Sunday, 11 April 2010

Love of the Land: Who’s to blame for a Canadian woman trapped in Saudi Arabia? Israel, of course!

Who’s to blame for a Canadian woman trapped in Saudi Arabia? Israel, of course!

Jonathan Kay
The National Post
08 April '10

I don’t get much of a chance to bash the CBC for anti-Israeli agitprop anymore: The network has done a good job cleaning up its more tiresome Zionophobes over the last few years. But every now and then, they pop up -- often on The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti.

On today’s show, the subject was the very sad case of Nazia Quazi, a dual Indian and Canadian citizen who made the mistake of visiting her father in Saudi Arabia two years ago. Under the country’s Medieval rules, he has been able to assume “guardianship” over the 24-year-old woman, which means he is able to block her exit from the country on his whim. (Following the usual tribal/Islamist obsession with women and “honour,” the underlying issue is, of course, Nazia’s selection of the “wrong” mate back home.)

All in all, it was a good piece of CBC journalism -- until they brought in the usual, disgruntled Liberal-era suspect to blame the whole thing on Harper and his lack of “balance” on Middle East policy. To quote from Canadian Foreign Service veteran Gar Pardy, whom Tremonti interviewed:

“The other issue [aside from oil] that I think has diminished what little bit of influence we have in Saudi Arabia is our current policy toward Israel.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Who’s to blame for a Canadian woman trapped in Saudi Arabia? Israel, of course!

Israel Matzav: Holocaust denier given forum at UN

Holocaust denier given forum at UN

After I wrote the title of this post, I realized that Holocaust deniers speaking at the United Nations are actually nothing new. After all, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen have both spoken there. But still, there's something special about having a Jewish Holocaust denier speak at the United Nations, especially so close to Holocaust Memorial Day (which is being observed on Sunday night and Monday this year in Israel). Yes, Norman Finkelstein was given a forum to speak at the United Nations last week to promote his new book on Operation Cast Lead.

But the book’s publication is a small event, and given Finkelstein’s monomaniacal hatred of Israel and notorious penchant for incivility (he’s famous for wrongfully accusing Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz of plagiarism), it deserves to be.

Nevertheless, Finkelstein was at the United Nations’ headquarters on Wednesday plugging his book at a UN Correspondents Association event. And while the UN did not officially sponsor the talk, it is, on some level, bad enough that it even took place at the World Body’s headquarters. Widely discredited and still unemployed three years after losing his tenure battle at DePaul, Finkelstein was able to give a talk in the same room used for UN press briefings, with two UN flags standing in the background.

The chance to speak at the UN offered Finkelstein a shot at professional rehabilitation that he simply doesn’t deserve. In January 2008, Finkelstein appeared on a Lebanese news program and declared his solidarity with the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group Hezbollah. After a startled interviewer tried explaining to him that Hezbollah’s militancy represented an extreme position in Lebanese public life, Finkelstein launched into a characteristically crude tirade on the state of Middle Eastern affairs. He lauded Hezbollah for resisting foreign occupation before getting personal: “My parents went through World War II,” he said. “Now Stalin’s regime was not exactly a bed of roses … But who didn’t support the Soviet Union when they defeated the Nazis? ... If I’m going to honor the communists during World War II, even though I probably would not have done very well under their regimes, if I’m going to honor them, I’m going to honor the Hezbollah.”

After being denied tenure from DePaul, Finkelstein could conceivably have used his martyr’s status to secure some kind of creditable academic position. But, as Finkelstein made clear in his talk at the UNCA, he has little interest in being a respected academic again. During his over hour-long talk, Finkelstein did not cite a single first-hand interview with any of the participants in last year’s conflict. It seems he did not talk to a single Israeli soldier, while an excerpt from his book finds him admiring Hamas militants from afar, rather than, you know, interviewing them. Although, to be fair, Finkelstein claimed on Wednesday that “Hamas is not a military force.”


The question of whether Finkelstein actually believes what he’s saying—that a terrorist organization that fired over 3,200 rockets and mortar shells (which he refers to as “firecrackers and Roman candles” in the above-linked chapter) on a civilian population over the course of a single year is not a military force—is less interesting than the question of how such a pathological mindset got a speaking invitation at the UN to begin with. The invite was apparently the idea of Nizar Abboud, a reporter for Al-Alam, an Arabic-language subsidiary of state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. “I suggested to invite him, and all the UNCA people agreed,” Abboud said. Which means that the organization representing the UN press corps apparently thought that borderline paranoia and outright slander of the Jewish state was something from which their colleagues could benefit.

Your tax dollars at work. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Holocaust denier given forum at UN

Israel Matzav: Kam looks to cop a plea

Kam looks to cop a plea

Lawyers for the traitorous Anat Kam are seeking to cop a plea for their client after the charges against her have been discovered to be even more serious than first thought.

The state has decided to prosecute Kam for the most serious crimes of espionage: passing on classified information with the intent of harming state security.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Kam faces other charges, including gathering and possessing classified materials with intent to harm state security, which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Israel's criminal code contains a number of other statutes that Kam could have been charged with violating for her alleged actions, that carry significantly less harsh punishments than the ones she has been charged with.

In their negotiations with the state, Kam's attorneys, Avigdor Feldman and Eitan Lehman, will seek to plead down the charges against their client.

One of the main arguments made by Feldman and Lehman is that by passing on the information to Blau, an Israeli journalist bound by Israeli military censorship, Kam demonstrated that she did not intend to harm state security.

The lawyers say that had Kam sought to damage Israeli she would have made the material available to hostile elements.

Israel's penal code includes a law against passing secret information to an unauthorized person, without attributing to that person intent to harm state security. It carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

Sorry, but that argument does not excuse what she did. That is especially true given that the State still has not recovered the documents.

I think they should throw the book at her and make an example of her. She's endangered all of us.

And what if Blau is a lawbreaker like her and did not clear things with the military censor?

Israel Matzav: Kam looks to cop a plea

Love of the Land: Obami Spin: Bibi Needs to Be “Pragmatic”

Obami Spin: Bibi Needs to Be “Pragmatic”

Jennifer Rubin
11 April '10

Oh, this is rich (via Politico, which dutifully conveys the Obami’s spin):

If U.S. officials were bothered by the latest turn in their constantly evolving relations with Benjamin Netanyahu — the Israeli prime minister’s abrupt decision to cancel a planned trip to Washington this week for a nuclear summit meeting — they did their best to disguise it.

Bothered by the “latest turn”? It is as if they were bystanders rather than those steering the car that went off the road and into a ditch. We are led to believe that after weeks of Bibi-bashing and leaks of a potential imposed peace plan, what the Obami really seek is a “pragmatic Bibi.” Graph after graph passes in this otherworldly discussion of the state of U.S.-Israeli relations until Elliott Abrams supplies some much needed reality:

Only a president who appears friendly and concerned about Israeli security can evoke pragmatism in any Israeli politician,” Abrams said. “But Netanyahu has not seen the ‘pragmatic Obama,’ only the ‘ideological Obama.’ The Administration has taken a hostile stance toward Netanyahu not since he took office — but even before he took office; and it has pressed policies that show a deep lack of understanding of Israeli politics.

Indeed, it was Bibi who agreed to yet another West Bank building freeze. It was Bibi who agreed to proximity talks. Only if one defines “pragmatic” as capitulation to Obama’s hard-ball tactics could one see Bibi in all this as inflexible.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Obami Spin: Bibi Needs to Be “Pragmatic”

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Ashes and Dust

Ashes and Dust

The climactic annual shirim ivri'im events are Yom Hashoah, the commemoration day for the Holocaust, and Yom HaZikaron, the commemoration day for the fallen in Israel's wars, a week later. Both begin, like any Jewish holiday or holy day, on the previous evening. On both all institutions of frivolity ("batei inugim"), i.e restaurants, bars, clubs and normal theaters are closed (restaurants may open the next day); this is mandated by law, and in the 1950s when the law was new it was not always effective, but that was long ago. I can't think of any restaurateur even dreaming of opening on either evening, law or no law.

The media is also effected. All normal programs are either called off, or dedicated primarily to the subject of the day - or they're replaced by shirim. Hours and hours of shirim ivri'im. This begins in the late afternoon before the official beginning of the day of commemoration, but there are gradations. Experienced listeners (which means, any Israeli ten years of age or above, more or less) will notice that the shirim of 3pm before the evening are getting ever more somber, while those of 3pm the next afternoon may be getting slightly less so, at least on some channels.

There are some shirim which are more Holocaust related and will be less likely to be played on Yom HaZikaron and vice versa, at least to an extent.

Shir Hapartizanim, which I posted yesterday, is a bit problematic. At the time, no more than a few thousand Jews sung it; the rest never knew of it. In the early years of Israel, on the other hand, the survivors of the partisan units and ghetto fighters enjoyed significant prominence, and "their" anthem reverberated nationally. As the decades went on, this changed.

Yehuda Poliker was born in 1950 to two parents from Thessaloniki who had each lost their entire family including children, then met after the war and moved to Israel in the hope of building a new life (The few survivors who returned to Thessaloniki after the war didn't stay. Almost all moved to Israel). Poliker stutters when he talks... but never when he sings. He has been around since the 1970s, and is one of the most creative musical artists in Israel.

He write music and produces for himself and for many others; only rarely does he write. Many of his songs were written by Yaacov Gil'ad. Gil'ad, born in 1951, is also the child of survivors, from Poland. He rarely sings, but has written important shirim for many artists; his partnership with Poliker was the longest and most important.

In 1988, at the peak of their fame, they produced a record which - so they tell it - was intended to be a private enterprise, of little interest to the broader public. It was titled Efer ve'Afar, Ashes and Dust, about growing up as children of Holocaust survivors. All indications are that it will outlive them longer than anything else they've done. Indeed, a year after it appeared and was a smashing success, a third child of survivors, filmmaker Orna Ben David, convened them with their parents in a harrowing documentary film called Biglal Hamilchama Hahi, Because of That War.

Here are two shirim from the record.

Tachana Ktana Treblinka - TheLittle Station of Treblinka was written in Polish, in the Warsaw Ghetto, in 1943, by Wladislaw Szlengel; it was translated into Hebrew by Halina Birnbaum, Gil'ad's mother. I'm not finding an English translation, but the most memorable line is "Sometimes the ride takes the rest of your life"
Hebrew lyrics

Then there's Lean at Nosa'at?, Where Do You Think You're Going? in which Yaacov Gil'ad asks his mother why she's going back to visit Poland, after all there's nothing there, only ashes and dust.
Hebrew words
English translation
A spring day the smell of lilac
Between the ruins of your city
A beautiful day to fish in the river
Inside me my heart is broken
There it was and it wasn't
Your child is a small woman
People that no-one knows
There isn't even a house that you'll remember

And if you're going, where are you going
Forever is just ashes and dust
Where are you going, where are you going
Years and nothing is erased…

Take a coat, it'll be cold
Money in your pocket, sugar crystal
If the days are hard
Remember me sometimes
And if it's a more desperate journey
To the hut, to the plot
On the path of the old city
No one will wait in the station…


Who will sweeten your nights
Who will listen to your crying
Who will stay by your side [while you are] on your way

Take a coat, it'll be cold.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Ashes and Dust

Esser Agaroth: Locusts!


28 of the First Month 5770

From Parshath Shemini...

ויקרא יא כב

את-אלה מהם, תאכלו--את-הארבה למינו,
ואת-הסלעם למינהו; ואת-החרגל למינהו, ואת-החגב למינהו

Leviticus 11:22

...even these of them you may eat: the locust after
its kinds, and the bald locust after its kinds, and the cricket after its kinds,
and the grasshopper after its kinds.

משנה תורה, הלכות מאכלות אסורות

א, כב מי שהוא בקי
בהן ובשמותיהן, אוכל; והצייד נאמן עליהן, כעוף

ט,ה דגים וחגבים, מותר לאוכלן בחלב

Mishneh Torah, Laws of Prohibited Foods

1:22 One who is an expert with them and with their
names [may] eat [them - locusts]; a hunter [can be] trusted regarding them, like
[with] poultry.

9:5 and locusts, it is
permissible to eat them with milk

Locusts were the last course at the Se'udath Halachah several years ago. The chef sauteed the locusts, after having removed the head and front legs. Like fish, locusts do not require shehitah. The chef described the taste something like Bissli* (grill flavor).

Yemenites have often been associated with the only Jews who still eat locusts. Yet, Current Sephadi Chief Rabbi Ammar has recounted that while growing up in Morrocco, he was aware of some Jewish clans that had a tradition of eating them as well.

I know of at least one resident of K'far Tapu'ah who has eaten them,...openly. Walking along a path outside of the town, he found a particular insect. He showed it to the rav who was with him, and asked him if it was kasher, this rav having been a talmid muvhaq of Rav Yosef Qafah ztz”l. The rav examined it, and said that it was. The Tapu'ah resident then took out his lighter, lit the insect on fire, quicly blew it out, and ate it. (Look for the K'far Tapu'ah town council to deny this, of course!)

A couple of friends of mine had planned to raise locusts, and sell them commercially. They ordered locusts from a laboratory in Haifa, which they received, and were in contact with the same rav mentioned above, about acquiring a kashruth certfication.

Unfortunately, there were a few mishaps, like the car with the locusts inside of it getting stolen and one mother getting upset by a few of them getting out of their cage.

So, for now, their ideas for commercial locust sales are postponed.

Once every few years, there are locust storms in the south near Eilat. At night, the locusts are more or less immobile, due to the cold temperature. So, they can be easily gathered, and put into sacks. But in this day and age, I would probably prefer raised instead of wild. Who knows what kind of toxins from our polluted environment they might have ingested in the wild?

When I bring this up, I am always asked the same question. Would I actually eat one of these things?
Yep. I think that I actually would.


*Bissli is an Israeli snack food made from wheat.

Esser Agaroth: Locusts!

Israel Matzav: Some sensible advice on nuclear disarmament

Some sensible advice on nuclear disarmament

Jamie Fly and John Noonan have some sensible advice on nuclear disarmament. Too bad the Obumbler won't take it.

A nuclear free world isn’t an ignoble goal, but it needs to be approached realistically. Focusing on the stockpiles of the United States and Russia and limiting U.S. options for use of nuclear weapons does nothing to change the calculus of Tehran and Pyongyang.

Henry Kissinger, who is now among the chief proponents of nuclear disarmament, wrote in 1957 in his landmark study Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy that “A renunciation of force, by eliminating the penalty for intransigence, will therefore place the international order at the mercy of its most ruthless or irresponsible members.”

Our unwillingness to penalize countries such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria for their illicit activities only empowers them. It sends the message to other states potentially seeking nuclear weapons that the path to a weapon can be pursued with few repercussions. If President Obama were truly concerned about the future of the international nonproliferation regime, he would follow his recent disarmament “accomplishments” with some serious action to ensure that rogue regimes realize that there is a price to be paid by those who choose to pursue nuclear weapons.


Israel Matzav: Some sensible advice on nuclear disarmament

Love of the Land: Nazi ghost still unexorcised in Islamism

Nazi ghost still unexorcised in Islamism

Point of No Return
11 April '10

On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, Lyn Julius considers how the lingering influence of Nazism still fuels Jihadist Jew-hatred in the Arab world in her review of Matthias Kuntzel's book: Jihad and Jew-hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the roots of 9/11:

Who said: “the victory of the Zionist idea is the turning point for the fulfilment of an ideal which is so dear to me, the revival of the Orient”?

Was it Herzl? Ben-Gurion? Jabotinsky? None of those. These words were spoken by Ahmed Zaki, a former Egyptian minister, on the fifth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in 1922.

For a mainstream Arab politician to pronounce his support for Zionism nowadays appears to be revolutionary and heretical. But in 1922, and into the 1930s, Egypt stood aloof from pan-Arabism and Islamist movements. Even in 1933 it allowed 1,000 Jewish immigrants on their way to Palestine to pass through Port Said.

In his passionate, perspicacious and articulate book Jihad and Jew-hatred, the German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel describes how fundamentalist discourse, with at its core, Nazi-inspired anti-Semitism fuelled by conspiracy-theory propaganda such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, adopted the Palestinian cause of Nazism’s local henchman the Mufti of Jerusalem, insidiously took over Arab politics, and have driven them ever since. Even nominally secular leaders like Nasser and Arafat had been infected with Islamist ideas. Arafat was a disciple of Hitler’s ally the Mufti of Jerusalem, a distant relative, and Nasser had been brought up in Young Egypt, the para-Nazi youth group. Hamas, the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood with its blatantly antisemitic Charter, holds power today. As Kuntzel says, it is virtually impossible to graduate from Gaza’s Islamic university without being antisemitic.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Nazi ghost still unexorcised in Islamism

The Real Meaning of Never Again

The Real Meaning of Never Again

This is an old post from last Yom HaShoah. I think that it still applies.

"We, pilots of the Israeli Air Force, flying in the skies over the extermination camps, arose from the ashes of the millions of victims, carrying their silent cries, saluting their bravery, and vowing to be a shield to the Jewish Nation, and to its Land, Israel."

An oft-repeated cliche repeated by both Jewish leaders and the international community is that of "never again". Presidents and Prime Ministers visit Yad VaShem, pay tribute at Holocaust Memorials and shed crocodile tears over the Jews murdered in the Holocaust, while proceeding to condemn and attack Israel. The same leaders that stood silently in commemoration of the Holocaust denounced Israel with the most hateful vitriol during its moment of greatest need, as it was fighting to defend itself and its citizens. Never again, they pledged. Never again? Is that really so?

The Holocaust teaches many universal messages. It teaches mankind to be ever vigilant against the forces of hatred and intolerance, whenever they arise against any people or group. It warns us never to allow bigoted speech and ideas fester and grow. It shows the ease with which an entire nation can descend to the depths of depravity and immorality. Yet, for the Jewish people, the Holocaust has one sharp and poignant message: Never again to be weak.

Since the destruction of the Second Temple, for two millenia, Jews lived as strangers in foreign lands, minorities under the rule of others. In Christendom and in Islamic lands, Jews were forced to lived in ghettos, mellahs or juderias, to wear distinctive and humiliating clothing, had restrictions on their professions and employment and endured severe discrimination. Jews were at the mercies of the lords of the land and had to comply with their wishes, whether it be being forced to hear a conversionist sermon delivered by a priest in a synagogue on Shabbat, or to pay a jyziah tax in a debasing ceremony to their Muslim overlords. Jews were spat upon and cursed, beaten and abused at will. The two thousand years of Jewish life in Europe and the Middle-East, with the exception of occasional periods of prosperity and tranquility, was marked with constant fear and insecurity. Ravaged by pogroms and Crusades, Inquisitions and forced conversions, massacres and jihads, Jews lived with their lives always hanging in a narrow balance. A new king or pope, ruler or clergyman, could put the Jews in peril.

In this climate of ingrained loathing and despising of the Jews, Hitler came along. He used the traditional anti-semitic motives of the Catholic church as well as new anti-semitic racial theories to stir up the people's hate. The policies of the Nazi Regime, even before the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem was implemented, were designed to crush and dehumanize the Jews. The Jew looked in trepidation at the Nazi brownshirts, Gestapo and SS, unable to defend or stand up for himself. Like animals, Jews were crammed into cattle cars, suffocated in gas chambers and burnt in ovens. The Nazi beasts could not have accomplished their genocide without the help of their Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, etc. collaborators and executioners. Nor could they have managed without the world's silent approval. The Pope looked away when the Jews of Rome were rounded up from under his very window. Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill all knew about the death camps, about the killing fields and mass graves in the Ukraine, about the gas chambers and crematorium in Poland, yet closed their doors to Jewish refugees. Allied bombers flew over Auschwitz but the military didn't see the use of bombing the train lines. As Jews needed a place to flee to, the British, at the urging of the Arabs and the Nazi-collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini, may his name be accursed, prevented Jewish aliyah to the Land of Israel, and even sent refugees back into the hands of the Nazis.

Just yesterday, on Holocaust Memorial Day, a group of partisans who fought the Nazis in the forests of Europe, visited an IDF air force base. One woman asked an officer in our air force if our pilots could reach Iran. "They can reach anywhere," he answered. This answer, powerful and moving for its simplicity, conveys the true meaning of never again. Never again will we wait in vain for Allied planes to bomb the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for world aid which did not come. Never again will we allow ourselves to be weak, to be victimized, to be powerless. Never again will we accept any conditions on where we can live, what we can wear, on our professions or possessions. Never again will we be at the mercies of the gentiles, begging for our lives. This pilot was saying that we may have been 60 years too late for the Jews of Europe, but we were not too late for the Jews of Yemen or Ethiopia. Never again will we be too late! We may not have been able to save the Jews of Warsaw, but our planes reached Iraq and Entebbe. Our planes can fly to Lebanon or Gaza, and they may yet fly to Iran, destroying the enemies of the Jewish people. We will not stand idly by our brothers blood, whether they are being rounded up and deported to annihilation, living under constant bombardment and rocket attacks or in the shadow of a nuclear attack. We know that the world abandoned the Jews to their fate, that deals were not made and safe havens closed off. Today, we can reach anywhere.

Another survivor made her own request of the air force of Israel, "What I ask of you is to make sure that there will not be another Holocaust." As long as brave Jewish men and women don the uniform of the Israeli Defense Force and protect the Jewish people from on land, sea and air, there can never be another Holocaust. We have learnt the terrible price of being weak. Being defenseless and without a homeland came at the horrendous cost of a third of our nation. The hatred of the world for the Jews has not diminished one iota since the trains came to a halt and the crematoriums stopped giving off their accursed smoke. Across Europe and North America, in public forums and university campuses, the Jewish State is being delegitimized and marked as a pariah. We must not heed the words of these haters for we know too well how dearly we pay without a state of our own. The only thing that stands between us and Auschwitz-Birkenau are the soldiers of the IDF. Those who condemned the army going in to Gaza must know that they only went in there to protect and defend the Jewish people. They are what keeps us from the narrow brink, from the mound of ashes at Majdanek, from the halls of shoes and piles of hair. To the Jews of Europe, massacred because of the world's apathy and our own weakness, scattered in the forests of Teblinka, the fields of Birkenau or the mass graves of the Ukraine, we promise never again to be weak, to allow ourselves to be bullied and beaten. For this is the true meaning of "Never Again".

Originally posted by Eretz Avot

DoubleTapper: Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day begins at sunset

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day begins at sunset

"Take heed... lest you forget the things your eyes have seen... and tell them to your children, and their children after them"
(Deut. 4:9)

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2010
Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah in Hebrew) is a national day of commemoration in Israel, on which the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust are memorialized. It is a solemn day, beginning at sunset on the 27th of the month of Nisan (April 11-12) and ending the following evening, according to the traditional Jewish custom of marking a day. Places of entertainment are closed and memorial ceremonies are held throughout the country.

The central ceremonies, in the evening and the following morning, are held at Yad Vashem and are broadcast on the television. Marking the start of the day - in the presence of the President of the State of Israel and the Prime Minister, dignitaries, survivors, children of survivors and their families, gather together with the general public to take part in the memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem in which six torches, representing the six million murdered Jews, are lit.

The following morning, the ceremony at Yad Vashem begins with the sounding of a siren for two minutes throughout the entire country. For the duration of the sounding, work is halted, people walking in the streets stop, cars pull off to the side of the road and everybody stands at silent attention in reverence to the victims of the Holocaust. Afterward, the focus of the ceremony at Yad Vashem is the laying of wreaths at the foot of the six torches, by dignitaries and the representatives of survivor groups and institutions. Other sites of remembrance in Israel, such as the Ghetto Fighters' Kibbutz and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, also host memorial ceremonies, as do schools, military bases, municipalities and places of work.

"The Voice of the Survivors" - The Central Theme for Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day 2010

This year’s central theme for Yom Hashoah is "The Voice of the Survivors", focusing on the many different ways survivors have contributed to Holocaust remembrance and commemoration over the years. Since the end of World War II and even before, survivors of the Holocaust have been key to keeping alive the memory of lost communities, families and individuals who perished in the Shoah.
Their testimonies told personally, written and recorded are a vital source for much that we know today about the Holocaust and are a clarion call to successive generations to keep this memory alive into the future. Through their voices the survivors have kept the commandment to remember the past and teach it to future generations. On this Yom Hashoah we pay tribute to the Holocaust survivors - those who have, despite the pain, shared their stories so that we should all remember and learn the lessons of mankind’s darkest hour, and those who have devoted their lives to the cause of Holocaust commemoration, whether through education, research, literature, music, art, or other channels.

Throughout the Yad Vashem website the voices of the survivors infuse exhibitions, historical narratives, teaching units and ceremonies with content and with meaning. Many of those testimonies have been specially compiled and can be accessed either topic or location.

"For whoever listens to a witness becomes a witness."
Excerpt from a speech given by Elie Wiesel at Yad Vashem

"Unto Every Person There is a Name"

Six million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, were murdered in the Shoah while the world remained silent. The worldwide Holocaust memorial project "Unto Every Person There is a Name", now in its 21st consecutive year, is a unique project designed to perpetuate their memory as individuals and restore their identity and dignity, through the public recitation of their names on Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. By personalizing the individual tragedies of the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, this project counters persistent efforts by enemies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to deny the reality of the Holocaust and cast it as history’s seminal hoax.

"Unto Every Person There is a Name" is conducted around the world in hundreds of Jewish communities through the efforts of four major Jewish organizations: B'nai B'rith International, Nativ, the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization. The project is coordinated by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in consultation with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and enjoys the official auspices of the President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. In Israel, "Unto Every Person There is a Name" has become an integral part of the official Yom Hashoah commemoration ceremonies, with the central events held at the Knesset and at Yad Vashem with the participation of elected officials, as well as events throughout the country.

"Everyone has a name"
Poem by Zelda
[translated from Hebrew]

Everyone has a name
given to him by God
and given to him by his parents.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his stature
and the way he smiles.
and given to him by his clothing
Everyone has a name
given to him by the mountains
and given to him by the walls.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the stars
and given to him by his neighbors.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his sins
and given to him by his longing.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his enemies
and given to him by his love.
Everyone has a name
given to him by his holidays
and given to him by his work
.Everyone has a name
given to him by the seasons
and given to him by his blindness.
Everyone has a name
given to him by the sea and
given to him
by his death.

From here

DoubleTapper: Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day begins at sunset

RubinReports: A Visit to Texas: How Can You Remember the Alamo When You've Never Heard About It?

A Visit to Texas: How Can You Remember the Alamo When You've Never Heard About It?

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By Barry Rubin
San Antonio, Texas

We go to Texas for a vacation trip. On the way, I ask my son what he's learned in school about the southwestern part of the United States. He replies that the only thing he has learned is that the Mexican War (1846-1848) was unjust and the United States stole a lot of land from Mexico. The students in this class are certainly aren't going to remember the Alamo, or how Mexico's dictatorship was unjust to Americans because they'll never have heard of it.

Others have held that view of the Mexican War, though. If you ever get the chance to read the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant--a truly remarkable book in terms of its writing and overall accuracy--you will discover that Grant was somewhat ashamed of having participated in it. Still, one would hope that Americans in Maryland would be taught that there was some good in California, Arizona, and New Mexico being added to the union along with Mexico being forced to acknowledge that Texas was part of the United States. Not to mention the stirring confirmation of the freedom-loving American spirit and the dire confirmation of how ruthless dictatorships behave that took place in the Texas revolution

Texas is perhaps the ultimate antithesis to the current dominant thinking in Washington. It has done fairly well despite hard economic times and people from other states are flocking there. One guide recounted that she had recently moved from Michigan where there were no jobs available.

It is always interesting to visit a place about which you have heard so much. So it was with the Alamo in San Antonio. After the dictator of Mexico had withdrawn rights that the American settlers in Texas (then called Texians) enjoyed previously, they--along with some of the ethnic Mexican inhabitants--revolted and declared their independence.

There is something very basically American about the story--though, of course, especially Texan--of around 200 men who faced a seige outnumbered a dozen to one, then chose to die for the cause of liberty. There really is--or should I say, has been?--a fanatical devotion to individual freedom at the core of America, and opposing powerful government that takes away liberties formerly possessed by citizens has been a major feature of that creed. This can go too far, of course, but perhaps in a lot of privileged circles in the country it doesn't go far enough nowadays.

Incidentally, when the Texans captured Mexico's dictator, even after he had personally ordered that the defenders of the Alamo and later 300 more Texan fighters who had surrendered at Goniad, be massacred, they let him go after he agreed to end the war and accept Texas's independence. The American side was not bloodthirsty; the dictatorship it fought was.

History should not consist of learning only that your side was good. But it is even worse if history is taught as your side having only been bad. History should teach about the shortcomings of democratic societies. But it is even worse if it is taught to demonstrate only the shortcomings of democratic societies. And students should certainly not be deprived of knowledge about the depredations of dictatorships, including those conducted under the name of Communism as well as fascism.

One thing I've learned to appreciate is that the educational systems in the country vary widely. The shocking indoctrination I've seen in one county of Maryland does not necessarily extend elsewhere. Indeed, Texas seems to be going too far the other direction, with the right-wing exercising excessive power. This is not good either. There is something really important about being able to stay toward the center--and that applies to resisting pulls in both directions.

Still, it's disgusting hypocrisy to see en route to Texas a big story in Yahoo headlines about how conservatives are creating historical myths. Not one word is said about the far-left version of history presented elsewhere. Why is one extreme derided while another is embraced? Depending on the state, both sides are going too far, though I'd bet that the swing to the left--especially on the university level--is more widespread. For one thing, those on the right are more likely to give up on public schools and send their kids for home-schooling or private schools.

At the Alamo, there is a nice modernization of the account of what happened in the museum there without becoming self-hating, ridiculous, or just plain wrong. There are prominent write-ups about ethnic Mexican participants in the Texas war of independence--they didn't like being ruled by a tyrant even if he was from the same cultural background--and even at the Alamo itself, as well as women and the sole African-American participant. Yet there is no rapturous exaggeration either to create events that didn't happen or tell the story out of proportion.

One saw something similar at the Nimitz Museum on the Pacific war in Fredericksburg, Texas, the hometown of the commander of the U.S. Navy there during World War Two. There is a clear sense of the Japanese side of the story, a section on the internment of Japanese-Americans, a lot of stuff on the home front and the participation of African-Americans, women, etc., without any pandering being done at all. It is a splendid museum, one that I hadn't even known existed until 24 hours previously.

Some details of what I saw there struck me as relevant especially to the modern day.

--In June 1945, the U.S., British, and Soviet leaders declared--to try to persuade Japan to end the war--that they were using the phrase "unconditional surrender" only in reference to Japan's military. They weren't, the intent was to show, seeking to destroy Japan's people or culture or even remove the emperor. But the unintentional effect of this effort was to convince key Japanese leaders that the Allies were weakening and made them redouble their determination to continue fighting until all Japan was destroyed.

It is a fitting reminder that concessions can lead to the other side, especially if an ideologically radical one, interpreting such steps as fear and lack of true grit, thus making them even more militant and ultimately costing more lives on both sides.

--U.S. bombing of Japan was relentless, with bombs falling on civilian areas. In one raid alone, between 80,000 and 100,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo were killed. This compares today to a view of warfare--especially where Israel is involved--that killing one civilian (even if in self-defense, even if one has tried to minimize such tragedies) is equivalent to a war crime.

--U.S. forces lost around 120,000 killed in the Pacific. Japanese dead were around 20 million. No one thought this 200-1 ratio killed indicated the United States was waging some kind of genocidal war. (Of course, if Chinese and other casualties are added the result is more even, and not all Japanese casualties were inflicted by U.S. forces. Still, the point remains valid.) It is not a sin to win a war nor is it a sign of evil to inflict more casualties by far on the enemy than it did on you. This merely shows that the other side was foolish to start the war and even more foolish not to end it by negotiation or surrender earlier.

--Japanese racism and atrocities against Filipinos, Koreans, and Chinese were pointed out, along with American sympathy for these Asian victims. The simplistic argument that everything is about race and that Americans have been racist was shown to be nonsense. In addition, history reminds us that you don't have to be "white" to be a racist, national chauvinist, or imperialist. That's a very valid point in dealing with Middle Eastern and some other polities.

--Finally, if you are facing an aggressive and bloodthirsty tyranny, it is better to overthrow that regime. Only by destroying the Nazi regime in Germany, the Fascist regime in Italy, and the fanatically imperialist regime in Japan was it possible for the people in those countries to have better lives as well as for the fighting to end.

In this context, the way the West prevents any possibility of Israel winning militarily over Hamas is quite remarkable. It would have been better by far if Israel had been able to bring down the Hamas regime in January 2009, though I should stress that Israel wasn't trying to do this, knowing that it would never be accepted. Not only better for Israel but for the Palestinians of Gaza and for the prospects of a peace process and the creation of a Palestinian state.

But I don't mean to make this all about contemporary issues. We cannot possibly study the experiences and course of World War Two enough, nor take for granted the outcome. Hopefully, the next generation not only of Americans but of people all over the world will understand this giant historical event.

And Americans at least should understand that the Texas War of Independence against a Mexican dictatorship almost precisely a century earlier was also a part of the great struggle for democracy and liberty against tyranny. But how many students in school today are going to be able to remember the Alamo or understand World War Two?

I can't resist adding something else from this aspect of the story that applies so well to the present day. After his humiliating defeat against the Texans and his raising taxes higher and higher, the Mexican dictator, Santa Anna, was forced out of office and had to flee the country.

When the U.S.-Mexico war broke out, he made a secret deal with a naive and credible American government, promising if he was allowed to pass through the U.S. blockade to get back to Mexico he would sell America the land that it claimed. The U.S. government engaged the former dictator and made a deal with him. But once in Mexico, Santa Anna broke his promise and led the Mexican army against the American forces. Engaging with dictators and making deals with them often results in betrayal and your leaders looking very foolish indeed.

Remember that fact as well as the Alamo.

RubinReports: A Visit to Texas: How Can You Remember the Alamo When You've Never Heard About It?

Elder of Ziyon: Adventures in Google News

Adventures in Google News

Sometimes I stumble onto a brilliant gem of absurdity in locations that are indexed by Google News as legitimate news sites. Here's today's fun fact about the famous scientist Nikola Tesla:

Nikola Tesla faced a terrible persecution in the land he had thought as the correct place for leading scientists, unbiased thinkers, and astute intellectuals – all free of involvement in dark centers and hidden organizations whereby the total slavery of the Mankind has been / is being prepared.

Unfortunately, America was not the country Tesla had thought it was. What becomes now clear to many, Americans and others, about America´s gravely anti-democratic character and hierarchical, pyramidal (and therefore inhuman) nature, was felt by Tesla in the 1910s, and 20s. He felt the pyramid of the criminals advancing against him to irreversibly smash him forever.

The hidden controllers of the academic, social, economic and political life of America did not want an uncontrolled mind to create, through his inventions, postulations and suggestions, dynamics that would contravene their evil plans against America and the entire Mankind.

Tesla was assassinated by the Freemasonic and Zionist mafia lords who impose their dictates onto the US administration (and most of the world´s governments) which is full of their pupils (lower grades´ Freemasons who are lauded enough to be hired or "voted" in power).

Even worse, his papers and inventions have been confiscated by the US secret services, under the pretext of "national security concern"! The true reason is that the Freemasonic – Zionist establishment did not want others to have access to Tesla´s pioneering inventions and great postulations that can help any group of scholars and any government to come up with applications that eclipse the use nuclear weapons of theirs (that the Freemasonic – Zionist establishment and their puppets of scientists were trying to develop at that time).

Such a development would certainly end the global Freemasonic – Zionist tyranny that spreads death and pestilence, starvation and diseases, poverty and misery worldwide.

Needless to say, the person who wrote this styles himself as a scholar and author of many books.

Elder of Ziyon: Adventures in Google News

A Soldier's Mother: The IDF over Auschwitz

The IDF over Auschwitz

This is an amazing video in so many ways...I have yet to watch it without tears in my eyes:

A Soldier's Mother: The IDF over Auschwitz

A Soldier's Mother: Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel...

A Soldier's Mother: Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel...

Israel Matzav: The latest news from Israel: How to teach the 'naqba'

The latest news from Israel: How to teach the 'naqba'

Here's another news update from Latma. The highlight of this one is a 'debate' between an Arab professor and a member of Israel's Leftist media over whether the 'naqba' (the 'catastrophe' of the establishment of the State of Israel) should only be taught in all of our schools or should also be a requirement for a high school diploma and entrance to university.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).

Israel Matzav: The latest news from Israel: How to teach the 'naqba'

Israel Matzav: Gaza's only power plant shut down and no one cares

Gaza's only power plant shut down and no one cares

A bit more than two years ago, Hamas staged scenes of blackouts in Gaza, claiming that they had no electricity because Israel had cut off fuel supplies to the Hamas junta. At the time, Israel was directly supplying 75% of Gaza's electricity, and there was no real power outage.

On Friday, it was reported that Gaza's only power plant has shut down as a result of a dispute between the various terror factions. But I'll guarantee that most of you didn't know about it (I didn't either). If there's no way to blame Israel, no one cares.

Officials say Gaza's only power plant has stopped operating because of a lack of fuel caused by the ongoing dispute between Palestinian political rivals.

Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers and their Western-backed West Bank rivals have argued over who should pay for the fuel for the plant. The West Bank government has paid Israel for the fuel shipments to the plant but wants Hamas to cover at least some of it. Hamas rejects the demand.

Gaza also has other sources of electricity, and Friday's shutdown caused only limited power cuts. Still, Gazans have had to get used to rolling blackouts since 2006, when Israel bombed the power station after the capture of an Israeli soldier by Gaza militants.

Of course, the plant was repaired since 2006, but leave it to al-AP to find a way to blame Israel anyway.

Israel Matzav: Gaza's only power plant shut down and no one cares

Israel Matzav: How Petraeus could set the record straight

How Petraeus could set the record straight

Despite the fact that US Centcom commander David Petraeus supposedly set the record straight regarding his remarks about Israel, there continues to be a lot of back and forth among the pundits over whether what he said that day in New Hampshire really changed what had been reported.

I've been following it from a distance, because the argument is among conservative bloggers whose work I enjoy reading (Phillip Klein, Max Boot, Lenny Ben David, Jennifer Rubin and Andy McCarthy among others), but I haven't been blogging it because there have been so many other things to discuss.

However, I had to pass on this quote from McCarthy, who is most vocal that what Petraeus said in New Hampshire doesn't change anything.

In any event, if Gen. Petraeus really does want to set the record straight in a way that reassures supporters of Israel, it is a very simple thing to do. He just needs to say that America's bias in favor of Israel is not a "perception" but a reality; that it will always be a reality unless and until Palestinians and their Islamist backers unequivocally acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and convincingly foreswear terrorism (aka "resistance"); that until those conditions are met, the United States realizes that there can be no resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; and that, if we are truly to "live our values," we have no alternative but to favor a Western-style democracy over a would-be Islamist regime that glorifies violent jihadists, endorses sharia principles, and inculcates anti-Semitism in its people through its control of the media, the schools, and other institutions.

Nice idea, but fat chance it will happen. Certainly not with this administration in power

Israel Matzav: How Petraeus could set the record straight

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Turks plan to raise Israeli nukes at Washington conference

Confirmed: Turks plan to raise Israeli nukes at Washington conference

After the fact, the Egyptians are claiming that they had no intention of raising the issue of Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal at President Obama's nuclear conference on Monday and Tuesday. On the other hand, the Turks have admitted that they do plan to raise it.

"We believe that Netanyahu withdrew from the summit because he did not want to face President Obama and is using Egypt and Turkey as an excuse," a senior Egyptian diplomat said.

Another senior Arab diplomat intimately involved in the negotiations said Arab states had no plan to "politicize" the venue and raise the Israeli issue there.

"We are surprised that the Israeli prime minister would use this as a pretext for not attending," the second diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan would demand at the summit that Israel disarm as part of a nuclear-free Middle East.

The French newspaper Le Monde quoted Erdogan as saying in Paris this week that "Israel is the principal threat to peace in the region today."

"Israel has nuclear weapons but doesn't belong to the NPT. Does that mean that those who don't sign the NPT are in a privileged position?"

By the way, I'm not thrilled that Netanyahu is sending Dan Meridor to this conference. Meridor is probably the most Left-leaning member of Netanyahu's cabinet. I would have sent Ehud Barak. He also leans Left, but as a military man he knows the value of Israel's alleged nuke deterrent, and on that score, at least, could be trusted to keep his mouth shut while making the Americans just as happy as having Meridor there.

Israel Matzav: Confirmed: Turks plan to raise Israeli nukes at Washington conference

Israel Matzav: Congress wants to know if Syria is arming Hezbullah; Obama administration has no clue why

Congress wants to know if Syria is arming Hezbullah; Obama administration has no clue why

Congress is demanding answers regarding Syrian arms supplies to Hezbullah.

One Middle East insider told The Cable that the concern is coming primarily from Capitol Hill. "There is serious concern in Congress about just how bad Syria's behavior has been lately, from their flagrant ties with terrorist groups and Iran, to deeply worrying arms shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon."

A Senate leadership aide confirms that there is now at least one hold on the nomination of Robert Ford to become the first U.S. ambassador to Syria in more than four years. Some congressional sources said there were multiple holds. The lawmakers are said to be pressing for more intelligence-sharing on the Syrian weapons transfers as part of their demands before considering Ford. (Other reasons why senators are holding up the Ford nomination can be found here.)

The administration is clueless about Syrian arms supplies. Or at least they're claiming to be.

The administration sources we spoke with they had no clear understanding about exactly what the current state of play was regarding the weapons. That has led some to privately wonder why the situation wasn't being more closely tracked, although that may very well be going on at levels we can't see.

National Security Spokesman Mike Hammer told The Cable that the administration is "increasingly concerned about the sophistication of the weaponry being transferred and have continued to reiterate our strong concerns to the Syrian and Lebanese authorities."

What Hammer also apparently doesn't get it is why Syrian arms supplies matter.

"The transfer of weapons from Syria to Lebanese Hizballah undermines the Lebanese government's ability to exercise sovereignty over all of its territory and risks sparking a conflict that no one needs," he added.

At this point, the Lebanese government - which is dominated by Hezbullah thanks to Obama's weakness - would probably love to go to war with Israel. The arms being provided by Syria, with which the Obama administration would like to 'engage,' will fuel any such future conflict.

But Lebanon has already been lost. The issue now is that supplying arms to Hezbullah will encourage them to attack Israel.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Congress wants to know if Syria is arming Hezbullah; Obama administration has no clue why

Israel Matzav: Using big, meaningless words

Using big, meaningless words

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley used a big word to describe Iran on Friday night.

The United States overnight Friday slammed Iran’s earlier announcement of technological advances in its nuclear program, saying it proves Teheran’s “nefarious intentions.”

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made the statement hours after the Islamic Republic announced that it successfully tested a third generation of domestically built centrifuges, which, it claims, can accelerate uranium enrichment by up to six times.

"Nefarious." A big, meaningless word. I'm sure Ahmadinejad is quaking in his boots.

Israel Matzav: Using big, meaningless words

Israel Matzav: Self-preservation


In a lengthy article about Afghanistan, Fouad Ajami puts his finger on how many in this region regard the United States.

In Afghanistan, and throughout the Middle East, populations long in the path, and in the shadow, of great foreign powers have a good feel for the will and staying power of those who venture into their world. If Iran's bid for nuclear weapons and a larger role in the region goes unchecked, and if Iran is now a power of the Mediterranean (through Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Beirut), the leaders in Kabul, whoever they are, are sure to do their best to secure for themselves an Iranian insurance policy.


All this plays out under the gaze of an Islamic world that is coming to a consensus that a discernible American retreat in the region is in the works. America's enemies are increasingly brazen, its friends unnerved. Witness the hapless Lebanese, once wards of U.S. power, now making pilgrimages, one leader at a time, to Damascus. They, too, can read the wind: If Washington is out to "engage" that terrible lot in Syria, they better scurry there to secure reasonable terms of surrender.

The shadow of American power is receding; the rogues are emboldened. The world has a way of calling the bluff of leaders and nations summoned to difficult endeavors. Would that our biggest source of worry in that arc of trouble was the intemperate outburst of our ally in Kabul.

Thankfully, our leadership in Israel is also apparently figuring out that the time has come to stop paying homage to a big power to the West that will not save us. Witness Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision not to go to Washington this coming week. But our insurance policy is not in Syria or Iran. It is elsewhere. Some of us figured out where that elsewhere is long ago. Will the rest figure it out in time?

Israel Matzav: Self-preservation

Israel Matzav: Wikipedia: Israel notorious for harvesting Haitian organs, sexual exploitation of children

Wikipedia: Israel notorious for harvesting Haitian organs, sexual exploitation of children

Here's why you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Web.

Note that this doesn't even carry one of their 'disputed' tabs.

More details here.

Israel Matzav: Wikipedia: Israel notorious for harvesting Haitian organs, sexual exploitation of children

Israel Matzav: Stupid Jews: Majority of US Jews still back Obama on Israel

Stupid Jews: Majority of US Jews still back Obama on Israel

Well, it's not 78% anymore, but a majority of American Jews still back President Obama on Israel.

The 55 percent who approve of Obama's Israel policy is a slight improvement on the finding in the same survey last year [which was 54-32. CiJ], while the disapproval number has ticked up slightly more.

The survey is a reminder of what surveys of American Jews regularly find: They're still overwhelmingly Democratic, and many self-identified Jews responding to polls are more liberal, and less focused on specifically Jewish issues, than the communal leadership.


ALSO: Confusingly, only a slightly slimmer majority approves of Netanyahu's performance [57-30. CiJ], and a solid majority opposes dividing Jerusalem [61-35. CiJ].

This shows that (a) many Jews support Obama without knowing what he stands for and (b) as we already knew, many Jews are simply incapable of voting anything other than Democratic.

By the way, US Jews also favor the creation of a 'Palestinian state,' but just barely: 48-45.

Israel Matzav: Stupid Jews: Majority of US Jews still back Obama on Israel

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Obama's foreign policy at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Sarah Palin on Obama's foreign policy at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

This is dynamite. Sarah Palin rips the Obumbler some new body parts. She's great!

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin).

"Jerusalem is not a settlement and Israel is our friend." Music to my ears. Heh.

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Obama's foreign policy at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Israel Matzav: Obama out of step again

Obama out of step again

A poll released by Fox News shows that vast majorities of Americans support military action by the United States to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

• By 65 to 25 percent, voters support the United States taking military action to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. That includes majorities of Democrats (58 percent), Republicans (77 percent) and independents (60 percent).

I know that Obama is willing to be a one-term President to ram his health care program down the American people's throats. Is he also willing to be a one-term President to allow Iran to become a nuclear power? Someone needs to start asking that question. And quickly.

Israel Matzav: Obama out of step again

Israel Matzav: Tom Campbell: A tool of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Tom Campbell: A tool of the Muslim Brotherhood?


I have to tell you honestly that if this guy wins the Republican nomination in California, I may tell those of you who vote there to go vote for Barbara Boxer.

Where there's smoke - especially this much smoke - there's usually fire.

Israel Matzav: Tom Campbell: A tool of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Israel Matzav: How the IDF screens for security clearance

How the IDF screens for security clearance

Thanks to Aviv S who answered my question about how the IDF screens for security clearance. The short answer is that they don't - the Shabak (General Security Service) screens for them.

Those of you who read Hebrew can find the 18-page Shabak questionnaire online here (pdf link).

I mentioned earlier that I once applied for a job that required security clearance. I recall filling out a form like this. I also recall there being a personal interview (in fact, I also had to take a lie detector test for the government job I did take several months later - which was under the Finance Ministry and had nothing to do with Defense). Anat Kam's radical background should have come out.

For example, question 35 asks whether you ever were directly or indirectly involved in activity that sought to overthrow the government through economic or violent means. The following question asks whether you were ever a member of an organization that sought to do the same thing. And the following question asks whether you were in contact with people who were trying to do the same thing. And for good measure, they add a declaration that you haven't been involved in anything of the sort that isn't covered by the previous questions.

There are also several pages in which you're supposed to list friends, work colleagues etc.

Aviv S. pointed out to me that the questionnaire doesn't ask your political views. That's true. But how many friends did Kam list on her application and how many of them were called? How could it be that none of them said anything about her? (I suspect that what is most likely is that none of them were called - I recall one of my references telling me that she was not called).

The IDF and the Shabak need to do some serious re-evaluation of how security clearances are done. The obsession with the political Right (dealt with by the 'Jewish section' in the Shabak) needs to be ended or at least balanced by similar treatment for the Left. The Right has never attempted to compromise Israel's security. The same cannot be said for the Left.

Israel Matzav: How the IDF screens for security clearance

Israel Matzav: We've been here before

We've been here before

It occurred to me that all the talk about President Obama being the first US President to try to tackle the Middle East early in his first term in office is simply untrue. Richard Nixon did the same thing in 1969. His Secretary of State, William Rogers (pictured) introduced something known as the Rogers Plan, which was the subject of many fears in Israel and the United States so long as Rogers was Secretary of State. In a lot of ways, this sounds like deja vu all over again.

The Rogers Plan was a framework proposed by United States Secretary of State William P. Rogers to achieve an end to belligerence in the Arab-Israeli conflict following the Six-Day War and the continuing War of Attrition. The plan was publicly proposed in a December 9, 1969 speech at an Adult Education conference,[1] and was formally announced on June 19, 1970.[2] Despite eventual concessions Egyptians ceded for the plan, Israel lobbyists opposed to the proposal galvanized American public against it.[3] [That statement is disingenuous, as you will see below. CiJ].

The December 1969 speech followed the failure of the Jarring Mission to negotiate an implementation plan for UN Security Council Resolution 242 among the principals in the Six-Day War. It was in the context of the UN's failure to arbitrate Egypt–Israel tensions that the Soviet Union approached the US Nixon administration with the proposal to negotiate a peace settlement in the Middle East, with the two superpowers acting as mediators. The Soviet Union would work with Egypt and the United States would seek to represent Israel's interests.[4] [In other words, 'proximity talks.' We're back to 1969. CiJ]

Some of the points included in Rogers’ ten-point paper called for the following:

* Negotiations under Gunnar Jarring’s auspices following procedures used in the 1949 meetings on Rhodes;
* Israeli withdrawal from Egyptian territory occupied in the war;
* An agreement signed by the two sides officially ending the state of war and prohibiting “acts inconsistent with the state of peace between them”;
* Negotiations between Israel and Egypt for agreement on areas to be demilitarized, measures to guarantee free passage through the Gulf of Aqaba, and security arrangements for Gaza;
* A "fair settlement of the refugee problem".[5]

So why wasn't the plan accepted? No, it wasn't just Israel's fault....

Failure of the Jarring Mission and the mediated peace talks reflected a long-standing stalemate between Israel and Egypt. Whereas Israel demanded a formal recognition of its sovereignty, gained via direct peace talks with Egypt, Egypt would only agree to offer a peace sponsored by the third-party United Nations (this would allow Egypt to avoid political fallout from the Arab nations, which were strongly opposed to recognition of Israel). In addition to this peace, Israel would return all land to Egypt.[6] Both parties viewed the conflicting interests as a stalemate only to be resolved via military intimidation.[6] Whereas the US government view hoped to use promises of arms to gain Israeli concessions on land, Israel desired arms to secure the land it refused to give up.[6]

Negotiations leading up to Rogers’ plan were complicated not only by hostilities between Israel and Egypt, but also by the differing philosophies adopted by the Soviet Union and the United States in approaching the negotiations. Soviet strategy during the peace talks had been to “bring the Egyptians with them every step of the way. American strategy was wholly different. There was never any question of trying to persuade the Israelis to endorse each American move as it was made. To secure Israel’s agreement the Americans calculated that they would first have to have that of Egypt and the Soviet Union”.[7]

Thus, though both Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yitzhak Rabin had conferred with U.S. President Richard Nixon in the last few months of 1969, Rogers' speech was viewed as a surprise.[citation needed]

The plan was formally accepted by both Egypt and Jordan in July 1970,[8] with the full support of the Soviet Union[9] although only as grounds for a cease-fire, and not to end the effective state of war.

Sounds just like Hamas, doesn't it? They wanted all the land back for a 'hudna.' The Arabs' tactics haven't changed in 40 years.

In an unsuccessful attempt to draw the UN intervention following the cease-fire which ended the Six Day War, the Egyptians launched a new round of artillery duels with Israeli forces.[6] While Secretary Rogers pursued his peace plan, Pres. Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, with the assistance of three brigades of Soviet troops,[10] rapidly escalated the War of Attrition against Israeli forces at the Suez Canal in an attempt to inflict maximum casualties on Israeli forces.

According to the August 7, 1970, "in place" cease-fire agreement, both sides were required not to change "the military status quo within zones extending 50 kilometers to the east and west of the cease-fire line." However, Egypt immediately moved anti-aircraft batteries into the zone. By October there were about 100 SAM sites in the zone, and Rogers made no diplomatic effort to secure their removal, setting in motion the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

For this reason, Secretary Rogers had little credibility in Israel. The Israeli interpretation of his plan was that it required Israel to withdraw from areas captured during the Six-Day War without any assurances of a lasting peace from Arab states. As a result, the Israeli government determined that support of the plan would be "irresponsible", and refused overtures from Egypt to enter into discussions aimed at settlement of the conflict called for by the plan. The Rogers peace plan finally failed due to lack of support from Israel (though an initial decision to accept it had resulted in the right-wing Gahal party leaving Golda Meir's government in August 1970). No breakthrough occurred even after President Sadat in 1972 surprised everyone by suddenly expelling Soviet advisers from Egypt and again signaled to Washington his willingness to negotiate.[11]

Note that the article contradicts itself - did Israel accept the plan or did it not? Note also that it failed because Rogers had 'little credibility in Israel.' That is true of Obama and Clinton and Mitchell as well, let alone Brzezinski.

But we have definitely been here before.

Israel Matzav: We've been here before
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