Thursday, 8 April 2010

Love of the Land: How Do You Impose Peace?

How Do You Impose Peace?


Jennifer Rubin
Contentions/Commentary
08 April '10

This report explains the latest Palestinian celebration of terrorism:

The future Palestinian Authority presidential compound will be built along a street named for an infamous Hamas arch-terrorist, Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.

The Ramallah street was named for notorious Hamas suicide bomb mastermind Yihyeh Ayyash, also known as the “engineer,” who was the architect of multiple attacks, including a 1994 bombing of a Tel Aviv bus, which killed 20 people, and injured dozens.

Ayyash was killed in 1996 in what was most likely an Israeli assassination, after his cell phone exploded in his Beit Lahia home, in the Gaza Strip.


Last time, the Palestinians pulled this – naming a square in Ramallah for terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi, who killed 38 Israelis — Hillary Clinton tried to pass it off as the doing of Hamas, despite ample evidence that the PA joined in the festivities. It’s going to be even harder for the Obami to make excuses for the PA this time:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement in response to the naming, saying it was an “outrageous glorification of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority.”

“Right next to a Presidential compound in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority has named a street after a terrorist who murdered hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children,” the statement said, adding that “the world must forcefully condemn this official Palestinian incitement for terrorism and against peace.”


So does the Obama team manage to get out a simple declaratory sentence this time — “We condemn this behavior,” for example?

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: How Do You Impose Peace?

Love of the Land: Dear Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin

Dear Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin


David Harris
In The Trenches/JPost
08 April '10

I'm an admirer of Ireland, a country whose charm, culture and beauty have all captivated me. And, as a Jew, I always identified with William Butler Yeats' famous quote, "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

But reading your recent op-ed, "Gaza a Year Later", in the International Herald Tribune, was another story entirely.

Is it naiveté? Do you really believe that "the medieval siege conditions" you describe in Gaza are nothing more than an Israeli desire to inflict harm on another people, as if Israel were not governed by a moral code deeply embedded in its DNA?

Is it ignorance? Are you unaware of what's been going on in Gaza, including the brutal nature of Hamas rule, the smuggling of ever more sophisticated weapons, or the thousands of rocket attacks launched against Israel?

Is it fear? Are you seeking to ensure that Ireland doesn't come in the crosshairs of global jihadists?

Is it projection? Do you assume that all the people of Gaza today want nothing more than the people of Galway, namely, peace on earth and good will toward men?

Is it transference? Do you see the Gazans as the Catholics of Northern Ireland, even if Catholic nationalists never called for Britain's destruction as Hamas calls for Israel's every day?

Someone without any knowledge of the region would deduce from your article that Israel, having nothing else to do, simply decided one day to make life unbearable for neighboring Gaza.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Dear Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin

Love of the Land: Will the Palestinians Just Declare a State?

Will the Palestinians Just Declare a State?


P. David Hornik
Frontpagemag.com
08 April '10

In the aftermath of last month’s diplomatic ruckus—Israeli bureaucrats referred, with Vice-President Biden in town, to building apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem; the Obama administration took severe umbrage; the Palestinians pulled out of the nascent proximity talks—things, at this moment, remain stuck. Does that mean no progress toward the administration’s cherished goal of a Palestinian state, and frustration all around?

Not necessarily. Moshe Elad, a columnist for Israel’s largest daily Yediot Aharonot, notes that the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, and prime minister, Salaam Fayyad, have been talking about unilaterally declaring such a state in 2011—and that while “in the past, such statements would anger the Americans…this time around, even if we heard a response from the White House or the State Department, it was rather meek.”

Palestinians, Elad reports, have been setting aside their traditional anti-Americanism and “taking pleasure in feeling that ‘America is with us’”; and are “coordinating with the Americans the building of infrastructure across the West Bank as preparation for economic independence and detachment from Israel’s hold.” Elad goes on to ask “What will Israel’s position be in respect to the long list of guests invited to the ceremony that will seek to land in Ben-Gurion Airport?”—that is, if and when the Palestinians declare their state next year and invite many of the world’s dignitaries to honor the event.

Yaakov Katz, military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, describes Israel as “extremely worried” about the prospect “because it may lead to a third intifada, during which Israel would be fighting a 20,000-strong militia”—much of which would be American-trained.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Will the Palestinians Just Declare a State?

Love of the Land: Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment

The Obama administration's Middle East diplomacy goes from bad to worse.


Elliot Abrams
The Weekly Standard
07 April '10

“Obama to Impose Terms on Israel” is the headline you didn’t read on David Ignatius’s column in the Washington Post today. The story ran under the title “Obama’s Mideast Plan,” which Ignatius describes as “proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict.”

But the substance is clear: It is a threat against Israel by the Obama administration and particularly by National Security Advisor James Jones. (The give-away is this line: “The fact that Obama is weighing the peace plan marks his growing confidence in Jones.” Now who do you think was Ignatius’s source for that gem?) Apparently Obama and his team are frustrated by their inability to get Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a deal, and have therefore decided we’ll just impose one.

The inability of Israelis and Palestinians to get to the negotiating table is, in this administration, an iatrogenic disease: Our diplomatic doctors have caused it. The astonishing incompetence of Obama and special envoy George Mitchell has now twice blown up talks—direct talks last year, and proximity talks more recently—by making Israeli construction plans a major world crisis, thereby forcing Palestinian leaders to back away from engagement with the Israelis. So the administration will, in the fall, just do it the simpler way. Why bother with Israelis and Palestinians, in whom the president apparently does not have “growing confidence,” when you can just have your own brilliant team draw up the terms? As Ignatius’s sources, “two top administration officials,” tell him, “everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal.”

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Terms of Endearment

Love of the Land: Obama’s Diplomatic War on Israel Is Just Getting Started

Obama’s Diplomatic War on Israel Is Just Getting Started


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
07 April '10

Apparently, David Ignatius of the Washington Post isn’t the only recipient of White House leaks about an Obama peace plan. Helen Cooper of the New York Times chimed in with her own piece this afternoon about the president’s desire to jump into the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Cooper, the trigger for this latest instance of administration hubris was a recent gathering of former national-security advisers including Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, Samuel Berger, and Colin Powell, who were called in to consult with the president and his adviser General James L. Jones. The consensus (only Powell seems to have dissented) was that Obama must put forward his own scheme that would state exactly what the parameters of a peace deal would be. The idea is that peace can only be obtained by the United States imposing it on the parties. The plan is, of course, along the lines of past Israeli peace offers rejected by the Palestinians, plus extra Israeli concessions. The Palestinians give up their “right of return,” and Israel “would return to its 1967 borders,” including the one that divided Jerusalem, with only “a few negotiated settlements” as an exception. The supposed sweetener for Israel is that the United States or NATO, whose troops would be stationed along the Jordan River, would guarantee Israeli security.

Cheering from the sidelines is former Clinton staffer Robert Malley, who advised Obama on Middle East issues during the 2008 campaign until he was put aside to reassure Jewish voters worried about the Democrats having a man on staff who had served as an apologist for Yasser Arafat in the aftermath of the 2000 Camp David talks. For Malley, the logic of an American diktat is simple: “It’s not rocket science. If the U.S. wants it done, it will have to do it.”

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Obama’s Diplomatic War on Israel Is Just Getting Started

Love of the Land: Palestinians Beat Their Swords into Rocks

Palestinians Beat Their Swords into Rocks


Bil’in and Saffa knows very well the resistance path;
the catapult and the stone


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
07 April '10

While marketing gurus in Israel and the United States ponder the proper methodology for “rebranding” the Jewish State to make people think better of it, the Palestinians continue to eschew ad agencies and rely on The New York Times. That’s the only way to explain the Gray Lady’s curious dispatch today, which claims that the Palestinians have put away their decades-long predilection for violence and become disciples of Mahatma Gandhi.

According to the Times’s Ethan Bronner, “Senior Palestinian leaders — men who once commanded militias — are joining unarmed protest marches against Israeli policies and are being arrested.” How inspiring! It would seem that finally the Palestinians have decided to beat their swords into plowshares and find a way to live with Israel. “It is all about self-empowerment,” said Hasan Abu-Libdeh, the Palestinian economy minister. “We want ordinary people to feel like stockholders in the process of building a state.”

But rather than Fatah focusing on improving life in its putative state or encouraging peaceful people-to-people exchanges with their Jewish neighbors, the whole point of this allegedly non-violent action is to merely carry on their struggle against Israel without all the bad press associated with suicide bombings. Hence, the “self-empowerment” that Minister Abu-Libdeh is referring to is a campaign to boycott the goods produced by Jews who live in the territories and for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who work in and around the settlements to give up their jobs. As for the non-violent “protest marches,” they are directed at Israel’s security fence and consist of throwing stones at any Jews present and attempts to damage or destroy the barrier that was erected to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from crossing into Israel and committing mass murder. How any of that empowers ordinary Palestinians in any way is left unexplained.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Palestinians Beat Their Swords into Rocks

Love of the Land: Three disturbing reports from the White House

Three disturbing reports from the White House


Fresnozionism.org
07 April '10

Lots of strange and disturbing things are coming from the White House now that the health-care issue is over:

1) Islamic terrorism is dropped into the memory hole.

President Barack Obama’s advisers will remove religious terms such as “Islamic extremism” from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century… — AP (Ha’aretz)


Well, I can understand him wanting to say “we are not fighting against Islam.” But we are fighting something and somebody. Someone killed 3000 Americans on 9/11 and someone is shooting at our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly motivated someones are lobbing rockets at Israel from Gaza and preparing a massive bombardment from Lebanon. And someone in Iran is developing nuclear weapons for some reason. How can we fight an ideology that we are not allowed to name?

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Three disturbing reports from the White House

Israel Matzav: State Department worried about sanctions delay, thanks Israel for internationalizing Iran nuke threat

State Department worried about sanctions delay, thanks Israel for internationalizing Iran nuke threat

Speaking to the Jerusalem Post, an anonymous States Department official has expressed concern over the amount of time that it is taking to pass sanctions in the United Nations. He believes that sanctions will be passed by the end of June. He praises Israel for 'internationalizing' the Iranian nuclear threat. And he rejects the idea of trying to 'contain' a nuclear Iran.

On the other hand, he admits to the total failure of Obama's 'engagement' policy, which begs the question of why Obama insists on continuing to try it. He states that the administration will continue to insist on a sanctions resolution that passes the Security Council, which means that whatever eventually passes will be far too little and obviously too late.

But perhaps most curious is what he says about possible Israeli military action against Iran.

Still, he said Israel would have to make its own decisions in determining what kind of measures it needed to take – including military action – for its security.

“It’s not really up to other countries to second-guess decisions that other countries make in terms of their own self-defense,” he said, noting that both Obama and his Republican predecessor had stated repeatedly that “all options are on the table.”

But he underscored that military action was not the preferred outcome.

“I think almost every country would agree that it’s better to solve a problem through diplomacy and persuasion and engagement than through violence or military force,” he said.

I would love to know who this official is (reporter Hillary Leila Kreiger describes him as 'senior') and whether he speaks for the Obama administration. Does this mean that Obama has given up on pressuring Israel to hold its fire?

As I see it, the Obama administration is trying to push Israel into a corner where it will attack Iran in the hope that the retaliation will force us to seek American assistance in international forums - the price for which will be a 'Palestinian state' on the 'Palestinians' terms. That's probably consistent with giving Israel just enough rope to carry out an attack.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: State Department worried about sanctions delay, thanks Israel for internationalizing Iran nuke threat

Israel Matzav: Thoughts on allies gone by

Thoughts on allies gone by

Victor Davis Hanson has some thoughts about two of the allies that the United States has abandoned: Britain and Israel. It's mostly about Israel. Here's what he comes up with at the end:

Now, however, the Obama administration — through its symbolic snubs and choice of personnel, and through real policies concerning Jerusalem — has sent a message to Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, the United Nations, and the European Left that America is no longer particularly interested in playing its traditional role in defending Israel either intellectually or politically — and thus perhaps soon not through military assistance either. That will only encourage new adventurism, as a mostly opportunistic world rushes to pile on, at first rhetorically, but soon through material action and global indifference to Israel’s fate.

The origins of Obama’s apparent distaste for both Britain and Israel have been explored, but why the party of Truman and JFK abetted his transformation of American foreign policy is a more complex, but equally disheartening, matter.

Truman (certainly) and JFK would not recognize the Democratic party of today. It's been taken over by the far Left, which is in cahoots with radical Islam, and which has managed to shift the rest of the party's focus inward by concentrating on things like healthcare, global warming and cap and trade. The result is to leave foreign policy matters to those most concerned with them - the far Left and their allies.

But foreign policy has a way of coming back to bite you when much of the World still wants to regard you as a superpower, and I have little doubt that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it will be the end of the Obama Presidency and will lead to a total re-orienting of the Democratic party back into areas like human rights and promoting democracy (as was the case in the 1960's and 1970's when the US emerged from its 1950's isolationist tendencies).

I just hope we here in Israel are God willing around to see it.

Read it all.

Israel Matzav: Thoughts on allies gone by

Israel Matzav: Dennis Ross pushing imposed 'solution'?

Dennis Ross pushing imposed 'solution'?

Laura Rozen believes that Dennis Ross is one of the main people behind the push for the Obama administration to impose 'peace' between the Israelis and the 'Palestinians.'

And as David Ignatius reports today, some officials are arguing that the U.S. needs to get away from the vexing issue of settlements and East Jerusalem and take it to the “30,000 feet,” grand strategy level:

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.

"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.

...

Interestingly, while the piece praises National Security Adviser Jim Jones as the supposed proponent of the broad regional strategic approach vs. Mitchell's preference for letting the parties come up with the plan, it conspicuously never mentions the White House Middle East-Iran strategist, Dennis Ross, who has reportedly argued against getting into a public fight with Netanyahu over settlements and for keeping the focus on the big picture, Iran. (And whose views seem to closely resemble those of the "second official" Ignatius cites, above).

Ross now has some 30 to 40 people working under him at the NSC, a former official at the White House this month said, a tenth of the whole NSC staff. In other words, not mentioning such a big player on the Middle East debate while mentioning Mitchell and Jones is noticeable. Which is all a way of saying my best guess is Ignatius' "first senior official" is Jones (see second graph of this piece by Elliott Abrams who thinks so too: "The give-away is this line: 'The fact that Obama is weighing the peace plan marks his growing confidence in Jones.' Now who do you think was Ignatius’s source for that gem?") and his "second official" is probably Ross.

Hmmm.

Well, the first official isn't Ross - that's for sure. In Ross' book, he rejects the idea of 'linkage.'


Israel Matzav: Dennis Ross pushing imposed 'solution'?

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinian Authority' names street after bombmaker, builds government complex on it

'Palestinian Authority' names street after bombmaker, builds government complex on it

The 'Palestinian Authority' has named a street in Ramallah after Yihya Ayash, a Hamas bombmaker (what - you thought Fatah and Hamas were enemies?) who was eventually killed when he answered a call he should have ignored with his cell phone. Now, the 'Palestinian Authority' is building a government complex on the street.

The PA is building its government complex on a road named after infamous terrorists Yahya Ayash, nicknamed “The Engineer".

Ayash was active in Hamas and responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jews throughout Israel. In the nineties he joined the Izz al-Din al-Qassam military organization of the Hamas, and specialized in creating improvised explosive devices.

His terror attacks include the suicide attack on a bus in Afula on April 6, 1994, a suicide attack on a bus in Hadera on April 13, 1994, an attack on a bus in Tel-Aviv on October 19, 1994 and the double attack at Beit Lid junction on January 22, 1995.

Ayash was finally assassinated in Gaza via a booby-trapped mobile phone.

The Prime Minister' office issued a statement in response to this report on Wednesday night.

"This is an outrageous glorification of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority. Right next to a Presidential compound in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority has named a street after a terrorist who murdered hundreds of innocent Israeli men, women and children. The world must forcefully condemn this official Palestinian incitement for terrorism and against peace."

Well, don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Rumor has it that they asked White House Press Secretary Gibbs about this last night and he said that Obama would be voting "present."


Israel Matzav: 'Palestinian Authority' names street after bombmaker, builds government complex on it

Israel Matzav: Stupid Jews: Israel upgrades Turkish tanks

Stupid Jews: Israel upgrades Turkish tanks

Israel has completed the upgrade of 170 40-year old Turkish tanks to the state of the art (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).

The last of the tanks, model M60A1, was delivered to Turkey this week, completing the program jointly carried out by the Turkish Defense Ministry, Israel Aircraft Industries and Elbit Systems.

The program was the largest of its kind in the world, and the tanks are now equivalent to the highest-level tanks in the world.

The nearly-$700 million deal was signed in March 2002. It is not clear if the successful conclusion of the project will lead to better ties between Turkey and Israel, or perhaps Turkey's new-found lack of dependency upon Israel will lead it further towards Islamic extremists.

Turkey’s M60A1 tanks started out as 40-year-old American armored vehicles, but now boast state-of-the-art weapons systems that combine the best of tankionics, fire power, sensors, and more.

What's Turkey going to do in return - lend them to Syria?

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Stupid Jews: Israel upgrades Turkish tanks

Israel Matzav: Calling Stephen Walt

Calling Stephen Walt

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Calling Stephen Walt

Israel Matzav: Qatari diplomat released

Qatari diplomat released

The law firm representing the Qatari embassy says diplomat who prompted airline bomb scare has been released following questioning. The diplomat was arrested on a Washington - Denver flight on Wednesday night after apparently going into the bathroom and lighting up a cigarette and claiming he was a shoe bomber.

He apparently never heard this song.

Let's go to the videotape.



Heh.

Israel Matzav: Qatari diplomat released

Israel Matzav: He's seen Israel's future and it's... Danny Danon?

He's seen Israel's future and it's... Danny Danon?

The Jewish Journal's Rob Eshman says that he was told that if he wants to see Israel's future, he should speak with Likud MK Danny Danon. Danon, says Eshman, represents what Binyamin Netanyahu really thinks.

Danon believes with every fiber of his being that the two-state solution is dead, the one-state solution is a “liberal scare tactic,” and Israel must never give up the territories it captured in the Six-Day War.

This was a founding principle of Likud and its Revisionist ideological forbears: that Israel has a right to the entire biblical land of Israel. It’s a point of view that runs counter to every international peace-making effort in the Middle East since 1967, all dedicated to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It’s also run up against the widely accepted belief that if Israel maintains control of the territories and the millions of Palestinians who live in them, demographic realities will force Israel to become either a nondemocratic, majority Arab nation, or lose its raison d’être as a Jewish state.

...

So, the obvious question I had for Danon was this: “If you don’t want a two-state solution, what’s your solution?”

“There is no short-term solution,” Danon said. “It’s a long-term vision that I have, that there be a regional agreement with Jordan, and with Gaza and Egypt. ... Gaza would be connected to Egypt, and Palestinian territories connected into Jordan, confederated into Jordan. That is the long-term vision, which requires some compromise from Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and international support.”

I agree with him until he gets to the 'long-term vision' part. I don't see that happening and I don't believe we have to decide today what the long-term vision is. What's most important is that the status quo is good for Israel. And the 'demographic threat' is an overblown bogeyman.

Other politically active Likudniks in Danon’s generation have offered me the same analysis: Israel is economically and militarily strong, the Palestinians are politically divided. The status quo, which is the bogeyman of centrists, is actually Israel’s friend.

I told Danon it seemed Netanyahu believes this as well — otherwise why risk such a confrontation with the United States?

“I agree,” Danon said. “Today I think Netanyahu realizes we have no one who actually represents the Palestinian who’s willing to cut a deal.

“People say, ‘The clock is ticking, you have to do something.’ No, I think the opposite. We should not do anything in a rush.”

If Danon is correct — that Netanyahu believes as he does — it means the prime minister and his government are merely paying lip service to their agreements with the United States over the peace process, and that the building in East Jerusalem that provoked the United States’ ire was a pure expression of Netanyahu’s true desires to expand settlements, though clumsily executed.

Here's the other place where Danon may be wrong. Either Netanyahu is under enormous pressure (which is possible) that we don't see, or he's not sure yet what he believes. Take your pick. Recall that Netanyahu was the one who pushed for people who lean left like Dan Meridor and Uzi Dayan to be put high on the Likud's list. It was only because of Moshe Feiglin and his strong Right wing voters that people like Danon got realistic spots.


Israel Matzav: He's seen Israel's future and it's... Danny Danon?

Israel Matzav: Obama's first meeting with Netanyahu: Who was there?

Obama's first meeting with Netanyahu: Who was there?

Remember the very first Netanyahu - Obama meeting in Washington last May - the one that turned into a complete disaster when Obama demanded that Netanyahu agree to a 'settlement freeze' on the spot and Netanyahu said no? Well here's an interesting factoid about it from the Financial Times of London:

The lack of a strong national security adviser has created recurring difficulties. Perhaps the best example is the Arab-Israeli peace process, which Mr Obama launched on his second day in office when he appointed George Mitchell as his envoy. Three months later, Mr Obama insisted Benjamin Netanyahu freeze all settlements activity in order to boost Arab confidence in the talks.

In a heated showdown in the Oval Office last May, in which Mr Netanyahu refused to accede to Mr Obama’s demand, the only officials present were Mr Emanuel and David Axelrod, senior adviser to Mr Obama in office and during the campaign. Gen Jones was not there. The fallout put the talks in abeyance and damped high Arab hopes for Mr Obama.

“The question is, which bright spark advised the president to demand a settlements freeze without working out what the next step should be when Netanyahu inevitably said ‘No’?” says Leslie Gelb, an official in the Carter administration and former head of the Council on Foreign Relations. “Why wasn’t George Mitchell in the room? Where was Jones?”

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Obama's first meeting with Netanyahu: Who was there?

Israel Matzav: Video (satire): Chad Bayta, news for the season

Video (satire): Chad Bayta, news for the season

The first people who sent this link sent it in Hebrew without subtitles. Now, it's out with subtitles (Hat Tip: Dani K).

At the end of the Passover seder we sing a song called Chad Gadya (One Kid), which describes the ups and downs of the Jewish people as one enemy takes on another.

Here's Latma's version: It's called Chad Bayta (One House). Two zuzim are two silver coins.

Let's go to the videotape. I think you're going to love this.



Heh.

Israel Matzav: Video (satire): Chad Bayta, news for the season

Israel Matzav: Obama's Middle East policy goes from bad to worse

Obama's Middle East policy goes from bad to worse

Elliott Abrams adds some commentary to Wednesday's David Ignatius piece in the Washington Post about the Obama administration imposing a 'settlement' on Israel. Obama's Middle East policy just want from bad to worse.

The inability of Israelis and Palestinians to get to the negotiating table is, in this administration, an iatrogenic disease: Our diplomatic doctors have caused it. The astonishing incompetence of Obama and special envoy George Mitchell has now twice blown up talks—direct talks last year, and proximity talks more recently—by making Israeli construction plans a major world crisis, thereby forcing Palestinian leaders to back away from engagement with the Israelis. So the administration will, in the fall, just do it the simpler way. Why bother with Israelis and Palestinians, in whom the president apparently does not have “growing confidence,” when you can just have your own brilliant team draw up the terms? As Ignatius’s sources, “two top administration officials,” tell him, “everyone knows the basic outlines of a peace deal.”

Ignatius reports, approvingly, that Obama came to the conclusion that he should impose a “peace plan” after meeting with six former national security advisors. The first to suggest imposing terms on Israel was Brent Scowcroft; he was seconded by Zbigniew Brzezinski. This will not reassure Israelis. (Absent from his list of those attending, and approving, were Condoleezza Rice and Steve Hadley, George W. Bush’s two NSAs. Perhaps this was mere accident; perhaps they are not invited to these festive events in Jones’s office; perhaps they are too smart to lend their names to such White House games and the ensuing leaks.)

Perhaps this is all a trial balloon by Obama and Jones. If so, it will make Israeli-Palestinian negotiations even harder than they are today, after 14 months of Obama administration failures. For Palestinians will conclude that they have no reason to negotiate seriously, or to make concessions, when Obama may deliver what they want on a nice platter; and Israelis will conclude that Washington no longer takes their security seriously, so they must toughen their stance.

Read the whole thing.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Obama's Middle East policy goes from bad to worse

Israel Matzav: Dimona nuke reactor employees having trouble getting US visas?

Dimona nuke reactor employees having trouble getting US visas?

Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor's employees have told Israel's Maariv daily that they have been having problems recently getting visas to the United States where they have for years attended seminars in Chemistry, Physics and Nuclear Engineering (link in Hebrew, Hat Tip: BA Wilson). They also complain of being treated in an 'insulting manner' by President Obama's people. Until recently, employees of the Nuclear Research Center routinely traveled to the United States for seminars and courses.

But reactor employees also complain of an American refusal to sell them reactor components that have routinely been sold to them by the United States. Instead, the components are being purchased from... France. This is from a Google translation that I've tried to fix up a little bit.

Professor Zeev Alfasi, the Chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Department at Ben - Gurion University, who is aware of what is going on, describes the deterioration of the American attitude regarding the nuclear reactor. "Some of our people did not receive visas to the United States because they are employees of Nuclear Research Center," explained Professor Alfasi, "The United States does not sell anything nuclear to the Nuclear Research Center, and this includes everything. For example, the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona is buying radiation detectors in France, because the Americans are not selling to the Nuclear Research Center's employees. "

Prof. Alfasi added that "the Americans want to know for what each item of equipment is used. They sell to universities, but they refuse to sell these same items of equipment to the Nuclear Research Center. I do not whether they will sell the same items that they refuse to sell us to Iran." The Nuclear Research Center refused to comment on the claims.

Anyone still believe Prime Minister Netanyahu is not going to be pressured to give up Israel's nuclear capability at that conference next week?

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Dimona nuke reactor employees having trouble getting US visas?

Israel Matzav: Jordan stakes a claim on Jerusalem

Jordan stakes a claim on Jerusalem

Yesterday, I argued that it is impossible for Israel and the 'Palestinians' to resolve their dispute without assistance from the Arab countries because of the thousands of 'refugees' who live in those Arab countries. Now, there's another reason that Jordan needs to be a party to any resolution (or to drop its claims): Jordan is staking a claim to parts of Jerusalem.

Jordan has not waived its rights to sovereignty and responsibility over the Temple Mount, the Hashemite Kingdom's Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites, Abdel Salam Abbadi, said Tuesday.

The Minister said that in its 1988 decision to disconnect from Judea and Samaria, Jordan had not disengaged itself from Jerusalem and the holy sites, the Al Quds newspaper reported.

Observers said that the minister's statements were not necessarily aimed solely at Israeli ears. It could be that Jordan wants to stake out its claim to Jerusalem because the Palestinian Authority is currently demanding the Holy City for itself with overt United States support, and Jordan does not want to be left out.

Senior PA officials are currently in the US, poring over maps and other documents that they intend to present before the American administration as proof that the PA is capable of controlling areas under its authority. The presentation is intended to bolster new demands from Israel for territorial handovers, including areas of Jerusalem such as Abu Dis.

What's a Muslim-loving US President to do? Heh.

Israel Matzav: Jordan stakes a claim on Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Iran to Obama: 'Great idea, you go first'

Iran to Obama: 'Great idea, you go first'

Iran reacted to President Obama's new nuclear policy with scorn and derision:

Iran dismissed United States President Barack Obama's new nuclear policy on Wednesday as 'propaganda' and called on Washington to make good on its promises to rid the world of atomic weapons. "We regard the recent position and comments of the United States as propaganda," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at a press conference when asked to react to President Obama's new nuclear policy unveiled on Tuesday. "We urge the U.S. to make good on nuclear disarmament in the entire world and we denounce the U.S. for being the first user of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima."

C'mon Barack. He's daring you to jump.

Israel Matzav: Iran to Obama: 'Great idea, you go first'

Israel Matzav: No Iran sanctions on Security Council agenda in May either

No Iran sanctions on Security Council agenda in May either

On Wednesday, I pointed out that there are no Iran sanctions on the UN Security Council's agenda for April. Barry Rubin reports that in May, Lebanon, whose government includes Iran's client Hezbullah, will chair the Security Council and control its agenda. Therefore, there will be no Iran sanctions on the Council's agenda in May either.

Do I hear June anyone?

Or will Iran have nuclear weapons by then anyway?

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: No Iran sanctions on Security Council agenda in May either

Israel Matzav: Kirk takes lead in Illinois Senate race

Kirk takes lead in Illinois Senate race

Republican Mark Kirk, one of Israel's strongest supporters in the US House of Representatives, has taken a four-point lead over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. Giannoulias is the State Treasurer of Illinois, and acted as banker to convicted felon Tony Rezko, a Syrian-born supporter of both Giannoulias and Barack Hussein Obama. Giannoulias and Kirk are competing for the US Senate seat formerly held by Obama.

The implosion of Alexi Giannoulias (D) continues as a new Public Policy Polling survey shows Rep. Mark Kirk has taken a four point lead in the Illinois U.S. Senate race, 37% to 33%.

The previous PPP poll showed Giannoulias leading Kirk by eight points.

"The main reason Giannoulias is behind is that he's getting only 54% of the Democratic vote while Kirk is winning 77% of the Republican vote. It's not that a lot of Democrats are planning to cross over and vote for Kirk, but 36% of them are undecided right now compared to just 16% of Republicans. That suggests Democratic voters don't really know what to make of Giannoulias' problems right now so they're just taking a wait and see approach to the race."

That's an awful lot of undecideds. Must be all those fellow Jews who can't bring themselves to vote for a Republican. Try harder guys. Kirk's a great one.

Israel Matzav: Kirk takes lead in Illinois Senate race

Israel Matzav: Yellow roses sent by Christians going to hospitals

Yellow roses sent by Christians going to hospitals

On Sunday, I reported that the Prime Minister's office had turned down a gift of 10,000 yellow roses that was being sent by a Christian radio hostess in Florida. The Prime Minister's office has now decided to donate the roses to Jerusalem hospitals.

In response to media inquiries, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a response, saying it “has not received any formal notification concerning the delivery of flowers from well-wishers for the prime minister and if such a shipment of flowers is indeed sent the PMO would be pleased to receive them, of course in accordance with required security procedures.

“In such a situation, the Prime Minister’s Office would donate the flowers to hospitals in Jerusalem.”

Unfortunately, it turns out that the radio hostess, Janet Porter, is part of a group called Faith 2 Action.org (Hat Tip: Shy Guy), which is a group that would like Jews to convert to Christianity, God forbid (see image below).

If you go here, you will find that the item directly below this one is the yellow roses drive, and that the florist is appearing on the radio show today. I'd rather Ms. Porter love us from afar and not try to convert us. Failing that, it is possible that the initial decision to decline the gift was the correct one.

Israel Matzav: Yellow roses sent by Christians going to hospitals

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff: 'No more sex scandals'

Abu Bluff: 'No more sex scandals'




Confronted with incontrovertible evidence that Rafiq Husseini, one of his top aides, disparaged him and Yasser Arafat and attempted to obtain sexual favors from a woman in the context of his work, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has fired Husseini, but has also ordered the PA security services to destroy all material implicating Palestinians in sexual and moral offenses, including videotapes and audio recordings, to ensure that the problem never happens again.


The PA president also instructed his security forces to refrain from “violating or intruding into the privacy” of Palestinians.

Husseini and senior Abbas aides initially claimed that the videotape had been “fabricated” and that [PA anti-corruption investigator Fahmi] Shabaneh was a “collaborator” with Israel.

However, the commission of inquiry, which Abbas established after the sex tape was broadcast on Channel 10, did not find any evidence of Israeli involvement in the scandal.

In fact, the three-man commission held Shabaneh’s former boss, Tawfik Tirawi, responsible and recommended that he be kept out of any official position in the PA.

The commission found that Tirawi, then commander of the General Intelligence Service, had authorized the secret filming of Husseini.

Tirawi, who today is head of the Palestinian “Military Academy,” claimed in recent weeks that he knew nothing about the sex scandal, accusing Shabaneh of “collaboration” with Israel.

The commission’s findings are seen as a victory for Shabaneh, who has insisted all along that the videotape was authentic and that he had acted on instructions from Tirawi.


If any of you has a connection to the House or Senate Foreign Affairs or Appropriations Committees, please urge them to invite Shebaneh (who was not able to testify before Abu Bluff's 'commission of inquiry' for reasons explained in the article) to come to Washington to testify. I'm sure they would be very interested to hear what he has to say about how the PA spends its American assistance money.

I wonder how many tapes Shebaneh has of Abu Bluff. Heh.



Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff: 'No more sex scandals'

Israel Matzav: The nuclear deterrent

Israel Matzav: The nuclear deterrent

Israel Matzav: The man who killed the 'peace process'

The man who killed the 'peace process'

The 'peace process' may be dead, says Maariv columnist Ben Dror Yemini, and if it is, it wasn't killed by Binyamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Mahmoud Abbas or even Khaled Meshaal. It was killed by the guy pictured at the top of this post.

Olmert reached the red line of the Israeli side’s capabilities with what he was offering during the Annapolis process. He even crossed that line when he agreed to a symbolic right of return. Supporters of the Geneva Accords – Yossi Beilin, the Israeli Left, and certainly Tzipi Livni – never called for that kind of concession. In fact, this is also true of the moderate Palestinians, who supported the Accords, and agreed to Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish neighborhoods of greater Jerusalem.

Until Obama came along, that is. To clarify, the president does not stand with the peace camp on the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Quite the opposite. In light of his recent behavior, it seems he stands with the side of the Palestinian refuseniks. There is a role to be played in pressuring Israel. Pressure is, after all, part of the game. But this time, we’re not just talking about pressure, we’re talking about bolstering Palestinian intransigence.

The big question now is: Will Obama admit his mistake, or will he insist on a demand that will strengthen the refusenik wing on the Palestinian side?

If the Obama administration wants to move forward on an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, it should go with the first option.


Israel Matzav: The man who killed the 'peace process'

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Numbers

Numbers

Ok ok, I give up. There's no way I can do any kind of justice to the topic of shirim ivri'im with a daily installment for three weeks. Three years, mit a-kvetch. So I suppose I'll continue longer.

One of the essential parts of the canonical shirim is that they've withstood the test of time and are still around. This means we can't say with certainty which of today's songs will survive to join the canon. Still, there's lots of creativity going on. So, when Achikam came home this afternoon from his military unit, I told him about this little project, and asked his advice on the contemporary scene. He whipped out his iPod, connected it to some speakers, and started a concert; I opened a dozen windows of You Tube to watch their video versions. Some of them were less convincing, others more so. Here's one.

Hadag Nachash is a popular band. Their moniker means "The Fish Snake", which means it doesn't mean anything. This particular song, from 2001 apparently, is about numbers and what they mean to contemporary Israelis; it also has the advantage of bilingual subtitles, so one link gives all the needed information:


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Numbers

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Anat Kamm and the Real Culprits

Anat Kamm and the Real Culprits

It took time, but eventually the court rescinded the gag order I related to earlier this week. Predictably, the fuller story that is now coming out is different than the one that swirled over the Web recently. That was about the benighted Israeli authorities who had made a young journalist disappear and then blocked the story, just like in Iran (really, that was the line. Go see Richard Silvestein's blog. He's been all over the story for weeks).

The story pouring out the past few hours is quite different. First, however, let's relate to the gag order. I expect when it was first given it was reasonable: investigators of leaks of large amounts of classified documents don't need thoughtless journalists second-guessing their every move and broadcasting the limits of the investigator's knowledge to possible unidentified culprits. This isn't because Israel resembles Iran, it's the nature of police work, anywhere. Eventually, however, selective versions of the story did reach journalists beyond the writ of Israeli gag orders; once this happened, allowing this slanted version to dominate the stage was poor tactics. Especially as we can now trace the time line, and the leaks to the press came late in the investigation. When former supreme court justice Dalia Dorner said this week that the order was causing damage, she knew what she was talking about.

Second, the initial facts. According to the allegations - which have yet to be proven in court, let us never forget - Anat Kamm stole thousands of classified documents from the office of a top IDF general during her military service. There's a long and detailed description of the case here, (only in Hebrew), and another long report, less extensive but in English, here. (The Hebrew report seems to be based on a six-page description sent out by the press office of the Ministry of Justice, but alas, they haven't posted their own press release on their own website, so I can't link to it. Lot's of bright light-bulbs in this story). If proven, Kamm will be sentenced to a long prison term for espionage (though being 23 years old she'll be out before she's 40), which is as it should be. Her acts could have lead to people getting killed: that's what top-secret military documents deal with. This isn't Enron, or Lehman Brothers.

Kamm's lawyers. There are two of them. Eitan Lehman is about 40, intelligent, probably a fine attorney, but not well known. He has no public persona. Avigdor Feldman, in his mid-60s, is one of Israel's most prominent criminal lawyers, and is arguably the single best known defender in politics-related trials from the Palestinian side or the Left. At this stage of the matter, lawyers are paid to deny all allegations and attack the prosecution: that's the way the game works. Interestingly, however, Eitan Lehman was sent to face the media and trot out the predictable lines about how his client is innocent and the prosecution is undermining democracy etc. Coming from Feldman, no-one wold listen; coming from Lehman-the-new-face, somebody just might. Nice touch, that. But then someone couldn't keep mum, and had to add that Ms. Kamm is a good person, who was motivated only by ideology, and not, say, money: "That's why she passed the documents to Haaretz and not to some foreign agency", according to her attorney Avigdor Feldman.

"Ideology", of course, means left-wing dissatisfaction with Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians and the way Israel defends itself from its enemies. Let us be clear about that. Yet another incident in which some people on Israel's Left cannot accept actions of its democratically elected executive or official organs.

According to the official description, Kamm tried to pass her documents to at least one (unidentified) media outlet before Haaretz, but that outlet declined to use them. Which brings us to the role of Haaretz. There seem to be a number of them. First, the fact that they used illegally procured documents for a story. I don't like it, not at all, but tend to the opinion that freedom of the press and the need to hold the authorities to the spirit and letter of the law in their activities may justify this. Or rather, in principle this can be justified; in this case: we don't know enough to say.

Journalists from other media outlets are saying that they've never seen a trove of 2000 classified document, ever. (Yoav Limor, channel one TV). I'm not certain what that tells us about the editors of Haaretz, but doubt it puts them in a positive light.

Then there's the matter of the negotiations with the police once the matter was under investigation. As far as I can tell, the behavior of Haaretz (and their lawyers) was wrong. They agreed to return the documents they had acquired, then returned a mere 50, not 2,000 - and neglected to tell that they had 2,000. The investigators only figured that out once they had arrested Anat Kamm.

Then there's the matter Uri Blau, reporter at Haaretz. He moved to London five months ago to escape the investigation (soft version), or arrest (hard version). He's living in London on the dime of Haaretz. As I write this Amos Schocken, proprietor of Haaretz, has just said on TV that the paper's attorneys are responsible for his staying there, and he (Schocken) supports this. So Haaretz is assisting a fugitive from the law in an espionage case. Looks very bad to me.

That's as far as I wish to take it right now. Perhaps in a day or a week I'll have more to say. Perhaps not.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Anat Kamm and the Real Culprits

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Monster project in Jerusalem

Monster project in Jerusalem

I travel here and there in the world, and am often struck by the intensity of the news cycle in Israel: probably the most intense anywhere. This post, for example, is about a story that was gigantic this morning, but by noon was totally pushed off the screens and forgotten.

Not only do I travel to various countries. I also travel rather often to Tel Aviv - these days, two or three times a week. Each time I reach town I'm struck by the fact that they've started building yet another 40-story tower. Even outside Tel Aviv, where in the 1960s standard apartment blocks were three stories, and in the 1970s they had four, nowadays they're mostly 15 or so. Which is good. Israel is a tiny country with a growing population, and the only way to go is up.

Except in Jerusalem. Although I live in a 12-story building, it is situated so almost no-one sees it, it breaks no skyline, and is almost unobtrusive. Jerusalem is a very special city, and needs to be built in gingerly and with sensitivity. Which is why some of us have been wondering for the past 15 years how anyone ever authorized the "Holyland" project (named after a 1930s hotel that once stood on a hill outside the city, if you can believe it. Nowadays it's in the middle of town). This is a 1,200-housing-unit project, in 12 towers built on a hill above the city; its architecture and proportions give it the appearance of a huge and ugly fortress brooding above the city and dwarfing everything around it. The only mitigating circumstance is that the hilltop is far from the Old City, so at least the truly historic parts of town have been spared its arrogance.

Accepted wisdom has always been that somebody greased somebody's palm; the fact that the mayor of the time was Ehud Olmert didn't buy him any fans and lost him some potential voters. Well, it now appears that the police also think there have been irregularities, and two days ago they arrested various folks, including Olmert's past best friend and former law partner, Uri Messer.

15 years late, alas. The towers are there, and will probably still be there for 500 years.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Monster project in Jerusalem

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Banality of Banality of Evil

Banality of Banality of Evil

Norm Geras has a thoughtful post on the ease with which too many folks assume we're all potential genocidaires, and wonders why we're not also commonly assumed to be potential rapists, say.

Norm is a nicer and more moderate chap than I, and much better at English understatement. Me, I'm of the opinion that much of the banality-is-evil chatter is bunk. This opinion of mine is based on years of close investigation of the worst genocidaires of all: the men of Adolf Eichmann's office in the SS. Yes, the very group about whom Hannah Arendt postulated the banality concept while willfully not listening to the proceedings at Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem. I don't much deal with the matter anymore, but once wrote a book about it which you can read in a variety of languages (see the link somewhere over to the left).

The closest one can reasonably come to a blanket condemnation of man's potential for evil is that it's not easy to know in advance who is capable of it, and who isn't, not ever. That's a far cry from the silliness traded in so mindlessly by the "Anyone might do it" brigades. And also - here I'll unmask how unpolitically correct I really am - cultural conditioning is part of the story. Some cultures more easily allow people to engage in mass murder than others.


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Banality of Banality of Evil

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Striking Troops

Striking Troops

A group of soldiers affiliated with the Har Brach yeshiva have gone on strike. They're protesting that the army no longer recognizes their yeshiva as part of the Hesder program, in which soldiers may exchange part of their active military service for study time; the lost recognition is the result of positions taken by the head of the yeshiva against soldiers participating in the dismantling of settlements.

I have no patience for these fellows. Soldiers don't go on strike, nor are they allowed to participate in political acts. If they insist, they should go to jail. This is true when left-leaning soldiers put their opinions above their orders, and it's true when right-leaning ones do so. The numbers on either side have never been significant - a handful - but the symbolism is clear. In a democracy, the military carries out missions defined by the executive (in Israel the constitutional specifics are that the cabinet is the commander in chief, though there is often a special, limited group of ministers who are designated to make ongoing decisions), the executive is elected, and if the electorate wishes it can defenestrate the executive - a prerogative often used. Citizens are free to strive to change the executive; soldiers are forbidden to. Reservists are soldiers when in uniform. Not hard to understand and live by.


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Striking Troops

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Clash of Civilizations?

Clash of Civilizations?

This certainly looks like one.

I've too much on my plate today, and even on the blogging front there are too many things that need to be tended, for me to have time for this topic, so I'm simply linking for future use. Though you might be interested in this second, accompanying item, about the OIC: note especially the very last sentence. Somehow, the Jews and Jerusalem always end up somewhere near the middle of such things, even when there's no rational need for them to be there at all.


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Clash of Civilizations?

A Soldier's Mother: A Message to Anat Kam, from Israel's Soldiers

A Soldier's Mother: A Message to Anat Kam, from Israel's Soldiers

Elder of Ziyon: Al Mezan Center upset at Qassams - that injure Gazans

Al Mezan Center upset at Qassams - that injure Gazans

The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has condemned Qassam rockets - but not those against Israel:

Al Mezan Condemns the Injury of Four Palestinians by a locally Made Rockets in Beit Hanoun

On Tuesday 6 April 2010, four Palestinians, including a father and two children, were injured when a locally made rocket fell on Beit Hanoun town.

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights asserts the government is legally obliged to provide protection to civilians and civilian objects under the international humanitarian law (IHL). Therefore, Al Mezan calls on the Gaza government and law enforcement persons to take necessary procedures to protect civilians and their properties.

Since the Al Mezan Center has no similar press releases when Israelis are injured or killed by Qassam rockets, it is apparent that they are only asking the Hamas government to make sure that the rockets hit their intended targets, not to stop firing them altogether.

Al Mezan does make noises in English about how rockets are not legal under international law, but at least one of their reports includes a large BUT:

There is no legal or moral justification for firing rockets at civilian targets, and such behavior violates both IHL and international human rights norms associated with the rights to life, health and adequate housing, among others, as well as constituting a war crime. At the same time, the nature of the offence should be evaluated within the context of its occurrence.



Elder of Ziyon: Al Mezan Center upset at Qassams - that injure Gazans

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas troubles detailed in secret internal memo

Hamas troubles detailed in secret internal memo

The anti-Hamas Palestine Press Agency quotes an Algerian News Agency report on a letter sent to Khaled Meshal, Hamas' political leader in Damascus, from a Gaza Hamas committee, that reveals serious flaws and problems within the terrorist organization/pseudo government.

The memo warned of "tremors of violent internal organizational stability" within Hamas. It complains of a lack of "unity of intellectual and organizational discourse" between parts of Hamas as different Hamas leaders say different things to the media.It mentions a widening gap between Hamas' stated goals of resistance and its more recent policies to try to rein in rocket fire and other terrorist acts.

The document further calls Hamas' attempts at establishing relationships with Arab countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen and the UAE a failure, as was its attempts to leverage its relationship with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah into leverage with Russia and Turkey. These failures are causing some in Hamas to question the wisdom of continued "resistance" even though no progress has been made on reconciliation or Gilad Shalit.

The Gaza public is also apparently losing confidence in Hamas, as the report warns that its early success of maintaining law and order has been disintegrating lately. In addition, Hamas' taxes and extortion has not improved the lot of average Gazans, causing increased displeasure with the Hamas government.

In addition, it warns of increased influence of the Salafist Islamist groups who are against Hamas from an ideological, religious viewpoint, causing the Islamist Hamas some discomfort as they have to defend their actions against those who are even more extreme.

Finally, the report mentions that the previous "blind obedience" that Hamas fighters had exhibited is disappearing. The report mentions some semi-autonomous Hamas gangs who are taking the law into their own hands.

The document gives a number of recommendations. A couple of them:

Concentrating the media discourse is much more important than the concessions we offer so as not to provoke the body [Israel] to attack us, particularly since the end of the resistance is for tactical reasons, to serve the big strategic goal to make Gaza a base for breakthroughs to restore the glories of the Caliphate. We must try to persuade the [other Islamic] factions of this tactic, so we cannot be accused of protecting the borders [on behalf of Israel.]

Beat with an iron hand all aspects of security chaos ...

We must eradicate the Salafi Jihad from Gaza, because the process of containment and reconciliation has failed. They are dangerous; a broad campaign to finish them, no matter how much blood, because silence means disaster the more time passes.

If this is legit, it means that the much maligned policy of containment is paying dividends - right at the time that the West is getting more uncomfortable with it



Elder of Ziyon: Hamas troubles detailed in secret internal memo

Elder of Ziyon: New Arab myth: "1936 strike was non-violent"

New Arab myth: "1936 strike was non-violent"

Alex Kane, a MondoWeiss blogger, writes in the Indypendent:

[I]n fact Palestinians have been nonviolently resisting Zionist colonization even before the State of Israel was founded, and well after. The 1936-1939 revolt against British colonial rule and Zionist colonization began with a “six-month general strike” that involved “work-stoppages and boycotts of the British-and Zionist-controlled parts of the economy” and was the “largest anticolonial strike of its kind until that point in history, and perhaps the longest ever,” as Rashid Khalidi writes on page 106 in The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. The revolt did have an armed component, though, that followed the general strike.

According to Kane, for six months the Arabs of Palestine engaged in a non-violent strike, and only afterwards it became violent.

Khalidi, in the book being quoted, implies that he "armed revolt" only started in September 1937. I exposed some of Khalidi's dishonesty in that same book here and here.

When was the exact beginning of the Arab strike? According to some Arab sources, it started on April 3rd, but the Palestine Post didn't notice any announcement until April 20, the day after a massacre of Jews in Jaffa.

Here is what the Palestine Post looked like on Tuesday, April 22, the day after the strike was announced publicly:

By Friday, some 6000 Jaffa Jews had evacuated their homes for Tel Aviv because of the "nonviolent" demonstrations:

The next few days saw no fatalities but much violence - arson, beatings, gunshots and threats against both Arabs and Jews by the strikers and demonstrators.

The following week was also largely quiet, although Arabs who were forced to strike were becoming increasingly upset at their loss of income. Many Jaffa dockworkers clandestinely started working in Haifa.

The week of May 10th saw increasing acts of arson and bombs being thrown at businesses that stayed open, as well as fires set at Jewish farms. The British police enforced curfews.

By Wednesday, there were three people murdered - two Jews and an Arab strike-breaker.


And that weekend, a bomb was thrown at the Edison Cinema in Jerusalem, killing three more.



This was just the first month of the "nonviolent" 1936 protest that Palestinian Arab admirers are now mooning over.

The facts are clear - the "strike" was the background of the violence, but the violence was prevalent throughout Palestine during what was euphemistically described in the English-language press at the time as the "disturbances."

Palestinian Arab supporters, however, are fond of rewriting history in whatever fashion they find convenient. While the Arabs congratulate themselves over the violence of the 1936-39 riots (which resulted in the death of thousands, mostly Arabs,) their Western allies are trying to reclassify them as a Gandhi-style set of peaceful demonstrations - to appeal to a different constituency.


Elder of Ziyon: New Arab myth: "1936 strike was non-violent"
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