Monday, 7 December 2009

Israel Matzav: Iran's post-nuclear demands

Iran's post-nuclear demands

With Iran and other Muslim countries threatening Switzerland over its ban on new minarets, Mordechai Kedar lists some possible demands that we might expect to see Iran making on Europeans (and maybe on the US with Obama in power) once Iran - God forbid - becomes a nuclear power.

One can only imagine what the Iranians shall be demanding of Europe once the possess nuclear weapons. Below are several possible examples.

* Cutting ties with Israel
* Cutting ties with the US, should it adopt a policy that contradicts Iranian interests
* Cutting ties with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan
* Withdrawn European forces from Iraq and Afghanistan
* Recognizing Hamas instead of the PLO as the Palestinian people’s sole legitimate representative
* Recognizing Hezbollah as Lebanon’s representatives
* Granting a large number of work and immigration visas to Muslims
* Expelling Iranian opposition figures back to Iran
* Providing state funds for the building of mosques (with minarets, of course) and Islamic schools in any European city with a minimal number of Muslims
* Permitting Muslim women to wear a hijab (head cover), niqab (face cover) and burqa (full-body cover)
* A ban on alcohol sales in stores located at a 30-mile radius of the residence of the nearest Muslim
* An obligation to teach Islam in all European schools via a curriculum to be formulated by the Iranian embassy in every European state

Kedar has many more possible demands. Read the whole thing.

He then goes on to say this:

States ruled by Islamic ideologies view the atheist Europe as weak, depleted, and fatigued. They view it as lacking the motivation to protect the values of democracy it brought to the world. This weak image stirs the sense of Islamic authority in Iran and in Turkey that promotes their leaders to openly express their feelings: Christians, Jews and others may live, but under the wings of Islam, as their dhimmis (ahl al-dhimmah), as long as they adhere to their dictates.

Kedar then goes on to ask when Europe will awaken to their reality. Unfortunately, that will likely be never. But his description of the Islamic view of Europe's weakness is dead on.


Israel Matzav: Iran's post-nuclear demands

Love of the Land: The EU's Jerusalem policy

The EU's Jerusalem policy


Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror/JPost
06 December 09

Last week, the international media were abuzz with reports that the European Union (EU) planned to act on a Swedish initiative that called for the formal recognition of east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. The endorsement was apparently expected in the wake of a meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled for December 7-8 in Brussels, where the EU's policy on Mideast peace was among the issues on the agenda.


It is important to understand that the EU is currently trying to assert itself as a major player on the world stage. Europe has just filled two newly created leadership positions by appointing the first President of the European Council and the first High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Both positions went to "surprise" candidates who are hardly known on the European stage, and the appointments were widely criticized and even ridiculed. Indeed, it was rather fitting that one of the first media reports on the appointments concluded with some culinary revelations: "The decision was made last night over a dinner of wild mushrooms, spiced sea bass and chocolate fondant."


However, life in the service of the EU is not all about gourmet pleasures, and there has been quite a bit of concern recently because European politicians feel that they are no longer enjoying a "special relationship" with the US. A recent study on the subject warned gloomily:


An unsentimental President Obama has already lost patience with a Europe lacking coherence and purpose. In a post-American world, the United States knows it needs effective partners. If Europe cannot step up, the US will look for other privileged partners to do business with."


The EU's proposed stance on east Jerusalem may well be an exercise in muscle-flexing designed to show Obama that Europe is ready to fully back demands for a complete settlement construction freeze that would include Jerusalem. While searching for some background information on the subject, I came across a Web site called EUobserver that featured two relevant reports on its home page.


One report describes the apparently somewhat tense atmosphere during the first encounter between the EU's inexperienced new foreign policy chief and EU parliamentarians:


(Continue article)



Love of the Land: The EU's Jerusalem policy

Love of the Land: Lebanese Hizballah to be on UN Security Council

Lebanese Hizballah to be on UN Security Council


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
07 December 09

On January 1, Lebanon will become a member of the UN Security Council, having been elected last October by the General Assembly for a two-year term. The Lebanese government now includes a majority of ministers who are nominees of either Hizballah or of President Michael Suleiman, a Syrian and thus Iranian client. Hizballah also has a veto over government decisions.

This means that Hizballah will have a say in resolutions condemning Israel, managing peace-keeping operations in Lebanon, dealing with sanctions against Iran, and so on.

It was bad enough that a Libyan official chairs the General Assembly while Sudan, Algeria, and Iran virtually run the Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
stated in an interview that his government has concluded that "carefully considered contact with Hezbollah's politicians, including its MPs, will best advance our objective of the group rejecting violence to play a constructive role in Lebanese politics."

What does this “constructive role” mean? To say such a thing he has to ignore:

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: Lebanese Hizballah to be on UN Security Council

Love of the Land: Al-Manar Media Cover For Hezbollah Surveillance

Al-Manar Media Cover For Hezbollah Surveillance


Backspin/Honest Reporting
07 December 09

Hezbollah blurred the line between its so-called "military" and "media" wings this weekend, and probably placed Western correspondents at greater risk.


Mehdi Kanso, the group's intelligence chief, who took part in the 2006 abduction of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev was recently seen conducting surveillance of the Israeli-Lebanese border. Hezbollah's not supposed to operate near the border, so what did Kanso tell a UNIFIL patrol? According to Israeli media reports:


Kanso was apparently allowed into the border area with the equipment after telling UNIFIL troops that he was a reporter for Hizbullah's television station, Al-Manar.


This presents an interesting conundrum for the Committee to Protect Journalists. It's reasonable to expect the CPJ to denounce Kanso, whose stunt endangers journalists. But in 2006, the group idiotically denounced Israeli airstrikes on Al-Manar facilities, writing:


While Al-Manar may serve a propaganda function for Hezbollah, it does not appear based on a monitoring of its broadcasts today to be serving any discernible military function, according to CPJ’s analysis.


A Washington Times commentary I've referred to several times explains the flaw in the CPJ's logic:


But as the Treasury Department made clear, the issue is not al Manar's role as a television station but its role in facilitating the activities of Hezbollah, an organization that has killed more Americans than every other terrorist group save al Qaeda.


"Any entity maintained by a terrorist group -- whether masquerading as a charity, a business or a media outlet -- is as culpable as the terrorist group itself," said Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.


Related reading: Terrorist Television



Love of the Land: Al-Manar Media Cover For Hezbollah Surveillance

Love of the Land: The Ugly European

The Ugly European


FresnoZionism.org
06 December 09

There was a popular book in the 1950’s called “The Ugly American”, which proposed that the US was losing ground in the struggle against Communism because of its arrogance and refusal to try to understand other cultures.


Today a great deal of ugliness comes from Europe. It includes an arrogant belief that they can continue to remake the map of the Mideast however they want, as they’ve done for the past several centuries, as well as a deliberate ignorance about the intentions of the players there.


News item:

Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist and author of a controversial UN report which accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Israel Defense Forces’ military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, will receive the Stockholm Human Rights Award, it was announced on Thursday.


“Richard Goldstone has made an outstanding career in the promotion of the rule of law and human rights, first in his home country South Africa and during the last fifteen years in various highly prestigious international fora,” the International Legal Assistance Consortium, a Sweden-based umbrella group of non-governmental organizations which oversees the awarding of the prize, said on Thursday.


Someone — I’m sorry that I don’t recall who — said that they would have given him a Nobel, but he spoiled it by saying that ‘Palestinian armed groups’ (not even ‘Hamas’) “may be guilty of war crimes” along with Israel. And of course they needed to give it to Obama, for reasons not clear to anyone including the recipient.


Sweden is at the forefront of Israel-hatred in Europe. Its government refused to condemn the Aftonbladet organ-stealing slander, and it is the source of funding for many of the most biased NGOs. So naturally Goldstone is a hero to them.


(Continue article)



Love of the Land: The Ugly European

Love of the Land: Obama Aims to Impose a Solution on Israel

Obama Aims to Impose a Solution on Israel


Ted Belman
American Thinker
07 December 09

President Obama has surrounded himself with a host of vehemently anti-Israel advisers including Lee Hamilton, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Gen. Jones, many of whom advocate imposing a solution on Israel.

So it was no surprise that Obama started his term of office by attacking Israel, America's best and most steadfast ally, and demanding a complete settlement-freeze east of the green line, including Jerusalem. He went so far as to repudiate the U.S. commitment set out in the Bush 2004 letter to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Elliot Abrams and others involved in the negotiations that led to Bush's letter testified otherwise.

In January 2009, before Obama had gotten his act together, Haaretz reported:

Mitchell told Israeli officials that the new administration was committed to Israel's security, to the road map, and to the 2004 letter by President George W. Bush stating Palestinian refugees would not return to Israel and the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would take into consideration facts on the ground, meaning large settlement blocs would remain in Israeli hands.

Within a few months, that commitment was history.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who had campaigned on the rejection of the two-state solution and on continued settlement growth, attempted to deflect or resist the pressure. One can only imagine theTools of Persuasion that Netanyahu was subjected to. Finally, on June 12, 2009, Netanyahu made a major speech at the Begin Centre in which he shocked Israelis by agreeing to a two-state solution.

We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them. In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.

Never mind that Netanyahu had only limited sovereignty in mind.

He went on to demand as a precondition that "Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people" and that a Palestinian state be demilitarized, "with ironclad security provisions for Israel."

(Continue reading)

Love of the Land: Obama Aims to Impose a Solution on Israel

Love of the Land: Just Say No

Just Say No


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
07 December 09

Anyone seeking to combat growing anti-Israel intimidation worldwide ought to pay attention to an obscure soccer match last week.

Such intimidation has become common at sporting events, just as it has at college campuses, public lectures and many other venues. In Malmo, Sweden, this past March, for instance, organizers barred spectators entirely from Israel’s Davis Cup tennis match against Sweden, owing to fear of pro-Palestinian protesters who, the town’s mayor said, had recently pelted a pro-Israel demonstration with bottles, eggs, and fireworks. Two months earlier, an Israeli basketball team fled the court in panic during a EuroCup match in Ankara, Turkey, after thousands of Turkish fans waving Palestinian flags shouted “death to the Jews,” threw shoes and water battles, and ultimately stormed the court. (Adding insult to injury, EuroCup’s governing body then slapped Israel with a technical loss because the frightened players refused to take the court again.)

So when Hapoel Tel Aviv played Celtic in Glasgow last week, the Scottish Trade Unions Congress — one of many European unions that have voted to boycott Israel — saw a golden opportunity: it urged Celtic fans to wave Palestinian flags during the match in “solidarity with suffering Palestinians.” But in the end, the protest fizzled: only “a handful” of pro-Palestinian protesters occupied the stands, Reuters reported.

This defeat required no major investment of time, money, or energy. All it took was one simple news statement by Celtic’s management — asserting that its stadium was “no place for a political demonstration” and urging fans to ignore STUC’s call.

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: Just Say No

Love of the Land: PCHR's "Civilians" -- The Movie

PCHR's "Civilians" -- The Movie


CAMERA/Snapshots
06 December 09

CAMERA and the Institute for Counter-Terrorism have published detailed analyses showing how the Palestinian Center for Human Rights wrongly labeled numerous Palestinian Cast Lead casualties as "civilian."

Now Elder of Ziyon blogger brings us the video.




Human rights organizations said that over 1100 Gazan victims of Cast Lead were "civilians." They even listed their names.

Here are the pictures of some of these "civilians." Normal people would call them...terrorists.

Love of the Land: PCHR's "Civilians" -- The Movie

Love of the Land: But Some of His Best Friends Are Jews (Who Hate Israel)

But Some of His Best Friends Are Jews (Who Hate Israel)




Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
06 December 09



Season’s greetings from Stephen Walt, who is thankful for ten things this year. Number six:



Supporters. The controversy over The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy also brought me a legion of new friends, some of whom I would never have met otherwise. My thanks to inspired writers and activists like Phil Weiss, Tony Judt, M.J. Rosenberg, Jerome Slater, Avi Shlaim, Uri Avnery, Sydney Levy, and many, many more.


All of the above, to varying degrees, believe that Israel is a sinister presence in the world. Some, such as Phil Weiss and Tony Judt, are anti-Zionists who wish for Israel to be destroyed. Others have devoted their lives and careers to relentlessly and tendentiously criticizing the Jewish state. There are, of course, great numbers of gentiles who also share these views, have pursued similar careers, and think that The Israel Lobby is first-rate scholarship. But the list of Walt’s new friends consists only of Jews. He seems a little touchy on the matter, wouldn’t you say?






Love of the Land: But Some of His Best Friends Are Jews (Who Hate Israel)

Love of the Land: Fact Checkers Draw a Yellow Card

Fact Checkers Draw a Yellow Card


Backspin/Honest Reporting
06 December 09

Here's another reason not to believe everything you read: Recent reports that Zinedine Zidane was visiting Gaza as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF were a hoax.


As the Jerusalem Post writes, this is a problem not just for the French soccer star and UNICEF, but for Israel and journalism as well:


This is extremely worrying for all concerned: UNICEF, UNDP, Zidane, the children of Gaza who expected a visit from a soccer legend and Israel.


And it is also troubling that so many journalists fell for it.


The quotes, which were so widely reported, specifically criticized Israel without blaming Hamas or any other Palestinian groups for the conflict.


They implied that Zidane, whose parents are Algerian-born Muslims, is willing to use his fame to slam Israel.

It appears that someone, or some organization, made a decision to create the entire story in order to smear Israel and garner support for the Palestinian cause.


And what did Zidane allegedly say that was so widely quoted?


"I will make every effort to give Gaza residents great big smiles on their faces. Gazans have suffered serious losses, damage, and injuries due to Israeli acts of violence."


Related reading: A Failure to Fact Check



Love of the Land: Fact Checkers Draw a Yellow Card

Love of the Land: The Iran Timeline

The Iran Timeline


Anne Bayefsky
NRO
03 December 09

President Obama’s response to Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s announcement that he plans to go full steam ahead on the nuclear front is revealing. It does not matter how many times Iran says no to the offers presented. It does not matter how many Iranian citizens perish in the effort to change the regime’s cataclysmic direction. From America comes empty sloganeering about the president’s patience running out.

The administration’s deadlines are constantly shifting. G-8 meetings in early September. The General Assembly opening session in mid-September. October 1 (when heads of state assembled for the U.N. had all left town). Two weeks later in mid-October. The end of the year.

The administration’s demands are as vague as possible. “Moving in the right direction.” “Take steps to live up to obligations.” “Begin a serious discussion.” “Some kind of response.”

The administration’s threatened consequences are kept deliberately nondescript. As of this week the phrase of choice was: “start shifting our focus to the track of pressure.”

Iran’s refusal to comply with its nuclear-nonproliferation obligations has now been documented for 2,346 days — since June 2003, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally released a report admitting the obvious.

President Obama is unwilling to set firm deadlines, make steadfast demands, or articulate clear consequences for Iranian non-compliance with international law — all of which evidence a decision of this administration to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, a decision that ought to terrify freedom-loving souls everywhere.

(Continue to full article)


Love of the Land: The Iran Timeline

Love of the Land: Yossi Melman proposes: Let's take the "Zion" out of Zionism

Yossi Melman proposes: Let's take the "Zion" out of Zionism


Ami Isseroff
Israel News
07 December 09

It seems you don't have to be Swedish to love the idea of transferring the Israeli capital.

We Jews are no doubt a very clever people. Just ask any Jew and he or she will tell you about our Nobel prize winners, about Maimonides, about Baruch d'Espinoza, about Albert Einstein and many others. Any Anti-Semite will also tell you how clever and shrewd we Jews are. So it is not surprising that one of the tribe has come up with an earthshaking proposal that will make the Middle East safe for peace. He is not just any Jew. He is a journalist for Ha'aretz, which considers itself the cleverest and most sophisticated of all Israeli newspapers, and he is not just any journalist. He is the internationally renowned Yossi Melman. Everyone knows how clever and knowledgeable he is.

Melman's proposal is that Israel will give up claiming
Jerusalem as its capital. Don't get excited, it's only temporary, maybe for a thousand years or so, until tempers cool down a bit. After all, we waited 2,000 years, so what's another little temporary delay for us Jewish people? This will, Melman assures us, remove a major obstacle to peace. Who among us is not ready to make sacrifices for peace? Melman also proposes that the Palestinians will give up claiming Jerusalem as their capital. Since the Palestinians do not have men of genius among them like Melman, that is not likely to happen until Hell freezes over, so perhaps Melman's proposal is a bit impractical. On the other hand, Melman's proposal is timed impeccably to coincide with the EU resolution proposed by the Swedes. That which would recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, but would not recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Swedes will love the Melman plan.

(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: Yossi Melman proposes: Let's take the "Zion" out of Zionism

Love of the Land: Evangelical Missionary Building Boon in Jerusalem

Evangelical Missionary Building Boon in Jerusalem

Posted by Jewish Israel
Shilo Musings
06 December 09



Jewish settlements in Judea and Shomron may be frozen, but Christian missionaries are enjoying a real building boon in and around Jerusalem.

It should be understood that these buildings are not standard churches used strictly for private worship services. These are evangelistic institutions which place an emphasis on “outreach activities” and agendas which focus on the training of missionaries; missionary projects directed at Jews; and the strengthening of the apostate community in Israel.

Jewish Israel takes you on a virtual tour of some very recent examples of prime evangelical property development in Israel - leased, sold, or permits for expansion granted to evangelizing ministries and institutions...more



Love of the Land: Evangelical Missionary Building Boon in Jerusalem

Love of the Land: Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs


Sweden Calls For Jerusalem to Be Palestinian Capital City   : Dry Bones cartoon.

The story according to Reuters, as quoted by the Daily Times ( a Pakistani Site)
JERUSALEM: "A proposal before the European Union to endorse the division of Jerusalem would risk closing off half the city to non-Muslims, according to a think tank close to the Israeli government. The Israel Project said the plan could be backed at a regular meeting of the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers on Monday, as part of what it called a bid to “forge a high-profile role” in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Diplomats in Brussels said the EU meeting was likely to discuss the stalled Middle East peace process, but no radical new policy change was in the works. East Jerusalem has been seen for years as prospective capital of a future Palestinian state. The think tank singled out current EU president Sweden and its foreign minister Carl Bildt, saying he aimed to sideline the EU’s more balanced existing policy. Relations between Sweden and Israel have been irritated recently by what was seen in Israel as an anti-Semitic story in the Swedish press and Israel’s refusal to let a Swedish minister visit Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip." -more


Love of the Land: Swedish Meatballs

Israel Matzav: Russia: Iran's Bushehr nuke plant 'almost ready'

Russia: Iran's Bushehr nuke plant 'almost ready'

Okay, it's an Iranian report, but it's still not good news. According to Iran's FNA News Agency, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Saturday that Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant was moving through its final phase of construction at a 'good pace.'

In the meeting, Shmatko briefed Putin on his recent visit to Iran, where he visited the Busher facility and participated in a meeting of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. Russia has resisted calls for sanctions against Iran despite its disregard for UN calls to reign in its illegal nuclear program.

The problem is that Russia has no incentive to play along with the West to stop Iran and there is no one in Washington with the strength to cajole them into playing along. When Russia decides it's to its benefit that Iran's nuclear plant go online, Iran's nuclear plant will go online.

There are things that can be done to 'persuade' the Russians this is not a great idea. The Obama administration would never take those actions, but the Mossad just might.


Israel Matzav: Russia: Iran's Bushehr nuke plant 'almost ready'

Israel Matzav: People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

This article is critical of the Egyptian religious establishment's reaction to the new minaret ban in Switzerland, although its words could equally be directed at many other countries in the Arab Muslim world. The difference is that in Egypt there are actually Christians.

Yes, they are right, the move is an insult to Islam. At the same time, though, they are forgetting the injustice that persists in their own backyard. Christians have complained for years over the inability to build their own houses of worship.

When Egyptian Christians look at what Goma'a said, they see flaws and hypocrisy. And they are right. When Goma'a said "it is considered as a humiliation for the Muslim community in and out of Switzerland", Christians had to be laughing. They have lived with this kind of humiliation for years.

So when Naguib Gobrail, a Coptic lawyer, said that statements from the Muslim world were an "insult to Christians" he highlighted the reality of what is going on. Egyptians failed to see that their own actions are no better than those of their Swiss counterparts.

It is easy to condemn with words, but harder to take action. The Arab world has long avoided looking inward at its own problems, blaming Europe, the United States and Israel instead. The governments, especially the one in Cairo, love this. People don't see the facts on the ground as they are too preoccupied by the wrongs and injustices dealt abroad. This time it is no different.

As Muslims attacked Switzerland for the ban, they didn't bother to look at the minorities in their own country who daily have been subjected to a similar fate as Muslims in Switzerland and across Europe.

Actually, the writer makes a poor comparison between Egyptian Copts and Muslims in Europe. Muslims in Europe are free to worship, Copts in Egypt are not. Muslims in Europe can build mosques, Copts in Egypt cannot. Muslims in Europe are equal citizens, Copts in Egypt are not.

And that's just Copts in Egypt - it's not even talking about Jews who are persecuted in most of the Arab world (they have fled from all countries except Syria and Iran who do not allow them to flee, and they are currently fleeing from Yemen), and who are not allowed to live in Lebanon, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. In fact, one cannot even bring a bible into Saudi Arabia.

Egypt's treatment of Christian Copts is the tip of the iceberg of the Arab Muslim world's treatment of other religions, and it is far worse than the treatment of Muslims in Europe.

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


Israel Matzav: People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Israel Matzav: Can sanctions still work against Iran?

Can sanctions still work against Iran?

Orde Kittrie argues that President Obama should impose strong sanctions against Iran immediately after the passing of the December 31 deadline for Iran to 'engage.'

There is evidence that sanctions pressure could similarly dissuade Iran from proceeding with aspects of its nuclear program. The threat, thus far unrealized, of strong sanctions, in some cases supplemented by the threat of military action, reportedly contributed to Iran’s decision to cease assassinating dissidents in Europe in the 1990s, to reach out in 2003 to the Bush administration with a conciliatory fax and a halt to its nuclear weaponization research, and agree in November 2004 to a proposal by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom for a temporary suspension of its uranium conversion and enrichment plans.[12]

There is more recent evidence that sanctions could force Iran’s leadership to modify its behavior. For example, a September 2006 report by an Iranian parliamentary committee said that a cutoff of Iran’s gasoline imports could force Iran “to modify its national priorities and devote most of its resources to prevent a major social upheaval.”[13]

In addition, some Iranian elites have suggested that Iran make compromises to avoid economic sanctions. In November 2008, as Iran began to experience the economic pain resulting from a sharp drop in oil prices, 60 Iranian economists sent a letter calling on the regime to change course drastically. The letter said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “tension-creating” foreign policy has “scared off foreign investment and inflicted heavy damage” on the Iranian economy.[14] During the recent Iranian presidential campaign, Ahmadinejad’s opponents blamed him and the sanctions engendered by his combative foreign policy for the country’s economic woes.

Additional sanctions could further increase these feelings of discontent. Iran’s leadership presumably values its continued control over the Iranian people even more than it values its nuclear program. Tehran might be willing to make concessions on its nuclear program if it feels that strong new sanctions are contributing to social upheaval sufficient to reach the tipping point at which the regime loses its grip over the Iranian people.

Maybe.

Kittrie assumes that Iran is still far enough away from nuclear weapons for sanctions to have an impact. That assumption is at least questionable. It may take months for sanctions to have an effect and in those months Iran could 'go nuclear.' In fact, the list of countries in which Kittrie argues that sanctions have been effective really comes down to one country: South Africa. Conspicuously, he lives Iraq off the list.

But there's another issue that needs to be considered. I've already discussed the simulation that took place at Harvard University over the weekend in which the United States failed to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and found itself in a crisis with Israel instead. Here's another interesting aspect of that simulation.

The second by another participant in the simulation, veteran NSC Iran hand Gary Sick, below the jump:

1. The US team went to work with a vengeance to get a consensus on sanctions. This didn't bother the Iran team in the least. We didn't think they could put together a package that would hurt us in any serious way, and that proved to be true. But more important, in the process they managed to offend all of their ostensible allies and wasted so much time and effort that Iran was better off at the end than they had been at the beginning. Since this represents a version of actual US strategy (and its results) over now three administrations, I think there is a lesson there that is ignored at our peril.

2. I compare the actions of the US team (and the US government since at least 1995) as the dog chasing the bus -- what do you do with it when you catch it? As far as I could tell, the pursuit of sanctions was essentially an end in itself. What if the US actually succeeded in putting together a reasonable set of sanctions (as, in fact, we have)? Maybe our efforts will please the Israelis and a few others, but does it stop Iran? To be honest, the Iran team scarcely paid any attention to all this massive policy exertion. Admittedly, we felt lonely at times. But we never felt that our core objectives (freedom to proceed with our nuclear plans and our growing appetite for domestic political repression) were at risk, much less the survival of our rather peculiar regime, which was of course our most immediate concern.

...

6. The fact that Russia and China initiated their own secret accommodation with Iran was an interesting development, and one that is also indicative of the way things are going. But I had the impression that they took this initiative out of dismay at the single-minded pressure of the US team futilely seeking their support for a sanctions regime that was fundamentally contrary to their
interests.

This game provided an opportunity for me to test my understanding of the dynamics propelling each side in the Iran debate. And the result, I am sorry to say, was even more depressing than I would have imagined. The fact that it was seasoned veterans of the policy process playing these roles makes it even more significant. The lesson was not so much that Iran could "win" this game so easily; it was that the US and its allies were unable even to imagine any alternatives.

And the simulation's outcome?

The result: that Israel acts alone, and finds itself denounced by the U.S., opening up the largest rift in U.S.-Israel relations since Suez. Or Iran gets the bomb.

The sanctions are useless unless everyone goes along with them, a proposition that seems improbable right now. Moreover, the sanctions will be useless unless backed with a credible military threat and unless they have sufficient time to work before Iran can become a nuclear power. Both those scenarios seem unlikely.

Most depressing, however, was this paragraph from Sick's description:

5. It was probably realistic that no one challenged Iran's right to enrich. That has reluctantly been accepted as a fait accompli. But why was there no push to test Iran on safeguards, inspections, or other techniques that might assure the world of reliable and on-going intelligence about what Iran is doing (early warning); or restricting certain key elements of Iran's nuclear program that would lengthen the time required to actually break out into production of a nuclear device Nobody tried.

It wasn't considered a fait accompli eleven months ago.

What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Can sanctions still work against Iran?

Israel Matzav: UN 'leaders': Clock has ticked to zero

UN 'leaders': Clock has ticked to zero

Politico reports that UN 'leaders' warned on Monday that the clock has 'ticked to zero' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Unfortunately, they're talking about 'global warming' and not about the much more urgent problem of a potentially nuclear Iran.

Israel Matzav: Pictures from today's protests in Iran

Pictures from today's protests in Iran

Here. He's also been posting videos all day long under the name OnlyMehdi.


Israel Matzav: Pictures from today's protests in Iran

Israel Matzav: Hezbullah planning new kidnapping?

Hezbullah planning new kidnapping?

Israel's Channel 10 reported on Sunday night that Lebanese Hezbullah intelligence mastermind Mehdi Kanso was seen scouting the Israeli - Lebanese border several weeks ago. Kanso was involved in the kidnapping of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev (pictured), whose dead bodies were exchanged for master terrorist Samir al-Kuntar, several lesser terrorists and hundreds of terrorists' bodies in the summer of 2008. Is Hezbullah planning a new kidnapping?

According to the report, Kanso was seen carrying professional photography equipment near the border and driving a Land Rover similar to the one used in the capture of IDF soldiers Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sueid in the year 2000.

Kanso was apparently allowed into the border area with the equipment after telling UNIFIL troops that he was a reporter for Hizbullah's television station, Al-Manar.

He is wanted in Israel not only for planning the abduction of Regev and Goldwasser, but also for transporting the captured soldiers from Israel to Lebanon.

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Hezbullah planning new kidnapping?

Israel Matzav: Hamas' new toys

Hamas' new toys

Army Radio reported on Sunday that the 'Palestinians' have some new toys that they've started throwing at Israel from the Gaza Strip. The toys are Russian-made S-5K rockets that have been modified to allow them to be launched from the ground rather than from helicopters. One of them landed near Kibbutz Alumim in the Negev on Sunday morning (Hat Tip: David Hazony via Twitter).

A defense official told Army Radio that the use of a new rocket type proves that the weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip is continuing at full speed.

"Iran is constantly trying to arm Hamas, and in addition to this rocket, arms such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles are constantly entering the Strip," the senior official was quoted as saying.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Hamas' new toys

Israel Matzav: Moonbat city

Moonbat city

In the summer of 1988, the law firm for which I was then working sent me to San Francisco on a Thursday morning for a drafting session that was likely to extend through the weekend. I contacted a former colleague from high school and college and asked if he could set me up for the Sabbath, as the odds were significant that I would end up spending the Sabbath in the Bay Area. My old friend arranged for me to stay in his community - Berkeley, California - for the Sabbath.

It was like being transported back to the 1960's. Political signs against the US government were all over the streets. They were protesting American policies in places where I wasn't aware there was an American policy (one I recall called for the removal of US troops from El Salvador). The rabbi's 'sermon' dealt with blocking a train disposing of nuclear waste somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I felt totally out of place. I was quite pleased when I got a call at my hotel in San Francisco (to which I had returned after the Sabbath ended) telling me that the deal had fallen apart on Friday night and that I was free to return to New York whenever I could get a flight (I was so spooked by the whole experience that I even flew back on Sunday afternoon, rather than hanging around to watch the Red Sox play a doubleheader in Oakland and returning on the red eye).

Nothing has changed in Berkeley since then. They're still stuck in the 1960's (unfortunately, so is the current US administration, but that's not what this post is about). The difference is that in the 1960's the Democrats supported Israel. That is often no longer the case. What's going on in Berkeley wouldn't matter too much (my sense is that most of the United States regards Berkeley's denizens as a group of crackpots) except that it's virulently anti-Israel and it's being financed by the Jewish community.

This November, Kesher Enoshi students brought members of Students for Justice in Palestine into Hillel to vote for Kesher candidates running for the board of the Jewish Student Union, an important arm of Hillel that controls the funding of student groups. This is the means through which the Jewish community’s money is dispensed on the Berkeley campus. Through its alliance with the virulent anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine, Kesher Enoshi hoped to control the financial resources of Jewish students. Fortunately, the Kesher Enoshi candidates lost, even with their attempt to use a pro-Palestinian group to influence the outcome.

Hillel fundraising letters portray the organization as a place that promotes Jewish values and stands as a shield against the growth of campus anti-Zionism, which often masquerades as anti-Semitism. At Berkeley, however, several Hillel activists have moved from the embrace of Jewish and Zionist values to become prominent in the Palestinian cause. Avital Aboody,, once head of Hillel’s Israel Action Committee, is now active in the Free Gaza Movement. And Hillel student leader Itamar Haritan is now aligned politically with the Palestinian cause on campus. Perhaps at Berkeley’s Hillel that is indeed the definition of Jewish values.

Some blame Ken Kramarz for the fiasco on Berkeley’s campus, attributing Hillel’s anti-Judaism and anti-Israel’s programs to his arrival in 2007. But such thinking is simplistic. Kramarz couldn’t do anything without major support from the organized Jewish community.

The Hillel we have, like our notorious anti-Israel film festival, is what the community wants. Caroline Glick asks: “Whither American Jewry?” In this community the answer is quite obvious: “On the campus we are standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel’s enemies while mocking our own heritage. At the film festival we are saluting Hamas-embracing Cindy Corrie, while beatifying her daughter who gave her life to make it possible for suicide bombers to kill other Rachels in Tel Aviv. This is who and where we are.

“Our Jewish Federation could not pass a resolution that would prevent a replay of this year’s anti-Israel film festival fiasco. But while we are smug about our progressive view of the world, we are incapable of defending it outside our incestuous political culture. At some level, we do comprehend how pathetic and ridiculous we look to the outside world.

“So, rest assured, our leadership and that of national Jewish organizations are gearing up to find refuge in denial, however implausible. Don’t be deceived. In this community there is an immense pride in our disdain for Israel and our mockery of Jewish values. It is, after all, what we have become. We just can’t acknowledge it in the wider court of public opinion.”

Read the whole thing.

The picture at the top of this post is a demonstrator outside a Daniel Pipes lecture in Berkeley on February 10, 2004. It comes from the Zombietime Hall of Shame (not all pictures safe for work or appropriate for young children and religious Jews).


Israel Matzav: Moonbat city

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu faces opposition in Likud, massive rally

Netanyahu faces opposition in Likud, massive rally

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's 'settlement freeze' faced strong opposition in his Likud party, and it will face a massive rally of revenants and their supporters on Wednesday night in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to calm the anger of Likud Knesset Members and leaders of Judea and Samaria fell on deaf ears Sunday evening as opposition continues to mount within his Likud party and throughout the country against a 10-month freeze on building for Jews.

Building freeze opponents, who include usually more passive communities in Judea and Samaria as well as many living in the rest of Israel, plan a huge protest rally in Jerusalem Wednesday evening.

Another appeal against the government order has been filed with the High Court, and Likud Knesset Member Yariv Levin lashed out at colleague Benny Begin [considered one of the few honest MK's. CiJ] for supporting the mini-Cabinet decree that he labeled "anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish.”

...

Danny Dayan, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) vowed that communities will continue to try to stop building inspectors, backed by police and sometimes by soldiers, from entering their communities.

Some of those appealing to the High Court of Justice are families who were expelled from Gush Katif in 2005 who are still homeless.


Israel Matzav: Netanyahu faces opposition in Likud, massive rally

Israel Matzav: How the votes line up on Sweden's anti-Israel resolution

How the votes line up on Sweden's anti-Israel resolution

The JPost reports on the vote on a Swedish resolution that would recognize the imaginary city of 'east' Jerusalem as the capital of the imaginary country of 'Palestine.'

The proposal by Sweden, which this month is winding down its tenure as rotating president of the EU, is also reportedly backed by Ireland, Belgium, Britain and Malta, while Italy, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovenia have come out against the wording of the text.

France has also opposed the draft on the grounds that more support should be given to Netanyahu for the settlement moratorium, and also because of a feeling that while France supported Jerusalem becoming the capital of two states in a future solution, the modalities of how this would be done should be left to the negotiations.

Netanyahu has taken an active part in lobbying against the resolution, discussing the matter with a number of international leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose country takes over the rotating presidency of the EU in January.

Jerusalem has also been in contact with the US on the matter, trying to persuade American officials to impress upon the Europeans the ramifications of adopting a resolution that Israel feels pre-judges negotiations.

The picture at the top is Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt.

According to the analysis, the resolution will pass, but it will be changed, possibly enough to be not recognizable. Still, in light of this resolution, it is difficult to understand how the European Union can conceive of itself as an honest broker and why it believes that it is worthy of any role in making or keeping peace in this region.


Israel Matzav: How the votes line up on Sweden's anti-Israel resolution

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad claims to have proof US trying to stop hidden Imam

Ahmadinejad claims to have proof US trying to stop hidden Imam

Speaking of nut cases, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims to have 'proof' that the United States is trying to stop the hidden imam's arrival.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he has documented evidence that the United States was trying to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam (messiah).

According to a Khabar Online report, Ahmadinejad expounded on the plots hatched by the East and West for the annihilation of Iran.

"[Ronald] Regan and his foreign minister were two of the stupidest people in the world," he said, addressing an audience of the families of martyrs and altruists in Isfahan on Friday.

Referring to his June reelection, Ahmadinejad said, "The enemy... was hyping the issue as if the Iranian nation has been weakened and as if this was the best opportunity to get concessions from them. But your humble son [Ahmadinejad] stood in front of the oppressive powers and shouted: You are dead wrong! The Iranian nation will put you in your place."

"In the recent [post-election] incident, they claimed that they had devised a plan that could bring hundreds of governments to their knees," he continued. "But he who is on the righteous path will always be victorious and will never see defeat."

Ahmadinejad said that the oppressive powers were after Iran's oil and other natural resources.

How's that 'engagement' going?

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad claims to have proof US trying to stop hidden Imam

Israel Matzav: Gadhafi warns Switzerland of Al-Qaeda attacks

Gadhafi warns Switzerland of Al-Qaeda attacks

Robert Spencer reports that Libyan dictator Muamar Gadhafi has warned Switzerland over possible attacks against it by al-Qaeda.

Therein lies the assumption that all acts of jihadist terrorism must be a response to some kind of provocation (real or imagined) from non-Muslims: after all, the apologists keep telling us "defensive" jihad is quite alright, caliph or no caliph.

The Fraggle-haired dictator also quips "I don't think anyone in the Muslim world will from now on authorise the construction of a church." This is ironic, of course, since 1.) it's not like the Muslim world has welcomed churches or freedom of worship with open arms up to now, and 2.) restrictions on building non-Muslim houses of worship are enshrined in the Pact of Umar, which has provided a far-reaching precedent for oppressing non-Muslims in a variety of ways. For that matter, the minaret ban does not restrict worship or the construction of mosques.

I'm not really bothered by the fact that Gadhafi said this - it's what I'd expect him to say. I'm more bothered by the fact that Swiss foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said almost the same thing as Gadhafi.


Israel Matzav: Gadhafi warns Switzerland of Al-Qaeda attacks
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