Human Rights Watch reports: Israel v. Hamas and Hezbullah
Noah Pollak looks at the number of reports Human Rights Watch has issued on Israel as compared with the number it has issued on the 'Palestinians' and Hezbullah and shows very clear bias.
From 2006 to the present, Human Rights Watch’s reports on the Israeli-Arab conflict have been almost entirely devoted to condemning Israel, accusing it of human rights and international law violations, and demanding international investigations into its conduct. It has published some 87 criticisms of Israeli conduct against the Palestinians and Hezbollah, versus eight criticisms of Palestinian groups and four of Hezbollah for attacks on Israel. (It also published a small number of critiques of both Israel and Arab groups, and of intra-Palestinian fighting.)
It was during this period that more than 8,000 rockets and mortars were fired at Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. Human Rights Watch’s response? In November 2006 it said that the Palestinian Authority “should stop giving a wink and a nod to rocket attacks.” Two years later it urged the Hamas leadership “to speak out forcefully against such [rocket] attacks . . . and bring to justice those who are found to have participated in them.”
In response to the rocket war and Hamas’s violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007, Israel imposed a partial blockade of Gaza. Human Rights Watch then published some 28 statements and reports on the blockade, accusing Israel in highly charged language of an array of war crimes and human rights violations. One report headline declared that Israel was “choking Gaza.” Human Rights Watch has never recognized the difference between Hamas’s campaign of murder against Israeli civilians and Israel’s attempt to defend those civilians. The unwillingness to distinguish between aggression and self-defense blots out a fundamental moral fact—that Hamas’s refusal to stop its attacks makes it culpable for both Israeli and Palestinian casualties.
Meanwhile, Egypt has also maintained a blockade on Gaza, although it is not even under attack from Hamas. Human Rights Watch has never singled out Egypt for criticism over its participation in the blockade.
The organization regularly calls for arms embargoes against Israel and claims it commits war crimes for using drones, artillery and cluster bombs. Yet on Israel’s northern border sits Hezbollah, which is building an arsenal of rockets to terrorize and kill Israeli civilians, and has placed that arsenal in towns and villages in hopes that Lebanese civilians will be killed if Israel attempts to defend itself. The U.N. Security Council has passed resolutions demanding Hezbollah’s disarmament and the cessation of its arms smuggling. Yet while Human Rights Watch has criticized Israel’s weapons 15 times, it has criticized Hezbollah’s twice.
The bias is obvious to anyone who wants to see it. Unfortunately, most of the world just isn't interested.
Only Israeli bombs can save the Iranian regime says... Roger Cohen
The New York Review of Books publishes a lengthy analysis of the current situation in Iran by New York Times columnist Roger Cohen. Cohen concludes that the only thing that can save the Iranian regime would be an attack by Israel on its nuclear facilities (Hat Tip: Hollywood Liberal).
Meanwhile the centrifuges spin. There are close to seven thousand of them now, and Iran has produced about a ton of low-enriched uranium. Israeli officials have stated that their red line is close and indicated more than once that Israel is prepared to bomb Iranian facilities to prevent the country becoming a nuclear, or virtual nuclear, power. Joe Biden said this is Israel's sovereign right, but Obama appeared to distance himself from the vice-president, saying that the US wanted to resolve the nuclear issue "in a peaceful way." Little would be left of the American president's pivotal outreach to the Islamic world if Israeli bombs rained down on Natanz: the distinction between Israel and the United States would be lost on hundreds of millions of Muslims from Cairo to Tehran and beyond.
Obama says his overture still stands. A path to normalization exists if Iran is willing to compromise on its nuclear program. But the whole putative process has clearly become more difficult: the Iranian government is of very dubious legitimacy, has blood on its hands, and is under destabilizing pressures that could prove explosive. Obama and leaders of the major industrial powers have now demanded an Iranian response on nuclear talks by September, moving up a loose deadline that had been set for the end of the year. There's official international "impatience" with Iran. But nobody can control or time the fallout from Ahmadinejad's power grab, and business as usual is clearly impossible as long as people are being clubbed in the streets.
The strategic imperative for engagement with Iran remains, evident from Iraq to Afghanistan and Gaza. The moral imperative to stand with democracy-seeking Iranians being beaten for protesting peacefully is also clear. This double, and conflicting, imperative argues for a period of coolness that could increase Ahmadinejad's vulnerability. Obama is good at cool.
Iran overwhelms people with its tragedy. At night, I would go out onto a small balcony off my bedroom or onto rooftops with friends, and listen to the sounds of Allah-u-Akbar and "Death to the Dictator" echoing between the high-rises. Often, Iran's brave women led the chants. Tehran is not beautiful, but spread out in its mountainous amphitheater, it is a noble and stirring city. Unrequited longing is a Persian condition. I've felt it in the Iranian diaspora—Iranians were globalized by Khomeini—and I feel it in the many Iranians I know who still quest for the freedom that their country has sought since people rose to demand a constitution from the Qajar dynasty in 1905.
A great desire and a great rage inhabited those rooftop cries. I hear them still. Iran, thanks in part to the revolution, now has many of the preconditions for democracy, including a large middle class, broad higher education, and a youthful population that is sophisticated and engaged. If Khamenei and the revolutionary establishment deny that, as they did with violence after June 12, they will in the end devour themselves. When that will be I do not know, but Iran's government and people are marching in opposite directions. I do know that if the hard-liners maintain their current tenuous hold, the one way they will lock it in for a long time would be if bombs fell on Iran. Offers of engagement have unsettled the regime. Military confrontation would cement it.
Cohen is wrong - again. The people of Iran are fed up enough with their government that even an Israeli attack on their nuclear facilities would not move them off attempting to overthrow that government. The Iranian people do not want to be canon fodder to be 'martyred' in a nuclear war between their oppressive government and Israel. They know that's where Ahamdinejad and Khameni are heading. They're not fools who are suddenly going to 'rally around the flag' and forgive all the bloodshed by the regime because Israel defends itself and tries to take out the regime's nuclear capability before it is weaponized.
Having spent so much time in Iran, one would think that Cohen had learned to respect its people's resolve. Sadly, he has not.
NBC refuses to apologize for linking Neda Soltan to the al-Dura hoax
A month ago, I reported that NBC News' Richard Engel had compared the murder of Iranian icon Neda Soltan to the faked murder of 'Palestinian' Mohamed al-Dura. You can find all the details here, but let's go to the videotape to remind you of the incident. The Engel interview starts around 3:25 and the part about al-Dura is at the 6:00 mark and runs until about the 7:00 mark.
The pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) recounts on its Web site that after the group's executive director, Andrea Levin, on June 25 sent a letter of complaint to Engel -- which was also copied to NBC News President Steve Capus -- requesting that NBC revisit and "clarify" Engel's assertions, Capus sent a letter of response accusing CAMERA of "taking a cheap shot" at Engel, and did not revise the NBC correspondent's claims about the al-Dura case. Capus, as quoted by CAMERA on its Web site: "If you were truly dedicated to advancing journalism, you would be going out of your way to praise Richard for his work – rather than taking a cheap shot." The NBC News head went on to praise Engel as "a non-biased, dedicated journalist. NBC News considers itself lucky to have him."
CAMERA reports that, after sending a second letter to Capus on July 7, the NBC News president has made no further response. CAMERA published the full text on its Web site of both letters it sent to NBC News. Citing the fact that Capus's correspondence was "communicated privately via email," CAMERA included only brief excerpts of his correspondence.
The arrogance of the mainstream media in general, and of NBC in particular, is simply beyond belief. The mainstream media is dying. As far as I am concerned, at least with respect to the large American television networks (other than Fox) it cannot happen soon enough. Their bias against Israel is open and appalling.
Hamas sponsored a mass wedding on Wednesday night for '450 couples.'
Hamas dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, one of the militant group's top leaders, were on hand to congratulate 450 grooms who took part in the carefully stage-managed event.
"We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness," Zahar told the men, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.
Each groom received a present of 500 dollars from Hamas, which said its workers had also contributed five percent of their monthly salaries to add to the wedding gift.
The 450 brides shared none of the glamour, taking seats among the audience of around 1,000 party guests: most couples had already taken part in religious ceremonies elsewhere, with more marriages planned for the next few days.
"We are presenting this wedding as a gift to our people who stood firm in the face of the siege and the war," local Hamas strongman Ibrahim Salaf said in a speech.
Now I have raw video of the event, and I want you to pay close attention to the 'brides' - especially as they walk in with the 'grooms' around the 4:00 mark. There is no way that any of these little girls - half the heights of their husbands - is more than 10 years old.
Let's go to the videotape.
There's very little question about it: The brides are a bunch of pre-pubescent girls.
A lot of people have questioned whether the girls in the video are really the brides. Wearing white and heavily made up, they sure look like brides to me.
Those people who claim they are not brides question why I have not taken the post down. Well, unlike the web sites of certain Presidential campaigns, I don't believe in flushing my mistakes down the memory hole, if I was mistaken.
But I'm not convinced I was mistaken. There have been enough instances of marriage with young girls in the Muslim world to make the scenario more than plausible. And there is no question that the men in the suits are the grooms.
This post has gotten thousands of hits since Friday afternoon. If someone in an official position in Gaza wanted to deny it, they have had more than ample opportunity to do so.
Israel has only recently become a technological and economic powerhouse. It got there after a protracted dalliance with socialism that gave Israel high unemployment, anemic growth, and inflation rates that reached 1000 percent in early 1985. Three catalysts changed everything: (1) the influx of 1 million vehemently anti-socialist immigrants from the former Soviet Union; (2) the addition of a far smaller but still consequential cohort of American Jewish immigrants who had business experience and expertise; and (3) economic reforms urged by Natan Sharansky and Bibi Netanyahu. The results, Gilder writes, were “incandescent.” He cites a 2008 Deloitte & Touche survey showing that in six key areas — telecom, microchips, software, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and clean energy — “Israel ranked second only to the United States in technological innovation.” Israel’s high-tech research and development puts it at the center of the information revolution. Intel’s microchips, Gilder notes, might as well be tagged “Israel Inside.”
But what has this to do with the Palestinians? In addition to his guided tour through Israel’s equivalent of Silicon Valley, Gilder also provides a taut and clarifying economic and political history of the modern Middle East. The economic piece is key, because Israelis have created prosperity wherever they have touched ground in that otherwise listless part of the globe. And Arabs have responded by flooding into areas they previously disdained after Israelis made them habitable, even desirable. It was so in the Yishuv (the new Jewish settlements in the Holy Land starting in the 1880s). And after Israel reluctantly took control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the economy in the territories became one of the most dynamic on earth, posting 30 percent annual growth. The Arab population, along with per capita income, tripled.
Arabs are and have always been in a position to share in the wealth created by Israel — and to create their own. But they have flunked the “Israel Test” by choosing envy and hatred. It’s a test the outcome of which, Gilder persuasively argues, will determine our own future as well. Gilder has always been right. Read the book.
This is an interesting idea that will never happen. Shmuel Rosner suggests making former President George W. Bush President Obama's special envoy to the Middle East.
I don't think this idea is a viable one - because the parties involved wouldn't be interested. Nonetheless, it's intriguing enough idea for me to mention it. It is from Gregory Levey's article in Newsweek:
[T]here is someone who does - someone who could use a job, someone who argued straightforwardly for a Palestinian state, and yet someone who has the implicit admiration and regard of Israel. President Obama needs a new envoy to the region who can get results - and George W. Bush is his man.
As an envoy, Bush could assuage most of these worries. Many Israelis, especially led by their current right-wing government, would readily trust that policies advanced by Bush had their best interests at heart, and he would not abandon them.
Well maybe. If it's the first term Bush clearly yes. If it's the second term Bush, I'd want to know whom he's hiring as his advisers first.
But the first term Bush is light years away from Obama on policy, and the second term Bush would hire advisers who are light years away from Obama on policy, so this will never happen. But it's a thought.
The Saudi money collected by Human Rights Watch has been put to use defending Islamists, albeit not in the Middle East. In Nigeria, a member of Boko Haram, an Islamist group likened to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been shot dead while trying to escape police custody. And Human Rights Watch has already indicted, tried and convicted the police (Hat Tip: Norman B).
A BBC reporter in the city was among journalists shown two films, one apparently showing Mr Yusuf making a confession; the other showing what appeared to be his body, riddled with bullets.
"Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security forces in a shootout while trying to escape," the regional police assistant inspector-general, Moses Anegbode, told Nigerian television.
A spokesman for the state governor was also quoted as saying that Mr Yusuf had been trying to escape.
One policeman told AFP news agency Mr Yusuf had "pleaded for mercy and forgiveness before he was shot."
Staff at Human Rights Watch said there should be an immediate investigation into the case.
"The extrajudicial killing of Mr Yusuf in police custody is a shocking example of the brazen contempt by the Nigerian police for the rule of law," said Human Rights Watch's Eric Guttschuss.
Another Human Rights Watch researcher, Corinne Dufka, told AP news agency: "The Nigerian authorities must act immediately to investigate and hold to account all those responsible for this unlawful killing and any others associated with the recent violence in northern Nigeria."
A later version of the BBC report adds:
Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the BBC's Network Africa that she was concerned about the death and that the government would find out "exactly what happened".
However Mohammed Yusuf's demise was "positive" for Nigeria, she added.
"What is important is that he [Yusuf] has been taken out of the way, to stop him using people to cause mayhem."
She accused Mr Yusuf of "brainwashing" youths to cause trouble.
Ms Akunyili praised the security forces, saying they had managed to stop the violence spreading even further and that normality was returning to the region.
Okay, maybe that's a bit much....
Human Rights Watch has been bribed. They have indicted, prosecuted and convicted the Nigerian police. They will never again find an Islamist they don't love. And the Saudis paid for it.
President Barack Hussein Obama has finally decided to make a 'gesture' to Israel and the Jews. It's pictured at top left of this post.
The gesture comes in the form of the awarding of the Medal of Freedom to one-time United Nations 'Human Rights Commissioner' and President of Ireland Mary Robinson. At Contentions, Jennifer Rubin explains who Mary Robinson is and what she symbolizes (Hat Tip: Melanie Phillips).
You may remember her role in presiding over the infamous Durban I Conference. At the time she joined Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University (no, you can’t make this up), this report summarized the objections to her hiring, given her record in overseeing the infamous Israel-bashing event:
Columbia has “become a hotbed of anti-Israel haters,” said the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein. “It’s especially astonishing that a school with such a large Jewish population would insult Jewish people by hiring these haters of the Jewish state of Israel.”
The groups also blame Ms. Robinson for allowing the Durban conference to become a global platform for anti-Israel venting. Ms. Robinson, as the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, rejected many American demands to remove anti-Israel language from final conference documents.
“Under Mary Robinson’s leadership the Human Rights Commission was one-sided and extremist. In her tenure at the HRC, she lacked fairness in her approach to the Israeli/Palestinian issue,” said the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, James Tisch. “I am hopeful — for the sake of her students and the reputation of Columbia — that as she enters the world of academia she will demonstrate more balance in her views.”
Recently deceased congressman and human-rights champion Tom Lantos had this to say:
Mary Robinson’s lack of leadership was a major contributing factor to the debacle in Durban. Her yearning to have a “dialogue among civilizations” blinded her to the reality that the noble goals of her conference had been usurped by some of the world’s least tolerant and most repressive states, wielding human rights claims as a weapon in a political dispute.
But Durban was not the only blot on her record. As Michael Rubin pointed out in this 2002 column, in her capacity as president of Ireland, she also happily provided millions of dollars of support to the PLO, which were used in terror attacks:
During the last four years of Robinson’s tenure, the European Union donated large sums of money to the Palestinian Authority. Ireland even held the presidency of the European Union for the second half of 1996. During this time, Arafat siphoned large amounts of European aid money away to pay for terror. Robinson can plead ignorance, but documents seized during the recent Israeli incursion into the West Bank revealed that the Palestinian Authority spent approximately $9 million of European Union aid money each month on the salaries of those organizing terror attacks against civilians. While European officials like Robinson looked the other way, the Palestinian Authority regularly converted millions of dollars of aid money into shekels at rates about 20 percent below normal, allowing the Palestinian chairman to divert millions of dollars worth of aid into his personal slush fund.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, along with its counterpart the Congressional Gold Medal, is the highest civilian award that the United States can bestow. That President Obama considers the likes of Mary Robinson worthy of the Medal of Freedom speaks volumes about who this President is and what he represents. Especially when you consider it together with the President's racist behavior in what is known is Gatesgate. Michele Malkin pegged Obama in an interview with the Today Show on Wednesday. She called Obama a racial opportunist. Awarding this medal is continuing in the same vein.
The President of the United States is beneath contempt.
One of the questions that will have to be addressed, according to an official involved in the discussions, is what constitutes a political NGO. While it seems that there is an obvious distinction between an organization like Hadassah, which funds hospitals, and one like Breaking the Silence, which has a perceived political agenda, the distinctions would have to be spelled out in legislation.
The discussion follows Post revelations that foreign governments are funding of Breaking the Silence, which last week added its voice to a number of NGOs that have issued scathing reports of the IDF's activities in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.
Israel has already contacted the Dutch and British governments about their funding of the organization, and is expected to soon take up the matter with the Spanish government as well.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry's agency for international development cooperation budgeted 80,000 for Breaking the Silence in 2009 [I assume that the missing currency here is Euros. CiJ]. It allocated 100,000 for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and another 80,000 for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, a group led by far-left activist Jeff Halper.
The Post has learned that the Spanish Foreign Ministry agency has also committed itself to giving 70,000 this year to Rabbis for Human Rights.
Breaking the Silence issued a statement earlier this week accusing the Foreign Ministry of a "witch hunt" in raising the issue with foreign governments, saying this testified to the erosion of the "democratic culture" in Israel.
"Attempts to silence voices in Israeli society are dangerous," the group said. "It appears that the Foreign Ministry is getting ideas from the darkest regimes where anyone who points to failures is considered a traitor."
Breaking the Silence is dead wrong. Israel's political process is (or ought to be) open for participation by Israelis and not by foreigners. Foreigners don't pay taxes here and they don't have to live with the consequences of their actions when they try to influence the political process here. Israelis do.
Imagine the outrage if the United States were attempting to influence the political process in Britain or vice versa.
Name me one other democracy in the world where Britain, Holland, Spain or the European Union is funding political activity. Answer: There isn't any other such democracy.
Don't expect much sympathy from the Obama administration either. Aside from their usual opposition to anything Israel does, the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign disabled standard industry safeguards so as to allow anonymous donations by credit card, a tactic that is widely believed to have resulted in significant foreign contributions to the the Obama campaign.
U.S. policy toward Jerusalem has long tended toward the "denial" side of the equation. If an American living in Jerusalem gives birth to a child in either West Jerusalem or post-1967 East Jerusalem, for example, her progeny is not recognized by the U.S. as being born in Israel. The birth certificate and passport will list only a city name -- Jerusalem -- as the place of birth.
This rule follows the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual, which notes: "For a person born in Jerusalem, write JERUSALEM as the place of birth in the passport. Do not write Israel, Jordan or West Bank ..." The "logic" for this is that Israel is considered by the United States to be "occupying" territories -- including Jerusalem -- whose final status must be negotiated.
As State Department spokesman Ian Kelly admitted on June 22, before being reined in, the recent Obama administration fixation on a "settlement freeze" also targets neighborhoods in East Jerusalem whose Jewish population's "natural growth" is to be halted.
And there is more State Department trickery. Births of children of American citizens in any of the Arab towns or Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem and beyond the Green Line will have their birthplace noted, as per the above-mentioned regulations, as the "West Bank." Is the "West Bank" a state? Is the State Department engaged in creating new states?
This is an illogical and quite unreasonable bureaucratic situation. On the one hand, the State Department has fashioned a new "state" while, on the other, it is ignoring Israel's status in its own capital.
The "West Bank" never existed as a geopolitical entity until April 1950, when Jordan annexed the area. That annexation, incidentally, was considered by all the world -- except for Britain -- as an illegal occupation. Yet the U.S. has established the "West Bank," with the stroke of a pen, as if it were a state entity.
If the U.S. insists on using boundaries dating to 1948, shouldn't it also use the place names in use at that time? "Judea" and "Samaria" were both names written into the U.N. partition resolution. A baby born to U.S. citizens in Shiloh, for example, should therefore be registered as having been born in "Shiloh, Samaria."
Although the pressure on Israel not to build in Jerusalem is new, the American government's obtuse treatment of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is not. The Zivotovsky case, to which Medad alludes, happened long before Obama came into power. Israel designated Jerusalem its capital in 1948, and the United States, along with the most of the rest of the world, located its embassy in Tel Aviv, long before the 'occupation' became a cardinal sin (although the Arab world referred to land won by Israel in the War of Independence that was beyond the boundaries of the UN partition resolution, which the Arabs refused to accept, as 'occupied').
The American refusal to register births in Jerusalem, Israel is largely symbolic, but in this part of the world, every bit of symbolism has meaning. It's a nuisance that ought to be corrected.
Progress? US briefs Israel on upcoming sanctions against Iran
Haaretz reports that the Obama administration officials who were in Israel this past week briefed the Israeli government on proposed sanctions against Iran (Hat Tip: Save the GOP).
New sanctions would mainly aim to significantly curb Tehran's ability to import refined petroleum products. Despite its huge crude oil reserves, Iran has only limited refining capacity, so it imports large quantities of refined products such as gasoline.
Jones and his team reported that a bill by Senator Joe Lieberman to curb sales of refined oil products to Iran is almost complete, and 67 senators have already signed it.
The Americans are proposing financial sanctions such as banning insurance on trade deals with Tehran, which would make it difficult for Iran to trade with other countries. They also want to impose sanctions on any company that trades with Iran and use this to pressure other countries, mainly in Asia, to resist making deals with Iran.
In the next stage, the Americans will consider even harsher sanctions, such as banning Iranian ships from docking in Western ports and, as a next step, banning Iranian airplanes from landing in Western airports.
Color me unimpressed.
The first set of sanctions originates from Congress and not from the Obama administration. It will likely pass Congress with or without the Obumbler's help, and a veto would cause his already plummeting poll numbers to go through the floor.
As to the second and third sets, the fact that they are not all part of the same package shows that the Obama administration still has no sense of urgency to stop Iran. The first stage would go into effect late this year, and the later stages would likely go into effect after Iran already has the bomb. The Obama administration is going through the motions to say that they tried, but the reality is that the effort is half-hearted.
The Obama administration has no interest in stopping Iran. It is going to be up to Israel to stop Iran by itself.
US Consulate in Jerusalem: All 'Palestinians,' all the time
Paul Mirengoff points to the home page of the US Consulate in Jerusalem, where every item on the page relates to the 'Palestinians' and none relates to Jews or Israelis. Paul calls it a fair reflection of where the Obama administration's sympathies lie and how it sees the city.
While Paul's assessment is correct, the problems with the Jerusalem consulate long precede the Obama administration. The consulate, which is located a stone's throw away from the former Mandelbaum Gate, which was the crossing point between Jordan and Israel between 1948 and 1967 (about the only thing that crossed there was the convoy to Mount Scopus that went through once every two weeks during that period), has long seen itself as the US embassy to the 'Palestinians.' It was seen that way 30 years ago when I was a yeshiva student here.
Many Israelis who live in and around Jerusalem rely on that consulate for American consular services. Although there is also an American consulate in the western part of the city (on Agron Street in the center of town), that consulate is largely useless except for handing in your absentee ballots. If you want to have a passport issued, obtain a visa for the US, register for social security or register your children as American citizens, you have to go to the consulate in the eastern part of the city, just over the 'green line' - or go to the American embassy in Tel Aviv.
The consul general in the 'east' Jerusalem consulate, Jacob Walles, is known to be very pro-'Palestinian,' and created a diplomatic incident at a Ramallah checkpoint a year and a half ago. Walles is finishing his term here and has been mentioned as a candidate to be US ambassador to Syria.
Sarah Palin is America’s most intriguing political figure. Love her or hate her there is no denying America is fascinated by Sarah Palin.
Like it or not we live in an era of celebrity politicians, and right now there’s only one politician in America who can compete with President Obama on “celebrity” terms… and her name is Sarah Palin.
Acknowledging Sarah Palin’s power to command attention and the media spotlight has ramifications for Israel. Especially the Israeli right.
Right now the narrative presented the world by the political right in Israel is ignored, not even heard let alone listened to or given credibility. With that state of affairs in mind, I want to help the Israeli right find their “zivug.” So I offer here a “shidduch.” [Zivug and shidduch both mean "match" - usually, but not always, in the sense of finding a spouse. CiJ]
What an opportunity a “shidduch” with Sarah Palin presents. Stepping down as Governor of Alaska she now confronts the challenge of an expanded political horizon. And that means developing thoughtful, rational alternatives to President Obama’s Muslim-centric worldview. And Sarah Palin has a megaphone loud enough to impact American opinion.
Begin the courtship. Sarah Palin meet the Israeli political right. The two of you will meet for coffee. See how it goes.
As she steps onto a bigger stage questions will dog her. But they won’t be questions about her experience. No, the non-stop attack of her critics will be centered on Sarah Palin’s threshold of knowledge and her success at grasping, and communicating the issues of the day.
This much is obvious she has a political gift. How she presents herself, how she frames the issues, how she connects with people, how she uses her gift… that’s the unresolved question.
We must not miss this opportunity to present the Israeli narrative to Sarah Palin.
She is a game changer. Sarah Palin, championing a “Jordanian alternative” to President Obama’s “Two-State solution” such as the one Arieh Eldad has introduced in the Knesset and Benny Elon has promoted could dramatically redraw public opinion. Speaking out in defense of “settlements” Sarah Palin can offer the world a sorely needed reality check.
A match made in heaven.
As an advocate for “tough” policies aimed at Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons she just might help change the course of events before its too late. And, as a protector of a Jewish Jerusalem, who could calculate her value.
Trust me, you guys are perfect for each other.
Let me make the “Shadchan’s” final pitch. You will love her persona. She’s feisty and tough minded, unscripted, genuine and fearless. She rejects the politics of moral equivalency. What a refreshing contrast with President Obama. She’s leery of the UN, no friend of CNN or BBC, supports a forward leaning military posture and is unapologetic about America’s role in the world.
Lastly, she is a basketball point guard, and Israel’s second sport is basketball.
This, my friends, is your true “bashert.”
I speak frankly Sarah Palin is worth courting. Make every effort to reach out to this valuable ally, this friend and supporter in a world where Israel has few friends and even fewer supporters.
Such a deal.
You know if she ever did become President, that embassy might just be moved to Jerusalem.
Israeli NGO takes battle against 'settlements' to the US
Far left Israeli NGO 'Gush Shalom' is taking the battle against Jews living in Judea and Samaria to the United States. The organization is trying to have the US tax-exempt status of organizations that support the revenants revoked.
The left-wing organization Gush Shalom is launching a campaign against organizations soliciting donations in the United States, particularly those receiving US federal tax exemptions for settlements and illegal outposts, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The timing of the campaign has been stepped up from September to August because the Foreign Ministry recently launched its own campaign to block governments of foreign countries from donating money to human rights organizations in Israel.
One of the organizations singled out by Gush Shalom is called "Shuva Israel," which describes itself as "a US non-profit organization with 501c3 IRS tax deductible status."
The organization solicits money for a long list of West Bank settlements and illegal outposts including Havat Gilad and Havat Ya'ir, which are on the list of outposts Israel has promised the US to dismantle.
Asked about the Gush Shalom campaign, David Halevy, the head of Shuva Israel, said, "This is incredibly outrageous. They have the gall to do this after receiving so many millions of dollars from foreign governments supporting left-wing organizations that influence activity in Israel."
He said the money collected is used to subsidize schools, libraries, youth activity, women empowerment training and other projects in the settlements and outposts. Asked how much money his group collects per year, Halevy replied, "I wish we collected more than we do. If we could get 10 percent of what these left-wing organizations receive, we could do a great deal."
Gush Shalom said that in the second stage of the campaign, it will focus on the financing mechanisms of mainstream organizations such as Nefesh B'Nefesh, Christian Zionist philanthropies, the Jewish National Fund and the World Zionist Organization, which are also active in the West Bank.
Gush Shalom is so far outside the Israeli mainstream I cannot begin to tell you. They are well to the left of Meretz - the furthest left Jewish political party in the Knesset. They actively discourage soldiers serving over the 'green line' in the IDF. If they start going after mainstream organizations like the ones listed in that last paragraph, they can assure themselves of well-deserved perpetual pariah status.
But maybe without their European funding (the lead story in the paper edition of Friday's JPost is that the government is trying to stop NGO's from being funded from abroad) they'll shrivel up and die. Heh.
Haaretz reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu has frozen construction on a 900-unit apartment project in Pisgat Zev. Pisgat Zev is in Jerusalem, but across the 'green line.' It is no more than a few minutes up the road from me. It is also a neighborhood in which Arabs have purchased apartments. This was done late Wednesday night, when most Israelis were busy with the Tisha b'Av fast day and not paying attention to the media (Hat Tip: Racquel R.).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen a project for the construction of some 900 apartments in East Jerusalem, Channel 10 television reported late Wednesday.
The report of Netanyahu's order to freeze the project came a day after he held talks in Jerusalem with U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Netanyahu has been under tremendous pressure from the United States to freeze all construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
According to Channel 10, The houses were planned to be built in Pisgat Ze'ev, one of several Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem built beyond the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank.
Time to take to the streets fellow Israelis.
The picture is of a Pisgat Zev apartment that was available "for sale or rent to Arabs only" in 2007.
Watching the news and reading the headlines this past week has been an exercise in frustration and anger.
The Obama administration continues to expend considerable energy to "reassure" Americans and Israelis that they consider the prospect of an impending nuclear-armed Iran to be unacceptable -- but I'm not buying it and I doubt you are either.
My husband and DeNuke Iran co-founder Michael Fenenbock and I are getting angrier and angrier as it is becoming clearer and clearer that Israel is going to be left to deal with what is rightfully a threat to the entire world.
"Crunch time" is approaching for DeNuke Iran as well.
Michael and I continue to draw on our political experience and our personal resources to develop DeNuke Iran as a viable and effective voice for those who want to collectively take a stand against the non-action of the political leadership around the world, particularly in the United States.
I want to thank you for your continued support. These are indeed dark days, but I am confident we will soon grow to the tens and hundreds of thousands, and then together - collectively - we will make an impact. Please continue to "watch this space" for some exciting announcements in the very near future on how we intend to that. We are not being idle, and we are counting on you to help us successfully execute our plans.
In the meantime, here is the latest from Michael who has put down his thoughts in the very stark terms that matches the reality that we are currently facing. We are more motivated than ever to do what we can to right this terrible wrong. We take great pride in having you along for the ride.
If you are a small country and you have a bully for a neighbor, a bully who speaks of annihilating you, of wiping you off the map, then heaven help you because no one else will. You are alone. If Iran is to be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons, it will be up to Israel. A few days ago President Obama sent Secretary of Defense Gates to Israel with a single, frightening task -- dissuade Israel from any thought of military action to take out Iran's nuclear facilities. These are perilous times. The mullahs who rule Iran with an iron fist move forward daily with their nuclear weapons program - and the missiles to deliver them and the sophisticated air defense systems to defend against an attack. It's on Israel now. The Obama Administration has signaled to the world -- and to the mullahs -- that the US has no interest in a military option. Israel's decisions and actions will determine whether or not Iran obtains nuclear weapons. Iran's centrifuges, its missile development, and its air defense systems are running round the clock. Time is up. Israel faces a survival decision... it must confront the reality of living under constant threat of a nuclear attack. Israel must make its lonely decision based on that horrific reality, not based on the false promise of Mr. Obama's all-carrot-and-no-stick, dream world, pie-in-the-sky, kumbaya, "lets rap," Iran strategy that is doomed to fail. So now Israel is left alone to ponder its future. Pray for Israel and be very angry with the Obama administration.
In the summer of 2000, a meeting took place at the home of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in the Har Nof section of Jerusalem. Those who attended the meeting were other Haredi Rabbis who opposed Ehud Barak's plan to go to Camp David and offer the 'Palestinians' everything they wanted. The leader of those Rabbis was Rabbi Levi I. Horowitz, the Bostonner Rebbe, someone my family has known for many years (as far as I am aware, he is currently quite ill - HaRav Levi Yitzchak ben Sarah Sasha for those who wish to say a prayer). The delegation succeeded in convincing Rabbi Yosef to pull his Shas party out of Barak's government.
The way Rabbi Horowitz and his cohorts convinced Rabbi Yosef to oppose Barak's trip to Camp David was to show him how turning over the Arab villages around the Mount of Olives (Har HaZeitim) cemetery to the 'Palestinians' would endanger Jewish burials in one of the most important Jewish cemeteries (possibly the most important) in the world. Nadav Shragai explains why Israel must continue to control the Mount of Olives cemetery.
* The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, that the Palestinians demand to transfer to their control, is the most important Jewish cemetery in the world. The area has constituted a religious and national pantheon for the Jewish people and the State of Israel, containing the tombs of the illustrious dead of the nation over the course of 3,000 years and serving as a site for Jewish gathering and prayer at the time of the ancient Temple and even prior to it.
* Under Jordanian rule, Jewish access and the continued burial of Jews on the mount was prohibited, despite Jordan's explicit commitment in the Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement of 1949. During the period of Jordanian rule, the cemetery was destroyed and desecrated, and 38,000 of its tombstones and graves were smashed to smithereens. [Many of its gravestones were used to construct a walkway to the Intercontinental Hotel which sits atop the Mount, and which was built under the Jordanians' rule. CiJ].
* Since Jerusalem's reunification, burial ceremonies were renewed at the site and large sections of the cemetery were rehabilitated. Nevertheless, attempts by Palestinians to damage the cemetery have never totally abated, and there have been periodic attacks on Jewish mourners escorting their dead for burial.
* Previous Israeli governments that consented to discuss arrangements in Jerusalem with the Palestinians rejected their demand to transfer the Mount of Olives to PA sovereignty and control. Nevertheless, those governments were prepared to give their assent to the transfer of neighborhoods that control the access routes to the mount. Should any such agreement be implemented in the future, it could endanger freedom of access to the site and continued Jewish burial there.
* In any future arrangements, in order to allow continued Jewish burial on the mount, Israel must guarantee freedom of access to the site by controlling the arteries leading to it, as well as the areas adjacent to it. On the previous occasions that Israel transferred areas that included Jewish holy sites to Palestinian control, the Palestinians severely encumbered or refused to allow Jewish access to these places. Sometimes these sites were even severely damaged.
When the Oslo War started in 2000, it became a regular occurrence for Jewish vehicles headed to the Mount of Olives for funeral services to be stoned. We know the family of a prominent rabbi from the US whose funeral convoy was stoned. On the Eve of Rosh haShanna (the Jewish New Year) in 2000, when the Oslo War had just started, the Chevra Kadisha (burial society) insisted on taking a body to the Mount of Olives for burial by itself, unaccompanied by the family. They knew they would be stoned on the way there and back, but they took the body for burial anyway.
Israel would be crazy to give the 'Palestinians' control over the cemetery. Look what the 'Palestinians' have done to, for example, Joseph's tomb.
How many of you remember the Karine A? The Karine A was a ship that was sent from Iran to the 'Palestinians' in 2002 that was carrying over 50 tons of armaments. The IDF captured the ship some 500 nautical miles from Israel's coast. The Arafat aide who arranged that ship, Fuad Shubaki, was captured in Israel's raid on the Jericho 'prison' in 2006. On Wednesday, A military court convicted Shubaki of illegal arms dealing and of organizing and financing the Karine A.
Shubaki, who was arrested three years ago, was also convicted of bankrolling terror attacks and providing funds for the Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terror group during the second intifada. According to the court, Shubaki coordinated the purchase and subsequent shipment of the arms from Iran, and also channeled money from his office to Fatah terror cells, in both cases acting on direct orders from then-Palestinian Authority chairman Arafat.
When he was arrested, Shubaki told his Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogators that Arafat had diverted millions of dollars in international aid and taxes transferred to the PA by Israel to purchase large quantities of weapons and fund Palestinian terrorism.
He revealed that several senior Palestinian officials were involved in the allocation of the money for military purposes. Among them was Jibril Rajoub - head of the PA Preventative Security Force in the West Bank - who together with the other officials received payments for his part in the weapons purchases.
In addition to the light weaponry used by the Palestinians at the time, the Karine A also carried Sagger guided anti-tank missiles used by Hizbullah against Israeli armor in Lebanon, LAW anti-tank missiles, long-range mortars, and mines. Also on board the vessel were short and long-range Katyushas, including 122 mm rockets with a range of some 20 kilometers.
The Karine A was captured in January 2002. More than anything else, its capture convinced George W. Bush to call for a 'new Palestinian leadership' that was not tainted by terror in his famous June 24, 2002 speech. Unfortunately, that call was never answered.
Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee this week that the United States does not have the power to expand UNIFIL's mandate in southern Lebanon. However she believes that the Security Council might be willing to expand the mandate.
Addressing the recent explosion at an arms cache in south Lebanon, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told the House of Representative's Foreign Affairs Committee that while UNIFIL enjoys limited power in the Arab country, its presence still has some value.
Next month the Security Council is set to discuss the extension of UNIFIL's mandate in south Lebanon. Some 12,000 peacekeepers are stationed there.
Rice told the committee she does believe the Security Council would support expanding UNIFIL's authority in a bid to counter Hezbollah's increased presence in south Lebanon.
For once, I hope that she's right, but I'm afraid she's doing some wishful thinking.
The biggest problem with the current UNIFIL mandate is that it requires co-ordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces. Even if the Security Council approved expanding the mandate, I highly doubt that the Lebanese government would go along with the expansion. Since this is not (and is unlikely to be) a Chapter 7 resolution, if the Lebanese government does not want to play along, no one can force them to go along with it. Hope and change same!
For the first time since the end of Operation Cast Lead, Israel will allow cement and metal pipes into Gaza. The cement and metal pipes are to be turned over to UNRWA for specific construction projects and allegedly will be kept away from Hamas.
The transfer of materials is part of the implementation of a United Nations plan devised by UN envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, who has submitted to Israel a list of 10 UN-sponsored construction projects in Gaza.
Amos Gilad, the coordinator of Israeli activity in the Gaza Strip, authorized the UN construction plan several weeks ago. The cement will be transferred for use solely in the approved projects and will not be handed over to Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip.
Among the construction projects are the reconstruction of Gaza's largest flour mill and the refurbishing of a sewage treatment plant.
Both Israel and Egypt have kept Gaza's borders largely closed since the Islamic militant Hamas seized control of the territory by force more than two years ago.
I'm not pleased about this, because given that UNRWA has plenty of Hamas members working for it, I believe it's highly likely Hamas will get its hands on these materials, which obviously may be used to make Kassams.
But my guess is that this is a one-shot deal, and if Israel gets reports that Hamas got its hands on any of the materials they will not be able to do any more construction there.
UPDATE 10:57 PM
In a meeting with US National Security Adviser James Jones on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel will not completely open the border to Gaza until kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit is released.
Boyd's wife, Sabrina, told a Raleigh newspaper that he and one of their sons flew to Israel in 2007 to visit Muslim holy sites but were denied entry and detained for two days. That followed a trip Daniel Boyd made with another son, who is not charged, to Israel a year earlier. She denied any malevolent motive for their visits.
The U.S. indictment said Boyd and two sons — Zakariya, 20, and Dylan, 22 — traveled to Israel in July 2007 to meet with two of the other defendants but returned home "having failed in their attempt at violent jihad."
An Israeli security official confirmed that members of the Boyd family were denied entry in 2007. He declined to say why they were stopped or provide further details. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not officially made public.
Israeli police and the Interior Ministry, the office in charge of immigration, would not comment.
What happened to shared intelligence?
I guess we're lucky these people (apparently) didn't hook up with the ISM (International Solidarity Movement). Otherwise, there would have been all kinds of calls for them to be admitted to Israel on the Internet.
In an exclusive interview with the Washington Times, former Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin (pictured) charges the FBI with anti-Semitism in its probe of AIPAC - the largest pro-Israel lobby in the United States - earlier this decade. Even though he was used as an informant, Franklin was originally sentenced to 13 years in jail as part of the probe, but that sentence was reduced to probation earlier this year after charges against two former AIPAC employees were dropped.
Franklin said in that interview that he became disturbed by several apparently anti-Semitic remarks by his FBI handlers. His cooperation with the agency, which involved taping his conversations with officials of AIPAC and the Israeli Embassy, was first reported by the Times on Wednesday.
"One agent said to me, 'How can an Irish Catholic from the Bronx get mixed up with all these ...,' and I finished the sentence for him: 'Jews?' And I proceeded to tell him that Christ and all the Apostles and even his mom were Jewish," Franklin said in the interview.
"So it was that sort of thing. And just sarcastic turns of the phrase from time to time. You know, I felt dirty sometimes," he said.
FBI Assistant Director John Miller declined to address the charges of anti-Semitism.
"We have no way to respond to thirdhand characterizations of partial statements allegedly made by unnamed FBI employees several years ago," Mr. Miller said. "If Mr. Franklin would like to make a formal complaint about the conduct of any FBI employee, there is a process to do."
"But that [anti-Semitism] dimension was part of this investigation and may have been an initial incitement of this investigation," he said.
During the AIPAC probe, Franklin said, FBI agents whom he declined to identify by name "asked me about every Jew I knew in [the office of the secretary of defense]. There was an element of that."
Several Jews held prominent positions in the department at the time, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith.
Franklin, during the interview at the office of his attorney, Plato Cacheris, said he learned while working as a double agent for the FBI that the bureau had been investigating AIPAC and Mr. Rosen, its former policy director, since at least the 1990s, although he did not learn the specifics of the probe.
An AIPAC spokesman declined to comment.
If I were a Jew living in the United States, this sort of thing would make me think long and hard about accepting employment in any US government position that's connected to national security. And perhaps that's precisely the goal of this sort of investigation.
Can you imagine the outrage if the United States were funding 'political activity' in Britain or vice versa? Well, all over Europe, funding 'political activity in Israel' is unfortunately accepted as routine. Israelis are getting tired of it.
Israel is up in arms over a declaration by a British government spokesman that the UK is funding political activity in Israel.
British spokesman Martin Day said in an interview in Dubai with Al-Arabiya television last week that the British government was "taking practical steps towards freezing settlement activities."
"For instance," Day said, "we finance projects aimed at halting settlement activities. One of these projects seeks to build new Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and save Palestinian houses from demolition."
In addition, Day said in an Arabic interview, "we also finance organizations that monitor settlement activities."
He further stated that "products from the settlements do not enjoy preferential custom duties that we offer to products coming from Israel. In light of this, we can say that we are taking effective and practical steps against settlement activities."
The Foreign Ministry's senior deputy director general, Rafi Barak, spoke with British Ambassador Tom Phillips two days ago and asked for an explanation. He met with the British envoy again on Wednesday to again discuss the matter and voice Israel's displeasure.
Yossi Levy, the ministry's spokesman for the Hebrew press, characterized Day's comments as the "height of chutzpah," and said such activity was "unheard of."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, "We can't recall any other case of a democratic country funding political activities inside another democratic country."
Additionally, he said, this makes no sense from their point of view because any political activities they are backing will lose credibility in the eyes of the Israeli public when it is revealed that these activities are funded by a foreign government.
"How would the British feel if another country funded political activities of groups within the UK?" he asked.
Indeed. Unfortunately, at 10 Downing Street, it seems that anything goes when it comes to Israel. Simply outrageous.
GILDER: I believe that facing the most critical Israel Test are my fellow evangelicals, who are inclined to support Israel as the heart of their religion but who also can be gullible about the so-called oppression of the Palestinian Arabs. This is just stupid, because the Palestinian Arabs have benefited more from Israel than any other people — by far.
LOPEZ: What do you mean these wretched refugees benefited from Israel?
GILDER: The key period was between 1967 and 1987 when the Israelis administered the territories after Arabs refused all negotiations with their famous three “nos.” The Arabs were adamant against trading “land for peace” following their defeat in the ’67 war, so Israel inherited the territories.
During this 20-year period under Israeli rule, some 250,000 Israelis settled in the Territories. These were the supposedly predatory settlers. They supplied the infrastructure of power, water, education, and medical care that attracted nearly ten Arab settlers for every one Israeli. During this period, the economy in the territories grew some 25 percent per year, nearly the fastest in the world, and far faster than that of Israel itself, which was still bogged down in socialism. Arab life expectancy rose from 40 to around 70. Their incomes tripled while their population soared. Seven universities and 2,500 factories were established. It was the golden age for Palestinian Arabs.
Then, in the early 1990s, the U.N. and the West sold out the country to Yasser Arafat and his terrorist forces. The Palestine Liberation Organization became the world’s leading per capita recipients of foreign aid as international organizations squandered billions on them and thus transformed the Palestinians from entrepreneurs and workers into terrorists, welfare queens, and political poseurs of victimization and violence.
LOPEZ: You talk a lot about Israel’s enemies. Is anti-Semitism enough of a reason itself to defend Israel?
GILDER: Perhaps it is. Anti-Semitism is essentially hatred of capitalism and excellence. It epitomizes all the most reactionary and destructive forces in the world economy and culture. It should be opposed wherever it arises, from U.S. campuses to Middle Eastern regimes. But it is the achievements of Israel, not the animus of its enemies, that make its defense both possible and imperative. Israel is a bastion of Western culture and achievement and military technology at a time when other Western countries have fallen into socialist and pacifist doldrums.
LOPEZ: Can you really call the PLO Nazis and supporters of a Palestinian state essentially Nazi supporters?
GILDER: They may not know it, but Palestinian nationalism began with the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who was a fanatical Nazi, friend of Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann, and critic of the Holocaust as moving too slowly and inefficiently. Arafat was an ardent reader and promoter of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, a so-called moderate, devoted his university thesis to denying the Holocaust. Hamas and Hezbollah are worse. You can’t create a civilized country out of a Nazi movement. The only hope for the Palestinians is for Israel to help civilized Palestinians retrieve their country and throw out the terrorist thugs that currently define their national socialist identity.
Our Rabbis tell us that the Second Temple was destroyed due to sinat chinam (baseless hatred). As often happens at this time of year, today is filled with accusations that certain Jews are 'self-hating Jews.' The accusations are not necessarily right or wrong. But our Rabbis also teach us that we should not ignore derogatory speech when doing so could endanger us (I cannot look up sources today - we're not permitted to study Torah - but the source is a Gemara in the Tractate of Nida page 61a if I recall correctly).
I believe that it is long past time to be suspicious of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Yes, his father served in the Irgun - one of the pre-State paramilitary organizations here in Israel. But this would not be the first time that a son goes in the opposite direction from his father. And if this story is even half true, we Jews need to be very suspicious.
President Obama revealed this week that his White House advisor Rahm Emanuel, whose father was an Israeli and part of the underground resistance movement under the British Mandate, tells him everything he needs to know about Israel.
Emanuel also is the man who choreographed the handshake between former President Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn.
He has pushed the president into a head-on collision with the Netanyahu government, but there is a growing opinion that he has also left the president out on a limb. Emanuel’s strategy was to demonstrate that the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) no longer speaks for American Jewry.
Mondoweis Blogger Philip Weis, who continually attacks a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, wrote last month, “Obama's game is to defeat the Israel lobby from within. He could not defeat the lobby from outside it…. But now he is cracking it like a nut, and counting on Jews to do the cracking.”
That strategy has turned into a wall of opposition, both in Israel, where the president’s popularity rating is near-zero, in the U.S. where Emanuel has simply ignored opposing views of major Jewish organizations, and in the normally anti-settlement American press.
The building of new "illegal" outposts by West Bank settlers -- building accompanied by racist slurs directed at Israel's main benefactor, the President of the United States -- is a direct challenge to the legitimacy of Israel's democratically-elected government. If these outposts are allowed to stand, it will mean that the government of Israel is incapable of enforcing its own laws, or unwilling to do so. Israel and the United States demanded of the Palestinian Authority that it jail those who defied Palestinian law and threatened the Palestinian national cause. Israel should treat these settlers in the same manner. They are criminals who undermining the sovereignty of the Jewish state. If they are not stopped, then we might as well face the harsh truth, that the settlers are in open revolt against the government of the State of Israel, and that their fanaticism may destroy the 2,000-year-old dream of Jewish independence.
Goldberg is just plain wrong, but I don't believe he's a self-hating Jew. The law has to be upheld, but there is a huge difference between the violence of 'Palestinian' terrorists and a bunch of kids who are camping out on hilltops all over Judea and Samaria. Would Goldberg argue that non-violent civil rights demonstrators should have been treated the same as murderers and rapists? And I don't know what these kids are 'calling' Obama (I haven't seen reports other than that awful movie I refused to link that was mostly drunken non-Israelis), but it's irrelevant to the discussion. Israeli kids aren't required to venerate Obama.
But to return to Emanuel for a minute, I have already given my opinion that he is a self-hating Jew, and I stand by that opinion (for the record, saying that is not considered lashon hara - derogatory speech - for reasons I won't get into here). The man is willing to endanger millions of Jewish lives to advance his own career. He is beneath contempt.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-one years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 8 to 29 years and five grandchildren. Our eldest daughter and eldest son are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com