Thursday, 11 February 2010

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad to Assad: 'Let's wipe out Israel'

Ahmadinejad to Assad: 'Let's wipe out Israel'

Iranian state broadcaster IRIB reported on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that in the event of an Israeli attack on one of their countries, Israel should be wiped out.

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Syrian counterpart that Israel should be resisted and finished off if it launched military action in the region, state broadcaster IRIB reported on Thursday.

"We have reliable information ... that the Zionist regime is after finding a way to compensate for its ridiculous defeats from the people of Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah," he told Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

"If the Zionist regime should repeat its mistakes and initiate a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all," Ahmadinejad said in the telephone conversation on Wednesday evening.

Ahmadinejad, who has often predicted the imminent demise of the Jewish state, said Iran would remain on the side of regional nations including Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

Let's see who wipes out whom. Israel will soon have no choice but to attack.

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad to Assad: 'Let's wipe out Israel'

Israel Matzav: A'jad says Iran has enriched uranium to 20%, can go to 80%

A'jad says Iran has enriched uranium to 20%, can go to 80%

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Thursday morning that his regime has enriched uranium to 20% purity, and is capable of going to 80% whenever they choose to do so.

In his central Revolution Day speech in Tehran, Ahmadinejad told the West: "Know that if we want, our nation has enough courage to say loud and clear that we want to manufacture nuclear weapons and to manufacture them without being afraid of you...

Even now we have the ability to enrich [uranium] to over 80%, but since we have no need, we are not enriching [uranium] to this level... Listen carefully, we are not liars and cowards like you. Who said that you will manufacture [20%] uranium and we will buy it from you? Maybe [it should be] the other way around?...

The day before yesterday we started to manufacture 20% nuclear fuel... Today I say proudly that the Iranian nation has laser technology, and we will use wherever it is necessary."

What you won't hear from the mainstream media - because the foreign correspondents are not being allowed to report it - is that while Ahamdinejad said that, thousands of Iranians were chanting "death to the dictator," according to various tweets I have seen. As I am typing this, there are riots all over Iran including just about all of the major cities. For those who are interested in following the action, you can search #iranelection on Twitter, where it's a trending topic.

Foreign media were only allowed to cover the ceremonies in the square and the speech by Ahmadinejad, with photographers bussed to the site and then away. There is an explicit ban on covering opposition protests.

But Ahmadinejad was quite explicit that Iran has enriched to the 20% level, and as you may recall, once you reach 20%, it's very easy to go higher:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Thursday that the Islamic republic has produced its first package of highly enriched uranium just two days after beginning the process. "We have the capability to enrich uranium more than 20 percent or 80 percent but we don't enrich [to this level] because we don't need it," he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first package of 20 percent fuel was produced and provided to the scientists," he said, referring to the recently begun process of enriching Iran's uranium stockpile to higher levels.

Ahmadinejad claimed again that his country is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

"When we say we do not manufacture the bomb, we mean it, and we do not believe in manufacturing a bomb," he told the crowd. "If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it ... our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you."

There may be a reason Ahamdinejad is saying that: Most Iranians don't want a nuclear weapon.

According to an analysis by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) only about a third of Iranians want a nuclear bomb.

The study found that while 86% of Iranians say that Iran should pursue nuclear power only 38% believe Iran needs a nuclear weapon.

But that doesn't mean that the regime is not producing a nuclear weapon.

Among other reports I have seen on Twitter:

1. Access to gmail from accounts in Iran have been cut.

2. Cell phone service in Tehran is sporadic.

3. Police are firing paint balls at protesters to make it easier to arrest them later.

4. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi expects to be arrested on Friday.

There's a fairly good summary of the day's events (thus far) here.

Israel Matzav: A'jad says Iran has enriched uranium to 20%, can go to 80%

Israel Matzav: Diaspora up in arms over New Israel Fund

Diaspora up in arms over New Israel Fund

Reading all the uproar over the New Israel Fund over the last week or so, I cannot help but wonder why so many people in the diaspora apparently didn't know that NIF supports organizations that seek to undermine Israel's existence as a Jewish state. I've known this for about 15 years! Maybe people finally noticed this time the NIF's position was so blatantly opposed to the Jewish consensus: Operation Cast Lead was a very popular war (over 90% Jewish approval), and at least in the US and in Israel, most people seem to understand that the Goldstone Report was hopelessly biased.

In any event, the diaspora is apparently quite up in arms over the New Israel Fund's support for organizations that provided biased, anti-Israel material to Goldstone.

Bar-Ilan University Professor Gerald Steinberg..., who also is director of NGO Monitor stated Wednesday, “NIF claims to provide broad support for different groups in Israel, but many of its actions promote a very narrow and radical agenda. The most politicized NGOs – including B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel — receive about 20 percent of NIF’s budget. They use these funds to manipulate Israeli politics, while exploiting human rights rhetoric to demonize responses to terror.”

In Australia, Danny Lamm, president of the State Zionist Council of Victoria, cancelled a meeting in Melbourne at which NIF head Naomi Chazan was due to speak, according to the Jewish Australian News Service. He said several NIF-funded groups are “alleged to have actively reinforced a worldwide propaganda campaign against Israel, using the vicious rhetoric of apartheid, using ‘lawfare’ to threaten Israel’s leaders and soldiers should they travel, and using and supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns.”

Lamm pointed out the Council has no issue with the NIF’s principles. “We, too, very much want peace between Israel, the Palestinians and her Arab neighbors…. The Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) does not have a political argument with the NIF,” he said. Lamm asked, “How can the NIF support an organization like Adalah when, despite having as its mission the protection of Arab civil rights, routinely accuses Israel of implementing ‘apartheid’ and of committing war crimes?”


Writing in the generally pro-Orthodox and nationalist New York Jewish Week, investigative journalist David Bedein wrote, “The New Israel Fund, in its defense, says it does not support those who demonize Israel or call for divestment or boycott of Israel, and that it will not assist those who advocate the 'right of return' for Palestinians to reclaim land lost to them in 1948.”

Bedein then noted that NIF funds the Coalition of Women for Peace, whose keynote speaker, Naomi Klein, called for a boycott of Israel and sanctions against the Jewish State. He added that the NIF-funded Adalah group “expresses support for Sheik Raad Salah, the leader of the northern branch of Israel’s Islamic movement, whose incitement against Israel is legendary. Salah claims that there was never a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount and has called for an Intifada to protect Al-Aqsa from a Jewish plot."

Writing in the Forward, Shmuel Rosner pretty much gets it right.

Not long ago, when J Street, a new dovish Jewish lobby, was established in Washington, its supporters were complaining that the American Jewish debate over Israel had been muted, hushed by the Jewish establishment. We should have a debate about Israel as fierce and as vigorous as Israelis themselves have, those behind J Street kept saying. Why can Israelis air their differences with such force and we American Jews can’t? Why can’t we be as blunt and aggressive when we disagree with Israel’s policies?

Apparently, such comparisons work for the proponents of “open debate” only when they themselves benefit from it. They enjoy the intensity of the Israeli domestic debate, the bluntness of it, but only when it serves their goals. Now — when the dragon of Israel’s aggressive public discourse has seared the holier-than-thou New Israel Fund — fierce debate doesn’t seem as appealing.

Granted, the criticism of NIF was at times ugly in tone, too personal and quite disgusting in its use of tasteless images of NIF’s president, Naomi Chazan (the kinds of things one typically finds in fierce Israeli debates). But it is also a manifestation of real concerns and legitimate frustrations that Israelis have with the way liberal American Jews and their Israeli emissaries try to affect Israeli society.

Yes, it was a blunt message: NIF, we don’t like how you strengthen organizations that we find harmful to Israel. We don’t like that your grants support anti-Zionist Arab groups, that you help people who busy themselves bad-mouthing Israel and its policies around the world, that you have too many friends who seem to think that Israel can do no right, that you seem quite unmoved by the anxieties of Israelis who worry about the likes of the Goldstone Report and quite unready to share the burden of rebutting unfair criticisms of Israel.

I don’t expect NIF and its beneficiaries to enjoy such a message. But this isn’t McCarthyism. It’s telling the NIF crowd the blunt truth, and maybe, hopefully, making them realize that while they’re busy making their liberal benefactors abroad happy, they’ve lost touch with Israelis.


The dire predictions about the future of Israeli democracy are being propagated by those who got tired of trying to persuade Israelis and rally them to their cause — the real “democratic” way. Instead, they have decided to force Israelis into submission by way of marshaling external pressure. While this approach may succeed in frightening their allies abroad, it’s not going to win them many new friends at home.

Rosner also refers to NIF's contributions to the Goldstone Report as 'unintended.' I would not go that far. While NIF may not have handed over material to Goldstone and may not have instructed the organizations it supports to do so, it was at least aware of the possibility that they might and did nothing to stop them. In legal terms, they were grossly negligent. At best.

Read the whole thing. (There are other things there with which I don't agree, but he got the NIF part right).

By the way, the Im Tirtzu report is now available online (133-page pdf) (Hat Tip: Daled Amos).

Israel Matzav: Diaspora up in arms over New Israel Fund

Israel Matzav: British police investigating threat to Ayalon

British police investigating threat to Ayalon

British police are investigating a Muslim student at Oxford University who shouted "itabach al yahud" ("slaughter the Jews" in Arabic) as he was being expelled from a lecture given by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Monday night. The student was removed from the lecture for heckling Ayalon. The incident was referred to the police on Tuesday.

Thames Valley Police confirmed on Wednesday that they had received a complaint and were considering a charge of racially aggravated public disorder.

A police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post they were taking the matter “very seriously,” that they were at the very early stages of investigation and that no arrests had yet been made.

The university has promised to look into the incident once the police have completed their investigation.

“Our policy is always to await the outcome of police investigations where criminal offenses are alleged, and to look at any internal disciplinary process after the police have finished their investigation,” an Oxford University spokesperson told the Post. “So we will await the outcome. We abhor racism but obviously now this is in police hands we cannot comment on the individual case.”

The Oxford University Student Union released the following statement condemning the disturbances at the event and distancing itself from the individual.

“Whilst the vast majority of the audience behaved in an orderly and responsible fashion, some members continually interrupted the speech and one individual in particular appears to have made a directly anti-Semitic remark. These individuals exceeded the principles of free speech that the Society upholds. They and their remarks are not representative of this Society, nor the vast majority of the audience. The Oxford Union will not tolerate this kind of behavior by its members.

"The president of the Student Union, Stuart Cullen, has launched an investigation to identify the members who disrupted the event.

“The Union will be taking disciplinary action against these members, in accordance with the Society’s rules. The president praised the work of the security and local police on the night and expressed his gratitude for their help, as well as that of the Israeli embassy, in coordinating the event.

“The Oxford Union believes in the rights of free speech and protecting our invited speakers' ability to express themselves in an orderly and disciplined environment. We further believe that our members have the right to challenge and question the speakers in keeping with the Society's expectations of good conduct.”

Ayalon had considered pressing charges before police began their investigation.

I would call that more than an anti-Semitic 'remark.' I would call it a threat.

Israel Matzav: British police investigating threat to Ayalon

Israel Matzav: A European-trained murderer

A European-trained murderer

I already noted on Wednesday that the IDF soldier who was murdered at Tapuach Junction on Wednesday afternoon was murdered by a 'Palestinian policeman.' More details have come out regarding the murderer and they're not pretty and don't bode well for the possibility of giving any kind of security control to 'Palestinians' in Judea and Samaria. The murderer was a high ranking officer in the 'Palestinian police.'

IDF sources said it appeared Hatib had acted alone and had lain in wait for a military target, since he had waited on the side of the road when he could have attacked Israelis at a nearby hitchhiking post.

Khatib is survived by parents and five siblings. Several years ago, his uncle was killed in action while serving in the army and during the Second Lebanon War, his aunt was killed when a Katyusha rocket fired by Hizbullah hit her house.

IDF sources said the attacker was the head of bureau for the PA’s Ramallah police chief. IDF sources said that the PA police were trained by a European Union organization, based in Ramallah, called the EUPOL COPPS (the EU Police Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support).

EUPOL COPPS representatives were unavailable for comment.

Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, spoke with senior PA officials and updated them on the attack. The Palestinians told Mordechai that they planned to conduct their own independent investigation into the incident.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denounced the attack and said it “conflicts with our national interests.” He pledged to take steps to prevent such incidents in the future, while endorsing “peaceful resistance” against settlements and the security barrier.

Note Fayyad's reaction: It's not that the attack is wrong because it's wrong to murder people in cold blood or because it's wrong for 'Palestinians' to attack Jews. It's wrong because it 'conflicts with our national interests.' That's the same kind of 'condemnation' of terror attacks that we got from Yasser Arafat in the '90's. It says "It's okay to attack Jews, but please coordinate your attacks with us so that we don't look bad." All the European training in the world - even if it is well-intentioned (about which I have my doubts) - is not going to make it safe for Israel to give any 'Palestinian' entity security control over any significant part of Judea and Samaria unless and until they can bring themselves to say that murdering Jews and Israelis (the victim was a Druze soldier and was not Jewish) is wrong - and not just because it 'conflicts with their national interests.'

I don't believe the 'Palestinians' are capable of saying that with a straight face and I don't believe they ever will be - certainly not in our lifetimes. And I have my doubts about the Europeans as well.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: A European-trained murderer

Israel Matzav: Jewish students: Stop wavering!

Jewish students: Stop wavering!

In an editorial discussing Monday night's efforts to shout down Israeli ambassador to the United States, the JPost worries that Jewish students are wavering in their support of Israel. "It's never easy," says the Post.

It is true that Jerusalem speaks with many voices – but it has done so since the 1970s. Spurious efforts to “redefine” what “being pro-Israel means” are also not new.

Moreover, campuses have never been bastions of pro-Israelism. Not in the 1960s, when America’s black power movement became enamored with the Arab cause; not in the 1970s, when Jimmy Carter struggled in vain to conceal his contempt for Menachem Begin, and when Time magazine demonized our premier as a modern-day Fagin.

It was no picnic being on campus in the 1980s, when an NBC anchor stood on a Beirut rooftop, with smoke billowing in the background from burning PLO targets, and declared, “…Nothing like it has ever happened in this part of the world. I kept thinking... of the bombing of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War…We are now dealing with an imperial Israel.”

Nor did pro-Israel activism come easy in the early 1990s, when a “pitiless” Yitzhak Rabin expelled 415 Islamic fanatics to southern Lebanon; international pressure eventually forced him to rescind the move, setting the stage for the flowering of Hamas.

In the 21st century a difficult campus situation got even worse, partly due to an influx of Muslim students and the affinity of the anti-globalization movement for the Palestinian cause.

NONE OF this absolves the current cadre of Jewish student activists from stepping up to the plate. The Twitter generation even has the advantage of circumventing the silencing of Israel by utilizing new media.

Never has it been more important to cast timidity aside. To reassert that no one has a stronger claim to this land than the Jewish people; to denounce the notion that Israel’s “original sin” was being re-born after 2000 years; and to explain that the “occupation” and settlements are fundamentally red-herring issues that would fade away, were the Palestinians to negotiate in earnest for a two-state solution.

They're probably preaching to the choir, but as our rabbis tell us, "ain m'zarzin ela la'mzurazin" (we only push those who are already motivated to greater heights), so the encouragement to keep up the fight is definitely appropriate.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Jewish students: Stop wavering!

Israel Matzav: Feiglin warns of 'imminent murder' on the Temple Mount

Feiglin warns of 'imminent murder' on the Temple Mount

I have mentioned several times that I do not ascend the Temple Mount, because my rabbi does not allow it until the Messiah comes and we are purified from uncleanliness using the ashes of a red heifer (see Numbers 19). But other Jews do ascend the Temple Mount. Because of something that happened to him on the Temple Mount, Moshe Feiglin is worried about them.

Yesterday, I stood opposite the site of the Temple with my back to the El Aktza mosque. A group of Jews was at my side, listening to my explanations on the Temple Mount. As I was speaking, I noticed an Arab woman, covered from head to toe in robes and scarves, walking towards me in a threatening manner. There was no room for mistake, and all the people in the group noticed this woman. Usually, when a person is walking, he will choose a path that will not force him to collide with another person. But this woman confidently strode straight towards me. I was apprehensive that she would quickly take the few additional steps towards me and through her scarves and robes, draw out a knife and stab me.

As you know, Jews are permitted to enter the Temple Mount from the Mugrabim Gate only. Only Jews must undergo an extensive search to ensure that they are not carrying a prayer book or book of Psalms in their belongings, G-d forbid. The Arabs, on the other hand, may enter the Temple Mount from any of its gates without any sort of security check. This being the case, there is no problem for a potential Arab murderer to enter the Mount with his or her weapon.

I was apprehensive, but unwisely relied on the Israeli policeman who was watching our every move and was standing just a few steps away from our group. Everyone else in the group identified the approaching danger. It seemed clear that the policeman, who was ostensibly guarding us, would also identify the danger and would certainly attempt to defend us.

I forgot, though, that in reality, the role of the police on the Temple Mount has been limited to one issue: Ensuring that Jews do not pray there. They are not there to protect Israeli citizens from Arab weapons and murderers. The policeman who accompanies each Jew is concerned only with his lips – making sure that they are not moving in prayer.

As a Jew, I understand that I am the dangerous factor on the Temple Mount and in order not to encounter your wrath, I acted in accordance with your recommendations. In other words, I relied on the policeman.

The Arab woman came right up to me, pushed me and disappeared into the mosque. As opposed to everyone else in our group, the policeman did not notice what had happened.

Israel Matzav: Feiglin warns of 'imminent murder' on the Temple Mount

Israel Matzav: NY Times: Time's up for Iran

NY Times: Time's up for Iran

Even the New York Times now says that enough is enough.

Enough is enough. Iran needs to understand that its nuclear ambition comes with a very high cost.

President Obama said on Tuesday that the United States and its allies are “moving along fairly quickly” on a new sanctions resolution. He also said it would take several weeks to draft a proposal. That is not reassuring. Once a resolution is written, the negotiating process typically drags on for weeks, if not months.


The more the Security Council temporizes, compromises and weakens these resolutions, the more defiant and ambitious Iran becomes. If the Security Council can’t act swiftly, or decisively, the United States and its allies will have to come up with their own tough sanctions. They should be making a backup plan right now.

Read the whole thing.

When the sanctions don't work or aren't implemented quickly enough, will the Times back military action?

Dream on - there's not a mention of it. The Times and America's Left are where they should have been a year ago on the fierce moral urgency (no scare quotes) of stopping Iran. Sadly, they were more concerned with other matters in both the domestic and foreign spheres. History will not look kindly upon them.

Israel Matzav: NY Times: Time's up for Iran

Israel Matzav: Russia validates Western fears over Iran

Russia validates Western fears over Iran

Russia has admitted that Western fears that Iran is building a nuclear weapon are 'valid.'

Russia expressed greater concern over Iran’s nuclear programme on Tuesday, with one of the closest allies to Vladimir Putin, prime minister, describing western anxiety over Tehran’s plans as “valid”.

As Iran took an important step towards the possible manufacture of weapons grade uranium, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Presidential Security Council, said there was a “limit” to how much diplomacy could be used to solve the crisis.

In recent months, Dmitry Medvedev, president, has expressed growing concern over Iran’s programme, while Mr Putin – often regarded as the real source of power at the Kremlin – has resisted tough new United Nations sanctions against Tehran.

But following the announcement by Mahmoud Ahamdi-Nejad, Iran’s president, this week that Iran would produce uranium enriched to a 20 per cent level, Mr Patrushev, a former head of the FSB, the Russian security service, sharply criticised the move.

Mr Patrushev noted that Iran claimed it was not seeking nuclear weapons. But he told journalists in Moscow: “The actions it is taking, including when it began enriching low- enriched uranium to 20 per cent, raise doubts in other countries and those doubts are quite valid.” He added: “Political-diplomatic methods are important for a resolution, but there is a limit to everything.”

So will Russia support sanctions or won't they support sanctions? And if they will support sanctions, what sanctions will they support? Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia would only support sanctions that targeted Iran's nuclear program. Those are the same sanctions we've had for the last seven years, and it is long past the time where those can have any effect in time to stop Iran even if all the countries that have violated them suddenly buckled down and stopped violating them. But for what it's worth, Russia is said to be 'genuinely embarrassed' by Iran's thumbing its nose at the international community.

And then there's China, which is resisting any new sanctions at all.

China, however, remains firmly opposed and may maintain that stance whatever Russia decides. There is still doubt over whether the Kremlin will actually allow the passage of a sanctions resolution.

However, senior US diplomats believe that Iran's decision to press ahead with higher levels of enrichment has backfired. A senior US official said this was a "hollow" and "provocative" gesture that would make new sanctions more likely. "I think there is sufficient support in the council for sanctions," said the official. "The Iranians see the Russians clearly moving towards joining us in a sanctions resolution."

The official said there might be efforts to delay the passage of a resolution and to dilute it. "But I think before long it will be possible to achieve it," he said. "That means the Chinese will vote Yes or abstain, and I think they are likely to vote Yes."

Well, maybe. But it is long past time for delays. Delays are likely to mean that there will be no opportunity at all to try serious sanctions.

When the history of this period is written, it will be recognized that the entire crisis was caused by bumbling, inept and duplicit leaders who spoke out of both sides of their mouths and did not abide by their word.

I just hope that someone is around when this is over to write that history.

Israel Matzav: Russia validates Western fears over Iran

Israel Matzav: 'Crippling' sanctions?

'Crippling' sanctions?

Jennifer Rubin believes that Prime Minister Netanyahu is nervous - and rightfully so - that after waiting for months, the sanctions that the Obama administration will seek to impose on Iran will be less than crippling.

Bibi Netanyahu responded with a statement that seems as much aimed at the Obami as at the Iranians: “I believe that what is required right now is tough action from the international community. … This means not moderate sanctions, or watered-down sanctions. This means crippling sanctions, and these sanctions must be applied right now.”

What Bibi is referring to is no secret. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both been downplaying the “crippling” part of the “crippling sanctions” that the Obama team has been promising for months. They insist the sanctions must be focused so as not to impact the Iranian people. What those might look like and how we could possibly impact the regime by such narrowly focused measures have been left vague. Meanwhile, there are very serious sanctions that in slightly different forms have passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, but the Obama team has been noticeably cool to those. Too crippling, I suppose.

So let’s see if, in the face of the abject failure of its engagement strategy, and with bipartisan support in Congress for very tough sanctions — “not moderate sanctions, or watered-down sanctions” — the Obami can make a final stab at preventing the revolutionary Islamic state from going nuclear. I suppose we’ll know “within weeks” — but then the Obama team was supposed to get serious in September, and again at the close of 2009. We’ve seen this routine before. Bibi is right to be nervous.

Netanyahu is nervous, but not over the prospect that Obama will impose less than crippling sanctions. It's been a foregone conclusion here for months that the time for sanctions had long since passed and in any event President Obumbler would not authorize any sanctions that had a chance of having an effect. I'm sure that's been clear to Bibi since his first meeting with Obama back in May.

What Bibi must be nervous about is whether the action that he will have to take against Iran will be supported - or at least not opposed - by the United States and Europe. Bibi understands that with respect to Iran, military intervention is no longer a question of whether, but a question of when and how.

Israel Matzav: 'Crippling' sanctions?

Israel Matzav: Decrying anti-Semitism, Guardian style

Decrying anti-Semitism, Guardian style

I hope you didn't expect al-Guardian to go after the real thing. I hope you don't expect them to expose the anti-Semitism of some of their own columnists and Comment is Free writers. But this is the kind of anti-Semitism the Guardian wants to be against: People who call the likes of Amira Hass, Mikey Lerner, Gideon Levy, Ilan Pappe and Gonen Segev and more than 8000 others "Self-Hating and/or Israel Threatening Jews."

Well, I don't agree with the entire ... list either (I agree with most of the names I recognized), and it's got far too much profanity for my taste. But the .... list is not where I would start to attack anti-Semitism.

And yes, the Guardian writer, Yigal Bronner, has more than earned his place on the list assuming that what they write about him is true.

Israel Matzav: Decrying anti-Semitism, Guardian style

Love of the Land: A Usurpation of National Sovereignty

A Usurpation of National Sovereignty

Israel fights back against a U.N. power grab.

Peter Berkowitz
National Review Online
10 February '10

Tel Aviv — The controversy sparked by the Sept. 15, 2009, publication of the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, otherwise known as the Goldstone Report, may appear to exclusively concern the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, it involves a usurpation of national sovereignty by international law that has implications well beyond Israelis, Palestinians, and their neighborhood.

The latest round in this controversy got underway on January 29, when Israel delivered “Gaza Operation Investigations: An Update” to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The carefully crafted 46-page document affirmed Israel’s unequivocal commitment to the law of armed conflict, and it reported substantial progress in investigating allegations of unlawful conduct against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and commanders arising from Operation Cast Lead.

Operation Cast Lead took place from Dec. 28, 2008, to Jan. 18, 2009. Israel carried out the operation because Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups had launched approximately 12,000 rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2000 against civilian populations in southern Israel. Paradoxically, given that Hamas’s deliberate and premeditated attacks on Israeli civilian populations and its use of fellow Palestinians as human shields were flagrant war crimes, international ire has from the outset swirled around the alleged criminality of Israel’s operation.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A Usurpation of National Sovereignty

Love of the Land: Time's McGirk Sides With Opponents of Jerusalem Archeology

Time's McGirk Sides With Opponents of Jerusalem Archeology

Ricki Hollander
10 February '10

Tim McGirk, Time Magazine's Jerusalem bureau chief, is notorious for his lack of impartiality on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Time and again, he has departed from the code of journalistic ethics by failing to “distinguish between advocacy and news reporting,” and by misleading readers with false information. In a Feb. 8, 2010 article entitled “Archaeology in Jerusalem: Digging Up Trouble,” McGirk once again replaces objective reporting with advocacy journalism, this time promoting opponents of archeological excavations in the City of David.

Jerusalem's past, present and future is a subject of controversy that arouses passionate opinion and positions on both sides. One of the main obstacles to previous peace‑making efforts has been the issue of dividing Jerusalem and control over its holy sites. Muslim denial of Judaism's historical and religious ties to Jerusalem, the Waqf's illegal construction on the Temple Mount, and the violent response to Jewish archeological digs have long stymied Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. (See "The Battle Over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount".) While the strongest opposition to the archeological excavations taking place in Jerusalem comes from Palestinian and Muslim leaders who for political reasons deny a Jewish historic bond to the city's holy sites, opposition has also come from pro‑Palestinian activists who oppose Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem's holy basin and from revisionist or minimalist archeologists who reject the Bible as a guide to the history of ancient Israel.

Support for the archeological studies come not only from right‑wing Jewish nationalists but from archeologists, historians and scholars throughout the world who believe that the discoveries support biblical accounts of a united Davidian monarchy.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Time's McGirk Sides With Opponents of Jerusalem Archeology

Love of the Land: Manhigut Yehudit's Ideas Going Mainstream

Manhigut Yehudit's Ideas Going Mainstream

Manhigut Yehudit
11 February '10

Only two weeks ago we pointed out how - slowly but surely - ideas that Manhigut Yehudit has been introducing into public discourse are eventually integrated as societal norms and become legislative proposals. We had mentioned the proposed law to give honorably discharged soldiers free land, submitted by MK Gilah Gamliel and the change in the government's handling of the illegal immigrant issue and its decision to close Israel's border with Egypt.

This week, another Manhigut Yehudit idea went mainstream, with PM Netanyahu's endorsement of the Yisrael Beiteinu proposal to allow Israeli expatriates to vote.

For Netanyahu and Lieberman, the proposed law is motivated by narrow political interests: Most Israelis are loyal to their identity and Land and naturally lean toward the right. Granting voting rights to hundreds of thousands of Israeli expatriates neutralizes the power of the Arab Knesset bloc and strengthens the right. But even though he may be governed by narrow interests, the fact that the PM has endorsed this law is a step in the right direction.

Manhigut Yehudit has repeatedly called for the granting of voting rights to every Jew as a matter of principle. The practical way to begin is to grant voting rights to those people who are already Israeli citizens. We do not propose this for opportunistic reasons but because we believe that the State of Israel is the state of the entire Jewish nation.

For more on voting rights for expatriates and world Jewry, see Moshe Feiglin's article, Israeli Voting Rights for Expatriates and Diaspora Jews.

Related article: The Great Absentee-Ballot Debate

Love of the Land: Manhigut Yehudit's Ideas Going Mainstream

RubinReports: The Obama Administration's Three Gambles on Iran Which It's Sure to Lose

The Obama Administration's Three Gambles on Iran Which It's Sure to Lose

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By Barry Rubin

Two articles today are especially worthy of attention. The Washington Post has a piece about how Iran has been running into technical troubles in building nuclear weapons. This is the kind of thing Israeli analysts have known about for years. Since it is out in public now, please note that the idea that Iran is about to get weapons in the next few months has been often exaggerated. But we are talking about, say, two years roughly, and some more time before they could deliver them by missiles.

More immediately, following up on its editorial, the New York Times has an article, “Obama Takes Several Gambles in Bid to Defuse Nuclear Standoff With Iran,” which is not bad as such but somewhat detached from reality. Indeed, it could have been written six months ago in many respects. It is also interesting to note how on each point the article partly misses the point. Always keep in mind that they way things are worded, defined, and argued reflects the thinking of the foreign policy elite including the government itself.

Basically, the article says that the Obama administration is taking three gambles.

First, the belief that it can get through stronger sanctions, “that are strong enough to convince Iran’s divided leadership that its nuclear ambitions are not worth the price.”

The article doesn’t mention that the administration’s own starting point—even before having to water down sanctions with concessions to get support from others!—is too weak to convince Iran’s leadership to back down. That’s pretty significant.

[Yes, the administration has just put on some new sanctions. If you are a high-ranking official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps--which is seeking to spread terrorism and Islamist revolution and shouts "Death to America" every day--it will be harder to do business in the United States. That's going to scare them?]

The article continues: “for Mr. Obama, that effort is complicated by the fear that sanctions could crush a resilient antigovernment movement that appears on the verge of taking to the streets again.”

There are circumstances where such concerns would be valid but this isn’t one of them.

Think about it. If Iran does get nuclear weapons it will greatly strengthen the regime at home for several reasons: hysterical enthusiasm at Iran becoming a great power; a show that the regime can easily defy the world (so how can any opposition challenge such a powerful and confident state?); and international gains that will produce material benefits at home. Therefore, if sanctions are too weak it will ensure that the antigovernment movement will be crushed in the not-distant future.

Moreover, those who hate the regime already hate it. They aren’t going to change their mind because America is “bullying” the mullahs. True, in the Arabic-speaking world the idea of rallying around the dictator in the face of foreign pressure is a real possibility. But Iranian history is different. It has never had a strong coherent nationalism and this regime has not ruled on a nationalist basis (though it has used such appeals at times, as in Iran's war against Iraq).

To be frank, Iran has more of a tradition of deserting to make a deal with powerful foreigners. Nobody knew that better, incidentally, than the leader of the Islamist revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and he talked about it a lot. Before the seizure of the U.S. embassy in 1979, Iranians were lining up there to ask for visas and to seek support in overthrowing the regime. That’s one of the main reasons the government backed the takeover.

Clearly, Iranians don’t want the United States to invade their country or even attack it militarily (though more than you might think wouldn’t mind so much). But put pressure on that weakens the regime? That’s a different matter.

The second gamble is that he will win over China, which even the Times sees as unlikely. For some peculiar reason they don’t mention Russia which is also a problem. By the way, note that through its friends in Hizballah who are part of Lebanon’s government, Iran now has a foothold in the UN Security Council since Beirut is a member there.

The third gamble is to stop Israel from attacking. This is silly since Israel won’t attack unless Iran is on the verge of getting deliverable nuclear weapons by which time it would be clear that the Obama administration had failed. Moreover, Israel is going to give every chance for sanctions and diplomacy to succeed, both because it would prefer not to attack and to “subvert” these efforts would sabotage Israel’s support in the West, especially the United States.

It is amazing how hard it is for Western elites to understand Israeli interests and policies, perhaps because the mythology is piled higher than a February snowstorm in Washington.

So here we have a trio of straw men. Here’s the real gamble: expecting to achieve anything without strong sanctions (why doesn’t the Times ever mention Congress’s proposal of a refined oil products cut-off which would be far more effective?), building a strong international coalition against the ambitions of the Iran-led Islamist alliance, making a credible threat of toughness, and doing a lot more to support Iran’s opposition.

Here's an idea: since it is obvious that the administration policy is going to fail, why wait for a year to find that out?

There are two ways to look at it this administration strategy as a gamble: Either this is a gamble that cannot win or the Obama administration is gambling with the future of the Middle East and the survival of some very basic U.S. interests.

RubinReports: The Obama Administration's Three Gambles on Iran Which It's Sure to Lose

RubinReports: The Reactionary Nature of "Progressive" Ideology: A Comparison with the Sixteenth Century

The Reactionary Nature of "Progressive" Ideology: A Comparison with the Sixteenth Century

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By Barry Rubin

Michel de Montaigne was a sixteenth-century French philosopher, the forerunner of many modern ideas. During his time, one of the most important debates was between those who argued that monarchy was divinely endowed and those who favored the people having sovereignty.

Being a man who didn’t like absolute rules, Montaigne wrote the following:

“The most excellent and best regime for any nation is that under which it has maintained itself. Its essential form and utility depends on usage. We are easily displeased with the system we have, but all the same I hold that it is wicked and stupid to wish for the rule of the few in a democracy or in a monarchy, another kind of regime. ”

At the time, this was a status quo viewpoint of course. In effect it meant that the existing democracies—Great Britain and the Netherlands—should remain that way and all other societies should remain monarchies. From today’s perspective we can see this as a multicultural and Politically Correct viewpoint: everybody’s system is well-suited for them and it is right that it remain in effect.

Note, by the way, that Montaigne did not talk about overthrowing anyone else’s system. He merely said that no one should want to change their own system or wish (merely hope for or believe it would be a good thing) if others changed their system. Elsewhere, he wrote--something very enlightened for his time--that all societies elsewhere in the world had beliefs properly suited for them and of equal value to those held by Europeans.

Yet looking back four centuries we can see the huge flaw in his thinking. Due to internal development or international factors, many societies have changed their system, including France itself, as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, and many other places in the world. If the traditional system was the best, this raises two issues:

--Why did it change? Is the development from autocratic dictatorship, rule by the few, to democracy a step forward in history, a reversible mistake, or a mere way-station on the way to some "higher" form of dictatorship? Up until quite recently, many people in the West thought it was an error or an interim stage. In the Third World, many still do.

--Why was the change from monarchy to republic almost always an improvement in terms of social progress and the well-being of the great majority, at least after the latter had sufficient time to become stabilized?

These are the things that the last 300 years of history ultimately taught people. In other words, we recognize that change is a law of history even for the most seemingly entrenched systems. We also recognize that a specific direction of change from a society which is in effect a dictatorship or at least a highly centralized state which overwhelms social, economic, religious, intellectual life to one that is a limited-government democratic republic—is a step forward.

A growth in liberty, the development of a reasonably regulated--but not strangled--free enterprise economic system, and a representative form of government is better than a dictatorship by a king, oligarchy, political party, ideology, those who claim to speak for God, or a supposedly well-meaning group of bureaucrats and politicians.

Not long ago, the previous paragraph would have been pretty uncontroversial. Today, however, such talk is close to forbidden. Once again we are told that all people have a culture, society, and political structure that is appropriate for them and it should remain that way forever. In contrast to Montaigne’s neutrality, but in accord with the reactionaries of his time, we are told that one cannot say that democracy is a better system or that it represents progress in human civilization.

Oh, by the way, there used to be a word for those who believed the ideas contained in that previous paragraph celebrating the growth of liberty. The word was “liberal”

Even almost all of those we call “conservative” today have accepted the basic ideas of historic liberalism. The debate between liberals and conservatives today is one over the details of how to balance between liberty and law, between laissez-faire and regulation. These issues are quite passionate and important in their own right but fall below the level of advocating an entirely different system or public philosophy.

In contrast, the concept of Politically Correct, multiculturalism, and “progressive” ideology is a reactionary step backward. Instead of the divine rights of kings, this approach enthrones the absolute correctness of its own ideas which become unquestionable and thus beyond questioning. Like sixteenth-century reactionaries, they want to limit free speech and turn what should be independent institutions into choruses of consensus.

Like the worst opponents of freedom in the sixteenth century, they want to rationalize freezing most of the world into systems which in non-technological ways have more in common with the sixteenth-century West, in which a centralized states dominates society and chooses what liberties to give its citizens, than with the modern world. Like the neo-medieval thinkers of that earlier era, they want to substitute a predetermined set of ideas for logical processes and the scientific method.

Indeed, excluding the extremes, most contemporary Western conservatives are far closer to liberalism than those seeking to hijack that doctrine today. Nothing could be more reactionary from the standpoint of three centuries of democratic liberalism than "progressive," Politically Correct ideology and practice.

RubinReports: The Reactionary Nature of "Progressive" Ideology: A Comparison with the Sixteenth Century

Love of the Land: Egyptian Journalists Under Attack

Egyptian Journalists Under Attack

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Hudson New York
11 February '10

The editor-in-chief of the Egyptian state-run weekly magazine, Al-Demokratiya, Ms. Hala Mustafa and the editor of another Egyptian newspaper, October, Mr. Hussein Serag, are facing undue threats a ban and an actual ban from the Egyptian Journalists Union for advocating normalization of relations with Israel.

Mustafa had earlier created a media controversy in September 2009 after receiving Israeli envoy Shalom Cohen at her home. Ms Mustafa went on to further shock the Journalists Union by saying she does not believe a boycott of Israel helps the Palestinians - and that she does not think unions should impose Israel boycotts. The Egyptian Journalists Union [EJU] had sent Mustafa a letter of protest for having invited the Israeli ambassador, although, earlier EJU had decided to expel her.

In a response to questions by a Western news agency on what action Mustafa would be taking against such actions by EJU, she said that she would go to court to defend her views and her right to speak to whomever she wished. Ms. Mustafa is reported to have claimed that the union’s ruling undermines freedom of the press; she apparently told a news agency that she “totally” rejects the warning that a ban might be imposed on her work, as it has been with Mr. Serag, and may seek legal redress for what she said was a “moral injury. “It goes against freedom of expression … which the union should protect,” she said.

Mustafa was accused of violating a 1985 journalists union resolution that effectively bans members from meeting with Israeli officials or taking any other steps towards normalizing relations. Mustafa has repeatedly urged that the 1985 resolution be revoked. “This resolution was adopted almost 25 years ago. It is high time that it is annulled in favor of encouraging dialogue with the Israelis,” Ms Mustafa said.

(Read full story)

Related articles:
The Sad Fate of Arab Moderates and The Arab World’s Tragic Success in Not Needing Them Any More,
Silencing Dissent

Love of the Land: Egyptian Journalists Under Attack

Love of the Land: Why Serge Klarsfeld is on a fool's errand

Why Serge Klarsfeld is on a fool's errand

Point of No Return
11 February '10

You know that feeling of exasperation you get when some bumbling but well-meaning old relative tries to intervene in a family row, but only manages to make things worse? That was how I felt when I read news of Serge Klarsfeld's latest tour of the Arab world.

Under the auspices of the Aladdin project, sponsored by UNESCO, the French veteran Nazi hunter, whose father was deported to a death camp, has just concluded in Baghdad a series of talks on the Holocaust in Tunis, Cairo, Amman, Istanbul, Rabat, Jerusalem and Nazareth in northern Israel. His purpose? To fight Holocaust denial in the Arab world.

In itself, that is a perfectly laudable objective. We know that Holocaust denial has reached epidemic proportions in Arab and Muslim countries. Only through Holocaust education might a future Holocaust be prevented. And Arabs who understand the full extent of the mass murder by industrialised methods of a third of the Jewish people might just begin to appreciate the need for a Jewish state.

Except that the 73-year-old Klarsfeld went further, and set up a false moral equivalence between Jewish suffering under the Nazis and Muslim suffering at the hands of the Israelis. In Baghdad on Monday he urged Muslims and Jews 'to learn about their mutual suffering as a way to bring them closer.'

"We must spread knowledge about works showing the common ties between Jews and Muslims, because Muslims also suffered from colonialism and humiliation...I understand that those who have lived under English and French colonialism would also want to speak of their suffering and of those who suffer Israel's presence on what they consider their land.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Why Serge Klarsfeld is on a fool's errand

Love of the Land: Israeli and Middle East Options

Israeli and Middle East Options

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret)
Family Security Matters
09 February '10

On 9/11, Americans were attacked and the World Trade Center’s destroyed along with the deaths of almost 3,000 innocents in New York, Washington D.C. and over the fields of Western Pennsylvania. It was pre-emptive attack and a horrific unthinkable act that arose from great and thorough planning of al Qaeda and its radical Islamists followers. At this point in history, Israel is facing such a dilemma as it seriously contemplates the consequences of a threatened nuclear/missile and ground attack from Iran and her proxies. Does Israel act preemptively to potentially protect its territory and six million citizens and potentially precipitate a full-on regional conflict or anxiously wait while Iran inches closer to nuclear launch capabilities and follows through with its threats of "Death to Israel?"

The media has been fraught with reports about Israel's action to this Iranian attack that appears more real each day in passing. Israel does not require a green light from the U.S. as a sovereign nation and “needs to do what it has to do.” It is now a political decision for Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. With the recent successful medium-range ballistic missile test and claims of 5,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges and additional facilities, Ahmadinejad has brought the situation to a critical tipping point as the rest of the world (to include the U.S.) sits, appeases and threatens more sanctions and provides almost no support to the Iranian Opposition. A Chamberlain-type approach historically spells disaster.

It is obvious that Iran is not open to negotiation or compromise. The risk appears to have elevated since Iran's recent missile tests and their build-up of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. Israel has been criticized for its failed efforts during Hezbollah's war against Israel in 2006 and the Gaza withdrawal.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Israeli and Middle East Options

Love of the Land: The New Israel Fund for Deepening the Jewish-Arab Rift

The New Israel Fund for Deepening the Jewish-Arab Rift

Israel Harel
11 February '10

The Im Tirtzu organization accuses the New Israel Fund of financing Israeli organizations which Judge Richard Goldstone used for information to accuse the Israel Defense Forces of "war crimes."

The fund's response, as is the wont of radical leftist organizations under fire, was to smear its critics as "fascists".Granted, the NIF's president, Naomi Chazan, signed a petition that defined the IDF's operations in Gaza as "terror against civilians" and demanded that Israel abide by "all UN resolutions relating to the conflict" (including 194, which Palestinians interpret as granting them a "right of return"). Nevertheless, the personal campaign against her is a mistake.

The NIF's many supporters in the media and among political organizations (which benefit from the fund, both directly and indirectly) have used this personal campaign to divert the debate from the fund's subversive goal (a "new Israel," not Jewish or Zionist), which it has furthered by donating more than $200 million thus far to hundreds of anti-Zionist organizations (I have a list, if anyone is interested).

Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel - has used its NIF funding to submit dozens of petitions to the High Court of Justice that seek to reduce and even abolish Israel's identity as a Jewish state. "Israel must recognize the [Palestinian] refugees' right of return, on the basis of UN Resolution 194," declares the introduction to a proposed constitution that Adalah authored. And this proposal would also abolish the Law of Return for Jews.

The NIF also finances Jewish-led groups that seek to undermine Israel's Jewish identity, such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: The New Israel Fund for Deepening the Jewish-Arab Rift

Love of the Land: The New Wing of the "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" Lobby Comes to Town

The New Wing of the "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" Lobby Comes to Town

J Street deceives others in order to falsely represent and promote itself.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The Weekly Standard
10 February '10

The "new," "progressive" voice of the "pro-peace and pro-Israel" lobby known as J Street has had its "pro-Israel" label questioned by many observers, and even some of its own have shed that label. J Street has now also revealed it doesn’t keep its word to trusting Jewish organizations.

On Thursday, February 4, 2010, J Street launched a new "grassroots" division—J Street Local—with an event at the University of Pennsylvania, which was webcast to twenty other locations.

The event involved a deception by J Street leadership on the local Hillel and the surrounding Jewish community. When it was discovered that J Street planned to have its new division roll-out from the Penn Hillel, many Israel supporters were concerned that the outside world would assume that Hillel had endorsed J Street, especially because J Street would be webcasting live from there to cities across the country. Not to worry, said J Street to the local Hillel leadership: We promise not to mention that we’re using your facility, and to make clear in our written and oral statements that Hillel does not endorse us. That condition was agreed upon—it was "not just a promise, it was an agreement"—according to Rabbi Howard Alpert, the executive director of all the Philadelphia area Hillels. On the strength of that essential agreement, Hillel went ahead and rented J Street its space.

And then? J Street’s Ben-Ami said exactly what he’d promised not to say—that he was speaking "here at Penn Hillel"—and failed to say a word about what he’d promised solemnly to make clear: that Hillel does not endorse J Street or its message.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: The New Wing of the "pro-Israel, pro-Peace" Lobby Comes to Town

Love of the Land: Muslim students disrupt Israel Amb. Michael Oren's talk

Muslim students disrupt Israel Amb. Michael Oren's talk

09 February '10

Israel's U.S. Ambassador Oren withstands 10 antagonistic disruptions by Univ Calif Irvine Muslim Students Union to deliver speech about middle-east relations to capacity audience. Police Chief comments on arrest of 12 Muslim agitators. Palestinian and Zionist attendees comment on audacious conduct of alleged Muslim Brotherhood-linked, M.S.U. Full speech and interviews - 48 min.

(Quite a circus, but Amb. Oren handled it well. A very interesting interview at 39:44 of Ghazi Brighith, formerly of Beit Lechem, who now has refugee status in the U.S. and attended Oren's presentation. Very outspoken and well spoken. Y.)

Related article: Another wild night on campus reminds college adminstrators why they daren't displease their Islamist students

Love of the Land: Muslim students disrupt Israel Amb. Michael Oren's talk

Love of the Land: New York Times Says: Time’s Up for Sanctions with Iran. But the Obama Administration isn’t Ready

New York Times Says: Time’s Up for Sanctions with Iran. But the Obama Administration isn’t Ready

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
10 February '10

The New York Times has a new editorial on Iran, February 9, and it is probably the best one yet. Naturally, it is phrased in ways friendly toward the Obama administration, though a note of impatience appears. Nevertheless, there’s an explosive device contained within it that the writers probably didn’t even notice. Don’t stop reading until you get to it.

In this case, the title tells all: “Time’s Up.” Paragraph 1:

“Over the last four years, the United Nations Security Council has repeatedly demanded that Iran stop producing nuclear fuel. Iran is still churning out enriched uranium and has now told United Nations inspectors that it is raising the level of enrichment — moving slightly closer to bomb-grade quality.”

This is fine as far as it goes, but notice it puts the onus on the UN Security Council. The Obama Administration has only had one of those years but it has not led in taking any real action--last September in his big speech there he didn't ask the Security Council to do anything--so this paragraph could just as easily have been directed at the president. No, that’s not the bomb.

Then, the second paragraph tells us what a great job the president has been doing:

“ President Obama was right to offer to negotiate with Tehran. Washington and its allies were right to look for possible compromises even after Tehran was caught—again—hiding an enrichment plant.”

OK, so he tried and it didn’t work (though this has been clear now for five months). Then the Times gives the conclusion: “Enough is enough. Iran needs to understand that its nuclear ambition comes with a very high cost.”

Here’s the bomb:

“President Obama said on Tuesday that the United States and its allies are `moving along fairly quickly’ on a new sanctions resolution. He also said it would take several weeks to draft a proposal. That is not reassuring. Once a resolution is written, the negotiating process typically drags on for weeks, if not months.”

Right. After dealing with this issue for a year, as of mid-February the Obama administration has not yet started drafting a proposal for the UN, despite his own September deadline, despite his own December deadline, no one has had time to plan the next step? Why wasn’t a draft resolution set in early January when it was clear that it would be needed? In other words, with luck there won’t be a resolution before the middle of the year.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: New York Times Says: Time’s Up for Sanctions with Iran. But the Obama Administration isn’t Ready

Love of the Land: Demagoguery at its finest

Demagoguery at its finest

Seth Frantzman
Terra Incognita/JPost
09 February '10

In early January it was reported that famed architect Frank Gehry had ended his participation in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s project to build a Museum of Tolerance in downtown Jerusalem. It is the latest in a controversial saga that has united old Muslim Jerusalemite families, Arab protesters and Reform Jews in attempts to stop the project. In April 2004, a groundbreaking was held to inaugurate construction. The museum was slated to be built atop an eyesore of a parking lot that abutted a disused cemetery that was the site of overgrown weeds, trash, illicit meetings and drunks. Its graves lay in a state of extreme neglect.

When rumors circulated that, in the course of removing the parking lot, skeletons were discovered, people began to take notice. Reports speak of the cemetery containing “long-ago associates of the prophet Muhammad.” Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism and not usually an expert on the historical geography of the Holy City or its Muslims, claimed it was “a plot of land where Muslims have been burying their dead for most of the last 800 years.”

Ya’acov Yehoshua (father of A.B. Yehoshua) wrote in 1950 that the cemetery contained “70,000 of the Muslim fighters who were in Saladin al-Ayoubi’s army.”

In general, media reports have had shocking headlines, such as the Independent’s “Israel plans to build ‘museum of tolerance’ on Muslim graves.” Had photos accompanied the reports, the public might have realized the existing cemetery, including such noticeable graves as that of former Ottoman governor Ahmed Agha Duzdar, was being left untouched.

Supporters of the museum claim an 1894 Shari’a court ruled that the sanctity of the cemetery could be lifted. In 1928, the Palace Hotel, whose investors included Haj Amin al-Husseini, was given the right by the Higher Islamic Council to build on a site next to the cemetery. When ancient tombs were discovered in laying the foundations of the hotel, Husseini, who was also the mufti of Jerusalem, “ruled that any bones could simply be removed and issued a gag order for the entire operation.”

The hotel was turned over to the State of Israel in 1948 as absentee property. In 1964 the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem declared the “location was so old it was no longer sacred.” During the 1960s, a parking lot was paved over a small portion of the cemetery. In 1992 that part was given to the municipality. Haggai Elias, a former municipal spokesman, claims that “in Islam, after 25 years the sanctity wears off.”

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: Demagoguery at its finest

Love of the Land: Blinded by Hate

Blinded by Hate

P. David Hornik
10 February '10

For anyone wishing to understand the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” as well as the persistence of extremist and anti-Semitic views in that part of the world, the latest Pew Research Center report on attitudes in the Arab and Muslim world makes for must-reading. (A summary of the report can be found here and the full report here.)

The report is based on a survey that the Pew Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducted from May 18 to June 16 last year. It begins by saying that “across predominantly Muslim nations, there is little enthusiasm for the extremist Islamic organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, although there are pockets of support for both groups, especially in the Middle East.” What the Pew Center calls “little enthusiasm,” however, is in most cases quite considerable enthusiasm.

True, in Turkey Hamas gets only a 5% “favorable” rating and Hezbollah only 3%. But the next-lowest ratings are in Lebanon, where 30% approve of Hamas and 35% of Hezbollah—substantial proportions considering that both are terrorist organizations. And regarding Hezbollah, Lebanese Shiites and Sunnis are, not surprisingly, sharply split, with 97% of Shiites seeing the Shiite terror group favorably and only 2% of Sunnis.

As for the Palestinians, when it comes to the most extreme organizations and leaders, only in the case of Hamas—paradoxically—do they trail behind some other nationalities. Some 44% of Palestinians view Hamas favorably; the group does better both in Jordan (56%) and Egypt (52%). That this has something to do with Palestinians’ direct experience of Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, is suggested by the fact that Hamas actually came in less popular in Gaza (37%) than in the West Bank (47%).

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Blinded by Hate

Elder of Ziyon: Jenny Tonge asks Israel to investigate Haiti organ stealing

Elder of Ziyon: Jenny Tonge asks Israel to investigate Haiti organ stealing

Elder of Ziyon: Visit the "relaxed seaside atmosphere" of Gaza

Elder of Ziyon: Visit the "relaxed seaside atmosphere" of Gaza

Elder of Ziyon: Desmond Travers claims that no one has critiqued Goldstone Report

Elder of Ziyon: Desmond Travers claims that no one has critiqued Goldstone Report

Crisis Plan: Pre-Combat Hesder Students to Man Civil Defense - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Crisis Plan: Pre-Combat Hesder Students to Man Civil Defense - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Kills Global Jihad Terrorist in Air Strike Near Karni - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Kills Global Jihad Terrorist in Air Strike Near Karni - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Diaspora in Turmoil over New Israel Fund%u2019s Donations - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Diaspora in Turmoil over New Israel Fund%u2019s Donations - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Terrorist Murderer's Home to be Razed - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Terrorist Murderer's Home to be Razed - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

US Preparing Sanctions To Harm Iranian Elite - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

US Preparing Sanctions To Harm Iranian Elite - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Tel Aviv and Toronto Stock Exchanges Sign Mutual Memorandum - Business & Economy - Israel News - Israel National News

Tel Aviv and Toronto Stock Exchanges Sign Mutual Memorandum - Business & Economy - Israel News - Israel National News

PA Officials Taking Active Role in Anti-Israel Protests - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

PA Officials Taking Active Role in Anti-Israel Protests - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

More on Goldstone

More on Goldstone

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has had a second look at the Irish member of the Goldstone team, Colonel Desmond Travers. Not surprisingly, it's not pretty. The British government is controlled by the Jews, Hamas wasn't shooting at Israelis, Palestinians have no connection to Hamas, and the IDF chose which Gazan homes to bomb only after using secret weapons which identify civilians, and always preferring the ones where there were lots of them.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

More on Complexity

More on Complexity

Earlier this week much ink was spilled documenting how the NIF organizations are simultaneously forces for good and evil. Avi Issacharoff says the same about the Palestinian Authority, the PA: They're doing great work these past couple years; and also some very problematic things that undermine the likelihood of peace. The same people and the same organizations, all at the same time.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

More on the NIF

More on the NIF

Israel Harel - the Right-wing fig leaf at Haareta, as Naomi Hazan was the Left-wing fig leaf at the Jerusalem Post - doesn't like the NIF. He backs this up with some interesting data, none of it related to the Goldstone Report.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations
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