Sunday, 7 February 2010

Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan's love affair with Hamas

Andrew Sullivan's love affair with Hamas

The picture and caption below constituted Andrew Sullivan's 'face of the day' on Friday.


A young Palestinian man is measured at a Hamas police recruitment center in Gaza City on February 3, 2010. Thousands of young men arrived to be tested by the Islamist movement Hamas security forces for a chance to enter the police academy. By Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.
Bad news Andrew: Hamas police = Hamas terrorist. That's right. They're one and the same. This Hamas 'police recruit' whose picture you put up isn't quite like a police recruit in Boston or New York or London, although that's the impression the picture is trying to give, and by extension that you are trying to give.

Or perhaps, it just doesn't bother you that you're lauding a terror organization. Eh?

Israel Matzav: Andrew Sullivan's love affair with Hamas

Israel Matzav: Political correctness run rampant in the UK

Political correctness run rampant in the UK

Cambridge University's Israel Society canceled a talk by historian Benny Morris last week after being threatened by the school's Islamic Society.

The Cambridge University Israel Society (IS) has cancelled a talk by Israeli historian Benny Morris, a man who has written extensively about the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.

Why? Because the leading scholar on the Arab-Israeli Wars has been accused of Islamophobia. The IS commitment to free speech crumbled in the face of denunciations from a few students, most of them in the Islamic Society. A few of the faculty joined in. Publicity stunt? Misguided? Whatever - it's a mess.

The Israel Society apologised for any 'unintended' offence it may have caused and mumbled something about placing the feelings of those who might be offended above the right of the speaker to be heard. That is an interesting position given that just about everyone can be offended by something, so we better all be quiet.

...

You can make the argument that the IS should not have invited Mr Morris, but that is to miss the point. A hate campaign against all things Israeli has infected the campuses of Britain and in turn is in danger of engendering a climate in which Voltaire's maxim is changed to 'I will defend to the death your right to say something as long as I agree with it'. The anti-Israel crowd frequently resorts to bullying tactics.

Of course, when Jews are offended, no one particularly cares. This is from the JPost.

Morris was scheduled to speak to students at the university on Thursday, but following a campaign led by anti-Israel activist Ben White the Israel Society canceled the talk. Instead Morris was invited to speak at an event hosted by the university’s Department of Political and International Studies.

White, who graduated from the university in 2005 and authored the book Israeli Apartheid: A Beginners Guide, set up a protest page on Facebook in which he claimed that “on different occasions, Morris has expressed Islamophobic and racist sentiments towards Arabs and Muslims.”

He added: “We find it offensive and appalling that an official student society would want to invite such an individual.”

Following the Facebook protest, a letter was sent to the student union by the university’s Islamic Society, other students and two staff members from the English Department asking it to take a stand and show it is serious “in opposing bigotry and Islamophobia.” The 15 signatories said Morris’s views were “abhorrent and offensive.

“The issue is hate speech, and the impact of a visit by this individual on the campus’ atmosphere for the student body’s minority groups... His visit is insulting, threatening to Arab and Muslim students in particular and also goes against the spirit of the student union’s stated anti-Islamophobia policy,” the letter read.

Last year, Cambridge’s Palestine Society hosted Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. In 2008, Atwan said the terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed and 15 were wounded, was “justified” as the school was responsible for “hatching Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.”

Read the whole thing.

Anyone want to take bets on how soon England becomes Judenrein?

Israel Matzav: Political correctness run rampant in the UK

Love of the Land: B’Tselem And Bad Arguments

B’Tselem And Bad Arguments


Eamonn McDonagh
Z-Word Blog
05 February '10

I received an e-mail circular from B’Tselem today about Israel’s policies towards Gaza. The first substantial argument offered is this:

“The siege of Gaza is causing enormous suffering among innocents, and it’s hard to see how that deprivation can be justified,” said Uri Zaki, B’Tselem’s USA Director. “International law, as well as basic human and Israeli values, demands that Israel do its utmost to address its legitimate security concerns without inflicting unnecessary harm to the civilians of Gaza. The current policy doesn’t come close to meeting that standard.” Gazans’ rights to minimal standards of food security, shelter, health, education and to travel are protected under international law. These needs should not be held hostage to security and political issues.


I could quibble about the adjective “enormous” but I won’t. The argument is basically sound. To respond to it, the government of Israel would have to accept its premises, that is, it would have to say that the harm it’s causing to Gazans is not unnecessary and/or that it’s exaggerated and that in any case it’s the only viable option for protecting its security. I’m not saying that any of this is true or false, just that the way B’Tselem sets out its arguments obliges the government of Israel to put its case in terms of human rights.

Now let’s turn to the next set of arguments:

Israel’s closure policy is designed to weaken Hamas’ hostile leadership, to persuade Hamas to cease firing rockets at civilian targets in Israel, and to release Corporal Gilad Shalit. However, the closure has instead harmed Israel’s security by strengthening Hamas and adding to tensions that threaten renewed violence.



(Read full post)


Love of the Land: B’Tselem And Bad Arguments

Israel Matzav: Physicians, heal thyselves!

Physicians, heal thyselves!

The doctor whose picture appears in this post has nothing to do with it - he's just the first one whose picture popped up on a Google image search.

Writing at Pajamas Media, National Post of Canada's Barbara Kay cites a study that documents the biases of the British medical profession against Israel.

To prove that bias amongst British medical research elites is systemic rather than random, a group of Israeli medical academics, led by Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, editor-in-chief of the Israeli Medical Association Journal, assessed coverage of conflict-related deaths around the world.

Their study analyzed citations in the British Medical Journal, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association, finding that: for Europeans killing Europeans (Bosnia), there was one citation for every 2,000 deaths; for Africans killing Africans (Rwanda), one citation for every 4,000 deaths; for Arabs killing black Africans (Darfur), one citation for every 7,000 deaths; for Arab Muslims killing Kurds, no citation whatsoever; yet, for Israelis killing Palestinians, one citation for every 13 deaths.

Unfortunately, it's not just the British medical journals either.

And so now the gangrene is everywhere, even in my own backyard. Canadian scientific scholarship is generally widely respected and used to be entirely credible. But as early as 2004 the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published an article, “Prevalence of Psychological Morbidity in West Bank Palestinian Children,” whose thrust is to blame the Israeli occupation for the psychological problems of Palestinian children. The methodology is transparently shoddy and no attempt is made to obscure the partisanship governing the focus. Any objective study would have sought to compare data about the suffering of Israeli children under constant threat of (and actual) terrorism. Worse, from a scientific point of view, not a single one of the authors is academically accredited in psychology or psychiatry. It took months before a letter of rebuttal was accepted for publication. By then the damage was done.

And as usual, they ignore all the good things that our doctors do. For the 'Palestinians'....

t’s too bad these medical journals don’t choose to highlight the amazing medical benefits Israel has brought to Palestinians. As detailed in a May 30, 2009, study by U.S. medical researchers Ted H. Tulchinsky et al., Palestinians in the territories boast the lowest age- and sex-standardized mortality rate per 100,000 of all Middle Eastern Arab populations. Since 1972 immunization coverage in the territories has reached 99%. Polio and measles have been eradicated. Life expectancy rose from 54 in 1970 to 73 in 2007. Major sanitation and disease-control projects have reduced morbidity and hospital admissions.

And of Israeli and North American doctors giving of their time and expertise to improve the medical lot of Palestinians, there seems to be no end. Some Toronto heart surgeons, to cite but one shining example, 10 years ago founded a strictly non-political, non-sectarian group called Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), whose motto is “mending hearts, building bridges.” Headquartered at Woolfson Hospital in Tel Aviv, with satellite offices in the U.S., the UK, and Germany, SACH has operated on 2,100 children from 35 different countries at a cost of about $10,000 per child. Almost half of them are from neighboring Arab countries, including the West Bank, of course. Money raised by SACH also goes to train foreign medical teams. During the Gazan conflict, an infant nephew of the Hamas minister of defense was brought in for urgent heart surgery.

Why don’t Lancet and the others choose to write the good medical news about Israel? They could start with Israel’s stellar performance following the recent earthquake in Haiti, where by all accounts the Israeli field hospital and human and material resources rose head and shoulders over every other country’s.

For reasons I won't go into, I have had more than my share of exposure to the Israeli medical system. Every hospital is chock full of Arabs. Israeli Arabs. 'Palestinians.' Jordanians. Kids from other Arab countries who are usually brought here more quietly. The attacks on Israel by the 'professional' medical journals are totally uncalled for and infuriating. Unfortunately, even those who swear to do no harm go out of their way to break their oaths when Israel is the target.

Physicians, heal thyselves!

Israel Matzav: Physicians, heal thyselves!

Israel Matzav: Why Israel should not form a commission of inquiry to examine the Goldstone allegations

Why Israel should not form a commission of inquiry to examine the Goldstone allegations

Here's yet another article arguing that Israel should not form a commission of inquiry to examine the Goldstone Report, this one by former Chairman of the National Security Council Giora Eiland. Eiland gives four good reasons why Israel shouldn't set up the commission, but he leaves out the most important reason of all. Here are Eiland's four reasons.

The first reason has to do with the subject matter. Operation Cast Lead can be examined according to military-professional criteria, moral criteria, or diplomatic criteria. It must not be examined in line with international law criteria, as Goldstone wants, for the simple reason that it’s irrelevant. International law that pertains to wars is premised on three assumptions: The war pits states against each other, both sides deploy soldiers in uniform, and both sides are committed to the same codes. None of the above conditions was present in Gaza.

...

The second reason is the timing. Israel just handed over to the United Nations a detailed document that responds to each and every claim made by the Goldstone Report. Don’t we believe our own document?

The third reason is political. Those who appointed the Goldstone Committee are trying to push Israel into a situation whereby any effective military operation will be considered illegitimate. Goldstone specifically said that Israel can only utilize precise commando operations against the rocket threat. Adopting this approach completely contradicts the American interest. As opposed to the negative predictions, whereby the US won’t back us should we fail to establish a commission of inquiry, the US and other Western countries will be supporting us, if only because of their identical interests on this front.

The fourth reason is domestic. The Israeli public accepts the need for a commission of inquiry and even demands it when it turns out that the army’s and political leadership’s performance was disappointing (as was the case in the Yom Kippur War and in the Second Lebanon War,) or when genuine concerns emerge as to the army’s morality (as was the case in Sabra and Shalita.) The public will justifiably resist an inquiry aimed at appeasing the gentiles and placing the IDF at court for no good reason.

But the most important reason of all for rejecting a commission of inquiry is that a commission of inquiry won't change anything. The world doesn't want a commission of inquiry - it wants IDF soldiers court-martialed, kicked out of the army and put in jail so that the next time the IDF won't fight a war against terrorists because its officers won't want to risk their careers and their freedom to fight war that will result in their spending the rest of their natural lives in jail. The world wants a commission of inquiry so that the IDF will no longer be in the terror-fighting business, and therefore there will soon no longer be a Jewish state (God forbid). That's the real reason behind the calls for a commission of inquiry, led by a self-hating Jew who is willing to sacrifice his people for his own boundless personal ambition.

A commission of inquiry that confirms that IDF soldiers are innocent of war crimes will solve nothing.

And that is why the calls for a commission of inquiry should be rejected.


Israel Matzav: Why Israel should not form a commission of inquiry to examine the Goldstone allegations

Israel Matzav: The US should stop trying to condition its defense of Israel from Goldstone

The US should stop trying to condition its defense of Israel from Goldstone

Either the Obama administration cannot understand who is the next, real target of Goldstone and his friends, or they just don't care that the next Goldstone Commission will try to put Americans in the dock. Benny Avni (Israel Radio's New York correspondent who writes in the New York Post) explains.

America has heroically stood by Israel at the United Nations so far, letting everyone know that it would veto any Security Council attempt to send Goldstone's allegations to the ICC. But the Obama administration has also reportedly used the case as a club to beat Israel into yielding on such issues as settlements and reopening the Gaza border -- telling Jerusalem officials, Our fight against Goldstone would be much easier if . . .

Such an approach is clearly wrongheaded. Israel has always been the enemy's first target in the War on Terror.

From plane hijackings to suicide bombings, every terrorist tactic was created and perfected by anti-Israel terrorists before migrating to American and European shores. (The latest innovation: Gaza fishermen this week floated explosive-filled barrels to shore, forcing Israeli surfers and swimmers to abandon beautiful winter beaches.) Similarly, the Palestinian terrorists' use of Palestinian civilians' suffering to enrage world opinion was quickly copied in other theaters of war.

If Goldstone's tactics succeed, future imitators will surely build cases for "war crimes" in Iraq, Afghanistan or Yemen. Indeed, the ICC's top prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has already expressed interest in trying allegations against NATO troops, including Americans, operating against al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The United States should protect Israel in this case as if it were protecting itself -- because it is.

So what do you think? Does Obama not get it? Or does he not care? And does it matter which it is?

Israel Matzav: The US should stop trying to condition its defense of Israel from Goldstone

Israel Matzav: Guess who's coming to dinner

Guess who's coming to dinner

Continuing to play off Iran against the West, Russia has invited Iranian proxy Khaled Meshaal to come to Russia this week.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal will visit Russia next week for talks on ending a Palestinian split and bringing about a resumption of peace talks with Israel, the Russian government said on Thursday.

Hamas, which is backed by Syria and Iran, has been shunned by the West over the Islamist group's refusal to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals.

"The main topic that will be discussed is the way to end the Palestinian divisions and how to resume the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters in Moscow.

Hope the plane don't crash.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Guess who's coming to dinner

Israel Matzav: Al Gore's new home in Washington

Al Gore's new home in Washington

Hat Tip: Amanda Carpenter via Twitter.


Israel Matzav: Al Gore's new home in Washington

Israel Matzav: Iran blames the Jooos for the opposition

Iran blames the Jooos for the opposition

No great surprise here: The Ahmadinejad regime is blaming the Jooos for the existence of the opposition Green movement in its country.

The regime, evidently anxious about the increasing strength of the opposition and its own inability to curtail the demonstrations, has used a traditional tactic of blaming foreign powers in the hope that the Iranian people will aim their frustration beyond their borders. Fars News Agency released pictures of demonstrators in support of the regime, holding pictures of three reform leaders (Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi and Mohammad Khatami) on the three points of a Star of David with the sign reading ‘lovers of Israel'. The regime has also accused the Mossad of penning the last open letter written by Mousavi, and asserted that he and other leaders of the reformist camp are an Israeli fifth column. Iran's ambassador to Bahrain even claimed that Iranian authorities had carried out investigations and revealed that groups from Britain and the U.S. were carrying out assassinations by infiltrating the opposition.

Blaming others is a part of Iranian culture - just like their Arab neighbors.

This culture of blaming the West has always been used as a tool to divert attention away from the regime's domestic problems. It is exemplified by the popularised Persian novel My Uncle Napoleon, which satirises the widespread Iranian belief that the British are responsible for all of Iran's afflictions. The panjandrum of the book, ‘Dear Uncle', is a paranoid and delusional character who imagines himself as Napoleon and believes there is a British plot to destroy him. As an extension of this, he sees the hidden hand of the British behind every event in Iran. Even when considering the history of Britain's imperial intervention in Iran, the level of paranoia that ‘Dear Uncle' — and indeed many others in Iran exhibit — is so extreme that it goes beyond reason.

But the regime cannot deceive the opposition, who are now in the majority. It exists, it knows it exists and it understands that its grievances are real — not a seed planted in its head by the West. What's more, the opposition is only gaining support — Ahmadinejad is losing backing among his conservative base and his former allies are turning against him in disgust over the abuse of protestors. The protests themselves are no longer exclusively ‘Green' but are being frequented by religious and conservative Iranians who have become disillusioned with Ahmadinejad and by extension, the Supreme Leader and the regime. The protests are also no longer exclusive to Tehran but are spreading across the country, to the less secular and affluent cities.

So why are so many people so convinced that an Israeli attack on the nuclear program will suddenly cause the opposition to rally around Ahmadinejad? It makes no sense.

Israel Matzav: Iran blames the Jooos for the opposition

Israel Matzav: Hillary Clinton's detachment from reality

Hillary Clinton's detachment from reality

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton showed once again why she is the jihadists' best useful idiot: She mentioned the 1967 borders as a 'basis' for 'negotiations' and did so in a manner that left even the New York Times claiming she has gone further than any of her predecessors.

Mrs. Clinton’s mention of them went farther than the Obama administration’s standard script on the Middle East: that the positions of Israel and the Palestinians can be reconciled. Analysts said it could augur a new American emphasis, after a frustrating year in which President Obama failed to jump-start the peace process by pressuring Israel to halt construction of settlements. In particular, Mrs. Clinton’s reference may appeal to the Palestinians, who have long declared that the 1967 borders should be the basis for negotiations.

Jonathan Tobin comments.

So far, the Palestinians have refused to restart talks, despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer of negotiations without preconditions. What they want is for the United States to guarantee more Israeli concessions in advance of any talks that would mandate the Jewish state’s surrender of all of this territory, including Jerusalem, without giving up anything in exchange. This is not a basis for a negotiation but a diktat in which Israel will be forced to withdraw from territory that, as the experience of the withdrawal from Gaza showed, would soon be used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks on Jewish targets. That is why there is virtually no support within Israel for more withdrawals under the current circumstances. The American effort to prop up Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah Party at the expense of his Hamas rivals who rule Gaza makes sense in that it is clearly in the interests of both Israel and the United States to undermine Hamas. But the idea that Fatah is any sense ready to make peace, or willing or able to make a deal allowing a single Jew to remain anywhere in the West Bank or in eastern Jerusalem, even if they were given parts of Israel as part of the transaction, is nothing more than a fantasy.

In the last year, the Obama administration’s emphasis on settlement freezes as part of a package of Israeli concessions to lure the Palestinians to the table achieved nothing. Nothing, that is, but to teach the Palestinians that if they keep saying no, they can escalate American pressure on Israel and widen the breach between Netanyahu’s popular coalition and an American government clearly more unsympathetic to Israel than any since the first president Bush.

This sort of pressure is exactly what left-wing groups like the J Street lobby seek as they launch a campaign to further undermine American Jewish support for Israel’s democratically elected government. That may please Obama and Clinton. But it also demonstrates just how disconnected both the administration and its left-wing Jewish cheerleaders are from the realities of the Middle East.

The real question is when Fatah will be ready to cut a deal like that. I'm betting on never.


Israel Matzav: Hillary Clinton's detachment from reality

Israel Matzav: Jew hatred on the rise in England, Germany, Sweden

Jew hatred on the rise in England, Germany, Sweden

It's back to the 1930's (God forbid) in England and Germany with England's Community Security Trust reporting a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in 2009 (Hat Tip: Instapundit).

Today the Community Security Trust released its report on antisemitism in 2009. It is the most depressing report ever, with levels of attacks on Jews and and antisemitic harassment – both verbal and physical – at a level not witnessed in this country for generations. Indeed, the 924 cases reported reflect an increase in over 50% from the previous record high in 2006.

You can read the executive summary here (PDF) or download the full report here (PDF).

The Report sites the war in Gaza at the beginning of last year as a “trigger event”. Generally any heating up of hostilities in the Middle East triggers a spike in antisemitic incidents.

Critics of the report will no doubt take the acknowledgement of this link to argue that this is evidence that “criticism of Israel is conflated with antisemitism”. But this is certainly not the case, as the report is very clear about.

I can think of another factor aside from Israel that could be fueling a rise in anti-Semitic incidents: The economy. Traditionally, Jews are blamed whenever the economy goes bad.

Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker reminds us that anti-Semitism isn't just a Muslim phenomenon:

Presumably most incidents were the work of Muslims seeking to bring the war home, so to speak, but at least one outburst reminds us that the anti-Semites have friends in high places:

Rowan Laxton, a Foreign Office official, was convicted of racial abuse after shouting ''------- Israelis, ------- Jews'' in a gym as a news report on the death of a Palestinian farmer was shown on television.

Harry's Place also warns that the numbers are, if anything, understated.

In fact, about one-third of incidents reported to the CST were rejected as being ”antisemitic” because they appeared on investigation, specifically anti-Israeli or merely critical of Israel without the use of antisemitic terms or images. An example of a rejected report was one of a car vandalised because it had an Israeli flag sticker on the back window.

When considering that more than 1 in 3 reports is rejected, we can see how scrupulous the CST has been to avoid allowing people to conflate criticism of Israel or Zionism in general with antisemitism.

While there's no way of judging the CST's criteria, I would argue that most anti-Israel incidents are anti-Semitic. The similarity of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric has been well-documented. And I also wonder how many non-Islamic Facebook groups there are with titles like "We hate Jews for the sake of Allah has he has told us to do in the Koran." Note, no mention of Israel there. I'll bet there are some other such vile groups, but without the references to Allah.

And it's not just England. Pamela Geller cites this article about some of the goings on in Germany.
"You can see that whenever the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets worse - like when we had the Gaza conflict towards the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 - anti-Semitic views are articulated here more often by residents with a Muslim background," Kassar told Deutsche Welle.

But instead of criticizing the particular aspects of the Israeli government's policies, it's often Jews in general who become the target of verbal - and in rare cases physical - attacks in Berlin.

...

Others say too much fuss is being made about anti-Semitism within Germany's Muslim communities.

While admitting that anti-Jewish sentiments can certainly be found there, Kenan Kolat, chairman of the secular Turkish Community in Germany, says this phenomenon should be placed in a wider context.

"There never was a Holocaust, they say. The Jews capitalized on the 9/11 aftermath, they say. All Jews are rich - you can find all these prejudices among some Muslims here and it is just a reflection of what you find in society here at large," Kolat told public broadcaster ARD.
Pamela adds:
The ignorant though earnest people working against this scourge will never be able to fight Muslim Jew hatred without understanding its origins. In order to fight it, you have to purge it, expunge Islamic anti-semitism from Islam, the koran, the hadiths, sira.

In order to expunge the hate of the Jews from the koran and all Islamic teachings, you have to remove whole swaths of their holy book and wash Muhammad's history of his Jewish massacres and genocidal objectives. In other words, remove the Islam from Islam.
But is the Jew hatred limited to Muslims? Hint: There aren't too many Muslim skinheads out there.

And then there's Sweden where Jews have already started to flee from Malmo.
Violent anti-Semitism has become increasingly commonplace in Sweden’s southern city of Malmö, leading many Jewish residents to leave out of fear for their safety. “Threats against Jews have increased steadily in Malmö in recent years and many young Jewish families are choosing to leave the city,” said Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö.

Last year, 79 crimes against Jewish residents were reported to the Malmö police, roughly double the number reported in 2008. In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have been repeatedly defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed last January during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Many Jewish residents of Malmö feel that local anti-Jewish sentiment is linked with negative attitudes towards Israel.

In addition to its small community of roughly 700 Jews, Malmö is home to a growing Muslim population. However, local Jews insist that the majority of anti-Jewish sentiment, although certainly existent in the Muslim community, is coming from local Swedes.
Naive fools. As if there's a difference between anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.
Sieradzki says that the attitudes of Malmö politicians, especially Social Democrat city council chair Ilmar Reepalu, have allowed anti-Semitism to fester. “He’s demonstrated extreme ignorance when it comes to our problems,” Sieradzki explained. “It’s shameful and regrettable that such a powerful politician could be so ignorant about the threats we face.

“If you read between the lines, he seems to be suggesting that the violence directed toward us is our own fault simply because we didn’t speak out against Israel. We’re a non-political, cultural and religious organization, and there are all kinds of Jews in Malmö.”
And if the Jews only condemned Israel, the Swedes would suddenly love them? Don't believe it.

And where are our own warriors against anti-Semitism? Mark Steyn notes (Hat Tip: Instapundit).
But Abe Foxman thinks Rush Limbaugh is the problem...
What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Jew hatred on the rise in England, Germany, Sweden

Israel Matzav: Al- Mabhouh killers allegedly carried Irish passports

Al- Mabhouh killers allegedly carried Irish passports

Belfast's Evening Herald reported on Friday that the killers of Hamas terrorist and arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh carried Irish passports. Significantly, the story is headlined "Israeli Dubai assassins carried Irish passports."

The suspected Israeli hit team, including at least one woman, entered the United Arab Emirates using Irish documents, police authorities said.

...

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman told the Herald today: "We are aware of the media reports and we are in contact with authorities locally to try and determine the truth of the reports."

Al-Mabhouh was said to have been shocked with an electric weapon held to his legs and then suffocated or poisoned.

Iran and Hamas have blamed Israel for the killing, but Israeli news media claimed al-Mabhouh had many enemies and could have been killed by other Arab factions.

Up to seven people were said to have been involved in al-Mabhouh's killing, four of whom used Irish passports to enter Dubai and who later fled to a "European country" after the killing, according to policesources in Dubai.

...

Declining to reveal their identities, an official said UAE security personnel were co-ordinating with Interpol to have them extradited.

...

In 1986, US officials, including Oliver North, reportedly used Irish passports to travel to Iran to offer missiles for hostages.

The passports were said to be real but the identities written into the documents were fake.

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Al- Mabhouh killers allegedly carried Irish passports

Israel Matzav: An offensive tackle named Shlomo

An offensive tackle named Shlomo

On Super Sunday (I'm rooting for the Saints and not driving somewhere with cable or staying up all night to watch - I only do that for the Patriots), this story is too good not to post.

In his locker, Mr. Veingrad found the usual stuff, his street clothes and sweat suit and playbook. On a small bench, though, lay a note from the Packers’ receptionist. It carried a name that Mr. Veingrad did not recognize, Lou Weinstein, and a local phone number.

Alone in a new town, too naïve to be wary, Mr. Veingrad called. This Lou Weinstein, it turned out, ran a shoe store in Green Bay, Wis. He had just read an article in the paper about a Jewish player on the Packers, and he wanted to meet and welcome that rarity.

A few days later, Mr. Veingrad joined Mr. Weinstein for lunch at the businessman’s golf club. There Mr. Weinstein invited the player to accompany his family to Rosh Hashana services at Cnesses Israel, a synagogue near the site of the Packers’ original home field, City Stadium.

It had been a long time since Mr. Veingrad had spent much time in shul, nearly a decade since his bar mitzvah. He knew the date of the Packers’ Monday night game against the Chicago Bears better than he did Yom Kippur. “But when I heard the Hebrew,” he recently recalled of that service in Green Bay, “I felt a pull.”

Maybe it was a presentiment, maybe it was the sort of destiny that Yiddish calls “goyrl.” Whatever the word for it, something stirred into motion. And that something brought Mr. Veingrad into the Chabad House — a Jewish center run by the Lubavitcher Hasidic movement — near the University of Southern California campus here five nights before the 2010 Super Bowl.

A promotional flier announced the evening’s subject as “Super Bowl to Super Jew.” There was truth in that advertising. Mr. Veingrad goes these days by his Hebrew name, Shlomo. He wore a black skullcap and the ritual fringes called tzitzit; he wore the Super Bowl ring he won in 1992 with the Dallas Cowboys and the Rolex watch that was a gift from Emmitt Smith, the team’s star running back.

Read the whole thing - it's too good to miss. By the way, it was announced yesterday that Emmitt Smith is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Veingard will be in a different Hall of Fame - a much more important one.

Israel Matzav: An offensive tackle named Shlomo

Love of the Land: A Question Goes Unanswered at J Street

A Question Goes Unanswered at J Street


Hillels Channel
05 Februrary '10



J Street Prefers Not to Answer


Love of the Land: A Question Goes Unanswered at J Street

Love of the Land: Just A Reminder: Having Turned Gaza Into A Weapons Factory, Hamas Gearing Up For War [Video]

Just A Reminder: Having Turned Gaza Into A Weapons Factory, Hamas Gearing Up For War [Video]


Omri
Mere Rhetoric
05 February '10

There's an Al Jazeera expose at the bottom of the post, outlining the massive indigenous weapons industry that Hamas is running in the middle of the "world's largest concentration camp" (because that's exactly how Auschwitz was - lots of spare missiles and raw materials just lying around!) They're back to mass weapons production, which as a sheer matter of statistics means a bump in "work accidents." And in the Sinai the Egyptians are literally tripping over huge weapons caches.

And - just as they were doing on the eve of Cast Lead - Hamas is back to strutting around about taking on the IDF:

One year after Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip, the spokesman for Hamas' armed wing said this week that the Islamist group would not shirk away from a new battle with Israel... Israel has said the brigades, which some observers estimate have 25,000 fighters, have been seeking with Syrian and Iranian help to upgrade their rocket capabilities and put the Israeli heartland and the commercial capital of Tel Aviv within range. Abu Ubaida said Hamas had no choice but to improve its arsenal.




(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Just A Reminder: Having Turned Gaza Into A Weapons Factory, Hamas Gearing Up For War [Video]

Love of the Land: Rank hypocrisy and transparent double standards

Rank hypocrisy and transparent double standards


David Harris
In the Trenches/JPost
07 February '10

I know I shouldn't be surprised any longer, but I still can't help it.

In a recent edition of The New York Times, after seeing 25 column inches on page 4 devoted to an article entitled "Israel Rebukes 2 in Attack on U.N. Complex," I read a short news item two pages later. It wasn't quite eight lines long, the fourth of five items under "World Briefing."

Here are the first two (of three) sentences:

A human rights group criticized Jordan on Monday for stripping the citizenship of nearly 3,000 Jordanians of Palestinian origin in recent years. Concerned about increasing numbers of Palestinians, who make up nearly half the population, Jordan began in 2004 revoking the citizenship from Palestinians who do not have Israeli permits to reside in the West Bank."

Apart from the scanty news coverage of what is, after all, an important story - thousands of people losing their citizenship as a country seeks to tilt its delicate demographic balance - there is, of course, another issue.

Apart from the group that blew the whistle on this years-old policy, where is the outcry?

When Israel is accused, however unjustly, of any alleged misdeed against the Palestinians, the din is immediate and deafening. But when fellow Arabs are shown to be inflicting real damage on the Palestinians, there's hardly a peep.

Since the story surfaced nearly a week ago, I've looked in vain for editorials, columns, op-ed pieces, or letters-to-the-editor on the citizenship policy. Couldn't find a thing.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Rank hypocrisy and transparent double standards

Love of the Land: A Strategy for reversing the tide of anti-Israeli bigotry

A Strategy for reversing the tide of anti-Israeli bigotry


Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd Online
07 February '10

Today’s Jerusalem Post runs a commentary by Professor Gil Troy which should be read by anyone who is fed up with the kind of reactive, take-action-only-after-the-roof-has-fallen-in approach that has been a characteristic of pro-Israeli advocacy for far too long.

Troy pegs his piece off this year’s forthcoming “Israeli Apartheid Week” from March 1 to March 14, (yes, that’s right, their intellectual capacities do not even extend to knowing how many days there are in a week!). Events will be held in cities across the world and Troy sensibly suggests that action should be taken to ensure that the organisers and participants do not have things all their own way.

He offers for consideration a three-pronged strategy which he characterises as the “Three P’s”:

First, “Push-back”:

“We will rarely sway with mere facts someone who has swallowed the apartheid libel and drunk the anti-Israel Kool-Aid. Our target is wavering Jewish students and the vast uninformed and uninterested middle. We should play off the radical demonizers, making them look extreme and foolish as we demonstrate our informed commitment, our enlightened passion, the rightness and righteousness of our cause.”

Second, “Position Israel better”:

“The truth is our friend. Israel has compromised - and seen withdrawals from territory and other concessions “rewarded” with violence. Until critics deal with that, they are simply Israel-bashing with no real commitment to peace.”

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A Strategy for reversing the tide of anti-Israeli bigotry

Love of the Land: Analysis: Iranian Quickstep: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Analysis: Iranian Quickstep: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back


Jonathan Spyer
GLORIA Center
05 February '10


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week told Iranian state television that "we have no problem sending our enriched uranium abroad." In so doing, Ahmadinejad appeared to agree to the long-standing plan for the export of the greater part of Iran's enriched uranium stocks.

Recent experience with the diplomatic methods of the Islamic Republic of Iran suggests that this statement is the latest instance of Teheran's favored approach to diplomacy. The Iranian tendency is to seek to offset confrontation at the 11th hour by appearing to show flexibility. Once crisis is averted, the regime relies on differences over the details to make sure that nothing actually happens. It is the diplomacy of one step forward, two steps back. Thus is further time bought for the Iranian nuclear program.

The hitherto seemingly inexhaustible international patience at Iranian maneuvering, meanwhile, has recently been showing signs of at last wearing thin. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is the latest convert to the cause of renewed sanctions. Brown said on Tuesday that "What we now, I think, have to do is accept that if Iran will not make some indication that it will take action - we have got to proceed with sanctions."

It remains to be seen if the latest Iranian move will revive the spirits of the advocates of "engagement." Ahmadinejad's statement relates to the IAEA proposal that Iran should ship its low-enriched uranium abroad, where it would be converted into fuel rods for an Iranian research reactor producing medical isotopes.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Analysis: Iranian Quickstep: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Objective Journalism

Objective Journalism

The anti-Israel mob has been baying at the New York Times for some time already - many months, at least - that their bureau chief in Israel, Ethan Bronner, is too pro-Israel. They have now scored a body hit, because Bronner's 20-year-old son recently joined the IDF (as an American, not as an Israeli. There are such programs).

Clark Hoyt, the paper's Public Editor, today published a column in which he stated his full confidence in Bronner as a professional journalist, but said the appearance of partiality was too great and he must be moved elsewhere. His boss, the Executive Editor Bill Keller, explains why he's not willing to move Bronner.

The whole episode is odd. Has the Times ever had such agonizing over, say, American reporters reporting on American wars? That would go either way, of course: How dare you have an American reporter with family in the war; how dare you have a reporter with none? Are there UK papers agonizing over the Britishness of their reporters in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen or Pakistan?Are there any Arabs reporting from anywhere in the Arab world? An Indian reporting on tensions with Pakistan: unacceptable? If not, why not?

It's a well documented fact that during the Holocaust the (Jewish owned) Times downplayed the stories of persecution seeping out of Europe; they were afraid of being marked a "Jewish newspaper". Perhaps they've been publicly agonizing over such issues ever since, and the Bronner story is merely the most recent in a long tradition. If so, feel free to enlighten me.

If not, and if it's only Jews or Israel that get agonized about, what does that tell us?
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

NIF: In A Hole, Digging....

NIF: In A Hole, Digging....

Barry Meislin points me to this announcement on the Jerusalem Post website (via Noah Pollak):

The Jerusalem Post has canceled Naomi Chazan’s biweekly column, after she and the New Israel Fund of which she is president threatened legal action against the paper over a recent advertisement.

The decision was taken by Jerusalem Post management after a legal threat was received at the paper from the NIF and Chazan’s lawyers.

Along with other publications, the Post last Sunday carried an advertisement criticizing Chazan and the New Israel Fund in the context of the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead.

In Friday’s paper, the Post carried an advertisement defending the NIF and Chazan against their critics.

Hard to believe, isn't it. As in "Naaa, that's impossible". That kind of hard to believe.

We do need to watch how Haaretz reports this tomorrow.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Rumination on Higher Education

Rumination on Higher Education

A truism of modern contemporary politics is that some strands of the polity think there's a connection between their comparatively elevated degree of education and the inherent correctness of their political positions. (The NIF dust-up we're having these days reeks of this). The corollary, mildly distasteful as it is, is that folks who have spent fewer years accumulating academic qualifications may be less likely to understand what's right, or good, or correct.

I'm all for education. Some of my best friends are university professors. I even spent some years of my life in university environments, and put significant efforts into acquiring various degrees. Yet sad to tell, the case for the intellectual superiority of the academically-trained has never seemed compelling to me. I know too may people without the training who are highly intelligent, and too many folks with fancy degrees whose ability to understand the world is, how to put it, unconvincing.

Recently I've been engaged in an unusual exercise: I'm reading lots of doctoral theses. There are business reasons for this: in a nutshell, I'd like to offer the academic world a tool that will make life a wee bit more efficient; for this purpose, however, I've got to understand what different types of academic research looks like. What do doctoral students do when they get up in the morning?

Unfortunately, the more I read, the more I'm wondering if perhaps the acquisition of an advanced degree in today's academic world might not actively hamper one's ability to relate to humans. I'm not seeing that it strengthens one's ability to express coherent thoughts, for one; nor that there' an overriding curiosity about people. Paradigms, yes. Constructs, certainly. Models, there are those. People, and how they relate to their lives: less.
Maybe I'm simply finding the wrong doctoral theses.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

DoubleTapper: Israel Blamed again

Israel Blamed again

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس
The Belfast Evening Herald reported "Israeli Dubai assassins carried Irish passports"

The so called Israeli hit team, including at least one woman, entered the United Arab Emirates using Irish documents, police authorities said.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_SUmUTwEaQc4/R2zB7ZT7QNI/AAAAAAAAAIM/1AyYFHI-9-s/s200/passport.jpg
...

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman told the Herald today: "We are aware of the media reports and we are in contact with authorities locally to try and determine the truth of the reports."

Hamas terrorist and arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was said to have been shocked with an electric weapon held to his legs and then suffocated or poisoned.
[Mahmoud+al-Mabhouh.jpg]
Iran and Hamas have blamed Israel for the killing, but Israeli news media claimed al-Mabhouh had many enemies and could have been killed by other Arab factions.

Up to seven people were said to have been involved in al-Mabhouh's killing, four of whom used Irish passports to enter Dubai and who later fled to a "European country" after the killing, according to policesources in Dubai.

...

Declining to reveal their identities, an official said UAE security personnel were co-ordinating with Interpol to have them extradited.

...

In 1986, US officials, including Oliver North, reportedly used Irish passports to travel to Iran to offer missiles for hostages.

The passports were said to be real but the identities written into the documents were fake.

DoubleTapper: Israel Blamed again

Elder of Ziyon: Radioactive Dirt Open Thread

Elder of Ziyon: Radioactive Dirt Open Thread

Elder of Ziyon: HRW again makes baseless claims against Israel

Elder of Ziyon: HRW again makes baseless claims against Israel

Elder of Ziyon: UN ignores Hamas' Goldstone response

Elder of Ziyon: UN ignores Hamas' Goldstone response

RubinReports: Defining “Victory” and “Peace”: How the U.S. and Israel Reject General Sherman’s Solution and Get Blamed Any Way

Defining “Victory” and “Peace”: How the U.S. and Israel Reject General Sherman’s Solution and Get Blamed Any Way

Please subscribe to the most original blog on Middle East and related issues/2700 happy readers already have done so

By Barry Rubin

“War,” said General William Tecumseh Sherman, “is Hell.” He knew what he was talking about. Sherman’s march through Georgia and into South Carolina at the end of the Civil War helped end the Civil War while destroying a lot of civilian homes, farms, and towns..

His strategy was to inflict such terrible punishment on the South that it would surrender faster, thus saving lives. His men did things shocking to Americans even after such a bloody conflict, burning plantations and destroying everything in their wake. Ironically, though, even Sherman's deeds have been exaggerated.

But Sherman was no mere brute. He was so depressed by the prospect of the Civil War—being among the few who understood how long and bloody it would be—that he had a nervous breakdown at its onset and tried to escape the responsibility of service that he ultimately knew would be impossible for him to avoid. Like other Western generals of his time, and almost up to the present day--but no longer--he simply believed, in his words, "I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect and early [that is, complete and quick] success."

After the war, Sherman became commander of the U.S. army and about 1870, regarding the Franco-Prussian War but it applies generally:

How are wars won? The preferred way is for one side to see that its own victory is impossible and that it will face much heavier costs by continuing than by surrendering or making peace. By making a deal sooner, the side that’s losing often reasons that it can get better terms.

What do you do, though, if the other side isn’t going to give up? Here’s what Sherman said about the French-German conflict but which also applies to America’s Civil War and many other conflicts as well:

“The proper strategy consists in inflicting as telling blows as possible on the enemy’s army, and then in using the inhabitants so much suffering that they must long for peace, and force the government to demand it. The people must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war.”

That’s pretty terrible. Remember, though, that Sherman did say war was Hell. When it became clear that Japan was not going to surrender in World War Two, requiring a full-scale U.S. invasion of that country’s homeland that would have left millions dead, President Harry Truman dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. He was right to do so. The results were horrendous, heart-breaking. Yet if Truman had not taken that tough decision far more Japanese and Americans would be dead. The damage to Japan would have been so great that the country would not have recovered, if at all, until many decades passed.

Consider Sherman’s analysis in a contemporary context. Western democracies, including the United States and Israel, have no desire to pursue such a strategy. If the governments did, the democratic institutions and public opinion would never stand for it. This creates a paradox: if the other side doesn’t surrender, victory is impossible because that other side will not be crushed or so credibly threatened with destruction that its leaders will give in.

This is one side—the other is the nature and ideology of the enemies themselves—of asymmetric warfare. By refusing to surrender, by offering up their own civilians as casualties, by courting massive destruction, by keeping the battle going and inflicting casualties on the democratic combatants, the weaker side hopes to win. True, the radicals believe that their ideology and determination makes them stronger but there’s one more factor: they count on the squeamishness of their would-be victims as being too soft, in effect too democratic.

The radicals using asymmetric warfare are wrong in thinking they can win but they are right in thinking they can’t lose. The battle goes on as long as they choose, even if the democratic side doesn’t give up. And sometimes it does, or at least they can still hope that it will and use that hope to inspire more sacrifice from its own people.

Consider Israel in this context. The above explains why Israel can never “win” the conflict with the Palestinians or with the neighboring Arabs or Muslims for that matter. “Win” here means to gain such a triumph that the conflict will come to an end. But Israel can “win” by reducing the cost of the conflict to itself, going on with its national life, and reducing conflict to a minimum in terms of disruptions and casualties.

Equally, the radicals can gain international sympathy and criticisms of Israel but that will never bring them actual victory, only allow them to extend the conflict indefinitely. And so, there is no peace but Israel remains the closest thing to a winner, as long as it is willing to pay a certain price, while trying to reduce that price to the lowest possible level.

I am not advocating a Sherman-like policy. No one in any position of power in Israel is doing so or has ever really done so. Aside from the moral issue, the effect on Israel’s own society, and the impact on its international standing, such a step simply isn’t necessary.

Compare the Israeli view to that of the creator and commander of the German army, not in World War Two under the Nazis, not even in World War One, but in the 1870 Franco-Prussian war. The Germans had won but the French were waging war for a time through guerrilla forces.

General Moltke ordered all French guerrillas to be shot and anyone helping them be severely punished. “Experience has established that the most effective way of dealing with this situation is to destroy the premises concerned—or, where participation has been more general, the entire village….”

A German officer wrote in 1870: “We are learning to hate them more every day.…Atrocious attacks are avenged by atrocities which remind one of the Thirty Years War.”

Does this have anything to do with Israeli tactics on the West Bank or Gaza Strip? Of course not, though nothing would be easier for Israel to do in terms of capability. After 50 years of conflict, Israeli soldiers don’t respond the way those Germans did after five months. That’s why not a single real atrocity or massacre can be found by Israel’s enemies despite massive and desperate attempts to do so over many years; even despite the fact that there have been many completely documented and deliberately planned massacres of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.

And this remains true despite the fact that the “atrocious attacks” Israel faces, in terms of anti-civilian terrorism, is far beyond what that German officer in 1870 could ever have dreamed possible. Remember, too, by the way that under British rule in mandatory Palestine the mere possession of a gun was punishable by death. The British executed more Jews in two years during the 1940s than Israel has hung Palestinians who killed civilians in 50 years. In fact, Israel has not executed a single Palestinian during its existence.

Fortunately, back in 1871, the French government, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, made a deal, giving up one and a half provinces and paying reparations in order to end the war. Even this did not terminate the friction between the two countries which later resulted in two world wars, though that particular peace agreement held for almost 45 years.

Still, the Franco-Prussian war example shows that even a “total victory” might be less satisfactory ultimately than what for Israel is largely a victory for all practical purposes, including at least formal peace with two of its neighbors and a de facto peace—though not necessarily a permanent one of course, with the Palestinian Authority.

Two points to conclude. First, there is nothing harder than to explain the above to a Western audience. They identify a good outcome only with a full and formal peace ending the conflict. This is, of course, preferable. But if it is impossible—and it is in an asymmetric conflict when international sympathy for the aggressive “underdog” allows it to go on getting its people killed and territory damaged for decades—than a practical “victory” is the next best thing.

Second, it is rather ridiculous to slander Israel as a “war criminal” or bully or aggressor or the factor blocking peace when the opposite is true. If the weaker side insists on being the attacker and rejecting a reasonable peaceful solution, then that supposed “David” becomes in fact the actual “Goliath.”

Moreover, compared to the wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there have been no massacres, summary executions, wholesale destruction of cities, large-scale looting, or anything comparable to such things.

In the attempt to smear Israel, we are now down to debating whether it was right for Israeli soldiers to shoot back at enemy combatants trying to kill them who were firing from a specific building or which ammunition should have been used in doing so. And this in a situation where the other side is subject to no limits whatsoever, indeed can be expected to target civilians on purpose and execute prisoners.

Defiinitely, there has been a great deal of success for groups with a long history of deliberate terrorism in lying about Israeli actions and spreading the general impression that some kind of war crimes were committed. Yet the fabrications and irresponsibility of Western institutions in doing so are far more shocking than anything that actually happened.

And finally, Israel has rejected the Sherman strategy. It is the Palestinian side, along with Iran, Syria, Hizballah, and others that have embraced it. They just lack the competence to pull it off.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, the United States is facing parallel issues, and this will happen even more in the future. It is understandable that democratic countries have generally abandoned the Sherman approach but there is a price to be paid for doing so. What is completely unacceptable is to pay the price for restraint and then be falsely accused of acting otherwise.

At the end of the Civil War, Sherman wrote, speaking words that all democratic societies truly feel:

"I confess, without shame, I am sick and tired of fighting—its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands and fathers....It is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ...that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation."

Yet Sherman did not live to see the age of ideological warfare, no matter what the cost to their own people the radicals and Islamists do indeed call for "more blood, more vengeance, more desolution." They do so in the hope that their enemies are "sick and tired of fighting," will do anything to avoid casualties and the "anguish and lamentations," from citizens, and that fools in the enemies' camp blame the continued warfare and suffering on their own side.


RubinReports: Defining “Victory” and “Peace”: How the U.S. and Israel Reject General Sherman’s Solution and Get Blamed Any Way

Danny Ayalon, Saudi Prince Shake Hands Publicly - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Danny Ayalon, Saudi Prince Shake Hands Publicly - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Jordanian Pressure Preventing Western Wall Walkway Construction - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Jordanian Pressure Preventing Western Wall Walkway Construction - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Hamas: We Did Not Apologize for Hitting Civilians - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Hamas: We Did Not Apologize for Hitting Civilians - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'More Power to You' in the Arava - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

'More Power to You' in the Arava - Good News - Israel News - Israel National News

Comparative Journalism 101: How to Bury Survey Info - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Comparative Journalism 101: How to Bury Survey Info - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Shdema Campaign Continues at Full Steam - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Shdema Campaign Continues at Full Steam - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Eliyahu in Critical Condition - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Eliyahu in Critical Condition - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Surprise: Iran will enrich uranium to 20%

Surprise: Iran will enrich uranium to 20%

I was four days off. Or maybe I wasn't

In a post two weeks ago, I predicted that on February 11 - the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would announce that his country had succeeded in enriching uranium to 20% purity, which is a key step on the path to nuclear weapons. On Sunday morning, four days early, Ahmadinejad gave the order to start enriching. Will they have anything to show by Thursday? I'm not a nuclear physicist so I cannot say whether it can be done in four days. But if Iran has been working on it all along as I and many others suspect, it's entirely possible.

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered his country's atomic agency to begin the production of higher enriched uranium.

He said in comments broadcast Sunday on state television: "God willing, 20 percent enrichment will start" to meet Iran's needs. He did not give a date for the start of the enrichment process.

Speaking at a meeting attended by the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, Ahmadinejad said: "Mr. Salehi, begin production of 20 percent" enriched uranium.

Producing enriched uranium is the international community's core concern over Iran's nuclear program since it can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Hey world - wake up! Nothing short of force is going to stop this guy!


Israel Matzav: Surprise: Iran will enrich uranium to 20%

Israel Matzav: We don't need 're-branding'

We don't need 're-branding'

Remember the 're-branding Israel' nonsense that Tzipi Livni's foreign ministry wanted to foist on bloggers at the 2008 bloggers' conference? It came up again this week at the Herzliya Conference, and Israel News did a great job of ripping it to shreds.

The Zionism advocates don't know what Zionism or advocacy is. The people who are considered authorities on the issue, who are sent to the Herzliya conference to pontificate about it, confess that they don't really know what they want, or how to get it. They confuse advocacy with "PR." Eyal Arad should speak for himself. I know exactly what I want, and the Israeli information apparatus is not delivering it. The big part of the problem is the people in charge of handling the problem.

Israel advocacy is not about getting Jews to Israel. It is not Jewish education. It should not even be targeting Jews. Jews are a tiny and not too important minority in the United States, and an even tinier minority in other countries.

Israel advocacy is not about PR or "images." It can't be done by PR talking heads who don't know what we want. A country is not a "product." Challenges to legitimacy must be met by earnest political advocacy, not by "PR," remaking of image or rebranding. We do not need to deal with images or build images.

We need to build reality and deal with reality and tell people the truth. That's what we did when Israel was successful. The image was terrible. A rag tag bunch of idealists on a hopeless quest, a chaotic army, rude waiters in hotels, telephones that didn't work, an economy built on wishful thinking, immigrants in rags from Europe and the Middle East: the wretched and the hopeless. A basket case. That is how Israel was viewed in much of the world. It is certainly how the early Zionists were viewed. But it was only image. It was not reality. The people of the Second Aliya told the world "We are building the future of the Jewish people." Nobody believed them. Their shirts were torn and their shoes had holes. That was the "future of the Jewish people." But they told the truth. They were building reality, not "image." The reality built our country and the image took care of itself. We need to tell the truth and we need to know that we are telling the truth.

Israel advocacy is not about telling people Israel is a good place to invest or that we have pretty girls and nice beaches. "Everyone knows," don't they, that Jews are "clever with money" and that Jewish girls are hot and loose, right? Dpes that help us? Will it win support in international fora? Bragging about Israeli economic prowess plays into the image of the blood-sucking Jew-Zionist colonialists who are getting rich by oppressing the poor Palestinians, who are minding their own business, trying to make an honest living in the suicide vest business. Bragging about our technologically advanced society plays to Palestinian propaganda too. They are poor helpless native victims of a heartless and evil advanced society. Of course, the Iranians, who are building atomic weapons, tell a different story, and that too is accepted.

People do not base political opinions on a few factoids or "images." They may use the images or the factoids to bolster their opinions. They build a narrative and force the facts to fit that narrative. One we have been demonized it doesn't matter what we do. If we send rescue teams to Haiti, the mainstream "responsible" media like TIME ignore it, because it doesn't fit their narrative about the evil Zionists, the more sophisticated Israel bashers use it as a platform for an attack on Israeli policy, and the professional Israel haters say Israelis went to Haiti to harvest organs for illegal transplant traffic.

In the business world, PR and "image" and "branding" are acceptable. In the world of ideological advocacy, they are dirty words. "Image building" is what an oil company does after a tanker spill. It's what tobacco companies tried to do for smoking. In other words, it is lying or "improving the truth." "Rebranding" and remaking of images are what sleazy politicians do in order to foist themselves on the public. Some of us remember "the new Nixon." He wasn't much different from the old model Nixon, but the "image remake" fooled enough people long enough to get him elected president of the United States.

Israel advocacy, like all good political advocacy is not about lying, distracting people from reality or "building images." It has to be about telling the truth. Pretty girls on beaches might attract some jocks and sex tourists. But we need to speak to the political leadership and the politically active leadership segments of society abroad. Serious university students, diplomats and journalists are really not going to be impressed by pretty girls at beaches, and they don't much care if Israel is a good place to invest their money.

Read the whole thing. I don't agree with everything s/he says (for example, I think it's important to promote the fact that Israel is a great place to invest, because ultimately that puts food on all of our tables, and that's why I often promote news of new Israeli technologies), but s/he's pretty much dead on.


Israel Matzav: We don't need 're-branding'

Israel Matzav: Say it isn't so: Ayalon meets with Kerry?

Say it isn't so: Ayalon meets with Kerry?

YNet reports that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has met with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry and sought his help to restart 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met John Kerry, who chairs the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, in Munich. Ayalon asked Kerry to help restart negotiations with the Palestinians, as well as the imposing of new sanctions on Iran.

Kerry said he hoped to come to Israel soon in order to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I wonder if Kerry plans to bring some of his friends from Code Pink and their Hamas allies with him.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Say it isn't so: Ayalon meets with Kerry?

Love of the Land: Not all Euro-elites are anti-Israel

Not all Euro-elites are anti-Israel


Clarice Feldman
American Thinker
05 Februray '10

Catalonian journalist Pilar Rahola breaks with the European elites in offering up a strong defense of Israel.

In a speech too full of smart thinking to be summarized, she defends Israel against its foolish and unfair detractors in European governments and the press:

Orphan of a reasonable left, orphan of serious journalism, orphan of a decent UN, and orphan of a tolerant Islam, Israel suffers the paradigm of the 21st Century: the lack of a solid commitment with the values of liberty. Nothing seems strange. Jewish culture represents, as no other does, the metaphor of a concept of civilization which suffers today attacks on all flanks. You are the thermometer of the world's health. Whenever the World has had totalitarian fever, you have suffered. In the Spanish Middle Ages, in Christian persecutions, in Russian pogroms, in European Fascism, in Islamic fundamentalism. Always, the first enemy of totalitarianism has been the Jew. And, in these times of energy dependency and social uncertainty, Israel embodies, in its own flesh, the eternal Jew.

A pariah nation among nations, for a pariah people among peoples. That is why the antisemitism of the 21st Century has dressed itself with the efficient disguise of anti-Israelism, or its synonym, anti-Zionism. All criticism against Israel is antisemitism? NO. But all present-day antisemitism has turned into prejudice and the demonization of the Jewsih State. New clothes for an old hatred.



Full speech in translation on her website can be read here


Love of the Land: Not all Euro-elites are anti-Israel
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...