Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Myths & The Fabrication of Palestinian History

Palestinians exploit Jesus in a bizarre narrative

Golda Meir: "There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."
As quoted in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)

The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism.

Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a "legitimate" history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.

Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel by erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history is a central goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Palestinian leaders claim lineage from ancient history, describing the Canaanites as their direct ancestors. In the words of the PA president Mahmoud Abbas: "We said to him [Netanyahu], when he claimed the Jews have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E., we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history. This is the truth that must be said: Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history."

Palestinian scholars and media have touted the claim that the Palestinian Arab nation has been rooted in its land for thousands of years since the human settlement of the "Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite" city of Jericho—the oldest city in the history of human civilization. In their claim, the history and heritage of Jericho confirm the Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite narrative concerning the entire Palestinian land, from the sea to the river, and negate the false Zionist narrative. Jericho allegedly proves that the Palestinian nation is the most ancient and earliest of all, whose roots are the most deeply dug into history.

Palestinians also declared themselves to have been the center of historical events and peoples found in the Bible in the form of the Edomites, Amorites, Midianites, Amalekites, Ibrahim bin Azar (biblical Abraham), and al-Khadir (Prophet Elijah).

To claim that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the Land of Israel not only goes against secular history and scientific knowledge, but it also flies in the face of Islamic religious history. Not only do the Islamic scriptures recognize the unique Jewish claims to the Land of Israel, but there is no reference whatsoever to any Palestinian people dwelling on any land called Filastin during any part of Islamic history until the twentieth century.

Another Palestinian tactic is aimed at co-opting Christianity. For the PA leaders, Jesus is defined as a Palestinian who preached Islam, thus denying not only Jewish history and Christian legitimacy but also strengthening ancient Palestinian history. Jesus is a shahid, a holy martyr of Islam, the only Palestinian prophet, and the first Palestinian shahid who was tortured in this land.

Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel.

Only after the Palestinian leadership comes to terms with Israel's legitimacy and recognizes it as a Jewish state can one begin discussing the emergence of a Palestinian state that lives in peace beside the State of Israel.
David Bukay is a lecturer at the School of Political Science in the University of Haifa.
[Middle East Quarterly]


Fabricating Palestinian History -Shaul Bartal

The tactic of denying a Jewish past to sites and holy places in the Land of Israel is of relatively recent vintage. Both in 1925 and again in 1950, Palestine's Supreme Muslim Council recognized the Temple Mount as a holy site for Jews in its A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif: "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord.'"

The Western Wall, the place at which Jews have prayed for millennia, has been renamed by Muslims the Wall of al-Buraq after the tethering place of the horse on which the prophet Muhammad rode in his night flight to "the farthest mosque." [But t]he Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520-66) reaffirmed Jewish rights to worship at the wall, and three centuries later, the Muslim ruler Ibrahim Pasha (son of Egypt's viceroy Muhammad Ali) issued a decree regarding the site that allowed Jews "to pay visits to it as of old."
The writer is a lecturer on Palestinian affairs at Bar-Ilan University.
(Middle East Quarterly)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who Lost Egypt?

Supporters of Mohamed Morsi

Who Lost Egypt? -Bret Stephens

•Don't console yourself with the belief that the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is merely symbolic, since the army still has the guns: The examples of revolutionary Iran and present-day Turkey show how easily the conscripts can be bought, the noncoms wooed and the officers purged.

•Don't console yourself with the idea that now the Islamists will have to prove themselves capable of governing the country. The Brotherhood is the most successful social organization in the Arab world. Its leaders are politically skillful, economically literate and strategically patient.

•Don't console yourself with the expectation that the Brotherhood will play by the democratic rules that brought it to power. "Democracy is like a streetcar," Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Islamist prime minister, observed long ago. "When you come to your stop you get off."

•Don't console yourself, finally, with hope that Egypt will remain a responsible, status quo player on the international scene. By degrees, Egypt under the Brotherhood will seek to arm Hamas and remilitarize the Sinai. By degrees, it will seek to extract concessions from the U.S. as the price of its good behavior. By degrees, it will make radical alliances in the Middle East and beyond.

•Who lost Egypt? The Egyptians, obviously. They chose - albeit by a narrow margin - a party that offers Islamic stultification as the solution to every political and personal problem. By the time they come to regret their choice, they won't be in a position to change it.
(Wall Street Journal)

Associated Press Promotes Sexy Terrorists

Terror chic [with rocks in hand] being promoted by the AP

Outrageous: AP turns terrorists into "art"

It's bad enough that wire services stage photos and pretend that they are news. But this takes it to another level - it is at attempt to elevate terrorism into art under the thin guise that it is news. It is romanticizing terror.

AP is a disgusting organization.
[Elder of Ziyon]


Israel's Green Initiatives

The video above highlights Israel's green technology initiatives

Monday, June 25, 2012

Understanding the "New" Egypt

Mohamed Morsi, who is no moderate, will have to wrestle with Egypt's military in order to implement his radical Islamist policies.  However, Hamas is already emboldened, firing rockets into Israel and, uncharacteristically, taking direct credit for shooting them.  They usually blame other terror groups. 

Named Egypt's Winner, Islamist Makes History -David D. Kirkpatrick

Egypt's military rulers officially recognized Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as the winner of Egypt's first competitive presidential election. Morsi, 60, is the first Islamist elected as head of an Arab state. Morsi has always campaigned not as an individual with a vision of his own but rather as an executor of the Brotherhood's platform. He was the group's second-choice nominee, put forward after the disqualification of its leading strategist and most influential leader, Khairat el-Shater.

Morsi, a close friend and protege of Shater's, has vowed to carry out the "renaissance" program that Shater devised to overhaul Egypt's ministries. The two did little to dispel the assertions of critics that Shater and the Brotherhood's board would wield the true power in a Morsi government.
(New York Times)

Egyptian President-Elect Morsi Wants to Expand Iran Ties

Egypt's President-elect Mohamed Morsi told Iran's Fars news agency that he was looking to expand ties with Tehran to create a strategic "balance" in the region.
(Al Arabiya)

Secular Condemn U.S. Support for Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian secular and liberal parties sounded dissatisfaction over the reported support of the U.S. for the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate, Mohamed Morsi, but affirmed they would accept the results of the elections. Morsi's victory was hailed by Iran as a "splendid vision of democracy" that marked the final phase of an "Islamic Awakening."
(Al Ahram-Egypt)

Will Egypt's New Leader Islamize Largest Arab State? -Joanna Paraszczuk

Former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said Morsi's election victory meant that Egypt's 2011 revolution had failed. Morsi had said many times that his plans were to conquer Jerusalem, Mazel noted, adding that the Brotherhood would likely work to gradually create an Islamic state in Egypt.

He said it was likely Morsi would move to overturn a recent order by the military to disband Egypt's Brotherhood-dominated parliament, and could also move to retire high-ranking generals and replace them with his own men.
(Jerusalem Post)

Despite Win, Egypt's New President Will Have His Hands Tied -Zvi Bar'el

Morsi's slim margin of victory - just over three percentage points - shows that the Muslim Brotherhood is not all-powerful. He and his movement will have to tread lightly in their political and diplomatic conduct.

Morsi will not be able to ignore the army's strong standing or the need to have a good relationship with Washington - not just because of the financial aid Egypt gets but also because any Egyptian president who wants to improve his country's geopolitical standing needs American - and Saudi - assistance. Even if there is a hidden plan to reexamine or change the Camp David Accords, it won't be discussed any time soon.

Israel's Missile Defense System Intercepts Five Rockets -Avi Issacharoff

As rocket fire toward Israel from Gaza continued on Saturday, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted five rockets fired toward the Ashkelon area. More than 20 rockets were fired from Gaza on Friday night and Saturday. An Israeli man was wounded when a Kassam rocket directly hit a factory in the Sderot industrial zone. One rocket hit a school in Sderot, which was empty at the time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is the West Embracing the Muslim Brotherhood?

Nice cat. Has Obama made the same mistake as Bush? 
Bush encouraged elections which brought Hamas to power; Obama encouraged elections which brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power.  Both unleashed forces they could not control. 

The West's Embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood -Dore Gold

According to the Los Angeles Times, U.S. officials said that they were "deeply concerned by an Egyptian military decree giving the generals sweeping powers to pass laws and decide whether to go to war."

This was a stunning statement, considering that the Muslim Brotherhood might still emerge as the winner. Right now, given the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ties to its Palestinian branch, Hamas, leaving Egypt's war-making powers with the Egyptian military is far safer for the world than transferring them to a Muslim Brotherhood government.

The British even went a step further than the Americans. The spokeswoman for the Foreign Office, Rosemary Davis, was interviewed this week by the Palestinian Maan news agency and reportedly declared that Britain was more concerned with the Egyptian military than with the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is a self-defeating approach. For if the West continues down this course and uncritically embraces the Muslim Brotherhood, then it will be extremely unlikely that it will temper its confrontational political program in the future and become a more moderate movement as many in the West presently hope.
(Israel Hayom)

Black Racists on the Rise

The video above features the radical statements of a current Congressional candidate

Alice Walker, a hateful racist

Alice Walker’s bigotry -Alan M. Dershowitz

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, who has a long history of supporting terrorism against Israel, has now resorted to bigotry and censorship against Hebrew-speaking readers of her writings. She has refused to allow The Color Purple to be translated into Hebrew.

This is the moral and legal equivalent of neo-Nazi author David Duke disallowing his books to be sold to Black and Jewish readers.

There is an appropriate moral and legal response to Walker’s bigotry. The publisher who had sought permission to publish Walker’s book in Hebrew should simply go ahead and do it – without her permission and over her objection.

Walker could then sue for copyright infringement, and the issue would be squarely posed whether copyright laws, which are designed to encourage the promotion of literature, can be used to censor writings and prevent certain people from having access to it, based upon the language they read. The laws of most Western countries prohibit discrimination based on race, religion and national origin.

The laws of copyright should not be permitted to be used in the service of bigotry and censorship.

But even if it were lawful for Walker to prevent Hebrew-speakers from reading her book, it would be immoral to do so, and the publisher might well consider engaging in an act of civil disobedience, as Walker herself has done.

Walker participated in unlawful efforts to break Israel’s entirely lawful military blockade of the Gaza Strip – a blockade designed to prevent Hamas and other terrorist groups from bringing to Gaza weapons that are aimed at Israeli civilians. In doing so, she has provided material support for terrorism, in violation of the law of the United States and several other countries.

Her bigotry against the Jewish state and in support of terrorists knows no bounds. Now she is even prepared to impose censorship of her own writings as a tool in support of terrorism.
[Jerusalem Post]

Monday, June 18, 2012

Half of US Senate Presses Obama to Pull Out of Iran Talks

Senator Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, leads effort to toughen US negotiations with Iran

Senators Urge Obama to Cut Off Iran Negotiations  -Josh Rogin

Nearly half the Senate told President Barack Obama that unless Iran gives three specific concessions at talks with world powers in Moscow, he should abandon the ongoing negotiations over the country's nuclear program.

"It is past time for the Iranians to take the concrete steps that would reassure the world that their nuclear program is, as they claim, exclusively peaceful," wrote 44 senators in a bipartisan letter organized by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). "Absent these steps, we must conclude that Tehran is using the talks as a cover to buy time as it continues to advance toward nuclear weapons capability."

The senators wrote that the "absolute minimum" Iran must do immediately to justify further talks is to shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility near Qom, freeze all uranium enrichment above 5 percent, and ship all uranium enriched above 5 percent out of the country.
(The Cable, Foreign Policy)

Iran Negotiates a Nuclear Bomb -Ray Takeyh

Given that he seems disinclined to adjust his objective of nuclear empowerment, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is confident of his strategy: In the past decade he has managed to cross successive Western “red lines.” Through similar persistence and patience, he perceives that he can once more obtain the deal that he wants — a deal that is a prelude to the bomb.
(Washington Post)


Nuke Talks Fail, Obama Urged Toward Military Option -Natasha Mozgovaya

American officials and experts urged U.S. President Barack Obama to take a tougher stance on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, with some advising the administration to provide Israel with the arms needed for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

[One] suggestion was "augmenting Israeli offensive and defensive capabilities, including the sale to Israel of three KC-135 aerial refueling tankers and 200 GBU-31 bunker-busting munitions needed in whatever missile defense systems are needed."
Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, who is currently on visit to Washington, said that if there will be no other resort with Iran but [a] military strike, U.S. and other Western powers should lead it.

Canada Leads on Olympic Initiative

The video above highlights Canada's positive, leading role in pressing the Olympic Committee on a moment of silence for Munich victims

Freedom Train Fails to Arrive in Muslim World

When Muslim Countries Restore Freedom of Expression -Harold Rhode

Why can Muslims who emigrate to the West - especially to the U.S. and Canada - invent and innovate in the fields of science and technology, but not in their native lands?

It seems that those who live in Muslim communities are subjected to intellectual oppression: they are not allowed to question. When young Muslims do ask questions, their elders usually humiliate them - often publicly - a sure-fire way to discourage intellectual development and curiosity. If Muslims repeat what is proscribed, they are praised; if they question, they are chastised.

The exercise of critical thinking and independent judgment - or Ijtihad - was an important way to address questions in the early centuries of Islam, but after 400 years, the leaders of the Sunni Muslim world closed the "Gates of Ijtihad," seeing questioning as politically dangerous to their ability to rule. What followed the closing of the Gates of Ijtihad in the Muslim world were centuries of intellectual and political decline.

Is there a chance that the Muslims could reopen the Gates of Ijtihad? For the foreseeable future, the answer seems to be a resounding no.

Only if the forces which want to bring back seventh-century Islamic society were to suffer a massive defeat, could there be much hope.
The writer served from 1994 until 2010 in the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment.
(Gatestone Institute)


Islamist Claims Victory in Egypt President Vote  -Sarah El Deeb & Lee Keath

The Muslim Brotherhood declared that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, which would be the first victory of an Islamist as head of state in the stunning wave of protests demanding democracy that swept the Middle East.

But the military handed itself the lion's share of power over the new president, sharpening the possibility of confrontation. With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals issued an interim constitution granting themselves sweeping authorities that ensure their hold on the state and subordinate the president.

Official final results are not [in] and Ahmed Shafiq's campaign challenged the Brotherhood claim.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Counter-Intuitive, but Sensible Advice on Syria

The Assads are no longer smiling

Stay out of the Syrian Morass -Daniel Pipes, PhD

As the Syrian government makes increasingly desperate and vicious efforts to keep power, pleas for military intervention, more or less on the Libyan model, have become more insistent. This course is morally attractive, to be sure. But should Western states follow this counsel? I believe not.

[P]rotracted conflict in Syria offers some geopolitical advantages:

•It lessens the chances of Damascus from starting a war with Israel or re-occupying Lebanon.

•It increases the chances that Iranians, living under the thumb of the mullahs who are Assad's key ally, will draw inspiration from the Syrian uprising and likewise rebel against their rulers.

•It inspires greater Sunni Arab anger at Tehran, especially as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been providing arms, finance, and technology to help repress Syrians.

•It relieves the pressure on non-Muslims: indicative of the new thinking, Jordanian Salafi leader Abou Mohamad Tahawi recently stated that "The Alawi and Shi'i coalition is currently the biggest threat to Sunnis, even more than the Israelis."

•It foments Middle Eastern rage at Moscow and Beijing for supporting the Assad regime.

[I] suggest staying out of the Syrian morass.
[The Washington Times]

Syria's Assads Turned to West for Glossy P.R.  -Bill Carter & Amy Chozick

With the help of high-priced public relations advisers who had worked in the Clinton, Bush and Thatcher administrations, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his family have sought over the past five years to portray themselves in the Western media as accessible, progressive and even glamorous.
(New York Times)

Israel Does It Again!

The video above features Israel's unusual desert industries

Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama Bows to Turkey

Who's in control here? President Obama or Turkey's Islamist Erdogan?

U.S. Excludes Israel from Anti-Terror Forum Because of Turkey -Ran Dagoni

The U.S. blocked Israel's participation in the Global Counterterrorism Forum's (GCTF) first meeting in Istanbul, even though Israel has extensive experience in counterterrorism.

A source in Washington said Israel was excluded from the meeting because of fierce objections by Turkish President Erdogan. Israel tried hard to obtain an invitation to the meeting, and its exclusion has greatly disappointed officials in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Is Obama Catching On? Or is it Election Year Politics?

Obama: Abbas May Not Want Peace  -Yitzhak Benhorin

U.S. President Barack Obama told Orthodox Jewish leaders at the White House that President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians may not want a peace agreement and that he fears that the window of opportunity for a deal is closing.

He expressed hope that the parties will go forward with the peace process but admitted it was possible that the Palestinians were not interested in an agreement.
(Ynet News)

Dropping Like Flies

Mystery Iranian Deaths amid Shadow War

At least 10 high-ranking officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps are reported to have died recently, apparently in violent circumstances. But only two of the deaths have been made public, raising suspicions the officers may have been assassinated by Iran's enemies.

Intelligence Online, a Paris Web site that specializes in global intelligence and security issues, identified the two officers whose deaths were acknowledged by the Tehran regime as Gen. Gholam Reza Qassemi, former commander of the 92nd Armored Division, and Gen. Mohammad Ali Mousavi, leader of a commando regiment in the southwestern city of Ahwaz, a key oil center.

Intelligence Online said that Gen. Ahmed Mansouri, one of the representatives of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei within the IRGC leadership, also died recently, supposedly from a heart attack.

It also said two senior colonels, Najaf Ali Khirallahi and Nassif Pour, were killed in car accidents.

Intelligence Online said other senior IRGC officials, identified as Wafa Ghafarian, 52; Abbas Mehri, 53; Ahmed Siafzadeh, 55; Mansour Tourqan, 50; and Ahmed Soudaker, 51, also passed away recently, with no official explanation.

The Delayed Cost of Drone Attacks

Barack Obama: Drone warrior -CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

A very strange story, a front-page New York Times piece on how, every Tuesday, Barack Obama shuffles “baseball cards” with the pictures and bios of suspected terrorists from around the world and chooses who shall die by drone strike. He even reserves for himself the decision of whether to proceed when the probability of killing family members or bystanders is significant.

Great detail on how Obama personally runs the assassination campaign. On-the-record quotes from the highest officials. This was no leak. This was a White House press release.

Why? To portray Obama as tough guy. And why now? Because in crisis after recent crisis, Obama has looked particularly weak: standing helplessly by as thousands are massacred in Syria; being played by Iran in nuclear negotiations, now reeling with the collapse of the latest round in Baghdad; being treated with contempt by Vladimir Putin, who blocks any action on Syria or Iran and adds personal insult by standing up Obama at the latter’s G- 8 and NATO summits.

So the peacemaker, Nobel laureate, nuclear disarmer, apologizer to the world for America having lost its moral way when it harshly interrogated the very people Obama now kills, has become – just in time for the 2012 campaign – Zeus the Avenger, smiting by lightning strike. A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bush’s belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now you’re ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing, and whatever innocents happen to be in their company.

This is not to argue against drone attacks.

In principle, they are fully justified. No quarter need be given to terrorists who wear civilian clothes, hide among civilians and target civilians indiscriminately. But it is to question the moral amnesia of those whose delicate sensibilities were offended by the Bush methods that kept America safe for a decade – and who now embrace Obama’s campaign of assassination by remote control.
Moreover, there is an acute military problem. Dead terrorists can’t talk. Drone attacks are cheap – which is good. But the path of least resistance has a cost. It yields no intelligence about terror networks or terror plans.

One capture could potentially make us safer than 10 killings. But because of the moral incoherence of Obama’s war on terror, there are practically no captures anymore.

What would be the point? There’s nowhere for the CIA to interrogate. And what would they learn even if they did, Obama having decreed a new regime of kid-gloves, name-rank-and-serial-number interrogation? This administration came out opposing military tribunals, wanting to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York, reading the Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights and trying mightily (and unsuccessfully, there being – surprise! – no plausible alternative) to close Guantanamo. Yet alongside this exquisite delicacy about the rights of terrorists is the campaign to kill them in their beds.
You festoon your prisoners with rights – but you take no prisoners. The morality is perverse. Which is why the results are so mixed. We do kill terror operatives, an important part of the war on terror, but we gratuitously forfeit potentially life-saving intelligence.

But that will cost us later. For now, we are to bask in the moral seriousness and cool purpose of our drone warrior president.
[Jerusalem Post]

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Israeli [Singer] Invades Iran

Jewish Star Remakes Persian Oldies in Tel Aviv; Fans in Tehran Can't Get Enough
-Farnaz Fassihi & Joshua Mitnick

Music-loving Iranians craving nostalgic Persian songs of a bygone era have a new darling: Rita, the Israeli singing sensation. Iranian-born Rita Jahanforuz, who is fluent in Persian, is Israel's most famous female singer. A year ago, she decided to revisit what she tells audiences is the "soundtrack of my childhood" by adapting Persian classics that most Iranians know by heart. The result is an album, "All My Joys," that gives old-time Persian hits an upbeat Mediterranean flavor that caters to the Israeli ear. The album went gold in Israel in just three weeks, despite being sung entirely in Persian.

It also propelled Rita onto the music scene in Iran.

Iran's government has taken notice. Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps, wrote that Rita is Israel's "latest plot in a soft war" to gain access to the hearts and minds of Iranians.
(Wall Street Journal)

Monday, June 04, 2012

The World's Favorite Charity

The Palestinian Authority has only had to sit back and collect the world's cash, like a money magnet

Where Did the PA's Money Go? -Barry Rubin

A reader asks: "Can you please explain to me why 20 years after Oslo and billions in dollars in foreign aid, the Palestinian Authority still has not built modern hospitals?"
Good question.

Short answer: Swiss bank accounts. In other words, a huge amount of the money has been stolen. The personal wealth of PA "president" Mahmoud Abbas is estimated at $100 million. Add onto that millions of dollars for a large number of PA and Fatah senior officials and you get the idea.

PA leaders have received more aid money per person than anyone else in history and yet the results have been remarkably unimpressive. The leaders have looted the money and used it as political pay-offs to buy patronage, paying off the huge security forces that guard the PA and provide jobs for its supporters and benefits for political supporters. Luxury apartments are going up but not hospitals, schools and infrastructure improvements.

Giving money to the PA supposedly supports the cause of peace, even though the PA isn't negotiating for peace.
(Jerusalem Post)

VideoBite: Iran's Nuclear Quest and the price of oil

The short video above highlights the connection between the price of oil and Iran's nuclear quest

Friday, June 01, 2012

Why Israel Can't Pull Off a Secret Iran Mission

An Israeli official suggested Israel was restrained by "golden handcuffs"

U.S. Radar Station in Israel: "Golden Handcuffs"? -Karl Vick & Aaron J. Klein

The 100 U.S. service members who staff the X-band radar station in the Negev [Desert] are the only foreign troops stationed in Israel.

The radar is pointed toward Iran, where it could detect a Shahab-3 missile launched toward Israel just seconds into its flight - six to seven minutes earlier than Israel would know from its own radar. This substantially increases the chances of launching interceptors to knock down the incoming missile before it reaches Israel.

All this is possible, however, only if U.S. officials choose to share the information, because only Americans have eyes on the radar.

The reality of the U.S. radar, operating since 2009, also undercuts the notion of Israel launching a surprise attack on Iran that would also take Washington unawares, since it sees all traffic at Israeli air bases.

One Israeli official termed the radar installation "golden handcuffs."

Understanding the Zionist Impulse

Zionism and Bigotry -Melanie Phillips

Zionism is the self-determination of the Jewish people - as a people, and not just as adherents of the Jewish religion. Jews are in fact the only people for whom Israel was ever their national homeland. Those who deny Zionism thus deny Jewish peoplehood and the fundamental right of Jews to live as a people in their own ancestral homeland, Israel.

Jews are both a people and adherents of a religion. Intrinsic to and inseparable from the religion of Judaism is the Land of Israel; more specifically, the centrality of and longing for Jerusalem and its Temple. Deny that centrality and you rip the heart and soul out of Judaism. Those who deny the right of the Jews to Israel and Jerusalem deny the right of the Jews to their own religion.

Anti-Zionist hatred of Jewish self-determination is a form of bigotry which threatens the lives and safety of all Jews, whether or not they are Zionists.
(Daily Mail-UK)