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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fortress Israel?

Both NY Nana and NormanF sent me links to the same article from the New York Times Co. albeit from two different newspapers: The Times and the Herald Tribune. The argument made is that the combination of the 'brutal force' used in Operation Cast Lead and the 'racist' Avigdor Lieberman becoming Israel's foreign minister have brought about our isolation in the world community and have necessitated a 're-branding' of Israel as a kinder, gentler country.

I have several comments on this issue. First, the idea that Israel needs to work on its 'branding' is not an outgrowth of Operation Cast Lead or of the elections. It is something that the foreign ministry has been discussing at least since last summer. Here are some of the things I said about it then, and I stand by them today.
Israel IS a Jewish state and that's nothing of which we should be ashamed. I'd be curious to know more about the focus groups and whether they were a true cross-section even of 'upscale Americans.' We were told that the focus groups specifically did not include Jews who were deemed 'too passionate' about Israel. I wonder whether they also excluded fundamentalist Christians, most of whom are supporters of Israel. The video that Yehuda describes was horrendous: It showed a focus group that envisioned Israel as 'all stone buildings,' only men (women being hidden at home as in Saudi Arabia) and highly militaristic. That is NOT the country in which I live. But I wonder if the sample from which that video was produced was truly representative. I don't believe the average American views us as negatively as the people in that video.

While I agree that it makes sense to brand Israel in a way that people do not focus entirely on one aspect, I don't think that means we have to hide or be ashamed of the fact that we are a JEWISH state (which is what the foreign ministry is clearly trying to do - Zavi made some comment about how we are a state of three religions and that's what elicited the "Jewish state" comment). I don't think that branding Israel means we have to promote ourselves with pictures of bikini-clad women on the beaches of Tel Aviv - we're not France. We certainly don't need the likes of airhead Bar Refaeli acting as our spokespeople.

The foreign ministry may not like it because it does not fit in with their worldview, but our most loyal supporters are Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians. During the intifada - from 2000 to 2004 - the only foreigners in the hotels came from those two groups. While it may be a worthwhile venture to increase our 'customer base,' doing so at the cost of losing our existing clientele doesn't strike me as worthwhile.
What was right with the foreign ministry's concept last summer is still right today, and what was wrong about it then is still wrong about it today. Neither the war nor Lieberman's accession to office as foreign minister (assuming that it happens) has changed anything.

Second, people who believe that we used 'brutal force' in Operation Cast Lead are being sold a bill of goods that's simply false. If we had wanted to do all the terrible things we have been accused of doing, there would have been 130,000 dead Gazans and not 1,300. War is brutal and sometimes people do things that they shouldn't do (someone on the radio this morning complained of 'indiscriminate shooting' by ground troops in Gaza, but that sort of thing is the exception rather than the rule). As I have explained before, the idea that Israel could have or should have responded 'proportionately' to 'Palestinian' rocket fire is a canard, and I suggest that those raising it take their spouses and children and go live in Sderot for a month and come back and tell me that the rocket fire is a 'minor nuisance.' The rocket fire is anything but a minor nuisance. People also think that throwing stones at cars is a minor nuisance, but I recall from when I lived in the US that people are charged with attempted murder for throwing stones at cars - and for good reason. The whole idea that we used 'brutal force' in Gaza is a creation of the 'Palestinians' and their allies in the Leftist media.

Third, although I did not vote for him, I vehemently protest the characterization of Avigdor Lieberman as a racist. Lieberman's idea of a loyalty oath - which I believe he would apply across the board - is telling people that if you don't like it here, and you'd rather live elsewhere, please feel free to leave. The United States also has a pledge of allegiance, and yes, I know, the Supreme Court ruled that you cannot be forced to say it, but the United States doesn't live with the existential threats with which we have been living for sixty years. Lieberman's idea of exchanging territory with a 'Palestinian' state is much of the same ilk. The 'Israeli Arabs' in the Wadi Ara triangle have been telling us for years that they consider themselves 'Palestinians' and that they don't accept the State of Israel. Given that we have thousands of Jews who live over the 'green line' in Judea and Samaria who want to be part of a Jewish state, and that the Arabs are insisting that their state reichlet be free of Jews, an exchange of territory - an idea that is not unprecedented in international law - makes sense, and suggesting it certainly does not make Avigdor Lieberman into a racist. He doesn't go around wearing white sheets with eye holes and he doesn't go around using the equivalent of "the n word" for Arabs.

Fourth, our election results are what they are. We are a democracy, we went to the polls and these are the Knesset members we chose. I'm sorry that we are no longer dominated by Kibbutznikim in kova tembles, short shorts and sandals since some of you seem to think that's what Israel means. We've grown up. And you know what? I'm not sorry about that either. You may not like our election results and you may not like our democracy, but we are the only democracy in this region. You can't dictate beliefs to people. Walk in my shoes before you condemn me. Sit on an Egged bus in 2002 or 2003 and wonder whether the guy who looks kind of funny is wearing an explosives vest. Sit in a restaurant in Jerusalem and think about whether you should get up and leave every time someone walks in with a guitar case. Go through the search routine at every mall and theater in the country and wonder whether the person behind you is going to explode - literally - out of impatience. And then tell me with a straight face why I should want a 'Palestinian' state. I'd rather stay alive than please you.

Fifth, why is it that the world ignores every other trouble spot and focuses only at the 'Palestinians'? Why haven't the Darfuris been sent $900 million in American aid and why does no one care that hundreds of thousands of them have been killed in recent years? Why did no one care about the Tutsis and Hutsus of Rwanda, the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia, and the Protestants in Northern Ireland? Why didn't the United States throw $900 million at each of them? Why didn't the World throw $15 billion (at the height of a worldwide economic crisis no less) at them? Why is it only the 'Palestinians' that benefit from such largesse? Why is the World so obsessed with the 'Palestinians'? My Jewish readers all know why: The World hates us. Don't give me this peace and love and hope and change crap - the World hates us. And now that the Democrats and the Left have taken power in the US, we can look forward to the US hating us too.
An unnamed former highly-placed U.S.intelligence official has broken silence and says that America may soon be abandoning Israel in favor of the Arabs. “This is just the beginning”, he said, "Israel could be about to lose the support of the United States."

The source made these remarks in an exclusive interview with Douglas J. Hagmann, the director of the Northeast Intelligence Network (NIN), which is comprised of veteran licensed professional investigators, analysts, military affairs specialists and researchers. The group has combined their resources to provide accurate and well-sourced information via their website.


When questioned about the possible abandonment of Israel by America, Hagmann told Yonah, "The Obama administration is no friend to Israel, is no friend to the Jews in America and is no friend to democracy or freedom in America. …Just by his very appointments, we can see him filling positions of power with people who are anti-Semitic, who want to see Israel essentially dissolved as a nation, if not by diplomacy, then certainly by war."

In his report, the unnamed intelligence source told Hagmann, “I have every reason to believe, based on what I’ve seen at my level of [security] clearance especially over the last several years, that Israel will soon be completely on their own… or worse.” He explained this would happen “when our administration provides more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts all while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.”

Haggman told Yonah that this official broke silence because he had already retired from his highly placed position, and because of his knowledge of the NIN's (Northeast Intelligence Network) position as pro-Israel and the way it valued the relationship between Israel and America. Another reason, he said, was his own perception of the Biblical aspect of this scenario developing.

The intelligence officer explained that the turnover of American policy towards Israel could occur through a manner that he dubbed 'malicious intelligence," which Haggman defined as information that is taken from its raw form. It then is morphed into something else to promote different interests, "where intelligence and politics meet and often collide,” he said. A method “that has been molded and massaged to advance the agendas of a select few,” he elaborated.

In the case of the relationship between America and Israel, he noted, malicious intelligence is being used to turn over the U.S. to a more anti-Israel policy and forge ahead with a more pro-PA or pro-Islamist one.
Here's the interview with Hagmann (it runs a bit more than 45 minutes):

Read the whole thing. Read Hagmann's article too.

I'd rather stay alive than worry about my 'image.' I don't know whether Hagmann's right, but I'm not taking any chances.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger lovegodspeople said...

I am an american and I just wanted to tell you that I am very sorry that our goverment has gone way out to the left. I don't think they know what they are doing,because God will rain down on whoever deserts ISREAL.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger left wing facist said...

While I agree that Liberman’s loyalty oath doesn’t make him a racist, I think he missed the boat. He should have, instead, demanded that every Israeli at 18 either serve in the Army or do two years of national service (community work, visiting the elderly in old age homes, being teacher’s assistants in schools, helping build infrastructure, etc). This way, both the Arabs and the Haredim would be forced to choose to enjoy the rights of citizenship, in return for serving their country, or loose their citizenship and become permanent residents.

Permanent residents would not have the right to vote, to hold elected office, to work for governmental agencies or companies. They would not get national insurance (child payments) or be able to join a health fund under the governmental program (they could join privately at a higher rate). Obviously, people who don’t serve wouldn’t be granted passports, but one time travel documents (for a fee)

This way, the same results are achieved (those who don’t’ want to contribute to the Country don’t enjoy the benefits the country offers) but does not appear to be racist. Liberman, and much of the country, need to learn that it isn’t the idea, but how it is presented that causes our image problems most times.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't think you are in the position to judge how Americans see or feel about Israel. I have two Jewish daughters and they have a good sense of right and wrong but are very confused about Israels treatment of it's Arab citizens and neighbors. As for myself, I find it repugnant that a state can deny basic rights to Christians and other non-jews based on their religion. Wow what do you call that? Discrimination!
I want Israel to survive, all people deserve to have a place to call home but all people should strive to be just.

Talk about the right wing Christians that are backing your militaristic stand, they want you to start the big war to protect Israel and they want you and your children slaughtered. That is what it will take to bring the second coming of Christ.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Inspired said...

The US is never going to abandon Israel, but its probably going to continue to act like a cruel or capricious elder brother.

My government clearly needs some good PR in the region, and what better way to appeal to Arabs and Muslims than by showing how sincere we are by treating our only friends poorly by propping up their enemies?

We know your enemies hate democracy, they're killing their own people to prevent Iraq from stabilizing and they kill their own in Gaza and the West Bank then blame it on Israel so they can push out any progress.

To use a local idiom 'fuck em'.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Spirit of Che said...

The Protestants of Northern Ireland? The fact that you identify with them over the native Irish is telling. They occupied a land, striped Catholics of the rights to work, own land, vote, speak their language, and practice their religion for close to four hundred years. They violated every UN resolution and did it with the military backing of a foreign army.

But in the end the Irish won out, just as the South Afrikans did. Apartheid is unsustainable.

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Foxy said...

Shorty: Which "basic rights" are being denied on the basis of religion? And the "big war" you mention is specifically started by outside invaders, not Israel. Right wing Christians support Israel in the hope that it will be able to survive, not be wiped out. Get your facts straight.

Spirit of Che: Irish Protestants are not outside occupiers. They are just as Irish as Catholics, they simply converted to another variant of Christianity. The conflict between the two is a creation of the English (the actual occupiers) as part of a successful divide-and-conquer strategy. All of the rights violations you point out were perpetrated by the English, the actual oppressors. To compare either Israel or Ireland to apartheid is ridiculous.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Please see



Hagmann is not reliable even if what he said happens to be true.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger muscledad75287 said...

to love Gods People

I am American and God is not in anyone's hip pocket. For the fundamental Christians who obviously don't know St Peter and Paul: here's a few quotes
Israel belongs to Abraham and his seed Jesus. So Israel belongs to those jews who accept Jesus and Christians

Galatians 3:29 (New International Version)

29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

So when the fundies quote I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you this only applies to Christians

ST Paul tells us those who accept Jesus are jews

so the fundies ought not invoke the Bi-a-ble which obviously they are not too literate in

How can God rain down on A Christian for not backing Atheist Israel's war mongering policies?

Don't you know Jesus said to the Christians "you are the light of the world"
1 Peter 2:7-9
You are a chosen people a royal priesthood, you who accept Christ

Shall God punish his own body?
Romans 12:5

Jesus said I am in you and you are in me

So now God will chastise Himself?

Faith alone saves, but now lovesgodspeople tells us we need works?

Even God cannot cooperate with evil. If atheist Israel sins, shall God Whom they don't acknowledge bless them?

At 6:58 PM, Blogger courtneyme109 said...

While that article is provocative and one among several - it is NOT indicative about GrEaT sAtAn"S feelings for
Little Satan. American support for Little Satan - as just expressed by combined brainiacs of CFR and Brookings
and instantly enshrined by 44 in the 'Umberella" doctrine indicate that Americans get it.

Little Satan is the one place in that part of the world that is the most like us. A tolerant, egalitarian society with a penchant for periodic transparent elections, a military under civie control, an independent judiciary under elected Gov oversight, a free uncensored press and a nat'l treasury under public scrutiny.

And there is nothing magic about all this. GrEaT sAtAn loves and supports all her fun, free choice hot! democrazies like Little Satan, SoKo, Taiwan, Nippon etc irregardless of baby Jesus, Moses, the Bible or Torah.

It's how we roll yo!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...


Thanks for the hat tip. When I read that last night? I was so angry that I actually had trouble falling asleep.

Now? I am still angry, but resigned to the fact that The One is actively encouraging both hate for Jews and for Israel.

There will be more articles like that odious one.

It seems that liberals and others have conveniently 'forgotten' that Israel is the Jewish homeland....or that they refuse to believe it, and 'forget' that the arabs in Israel are not wanted by any of their brethren, and fled Israel as the uncle of Arafat, the Grand Muhti of Jerusalem, and a follower of *itler(yimach shmo vezichro)told them to, so that the arabs would 'drive the Jews into the sea'. I was 10 years old when the State of Israel was declared...yes, the current 'government' of the USA is anti-Israel, but by and large, the American people are not.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"...[our recent 'misdeeds'] have brought about our isolation in the world community..."

Oh, so THAT's what it is. Golly, I sure was puzzled when World opinion changed from being sooooo friendly for sooooo long, to suddenly cold and hostile. At least now I know what went wrong.

And so, in order to mend the horrific disruption in our otherwise idyllic relationship, let me humbly offer my formal apology to the world for my part in Israel's atrocious behavior.

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You and your daughters need to learn that Israeli Arabs are treated better than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East. The only reason you guys feel bad about the terrorists' "suffering" is that you have been brainwashed by the Paleostinkians propaganda, as purveyed by the MSM. And now you are trying to pass those lies off as fact, which makes you a propagandist for the enemies of civilization. No wonder your daughters are "confused."

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Get back in your mom's SUV and go hang out with your friends at Orange Julius or wherever high school cockroaches go these days. You heard a few conspiracy theories from that crazy fifth period world history teacher and you think you understand things clearly....

At 8:13 PM, Blogger caldude500 said...


At 8:38 PM, Blogger lanefelton said...

i am a american, and i believe the people of Isreal are to blame, even now you are stealing more land by settlers, this is not the fault of the government of isreal but its people, the government has had to buldoze settlerments against angry jewish settlers who believe it is their right to expand and take over and your response is well we offer citizenship to the lands we incorporate... which is pretty much you guys annexing more land, and kicking out the palestianians, and you guys have a blue card system like we have green cards which is discrimination right there and Israel breaks the geneva codes by controlling building permits etc..... the geneva code of conventions strictly prohibits a occupying power (which you guys are) from doing so, and the reason why you guys did commit war crimes there is clear and evident proof you guys uses banned weapons i will admit the usa shares heavily in this because we sold you these banned weapons, and the reason you guys did not kill more is because it would be clear genocide.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wrote a much longer post on the world's attitude to the political changes in Israel on another thread and I won't belabor them here again.

The one thing that needs to be said is no Israeli is prepared to go back to the situation that prevailed before the Six Day War, when Israel had a narrow waistline and the Syrians overlooked the Galilee. There is no requirement in any of the accords Israel signed that says Israel has to give back all of the territories. Israel did agree to negotiate territorial disputes with the Palestinians and the world shouldn't prejudge the outcome of such negotiations in advance in favor of the Arab side.

Yet that's exactly what's happened though and that is why Israel is expected to give an undertaking to relinquish all of its assets even before there are negotiations! No other country in the world would give such a pledge and in Israel's case, the obvious point is the other side is not interested in compromise and in coming to a meeting of the minds with the Jewish State. The real dispute has never been over territory or settlements.

That's why no amount of "image buffing" can help Israel out of its predicament because the root cause of that predicament is one that will never be solved by talking about it at the table. For Israel Jews then, remaining alive is more important than getting glowing reviews in the world press.

The New York Times didn't address that context and its the critical part of the picture. That's why peace in the Middle East is a long ways off.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger jeanlafittepirate said...

i grew up in a liberal
jewish democrat neighborhood
in tarzana, ca. i was ordered
by superiors to be a goldwater
conservative republican wasp.
or face starvation. meanwhile
i sorted out my own ideas.
until 1964 i had considerable
political clout. which
was totally erased by the
civil rights act of 1964/
and as a member of the losing
side, i sympathize. worry
not about past pogroms, but
present ones and future ones.
the space war planned for
2012 after the next election
is estimated to kiil 3 billion
people. scientific breakthroughs
will make war throughout the
universe possible by then.
people are tired of a world
where everywoman is a whore
and the wolf is always at the
door. sodom and gomorrah
cannot survive. no matter
how it is rationalized and
justified. they would
rather fight on the side
of virtue than vice. anti-science
is a major force also. they
feel the ancient shibboleths
and ways were better. they
oppose the modernist viewpoints
and society. many have mixed
feelings about all issues.
the y in the road, which way
to go.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If "lanefulton" is "a" [SIC] American, then I am Donald Mohommed(spit) Duck.

And, no, that's not the only mistake, dud.

محمد - تبول على منزله

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Israel did agree to negotiate territorial disputes with the Palestinians"

Please keep in mind that, as the Rebbe said, just talking about concessions brings pressure from the nations. Standing up for our rights brings acknowledgment of those rights. After 30 years of making the same mistakes over, and over, and over again, one might think they would be open to new ideas. But they are not, because the implications of the Rebbe being 100% correct on all that he said about Israel are more than they are able to accept. They prefer to be wrong than admit the Rebbe might be right about everything else, like our obligation to live the way Hashem wants us to, as well. And, alas, the "religious" parties go along with them! Unbelievable.

ASIDE - I wonder how many of the screwballs posting here as "Americans" are really placentinians masquerading as such? That is one of the propaganda tools they use.

At 9:37 PM, Blogger courtneyme109 said...

Sean - shouldnt you be writing for Izzedeen al K'Ssam's site?


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