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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Don't worry, be happy!

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni were very pleased with their US trip this week. On Tuesday, Olmert told the UJC General Assembly in Los Angeles:
"America's leadership in preventing Iran's nuclearization is indisputable and unequaled. I just met my good friend, a true friend of Israel, President George W. Bush in Washington... His determination to prevent this most serious of developments is unquestionable. But America must have the support of the international community if we are to successfully defuse this mortal threat."
Olmert also believes that the Arabs must allow the US to protect Israel:
"A coalition of moderate Arab countries can and must unite their common interest in preventing Iran from undermining stability in the Middle East. This coalition must struggle against the dangers of radical Islam that manipulate the very source of Islam itself."
Meanwhile, Livni told the General Assembly that she is eager to give Judea and Samaria to the 'Palestinians' and to re-brand Israel as a 'fun' place to live. She also suggested that American Jewish communities invite Israeli Nobel laureates to speak to them (I wonder if she had Yisrael Aumann and Aaron Ciechenover in mind).

Caroline Glick thinks that Israelis should be taking to the streets against the Olmert-Peretz-Livni government. I agree.
To their credit, Olmert and Livni are correct to say that today an international coalition made up of the US, the EU and some of the Arabs is forming around Iran. But what binds the members together is their collective opposition to taking any effective action to prevent Teheran from acquiring nuclear weapons.


EACH OF the parties in the "Do-nothing-against-Iran" coalition has its own reasons for not lifting a finger.

Bush's interpretation of the Democrats' victory in last week's Congressional elections convinced him not to act against Iran. Starting with his press conference last Wednesday where he announced Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's replacement by Robert Gates, Bush has made absolutely clear that as far as he's concerned, he lacks the domestic political strength to carry out a successful operation.

In one of his recent daily calls for Israel's destruction, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered Europe a Faustian bargain. He promised to leave Europe alone if the Europeans abandon Israel. On Monday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair accepted his offer. In a speech at the London Lord Mayor's annual banquet, Blair explained that success in Iraq and in Iran is contingent on Israel making concessions to Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists and to the US and Europe making concessions to Syria and Iran.

The fact that Blair made this speech four days after the director general of the MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, said that today 30 terror plots are being planned in Britain; that future threats could involve chemicals and nuclear devices; that young British Muslims are being groomed to become suicide bombers; and that her agents are tracking some 1,600 suspects, tells us just about everything we need to know about Europe's interests. The fact that he made a similar statement to the Iraq Study Group, which, led by former secretary of state James Baker III is planning on recommending that the US sell out Israel and appease the Iranians and Syrians, tells us everything we need to know about how Europe feels about the US hope to isolate - not attack - Iran.

There is little doubt that the Arab states would prefer a non-nuclear Iran. But the Arabs have no intention of preventing Iran from acquiring such weapons. To the contrary, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia now want to build their own nuclear reactors. Iran's program serves as a justification for Arab A-bombs.

The implication of the coalescence of this new coalition is inescapable. Despite Olmert and Livni's breathless protestations to the contrary, no one will take action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. No one will block the prospect of Israel's annihilation.


While the Arabs oppose Iranian regional and pan-Islamic hegemony, they believe they will deter Teheran from attacking them by acquiring nuclear capabilities. Moreover, an Iranian nuclear strike against Israel would serve several Arab interests. First, as long as Israel exists, Iran will concentrate on Israel and leave the Arabs alone.

Second, if Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons, either Israel or the US will likely launch a devastating counter-strike that will significantly weaken the Teheran regime. Although awash in glory for its destruction of Israel, Iran would be in no position to assert control over the now nuclear-armed Arabs whose "Jewish problem" it had solved.

But no matter, our leaders tell us. We should just think happy thoughts as they do. In Olmert and Livni's world, Israel won the war in Lebanon this summer; UNIFIL forces are good for the Jews; and Hizbullah - which is now working to overthrow the Lebanese government - has no interest in renewing its war against Israel.

The government sees no reason to prevent 1,500 PLO terrorists from Jordan from marching into Gaza with their guns and their families. Olmert and Livni welcome the prospect of releasing thousands of terrorists from prison to "strengthen" PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and they are eager to hand Judea and Samaria over to Abbas, not because doing so would help Abbas, but because it would good for Israel.

As Livni put it this week, we want to hand over land because otherwise the so-called peace process will stagnate, and "Stagnation is not in our interest and it is not our policy."

Our jovial government justifies its decision to do nothing to prevent Ahmadinejad from acquiring the means to keep his promise to destroy the Jewish state by incessantly claiming that someone else is willing and able to pay the price to defend us.

The people of Israel must not be seduced by the blindness and empty promises of our leaders. All efforts must be made to sideline these incompetent, self-serving bumblers and replace them with responsible leaders as quickly as possible.
At Little Green Footballs, Charles links to an article from al-Reuters that the Islamic states see international opinion turning against Israel:
International opinion has started to turn against Israel after its army killed Palestinian civilians this month, Arab and Muslim officials said in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

"There is growing international resentment over Israel's actions and policies ... we must take advantage of this change to stop Israel acting like a country above the law," said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

He urged a meeting of the Saudi-based body to organize diplomatic action to help the Palestinians.

The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Friday to deplore a deadly Israeli artillery attack in Gaza earlier this month, defying a U.S. veto which blocked similar condemnation at the U.N. Security Council.


Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar told Reuters the defeat of President George W. Bush's Republican Party in mid-term elections this month was another sign that the wind was blowing the Arabs' way.

Voter anger over Iraq help oust Bush's Republicans from power in Congress in the November 7 elections.

"Things have turned around ... There are major new factors involved, including the American retreat in military terms and in Congress, and new Arab-Islamic action," Zahar said.

"Instead of plans being proposed to us that do not meet the Palestinian people's needs, internationally accepted Arab proposals are being made," he said, referring to a 2002 Arab land-for-peace offer welcomed in Europe and which some Israeli officials recently said could be a basis for talks.

"If we develop this, we could take the initiative in the Palestinian issue out of America's hands and into those of the international community, which is fairer."
And at Pajamas Media, Victor Davis Hanson raises serious concerns:
We are witnessing strange things about Israel. Columnists this year wrote about it being a “mistake.” [Read my response to that column here. CiJ] And for the first time emboldened Islamic leaders talk seriously not about restoring lost land on the West Bank and the Golan Heights, but of “wiping” it off the map entirely.

The Lebanon war saw not just slanted coverage, but outright falsification and lying from the major Western new servers—many of them served by local stringers who provide on the ground propaganda and faked photos. And now the Holocaust has been reinvented, as the old idea of a safe haven for the survivors of the Third Reich has been transmogrified into “a one bomb state.” Mein Kampf is translated as “Jihadi” on the West Bank and sells briskly. We are seeing a venomous anti-Semitic hatred in the Arab-supported state papers that the world has not witnessed since the 1930s and 1940s.

Back home, the Left/Right split on Israel has also been turned upside down. If you wish to read sick hatred about the Jewish state go to the leftist blogs or the campuses, not the Montana badlands. Somehow the Palestinians have reinvented themselves as liberal victims of Western, white male imperialists. Thus, in the manner of Blacks, Chicanos, Gays, and Women they are deserving of the usually accorded sympathy for their oppressed status—never mind the Islamists’ gender apartheid, religious intolerance, homophobia, and fundamentalism that should be so repugnant to the liberal mind.

Now more than ever Israel is nearly all alone—and so serves as a barometer in the West of true liberal courage of conscious. It has no oil, no international terrorists, no large population, no real material advantages and no threats to be made in the most crass sense.

Instead, it is a humane liberal society, an atoll of reason in a surrounding sea of autocracy. So it is the perfect litmus test for the Westerner: on the one hand is principled support for an embattled democracy; on the other, is easy appeasement that wins applause from millions, eases concerns about oil and terrorism, and offers cheap relief of elite guilt by trashing the very Western culture that rewards us all. Tragically, most leftist elites these days fail the test. Somehow, especially in Britain, they put themselves on the side of illiberal groups like Hamas or the Palestinian Authority whose history is antithetical to very notion of tolerance.

Now we have yet again the ubiquitous Jimmy Carter. Not content with a failed Presidency, he is determined to turn his legacy into even a greater failure, lecturing us in his new book about an apartheid Israel.

Unlike blacks in his own Georgia of the 1950s, Israeli Arabs vote and enjoy civil liberties, perhaps a million of them, with another 100,000 plus as illegal aliens. In fact, they enjoy rights not found in other Arab countries, inasmuch as Jews treat Arabs inside their own country not just better than Arabs treat Jews (they ethnically cleansed 500,000 from the major Arab capitals in the 1960s), but in the sense of civil liberties better than Arabs treat Arabs.

Carterism is a new postmodern pathology in which smug piety, dressed up in evangelical new-age Christianity, pronounces from afar moral censure on the more righteous party—on the theory that acting well but not perfect is worse than acting badly. Carter reminds me of the timid parent who spanks hard the good son for the rare misdemeanor because he takes it with silence while giving a pass to the wayward son for the daily felony because he would throw a public fit if corrected.
So here's our question, fellow Israelis: Are we going to believe in Olmert's and Livni's "don't worry, be happy" approach? Or are we going to try to do something about this? Question to Bibi Netanyahu: what the heck are you waiting for?


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