Thursday, 19 May 2011

Love of the Land: Pollak: Fatah Agrees With Hamas: Palestinian State Will Be At War With Israel

Pollak: Fatah Agrees With Hamas: Palestinian State Will Be At War With Israel

Noah Pollak
17 May '11

If anyone doubted whether there was real substance to the Hamas-Fatah “unity government,” Mahmoud Abbas’s New York Times op-ed provides the proverbial teachable moment.

Don’t be distracted by Abbas’s fable of expulsion from Safed or his lies about the history of the conflict. The key passage is this one:

Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.

Obviously, the precondition Abbas has flogged on an almost daily basis over the past two years to justify his refusal to negotiate — “we must have a settlement freeze” — is instantly rendered ancient history, and itself another lie. Now he has a bold new precondition: Palestinian statehood itself.

After statehood, he dismisses even the pretense of working toward peace. Instead, he openly promises that Palestine would assault Israel relentlessly in international legal, political, and diplomatic fora. This is where Fatah and Hamas now join together in substance as well as appearance.

Until today, Fatah had convinced the world that it had submitted to the linkage of peace with statehood: a Palestinian state would only arise through negotiations with Israel that, at their completion, would require the Palestinians to cease their claims against the Jewish State and declare the conflict over. Hamas, on the other hand, has been perfectly happy to give its blessing (as Khaled Mashaal did last week) to the creation of a Palestinian state — just so long as the continuation of terrorism and the quest for the ultimate destruction of Israel, diplomatically and otherwise, is preserved.

Today, Abbas has brought Fatah and Hamas together in this goal. It is an important moment. Both factions now agree on a strategy of statehood without peace. Despite the ugliness of it all, we should applaud Abbas for writing such a clear and forthright statement, in English, to a western audience, that explains with perfect sobriety what his intentions are. Mahmoud Abbas wants a state not so he can pursue peace; he wants a state so he can pursue war against Israel.

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Love of the Land: Pollak: Fatah Agrees With Hamas: Palestinian State Will Be At War With Israel

Israel Matzav: US sanctions Assad and six others

US sanctions Assad and six others

The United States has finally decided to sanction Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and six of his top aides (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

The sanctions freeze any assets that Mr. Assad and the others have in American financial institutions, and prohibit trade with them. Similar sanctions against Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, led to the seizure of more than $30 billion in assets, though it is believed that Mr. Assad has far fewer vulnerable assets. In addition to him, the sanctions affect the vice president, the prime minister, the interior and defense ministers, and the directors of military intelligence and political security.

The sanctions come amid growing signs that the government feels emboldened after staggering in the face of an unprecedented challenge to 40 years of rule by the Assad family. Officials have said they believe they have the upper hand and talk in weeks, not months, about putting an end to protests that erupted across the breadth of the country, from the southern steppe and Mediterranean coast to the outskirts of Damascus.

In an interview published Wednesday with a privately owned Syrian newspaper, aligned with the government, Mr. Assad declared that the tumult was coming to a close and acknowledged that his security forces had made mistakes in a crackdown so broad that hundreds of detainees were being held in schools and soccer fields.

Human rights activists have said at least 700 people were killed and 10,000 people arrested, as the military laid siege to at least four towns and cities.

“President Assad gave assurances that Syria had overcome the crisis it went through and that events were coming to an end,” the daily quoted him as saying.

The president also told the delegation that 4,000 police officers were undergoing what it called training to “prevent these excesses,” without giving further details.

Sounds like too little, too late to have an effect.

More from the Washington Post here.

Israel Matzav: US sanctions Assad and six others

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

Here's Yehuda Katz singing Biladecha (Not without you).

Let's go to the videotape.

Yehudah Katz New Music Video - Not Without You

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Prominent Republicans call for aid cutoff to 'Palestinian Authority'

Prominent Republicans call for aid cutoff to 'Palestinian Authority'

Republicans Eric Cantor (Va) and Peter Roskam (Il) have called on the Obama administration to cut off aid to the 'Palestinian Authority' due to its partnership with Hamas.

With this agreement, it has made an unequivocal decision that its route to a potential state cannot include peace with Israel. Nor will it include negotiations with Israel; a disavowal of and crackdown on terrorism or any official recognition of the Jewish state — a set of conditions demanded by the U.S. and its allies but fiercely opposed by Hamas. What a slap in the face to the Obama administration.

Don’t be fooled by Hamas apologists in the West, who refuse to accept Hamas at its word. Let us not blind ourselves to Hamas’s genocidal outlook. This reconciliation does not mean Hamas will moderate itself. It means the PA is dealing a death blow to a troubled peace process, in which it has seldom demonstrated the courage to engage.

Terror in the Palestinian territories has taken a decisive step forward. Peace is in retreat.

Under the new accord, for the first time, Hamas’s TV broadcasts are to be sent into the West Bank. Shows designed to poison the minds of young Palestinians by lauding the ways of jihad and perpetuating hateful lies about Israel, Jews and the U.S. will likely further radicalize the West Bank.

Remember, these are the same broadcasts that notoriously aired a Mickey Mouse-like cartoon character teaching children to “annihilate the Jews.”


Given the dire risks this agreement poses to Israel’s security, Washington must draw a hard line and suspend aid to the Palestinian government. U.S. tax dollars have no place going to governments composed of terrorists.


The question is why this piece was published in Politico and not in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Well, thanks to Jennifer Rubin, it's at least linked and discussed in the Washington Post.

For reasons that have more to do with the administration’s aversion to drawing lines and its phobia about being at odds with the countries that populate the U.N., the Obama administration has not yet publicly delivered a forthright message to the Palestinians. The administration has said that Hamas needs to renounce terror, recognize the Jewish state, and abide by past agreements (not even Abbas is willing to do that now) in keeping with the Quartet’s conditions. But Obama has yet to say what will happen if Hamas doesn’t do this. He’s not delivered an unequivocal statement that the unity government and Abbas’s renunciation of past agreements are unacceptable. In short, the PA should be identified as an international lawbreaker, not rewarded with statehood.

Well, it's probably expecting too much for Obama to announce a cutoff in aid to the 'Palestinian Authority' on Thursday night. But we can dream, can't we?

Israel Matzav: Prominent Republicans call for aid cutoff to 'Palestinian Authority'

Israel's cyber-war with Iran

Israel's cyber-war with Iran

Cool article from Strategy Page:

Recently, Israel revealed that someone (unnamed) had been trying to hack into key Israeli networks (government, military, infrastructure), and had, so far, failed. The mystery attacker is believed to have been Iran. Israel is going public with a lot of this Cyber War stuff in an attempt to put Iran on the defensive. But there's more.

Over the last year, Israel has revealed that its cryptography operation (Unit 8200) has added computer hacking to its skill set. Last year, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence said that he believed Israel had become the leading practitioner of Cyber War. This came in the wake of suspicions that Israel had created the Stuxnet worm, that got into Iran's nuclear fuel enrichment equipment, and destroyed a lot of it. Recently, Iran complained that another worm, called Star, was causing them trouble. Usually, intelligence organizations keep quiet about their capabilities, but in this case, the Israelis apparently felt it was more useful to scare the Iranians, with the threat of more stuff like Stuxnet.

This struggle between Israel and Iran is nothing new. Seven years ago, Israel announced that Unit 8200 had cracked an Iranian communications code, an operation that allowed Israel to read messages concerning Iranian efforts to keep its nuclear weapons program going (with Pakistani help), despite Iranian promises to UN weapons inspectors that the program was being shut down. It's long been known that Unit 8200 of the Israeli army specialized in cracking codes for the government. This was known because so many men who had served in Unit 8200 went on to start companies specializing in cryptography (coding information so that no unauthorized personnel can know what the data is.) But it is unusual for a code-cracking organization to admit to deciphering someone's code. Perhaps the Iranians stopped using the code in question, or perhaps the Israelis just wanted to scare the Iranians. Israel is very concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons, mainly because the Islamic conservatives that control Iran have as one of their primary goals the destruction of Israel. In response to these Iranian threats, Israel has said that it will do whatever it takes to stop Iran from getting nukes. This apparently includes doing the unthinkable (or a code cracking outfit); admitting that you had successfully taken apart an opponent's secret code.

Israel is trying to convince Iran that a long-time superiority in code-breaking was now accompanied by similar hacking skills. Whether it's true or not, it's got to have rattled the Iranians. The failure of their counterattacks can only have added to their unease.

Cryptography is a fascinating field. People have been creating and breaking codes since Biblical times but things really heated up during World War II with the German Enigma machines, and again in the 1970s with public key cryptography.

Today, in theory it is possible to encrypt data so that it can never be cracked in (literally) a million years. However, when there are flaws in the cryptographic algorithms, or when the cryptographic keys are not protected, encrypted data is still susceptible to being broken. Flaws in well-known algorithms are increasingly rare because they are published and available for anyone to review.

I'm curious what algorithm Iran used until Israel broke it.

(h/t Mohammed the Teddy Bear)

Taken From the elder of ziyon (
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