Thursday, 4 February 2010

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: US sending ambassador to Syria

Confirmed: US sending ambassador to Syria

Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem has confirmed media reports that the Obama administration plans to name Robert Ford ambassador to Syria. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed that the White House plans to name an ambassador, but would not identify him.

Ford, an Arabist, is the U.S. deputy ambassador in Iraq. A career diplomat, he has worked previously in Bahrain, Cairo and was U.S. ambassador to Algeria from 2006-2008.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed Washington had sent Damascus the name of a potential nominee but declined to confirm who it was.

"We look forward to restoring our ambassador to Damascus because we think Syria plays a vital role and our bilateral relationship should progress," he said.

"... We will continue to engage Syria to play a more constructive role in the region. We have questions for Syria in terms of its support of extremist groups in the region. But we are committed to advance our relationship."

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: US sending ambassador to Syria

Israel Matzav: Germans being dragged out of Iran trade kicking and screaming

Germans being dragged out of Iran trade kicking and screaming

At the beginning of last week, I reported that Germany's Siemens Corporation would stop taking new orders from Iran and gradually wind down its business there.

Of course, it should have been clear from the outset that would take years. But the New York Times reports that despite the relatively small share their Iran business is to German companies' total sales, many of them are reluctant to give the business up and fearful which competitors might get it. Some are even using Dubai to get around the sanctions regime.

Yet even those companies that said they were pulling out — most notably Siemens last week — will probably take years to wind down operations and wrap up outstanding contracts. Others are simply lowering their profile or finding third countries to do business through, fearing they will lose a lucrative market forever if they abandon it now.

“What our members want is a level playing field,” said Ulrich Ackermann, who is responsible for Iran and other countries in the region at the German Engineering Federation, a lobbying group for the sector. “If our German companies pull out, will other, non-German companies replace us?”

Although no precise numbers are available — several big German companies declined to discuss their business activities in Iran — interviews with other companies, trade associations and export guarantee agencies suggest a significant reduction of direct trade between Germany and Iran.

One of the biggest changes is that Iranian companies seeking to import from German companies can no longer receive credit guarantees for seven to 10 years, which used to be normal for big infrastructure projects.

Now, “they have to pay within 360 days,” said Ruth Bartonek, a spokeswoman for Euler Hermes, the agency that manages the German government’s export credit guarantees.

The change was made over the last two years as a result of political pressure from the United States.

As a result, credit guarantees for Iran in 2008 — the latest figure available — amounted to 133 million euros ($186 million), compared with 503 million euros in 2007. In 2005, they were 1.4 billion euros.


Despite such scrutiny, the office acknowledged that German companies could circumvent these restrictions by using third countries.

The office “is conscious of the fact that business activities can be done through third countries,” Mr. Beutel said.

A German business executive in Iran who represents several German companies confirmed this. “Dubai is Iran’s biggest trading partner, yet Dubai produces nothing,” he said, requesting anonymity because, he said, he would be fired if he gave his name. “The pressure from Berlin is increasing. German companies are becoming nervous. So they go to Dubai. And the Americans do business with Iran via Dubai. As for the Israelis, they can buy perfectly good Iranian washing machines via Romania.”

Mr. Ackermann, from the German Engineering Federation, would not comment on the use of third countries. But he said that even if some German companies found ways to get around the sanctions, it cost them time, money and personnel.

“I don’t want to discuss politics,” he said. “But one thing is sure: Once you lose your market niche, it is very difficult to regain it.”

I have NEVER seen an Iranian washing machine in this country. Pistachio nuts are a different issue.

In any event, it seems that the German government is ready to cooperate on sanctions, but the German business community is a different story. That does not bode well for the prospect of imposing sanctions on Iran even if they get through the UN Security Council.

Israel Matzav: Germans being dragged out of Iran trade kicking and screaming

Israel Matzav: The Hamas 54 53 50?

The Hamas 54 53 50?

Last week, I reported that 54 Democratic representatives had sent a letter to President Obama urging him to pressure Israel to lift its 'blockade' on Gaza. On Wednesday, I reported that the Hamas 54 had become the Hamas 53. Now it looks like they may be down to 50.

Three New Jersey lawmakers are expressing strong support for Israel after having signed a letter to President Barack Obama advocating an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Reps. Bill Pascrell (Dist. 8), Donald Payne (Dist. 10), and Rush Holt (Dist. 12) were among the 54 House Democrats who appealed to Obama on Jan. 30, urging the president to seek “immediate improvements for Gaza.”


“Israel’s right to defend itself and a concern for the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip are not mutually exclusive,” Pascrell told NJ Jewish News. “I believe that there can be a better way to deliver clean water, medicine, and food to a civilian population that continues to suffer from entrenched poverty and devastation that is consistent with Israel’s security interests.”


“This is not an anti-Israel letter to me,” said Payne. “A lot of very mainstream members of the House signed it.”

“There is a tremendous amount of concern about the people of Gaza since the military operation there, and this is something I felt would help move toward a peaceful solution to this crisis,” Payne added. “We want to bring everybody back to the table.”

In an e-mail, Holt told NJJN that he signed the letter “to reaffirm my strong belief that providing humanitarian aid to ordinary citizens in Gaza is important, not just for humane reasons, but for Israel’s security interests.”

Holt wrote that he continues “to support Israeli military and foreign assistance” and that he has spent “a considerable amount of time in Washington and on visits to Israel seeking ways to reduce the threat to Israel and to strengthen her ability to respond to threats.”

Pascrell also noted that he is “a strong and consistent supporter of Israel’s right to defend itself,” including its military actions in Gaza.

Mike Halfacre, the Republican mayor of Fair Haven who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Holt for reelection, issued an e-mail statement criticizing Holt.

“The idea that Israel — which has endured countless terrorist attacks and as recently as a year ago was under rocket attack from Hamas in Gaza — should be taking advice from Rush Holt on how to best provide security for their people is the height of arrogance,” wrote Halfacre.

Zach Goldberg, Holt’s communications director, said that other than Halfacre’s statement, “we haven’t heard from constituents on this one.”

Pascrell’s camp had a little more feedback.

“We’ve gotten letters from some constituents inquiring why Mr. Pascrell signed the letter,” said his chief of staff, Ben Rich. “We are in dialogue with those constituents.”

Pascrell represents the Northern New Jersey district in which we last lived before we moved to Israel and where we (Mrs. Carl and I and the four oldest kids) still vote. The district is heavily Jewish, but also includes a large Arab population (Paterson). I can't wait to see who runs against him.

Down to 50? Hopefully. But if you live in their districts, please send them letters (I know that people in Pascrell's district read this blog).

Israel Matzav: The Hamas 54 53 50?

Israel Matzav: Australia blocked shipments that may have had nuke parts

Australia blocked shipments that may have had nuke parts

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told his country's ABC public broadcaster on Thursday that his government has blocked three cargo shipments to Iran over the past few months out of suspicion that they contained parts for producing nuclear weapons.

"If you look at the threat to regional and global peace which Iran poses in its current nuclear weapons program, there is no alternative other than robust international action including in areas such as this," Rudd told public broadcaster ABC.

"We believe that national security, the national security interests of Australia, also demand this course of action," he added.

The center-left leader would not be drawn on the contents of the shipments, saying only that Australia had acted "because we believe we must play the role of a responsible international citizen."

The Australian newspaper reported that at least one of the banning orders, all made in recent months, blocked a cargo of pumps which could have been used to cool nuclear power plants.

"If you look at the status of Iran's nuclear weapons program, and their consistent thumbing of the nose to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the international community more broadly... there are no alternatives other than to maintain a hard line," Rudd said.

If only the Euroweenies, the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans felt the same way....

Israel Matzav: Australia blocked shipments that may have had nuke parts

Israel Matzav: The fruits of peace

The fruits of peace

Here's what happens to Egyptian reporters who interview the Israeli ambassador to Egypt (with which we have been at 'peace' for the last 30 years):

The Egyptian Journalists' Union has sanctioned two journalists who interviewed Israel's ambassador to Egypt, Shalom Cohen. Hussein Sarang, a veteran reporter, was suspended from his job for three months, and Hala Mustafa received a warning after interviewing Cohen in her office.

Israeli officials said that the sanctions were evidence that Egypt was "trying to erase the presence of Israel from the Egyptian consciousness."

Now doesn't that make you want to go out and give away more land for 'peace'?

Israel Matzav: The fruits of peace

Israel Matzav: Nobel prize winner slams 'settlement freeze'

Nobel prize winner slams 'settlement freeze'

Nobel Prize winner Yisrael Aumann is one of the clearest thinkers this country has. In an interview with Arutz Sheva this week, he slammed the 'settlement freeze.'

Speaking to INN TV's Yoni Kempinski about Prime Minister Netanyahu's 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria, Professor Aumann said "I think it's a very, very bad idea."

Professor Aumann went on to say he does not believe anyone – Jew or Arab – should be expelled from his home. He also said he is not opposed to making certain concessions to the Arabs if concessions are also given by them to Israel.

However, he felt strongly that the building freeze is not an instance of appropriate diplomacy. "It's not only immoral, it's stupid!" Aumann said. "It's stupid… because it says to the Arabs, 'you can continue to be intransigent and we will make one gesture, one capitulation after another.' We're giving the wrong signal."

"Just as Chamberlain gave the wrong signal to Hitler in Munich and Chamberlain brought about the Second World War – not Hitler, but Chamberlain brought about the Second World War, made it possible by his capitulation to Hitler in Munich – by sending a signal of weakness, we are encouraging intransigence and in fact, war, on the part of the Arabs. It's simply stupid," Aumann said.

He strongly chastised Israel for making unilateral moves in 2005 which were harmful to Jews and were not met with simultaneous moves towards peace from the Arabs. He called the Disengagement from the Jewish cities of Gush Katif in Gaza "immoral" and "criminal", and accused the Supreme Court of hypocrisy in allowing the program to take place, when it would "never have allowed, and rightly so, to expel even a few Arab famlies from their homes."

You can watch the full interview here.

Israel Matzav: Nobel prize winner slams 'settlement freeze'

Israel Matzav: Z Street to run counter-event to J Street at Penn Hillel

Z Street to run counter-event to J Street at Penn Hillel

Two weeks ago, I reported that the pro-Israel pro-'peace' J Street lobby was running an event at Penn Hillel on Thursday, February 4 - that would be today.

Pamela Geller reports that a new organization called Z Street, started by well-known political commentator and terrorism expert Laurie Lowenthal Marcus, will be running a counter event at Penn Hillel (apparently without the video hookups that J Street will unfortunately have to other cities) at the same time.

Two new organizations have entered the arena to claim title to the label “pro-Israel.” One of them is J Street, the multi-million dollar entity that sprang from the bosom of George Soros the billionaire enemy of Israel, and like-minded people. J Street’s novelty and unlimited dollars have enabled its manufacturers to put out a product branded “Pro-Israel and Pro-Peace,” when its real goal is to appease Israel’s enemies and have the current US administration impose an immediate Palestinian State in the region - because that’s what they think is best for the Palestinians.

The other new organization, Z STREET, is a young start-up with little money but with a sword that slices through J Street’s mellifluous phrases and falsehoods - the truth.

Using its unlimited bank account including contributions from enemies of Israel, J Street will be webcasting from Philadelphia to its satellite “locals.” This corporate roll-out builds on the base J Street acquired when it completed its takeover of Brit Tzedek V’Shalom - an older and poorer organization, one much less slick but at least honest about its commitment to give Israel’s terrorist enemies what they want.

Z STREET, the unabashedly Zionist group, is also having an event at the same time and in the same building. According to Z STREET founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus, “Our event, in contrast, isn’t intended to seduce people with smoke and money.”

“Instead,” Marcus explains, “Z STREET will expose the “Presto Palestine” peace plan, advocated by J Street, as a foolhardy disaster which would, if acted on, spell catastrophe for Israel, further destabilize the Middle East, and encourage the enemies of the West throughout the world.”

Dr. Mitchell Bard, author of “Myths and Facts” and director of the “Jewish Virtual Library” will be the featured Z STREET speaker.

I urge those of you who are in the Philadelphia area to attend.

Read the whole thing. Hillel's role in all this is nothing short of disgraceful.

Israel Matzav: Z Street to run counter-event to J Street at Penn Hillel

Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan's place

Andrew Sullivan's place


Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan's place

Israel Matzav: The universalization of the Holocaust

The universalization of the Holocaust

This week, in many countries throughout the World, Holocaust Memorial Day was observed. You may think it's a good thing that countries other than Israel are remembering the Holocaust. Sultan Knish thinks it's not a good thing (Hat Tip: Jeff Jacoby via Twitter).

Some have expressed wonderment that European countries and cities where Muslim persecution and violence is intimidating and driving out Jews at a rate unseen since the 1930's are still going through the farce of holding official ceremonies, nodding at how awful the whole thing was and beaming confidently that it can never happen again. But the humanist hijacking of the Holocaust is only another of the weapons used to promote tolerance toward Muslims, and intolerance toward Jews.

The universalization of the Holocaust was also the dejudaization of the Holocaust, turning the dwindling number of survivors into props in the great international classroom of tolerance, even as rocks are being thrown at their heads by the Muslim beneficiaries of that school of tolerance. All the while the humanist hijackers of the Holocaust who vociferously insist on using the murder of six million Jews as an illustration in their multicultural curriculum, angrily denounce any Jews who actually try to connect the hate toward Jews then and the hate toward Jews no. The same humanists who cynically exploit the Holocaust in their distorted version of history can always be counted on to jump up and denounce Jews for... exploiting the Holocaust.

But the Holocaust does indeed have a very important lesson to teach both Jews and non-Jews. Not the lesson of universal tolerance, but the lesson of the need for individuals and communities to be able to defend themselves.

Read the whole thing. I'm inclined to agree with him.

Israel Matzav: The universalization of the Holocaust

Israel Matzav: Video: Iran unveils new satellite

Israel Matzav: Video: Iran unveils new satellite

Israel Matzav: And to think his mother was a righteous gentile

And to think his mother was a righteous gentile

In a post that most of you probably read in the wee hours of Thursday morning (you do all stay up 24/6 to read my blog, don't you?), I was very critical of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's comparison of the 'Palestinians' plight with that of Jews in the Holocaust.

The Boston Globe adds another piece to that story in Thursday's editions (Hat Tip: Jeff Jacoby via Twitter).

Before Berlusconi spoke, Netanyahu hailed him "as a courageous leader who always stands by Israel's side."

He concluded a speech filled with praise for Berlusconi with a story of a heavily pregnant Italian woman who confronted a German officer during World War II and, at great peril to her own life, persuaded him to let an arrested Jewish woman go.

This woman's actions "saved the life of the Jewish woman and cast, if only for a brief moment, a scintilla of humanity and courage upon the great darkness that enveloped the whole of Europe at that time," Netanyahu said.

"That courageous woman's name was Rosa. And one of her children is called Silvio Berlusconi."

The two men embraced, and the Italian leader took out a white handkerchief to wipe tears from his eyes.

Wednesday marked the second anniversary of Rosa Bossi Berlusconi's death.

Berlusconi's mother would not have been pleased by what he said on Wednesday. Not pleased at all.

Israel Matzav: And to think his mother was a righteous gentile

Israel Matzav: Iron Dome won't be deployed in Sderot?

Iron Dome won't be deployed in Sderot?

Residents of Israel's South are outraged that Israel's new Iron Dome missile defense system may not be deployed in Sderot.

Residents of the south are up in arms over Wednesday's report in Haaretz that the Iron Dome system for defense against short-range rockets will not be deployed in Sderot, which has suffered heavy rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip over the last nine years, unless another war breaks out.

Sderot Mayor David Buskila hastened to demand clarifications from Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office.

"No final decision has been made on the matter," he said he was told. "But the very existence of a debate over the question of whether or not to deploy a system that would protect Sderot and other communities in the 'Gaza envelope' is insulting. It's inconceivable that after years of anticipation, a relevant, sophisticated defense system has been built, but Sderot residents will still not enjoy the quiet for which they've yearned for so long."

Inconceivable unless Iron Dome is not capable of protecting Sderot from missiles fired from Gaza.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was surprised to learn last Sunday that the Iron Dome defense system, which was approved last year and was supposed to protect Israel's citizens against Qassam rockets, is not capable of alleviating the distress of Sderot inhabitants. "Recent tests found the system to be effective against rockets fired from more than four kilometers away, but not against those fired from closer range," Haaretz noted that same day in its lead story. Because Sderot is less than two kilometers from Beit Hanun, from which the rockets are being fired, Iron Dome will be helpless against them.

The upshot is that the prime minister, who just two months ago declared that "we will not fortify ourselves to death," was compelled to approve recommendations to fortify 8,000 homes in Sderot and the communities of the "Gaza envelope," to the tune of NIS 300 million. Such protection is necessary because these homes lie within 4.5 kilometers of the Gaza Strip.

But a mere day later, it turned out that the plan was too ambitious and that budget shortfalls meant that only 3,600 homes in Sderot and the Gaza envelope can be fortified within the next two years. The solemn declarations to fortify the homes, revoked only hours later, are just the latest chapter in a gloomy saga replete with deception, lies, concealment of the truth from policymakers, groundless promises to Sderot residents, the unexplained rejection of the arguments for examining additional defense systems other than Iron Dome, and bizarre decisions made in the Defense Ministry.


The fact that Iron Dome is not effective against short-range rockets and therefore cannot protect Sderot was long known to the system's developers and to the Defense Ministry officials who chose to focus on it. For some reason, they decided not to go public with their information. When the Defense Ministry officials, led by the defense minister, promised that the residents of Sderot would be protected after the installation of the Iron Dome system, they knew they would not be able to deliver on this promise.

One need not be privy to classified information in order to understand that Iron Dome is not the solution to the Qassam rockets. The data are public knowledge: The Qassam's speed in the air is 200 meters per second. The distance from the edge of Beit Hanun to the outskirts of Sderot is 1,800 meters. Therefore, a rocket launched from Beit Hanun takes about nine seconds to hit Sderot. The developers of Iron Dome at Rafael Advance Defense Systems know that the preparations to simply launch the intercept missiles at their target take up to about 15 seconds (during which time the system locates the target, determines the flight path and calculates the intercept route). Obviously, then, the Qassam will slam into Sderot quite a number of seconds before the missile meant to intercept it is even launched.

Read the whole thing. Unless Iron Dome was improved, it's useless against rockets shot from a distance of less than 4.5 kilometers away. In other words, it's useless for much of the Gaza envelope.

Israel Matzav: Iron Dome won't be deployed in Sderot?

Israel Matzav: US Intel: Iran's ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload

US Intel: Iran's ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload

Well, isn't this just a fine piece of news....

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair told Congress on Tuesday that Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East and that it continues to improve and increase the amount of its ballistic missile forces.

Blair also said that many of Iran’s missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear payload.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: US Intel: Iran's ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload

Israel Matzav: The Left gives up on the 'Palestinians'?

The Left gives up on the 'Palestinians'?

Writing in Haaretz Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily, Ari Shavit acknowledges that the 'peace process' with the 'Palestinians' is dead.

When the Oslo process was at its height, a right-wing intellectual irked his left-wing friends by comparing Israel's peace movement to a girl trying to seduce a gay man. It caught the Palestinians' eye, but they never responded, they received a phone number but never called, they were invited to the bedroom but never showed up. They're simply not interested. Peace just doesn't do it for them. The two-state solution doesn't turn them on. But the peaceniks still don't get what their non-partner has made clear in a thousand and one ways. They go on stalking someone who has no interest in them. They want to be loved by someone who has no love to give.

A lot of water has flowed down the Yarkon River since our right-winger came up with his metaphor. The peace movement has melted away, several peace-making experiments have failed. But the one-sided-courtship syndrome has endured. Israelis, Europeans and Americans continue to waste precious time trying to get the Palestinians into the bridal bed, even though they don't want to go there. They put on their powder, makeup and perfume to try to arouse the Palestinians' peace-process libido, but there is no such thing. Although this unrequited love is already 20 years old, it won't die down. Paradoxically, it helps perpetuate the occupation.

Unable to acknowledge that the problem may not be capable of resolution, Shavit hits on two solutions. One is to unilaterally give the 'Palestinians' a state in all but name:

After 20 years, there is a clear conclusion: To really partition the country, a new diplomatic strategy is called for. Coordinated unilateral processes must be launched that will constrict the occupation while building a new Palestinian society. It must be understood that only after most Palestinians are living in a free space of their own that offers them a sane existence will the conditions ripen to enable them to choose true peace.

Yes, of course. If the 'Palestinians' have a good life, they will suddenly be willing to make concessions that will allow them to live in peace and harmony alongside us. Funny, that's not what Abu Bluff told Jackson Diehl in May.

In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank -- though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert "accepted the principle" of the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees -- something no previous Israeli prime minister had done -- and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert's peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it's almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further.

Abbas turned it down. "The gaps were wide," he said.

Abbas and his team fully expect that Netanyahu will never agree to the full settlement freeze -- if he did, his center-right coalition would almost certainly collapse. So they plan to sit back and watch while U.S. pressure slowly squeezes the Israeli prime minister from office. "It will take a couple of years," one official breezily predicted. Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession -- such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Instead, he says, he will remain passive. "I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements," he said. "Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life."

There is no basis for Shavit's assertion that living a 'good life' will suddenly make the 'Palestinians' magnanimous. If anything, the opposite is likely true.

But like the last of the dying breed of Israeli Leftists, Shavit (who is actually one of the saner writers at Haaretz) can't leave well enough alone. And so, he proposes a second solution to his problem: Giving the Golan Heights to Syria.

But there is also another clear conclusion: There will be no dramatic breakthrough on the Palestinian track in the near future, so a breakthrough on the Syrian track must be initiated [WHY THE URGENCY? CiJ]. Because of the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the only chance for generating change lies in the north. There is no certainty at all that peace is in the offing. But if it is, it is to be found not in Ramallah but in Damascus.

But the Syrians have even less of a constituency for 'peace' than do the 'Palestinians,' as even Shavit acknowledges.

The problem is basically political. Peace with Syria has no party and no leader. And it has no libido. Oddly, the remnants of the Israeli left relate to peace with Syria like some kind of stepchild. Their passion is for the Palestinians, not the Syrians. The ardent courting is all aimed at the disinterested Palestinians. Even today, Israel is expending most of its peace-seeking energy on a useless effort to cajole the wrong neighbor.

Shavit is right about one thing: It is time for a change of course. But not the change he has in mind. It's time to fold up the 'peace tent' and get on with our lives until and unless there is actually someone willing to make real compromises for real peace on the other side. And I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Israel Matzav: The Left gives up on the 'Palestinians'

Israel Matzav: Bloodthirsty? Me? Russia Today thinks so

Bloodthirsty? Me? Russia Today thinks so

I was interviewed last Thursday by Russia Today, an English language television station, about a poll whose results I posted on this blog last month. It was actually the second time I was interviewed - the first time the interview didn't come out. What you will see in the video is only a short part of what I said - they did not use my references to the Goldstone Report. And I would gladly debate Inna Michaeli (who is not representative of most Israelis) anytime or anywhere.

By the way, I was NOT interviewed by Paula Slier - they have another reporter here who interviewed me who does not appear in the video.

I'm kind of surprised to see that it already has over 3800 views (and over 300 comments) just a day after it went up.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Marzutra).

In case you're wondering: What I said about Goldstone was that after we were condemned (using lies about a massacre) for how the IDF handled Jenin, and after we got the Goldstone Report for trying to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, many Israelis are convinced that we will be condemned no matter how we fight our battles with the 'Palestinians,' and therefore we should worry less about collateral damage to civilians (I would never condone targeting civilians and the IDF does not do that) and more about doing the job thoroughly.

If you don't understand the title of this post, look at the title that Russia Today gave to the video.

Israel Matzav: Bloodthirsty? Me? Russia Today thinks so

Israel Matzav: Separated at birth?

Separated at birth?

Now that I look at them, the politics are similar but they don't look so much alike.

What do you all think?

Israel Matzav: Separated at birth?

Israel Matzav: Good news: Four new roadblocks on 443

Good news: Four new roadblocks on 443

In December, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the government has to open Route 443 to 'Palestinian' traffic, and gave the IDF five months to formulate a plan to secure the road against terror attacks. On Wednesday, the IDF announced what it plans to do.

The erection of new roadblocks and watchtowers, as well as increased military patrols, are part of the IDF’s proposed security plan for Route 443 ahead of its planned opening to Palestinian traffic in the coming months.

According to details of the plan under consideration by the IDF and obtained by The Jerusalem Post, the Defense Ministry is recommending the construction of four new roadblocks near the Palestinian villages of Harbata and Beit Sira and at the entrance to the settlements of Beit Horon and Givat Ze’ev.

In December, the High Court of Justice ordered the IDF to open Route 443, which links Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv, to Palestinian traffic. The road was closed in 2002 following a spate of terror attacks along it that killed six people. Until then, the road had served as many as 55,000 Palestinians living in several villages along the length of the highway, including Beit Sira, Safa, Beit Ur a-Tahta and Khirbet el-Misbah.

The court gave the IDF five months to make preparations to open a 14-kilometer section of Road 443 that is between two checkpoints – one called Maccabim, near Modi’in, and the other on the opposite side, near Jerusalem.

In other words, we will have six checkpoints in a 14-kilometer stretch of road, which means that 443 will slow to a crawl.

IDF sources recognized that the new security measures would likely cause major traffic jams for commuters traveling on the four-lane highway.

“This is a problem but our primary concern is to ensure the public’s safety and to do that we need to make sure that Palestinians traveling on the road can’t enter settlements without inspections,” one officer said.

The IDF is concerned that once opened, Palestinian terrorists will use the road to launch attacks against Israeli drivers. In addition to potential shooting attacks, the IDF is also concerned with the possibility that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) will be planted along the highway. In December, security forces discovered the remains of an IED – made of a gas balloon and firecrackers – that had gone off along the road.

Especially with the tunnel road that allows most of the traffic from Northern Jerusalem that would have used Route 443 to bypass the main entrance to Jerusalem and its bottleneck (Route 443 joins Route 1 just before Ben Gurion Airport), most of the traffic will go back to using Route 1 (the main Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway) and make it even more congested than it is already. And that's assuming no terror attacks on 443.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Good news: Four new roadblocks on 443

Israel Matzav: Debate: Should the US step back from its special relationship with Israel?

Debate: Should the US step back from its special relationship with Israel?

COMMENTARY readers in the New York area are welcomed to participate in an impassioned live debate next Tuesday (Feb 9) in Manhattan. The topic of contention will be whether the U.S. should step back from its special relationship with Israel. Roger Cohen and Rashid Khalidi, no surprise there, will argue that it should. Countering their arguments and defending the diplomatic affinity between the U.S. and the Jewish state will be Stuart Eizenstat and Itamar Rabinovich.

For more information about the live event, visit its organizers’ website: if you purchase tickets now you can save 30% by using the code 30OFF at checkout.

If you go, please send me a report.

Israel Matzav: Debate: Should the US step back from its special relationship with Israel?

Israel Matzav: Exposing the New Israel Fund

Exposing the New Israel Fund

This is my fourth post about the New Israel Fund financing organizations that wrote much of the Goldstone Report - my most recent previous post is here.

Noah Pollak posts an English translation of an article by Ben Dror Yemini that appeared in Maariv on Tuesday.

The New Israel Fund is part of the global deception campaign. It does not deal with human rights but with denying one people’s right to self-determination.

The New Israel Fund is angry. It thinks that it is correct to spread false testimony about the State of Israel. It thinks that it is OK to participate in the demonization campaign of groups whose goal is to eliminate Israel. It thinks that it is OK to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission, even though it was established by the automatic majority of dark countries that controls the “UN Human Rights Council.” It thinks that it is OK for Israel to cooperate with the Commission even though no country in the free world supported its establishment. It is certainly legitimate, in a democratic country, to do all these things.

But there is something else that is also legitimate: Expose the truth about the Fund and the groups that falsely carry the description “human rights.” If most of the political groups that are supported by the Fund do not recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state – do not say human rights. Tell the truth: Denial of rights only for Jews. The Palestinians have the right to a state, a national state, of their own, just as the Croats, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks and other peoples do – but not the Jews.

Israel Matzav: Exposing the New Israel Fund



Norm has been thinking rather a lot recently about the UK public discussion about the war in Iraq. In a nutshell, there's a large and influential group of people for whom the wrongness and illegality of the war are the starting point of any discussion; all that remains thereafter is to condemn or praise people or actions according to their relationship to the fundamental truth. Today's installment:

There were, of course, certain facts of the matter about the war, certain unambiguous truths, as there are about more or less anything. But the justificatory arguments on both sides appealed to a range, not only of facts, not only of projections of the likely consequences of one or another course of action, but also to moral and political principles - concerning the general justifications for war, the application of international law to this case, the force of international law, the demands of solidarity in the face of tyranny, the proper circumstances of humanitarian intervention - that do not map neatly on to any simple story about the occurrence of an act of adultery or theft or political kidnapping. But never mind all that, hey. The truth is just as we declare it to be. That has been the arrogance of anti-war groupthink in the last few years. In the mouth of any liberal it is a precious victory handed to the partisans of the one and only Party Line.

I don't mean to be gratuitously insulting but Macintyre's column belongs in the pages of the Guardian.

Eventually the whole thing becomes very depressing. There's a whole class of Brits, apparently, who have lost the ability to think, or even to recognize the right of others to do so. If you don't see things our way, you must be deranged. Worse: evil. (Merely deranged is to be pitied; there's no pity in this discussion).

There's a noticeable overlap, of course, between the educated British elites who have surrendered their cognitive abilities for the fuzzy warm feeling of righteousness on Iraq, and the educated British elites who have surrendered their cognitive abilities for the warm fuzzy feeling of moral superiority regarding the Jews as actors in history.

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Bloggers Aren't Very Important

Bloggers Aren't Very Important

Andrew Sullivan, about as popular a blogger as you'll find, had 11,000,000 page views in January (9 million the previous month). Page views aren't people, of course, but even if they were that comes out to about 350,000 a day. Let's say, by approximation, 0.1% of the American population (not to mention that some of his readers aren't Americans). This means, to put it mildly, that most people don't read Andrew. I'll go out on a limb here and say, most people have never heard of Andrew. And he's one of the biggest around, I repeat.

For all the self congratulatory stuff bloggers like to write about the demise of the mainstream media and all that, maybe the case isn't sealed yet.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

A Tale of Two Foreign Ministers

A Tale of Two Foreign Ministers

Avigdor Lieberman this morning demonstrated once again why Netanyahu should get rid of him, when he launched a blunt series of threats at the Assad regime, saying that if there's another war between Israel and Syrian, not only will Syria lose, the Assad family will also lose.

Lieberman is probably right that a threat to the regime will probably worry them, since they care about that more than most things. He's probably wrong that Israel could make it happen. In any case, it's exactly the kind of talk a foreign minister - the top diplomat, for crying out loud! - is expected not to make. There are good things one could say about LIeberman, but he's clearly in the wrong job.

Will Netanyahu get rid of him? He should. Given the composition of the present Knesset, he can, too. He could reposition himself a bit to the center (where he personally already almost is); this would cost him about 25 MKs from his present coalition, including even the Ztipi Hotobeli wing of his own party. In return, it would bring him some 33 MKs from Kadima and the Shelli-Yehimovich wing of the Labor party. But he won't, Netanyahu. It would be too bold a step for his image.

Meanwhile, Lieberman's idiotic comments were a response to the comments of Walid Mualem, his Syrian counterpart. Mualem yesterday threatened not Israel's military, nor its leaders. He brazenly threatened the civilians in its cities.

"Israel knows that if it declares war on Syria, such a war will reach its cities as well," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Wednesday following his meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos.

That's right. The second most important man in the Syrian government announced that his country will purposefully target the citizens of Israel's cities, should hostilities break out. I expect Amnesty, HRW, the UN, and all the usual suspects will loudly condemn this threat - assuming they ever hear about it. It's not to be found at the BBC, NYT, or Guardian websites this mornings; I guess it's not newsworthy. Just as Lieberman's outburst also won't be newsworthy tomorrow.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Jews in East Jerusalem

Jews in East Jerusalem

Lots of people know about Sheikh Jarra, where a long legal process eventually resulted in the eviction of a few Palestinian families who refused to pay rent; they were replaced by Jews. Palestinians in the same building who do pay are still there, and not going anywhere. This is turning into a cause célèbre for the anti-Israel crowd.

Meanwhile, about two miles to the south the opposite story has finished its wending through the courts. A Jewish group purchased a plot of land in the Arab section of Silwan and built a seven-story apartment building there. They called it Beit Yonatan, Jonathan's House, in honor of Jonathan Pollard. In this case, it was the Jews who lost the ensuing court case; my understanding is that they built significantly higher than the zoning rules allow, in their attempt to fit as many Jews as possible into the little space they had acquired.

The mayor, Nir Barkat, has been dragging his feet in complying to the court order to evict the Jews and seal the building. I know the mayor personally, though not that well; some people I know know him very well. I believe him when he says his intention was to hammer out an agreement that would resolve all the illegal building issues in Silwan; that's the way he works. The State Prosecutor, however, isn't an elected politician, he's a lawyer, and he has been demanding that the mayor follow the law first, and perhaps resolve the larger issue later. So the mayor has announced he'll comply: he'll enforce all the court decisions, those against the Jews and those against the Arabs - although, he warns, enforcing the decisions against Palestinians will probably lead to riots. (And undoubtedly they'll lead to wall-to-wall condemnation of Israel, from the White House down).

It's like watching a train wreck about to happen.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

RubinReports: Two EU Leaders: Complaints about Obama; Fought Against the West Having Nuclear Weapons; Now Indifferent to Iran Having Them

Two EU Leaders: Complaints about Obama; Fought Against the West Having Nuclear Weapons; Now Indifferent to Iran Having Them

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By Barry Rubin

Remarkable statements have just been made by Europe's two highest leaders which reveal a lot about what's really going on right now.

First, EU Council President Miguel Angel Moratinos, who is also Spain's foreign minister, showed that while President Barack Obama and his many American supporters think that by bending over backward he has done a great job making Europe happy with the United States again that hasn't happened. “Europe needs to show Washington it exists, and not fear being marginalized on the world stage,” Moratinos complained.

Europe today is always on the defensive, he continued, but should stop fearing the United States, and China, too, for that matter. He was angry because Obama said he would not attend a U.S.-EU summit in May.

Meanwhile, the EU's own foreign minister provides another example of lack of cooperation with Washington and, if one knows the background, a sign of how ridiculous much Western policy on the Middle East is. Consider this bland item:

“EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has cautioned against any hasty European move to slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, while announcing she is assuming the role of international intermediary on the issue.

“In an interview with AFP Ashton distanced herself from the position of some EU nations, such as France, which are pushing for extra sanctions to be imposed on Tehran which the West suspects of seeking to develop nuclear arms under cover of a civil energy program.”

"`We're not moving quickly on anything,’" she said, emphasizing the need for a UN Security Council decision.”

Now if you don’t know the background this story is serious in its own right. The EU is in no hurry to put sanctions on Iran; the U.S. government is in no hurry to put sanctions on Iran. But Iran is in a hurry to get nuclear weapons.

That’s bad enough. But there’s another dimension. For many years, Ashton was a leader of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. During the height of the Cold War she advocated Western unilateral disarmament in the face of the Soviet threat. From her standpoint, the United States and United Kingdom couldn’t get rid of nuclear weapons fast enough. Ashton wanted to ban the bomb when it came to the United States or Great Britain, Iran is apparently more trustworthy.

Now she favors real caution when it comes to the radical, aggressive Islamist dictatorship in Iran getting nuclear weapons. No hurry here; let’s not exaggerate the threat, she says.

In each case, she has favored energetic activism against Western power to weaken it, coupled with giving every benefit to its enemies.

I don’t want to imply she is saying she opposes sanctions forever. The United States is also ready to go to the UN for a resolution. But she does want to go real slow and is very unenthusiastic about doing anything, sounding like the Russians and Chinese. In contrast, the British, French, German, and Italian governments seem more willing to move faster and do more than does Obama. But since the U.S. government wants to have the entire EU on board for the sanctions, her stance creates problems as it means almost any small European country can sabotage the process.

RubinReports: Two EU Leaders: Complaints about Obama; Fought Against the West Having Nuclear Weapons; Now Indifferent to Iran Having Them

Elder of Ziyon: Buy from Costco!

Elder of Ziyon: Buy from Costco!

Elder of Ziyon: Daily Show on Hamas cartoons

Elder of Ziyon: Daily Show on Hamas cartoons

Elder of Ziyon: A new Israeli keffiyeh kerfuffle

A new Israeli keffiyeh kerfuffle

A Jewish Brooklyn website is advertising "the first ever Israeli Keffiyeh!"

Here is the rationale from Shemspeed's founder, Erez Safar:

My family originates from Yemen, where my ancestors had lived for close to 2,000 years. Nearly 100 years ago, my Grandmother’s side of the family decided to move to Adis Ababa, Ethiopia and then to Israel, in 1933 (Southern Syria/Mandate Palestine at the time). On my Grandfather’s side, our family emigrated to Israel in 1924. Jews indigenous to the Middle East, such as my family is, have worn some variation of the “kefyah” (cap/kippah) and keffiyah (head/neck scarves) for thousands of years. The original purpose of the scarves, was to provide protection from the sun and sand. We have had some Arab friends take offense to our new scarf-remix. In response to such, I thought it was essential to release this statement in order to clarify the historical facts on the ground and, to provide some context. I as a Jew am not offended by the Pope who wears a “kippah” and in the same respect, I don’t feel there is any reason for anyone taking offense to a Jewish person wearing a version of the Keffiyah which they identify with; especially considering the significance of this article of clothing in both of all of our histories. There are numerous variations of the Keffiyah today; the red and white Keffiyah is associated with Jordan and worn throughout the Middle East and Somalia and have been worn by Bedouins for centuries. The black and white Keffiyah, idolized in the 1960s by Yasser Arafat, has become the symbol of the Palestinian resistance movement. The way that symbols are politicized and used to divide people, rather than as common ground for discussion and dialogue is exactly the kind of thought-provoking topic that we at Shemspeed explore with our music, as well as our programming. Our Israeli remix of the Keffiyeh, available through Shemspeed, is just one more interpretation of a scarf worn by our brothers for thousands of years. We hope you enjoy them.

And not everyone is amused. After the UAE National newspaper picked up on the story from the Jerusalem Post, the Kipp Report whines:

Safar knows exactly what he’s doing. The ‘Israeli’ keffiyeh has not been created to keep off the notoriously hot sun or blinding sandstorms that hit Brooklyn at this time of year. It’s an attempt to make a mockery of this symbol of Palestinian nationalism.

As The National points out today, the likely row over a ‘Jewish’ keffiyeh will be the latest in a series of clashes over cultural symbols in the Middle East. In 2008, for example, a group of Lebanese businessmen announced plans to sue Israel to stop it from marketing hummus and tabouleh as ‘Israeli’.

But the creation of the ‘Israeli’ keffiyeh has somewhat raised the stakes. Safar has taken direct aim at this instantly-recognizable Arab symbol, and personal trademark of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Are these “young, hip US Jews” simply deluded, or are they being consciously antagonistic?

There is some deja vu here. A British company has been marketing the Keffiyeh Israelit (pictured, right) for years - and the Arabs have been complaining about it for just as long. (The British manufacturer used to visit and comment here.)

And the reason that Palestinian Arabs don't like Jews co-opting their keffiyeh? Because it symbolizes PalArab "resistance" - terrorism!

Meanwhile, in Nablus, the PalArabs are trying to set a new Guinness world record by creating the world's largest keffiyeh, 500 meters long. The Friends of Palestine group, which is sponsoring it, plans to complete the project in March and then will bring the scarf to refugee camps to cheer people up.

Elder of Ziyon: A new Israeli keffiyeh kerfuffle

Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian editors punished for talking with Israelis

Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian editors punished for talking with Israelis

Elder of Ziyon: Thursday links

Elder of Ziyon: Thursday links

A Soldier's Mother: What is a Miss?

A Soldier's Mother: What is a Miss?

RUA DA JUDIARIA - Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen

Rua da Judiaria - Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen

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DoubleTapper: Israeli Security Training

Israeli Security Training

Numerous Private Security Companies throughout Israel offer various training courses to Security Officers from around the world. Training Courses offered in Israel can last anywhere from a week to a month and cover all aspects of security training at all levels.

Security Training in Israel give security operators the chance to learn from Israeli experts from all branches of the IDF and Israel's security services. In addition, Trainees are exposed to Cutting edge Israeli security and weapons products, and techniques.

Here are some promotional videos and pictures

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Send me an email and let me know if you'd like more information on Security Courses and Training in Israel.

DoubleTapper: Israeli Security Training

The Torah Revolution: Secular galore

The Torah Revolution: Secular galore

Chester Chronicles - How a “Nice American Girl” Became a Jihadist: Dr. Siddiqui Found Guilty

How a “Nice American Girl” Became a Jihadist: Dr. Siddiqui Found Guilty

She studied at MIT and at Brandeis where she received a Ph.D in Neuroscience. Thus, she was both an educated and in some sense, a westernized woman. Both her Pakistani-born father and Pakistani husband are physicians who trained in the West, in England and America, respectively; her brother and sister are also highly trained professionals. Nevertheless, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui learned to hate America, hate Jews, and hate Israel right here in liberal America.

Aafia Siddiqui

Like a small but increasing number of “westernized” Muslim women, Aafia Siddiqui joined her local mosque (in her case, the Roxbury, MA mosque) and started to veil, and as she did, her ambitions became aggressively jihadic. This is not a contradiction. Obediently veiled Muslim women can be very aggressive, murderously so. They certainly police other women in savage and self-righteous ways in Iran and Indonesia. In Iraq, veiled Muslim women have blown up other Muslim female religious pilgrims. And, Muslim women who were normatively spurned by their mothers were manipulated by Samira Jassim, an attentive, “loving” Iraqi mother-figure, who carefully turned them into suicide killers.

Samira Jassim

Women are very aggressive—but usually towards other women. I have written about this in Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman. Traditionally, women do not go up against men whom they view as their potential protectors and as more powerful than they are. Ironically, Islamic jihad wishes to reverse, upend, both Nature and human evolutionary history. Just as normatively degraded mothers are “turned” into hero-mothers who publicly praise their suicide killer sons—just so, are normatively self-hating women “turned” into Al-Qaeda heroines who not only directly attack men, but who directly attack infidel male soldiers.

Although Al-Qaeda officially wants its women to breed and bear future male jihadists and to keep the homes and secrets of Al-Qaeda warriors, they have now publicly called for women suicide killers. The West has been threatened with a horde of veiled suicide killers, both male and female.

Today, the Islamic Veil is not a religious symbol—read Marnia Lazreg on this. The Veil is a politically manipulated symbol of jihad. The French understand this and are trying to ban or limit the Islamic Veil, which they view as a security risk as well as a human rights violation. The Americans had better start this conversation now, not later.

Dr. Siddiqui tried to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan after “she’d been captured with instructions on making explosives and a list of New York landmarks in her possession, including the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.”

After jurors found her guilty in United States District Court, Siddiqui turned and faced them, held her index finger aloft and said: “This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America. That’s where the anger belongs.”

Siddiqui’s lawyers claim that she did not try to shoot anyone, that she was trying to escape, and that secret imprisonment by the Americans had led her to lose her mind and accounted for her continual outbursts in the courtroom.

Some people, including her lawyers, insist that she is “mentally ill.” People are saying the same thing about Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. He has been said to suffer from a non-existent condition: “pre-post traumatic stress syndrome.”

Siddiqui had continually demanded that no Jews be allowed to take part in her trial. She wanted the jurors to be genetically tested to prove they were not Jewish. I dunno. She sounds like a follower of Adolph Hitler to me. What difference does it make if we conclude that Hitler and his good German followers were “mentally ill?” Even if they were, the harm they did, through both acts of omission and commission, were radically evil and criminal. Caliphate dreams are no different than Hitler’s dream of a Thousand Year Reich.

As soon as Major Hasan was conscious, he invoked his rights to a lawyer. The last words out of Siddiqui’s mouth were: “This verdict is coming from Israel.”

Either we judge jihadists by their own cultural standards (ironically, this is the politically correct position), or we diminish those cultural standards and judge them by our concept of “mental illness” which, in criminal cases, is often used to obtain sympathy for the devil.

Note: In a long article about Dr. Siddiqui, a former MIT student described her as “nice;” Imam Abdullah Faruuq, of the Roxbury Mosque, said “She was an American girl and a good sister.”

Chester Chronicles - How a “Nice American Girl” Became a Jihadist: Dr. Siddiqui Found Guilty

Free Speech on Trial: 15 Defense Witnesses Disallowed - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Free Speech on Trial: 15 Defense Witnesses Disallowed - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Obama Mentor Edley Slams Rahm Emanuel - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Obama Mentor Edley Slams Rahm Emanuel - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu: Negotiations with PA to Restart in Coming Weeks - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu: Negotiations with PA to Restart in Coming Weeks - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

J'lem Mayor to Seal Beit Yehonatan %u2013 And Raze 200 Arab Homes - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

J'lem Mayor to Seal Beit Yehonatan %u2013 And Raze 200 Arab Homes - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Mike Huckabee Praises Israel, Urges US to Refocus on Iran - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Mike Huckabee Praises Israel, Urges US to Refocus on Iran - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

More Than 25% of Knesset Joins 'Land of Israel Forum' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

More Than 25% of Knesset Joins 'Land of Israel Forum' - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

More Al-Qaeda Attacks in Store for U.S.? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

More Al-Qaeda Attacks in Store for U.S.? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Fatah terrorist visits Hamastan for the first time in three years

Fatah terrorist visits Hamastan for the first time in three years

Fatah terrorist Nabil Shaath is visiting Hamastan for three days - the first time a senior Fatah terrorist has visited since Hamas overthrew the Fatah 'government' in 2007.

Shaath handed his passport to Hamas border guards for registration, in a symbolic recognition of Hamas authority. Shaath said the trip had the blessing of Fatah's leader, Palestinian Authorty President Mahmoud Abbas.

Shaath plans to meet Hamas leaders, but says he won't begin reconciliation talks while in the territory. A member of Shaath's group, West Bank businessman Munib al-Masri, met with Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

Anyone want to bet that the West will deal with a 'reconciled' Fatah and Hamas? The only party that might not deal with a combined entity is Israel.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Fatah terrorist visits Hamastan for the first time in three years

Love of the Land: Arguments "Ad Hominem" and "By Ethnic Identity" in Defense of Goldstone Report

Arguments "Ad Hominem" and "By Ethnic Identity" in Defense of Goldstone Report

Alan M. Dershowitz
Hudson New York
03 February '10

Even before the Goldstone Report was released, Richard Goldstone was arguing for its credibility by invoking his Jewishness, his Zionism, his daughter’s residence in Israel and his connection to Hebrew University. It was the mirror image of the classic fallacy known as the argument ad hominem, which is defined as follows: A substantive argument should not be rejected solely because of who has offered it.

It follows of course from this fallacy that an argument should also not be accepted because of who offered it.

A close relative of the ad hominem fallacy is what I have called “the argument by ethnic identity,” which I have defined as follows: An anti-Israel argument is made stronger if offered by a Jew. (“See, even a Jews agrees that…)

These are precisely the fallacious arguments being offered in defense of the Goldstone report by Richard Goldstone and his supporters. Goldstone has even elicited his daughter’s help. This is what she has said: “Had Richard Goldstone not served as the head of the UN inquiry into the Gaza War, the accusations against Israel would have been harsher.” She continued. “My father took on the job, for peace, for everyone and also for Israel.” She told the Jerusalem Post, “My dad loves Israel and it wasn’t easy for him to see and hear what happened. I think he heard and saw things he didn’t expect to see and hear….”

The problem is not what Goldstone saw and heard. It’s what he willfully and deliberately refused to see and hear. He refused to watch videotapes, easily accessible on the internet, that show conclusively that Hamas terrorists routinely fired rockets from behind human shields. He refused to credit eye witness reports published by refutable newspapers and even admissions by Hamas leaders. He willfully refused to listen to the testimony of one of the world’s leading experts on how democratic militaries fight asymmetrical warfare against terrorists who hide behind civilians, who said:

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Arguments "Ad Hominem" and "By Ethnic Identity" in Defense of Goldstone Report

Israel Matzav: Geert Wilders on Israel

Geert Wilders on Israel

Is he the only person in Europe who gets it?

“The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.”


Israel Matzav: Geert Wilders on Israel

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

Here's Yaakov Shwekey singing a song with a bit of English, a bit of Hebrew and a bit of Yiddish (and Hebrew subtitles). It's a prayer at the Cave of Machpeila in Hebron (although the pictures come from other places too).

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Global warming coming to Jerusalem?

Global warming coming to Jerusalem?

I can tell you that right now, it's raining, windy and in the low '40's. The temperatures are going to have to drop a bit for this to happen.

The Jerusalem Municipality says it has completed its operational preparations for the snow expected to fall in the capital on Thursday.

55 snowplows, salt sprinklers and tractors are currently making their way to neighborhood emergency centers throughout the city. The municipality reported that its emergency department will be open Wednesday night as will its 106 hotline.

Wednesday night a decision will be made regarding the closing of schools in the capital on Thursday. An announcement will be published in the media prior to 06:00 AM.


You know what they say in the alter haim (the old home)?

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Global warming coming to Jerusalem?
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