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Friday, October 31, 2008

The Three Stooges

Just a reminder that I'm in Boston so even though it's already the Sabbath in Israel, I can post to my blog without violating the Sabbath.

The Republican National Committee released this ad within the last hour. This is really cute. Let's go to the videotape.

Olbermann claims McCain gave money to Khalidi

Nutroot Keith Olbermann claims on MSNBC tonight that John McCain is connected to Rashid al-Khalidi and gave him more money that Obama and Ayers did. Let's go to the videotape.

Nice try but Olbermann doesn't get it.

The reason everyone wants that tape is to see what Obama said at that dinner, not to see how much money Obama gave Khalidi. McCain wasn't at that dinner. Recall that this is what it was claimed Obama said at that dinner:
“Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine” plus there’s been “genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis.”
That goes way beyond the simple question of whether Obama - who is selling himself as a friend of Israel - gave Khalidi money.

Olbermann presents no proof that McCain was actually in control of any of the money that the group with which Olbermann claims McCain was associated gave Khalidi. On the other hand, the moneys given by the Woods Foundation to Khalidi - the board of which was chaired by Obama - are well documented. The moneys McCain supposedly gave Khalidi don't sound any different than the money that the US government (unfortunately) gives the 'Palestinians' and were given at a time when the PLO was (mistakenly) no longer a designated terrorist organization under US law.

I agree that the McCain campaign made a mistake by not pursuing this earlier. But I believe they also made a mistake by not making Reverend Wright an issue in the campaign. I look at Olbermann's entire comment as a sign that the Obama camp is panicking.

And that's a good thing.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

76% of US citizens in Israel voted for McCain

I keep telling you all that Republican candidate John Sidney McCain would win a much higher percentage of the votes of American citizens who live in Israel than any of the polls were showing. I was right.
The exit polls show a very strong preference for John McCain over Barack Obama. The polls, carried out and analyzed by Keevoon, a Jerusalem-based research, strategy and communications firm, indicate that 76% of the polled voters in Israel said they voted for Republican candidate John McCain; 24% said they cast their ballot in favor the Democrat, Barack Obama. The information is based on data collected from 817 absentee voters at several voting events in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv as well as an online survey.
And I was right about the reasons too.

A few interesting figures about the voters:

  • A clear correlation was noted between religious observance and voting pattern.
  • Turnout among young voters ages 18 to 34 was high (37%)
  • 31% were first-time voters
  • 25% have lived in Israel for more than 15 years, 33% less than one year
  • 52% are also Israeli citizens
  • Half are either independent or not registered with either party

46% of Democrats crossed party lines to vote for McCain.
Only 2% of Republicans voted for Obama. And
57% listed foreign policy (including Israel) as the most important factor in their consideration; 14% listed the economy; 7%, Iran; and 6%, the war in Iraq/terrorism.
Nearly two-thirds were 'very concerned' with Iran; 93% agreed that a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the U.S.

Perhaps most interesting is that McCain is viewed as more capable of handling challenges, even among Obama voters.
Someone please get these figures to all those misguided American Jews who think Barack Hussein Obama is best for Israel.

Bob Wexler will have no comments on this poll.


UPDATE 4:41 PM (Boston time)

More on this story here (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

UPDATE 7:00 PM (Boston time)

JPost is now reporting that this sample 'oversampled the Orthodox.'
But Mitchell Barak, of Keevoon Research, Strategy and Communications, immediately acknowledged to The Jerusalem Post that the 76-24 percent McCain-Obama poll had "over sampled" voters from the Orthodox community to a certain extent.

Two of the events at which voters were questioned were conducted in Orthodox institutions in Jerusalem. The third was held in a Tel Aviv brewery. "It could have been better if there were other events around the country," Barak said.

The survey was promptly reported by the Associated Press, which quoted Barak saying it represented "a good indicator on how people are voting this year."

The findings also rapidly appeared on the International Herald Tribune's Web site and some Israeli news sites.

A total of 817 absentee ballot voters answered the 22-question survey at three voting events, Barak said: At the Dancing Camel Brewery in Tel Aviv on Sunday, at the YU Seminary in Jerusalem on Monday and in the capital's OU Center a day later. Sixty percent of the respondents described themselves as Orthodox.

The poll also conducted an on-line survey among 1700 voters assisted by the "Vote from Israel" organization.

An estimated 45,000 Americans in Israel requested absentee ballots.
But the Post is wrong. 60% Orthodox is actually a fairly accurate measure of the percentage of American immigrants to Israel who are Orthodox.
The largest wave of American immigration to Israel was in the heady years following the Six-Day War in 1967. It is estimated that some two-thirds of the 30,000 immigrants from America who arrived between 1967 and 1973 remained in Israel. Although this group was both diverse with regard to its background and professed a wide variety of explanations for their decision to immigrate to Israel, about half described themselves as "religious."5 Indeed, this group was far more likely to acknowledge religious motivations in their decision to move to Israel than those ABIs who had preceded them.

Over the last quarter century since the Yom Kippur War, some 60,000 American Jews have settled in Israel. Sixty percent of this group is estimated to be Orthodox. The Orthodox not only comprise a clear majority of the American immigrants who arrived during this period, but are estimated to have a "return rate" of roughly 20 percent - only half that of their non-Orthodox counterparts.6
So a 60% Orthodox survey is likely the correct distribution of American immigrants to Israel. And Orthodox Jews are much more likely to vote for McCain than their non-Orthodox brethren. Hmmm.

The LA Times newsroom has its hands full

LA Times reporter who 'saw' Obama - Khalidi tape is legally blind?

LA Times reporter Peter Wallsten, who 'saw' the videotape of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama speaking at a going away party for PLO terrorist Rashid al-Khalidi is apparently legally blind (Hat Tip: Heroyalwhyness). Here's a video from 2006 of President Bush accidentally insulting Wallsten at a press conference. The President was not aware of Wallsten's condition as you will see in the story below the screen. Let's go to the videotape.

ABC News confirmed at the time that Wallsten - the man with the dark glasses in the video - is legally blind.
Wallsten has Stargardt's Disease, a degeneration of the central area of the retina called the macula, where cells sensitive to light send visual signals to the brain.

It turns out Wallsten wasn't trying to be hip or cool or cop a 'tude -- he was wearing the pricey sunglasses because recent studies indicate that the progression of Stargardt's disease can be slowed by wearing sunglasses that protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays.

Wallsten suspects the president was informed of his gaffe by White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace, who knows Wallsten and been aware of his vision problem for years, dating back to when both were in Tallahassee, where he worked for the Miami Herald and she for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Midwest Jim talked to Wallsten last Wednesday and wrote about it on Friday.
On Wednesday I talked with Peter Wallsten from the Los Angeles Times about the article on Obama and Khalidi:
Wallston was one of the few mainstream media reporters to report on this radical Obama associate.

Wallston said that the article was written after he watched video taken at the Khalidi going away party. When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.

I asked him if he was planning on releasing this video of Obama toasting the radical Khalidi at this Jew-bash. He told me he was not releasing the video. He also would not comment on his source for the video. Wallston also said he did not know if Khalidi's good friend Bill Ayers was at the event or not.
So, there you have it.
There are a few things that need to be pointed out here. First, 'legally blind' is not the same as 'totally blind.' 'Legally blind' means 20/200 vision. So it is possible that Wallsten could have seen the video. Second, even without 'seeing' the video, Wallsten could have heard the dialogue and recognized Obama's voice. Even I recognize Obama's voice already, and I've probably heard it less than any of you who live in the US. Third, Wallsten has a degenerative disease. He doesn't say when he saw the video. He may have seen it in 2003 for all we know, and his vision may have been much better than it was in 2006 or 2008. So I would not take this story as discredting the existence of the video (sorry nutroots). It's just a curiousity.

I also find it curious that someone with a disease like that would work in Florida and California. If - God forbid - I were in that position, I'd find a job in the Northeast or the Midwest.

Disgusting: IDF tricks elite soldiers into helping expel Jews on the Sabbath

This is a disgusting story, but it's not the first time it's happened. This past Friday night, the IDF told elite Givati brigade soldiers that they were needed in Hebron to secure the perimeter of an area in which SWAT police were attempting to arrest or liquidate a terrorist. Most of the soldiers were religious and under IDF rules cannot be asked to participate in non-essential activities on the Sabbath. Arresting and liquidating terrorists are considered essential activities. Expelling Jews from their homes is not an essential activity in which the IDF is allowed to force religious soldiers to participate at 3:00 AM on a Friday night. It turns out that the 'mission' the soldiers were protecting was the destruction of two homes of Jewish families in the Hebron area. One of the families was that of well-known 'activist' Noam Federman, who has been arrested dozens of times for anti-government activities but almost never convicted of breaking the law.

Let's go to the videotape.

The people who were responsible for this scandal are the dying gasps of the Olmert-Barak-Livni government, and particularly defense minister Ehud Barak who had to have approved the orders. I hope the religious parties will remember what nefarious characters Livni and Barak are and refuse to enter into a government with them after the upcoming elections. But as a much wiser man than I am once said, "and money will answer everything." (That's a quote from King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes).

Midweek link dump

As some of you may have noticed, one of the consequences of my being in Boston is that I am spending (a lot more time working and) a lot less time blogging. (My boss reads my blog, so he will be pleased to hear that).

Here are some of the links I need to get off my screen.

Face off: Should the US attack Iran before January 20? (If Obama wins, I think it should)

Crossing Hitler: Who was Hans Litten? (A great history lesson)

An open letter to Americans who love Israel (This lady isn't even Jewish, but she gets it about Israel a lot more than most Jews do)

Off to the races....

Why is the West funding Abu Mazen?

In a JPost op-ed on Tuesday, Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus asked why the West is continuing to fund Abu Mazen's 'Palestinian' television.
The Norwegian foreign minister is certainly not evil. Neither are other Europeans. Neither are the Americans, whose recent agreement to give the PA an additional $150 million puts their 2008 aid to the PA at more than $700 million - more than the US pledged at a donors' conference in December 2007.

But these countries throw money at Abbas's feet with such infatuation you'd think he was a clone of Mother Teresa. Unfortunately, if his messages to Palestinian children are any indicator, Abbas seems far more like the clone of his predecessor, the terror lord Yasser Arafat, than a peacemaker.

Defending his Abbas spending spree, Støre said: "This [PA-Fatah TV] channel cannot be said to engage in indoctrination of children or denying Israel's right to exist..." and he added his objection to TV being used for "spreading hate or inciting terrorism," which he indicated is not being done by PA TV.

UNFORTUNATELY HE is completely wrong. During the 11 years of PMW's existence, there has never been a period of such intense demonization of Israel, continuous hate promotion and denial of Israel's existence by the PA (Fatah)-controlled media as during the 11 months since the Annapolis Conference.

Jews and Israelis are being demonized by the PA through malicious libels - including the lies that Israel intentionally spreads AIDS and drugs among Palestinians, conducts Nazi-like medical experiments on Palestinian prisoners, took Palestinian babies in 1948 to bring up as Jews and is planning to destroy the Aksa Mosque. A PA TV "historical" documentary featured hateful fabrications, including videos of dead bodies filmed in Lebanon in 1982 that PA TV falsely presented as evidence of a so-called Israeli "massacre" in 1948. Israel is even said to be breeding supernatural rats to chase Arabs who live in Jerusalem.

As far as recognizing Israel, Abbas's TV is no different than Hamas TV - unequivocally denying Israel's existence and right to exist. Note these recent TV examples in which young Palestinian children were given scripts repeating that Israel from Metulla to Eilat is "occupied Palestine," eventually to be "returned."

Child: "My name is Hiyam and I'm from occupied Safad."

Child: "My name is Raad and I'm from occupied Acre."

Child: "My name is Arhaf from occupied Haifa. I hope that Palestine will return and that we will defend it."

Following this staged segment, a child called in and said: "I'm from Beersheba." The PA TV host quickly corrected: "From the occupied Beersheba... of course, from the occupied Negev. We bless all our children of the Negev and I'm very happy that our children from the occupied areas in Palestine are calling, those [areas] which Israel occupies."

Question on a children's TV quiz: Child host: "List Palestinian ports." (Correct answer): "The Haifa port, Jaffa, Ashkelon, Eilat, Ashdod and Gaza."

Child host: "What is the size of the state of Palestine?"

Haidar: "27,000 sq. km."

Host: "Correct ." Judea and Samaria - called the West Bank - and the Gaza Strip reach only 6,000 sq. km. The only way to reach an area of 27,000 sq. km. is to include pre-1967 Israel, thereby creating a "state of Palestine" that is in place of Israel.

These are but a few of endless examples of indoctrination.
Read the whole thing.

The better question is why the West is bothering to fund Abu Mazen and his 'good terrorists' from Fatah at all. Is it wishful thinking or latent anti-Semitism? Either way, an objective look at the situation would indicate that Israel has no partner for peace.

The Sarahcuda goes after the LA Times

At a rally at Bowling Green State University, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin went after the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday for kowtowing to Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama by refusing to release a video of Obama bashing Israel and Jews at a party for 'Palestinian' terrorist Rashid al-Khalidi.

Let's go to the videotape.

This story is starting to get some traction, but unfortunately there's not a lot of time left. All we can do is hope and pray that the tape comes out. This tape is apparently more real and more of a bombshell than the fake Michelle Obama "whitey" tape a few months ago.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 Weblog awards

Nominations for the 2008 Weblog awards open on Monday November 3. For logos and details on how to nominate this blog for an award, please go here.

Tough question

Here's a John Sidney McCain ad that was released on Tuesday attacking Barack Hussein Obama's position on Iran. Let's go to the videotape.

It's great to see McCain becoming more aggressive in attacking Obama. Too bad it has taken so long. Would Obama cave to Ahmadinejad? On Israel, I fear that the answer is yes. He'd do it in a 'nuanced' manner (like not vetoing a UN resolution with Chapter VII sanctions that can be imposed by force), but yes.

What's in that video the LA Times is suppressing

Doug Ross at Director Blue has a quote from the infamous Obama - Khalidi tape that is being suppressed by the LA Times and if it's real it's a doozer (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs).

Saw a clip from the tape. Reason we can’t release it is because statements Obama said to rile audience up during toast. He congratulates Khalidi for his work saying “Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine” plus there’s been “genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis.”

It would be really controversial if it got out. That’s why they will not even let a transcript get out.

Controversial is an understatement. I'd love to show it to Dad's friends at the assisted living. Maybe it would change a few minds. Here's a videotape about the videotape.

I hope his prediction is wrong, but fear it is right. I'm astounded that in the United States in 2008 an 'unbiased' media like the LA Times would display such blatant bias.

Reverend Wright's new mansion

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama's spiritual mentor and former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has bought himself a new home. Here's a look at Reverend Wright's new digs. Only in America....

I doubt Reverend Wright will ever pay taxes on this little cottage, because it's probably registered as a church's parsonage and is therefore tax exempt. God bless America.

IAEA leaps into action: Says Syrian nuclear site 'worth investigating'

Nearly fourteen months after Israel bombed a Syrian site bombed by Israel on suspicion it was a covert nuclear reactor, freshly evaluated soil and air samples provide enough evidence to push ahead with a UN probe, diplomats said Tuesday. Amazing. Let's go to the videotape!

At the rate the IAEA and the UN move, the Syrians would have had nuclear weapons in place before they even decided to investigate. Just like the Iranians....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joe the Plumber: 'A vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel'

I'm beginning to think that Joe the Plumber is a pretty smart guy after all.
"Joe the Plumber," the small business aspirant and overnight media sensation, endorsed John McCain's presidential campaign Tuesday and said Barack Obama would make America a socialist nation.

The Ohio plumber, whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, also agreed with a McCain supporter who asked him if he believed "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel."

"I'll go ahead and agree with you on that," Wurzelbacher told the man, retired Florida lawyer Stan Chapman who was visiting Ohio.
That's what I've been saying for the last year.

Hat Tip: Hot Air

Midwest Jim has the video.

The pot calls the kettle black

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem accused the United States of committing a terrorist act and declared that Damascus holds Washington responsible for the US military raid on Sunday evening in which eight people were killed. Describing the victims as innocent victims, Mualem failed to note that among those killed was a senior Al Qaida official. I guess Mualem thinks he's innocent too. Mualem said that Syria would retaliate if the United States launches further attacks on Syrian soil. That should be interesting.

Let's go to the videotape.

Can anyone imagine an Obama administration undertaking a raid like this? They'd seek advice first from Rashid Khalidi (odds of his saying yes - none) and then seek permission from the United Nations and the euroweenies.

Here's a cell phone recording of the raid itself. The narration is in Russian - if anyone speaks Russian and hears anything interesting, please put it in the comments.

Let's go to the videotape.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Al-Jazeera: US admits raid in Syria

At the end of this clip, al-Jazeera reports that the US has admitted conducting that raid into Syria across the Iraqi border yesterday. Anyone think the Syrians will get the hint and shut down the pipeline of terrorists into Iraq? I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them. Recall that more than a year ago, it was proposed that the US close down Damascus Airport to try to get the Syrians to stop the flow of terrorists and arms into Iraq.

Let's go to the videotape.

It's official: Israel going to new elections

Israeli President Shimon Peres announced today that he is dissolving the Knesset. New elections are going to be held sometime between late January and mid-February.
"This Knesset session opens during both internal and external crises which arouse immense concern in the hearts of every citizen. The difficult process that concludes with the end of the government determines new questions, which concern every home in Israel," Peres said at the beginning of his speech.

"Faith in the ability of governing institutions has weakened, and more so, has the public's faith in its elected officials. We must not hide this unpleasant truth… This is the hour in which the Israeli Knesset and the political systems must undertake heavy self examination. It is never too late to repair."
All parties told Peres they support new elections except for the Gil Pensioners' Party, which polls indicate will not make the minimum threshold to return to the Knesset.

Israel, Georgia, Philipines favor McCain

Don't let anyone tell you that everyone outside of the US wants Barack Hussein Obama to win the upcoming elections. There are at least three countries where John Sidney McCain is the favorite and two of them are theaters of recent conflicts: Israel and Georgia. The third country is the Philipines (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Ynet obtained the results of the poll, ordered by the Rabin Center for Israel Studies and conducted among 500 Israelis aged 18-65, in preparation for a special debate on the US elections and their repercussions on the country's foreign policy in the Middle East, to take place Monday.

The survey found that given the right to vote in the US, 46.4% of Israelis would vote for the Republican nominee, John McCain. Thirty-four percent would vote for Democratic nominee Barack Obama, and 18.6% remain undecided.

Almost half of those polled (48.6%) believe McCain would better impact Israel, while 31.5% thought the country would better benefit from Obama's leadership. Just over 5% believe the candidates would have the same effect on Israel, while 14.2% remain undecided.

The poll found McCain to be Israel's best bet concerning Iran as well. Over half (52.5%) believe he possesses the skills needed to deal with the security threat the country poses to Israel, more so than Obama, who has gained the confidence of just 27.6% of those polled.


Alon Pinkas, the former consul general of Israel in New York who currently heads the Rabin Center's institute for Israel-US relations, explained the results of the poll. "What we see here is a significant difference in positions between Jews in the US and Jews in Israel," he said.

"Israel is one of just three countries that prefer McCain over Obama. The other two are Georgia and the Philippines," Pinkas added.
Too bad American Jews don't seem to get it.

By the way, note that this is a poll of Jewish Israelis and not of American Jewish ex-pats. The percentage of American Jewish ex-pats who favor McCain is likely much higher.

Video: US helicopter strike in Syrian territory

Here's video footage of Sunday's US helicopter strike in Syria from a Syrian news station (translation by MEMRI). Let's go to the videotape.

Hot Air reported Sunday night that the target of the strike - which was apparently at a group of mercenaries trying to flee from Iraq over the border into Syria - was Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
The only two people I can think of who might justify an operation in Syria are al-Masri, the leader of AQI, and Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who’s long been rumored to be hiding out there. Roggio will have other guesses, certainly. A snatch and grab operation of some high-ranking insurgent would explain why boots were on the ground and why they felt they had to act now, even with the election so near. Short of that, the only explanation I can come up with is that there was some sort of cargo in transit that simply had to be seized and secured, even at the risk of casualties.
Read the whole thing and watch the videos - he makes a good case.

At Long War Journal, Bill Roggio reports on Monday morning that the target was al-Qaeda's coordinator in Syria, Abu Ghadiya.

The US military incursion into Syria was aimed at the senior leader of al Qaeda's extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq, a senior intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

US special operations hunter-killer teams entered Syria in an attempt to capture Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who has been in charge of the Syrian network since 2005. US intelligence analysts identified Ghadiya as the leader of the Syrian network, The Washington Post reported in July. Ghadiya was identified as a “major target” by the US military in February 2008.


Ghadiya, whose real name is Badran Turki Hishan al Mazidih, is an Iraqi from the northern city of Mosul. Ghadiya succeeded Suleiman Khalid Darwish, a Syrian national and lieutenant of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq who was killed by US forces in June 2006. US forces killed Darwish in a raid in Al Qaim in June 2005.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE 12:21 PM (Boston Time)

Ace of Spades is reporting that Abu Ghadiya was killed in Sunday's raid (Hat Tip: Lawhawk via Little Green Footballs).

New style for Orthodox Jewish women: The Sarah Palin wig

No, this isn't an April fools joke. Georgies of Boro Park - one of the largest manufacturers of wigs in the United States, has been marketing Sarah Palin wigs to Orthodox Jewish women. And they're quite a hit (Hat Tip: NY Nana).
"We've sold about 50 'Sarah P' wigs in the past five weeks," said Schlomo Klein, vice president of Georgie in Borough Park.

For 30 years, his store has catered to married Orthodox Jewish women, who are required to keep their hair covered. Many do so by wearing the wigs, called sheitels. The Sarah look costs $695, and the side-swept up-do comes in 44 different color combinations, the most popular of which so far is Palin's brown.

Palin has caused countless Democrats to pull their hair out, but putting on the beehive-like wig is not necessarily an endorsement of the John McCain ticket, Klein said.

"Fashion trumps politics," he said. "There's no political statement."
Oh, I'd bet there is a political statement there. Unlike other Jews, most Orthodox Jews are voting for McCain - Palin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shocka: Most UN employees rooting for Obama

I'm sure you'll all be shocked - just shocked - to hear that most UN employees are rooting for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama to become the next President of the United States (Hat Tip: Hot Air).
Obama supporters hail from Russia, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere. One American employee here seemed puzzled that he was being asked whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was even a consideration. "Obama was and is unstoppable," the official said. "Please, God, let him win," he added.

"It would be hard to find anybody, I think, at the U.N. who would not believe that Obama would be a considerable improvement over any other alternative," said William H. Luers, executive director of the United Nations Association. "It's been a bad eight years, and there is a lot of bad feeling over it."

Conservatives who are skeptical of the United Nations said they are not surprised by the political tilt. "The fact is that most conservatives, most Republicans don't worship at the altar in New York, and I think that aggravates them more than anything else," said John R. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "What they want is the bending of the knee, and they'll get it from an Obama administration."
I'm sure they will.

While the headline I've stuck on this post sounds like a joke, supporters of Israel should understand from the UN's support of Obama that he's not going to be good for Israel. After all, the UN is never interested in stopping wars in the Middle East unless Israel is clearly winning.

Remember the summer of 2006 and how the Bush administration kept giving Israel chance after chance to win the war in Lebanon? That won't happen under an Obama administration. You can bet on it.

It's almost official: New elections in Israel

Kadima leader Tzipora Livni has informed Prime Minister Shimon Peres that she is unable to form a coalition government. And while Peres has the right within the next three days to designate someone else to form the government, it seems likely that Israel is heading to new elections.

Livni delayed the announcement in the hope of finding a coalition at the last minute, but just a few moments ago, she admitted at a press conference that she has failed to do so. Let's start with this videotape that explains why.

President Shimon Peres praised Livni for 'sticking to her principles.' I didn't know she had any. Here's more on this story from JPost.
Earlier, Livni had said that she decided to end her bid to form a coalition because she felt she had to "draw the line" in the concessions she was willing to other parties.

"After the primaries I said that I believed in stability and was committed to seeing through the process of forming a government. Recent days have seen coalition demands become impossible, and there was a need to draw the line. To say 'no more,'" Livni said during the weekly cabinet meeting.

"I was prepared to pass budgets I believe in for needy families and social [causes]. But when it became clear that every person and every party was taking advantage of the situation to make illegitimate demands - both economic and diplomatic - I decided to put a stop to it and go to elections.

"That is the essence of Kadima. On this basis we formed Kadima and on this basis we will continue to act in unison and win. A united Kadima that proves that it acts according to what's right will win the next elections," Livni said.


The move came after Shas and Degel Hatorah, which constitutes half of the United Torah Judaism faction in the Knesset, announced over the weekend that they would not join a Livni-led government.

"I'm sick of this extortion," Livni was quoted as telling her advisers. "We'll see all these heroes in 90 days."

Shas announced on Friday that it had rejected Livni's offer to join her coalition, because its Council of Torah Sages advised against it.

"The Council of Torah Sages decided this morning, after a telephone survey and in accordance with the directives of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, that Shas will not join the government," Shas chairman Eli Yishai told reporters outside his Jerusalem home. "The decision is final."

Prior to the press conference, Shas had released a statement in which it said: "Throughout the negotiations, Shas hasn't asked for political upgrades or fancy titles. It has asked for only two things: a profound assistance to the weak socioeconomic classes living in Israel and the protection of Jerusalem," the statement read.

"Our negotiators proposed solutions for these two issues, but their opinion was not accepted," the statement continued.
The cloud in this silver lining - as noted in the video above - is that the crooked Ehud K. Olmert will remain Prime Minister until the new elections are held. And while Israel's Supreme Court has placed limitations on the actions that can be taken by a 'transition government' like Olmert's, there can be no assurance that the Court will not reverse itself if it is politically expedient to do so.

By the time Israel has a new government, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen will likely no longer be the 'Palestinian' leader, but Barack Hussein Obama may well be President of the United States.

Interesting times are ahead. But despite the time it will take for this to happen, in the long run we will be better off without a Livni-led leftist coalition.

The cult of Obama

There's a great piece today in National Review Online that I had to point out to all of you (Hat Tip: Dr. Sanity). Here's a small part.
But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama's entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The "change" he peddles is not new. We've seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government. Obama's appeal to the middle class is an appeal to the "the proletariat," as an infamous philosopher once described it, about which a mythology has been created. Rather than pursue the American Dream, he insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us — today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved — for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual.

Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He's not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks "fundamental change," i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what's at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? After all, it ensnared Adelman, Kmiec, Powell, Fried, and numerous others. And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.
Read it all. And fear for America and for the world.

LA Times has video of Obama attending Jew-bashing event

The Los Angeles Times has video of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama attending a farewell party for PLO terrorist Rashid Khalidi, which can best be described as a Jew-bashing event. It's an event I've written about before. (The picture at top left is of Obama sitting next to PLO Council member Edward Said. Khalidi now holds the Edward Said chair at Columbia). But the existence of the video - and the mainstream media's out-and-out refusal to release it - is an ugly addition to an already ugly Presidential campaign. Here's more from Midwest Jim.
LA Times writer Peter Wallsten wrote about Barack Obama's close association with former Palestinian operative Rashid Khalidi back in April.

Wallsten discussed a dinner held back in 2003 in honor of Khalidi, a critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights.

Barack Obama has denied his close association with Khalidi, too.

According to Wallsten the evening not surprisingly turned into a classic Jew-bash:
"During the dinner a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."
Barack Obama also praised the former PLO operative during the event.
And, Obama confessed that his family often shared dinner with the Khalidis:
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases... It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."

...The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.
Khalidi and the Obamas were great friends in Chicago and often shared meals together.


On Wednesday I talked with Peter Wallsten from the Los Angeles Times about the article on Obama and Khalidi:

Wallston was one of the few mainstream media reporters to report on this radical Obama associate.

Wallston said that the article was written after he watched video taken at the Khalidi going away party. When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.

I asked him if he was planning on releasing this video of Obama toasting the radical Khalidi at this Jew-bash. He told me he was not releasing the video. He also would not comment on his source for the video. Wallston also said he did not know if Khalidi's good friend Bill Ayers was at the event or not.
So, there you have it.

The LA Times has video of Obama toasting a former PLO operative at a Jew-bash but will not release the video.

This is outrageous.

Obviously, this video would do great damage to Obama who struggles with Jewish voters due to his circle of close anti-Semitic friends.

Maybe this is the reason it is not being released?
More than maybe.

Charles Johnson adds that Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn attended the same 'dinner.'

But none of that will stop all the residents of Daddy's assisted living facility - who haven't voted for a Republican since Herbert Hoover - from pulling the lever in favor of Obama next Tuesday. If I thought it would make a difference, I would start leaving these articles around the newspaper piles. Maybe I'll do that anyway.

By the way, in the comments on Midwest Jim's site, there's a comment from Debbie Schlussel who says that the LA Times' original article was ripped off from her. Unfortunately, that's happened to Debbie too many times before.

McCain 'gets it,' Obama doesn't

Melanie Phillips writes a brilliant hard-hitting piece on the American election in Friday's Spectator (Hat Tip: Charles). Here's a not-so-brief excerpt.
The only way to assess their position is to look at each man in the round, at what his general attitude is towards war and self-defence, aggression and appeasement, the values of the west and those of its enemies and – perhaps most crucially of all – the nature of the advisers and associates to whom he is listening. As I have said before, I do not trust McCain; I think his judgment is erratic and impetuous, and sometimes wrong. But on the big picture, he gets it. He will defend America and the free world whereas Obama will undermine them and aid their enemies.

Here’s why. McCain believes in protecting and defending America as it is. Obama tells the world he is ashamed of America and wants to change it into something else. McCain stands for American exceptionalism, the belief that American values are superior to tyrannies. Obama stands for the expiation of America’s original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor.

Obama thinks world conflicts are basically the west’s fault, and so it must right the injustices it has inflicted. That’s why he believes in ‘soft power’ — diplomacy, aid, rectifying ‘grievances’ (thus legitimising them, encouraging terror and promoting injustice) and resolving conflict by talking. As a result, he will take an axe to America’s defences at the very time when they need to be built up. He has said he will ‘cut investments in unproven missile defense systems’; he will ‘not weaponize space’; he will ‘slow our development of future combat systems’; and he will also ‘not develop nuclear weapons,’ pledging to seek ‘deep cuts’ in America’s arsenal, thus unilaterally disabling its nuclear deterrent as Russia and China engage in massive military buildups.

McCain understands that an Islamic war of conquest is being waged on a number of diverse fronts which all have to be seen in relation to each other. For Obama, however, the real source of evil in the world is America. The evil represented by Iran and the Islamic jihadists is apparently all America’s fault. ‘A lot of evil’s been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil,’ he said. Last May, he dismissed Iran as a tiny place which posed no threat to the US -- before reversing himself the very next day when he said Iran was a great threat which had to be defeated. He has also said that Hezbollah and Hamas have ‘legitimate grievances’. Really? And what might they be? Their grievances are a) the existence of Israel b) its support by America c) the absence of salafist Islam in the world. Does Obama think these ‘grievances’ are legitimate?

To solve world conflict, Obama places his faith in the UN club of terror and tyranny, which is currently fuelling the murderous global demonisation of Israel for having the temerity to defend itself and is even now preparing for a rerun of its own anti-Jew hate-fest of Durban 2, which preceded 9/11 by a matter of days.

McCain understands that Israel is the victim rather than the victimiser in the Middle East, that it is surrounded by genocidal enemies whose undiminished intention is to destroy it as a Jewish state, and that is both the first line of defence against the Islamist attack on the free world and its most immediate and important target.

Obama dismisses the threat from Islamism, shows zero grasp of the strategic threat to the region and the world from the encirclement of Israel by Iran, displays a similar failure to grasp the strategic importance of Iraq, thinks Israel is instead the source of Arab and Muslim aggression against the west, believes that a Palestinian state would promote world peace and considers that Israel – particularly through the ‘settlements’ – is the principal obstacle to that happy outcome. Accordingly, Obama has said he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders – actually the strategically indefensible 1948 cease-fire line, known accordingly as the ‘Auschwitz borders’.

Obama would thus speak to Iran’s genocidal mullahs without preconditions on his side (the same mullahs have now laid down their own preconditions for America: pull all US troops out of the Middle East, and abandon support for ‘Zionist’ Israel) but has said he would have problems dealing with an Israeli government headed by a member of Israel’s Likud Party. In similar vein, it is notable that Obama opposed the congressional resolution labelling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization, which passed the Senate by a wide margin with support from both parties. And had he had his way, there would have been no ‘surge’ in Iraq and America would instead have run up the white flag, with the incalculable bloodbath and strengthening of the jihad that would have followed.

Obama assumes that Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, poverty, inflammatory US policy and the American presence on Muslim soil in the Persian Gulf. Thus he adopts the agenda of the Islamists themselves. This is not surprising since many of his connections suggest that that the man who may be elected President of a country upon which the Islamists have declared war is himself firmly in the Islamists’ camp. Daniel Pipes lists Obama’s extensive connections to Islamists in general and the Nation of Islam in particular, and concludes with this astounding observation:

Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees. Islamic aggression represents America’s strategic enemy; Obama’s many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.

The hatred that these Islamist connections entertain towards Israel is reflected amongst Obama’s own advisers. With one notable exception in Dennis Ross, whose late arrival in Camp Obama suggests a cosmetic exercise designed to allay alarm among Israel supporters, his advisers are overwhelmingly not only hostile to Israel but perpetrate the loathesome canard that Jews have too much power over American policy.
Read it all. (By the way, the part I left out is much more focused on why Obama is bad for America - this is an Israeli blog at the end of the day). I'm printing this one out to take home to Daddy (I am staying with my father here in Boston) .

Carnival of the Insanities

The weekly Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Pat's place (and I'm at work on this dreary Sunday morning) so make sure you mosey on over there to check it out. Carnival of the Insanities - it's INNNNNSSSSSAAAANNNNE!

'Good terrorists' to patrol Hebron

Hundreds of newly trained 'Palestinian Authority security forces' (now there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one) took up positions in Hebron on Friday evening, as part of a western backed campaign to strengthen the control of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and suppress the Hamas terrorist organization.

'Palestinian' terror attack coming in 3-2-1....

What's most amazing about this is that the government continues to delude itself that this is going to keep Abu Bluff in power. You've got to be kidding.

'Hit a Jew day'

Chesterfield, Missouri is a suburb of St. Louis with a relatively large Jewish community. This is what happened in one of the public schools last week. It shouldn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Let's go to the videotape.

If you're Jewish, you don't want to be on the streets next Tuesday night if John McCain wins the election. You just know they're going to blame the Jews.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Swedes cave to 'international pressure,' fire 'Palestinians'

Just a reminder that I am in Boston and not in Israel, so while it's still before the Sabbath in Israel now, if you see things going up today after the Sabbath starts in Israel, it's because it hasn't started in Boston yet.

The Swedish company Assa Abloy, which acquired the Israeli Mul-T-Lock company in 2000, has caved into 'international pressure' from the Jewish kapos of Gush Shalom, the Church of Sweden and two Swedish aid groups, and has agreed to move Mul-T-Lock's manufacturing operations out of the Barkan Industrial Park. The Barkan Industrial Park is located in Ariel, which is 10-kilometers over the 'green line' in Samaria. As a result of this move, all of the plant's 'Palestinian' workers will lose their jobs, since none of them have permits to work within 'Israel proper.' Makes sense, doesn't it?
"We're leaving because [the industrial park] is in the West Bank," Ann Holmberg, spokeswoman for the Assa Abloy company, told The Jerusalem Post by phone from Sweden on Thursday.


The company, Holmberg said, was remiss in not understanding the significance of the location until last month, when the point was hammered home by a report issued jointly by the Church of Sweden, aid group Diakonia, and SwedWatch, a nonprofit group that monitors the conduct of Swedish businesses.

The report, Holmberg said, accused the company of acting in an "unethical" manner and of "violating international law" by having a subsidiary in the West Bank.

The report itself listed a number of international laws it believed the company had broken.

It stated that "businessmen and -women may either be found directly liable for the commission of crimes against international law, or they may be found to have assisted others in the commission of a crime."

A contrite Holmberg said, "We are very sorry that we did not notice it before, but we did not understand that we might be violating international law."

In a statement Tuesday, the company said, "Assa Abloy can only in this context regret that the inappropriateness has not been noted internally, during the eight years of ownership, of having a production unit on the West Bank."

Representatives of Diakonia in Israel did not want to comment on the issue. But Adam Keller of the Israeli left-wing group Gush Shalom said he believed other companies in Barkan were considering leaving. International pressure makes it hard for these companies to conduct business outside of Israel, he said.
The factory employs 100 people, many of whom are presumably 'Palestinians.' Of the 6000 people employed by 120 companies in the industrial park, 3500 of them are 'Palestinians.' The park is not particularly upset by the move since they have a waiting list of 30 companies who are waiting for space in the park. But Ariel mayor Ron Nachman slammed the Swedes for their rank hypocrisy in suddenly being concerned about 'human rights.'
Ariel Mayor Ran Nachman, who created the park 27 years ago, said it was outrageous that a company, particularly a European-based one, was leaving for political reasons.

When the Nazis herded Jews into the gas chambers, Nachman said, "Sweden was neutral and did nothing. Sixty-five years later, nothing has changed. It is the same Europe and the same anti-Semitism."

The Israeli left-wing groups that work with them, such as Gush Shalom, are even worse, Nachman said, adding that if one goes back to ancient times, the Bible doesn't speak of Palestinians, but it does state that this is the "promised land of the Jewish people."

He declared that when "Gush Shalom dies and disappears," the Barkan Park will still be here.
Let's hear it for peaceful coexistence!

Expensive real estate?

I'll bet you never thought of Ramallah as being an expensive place to live, especially in the current real estate market. Come on guys, would you invest in real estate in Ramallah?

Well, the World Bank believes that you would if more of it were available, and guess whom they're blaming for it not being available. Yup - the evil Joooos.
The price of property in the West Bank is rocketing beyond the reach of most local businesses and home buyers, pushed up by a weak dollar and Israeli control of large chunks of the territory, a World Bank report said Thursday.
Let's stop there for a minute. The Jooos don't control the dollar - contrary to what all the neo-Nazis think. But the dollar was at NIS 4.2 to the dollar in August 2007 and by March 2008 it had dropped to about NIS 3.28 to the dollar (I know this because most of my income is in dollars and most of my expenses are in NIS and I am getting positively creamed by this but the World Bank doesn't care about me because I'm just an evil Joooo). But the dollar has been making a comeback of late and as of Thursday afternoon's official fix it's at NIS 3.841 to the dollar. So how is the dollar preventing the poor 'Palestinians' from buying?
The 41-page paper said local government data from the commercial and political center of Ramallah indicates the value of prime downtown commercial plots has doubled each year since 2005, hitting the current average of about $372 a square foot.
When real estate goes up in value, it's either because it's a good neighborhood and people in the area are doing well or because there are a lot of foreign investors. So why is the World Bank complaining? And by the way, why aren't they complaining about the fact that Jerusalem real estate prices have also gone up significantly since 2005, although certainly not at that pace. And why have prices in Ramallah gone up since 2005 if nothing good has happened there (oh year, Arafat died in November 2004 - heh). But it's all the Jooos' fault, isn't it?
Israel, citing the need to prevent Palestinian attacks inside Israel and on Jewish settlers in the West Bank, has kept large swaths of Palestinian land and roads off limits to Palestinians. It also maintains a complex network of checkpoints on roads that remain open to West Bankers.

That leaves the vast majority of Palestinians chasing land in the remaining 41 percent of the territory, which is home to at least 90 percent of the population, the World Bank said.

"As a result, land prices are shooting up and in certain towns are becoming prohibitive for all but high value commercial activities, or high rise apartment buildings," the report said. "Residential development is crowding out other economic activities on scarce plots available for development, yet there remains a housing shortage."
What 'large swaths' suddenly became 'off limits' in 2005 that weren't off limits in 2003 or 2001 or 1993 or 1968? Hmmm.
In addition to the Israeli squeeze on the West Bank, the World Bank said, property prices in the territory are being nudged up by the many Palestinians living abroad and sending money home, some of it slated for investment.

"The real value of domestic cash savings, usually in US dollars or Jordanian dinars, are threatened by the falling dollar, creating pressure to convert these cash savings into stable investments," the report said. "With few profitable options in the productive sectors, much capital is invested in land, putting added pressure on prices."
Just like what's happening in Jerusalem and in a lot of other cities in the world. So why is the World Bank blaming Israel? Because it's fashionable....

Is she bluffing?

Kadima leader Tzippi Livni announced Thursday night that if the ultra-Orthodox Shas party does not agree by Sunday to join her new 'coalition,' she will go to President Shimon Peres and say that she cannot form a government and therefore Israel must go to new elections.

Let's go to the videotape and then I will have some comments.

Livni's bluffing. Shas is the only party in the current coalition that does not stand to lose if there are new elections. According to all polls, Kadima and Labor will both face heavy losses if there are Knesset elections. The 'pensioners party' will disappear from the election map altogether.

My view is that Livni will form a 'coalition' of 60 members (out of 120) without caving in to Shas' financial demands. But that coalition - which will not be able to accomplish anything without support from the outside - will be paralyzed as long as it remains in power. It will not be able to advance the 'peace process' because its members will know that they will wipe permanently themselves off the political map if the only way they can advance the 'peace process' is with the help of the Arab parties. And if we're lucky, they won't be able to pass a budget either - which would force new elections in June 2009. Livni will try to make a hero out of herself for not caving in to Shas' financial demands. She will attempt to vilify the ultra-Orthodox generally as money grubbers.

She has learned well from her soon-to-be-former boss - the master of political survival for its own sake.

And the country will continue to face existential decisions without a real government in power.

Awful, isn't it?

Muslims go ballistic over restoration of Old City synagogue

After 72 years in the Moslem Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, a refurbished synagogue located 80 meters from the Temple Mount opened its doors. Restoration work of the Ohel Yitzhak synagogue was conducted by Israel's Antiquities Authority who attempted as much as possible to remain true to the building's original style.

The synagogue opened its doors recently, creating outrage among Moslem and Christian and Greek orthodox residents and religious officials, who immediately set up an emergency meeting to condemn what the perceive as the 'Jewish invasion' of the Old City.

Let's go to the videotape. I'll have a comment at the end.

I saw this synagogue on Monday when I prayed on the roof of a yeshiva building that overlooks the Temple Mount. This building is across the street from the building on which I prayed and it faces the Temple Mount dead on but at ground level. The building is gorgeous and it's on the main street that leads to the Temple Mount.

If Jews cannot restore ancient synagogues without provoking 'Muslim outrage' what hope is there for any accommodation?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama on spreading the wealth

It looks like this is what he has in mind.

Obama on Israel's 'security fence'

If you are a regular reader, you know that I do not believe that the 'security fence' is an answer to all of Israel's problems with keeping 'Palestinian' terrorists from committing acts of terror within 'Israel proper' (i.e. pre-1967 Israel). In fact, I am very much opposed to the notion that the 'fence' ought to constitute Israel's future border with a 'Palestinian' reichlet. But I understand the concerns that caused Israel to build it, and there is little arguing with the fact that it has played a role in reducing the number of terror attacks in Israel since its construction started in 2003, although I would argue that the presence of IDF soldiers in the 'Palestinian'-populated areas of Judea and Samaria has played a far greater role.

In March 2004, the Chicago Jewish News asked seven Democratic and seven Republican candidates for the US Senate from Illinois various questions that concerned Illinois' Jewish community. One of those questions related to the 'security fence,' which at that time had already been accredited with reducing terror attacks in Israel. The question and the answer of one of the candidates - current Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama - appear below.
2. What would you call on Israel to do to help bring peace? And what about the Palestinians? What is your view of Israel's security fence? Do you think Yasser Arafat is someone that should be dealt with?


The premise of the road map, a two- state solution requiring negotiations on such issues as settlements, boundaries and security guarantees, is basically sound. The problem is that President Bush's neglect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the first two years of his term, coupled with the distraction of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, has kept us from aggressively promoting the roadmap process. Similarly, the creation of a wall dividing the two nations is yet another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace.

In addition, the Iraq war has strengthened the hand of Arab autocrats and hardliners who have no interest in a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict while handicapping more moderate forces truly interested in pursuing peace.
Is that really what the security fence is? A 'wall dividing the two nations'? 'Another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace'?

I know that many American Jews support Obama. This morning, in the elevator of my Dad's building, I saw a woman sporting an Obama button with an Obama sticker (in Hebrew!) stuck on her walker. I understand that many elderly Jews - like this woman - probably have not voted Republican since the Great Depression and cannot bring themselves to pull the lever for John McCain. She probably could not bring herself to pull the lever for McCain even if Bill Ayers himself were the Democratic candidate.

But let's stop fooling ourselves. Barack Hussein Obama is not better for Israel than John Sidney McCain. We can only hope and pray that Obama's election - God forbid - does not signal the end of the US - Israel alliance.

Writing at Israpundit today, Ted Belman discusses Joe Biden's remark about Obama being likely to be 'tested' and lays out what I believe to be - unfortunately - all too plausible a scenario.
Biden’s remark suggests Pres Obama is going to administer tough love.

Thus the ground work has been laid for “tough love” and now a “generated crises” is needed to set the plan in motion.

I expect that Intifadah III will soon break out which will spiral out of control with Hezbollah and Hamas joining in. Just this week Haaretz reported Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel, and DEBKA reported that Iran has developed a series of optional plans for pre-emptively attacking Israel. The “floating dirty bomb.” was intended for this purpose.

The UNSC will then pass a Chapter VII resolution, without an American veto, demanding that Israel withdraw to the greenline and abandon all settlements. The UN sends a force consisting of soldiers from Jordan, Egypt and Syria to enforce it and establish “peace”.

And who would complain? Certainly not Olmert, the EU, J-Street or Obama’s foreign policy team.
I can't stop anyone from voting for Obama. But please don't delude yourselves that a vote for Obama is the best thing for Israel. It's not. An Obama Presidency is a downright scary proposition - for Israel and for the United States.

The ultimate swing state?

The JPost reports that Israel may be the 'ultimate swing state' in November's US election.
Approximately half of some 42,000 registered US voters living in Israel are voting in swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and could have an effect on the turnouts of those elections, according to Shimon Greenspan, director of the nonpartisan Vote From Israel organization, which helps Americans living in Israel to register and cast their absentee ballots.

"If the election is close, as it was in the past two [presidential] elections, then the deciding votes could be coming from Israel," he said.

According to the organization, Israel has the third-largest group of American voters abroad, behind Canada and Britain.

While the largest number of registered US voters in Israel come from New York or New Jersey, two states heavily in the Democratic camp according to polls, the next two states are the key battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida. Several thousand votes will likely be going to those swing states from Israel.

Furthermore, the significance of the votes from Israel could be magnified because they will come well before the November 4 election. Their choices, to be reported next week in an Israel-based exit poll commissioned by Vote From Israel, could influence American Jews in the United States, believes Greenspan.

This could slightly help Republican hopeful John McCain if an August poll by KEEVOON Research, Strategy and Communications remains accurate. That poll, which surveyed Israelis generally and not American voters in the country, gave the Arizona senator some 38 percent support, compared to 31% for Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Actually, there was a poll in July in which 46% of Israelis said McCain would be better for Israel and only 20% said Obama would be better. And if anything, American Israelis - a majority of whom are religious - tend to be more in the McCain camp than Israelis generally.

I brought seven ballots to the US with me to mail. Four from New Jersey, one from New York and two from Illinois. All for McCain. Hmmm.

Terror in Gilo - a neighborhood in Jerusalem

A 21-year old 'Palestinian' terrorist murdered an 86-year old Jewish man Thursday morning in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo after moderately wounding a police officer. The terrorist was stopped by two police officers for searching and pulled out the knife. He stabbed one of the police officers, then stabbed the elderly man while the terrorist was trying to escape. The police officer managed to shoot the terrorist a number of times in the abdomen despite his own wounds.
Yoav Mizrahi, a passerby who caught the assailant, told Army Radio: "He was shot, but he kept running. After a while he got tired and I caught up with him. I ran after him and caught him, wrestled him to the ground and twisted his arm behind his back."

The civilian was evacuated in critical condition to the Shaare Tzedek Hospital, where he died of his wounds. The policeman and the attacker were evacuated to Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem.

The policeman was in moderate-to-serious condition after he underwent a two-hour operation. But hospital director Dr. Yuval Weiss predicted that the policeman, an Ethiopian immigrant called Daniel, would be able to function normally and perhaps be discharged in a week or so if there are no complications.

The heroic policeman, who was stabbed in his chest and stomach but still managed to shoot the terrorist, was operated on by a medical team headed by Prof. Avi Rivkind, head of the surgical branch and trauma unit. He was taken to intensive care and is being ventilated. "He will recover," said Weiss. "We believe he will be in much better condition tomorrow."
This was the second terror attack in Jerusalem within a month, and the fourth since July. The terrorist was evacuated from the scene by medics (see picture above).

HonestReporting reports on media bias with respect to this attack.
The BBC's first report of today's incident headlined "Two stabbed in Israeli settlement," later updated to "Israeli dies in settlement attack," describes Gilo as "a Jewish settlement to the south of Jerusalem" and marks Gilo separately from Jerusalem on an illustrative map. To many people, these headlines have the effect of mitigating the incident by describing it as taking place in a "settlement."

Reuters follows suit with "Palestinian kills Israeli near Jerusalem: police," which states that the "incident occurred in the settlement of Gilo, in the occupied West Bank, near Jerusalem."

AFP, in "Israeli killed in Jerusalem knife attack," gets it right that Gilo is located within the city limits but then goes on to describe it as "a Jewish settlement in the Arab east section of Jerusalem."

The majority of Gilo, however, is built on land legally purchased by Jews prior to 1948. In the 1948 war, Jewish lands in Gilo were captured and confiscated by the Jordanian government. From 1948-67, Jewish landowners did not relinquish ownership to their land in Gilo, and when Israel recaptured the land in the Six-Day War, Gilo was built - not because of war victories, but because of longstanding legal land purchases.

Gilo lies within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries and is geographically contiguous to surrounding Jewish neighborhoods that pre-dated the 1967 reunification of the city.

Read the whole thing.

Customer 'service'?

As some of you may have figured out already, I am in Boston again.

Those of you who have done the overseas travel thing know that the way to beat westbound jet lag is to stay awake as long as possible and then try to sleep until a normal hour of the morning.

This morning at 2:45 AM my US cell phone rang. It was a voice in Hebrew and it asked for my identification number, which I know by heart. The woman then asked for the last four digits of my Israeli credit card that I use to pay my cell phone bills. I asked "Who is this?" And she said that it's Orange 'customer service.' I said it's 2:45 AM here and you have one hell of a nerve for calling me at this hour (they have no record of that phone number - they had to have gotten it from my wife).

I called home (where it was 8:45 AM) and the first words out of Mrs. Carl's mouth were "I told her not to call you." It turns out that Mrs. Carl has my credit card number but they "needed to hear a man's voice." She was trying to get them to make an adjustment on our bill (the same adjustment they've been promising to make since July.


I'm looking into switching cell phone companies. If any Israelis have any recommendations, please let me know (in the US I use Cingular/AT&T). And if I can get that woman fired, I will.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anne Bayefsky rips the EU some new body parts

Speaking to the preparatory conference for the Durban II fiasco in Geneva, UN Watch's Anne Bayefsky rips the EU representatives some new body parts over their failure to object to the conference's racist agenda targeting Israel.

Let's go to the videotape. This is worth watching.

Botched attempt to poison Nasrallah?

The Iraqi Web site Almalaf on Wednesday quoted diplomatic sources in Beirut saying there was a botched attempt to poision Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah was poisoned last week and that his life was saved by Iranian doctors who were rushed to Lebanon to treat him late Sunday night.

Hizbullah officials have so far denied the report. Since the Second Lebanon War, fearing for his life Nasrallah spends most of his days in the bunker, surfacing rarely to greet his supporters.

Earlier in the year Infolive.tv interviewed former Mossad operative Mishka Ben David who discussed the botched attempt by the Mossad in 1997 to assasinate Hamas leader Khaled Masha'al.

Let's go to the videotape and then I'll have a comment.

Do I believe this could have happened? You bet. Do I believe that Israel and the Mossad could have been behind it? You bet. Could this be connected with Nasrallah's decision not to accept Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's invitation to Cairo (an invitation that Egypt now denies issuing)? Yes, that too.

Hmmm. Too bad it didn't succeed.

Iran considering pre-emptive strike against Israel?

According to reports by Dr. Seyed Safavi, the head of the Research Institute of Strategic Studies in Tehran and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran is considering a preemptive strike against Israel. The Iranian official said that leaders in Teheran are considering a preemptive strike against Israel in order to prevent an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

And yes, this too is connected to the US elections. Let's go to the videotape and then I'll have some comments.

The problem with this story is that it is all too believable. If Iran is in fact capable of launching a pre-emptive strike, they would have every reason in the world to launch one. Israel has no real government right now, and even if Tzippi Livni (who got a two-week extension on Monday) succeeds in putting together a government, it looks more and more like it will be a narrow government with lots of 'peace elements' that would be unlikely to support an Israeli pre-emptive strike. The Iranians would have a free hand until Israel gets its act together. While Israel would likely retaliate, the effect of that initial strike would - God forbid - be devastating.

Peres to meet with Mubarak just before Nasrallah

Israeli President Shimon Peres is to meet on Thursday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak just a day after it was announced that Mubarak invited Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah to meet with him in Cairo.
"Were Prime Minister Ehud Olmert still in complete control, he would have told Peres that he would be the one meeting Mubarak," one senior diplomatic source said.

The source said that prime minister-designate Tzipi Livni, who is still trying to put together a government, was in no position at this point to tell Peres not to make the trip.

Peres's office announced the meeting on Monday, saying the two presidents would discuss "advancing the peace process between Israel and its neighbors, strengthening ties between Israel and Egypt, the matter of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, and a variety of other state and security issues. The two will also discuss the global financial crisis and its possible ramifications in the Middle East."

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said the Arab Peace Initiative, which has enjoyed a bit of a revival over the last week, was likely to be a primary focus of the talks.
Peres' position is ceremonial and he has no formal powers. Nevertheless, because of Peres' 'stature' in the diplomatic community, this meeting is very dangerous for Israel.

The problems with the 'Saudi plan' are well known.
The Saudi Peace plan of February 2002 was re-launched by the Arab League in March 2007 in Riyadh as the Arab Peace Initiative, and calls for a full Israel withdrawal from all territories taken in the Six Day War, including east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, in exchange for normal ties with the Arab world. [Those 'ties' are probably not worth much more than our ties with the Egyptians. Egypt continues to shun tourism to and business with Israel and continues to conduct war games that posit Israel as the enemy. CiJ]

It also calls for a "just solution" to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194, but stated that the Arab League would back any plan on the matter agreed by Israel and the Palestinians.

UN General Assembly Resolution 194 from 1948 states that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so." [It would mean the end of the Jewish state if all of the third and fourth generation 'Palestinians' who claim 'refugee' status were permitted to return here. CiJ]

Peres reportedly told Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef last week about the need to go for a regional agreement, not just a bilateral one with Syria or the Palestinians, and Labor head Ehud Barak also mentioned the plan of late.

"There is definitely room to introduce a comprehensive Israeli plan to counter the Saudi plan that would be the basis for a discussion on overall regional peace," Barak said Sunday. [But of course the Saudis have said that their plan is non-negotiable. CiJ]

In July 2007, the Arab League charged the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt to formally discuss the plan with Israel, but those talks went nowhere.
But Mubarak has another guest on his way that makes it particularly noxious for Peres to be visiting Egypt at this time:
Peres is not the only person the Egyptians have invited for a visit, with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reporting Tuesday that Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah has been invited there as well.

The offer was reportedly made as part of Cairo's efforts to maintain calm between Lebanon's rival factions and promote better relations between Beirut and Damascus.

According to the report, Egypt believes Nasrallah may choose to send another Hizbullah official in his stead.

Because of a fear of assassination, Nasrallah has appeared in public only rarely since the end of the Second Lebanon War in August 2006.