Sunday, 28 March 2010

DoubleTapper: IDF Centurion Merkava Tanks

IDF Centurion Merkava Tanks

The Merkava tank was completely developed in Israel and is considered one of the best tanks in the world. The layout of the Merkava (Chariot) is unconventional, with the turret and crew compartments to the rear of the vehicle and the engine up front. This was done to improve crew survival in the case of an armor-penetrating hit on front quarter.

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Gazza 2009
Merkava 1
Merkava 2
Merkava 3

DoubleTapper: IDF Centurion Merkava Tanks

Israel Matzav: Obama 'resigned' to nuclear Iran?

Obama 'resigned' to nuclear Iran?

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton says that the Obama administration is 'resigned' to a nuclear Iran according to an interview with Israel's Army Radio.

“I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.

The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week's meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau and US officials, including President Barack Obama.

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East and Israel's role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.

Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit "should tell the people of Israel how difficult it's going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years."

I put 'resigned' in scare quotes, because I'm not sure that it's the correct word here. It seems more and more like Obama is looking forward to a nuclear Iran. It would be a great way for him to get Israel to do what he wants regarding Jerusalem and a 'Palestinian state.'

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama 'resigned' to nuclear Iran?

Israel Matzav: Israel could use tactical nuclear weapons on Iran

Israel could use tactical nuclear weapons on Iran

The Washington Post reports that a Washington think tank suggests that Israel could use tactical nuclear weapons in a strike against Iran.

Despite the 65-year-old taboo against carrying out -- or, for that matter, mooting -- nuclear strikes, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) says in a new report that "some believe that nuclear weapons are the only weapons that can destroy targets deep underground or in tunnels."

But other independent experts are on record warning that such a scenario is based on the "myth" of a clean atomic attack and would be too politically hazardous to justify.

In their study titled "Options in Dealing with Iran's Nuclear Program," CSIS analysts Abdullah Toukan and Anthony Cordesman envisage the possibility of Israel "using these warheads as a substitute for conventional weapons" given the difficulty its jets would face in reaching Iran for anything more than a one-off sortie.

Ballistic missiles or submarine-launched cruise missiles could serve for Israeli tactical nuclear strikes without interference from Iranian air defenses, the 208-page report says. "Earth-penetrator" warheads would produce most damage.

Israeli officials are downplaying the possibility saying that they will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the region.

President Shimon Peres has said repeatedly that "Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region."

A veteran Israeli defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said preemptive nuclear strikes were foreign to the national doctrine: "Such weapons exist so as not to be used."

The article also raises the possibility that the United States could use tactical nuclear weapons, but says that it does not expect this to happen and that the United States is likely to prevent allies from using them as well... if they can.

"Who could predict what might happen next if (the) taboo on the use of nuclear weapons were to be broken?" wrote former CIA director Stansfield Turner. "Getting tactical nuclear weapons under control, rather than attesting to their use by building new ones, should be our goal."

Princeton University physicist Robert Nelson assailed the idea that tactical nuclear weapons, detonated below ground, would pose tolerable risks for civilians and the environment.

"This is a dangerous myth. In fact, shallow buried nuclear explosions produce far more local fallout than air or surface explosions of the same yield," he argued.

Sam Gardiner, a retired U.S. air force colonel who runs wargames for various Washington agencies, said an Israeli decision on using non-conventional weapons against Iran would come down to how far its nuclear program was to be retarded.

Israel supports efforts by world powers to rein in Iran -- which denies seeking the bomb -- through sanctions, and some experts say any pre-emptive Israeli strike would aim to jolt international diplomats into finally knuckling down on Tehran.

"If a 3-to-5 year delay were the Israeli objective, I expect it would drive their target people to say the only way it could be done is with tactical nuclear weapons," Gardiner said.

"I expect the Israeli objective to be more like a year. That is doable without tactical nuclear weapons."

My guess is that Israel will only use nuclear weapons if it believes there is no other way to stop Iran (assuming that we have them of course). This article does not mention the massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) , a giant bunker buster that is supposed to come online fairly soon. It is highly doubtful that the Obama administration would sell Israel the MOP. On other hand, failure to supply Israel with the MOP could make it feel forced to use tactical nuclear weapons.

This much seems certain: Israel will not absorb an Iranian nuclear attack to keep the Obama administration happy over Iran, the 'Palestinians' or anything else.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Israel could use tactical nuclear weapons on Iran

Love of the Land: It Is Not A Capital Offense For Israel To Disagree With An American Administration Regarding Policy

It Is Not A Capital Offense For Israel To Disagree With An American Administration Regarding Policy

Dr. Aaron Lerner
28 March '10

It is not a capital offence for Israel to disagree with an American administration regarding policy.

I can appreciate that President Obama thinks that our leaving the Golan, dividing Jerusalem, etc. will bring us utopian peace and that not taking his advice may even have a negative impact on America in the Moslem world, thus he has every reason to use "tough love" to force us to do what is in our own best interest - and that he has an Amen chorus of Jews supporting this view.

However, it is not a capital offense for a democratically elected Israeli government to reject American policy recommendations.

President Obama has a broad range of instruments available to promote his views other than giving our enemies the impression that if we don't march to his drum that America may opt to turn its back on us at a time of crisis.

That such ideas are being allowed to float around without being explicitly and clearly denied and denounced by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton could very well invite disaster.

Claims from the White House that the Obama-Netanyahu meetings were not insulting do not address this critical point. In particular since the entire policy dictat (it is not a discussion or debate because the Obama team is unwilling to even entertain the possibility that they could be wrong) is presented as an American initiative to force Israel to do what "we all know" is in Israel's best interest.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: It Is Not A Capital Offense For Israel To Disagree With An American Administration Regarding Policy

Peace With Whom, Exactly?

Peace With Whom, Exactly?

Sulzman, a recent reader who attributes positions to me which I don't hold, comments:

What exactly don't you think Obama doesn't get about Israelis? I think he gets Israelis exactly right, which is that they've become complacent about the peace process, and perhaps understandably so, given developments over the last 10 years. But for the U.S. that's a big problem. I thought this article by Tom Friedman today pretty much got it right.

The Friedman column is here, and indeed makes a similar point: that Israelis no longer care about making peace.

In a truly weird development, Fake Ibrahim supplies the answer, though of course his intentions were rather the opposite:

One year after the Israeli invasion of Gaza, people you were acquainted with continue to die at the border. In the past two weeks a foreign worker and three soldiers were killed: compare that to less than 30 Israeli deaths in the whole Qassam years. It looks like Cast Lead was a failure. How many Peretz's are you prepared to sacrifice before you admit that force alone won't bring you security?

Whether the Gaza Operation was successful or not, it's still too early to know. It brought a year of calm, that's beyond argument; what happens now we don't know, but can hope that the calm will return. In either case, the answer to your question, Fake Ibrahim, is that we'll sacrifice as many people as we need to sacrifice, and for as long as it takes even if it be another century or two, but we won't give up. Or to put it more bluntly, we'll make every reasonable effort not to sacrifice anyone, but if needs be, we'll keep at it until the Palestinians decide the conflict is no longer worth the sacrifices it demands of them.

Yet the mystifying part of the story is that uninformed and malicious Fake Ibrahim gets it, while Sulzamn, who was here not long ago, and Friedman, whose profession it ought to be to know better, don't. Fake Ibrahim understands that we can't be enjoying the lack of peace and the losses of life this requires, while Friedman thinks

To put it another way, the collapse of the peace process, combined with the rise of the wall, combined with the rise of the Web, has made peacemaking with Palestinians much less of a necessity for Israel and much more of a hobby. Consciously or unconsciously, a lot more Israelis seem to believe they really can have it all: a Jewish state, a democratic state and a state in all of the Land of Israel, including the West Bank — and peace.

Does the name Ehud Olmert ring a bell? He won an election here in 2006 by promising we'd leave the West Bank even without peace, and then in 2008 (September 2008: that's all of 18 months ago) offered the "moderate" Palestinians not only 100% of the West Bank but even East Jerusalem. The response? There never was one. Abu Mazen never responded, hoping (correctly, as it turned out) that Obama would be elected and he'd wring more concessions from Israel. (Well, he was right about Obama. It remains to see if Obama manages to deliver: I expect not).

Friedman's column - like most of the discourse about all the things the Israelis "must understand", is arrogant, uninformed, unintelligent, and coming from someone with his pay-grade, offensive. Israeli cab drivers and tomato merchants are better informed about the details of this area: and they have to be, since it's their lives, or the lives of their children, which will be lost if the wrong decisions are made - or more accurate, whenever the wrong decisions are made.

Newsflash for the ignoramusi, from the White House down: we understand our situation, and don't much like it. Sadly, all possible alternatives at this stage are worse. Those of you with true power, if there are any of you, might try to help by convincing the Palestinians to make a deal. But if you don't have that power - and you probably don't - then at least stop preachifying. It makes you look unserious.

As a former Lefty and current centrist, it pains me that you've got to go all the way to The Weekly Standard to find thoughtful descriptions of how destructive the Obama policies are, and how dangerous for the people who live here, but there you have it. Here. Then again, perhaps you don't need to go to the Weekly Standard. Simply read the mainstream, PA- ("Moderate")-controlled press. Here, translated into English.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Israel Matzav: The dual loyalty canard raises its ugly head

The dual loyalty canard raises its ugly head

Laura Rozen reports on a dispute between Dennis Ross and someone who apparently works with George Mitchell about whether the US ought to consider what Prime Minister Netanyahu can and cannot do before making unreasonable demands on him (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Rozen cites comments by a "US official" (not Ross and apparently not the person who works with Mitchell either), who all but comes right and out and says that Dennis Ross is guilty of dual loyalty.

“He [Ross] seems to be far more sensitive to Netanyahu's coalition politics than to U.S. interests,” one U.S. official told POLITICO Saturday. “And he doesn't seem to understand that this has become bigger than Jerusalem but is rather about the credibility of this Administration.”


Last week, during U.S.-Israeli negotiations during Netanyahu’s visit and subsequent internal U.S. government meetings, the first official said, Ross “was always saying about how far Bibi could go and not go. So by his logic, our objectives and interests were less important than pre-emptive capitulation to what he described as Bibi's coalition's red lines.”

When the U.S. and Israel are seen to publicly diverge on an issue such as East Jerusalem construction, the official characterized Ross's argument as: "the Arabs increase their demands ... therefore we must rush to close gaps ... no matter what the cost to our broader credibility.”

A second official confirmed the broad outlines of the current debate within the administration. Obviously at every stage of the process, the Obama Middle East team faces tactical decisions about what to push for, who to push, how hard to push, he described.

As to which argument best reflects the wishes of the President, the first official said, “As for POTUS, what happens in practice is that POTUS, rightly, gives broad direction. He doesn't, and shouldn't, get bogged down in minutiae. But Dennis uses the minutiae to blur the big picture … And no one asks the question: why, since his approach in the Oslo years was such an abysmal failure, is he back, peddling the same snake oil?”

Other contacts who have discussed recent U.S.-Israel tensions with Ross say he argues that all parties need to keep focus on the big picture, Iran, and the peace process as being part of a wider U.S. effort to bolster an international and regional alliance including Arab nations and Israel to pressure and isolate Iran. This is an argument that presumably has resonance with the Netanyahu government. But at the same time, Arab allies tell Washington that Israeli construction in East Jerusalem inflames their publics and breeds despair and makes it hard for them to work even indirectly and quietly with Israel on Iran. They push Washington to show it can manage Israel and to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace process going that would facilitate regional cooperation on Iran.

Rozen called out the accusation in those words.

What some saw as the suggestion of dual loyalties shows how heated the debate has become.

The NSC Chief of Staff issued an on-the-record denial:

NSC Chief of Staff Denis McDonough fiercely rejected any such suggestion. "The assertion is as false as it is offensive," McDonough said Sunday by email. "Whoever said it has no idea what they are talking about. Dennis Ross's many decades of service speak volumes about his commitment to this country and to our vital interests, and he is a critical part of the President's team."

Of course, you'll never hear Mitchell, who is half Lebanese, accused of dual loyalties. Only Jews face that accusation.

But Obama doesn't seem to care what Bibi can and cannot do. Although nothing is certain yet, there was talk on one of the afternoon news reports today about the coalition agreement being rewritten to allow Netanyahu to do something to accommodate Obama.

But all of this seems unlikely to happen until after the Passover holiday and I understand that Press Secretary Gibbs said as much on Friday. I'd say "maybe things are calming down," but we've been there twice before, haven't we? And Netanyahu is supposed to be coming to Washington again two weeks after the holiday for Obama's nuclear weapons conference. Another ambush coming?

Israel Matzav: The dual loyalty canard raises its ugly head

Love of the Land: Hostility to Israel Plays out

Hostility to Israel Plays out

Jennifer Rubin
28 March '10

Given the Obami’s assault on Israel’s building in its eternal capital, this should come as no surprise:

The chief of the Arab League warned Saturday that Israel’s actions could bring about a final end to the Middle East peace process. Amr Moussa urged an Arab leadership summit in Libya on Saturday to forge a new strategy to pressure Israel, saying the peace process could not be “an open ended process.”

“We must prepare for the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure,” Moussa said. “This is the time to stand up to Israel. We must find alternative options, because the situation appears to have reached a turning point.”

Speaking at the event, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there would be no peace agreement without ending the occupation of Palestinian land, first and foremost east Jerusalem. He accused Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu’s government of trying to create a de facto situation in Jerusalem that would torpedo any future peace settlement.

Then the increasingly Islamic-tilting Turkish government gets into the act:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a guest at the summit, said in his speech that the Israeli “violation” of peace in Jerusalem and Muslim holy sites was unacceptable. Erdogan said that the Israeli position defining the whole of Jerusalem as its united capital was “madness.” Israeli construction in east Jerusalem was completely unjustified, he said

The UN, of course, can’t be left out of the Israel bash-a-thon. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pipes up:

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Hostility to Israel Plays out

Israel Matzav: Tick, tock

Tick, tock

When the history of our times is written, it will show that the President and Congress were preoccupied with a massive health care bill that no one wanted, while ignoring the ominous ticking from Tehran of an Iranian push for nuclear weapons.

In those days, there was a clock ticking in the background, but no one in Washington seemed to pay it any heed. Nancy Pelosi was in her counting house counting all the votes. Steny Hoyer was exploring whether one could somehow bend the rules so that his colleagues could pass a controversial bill while telling their constituents that they had nothing to do with it. Bart Stupak, caught between the dictates of religious faith and political allegiance, was pondering when and how to sacrifice the former to the latter. And President Barack Obama issued threats to members of his own party in the House of Representatives. All of this was done in pursuit of passing into law a profoundly unpopular bill that promised to bankrupt the country, drive prospective physicians out of the profession, deprive the elderly of Medicare benefits they had paid for long ago, and reduce the quality of medical care for all but those comfortably ensconced within what came to be called the American nomenklatura. There was also material for burlesque. After being accused of sexually harassing the fellows on his staff, one Democratic Congressman attacked the White House Chief of Staff, calling him a “son of the devil’s spawn” and describing in arresting terms the manner in which the man practiced in the shower the ballet steps learned in his days as a bagman for the Daley machine in Chicago. It would have all been quite comic had there not been that clock in the background steadily ticking . . . in a country far away of which the Americans knew little or nothing.

There were, to be sure, other events. In a coordinated effort directed by the President, Joe Biden picked a quarrel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Hillary Clinton vented her spleen against the Israeli government for announcing that it intended in a modest manner to increase the size of a long-established, already sizable, strategically located settlement on the outskirts of Jerusalem; Robert Gibbs snarled and sneered and ran his mouth on a subject about which he knew little or nothing and cared even less; and the President met with the Israeli Prime Minister in circumstances designed to broadcast his disdain to the Arab world. All of this was done with an eye to bringing down a democratically-elected Israeli government and setting the stage for a Middle East settlement between Israel and a Palestinian leader who lacked firm Palestinian support, who would have fallen from power when Hamas seized the Gaza strip had the Israelis not used their checkpoints on the West Bank to thwart Hamas’ operations there, and who was in no position to negotiate any sort of lasting agreement with anyone about anything at all. This, too, would have been a matter of comic relief had that infernal clock not gone on ticking . . . in distant Teheran.

Barack Obama appeared to think that he would be remembered and celebrated as the architect of an historic healthcare reform, and he seemed to have persuaded nearly everyone in his party that this was so. He seemed also to have entertained an expectation that it would fall to him to preside over a comprehensive Middle East settlement. Neither was destined to happen. By hook or by crook, the Democrats managed to shove the healthcare bill through the House, but it turned out to be nothing more than a last-ditch, suicide mission on the part of a Progressive coalition on its last legs. And the Obama administration’s inept maneuvers made the Middle East settlement that the Americans had long sought all the more elusive.

Most of what went on in those years in Washington – apart from the buffoonery – was unremarkable. If President Obama is remembered at all, it is because it was on his watch that the fascist dictatorship in Iran got nuclear weapons. In comparative perspective, nothing else that he did or did not do really mattered at all.

Read the whole thing.

Will anyone stand up to Tehran?

Israel Matzav: Tick, tock

Israel Matzav: Arab League chief calls for war

Arab League chief calls for war

At the Arab League summit in Libya on Saturday, Arab League chief Amr Mussa issued what was in essence a call for war on Israel.

The chief of the Arab League warned Saturday that Israel's actions could bring about a final end to the Middle East peace process.

Amr Moussa urged an Arab leadership summit in Libya on Saturday to forge a new strategy to pressure Israel, saying the peace process could not be "an open ended process."

“We must prepare for the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure,” Moussa said. “This is the time to stand up to Israel. We must find alternative options, because the situation appears to have reached a turning point.”

It also seems that President Obumbler has succeeded in driving the Arabs into the arms of the Iranians. Although the mostly AP written article goes on to blame Israel for the Arabs seeking to engage Iran, the truth is that no one in this region has any confidence that the United States will stop Iran.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Arab League chief calls for war

Israel Matzav: Checks and balances

Checks and balances

Andrew Sullivan complains:

“Bibi has the support of Congress. It is solid. It is secure," - Nita Lowey, backing a foreign prime minister in a dispute with her own president.

And Congress should back the 'foreign prime minister' when the President is behaving despicably and the foreign prime minister is the prime minister of the US's Democratic ally whom he is trying to bully.

Isn't that what checks and balances are all about?

Israel Matzav: Checks and balances

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinian' illusion

The 'Palestinian' illusion

Jonathan Spyer gets it mostly right in Haaretz - my only bone of contention with him is that his view of Salam Fayyad is far too optimistic for my tastes. Spyer argues that the West is refusing to acknowledge the reality of a divided 'Palestinian people' between Hamas and Fatah. So it's just pretending that the 2006 election never happened. That leads to this:

The inability of even mainstream Fatah-style Palestinian nationalism to accept partition as the final outcome of the conflict has prevented its resolution twice - in 2000 and 2008. This type of nationalism understands the conflict as one that pits a colonial project against a native, authentic nationalism.

From such a perspective, partition of the land means admitting defeat. But Palestinian nationalism does not feel defeated. It is characterized, rather, by a deep strategic optimism. From its point of view, it is therefore not imperative to immediately conclude the struggle - but it is forbidden to end it. Hence the endless reasons why the partition deal somehow can never be inked.

The solution to this obstacle, the West has now decided, is that a new Palestinian leadership, unburdened by this outlook, must be created and defended. The manifestation of this approach is the meteoric career of Salam Fayyad, who was first imposed upon Palestinian politics as finance minister in 2002 by then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and is today PA prime minister.

Fayyad is working closely with Western representatives to build up the institutions and the economic prosperity that are supposedly going to transform Palestinian political culture from the all-or-nothing logjam that has prevented conflict resolution until now, into something with which the world can do business.

The essential logic of this is the same wishful thinking that doomed the 1990s peace process: namely, the idea that institution-building and economic advancement will - and must - eventually have a transformative effect on political outlook. This idea, experience has shown, is fundamentally flawed.

Some liken Fayyad to Konrad Adenauer, the German chancellor who presided over the transformation of political culture and the emergence of democracy in his country after 1945. But Adenauer operated in an era in which the anti-modern, anti-Western element in German political culture had just experienced a final, crushing Gotterdammerung, and Germany was living under a massive and permanent occupation.

In the Palestinian territories, by contrast, the anti-Western and anti-modern element is flourishing, and has state backers in Iran and Syria. It would probably quickly consume Fayyad, were he to cease to be cradled in the arms of the West.

Like the pleasant, well-dressed leaders of the March 14 movement in Lebanon - who have now been devoured by Syria and Hezbollah - Fayyad and company are the product of Western wishful thinking. And like those of March 14, they will survive for precisely as long as the West is willing to underwrite them. And no longer.

That's all true and correct. But if the West thinks that Fayyad (pictured throwing Israeli products confiscated from Arab store owners into a fire) is on their side, that too is an illusion.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinian' illusion

Israel Matzav: Another dead IDF soldier hero whose widow and orphans live in 'illegal' neighborhood

Another dead IDF soldier hero whose widow and orphans live in 'illegal' neighborhood

I've talked several times about the widow and orphans of Roi Klein HY"D (may God avenge his blood), whose home in the Givat HaYovel neighborhood of the Samarian town of Eli stands to be destroyed by Supreme Court order in May unless the government legalizes the neighborhood. On Friday night, two more IDF soldiers were killed in a firefight with Hamas terrorists near the Gaza border fence. One of them, Eliraz Peretz HY"D lived in the same Givat HaYovel neighborhood as the Kleins. Let's start with the battle story:

On Friday evening, Maj. Eliraz Peretz, 31, from Eli, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion, and St.-Sgt. Maj. Ilan Sviatkovsky from Rishon Lezion were killed during combat with Palestinian gunmen in the southern Gaza Strip, near Khan Yunis.

Peretz led a force into Gaza after two Palestinians were spotted laying improvised explosive devices near the border security fence. During the ensuing fire exchange, a grenade in Peretz’s vest was hit by a bullet and exploded, killing him and wounding two of his soldiers. Sviatkovsky was then shot and killed as well.

Both of the Palestinian gunmen were killed.

Two hours later, a tank unit spotted another two Palestinians placing bombs along the border, and killed them.

This is not the first time the Peretz family has paid the ultimate price: A brother was killed by an IED in Lebanon in 1998.

They were also expelled from their home in Sinai in 1982.

The fact that Peretz and Klein were neighbors speaks volumes about who the IDF combat officers corps is these days. At one time, the vast majority of the officers corps came from Kibbutzim. That is no longer the case. Most of the combat officers corps today, especially in the elite units, comes from the religious Zionist community. If they are ever given an order - God forbid - to dismantle Jewish houses in Judea and Samaria, no one really knows what will happen. But I would bet on soldiers being far less complacent about it than they were five years ago.

Israel Matzav: Another dead IDF soldier hero whose widow and orphans live in 'illegal' neighborhood

Israel Matzav: Video: US policy on Jerusalem and Israeli - 'Palestinian' negotiations

Video: US policy on Jerusalem and Israeli - 'Palestinian' negotiations

In this video taken at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs last Thursday, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold discusses U.S. policy on building in Jerusalem, including Ramat Shlomo. He explains that past negotiations with Palestinians were unaffected by Israeli construction in Jerusalem.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Video: US policy on Jerusalem and Israeli - 'Palestinian' negotiations

Israel Matzav: What will he say when he gets to 'Next Year in Jerusalem'?

What will he say when he gets to 'Next Year in Jerusalem'?

About ten days ago, I posted an open letter from David Wilder, the spokesman of the Hebron Jewish community, in which Wilder asked a number of pointed questions about the Pesach seder of Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, President Obama's court Jews. The questions included the following:

What I really want to know is not how you begin your family Seder, rather, how you end it. Normally, Jews finish the night’s ceremony declaring “Next year in Jerusalem” or Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem.”

Rahm Emanual and David Axelrod:







Isn’t it time you left the White House and came home to your real home, in Israel, in Jerusalem where you too can stand proudly at the Kotel and recite, as Jews have for eternity "Next year in [Jewish] Jerusalem"

Wilder's letter has been floating around the Internet ever since, mostly without attribution (including someone who posted it in the comments on this blog attributed to someone else). But perhaps, the same question needs to be asked of President Obama, who is establishing the 'tradition' of holding a seder in the White House (Hat Tip: NY Nana).

When Passover begins at sunset on Monday evening, Mr. Obama and about 20 others will gather for a ritual that neither the rabbinic sages nor the founding fathers would recognize.

In the Old Family Dining Room, under sparkling chandeliers and portraits of former first ladies, the mostly Jewish and African-American guests will recite prayers and retell the biblical story of slavery and liberation, ending with the traditional declaration “Next year in Jerusalem.” (Never mind the current chill in the administration’s relationship with Israel.)

Top aides like David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett will attend, but so will assistants like 24-year-old Herbie Ziskend. White House chefs will prepare Jewish participants’ family recipes, even rendering chicken fat — better known as schmaltz — for just the right matzo ball flavor.

If last year is any guide, Malia and Sasha Obama will take on the duties of Jewish children, asking four questions about the night’s purpose — along with a few of their own — and scrambling to find matzo hidden in the gleaming antique furniture.

Excuse me if I puke.

There's a museum in Tel Aviv called Beit HaTfutzot (the Diaspora Museum). When I was there many years ago, they had on display a scaled model of a synagogue that was billed "the only synagogue not destroyed by the Nazis (may their name be obliterated) in Europe." (That may not have been accurate. My recollection is that the synagogue in question was in Prague. Years later, I had occasion to visit Frankfurt where I prayed in the West End Synagogue, which survived the war because its underground rooms were used by the Nazis for record keeping). The reason the synagogue wasn't destroyed is that the Nazis wanted to leave one vestige of Jewish life - one beautiful synagogue - to be able to show the World what had once been and what they had destroyed.

Is that Obama's idea? To maintain the seder - one vestige of Jewish life - in the hope that he will (God forbid) destroy the rest?

Here's hoping the schmuck gets food poisoning from the schmaltz.

And yes, I want to know where this Nebuchadnezer wannabe gets the unmitigated gall to say "Next Year in Jerusalem."

Israel Matzav: What will he say when he gets to 'Next Year in Jerusalem'?

Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie and friends played Chicken with IDF bulldozers

Rachel Corrie and friends played Chicken with IDF bulldozers

The IDF's trial in the death of Rachel Corrie continues apace in a Haifa courtroom. We already know that this is a prelude to suing Israel in the International Criminal Court: Corrie's father admits that they are required to exhaust their remedies in Israel first.

Lenny Ben David exposes for the first time that Corrie and her friends from the ISM were playing Chicken with IDF bulldozers, apparently in a bid to prove their bona fides to their friends from Hamas, who were unhappy that some of their men were following around the un-Islamic, attractive American women. Prior to Corrie's death, two other ISM members were pulled out from under bulldozers that day.

But the ISM group was frustrated, Newsweek’s Joshua Hammer wrote in a 2003 exhaustive report on Corrie in the leftist Mother Jones magazine:

An anonymous letter was circulating which referred to Corrie and the other expatriate women in Rafah as “nasty foreign bitches” whom “our Palestinian young men are following around.”

That morning [of Corrie’s death], the ISM team tried to devise a strategy to counteract the letter’s effects. “We all had a feeling that our role was too passive,” said one ISM member. “We talked about how to engage the Israeli military.” That morning, team members made a number of proposals that seemed designed only to aggravate the problem.

“The idea was to more directly challenge the Israeli military dominance using our international status,” said the ISMer.

On the day of Corrie’s death, the new ISM aggressive actions involved placing themselves in severe danger. Eyewitness reports recorded immediately after Corrie’s death prove that the ISMers had knowingly decided to put themselves in harm’s way.

Reported here — for the first time — is the fact that prior to Corrie’s death at least two “internationals” had been pulled out from under the bulldozers at the last second.

According to one of Corrie’s colleagues, whose recollections were published three days after her death (emphasis mine):

For two hours we attempted at great risk to ourselves to obstruct and frustrate the bulldozers in their work.

Another ISM colleague stated:

Our group began to stand in front of these bulldozers in an attempt to stop them. Generally they did not stop when we stood in front of them, but continued to push the earth up from underneath our feet to push us away. Several times we had to dive away at the last moment in order to avoid being crushed. This continued for about two and a half hours. … At one point, Will from the United States was nearly crushed between the bulldozer and a pile of razor wire. The bulldozer stopped at the last minute in Will’s case. If it had moved any closer he would have been impaled by the razor wire.

Besides “Will,” Newsweek’s Hammer reported on “Jenny’s” close call:

An Irish peace activist named Jenny was nearly run down by a D9. “The bulldozer’s coming, the earth is burying my feet, my legs, I’ve got nowhere to run, and I thought, ‘This is out of control,’” she told me. “Another activist pulled me up and out of the way at the last minute.”

On that day in March 2003, the ISM internationals had decided to play a game of Russian roulette with the Israeli army, and Corrie lost.

Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie and friends played Chicken with IDF bulldozers

Israel Matzav: Obama's friends

Obama's friends

Dem Jews' Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Chinese leader Dalai Lama get backdoor treatment at the White House, but among those getting front door treatment, according to White House visitors' records, are Billy Ayers, Louis Farrakhan and family, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton and Jesse ("Hymietown") Jackson.

There are consequential, disturbing revelations to be found when flipping through the visitors list at the White House. Bill Ayers is there no less than three times, Louis Farrakhan at least once, but there is also a separate visit for his family, and the infamous hater Jeremiah Wright is there at least five times (four times under Jeremy, one under Jeremiah). Contemptuously, Farrakhan’s visit is tagged as “MEETING WITH SCIENCE CLUB MEMBERS”…Al Sharpton is there twice, and Jesse "hymietown" Jackson is a regular (six times).

It bears noting that despite solid evidence that Obama was tight with these haters, inciters and revolutionaries and traitors, he distanced himself from them during the campaign and outright lied about his ties to them. Mr. Ayers, for example, was dismissed as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” and “somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know.”

Obama may have lied about them, but this blog and many others warned about them over and over again.

And what, no Rashid Khalidi?

Israel Matzav: Obama's friends

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu can make a stand on Jerusalem

Netanyahu can make a stand on Jerusalem

Professor Ephraim Inbar of the Begin - Sadat Center at Bar Ilan University argues that Prime Minister Netanyahu can make a stand on Jerusalem despite the pressure from Obama.

The White House expects that the Israeli prime minister will bend under pressure to its wishes. While in the past Netanyahu has proven susceptible to such pressure, the administration may be overplaying its hand on the issue of Jerusalem. Despite the obvious reluctance to confront an American president, Prime Minister Netanyahu can effectively resist American pressure. In fact, this is the issue on which Netanyahu can best take a stand against Obama.

The division of the city is opposed by the current democratically-elected Israeli government and (according to polls that I have directed) by over 70 percent of the Jews in Israel. Few issues in Israel command such a large and clear majority.

The timing of the crisis also serves Israel well. A few days before Passover when Jews repeat a 2,000-year-old text pledging, "Next year in Jerusalem," Netanyahu can say no to American demands for concessions in Jerusalem. Rejection of the division of Jerusalem expresses the deepest wishes of an overwhelming number of Jews living both in Israel and the Diaspora.

In contrast to parts of Judea and Samaria, the Israeli need to maintain the status quo in Jerusalem is easiest to explain. The Palestinian claim to Jerusalem is weak. There was never a Palestinian state and the Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem for the past 150 years. Jerusalem has never been a capital of any political entity, except that of a Jewish State. Moreover, the Arab residents of Jerusalem, if given a choice, would in all probability prefer to live under Israeli sovereignty than become part of a failed Palestinian state. Finally, dividing a city makes very little urban or political sense.

Let's put it this way: If Netanyahu cannot make a stand on Jerusalem, he cannot make a stand on anything, and we may as well all start swimming.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu can make a stand on Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Nice idea, but I'd rather not live there

Nice idea, but I'd rather not live there

Ralph Peters has a cute suggestion:

As far as the trumped-up issue of settlements goes, my Israeli friends are missing a great opportunity: Since Obama's supporters insist on a history-based Palestinian right of return to Jerusalem, Jews should demand their historical right to resettlement in the Saudi-occupied city of Medina -- where their once-prosperous presence is documented by the Koran.

Heh. I'd rather not live there. How about we demand compensation for our expulsion instead?

Israel Matzav: Nice idea, but I'd rather not live there

Israel Matzav: The Red-Green alliance

The Red-Green alliance

When I use the term "Red-Green alliance," I use it to refer to the alliance between the political Left and radical Islam. You may think them strange bedfellows. In this interview, Italian legislator Fimma Nirenstein explains how it all came about.

Q: You write a lot about leftist anti-Semitism. When and how did you discover its existence?

Fiamma Nirenstein: I made this discovery in theory and in practice. In 1967, as a young girl, I was a communist like all the other people of my age. My parents sent me to a kibbutz in northern Israel called Neot Mordechai. It was a leftist kibbutz, every week it dedicated one working day to the Vietcong. During the Six-Day-War, which broke out during my stay, I took care of the kids and brought them to the shelter.

When I came back to Italy after the war, I thought that my left-wing friends would be proud of me. But the reactions I faced were not sympathetic and friendly, but terribly anti-Israeli. Initially, I didn’t understand why. But all of a sudden I had to realize that it was about the Jews. It was a prejudice about the Jews conspiring with capitalism and imperialism against the poor people of the Third World — a category that included dictatorships like Syria and Egypt, which were allies of the Soviet Union. Slowly, I began to understand the powerful emotions underlying these reactions: the Jews were seen as something negative, something bad, and Israel was viewed as the collective Jew who was grasping for power.

Q: Let’s talk more about your experiences in 1967. Do you think that leftist anti-Semitism in Western countries had already been there, though in a latent state, and then suddenly found the occasion to come out into the open? Or was the year 1967 a psychological turning point, because many people were deeply disturbed when they discovered that Jews were not victims by nature, but were very well able to defend themselves and not afraid of doing so?

Fiamma Nirenstein: Absolutely, you got it right. People saw that Jews stopped being the Jews they liked to imagine: the poor Jews who live in a society as a despised minority, who seal themselves in their homes or their synagogues to pray, and who need permission from gentiles for anything they want. People saw that the Jews were strong enough to defend themselves against the attack of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and that they even managed to conquer some territory in a war that was actually intended to seal their fate.

This improbable turn of events drove them totally nuts. Everything was turning upside down. Unfortunately, there are still many Jews who want to present themselves as sheep going to slaughter. They are ready to sell out the image of a strong Israel and to make themselves as small as possible.

She has a lot more to say about Europe's relations with Israel (which in some cases are not as bad as you think they are).

Read the whole thing.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Italy and Germany (the two World War II axis powers) could lead Europe into replacing the US as Israel's big ally?

/Pipe dream

Israel Matzav: The Red-Green alliance

Israel Matzav: Degrading America's moral stature

Degrading America's moral stature

Here's a great comment from Peter Wehner:
Yet in thinking through all this, what is most striking to me is the disfiguring of moral considerations. Barack Obama is treating one of our best allies, and one of the most admirable and impressive nations in the world, worse than he treats the theocratic dictatorship in Iran or the anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Obama bows before autocrats and shakes the hands of tyrants and speaks with solicitude and undeserved respect to malevolent leaders. Yet with Israel he is petulant and angry, unable to detach himself from a weeks-long tantrum. Or, perhaps, unwilling to detach himself.

There is in the Obama administration an animus toward Israel that is troubling and may be unmatched in modern times (though Jimmy Carter, as ex-president, probably rivals it). Because of what is unfolding, there will be significant injury to our relationship with Israel. But it is also doing considerable damage to America’s moral standing. At its best, America stands for the right things and stands beside the right friends. In distancing us from Israel, Obama is distancing America from a nation that has sacrificed more for peace, and suffered more for their sacrifices, than any other. It is a deeply discouraging thing to see. And it is dangerous, too. Hatred for Israel is a deep and burning fire throughout the world. We should not be adding kindling wood to that fire.

Barack Obama is an ambitious man. He’s undertaking a project to remake America in deep and important ways. Health care is one arena. This, sadly, is another.
And that fits in with yet another Obama slogan: Human rights be damned.
Having jumped on the Council bandwagon last year without insisting on any reform-minded preconditions, U.S. diplomats now sit there taking it on the chin and lending predictable and immutable Council routines undeserved legitimacy. This past session, the Council adopted five resolutions condemning Israel and fewer resolutions on the rest of the world combined: one each on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, North Korea, Burma/Myanmar, and Guinea.


As happened with all the anti-Israel resolutions, the Obama administration perfunctorily voted against -- to no avail. The administration then pulled its punches when explaining its vote on the Goldstone-implementation resolution. American Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe noted that her full speech could be found somewhere on a website, and then proceeded to make a telling omission from that speech when delivering her oral remarks, which were webcast around the world. When she read the entirety of the first few paragraphs, which called on both sides to conduct investigations, she skipped over just one sentence therein: “Hamas is a terrorist group and has neither the legitimacy nor the willingness to investigate credibly its repeated and deliberate violations of international law.” Apparently, an honest statement that points out the obvious flaw in the logic of Goldstone-inspired investigations wouldn’t have fit neatly into Obama’s engagement strategy -- or sit well with his preferred audience.


Many in the corridors of the Council meeting mistakenly believe that the Obama contingent is some combination of naïve, idyllic, weak, and pathetic. I give the president more credit than that. The Council’s record was clear when Obama decided to join it, and any first grader is capable of doing the math that proves the inability of any Western government to change the Council’s course. Contributing to an aura of credibility surrounding this twisted and incorrigible institution is, therefore, a solid piece of evidence of President Obama’s priorities -- good relations with the Muslim world, poor relations with the state of Israel, and human rights be damned.
If you had told me twenty years ago that a black man would be President of the United States one day, I would have believed you. If you had told me that he would totally abandon human rights around the world in favor of cozying up to Islam, I would never have believed you. I wonder how many Jewish liberals who fought for civil rights in the United States are rolling over in their graves now. Unfortunately, my mother, of blessed memory, is probably one of them.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Degrading America's moral stature

Israel Matzav: Anti-Israel crowd still trying to spin Petraeus

Anti-Israel crowd still trying to spin Petraeus

In a Wednesday press conference in New Hampshire, US CENTCOM commander David Petraeus denied quotes attributed to him in a Foreign Policy blog post in which it was claimed that he had said that Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria were endangering the lives of American troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, if you watch the video of the press conference, Petraeus seemed quite pleased that Philip Klein of American Spectator asked the question, and he was eager to answer that Mark Perry of the Foreign Policy blog had gotten everything wrong and that Max Boot of Contentions had gotten it all right.

You would think that would be enough for the issue to be dropped. It wasn't. Klein reports that Israel Lobby conspiracy theorist Stephen Walt is calling Klein a 'revisionist' despite his having backed up his assertions with video of the press conference.

Walt's claims are based on an article by Matt Duss, which Klein describes as part of an effort by the anti-Israel crowd to co-opt Petraeus, which of course includes Pat Buchanan and the vapid Andrew Sullivan. Klein notes:

[T]he Israel bashers are making two major errors in interpreting Petraeus's position, as he clearly described it to me on Wednesday. The first is that Israel's critics see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as central to our challenges, while Petraeus says it's one of many factors "that influence the strategic context in which we operate." The conflict was important enough to mention in a 56-page report that Central Command presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee, but he did not mention it in his own opening remarks before the committee. (For a rundown of what else was in the report, check out this post by Michael Weiss.)

The second major mistake opponents of Israel are making about Petraeus is to conflate his saying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is important, with taking sides in the conflict one way or another. Petraeus is making the narrow point that whether there is progress on the peace front (or a lack thereof) will affect the regional dynamics. That isn't the same as taking the position that the primary barrier to peace is that Jews are building homes where they aren't supposed to, and if only we could get Jews to stop living in the wrong places, then we'd be able to create peace. It isn't saying anything about Israeli intransigence. And he certainly isn't saying that U.S. lives are being put at risk by Israel. As Petraeus told me, "There is no mention of lives anywhere in there. I actually reread the statement. It doesn’t say that at all." Yes, as Duss notes, he did say that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "articulately and clearly conveyed our policy." But as a military officer, he can't set U.S. policy, so of course he's going to want to publicly affirm that he supports current policy.

Furthermore, Petraeus also mentioned that there were "a whole bunch of extremist organizations, some of which by the way deny Israel’s right to exist.” So I could just as easily claim that Petraeus thinks America should put more pressure on Palestinians to abandon terrorism, and that he thinks that their unwillingness to recognize Israel's right to exist is the true barrier to peace, and thus, makes his job harder. But I won't, because I don't want to put any words in his mouth.

Max Boot adds:

The general said that it was “unhelpful” that “bloggers” had “picked … up” what he had said and “spun it.” He noted that, aside from Israel’s actions, there are many other important factors standing in the way of peace, including “a whole bunch of extremist organizations, some of which by the way deny Israel’s right to exist. There’s a country that has a nuclear program who denies that the Holocaust took place. So again we have all these factors in there. This [Israel] is just one.”

What about Perry’s claim that American support for Israel puts our soldiers at risk? Petraeus said, “There is no mention of lives anywhere in there. I actually reread the statement. It doesn’t say that at all.”

He concluded by noting that he had sent to General Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, the “blog by Max Boot” which, he said, had “picked apart this whole thing, as he typically does, pretty astutely.” I hope Petraeus’s comments will put an end to this whole weird episode. Those who are either happy or unhappy about the administration’s approach to Israel should lodge their compliments or complaints where they belong—at the White House, not at Central Command.

Finally, it's worth noting that ABC's Jake Tapper picked up on this story, including a link to Klein's blog. I know that some of us were a bit unhappy with some of Tapper's questions to David Axelrod two weeks ago, so it's good to see that he doesn't have an agenda.

Israel Matzav: Anti-Israel crowd still trying to spin Petraeus

Israel Matzav: Obama encouraging Bibi to attack Iran?

Obama encouraging Bibi to attack Iran?

By my reading, Bibi is in a very bad place right now. His options are either 1) total public humiliation and agreement to demands that could topple his government, followed by a diplomatic process that would force potentially lethal concessions on Israel, or 2) the U.S. preventing him from attacking Iran and removing the diplomatic shield that protects Israel from the deranged anti-Semitism of Europe and the Middle East (two increasingly indistinguishable regions).

There is a third scenario: Israel completely reshuffles the deck by attacking Iran.

So did the attack on Iran get a lot closer this week? It sure seems like it.

Israel Matzav: Obama encouraging Bibi to attack Iran?

Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad upset with Hamas for claiming responsibility for attack

Islamic Jihad upset with Hamas for claiming responsibility for attack

Islamic Jihad is very upset with Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades for taking credit for the operation that killed two Israeli soldiers (which Islamic Jihad named "Operation Luring Idiots.")

Hamas had written a detailed account of the operation, including an interview with the purported members of the team that engaged with the IDF.

Islamic Jihad derided the Hamas account as a "fiction," especially a part where Hamas claimed to have shot at the soldiers from afar and that they refrained from firing on an Israeli ambulance because of respect both for international law and Islamic principles of morality. PIJ's response was to sarcastically ask why they were respecting international law when Israel targets hospitals and mosques.

Trying to walk the line between respect and derision, Islamic Jihad came out with a statement saying "Our brothers in Al-Qassam Brigades - whom we hold in high esteem as one of the other arms of the resistance - should more often check for accuracy before making statements to the media."

They agreed that the Al Qassam Brigades were in the area as backup, but denied that they were an integral part of the operation. And as a final measure of proof, PIJ referred to a Ha'aretz account of the fighting that more closely corresponded with Islamic Jihad's account than with Hamas'.

The implication is that he hated Zionist media won't lie the way Hamas does.

Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad upset with Hamas for claiming responsibility for attack

Love of the Land: Positioning Israel as the Nazi of Nations

Positioning Israel as the Nazi of Nations

Richard L. Cravatts
American Thinker
28 March '10

Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., director of Boston University's Program in Publishing, just finished a book about the worldwide assault on Israel taking place on college campuses: Genocidal Liberalism: The University's Jihad Against Israel & Jews.

Jews have been accused of harming and murdering non-Jews since the twelfth century in England, when Jewish convert to Catholicism Theobald of Cambridge perjuriously proclaimed that European Jews ritually slaughtered Christian children each year and drank their blood during Passover season.

That medieval blood libel, largely abandoned in the contemporary West, does, however, still appear as part of the Arab world's vilification of Jews -- now transmogrified into a slander against Israel, the Jew of nations. But in the regular chorus of defamation against Israel by a world infected with Palestinianism, a new, more odious trend has begun to show itself: The blood libel has been revivified, but to position Israel and Zionism as demonic agents in the community of nations, its primitive superstitions are now masked with a veneer of academic scholarship and politicized scientific study.

In March, to cite the latest instance of this trend, the findings of a study conducted by the New Weapons Research Group (Nwrg), a team of scientists based in Italy, were announced on "the use of unconventional weapons and their mid-term effects on the population of after-war areas" -- in this, case Gaza after Israel's "Cast Lead" operations last year. "Many Palestinian children still living in precarious situations at ground level in Gaza after Israeli bombing," the study found, "have unusually high concentrations of metals in the hair, indicating environmental contamination, which can cause health and growth damages due to chronic exposure," and these high levels were the direct result of Israeli bombs.

Moreover, suggested Professor Paola Manduca, one of the investigators, the presence of metals in children's hair "presents serious problems in the current situation in Gaza, where the construction and removal of damaged structures is difficult or impossible, and," in case anyone does not know whom to blame, "certainly represents the major responsibility of those who should remedy the damage to the civilian population under international law."

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Positioning Israel as the Nazi of Nations

Love of the Land: To only say Iranian nukes are unacceptable is to accept them

To only say Iranian nukes are unacceptable is to accept them

William Kristol
Washington Post
28 March '10

In March 1936, Hitler occupied the Rhineland. The French prime minister, Leon Blum, denounced the act as "unacceptable." But France, Britain and the rest of the world accepted it. Years later, the French political thinker Raymond Aron commented, "To say that something is unacceptable was to say that one accepted it."

In March 2010, as Iran moved ahead with its nuclear weapons program, the American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, speaking at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last week, said no fewer than four times in one paragraph that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." It would be unacceptable simply, "unacceptable to the United States," "unacceptable to Israel" and "unacceptable to the region and the international community."

Then, perhaps sensing the ghost of Raymond Aron at her shoulder, Clinton hastened to add: "So let me be very clear: The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

But this attempt at reassurance merely conjured up (at least for me) another ghost: that of Richard Nixon. Didn't Nixon always say, at moments of utmost insincerity, that he wanted to make something very clear?

In March 2010, as Iran moved ahead with its nuclear weapons program, the American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, speaking at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last week, said no fewer than four times in one paragraph that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." It would be unacceptable simply, "unacceptable to the United States," "unacceptable to Israel" and "unacceptable to the region and the international community."

Then, perhaps sensing the ghost of Raymond Aron at her shoulder, Clinton hastened to add: "So let me be very clear: The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

But this attempt at reassurance merely conjured up (at least for me) another ghost: that of Richard Nixon. Didn't Nixon always say, at moments of utmost insincerity, that he wanted to make something very clear?

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: To only say Iranian nukes are unacceptable is to accept them
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