Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Israel Matzav: Egypt disowns the 'Palestinians'

Egypt disowns the 'Palestinians'

Hmmm....

If this report is correct, the Obama administration may actually be on its way to accomplishing something, although it's probably not what they intended.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is under Egyptian pressure to resume peace talks with Israel, in accordance with the American proposal. According to the proposal, Abbas must waive his demand for a complete construction freeze in settlements before returning to the negotiations table.

But according to an "al-Quds al-Arabi" report, Abbas refuses to meet this condition. The paper also reported that he is under "a direct threat of being completely shunned by the Egyptian leadership", and has therefore turned to the rulers of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to relieve the pressure.

So Abu Bluff is being shunned by Egypt and last week the Egyptians banned Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal from visiting Egypt. All of this means that (a) Hamas and Fatah have to find a new go-between if they want to kiss and make-up because (b) Egypt is washing its hands of the 'Palestinians.'

Maybe not what Obama intended but it's fine in my book. Maybe now we can have real peace with Egypt. Someday.

Israel Matzav: Egypt disowns the 'Palestinians'

Israel Matzav: Bring him on!

Bring him on!




Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may join an aid convoy that will leave Britain for Gaza in May according to Lebanese newspaper As-Safir. The convoy is scheduled to depart right after Britain's parliamentary elections. It will be interesting to see how the convoy plans to reach Gaza, since Egypt announced that it will no longer allow such convoys to pass through its territory.

And that's not all that's headed for Gaza:


The newspaper quotes Kevin Ovenden, an aide to anti-Israel MP George Galloway, as saying that in two months' time, even before the next Lifeline convoy sets off, several other aid ships will leave Mediterranean ports for Gaza in a convoy initiated by Hamas propagandist Muhammad Sualha, who received political asylum in Britain. Sualha stated in a pro-Hizbullah website that the convoy will include six or seven ships that will depart from Turkey, Greece and Cyprus simultaneously.


What could go wrong?





Israel Matzav: Bring him on!

Israel Matzav: A 'parlor party' for Hamas in my hometown

A 'parlor party' for Hamas in my hometown

Solomonia reports on a 'parlor party' for Hamas in my old hometown (Newton, Massachusetts).

Palestine Report Back Submitted by ujpadmin on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 5:26pm. When: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 6:00 pm Where: Home of Ann Glick • call for directions • West Newton Start: 2010 Jan 24 - 6:00pm COME TO AN INFORMAL REPORT BACK FROM PALESTINE SPONSORED BY THE UJP PALESTINE TASK FORCE Sunday, January 24, 2010

6 PM Potluck dinner -- Reports and slide show starts at 7 PM

Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Ridgely Fuller, and Lois Mastrangelo have all recently returned from the W. Bank and Egypt. Sarah was in Egypt with the Gaza Freedom March, Lois traveled with the Michigan Peace Team in the W. Bank and Ridgeley visited many sites both with Sabeel and on her own in E. Jerusalem and the W. Bank, focusing on nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation.

We will ask for donations to aid programs in Palestine and to break the siege of Gaza.

The Report Back will be held at Ann Glick's home in W. Newton. Call her for directions at 617-332-[snip] or email her at aglick@hotmail.com.

I wonder if they'd still be supporting Hamas if the missile range was as in the picture above.

By the way, Ms. (Probably Jewish) Glick's full phone number is fairly easy to find on the web in case you'd like to give her a call.


Israel Matzav: A 'parlor party' for Hamas in my hometown

Israel Matzav: Polish bishop accuses Jews of exploiting Holocaust?

Polish bishop accuses Jews of exploiting Holocaust?

One year ago on Monday, Pope Benedict XVI granted a reprieve to a Holocaust-denying bishop. Now, a Polish bishop, Tadeusz Pieronek, has allegedly told an Italian website that Jews "exploit the Holocaust."

"While it is undeniable that most of those who died in the concentration camps were Jews, there were also gypsies, Poles, Italians and Catholics on the list," Tadeusz Pieronek wrote on the website pontifex.roma.it.

"So it is not permissible to appropriate this tragedy for propaganda," he said in the posting, two days ahead of the 65th International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"There were lots of Poles, but this truth is often ignored today," added Pieronek, 75.

"The Holocaust as such is a Jewish invention," said the former spokesman of Poland's Bishops Conference. The Shoah is "used as a propaganda weapon and to obtain advantages that are often unjustified," he charged.

Pieronek, who was a friend of the late Polish pope John Paul II, added: "You could speak just as forcefully and establish a day of remembrance for the many victims of communism, persecuted Catholics and Christians and so on."

Accusing Jews of "intolerable arrogance," he said they "enjoy good press because they are supported by powerful financial means, enormous power and the unconditional backing of the United States."

Pieronek also criticized Israel for building a separation wall between its territory and the West Bank, which he called "a colossal injustice against the Palestinians, who are treated like animals and whose (basic) rights are violated, to say the least."

Calling for a day honoring the Palestinians, Pieronek lamented that "with the connivance of international lobbies, we don't talk about these things much."

Pieronek is now claiming that the quotes are 'out of context.'

Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek of Cracow, one of Poland’s most prominent religious figures, said on Monday that he was misrepresented in an Italian Catholic news web site interview in which he was quoted as saying that the Holocaust was a "Jewish invention", according to the PAP Polish news agency. Bishop Pieronek told the Pontifex.Roma web site on Sunday, “Seeing the photographs of the [Gaza] wall we can conclude that a colossal injustice has been committed against the Palestinians, who are treated like animals and their rights are being violated." He continued. “Let them establish [the international lobby] a Memorial Day for them also.”

Pieronek says the interview printed on the Italian web site bares little resemblance to the one that he gave the journalist. He explained, “I have not seen the printed text of the interview, which I have given but have not authorized. But if I were to believe in what I hear from the media then it looks as though the final form of the interview was the idea of the journalist that I had spoken to, as the text is full of vague statements."

Well, here's a Google translation of the Italian web page where Pieronek gave the interview. I've done enough translating to know that Google translations aren't always the most accurate, so if anyone speaks Italian, the original interview is here and I'd appreciate hearing from you whether the translation is accurate. Assuming that this is what Pieronek actually said, it is correct that the allies (and the Catholic church!) did almost nothing to save Jews during the Holocaust. But if the following is anything close to what he actually said, it's indefensible.

Concentration camps is undeniable that most of the dead were Jews, but gypsies in the list are Poles, Italians and Catholics. So it is not lawful possession of that tragedy to make propaganda. The Shoah as such is a Jewish invention, one could then speak with the same force and set a day of remembrance, even for the many victims of communism, Catholics and Christians persecuted and so on. But they, the Jews enjoyed a good press because they have strong financial resources behind it, enormous power and the unqualified support of the United States and this promotes a certain arrogance that I find unbearable. "Considers that, at least in part, the Shoah is exploited? "Of course it is. It is used as a weapon of propaganda and to obtain benefits often unjustified. I repeat, is not historically true that only Jews have died in the camps, many were Poles, but today these truths are almost ignored, and you proceed with this joke against Poland. Again, if your TV from the Pacific Annunziata, made statements on Poland, would do well to learn better. He told a joke. "Excellency, believes that today the Israelis respect the human rights of the Palestinians?" Seeing pictures of that wall is undeniable to say that you make a colossal injustice against the Palestinians are treated like animals and their rights Humans are nothing short violated. But these things, complicates international lobbies, talking little. We face a day of remembrance for them. Of course, none of this denies the shame of the concentration camps and the aberrations of Nazism. "

For the record, it is also a documented fact that many Poles collaborated in the Holocaust and murdered Jews who attempted to return home after the war. Pieroneck ignores that.

Israel Matzav: Polish bishop accuses Jews of exploiting Holocaust?

Israel Matzav: Obama's illegal Gaza fundraiser

Obama's illegal Gaza fundraiser

Pamela Geller calls for an investigation into President Obumbler's illegal foreign fundraising during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Exhibit A is one Monir Edwan from Gaza Hamastan.

[T]he Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) “prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.”

I broke the jaw-dropping story about how tens of thousands of dollars came in to the Obama campaign from a Hamas-controlled camp in Gaza. Al-Jazeera actually ran video of Obama phone banks in Gaza. One large contributor to the Obama campaign was Monir Edwan, who was listed on FEC documents as contributing to Obama from the city of Rafah in the state “GA.” If you were reading quickly, you might have thought it was just a contribution from Georgia. But there is no city of Rafah in the Peach State. Monir Edwan sent money to Obama from Rafah, Gaza.



Monir Edwan, one of Obama’s Gazan donors, said he sold Obama t-shirts that the campaign had sent him in Gaza for around $9, and that a profit was made. Some young men,” Edwan explained, “even bought the T-shirts for 60 shekel ($17.29), which is a lot to spend in Gaza on a t-shirt, but that is how much Gazans like Obama.” I love it: jihadis in Obama Tees. How fitting.

On Watchdog.net, a site that monitors campaign contributions, Monir Edwan is listed as Barack Obama’s Top Contributor, giving $24,313 between October 27, 2007 and November 11, 2007. However, although it gives zip codes and other details for the other four of Obama’s top five individual contributors, it provides no additional information at all for Monir Edwan — and Edwan’s link is the only dead one on the Watchdog page.

Why did Palestinians in a Gaza refugee camp have such love for Obama in the summer of 2008? Did they know he was going to run a virulently anti-Israel, pro-jihad presidency?

I have another question: Why is it that during the campaign, no one was interested in this stuff except for right-wing bloggers?

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Obama's illegal Gaza fundraiser

Israel Matzav: Another new book on Israel

Another new book on Israel

Here's another new book on Israel. You can read the reviews (which are mixed - Publishers Weekly liked it, WaPo didn't) here (Hat Tip: Glenn


Israel Matzav: Another new book on Israel

Israel Matzav: Al-Beeb's Jerusalem distortion

Al-Beeb's Jerusalem distortion

The BBC presents another gross distortion - this one in Jerusalem. I've already discussed this report once here. CAMERA has an extensive report on this show, parts of which appear below. I urge you to read and view the whole thing.

Let's go to the videotape.



Parts 2 and 3 are below.

CAMERA adds:

Corbin's bias is evident from the start as she introduces the "battlefield," as she terms it. Those wielding "the weapons" are "the Israeli authorities," while the victims are the Palestinians whose homes are being demolished.

Bulldozers are seen dismantling a structure as Arab women cry, and Corbin breathlessly informs viewers that "demolitions have been increasing in recent days." She confides that she has gotten hold of "a list that shows there's another forty to go before the end of the year" and absurdly suggests that the reason for this is that the Jerusalem municipality "has a budget it has to use up for demolitions." Shockingly, she makes no mention of why these homes are being demolished, leaving viewers with the false impression that it is an official Israeli policy — complete with mandatory budget — to render Arabs homeless.

In fact, Jerusalem authorities demolish only structures that are built illegally — something Corbin does not bother to inform viewers until halfway through the program when she revisits the topic of home demolitions.

...

Corbin portrays the demolitions as stealth operations by Israeli authorities that suddenly and without warning force Arabs out of their homes. But in fact, such demolitions are subject to rigorous guidelines and procedures. According to the Israel's Planning and Building Law, a demolition order can be issued only after a municipal engineer or architect signs an affidavit stating that:

a. the structure was built without a permit or does not conform to building standards
b. the building is not yet finished or was completed within the last 60 days
c. the building is not yet inhabited or has been lived in for 30 days or less.

According to Justus Reid Weiner's study, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem, the Jerusalem municipality requires five signatures before such a demolition order can be carried out. Asked about the demolition process, the Jerusalem mayor's office informed CAMERA:

The first notification of an impending demolition is a sticker on the door that alerts the owners to contact the courts in 30 days. Then, if contact is made, the process can take many years before a demolition is decided and implemented. If no legal appeal is made, the courts decide after the original 30 days how long before the demolition must be completed.

Corbin either did not bother to clarify this or chose not to share it with viewers.

When Corbin finally does get around to mentioning Arab illegal building at the Silwan "stop," she presents the demolition of these structures as a move to harm Palestinians under the pretext of building a "tourist park."

She does not discuss why municipalities have the right to demolish illegal structures that threaten delivery of public services, provision of green spaces, and preservation of archeological, architectural and historical heritage. Governments all over the world regularly demolish structures that violate zoning laws or housing codes, do not meet planning standards, or stand in the way of urban renewal. The Palestinian Authority itself has demolished Palestinian homes that were built illegally on what it considers to be its state property.

Nor does Corbin discuss how illegal structures in Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods threaten the city's Arab residents. Indeed, many Arab residents of Jerusalem negatively affected by illegal building by their neighbors have issued formal complaints to the Jerusalem municipality. In his book, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem (Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, 2003), Justus Reid Weiner provides specific examples of complaints by Arab-Israeli residents who alerted the municipality to the illegal building of their neighbors.

There's lots more. Read the whole thing.

Here's Part 2 of the video. Let's go to the videotape.



Regarding the 88 'homes' to be demolished in Silwan, note this:

Progress has brought troubles along with it to the King's Valley. For hundreds of years floodwaters drained into the garden of the kings of Judea, east of the Shiloah Pool in Jerusalem. In winter it was a swamp, but in summer it became a blooming garden.

With a bit of imagination and with the help of varied historical sources it is possible to imagine King David strolling in the royal garden with its abundant greenery and water among the olive, fig, pomegranate and almond trees, singing Psalms.

According to one tradition, this is where the Book of Ecclesiastes was composed.

About 20 years ago, the Jerusalem municipality shored up the water runoff there, and in the open green area (al Bustan, in Arabic), which the Turks and the British took care to preserve for hundreds of years as a public area intended for preservation and development of parks and tourism, an illegal Palestinian outpost arose.

Within 18 years 88 buildings went up there, under the noses of mayors Teddy Kollek and now outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Under former mayor Uri Lupolianski, the construction was halted, after the municipality confiscated tractors and heavy machinery from the lawbreakers.

Last summer the director general of the Antiquities Authority, Shuka Dorfman, noted in a kind of "post mortem" that the construction in the King's Garden caused significant and irreversible damage to antiquities.

Representatives of the municipality and Dorfman admitted that they had no good explanation for what has happened in this lovely garden, which is described in the Books of Nechemiah and Ecclesiastes, in midrashim (rabbinic Biblical homiletics) and in many historical sources. Dorfman stressed that together with Tel David, the garden constitutes the only complete archaeological garden of first-rate importance.

Here's Part 3 of the video. Let's go to the videotape.



Since when is 'buying up of houses' a 'wrong' thing to do?

CAMERA discusses the case of Ahmed Qaareen at length. Don't miss it.

By the way, when all is said and done, the percentage of Arabs in Jerusalem is growing.


And finally, for some balance that was missing in the BBC report, please consider this. Let's go to the videotape.



Note: Both parties are trying to put facts on the ground. Is that so surprising?

Israel Matzav: Al-Beeb's Jerusalem distortion

Israel Matzav: BBC Gaza coverage: Consistently biased

BBC Gaza coverage: Consistently biased

Give the Beeb credit - at least they're consistent. I'm sure none of my British readers will be surprised to see BBC Watch's evaluation of reporter Jeremy Bowen's Gaza coverage.

The executive summary states:

1. Of 58 reports by Mr. Bowen, 38 were unbalanced. Of those, a staggering 98% portrayed Israel in a negative light;

2. Of the civilian human interest interviews selected by Mr. Bowen, 82% portrayed Palestinians in a positive light -- a remarkable feat when, for most of the conflict, Mr. Bowen complained that he was not allowed into Gaza and so principally only had access to Israelis.

3. Of Mr. Bowen's 22 diary entries, all posted on the BBC website under the title of "The Bowen Diary," 20 were unbalanced. All of them portrayed Israel in a negative light.

4. The Bowen Dieary frequently included personal opinion of Mr. Bowen in clear breach of BBC guidelines; . . .

You can see the full report here.

Israel Matzav: BBC Gaza coverage: Consistently biased

Israel Matzav: Does Netanyahu understand how the American system works?

Does Netanyahu understand how the American system works?

Evelyn Gordon thinks (and I agree) that Prime Minister Netanyahu is uniquely suited among Israeli Prime Ministers to understand and appreciate the differences between the American political system and our own.

Israel is virtually the only Western democracy that still elects its legislature via closed nationwide lists. Israelis vote for a party, not a candidate, so general election voters have no say over which individuals occupy their party’s Knesset seats. This means they also have no way to punish individual legislators for unpopular positions or poor performance: As long as a Knesset member satisfies his party bosses, he can count on a “safe seat” next election, meaning a slot high enough on the party list to keep him in the Knesset even if the party loses seats.

Consequently, prime ministers have enormous power over rank-and-file MKs, far greater than what U.S. presidents enjoy. A president has no power to get a congressman reelected; that decision lies solely with the congressman’s constituents. But prime ministers have considerable power to get an MK reelected. Though all three major Israeli parties currently choose their Knesset slates via nationwide primaries, these slates are so riddled with “reserved seats” that a premier’s ability to shape his party’s list remains enormous — especially if he maintains good relations with “vote contractors” (key local activists) who can persuade large numbers of primary voters to vote a pre-approved list.

All this causes Israeli premiers to overestimate the U.S. president’s power. And this often leads them to sacrifice Israeli interests to the president’s desires, for the sake of maintaining good relations with Israel’s only ally. What they fail to understand is that reasonable relations can be maintained even without kowtowing to the president’s every whim, because even in the foreign-policy realm, where his power is extensive, he still needs Congress. And he cannot just order congressmen to fall in line. Thus as long as support for Israel remains strong among the American people, and hence in Congress, there are limits beyond which even the most hostile president won’t go.

...

Having lived in the U.S., current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu largely understands this. But most Israeli premiers don’t. Thus in their dealings with Israeli leaders, one of the most important services American Jewish leaders could perform is explaining how the American system truly works — and how to leverage the American people’s strong support for standing up to a hostile president.

All true. But if Netanyahu gets it so well, why did he let Obama, who is hemorrhaging popularity, railroad him into declaring a 'settlement freeze' that all the polls here showed no one wanted? Why is Netanyahu playing along with Mitchell so much?

Israel Matzav: Does Netanyahu understand how the American system works?

Israel Matzav: Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance has shrunk

Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance has shrunk

Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance, to be constructed and operated by Los Angeles' Simon Wiesenthal Center, has shrunk from eight buildings to one, from 240,000 square feet to 120,000 square feet, and from $250 million to $80-$100 million. Additionally, its world-renowned architect has resigned.

Critics in Israel and the United States questioned the need and efficacy of such a museum. Some objected to the aesthetics of the design, and some labeled the whole concept as a foray of “American cultural imperialism” imposed on historic Jerusalem (see “Unbuilt” in The Journal’s Jan. 22 issue).

But there have been years of delay after Palestinian and some Israeli advocacy groups claimed that the site for the new museum is an ancient Muslim cemetery that would be desecrated by the museum’s construction.

The Israeli Supreme Court considered the legal arguments for nearly four years, finally giving the go-ahead to the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center last year.

In the end, however, it was not political pressure but rather the global economic downturn, exacerbated by the judicial delays that forced the drastic downscaling, Hier insisted.

“While it seemed perfectly possible in 2002 to raise the money, by 2009 we were forced to reconsider in light of the declining economy,” he said.

Last Nov. 5, the Wiesenthal Center board of trustees unanimously agreed on the more modest parameters of the museum. The decision was not made public, Hier said, because it was hoped to link its announcement to the appointment of a new Israeli architect.

However, a blogger discovered in mid-January that all references to the Jerusalem MOT had suddenly disappeared from the Wiesenthal Center Web site, replaced by a “please check back soon” notice.

Besieged by questions, Hier and Gehry released a joint statement last week, acknowledging the “redesign” and Gehry’s withdrawal, due to his commitment “to other projects around the globe.”

After praising the planned MOT as “the embodiment of human respect and compassion,” Gehry said that “contrary to published reports…this parting has nothing whatsoever to do with perceived political sensitivities.”

...

In a second development, Hier said that two weeks ago a three-person panel of the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an attempt by the Palestinian and Israeli plaintiffs to reopen the case. They claimed that the Israel Antiquities Authority had been in collusion with the MOT and had ignored the advice of its own experts.

The panel, led by Supreme Court president Dorit Beinish, denied the petition and levied fines on the plaintiffs.

“What the court said, in effect, is ‘The case is over, get used to it,’” said Hier, who questioned why the Israeli media had not reported on the court’s action.
Plaintiffs in the case were not immediately available for comment.

Well, here's hoping the museum opens and is successful.

Israel Matzav: Jerusalem's Museum of Tolerance has shrunk

Israel Matzav: Mount of Olives cemetery goes online

Mount of Olives cemetery goes online

What is probably the world's oldest and larges Jewish cemetery is now online.

Tens of thousands of graves on the mount have already been mapped and incorporated into a database, in the first-ever attempt to restore the graves and record the history of those who were buried there. The project includes the creation of a Web site (www.mountofolives.co.il) that aims to raise awareness of the City of David and to honor the memory of those buried in the cemetery, as well as to inform about the tours and activities available.

Additionally, the Web site tells stories of the people buried in the cemetery and, through a simple search window, one can locate the documented graves by name.

...

While more than 20,000 gravestones have already been documented, organizers estimate that there are between 200,000 and 300,000 in the cemetery, which leaves an enormous amount of work left to be done.

The already documented graves include those of the reviver of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Shai Agnon, former prime minister Menachem Begin, Hadassah Women's Organization founder Henrietta Szold, founder of the Bezalel Art School Boris Schatz, Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar, also known as the Ohr ha-Chaim after his popular commentary on the Torah, and Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate.

Burial on the Mount of Olives dates back around 3,000 years, to the First and Second Temple periods, and continues to this day. Under Jordanian rule, from 1948-1967, the cemetery was badly vandalized. Tombstones were destroyed, broken and uprooted and many were used to pave the floors of Jordanian army encampments.

During this time, a road was paved from the top of the mountain southward, and the road to Jericho was widened, all on top of graves.

After the Six Day War, the cemetery was slowly restored. Yet until now, there has been no major effort to map and record the graves and to decipher and restore the names on all the tombstones.

...

The Web site also lets visitors create a tourist map and route of the graves that they wish to visit that can be printed complete with driving and parking instructions.

For anyone who has spent time there wandering around looking hopelessly for a specific grave, this is awesome.

Israel Matzav: Mount of Olives cemetery goes online

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy IV - Media vs America

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy IV - Media vs America

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy III - War on America - Zeitgeist

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy III - War on America - Zeitgeist

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy II - War for Profit

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy II - War for Profit

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy I

The Torah Revolution: Central Banking Conspiracy I

Love of the Land: The Good Old Days Before Peace

The Good Old Days Before Peace


Khaled Abu Toameh
Hudson New York
26 January '10

Many Jews and Arabs living in this part of the world really miss the good old days before the Middle East peace process began -- before Yasser Arafat and the PLO were brought to the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

It is time to cry out loudly that this peace process has been nothing but a disaster for both peoples. Has anyone ever noticed that more Jews and Arabs have died since the signing of the Oslo Accords than during the period between 1967 and 1993?

This peace process, correctly dubbed by some as a “war process,” has failed; it is time to try something else.

Real peace between Palestinians and Jews cannot be achieved, at least not in the foreseeable future. The gap between the two sides remains as wide as ever and the two sides do not trust one another at all. Instead of talking about conflict resolution, we should go for conflict management , with good-will gestures from both parties.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: The Good Old Days Before Peace

Love of the Land: Iran’s Private Army Digs in for a Wider Lebanon War

Iran’s Private Army Digs in for a Wider Lebanon War


Michael J. Totten
Contentions/Commentary
26 January '10

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” — Henry David Thoreau

The Obama administration needs to start paying attention to Lebanon again before it explodes.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Hezbollah is moving long-range rockets and missiles away from the Israeli border and even north of Beirut in a move that would make a Third Lebanon War much more destructive over a much larger area than the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The previous conflict was mostly, but not exclusively, confined to the Hezbollah-controlled Shia areas in the south and in Beirut’s southern suburbs. Israel Defense Forces Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi says Hezbollah is now capable of firing rockets all the way to Tel Aviv from as far north as Beirut. Depending on where Hezbollah is placing its arsenal, taking out launch sites from the air might endanger America’s allies and Hezbollah’s enemies in the Christian, Sunni, and Druze parts of the country.

IDF Major General Giora Eiland says if a third war does in fact start, “Israel will not contain that war against Hezbollah. We cannot.” The last Lebanon war didn’t end well, and as Dwight Eisenhower once said, “If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.” The problem, though, must be enlarged in just the right way and to just the right size.

“The only way to deter the other side and prevent the next round,” Eiland continued, “or if it happens, to win — is to have a military confrontation with the state of Lebanon.”

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Iran’s Private Army Digs in for a Wider Lebanon War

Love of the Land: Who will blink first?

Who will blink first?




Azar Azadi
Opinion/Jpost
25 January '10

During the Cold War serious protocols were set to protect the Americans and Soviets in case of a first strike and even more vigorous protocols were in place regarding how to respond to it. Unlike conventional weapons, nuclear weapons are countervalue weapons, which do not distinguish between civilian and military targets - they will destroy all.

There has been a great deal of discussion on the prevention and deterrence of a nuclear strike on Israel by Iran. Most assume the missile would originate from Iran. But with US airpower in Iraq and Afghanistan, multitudes of Awacs and electronics in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, and with NATO ships with sophisticated electronics positioned in the Persian Gulf, it is doubtful that missiles could make their way from Iran to Israel. However, missiles could easily be launched from locations much closer to Israel. There is so much instability in the region that it would be easy for a rogue nation to entice one or more proxies to act on its behalf.

While Iranian plans for nuclear self-sufficiency were born in the early 1970s and are the focus of a great deal of national pride, achieving nuclear capability during President Ahmadinejad's tenure is said to be a mandate of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). With the IRGC's significant influence and control over the Iranian economy, security, public policy and military, the goal will undoubtedly be reached.

We cannot ignore the potential uses for this nuclear capability once it is developed. Perhaps one of the few things that could shift Iranian public opinion regarding weaponization of nuclear power, and cascade the current public opposition to the regime, would be a large-scale accident in one of IRGC's many nuclear facilities. This is a significant risk as the IRGC is rushing to get there and may be cutting corners in the process.

(Read full article)





Love of the Land: Who will blink first?

Love of the Land: Eyeless in Gaza

Eyeless in Gaza


Anav Silverman
Frontpagemag.com
25 January '10

The past year brought a fresh wave of anti-Israel rhetoric and accusations, most of which cited Israel’s “siege” of Gaza during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead as evidence of Israel’s injustice toward the Palestinians. The international press frequently echoed calls by human rights groups and activists to “end Israel’s illegal blockade” and “liberate Gaza.” Such messages have been conceived to undermine Israel and present a very misleading picture of the actual Gaza conflict.

In a typical blockade, no supplies would be allowed to enter into enemy territory. Similarly, most English dictionaries define siege as an “act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies.” But in fact Israel has allowed substantial shipments of aid into Gaza. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website has reported that in 2009 alone, Israel allowed 703, 224 tons of humanitarian aid and 105,600,128 liters of fuel to be delivered into the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead.

“The IDF invested major resources to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” said Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, in November 2009. According to Levi, humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip increased by 900 percent compared to the previous year. Over 22, 893 humanitarian aid trucks entered into Gaza throughout 2009.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Eyeless in Gaza

Love of the Land: Hamas could have had a field hospital too

Hamas could have had a field hospital too


Carl in Jerusalem
Israel Matzav
26 January '10

Former IDF southern commander Yom Tov Samia reminds us that Hamas could have had a field hospital just like the one the IDF deployed in Haiti during and at the end of Operation Cast Lead. Hamas turned it down. Two weeks later, Israel closed it because there were no patients.

First, let's remember some facts before criticizing the relief mission for the victims in Haiti. Israel and the Israel Defense Forces gave Gazans the option to be treated at a field hospital near the Erez crossing (both during Operation Cast Lead and afterward). Who prevented this? That's right, Hamas.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Hamas could have had a field hospital too

Love of the Land: Anna Baltzer - Jewish Defamer of Israel

Anna Baltzer - Jewish Defamer of Israel


Steven Stotsky
CAMERA
25 January '10

In 1505, a Moravian Jew named Joseph Pfefferkorn denounced his faith and undertook a campaign to get the Talmud banned by claiming it blasphemed Christianity. Pfefferkorn was unschooled and a criminal, but that didn't stop the Dominicans in Cologne, who at the time were eager to cast aspersions on the Jews, from employing him. They recognized the value of a Jew accusing other Jews.

The practice of finding Jews to bear false witness against other Jews has been repeated in many venues. Today, in America, some mainline Protestant churches have eagerly adopted this practice in an effort to demonize Israel. In November 2009, the Wyoming Presbyterian church in Milburn, New Jersey invited Jewish anti-Israel activist Anna Baltzer to speak and present her slide show alleging Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.

Baltzer is an acolyte of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a cult-like group that recruits naive Westerners to interfere with Israeli anti-terror operations. Its founders have spoken approvingly of suicide bombings. Baltzer boasts a busy schedule of speaking engagements at churches, universities and even an appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Her message consists mostly of rehashed accusations against Israel made by Palestinian speakers. But Baltzer uses her Jewish heritage to accrue credibility before predominantly non-Jewish audiences who often fail to see through her deception.

In her appearance at the Presbyterian church, Baltzer told the audience that they were responsible for alleged Israeli transgressions on the West Bank because "if the Israeli government does it, in fact its really U.S. taxpayers doing it." Settlers carry U.S-made weapons, she said. Her attempt to conflate the privately owned small arms of Israeli citizens with American support for Israel's national defense is typical of her deceptiveness.

Baltzer's core message is to delegitimize Israel.

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Anna Baltzer - Jewish Defamer of Israel

Love of the Land: Hamas kids’ TV: “We all wish for Shahada”

Hamas kids’ TV: “We all wish for Shahada”


Itamar Marcus/Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
25 January '10

A Hamas TV program for children is once again promoting Shahada - Martyrdom for Allah - as a positive goal for kids.

In the most recent episode of the show Tomorrow's Pioneers, the child host asks a 10-year-old girl who phones into the program whether she had been afraid of dying during the 2009 Gaza War.

"No, I wasn't afraid," the little girl says. "I wished for Shahada (Martyrdom) - Shahada for Allah."

The host is effusive in her praise that "even this little girl" dreams of Shahada, and adds, "We all wish for this."

The exchange is more than just another example of Hamas's continued promotion of Shahada for children. The young caller's response also proves the success of years of propaganda by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) to indoctrinate children to aspire to Martyrdom for Allah, and to believe that seeking death is a greater value than seeking life.



To see more examples from PMW's website about the promotion of Shahada, click here.
For more examples of the success of this strategy, click here.

Following is the transcript of the excerpt from the TV show:

Host to girl on phone: "How was it for you during the [Gaza] war [2009]? Were you afraid that you would die, that you would leave this world?"
Girl: "No. I wasn't afraid. I wished for Shahada (Martyrdom) -- Shahada for Allah."
Host: "How wonderful. Even this little girl - how old are you?"
Girl: "Ten."
Host: "[She] is not more than ten years old, and wants to die as a Shahida (Martyr) for Allah. We all wish for this [Shahada]."


[Al-Aqsa (Hamas) TV, Jan. 22, 2010

Love of the Land: Hamas kids’ TV: “We all wish for Shahada”

Love of the Land: Iran: The Time Has Come

Iran: The Time Has Come


Ephraim Asculai
INSS Insight No. 158
25 January '10

If its domestic situation were not so serious, Iran's government could be very happy indeed. Iran managed to gain another crucial year in its quest for a nuclear weapons capability, and every passing day brings it closer to its ultimate goal: having the potential to produce deliverable nuclear weapons in short order, if it so decides. It successfully delayed the West from pursuing a more severe sanctions regime, and the West is behaving as if it has all the time in the world. It does not.

How did this come about? Several factors combined to achieve the net result, most of them not of Iran's doing: the election of a new US president who believed in engagement as the sole way to resolve conflicts (and may still want to believe this); the unwillingness, for years, of the IAEA to acknowledge Iran's ultimate goal; the (unclassified) 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that raised the possibility that Iran abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons; the reluctance of the US to assume the lead role in confronting Iran, and letting the EU-3 deal, albeit ineffectively, with the situation; the contrary attitude of Russia and China, which are watching the West struggle to find a solution while throwing it a bone from time to time in supporting some sanctions resolutions that are not achieving their aim; and the exceptional spanner in the works embedded in the quite unproductive suggestion to transfer some of Iran's low enriched uranium (LEU) outside the country and return it as medium enriched uranium fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor. This last statement needs some explanation.

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Iran: The Time Has Come

Love of the Land: Israeli intellectuals and the BDS movement

Israeli intellectuals and the BDS movement


Fresnozionism
25 January '10

Yesterday I talked about the remarkable death wish exhibited by some Jewish Israeli intellectuals. Today I want to amplify that with a discussion of their support for the enemy on one particular front of the continuing war against Israel.

The BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — movement has become a major part of the 100-year war against a Jewish state in the Mideast. It has two purposes, one direct and one indirect:

1. To weaken Israel economically by getting consumers worldwide to avoid Israeli products, and

2. To contribute to the delegitimization of Israel in order to reduce international support for Israel when conflicts — violent or diplomatic — occur.


BDS is part of an overall strategy to end the Jewish state that also includes propaganda, diplomacy, terrorism and war. These work together to multiply their effect. For example, the false atrocity propaganda surrounding the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead makes it harder for Israel to seek international support for future wars of self-defense.

The indirect effects of BDS — delegitimization — may be more important than the cost of any economic boycott, which is why the BDS movement expends great effort on boycotting Israeli academics, athletes, films, etc.


Love of the Land: Israeli intellectuals and the BDS movement

Love of the Land: Analysis: The Dahiya Doctrine vs. the Goldstone Report

Analysis: The Dahiya Doctrine vs. the Goldstone Report


Yaakov Katz
Mideast/JPost
25 January '10

Following Operation Cast Lead, the IDF Operations Directorate prepared a slideshow to explain the type of challenges the Israeli military is currently facing in Lebanon against Hizbullah and in the Gaza Strip against Hamas.

On one of the slides is a picture of Khan Yunis, Gaza, but it could also be any one of the 160 Shiite villages in southern Lebanon where Hizbullah has stored its weaponry. The map is filled with different colored dots, each one representing a different type of threat an IDF platoon will face.

The Operations Directorate calls this type of warfare the "Collage War" since when fighting against an organization like Hizbullah or Hamas, IDF commanders will face characteristics from guerrilla, terror and conventional battles.

In other words, a commander invading Lebanon or Gaza will face anti-tank missiles (conventional), kidnapping attempts (terror) and underground tunnels (guerrilla), each threat represented by a different colored dot on the slide. These threats are also not located in open battlefields but in built-up areas like Khan Yunis, one of the most-densely populated parts of the world with close to 200,000 people.

The purpose of the slide is to explain that Israel is not fighting against a conventional military like the IDF, but has enemies - Hamas and Hizbullah - that flagrantly use the civilian population as human shields.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Analysis: The Dahiya Doctrine vs. the Goldstone Report

The Odd Case of Seismic Shock

The Odd Case of Seismic Shock

For the past few days I've been getting all sorts of suggestions that I blog on the odd case of Seismic Shock. It seems Seismic is a British blogger who doesn't much like people who don't much like Israel. (Sounds like my type of bloke). Last week the police themselves uncovered his identity and had him shut down his blog. I haven't had the time to look into the matter, but in the meantime, the BBC has - and what's more, the BBC fellow doing the reporting is very much on the side of Mr. Shock. The BBC readers, predictably, can think of various reasons why shutting down free speech is fine in this case.

Yet another case, alas, where the Brits don't demonstrate tolerance for free speech. I can't say what's going on over there.

Beyond the e-mails I've been getting and the item on the BBC website, I still haven't had the time to study the full facts of the case. If anyone wishes to enlighten us, the comments section on this blog is not (yet) censored.

In addition, here's a suggestion for all the oppressed Zionists in the United Kingdom, suffering from anti-Jewish agitation and the cruel hand of the Inquisitors: Me, I'm out of range. This allows me not to hide my identity, and certainly not to worry about policemen at my door if I poke fun at nasty clergy. (Though if you believe our homegrown radicals, our police are also cracking down, but that's tosh). So if any of you have got any samizdat materials you'd like to smuggle out to the West (well, east), I'll be glad to serve as a post board. You can find my e-mail address on the lower left of this screen.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots of Books

Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots of Books

The Hebrew paper version of Haaretz has a nice article about Bar Ilan university's Jewish books project (פרוייקט השו"ת). The project began in the late 1960s and is still far from completion. The idea was to collect all halachic literature ever written in a searchable database, along with bells and whistles such as Hebrew translations of Aramaic texts, and further down the road, scanned images of them alongside the content.

So far there are 220,000,000 indexed words in the database, representing a large cross section of rabbinical writings. That means you'd need to read 7534 words a day, every day of the year from age 10 to age 90, never taking a day off and never going back to read anything twice, merely to see all those words. If you want to understand them all, even without going back to re-check anything ever, you'll need six or seven centuries assuming you're a fast learner. And remember, the database isn't complete yet (and new things are being written as we sit here).

The modern day affectation about how human knowledge has become too large for anyone to know all of it is of course true, but it's not new. The Jewish rabbinical literature alone passed the point of individual encompassing many centuries ago.

A friend and I recently did an interesting small experiment on this database. We asked it to count the number of times the word Jerusalem (ירושלים) appears in some of its various layers. Not Zion, Moriah, not Temple, nor any other permutation: simply the name of the city, straight.

In the Bible (Old Testament, of course): 670
Mishna: 125
Tosefta (a mishna-era compendium): 152
Extra tractates: מסכתות קטנות 149
Babylonian Talmud: 658
Jerusalem Talmud: 335
Halachic Midrash (a Talmud-era compendium): 197
Midrash: 3,400
Gaonic and Rishonim literature (roughly 7-17th centuries): 32,000
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

After Haiti

After Haiti

The IDF field hospital in Haiti will be shut down on Thursday. The staff will come home; the equipment will be donated to a local hospital. The arrival of the Americans in full force has made the field hospital unnecessary:

Israel's main accomplishment was in the quick deployment of the field hospital in Haiti. "For five critical days, it was the best hospital in Port-au-Prince," said the officer. "We provided timely medical care to about 1,000 people, we conducted 300 operations and delivered 16 babies. In the past few days the Americans arrived and then you can put things in proportion and become more modest in the face of their airlift and the scope of their aid. You need to understand that those who will continue to treat the main suffering there are the Americans," he added.

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

The Return of Sovereignty

The Return of Sovereignty

As we slowly gain perspective (we don't have it yet), it may one day become clear that the 1990s were the apogee of the multilateral moment. The end of the Cold War gave the EU a tremendous boost. International institutions and internationalist concepts forged in a radically different post-war context in the late 1940s seemed poised to acquire Utopian goals such as the end of particularism, or the ascendancy of universal values such as human rights over such outdated concepts such as national sovereignty. In our own small corner of the world, those were the days when people such as myself earnestly explained to incredulous folks with lesser education that what with sovereignty on its way to the dustbin of history, we could afford to relinquish parts of it in order to achieve peace with our Palestinian neighbors. (Yossie Beilin and Shlomo Ben Ami, being prominent politicians and also interesting intellectuals, were the top two purveyors of this line of reasoning).

Part of the fury directed at George Bush had to do, I have no doubt, with how he seemed to be harking back to an earlier age, one that should have been on its way out were it not for his obstructionism. Some of the acrimony surrounding the definition of the enemy facing humanity after 9/11 had to do with the degree people were willing to admit that the emerging new world order was perhaps not realistic after all.

Last November, when I added the "multilateral sovereignty" tag to this blog, it was in response to the audacity of the Goldstone Report in admonishing Israel for minor issue with no bearing on its mandate, and the insistence of a law professor that yes, the Report is fortunately the face of the future.

Probably not. A major weakness of the entire philosophical edifice is that it's based on Europe - the rich but declining former center of the world - and assumes everyone else is interested in following. What if they aren't, all the rest? What if lots of people are actually enjoying their national sovereignty, and have no intention of whittling it away anytime soon? What if this camp is headed by the rising power: China?

In Brussels it is hard to overestimate the shock caused by the EU’s failure to achieve its goals at December’s climate-change summit in Copenhagen. In the EU hard problems are fixed like this: call a summit of leaders, set out public goals for action, declare a final deadline and then thrash out a compromise behind closed doors. Deals are done with a judicious blend of appeals to principle, arm-twisting and redistribution towards less wealthy nations. That model failed utterly in Copenhagen...
China was amazingly rude at Copenhagen, sending a deputy minister to shout at with Mr Obama, for instance. Such assertiveness punctures happy Euro-dreams of a multipolar world. It turns out that the only thing that alarms Europeans more than a swaggering American president is one who seems weak. And Copenhagen popped yet another bubble—the idea that leading by example can be used to coerce others. Europe’s strategy was to press others to match its own concessions on carbon emissions. But the EU barely existed at the talks.

Much that China does is regrettable; many of the particular values of the post-sovereignty brigade are appealing. That's life; that's human history. It's not about to change. Live with it.

(PS. If they'd ever get their act together, the real rising power could be India, which would be a more appealing proposition; and the US isn't going anywhere, and will likely stay at the top for this century, at least - so democracy and its fine attributes aren't on their way out. But that's a matter for another day).
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Tony Strikes Again!

Tony Strikes Again!

A while ago we debated the existence or spoofness of one Rabbi Tony Jutner, a fellow who posts outlandish comments on articles of The Forward. One of the editors later told me he's convinced the fellow doesn't exist, and he deletes his comments when he sees them.

Well, he's back, is Tony, and this time he's clearly here for the fun. David Hazony has written a column about the need to preserve archeological findings in what will probably one day become Palestinian territory. His article is reasonable, though some of the subsequent comments add complexity to the issue. Then there's Tony:

I say give them the scrolls. It would be a goodwill gesture where it is badly needed. The scrolls dont inform my daily existence. However, if the Palestinians insisted on Portnoys Complaint, I woould resist this with all my soul

And I say, Forward People, please don't delete this one. It's an interesting attempt at deflating the seriousness of some of our discussions, and spoofs can also be part of the debate, why not?

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Elder of Ziyon: Brave Gaza protesters meekly followed Hamas orders

Elder of Ziyon: Brave Gaza protesters meekly followed Hamas orders

Elder of Ziyon: International NGO members detained by Hamas

Elder of Ziyon: International NGO members detained by Hamas

Elder of Ziyon: "Palestinian" unity - something you can always count on

Elder of Ziyon: "Palestinian" unity - something you can always count on

Elder of Ziyon: "Jews controlling the world through polio vaccines"

Elder of Ziyon: "Jews controlling the world through polio vaccines"

Elder of Ziyon: Saudi Arabia finally steps up for Haiti

Elder of Ziyon: Saudi Arabia finally steps up for Haiti

Elder of Ziyon: Who's to blame for Gaza's imminent power plant shutdown?

Elder of Ziyon: Who's to blame for Gaza's imminent power plant shutdown?

Elder of Ziyon: Abbas just declared himself President for Life

Elder of Ziyon: Abbas just declared himself President for Life

DoubleTapper: IDF Haiti Delegation to Return to Israel on Thursday

IDF Haiti Delegation to Return to Israel on Thursday

IDF Medical and Rescue Team Concludes Mission in Haiti

Delegation to Return to Israel on Thursday

The IDF medical and rescue team in Haiti will finish its operations in the next few days and its members will return to Israel by Thursday, after completing its mission in the region. The decision came following the arrival of additional aid forces to Haiti, including the United States military and other, civilian aid, who are now providing regular medical services. Furthermore, many of the local hospitals have reached a sufficient level of functionality.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26th, the team is scheduled to cease receiving new patients and begin preparing towards returning to Israel on a direct flight on Wednesday. The delegation is scheduled to arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport by Thursday afternoon.

A few dozen patients treated at the IDF field hospital were already transferred to the American hospital in Haiti, and others will be transferred to additional medical facilities.

Part of the equipment brought by the delegation will remain in Haiti for use by the various medical personnel, including tents, medications and other medical equipment. Heavy equipment will be brought back to Israel.

The IDF Medical and Rescue team, including personnel and equipment for setting up a field hospital and a small rescue team, left for Haiti 11 days ago, on January 15th 2010, and had a significant role in providing aid to survivors of the earthquake.

During their stay in Haiti, the IDF delegation treated more than 960 patients, conducted 294 successful surgeries, delivered 16 births including three in caesarian sections and saved many from within the ruins.

In the last few days, after most rescue operations were concluded, much of the delegation’s efforts were turned to other forms of civilian assistance, including setting up water tanks assisting daily life, and more.

The IDF Medical Corps and Home Front Command will hold a series of briefings following the activity in Haiti in order to improve its preparedness for similar future events.

The IDF Chief of the General Staff approved the recommendation by his Deputy and by the OC Home Front Command to conclude the mission.


The IDF Medical Corps hospital in Haiti began transferring dozens of patients (orphans and premature babies) to the Italian hospital in Haiti and to the US Navy Ship, the ‘Comfort’.


From IDF Spox


DoubleTapper: IDF Haiti Delegation to Return to Israel on Thursday

RubinReports: An Appropriate Joke for the Middle East Peace Process

An Appropriate Joke for the Middle East Peace Process

By Barry Rubin

An Israeli, a Palestinian, and an American peacemaker walk into a bar. They each order a drink. The American turns to the Israeli and says: "You pay for everyone as a confidence-building measure."

[This is an original so if you tell it please give proper credit.]


RubinReports: An Appropriate Joke for the Middle East Peace Process

RubinReports: An Arab Liberal Explains What's Wrong and Dreams His Worst Nightmare

An Arab Liberal Explains What's Wrong and Dreams His Worst Nightmare

By Barry Rubin

You couldn’t do better to understand the contemporary Middle East than through an al-Jazira television program recorded and translated by MEMRI. The speaker is Moncef al-Marzouki, a Paris-based Tunisian human rights activist.

Note: if you read to the end of this article you will encounter the stinger, like a horror movie’s last scene when the monster leaps out and devours the hero.

Marzouki lives in Paris, which tells a lot. It’s hard to live in the Arabic-speaking world and express such frank opinions. Moreover, he is very much exposed to Western influences which flavors his thought and, by the same token, distances him from those living in the Middle East.

While under the themes of Political Correctness and multiculturalism, those in the West celebrate and flatter Arab political culture, the people who actually live under that system are in despair.

While those in the West usually argue the main complaint of Arabic-speakers is about what foreigners do to them, their real problem is what their own leaders do to them.

While in Western universities, students are most often taught about the Middle East along the lines of Arab nationalist ideology, their best counterparts in the region are imprisoned and tortured by regimes holding that doctrine. Meanwhile, these victims’ ill-treatment of is applauded by the Western professors’ ideological counterparts in the Arabic-speaking world.

This doesn’t mean demagoguery and xenophobia—far more common in the Middle East against the West than vice-versa—don’t inflame popular feeling into a murderous rage against non-Arabs and non-Muslims. Nor does it mean that all of this is mere artificial incitement which would not otherwise exist in the mass population.

In short, those who believe Arabs are just waiting to be liberated from their rulers so as to become moderate democrats are wrong. Yet those who think they are just being stirred up by Western policies are also wrong. Indeed, it is the hatreds and misconceptions of the West and of Israel which make peace and cooperation largely impossible.

Khodhari states:

"The Arab peoples have gone from being subservient to and humiliated by a totalitarian, tyrannical ruler, to being subservient to and humiliated by the ruler's son….I believe that within five years, these peoples will bow down to the ruler's chauffeur. I swear that within a decade, they will cheer the ruler's barber, and obey his orders."

This is the despair of the would-be Arab democrat. The reference is to the succession of Bashar al-Assad to his father, Hafiz, as Syria’s dictator, and of the likely impending succession of Gamal Mubarak to his father, Husni, as Egypt’s ruler.

Khodhari is furious about the masses' passivity:

"These dead peoples, which know no shame, and which have become addicted to slavery, conceal all the signs of their humiliation, death, and submission, and shield themselves with the Palestinian cause, and the living, courageous, and heroic Palestinian people. However, I believe that if the Arab peoples turned their backs on the Palestinian cause... The heroic Palestinians must not seek the help of slaves [which means] most of the Arab peoples."

Once again we see the overwhelming symbolism of the Palestinian cause. The liberal portrays the “refusal” of Arabs to fight for the Palestinians as proof of how they have been reduced to slaves of the regime. But the truth is the exact opposite: the use of this issue to blind people to their own national and individual self-interest has been one of the greatest weapons of the regimes, and of their totalitarian Islamist rivals as well.

The problem, of course, is that Arabs don’t see themselves as being passive and addicted to slavery. On the contrary, they see themselves as active and fighting for liberation. Why? Because they are supporting the resistance to Western imperialism and Zionism. That’s why they don’t respond to Khodhari’s argument, they have an alternative route to feeling good about themselves that’s more emotionally satisfying and far safer.

After all, there is no cost to inveighing against foreign enemies. It’s like the joke about the Soviet and the American arguing in the 1970s. The Soviet says: “I can go to Red Square and say, `Down with America!” And the American says, “So can I. But I can also go to the Capitol and say down with America. Can you go to Red Square and say, `Down with the USSR?’”

Marzouki then raises a second point, about his witnessing the May 1968 rebellion in France when, despite many sometimes violent confrontations:

“Not a single Frenchman was killed….What happened in Hama [Syria]? 20,000 dead. What happened in Egypt? What happened in Tunisia? They sprayed them with machine-guns. And the list goes on….All this is in addition to the concentration camps…hundreds of thousands who were imprisoned [and] tortured….These are terrorist states which…treat their peoples as if they were flies that must be sprayed with pesticide.”

He concludes—something obviously true but few if any Western professors would dare say—that the repression since independence has been far worse than that under colonialism.

But there is hope, Marzouki concludes. There’s the work of NGOs, “the number of journalists in prison, and the number of peoples in exile.” Here are two problems. First, NGOs generally remain very weak and most larger ones are either regime fronts or Islamist ones. Second, while the number of prisoners and exiles show people oppose the regime it also indicates they have done so unsuccessfully. And most don’t want to be in prison or exile. If that’s the price of being democratic activists few will have the courage to do so.

And here’s the big finish: "There was an armed rebellion in Algeria, and today, there is an armed rebellion in Yemen….And these despicable regimes are on the verge of collapse."

Oh, dear! The armed rebellion in Algeria is by the local franchise of al-Qaida; that in Yemen by Islamists backed by Iran. Like the Communists in 1930s Germany who insisted Nazi rule would only be prelude to a Red takeover, liberals in the Arab world must contend with the fact that the revolutionaries today would be even worse in power than the incumbent regimes. So much for hope.


RubinReports: An Arab Liberal Explains What's Wrong and Dreams His Worst Nightmare

Secret Report: Iran will Have Nuclear Bomb This Year - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Secret Report: Iran will Have Nuclear Bomb This Year - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Construction Freeze: State Destroys Synagogue - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Construction Freeze: State Destroys Synagogue - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Ketzaleh to Religious Zionists: No Rest Until Unity - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Ketzaleh to Religious Zionists: No Rest Until Unity - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Shalit Negotiations Reported to be 'Collapsing' - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Shalit Negotiations Reported to be 'Collapsing' - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Abbas Rejects Israeli Presence on Eastern Border - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Abbas Rejects Israeli Presence on Eastern Border - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Int'l Monetary Fund Praises Bank of Israel - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Int'l Monetary Fund Praises Bank of Israel - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF, Israel CEOs Start Haitian Orphanage, Israelis Want to Adopt - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF, Israel CEOs Start Haitian Orphanage, Israelis Want to Adopt - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Hamas could have had a field hospital too

Hamas could have had a field hospital too

Former IDF southern commander Yom Tov Samia reminds us that Hamas could have had a field hospital just like the one the IDF deployed in Haiti during and at the end of Operation Cast Lead. Hamas turned it down. Two weeks later, Israel closed it because there were no patients.

First, let's remember some facts before criticizing the relief mission for the victims in Haiti. Israel and the Israel Defense Forces gave Gazans the option to be treated at a field hospital near the Erez crossing (both during Operation Cast Lead and afterward). Who prevented this? That's right, Hamas. The IDF transferred hundreds of thousands of tons of food and medical aid to Gaza even while Qassam rockets and Grad missiles were falling on schools and the hospital in Ashkelon. Hamas intercepted these deliveries. The reason that more missiles and explosives - rather than food and medicine - are smuggled through tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt is, once again, Hamas. The group is also preventing the import of critical building materials to refurbish damaged infrastructure, oddly claiming that this is not one of its priorities.

This is all intended to perpetuate the ruin in Gaza. Also, Hamas prefers to invest in rearmament rather than civilian infrastructure.

Indeed.


Israel Matzav: Hamas could have had a field hospital too

Love of the Land: Protesting Anti-Semitism is "Hardline"?

Protesting Anti-Semitism is "Hardline"?


Scotland's Sunday Herald gives a platform to the fringe voice of an anti-Zionist Holocaust survivor while labeling Jewish opposition as "hardline".

Honest Reporting UK
Media Critiques
25 January '10

Scotland's Sunday Herald publishes a provocative article headlined "Auschwitz survivor: 'Israel acts like Nazis'". According to the article:

One of the last remaining Auschwitz survivors has launched a blistering attack on Israel over its occupation of Palestine as he began a lecture tour of Scotland. ...

His comments sparked a furious reaction from hardline Jewish lobby groups, with Dr Meyer branded an "anti-Semite" and accused of abusing his position as a Holocaust survivor. [Emphasis added]

The reason that this story is so sensationalist and able to garner publicity is simply because a figure such as Dr Hajo Meyer is very much on the radical fringes of the debate and is certainly not representative in any way of the mainstream Jewish community or Holocaust survivors.

Yet, those who protest Meyer's extreme views are themselves termed "hardline Jewish lobby groups" by the Sunday Herald.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Protesting Anti-Semitism is "Hardline"?
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