Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Love of the Land: Soft colonialism

Soft colonialism


Seth Frantzman
Terra Incognita/JPost
12 January '10

The lead car in a convoy of consular vehicles attempts to run over an Israeli security guard, and the drivers make obscene gestures at female soldiers. A car belonging to the Temporary International Presence in Hebron drives onto the sidewalk and parks illegally in front of Jerusalem's central post office so its occupants don't have to pay for parking while they drop off a letter. The Belgian Consulate in Jerusalem refuses to pay rent, living in the property for free for more than 20 years, because it doesn't recognize the owner's right to charge rent or Israel's right to adjudicate the matter. EU countries give millions of euros to people living here, aid earmarked either solely for Arabs or for NGOs that "break the silence" regarding IDF "war crimes," among other things.

These incidents and many others that take place on a daily basis in Israel and the West Bank are part of a creeping soft colonialism that has been going on since 1948. However these infringements on Israel's sovereignty have become more flagrant in recent years. Rather than according the country more respect, the foreigners - particularly Europeans - who come here, usually as part of some international or diplomatic mission, have increased their outward displays of nonrecognition of Israel's right to govern itself. The same foreigners who gladly submit to long border checks and security checks in Jordan, Morocco, Botswana or Malaysia believe they do not have to obey laws in Israel or in what they perceive as occupied territories.

ONE OF the strangest examples of this has been the dispute between the Belgian Consulate and the state over its property in the Talbiyeh neighborhood of Jerusalem. Villa Salameh was built in the 1930s by Marcel Favier, a French architect. It was named after the wealthy Arab family that lived in the house until 1948. After the war, it was classified as "absentee property" along with the properties of other Arabs who fled during the hostilities.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Soft colonialism

Israel Matzav: Rule of law?

Rule of law?

Evelyn Gordon decries the fact that it is taken for granted in this country (and it is taken for granted because it's largely correct) that Israel's courts and prosecutorial apparatus is biased to the Left.

Consider the following sentence from a column that appeared Monday in Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz: “If the attorney general decides to bring charges against Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister may decide that, in his bid to reach a plea bargain that will keep him out of prison, he is better off bringing down the government, and possibly even the Knesset, and disguising himself as a moderate in a government that has Kadima and Labor [two left-of-center parties] at its center.”

The author, Amir Oren, is no right-wing conspiracy theorist; he’s a veteran, left-of-center journalist and star columnist for a respected highbrow daily. And he considers it patently obvious that if Lieberman wants prosecutors to treat him leniently, he would be wise to swerve Left.

Nor is Oren alone in this belief. In 2007, after then prime minister Ehud Olmert appointed Daniel Friedmann, a well-known critic of the Supreme Court’s judicial activism, as justice minister, Yossi Verter wrote in Haaretz: “The justice system … has two alternatives for coping with this blow: hunkering down in its bunker and waiting for the government to change, or speeding up criminal proceedings against Olmert and working with greater vigor to topple him, which would also bring about Friedmann’s departure.”

Like Oren, Verter is a veteran left-of-center journalist and a star Haaretz columnist. And like Oren, he considers it self-evident that legal officials could and would use their prosecutorial powers to oust a politician whose policies they oppose.

Read the whole thing.

I have argued many times on this blog that the expulsion of Gaza's Jews was undertaken to keep Ariel Sharon and his sons out of jail. How could that be? Read Evelyn Gordon's post and you will find out. We have a culture of corruption in our law enforcement agencies. And no one in a position to stop it is willing to try.


Israel Matzav: Rule of law?

Israel Matzav: IDF search and rescue unit may be headed for Haiti

IDF search and rescue unit may be headed for Haiti

The IDF's search and rescue unit may be headed for earthquake-stricken Haiti to help in the relief efforts there.

The IDF National Search and Rescue Unit, under the Home Front Command, is a highly skilled force trained to execute special search and rescue missions, both in Israel and abroad. The unit was founded in 1983, and its’ expertise is in rescuing people trapped under ruins.

The unit is comprised primarily of reservists who are always on call, with prepared kits to enable immediate departure, and a small core of soldiers in mandatory service. In addition to the rescue teams, the unit employs doctors, engineers, mechanical engineering equipment operators and rescue dog handlers.

There are pictures of the IDF search and rescue unit in action here.

Israel Matzav: IDF search and rescue unit may be headed for Haiti

Love of the Land: The Right to Self Defense

The Right to Self Defense


NGO Monitor
International Law Series
13 January '10

The right to self-defense, including the right to combat terror, is a cornerstone of international law, enshrined in the UN Charter (Article 51) and numerous Security Council Resolutions.

In order to delegitimize Israel’s self-defensive measures, many NGOs have issued statements distorting international law or even inventing legal bases under which Israel’s rights are denied.

Al Haq and PCHR falsely claim that Israel cannot invoke self-defense in response to attacks from non-state actors in occupied territory. In making this legally incoherent argument, these NGOs misinterpret key passages in international law.

A second approach, taken by Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem, alleges without any evidentiary basis that Israel’s exercise of self-defense is merely a pretext for punishing the Palestinians. There is no legal doctrine that establishes that an otherwise legal military action in self-defense becomes illegal simply because one of its alleged motives is to “punish” the aggressor.

Other groups, including Oxfam and FIDH, pay lip service to Israeli self-defense, but reject every Israeli action as a “violation of international law.”
The NGOs make no realistic suggestions of what would be considered lawful and effective measures, effectively nullifying the right to self-defense.

Palestinian NGO, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from European governments (EU, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands), labels direct attacks on Israeli civilians as acts of “resistance.”

Background: The Right of Self-Defense

Between 2000 and May 2009, Palestinian attacks killed nearly 1,200 Israelis and injured close to 10,000, through suicide bombings, rocket and mortar attacks, shootings, stabbings, bombings, and vehicular assaults. In executing these attacks, Palestinian groups deliberately targeted Israeli civilians and population centers.[1] In defense, Israel applied a vigorous counter-terrorism strategy.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: The Right to Self Defense

Israel Matzav: Grooming children to be suicide bombers

Grooming children to be suicide bombers

I've run stories before about 'Palestinians' raising children to be suicide bombers. What's different - and maybe even shocking - about this story is that the kids involved aren't 'Palestinians' and the story doesn't take place in the Middle East. These kids are English.

Police have identified children as young as seven being groomed for terrorism, with some expressing a wish to become suicide bombers.

Up to 10 primary school pupils, aged between seven and 10, have been placed on a government outreach programme for individuals considered at risk of being radicalised and turning to violence.

Some have taken inspiration from jihadi websites or after viewing extremist material in Islamic bookshops.

One child was referred to the programme by his teacher after writing on a school book: “I want to be a suicide bomber.”

Other youngsters were identified by their parents after suddenly adopting traditional Muslim dress or espousing extremist views.

At least 228 people, mostly teenagers and young men aged 15-24, have been referred to the anti-terrorism Channel project after being singled out as “potentially vulnerable to violent extremism”.

“For people to be identified there have to be distinct changes in behaviour and warning signs,” said Craig Denholm, deputy chief constable of Surrey police who oversees the programme. “We assess each one on its own merits. There is a very small number of children aged seven, eight and nine.”

And how many more potential Muslim suicide bombers are they not catching? What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Grooming children to be suicide bombers

UNIVERSAL TORAH: VA-EIRA

UNIVERSAL TORAH: VA-EIRA


By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Torah Reading: VA-EIRA Exodus 6:2-9:3

"WITH MY NAME YKVK I WAS NOT KNOWN TO THEM"

At the end of last week's parshah of SHEMOS, we saw how, precisely when Moses started the process of Geulah (redemption) by asking Pharaoh to send away the Children of Israel, the latter responded by intensifying their oppression and servitude. This caused even Moses to question his mission: "Lord, why have You done evil to this people? Why have You sent me?" (Ex. 5:22).

Our parshah of VA-EIRA opens with G-d's answer to Moses. It contains a profound teaching about faith. G-d promises, and it is up to G-d to deliver! He can be relied upon absolutely to do so -- in His own good time. Even in the thickest darkness, we must have faith that G-d will redeem us. We must understand that the darkness is most intense just before the morning.

In G-d's answer to Moses, He says that He appeared to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as "the Eternal G-d" but "WITH MY NAME YKVK I WAS NOT KNOWN TO THEM" (Ex. 6:3). What does this mean? It is a fact that the essential name of HaShem, YKVK -- expressing the perfect unity of G-d within and beyond all phenomena -- was indeed known to the patriarchs, as we see many times in Genesis. However, as pointed out by Rashi here, the Hebrew text (NODA'TI) does not mean, "I did not make it known to them". Rather, it implies: "I was not known and RECOGNIZED for my quality of truthfulness. as HaShem Who am faithful in proving the truth of My words. For I promised them but as yet I have not fulfilled the promise" (see Rashi).

An integral part of faith in G-d is to have faith that He will bring about everything He has promised through His prophets, even if we cannot see how this can possibly come about. The Exodus from Egypt is the proof of this faith, for G-d had promised the patriarchs what He was going to do: "And also the people that they will serve I will judge, and afterwards they will go forth with great wealth" (Gen. 15:13-14). At the height of Egyptian power and arrogance, it seemed impossible that this could come about. But in this and the coming parshiyos telling the story of the Ten Plagues and the Exodus, we see that G-d indeed brought it about.

No less essential a part of the promise than the redemption from Egypt was that G-d will "bring you to the Land that I swore to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and I WILL GIVE IT TO YOU AS AN INHERITANCE -- I AM HASHEM" (Ex. 6:8). It is not sufficient for the Children of Israel "go out from Egypt", even in the spiritual sense of being released from the chains of servitude to the evanescent material world. G-d's plan for a perfect world will be fulfilled only when the Children of Israel dwell securely in their own Promised Land, fulfilling all the commandments that are bound up with the Land. We must have complete faith that G-d will bring this about.

* * *

KAL VA-CHOMER - "Light and stringent"

When the Children of Israel could not hear Moses' message of redemption because of "shortness of spirit and hard work" (Ex. 6:9), Moses wondered: "If the Children of Israel did not listen to me, how will Pharaoh listen to me?" (ibid. v. 12).

Moses' argument is based on making an inference from a "light" case -- the Children of Israel -- to a "stringent" case: Pharaoh. In Hebrew such an inference is known as KAL VA-CHOMER, "light-and-stringent". In the written text of the Five Books of Moses there are ten cases of arguments using KAL VA-CHOMER (Rashi ad loc.) The ten cases are listed in the Tannaitic commentary on Exodus, "Mechilta". The argument of KAL VA-CHOMER is one of the most important of the hermeneutical methods by which the sages derived teachings by inference even though they are not written explicitly in the Torah text. KAL VA-CHOMER is the first of "thirteen rules of Torah interpretation" set down by the tannaitic sage, Rabbi Ishmael. These have become part of the daily order of prayer, being recited at the conclusion of the sacrificial portions prior to PSUKEY DE-ZIMRA, the verses and psalms of the morning service. Besides Rabbi Ishmael's thirteen, there are other hermeneutical rules, such as the Thirty-Two rules of Midrash collected by Rabbi Eliezer son of Rabbi Yosi HaGalili (printed in the KLALIM, "rules" of the Talmud, after Tractate Berachos).

As in the case of Moses' argument by KAL VA-CHOMER that Pharaoh would not listen, all the other rules of interpretation are themselves contained in the biblical text. It is through the application of these rules that extensive parts of the Oral Torah were developed by the early sages and rabbis. When rules like KAL VA-CHOMER are applied to the text, it is possible to infer new teachings that are not explicitly written in the text but are logically implied. The legitimacy of this method of argument is sanctioned by its use in the Biblical text itself, as here. This shows the essential unity of the Oral and Written Torah.

* * *

THE TEN PLAGUES

In the event, G-d took on the "harder" task of bringing down Pharaoh and breaking his stony heart. This was what would make the Children of Israel listen! This was accomplished through the Ten Plagues. The gripping account of the first seven plagues occupies the greater part of this week's parshah of VAYEIRA, while next week's parshah of BO bring us to the climax with the last three plagues and the Exodus itself.

Many have sought to explain the sequence of plagues according to some rationale. One of the most celebrated explanations is that mentioned by Rashi on Ex. 8:17, quoting from Midrash Tanchuma Parshas BO #4, a Tannaitic source:

"Our Rabbis of blessed memory said: The Holy One blessed be He brought the plagues upon them using the tactics of worldly kings. When a region rebels against a king of flesh and blood, he sends his legions to surround it. The first thing he does is to shut off their water supply. If they relent, all the better! If not, he brings against them criers with loud voices... then arrows. barbarian hordes. He hurls heavy weights at them. shoots burning oil. fires cannon. rouses multitudinous armies against them. imprisons them. kills their great ones. In the same way, the Holy One blessed be He came against the Egyptians with the tactics of kings. With the plague of blood He stopped up their water supply. The "criers" were the frogs with their loud croaking. His "arrows" were the fleas. His "barbarian hordes" were the wild animals. The "heavy weights" were the "heavy pestilence" that killed their livestock. The "burning oil" was the boils. The cannon shots were the hail. The "multitudinous armies" were the locusts. The Egyptians were "imprisoned" through the plague of darkness. Finally, He killed their great ones in the plague of the first born."

A kabbalistic explanation of the sequence and rationale of the plagues is provided in the writings of the ARI in Sha'ar HaPsukim (the Gate of the Verses) Parshas Va-eira. The Ten Plagues correspond to the Ten Sefiros, ascending from the bottom of the "ladder" to the top. Thus the seven plagues recounted in this week's Parshah of VA-EIRA correspond to the seven "lower" sefiros, from Malchus-Kingship up to Chessed-Kindness, while the three plagues recounted in next week's Parshah of BO correspond to the top trio: Binah-Understanding, Chochmah-Wisdom and finally Keser-Crown. According to this explanation, the Ten Plagues came as successive manifestations of the 10 different aspects or "attributes" of G-d's kingly power over all the world (the ten sefiros of MALCHUS -- or "NUKVA" -- of ATZILUS). In this way the arrogant supremacy of worldly power, the "Evil MALCHUS" -- the force that conceals G-dliness -- was broken. Behind the nightmare to which Egypt was subjected -- apparently the very opposite of SEDER, "order" -- lies the supreme order of the Sefiros.

* * *

THE PHARAOH WITHIN US

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles, let not your heart exult. Lest G-d will see and it will be bad in His eyes" (Proverbs 24:17).

We may not laugh over Pharaoh's downfall, because there is a Pharaoh in each one of us. This is the stubborn MELECH (king) who rules in our hearts, in our ego, our vanity and pride. I. me.!

Writ large in the drama of Moses coming against Pharaoh in the name of G-d is the story of our inner lives, our daily conflicts and struggles in the test of free will to which we are all subjected. One side of us -- Moses, "conscience" -- knows what we should do. But another side -- Pharaoh, "the evil urge", the king riding the chariot -- resists. There are constant ups and downs in the trial of free will. Today one "wants to" -- Pharaoh relents. Tomorrow, he hardens his heart again and resists.

Does it need plagues to beat this Pharaoh down? Or can we find better ways to get free and to take our destiny into our hands?

Shabbat Shalom! Chodesh Tov Umevorach!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

--
AZAMRA INSTITUTE
PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel
Website: www.azamra.org

Love of the Land: Something’s Rotten in the State of Israel’s Legal System

Something’s Rotten in the State of Israel’s Legal System


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
13 January '10

Something is deeply wrong with a justice system when mainstream journalists and politicians take it for granted that a suspect’s political views will affect the legal proceedings against him.

Consider the following sentence from a column that appeared Monday in Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz: “If the attorney general decides to bring charges against Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister may decide that, in his bid to reach a plea bargain that will keep him out of prison, he is better off bringing down the government, and possibly even the Knesset, and disguising himself as a moderate in a government that has Kadima and Labor [two left-of-center parties] at its center.”

The author, Amir Oren, is no right-wing conspiracy theorist; he’s a veteran, left-of-center journalist and star columnist for a respected highbrow daily. And he considers it patently obvious that if Lieberman wants prosecutors to treat him leniently, he would be wise to swerve Left.

Nor is Oren alone in this belief. In 2007, after then prime minister Ehud Olmert appointed Daniel Friedmann, a well-known critic of the Supreme Court’s judicial activism, as justice minister, Yossi Verter wrote in Haaretz: “The justice system … has two alternatives for coping with this blow: hunkering down in its bunker and waiting for the government to change, or speeding up criminal proceedings against Olmert and working with greater vigor to topple him, which would also bring about Friedmann’s departure.”

Like Oren, Verter is a veteran left-of-center journalist and a star Haaretz columnist. And like Oren, he considers it self-evident that legal officials could and would use their prosecutorial powers to oust a politician whose policies they oppose.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Something’s Rotten in the State of Israel’s Legal System

A Soldier's Mother: Parenting Another

A Soldier's Mother: Parenting Another

Israel Matzav: Israel's newest UAV flies two feet off the ground

Israel's newest UAV flies two feet off the ground

An Israel company named Urban Aeronautics has developed a new UAV that flies only two feet off the ground. Why would any army want to use such a thing? Because the Air Mule is capable of navigating closed urban quarters where ordinary trucks and helicopters would not want to go. It can take supplies to troops behind the lines, and it can evacuate wounded soldiers without risking the lives of a pilot or driver. And it protects its cargo better than an ordinary helicopter.

Urban Aeronautics is developing the AirMule for the Israeli army, who want to use the UAV to transport supplies into, and wounded personnel out of, dangerous urban areas. VTOL engines allow the AirMule to navigate in and out of compact alleyways and refugee camp warrens, while the shielded rotor blades protect make the AirMule tougher than a regular helicopter. Plus, by removing the pilot, the AirMule can enter situations too risky for regular helicopters.

Those Jews can be so smart when they want to be.

Israel Matzav: Israel's newest UAV flies two feet off the ground

Israel Matzav: Cracks in the Revolutionary Guard

Cracks in the Revolutionary Guard

Writing in Pajamas Media, Michael Ledeen says that Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by Lebanese thugs from Hezbullah, acting on behalf of Ayatollah Ali Khameni for reasons that had little to do with politics: Mohammadi planned to leave Iran on a fellowship to Sweden.

Despite a torrent of disinformation from the regime, Ali-Mohammadi was not involved in the secret nuclear weapons project, and — again contrary to the regime’s lies — he was certainly not a regime loyalist. Indeed, he was among many university professors who supported Green leader Mir Hossein Mousavi during last spring’s heated electoral campaign (see the entry at 1259 GMT on Enduring America). Why was he killed now? Because he was planning to leave the country for Stockholm, where he’d been offered a one-year fellowship in his chosen specialty, particle physics.

According to Ledeen, the key fact here is not so much that the regime murdered someone who was essentially non-political, but the fact that it used the Guards' 'foreign legion' from Lebanese Hezbullah.

At the same time, the tensions within the regime are intensifying. The Guards commanders will not fail to draw a significant lesson from Tuesday’s events: the supreme leader turned to Lebanese Arabs, not to Iranians, to kill the dissident physicist. This bespeaks a certain lack of confidence in the Revolutionary Guards and the local security forces. If Khameni’s suspicions are justified, he will now have further reason to worry. As if to put an exclamation point on this fear, I have learned that the Deputy Commander of the Guards in the Greater Tehran area, Brigadier General Azizollah Rajabzadeh, is in intensive care following an axe attack to his cranium by one of his crack troops. This follows the shooting of General Ahmad Reza Radan by one of his men, about which I reported earlier.

Unfortunately, a lot more Iranians may die at the hands of the Revolutionary Guard's 'foreign legion.' And unfortunately, the President of the United States has no interest in taking advantage of the divisions within the Guard to promote regime change.

Israel Matzav: Cracks in the Revolutionary Guard

Israel Matzav: The headline and what's behind it

The headline and what's behind it

The headline says that a large majority of Israelis want 'peace negotiations' with the 'Palestinian Authority,' but what's behind the headline issued by the Leftist Tel Aviv University War and Peace index is that most of the Israeli public wouldn't give up very much in those negotiations.

Asked if the security situation will change in 2010, 57% of Jews said it will not, compared to 19% who think there will be progress toward peace and 13% who predict another round of fighting between Israel and Palestinians. Among the Arab public, there were almost twice as many optimists, with fully 35% saying there would be progress towards peace in the coming year.

Alongside the general support for negotiations, Israelis trust the government's handling of Israel's security challenges.

Fully 78% of Israelis believe the government is functioning "well or even better," or "medium" (42% and 36% respectively) in dealing with Israel's security challenges. Just 16% say it is functioning "poorly." (In contrast, the government earned a failing grade on social issues, with 60% of Israelis giving it a "poor" grade, and just 6% saying it has functioned "well or even better" on these issues.)

This trust was reflected in different ways in the survey. For example, asked if the government was correct in rejecting the latest Hamas offer to exchange Gilad Schalit for terrorists "with blood on their hands," a majority (53%) said they supported the government's decision. Just 35.5% disagreed with the government's position.

According to the study's authors, this figure marks a change from previous polls in which Israelis said Schalit should be exchanged even at the cost of freeing the "heaviest" terrorists held by Israel.

...

Similarly, the Jewish public tended to support the government's position on the issue of opening Road 443 to Palestinian traffic. Some 63% support the government-backed status quo, which leaves the major artery to Jerusalem closed to Palestinian traffic from nearby villages out of fear that such traffic will bring with it terrorist attacks. Less than half, 30%, support the High Court of Justice's ruling that the current policy violates international and Israeli law and must be changed.

The poll found most of the support for the High Court's position coming from those identifying with the political Left, with 100% of Meretz voters and 54% of Labor voters siding with the Court.

Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly sided with the Court (83%), though at a lower rate than Meretz voters.

Sometimes, Jews can be pretty smart. If someone asked you whether you favored peace or war, you'd probably say you favor peace. But not if peace meant someone would be free to kill you, God forbid.


Israel Matzav: The headline and what's behind it

Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work again: The 'National Honor Fund'

Your tax dollars at work again: The 'National Honor Fund'

The 'Palestinian Authority' has announced that it is setting up a fund to boycott products made in the neighboring Jewish towns.

They're calling it by one of the very few names that could excite the 'Palestinians.' They're calling it the 'National Honor Fund.' The PA Economics Ministry spearheaded the creation of the fund, which it said aims to "cleanse the Palestinian market of products from the settlements and encourage local products." Many Palestinian businessmen and party politicians attended Tuesday's conference.

Economics Minister Hassan Abu Libda said in his speech that Israel prevents the entry of Palestinian goods into Israel. He said the PA intends to boycott goods produced in the West Bank settlements. "The settlements are neither legal nor legitimate. We call on Israeli companies to withdraw their investments from the settlements," Abu Libda said.

According to figures presented by the new fund, $500 million worth of goods produced in settlements reach the Palestinian territories every year.

Fayyad said that contributions to the fund will be recognized by the PA for tax purposes, and called on the international community to assist in halting construction in the West Bank settlements.

Among the products that the PA intends to boycott are those of Beigel Beigel (pretzels), Ahava (beauty products) and the Barkan winery, as well as a large variety of agricultural products grown in the settlements, including fruits, vegetables, eggs and flowers.

Of course, since virtually the entire 'Palestinian Authority' budget comes from 'international aid' money in one form or another, those are your tax dollars at work subsidizing higher cost, poorer quality, locally produced products (I can guarantee you that they're not going to be importing from anyplace else). Look for the 'Palestinians' to be crying about six months from now that they are starving because they cannot afford to buy pretzels, beauty products and wine (among other things) and cannot figure out how to make them.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work again: The 'National Honor Fund'

Israel Matzav: Residents of Ghajar beg Israel to stay

Residents of Ghajar beg Israel to stay

Residents of the Lebanese border town of Ghajar met with representatives of Israel's foreign ministry of Tuesday, begging them not to turn the northern half of the town over to UNIFIL or Lebanon. 70% of Ghajar's residents live in the northern half of the town. I discussed the issues involved at length here.

The residents said that such a move would make life insufferable, and they would have to go through security checks every time they needed to work their fields, go to the store or the supermarket. They also warned of violence from Hizbullah if Israel pulled back from the northern part of the town.

Gal is leading the Israeli team negotiating with UNIFIL over a possible withdrawal from the town, which straddles the Lebanese border. Gal presented UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen Claudio Graziano on Thursday with Israel's vision of arrangements in and around the town following a possible IDF pullback.

One ministry official said Tuesday's meeting in Ghajar with the residents should not be interpreted as an indication that a withdrawal from the northern part of the Alawite town was imminent. Discussions with UNIFIL have centered on how UNIFIL forces would be deployed in and around Ghajar to prevent Hizbullah from smuggling men or arms into Israel through it.

The government has reportedly approved a plan to turn over control of the northern half of the village to UNIFIL. No physical barrier would be built between the northern and southern parts of the village, but rather UNIFIL would patrol both the northern half and the perimeter.

The details, however, are still being worked out between Israel and UNIFIL. All the residents of the town are Israeli citizens, and no one is remarking publicly about what their legal status would be, were the northern part of the village turned over to UNIFIL control.

...

When the IDF pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, the UN determined that the international border between Israel and Lebanon ran through the middle.

Since that time Israel has placed a checkpoint at the southern part of the town, and the residents told Gal this prevented people from entering and leaving freely. This situation, they said, would only be exacerbated if the IDF were to leave the area.

The residents Tuesday presented Gal, who was accompanied by officials from the IDF and the foreign, defense and justice ministries, with maps they said proved that the town was never split in half by the international border.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Residents of Ghajar beg Israel to stay

Israel Matzav: Jones visit apparently about Iran

Jones visit apparently about Iran

National Security Adviser James Jones is here in Israel this week, but the visit is more about Iran than about the 'Palestinians.'

US National Security Adviser Jim Jones arrived on Tuesday for three days of talks veiled in secrecy, but expected to deal more with Iran than with the stymied diplomatic process.

US officials would say only that Jones will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and top security officials. He is expected to meet with Barak on Wednesday and Netanyahu on Thursday, and also with his Israeli counterpart, Uzi Arad.

Diplomatic officials denied reports that Jones, or US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, would be bringing separate diplomatic letters to Israel and the Palestinians to jump-start the diplomatic talks. The officials said this was just one of any number of ideas that have been floated recently to get the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table.

Hmmm. It's about time they go down to the real business.

Israel Matzav: Jones visit apparently about Iran

Israel Matzav: Canada stops supporting UNRWA, invests in 'Palestinian justice system'

Canada stops supporting UNRWA, invests in 'Palestinian justice system'

Canada has decided to stop contributing $11 million (Canadian) per year to UNRWA, about 10% of the organization's budget, and to contribute the money to the 'Palestinian justice system' instead.

Canada has reduced its direct support for UNWRA, the UN agency that runs Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, Victor Toews, the president of Canada's Treasury Board, said on Monday.

Instead, the aid will be redirected "to specific projects in the Palestinian Authority that will ensure accountability and foster democracy in the PA," he said.

Toews said that on January 9, he met with PA Minister of Planning and Administrative Development Ali al-Jarbawi in Ramallah, and funding to UNWRA was discussed. Until now, Canada has provided UNWRA with 11 percent of its budget, $10 million (Canadian) annually.

Toews also met with PA Justice Minister Ali Khashan and Attorney-General Ahmed al-Mughani.

He said that in the past, Canada aid earmarked for UNWRA "went into a general operating fund" in the PA Treasury and although Jarbawi had asked that this situation continue, the practice made it "difficult" for Canada to monitor how the funds were being used. Toews said Jarbawi had asked that the money be given "directly' to the PA Treasury but Toews refused the request.

When asked whether Canada had concerns that UNWRA funds were being administered by Hamas operatives, Toews responded, "Canada has made a $300m. commitment over five years to the Palestinian Authority, but we want to put that money only into programs that are consistent with Canadian values. We are going to focus directing our funds on institution-building in the PA, such as building a proper functioning justice system. We need to ensure that [the PA has] less wide discretion and the funds are being directed to specific projects."

Toews added, "I told him [Jarbawi] that our [Canada's] paramount concern is the security of Israel."

I'm glad to see Canada stop funding UNRWA. Other countries should do the same. UNRWA is full of Hamas terrorists.

While the idea of trying to create a 'justice system' for the PA sounds admirable, I must confess that the first thought that comes to mind is 'good luck with that.'

Israel Matzav: Canada stops supporting UNRWA, invests in 'Palestinian justice system'

Israel Matzav: Syria and Lebanon complain of 'discrimination'

Syria and Lebanon complain of 'discrimination'

Syria and Lebanon complained on Tuesday about new US measures designed to screen airline passengers for terrorists. Under the measures, nationals of 14 countries are subject to extra screening on trips into and out of the US. Syria and Lebanon are two of the 14 countries.

"It is the sovereign right of the USA to chose to protect its citizens the way it deems most appropriate," Lebanon's Information Minister Tarek Mitri told reporters. "What is under question is the fact that citizens of different countries are singled out in a discriminatory fashion."

In Syria, the state-run news agency said Washington's top diplomat in Damascus was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and told the new measures constituted "unfriendly behavior." No Syrian citizen was ever involved in terror attacks against the US, the agency noted.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry also informed the American diplomat that Damascus could be left with no choice but to introduce similar measures against US citizens.

The picture at the top of this post is from a flight training school in Florida. The person in the picture is Lebanese-born Ziad Jarrah, who piloted United Flight 93 to a crash landing in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Lebanese-born Imad Mughniyah carried out a series of terror attacks against the United States and Israel in the 1980's and 1990's. Mughniyah was one of many terrorists housed by Syria until he was killed two years ago. Among other things, Mughniyah was one of the hijackers of TWA flight 847 in 1985, which resulted in the death of US Naval Officer Robert Stethem on the tarmac in Beirut. The hijacking is best remembered by this famous, but faked picture of what turned out to be a teenager holding a gun to Captain John Testrake's head (read the comment from Testrake's son here).

But there's no reason to think a Syrian or Lebanese national would want to commit a terror attack in the US. No reason at all.

/sarc
Israel Matzav: Syria and Lebanon complain of 'discrimination'

Israel Matzav: The Playmobil TSA security checkpoint

The Playmobil TSA security checkpoint

I don't know if this actually exists - Amazon says it's 'currently unavailable' and that they don't know when or if it will be in stock - but the reviews are worth reading. Here's a sample (Hat Tip: Dan F).
3,925 of 3,995 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Great lesson for the kids!, September 9, 2005
By loosenut (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.

The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

327 of 333 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Not complete without the line...., March 8, 2008
By M. MCKNIGHT "reviewer" (US) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars
This toy would be a lot more realistic with about 350 people standing in line for an average of an hour. It still makes a nice set with the interrogation room.

1,221 of 1,279 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Serious Security Breach, February 29, 2008
By W. C. Isbell "roxybeast" (Oklahoma City, OK, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars
My family was planning a vacation to Europe, so I purchased this item to teach my twins about what to expect at the airport and hopefully, alleviate some of their anxiety. We also downloaded the actual TSA security checklist from the American Airlines website and then proceeded with our demonstration. Well, first we had to round up a Barbie and a few Bratz dolls to play the other family members, so that cost us a few extra bucks at the Dollar General and it is aggravating that the manufacturer did not make this product "family-friendly." Of course, since the playmobil Dad could not remove his shoes or other clothing items, unlike the Barbie, the playmobil security agent became suspicious and after waving her wand wildy a few dozen times, called her supervisor to wisk the Dad into a special body-cavity search room, (which incidentally led to quite an embarasing and interesting discussion with my twin daughters about personal hygiene and a slight adjustment to the rules we had them memorize about touching by strangers). But worst of all, since the suitcase did not actually open, the baggage inspector made a call to the FBI and ATF bomb squads which then segregated the family's suitcase (which btw was the only suitcase they provided for our educational family experience) and according to the advanced TSA regulations, had to blow it up, (since they could not otherwise mutilate the luggage, break off the locks and put one of those nice little advisory stickers on it), which we had to simulate out in the backyard with a few M-80s and other fireworks. The girls started crying. They became so hysterical by the whole experience that we could not even get them in the car when the time came to actually take our trip, and so we had to cancel the whole thing at the last minute, losing over $7,000 in airfare and hotel charges that we could not recoup do to the last minute cancellations. We've now spent an additional $3,000 to pay for the girls therapy and medication over the past year since this incident occurred, and the psychologists have told us that this will affect them for life, so much for their college fund and our retirement. Then, to top it all off, when we tried to use to playmobil phone to call the company to ask for reimbursement, as you might expect, of course the damn thing didn't even work; neither did our efforts to e-mail them using the computer screen on the baggage checkpoint; and our real-life efforts to contact them to obtain re-imbursement have also likewise been ignored. Worse yet, we had the product tested and found out that it was positive for both lead paint and toxic chemicals, having been manufactured in China by workers holding formerly American jobs, so now we all have cancer and have been given only another year or so to live. My advice - educating your kids about airport security with this toy may actually be more harmful to them than just packing them in the damn luggage with some bottled water & hoping they survive. :)
For those who are so inclined, follow the link at the top.... More reasons to adopt the Israeli system....

Israel Matzav: The Playmobil TSA security checkpoint

Israel Matzav: The 10 goals of the Obama administration

The 10 goals of the Obama administration

Jennifer Rubin quotes Hillary Clinton on 'smarter sanctions' against Iran.

”It is clear that there is a relatively small group of decision makers inside Iran,” she told reporters traveling with her on the first leg of a nine-day trip across the Pacific. ”They are in both political and commercial relationships, and if we can create a sanctions track that targets those who actually make the decisions, we think that is a smarter way to do sanctions. But all that is yet to be decided upon.”

In other words, the Obama administration says that it aims to zero in on the Revolutionary Guard, but it will only do so if it can be done without harming 'ordinary Iranians' (including all the green revolution people who would rather that real sanctions lead to regime change).

Jennifer says that what Clinton is proposing is impossible and that it raises questions over whether the administration was ever serious about stopping Iran in the first place.

So with all this time, they haven’t quite decided what would be smart. But they’re positive they can focus like a laser on just the right bad guys, because bad guys rarely know how to set up middle men and third-party relations to evade detection. And even smarter yet, we don’t have any date in mind. Brilliant, huh?

Actually it’s appalling. And it suggests that the Obami were never serious about crippling sanctions to begin with. Apparently they were interested in stringing engagement along until no one could quite keep a straight face. Now it seems that the Obama administration has no interest in regime change and no interest in exacting meaningful sanctions that might alter the mullahs’ nuclear plans. But maybe we all aren’t smart enough to figure out how this is going to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Because it sure looks like the next declaration of “smart” diplomacy will be an admonition that we have to live with Iran in the club of nuclear powers.

Well, of course. Obama never intended to stop Iran. All these stories about damaging the 'green revolution' are an excuse. Obama isn't interested in regime change in Iran. Never was and never will be. It would violate goal number 4 and probably goal number 6.

Perhaps this is the time to state the ten goals of the Obama administration:

1. Get re-elected. Say anything to make sure it happens. A second term without needing to worry about being re-elected will allow greater freedom of action.

2. Socialize health care permanently. It will be the great equalizer in the new society.

3. Create a 'Palestinian state' (whether that leads to the end of the Jewish state sooner or later is irrelevant - either is acceptable). Israel's eventual replacement by a 'Palestinian state' will ensure that the Jews are not able to continue to achieve excellence and outsmart everyone else. They will be too worried about their physical safety.

4. Avoid war at all costs (except for sending troops to create a 'Palestinian state'). That means Iran gets its nukes. North Korea gets its nukes. Say bye bye to Israel, Georgia and any other states with bigger neighbors looking to swallow them up. Say bye bye to democracy in Iraq.

5. Degrade the United States as a world power. Remake all its alliances so that no one will ever trust the United States again. Get through to the American people that America is not exceptional. America is no better than anyone else.

6. Integrate Islam into Western culture so that we can no longer refer to Western culture as 'Judeo-Christian.'

7. Lay the groundwork for massive confiscatory taxation that will redistribute wealth in the US and eventually around the world. (This is already included in the Obamacare bills making their way through the House and Senate, but more needs to be done to make sure that wealth is distributed as evenly as possible).

8. Commit the United States to multilateralism in a way that cannot be undone by subsequent Presidents. (Watch out for more supermajority provisions that handcuff future Congresses like the one in the Senate version of Obamacare).

9. Make long-lasting changes in the Supreme Court that will ensure smooth passage for the liberal agenda. There will be more Sotomayor's.

10. Destroy the American economy to make it dependent on foreign powers.

Anyone think I missed anything? Anyone not see this coming in 2008?



Israel Matzav: The 10 goals of the Obama administration

Israel Matzav: Israeli survey: Stay married, it gets even better

Israeli survey: Stay married, it gets even better

This is off topic, but this is a week for this kind of post.

A survey done here in Israel reports that life as a couple improves after the age of 65.

The Third Age Conference, set for the Kinneret Academic College, near Kibbutz Ma'agan, on Wednesday will deal with the "couple life" of seniors and whether relationships strengthen with age. The discussion is to begin with the results of the poll, conducted for the college by the Geocartography Research Institute.

Those surveyed were asked, "In your opinion, does life as a couple (with all that implies) improve when one reaches the 'third age' (over 65) or deteriorate?"

Some 8.6 percent of men and 11.5% of women said that life as a couple "improved greatly" after age 65, while 32.4% of males and 43.1% of females felt it would "improve."

Overall, 54% of respondents felt there was at least some improvement.

The higher the education level, the more optimistic people get about "couple life" after 65.

Something to look forward to.

/Still relying on kids and grandkids to keep me young.

Israel Matzav: Israeli survey: Stay married, it gets even better

Israel Matzav: Shocka: NGO making up statistics

Shocka: NGO making up statistics

Yet another 'Palestinian' NGO has been caught making up statistics. Noah Pollak reports:

Yet another “human rights” NGO has been caught trafficking in made-up statistics. As Yaacov Lozowick and Elder of Ziyon report, Addameer, a Palestinian “prisoners’ rights” NGO, has been inflating the number of Palestinians it claims have been arrested by Israel to a point of total absurdity:

For Addameer’s numbers to be accurate, Israel would be arresting some 10,000 people a month. Yet the PCHR [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights -- no PR operation for Israel by any stretch of the imagination] says that the number of arrests was 23 last week, 26 the previous week, 23 the week before and 17 the week before that – for a total of less than 100 people a month.

And B’Tselem says that “about 6,831 Palestinians were held in Israel as of the end of December ‘09.” How could only 6,800 Palestinians be held in Israel if the IDF is arresting 10,000 Palestinians per month?

Addameer not only made up the initial numbers but they keep grossly inflating them, confident that their anti-Israel audience will lap them up without question.

Precisely right.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Shocka: NGO making up statistics

Israel Matzav: Video: Afttermath of attack on Massoud Ali Mohammadi

Video: Afttermath of attack on Massoud Ali Mohammadi

Here's raw video of the immediate aftermath of the attack on Iranian nuclear physicist Massoud Ali Mohammadi in Tehran on Tuesday.

Let's go to the videotape.



Note how many windows are blown out in the building across the street. That must have been an awfully powerful bomb. Hmmm.

UPDATE 10:46 AM

There are a lot of pictures of the aftermath here.

Israel Matzav: Video: Afttermath of attack on Massoud Ali Mohammadi

Love of the Land: A Murderous Deception in Tehran Marks a New Escalation in the Islamic Republic’s Struggle for Survival

A Murderous Deception in Tehran Marks a New Escalation in the Islamic Republic’s Struggle for Survival


Michael Ledeen
Faster Please (PJTV)
12 January '10

(As opposed to the original news reports emanating from Iran, which hinted at Israeli or U.S involvement, now a different picture is emerging. Michael Ledeen is not alone in this opinion.)

Early Tuesday morning — sometime between 7:30 and 8 o’clock — physics professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed in an explosion while in his automobile leaving for Tehran University. The explosion came from a motorcycle rigged with explosives that had been parked in front of his house for three days. It was detonated by remote control.

Despite a torrent of disinformation from the regime, Ali-Mohammadi was not involved in the secret nuclear weapons project, and — again contrary to the regime’s lies — he was certainly not a regime loyalist. Indeed, he was among many university professors who supported Green leader Mir Hossein Mousavi during last spring’s heated electoral campaign (see the entry at 1259 GMT on Enduring America). Why was he killed now? Because he was planning to leave the country for Stockholm, where he’d been offered a one-year fellowship in his chosen specialty, particle physics.

So unless the killers were totally confused, this was not a blow at the regime by its enemies, whether domestic or foreign (as you can imagine, there were all sorts of wild accusations from official media, blaming the murder on America, Israel, the MEK, which plays the crocodile to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Captain Hook and obscure “royalist” organizations abroad), but rather the opposite: it was a vicious assault by the regime against one of its critics.

The use of the motorcycle is suggestive, for such devices were used by Iranian proxies in Iraq. I am told that the assassination is the first such act on Iranian soil by the Revolutionary Guard’s “foreign legion;” highly trained killers from Lebanese Hezbollah. Members of the legion had participated in street fighting in Tehran during recent demonstrations and were identified at the assassination site. Their bloody act Tuesday morning suggests that Khamenei has decided to go all out to crush his enemies. If further confirmation is required, it has come from Khamenei’s personal spokesman and representative to the Guards, Ali Saeedi, who, we hear from Scott Lucas at Enduring America, has reportedly declared that the the deaths of 75,000 people will be worthwhile if the Islamic Republic is thereby preserved.

As if the carnage unleashed against the Iranian people were not bloody enough! So we can expect to see further escalation in the near future. The regime can be expected to use the disinformation about Ali-Mohammadi’s assassination to justify mayhem on a greater scale.

(Continue page 2)


Love of the Land: A Murderous Deception in Tehran Marks a New Escalation in the Islamic Republic’s Struggle for Survival

Love of the Land: Prisoner statistics fun

Prisoner statistics fun


Elder of Ziyon
12 January '10

A Palestinian Arab organization has released the shocking information that 197 Arab prisoners have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, thus proving Israeli human rights violations against its Arab prisoners.

Terrible!

Until you look at the normal mortality rate for Palestinian Arabs. According to the UN, the normal mortality rate is 3.7 per thousand. if we assume that Israel has imprisoned an average of 5000 Arabs (probably a low number) at any time over the past 42 years, then the number of expected deaths over that time period would be 777.

Ah, but you might object, prisoners are usually young and healthy, and their mortality rates should be much less than the general population!

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Prisoner statistics fun

Love of the Land: Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali on Hamas TV: The Real Palestinian Beauty Queen Is the Jihad-Fighting Mother

Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali on Hamas TV: The Real Palestinian Beauty Queen Is the Jihad-Fighting Mother


MEMRI
Special Dispatch No.2746
12 January '10

The following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali of the Gaza Islamic University, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 23, 2009.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2332.htm.

To view the MEMRI TV page for Hamas, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/94.htm.

To view the MERMI TV page for Al-Aqsa TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/content/en/tv_channel_indiv.htm?id=175.

Interviewer: "The beauty queen of Palestine – the ideological reality and the Islamic perspective."
[...]
Interviewer: "How can a [Muslim] accept this Arab, his Palestinian, his Muslim sister participating in such contests? Where did these contests come from, and what future do they have? Why is the Islamic response [to these contests] so inaudible, and why do the Islamic scholars keep silent?"
[...]
Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali: "With regard to the issue of the Palestinian beauty queen, if a real study was conducted into where it came from – this [contest], the Miss Universe contests, and so on – I expect [we would find] that it originated from the countries of the West. These enemies are trying to invade the [Islamic] nation. They are invading it ideologically – either by means of arguments and debates, or by imposing destructive notions on [Muslim] society. That is the most dangerous thing, because society becomes accustomed to these notions. The third type of invasion is military invasion, which has the least influence on us."
[...]

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Dr. Kifah Al-Ramali on Hamas TV: The Real Palestinian Beauty Queen Is the Jihad-Fighting Mother

Love of the Land: Arming Lebanon is arming Hizballah

Arming Lebanon is arming Hizballah


Fresno Zionism
12 January '10

A few days after the start of the Second Lebanon War, on July 14, 2006, Hizballah fired an Iranian copy of the Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile, making a direct hit on the Israeli Navy’s corvette Hanit. The ship was seriously damaged; four sailors were killed and several others injured. It was remarkable that the Hanit managed to stay afloat, and even returned to Ashdod under its own power. Although the ship had sophisticated anti-missile capabilities, the systems were turned off, either because the crew did not believe that Hizballah had such a missile, or because they wanted to reduce the chance of accidentally firing at nearby Israeli aircraft. Several officers were disciplined as a result of the affair.

A short time later, the IAF bombed several coastal radar stations belonging to the Lebanese army. It’s thought that they provided tracking data to Hizballah. In 2006, Hizballah had far less power and control in Lebanon than it does today. Nevertheless, probably one-third of the Lebanese Army in 2006 consisted of Shiites who might be sympathetic at least to Hizballah.

Today Hizballah has complete freedom of action in Lebanon, and all but controls the government — and the army. It is hard to believe that arms supplied to the Lebanese army could be kept from Hizballah:

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Arming Lebanon is arming Hizballah

Love of the Land: Ken Roth vs. Israel: Another Embarrassment

Ken Roth vs. Israel: Another Embarrassment


NGO Monitor Staff
12 January '10

For Ken Roth and Human Rights Watch (HRW), the new year has begun much as the previous one ended – with exposure of another false accusation against Israel. In a vitriolic op-ed published on December 30 in the IPS’s online publication Foreign Policy in Focus, and reproduced widely, Roth accused Israel of “a campaign to undermine …. essential rules for protecting civilians caught in war.”

The article is based on falsehoods and distortions, including the allegation that MK Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Minister and current leader of the opposition, urged Israeli forces to avoid distinguishing between combatants and civilians in the Gaza war. Roth highlighted Livni’s statement in the Knesset, “They don’t make a distinction, and neither should we” – a quote that would be quite damning, if it were accurate. But like most of Roth’s HRW’s claims regarding Israel, this one is more fiction than fact.

Had Roth and HRW’s “researchers” checked the transcript instead of again repeating distortions manufactured by the Palestinian NGO known as Al Haq (see NGO Monitor’s analysis), they might have avoided this mistake. The transcript shows that Livni was criticizing MK Ahmed Tibi’s Knesset statement for heightening tensions between Israeli Jews and Arabs. When read in context, Livni clearly was not referring to the citizens of Gaza; rather, she was encouraging Israelis to embrace a common identity in the face of indiscriminate attacks from Gaza.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Ken Roth vs. Israel: Another Embarrassment

Love of the Land: The Palestinians' Unilateral "Kosovo Strategy": Implications for the PA and Israel

The Palestinians' Unilateral "Kosovo Strategy": Implications for the PA and Israel


Dan Diker
Institute for Contemporary Affairs (JCPA)
No. 575
January-February '10

Mahmoud Abbas' new precondition that the international community recognize the 1967 lines in the West Bank as the new Palestinian border bolsters the assessment that the Palestinians have largely abandoned a negotiated settlement and instead are actively pursuing a unilateral approach to statehood.

Senior Palestinian officials note that Palestinian unilateralism is modeled after Kosovo's February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. European and U.S. support for Kosovo's unilateral declaration has led the Palestinian leadership to determine that geopolitical conditions are ripe to seek international endorsement of its unilateral statehood bid, despite that fact that leading international jurists have suggested that the cases of Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are historically and legally different.

The Palestinians are legally bound to negotiate a bilateral solution with Israel. Unilateral Palestinian threats to declare statehood have been rebuffed thus far by the European powers and the United States.

The Palestinian "Kosovo strategy" includes a campaign of delegitimization of Israel, seeking to isolate Israel as a pariah state, while driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The unilateral Palestinian bid for sovereignty will also likely turn the Palestinians into the leading petitioner against the State of Israel at the International Criminal Court. Although the PA is not a state and therefore should have no legal standing before the court, the petition it submitted to the court after the Gaza war was not rejected by the ICC.

Finally, a unilateral Palestinian quest for the 1947 lines may well continue even if the 1967 lines are endorsed by the United Nations. The PLO's 1988 declaration of independence was based on UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recognizes the 1947 partition plan for Palestine, not the 1967 lines, as the basis for the borders of Israel and a Palestinian state.

(Read full report)


Love of the Land: The Palestinians' Unilateral "Kosovo Strategy": Implications for the PA and Israel

Love of the Land: Demopaths and Dupes

Demopaths and Dupes


CiF Watch
12 January '10

This is a cross-post from Augean Stables which provides a fascinating insight into the mindset of many of the anti-Israel commenters on CiF that engage in demopathic discourse

DEMOPATHS:
Demopaths are people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests, and not when it calls for self-criticism or self-restraint. Demopaths demand stringent levels of human “rights” but do not apply these basic standards for the “other” to their own behavior. The most lethal demopaths use democratic rights to destroy democracy.

Demopaths differ from civil-society free-riders; the latter enjoy more rights than they grant to others simply out of selfishness or laziness. Demopaths are fundamentally hostile to granting others’ rights, and secretly despise the values of civil society (which demands that they tolerate and respect others). Instead of coming along for the ride, they want to sink the boat.

Demopaths use the jargon of civil society and human rights to convince their targets. Through this progressive discourse, demopaths exploit on people eager to believe that civic values can resolve the problem. Sometimes demopaths are completely hostile to the cultures in which they live, and manipulate human rights as a Trojan horse to enter the city and sack it.

Demopathy is a zero-sum to negative-sum game. It pursues the destruction of the system (demopaths win and reestablish plunder-or-be-plundered aristocracy); in the process, it destroys the system’s very capacity to produce what made it attractive to plunder in the first place. Demopaths do not view opponents as members of a positive-sum collective, but as enemies to be destroyed. In its most virulent stages, demopathy is violently paranoid.

CHARACTERISTICS:


- Radical imbalance between their insistence on asserting their own rights, and their lack of interest in defending the rights of others.
- Moral rhetoric expressing great indignation when appealing for personal rights.
- Tendency to tell demonizing tales of the enemies (of “human rights”)
- Tendency to think in conspiratorial terms (they are conspirators themselves), and to project ill will onto opponents/enemies.
- Do minimal (required) work protecting the rights of others, especially opponents/enemies.

A demopathic organization would protest the media portraying its ethnic/religious affiliates as “terrorists” (inadmissible negative stereotyping), but would not protest the terrorist acts perpetrated by members of their ethnic/religious group (permissible wanton murder of civilians).

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Demopaths and Dupes

Love of the Land: You’re Not Going to Believe This, But…

You’re Not Going to Believe This, But…


Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
12 January '10

Yet another “human rights” NGO has been caught trafficking in made-up statistics. As Yaacov Lozowick and Elder of Ziyon report, Addameer, a Palestinian “prisoners’ rights” NGO, has been inflating the number of Palestinians it claims have been arrested by Israel to a point of total absurdity:

For Addameer’s numbers to be accurate, Israel would be arresting some 10,000 people a month. Yet the PCHR [Palestinian Centre for Human Rights -- no PR operation for Israel by any stretch of the imagination] says that the number of arrests was 23 last week, 26 the previous week, 23 the week before and 17 the week before that – for a total of less than 100 people a month.



And B’Tselem says that “about 6,831 Palestinians were held in Israel as of the end of December ‘09.” How could only 6,800 Palestinians be held in Israel if the IDF is arresting 10,000 Palestinians per month?

Addameer not only made up the initial numbers but they keep grossly inflating them, confident that their anti-Israel audience will lap them up without question.


(Read complete post)

Love of the Land: You’re Not Going to Believe This, But…

Love of the Land: One year ago: "Operation Camouflage Hat"

One year ago: "Operation Camouflage Hat"


Elder of Ziyon
12 January '10

I was looking through my posts last year during Operation Cast Lead and I found an amazing article at Palestine Today that I had forgotten about, that proves that the terrorist strategy was explicitly to place civilians in danger by hiding among them. The Islamic Jihad terrorists interviewed were happy that (they claimed) there were more civilian casualties than fighters.

An email correspondent did a better Arabic translation of part of the article:

There is no visibility of the men of the resistance in the streets of the [Gaza] strip. No one sees their known means of transportation, and even light weapons can no longer be seen with people publicly in the Gaza Strip. The resistance is totally [invisible] even as its actions are felt. Anti-aircraft artillery fires on the aircraft without them knowing their location. The whereabouts of rockets launched from the heart of the Strip cannot be seen or known until they're shot...

The resistance factions initiated a new tactic at the start of the Israeli war on Gaza in the twenty-seventh of last month, to avoid any targeting by Israelis [of our] men.


(Read full post)


Love of the Land: One year ago: "Operation Camouflage Hat"
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