Thursday, 24 December 2009

Israel Matzav: John Deere thinks Israel is cotton pickin' good

John Deere thinks Israel is cotton pickin' good

John Deere, the huge farming equipment manufacturer, has purchased an Israeli manufacturer of cotton picker repair parts for $13 million.

Although the terms of the deal were not made public, Deere reportedly agreed to pay Kibbutz Beit HaShita $13 million for its agricultural equipment and machinery factory, BHC. The kibbutz is located several miles southwest of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).

BHC Manufacturing also supplies cotton picker row units for other equipment manufacturers and employs approximately 110 workers.

Demand for the machinery dropped during the recent world economic crisis, leaving an opening for Deere, the third-largest agricultural equipment manufacturer in the world.

Deere said the deal was conditioned on BHC’s “satisfactory completion of due diligence” in the second quarter of 2010. Company officials said they expect to complete the review process in the firm’s second fiscal quarter, which runs from February through April.

The acquisition would allow the U.S.-based heavy equipment maker to expand its range of products and services in the cotton picker industry.


Israel Matzav: John Deere thinks Israel is cotton pickin' good

Israel Matzav: Key checkpoint was removed last week near terror attack site

Key checkpoint was removed last week near terror attack site

A key checkpoint was removed from the Tulkarm - Shavei Shomron road just last week according to Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika. That checkpoint could have saved the life of Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D (may God avenge his blood), who was murdered near Shavei Shomron on Thursday afternoon (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).

Samaria Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika said following the terrorist murder of Rabbi Meir Chai from Samaria Thursday: “After a long period of security quiet, the main roadblock between Shavei Shomron and Tulkarm was recently opened, despite our warnings. The government of Israel preferred 'the Palestinian fabric of life' to its citizens' rights.”

An unnamed IDF officer told Haaretz that the terrorists who murdered Rabbi Chai most likely escaped through the abandoned checkpoint, which was removed shortly before the murder.

The IDF's removal of roadblocks is widely perceived as a gesture toward US President Barack Obama, who has pressured Israel to make Arabs' "fabric of life" as comfortable as possible.

Last Thursday, soldiers removed the concrete cubes and metal gate that made up the roadblock north of Shechem, near Shavei Shomron, despite pleas by Samaria residents to the IDF not to remove it. The removal means that traffic between Shechem and Tulkarm now flows without any security monitoring. Another IDF checkpoint on the road, at Beit Iba at the northern exit from Shechem, was removed several months ago.

The country's in good hands. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Key checkpoint was removed last week near terror attack site

Israel Matzav: The latest from Sderot

The latest from Sderot

This Sunday, it will be one year since Operation Cast Lead started. While there have been fewer rockets shot at Israel over the past year than were shot the previous year, the town is still suffering from the rockets and their aftereffects.

Since 2001, the city of Sderot has been hit by 10,000 missiles launched by Palestinian militants based in the Hamas-run Gaza enclave. The entire town has suffered but those most traumatized are the children, whose nightmares return every time a siren sounds.

From toddlers to teenagers, more than 80% of Sderot’s 8000 kids are living proof of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of them wet their beds, suffer bad dreams, suck their thumbs, experience chronic anxiety, sleep in their parents’ beds, and exhibit lingering physical and psychological manifestations that accompany life in an environment where they have had to scramble for cover in life-and-death situations.

Until now, they’ve had therapy resources available via the town’s Resilience Center Treatment Clinic. The center staff treat the kids’ symptoms and guides parents on coping with their children’s trauma. The center also serves as a safe haven.

But recently the news came that the Resilience Center Treatment Clinic, which is dependent on donations and subsidies, is in jeopardy of shutting down. There’s simply not enough money to keep it going. Rocket and missile barrages minus casualties have a funny way of turning formerly exuberant private donors into “we had to re-prioritize our spending” withholders. The Israeli government has also had to re-prioritize what comes from its coffers.

Why don't the Sderoti's move out? It's a working class town, and their homes are not exactly prime real estate right now. But I wouldn't want to raise my kids in that environment.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: The latest from Sderot

Love of the Land: Thank You, Tony Judt

Thank You, Tony Judt

Emmanuel Navon
For The Sake of Zion
20 December 09

The understandable frustration with the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led some people to suggest that, for the conflict to abate, one of the two protagonists must give up. But what if both sides prove relentless forever? A Freudian answer to that question has recently been devised by (you guessed it) Jews: explain to the Jews (but not to the Palestinians, Heaven forbid), that they don't actually exist, and they will stop fighting for their "imagined self."

It is logically undisputable that there would be no Israeli-Palestinian conflict if there were no Israelis or no Palestinians (or both); that there would be no anti-Semitism if Jews didn't exist (though even that is debatable); and that there would be no car accidents if cars hadn't been invented. There is also no point in making such a point –except, that is, if you manage to prove that what you believe to be real is just an illusion. Pull the fighting Jews out of Plato's cave, make them realize that what they thought to be true and real is just a fiction and a sham, and you've solved the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This is the underlying argument that Shlomo Sand is promoting in his book The Invention of the Jewish People. A historian of modern French and European history at Tel-Aviv University, Sand is no expert in the Ancient Middle East and in Jewish history. His book has been dismissed and ridiculed by scholars of Jewish history as a cheap and embarrassing piece of falsifications and propaganda. Even Tony Judt (also an expert on modern European history, and also an anti-Zionist Jew), had to admit that Sand's contribution to the knowledge of Jewish history "is at best redundant" ("Israel must unpick its ethnic myth," Financial Times, 7 December 2009). Judt does not dispute that Sand's book is academically sloppy, but he argues that this sloppiness is irrelevant (if not forgivable): What counts, according to Judt, is the point that Sand is trying to make.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Thank You, Tony Judt

Love of the Land: Sderot Rally for Hope: Stop Rocket Attacks on Civilians!

Sderot Rally for Hope: Stop Rocket Attacks on Civilians!

On Dec 31, the Gaza Freedom March, a massive rally organized by the International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza, will convene in Cairo. Over 1000 participants from 42 countries along with Israeli “peace” groups will protest against the Siege of Gaza and mark a year to Operation Cast Lead.

Supporters of the Gaza march include Roger Walters (Pink Floyd), Nobel laureates, writers, film producers, British and Canadian Members of Parliaments, and more.

In response to the Gaza Freedom March, Sderot and residents of southern Israel are leading the: Sderot Rally for Hope: Stop Rocket Attacks on Civilians!

Organized by the Sderot Media Center and in coalition with the Sderot Municipality, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sapir College, IDC Herzlyia, WUJS, Eretz Nehederet, Bnei Akiva Olami, Sderot Alon Madaim Elementary School, the march will convene at the Yad Mordechai Junction at 13:00. A Knesset Minister and Sderot municipality officials will be present as area residents, international students, diplomatic officials, and Israeli youth march to the Erez Crossing, where a ceremony for civilian victims of terror around the world will be held at 13:45.

The rally will highlight Sderot and southern Israelis' desire for a new decade of peace and a message of hope for residents of Gaza and citizens around the globe.

Rally Outline:

13:00: Marchers convene at Yad Mordechai Junction, depart by foot.
13:45: Reach Erez Crossing where Knesset Minister and Sderot municipality officials will address rally.
14:00: Candle Lighting Ceremony for victims of terror and civilian targets around the world.
14:30: Music Performance and Sderot girl reads letter to Gaza residents.
15:00: Release of white balloons with messages from Sderot children to Gaza.

Your participation in this march is crucial to counter the anti-Israel, anti-peace march into Gaza on the same day, and to show the world that we, Jews and non-Jews, Israelis and non-Israelis, desire peace and an end to terror in Israel and worldwide.

-Sderot Media Center Team

For more details: contact:
Anav Silverman: 0528607696
Meital Ohayon: 0542508915
Noam Bedein: 0545598977

Love of the Land: Sderot Rally for Hope: Stop Rocket Attacks on Civilians!

Love of the Land: Palestinian Authority: Fayyad's Gamble

Palestinian Authority: Fayyad's Gamble

Mark Silverberg
Hudson New York
Foreign Policy Analyst
Ariel Center for Policy Research
24 December 09

A new “peace initiative” is in the wind. According to the pan-Arab daily newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat, the initiative, to be unveiled in the coming weeks is designed by the U.S., Egypt and France to compel Israel to implement a full building freeze in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, and to obtain an Israeli commitment to recognize a Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, thereby effectively prejudging the outcome of any future negotiations.

This, together with the recent attempt by Sweden to push the EU to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian Authority (while omitting any recognition of the rest of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel) and to recognize the PA as a “democratic” and independent entity if it unilaterally declares statehood, have added to Israeli concerns over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the June 4, 1967 borders - a move which could be recognized by the U.S. and the United Nations Security Council.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad issued a 54-page plan (“Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State”),on August 26, that proposed the establishment of a de-facto Palestinian state within two years – a state to be established regardless of negotiations with Israel and outside the framework of the performance-based March 2003 Roadmap and the Oslo Agreement. While the Plan adopts an anti-Fatah posture by discarding the traditional PLO position of “armed struggle to liberate Palestine” (a position that was reaffirmed at the Sixth Fatah Congress in Bethlehem in August), it is based on the tenuous assumption that the Palestinians can adopt Western-style institutions and standards and thereby re-shape their future over a two-year period.

The problem is, Fayyad has little or no political backing to effect such reforms. Nevertheless, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz revealed on November 14th that Fayyad has already reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration which would provide for U.S. recognition of such an independent Palestinian state within two years.

Love of the Land: Palestinian Authority: Fayyad's Gamble

Love of the Land: IDF Agreed To Clause: "Within the Boundaries of G-d's Commands"

IDF Agreed To Clause: "Within the Boundaries of G-d's Commands"

Natan Hamaoui
Manhigut Yehudit
24 December 09

Here's something which happened to me around 30 years ago. I was being drafted into the IDF - the first day where you receive all your equipment and medical shots and army clothing etc etc. It was being done somewhat as an assembly line where your group goes from station to station to do all these things.

Anyway, one of the very first stations was where each one of us was given a small form to sign. It basically said in Hebrew something like "I swear to to anything that my officer commands me." I told the officer in charge of that station that I can not sign such a statement. He looked at me, saw my Kippah and said: Oh you're daati? (religious). In that case we are advised to replace "I swear" to "I declare" as religious may not make an oath.

I told him that even with that change, I still would not be able to sign. He asked me why not. I said that I wouldn't be able to commit to something against the Torah. He saw that this was not your regular situation and he called his supervisor - a higher officer.

After hearing my unheard of and strange objections, this officer assured me that no one in the army would give me a command against the Torah and that I was not the only observant Jew in the IDF that makes all allowances for the religious. (Shabbos, Kashrus etc). I agreed but still objected to committing to such an open ended wording and suggested that the clause "Bitchum mitzvot Hashem" (within the boundaries of G-d's commands) be added, to assure that in writing.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: IDF Agreed To Clause: "Within the Boundaries of G-d's Commands"

Love of the Land: Either Al-Jazeera Is Nuts Or The World It Covers Is Nuts. Maybe Both.

Either Al-Jazeera Is Nuts Or The World It Covers Is Nuts. Maybe Both.

Marty Peretz
The New Republic
23 December 09

There is cultural malady among the Arabs. It is feverish, spasmodic, contagious. You can see it in the rhetoric in Arab politics. You can see it in the mayhem which easily flows from that rhetoric. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) records almost all of it.

Alas, for those of you who believe that peace will come easily to the Shi'a and the Sunni, to the Israelis and the Palestinians, to the royals and the military republics, the evidence is that it won't come easily at all. In fact, the evidence it that it simply won't come.

Western diplomacy assumes that political arrangements can be made for borders, for designated air space, for rules of disengagement and demilitarization, for political modalities. I think it is all a fraud.

Below is the transcript of a debate on Arab universities, carried by Al-Jazeera. It is an important topic. But the debaters are more than a little bit off their rockers, even the sane one.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Either Al-Jazeera Is Nuts Or The World It Covers Is Nuts. Maybe Both.

Love of the Land: Some people might have to believe Jimmy Carter, but you don't

Some people might have to believe Jimmy Carter, but you don't

Shmuel Rosner
Rosner's Domain
24 December 09

A couple of quick notes on Carter's apology to Jews (on which I also wrote a more lengthy Hebrew piece for this coming weekend):

1. Jewish organizations have to congratulate him and pretend to believe him. Jewish writers don't.

2. Jewish politicians and Israeli politicians have to act as if he means what he says. Jews with no political aspirations don't.

3. For him to deny that it's all about the grandson's race - namely, to deny the obvious reason for his mea-culpa - is just Carter being Carter.

4. And don't start with the maybe-he's-sincere unless you can reasonably explain why now, what happened so suddenly, so out of the blue, that had precipitated this apology. Carter might be annoying, but he isn't stupid, and is often cynically calculated. Think about possible motives. If you can't find one, it might be a sign that Carter is playing the most banal of political games.

4. Just a couple days ago, Carter wrote an article for the British Guardian. The situation in Gaza is intolerable, he explains, "Without ascribing blame to any of the disputing parties".

5. My guess: grandson or no grandson, it will not take long before Carter goes back to his old habits and says something soooo outrageous that no apology will be able to fix.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Some people might have to believe Jimmy Carter, but you don't

Love of the Land: Can they give Britain a loan, please?

Can they give Britain a loan, please?

Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
23 December 09

The choir of Clare College, Cambridge and its pro-'Palestinian' conductor are reported to have cancelled a planned performance in 'east' Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria because they are also performing in Israel.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote a letter, signed by more than 200 people, asking that the choir cancel its tour of Israel or risk, in their words, ‘appearing indifferent to Palestinian suffering’. As a result, the PA asked the Bishop of Jerusalem to withdraw the invitation for the choir to sing in East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Betty Hunter, the general secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says that desire to travel to the West Bank does not excuse the choir's tour of Israel. That tour, she says, is ‘surprising and shocking’ - something which, in her words, ‘promotes Israel as a normal state rather than one which represses Palestinians’.

Is that so. Here is the parlous state of the Palestinians of the West Bank:

(Read full article)

Related: Boycott Victorious... Er... Well...

Love of the Land: Can they give Britain a loan, please?

Israel Matzav: The forgotten 'Palestinian' refugees

The forgotten 'Palestinian' refugees

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Schwammenthal decries how the world ignores the plight of 'Palestinian' Christians, who are fearful of speaking out due to persecution by Muslims.

Speaking to a group of foreign journalists in the Bethlehem Bible College where he is studying theology, Mr. Khoury describes a life of fear in Gaza. "My sister is under a lot of pressure to wear a headscarf. People are turning more and more to Islamic fundamentalism and the situation for Christians is very difficult," he says.

In 2007, one year after the Hamas takeover, the owner of Gaza's only Christian bookstore was abducted and murdered. Christian shops and schools have been firebombed. Little wonder that most of Mr. Khoury's Christian friends have also left Gaza.

On the rare occasion that Western media cover the plight of Christians in the Palestinian territories, it is often to denounce Israel and its security barrier. Yet until Palestinian terrorist groups turned Bethlehem into a safe haven for suicide bombers, Bethlehemites were free to enter Israel, just as many Israelis routinely visited Bethlehem.

The other truth usually ignored by the Western press is that the barrier helped restore calm and security not just in Israel, but also in the West Bank including Bethlehem. The Church of the Nativity, which Palestinian gunmen stormed and defiled in 2002 to escape from Israeli security forces, is now filled again with tourists and pilgrims from around the world.

But even here in Jesus' birthplace, which is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Christians live on a knife's edge. Mr. Khoury tells me that Muslims often stand in front of the gate of the Bible College and read from the Quran to intimidate Christian students. Other Muslims like to roll out their prayer rugs right in Manger Square.

Asked about why Muslims would pray so close to one of Christianity's holiest sites, Pastor Alex Awad, dean of students at the Bible College, diplomatically advises me to pose this question to the Muslims themselves. Mindful of his community's precarious situation, he is at pains to stress that whatever problems Christians may have with their Muslim neighbors, it's not the PA's fault.

In the New York Post, Benny Avni writes about the decline in Bethlehem's Christian population.

Fifty years ago, Christians made up 70 percent of Bethlehem's population; today, about 15 percent.

Indeed, the Christian population of the entire West Bank -- mostly Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic, with Copts, Russian Orthodox, Armenians and others -- is dwindling.

But, again, the story's the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. Practically the only place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in Israel.

In Bethlehem, Christians now feel besieged. Growing numbers of rural southern West Bankers from the Hebron area have moved north to Bethlehem in recent years. Many see the land as Waqf -- belonging to the Muslim nation. They increasingly buy or confiscate land -- and talk of laws to ban Christian landownership.

Seeing the trend, many Christians have decided to sell while they still can; real estate is leaving families that have owned it for generations.

Then, too, the Christians of the West Bank have traditionally been wealthier and better educated than the Muslims. When Jordan ruled the area from 1948 and 1967, Christians could get permits to travel abroad -- and emigration became part of the tradition.

Now, having relatives abroad means a chance to escape. There are frequent attacks on Christian cemeteries and churches; Christian-owned businesses are often defaced -- and government jobs have grown scarce for non-Muslims.

For all of the late Yasser Arafat's respectful talk about Christianity and its common purpose with Islam, the West Bank Christian population (not counting Jerusalem) dropped under his rule by nearly 30 percent, from 35,000 in 1997 to 25,000 in 2002. It's even lower now -- less than 8 percent of the population.

But it's not just in Bethlehem. It's everywhere else in the 'Palestinian Authority' and every place else in the Middle East... except for Israel.

The world doesn't care about any real or perceived wrongs unless they were perpetrated by Jews. 64 years after Hitler's death and more than 100 years after Theodore Herzl thought he could rid the world of anti-Semitism by establishing a Jewish state, anti-Semitism is alive and well, and the Jewish state has become its focus.

And one day, there will be hell to pay for that.

The picture at the top was taken when the terrorists came out of the Church of the Nativity in 2002. More about that siege here.

Israel Matzav: The forgotten 'Palestinian' refugees

Israel Matzav: Lebanon's drug trade

Lebanon's drug trade

If this article had been published on Wednesday, I would have asked the IDF about it. It seems that Hezbullah is back in the drug business.

[O]n a recent visit by the AP, acres of cannabis were seen growing behind concealing stands of tall corn stalks, and farmers spoke openly of the fortunes they are making off the plants.

The Lebanese government, long preoccupied with violent political clashes in the country, has begun striking back by plowing up fields.

It's hard to pin down independently what role Hezbollah plays in the trade, but the flat, green Bekaa Valley, with its sunny Mediterranean climate and terrorism-filled history, is a Hezbollah stronghold.

The accusation is that Hezbollah, given its strong presence in the Bekaa and its unmatched influence there, is heavily involved in the trade, though indirectly, for ideological reasons, said Bilal Saab, a Lebanon expert at the University of Maryland. However, there is no independent evidence of this involvement.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah strongly denies Israel's charge of narcoterrorism. In a speech last month, he claimed the Israelis were trying to put a political spin on what in his view is simply a drug operation run by Lebanese drug dealers in collusion with Israeli border guards.

Israeli police say that based on evidence gathered from interrogating busted traffickers, nothing happens on the Lebanon-Israel border without Hezbollah's consent.

Aram Nerguizian, an expert at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., says Hezbollah has enough financial support without depending on drug money, but uses the drug trade to gather intelligence on the Israeli military.

Shamai Golan, a spokesman for Israel's Anti-Drug Authority, agrees the main goal is to gather intelligence information, but also to weaken Israeli society.

Last year his agency ran an advertising campaign featuring an image of Hezbollah leader Nasrallah wafting out of a smoky pipe with the slogan: At the end of every joint sits Nasrallah ... Drug users are lending a hand to the next terror attack.

The IDF actually talked to us about the drug trade from Syria but not from Lebanon. The IDF's chief intelligence officer for the Golan told us that the IDF cannot completely stop the drug trade from Syria there. He said that while they have all kinds of electronic trip wires and fences, there are farmers on the Syrian side who know the terrain better than the IDF does. Often, the Syrians will throw drugs to a contact on the Israeli side of the fence and the drug dealers will throw the money over the fence to them. The IDF's fear is that one day something much worse than drugs will be thrown over the fence.

Hezbullah doesn't need to throw anything over fences. They have the divided town of Ghajr, which I plan to address more fully in another post when I can get to it. For now, suffice it to say that the Lebanese have access to the northern half of the divided town, and the townspeople have access to Israel. Many of them own restaurants in Kiryat Shmoneh (which is nearby) and hang around the mall there. Are Lebanese drugs being marketed to Israel through Kiryat Shmoneh? This report sure makes it sound like they are.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Lebanon's drug trade

Israel Matzav: Group demands Israel reopen city of Shchem (Nablus) to Israeli Jews

Group demands Israel reopen city of Shchem (Nablus) to Israeli Jews

I received the following email today from David HaIvri of the Shomron Liaison Office:

Carl Shalom,

I wanted to bring this issue to your attention. A new group has formed in Shomron called Garin Shechem. They are mobilizing local grassroots activism demanding that the Israeli government reopen the city of Shechem to free Jewish passage and allow free access to Kever Yosef [Joseph's tomb. CiJ]. A large event is planed on Motzie Shabbat [Saturday night. CiJ] next week at the southern enterance to the city. It will include live music and public figures.

Shechem has been off limits to Jews since the riots in Sep. 2000 when Kever Yosef was burnt down and Hillel Lieberman was murdered. Today there is a big red sign at the entrance to the city that says in Hebrew Area A, is forbidden to Israelis, dangerous and against the law to enter. Over the past two years following Gershon Mesika being elected director of the Shomron regional council the IDF has facilitated once monthly midnight visits for Jewish worshipers to Kever Yosef.

Let me know if you would like any more information.

Thank you,

David Ha'ivri
The Shomron Liaison Office
Office 03-936-8146
Cell Phone 052-607-1690
USA Phone 1-512-961-7059
I have asked for information about transportation and will let you know when I get a response.

Israel Matzav: Group demands Israel reopen city of Shchem (Nablus) to Israeli Jews

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad laughed

Ahmadinejad laughed

In Washington on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs wondered why Iran is so complacent.

Asked about comments made recently by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that indicated Tehran did not feel compelled to meet a year-end deadline to accept the deal, Gibbs said the major international powers who set the deadline urged Iran to abide by it.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad may not recognize, for whatever reason, the deadline that looms, but that is a very real deadline for the international community," Gibbs said.

And in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad laughed at the Obumbler.

US President Barack Obama is a disappointment to the world, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday night in an interview with the UK's Channel 4 News.

Ahmadinejad mocked Obama's words in his Cairo speech in which he said he was extending his hand to Iran.

"Which hand did he extend? His right hand or left hand?" Ahmadinejad asked wryly. "He extended the sanctions against us."

"He has failed to meet the expectations of the people in the US and the people of the world," Ahmadinejad added.

Let's go to the videotapes (there are two of them):

He's toying with Obama, isn't he? What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad laughed

Israel Matzav: Irony alert: They want their Israeli citizenship

Irony alert: They want their Israeli citizenship

This paragraph from a Haaretz article on the 'terrorists for Gilad' negotiations is rich. It's discussing the possibility of exile for 'Palestinian' 'Israeli Arab' terrorists to be released as part of the 'exchange.'

The issue has also been raised among Israeli Arab security prisoners who have expressed concern that the terms of exile not include revocation of their Israeli citizenship, although recently doubt has been expressed that a prisoner exchange will include Israeli citizens at all.

Maybe they want us to let Azmi Bishara (pictured) back into the country with a pardon too.

Israel Matzav: Irony alert: They want their Israeli citizenship

Israel Matzav: The coward in Damascus

The coward in Damascus

During a visit to Tehran on Wednesday, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal promised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Hamas would strike Israel if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities.

During his visit to Iran, Khaled Mashaal was received with extraordinary honors. Iranian officials promised their support to the Hamas terror organization. Mashaal answered in kind and promised his hosts that Hamas will strike at Israel if Iran is attacked.

I wonder if Meshaal - who is ensconced in safety in Damascus - asked any Sunni 'Palestinians' in Gaza (which is what nearly all of them are) whether they were interested in being bombed back to the 8th century in defense of Shi'a Iran.

/Just wondering.

Israel Matzav: The coward in Damascus

Israel Matzav: Hamas sued in Belgian court

Hamas sued in Belgian court

A European pro-Israel lobby has sued the Gaza and Damascus-based leaders of Hamas in a Belgian court, demanding that they be brought to justice for war crimes.

The lawsuit is intended as a response to Palestinian legal warfare against Israel and the various lawsuits filed against Israelis in international courts. It was filed on behalf of 15 Israeli citizens who live in the Gaza periphery and who hold Belgian citizenship.

Among the Hamas leaders targeted by the lawsuit are Hamas's Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, former foreign minister Mahmoud Zahar and Ahmed Jabri, who heads the group's military wing.

"The request for arrest warrants was submitted after six months of legal preparation and is based on strict evidence which ties Hamas leaders to terror attacks in which Belgium citizens ware harmed," the Israelis' attorney, Roel Coveliers, said.

"The Goldstone report says, among other things, that the rocket attacks by Hamas constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, so as a member of the United Nations, I don't believe Belgium will ignore the complaint," Coveliers said.

It marks the second lawsuit in recent months filed against a terror organization for its attacks on Israelis.

Let's see how hypocritical the Europeans can be. Heh.

The picture is kids in a Sderot school taking cover during a rocket attack

Israel Matzav: Hamas sued in Belgian court

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Terror attack in Northern Samaria

Breaking: Terror attack in Northern Samaria

There's been a terror attack in Northern Samaria within the last hour. An Israeli Jew has been murdered.

An Israeli man was shot dead in an apparent terror attack in the West Bank on Thursday afternoon.

The attack took place as the man was driving along Route 57, between the northern West Bank settlements of Shavei Shomron and Einav. The assailants fled the scene.

Magen David Adom paramedics attempted to save the man, who was in a critical condition but were forced to pronounce his death.

The victim was a resident of Shavei Shomron.

IDF troops were scouring the area from the gunman.

No terror group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the last such attack, two Judea and Samaria Traffic Police officers were shot dead by terrorists in the Jordan Valley in March 2009.

Let's hope the government response isn't to open up some more checkpoints.


Arutz Sheva reports that the victim was a 45-year old father of seven.

Ma'an reports that an affiliate of the 'good terrorists' from Fatah has taken responsibility (Hat Tip: Aussie Dave via Twitter).

An organization calling itself the Imad Mughniya Group and proclaiming affiliation to Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibily in an email for the shooting.

“Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Group of the Martyr Imad Mughniya claim firing on a settler car in the north of the West Bank between the settlement Shave Shomeron and Enab,” the message said.

"The resistance fighters affirmed that those who were in the car sustained injuries after being shot directly," the statement also said.

The group said its members "withdrew from the area safely." It also warned of "a series of attacks to come."

Maybe if we stop building 'settlements' they'll stop shooting.

/Pipe dream


The victim now has a name and some details.

Rabbi Meir Chai, 40, lived in Shavei Shomron for the last 14 years, and teaches at the Talmud Torah School. His seven children range from two months-old to 18 year-old.

Magen David Adom paramedics attempted to save Chai, but were forced to pronounce his death at the scene of the shooting.

May God have mercy on the family.

Contrary to the Ma'an report above, JPost is still reporting that no terror group has taken credit for the attack.

Israel Matzav: Breaking: Terror attack in Northern Samaria

Israel Matzav: European hypocrisy exposed

European hypocrisy exposed

On Monday, al-Guardian dredged up a 15-year old story about the former director of Abu Kabir taking corneas and skin from dead patients without permission, and spun it into a story headlined "Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs."

On Tuesday, al-Guardian issued a correction in which they changed the headline (Hat Tip: Snapshots).

We should not have put the headline "Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs" on a story about an admission, by the former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv, that during the 1990s specialists at the institute harvested organs from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers without getting permission from the families of the deceased (21 December, page 15). That headline did not match the article, which made clear that the organs were not taken only from Palestinians. This was a serious editing error and the headline has been changed online to reflect the text of the story written by the reporter.

I would rather have seen that item end, "This was a serious editing error and the editor has been fired/disciplined." But al-Guardian didn't go that far, and the story's damage had not only been done already - it continues to spread.

Yet as of Tuesday evening (Iran-time), for a second straight day, the British taxpayer-funded BBC Persian language service is continuing to highlight the lie that Israel is harvesting the organs of Palestinians on its home page here, and in a story here.

You do not see such garbage on Radio Farda, which is the U.S. government’s equivalent of BBC Persian.

BBC Persian is under the direct supervision of the British foreign office. Why British politicians and commentators (including those from the Conservative Party) put up with it, is beyond me.

Isn’t the Iranian regime serving up enough anti-Semitic hate to their own public without the BBC joining in?

It's now Thursday night in Tehran, and although the item no longer appears on the BBC's home page, it still appears on the site itself. The original URL above still works. There's a Google translation here.

Meanwhile, CAMERA points out the hypocrisy of Aftonbladet, the Swedish newspaper that started the blood libel about organ harvesting, which is ignoring a story that first appeared in the Kuwait Times about Palestinians' kidneys being sold.

On October 23, CAMERA's Andrea Levin sent the following letter to Aftonbladet.

October 23, 2009

Dear Mr. Helin,

I write to bring your attention to an AFP story this week concerning organ trafficking in Jordan. Palestinians, it seems, are chief among those targeted. As the Oct 21 piece in the Kuwaiti Arab Times paper linked here notes [ed: the link to the Kuwaiti paper has been removed. The AFP original remains] :

According to a recent government study of 130 cases in which kidneys were sold, nearly 80 percent of 'donors' were Palestinians from Baqaa in northwest Amman, the largest refugee camp in the country.

We're wondering if you'll be covering this story — which is a current one, verifiable and not from 1992 as Donald Bostrom's was — about organ abuses. We assume, on the basis of Aftonbladet's August 17 story that the paper has a particular interest in organ trafficking issues, as well as the concerns of Palestinians in this regard.We look forward to your informing your readers about the trafficking reported here and the reference to Egypt, India and Pakistan as venues for harvesting organs from various vulnerable peoples.

As previously requested, we continue to urge response to our letter of September 11, 2009and corrections of errors in the August 17 Aftonbladet feature story.


Andrea Levin
Executive Director and President

As of Wednesday, Ms. Levin had received no response to her letter. I'm sure you're all shocked.

The moral bankruptcy of Europe and its media continues.

Israel Matzav: European hypocrisy exposed

Israel Matzav: Letters to God

Letters to God

A lot of letters to God end up in Jerusalem. Here's where they go once they get here.

Let's go to the videotape.


Israel Matzav: Letters to God

Israel Matzav: Gazans break through 'apartheid wall'

Gazans break through 'apartheid wall'

Gazans are protesting against the 'apartheid wall' that's going up in the 'West Bank' between Gaza and Egypt.

Today in Rafah (south of Gaza) some 700 people joined a demonstration staged in this portion of Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas Islamic radicals to protest against the underground steel barrier planned by Egypt along the only section of the Gaza Strip border that is foreign to Israel. The protesters gathered in front of the so-called Saladins Door, near the Egyptian border, but not in front of the main Rafah pass. The crowd included local residents, local Hamas activists and even one of the movements spokespersons who arrived from Gaza City, Sami Abu Zahri, who requested a halt to work in progress and the dismantling of the section of the barrier that has already been built. During the gathering people chanted slogans inviting Egypt not to choke the people of Gaza and to help the Palestinian people, while others carried signs saying Stop the siege or Enough walls and invoked Arab solidarity. Hamas security, present in force, however avoided any excessive approach to the border and incidents of any kind. The barrier, which was created with the help of American technicians, represents Cairòs reply to the problem of underground tunnels which allow the passage of vital goods to the Gaza Strip (which has been under an almost total Israeli blockade since Hamas rose to power in 2007) in addition to weapons, militiamen and illegal aliens. According to reports referred in recent days by the BBC and by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the project estimates a total final length of 10 kilometres for 30 metres of depth.

But the Gazans are doing more than protesting, and according to this report they have succeeded in cutting through the wall.

Sources involved in the tunnels used for smuggling told the website "Palestine - Al-Yom" that tunnel diggers were able to cut a section of the steel fence that blocked one of the tunnels. Smugglers predicted that the new barrier would not prevent them from continuing their smuggling trade.

The only thing that might work - stationing Egyptian troops in Rafah to monitor the Egyptian side of the tunnels - is unlikely to happen.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Gazans break through 'apartheid wall'

Israel Matzav: Lebanon: Hezbullah will defend us

Lebanon: Hezbullah will defend us

On Wednesday afternoon, as our group of bloggers stood in a windy observation post at Misgav Am overlooking the Lebanese border, the IDF spokesperson for the northern Galilee asked what we thought the IDF should do if there was a 60-year old woman in the neighboring village who had 6,000 rockets stored in her basement. I responded that under international law, there is little doubt the IDF would have the right (and indeed the duty) to blow up that house. She responded yes, but how would the world view it?

Well, clearly the answer to that is that the world would condemn us. But as we discovered during Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin, during the Second Lebanon War and during Operation Cast Lead, the world will condemn us regardless of what we do. So maybe the time has come to ignore the world's condemnations so long as we are obeying the letter of international law.

These issues are coming more and more into focus in Lebanon. While Hezbullah was barely defeated in this past summer's elections, Lebanon now has a government that is one third Hezbullah and in which Hezbullah has veto power over all major decisions. That government has already decided to permit Hezbullah to retain its arms in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. And now that government's Defense Minister, Elias Murr, has announced that Lebanon will depend on Hezbullah to defend it.

Defense Minister Elias Murr told the official government National News Agency Tuesday, "The role of the army is to cooperate with the UNIFIL in order to implement the resolution 1701, which calls for disarming Hizbullah." Murr then added, “The Lebanese army will defend the country against any Israeli aggression, the resistance [Hizbullah] will do that too; everyone has the right to defend the country."


Murr’s declaration goes further than previous statements that Lebanon will allow Hizbullah to remain armed, a foregone conclusion since UNIFIL officers said at the outset of the ceasefire resolution in 2006 that they would not carry out the mandate to disarm the terrorist group.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned last month that Hizbullah in effect is Lebanon’s army, stating that "the Lebanese government and Hizbullah are becoming interwoven in each other.”

The government has a diplomatic excuse for ostensibly defying the U.N. resolution, which forbids arms to all "foreign armies” not authorized by the government. Formally adopting Hizbullah as a defense force effectively neutralizes the resolution at the same time Beirut promises to enforce it.

Lebanon is Hezbullah and Hezbullah is Lebanon. In the next war - which may be coming soon - Israel will have to deal with Lebanon as the enemy.

Israel Matzav: Lebanon: Hezbullah will defend us

Israel Matzav: Obama's top 10 foreign policy blunders

Obama's top 10 foreign policy blunders

In London's Daily Telegraph, Niles Gardner gives a list of President Obumbler's top 10 foreign policy blunders (Hat Tip: John Hinderaker).

1. Surrendering to Russia over missile defence.
2. Appeasing the mullahs of Iran.
3. Ending the war on terror.
4. Announcing a surge while declaring an exit.
5. Apologizing to France for America's "arrogance."
6. Giving DVDs to the British Prime Minister.
7. Siding with Marxists in Honduras.
8. Bowing to emperors and kings.
9. Embracing genocidal killers in Sudan.
10. Throwing Churchill out of the White House.

I can't believe pushing for a 'total settlement freeze' in Judea, Samaria and 'east' Jerusalem didn't even make the list.

Israel Matzav: Obama's top 10 foreign policy blunders

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas loves Qaddafi

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas loves Qaddafi

Elder of Ziyon: Israel allows third flower export from Gaza this month

Elder of Ziyon: Israel allows third flower export from Gaza this month

'Anti-Freeze' Action Plan Released - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'Anti-Freeze' Action Plan Released - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Defense Minister: 'Fix the Freeze Order' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Defense Minister: 'Fix the Freeze Order' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Mofaz Demands Primaries in Kadima to Ward Off Split - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Mofaz Demands Primaries in Kadima to Ward Off Split - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'Six Kadima MKs Signed Defection Paper with Netanyahu' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'Six Kadima MKs Signed Defection Paper with Netanyahu' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

12th Graders: We%u2019ll Fight for Israel and not Expel Jews - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

12th Graders: We%u2019ll Fight for Israel and not Expel Jews - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Significant Quantities of Oil Discovered in Center of Israel - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

Significant Quantities of Oil Discovered in Center of Israel - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

Hamas Rocket Victims Sue in Belgium for War Crimes Arrests - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Hamas Rocket Victims Sue in Belgium for War Crimes Arrests - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Love of the Land: Donald Bostrom's Letter to Santa

Donald Bostrom's Letter to Santa

Honest Reporting/Backspin
24 December 09

Dear Santa,

Please send me hard evidence that the IDF stole organs from Palestinian kids. I don't have any, and Jewish bloggers are still breathing down my neck. Notwithstanding this Dishonest Reporting award, I still consider myself "nice."

Sir, let me remind you of your ties to the 2001 Alder Hey scandal. It's very curious that all the improperly harvested organs came from British kids on your "Designated Naughty Children" list.

It would be a real tragedy to see your image equated with the Israeli army amid calls for an international investigation, especially right before Christmas.

I look forward to your reply.

seasons greetings,

Donald Bostrom

Love of the Land: Donald Bostrom's Letter to Santa

Love of the Land: Gaza by the Numbers: One Year After Operation Cast Lead

Gaza by the Numbers: One Year After Operation Cast Lead

The Israel Project (TIP)
16 December 09

On Dec. 27, 2008, Israel Defense Forces began a defensive operation in Gaza—Operation Cast Lead—to stop Iran-backed Hamas and other terrorist groups from their years-long campaign of firing thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles at Israel.[1] [2] During Operation Cast Lead, Israel focused on dismantling Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure while minimizing civilian casualties.[3] The operation, which ended Jan. 18[4] , was made more difficult – and dangerous – because of Hamas’s widespread use of civilians as human shields.[5] The defensive operation has reduced by 90 percent the number of rocket, missile and mortar attacks on Israel from Gaza.[6]

Following are facts and figures about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza:

Key Statistics

• 1 million: Israeli civilians under threat from Hamas rocket fire.[7]
• 15: Seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once a warning siren has sounded.[8]
• 2 million: Leaflets the Israel Air Force dropped on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, warning civilians to stay clear of Hamas fighters.[9]
• 200,000: Phone calls made by the Israeli army to civilians in Gaza warning of an impending strike near their residences.[10]
• 8: Years Israel has endured rocket, missile and mortar fire from Gaza.[11]
• 1: Israeli left in Gaza – Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit,[12] kidnapped by Hamas from Israel on June 25, 2006.[13]
• 3,200+: Rockets and mortar fired from Gaza in 2008.[14]
• 6,500+: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.[15]
• 10,389: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza 2001-2008.[16]
• 1,000+: People in Israel injured from rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since 2001.[17]
• 27: Number of people killed by Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks since 2001.[18]
• 270: Rockets and mortars fired from Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead, Jan. 18 - Nov. 31, 2009.[19]

(Full stats and footnotes)

Love of the Land: Gaza by the Numbers: One Year After Operation Cast Lead

Love of the Land: Israelis seek arrest of Hamas leaders abroad

Israelis seek arrest of Hamas leaders abroad

EU Business News
24 December 09

(JERUSALEM) - A group of Israelis wounded in Palestinian rocket attacks during this year's Gaza war have asked a Belgian court to issue war crimes arrest warrants against Hamas leaders, they said Thursday.

The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs say is unprecedented, follows a slew of requests filed by pro-Palestinian groups across Europe for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders over their role in the devastating Gaza offensive.

The latest move was led by a European pro-Israeli lobby representing 15 victims of rocket attacks on southern Israel, who were wounded, whose homes were damaged and in one case who lost a relative.

The Israelis, who also hold Belgian nationality, filed the complaint in Brussels, where a judicial probe would be held and arrest warrants issued if deemed necessary, their attorney, Roel Coveliers, said.

"The request for arrest warrants was submitted after six months of legal preparation and is based on strict evidence which ties Hamas leaders to terror attacks in which Belgium citizens ware harmed," Coveliers told AFP.

The complaint accuses 10 top Hamas military and political leaders of war crimes, citing reports by international human rights organisations and a UN fact-finding mission which Israel boycotted.

Named after former South African judge Richard Goldstone, who headed the inquiry committee, the UN report accuses both Israel and Hamas militants of war crimes during the 22-day conflict that ended in January and killed about 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

"The Goldstone report says, among other things, that the rocket attacks by Hamas constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, so as a member of the United Nations, I don't believe Belgium will ignore the complaint," Coveliers said.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Israelis seek arrest of Hamas leaders abroad

War as Tool or Goal

War as Tool or Goal

Yitshak (Ike) Aharonovitch, captain of the Exodus, has died. He was 86. Yossi Harel, Haganah commander of the operation and Aharonovitch's superior, died last year. He was also in his 80s (89, I think). May they rest in peace; we owe them both.

Apparently the two never ceased arguing about the outcome of their glorious moment, not when they were in their 20s, and not when they were in their 80s. Harel was willing to kill or be killed for the national goal, but in a pragmatic sort of way. Aharonovitch wanted to die with glory and justice, and was peeved for the next 60-some years that he was destined to die in bed. Yoram Kaniuk, another old-timer writes about their arguments that ended only in death (the translation is awful, you've got to pretend you're reading it in Hebrew).

All of Zionism is the story of the struggle between Yossi and Ike. Ike wanted Yossi to continue the war to show that we were heroes and in order to beat the British and Yossi said he didn't bring the ship so that 4,500 Holocaust survivors would be killed, and if Ike's Palmach wanted war he should bring the young people from the kibbutzim. Ike didn't forgive him. No logic would get through to him. He accepted the battle that was almost Masada in the sea. Yossi wanted life. Ike wanted struggle and victory.

Historians can't know "what if" - so how can we know Harel was right, and Aharonovitch was wrong? Unfortunately, because while in the Zionist camp the Harel's mostly win, with the Palestinians the Aharonovitchs always win.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Lawfare in the Other Direction

Lawfare in the Other Direction

A group of Israelis with Belgian citizenship are taking Hamas to court in Belgium.

This sort of thing will never bring peace. No matter which side initiates it. Yet if the anti-Israel lawfarers lose the comfort of owning the battlefield, maybe they'll use it less. That's certainly a reasonable target to aim at.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Strenger on Carter

Strenger on Carter

Jimmy Carter apologized recently for his harsh anti-Israel position of recent years. The JTA smells politics. Goldblog is guarded, and working on it with his readers. Yourish is dismissive. There's a lot more of that out there if you care to look for it.

Carlo Strenger looks at some of the longer-term aspects. He says nothing new, but most of us generally don't. I"m linking not for the novelty but because he's right.

Israel and the Christian world have been locked in a very complex relationship that has deep historical and theological roots. The theologically based hatred of Christianity towards Jews was transformed in the 19th century, and received its racial formulation from 1873 onwards, when the Austrian journalist Wilhelm Marr coined the term anti-Semitism. This form of hatred of Jews led to the horrors of the Holocaust, and the Western world has yet to come to terms with its refusal to do anything to stop the genocide.

Jews have been the bad conscience of the West for a long time - and even more so since the Holocaust. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy has pointed out that many in the West have never come to terms with the fact that Jews, the perpetual victims, now have a powerful army, and are no longer in the position of having to beg for protection and recognition. But most of all, for many there was relief: now that Jews had become the victimizers rather than the victims, the guilt of the history of persecution ending in the Holocaust could finally left behind. Many in the West used a ubiquitous defense mechanism: humans tend to hate those who induce guilt in them - and finally guilt against Jews could be transformed into hatred against Israel.

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Bomb Iran. Repeatedly.

Bomb Iran. Repeatedly.

The New York Times has an op-ed by one Alan J. Kuperman, who has a snazzy-sounding title at U. of Texas, Austin. He spends a chunk of time setting up his credentials as an expert, but then suddenly takes off in a belligerent direction: The only thing that will stop Iran from causing nuclear damage is to bomb it. By the US, not Israel, because it will need to be bombed repeatedly.

I don't say much on this matter, because I don't know enough about the many technical and cultural aspects to have anything meaningful to say. (Though I did once, in some detail, here). Nor do I know to tell how representative this Kuperman fellow is of anything. I doubt he has a hot-line to the White House. Still, Obama's outstretched hand has clearly found a clenched fist in Teheran, with sharp steel knuckles. Something will have to happen.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Israel Matzav: US to join International Criminal Court?

US to join International Criminal Court?

As I have described so many times that I won't describe it at length again, back in 2001 US President George W. Bush withdrew the International Criminal Court's Rome treaty from consideration before the Senate, and as a result the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court. At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak decided not to move forward with Israel signing the treaty. Why joining the court is a bad idea for both countries is something I discussed here and here.

Now, President Obumbler may be trying to join the court through the back door (Hat Tip: Instapundit).

Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.

By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.


The importance of this last crucial point cannot be understated, because this immunity and protection - and elevation above the US Constitution - afforded INTERPOL is likely a precursor to the White House subjecting the United States under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). INTERPOL provides a significant enforcement function for the ICC, just as our FBI provides a significant function for our Department of Justice.

We direct the American public to paragraph 28 of the ICC's Proposed Programme Budget for 2010 (PDF).

29. Additionally, the Court will continue to seek the cooperation of States not party to the Rome Statute and to develop its relationships with regional organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Arab League (AL), the African Union (AU), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), ASEAN and CARICOM. We will also continue to engage with subregional and thematic organizations, such as SADC and ECOWAS, and the Commonwealth Secretariat and the OIF. This will be done through high level visits, briefings and, as appropriate, relationship agreements. Work will also be carried out with sectoral organizations such as IDLO and INTERPOL, to increase efficiency.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute - the UN treaty that established the International Criminal Court. (See: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court).

Read the whole thing.

Why would Obama want to join the International Criminal Court? Partly because Bush didn't. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: US to join International Criminal Court?

Israel Matzav: Day by Day

Day by Day

I just had to share this one (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad via Twitter).

You can subscribe to Day by Day by going here and clicking on the link.

Israel Matzav: Day by Day

Israel Matzav: Like a fleeting shadow?

Like a fleeting shadow?

The Kadima party founded by Ariel Sharon is about to implode. At least six MK's have signed a deal to leave the party to join the Likud. Israel Radio reported this morning that seven have signed but the Likud did not want to announce it because there are supposed to be 12 and they want to wait until all are aboard.

MKs Eli Aflalo, Ronit Tirosh, Shai Hermesh, Otniel Schneller, Aryeh Bibi and Yulia Shamalov Berkovich reportedly signed the forms, while MK Ze'ev Boim and other Kadima legislators were expected to join the move soon.

Netanyahu and his associates have negotiated with 15 Kadima MKs about leaving Kadima over the past three months and they hope to persuade 10, but just seven are needed in order to legally split off from the party.

Netanyahu's associates said they had not decided yet when to turn the forms over to the Knesset House Committee to proceed with the split, adding that a lot depended on the final decisions of the remaining MKs and the progress in negotiations to bring home kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Kadima is a party with no principles and deserves to go out of existence. But that doesn't mean that any of the MK's who are leaving it are doing so on principle.

Aflalo already told Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday that he intended to leave the party on his own, because he was angry at her for not helping him get re-elected to the Knesset after he was instrumental in helping her win the Kadima leadership against MK Shaul Mofaz.

"You betrayed me and I don't believe in you anymore," Aflalo told Livni, in the heated conversation.

Each of the MKs who leave Kadima will become a minister, deputy minister or Knesset committee chairman. Aflalo is expected to be named Negev and Galilee development minister, Tirosh will be a minister in the Foreign Ministry, Boim could be minister of Jerusalem and pensioners affairs, Shamalov Berkovich deputy communications minister, Bibi deputy internal security minister, Hermesh deputy agriculture minister, and Schneller chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Kadima MK Yoel Hasson wrote Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Wednesday asking him whether such promises were legally considered bribery.

It's tough being in the opposition in this country, isn't it?

I'm not celebrating this too much. From Netanyahu's perspective, this is a brilliant move that changes the entire coalition picture. If he was ever talking to National Union, he has no reason to anymore. The Jewish Home can walk away and Netanyahu can shrug his shoulders. The same goes for United Torah Judaism Even Shas may not be absolutely necessary anymore so long as one of the other parties stays in. What this does is strengthen Netanyahu for making 'concessions' to the 'Palestinians.' And that's not good news.

Moreover, although historically MK's who defect from big parties and then return to them don't do particularly well (Dan Meridor is the only recent exception that comes to mind and that's because Netanyahu took a personal interest in him and because Meridor spent some time out of politics), this will likely make it harder for the likes of Moshe Feiglin to move up in the next election, and of course Netanyahu wants to keep Feiglin down.

Will Kadima continue to exist? Here's betting that by the end of the next election, they will be but a footnote in the country's political history.

Israel Matzav: Like a fleeting shadow?
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