Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Obama losing Jewish Support?

Obama may be losing the faith of Jewish Democrats -Ben Smith

Obama’s speech last month seems to have crystallized the doubts many pro-Israel Democrats had about Obama in 2008 in a way that could, on the margins, cost the president votes and money in 2012 and will not be easy to repair.

Most of those interviewed were center-left American Jews and Obama supporters — and many of them Democratic donors.

Some of these traditional Democrats now say, to their own astonishment, that they’ll consider voting for a Republican in 2012. And many of those who continue to support Obama said they find themselves constantly on the defensive in conversations with friends.

[T]op Democrats say the storm will pass. 

Bankrolling Palestinian Intransigence

Are U.S. Taxpayers Funding Palestinians' Dangerous Unilateralism?
-Jonathan Schanzer

In the coming weeks, "Palestinian delegations will make the rounds of nearly a dozen countries to try to drum up more support for their bid to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state," AP reports.

Later this summer, Palestinian ambassadors will all fly to Madrid to discuss their European strategy. Here's a question for Congress: where is the travel money coming from? Diplomatic junkets don't grow on trees. The U.S. forks over an estimated $600 million to the Palestinians each year. It is reasonable to assume that Congress has been paying for the Palestinians' diplomatic end run around Washington.
(The Hill)

Palestinian Celebrations and the Coming UN Vote

A poignant video from Aish HaTorah

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cutting Edge Israeli App for Android & iPhone

New Israeli Android app

A new app by an Israeli software developer named Nir Yaniv does...nothing. It costs 99 cents. You can read an interview with the developer in Hebrew on YNet, where he reveals plans for an iPhone version of Nothing.

[W]e can expand on this concept. For example, a deluxe edition of Nothing that shows:

*Every Palestinian Arab concession since 1988
*Every example of Mahmoud Abbas' "moderation"
*Every Palestinian Arab "human rights group" that calls for an unconditional release of Gilad Shalit

*Every benefit that a Palestinian Arab state would bring to the world
*Every mention of Jerusalem in the Koran

*How important Jerusalem was considered to the Arab world between 1949 and 1967
*How much the PA has reduced incitement on TV since Oslo
[Elder of Ziyon]

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tom Friedman skewered by Israeli News Spoof

New York Times pundit Tom Friedman is skewered in the video above. 
The Friedman clip runs from 1:39 thru 7:11...enjoy, Bruce

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scathing cartoon on Obama's Afghanistan policy

Cartoon critique of President Obama's Afghanistan policy

Shakira in Israel: VideoBite

Obama's Lasting MidEast Legacy

Obama circa 2009 in Cairo, surrounded by flowers

Washington's Weakened Middle East Influence -Lee Smith

Perhaps our eagerness to see the upheavals as one wider movement is less a representation of reality than a reflection of how the Middle East is [wrongly] understood by large segments of the American intelligentsia—a habit of mind that of late was most powerfully expressed by President Barack Obama [in his] 2009 Cairo speech.  

Obama describ[ed] the region in terms of Muslims, a Muslim world that is by definition borderless, transnational, and not specific to the particular circumstances of history, geography, and politics that give nation-states their character. Obama's Muslim world is amorphous, more like a sentiment than a physical fact, something perhaps similar in nature to the "Arab Spring." The onetime, popular notion that all these opposition groups are united in their calls for democracy is starting to fade in light of the evidence.

[But] the various and often conflicting narratives surrounding events seem to suggest that the "Arab Spring" is a misnomer. The belief that there is some deeper trend underlying the recent wave of political upheaval in the region, something uniquely Arab tying them all together, is [similar to] the discredited pan-Arab notion that the three hundred million inhabitants of the Arabic-speaking Middle East constitute a unified Arab nation.

In effect, the "Arab Spring" is a series of civil wars, sectarian and tribal conflicts.

The U.S. position in the region, an area of vital interest since the end of World War II, has been weakened. The erosion has taken place gradually over time and is a factor of many forces not attributable to any single episode or administration, but one can nonetheless identify a defining moment—Obama's Cairo speech.

The main flaw with Obama's Cairo speech is not simply that it contravenes the norms of political and diplomatic practice or that the belief in the existence of a unified Muslim world ignores the reality of 1,400 years of Muslim sectarianism; nor is it that the leader of a secular republic should avoid categorizing the world's inhabitants by their religious beliefs. No, the biggest problem is that Obama played into the strategic communications campaign of Washington's chief regional adversary, the Islamic Republic of Iran. For it is Tehran that insists that for all their divisions, there truly is one factor uniting all the world's Muslims: resistance to the United States and its regional allies.

[B]y describing the region as an amorphous body of believers, Obama strayed into a minefield without a map—or no map other than the one that confirmed the Iranian view of the Middle East.

So far, all Washington has reaped from the uprisings in the Middle East, the "Arab Spring," is the whirlwind.
[Middle East Quarterly]

Palestinian hate app for iPad

The logo

Israel Asks Apple to Remove "3rd Intifada" Application -Herb Keinon

Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs requesting the removal of an application called the "3rd Intifada" that gives information about protest activities, some of them violent, planned against Israel.

The same organization, Edelstein wrote, opened a Facebook page three months ago "calling for an uprising against the State of Israel by use of lethal force, while using hateful material based on wild and groundless accusations."

Facebook removed the page after it became convinced of the page's "harmful nature" and its potential of leading to the loss of life.
(Jerusalem Post)


Apple Removes Intifada App -Nick Bilton

Apple removed "The Third Intifada" application from its App Store after a Jewish human rights group and a top Israeli official said it contained anti-Semitic content and promoted violence against Israel.

"We removed this app from the App Store because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," an Apple spokesman said.
(New York Times)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Brilliant VideoBite: Flotilla Thugs Not Peaceniks

This creative video uses the classic hit "Get Together" by The Youngbloods to take a shot at the bizarre view that the Turkish Flotilla passengers were "peace activists"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

VideoBite: Understanding the legal status of the "occupied" West Bank

A cogent video [above] explains the legal status of the "occupied" West Bank.
Note: If the video does not automatically play with the English translation, turn on the closed caption feature by clicking the red CC

The above video was produced by the Yesha Council.  A new version of the video was released by the Israeli Government featuring a similar script read by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Teach your children well

An excellent offering from Elder of Ziyon

Where did Arab "Palestinians" come from?

George Gilder, author of The Israel Test

The Economics of Settlement -George Gilder [pictured]

•In the mid-19th century, before the arrival of the first groups of Jewish settlers, Arabs living in what became the mandate territory of Palestine numbered between 200,000 and 300,000. Their population density and longevity resembled today's conditions in parched and depopulated Saharan Chad. The fact that some 5.5 million Arabs now live in the former British Mandate, with a life expectancy of more than 70 years, is mainly attributable, for better or worse, to the work of those Jewish settlers.
•In draining swamps, leaching saline soils, redeeming dunes into orchards and poultry farms, in planting millions of trees on rocky hills, in constructing elaborate water works and terraces on the hills, in digging 548 wells and supporting canals in little more than a decade and irrigating thousands of acres of land, establishing industries, hospitals, clinics, and schools, the 500,000 Jewish settlers who arrived before the creation of Israel massively expanded the very absorptive dimensions and capacity of the country. It was these advances that made possible the fivefold 20th-century surge of the Arab population by 1940.

•The new opportunities in Palestine attracted hundreds of thousands of Arab immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and the desert. By 1948, the Arab population in the Mandate area had grown to some 1.35 million, an increase of 60% since the 1930s. With wages for Arab workers double or more the wages in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, in 1936, a British Royal Commission could report: "The whole range of public services has steadily developed to the benefit of the [Arab] fellaheen...the revenue for those services having been largely provided by the Jews."

•The spurious ideology of Palestinian victimization by Israel blinds nearly all observers to the actual facts of economic life in the region. Following 1948, the Palestinians continued to benefit heavily from Israeli enterprise and prospered mightily compared to Arabs in other countries in the region. During the era of Israeli "occupation" from 1967 to 1993, the number of Arabs in the territories tripled to some 3 million, with the creation of some 261 new towns, a tripling of Arab per capita incomes, and a rise in life expectancy from 52 to 73 years.

•Far from effecting any displacement of Arabs, the Jewish settlements enabled a huge increase in both the number and wealth of the Palestinian Arabs.
The writer is a founding fellow of the Discovery Institute and author of 15 books, most recently The Israel Test.
(American Spectator)

Truth, Not Narrative -Shlomo Avineri

Claims have been made that there are two "narratives," an Israeli one and a Palestinian one, and we should pay attention to both of them. But above and beyond these claims is the simple fact - and it is a fact, not a "narrative" - that in 1947, the Zionist movement accepted the United Nations partition plan, whereas the Arab side rejected it and went to war against it.

But just as nobody, even in German schools, would dream of teaching the German "narrative" regarding World War II, the 1948 war should also not be taught as a battle between narratives. In the final analysis, there is a historical truth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Witty Iran Joke

A witty offering, no?

Yemen Changes Hands

Saleh was injured and then fled Yemen

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh landed in Saudi Arabia with two wives, an entourage of 59 people, including three cabinet ministers - and a 3 inch piece of shrapnel in his chest.

Saleh, 69, is the third autocrat to be swept out of office by the tide of Arab unrest in the region, and the second to find refuge in Saudi Arabia.
(Der Spiegel-Germany)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yale cows to Arab Lobby

The Hebrew words "Urim" and "Thummim" appear on the Yale seal

Saving the Yale Anti-Semitism Institute -Walter Reich

Yale just killed the country's best institute for the study of anti-Semitism - the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism. Why? The answer is simple.
The institute held a three-day conference last August on "Global Anti-Semitism: A Crisis of Modernity," where more than a hundred scholars delivered papers. Some spoke, inevitably, about the fastest-growing and most virulent manifestation of contemporary anti-Semitism - the anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim world.

The conference provoked a firestorm. A Syrian American law student published a broadside in the Yale Daily News attacking the institute and the conference as fueling "anti-Arab bigotry and Islamophobia." The PLO representative to the U.S. wrote to Yale's president accusing the conference of demonizing Arabs.

Yale administrators and faculty quickly turned on the institute, accusing it of being too critical of Arab and Iranian anti-Semitism. A requisite five-year review of the institute was held five months after the conference. Its director was told that the institute would be shut down and its staff fired.

[S]hould Yale maintain its decision on closure, the institute should quickly be grabbed as a scholarly and policy gem by another university. A great university in Washington — George Washington, Georgetown, American, Maryland, Catholic — or other research institution, such as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, would be an outstanding venue where scholars and policy-oriented audiences could hear the products of its vital contemporary focus.
The writer, professor of international affairs, ethics and human behavior at George Washington University, is a former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
(Washington Post)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Is Obama continuing to bully Israel?

Obama bullies Israel; so much for promises at AIPAC -Jennifer Rubin

Eli Lake published a story for the Washington Times. Lake reported:

The White House is pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly adopt President Obama’s view that Israel’s pre-1967 border should be the basis for future peace talks. The request of Mr. Netanyahu was made Monday to the prime minister’s top peace negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, at a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National Security Council, according to an Israeli diplomat based in Jerusalem.

Is the U.S. president pressuring Israel to adopt a position that is not its own and diminishes its bargaining position? And what happened to the statements in President Obama’s speech to AIPAC that Israel could not be expected to sit down with those who want to destroy it? After all Hamas has not yet agreed to the Quartet principles, nor has Mahmoud Abbas separated himself from the unity government.
I contacted the White House [and] asked multiple times:
“1.Can you confirm that the president’s position is that Israel should come to the table even without a commitment by Hamas to the Quartet principles and without Abbas breaking with Hamas? 2.If he is asking for 1967 borders from Israel, has anything been asked of Abbas before coming to the table?”

Thomas Vietor, the NSC spokesman, refused to give a direct answer, referring me back to Obama’s speech.  But that didn’t answer the question[s].

Is the administration now asking Israel to sit down with Abbas absent a commitment by Hamas or a break-up of the unity government? [T]he administration won’t say.

This is a very, very big deal. Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams explained to me: “I hope news reports of what the Obama White House is privately demanding of Israel are wrong. If the reports are right, the U.S. is now abandoning the Quartet Principles — and asking Israel to negotiate with a Palestinian side that includes Hamas without Hamas taking one single step away from terror."

To be clear, Israel is being pressured to give up prior understandings that the Western Wall and the Jerusalem suburbs, for example, would never be part of a Palestinian state.

Congressional friends of Israel are likely to be enraged.
[The Washington Post]

Israel, White House Send Signals on New Peace Talks Plan -Laura Rozen

Israeli leaders seem to be sending a signal to Washington that they will not be pushed by the Palestinians' UN bid to accept Obama's proposed terms for renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations - '67 lines with mutually agreed swaps.
(Yahoo News)


Obama’s Ludicrous Proposal to Israel Unpacked -Barry Rubin

Could President Barack Obama’s strategy possibly be more obvious to Israel?

Here’s a summary: Due to the Obama Administration’s ineptness, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to ask the UN to give it unilateral independence in September. But rather than use its leverage against the PA–including pointing out that what it’s doing is contrary to every U.S.-guaranteed agreement that the PA signed with Israel during the last 18 years–the Obama Administration wants to use its leverage on Israel to force it to save Obama.

You see, Obama will find it hard to escape vetoing the PA’s bid in the Security Council before it ever gets to the General Assembly. This will not make Obama or the United States more popular with Muslims or Arabs. So Obama wants Israel to pay the price in exchange for…nothing.

To avoid the PA declaring unilateral independence without making any concessions, Obama wants Israel to accept what amounts to the PA getting independence without making any concessions! But it won’t be unilateral, right?
[Rubin Reports]

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Turkey kisses democracy goodbye

Erdo─čan, AKP's head & the most polished Islamist on the planet

Turkey's Last Free Election Daniel Pipes

As someone who has been sounding the alarm ever since the AKP won its first election in 2002, I now warn: Elections taking place today are likely to be the last fair and free ones in Turkey.

With Turkey's leading Islamist party controlling all three branches of the government and the military sidelined, little will stop it from changing the rules to keep power into the indefinite future. And should the AKP manage to gain a 2/3s parliamentary majority, either on its own or in alliance with others, it will change the constitution, speeding up this process. 
[Daniel Pipes Blog]

Turkey's Election: An Islamist Revolution -Barry Rubin

The elections in Turkey mark a revolution. When Iran’s revolution happened and the Islamists took over in 1979, everyone knew it. In contrast, Turkey’s revolution has been a stealth Islamist operation. It has succeeded brilliantly, while Western governments have failed shockingly to understand what has been going on.

[T]he AKP is [now] entrenched in power and can now proceed with the fundamental transformation of Turkey.

The AKP has become famous for the subtlety of its Islamism, disguised as a "center-right" reform party. Some people in the Arab world are starting to talk about this as a model. Notably the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is fascinated by the strategy. Yet as the Islamist party gains more and more power and support--Turkey has demonstrated this--it becomes more ambitious, daring, and extreme.

[M]any will not want to face these unpleasant realities. There will be no shortage of soothing analyses and encouraging talk about Turkish democracy succeeding, moderate Muslim politics, and how “great” it is that the army’s political power is destroyed.

Don’t be fooled.
[Jerusalem Post]


Erdogan: Ottoman Echoes Growing Louder -J.E. Dyer

Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a comfortable majority in Turkey's parliamentary election on 12 June...

In his victory speech, Erdogan alluded to Turkey's aspiration to be a voice in the West for Muslims: "Sarajevo won today as much as Istanbul, Beirut won as much as Izmir, Damascus won as much as Ankara, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, the West Bank, Jerusalem won as much as Diyarbakir."

It is imperialist at worst, absurdly arrogant at best, to speak of your electoral victories as conferring benefits on foreign humanity - especially on those once occupied by your nation in its days of empire.

Erdogan knows perfectly well that naming cities in the West Bank and concluding with "Jerusalem" (which he called Al-Quds) implies a direct Turkish interest in the disposition of these cities that evokes the era when they, too, were under Ottoman rule.
(Hot Air)

Unchaining the Internet

U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors -James Glanz & John Markoff

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “Internet in a suitcase.”

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet.

The American effort, revealed in dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication. Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe.

The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

In one of the most ambitious efforts, United States officials say, the State Department and Pentagon have spent at least $50 million to create an independent cellphone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country. It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, seemingly at will.
[New York Times]

Success: Somalis kill Top Al Aaeda Leader

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and another terrorist were killed by Somali soldiers

During better days

Somalis Kill Mastermind of 2 U.S. Embassy Bombings -Jeffrey Gettleman

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa and the mastermind of the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, was killed in a late-night shootout at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, Somali and American officials said.

The killing, after Mr. Mohammed accidentally encountered a Somali checkpoint, was a major loss for the terrorist network, still reeling from the assassination of its founder, Osama bin Laden, in Pakistan last month.

“Fazul’s death is a significant blow to Al Qaeda, its extremist allies and its operations in East Africa,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. “It is a just end for a terrorist who brought so much death and pain to so many innocents in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and elsewhere — Tanzanians, Kenyans, Somalis and our own embassy personnel.”

Mr. Mohammed, who was one of the most wanted men in Africa and had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States government, and another militant mistakenly drove up to a checkpoint run by Somali government soldiers late on Tuesday night.

The Somali soldiers fired on their truck, a black Toyota four-by-four, and the men fired back, Somali officials said. Seconds later, Mr. Mohammed and the other militant were dead.
[New York Times]

Friday, June 10, 2011

Senators Follow Through: Rebuke Obama on tension with Israel

Oren Hatch announces the rebuke of Obama.  Senators Lieberman & Hatch began organizing this resolution right after Obama's Arab Spring & AIPAC speeches.

Senators Reaffirm Defensible Borders

U.S. senators proposed a resolution Thursday opposing any Israeli withdrawal to 1967 lines. "It is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967," read the text introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.-I).

The resolution enjoys the support of some 30 other senators...

"Boundaries that existed on June 4, 1967, placed Israel in a precarious military situation that threatened regional stability," Hatch said in a statement.

What Accounts for Israel's Popularity in Congress?  -Jeffrey Goldberg

How can you explain the reception Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu received in Congress? The most powerful lobbies, over time, are those that lobby for causes that are already popular among the American people. Walter Russell Mead explains: "What Netanyahu demonstrated in Congress was not that he has the backing of the Israel Lobby. It was something much more important...he has the backing of the American people."
(Atlantic Monthly)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Poignant: Summary of Obama's MidEast Policy

Obama receiving Nobel Peace Prize

200 Words: How Obama Destroyed Any "Peace Process" And Sabotaged Himself in the Middle East
-Barry Rubin

1. Obama demands freeze on all Israeli construction in existing settlements, undoing 16 years of U.S. and Palestinian Authority (PA) acceptance of that policy. PA makes that its basic demand and won't talk.
No sanctions by Obama against PA. No talks.

2. Israel calls bluff and freezes; PA won't talk. Obama demands freeze extended to Jerusalem. Israel complies. PA still won't talk. Freeze expires and PA won't talk unless new freeze.
No sanctions by Obama against PA. No talks.

3. Obama calls for 1967 borders with swaps. His plan: Israel turns over the entire West Bank, then they talk about the swaps! PA makes that their basic demand and won't talk. (You can fill in the next two sentences).

4. PA makes merger deal with Hamas, antisemitic, anti-American, terrorist group that advocates genocide; expels Christians from the Gaza Strip; teaches children to be suicide bombers; rejects the peace process; and is client of Iran, Syria, and Muslim Brotherhood. (You can fill in the next two sentences).

5. PA forces Obama to veto unilateral independence demand at the UN making US "more unpopular" in Arab and Muslim world, destroying what has been just about his highest foreign policy priority. (You can fill in the next two sentences).

Monday, June 06, 2011

Obama Hands Abbas Another Unearned Victory...declines to promise a future embassy move to Jerusalem

PA Praises Obama -Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Authority welcomed as "encouraging" President Obama's decision not to [ever] move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Obama invoked U.S. national security interests to notify Congress that he will not move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Obama's notification did not include a commitment to moving the embassy at some point in the future, unlike his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
(Jerusalem Post) 

A Symbol of Obama's Hostility to a United Jerusalem -Jonathan S. Tobin

President Obama's decision to speak of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as "settlements" that must be frozen and his insistence on using the 1967 lines as the starting point for future negotiations - as opposed to Bush’s frank acknowledgment that those neighborhoods and the surrounding settlement blocs will always be part of Israel - has put the status of Jerusalem back on the political front burner.

Syria Allows Storming of Israel Border

IDF Prevents Breach of Syrian Border

A firebomb thrown by Syrian demonstrators towards IDF forces on Sunday caused a brushfire in Syrian territory, which led to the explosion of four mines on the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights.

IDF forces used riot dispersal means against demonstrators from Syria who tried to breach the international border. After demonstrators ignored warnings not to approach the border, IDF soldiers were forced to open fire towards the legs of a number of demonstrators who attempted to breach the border fence.
(Israel Defense Forces)

IDF: Syrian Protesters Caused Their Own Deaths -Hanan Greenberg

The IDF said that many of the Syrian protesters who stormed the border fence and Quneitra crossing Sunday were responsible for their own deaths by igniting fires in mine fields on the border.

Protesters were killed as a result of the Red Cross's inability to reach them, due to protesters' refusal to cease violence in order to allow for medical evacuations. IDF officials say commanders ordered three ceasefires, each of which were taken advantage of by the protesters in order to gain ground.
(Ynet News)

Syria May Have Exaggerated Number of Casualties -Amos Harel & Avi Issacharoff

[T]he Syrian government - through its media - has a clear interest in exaggerating the number of casualties to have the border incidents overshadow President Assad's ongoing massacre of [his own] anti-government protesters. On Sunday, according to opposition forces, at least 35 Syrians were killed by their own security forces during protests.

Israel's Seriousness over Sovereignty -Yaakov Lappin

The IDF's well-planned and cool-headed response to the new threat of flooding the nation's borders with civilian rioters sent a firm message to hostile neighbors on Sunday that Israel takes its sovereignty seriously.

The IDF's Northern Command has fortified the northern border with a second barbed-wire perimeter and new lookout positions, and positioned senior commanders on the ground, who could quickly respond to developments and issue new orders.

Soldiers were instructed beforehand to only open fire after issuing repeated warnings to activists against trying to breach the border. Observers are united in the belief that hostile elements will try to organize larger border incidents soon.
(Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Preparations, Lack of Palestinian Enthusiasm  -Ron Ben-Yishai

The minor coverage by Arab media and the relatively low number of participants at Sunday's protests attest to the failure of Naksa Day, a weak imitation of Nakba Day events some three weeks ago. The deterrence produced by Israel's decisive response during Nakba Day made clear to potential protestors that they may pay a terrible price for a brief TV appearance, the first and possibly last of their lives.

Syria's fingerprints were evident in every detail: Starting with driving the protestors to the site, through Syrian TV, which set up several broadcast points and covered the events live, and including the ambulances and medical teams deployed in advance at points of friction.
(Ynet News)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

BiPartisan Agreement on Israel

VideoBite: The video above celebrates Congressional unity on Israel.  
Peter Wallsten noted in the Washington Post that President Obama "is largely isolated politically in raising the issue of boundaries."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Syrian Child Torture Ignites Protests

Torture of Boy Reinvigorates Syria's Protest Movement  -Liz Sly    

Hamza Ali al-Khateeb [pictured] was 13 years old. And since a video portraying the torture inflicted upon him was broadcast on al-Jazeera on Friday, he has rapidly emerged as the new symbol of the protest movement in Syria. 

In Hama, thousands swarmed a central square holding pictures of the boy and chanting "Hamza, Hamza." In Aleppo, people climbed onto rooftops Saturday, chanting, "God is great. Hamza, Hamza." In Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, children took to the streets Sunday to denounce his torture.
(Washington Post)


Assad Regime Will Eventually Succumb to Syria Protests -Amos Harel

The regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad will not survive and will eventually collapse under the pressure of demonstrations. This is the assessment of Israel's military establishment - and this view is gaining strength.

A senior security source told Ha'aretz this week that "Assad is becoming weaker. It may take a few months, or a year or more, but the regime will probably fail to recover."

"Assad has lost his legitimacy in the eyes of his people and therefore his fate is sealed. Every week of demonstrations and deaths only makes things more difficult for him....I do not think he has a chance against the opposition."