Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Love of the Land: How Syria benefits from the axis of proliferation

How Syria benefits from the axis of proliferation


Tony Badran
NOW Lebanon
16 February '10

Two weeks ago, a report appeared on the Japanese news site Nikkei quoting Western intelligence sources as saying that North Korea was once again providing “sensitive military technology” to Syria. The report got little coverage in the Western media and came shortly before US the under secretary of state for political affairs, William Burns, is scheduled to visit Syria. The purpose of his trip has been described as being about Iran as well as Syria’s ongoing smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.

A day after the Nikkei report, the US director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, briefed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his team’s annual threat assessment (pdf). The assessment mentioned North Korea’s cooperation with Syria in building the clandestine nuclear reactor at Al-Kibar that Israel destroyed in September 2007. It also noted that US intelligence “remain[s] alert to the possibility North Korea could again export nuclear technology.”

Indeed, the Nikkei story claimed that North Korea was helping Syria build a production line for maraging steel “that can be used in missile skins, chemical warheads and gas centrifuges, a vital component in the uranium enrichment process.” Maraging steel is an alloy possessing strength and malleability that, among other things, “allow it to be formed into thinner rocket and missile skins that can carry heavier payloads.”

The brazenness of this development was remarkable, even by North Korean and Syrian standards. It showed just how much of a gambler Bashar al-Assad really is and has been since he inherited power in Damascus. Yet the Syrian president has grown accustomed to calculating that he can beat the odds against Syria’s paying a serious political price for his actions. For instance, Syria still has not cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inquiry into its Al-Kibar nuclear site. Instead, Assad may be continuing to push his quest for nukes.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: How Syria benefits from the axis of proliferation

Israel Matzav: Google Buzz draws class action lawsuit in Israel

Google Buzz draws class action lawsuit in Israel

The Google Buzz application that suddenly appeared in many of your Gmail accounts last week has drawn a request to certify a NIS 5.5 billion (about $1.4 billion) class action lawsuit here in Israel.

The Jerusalem District Court was requested on Monday to authorize a 5.5-billion-shekel class-action suit against Google Israel for invasion of privacy in the launch of its Buzz social network, according to Haaretz's business publication The Marker.

The suit claims the fact that Google decided in recent days to give internet surfers the option of blocking access to their details by a lot of people after having increased their exposure proves the company's activities caused damage and were unlawful.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Google Buzz draws class action lawsuit in Israel

Israel Matzav: Liberalism as Judaism debunked

Liberalism as Judaism debunked

In the process of defending Joe Lieberman from charges that he's acting un-Jewishly by opposing Obamacare, Benjamin Kerstein debunks the myth that Judaism is Liberalism.

It is true that Judaism, like all the major faiths, admonishes its people to be charitable toward the poor. The idea, however, that Judaism contains a single “ethical imperative” is an absurdity. Judaism has a series of laws and commandments that one is supposed to follow not because they are ethical but because they are the revealed word of God. Out of these various commandments, along with the admonitions of the prophets and the aphorisms of the rabbis, one can—and many scholars, ancient and modern, have— attempt to ascertain or construct an ethics or a series of ethics. To claim, however, that there is any single “imperative” about which it can be said “this is Judaism” is simply too asinine and ignorant to be taken seriously. To fault Navasky for this would be too generous, however, since he clearly knows nothing about Judaism and has no real interest in it beyond his desire to defame Joe Lieberman and to appease liberal antisemites by assuring them that good Jews like himself have no intention of forgetting their place.

Far more egregious are the misrepresentations of Judaism undertaken by openly religious Jewish groups. The most interesting of these is probably a missive from something called the Shalom Center, which has posted an open letter online that calls for Lieberman not to obstruct the health care reform bill “on Jewish grounds of pursuing justice & [sic] saving life.” The letter holds that Lieberman’s stance on the health care bill “is not the behavior of an ‘observant’ Jew” because “‘Tzedek tzedek tirdof, justice justice shall you seek,’ is among the Torah’s most important commandments.”

To get some minor issues out of the way: the statement above both mistranslates and misrepresents the Bible. Tirdof connotes “pursue” and not “seek,” the line is not a divine commandment but a prophetic admonition, and it is not from the Torah but rather the book of Isaiah; the Torah constituting only the first five books of the Jewish Bible. Needless to say, it is also somewhat ambiguous, given that people have many different ideas of what constitutes justice. Had the prophet said “health care reform, health care reform you must pursue,” there might be a point to be made; but he didn’t and there isn’t.

Having come this far, the entire missive promptly collapses into blatant emotional blackmail (while implying corruption on Lieberman’s part) declaring, “we believe your obligation of pekuach nefesh, saving life, saving the lives of the flesh-and-blood citizens of Connecticut… is an even higher obligation than you owe to your insurance-company constituents.”

Putting aside the ugly implications of insinuating that a Jew is a tool of moneyed interests, this constitutes an even more blatant distortion of Jewish law. The letter claims that the concept of pikuah nefesh in rabbinic law requires Lieberman to save the lives of other people, and thus he is required by Jewish law to vote for the health care bill. Unfortunately, pikuah nefesh refers to something entirely different. It does not, as the letter implies, refer to one’s obligation to adhere to the Torah’s commandments, but rather to the circumstances under which one may break them. Put simply, it holds that any commandment—with a few notable exceptions—can be violated in order to save the life of another human being. Moreover, pikuah nefesh only applies in cases where a specific individual’s life is immediately threatened; for better or worse, the “flesh-and-blood citizens of Connecticut” do not qualify.

The argument in bad faith is, of course, something that post-1960s American liberalism has raised to an art form, but it is especially egregious in this case, because it not only defames, trivializes, and insults an ancient and much-abused people and their tradition, but it does so in the service of the most sickening kind of hypocrisy. Put simply, it involves Jewish liberals—individuals and groups—who are more than willing to collaborate with liberal antisemitism so long as it serves their purposes or allays their fears of becoming its targets; but are suspiciously prone to sounding like crazed fundamentalists when they are called upon to admonish their own. Ultimately, however, this is sadder than it is infuriating, because what it reveals is the profound ignorance of and alienation from Judaism suffered by Jewish-American liberals. It is the right of every Jew, of course, to be as close to or as far from Judaism, Jewish identity, and especially Jewish law as he chooses; but when he does not even know what he is close to or far from, we inevitably end up bearing witness to pathetic and empty exhortations such as these, which lack even the slender dignity of rebellion.


Israel Matzav: Liberalism as Judaism debunked

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas arrests Valentine's Day celebrants

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas arrests Valentine's Day celebrants

Elder of Ziyon: Irony in Geneva: Israel defends Arab rights

Elder of Ziyon: Irony in Geneva: Israel defends Arab rights

Chester Chronicles - Mothers-in-Law: Not a Laughing Matter

Chester Chronicles - Mothers-in-Law: Not a Laughing Matter

Love of the Land: 'Justice cannot be one-sided': Knesset speaker

'Justice cannot be one-sided': Knesset speaker


Bataween
Point of No Return
16 February '10

The Arab refugee problem was smaller than the Jewish problem, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin said at yesterday's prestigious reception to mark the passage of the bill safeguarding the rights of Jewish refugees, reports Israel National News. Others attending were U.S. Congressman Mr. Eliot Engel, Stanley Urman, executive director of Justice for Jews from Arab countries, Former justice minister and member of the Canadian Parliament Prof. Irwin Cotler, former minister Mr Rafi Eitan, Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Rabbi Eli Yishai, Minister Benny Begin, Deputy Foreign Minister, MK Danny Ayalon Deputy Finance Minister, Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen and Immigration and Absorption Committee chairman and MK Lia Shemtov, and representatives of organisations of Jews from Arab countries.

“While Israel is constantly under attack around the world,” Rivlin said, “regarding its approach to the Palestinians and the Palestinian refugees, the world must remember that historic justice cannot be allowed to be selective and one-sided. The fact is that since 1948, Israel has absorbed over a half-million Jewish refugees – and they, too, have rights and demands and financial claims.”

“This matter must be an inseparable part of all negotiations regarding the future of this region,” Rivlin said.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: 'Justice cannot be one-sided': Knesset speaker

Elder of Ziyon: Another Mamilla Cemetery lie

Elder of Ziyon: Another Mamilla Cemetery lie

Love of the Land: The New Israel and Political Warfare: Avow One Goal, Seek Another

The New Israel and Political Warfare: Avow One Goal, Seek Another


Joel Fishman
Hudson New York
16 February '10

Two weeks ago, the disclosures of the student group, Im Tirtsu, shocked the Israeli public when they revealed that sixteen organizations supported by the New Israel Fund [NIF] contributed most of the information upon which the inaccurate Goldstone Report was based.

Israel's enemies have failed to win militarily, so they have begun waging a war by indirect means. Their main political goal is to destroy Israel's legitimacy and convey it to the Palestinian Authority. Their tactics include undermining Israel's political structure, eroding its traditional values, crippling its legal system and law enforcement agencies, weakening the armed forces, paralyzing the government's ability to use its military force and thus limit her options for self- defense. In the wake of the Goldstone Report, the government has publicly acknowledged the challenge this political warfare poses. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared his determination to counter what he termed the "Goldstone Effect."

Accordingly, the NIF must be viewed as an important link and conduit in a cultural and political network whose real purpose is to undermine the Jewish State and replace it with another entity. The NIF is neither democratically elected nor does it represent a constituency. Although its professed goal is to "strengthen democracy" in Israel, the nature of its activities does not support this claim. An organization such as the NIF receives donations from private donors, foundations abroad and foreign governments. In turn, it distributes funds to smaller organizations that are active among Jews and Arabs, who cultivate discontentment to create political capital of their grievances.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: The New Israel and Political Warfare: Avow One Goal, Seek Another

Elder of Ziyon: The easiest job in the world

Elder of Ziyon: The easiest job in the world

Elder of Ziyon: Transparency, Fatah-style

Elder of Ziyon: Transparency, Fatah-style

Israel Matzav: "Made in the USA" in Iran

"Made in the USA" in Iran

Here's a 60 Minutes CBS News report on how components and technology that can be used as part of Iran's nuclear program and other weapons programs are finding their way to Iran.

Let's go to the videotape.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Anyone still expect sanctions to be effective? Anyone think Europe is going to participate in them?

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: "Made in the USA" in Iran

Israel Matzav: New website: Jerusalem.com

New website: Jerusalem.com

I received this by email today:

I've been a long time reader of your blog - even before I made aliya. It's always great commentary about life in Israel.

I'm writing to introduce you to Jerusalem.com, the premiere destination for Jerusalem on the Internet. Launched just a few months ago, Jerusalem.com is already emerging as the primary web-based entry point to the city.

Jerusalem.com features detailed guides which cover hundreds of destinations in the city, including hotels, restaurants, museums and other attractions; an exhaustive events calendar; and in-depth articles published every weekday. We also publish Everything Jerusalem, a quarterly high quality print guide that is distributed throughout hotels in the city.

We've also partnered with the Municipality of Jerusalem as the primary Internet source for city-sponsored events. Our aim is to further Jerusalem culture among the English-speaking lovers of the city, and native Israelis, be they long-time residents, one-night tourists, or even if they've never been here but still feel a connection.

We would really appreciate it if you could add a link to Jerusalem.com (http://www.jerusalem.com) and, if appropriate, our Hebrew page at http://www.gojerusalem.co.il/

I haven't looked at the Hebrew site, but the English site is quite impressive. Those of you planning trips to Israel should definitely check it out.

I'm adding the English site to the blogroll as soon as I hit publish on this post.


Israel Matzav: New website: Jerusalem.com

RubinReports: U.S. Marks Anniversary of Syrian Terrorist Act With Major Concession to Syria

U.S. Marks Anniversary of Syrian Terrorist Act With Major Concession to Syria

By Barry Rubin

Not all national disgraces appear in the headlines. February 14 was the fifth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, an event which led to a national peaceful uprising in non-Hizballah Lebanon that forced the withdrawal of Syrian troops and produced the short-lived Beirut Spring.

As a result, a moderate, independent-minded, pro-Western government came to power which wanted to minimize Iranian, Syrian, and Hizballah power in the country. That government was essentially betrayed—perhaps let down is a better phrase—by the United States and France, given little support until its enemies who, on contrast, were fully backed by their friends in Tehran and Damascus, made a comeback and are back in the government coalition with veto power. As a result, Lebanon has made a considerable move toward Iran’s orbit.

The investigation of Hariri’s murder has led straight to the highest levels of the Syrian government as having put out the contract on Hariri’’s life, along with other terrorist attacks in Lebanon that killed several members of parliament and dozens of bystanders. But the investigation has faltered due to lack of Western backing.

So while President Barack Obama called Hariri’s son to say the United States wants to find the murderers and encourage the investigation his policies have been the exact opposite. The U.S. refusal to send a new ambassador to Syria has been a key sign of American anger over the murders and leverage to press Syria toward cooperation with the investigation.

Now, however, a high-ranking U.S. official on that very anniversary has leaked that the United States has now made a significant concession to Syria by naming its first ambassador to Syria since that envoy was withdrawn after Hariri’s murder. A State Department official said that the Syrian government has accepted the U.S. candidate though we don’t yet know who is the choice.

True, this was not an official public announcement. But the fact is that everyone now knows that the decision has been made and the arrangements all put in place. Nobody in Washington will notice that this timing sends a signal to independent-minded Lebanese that the United States wants to forget about Hariri’s murder, accept Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah as holding Lebanon hostage and moving closer to making it a satellite.

Last autumn, the Obama Administration decided not to put defensive missiles into the Czech Republic and Poland on September 17, the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. This is a similar action.


RubinReports: U.S. Marks Anniversary of Syrian Terrorist Act With Major Concession to Syria

Sending Mishloach Manot to Tzahal Soldiers: Two Teshuvot

Sending Mishloach Manot to Tzahal Soldiers: Two Teshuvot


16
פבר
2010

I suggest that the community seriously limit sending Mishloach Manot to friends, and to concentrate on sending them to the soldiers in the area, whose lives are difficult. According to Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz, the reason for sending Mishloach Manot is to increase love between Jews, and according to the author of Terumat Ha-Deshen, to provide someone with food for the festive meal of Purim. Regarding soldiers, both reasons apply. Therefore, no one should be offended if he does not receive a Mishloach Manot from his friend, and all of us will be aware that our gifts are lovingly going to the guardians of our security.
[Shut She’eilat Shlomo vol. 5 #49 in the original edition]

A year ago we began a tradition of seriously limiting sending Mishloach Manot from one person to his friend and to give Mishloach Manot to soldiers who safeguard our security and it is appropriate for us to continue to do so. This year there is also an organized trip to an army base. Everyone should therefore donate to Tzahal, and do not be offended if you do not receive a Mishloach Manot from a friend. I guarantee that he is your friend with all of his heart.
[Shut She’eilat Shlomo vol. 1 #234 in the original edition]

For example, you can send Mishloach Manot to Tzahal soldiers through the websites: www.hebrongifts.com/mimafoso.html or http://pizzaidf.org
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Israel Matzav: Our friends need a laundry rack?

Israel Matzav: Our friends need a laundry rack?

Israel Matzav: Foreign Policy Council Vice Chairman: US should convince allies to boycott Iran, support Greens

Israel Matzav: Foreign Policy Council Vice Chairman: US should convince allies to boycott Iran, support Greens

Israel Matzav: What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes

From a highway in Oshkosh, Wisconsin:

Faster, faster.


Israel Matzav: What a difference a year makes

Love of the Land: Arabs became refugees following leaders' promise: "A week, two weeks... and you'll return to Palestine"

Arabs became refugees following leaders' promise: "A week, two weeks... and you'll return to Palestine"


Itamar Marcus/Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
15 February '10

An Arab refugee in Lebanon described in an interview on Palestinian Authority TV how he and other Arabs left for Lebanon from Israel during the 1948 war, after Arab leaders said their absence would be temporary:

"They [Arab leaders] said: 'A week, two weeks, approximately, and you'll return to Palestine,'" said Sadek Mufid.



This refugee's testimony is yet another example of how Palestinian leaders, writers and refugees themselves have begun to speak out in recent years and openly blame the Arab leadership for the creation of the Arab refugee problem. Mufid describes a large departure to Lebanon from Israel, which led to the creation of "11 or 15 refugee camps." He does not place the blame on Israel.

(Read full story)


Love of the Land: Arabs became refugees following leaders' promise: "A week, two weeks... and you'll return to Palestine"

Love of the Land: The Occupation Industry

The Occupation Industry


Israelinurse
CiF Watch
15 February '10

When I first came to Britain in late 2006, aside from the practical reasons for our being here, one other thing I was rather hoping to get from our stay was a little respite from the tumult of the Middle East. A few months previously we had spent over four weeks under constant attack from Hizbollah rockets and prior to that of course there had been the traumatic years of the Second Intifada. I was looking forward to a ‘time out’ from being a target of aggression simply because I am Israeli, and there was in my mind no reason to think that I could not achieve that in the small, quiet English market town in which we had come to live, where the biggest crises seemed to relate to the local council’s tardiness about collecting the recycling.

It took about six weeks before I encountered my first ever meeting with antisemitism – a verbally abusive PSC campaigner blocking the exit from the supermarket – and I must confess that I was so shocked by this totally unexpected experience that I had no idea how to deal with it. What I did understand however was that just like back home, I had been a target of aggression simply because of what I am.

Reading Yoav Shamir’s recent CiF article last month I could not help finding some of his statements very problematic precisely because I know exactly how insignificant a role antisemitism plays in day to day Israeli life. Because one does not experience it personally, even when hearing about an attack on Jews in France or reading an article about pre-war Germany, it is still very difficult to relate to it on a deep personal level. Until, of course, out of the blue, it happens to you too. But according to Yoav Shamir, we have only ourselves to blame. “[b]ut she is a reminder of the vicious cycle that Zionism became caught in – the state that was supposed to be a cure for what antisemitism started, as both Foxman and Finkelstein are actually saying, has ended up generating antisemitism.”

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: The Occupation Industry

RubinReports: Saudis to Obama Administration: We’re Scared of Iran and You’re Going Too Slow

Saudis to Obama Administration: We’re Scared of Iran and You’re Going Too Slow

Looking for Subscriber 9,014 to receive timely analysis and original coverage of events in the Middle East, Washington, and around the world

By Barry Rubin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to the Persian Gulf is generally being portrayed as a success in the media with the New York Times, for example, saying she “may have made some head way” in getting the Saudis to support sanctions.

Head way? They were supporting sanctions a year ago.

In fact, a genuine note of desperation crept into the press conference given by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal. In front of Clinton he said:

“Sanctions are a long-term solution,” he said. “But we see the issue in the shorter term, maybe because we are closer to the threat. So we need an immediate resolution rather than a gradual resolution.”

[Fun fact: The Times and Wall Street Journal got the quote but the official State Department transcript didn’t. In that document, Faisal’s words make no sense. I don’t think this is on purpose but it is amusing that the State Department botched the most important thing Faisal said.]

What does Faisal’s statement signify? It means: You are going to slow, Iran is still going to get nuclear weapons, we’re right next door, what are you going to do about it real fast? Remember that the Saudis are very conservative and cautious. For Faisal to stand next to Clinton and voice such a sharp criticism—no matter how indirectly phrased—is like some ordinary foreign minister screaming for help.

One idea Clinton might have presented is for Saudi Arabia to guarantee China’s oil supply if it pushes for sanctions and Iran gets angry at Beijing. Like a lot of Obama foreign policy it is very clever, and no doubt sounded good when staffers were having a bull session, but the Saudis won't do it and even if they did the Chinese won't take a risk for which they'll get nothing more in return.

Clinton sounded good on analyzing Iran itself, but unfortunately this analysis is being put to bad purposes. She pointed to increasing power by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) over the regime, even saying that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship. If so, of course, engagement won’t work.

(I wonder if she went beyond her talking points for precisely that reason: if the regime is as bad as she says, how can one make a deal with it? Other officials seem to be more cautious about bashing the Iranian regime, though they are more willing to do so than a month ago. There really are two factions in the Obama Administration but the White House always backs the worst one until really forced by reality--and not even then--to make a switch, as on Israel-Palestinian negotiations and now to some extent on Iran.)

However, she added that the administration is setting sanctions aimed at businesses controlled by the IRGC. In other words even if these sanctions are adopted by the UN Security Council every month they will merely tickle the wallets of IRGC commanders rather than have any real effect on the economy. In other words, even before the Obama Administration starts bargaining we know the sanctions will be toothless.

In an amusing new talking point, Clinton contrasted the “bad” current Islamic Republic of Iran with the good old days under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Yes, she said that the regime today is “a far cry from the Islamic Republic that had elections and different points of view within the leadership circle. That is part of the reason that we are so concerned with what we are seeing going on there.”

Yes, of course, this is being done to appeal to the dissident movement, led by people who were part of the regime then and have been tossed out. It makes some sense tactically. But it is rather strange to see the Obama Administration in effect praising a regime that held Americans hostages for so long and was the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism for decades.

Meanwhile the silliness continues for the administration in dealing with Iran:

--National Security Advisor James Jones stated that these sanctions are going to be so tough they may bring down the regime: "Not mild sanctions. These are very tough sanctions. A combination of those things [sanctions plus internal opposition] could well trigger a regime change -- it's possible." Nobody in Iran’s regime or in the region take such nonsense seriously. It’s wishful thinking, not serious strategy.

--Jones added: "Russia is supportive and is on board, and has been a steady friend and ally on this with president Obama." Either this is wishful thinking or if Russia is supporting the proposed sanctions it is a sign of how weak they are. (And also on the Russia point, see below for a sharp contradiction from Moscow to what Jones said.)

--Meanwhile Vice-President Joe Biden claimed, "I believe we'll get the support of China to continue to impose sanctions on Iran to isolate them, to make it clear that in fact they cannot move forward," More wishful thinking. Just repeating this for months on end doesn’t make it so. Again, no serious observer of Chinese interests, policies, and statements could believe such a thing.

--The Washington Post continues to make a lot of sense, calling in an editorial for real sanctions on Iran by supporting Congress’s proposal (why don’t the other mass media or Obama administration officials ever mention this?) to cut off Iran’s gas supplies.

--Russia’s National Security Council announces that Moscow will go forward on the sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, which would go a long way to building the regime’s confidence and protecting its nuclear installations from any future military attack. It should be noted that such statements have been made before and not implemented but it is scarcely a show of how Russia is a “steady friend and ally” of Obama to make such a statement at this time.

But then that makes sense since to be praised by the Obama administration it helps to be an enemy of U.S. interests. Iran's regime has had to work really hard to get off that list, but perhaps only temporarily?


RubinReports: Saudis to Obama Administration: We’re Scared of Iran and You’re Going Too Slow

Elder of Ziyon: PA declares honor killings to be murder

Elder of Ziyon: PA declares honor killings to be murder

Elder of Ziyon: Turkey smuggling!

Elder of Ziyon: Turkey smuggling!

Netanyahu Asks Russia for Tougher Sanctions on Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu Asks Russia for Tougher Sanctions on Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Congressman Calls on Obama to Halt Israel's Anti-Hamas Moves - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Congressman Calls on Obama to Halt Israel's Anti-Hamas Moves - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Ottawa Minister: An Attack on Israel is an Attack on Canada - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Ottawa Minister: An Attack on Israel is an Attack on Canada - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'J Street' Middle East Junket for 5 Congress Members - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

'J Street' Middle East Junket for 5 Congress Members - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Dubai Police: 11 Agents Killed Hamas Terrorist - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Dubai Police: 11 Agents Killed Hamas Terrorist - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Lieberman: PA Delegitimizes Us with Our Money - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Lieberman: PA Delegitimizes Us with Our Money - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Fatah Officer Killed in Inter-Group Fighting in Lebanon - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Fatah Officer Killed in Inter-Group Fighting in Lebanon - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

RonMossad: The sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room, Part II: SANCTION

The sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room, Part II: SANCTION

This post is the second part of a multi-part series on the stubborn habit of Jews to perpetuate situations where they are the victims of their own actions. If you haven't read the introduction yet, I encourage you to check out Part I before continuing. If you're pressed for time, while highly reommended, it isn't required to go back in order to understand what we're talking about in this post.

____________________________________________



They are willing to bear nothing. You are willing to bear anything. They keep evading responsibility. You keep assuming it.
--Francisco D'Anconia

If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they deem to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act.
--Hank Reardon

We will return to Jaffa, to Acre, to Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, to Ramle. We'll play soccer, Saraa. I'll be happy when we go back there.
--Hamas puppet "Nassour" to young girl host of children’s program


____________________________________________



PART TWO: SANCTION


Picking up where we left off last time with that ridiculous picture that encompasses much of what is wrong with the state of the American Jewish community...for a long time I thought that simple ignorance of reality was what drove these people to embrace the paradox of their own demise, but it goes much deeper than that.

Because you see, the Jewish lesbian who supports Hamas (who if they had their way would execute her, which eliminates her support for them - hence the paradox) in all her absurd irony, answers the immortal question posed by Francisco D'Anconia to Hank Reardon about midway through Ayn Rand's epic, Atlas Shrugged:

If the things I said are true, who is the guiltiest man in this room tonight?

While it is hard to boil down a 1,000+ page book into a single sentence - for the purpose of this post - the Francisco/Hank exchanges say it all. If you haven't read the book yet, go now and read it. I'll wait right here, patiently until you return.

While Atlas Shrugged is host to many themes, messages and subplots, the storyline that I always most identified with was that of Henry "Hank" Reardon. Reardon, a self-made, multi-multi-millionaire is a ruthlessly confident businessman and consummate professional with only one major weakness...he (like the entirety of the American society presented in the book) has been taught his entire life that it is his responsibility to support everyone who does not support themselves. His wife, family and the general public deride him as a greedy, selfish bully whose only concern is the bottom line - all the while living off the fruits of his labor even as they abuse him at every opportunity. Reardon's personal life is a truly miserable one as he is bound by a morality whereby he feels that by suffering at the hands of his tormentors and appeasing them, he is somehow a more virtuous person.

Even as society and the economy is decaying around him as the "looters" and "moochers" seize more and more of his wealth, property and freedom, Reardon continues to suffer and work harder because he loves his work and is driven by a desire to produce and progress - even though by the end he is producing almost exclusively for the thieves and murderers that make up the government in the book. The irony of course is that the people condemning him as being greedy and selfish NEED him to continue to produce because THEY themselves are incapable of it and without him they would be lost. Since everyone around Hank lives off of his production, if he refuses to produce, refuses to be "greedy" and behaves in the way his enemies pretend to want him to behave, they would ALL starve to death.

His willing subscription to their morality, his tolerance of their evil, his continuing to play their game with their rules is the only way they can destroy him. His enemies cannot succeed without the sanction of their victim. And it is thus the same with our enemies.

Since the first halutzim (pioneers) began working the fields and improving living conditions in what would become the modern state of Israel, Arabs against the Jewish state have demanded they vacate the land and "return" it to them.



Really? Where were these claims when Israel was a barren, backwater desert administered by the Ottomans for half a millennium? All of the sudden the Jews bring irrigation, highways and Tel Aviv to Israel and Arab residents who for 1500 years of foreign Muslim domination never even knew how to spell "nationalism" become the world's greatest political refugee problem. You don't think the Jewish presence in Ottoman and British Palestine significantly improved conditions for the native Arab population? How else would you explain 64,790 Arab immigrants to areas that became part of 1948 Israel? From that link:

The Arab Palestinian populations within those sub-districts that eventually became Israel increased from 321,866 in 1922 to 463,288 in 1931 or by 141,422. Applying the 2.5 per annum natural rate of population growth to the 1922 Arab Palestinian population generates an expected population size for 1931 of 398,498 or 64,790 less than the actual population recorded in the British census. By imputation, this unaccounted population increase must have been either illegal immigration not accounted for in the British census...

That means that 14% of the ENTIRE ARAB POPULATION of British Mandate Palestine was made up of IMMIGRANTS from just the nine years between 1922-1931! If the Zionists were so bad for the natives, why move to be CLOSER to them? End the occupation? And do what? Turn the entirety of the West Bank into Gaza City? Or into the pre-Israel swamp and desert that the Gallilee and Negev were, respectively?

And lest you think that these migration patterns ceased in the 20's and 30's...every single day anywhere between 68,000 to 115,000 Palestinians cross either legally or illegally into Israel for work or work for the very West Bank settlers who they claim to seek to displace. Apparently Zionist occupiers and Jewish settlers pay much better than Arab "freedom fighters". Just to put this into perspective, that works out to approximately 10% to 20% of the ENTIRE West Bank labor force is employed by Jews or Israelis.

What happens when Palestinians work in Israel or for Israelis/Jews? They pay taxes on that income to the Israeli government...which then hands the money right back to the Palestinian government. When the 2nd Intifada broke out and when Hamas came to power Israel caused an international uproar by withholding the estimated $50-$60 million a month that they transfer to Fatah and Hamas. For those mathematicians not named Hugo Chavez, that works out to between $600 and $720 million per year.

If you clicked the link that had to do with the Palestinian labor force, you would have read on the CIA Factbook that the ENTIRE PALESTINIAN REVENUE COLLECTION for 2006 was $1.63 billion. That means that nearly HALF of the TOTAL Palestinian intake (which is then used to purchase guns, print schoolbooks that talk about eliminating Israel and fund TV programs that brainwash children into thinking that they should throw rocks at Israeli tanks) is funded by the VERY PEOPLE they seek to destroy. And oh, by the way, in 2009 an additional $900 million was pledged to them by the US and A State Department.

How about the case of route 443, a road that links central Israel to Jerusalem? Or any of the "Jewish-only" roads that I'm sure you've heard the people crying crocodile tears about for that matter. Since the 2nd Intifada, several roads through the West Bank have been closed to Palestinian traffic due to DAILY shooting attacks on Israeli civilian vehicles left many innocent civilians dead or injured. My own cousin's car was firebombed while he was driving home from Jerusalem with his wife and baby girl.

Since the closure, this has for the most part ceased to be an issue. Now the Palestinians are demanding that this road be open to their traffic and in fact, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled in their favor. In a few months, the new rule will go into effect and many Israelis will be avoiding this road out of fear that their families will be targets again. The road (like the rest of the infrastructure in Israel) by the way, was built by Israelis.

Want more? Because we have it. Along with the "end the occupation!" refrain which we seem to have had since time immemorial, the newer, hipper catchphrase of the late 00's was the "end the seige!" mantra - referring of course to Israel's closure of Gaza in response to daily rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. From the Sderot Media Center:

Most English dictionaries define siege as an “act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies...”

Indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website has reported that in the year 2009 alone, Israel allowed for 703, 224 tons of humanitarian aid and 105,600,128 liters of fuel to be delivered into the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead.

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



Aid trucks ready to enter the Gaza Strip in the background. (Photo: Jacob Shrybman/Sderot Media Center)


Blockading the Truth: Getting the facts straight on the ‘Gaza Siege’

Let's for now grant that "humanitarian aid" is just that (ignoring the propensity of Hamas to seize medical supplies in order to sell them and use the money for guns and rockets that kill civilians) and just think about those 100+ million liters of fuel.

What basic thing do all militaries need in order to succeed? The ability to to move. What enables a military unit to move quickly, set up a rocket and then flee the scene before the return fire lays waste to it? An automotive of some kind, be it a car, truck, van, motorcycle, rocket sled whatever. What do all of these things need to operate? FUEL. Who gets first dibs on all the fuel that comes into Gaza (as well as everything else)? HAMAS. What does Hamas do with their fuel? KILL ISRAELIS. Who provides Hamas with fuel? ISRAELIS. Who provides the vast majority of electricity and water for the population that put Hamas into power? ISRAELIS. What do 68% of Palestinians think is a legitimate way to defend Islam? SUICIDE BOMBINGS AGAINST CIVILIANS. What people do 77% of Palestinians have an unfavorable rating of? AMERICANS. Who are the loudest supporters of Palestinians? AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS.

Who suffers for all of this? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who allows it to happen? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who, often FUNDS and ENCOURAGES their own suffering? Israelis. Americans. Jews.



Sanction of the victim.

Is it starting to click yet? In the end, it's not about Palestinian radicalism, Palestinian corruption, or ineffective Palestinian "leadership". The guiltiest man in the room isn't Hasan Nasrallah, Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud Abbas or even Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

It's you. It's me. Like Hank Reardon WE are the ones that perpetuate this situation. WE are the ones that allow it to happen. And it is our fault because we should KNOW BETTER. And it isn't even that Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton's or Ehud Olmert's misguided policies allow the other side to succeed. Who put these in power? WE DID.

And by we I mean Jews who overwhelmingly swept Obama into power by giving him 77% of their vote and continue to defend their decision STILL TODAY, even as Iran continues to move towards nuclear weaponization and Israel's future hangs in the balance. This isn't to say of course that everyone who voted for Obama doesn't like Israel, but it's hard to claim you are a pro-Israel activist if you don't do the most basic thing you can do in a democracy if you care about something.

That is to VOTE for the people who will support it as opposed to people who will throw it under a bus.

This should be so obvious to us and yet still we pretend that it somehow makes us more virtuous to work (or at least vote) against our own best interests even as our actions directly or indirectly aid our would-be murderers.

This HAS to change. The clock is ticking.

____________________________________________


In the next installment: PERPETUATION, we will explore the roots of this desire to suffer and learn why this phenomenon is found in both the left and right wings of the international Jewish community.


RonMossad: The sanction of the victim and the guiltiest man in the room, Part II: SANCTION

Israel Matzav: Knesset Law Committee passes NGO transparency law

Knesset Law Committee passes NGO transparency law

The Knesset Law Committee has approved a bill that would require NGO's in Israel to disclose their sources of funding.

"The aim of the bill is to balance the democratic rights of groups and the right of the public to know who is funding them,” Knesset Member Elkin said. “I hope there will not be a repetition of what happened with the Goldstone Commission,” he added, noting that Israeli groups, funded by western nations and NGOs, submitted “misleading and partial information against the IDF" while claiming the reports were objective.

The grass-roots student movement Im Tirtzu revealed last month that the New Israel Fund provided money for several pro-Arab NGOs that supplied partial and slanted information to the Goldstone Commission, which issued a report accusing Israel of war crimes in last year's war against Hamas terrorists.

One such organization is the International Center for Transitional Justice, which accuses Israel in its website of grave violations of international law, including “extrajudicial executions, prolonged administrative detention, torture, forced displacement (often repeated), extensive property confiscation and destruction, movement restrictions, and collective punishment, much of this within the framework of a four-decade-long occupation.”

Judge Richard Goldstone has been a member of the ICTJ's Board of Directors since 2004 and is a signatory on a document issued by ICTJ six months before he was appointed to head the U.N. committee of inquiry.

Many Leftist Israeli NGO's are secretly funded by European governments. Under this bill, that won't happen anymore. The public will at least know where the money trail leads. And that's a good thing.

Israel Matzav: Knesset Law Committee passes NGO transparency law

Israel Matzav: US trying to restrain Israel on Iran

US trying to restrain Israel on Iran

Israel Radio reported this morning that the reason why the gaffemeister is coming here in March is to retract the green light he seemingly gave us in July to go after Iran. In fact, the analyst claimed that this is why it is specifically Joe Biden that is coming here and not the Obumbler himself.

While I have little doubt that the reason Biden is coming is to seek to stop us from attacking Iran, my guess is that Obama is not coming because his presence here now would provoke massive demonstrations in the streets against him, and he's not willing to have his image further tarnished.

And that's why Admiral Michael Mullen - who is also known to be at least somewhat sympathetic to Israel's concerns about Iran - was sent here to wave a red flag at the Netanyahu government. Will it stop the IDF from attacking Iran? Fortunately, it probably won't stop anything if our government decides that we are in immediate danger and there is no other choice.

The thinking within the Israeli military community is that when the chips are down, at the precise moment when Israel believes it has no choice but to attack Iran and no better operational window within which to do it, the US cannot stand in Israel’s way, cannot give Jerusalem a red light.

As so many observers of Israeli drivers’ traffic habits can attest to, a red light does not always mean you can’t drive through it. There are terrible risks involved, there may be collisions, pileups and casualties, but if you need to get to the other side, then nobody is going to stop you. In some parts of the world, you can even turn at red lights if there is no oncoming traffic.

There are some lines allies don’t cross with each other, and there are others that simply need to be crossed, with all the genuine sadness and acceptance of consequences that comes with crossing them. America won’t want Israel to fly through its red light all the way to Natanz, Isfahan and other such sites, placing its troops in the region in danger of Iranian retaliation, and scuttling President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world.

Some say that even if America gave Israel an explicit red light against attacking Iran, and Israel drove through it, nobody would believe that the US hadn’t given Jerusalem a green light, or even a yellow light.

Russia won’t want Israel to fly through its red light to Bushehr, which it is currently building at an enormous profit. Israel won’t want Russia to cross a red light and deliver the fearsome S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to the Iranians. But if the Russians feel that they simply must cross that red light (the Iranians have already paid for the system, at enormous profit to Moscow) then they’ll cross it, and Israel will have to find a way around the S-300, which will be, at the end of the day, just another technical puzzle to solve, like so many others.

But what would happen to US-Israel ties if Israel flew through a US red light to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities? Not much, according to one school of thought. While officials in the US administration would cry foul and may even impose some penalties, some experts argue that popular American opinion would be understanding of Israel, even sympathetic.

I think that's right. I also think that it's highly unlikely that the US would shoot down Israeli planes headed to Iran via Iraq as Obama foreign policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has suggested. Obama realizes that he would turn himself into a lame duck President the minute that happened.


Israel Matzav: US trying to restrain Israel on Iran

Israel Matzav: Livni to challenge British universal jurisdiction law

Livni to challenge British universal jurisdiction law

Two months after a British court issued a warrant for her arrest on 'war crimes' charges during a trip to the UK, an embarrassed British government still has not amended its universal jurisdiction law to allow Israeli politicians and army officers to travel safely in the country. Livni has apparently decided to force the issue. She says that she will travel to the UK and allow herself to be arrested in order to embarrass the British government into changing the law.

Tzipi Livni, the Israeli opposition leader whose threatened arrest sparked the dispute, indicated last night that she was prepared to travel to Britain and “take the bullet” if that was the only way to shame the Government into action. “Britain has obligated itself to me personally that this subject will be taken care of and fixed,” she said. “Now is the time.”

Ministers promised to act after a magistrate in London issued a warrant for the arrest of Ms Livni last year, for alleged war crimes in Gaza when she was Foreign Minister. The warrant was withdrawn after she cancelled her planned trip.

The issue embarrassed the Government, and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said that ministers were looking urgently at changing the law so that Israeli leaders felt free to visit the UK.

It would mean rewriting the principle of universal jurisdiction, under which private citizens can secure arrest warrants for offences such as war crimes committed abroad. Under one proposal, the Attorney-General, rather than just a magistrate, would have to authorise such a warrant.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Attorney-General, went to Israel to reassure political and military leaders that the Government was taking the issue seriously. But it has now become snarled up in the end of the parliamentary session.

What if the Brits actually put her on trial? What could go wrong? (My bet is that the people behind trying to get Livni arrested won't seek a warrant in the hope that by not forcing the issue, they will cause the government not to amend the law. But they may be stupider than I give them credit for being).


Israel Matzav: Livni to challenge British universal jurisdiction law

Israel Matzav: Saudis back striking Iran?

Saudis back striking Iran?

At a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that sanctions against Iran won't work in the short-term, and that his country requires a short-term solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. He was not specific about what short-term solution he favored.

"Sanctions are a long-term solution," the Saudi minister said. "But we see the issue in the shorter term because we are closer to the threat," referring to Iran. "We need immediate resolution rather than gradual resolution."

He didn't identify a preferred short-term resolution.

US officials traveling with Clinton said privately they were uncertain what al-Faisal meant, since the Saudi government has been explicit in its support of sanctions against Iran. They said he appeared to be suggesting that sanctions may not be effective and that other action could be required.

There's only one immediate resolution. The only question is who does the deed.

Hmmm.


Israel Matzav: Saudis back striking Iran?

Israel Matzav: Obama now as popular in the US as in Israel

Obama now as popular in the US as in Israel

President Obama is now as popular in the US as he is in Israel. 6% each.

Epic fail!

Israel Matzav: Obama now as popular in the US as in Israel

Israel Matzav: Expert: US offer to Iran caused acceleration of uranium enrichment

Expert: US offer to Iran caused acceleration of uranium enrichment

Ephraim Asculi of the Institute for National Security Studies argues that the United States proposal to provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium provided Iran with the impetus to produce that uranium on its own (Hat Tip: Shmuel Rosner)

In any case, the failure of the deal gave Iran the excuse it needed for enriching its uranium to 20%, and therein lies the greatest danger to the outside world. For purposes of illustration, assume that approximately 3000 units of work are needed to produce 25 kilograms of uranium enriched to 90%, the amount and purity needed for a nuclear explosive device. Of these, some 2350 units are needed to enrich the uranium to 3.5%. Five hundred units are needed to further enrich the uranium to 20%, and only 150 units of work are needed to enrich the uranium from 20 to 90 percent. If the enrichment facility is ready, this last step can be accomplished in a matter of a few weeks. And this is what could happen if Iran builds up a stock of 20% enriched uranium.

Recently, a debate has risen as to whether Iran has made a decision to assemble a nuclear "bomb" (missile warhead, aerial bomb, etc.). If not, Iran remains a "threshold" state, which could take this decision and then break out and produce nuclear weapons whenever the opportunity or the need arose. If Iran amasses a stock of 20% enriched uranium this discussion is superfluous, since the time between the initial move and the accomplishment of the task is quite short. In this time, and in order to discover the move towards assembling a nuclear weapon, the outside world must first gather the intelligence as to this fact. It then has to verify the facts, since a wrong decision based on false facts can be perilous. After the facts have been gathered and ascertained, decisions on how to react have to be taken, first by individual nations, and then on the international scale. Looking at the history of the long drawn out process behind international decisions on how to deal with the Iranian issue, one can only arrive at the conclusion that if Iran has a stock of 20% enriched uranium it can no longer be considered a threshold state, but a full-fledged nuclear power. This approach is essential, if preparations are to be made to deal with such a situation.

The recent announcements concerning the strengthening by the US of the missile defenses in the Gulf region could be taken as a sign that the US is preparing for such an eventuality. Even worse, this could be taken as a sign that the US has almost given up hope that Iran could be persuaded, either diplomatically or through severe sanctions, to at least suspend, if not dismantle its uranium enrichment operations.

The wisdom of hindsight indicates that the October 2009 proposal by the US for the nuclear fuel deal only accelerated Iran's program towards achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Had the talks concentrated on the larger issues, including uranium enrichment, and had the issue of supplying the Tehran reactor with fuel as the need arises been dealt with separately, it would have been more difficult for Iran to have the excuse it now ostensibly has to enrich uranium to 20%. If the world does not react quickly and competently now that the 20% enrichment operation began, the inevitable will be here before long.

The West is in good hands. What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.



Israel Matzav: Expert: US offer to Iran caused acceleration of uranium enrichment

Israel Matzav: Syria adopting Hamas and Hezbullah war tactics

Syria adopting Hamas and Hezbullah war tactics

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has issued a threat that in the next war between his country and Israel, Israeli cities will be targeted. Of course, that implies that like Hamas and Hezbullah, Syria will target Israeli civilians.

The Syrian minister's comments show the extent to which Damascus has adopted a terrorist modus operandi that is no different from that of Hezbollah or Hamas. Even though, unlike those groups, it has still not moved its rocket launchers into population centers whose residents are meant to serve as human shields, Israel is obliged to immediately issue a warning, in every important venue in the world, that Syria is acting in contravention of the laws of war. The kind of threat Syria issued requires a response that will ensure that the enemy will continue being deterred from carrying it out. Israel must also counter the ethical and legal implications of the Syrian threat.

I'm sure that warning will ensure that there is a Goldstone Commission appointed to investigate the Syrians when the war ends.

/sarc


Israel Matzav: Syria adopting Hamas and Hezbullah war tactics

Israel Matzav: Video: The liquidation of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Video: The liquidation of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Here's an AFP report on the investigation into the liquidation of Hamas terrorist and arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. A video follows.

Police are hunting 11 suspects with European passports, including a woman, for the murder in a Dubai hotel room of a top militant of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the Gulf emirate's police chief said on Monday.

The hit team which killed Mahmud al-Mabhuh last month was made up of six British passport holders, three with Irish passports, including the woman, and the holders of a German and a French passport, Dhafi Khalfan said.

"We have no doubts that it was 11 people holding these passports, and we regret that they used the travel documents of friendly countries," he told a press conference, describing a rapid and professional hit.

While not ruling out "the involvement of (Israel's spy agency) Mossad or other parties in the assassination," Khalfan said the names on the passports had been passed on to Interpol to request arrest warrants.

Britain's Foreign Office had no comment about the accusation, while its counterpart in Ireland said Irish diplomats were seeking clarification.

...

According to Khalfan, Mabhuh entered the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member, a day before his death using a passport that did not bear his family name.

He was then tracked by his killers who had reserved a room across the hall from his in the hotel, according to Khalfan.

The killers tried to force open his door but it was unclear whether they managed to enter or waited until he opened it for them.

"He was strangled after receiving maybe an electric shock," said the police chief, denying media reports that the Hamas militant had come to Dubai on a mission to buy arms from Iran.

Mabhuh's killers had left Dubai in the hours following the murder, said Khalfan, presenting the media surveillance camera footage of the team arriving and departing and their movements in the hotel.

The police chief added the group spent only 24 hours in Dubai, and that the killers used no weapons, credit cards or local phone lines during their stay.

Khalfan had harsh words for both the killers, who had needed a 10-member team against a sole unarmed person, and their victim, who had killed the captured soldiers.

Amid official silence in the Jewish state, Israeli newspapers have hailed the killing, with the rightwing Jerusalem Post calling it "another blow to the 'axis of evil.'"

According to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, citing unidentified Middle East sources, Mabhuh on arrival in Dubai was followed by two men described by local police as "Europeans carrying European passports."

The hit squad injected Mabhuh with a drug that induced a heart attack, photographed all the documents in his briefcase, and left a "do not disturb" sign on the door, it said.

Heh.

Let's go to the videotape.



Israel Matzav: Video: The liquidation of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Israel Matzav: New revelations about the Goldstone Report

New revelations about the Goldstone Report

There's an important and lengthy video of a lecture by former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold that raises new and serious questions regarding the Goldstone Report. The video runs about 36 minutes and is well worth watching in its entirety here.

UPDATE 2:40 PM

More on this story here.


Israel Matzav: New revelations about the Goldstone Report

Israel Matzav: Thawing the freeze

Thawing the freeze

In response to a Knesset member's question, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai has told the Knesset that 29 (well, probably 28, because they counted one town twice) cities and towns in Judea and Samaria have violated the 'settlement freeze' by continuing construction on buildings that did not yet have a foundation two months ago. The moonbats at Piece by Piece Now put the number at 33. The list of towns reads like a who's who of the Jewish building enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

Settlements that Vilna’i said had violated the freeze include: Adam (Geva Binyamin), Oranit, Eilon Moreh, Alfei Menashe, Elkana, Beit Aryeh, Betar Illit, Barkan, Givat Ze’ev, Har Gilo, Talmon, Yakir, Kfar Eldad (Nokdim), Kfar Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ma’aleh Shomron, Matityahu, Nokdim, Imanuel, Etz Efrayim, Psagot, Zufim, Kedumim, Rosh Zurim, Revava, Shadmot Mechola, Sha’arei Tikva and Tekoa.

Although he spoke of 29 violations, he listed Givat Ze’ev twice.

Peace Now added that it believed the settlements of Elazar, Kochav Hashahar, Nili, Kiryat Arba and Kfar Tapuach were also ignoring the moratorium.

Piece by Piece Now has also 'gotten religion,' accusing two towns of building on the Sabbath (let's just say I have my doubts that's true). But the Judea and Samaria Council had a good answer to the charges.

The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip denounced the Peace Now report.

It charged that Peace Now, like other organizations funded from abroad, was part of an organized campaign of lies and half truths designed to harm both the state of Israel and the settlement movement.

“We’re talking about people who have never planted a tree, or built a home, but who are placing a stick in the wheels of the Zionist enterprise,” the council said in a statement it released to the media.

It noted with satisfaction the fact that the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria reached 320,000 in 2009, a 5.5 percent increase over the previous year.

Indeed.

This morning, I'm going to the circumcision of another 'fact on the ground.' That's the only answer to these modern day Haman's.


Israel Matzav: Thawing the freeze

Israel Matzav: Moonbat Congressman calls for US to break Gaza blockade

Moonbat Congressman calls for US to break Gaza blockade

A US Congressman has called on the United States to break the Gaza blockade.

The United States should break Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver badly needed supplies by sea, a US congressman told Gaza students.

Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, also urged President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy to visit the Hamas-ruled territory to get a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Israeli's military offensive last year. The Obama administration, like its predecessor, shuns Hamas because the Islamic militant group refuses to recognize Israel or renounce violence.

Baird, who represents the district in which St. Pancake (pictured) grew up, has announced his retirement at the end of the current term. Good riddance!


Israel Matzav: Moonbat Congressman calls for US to break Gaza blockade

Learning About War

Learning About War

The more stories such as this one appear in the media, the more likely it is that reasonable regular sort of folks, the ones who aren't animated by this ideology or that, will begin to understand how war is waged these days. The more mainstream people understand this, the less audience there will be for the Goldtone reporters of the world. People will glance at their narrative, recognize how detached it is from reality, and move on. Remember how back in 2001, every Israeli targeted assassination of an enemy was automatically tagged as a breach of international law? Hard to image these days, isn't it, when targeted assassinations are the most commonly used tool of the Americans and their allies.

Close to the road and relative safety, soldiers saw a man in black walking. He was unarmed. They watched him in their scopes but did not shoot. Western forces in Afghanistan are operating under rules of engagement, or ROE, that restrict them from acting against people unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent. American troops say the Taliban can fire on them, then set aside their weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. "The inability to stop people who don't have weapons is the main hindrance right now," McMahon said after the firefight. "They know how to use our ROE against us." (h/t Silke)

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Surviving Adversity

Surviving Adversity

Many of Israel's enemies, including some home-grown ones, seem to feel that if enough pressure is brought to bear on the Jews, they'll give up on their national project and move "back" to where-ever, so long as it's far away. This is an odd preposition, with no evidence to back it up, but it seems to keep the Palestinians and many other Arabs hoping, and they undoubtedly garner satisfaction from Westerners and Jews who tell them eventually it'll work.

In week or two the Daf Yomi folks will pass this story, about obstinate perseverance in the face of the military might of the most powerful empire of the day, Rome. Many Jews grew up on the story, but in these days of limited Jewish education, perhaps many others haven't. I'm reasonably certain many of Israel's enemies don't know the story or the tradition it fits into, which is regrettable since they clearly underestimate how obstinate we can be. The story took place in the decade of 135-145 CE, most likely.

The Gemarah is discussing how judges are appointed, and they're examining the rule that only judges who have been accredited by three previously accredited judges may set fines.

-Really? So how to explain the story told by Rav Yehuda in the name of Rav? [Here's the story]
Blessed is the memory of Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava, for if not him, the laws of fines would have been forgotten.
- How forgotten? They could have been re-learned?
- Rather, the authority to apply them would have been abolished. Once the Roman rulers decreed that anyone who accredited judges [the word is smicha] would be killed, and anyone who received smicha would be killed, and any town where smicha was done would be destroyed, and any county were smicha happened would be razed. What did Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava do? He went to an empty spot between two mountains, between two towns between two counties in the area between Usha and Shfar'am, and there he did smicha for five scholars: Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Yossi and Rabbi ELiezer ben Shamua. Rav Avaya adds Rabbi Nechemia to the list. When they realized they'd been seen by the enemy, he said to them, Run, my sons! What will happen to you, they cried. He told them, I'm here like an unturned stone [perhaps this means I won't run, and they'll kill me but I won't feel it, as a stone feels no pain]. The Roman soldiers didn't let up until they had stabbed him with 300 spears.

The Gemarah isn't convinced: there were two additional judges there, but the story doesn't mention them because they were less important than Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava [so the story doesn't prove that a single judge can give smicha]

Another problem with the story:
Was Rabbi Meir accredited by Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava? Didn't Raba bar bar Hana teach us in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: Anyone who says Rabbi Meir wasn't given smicha by Rabbi Akiva, has it all wrong!
The Gemarah explains: Rabbi Akiva did give Rabbi Meir smicha, but he was too young at the time and it wasn't recognized, so he had to be given smicha again, this time by Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava.

The spot where this took place is still empty; you cross it when you take Route 6 north of the Barkai junction. Shfaram is an Arab-Druze town by the same name; Usha is a Jewish village.

[The daf Yomi thread starts and is explained here]
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations
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