Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Incitement Begins with the Young

The caption of this picture reads:

Rebel attack on Bethlehem, Sept. 14, '38. Arab youths agitating & running riot in Bethlehem after burning government offices by rebels, close-up, cheering for Haj Amin

"Youths"? They've always exploited their children:


There Are Other Schnapes Besides Scotch

Join the counter boycott.

details here at The Muqata.


Yes, There Are Defensible Borders and They Are Required

This perspective seems to be going around and so I'll deal with it.

Israel's security, it is claimed, is in a peace agreement. Borders are secondary.

Here's from a letter published on the issue as an example:

There are no defensible borders

The claim that "the 1967 borders are indefensible" sounds so correct and is so deeply ensconced in media discourse that no one tries to examine this mantra and confront it with reality...It is therefore appropriate to ask: If the 1967 borders are indefensible, which borders can be defended? Can any physical border today defend a country if a strong enemy is determined to attack it?

...Can defensible borders protect Israel from an Iranian threat? If there were people who hoped that the borders of the Greater Land of Israel, fences or walls would stop terrorist attacks, the first and second intifadas proved that no obstacle can stand in the way of determined terrorists - certainly not in the way of suicide bombers. The suicide bombers who blew themselves up in buses and cafes did not cross borders. They came from territory under Israeli control.

...What was applicable to conflicts and wars between countries 60 or 100 years ago is no longer applicable today.

It is not defensible borders but rather agreements and cooperation with the Palestinian state that will bring us security. This will also bring us the support of world public opinion and a return to the family of civilized nations.

Michal Paneth-Peleg
Mevasseret Zion

A. If borders are redrawn that invite future hostility, no peace agreement will hold. So the first obligation is to assure, for example, that the hill country overlooking Israel's belly from Hadera to Gedera is not threatened by missiles and that Ben Gurion Airport is not open to shoulder-held rockets.

B. If the future proposed Palestinian state is not demilitarized, based on past experience in broken promises and violated agreements, better borders are needed, not only "peace".

C. The suicide bombers of the post-2000 period, even though we suffered a few cases previously, developed because territory was surrendered and the geographical advantage fell to the Pals. after the creation of A & B areas which made it more difficult for the IDF and the GSS to work.


Barry Rubin alerted me to his post, excerpts:

Why Borders Matter

A reader asks whether there are any defensible borders in the modern world because it is possible to fire missiles or rockets across a border.  Well, yes, but even in ancient times it has always been possible for an army to cross--or try to cross--a border. That isn't what defensible borders means.

Example, rockets can hit Sderot from the Gaza Strip but not hit Tel Aviv because the latter city is too far for Hamas to hit from its side of the border. Can they get bigger ones? Yes but the bigger they are the easier they are to spot and the longer--even seconds count--a defensive missile has for shooting them down.

The further the border, the longer it takes for a terrorist squad to get to where there are a lot of people to kill. It's best to stop them either before they cross the border or while they are on the way.

Geography matters also. It is far easier to attack or shoot downward from the Golan Heights than from the flat plain below. It is far easier to do so also from the Judean Hills. An army holding that terrain has an advantage, even when it comes to firing rockets

It is far easier to cut a narrow corridor like that leading to Jerusalem in the pre-1967 borders and thus surround, beseige, and capture that city than it would be if the border was further away. The same applies to the fact that pre-1967 Israel's narrowest point is half the width of the Washington Beltway...Depth of defense is a basic strategic consideration. The deeper your territory the more time and space you have to maneuver and to create multiple lines and defenses, each of which the enemy must face and defeat for advancing.

Israel has a small standing army. Its defense depends on mobilizing reserves, civilians, who must get the word, go to their assigned stations, get their equipment, and go into action. That can be done quickly but it still takes time. And it is much harder to do if attacking forces are within range of their homes, assembly points, and armories.

...But isn't peace better than a good defensive situation?

Of course it is. Not being attacked at all is better than being attacked and winning...Yet that's precisely the point. It is because Israel CANNOT ASSUME AND HAS GOOD REASON NOT TO ASSUME that an agreement with the Palestinian Authority would lead to lasting peace...It isn't a great idea to be a country the size of Delaware surrounded by enemies who daily boast of how they're going to wipe you off the map, have broken almost all of their previous agreements, and who outnumber you by a ratio of about twenty to one.

Now...is not the time for Israel to weaken its defenses...

And read this.


And His Friend Is Actually...

Kudos to this letter writer:

Full disclosure

Regarding “Mind the gap,” May 20

Eldad Yaniv tries to persuade us that the political culture in Israel resembles the situation on the television series “Polishuk.” That is, there is no true leadership, all is vanity and a desire to hold on to one’s seat and preserve the interests of the owners of capital. (*) Well, thanks, Eldad Yaniv, for helping us to see the light. What would we do without you? The only problem is that Yaniv thinks we are imbeciles and that we will believe him when he says he wants to save us because he is different ‏(if he were so different, he wouldn’t have stayed so long and so successfully in the system‏), and not in order to drum up support for his new political party.

His biggest chutzpah lies in the fact that he neglects to inform us at the start of the article that Shmuel Hasfari, the creator of “Polishuk,” is his friend and ideological partner in the establishment of the nascent National Left party. (**) I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the two created the series deliberately as a first step in their political campaign.

Nir Sabo
Be’er Sheva


This is the new Zionism: being led, not leading. Surviving and not breaking through. Every Polishuk has his own scriptwriter, who moves him along the screen of life like a marionette. For example, the forum of seven Polishuks who have been meeting in Jerusalem for more than two years for urgent discussions accompanied by bourekas, until Abu Mazen and Ismail Haniyeh decided to impose Israel's permanent borders at the UN General Assembly this coming September.

The Israeli Polishuks have been working for years for the Abu Mazens, Dankners, Tshuvas & Co. That's how it is. Polishuk needs a scriptwriter because he doesn't really have a life of his own. Sasson Gabai, the actor who plays Polishuk, needs Hasfari. Bibi needs Abu Mazen. The rest need Dankner. Because of big capital. Because of big government. Because of the newspaper. And the others are afraid Tshuva will get angry. About the offshore gas.

Imagine what Bibi would do in life without Abu Mazen. What he would talk about. Who he would threaten. Or the boredom that would afflict Yuval Steinitz without Dankner. What would they do if they couldn't pass the time by marching to Dankner's tune?


This week, Minister Polishuk returned to our lives, with fine ratings. But it feels like he never left. The precise television character created by playwright Shmuel Hasfari is the spitting image of our politicians in recent decades. A nullity, a puppet on a string, a dishrag that rises to the top job. A faithful duplicate of the original politicians who have totally taken over the (non )-navigation of our lives. Keshet, the Channel 2 franchise holder, mistakenly calls "Polishuk" a comic drama. The truth is that it's a documentary about Israeli politics. And of what the hell has become of us.

It might seem odd that Israeli politics does not attract successful young people to its ranks, as has been the case in the past decade and a half in most of the Western world.


What Has Pakistan in Common with Egypt?

Anti-Christian violence.


Anti-Christian violence continues in Pakistan and police are not pursuing the perpetrators, according to news reports.  A May 26 article in AsiaNews.it described the gang-rape of a Christian woman and the desecration of Christian tombs in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad. The publication called it “ordinary violence visited upon Pakistan’s Christian minority.”

In Egypt:

The last couple of months since the revolution have seen several explosions of anti-Coptic violence. In the grim, run-down, religiously mixed district of Imbaba in central Cairo, construction workers are busily rebuilding the Virgin Church on el-Wahda street, which was set alight by petrol bombs on 8 May in riots in which 15 people were killed and 242 injured.

And there's this opinion:

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said Sunday that Christians in the Middle East were at all times the victims of conflicts and disputes which others provoke...Rai prayed for God to safeguard people in the Middle East and help Christians in particular to overcome difficulties.

“Christians have always been the victims of conflicts and disputes just because [of their religious identity] despite the fact that they are innocent. We ask God to help them and give a meaning to their difficult life,” Rai said addressing members of the “Christ is my Joy” foundation. Rai voiced hope that Lebanon would surmount the problems and crises it is facing, which raise serious concerns among its population.

Is there a problem Islam has with other religions?


EU Supports De-Judeazation of Jerusalem?

First, the news, (k/t = Challah Hu Akbar)

EU Grants PA 6 Million Euros to Support Jerusalem

The EU granted 6 million euros to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Tuesday to support the development, cultural, educational, health, humanitarian and human rights sectors in Jerusalem.

Head of the President's office Hussein al-Araj signed the agreement with EU representative Christian Berger at the EU headquarters in Jerusalem.

...The plan, estimated at $428 million, was prepared with the involvement of the Jerusalem community and funding by the EU. Al-Araj hopes that this plan will receive Arab and Islamic support in order to face Israeli plans of judeaizing Jerusalem.

This funding will be implemented by Jerusalem organizations under the full auspices of the EU, with a high committee as an advisory body to ensure the project’s success.

Second, my thoughts:

Besides the fact that Israel will not permit these plans to be realized, thereby creating an opportunity for certain unethical persons to perhaps attempt to adscond with the mony, one way or another, there is another consideration which is that since the last time a major "cultural heritage" project was carried out in Jerusalem, by the Waqf which is a PA body (*), Jewish historical artifacts were purposely destroyed and scientific archaeological practices were violated.

Does the EU really have a reliable supervisory mechanism in place that would oversee the results of the EU's largesse?

And, is the EU really in cahoots with a plan to de-judeaize Jerusalem?

Is that what the EU supports?



Head of the Waqf, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein has been the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem since July 2006, when he was appointed by Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority


Benny Begin to Josh Hasten: No to a Pal. State

Oh Josh's interview program:

Begin Breaks Likud Ranks on INR Radio; Rejects PA State

Minister without portfolio Benny Begin (Likud), in an Israel National News Radio interview on Monday, rejected the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan River saying the right of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland was 'obvious' and that such a state would become a 'haven of impunity' for terror...

"I think any second state of any nature, another sovereignty west of the Jordan River, especially when it comprises the PLO or Hamas, would negate or contradict two basic rights of the Jewish people and the citizens of Israel," Begin told Israel National News Radio's Josh Hasten..."One is the right of the Jewish people to our homeland, and our right to our homeland does not stop exactly east of the 1949 armistice demarcation lines, also known as the 'Green Line.'...Our right to our land – Including of course to the cradle of our history in Judea and Samaria – is obvious," Begin said.

"There is also the question of national security...

Begin begins Bibi's end?

End of his policy, that is.


Dis-Orientalism: When An Egyptian Copies a French Jew

Edward Said's enticement for modern intellectuals and political activists lies, in a great part, with his theory, expressed in his book, "Orientalism".

As explained:

"Said effectively redefined the term "Orientalism" to mean a constellation of false assumptions underlying Western attitudes toward the Middle East. This body of scholarship is marked by a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture." He argued that a long tradition of romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for European and the American colonial and imperial ambitions. Just as fiercely, he denounced the practice of Arab elites who internalized the US and British orientalists' ideas of Arabic culture."

As Said summarised:

"My contention is that Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West, which elided the Orient’s difference with its weakness. . . . As a cultural apparatus Orientalism is all aggression, activity, judgment, will-to-truth, and knowledge" (Orientalism, p. 204).

But, a form of dis-orientalism can occur, when Arabs presume that they should be following Western behavior patterns, as in this case:-

An Egyptian businessman has followed in the footsteps of pervy Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn - sexually abusing a maid in a swanky Manhattan hotel, police said Monday night.  Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, former head of the Bank of Alexandria and now chairman of a leading Middle Eastern salt company, is accused of locking the 44-year-old hotel employee inside his $900-a-night room at The Pierre on E. 61st St. off Fifth Ave.

...The incident happened about 6 p.m. on Sunday but was not reported to police until Monday morning.  "Experienced NYPD detectives found the complainant to be credible," said Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman.  Omar was arrested at the hotel Monday afternoon and was charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment, officials said. He was being held at the 19th Precinct stationhouse on the upper East Side Monday night.

Or is it a matter of being a banker?


A Must Read

You must see this post of EOZ.

The Islamicization of Jerusalem.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Word From Qom

And the word of Ahmadinejad from Qom:

...Ahmadinejad said, "Today, the Iranian nation and the nations in the region are defying arrogant powers and the demand for removal of the Zionist regime tops their lists of chants and demands. Everyone should know that the continued existence of the Zionist regime - even upon one inch of Palestinian land – is like keeping a cancerous tumor in the body of the regional countries. Everyone who claims to lead any of the regional nations must prove and explicitly state that he is against US hegemony and against the existence of the Zionist regime.

Iran Daily Brief

So, is a "regime" only the governmental apparatus?

Well, there's this:

In politics, a regime is the form of government: the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of government and its interactions with society.


a system of principles, rules, or regulations for administration (as of property); the regime


1.a type of government

2.a period of rule


the Chinese regime

and there's even an

Iranian Regime

So, Zionism must go.  The Jewishness of the state must disappear.  As if America must cease to be democratic, France French, Germany German.

Israel must disappear.

P.S. Challah Hu Akbar informs me:

He said something like this earlier in the month -

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad branded Israel a cancer cell that must be removed Sunday, after Israeli gunfire killed 12 people and wounded hundreds as Palestinians marched in a mass show of mourning over the creation of the Jewish State.

"On the anniversary of this regime, people demonstrated in various places, but there were dead and wounded and this regime once again showed its real nature," he said in a television interview. "Like a cancer cell that spreads through the body, this regime infects any region. It must be removed from the body," he added

Remove the cancer from the body - the "body" is the Islamic world, the Arab Middle East.  The intention is not just a 'regime' change but Israel's destruction as a state, a polity.

Book Banning If Printed in Israel - Disproportionate Force

Boycott of Israeli Goods

Posted by CllrJMcColl at 10:58 pm, May 23rd 2011.

...I cannot allow allegations of facism or bigotry from West Dunbartonshire Council to go unanswered.  Here are the facts. In January 2009, West Dunbartonshire Council unanamously agreed the following motion:

This Council deplores the loss of life in Palestine which now numbers well over 1,000. This Council also recognises the disproportionate force used by the IDF in Palestine and agrees to boycott all Israeli goods as a consequence.  Officers should immediately cease the purchase of any goods we currently source, which were made or grown in Israel.  Officers should also ensure we procure no new goods or produce from Israel until this boycott is formally lifted by WDC.

This does not mean that we have banned books by Israili authors or books about Israel. The effect of this motion is to ban the purchase of books that have been physically printed in Israel.

It is important to note that our Libraries Manager has confirmed that this boycott of Israeli good has had NO EFFECT on West Dunbartonshire's Libraries Service. We have not had to amend our purchasing in any way as a result of this Council decision.

So, books not printed in Israel can be purchased.

Does that include Bibles?  After all, they were not only printed but written in Israel.

See here and here for further treatments by friends.

Don't you think that's quite disproportionate force used by those Scotsmen?

TIME Magazine Facilitates the Transfer of Gaza to Egypt

It's report here:

...if it [the opening of the Rafah Crossing] was a cause of celebration for Gazans...the reaction in official Israeli circles surely includes "quiet satisfaction." For in Jerusalem the feeling is: If the Egyptians want to take responsibility for 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, more power to them. Cairo after all had control of the coastal enclave from 1948 to 1967...
...observed Giora Eiland, a retired major general, in an interview almost a year go. "No one knows what to do with Gaza."...Not even Gaza's vegetables are welcome in Israel. "No, no, no," Eiland said. "We don't need any kind of economic relationship with Gaza whatsoever."..."It is not in Israel's interest to see Gaza and the West Bank as one entity," Eiland observed.

...That's a view...endorsed by Israel's settlers, as determined and implacable a group as you can find in the modern world. They want to hold onto the West Bank, an area rich in Biblical sites and significance to the observant Jews who are the most "hard core" of Jews living on West Bank hilltops, notes Naftali Bennett, director general of the Yesha Council, which represents settlers. Gaza has nothing of consequence to religious Jews, which is one reason to be rid of it [???].

Another reason: Without the Strip, Israel can make a better case for annexing the West Bank. As Bennett explained the other day to a room of foreign journalists, the case against annexation has always been the assumption that Palestinians would soon outnumber Jews, making Israel a defacto apartheid state, with the minority governing the majority. Few Israelis want to be in that position. But, Bennett maintains, "the myth that demography is against us is wrong. Demography is not against us."

His math is instructive in more ways than one....

Within its borders, Israel has some six million Jewish residents and 1.1 million Arabs...Bennet thinks 1.8 million [Palestinians who reside on the West Bank] is about right. Combine them, and you have a nation of six million Jews and about three million Palestinians, a comfortable Jewish majority, Bennett says, given the declining birth rate among Israeli Arabs.

And Gaza? What about the 1.5 million Palestinians there?  "Gaza we don't count," Bennett says. "Because that's gradually becoming Egypt's problem."

Who once said 'Go drink the water of Gaza'?


the curse beloved by Arafat: "Go and drink from the sea of Gaza!"


Even the Maan News Agency Knows

Knows what?


Palestinians are often reported to throw rocks at passing settler cars.



When The Arab Spring Evolves into An Obama Winter


A breakaway military group called on Sunday for other army units to join them in the fight to bring down Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, piling pressure on him to end his three-decade rule over the destitute country.

Opposition leaders separately accused Saleh of allowing the city of Zinjibar, on the Gulf of Aden, to fall to al Qaeda and Islamists militants in order to raise alarm in the region that would in turn translate to support for the president.

...Residents in Zinjibar, about 270 km (170 miles) southeast of the capital, said armed men likely from al Qaeda had control of the city in the flashpoint province of Abyan.

"About 300 Islamic militants and al Qaeda men came into Zinjibar and took over everything on Friday," a resident said.

Three militant gunmen and three civilians have been killed in fighting against locals, who have been joined by a few government soldiers, trying to take the city back from the al Qaeda group and Islamists, medical sources said.

...Opposition groups and diplomats have accused Saleh of using the al Qaeda threat to win aid and support from regional powers seeking his government's help in battling the militants.

Fears are growing that Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) will exploit such instability, analysts said. The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of attacks by AQAP, are worried that growing chaos is emboldening the group.

Yemen borders Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, and sits along a shipping lane through which about 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.

Gee, who ever thought 'freedom' would bring terror?


Remember the PLO?

The Palestine Liberation Organization.

They haven't forgotton:

Establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (1964) تأسيس منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية م,ت.ف

Thursday, 02 June 2011

What's there to remember?


...in 1964 the Palestine National Council convened in Jerusalem mainly at the behest of Arab leaders and moved to establish the Palestine Liberation Organization. The mandate given the PLO by the PNC, a Palestinian parliamentary body), was to mobilize the Palestinian people for the eventual liberation of the land of Palestine. So, whereas the PLO received official Arab backing, Fatah’s relations with Arab governments remained on the whole antagonistic and its operations had to be clandestinely carried out.

As a result of the Arab official stamp conferred on the PLO, two divergent and often competing political efforts crystallized in the 1960’s. The first consisted of the PLO, which moved above ground and coordinated closely with Arab regimes; the second was populist and secretive, operating mostly underground in a more activist and radical fashion. Despite the lack of support from the underground nationalist movement, the PLO was nevertheless gaining legitimacy in the eyes of many Palestinians. While the radical underground current known collectively as the Palestinian Resistance movement, or simply the Resistance, operated independently of the PLO, the latter was now cultivating Palestinian support through more conventional means in the form of occupational, social, and health service organizations...

"Radical"?  Try this elaboration:-

...in 1959, [Arafat] and some friends founded al-Fatah, a cluster of secret cells that would carry out attacks on the enemies of Palestine, and began to publish a magazine advocating an armed conflict with Israel. Fatah forged a two-part battle plan: establishment of an independent Palestine and destruction of the state of Israel.  By 1964, cells were established in Jordan and had launched raids into Israel. It was at that time that Arafat established the PLO and included other groups of Arabs willing to support his effort.

The first target of Fatah, in 1965, was an Israeli water pump station. The attempt to blow it up was unsuccessful.

Let's get more specific on the timeline:-


Jan. 13: First Arab Summit Conference held in Cairo.
March 17: First Palestinian delegation, Yasser Arafat and Khalil el-Wazir to China, confers with Premier Chou-En-Lai.
May 28: The First Palestinian National Council (PNC) meets in Jerusalem.
June 2: Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) founded.
Aug. 9: The first Executive Committee of the PLO formed of 14 members.
Sept. 5-11: The second Arab Summit meets in Cairo and "Welcomed the establishment of the PLO as the basis of the Palestinian entity and as a pioneer in the collective Arab struggle for the Liberation of Filastin."

Jan. 1: First military operation of Fatah in Palestine.

Terror?  In January 1965?  Here:-

The PLO was founded in Kuwait in October 1959 by five young Palestinians, headed by Yasser Arafat (Abu Amar), 30; his deputy Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad), 24; Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), 24; Farouk al Kaddoumi (Abu al-Lutf), 28 and Khaled el Hassan (Abu Said), 31.  Afterwards, more young Palestinians from Qatar joined the PLO; the most notorious of whom were Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Abu Yussef el- Najar and Kamal Adwan...The PLO was in control of the Palestinian arena and most importantly, it represented Palestinian people in the international community for 47 years...

...The PLO’s first military terror operation took place on January 1, 1965. An employee of Mekorot, Israel’s National Water Corporation detected a small explosive device hidden in an open canal of to the National Water Carrier of Israel. The plan was to blow up the Nehusha Water Institute near the city of Beit Shemesh. This first act marks PLO Day ever since, even though a much more horrific act was carried out six days later by a squad of six men, among them Mahmoud Hijazi. Subsequently, Hijazi was wounded, caught and sentenced to death by a military court, but was returned to Lebanon in a POW swap.

And on July 5, 1965:

A Fatah cell plants explosives at Mitzpe Massua, near Beit Guvrin; and on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem near Kafr Battir

Some other pre-1967 terror PLO acts:
May 31, 1965 - Terrorists fired on the neighborhood of Musrara in Jerusalem, killing two civilians and wounding four.

Jun 01, 1965 - Terrorists attack a house in Kibbutz Yiftach.

Jul 05, 1965 - A Fatah terrorism cell planted explosives at Mitzpe Massua, near Beit Guvrin; and on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem near Kafr Battir.

Aug 26, 1965 - A waterline was sabotaged by terrorists at Kibbutz Manara, in the Upper Galilee.

Sep 29, 1965 - A terrorist was killed as he attempted to attack Moshav Amatzia.

Nov 7, 1965 - A Fatah terrorist cell that infiltrated from Jordan blew up a house in Moshav Givat Yeshayahu, south of Beit Shemesh. The house was destroyed, but the inhabitants were miraculously unhurt.

Apr 25, 1966 - Explosions placed by terrorists wounded two civilians and damaged three houses in Moshav Beit Yosef, in the Beit Shean Valley.

May 16, 1966 - Two Israelis were killed when their jeep hit a terrorist landmine, north of the Sea of Galilee and south of Almagor. Tracks led into Syria.

Jul 13, 1966 - Two soldiers and a civilian were killed near Almagor, when their truck struck a terrorist landmine.

Jul 14, 1966 - Terrorists attacked a house in Kfar Yuval, in the North.

Jul 19, 1966 - Terrorists infiltrated into Moshav Margaliot on the northern border and planted nine explosive charges.

Oct 27, 1966 - A civilian was wounded by a terrorist bomb on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem.

Jan 14, 1967 - Terrorists laid a land mine that at a soccer game, which exploded killing 1 and injuring 2.

Yes, we remember.

We remember that at that time there was no "occupation" and no "settlements". So, what was the justification for these acts of death and damage?

Think about that.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

An 'Appreciation' of Obama

Here, from Walter Russle Mead:

...He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of America’s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies...

...His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat — Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties — may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.

Netanyahu beat Obama...played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent...The Prime Minister mopped the floor with our guy. Obama made his ’67 speech; Bibi ripped him to shreds. Obama goes to AIPAC, nervous, off-balance, backing and filling. Then Bibi drops the C-Bomb, demonstrating to the whole world that the Prime Minister of Israel has substantially more support in both the House and the Senate than the President of the United States.

President Obama’s new Middle East policy, intended to liquidate the wreckage resulting from his old policy and get the President somehow onto firmer ground, lies in ruins even before it could be launched...catastrophically this time, he found the “sour spot”: the position that angers everyone and pleases none. He moved close enough to the Israelis to infuriate the Palestinians while keeping the Israelis at too great a distance to earn their trust...Obama lost the trust of the Israelis early in the administration and never earned it back; he lost the Palestinians when he was unable to deliver Israeli concessions he led them to expect.

Just reading that hurts - okay, it does provide a certain pleasure as well.


Will the Law and the Courts Work For Our Side?


Fearing mass-scale destruction of holy artifacts under the Temple Mount, the Temple Mount Faithful, a group that calls for the Jewish takeover of the site, petitioned the High Court on Thursday to order the full publication of the secret State Comptroller’s Report on excavation works being conducted at one of the holiest places in the world.

...According to the report, the four state agencies entrusted with enforcing the law in the Temple Mount – the police, the Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem municipality and the Justice Ministry – did not do enough to conduct continuous supervision of the works and make sure that all of the artifacts were protected.

...In the petition, the group’s lawyer, Naftaly Werzberger, argues that the state authorities’ failure to adequately supervise the works at the Temple Mount was a violation of previous court decisions, and that the State Comptroller’s Report proved it...“The decision to keep the report confidential is a prize for lawbreakers, making the state and its values captive to the threats of anarchy and violence to the point of loosing sovereignty. Only disclosure of the truth can cure the faults that the state comptroller uncovered,” read the petition.

Finally, Gershon Solomon does something practical rather than theatrical.


Amateurish Arrogance or Genuine Antipathy?

Charles Krauthammer's analysis:

Every Arab-Israeli negotiation contains a fundamental asymmetry: Israel gives up land, which is tangible; the Arabs make promises, which are ephemeral. The long-standing American solution has been to nonetheless urge Israel to take risks for peace.

...In order to mitigate this risk, President George W. Bush gave a written commitment [to facilitate the Gaza Disengagement] that America supported Israel absorbing major settlement blocs in any peace agreement, opposed any return to the 1967 lines and stood firm against the so-called Palestinian right of return to Israel. For 21 / 2 years, the Obama administration has refused to recognize and reaffirm these assurances. Then last week in his State Department speech, President Obama definitively trashed them...Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.  The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully or historically or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty...

Obama didn’t just move the goal posts on borders. He also did so on the so-called right of return...he told Israel it must negotiate the right of return with the Palestinians after having given every inch of territory. Bargaining with what, pray tell?

No matter. “The status quo is unsustainable,” declared Obama, “and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.” Israel too ? Exactly what bold steps for peace have the Palestinians taken?

Obama’s response to this relentless Palestinian intransigence? To reward it — by abandoning the Bush assurances, legitimizing the ’67 borders and refusing to reaffirm America’s rejection of the right of return.

The only remaining question is whether this perverse and ultimately self-defeating policy is born of genuine antipathy toward Israel or of the arrogance of a blundering amateur who refuses to see that he is undermining not just peace but the very possibility of negotiations.

So, amateur and antipathist?


There's Arab Racism? Really?


...There is something deeply sinister about Dubai luxury...People, nationalities and jobs exist in silos, isolated from each other. You can be in Dubai for days and not interact with a local.  It seems to me a place where the worst of western capitalism and the worst of Gulf Arab racism meet in a horrible vortex. The most pervasive feeling is of a lack of compassion, where the commoditisation of everything and the disdain for certain nationalities thickens the skin to the tragic plight of fellow human beings.

...Dubai's name is becoming stained by the blood of migrant workers.

Let's repeat that:

Dubai seems to be a place where the worst of western capitalism and Gulf Arab racism meet in a horrible vortex


Gordis' Gorging of J Street

From the May 3rd address of Rabbi Daniel Gordis to the "J Street Leadership Mission to Israel and 'Palestine'":-

LET ME begin with a basic assumption: I assume that we want the same thing. We seek two states in this region, one a thriving, Jewish, democratic Israel, and the other a thriving, non-Jewish, democratic Palestine...[and] the vast majority of Israelis, if presented with a genuine opportunity to live side by side in a democratic, transparent, peaceful, demilitarized Palestine, would accept it.

So, assuming that’s what you also seek, I assume our disagreement is about how to get there. You believe that people who are not willing to make major territorial concessions to the Palestinians right now are not serious about a two-state solution...[that] if we’re not willing now to make the concessions that you think are called for, then we’re not really pursuing peace.

But that is arrogance of the worst sort. Does your distance from the conflict give you some moral clarity that we don’t have? Are you smarter than we are? Are you less racist? Why do you assume with such certainty that you have a monopoly on the wisdom needed to get to the goal we both seek?

...this is what J Street had to say: “...Obviously, reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] reduces that obstacle...”

“Obviously,” you say, reconciliation reduces the obstacle to a peace treaty.

But I would caution you against ever using the word “obviously” when it comes to the Middle East. Nothing here is obvious. If you think that something is obvious, then you simply haven’t thought enough. Why is it obvious that Fatah’s signing a deal with Hamas, which rejects Israel’s very right to exist, reduces obstacles to peace? Isn’t it just as plausible that it makes peace impossible, or that signing a deal and returning large swathes of land to a group still sworn to our destruction would be suicidal?

...you go on to say that “skeptics of a two-state agreement have immediately stepped forward to say that a deal is impossible with a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas.”  There you go again, telling us that if we don’t agree with you, then we’re not serious or honest...In your worldview, there’s no possibility that we’re just a bit more nervous than you are, that we do not want to make a mistake that will turn our own homes into Sderot, that we are frightened of restoring the horror of 2000-2004 to our streets, buses and restaurants.

No, that possibility doesn’t exist, because anyone who doesn’t agree with you is by definition a “skeptic of the two-state agreement.”

I’d suggest that if you want to convince those of us still deciding whether you’re part of the big tent that you are “in,” that you drop this sort of condescension. It’s arrogant and intellectually shallow; it doesn’t serve you well.

...There are groups who are clearly opposed to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state; they are our enemies. It doesn’t matter if they are in Israel or outside, or if they are Jewish or not. If they are working to end Israel, or to end it as a Jewish and democratic state, then they are our enemies, plain and simple. There are enemies who cannot be loved or compromised into submission, and you need to recognize that.

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is a case in point. No one in their right mind doubts that BDS is opposed to Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. So why were they invited to your annual conference?...
...For years, Israel had been failing the citizens of Sderot. But when Israel finally decided to do what any legitimate state would do, J Street immediately called for a cessation of hostilities. The war was only hours old, nothing had been accomplished and the citizens of Sderot were still no safer than they had been. But J Street had had enough.

Why? Why had you said almost nothing for all the years that Sderot was being shelled, but within hours of the war’s beginning were calling for it to end? What matters more to you – the safety of Israel’s citizens, or advancing your own moral agenda in our region of the world?...Why would you assume that we’re stupid, or immoral, or addicted to the conflict? Why do you insist that the Fatah-Hamas agreement is a good thing, or that it’s best for Israel if the US twists its arm even harder? At a time when Israel is so alone, can you see why it’s hard for many of us to buy the argument that you’re genuinely pro-Israel, or that you should be part of the big tent?

...Show us that you seek peace...but that even more (yes, more, because that’s what the particularism of peoplehood requires), that you care about us. It’s one thing to put “pro-Israel” in your tag line, and another to be “pro-Israel.”...
POSTSCRIPT: In the Q&A session that followed, J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami asked the first question. He said that he found it “astounding” that I had given an entire presentation “without mentioning the occupation of another people.”

But...Vered Kellner, who traveled with the group...noted that Fayyad didn’t mention the occupation either...Ben-Ami [said] “neither Gordis nor Fayyad raised the occupation, but we’re here to remind Israelis that you can’t pretend that the occupation isn’t part of reality.”

...If the way that you’re framing the issues is no longer the way that Israelis and Palestinians are discussing them, is it possible that you are not even addressing the core issues that matter to the people actually in the conflict? Perhaps..[your are] assuaging your own discomfort with the undeniably painful complexities of this conflict. If what you want to do is affect policy, how effective would you say you’ve been thus far?



BBC's Bowen in Mourning

It's as if you can hear Jeremy Bowen crying:

It was not as if there was a chance of peace for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to squander in Washington. No peace process worth talking about exists to be revived. But he had a choice of making matters worse or better, and he chose to make them worse.

...Congressional lawmakers are not just pro-Israeli, like most Americans. They support Mr Netanyahu's specific vision of Israel, judging by their response to his speech.  At home, where the Israeli prime minister has plenty of critics who do not share his view of Israel's relations with its neighbours, he can only dream of getting the kind of reception that he had on Capitol Hill...The congressmen and women laughed at his jokes. They lapped up his declarations of loyalty and friendship for the US...Most importantly, they accepted his view of Israel's security...

And this illustrates his being irked:

Even when he spoke of giving up land that has been occupied and illegally settled since it was captured in the 1967 Middle East war, he chose a defiant tone. Using the biblical names for the West Bank, he told Congress "you have to understand this - in Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers".

And you wonder why his superiors and the Trustees and the members of the Executive Board can't seem to perceive his bias.


Friday, May 27, 2011

New Political Caricature


Poor Obama.


An Ad Based on Simple Falsehood

Was directed (k/t = Copyranter) to this ad

Any theme, even the toughest to deal with or to understand, can be translated and explained through a graph. This is the concept that drives the new campaign created for the Millward Brown Brazil ad hoc research institute by the agency Young & Rubicam Brazil. The action, entitled Ethnics, counts on three print-media ads Muslim, Jewish and African and uses a clean and incisive language to give people a new look into controversial subjects and highlight the importance of the studies performed by the advertiser to eliminate preconceived ideas.

The first ad transforms a Muslim's veil into a sort of graph, which makes it clear that one should not generalize with regards to those that follow the religion. The piece Jewish brings a kippa as a graph and compares the proportion of the territory dominated by the Palestinians in comparison to the Jewish territory, in 1946 and presently...

...The creation was by Laura Esteves and Daniel Salles, under the creative direction of Rui Branquinho, Flávio Casarotti and Sérgio Fonseca.

The ad:

But the truth of the content, misrepresented propaganda, is here, and here.  And also here.

Clean?  Incisive?

A simple lie.


Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Elton John's Yellow Brick Road goes, in part:

You know you can't hold me forever,
I didn't sign up with you
I'm not a present for your friends to open

...So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl

That came to mind when I was referred to a BBC report, which included a reference to Gisha:

Egypt will permanently open its Rafah border crossing into Gaza beginning Saturday, an Egyptian official reported Wednesday...All the country's security apparatus will be involved in the security of the border, he said.

Rafah Crossing has been a portal to the rest of the world for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents since Israel "...all but closed Erez Crossing to Palestinians" four years ago, said the Israeli non-governmental organization Gisha, which advocates on the issue of Palestinian freedom of movement.

Erez Crossing is on the border between Gaza and Israel. Passage through it has been limited to "extraordinary humanitarian cases, especially urgent medical cases," which has prevented Palestinians from traveling between Gaza and the West Bank, the group says.

Rafah was closed after the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured in June 2006; it stayed largely closed until last June, when Egypt opened it after an incident in which nine activists aboard a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza were killed, according to Gisha.

As a friend noted, will Gisha be taking credit or will they deny any responsibility when the weapons and terrorists that will use this border-crossing are involved in attacks on Israelis?

Well, what do you think?

But what about that yellow brick road reference?


Who conduits money for Gisha?

Oh, oh:

We appreciate your contribution to Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.

Donations from the US may be made by:

3. donation through the New Israel Fund:

Tax-exempt donations to Gisha of $100 or more may be made through the New Israel Fund, which is recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization under the U.S. tax code.

Contributions should be clearly marked as donor-advised to Gisha 5276 (in the memo of the check and in an accompanying note), and the check should be payable to the order of the "New Israel Fund".

The address for checks is:

New Israel Fund
P.O.B 91588
Washington, D.C.
20090-1588 USA

** We apologize, but the New Israel Fund cannot accept donor-advised donations online, and it cannot accept donor-advised donations of less than $100.**

4. Matching Gifts:

The Federal Employee Identification Number for the New Israel Fund is: 942607722.

Can I ask: will NIF take responsibility for any deaths, injuries or property damage as a result of feeding money to a group which is entralled that the Rafah Crossing is open and most probably will thus permit arms, weapons and such to be entered into the Gaza Strip and used against Israel?

Will they?


What Is Our Worth?

This has been published:

Study: Settlements worth $18.8 billion

which asserts:

A new study by the Macro Center for Political Economics has revealed that West Bank settlements are currently worth $18.8 billion

Before going further, you should know that

The Macro Center for Political Economics was established after eleven years of research in The Israeli Institute for Economic and Social Research (IIESR), and specializes in the economic and sociological analysis of current and evolving issues on Israel's public agenda.

An autonomous organization, the Center combines scholarly research with economic efficiency. These qualities endow the Center with advantages in the provision of accurate data, informed opinion papers, as well as systematic, reliable and timely forecasts and analyses.

They've published a Settlements Encyclopedia
The Macro Center for Political Economics built a unique database of the Israeli Settlements in the West Bank – The Settlements Encyclopedia. The database, constructed in 2004, is based on aerial photographs of the West Bank. A new set of aerial photographs (taken in mid-2008) was recently used to update the database, now containing 131 settlements...The Encyclopedia contains the following data for each settlement:
- Demographic and economic data about the settlement.
- Inventory of construction by usage: municipal institutions, residential, industrial, commercial, and agriculture. The inventory is given both in number of units and in total sq. meters by usage.
- Infrastructure inventory: roads, gas stations, water and electric installations.
- Value (cost) estimates for each item (in current US Dollars).
- Aerial Photograph of the settlement.
For each settlement, inventory data is available for both 2004 and 2008.
A total of 131 settlements are available.

To return to the story, first, you should know that

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed, however, that it was not funding the Macro Center, which it said receives budgeting from "state-run agencies in Europe that have an interest in the Middle East".

And as for the details:

The Macro Center's report, which covers West Bank settlements but not illegal outposts, claims to have evaluated all [no, only 131] of the Jewish homes located beyond the 1967 borders. The report found a significant increase in the settlements' monetary worth due to expansion. It claims that in 2004 settlements were worth $12,649,111,231, a sum that rose to $18,793,513,125 by May 2011.

I presume the Hebrew article has some more details as to what "worth" is, how it is defined. (An article from last March seems to imply that the "worth" is the cost of the building and construction)

But there is so much more - agriculture (for example, our prize-winning vineyards and their wines; organic products), technology, industry, educational institutions, social welfare projects, etc.

If the intention is to illustrate that removing us with compensation is impossible, we already knew that.

We're irreplacable.


Who Knew Painting Was So Beautiful?

Read about Shiloh and the group Artists4Israel here.

And there are so many more pictures of their artistry at their blog:

Awesome, eh?


Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Buzz Word: "Predominantly"

It is used here by Isabel Kershner

Senior Israeli government officials and dignitaries on Wednesday attended the dedication ceremony of a Jewish apartment complex in a hotly contested, predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of the city across the 1967 boundary.

I cannot dispute numbers of demographics.

But if she had added something like -

...predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of the city across the 1967 boundary, an area in which Jewish residency was banned during the 19 years of illegal Joranianian annexation

I might be willing to give her a B-.

If she had added that under Jordanian law, selling land to Jews was punishable by death, and still is, as reported here

Palestinian Authority on Sunday reaffirmed the death penalty for any Palestinian found guilty of selling land to Israelis...The land law, which was originally put in force by Jordan between 1948 and 1967, carries the death sentence.

or that during those 19 years of Jordanian occupation synagogues were destroyed, graves desecrated, etc., then she'd get an A.

As is, she's failed.

(k/t = Cheryl Jacobs Lewin)

Check Out Artists4Israel in Israel





I met the gang briefly and they are super.

And they can draws!


Goldberg Bothered By A Conflation

The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg presents a back-handed compliment in The Greatest Achievement of the Settlers:-

The settlers of the West Bank have accomplished a great many things: They have built entire towns on previously-barren hilltops; they have created a network of schools, religious institutions and cultural centers that rival their counterparts in Israel proper...they have achieved disproportionate influence, through savvy lobbying, clever coalition-building, and appeals to Jewish pride and tradition.

Their greatest achievement, though, is in the interconnected realms of ideology and propaganda. The settlement movement, its supporters, and its apologists (in Israel and in America) have successfully conflated support for their movement with support for Israel and for Zionism itself. They have created a reality in which criticism of the settlement movement has come to equal criticism of Israel...

It is astonishing that what was once so small a movement now defines what it means to be a supporter of Israel. The official position of this blog (yes, we have official positions here) is that the settlements should be fought as if there was no such thing as anti-Zionism, and anti-Zionism should be fought as if there were no such thing as the settlements. This, I think, reflects the centrist position. A centrist on the question of Israel believes that the settlements represent a corruption of Jewish ideals, but that Israel remains the physical manifestation of a righteous cause. The right, of course, believes that settlements are an expression, not a corruption, of that cause. The left, on the other hand, believes that settlements are a manifestation of Zionism's true nature. I disagree with that argument strenuously. But I will say this, though: The left position on this question has the wind at its back.

Let's start from the end:

a.  that wind, Mr. Goldberg, is a foul wind (a wind blowing against the direction of travel);

b.  the Jewish communities (if you are looking for "illegal settlements", try Armenia), are not a "corruption" but represent the most constant factor of the essential act of Jewish nationalism, which Zionism became in a new organizational form in 1897, for centuries: returning to Eretz-Yisrael, the Jewish patrimony, despite all odds, residing in it, developing it, as formulated in the 13th century by Nachmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270, Spanish Torah scholar and commentator) who counts :

the mitzvah of settling in the land of Israel as number 4 on his list of mitzvot. Hence it is known as the "Fourth Mitzvah." This mitzvah incorporates the command to accept G-d's offer of the land and to live in it. In his commentary, Nachmanides proclaims this doctrine forcefully:

In my opinion, this constitutes a positive command of the Torah, wherein He [G-d] commanded them [the people of Israel] to settle in the land and inherit it; for He gave it to them; and they should not reject the heritage of the Lord! Should it enter their mind, for instance, to go and conquer the land of Shinar [Babylon] or Assyria or another country and settle therein, they would have transgressed the commandment of the Lord...

I know that terminology borrowed from theology doesn't sit well with modern-day liberals, but nevertheless, that idea is what drives the Jews.
c.  in other words, that conflation that bothers Mr. Goldberg, is genuine and is an expression of Judaism.

As for the rest of Goldberg's mutterings, I am sorry for his frustration but I and my friends are doing the best we can and I suggest he join us.  It's not too late.

And they are not "settlements". Try towns, cities, villages or even Jewish communities. Even as I pointed out, Bill Safire agreed.

P.S.  Ron Radosh doesn't think much if Goldberg either.

There's A "WestBank First Nation" With A Final Agreement

Here but it has nothing to do with Arabs, Israelis or the Land of Israel.

It's between Canada and Indians:-

Westbank First Nation Self-Government

Agreement between Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada and Westbank First Nation

This Agreement is made the _____ day of _______________, 2003,


WESTBANK FIRST NATION, as represented by the Chief and Council of Westbank First Nation, hereinafter referred to as "Westbank First Nation",


HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN in right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, hereinafter referred to as "Canada".


the Parties entered into an Agreement-in-Principle on July 13, 1998 which contemplated a Final Agreement to be concluded substantially in the form of the Agreement-in-Principle;


the Government of Canada recognizes that the inherent right of self-government is an existing aboriginal right within section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;


the Parties to this Agreement acknowledge that they may have different legal views as to the scope and content of an inherent right of self-government;


the Parties nevertheless intend by this Agreement to set out certain arrangements for a number of jurisdictions for implementation of the inherent right of self-government by Westbank First Nation on Westbank Lands without taking any definitive positions with respect to how an inherent right of self-government may ultimately be defined at law;


Westbank First Nation asserts that it has unextinguished aboriginal title, and jurisdictions based on aboriginal title and that its aboriginal title includes Westbank Lands;


Westbank First Nation states that it is part of the Okanagan Nation. This Agreement is without prejudice to other First Nations within the Okanagan Nation or to their systems or institutions of self-governance;


Westbank First Nation recognizes the need to provide good government for all persons residing on Westbank Lands;


Westbank First Nation will continue to consult and may enter into agreements with neighbouring local governments to maintain good relations and coordinate activities or in respect of other such matters as Westbank First Nation desires.



Rothschild Logic

Found here:-

The Green Line, a border that was pencilled on a map by the late Israeli politician Moshe Dayan in 1948, has acquired a talismanic status in some sections of Israeli society. Withdrawing to the pre-1967 borders is seen as some kind of magic bullet to peace. But it is ironic that those who draw comparisons between Israel’s policies in the occupied territories and the Apartheid era are also those who insist on separating Israelis and Arabs along ethnic lines that were drawn up by an eyepatch-adorned general 63 years ago.

Nathalie Rothschild is an international correspondent for spiked. Visit her personal website here.

Consider, too, that the ethnic cleansing of a population in Mandate Palestine was more done to Jews by Arabs between 1920-1948: Tel Chai, Hulda, Hebron, Jenin, Shchem, Gaza, Jerusalem's Old City Jewish Quarter, Atarot, Neveh Yaakov, Beit HaArava, etc.


She Got The Date Correct

Suggested caption:  "Yes, Ma'am, you did get the date correct."

Don't get the joke?

Try here.

And that's such a humble signature, Mr. President:


Bolton's Opinion on Netanyahu & Obama

3 Things for Obama's Opponents to Do Now That Netanyahu Has Created a New Israeli-Palestinian Dynamic

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unambiguous rejection of Barack Obama’s latest fantasy about the Middle East has potentially created a significant new political dynamic in the United States. By graciously but comprehensively rebutting Obama’s entire view of Arab-Israeli reality, first in the Oval Office, then before a joint meeting of Congress, Netanyahu has also exposed broader flaws in Obama’s worldview.

...Several observers noted correctly that Obama’s speech “could have been worse,” which is unquestionably true [but] since Obama remains president for two more years, what should opponents of his misguided policies do to capitalize on the new dynamic Netanyahu has created?

First, members of Congress must build on Netanyahu's Joint Meeting appearance through hearings, speeches, and House and Senate resolutions that Israel’s U.S. support remains broad and deep on Capitol Hill, even as it recedes almost to invisibility in the White House...This vigorous public approach may trouble the president’s political supporters, but their reluctance to speak up is a major factor underlying Obama’s evident belief he can muscle Israel without suffering domestic political damage.

...Second, there must be greater U.S. and Israeli focus and determination to reckon with Iran’s high and rising global threat...

Third, turmoil in the Middle East is also increasingly problematic...The peace agreement between the Hamas terrorists and Fatah, brokered by the post-Mubarak government in Egypt, marks the effective end of any realistic peace process between Israel and the Palestinians for the foreseeable future.

Obama has not yet grasped this reality, nor does he seem to understand that the Syrian dictatorship and Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorists remain Iranian pawns, threats both to Israel and to the United States.

(k/t = AtlasShrugs)


Write to Gershon Baskin

Here are excerpts from Gerson Baskin's letter begging for funds to continue to besmirch Israel.  His address is at the end, write to him and inform him whether you'll be contributing or you might ask him how come there are so many other groups doing his work and who needs him?

Dear Friends of IPCRI

...-The financial situation for the entire peace community in Israel and Palestine is become increasingly difficult. Traditional supporters such as European governments and Foundations are being frightened away from funding these activities because of the aggressive work of groups like Im Tirtzu which try to intimidate organizations such as the New Israel Fund and its supporters, and from the intellectual terrorism of the NGO Monitor which frightens donors to shy away and even completely cease the funding of Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights NGOs.
We have become increasingly dependent on the support of individuals like you.

...With the Netanyahu Congressional speech and the subsequent Palestinian decision...the Palestinian streets are bubbling with actions and plans, particularly amongst the young people to bring the philosophy of Tahrir square from Egypt into every town and city of Palestine. The young people are not interested in the UN nor about two states. The main thing that they want is to end the occupation.

The chances of violence emerging from the popular uprising that is being talked about are great. Our proposal for trying to mitigate the possibilities of violence is through the framework of coordination that we established which we call GSTAT - Grassroots Strategic Thinking and Analysis Team composed of key representatives of the grassroots movements in Palestine and Israel.

...We hope that you will be able to join with us and offer your support for effort...send a check to:

The Friends of IPCRI
12675 Coral Lakes Drive
Boynton Beach, Fl 33437
United States of America
PO Box 9321
Jerusalem, 91092

So, what'll be?


Should The US Yield on Samoa?

Found here:-

The U.S. Navy secured Deeds of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and of Manu’a in 1904...Samoa is many thousands of miles away from America, Americans have no natural nor historical ties to the land, but–in the name of American national interests–eastern Samoa became American territory as a result of the Tripartite Convention dividing the archipelago between Germany and America in 1899.

Okay…now let’s consider Samaria.

Together with Judea, they both make up what is now called the “West Bank.” The latter name did not exist until the early 20th century...In 1922, to reward Hashemite Arab allies in the Arabian Peninsula...the Brits chopped of almost 80% of the original Mandate of Palestine that they had received on April 25, 1920 and handed it over to the Hashemites.

...Jews had lived and owned property in Judea and Samaria for–literally–thousands of years...Places such as Hebron, Beth-El, Shilo, Bethlehem, Shechem, and so forth are known to the world today because of their introductions via the Hebrew Bible. Most Arabs came into the area after their own imperial conquests in the 7th century C.E. They ruled,first out of Damascus and then Bagdad, for a few centuries and were then conquered themselves by the next imperial successors.

...Alright, now consider this next…

The current American Administration and the perpetually anti-Israel State Department insist that no Jews should be allowed to live in Judea or Samaria. Furthermore, they also demand that Israel abandon what UNSC Resolution 242 promised it after the June ‘67 War–secure, defensible borders instead of the previous ‘49 armistice lines which made it virtually invisible on a world map.

America can grab lands thousands of miles away in the name of its own interests, but no Jew may live in Judea or Samaria...
I have a deal…and I hope Israeli leaders are listening closely.

Forget fair…

Only Jews worry about this sort of thing when they’re fighting for their very lives against enemies who won’t grant them any peace at all except the peace of the grave–regardless of the size Israel will shrink itself to. And the rest of the world couldn’t care less…

...Unlike Samoa to America, Judea and Samaria are literally a stone’s throw away from Israel’s heartland, are an integral part of Jewish history, and are positioned to allow a hostile army entering from the east to cut Israel in half. The Arabs have indeed already tried that one on for size.

Finally, this can’t be repeated too often…

Look at what came after Israel’s total withdrawal from Gaza years ago to see what a total Israeli withdrawal from the “West Bank” will mean for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport, the Knesset, and so forth once Israel has been forced back to the ‘49 armistice lines–not borders–imposed on it by the United Nations and which made it a mere 9-15 miles wide at its strategic waist, where most of its population, industry, and so forth are located.

And the next time you hear voices out of Washington insisting upon a Jew-free Judea and Samaria, please give a long, hard thought to American Samoa.


What William Quandt Thinks

...we know clearly what Netanyahu will not do. He will not accept the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps as the basis for negotiations; he will not negotiate the future of east Jerusalem; he will not remove Israeli forces from the Jordan Valley, and he will not accept the return of any Palestinian refugees to pre-1967 Israel. He will not negotiate with the Palestinian leadership until the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement is abrogated. For all of these “no’s,” Netanyahu was treated like a rock star by our congressional leaders.

Netanyahu justified his refusal to accept the 1967 lines as the reference point for negotiations by describing them as “indefensible.” This is boilerplate language for Israeli prime ministers — especially Likud leaders. But it is worth noting that Israel fought two wars quite successfully, in 1956 and 1967, starting from precisely those borders.

The issue is not so much Israel’s ability to defend itself within the 1967 lines. It is that roughly a half million Israelis, with strong inducements from their government, have decided to live beyond those lines, and many, perhaps most, will have to return to pre-1967 Israel — if there is ever to be a viable two-state solution.

Oddly, Obama, who made such a big issue of Israeli settlement activity earlier, did not mention it this past week. But it does, in fact, continue to be one of the stubborn realities that complicate peace efforts.



Maybe The US Could Borrow Its Suggestion to Israel?

Found here, and rewritten:

As for the idea promoted that Israel is in more danger security-wise in holding on to more land than it had under the 1967 borders, is this approach any different than the U.S. ceding part of its Arizona border to the Mexican drug lords in an effort to better apply its resources to Al Qaeda?

Think about that.


Sean Delonas on "Land Swaps"

Found here, May 25th:-

and we all recall this one from decades ago:


Indication of Israeli Public Opinion


The Peace Index: May 2011
Survey dates: 17/05/2011 - 18/05/2011
Summary of the Findings

Seventy-one percent of the Jewish public thinks the current Israeli government will not recognize a Palestinian state that is declared unilaterally. A majority (Jews – 57%, Arabs – 60%) also thinks that, under these circumstances, the U.S. will not recognize the Palestinian state.

At the same time, the Jewish public is divided as to whether Israel will or will not be able to allow itself not to recognize an independent Palestinian state: 48% believe it will be able to allow itself to withhold recognition while 47% think it will not. In the Arab public, a majority (53%) says Israel will be able to allow itself not to recognize the Palestinian state after the Palestinians declare the state and it is recognized by the UN.

And what will happen in the territories? A large majority (Jews – 70%, Arabs – 62%) thinks that following the declaration of an independent Palestinian state and its recognition by the UN, the chances are high that an intifada will erupt in the territories. Fifty-eight percent of the Jews (50% of the Arabs) also believe the Palestinian leadership will encourage such an intifada.

And what about negotiations with the Palestinian unity government? Surprisingly, the opinions in the Jewish public are divided: 38% support the claim that negotiations can be held even if Hamas is part of the government, since the alternative of an agreement with a Palestinian government that represents only half the people would be pointless. For 35%, the inclusion of Hamas in the Palestinian leadership means that Israel cannot negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, while 24% oppose negotiations with the Palestinians whether or not Hamas is part of their government.
[wait, isn't that a 59% majority negative on negotiations? that's "divided"? who are these pollsters?] In the Arab public, 78% support the first position, and are in favor of negotiating with a unity government that includes Hamas.


Alan Dershowitz on Obama's 'Yes'

President Obama's formulation requires Israel to give up its card and to make a "wrenching compromise" by dismantling most of the West Bank settlements and ending its occupation of the West Bank. But it does not require the Palestinians to give up their card and to compromise on the right of return. That "extraordinarily emotional" issue is to be left to further negotiations only after the borders have been agreed to.

This temporal ordering – requiring Israel to give up the "territorial" card before the Palestinians even have to negotiate about the "return" card – is a non-starter for Israel and it is more than the Palestinians have privately asked for. Once again, President Obama, by giving the Palestinians more than they asked for, has made it difficult, if not impossible, for the Palestinians to compromise. Earlier in his administration, Obama insisted that Israel freeze all settlement building, despite the fact that the Palestinians had not demanded such action as a precondition to negotiating. He forced the Palestinians to impose that as a precondition, because no Palestinian leader could be seen as less pro-Palestinian than the American President. Now he's done it again, by not demanding that the Palestinians give up their right of return as a quid for Israel's quo of returning to the 1967 borders with agreed-upon land swaps.

Hudson Institute


Benny Morris on the Pal. 'Nos'

The Palestinians will never agree to give up the "right of return," the mantra and ethos of their national movement, in a sense, their identity. And they will never agree to a settlement that includes a Jewish state in the bulk of Palestine.

The National Interest


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thank You Representative Marino


Marino: Israel Cannot Give Up Territory

CONTACT: Renita Fennick 202-870-3386 Renita.Fennick@mail.house.gov
May 24, 2011 Issues: Foreign Affairs


“Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the Joint Meeting of Congress today was one of the clearest, most heartfelt, and compassionate pleas regarding Middle East peace that has been delivered in this country or around the world.

“He reached out to the Palestinian people more so than ever in a powerful speech that had members of Congress on both sides of the aisle hanging on every word.

...“I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Netanyahu. Israel cannot give up territory and return to the 1967 borders as suggested by President Obama in an ill-timed statement last week.

Republican • 10th District, Pennsylvania


AP's Bias

Notice this in an AP report on the Egyptian opening of the border with Gaza:

"The tunnels have been used to bring in all manner of products, as well as people. Israel charges Hamas has used the tunnels to import weapons, including rockets that can reach main population centers in Israel's center."

After dozens of recorded reports, films, visits by journalists in the tunnels, etc., all AP can do is write that "Israel charges...". As if it's all fake and only Israel makes that absurd claim.

Simple, almost unobtrusive but deadly nevertheless.

It's not a fact - only an Israeli "charge".


What Does "Popular Resistance" Mean To You?

I found the phrase "popular resistance" in this petition:

Posted by: "Mazin Qumsiyeh" Sat May 21, 2011 11:33 am (PDT)

Please consider joining this action call and forward to those who you think might join (Israelis and Palestinians). Mazin

Many people of good faith yearn for a future that is a joint democratic pluralistic state that encompasses all of the historic land of Palestine (currently the political entities of the apartheid State of Israel and the post-1967 Israeli occupied Palestinian Territories). It is time to put our beliefs into practice by bringing together all these people to effect the needed transformation socially and politically. We call on you to join us to formulate all the needed mechanisms for this transformation....

...We believe in popular resistance and an anti-Apartheid struggle to achieve our collective goals. We will build on the previous initiatives and conferences that focused on one state solutions...

If you would like to join us, go to http://www.palestinejn.org/component/content/article/47-ongoing/124-join-the-one-state-initiative ...

The "popular resistance" rang a memory bell.

We have this:

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) (Arabic: لجان المقاومة الشعبية) are a coalition of various armed Palestinian factions that oppose the conciliatory approach adopted by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah towards Israel. Active in the Gaza Strip, the military wing of the PRC is the al-Naser Salah ad-Din Brigades.

The above group's own statement reads , in part:

In 1939, Britain responded to Palestinian popular resistance to Zionist settlement by issuing a White Paper

and we know that "resistance" was three year of Arab terror causing the murders of over 500 Jews.

Hamas' real name is the Islamic Resistance Movement.

The Islamic Jihad discusses its methods :

Since the regime is foreign an non-Moslem, the methods of resistance to be used are different from those adopted by similar groups operating against Moslem and Arab regimes. The ideology of the Palestinian Jihad factions calls for armed struggle against Israel through guerrilla groups composed of the revolutionary vanguard, which carry out terrorist attacks aimed at weakening Israel...

What do you think "popular resistance" means?


Palestinian Apartheid

Can Israeli civilian Jews reside in this new "Palestinian state" being touted?

Read this:

On Tuesday, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said the PA won’t agree to any Israeli presence in a Palestinian state.  Abu Rudaineh was referring to Netanyahu’s statement that Israel must maintain control over the Jordan Valley. 
“We won’t accept any Israeli presence in the Palestinian state, especially along the Jordan River,” Abu Rudaineh said.

Does that "any" include or exclude someone like me?


Quotable Words

...The mistake of the people from among us who declared Palestinian independence stems from an uncritical acceptance of one mistaken assumption - - - that the Palestinian people is fed up with the Israeli occupation and therefore it’s (whole) desire is establishment of a Palestinian state in “its own” territory, namely the West Bank and Gaza alone.

The first part of the assumption is correct: the Palestinians are fed up with the Israeli presence. The second part is incorrect, however. The Palestinian narrative is different. It is based on a desire for revenge, for “justice”, and above all The Right of Return. From their perspective this Right is not the Right of a people to return to their motherland, but the right of individuals to return to their homes, whether they are in Haifa, Lod or Ramat Aviv. But the desire to establish a state, and certainly a small one split between the West Bank and Gaza, was never their honest ambition, final and true.

...A Palestinian state if one is established on the basis of negotiations with Israel, will force the Palestinians to agree to three things: abandon the Right of Return, recognition that the agreement includes an end to the conflict, and agreement that the state of Israel is the Jewish state. But the Palestinians are not prepared to concede on these things. Consequently they have turned aggressively to the possibility of establishing a state through the UN – a decision that basically will not require them to concede on anything.

It is critical that Israel insist on these three conditions.

Giora Eiland, Yedioth Ahronot, April 27, 2011

(translation YS)

Quotable Words

After meeting for several hours at the White House on Friday, each delivered a full-throated restatement of positions that are at odds both on the terms for Palestinian statehood and the tactics for making it happen. Netanyahu objects not only to Obama’s formula for basing a Palestinian state on Israel’s 1967 border lines but also to the strategy of pressuring Israel to make concessions on territory before addressing Palestinian demands for a “right of return” to Israel for refugees.

Netanyahu believes there must be a tradeoff between territory, refugees and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — especially as Israel has little to concede other than land. Remarkably, however, in three public statements over five days, Obama never reconfirmed the U.S. position under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, which is that most or all refugees must be resettled in the new Palestinian state.

Jackson Diehl

On The Jewish 'Right of Return'

In an odd and even esoteric comment, a White House official seemed to have spoken in favor of assisting Jews to leave Israel and once again, go into exile (k/t = Jim Wald). Did one Ben Rhodes declare that the Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate on the Jewish right of return to Arab and Muslim countries? Here's the source:

White House: Jewish “refugees” right of return should be “on the table”

which informs us that

Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for communications and President Barack Obama's chief speechwriter on foreign policy, talked about what's known as the "Jewish right of return" during an off-the-record conference call with Jewish community leaders on May 20...

In response to a question asking why there is a great deal of focus on the Palestinian refugee issue but almost no focus on the Jews who departed Arab lands, Rhodes declared that the Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate on the Jewish right of return to Arab and Muslim countries and that the United States could play in role in mediating that issue.

Here's the full exchange:

(the questioner was B'nai B'rith International Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield) "[C]an the U.S., as the peace process move forward, play a role in advancing the rights and concerns of these Jewish refugee groups and help ensure that as refugee issues are dealt with... that the focus will not just be on one refugee group but on all refugee groups emerging from the same conflict?"

Rhodes responded: "Certainly the U.S., in our role, is attuned to all the concerns on both sides to include interests among Israel and others in Jewish refugees, so it is something that would come up in the context of negotiations. And certainly, we believe that ultimately the parties themselves should negotiate this. We can introduce ideas, we can introduce parameters for potential negotiation."

"We believe those types of issues that you alluded to could certainly be a part of that discussion and put on the table and it's something that we would obviously be involved in."

Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, responded and said

the Jewish right of return is actually not an issue that's part of the peace negotiations, largely due to the fact that a) there are no Jewish refugees, and b) they don't have any desire to claim lands in Arab states.

I am astounded. For anyone, either a Bnai Brith official or a senior White House advisor, to fail to make clear that the issue of "Jewish refugees" is only a reference to their financial demands for compensation for having been kicked out of many Arab countries and that they are not seeking to "go home" as part of a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Isael conflict is to err to a high degree.

Sending Jews once more into Exile is ridiculous and that is what should be emphasized.

Reviewing the exchange, though, I am more inclined to think that the editor of that post was either sick, tired and just plain anti-Zionist and hyped what wasn't really there but was not strictly not there.