Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Israel Matzav: Syria's nuclear program still on agenda

Syria's nuclear program still on agenda

In his confirmation hearings, US ambassador designate to Syria Robert Ford listed five issues on which the US hopes (probably futilely) to 'engage' the Syrian government:

Four were familiar: the United States wants Syria to prevent jihadi fighters from entering Iraq, end its support for Hezbollah, return to peace talks with Israel, and respect human rights at home.

But the fifth issue was a new one: Ford argued that Washington should insist that Syria end its foot-dragging on the International Atomic Energy Agency's investigation into its nuclear activities. For nearly two years, Syria has refused to cooperate with the IAEA's probe of a suspected nuclear reactor that was destroyed by Israel in September 2007. Now the IAEA may request a rare "special inspection" of Syrian sites, making the country's nuclear defiance the international community's main point of contention with Damascus -- eclipsing even the investigation into Syrian officials' involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri.

What's that? You thought that Israel destroyed Syria's nuclear program when it destroyed the al-Kibar reactor in September 2007? Well, maybe.

In April 2008, U.S. intelligence authorities released a video showing that the building had hid construction of a graphite-cooled nuclear reactor similar to North Korea's reactor at Yongbyon, which produces plutonium for the country's nuclear weapons. The video contained satellite photographs of the site, still shots of the reactor under construction, and a photograph of the directors of North Korea's and Syria's nuclear programs standing arm in arm.

In June 2008, Syria allowed the IAEA to access the Al Kibar site, but inspectors were unable to examine the reactor ruins because Syria had cleared the site of wreckage, buried what remained, and constructed a new building on top. Nevertheless, they found particles of chemically processed uranium of a type Syria had not declared to the IAEA. Satellite photos of the site and the list of parts Syria had procured for its construction posed additional questions. Syria soon cut off cooperation with the IAEA investigation, denying further visits to Al Kibar and three associated sites.

Separately, IAEA inspectors found other unexplained uranium particles during a routine inspection of Syria's miniature neutron source reactor, a research reactor outside Damascus that had been declared to the IAEA. Syrian authorities twice tried to explain the presence of these particles, but IAEA inspectors found their explanations inadequate, believing instead that they raised concerns about possible links to the particles found at Al Kibar. Although Syria allowed IAEA inspectors to return to the research reactor this month, it continues to spurn IAEA requests to visit Al Kibar, citing national "sovereignty." (A report written by Gregory L. Schulte, who was U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA from 2005 to 2009, lays out the IAEA's investigation, Syria's defiance, and the resulting policy recommendations. Schulte also contributed to this article.)

The IAEA's latest report on the Syria investigation was the first released by the new IAEA director-general, Yukiya Amano, who took office in July 2009. It was blunt and forthright, clearly restating that the destroyed facility had all the characteristics of a nuclear reactor and openly questioning whether Syria's declarations were correct and complete.

So Syria could still have a nuclear program? Well, yes, and that's one reason why Syria's nuclear program is still on the World agenda.

Second, the particles found at the research reactor, plus Syria's refusal to allow the IAEA access to three other suspect sites, suggest the existence of a larger program. Particularly troubling is the apparent involvement of North Korea, a notorious nuclear violator and weapons proliferator. Reports of Iran's involvement are equally worrisome. The IAEA has an obligation to ensure that there are no other undeclared activities in Syria, and the world has an interest in breaking up further multinational proliferation ventures, whether they traffic in missiles or nuclear weapons technology.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Syria's nuclear program still on agenda

Israel Matzav: Koch blasts Democrats for silence on Iran

Koch blasts Democrats for silence on Iran

Former New York City Mayor and Democratic Congressman Ed Koch released another blistering commentary on Tuesday in which he blasts Democratic members of Congress for their silence on Iran.

What have the Senate and House done to convey to the President their differences with him on these issues and the outrageous treatment accorded our long-time ally, Israel? They issued joint letters. The House letter was signed by 333 members and the Senate letter was signed by 76 Senators.

The letters were addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when I believe they should have been sent to the President directly, since it is he, not she, who is orchestrating the change in the standing of Israel and the elevation of Arab interests.

The letters consist of a platitudinous statement of why the U.S. and Israel are allies, but do not criticize the President or convey to him that Congress will oppose his efforts to change the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Even more shocking is that some key Senators were unwilling even to sign the toothless letter. One can only speculate why the following Senators declined to sign - John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee; Dick Durbin (D-IL), Democratic Party Whip; Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader, and others. Was it due to agreement with the President's plan? Was it fear of the President? I suspect agreement.

There are those, when asked what they are doing to challenge and defeat the President's actions with regard to these grave matters, who have answered, "I am working behind the scenes." Those corridors must be heavily crowded and those hidden efforts do not appear to have produced results. I repeat, the silence is deafening.

Read the whole thing.

There's another version of this story that associates that last paragraph with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Koch was particularly critical of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Koch wrote previously that when he challenged the Democrats’ silence on Israel, Schumer contacted him privately to say that he was “working behind the scenes” to alter U.S. policy. Now, in his April 20 commentary, Koch wrote:

“There are those, when asked what they are doing to challenge and defeat the President’s actions with regard to these grave matters, who have answered, ‘I am working behind the scenes.’ Those corridors must be heavily crowded and those hidden efforts do not appear to have produced results. I repeat, the silence is deafening.”

Will any other prominent Democrat speak up?


Israel Matzav: Koch blasts Democrats for silence on Iran

Israel Matzav: Biting the hand that feeds you

Biting the hand that feeds you

Arab students at Hebrew University rioted on Tuesday in protest against the existence of the State of Israel.

Although Hebrew University was founded before the State's existence, it is now (and has been for more than 60 years) a State school, with tuition heavily subsidized by the Israeli taxpayer. Tuition at Hebrew U is approximately $3,000 per year, for an education that is on a level that is comparable to the best universities in the West.

In the last decade, six graduates of Hebrew University have received Nobel prizes. In 2008, Hebrew University was ranked 93rd in THE -QS World University rankings. They only bother to rank the top 200.

So these Arabs are getting a top notch education at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, and they're rioting against the very existence of the State (as opposed to peacefully protesting its policies - to which I have no objection) that's collecting the taxes to pay for their education.

Please remind me why we're educating these Arab rioters and why the rioters aren't going to be expelled from the university.

Israel Matzav: Biting the hand that feeds you

Israel Matzav: The Obama administration cozies up to the Muslim Brotherhood

The Obama administration cozies up to the Muslim Brotherhood

Well, this is certainly disturbing.

The Obama administration has hired the first White House Muslim advisor, Dalia Mogahed [pictured. CiJ], who helped with writing Obama’s [Cairo] speech. Mogahed is herself an Islamic ideologue who supports Islamic Sharia and denies any connection between radical Islam and terrorism. Mogahed, who was born in Egypt, has also been a firm defender of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Both of these US groups are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

As an American of Egyptian origin myself, I can tell who is a reformist and who is a radical Muslim sympathizer, and I do not think that Ms. Mogahed’s views are in any way supportive of a reformation in Islam or of its concept of jihad. To the contrary, she denies the existence of any problem with Islamic ideology and she acts in total harmony with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. Her excuses are the same old excuses we Egyptians learned day in and day out in defense of Islamic jihad and in blaming others for misunderstanding of Islam. Her answers are always given with total confidence and conviction, as she tells her audience that any violent actions by Muslims have nothing to do with Islam. Never mind that Islamic mosques, education, art and songs all glorify jihad as a holy war for the sake of Allah.

Mogahed brings nothing new to Islamic propaganda but she certainly sounds interesting to Americans who are unfamiliar with this same old Islamic propaganda and who find it hard to question a religion. The truth about Mogahed is that she combines the good old Muslim sheikhs rhetoric with a better presentation that Americans can understand. Sheikhs never take any kind of criticism of Islam and they ridicule those who question Islam with statements like: “Who are you to speak for Islam? Leave the analysis to the experts on Islam.” Mogahed’s logic is very similar and, coincidentally, her book is entitled: “Who Speaks for Islam.” It is a meaningless title showing statistics that are designed to show that Muslims are different and are not all terrorists, which is no news.

...

The empowerment of Radical Islam under the Obama administration has also emboldened the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which is merely an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood. The MSA has recently accelerated their efforts to silence any speakers who criticize jihad, Sharia or Radical Islam. Anti-Semitism is on the rise on our college campus, resulting in total disregard for freedom of speech aiming and the silencing of any pro-Israel speakers. This is achieved through constant unruly disruptions, such as what happened to the Ambassador of Israel, Michael Oren, at UC Irvine last February. Last October, students opposed to my views went as far as setting a fire in a bathroom next to the hall I was supposed to give my presentation in at Boston University. As a result, my lecture was cancelled.

To show more support to the Muslim brotherhood, last January, Secretary of State Clinton quietly signed an order admitting entry to the US to the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan. The controversial Ramadan was formerly banned from entering the US by the previous administration. Among those who welcomed Ramada and participated in his first public appearance in the US was none other than Dalia Mogahed.

While the Obama administration went out of its way to show goodwill to radical Muslim groups, it has consistently ignored extending any support to the reform movements across the Middle East and that includes the student reform movement in Iran. The message from the US to reformists and pro-democracy and peace groups in the Middle East is not encouraging.

Read the whole thing. We're only 15 months into the Obama administration and it already looks like it will take years to undo the damage.


Israel Matzav: The Obama administration cozies up to the Muslim Brotherhood

Israel Matzav: Obama's Iran 'strategy'

Obama's Iran 'strategy'

Danielle Pletka talks about what the handling of the Gates memo teaches us about President Obama's Iran 'strategy.'

The White House’s lame response to the thrust of the leak, viz. National Security Adviser Jim Jones’s protest to the New York Times that “[t]he fact that we don’t announce publicly our entire strategy for the world to see doesn’t mean we don’t have a strategy that anticipates the full range of contingencies” has further cemented in the minds of friend and foe alike that the Obama administration is going to dither away the next year. It’s not that anyone doubts that there is indeed a plan to fight Iran should it ever come to that, it’s that everyone doubts that there is a strategy to implement—or to avoid implementing—that plan. Instead, there’s every indication that the president is desperate for the Iranians to embrace even the figleaf of a nuclear swap deal; State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley could barely hide the wistful hope yesterday as he explained that “we are still interested in pursuing that offer if Iran is interested.”

In sum, looks like the Obama strategy is to beg the Iranians to save us from having to develop a strategy. Wonder if that was what the Gates memo really said?

Well, it's either that or wait for the Israelis to remove the need for a strategy.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama's Iran 'strategy'

Israel Matzav: Does Israel want a war in Lebanon?

Does Israel want a war in Lebanon?

Bret Stephens looks at the pros and cons for Israel of another war in Lebanon.

There is, I am very reliably told, "no appetite" in Israel for another war in Lebanon -- "none whatsoever." The prospect of a war offers Israel the unenviable choice of a militarily decisive blow against Hezbollah that would likely also be a diplomatic debacle, or else a diplomatically acceptable surgical option that would offer little by way of long-term military advantage. But Israel also runs serious risks to its deterrence if it allows relatively smaller provocations to go unanswered.

What happens, for instance, if Hezbollah blows up an Israeli diplomatic or cultural facility -- as it twice did in Buenos Aires in the 1990s and nearly did last year in Azerbaijan? In that event, Israel would be as hard-pressed to resist retaliating as it would be to limit the consequences of its retaliation.

One of the more easily imaginable consequences is that a war in Lebanon could very quickly involve Syrian and Iranian participation. So the next question is: How might that play out?

Here Israel could conceivably reap certain advantages, which in turn calls into question whether Israel might not want a wider war over Lebanon after all. Today, Jerusalem's two supreme strategic objectives -- preventing Tehran's nuclear bids from reaching fruition while also preventing any further deterioration in the relationship with Washington -- are very far from being in synch. But in a scenario in which Israeli cities are hit by Hezbollah's Scuds, Israel would have ample justification and cover to strike back at the ultimate source of those missiles -- not just Damascus, but Tehran. As Rahm Emanuel likes to say, a crisis can be a terrible thing to waste.

And that raises a final question: What does the Obama administration do? So far, it hasn't helped matters by giving the impression of a clear wedge between Israel and the U.S. Nor has the administration's assiduous courtship of Damascus done anything other than embolden Mr. Assad's taste for adventure. Is the president capable of learning from his Mideast failures so far? That one's worth $64,000.

In 1967, a series of seemingly minor events, tactical misjudgments, and particularly an Arab perception that the West would not honor its international commitments or come to Israel's defense triggered a war the consequences of which have defined the Middle East ever since. We are adrift in those same waters today.

Hmmm.

For those of you who cannot access full Journal articles online, you can find the full article here.


Israel Matzav: Does Israel want a war in Lebanon?

Israel Matzav: The Wright factor

The Wright factor

Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg explains why he didn't vote for Obama and why it still matters.

But as events have unfolded, even sadder to say unfortunately I think I was right in my concern about what Mr. Obama had not said. For 20 years he went to a church whose minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spoke in terms that were both critical of America and of Israel. And Mr. Obama had never raised his voice in protest. He not only should have, he could have! Let me tell you about a man who, in similar circumstances, did! His name is Abraham Foxman, and he is the head of the Anti-Defamation League. Mr. Foxman was a member of a prominent synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey but he found himself in a similar position. And he left his synagogue.

In his words, "I tried to have my rabbi change his views. I went to fellow congregants to see if they could have an impact on him. Only at a point in time where that didn't happen I resigned." And he went on to say, "It was a wrenching decision, this was a synagogue where my son was Bar Mitzvahed, this was a synagogue where every happy event and every sad event I celebrated … this was my religious home." But he got up and left!

And when Rev. Wright's words came out into the open, I asked myself: why didn't Mr. Obama do the same? And it wasn't just a matter of Rev. Wright's words and it wasn't just a matter of Mr. Obama's close relationship with him … it was a matter of the whole church being enveloped with a "liberation theology" with it's Bulletin reprinting pro-Hamas articles. Wouldn't all this have had an effect on Mr. Obama's thinking? I asked myself.

James Tisch, the Manhattan billionaire and Chief Executive of Loews Corp. and long time activist in Jewish causes and philanthropies, thinks it did! In light of everything that has now been unfolding, Mr. Tisch recently said, "I think the President comes to this from Jeremiah Wright's church and there is no doubt in my mind that in Jeremiah Wright's church the Palestinians were portrayed as freedom fighters and not as terrorists." In light of Mr. Obama finding the time to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, but not Israel … in light of his refusing to take a picture with Prime Minister Netanyahu after their recent meeting … in light of so much emphasis being placed on the settlements … in light of the recent resurrection of Zbignew Brezinski … in light of new talk about an imposed settlement … in light of all this and more, I have to agree with Mr. Tisch.

...

[T]he disagreements that are now taking place between America and Israel are different than the disagreements in the past. They are different on two levels.

First, for the first time that I can think of, Israel is being accused of being the one that is the hindrance to peace. That's never happened before!

...

And to make matters worse, Israel is not only now being blamed for hindering peace with the Palestinians, talk has started to boil to the surface that Israel is to be blamed for the death of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a libel … this is a blood libel! We've heard these accusations before, but they always came from the extreme fringes; from the Pat Buchanans and others of his ilk. Now the talk is becoming more mainstream. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, was quoted as saying that Israel's stubbornness makes the U.S. appear impotent. In a statement later denied, Vice President Biden was quoted as telling Prime Minister Netanyahu, "What you are doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan." U.S. Central Command General David Petraeus sends a statement to the Pentagon with a stark warning: "America's relationship with Israel is important but not as important as the lives of American soldiers."

A member of the administration is quoted as accusing Dennis Ross of having a dual loyalty. And we're told that it's all "misunderstood" or "misquoted" … it "doesn't mean anything." Well, I could read you quotes from the Palestinian Chronicle and from the Jordan Times and from the Middle East Online, Beirut's Daily Star and many other pro-Palestinian papers that have taken these words very seriously and are emboldened by them.

Read the whole thing. I wish more people had listened in 2008. The fact that Obama didn't leave Wright's church provided 20 years' worth of 'teachable moments,' and most of us missed all of them.

Israel Matzav: The Wright factor

Israel Matzav: Marco Rubio: Let Israel attack Iran's nukes

Marco Rubio: Let Israel attack Iran's nukes

Marco Rubio is the frontrunner (by a wide margin) for the Republican nomination for the Senate from Florida. I discussed him once before here, when he said "by making unilateral demands on the Israeli government regarding settlements, the White House took away Israel’s leverage and has sent a message that America is not as committed to Israel as it once had been." Here's an interview with him where he says that Israel should attack Iran's nuclear weapons development program.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: The Other McCain).



For those of you who - like me - took a look at this guy and said, "he looks like a kid," he'll be 39 next month.

I'm very impressed.

So is House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who was to endorse Rubio on Tuesday.

Israel Matzav: Marco Rubio: Let Israel attack Iran's nukes

RubinReports: Mrs. Teasdale Joins the Revolution: Frank Rich and the Dictatorship of the Downtrodden Snobs

Mrs. Teasdale Joins the Revolution: Frank Rich and the Dictatorship of the Downtrodden Snobs

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By Barry Rubin

Margaret Dumont whose best-known character was as Mrs. Teasdale in the Marx Brothers movies; Chatsworth Osborne Jr.; of the Dobie Gillis show; Richie Rich of comic-strip fame; the Howells of Gilligan’s Island; and countless others.

They're stock characters in American culture. Rich, society people who speak with exaggerated accents, look down their noses at the masses, and take their privileges as being due to their superior virtue. This is a particularly American response to class difference: laughing at these pretenses. Communist cartoons portrayed fat, top-hatted plutocrats in hope of stirring a proletarian revolution against privilege; Americans ridiculed its pretensions.

Yet what if those very people were to take over the revolution, seize control of the left, and laugh at the masses who suffer from their policies? That's what's happened.

It's as if the stuffy Mrs. Teasdale were to put down her copy of the Social Register, pick up a copy of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, and proclaim herself leader of the revolution. Indeed, not just any revolution, but of a progressive revolution against privilege and for the suffering masses. How could she simultaneously ridicule—even demonize--average people while pretending to be the standard-bearer of social justice?

In other words, how can you simultaneously be an arrogant, privileged snob and a freedom fighter against the fascist hordes?

Enter Frank Rich. For those fortunate enough not to know, Rich is a minor—but as we will see highly symbolic—American cultural figure. He was New York Times theatre critic, a job where he became famous for destroying the hopes, dreams, and shows put on by people who are actually creative. Some say he played a central role in decimating Broadway, though I’m in no position to tell. Then he became a cultural columnist at the newspaper and now holds forth both there and on MSNBC.

Rich has become notorious in his new role as a polemicist extreme even by contemporary standards in ridiculing and demonizing everyone who isn’t on the left (a far left that has temporarily hijacked the liberal label). Critics of President Barack Obama are, to him, merely fascist racists who have nothing legitimate to complain about.

Debt high, spending sky-high, health bill unsatisfactory, foreign policy failing? No actual discussion of these issues is permissible. The debate is over. And no decent or respectable person could possibly disagree. (My personal grievance is the claim that these radicals embody liberalism. I'm confident that Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Hubert Humphrey would be on my side.)

Having had the misfortune to have attended secondary school with Rich and having seen his thinking and methods close up, I can add another dimension to the story. Rich’s father owned Rich’s Shoe Store. As far as I knew, and this was a very well-off neighborhood, his family was the wealthiest of all those in the school. With his friend, Jeremy Pikser, son of secret Communist party members who once explained to us that Joseph Stalin was a really good guy, he ran the dominant clique among the honor track students.

So here we have the perfect combination: the wealthy snobbish bully, who looked down on everyone, and the Communist offspring, who accepted that ideology. Rich was vicious toward everyone outside of his clique. To this day, I’ve never met anyone who could get such sarcastic hatred into his tone of voice. Those he denounced were not bad in his eyes for reasons of politics or morality but simply that they were unfashionable or, even better, couldn't defend themselves.

This circle, where no one thought of punching him out for the endless insults and his coterie would laugh appreciatively at his ridicule, was a risk-free bullying environment.

Sort of like MSNBC.

Rich would later write an autobiography in which he claimed to be the real victim. His step-father, you see, was mean to him. (George W. Bush equals stepfather? You said it, I didn't.)

Having been present at a number of the incidents Rich describes I can tell you that he is not all that accurate on key points. But the bottom line in judging Rich's honesty, however, is the following story. In the book, Rich claims that his parents so neglected him that after he graduated high school they went off to England and left him home alone. Funny about that, says a friend who spent a lot of time in the United Kingdom, I was in London at the time and ran into him there, on that very trip with his parents.

Rich would also say, in a television interview about his book, that he was that he had always been a friend of the underdog. So here we have it: an over-privileged snobbish bully who feels superior to everyone else while at the same time perceiving himself as victim of an uncultured vulgar capitalist. Here we have the makings of the modern, Obama-era radical.

Whatever talent Rich has, the road for him was still easy. Out of university he landed a job at a short-lived magazine and then straight to the New York Times. He has enjoyed every privilege and suffered few hardships or setbacks. Rich has no idea how most people in America think and live or what they have to do to survive. He's never met a payroll or struggled to pay his bills. And he has no interest in knowing. His long career shows that empathy is not among his virtues.

But our modern intellectual culture prizes the rebel, the underdog, the man of the people. Once, those who came from backgrounds like Rich donned workmen’s clothes and went to work in factories to organize unions or, earlier, went to peasant villages in Russia, shared the impoverished life of the people, and preached revolution.

Today, however, you don’t have to make any sacrifices. Bring together your arrogance and snobbishness and your pretense at being a heroic battler for the downtrodden. People who work for a living, who have small businesses, who dare differ from the dominant ideology—the old downtrodden –are now evil reactionaries, while the Park Avenue (or is that Upper West Side?) fashionable privileged elite are the progressives. Quite a neat reversal.

Old style: Please pass the caviar, Natasha. And did you hear what those dirty, ignorant peasants are up to now? They want to kill us all and seize our estates!

New style: Please pass the caviar, Natasha. And did you hear what those dirty, ignorant Tea Party people are up to now? They want to kill all the African-Americans and let poor people die without medical care!

In short, the other side has no case and merits no respect for Rich who dehumanizes them politically and culturally: they’re not only evil but they talk and dress funny! Haw-haw-haw, as the Upperclass Twit of the Year in the Monty Python skit would laugh.

What has happened here is quite comprehensible. In 1953, after the East German workers revolted against the “worker’s state,” the Communist playwright, Berthold Brecht remarked, “Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?"

Well, the proletariat—the downtrodden masses of the Marxist phase of the left’s history—let down the left. Workers and peasants preferred a nice living standard and more freedom rather than Communism. So the left-wing elements of the elite and intelligentsia elected a new proletariat: themselves.

Here’s how George Orwell explained it in 1946:

"Scientists, technicians, teachers, journalists, broadcasters, bureaucrats, professional politicians: in general...people...hungry for more power and more prestige [are looking for] a system which eliminates the upper class, keeps the working class in its place, and hands unlimited power to people very similar to themselves."

Their secret wish, he continues, is to: "Usher in a hierarchical society where the intellectual can at last get his hands on the whip." Yeah, that’s Frank Rich all right.

Imagine the scene! It’s the grand political correctness fundraising ball. Everyone who’s anyone is there, none of that common riff-raff allowed. But the Marx Brothers crash the party.

In a great huff, Mrs. Teasdale denounces Groucho, Harpo, and Chico as reactionary, racist, neo-fascists who don’t respect the environment but instead advocate violence and teach hate. All the guests in tuxedos and designer dresses applaud wildly.

The servants pick up the trio, gag them so they can’t speak in their own defense, and throw them out.

Good grief! Let them eat cake has become a slogan of the left!

RubinReports: Mrs. Teasdale Joins the Revolution: Frank Rich and the Dictatorship of the Downtrodden Snobs

Love of the Land: The Distracted President, the Frustrated Prime Minister

The Distracted President, the Frustrated Prime Minister


Jennifer Rubin
Contentions/Commentary
21 April '10

You can imagine Bibi Netanyahu’s frustration: a nuclear-armed Iran is perhaps only a year away and all Obama wants to talk about is Jerusalem housing and proximity talks with intransigent Palestinians who are utterly unprepared for a “peace” deal. As this report makes clear, Bibi is struggling to get the American president to focus on the real issue:

“If you stop Iran from importing refined petroleum — that’s a fancy word for gasoline — then Iran simply doesn’t have refining capacity and this regime comes to a halt,” Netanyahu said on the morning [ABC Good Morning] program.

The U.S. is leading a push in the United Nations to apply another round of sanctions against Iran in an effort to stop it from pursuing a nuclear program that Western nations believe is aimed at building atomic weapons.

Tehran says its program is designed to produce electricity for civilian use.

Calling the standoff with Iran “the biggest issue facing our times,” Netanyahu said the international community could deliver “crippling sanctions,” without the support of China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council.


(Read full post)

Love of the Land: The Distracted President, the Frustrated Prime Minister

Love of the Land: 1948: Palestine Betrayed

1948: Palestine Betrayed


Elliot Jager
jewishideasdaily.com
20 April '10

Zionist Jews were not interlopers in Palestine. The creation of the Jewish state was not an "original sin" foisted upon the Arab world. The tragic flight of the Palestinian refugees was overwhelmingly not the fault of the Zionists. To the contrary, at every momentous junction the Zionists opted for compromise and peace, the Arabs for intransigence and belligerency.

This, in summary, is how most people once understood the Arab-Israel conflict. Today, however, as Israel marks its Independence Day, an entire generation has come to maturity believing a diametrically opposite "narrative": namely, that the troubles persist because of West Bank settlements, because of Israeli building in east Jerusalem, because of the security barrier, because of heavy-handed Israeli militarism-in brief, because of a racist Zionist imperialism whose roots stretch back to 1948 and beyond.

The new view has been shaped by a confluence of factors: unsympathetic media coverage, an obsessive focus by the UN and others on Israel's alleged shortcomings, improved Arab suasion techniques, and the global Left's adoption of the Palestinian cause. Added to the mix is the influence of Israel's own "New Historians," whose revisionist attacks on the older understanding have helped shape today's authorized academic canon.

Such attacks have themselves not gone altogether without challenge-and at least one prominent New Historian, Benny Morris, has since moderated his views. Outstanding among the challengers has been the scholar Efraim Karsh, head of the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program at King's College, University of London, and the author of a 1997 debunking of the New Historians entitled Fabricating Israeli History.

In his just-published book, Palestine Betrayed, Karsh zeroes in on the 1948-49 war, its background, and its consequences, in an analysis that re-establishes the essential accuracy of the once-classic account of the Arab-Israel conflict. Basing itself on Arabic as well as Western, Soviet, UN, and Israeli sources, Karsh's is corrective history at its boldest and most thorough. Elliot Jager interviewed Efraim Karsh for Jewish Ideas Daily.

Who "betrayed" Palestine?

Palestine was betrayed by its corrupt and extremist Arab leadership, headed by Hajj Amin Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem. From the early 1920s onward, and very much against the wishes of their own constituents, these leaders launched a relentless campaign to obliterate the Jewish national revival, culminating in the violent attempt to abort the UN partition resolution of November 1947.

You dedicate this book to Elias Katz and Sami Taha. Who were they?

A native of Finland, Elias Katz won two Olympic medals in the 1924 Paris games before immigrating to Mandatory Palestine and becoming coach of the prospective Jewish state's athletic team for the 1948 games. A firm believer in peaceful coexistence, he was murdered in December 1947 by Arab co-workers in a British military base in Gaza. Sami Taha, scion of a distinguished Haifa family, was a prominent Palestinian Arab trade unionist and a foremost proponent of Arab-Jewish coexistence. He was gunned down by a mufti henchman in September 1947, at the height of the UN debate on partition.

(Read full interview)


Love of the Land: 1948: Palestine Betrayed

Love of the Land: One question for Bradley Burston

One question for Bradley Burston


Fresnozionism.org
20 April '10

Bradley Burston published a passionate attack on “The Occupation” yesterday, in honor of Israel’s Independence Day. Here’s some of it:

In a country where polls show that nearly two-thirds of the population would cede the West Bank under a future peace deal, Israelis are hostages to the nightmare scenario of permanent Occupation…

The Occupation has become the greatest single threat to the social fabric of the Jewish state. The Occupation causes division, strife, tension and alienation in Jewish families and Jewish communities the world over.

Nothing causes Israel more diplomatic damage than the Occupation, and its outrider, the siege of Gaza.

Nothing delegitimizes Israel more in the eyes of the world – and in the eyes of many Jews – than the nation’s unwillingness or inability to dismantle and end the Occupation…

What will permanent occupation mean for Israel? Not only that the nation will cease to be a democratic state, disenfranchising millions of Palestinians. In the end, permanent Occupation will see to it that Israel will cease to be a Jewish state as well. Israel will have delegitimized itself out of existence.

It will have knowingly opted for and adopted apartheid, and, in the end, either through democracy or through fire, and, thanks to the Occupation, the world community will see to it that an Arab-ruled Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River will finally come into existence.


I have a question which I hope Burston will answer. Because it is just impossible for me to understand his mindset, or that of others who say the same sort of things. Here it is:

How?

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: One question for Bradley Burston

Love of the Land: [Security:Sovereignty balance] Rahm Emanuel: Now is not the time for a new Mideast peace plan

[Security:Sovereignty balance] Rahm Emanuel: Now is not the time for a new Mideast peace plan


Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA
21 April '10

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

Here it is. Read it carefully:

"start to make the hard decisions to bring a balance between the aspirations of the Israelis for security and make that blend with the aspirations of the Palestinian people for their sovereignty"

Here is what one suspects Emanuel meant: You Israelis are correct that a sovereign Palestinian state will compromise the security of the Jewish State. So I am not going to debate you on this issue. I am not going to argue that jumping off the roof may kill you. But you have to "blend" your desire not to die as you slam into the pavement and the need to create a sovereign Palestinian state. By the way - our bond is unbreakable but youdamn well better jump off the roof.

But since Emanuel introduced the idea that there is a need for balance then here is an Israeli interpretation: a sovereign Palestinian state is a step towards the destruction of Israel. This isn't the view of some small minority. The polls shows that both in Israel and among American Jews the overwhelming majority recognize that the Palestinians see the "two state solution" as no more than a step towards the "final solution" - Israel destroyed.

The "hard decision" is for the Palestinians to back down for sovereign state and switch gears to "autonomous state", with Israel making more "hard decisions" to maximize the ability of such an "autonomous state" to thrive. This can mean spending, for example, more money on security technology to further expedite Palestinian commerce.

Interestingly, a good part of the "nation building" activity in the current two year PA program jibes with "autonomous sate" building as much as "sovereign state" building.]

========================================================

Rahm Emanuel: Now is not the time for a new Mideast peace plan
By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent Last update - 18:57 20/04/2010
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1164182.html

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said in an interview on Monday that the time has not come yet for a new U.S. Mideast peace proposal.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: [Security:Sovereignty balance] Rahm Emanuel: Now is not the time for a new Mideast peace plan

Love of the Land: The strategic foundations of the US-Israel alliance

The strategic foundations of the US-Israel alliance


Caroline Glick
carolineglick.com
19 April '10

In honor of Israel's 62nd Independence Day, and in light of President Obama's repeated claims that US interests are best served by distancing itself from Israel, I decided to write the following essay explaining why a strong Israel is essential for US national security.

Related video: Caroline Glick: A Strong Israel & American Security

Yom Ha'atzmuat Sameach.


Israel's status as the US's most vital ally in the Middle East has been so widely recognized for so long that over the years, Israeli and American leaders alike have felt it unnecessary to explain what it is about the alliance that makes it so important for the US.

Today, as the Obama administration is openly distancing the US from Israel while giving the impression that Israel is a strategic impediment to the administration's attempts to strengthen its relations with the Arab world, recalling why Israel is the US's most important ally in the Middle East has become a matter of some urgency.

Much is made of the fact that Israel is a democracy. But we seldom consider why the fact that Israel is a representative democracy matters. The fact that Israel is a democracy means that its alliance with America reflects the will of the Israeli people. As such, it remains constant regardless of who is power in Jerusalem.

All of the US's other alliances in the Middle East are with authoritarian regimes whose people do not share the pro-American views of their leaders. The death of leaders or other political developments are liable to bring about rapid and dramatic changes in their relations with the US.


For instance, until 1979, Iran was one of the US's closest strategic allies in the region. Owing to the gap between the Iranian people and their leadership, the Islamic revolution put an end to the US-Iran alliance.

Egypt flipped from a bitter foe to an ally of the US when Gamal Abdel Nasser died in 1969. Octogenarian President Hosni Mubarak's encroaching death is liable to cause a similar shift in the opposite direction.

Instability in the Hashemite kingdom in Jordan and the Saudi regime could transform those countries from allies to adversaries.

Only Israel, where the government reflects the will of the people is a reliable, permanent US ally.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The strategic foundations of the US-Israel alliance

Love of the Land: Bibi’s Secret Letter to Obama

Bibi’s Secret Letter to Obama

Netanyahu tries (well, should try) to straighten out Obama regarding the miseducation he received from Rashid Khalidi.


Leon de Winter
Pajamasmedia.com
21 April '10

Dear President Obama,

It saddens me that I have to be frank with you, frank and impolite, but our last meeting didn’t end peacefully. It’s hard to accept the contrast: you bow for an obscene tyrant, you joke around with corrupt Latin-American caudillos, then you insult me — the prime minister of America’s best friend, Israel.

May I conclude that your friend Rashid Khalidi has not been talking to you in vain during all those dinners and parties you hosted for each other?

Some geopolitical problems are complicated on the surface, but deeper there is often a simple truth which highly educated left-wing academics like you fail to recognize. The truth of our conflict with the Arabs isn’t longer than two dozen words:

Muslims don’t accept non-Muslims ruling a piece of land that the Muslims consider sacred Islamic land until the end of times.

Rashid Khalidi has never been this clear with you. He explained to you that the Jews of Israel were hated because of their treatment of Palestinian Muslims. He never exposed to you how the Arab Palestinians are treated in Lebanon, or how other Muslims are being treated by fellow Muslims. Look at the mass slaughter the Muslims of Iraq commit upon each other, or the Muslims in Yemen.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: Bibi’s Secret Letter to Obama

Love of the Land: The Genesis Prediction

The Genesis Prediction


Dennis Prager
National Review Online
20 April '10

Most observers, right or left, pro-Israel or anti-Israel, would agree that Israeli-American relations are the worst they have been in memory. Among the many indications is that only 9 percent of Jewish Israelis think Pres. Barack Obama’s administration is more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian, according to a Smith Research poll taken during the last week of March on behalf of the Jerusalem Post. Given how much Israelis love and admire (and emigrate to) America, this level of mistrust is remarkable.

Commentators on the left blame Israel, of course. For them, this is a no-brainer; blaming Israel is as natural as breathing. Furthermore, Israel is headed by a conservative prime minister and America is led by the most left-wing president in its history.

Meanwhile, commentators on the right are virtually unanimous in supporting Israel. This is not simply an anti-Obama, pro-Netanyahu reflex, however. There are many reasons for it:

First, Israel is our staunchest ally. Among other things, Israel votes with us in the United Nations more often than any other country, and it provides us with uniquely important technological know-how and intelligence.

Second, conservatives’ values are closer to Israel’s values than those of perhaps any other nation. As Harry Truman said, “Israel is the embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

Third, while a rift with Israel hurts Israel, it hurts America at least as much (as we shall see) and does not make Palestinians any more likely to make peace with the Jewish state. Recall, the Palestinians unleashed mass terror against Israel after a left-leaning Israeli prime minister agreed to give the Palestinians 97 percent of the territory conquered in 1967 and 3 percent more from Israel itself. Why, then, would the Palestinians make peace with Israel now when half of the Palestinians are governed by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction? Because Barack Obama humiliated the Israeli prime minister during the latter’s visit to Washington — over Israeli plans to build 1,600 apartments in Jerusalem?

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The Genesis Prediction

Love of the Land: Lacking an Iran Policy, The White House Seeks Scapegoat

Lacking an Iran Policy, The White House Seeks Scapegoat


JINSA Report #: 980
19 April '10

According to The New York Times, "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran's steady progress toward nuclear capability."

A journalist wrote to JINSA, "It seems to me the Jewish community has contributed to that (lack of policy) by making the very mention of 'containment' politically toxic-as if even planning for that contingency, however much it is unwanted, is an act of appeasement. Where's the error in my reasoning?"

The short answer is that the Obama Administration has not taken seriously Jewish concerns regarding any foreign policy area. It is an error to think he gave credence to what "the Jews" said about Iran.

The longer answer is the reason we don't have a policy for containing a nuclear Iran, if indeed we don't, is because President Obama appears not to have believed we might have to do it. As a candidate and as President he said a nuclear Iran was "unacceptable." And because it was unacceptable, it wouldn't happen. He would engage the regime, he said, and then be prepared for "crippling sanctions" with international support he said, and then leave "all options" on the table.

He appears not to have anticipated the failure of his first two options.

(Read full report)


Love of the Land: Lacking an Iran Policy, The White House Seeks Scapegoat

Love of the Land: Blaming America First for No Middle East Peace

Blaming America First for No Middle East Peace


Jennifer Rubin
Contentions/Commentary
20 April '10

Foreign Policy has posted a forum online on why we have failed to achieve Middle East peace. It’s an odd question, which reveals the foreign policy establishment’s predilection to see this as something we control. The real answer is, obviously, because the Palestinians and their enablers don’t want peace. But that’s not the answer from many of the participants who say the problem is — I know you’ll be shocked! — the U.S. just isn’t trying hard enough or we haven’t browbeaten Israel sufficiently. Zbigniew Brezinski says the U.S. is at fault because we just haven’t gotten “seriously engaged” and haven’t come out with a plan to impose on the parties. Daniel Kurtzer echoes this claptrap: “When we are active diplomatically, Arab states are more willing to cooperate with us on other problems; when we are not active, our diplomatic options shrink.” Some willfully distort history, as Robert Malley does when he insists that “Americans, Palestinians, and Israelis were all to blame for the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks.” Hmm. I thought it was Yasir Arafat who walked away from the deal and started killing Jews instead of accepting a Palestinian state.

Now there are some voices of sanity. Gen. Anthony Zinni: “By now, we should realize what doesn’t work: summits, agreements in principle, special envoys, U.S.-proposed plans, and just about every other part of our approach has failed. So why do we keep repeating it?” (You can see why he didn’t get an administration job — too much realism.) And then Michael Oren rightly challenges the entire premise of the discussion:

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Blaming America First for No Middle East Peace

Love of the Land: Intimidation 101

Intimidation 101

With a skillfully crafted curriculum and required reading list filled to the brim with anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment, Massad had no intention of teaching history—he planned on rewriting it.


Daniel Hertz
Columbia Spectator
18 April '10

As an engineering student at Columbia, the issue of bias in the classroom has been, for the most part, nonexistent—unfortunately, this is, in my experience, not the case for a significant number of classes in the department of Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS, formerly MEALAC). Despite the constant reminders of professors’ one-sided agendas, I have always tried to take as many of these classes as possible. This semester, my curiosity for the subject led me to check out the class titled “Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Society,” taught by the renowned Joseph Massad. Although I entered the class with a hopeful outlook, it only took a handful of lectures for Massad to prove so many of his detractors right—he not only made his biases obvious but also embarrassed me in the process.

After attending a few lectures, I was still unsure as to whether I wanted to register and remain in the class. While Massad’s reputation had preceded him for the most part, his statements were often tainted with a hue of partiality, making me, and several other students, extremely uncomfortable. With a skillfully crafted curriculum and required reading list filled to the brim with anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment, Massad had no intention of teaching history—he planned on rewriting it.

The course began with an extremely “brief” introduction to the history of the land. Starting in the 16th century and briskly moving into in the 19th and 20th centuries, Massad had completely avoided the historical context that would nullify his own agenda. During these first few lectures, there was absolutely no mention of the 3,000-year-old Jewish presence in Israel, which is backed by an exhaustive amount of both written and archeological proof. In his subsequent description of the founding of Tel Aviv, Israel’s major economic hub and richest city, Massad once again turned history upside down. Through the use of disturbing anecdotes and baseless accusations, Massad claimed that Tel Aviv was built through a process of Arab labor and expulsions by Jews, disregarding the plethora of proof that discredits these allegations, including dozens of photographs before the city’s founding and endless official British documentation describing the city as built and inhabited by only Jews.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Intimidation 101

Love of the Land: The Obama Administration's Conflicting Messages on Iran

The Obama Administration's Conflicting Messages on Iran


Alan M. Dershowitz
Hudson New York
19 April '10

The Obama Administration is sending conflicting and confusing messages both to Iran and to those who fear an Iranian nuclear weapon. According to The New York Times, defense secretary Robert M. Gates sent a top secret memorandum to White House officials bemoaning the fact that the United States simply has no policy in place to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. At the same time, it is telling Israel that although Iran has threatened to wipe it off the map, the Jewish state should not take military action to prevent a second Holocaust. Indeed former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has participated in White House discussions concerning the Middle East, has threatened that if Israel tries to destroy Iran's nuclear weapon facilities, the United States is fully capable of shooting Israeli jets out of the air.

Although Gates subsequently denied that his memo, which he acknowledges writing, was intended as a "wake up call," a senior White House official has confirmed that it was just that. There is no evidence, however, that the White House is prepared to confront the grave threat posed by a nuclear Iran. The policy that seems to be emerging from the White House is one called "containment." But what is containment? It is little more than an acknowledgement of failure. Containment implies that the United States will not succeed in preventing Iran from securing nuclear weapons, but rather it will accept such an eventuality and seek to deter the use of nuclear weapons by threats and by the deployment of defensive measures. The analogy that proponents of containment point to is North Korea, which has nuclear weapons but has thus far been "contained" from using them. But there are vast differences between North Korea and Iran.

North Korea is a secular Communist regime that is risk averse and that has no sworn existential enemies. The goal of its leaders is simply to remain in power and maintain their totalitarian control over their people. Iran is a theocratic, apocalyptic regime that believes that it has a religious obligation to destroy Israel and threaten the United States. Iran, unlike North Korea, also operates through surrogates, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and other smaller terrorist groups. They could hand-off nuclear material to such groups, or to sympathetic individuals, for use as dirty bombs directed against its enemies.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The Obama Administration's Conflicting Messages on Iran

Love of the Land: Israel’s ambassador to the UK lays out a powerful home truth in the Guardian

Israel’s ambassador to the UK lays out a powerful home truth in the Guardian


Robin Shepherd
robinshepherdonline.com
20 April '10

Israeli ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, today has a piece in the Guardian setting out a simple but unassailable truth about the conflict in the Middle East: The key to peace is a recognition on the part of Israel’s enemies that Israel is the rightful homeland of the Jewish people.

“Jews have been indigenous to Israel for 3,000 years,” he writes. “Before 1948 the only independent sovereign state there had been the ancient Jewish kingdoms. Centuries of foreign imperial occupation followed, by Romans, the Muslim conquest, Crusaders, the Ottoman empire and the British mandate. It is fitting that as the colonial era drew to a close, Israel’s original inhabitants restored their independence.”

And so it is. Indeed, it is such a powerful message that I am surprised Israeli diplomats are not required to repeat this sort of thing as a mantra in front of the local press, morning, noon and night. For of all the most damaging pieces of ignorance surrounding Israel in Britain and Europe the notion that the Jews are imposters in the Middle East is surely the most dangerous and damaging.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Israel’s ambassador to the UK lays out a powerful home truth in the Guardian

Elder of Ziyon: The Wookies invade Gaza

The Wookies invade Gaza

A number of bloggers noticed the bizarre photographs (and video) of Iranian soldiers in camouflage during Iran's Army Day a couple of days ago:


Well, the Wookies are no longer content to display their fuzzy, furry fury in the streets of Tehran.

The Al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad in Gaza seem to have been getting lessons from their idols.

Here's a peaceful Wookie getting ready to spread cheer:
Marching in unison seems to make the camouflage a little counterproductive, but maybe that's just me:

And once again we are shocked to see how crowded Gaza is:

Elder of Ziyon: The Wookies invade Gaza

Elder of Ziyon: Hezbollah slams UN

Hezbollah slams UN

From The Daily Star:

The continued presence of Palestinian armed factions in Lebanon constitutes a serious threat to national and regional security, according to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

In his latest interim report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, seen by The Daily Star on Tuesday, Ban encouraged Lebanese leaders to exert pressure on groups possessing arms outside of state power.

“The existence of armed groups outside government control is a fundamental anomaly that stands against the democratic aspirations of Lebanon and threatens domestic peace,” the UN chief said. “It is also an obstacle to the prosperity and welfare that the Lebanese people deserve.”

Earlier this month fighting broke out between members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the eastern Bekaa Valley. This followed clashes between Fatah al-Islam partisans in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian Refugee camp in March.

Ban issued a strong rebuke to such incidents.

“I remain deeply concerned at the maintenance of paramilitary infrastructures by Palestinian militias outside the camps which pose a threat to the stability of Lebanon,” he said.

Ban also indirectly addressed recent allegations from Washington and Tel Aviv that Hizbullah was receiving long-range scud missiles – capable of striking any target in Israel – across Lebanon’s mountainous border with Syria.

“I continue to receive reports asserting that Hizbullah has substantially upgraded and expanded its arsenal and military capabilities, including sophisticated long-range weaponry,” he said in reference to comments made last week by Israeli President Shimon Peres and White House Spokesperson Robert Gibbs.

The UN head added that although he had received several reports from member states about weapons-transfer activity “across the land borders,” the UN “does not have the means to independently verify” such information.

“I am concerned that such activities have the potential to destabilize the country and could lead to another conflict,” Ban said.

He asked that both Lebanese and Syrian governments redouble efforts to demarcate their shared border in order to better patrol the flow of goods leaving and entering over the Anti-Lebanon Mountains.

“The government of Lebanon can extend its authority throughout the country only if it, and all other relevant parties, know what the entirety of the territory of Lebanon is,” Ban said.


Hezbollah wasn't pleased:

Hizbullah strongly condemned Tuesday the latest report of Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, saying it "represents blatant tutelage over Lebanon and revives the headlines of igniting internal strife."

A communiqué issued by Hizbullah said the party was not surprised by "the rhetoric of (Roed-Larsen's) report which sides with the Zionist enemy."

"The resistance is not a militia, as his new-old report describes it, but a Lebanese resistance movement that defends its territory and deters aggression, whether he likes it or not," the communiqué added.

The sad part is that this seems to be the position of Lebanon as well - and it has been for a long time. When Resolution 1559 was passed in 2004, here is what the Lebanese response was: "There were no militias in Lebanon. There was only the national Lebanese resistance, which appeared after the Israeli occupation and which would remain so long as Israel remained."

One of the commenters at the Iranian PressTV site wrote this in reaction:

the U.N. should be called the Jew.N.!



Elder of Ziyon: Hezbollah slams UN

Elder of Ziyon: Arabs upset at Google Yom Ha'aztmaut "doodle"

Arabs upset at Google Yom Ha'aztmaut "doodle"

Israeli users of Google yesterday saw the logo replaced with this nice one:


It appears that the Palestinian Arab ISP's that use Israeli internet routes saw the same logo:
They weren't happy.

Elder of Ziyon: Arabs upset at Google Yom Ha'aztmaut "doodle"

Elder of Ziyon: "Toxic plastic?"

"Toxic plastic?"

From Ma'an:

Palestinian Authority customs officers and police confiscated plastic materials smuggled from an Israeli settlement into Hebron on Tuesday.

Officer Husam Khalayleh, the head of customs in Hebron, said the goods were seized at 2:00 am in a waste disposal truck in Hebron. The truck owner, from Nablus, said he was transporting waste but after inspecting the vehicle, police found nine tons of toxic plastic materials, banned by the Health Ministry.

The head of customs said the smuggling of settlement goods into the occupied Palestinian territories was extremely dangerous.

If we are to believe Ma'an, somewhere in an evil Zionist settlement, the colonialist and imperialist Jews are churning out tons of toxic plastic.

Obviously, the only possible purpose of such plastic is to harm the Arabs. They couldn't be selling the plastic to Israelis.

It is sometimes hard to understand the business model of these Jews who run a factory dedicated to manufacturing tons of utterly useless products, but once you understand that the entire focus of Jews in the Middle East is to cause pain to the Arab population, then it all makes sense.



Elder of Ziyon: "Toxic plastic?"

Elder of Ziyon: Abba Eban on the Arab refugees

Abba Eban on the Arab refugees

The Jewish Press reproduced a speech given by Abba Eban at the UN in 1958. Here's part of it:

The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression, launched by the Arab states against Israel in 1947 and 1948. Let there be no mistake. If there had been no war against Israel, with its consequent harvest of bloodshed, misery, panic and flight, there would be no problem of Arab refugees today.

Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged.

The origins of that conflict are clearly defined by the confessions of Arab governments themselves: "This will be a war of extermination," declared the secretary-general of the Arab League speaking for the governments of six Arab states, "it will be a momentous massacre to be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."

The assault began on the last day of November 1947. From then until the expiration of the British Mandate in May 1948 the Arab states, in concert with Palestine Arab leaders, plunged the land into turmoil and chaos. On the day of Israel's Declaration of Independence, the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, supported by contingents from Saudi Arabia and the Yemen, crossed their frontiers and marched against Israel.

The refugee problem was not created by the General Assembly's recommendation for the establishment of Israel. It was created by the attempts of Arab governments to destroy that recommendation by force. The crisis arose not, as Arab spokesmen have said, because the United Nations adopted a resolution eleven years ago; it arose because Arab governments attacked that resolution by force. If the United Nations proposal had been peacefully accepted, there would be no refugee problem today hanging as a cloud upon the tense horizons of the Middle East.

Apart from the question of its origin, the perpetuation of this refugee problem is an unnatural event, running against the whole course of experience and precedent. Since the end of the Second World War, problems affecting forty million refugees have confronted governments in various parts of the world. In no case, except that of the Arab refugees - amounting to less than two percent of the whole - has the international community shown constant responsibility and provided lavish aid.

In every other case a solution has been found by the integration of refugees into their host countries. Nine million Koreans; 900,000 refugees from the conflict in Vietnam; 8.5 million Hindus and Sikhs leaving Pakistan for India; 6.5 million Muslims fleeing India to Pakistan; 700,000 Chinese refugees in Hong Kong; 13 million Germans from the Sudetenland, Poland and other East European States reaching West and East Germany; thousands of Turkish refugees from Bulgaria; 440,000 Finns separated from their homeland by a change of frontier; 450,000 refugees from Arab lands arrived destitute in Israel; and an equal number converging on Israel from the remnants of the Jewish holocaust in Europe - these form the tragic procession of the world's refugee population in the past two decades.

In every case but that of the Arab refugees now in Arab lands, the countries in which the refugees sought shelter have facilitated their integration. In this case alone has integration been obstructed.

The paradox is the more astonishing when we reflect that the kinship of language, religion, social background and national sentiment existing between the Arab refugees and their Arab host countries has been at least as intimate as those existing between any other host countries and any other refugee groups. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the integration of Arab refugees into the life of the Arab world is an objectively feasible process which has been resisted for political reasons.

Recent years have witnessed a great expansion of economic potentialities in the Middle East. The revenues of the oil-bearing countries have opened up great opportunities of work and development, into which the refugees, by virtue of their linguistic and national background, could fit without any sense of dislocation. There cannot be any doubt that if free movement had been granted to the refugees there would have been a spontaneous absorption of thousands of them into these expanded Arab economies.

Read the whole thing.



Elder of Ziyon: Abba Eban on the Arab refugees

Elder of Ziyon: The other gangs of Gaza (Zvi)

The other gangs of Gaza (Zvi)

From Zvi, commenting on the article that claimed that many "work accidents" in Gaza were really from infighting:


Gaza is controlled by one vicious terrorist gang, but there are other, equally vicious criminal and terrorist gangs running around. These people have no concern whatsoever for the welfare of Gazans. They focus either on profit, or on serving their foreign masters, or both.

The Army of Islam, which held Alan Johnston hostage and which Hamas violently crushed thereafter, was an example. These people are mostly members of the Doghmush clan, a Turkish criminal family that moved to Gaza in the 1920s. (Incidentally, by what right are a bunch of criminals from Turkey in Gaza at all, and exactly how can they, of all people, justify attacks on Israel? But they are not at all unique. There are many Palestinians who actually hail from other places. It's one of those elephants standing around in the room, which everybody pretends do not exist).

In addition, smuggling tunnels are often controlled by smuggling gangs (though some seem to be controlled by "legitimate businessmen"). In the past, when Gazans have attacked the border crossings with mortars, the culprits have sometimes been identified as smuggling gangs. The attackers were attempting to force closures; by cutting off the flow of aid and trade goods being imported legitimately through the crossings, they hoped to raise the prices that would be paid for their smuggled goods.

With criminal gangs involved in the tunneling business, it is quite reasonable to expect the competition between tunnel operators to turn violent.

Hamas is the ruling gang. It has used either intimidation or violence to suppress political opponents, a number of jihadi groups and also a number of gangs. Some of the incidents have been large and well-publicized (the violent coup against Fatah, the violent suppression of the Army of Islam, the extermination of the al Qaeda group that holed up in the mosque, and so on) but some of them have received little media attention.

Hamas has won itself some friends by being the strong guy in Gaza, but by killing people, it has won itself enemies, too.

And Hamas taught its enemies well. It rose to power in part by carrying out terror bombings and assassinations against Fatah and its supporters. I rather think that others - especially Fatah supporters - would like to do the same to it, though Hamas is not the eternally disorganized and inept rabble that was Fatah, and it seems unlikely that such tactics will make much of a difference against Hamas. The significance of Cast Lead was not lost on many Gazans; Hamas forces proved themselves to be rather worthless in real combat. There are enough crazy idiots on the Fatah side who see the Hamas coup as a stain on their honor, and we all know what that means...


Elder of Ziyon: The other gangs of Gaza (Zvi)
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