Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie's parents suing the IDF

Rachel Corrie's parents suing the IDF

The parents of Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by a bulldozer while acting as a human shield on Gaza (yes, even the Guardian says she was acting as a human shield), are coming to Israel to sue the IDF on March 10, just six days before the 7th anniversary of her death. The case will be heard in a Haifa court.

Corrie was crushed while acting as a human shield in the Rafah area where the IDF was bulldozing homes that were being used as access to tunnels to smuggle weapons into Egypt. This was 2003 and there was no 'blockade' on Gaza back then - except for weapons. But the tunnels existed even then and they were being used to smuggle weapons into Gaza. The tunnels came up in private homes just as they do today, and Corrie was trying to protect that home from demolition.

The case, which begins on 10 March in Haifa, northern Israel, is seen by her parents as an opportunity to put on public record the events that led to their daughter's death in March 2003. Four key witnesses – three Britons and an American – who were at the scene in Rafah when Corrie was killed will give evidence, according the family lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein.

The four were all with the International Solidarity Movement, the activist group to which Corrie belonged. They have since been denied entry to Israel, and the group's offices in Ramallah have been raided several times in recent weeks by the Israeli military.

Now, under apparent US pressure, the Israeli government has agreed to allow them entry so they can testify. Corrie's parents, Cindy and Craig, will also fly to Israel for the hearing.

Two years ago, I did a lengthy post in which I dissected what happened on that day on Rafah. Here's some of that post:
In a series of three videos, each running approximately nine minutes, Becky Johnson and Lee Kaplan debunk the myth that Corrie was protecting a house. In fact, as Smooth Stone points out and as you will see in the video below, Corrie was standing in a trench where she could not be seen, protecting an entrance to a weapons tunnel.
Actual video footage from the Israeli Defense Forces show the real circumstances under which the terrorist loving anarchist died: knee-deep in a trench in the middle of dirt in an open dirt field. The left arrow on the photo below points to the tractor, the right arrow shows the kneeling Rachel Corrie. To see the live action footage moments before Rachel Corrie's accidental death, go to the Part 2 video [which I am embedding below. CiJ], approx 49 seconds into the video:
The videos have apparently been removed, which is a pity. But you should still read the whole thing.
Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie's parents suing the IDF

Israel Matzav: UN sponsors soccer tournament named for terrorist

UN sponsors soccer tournament named for terrorist

Through UNRWA, the United Nations is sponsoring a soccer tournament in memory of a terrorist. The terrorist is Khalil el-Wazir better known to most of you as Abu Jihad, a close Arafat aid and co-founder of Fatah.

A soccer tournament sponsored by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Women's Training Center and Faculty of Educational Sciences named a soccer tournament after a terrorist.

The tournament, played in Ramallah, was named the Shahid (martyr) Abu Jihad Tournament, after a founder of Fatah who planned terror attacks for twenty years which killed dozens of Israeli citizens.

But that leaves out the good part of the story.

Born on October 10, 1935; expelled in 1948 from Ramleh and fled to Gaza; became fedai in 1954; studied in Cairo in the 1950s; co-founder (with Arafat) of the first Fatah-cell in 1957; Fatah founding member in 1958/59; PLO/Fatah military chief since the 1960s; issued in Lebanon the clandestine Fatah magazine Filastinuna (January 1959); head of the first office opened by Fatah in Algeria, January 1963; played an instrumental role in the PLO's relations with a number of Arab states including Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia; godfather of and contact person for the resistance in the disputed territories); appointed official deputy of Arafat on Fatah's 1980 congress; Arafat's second and his closest ally; assassinated in his house in Tunis by Israelis on April 16, 1988.

The good part is that Abu Jihad is no longer with us.

Heh.

Israel Matzav: UN sponsors soccer tournament named for terrorist

RubinReports: When It's Necessary and Desirable To Assassinate Terrorists

When It's Necessary and Desirable To Assassinate Terrorists

When you subscribe, the next article is written in your honor!

By Barry Rubin

There has been a huge international controversy about the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a leading Hamas terrorist in Dubai on January 19. I have no idea who did it but have some points to make on the subject.

1. Generally speaking the media coverage almost never (in Europe) or only minimally (in the United States) talks about what Mabhouh actually did to merit his end. The New York Times had the following paragraph at the very end of its story:

“Mr. Mabhouh had a role in the 1989 abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers, and was also involved in smuggling weapons into Gaza, Israel and Hamas have said. Israel officials say the weapons came from Iran.”
It would seem that there would be more discussion of the deeds of such people so they are not portrayed, at least implicitly, as innocent victims. Readers could weigh the assassination against the crimes.

2. As long as Western states do nothing to help bring Hamas or Hizballah terrorists to justice, and since Israel has no way of getting these people before a court, it has no option other than extra-judicial weapons. Remember that an Israeli cabinet minister is more likely to face prosecution in the United Kingdom nowadays than a terrorist who has murdered Israeli civilians.

This is a point that simply is not brought up, explained, or seriously discussed: What do you do if specific people are attacking you and there’s no other option to stopping them? If the United States could assassinate Usama bin Ladin or other top al-Qaida terrorists whom it could not capture shouldn't it do so? Of course it should.

3. There is a common cliché when talking about counter-terrorism to the effect that getting a specific individual doesn’t matter as there is always someone to replace him. But in terrorism, as in other aspects of life, there are more effective and less effective individuals. Since Israel eliminated Hamas’s master bombmaker—who not only made bombs but trained others--in 1995, less capable people replacing him in that line of work have managed to blow themselves up a lot.

The terrorist Imad Mugniya, who someone killed in Damascus, was a unique individual since he had personally worked with the Palestinians, Hizballah, Syria, and Iran. Given his energy, ability, and connections he was not really replaceable.

Mabhouh was in a similar position, the top Hamas arms’ procurer who enjoyed the trust of the Iranians and who knew how to get lots of rockets and other equipment quickly and consistently.

These are not people who merely carried out a specific attack but those who make possible the staging of dozens of attacks.

Of course, terrorism doesn’t go away—expecting that it will do so is a Western act of wishful thinking—but the point is to reduce the number and effectiveness of attacks, and thus the number of casualties.

There are other advantages to eliminating key people. Often it can spark factional conflicts which make terrorist groups spend more time on internal battles. It also sparks mistrust among terrorist partners. If Mugniya can be assassinated in the neighborhood of Damascus that is the most secure place in all of Syria, can Iran and Hizballah trust Syria? Where did the leak occur? Who is infiltrated by the enemy?

Indeed, though outsiders may understate this reality, there is more than a seed of suspicion planted. Perhaps Iran or Syria or Fatah or some other faction in Hizballah killed Mugniya? Perhaps Fatah or Iran or some other faction of Hamas killed Mabhouh.

By the way, although it doesn’t seem to make the headlines so much, other countries including the United States (certainly in Somalia and Yemen) have taken out specific terrorists. Doing so more would be a good idea, if the cases are carefully selected and in the absence of any option to grab them from some state providing safe haven.

Proposition One: if you truly understand that the terrorist groups are going to try to kill you no matter what you do, it removes the fear of making them angry.

Proposition Two: If you know the world is going to criticize you no matter what you do, it removes the fear of making them angry.

That’s Israel’s situation. It is also the situation of a lot of other countries which admittedly face a lower level of risk but also don’t realize the first proposition. At the same time, though, they have far fewer problems with the second.

But what’s at issue here is not revenge for past attacks but the prevention of future ones, a very careful and well-informed thinking through of what actions would weaken terrorist adversaries and save the lives of the civilians they are aiming to kill.

RubinReports: When It's Necessary and Desirable To Assassinate Terrorists

Elder of Ziyon: Are Muslims obligated to hate all Jews and Christians?

Elder of Ziyon: Are Muslims obligated to hate all Jews and Christians?

Israel Matzav: Mossad t-shirt sales up tenfold since link to Mabhouh liquidation

Mossad t-shirt sales up tenfold since link to Mabhouh liquidation

Sales of Mossad t-shirts (third and fourth from left in the picture) have risen tenfold since the agency was linked to the liquidation of Hamas terrorist and arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last month.

Despite the fact that Israeli leaders are refusing to confirm or deny Mossad involvement, orders for the garments have flooded in over the past few weeks – from Israelis and particularly from diaspora Jews.

Eran Davidov, marketing manager of a top mail order company selling Israeli-made products, told The Irish Times they have been overwhelmed by demand since they launched a special “Show off your Mossad and Israeli pride” campaign earlier this week.

“Don’t Mess With the Mossad” next to a picture of a pistol is top of the T-shirt range. Another popular T-shirt has the word Mossad with the letter “o” replaced by a circular target used on a rifle range, with the organisation’s title underneath: “The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations.” The word Mossad in Hebrew next to a pistol is also on offer.

Mr Davidov said that since the launch of the marketing campaign the company has received dozens of e-mails and blog messages expressing pride in the ability of Mossad to strike with impunity throughout the Arab world.

Mossad-theme souvenirs are now definitely in.

The t-shirts in the picture may be ordered here. Maybe I should get one for my next trip to the States. That'll drive TSA wild.

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Mossad t-shirt sales up tenfold since link to Mabhouh liquidation

Israel Matzav: EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Edward Lynch, Republican for Congress in Florida 19

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Edward Lynch, Republican for Congress in Florida 19

When I posted my question list earlier, I told you all that it had been written at the request of another candidate in a congressional election. I never thought I'd have the answers so quickly.

Ed Lynch is the Republican candidate in the Special Election taking place in Florida's 19th Congressional District on April 13. That's the district that's been represented until now by Obama's buddy Bob Wexler. Ed Lynch would be an incredible improvement for pro-Israel voters. Here are the questions and answers:

1. Do you believe that there is a solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, and if so what is it?

Unfortunately, at this point in time, until the hearts and minds, as well as the concrete actions of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority genuinely change- from both Fatah and Hamas members- there will be no solution or lasting peace, and Israel will be forced to defend its citizens proactively and root out terrorism.

2. If you believe that solution is what is commonly referred to as the 'two-state solution,' why do you believe it hasn't happened to date? Do you anticipate any change in the circumstances that have prevented the two-state solution from happening and if so, what and when?

Personally, I have advocated a one-state solution consistently out on the campaign trail because of the realities on the ground that are presented to Israel at this juncture. However, the matter remains one for the Israeli Government and Prime Minister Netanyahu to decide. PM Netanyahu has unfortunately, but probably without any other recourse, deferred to President Barack Obama and accepted the two-state “solution” publicly in spite of the fact that he most likely opposes it in private. PM Netanyahu has also suspended Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria in another attempt to placate the Obama administration, and in spite of the fact that the PA are not credible interlocutors and are manifestly corrupt. Moving forward, it is wise not to grant any further concessions to the PA, and continue to insist that they stop supporting terrorism.

3. What do you think the United States ought to be doing to help Israel live in peace and security with its neighbors, and do you believe that the Obama administration is doing it? If not, what should they be doing differently?

I believe the Obama Administration should stop meddling within Israel’s internal affairs as to how they should deal with terrorism, settlements, and construction related matters. No, I do not believe the Obama Administration is helping Israel, as its moral equivalence is undermining Israel and placing it on equal footing with rogue regimes such as Iran and Syria, as well as the with the Palestinian Authority, all of whom do not have a genuine interest in a real peace process.

4. Do you believe that the United States should be pressuring Israel not to build on the West Bank? In East Jerusalem?

The United States should not pressure Israel as to how to govern its internal domestic affairs, as it is the only functioning democracy in the region that respects the basic human rights of all its people. The recent archeological discovers in East Jerusalem strengthen Israel’s claims to sovereignty over that part of Jerusalem.

5. What do you believe the United States ought to be doing about Iran?

We need to be prepared to enforce a naval blockade and provide military assistance to Israel at it attempts to stave off a mortal threat to its existence. Anything less than this is phony posturing, and we would not be living up to our historic alliance with Israel if we failed to offer tangible assistance- military, diplomatic, and political- to one of our closest allies in the world, and the only representative democracy in the Middle East, to save it from this mortal threat to its existence.

6. Do you support sanctions against Iran? If so, what types of sanctions should the United States pursue? Should sanctions be imposed in cooperation with the United Nations? Would you support them being imposed unilaterally?

While tightening sanctions is laudable, sanctions on our end will not accomplish their intended effect when Germany and other countries are cutting new deals with Iran, and other nations are continuing to do business with the regime. What is problematic about my opponent’s position on the matter of Iran, as well as his Party’s in general, is their reluctance or unwillingness articulate or support measures against Iran that are more confrontational and disruptive to counter the hostility of the Iranian regime as we draw nearer and nearer to what unfortunately looks like an inevitable conflict. The UN is a non-starter for Israel, as it has consistently voted against Israel’s interests in the region time and time again.

7. Would you support Israel taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

Yes.

8. Would you support the United States taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

Yes.

9. Would you be willing to work with the pro-Israel, pro-peace J Street lobby?

It’s easy for any person or organization to say that they’re “pro-Israel” or “pro-peace”. What is not easy is to demonstrate consistent and principled moral clarity in the face of a determined enemy that spreads hatred and seeks your destruction. I will work with any organization that properly understands that Israel is confronting a direct existential threat from a regime that cannot be negotiated with.

Sounds like he reads my blog. Hmmm.

One question left: Can the Jews of Florida 19 overcome their natural instincts to pull the lever for the Democrat regardless of how much better the Republican is?


Israel Matzav: EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Edward Lynch, Republican for Congress in Florida 19

Israel Matzav: The Green Prince

The Green Prince

Two old posts have been getting a lot of hits today. One is this one from August 2008, which includes a lengthy interview video with Mosab Hasan Yousef, the son of Hamas Sheikh Hasan Yousef, in which Mosab talks about his conversion to Christianity and his escape to California. The other is this one from January 2009, which includes links to a six-part documentary about Yousef's life.

Yousef has become a hot item again because of an exclusive in Haaretz heralding an interview with Yousef that will appear in the weekend editions. The big story: Yousef was an informer for the Israeli security services until he left Samaria in 2007. I'm sure none of the Israelis is particularly surprised.

Yousef was considered the Shin Bet's most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname "the Green Prince" - using the color of the Islamist group's flag, and "prince" because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement's founders.

During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings. These included Ibrahim Hamid (a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti (founder of the Fatah-linked Tanzim militia) and Abdullah Barghouti (a Hamas bomb-maker with no close relation to the Fatah figure). Yousef was also responsible for thwarting Israel's plan to assassinate his father.

"I wish I were in Gaza now," Yousef said by phone from California, "I would put on an army uniform and join Israel's special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there, I could help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done."

Yousef's memoir is being published next week (here's hoping someone gets me a review copy). Why now?

With his memoir, Yousef hopes to send a message of peace to Israelis. Still, he admits he is pessimistic over the prospect of Israel signing a peace agreement with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, let alone Hamas.

"Hamas cannot make peace with the Israelis. That is against what their God tells them. It is impossible to make peace with infidels, only a cease-fire, and no one knows that better than I. The Hamas leadership is responsible for the killing of Palestinians, not Israelis," he said. "Palestinians! They do not hesitate to massacre people in a mosque or to throw people from the 15th or 17th floor of a building, as they did during the coup in Gaza. The Israelis would never do such things. I tell you with certainty that the Israelis care about the Palestinians far more than the Hamas or Fatah leadership does."

I doubt Richard Goldstone or the Europeans have ever heard of Yousef.

Here's more about the book and the full interview to be published Friday.

In his book, and in his interview with Avi Issacharoff (to be published in full Friday), Yousef exposes the methods by which the Shin Bet almost entirely obliterated the network by which hundreds of Israelis were murdered in terrorist attacks between 2000 and 2005.

Whether the Shin Bet learned of the book when Haaretz filed its article to the military censor earlier this week, or whether it knew of it earlier, Israel's internal security service had two options: try to prevent the book's publication or come to terms with it in the hopes of somehow using it to its advantage in the future.

...

Shin Bet decided not to comment on the matter. As far as is known, no significant pressure was applied on him to prevent the book's release, or even to prevent Yousef's former handlers from responding.

It's doubtful such efforts would ever have worked. Yousef is an extraordinary person who for years has lived on the edge, having violated his loyalty to his father, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, and the movement and nation in which he was raised. He unflinchingly put his life in danger to save Israeli lives, and both Yousef and his former handlers maintain money was not his primary motive.

Since fleeing the West Bank in 2007, he has burned every possible bridge, starting with his Haaretz interview the following year in which he denounced Hamas as a bloodthirsty band of terrorists and announced he had converted to Christianity. Now he has taken this betrayal a step further, revealing that for over a decade he worked for the Shin Bet.

To the Israeli reader - on the assumption that most of the book's contents are accurate - Yousef is an encouraging figure. As with other reports to emerge in recent years, his collaboration reflects the impressive intelligence coverage Israel has attained over its enemies.

I can't wait to see the interview and hope to read the book.

Israel Matzav: The Green Prince

Israel Matzav: Iran's foreign minister on the new IAEA report

Iran's foreign minister on the new IAEA report

Michael Rubin reports on the reaction of Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki to the new IAEA report on Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons (Hat Tip: Martin Kramer via Twitter).

Foreign Minister Mottaki: “Mr. [Yukiya] Amanu’s [IAEA] report shoes that he is relatively new in his job. It takes some time until he reaches the maturity of Mr. El Baradei.” (Link and more at the Iran Tracker.)

That’s a bit like Hitler complaining that Churchill doesn't have the maturity of Chamberlain. Congratulations to the IAEA for putting mission first, and leaving politics to the politicians.

Heh.

Israel Matzav: Iran's foreign minister on the new IAEA report

Israel Matzav: Ros-Lehtinen introduces House version of Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act

Ros-Lehtinen introduces House version of Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act

House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fl) has introduced a House version of the Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act. A Senate version of the bill has been introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), John Kyl (R-AZ), and Evan Bayh (D-IN). Ros-Lehtinen issued the following statement:

“Make no mistake: the Iranian people want to live in freedom. And as their passion for freedom deepens, the brutal tactics of their oppressors are becoming even more severe.

“This legislation puts America squarely on the side of the Iranian people and holds accountable their oppressors by requiring the President to impose sanctions on those carrying out gross human rights abuses against innocent Iranians.

“The ongoing atrocities being committed by the Iranian regime against its people must not stand.

“America’s heart is with the people of Iran. It is time for our actions to follow suit.”

Well, yes it does. The problem is that until the President decides which side he's on in Iran, none of these sanctions is likely to be implemented.

Ros-Lehtinen has also introduced H.R. 4649, which imposes financial sanctions and a visa ban on persons complicit in human rights abuses against the citizens of Iran.

Israel Matzav: Ros-Lehtinen introduces House version of Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act

Israel Matzav: Gates rips Europe's pacifist mood

Gates rips Europe's pacifist mood

In a speech to NATO officers at the National Defense University on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates ripped Europe for its mood of opposition to the military, which he called a danger to peace.

“The demilitarization of Europe — where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it — has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st,” he told NATO officers and officials in a speech at the National Defense University, the Defense Department-financed graduate school for military officers and diplomats.

A perception of European weakness, he warned, could provide a “temptation to miscalculation and aggression” by hostile powers.

The meeting was a prelude to the alliance’s review this year of its basic mission plan for the first time since 1999. “Right now,” Mr. Gates said, “the alliance faces very serious, long-term, systemic problems.”

Mr. Gates’s blunt comments came just three days after the coalition government of the Netherlands collapsed in a dispute over keeping Dutch troops in Afghanistan. It now appears almost certain that most of the 2,000 Dutch troops there will be withdrawn this year. And polls show that the Afghanistan war has grown increasingly unpopular in nearly every European country.

Unfortunately, Gates has two elephants in the room with him. One is a potential conflict in Iran, which was not even mentioned in the New York Times' coverage.

The other is that the President of the United States is even more opposed to military conflict than the Europeans are.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Gates rips Europe's pacifist mood

Israel Matzav: All the news that's fit to print?

All the news that's fit to print?

CAMERA takes the New York Times and the BBC to task for ignoring the 'Palestinian' corruption scandal exposed by whistleblower Fahmi Shebaneh (pictured).

Unfortunately, the Arab media is not free to publish what they would like, but the same excuse does not apply to Western journalists. The Jerusalem Post report continues,

Shabaneh said that even some foreign journalists based in the country had refused to publish his statements, citing various pretexts, including fear of retribution by the PA.

"Some of the foreign journalists don’t want to hear negative things about Fatah and Abbas," he said. "That’s why they didn’t want to cooperate with me and why I decided to go to the Post."

Even after the story broke on Jan. 29, 2010, there was nearly total silence about Shabaneh’s accusations. A search of major publications indicates the National Post of Canada was the only western print media to cover the story for nearly two weeks after the Jerusalem Post published the revelations.

The Associated Press published a brief piece. The headline of the story on Feb. 10 read: "Israeli TV alleges Palestinian corruption" — rather than citing the Palestinian official Shabaneh who is actually the party alleging corruption. The article does discuss Shabaneh's accusations briefly but also allots as much space to denials by Palestinian government officials. The New York Times and the BBC, both of whom typically devote extensive coverage to claims of Israeli malfeasance, ignored the story.

After Israeli TV aired an undercover video provided by Shabaneh of Rafik Husseini, a senior aid to Palestinian President Abbas, extorting sex from a young woman who had sought his assistance the story gained wider exposure. Only then did the New York Times report on the story, although it made the sexual escapade the main focus of the story rather than the more serious issue of financial corruption.

The BBC, which routinely puts Israel under the microscope and rushes to play up any alleged wrongdoing by Israelis, has yet to cover the financial corruption exposed by Shabaneh at all on its Web site. Only on Feb. 14 did its web site carry a brief article describing the undercover video of Husseini, without even naming Shabaneh or identifying him as the head of a Palestinian Authority anti-corruption investigation.

Sounds like a clear double standard to me, since we know that if this sort of thing happened in Israel, it would be covered all over the world media. Are the New York Times and the BBC anti-Semitic? How shocking.

/sarc


Israel Matzav: All the news that's fit to print?

Israel Matzav: Syria to be removed from terror sponsor list?

Syria to be removed from terror sponsor list?

The Qatari daily al-Watan is reporting that the Obama administration is considering removing Syria from the terror sponsor list.

The Qatari daily Al-Watan reports that the U.S. administration is seriously considering removing Syria from the list of terror-supporting countries, after it removed the travelers' warning from it.

According to the paper, in the upcoming months more rapprochement measures towards Syria are expected, as part of the reexamination of the Bush administration towards it.

This is completely in character for Obama. If Bush put Syria on the terror sponsor list, Obama has to take it off.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Syria to be removed from terror sponsor list?

Israel Matzav: The Klein family's savior?

The Klein family's savior?

I've discussed a couple of times the possibility that the government will expel the widow and children of Roi Klein HY"D (may God avenge his blood) from their home in the Givat HaYovel neighborhood of the Samarian town of Eli on the ground that it constitutes an 'illegal outpost.' I last discussed it here. For those who have forgotten, Klein was killed when he fell on a grenade to save his men during the Battle of Bint Jbeil in the Second Lebanon War.

The Klein family may have a savior - I certainly hope that they do. He is Danny Danon, a young, energetic and (from what I can tell) principled MK from the Likud. Principled MK's are a rarity in Israeli politics, because the way the electoral system works, an MK is accountable only to his party and not to the voters.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) said Tuesday that he would work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the home of Ro'i Klein, a decorated IDF soldier who sacrificed his own life during the Second Lebanon War in order to save the lives of soldiers in his unit, would not be demolished. The government has been working towards getting demolition orders for homes in the Givat Hayovel neighborhood of Eli in Binyamin, one of which belongs to Klein's widow. Danon said he would personally see to it that the home was not torn down.

Danon said he had recently received guarantees from government officials that the Klein home and others in the neighborhood would be preserved.

You may recall that Danon also led a boycott by MK's of the American embassy's Independence Day celebration last year to protest the Obama administration's policies toward Israel, that Danon has called Peace Now a threat to Israel, that Danon has been in the forefront of Likud MK's attacking the 'settlement freeze,' and that even before he came to the Knesset, as the Chairman of World Likud, Danon opposed efforts to turn the Jewish Agency into a supporter of Arab settlement in Israel.

But preserving the Klein family home... that's a mitzva (good deed) of a different order. Go for it!


Israel Matzav: The Klein family's savior?

Israel Matzav: My non-standard questions to flush out support for Israel

My non-standard questions to flush out support for Israel

As I noted in my previous post, I have put together a list of questions that are designed to measure support for Israel that go beyond the usual litmus-test softball questions. I developed these questions for a congressional candidate who is working on them now, and I am going to send them to the Campbell campaign in California as well (and to the Fiorina and Devore campaigns if someone can put me in touch with a contact there).

These are the questions I asked:

1. Do you believe that there is a solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, and if so what is it?

2. If you believe that solution is what is commonly referred to as the 'two-state solution,' why do you believe it hasn't happened to date? Do you anticipate any change in the circumstances that have prevented the two-state solution from happening and if so, what and when?

3. What do you think the United States ought to be doing to help Israel live in peace and security with its neighbors, and do you believe that the Obama administration is doing it? If not, what should they be doing differently?

4. Do you believe that the United States should be pressuring Israel not to build on the West Bank? In East Jerusalem?

5. What do you believe the United States ought to be doing about Iran?

6. Do you support sanctions against Iran? If so, what types of sanctions should the United States pursue? Should sanctions be imposed in cooperation with the United Nations? Would you support them being imposed unilaterally?

7. Would you support Israel taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

8. Would you support the United States taking military action to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Under what circumstances?

9. Would you be willing to work with the pro-Israel, pro-peace J Street lobby?

If you have comments, please pipe up. My deal with the congressional candidate is that I can ask follow-up questions.


Israel Matzav: My non-standard questions to flush out support for Israel

Israel Matzav: Is Tom Campbell anti-Israel?

Is Tom Campbell anti-Israel?

Last week, I did two posts on Tom Campbell, the current front-runner for the Republican nomination for US Senate in California. One questioned whether Campbell was pro-Israel. In a second post, I reported on the findings of Philip Klein and Jennifer Rubin that Campbell had taken money from Palestinian Islamic Jihad fundraiser Sami al-Arian. Campbell's opponents, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and the strongly pro-Israel Chuck Devore, have both started to attack Campbell's association with terrorists.

Last Friday I had an email from someone who is helping out with Campbell campaign. He wrote me, in part,

he's the polar opposite of what some people are making him out to be. I'm really shocked at how the facts are being ignored and abused trying to make Campbell out to be a bad guy when no less than Congressman Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, referred to Campbell as a champion for the state of Israel and against anti-Semitism. I think that if you have all the facts, you'll come away with a very different impression of Campbell.

I wrote back that I was happy to speak with this person and listen. In response, I was sent links to two articles, one by columnist David Frum and the other by Jon Ward.

Frum reviews a laundry list of charges against Campbell.

The criticism of Campbell’s terrorism-and-Israel record rests on 5 main claims:

1) It’s claimed that Campbell twice voted to cut aid to Israel during his time in Congress.

2) It’s claimed that Campbell voted against Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

3) It’s claimed that Campbell made fund-raising appearances before radical Islamic groups.

4) It’s claimed that Campbell employed on his staff a California Muslim with ties to radical groups.

5) It’s claimed that Campbell wrote a letter in support of a deportable alien with ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

He admits that all five charges are true, but in each case, there is an explanation.

On 1: These claims turn on a relatively small amount of money, $30 million, less than 1% of Israel’s aid package. As part of the Wye River round of peace talks, President Clinton proposed a $700 million increase in Israel’s economic aid. To embarrass Clinton, congressional Republicans proposed to increase that aid by an additional $30 million. But Congress in those years was operating under pay-go rules that required every spending increase to be matched by a spending cut somewhere else. (Good rule.) So it was proposed to take the extra extra money for Israel out of the allotment for aid to Africa. Campbell happened to be a senior member of the Africa subcommittee of the House International Affairs Committee. He objected to the transfer on the grounds that it was unnecessary for Israel and injurious to important African projects.

...

On 2: The Jerusalem vote occurred in 1990. It was introduced by a Democratic member of Congress to embarrass the George H.W. Bush administration. While agreeing in principle that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital, Campbell acceded to the administration’s request and voted No on this one measure.

On 3: Campbell did indeed speak to Muslim-American groups in the late 1990s. So did Gov. George W. Bush whom nobody would accuse of lack of friendship for Israel – and for the same reason: party strategists had identified Muslim Americans as potential Republican voters. As Ronald Reagan used to say when he was criticized for accepting support from odd groups: “I’m not supporting their agenda. I’m asking them to support mine.”

On 4: The person in question – Suhail Khan – would become a White House colleague of mine in 2001-2002, where he worked in the Office of Public Liaison. I heard many of the same rumors about him then that are being circulated today. I looked into them as searchingly as I could and never found any foundation for them.

Yes it’s true that some dubious characters visited the White House complex in 2001, both before and after the 9/11 attacks. But it’s ridiculous to think that Khan invited them. Khan might meet them at the gate, but the invitations came from a much higher pay grade.

...

As to Allegation 5:

Campbell’s libertarian sympathies were exploited by some very bad actors.

In 1996, Congress had amended the immigration laws to allow for the deportation of aliens based on secret information of terrorist activities.

The trouble was that for many of the worst such aliens, there was nowhere to deport them to. They ended up languishing in American jails indefinitely.

The family of one such alien appealed to Campbell for help, and he was persuaded to take up the cause.

It was in time publicly confirmed that the alien in question, Mazen al-Najjar, was very, very implicated in Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as was his brother-in-law, Sami al-Arian. A deal was eventually struck to send Najjar to Lebanon. After a complex set of criminal proceedings, al-Arian is now awaiting trial on contempt charges.

Campbell has acknowledged that he was wrong and apologized for his mistake. But he did not make this mistake alone.

I urge you to read the whole thing, especially if you plan to vote in the Republican primary in California. Frum's article includes some questions and answers about support for Israel, but most of them are litmus-test type questions and not the kinds of questions where you're likely to find real differences among the candidates.

Ward's article is more of a summary of what had happened as of Monday.

Jennifer Rubin wrote on Tuesday that Campbell is 'fudging the record.'

He insists, “In Congress, I always voted in favor of providing military aid to Israel, and have always supported Israel’s right to defend itself — including taking military action against Iran to prevent its development of nuclear arms.” Well, except for the times he wrote “Campbell Amendments” to cut aid to Israel. He also gets caught fudging the record:

Campbell’s office provided a letter from former Rep. Tom Lantos, California Democrat and Holocaust survivor, to Campbell in 1999, which they said demonstrated his bona fides on the issue of support for Israel.

“Since we first met, I have known of your strong support for the State of Israel and its people. You and I have spoken many times of the need to assure the survival of Israel, as well as to fight against hatred and bias around the world, including here in our own country,” Lantos wrote.

However, Lantos’s words were a preface to concerns he expressed about Campbell’s vote in 1999 against $30 million in economic aid to Israel.

Oops. A top official with a pro-Israel organization in Washington tells me, “During his time in the House, Tom Campbell distinguished himself as no friend of Israel or the pro-Israel community. To suggest otherwise would be dishonest.”

Jennifer adds that Campbell accepted a $2,000 contribution from CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad and that Campbell spoke at the dedication of CAIR's headquarters.

Philip Klein also put out a troubling report about Campbell on Tuesday.

While campaigning in 2000, U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell called for a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem, said that Israel received too much funding from the United States, argued that President Clinton was too pro-Israel, and recalled receiving a condolence phone call from Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat after he injured himself during a visit to the region.

The revelations come from an article that appeared in the October/November 2000 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs about Campbell's run for Senate in 2000 against Dianne Feinstein.

Klein implies that Campbell's opinions are more in line with those of Ron Paul that with those of the supporter of Israel he is trying to make himself out to be. By the way, Klein's post drew this wonderfully offensive comment:

phil klein =jew propagandist...... only jews are pro israel and a handful of brainwashed christian fundamantalists.........they should google" jews burning new testaments in israel" or" israelis celebrating 9-11" VOTE JEWS OUT OF OFFICE

Lovely, isn't it?

Jennifer Rubin then piles on again with a post in which she connects Campbell to one Allison Weir, who is quite an unsavory character.

A case in point is his praise for Israel-hater and conspiracy-monger Alison Weir. Others have noted that Weir runs an outfit, If Americans Only Knew, that is replete with her calls to cut aid to Israel and her vile anti-Israel bashing, which includes her fanning of the organ-harvesting libel.

Jennifer has lots more - read the whole thing.

As you can see, there is plenty here to make one suspicious about Campbell's pro-Israel bona fides. But he insists that he is pro-Israel and maybe he is. I am going to try to get to the bottom of this.

On Tuesday, I sent a list of questions to a congressional candidate in another state who asked to demonstrate his pro-Israel positions after a post I wrote about one of his rivals. I will send the same questions to the Campbell campaign (and if anyone sends me a contact, I will also send them to the Fiorina and Devore campaigns). The questions - which I will post in another post, because this one is way too long - are well beyond the litmus test questions like "do you support Israel" and "are you in favor of giving Israel foreign aid."

I'll let you know what responses I get.

Israel Matzav: Is Tom Campbell anti-Israel?

Love of the Land: BBC: 1 in 10 Jews work with spy agency assassins

BBC: 1 in 10 Jews work with spy agency assassins


Adam Holland
23 February '10

Last week, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview in which it was stated that between 500,000 and one million Jews around the world are available to facilitate assassinations committed by the Israeli spy agency Mossad. This story has already been covered by a number of blogs (starting with Judeosphere). I had an opportunity to listen to the interview today and found that, although the BBC has claimed that this bizarre conspiracy theory came at the end of the broadcast and so could not be rebutted, the entire interview is a shocking series of absurd assertions concerning information the guest claims to have learned directly from anonymous Mossad agents.



The interviewee, an author named Gordon Thomas, starts by stating that the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh had "all the hallmarks of a Mossad operation". He then attempts to list these hallmarks, but names only one: that al-Mabhouh was killed in a hotel bedroom, and Mossad assassins are "trained in that very tactic". By this standard, any killing in a hotel bedroom could be blamed on the Mossad. The claim that this means the killing had "all the hallmarks" is quite a leap.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: BBC: 1 in 10 Jews work with spy agency assassins

Love of the Land: Israel's answer to the Palestinian 'right of return'

Israel's answer to the Palestinian 'right of return'


Bataween
Point of No Return
23 February '10

On Monday evening, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, quietly passed a bill that could change the Middle East agenda forever.

Up to a million Jews were forced to leave Arab countries and Iran in the decades following the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, due to state-sanctioned persecution and violence. Today only some 4,000 Jews are left in the Arab world, bringing to an end a Jewish presence that in many cases pre-dated Islam and the Arab conquest by 1,000 years.



The bill has taken two years, since its initiation by MK Nissim Ze’ev of the Sephardi Orthodox Shas party, to become law. The new law aims to protect the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran in future peace negotiations in the Middle East. The bill defines a Jewish refugee as an Israeli citizen who left one of the Arab states, or Iran, following religious persecution. It stipulates that the Israeli government must include Jewish refugee rights, notably compensation, in all future peace talks.

Stanley Urman, the head of the advocacy group Justice for Jews from Arab Countries, welcomed the Knesset decision, saying: “The world must realise that Palestinians were not the only Middle East refugees; that there were Jewish refugees who also have rights under international law. This recognition is good for the State of Israel and it is good for the people of Israel."

Why is this bill so important? Because it holds the key to real peace in the Middle East. So many efforts at making peace between Israel and the Palestinians have run aground on the rock of the Palestinian ‘right of return’. Not content with a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza, even the ‘moderates’ of the Fatah camp have been reluctant to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. The reason is that they are unwilling to drop their demand for the Arab refugees of 1948 – who now number upwards of four million if you include their descendants - to return to their homes in what is now Israel. This demand amounts to no less than the destruction of Israel by demographic means and the de facto creation of two Palestinian states, one in the West Bank, and one in place of Israel.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Israel's answer to the Palestinian 'right of return'

Love of the Land: When fighting terror is an outrage

When fighting terror is an outrage


Soccer Dad
24 February '10

After the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985, the United States attempted to capture the terrorist responsible by forcing the plane they were on to land on an American-Italian base in Sicily. However, Italy and Egypt were outraged and Italy refused to extradite the terrorists.

Jack Ohman the cartoonist for the Oregonian brillaintly captured the hypocrisy of the anger directed at the Reagan administration for trying to bring the killers to justice. His cartoon showed pictures of Hosni Mubarak, Bettino Craxi and Yasser Arafat; under each picture there was a caption: "Mr. Mubarak demands an apology"; "Mr. Craxi demands an apology"; "Mr. Arafat demands an apology."

On the right of the panel was a wheelchair draped with an American flag. The caption was "Mr. Klinghoffer has no demands."

For the all the outrage the three politicians expressed, there was no remorse that they had played a role in allowing terrorists to kill or escape. Things have not changed much. Arab terrorists still threaten Israel with the acquiescence of Arab states and European countries still enable them.

The Washington Post reports In a shift, United Arab Emirates may tighten travel rules after assassins' entry:

The use of forged European passports by assassins who entered Dubai and killed a Hamas operative may lead the United Arab Emirates to review the open border policies that have made it a commercial and tourist hub, a top UAE official said Sunday.


(Read full post)
Love of the Land: When fighting terror is an outrage

Love of the Land: The “Peace Partners” Who Never Were

The “Peace Partners” Who Never Were


Joe Kaufman
Frontpagemag.com
24 February '10

On February 14th, all of the major Palestinian terrorist factions met at the offices of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for peace talks. But this was not about peace with the Israelis. No, this was a meeting to reconcile differences, in order to direct all energies in a violent manner against Israel. While the West has been obsessed with locating a “peace partner” for the Jewish state, none would be found here.

The Palestinian people, for the most part, can be divided into two camps: one, a religious terrorist camp and two, a secular/nationalist terrorist camp. Members of Palestinian society usually side with one or the other, whether it’s through politics, community affairs or violence. There is little grey area, in this respect.

The religious terrorist camp is made up of organizations which spawned from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, a group created in the 1920s that merged fundamentalist Islam with an extremist political agenda. Palestinian organizations that fit into this category include Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). PIJ, while deriving its existence from the Brotherhood, however, was established in 1979 with a greater attachment to the more violent methods of the Iranian Revolution of the same year.

The secular terrorist camp consists of groups that fall under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The two main groups that make up the PLO are the Palestinian National Liberation Movement or Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Unlike Fatah, though, which uses some Islamic imagery, the PFLP operates solely as a Marxist-Leninist organization.
All four of these organizations, in addition to nine others, held a joint meeting this month at the PFLP headquarters. The meeting came at the foot of an Egyptian initiative for reconciliation between the parties and what was being termed a “restoration of national unity.”

But according to the PFLP, this was less about restoring unity among the Palestinian groups and more about fighting Israel as a unified force.
As stated by PFLP leader Rabah Muhana, following the meeting, “An atmosphere of placing national interest ahead of factional interest had prevailed. All of the factions agreed on the urgent need to end division in order to confront the occupation.”

(Read full story)


Love of the Land: The “Peace Partners” Who Never Were

Love of the Land: BBC and New York Times Omit Coverage of Palestinian Corruption Story

BBC and New York Times Omit Coverage of Palestinian Corruption Story


Steve Stotsky
CAMERA Media Analysis
23 February '10

The Jerusalem Post has published a series of articles relaying accusations by the former head of the Palestinian Authority’s anti-corruption department, Fahmi Shabaneh, that close associates of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas engaged in embezzlement, land theft and fraud. According to Post correspondent Khalid Abu Toameh, Shabaneh possesses numerous documents exposing the theft of government money, much of which comes from foreign donations.

These revelations are only part of the story. An equally troubling aspect of this scandal is the accusation by Shabaneh that he offered his information to foreign journalists and they refused it for fear of offending the Palestinian government. According to the Jerusalem Post story on Feb. 11, 2010, Shabaneh claims he

decided to talk to the Post after Palestinian, Arab and foreign media organizations refused to interview him out of fear of being "punished" by the PA. Shabaneh explained further, "Al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets told me that they are afraid to publish anything that angers the Palestinian Authority."


Unfortunately, the Arab media is not free to publish what they would like, but the same excuse does not apply to Western journalists. The Jerusalem Post report continues,

Shabaneh said that even some foreign journalists based in the country had refused to publish his statements, citing various pretexts, including fear of retribution by the PA.

"Some of the foreign journalists don’t want to hear negative things about Fatah and Abbas," he said. "That’s why they didn’t want to cooperate with me and why I decided to go to the Post."


Even after the story broke on Jan. 29, 2010, there was nearly total silence about Shabaneh’s accusations. A search of major publications indicates the National Post of Canada was the only western print media to cover the story for nearly two weeks after the Jerusalem Post published the revelations.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: BBC and New York Times Omit Coverage of Palestinian Corruption Story

Love of the Land: The European lobby in Israel

The European lobby in Israel


Seth Frantzman
Terra Incognita/JPost
23 February '10

The EU, realizing it cannot get Israel to change its laws through diplomatic means, has resorted to creating an internal lobby - through lavish funding of NGOs - to get Israel to bend.

Ever since the publication of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby there has been much talk of the "lobby." In England mainstream and respectable Channel 4 aired an entire program entitled Inside Britain's Israel Lobby which claimed the "lobby" "owns" the Conservative Party. Amidst all the talk of an Israel lobby in the West, people have ignored the growth of a lobby located in the Holy Land itself, the European lobby in Israel.

The European Parliament adopted the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) in 1994. This was part of the European Union's broader belief that "democracy and human rights are universal values that should be vigorously promoted around the world." The initiative was supposed to promote democratization through the promotion of "fair and free" elections and mainstreaming "democratic values" through "accountability, transparency and equality."

In 2007, a subtle change in the name of the EIDHR was made. The word "initiative" was changed to "instrument." This seemingly banal change may be a result of semantic arguments among EU staffers but it puts in words the increasingly meddlesome way the EU has chosen to work within Israel.

The EU may have realized during the second intifada that its concerns were not being listened to. Perhaps they heeded the increasingly alarmist statements of Israelis themselves, such as former Haaretz editor David Landau who in 2007 told US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that the US needed to "rape" Israel into a settlement with the Palestinians. Regardless of the exact cause, in 2002 the European Union began lavishly funding non-governmental organizations in Israel. It claimed that it was doing this because of "the vital contribution made by NGOs to the promotion and protection of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law."

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The European lobby in Israel

Love of the Land: Haaretz exclusive: Hamas founder's son worked for Shin Bet for years

Haaretz exclusive: Hamas founder's son worked for Shin Bet for years


Avi Issacharoff
Haaretz
24 February '10

(What a story!)

The son of a leading Hamas figure, who famously converted to Christianity, served for over a decade as the Shin Bet security service's most valuable source in the militant organization's leadership, Haaretz has learned.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a Hamas founder and one of its leaders in the West Bank. The intelligence he supplied Israel led to the exposure of a number of terrorist cells, and to the prevention of dozens of suicide bombings and assassination attempts on Israeli figures.

The exclusive story will appear in this Friday's Haaretz Magazine, and Yousef's memoir, "Son of Hamas" (written with Ron Brackin) will be released next week in the United States. Yousef, 32, became a devout Christian 10 years ago and now lives in California after fleeing the West Bank in 2007 and going public with his conversion.

Yousef was considered the Shin Bet's most reliable source in the Hamas leadership, earning himself the nickname "the Green Prince" - using the color of the Islamist group's flag, and "prince" because of his pedigree as the son of one of the movement's founders.

During the second intifada, intelligence Yousef supplied led to the arrests of a number of high-ranking Palestinian figures responsible for planning deadly suicide bombings. These included Ibrahim Hamid (a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti (founder of the Fatah-linked Tanzim militia) and Abdullah Barghouti (a Hamas bomb-maker with no close relation to the Fatah figure). Yousef was also responsible for thwarting Israel's plan to assassinate his father.

"I wish I were in Gaza now," Yousef said by phone from California, "I would put on an army uniform and join Israel's special forces in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. If I were there, I could help. We wasted so many years with investigations and arrests to capture the very terrorists that they now want to release in return for Shalit. That must not be done."

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: Haaretz exclusive: Hamas founder's son worked for Shin Bet for years

Love of the Land: Can We Defeat Terrorists without Defeating Terrorism?

Can We Defeat Terrorists without Defeating Terrorism?


Daniel Greenfield
Sultan Knish
23 February '10

“We are not waging a war against terrorism because terrorism is but a tactic that will never be defeated, any more than a tactics of war will. Rather, such thinking is a recipe for endless conflict. ... We are at war with Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and any comment to the contrary is just inaccurate."

John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism



Now there's an obvious paradox in a man whose own post is defined by counterterrorism, arguing that terrorism can never be defeated. Back when the USSR forged its pact with Nazi Germany, the Soviet propaganda machine propounded that they were not at war with "fascism", as "isms" could not be defeated. Similar defeatist arguments were used by Western governments to argue that Communism was another "ism" and Isms could not be defeated.

Both arguments were of course proven wrong, because you can defeat an "Ism" by bringing down the system and country that most exemplifies it, thereby devaluing it as a political or ideological strategy at least for some time to come. That in turn is exactly why Muslim terrorism is targeting America, because we exemplify a society that blends human freedoms, popular representation and free enterprise. If they can corrupt, destroy or bring down America, they will have come one step closer to demonstrating that there is no alternative to accepting Islam.

Brennan argues that terrorism is just another tactic of war, and that therefore it cannot be defeated. This is wrong on both counts, as a man who spent so much time in the intelligence and counterterrorism world should know.

First of all a tactic of war can indeed be defeated by demonstrating that its use is either futile or self-destructive. The reason we have never had a nuclear war, is because any strategy that depended on winning a nuclear war was eliminated by demonstrating that it was far more likely to lead to self-destruction, than to victory.

Secondly terrorism is not a tactic of war, it is a political tactic. Terrorists don't employ terrorism in order to defeat armies, but to show that the army and security forces are unable to defeat them or stop their attacks. Their real target is the political apparatus of the enemy which is forced to make concessions to the political goals of the terrorists in order to end the attacks. These concessions can be direct or indirect. An example of direct concessions would occur at a peace conference, such as the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and Arafat. While an indirect example would be the American and European attempt to appease "moderate" Muslims who have the same goals as the "extremist" Muslims . While the terrorists will usually denounce such appeasement, this is only done in order to stake out their position on the left or the right, and thereby achieve even more far ranging concessions.

(Read full story)


Love of the Land: Can We Defeat Terrorists without Defeating Terrorism?

Love of the Land: Israel's Right To Self-Defense

Israel's Right To Self-Defense

The Dubai hit exposes the failure of international law to fight jihadi terror, forcing the Jewish state to act independently.


Al-Mabhouh's handiwork.

Gerald Steinberg
Wall Street Journal
23 February '10

Jerusalem

The headlines and video images allegedly showing Israeli spies in Dubai are titillating, but they mask the serious issues involved in the death of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Along with predictable European hand-wringing over forged passports, this case is the latest example of the failure of the international legal system and the United Nations to provide a remedy to mass terror.

Al-Mabhouh was a cold-blooded murderer—in an interview just last year on Al Jazeera he boasted about kidnapping and then killing two Israeli soldiers. He was also a major figure in arranging arms shipments from Iran to Gaza. Al-Mabhouh shared responsibility for the thousands of rocket attacks fired at civilians in Sderot and other Israeli towns, which resulted in last year's war in Gaza. In his travels, the Hamas terrorist was probably making arrangements for the next round of attacks.

But international law provides no means for stopping terrorists like Al-Mabhouh, or for his Hezbollah counterpart, Imad Moughniyeh, whose life ended with an explosion in Damascus in 2008. (In addition to numerous attacks against Israelis, Moughniyeh has been blamed for the 1983 Beirut bombings that killed hundreds of American and French peacekeepers and the murder of Lebanese President Rafik Hariri.) Cases involving Muslim terrorists, supported by Iran, would never be pursued by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, or raised in the framework of the United Nations. Al-Mabhouh violated the human rights of untold Israeli civilians, but the U.N.'s Human Rights Council—which is dominated by such moral stalwarts as Libya, Algeria, and Iran—has no interest in Israeli complaints.

It is equally hard to imagine Interpol issuing arrest warrants in response to Israeli requests. And if warrants were issued, history shows that German, French, Belgian, and other European governments would not risk the consequences of acting on them. Little effort was ever made to apprehend the perpetrators of the Munich Olympic massacre, or of the deadly bombing attacks against synagogues in Istanbul and Athens. It's a widely known secret that European governments had ungentlemanly agreements with the PLO that allowed the Palestinians to operate from their territories, provided the terror attacks occurred elsewhere. Not until 2003 did the EU even put Hamas on its terror list. Hezbollah is currently free to operate in Europe.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: Israel's Right To Self-Defense

Love of the Land: Chance of Mideast war not as great as it may seem

Chance of Mideast war not as great as it may seem


Fresnozionism.org
23 February '10

Many commentators (including me) have been worried about the possibility of a new regional war in the Mideast, possibly triggered by a US or Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, or by Hizballah launching its massive rocket collection at Israel. But recently I’ve come to think that war is unlikely in the near future.

Everyone pretty much agrees that a preemptive US attack is not in the cards.

Anne Applebaum, in the Washington Post, writes:

[Barack Obama] will not bomb Iran’s nuclear installations for precisely the same reasons that George W. Bush did not bomb Iran’s nuclear installations: Because we don’t know exactly where they all are, because we don’t know whether such a raid could stop the Iranian nuclear program for more than a few months, and because Iran’s threatened response — against Israelis and U.S. troops, via Iranian allies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon — isn’t one we want to cope with at this moment. Nor do we want the higher oil prices that would instantly follow. No American president doing a sober calculation would start a war of choice now, while U.S. troops are actively engaged on two other fronts, and no American president could expect public support for more than a nanosecond.


She left out one other important point: the US is relatively low on the list of those who are directly threatened by the Iranian bomb. Said list looks something like this:

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Chance of Mideast war not as great as it may seem

Love of the Land: Dithering on Damascus

Dithering on Damascus


Matthew RJ Brodsky
Op-Ed/JPost
22 February '10

President Barack Obama's recent decision to name a new ambassador to Syria is puzzling. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs explained, "Ambassador Ford will engage the Syrian government on how we can enhance relations, while addressing areas of ongoing concern." But the areas of "concern" with the Assad regime are deep and will not be improved or resolved by the return of an American ambassador.

There were many compelling reasons why the Bush administration withdrew its ambassador to Syria in 2005. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was the brazen murder in Beirut of the pro-West Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri in an operation that bore all the hallmarks of a politically connected, well-funded, Syrian state-sponsored assassination.

But Hariri's assassination was just the tip of the iceberg. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, Syria has financed, trained, armed, encouraged, and transported foreign jihadists to fight against both coalition forces in Iraq and the fledgling army of the new Iraqi government. The Assad regime has pursued nuclear weapons and continues to support terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizbullah in Israel and Lebanon, and remains tactically and strategically wedded to Iran.

While the White House says that appointing a new ambassador "represents President Obama's commitment to use engagement to advance US interests by improving communication with the Syrian government and people," nothing indicates that this form of engagement will yield positive results. In fact, a year into the Obama administration, it is becoming increasingly clear that the "direct engagement" he envisioned during his presidential campaign with regimes such as Syria and Iran has produced nothing more than an increase in Syrian support for terrorism and the ongoing spinning of centrifuges in Iran.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Dithering on Damascus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...