Friday, July 30, 2010

"The Nakba Obsession"

A Nakba poster suggests Arabs were victims rather than aggressors in 1948

The Nakba Obsession: The Biggest Obstacle to Peace -Sol Stern

The Nakba ("disaster") 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. But the Nakba narrative is a myth - a radical distortion of history.

During the 1948 war and for many years afterward, the Western world expressed hardly any moral outrage about the Palestinian refugees. The fighting in Palestine had broken out only two years after the end of the costliest military conflict ever. 11 million ethnic Germans were expelled from their homes and force-marched to Germany by the Red Army, with the approval of Roosevelt and Churchill. Historians estimate that 2 million died on the way.

Around the same time, the Indian subcontinent was divided into India and Pakistan; millions of Hindus and Muslims moved from one to the other, and hundreds of thousands died in related violence. Against this background, the West was not troubled by the exodus of a little more than half a million Palestinians after a war launched by their own leaders.

In the Balata refugee camp, inside the West Bank city of Nablus, many of the 20,000 residents are the children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren of the Arab citizens of Jaffa who fled their homes in 1948. Balata's young people are nurtured on the myth that someday soon they will return in triumph to their ancestors' homes. If Israel and the Palestinians ever managed to hammer out a peace treaty, PA President Mahmoud Abbas would have to go to Balata and explain to its residents that their leaders have been lying to them for 60 years and that they are not going back to Jaffa. Which is one of the main reasons that there has been no peace treaty.
(City Journal)

CIA was fooled by Iranian Disinformation

How the CIA Got It Wrong on Iran's Nukes -Edward J. Epstein

In a stunning departure from a decade of assessments, the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran declared: "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program."

[T]he NIE's conclusion was dead wrong, costing us precious time in dealing with a serious threat. What caused such a disastrous mistake?

As James Risen, the New York Times national security reporter, explains in his book State of War, in 2004, a CIA communications officer accidentally included data in a satellite transmission to an agent in Iran that could be used to identify "virtually every spy the CIA had in Iran."

This disastrous error was compounded because the recipient of the transmission turned out to be a double-agent controlled by the Iranian security service. This allowed the Iranian security service to control the information these agents provided the CIA, which may have been vulnerable to receiving misleading secret intelligence that Tehran had abandoned its nuclear ambitions.
(Wall Street Journal)

VideoBite: Exposing the Boycott Israel movement

A 6 minute documentary covering everything you need to know about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement

To the Chorus of Chronic, Compulsive Critics of Israel -David Harris

You just can't contain your rage against Israel, can you? A mere mention of Israel and you're out of the starting gate in record time with another tirade accusing it, and its defenders, of every conceivable evil in the world - from Nazism to Apartheid, from blood libel to mass murder - the facts be damned.

Could it be that your real ideal is a Hamas-run society, with its all-enveloping political and religious suffocation, relegation of women to the status of virtual male property, intimidation of the tiny Christian community, unadulterated anti-Semitism, and reverence for the cult of violence?
The writer is Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee.
(Huffington Post)


Berkeley: An Apartheid City?

Diplomat's Rise from Bedouin Village to San Francisco -Stacey Palevsky

Ishmael Khaldi [pictured] started his adventures 38 years ago in a two-room tent in a small Bedouin village with no running water or electricity. "Growing up in a tent doesn't mean you can't reach San Francisco and be a diplomat - it means the sky's the limit," said Khaldi, who served more than two years in San Francisco as the vice consul general.

His new memoir is called A Shepherd's Journey: The Story of Israel's First Bedouin Diplomat.

"Being a spokesman for Israel is simply another way of defending my country, which is the mission and pleasure of my life," he writes in his memoir. "Do Israel's Arab citizens suffer from disadvantages? Yes they do," he writes. "Do African Americans and other minorities living 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantages? The answer is also an emphatic, 'yes.' So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week? Or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunities available to more people?"
(San Francisco Jewish Weekly)

VideoBite: The Palestinian Money Hole

A short video exposing the sink hole of "Palestinian aid"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Other MidEast Refugees

Investigating Lost Property of Middle East Jews -Benjamin Joffe-Walt

A new department has been set up by the Israel Ministry of Pensioners Affairs to manage the legal claims of Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern descent who lost their property when they left countries throughout the region.

The office will help identify, locate and seek compensation for the assets of the more than one million Jews who came to Israel from Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria. The Knesset approved a law earlier this year requiring the compensation of Jews from Arab countries and Iran to be included in any peace negotiations.

"The Palestinians have been collecting evidence of their losses for many years," said Yoni Itzhak, a spokesman for the ministry. As of 2007, "the estimated value of Jewish property in Arab countries is 50% more than the value of the property of Palestinian refugees and is valued at billions of dollars." "Just like the Palestinians tell everyone that they have the keys to their old homes, we have our keys as well."
(Media Line-Jerusalem Post)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

British Prime Minister spits at Israel

British Prime Minister calls Gaza a "Prison Camp"

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Gaza a "prison camp" in the Turkish capital of Ankara, which he was visiting to forge a new relationship with Turkey.

Cameron also called the May 31 Israeli commando raid against the Gaza flotilla "completely unacceptable."

Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to Britain, responded:
"The people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organization Hamas. The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas' rule and priorities." "We know that the prime minister would also share our grave concerns about our own prisoner in the Gaza Strip, Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage there for over four years, without receiving a single Red Cross visit."

Cameron Panders to Turkey at Israel's Expense -Jackson Diehl

The new British government may win some points in Ankara. But the price will be paid by Israel, which has just seen the international campaign to delegitimize it gain a little more momentum.
(Washington Post)

Terror web emerges from leaked documents

WikiLeaks Reports Bolster Suspicion of Iranian Ties to Extremists
-Siobhan Gorman & Jay Solomon

Cooperation among Iran, al-Qaeda and other Sunni extremist groups is more extensive than previously known, according to details buried in the WikiLeaks military intelligence documents.

The documents detail Iran's ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the facilitating role Tehran may have played in providing arms from sources as varied as North Korea and Algeria. The documents give new evidence of direct contacts between Iranian officials and the Taliban's and al-Qaeda's senior leadership.
(Wall Street Journal)

Al-Qaeda's next weapon: Plague

Al-Qaeda Cell Developing Biological Weapons Killed by Plague

40 terrorists were reported killed by the plague at a training camp in Algeria earlier this month. Experts believe the group was developing biological weapons.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Goldstone's Shadow Bites

Leaks on Afghanistan Could Lead to Goldstone-Style Prosecutions Against Britain, U.S.
-Robin Shepherd

The release of thousands of secret official files about coalition operations in Afghanistan reveals the accidental killings by British soldiers of hundreds of innocent civilians - revelers at wedding parties, kids in school buses, ordinary people going about their daily business who tragically found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When Britain allowed the Arab dictatorships to push a report through the UN specifically designed to criminalize the Israeli military's attempts to deal with terrorists hiding behind a civilian population in Gaza, it simultaneously set a precedent for all countries, including itself.

Now it has been revealed - via official documents - that British soldiers have been involved in exactly the same kind of operations against exactly the same kind of terror groups using exactly the same tactics and resulting in exactly the same kind of outcomes in terms of the loss of civilian lives.
(Jerusalem Post)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Israelis are happy

Poll: Israel 8th Happiest Country, Ahead of U.S. -Francesca Levy

Israel tied for 8th place with Australia, Switzerland, and Canada in a Gallup World Poll survey of 155 countries that measures well-being.

Denmark, Finland and Norway led the list, the U.S. tied with Austria for 14th place, while the highest ranking Arab country, the United Arab Emirates, was 20th.

Israel's neighbors ranked as follows: Egypt (115 tied), Syria (115 tied), Jordan (52), and Lebanon (73).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Boney M caves in to Palestinian rejectionism

Group Told to Drop "By the Rivers of Babylon" from concert

When the 1970s disco group Boney M performed in Ramallah this week, the band was prevented from performing one of its biggest hits.

Lead singer Maizie Williams [pictured] said Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing "By the Rivers of Babylon." The song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the biblical Land of Israel.

Obama grants Palestinians state-like privileges despite incalcitrance

Upgrade in Ties with Palestinians -Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid & Avi Issacharoff

Palestinian Authority diplomats in Washington will now enjoy diplomatic immunity.

"This decision reflects our confidence that through direct negotiations, we can help achieve a two-state solution with an independent and viable Palestine living side by side with Israel," said White House spokesman Thomas Vietor.

"We should begin preparing for that outcome now, as we continue to work with the Palestinian people on behalf of a better future."

PLO Permitted to Fly Palestinian Flag

The Palestine Liberation Organization Mission in Washington was upgraded to a "Delegation General" on July 20, Palestinian ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat announced.

The change does not represent full diplomatic recognition, but the office in Washington will now be allowed to fly the Palestinian flag.
(Palestine Note)


Following Obama's Lead, France Upgrades Diplomatic Ties with Palestinians -Jenny Barchfield

To try to spur international efforts toward creating a Palestinian state, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the Palestinian diplomatic representation in France - which was called a "delegation" - will henceforth be considered a "mission" headed by an "ambassador, chief of mission."
(AP-Washington Post)


Women's Brutality during the Holocaust

Participation of German Women in Genocide Far Greater than Previously Thought
-Isabel Kershner

According to new research, the participation of German women in genocide during the Holocaust, as perpetrators, accomplices or passive witnesses, was far greater than previously thought.

Researcher Wendy Lower, an American historian now living in Munich, has drawn attention to the thousands of seemingly ordinary German women who willingly went out to the Nazi-occupied eastern territories as part of the war effort, to areas where genocide was openly occurring. Ms. Lower, 45, presented her work for the first time at this summer's workshop at Yad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research.

Thousands of German women went to the eastern territories to help Germanize them. Women ran the storehouses of belongings taken from Jews. There were up to 5,000 female guards in the concentration camps, making up about 10% of the personnel.

Several witnesses have described festive banquets near mass shooting sites in the Ukrainian forests, with German women providing refreshments for the shooting squads whose work often went on for days.
(New York Times)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hamas Enforces Islamism

Gaza's Attack on Modernity -Lorenzo Cremonesi

Basher Bseiso, 20, a singer from the "Peace Group" (Fariq Salam), very popular among young rap-lovers in Gaza, explains:

"We are victims of the repressive religious government which, due to a distorted reading of the Quran, prohibits free music."

Bseiso speaks with rage of having been beaten up on April 28: "I was riding my motorcycle when a group of Ezzedin Al Qassam militiamen came up alongside me, knocked me to the ground and beat me with sticks."

Jamal Abu al-Qumsan, 43, director of the most famous art gallery in Gaza, sends out [this electronic message] from his home: "[P]lease, all of you democratic people, from all over the world, could you also denounce the Hamas repression of intellectual freedom?"

Until a few days ago, Qumsan couldn't sit down or lie on his back due to the beatings he suffered between May 5 and May 12.

In the culture war in Gaza, the more extremist wings of the religious front want to close the beach to girls; they forbid any privacy for unmarried couples; they consider Western music and fashions as a danger to public "morality."

Hamas has now imposed a "Godfather" regime on its own people. Punishment doesn't only mean prison, or even torture; rather, it means ostracism, losing one's job, denigration, social isolation.

They say that in the former beach house of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, the cellars have been turned into torture chambers for the "enemies of Islam."
(Corriere della Sera-Italy)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Then & Now: Israeli folk singers "The Amranim"

The Amranim [The Amrani Brothers], icons of the Israeli folk scene in the 1960's, singing Yosef Hadar's masterpiece "Return to Me," in videos shot many, many years apart

The Silence of the Scam

Palestinians in the Arab World: Silence -Khaled Abu Toameh

When was the last time the UN Security Council met to condemn an Arab government for its mistreatment of Palestinians? How come those who call themselves "pro-Palestinian" turn a blind eye to the fact that Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and many more Arab countries continue to impose severe travel restrictions on Palestinians?

A news story on the Palestinians that does not include an anti-Israel angle rarely makes it to the front pages of Western newspapers.

The demolition of an Arab-owned illegal building in Jerusalem is, for most correspondents, much more important than the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in Lebanon are denied the right to own property, do not qualify for health care, and are banned by law from working in a large number of jobs.
(Hudson Institute New York)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bloody Cyprus & Turkish Hypocracy

Turkey in Cyprus vs. Israel in Gaza -Daniel Pipes

In light of Ankara's recent criticism of what it calls Israel's "open-air jail" in Gaza, today's date, which marks the anniversary of Turkey's invasion of Cyprus, has special relevance.

Turkish policy toward Israel has cooled since Islamists took power in Ankara in 2002. Their [recent] verbal assaults augured a further hostility that included insulting the Israeli president, helping sponsor the "Freedom Flotilla," and recalling the Turkish ambassador.

This Turkish rage prompts a question: Is Israel in Gaza really worse than Turkey in Cyprus? A comparison finds this hardly to be so. Consider some contrasts:

Turkey's invasion of July-August 1974 involved the use of napalm and "spread terror" among Cypriot Greek villagers, according to Minority Rights Group International. In contrast, Israel's "fierce battle" to take Gaza relied only on conventional weapons and entailed virtually no civilian casualties.

The subsequent occupation of 37 percent of the island amounted to a "forced ethnic cleansing" according to William Mallinson in a just-published monograph from the University of Minnesota.
In contrast, if one wishes to accuse the Israeli authorities of ethnic cleansing in Gaza, it was against their own people, the Jews, in 2005.

The Turkish government has sponsored what Mallinson calls "a systematic policy of colonization" on formerly Greek lands in northern Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots in 1973 totaled about 120,000 persons; since then, more than 160,000 citizens of the Republic of Turkey have been settled in their lands.
Not a single Israeli community remains in Gaza.

Ankara runs its occupied zone so tightly that, in the words of Bülent Akarcalı, a senior Turkey politician, "Northern Cyprus is governed like a province of Turkey."
An enemy of Israel, Hamas, rules in Gaza.

The Turks set up a pretend-autonomous structure called the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus."
Gazans enjoy real autonomy.

A wall through the island keeps peaceable Greeks out of northern Cyprus. Israel's wall excludes Palestinian terrorists.

Erdoğan claims that Turkish troops are not occupying northern Cyprus but are there in "Turkey's capacity as a guarantor power," whatever that means. The outside world, however, is not fooled. If Elvis Costello recently pulled out of a concert in Tel Aviv to protest the "suffering of the innocent [Palestinians]," Jennifer Lopez canceled a concert in northern Cyprus to protest "human rights abuse" there.

In brief, Northern Cyprus resembles an "open-air jail" more than Gaza does. How rich that a hypocritical Ankara preens its moral plumage about Gaza even as it runs a zone significantly more offensive. Instead of meddling in Gaza, Turkish leaders should close the illegal and disruptive occupation that for decades has tragically divided Cyprus.
[Washington Times]

Iran weakening?

Merchants in Iran's bazaars, have traditionally been supportive of Iran's Islamic Revolution...times may be changing

The Iranian Regime's Days Are Numbered -Melik Kaylan

Time is against the Iranian regime because of building domestic pressure. Now the Bazaaris in Tehran and other major cities have gone on strike. This could topple the regime entirely on its own.

The Bazaaris, Iran's highly conservative merchant class, the backbone of the retail and wholesale economy, were the pivotal force in collapsing the Shah's rule. Once the Bazaaris turned, the Shah's days were numbered. Now they've turned against Ahmadinejad's government.

The Bazaaris have been staunch supporters of the Islamic Revolution when it was run doctrinally by the mullahs, before the Revolutionary Guards became the primary center of power. They consider the new ruling elite to be outside the law, bad for business and bad for the country.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gaza Suffering? New 3 Floor Luxury Shopping Mall Opens...with photos & video

Photo Essay: New Shopping Mall Opens in Gaza -Tom Gross

If there are no building materials allowed into Gaza, how did they build this shopping center which opened on July 17?

See photos of Gaza's hotels, beauty spas, fancy restaurants, Olympic-size swimming pool, beaches and street markets. Of course there is poverty in parts of Gaza. There is poverty in parts of Israel too.

As a correspondent for one of Japan's biggest newspapers noted, "Gaza and the West Bank are the only places in the world where I have seen refugees drive Mercedes."
(Mideast Dispatch Archive)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Straight talk from Britain

Five Minutes to Midnight in Britain's Battle Against Radical Islam
-Ilan Evyatar

Douglas Murray is the director of the Center for Social Cohesion, a London-based think tank that studies radicalization and extremism in the UK, and he is an outspoken critic of the British government's response to the challenge of radical Islam.

He notes:

"It is astonishing that no major politician since [Tony] Blair has understood Israel's right to defend herself. They consistently speak about such a right in theory, but whenever in practice, whether it's Gaza or the flotilla, they don't, and they condemn Israel on it....Churchill's famous description of an appeaser [is] someone who feeds the crocodile and hopes it will eat him last. Some major leader has to explain in relation to Israel and Britain that this crocodile would eat us next, not last. Therefore, it would be a very, very stupid thing, for your own security, as well as your own sense of what's morally right, to keep sacrificing Israel in this way."
(Jerusalem Post)

The assassination of Hitler

Diary Reveals Zionist's Plan to Murder Hitler -Shlomo Nakdimon

In December 1939, four months after the beginning of World War II, Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky [picture above Hitler] paid a visit to retired British colonel Richard Henry Meinertzhagen, who served as an advisor at the War Office in London and knew Jabotinsky from his service in the British army in World War I.

The colonel documented his conversation with the Zionist leader in his private diary:

Jabotinsky: I have brought a plan to bomb Hitler and the entire Nazi leadership.

Meinertzhagen: An ambitious plot.

Jabotinsky: An attainable one.

Meinertzhagen: Do elaborate.

Jabotinsky: A number of high-ranking Nazis in Munich must be assassinated. Their funeral will require the arrival of their senior comrades, including Hitler. Bombs containing 100 kilograms of explosives will be concealed in one of the coffins. As all the Nazis gather around the grave, 100 kilograms of bombs will explode and they'll all move on to the next world.

Meinertzhagen: Who will activate the bomb system?

Jabotinsky: The Jewish gravedigger in Munich. He's a friend of mine.

The colonel, who was impressed by the plan, presented it to the Foreign Office in London. The response was recorded in one short line in his diary:

The Foreign Office frowned and the Nazis were saved.
(Ynet News)

Is Obama considering an Iran strike?

A US Attack on Iran: Back on the Table -Joe Klein

Diplomacy and economic pressure remain the preferred means to force Iran to negotiate a nuclear deal, but there isn't much hope that's going to happen. So the military option is very much back on the table.

Intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army's Central Command, which is in charge of organizing military operations in the Middle East, has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes - aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region.

"There really wasn't a military option a year ago," an Israeli military source told me. "But they've gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now." Israel has been brought into the planning process.

One other factor has brought the military option to a low boil: Iran's Sunni neighbors really want the U.S. to do it.

Arab West Bank Thriving

In the West Bank, New Cars Signal Economic Growth -Avi Issacharoff

New car dealerships are springing up in the West Bank, reflecting the economic growth.

Today the streets are lined with just-bought models. Banks are offering car loans to anyone who has a job. They can pay 10% down and borrow 90% of a new car's cost.

But cars are only part of the economic development story. A shopping mall has opened on the ground floor of a new Nablus office building. The city center is thriving, the open-air markets, clothing stores and cafes are bustling.

Palestinian Arabs: no desire for peace

Poll: Palestinians Won't Compromise for Peace

The most recent poll of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion asked:

Do you think that Palestinians must renounce their right of return, which Israel will never accept, in exchange for having an independent Palestinian state and the conclusion of a peace deal with Israel?
Yes 14%, No 82%.

Would you accept it if the Palestinian leadership would waive the right of return in exchange for financial compensation?
Yes 13%, No 82%.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attempted Rape of Pro-Palestinian Activist Rocks Bethlehem

Hush Up of Attempted Rape of U.S. Activist -Avi Issacharoff

The Palestinian protest movement has its darker side.

One of the more prominent activists in a village south of Bethlehem, long entrenched in a battle against the West Bank separation fence - is suspected of the attempted rape of a Muslim-American peace activist who had been residing in the village as a show of her support for the protest.

Omar Aladdin was arrested three months ago, then released after agreeing to apologize to the woman. However, Ha'aretz learned that representatives of both the protest movement and the PA have since pressured the American peace activist to prevent her from going public with the story. Activists know of other incidents in which Palestinians have allegedly sexually assaulted foreign activists.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hizbullah lets off gas

Hizbullah's New Cause: Israel's Natural Gas -Gal Luft

The discovery of a gigantic natural-gas reservoir less than 100 miles off Israel's coast could be the pretext for the next Middle East war.

Only days after Israel announced its gas discovery, Hizbullah claimed that the deposit extends into Lebanese waters and that it would not allow Israel to "loot" Lebanese gas resources.

As the eastern Mediterranean becomes home to drilling rigs, pipelines and other infrastructure related to Israel's gas operation, Hizbullah could find multiple soft targets to attack. Because an American gas drilling company, Noble Energy, owns 40% of the gas venture, American citizens operating the rigs could be in harm's way.

To minimize the risk of future resource war in the Mediterranean, the U.S. should help Israel establish the legal basis for its activities within its economic waters while highlighting the frivolousness of Lebanon's claims. A broad international consensus on Israel's right to drill for oil and gas in its waters would deny Hizbullah any legitimate ground to provoke conflict at sea.
(Washington Times)

Archaeological Find: Bible comes to life

Israeli archeologist from Hebrew University held a fragment bearing an ancient form of writing
(Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press)

3,350-Year-Old Text Fragment Found in Jerusalem

A tiny clay fragment dating from the 14th century BCE discovered outside Jerusalem's Old City walls contains the oldest written document [ever] found in Jerusalem.

The 3,350-year-old clay fragment was uncovered beneath a 10th-century BCE tower dating from the period of King Solomon, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archive, testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age.
(Bloomberg-Boston Globe)

Monday, July 12, 2010

An insiders view of Iran

Iranian Revolutionary: Life as CIA Spy -Elise Labott

Reza Kahlili, the author of A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, spoke: at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

In the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution, he joined the newly formed Revolutionary Guard, but said he quickly became disillusioned when he saw people being tortured and murdered and women raped in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. But rather than quit the Guard and endanger his family, he contacted the CIA and began work as an American agent.

He said he provided critical information to his CIA handlers about Iran's role in the Iran-Iraq war, the Iran-contra affair, the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which he said was masterminded by Tehran.

He predicted that Iran will eventually attack Israel, Europe and the Gulf and advocated a preemptive military strike against the regime.

"Stop dreaming, please," he said. "You are not dealing with rational people. Every time you extend a hand, it is not seen as sincerity, but stupidity."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meg Ryan spits at Israel

Meg Ryan, starred in the films
Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and Kate and Leopold

Meg Ryan, Dustin Hoffman cancel Israel appearances

Meg Ryan and Dustin Hoffman have backed out of attending the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Ryan canceled her appearance the day after the Gaza flotilla incident, The Jerusalem Post reported.

News Spoof: Al-Qaeda Calls Off Attack

The Onion spoofs al-Qaeda

Friday, July 09, 2010

Hamas Rising

Has Hamas Weathered the Storm? -Tom Perry

Hamas is starting to see cracks in Israeli and Western policies after the storm unleashed by its rise to government in Gaza over the last four years, first through the ballot box and then by force of arms.

Israel's decision to ease its Gaza embargo is expected to offer at least some economic respite, to the benefit of Hamas.

The group has declared the Israeli decision a victory and a result of its uncompromising approach. "Hamas has proved that it cannot be uprooted and its will is iron," said Ayman Taha, a Hamas official in Gaza.

Emboldened by recent moral support from states such as NATO member Turkey, Hamas' confidence appears only to be growing.

Hypocrisy & "A Tale of Two Passports"

A Tale of Two Passports -Editorial

Remember Britain's outrage at Israel over the forged UK documents allegedly used in the Dubai assassination of Hamas big shot Mahmoud Mabhouh?

Compare that uproar with the remarkable silence over the forged British passport that the FBI says was used by at least one of the Russian spies recently arrested in the U.S.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that what really infuriated the British was not so much the alleged offense but the identity of its perpetrators.
(Wall Street Journal)


Waiting for Ireland to Expel a Russian Diplomat, Israel-Style -Jeffrey Goldberg

Apparently, the government of Ireland knows for certain that Russian intelligence copied the passport of a Donegal firefighter who visited Russia in 2005, and provided the copy to one of its spies caught recently by the FBI.

What will Ireland do about this insult to its sovereignty? Will the Irish expel a Russian diplomat, as they did when they caught Israel using forged Irish documents, or is it only a big deal when Israel does it?


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Are the Mullahs & Ahmadinejad a new Hitler?

A new dramatic video equating the diplomatic blunders before World War 2, with current events

Chanukah redux: Jews still banned from prayer at Temple Mount

Scenes from 1967, including Rabbi Goren blowing the Shofar at the Western Wall and an IDF soldier on duty on the Temple Mount, directly above the Wall. Rabbi Goren opposed the giving of the Mount to the Muslim Waqf. Jews are currently forbidden to pray on the Mount, bowing to radical Muslim sensibilities.

Is the Temple Mount in Our Hands? -Efraim Halevy

Various Palestinian spokespeople have stressed an unequivocal Palestinian position demanding full, exclusive sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Israel's demand for the Western Wall is not premised on it being a holy Jewish site in and of itself. It is a remnant of our Temple and part of a structure that Jews have no less attachment to than Muslims. One who has no right for the structure has no right for any wall of that structure. To repudiate Israel's attachment to the Temple Mount opens the door for denying the Jewish people any right for any part of the Land of Israel.

Even the slightest concession over insisting on our equal sovereign rights for the Temple Mount will mark the beginning of the countdown on any Jewish right for this land.

How sad it is to recall Mordechai Gur’s [1967] touching call “Temple Mount is in our hands,” uttered in the wake of bitter battles and such high casualty toll. The Mount remained in our hands for several hours only, and future generations will look into the reasons for handing it over to our enemies immediately after the victory, without getting anything in return and without eliciting any understanding for our right to the site.
The writer is former director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and headed the National Security Council.
(Ynet News)


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Arab Ambassador: "stunningly candid"

United Arab Emirates : Bombing Iran Better than Iran Getting a Nuke
-Eli Lake

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S. [pictured] said that the benefits of bombing Iran's nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose.

Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran's nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country's quest for nuclear weapons.

Rep. Jane Harman of California [D] told the Washington Times: "I have never heard an Arab government official say that before. He was stunningly candid."
(Washington Times)

Smiles mark White House make up session with Israel: Video added

U.S. and Israel Shift Attention -Sheryl Stolberg & Mark Landler

The meeting was laden with theatrics as the men shook hands vigorously in front of the cameras after a series of steps by the Israelis over the past few days to reduce tensions with the United States.

A single session in the Oval Office is not likely to have resolved a year and a half of deep policy differences. But on Tuesday, they sought to accentuate the positive.

[W]ith Democrats facing a tough time in the midterm elections in November, Mr. Obama has reasons for softening his public stance on Israel. Republican candidates have been courting Jewish voters, who ordinarily back Democrats, by trying to portray the president as anti-Israel.

And this time, Mr. Netanyahu was treated to a meal...
[New York Times]

New York Times Drops Bomb on Obama-Netanyahu Meeting -Uriel Heilman

With a White House meeting between Obama and Netanyahu scheduled for Tuesday, the New York Times did its best to complicate things with a lead story highlighting the use of U.S. tax-exempt funds in Jewish communities in the West Bank. The problem with this story is not errors of fact. Indeed, it's widely known and no secret that Americans can claim tax deductions for charitable donations to 501(c)3 organizations that contribute money to Jewish causes in the West Bank, from after-school programs for kids in Jerusalem's eastern suburbs to bullet-proof vests for security patrols in Jewish settlements.

But why run it as a double-column story with a two-page inside spread (complete with maps and online, interactive features) on the day Obama and Netanyahu meet? The Times positioned this story as if it's some big investigative scoop that requires response - presumably by U.S. authorities - when in reality it's an old and quite well-known story.

Keeping an Eye on the New York Times -Stephanie Gutmann

The Times admits that "Americans also take tax breaks in giving to pro-Palestinian groups," some of which channel money into ferocious anti-Israel incitement or recruit for blockade-busting flotillas staffed by men armed with knives and clubs, but the Times devoted only one paragraph to this side of the equation.
(National Review)


Don't Expect Obama Trip to Israel Any Time Soon

During Obama's meeting at the White House with Netanyahu, the Israeli leader publicly asked the president to visit Israel. Obama replied that he looked forward to it.

But on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that a trip is "not on the books for this year."
(AP-Washington Post)

When Obama Met Bibi - Rafael Bardaji

The current Israeli government is usually depicted in Washington as a radical, far-right demon, not ready to accept sacrifices in order to achieve the two-state solution, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

The Netanyahu government has made abundantly clear that it accepts the two-state solution and it has done the unthinkable - the announcement of a moratorium on further settlements.

The real problem here has not been Netanyahu, but actually the Palestinian Authority - always dissatisfied and always asking for more. The Americans should actually be twisting Abbas' arm.
(Strategic Studies Group-Spain)

Upside Down World

Humanitarian Situation in Turkey Worse than Gaza -Ben-Dror Yemini

Turkey was the most prominent country in the recent flotilla, but according to a number of indicators, the humanitarian situation in Turkey is worse than it is in Gaza.

Infant mortality in Gaza is 17.7 per thousand; in Turkey it is 24.8.
Life expectancy in Gaza is 73.7, whereas in Turkey it is 72.2.
Most of the world's inhabitants are - according to objective data - in a worse situation than the residents of Gaza. This includes those who live in Turkey under Erdogan's rule. Even by other indicators, such as personal computer use or Internet access, the situation of the residents of Gaza is much better than most of the world's inhabitants.

Two years ago, a British politician claimed that life expectancy in Glasgow East was much lower than in Gaza. The claim caused an uproar. Britain's Channel 4 carried out a scrupulous check and found the claim to be true. Thus, it is a little strange that humanitarian aid comes from people whose situation is worse. It is Turkey that needs the help.

American aid per capita to Gaza is 7.5 times higher than aid per capita to Haiti, though by any possible indicator, the residents of Gaza are incomparably better off than the residents of Haiti.

Palestinians in Gaza are better off than most of their brethren in neighboring countries.

Monday, July 05, 2010

"Moderate" Palestinian leader: Praise for Munich Murderer

Abbas Eulogizes Munich Massacre Mastermind

Mohammed Daoud Oudeh [pictured with cigar], 73, the mastermind behind the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes who were taken hostage at the 1972 Munich Olympics, died in Damascus.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas [pictured] wrote in a condolence letter to Oudeh's family:

"He is missed. He was one of the leading figures of Fatah and spent his life in resistance and sincere work as well as physical sacrifice for his people's just causes."
Note: Mahmoud Abbas, the current leader of the Palestinian Authority, was accused by Oudeh [aka: Daoud] of involvement in the financing of the Munich Massacre.


Abbas: "If All of You [Arab States] Will Fight Israel, We Are in Favor"
-Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on July 6 that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas supports negotiations with Israel today because it is the only option.
Regarding the military option, Abbas said: "If you [Arab states] want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don't have the ability to do it."
(Palestinian Media Watch)

Trust the Palestinian Authority? -Daniel Pipes

Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, announced in English in Aspen, Colorado, a year ago that Jews are welcome to live in a future state of Palestine where they "will enjoy [full] rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the State of Israel."

Just days earlier, however, Saeb Erekat, head of the PA's negotiations department, said just the opposite in Arabic: "Nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state]....Some say that we will grant the settlers citizenship. We reject [this idea] out of hand."

Fayyad spoke in English to Americans and Israelis, Erekat spoke in Arabic to Palestinians. Palestinians play this double game because it works. Israelis, Americans and others too often accept the dulcet tones they hear directly and dismiss reports of harsh words they only learn about second-hand.
(Jerusalem Post)