Wednesday, 27 January 2010

RubinReports: Middle East Politically Accurate Jokes, Part Two

Middle East Politically Accurate Jokes, Part Two

Yesterday, I told the following joke as quite accurate regarding the peace process:

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."

One reader asked, so what does the Israeli answer?

My response:

He says, “Sure, as long as it isn’t expensive, I’ll do it so you’re happy, you can see that it doesn’t do any good any way and the Palestinian buys the next round. Oh, by the way, each peacemaker gets one free cup of coffee.”

A second reader came up with another good and relevant joke:

The UN secretary-general announces the creation of a great UN world soccer team, including all the member countries.

But, asks his deputy, "Then who would we play against?"

"Well, Israel, of course," the secretary-general answers.

RubinReports: Middle East Politically Accurate Jokes, Part Two

What do you see when you see a tree in Israel?

What do you see when you see a tree in Israel?

פורסם על ידי Mordechai Friedfertig ב- 21:59
["Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah" – Beshalach 5767]

When you are walking along and you see a tree, what are you actually seeing? While it is certainly correct to say that you are seeing a tree, you are actually seeing much more than that, much more.
One hundred and seventy years ago, the French writer Alfonse De Lamartine wrote: “(Outside the walls of Jerusalem) we saw nothing living. We heard no sound of life. We found that same emptiness, that same silence that we would have expected to find before the buried gates of Pompei or Herculanum…total silence reigns over the city, along the highways, the villages… the whole country is like a graveyard.” One hundred and thirty years ago, the American author Mark Twain visited the Land of Israel and he wrote: “There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent -- not for thirty miles in either direction. One may ride ten miles, hereabouts, and not see ten human beings. We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds -- a silent, mournful expanse. Desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We safely reached Tabor...We never saw a human being on the whole route. There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country. Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world."
Did you hear that? There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere, not even an olive tree!Therefore, when I see a tree, I see the Nation of Israel rising to rebirth in our Land. For almost two thousand years, this Land was angry at us and would not smile at us. Obviously, and by no coincidence, “because of our sins we were banished from our country and distanced from our Land.”
As we know, our Sages objected to making Messianic calculations. They even said, “Let the bones be blasted of those who calculate the end of days!” (Sanhedrin 97b). If so, how can we know that the end is near? They answered, “We have no better sign of the end of days than that of Yechezkel (36:8): ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel; for they are at hand to come’” (Sanhedrin 98a). Rashi comments, “If you see the Land of Israel yielding its fruits plentifully, be aware that the end of the exile has arrived.”
Indeed, one hundred and twenty years ago, the Land began to blossom, and since then this sign has not proven to be a disappointment. Our country is being built up, and despite all the harsh shortcomings visible in our public lives, we have to admit that we are rising up to rebirth, and we have to be happy, hold on and look forward.
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Ups and Downs: They're Life. Both.

Ups and Downs: They're Life. Both.

Michael has responded to this morning's blogging with a story he heard from his father, who survived Buchenwald:

Otto had been a chess champion (won the Belgian title in 1936), and his chess hero had always been a Russian named Alekhine. One day in Buchenwald, in the latrine, Otto came upon what he thought was a miracle of sorts: there on the ground was a page from a recent German chess magazine, undoubtedly discarded by an SS guard, with an article by, of all people, Alekhine. So Otto's heart skipped and his mood soared. Until he began reading. Then he discovered, for the first time, that Alekhine had become a rabid antisemite sympathizer with the Nazi cause, and the article was all about the evils of "Jewish chess..." And Otto then sank into an especially low depression. But then there was another uplift, because it occurred to him that if he was still capable of experiencing both joy and depression it must mean that his humanity had not been destroyed, even by the Nazis. And this awareness, that he was still human, gave him hope and the will to continue.

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

The Great War: History

The Great War: History

I've been busy in the real world today, so blogging has been light. Here's a third article on today's theme of memory and how it passes.

The Economist recently offered a respectful and touching description of the war memories of Harry Patch and Henry Allingham, the last two British veterans of WWI who died, implausibly old, in 2009. They began telling their tales only once they had reached extreme old age; the memories were literally snatched from the jaws of oblivion at the very last moment.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

65 Years

65 Years

Auschwitz was liberated by Red Army troops (who didn't know it was there to be liberated until they stumbled upon it) 65 years ago today.

A few twins held by Mengele for his experiments survived as children. Other than them, the youngest survivors were in their mid-teens; most were in their twenties.

Living memory of Auschwitz is to be found, today, only in the minds of octogenarians. Not many of them left, either. The living memory is slipping away.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Chester Chronicles - The Terrorism Quiz

Chester Chronicles - The Terrorism Quiz

New Pro-Israel Senator Ties Obama in Poll for President - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

New Pro-Israel Senator Ties Obama in Poll for President - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Shevathon News: Rabbi Zalman Melamed Blesses Supporters - A7 Exclusive Features - Israel News - Israel National News

Shevathon News: Rabbi Zalman Melamed Blesses Supporters - A7 Exclusive Features - Israel News - Israel National News

Judge Releases Rabbi Shapira of Yitzhar - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Judge Releases Rabbi Shapira of Yitzhar - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel's Next Hizbullah War May Escalate Into Fight With Lebanon - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel's Next Hizbullah War May Escalate Into Fight With Lebanon - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Fatah Removes All Anti-Ahmadinejad Content on Website - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Fatah Removes All Anti-Ahmadinejad Content on Website - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

BBC Cited for 2 Blatant Anti-Israel Reports - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

BBC Cited for 2 Blatant Anti-Israel Reports - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Rafi Peretz New Chief Rabbi of IDF - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Rafi Peretz New Chief Rabbi of IDF - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

RubinReports: A Lie Told About My Position on U.S. Iran Policy

A Lie Told About My Position on U.S. Iran Policy

Leftist activist M. J. Rosenberg has written a lie about me, claiming that I am unhappy with the Obama Administration because I want it to go to war with Iran. This is silly. It is the kind of lie used to discredit people who make a reasoned critique on any issue in order to portray them as extremists. Such a distortion then allows people to ignore the need to consider rational arguments or to respond to them with logic and proof.

The reference to me is dishonest since I have never ever advocated and do not advocate the United States going to war with Iran. I only advocate the Obama Administration implementing the kind of sanctions supported by Congress as well as the British, French, and Germans. Going to sanctions is not supposed to be a prelude to war but a way to avoid war. It's called diplomatic pressure.

The idea of the United States attacking Iran is a terrible idea, it will never happen any way, and I oppose it. I also don't advocate that the United States attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Such a proposal has no connection whatsoever to reality.

I also don't advocate an Israeli attack on Iran at this time and have never written anything urging such an attack. Whether or not such an action would be necessary is an idea that can only be evaluated well into the future. Again, the whole purpose of serious sanctions is to avoid such a confrontation. I discuss the subject here analyzing the pros and cons of any such future attack without advocating it and pointing out reasons why doing so might not be a good idea.

I would, however, suggest that failure to use the pressure of diplomacy and sanctions makes some future confrontation more likely not because the United States would (or should) attack Iran but that Iranian aggression will trigger conflicts in the region, whether or not America participates and whether or not Israel ever attacks Iranian nuclear installations.

Here is the article to which Rosenberg was apparently referring and it says nothing at all like his claims.

If someone disagrees with you they should be able to state your argument honestly and not make up things with absolutely no evidence to support such a claim. Unfortunately, in the times we live in such behavior is all too common.

What makes this especially ironic is that at almost precisely the same moment Forward editor J.J. Goldberg was publishing a very nice defense of me in response to a right-winger who attacked me for not urging an Israeli attack on Iran. Goldberg also includes a number of my previous articles on the subject which can also be found on this site.

RubinReports: A Lie Told About My Position on U.S. Iran Policy

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

I find the destruction of synagogues very difficult, so I hope you will forgive me if I post a sad song and story tonight. Unfortunately, the English version of the story is a bit disjointed (it was originally in Spanish and I am trying to fix it), but hopefully even those of you who don't understand Hebrew will understand it.

The story is a student in Baltimore, he visited a nursing home regularly, and prayed with elders. One day he was told that one of the rooms there is an old man very difficult to convince to bring the tefilin and to pray. This student was one quarter of the old man's age, but he went and knocked on the door. After greeting each other, the old man told the student.

"I don't put on Tefilin" This old man looks and what he says, "Dear, I was a boy of the concentration camps and in the camp there was just one Tefilin of the head and everyone took turns to put it on. "

For my Bar Mitzva my father wanted me to put on both halves of the Tefillin and he knew that the other camp had a couple of full Tefilin, namely the arm and head.

Then my father was in search of that Tefilin, and I remember what was waiting beside the window seeing that nothing happens until all of a sudden I see him coming with Tefilin in hand, and as I was about to enter the room where we were a Nazi Yimach Shemo (may his name be obliterated), shot my father in front of me.

And then the man told the student "and you want me to put on Tefilin after what I witnessed."

A few weeks later, the student was at the old age home and saw an old man who had Yortzait (observing the anniversary of a parent's death) and lacked one for a Minyan (quorum).

So the student went to the man who refused to put on Tefillin, and asked him please to go to complete the Minyan, because no one knows if next year this other man will be around to observe his parent's yahrtzeit.

After that, the first man started to put on Tefillin regularly, until one day the student came to the old age home and the man wasn't there. The old man had gone to the hospital and died.

At the end of the year, the old age home had a ceremony in which they expressed appreciation to all the students who came to visit. A woman came up to the student who told the story and thanked him. He asked "do I know you?" She said, "you got my father to put on Tefillin. On the day he died, he insisted on putting on his Tefillin before going to the hospital. He died wearing them. He was so happy that he was wearing them."

Let's go to the videotape. It's Mordechai Ben David telling the story and singing the song at the end.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Love of the Land: By the Numbers: Israel's Haitian Relief Efforts

By the Numbers: Israel's Haitian Relief Efforts

Honest Reporting
26 January '10

Israel's relief mission to Haiti is winding down its work and returning on Thursday. Much of the medical equipment will be left behind as a last goodwill gesture.

314: Surgeries performed.

16: Babies delivered.

1,102: Haitians treated

400,000: Estimated number of Haitians needing relocation

30: Estimated number of Israeli families inquiring about adopting Haitian orphans

4: Haitian survivors rescued from rubble by Israeli teams.

15: Patients currently remaining in the field hospital.

132: Haitian survivors rescued from rubble by all foreign teams.

112,250: Official UN death count

0: Organs harvested.

Many: Lessons learned from the experience.

Sources: YNet News, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, IDF Spokesperson Blog

Love of the Land: By the Numbers: Israel's Haitian Relief Efforts

DoubleTapper: International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Warsaw Poland

International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Warsaw Poland

I'm in Warsaw Poland and today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day

In the frigid negative temperatures I walked through the streets of Warsaw to honor the Jews that were murded here by the Nazi's.

I stopped off at 18 Mila street to remember Mordechai Anielewicz,and the ZOB.

Then I walked up Mila Street to Zamenhofa and turned right and headed towards Mordechai Anielewicz street and the memorial to the heroes of the Ghetto Uprising.

The Memorial is huge and made from bronze and granite ordered by Hitler to be used to build a monument honoring Germany’s victory. Instead it was used by Natan Rappaport to create thisc monument honoring the Jewish heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Notice the ice crystals on my neck warmer and snow in the picture.
It's currently about 70 Degrees warmer in Israel then in Poland.

I;ll try to get some pictures in the daylight tomorrrow.

The history of the Warsaw Ghetto is here

DoubleTapper: International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Warsaw Poland

Israel Matzav: Awesome: German firm cancels contract to renovate Iranian port

Awesome: German firm cancels contract to renovate Iranian port

Under heavy pressure from Israel, a German firm has canceled a contract to renovate the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas (pictured).

Israel's ambassador to Berlin told Chancellor Angela Merkels' top aides, as well as foreign ministry officials, that Iran has been exporting weapons from that port bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Ambassador Yoram Ben Ze'ev stressed that the Gaza-bound weapons ship "Francop," which was recently apprehended by the Israel Defense Forces in the Mediterranean, had been dispatched from that Iranian port.

A political official said that the Israeli embassy received word just over a week ago of a deal in the works between the Hamburg Company, which is partly owned by the German government, and the Iranian agencies.

Ben Ze'ev stressed that Israel viewed the contract as German assistance to an Iranian arms deal with terror organizations, and a violation of United Nations resolutions.

At Israel's request, German officials contacted the company owners and hinted that ir preferred the deal be terminated. Several days later, the company announced that it would withdraw from the contract.

Now, if only we could get a few other countries to cancel their contracts with Iran....

Israel Matzav: Awesome: German firm cancels contract to renovate Iranian port

Israel Matzav: Today's anti-Semites are 'just' opposed to Israel

Today's anti-Semites are 'just' opposed to Israel

This is from a JPost editorial regarding two arson attacks against a synagogue on the Island of Crete.

The BBC's Malcolm Brabant cited Etz Hayim's director, listed elsewhere as Nikolas Stavroulakis, as saying the attackers had not done their homework: The synagogue is a multi-faith institution which includes Muslim and Christian members and "many of the Jews who worship there are opposed to Israel's settler program and frequent incursions into Gaza."

Stavroulakis has devoted himself to memorializing Jewish life on the island, which dates back to biblical days. Today about 10 Jews live there. Yet Stavroulakis's comments reveal a certain naiveté - as if dissociating from Israeli policies, or embracing non-Zionist, even anti-Zionist positions, would inoculate a Jewish person or institution against anti-Semitic battering.


On the other hand, urbane anti-Israelism is all-too often treated as justifiable - even chic. While some of Israel's foes in academia, diplomacy and the punditocracy put their cards on the table, others hypocritically hide behind abstract assertions of support for Israel's right to exist and to self-defense based on preposterously impractical criteria. Thus anti-Israelism flirts with anti-Semitism when the Jewish state is held to a yardstick no other country is expected to meet on the grounds that "after all, you call yourselves the 'chosen people.'"

No one questions whether right-wing louts who burn Jewish houses of worship, beat up people who "look Jewish" or desecrate Holocaust memorials are anti-Semites. But those who reject the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, or who deny that Jews are a people, engage in a more subtle form of contempt. That some practitioners of anti-Israelism are themselves of Jewish ancestry matters not a whit. Anti-Israelism is further characterized by calls to boycott the Jewish state (aping the Arab League-instigated embargo which began decades before the first West Bank settlement was erected) and by the cynical manipulation of symbols and semantics - such as "apartheid," "genocide," and "Nazi" - to delegitimize Israel.

In these endeavors, ostensibly progressives are the strange bedfellows of fanatics and reactionaries - Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Read the whole thing. It's spot-on.

Israel Matzav: Today's anti-Semites are 'just' opposed to Israel

Israel Matzav: Barak's misplaced priorities

Barak's misplaced priorities

If you want to know why Binyamin Netanyahu implemented this ridiculous 'settlement freeze,' you may not have to look further than his defense minister Ehud Barak. On Tuesday, Barak told a conference in Tel Aviv that Israel's failure to strike a deal with the 'Palestinians' is a greater threat than a nuclear Iran.

"The lack of a solution to the problem of border demarcation within the historic Land of Israel - and not an Iranian bomb - is the most serious threat to Israel's future," Barak told a Tel Aviv conference.

Sorry, but no. The Iranian threat is existential. The 'Palestinian' one is not.

Israel Matzav: Barak's misplaced priorities

Israel Matzav: Even Sharon didn't do this

Even Sharon didn't do this

When Ariel Sharon expelled all the Jews from Gaza, there were serious doubts what to do about the synagogues there. In the end, it was decided to leave the synagogues, and if the 'Palestinians' destroyed them, they would (it was thought) look bad in the eyes of the world, and at least we would not be destroying synagogues with our own hands. Of course, the 'Palestinians' destroyed all the synagogues with a vengeance.

On Tuesday, Israel's Yassam special police forces - the same people who broke heads at Amona four years ago next week - destroyed a synagogue in Nachliel, which was said to have been built in violation of the two-month old 'settlement freeze.'

The Torah scrolls were first removed from the building, and the bulldozers began the destruction shortly afterwards.

Earlier this morning (Tuesday), it was reported that large police forces and special Yassam units had arrived in the Talmonim bloc and prevented entry to the communities of Dolev, Neriah, Talmon, Nachliel and Haresha. They thus wished to prevent residents from arriving en masse to thwart their destruction of a synagogue in Nachliel, said to have been built in violation of the two-month-old construction freeze.

Somehow, the promise that communal buildings like synagogues and schools would be exempt from the 'freeze' did not bother the Netanyahu - Barak government. And if the 'religious parties' are going to object to the wanton destruction of a synagogue, I haven't heard it yet.

A resident of Nachliel told Arutz Sheva that the synagogue was completed a month before the 'freeze' went into effect.

In an interview with Arutz 7, a resident of Nachliel said that the synagogue demolished Tuesday by police, soldiers, and Civil Authority workers, had been built long before the building freeze in Judea and Samaria went into effect. The structure, which had been in use daily, sustained tens of thousands of shekels worth of damage. "This was a shameful destruction," he said. "All of the holy books are strewn about the floor, as are the mezuzot. We intend to begin rebuilding today," said Avi Cohen, a Nachliel resident. Cohen said that the building had been completed on 11 Cheshvan (October 29).

Cohen said that he begged with authorities to spare the building, but to no avail – and that after much pleading they let him remove the Torah scroll from the building. "It is unbelievable that they would destroy a synagogue without thinking twice, but they would not dare to touch a mosque," he said.

A true chilul Hashem (desecration of God's name).

Israel Matzav: Even Sharon didn't do this

Israel Matzav: Hamas kiddie TV wishes for 'martyrdom' again

Hamas kiddie TV wishes for 'martyrdom' again

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.

The show happened on Friday, January 22. Let's go to the videotape.

Can you imagine your kids talking like that? Can you imagine 'adults' in your circle of friends being so pleased with the kids talking like that if God forbid they did?

Israel Matzav: Hamas kiddie TV wishes for 'martyrdom' again

Israel Matzav: 7 reasons why Haiti and not Gaza

7 reasons why Haiti and not Gaza

In an earlier post, I alluded to the accusations by the moonbat Left that denigrate Israel's assistance in Haiti because we are not doing the same thing in Gaza. Shmuel Rosner links to some of our accusers.

Here's Derfner saying: "the Haiti side of Israel that makes the Gaza side so inexpressibly tragic. And more and more, the Haiti part of the national character has been dwarfed by the Gaza part". Here's the Electronic Intifada criticizing the media for its positive spin of this humanitarian effort: "A few media outlets have pointed out the discrepancies in Zionist self-congratulation". And the estimable NYT showing very little understanding of Israel's true feelings by claiming that "Israelis have been watching with a range of emotions, as if the Haitian relief effort were a Rorschach test through which the nation examines itself. The left has complained that there is no reason to travel thousands of miles to help those in need - Gaza is an hour away".

I already noted in that earlier post that Gaza could have had a field hospital during and after Operation Cast Lead, but Hamas didn't want it. In fact, I could add that 'Palestinians' from Gaza are brought to Israel all the time for treatment - one of them even tried to commit suicide at a crossing on the way several years ago. But Rosner takes a different tack and unabashedly lists seven reasons why Israel is helping Haiti and not Gaza.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: 7 reasons why Haiti and not Gaza

Israel Matzav: Foreign Ministry: Turkish PM Erdogan 'indirectly incites and encourges' anti-Semitism

Foreign Ministry: Turkish PM Erdogan 'indirectly incites and encourges' anti-Semitism

A report issued by the Center for Political Research, the Foreign Ministry's in-house intelligence analysts, says that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan 'indirectly incites and encourages' anti-Semitism.

[M]ost of the report focuses on Erdogan, which it considers the main source of the current friction. "In our estimate, ever since his party took power, Erdogan has conducted an ongoing process of ... fashioning a negative view of Israel in Turkish public opinion," via endless talk of Palestinian suffering, repeatedly accusing Israel of war crimes and even "anti-Semitic expressions and incitement," it read.

Though in international forums Erdogan always stresses that anti-Semitism is "a crime against humanity," the report continued, in reality, he "indirectly incites and encourages" anti-Semitism in Turkey. "For Erdogan and some of those around him," it explained, "there is no distinction between 'Israeli' and 'Jewish,' and therefore, [their] anti-Israel fervor and criticism become anti-Jewish."

One result, the report said, is articles in the Turkish press questioning whether Turkish Jews are loyal to their country - something that could endanger Turkey's Jewish community.

In some cases, it added, Erdogan simply does not understand the anti-Semitic nature of his remarks - such as "Jews are good with money," which "he sees as a compliment."

Read the whole thing. I'm sure this was leaked by some Leftist holdover at the Foreign Ministry to embarrass Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his deputy Danny Ayalon, but it will be interesting to watch the righteous indignation coming out of Istanbul over the next couple of days.

Israel Matzav: Foreign Ministry: Turkish PM Erdogan 'indirectly incites and encourges' anti-Semitism

Israel Matzav: The Copenhagen Syndrome

The Copenhagen Syndrome

Bret Stephens describes something he calls Copenhagen Syndrome, which is named after the host city of President Obumbler's two epic failures in 2009.

So what's Copenhagen Syndrome? It is a belief in your own miracles. It is thinking that those who crowned you king actually knew what they were doing. It is buying into your own tulip bulb mania. It is the floating evanescent bubble of self. God help you when it bursts.

Obama has been an abject failure on every foreign policy front this past year:

In fact, Mr. Obama's first year in office amounts to a long parade of rebuffs. His inaugural address famously offered the world's dictators an outstretched hand in exchange for an unclenched fist. From North Korea, he got missile and nuclear tests. From Iran, he got a contemptuous rejection of his extraordinary offer to enrich uranium for it. From Cuba, Fidel Castro said last month that "the empire's real intentions are obvious, this time beneath the kindly smile and African-American face of Barack Obama." From Venezuela, Hugo Chávez is now comparing Mr. Obama to the devil, a shtick he first tried out on George W. Bush back when liberals thought it was kind of funny.

Of course these are America's enemies, so we probably should not have expected better even if Mr. Obama seemed to believe we might. What about our (ostensible) non-enemies? The president pre-emptively conceded the Czech and Polish missile-defense bases to Russia in hopes of getting Moscow to take a tougher line on Tehran's nuclear programs. The Kremlin isn't biting. Neither is China, never mind Mr. Obama's gratuitous snub last year of the Dalai Lama.

As for the Muslim world that Mr. Obama has been at such pains to court (the Cairo and Ankara speeches, his opposition to Gitmo and the war in Iraq, etc.), the 2009 Pew Global Survey that measures opinions about the U.S. finds as follows: Turkey, 14% favorable views of the U.S.; Palestinian territories, 15%; Pakistan, 16%; Jordan, 25%; Egypt, 27%. Granted, this is up slightly from the last year of the Bush administration, but only by a couple of percentage points on average. So that's the great Obama perception dividend?

And then there are America's friends. Hondurans will not soon forgive the administration's efforts to shove ex-president Manuel Zelaya down their throats. Among Israelis suspicion of Mr. Obama is pervasive. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wonders aloud, "Est-il faible?" (Is he weak?)

Now the same question is being asked in the U.S. in the wake of Scott Brown's Senate victory in Massachusetts.

Read the whole thing. The real question is why, with the exception of Honduras, America's friends (including Israel) cannot say no to him like America's enemies do. After all, he's nothing but a pompous ass. Isn't that what Bret Stephens is describing?

Israel Matzav: The Copenhagen Syndrome

Israel Matzav: Gee, now who did that?

Gee, now who did that?

I wonder how Howard Berman (D-Cal) kept a straight face when he spoke at an Americans for 'Peace Now' luncheon in his home state on Sunday.

"The United States cannot negotiate on the Palestinians' behalf by proxy, as some have reported President Abbas would like. It would be unfortunate indeed if the Palestinians chose to stay on the sidelines rather than negotiate for the statehood they have long craved," he said.


"We may have done him a disservice by not making clear at the outset of the administration that negotiations should not be linked to a settlement freeze," Berman acknowledged.

Gee Howard, who did that? Who gave Abu Bluff the idea that negotiations were linked to a 'settlement freeze'? Who ever gave him that impression?

Israel Matzav: Gee, now who did that?

Israel Matzav: British police harass pro-Israel blogger

British police harass pro-Israel blogger

Melanie Philips reports that the British police (not the ones pictured) have been harassing a pro-Israel blogger for outing an anti-Semitic church vicar.

As reported here, two months ago the Seismic Shock blogger received a ‘friendly’ visit by two police officers who explained that Sizer and McRoy had

objected to being associated with terrorists and Holocaust deniers

on his blog. As a result, Seismic Shock was persuaded to delete his original blog site in its entirety while retaining his current website:

The policeman related to me that his police force had been in contact with the ICT department my previous place of study, and had looked through my files, and that the head of ICT at my university would like to remind me that I should not be using university property in order to associate individuals with terrorists and Holocaust deniers (I am sure other people use university property to make political comments, but never mind).

Under what legal authority did the police come and feel Seismic Shock’s collar like this? What was the criminal offence he was suspected of committing? Under what authority did they require him to delete his previous blog?

Read the whole thing.

Those of you in England: Have you started packing yet?

Israel Matzav: British police harass pro-Israel blogger
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