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Friday, February 27, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same

New York's WCBS television is reporting that the regions 'Jewish leaders' are outraged at the 'change' they have observed in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). The 'change' is that Mrs. Clinton is hammering Israel to speed up aid to Gaza.
"I am very surprised, frankly, at this statement from the United States government and from the secretary of state," said Mortimer Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and member of the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council.

"I liked her a lot more as a senator from New York," Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said. "Now, I wonder as I used to wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is."

Clinton's decision to hammer Israel comes as the Clintons and President Barack Obama are planning to give the Palestinians $900 million toward the rebuilding of Gaza in the wake of the Israeli offensive that was sparked by Hamas rocket fire.

"We are working across the government to see what our approach will be," Clinton said.

"I don't believe that we should be in a position at this point to do anything to strengthen Hamas," Zuckerman said. "We surely know what Hamas stands for as I say they are the forward battalions of Iran."

For some, Clinton's change of position is upsetting.

"I feel it's unfortunate that they don't continue the policy of the Bush administration, which was much more pro-Israel," said Akiva Homnick of Jerusalem.

"I happen to have a lot of family who live in Israel and I feel, personally, when you are dealing with people who are very strong against you, you have to stand up to them," said Tami Davudoff of Kew Gardens.
I fail to see the 'change' of which Zuckerman and Hikind complain. Hillary was always 'pro-Palestinian' as the picture above (of her kissing Suha Arafat in 2000 right after Mrs. Arafat accused Israel of poisoning the 'Palestinians' water) shows. As Glenn Reynolds points out, she seems about the same to me.

At the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg thinks the 'Jewish leaders' are 'over-reacting.'
Do I have to point out that this doesn't make her George Galloway? I understand Israel's hesitations here -- it has a kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit, in Gaza -- but a comprehensive easing of tensions might make Shalit's release more, and not less, likely.
I don't know if I would say that the 'Jewish leaders' are 'over-reacting.' I don't believe there is any greater chance (and in fact, there is probably less of a chance) that Shalit will be released if that release is not tied to the reopening of the crossing points into Gaza. But then, what do I know? I'm the one who said that Shalit's release should have been a goal of the operation while the IDF was still in Gaza.


Soccer Dad takes down a Jewish political pundit who is as shocked as the 'Jewish leaders.'


At 10:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm amused at how Jewish leaders are now upset things haven't changed.

What exactly, given the anti-Israeli advisers around Obama, did they think would happen?

Its late to complain about a state of affairs they could have helped to prevent before the election last year.

Now they just have to put up with Hopenchange. After all, they were all for it then!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Belltown Flood Relief Dessert Mixer said...

Can I please ask, what instead you would have Mrs. Clinton, or the Obama administration do? We've seen enough criticism. How about making some of it constructive? What would you like to see the administration do that moves towards a 'solution' that is acceptable to you?

At 12:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Danish Munir - boycott Durban II for starters. Work with Israel in taking military measures to stop Iran's acquisition of a nuclear bomb. Withdraw the $900 million subsidy for Hamas and tell the Palestinians to grow up. That's the short list of constructive steps the Obama Administration could take to take the wind out of the sails of global anti-Semites, help to defang Iran and really pusg the Palestinians to begin taking responsibility for their own future.

I'm not holding my breath waiting to see these things happen even though I'd love to see them occur.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Danish Munir,

I would add to NormanF's excellent list refuse to negotiate or have anything to do with any government that includes Hamas, stop supporting UNRWA and tell the 'Palestinians' that no 'refugees' are ever coming back to Israel, and tell Abu Mazen that unless the incitement in his media stops, the US will withdraw all support for him too.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Kyle Sennett said...

Are you kidding me? Have you SEEN Gaza? It is a pile of rubble. Israeli bombs did that. A time honored tradition is for the victor to assist with the rebuilding of the vanquished. If Israel wants to keep any kind of credibility in this situation, they need to act responsibly. I am 100% behind Israel's actions in Gaza up to this point, but now they are just being recalcitrant and a little bit petulant. And to call Hillary Clinton in essence anti-Semetic -- you have really got to be kidding me. And, I'll agree: voters had their chance to elect someone else.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger MNM said...

This was entirely predictable and is only the beginning. Obama has decades long relationships with flagrant anti-semites, none with pro-Israel leaders, and now we are "surprised".
What did you expect.
It was inexplicable to me prior to the election that a single jew would support this man for president.
He will also predictably attempt to bully Israel into submission. He will continue to support anti-israel, destruction of Israel factions, and jewish democrats will continue to be surprised.
If American jews, particularly prominent democrats do not stand up and speak out forcibly now it will be too late.
The denial during the election will cost Israel dearly and must be confronted full bore now.

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Clinton was too kind in her criticism of Israel. After killing 1300 people mostly women and children and bombing schools, hospitals, UN compounds, Israel has the gall now to prevent pasta going into Gaza.

Is pasta too good for the inmates of the Gaza concentration camp?

The world including the US should get together and bomb all pasta shops and factories in Israel

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Belltown Flood Relief Dessert Mixer said...

Why do you have to see everyone who isn't "Pro-Israel" as "Anti-Israel"?

Why do you have to consider everyone who isn't actively helping you fight your fight as an enemy?

Why do you have to a conspiracy theory against everyone and anyone who has even the slightest amount of criticism for anything that the Isreali state does, without casting them as a sworn enemy or as anti-Semitic?

Isn't it part of being a mature adult to not consider someone who is criticizing a few of your 'actions' as necessarily being anti-Semitic? Or is Israel so pure and blessed that no matter what action it engages in, the action can't be wrong, and is worth defending?

Why can't you distinguish between having a conversation about an 'action' versus a conversation about all Jews on the planet?

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Hedwig said...

Accusing anyone that criticizes the state of Israel of anti-Semitism is dangerous. Every state, regardless of which state, must be held to international norms. Israel's bombing of Gaza was a flagrant violation of human rights and a war crime. Israel should be condemned for its actions, and its continued blockade on Gaze and illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. Allowing aid into Gaza, rebuilding Gaza, and ending illegal settlements in the West Bank is not only what is required to adhere to international law but it is also essential if there is ever going to be true and lasting peace. Criticism of Israel by the US is the only thing that will move us in the right direction.

And all Hillary Clinton did was say she was going to help Palestinians rebuild Gaza with $900 million dollars. Israel still remains the largest recipient of US Foreign Aid (roughly $3 billion a year) so they are in no place to criticize the Obama Administration for offering aid to the people of Gaza that have suffered so greatly.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger ilana said...

Dave, the UN finally denied Israel shelled a UN school:

link 1
link 2

The number of civilians killed published in the media relied solely on Palestinian sources. The IDF is still in the process of identifying all the casualties by names, so far about 900 were identified, most of them militants. The loss of civilian life is tragic. Hamas uses civilians and civilian infrastructure for military purposes and attacks Israeli civilians from within populated areas and civilian buildings, including schools, so I suggest you direct your outrage at Hamas who is responsible for both Palestinian and Israeli civilian casualties.

The Palestinians have been firing rockets at Israeli towns for 8 years. The fire intensified more than 500% the year after Israel withdrew from Gaza. Later Hamas was elected and the number of rockets and missiles doubled. They acquired longer-range Grad missiles that can hit deeper into Israel and were at the process of acquiring even longer-range missiles that can hit central Israel. They had to be stopped, otherwise life in Israel would have become impossible.

Life in southern Israel HAVE become impossible. In 2008 Hamas fired about 1800 rockets and missiles and thousands of mortar shells into southern Israel, targeting civilians. Unlike Hamas that fires from within Palestinian civilians, the Israeli government does care about Israeli civilians and provides shelters and bunkers and 15-60 seconds red alert and directions on the best ways to try and protect your life and the lives of your children under rocket attack which is why there are few human casualties (although there are many wounded, both physically and psychologically), but that doesn't mean that Israelis can or should live under daily rocket, mortar and missile attacks for years and years.

I believe part of the reason Israeli civilians don't mean anything to so many people and your media downplays the severity of the attacks on Israeli civilians is that indeed the Israeli government tolerated it for far too long, thus signaling that firing intentionally on Israeli civilians every day for years is tolerable. They tried all kinds of sanctions and limited attacks, but nothing worked.

Hamas' stated goal, as stated in Hamas covenant and as repeatedly stated by Hamas leaders, is to obliterate Israel. When they were elected they declared all previous agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel are null and void. That means declaring war. Even if they are weaker and at the moment can't win a war against Israel, they can inflict serious damage and it's the duty of the Israeli government to prevent them from gaining more military strength.

And finally Dave, this comment isn't really meant for you because when you say Gaza is a "concentration camp" I know where you stand, which dogmas you hold and that you're here to demonize Israel and not for a discussion. I'm bothering to reply at all just because there are other people reading it.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger MNM said...

I am criticizing Obama specifically as being anti-semitic. He spends 2 decades at a church with a pastor that spews anti-semitism, honors Louis Farrakahn, allows Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzook to write an anti-Israeli article for the church newspaper. At each revelation Obama was "shocked" and proceeded to denounce these extremist views, but only for a campaign soundbite.
Then we have Rashid Khalidi, given funding by Barack Obama ( via the woods foundation) for his group that "mourns the establishment of Israel as a catastrophe" and has made statements supporting Palestinian terror.
In fact there was a dinner, as reported in the LA times, in honor of Khaledi which as they stated that this dinner turned into an Israel bashing session.
Obama spoke at this dinner that he and his wife attended. The LA times has a tape of this and refused to release it during the campaign. It took several excuses before they finally arrived at one claiming they had promised the person giving them the tape they would not release it.
Don't you think if this tape were innocent there would have been no controversy.
In their zeal to elect a democrat the media failed to expose this information and protected Obama at every turn.
They did not ask him to reconcile his actions and support for these reprobates with his pro-Israel rhetoric during the election.
For Obama this is not a conversation about differences. For Obama it is time to reconcile his history of anti-Israel support and beliefs and the policy of the US government.
We would be foolish to see this otherwise.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger ilana said...


"A time honored tradition is for the victor to assist with the rebuilding of the vanquished."

One of the problems we're facing here is that according to Hamas and many of the Palestinians, the victor is Hamas.

This is not an ego thing, but a question of the success of Hamas' tactics. If many of the Palestinians will believe Hamas won, the support for Hamas' way will grow even stronger and so will the regional position of Iran that supports Hamas and the position of the Muslim Brotherhood as Hamas is the local chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood (they say so in their own charter, just google "Hamas covenant"). And then, if Hamas' way proves to be "effective" (in the opinion of a majority of the Palestinians), we are into an even longer and bloodier struggle.

How can Hamas consider itself the winner? The stated goals of the Israeli operation were first of all to stop the rocket attacks (there are still rocket attacks, but "just" 1-3 a day), reestablish Israeli deterrence and diminish Hamas' capabilities. Israel didn't state it was hoping to oust Hamas. Still Hamas claims victory first for surviving the operation and still being in control of Gaza, and then for gaining political points such as more international recognition and lifting the blockade without recognizing the state of Israel, "agreeing" that Israel will continue to exist, accepting previous agreements or even releasing Gilad Shalit (if return for hundreds of Hamas "militants" or whatever you call them today). Israel is demanding some things in return. As far as the other side goes if Israel just "gives in" without getting any of these things then Israel surrendered to Hamas. It may not make sense to you to call this a Hamas victory, but it makes sense to many other people, unfortunately.

If you'll tell me that Hamas is getting the same results anyway, I'll have to agree with you. Hamas will claim it a victory either way and many will agree with Hamas. The thing is that the international community is giving this victory to Hamas. In the long run both Israelis and Palestinians will pay for it with blood because Hamas will never back down or recognize the state of Israel. Read their charter and hear what they say in Arabic and how they educate the Palestinian children. There will be "truces" and so-called "lulls" just for strategic political or military reasons. Hamas plans a long term struggle (again, read Hamas covenant and listen to what they say in Arabic).

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tried to warn them, too. I've seen NormanF's excellent comments over at JTA. But he was ignored, because the delusional don't like to be troubled with the facts when they have their fantasy to cling to.

Yes, they could have done something, and now they are stunned. But will they even admit they made a mistake, and take steps to try to keep from making it again? I don't see any sign of that yet.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger MNM said...


I told you so. The Obama bullying begins.

This is a link to the jpost.com
The article is titled "Entrapping Netanyahu"


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