Monday, 12 April 2010

Love of the Land: Obama’s Hopes for Israeli ‘Regime Change’ Will Backfire

Obama’s Hopes for Israeli ‘Regime Change’ Will Backfire


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
12 April '10

Veteran peace processor Aaron David Miller gets it half right in today’s Los Angeles Times when he dissects the apparent desire of the Obama administration to drive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office.

Miller, a functionary who helped carry out the State Department’s failed Middle East policy during the administrations of both the first president Bush and Clinton, is correct when he points out that American attempts to treat Israel as a banana republic don’t always work out as Washington intends. While the elder George Bush may have successfully undermined Yitzhak Shamir’s re-election in 1992, Bill Clinton’s all-out effort to help Shimon Peres beat Netanyahu in 1996 was a failure that helped sour relations between the two countries. For all of the fact that the United States is Israel’s only ally, not surprisingly Israelis don’t enjoy being dictated to, especially when the issues at stake are their own rights and security. Obama’s transparent attempt to overturn the outcome of an election that was held only a few weeks after his own inauguration doesn’t sit well with the Israeli public and has increased Netanyahu’s popularity. That Jerusalem is the issue over which Obama has sought to ditch Netanyahu is as wrongheaded as it is foolish. No Israeli prime minister is likely to accept Obama’s demand that Jews not be allowed to build in existing Jewish neighborhoods in their own capital.

Miller is also correct when he points out that if Obama were really interested in making progress toward Middle East peace, he’d be far better off cozying up to Netanyahu than attempting to somehow impose a left-wing government on Israel. Only right-wingers or former military leaders have the standing to persuade Israelis to take risks for peace. Obama’s notion that Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni would be more susceptible to American pressure might be true.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Obama’s Hopes for Israeli ‘Regime Change’ Will Backfire

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Every Man Has a Name

Every Man Has a Name

Not long ago I read an article which made the distinction between songs and poetry: that poetry stands on its own, while a song needs music to have value.

Many shirim are songs, but some are poetry (and I'm not certain where to draw the line). The creations of Zelda are poetry, even though some have become famous shirim, with music.

Zelda was born in what is now Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in 1914, to a family of important Lubavitcher rabbis; she was a cousin of the last Rebbe. She came to Jerusalem with her parents in 1926, and died here in 1984. There is a touching description of her in Amos Oz' masterpiece A Tale of Love and Darkness (If you still haven't read it, forget all these blogs and read it). Zelda was his teacher, and apparently an influential one; she also lived in the same hard-working neighborhood he grew up in and describes so well. She and her husband never had children.

I don't know when she started writing; her first book of poetry appeared many years after she began, in the 1960s. So I can't tell if she wrote Lechol Ish Yesh Shem, Every Man has a Name, before or after the Shoah. The poem itself never mentions the Holocaust, never even alludes to it, yet sometime in the 1980s it became the single most important Shoah song; perhaps even the emblematic one.

Hebrew original
English translation
Every person has a name
that God gave him
and which his father and mother gave him

Every person has a name
which his height
and the style of his smile gave him
and which his tapestry gave him

Every person has a name
which the mountains gave him
and which his walls gave him.

Every person has a name
which the star signs gave him
and which his neighbours gave him.

Every person has a name
which his sins gave him,
and which his longing gave him.

Every person has a name
which his enemies gave him
and his love gave him.

Every person has a name
which his festivals gave him,
and which his work gave him.

Every person has a name
which the seasons gave him,
and which his blindness gave him.

Every person has a name
which the sea gave him,
and which his death gave him.

Chanan Yovel (born 1946) composed the music and sings it in the first recording; the second recording is by Chava Alberstein; she's a better singer.


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Every Man Has a Name

Love of the Land: The Only Thing Scarier Than An Obama Plan For Israel Is That He May Have No Plan At All

The Only Thing Scarier Than An Obama Plan For Israel Is That He May Have No Plan At All


Daled Amos
11 April '10

Last month, Laura Rozen wrote at Politico:

Sources say within the inter-agency process, White House Middle East strategist Dennis Ross is staking out a position that Washington needs to be sensitive to Netanyahu’s domestic political constraints including over the issue of building in East Jerusalem in order to not raise new Arab demands, while other officials including some aligned with Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell are arguing Washington needs to hold firm in pressing Netanyahu for written commitments to avoid provocations that imperil Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to preserve the Obama administration’s credibility. …

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

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


At the time, Noah Pollak wrote about 3 things that could be learned from Rozen's report, the first being:

The administration has essentially been winging it, at least on the details. If senior officials are just now debating how to handle the crisis, it means that there wasn’t a particularly coherent or well-considered strategy in the first place — just a generalized desire to knock the Israelis around. Smart power.


(Read full post)


Love of the Land: The Only Thing Scarier Than An Obama Plan For Israel Is That He May Have No Plan At All

Israel Matzav: The Arab Schindler

The Arab Schindler

Unless this story is totally made up (which I doubt), there apparently was an Arab Schindler, albeit on a smaller scale.

Satloff discovered Abdul-Wahab's story as he was researching his book. He had posted a message on a website popular with Tunisian Jews, who were now dispersed all over the world. He received a response from an old woman called Anny Boukris, now living in America, who remembered how her family had been saved by Abdul-Wahab.

"The Arabs saved many Jews. I don't know very well these stories. I remember very well only our story," she wrote. That story, which Satloff slowly uncovered, was Abdul-Wahab's. It began in November 1942 after German and Italian troops occupied Tunisia, which was home to 100,000 Jews. Jews were forced to wear yellow stars and more than 5,000 were sent to forced labour camps, where at least 46 died.

Abdul-Wahab, a well-to-do farmer and son of an eminent Tunisian historian and writer, sheltered 24 people from two Jewish families on his farm after he overheard a Nazi officer planning to rape one of the women, Boukris's mother. He shielded them from harm by keeping them on his estate. He even intervened when a drunken German soldier threatened to kill one of the girls, shouting: "I know that you are Jews and I am going to kill you tonight!"

Like Schindler in occupied Poland, Abdul-Wahab protected those under his charge by remaining close to the German occupiers, often wining and dining them at parties. The crisis finally ended when the Allies liberated the country four months later. Abdul-Wahab, who died in 1997, has been honoured by numerous Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

Yet the story of Arabs, Jews and Nazis in North Africa remains an ignored but important chapter in the Holocaust's history. Satloff believes that only by confronting the historic truth – that Arabs helped Jews as much (or as little) as anyone else – can some of the problems of the present be tempered.

This story is probably true (I doubt that the Wiesenthal Center would have accepted it if it were not true), and if so, the man ought to be honored.

Yes, there are a few good Arabs in the World. There were Arabs who saved Jews during the Hebron pogrom in 1929.

But unfortunately, the overwhelming majority, especially among the leadership, are Jew haters.

Maybe the government should invite the Holocaust-denying Abu Mazen to attend the ceremony if Abdul-Wahab gets the award. Heh.


Israel Matzav: The Arab Schindler

Israel Matzav: Deja vu all over again: Another bishop blames the Jews

Deja vu all over again: Another bishop blames the Jews

What is it with the Catholic Church lately? An Italian bishop has now been quoted as saying that the Vatican's latest sex abuse scandal is the Jews' fault.

Who is to blame for the sexual abuse affairs in the Catholic Church? The Jews, at least according to an Italian bishop, which suggested that Jews were behind the current criticism of the Church's record on tackling clerical sex abuse, British newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday.

An Italian website quoted Giacomo Babini, 81, the emeritus bishop of Grosseto, as saying he believed a "Zionist attack" was behind the criticism, considering how "powerful and refined" the criticism is.

Babini was quoted by Catholic website Pontifex as saying: "They do not want the Church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

The Bishops' Conference on Sunday rushed to issue a statement quoting Babini denying he had ever given the interview in the first place. "Statements I have never made about our Jewish brothers have been attributed to me," he said.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Israel Matzav: Deja vu all over again: Another bishop blames the Jews

Israel Matzav: Shoes

Shoes

For Holocaust Day, Jeff Jacoby re-ups an article about his Dad that was published in 1999. This is heart-rending:

Once I asked my father what had been uppermost in his mind when he was in the camps. Had there been something he always concentrated on, a mantra he clung to, a goal he never lost sight of?

I was hoping, I suppose, for something lapidary. Something like the exhortation of Simon Dubnov, the renowned Jewish historian, who was murdered by a Latvian guard in the Riga ghetto in 1941. Dubnov's last words were, Yiddin, schreibt un farschreibt -- "Jews, write it all down." Perhaps my father would say that he had never stopped thinking about one day bearing witness to what he had seen. Or that he was always looking for ways to sabotage the Nazis. Or that he dreamed of revenge. Or that every morning and evening he whispered the Sh'ma, the timeless Jewish credo -- "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One."

This is what my father told me: "I was always careful to watch my shoes. I slept with my shoes under my head, because if you lost your shoes you wouldn't survive for long."

It was hardly the answer I had imagined. Shoes? He's in the middle of the Holocaust, and he's thinking about his shoes?

But I have come to understand that my father was right. If shoes were utterly essential -- and when you are force-marched from Poland to Austria in the middle of winter and you will be shot dead if you fall or stumble, they are -- then shoes were precisely what he had to think about. The Jakubovic family, awash in blood, was nearly extinct. My father had to survive. The Jews had to survive. Somehow, despite everything, they had to go on, and if shoes could keep this Jew alive, then nothing was more important than shoes.

My father, God willing, will turn 74 this year. He has five children and -- so far -- 13 grandchildren. He keeps the Sabbath and fasts on Yom Kippur and eats matza on Passover. Every morning and every evening, he says the Sh'ma. He is a Jew who survived, and who survived as a Jew. May the memory of those who perished be a blessing.

Jeff's father lived while so many others didn't. We owe it to those who didn't make it to carry on.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Shoes

Israel Matzav: Obama: Al-Qaeda is seeking a nuke - and they will use it (and Iran won't?)

Obama: Al-Qaeda is seeking a nuke - and they will use it (and Iran won't?)

Speaking about his nuclear conference that opens on Monday in Washington, President Obama expressed fear that al-Qaeda is seeking a nuclear weapon and that they will use it.

On the eve of his Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama issued a dire warning: terrorist groups are trying to obtain nuclear weapons -- and they will use it.

“We know that organizations like al Qaeda are in the process of trying to secure a nuclear weapon -- a weapon of mass destruction that they have no compunction at using," the president said.

That's true. But why is the President so convinced that Iran won't use one (or give al-Qaeda one to use)? Why is he so convinced that 'containment' of Iran would work? What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Obama: Al-Qaeda is seeking a nuke - and they will use it (and Iran won't?)

Israel Matzav: Obama universalizes the Holocaust

Obama universalizes the Holocaust

You just knew this was coming. President Obama's Holocaust Day declaration.

United States President Barack Obama published a declaration on Sunday for Holocaust Remembrance Day in which he said the memory of the those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis must be honored.

The declaration added, "The Holocaust calls on all people to renew their commitment to prevent genocide, and confront antisemitism and all forms of prejudice."

What does "and all forms of prejudice" have to do with it? The only ethnic group other than the Jews that was targeted was the gypsies. No one was targeted to the extent that the Jews were. The Nazis - may their name be obliterated - were obsessed with the Jews. Were it not for their obsession with murdering Jews, they might have won the war. How can anyone say that the Holocaust is about anything or anyone other than Jews and anti-Semitism? Why does President Oschmucka insist on universalizing anything that has to do with Jews?

Israel Matzav: Obama universalizes the Holocaust

Israel Matzav: Violent anti-Semitic acts DOUBLE in 2009

Violent anti-Semitic acts DOUBLE in 2009

While the World worries itself about an imaginary phenomenon called 'Islamophobia,' violent acts against Jews more than doubled in 2009 as compared with 2008. And while there is an effort afoot to cast this all as reactions to Operation Cast Lead, color me skeptical on that count. It sounds more like open season on Jews:

According to the institute, violent anti-Semitic attacks, ranging from vandalism and arson against Jewish targets to beatings of Jews, increased in 2009 by a startling percentage. The report underlined the severe increase in anti-Semitic attacks, specifying that 2009 displayed the highest amount of attacks recorded in over 20 years.

The document gathered that in 2009 alone 1,129 anti-Semitic attacks were reported, compared to the 559 that were documented in 2008. Institute head Prof. Dina Porat said in a briefing before the data was publicized that the study tracked only instances of physical violence against Jewish targets. "Verbal violence is violence, of course, but we don't count it. Violence we regard as physical, and here we have clear indications."

The report illustrated that that this year was particularly charged due to international reactions to Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in anti-Jewish demonstrations around the world.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress - which sponsored the report - said that the rise of anti-Semitic sentiment in Western Europe can be blamed on forces outside the region.

"This new phenomenon is financed and organized by pro-Islamic, pro-terrorist organizations and states," Kantor said.

According to the document, the highest increase in anti-Semitic activity in 2009 occurred in Britain, where 374 attacks were reported compared to 2008’s 112 incidents. In France 195 violent attacks were reported in 2009, while only 50 were documented in 2008. In Canada 138 anti-Semitic assaults were reported in 2009 compared to the 13 that were cited in 2008, and the US documented 116 this year in contrast to 2008’s 98.

With the exception of the US, those are huge percentage increases.

The picture at the top is from one of several violent anti-Israel demonstrations that took place in Malmo, Sweden during the course of the year.

More on the survey here.


Israel Matzav: Violent anti-Semitic acts DOUBLE in 2009

Israel Matzav: Iran to complain to UN over US 'threat'

Iran to complain to UN over US 'threat'

If this weren't so sickening, I might even be able to laugh at it.

Iran will file a formal complaint with the UN against the United States after US President Barack Obama excluded Iran from a pledge not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Obama's implicit threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran was a "threat to global peace and security," according to Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency.

Earlier Sunday, 222 lawmakers in Iran's 290-seat parliament called on the Iranian government to file the complaint.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, also said Obama's threatening language is proof that the US cannot be trusted.

...


ran's top leader, Khamenei, said the US president's remarks were "disgraceful."


"The US president has implicitly threatened the Iranian nation with nuclear weapons. These remarks are very strange. The world should not ignore it because in the 21st century ... the head of a state is threatening a nuclear attack. The US president's remarks are disgraceful," Khamenei said Sunday on state television.

"These remarks mean the US government is a villain government that can't be trusted," he said.

Can we please blow them back to the 8th century NOW?

Israel Matzav: Iran to complain to UN over US 'threat'

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu rips 'limp' response to Iran

Netanyahu rips 'limp' response to Iran

At the Holocaust Day opening ceremony on Sunday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed what he called the World's 'limp' reaction to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained bitterly about international reaction to what he called Iran's drive toward nuclear bombs and its intention to destroy Israel, but he did not hint at a possible Israeli response.

''We encounter in the best case a limp reaction, and even that is fading,'' Netanyahu said Sunday. ''We do not hear the necessary rejection, no harsh denunciation, no outcry.''

Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial authority, before hundreds of Holocaust survivors and their families, Israeli leaders, diplomats and others. A military honor guard stood at one side of the podium and a girls' choir on the other.

''If we have learned anything from the Holocaust,'' Netanyahu said, ''it is that we must not be silent or be deterred in the face of evil.''

It's a shame that Netanyahu didn't make that accusation to Obama directly. While one has little expectation of Russia or China or the Europeans stepping in to do the right thing, we Jews have come to expect better from the United States. Sadly, little has apparently changed since the Roosevelt administration slammed the doors to immigration and refused to bomb the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz.

Hope and same anyone?

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu rips 'limp' response to Iran

Israel Matzav: Clinton: Iran's belligerence helping to make our case

Israel Matzav: Clinton: Iran's belligerence helping to make our case

Israel Matzav: Quote of the year

Quote of the year

This is a great quote. And to think that it was written in June of last year (Hat Tip: Dani K)!

"Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran ."

There sure is.

Israel Matzav: Quote of the year

Israel Matzav: Polish chief rabbi, Jewish leaders spared because they did not fly on the Sabbath

Polish chief rabbi, Jewish leaders spared because they did not fly on the Sabbath

As most of you undoubtedly know already, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and much of the country's leadership was killed in a plane crash on Saturday near Smolensk, Russia. The plane was on its way to a ceremony commemorating the murder of some 20,000 Poles by Russian troops during World War II.

It turns out that the country's American-born chief rabbi and much of its Jewish leadership were scheduled to be on the flight, but canceled at the last minute because the flight was departing on the Sabbath.

A Jewish delegation from Poland, including the American-born Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, was spared from certain death by refusing to violate the Sabbath to fly with President Lech Kaczynski.

...

The Jewish delegation was supposed to fly with the president, according to Warsaw Rabbi Meir Stembler. “The delegation canceled its participation after it was understood that that plane was to fly on the Sabbath,” he said.

“They planned to say Kaddish [the mourner’s prayer] at the planned commemoration ceremony in a Russian city, marking 70 years since the Soviet murder of 20,000 Poles.

Rabbi Stembler said that President Kaczynski was personally responsible for helping with the construction of a Jewish museum in the location of the former Jewish ghetto in Warsaw and which is to be dedicated in the near future. President Kaczynski helped promote and encourage the building project when he was mayor of Warsaw and continued his efforts as president.

“The relation between the Jewish community and the president was very strong,” the rabbi said. “He took care of all of its needs, not just in words but also in deeds. There were not any major events where he did not honor the community with his presence.”

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was a true friend of the Jewish community and is being memorialized as such in both Israel and Poland. Of course, since he was not Jewish, there was no religious prohibition on his flying on the Sabbath. May his memory as a righteous gentile be blessed.

Israel Matzav: Polish chief rabbi, Jewish leaders spared because they did not fly on the Sabbath

Israel Matzav: Break the linkage

Break the linkage

Over the past few weeks, the Obama administration has been becoming more and more shrill in its insistence that there is a connection between 'progress' on the 'Palestinian front' and Western efforts to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The Council on Foreign Relations' Ray Takeyh insists that linkage exists only in the minds of Western policymakers and not in the minds of the Arab states. Insisting on that linkage will weaken Israel and prevent it from taking action to stop Iran in the (likely) event that the United States fails to do so.

The notion that the incumbent Arab regimes are reluctant to collaborate with the United States on Iran because of the prevailing impasse in the peace process is a misreading of regional realities. The Arab states, particularly the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, have an odd policy toward Iran. In private, as any visiting American dignitary can attest, they decry Iran's ambitions, fear its accelerating nuclear program and even hint at the advisability of using military force against its atomic installations. Yet they are loath to be part of an aggressive strategy, which they would see as unduly antagonizing the Islamic Republic. The Arab states will gladly purchase U.S. arms and enhance their defenses, but they would be reluctant to participate in coercing Iran. Arab leaders would prefer that someone else take care of the Iran problem without their active complicity. Absent such a solution, they are likely to coexist with the Iranian bomb. No degree of peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians is likely to alter that calculus.

...

Israel, then, looms large in Iran's strategic calculations. Unlike the Arab states, Israel approaches Iran with resolution. And unlike the United States, Israel is not entangled in conflicts that Iranian mischief can aggravate. Hamas and Hezbollah are not only unreliable proxies but ones that Israeli armor can handle. Fulminations aside, Iranian leaders take Israeli threats seriously and are at pains to assert their retaliatory options. It is here that the shape and tone of the U.S.-Israeli alliance matters most. Should the clerical oligarchs sense divisions in that alliance, they can assure themselves that a beleaguered Israel cannot possibly strike Iran while at odds with its superpower patron. Such perceptions cheapen Israeli deterrence and diminish the potency of the West's remaining sticks.

All this is not to suggest that Washington cannot criticize Israeli policies, even publicly and forcefully. The ebbs and flows of the emerging peace process will cause disagreements and even tensions between the two allies. But as they plot their strategies for resuming dialogue between Israel and its neighbors, U.S. policymakers would be wise to vociferously insist that the dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will not affect Washington's cooperation with Israel on Iran. A concerted effort to decouple the peace process from Iran's nuclear imbroglio is the best means of declawing the Islamic Republic.

Read it all - it's spot-on. Too bad the Obama administration is unlikely to listen.

Israel Matzav: Break the linkage

Israel Matzav: Video: Edward R. Murrow at Buchenwald

Video: Edward R. Murrow at Buchenwald

Holocaust Memorial Day is being observed today in Israel. This video is a report filed by famed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow describing his presence at the Buchenwald concentration camp's liberation in 1945.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: NY Nana).



I have no words.

UPDATE 12:25 PM

Actually, I do have a few words. Is it my imagination or did Murrow not use the word "Jew" once in that entire report?

Were there no Jews in Buchenwald? I don't believe that.

Israel Matzav: Video: Edward R. Murrow at Buchenwald

Israel Matzav: More Orwellian language from Obama

More Orwellian language from Obama

This is not a parody. Mona Charen reports that in the interests of political correctness, the Obama administration will no longer refer to Iran and North Korea as 'rogue states.'

In the latest installment of politically correct, not to say Orwellian, language emanating from the Obama administration, the term "rogue states" has been sidelined in favor of "outliers." The switch was unveiled as part of the just released Nuclear Posture Review. States like North Korea and Iran, labeled "rogue" by the Bush administration, will no longer labor under that punitive adjective.

This is all part of a pattern:

Outlier has no negative connotations at all. The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "One whose domicile is distant from his or her place of business." The Macintosh computer dictionary adds a secondary connotation of exclusion from a group. So to employ the label "outliers" for nations that are, by any civilized measure, criminal is pusillanimous. No doubt the leadership in Iran has also noticed that an administration that softens its words has also modified its proposed sanctions. Whereas once Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of "crippling" sanctions, she has now climbed down to "sanctions that bite." Can annoying sanctions be far behind?

The administration does not like to use hurtful words to our enemies. Our friends are another matter. Compare the treatment Great Britain, Honduras, and Israel have received with the walking on eggshells approach to our foes. Early on, the administration jettisoned the term "Global War on Terror" in favor of a catch phrase only a bureaucrat could have coined -- "overseas contingency operations." The word "terrorism" was similarly airbrushed from official language. Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano prefers the term "man-caused disasters" because "it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear ..." A more anodyne term has now surfaced from a number of officials -- "countering violent extremism."

The detainees in Guantanamo, too, have had a name change. They will no longer be called "enemy combatants." The new name hasn't been chosen yet, though cynics might just use "former clients of Obama Justice Department lawyers."

While they were reclassifying Iran and North Korea, the Obama administration, with spine of purest Jell-O, let it be known that the revised National Security Strategy will eschew references to "Islamic extremism," "jihad," "Islamic radicalism" and other such terms. "Do you want to think about the U.S. as the nation that fights terrorism or the nation you want to do business with?" asked National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy, who runs the Obama administration's Global Engagement Directorate. It's apparently acceptable to use the term "fights terrorism" when you're retreating from it. (Speaking of language, this is not the first administration to appoint "czars," but it may be the first to create "directorates." Doesn't anyone at the White House get a chill down his spine at the word, which is part of the title of the GRU, the KGB's sister agency? Guess not.)



Israel Matzav: More Orwellian language from Obama

Israel Matzav: Iran producing its own anti-aircraft system

Iran producing its own anti-aircraft system

Iran has developed its own anti-aircraft system called the Mersad (Ambush). The Mersad is outfitted with Shahin missiles, which are a local version of the US-developed Hawk missile from the 1970's.

According to a photo released by Iran's Defense Ministry, the Mersad will launch Iran's Shahin missiles, a local version of the 1970s-era US-manufactured Hawk missile.

The Hawk missile has a range 24 kilometers with a 119-pound warhead and was sold the Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution.

But the Shahin's can only hit low and medium-flying aircraft and the 24-kilometer range is nowhere near the range of the modern S-300 system that Iran still hopes to purchase from Russia. So is Iran giving up on the S-300? I'd say they're hedging their bets. But the Mersad with the Shahin is a poor substitute for the S-300.

If Israel gets indications that Russia is going to supply the S-300, I'd expect an almost immediate Israeli attack on Iran.


Israel Matzav: Iran producing its own anti-aircraft system

Israel Matzav: US embargoes weapons to Israel, delivers them to Hezbullah

US embargoes weapons to Israel, delivers them to Hezbullah

Last month, I reported that the United States is maintaining an arms embargo on Israel. On top of that, it turns out that while refusing to sell arms to Israel, the US is selling weapons and ammunition to Lebanon, whose government and army are both dominated by Hezbullah.

The U.S. embassy in Lebanon announced last week that on April 2 it had delivered the first in a series of shipments of weapons and ammunition. The shipment included 1,000 M16A4 rifles, 10 missile launchers, 1,583 grenade launchers, and 538 sets of day/night binoculars and night-vision devices. It was stressed that the equipment would be supported with training provided by the U.S. government.

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr visited Washington in February to discuss military cooperation, especially U.S. assistance to the LAF to fight terrorism.

A month ago, Minister Murr told Lebanese Al-Manar television that though he does not support integrating Hizbullah arms and forces within the LAF, “this does not mean we should offer Israel a favor [and disarm Hizbullah].”

Insinuating that the issue is not a matter of consensus, Murr said, “There are some [Lebanese] annoyed by [the existence of] Hizbullah’s arms, and I could be one of them” – but he acknowledged that Hizbullah’s weapons deter Israel. Murr is said to be one of the government ministers considered close to the President of Lebanon.

So if Hezbullah - which is still classified as a terror organization in the US (I guess Obama hasn't gotten around to changing that yet) is part of the Lebanese Armed Forces, what terrorists are they 'fighting'? Conveniently, al-Qaeda has blasted Hezbullah.

Al-Qaeda, for its part, apparently views the LAF and Hizbullah as working together – to help Israel. Lebanon’s Daily Star reported last week that Saleh al-Qaraawi, an Al-Qaeda member who is listed among Saudi Arabia’s 85 most wanted terrorists, spoke on the CNN Arabic news channel, accusing the Lebanese army, Hizbullah and the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) of being traitors and of “working for the benefit of the Jews.”

So that's why Hezbullah has 40,000 rockets pointed at Israel. Gee, why didn't I think of that?

But the truth is that even the Arabs admit that the al-Qaeda statement was all for show.

Palestinian factions in Lebanon did not attribute much importance to the statements, saying they were media-motivated and based on anger that Al Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Islam lost a battle to the Lebanese Army.

And the US continues to supply Hezbullah with arms while embargoing Israel. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: US embargoes weapons to Israel, delivers them to Hezbullah

Elder of Ziyon: 17,000 still missing in Lebanon

17,000 still missing in Lebanon

Today there was a rally in central Beirut to demand answers about the estimated 17,000 people who have been missing since the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

Almost all of them were abducted by rival Muslim and Christian militias during the war, and some 600 were taken by Syria, which now denies having any of them in custody. Many of the warlords who kidnapped these victims later entered the government and hushed up any information about them.



Elder of Ziyon: 17,000 still missing in Lebanon

Elder of Ziyon: Correction: Ma'ariv story on nuclear scientists wrong

Correction: Ma'ariv story on nuclear scientists wrong

From Pajamas Media:

On April 8, 2010, I wrote an article in this space implying that the Obama administration had instituted a new policy restricting entry to the United States for Israeli nuclear scientists who worked at the Dimona reactor. I based my article on a report from the Israeli website/newspaper Maariv, which quoted the nuclear engineering professor Zeev Alfassi as its primary source.

This morning (Pacific time) I was able to reach Dr. Alfassi in his office at Ben Gurion University in the Negev. Apparently, my report — and the newspaper’s — was inaccurate. The professor informed me that while it was extremely difficult for scientists who worked at Dimona to obtain U.S. visas, this was not a new policy of the Obama administration. This problem has been going on since 9/11.

Alfassi explained that formerly he and other scientists were able to go through travel agents to obtain visas to the U.S. Now they have to go personally to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. He knows of at least one case of a scientist who was not able to attend a conference in this country because of this system. European scientists, he said, did not have this problem.



Elder of Ziyon: Correction: Ma'ariv story on nuclear scientists wrong

Elder of Ziyon: Shin Bet pretending to be pollsters?

Shin Bet pretending to be pollsters?

Palestine Today reports that Gazans have been receiving mysterious phone calls, whose origin appears to be from centers of international studies or from Arab groups abroad.

According to the article, the callers pretend to be asking questions for surveys, but they are really an attempt by Israeli security to gather intelligence.

The questions have included asking whether the people being polled witnessed rocket attacks, or how they would react if fighters asked to use their house.

Even though this seems a little heavy-handed, it is plausible. Corporate espionage often uses such techniques to elicit information from competitors, and even if most of the people refuse to answer such questions, you only need a few to get valuable information.



Elder of Ziyon: Shin Bet pretending to be pollsters?

Elder of Ziyon: Freedom of assembly, Gaza-style

Freedom of assembly, Gaza-style

From the Palestinian Center for Human Rights:

PCHR commemorates the Palestinian Prisoners Day on 17 April each year...

As part of PCHR’s preparations to organize these activities, PCHR’s Public Relations Officer in Khan Yunis, Mr. Abdul Halim Abu Samra, wanted to book the hall of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and make other necessary preparations. However, PCHR was surprised by the PRCS's refusal to book the hall for PCHR without an official permission from security services to organize the planned seminar. ... Abu Samra phoned the PRCS managing director who said that they received verbal orders from the Internal Security Service not to book any of the PRCS's halls to organize any activities without presenting permits issued the chief of police and that they would be held responsible in case of violating these orders.

In other words, no meeting can occur in Gaza for any reason without Hamas' explicit permission. Also, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society happily complies with Hamas' demands not to allow its facilities to be used without police permission.

And this is for a meeting meant to bash Israel!

Will we be hearing condemnations of Hamas from its left-wing, trendy friends for violating the basic principles of freedom and for pressuring the Red Crescent to comply with illegal orders?

The Magic 8-Ball says "highly unlikely."



Elder of Ziyon: Freedom of assembly, Gaza-style

Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian directors create alternate film festival to exclude Israel

Egyptian directors create alternate film festival to exclude Israel

I reported last week about how Egyptians were boycotting a French film festival in Cairo that included a non-political film by an Israeli director.

Since then, the number of boycotting Egyptian filmmakers has increased, so they are launching their own alternative film festival just for the purpose of not allowing any Israeli films.

From Gulf News:

Capping a week of protest against screening an Israeli film at a French festival in Cairo, a group of Egyptian filmmakers have said they will organise a concurrent protest festival starting on Sunday.

Last week, 11 Egyptian filmmakers withdrew from Recontres de L'Image a week-long festival organised by the French Cultural Centre in Cairo in protest against showing a film by an Israeli director.

In their protest festival called The First Festival for Free Image, which runs until April 15, the Egyptian filmmakers will show 40 feature, short and documentary films, say organisers.

The festival was approved by Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni.

"The Egyptian artists have the right to show their films without pressure from anybody or imposing any conditions on them," added Hosni, who last October lost in a race for the top post of the UN's cultural agency the Unesco.

On Thursday, scores of Egyptian artists and intellectuals protested outside the French Cultural Centre in Cairo against what they called the insistence on showing Almost Normal, a film by Israeli director Karen Ben-Rafael.

How Orwellian is it that artists, usually the first people to protest against censorship, use the word "free" to describe an event specifically designed to exclude others?



Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian directors create alternate film festival to exclude Israel

Elder of Ziyon: News from the "world's largest prison"

News from the "world's largest prison"

Israel's critics love to call Gaza the "world's largest prison." (Some prefer "world's largest concentration camp" or the "world's largest prison camp.")

Here are some 2009 statistics from this "prison" from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a report on the Palestinian Arab economy:

- In 2009, 738,576 tons (30,576 trucks) of humanitarian commodities were transferred to the Gaza Strip. In January and February 2010, 92,138.1 tons (4,056 trucks) were transferred.

- In 2009, 22,849 Palestinians exited the Strip, among them 10,544 patients and their companions, exiting for medical treatment in Israel.

- In 2009, 21,200 international organization staff members entered the Gaza Strip.

- In 2009, 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine entered the Strip, in 572 trucks.

- In the first two months of 2010, 659.1 tons of medical equipment and medications entered the Gaza Strip, in 92 truckloads.

- In 2009, Israel continued to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip. In addition, 41 truckloads of equipment for the maintenance of the electricity networks were transferred.

- Between April and October 2009, maintenance work was conducted on the power station by Siemens. In 2009, over 105,701,740 liters of diesel were delivered to the station.

- In 2009, 45 truckloads of equipment for communication systems entered the Strip, based on PA requests. In January and February 2010, 25 trucks entered the Strip, carrying inter alia 200,000 SIM cards for the Jawwal Cellular Network.

- 77% of the truckloads entering the Gaza Strip in 2009 were coordinated by the private sector.

- In 2009, 257 Palestinian businessmen (holders of BMC cards) exited the Gaza Strip for Israel, the West Bank and destinations abroad. In January and February 2010, this figure amounted to 148.

- In 2009, over 1.1 billion NIS were transferred to the Gaza Strip to cover the salaries and activities of international organizations, in addition to the PA civil service payroll in Gaza.

- 9,782,076 flowers and 54 tons of strawberries have been exported from Gaza (as of the end of February 2010).

- 374 Christians exited the Strip to celebrate Christmas in Israel and Bethlehem. In addition, 100 Christians exited to participate in the papal visit in May 2009.

- 3,607 tons of glass (103 truckloads) were transferred to the Strip. This project is expected to continue in 2010, and approval has been given for the transfer of wood and aluminum to repair windows and doors.

- In 2009, 10,871 cattle entered the Gaza Strip, mainly for Ramadan and Eid al- Edha celebrations.

The MFA laconically adds, "Meanwhile, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit remains in captivity for almost four years."


Elder of Ziyon: News from the "world's largest prison"

Elder of Ziyon: Hamas denies any internal divisions

Hamas denies any internal divisions

The Hamas leadership in Damascus denied any internal Hamas divisions, as was revealed in the reported internal memo that was sent from a Gaza committee to Khaled Meshal.

The Damascus leadership emphasized that their vision was solid and unified, and that the letter was just planted by enemies of Hamas.

Ironically, one of the recommendations from the letter was for the Hamas leadership to ensure their unity of messages in public.

Meanwhile, a Hamas MP has confirmed that Hamas is facing serious cash-flow problems in Gaza, as Gaza banks refuse to transfer cash from abroad to Hamas because of US pressure.


Elder of Ziyon: Hamas denies any internal divisions

Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad complains that Hamas foiled a terror attack

Islamic Jihad complains that Hamas foiled a terror attack

Islamic Jihad is blaming Hamas for stopping a "quality jihad mission" against Israel.

According to Islamic Jihad, Hamas had arrested the mujahadeen right before they were going to attack, and held them in custody for four hours. They also claim that Hamas asked them to sign a pledge promising no attacks against the Zionist enemy.

Hamas has been under pressure not only from the smaller terror groups in Gaza but also from elements in Fatah not to abandon the resistance, and Hamas has been forced to defend itself against these charges.


Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad complains that Hamas foiled a terror attack

Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian FM thrilled with Obama

Egyptian FM thrilled with Obama

Palestine Press Agency reports on an interview given by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit to a Kuwaiti newspaper.

Abul-Gheit says that the crisis between Israel and Washington is real, and must be given time to "bear fruit." He says that Washington's policies on "East Jerusalem" is more in sync with Arab demands and therefore it is wise to wait for the pressure to build.


Elder of Ziyon: Egyptian FM thrilled with Obama

Love of the Land: Break the linkage

Break the linkage


Carl
Israel Matzav
12 April '10

Over the past few weeks, the Obama administration has been becoming more and more shrill in its insistence that there is a connection between 'progress' on the 'Palestinian front' and Western efforts to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The Council on Foreign Relations' Ray Takeyh insists that linkage exists only in the minds of Western policymakers and not in the minds of the Arab states. Insisting on that linkage will weaken Israel and prevent it from taking action to stop Iran in the (likely) event that the United States fails to do so.

The notion that the incumbent Arab regimes are reluctant to collaborate with the United States on Iran because of the prevailing impasse in the peace process is a misreading of regional realities. The Arab states, particularly the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, have an odd policy toward Iran. In private, as any visiting American dignitary can attest, they decry Iran's ambitions, fear its accelerating nuclear program and even hint at the advisability of using military force against its atomic installations. Yet they are loath to be part of an aggressive strategy, which they would see as unduly antagonizing the Islamic Republic.


(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Break the linkage

Love of the Land: Abdullah in Wonderland

Abdullah in Wonderland


Victor Sharpe
American Thinker
12 April '10

When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, encountering situations that defied logic and characters who acted in bizarre ways, she was fortunate not to meet Jordan's kinglet, Abdullah II. Kinglet is an apt description for this monarch, first coined by columnist Ruth King.

Jordan's king, a member of the Hashemite tribe, is named after Emir Abdullah, who was assassinated on July 20, 1951 after leaving Friday evening prayers at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque. Abdullah was in favor of making peace with Israel but, like Egypt's Anwar Sadat, he was murdered by Islamic extremists for his moderation. The assassinated emir was accompanied at the mosque by his grandson, King Hussein, also the present Jordanian monarch's father. In a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, King Abdullah II announced that at his forthcoming meeting with America's president, Barack Hussein Obama, he will ask the president to pile on yet more pressure upon embattled Israel over Arab territorial demands on Israel's capital, Jerusalem.

The kinglet stated in his WSJ interview that "Jerusalem specifically engages Jordan because we are the custodians of the Muslim and Christian holy places and this is a flashpoint that goes beyond Jordanian-Israel relations."

And here we descend the rabbit hole. Abdullah II chose to hide the unpleasant facts that under his father, King Hussein, not only did Jordan refuse to allow Jews access to their holy sites during Jordan's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967 (including the Old City, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount), but it desecrated the ancient Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives, ran a road through the cemetery, used many of the gravestones as latrines for the Arab Legion, deliberately destroyed and desecrated scores of ancient synagogues throughout the Old City, and used the Tomb of Simon the Just as a stable. The Jewish inhabitants of the Old City and areas of east Jerusalem, meanwhile, had been driven from their homes and forced to flee to safety in West Jerusalem.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Abdullah in Wonderland

Love of the Land: On Holocaust Remembrance Day, M-16s, and A New Respect for Veterans

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, M-16s, and A New Respect for Veterans


West Bank Mama
11 April '10

I wrote this post in the spring of 2006, looking back at a very symbolic way that I spent Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2002, and the lessons that I learned from it.

In 2002, during the intermediate days of Passover, a terrorist broke into the Gavish home in Elon Moreh and killed four members of the family. After analyzing the details of the incident, the army came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to train women to use the weapons that were issued to their husbands. Soon after Passover the first training session was on offer in our yishuv.

I grew up in a liberal Jewish household in America, and one of the ingrained messages that I received was that GUNS WERE BAD. As children we weren’t even allowed a squirt gun (pity my poor brother). Consequently I developed an aversion to the M16 that my husband uses when he performs guard duty on our settlement. If I needed to handle it at all, I would touch it gingerly – as if I was holding a dirty dead thing that I wanted as little physical contact with as possible. So westbankpappa thought that he would have a hard time convincing me to agree to a training session. Imagine his surprise when I told him that I was one of the first women to sign up.

Not long after the terrorist attack some of the details of what happened came out. One particularly harrowing fact was that the wife and daughter-in-law of those killed saved her life and that of her child by hiding under the kitchen table with her hand over her baby’s mouth, as she watched the terrorist walk through the kitchen stalking his prey. This searing image was enough to trump whatever aversion I had to guns many times over, so on the appointed day I took the M16 and showed up to learn how to use it.

The day chosen for our first round of training was Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The symbolic significance of the day, commemorating another group of Jewish civilians who were forced to take up arms in order to defend themselves, was not lost on any of the twenty women gathered a bit nervously in an empty classroom.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: On Holocaust Remembrance Day, M-16s, and A New Respect for Veterans

Love of the Land: Organized antisemitism growing in the U.S., too

Organized antisemitism growing in the U.S., too


Fresnozionism.org
11 April '10

News item:

The past year has seen a marked rise of anti-Semitism, increasing over 100 percent throughout the world, the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism of Tel-Aviv University outlined on Sunday, on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

According to the institute, violent anti-Semitic attacks, ranging from vandalism and arson against Jewish targets to beatings of Jews, increased in 2009 by a startling percentage. The report underlined the severe increase in anti-Semitic attacks, specifying that 2009 displayed the highest amount of attacks recorded in over 20 years…

The report illustrated that that this year was particularly charged due to international reactions to Operation Cast Lead, which resulted in anti-Jewish demonstrations around the world.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress — which sponsored the report — said that the rise of anti-Semitic sentiment in Western Europe can be blamed on forces outside the region.

“This new phenomenon is financed and organized by pro-Islamic, pro-terrorist organizations and states,” Kantor said. [my emphasis]



I was present at a local demonstration at the time of Operation Cast Lead, which illustrated this (on a smaller scale, of course):

The participants in the demonstration expressed themselves in strongly antisemitic — not just anti-Zionist — ways.

Although there was no actual violence — it was close at times, but local organizers prevented it — the intent was clearly to frighten and intimidate the small group of counter demonstrators.

A massive number of demonstrators, who appeared to be mostly high school and college age and of Middle Eastern origin, were brought in from out of town by the organizers.

This occurred shortly after the start of the operation, and long before the various ‘human rights’ groups and Goldstone produced their tendentious reports.


This demonstration was significantly larger and more confrontational than a similar one held in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War. I expect this trend to continue.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Organized antisemitism growing in the U.S., too

Love of the Land: NYT Public Editor on Newscasts and News Gaffes

NYT Public Editor on Newscasts and News Gaffes


Clark Hoyt

TS
CAMERA/Snapshots
12 April '10

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt describes the pitfalls of fast-paced journalism in the age of social media and Web 2.0:

THE Times introduced a regular video newscast on its Web site late last month. “TimesCast” shows scenes from the morning meeting where planning starts for the next day’s paper, and it features editors and reporters discussing the top stories that are developing, often with compelling video and photography from world hot spots. . . .

But several stumbles in the past few weeks have demonstrated some of the risks for a print culture built on careful reporting, layers of editing and time for reflection as it moves onto platforms where speed is everything and attitude sometimes trumps values like accuracy and restraint.

On just the second day of “TimesCast,” Bill Keller, the executive editor, misspoke about a sensitive story involving Israel. . . .

Paul Iredale, a veteran Reuters reporter, said he watched “TimesCast” on its second day and was unhappy to see Keller say that Britain had expelled “the head of Mossad,” the Israeli intelligence service, “in retribution for the Israelis’ having assassinated a Hamas militant in Dubai.” The British had not accused Israel of the assassination. Nor had The Times established that the person sent home was the Mossad station chief.


Click here to visit CAMERA homepage.

Love of the Land: NYT Public Editor on Newscasts and News Gaffes

Love of the Land: The Auschwitz Bombing Controversy in Context

The Auschwitz Bombing Controversy in Context


Yad Vashem
07 March '10

Dr. David Silberklang, Editor of Yad Vashem Studies, discusses the controversial decision of the Allies in regards to bombing the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 1944. The lecture is part of the series "Insights and Perspectives from Yad Vashem Historians."



Aerial photos of Auschwitz-Birkenau - Click here
Jan Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust Click here

Love of the Land: The Auschwitz Bombing Controversy in Context

Love of the Land: What Makes Me Different From Many Other Jews of My Generation...

What Makes Me Different From Many Other Jews of My Generation...


Batya Medad
Shilo Musings
12 April '10

Unlike many of my peers of the immediate post World War Two Jewish world, I was brought up totally oblivious of the Holocaust. No, it wasn't a silent, repressed and repressing shadow shading and affecting my life. It just didn't exist, didn't affect my immediate family. My parents' voices and those of the other neighborhood grown-ups were totally American though with Jewish inflections and Yiddish slang. And before you guess wrong, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York.

The fathers in the spanking new garden apartment neighborhood of Bell Park Gardens, Bayside, New York, were all United States military veterans. That was a condition of acceptance to the Veterans Authority co-op. I wonder if any sociologists have written their doctorates on why that and other similar housing developments were almost exclusively filled with young Jewish families. BPG was over 90% Jewish and so were the other nearby garden apartments, Oakland Gardens and Windsor Park. The same went for the one and two-family homes in the neighborhood. All of the new, post-WWII neighborhoods in northeastern Queens were Jewish. Churches could only be found in older, pre-World War Two areas.

I first heard about the Holocaust when The Diary of Anne Frank was published. It was featured on television shows, and I probably heard about it in Oakland Jewish Center's Hebrew School, which I attended for five years, three days a week. At that time there weren't many books, especially for children, written about the Holocaust.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: What Makes Me Different From Many Other Jews of My Generation...

Love of the Land: David Petreaus and Israel

David Petreaus and Israel


Caroline Glick
carolineglick.com
09 April '10

One of my pet peeves with the US military, that I raise every time I find myself speaking to US military officers, is that they bowed to Arab pressure and wiped Israel off the Middle East map. This they did a number of years ago, when they decided that Israel would be attached to the US military's European Command while every single Arab state is located in Central Command.

This articifial removal of Israel from the purview of Central Command has bred generations of US military commanders who due to the inherent distortion of their organization, almost necessarily emerge as hostile to Israel after they serve for any significant length of time in Central Command.

In my mind, one of Israel's top priorities should be to demand that the US military place Israel back in Central Command to end this vile, unfair situation that works to the detriment of the strategic coherence of the US military and of course to the detriment of Israel.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: David Petreaus and Israel

Love of the Land: Hamas And Fatah Succeed Where Israel Failed: Close Gaza's Only Power Plant

Hamas And Fatah Succeed Where Israel Failed: Close Gaza's Only Power Plant


Daled Amos
11 April '10

In June 2006, Israel launched Operation Summer Rains in an attempt to both suppress the firing of rockets into Israel and to rescue the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

As a result of the Israeli operation, Gaza's only power plant was bombed--but that was only the beginning of the story, because it turned out that the plant was insured by a US government agency.

Even then, the issue was not that simple:

But paying a claim on the plant, which was insured for $48 million, could prove problematic for the United States, which cut off funding for all infrastructure projects in the Palestinian territories after the militant group Hamas won legislative elections in January.

Administration officials said the restrictions on working with a Hamas-led government could further complicate the repair of the electric facility, which could take weeks, if not months, to fix because of the escalating violence in Gaza.
Read the whole thing.


Even when one of the 2 investors in the power plant--Enron--went bankrupt, that did not stop the plant from being built, so it is not surprising that Israel could not bring the power plant to an end.

But then along comes Hamas and Fatah:

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Hamas And Fatah Succeed Where Israel Failed: Close Gaza's Only Power Plant

Love of the Land: CBC Seeks Machete Wielding Spokesman Who Hates Zionists

CBC Seeks Machete Wielding Spokesman Who Hates Zionists


Honest Reporting/Backspin
08 April '10

CBC News is so open-minded about getting "the other side of the story" that their brains fell out.

The story begins in Ottawa, where Nick Bergamini is vice-president of the Carleton University Students' Association and a well-known campus supporter of Israel. Bergamini and his Israeli roommate, Mark Klibanov, were attacked off campus by a group of people, one of whom swung a machete at Bergamini.

The Ottawa Citizen leaves no doubt about the motive:

"The first thing they said before punching my friend is that we were Zionists," Klibanov said. "This situation surprised me, but the intentions of these people did not.

"If you are from the right wing or are a supporter of Israel, it gets around pretty quickly because Carleton is one of the worst campuses for having a division between Palestinian and Jewish students. It is a really polarized campus between left and right, Jewish and Arab students."



The attack made headlines across Canada, and Bergamini has been interviewed by countless news services.

But the fourth year journalism student told talk show host Michael Coren that the CBC asked him for help getting "the other side of the story."

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: CBC Seeks Machete Wielding Spokesman Who Hates Zionists
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