Monday, 26 April 2010

Israel Matzav: Jones apologizes, post-racial White House not offended

Jones apologizes, post-racial White House not offended

National Security Adviser James Jones has apologized (Hat Tip: Memeorandum) for telling a joke about Jewish merchants during a talk at a Washington think tank last week.

I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it. It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct.

But one has to wonder what to make of this response from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that the White House had "no intention to deceive" in leaving the remarks off a transcript off [I assume that should be "of." CiJ] the event, which he said were in fact the prepared text. He said the White House hadn't asked for Jones' apology which "rightly speaks for itself."

Does that mean that the post-racial White House didn't find the joke offensive?

Israel Matzav: Jones apologizes, post-racial White House not offended

Israel Matzav: The most pro-Israel country in the World

The most pro-Israel country in the World

The most pro-Israel country in the World is the United States India according to a study done by Israel's foreign ministry.

According to the study, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.

The study was undertaken as part of the "Branding Israel" project and aimed at looking into Israel's international stature at what researchers characterized as the world's 13 most important countries, including the US, Canada, Britain, France, China, and Russia. A total of 5,215 people took part in the study.

Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel.

I guess no one should be too surprised that the countries that like us the least are the countries of Western Europe. They'll be Muslim in another few years.


Israel Matzav: The most pro-Israel country in the World

Israel Matzav: 'Smart diplomacy': 60.9% of Israelis believe Obama trying to improve relations with Arabs at Israel's expense

'Smart diplomacy': 60.9% of Israelis believe Obama trying to improve relations with Arabs at Israel's expense

A Shvakim Panorama (which is a relatively neutral polling company) poll shows that Israelis overwhelmingly oppose a building freeze in Jerusalem, blame President Obama for the tensions between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu, and believe he is trying to improve the United States' relations with Arab countries at Israel's expense.

Poll carried out by Shvakim Panorama for Israel Television Channel 1 of a representative sample of adult Israelis (apparently includes Israeli Arabs) broadcast on the evening of 23 April as published in Yisrael Hayom [on Sunday]:

What do you think of the American demand to freeze construction in Jerusalem?
Support 21.8% Oppose 71.6% Don’t know/refuse reply 6.6%

Who is responsible for the tension between the USA and Israel – Obama or Netanyahu?
Obama 58.6% Netanyahu 16.2% Both 17.6% Don’t know/refuse reply 7.6%

Is Obama interested in improving relations with the Arab states at the expense of Israel?
Yes 60.9% No 26.5% Don’t know/refuse reply 12.6%

For the record, if the number of 'Israeli Arabs' in the sample size is representative of the population (20%), you can assume that 20% of the 21.8% who support the freeze are 'Israeli Arabs,' 20% of the 33.8% who blame Netanyahu or both for the tension are 'Israeli Arabs' and 20% of the 26.5% of those who believe Obama is improving relations with the Arab states at Israel's expense are 'Israeli Arabs.'

I guess that PR blitz is going really well, isn't it? Heh.

Israel Matzav: 'Smart diplomacy': 60.9% of Israelis believe Obama trying to improve relations with Arabs at Israel's expense

Israel Matzav: Video: National Security Adviser tells anti-Semitic joke

Video: National Security Adviser tells anti-Semitic joke

Here's President Obama's National Security Adviser James Jones telling an anti-Semitic joke.

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



This is supposed to be one of our neutral negotiators. And he's telling jokes depicting Jews as greedy merchants.

Anyone wonder why no one in Israel trusts this administration?

What if Jones had told a joke like that about blacks? What do you think would have happened?

Israel Matzav: Video: National Security Adviser tells anti-Semitic joke

Israel Matzav: De facto construction freeze for Jews in 'eastern sector' of Jerusalem

De facto construction freeze for Jews in 'eastern sector' of Jerusalem

Arutz Sheva is reporting that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama have reached a 'secret' agreement on a construction freeze in Jerusalem.

Reports in the Israeli press say that despite denials to the opposite, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barak Obama have reached a secret agreement on the issue of Jerusalem, whereby Israel will declare that it will continue construction in the Jewish capital, but in practice nothing will be allowed.

The reports also said that Netanyahu promised to stop the recently approved Ramat Shlomo project of 1,600 units.

Haaretz goes even further, reporting that 'Jerusalem officials' say that there is a de facto freeze in Jerusalem's 'eastern sector.'

Jerusalem Councilman Meir Margalit of the dovish Meretz Party said top Jerusalem officials intimately involved with construction projects told him that Netanyahu's office ordered a freeze after Washington expressed anger over the building plans.

The government ordered the Interior Ministry immediately after the Biden incident to not even talk about new construction for Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, Margalit said. It's not just that building has stopped: The committees that deal with this are not even meeting anymore.

He declined to identify the officials who informed him of the order because they had not approved the disclosure of their names. A Jerusalem municipal spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking interviews with the officials.

Another councilman, Meir Turujamen, who sits on the Interior Ministry committee that approves building plans, said his panel has not met since the Biden visit, after previously meeting once weekly.

"I wrote a letter about three weeks or a month ago asking [Interior Minister Eli] Yishai why the committee isn't convening," he said. "To this day I haven't received an answer."

Turujamen added that the last time his committee met was on March 9, when it made the provocative decision to approve the 1,600-apartment Ramat Shlomo project that riled the Americans.

He said he received no official word of a de facto freeze order, but based on the situation, those are the facts. We used to meet once a week, and now for several months we haven't met. It's clear there's an order.

Netanyahu denied that there is freeze in place in a meeting with Likud faction members on Monday.

And yes, of course this is plausible and even likely. What did you think - that Bibi didn't give anything to get the Obami to talk nicely to us?


Israel Matzav: De facto construction freeze for Jews in 'eastern sector' of Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem a 'no-go' zone for police

Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem a 'no-go' zone for police

If you get caught in an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem like Baruch Heller did, don't expect the Jerusalem police to come to your rescue.

While at the station, Heller said, he managed to get an officer to explain why police stand on the sidelines while Arabs attack Jewish motorists. Arabs attack cars in order to force police to enter their neighborhoods, so they can attack them, the officer explained.

For that reason, he said, police have been ordered not to be drawn into areas where there is frequent trouble.

Police may fear that clashes with Arabs would lead to casualties among the Arab rioters. In the past, violent riots in which Arabs were injured have led to inquiries into police behavior, such as the Or Commission that investigated police officers following Arab deaths in the October 2000 riots.

Heller and his friend have filed a complaint with police over the incident. In addition, they have written to the Jerusalem city council and to officials responsible for Arab neighborhoods in particular, explaining the problems they encountered when dealing with the police, and expressing hope that a policy that lets the police do their job of protecting innocent citizens will be formulated.

Read the whole thing.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem a 'no-go' zone for police

Israel Matzav: Obama's war on Israel

Obama's war on Israel

This audio from Howard Galganov is great. There's a little bit of music (the theme from Exodus) at the beginning and then there's a great audio and then the full theme at the end. Listen to it here (Hat Tip: Dani K).

Israel Matzav: Obama's war on Israel

Israel Matzav: New Jewish town in Judea for the first time since 1996?

New Jewish town in Judea for the first time since 1996?

The Israeli government told the Supreme Court on Sunday that it is considering legalizing an 'illegal outpost' in the Etzion bloc area whose construction was started before March 2001 if a new survey finds that the 'outpost' was built on state land and not on land privately owned by 'Palestinians.' The Sharon government promised the Bush administration that it would dismantle 26 'illegal outposts' whose construction began after March 2001. If in fact the 'outpost' is legalized, it may be the first new Jewish town allowed in Judea or Samaria since 1996.

In a response filed ahead of a High Court of Justice hearing scheduled for Monday, the state wrote that even though the entire Derech Ha’avot outpost, with its 17 permanent homes and 15 mobile homes, was built without a permit, the state is considering retroactively legalizing all of those structures that were not built on privately owned Palestinian land.

“The state has decided to order a survey of the lands in Derech Ha’avot,” the state’s representative, attorney Gilad Shirman, informed the court. “To the extent that the survey reveals that some or all of the houses are built on state land, the state will consider the possibility of legalizing the construction. Regarding buildings that are found to have been built on private land, the demolition orders will be applied in accordance with the [state’s] order of priorities.”

The state was responding to a petition filed by eight Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of El Khader and Peace Now, charging that the land upon which the buildings of Derech Ha’avot stand belongs to the Palestinian petitioners.

They maintain that they owned the land and cultivated it until the outbreak of the second intifada, when they had to abandon it because of curfews and closures that forced them to remain at home.

In its initial response to the petition, the state acknowledged that all the construction was illegal and that the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria had issued demolition orders against all the structures. It did not confirm the petitioners’ allegation that the buildings were erected on private Palestinian land but said that since the land was not registered, it was unclear whether it was state- or privately-owned.

According to the government, Derech Ha’avot was established in February 2001, one month before the cut-off date established by the Israel and the US in the road map agreement. Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon promised to dismantle all outposts built after March 2001. Israel maintains that 26 were built after that date and, although the overwhelming majority of them still stand, they are slated, on paper at least, for demolition.

Derech Ha’avot is not one of them, according to Israel. However, the US has a different list of outposts built after March 2001, and it is possible that Derech Ha’avot is on the American list. Furthermore, Peace Now spokeswoman Hagit Ofran told The Jerusalem Post that her organization has aerial photos of the area showing that construction of Derech Ha’avot began only in May 2001.

Imagine that. The Jewish government may actually decide not to demolish the homes of 32 Jewish families built in the State of Israel (right next to - but apparently outside the boundaries of - another Jewish town called Elazar).

The traitors at Peace Now will have a fit. The Obama administration will spend all its time focusing on the ramshackle mobile homes rather than focusing on Iran. The world community will shake in anger.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: New Jewish town in Judea for the first time since 1996?

Israel Matzav: Video: The most powerful political ad evah....

Video: The most powerful political ad evah....

Well, actually, it is pretty good. I would have ended it with an Iranian nuclear explosion, but the focus of this ad is solely on domestic issues. So it's off topic for me, but let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Stacy McCain).

Israel Matzav: Video: The most powerful political ad evah....

Israel Matzav: Britain ordered to pay $650 million to Iran over canceled arms deal

Britain ordered to pay $650 million to Iran over canceled arms deal

Here's another argument for Western countries not trusting multinational bodies.

The International Court of Justice in the Hague ordered the government of Britain on Sunday to pay Iran $650 million over an arms agreement that was signed in the 1970s but was never carried out. Reports in British media, the government accepted the ruling and the money is available.

The deal was for 1,500 Chieftan tanks and 250 other military vehicles. Britain cancelled the deal after the Islamic revolution ousted the Shah.

Please don't tell me that the Brits are actually going to pay this....


Israel Matzav: Britain ordered to pay $650 million to Iran over canceled arms deal

Israel Matzav: Hmmm....

Hmmm....

Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper is reporting that it was the United States (and specifically the Obama administration) that leaked the story about Syria delivering scud missiles to Hezbullah.

The Kuwaiti Al-Rai news has reported that officials in the US administration were the ones who leaked suspicions that Hezbollah had acquired Scud missiles from Syria, in order to "lay the groundwork for a proposal to the UN Security Council, to put together a resolution on the deployment of UN forces along the Syrian-Lebanese border".

The paper quoted Western diplomatic sources as saying that the aim of the deployment would be to stopper a supply route to Hezbollah, which allows it to hoard missiles in Lebanon.

Hmmm.

Maybe someone can ask Mr. Crowley about that at the State Department on Monday.

Israel Matzav: Hmmm....

Israel Matzav: Iranian nuclear scientist's home searched a day before he was killed

Iranian nuclear scientist's home searched a day before he was killed

In January, Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle went off outside his home. At the time, the Iranian regime claimed that Mohammadi hasbeen killed by the United States and Israel, although it was already known that he was a supporter of opposition candidate Mir Houssein Mossavi.

A month later it came out that Mohammadi was an important cog in Iran's nuclear program, and it is possible that someone in the West wished him dead.

Now, as part of a much longer article about defenctions from Iran's nuclear program, the Washington Post discloses that Mohammadi's home was searched by Iranian intelligence agents the day before Mohammadi was killed, making it appear much more likely that the Ahmadinejad regime itself murdered Mohammadi.

Some observers say the Tehran government has been unnerved by the defections and point to the death of an Iranian physics professor more than three months ago as a sign that it has begun a crackdown designed to frighten would-be spies.

The professor, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed Jan. 12 when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded as he passed nearby. Iranian officials accused Israeli and Western intelligence operatives in the killing, but news accounts indicated that Mohammadi had been sympathetic to the opposition movement and had attended anti-government demonstrations. The day before his death, Iranian intelligence agents had searched his home and confiscated documents and notes, according to a report by the NCRI [National Council of Resistance in Iran].

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Iranian nuclear scientist's home searched a day before he was killed

Israel Matzav: Uh oh... Iran inspecting ships in the Strait of Hormuz?

Uh oh... Iran inspecting ships in the Strait of Hormuz?

Iran's Press TV reports that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards stopped two ships - one French and one Italian - in the Strait of Hormuz last week, on the pretext of inspecting them for compliance with environmental regulations.

The vessels were allowed to continue sailing after confirmation that they had not breached any regulations, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

...

The Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway between Iran and Oman, connects the Persian Gulf with the Sea of Oman. Nearly 40 percent of the world's crude oil passes through this waterway.

I searched in vain for confirmation by the French or the Italians that these events took place. Every source I found repeats the report (except for Stratfor, which notes that it cannot confirm the story at this time). J.E. Dyer explains why it matters what the Iranians are doing:

The names of the foreign ships were not provided; sketchy details make it difficult to be certain exactly where in the strait they were stopped. But European ships — even private yachts — rarely venture outside the recognized navigation corridors in the Strait of Hormuz. If this news report is valid, it almost certainly means that Iran detained ships that were transiting those corridors.

That, as our vice president might say, is a big effing deal. That’s not because Iran has committed an act of war by intercepting these ships, as some in the blogosphere are speculating. The intercepts were not acts of war. The purpose of verifying environmental compliance is one Iran can theoretically invoke on the basis of its maritime claims lodged with the UN in 1993. Ironically, however, Iran has never signed the Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS), the instrument by which the terms of its claims are defined. Many nations, of course, have yet to either sign or ratify UNCLOS, America being among them. In the meantime, world shipping has operated in the Strait of Hormuz for decades on the basis of UNCLOS’s definition of “transit passage,” which has customarily immunized ships in routine transit through straits against random intercept by the littoral navies (e.g., Iran’s or Oman’s).

Iran would be breaking with that custom by stopping ships for inspection in the recognized transit corridors. But this venue for a newly assertive Iranian profile is chosen well: stopping foreign ships that are conducting transit passage is uncollegial and inconvenient for commerce, but it is not clearly in breach of international law.

What it is, however, is an incipient challenge to the maritime regime enforced by the U.S., which includes the quiescent transit-passage custom on which global commerce relies. Mariners take care to observe the law as it is written, regardless of their nationality or national position on UNCLOS; but the guarantee of their unhindered passage isn’t international law, it’s the U.S. Navy. Demonstrations of force are required only rarely. Reagan put down revolutionary Iran’s only serious challenge to international maritime order back in 1988, in the final months of the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, Iran has refrained from unilateral action against shipping in the recognized transit corridors of the strait.

I've said before on this blog that the only way that sanctions could be enforced against Iran would be for the US and other civilized nations of the World to control the Persian Gulf. That would have to include controlling the Strait of Hormuz, and that, of course, is unlikely to happen without a significant war.

But Iran controlling the Strait of Hormuz is a nightmare scenario. It means that Iran could turn the oil spigot on and off as it pleases. Look at the map. While it's theoretically possible for Saudi oil to be diverted to the country's Western (Red Sea) coast, at the moment there is no pipeline. The other countries involved - Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, and of course, Iran itself, cannot ship oil except through the Strait of Hormuz. That's why 40% of the World's oil goes through there. Take 40% of the World's crude off the markets and the price of oil will skyrocket.

Will Barack Obama send US warships to fight Iran in the Strait of Hormuz? Will he use US firepower against Iran? What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Uh oh... Iran inspecting ships in the Strait of Hormuz?

Israel Matzav: Syria simply explained

Syria simply explained

Noah Pollak explains that contrary to what we're hearing from Washington (where they are at a loss to explain Assad's motivation in supplying weapons to Hezbullah), Syria is quite easy to figure out.

Bashar is a promoter of a remarkable array of death and destruction in the Middle East: killing American soldiers in Iraq, murdering Lebanon’s pro-democracy community into submission, killing Israelis, arming Hezbollah, hosting Hamas, and so on. This is intended not only to make Syria into a bigger player than it would otherwise be, but allows Bashar to maintain his illegitimate police state of a regime by constantly invoking foreign threats. And it ensures that the United States and other western powers will continuously drag themselves to Syria to beg for cooperation. “The road to Damascus is a road to peace,” Nancy Pelosi famously declared on her visit in 2007. This is like saying that the road to a brothel is a road to virginity.

In the Obama administration, there are a few people, like Feltman, who understand Syria. But foreign policy is run from the top. The person who doesn’t get it is the president, who seems confused by the failure of the region’s dictators and terrorists to respond constructively to his sensitive reorientation of American foreign policy. Right now he is stuck between his ideological commitments and the reality of their failure, and in the meantime the Middle East’s rogues are not waiting around for The One to figure out what level of nuance he ultimately wishes to pursue. They see naivety and irresolution, and they capitalize.

Indeed (although I'm not sure why he thinks Feltman gets Syria).


Israel Matzav: Syria simply explained

Israel Matzav: Former Israel Airports security chief: 'Full body scanners are useless'

Former Israel Airports security chief: 'Full body scanners are useless'

Rafi Sela, the former security chief of the Israel Airports Authority, told the Transport Committee of Canada's House of Commons last week that full body scanners are useless.

He told the lawmakers, who were investigating the state of Canada's aviation safety, that the 44 imaging machines – each costing $250,000 – were a response that was too little and too late.

Sela, who helped design the security system at Ben-Gurion International Airport, has some 30 years' experience in the field. He warned the lawmakers, “You are reacting to incidents instead of being one step ahead of them” when the acquisition of the scanners was announced, days after a Nigerian national tried to blow up a U.S. airliner in December.

“I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines,” Sela commented. “I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That's why we haven't put them in our airport.”

...

Sela recommended instead that Canada use a “trusted traveller” system that sorted pre-approved, low-risk passengers, who could quickly be moved on with an expedited screening process, from those who might require more investigation. Such investigation would employ enhanced screening areas where automatic sniffing technology could be used to rule out explosives on a person's body or in baggage. He added that Canadians should also be using behavioral profiling.

Israeli security officials routinely use both.

Sorry Rafi, but behavioral profiling and trusting (inevitably non-Muslim) travelers is not PC.

Until the next terror attack....


Israel Matzav: Former Israel Airports security chief: 'Full body scanners are useless'

Israel Matzav: Rally for Israel in New York

Rally for Israel in New York

Well, it poured in New York on Sunday, but thousands of people came out anyway. Here's video from the rally.

Let's go to the videotape.



Pamela Geller has lots of pictures from the rally here.

Were you there?


Israel Matzav: Rally for Israel in New York

Israel Matzav: Dershowitz's challenge to J Street

Dershowitz's challenge to J Street

Alan Dershowitz challenges J Street's Jeremy Ben Ami:

Now it's my turn to answer Ben-Ami's direct question to me. Of course there is an American national interest in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Every country in the world has some national interest in bringing peace to that region. But I believe that the new emerging policy of the Obama Administration exaggerates the extent of our national interest in forcing a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that J Street has encouraged that exaggeration by claiming that it is "critical" to American strategic interests. I believe that very little will change in the Middle East, with regard to the major threats we face from Iran, Al Qaeda and Islamic extremism, by a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, desirable as that would be. And, of course, much depends on how the conflict is resolved--whether a resolution encourages or discourages further attacks against Israel, and whether it increases or decreases the likelihood of future wars. A "bad" peace that does not assure Israel's security will not serve either American or Israeli interests.

I do not believe, as Ben-Ami does that, "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] a centerpiece of [extremists] recruitment." The centerpiece is Israel's very existence, as well as American presence on Muslim land. I do not believe that Israel is the reason for "the rising influence of Iran in the region and its quest for nuclear weapons." Nor do I believe that resolving it would help to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

This leads me to my final challenge to J Street: Do you believe that if America fails to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and if the Israeli government makes a considered decision that it must use military action, as a last resort, to prevent Iran from being able to deploy nuclear weapons, that Israel would have the right to engage in preventive self defense by attacking Iran's nuclear facilities? I am not asking whether Israel should or should not consider such attack, since I lack the military expertise to make that decision, as do you. I am asking whether Israel should have the right to make that decision. And I'm asking whether you believe the United States should seek to prevent Israel from acting on that decision as an absolute last resort?

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Dershowitz's challenge to J Street

DoubleTapper: Who was Fred Monosson

Who was Fred Monosson

Fred Monosson was originally from Novgrudok, Belarus.

Fred is seated on the right
This picture is from here

He had a town named after him
Neve Monosson was founded in 1953 by a group of families supported by Fred (Efraim) Monosson, a wealthy raincoat manufacturer and a leading Zionist from Boston, Massachusetts.



About Fred


Independence Day in Israel


Fred Monoson's Footage of IDF


DoubleTapper: Who was Fred Monosson

Love of the Land: Obama's National Security Advisor's Joke

Obama's National Security Advisor's Joke


Jameel
The Muqata
26 April '10

President Obama's National Security Adviser, Jim Jones told the following joke, where he received lots of laughs from the audience...



Find this funny? Appropriate? Important point to note is that the audience in this case is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Some of the posted comments posted on "The Muqata" page were questioning where this was said.

Click here for Jameel's post and follow-up comments.


Love of the Land: Obama's National Security Advisor's Joke

Love of the Land: The Palestine Peace Distraction

The Palestine Peace Distraction


Richard N. Haass
Wall Street Journal
26 April '10

President Obama recently said it was a "vital national security interest of the United States" to resolve the Middle East conflict. Last month, David Petraeus, the general who leads U.S. Central Command, testified before Congress that "enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests." He went on to say that "Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples . . . and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world."

To be sure, peace between Israelis and Palestinians would be of real value. It would constitute a major foreign-policy accomplishment for the United States. It would help ensure Israel's survival as a democratic, secure, prosperous, Jewish state. It would reduce Palestinian and Arab alienation, a source of anti-Americanism and radicalism. And it would dilute the appeal of Iran and its clients.

But it is easy to exaggerate how central the Israel-Palestinian issue is and how much the U.S. pays for the current state of affairs. There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu. But would it? The short answer is no. It matters, but both less and in a different way than people tend to think.

Take Iraq, the biggest American investment in the Greater Middle East over the past decade. That country's Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are divided over the composition of the new government, how to share oil revenues, and where to draw the border between the Kurdish and Arab areas. The emergence of a Palestinian state would not affect any of these power struggles.

Soon to surpass Iraq as the largest U.S. involvement in the region is Afghanistan. Here the U.S. finds itself working against, as much as with, a weak and corrupt president who frustrates American efforts to build up a government that is both willing and able to take on the Taliban. Again, the emergence of a Palestinian state would have no effect on prospects for U.S. policy in Afghanistan or on Afghanistan itself.

What about Iran? The greatest concern is Iran's push for nuclear weapons. But what motivates this pursuit is less a desire to offset Israel's nuclear weapons than a fear of conventional military attack by the U.S. Iran's nuclear bid is also closely tied to its desire for regional primacy. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians would not weaken Iran's nuclear aspirations. It could even reinforce them. Iran and the groups it backs (notably Hamas and Hezbollah) would be sidelined by the region's embrace of a Palestinian state and acceptance of Israel, perhaps causing Tehran to look to nuclear weapons to compensate for its loss of standing and influence.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The Palestine Peace Distraction

Love of the Land: One Thousand, Four Hundred Days

One Thousand, Four Hundred Days


Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
25 April '10

In the last one thousand, four hundred days...

We sold our house and

We moved to a new house, that we bought.

My oldest daughter got engaged and married, celebrated her first, her second, and her third wedding anniversary.

My oldest son entered the army, finished basic training, advanced training, a commander's course.

He served in several combat locations and went to war against terrorists who were firing hundreds of rockets into our cities.

He finished his national service, returned his weapon and uniform and came back home.

My second son finished high school, did a year and a half of pre-military learning, and just entered the army.

My third son finished elementary school, entered junior high school and celebrated his bar mitzvah.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: One Thousand, Four Hundred Days

Love of the Land: The Salam Fayyad show

The Salam Fayyad show

Economic growth in PA result of foreign aid, not prime minister’s actions


Avi Trengo
Israel Opinion/Ynet
25 April '10

Salam Fayyad has been stating time and again that he is working towards declaring independence across all “occupied territories” in August 2011. He says that although he is willing to engage in negotiations with Israel, he does not view this as a requirement for Palestine’s establishment. The Palestinians demand the application of international laws on self-determination, he says, adding that Israel is not the only player in this game.

Fayyad has also threatened to act unilaterally: “"We are not relinquishing negotiations as a method to establish a state, but in case this doesn't work we are preparing for a second possibility – to turn our dream into a reality."

Fayyad is not a military leader. He is building himself up as a political leader, yet there is no better way to judge his actions than to examine his deeds on the economic front, thereby exposing the immense gap between his words and intentions.

Had his intention indeed been to be the Palestinian Ben-Gurion, he would have been acting for the sake of economic independence and the building of an infrastructure for the state in process. Instead, Fayyad dedicated the huge funds he’s been receiving from the world to paying salaries, in a bid to boost his support. He remembers well that the party he established years ago won less than 2% of the vote in the elections. Just like any politician, this is what truly interests him: building a support base.

Recently, he started rewarding not only the 150,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority and its security arms. Fayyad established a fund (seemingly for development purposes) that hands over funds directly from donor states to salaries in more than 500 city halls and local councils established in the PA. In the past 16 years, these grew fivefold.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The Salam Fayyad show

Love of the Land: Obama's 5 Big Lies About Israel

Obama's 5 Big Lies About Israel


Daniel Greenfield
Sultan Knish
25 April '10

In preparation for his attempt to impose a final solution on Israel, Obama is spreading a variety of lies through the media and his spokesmen about Israel. And by exposing those lies, we can best get at the truth.


1. Netanyahu Must Choose Between Obama and his Right Wing


What Obama's people would like you to believe here is that all it would take to restore good relations with the Obama Administration is for Netanyahu to reject the "extremists" and do what Obama tells him to do.

But in fact the vast majority of Israelis support Netanyahu's position that Jews have the right to live anywhere in Jerusalem, and oppose Obama's position that Jews have no right to live or build homes in parts of Jerusalem that were seized by Jordan in 1948 and ethnically cleansed of Jews.

Netanyahu's real choice is between Obama and the vast majority of his country's voters. By demanding that he turn his back on them and do what Obama says, the real demand here is for Netanyahu to completely disregard Israel's democracy, and betray his own electorate, and enact Apartheid in Jerusalem. This will supposedly appease Obama. And all Netanyahu has to do is disregard the Israeli people's wishes in favor of DC's wishes.

So Netanyahu must choose between Obama and democracy. And the media is blasting him because he chose democracy over Obama.


2. Obama Wants Netanyahu's Right Wing Coalition to be More Centrist

More centrist. Really? Netanyahu's current coalition includes the left wing Labor party, an immigrant's rights party and the party of Sefardi Jews. It even has an Arab Muslim Deputy Minister.

So what is Obama's idea of a centrist Israeli government? One that jettisons Shas, the party of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries, and Yisrael Beitenu, the party of Jewish refugees from the USSR-- in favor of Kadima, an illegitimately created party headed by Tzipi Livni, a former member of Netanyahu's own Likud party. How is a coalition with Kadima more "centrist" than a coalition with the Labor party and parties that represent Israel's different minorities? The answer is it isn't. The only thing "centrist" about Kadima, is that Tzipi Livni airheadedly endorses every Obama proposal, which hasn't exactly made her popular in the country. But it has made her popular with Obama, who wants to force her into a coalition with Netanyahu.

If you believe the Washington talking heads, Livni will make Netanyahu's coalition more centrist than former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barack. This despite the fact that Kadima officials have repeatedly stated they will not enter any coalition headed by Netanyahu.

Let me emphasize this again. Obama's people are trying to force Netanyahu to drop two parties, one of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries and another of Jewish refugees from Communist countries-- (it's not too hard to figure out why Obama would dislike both) in order to form a more "centrist" coalition with a former member of his own party.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Obama's 5 Big Lies About Israel

Love of the Land: Media-backed Violence and Twisted History

Media-backed Violence and Twisted History


Yisrael Medad
My Right Word
26 April '10

Isabel Kershner has a report in the New York Times on the Kach march through Ir David/Silwan:-

Israeli Rightists Stir Tensions in East Jerusalem

A small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis marched through a volatile neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday, arousing passions over the future of the contested city as an American envoy wrapped up an inconclusive three-day visit aimed at getting peace talks under way.



I will return to that "arousing passions" in a moment but let me deal with another element in her story.

She writes (and the foreign desk editor approved for publication as we media monitors should know that many keyboards a story make) that the marchers proceeded:-

...through the Wadi Hilwe section of Silwan, a predominantly Arab neighborhood. Wadi Hilwe sits on what Jews believe to be the ruins of the biblical City of David, in the shadow of the Temple Mount, or the Noble Sanctuary, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. In recent years a Jewish settler group has sponsored excavations in the area and acquired property that is now populated by hundreds of Jews.



Anyone who knows the area knows that Ms. Kershner (or Mrs. Hirsh Goodman) is really splitting geographical hairs on that. A "section" within a "neighborhood"? Sounds as if its another district of "Palestine".

But more importantly, many non-Jews also believe that the location is David's City and there are quite provable and firm scientific elements of evidence to that claim.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Media-backed Violence and Twisted History

Love of the Land: Abbas Gets a White House Visit

Abbas Gets a White House Visit


Jennifer Rubin
Contentions/Commentary
25 April '10

Fox News reports:

President Barack Obama’s Middle East envoy wrapped up his latest diplomatic mission Sunday without getting the Palestinians to agree to indirect peace talks with Israel, but there were signs the impasse could be broken soon.George Mitchell said he would return to the region next week, signaling he is making progress.

Palestinian officials said President Mahmoud Abbas plans to consult with Arab countries at the end of the week and could soon be heading to the White House for talks with Obama. Abbas needs to decide whether to engage with Israel, with Mitchell as a go-between, even though Israel has rejected his demands to freeze new construction for Jews in east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital.

A senior Palestinian official said Abbas was inclined to agree to the talks, in large part because of personal appeals in recent days from Obama, Mitchell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing internal Palestinian deliberations.


Wait. Abbas is meeting with Obama at the White House after the multiple snubs to Netanyahu? Yup. And it’s not hard to figure out why. The Obami are rewarding intransigence and bribing Abbas not to embarrass George Mitchell and crew by wrecking the proximity talks. Fox notes that the Obami hve been “trying to coax Abbas back to the table”:

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Abbas Gets a White House Visit

Love of the Land: What the Obama White House has condemned

What the Obama White House has condemned


Elder of Ziyon
25 April '10

One of the strongest terms in the diplomatic arsenal is the word "condemn." It is used sparingly, to show extreme displeasure, usually for heinous acts of terror and mass murder.

Elder Brother of Ziyon asked me what international incidents the Obama White House has condemned since taking office.

Here's what I could find:

Terrorist bombings on the Moscow Metro
May 2009 fatal terror attacks in Iran
Murder of three employees of US Consulate in Mexico
Violence against civilians in Iran
Terrorist bombings in Iraq
Terrorist bombings in Jakarta
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest in Burma
Al Qaeda attack on Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Minister of Interior
Brutal murders and rapes in Guinea
Iran's executions of pro-democracy advocates
North Korean nuclear test

and, of course...


(Read full post)

Love of the Land: What the Obama White House has condemned

Love of the Land: Abbas and Obama

Abbas and Obama


Fresnozionism.org
24 April '10

News item:

Aides to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas say the Palestinian leader could meet with US President Barack Obama soon.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinians requested such a meeting and were told by Obama’s envoy that the US leader would see Abbas in the near future. Erekat said Sunday that no date was set.

Another aide, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told Palestinian radio that “there is talk about an invitation for President Abbas to visit Washington,” possibly next month.


Will there be a photo-op with the press for this ‘leader’ who has zero support from his own people except those that are paid with US dollars? Will he be offered more of those dollars even though he represents Fatah, a terrorist organization that has killed more Israelis than any other, and which still — despite promises and signed agreements — swears to erase Israel from all of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean?

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Abbas and Obama

Love of the Land: In the absence of a US foreign policy

In the absence of a US foreign policy


Hussain Abdul-Hussain
NOW Lebanon
23 April '10

Those who know Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman know that this skilled diplomat has a personal bias toward Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence and freedom. Being supportive of Lebanon is one thing, but defending whatever the administration decides is another.

At a hearing before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia yesterday, the former US ambassador to Lebanon faced some tough questioning and was for once on the back foot. Naturally, Congress focused its attack on Washington’s decision to send Robert Ford as ambassador to Damascus.

Feltman argued that since February 26, the State Department has summoned Syrian diplomats – including Ambassador Imad Mustafa – on four occasions to voice its displeasure over Syria’s alleged policy of arming Hezbollah. Mustafa denies he was ever summoned, which made Feltman conclude that Mustafa was either not listening, or did not communicate the details of the meeting to Damascus. Feltman added that in the Arab world, officials tend to keep bad news from their bosses.

As such, he argued, sending a US ambassador back to Syria was imperative. The US needs to have the ear of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who until now has been making grave errors because he has been listening, Feltman argued, to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Those who have been following the Middle East long enough might remember that during one of his trials, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein asked the judge whether he thought of him as being a beast. “No, but those around you made you one,” the judge told Saddam.

The assumption is therefore that Assad is all sweet and full of good intentions, rendering the three-decade confrontation between Damascus and Washington a mere misunderstanding in communication.

But contrary to what Feltman implied, Mustafa is not dumb.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: In the absence of a US foreign policy

Love of the Land: On Israel, Obama Playing the Mideast Game Wrong

On Israel, Obama Playing the Mideast Game Wrong


Mortimer B. Zuckerman
U.S. News and World
23 April '10

The Middle East peace process is stalled thanks to a second deadlock engineered by the United States government. President Obama began the process with his call for a settlement freeze in 2009 and escalates it now with a major change of American policy on Jerusalem.

The president seeks to prohibit Israel from any construction in its capital—in an exclusively Jewish suburb of East Jerusalem. This, despite the fact that all former administrations had unequivocally understood that the area in question would remain part of Israel in any final peace agreement. Objecting to this early phase of the planning process for housing in East Jerusalem is tantamount to getting the Israelis to agree to the division of Jerusalem in any settlement—even before the start of final status talks with the Palestinians. In 1995, it was by a substantial bipartisan majority that Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act calling for the movement of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—and equally importantly, stating that Jerusalem must remain united under Israeli sovereignty.

But Obama has undermined the confidence of the Israelis in the United States from the start of his presidency. He uses the same term, "settlements," ambiguously for both massive neighborhoods that are the homes to tens of thousands of Jews and for illegal outposts, raising the question for the Israelis about whether the U.S. administration really understands the issue. The Palestinian Authority followed the president's lead and refused to proceed with planned proximity talks until Israel stops all settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem.

The president's attitude toward Jerusalem betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the history of the city. After Israel was recognized as a new state in 1948, it was immediately attacked by the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The attacks were repelled, but the Jordanians, who were asked not to join the Egyptian war effort, conquered East Jerusalem and separated it from its western half. In 1967, the Arab armies again sought to destroy Israel, but it prevailed in the famous Six-Day War and reconquered East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip.

(Read full article)



Love of the Land: On Israel, Obama Playing the Mideast Game Wrong

Love of the Land: The peace process is about to continue ... no it isn't ... arrgh!

The peace process is about to continue ... no it isn't ... arrgh!


Soccer Dad
25 April '10

What's the current state of Middle East negotiations?

According to the New York Times ... they're back on track ... maybe

The American envoy to the Middle East, George J. Mitchell, planned to meet on Friday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, a sign that indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be getting back on track, officials from all three parties said.
In advance of encounters with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, separately, with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, Mr. Mitchell met on Friday with the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, Reuters reported, but no details of the discussions were made public.

The talks with the two leaders had been expected to begin last month but were delayed after Israel announced plans to build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem, where the Palestinians hope to build their capital. The Palestinians and President Obama were furious at the announcement, made during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and the Americans made a number of demands of Israel aimed at restoring the negotiations.



According to the Washington Post, still no signs of life.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Saturday for a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel and said he had asked the United States more than once to unilaterally "impose" a solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"I call upon the American administration, especially President Obama, to resume peaceful negotiations and to stop the settlements and to launch serious negotiations for establishing the Palestinian state," Abbas told leaders of his Fatah party in a speech.

"We asked them more than one time to impose the solution," Abbas said of U.S. officials, voicing frustration over the absence of progress toward a peace settlement.


What's interesting is that the Post acknowledges that Abbas is asking the United States to impose a settlement.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: The peace process is about to continue ... no it isn't ... arrgh!

Love of the Land: The Scud Saga Continues

The Scud Saga Continues


Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
25 April '10

Michael Young, the opinion editor of the Beirut Daily Star, has a fine column parsing the latest developments on Syria, Lebanon, and the Obama administration. He confirms the interpretation I made recently on this blog, that the administration is puzzled at the failure of its opening gambits and unsure of what to do next:

The problem is that Washington is of several minds over what to do about Syria…because there is no broad accord, and because the president has not provided clear guidance on resolving Mideastern problems, there is confusion in Washington. And where there is confusion there is policy bedlam, with everyone trying to fill the vacuum. That explains why the Syrians feel they can relax for now, and why the Iranians see no reason yet to fear an American riposte.

Lebanon should be worried about American uncertainty. When there is doubt in Washington, it usually means the Israelis have wide latitude to do what they see fit here. With much of the Lebanese political class openly or objectively siding with Hezbollah, rather than shaping an American approach to Lebanon that might reinforce its sovereignty, we can guess the calamitous effect of that abdication.


Young’s worry is confirmed by this remarkable report from Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin:

As for why Syria seems to be playing such an unhelpful role, “that’s the million-dollar question,” the [Obama administration] official said….”We do not understand Syrian intentions. No one does, and until we get to that question we can never get to the root of the problem,” the official said. “Until then it’s all damage control.”


This is quite simply amazing. The Assads, father and now son, have run the same foreign policy for decades.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: The Scud Saga Continues

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RubinReports: Is the U.S. Diplomatic and Intelligence Community Being Brainwashed in Dealing with Islamism?

Is the U.S. Diplomatic and Intelligence Community Being Brainwashed in Dealing with Islamism?

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By Barry Rubin

When I first heard the story that President Barack Obama was barring from national security documents the use of terms like "Islamism," "Islamic fundamentalist," "Islamic radicalism," or any reference of any connection between Islam and terrorist or revolutionary groups; al-Qaida, Hamas, and Hizballah; Iran's regime or al-Qaida, I said to myself, oh that's nothing new. That kind of policy started under Bush.

But then I realized--and this isn't obvious in the coverage but is the most important aspect of all!--that this policy applies to internal government documents not just public statements. That's both scary and shocking. Because the implication won't be lost on career officials that along with not using these words it isn't going to help their future prospects to use these concepts.

I don't want to overstate the situation. In internal government discussions, people do refer to "Islamic radicals," for example. It is the written work that is more likely to suffer. And are things going to tighten up under this administration in the years to come?

Suppose I'm an intelligence analyst in the State Department, Defense Department, armed forces, or CIA, and I'm writing about one of these groups or this ideology. How can one possibly analyze the power and appeal of this ideology, the way that ideas set its strategy and tactics, why it is such a huge menace if any reference to the Islamic religion and its texts or doctrines isn't permitted?

Indeed, it is worse. Can you refer to the claims of these groups about Islam, even while insisting that they are wrong? Remember it isn't just a matter of forbidding officials from doing something, they are going to get the signal that it is better for their careers not to do so.

And if one cannot talk about "Islamist" groups can you identify them as a huge threat or is the analyst tempted to suggest that they can be won over and moderated rather than they need to be combatted? Perhaps, say, the coming to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might not be such a bad thing, or Hizballah is something the U.S. government can work with?

How could one even talk about a coherent Islamist movement, which is possibly the most single significant feature of international affairs today, at least in the Middle East--if I cannot use the "I" word even as part of a different word?

Suppose I'm reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Could I say without fear:

Yes, of course, Islam is a religion of peace but these people want to hijack and distort it. So what they do is look at certain basic texts and important Muslim theologians and interpet their statements to mean that ultimately no compromise is possible, Egypt must become an Islamic [oops] state, America is going to be their enemy, and Israel must be destroyed. Of course, this is just a distortion of Islam [which is a religion of peace] but many people believe it because they have been taught an interpretation similar to the one the Brotherhood is using.

Or would I have to say:

Since Islam is a religion of peace and is really moderate and there's nothing in it that lends itself to a radical [mis]interpretation, therefore, the Brotherhood will realize this and become moderate or the Muslim masses--who, of course, understand their own religion--will inevitably reject the Islamists [oops!] false interpretation. In short, no worries and every little thing's gonna be all right. [Footnote: Bob Marley.]

After all, this is the name of the doctrine that triggers so much terrorism; destroyed the World Trade Center; overthrew the shah of Iran; seized power in the Gaza Strip; is killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; and is trying to mount revolutions in countries as far-flung as Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, and Somalia to India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Yet that reovlutionary Islamist doctrine itself is exploiting every advantage it can from the fervent belief of millions of people in Islam and the fact that its ideology arguably does coincide with some of that religion's most important features.

In contrast to the "official" view that Islam is a religion of peace which a few heretical desperadoes is trying to hijack, my image is one of a fight over the steering wheel between two rivals which each have a claim to ownership of the vehicle. We know who we want to win, but the battle's outcome isn't going to be determined by pretending that an Islamist ideology doesn't exist or that all the Muslim onlookers are laughing at the ridiculous pretensions of obviously outlandish heretics to their religion. After all, if that's true, the Islamists have no chance of gaining power, right?

But while the Islamists are not "the" or the only embodiment of Islam, they are an embodiment of Islam who can make their case for legitimacy, and must be understood as such. The danger is that the Islamists will in future be accepted as the definers of Islam by huge numbers of people. The Islamists may disillusion people if they become rulers--as did the Communists--but once they have control over a country and its weapons it's too late to debate them into defeat.

I'm less bothered by the fact that the U.S. government won't allow officials to speak that way publicly. There are two arguments for this stance: so as not to "insult" Muslims by associating them with Islamists and to avoid giving Islamists legitimacy as claimants to being normative Muslims. Both have a certain public relations' value but are sort of silly at the same time since many Muslims embrace Islamism while Muslims don't care what non-Muslims think about anyone's credentials. At any rate, these don't apply so much to the phrase "revolutionary Islamist" for example.

Those of us who know how government bureaucracy works understand that officials don't do things that jeopardize their careers and promotion hopes. For example, few in the U.S. army are going to look seriously for budding Islamist terrorists in their own ranks because--despite the Fort Hood massacre--to do so risks being called racist, Islamophobe, and--worse, lieutenant-for-life. And--may I be blunt here?--if officer bureaucrats and officials have to choose between getting into trouble and endangering lives, a lot of them will choose the latter.

For without an ability to discuss these matters frankly, analysis and reporting cannot be accurate. In effect, whole arguments and ideas will be swept from people's minds. Already, the U.S. armed forces is too intimidated (and individuals too concerned about their careers) to examine soberly and seriously the potential development of Islamist terrorists in its own ranks. My sources tell me nothing has improved in this respect since the Fort Hood massacre.

To extend this intellectual malpractice further to international affairs and intelligence reporting within the government may go down in history as the most dangerous thing the Obama Administration has ever done. Imagine trying to analyze the USSR without being able to talk frankly about Communism; Nazi Germany without a serious analysis of its fascism. The analysis of samurai culture and the sanctity of the emperor in Japanese religion were absolutely vital for the U.S. conduct of World War Two.

How can one have a good discussion of what differentiates moderates from radicals or whether, say, Turkey's government is a center-right family-values' regime or an Islamist one? In what manner can somebody understand how a revolutionary Islamist group might quickly pick up support from millions within a country by using Islamic concepts and texts to justify itself in a persuasive manner? How can you figure out how to dispute Islamist claims if you don't even acknowledge their existence and at least partial validity?

The above probably overstates the case. For example, there is still plenty of talk about "Islamic radicals" but very little longer-range or broader conceptualizations of what it all means. If you were a diplomat or intelligence analyst would you write a dispatch or report, for example, saying that the gaining of power in any Middle East country by revolutionary Islamist groups is a threat to U.S. national interests?

Yet the pressure is on for them to treat Islamist regimes and movements as rational, realist, national-interest-oriented, pragmatic entities whose ideas, methods, and behavior have nothing to do with Islam. Or, in the case of al-Qaida and others, the alternative is that they are insane heretical groups that have nothing to do with Islam?

Will officials be intimidated into shutting mouths and minds, altering strategic proposals, censoring out timely warnings? And that is a potential catastrophe for U.S. interests and is possibly going to be very costly in lives lost.

RubinReports: Is the U.S. Diplomatic and Intelligence Community Being Brainwashed in Dealing with Islamism?
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