Sunday, 27 December 2009

Israel Matzav: Clinton pushes a Communist agenda

Clinton pushes a Communist agenda

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured here with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov) has redefined the United States' commitment to human rights to ignore political democracy in favor of a Communist interpretation of freedom.

Ms. Clinton's lumping of economic and social "rights" with political and personal freedom was a standard doctrine of the Soviet Bloc, which used to argue at every East-West conference that human rights in Czechoslovakia were superior to those in the United States, because one provided government health care that the other lacked. In fact, as U.S. diplomats used to tirelessly respond, rights of liberty -- for free expression and religion, for example -- are unique in that they are both natural and universal; they will exist so long as governments do not suppress them. Health care, shelter and education are desirable social services, but they depend on resources that governments may or may not possess. These are fundamentally different goods, and one cannot substitute for another.

Ms. Clinton said that in adding "human development" to human rights and democracy, "we have to tackle all three simultaneously." But there are two dangers in her approach. One is that non-democratic regimes will seize on the economic aspect of her policy as an substitute for political reform -- as dictators have been doing for decades. Another is that the Obama administration will itself, in working with friendly but unfree countries, choose the easy route of focusing on development, while downplaying democracy.

Judging from Ms. Clinton's own rhetoric, that is the approach the State Department is headed toward in the Arab Middle East. In a major speech last month in Morocco, she said that U.S. engagement with Islamic countries would henceforth focus on education, science and technology, and "entrepreneurship" -- all foundations of "development." She made no mention of democracy. If the Obama administration believes that liberty is urgently needed in the homelands of al-Qaeda, Ms. Clinton still has offered no sign of it.

And you thought the Democrats were the party of freedom and human rights. My how the times have changed.


Israel Matzav: Clinton pushes a Communist agenda

Israel Matzav: Sunday, the Islamists stayed home

Sunday, the Islamists stayed home

A heavily promoted Hamas rally marking the anniversary of Israel's Operation Cast Lead on Sunday drew only 3,000 people, as most 'Palestinians' opted to stay home.

"Gaza was victorious. Yes, Gaza was victorious with its steadfastness, its firmness and strength of faith," said Gaza Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a televised speech.

But the Hamas call to rally was met with indifference. Ignoring a siren meant to call for a minute's silence, cars whizzed by and pedestrians kept walking.

"I wish they had commemorated the war by opening a factory. That would have been better than this," said Gaza resident Rami Mohammed, 30.

...

It was hard to say whether the indifference reflected general despair over the difficult conditions in Gaza or outright discontent with the Hamas government. Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass Hamas demonstration in Gaza City to celebrate the anniversary of the group's founding. The huge turnout signaled that the group still remains popular with its core followers and maintains a firm grip on power.

A second rally was held in Gaza City.

"We are the victors! We are the fighters! We are the steadfast!" thundered senior Hamas leader Khalil Hayyeh.

But a year later, Hayyeh's bold calls rang hollow. After days of heavy advertising through Hamas Web sites, text messages and radio announcements, only a trickle of Hamas loyalists turned up to a commemoration in the heavily damaged legislative building in downtown Gaza City, the territory's largest urban area.

They may still love Hamas, but they are tired of fighting Israel. Or perhaps they don't love Hamas but were afraid not to show up for the rally two weeks ago.

Heh.

Israel Matzav: Sunday, the Islamists stayed home

Love of the Land: Santa's Image Problem

Santa's Image Problem

Honest Reporting/Backspin
27 December 09

The Palestinians hijacked Mickey Mouse. Is it any surprise they're creating not-so-jolly image problems for Santa too? Check out the latest photo stunt (via Gateway Pundit) which Reuters fell for.

Bilin_Santa

A Palestinian demonstrator in a Santa Claus costume throws a stone at Israeli troops during a protest against the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah December 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

What next? Viktor the Viking, Florida's Albert the Gator and, -- perish the thought -- Hogettes showing up for Bilin's manufactured dissent?

Related Reading: Photo-Ops are Child's Play


Love of the Land: Santa's Image Problem

Elder of Ziyon: "Honor killing" in Gaza

Elder of Ziyon: "Honor killing" in Gaza

Israel Matzav: Good news: Yet another Arab country going nuclear

Good news: Yet another Arab country going nuclear

The United Arab Emirates is paying a South Korean consortium $20 billion to build nuclear reactors in the oil rich Persian Gulf country.

I guess that's how they hope to 'contain' Iran.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Good news: Yet another Arab country going nuclear

Immunity to Facts

Immunity to Facts

Well below the radar of most media, there's a fascinating drama happening in Egypt. Yesterday the BBC did take note, in a telegraphic tone:

Egypt has rejected a request to allow activists to march across the border into the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of last year's conflict.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said the march could not be allowed because of the "sensitive situation" in Gaza.

Over 1,000 activists from 42 countries had signed-up to join "the Gaza freedom march" planned for next week.

Egypt warned that anyone attempting the crossing from Egypt would be "dealt with by the law".

Mondoweiss have been on the story for a while, and Phil Weiss has apparently gone to Egypt, perhaps to convince the Egyptians it's bad PR for them to be on Israel's side, I don't know. Recently they posted a letter from the organizers of the march to President Mubarak, which contains a number of fine demonstrations of pure Orwellian Newspeak:

As individuals who believe in justice and human rights, we have spent our hard-earned, and sometimes scarce, resources to buy plane tickets, book hotel rooms and secure transportation only to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza living under a crushing Israeli blockade...
It is practically impossible, this late in the game, to stop all these people from travelling to Egypt, even if we wanted to. Moreover, most have no plans in Egypt other than to arrive at a predetermined meeting point to head together to the Gaza border. If these plans are cancelled there will be a lot of unjustified suffering for the Palestinians of Gaza and over a thousand internationals who had nothing in mind but noble intentions. (My italics)

I don't know if the Egyptians will relent in the end or not (if so it must be this week). One way or the other, they have already disproved the central tenet of the demonstrators, namely that Israel and Israel alone is to blame for everything and anything. Not that you'd ever know this from listening to the putative demonstrators.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

From Idiocy to Farce

From Idiocy to Farce

In the previous post I lambasted our narcissistic thin-skinned far-lefties who never tire of telling the world how awful we are, but have convinced themselves that a couple of irate murmurs by grumpy politicians who dislike them signify the end of freedom of speech in Israel.

One of the fellows cited in the Guardian article is Michael Sfarad:

"There has been a huge change in the way the government treats those who dissent," says Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer representing several human rights groups. This process, he adds, has accelerated in the year since the attacks in Gaza: "The gloves have come off."

(The man's name, of course, is Sfarad, not Sfard, which would be like a referring to Gordon Brawn, but why be nitpicky).

In a case of perfect timing, Sfarad demonstrates how his allegation has no factual base. Today of all days, while he's moaning to the Guardian that the nasty Israelis are blocking his right of free speech, Y-net - Israel's most popular news website, no less - gives him a platform to tell us that during the Gaza operation we finally rid ourselves of the yoke of morality, and we wallowed blissfully in wanton murder, barbarity and bestiality.

The mildly funny part of the story is that I could go through his litany of horrors and disprove them with quotations from the Goldstone Report, so outlandish is his tone. The hilarious part, though, is that he's forgotten that the way he tells it, our repression brigade should be blocking him from saying all these things. How inept of them.

Y-net, fortunately, doesn't see the need to translate this spite into English, so it remains an insider's joke.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Love of the Land: Guardian Remaps Israel -- Modi'in Is a Settlement

Guardian Remaps Israel -- Modi'in Is a Settlement

TS
CAMERA/Snapshots
27 December 09

As if to prove our point about the Guardian, which so "frequently distorts the conflict," Rachel Shabi's article today ("Gaza ceasefire in jeopardy as six Palestinians are shot") refers to the "huge Israeli settlement at Modiin."

With some 70,000 people, Modiin can be considered huge, but it is not a settlement. It is fully situated within Israel's pre-1967 boundaries, or the Green Line.

Guardian Modiin.jpg
Map source: BESA


Love of the Land: Guardian Remaps Israel -- Modi'in Is a Settlement

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas accused of closing down another NGO

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas accused of closing down another NGO

Israel Matzav: Rabbi Meir Chai did not die in vain

Rabbi Meir Chai did not die in vain

Thursday afternoon's murder of Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D (may God avenge his blood) in Samaria may yet be regarded as the seminal event that convinced the government not to go through with the 'terrorists for Gilad' trade.

"At this point, there's no deal, and it's not clear whether or not there will be a deal," he said. "If it comes to a vote, I'll bring it to the government, but we're not there yet, and I don't know if we ever will be."

The prime minister added that though Israel wants to bring captives back home, "We need to minimize risk to civilians."

He went on to point out the connection between terrorist acts committed against Israeli civilians and the difficult of releasing prisoners sentenced for such acts, made all the more stark as details of the murder of Rabbi Meir Chai began to unfold on Saturday and Sunday.

...

Various sources reported on Sunday morning that Raed Sarkaji, one of Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades members killed by IDF troops during an operation to apprehend those responsible for Chai's murder, had been interred in an Israeli prisoner until January 2009.

It seemed as though it had taken Sarkaji almost no time at all to return to terrorism, the very activity for which he was arrested in the first place.

Hmmm. If the 'terrorists for Gilad' deal is canceled as a result of Rabbi Chai's murder, hundreds of other Israeli lives may be saved. Food for thought.


Israel Matzav: Rabbi Meir Chai did not die in vain

Israel Matzav: Oh my: Plaintiffs in Belgium use Vlaams Belang lawyer

Oh my: Plaintiffs in Belgium use Vlaams Belang lawyer

Earlier this week, I reported that Hamas is being sued in Belgium by a European pro-Israel lobby. Commenter Marc G reports that unfortunately, the Plaintiffs have chosen a lawyer who is connected to Vlaams Belang.

It might be interesting to note that this has provoked quite a stir in Belgium. Anti-Zionists of course take the opportunity to pour their ignorant nonsense on the local media, but that is to be expected. There is however an additional twist to this story.

Coveliers, the lawyer that was picked by the plaintiffs, is close, if not part, of the "Vlaams Belang" party (extreme right). In itself, probably not the most judicious pick of course. But what's worse, a few Belgian (Zionist) organization complain (and I quote) that this claim and the choice of the lawyer could cause a public relation disaster for Israel.

Me thinks it's time that we kind of organize and coordinate this kind of initiatives, or we risk to cause more of those pr disasters.

No, it's not the most judicious pick.

I assume the Coveliers mentioned is Hugo Coveliers. But maybe the commenter will come back and correct me if I am wrong.



Israel Matzav: Oh my: Plaintiffs in Belgium use Vlaams Belang lawyer

Love of the Land: A decade of anti-Israel clichés

A decade of anti-Israel clichés


Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror
27 December 09

Just in time for Christmas, The Financial Times came out with a seasonally-themed editorial on "The need for peace in the Holy Land." You wouldn't quite know it from this editorial, but the 21st century's first decade began with far-reaching Israeli proposals for peace that were rejected by the Palestinians at Camp David and Taba in 2000/01, and now that the decade is about to end, it turns out that last year, Israel's prime minister proposed a Palestinian state on the equivalent of all the pre-1967 territories of Gaza and the West Bank, with east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital - but again, the proposal was apparently not good enough.

While these Israeli efforts are not even mentioned, the Financial Times worries about a lack of outside interest and involvement:

It is, at best, disingenuous to pretend that two parties with such massively disproportionate power, resources and diplomatic and financial support could ever reach a deal on their own. The Palestinians are under Israeli occupation and the land on which they hope eventually to build their state is daily being eaten away. Any possibility of dividing the Holy Land into two states - with 78 per cent of historic Palestine for Israelis and 22 per cent (the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem) for the Palestinians - will soon evaporate, if it has not already."

This short paragraph could be a promising entry for any competition that seeks the most concise summary of the past decade's most popular distortions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Let's begin with the statement at the end that talks of "78 per cent of historic Palestine for Israelis and 22 per cent [ …] for the Palestinians." Sounds awfully unfair to the Palestinians, doesn't it? However, for this statement to be correct, "historic Palestine" would have to be defined as the territory that remained after Britain decided in the early 1920s that the area east of the Jordan river - constituting 77 percent of the British Mandate of Palestine - would be considered as "Transjordan," while only the remaining 23 percent west of the Jordan river would be referred to as "Palestine."

In other words, Israel in its pre-1967 borders does not cover "78 per cent of historic Palestine," but 78 percent of modern-day Palestine as defined less than a century ago by Britain. Indeed, if the point of reference is British Mandate Palestine, Israel's pre-1967 territory amounts to less than 20 percent, while more than 80 percent - Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan - was under Arab rule until 1967, and obviously, these areas are still populated predominantly by Palestinians.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: A decade of anti-Israel clichés

Murderers of Rabbi Chai Killed By IDF, Security Forces - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

Murderers of Rabbi Chai Killed By IDF, Security Forces - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

US Demands Clarifications on Shechem Raid - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

US Demands Clarifications on Shechem Raid - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Officer Stalks Out of Shomron Post-Murder Meeting - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Officer Stalks Out of Shomron Post-Murder Meeting - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu Links Rabbi Chai's Murder with Shalit Deal - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu Links Rabbi Chai's Murder with Shalit Deal - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Kadima Wavering on Joining Gov't - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Kadima Wavering on Joining Gov't - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Pilots' Course: Few Kibbutzniks, Even Fewer Religious Zionists - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Pilots' Course: Few Kibbutzniks, Even Fewer Religious Zionists - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

New Town Near Sderot for Gush Katif Expellees - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

New Town Near Sderot for Gush Katif Expellees - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Love of the Land: Impossible to Verify, But We'll Publish It Anyway

Impossible to Verify, But We'll Publish It Anyway


Honest Reporting/Backspin
27 December 09

We can't verify this horrifying accusation, but we'll publish it anyway. That's the gist of this snippet by Daily Telegraph reporter Adrian Blomfield. He writes from Gaza:


But reliving her son's death a year later, there is another, more harrowing detail that preys on Mrs Awaja's mind. She says that as she hid behind a wall while her husband limped away to find help, Israeli soldiers used Ibrahim's corpse, which was lying in a road, as target practice.


"Each time the bullets would hit, his body leapt up off the road a little bit," she said. "It was as though he could still feel the pain even though he was already dead."


It is allegations such as these - almost impossible to verify - that have caused much damage to Israel's international reputation.


Memo to Blomfield: It's not the allegations themselves that cause much damage to Israel's reputation. It's reporters like you who damage Israel's reputation by giving unverified allegations unwarranted credibility and publicity.


What journalism value is met by including this in such a dispatch?


Ordinary Gazans like Kamal Awaja don't have the courage to tell reporters like Blomfield about the homes used as cover for rocket fire, the mosques used as weapons dumps, or the hospitals commandeered by Hamas leaders. This is another great example of what I call tear-jerking journalism.


Love of the Land: Impossible to Verify, But We'll Publish It Anyway

Israel Matzav: 'I feel the earth move under my feet'

'I feel the earth move under my feet'

This post requires a little music so let's go to the videotape.



They're starting to feel the earth move under their feet in Gaza, as Egypt builds its 'apartheid wall' (endorsed by 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen despite his opposition to Israel's 'security fence').

Four tunnels caved in over the past weekend, and it sounds like the entire border area around Rafah could eventually be at risk. Gaza Arab sources said that four tunnels running under the Gaza-Sinai border collapsed Friday, as a result of Egyptian construction of an underground metal barrier between Gaza and Sinai. Several Gaza Arabs were injured, and a fire broke out in one of the tunnels.

Out of fear of further tunnel collapses, terrorists have increased the rate of smuggling. Terrorists have begun using tunnels away from the area of the border, which take longer to dig because they run further into Gaza and Sinai; digging activity near the border has practically stopped, the sources said. Egyptian officials have told crews building the barrier to proceed with caution, in order not to create an "earthquake" that would affect buildings in the area of the ground that has become less stable as a result of the tunnel digging by Gaza Arab terrorists.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: 'I feel the earth move under my feet'

Israel Matzav: How Obama doomed Lebanon

How Obama doomed Lebanon




Jonathan Spyer explains how President Obumbler left Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri no choice but to reconcile with Syria.


The Hizbullah-led opposition conditioned their agreeing to join the coalition on the Hariri visit. But this condition was originally agreed to, according to reports, by Saudi King Abdullah, during his visit to Damascus in October. This visit was a gesture of rapprochement by the Saudis to the Syrians. The main backer of Hariri and March 14 appears at that point to have signaled Saudi willingness to concede its clients to the pro-Syrian interest in Lebanon.

...

Why should the Saudis choose to begin to engage with Iran's main Arab allies - the Syrians - against the US-aligned Iraqis? Riyadh's own patron, after all, is the United States.

Here one arrives at the crux of the matter. Although the Obama administration has hesitated before rushing headlong into renewing relations with Damascus, it has undertaken a series of gestures that have demonstrated that any real policy of isolation is over. This goes hand in hand with the broader regional stance of the administration of attempting "engagement" with the Iranian regime.

Far from signaling to Middle Eastern powers that a new world of cooperation is about to commence, what this US stance conveys to friends and foes in the region is that Washington no longer has the stomach for holding fast against the bid by Iran and its allies for regional hegemony.

The clients, and the clients of the clients, therefore move to make their accommodation with the changed reality. Unlike the Obama administration, they understand that the dominion of force is not going to end any time soon in the Middle East. The only question is - whose force will it be?

So if the small dominoes like Hariri are falling, it is because the larger ones are pushing them. Reversing this process, meanwhile, would require a general re-think of the current assumptions guiding western policy in the Middle East.


Read the whole thing. Obama's attempts to 'engage' Syria and Iran have told the countries of this region that they are on their own. The only country in this region that is not attempting to cozy up to Syria or Iran is Israel. For us, cozying up to Syria or Iran would literally be suicidal. But everyone else in this region is leaving the American sphere of influence, which no longer provides any protection, and going over to the Syrian/Iranian camp.

What could go wrong?





Israel Matzav: How Obama doomed Lebanon

Elder of Ziyon: "Siege" update

Elder of Ziyon: "Siege" update

Elder of Ziyon: Abbas doesn't want any Israeli Arabs in "Palestine"

Elder of Ziyon: Abbas doesn't want any Israeli Arabs in "Palestine"

Chester Chronicles - What Next? Body Cavity Searches at Airports?

What Next? Body Cavity Searches at Airports?

Look: I’m no military strategist or historian. I have spent no time in any standing army or paramilitary organization. But, as a citizen civilian I have some questions.

First, what next?

Are we all going to be subjected to underwear checks before boarding our flights? If so, Al-Qaeda will soon secrete explosives in body cavities. Will we all be searched there as well? Will the time it takes to travel coast to coast or continent to continent soon approximate medieval travel times?

Is there another, easier way to deal with global terrorism in airports, on trains, and on ships? Might that way involve “profiling?” If so, is it still more important in terms of western values and law that we continue to seriously inconvenience or endanger the majority in order not to collectively punish the presumably innocent-until-proven-guilty minority?

What minority? Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion in the world and currently comprises 1.2-1.3 billion people. I guess I’m talking about the Muslim minority in the West most of whom are not actively involved with terrorism or with known terrorist groups. Or are they? Does anybody really know?

C’mon: The minute I heard that someone had attempted to blow up a plane over Michigan on Christmas Day I did not think: “Oh, the Buddhists (or the neo-Nazi right-wingers) are at it again. We all knew that it was, without doubt, a Muslim terrorist.

So, here are some questions.

Why are we still allowing Muslims from non-western foreign countries to fly into Western countries? Please note: I am not talking about “race” but about a highly politicized “faith.” And, what shall we do about the West’s own homegrown Islamist terrorists? Ground them all? Why not?

Why are we trying Muslim Islamist terrorists who have been captured in battle against us as if they were American citizens, fully entitled to the protection of the American constitution? Why do we want the American taxpayer to fund the care and feeding, not to mention the expensive legal talent for all the obviously guilty Gitmo graduates?

Why does Israel imprison rather than execute Muslim Islamist terrorists who have serious blood on their hands? These men and women live more grandly in an Israeli prison than they do among their own—and then they are ultimately freed at the ratio of 1000:1 when an Israeli (like Gilad Shalit) has been captured and held for ransom. A hundred or a thousand terrorists are swapped for one Israeli soldier or civilian. Why does Israel give such terrorists this kind of incentive?

Why doesn’t the Church rescue or stand up for the Christians who are being persecuted by Muslims (who are not necessarily terrorists) all over the Islamic world? What kind of fear, apathy, defeatist diplomacy is going on here?

But how can the West economically and ideologically afford to take on an Islamist cult of death that is trans-national, which operates from caves and in shadow—and in the hearts and minds of one lone individual after another? It is important to note that many jihadic martyrs come from educated and wealthy families; they are not all the sexually repressed sons of poverty.

How can the West not afford to do so?

Why are the mullahs who rule Amadinejad still alive?


Chester Chronicles - What Next? Body Cavity Searches at Airports?

RubinReports: Sending Kerry to Iran? A Thoroughly Bad Idea

Sending Kerry to Iran? A Thoroughly Bad Idea

By Barry Rubin

The story of the United States and Iran regarding sanctions and pressures reminds me of Woody Allen's joke in the film "Sleeper" after he awakes following 2000 years asleep: My analyst was a strict Freudian and if I'd been going four times a week all this time I'd be cured by now.

The proposal to send Senator John Kerry to Iran is one more signal that the Obama Administration seemingly will do anything to avoid, or at least postpone, increasing sanctions on Iran because of that country's nuclear weapons' drive. Such a move can only be taken by Tehran as further proof--in its eyes--of American cowardice. Obviously, this gambit would gain nothing.

In addition, the choice of Kerry is a very bad one. Despite his distinguished appearance and unearned reputation for international sophistication, Kerry is known in the Senate as one of its dumbest and least accomplished members. In 30 years, he has not initiated a single idea, piece of legislation, or even memorable speech.

And, of course, he would be eager to make some—almost any--deal for his own personal glory and reluctant to be really tough lest he, and the Obama Administration which he supports, would appear to be a failure.

This is a terrible choice and it sends a dangerous signal. Hopefully, Iran's regime will reject it. Nowadays we are reduced to hoping that our enemies' arrogance and intransigence will force democratic governments to get a backbone.

RubinReports: Sending Kerry to Iran? A Thoroughly Bad Idea

SHOWING THE "BIRD"


Israel Matzav: Totten: No love lost between Hariri and Syria

Totten: No love lost between Hariri and Syria

When Lebanese President Sa'ad Hariri went to Syria last week, it was interpreted as a victory for Syria and as showing the ineffectiveness of President Obama's 'engagement' policy. Writing at Contentions, Michael Totten, who may know Lebanon as well as any Western observer, doesn't believe that Hariri has given up the fight with Syria and their Hezbullah proxies.

Hariri went to Damascus with Hezbollah’s bayonet in his back.

Assad’s regime assassinated Saad Hariri’s father, Rafik, in 2005 for just gingerly opposing Syria’s occupation of Lebanon. There is no alternate universe where Saad Hariri is OK with this or where his generically “positive” statements at a press conference were anything other than forced.

I was invited to dinner at Hariri’s house earlier this year and had a long and frank discussion about politics with him and some colleagues. I can’t quote him because the meeting was off the record, but trust me: the man is no friend of the Syrian government or Hezbollah, and it’s not just because someone in that crowd killed his father. His political party, the Future Movement, champions liberalism and capitalism, the very antithesis of what is imposed in Syria by Assad’s Arab Socialist Baath party regime and the totalitarian Velayat-e Faqih ideology enforced by the Khomeinists in Iran and in the Hezbollah-occupied regions of Lebanon.

Hezbollah and its sponsors in Tehran and Damascus have forced Hariri to do a number of things lately — to give it veto power in his government’s cabinet and to surrender to its continuing existence as a warmongering militia that threatens to blow up the country again by picking fights with the Israelis.

Hariri and his allies in parliament resisted an extraordinary amount of pressure on these points for months before caving in, but cave in they did. They didn’t have much choice. The national army isn’t strong enough to disarm Hezbollah, and unlike Iran’s tyrant Ali Khamenei, Hariri doesn’t have his own private army. Hezbollah militiamen surrounded his house last year and firebombed his TV station when the government shut down its illegal surveillance system at the airport. At the end of the day, Hariri has to do what Hezbollah and its friends say unless someone with a bigger stick covers his back when push comes to shove.

No one has Hariri’s or Lebanon’s back, not anymore.

Read the whole thing.

Earlier, I blogged a New York Times article that speculated regarding how hard Israel is likely to hit Hezbullah and Hamas in the next war. Here's some of what that article had to say about the Lebanese theater.

In the 2006 war, which was precipitated by a deadly cross-border raid by Hezbollah, Israel bombed the Beirut airport, a strategic bridge linking north and south Lebanon and some power supplies. But Israel said it was doing so only to hamper Hezbollah’s war effort, and it directed the brunt of its attacks against the militia.

Now, with Hezbollah playing a more active role in the Lebanese government, Lebanon could be held more responsible for Hezbollah actions against Israel, Israeli security officials and experts say.

Mr. Siboni said the idea was to inflict such damage that the other side would ask whether confrontation was worthwhile.

Military officials strenuously deny that Israel plans to hit economic or civilian infrastructure to cause suffering to the local population, in the hope of turning it against the war.

Brig. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, chief of the Israeli military’s Operations Department, told reporters at a recent briefing in Tel Aviv that the army would not shoot at targets that had no proven link “with any form of terror.” But, he added, “we are going to use fire.”

General Kochavi said that Israel would never deliberately fire on civilians but that civilian buildings containing weapons or rocket launchers would be bombed after residents had been warned to evacuate.

Lebanon has to decide which side it's on. Either it can stand up to Hezbullah the way the Iranian people are now standing up to the mullahs or it can bear the consequences when Hezbullah uses their infrastructure to fire cannon fodder at Israel. While I feel sorry for those Lebanese who don't support Hezbullah and want to live in peace with us, I feel more sorry for the Israelis who are likely to be under fire by Hezbullah in the next war.

Israel Matzav: Totten: No love lost between Hariri and Syria

Israel Matzav: The carrot and the stick

The carrot and the stick

Writing in Haaretz, Emily B. Landau, of the Institute for National Security Studies describes what it will take for a successful conclusion to negotiations with Iran.

[T]he United States must not waste any more time trying to negotiate interim deals with Iran that are devised either to test whether its intentions are peaceful, or to build confidence. It should be focused on the final deal, which it should negotiate with Iran bilaterally. As long as the P5+1 countries (the nuclear powers - the United States, Russia, France, the U.K. and China - plus Germany) are not on the same page with regard to Iran, the multilateral format weakens their collective ability to confront it with the necessary determination.

The United States must also find a way to communicate true resolve to Iran. Projecting the idea that there is no realistic scenario in which the United States would use military force is counterproductive in this regard, as are indications that Afghanistan and Pakistan are much higher on the American agenda than Iran, and hints that the United States could successfully contain a nuclear Iran.

As Iran gets closer to its goal, it is becoming bolder in its willingness and demonstrated ability to challenge the international community. It could still become interested in negotiating a deal with the United States, but only if a common interest is created, and if there are real consequences for failing to negotiate seriously. Only the United States can fulfill the role of the determined bilateral negotiator. But if the message it conveys is that it lacks the political will to make Iran a top diplomatic priority, or if it shies away from the bilateral format and clear demonstration of its resolve - then diplomacy doesn't stand a chance.

I would look at this as a carrot and stick approach. The problem with the approach until now is that the Obama administration has handed Iran lots of carrots but has not used any sticks. The problem is that each of the elements Landau describes goes against the President's most basic beliefs.

Obama believes in the multilateral approach. He is the anti-Bush. Where Bush was a cowboy who was willing to go it alone if the world wouldn't play along with him, Obama will do nothing without a consensus. The consensus wants to go slow with Iran in the mistaken belief that even if it goes nuclear it can be contained, and that's what Obama will do. But then going slow is what Obama would want to do anyway.

Obama is seemingly incapable of understanding that without a military option looming, the odds of bringing Iran to the table in a serious manner - let alone getting it to change course - are somewhere between slim and none. For the Iranians, the unrestricted development of a nuclear capability is a matter of pride. Many Iranians may not be interested in developing nuclear weapons, but given the pernicious nature of the regime, the only way to halt it from developing nuclear weapons is to halt the nuclear program altogether. Ultimately, the only way to halt the nuclear program altogether may be (and probably is) by force. Obama the pacifist cannot acknowledge that. And since it's 'only Israel' that's the first target, he probably doesn't really care.

Obama has no will to stop Iran. He's hoping they'll stop on their own, but if they don't, he believes he can contain the consequences. He has no sticks, only carrots.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: The carrot and the stick

Israel Matzav: Half of Gaza wants to leave

Half of Gaza wants to leave

A surprisingly fair article in the Sacramento Bee asserts that half of Gazans would like to leave, that Hamas is the main party at fault for the miserable situation in which many Gazans find themselves, and that Egypt has less justification to blockade the terror base than Israel does.

What political concessions has Hamas offered that might have enabled it to make repairs, improve the lot of its people? None. So, poverty and malnutrition are growing so fast that these pernicious blights are reaching epidemic status. The United Nations reported this fall that one in five Gazans now live in what it called "abject poverty." That is why many parents are no longer sending their children to school. They need the pennies their children can earn at menial jobs to buy food.

Their chieftains don't seem to care. I have interviewed the leaders of Hamas many times over the years, and all of them offered one consistent refrain, time and time again: We are patient. Our resistance will continue as long as it takes - even centuries - until we reach our goal, full control of Palestine.

Of course, that includes the state of Israel. One of them, Ismail Abu Shenab, now deceased, once told me: "There are plenty of open areas in the United States that could absorb the Jews." Even Shenaeb, zealot that he was, must have known that nothing like that was going to happen even in his grandchildren's lifetimes - if ever. But he and all his colleagues, then and now, pursued that ludicrous goal in exclusion of all else, and now it is leading to the social destruction of their own people.

Israel and Egypt have locked the gates to Gaza. Israel's closure is more understandable than Egypt's, given that Cairo pretends to be the Palestinian's greatest friend and protector. In any case, it's impossible to know just how many Gazans endorse Hamas' chimerical, single-minded, objective.

The majority of Gazans I have met want to live peaceful lives and provide for their children. Sure, all of them would love to turn the clock back to 1967, before Israel won control of Gaza. That's why most of them still choose to live in decades-old refugee camps, to show that they refuse to accept the current state of affairs.

But now a growing number - half the population, according to recent polls - is trying to get out of Gaza, escape from Hamas control and the deprivation that comes from its rule. In one famous case early this month, a healthy man joined the thousands who are fleeing to Egypt and Israel with bribes and fake medical reports, by pretending to be dying of cancer. He didn't get away with it.

Now, a year after the Israeli invasion of Gaza, it's time to stop blaming Israel for the desperate plight of Gaza's people. Now, without question, it's Hamas' fault.

Read the whole thing. Maybe there's hope that the world is waking up to reality?


Israel Matzav: Half of Gaza wants to leave

Israel Matzav: Senate to take up sanctions against Iran after new year

Senate to take up sanctions against Iran after new year

Against the 'better judgment' of President Obumbler and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Herman Muenster John Kerry, the Senate will take up 'tougher sanctions' against Iran after the first of the year. Similar sanctions passed the House 412-12.

"It is now clearer than ever that tougher sanctions must be a key element of our comprehensive Iran strategy going forward," Dodd said Thursday. "My primary goal with this bill is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability."

Dodd said he would have liked to move toward conference on the bill before the holidays. "While I would have strongly preferred that, I recognize that given the delays on healthcare reform, we will not now have time to do that," he said.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Kerry, who this week floated the idea of visiting Tehran, a move that would be unopposed by the White House, added that senators "share the goal of creating maximum leverage in our efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon."

As in the House, the Senate sanctions are likely to have heavy bipartisan support, even as Republicans have expressed frustration with what they view as too-light pressure by the administration on the Islamic Republic.

"We've wasted a year," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Sanctions have to be tried before we explore the last option. The worst option is a military action."

Yes, that's the bottom line. Congress has wasted a year. The sanctions resolution they're now trying to pass might have been appropriate - and might have had a shot in hell of being effective - when it was first proposed at the beginning of the current congressional session. But now, it's too little, too late.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Senate to take up sanctions against Iran after new year

Israel Matzav: 'Experts' believe Israel will hit harder in next war

'Experts' believe Israel will hit harder in next war

The New York Times reports that Israelis are undaunted by the criticism of Operation Cast Lead, which started one year ago on Sunday, and that according to 'experts,' we are likely to hit harder against both Hamas and Hezbullah the next time.

Israel seems to have few qualms. Officials and experts familiar with the country’s military doctrine say that given the growing threats from Iranian-backed militant organizations both in Gaza and in Lebanon, Israel will probably find itself fighting another, similar kind of war.

Only next time, some here suggest, Israel will apply more force.

“The next round will be different, but not in the way people think,” said Giora Eiland, a retired major general and former chief of Israel’s National Security Council. “The only way to be successful is to take much harsher action.”

Such talk has raised alarm among some critics in Israel, but so far it has stirred little public debate.

Both the three-week campaign in Gaza, which ended on Jan. 18, and Israel’s monthlong war in 2006 against the Shiite Hezbollah organization in Lebanon have brought relative quiet to Israel’s borders.

Read the whole thing.

I have two comments: I hope that the 'experts' are right, and why is the Times so surprised that we actually want to survive?

By the way, some of the people in that article really are experts (without the scare quotes).


Israel Matzav: 'Experts' believe Israel will hit harder in next war

Israel Matzav: Suicide bombing victim: Don't release terrorists for Gilad

Suicide bombing victim: Don't release terrorists for Gilad

Joseph Cohen, one of the few survivors of the bloody 2002 café moment suicide bombing, says the only place Abdulla Barguti [mastermind of the café moment terror attack and others] should be, is behind bars.

Let's go to the videotape.



Note what he says when they ask whether sending the terrorists abroad would be good enough. Smart guy. Probably a Likud voter. Bibi, are you listening?

Israel Matzav: Suicide bombing victim: Don't release terrorists for Gilad

Israel Matzav: Gall: US demands explanation for terrorist liquidation

Gall: US demands explanation for terrorist liquidation

The Obama administration has demanded an explanation from Israel for the liquidation of three terrorists who were involved in Thursday afternoon's drive-by murder of Rabbi Meir Chai HY"D (may God avenge his blood).

Senior Obama administration officials requested on Saturday that National Security Adviser Uzi Arad explain an Israel Defense Forces raid in Nablus during which undercover commandos killed three Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists.

Arad shared intelligence with the officials that Israel had received about the militants, who belonged to the military wing of the Western-backed Fatah movement, and the details of the operation on Saturday that led to their deaths.

The national security advisor, a key aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed that this was a case of self-defense, since the three were behind a terror attack on Thursday in which a settler was shot dead.

I think we should demand an explanation from the US the next time they execute a murderer or the next time their cops are involved in a shoot-out trying to arrest a suspect and end up killing him. What gall! Is there any other country in the world that would be treated with such condescension and contempt by the Obama administration? (Okay, maybe Honduras).

Friday night's action also had a message in it for the Netanyahu government: Two of the three terrorists had been released from Israeli jails:

The dead militants are Raad Sarkaji, 38, a Tanzim activist formerly of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the Nablus area, who was arrested in 2002 and released at the beginning of this year; Ghassan Abu Shreikh, 40, who was also a former prisoner in Israel, and Adnan Subuh, 33. Security officials said Subuh had four weapons and a hoard of ammunition when he was killed.

You can look for more stories like that if Israel trades a thousand or more terrorists for Gilad Shalit. But the government will ignore that because it's unpopular to talk about it.

Israel Matzav: Gall: US demands explanation for terrorist liquidation

Israel Matzav: Israeli company ran security at Schiphol

Israeli company ran security at Schiphol

Israeli television interviewed the CEO of the company that handles security at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport last night. Unfortunately, he's an Israeli and it's an Israeli company. Not good. (I did not see the interview).

Here's a CNN interview with the guy who tackled the terrorist on Friday. Let's go to the videotape.


Israel Matzav: Israeli company ran security at Schiphol

Israel Matzav: Blaming Bush because people say no to Obama?

Blaming Bush because people say no to Obama?

Of all the things for which it seemed unlikely that President Bush could be blamed, I would have placed all the world leaders who are ignoring or saying no to President Obama at the top of the list. Not so according to Shmuel Rosner writing at Slate.

Obama had the advantage of stepping into the teeny-tiny shoes of his very unpopular predecessor. "Bush's popularity in the United States has sunk to the level of Richard Nixon's just before he resigned from office. The president's standing abroad is still worse," observed a report by the Pew Research Center. One blog post summarized the situation simplistically but succinctly: "Arab opinion: Bush bad, Obama good." So the stage was set for Obama to make his pitch and win over allies and foes. But as everybody knows by now, things didn't work out that way. World leaders accustomed to saying no monitored the new administration for a while and then resumed their old habits.

Russia kept placing obstacles on the road to tougher sanctions against Iran; Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu refused to freeze all settlement activities as the administration demanded; the North Koreans said no to repeated attempts at talks; at the Copenhagen climate-change summit, the "agreement the United States reached with Brazil, China, India and South Africa lacked commitments to achieve its stated goals"; the Iranians didn't show any sign of appreciation for Obama's attempt to have more civilized conversation aimed at curbing their nuclear ambitions; the Cubans, with whom Obama had also vowed to have more constructive dialogue, now call the president "imperial and arrogant." Not even Mahmoud Abbas, the very weak Palestinian president, was convinced to resume talks with Israel. This list is gets longer every day.

Rosner does come around somewhat toward the end of this piece.

Obama's popularity with the people of the world is something local leaders feel an instinctive urge to resist. No one is pleased when a foreign politician is more loved and respected than he is. And in many cases, opposition is the trouble. For Netanyahu and Abbas, resisting Obama was politically beneficial. Their "people" appreciated the leaders' newly discovered chutzpah. Unhinged by Obama's conciliatory tone, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez suggested that the president is the devil without worrying much about possible consequences. Iranians have more confidence in Obama than they had in Bush—only more reason for supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to point out that he can't tell the difference.

In fact, no world leader has paid a price for disappointing Obama. With Obama so nice and so conciliatory, risking retaliation by the White House doesn't seem all that dangerous. If resisting Bush's policies was a political necessity, encouraged and driven by the anger of the masses (ask Britain's Tony Blair about that), resisting Obama has become trendy, almost cool, because it gives world leaders the chance to stand taller, to be an equal member of the club of the clashing rock stars. Imagine the most popular boy in class asking a girl out. Imagine that after much consideration the girl says no. Not even you are good enough for me.

Sorry, but I don't buy this. Leaders say no to Obama because they know there are no consequences or because he asks them to do things that are not in their countries' interest, and not because he is a nice guy or because it's cool.

Rosner also portrays the Bush years as being a string of 'no's starting from about a year after 9/11. That too is nonsense. Bush was re-elected in 2004 by a greater majority than he won in 2000, and world leaders went along with his demands in Iraq from 2003 and on, as well as into late 2007 in this region (remember Annapolis, Shmuel?). Rosner is attempting to make Obama look good at Bush's expense. Sorry, but no.

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Israel Matzav: Blaming Bush because people say no to Obama?

Israel Matzav: Still chasing yesterday's terrorists

Still chasing yesterday's terrorists

Three years ago, while on a trip to the US shortly after the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners using liquids, I wrote the following:

I'm very nervous about being in the US. Maybe not for the reasons you think. You see, the state of security here in the US is such that you are always chasing yesterday's terrorists. The 9/11 hijackers used box cutters, so you cannot carry sharp objects onto planes. Richard Reid tried to put explosives in his shoes on a trans-Atlantic flight to the US a few years back, so now you all dutifully remove your shoes when you get to the security check. Suicide bombers walk around with heavy coats in warm weather, so you all take your coats off at the security check. Some belt buckles set off the metal detectors, so you take off your belts at the security check. Do you really think the terrorists are that stupid? Do you think they aren't thinking of new ways to carry out terror attacks?

In Israel, I was warned to check the toothpaste rather than have it in my carry-on bag, "because they will give you a hard time about it in the US." My 'security check' consisted of a trained guard asking me (before they let me get near the counter to check my bags) where I came from in Jerusalem, what neighborhood, who packed my bags, did anyone give me something to take on the plane (and did I know why he was asking me) and what where the names of my children. I didn't have to take off my shoes nor my belt nor my jacket nor my hat. But the Arabs were invited to a side table where they had to open their suitcases and take every single item out. Then the suitcases were taken away and checked for false bottoms and compartments. And you can bet that they were searched before they left that table. That's why there has never been a successful hijacking from Ben Gurion Airport. Bli ayin hara!

What's worse: if a certain type of terror attack hasn't happened outside of Israel, for the most part, no one is prepared for it. So yes, my Red Sox tickets for next week say "No bags or items larger than 16 x 16 x 8, coolers, cans, bottles, flagpoles, firearms or fireworks will be permitted into the ballpark." (So much for the days of the picnic lunch in the bleachers). And the ticket says that you are subject to search: but they'll search my father and me, and they won't search a 21-year old Muslim because that would be 'profiling'. And I will still walk into shopping malls or large stores tomorrow, and no one will search my bags - or anyone else's - because no American shopping mall has ever been attacked by a suicide bomber. No one will search me on my way into a movie theater until the first time someone with a political agenda shoots up a movie theater. And no one will search me going into Sbarros (which I cannot do here because they are not Kosher) or any other restaurant until a suicide bomber blows up a restaurant. In Israel, you cannot walk into an enclosed public space without being searched.

Moreover, who works in security? At Ben Gurion Airport, the youngest security people are post-army university students, many of them psychology majors. It's one of the toughest security jobs in the country to get (I had a friend who worked there in the early 80's, and I know someone else who worked there in the late 80's). Other security positions in Israel are also filled by post-army people. Until recently, when a plethora of security guards were required as a result of the Oslo War, nearly all of the security guards in Israel had served in combat units. I can no longer tell you for certain that is the case, although most of the ads you see in the papers for security guards still ask for 'bogrei yechidot kraviyot' (combat unit graduates). At least in Israel, the security guards know what they are looking for. Many security guards in North America barely speak English. Many probably never finished high school. And they are told to search people randomly.... That's why I don't feel safe here - my safety is in the hands of high school dropouts who don't speak the language and aren't being told what to look for.

As one person in Toronto said to me today, "once you get on the plane, the passengers are the security guards." That may be true, but let's at least give them a head start. By refusing to profile, by focusing on things rather than terrorists, all of your lives - all of our lives - are being endangered. Are you willing to endanger your life for political correctness?

What was true three years ago continues to be true today. A Nigerian Muslim got on a plane in Lagos - an airport known to have security issues. He changes planes in Europe, where after 9/11 the United States had joined Israel in conducting its own security checks because the airport staff are often Islamists, but where the US has long since turned things back over to the Europeans. And when this Nigerian Muslim tried to blow up his underwear 20 minutes out of Detroit, TSA's response is to latch passengers to their seats for the last hour of the flight as if that is going to stop this sort of thing.

I should interrupt to tell you that ALL flights into Israel have passengers latched to their seats for the last 45-60 minutes to avoid a 9/11 scenario where someone tries to crash a plane into a building, but that only helps if the flight is over the ocean during that time (flights into Israel always are) and if the passengers obey the rules, which they frequently don't. The terrorist on Northwest 253 could as easily have gotten out of his seat and violated the rule.

The real issue is why wasn't the terrorist stopped before he got on the plane. Why was he allowed to board the plane at all? He appeared on watch lists for two years, why did he have a visa and why was he allowed to board the flight? Ed Morrissey reports that the guy got on the plane without a passport. Unbelievable!

The problem can be summed up in two words: "racial profiling." What does every hijacker since 1970 have in common? What does every person who has blown up a commercial airliner have in common? Answer: Male Muslim between the ages of 18-50. This guy should have been taken into a room and strip-searched including body cavities - that's what El Al security would have done with him. And I'll guarantee you he would not have gotten onto that flight if El Al were running security. But the US doesn't want to discriminate ('profile') and the Europeans are even worse, because the Europeans allow the terrorists to work in their airport security. That's why El Al runs its own security wherever it flies. It's time for the US to wise up and run its own security too (at least everywhere outside of Israel) and to start profiling.

Discriminate or die.

Israel Matzav: Still chasing yesterday's terrorists

Israel Matzav: Obama offends Jews and Israel again

Obama offends Jews and Israel again

On Friday, I reported on Hannah Rosenthal's remarks in an interview with Haaretz in which she lambasted Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, for his shunning of the pro-Israel pro-'peace' J Street lobby. As I reported in that article, Rosenthal has turned into yet another major blunder for the Obama administration with the Jewish community and with Israel. Unsurprisingly, she was blasted by Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard:

An official with a leading Jewish organization in Washington emails to say that "this is a matter of deep concern and raises real questions about her ability to do the job. There is no precendent that I can recall for a US official -- let alone a diplomat -- to so recklessly criticize another nation's ambassador from any country, ever, like this. While it seems obvious she was not reading from a State Department speech, it begs the question -- is she expressing offical American policy? If not, one would certainly hope the administration would say so. How would one know otherwise? People are outraged and they are telling the White House that, I am sure."

Are there not enough anti-Semites to keep Rosenthal busy even for a month before she starts attacking the Jews? It's as if Melanne Verveer had attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali during her first month on the job, or if Carol Browner had gone after the head of Greenpeace. Still, I'm less interested in whether Rosenthal was acting in an official capacity when she attacked the Israeli Ambassador, but whether she was carrying out her official duties to combat and monitor anti-Semitism while she attended the J Street conference -- and when can we expect her report.

Even the State Department felt the need to disavow her.

[T]he Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, has repudiated Ms. Rosenthal with the following statement:

"The Department of State values its close relationship with Ambassador Michael Oren and his staff at the Embassy of Israel in Washington. The United States and Israel enjoy extraordinarily close ties based on shared values, interests, and history, as well as the deep bonds between the Israeli people and the American people. Ambassador Oren plays an indispensable role in maintaining and strengthening our relationship through his day to day interaction with the Administration and Congress on issues of vital importance to both countries and his vigorous outreach to Americans of all origins and points of view."

At Pajamas Media, Ron Radosh views Rosenthal as part of Obama's effort to sneak socialists into 'under the radar' positions.

This past, I think, explains Obama’s propensity to keep appointing rather low-level officials who can operate under the radar and who come from a similar radical or left-wing past. The latest appointment, perhaps not as low level, is that of Hannah Rosenthal, who started her new job last week in the State Department as the special envoy to monitor and report on anti-Semitism. With the growth of anti-Semitism in countries like Britain and France, the job sounds important and necessary. But what was Ms. Rosenthal’s first salvo aimed at?

...

What the article does not go on to note,(as Aaron Klein points out on his blog) however, is that Rosenthal’s husband, Richard Phelps, was a three-term Madison, Wisconsin, executive who worked closely with Joel Rogers, one of the founders of The New Party. Clearly, she met Obama in 1996 when he was gaining the support of The New Party for his campaign.

So once again- as with the appointment of Van Jones- Obama has put in a major position of influence a person from the left-wing of the political spectrum who, as an official whose office monitors anti-Semitism, is using her position to support J-Street, on whose Board she previously sat. Conflict of interest, anyone? Are the statements she gave to Haaretz, uttered in her official capacity, likely to help or harm the ability of Israel to defend itself against its enemies, or once again work instead to cast doubt among Israelis about the view of Israel really held by the Obama administration?

Ms. Rosenthal notes, parenthetically, that criticism of her appointment comes “from a very few people who blog a lot.” Add this blogger to that list!

Radosh goes on to describe how he was attacked for this post by the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan. Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Obama offends Jews and Israel again

Love of the Land: Double Edged

Double Edged


Marc Prowisor
Yesha Views
27 December 09

The US government has asked Israel to detail its operation in which Israeli Special Forces killed three terrorists who were responsible for the Thursday killing of a Jew near the community of Shavei Shomron in the Shomron region. This because the Arabs claim the terrorists killed were unarmed and of course, needless to say, completely innocent.

The fact is that in one of the places 2 M-16s were found and that these guns have been proven to be the weapons involved in the murder, means nothing, after all we are talking about upstanding citizens of the “Palestinian Authority”, and security personnel also, who may have been trained and equipped by the US, you know Dayton’s Boys.

Using a double edge sword in dealing with problems has its advantages and disadvantages. Yes, if used properly, it is a far more efficient weapon, however, if used sloppily and carelessly, it will often hurt and injure the one who is wielding it. The US is “checking Israel’s Tzitzit”, or sticking their nose a bit too far in Israel’s personal business, regarding its protection of its citizens and how Israel deals with not just enemies in words, but enemies in actions. I haven’t heard a US reaction to the murder yet that “blasts” the PLO regarding the involvement of its own arm in this heinous crime.

We read how the “Palestinian” Security or Army arrested over 120 suspects in this murder, much to the praise of the IDF, yet of course released them shortly after. It is quite obvious and understood that the new Arab Army would never arrest one of its own over the mere killing of a Jew. I really do understand this and agree with them, this would cause a major rift and dismay among the Arab population of Judea and Samaria. Imagine it to be considered a crime to kill Jews, this would go against everything they have learned, and are still learning in grammar school.

(Read full post)

Marc served as the Chief Army Security Coordinator for the Shilo Region in Israel from 1996 through 2006.


Love of the Land: Double Edged
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