Saturday, May 31, 2014

Israeli Arabs Love Israel!

Israeli Arabs Like Israel; Where's the Coverage?

According to "The Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel," a study by Professor Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa, 63.5% of Israeli Arabs consider Israel to be a good place to live in 2013, up from 58.5% in 2012.

The percentage of Israeli Arabs who accepted Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state rose to 52.8% from 47.4% the year before. That is a majority.

Further, the number of Israeli-Arabs who accept their identity as such without identifying as Palestinians increased from 32.5% in 2012 to 42.5% in 2013.        

Friday, May 30, 2014

Visions of Jerusalem

Jerusalem 1948
Jerusalem now

The Dangerous Divided Jerusalem Fantasy -Jonathan Tobin

47 years ago this week Israeli forces ended the division of Jerusalem. The city had been split during the Arab siege of the capital in 1948 and it remained cut in half by an ugly wall as well as by dangerous no-man's-land zones.

The victory in the Six-Day War ended an illegal occupation of the eastern portion of the city as well as the walled Old City by Jordan that had lasted for 19 years but was not recognized by the world. In breaking down the barriers, the Israelis not only reunited the city but opened access to its religious shrines—including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount—which had been off limits for Jews during the Jordanian occupation.

But as Israelis celebrated what is known as "Jerusalem Day", support for the push to reinstate the division of the city in the international community has grown. Every Middle East peace plan proposed in the last 15 years, including the three Israeli offers of statehood that the Palestinians turned down, included a new partition of Jerusalem even though both sides remain murky about how that could be accomplished without reinstating the warlike atmosphere that prevailed before June 1967.

But for those who believe that such a partition is essential to peace, the process by which a city that has grown exponentially in the last five decades, with Jews and Arabs no longer neatly divided by a wall, could be split is merely a matter of details. To fill in the blanks for its readers, Haaretz published a Jerusalem Day feature that provided the answer to the question.
Highlighting a complicated scheme put forward by a Jerusalem architectural firm, the paper asserted that most Jerusalemites wouldn't even notice the difference if their city was re-partitioned.  

On the surface the plan, which has been funded by a variety of left-wing sources, seems practical if complicated and expensive. But it is not only completely unrealistic; it is based on a fantasy that the real problem in Jerusalem is primarily one of engineering, aesthetics, and logistics.

Like every other element of other utopian peace plans that are sold to both the Israeli and Western publics as the solution that "everybody knows" must eventually happen, this vision of Jerusalem ignores the fundamental problem of peace: the fact that the Palestinians don't want it.

Contrary to the notion popularized by the terminology used by the media, there is no real east or west Jerusalem. The city is built on hills with much of the "eastern" section actually in the north and south where Jewish neighborhoods on the other side of the green line have existed for over 40 years. The idea that this can all be easily sorted out by handing out the Jewish sections to Israel and the Arab ones to "Palestine" won't work.

Left unsaid in the piece is the fact that there are actually a number of interlocked Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. Nor does it explain how the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus (which was isolated as a Jewish enclave during the Jordanian occupation) could be reached from what they propose to be Israeli Jerusalem or how Jerusalemites could access the scenic Sherover/Haas promenade in the city.

And those are just a few of the anomalies that go unsolved or unanswered in a scheme that treats transportation patterns and border security as if they were mere blots on the map rather than avoidable facts.

There's also no mention here about how security in this intricately divided city could be administered. Would Israelis really be prepared to cede the security of their capital to foreign forces? Could peace monitors be relied upon to respect Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish neighborhoods if they become, after peace, the object of a new intifada whose purpose would be to chip away at the rump of the Jewish state?
Nor is there any reason to believe the newly partitioned city would be one in which religious freedom at the holy places would be respected, especially since the Arab side of the new wall will almost certainly be declared a Jew-free zone by the Palestinian Authority and its Hamas allies/antagonists.  But even if we were to concede that all these problems could be somehow miraculously worked out to the satisfaction of all sides, one big obstacle remains to the implementation of this plan: Palestinian cooperation. This is, after all, pretty much the same plan that Ehud Olmert offered to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. [S]o long as Palestinian national identity is still inextricably linked with the war on Zionism, no plan, no matter how reasonable sounding, can work.

The obstacle to dividing Jerusalem isn't one of aesthetics or engineering or even the problem of drawing a border in a place that causes the least harm to both sides. It is about a conflict that won't be resolved until the Palestinians give up their fantasy of eradicating the Jewish state.  

When that happens, then perhaps utopian designs such as this one will be feasible and Israelis will be willing to give up their rightful to claim to all of their historic capital and share sovereignty. But until then, the only point of such plans is to undermine Jewish claims to the city in a manner that undermines hope for peace.
[Jewish World Review]

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Libya Percolates

US deploys warship off Libya

The United States is deploying an amphibious assault ship with about 1000 marines off the coast of Libya in case the US embassy has to be evacuated, a US defence official says.
The move was described as "precautionary" in case conditions in Libya, where militia battles have plunged the country into anarchy, worsen and require the embassy's evacuation.
The State Department said last week the embassy in Tripoli was operating normally despite an offensive launched against Islamist militias by a dissident general, Khalifa Haftar.
In addition to the 1000 marines on board, the Bataan is equipped with several helicopters. The United States also has available 250 marines, seven tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft and three refuelling aircraft in Sigonella, Italy.
The precautions come amid ongoing controversy over a September 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
Meanwhile, armed men attacked the home of the country's new prime minister on Tuesday, two days after he won a parliamentary vote of confidence but with opposition to his proposed government rising.
[TV 3 News]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is Obama Planning to Accept Hamas?

Hamas & Abbas ... why are these men smiling?

A Palestinian Terror Government - Zalman Shoval

According to unconfirmed reports from Washington, the U.S. intends to recognize the Palestinian unity government when it is established, even if Hamas does not accept the Quartet's conditions (recognition of Israel, cessation of terror and adherence to past Israeli-Palestinian agreements).

The official excuse will be that the Palestinian government will be comprised of "technocrats," not political figures. This argument is not convincing, as half of the ministers will be appointed by Hamas, a group that the U.S. itself has defined as a terrorist organization.

PLO and Fatah accepted, at least outwardly, certain rules and commitments, particularly regarding terrorism and violence, which enabled the ban on talking with them to be lifted. Hamas, on the other hand, has never forsworn terrorism.
The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S.
(Israel Hayom)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who Knows More About Jesus? Pope & Netanyahu Spar

Pope, Netanyahu Trade Words over Jesus' Native Language 
Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.     

"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis in Jerusalem.    

"Aramaic," the pope interjected. 

"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.    

Israeli linguistics professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann said, "Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker, but he would have also known Hebrew because there were extant religious writings in Hebrew."

He added that during Jesus' time, Hebrew was spoken by the lower classes - "the kind of people he ministered to."   


Pope Francis' unfriendly visit -Caroline Glick

Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis's visit to the Promised Land this week. 

Francis's behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn't occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.

[N]o one can reasonably doubt that [the security barrier] was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis's decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

Francis "spontaneously" got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.

The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign. [Another] one equated the Palestinians in Bethlehem to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. In other words, it denied the Holocaust. By standing there, kissing the barrier with its Holocaust denying slogan, Francis gave Vatican license to Holocaust denial.

Pope Francis met with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace in Bethlehem.  When Israel transferred control over Jesus's birthplace to Abbas's predecessor Yasser Arafat in 1996, Arafat seized the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of the Nativity and turned it into his — and later Abbas's — official residence. Standing next to Abbas on seized church property, the pope called Abbas "a man of peace."
Abbas returned the favor by calling for Israel to release all Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. And the pope — who interrupted Netanyahu when he told an historic truth — said nothing.

At mass at the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed with Latin Patriarch Fuoad Twal. In his sermon Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking "in the footsteps of the Divine Child," and likening the Israelis to King Herod. In his words, "We are not yet done with the present-day Herods, who fear peace more than war… and who are prepared to continue killing."

Rather than condemn these remarks, Francis echoed them. "Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we before today's children?" the pope asked. "Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?"   

During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as "dear friends," Francis called them his "dear brothers." [But] Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam. In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and "the enemies of Allah." He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls "tell us to follow in their path." 

[D]uring his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the terror victims memorial [Pope Francis] said appropriate things. But all of his statements ring hollow and false in light of his [other] actions.
Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.
[Jewish World Review]

The Spat over Jesus that Wasn't - Yair Rosenberg

To judge by media reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a testy exchange with Pope Francis over whether or not Jesus spoke Hebrew. The Chicago Tribune soon dubbed the incident a "spat," and by the time it made its way to The Age in Australia, Netanyahu was said to have "publicly bickered" with the Pope. The Forward tweeted "#Jesusgate spat over Hebrew ends testy #PopeFrancis visit with Benjamin Netanyahu."

As the video of their discussion shows, Pope Francis is laughing throughout the entire exchange, which to a normal observer would appear to be an amiable conversation, not a "spat." As New York Times Middle East reporter Liam Stack tweeted, "not sure this counts as sparring."

Despite attempts by some media outlets to imply otherwise, the incident is not indicative of any hostility Francis harbors towards the Israeli prime minister. 

VideoBite: Europe's Double Standard

A short, poignant video highlighting Europe's double standard with which it judges Israel
[The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs]

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Israel's Iran Option

Why Israel Fears Containment of a Nuclear Iran
- Avner Golov and Uri Sadot 

While scholars and policy-makers in Western capitals contemplate containment scenarios in Iran, Israeli leaders defiantly state: before containment, we will choose preemption.

Israelis are predisposed to believe that their enemies are irrationally bent on destroying the Jewish state, even in the face of nuclear retaliation. For Israelis, their country is too small to comply with existing mutual-deterrence models because only two or three bombs are what it would take to wipe out their entire country.

Israelis see themselves as faced with not a single enemy that can be deterred, but rather with a broad league of states and nonstate entities who are out to get them. Such a quantitative asymmetry can only be balanced by securing an overwhelming qualitative advantage. A nuclear-capable Iran would unravel the existing balance and would leave Israel defenseless against various types of provocation.

In 1981, Israel attacked Iraq's nuclear program for precisely those reasons. Polls show two-thirds support among Jewish Israelis for a "preemptive" strike as a final resort.
Avner Golov is a researcher at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies. Uri Sadot is a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations' program for Middle East Studies. 

(National Interest)


Iran's Latest Nuclear Gamble Seems Safe - Jonathan S. Tobin 

The two sides are not negotiating about whether the Iranians will have the capacity to build a bomb. That was already substantially conceded in the November interim deal when the West tacitly granted Iran the "right" to enrich uranium. The only variable is how long it will take for Iran to reactivate their stockpile of nuclear fuel any time they like - a breakout.

Iran knows the only two possible outcomes of the talks are a breakdown that will let them get to a bomb or an agreement that will allow them to get to their nuclear ambition a bit more slowly. 

The Jewish State - Michael Oren

Israel is not about to...accept a nuclear-enabled Iran just to gain international favor.

The writer was Israel's ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013.
(Foreign Policy)

Israel May Have to Stand Alone - Herb Keinon

If push comes to shove, Israel will need to stand alone to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities, former National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror said at the annual Herzliya Conference.

"Many people, including in the U.S., are willing to accept almost any agreement with Iran. For them the agreement itself is more important than the content, because it will do away with the need to use force. Using force for them is almost a sin."

"These people will never acknowledge that an agreement with Iran is bad, because then they would have to discuss a military option, which they are not really willing to use."
(Jerusalem Post)

Iran Tightly Enforces Sharia

Screen shot of the video, featuring women without their heads covered
-Rick Gladstone
Six young Iranians who were arrested for posting a YouTube video of themselves dancing on Tehran rooftops to “Happy,” the globally infectious pop song, were released on bail on Wednesday as new details emerged of their possible mistreatment while incarcerated amid an outpouring of sympathy...
The arrests of the six, who were all under 25 and included women not wearing their mandatory headscarves, were carried out over the weekend. They were taken into custody just as the president, Hassan Rouhani, was giving a speech arguing that Iranians should embrace the Internet instead of viewing it as an insidious Western threat to Islamic morals.
The six were shown on state television, backs to the camera, apologizing for having made the video, which was uploaded on YouTube in April and received more than 165,000 hits. The television broadcast also included an admonition from Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Sajedi, who told all young Iranians never to make such videos.
[New York Times]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Iran Nuke Dangers Made Simple

The Diaspora Ministry released a two-minute animated YouTube clip mapping out what it says are "the pitfalls" of the nuclear agreement which western powers are currently negotiating with Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

The movie was sent out to hundreds of Jewish leaders and  organizations in an effort to raise awareness of the danger Iran will continue to pose, even with an agreement in place, the ministry stated.

In a letter accompanying the film, Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett wrote, “Now is the time to speak up and take action to stop a bad deal from being signed that will allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
[Jerusalem Post]

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Status Quo is Good Enough

Let's Do Almost Nothing -Efraim Inbar

Now that the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have ended in failure, many suggest taking advantage of the political limbo to advance their preferred unilateral plans. The Israeli political right wing is promoting annexation, while the left wing is advocating a "coordinated" (whatever that means) unilateral withdrawal. Government officials have spoken about the need for Israel to "do something." Others suggest negotiating with the Quartet, instead of the Palestinians.

Activism is unquestionably a trait that is admired in Israel. Zionist-rooted rhetoric such as "we have to determine our borders and destiny on our own" falls on receptive ears.
However, probably the wisest course of action for Israel is a patient and cautious "wait and see" approach. Resolving the conflict is impossible, but attempting to manage it -- minimizing the suffering to both sides as well as the diplomatic costs to Israel -- is within reach.
Kerry's initiative has indeed ended in failure. But the sky has not fallen. There is no sense of alarm or fear of a great impending crisis in the region or elsewhere in the world.
Pressure on Israel to change the status quo is unlikely. Actually, it serves Israel's interests to keep the status quo to hold on to its bargaining cards. The assumption that time is running against Israel is simply wrong. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian issue is likely to become less salient in the international arena over time.
After the Kerry debacle, Washington is left counting an additional foreign policy failure, trying to digest what happened and pondering how to proceed. Its current instinct is to stay away from interventionist initiatives. The U.S., drained by two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq) and blessed with new energy finds, does not want to get dragged into further conflicts in a Middle East that seems less central to its interests. So the Obama administration may be less inclined to intervene in the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict than ever before. Even if the U.S. obsession about Palestinian statehood persists for some reason, it is still better for Israel to wait and learn Washington's next moves before devising an adequate response.
Moreover, in light of America's great importance to Israel, uncoordinated unilateral steps by Israel on the West Bank are not advisable. Israeli statements expressing a commitment to future peace negotiations, coupled with restraint in building beyond the settlement blocs, might be enough to keep America at bay and reluctant to intervene.
The U.S. is also unlikely to be confronted with Arab pressure to focus on the Palestinian issue if Israel does not engage in drastic steps. The Arab world is undergoing a tremendously difficult economic and sociopolitical crisis and is busy dealing with domestic problems. Moreover, the Iranian nuclear threat continues to be the most urgent foreign policy issue, putting most Sunni states in the same strategic boat with Israel. Even the Palestinians do not take Arab lip service on their behalf seriously.
In all probability, most countries of the world can also live with an unresolved Palestinian issue. There are many simmering territorial conflicts all over the world. Nowadays, Crimea and eastern Ukraine dominate the news. In the coming months and years, many human and political tragedies will divert attention away from the Palestinian issue.
Significantly, the Palestinians have no impact on truly important strategic issue such as nuclear proliferation or energy that might galvanize powerful states into action. Once, they were an important actor in international terrorism. This is no longer true. Nowadays, Palestinians are very dependent upon international aid.
Rocking the boat by using too much violence threatens the livelihood of Palestinians receiving the Palestinian Authority's salaries and benefits, and risks Israel's strong retaliation. Simply put, the Palestinians have only limited international leverage and are vulnerable to Israel's potentially harmful countermeasures.
Moreover, the Palestinians have an excellent record of shooting themselves in the foot. The unity agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is the latest example of this.
Whatever some experts say, Israel is not isolated in the international community. Israel is a strong country, possessing a remarkable web of international interactions. Significantly, Israel's relations with the world are only marginally affected by its conflict with the Palestinians.
The political actors most obsessed with the Palestinian issue, the Israeli political Left and the Europeans, are in decline. The Oslo process, with which the Israeli Left was associated, has failed, delegitimizing its initiators. Europe and the euro zone are facing acute problems, further reducing their limited ability to be true strategic actors. The ability of these weakened political actors to push the Palestinian issue to the top of the international agenda has become increasingly curtailed. Contemporary international circumstances could lead to further marginalization of the Palestinian issue.
Israelis, like many misguided Westerners, too often succumb to counterproductive hyper-activism. Doing almost nothing might bring about better results than activating unilateral plans of all kinds.
Efraim Inbar is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a political studies professor at Bar-Ilan University, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
[Israel Hayom]

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Israel Asserts: We'll Hold Abbas Responsible for Every Rocket

If Fatah-Hamas unity deal signed, we'll hold Abbas responsible for every rocket
-Herb Keinon

Israel will hold Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for every rocket fired on Israel from Gaza if he goes through with his national unity pact with Hamas, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

Jerusalem has been lobbying the international community to place pressure on Abbas not to consummate his unity agreement with Hamas. Under the agreement, announced last month just prior to the expiration of the nine-month deadline in the US-brokered diplomatic talks, an interim unity Palestinian government is to be set up by the end of May, and elections held six months after that.

Netanyahu made clear in his statement that if the deal is not implemented, Israel would be willing to return to the negotiations.
[Jerusalem Post]


Palestinian Reconciliation: An Iranian Windfall - Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi

  • The PA has rejected the demand that Hamas must accept the Quartet principles (renouncing terror, recognizing Israel, and recognizing the agreements signed between Israel and the PLO and the PA) before being allowed into the government or the PLO institutions. Abbas vehemently claims that Hamas is not a terror organization. Abbas' consent to integrating Islamic Jihad into the PLO implies he does not regard it as a terror group either.

  • Abbas needs Hamas' cooperation to make it appear that the government of the PA exists in Gaza as well. With the PA striving for international recognition, this is of supreme importance. Hamas is clearly pleased with the international stamp of approval it expects to attain with Abbas' help.

  • The entry ticket Abbas is providing Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO enables them to compete for control of the PLO institutions and, through elections, to take the helm of the Palestinian national movement. In the 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas won an overwhelming majority. Thus, Hamas sees a historic opportunity to upgrade its current status and is competing to become the exclusive representative of the Palestinian people both in Palestine and the diaspora.

  • By repeatedly defying the United States, and being prepared to integrate Islamic Jihad as well into the PLO, and possibly also other Islamic terror organizations, Abbas is signaling that he is no longer in the American camp. Instead he is adopting positions of the rejectionist camp and seeking closer ties with Iran, ally of Hamas and patron of Islamic Jihad.
    The writer is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Palestinian Reconciliation: Tactical Relief or Strategic Opportunity?
- Kobi Michael and Udi Dekel

The reconciliation agreement reached recently by Fatah and Hamas is a result of the internal weakness of both organizations, with each suffering a steady erosion of legitimacy and public support.

The government of technocrats to be formed is a mechanism meant to make a show of both sides living under the same roof without either one having to give up its fundamental ideology.

The agreement does not change Hamas' essence as a terrorist organization and does nothing to make the PA or the PLO or Abbas into authorized representatives of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Kobi Michael, a senior research fellow at INSS, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Ariel University. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Udi Dekel was head of the Strategic Planning Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff.
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)


Friday, May 09, 2014

Leading Feminist Explains Boko Haram

Boko Haram and the History of Child Rape in Jihad -Phyllis Chesler, PhD

Dr. Chesler puts Boko Haram into context
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram captured three hundred Christian and Muslim Nigerian schoolgirls to become their sex and domestic slaves. The Muslim fundamentalists swooped down upon them as they were learning in a “forbidden” government secular school. Some girls managed to escape. Two hundred and seventy six girls are still missing.

The world media calls this a “kidnapping” in Nigeria. It is not a “kidnapping.” It is the face of Jihad, the way of Jihad. Boko Haram are not holding these girls for ransom, they are not willing to return them for money. They already view the girls as their God-given booty, and as sale-able property.

The girls are between the ages of twelve and fifteen. The Christian girls will be raped, converted to Islam, and then, like the Muslims girls, “married” to one of their captors. Some will be trafficked into the sex trade, which is pandemic throughout Africa and the Muslim Middle East. Sharia law allows men to purchase the sexual favors of a female child or a young woman for one hour, a week, or a month. Private and public brothels exist as well.

Please understand: Boko Haram are the Nigerian Taliban. Like their Pakistani and Afghan counterparts, they oppose education for girls and would rather marry and impregnate them instead--for Allah’s sake.

This behavior is absolutely par for the course in Islamic history. Anyone who is surprised or shocked by this latest outrage in Nigeria simply does not know the facts.

Contrary to the politically correct intelligentsia, who focus only on Western sins, Islam also has a long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, sex slavery, (of both boys and girls), polygamy, sex trafficking, and the brutal subordination and cyclical massacres of religious minorities.  

Westerners either do not know this, do not want to know this, don’t care all that much, or misunderstand this.

Some, including journalists, still believe that Boko Haram and other such groups are crying out against injustice and poverty, against government corruption and ineptitude--all of which exist.

But that is not Boko Haram’s major concern. They want to assert an Islamic state in Nigeria, similar to that which exists in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and now, Brunei. These Muslim extremists, both Sunni and Shiia, want Sharia law to dominate public and private life. This means that the state will have the power to stone people to death for adultery and apostasy, to amputate for theft, to lash and jail for “blasphemy,” to tax and hold hostage, jail, murder, or exile infidels.

Oh, yes--male polygamy will be legal, marriage will be forced, women will be veiled, normatively beaten and raped without recourse, honor killed for the slightest perceived disobedience. Women are breeders and housekeepers--an education would ruin them.

Nevertheless, for the first time, the world is mobilized, we have a “teachable moment.” Petitions have been signed, tweets tweeted, articles written, offers of military support tendered.

I wonder what will happen to those poor Nigerian girls who survive this ordeal? Will they be rescued and embraced? Will they be able to one day see themselves as war heroes, not victims? Will they all ever be found?

Mainly, will the world finally take a strong stand against such militant and barbaric Islamic groups who not only rape and imprison Muslim girls and women but who also slaughter both Muslim civilians and "infidels" indiscriminately?
Dr. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, and the author of fifteen books including the classic Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. Her latest book, An American Bride in Kabul, just won the National Jewish Book Award for 2013. She is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum and can be reached through her website:


Activism by Twitter? -Charles Krauthammer, MD

The identity of the victims here — young, black and female — undoubtedly helps explain the worldwide reaction. Two months earlier, Boko Haram had raided a Christian school and, after segregating the boys, brutally murdered 59 of them. That elicited no hashtag campaign against Boko Haram. Nor was there any through the previous years of Boko Haram depredations — razing Christian churches, burning schools, killing infidels of all ages.

Nonetheless, selective outrage is not necessarily hypocrisy. There are a million good causes in the world, and one cannot be devoted to all of them. People naturally gravitate to those closest to their heart. Thus last week’s unlikely sight: a group of congresswomen holding a news conference demanding immediate U.S. action — including the possible use of drones — against Boko Haram.

These were members, like Sheila Jackson Lee, not heretofore known for hawkish anti-jihadist sentiments. No matter. People find their own causes. Their sincerity is to be credited and their commitment welcomed.

The American post-9/11 response to murderous jihadism has often been characterized, not least by our own president, as both excessive and morally suspect. There is a palpable weariness with the entire enterprise. Good, therefore, that new constituencies for whom jihadism and imposed Shariah law ranked low among their urgent concerns should now be awakening to the principal barbarism of our time.

Trending now (once again): anti-jihadism, a.k.a. the War on Terror.
[Jewish World Review]

Boko Haram and the Future of Nigeria - Col. Dr. Jacques Neriah

For the first time since the government decided to fight Boko Haram in July 2009, President Jonathan Goodluck has openly accepted Western and Israeli assistance in the war.

The events in Nigeria have highlighted the issue of political Islam in Africa's most populous country, with its 177 million citizens divided roughly equally between Christians predominating in the south and Muslims in the north. Sheikh Ibrahim Alzakzaky, the undisputed leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, is a Nigerian Shiite. A protege of Iran, he works to disseminate Shiite theology and create a radical socioeconomic and military order resembling that of Hizbullah in Lebanon. He is believed to have over a million supporters.

Many armed Islamist groups are now fighting the Nigerian government, seeking to force it to adopt an Islamist regime. Northern Muslim states have become a battleground, with Boko Haram combatants being trained in terrorist camps in Mali. The Nigerian government's inability to cope with the Boko Haram threat has led some Christian intellectuals and politicians to note that the developed parts of Nigeria are mostly in Christian areas, and call for a partition of the country if necessary.

Subduing Boko Haram is in the West's interest. 
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Barak Spits Fire @ Obama

Center-left Israeli politician Ehud Barak, once close to President Obama, now accuses him of trying to pass on the problem of a nuclear Iran to the next American president.

Barak: U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be Easy
- Michael Wilner

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that an American military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities would take a "fraction of one night" to complete should President Obama order one. 

Barak said such an attack would be easier for the U.S. than last year's planned campaign against Syrian President Assad's chemical weapons infrastructure. "It's a simpler operation to get rid of the [Iranian] arsenal," Barak said.

"The American administration changed its objective from no nuclear military Iran to no nuclear military Iran during the term of this administration," Barak said, adding that the U.S. "is perceived to have been weakened" over the last several years.
(Jerusalem Post)

More Soothing American Efforts on Iran - Zalman Shoval

To our great remorse, it appears that the scenario of American firmness is not on the horizon. The Obama administration is interested in presenting a deal with Iran as a lofty diplomatic success and will therefore minimize the significance of its flaws

At the beginning of his tenure, Obama repeatedly declared his objection to a policy of "containment," but it appears this could precisely be the real and negative result of the approach taken with Iran. 
The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. 
(Israel Hayom)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Pretty Boy of Israeli Politics Calls Out Palestinians

Yair Lapid, a strong advocate of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, expressed doubt about the PA's intentions.  His new position reflects a consensus among Israelis that the Palestinians scuttled peace talks purposefully

Do the Palestinians Really Want Their Own State?
- Treasury Minister Yair Lapid interviewed by David Horovitz

"There is a question that is haunting me which is whether the Palestinians really want to have their own state. I'm not sure about it."

"The Palestinians are the first nation in history that are treating independence as a zero-sum game. They say either you give us 100% of what we want or we don't want it at all. The United States was established as a shaky confederation of 13 states....Modern Italy was formed without Rome."

"Look at the UN Resolution about the establishment of Israel: 55% of the territory, without the Western Wall, without big chunks of Jerusalem. But we acted according to the basic principles of nations that really want independence. We said, whatever they give us we're going to take, and then we're going to struggle over the details. This is what nations really do when they really want to go there."
"But the Palestinians are saying: They've only offered us 94% of what we want territorially. We're not going to take it. They've only offered us 94% of the self-government that we've asked for. We're not going to take it. It's either 100% or we're not taking it at all."

"You look at this and you ask yourself, maybe they don't want it so much." 
(Times of Israel)

Palestinian Magical Thinking - Jonathan Spyer

Palestinian nationalism in both its Fatah and Hamas variants rejects the possibility of accepting the permanence of Jewish statehood in any part of the area west of the Jordan River. For the Palestinian Authority, the nine-month period of negotiations came as an unwelcome interruption to a very different strategy to which it will now return: attempting to isolate and delegitimize Israel at international forums to induce it to make concessions in return for nothing.

This strategy follows a notable pattern in Palestinian politics - namely, the constant attempt to find an alternative to a negotiated peace based on compromise. The Palestinians see themselves as part of the local majority Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslim culture. From this point of view, the establishment of a non-Muslim sovereignty in Israel is not only an injustice, but also an anomaly, bound eventually to be defeated and disappear. So there is no need to reconcile to it.

The campaign to place pressure on Israel through activism on the international stage is the latest example of this Palestinian magical thinking. So expect more furious and pathos-filled denunciations of Israeli crimes from various UN committees largely staffed by the representatives of various dictatorships.
The writer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
(PJ Media)

Monday, May 05, 2014

Happy Israel Independence Day

Hat tip: Linda F

Hypocrites for Palestine

Why it is hypocritical to boycott Israel -Jake Wallis Simons

We're not normally called upon to justify a decision to travel abroad. Few people would challenge me if I were visiting China, despite that country’s appalling human rights record, repression of free speech, and colonisation of Tibet. If I was travelling to America, even though Predator drones kill thousands of innocent people each year, and even though Guantanamo Bay still holds 154 detainees, nobody would complain.

I would not be criticised for travelling to Egypt, which has become a police state that imprisons journalists, attacks protesters, and sentences political opponents to death. Nobody would suggest that I boycott India; or Pakistan; or Venezuela; or Saudi Arabia; or indeed Britain, which – I seem to recall – ignored the United Nations and attacked Iraq.

I could go on. But later this month, I am planning to travel to Israel to appear in the Jerusalem literary festival. As surely as night follows day, I have received an “open letter” from a group of 71 activists calling themselves the British Writers in Support of Palestine (BWIP), led by a poet and “professional Tarot card reader”. They were, I was informed, “extremely disappointed” by my decision, and “respectfully encouraged” me to boycott the event. But I am honoured to have been invited to Israel, and will be proud to attend. Here’s why.

It is my strong belief that Israel is, relatively speaking, a force for good in the world. I’m not saying that it is free from controversy... But every country that abides by the democratic process, enshrines in law the rights of women and minorities, and conducts itself with compassion both in war and in peace – or at least aspires to do so – deserves our support and respect.

By the standards of the pro-boycott activists, should the Palestinians not also be boycotted? Their society is severely intolerant of homosexuals; many go to live in Israel rather than face oppression at home. The Palestinian government has signed a reconciliation deal with a terror organisation, and within weeks they may form a unity government. As I reported in the Telegraph last week, the Palestinian leadership pays huge financial rewards to those convicted of terror offences, and cold-blooded child killers are celebrated as heroes when they are released.

While we’re on the subject, shouldn’t the BWIP have called their group “British Writers In Support of Palestine and Israel”? And if not, why not?

For these reasons I am proud to be travelling to Israel later this month.
[The Telegraph - UK]
Hat Tip: Marty P


Friday, May 02, 2014

Obama Administration Sinks to New Low

The Obama Administration's new jab at Israel is reminding some of former President Jimmy Carter, a vociferous critic of Israel

Israel Police Challenge U.S. "Terror" Findings 
Israeli police challenged Washington's inclusion of Jewish extremist attacks on Palestinians in a global terror report, saying such incidents could not be likened to militant attacks.

For the first time, the State Department's 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, published Wednesday, included a reference to anti-Palestinian vandalism, known as "price tag" attacks.    

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said there "is vandalism with nationalistic motives but these are not nationalistic attacks on Palestinians."    

"You cannot compare whatsoever between terrorist acts, the cold-blooded killing of Israelis, and...vandalism on that level."

Israeli Minister: "Graffiti Is Not Murder" - Spencer Ho     

Israel's Minister of Communications Gilad Erdan castigated the U.S. State Department report on Thursday.    

He told Channel 10 TV: "We are not talking about acts of murder; this is graffiti. There is a difference between murder and destruction of property."

"We are taking these appalling acts very seriously," he said. "These are immoral, criminal acts that damage the State of Israel."
(Times of Israel)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

"Peace" Process Breeds Conflict

Moving Beyond the "Peace Process" - Amir Taheri

In 1948 there was no Palestine problem; there was an Israel problem, in that the Arab League wouldn't tolerate a Jewish state in its midst.

Nor was the 1967 war about Palestine. Egypt's Nasser, who started it, said the objective was "throwing the Jews into the sea."

At no point was creating a Palestinian state even considered. Nasser failed, and the new status quo favored Israel by widening its security perimeter - with territories taken from Egypt, Jordan and Syria, not from Palestine.

The demand for a return to pre-1967 borders is bizarre, to say the least. In 1967 there were no borders, just ceasefire lines drawn in 1948 - lines that symbolized an unstable status quo that led to two wars. Going back to them means returning to a situation that breeds war, not peace.

The "peace process" also ignores a fact well established in human history: Every war ends with a winner and a loser; the winner dictates the new status quo and the loser grudgingly accepts. Israel is perhaps the only winner to be prevented from even thinking about cashing its chips. Each time it won a war, the UN and other outsiders intervened to put the whole thing on a different trajectory.

All that the various "peace initiatives" have done is to raise Palestinian expectations beyond what any Israeli government could accept. 
(New York Post)