? All of the above? Once they've got the answers, what about their kids?

Apparently it's complicated, just like real life. So Udi Sommer - one of them himself - set out to see what answers were on offer. According to this article, his investigations haven't given him much of an answer. It seems, however, that he's focusing on Sabras who move to the US, not on American Jews who moved back and forth - that's probably yet again a whole different issue.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Ukrainians and Swedes

Ukrainians and Swedes

The finding that antisemitism is very much alive in the Ukraine is, how to put it, unremarkable. Still, it's interesting to note that the main story this week is that the Israelis have imported 25,000 (!) Ukrainian children for their organs. That, along with additional olden goldies such as that the Jews are to blame for Stalin's famine of the 1930s. Of course, there's no distinction between Israel and Jews in any of this, they're all interchangeable.

Stolen organs: now where have we last heard that? Hmmn. Sweden, wasn't it?

Some Swedes have just given their Human Rights Prize to Richard Goldstone. True, they cite 15 years of his various deeds as justification, but it's interesting that the first 14.5 of those years, no matter how chock full they may have been of fine deeds, didn't steer the prize his way. For that he had to chair an anti-Israeli panel of extraordinarily sloppy thinkers. So you may pardon my doubts about the intellectual integrity of these particular Swedes.

Are they crassly antisemitic in the way those primitive Ukrainians are? No. They're much classier.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

RubinReports: Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable

Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable

By Barry Rubin

Let me start with a true story. In 1984 I founded what was just about the first program on terrorism in the United States, at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a small grant from the Ford Foundation. We brought together journalists, officials, and academics to discuss the threat of terrorism to the United States and U.S. policies. I edited three books on terrorist groups.

After the grant ended I went to the Ford Foundation office in New York to discuss renewing it. The grants’ officer had made up his mind before I stepped into his room. “We aren’t going to renew the grant,” he said, “because we don’t believe terrorism will be a problem in the future.”

This experience came into my mind as I was conversing with a leading world expert on terrorism who asked me an interesting question: Has state sponsorship of terrorism declined nowadays? It was a very good question indeed.

A superficial examination would say that the answer is “Yes.” But a more careful look suggests that this is illusory in two respects. First, the state sponsorship that is continuing is largely overlooked. Second, terrorism has gone big-time and mainstream.

In the old days, a wide range of countries systematically supported terrorism internationally. These particularly included Cuba, the Soviet bloc, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and North Korea. Iran and Afghanistan entered the field after Islamist revolutions there. Several of these countries were Communist, and with the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991 their involvement declined. With the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq dropped out. The same U.S. invasion of Iraq that brought down Saddam also intimidated Libya, that most wild-eyed of dictatorships, into caution.

Then, too, there arose Usama bin Ladin and the many radical Islamist groups that formed part of his organization. The word was that terrorism had been privatized, backed by the bin Ladin family wealth rather than the treasury of any specific country. Moreover, the PLO largely transformed itself into the Palestinian Authority, which negotiated with Israel and looked to the United States as its main aid-giver. State sponsorship, it appears, has gone out of fashion.

Under intensive pressure from Turkey, Syria expelled the Kurdish terrorist PKK. Bin Ladin voluntarily left Sudan, while he and his Taliban sponsors were on the run after the post-9/11 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Cuba and North Korea quieted down, in part because they felt so much on the offensive and overt sponsorship of major terrorist attacks seemed too risky with the United States waging a War on Terrorism.

And yet while there has been a decline in state sponsorship in many ways, appearances are also deceiving and even that lull may be partly illusory. Three countries stand out today as especially energetic: Iran, Syria, and Pakistan. While stating that as a fact is not so surprising, the consequences of this sponsorship has been strongly downplayed by the media and Western governments for strategic or diplomatic reasons. After all, to admit and define a problem is to create pressure for doing something about it. In addition, the idea that al-Qaida is without state sponsorship has become a dogma which resists evidence to the contrary.

Let’s examine the issue in detail starting with Pakistan. There is a huge amount of evidence that Pakistan sponsors the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan as well as those attacking India. The organizations which carried out the bloody Mumbai attack in 2008 and much terrorism in disputed Indian Kashmir, for example, operate freely in Pakistan and it is hard to believe that Pakistani military intelligence is not well appraised of each detail of their plans. Indeed, it funds and protects them.

Why, then, is not this seen globally as a major instance of state sponsorship of terrorism? Because Pakistan is needed by the United States to conduct operations in and near Afghanistan. Thus, Pakistan is regarded as a U.S. ally, receives massive funding, and little criticism. The Indian government cannot retaliate no matter how great is the provocation since it lacks international support and Pakistan is a nuclear power. Thus, Pakistan has become a state sponsorship of terrorism which is immune to pressure or punishment.

As for Syria, it is an active state sponsor of terrorism on several fronts. In recent years, it was deeply involved in terrorist attacks in Lebanon against moderates who advocated the expulsion of Syrian influence and a more independent policy for their own country. In conjunction with Iran and Hizballah, assassinations were carried out that included the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. An international tribunal was set up to investigate this responsibility but despite leaks that it found involvement by the highest elements in the Syrian government, the West has not pushed for the culmination of the tribunal and Lebanon has been intimidated out of doing so.

At the same time, Syria and Iran backed two major terrorist groups, Hamas and Hizballah, in attacking Israel. They are headquartered in Damascus and while in no way purely puppets or instruments of their two sponsors certainly pay close attention to their wishes. Their weapons and budget are largely supplied from Tehran and Damascus. Yet for a variety of reasons, ranging from Israeli policy to U.S. engagement efforts, Syria does not pay much of a penalty for its behavior.

Perhaps more shocking is the fact that Syria is waging a war of terrorism against America in Iraq and the group it is sponsoring there is al-Qaida. Thus, it is an open secret that Syria is now allied with al-Qaida, the group that carried out the September 11 attacks on America, yet pointing out the logical bottom line seems to many people as some far-out or silly notion. Moreover, terrorists trained, armed, financed, and given safe haven in Syria are killing American soldiers and civilians in Iraq. Yet the U.S. government won’t even back Iraqi complaints and demands for action on this issue.

Lip service is given to Iran’s being the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism but many argue that this activity has declined in recent years. To do so, however, they must leave out Iranian operations in regard to Hamas, Hizballah, and insurgents in Iraq, which include direct attacks (often through Iranian-made roadside bombs) against U.S. troops.

The current defense minister of Iran is a wanted terrorist for his involvement in the bloody attack on the Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while he and his predecessor, then stationed in Lebanon, were involved in the attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1984 which killed 241 Americans. This last point has not even been mentioned by any U.S. official. Few Americans know that a U.S. court found Iranian involvement in the terrorist attack on American military personnel in the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

Since the emphasis now is on conciliation rather than confrontation, Western governments find it convenient to forget past and ignore present-day state sponsorship of terrorism.

All of this leads to the second point: the mainstreaming of terrorism. Hamas now rules the Gaza Strip; Hizballah has ministers in the Lebanese government. Both have run in elections. There are many in the West who argues—though this has nothing to do with reality—that these groups each have a military wing (bad) and a political wing (good). There is tremendous pressure in Europe, especially Britain, to engage with the “good” Hizballah.

Indeed, the advisor to President Barack Obama on terrorism stated that Hizballah couldn’t be a terrorist organization because its membership included lawyers. Further afield, the Sri Lankan terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers, has attained respectability, notably in Canada. The Tigers’ representative in the United States, V. Rudrakumaran, is himself a lawyer. In Europe, the PKK runs a television station, while Hizballah’s al-Manar television is shown by many cable networks—though barred from others—around the world. With the Goldstone Commission report, the UN has been transformed into a propaganda organ for Hamas, despite the report’s minor criticisms of that group which did not appear in the General Assembly’s resolution bashing Israel.

Thus, state sponsorship has been airbrushed out for political reasons, while terrorist groups have reinvented themselves as political parties without abandoning their ideology or terrorism. Since terrorism has proven to be so profitable and sponsorship so low cost, it is reasonable to worry that both phenomena will increase in future and that the current period will prove to be a lull and not an end. Unfortunately, it is a lull during which the West is helping to show that these are low-risk, high-yield policies for radical regimes.


RubinReports: Terrorism and State Sponsorship: Not Gone but in a Lull and Proving Profitable

RubinReports: In Egypt Hala Mustafa is on Trial for What Could Be Called “Criminal Peacemaking”

In Egypt Hala Mustafa is on Trial for What Could Be Called “Criminal Peacemaking”

By Barry Rubin

Thirty years after the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, Hala Mustafa, editor of Egypt’s journal on democracy, is on trial for the “crime” of meeting briefly with Israel’s ambassador to Egypt. At the ambassador’s request, she spoke with him briefly in her office about a project to hold an academic conference including Egyptians, Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians. Mustafa replied that she’d check with her supervisors at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies on whether they wanted her to help organize or participate in the conference.

That’s it.

On December 14 her employer is scheduled to decide whether she will be punished. The Al-Ahram Center is part of Al-Ahram newspaper which is controlled by the Egyptian government. In other words, this harassment is due to a decision made at high levels in Egypt’s government which receives many rewards—including lots of U.S. aid—because it is perceived as a moderate government at peace with Israel.

So is this same government going to punlish a scholar and researcher for merely talking to an Israeli diplomat?

Of course this is a typical case of the Egyptian government having things both ways. Al-Ahram newspaper, for example, publishes editorials claiming the United States is behind all the terrorism in Iraq because it wants to divide Muslims.

To promote its domestic popularity, the regime takes demagogic stances on the Palestinian issue. The Egyptian government refused to help President Obama’s effort to obtain an Israeli freeze on construction in return for Arab confidence-building measures. After the Camp David meeting in 2000 it didn’t help President Bill Clinton persuade the Palestinian Authority to make peace and get a Palestinian state. The Egyptian regime needs a continued conflict to manipulate its own people’s passions into keeping it in power.

The campaign against Mustafa was run behind-the-scenes by the government through the media and press union that it controls. If Mustafa is punished, it’s a signal that the regime isn’t implementing its treaty with Israel or allowing citizens the most minimum freedoms. Such an outcome should spark international outrage.


RubinReports: In Egypt Hala Mustafa is on Trial for What Could Be Called “Criminal Peacemaking”

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Expert Calls for Law Against Foreign Political Intervention - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Expert Calls for Law Against Foreign Political Intervention - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Eliyahu: Religious MKs Supporting Anti-Torah Terror Deal - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Eliyahu: Religious MKs Supporting Anti-Torah Terror Deal - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

PA Signals Israel: Freeze is Pointless - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

PA Signals Israel: Freeze is Pointless - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

MK Katz: Tear Up the 'Hellenist' Decree - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

MK Katz: Tear Up the 'Hellenist' Decree - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Anti-Freeze Voices in Government and Knesset - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Anti-Freeze Voices in Government and Knesset - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Glick: Time for a Noisy UN Ambassador - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Glick: Time for a Noisy UN Ambassador - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rumors on Shalit: Lots of Smoke but No Fire - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rumors on Shalit: Lots of Smoke but No Fire - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Ahmadinejad: Israel, the West 'Can't Do a Damn Thing' to Stop Us - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Ahmadinejad: Israel, the West 'Can't Do a Damn Thing' to Stop Us - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

This song is a prayer to God to ask him to watch over us like children. Sorry but the subtitles are only in Hebrew.

This song is actually used as a theme song by one of the organizations here that helps families cope with children's cancer R"L (God should save us).

Let's go to the videotape.




Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Iran ramps up to arm terrorists

Iran ramps up to arm terrorists

The Washington Post reports on the seizure of weapons on the ANL Australia (pictured) by the United Arab Emirates back in July.

Inspectors from the United Arab Emirates quickly swarmed the ship and uncovered a truck-size container packed with small arms made in North Korea. Concealed deeper in the ship was the real find: hundreds of crates containing military hardware and a grayish, foul-smelling powder, explosive components for thousands of short-range rockets.

The nature of the cargo, seized in July and described for the first time in interviews with officials and analysts in the UAE and Washington, has raised fears that Iran is ramping up efforts to arm itself and anti-Israel militias in the Middle East. Israeli officials have warned that they may use force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The freighter seized in this port enclave was one of five vessels caught this year carrying large, secret caches of weapons apparently intended for the Lebanese group Hezbollah, the Palestinian organization Hamas or the Quds Force, a wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that supports insurgents in Iraq, according to U.S. and U.N. officials and intelligence analysts. In three cases, the contraband included North Korean- or Chinese-made components for rockets such as the 122mm Grad, which has a range of up to 25 miles and which Hamas and Hezbollah have fired into Israel.

Among the weapons components discovered aboard the ANL Australia were 2,030 detonators for 122mm rockets, as well as electric circuitry and a large quantity of solid-fuel propellant, according to an account given by UAE and U.N. Security Council officials. The materials were bought from North Korea and shipped halfway around the globe in sealed containers, labeled as oil-drilling supplies, that passed through a succession of freighters and ports.

An Israeli raid last month on a ship in the eastern Mediterranean reportedly netted hundreds more 122mm rockets. Israeli officials said the freighter was bound for Syria and was carrying 500 tons of armaments intended for Hezbollah. Similar caches were discovered this year at a port in Cyprus and aboard Russian and German cargo ships searched by U.S. Navy teams.

Iran is about a lot more than nuclear weapons. It's about supporting terrorists, eliminating Western democracies and imposing Islam on the entire world. Unfortunately, the world has been lulled to sleep and does not recognize the danger. Israel is just the canary in the coal mine.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Iran ramps up to arm terrorists

DoubleTapper: IDF Women

DoubleTapper: IDF Women

ESSER AGAROTH - Another Christian Supports Israel: Big Deal

Love of the Land: Barkan remains on Gush Shalom boycott list

Barkan remains on Gush Shalom boycott list


Jacob Kanter
JPost
03 December 09

(To tell the truth, I stopped purchasing Barkan when they made their move. I was disgusted with their having caved in, and now the question remains, will they run again?)

Though Barkan winery recently vacated its factory in the Barkan industrial zone in the West Bank, Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom has decided to keep Israel's second largest winery on its list of companies whose products are made in the settlements, along with a call to boycott the winery.

Sa'ar Faraj, Barkan's legal adviser, wrote to Gush Shalom this week asking for the winery to be removed from the list, where it has appeared since the list's creation in 1995.

"I'd like to make it clear that Barkan does not produce materials in settlements whatsoever, nor does it purchase raw materials made in settlements," Faraj wrote. "Please make sure to remove Barkan from the list immediately."

In 2004, Barkan began moving their operations from Barkan to Hulda, a kibbutz within the pre-1967 borders.

Israeli-based beverage company Tempo, which owns Barkan winery, is partly owned by Dutch-based Heineken International. According to Gush Shalom, the Dutch government's opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank led Heineken to pressure Tempo to have Barkan move out of the West Bank.

The move has since been completed, but the company still operates three wineries within the Golan Heights, which Gush Shalom considers illegally occupied territory.

(Continue reading...)

Related: Boycott Revival?


Love of the Land: Barkan remains on Gush Shalom boycott list

Love of the Land: Boycott revival?

Boycott revival?


Jon Haber
JPost
02 December 09

After a three year slumber, the divest-from-Israel "movement" in the US is making an attempt at self-resurrection. It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself this time as tragedy or farce.

"Boycott, divestment and sanctions," or BDS, originally just one of many competing tactics used by anti-Israel activists and organizations over the last 30 years, became a galvanizing force for Israel's foes between 2001 (when BDS was endorsed as the tactic of choice at the UN's now infamous Durban "human rights" conference) and 2004 (when the Presbyterian Church in the US voted in favor of "selective divestment" of its retirement fund from companies doing business in Israel).

It was during this period that BDS crashed onto the national scene with divestment petitions appearing at Harvard and MIT, followed by copycat petition-driven divestment projects cropping up at dozens of other US campuses. As these university divestment calls were making news, a 2004 vote within the Presbyterian Church in favor of divestment was followed by similar activities within other mainline Protestant churches as divestment began to spill out from campuses and churches to municipalities and unions. Globally, it appeared, BDS as a political project was on the ascendant.

Yet once the initial euphoria on the part of Israel's critics and hysteria on the part of its defenders had died down, there appeared to be a lot less to BDS than was initially hoped or feared.

From 2001 until today, not one US college or university has divested a single share of stock based on demands from divest-from-Israel activists. And while divestment was facing both rejection and denunciation from college administrators, it also failed to sway students and teachers on campuses where anti-divestment petitions routinely out-polled pro-divestment ones by a factor of 10:1.

Off campus, the lack of popularity for divestment was even more pronounced. In Somerville, Massachusetts, the only US city where a divestment vote was actually held by city officials, its leaders rejected divestment unanimously. The Presbyterian Church, which put a vote on divestment directly to members at its 2006 conference, rejected the its previous 2004 position by a margin of 95:5.

(Continue article)


Love of the Land: Boycott revival?

Love of the Land: Regime Change of the PA Via Annexation

Regime Change of the PA Via Annexation


Prof. Alan Friedlander
Jerusalem Defender
02 December 09

Were I a member of the Netanyahu Administration I would have voted against the building freeze in the territories. They are sending a confusing message of negotiating against their own position even before the PA regime returns to the negotiation table with them. This was only to placate a foreign power, not in pursuance of good policy for their people. The destructively self effacing courtship of friendship from the anti Jewish PA must cease so that Israel’s penchant for kindness and patience no longer be used against it by anyone. Fair play begins with being willing to play by the rules.

The Israeli government’s blunder, however, has a silver lining that is found in their special treatment of East Jerusalem in the face of Western linkage of East Jerusalem with Judea and Samaria. It illustrates that they believe that the State of Israel, at least potentially, has absolute authority over the lands conquered in the defensive Six Day War, otherwise how could they assume that their annexation of East Jerusalem is valid? Thus the silver lining in the dark cloud that the Netanyahu Administration performed is that they have incidentally taken a real step in disputing those who erroneously say that U.N. resolutions 242 and 338 make lands conquered in defensive wars barred from annexation by the defensive conquerors. One of the leading foundations in the conflict over the territories is this very dispute.

(To full article)
Love of the Land: Regime Change of the PA Via Annexation

Love of the Land: Netanyahu Plays the Caliph's Game

Netanyahu Plays the Caliph's Game


Sultan Knish
02 December 09


Once upon a time a mad Caliph demanded of an old servant of his that he teach a donkey to talk for his amusement. If he refused, he would be put to death. If he failed he would be put to death as well. The old servant shrugged and assented, asking for a year's time. When other servants asked him why he had accepted, he answered. "A year is a long time. Either the Caliph will die or the donkey will learn to speak."


Now in Jerusalem, Netanyahu is busy playing Caliph Obama's game. He knows that the donkeys of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are not about to learn to talk like human beings and engage in actual diplomacy, instead of using diplomacy as a subterfuge for terrorism. But at the same time he knows that the American Caliph is not about to cease making irrational demands for talking donkeys. So once again Netanyahu is playing for time.


It is hard to tell whether Netanyahu is trying to finesse the Caliph, or repeating the mistakes of his first term, when he gave in to the Clinton Administration's pressure, only to be forced from office by Clinton's hired goons anyway. And there may be no practical difference.

The 10 month freeze on construction beyond the Green Line that Netanyahu agreed to has already resulted in a revolt within the Likud and the settlement community. Inspectors have been met with protests and acts of civil disobedience. Netanyahu in turn has canceled his trip to Germany and is trying to settle the bubbling political crisis.

While everyone in the government is assuring the public that the freeze is only temporary, there's no sign that this belief is shared on the Caliph's side of the fence. America and the EU view the freeze as a sign of things to come. And while construction has frozen, Obama and the EU are busy creating new facts on the ground. Obama has already broken ground by calling Jewish housing in Jerusalem a Settlement. A leaked classified EU report meanwhile calls for the European Union to strengthen the PA's hold on Israel's capital city and pushes for sanctions against Jewish residents of East Jerusalem.

(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: Netanyahu Plays the Caliph's Game

Love of the Land: The EU Lobby in Israel, Part 2

The EU Lobby in Israel, Part 2


Backspin/Honest Reporting
03 December 09


A Knesset conference addressing the issue of foreign funding for Israeli non-governmental organizations was boycotted by the very NGOs now under increasing scrutiny. In today's Jerusalem Post, Naftali Balanson explains the likely reason why:


THE ACTIVITIES of these organizations embody the narrow political goals of a few ideologues and their European backers. These opposition groups cannot claim to be rooted in Israeli civil society when they are funded by the EU and various European governments (including Switzerland and Norway).


When Ir Amim lobbies on Jerusalem or Yesh Din initiates dozens of court cases against government policy, whose interests are being represented? Money talks, and in these examples, the governmental sponsors come from the EU, UK, Netherlands, and Norway. This highly problematic foreign funding is a "back door" for European governments to influence Israeli policy, in sharp contrast to legitimate diplomatic means.


The target audiences for the foreign-funded Israeli NGOs are increasingly located outside of Israel. B'Tselem's Washington and London representatives lobbied intensively on behalf of the Goldstone Report. And Breaking the Silence's "testimonies" alleging Israeli war crimes were featured in numerous United Nations submissions, university campus tours, and international media articles.


These are the same NGOs that the Western media treats as authorative on issues such as alleged IDF war crimes, the status of Jerusalem, and more.


See previous post: The EU Lobby in Israel.



Love of the Land: The EU Lobby in Israel, Part 2

Love of the Land: Stop the Spread of the Swedish Blood Libel

Stop the Spread of the Swedish Blood Libel

The false accusations of organ harvesting continue to spread.

Backspin/Honest Reporting
03 December 09


Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet's August 2009 story (translated into English in full here) accusing the IDF of harvesting Palestinian organs caused an uproar. Donald Bostrom, the author of the offensive piece, duly demonstrated his utter lack of any basic journalistic standards when he said: "But whether it's true or not - I have no idea, I have no clue." On top of this, the story was further undermined as one of the Palestinian families interviewed said they never told any reporter that their son was missing organs.


With the credibility of the story in tatters one might have expected the outrageous accusations to have a limited shelf life or to disappear altogether. However, the Swedish blood libel is a textbook case study of how what starts as an article published in a language read by few from a country of limited international influence can turn into a poison that spreads much wider.


As Ha'aretz reports:

Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs. ...


Vyacheslav Gudin told the estimated 300 attendees of the Kiev conference a detailed story about a Ukrainian man's fruitless search for 15 children who had been adopted in Israel. The children, Gudin said, had clearly been taken by Israeli medical centers, where they were used for "spare parts." Gudin said it was essential that all Ukrainians be made aware of the genocide Israel was perpetrating. ...

Many Ukrainian Web sites covered the speeches without putting them into context. In response to a request by the country's Jewish community Ukraine's police force is investigating ZUBR, one of the Web sites that reported the speeches. (Continue reading...)



Love of the Land: Stop the Spread of the Swedish Blood Libel

Love of the Land: EU Opens the Door to More Mideast Violence

EU Opens the Door to More Mideast Violence


Eric Trager
EricTrager.org
02 December 09

Next week, European Union foreign ministers will meet to discuss a draft document that calls for a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

If approved, this resolution will mark the latest failure of President Barack Obama’s remarkably sloppy Middle East policy. After all, American leadership in brokering peace – or attempting to broker it – has been a cornerstone of international consensus regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict for over four decades. Even the Bush administration – which was routinely (and unfairly) lambasted for “waiting too long” to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace – managed to bolster American diplomatic preeminence in this sphere by drafting the Roadmap and assembling the “Quartet” as its sponsor. But with the EU breaking off from the Quartet and developing its own set of policies regarding the conflict, America’s leadership on this issue is severely in doubt.

It is worth emphasizing that Washington’s longtime involvement in managing the Middle East conflict is as much about showcasing American diplomatic strength as it is about minimizing violence between the two sides. For this reason, the sudden shift in the diplomatic environment is likely to have devastating results. With the EU recognizing Palestinian claims along the 1967 borders – including to lands on which Israeli settlements stand – it is giving Palestinian terrorist organizations the ultimate excuse for attacking. Essentially, these groups would argue that they are fighting to end the occupation of their now-internationally recognized state, and the newfound legitimacy of their violence would encourage it.

These developments – and the extent to which they anticipate renewed hostilities – should give pause to those who doubt the relevance of American primacy to preserving international order. President Obama is one of these doubters.



Love of the Land: EU Opens the Door to More Mideast Violence

Love of the Land: Analysis: New manifesto reveals a more sophisticated, confident Hizbullah

Analysis: New manifesto reveals a more sophisticated, confident Hizbullah


Jonathan Spyer
Mideast/JPost
02 December 09

Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah this week announced the publication of a new political manifesto, outlining the goals of his movement. The document is the successor to Hizbullah's first manifesto, published in 1985, and many regional analysts have hailed it as reflecting the group's "Lebanonization."

This term is intended to mean that the new manifesto represents the abandonment of the movement's core Shi'a Islamist outlook, and its acceptance of a new role as an influential player in Lebanese domestic politics. However, this view is excessively optimistic. The new manifesto reveals that Hizbullah's strategic goals are unchanged.

Observe: The November 2009 manifesto does not differ substantively from its predecessor in terms of its view of the region and the clashing elements within it. Its first part, entitled "Domination and Hegemony" in the English version, consists of a long denunciation of the United States and its role in the Middle East and the world post-1945.

The US is depicted as the "root of all terror," and a "danger that threatens the whole world." Washington is seen as in the process of implementing a "New Middle East project" intended to dominate "the nations politically, culturally, economically and through all aspects." The creation of the "Zionist entity" is described as the most "dangerous step" in the American drive for hegemony. The English-language document reiterates Hizbullah's support for "armed struggle and military resistance" as the best way of "ending the occupation." The longer Arabic version is less ambiguous, committing Hizbullah to "liberation of all the usurped land" and restoring the "usurped rights of all no matter how long and how great the sacrifices."

So no change in the core strategic view. But proponents of the idea that the document reflects a more pragmatic Hizbullah have pointed to the lack of "religious rhetoric" in the new manifesto, compared to the 1985 document.

(Full article)


Love of the Land: Analysis: New manifesto reveals a more sophisticated, confident Hizbullah

Love of the Land: Europe’s imperialist chutzpah

Europe’s imperialist chutzpah


FresnoZionism.org
02December 09

The Israeli Knesset has belatedly become aware of the huge amount of money that is flowing into Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from European governments and other sources with anti-Israel agendas. Prof. Gerald Steinberg of the organization “NGO Monitorspoke at the Knesset yesterday, saying in part,


As Israeli citizens, we do not know how much money is involved – it is at least tens of millions of euros – or the names of all the organizations that receive these funds. In most cases, we are also not informed of European government funding behind rallies in support of one policy or in protest to another.


The same is true for academic conferences on human rights, occupation, or international law; large advertisements on the front page of a Friday newspaper (at the cost of tens of thousands of shekels); when the High Court pronounces on a case regarding the location of the separation barrier or security checks at the airport; submissions to the United Nations committees condemning Israeli responses to terror; and in many other crucial issues that affect our lives and the policies of our democratically elected government.


The nature and scale of this manipulation is unprecedented in relations between democratic countries – in no other case does one government (or groups of governments) use taxpayer money to support opposition groups in another democratic country. And there is no precedent for allowing these groups to use foreign government money to influence and manipulate the civil societies, political discourse, legal process and foreign policies.


Imagine the French response [to] an American government program that secretly gave one billion dollars to anti-abortion campaigners in Paris, or to promote human rights in Corsica. Or the Spanish response to funds from foreign governments that promote Basque issues.


Some of the organizations that receive this funding are simply — there’s no other way to describe them — enemies of the Jewish state. For example, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) worked closely with Human Rights Watch (HRW) to develop the medical ‘evidence’ for Israeli ‘war crimes’ that were supposedly ‘documented’ in a tendentious HRW report that I called a “blood libel”. This report was then used as one of the sources for the Goldstone Commission’s slanderous report, which may be used to prosecute Israelis for ‘war crimes’.

(Continue article)


Related: The Eu Lobby in Israel, Gerald Steinberg on European Funding for Israeli NGOs


Love of the Land: Europe’s imperialist chutzpah
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