Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Cartoon Worth A Thousand Words

A political cartoon from Israel

VideoBite: A Quick History of Jerusalem

The video above is offered in honor of Jerusalem Day (June 1st)
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Time to Assert Jerusalem's Jewish Heritage -

The international community would never expect the Muslims to cede sovereignty over Mecca, the cradle of their faith and history, any more than Americans would be asked to return Philadelphia to the queen of England. The Jewish people should be afforded no less respect. Jerusalem must remain united under Jewish sovereignty. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Egypt Opens Crossing to Gaza

Experts Analyze Opening of Gaza-Egypt Crossing -Boaz Fyler

Some security experts and academics are convinced the opening of the Rafah border crossing on Saturday has some positive aspects. "If Egypt opens the crossing, Israel will supposedly no longer be responsible for supplying Gaza's daily needs and Egypt will become the official gateway," explained Ido Zelkovitz, an expert on Palestinian society and politics at Haifa University.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former National Security Council head, says that the opening of the crossing serves Israel's interests and should not be opposed. He added: "Claiming that opening the border would cause weapons smuggling is utter nonsense as Egypt effectively decides what goes in and out. And therefore if smuggling is being allowed now, an open border will not change that."
(Ynet News)

For Israel, the Silver Lining in Gaza: Shifting the Strip to Egypt -Karl Vick

The "official" opening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza this weekend by Mubarak's successors, impeding the passage only of men of military age, was met in some Israeli circles with "quiet satisfaction." In Jerusalem the feeling is: If the Egyptians want to take responsibility for 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, more power to them. Cairo after all had control of the coastal enclave from 1948 to 1967.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Rift Widens: Congress isolating Obama; Andrews says Obama "tilting toward Hamas"

Lieberman & Hatch are sponsoring a rare resolution to rebuke the President.  They expect wide bi-partisan support

Senate Dems might join rebuff of Obama on Israeli border issue -Alexander Bolton

Senate Democrats are expected to support a resolution intended as a rebuff to President Obama’s call for basing Middle East peace talks on the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders. It would be a rare rebuke of the president by the upper chamber and a sign that Democrats are worried about the impact of last week’s speech on the U.S.-Israel relationship and pro-Israel constituents. Democrats in both chambers are scrambling to fix the damage caused when Obama called for the 1967 borders and land swaps as a basis for peace. 

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, is working with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on a resolution that would show broad consensus within Congress that the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders are not only “indefensible,” but also contrary to U.S. national security interests.

Lieberman and Hatch predicted the resolution would win broad support from Democrats. Several Democratic senators said they would not take a position until they reviewed the resolution. Others voiced quick support.

Lieberman and Hatch said they hope to introduce it on Wednesday.
[The Hill]

Andrews accuses Obama of "tilting toward Hamas"
Note: this is only a screen shot...no video available

House members side with Netanyahu -Mike Lillis

House lawmakers from both parties are siding with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over President Obama in their differing approaches to the Israel-Palestine border dispute.

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" – a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization. "A majority of the Congress disagrees with him,” Andrews said of Obama.
[The Hill]

Netanyahu's Congressional Speech: remix!

VideoBite: a charming musical remix of Netanyahu's Congressional speech
[Hat Tip: Elder of Ziyon]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Netanyahu makes Israel's case to Congress, Knocks it out of the park

Netanyahu Calls on Abbas to Say Six Vital Words

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress, said he was prepared to offer the Palestinians a “far-reaching compromise” if their president, Mahmoud Abbas, uttered six simple words: “I will recognize a Jewish state.”

In a wide-ranging speech punctuated by 30 standing ovations, Netanyahu praised the many thousands of brave young people standing up in the Arab world for democratic rights – rights that Israel’s Arab minority have enjoyed for decades.

He also warned that Iran’s militant Islamic leaders remained determined to build nuclear weapons and time was running out to stop them.

And he appealed directly to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tear up his recent deal with Iranian-backed Hamas, whose Charter calls for murdering Jews, and enter peace talks with Israel to achieve a state.
[The Israel Project]

Applause Heard in White House, Around World
-Herb Keinon

The overall importance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress was not in the substance, but rather in the overwhelmingly warm ovation he received.

Netanyahu could only dream of such a reception in Israel. Even his wife, Sarah, received a standing ovation when she entered the hall. The prime minister was applauded some 30 times, many of those accompanied by standing ovations. The nearly four-minute ovation he received when he entered the historic chamber was not only heard by Netanyahu, but also by President Obama, the Palestinians and the world at large. With all the talk of the country's sense of isolation, when Netanyahu spoke to the most important parliament in the world, it exuded nothing but warmth toward Israel.
(Jerusalem Post)

Bibi Rocks the House -Jennifer Rubin

The genuine expression of warmth and respect, but more important, agreement from Congress was undeniable. Netanyahu is a uniter - is there any issue on which the Congress is so totally united?
(Washington Post)

New Technological Innovation: E Menu

VideoBite: New Israeli innovation
[Hat Tip: LindaF]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AIPAC Report Day 2: Another Leading Dem Breaks Ranks with Obama

Eyewitness AIPAC Report -Bruce

In an only slightly less dramatic day at the jam packed AIPAC conference, another leading Democrat, soft spoken Harry Reid, broke ranks with President Obama and criticized his party's leader on his feud with Israel.  Senator Reid stated:

The parties that should lead those negotiations must be the parties at the center of this conflict – and no one else.  The place where negotiating will happen must be the negotiating table – and nowhere else. Those negotiations will not happen – and their terms will not be set – through speeches. 

Paltry but loud protesters
Click photo for larger version
The crowd at Monday night's Gala dinner again roared approval in another stirring standing ovation. 

Protesters were slightly more bold today [see photo at right], but their paltry numbers were in stark contrast to an AIPAC Gala Dinner that could not fit all of their 10,000 plus delegates in the same room!  A separate room was set up to accomodate the spill over.  An AIPAC representative told the crowd that [paraphrasing] "we have grown so large that no venue in Washington, DC can accomdate us." 

The highlight of the day was Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was warmly greeted by enthusiastic delegates and also interrupted several times by protestors who managed to get inside.  This year, however, the crowd around the protesters wisely stood to block the media's view and chanted "Bibi, Bibi..." to drown out the protesters.  Netanyahu himself noted "do you think they have these protests in Gaza?"

His polished speech was notable for it's noble, statesmanly character, and his emphasis that Israel is not the central problem in the MidEast.  No trace of the confrontations of the last few days.  He stated:

"Israel's not what’s wrong with the Middle East. Israel is what’s right about the Middle East." 

He plans to hammer home that point tomorrow in his speech to Congress.
[Bruce's MidEast Soundbites]

Monday, May 23, 2011

Reflections on Obama-Netanyahu Fued

The Blowup with Israel -Editorial

The president's decision to publicly endorse terms for a peace settlement seemingly calculated to appeal to Mr. Abbas, over the strong objections of Mr. Netanyahu, has had the effect of distracting attention from the new U.S. agenda for the region.

Mr. Obama's intention is to persuade Mr. Abbas to give up his UN bid and return to negotiations with Israel. To do so, he endorsed one of the conditions Palestinians have tried to set for talks: that they be based on Israel's 1967 border lines. But Mr. Netanyahu has not yet signed on, and so Mr. Obama's decision to confront him with a formal U.S. embrace of the idea, with only a few hours' warning, ensured a blowup.

Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures - including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank - that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations. He may also be giving short shrift to what Mr. Netanyahu called "some basic realities." The president appears to assume that Mr. Abbas is open to a peace deal despite growing evidence to the contrary.

This president likes to portray himself as a pragmatist in foreign policy. In this case, pragmatism would suggest that restoring trust with Israel, rather than courting a feckless Palestinian leader, would be the precondition to any diplomatic success.
(Washington Post)

Land Now, Peace Maybe Later -Jonathan Schachter

For decades, the Israeli and American approaches to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have rested on the key assumption that Palestinian self-determination and a peace agreement are two sides of the same coin. The international community now has focused its attention almost exclusively on advancing Palestinian self-determination, with the link to peace all but severed.

This is no trivial matter. Creation of a Palestinian state in the absence of a peace agreement stands to incentivize perpetual Palestinian aspirations to "liberate" the rest of Palestine, thereby guaranteeing that the conflict will go on for as long as the two states exist.
The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
(Jerusalem Post)


The President's Peace Proposal Is a Formula for War -Bret Stephens

On Thursday at the State Department, President Obama told Israelis that "the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace." On Friday in the Oval Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that the 1967 border proposed by Mr. Obama as a basis for negotiating the outlines of a Palestinian state was a nonstarter. It isn't often that this or any other U.S. president welcomes a foreign leader by sandbagging him with an adversarial policy speech a day before the visit.

On Sunday, Mr. Obama said "there was nothing particularly original in my proposal" regarding the 1967 line - "mutually agreed swaps" and all. Yet no U.S. president has explicitly endorsed the '67 lines as the basis for negotiating a final border, which is why the University of Michigan's Juan Cole, not exactly a shill for the Israel lobby, called it "a major turning point." In 2009 Hillary Clinton had described this formula as "the Palestinian goal." Now it's Mr. Obama's goal as well.
(Wall Street Journal)

Understanding Obama's Shift -Glenn Kessler

On Nov. 25, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned a state based on 1967 lines as a "Palestinian goal." Thus, Obama's statement Thursday represented a major shift. He did not articulate the 1967 boundaries as a "Palestinian goal" but as U.S. policy.
(Washington Post)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AIPAC Report: Crowd erupts twice when Obama is criticized

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer [D] criticizes Obama minutes before the President took the AIPAC podium

Eyewitness AIPAC Report -Bruce

In a dramatic day, two politicians elicited howls of support from over 10,000 AIPAC delegates, after they publicly criticized President Obama's stance on the pre-Six Day War borders. 

In a dramatic speech just moments before President Obama took the podium, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer [D] jabbed the President emphasizing "if peace and security are to exist, Israel's borders must be defensible and must reflect reality on the ground."  That a fellow Democrat would sting the President seemed to thrill the crowd, which erupted in a howls of agreement which lasted for several minutes.  It was the most dramatic moment of the day, which began with hours of exhausting pre-conference security dictated by President Obama's attendance. 

AIPAC President Lee Rosenberg's introduction of President Obama was unusual, but carefully scripted to help the President avoid a cold greeting.  Mr. Rosenberg gave a traditional introduction, the crowd politely rose for President Obama, but then Mr. Rosenberg awkwardly added "before the President addresses us, I'd like to add..."  He then gave a rather long list of thank-yous ["we thank you Mr. President..."], seemingly to remind the crowd of times when we were happier with him.  When Rosenberg finished, the President received a respectful welcoming, which included a milquetoast standing ovation.

President Obama's speech was well crafted and took us through areas of common ground [Iron Dome & Iran].  The two most poignant moments of his speech were when he insisted that Hamas recognize Israel's right to exist before any negotiations and his call for Hamas' release of Gilad Shalit.  All of this was, of course, absent from Thursday's "Arab Spring" Speech.  One had the distinct impression that the President was trying to clean up the electoral problems created by his picking yet another fight with Netanyahu.  To his credit, the President pointedly said that he knew that he "generated some controversy over the past few days."  But then he had the chutzpah to quote the offensive lines from his Arab Spring Speech, trying to claim that he was merely misunderstood.  That earned him the only audible booing of the speech. 

The most intelligent comments of the day came from Majority Whip Eric Cantor [R].  His speech included the following: 

"In order for us to win this great struggle, we must have the courage to see the world not as we wish it to be, but as it truly is. It is not morally equivalent when the offenses of terrorists are equated with the defenses of Israel.

The following story illustrates Israel's dilemma.
A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.

This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the '67 lines."

With that the crowd again erupted in the longest standing ovation of the day

Cantor added:

"To Mr. Abbas, I say:
Stop the incitement in your media and your schools. Stop naming public squares and athletic teams after suicide bombers. And come to the negotiating table when you have prepared your people to forego hatred and renounce terrorism - and Israel will embrace you."

While Minority Whip Hoyer earns the "most dramatic moment of the day" award, Majority Whip Cantor earns the "most intelligent comments of the day" award. 
[Bruce's MidEast Soundbites]

You may enjoy watching the AIPAC crowd erupt in these two videos:

1.  In the Hoyer clip, go to 0:50 thru 1:37 Note how angry Hoyer looks when he delivers the line that stirs the eruption. Also, note his wink at 1:35.

2.  In the Cantor clip, go to 2:08 thru 4:40 The eruption itself was like a lion roaring! There was so much joy at someone having spoken so clearly.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama to Appear at AIPAC Three Days After Jabbing Israel

Candidate Obama speaking to AIPAC in 2008...he is likely to face a more hostile audience this Sunday morning

Obama at AIPAC: Let the Fun Begin -Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

President Obama’s advisors wanted him to get out in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on Monday. So they preempted Bibi’s own peace proposal by having Obama call for Israel to return to its 1967 borders, give or take a few land swaps.

There was one problem with the timing. It overlooked the fact that President Obama is addressing the largest gathering of AIPAC ever this coming Sunday, with 10,000 pro-Israel activists in attendance. It’ll be fun to see what happens. Here is Obama who just became the first president to ever call on Israel to return to the 1967 lines going in front, just three days later, of the largest annual gathering of Jews and Israel supporters. What were the President’s advisors thinking?

The President will no doubt be respectfully welcomed and the organizers have already asked the crowd not to boo. But the President’s speech will have zero credibility and he may as well not bother.

Could he not have devoted just a single speech – without Israel as a distraction – to the momentous and welcome changes in the Arab world in which hundreds of millions of people are tasting freedom for the first time?

In throwing in such an inflammatory demand of the Middle East’s sole democracy and a state that is just a crumb compared to the vast Arab lands that surround it, the President knew full well that his pressure on Israel would dominate the speech and feed the lie that Israeli intransigence is the cause of the turmoil in the Middle East.

What a shame the President gave this foolish speech. He was just beginning to win over many of his detractors by finally showing he had a backbone by killing Osama bin Laden in a daring raid.  It was a new Obama, standing up to tyranny, sounding the clarion call for freedom, warning tyrants they would face retribution. Now we’re back to the same old Obama, weak on dictators and tough on Israel.
[The Jewish Week]

Obama's speech, AIPAC's problem -James Besser

President Barack Obama's “Cairo II” speech yesterday may have complicated life for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose annual policy conference he will keynote on Sunday.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called on AIPAC to rescind its invitation to Obama – like that's going to happen...

Even before the speech, there was great concern at AIPAC headquarters that Obama would provoke some less-than-friendly responses. You can bet that concern has been redoubled since yesterday.
[The Jewish Week]

Note: I will be attending the AIPAC Conference and will report on it on this blog.  Bruce

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Betrayal of Israel: Obama Endorses Key Palestinian Demand

Quick video analysis of Obama's MidEast Speech
[Fox News]
Text of Obama's speech
Video [50 minutes] of Obama's speech

Obama Tells Israel: Go Back to 1967 Lines -Ben Feller

President Barack Obama endorsed a key Palestinian demand for the borders of its future state. Obama's urging that a Palestinian state be based on the 1967 lines was a significant shift in the U.S. approach.

The news in Obama's speech -Charles Krauthammer

[N]o president had ever before publicly and explicitly endorsed the [pre-Six Day War] 1967 lines.
[Jewish World Review]

Obama's abandonment -Caroline Glick

I hope the US Navy's 5th Fleet has found alternate digs because Obama just opened the door for Iran to take over Bahrain. He also invited al Qaeda - which he falsely claimed is a spent force - to take over Yemen.

As for Iran, in his speech, Obama effectively abandoned the pursuit of the US's core interest of preventing nuclear proliferation. [A]bout Iran's openly genocidal nuclear program he said, "Our opposition to Iran's intolerance - as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror - is well known." [B]y putting the gravest threat the US presently faces from the Middle East in the passive voice, he made clear that actually, the US isn't going to do anything about it.

Obama sided with Hamas against Israel by acting as though its partnership with Fatah is just a little problem that has to be sorted out to reassure the paranoid Jews. Or as he put it, "the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel."

[B]y failing to mention that US law bars the US government from funding an entity which includes Hamas, he made clear that the US will continue to bankroll the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority.

He said Israel has to concede its right to defensible borders as a precondition for negotiations; he didn't say he opposes the Palestinian demand for open immigration of millions of foreign Arabs into Israel; he said he was leaving Jerusalem out but actually brought it in by calling for an Israeli retreat to the 1949 lines...

Conceptually and substantively, Obama abandoned the US alliance with Israel. The rest of his words - security arrangements, demilitarized Palestinian state and the rest of it - were nothing more than filler to please liberal Jews in America so they can feel comfortable signing checks for him again.

Obama's Mideast Peace Gaffe  -Jackson Diehl

By saying that a division of territory between Israel and Palestine should be "based on" the "1967 lines," Obama gave a boost to Palestinian President Abbas, who has tried to make Israeli acceptance of this a condition for peace talks, and a slap to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has resisted it. That Obama would do this on the eve of Netanyahu's arrival in Washington for a White House meeting - and apparently without warning the Israeli leader - is a gaffe that has understandably angered Netanyahu and many of his U.S. supporters.

This looks like another instance in which Obama's insistence on pushing his own approach to the peace process will backfire. Apparently at the last minute, Obama chose to include the 1967-lines idea in his speech. The result has been the draining of attention from the speech's central discussion of Arab democracy - and yet another pointless quarrel with Netanyahu.
(Washington Post)

A Substantial Shift toward the Palestinian Position -Robert Satloff

The most surprising aspect of the president's statement was that it moved substantially toward the Palestinian position just days after the Palestinian Authority decided to seek unity and reconciliation with Hamas, a group the U.S. views as a terrorist organization.

[T]he likely next step is for Palestinians to take up the president's call, ask for renewal of negotiations on precisely the terms the president outlined -- borders that are "based on the 1967 lines with mutual swaps," with no reference to refugees or other issues on which the Palestinians would make major compromises -- and wait for Israel to say no.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

A Fine Obama Speech with a Fatal Flaw -John Podhoretz

At the end of a very long and powerful speech on the meaning of the Arab Spring, Obama said he supported the concept of a final peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on the composition of Israel's borders before the Six-Day War in 1967. Obama deserves to be criticized, and harshly, for advancing this policy, now especially. There's no reason for the U.S. to be offering its own predetermined view of the final disposition of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, especially now that the terrorist group Hamas is taking a leading role in the Palestinian government.
(New York Post)

Obama's Speech Falls Short -Jennifer Rubin

Obama still clings to the formulation that Israel's Netanyahu must make a "bold move." Why? Has Israel not offered again and again a Palestinian state?
(Washington Post)

"The Great Massacre"

Hamas: Jews Were Brought to Palestine for the "Great Massacre"

Hamas MP and cleric Yunis Al-Astal [pictured] told Al-Aqsa TV on May 11, 2011:

"The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians - and the Islamic nation behind them - will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang."

"In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

VideoBite: Jerusalem, have I forgotten your history?

A new HonestReporting.com release

VideoBite: Abbas' PA in Bed with Hamas

A new video from "The Israel Project"

If anyone doubted whether there was real substance to the Hamas-Fatah “unity government,” Mahmoud Abbas' New York Times op-ed provides the proverbial teachable moment. After statehood, he dismisses even the pretense of working toward peace. Instead, he openly promises that Palestine would assault Israel relentlessly in international legal, political, and diplomatic fora. This is where Fatah and Hamas now join together in substance as well as appearance.

Until today, Fatah had convinced the world that it had submitted to the linkage of peace with statehood: a Palestinian state would only arise through negotiations with Israel that, at their completion, would require the Palestinians to cease their claims against the Jewish state and declare the conflict over. Hamas, on the other hand, has been perfectly happy to give its blessing to the creation of a Palestinian state - just so long as the continuation of terrorism and the quest for the ultimate destruction of Israel, diplomatically and otherwise, is preserved.

Today, Abbas has brought Fatah and Hamas together in this goal. It is an important moment. Both factions now agree on a strategy of statehood without peace.

Was Mahmoud Abbas' Family Expelled from Palestine?  -Jeffrey Goldberg

In an op-ed, Mahmoud Abbas writes about himself:

"Sixty-three years ago, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was forced to leave his home in the Galilean city of Safed and flee with his family to Syria."

This statement creates the impression that a certain group of people can't seem to help but oppress little boys from the Galilee. A second, clearer impression is that it was the Zionist army that "forced" Abbas' family to leave Safed. This does not seem to be true. On other occasions, Abbas has stated that his family left Safed out of a general fear that Jews would seek "retribution" against the Arabs of Safed for an earlier slaughter of Jews by Arabs.

Here is his 2007 recounting of his family's self-exile from Safed:

"People were motivated to run away....They realized the balance of forces was shifting and therefore the whole town was abandoned on the basis of this rationale - saving our lives and our belongings."
(Atlantic Monthly)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Fall of George Mitchell

George Mitchell [background] quit after Obama sided with Dennis Ross.
Hillary Clinton remains.

Why George Mitchell Failed -Tawfik Hamid

Approaching the Arab-Israeli conflict from the perspective that it is about land, so that giving more land to the Palestinians will solve the problem, is a failed endeavor. Israel has already given Egypt the whole of the Sinai, and got nothing in return except a cold peace and rising anti-Semitism in the country. Similarly the disengagement from Gaza did not magically lead to a decline in the wave of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.

Until U.S. envoys to the Middle East realize that the problem in the eyes of the Palestinians is not the borders of Israel but the very existence of the country, all future missions will similarly fail.
(Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Leader's Trip Loses Steam -Edmund Sanders & Paul Richter

The administration was deeply split on whether to offer an "Obama plan," with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, departing Middle East special envoy George Mitchell and some aides in the National Security Council arguing for it. The skeptics included White House Middle East advisor Dennis Ross
(Los Angeles Times)

Iranian Missles Being Placed in Venezuela!

Map showing the relatively short distance between Venezuela [brown] and the tip of the United States [green]

Report: Iran Building Rocket Bases in Venezuela -Benjamin Weinthal

The Iranian government is moving forward with the construction of rocket launch bases in Venezuela, the German daily Die Welt wrote.

Iran is building intermediate-range missile launch pads on the Paraguana Peninsula, and engineers from the Khatam al-Anbia construction firm owned by the Revolutionary Guards visited Paraguana in February. Amir al-Hadschisadeh, the head of the Guard's Air Force, participated in the visit.

Twenty-meter deep rocket silos are planned. The Iranians paid in cash for the preliminary phase of the project.
(Jerusalem Post)

News Spoof: Bob Dylan's Aborted Plan to Kill Osama

Bob Dylan's Secret Plan to Kill Osama -Mark Miller

The U.S. government has just declassified thousands of documents relating to [the Osama Bin Laden hit]. Several of those documents detail suggested Bin Laden attack plans [including this one from] Bob Dylan. 

Dear Mr. Obama,
How does it feel to be on your own, chasing Bin Laden alone, like a Presidential stone? Speaking of which, every Al Qaeda founder must get stoned. How many caves must a soldier walk down before he can kill him a Bin Laden? The answer is blowin’ in Abbottobad. Who should actually pull the trigger? It ain’t me, babe. He fakes just like a terrorist. And he breaks just like a terrorist. And he makes bombs just like a terrorist. Yes, he does. But he breaks just like a little falafel. Come mullahs and fatwas throughout Iran – don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Your Anoush and Zari are beyond your command. The old Ayatollah’s rapidly fading. Mr. President, I wish there was something you could do or say to try to get Bin Laden to show his face today. He’s done way too much talking anyway. So as far as killing him – don’t think twice; it’s alright.”
[Aish HaTorah]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coordinated Israel Border Breeches on "Nakba" Day suggest Iranian hand

Syrians stream over the border fence challenging Israel's sovereignty

Syrian Border Violence -Anthony Shadid

For 37 years the border between Israel and Syria, still technically at war, has proven as quiet as any of the Arab-Israeli frontiers silenced by peace agreements. [T]he Syrian government, which controls access to the border, allowed crowds to venture to a place it had all but declared off limits until now.  [F]or the first time in his 11-year reign, Mr. Assad demonstrated to Israel, the region and world that in an uprising that has posed the greatest threat to his family’s four decades of rule, he could provoke war to stay in power.
[New York Times]

[T]he IDF dealt with four simultaneous fronts - Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank.  While all expectations were for violence in the West Bank, it turned out to be the quietest of the four.
(Jerusalem Post)

Arab Protesters Descend on Israeli Borders

Thousands of Arab protesters marched on Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday in an unprecedented wave of demonstrations, in an annual Palestinian mourning ritual marking the anniversary of Israel's birth.

At the Syrian frontier, thousands of people approached the border, throwing rocks and bottles at Israeli forces. When hundreds of people burst across the border fence into the Israeli-controlled town of Majdal Shams, surprised soldiers opened fire. Syrian forces did not intervene.

At the Lebanese border near Maroun al-Ras, Israeli troops clashed with a large crowd of Lebanese demonstrators who approached the border. In Gaza, demonstrators were wounded as they tried to approach a heavily fortified border crossing into Israel.

Inside Israel, an Arab truck driver in Tel Aviv plowed through a crowded street, killing one Israeli and injuring 16 others.
(AP-Fox News)

Israel Sees "Fingerprints of Iran" on Border Riots

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said, "I see fingerprints of Iranian provocation and an attempt to use Nakba day to create conflict."
(Israel Defense Forces)



Sunday, May 15, 2011

3 Wives Not Enough: bin Laden's Porn Stash

Pornography Is Found in Bin Laden Compound Files -Scott Shane

The enormous cache of computer files taken from Osama bin Laden’s compound contained a considerable quantity of pornographic videos, American officials said, adding a discordant note to the public image of the Islamist militant who long denounced the West for its lax sexual mores.

[T]he disclosure could fuel accusations of hypocrisy against the founder of Al Qaeda, who was 54 and lived with three wives at the time of his death, and will be welcomed by counterterrorism officials because it could tarnish his legacy and erode the appeal of his brand of religious extremism.

In a 2002 “letter to the American people,” Bin Laden denounced American culture for its exploitation of women’s bodies in dress, advertising and popular culture.

[T]he Obama administration also released unflattering video footage [Photoshop altered image above] of a gray-bearded Bin Laden, wearing a cloak and a ski cap and clutching a remote control while watching his own statements on television. The suggestion that he must have dyed his beard for video recordings and was intensely concerned with his image could erode his reputation in the Muslim world as a charismatic and selfless leader.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, confirmed that American interrogators had questioned Bin Laden’s three wives for the first time on Thursday, 10 days after they were taken from the compound by Pakistani security forces. He declined to give more details, saying, “I can’t characterize the interaction.”
[New York Times]

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pro-Israel Poster Series Launched

Stand With Us has produced a series of excellent posters that celebrate Zionism.  Above are four of the fourteen posters. 

American Jewish Support for Israel is Strong

Click HERE for information on the June 5th New York City Salute to Israel Parade

Do Jews Still Support Israel?  -Ted Lapkin

Assertions of a weakening in Jewish affection for Israel are grossly overstated. In fact, they're patently false.

The American Jewish Committee's (AJC) "2010 Annual Survey of Jewish Opinion" found that 74% of American Jews felt "fairly close" or "very close" to Israel. A whopping 94% thought that any formal peace treaty with the Palestinians must include formal recognition of Israel's Jewish character.

A 2010 Brandeis University survey entitled "Still Connected: American Jewish Attitudes Towards Israel" found that 75% felt affection for Israel is an important part of their Jewish identity. Even more surprising was the finding that younger American Jews were more hawkish in their support for Israel than their older ethnic kin. Fully 58% of the 18-to-29 age bracket opposed Israeli territorial concessions in Jerusalem, compared to only 43% of 45-to-59-year-olds. 
(Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Deadly Deal

Deal Exposes the West's Fantasy of Palestinian Moderation
-Lee Smith

The Hamas-Fatah deal jeopardizes the entire peace process. All the money and prestige the U.S. and EU have poured into the Palestinian issue has come to this: The carefully tended moderate camp has merged with the extremists.

The Palestinian hatred of Israel has been obvious for decades to anyone who reads the statements of Palestinian leaders or the textbooks they distribute to their children. The debate between Palestinian moderates and radicals is a debate over the means, and the timetable, for reaching a common goal. 

American and other Western policymakers have been peddling a fantasy of Palestinian moderation and peaceful coexistence for more than 30 years

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

VideoBite: Happy Birthday Israel!

I enjoyed the well conceived video above and hope you will too...it is offered here in celebration of Israel Independence Day, which is celebrated the day after Israel's Memorial Day.  Israel is 63 years young and thriving

Monday, May 09, 2011

Israel Memorial Day

Israel Stands Still to Commemorate Fallen Soldiers

Israel stood still on Monday morning as a siren sounded to commemorate fallen soldiers on Israel's Memorial Day. The country grinds to a halt at the sound of the siren, with cars stopping on the highway so that people may stand and pay their respects to the country's fallen soldiers.

Remembrance Day: Israel Remembers Its Fallen Soldiers

Remembrance Day is a day of collective and personal anguish mingled with awe and honor for the fallen. A total of 22,867 men and women have been killed defending the Land of Israel since 1860. Since the end of the War of Independence, 2,443 people have been killed in Israel in terror attacks - 13 in the past year.
(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bin Laden Hit: "a planning & operational masterpiece"

Young Americans celebrate the killing of Osama bin Ladin in front of the White House

More young Americans celebrate in front of the White House

Celebrations in New York City

Getting Bin Laden -Elliot Chodoff

The full-length feature film that will certainly be produced will dedicate 98% to the action and [only 2%] to the preparation, planning, and training involved in making for the successful mission. The true proportions are reversed in reality.  [G]etting Bin Laden was a planning and operational masterpiece.

Elliot Chodoff
Also importantly, the US population also showed its allies, its adversaries, and the media that it has a long, clear memory. For those who thought that the “flavor of the day” generation, with its penchant for superficial and vapid news stories, would lose interest in the arch-terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks, the popular reception to the news indicated that amnesia has not set in [see photos above]. Bin Laden was as hated a decade after the attacks as in the immediate aftermath.
[Mideast: On Target]

Monday, May 02, 2011

Symbol of Global Jihad Goes Down

CIA Operation Kills Osama bin Laden in Pakistan

A CIA-led operation has killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and recovered his body after a decade-long hunt for the militant leader who commanded the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. government officials said.
(Los Angeles Times)

Bin Laden Dead, U.S. Official Says -Helene Cooper

President Obama announced Sunday that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight during an operation inside Pakistan. A small team of U.S. operatives launched a "targeted assault" on a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
(New York Times)

How the U.S. Tracked Down Bin Laden -Mimi Hall & Richard Wolf

Two years ago, senior U.S. intelligence officials figured out where the man they thought might be hiding Osama bin Laden was living. It was a $1 million complex, in an affluent neighborhood of mostly military retirees 35 miles north of Islamabad in Pakistan, found by tracking one of bin Laden's trusted couriers. On Friday, President Obama made the decision to send a small U.S. team in helicopters into the compound to go after bin Laden, the culmination of months of top-secret security meetings as operatives closed in on bin Laden overseas.

In August 2010 agents discovered the sprawling compound where bin Laden was hiding, eight times larger than any in the area, built at the end of a dirt road. It has 18-foot walls, two security gates, and no exterior windows.
(USA Today)

The Raid on Osama Bin Laden's Compound

In the firefight, in addition to bin Laden, three adult males were killed, including bin Laden's adult son and two couriers. One woman was killed...U.S. officials say, and two women were injured in the raid.

It will be hard for Pakistan to explain how bin Laden could have been living in a huge compound located in a densely populated suburb filled with retired military unnoticed.
(CBS News)

NOTE: The day before bin Laden was killed was the 66th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's suicide [April 30, 1945].  Bin Laden was killed on Holocaust Rememberance Day, an official holiday commemorated in Israel and by Jews worldwide.