Friday, April 30, 2010

Louis Brandeis must be turning over in his grave


Leo Rennert
American Thinker
29 April '10
Posted before Shabbat

Israel haters among students and faculty at Brandeis are mounting an all-out campaign against the university's selection of Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, as commencement speaker, going so far as to threaten violent tactics to disrupt the event if Oren dares show his face.

Yes, this by-now familiar scenario on North American campus has reached Brandeis -- named after Louis Brandeis, one of the most renowned justices and the first Jew to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. The same Brandeis, who also served as president of the Zionist Organization of America. The symbolism of what's at stake couldn't be more obvious.

The campus newspaper has editorialized against having Oren, a distinguished academic in his own right, as commencement speaker. Also joining the anti-Oren chorus is the campus chapter of J Street, which describes itself as a "pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby." The national J Street office has separated itself from the anti-Oren campaign of its Brandeis chapter, but hasn't taken any steps to remove the J Street imprimatur from attacks on the ambassador's right to address the graduates and their families.

Anti-Israel radicals meanwhile bombard the campus with full-throated slanders that Oren is guilty of "war crimes" and must not be allowed to grace the commencement podium -- hallowed free-speech rights to the contrary notwithstanding.

Their objective is the same as the disgraceful "victory" of similar rabble-rousers at University of California at Irvine, who repeatedly shouted down Oren when he spoke there.

It's all part of a national harassment and intimidation campaign on college and university campuses to delegitimize Israel. So far, because of administration passivity, the anti-Israel provocateurs seem to have the upper hand.

(Read full article)

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The NIF and the BDS movement


Fresnozionism.org
29 April '10
Posted before Shabbat

Do you remember the New Israel Fund (NIF), the US charity that was recently the center of controversy when an Israeli Zionist group, Im Tirtzu, claimed that they funded the organizations responsible for the majority of the ‘documentation’ of alleged IDF crimes in the notorious Goldstone report?

The ‘moderate’ Left, including the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, rushed to their defense. Im Tirtzu was accused of being composed of right-wing extremists or worse.

But let’s see who the real extremists are.

The BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) attempts to delegitimize Israel as a state, calling for boycotts in every area, economics, academics, sports, culture, science, etc. The campaign is designed on the model of the boycott of apartheid South Africa, the implication being that the Jewish state is equally immoral and illegitimate. The boycott is to be continued until Israel meets the following conditions:

Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

One would think that a pro-Israel charity would not fund groups calling for the ‘return’ of 4.5 million hostile ‘refugees’, something which, if it happens, would certainly mark the end of the state of Israel and the beginning of a bloody civil war. So what is the policy of the New Israel Fund with regard to BDS?

(Read full post)

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Likud Central Committee vote today wasn’t about the future of Jerusalem


Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA
Weekly Commentary
29 April '10

Let’s be clear about this: The Likud Central Committee vote today wasn’t about the future of Jerusalem. And while the vote indeed demonstrated the ability of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to get things done in the Likud, his success was very much because the issue on the agenda (postponing internal elections) had nothing to do with national policy.

Related: A Short Analysis of the Likud Central Committee Voting - Manhigut

Binyamin Netanyahu did not get carte blanche from the Likud Central Committee. If anything, Netanyahu’s victory on the vote was achieved thanks to the clarifications and assurances on national policy matters that he apparently gave to various key Likud personalities to garner their support.

Is Binyamin Netanyahu planning to divide Jerusalem – or even just to extend the housing construction freeze beyond the ten month period? (see the countdown at:
www.dannydanon.com/he/index.php/the-news/166-hourglass )

His answer to both is an adamant “no”.

Netanyahu’s positions on these issues reflect his own convictions. That doesn’t negate, however, the importance of the real politic justifications for his stands – this especially when American acceptance of a real politic justification isn’t predicated on having to agree with Mr. Netanyahu’s policy arguments.

Is that his final word?

I would like to think so.

And it is our duty to do everything in our power to help make sure that this is indeed the case.

The Likud MKs and ministers know that if as a result of unforeseen circumstances, Knesset elections were advanced, that the roster of Likud members qualified to vote in the Likud Party primaries would punish those who supported policies in defiance of their constituents. And they also know that various party enrollment campaigns are more than likely to balance each other out.

Nonetheless, there is no room for apathy.

This is not a question of personalities.

It is not a reflection on Binyamin Netanyahu.

Because the absolute last thing any Israeli leader needs, when facing world pressure, is carte blanche from his constituents.

Also related: Israel’s Right Discovers Political Sanity

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The Zionist Response


David Wilder
The Wilder Way
30 April '10

For the past week I've felt haunted. Being very busy with tours and other necessary tasks, I hadn't found time to put down some words on paper. Actually, I began working on a very important document which I didn't even find time to finish.

But something else was eating at me. Friday night. Tomorrow night. The 17th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. Exactly thirty years ago, the 17th of Iyar was also on a Friday night. I lived then in Mevassert Tzion, just outside Jerusalem. The next night a friend of mine commented, 'I knew something was wrong, seeing helicopters flying into Hadassah hospital.'

And something was very wrong. Friday night, May 12, 1980. It was just a year earlier when a group of about 10 women and 40 children had reentered Beit Hadassah in Hebron. The building, originally built in 1893, and having served as a medical clinic for Jews and Arabs in Hebron prior to the 1929 riots, had been vacant since Israel's return to the city in 1967. A week and a half following the end of Passover in 1979, the group climbed in thru a back window of Beit Hadassah in the middle of the night, reestablishing a Jewish presence in the heart of the city for the first time in 50 years.

Living conditions were non-existent, and the going wasn't easy; to the contrary, it was very difficult. But women such as Rebbetzin Miriam Levinger, Sarah Nachshon, and others were made of platinum. Not necessarily material platinum, rather spiritual platinum. Their faith, and their grasp of the significance of the return to Hebron, overcame all other factors. Together with a large group of children they defied all odds, refused to surrender to pressures, physical and mental, and maintained the Jewish presence in the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.


(This was shot yesterday, primarily within the Hebron Museum. That is why the
sound quality is a bit different, but a worthwhile watch. TY to David Wilder)

Every Friday night, following Shabbat worship at Ma'arat HaMachpela, a group of men would sing and dance their way down the street to Beit Hadassah, where they continued the festivity, joined by the women and children living in the building, adding to their Shabbat spirit.

(Read full story)

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New Group, Keep Israel Safe, Launches with Hard-hitting Ad


By John McCormack
The Weekly Standard
30 April '10

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained an advance copy of a web ad with which a new organization, Keep Israel Safe, is launching in the near future.

(Read full post)



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"Densely Arab Populated," The Big Lie



Batya Medad
Shilo Musings
30 April '10

Here's another of my contributions to rebranding, trying to change that gut-level, misunderstanding most people all over the world, including Israel, have about Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

I'll never forget reading that phrase "Densely Arab Populated" in The Jerusalem Post a number of years ago. The writer was describing Judea and Samaria. Ever since then, I always request that tourists and visitors take a good look. I've even dramatically opened my dining room window, even on a freezing winter's day, to stick my hand out and say:
"Look at these empty hills. This isn't a painted mural or photograph. There's plenty of land here and no need for the Arabs to insist that it's all theirs."

I'm always amazed to hear people imply that my home and community of Shiloh must be surrounded by Arabs. That's the impression they get from the media and politicians. Here are a couple of pictures I took recently walking between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel, the Jewish community just east of my house.





It's an easy walk, just takes a few minutes. There's an unpaved road. And no, we weren't armed. This may not be what the media claims and the politicians and diplomats believe. Remember that most high political officials get their news information via a predigested news digest, summary, composed and edited by staff members with agendas. Yes, to put it simply, they (politicians and diplomats) don't know bupkes.

These are untouched, uncropped pictures I took. Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights and most of the Gaza Strip are just as empty. If you believe the press, you've been had. So please pass this around, thanks.

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U.S. Official Explains (Reluctantly?) Why U.S. is Engaging Syria; Egypt Rushes to Get in Good with Winning Iran-Led Side?


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
29 April '10

Listen how the administration's best expert on Syria tries to defend U.S. policy of being nice to the regime there. Then listen to the Egyptian foreign minister interpreting this policy as meaning Syria and its friend Iran are winning so Egypt better start thinking of jumping on the bandwagon.

Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is one of the smartest people in the administration’s foreign policy hierarchy. As former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, he understands what Syria’s regime is like and how Damascus along with Iran and Hizballah are trying to take over Lebanon.

What’s really fascinating is when smart people support administration policy in an honest way, since that shows just how thin the veneer is. My favorite was last September’s New York Times editorial touting the great foreign policy achievements of the administration. All it could up with were closing Guantanamo Bay (nope, not yet done seven months later) and getting the Russians to “think” about sanctions (same as above).

So in this vein, here’s Feltman explaining U.S. policy toward Syria in a congressional hearing. Let’s listen:

"While the United States is working with our international partners to mitigate Iran's influence in the region, Syria stands out for its facilitation of many of Iran's troubling policies. Syria's relationship with Iran seems primarily based on perceived political interests, rather than cultural ties or complementary economies.”

(Read full post)

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The 'nakba' of Morocco's Jews


Bataween
Point of No Return
29 April '10

Timed to coincide with the Palestinians' imminent 'Nakba' day, Lela Gilbert's piece for the Jerusalem Post is a sobering reminder of the sufferings which Jews of Morocco endured. Since February, however, Moroccan-born Dina Gabay's's rights to compensation, like those of all Jewish refugees from Arab lands and Iran, have been enshrined in Israeli law:

Imagine a frightened six-year-old girl trying to catch her balance in the stifling and cramped hold of a violently tossing ship. She is not alone on the turbulent sea – her parents and sibling are nearby. But fear is in the air, along with the sight and smell of terrible sickness. The child understands little about her circumstances. She is aware that she is going to a place called Israel, where three of her brothers now live. She realizes that she is saying good-bye forever to her Morocco home. But that’s all she knows about her journey.

Meanwhile her present misery, and that of her beloved family, eclipses all else. The girl’s name is Dina Gabay. The year is 1955. Dina, her parents – Avraham and Rachel – and the family are fleeing ever-increasing dangers in their town of Sefrou, near Fez.

Only in later years did Dina come to appreciate the constant pressure her parents had endured before their departure. There were small things—insults and ceaseless intimidation. For example, her father, who owned a large and successful butcher shop, was at the mercy of local thieves, who sometimes simply walked into his business and demanded that he give them whatever they wanted – at no cost. “Not once and not twice,” Dina explains, “but whenever they wanted something. These were our good Muslim neighbors, you know?”

(Read full story)

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Throwing Jerusalem’s Barkat Under the Bus


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
29 April '10

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is no extreme right-wing extremist. A generally non-ideological and secular Jew who served in the paratroopers, he was a successful high-tech venture capitalist before entering politics. Barkat’s career has, to date, been solely centered on the city of Jerusalem. He was elected mayor of the city only days after Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in November 2008. The important fact about Barkat’s win was that he beat an ultra-Orthodox candidate, a symbolic as well as a tangible victory for those who hope to keep Israel’s capital from becoming a Haredi shtetl.

In his years on the city council and now as mayor, Barkat’s focus has been on development and improved services but he also understands that the city’s future depends on it remaining united. If it is once again divided, as it was during Jordan’s illegal occupation of half of it from 1948 to 1967, the city will be an embattled and ghetto-ized backwater with no hope of attracting investment. Thus, he is adamantly opposed to those who want to make Arab neighborhoods into a capital of a putative Palestinian state, despite the fact that even the “moderate” Palestinian leadership won’t sign a deal that recognizes the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn. Dividing the city is, he says, like putting a “Trojan Horse” within Israel. He is also appalled, as are most Israelis, at the idea of treating the post-67 Jewish neighborhoods, where over 200,000 Jews live, as illegal settlements by an Obama administration that is demanding a building freeze in Jerusalem. He rightly sees Israeli acquiescence to this unreasonable demand as a blow to Israel’s sovereignty over its capital as well as a threat to the Jews of Jerusalem.

These are points that Barkat has been making to the press and the public during a visit this week to Washington. The reaction from the Obama administration has been chilly but perhaps not as chilly as that of the Israeli Embassy. The New York Times, which contrasted the chummy reception that Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak got here this week from the Obami with that given to Barkat, noted that a spokesman from the Israeli embassy was at pains to distance the embassy from Barkat.

(Read full post)

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Who's Winning So Far? Iran/Syria: 2; United States: 0


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
29 April '10

Remember Turkey? It used to hold joint military exercises with the United States and Israel. Now it holds them with Syria while refusing to hold even an air-sea rescue drill with Israel. Yet there's no real concern in the U.S. government that Turkey--or rather the neo-Islamist current government--may be changing sides or of U.S. technology becoming available to Iran and Syria in the future.

Consider this list, which is pretty undeniable in factual terms:

U.S. engagement with Iran: failure

U.S. engagement with Syria: failure

Iran/Syria engagement with Lebanon: success

Iran/Syria engagement with Turkey: success

Bottom line: The United States has failed to pull Syria away from Iran; Iran and Syria have pulled Lebanon and Turkey away from the United States.

Iran/Syria: 2; United States: 0

In Washington policy circles and to a large extent in the mass media, no one has noticed this little comparison of success.

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UK: George Galloway Funds-- Surprise! -- Hamas


Shiraz Maher
Hudson New York
29 April '10

George Galloway is always a useful barometer for gauging the climate of sectarian and reactionary politics in Britain. In 2005 he quit his Glasgow constituency to fight for election in the London borough of Bethnal Green and Bow - one of London’s most deprived and divided constituencies.

Galloway’s entire period as a Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow was typified by unavailability. More important to him than the concerns of his constituents were the agitations of the Middle East and South Asia.

Much of this involved his dedicating considerable amounts of energy to the Viva Palestina campaign about which Galloway is now becoming increasingly embarrassed. After presenting Hamas officials with money in Gaza - a criminal offence in many Western nations - he now insists he did no such thing.

The Globe and Mail reports Galloway as now insisting, “I didn’t give any money to Hamas, I gave it to the ministry of health in Gaza to pay for the salaries of the doctors and nurses who hadn’t been paid. By the way, we’re talking about 20 odd thousand pounds, not millions. It’s a symbolic donation. I gave it to the ministry of health in Gaza and I’m proud to have done so.”

It is a remarkable statement, offering a pirouetted view into the parallel universe Galloway so often seems to occupy. Several Arab television stations broadcast his speech at the time, and it remains widely available on the internet. What Galloway actually said was, “I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors - Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan - are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics.”

Politics, not charity. There is no mention of paying doctors or nurses in Galloway’s triumphalist speech.

(Read full article)

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Peace From the Bottom Up?


Joseph Puder
frontpagemag.com
28 April '10

Kedumim, Samaria, West Bank, Israel …

Turning off the Trans-Israel Highway Six onto Route 55 – the Kalqilya-Nablus highway, we pass through numerous Arab-Palestinian villages. At Azzun, Laqef, and Funduk our car intermingles with Arab-Palestinian cars bearing green license plates with the letter P for Palestine in English as well as the Arabic for Filestin. At Funduk, we drive through the main street and we are greeted with a friendly hand wave by children and adults. We take note of Jewish “settlers” with helmet-like skullcaps making their way in and out of local Arab stores – with signs in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Driving along in total normalcy you tend to forget that this part of the world is so maligned for violence and hate. You come to realize that hatred and violence is not natural to the Palestinian-Arabs nor is it a part of the value system of the Jews who live in the communities cum “settlers” in Judea and Samaria . In this part of the country, the countryside of Samaria exudes an air of normalcy that seems to pervade the hilltop communities of both Arabs and Jews.

But then you read in Israel Today (April 6, 2010) that Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has ordered Arab-Palestinians not to purchase Israeli goods from “settlers” and that Palestinian Authority (PA) police raided and confiscated goods bought by local Palestinian-Arabs from their neighbors – the Jewish “settlers”, and realize that the hatred and violence is being ordered and carried out from above by Salam Fayyad’s government. The incitement against Jews is disseminated by the PA through the Palestinian media, schools, and mosques, a reality not reported by the New York Times or BBC.

Raphaella Segal, deputy-Mayor of Kedumim, and its chief spokesperson, as well as a mother of nine is a youthful and energetic grandmother who describes life in Samaria before the 1993 Oslo Accords: “We in the Kedumim community would shop in all the nearby Arab villages. We became close friends with many of our Arab neighbors, and they would come to Kedumim to celebrate with us personal events such as weddings, births and bar Mitzvahs, and we did the same. We participated in their religious holidays as they did in ours. Many from the neighboring Arab villages of Kfar Kadum and Jit worked in Kedumim.” She then added with pathos in her voice, “We got along fine before Arafat and the politicians took over.”

(Read full article)

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Peace Plan: An Israeli Victory


Daniel Pipes
National Post
29 April '10

This month, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak declared that Israel must withdraw from Palestinian territories. "The world isn't willing to accept — and we won't change that in 2010 — the expectation that Israel will rule another people for decades more," he said. "It's something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world."

Is he right? Is peace even possible? And if so, what form should a final agreement take? Those are the questions we asked National Post writers in our series "What's Your Peace Plan?"


My peace plan is simple: Israel defeats its enemies.
Victory uniquely creates circumstances conducive to peace. Wars end, the historical record confirms, when one side concedes defeat and the other wins. This makes intuitive sense, for so long as both sides aspire to achieve their ambitions, fighting continues or it potentially can resume.

The goal of victory is not exactly something novel. Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese strategist, advised that in war, "Let your great object be victory." Raimondo Montecuccoli, a seventeenth-century Austrian, said that "The objective in war is victory." Carl von Clausewitz, a nineteenth-century Prussian, added that "War is an act of violence to compel the enemy to fulfill our will." Winston Churchill told the British people: "You ask: what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory - victory - at all costs, victory, in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be." Dwight D. Eisenhower observed that "In war, there is no substitute for victory." These insights from prior eras still hold, for however much weaponry changes, human nature remains the same.

(Read full article)

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J STREET: Pray for the Pieces of Jerusalem


Hillel Stavis
Solomonia
27 April '10

The bolder and more pro-Palestinian Barack Hussein Obama gets, the bolder J Street becomes in its relentless pursuit to undo the Jewish State. The latest comes from Yossi Sarid, J Street spokesman, who says of Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem:

"Barack Obama appears well aware of his obligations to try to resolve the world's ills, particularly ours here. Why then undercut him and tie his hands? On the contrary, let's allow him to use his clout to save us from ourselves, to help both bruised and battered nations and free them from their prison. Then he can push both sides to divide the city into two capitals -- to give Jewish areas to the Jews and Arab areas to the Arabs - and assign the Holy Basin to an agreed on international authority."

Notice the messianic qualities attributed to Obama by the staunchly secular - and - now properly marginalized Israeli Left. And of course, numero uno on the list of "the world's ills" is the effrontery of Jewish sovereignty in its own capital, Jerusalem. Apparently, J Street wants to move the hands of the clock back to the glorious days of Count Folke Bernadotte, who, in 1947, wanted to "internationalize" - some say he would have awarded the city to the Jordanians - Jerusalem. Imagine The Western Wall in the hands of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade. There is no doubt that the Palestinians would reciprocate the magnanimity shown by Moshe Dayan and Levi Eshkol when they handed over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf in 1967. My guess is that the Arabs would finish the demolition the Romans left incomplete in less than an hour. And, of course the concessions won't end there. Who needs the Golan, the Galilee and the Negev? If left to J Street's blueprint, all that would remain of Israel would be an upscale, small suburb of Tel Aviv so that the Ben Ami family could establish a pied a terre while visiting Hamas headquarters.

(Read full post)

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Is Obama Winning His War on Jerusalem?


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
28 April '10

The Israeli government is walking a fine line as it tries holding out against the Obama administration’s demand for a building freeze while simultaneously fending off charges that it is not interested in making peace with the Palestinians. The predictable result is confusion. The Netanyahu government’s defiance of the American diktat is contradicted by news reports about a de facto suspension of planning for projects by Israel in those parts of the city under Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.

It isn’t clear whether the slow-down of Jewish construction in Jerusalem is merely an attempt by the government to ensure that it will not be taken unaware by housing announcements, as it was during the recent visit of Vice President Joe Biden, or by an actual freeze. But either way, it appears that Netanyahu’s desire to avoid giving a clearly hostile Obama any ammunition with which he can paint the Israelis as provocative or intransigent about peace is having an impact on the pace of building.

The American pressure on Jerusalem is a break from the past because no previous administration has ever made an issue of the building of homes for Jews in neighborhoods that were founded in the aftermath of the unification of the city in 1967. The United States has never recognized Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the city, including the parts that were held by the Jews at the time of the 1949 armistice that ended Israel’s War of Independence. But Obama breaks from past administrations when he insists that that Jewish neighborhoods in the city founded after 1967 are merely illegal “settlements,” no different from the most West Bank outpost.

(Read full post)

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How Hamas Tortures Gaza


Joshua Klein
frontpagemag.com
28 April '10

John Ging, the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Operations in Gaza, briefed correspondents at the United Nations headquarters in New York last week on the humanitarian plight of the people in Gaza. He said that the Palestinian people in Gaza faced “a struggle to survive on a daily basis.”

Ging noted that Gaza’s infrastructure was in a state of collapse, as there was no legitimate economy anymore due to lack of commercial trade into or out of the area, nor was there any prospect of a restoration of it as long as the blockade instituted by Israel at the border crossings continued. He also blamed the blockade for preventing the import of vital construction materials needed to build more UNRWA-run schools and classrooms to accommodate the expanding child population in Gaza.

While acknowledging some recent positive developments as Israel has allowed more commercial truckloads to enter Gaza, he said they were “a drop in the bucket.” “So, if we can have 20 truckloads of aluminium (sic) a month; then why not 50? And if you can have 50, why not a 100?” Ging asked.

Ging blamed the current situation on the failure to implement the detailed Agreement on Movement and Access in Gaza that Israel and the Palestinian Authority negotiated in November 2005 with the help of the World Bank and the Special Envoy of the Mideast Quartet. Although the agreement had specified certain steps to be taken to keep the crossings open and vital supplies flowing into Gaza, those steps were never taken, he claimed, resulting in “bewildering human suffering and misery” for 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza.

What Ging neglected to mention is that Hamas and its radical Islamic allies bear much of the blame for the human suffering in Gaza because they are the reason that the Agreement on Movement and Access in Gaza was never fully implemented.

For its part, Israel had in good faith begun to implement this agreement by allowing a significant increase of truckloads into and out of Gaza through the crossing points bordering Israel, after it unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and turned over governing responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority.

(Read full article)

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From pro-Israel to anti-Israel apologist


Isi Leibler
Candidly Speaking from Jerusalem
29 April '10

Former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk has emerged as one of the leading Jewish apologists for President Barack Obama in his confrontation with the Israeli government.

With the American public now beginning to express resentment of the anti-Israeli tilt adopted by the Obama administration, Indyk has been intensifying his attacks on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, blaming him for the crisis and slandering him as an instrument of extremist nationalist elements.

Indyk has had a remarkably successful academic and political career. Educated in Australia, he was employed by the Australian counterpart of AIPAC. In the US, he subsequently assumed a research role in AIPAC, following which he was appointed executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and taught Middle East studies in various universities.

He served as a special assistant to president Bill Clinton, and was a member of secretary of state Warren Christopher’s Middle East peace team. After adopting US citizenship, he became the first foreign-born and first Jewish US ambassador to Israel, serving two terms. Currently he is director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institute. Indyk is also an enthusiastic supporter of the New Israel Fund, and recently vigorously defended the NIF in Australia after the invitation to NIF president Naomi Chazan was revoked following the uproar concerning NIF grants to organizations collaborating in the compilation of the despicable Goldstone Report.

SO HOW are we to understand Indyk’s recent outbursts? Jewish supporters of Obama’s harsh and one-sided offensive against the current government fall into two broad categories.

(Read full article)

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Hezbollah's next milestone?


Soccer Dad
28 April '10

Close to a year and a half ago, Meryl observed a news report that despite Security Council resolution 1701, Hezbollah was three times as strong as it had been during its war against Israel in 2006 leading her to snark:

I'm so happy that UN is concentrating on the important things, like a day of mourning for the Palestinians to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UN partition of the British Mandate. It's great that Nobel Peace Prize winners are calling for the expulsion of Israel from the UN, but not a nation that has taken an armed terrorist group, responsible for the deaths of Americans and Israelis the world over, into their government and made them legitimate--even as they regularly threaten to use their weapons to destroy Israel.

Now we learn that Hezbollah is actually better armed than many countries! (via memeorandum)

(Read full post)

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JFools and JKnaves


Fresnozionism.org
28 April '10

I don’t know how many posts I’ve written about anti-Israel Jews — J Street, Israeli intellectuals, leftist anti-Zionists, etc. I even thought about creating a special category called “With Jews like these, who needs Arabs?”

The inimitable Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine, for example, recently gave an award to Richard Goldstone because… get ready for this — “the peace community both in Israel and around the world see Justice Goldstone as upholding the best ethical values of the Jewish community”. Ethical values?

It doesn’t work anymore to say “Oh, Michael Lerner (or Chomsky, or Finkelstein, or half the faculty of Tel Aviv University, etc.) is crazy. If the problem is mental illness, it’s an epidemic.

The latest is a new European organization called “JCall“. Like J Street, JCall claims to be “unfailingly” committed to the Jewish state, but nevertheless holds that “Systematic support of Israeli government policy is dangerous and does not serve the true interests of the state of Israel,” and calls for the EU and the US to “put pressure on both parties” to achieve a “solution” to the conflict.

I suppose it’s worth saying again why ‘putting pressure on both sides’ won’t end the conflict (a more complete argument is here):

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The Sound of Silence


Noah Pollak
Contentions/Commentary
28 April '10

Normally, when Human Rights Watch is criticized, the group retaliates with harsh and aggressive attacks on its accusers. Ken Roth, the head of HRW, is famous for this. When it was disclosed last summer that HRW went to Saudi Arabia to raise money for its “fights with pro-Israel groups,” Roth told Jeffrey Goldberg that Israel’s “supporters fight back with lies and deception.” When HRW’s founder, Bob Bernstein, criticized the group in a New York Times op-ed, HRW fired back by egregiously misrepresenting Bernstein’s argument and then denouncing it in classic straw-man fashion.

A couple of days ago, a long investigative piece was published in the New Republic, which contained the most damaging revelations yet about the group’s hostility to Israel, the sloppiness of its work, and the opinions of some of the crackpots who work in its offices. I was expecting Roth and his goon squad to go nuclear, as they normally do, with wild accusations of lies and right-wing smears. Strangely, nothing of the sort has happened. HRW’s defense comes in the form of a short, passionless statement of support by a board member who seems to be the go-to person for defenses of HRW’s treatment of Israel, and who incredibly insists that HRW is “actually good for Israel.”

There is no attempt to refute the carefully documented facts contained in Birnbaum’s TNR piece; there is no smear campaign against the author; there are no fervent letters to the editor insisting on HRW’s invincible moral authority.

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It is Goldstone Who Is Politicizing Grandson's Bar Mitzvah


Alan M. Dershowitz
Hudson New York
28 April '10

So now it turn out to be Richard Goldstone--author of the notorious Goldstone report--who is politicizing his grandson's bar mitzvah. Jewish authorities in South Africa didn't "ban" Goldstone from the synagogue at which his grandson was being bar mitzvahed, as Goldstone and his supporters had alleged. A small group of protestors had said they would exercise their right of expression to picket Goldstone. Though they clearly had the right to do so, most Jews in South Africa and elsewhere--including me--were uncomfortable with the idea of picketing a grandfather attending his grandson's bar mitzvah. It was Goldstone who decided not to attend and instead to publicize the matter.

The South Africa Board of Deputies have now persuaded the protestors to pick a different time and place to show their disdain for Goldstein. The matter should have been put to rest, with Goldstone quietly attending the bar mitzvah. But Goldstone won't let it go. He has attacked the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, who was instrumental in working out a compromise where the protests would be called off and Goldstone would agree to meet with Jewish leaders. Goldstone escalated the dispute by writing a letter to the local newspaper complaining that,

"the Chief Rabbi would so brazenly politicize the occasion of my 13 year-old grandson's bar mitzvah to engage in further personal attacks on me."


But it was Goldstone who brazenly politicized the bar mitzvah by mischaracterizing the Chief Rabbi's statement and using it as an excuse to continue the controversy about the bar mitzvah. The alleged "personal attack" by the Chief Rabbi consisted of a statement that every synagogue:

"should welcome in a tolerant and nonjudgmental way all who seek to enter and join in our service and pray to God."


The Chief Rabbi also exercised his own freedom of speech to express his opinion--an entirely accurate one--that the Goldstone report:

"has unfairly done enormous damage to the reputation and safety of the State of Israel and her citizens."


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Feiglin Teaches Bibi the Facts of Life


By Maya Bengal
Israel Radio's "Reshet Bet"
12 Iyar/ 26 April '10

The man is teaching Bibi the facts of life. He is playing the democratic game. He wants elections for the party institutions in their proper time. It is Bibi who does not want them and who is exerting tremendous efforts to postpone them. He is afraid to reveal what he knows: The radical right wing of the Likud will get even stronger.

They called them "parasites," "leeches," and "provocations" but the time has come to admit the truth: Moshe Feiglin and the "Feiglinites" are the Likud. They are not a foreign influence. Twelve years have passed since Feiglin joined the Likud and since then, he has become more and more powerful. MK's woo him, the Likud Central Committee members stream to him, everyone wants to bask in his shade.

The attempts by Binyamin Netanyahu to expel him from the movement, to weaken him, to scare others with his name – have resoundingly failed. Ladies and gentlemen, Feiglin is a Likudnik. "Manhigut Yehudit" is alive and kicking in the Likud. This man has succeeded in garnering 23% support in the primaries for leadership of the movement in 2006. 23%! With such an impressive result it is clear that the man is in the Likud to stay.

So Feiglin is not robbing the Likud, he is conquering it. The positions that Feiglin represents – like "Jerusalem for eternity" and "not one inch" are no longer extreme. They are in the consensus. Here's the proof – Gilad Ardan, Silvan Shalom and Bogey Ya'alon also think that the Palestinians are not partners and that there is nothing to talk about and they will certainly strongly oppose the evacuation of settlements.

This man is teaching Bibi the facts of life. He is playing the democratic game. He wants elections for the party institutions in their proper time. It is Bibi who does not want them and who is exerting tremendous efforts to postpone them. He is afraid to reveal what he knows: The radical right wing of the Likud will get even stronger. Just imagine if the prime minister of Israel would want to continue his Knesset term for four more years and would propose legislation to cancel the general elections. What would we do then? We would climb the barricades and not rest until we would force elections – because democracy, even if it is not convenient for the head of the movement, cannot be surrendered. Or, as Churchill said: It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

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A Dilemma in June?


Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Al-Awsat
28 April '10

(While requiring some work, there is definitely what to find between the lines. Asharq Al-Awsat is owned by and reflects the position of the Saudi Royal family. Y.)

The Lebanese are concerned because Washington wants to put forward a new Security Council resolution for sanctions against Iran as soon as possible. Just by putting forward sanctions in May will mean that Lebanon, which will assume presidency of the Security Council, must make a big decision; either it will surrender Tehran to the noose of sanctions or it will abstain from voting. Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah would not accept this and would not be satisfied with anything less than rejecting the resolution.

Washington’s declared position is one of calm. The Americans are ruling out the possibility that Lebanon will obstruct the sanctions resolution; however I received information stating the contrary to the effect that there is serious consideration in Washington to get through May and put forward the sanctions [resolution] in June when presidency of the Security Council will be passed on to Mexico in order to avoid embarrassing Lebanon. An intelligent person advised some people in Lebanon to follow Turkey’s lead; if Turkey abstains from voting then Lebanon should too, if Turkey votes then Lebanon should vote too, but some people in Beirut are saying that the pressure coming from Iran is immense, not to mention Hezbollah and Damascus.

Nevertheless, whoever looks back at recent history will find that Lebanon has no reason to be embarrassed, especially if the Lebanese act in the same way as Syria did in 2002 when it voted for the “final opportunity” project, i.e. Resolution 1441 that was presented to the Security Council by Washington and was supported by Britain. This is the resolution that offered Iraq the final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations in accordance with [previous] Security Council resolutions. Why did Syria at the time vote for the resolution that gained unanimous consensus against Iraq, and yet today it rejects voting on the sanction resolution against Iran and in fact considers this treason? Iran is not an Arab country and is not one of Lebanon’s neighbors and it does not have the rights that Iraq has.

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Israel’s Right Discovers Political Sanity


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
28 April '10

(Manhigut has been trying to get this point across for some time and later today will be a major test of strengths within the Likud. Hopefully the potential to bring about change will still be open to those who enter the playing field at this time. Y.)

Anyone familiar with Israeli politics knows that the Israeli right’s worst enemy is itself. Small right-of-center factions toppled both Yitzhak Shamir’s Likud-led government in 1992 and Benjamin Netanyahu’s first government in 1999; those decisions led, respectively, to Yitzhak Rabin’s election and the Oslo Accords, and to Ehud Barak’s election and the second intifada.

Moreover, it was rightist voters who ensured Rabin’s victory by wasting thousands of votes on splinter parties that failed to enter the Knesset. Had all those votes gone to the main center-right party, Likud, Shamir would have formed the next government and not Rabin. Yet instead of learning the lesson, rightists continued wasting thousands of votes on unelectable splinter parties in subsequent elections.

So it was encouraging to read the following notice in a local newsletter (Hebrew only) published by the West Bank settlement of Eli: “After much thought, it has been decided by the [Givat Hayovel neighborhood] committee, the town council and rabbis, with backing from senior officials involved in the matter, to register people for Likud. Likud is the ruling party, and that is where we need to have an influence. … Joining Likud is the most effective way of influencing ministers and Knesset members to work with us on both the court case and other matters of importance to the town.”

Granted, Eli is only one settlement, and its decision stems from a very specific problem: the aforementioned court case, in which Peace Now is seeking a court order to raze Givat Hayovel on the grounds that it was built illegally. Eli contends that the neighborhood, built with massive government support, was always slated for legalization and needs only the final government permits — hence its quest for lobbying clout.

Nevertheless, this is a revolution. During Likud’s last membership drive, in 2008, a party activist who canvassed Eli and other settlements using this very same argument told me despairingly that most people didn’t get it. Now it is being promoted by the town’s entire political and religious leadership.

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Religion of Yes

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has always been divisive; now it’s being used as a wedge


Lee Smith
Tabletmag.com
28 April '10

It’s a bright and warm spring Washington afternoon, a climate perfectly suited to a gathering of one of Washington’s most cheerfully sunny organizations, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. With U.S.-Israel relations at an all-time low, and both Washington and Jerusalem facing serious foreign threats, the institute’s 25th-anniversary meeting at the Renaissance Hotel is an optimistic, celebratory affair. With Lebanese lobbyists, Palestinian activists, and Turkish journalists mingling among institution trustees and other interested members of the American Jewish community, the scene in the beige ballroom resembles a gathering of a large extended family.

While the Institute produces sober analyses on a host of regional concerns from Turkey to the Persian Gulf, it is best known as the home away from home of the Arab-Israeli peace process. It is no surprise that the hottest topic of conversation at this family gathering is the seeming apostasy of everyone’s favorite uncle, Aaron David Miller. A former high-ranking State Department official who helped inaugurate the peace process in 1988 as an aide to Secretary of State James Baker and continued to knock Israeli and Arab heads together under President Bill Clinton, Miller just announced in a cover story in the new Foreign Policy that he no longer believes in the peace process. Recalling the hopefulness of the early 1990s and the Oslo process, Miller writes: “America had used its power to make war, and now, perhaps, it could use that power to make peace. I’d become a believer. I’m not anymore.”

Most people in the room don’t know what to make of Miller’s apparent about-face on the single issue that has united the major institutional players in the American Jewish community’s foreign policy establishment from the Washington Institute to American Israel Public Affairs Committee for the past two decades. Combined with the recent vitriolic public attacks on Obama adviser Dennis Ross from outside and within the Administration for his supposed “dual loyalties” and insufficient dedication to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which Ross oversaw under President Bill Clinton, Miller’s article suggests that a watershed moment has been reached in the history of the peace process, which once served to show how American Jews could serve their country while also helping to bring peace to Israel. It has become a dead letter—or, at worst, a wedge to pry Jews out of decision-making positions in the U.S. government and suggest that the interests of the United States and Israel are necessarily opposed to each other.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who Speaks for the Palestinians?

Fifteen months of Obama diplomacy have undermined Palestinian autonomy.


Elliot Abrams
The Weekly Standard
28 April '10

Will proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority soon begin? While both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas have said they hope so, the matter is no longer in the hands of the Palestinians but in those of the Arab League foreign ministers--who meet May 1.

Two stories this week in Haaretz, the Israeli daily, make this clear. The first story recounts an interview Abbas gave Israeli TV, and notes that “Abbas said he hopes to get Arab League approval for indirect talks on May 1.” The second story recycles an item from the newspaper Al-Watan in Damascus, and begins this way: “The Arab League is expected to reject the Obama administration's proposal to begin indirect Middle East peace negotiations in the coming weeks, sources from the 22-state body told Syria's Al-Watan daily on Tuesday. The League's Monitoring Committee for the Arab Peace Initiative is scheduled to meet on Saturday to vote on the proposal, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is unlikely to accept any offer for peace talks that does not meet the panel's approval.”

There are two remarkable elements here.

First, Abbas is now refusing to make any decision about peace, instead deferring to Arab states. With all the talk about the critical importance of Palestinian independence, this is a giant--even historic--step backwards. His motivations are not complex: He wants to avoid Palestinian and wider Arab criticism. As long as he follows Arab League strictures he will. But the price paid is hugely reduced flexibility, and a return to the days when the Palestinians were under the control of Arab states rather than masters of their own future.

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Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Israel


Nile Gardiner
The Telegraph
26 April '10

Last week Israel celebrated its 62nd year as a nation, but there was major cause for concern amid the festivities as the Israeli people faced the looming menace of a nuclear-armed Iran, as well as the prospect of a rapidly deteriorating relationship with Washington. The Israel-bashing of the Obama administration has become so bad that even leading Democrats are now speaking out against the White House. New York Senator Chuck Schumer blasted Barack Obama’s stance towards Israel in a radio interview last week, stating his “counter-productive” Israel policy “has to stop”.

At the same time a poll was released by Quinnipiac University which showed that US voters disapproved of the president’s Israel policy by a margin of 44 to 35 percent. According to the poll, “American voters say 57 – 13 percent that their sympathies lie with Israel and say 66 – 19 percent that the president of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel.

I recently compiled a list of Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Britain, America’s closest ally in the world. This is a sequel of sorts, a list of major insults by the Obama administration against America’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. As I wrote previously on Obama’s treatment of both Britain and Israel:
In the space of just over a year, Barack Obama has managed to significantly damage relations with America’s two closest friends, while currying favour with practically every monstrous dictatorship on the face of the earth. The doctrine of “smart power” has evolved into the shameless appeasement of America’s enemies at the expense of existing alliances. There is nothing clever about this approach – it will ultimately weaken US global power and strengthen the hand of America’s enemies, who have become significantly emboldened and empowered by Barack Obama’s na├»ve approach since he took office.

The Obama presidency is causing immense damage to America’s standing in the free world, while projecting an image of weakness in front of hostile regimes. Its treatment of both Israel and Britain is an insult and a disgrace, and a grim reflection of an unbelievably crass and insensitive foreign policy that significantly undermines the US national interest.

So here’s my top 10 list of Obama administration insults against Israel after just 15 months in power:

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Obama's Jerusalem Stonewall


Mortimer Zuckerman
Wall Street Journal
28 April '10

Thanks to a deadlock engineered by the U.S. government, the Middle East peace process is stalled. President Obama began this stalemate last year when he called for a settlement freeze, and he escalates it now with a major change of American policy regarding Jerusalem.

The president seeks to prohibit Israel from any construction in its capital, in particular in a Jewish suburb of East Jerusalem called Ramat Shlomo. This, despite the fact that all former administrations have unequivocally understood that the area in question would remain part of Israel under any final peace agreement. Objecting to any building in this East Jerusalem neighborhood is tantamount to getting the Israelis to agree to the division of Jerusalem before final status talks with the Palestinians even begin.

From the start of his presidency, Mr. Obama has undermined Israel's confidence in U.S. support. He uses the same term—"settlements"—to describe massive neighborhoods that are home to tens of thousands of Jews and illegal outposts of a few families. His ambiguous use of this loaded word raises the question for Israelis about whether this administration really understands the issue.

It certainly sends signals to the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority followed the president's lead and refused to proceed with planned talks until Israel stops all so-called settlement activities, including in East Jerusalem.

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

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Tikkun’s Jewish ‘Ethics’ — Honor Goldstone for Libeling Israel


Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
27 April '10

With the rise of groups like the left-wing lobby J Street and the presence of a critic of Israel in the White House, it’s hard for a magazine like Michael Lerner’s Tikkun to get much attention these days. But Lerner is doing his best (or is it his worst?) in an effort to recapture the focus of Jewish leftists. To that end, as Jennifer has pointed out, the magazine has announced that it is giving its 25th annual “ethics” award to Richard Goldstone, the author of the biased and inaccurate United Nations report on last year’s war in Gaza that slandered Israel.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Lerner says he decided to give his dubious prize to Goldstone before the brouhaha over whether the South African jurist would be prevented from attending his grandson’s bar mitzvah because of the anger of his fellow Jews at his presence in synagogue. But, Lerner says, he decided to announce the award now as an answer to Goldstone’s “outrageous” treatment.

The controversy over the Goldstone bar mitzvah is regrettable for two reasons. First, because a child’s rite of passage ought to be allowed to proceed without political demonstrations against one of his relatives, no matter how odious that relative might be. Second, because the threat of a demonstration against Goldstone at the synagogue enabled him to pose as a victim of Jewish intolerance rather than owning up to the fact that he allowed the anti-Semites at the UN to use him as a front man for a vicious libel against the Jewish state.

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Another Victory For The Obama Administration: “Hezbollah Has So Many Rockets That They Are At A Point Where They Have More Missiles Than Most Governme


Marty Peretz
The New Republic
27 April '10

This is Defense Secretary Robert Gates talking, and he is telling the stark truth to Ehud Barak, Israel’s minister of defense, who presumably already knows.

Of course, it did not start with the Obama administration at all. It was one of the sterling achievements of the Bush custodianship of foreign affairs in which Condi Rice hustled, along with Tzipi Livni, to close down the 2006 Lebanon war. Security Council Resolution 1701 was the instrument, and it had a history in the United Nations going back at least to1978. To understand the tragic-comic drama, please read the U.N.’s own historical narrative and text. It is pathetic.
Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon…

Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities…

Emphasizing the need for an end of violence…

Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners…

Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister…

Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest…

Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan…

Welcoming the unanimous decision by the Government of Lebanon…

Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire…

Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace…

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UK Muslims systematically supporting anti-Israel candidates in British election campaign


Robin Shepherd
robinshepherdonline.com
27 April '10

With the British general elections less than 10 days away, a fascinating piece in today’s Guardian emphasises the growing importance of Muslim voters in shifting the terms of debate in Britain further against the State of Israel. The writer, Anas Altikriti — a prominent British Muslim academic — proudly talks of the “pivotal importance” of foreign policy for Muslim voters with Palestine (and Afghanistan) taking pride of place.

“On the basis of these concerns,” says Altikriti, “lists of recommended candidates include names from most parties, major and small (Lib Dems, Labour, Tory and Green candidates).”

One list drawn up by the British Muslim Initiative recommends and endorses candidates in 52 constituencies. Most are well known for their virulent hostility to Israel. Almost all are Labour or Liberal Democrat though there is a smattering of Conservatives as well as members of the Respect Party which is headed by the Israel-hating far-Left politician/activist George Galloway.

Altikriti is quite open in stressing the significance of the Palestinian issue in voter motivation among British Muslims:

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Call to Action


Women For Israel's Tomorrow
NashimBeYarok's Channel
27 April '10

A Call to Action by Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green) to safeguard Israel's Biblical Homeland in the hands of the Jewish People



To join our effort, please contact:

Nadia Matar 972-50-550-0834, nmatar@netvision.net.il
Yehudit Katzover 972-50-716-1818, ihuditk@gmail.com

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General Jones Tells a Joke


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
27 April '10

Today’s public culture focuses a lot more on categorization than though processes. The immediate question that arises after various incidents is whether or not they meet the criterion of categorizing something as objectionable rather than considering what it actually tells us. So it is with the joke General Jones, national security advisor to President Barack Obama.

Should General Jones be fired or resign because of the joke? Of course not. He should be fired or resign because he hasn't been doing a very good job as national security advisor.

Actually, the speech itself was a good one. The goal was to mark the end of the U.S.-Israel rift after a secret understanding by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop construction in Jerusalem for a while. It is also meant to mark a need to shore up growing criticism about the administration's policy on Israel and ineptness at getting sanctions on Iran. The joke should not be allowed to block an understanding of the administration's regional policy and political maneuvers.

But it does show why the administration is in so much trouble at home and abroad in the first place and may soon be again.

Here is a brief summary of Jones's version of the joke. The scene: southern Afghanistan. Hungry Taliban militant, raving hatred against Israel, asks Jewish merchant for food. Jew counters on Israel and refuses to sell it to him. Tells him instead he will sell him a tie. Taliban guy confused. Eventually goes onward, then returns. Now I see why you wanted to sell me a tie. Your brother won’t let me into his restaurant without one.

Ha! Presumably the merchant sold him at a tie at an exorbitant price or, to use the old term for such things, the merchant “Jewed” him, a word in many dictionaries until recently.

It is no secret that Jones is one of the administration officials most hostile to Israel. Thus, the joke is put into the context: is it or is it not antisemitic? That is the least interesting issue. What is fascinating and more important points is what it reveals about Jones’s world view.

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