Thursday, 7 January 2010

'Iron Dome' Anti-Missile System Ready for Deployment - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'Iron Dome' Anti-Missile System Ready for Deployment - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Al Qaeda in Gaza Teaching Terrorism? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Al Qaeda in Gaza Teaching Terrorism? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Volley of Mortar Attacks on Western Negev - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Volley of Mortar Attacks on Western Negev - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Ketzaleh: Radical Left is a Terminal Patient - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Ketzaleh: Radical Left is a Terminal Patient - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Egypt, Arab Countries Sign Massive Arms Deals With U.S. - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Egypt, Arab Countries Sign Massive Arms Deals With U.S. - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Golani Brigade Goes Religious - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Golani Brigade Goes Religious - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbis, MKs Seek to Block Court Intervention in Kashrut - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbis, MKs Seek to Block Court Intervention in Kashrut - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Love of the Land: Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders

Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders

Michael I. Krauss/J. Peter Pham
Commentary Magazine
July/August 2006

(I've introduced this article from the 4th paragraph, as this is relevant to the discussion of what may constitute the rightful borders of Israel in international law. Excellent article, worth reading in whole. Y.)

.... Other elements of the international community, however, have wasted no time in decrying Israel's effort formally to incorporate small parts of the West Bank. Speaking to the European Parliament in April, Javier Solana, the European Union's top foreign-policy official, lamented the “lack of dialogue with the Palestinian people in determining Israel's borders.” Not to be outdone, former President Jimmy Carter, writing in USA Today, condemned Kadima's program as a naked “land grab,” a violation of international law that no “objective member of the international community could accept.” On May 25, the New York Times chimed in, denouncing the idea of Israel's setting its own borders and lumping together Hamas, the government of Israel, and Bush as “two culprits and an enabler.”

In the view of Solana, Carter, the Times editorial board, and many other “objective” observers, the boundary between Israel and its Arab neighbors that prevailed between 1949 and 1967 is not just a historical baseline; it is a legitimate and well-established international border, one that the Jewish state has now ignored for nearly four decades. Such borders cannot be altered by force. As these critics see it, the Six-Day war of 1967 resulted in Israel's “occupation” of the West Bank (as well as of the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem). Much as that action might have been required by the exigencies of the time, it gives Israel no ongoing title to those lands. Indeed, in the view of the critics, it makes Israel's long-term presence there nothing less than an ongoing crime.

But are these claims supported by the history of Israel's conflict with its Arab neighbors, to say nothing of the standards of international law? In the West Bank, is Israel, in fact, an “occupier”?

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

In this prayer, God is asked to watch Jewish suffering from Heaven, consider Jewish loyalty to Him and to remember us and save us from that suffering. The prayer comes from the Monday and Thursday (morning) Tachnun prayer.

Music and lyrics by Abie Rotenberg; the history of the destruction and rebirth of the Jews.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Napolitano calls the experts

Napolitano calls the experts

This may be the first thing that the US Department of Homeland Security has done right: They've asked Israel for help.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute has requested from Israel information on aviation security and security measures taken in Israeli airports. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz met with Lute on Wednesday and told her that Israel can assist the United States in dealing with terror threats on civil aviation.

Megan McArdle, who knows nothing about Israel, publishes a lengthy comment from an 'Israeli friend' who claims that Israel's security system could not work in the US.

1. Scale

Scale is an issue, but nobody in the thread has touched on why. The Israeli security model is (as noted in the article) more about the passenger than their baggage. This approach is both effective, time-consuming, and "racist": the profilers have a conversation with each passenger; as I'm an Israeli Jew, I always get the abbreviated treatment -- focusing more on where my bags have been since I've packed them. As a foreigner, you get a much more in-depth grilling. As a Muslim? They want to know your shoe size, and then a whole 'nother screener comes over and asks you everything all over again, just to see that you keep your story straight. Like they say in the article, the conversations they have are not so much about what you say as how you say it. The screeners are taught to iterate a few levels deep into your story and see that it doesn't break down under scrutiny.

Naturally, this process supposes that A) the threat is foreign and mostly limited to one ethnic/religious group, and B) screeners have this sort of time.

In the US, racial profiling is... unpalatable, and if each passenger / family got even a perfunctory 1-minute Q&A session with a TSA security officer, the system would crash. The US is dealing with a larger threat profile, and a whole different order-of-magnitude of traffic.

The threat IS mostly foreign. And if you hire enough screeners to do the job, they will have the time. They also won't be spending it wanding 11-year olds' "I'm going to Grandma's house" suitcases. But good security costs money. Do you want to be safe? Then you have to hire enough screeners - intelligent screeners - to do the job.

As to more than one minute being unpalatable, there are plenty of people who spend more than one minute in security in the US today. Because my tickets now originate out of Israel, I get 'randomly picked' for further examination every time I travel on a domestic flight in the US, and frequently when I'm flying internationally from the US as well. It takes much longer than a minute. And I'm pretty clearly not a terrorist. Why not focus that 'extra scrutiny' on people who might be terrorists instead of 'randomly' picking 50-something-year old dual citizen lawyers who have been to the US ten times in the last three years without causing problems, just because their tickets happen to be issued by Ziontours in Jerusalem?

2. The security screener's job: manpower, training, history

Normally these are intelligent men and women, usually students or twentysomethings, who pass a series of exams and then pass a several-month course. The hours are craptastic but the pay is decent, and a lot of students prefer it to shiftwork or waitressing. Passing the course is difficult but not arduous, and in the end you are really being taught guidelines on interrogation and then set loose to use your judgment -- if you have a red flag to raise, then you just call over a senior screener who has more years of experience.

The reality is that there are few enough openings that the program can be selective. I'd say, as a generalization, screeners here possess above-average intelligence, whereas your average TSA screener seems to be a working stiff, blindly following some not-too-complex screening algorithm in a three-ring binder. The number of screeners requisite for staffing all of the US airports precludes the TSA from exclusively employing screeners with the ability to make "judgment calls". There just aren't enough smart people with the desire to work a screener's job in the US.

Yes, the Israeli screeners are intelligent, as I have noted several times. You can find enough intelligent people to work as screeners in the US if you're willing to pay them enough money. It's that simple. The answer is that if you're willing to pay for it you can get reliable security that will target people who need to be targeted and let Grandpa and his hip replacement sail through security. Doesn't that make sense?

What will Janet Napolitano say when the Israeli consultants tell her that the only way to protect American airports is to hire twice as many screeners with four times the intelligence that the current screeners have and let them target the people who - based on a profile - are the most likely to be carrying a bomb in their underwear? Will she say, okay, we'll do it? Or will she say, no, we'd rather die than have no American-born white kids under the age of 12 searched but have every single Muslim traveling on a Pakistani passport searched? Which would you choose?

Israel Matzav: Napolitano calls the experts

Israel Matzav: Good news: US continues 'diversity lottery'

Good news: US continues 'diversity lottery'

Michelle Malkin reports that the United States continues to run its 'diversity lottery' to allow people from 'under-represented countries' to win a free green card to the United States.

Well, we continue to rely on Lady Luck today. In fact, the shamnesty-peddlers’ latest bill would expand the Diversity Visa Lottery program — which currently hands out 50,000 golden ticket diversity visas blindly to applicants from “underrepresented” regions. Those regions include many jihadi-friendly strongholds. Like Yemen — which has received a total of 1,011 diversity visas so far. And Saudi Arabia. Egypt. Syria. Sudan. Libya.

Raise your hands: Who thinks Powerball-style vetting by Foggy Bottom bureaucrats is a good idea?

Heck, Egypt isn't even on Obama's list of 14 countries whose passport holders are supposed to be patted down on their way to the United States.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Good news: US continues 'diversity lottery'

Israel Matzav: Teaching 'Israeli Arab' MK's some history

Teaching 'Israeli Arab' MK's some history

On Sunday, I told you the story of 'Israeli Arab' MK Jamal Zahalka's appearance on the Dan Margalit show, and even showed you a video of the event.

Among other things Zahalka called Margalit an 'immigrant' and complained about the Channel 1 terminal being located on the former site of a destroyed Arab village called Sheikh Munis, which used to be where the ritzy area of North Tel Aviv is located today.

Like most Israelis, Margalit likely does not know how to answer those charges. Like most Israelis, upon hearing those charges, he slinks off to the corner in embarrassment.

But Assaf Wohl knows how to answer those charges, and he answers them here. It's not Margalit who's the newcomer to this country, it's Zahalka. Zahalka ought to be showing a lot more appreciation for the fact that he's even here.

After all, Kfar Qara, where Dr. Zahalka resides, was only established in the 18th Century under the auspices of the Arab occupation of Eretz Yisrael. Meanwhile, Arabs only arrived at Taibe, where Dr. Tibi hails from, in the 17th Century from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as attested to by the last names of some residents.

Do they truly believe that the “Palestinians” nobody heard of until the 20th Century, truly grew from the land? Don’t they know that under Arab villages in the Galilee one can find synagogues from the Second Temple period? Don’t they know that by the end of the 19th Century, only about 140,000 non-Jews resided in the Land of Israel, while by 1948 this number grew tenfold, mostly because of Arab immigration to Eretz Yisrael?

“This neighborhood used to be Sheikh Munis,” Zahalka yelled before leaving the Tel Aviv studio, thereby revealing the truth. As it turns out, the appetite of Zahalka and his voters is not confined to the territories. Yet the village of Sheikh Munis, where Tel Aviv University is located today, was only established in the 19th Century, when the Land of Israel was being conquered by Ibrahim Pasha. This took place about 2,500 years after the Shiloh inscription was written in Jerusalem, using the same Hebrew I use to write my column.

And so, the “immigrant” tales are baseless even when compared to the Brothers Grimm fairytales. So why then do Arab Knesset members blatantly lie to the cameras? Aren’t they scared to be condemned publicly?

Israel Matzav: Teaching 'Israeli Arab' MK's some history

Israel Matzav: Iraq seeks compensation for Osirak destruction

Iraq seeks compensation for Osirak destruction

The newly constituted government of Iraq has filed a demand for compensation from Israel for the 1981 destruction of the Osirak nuclear power plant. I previously mentioned this was possible here.

'Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs petitioned the United Nations and the UN Security Council to demand that Israel pay compensation ... for the 1981 bombing an (Iraqi) nuclear reactor,' Mohammed Naji Mohammed, a member of parliament with the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, told the al-Sabah newspaper.

Mohammed said the cabinet had on November 25 approved a plan to seek redress through diplomatic channels, and to form a 'neutral' committee to assess the value of the reparations it would seek.

The lawmaker is leading a campaign to seek billions of dollars in reparations for an Israeli airstrike on the Osiraq nuclear reactor, based, he said, on UN Security Council Resolution 487.

The resolution, passed in the wake of the attack, 'strongly condemns' Israel's airstrike against Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in June 1981, and 'considers that Iraq is entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it has suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel.'

Israeli officials at the time said they were concerned that the reactor could eventually be used to produce nuclear weapons for the regime led at the time by Saddam Hussein.

The Security Council, however, noted at the time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had testified that its safeguards had been 'satisfactorily applied' in Iraq.

Anyone want to argue that circumstances changed since 1981? This does seem kind of ridiculous, not that it would stop the UN.

Israel Matzav: Iraq seeks compensation for Osirak destruction

Israel Matzav: Iranian diplomat in Norway resigns

Iranian diplomat in Norway resigns

Iran's ambassador to Norway (I believe that's what they mean by consul at the embassy in Oslo) has resigned from his post to protest Iranian treatment of demonstrators.

The Consul at the Iranian Embassy in Oslo has resigned from his position in protest against his own government's use of violence against demonstrators last week, in which at least 8 people were killed and many arrested.

The consul, who has worked at the Oslo embassy for three years, is still in Oslo and has not yet contacted Norwegian authorities.

However, in an interview with public broadcaster NRK, he confirms that he has stepped down and that he is considering asking Norwegian authorities for help.

- It was the Iranian authorities' treatment of demonstrators around Christmas which made me realise that my conscience would not allow me to continue in my job, he says to NRK.

Head of the Norwegian-Iranian support committee, Rahman Saki, is concerned about the diplomat's safety: - It will be difficult because he will be severely punished if he returns to Iran. Not only he, but also his family, Saki says.

If I were him, I would not seek asylum in Scandinavia. I'd go to the US or Canada. Much safer.

Israel Matzav: Iranian diplomat in Norway resigns

Israel Matzav: Back to the future?

Back to the future?

President Obumbler's foreign policy may not be much like George Bush's, but Noah Pollak finds some striking similarities with the Oslo-era foreign policy of Bill Clinton.

President Obama is repeating one of the worst mistakes of the Oslo period, when the official promotion of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority was studiously ignored on behalf of the larger “peace” mission. We know how successful that strategy was.

Israel Matzav: Back to the future?

Israel Matzav: 'You represent the concerned citizens of Englewood, not the oil-rich dictatorship of Libya'

'You represent the concerned citizens of Englewood, not the oil-rich dictatorship of Libya'

The winter is heating up in Englewood, New Jersey. Remember that house that Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi built there and wanted to stay in for the UN General Assembly? Now, Libya wants to move its UN ambassador there. And the (apparently) Jewish dhimmi who represents the district in Congress is all in favor, because it's not in his backyard. But it is in Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, best known as the author of Kosher Sex, lashed out on Tuesday at a US congressman who was quoted as saying residents of Englewood, New Jersey, should be "good neighbors" to a Libyan diplomat planning to move to the New York City suburb.

Boteach accused Rep. Steve Rothman of brokering a closed-door deal for Libya to buy a mansion in Englewood in 1982.

Coming a day after the Democratic congressman issued his own press release criticizing Boteach, the rabbi fought back, asking: "Will he really defend the right of an envoy of a terror-sponsoring government to live in our midst, spending millions of dollars on his home while refusing for more than a quarter of a century to pay even one dollar in taxes?"

The flap - between two men who fought to prevent Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi from staying at the Englewood mansion last year - came amid news that Libya's UN representative, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, would be moving to the town.

In an interview with the New Jersey Jewish Standard, Rothman said: "The George W. Bush administration reestablished diplomatic relations with the Libyan government and removed Libya from the list of state sponsors of terrorism... Up until this moment the Englewood police chief has advised me that he sees no problem in allowing the ambassador and his wife and children to occupy the residence. And so, I hope everyone will be appropriately good neighbors."

Read the whole thing.

Good luck, Rabbi. I wouldn't want him in my backyard either.

Israel Matzav: 'You represent the concerned citizens of Englewood, not the oil-rich dictatorship of Libya'

Israel Matzav: What kind of 'deal' is this?

What kind of 'deal' is this?

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has proposed allowing Israel to build 8,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria - despite the building freeze - in exchange for the release of 500 'Palestinian' terrorists. He plans to discuss this 'program' to the US and to discuss it at a summit in March or April if the US agrees.

If Israel could pick the 500 terrorists, there might even be something to discuss, but for the rest of Mubarak's demands.

The new Mubarak plan states as follows: Israel would be allowed to build 8,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria, despite the freeze, and in exchange, would do the following: Release 500 Fatah terrorist prisoners from prison, recognize the pre-1967 borders as binding, remove unauthorized outposts and additional security checkpoints, and more.

Not surprisingly, Israel has already said no.

Israel Matzav: What kind of 'deal' is this?

Israel Matzav: Shocka: Airports abroad ignoring Obama's orders

Shocka: Airports abroad ignoring Obama's orders

I'm sure you'll all be shocked to hear that airports in countries like Lebanon and Nigeria are not doing the 'extra careful screening' that Barack Obama has demanded for flights to the United States.

On the first day of what was supposed to be tighter screening ordered by the United States for airline passengers from certain countries, some airports around the world have conceded they had not cracked down.

The U.S. demanded more careful screening for people who are citizens of, or are flying from, 14 nations deemed security risks. But enforcement of the U.S. rules appeared spotty Monday.

"Everything is the same. There is no extra security," said an aviation official in Lebanon, one of the countries on the list. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The only way to get this screening done right is to send your own people to do it. That's what Israel does and that's what the US did in Europe in the period after 9/11. But don't hold your breath waiting for Obama to do that (Hat Tip: Volokh Conspiracy).

On a macro level, one has to wonder about the commitment of a president who invariably prefers to use the word "radical" to describe a "terrorist," and whose secretary for Homeland Security cannot easily bring herself to utter the word "terrorism," preferring instead a phrase—"man-caused disasters"—that should make most American jaws drop. (Of course, it may be that the one way to ensure a grassroots Democrats clamor for action against terrorism is to call it "anthropogenic"…)

The macro story is, alas, one of broader ideology, which tends to remain fixed in the course of an administration. We cannot expect Obama to fight terrorism with the zeal of a Bush, especially when it's clear that he regards his predecessor as a destructive Ahab obsessed with an Islamist "Moby-Dick." Obama is Starbuck, not merely more pragmatic than Ahab but immeasurably wiser: His mission is to keep the Pequod—America—out of harm's way.

No, President Obama cannot change his natural course, so the best we hope for is a minimization of political correctness in the daily, practical matter of keeping us secure from Islamist terrorists. So whereas any formal use of "profiling" as a tool may be politically unthinkable, we have made a useful start with this latest list of tainted countries.


Obama cannot say, formally, that our most pressing problem is with Islamist terrorism, even though incidents of terrorism by non-Muslims are trivial these days. And as we, as a society, are still bound fast to our proprieties, we cannot formally say that we are afraid of radicalized Muslims getting on planes to kill us. We cannot, formally, segregate Muslim passengers from the rest in airport security. We cannot, formally, say that the intellectual author of this terrorism is Saudi Arabia, and the main logistical base is Pakistan. Why, these last two are our dear friends. However, we have put those countries on a tainted list; and the taint is a soft form of profiling, since we really do not trust people who fly to America from those two countries. If we can’t profile people, we can, it seems, profile entire nations.

So 80-year old grandmothers will continue to be patted down and 12-year old kids will continue to have their bags searched while Muslim men in their 20's fly through the check-in lines.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Shocka: Airports abroad ignoring Obama's orders

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Obama and terrorism

Sarah Palin on Obama and terrorism

This came without a link. It was written by Sarah Palin on Facebook.

President Obama’s meeting with his top national security advisers does nothing to change the fact that his fundamental approach to terrorism is fatally flawed. We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nation’s security… President Obama was right to change his policy and decide to send no more detainees to Yemen where they can be free to rejoin their war on America. Now he must back off his reckless plan to close Guantanamo, begin treating terrorists as wartime enemies not suspects alleged to have committed crimes, and recognize that the real nature of the terrorist threat requires a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor.



The full quote (there's much more) is here (Hat Tip: The Corner).

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Obama and terrorism

Israel Matzav: Tonight: Love and Licenses

Tonight: Love and Licenses

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Off-Broadway Benefit show

A4I debuts our Off Broadway Benefit, Love and Licenses

Two Plays (one play written by a former IDF Lieutenant and featuring One Life to Live's Jason Odell Williams)

THIS Wednesday, January 6th, 8pm (Bleecker Street Theater, NYC)

For tickets and information, please go to:

All proceeds go to teaching Art Therapy in Sderot.
Israel Matzav: Tonight: Love and Licenses

Israel Matzav: Irony alert: Abu Mazen speaks

Irony alert: Abu Mazen speaks

From a JPost article on Abu Mazen's latest pronouncements (Hat Tip: David Project via Twitter).

The Palestinian leader also justified Egypt's construction of a steel wall that along its border with the Gaza Strip. Cairo has the "full right to protect its territory and prevent smuggling of illegal materials into Gaza," he said. "It is a sovereign and political decision of the Egyptian government and we understand that," Abbas added, reminding attendants of "the reasons for the Gaza siege.

I wonder if he would say the same of Israel's 'security fence.' Heh.

Israel Matzav: Irony alert: Abu Mazen speaks

Israel Matzav: 'US is fed up with Israel and the Palestinians' says...; UPDATE: WHITE HOUSE DENIES IT

'US is fed up with Israel and the Palestinians' says...; UPDATE: WHITE HOUSE DENIES IT

Emanuel told Dayan the U.S. is sick of the Israelis, who adopt suitable ideas months too late, when they are no longer effective, according to Army Radio.


The U.S. is also sick of the Palestinians who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, Emanuel reportedly said.

Emanuel added that if there is no progress in the peace process, the Obama administration will reduce its involvement in the conflict, because, as he reportedly said, the U.S. has other matters to deal with.

Promises, promises....


Jeffrey Goldberg reports that the White House is denying this story.

Ben Rhodes at the White House just e-mailed me the following flat denial: "Rahm Emanuel did not make the comments that are attributed to him in Ha'aretz."

I have a call in to Dayan in order to figure this out.

Unless Dayan (Israel's consul general in Los Angeles to whom the remarks were allegedly made) flat out denies it, I believe it. In fact, even if Dayan denies it, I'm not sure it's false.

Israel Matzav: 'US is fed up with Israel and the Palestinians' says...; UPDATE: WHITE HOUSE DENIES IT

Israel Matzav: Galloways goons riot, Egyptian cop killed by 'Palestinians'

Galloways goons riot, Egyptian cop killed by 'Palestinians'

At the El Arish border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, a 'Palestinian' sniper shot and killed an Egyptian police officer and 'internationals' from George Galloway's Viva Palestina organization brawled with Egyptian police after Egypt refused to let through part of a 'relief' convoy that it said must enter Gaza through an Israeli crossing point.

The scuffles at the port broke out late Tuesday at al-Arish port building when authorities told the organizers that out of the nearly 200 vehicles, some 59 can't enter Gaza through Egypt, but must go through Israeli terminals.

A security official said the vehicles in question are carrying pickup trucks, sedans, generators and other equipment, which are not allowed to pass through the Egyptian crossing at Rafah and had to go via Israel. Only medical aid and passengers are allowed through, the official said.

British MP George Galloway told Sky News television that the activists were negotiating with authorities and refusing to leave behind their vehicles.

"We refused this because it's a breach of the agreement which we reached," he said. "It is completely unconscionable."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said the rules were clear from the start, and accused the activists of coordinating with Hamas to create problems. He said the private automobiles are not considered humanitarian goods, and must enter from Israel.

"We didn't mislead anyone. They have their interests ... and they want to make up problems and clash with Egypt," he told The Associated Press.

"We are activists. We condemn the Israeli siege to start with. We will only enter through an Egyptian-Palestinian crossing," said Wael al-Sakka, a Jordanian activist.

I guess the 'poor' Gazans have money to pay for private automobiles - or at least for the gas that fuels them, which they can get in Gaza.

On Wednesday, the border guards fought with the 'Palestinians' who had been called upon to riot by Hamas.

One official said Wednesday that the border guard was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper while Gazan youths hurled stones across the border at the Egyptian security forces.

Egyptian forces opened fire on Palestinians who were pelting them with rocks from the other side of the border over frustration that an aid convoy had been delayed.

But just give them a state and they'll stop behaving this way.... Oops. We did give them a state in Gaza and they continue to behave this way.

Maybe if all these 'internationals' would stop showering the 'Palestinians' with gifts, they'd build an economy in Gaza, get jobs and start working for a living.

Israel Matzav: Galloways goons riot, Egyptian cop killed by 'Palestinians'

Israel Matzav: Obsessive compulsive Israel disorder

Obsessive compulsive Israel disorder

Jonathan Bash says that it's time to stop defending Israel and to start proactively showing the truth instead.

[Bash] feels that the fixation of the eyes of the world can be broken by repeated showing of what is happening to recent refugees in Darfur and other places. The Arab world and the United Nations have instead focused on the poor living conditions of Arabs left to languish in “refugee camps” for decades instead of being absorbed into their host country’s population, as is done with other refugees.


“Terrible things are going on in the world,” Bash told Israel National News, discussing his video on refugees. “It is a disaster and the world is not doing anything about it. The issue is not what’s going on in Israel. Over the last few years 300,000 people have been killed in Sudan,” he said and added that Google searches for Darfur are a mere four percent of those for Israel.

Here's an example. Let's go to the videotape.

Here's a second video that's more direct. Let's go to the videotape.

I like his approach. We don't have to apologize for anything. What do you all think?

Israel Matzav: Obsessive compulsive Israel disorder

Israel Matzav: Is Obama's foreign policy really like Bush's?

Is Obama's foreign policy really like Bush's?

Time's Tony Karon claims that President Obama has 'defaulted' to President Bush's foreign policy positions (Hat Tip: Instapundit). I disagree, at least where it concerns Iran and the Israeli-Arab dispute. Let's look at what Karon says on those two issues and see what's changed since January 2009. Here's Iran.

Candidate Obama promised to engage with Iran, pointing out that the Bush Administration's policies of setting ultimatums backed by limited sanctions had failed to slow Iran's nuclear program. The Bush team did, of course, reach out discreetly to Tehran during its final year — though Obama made a far more public show in his Persian New Year message, respectfully addressed to the regime. But the turmoil unleashed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested re-election on June 12 prompted the regime to circle the wagons against alleged "Western plots," imperiling hopes for diplomatic rapprochement. Critics may have chided Obama for declining to grandstand in support of the Iranian opposition, but he has maintained the key demand of the Bush Administration in his approach to Tehran: that Iran halt and then relinquish its uranium-enrichment program. The Iranians refused to do that for Bush, and they are united across their own political divisions in saying no to the same demand from Obama. Now Obama finds himself setting ultimatums and threatening sanctions — with no obvious prospect of greater success than his predecessor.

First, it's unfair to compare Obama to Bush's final year and not to the rest of his time in office. In his final year, Bush had his options for dealing with Iran castrated by the false National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which came out in December 2007 (as an aside, when the Republicans gain control of Congress again, they ought to investigate how that report ever got issued the way it did in the first place).

Moreover, while Bush never moved from his demand that Iran halt and relinquish its uranium enrichment program, Bush never claimed that Iran had a 'right' to nuclear power - as Obama has - and Bush never even hinted at the possibility of living with a nuclear Iran through containment, as Obama has.

Furthermore, Obama may be setting ultimatums and threatening sanctions, but we've yet to see him stick to an ultimatum and he's not willing to go it alone on sanctions as Bush - who was criticized as a cowboy - clearly would have done if he'd had to.

Finally, the entire tone of Bush's approach to Iran was different, and there was a lot more confidence that at the end of the day, Bush was going to meet Ahmadinejad at the Okay Corral with his pistols drawn rather than let the Iranians become a nuclear power and deal with the consequences afterward. Tone matters.

Then there's the Israel - Arab dispute, or as Karon deceptively calls it, 'Israel and the Palestinians.'

On his first day in office, Obama announced that he would prioritize an "aggressive" push for a two-state peace between Israel and the Palestinians. To jump-start talks, Obama demanded that Israel halt all settlement construction on territory conquered in 1967 and pressed Arab states for more gestures toward normalizing ties with Israel. He had no luck on either front. Indeed, the gulf between Israel's right-wing government and the enfeebled Palestinian leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas is growing ever wider. Abbas has been eclipsed by the more radical Hamas movement, and his failure to deliver significant gains for his years of negotiating with Israel and the U.S. has left his popularity at an all-time low. The Obama Administration has maintained its predecessor's boycott of Hamas and has declined to intervene meaningfully in the standoff in Gaza, where Israel maintains an economic stranglehold aimed at toppling Hamas. So despite his best intentions, Obama closed out 2009 in a situation not unlike that of Bush's valedictory year — pressing for talks between Israel and an increasingly marginal Abbas while wishing away the problem of Hamas. After a year of peacemaking, the Administration is more likely to confront a resumption of hostilities in Gaza (and possibly the West Bank) than it is to see any diplomatic breakthrough.

Here it's tone that matters more than anything else. Deep down, Bush loved Israel. Yes, there was Annapolis in his last year in office, but Bush also visited here twice as President, addressed the Knesset and played to the average Israelis. Obama has shown (and his received in return) palpable hostility from much of Israel's population. While Bush visited here twice, Obama has made a point of visiting Arab and Muslim countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) and not visiting Israel.

Obama's demand to halt all 'settlement construction' - a demand Bush would never have made - has not gone away. Obama continues to issue statements against Jewish construction in 'east' Jerusalem. Bush would never have done that. And Obama has disavowed (in effect) Bush's 2004 letter in which the United States committed to adjusting Israel's borders away from the 1949 armistice lines to acknowledge reality.

Obama would love to interfere in Gaza, but unless he's willing to put troops on the ground, he can't.

And the 'Palestinians' evidently believe that Obama will ultimately force Israel to give them what they want. Otherwise, why would they be digging in their heels so much harder since Obama took office than they did under Bush.

Ultimately, I believe that Obama will attempt to bring Hamas in from the cold (especially if - God forbid - he is re-elected). I also believe that once he leaves office, Obama will behave much like Jimmy Carter and become an ex-President who is openly hostile to Israel.

Obama's foreign policy isn't really like Bush's at all. And if God forbid he gets a second term, we will all see plainly just how different it is.

Israel Matzav: Is Obama's foreign policy really like Bush's?

Israel Matzav: Obama accuses Israel of 'damaging the peace process'

Obama accuses Israel of 'damaging the peace process'

President Obama's State Department lashed out at Israel on Tuesday for announcing a plan to build four residential buildings for 24 families on a vacant private plot of land on the Mount of Olives, adjacent to the Beit Orot yeshiva. According to 'Peace Now,' the land is owned by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.

"We have noted that these types of announcements and activity harm peace efforts," a US State Department official told The Jerusalem Post.

Still, the harsh response was more measured than several previous US criticisms of plans to build in east Jerusalem.

The official added, "We believe it is important to resume negotiations between the parties in order to resolve all permanent-status issues, including Jerusalem."

It goes without saying that the 'Palestinians' also condemned the announcement.

But apparently, this project was approved a long time ago, and it's just that construction permits are now being issued.

Stephan Miller, spokesman for Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, downplayed the significance of the Mount of Olives decision. He told The Jerusalem Post that residential zoning for this area was approved in 1990, so Monday's decision was "nothing new."

The approval of projects such as this, Miller said, was a normal move in the life of a growing city such as Jerusalem. He added that the land was privately owned.

Another municipal spokesmen added that this specific plan had received its first approvals in 2003, but that construction was only authorized now. The decision was a professional one that was made based on the technical merits of the project, he said.

Both spokesmen declined to clarify if the apartment units would house Palestinians or Jews.

Heck, I'll go and protest if it houses 'Palestinians.'

The bottom line to this story is in legislation that is being brought to the Knesset to set up a special authority to manage the Mount of Olives.

"The Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world," the MKs wrote in their introduction to the proposed legislation. "It has been a national site for the Jewish people since the days of the First Temple and, in addition to serving as a preeminent historical site of great importance to the Jewish people, it is a holy site."

The authority would work to develop, restore and protect the Mount of Olives cemetery, and would coordinate among the many public and charitable bodies that perform services connected to the site.

One thing ought to be clear: After what happened the last time the Arabs got their grubby hands on the Mount of Olives, there's little chance any government in Israel will ever be in a position to allow it to happen again.

Israel Matzav: Obama accuses Israel of 'damaging the peace process'

Israel Matzav: Why not treat Abdulmutallab like Ramzi Yousef

Why not treat Abdulmutallab like Ramzi Yousef

For any of you who don't recall the name Ramzi Yousef (pictured), which may well include most of you under the age of 30, he was the mastermind of the first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993, in which six people were killed, about 1,000 wounded and thousands of people had to make their way out of the buildings by the stairs. Yousef's 'mistake' was trying to blow the building up from the bottom - he placed a powerful bomb in a parking garage.

Yousef and his co-conspirators were tried as criminals. Yousef is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado. The Obama administration claims that Yousef is a model for the criminal justice system working and claims that the Northwest (Delta) 253 bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, should be treated the same way. The Wall Street Journal explains why that's wrong, why Abdulmutallab should be treated as a war criminal, and that the Bush administration would have treated Yousef as a war criminal had it had the opportunity to do so (Yousef was arrested and put on trial during the Clinton administration, but Bush treated Zacarias Moussawi and Richard Reid as criminals and not as prisoners of war as well).

Many people don't understand the difference between treating a terrorist as a prisoner of war and treating him as a war criminal. The difference is critical.

We now know that when Yousef was captured, in 1995, al Qaeda leaders were working feverishly to attack American targets. Yousef's uncle is none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11 and one of Yousef's co-conspirators in the failed Bojinka plot to blow up airliners across the Pacific Ocean.

Yet as far as we know, Yousef told U.S. interrogators little or nothing about KSM's plots and strategy once he was in U.S. custody. This isn't surprising, since once he was in the criminal justice system Yousef was granted a lawyer and all the legal protections against cooperating with U.S. interrogators. To this day, we don't recall any official claim that Yousef has provided useful intelligence of the kind that KSM, Abu Zubaydah and other al Qaeda leaders later did when they were interrogated by the CIA.

All of this is directly relevant to the Administration's rash decision to indict Abdulmutallab on criminal charges immediately after his arrest in Detroit on Christmas weekend. The Nigerian jihadist could have been labeled an enemy combatant, detained indefinitely, and interrogated with a goal of discovering who he had met in Yemen, whether other plots are underway, and much else that might be relevant to preventing the next terror attempt. This is a far higher priority than convicting Abdulmutallab and sending him to jail.

In fact, the article goes on to say, the Obama administration plans to offer Abdulmutallab a plea bargain(!) as a way for extracting information from him. Obama's best case scenario is that someone who tried to murder at least 300 Americans will see the light of day in exchange for some information about al-Qaeda's plans and activities. There has to be - and is - a better way.

When President Obama stopped using the term 'war on terror,' there was more to it than semantics. Obama doesn't believe that America is fighting a war. And in fact, under Obama, America is no longer fighting a war. Obama has declared victory that the war is over and walked away from the battlefield.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Why not treat Abdulmutallab like Ramzi Yousef

Israel Matzav: Flower power v. nuclear power

Flower power v. nuclear power

Hat Tip: Seraphic Secret (who has much more about this story).

Israel Matzav: Flower power v. nuclear power

Israel Matzav: Iran's nuclear maze

Iran's nuclear maze

The New York Times has a lengthy story about Iran's maze of tunnels that hide its nuclear program. The gist of the article is that the tunnels complicate any military option to destroy or set back Iran's nuclear weapons program, and are more of an impediment for Israel than for the United States.

The Obama administration says it is hoping to take advantage of domestic political unrest and disarray in Iran’s nuclear program to press for a regimen of strong and immediate new sanctions. But a crucial factor behind that push for nonmilitary solutions, some analysts say, is Iran’s tunneling — what Tehran calls its strategy of “passive defense.”

Indeed, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has repeatedly discounted the possibility of a military strike, saying that it would only slow Iran’s nuclear ambitions by one to three years while driving the program further underground.

Some analysts say that Israel, which has taken the hardest line on Iran, may be especially hampered, given its less formidable military and intelligence abilities.

“It complicates your targeting,” said Richard L. Russell, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst now at the National Defense University. “We’re used to facilities being above ground. Underground, it becomes literally a black hole. You can’t be sure what’s taking place.”

Even the Israelis concede that solid rock can render bombs useless. Late last month, the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, told Parliament that the Qum plant was “located in bunkers that cannot be destroyed through a conventional attack.”

You will all recall the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP or bunker buster) that the United States is hoping to bring online later this year.

The device — 20 feet long and called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator — began as a 2004 recommendation from the Defense Science Board, a high-level advisory group to the Pentagon.

“A deep underground tunnel facility in a rock geology poses a significant challenge,” the board wrote. “Several thousand pounds of high explosives coupled to the tunnel are needed to blow down blast doors and propagate a lethal air blast.”

The bomb carries tons of explosives and is considered 10 times more powerful than its predecessor. It underwent preliminary testing in 2007, and its first deployments are expected next summer. Its carrier is to be the B-2 stealth bomber.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters in October that budget problems had delayed the weapon but that it was now back on track. Military officials deny having a specific target in mind. Still, Mr. Whitman added, war planners consider it “an important capability.”

But will it be online before Iran has nuclear weapons? No one knows for sure.

Read it all.

Israel Matzav: Iran's nuclear maze

Israel Matzav: Glick: 'Obama would rather be on a collision course with Israel than with Iran'

Glick: 'Obama would rather be on a collision course with Israel than with Iran'

At PJTV, Caroline Glick reviews 2009 and reports that the Obama administration has decided that it would rather be on a collision course with Israel than with Iran, and that if the Ahmadinejad regime is overthrown, the US is unlikely to have close relations with its successor.

You can watch the videotape of Caroline's interview here.

Israel Matzav: Glick: 'Obama would rather be on a collision course with Israel than with Iran'

Israel Matzav: Washington imam: Detroit bombing work of US government and Mossad

Washington imam: Detroit bombing work of US government and Mossad

In an interview on Iran's English-language Press TV, Washington, DC imam Abdul Alim Musa claims that the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest (Delta) Flight 253 over southern Canada and Detroit was the work of the United States government and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

Let's go to the videotape.

I sure hope he's on the 'no fly' list as he claims. This guy is a nut case.

For those who want a transcript, you can find it here.

Israel Matzav: Washington imam: Detroit bombing work of US government and Mossad

Israel Matzav: Bezeq 'guards' our morals

Bezeq 'guards' our morals

I tried reaching the link below, which I got from a tweet from Drudge Report.

Curiously, Bezeq (which unfortunately bought out Actcom - my original service provider since 1994) does not allow me to reach the link. A firewall claims that the link includes 'forbidden content' like betting and alcohol. The link goes to AP News. In fact, I had to search Drudge's Tweet on Google just to get to the link above - when I clicked on the TinyUrl posted by Drudge, I got the same 'forbidden content' message.

Least you think this only happens in Iran and China....

(And for those of you in Israel, no I do not have one of those religious firewalls on this computer).

Anyone have any ideas?


Mrs. Carl called Bezeq (it's technically her account) and after half an hour on the phone with them when they couldn't find our account(!) and their protests ("why wouldn't you want it - it's free!") , they have supposedly agreed to remove the 'service' from our account. Mrs. Carl even read them the URL and they confirmed that it had no references to alcohol, gambling etc.

I'll have to try again later. The problem is that I generally open multiple tabs from Twitter and often don't even know which tab has been blocked....

Israel Matzav: Bezeq 'guards' our morals

Israel Matzav: Yeshivat Har Etzion speaks out

Yeshivat Har Etzion speaks out

There has been a major controversy going in Israel over the IDF's expelling a yeshiva from the 'arrangement' (hesder) by which soldiers split their time between the army and yeshiva learning. I have mostly kept it out of this blog because I'm not sure how much interest the 70% of my readers who are overseas have in it, because there are a lot of nuances that are difficult to understand without a lot of background that you just don't have unless you have lived in Israel for a long time, and because most of the relevant material about it is Hebrew only. I now have some material in English on one aspect so I will mention that.

I received two emails during the night in my personal/business (i.e. non-blog) email account that had copies of letters in Hebrew sent by Yeshivat Har Etzion (known here as "the Gush") to its alumni, hundreds of whom serve in IDF reserve units. In the letters, the yeshiva heads say that they are opposed to 'demonstrations' or 'raising signs' during army service, and will discipline their own students (presumably not including graduates) who are involved in such occurrences. They also say that they hope to resolve any issues with the army over orders to 'evacuate' Jewish residents and towns in Judea and Samaria through the Hesder yeshiva organization, by mutual respect and with an eye to avoiding conflict.

YNet describes the letters here in English and the original Hebrew letters may be found here.

One of the Roshei Yeshiva, R. Yaakov Meidan, wrote a separate letter to the graduates. He says that he agrees with the entire letter written by the other Roshei Yeshiva except for one word. Curiously, only part of Rav Meidan's letter was included in the emails that went out last night, but the entire letter (in Hebrew) may be found at the second link above. Rav Meidan, who is described by YNet as "relatively extremist" (a description with which I disagree), refers to 'uprooting' residents and towns and specifically not to 'evacuation' which he deems too mild (some of you may recall that Israel Radio banned ads on the anniversary of the Gaza expulsion which referred to 'expulsion' rather than 'disengagement').

Rav Meidan also says in his letter that he will not tell any of his students (if they ask him) to participate in expelling Jews from their homes. He does say that it's okay to participate in the third circle, which has uses other than participating in any expulsion.

He says that the army should not be used to expel people from their homes - it's not their job.

He also raises a point that I have not seen in the media here at all. He contrasts the Defense Minister's harsh punishment to Rabbi Melamed's Har Bracha yeshiva (which has been expelled from hesder) with the Minister's lenient treatment of university courses attended by IDF officers at the IDF's expense at which the IDF is denigrated.

You can find a Google translation of the original letters here. But the translation is coarse, and I just don't have the time to do a full translation today. Perhaps if someone else has the time, they might consider cleaning it up and sending it to me.

Israel Matzav: Yeshivat Har Etzion speaks out

Love of the Land: Jews can counterclaim for Osirak reparations

Jews can counterclaim for Osirak reparations

Point of No Return
06 January '10

The first contender for Chutzpa Award (cheek) of the Year goers to Mohammed Naji Mohammed, an MP with the Iraqi Alliance Coalition, who is leading a campaign seeking billions of dollars in reparations for Israel's destruction of the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

"The Iraqi government continues to seek redress for an Israeli airstrike against a 1981 Israeli airstrike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor, the lawmaker said in remarks published Tuesday.

'Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs petitioned the United Nations and the UN Security Council to demand that Israel pay compensation ... for the 1981 bombing an (Iraqi) nuclear reactor,' he told the al-Sabah newspaper.

Mohammed said the cabinet had on November 25 approved a plan to seek redress through diplomatic channels, and to form a 'neutral' committee to assess the value of the reparations it would seek.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Jews can counterclaim for Osirak reparations

Love of the Land: BBC, HRW and Kol Israel Linked to Zionist Conspiracy?

BBC, HRW and Kol Israel Linked to Zionist Conspiracy?

Honest Reporting/Backspin
05 January '10

The Iranian government issued a list of 60 international organizations it considers "subversive."

Radio Liberty has a partial list of the groups, which Iranian citizens are now banned from having contact with. It includes George Soros' Open Society Institute, Human Rights Watch, MEMRI, Voice of America and the BBC. YNet News notes that Kol Israel is also on this list.

I can't wait to see the conspiracy theories coming from this.

Love of the Land: BBC, HRW and Kol Israel Linked to Zionist Conspiracy?

Love of the Land: Israel's Arab Settlements

Israel's Arab Settlements

Daniel Greenfield
Sultan Knish
04 January '10

While the media and politicians wail over Israeli settlements and revisionist historians pen narratives in which Israel's entire history comes down to a plot to seize Arab land (following in the footsteps of how their American counterparts have reinterpreted US history)... very little is said of Israel's Arab settlements.

But Arab settlements in Israel far outweigh Jewish ones and have far less legitimate roots. Consider East Jerusalem, which Obama and the EU are insisting should be reserved for Arab residency alone. East Jerusalem does indeed have a solid Arab majority because in 1948 the armies of seven Arab nations invaded Israel and occupied half of Jerusalem, dividing it as their Soviet allies divided Berlin, and ethnically cleansed its Jewish population. Jewish places of worship in East Jerusalem were bombed or turned into mosques and toilets, even the dead were not allowed to rest in peace as their tombstones were used to pave roads. Jewish homes were seized by Arabs and East Jerusalem became wholly Arab.

This is the situation that Obama and the EU are fighting to perpetuate by banning any Jewish housing in the eastern half of the now united Jerusalem. This is what every government that refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is legitimizing by rewarding the ethnic cleansing practiced by the Jordanian Legion and the Holy War Army (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) of the nephew of Nazi collaborating Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad al-Husayni.

And then there are the so-called Israeli settlements of Gaza, Judea and Samaria-- which indeed were built on territory that Israel captured from Egypt and Jordan in 1967, after Egypt and Jordan had captured the territory in 1948, destroying Jewish villages on the territory in the process. Some Jewish villages like Kfar Darom suffered the fate of being destroyed twice over, once by the Arab occupation armies in 1948, to be reestablished and again destroyed by Fatah's terrorist militias after Israel agreed to ethnically cleanse its own population from Gaza to appease Arab terrorism.

That is the truth behind the so-called Israeli Settlements issue, but it is not by any means the whole truth. Because the UN, the EU and the State Department have only applied the term "settlements" to Jewish towns and villages, never Arab ones, regardless of their legality. This double standard that is defined purely by ethnicity and religion, and by no other factor whatsoever, represents the real international Apartheid that targets Jews for ethnic cleansing to the benefit of Arab Muslims.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Israel's Arab Settlements

Love of the Land: Gordon’s Jinn

Gordon’s Jinn

CiF Watch
06 January '10

I have long suspected that Neve Gordon lives in some sort of parallel universe where as if by magic, he manages to turn good into bad, wrong into right, true into false. After reading his CiF article of December 23rd, I’m even more dismayed by the man’s attempts to distort reality into something which serves his purpose.

This is the same Neve Gordon who recently called for boycotts against Israel as well as hosting a convicted Fatah organiser in his own home. Famous for holing himself up with Yasser Arafat in the Mukkata in Ramallah during the Second Intifada whilst the rest of his countrymen were under attack from suicide bombers, Gordon now tries to persuade us that there exists a Palestinian pro-peace movement which Israel is deliberately sabotaging.

“The objective is to put an end to the pro-peace popular resistance in the villages and to crush, once and for all, the Palestinian peace movement.”

Just in case you are now wondering how you managed to overlook this peace movement, Gordon even provides examples: “But over the past five years, Palestinians from scores of villages and towns such as Bil’in and Jayyous have developed new forms of pro-peace resistance that have attracted the attention of the international community.”

In Bil’in this ‘peaceful resistance’ has managed to injure some 170 IDF and police personnel. The weekly demonstrations are orchestrated together with the ISM – a Palestinian founded and led organisation with the following mission statement: “As enshrined in international law and UN resolutions, we recognize the Palestinian right to resist Israeli violence and occupation via legitimate armed struggle”.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Gordon’s Jinn

Love of the Land: A Lesson for London

A Lesson for London

Evelyn Gordon
05 January '10

Meeting with Israeli officials in Jerusalem this morning, British Attorney General Baroness Scotland reiterated her government’s pledge to amend the “universal jurisdiction” law under which British courts have repeatedly issued arrest warrants against Israeli officers and politicians. That pledge, first made by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last month, outraged the Muslim Council of Britain, which accused the government of being “partisan” and “compliant to [Israeli] demands.”

But if Britain keeps its word, the pro-Palestinian activists who keep seeking, and getting, those warrants will have only themselves to blame. After all, British courts have issued such warrants for years without the British government batting an eye, despite vociferous Israeli protests, and could probably have continued doing so had activists only picked their targets a little more carefully. The British couldn’t care less if Israeli army officers canceled planned visits for fear of being arrested, as yet another group did last week. Ditto for right-of-center politicians such as Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who aborted a planned trip in November: Britain would rather not hear from Israelis who think peace with the Palestinians is currently impossible.

But the activists overreached last month by securing a warrant against former foreign minister and current opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Livni is the Great White Hope of peace-processors worldwide, the Israeli deemed most likely to sign a deal with the Palestinians.

Love of the Land: A Lesson for London

Love of the Land: Between the vortex and the vacuum

Between the vortex and the vacuum

Yisrael Medad
05 January '10

If you read this JPost report, you'll find a host of hot items including: "revised order"; "remedies for some of the complaints"; "a 10-month freeze on construction"; "underlined by the Supreme Court"; "I confess that the arrangement we devised is not the best one"; "a heated Law Committee hearing"; "The meeting got off to a bad start"; "the Law Committee was being exploited"; and much more.

All the above refer to the November 25 Cabinet decision to suspend construction beyond the Green Line that was discussed in a Knesset comittee this past week. The suspension order was concieved with no grounded consideration of its possible ramifications - neither political, diplomatic, strategic or the simple aspects of how to compensate builders for their financial losses. This last point even received the sympathy of Israel's Supreme Court, which demanded that the Defense Ministry get their act together quick.

This is but another example of what I term the "between the vortex and the vacuum" characteristic of Israeli politics. Yes, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is, to be fair, in an unenviable position by virtue of his job. As head not only of a coalition government but one that includes the erstwhile main opposition parliamentary faction, the Labor Party, most of his time is usually spent quenching sparks and flames of third-tier politicians, not to mention the ego-busters. That, unfortunately, is the nature of the game and has been for decades.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Between the vortex and the vacuum
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