Friday, 23 April 2010

Israel Matzav: Sabbath music video

Sabbath music video

Here's Yaakov Shwekey singing Eisheth Chayil, the song we sing on Friday night to our wives (it translates "Woman of Valor").

Let's go to the videotape.



Shabbat Shalom everyone.

Israel Matzav: Sabbath music video

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: An Odd Rumor About America's Jews

An Odd Rumor About America's Jews

A fellow I know who is normally a reasonable chap, well respected in his profession, good sense of humor but serious when called for, politics a bit to the left of what intelligent folks ought to think but generally an upright citizen, recently told me a very outlandish tale. He insists it's true, and claims to have seen part of the documentation.

Apparently someone did a large survey not long ago and found that about one third of American Jews, i.e. more than one and a half million people, might consider moving to Israel; of that third, a third (so, a number above 500,000) would be actively willing to discuss how such a move might be realized. The Jewish Agency knows about this survey, but is keeping mum rather than running with it, out of fear their donors will be peeved, since many of the donors wish to strengthen American Jewry, not see Jews move to Israel.

How plausible is any of this? Not very, to my mind. Over the past 62 years there probably haven't been 100,000 American Jews who moved to Israel and stayed. It's a free country (both), so if they wanted to, no one would stop them; even Icelandic volcanoes don't get in the way since it's possible to fly further south. I rather doubt there are 500,000 American Jews who give much thought to Israel in their daily lives; 1,500,000 willing to consider moving here sounds outlandish; even more so as at least 75% of American Jews have never visited Israel, ever.

It doesn't make sense - even though we do have cheap universal health care that keeps Israelis alive (statistically) longer than Americans. The part about the Jewish Agency suppressing the survey, though, for fear of causing a rumpus: that part is of course easily believable. The Jewish Agency is not the force it once was, when David Ben Gurion was its boss.

So that's the story. If any of you can add anything to substantiate or disprove this new urban legend, feel free. Even if not, perhaps the mere spreading of the legend will make people think about it.


Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: An Odd Rumor About America's Jews

Elder of Ziyon: Jew-hating blogger kills wife, self

Jew-hating blogger kills wife, self

Once upon a time, when I would browse hate sites for easy blog material, I came across someone named Curtis Maynard.

Back in 2006 Maynard wrote an explicitly anti-semitic article for Mathaba.net. I also have posts about a pseudo-scholarly article justifying Jew-hatred he wrote for "The People's Voice."

His repertoire didn't end there, of course. He wrote for such esteemed outlets as Vanguard News Network and Rense.

Not surprisingly, his bizarre mindset affected his personal life as well, and when his wife sued him for divorce, he created blogs about her as well. (Also, his wife was Mexican, and his white-power friends had a field day making fun of him for that. I also see mention that he claimed to get STDs from his wife - and he posted pictorial proof on his wife-hate blog. Yecch.)

During the divorce drama, one of the people who followed bigots like Maynard in a forum wrote: "I would not be surprised if Maynard loses it and decides to go on a "spree" and harms a bunch of innocent people."

The dude was a prophet.

A couple of days ago, this pathetic excuse for a human being killed his wife and, during a police chase, killed himself:

LAKE JACKSON - A battle between divorcees turned deadly Wednesday night in Lake Jackson when a man killed his ex-wife and wounded his ex-step-daughter, then killed himself, police said.

Neighbors reported hearing shots fired at about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Post Oak. While Lake Jackson Police were en route, they learned that two people had been shot and the shooter had fled in a vehicle that was being followed by one of the neighbors.

The pursuing neighbor led police to their location with updates on his cell phone, officials said. The chase ended when the shooter – identified as 42-year-old Curtis Maynard – turned the gun on himself while driving, police said.

Officials said Maynard's vehicle left the roadway, swerved back and struck another vehicle, then came to rest on the opposite side of the highway at 499 Highway 288 North.

Back at the home in the 100 block of Post Oak, investigators found two victims. Maynard's ex-wife – 34-year-old Melissa Meza – was dead with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. Meza's 16-year-old daughter was also shot. She was life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition, police said. According to officials, her condition had stabilized Thursday.

I feel sorry for the wife and step-daughter as well as the other kids who were in the house.

Maynard's death doesn't bother me one tiny bit.

(h/t BEAJ, who was the subject of another of Maynard's rants on Rense. Sorry, I will not link to Rense.)



Elder of Ziyon: Jew-hating blogger kills wife, self

Elder of Ziyon: PalArabs skeptical about Hamas/Fatah unity

PalArabs skeptical about Hamas/Fatah unity

Even though there are regular stories in the Palestinian Arabic press that Hamas and Fatah are close to reconciliation, they are all a sham, according to Palestine Today.

For years now there have been regular stories about Hamas and Fatah being close to a deal, sometimes facilitated by Egypt or Turkey. Leaders of both movements have also publicly said that a unification deal is very close, all while blaming the other side for their intransigence.

The newspaper says that while there are regular "leaks" about secret meetings between the two sides, they are only made for media consumption and reflect wishful thinking rather than reality.

PalToday also interviews the editor of Ma'an, Nasser al-Lahham, who says that the Palestinian Arabs are not fooled and quite aware that real conciliation between the two sides is "almost impossible."

al-Lahham said that he doesn't want a unification agreement - he wants elections that would determine who should lead the Palestinian Arabs, as neither side has any legitimacy and both of them remain in power through force, not through popular will.

Palestinian Arab territory-wide elections, of course, are not happening any time in the foreseeable future.

It's really sad that such obvious facts - a major elephant in the room that is a prerequisite to any peace agreement - are continuously skated over by the West in their quest for the holy "peace process" that has nothing to do with peace.



Elder of Ziyon: PalArabs skeptical about Hamas/Fatah unity

Elder of Ziyon: Jenny Tonge quits Palestine Telegraph over KKK video

Jenny Tonge quits Palestine Telegraph over KKK video

From The JC:

Baroness Jenny Tonge has withdrawn her patronage of the Palestine Telegraph after the paper posted a video of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke claiming that Israel is a terrorist threat to America.

The LibDem peer has often been attacked for her patronage of the Palestine Telegraph, which has previously linked IDF doctors to organ theft in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.

Baroness Tonge’s name has been removed from the website. Press TV journalist and sister of Cherie Blair, Lauren Booth, Respect MP George Galloway and Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of European Parliament all remain patrons. The former LibDem MP is believed to have emailed the newspaper to say that she no longer wishes to be a patron.

The video, featuring Mr Duke, an American white nationalist, with the headline “Israel’s terror against America”, was on the front page of the Palestine Telegraph’s website.

Mr Duke has published two antisemitic books, one of which is titled Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question.

Matthew Harris, the Lib Dem candidate for Hendon said: “I have received definitive confirmation that Jenny Tonge has emailed the Palestine Telegraph stressing that she no longer wishes to be a patron.

I briefly followed a blog war between Peter Eyre of the Palestine Telegraph who is convinced that Israeli soldiers steal organs from Palestinian Arab children and the Harry's Place blog, which appears to have been the first to notice the David Duke video. I posted a link to the TongeLashing website in the comments to explain to Mr. Eyre why the blood-libel accusations are absurd, but for some reason they never posted my comment.

Instead, they posted a comment that says that the Talmud allows Jews to kill Gentiles with impunity and that Jews were behind the Armenian genocide.

Nice!



Elder of Ziyon: Jenny Tonge quits Palestine Telegraph over KKK video

Elder of Ziyon: Friday Quickies

Friday Quickies

I am not as enamored of the "Palestinian Zionist Organization" as others seem to be. From what I can tell, it is one guy with a website, and hardly the harbinger of major change.

Similarly, the new book "Cracking the Quran Code" that finds Quranic support for Jewish claims to Israel might be embraced by many Zionists but to me it is like Arabs using the Neturei Karta as proof that the Torah is against Zionism. The Quran has many contradictory passages and if the vast majority of Muslim scholars disagree violently with the book's thesis, it is not going to change any minds. (Although I would love to see Islamic scholarly criticisms of that book.)

Plenty of people are discussing the newly-censored South Park Mohammed episode. It's in my queue to watch the entire thing; so far I've only seen bits and pieces.

The “Zionist Hindu Crusader” Alliance Marches On

Israellycool reveals the secret Zionist war against the animal kingdom. Apparently, we arrest cats and donkeys.

NY senator Chuck Schumer piles on to the criticism of the White House policy towards Israel, the most prominent Democrat to do so.

A Quinnipiac University poll shows that Americans don't think that Obama is handling Israel very well, and two-thirds of Jews don't approve of the administration policies on Israel. Jonathan Tobin comments here and Jennifer Rubin is upset at the number of Jews who still support Obama.

Guess where Mahmoud Abbas will spend this weekend? At the Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting! Just the thing you would expect from a moderate, pro-Western peace partner.

Some Brandeis University students are criticizing the choice of Israeli ambassador Michael Oren as the commencement speaker this year.



Elder of Ziyon: Friday Quickies

Elder of Ziyon: Prominent sheikh says other sheikhs suffer from mental disorders

Prominent sheikh says other sheikhs suffer from mental disorders

Sheikh Ahmed Kubaisi, whose Friday sermons out of Dubai are watched by tens of millions of people, has stated that some of the more recent rulings of other sheikhs show that they have mental disorders.

He specified the Saudi cleric Yousef al-Ahmed, who called for the destruction of the Grand Mosque in Mecca because men and women are together.

He also mentioned Sheikh Mohammed al Areefi who said he would go to Jerusalem to broadcast his show before caving to pressure to cancel his plans.

Interestingly, he also said that the minaret ban in Switzerland was no big deal, as minarets are not obligatory under Islamic law.

In the same interview he also said that the "torment of the grave," an expression of Islamic hell or purgatory, is not literally taking place in the ground but rather in the afterlife.

Finally, he stated (if I am reading it correctly) that misyar marriages are not only permissible but admirable as they reduce spinsterhood.

Misyar marriages are marriages where the bride voluntarily gives up on some of her marriage rights. While it appears to be permissible under Islamic law, it has been abused in some places as de facto prostitution.


Elder of Ziyon: Prominent sheikh says other sheikhs suffer from mental disorders

Elder of Ziyon: Who paid for Mabhouh's 5-star hotel room?

Who paid for Mabhouh's 5-star hotel room?

Forbes' Claudia Rosett asks a good question:

When I dropped by the Al Bustan Rotana during a recent trip to Dubai, it struck me that the luxuriousness of the hotel has not been fully conveyed. That matters. The opulence with which al-Mabhouh surrounded himself on his fatal trip underscores some big unanswered questions, not about the alleged killers (whose trail has received plenty of official attention) but about al-Mabhouh (whose doings in Dubai have yet to be explained).

Al-Mabhouh was, after all, a senior member of Hamas--a Palestinian organization that expects of its underlings an austere dedication to Islamic law and tutors them to sacrifice everything for such Hamas charter causes as the destruction of Israel. Al-Mabhouh, like a number of other Hamas leaders, was based in Damascus. But he was a big cog in a Hamas system that in 2007 seized complete control of Gaza and with the backing of Iran has made it a priority to saturate Gaza with weapons, while the population lives in poverty...

When al-Mabhouh arrived in Dubai from Damascus on Jan. 19, it seems that austerity was not on his agenda. He checked into a plush hotel, geared to cosmopolitan pleasures. Though rates fluctuate with the season, rooms at the Al Bustan go for hundreds of dollars per night, sums that for the average resident of Gaza would represent quite a windfall.

Guests of the Al Bustan enter a huge marble-floored lobby, with a lofty atrium, tiled fountains and indoor palm trees. The arcade sells designer clothes. Restaurants on the premises offer everything from pan-fried Hokkaido scallops to "the most tender cut of corn-fed beef."

How was al-Mabhouh paying for his five-star lodgings in Dubai? That may be the least of the questions pertaining to his activities. But let's start somewhere. Could the UAE authorities please enlighten us on such basic matters as how al-Mabhouh arranged to pay for his luxury stay on their turf, what he did there and whether he had visited before? And with all the resources of the Arab League now on the case, would it be too much to ask for full details--whether from Damascus, Dubai or anyplace else that played host to al-Mabhouh--of who was picking up the tab for his travel, and why?


UPDATE: Commenter Sshender asked whether this hotel was not that expensive in comparison with other Dubai hotels. I just did a quick check and the al-Bustan Rotana is relatively inexpensive for a five-star hotel - mid week rates are about $180 a night. On the other hand, other 5-star hotels range from $100 a night to well over $1000. And Dubai does have budget hotels at around $50 a night.


Elder of Ziyon: Who paid for Mabhouh's 5-star hotel room?

Netanyahu Reassures Public: No Freeze in Jerusalem - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Netanyahu Reassures Public: No Freeze in Jerusalem - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

US Envoy Mitchell Makes Surprise Visit - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

US Envoy Mitchell Makes Surprise Visit - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Report: PA Forces Turn to Hamas - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Report: PA Forces Turn to Hamas - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Washington Think Tank Predicts New Mideast War - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Washington Think Tank Predicts New Mideast War - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Report: Egypt Asks UN to Pressure Israel on Nukes - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Report: Egypt Asks UN to Pressure Israel on Nukes - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Does the World Need Another 9/11 to Wake Up? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Does the World Need Another 9/11 to Wake Up? - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Ed Koch Predicts Anti-Democrat 'Tsunami' in November - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

Ed Koch Predicts Anti-Democrat 'Tsunami' in November - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

RonMossad: South Park and Revolution Muslim: Freedom of Speech suicide bombed by Muhammad again

South Park and Revolution Muslim: Freedom of Speech suicide bombed by Muhammad again

Wow.

There sure have been a lot of changes in this country over the past couple of years. We have nationalized banks, nationalized car companies, nationalized health insurance and pretty soon it looks like nationalized stock trading as well. We have an administration that has significantly altered the USA's approach to the Middle East...in a way that they now regularly make demands of sovereign, democratic allies while giving hostile, terrorist entities a free pass. The America we live in today is a vastly different place than it was just two years ago.

And now we have entered the realm of speech as well.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
--George Washington


One week ago, the creators of South Park aired their 200th episode. In the episode they attempted to poke fun at the ridiculous idea that you can make fun of every topic, every human being, every leader, every celebrity, every religious figure...everyone except for the Prophet Muhammad.

South Park's relationship with the Prophet goes back a while...he actually appeared in an episode from nine years ago that involved many major religious figures or gods (think Jesus, Moses, Krishna) teaming up in as Power Rangers-style super heroes and fighting crime. Then, in a rather brilliant statement on censorship and Muhammad, the created a storyline where al Qaeda threatens to attack the United States if an image of Muhammad is aired on Family Guy. In the end, the terrorist "retaliation" turns out to be one of the most insane segments of television ever aired, as Jesus, George W. Bush and several stereotypical Americans are shown performing some pretty disgusting acts.


WARNING: THE FINAL MINUTE OF THIS IS PRETTY GRAPHIC AND DUE TO ITS CONTENT SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY ANYONE



Personally, I thought it was a very funny and poignant statement on how absurd we'd gotten in this country when one religious figure (as well as the president and the American flag) can be the subject of some (literal) toilet humor while another one isn't even allowed to be shown at all.

At the time, the scene with Muhammad did not air. Instead the screen went dark and said that Comedy Central (the channel that airs South Park) refused to allow an image of Muhammad on their network. At the time it aired - which was in the wake of the Muslim cartoon riots - it looked like an elaborate joke. Unfortunately though, it wasn't...Comedy Central gave into intimidation. Furthermore, it appears at this time that they've forced South Park to take down the streaming access to the original "Super Best Friends" episode from 2001 that had the Muhammad character.

Well, last week South Park was at it again. This time, to get around the censorship issue, they decided to hide Muhammad in a giant bear costume. Unfortunately for our old lunatic friends from revolutionmuslim.com this wasn't good enough and they responded with the following statement:

"We have to warn [South Park creators) Matt (Stone) and Trey (Parker) that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show,"

Theo Van Gogh for those keeping score at home, was murdered by an Islamic extremist for speaking out against the awful treatment of women in majority-Muslim countries. Essentially, the Revolution Muslim people were telling Parker and Stone that if they followed through with showing Muhammad in the next episode, bad things would be visited upon them, Allah-willing. To further drive the point home, they included an address where you could find the duo.

Also for those keeping score at home, this is the second time this site has had to deal with these Revolution Muslim fanatics. These are the same people that applauded Nidal Malik al-Hasan as a hero for blowing away his friends and co-workers during the Fort Hood terrorist attack.

So, all eyes were on South Park this week to see what would happen. Would Comedy Central again give in and try to appease a bunch of radical Muslims?

Unfortunately, when this week's episode aired, not only was Muhammad's image not shown but any mention of the word "Muhammad" was bleeped out. And at the end of the episode, an entire speech from one of the characters about the situation was also bleeped out.

This

is

a

DISGRACE.

What has happened to us? How isn't the entire country in a massive uproar today? This is not a matter of South Park being "Islamophobic" or somehow targeting Muslims...their entire M.O. is to satirize anything and everything in society. Religious figures, political figures, celebrities, silly fads and social issues of every possible type have been targeted over the show's 14-season run. Even MUHAMMAD HIMSELF was playfully mocked before the pre-9/11 fear-fest that has descended upon the world.

In fact, here in no particular order is a non-comprehensive list of the topics South Park has mocked in the past that have not resulted in barely-veiled death threats:

Jesus. Moses. Mormons. Scientologists. George W. Bush. Bill Clinton. John McCain. Barack Obama. Saddam Hussein. The devil. God. Heaven. Hell. The war in Iraq. Osama Bin-Laden. The anti-war protesters. The pro-war protesters. Rednecks. Mormons. Tom Cruise. Rosie O'Donnell. Movies that deal with time travel. 80's movies. Action movies. Japanese people. Pokemon. Catholics. Santa Claus. The Pope. The Catholic League. Jews. Judaism. Jewish mothers. Black people. Former cast member Isaac Hayes. Women. Men. Old people. Gay people. Straight people. Metrosexual people. Republicans. Democrats. Mexicans. Americans. Canadians. Orphans. Paris Hilton. Girls who like Paris Hilton. Mel Gibson. Child molestation. Chinese people. Young people. Michael Richards. Gary Condit. Steroids. The Special Olympics. Religious fanatics. Ethiopians. Sally Struthers. And on. And on. And on...

But Muhammad isn't allowed to be even just be shown on-screen??

What is going on here?! Honestly...how can we let this happen to our country and our society? How can we let one group, just one group dictate to us what we are and aren't allowed to talk about? Where is the outrage? Where are the liberals? Where is the ACLU? Moderate Muslims? Congress? The President? Anyone???

Several months ago, I wrote about Michael Savage being banned in Britain also as a result of some controversial things he has said and as far as I know, to this day still no one of any real importance has come to his defense. Here is another example, this time of Americans being censored IN AMERICA due to THREATS of VIOLENCE by OTHER AMERICANS.

This too adds a whole different dimension to the issue - the Revolution Muslim guys are AMERICANS. They live and operate in the New York area where they frequently terrorize locals (especially people who they perceive as moderate Muslims) with their rantings and ravings against the United States, Israel, Jews, Christians, unbelievers, Obama...you know, maybe they have more in common with South Park than they think...



...or maybe not. This is what we are tolerating everyday on our streets. This is what is dictating our television shows to us now. Are we really going to live like this? Are we really letting this happen?

It is entirely unacceptable and we cannot allow it to continue. But I've already weighed in several times on where this censorship road is taking us...there are only so many ways to say that this is a disgrace without being repetitive.

So here's what I'm going to do - and I encourage everyone else to do the same:





That's an image of Muhammad from the 2001 episode of South Park.





Here it is again.





And again.





And again.




"The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."
--Declaration of the Rights of Man, Article 11

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
--The First Amendment to the United States Constitution


This is AMERICA for God's sake. We cannot let a bunch of fringe religious fanatics dictate our lives to us.


RonMossad: South Park and Revolution Muslim: Freedom of Speech suicide bombed by Muhammad again

Each Drop is Precious | Tzipiyah.com

drop

Though we just celebrated 62 years since the establishment of the sate of Israel which is definitely a momentous occasion to celebrate, we can’t forget that we are still in a time of mourning. Thousands of years later we are mourning the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva that died in a plague. It is customary during this time not to listen to music and have weddings as a symbol of our mourning. Through the ages during this time many other terrible decrees have been made against the Jewish people. It has always amazed me how in Judaism we are constantly trying to keep the balance between times of sadness and mourning and times of joy and celebration. As we see between the mourning of Rabbi Akiva’s students and celebrating the state of Israel. Though thousands of years separate these two events, I think that there is a strong connection between them.

Though Rabbi Akiva tragically lost many of his students, he was still able to rebuild his yeshiva from his five students that were left. His students were not just ordinary students but they were some of the greatest Torah scholars in Jewish history. They were Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehudah, Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Yose and Rabbi Nechemia. It was to their credit that we have the Talmud today. How was Rabbi Akiva able to get over this great loss and rebuild his yeshiva and what can we learn from him? I read an interesting answer to this question. Rabbi Akiva got his strength to continue on teaching Torah to his five remaining students from the same thing that brought him to Torah observance, a single drop of water. The way Rabbi Akiva first began to embrace Torah was when he was 40 years old and one day while he was tending to his sheep, he saw a rock and he noticed a cavity in it. He wondered what was so powerful that could cause this cavity. Then he looked up and saw a drop of water falling from the mountain and he realized that overtime this drop of water had affected the rock. He then reasoned that if a drop of water could make an impression on a hard rock, then so to can Torah penetrate his mind. It was after that incident that Rabbi Akiva began his journey towards living a Torah lifestyle and he eventually became one of the Torah leaders of his generation.

So we can ask why did this incident cause Rabbi Akiva to change his whole life around ?
What was so special about that single drop of water and how did Rabbi Akiva identify with it? When Rabbi Akiva saw what a difference one drop of water made to the rock, he understood how much power and potential each individual has. He realized that what he did and how he reacted to life mattered and how his decisions could affect the world. So when his 24,000 students died he thought back to that day that first gave him strength to take something that before seemed unreachable and impossible and it strengthened him once again to move forward.

Now, fast forwarding thousands of years later lets try to find the connection between Rabbi Akiva and modern times. I believe that just like Hashem gave Rabbi Akiva with the strength to spread his Torah wisdom to his five remaining students, Hashem also provided the Holocaust survivors with the strength and will power to rise above the nightmares they experienced and helped them rebuild their lives in Israel. It was because of each one of the pioneer’s individual will power and perseverance, that we can now celebrate 62 years of the state of Israel. As we celebrate this milestone with joy we can’t forget how Hashem has always and will always help us rise above our persecution and will eventually fully redeem us with the coming of the redemption. May we see it speedily in our days. Amen!



Each Drop is Precious Tzipiyah.com

Love of the Land: Arab Refugees: The Real Story

Arab Refugees: The Real Story


Abba Eban
The Jewish Press
Posted: 14 April '10

Editor's Note: Tuesday, April 20 was Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. To mark the occasion, we've excerpted portions of an address by then-Israeli Ambassador Abba Eban to the UN General Assembly's Special Political Committee on November 17, 1958. The speech makes for remarkable reading, as it was written and delivered just ten years after Israel's founding. The events described were still fresh in people's minds; the historical distortions popularized by the ensuing decades' relentless drumbeat of anti-Israel propaganda had yet to gain traction.

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 perils which then confronted our community; the danger which darkened every life and home; and the successful repulse of the assault and the emergence of Israel into the life of the world community are all chapters of past history, gone but not forgotten. But the traces of that conflict still remain deeply inscribed upon our region's life. Caught up in the havoc and tension of war; demoralized by the flight of their leaders; urged on by irresponsible promises that they would return to inherit the spoils of Israel's destruction, hundreds of thousands of Arabs sought the shelter of Arab lands.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Arab Refugees: The Real Story

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

I mentioned earlier this week that the period between Passover and Shavuoth is a period of mourning. The reason is that during this period, thousands of students of the great Rabbi Akiva died. We are told that the reason for their deaths was that they did not internalize the lessons of their great Rabbi: You shall love your friend as you love yourself.

This song combines "You shall love your friend as you love yourself," with another famous saying "All Jews are responsible for one another." It's called "Areivim Kol Yisrael" and it's sung by Yaakov Shwekey.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: From bad to worse in the UK?

From bad to worse in the UK?

There's a general election in England in two weeks. Nick Clegg (pictured) is the leader of the Liberal Democratic party, and is currently leading both Gordon Brown (Labour) and David Cameron (Conservatives) in the polls.

If Clegg wins, the UK's policy on Israel could go from bad to worse:

5. Clegg harbors strong anti-Israeli views.

To describe Clegg as a vociferous opponent of Israel would be an understatement — I’ve written in greater detail on this issue here. Clegg has penned a number of articles condemning Israel’s handling of Gaza, and has been the most prominent British critic of Israel’s response to Hamas attacks. He has alleged that the Israeli government “continues to imprison 1.5 million Palestinians and prevent the rebuilding of its shattered infrastructure,” and supports the U.N.’s use of the highly offensive term “collective punishment.” Clegg has drawn parallels between Israel’s defensive actions and the terrorist campaigns of groups such as Hamas, and has urged the European Union in the past to isolate and even sanction Israel.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: From bad to worse in the UK?

Israel Matzav: Trash talking

Trash talking

As most of you know already, I'm a fan of American team sports. The one thing your coach always tells you is not to talk trash before a game because all you do is get the other team mad and riled up to play. Trash talk before a game is usually a sign of overconfidence.

Iran has been doing some trash talking.

Iranian Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that because of Israel's diplomatic isolation, it is unable to attack Iran.

Vahidi said Wednesday evening that, "Given the political isolation of the Zionist regime, they do not have the courage to attack, and they are unable to open war with our armed forces."

Vahidi is under an international arrest warrant for being responsible for the Jewish Community Center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994. It would be a pity if something happened to him. Wouldn't it?

Heh.


Israel Matzav: Trash talking

Israel Matzav: Seize the initiative

Seize the initiative

The following is a guest post from Michael Fenenbock.

In Los Angeles recently Daphne and I had an opportunity to breakfast with Martin Sherman.

Professor Sherman has proposed a compelling, workable, pragmatic alternative to 2-State. And his proposal has an eye-catching curtain raiser – get rid of UNRWA.

My view is we must forcefully project an alternative vision of the future, a pragmatic option to 2-state. And now more than ever.

The current state-of-play is alarming. The situation is dire. The threat to the Zionist enterprise from the imposition of 2-State is immediate. The unceasing pressure from the Obama Administration on the Jewish State is myopic. The need to respond is urgent.

Very soon the Obama Administration plans to submit a “peace plan” centered on 2-state and calling for a partition of Jerusalem. They have already sent former President Bill Clinton out front to clear the way. Publicizing Senator Kerry’s negotiation with Damascus to halt a missle allocation to Hezbollah is part of the game plan. Spin designed to neutralize Jewish American resistance to the Obama plan. And President Obama’s smarmy letter to Alan Solow, an Obama supporter and chairman of the Conference of Presidents, of is more of the same.

Believe it. The train to 2-state is roaring down the track and its due date is before the November American election. 2-state is the sin qua non of their foreign policy.

Unless we propose – and seriously market to the world - alternatives to 2-state we will continue be labeled by world opinion as obstructionist.

The stakes could not be higher. If we fail to stop the rush to 2-state we will certainly forfeit the central touchstone of our history our culture and our religion – we will lose Jerusalem.

While differing in detail with alternatives to 2-state advanced by Arieh Eldad and Benny Elon, the important fact is Martin Sherman has placed on the table a rational alternative.

Much of this looming tragedy is of our own making. Leaders in Israel and the Diaspora continue to publicly position themselves as in support of a 2-state solution. The Prime Minister finds himself locked in this in this dead-end trap.

And while I applaud Ron Lauder’s recent statement it repeated the party line on 2-state.

This course of action, saying we are for 2-state, must be reversed.

Those of us who oppose 2-state must make our voices heard and if we do friends will join our fight.

Promoting rational, pragmatic alternatives to 2-state arms us with a powerful political weapon in this battle. It allows us to seize the initiative in the debate. It provides an opportunity to reclaim lost momentum. It means we can go on the offensive.

If we call for an alternative view we will have friends who will stand with us in opposition to the imposition of 2-state. Powerful friends.

I recommend Martin Sherman and his work personally. And I strongly associate myself with the need to present to the world a rational 2-state alternative.

Those of us who are of a disposition to fight 2-state and to do our best to see the culmination of the Zionist dream have a responsibility to our history and a duty to future Jewish generations. We can only benefit by uniting our efforts and pooling our resources.

Standing together it is possible to make our voices heard.

Michael Fenenbock

New York

April 22, 2010

Indeed.

And the biggest argument for two-state - which is a lie - is the so called 'demographic threat.' I've done lots of posts about why that's a lie. Search the archives (mostly under the name "Yoram Ettinger" who has done most of the work on that issue).

Israel Matzav: Seize the initiative

Israel Matzav: "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

Dennis Prager cites a reason that many Americans support Israel which many Israelis will find hard to believe: The Bible.

There is a fifth reason tens of millions of Americans, including many conservative commentators, support Israel and worry about America as American support for Israel wanes. To the Left in America and around the world, this reason is dangerous nonsense. But for a vast number of America’s Christians, for many Jews, and even many non-religious conservatives, it is deeper than any military or political reason. The reason is based on a verse in Genesis in which God, referring to the Jewish people, says to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

One need not be a Jew or Christian or even believe in God to appreciate that this verse is as accurate a prediction as humanity has ever been given by the ancient world. The Jewish people have suffered longer and more horribly than any other living people. But they are still around. Its historic enemies are all gone. Those that cursed the Jews were indeed cursed.

And those who blessed the Jews were indeed blessed. The most blessed country for over 200 years has been the United States. It has also been the most blessed place Jews have ever lived in. Is this a coincidence? Many of us think not.

Those who curse the Jews still seem to be cursed. The most benighted civilization today is the Arab world. One could make a plausible case that the Arab world’s preoccupation with Jew-hatred and destroying Israel is a decisive factor in its failure to progress. The day the Arab world makes peace with the existence of the tiny Jewish state in its midst, the Arab world will begin its ascent.

The converse is what worries tens of millions of Americans — the day America abandons Israel, America will begin its descent.

For years, Israel's talking heads have been telling us not to make the argument that Israel is 'entitled' to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria because God gave them to us. It seems that all those people were wrong. It goes without saying that I believe that God has given us this land. Unfortunately, it doesn't follow that we get to live on all of it now. We have to behave ourselves. But the Torah forbids giving away whatever parts of Israel God has given us.

Hmmm.

By the way I got this post from a tweet from one of the Lefties I follow (I forget who). It came with a nasty comment. He'll be sorry.


Israel Matzav: "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

Israel Matzav: Israel - Russia joint venture to produce drones

Israel - Russia joint venture to produce drones

A Russian website is reporting that Israel and Russia are planning a joint venture to produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as drones (Hat Tip: Will).

State Technology Corporation Rostekhnologii plans to establish a joint venture with Israel Airspace Industry for the production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Russian corporation's head said on Wednesday.

"We have already bought 15 drones for testing and we do not rule out a joint production of UAVs with Israel," Sergei Chemezov told RIA Novosti.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said earlier that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of drones, which eventually failed their tests.

Russian Air Force commander Col.Gen. Alexander Zelin said last November that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements in speed, altitude or their specifications.

The Russian military has stressed the need to provide the Armed Forces with advanced reconnaissance systems in the wake of a brief military conflict with Georgia in August 2008, when the effectiveness of Russian military operations was severely hampered by the lack of reliable intelligence.

According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.

I'm not thrilled about this.

Forget that Russia is helping Iran to build its nuclear plants. Since when do WE abandon allies?


Israel Matzav: Israel - Russia joint venture to produce drones

Israel Matzav: Obama promises not to impose 'peace' from outside

Obama promises not to impose 'peace' from outside

President Obama has written a letter to Alan Solow, the President of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in which he promises that he will not impose 'peace' on Israel from the outside (Hat Tip: Ben Smith via Memeorandum).

"Since we have known each other for a long time," Obama wrote, "I am sure you can distinguish between the noise and distortion about my views that have appeared recently, and the actual approach of my administration toward the Middle East."

The American president stressed in his letter that, "for over 60 years, American presidents have believed that pursuing peace between Arabs and Israelis is in the national security interests of the United States." He added that he has made the pursuit of this peace a top priority since his first day in the White House.

He wrote, "I am deeply committed to fulfilling the important role the United States must play for peace to be realized, but I also recognize that in order for any agreement to endure, peace cannot be imposed from the outside; it must be negotiated directly by the leaders who are required to make the hard choices and compromises that take on history.

"We are determined to help them, particularly because the status quo does not serve the interests of Israel, the Palestinians, or the United States."

...

"Let me be very clear," he said, "We have a special relationship with Israel and that will not change.

"Our countries are bonded together by shared values, deep and interwoven connections, and mutual interests. Many of the same forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States and our efforts to secure peace and stability in the Middle East. Our alliance with Israel serves our national security interests."

In conclusion, Obama wrote, "As we continue to strive for lasting peace agreement between Israel, the Palestinians, and Israel's neighbors, all sides should understand that our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and that no wedge will be driven between us. We will have our difference, but when we do, we will work to resolve them as close allies."

And with that, I hereby declare the opening of the 2010 US midterm election campaign.

I wonder how much that poll earlier this evening has to do with this.

If Iran gets nuclear weapons, the words come cheap anyway.


Israel Matzav: Obama promises not to impose 'peace' from outside

Israel Matzav: Biden: 'Israel won't attack Iran without consulting us'

Biden: 'Israel won't attack Iran without consulting us'

Israel Radio just reported that Joe Biden said that Israel will not attack Iran without consulting with the US first.

Somehow, I don't think that's going to stop the IDF from doing what has to be done if it concludes that it has to

Israel Matzav: Biden: 'Israel won't attack Iran without consulting us'

Israel Matzav: Poll: Only one third of Americans approve of Obama's handling of Israel

Poll: Only one third of Americans approve of Obama's handling of Israel

A newly-released Quinnipiac poll shows that only one third of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling Israel and the 'Palestinians.' Two thirds of Jews disapprove (Hat Tip: Lenny B).

A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he's dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure.

This stands in contrast with how Americans feel about Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, with 48 percent approving and 42 percent saying they disapprove.

According to the poll, two-thirds of Jewish voters disapprove of how the president's handling Israeli-Palestinian relations, with 28 percent saying they approve. Jewish voters were big backers of Obama in the 2008 presidential election, with exit polls indicating that nearly eight of ten backed the Democratic candidate.

Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that the president should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42 percent to 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's not a strong supporter of Israel.

...

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 14-19, with 1,930 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

J Street could not be reached for comment. J Street keeps producing polls that show how popular Obama is in the Jewish community using their in-house pollster. Quinnipiac has no such biases.

Hmmm.

UPDATE FRIDAY 1:10 AM

J Street reacted with a tweet that pointed to this article from last December by Eric Fingerhut that said the sample size of Jews in a previous Quinnipiac poll was too small (Hat Tip: Republican Jewish Coalition via Twitter). But who knows whether that's true this time?

Israel Matzav: Poll: Only one third of Americans approve of Obama's handling of Israel

Israel Matzav: Ari Shavit's nervous breakdown

Ari Shavit's nervous breakdown

Just yesterday, he told Binyamin Netanyahu that he has to offer up the Golan as a sacrifice so that the United States will take care of Iran. Today, he says that the United States and Israel have to prevent war, but that the United States has to limit itself to 'reasonable' demands on Israel. What is with Ari Shavit?

The conclusion is clear: The essential task now in the Middle East is the prevention of war. That's not the same as pursuing peace. Sometimes it's precisely the attempt to achieve an unattainable peace that ignites a war. In the current sensitive situation, there must be no illusions and no mistakes. Political correctness must not be allowed to cause a historic disaster. And when the glasses of political correctness are taken off, a clear picture emerges. To prevent war in the Middle East, the United States and Israel must show strength and generosity, deterrence and moderation. Together they must promote a cautious and gradual diplomatic process that will weaken the region's extremists, strengthen its moderates and curb Iran. They must maintain the democratic alliance that has stabilized western Asia for two generations.

The main responsibility now rests with the United States. The Netanyahu government has made many mistakes over the past year, but so has the Obama administration. The latter has wasted 15 precious months in dialogue with Iran without imposing any sanctions and maintaining the illusion of an immediate Israeli-Palestinian peace. The open, unilateral pressure Washington has exerted on Jerusalem has both distanced peace and brought war closer. Therefore, if the Obama administration does not want the next war to be named after it, it must urgently change its policies. It must demand the possible from Israel, not the imaginary. It must demand what is essential from Iran. It must show determined and sober leadership that will prevent war now and lead to peace tomorrow.

The volcano that erupted last week in Iceland will be nothing compared to the volcano that could erupt in the near future in the Middle East. But the volcano here is a human one. People are stoking it and people can also cool it down. The lives of hundreds of millions now depend on the wisdom and careful consideration of one man: Barack Obama.

The problem, however, is that preventing war probably means giving up on all of the other interests whose importance Shavit acknowledges in the same article.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Ari Shavit's nervous breakdown

Israel Matzav: Ramat Shlomo to pay the price?

Ramat Shlomo to pay the price?

Prime Minister Netanyahu notified President Obama over the weekend once again that Israel will not freeze construction in Jerusalem. But it's a lie. Netanyahu has made the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood into the sacrificial lamb for the 'freeze' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

Talks between the Obama administration and Mr. Netanyahu's government had largely been frozen since the White House meeting. But over the weekend, Mr. Netanyahu's government conveyed to White House officials its most substantive response to Mr. Obama's request, including the refusal to end construction in East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem includes some of the holiest places in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Israel captured the area from Jordan in 1967's Six-Day War. It has been in dispute ever since, and the Palestinians covet it as the capital of their future state.

...

U.S. officials involved in the diplomacy said they don't see Mr. Netanyahu's position as the end to negotiations. They noted that the Israeli prime minister did agree to take nearly a dozen measures that could underpin new peace talks.

Among those steps: The release of some Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails; the easing of the flow of goods into the Gaza strip, and the removal of more roadblocks in the West Bank.

Israel's government also said it would commit to expanding the area of responsibility for Palestinian security forces operating in the West Bank, as well as to discuss detailed issues of borders and the status of Jerusalem in any new round of negotiations with the Palestinians, which take place either directly or through a U.S. mediator.

One specific measure that could also aid the peace process, U.S. officials said, was Israel's stated willingness to end construction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo for two years.

...

U.S. officials said the refusal to freeze construction in all of East Jerusalem could still serve as a barrier to new negotiations with the Palestinians. They also said that some of the new concessions made by Israel were nearly identical to a list Israel has already provided twice to the White House in recent months but has yet to follow through on.

And then there's this little tidbit at the end:

U.S. officials said Mr. Netanyahu's government has been communicating much of its position through the White House's senior Middle East adviser Dennis Ross, at times bypassing the Obama administration's special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell.

That decision has been interpreted by some in the administration as an attempt to sideline Mr. Mitchell in favor of Mr. Ross, who has advocated U.S. cooperation with Mr. Netanyahu, rather than confrontation. Mr. Ross has publicly taken positions in line with Mr. Netanyahu's government, particularly the centrality of stopping Iran's nuclear program as a means to underpin Mideast peace efforts.

Except that Israel Radio just reported that using Ross was Israel's idea.

The Jerusalem Post reports that George Mitchell will arrive in Israel on Thursday night. It remains to be seen whether the 'Palestinians' will come back to the table.

I'm disgusted about Ramat Shlomo being made the sacrificial lamb. It's an overcrowded neighborhood with young couples living in tiny single rooms that were originally intended for storage. Netanyahu probably figures that since it's an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, no one will protest. Wait until he finds out how many Likud members live there.

Obviously, Netanyahu was trying to give enough 'yeses' so that the 'noes' wouldn't be noticed. He failed. And the precedent of freezing construction in a Jewish neighborhood that is nearly surrounded by Jewish neighborhoods and that has strategic military value is outrageous.


Israel Matzav: Ramat Shlomo to pay the price?

Israel Matzav: Jericho II missiles not an option for Iran

Jericho II missiles not an option for Iran

I know that some of you have suggested that Israel should leave the Air Force home and use Jericho II missiles to take out Iran's nuclear capability. Here's a map that shows why that cannot be done.

Now there are Jericho III missiles but they are still under development and no one who knows their range is willing to say what it is.

Heh.
Israel Matzav: Jericho II missiles not an option for Iran

Israel Matzav: Breaking down the Jewish vote

Breaking down the Jewish vote

I'm sure many of you recall the McLaughlin and Associates survey that I discussed here. On Wednesday, there was a bloggers call with John McLaughlin, in which I participated but did not speak up. Jennifer Rubin, who asked one of the questions I wanted to ask (Anne Lieberman of Boker Tov Boulder asked the other), summarizes some of what we learned.

He stressed that although exit polls showed 78 percent of Jews voted for Obama, it is significant that 46 percent would now consider voting for someone else. That number is dramatically higher among Orthodox voters (69 percent) and somewhat higher among denominationally Conservative Jews (50 percent) as well as those with family in Israel (48 percent) or those who had been to Israel (49 percent). This pattern – linking criticism of Obama with religious observance and affiliation with Israel — held on virtually all questions, including Obama’s job approval, the imposition of a peace plan, and the division of Jerusalem. On Obama’s job performance, for example, 80 percent of Orthodox Jews disapprove, and 50 of Conservatives disapprove, but only 26 percent of Reform Jews.

I asked McLaughlin if Reform Jews were also more liberal. He answered, “They are definitely more Democratic, more liberal and more concerned about domestic issues.” I also asked about the correlation between support for Obama and age. His poll screened for likely voters in the coming November and suggested there will be a drop-off in general among younger voters from 2008, which brought many new voters to the poll. Within American Jewry, older voters are more loyal to Obama and to the party. Among voters over 55 years old, only 42 percent would consider voting for someone other than Obama, while 52 percent under 55 would. In the sample, among voters over 55 years old, 64 percent were Democrats, while “only” 53 percent under 55 identified as Democrats. As a group, however, Jews remain far more liberal (40 percent identified as such in the poll, only 21 percent as conservative) than voters in general.

Sounds like another winner for religious observance and for Birthright as the future of the American Jewish community.


Israel Matzav: Breaking down the Jewish vote

Israel Matzav: Put up or shut up in New York on Sunday

Put up or shut up in New York on Sunday

Those of you who want to do something for Israel but cannot figure out what to do get your chance on Sunday in New York City. A 'massive' rally is to be held outside the Israeli consulate on Sunday at 1:00 to protest President Obama's treatment of Israel.

Thousands of Americans are preparing to protest in New York this Sunday against the Obama administration's increasing hostility towards Israel. The event is scheduled to take place outside the Israel Consulate on Sunday, April 25 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. A partial list of organizations who endorsed the demonstration is below.

Beth Gilinsky, head of the Jewish Action Alliance that is sponsoring the event, said, "We are outraged that President [Barack] Obama is scapegoating Israel and wants to expel Jews from their homes in Jerusalem. President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton show more anger about a Jewish family building a home in Jerusalem than Iran building a nuclear bomb," she added.

...

“Vast segments of the Jewish community will not tolerate the president's continuing attacks on Israel. Grassroots Jewry will not be silent,” Gilinsky vowed. A long list of Jewish organizations as well as a number of Christian and other non-Jewish groups have signed on to the event as well.

The demonstration will also feature a taped statement by former New York City mayor Ed Koch, a strong supporter of Obama's presidential campaign. Koch recently expressed his shock and disappointment with the increasing anti-Israel views expressed by the president and the increasing hostility of his administration towards the Jewish State.

Among the organizations who have officially endorsed the upcoming rally are:

AISH Center

Americans for a Safe Israel

Artists 4 Israel

Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Coalition for Israel

Crown Heights Women for the Security and Integrity of Israel

Dr. Joseph Frager, Jerusalem Reclamation Project

NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind

IsraelAlive

Israel Day Concert in the Park

Jewish Political Education Foundation

Dr. Michael Ledeen, Center for Defense of Democracies

Unity Coalition for Israel

Dr. Herbert London, The Hudson Institute

AMCHA, Coalition for Jewish Concerns

Stand With Us

Endowment for Middle East Truth

World Committee for the Land of Israel

Zionist Organization of America

Z Street

More information is available by contacting Ronn Torossian in New York at 212-999-5585.

I can't be there on Sunday - it's a bit far away. But you're all invited to send me photos and video and your thoughts about the rally and I will try to post them.

Israel Matzav: Put up or shut up in New York on Sunday

Israel Matzav: Is Netanyahu's coalition in danger?

Is Netanyahu's coalition in danger?

Shmuel Rosner asks five questions with no good answers; number 3 ought to be forwarded to those in the Obama administration who are seeking 'regime change' in Israel.

3. Is Netanyahu's coalition in danger?

I don't think so. But all those wanting Netanyahu to dump the "right wing" and move to a more centrist coalition forget that Netanyahu isn't 80 years old and doesn't want this term to be his last. He can't - and will not - endanger the long-time relations with the right. Only a fool will trust Livni's and Barak's long term support.

Rosner's right. Unlike Arik Sharon, a majority of Netanyahu's Likud will not go with him if he tries to start a 'centrist' party. So he's stuck with the coalition he has. If the agitators in Labor succeed in getting Ehud Barak to pull out, it only makes it more likely - rather than less - that the coalition stays together as a narrow Right wing coalition.

We all remember 1992 and 1999.


Israel Matzav: Is Netanyahu's coalition in danger?

Israel Matzav: “You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”

“You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”

The recent transfer of long-range scud missiles to Hezbullah by Syria was only the latest in a series of transfers of advanced weaponry to Hezbullah over the Syrian - Lebanese border since the Second Lebanon War ended in 2006. Those transfers are watched and noted by Israel, but ignored by everyone else, including the supposed guardians of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

The weaponry supplied to Hizbullah include M-600 surface-to-surface missiles, the man-portable Igla-S surface-to-air missile system, which would threaten Israeli fighter aircraft monitoring the skies of Lebanon, and now the Scud-D ballistic missile system.

If the reports regarding such weaponry are correct, they would make Hizbullah by far the best-armed non-state paramilitary group in the world.

These reports do not mean that war is necessarily imminent.

Israel appears in no hurry to punish Hizbullah and Syria for the flouting of red lines. Unlike its enemies, the Israeli government is publicly accountable, and would find it difficult to justify a preemptive strike – which might well result in renewed war – to the Israeli public.

Hizbullah and Syria also seem in no rush to initiate hostilities. They have merely internalized the fact that nothing serious appears to stand in the way of their activities across the eastern border of Lebanon, and are hence proceeding apace.

The clearest lesson of the latest events is the fictional status of international guarantees and resolutions if these are not backed by a real willingness to enforce them.

The Western failure to underwrite the elected government of Lebanon has led to the effective Hizbullah takeover of that country. The failure to insist on the implementation of Resolution 1701 has allowed the apparent strategic transformation of Hizbullah over the last three and a half years.

While the “resistance bloc” does not necessarily seek imminent conflict, there is also no sign whatsoever that its appetite has been satiated by its recent gains. Laws, elections and agreements do not stand in its way. It operates, rather, according to the dictum of a certain 20th-century German leader, who said, “You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”

There's going to be another war up north. The only question is when. This time, Israel really has to finish off Hezbullah.

By the way, I take issue with blaming this entirely on a failure to insist on the implementation of Resolution 1701. That resolution was flawed from the outset by requiring that the Lebanese army request UNIFIL's intervention rather than giving UNIFIL free reign. The result is that areas like the Syrian border, the Mediterranean coast line and parts of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley are essentially off limits to UNIFIL troops.

This was all foreseeable to anyone who read and understood Resolution 1701.

One other little point from that same post that I cannot resist putting out for those of you who think of revising history to say that the Bush administration was not behind Israel in that summer of 2006:

A senior administration official in Crawford, Tex., where Mr. Bush is on vacation, said that it increasingly seemed that Israel would not be able to achieve a military victory, a realization that led the Americans to get behind a cease-fire.

We could have achieved one with a different Prime Minister, Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff in charge. The three stooges (Olmert, Peretz and Halutz) wasted a golden opportunity.


Israel Matzav: “You stand there with your law, and I’ll stand here with my bayonets, and we’ll see which one prevails.”

Israel Matzav: US Defense Dept: Iran's main goal is regime survival

US Defense Dept: Iran's main goal is regime survival

Tell me they don't believe this....

The report assesses that the chief goal of Iran’s military strategy is regime survival. And it describes Iran’s military power as being largely deterrent in nature.

“To ensure regime survival, Iran’s security strategy is based first on deterring an attack,” the report says. “Iran’s principles of military strategy include deterrence, asymmetrical retaliation and attrition warfare.”

“Iran’s nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy,” it says.

Iran also seeks “to become the strongest and most influential country in the Middle East and to influence world affairs,” the report says. Interestingly, the report says, “in recent years, Iran’s ideological goals have taken a back seat to pragmatic considerations.”

And why does anyone believe that those ideological goals will continue to take a back seat if Iran becomes a nuclear power? Do they actually talk to people who know the regime from the inside?


Israel Matzav: US Defense Dept: Iran's main goal is regime survival
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...