Saturday, July 31, 2010

What the BDS Movement Wants


Michael J. Totten
pajamasmedia.com
31 July '10

You can come to Israel as a tourist and tune out the conflict if you want, as long as you don’t stay for a long time, even on days like yesterday when a Grad rocket fired from Gaza struck the center of Ashkelon. Not a single person I spoke to mentioned it even in passing. They’re used to it. I’m used to it. I wouldn’t have even known about it if I didn’t have Internet access.

This place, though, can be existentially stressful because it’s so fiercely contested. I felt this acutely when roaming around the West Bank the other day with Dror Etkes, but even Tel Aviv—which is deep within Israel proper—is up for grabs according to some.

You may have heard about the Palestinian BDS movement. The letters in their acronym stand for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction. They really ought to add another D for Destroy. Their goal—and they aren’t shy about saying so publicly even in English—isn’t peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which is what all civilized people should want, but the end of Israel.

Take a look at the video and see for yourself.



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Please remember our daughter today


Our daughter Malka Chana Roth,
murdered nine years ago today, at the age of 15

Arnold/Frimet Roth
This Ongoing War: A Blog
30 July '10

According to the Hebrew calendar, the ninth anniversary of our daughter Malki's death starts at sundown on Friday 30th July 2010. Please consider honoring Malki's memory by playing her song and passing it along to your friends and friendly radio stations.

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The Referendum Saga


Emmanuel Navon
For the Sake of Zion
30 July '10

Member of Knesset Yariv Levin has recently tried (unsuccessfully, so far) to pass a law that would compel the Government to organize a referendum before approving any transfer of territorial sovereignty in the framework of a peace agreement. Such a law is meant to give Israel’s citizens a veto power over a possible Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and from the Golan Heights (both of which were annexed by Israel in 1967 and 1981 respectively).

While Levin’s proposal has many opponents in the Knesset and elsewhere, one surprising support came from Daniel Ben-Simon, a Labor MK and former journalist for Ha’aretz. A staunch opponent of referenda like most of his peers, Ben-Simon explained his unexpected volte-face by claiming that a majority of Israelis would approve a withdrawal from the Golan according to a recent poll. We should be thankful to Ben-Simon for being so candid. It’s not that he opposes referenda because he believes they infringe upon representative democracy. Rather, a referendum is acceptable only if voters give the “right” answer.

This patronizing hypocrisy is reminiscent of the European Commission’s attitude toward popular votes. For Brussels’ eurocrats, simple citizens are not smart enough to know what’s good for them and to understand that nationalism is evil. Referenda grant unsophisticated hordes a veto power over the right decisions of the philosopher-king. Indeed, the French, the Dutch and the Irish had to effrontery to say “no” to the European Constitution. True, there is a solution to the aggravations of democracy: you keep organizing referenda until people get it “right” (it worked with the Irish). But it’s cumbersome.

(Read full post)

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Cameron's Flotilla Folly


Aaron Goldstein
American Spectator
29 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

If there was any doubt as to where Britain's Tory led government stood with regard to Israel it was removed when Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to Turkey to hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and announce his support for Turkey's bid to enter to the European Union. During this same visit, Cameron also described the Gaza Strip as "a prison camp."

It was a rather daft observation on the part of Cameron, especially when one considers the luxurious mall opened earlier this month in Gaza. This isn't to say that life in Gaza is all strawberries and cream. But that Cameron would pillory Israel while holding the Hamas-run government blameless in this state of affairs is very telling indeed.

By simultaneously describing Gaza as a prison camp on and endorsing Turkish entry into the EU while on Turkish soil, Cameron effectively endorsed Turkey's efforts to break Israel's blockade on Gaza through the flotilla campaign. In so doing, Cameron has for all intents and purposes declared that Israel has no right to defend itself. "The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable," said Cameron.

To borrow an English term, Cameron's statement is absolute bollocks. For Cameron to suggest that Israel wantonly launched an unprovoked attack the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 is an act of defamation. IDF forces instructed the Mavi Marmara to dock in the port of Ashdod where goods would be inspected and any humanitarian supplies would be sent to Gaza through a convoy of trucks. The Mavi Marmara told the IDF to "Go back to Auschwitz."

(Read full article)

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Hypocrisy’s finest hour

Op-ed: Revelations of West’s crimes in Afghanistan highlight anti-Israel hypocrisy


Shaul Rosenfeld
Israel Opinion/Ynet
30 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

In an interview with PBS earlier this year, Richard Goldstone was quite amazed by a question regarding the suspicion that he and others may, heaven forbid, adopt a double standard in respect to Israel, compared to their attitude to other states, such as the US for example.

Such claims were looked into, Goldstone said without batting an eyelid, adding that the US adopted far-reaching steps in order to protect innocent civilians in Iraq. He further noted that as opposed to Israel's war crimes and vengeful policy in Operation Cast Lead, the Americans made sure to protect innocent civilians, while apologizing in cases where they erred, for example in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Indeed, why the hell should the “bold apartheid objector” (who, as we may recall, happened to enforce racist laws in the past and send dozens of blacks to the gallows) care about some insignificant, trivialities? For example, the fact that during Operation Just Cause in December 1989, US troops in Panama killed 300 to 1,000 civilians; or that in October 1993, a UN force (mostly comprising US units) killed more than 500 Somali civilians, while “carrying out an operation,” of course.”

Elsewhere, 460 to 2,000 civilians were killed during NATO bombings in Kosovo in 1999; in December 2004, in a campaign against Islamist forces in Iraq’s Fallujah, the Americans killed more than 6,000 civilians and obliterated about 10,000 civilian homes. Yet those who determine Israel’s guilt in advance have no use for such humdrum information.

(Read full article)

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The Broken Link: What Peace Won't Fix


James Kirchick
World Affairs
July/August '10
Posted before Shabbat

About a year ago, I joined a small group of journalists in Beirut for a meeting with Fouad Siniora, then the prime minister of Lebanon. Siniora had held the position since the middle of 2005, when Syria ended its almost three-decade-long military occupation of its much smaller neighbor following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri—a crime many assume was perpetrated either by Damascus or its allies in the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah. At the time, the withdrawal was seen as a possible paradigm-changing victory for Lebanon. But if the Lebanese believed that the end of nearly thirty years of subjugation to the Syrian military and intelligence apparatus would put an end to the violent instability that has characterized their country’s politics for so long, they were in for a rude awakening. Syria simply left behind Hezbollah as its placeholder. In the summer of 2006, following incessant Hezbollah rocket attacks on its territory, Israel invaded southern Lebanon and bombed targets in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut. The war led to the deaths of some one thousand Lebanese and the destruction of much of the country’s infrastructure.

This was not the end of Hezbollah’s violent meddling in Lebanese politics. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the Party of God—armed and equipped by Syria and Iran—has maintained what is essentially a shadow state in Lebanon’s south. A trip there, like the one I took last year, entails a series of Lebanese army checkpoints—as if one were crossing a border between neighboring countries. While Syria’s withdrawal in 2005 was a symbolic victory for Lebanese sovereignty, Damascus and Tehran have continued to wield power in Lebanon through Hezbollah, their proxy army and a major factor in the rogue states’ bid for regional hegemony. In May 2008, after the Lebanese government attempted to investigate the group’s communications network, which included secret cameras installed in Beirut’s international airport, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah declared the government effort a “declaration of war” and ordered his troops to seize the eastern half of the capital. What followed was a series of armed clashes between the Lebanese army and a foreign-backed militia that brought the country to the brink of civil war. To this day, Hezbollah (and its Syrian and Iranian financers) remains in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, which, since its adoption in September of 2004, has called for “all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon” as well as for “the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.”

(Read full article)

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Hamas thrives in Gaza's besieged economy


Mai Yaghi
AFP
25 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – The tranquil lawns of the seaside Garden Resort are a high-end oasis in the impoverished Gaza Strip -- and a new source of income for the Hamas-linked charity that owns it.

The beach club, one of several commercial ventures recently launched by groups and individuals linked to Hamas, illustrates the Islamist movement's growing dominance of an economy crippled by a four-year-old Israeli blockade.

The 1.25 million dollar (one million euro) resort is owned and operated by the Islamic Foundation, a charity established by Hamas's spiritual founder, Ahmed Yassin, that has long provided aid to poor families and orphans.

Some 2,000 people have visited each weekend since the foundation established the club and an adjacent fish farm earlier this year, with most paying the eight dollars per family admission fee and many dining at its restaurant.

"These projects provide a service to citizens in order to relieve the burdens of the (Israeli) occupation and the devastating war," said foundation chairman Abdelrahim Shihab.

"The project encourages economic growth ... But our priority is the citizen and not the investment."

(Read full story)

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What David Cameron Doesn't Know About Turkey

Turkey is sponsoring the jihadists, not guarding against them.


Michael Weiss
The Weekly Standard
29 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

Who said this?

Hamas are resistance fighters who are struggling to defend their land. They have won an election. I have told this to U.S. officials ... I do not accept Hamas as a terrorist organization. I think the same today. They are defending their land.

That would be Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking before an exultant crowd a few weeks ago in the city of Konya as a newly decorated defender of regional Islamism. This is the man whom David Cameron was out to please the other day when, in a speech delivered in Ankara, he referred to Gaza as a “prison camp,” assailed Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara as “completely unacceptable,” and insisted that despite the aura of hopelessness now clinging to Turkey’s agonized bid to join the European Union, it must join it whatever the grumblings from Germany and France. Brutal occupation of Cyprus, subjugation of a Kurdish minority in everything from politics to linguistics, and ongoing denial of the Armenian genocide are evidently Maastricht-compatible initiatives to the new British prime minister, considered even by his support base not to “do” foreign policy so terribly well.

That didn’t stop a fellow Conservative, MP Daniel Hannan, from encouraging Cameron’s Obama-like overture to an increasingly hostile and subversive ally: “Cameron's reasons for backing Ankara's bid for EU membership are solidly Tory: Turkey guarded Europe's flank against the Bolshevists for three generations, and may one day be called on to do the same against the jihadis.”

(Read full article)

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Delusion instead of solution

Op-ed: Western preoccupation with engaging Iran must make way for tougher approach


Yoram Ettinger
Israel Opinion/Ynet
29 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

Western policy-makers grow increasingly reconciled to coexistence with a nuclear Iran. They assume that notwithstanding the radical rhetoric, the Iranian leadership is pragmatic, cognizant of its limitations, unwilling to expose its people to devastating Western retaliation and considering nuclear capabilities as a tool of deterrence – and not as an offensive means – against the US, NATO and Israel.

However, a nuclear Iran would constitute a clear and present danger to global security and peace, which must not be tolerated. In order to avert such a wrath, it is incumbent to disengage from illusions and engage with realism.

Unlike Western leaders, the Iranian revolutionary leadership is driven by ideological and religious conviction, bolstered by ancient imperialist ethos:

1. Jihad is the permanent state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, while peace and ceasefire accords are tenuous.

(Read full article)

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Friday, July 30, 2010

For biased critics of Israel, even its defensive actions violate human rights

Legitimate debate is one thing. But reflexive bias against Israel means even basic security efforts to defend innocent civilians are criticized as violations of human rights.


Jeffrey Robbins
www.csmonitor.com
29 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

Boston
In 1947, when excusing Soviet totalitarianism had become quite the rage in fashionable progressive circles, George Orwell eviscerated a British politician who consistently defended totalitarians but nevertheless denied that he was a defender of totalitarianism. “But of course he does,” Orwell wrote. “What else could he say? A pickpocket does not go to the races with a label ‘pickpocket’ on his coat lapel, and a propagandist does not describe himself as a propagandist.”

Orwell’s point holds true for today’s debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His pickpocket metaphor seems particularly applicable to those critics of Israel who can always be counted upon to decide that Israel has behaved miserably in defending herself, regardless of the suffering of Israeli civilians that their government is seeking to prevent and regardless of the actions of those who have caused that suffering.

These are individuals who nonetheless stoutly deny that they are in any way biased against Israel.

In fact, these critics view the very pointing out of what looks very much like anti-Israel bias as an affront.

Those who point out the critics’ seeming inability to ever locate a justification for Israeli actions, let alone a legitimate Israeli interest in self-defense, are dismissed as part of the “pro-Israel lobby,” who simply cannot tolerate anyone who has “the temerity to criticize Israel.” And as for the suggestion that they harbor any bias against Israel, very much like Orwell’s defenders of totalitarianism, they deny it, adamantly.

To be sure, there ought to be ample room for legitimate debate about Israeli policies. But there does appear to be a determination in certain quarters to hew to an anti-Israeli line on every issue, without exception.

(Read full article)

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Abbas wants Jew-free Palestine in West Bank


Bataween
Point of No Return
30 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

Hearts will sink to learn, according to Israel National News, that the Palestinian leadership want a new state of Palestine in the West Bank to be as judenrein as the majority of other Arab states. How this policy will encourage peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews is anybody's guess:

If a Palestinian Authority state is created in Judea and Samaria, no Israeli citizen will be allowed to set foot inside, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said this week in a meeting with members of the Arab League. The PA chairman also stated that he would block any Jewish (he said Jewish, not Israeli - ed) soldiers from serving with an international force stationed on PA-controlled land.

"I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land,” Abbas declared.

Abbas addressed the Arab League during a discussion over the possibility of holding direct negotiations with Israel. Like Abbas, Arab League members agreed to direct talks in theory, but only if a number of “measures and conditions” were met. De facto, both Abbas and the League nixed the talks, but the constant discussion of conditions is seen as an attempt to throw the ball back into Israel's court after PM Netanyahu, in Washington recently, succeeded in putting the onus for agreeing to talks on Abbas.

(Read article in full)

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Who’s The Happiest One Of All?


Martin Peretz
The New Republic
29 July '10
Posted before Shabbat

This is one of those slightly hokey surveys that measures the happiness of nations. Done by the Gallup World Poll and written up for Forbes by Francesca Levy, its results are not entirely surprising.

Rich countries generally do better than others, although Saudi Arabia ranks 58th just ahead of Pakistan. Almost three times as many Saudis are “struggling” than “thriving.” On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (which is a country made up of wealthy scions and resident ex-pats) and Kuwait register respectably 20th and 23rd. So how about Egypt? It shares the 115th ranking with Zimbabwe, India, Morocco, Syria and...Afghanistan! Just ahead of People’s China which, at 125, leads a cohort of Congo (Brazzaville), Sudan and Djibouti.

Where did the Palestinian Territories show up? At the 96th spot, ahead of Turkey 103. And I thought that the Palestinians were suffering, really suffering. Of course, suffering is also a subjective category. How could you not be suffering with Israel right next door but checking in at 8th spot, just in front of Australia and Switzerland, right behind Canada. Moreover, these numbers must also take into account the Israeli Arabs whose unhappy striving surely was not ignored.

The top five are Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the paradigmatic welfare states. Then Costa Rica and New Zealand. And, yes, Canada and Israel. This is a wonderful world. I wish the U.S. were more fully in it.

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A message to Abbas: haggling with a democracy different than with dictatorship


Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA
Weekly Commentary
29 July '10

(While the points here may be valid from our perspective on what would be in Abbas's best interests, it's pretty clear to me that he doesn't have the same end-game in mind. If that's a given, then what are we pushing him for, other than to sign an agreement that no one other than ourselves will expect him to honor.Y.)

These are the indisputable facts:

#1. In the waning days of PM Ehud Olmert's administration, Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas an Israeli package of concessions far beyond what any Israeli leader proposed in the history of the Jewish State.

#2. If Abbas had accepted the outline of PM Olmert's generous offer, it could have been brought up for approval by Olmert's cabinet to formally tie the Jewish state to the deal. Additional activities, both in the region and beyond, could have further locked Israel into PM Olmert's concessions.

#3. But Mahmoud Abbas decided to hold out for even more concessions. And he did this knowing that elections were going to take place in Israel with a very real possibility that a Likud lead coalition would replace Kadima.

#4. As a result of the Israeli elections, a Likud lead coalition did indeed come to power. A coalition that utterly rejects the concessions offered by PM Olmert.

As a negotiating tactic, Mahmoud Abbas walked away from the Israeli "stall" in the market, in the expectation that the Israeli would ultimately call him back offering even greater concessions.

Now this tactic may make sense when negotiating with a stable dictatorship.

But Israel isn't a stable dictatorship.

It is a democracy.

And we changed, via the ballot box, the man in the Israeli "stall".

And the new man in the "stall" has absolutely no obligation to honor the generous offers that his predecessor made since a deal was never concluded.

In a word, Mahmoud Abbas blew it.

And that's his problem. Not ours.

Here's the puzzle: if Abbas is so confident that his final status demands enjoy broad international support, and in turn, that the world will consider Israel's final status offer unacceptably stingy, he has only to gain by doing everything and anything necessary to expedite entering into final status talks and getting the Israeli "cards" on the table.

But instead he is burning time dickering over pre-conditions for direct talks.

There are some reports that Mahmoud Abbas thinks he can manipulate the situation to ultimately bring about a regime change in Israel.

A word of advice for Mr. Abbas: Your manipulations may indeed lead to a regime change in Israel. But the odds are that should your manipulations precipitate a regime change that the change would be a shift to the right rather than a return of Kadima to the helm.

You blew it when you walked away from Ehud Olmert's "stall".

Don't repeat the mistake with Netanyahu.

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The Temple Mount: Mount Moriah


The Temple Institute

As part of our ongoing efforts to educate and raise people's consciousness, the Temple Institute conducts aliyot, (lit: going up; making a pilgrimage), to the Temple Mount. These aliyot are conducted in accordance with halachic requirements, and take place during weekday mornings, as these are the only hours that Jews are presently allowed to frequent the Mount.

(Excellent) Temple Mount Documentary - Betzalel Productions

Betzalelproductions. contact Betzalelproductions.com info@betzalelproductions.com

Also, in keeping with the oppressive "rules" set by the Wakf, (the Muslim authority granted de facto control of the Temple Mount, by the Israeli government, since 1967), we are, under threat of "expulsion" from the Mount, not allowed to pray, carry any religious objects, or in any way intimate that we are engaged in worship, while on the Mount. In spite of these draconian restrictions, the aliyot are extremely meaningful, both as a spiritual experience, and also as educational experience, as one sees, close up how the Temple complex was laid out, where the Holy of Holies was located, where the Sanhedrin stood, and more.

(Read full article)

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Summer camp for "young leaders" named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi


Itamar Marcus/Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch
29 July '10

A summer camp in Bethlehem is the latest institution in the Palestinian Authority to be named after the leader of the worst terror attack in Israel's history.

According to the official PA daily newspaper, the new camp is named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led a 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 civilians, 12 of them children, were killed. The newspaper reports that the camp "aims at training young leaders" in the Bethlehem area:

"The Ministry of Social Affairs in Ramallah opened yesterday in El Bireh the fourth integration camp for people with special needs, and in Bethlehem the second Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi camp [opened]... The second Dalal Mughrabi summer camp was opened in the headquarters of Light of Generations' youth association in Bethlehem, with support from the National Committee for Summer Camps and the One Voice Palestine organization in Ramallah. It aims at training young leaders in the eastern countryside of Bethlehem District. Present [at the opening] were... the Secretary of Fatah's Bethlehem branch, Yusuf Al-Aref, ..., Chairman of the [Light of Generations' youth] association, Ibrahim Mubarak, Muhammad Khalil - camp director... 70 young girls from the Dar Salah village and neighboring villages participated."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 29, 2010]

As PMW has documented, the PA has turned Mughrabi into a celebrated hero and role model. Schools, summer camps, landmarks and centers for youth and education have been named after her.

(Read full article)

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They don't only burn down forests!


Women in Green
Yibaneh Fund
29 July '10

Arabs burned down the vineyard of Natan and Yehudit Ben David, thinking that this will extinguish the Ben Davids devotion to Erets Israel.

The Ben Davids reacted fast, like in the previous times when their house was destroyed by the government and immediately got organized to rebuild and replant.



We must and will help them.

Please forward to all the short youtube movie about the arson at Ben David home. The movie is a public service by Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green) and the Yibaneh Fund.

With love for Israel,

Women for Israel's tomorrow (Women in Green)- the Yibaneh Fund
for details:

Yibaneh Fund
POB 7352
Jerusalem 91072
Israel

Yehudit Katsover 050-7161818 Nadia Matar 050-5500834

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The Palestinian Authority Struggles to Sabotage Any Chance for Peace


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
30 July '10

Shouldn't this farce teach us a lesson? The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United States and others have telephoned Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas and begged him, pleaded with him:

Oh, please please--one can imagine them saying--negotiate with Israel so we can give you a state as soon as possible. We will give you a lot of gifts if you do it, so we can then bestow even more goodies on you!

And Abbas says "No!"

Why? Why if Palestinians are so eager for a two-state solution, for a country of their own, for ending the "horrible" "occupation" (which mostly ended in 1994-1996), putting a stop to the "suffering" of their people, putting a stop to violence, enabling their children to go to school, raising living standards, and all the other benefits of putting an end to this long-standing conflict?

(Read full article)

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The Farce Ends


Jennifer Rubin
Contentions/Commentary
29 July '10

The worst-kept secret in the Middle East “peace process” has been that Mahmoud Abbas was never serious about a peace deal. This was apparent to anyone who has observed him over the years, who has followed his duplicitous rhetoric (incitement in Arabic, peace lingo in English), and who understands that he is incapable of making an enforceable peace agreement that would recognize the Jewish state, ensure that Israel retains defensible borders, renounce the dream of a one-state solutions with Jerusalem as its Muslim capital, and commit to disarmament and the renunciation of terror. Even to list what is required reveals how misplaced were the expectations of Obama and his “smart” diplomats.

After 18 months of badgering and bullying Israel and sucking up to the Muslim World, that world is on the verge of dealing a stinging blow to their patron: “Despite pressure from the US and EU, Abbas has signaled in recent days that he does not intend to enter direct talks until Israel stops all settlement construction, as well as construction in east Jerusalem, and commits itself to the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, lines.” And he’s gone scurrying to the Arab League to bless this.

(Read full post)

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The Nakba Obsession


Sol Stern
City Journal
Vol. 20 No. 3
Summer '10

A specter is haunting the prospective Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations—the specter of the Nakba. The literal meaning of the Arabic word is “disaster”; but in its current, expansive usage, it connotes a historical catastrophe inflicted on an innocent and blameless people (in this case, the Palestinians) by an overpowering outside force (international Zionism). The Nakba is the heart of the Palestinians’ backward-looking national narrative, which depicts the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 as the original sin that dispossessed the land’s native people. Every year, on the anniversary of Israel’s independence, more and more Palestinians (including Arab citizens of Israel) commemorate the Nakba with pageants that express longing for a lost paradise. Every year, the legend grows of the crimes committed against the Palestinians in 1948, crimes now routinely equated with the Holocaust. Echoing the Nakba narrative is an international coalition of leftists that celebrates the Palestinians as the quintessential Other, the last victims of Western racism and colonialism.

There is only one just compensation for the long history of suffering, say the Palestinians and their allies: turning the clock back to 1948. This would entail ending the “Zionist hegemony” and replacing it with a single, secular, democratic state shared by Arabs and Jews. All Palestinian refugees—not just those still alive of the hundreds of thousands who fled in 1948, but their millions of descendants as well—would be allowed to return to Jaffa, Haifa, the Galilee, and all the villages that Palestinian Arabs once occupied.

Such a step would mean suicide for Israel as a Jewish state, which is why Israel would never countenance it. At the very least, then, the Nakba narrative precludes Middle East peace. But it’s also, as it happens, a myth—a radical distortion of history.

(Read full story)

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European Involvement in Gaza Spells Trouble for Israel


Soeren Kern
Hudson New York
29 July '10

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will lead a European Union delegation that is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip in early September. The EU delegation, which will also include representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Norway, was invited by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during a June 24 meeting with his Italian counterpart, Franco Frattini. Lieberman said the idea is for the EU representatives to be able to see Gaza "with their own eyes."

The invitation is part of Lieberman's recent proposal for a complete Israeli disengagement from Gaza. But promoting greater EU involvement in Gaza could backfire on Israel. Zapatero, who leads one of the most anti-Israel governments in Europe, will almost certainly use the visit to call for exerting more international pressure on Israel to completely lift the four-year blockade on Gaza. A high-profile EU visit is also likely to grant international legitimacy to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip. Moreover, European officials will use the trip to call on Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians in other areas as well.

Israel recently said it was easing the Gaza blockade somewhat by allowing a wider range of goods into the territory, with the exception of weapons and dual-use items. Israel has also agreed to let construction materials into Gaza, provided they are destined for projects under international supervision. But exports are still banned and people cannot move freely over the border. Israel says the blockade on Gaza's ports will stay in place to prevent Hamas from shipping in military-grade weapons and long-range rockets.

The September trip will follow recent visits to Gaza by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton ( the EU's top foreign policy official and the most senior foreign emissary to visit Gaza since Israel's decision to ease its blockade) and former EU Commissioner Chris Patten.

Ashton's trip to Gaza, only four months after her first visit there, was aimed to "show EU support" for the Palestinians. She called on the international community to pressure Israel to go beyond easing the embargo to fully lift the "unacceptable, unsustainable and counterproductive" blockade.

"There are small signs of change in policy to allow goods into Gaza, but we continue to call for the opening of the crossings to enable people and goods to move around," Ashton said. "What needs to happen now," Ashton said, "is continued international pressure to move forward." She also proposed that an EU naval mission help with the transfer of goods. Ashton did not, however, meet Hamas officials during her time in Gaza (the European Union, like Israel and the United States, views the anti-Israel militant group as a terrorist group).

(Read full article)

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Egyptian Journalist: In Actual Terms, Gaza Is Not Under Siege


MEMRI
Special Dispatch No.3126
28 July '10

In an article in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram on the economic situation in the Gaza Strip, journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote about the burgeoning recreation industry and of the low merchandise prices.

Also as part of the interest in the economic situation in Gaza, the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published articles describing the expensive resorts that have been established for Gaza's newly rich, and a Palestinian website reported on the new mall recently opened in the city.

The following are excerpts from the articles:


Stores Overflow with Goods

Journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote in Al-Ahram: "I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable... and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change. I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade – but the opposite was the case; it seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade.

"A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza's coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me. Merchandise is sold more cheaply than in Egypt, although most of it is from the Egyptian market, and there are added shipping costs and costs for smuggling it via the tunnels – so that it could be expected to be more expensive.
"Before I judge by appearances, which can be misleading... [I would like to point out that] I toured the new resorts, most of which are quite grand, as well as the commercial markets, to verify my hypothesis. The resorts and markets have come to symbolize prosperity, and prove that the siege is formal or political, not economic. The reality [in Gaza] proves that the siege was broken even before Israel's crime against the ships of the Freedom Flotilla in late May; everything already was coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. If this weren't the case, businessmen would not have been able to build so many resorts in under four months."

Significantly Lower Prices

"[I] began my search for the truth regarding the siege in Rafah, at the Saturday market, which was loaded with large quantities of merchandise and products of various kinds – at prices mostly lower than in Egypt, particularly for food products.

Nevertheless, there weren't many customers, and this for two reasons: One, supply is much greater than demand, and two, the workers were all waiting to get paid their wages.

"Business owner Abu Yousuf stood at his shop surrounded by hundreds of cans of food. Their price had dropped significantly in the past two months; in some cases by as much as 50%. Clothing vendor Abu Muhammad Al-Masri noted that there was an unprecedented glut on the clothing market in the Gaza Strip. Clothing comes into Gaza from two sources: the tunnels, which provide large quantities, and the border crossings to Israel, via which even more goods arrive, most of which piled up at Ashdod port [and are now coming into the Strip]. He clarified that the merchants wanted to sell [lots of] goods to get back some of their money... and so had increased the supply in the markets, leading to lower prices.

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Israel's ruling class


Caroline Glick
carolineglick.com
28 July '10


In a much discussed article in the current issue of the American Spectator titled "America's Ruling Class," Prof. Angelo Codevilla describes the divide between those who run the US - the politicians, bureaucrats and policy establishment - and the rest of the country.

He laments, "Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust."

In his view, the American ruling class "was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the 'in' language -- serves as a badge of identity."

The main unifying characteristic of the American "ruling class" as Codevilla describes it is inexhaustible contempt for the majority of their countrymen who are not part of their clique. In his words, "our ruling class does not like the rest of America. Most of all does it dislikes that so many Americans think America is substantially different from the rest of the world and like it that way."
Codevilla's article focuses on US domestic policy. He accuses the ruling class of purposely spending the US into insolvency. He claims that their goal is to aggregate power. The more Americans depend on governmental largesse for their livelihoods, the greater the power of the government to dictate norms of social and political behavior and the greater the governing class's hold on power.

Codevilla claims that the Republicans are the permanent minority in the ruling class which is naturally aligned with the Democrats. When they are in power, the Republicans, he claims repress populist and conservative voices within their ranks calling for small government and do so to maintain their good relations with their colleagues in Democratic ruling circles. His prime example of a ruling class Republican is the first president George Bush.

Codevilla quotes former Soviet ruler Mikhail Gorbachev's retelling of a conversation he reportedly had with the vice president Bush about then president Ronald Reagan. Gorbachev claimed that Bush told him not to take Reagan seriously because, "Reagan is a conservative, an extreme conservative. All the dummies and blockheads are with him."

THERE IS A clear foreign policy corollary to Codevilla's discussion. Just as US bureaucrats, journalists, politicians and domestic policy wonks tend to combine forces to perpetuate and expand the sclerotic and increasingly bankrupt welfare state, so their foreign policy counterparts tend to collaborate to perpetuate failed foreign policy paradigms that have become writs of faith for American and Western elites.

A prime example of this is US Middle East policy. Regardless of its repeated failure over the course of four decades, since 1970, and with ever-increasing urgency since 1988, the consensus view of the US foreign policy elite has been that Israel's size is the cause of violence and instability in the Middle East. If Israel would just contract into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, everything would be wonderful. The so-called "extremists" in the Arab and Islamic worlds will become moderates. Iran, Syria, the Saudis, the Palestinians, al Qaida, Hizbullah and the rest would abandon terror and beat their suicide belts and ballistic missiles into ploughshares.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Time, We'll Wake Up on Time


Moshe Feiglin
Manhigut Yehudit
11 Menachem Av 5770
22 July '10

Translated from the Makor Rishon newspaper

I sat in the garage waiting room. The air conditioner in my car was no match for the July heat. Yehudah the mechanic understood that I was on my way to the hospital and took care of me right away.

"Excuse me, perhaps you are Feiglin?" asked the man sitting next to me.

"Yes, pleased to meet you."

"Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Feel free. Maybe I will have an answer."

"Are you really as extreme and dangerous as they say?"

"Maybe you can explain what you think is extreme so that I can answer."

"Look, before the Disengagement, people from Gush Katif came to my moshav and attempted to explain their point of view. I invited them in and they were happy because not everyone was excited about allowing them into their living rooms. They explained themselves pretty well, until they said that the East Bank of the Jordan is also ours. That is where they lost me, because I understood that nothing will satisfy them. Even if all the Arabs get up and leave, they will still want more. That is what I call extreme," he declared.

"I am loyal to the entire Land of Israel and its borders as they are delineated in the Bible," I answered him. "I do not think that we have to initiate wars today to conquer the East Bank of the Jordan, but it must be clear that this is our Land. In the event that parts of that territory fall into our hands in a war of self-defense, we must declare sovereignty over them, just as we did in the Golan Heights. Israel should enact a Law of Return for land. That, by the way, will bring peace, because the Arabs will have what to lose from wars."

"I think that it was right to retreat from Gush Katif, but that we should have responded with more force the moment that they started to shoot," the man continued.

"What is your dream?" I tried to get him onto a more substantive track. "What are you ultimately trying to achieve?"

"I don't believe that we will have peace with them, but we can achieve some sort of calm if in addition to retreat we also display determination," he added.

"In other words, your dream is calm, or some sort of peace," I said to him. "So why not in Australia? Or New Zealand?"

"No, no," said the man. "I believe that this is my place because of our history, and I have no intention of giving that up. But what do I need Shechem for? Do you want to tell me that you want to return to Gaza? I prefer to leave the places that have Arabs."

(Read full story)

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How Not to Conduct Diplomacy: A Case Study: UK PM in Turkey


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
29 July '10

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s July 27 speech in Turkey will not live on in history. But it should, as an example of the decline of Western diplomacy, of suicide by Political Correctness, as a textbook example of how not to conduct international affairs.

It crossed my mind that the speech was written by the Foreign Office for the express purpose of making Cameron look foolish, but then I realized that he and his top advisors probably have no idea why it was such a disaster.

Suppose you are the British prime minister going to Turkey, or to just about any country, what should you say? The theme should be: We can cooperate and do mutually beneficial things. Here’s what I can do for you, here’s what I’d like you to do for me. And here’s what you must not do in order to reap the benefits of my friendship and favor.

Obviously, you need to dress that up in appropriate language. But everything should be conditional. The message to be delivered is that it is in your interest to respect my interests.

Cameron did the precise and exact opposite. His message was: The UK needs Turkey. Turkey is wonderful. Its behavior has been perfect. We are desperate or your help.

What is the effect? A man goes into a bazaar, points to a carpet and says: That is the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen. I must have it no matter what the price! How much is it?

In addition, Cameron committed some other howling mistakes, several of which will amaze you. So please stick with me as I explain and document this. You won’t be disappointed. And remember this is not just a matter of one speech, it is a fitting symbol for the entire contemporary Western diplomatic approach to the Middle East and much more to the world as well. By the way, it is doomed to fail miserably.

Before we begin, remember that this is no longer the old Turkish Republic. Cameron is lavishing praise on an Islamist-oriented regime which has aligned itself with Iran and revolutionary Islamist groups. And all of Cameron’s pandering, as if he were a Western barbarian in the court of the all-powerful Ottoman sultan, is driving a knife into the heart of a Turkish opposition which is genuinely friendly toward the West and horrified by the current regime’s subversion of Turkish democracy.

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The Flotilla Farce

Whether they are from Turkey, Ireland or Cyprus, those that participate reek of hypocrisy.


Danny Ayalon
Wall Street Journal
29 July '10

A couple of years ago, a Palestinian refugee camp was encircled and laid siege to by an army of tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers. Attacks initiated by Palestinian militants triggered an overwhelming response from the army that took the life of almost 500 people, including many civilians. International organizations struggled to send aid to the refugee camps, where the inhabitants were left without basic amenities like electricity and running water. During the conflict, six U.N. personnel were killed when their car was bombed.

Government ministers and spokesmen tried to explain to the international community that the Palestinian militants were backed by Syria and global jihadist elements. Al Qaeda condemned the government and the army, declaring that the attack was part of a "crusade" against their Palestinian brothers.

While most will assume that the events described above took place in the West Bank or Gaza, they actually took place in Lebanon in the summer of 2007, when Palestinian terrorists attacked the Lebanese Army, which struck back with deadly force. The scene of most of the fighting was the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Northern Lebanon, which was home to the Islamist Fatah al-Islam, a group that has links with al Qaeda.

At the time, there was little international outcry. No world leader decried the "prison camps" in Lebanon. No demonstrations took place around the world; no U.N. investigation panels were created and little media attention was attracted. In fact, the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon garners very little attention internationally.

Today, there are more than 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who are deprived of their most basic rights. The Lebanese government has a list of tens of professions that a Palestinian is forbidden from being engaged in, including professions such as medicine, law and engineering. Palestinians are forbidden from owning property and need a special permit to leave their towns. Unlike all other foreign nationals in Lebanon, they are denied access to the health-care system. According to Amnesty international, the Palestinians in Lebanon suffer from "discrimination and marginalization" and are treated like "second class citizens" and "denied their full range of human rights."

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Cameron's Despicable Toadying to Turkey


Daniel Friedman
Sultan Knish
28 July '10

It is sadly unsurprising that Prime Minister Cameron's highly publicized trip to Turkey went with no mention of that country's continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, and its suppression of Kurdish and Armenian minorities. Indeed when Turkish leader Erdogan discussed his threats of ethnically cleansing Armenians in the UK, Gordon Brown made no more comment on the matter than if Erdogan had been discussing his favorite television programs.

It is in keeping with that conspiracy of silence, that Cameron made no mention of the thousands of political prisoners in Turkish jails, there often for merely expressing an opinion at odds with the state, for singing a folk song, or delivering an official speech in Kurdish. Naturally Cameron did not think to raise the issue of Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish woman elected to the Turkish parliament and a winner of the Sakharov Prize, who is still in jail today. Cameron could have at least raised the subject of Aysel Tuğluk, a member of the Turkish Human Rights Association, who was illegally stripped of her parliamentary immunity and sent to jail for handing out leaflets in the Kurdish language, and is now due to be sent to jail yet again.

But rather than standing up for human rights, Cameron instead pandered to the radical Islamists who were his hosts, by feeding their appetite for hate directed at Israel. And it did not begin or end with Israel.

Instead Cameron sold out the rest of Europe, declaring that he was "angry" at how long the negotiations to bring Turkey into the EU were taking, and declaring himself the "strongest possible advocate for EU membership". He slammed France and implicitly Germany, for refusing to rush forward to support bringing Turkey into the EU. Cameron sided with Turkey, over France and Germany, betraying allies for enemies. And worse was yet to come.

Not only did Cameron ignore Turkey's ongoing occupation of Cyprus, but he signed a strategic agreement with Turkey that calls for ending the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots by upholding their "right to representation" in the European Parliament, and promoting political and cultural contacts with the Turkish Cypriots. What that means is that Cameron committed himself to supporting Dervis Eroglu from the radical National Unity Party, which calls for Turkish annexation of occupied Cyprus. The strategic agreement signed by Cameron, moves the UK closer to recognizing the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, which currently only Turkey itself recognizes.

Again Cameron makes no criticism whatsoever of Turkey's illegal occupation of Cyprus. He does not mention the fact that he signed an agreement promoting the flow of goods from occupied Cyprus to the UK, while Turkey refuses to accept goods from Greek Cyprus. Of course not. No more than his predecessor was willing to.

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Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz Play Syria, Boycott Israel


Alan A.
Harry's place
26 July 10

Syria, of course, is a dictatorship where dissidents are arrested and tortured, where no freedom of speech or assembly exists, where Kurds are massacred. The regime killed an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 civilians in its own city of Hama in 1982. Syria supports terrorist groups attacking in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and for many years Turkey. Syria has imposed an imperialist yoke on Lebanon, a country that never threatened it. Its media feature the most vicious anti-Western and antisemitic propaganda. B. Rubin The Truth About Syria

Albarn proudly boasts:

Gorillaz have become the first ever big British band to play in Damascus in Syria.

Damon Albarn, Bashy, Kano and former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, were among those who performed a one-off show in the Syrian capital on Sunday.

Damon told Newsbeat it was something he’d wanted to do for some time: “I’m surprised that no one has ever come here before.

“For us it’s just a wonderful experience”




The tour has an important political message:

Damon told Newsbeat why he chose pollution as a theme: “I think the world is becoming like a plastic beach. It’s not a prediction, it’s something that exists now.

“We’ve got to accept that it’s got to be cool to recycle.”

Here is the Wikipedia page summarising the human rights situation in Syria:

The human rights record of the Syrian Arab Republic has been found lacking by a number of different sources.

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Gaza: Open Air Prison?


David Frankfurter
livejournal.com
28 July '10

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, exploited his visit to Turkey to curry favour with his hosts, using Palestinian propaganda hype, saying that Israel’s blockade turned the Gaza strip into a “prison camp”.

Every last Israeli left Gaza long before Hamas' bloody take-over. Closing the borders and even war has not stopped the incessant rockets and terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens and border checkpoints. More than 30 terrorist attacks come out of Gaza each month.

Applying international law, Israel inspects the constant flow of goods through its borders into Gaza, in an attempt to exclude war material. Propagandists (and it seems European politicians) conveniently ignore the rules of war and international law, and claim these actions to be a form of occupation. They declare that Israel ruthlessly keeps Gazans in poverty.

Visiting international politicians and aid agency representatives are taken to view the deliberately unrepaired damage of the war Hamas provoked. Poverty stricken areas, including families living in plastic tents since their houses were destroyed in the war, are all on the carefully pre-arranged agenda. Israel is obligingly condemned. And more western tax payer money is pledged to the highest ever per capita aid program.

Although of little interest to the mainstream media, Gazan "poverty" is strongly questioned in the blogosphere. No accumulation of facts seems to be able to stop the constant flow of lies, cynically manipulated into very effective anti-Israel (and often anti-Semitic) propaganda.

Even the Palestinian media reports a very different picture. There is an abundance of both basic and luxury goods. It is not clear if it comes via the Egyptian border, underground tunnels, or the thousands of trucks that the Israelis officially allow to stream through their border crossings. But the fact is that there is plenty, and often at very attractive prices.

Ordinary Palestinian citizens say that there is enough to go around - but the Hamas apparatchiks steal it.

And what of building materials to house those wretched families? Somehow, they don't seem to rank in the Hamas list of priorities. A brand new shopping mall replete with luxury goods, a luxury hotel, a fancy restaurant, an olympic size pool and a fancy jail to lock up prisoners accused of crimes such as "passing information to the Palestinian Authority" all make it into the list of latest completed projects, though.

Electricity shortages? Also an internal problem. Seems that Hamas collects electricity bills from the end user & then steals the money - expecting the Palestinian Authority and international donors to pay the Israeli suppliers. When the suppliers want their overdue money before providing more goods, who do you guess is blamed?

But those wretched Palestinians are suffering. Then again, life expectancy, infant mortality, and even cell phone penetration statistics show Gaza to be better off than other Muslim countries – and in many cases better than most places on earth!

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ISM claims another victim


Fresnozionism.org
28 July '10

This is really a tragic story.

A 21-year-old woman, an art student no less, goes to Israel as an exchange student. While she is there, she falls in with the pro-Palestinian activists of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She attends demonstrations against the security fence at Bil’in and Nil’in, as well as protests in Nabi Saleh and the East Jerusalem Sheik Jarrah neighborhood.

On May 31, the day of the flotilla incident, she takes part an a protest against Israel’s ‘crimes’ near the Qalandiyah crossing, south of Ramallah. The protest is violent, and she is struck in the face with a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli police. Her eye cannot be saved.

The woman, Emily Henochowicz of Potomac MD, is Jewish. According to the NY Times, “Her father was born in Israel to Holocaust survivors whom he described as “ardent Zionists.” The AP reported that the last status update on her Facebook page was “Gaza on my mind.”

Here is a video (h/t: Daled Amos) made by Ms. Henochowicz that is… indescribable. But I think it provides a window into the mindset that gives rise to tragedies like hers.


There is a controversy about who will pay for the medical care she received at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, and the followup care in the US, and another about whether she was hit directly by the canister or whether it ricocheted off of a wall, which apparently bears on the first one. I don’t care who pays. She has an activist lawyer, Michael Sfard, who will help her while doing his best to screw Israel. I feel sorry for the young woman.

Her story is much like that of Furkan Dorgan, Tristan Anderson, Rachel Corrie and others. A politically naive young ‘international’ is recruited to take part in purportedly ‘non-violent’ activities along with Israeli extremists and Palestinians.

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Israel should consider building jet itself instead of buying F-35

Just imagine Israel's position today had the Lavi fighter jet project not been canceled.


IMRA
28 July '10

F-35 - take it or leave it:
By Moshe Arens

Op Ed in Haaretz Published 03:29 27.07.10
www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/f-35-take-it-or-leave-it-1.304297

Who would have believed it? Some years ago Israel was developing the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, the Lavi, while the Western world's aircraft manufacturers were beating their way to our door, eager to participate in the Lavi project, or trying to sell their competing plane to the Israel Air Force. And now Israel goes hat in hand pleading for a chance to be allowed to acquire the F-35 aircraft, at a price tag of $150 million each. But it's not only the astronomical price. Israel is told that the F-35 must be taken as is - no changes or modifications to suit Israel's specific needs, and absolutely no Israeli systems included. Take it or leave it.

Just imagine Israel's position today had the Lavi project not been canceled. The IAF would be operating the world's most advanced fighter, upgraded over the years to incorporate operational experience and newer technology. Much of Israel's industry would have moved a great step ahead, Israel Aerospace Industries would have become a leading developer of fighter aircraft, and most importantly, a number of options would be open to the IAF in choosing its next fighter.

What were the outlandish claims trumpeted by the opponents of the Lavi? The project, they said, was too big for Israel. These narrow-minded skeptics had not believed that we could convince the U.S. Congress to fund most of the project, and certainly were incapable of foreseeing Israel's economic growth in the years to come. Now they are staring at a $3 billion price tag for 20 F-35s. They said Israel should not be developing military platforms but only accessory systems to be mounted on the platforms. Now Israel will not be allowed to mount Israeli systems on the F-35.

And where would we be today if we had believed that nonsense about not developing platforms? Out of the satellite-launching and unmanned-aerial-vehicle business. Where are they today, the people who at the time foolishly led the crusade against the Lavi? Surprisingly, 23 years later, some are still involved in decision-making on national security. They were against the development of the Lavi, against the development of an Israeli reconnaissance satellite, and against the development of the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor. But unfazed, they continue on.

Do they admit they were mistaken? Admitting past mistakes is a rare human quality, but there are exceptions. Dan Halutz, a fighter pilot ace and former IAF commander and chief of staff, at the time like many senior IAF officers a supporter of the cancellation of the Lavi project, recognizes in his recent book that it was a mistake to cancel the project.

So what's the use of crying over spilled milk? Are there alternatives to swallowing our pride and shelling out $3 billion for 20 F-35s? (The original plan had been to acquire 75 aircraft, which would have brought the price above $11 billion, but that was too expensive. ) Before we make that commitment, a little intellectual effort should be invested in looking at other options.

Does Israel still have the technological capability to design a first-rate fighter aircraft? That needs to be examined in some depth. No doubt some of the capability that existed at the time of the Lavi project has been lost over the years, but as has been proved time and again, Israel has a world-class technological capability. Its success in unmanned aerial vehicles is only one of a number of examples.

If it turns out that the capability to design the IAF's next fighter aircraft does exist in Israel, where could we go from there? Not to the U.S. Congress in search of funding, because we would have to remind them that 27 years ago they were fools to invest $1 billion in the development of the Lavi that Israel decided it did not want. We would have to look for partners who are prepared to invest resources in such a project, who have the necessary technological capability, and who are not involved in the F-35 project.

Are there such candidates? In theory, yes. France, with a great aeronautical industry, chose not to participate in the F-35 project. India, with a considerable aeronautical capability and a meteorically growing economy, might be another candidate. And there is Russia. Perhaps none of them would be interested, and perhaps all of them would be. It's worth a try.

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Palestinians in Gaza invest $20m. in new resorts

"Investors prefer investing in businesses that are safe and more profitable than the underground tunnels."


Khaled Abu Toameh
Middle East/JPost
29 July '10

After the shopping mall and several fancy restaurants, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have recently invested around $20 million in new seaside and tourist resorts. According to sources in there, thousands of Palestinian families have started visiting the resorts, which offer a wide range of attractions.

The boom in the local tourism industry is largely attributed to the fact that the underground smuggling business along the border has become less profitable since Israel’s recent decision to allow various goods into the Gaza Strip reduced prices of many items significantly.

Moreover, the Israeli and Egyptian crackdown on the underground tunnels has made it too risky and expensive to continue operating them. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed while working in the tunnels over the past few years.

As a result, many investors who used to put a lot of money into the smuggling business have shifted their attention to other projects, including the seaside resorts.

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