Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Love of the Land: Thoughts on Allies Gone By

Thoughts on Allies Gone By

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online
07 April '10

Whatever the protestations of the Obama administration, many in both Britain and Israel feel that 2009–10 marked a watershed, the beginning of an era in which America was no longer a special friend to either — whether gauged by serial symbolic snubs or real policy differences on things like Jerusalem and the Falklands.

Why does this matter, other than that it is stupid for a country to treat old friends like belligerents and old belligerents like friends?

In the case of Britain, history resonates. Over the last century it was Britain that, sometimes alone, defended liberal constitutional government, whether from Prussian militarism or the hydra of fascism, Nazism, and Japanese militarism. It was always a reliable partner in the Cold War, and aside from normal periodic spats was a loyal ally in most of America’s postwar fights. We forget sometimes the courageous record of the British in Korea, or their lonely alliance with us in Iraq. Note that this is all apart from the British role in general in the shaping of Western liberal political history, and in particular the protocols and values that underlie so much of the American experiment, from a common language to a rich heritage of literature and thought. For an American president to be woefully ignorant of all that, and why it should count, is nothing short of unbelievable.

Obama is equally clueless about why, for a half-century at least, both Republican and Democratic presidents have forged a second special relationship, this one with Israel. There certainly were not always strategic advantages in doing so, given the Arab world’s vast petroleum reserves, its huge size and population in comparison to tiny Israel, and the global fear, first, of rampant Soviet-inspired Palestinian terrorism, and, subsequently, its radical Islamic epigone.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Thoughts on Allies Gone By

Israel Matzav: How Bibi could have handled Obama

How Bibi could have handled Obama

When Barack Obama abused Bibi Netanyahu at the White House a couple of weeks ago, Bibi had other options. He could have read Obama the riot act and walked out. He would have saved his own dignity and, I believe, Israelis would have rallied around him. He may still have the opportunity to do so in the future.

Bibi could have learned a lot from the late Menachem Begin, in whose government Bibi served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. When Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad screamed that he wouldn't make peace with Israel in 100 years, Begin annexed the Golan Heights in response. And when the Reagan administration responded to that move by suspending the Strategic Cooperation Agreement it had signed with Israel just two weeks earlier, Begin responding by calling in US ambassador Sam Lewis and not letting him open his mouth.

Yehuda Avner, a former aide to Begin, provides atmospherics and commentary on this episode at "When Washington bridled and Begin fumed." As he retells it, "The prime minister invited Lewis to take a seat, stiffened, sat up, reached for the stack of papers on the table by his side, put them on his lap and [adopted] a face like stone and a voice like steel." Begin began with "a thunderous recitation of the perfidies perpetrated by Syria over the decades." He ended with what he called "a very personal and urgent message" to President Reagan (available at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website).

"Three times during the past six months, the U.S. Government has 'punished' Israel," Begin began. He enumerated those three occasions: the destruction of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, the bombing of the PLO headquarters in Beirut, and now the Golan Heights law. Throughout this exposition, according to Avner, Lewis interjected but without success: "Not punishing you, Mr. Prime Minister, merely suspending ...," "Excuse me, Mr. Prime Minister, it was not ...," "Mr. Prime Minister, I must correct you ...," and "This is not a punishment, Mr. Prime Minister, it's merely a suspension until ..."

Fully to vent his anger, Begin drew on a century of Zionism:

What kind of expression is this – "punishing Israel"? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers? Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with "punishments." He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments. You have no right to "punish" Israel – and I protest at the very use of this term.

In his most stinging attack on the United States, Begin challenged American moralizing about civilian casualties during the Israeli attack on Beirut:

You have no moral right to preach to us about civilian casualties. We have read the history of World War II and we know what happened to civilians when you took action against an enemy. We have also read the history of the Vietnam war and your phrase "body-count."

Referring to the U.S. decision to suspend the recently signed agreement, Begin announced that "The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America – and it will continue to live for another 3,700." On a more mundane level, he cited Haig having stated on Reagan's behalf that the U.S. government would purchase $200 million worth of Israeli arms and other equipment "Now you say it will not be so. This is therefore a violation of the President's word. Is it customary? Is it proper?"

Read the whole thing.

Bibi really should take a page from Begin's book. But to do so, you have to fully believe in your position. Does Bibi believe in his position? Does he know what he believes? Or would he behaving differently if he had Tzipi Livni in his coalition rather than a group of right wing parties? At the end of the day, the kind of harangue that Begin gave Sam Lewis can only come from the gut. If the gut isn't in it, the person won't know what to say.

Israel Matzav: How Bibi could have handled Obama

Israel Matzav: Documentary examines righteous Arab actions during the Holocaust

Documentary examines righteous Arab actions during the Holocaust

Yes, there were even some Arabs who tried to save Jews during the Holocaust. There was a documentary about it on Monday on PBS (yes, on the Jewish holiday). Here's a brief video about it.

Let's go to the videotape.

You'll need Flash 9 or better to view this video file. Download it now

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu falling into honey trap?

Netanyahu falling into honey trap?

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that he has decided to accept President Obama's invitation to attend a nuclear summit in Washington next week. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a real fear that Netanyahu is falling into a honey trap set by Obama, and that the summit's topic is not what Netanyahu thinks it is going to be.

Amid concerns that the trip would increase pressure on Israel to open its nuclear facilities to international inspectors, the Prime Minister’s Office stressed that the summit would focus on preventing the spread of nuclear know-how to terrorist elements, and not on the nuclear capabilities of specific countries.

It's been two weeks since Obama left Netanyahu alone in the White House to go have dinner with his wife and children. Two weeks since Obama held a meeting with Bibi at which no photographers were present and Bibi had to arrive and leave like a bandit in the night. Three weeks since Obama had Hillary Clinton call Bibi and dress him down for 45 minutes because a clerk announced that 1,600 housing units received their third of seven required approvals while Joe Biden was in Israel.

Is Bibi a glutton for punishment? What does he think is going to be discussed there if not trying to gain commitments from all attendees to give up their nuclear arsenals? Does he really believe that if he says we don't have one, Obama will sit silently by? Or did Obama promise him that if he shows up, Obama won't give away all the details of what we do have?

What could go wrong? (Any day when I'm ending this many posts with that question is not a good one).

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu falling into honey trap?

Israel Matzav: CIA spy in Revolutionary Guard: Iran will use nukes

CIA spy in Revolutionary Guard: Iran will use nukes

Earlier Wednesday, I posted an interview with a man who goes by the pseudonym Reza Kahlili. Kahlili was a CIA spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the 1980's and 1990's. Kahlili's book about his experiences (pictured) came out on Wednesday.

Here are parts of a more extensive interview with Kahlili conducted by fellow blogger Michael J. Totten.

MJT: What is this government's ultimate goal?

Reza Kahlili: Every opinion put out by the Western analysts over the years has been wrong. Just last year Newsweek came out and said everything we know about Iran is wrong, but they found out a month later that they were wrong about everything they said. The same with the New York Times reporter, I forget his name.

The idea that this government is a dictatorship that wants to sustain power and therefore won't do anything like use a nuclear bomb is incorrect, I think. They have shown through their behavior over the past three decades that they have one goal, and that's to confront the West.

If you look more deeply into the thought processes of the people controlling the government, these are people who strongly believe Islam will conquer the world. Every act they commit is in that direction. They don't just want a nuclear bomb to make them untouchable. They think it will be the trigger for Islam conquering the world.

If all they wanted was to protect their government, as many are saying, they have the best opportunity right now. They can negotiate with the West, join the global economy, be respected and all that, but they refuse to do so.

MJT: So do you think if they acquire nuclear weapons they will actually use them?

Reza Kahlili: They will.

MJT: Against Israel?

Reza Kahlili: You have to look at the parallel projects that they're working on, the missile delivery system and the nuclear project. Currently they cover part of Europe. Their goal is to cover all of Europe. They're not going to announce they have a bomb unless they have overcome the glitches of putting together a nuclear bomb and a nuclear warhead. But once they do that, they will make enough bombs so that all of Europe is under their coverage.

Reza Kahlili: Then they will begin their most aggressive behavior in trying to control the Middle East, moving toward the goal of destroying Israel, bringing the imperialistic system of economics to a halt, creating chaos, and waiting for the Mahdi to appear. It's all right out in the open. Just look at their Mahdi philosophy.


MJT: A far more likely scenario, though, is the Israelis bomb the nuclear facilities. I can't see the Obama Administration taking any kind of action, but the Israelis might. What do you foresee happening if they do? I realize no one can really predict the future, but how might something like that affect Iranian public opinion and internal politics?

Reza Kahlili: Israel is a special subject. People in Iran do not sympathize with Israel the way they sympathize with the U.S. They're looking for help, right? But they're not looking for the same kind of help from Israel.

So if Israel bombs the facilities in Iran, don't expect people to come out into the streets to celebrate or confront the government forces. That's not going to happen. They're just going to sit at home and pray this thing doesn't get out of hand.

Reza Kahlili: Israel will take a big penalty for doing such, but the Obama Administration might drag its feet so long that the Israelis think they have no other choice. There will be a major war if they do it, most likely. I mean, nobody knows, as you said. But it's likely, and Israel could pay a very heavy price.

If the Israelis do this, the West had better support them and make sure it means the end of the Iranian government. Just a hit and run won't solve anything.

MJT: What if the Israelis destroyed the Revolutionary Guards? How might the Iranian people react to that?

Reza Kahlili: That would be very different from just destroying the nuclear facilities. I would say that if any power takes on the Revolutionary Guards, they will find sympathy from the Iranian people. Even Israel.

MJT: Iranians don't hate Israel the way Arabs do.

Reza Kahlili: No. It's very different. We have family members who are Jewish. This wasn't a problem during the Shah's time. Iranian people do not hate Israel like they do in Arab countries. We aren't Arabs. Persians are very different from Arabs. I'm sure you know that.

MJT: Oh, yes.

Read the whole thing. (There's much more). I hope Bibi and IDF intelligence will read it too. Especially that part about destroying the Revolutionary Guards.

And if anyone wants to send me a review copy of the book....

Israel Matzav: CIA spy in Revolutionary Guard: Iran will use nukes

Israel Matzav: A world without American nuclear weapons#links#links#links

A world without American nuclear weapons

Frank Gaffney, who was responsible for nuclear weapons policy in the Reagan Defense Department, talks about President Obama's Nuclear Posture Review.

According to today’s New York Times, it took over a year and 150 meetings to translate Pres. Barack Obama’s vision of a nuclear-weapons-free world into a policy prescription known as the Nuclear Posture Review. Evidently, it took that much time and that much bureaucratic thrashing to wear down opposition from within the Obama administration to the only practical effect such a vision can have: disarming the United States.

Most Americans will be horrified that President Obama is compromising our deterrent to chemical and biological attacks on this country. Our allies will also be troubled by his aspiration to eliminate U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Foes and friends alike will be bemused by his assertion that such steps will, as the Times paraphrased it, “create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions.” In fact, none — not one — of the other nuclear states or the obvious wannabes has evinced any interest in abandoning such “ambitions.”

I believe that the most alarming aspect of the Obama denuclearization program, however, is its explicit renunciation of new U.S. nuclear weapons — an outcome that required the president to overrule his own defense secretary. Even if there were no new START treaty, no further movement on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and no new wooly-headed declaratory policies, the mere fact that the United States will fail to reverse the steady obsolescence of its deterrent — and the atrophying of the skilled workforce needed to sustain it — will ineluctably achieve what is transparently President Obama’s ultimate goal: a world without American nuclear weapons.

So much for the 'nuclear umbrella' that Hillary Clinton promised us would protect everyone from Iran. Anyone want to bet that Obama abandoning nuclear weapons causes more countries in the Middle East to seek nuclear weapons?

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: A world without American nuclear weapons

Israel Matzav: White House 'seriously considering' imposing 'peace plan'

White House 'seriously considering' imposing 'peace plan'

In the Washington Post, David Ignatius reports that the Obama administration is 'seriously considering' proposing imposing a 'peace plan' to 'resolve' Israel's conflict with the 'Palestinians' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

"Everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal," said one of the senior officials, citing the agreement that was nearly reached at Camp David in 2000 and in subsequent negotiations. He said that an American plan, if launched, would build upon past progress on such issues as borders, the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The second senior official said that "90 percent of the map would look the same" as what has been agreed in previous bargaining.

'Everyone knows' but everyone doesn't know. The 'Palestinians' turned down the far-too-generous offer made by Ehud Barak at Camp David. They turned down even more generous offers made by Barak at Taba in January 2001 and by Ehud Olmert in late 2008. Does this mean that Obama is going to offer them even more than what was offered in the past? What is left to be offered other than a 'right of return' to all the 'refugees' that would vitiate the existence of a Jewish state? Does building upon 'past progress' mean that Israel will be pushed for further concessions?

The American peace plan would be linked with the issue of confronting Iran, which is Israel's top priority, explained the second senior official. He described the issues as two halves of a single strategic problem: "We want to get the debate away from settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to a 30,000-feet level that can involve Jordan, Syria and other countries in the region," as well as the Israelis and Palestinians.

That linkage is odious and just plain wrong. Iran doesn't talk about forcing Israel out of Judea and Samaria - it talks about wiping out the Jewish State (so does the PLO/Fatah but I wouldn't expect the Obama administration to notice that). It has said so repeatedly. I can't find the link right now, but at one point Ahmadinejad was asked specifically whether he would accept a 'small' Israel (i.e. one without Judea and Samaria). He said that he would not. 'Solving' the 'Palestinian problem' (which I don't believe can be done in any event) will not 'solve' Iran.

"Incrementalism hasn't worked," continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering -- providing fodder for Iran and other extremists. "As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something." He said the plan would "take on the absolute requirements of Israeli security and the requirements of Palestinian sovereignty in a way that makes sense."

But 'incrementalism' is the only thing that has a chance to work short of stationing US troops permanently between the parties, where they will be used as targets and human shields for 'Palestinian' terrorists who won't accept any solution short of wiping Israel off the map. Is that really an American interest?

And what are the 'absolute requirements' of Israeli security? Shortly after the 1967 War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that retaining ALL of Judea and Samaria was an absolute requirement of Israeli security. Nothing has changed since then except the creation of a 'Palestinian people.' Look what happened in Lebanon and Gaza. Does Obama really believe we'll accept the same thing in Judea and Samaria - right in our heartland (and please don't tell me about multinational forces - the Europeans stationed at the Gaza border were afraid to sleep there so they slept in Israel every night and they fled as soon as Hamas took over Gaza).

The White House is considering detailed interagency talks to frame the strategy and form a political consensus for it. The second official likened the process to the review that produced Obama's strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said the administration could formally launch the Middle East initiative by this fall.


A political battle royal is likely to begin soon, with Israeli officials and their supporters in the United States protesting what they fear would be an American attempt to impose a settlement and arguing to focus instead on Iran. The White House rejoinder is expressed this way by one of the senior officials: "It's not either Iran or the Middle East peace process. You have to do both."

So does that mean that the administration will do nothing about Iran before the fall? I can't think of a better way of ensuring that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: White House 'seriously considering' imposing 'peace plan'

Elder of Ziyon: When the Muslims bargained away Jerusalem

When the Muslims bargained away Jerusalem

An interesting passage in a book I just saw called The Jerusalem Question, 1917-1968, by H. Eugene Bovis.

Bovis was a Foreign Service Officer in the region for many years, and the book was published by the Hoover Institution in 1971.

From pages 114-5:

I guess the "Palestinians" of the 13th century didn't protest when the city that is supposedly their eternal capital was bargained away, just as they didn't protest when Jerusalem was under Ottoman, British and Jordanian control.

Perhaps their "love" of the city is of a more recent vintage.

Elder of Ziyon: When the Muslims bargained away Jerusalem

RubinReports: The Idea of the Obama Administration Supporting an "Imposed Solution" on the Israel-Palestinian Issue Takes a Big Step Forward

The Idea of the Obama Administration Supporting an "Imposed Solution" on the Israel-Palestinian Issue Takes a Big Step Forward

Please be subscriber 9,917. Just put your email address in the box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

We depend on your tax-free contributions. To make one, please send a check to: American Friends of IDC, 116 East 16th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10003. The check should be made out to “American Friends of IDC,” with “for GLORIA Center” in the memo line.

By Barry Rubin

Is the U.S. government going to present its own comprehensive peace plan on the Israel-Palestinian issue? There is growing evidence it is thinking of doing such a thing, though that is by no means certain. If the Obama Administration does move in this direction, however, I predict that it will be a major failure and humiliation for that government.

The latest development is an apparently well-informed New York Times article about a meeting chaired by National Security Advisor James Jones, known for being hostile to Israel, and including former national security advisors, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft—also known for being anti-Israel—and Samuel Berger. All three (it should be mentioned that none of this trio covered himself with glory when in office and are not exactly foreign policy geniuses) reportedly favor the idea. Former national security advisor Colin Powell disagreed, but he’s a Republican (though a pro-Obama one) and probably less influential. Oh, and President Obama dropped in to hear the discussion.

One might ask a lot of people who voted for Obama if they are happy having Brzezinski and Scowcroft as top advisors on Middle East policy. Again, though, it should be clear no decision has been made and such an initiative might never happen, assuming clearer heads triumph.
But, the reporter writes:

“Still, for all of that, a consensus appears to be growing, both within the administration and among outside advisers to the White House, that Mr. Obama will have to consider suggesting a solution to get the two sides moving.” This might happen also if indirect talks fail.

Let us pause a moment to consider that this whole approach is the opposite of being brilliant. First, the administration has just signaled to the Palestinians that they want to make the indirect talks fail, since then the U.S. government will make an “imposed” offer that will adopt almost all of their demands. After all, if it doesn’t, they can sabotage the proposal, knowing that the Obama administration will never punish or criticize them. Since the government desperately wants to succeed, it is giving the Palestinian Authority all the leverage.

Of course, Israel is going to reject this idea, which then lets them sit back and enjoy more U.S.-Israel conflict. Thus, the whole strategy in advance is doomed to fail.

In addition, the strategy is deeply against diplomatic norms. U.S. policy has always been to insist that the two parties will decide on the issues. For many years, Israel has been making concessions based on an understanding that there would be no attempt at an imposed solution.

This, then, would be the third commitment from past years that the Obama administration would break.

The first was that any diplomatic solution could include Israel keeping some areas—settlement blocs—across the pre-1967 borders (though a State Department note back in October 2009 hinted that would be possible). The second was agreeing that Israel could build in east Jerusalem if it stopped building in the West Bank, a promise noisily and insultingly broken recently. Why, then, should Israel trust any promise in future made by this government?

The agreement outlined in the article is that there would be no return of Palestinian refugees to Israel and the 1967 borders with possibly some modifications. There would be U.S. or NATO security guarantees for Israel, and possibly troops along the Jordan River. And finally, that Arab states would recognize Israel.

Leaving aside the problems that such a proposal would bring for Israel, on its face the idea is absurd and doomed to defeat. To start with, there is no consideration of a little problem called the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas and would never accept this plan. Then there is the fact that Arab states would not recognize Israel for a variety of reasons, including the question of Syria’s interests in the Golan Heights.

The sole expert quoted by the Times, by the way, is Robert Malley who, of course favors it though he stresses it won’t be easy. Malley is very close to the PA and very far away from Israel. His influence with the administration seems to be growing and he has been seen closely advising Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leading naïve person on these issues. I could write a great deal about Mr. Malley but suffice it to say that Israel’s survival is not a major concern for him.

There are many factors here but let me cite just two. First, high-ranking administration officials are not exactly deeply understanding of the issues at stake. Any plan presented by them will be full of holes and dangerous errors. Second, the notion that they can solve this issue and the whole Middle East will fall into place is absurd. See here, for example.

Yet the outcome would be the exact opposite of what they expect on the regional level. Islamists and many others in the Arab world will present any plan as treason, proof that America is against them. Obama would become less popular, attacks on the United States (both verbal and terrorist) would increase, as the radicals would do everything possible to sabotage any deal. If PA leaders accepted it—which they won’t—or even appeared sympathetic, opposition to them within Fatah would increase.

It would be nice if those favoring or reporting on current policy mentioned these problems and tried to refute them in some way. Instead, they are usually just ignored. (How can you write about an imposed solution and not even mention that little detail regarding Hamas!)

In reality, the United States would gain nothing and lose a great deal through such a strategy. What happens after the Obama Administration makes such an approach and it fails miserably? Where will its credibility in the region and its prestige at home be then?

After the British technical victory at the battle of Bunker Hill during the American revolution, suffering very heavy losses, a British officer wrote home: One more victory like this and there will be no one left to report it.

With the Obama Administration, having mishandled both Israel-Palestinian issues and sanctions against Iran (one could mention a few other foreign policy issues in this context), it could be said: One more initiative like this and there will be no one left in office. Even the New York Times editorial board won’t be able to protect them. Can you say: One-term president?

Finally, one reason why I’d prefer that the administration did something right on foreign policy is so I could stop writing articles like this and find some good things to say about them. After all, the fact that the United States is doing so poorly in the world is bad for all freedom-loving peoples as well as the American people themselves. I beg the administration to stop being "one-sidedly" wrong so I can stop being "one-sidedly" critical. But I'm not holding my breath.

RubinReports: The Idea of the Obama Administration Supporting an "Imposed Solution" on the Israel-Palestinian Issue Takes a Big Step Forward

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Eretz


Ishai writes in to request the song Eretz (land, country).

Well, yes, but which one? There are lots of shirim with that word in their title, because many of these songs deal with the land, the relationship to it, its price, and so on.

Why, there's even a famous shir about Brazil, called Eretz Tropit Yaffa, a beautiful tropical land, by Ehud Manor. Here's a 1978 recording with Matti Kaspi and a young Yehudit Ravits.

To be honest, though, I don't think that's the one Ishai had in mind. More likely, he meant Eretz Eretz Eretz, a 1974 song sung by Ilanit. Ilanit was probably the most famous singer of the 1970s, though she then mostly faded away, and even at the time she was famous but not excellent. Here's a video of her singing to troops.

Hebrew words.
English translation:
A land, a land, a land,
a land of a light blue sky without a cloud ,
and the sun is to it (to the land)
like milk and honey.
A land we were born in
a land we will live in,
and we will continue living here
no matter what happens.

A land that we'll love,
like Mother and Father,
a land of the people,
a land forever.
A land we were born in
a land we will live in,
no matter what happens.

A land, a land, a land,
the sea up against the shore,
and flowers and children
without end.
In the North - the Sea of Galilee,
In the South - sands,
And the East to the West
kisses the borders.

A land that we'll love...

A land, a land, a land,
land of the Torah,
you're the source of light
and the language of faith.
A land, a land, a land,
a dear land,
you promised
that it is not a fairytale.

A land that we'll love...

Finally, I can't resist this video version, because it's so hilarious.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Eretz

Love of the Land: Just for Show

Just for Show

Jennifer Rubin
07 April '10

Many savvy observers of the Obami assault on Israel have concluded that the fuss over the Jerusalem housing permit was concocted by the Obami to ingratiate themselves with the Palestinians, who were threatening to walk from the proximity talks. There is ample support for this theory, not the least of which is the prior positions of the three players in the Obama freak-out drama — Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and the president. The colorfully named Sultan Knish has compiled a useful bit of history that includes Biden’s co-sponsorship of Senate Resolutions 1322, 113, and 106 (between the years 1990 and 1995):

Biden co-sponsored three Senate resolution, all three of which insisted that Jerusalem should remain Israel’s undivided capital. One of which insisted that it was vital for the peace process that Jerusalem should be affirmed by US policy as Israel’s undivided capital. So naturally, like any good politician, he was insulted by Israel taking him at his word. To argue that Biden was gravely insulted by Israel, is to argue that he was insulted by the policies he himself supported.

Not just passively supported, but co-sponsored in three Senate resolutions which repeatedly stated that these were meant to be the policy of the United States.

But of course the hypocrisy train doesn’t just stop at Joe Biden Station.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Just for Show

RubinReports: Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift: Turkey's Regime Marches Toward Islamism

Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift: Turkey's Regime Marches Toward Islamism

Please be subscriber 9,917. Just put your email address in the box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.

We depend on your tax-free contributions. To make one, please send a check to: American Friends of IDC, 116 East 16th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10003. The check should be made out to “American Friends of IDC,” with “for GLORIA Center” in the memo line.

By Barry Rubin

More evidence piles up every day that the Turkish government is moving toward radical Islamism yet Western policymakers pretend it merely combines a nice flavor of moderate Islam combined with democracy.

It is clear, for example, asPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, "It's Israel that is the principal threat to regional peace." Not Iran, Israel. Aside from everything else, the Turkish government is on the other side regarding Western efforts to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons since the prime minister has said that Iran isn't developing weapons, that he regards Iranian leader Ahmadinejad as a friend, and that even if Iran were building nuclear bombs it has a right to do so.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was right when he said that Erdogan is "slowly turning into [someone like Libyan dictator MuammarQadhafi] or [Venezuelan dictator] Hugo Chavez....It's his choice. The problem is not Turkey, the problem is Erdogan." Well, Erdogan and his colleagues.

Meanwhile, the regime also continues to arrest military officers on trumped up coup charges. Here's a good article on how the government is trying to intimidate the armed forces into intimidation, removing the last obstacle to its remaining in power for a very long time and doing as it pleases.

If this kind of thing--making friends with Iran, reducing internal freedoms, arresting scholars [see here for a detailed report] and others on phony coup charges--happened in a South American or Asian country it would set off alarm bells and be dramatic front page news. But as part of the denial psychology with which much of the West deals with anything happening in a Muslim-majority country it fits right in.

RubinReports: Wake Up and Smell the Paradigm Shift: Turkey's Regime Marches Toward Islamism

Elder of Ziyon: Ray Hanania lies

Ray Hanania lies

Ray Hanania is one of the more moderate Arabs of Palestinian origin - an American-born commentator and sometimes comedian.

Yet he has no less of an urge to make up lies about Israel than his other PalArab comrades.

From the SW News Herald, copied from Palestine Note:

Jerusalem is a closed city. It has been for years. Every conqueror and occupier has restricted access to the city to certain people considered enemies.

The Ottomans did it. The Jordanians did it. And now Israel is doing it. Except that Israel is lying about it.

Israelis insist that Jerusalem is "finally" an open city. Yes, open to Jews from anywhere around the world and to most non-Arabs. But not to Arabs and especially not to Palestinians of the Christian and Muslim faiths.

Jerusalem under Israeli occupation is a closed city and the worst part about it is that most Israelis have closed their eyes and they don't care.

Israel's high powered propaganda machine - something the Arabs may not understand because they have no real professional communications at all - insists the "big lie" that Jews were banned from entering East Jerusalem after the cessation of fighting in the 1948 war and until Israel conquered it in their invasion in 1967.

That is an outright lie, of course. Jordan had the same policy that Israel has today. Exactly. Precisely. There is not a difference. During this Arab-Israeli conflict, ALL Arab countries banned Jews who had Israeli passports or who had visited Israel from entering their countries. They also banned pro-Israel activists. And that included East Jerusalem.

The Israelis focus on that fact without the accuracy, of course.

NOT BANNED, however, were Jews who did not travel to Israel and were from other countries who wished to visit East Jerusalem's Wailing Wall for religious, not political, reasons.

Jews prayed at the Wailing Wall all the time during the Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem.

The difference is that Jordan didn't spend any time with clever public relations spin or professional communications explaining what they were doing.

Really? Jews prayed all the time at the Wailing Wall between 1948 and 1967??

Since there were approximately zero Jews in Jordan during that time period - they were all kicked out in 1948, including families who lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of years, without asking them if they were there for political or religious reasons - this is an astonishing assertion. Even more so since the newspapers of the 1950s and 1960s mention many, many times that Jews - not Israelis, but Jews - were banned from the Old City under Jordanian rule.

I found a single exception. During Christmas week in 1957, the Jewish and Arab mayors of Jerusalem opened up the Mandelbaum Gate and allowed a handful of religious Jews to the Old City. The Canadian Jewish Review mentions the incident, saying that the Jews cried far more for the ruins of the destroyed and desecrated synagogues than for the Temple, and some Arabs took advantage of the commotion to try to free some Arab prisoners from jail, causing the experiment in equal access to be aborted quickly.

Outside of that, the contemporaneous media uniformly mentions that Jews were not allowed to the Old City. Typical was this NYT snippet from January 13, 1957:

And there is the Wailing Wall, where the Jews may come no longer, barred now, as Christians or Moslems were from other shrines in ages past...

The Sydney Morning Herald, December 22, 1951, says

There is only silence to-day at the Wailing Wall, which is the western end of the great platform on which stood the Jewish Temple.

Is there "only silence" at the Al Aqsa Mosque today, Ray?

As far as the ability of Jews to travel to the Old City through Jordan, Dore Gold writes that "Jordan further barred non-Israeli Jews from the Western Wall, demanding that tourists present a certificate of baptism before a visa would be granted."

Hanania is claiming that Israeli policy today exactly mirrors that of Jordan during those infamous 19 years, in not allowing Arabs or Palestinian Christians to visit their holy sites. As I showed previously, not only did Israel hand out over 10,000 permits for Palestinian Christians to visit, but Israel also hosted hundreds of Jordanian and Egyptian Christians during Easter week this year.

To say that this is "exactly, precisely" the same policy that Jordan had when the Old City was Judenrein is nothing short of an absolute lie. If such a policy had existed, there would have been more Jews visiting holy places during Passover than there were Christians during Easter under Jordanian rule.

And, as I also mentioned, the number of religious visitors in Israel's undivided capital Jerusalem during the Passover/Easter season increased from 10,000 in under Jordanian rule in 1967 to over 100,000 this year.

Elder of Ziyon: Ray Hanania lies

Love of the Land: Another reason Israel needs a death penalty for terrorists

Another reason Israel needs a death penalty for terrorists

Israel Matzav
07 April '10

The fact that Israel has no death penalty for terrorists is absurd. It leaves us open to the whims of governments seeking to trade terrorists for kidnapped soldiers and civilians to bolster their standing. It encourages the 'Palestinians' to try to kidnap Israelis, especially IDF soldiers. Worst of all, it destroys the citizenry's morale as time and again we are forced to watch murderers go free.

There's another reason why we need a death penalty for terrorists: Occasionally, they actually serve out their term and are set free. Such is the case with the terrorist who allowed his home to be used in the 1994 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman HY"D (may God avenge his blood), the son of an American immigrant mother and an Israeli father.

Israel freed on the eve of Passover the Arab terrorist who allowed his home to be used by the kidnap-murderers of Golani elite commando soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. The terrorist had served his prison term of 13 years.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Another reason Israel needs a death penalty for terrorists

Israel Matzav: Obama not briefed on US nuclear defense plans for 'some months' after taking office

Obama not briefed on US nuclear defense plans for 'some months' after taking office

Apparently he decided that the plans were 'insane' and therefore he decided not to review them.

What would be insane would be to rely on Obama to protect the US or any of its allies against an attack (conventional or non-conventional) by anyone.

Read the whole thing.

Maybe he was busy playing golf or something.

Israel Matzav: Obama not briefed on US nuclear defense plans for 'some months' after taking office

Israel Matzav: Obama trying to delay Congressional sanctions approval

Obama trying to delay Congressional sanctions approval

The Obama administration has sought to delay the passage of a reconciled version of the Iran sanctions bill that was passed by both the House and the Senate by overwhelming margins earlier this session. The administration wants the delay ostensibly to give their attempts to pass sanctions in the UN Security Council more time to work.

The Hill newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying the White House has quietly asked lawmakers not to move quickly to produce a single sanctions bill that would go to the president, who could sign or veto it.

Bruce MacDonald with the United States Institute of Peace says a delay would help by not tying the administration's hands when it comes to negotiating with Tehran.

"Having worked in Congress for a long time, I fully recognize that Congress should maintain all its prerogatives," said Bruce MacDonald. "But I would hope that they might give the Obama administration a little bit more of a chance, especially now when it looks like there is some movement on the part of China and Russia."

MacDonald says reaching an agreement at the United Nations to achieve President Obama's timeline will not be easy, but it should not be ruled out. Where China is concerned, he points to indications from Beijing that it recognizes that something other than simply pure diplomacy might be needed with Iran.

Iran has dismissed the threat of tougher sanctions, saying that any such step would only strengthen its determination to move ahead with its nuclear program, a remark Iran's chief nuclear negotiator made during a visit to Beijing.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has avoided characterizing congressional contacts as an effort to slow down an Iran sanctions bill. Briefing reporters on Monday, Gibbs said only that this is a "critical time period" with U.S. allies at the United Nations. He reiterated the president's belief that a sanctions resolution would be acted on by the Security Council in the next few months.

I don't know which of the 'next few months' they have in mind, but it's not going to be April. Sanctions against Iran aren't even on the agenda (Hat Tip: Jihad Watch).

The deadly farce continues. The disbursement of strategic and economic goodies to Russia and China is accelerating. It is all for a good cause of getting "debilitating", "biting" sanction against Iran through the Security Council, administration officials assure us. Foggy Bottom lets it be known that the Chinese are coming around to supporting anti-Iranian sanctions. Barack Obama announces that tough UN sanctions could expected in weeks. NOT TRUE - NOT EVEN CLOSE. The truth is that the Chinese are instead considering Ahmadinejad's invitation to an nulcear disarmament conference rivaling that of Obama. Moreover, the UN Security Council has not even bothered putting Iran sanctions on its agenda. The FT reports on the bottom of p.4:

Obama's hopes of swift sanctions against Iran suffer setback in UN

The United Nations Security Council yesterday failed to include Iran's nuclear programm on its agenda for April, underlining the likely slow road to sanctions that Barack Obama, US president, had hoped to have in place "within weeks".

Japan's Yukio Takasu, this month's president of the 15-member council, said no meeting had been scheduled because it was not yet clear "when this might be taken up. It may not be taken up".. . .

Maybe Obama just wants Iran to get nuclear weapons. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama trying to delay Congressional sanctions approval

Love of the Land: Imposing


Soccer Dad
07 April '10

Two weeks ago David Ignatius wrote:

In retrospect, it seems clear that the step-by-step approach was a mistake: Constructive ambiguity, in this case, proved destructive. It allowed the Israeli right wing to perpetuate the idea that it could have it all -- obtain a peace deal without making concessions on Jerusalem. And it allowed Netanyahu to continue his straddle.

Jerusalem is the hardest issue of all in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, and for that reason, would-be peacemakers have wanted to save it for last. But this month's crisis makes that strategic waffling impossible. Thanks to the Israeli right, the Jerusalem issue is joined.

What's needed now is for Obama to announce that when negotiations begin, the United States will state its views about Jerusalem and other key issues -- sketching the outlines of the deal that most Israelis and Palestinians want. If Netanyahu refuses to play, then we have a real crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.

At the time Barry Rubin observed:

Has anyone else noticed that David Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist who always tries to echo what he's hearing from his administration contacts, has just called for an imposed settlement on Israel and the Palestinians?

On a hopeful note Meryl wrote yesterday:

I think that given the pushback of the last few weeks, the Obama administration will not be publicly calling out Netanyahu. It's all going to be behind the scenes now. And I don't think Obama is going to succeed in getting Israel to stop building apartments in Ramat Shlomo. Nor do I think that Israel will be agreeing to final status issues up front.

Obama may want to count an Israel-Palestinian peace deal among the accomplishments of his administration, but I don't think he can bully Israel into it. He has far too much trouble right here at home right now. The Tea Party movement is more popular than the president.

However, Ignatius has weighed in again. It would appear that the administration remains undaunted.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Imposing

Love of the Land: Moderation


J.E. Dyer
06 April '10

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit has picked up on the April 4 – Easter Sunday – greeting to the Palestinian people of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. In it, Fayyad promised that next year, the people will hold the (Islamic) Holy Fire vigil in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, “capital” of the Palestinian state.

Fayyad, of course, has made his reputation over the last decade as a Western-friendly moderate, praised by Thomas Friedman for advocating that the Palestinian Arabs focus on building their institutions to prepare for viable statehood rather than on armed struggle against Israel. Friedman calls this approach “Fayyadism,” but as Jonathan Tobin pointed out in March, Fayyadism is a policy without a constituency among the Palestinian Arabs. It isn’t something that can be counted on or appealed to in the clutch.

Fayyad’s Easter Sunday greeting is a reminder that it could be more problematic if Fayyadism did have a constituency. The statehood proposal announced by Fayyad in August 2009 might de-emphasize armed resistance, but its provision for unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state with the June 4, 1967, border is hardly uncontroversial.

One element of such a declaration – to be made in 2011, according to Fayyad’s two-year timetable – would be unilaterally assuming Arab control of Jerusalem’s Old City, the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as the rest of East Jerusalem. The text of Fayyad’s April 4 greeting could hardly be more pointed regarding the import of that. His words are a reminder of the years 1948 to 1967, when Jordan’s occupation force destroyed dozens of synagogues in the Jewish Quarter and denied Jews access to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. More than half of Old Jerusalem’s Christian inhabitants left the city during that period because of religious restrictions and harassment.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Moderation

Love of the Land: Rosner's Domain: Lee Smith on why the US should not "hazard its human and financial resources on democracy promotion in the Middle East"

Rosner's Domain: Lee Smith on why the US should not "hazard its human and financial resources on democracy promotion in the Middle East"

Lee Smith

Shmuel Rosner
Rosner's Domain/JPost
07 April '10

Lee Smith's The Strong Horse is a "clear-eyed analysis" in which "Smith explodes the many myths permeating Americans' understanding of the Arab world: colonialism spurred the region's ongoing turmoil; Arab liberalism is waiting for U.S. intervention; technology and democracy can be transforming. In response to these untruths, Smith offers what he terms the "Strong Horse Doctrine" - that Arabs want to align themselves with strength, power, and violence".

Smith is a Middle East correspondent for The Weekly Standard and also has written for Slate, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and a variety of Arab media outlets. I read his book (highly readable, entertaining, not too long, recommended!) and sent him a couple of questions:

1. You wrote that, "We took 9/11 too personally. The result is that we've come to see our multiple engagements in the Middle East - from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to our contentious relationship with Iran - in the framework of a clash between Western and Islamic civilization". Please explain to those readers who haven't yet read your book, how it is the "clash of Arab civilizations" that is the real cause for Middle East (and world) trouble?

Most of us are accustomed to looking at the region as a massive sea of some 300 million Arabs, and 9/11 suggested they were all squared off as one against the West. Thus, an Iraqi Shia and a Lebanese Christian presumably all share the same convictions, hopes and fears as a Sunni living in the Egyptian capital. This is not the case, a fact documented in the history of intra-Arab conflict: civil wars in Lebanon and Yemen; wars between regimes and their insurgent opponents in Egypt, Syria, Algeria, and Jordan; sectarian conflict in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. And yet despite all the bloodshed, the Arabs are not a warlike people, as the Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi told me, but are rather a feuding people. What keeps the Arabs from making total war against each other is in effect a tribal covenant: the purpose of Arab nationalism is to bind the Arabs as one in order to keep them from destroying themselves while projecting their enmity on an alien tribe. The two most popular targets, as we know, are Israel, and America. And so, as I write in the book, "What was extraordinary about the attacks on lower Manhattan and the Pentagon was not the carnage - certainly not compared to some of the most vicious intra-Arab campaigns over the last several decades - but that the Arabs had shifted the field of battle to the continental United States." September 11, "is the day we woke up to find ourselves in the middle of a clash of Arab civilizations, a war that used American cities as yet another venue for the Arabs to fight each other."

2. You write that "the Americans had taken the wrong side" in the Middle East "war of ideas". How so?

Since the Muslim reform movement of the 19th century, the central question in the Middle East's war of ideas has been whether or not Arabs and Muslims should accept the cultural values of the West.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Rosner's Domain: Lee Smith on why the US should not "hazard its human and financial resources on democracy promotion in the Middle East"

Love of the Land: The Boycotters Real Intent

The Boycotters Real Intent

Yisrael Medad
My Right Word
07 April '10

Cheap propaganda, but quite dangerous.

I was sent info of this UK campaign to boycott goods from the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. They call themselves part of War On Want. And here, you can read this:

Over the last 61 years Israel has continuously acted in defiance of UN resolutions, international law and global outrage. Through the continuing occupation, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate force, house demolitions, targeted assassinations, detention of minors, detention without trial, attacks on water supplies, violation of the right to food and attacks on medical personnel and equipment...


61 years?

But, didn't "occupation" begin in 1967?

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: The Boycotters Real Intent

Love of the Land: Jews must be unified on critical issues

Jews must be unified on critical issues
06 April '10

In my last post, I urged American Jews to take a firm pro-Israel position, because it is in their interest.

It is only very recently and only in Israel and the democratic West that Jews have been able to escape the condition of living by the sufferance of the majority, dependent upon the attitude of the rulers and the populace, upon how the wind is blowing on a given day. The presence of a strong state of Israel is at the same time a source of psychological strength and self-respect for those diaspora Jews, as well as a practical refuge — something which has been demonstrated clearly over and over since 1948, but which for some reason is often derided by ahistorical US Jews, who seem to think that the conditions of post-1945 America will continue in aeternum.

It is fascinating to watch Western anti-Zionists rationalize their opposition to the state, as opposed to the Arabs, who simply want to conquer it, kill the Jews and take their possessions; or the Iranians, who see it as a stumbling block to their hegemony. As they become more and more agitated, this anti-Zionism exposes itself simply as a need to put the Jews back in the ‘rightful’ place as marginal and despised creatures. But that’s another article.

What is becoming more and more clear to me, though, is that American Jews have a significant role to play in determining the future of Israel, and — since Israel really is the front line in the conflict with Islamic imperialism in the Mideast — possibly the West as a whole.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Jews must be unified on critical issues

Love of the Land: A Nuclear Iran and the Futility of Sanctions

A Nuclear Iran and the Futility of Sanctions

Graphic: Steve Hughes
Louis René Beres
07 April '10

In the matter of Iranian nuclearization, U.S. President Barack Obama still doesn’t get it. Economic sanctions will never work. In Tehran’s national decision-making circles, absolutely nothing can compare to the immense power and status that would come with membership in the Nuclear Club. Indeed, if President Ahmadinejad and his clerical masters truly believe in the Shiite apocalypse, the inevitable final battle against “unbelievers,” they would be most willing to accept even corollary military sanctions.

From the standpoint of the United States, a nuclear Iran would pose an unprecedented risk of mass-destruction terrorism. For much smaller Israel, of course, the security risk would be existential.

Legal issues are linked here to various strategic considerations. Supported by international law, specifically by the incontestable right of anticipatory self-defense, Prime Minister Netanyahu understands that any preemptive destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructures would involve enormous operational and political difficulties. True, Israel has deployed elements of the “Arrow” system of ballistic missile defense, but even the Arrow could not achieve a sufficiently high probability of intercept to protect civilian populations. Further, now that Obama has backed away from America’s previously-planned missile shield deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic, Israel has no good reason to place its security hopes in any combined systems of active defense.

Even a single incoming nuclear missile that would manage to penetrate Arrow defenses could kill very large numbers of Israelis. Iran, moreover, could decide to share its developing nuclear assets with assorted terror groups, sworn enemies of Israel that would launch using automobiles and ships rather than missiles. These very same groups might seek “soft” targets in selected American or European cities – schools, universities, hospitals, hotels, sports stadiums, subways, etc.

While Obama and the “international community” still fiddles, Iran is plainly augmenting its incendiary intent toward Israel with a corresponding military capacity. Left to violate non-proliferation treaty (NPT) rules with impunity, Iran’s leaders might ultimately be undeterred by any threats of an Israeli and/or American retaliation. Such a possible failure of nuclear deterrence could be the result of a presumed lack of threat credibility, or even of a genuine Iranian disregard for expected harms. In the worst-case scenario, Iran, animated by certain Shiite visions of inevitable conflict, could become the individual suicide bomber writ large. Such a dire prospect is improbable, but it is not unimaginable.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A Nuclear Iran and the Futility of Sanctions

Love of the Land: Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?

Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?

David Schenker
Published April 2010
Vol. 9, No. 22

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based on recent pronouncements from Syria, if the situation degenerates, fighting could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973.

On February 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus. Afterward, Hizbullah's online magazine Al Intiqad suggested that war with Israel was on the horizon.

Raising tensions further are reports that Syria has provided Hizbullah with the advanced, Russian-made, shoulder-fired, Igla-S anti-aircraft missile, which could inhibit Israeli air operations over Lebanon in a future conflict. The transfer of this equipment had previously been defined by Israeli officials as a "red line."

In the summer of 2006, Syria sat on the sidelines as Hizbullah fought Israel to a standstill. After the war, Assad, who during the fighting received public assurances from then-Prime Minister Olmert that Syria would not be targeted, took credit for the "divine victory."

Damascus' support for "resistance" was on full display at the Arab Summit in Libya in late March 2010, where Assad urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to abandon U.S.-supported negotiations and "take up arms against Israel."

After years of diplomatic isolation, Damascus has finally broken the code to Europe, and appears to be on the verge of doing so with the Obama administration as well. Currently, Syria appears to be in a position where it can cultivate its ties with the West without sacrificing its support for terrorism.

In February 2010, tensions spiked between Israel and its northern neighbors. First, Syrian and Israeli officials engaged in a war of words, complete with dueling threats of regime change and targeting civilian populations. Weeks later, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged to go toe-to-toe with Israel in the next war.1 Then, toward the end of the month, Israel began military maneuvers in the north. Finally, on February 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah for an unprecedented dinner meeting in Damascus.

Concerns about Israeli hostilities with Hizbullah are nothing new, but based on recent pronouncements from Damascus, if the situation degenerates, fighting could take on a regional dimension not seen since 1973. In January and February, Syrian officials indicated that, unlike during the 2006 fighting in Lebanon, Damascus would not "sit idly by" in the next war.2 While these statements may be bravado, it's not difficult to imagine Syria being drawn into the conflict.

(Read full report)

Love of the Land: Is Israel Facing War with Hizbullah and Syria?

Love of the Land: A tale of Israeli “rapists” that has enraged the Palestinians but won’t make the BBC

A tale of Israeli “rapists” that has enraged the Palestinians but won’t make the BBC

Robin Shepherd
06 April '10

Well there’s a headline that will have regular readers scratching their heads. So let me explain, and as I do consider why this particularly evocative story has been ignored by mainstream media across Europe.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting today that Palestinians are up in arms (not literally, I hasten to add) over a Turkish television series being broadcast across the Arab world which portrays IDF soldiers raping a Palestinian female prisoner in an Israeli jail.

Confused? Palestinians actively opposed to gross and defamatory lies about Israel? Well, consider this extract from a protest letter to the Turkish dramatists from a group of female Palestinian prisoners:

“This film defames the female prisoners and their struggles in occupation prisons,” the Jerusalem Post quoted the letter as saying. “We call on the producer of this Turkish drama to apologize to the Palestinian people for the scene which shows Israeli soldiers raping a Palestinian female prisoner called Miriam.”

Part of the problem, the Palestinian women say, is that upon her release the victim is killed by her family due to the dishonour she has brought on them by having had the temerity to have been raped. Calling this a “public insult to the Palestinian people” they add that in any case, “Those who think that a Palestinian female prisoner is raped when she’s arrested are living in an illusion and are mistaken… There has never been such a case.”

The Jerusalem Post adds that the series is being broadcast across the Middle East by the Saudi-owned MBC network. The Palestinian authority has echoed the prisoners’ sentiments describing the programme as “offensive”.

(Read full post)

Related: Damned if you do and damned if you don't

Love of the Land: A tale of Israeli “rapists” that has enraged the Palestinians but won’t make the BBC

Israel Matzav: Deja vu all over again: Government distributing gas masks

Deja vu all over again: Government distributing gas masks

Although I have not yet received a notice from them, the government started to distribute gas masks (or as AFP so delicately calls them 'biochemical war protection kits') to the Israeli public.

"We have equipped ourselves with millions of protection kits against biological or chemical warfare, and a massive distribution programme for the population started today," Vilnai told army radio.

"Every family in Israel can receive these kits at home and be instructed on how to use them by Israeli postal workers, at an average cost of 25 shekels (five dollars), or pick them up free of charge at post office counters."

NIS 25 is actually a bit more than $6 these days (current exchange rate is about NIS 3.70 to the dollar) and I doubt those kits are going to do a whole lot of good in the event of a nuclear attack, God forbid.

But Vilnai emphasized the distribution of the protection kits was "not linked to any precise current threat."

The Israeli government decided on January 5 to distribute eight million new gas masks, one for each citizen, by 2013 and already distributed gas masks to 70,000 residents of Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv in February.

Israel has long feared chemical or biological weapons may be used against it in a future conflict involving the Jewish state's arch-foes, Iran or Syria.

Our previous gas masks expired when the government told us to open them at the beginning of the US attack on Iraq in 2003. Those gas masks were finally collected in the summer of 2007.

I hope the new ones are at least smaller - the old ones took an entire shelf in a large closet to store (along with required emergency supplies like bottles of fresh water).

Israel Matzav: Deja vu all over again: Government distributing gas masks

Israel Matzav: Congressman from CAIR tweets 'disaster' stories from Gaza

Congressman from CAIR tweets 'disaster' stories from Gaza

The Congressman from CAIR was in Gaza this week, where he 'avoided Hamas officials' (given that Obama himself has been sending emissaries to Hamas, one has to wonder why the charade of avoidance), but sent home tweets about 'disaster' stories from Gaza for all his followers (I don't follow Ellison) and pledged to try to convince Congress that the 'blockade' on Gaza is a disaster for the economy. Well, of course it is, but they're not starving and they're not getting as many weapons as they would be otherwise.

During his one-day tour, rhe Congressman said that he did not discuss the plight of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, held in captivity for nearly four years without visits from the International Red Cross. His condition is not known.

Hamas said it was not aware of Ellison’s visit, but Gaza City officials arranged a protest by dozens of orphans, demanding an end to the partial blockade Israel placed on Gaza to prevent smuggling of weapons for terrorists.

Egypt also has blockade Gaza at the border, but Ellison called only for an end to the Israeli measures, which he called “mass punishment.”

Ellison used Twitter to send back home messages implying Israeli blame for individual crises among Arabs, despite Israel’s admitting dozens of Gaza Arab into Israeli hospitals every month,

“Hamza, 2, w/ brain tumor. Medical treatment slowed, delayed b/o blockade on Gaza. Parents very worried. HRW says 27 dies b/o medical delays,” read one of Ellison's Twitter messages.

And we all know how objective 'HRW' (Human Rights Watch) is, don't we?

By the way, with all those billions of dollars in aid money that have poured into Gaza in the last seventeen years, why haven't they built a decent hospital yet? Oh yeah, they're still busy with 'revolution.'

Anyone running against this moron in November?

Israel Matzav: Congressman from CAIR tweets 'disaster' stories from Gaza
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...