Thursday, June 30, 2011

IMRA Weekly Commentary - Ramifications: World ignores that Arafat forfeited right to engage in violence

Dr. Aaron Lerner
Weekly Commentary
30 June '11

"The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations. ... the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance prevent violations and discipline violators."

So wrote Yasser Arafat in his September 9, 1993 letter to Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel.

And it wasn't easy to get Arafat, acting as the representative of the Palestinian people, to sign off on those phrases.

Words that forfeited any possible legal claim to the right to continue employing terrorism and other acts of violence in what he and his supporters called a "liberation struggle".

Take a look at the phrase: Arafat didn't just renounce the use of "terrorism" - a word that the Arabs claim cannot ever be applied to their murderous activity - he also renounced the use of "other acts of violence".

Arafat didn't want to sign off on the phrases, but Yitzhak Rabin made it clear that this was his red line.

So there was Yasser Arafat in the summer of 1993: Arafat, essentially an aging has-been exiled to Tunis from Beirut, watching as each month Israeli security forces continued to whittle down their dwindling "wanted list" of terrorists.


Contrary to what has become the story line in some quarters, it wasn't the "children of the stones" that raised Arafat from the dung heap of history; it was a group of Israeli ideologues seeking a way to facilitate an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Oslo was Arafat's lifeline. Israel could take it or leave it. So Arafat blinked first.

It wasn't a minor matter then. And it shouldn't be a minor matter today.

Let's be clear about this: when the entire Palestinian leadership – from White House Lawn "man of peace" Mahmoud Abbas explains that the Palestinian decision not to engage in violence is based on its current efficacy they are trashing this fundamental Palestinian commitment.

That's not to say that Arafat's letter and the agreements that followed it stripped the Palestinians of the ability to struggle for their interests.

It just limited them to pursuing them via non-violent means - both on the domestic and the international front.

Arafat's September 9, 1993 letter to Yitzhak Rabin committing to "a peaceful resolution of the conflict. . . resolved through negotiations" and assuming "responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators" was supposed to be a watershed event.

But it wasn't.

Because from day one that commitment has been ignored and forgotten.

Not only by the Palestinians, but by essentially every Oslo promoter and supporter – both abroad and here in Israel.

And this should serve as a grave warning to anyone tempted to consider “land for piece of paper.”

Because if the world stands silent when such a critical cornerstone of Oslo is continually publicly renounced by the Palestinian leadership, there is absolutely no reason to expect that the world will be any more stringent in their demands and expectations for Palestinian compliance with treaty agreements should a Palestinian state be created.

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Elder's response to "Why is Israel afraid of little old ladies?

30 June '11

As is her way, "Journalist" Mya Guernieri, uses Twitter to share her wit and wisdom with the world at large. Today's challenge was a a Twitpic showing ladies of the flotilla with the caption

yes, these #freedomflotilla2 people really look like they're baying for blood, don't they? #sarcasm

Elder of Ziyon has not let this one slide by, and has created this simple graphic for those who have a difficult time with a more complex arguments. Please read his full response by clicking here.

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Rennert - WaPo adopts Palestinian vocabulary in 'news' report

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
29 June '11

In Palestinian parlance, use of violence to injure or kill Israelis is not portrayed as an act of terrorism, or even as a violent attack. Instead, Palestinians call such bloody aggression by the pleasant-sounding euphemism of "resistance."

Hamas propaganda maintains that its entire agenda is based on "resistance" to Israel -- not to kill as many Israelis as possible. Ditto for Mahmoud Abbas, who celebrates Palestinian suicide bombers as "martyrs" in the cause of "resistance."

But to unwary readers in the West, including many subscribers to the Washington Post, "resistance" doesn't convey deliberate spilling of blood, but as my old dictionary has it, merely an act of "active opposition."

In this real sense of the word," the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. can be said to have led a non-violent campaign of "resistance" against racial discrimination. But as becomes immediately obvious, Palestinian "resistance" is sharply at odds with the basic precepts of Martin Luther King, Jr. Palestinian-style "resistance" was not King's practice.

Still, since in Western minds and eyes, "resistance" has no pejorative connotation, Palestinians find it a useful propaganda tactic to cloak brutal attacks and acts of terrorism as perfectly acceptable acts of "resistance."

It's one thing, however, for Palestinians to invent a new vocabulary to make violent tactics more palatable to Western observers and newspaper readers. But it's quite another thing for a national newspaper like the Washington Post to engage in the same semantic trickery.

Yet, this is exactly what Joel Greenberg, the Post's Jerusalem correspondent, does in a June 29 article about the run-up to the sailing of a pro-Palestinian, Gaza-bound flotilla. ("Israel ramps up its campaign to prevent Gaza aid flotilla" page A9).

In recounting what happened when a similar flotilla tried to breach Israel's blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza, Greenberg writes the following:

"Israeli commandos who boarded a Turkish ship in a similar flotilla 13 months ago encountered resistance and killed nine people."

Ah, those trigger-happy Israeli commandos opened fire on "people" (not radical, violence-bent activists) who merely put up some "resistance." There's not the slightest intimation in Goldberg's piece that when the commandos rappelled from a hovering helicopter onto the top deck of a Turkish vessel, they were brutally attacked by some of these "people" with iron bars and other lethal weapons. Nine commandos were injured, some severely. The commandos fired in self-defense after some of their own were beaten to within an inch of their lives.

Uploaded by  on May 31, 2010

But as far as Greenberg -- and Palestinian propaganda -- is concerned, the commandos merely encountered "resistance" (perhaps refusal to move away from the top deck) and grossly over-reacted by killing nine "people."

Words still have meaning, however distorted by the Washington Post in the service of Palestinian propaganda.

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Rubin - Israel’s Strategic Standpoint: Mid-2011 and Mid-“Arab Spring”

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
29 June '11

There are two types of strategic perspectives in Israel today. They aren’t contradictory but they have different priorities. These can be called the “northern” and the “southern” views.

The “northern” approach is the more traditional one, focusing on the situation in that direction. The key longer-term concern is over Iran and its drive for nuclear weapons. More closely, there are both concerns and hopes regarding Lebanon and Syria.

Regarding Iran, the new feature is the assumption that Israel will not attack Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons. This means that Israel will be constructing a multi-level defensive system that includes long-range attack planes, a capability of subverting Iran’s nuclear force through covert operations, possibly submarine platforms, and several types of anti-missile missiles and defenses.

The goal here is four-fold:

--To delay as long as possible Iran getting nuclear weapons and to minimize the size and effectiveness of its arsenal through sanctions, international pressure, sabotage, and other means.

--To have the maximum ability to deter Iran from launching a nuclear attack on Iran and showing the ability to stop Iranian missiles. The aim is to discourage Iran from launching such an attack given a near-certainty that it can be stopped and Iran will suffer very heavy damage as a result.

--Of course, ordinary deterrence is not a sufficient safeguard against Iran given the Islamic regime’s ideological extremism and passionate hatred of Israel, the recklessness of some key elements there, and the rulers’ shortcomings in accurately assessing reality. Consequently, Israel must put a high priority on stopping any Iranian attack from happening at all or succeeding if it does happen.

--To be able, if Israel ever determines there is a real danger of an Iranian attack, to launch a first strike to inflict maximum damage on Iran’s nuclear strike force. In other words, an Israeli attack would be premised not on Iran getting nuclear weapons but on Iran being likely to use nuclear weapons.

U.S. deterrence, early-warning, and anti-missile efforts would supplement this system but this strategy is not premised on any dependence on the U.S. government.

But Israel also knows that an equal or even greater danger is the spread of Iranian influence, taking over Arab countries or turning them into clients that can be used against Israel. Here, the northern focus is on Syria and Lebanon.

Melanie Phillips - The flotilla and the Third Intifada

Melanie Phillips
29 June '11

Is a bunch of young Israeli lawyers working round the clock sustained only by Diet Coke, falafel and cigarettes about to pull off the legal equivalent of the Six-Day War?

Israel famously won that war before it even started by destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground. Now it’s beginning to look as if the Gaza flotilla of fools and fanatics may be holed below the waterline before it even sets off on its cynical and potentially murderous stunt.

It was supposed to have sailed by now. Today, however, it was reported that it now may not set sail before next week. The main reason is a series of unprecedented and ingenious manoeuvres by Israeli lawyers which have tied up the boats in legal actions mainly concerning insurance and registration issues.

And I can reveal that a separate legal move today threatens fourteen of the flotillistas with arrest if they enter Israeli territorial waters.

Two Israeli soldiers in the reserves are seeking to bring a private prosecution against those activists who took part in the first Gaza flotilla -- and who are planning to take part once again in the current one -- for the crimes of assault and soliciting aid for an attack.

The fourteen comprise one person from Ireland, two from the US, one from Cyprus, two from England, two from Spain, one from Greece, two from the Netherlands, one from Norway, one from Sweden and one from Qatar. Separately, the captains of the flotilla boats also face the possibility of criminal charges from a similar attempt at a private prosecution.

Lee Smith - Minority Report

Lee Smith
29 June '11

By establishing a Jewish majority in Palestine, Israel distinguished itself from other Middle East minority groups, which suffer physical fear and intellectual confusion, even if they hold power

At a recent event in Dearborn, Mich., a crowd welcomed Syria’s ambassador to Washington, Imad Mustapha, who led a rally on behalf of his country’s President Bashar al-Assad. The scene was outrageous for a number of reasons, including that these were American citizens gathered in support of a regime responsible for the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. But perhaps even more notable was the tragedy at the heart of the scene: These Syrian-Americans—Christians and members of Muslim minority sects like the Alawites, Druze, and Ismailis—are still writhing from their emotional experience as Middle Eastern minorities. No matter how far they get from the region, they are plagued with a vulnerability that leaves them terrified, angry, and often crazy.

And what they throw into sharp relief is a larger lesson: Among all the minorities of the Middle East, only the Jews have escaped this unhealthy condition, thanks to the fact that for over 60 years now they have had their own state and can defend themselves against their adversaries. Theodor Herzl asserted that Israel would allow the Jews to live like normal people, and as it turns out—contrary to what nearly all Arabs, most Europeans, and many Israelis believe—he has largely been proven right.

But to understand why he was right, we have to put aside Herzl and Europe and look at Israel in a Middle Eastern context, as a refuge for a religious minority: the Jews of the Middle East. Many people, including many Jews, still see Israel as the end product of a European ideological movement that found an awful but undeniable justification in the Holocaust. Yet, as many Arabs argue, that narrative is unconnected to the Middle East. No matter how many Arab ideologues collaborated with the Nazis or adopted Nazi ideas about Jews, there is no reason that the Palestinians should have to pay for a European crime. It makes more sense, then, to look at minorities in the Middle East generally, the Jews specifically, and to evaluate the success or failure of Zionism by the standards of the region.


Anyone who previously wrote off as a right-wing Zionist myth the idea that Middle Eastern minorities are oppressed by the regional Sunni majority needs only consider the situation of Coptic Christians in Egypt over the last few months. Even many observers who did acknowledge the reality in Egypt are surprised now in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution to note the uptick in violence against Christians—the kidnappings of Coptic girls and the burning of churches, among other incidents. After all, it was commonly believed before the revolution that sectarian violence was the fault of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who, in this view, had empowered the Islamist movement and thus animosity against non-Muslim communities. But Egypt’s Muslim-Christian divide was not about Mubarak, any more than the United States was responsible for the murder of Christians in Iraq or Israel is responsible for the flight of Christians from Bethlehem and other towns in the West Bank.

From Israel - Delegitimization

Arlene Kushner
Arlene from Israel
29 June '11

It's a constant battle, and one we must continue to fight with vigor. Here, a couple of examples:

Six Democrats in the House of Representatives have written a letter to Secretary of State Clinton urging her to "do everything in [her] power" to "ensure the safety of all American citizens on board 'The Audacity of Hope (a ship that will participate in the Flotilla, carrying 36 Americans and flying the US flag).'"

Cute, no? The letter was initiated by Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, not exactly a friend of Israel.

The implication here is that innocent people on board, who have no intention of provoking violence, are at risk from the IDF. Such, of course, is not the case at all.

The letter stated that the organizers of the ship "are fully committed to international law." And that is not true either, for international law gives us the right to maintain the naval blockade on Gaza.

From this it was a hop, skip and jump to the statement of someone involved with the Flotilla, that, "We hope Secretary Clinton heeds this request from Congress (sic) and speaks out against threats from the Israeli authorities to attack us in our effort to break the illegal blockage of the Gaza Strip."


I'll come back to the Flotilla in a moment, but first a look at another attempt at delegitimization:

A few years ago, a bridge near the women's side of the Kotel that led from the Western Wall Plaza up to the Mughrabi Gate into the Temple Mount collapsed in harsh weather. This gate is the one used for entry to the Mount by non-Muslim visitors, and by our security forces.

In 2007, there were fights over construction of a new permanent bridge, with (fallacious) charges leveled that the construction would destroy archeological ruins. The plans, which were controversial, were discontinued. At present, there is temporary wooden bridge in use.

Plans to finally do a permanent renovation were in place by this spring, with approval having been cleared with all appropriate authorities -- the Jerusalem municipality, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, etc.

(Video) Bound for Gaza - Thousands of Tons in Goods and Materials

Jun 29, 2011

On a daily basis, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ensures the transfer of nearly 6,000 tons of goods into the Gaza Strip. This translates to roughly 260 truckloads, which enter via the Kerem Shalom land crossing.

Despite the commotion caused by the provocation-seeking 2010 Gaza flotilla, the ships carried only 4,000 tons of goods (mostly expired medical equipment)–two-thirds of the daily amount that Israel transfers into the Gaza Strip.

On any given week, Israel ensures that roughly 1,248 trucks filled with approximately 34,012 tons of goods reach the Gaza Strip:

385 trucks containing products such as baby food, poultry and vegetables.

340 trucks carrying construction material such as cement and wood.

523 trucks transporting miscellaneous goods such as medicine, clothing, electrical equipment and hygiene products.

Unfortunately, due to a deficit in orders from the Gaza Strip, the crossings capacity (400 trucks/day and 12,000 tons/day) is never maximized by Palestinian officials, who are responsible for placing all orders.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Khaled Abu Toameh - The Implications of Raised Expectations in Palestine

Khaled Abu Toameh
Hudson New York
28 June '11

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has officially decided to go to the United Nations in September to ask for recognition of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

But how can Abbas go to the UN in New York when he cannot even go back to his home in the Gaza Strip, which has been seized by Hamas?

How can he go to the UN when he cannot visit the Gaza Strip, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians live?

How can Abbas go to the UN when he cannot even visit a refugee camp in the West Bank, Lebanon or Syria?

Even if the UN votes in favor of a Palestinian state in September, how does Abbas plan to implement the decision on the ground? Can he really convince Hamas and Palestinian refugees to accept the two-state solution and abandon the "right of return" to Israel proper?

Hamas, which represents many Palestinians, has made it clear that it would never recognize Israel's right to exist or accept the two-state solution. Hamas will, of course, reject any UN resolution calling for the establishment of a state "only" within the pre-1967 lines.

Hamas's goal is to replace Israel with an Islamic state that may allow some Jews to live under its jurisdiction as a minority. Hamas wants all the land, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. That is why any resolution adopted by the UN would not bring everlasting and comprehensive peace to the Middle East.

Most refugees, for their part, will also oppose any UN resolution that does not call for their return to their original homes and villages inside Israel. For them, recognition of a state along the pre-1967 lines would mean depriving them of their right to return to their original homes and villages. Already now, many refugees are expressing concern over the September statehood bid.

Abbas has failed to consult with all Palestinian factions and representatives of his people about his controversial statehood bid. It is highly likely that he doesn't want to do so because he is afraid that he would not enjoy the backing of a majority of his people for such a move.

True, Abbas has secured the support of Fatah and the PLO for his statehood initiative, but who said that these two bodies are representative and have a mandate to make such important decisions? The two groups are dominated by Abbas loyalists who receive funding from the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.

It is obvious by now that the September initiative would not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. On the contrary, it would further complicate matters for both Israel and the Palestinians, plunging the region into another vicious cycle of bloodshed and violence.

Abbas has raised the expectations of many Palestinians to a dangerous level, as many are now expecting to wake up in September to see a new state where they live in peace and security. But when that does not happen, and the Palestinians realize they have been once again sold false promises, they could turn to violence not only against Israel, but also against their leaders in the West Bank.

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CAMERA - Flotilla Passenger Hagit Borer's Selective Vision in LA Times

Hagit Borer
Tamar Sternthal 
Middle East Issues
28 June '11

The Los Angeles Times, which recently gave a platform (yet again) to a Hamas leader, now gives space to an Israeli-American participant of the Gaza flotilla in support of Hamas. The Hebrew word "borer," refers to the act of selection, and that is exactly what USC linguistics professor Hagit Borer engages in this week in the LA Times -- selection of the facts ("Getting on board with peace in Israel," June 26, 2011).

She bemoans the fact that today's Jerusalem is "different" than the city she grew up in before 1967, charging that now "It is not [the Palestinians'] Jerusalem, for it has been taken from them." Nevermind that the city is now more Arab and less Jewish than it was on the eve of the Six Day War. Nevermind that Arab building has outpaced Jewish building in the city since 1967. Nevermind that no part of Jerusalem was ever ruled by Palestinians.

About Sheik Jarrah, she selectively reports:

In Sheik Jarrah, a neighborhood built by Jordan in the 1950s to house refugees, Palestinian families recently have been evicted from their homes at gunpoint based on court-sanctioned documents purporting to show Jewish land ownership in the area dating back some 100 years.

Contrary to Borer's historical inversion (she writes of "the Jewish neighborhood of Shimon Hatzadik, as Sheik Jarrah has been renamed"), the Jewish presence at the site long preceded the 1950s arrival of Palestinian refugees. As reported by Nadav Shragai for the JCPA:

For hundreds of years the Jewish presence in the area centered around the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik (Simon the Righteous), one of the last members of the Great Assembly (HaKnesset HaGedolah), the governing body of the Jewish people during the Second Jewish Commonwealth, after the Babylonian Exile . . . .

For years Jews have made pilgrimages to his grave to light candles and pray, as documented in many reports by pilgrims and travelers. While the property was owned by Arabs for many years, in 1876 the cave and the nearby field were purchased by Jews, involving a plot of 18 dunams (about 4.5 acres) that included 80 ancient olive trees.10 The property was purchased for 15,000 francs and was transferred to the owner through the Majlis al-Idara, the seat of the Turkish Pasha and the chief justice. According to the contract, the buyers (the committee of the Sephardic community and the Ashkenazi Assembly of Israel) divided the area between them equally, including the cave on the edge of the plot.

Dozens of Jewish families built homes on the property. On the eve of the Arab Revolt in 1936 there were hundreds of Jews living there. When the disturbances began they fled, but returned a few months later and lived there until 1948. When the Jordanians captured the area, the Jews were evacuated and for nineteen years were barred from visiting either their former homes or the cave of Shimon HaTzadik.

(Read full "... Borer's Selective Vision in LA Times)

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Tobin - Lawsuit Threat Slows Flotilla Launch

Jonathan S. Tobin
28 June '11

Most of the world has been looking on helplessly as pro-Hamas activists prepares to stage yet another naval photo op intended to besmirch Israel. But, as the New York Times reports today, one group of crafty lawyers has found a way to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of these anti-Israel agitators. Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, a group that has dedicated itself to holding the funders of terrorism accountable for the crimes they finance, has been contacting companies that have insured the ships that have been assembled to sail to Gaza to break the blockade of the Hamas-run strip to tell them they are leaving themselves open to prosecution for aiding terrorists. This ploy has understandably sent a chill down the spines of the some 30 maritime insurance providers who just assumed there would be no liability with their involvement in this farce.

While organizers claim their goal is humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, their attempt to break the international isolation imposed on an area run by a bloodthirsty terrorist group will help no one but Hamas. That is especially so since no one disputes the free flow of food and medicine into Gaza, a place where not only is there no humanitarian crisis but which boasts a bustling mall and brisk car sales.

Shurat HaDin was founded in Israel in 2003 and models itself after the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that used lawsuits to bankrupt racist groups. Shurat HaDin seeks to do the same thing to terrorists via legal work undertaken on behalf of terror victims. In the past eight years, they have sued Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and other terror groups and won judgments that have helped slow the flow of funds to the murderers. Indeed, thanks in part to some of their lawsuits, Hamas is no longer able to use the international banking system to get cash but is instead forced to smuggle money into Gaza. That makes efforts like the flotilla to break the blockade and thus ease Hamas’s cash flow problems all the more sinister.

While the flotilla supporters say all ten of their ships are seaworthy and insured, Shurat HaDin has filed complaints with the Greek Coast Guard raising questions about the registration and insurance of seven of the vessels. Given Greece’s antipathy for Israel, it is far from clear the complaints will be fairly heard. But either way, Shurat HaDin has sent those businesses even tangentially connected to the flotilla a warning they face possible legal repercussions. Those who help fund and insure a stunt whose only purpose is to provide political support for the Islamist terror group need to know there may be consequences for their involvement in this travesty.

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Point of No Return - Bracing for Arab revenge after Israel's 1967 victory

Point of No Return
29 June '11

The Six-Day War, whose 44th anniversary passed a few weeks ago, had serious repercussions on the remnants of the Jewish communities in Arab countries. Max Sawdayee's memoirs, 'All waiting to be hanged', now uploaded by his daughters to the Internet since his death in February this year, contain a detailed and moving record of those anxiety-filled days in Iraq. If Israel won, the Arabs would wreak terrible revenge - on the local Jews. And so it came to pass.

"A particular problem faces us Jews here, though it isn’t so grave yet. We do realise that the country persecuted us in times of stress, and punished us even when we had nothing to blame for. It has always been like that, since Babylon. But we must admit that when the enormous majority of our community emigrated to Israel in 1950 and 1951 according to a special authorization from the Iraqi government, it was time then to quit. We did not. We stayed behind. Consequently, everything concerning Israel that would have repercussions in the area was bound to affect us directly or indirectly. So we, the last of the adventurers, have got to take it. We have got to accept the consequences.

Monday, June 5, 1967: This morning I didn’t feel quite well. I’m rather disturbed. So I decide to leave for the office at a late hour.

Mother rings up at 9:00 a.m., tells me to turn on the radio, and hangs up.

The Iraqi news broadcast shrieks like a storm. ‘Today is the big day! It is the holy day!’ The tone is violent and martial. Stress is laid on such words and phrases as revenge, death, murder, ‘throw them into the sea!’ and so on. With stirring songs and martial music to fill the time; a stream of communiqués and commentaries, all of them extremely harsh. They howl about Zionists having started their evil aggression, and about Egypt already driving them back and causing them heavy losses and casualties. They speak of Arab aircraft having destroyed a large number of military targets and heading for Tel Aviv and Haifa.

So it’s war after all. The war that we all hated and were frightened of.

The Israeli broadcast is almost mute: martial music and a few short but vague communiqués of which nothing can be made out.

My wife returns from the market at 10 a.m., pale and alarmed. She has seen Jews returning from downtown and trying to get home quietly but quickly. Muslims, on the other hand, are jubilant, excited, with transistors in hand, and happily discussing the news. ‘We are winning! A couple of days and Israel is finished!’
I tell my wife not to worry, to get busy doing something and leave me alone with my transistors. I’d like to follow the news more closely for a while.

From the window I see little Jewish children running home without understanding what has happened; some are accompanied by their schoolteachers. I am glad to see my daughter back.

At noon Iraq is blazing with the flame of victory and expected revenge. High schools and universities close, workers flea their factories, employees stop working. The streets are crowded with people shouting and cheering. In their imagination Israel is about to disappear. It’s a matter of hours.

At 2:00 p.m. there is still no way to understand anything solid from Israeli broadcasts. They are vague all the time, while Iraqi and other Arab broadcasts are growing hysterical. They speak of a hundred and forty two Israeli aircraft shot down. But it’s already clear that the war is being fought mainly on two fronts – with Egypt and Jordan.

Rubin - Thoughts and Facts on the Gaza Flotilla II

Barry Rubin
Rubin Reports
28 June '11

A second flotilla of ships is going to the Gaza Strip. Or should I say, trying to go there since it will be stopped if necessary by a legal Israeli blockade. In the first flotilla, the Islamist holy warriors organized by the Turkish government-backed IHH group all gathered on one ship. The other boats, the ships of (political) tools cooperated, no one was injured, and they were towed into port. The ship of jihadists attacked Israeli soldiers, kidnapped and beat up a couple of them, and had the “victory” of getting nine martyrs out of it. Let us never forget that when the Israeli Defense Forces made public a video showing these facts the New York Times blog in a particularly shameful moment dismissed it alleging that the soldiers might have been shooting down unarmed civilians just standing around the deck before the film began. (Thus posing the twenty-first century journalistic question: Who are you going to believe, the facts and your eyes or your predetermined ideological bias?)

See Also: The Reasoning Behind the Maritime Blockade on Gaza - موقف جيش الدفاع الاسرائيلي من القافلة البحرية (Yosef)

This time there’s also a different strategy for the flotilla itself. The would-be terrorists have dispersed themselves among the naive “peace activists” who, whether wittingly or not, are helping a revolutionary Islamist terrorist group intent on committing genocide on Jews, expelling Christians, repressing women, and murdering gay people in their drive to impose a totalitarian state. Thus, there are two possibilities: the “peace activists” will pretend they are civil rights’ demonstrators and be nonviolent or the Islamists will try to provoke violence so as to reap good publicity. According to reliable information, some of the Islamist participants have spoken in conversation of their desire to kill Israeli soldiers. Some are also equipped with sulfuric acid to throw at Israel soldiers. We will see which of these scenarios take place.

A number of the organizing groups are fronts for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood, raising money and political support for these organizations and often controlled by them. In other words, revolutionary Islamists are using Western pacifists and leftists to achieve their own ends. It isn’t clear whether Lenin invented the phrase “useful idiots” but it is useful nonetheless.

Here are some resources on the flotilla, its background, and participants:

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Singer - Palestine: Forget Reconciliation Between Hamas And Fatah

David Singer
26 June '11

The much vaunted reconciliation between rival Palestinian Arab groups Hamas and Fatah still remains a mirage almost two months after the widely publicized signing of a reconciliation agreement in Cairo between the two groups on 4 May.

Really no more than a heads of agreement - there has still been no demonstrable progress on any of the matters to be implemented under that agreement.

Ostensibly the logjam has been caused by the parties being unable to agree on a Prime Minister to head the new government of reconciliation until fresh elections are held - supposedly on 4 May 2012.

(As many understand these recent moves to directed towards a UN 
declaration of statehood in September, let's take a quick look to see 
what there is to "Celebrate" Y.)

Uploaded by  on Jun 25, 2011

Fatah has nominated the Palestinian Authority’s current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad - whose appointment has been vehemently opposed by Hamas - and for good reason.

Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh was nominated as prime minister on 16 February 2006 following the Hamas victory in the elections held on 25 January 2006. He was formally presented to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on 20 February 2006 and was sworn in 29 March 2006.

On 14 June 2007, Abbas dismissed Haniyeh and appointed Fayyad in his place. This followed a bitter internecine struggle between Hamas and Fatah that resulted in Hamas gaining control of Gaza culminating in the ICRC estimating that 118 Gazans had been killed and 550 wounded in just the previous week’s struggle for control of Gaza.

Stern - @Farah961, the Flotilla, and the Palestinian Lie

Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
28 June '11

Let me introduce you to today's anti-Semite. Farah Abou Kharroub, also known as @Farah961 on Twitter, and I were discussing the Middle East. She started off right away by showing her ignorance:

No, @Farah961. I will not fall for your lies. The truth is too well documented.

The flotilla is definitely not for humanitarian reasons. Just over a month ago, the Red Cross confirmed what Israel has known all along - there is NO humanitarian crisis in Gaza - their words...and ours. In 2009, 2010 and before and after, the United Nations has confirmed there is no crisis. Israel sends in truckloads of aid; the Egyptians and the Israelis have promised to deliver any and all aid to Gaza - this is NOT about humanitarian assistance. The next part of what you wrote is even more wrong. It shows either your ignorance, or your intention to betray the truth. Israel most definitely does NOT stop "all the food from entering Gaza."

Repeated photos, videos and more all show weekly deliveries and again, there's the Red Cross' statement of confirmation. But @Farah961 is not done. She has more to add:

Yes, @Farah961 - the people in Gaza do need help - mostly, however, they need saving from their corrupt leaders who squander billions of dollars in foreign aid to build themselves fancy malls and mansions and pools. And, they need help from their ignorant religious leaders who want them to chase death and martyrdom.

As to the children needing comfort - perhaps that would be better than what most of their parents currently give or allow them to be given - brainwashing and indoctrination into the culture of death that plagues Gaza and Palestinian society. And no, @Farah961, we are not the purveyors of terror in the Middle East and the world, that would be your people.

It was Palestinians who broke into the home of the Fogel family in Itamar and murdered, in cold blood, a father, a mother, a 10 year old, a 3 year old, and...oh God - a 3 month old baby girl. The cruelty of that murder haunts us and always will while little Hadas' murderer has only the regret that he didn't manage to kill her other two small brothers. No, we are not the terrorists, not the ones who plant bombs on buses and launch 14,000 rockets at cities without direction, discretion.

@Farah961 is like many on Twitter and other social media networks. She wants to tell you her side but is not open to listening to facts. She doesn't recognize the murder of a baby as terrorism if that baby is Jewish; she doesn't recognize any facts that don't serve her agenda. But she is frustrated that we argue with her, angered that we don't fall for her lies.

She hates Israel...she wants you to know and the more you answer her, the angrier she gets. Until that terrible moment when the truth slips out. It really isn't Israel she hates. It really isn't Israelis. It isn't that she is anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. is the truth - the real truth of why she and her people fight so hard, use terror and rockets and do not hesitate to spill the blood of their hated foes, even when that foe is a little baby girl barely old enough to have given her first smiles.

"Hitler made a mistake" this horrible woman writes. And what was this mistake? "He died before killing all of you." But Hitler didn't kill Israelis, did he @Farah961? Had Israel existed when Hitler came to power, it would have flown in to save our people. We came 50 years too late, one Israeli general once apologized to the graves of Poland. Jews died in World War II because we had not yet re-established our home in our ancient homeland. Israel was re-born in 1948 and so Jews were massacred in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945.

This battle that began in 1948 is fought by Israel. And yet, as Farah Abou Kharroub shows us, it is really the same war we have fought for thousands of years. The hatred of @Farah961 is the hatred of her people and interestingly enough, just as she betrayed herself in that last post, she also betrays herself in her bio on Twitter:

She is proud to tell you that she is "Palestinian till death!"

Funny, when I think of my people and my family and my country, I think of life, not death. I would write something like "Jewish forever" or "Israeli forever" - death will not part me from my beliefs, my country, my identity. But @Farah961 of Beirut, Lebanon is typical of her culture - she worships death and apparently Hitler as well. Thus she is Palestinian till death and Hitler her ideal.

So @Farah961, let me tell you one more thing from someone you hate to the core of your being. No, we will not leave Israel, not now, not ever. Israel has been ours throughout the centuries, millennia before the world ever heard of a single "Palestinian." We will not get out of OUR land. Once, 63 years ago, we offered to share it with you so that there would be peace. Your people stupidly turned to war and lost.

You did it again and again while your Arab brothers kept you in refugee camps and nurtured your hatred until you believed you are entitled to our land, all of it, not just what the UN might have given you. We have been ready to make peace for 63 years. We have waited while your people launched wars, terror attacks, rockets and mortars at us.

Now, you speak of Hitler and wish he had completed his plan for the Jews. So let me tell you the future, the truth, as I see it. It is, if you must know, rooted in the past.

Your words betray the truth - you are no better than the enemies our people have faced throughout time - Amalek, the ancient Egyptians, Haman, the ancient Romans, the Crusaders and the Cossacks, those who came to our towns and brought pogroms, the Nazis and you. All those before you have faded from time while the Jew and his land remain. You too will fade as they did, a victim not of us, but of your own hatred.

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King - The Authentic Palestine Freedom Flotilla

The ship “Exodus.”
Ruth King
28 June '11
H/T Daphne Anson

No! I do not mean the motley crew of terrorist enablers, terrorists and assorted curs and knaves that is taking to the briny to defame Israel and bring “humanitarian” aid to the denizen of Gaza. Never mind those immoral misfits who forgot how the residents of Gaza trashed and looted and destroyed the farms, greenhouses, state of the art farming tools and implements, organic fertilizers and even seeds in the lush gardens of Gush Katif which provided 70% of Israel’s produce and $120,000,000 in exports of foods and flowers.

I speak of a real Palestine freedom flotilla….that fleet of ancient and ramshackle ships and the valiant volunteer crews that transported the wretched survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine in defiance of the perverse British blockade between 1946 and 1948.

Britain’s notorious White Paper of 1939 which effectively cut off Jewish immigration to Palestine on the eve of the Holocaust was a death sentence for millions of European Jews trapped in Europe. After World War 11, British perfidy persisted and the 1939 White Paper remained the basis of British policy. Its cruel provisions kept wretched survivors of the Holocaust trapped and homeless in displaced persons’ camps in hostile European nations or behind barbed wire in detention camps in Cyprus.

There were more than 140 voyages by about 70 ships. Over half were stopped by British navy patrols and sent to internment camps is Cyprus, or Atlit detention camp and some to Mauritius. A wonderful book by the author Natacha Appanah titled “The Last Brother” details the travails of the refugees in Mauritius.

(Read full "The Authentic Palestine Freedom Flotilla")

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Glick - The Invisible Palestinians

Caroline Glick
28 June '11

Sunday was the first day of Sgt. Gilad Schalit's sixth year in captivity. Schalit was kidnapped on June 26, 2006 and has been held hostage by Palestinian terrorists affiliated with Hamas in Gaza ever since.

For five years, Schalit has been held incognito. His terrorist captors have permitted him to send but one letter to his family and released but one video of Schalit over this entire period. He has been denied visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross. He was clearly emaciated in the video.

Over the past five years, Hamas has engaged in periodic indirect negotiations with Israel through a German mediator and others. While their demands have varied from time to time, essentially they want Israel to release around 1,500 terrorists from its prisons in exchange for Schalit. And they want the terrorists to be released to their homes in Judea and Samaria and Gaza where they can pick up killing Jews where they left off.

And it isn't only Hamas demanding these things. In an interview with IMRA news agency on May 25, Fatah negotiator Nabil Shaath said that the Fatah supports Hamas's demands. Shaath explained that once the Fatah-Hamas unity government is formed Schalit will become the responsibility of the unified Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority will continue to hold Schalit hostage and demand that Israel release thousands of terrorists as ransom for his release. As he put it, "We have 7,000 political prisoners in Israel by design - taken by the Israeli authority. They have to be also freed."

So the Palestinian leadership from Fatah and Hamas alike are unified in their view that it is perfectly acceptable to hold Schalit captive. As far as they are concerned, it is acceptable to stand in breach of international law and basic standards of humanity in order to extort Israel to free mass murderers from prison. And it is acceptable to the Palestinians for these murderers to return to their work killing as many Jews as they can get their hands on.

It is hard to think of a more despicable comment on the state of Palestinian society than their wall to wall support for the taking and holding of hostages or their desire to see mass murderers released from jail. A person could be forgiven for thinking that on the fifth anniversary of Schalit's abduction that the media would be full of articles describing in detail the evil that is Hamas and Fatah which celebrate Schalit's victimization and the suffering of his family.

But that person would be wrong. The media coverage of the fifth anniversary of Schalit's kidnap devoted no attention to his Palestinian captors. In fact, if a person were simply going by what he learned from the Israeli media over the past several days, he would likely believe that either Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is hiding Schalit in his cellar, or that Netanyahu is colluding with Hamas to keep Schalit captive in Gaza.

The Reasoning Behind the Maritime Blockade on Gaza - موقف جيش الدفاع الاسرائيلي من القافلة البحرية

Jun 26, 2011

Since January 2009 Israel has imposed a maritime closure on the Gaza Strip for the purpose of protecting the security of Israel's Citizens.

Five Steps is a short video explaining the reason for the closure and it's practical implications.

الرائد أفيخاي أدرعي
المتحدث بلسان جيش الدفاع الاسرائيلي للاعلام العربي

Spokesman Major Avichai Adraee, Head of the Arabic Desk of the Foreign Press Division, addresses the planned flotilla which overtly declares its intention to sail to the Gaza Strip, governed by the Hamas terrorist organization.

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Fresnozionism - PCHR smeared for being soft on Zionists
27 June '11

Yesterday I wrote about a declaration issued by 12 “human rights” groups condemning the treatment of Gilad Shalit, but pointedly not calling for his release.

One of them, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), has issued a furious communiqué denouncing its defamation by some local media outlets, which incorrectly accused it of — imagine — demanding Shalit’s release. PCHR writes,

On Monday morning, 27 June 2011, a number of local websites published a news item entitled “The Palestinian Center for Human Rights Demands Releasing Shalit.” In the article they claimed that a Palestinian human rights organization joined Zionist human rights organizations in their demand to release the Zionist solider, Gilad Shait, with total disregard both for the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and war crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation against them.”

This assault followed PCHR’s signature on a joint statement by international and Israeli human rights organizations on 24 June 2011. The statement demanded that the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shait, who has been held by Palestinian resistance groups for five years, be treated as a prisoner of war according to international law.

The press release lists 10 points that PCHR wishes to emphasize. Here are a few of them:

Rennert - Remembering 1948 through the WaPo's pro-Arab, anti-Israel lens

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
27 June '11

In its June 27 edition, the Washington Post runs a huge spread by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg about plans for a new housing development in a scenic valley at the entrance to Jerusalem that would tower over a crumbling village abandoned by Arabs during the 1948 war. Greenberg's article, with accompanying maps and photos, takes up more than half of the front page of the World News section.

The headline conveys the flavor of the piece: "Building on history -- Israeli plans to redevelop abandoned Palestinian village have stirred painful memories."

Greenberg reports with much empathy a controversy stirred by preservationists and Palestinian families with ties to the village, who have gone to a court to block the city's building plans.

He starts by writing that 3,000 people who lived in the village of Lifta fled "during the war that accompanied the establishment of Israel." That, of course, is an immediate dead-giveaway of Greenberg's pro-Palestinian bias. The establishment of Israel wasn't responsible for the 1948 war. That war was launched by half a dozen Arab armies intent on eliminating the nascent Jewish state, in defiance of a UN two-state partition plan.

But Greenberg isn't interested in real history as much as in conveying a Palestinian agenda to revise history so as to validate Palestinian claims to the land, while discarding Jewish ones.

So he pulls out all the stops to depict 1948 as a "Naqba," a catastrophe for the Palestinians, ending his piece as follows: "For Yacoub Odeh, 71, who remembers being evacuated from Lifta under fire as a boy an now lives in East Jerusalem, visits to the ruined village bring back painful memories. Marketing Lifta as a housing development would 'destroy our memory and our history," Odeh said. "My strategic goal is to return to my home. But if this is impossible now, leave Lifta for history, to be a testimony to what happened, and a lesson for all of us."
Leave aside for a moment Greenberg's distortion of the history of the 1948 war, his article still is not journalistically kosher.


There's actually no reason why a professional reporter shouldn't do a piece about the controversy and "painful memories" swirling around Lifta -- IF (and that's the real flaw in his reporting) -- IF the Post would do a similar huge spread about any of hundreds of neighborhoods in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Yemen that Jewish residents were forced to flee on or about 1948.

A fair account of people displaced by the 1948 war needs to start with the historical fact that, while some 800,000 Arabs lost their homes, an even greater number of Jews -- some 900,000 -- were persecuted, expropriated and forced to flee Arab countries that had been home to Jews for thousands of years.

Their "painful memories" deserve equal attention. But where is the Post's reporting of that Jewish "catastrophe"? Where is there an article of equal size and written with equal sympathy about those hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees? You can wait until the cows come home to find in the Post reporting that balances Palestinian pain with Jewish pain.

Or, would it ever occur to Greenberg to take a look quite close to Lifta and document with an empathetic pen the destruction of dozens of synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem by Jordanian occupiers between 1949 and 1967? Or would he be apt to visit Jerusalem's Mt. of Olives cemetery, Judaism's oldest, to report on how the Jordanians used gravestones to build a road -- or, for that matter, how Palestinians still regularly vandalize its gravestones? The Old City and the cemetery are an easy walk from Lifta.

And therein lies the real bias of the Washington Post. There would be nothing wrong with a fair, historically accurate, piece about Lifta if the Post and Greenberg were equally diligent in tracking down remnants of Jewish neighborhoods in Arab lands with their crumbling synagogues and "painful memories."

Sadly, it's exactly the absence of such articles that spotlights the enormous bias of Greenberg's reporting.

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CAMERA - State Department Says Flotilla Participants Could Face Criminal Charges

Steve Stotsky
27 June '11

The United States government has warned U.S. citizens from participating in the Gaza Flotilla scheduled for this week. State Department Spokesman Victor Nuland said,

We underscore that delivering or attempting or conspiring to deliver material support or other resources to or for the benefit of a designated foreign terrorist organization, such as Hamas, could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration.

The stern State Department warning against consorting with terrorists contrasts with a news article in the Christian Science Monitor that reads like an advocacy piece for the Flotilla. The "news" report by Dan Murphy states,

This flotilla is attempting to reach Gaza in a dramatically changed regional context from May 2010, before the uprisings collectively known as the Arab Spring. With the chance for real democratic change in Israeli neighbors like Egypt, organizers are hoping to press home their argument that the Palestinian residents of Gaza are as deserving of basic freedoms as any of their neighbors.

Israel does not occupy Gaza, and the lack of basic freedoms among its residents are a result of the policies of Hamas, a U.S. and E.U. defined terrorist organization.
The article goes on to present a one-sided description of last year's flotilla:

But that flotilla was stopped by an Israeli assault that killed nine activists (one with American citizenship) in international waters, sparking international condemnation that led Israeli to ease, though not lift, its blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.

The United Nations is reportedly releasing a report that severely criticized Turkey's role in the affair and the U.S. and others have supported Israel's right, in fact, obligation, to enforce the blockade.

The article presents opposition to the flotilla by the U.S., the U.N. and E.U. states as a result of "furious" lobbying by Israel. It also depicts flotilla participants like Ann Wright, Alice Walker and Hedy Epstein as "human rights" activists without disclosing their extremist affiliations and long records of hostility to the Jewish state.

(And with so much going on, perhaps we need to ask, what is 
"The current situation in Gaza"? Take a look. Are you surprised? Y.)

Uploaded by noterrorhere on Jun 27, 2011

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Daphne Anson - "Get Out So That We Can Get In"

Daphne Anson
27 June '11

How the Arabs (not Israel) caused the refugee problem

According to blogger Richard Millett, reporting on a meeting held at Westminster under the auspices of the London-based Palestine Return Centre, our old friend Lib Dem life peer Baroness Tonge "finished [her] talk by describing her dream that one day all the Palestinian refugees will unite and march together to claim back their homeland. She said it would be impossible for Israel to kill all of them."

Voices, often raised hysterically, at other pro-Palestinian meetings hither and thither can also be heard advocating the return of the "refugees" - an occurrence that would, it goes without saying, destroy Israel by demography. Just look at the two BBC programme videos on my Thursday post to witness such sentiments, which of course are symptomatic of the widespread - and perhaps in many instances wilfull - ignorance of the history of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs that characterises much of what passes for debate in the West on the issue of "Israel/Palestine". Take a look, too, at my Saturday evening post, and Sylvia Hale's contention that the refugees were "expelled" from Israel, which must accord them the "right of return".

All this goes to show how brilliantly the anti-Israel propaganda machine has been in hijacking the historical narrative, and, conversely, how abysmal Israel's hasbara efforts have been on the question of the Nakba and the Palestinian Arab refugees.

Moreover, it was reported last week (several anti-Israel blogs have picked this up but I don't want to increase their traffic by linking to them), Hamas, blaming the plight of the refugees on the United Nations for Partition and subsequent inaction, has urged the "refugees to stick to their demands of return and compensation and organize rallies year-round and not to be content with Nakba and Naksa days only."

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Israelis have colluded in their own nightmare in this regard by acquiescing in the new-fangled label "Palestinians" for those previously known simply as Arabs.

For in so doing the Israelis unwittingly conceded the historical narrative to Arafat and his mates - the Israelis foolishly bolstered the fiction (now believed by so many ordinary men and women around the world) that there was a sovereign Arab people called "Palestinians" whose land was stolen from them.

(Read full "Get Out So That We Can Get In")

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