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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good news: If Iran builds nuclear weapons, so will the Saudis

Former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States Turki al-Faisal warned NATO that if Iran builds nuclear weapons, his country will too.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device "would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences".

He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear.

"We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't. It's as simple as that," the official said. "If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit."

Officials in Riyadh said that Saudi Arabia would reluctantly push ahead with its own civilian nuclear programme. Peaceful use of nuclear power, Turki said, was the right of all nations.

Turki was speaking earlier this month at an unpublicised meeting at RAF Molesworth, the airbase in Cambridgeshire used by Nato as a centre for gathering and collating intelligence on the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

According to a transcript of his speech obtained by the Guardian, Turki told his audience that Iran was a "paper tiger with steel claws" that was "meddling and destabilising" across the region.
Funny how the Saudis seem a lot more concerned about the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon than they are about an Israeli one.

How's that nuclear disarmament going Barack?

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Germany's schizophrenia

Germany is having trouble deciding which side it's on between Israel and Iran. On Thursday, they invited the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to visit the Bundestag at the same time that the Germans were hosting an official Iranian delegation.
The committee members, including Chairman MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), were surprised to find that while they were visiting the German parliament's Defense Committee, representatives of the Majilis, Iran's parliament, were speaking before the Bundestag's Foreign Affairs Committee.

"It cannot be that while Germany calls for tough sanctions against the Iranian regime, official representatives of Germany undermine this policy by meeting with Majilis members," the MKs said in a statement. "They are sending the message that sanctions against Iran are passed with a wink."

The Israeli delegation, which included Mofaz, MK Roni Bar-On (Kadima), MK Moshe Mutz Matalon (Israel Beiteinu), MK Zeev Bielski (Kadima) and MK Einat Wilf (Independence), originally wanted to "make a big stink," an FADC spokesman said. However, after consulting with the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, the MKs sent a letter of protest to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the German foreign minister, the Bundestag's speaker, and the chairman of the Bundestag Defense Committee.

The MKs also expressed their ire in the joint meeting with the Bundestag's committee.

The FADC spokesman said the German lawmakers' response was "not convincing enough," and the committee remembers refused to shelf the letter.

"We, the members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, on an official visit to Berlin, firmly protest the visit of Iranian Majilis members in Berlin and express our deep disappointment in their acceptance by German officials, including the German parliament," the letter reads.

The MKs wrote: "The Iranian Majilis is a façade of a parliament that covers a murderous regime that oppresses its people and tortures young students and protesters. They support and export terror, aid Assad's regime in repressing protests against him, deny the Holocaust, all while manufacturing nuclear weapons and missiles in order to commit genocide against the Jews and erase our only state from the map."

"We cannot stand by while German representatives hold a dialogue with a regime that calls for genocide," the MKs explained. "We are very concerned about these dangerous ties between German representatives and their Iranian counterparts, and hope that these ties will end."

"We cannot be silent while the representatives of a murderous regime are accepted in the heart of democratic Europe," the letter concluded.
There really hasn't been much change in the past 70 years, has there? They're just nicer about it.

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This is not a parody: US 'engaging' with Muslim Brotherhood

They're calling it 'resuming' 'limited contacts' but there never were any contacts before and the Muslim Brotherhood is not a government.
The United States will resume a policy of limited contacts with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed on Thursday.

Clinton told a news conference it was in U.S. interests to have such contacts, saying they had occurred in recent years, and that U.S. officials would emphasize the importance of non-violence, democratic freedoms, and the rights of women and minorities in such contacts.
Good luck with that.

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France: The Holocaust becomes 'comedy'

Only in France (or Tehran) could the Holocaust be treated as comedy.

The full, disgraceful story is here.

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Washing Hamas clean one bar at a time

If you use Lush soap or lotions, you are supporting Hamas one bar or bottle at a time.
It turns out British-born Lush supports a number of far-left causes — spun on its website as “ethical campaigns” — running the gamut from: global warming to oil spills; gay marriage to a “no one is illegal” campaign; to advancing the fight against nuclear energy. All polarizing issues that carry an inherit risk of alienating customers — but when Lush announced its support for the anti-Israel, jihadi sympathizing OneWorld campaign — the company’s foray into the murky waters of the Israeli Palestinian conflict went beyond the pale.

With a reported $350 million in annual revenue (some reports even say $500 million) and locations in over 40 countries, Lush’s far-reach and influence cannot be easily dismissed.

You might remember OneWorld — the group started by various recording artists whose stated aim is to “free Palestine” from its Israeli “oppressors.” With the help of well-known music group Coldplay, OneWorld launched a song titled “Freedom for Palestine.” The pro-Palestinian song pushes a revisionist narrative, which paints Israel as “illegal occupiers” committing “crimes against humanity.”

The fact that West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are territories under dispute and not in fact “illegally occupied,” — and that the charge of Israel committing “crimes against humanity” is erroneous — doesn’t seem to be of consequence to OneWorld and its supporters.


Still, despite outraged customers requesting Lush to sever ties with OneWorld, Lush’s crusade to “free the Palestinians” continues. After receiving a written complaint from a former customer and blogger who found the company’s anti-Israel bend repugnant, Lush stuck to its guns and continued to vilify Israel in a written response.
This sounds like a product I do not want to be using.

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Irish ship will not sail to Gaza after 'sabotage'

The Irish 'ship' (looks more like a yacht - yes, that's it) MV Saoirse has dropped out of the Gaza flotilla of fools after the 'ship' was allegedly 'sabotaged' near a Turkish port.
Speaking last night from the Turkish port of Göcek, Fintan Lane, the national co-ordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza organisation, said that the ship would not be able to sail as it had been “dangerously sabotaged”, according to the organising campaign.

He said that the damage to the ship was discovered on Monday night when the captain noticed that there was something wrong. Divers found that a piece was missing from one of the propeller shafts.

“This was the type of sabotage that endangered human life,” Mr Lane said last night. “They put divers under the boat who cut a piece out of the propeller shaft. That means that the damage would have happened gradually and what would have happened eventually is that the propeller would have come up through the bottom of the boat, caused a flood in the engine room and would have caused the boat to sink.”

He said the attack was “unnerving” for the crew, classifying it as a “violent attack” on the lives of those aboard. He said pictures detailing the damage to the ship would be published by the campaign today during a press conference in Dublin.

Mr Lane said that, due to the extent of the damage, the MV Saoirse would not be in a position to sail, adding that just six of the 20-plus crew who had been due to set sail would be able to take part in the flotilla by joining an Italian-based vessel today.
Maybe the propeller got eaten by a worm. Heh.

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Jihad Jenny theatens to quit over Sallah arrest

Liberal Democratic MP Jenny Tonge has threatened to quit her party (which is part of the coalition) over the arrest of Islamic Movement Northern Front leader Raed Sallah in London on Monday. Anyone want to bet on what the reaction to her resignation would be?
At a meeting in a House of Commons Committee Room last night where I was present, “Jihad” Jenny Tonge spoke about “the power of the Israel Lobby”. Her remarks were in connection with the Home Secretary’s decision to arrest and deport Sheikh Raeed Salah (who had been billed to address the meeting). She declared herself “ashamed” at the action of a government of which the LibDems (her Party) are a member and said “I am carefully considering my position in my Party”.

Go on Jihad Jenny – I’ll lay odds that if you resign the words “Good Riddance” will be on Nick Clegg’s lips. I doubt he has forgotten your antisemitic comments in 2006: "The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they've probably got a grip on our party."

Most of the speakers at the meeting agreed that the banning of Salah was down to the all-powerful “Israel Lobby”.
Read the whole thing.

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Four Hezbullah members indicted in Hariri murder

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon has issued indictments against four senior Hezbullah members in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
“I will now examine the indictment and the warrants to take the appropriate measures,” [State Prosecutor Saeed] Mirza told reporters following a meeting with a three-member delegation from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

A judicial source told The Daily Star that the indictment identified the suspects as Mustafa Badreddine, Salim al-Ayyash, Hasan Aineysseh and Asad Sabra.

The STL delegation handed over to Mirza the sealed indictment and arrest warrants for the four suspects during a meeting held at Mirza's office at the Justice Palace in Beirut before midday Thursday.

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the Hariri assassination and has described accusations as an “Israeli-American project.”

Speaking to a local radio station during a break from talks at Baabda Palace, Minister of State of Administrative Affairs and Hezbollah member Mohammad Fneish said: “When we see the [STL] indictment, we will comment on it.”

Badreddine is a cousin and a brother-in-law of Hezbollah’s slain commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in Syria in 2008. Badreddine eventually replaced Mughniyeh as Hezbollah’s chief operations officer.

According to the indictment, Badreddine masterminded and supervised the plot to assassinate the Lebanese statesman while, Ayyash, 48, is alleged to have headed the cell that carried out the assassination of Hariri.

Lebanon, according to experts, now has 30 days to serve out the arrest warrants. If the suspects are not arrested within that period, the STL will then make public the indictment and summon the suspects to appear before the court.
I cannot envision a Hezbullah-led government allowing these prosecutions to go through, but at least the world will know who did the dastardly deed and (maybe) Hezbullah will be forever excluded from participating in the international community.

What could go wrong?

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Dutch media withdrawing from flotilla coverage

The entire Dutch media covering the flotilla of fools has left the flotilla because they were not allowed to cover the events in an unbiased manner and due to Hamas involvement in the flotilla (link is a Google translation - the original article in Dutch is here).
According to the four editors left, they were censored by the activists, who were not served by critical questions, such as the financing of the operational ship, which was bought for nearly three tons. The money is scraped together by including collections in Dutch mosques, as this newspaper revealed earlier.

Vara editor Hasna El Maroudi decided to leave because the organization does not want to say that there were other occupants: "I was not surprised by the presence of figures or organizations that I want nothing to do. Also remained unclear how the financing of the boat settled. Also, I have repeatedly asked, but the answer was suspended in a web of vague foundations, umbrella and umbrella organizations. "Hasna El Maroudi is a former columnist NRC.


Now it appears that the infamous Dutch Hamas leader Amin Abou Rashed also been present in recent days in training of the crew in Greece. El Maroudi: "Amin was present on the day the Dutch delegation, part of the non-violence training followed. Wilfred van de Poll, journalist for the wedding, just spoke with Amin about his presence and his role within the organization. "The brain behind the fleet" has arranged the purchase of the boat. He also has a lion's share of funding provided."

El Maroudi: "During the dinner raved Anne de Jong (one of the driving forces behind the fleet, ed) evil that it is all lies and that Amin was a terribly nice man, who with incredible love, commitment to the Palestinians. How I love her in her blue eyes would believe, I can not. Simply because his involvement in the fleet been kept secret until arrival in Greece. Not only for the outside world, but also for the passengers."
At least someone isn't willing to be used as a tool. Can we conclude that the rest of the media 'covering' the flotilla is allowing itself to be used?

Read the whole thing.

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Video of important panel session: Can Israel survive another Obama term?

This video was posted by the Chicago Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. It's long (I'm watching it as you start to watch it). It runs over an hour and a half. But it's definitely worth watching. More below the fold.

Let's go to the videotape.

Some of you may recall an article by Elliott Abrams that I posted last week, in which Mr. Abrams discussed an open letter from several former senior American government officials that urged President Obama to impose a 'settlement' on Israel. You may recall that I titled my post January 20, 2013, and questioned whether Elliott's analysis was off the table if Obama was still President on January 20, 2013. At the President's Conference the next day, I asked Elliott whether I was right that come January 20, 2013, it would be far more likely that Obama would try to impose a 'settlement' on Israel. He said "that's what I'm afraid of."

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An Arab who gets it

Incredibly, this is an English translation of an Arabic article that appeared in the Kuwaiti daily al-Watan.
The Palestinians want to realize their dream of obtaining international legitimacy (which should be based on finding the agreed solution so necessary for peace) through the forcible imposition of an international diktat on Israel . A unilateral declaration will not conclude the conflict but only make matters worse, making it more intense instead of ending it. The Palestinians seem to have lost their keen interest in negotiation aimed at a reaching a deal, and now only want to act unilaterally in ways that will never solve key problems in the current impasse - which can only be tackled through direct talks between the parties concerned. Continued Palestinian obstinacy just complicates the conflict.

As the Palestinians press on unilaterally for premature recognition of their ”State”, they ignore Israel’s right to exist peacefully as the state of the Jewish people, recognized and living within its borders. The division of the Palestinians themselves between the Palestinian Authority that controls only parts of the West Bank, and the terrorist Hamas movement (loyal to the Persians of Iran) that holds the Gaza Strip negates legal criteria for the establishment of a state in form and character. Added to which, the Palestinian Authority has no authority over the Gaza Strip (which as noted is dominated by Hamas), the recent conciliation agreement between the warring factions notwithstanding.

Premature recognition of a Palestinian State means recognition of a terrorist entity - because Hamas openly intends to destroy Israel and wipe it off the map. Hamas rejects the terms of the international community for its own recognition that would make Hamas into a legal and accepted player in the region. These terms are: recognizing the right of Israel to exist, acceptance of existing international agreements, and an end to violence.

We must not forget that the international community still defines Hamas as a terrorist organization which is banned in Europe and the USA. How then can a terrorist body become the model for a Palestinian state?
Read the whole thing.

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Suggestions for the intrepid Gaza cruise director

The best part about a cruise is the shore excursions. I don't know whether the flotilla of fools has an activities coordinator who is planning their shore excursions, but here are some places where the passengers on the flotilla might want to spend some time if they ever get to Gaza. I'm sure many of the needy people in Gaza hang out at these places. Maybe the cruise passengers can even take bags of humanitarian aid with them and hand them out to needy Gazans whom they see in the streets. Of course, any such activities would first have to be coordinated with Hamas.

Gaza City's Grand Palace Hotel

The Grand Palace Hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Gaza City. It's a small, intimate, cozy place and I'm sure they'd be happy to take in a few of the flotilla passengers - if they have the room for them.

The Gaza Mall

This is last year's Gaza mall, which is kind of passe considering that a new mall is to be opened next month. But maybe this is one is still worth a visit anyway.

Mother Lauren's Grocery Store

I'm sure that the the Gazan flotilla passengers will find many starving Gazans outside Lauren Booth's favorite grocery store. In fact, maybe they can even bring along some food for the store to sell - at much higher prices of course.

The passengers should also bring along lots of pictures of Lauren in her hijab so that the Gazan kids will have a living hero to worship.

Gaza Riding Club

Horseback riding would be a great activity for flotilla passengers looking for a change of pace.

Gaza Olympic Swimming Pool

After they finish horseback riding, flotilla passengers can cool off in Gaza's olympic swimming pool.

Or in its water park.

Oops - sorry. Hamas didn't like that one.

But there's a new water park in Khan Yunis, and I heard they have something called the 'tunnel tours' nearby.

There are many more activities for the intrepid cruise director here (Hat Tip: Shy Guy). Make sure to check them all out.

What could go wrong?


Video: Gaza receives thousands of tons of goods and materials

Here is a video that will give you lots of statistics on Israeli transfers of goods to Gaza as compared with the flotillas.

Let's go to the videotape.


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Release of Obama - Khalidi tape unlikely

You will recall that during the 2008 US Presidential campaign, the Los Angeles Times had, but would not release, a tape of former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi's going away party when he left Chicago for Bir Zeit on the Hudson. It is alleged that at said party, much hostility toward Israel was expressed, and that one Barack Hussein Obama - then a State Senator from Illinois - was present and a part of the festivities.

The tape came up again recently when it was contrasted with the Times' release of thousands of private emails written by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

But don't expect the Times to suddenly have pangs of conscience and release the video says Roger Simon. There is no way this uber-Liberal newspaper is going to do anything that could harm the re-election chances of Barack Hussein Obama.
Perhaps because I live in L.A. and know the LAT well, have written for it on occasion, I am far less optimistic than Stanley that such a revelation would occur. Though better written than the lefty blog, the L.A. Times is barely three degrees to the right of the Daily Kos and many times more stodgy. The Times admits mistakes less often than Markos Moulitsas. And I suspect their editorial board would rather see the return of the McNamara Brothers, who dynamited the Times building in 1910, than do anything that might possibly harm the reelection of Barack Obama.

This is true even though the L.A. Times seems to have had little problem with Wikileaks or in disseminating their leaked information. It’s not just the Palin emails. Blabbing is fine as long as it’s on the proper side.

Meanwhile, Peter Wallsten, the man who received the clandestine tape from a mysterious donor and wrote the original attenuated LAT article on the Khalidi party (“Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Obama“), has moved on from the Los Angeles Times to the Wall Street Journal and, now, the Washington Post and he isn’t talking. (At least to me. I called him some time back, but the moment I broached the subject he essentially hung up.) These days he’s cheerleading for Obama at the WaPo with “daring” articles like “White House seeks to connect with young voters” with smiling photos of you-know-who.

No, in all probability, the only way we will ever see the tape or read even a redacted version of the transcript is courtesy of one of the better second story men on the West Coast or a retired KGB agent. (The Mossad need not apply. They will be blamed anyway.)

This is a shame because events are conspiring to make the production of this tape increasingly important, if only to clear the air. Among the soi-disant activists backing the second flotilla currently revving up to bring supposedly needed supplies to allegedly impoverished Gaza is one Rashid Khalidi. He has been raising money in support of one of the vessels with a familiar name:
This year’s American vessel, named The Audacity of Hope after US President Barack Obama’s best-selling book, is being organized by an American group called “US Boat to Gaza.”

Obama links to the Audacity do not end there, however. Prof. Rashid Khalidi, director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a friend from Obama’s time in Chicago, is among the supporters of an appeal launched by the group last week.

“We must raise at least $370,000 in the next month,” a statement on US Boat to Gaza’s Web site read indicating it doesn’t have the money needed to sail yet.
What could go wrong?

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Overnight music video

Mrs. Carl and I went to two more weddings tonight - this time both in Jerusalem. It's amazing how small Israel is. At the second wedding, we knew both sides and at both weddings we knew many other guests.... If there are six degrees of separation in the rest of the World, there are about two in Israel - less among the Americans who live here.

Weddings here are very different - even from religious Jewish weddings in the US. Those of you who have been here know of what I speak, but it's too long a topic for this hour of the morning. I need a little sleep before the sun rises.

Here's Yaakov Shwekey with Malachim (Angels).

Let's go to the videotape.

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OMG: North Korea named head of UN nuclear disarmament body

Just when you thought that the United Nations could not get any crazier.... North Korea has been named to head the organization's nuclear disarmament body.
Nuclear-armed North Korea has assumed the presidency of a key United Nations disarmament body — despite facing UN Security Council sanctions over its weapons programs.

The development comes in the same week the UN defended its decision to support Iran's holding of an international "anti-terrorism" conference — which saw participants declaring that Western powers were the international terrorists.

UN officials point out that North Korean ambassador So Se Pyong takes on the presidency of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament under rules that say the chair will rotate among all 65 member states in alphabetical order.

But critics said Wednesday the rules should be changed when they allow the body — whose mandate is in part to push for world nuclear disarmament — to be led by a country that the West considers to be an international nuclear renegade.

"No system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which also led protests against the UN's input at the Iranian "anti-terrorism" conference.

"It's common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world's arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe."
Read the whole thing. You have to love God's sense of humor, eh?

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Tahrir explodes again

For the first time in months, there were riots last night and tonight in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Let's go to the videotape.

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How are the 'Palestinians' paying for all that promotion

I'll bet that a lot of you are wondering how Abu Bluff and Co. have been doing more traveling around the world than investment bankers if the 'Palestinian Authority' is about is well-capitalized as an Egyptian vegetable stand. Well, if you're an American, I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that you're paying for it.
In late May, Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad complained that the Palestinian Authority was facing a financial crisis, because donor nations were delaying or withholding funds.

This has not been the case with U.S. funds, which reportedly continue to flow. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that Congress has been paying for the Palestinians’ diplomatic end run around Washington.

Some lawmakers have already registered their disapproval for a Palestinian declaration of statehood this fall. They view the non-binding U.N. resolution as reckless, because it needlessly heightens tensions with the Israelis, and could spark a new armed conflict over the territories in dispute. Other legislators seek to deny funds to the Hamas-Fatah unity government, if it ever comes to fruition.

The U.S. forks over an estimated $600 million to the Palestinians each year. Has Washington inadvertently allowed some of these taxpayer dollars to be spent in pursuit of a dangerous declaration of Palestinian statehood at the U.N. in September? Congress should find out.
Your tax dollars at work at the low point of the second dip of a double dip recession. What could go wrong?

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just when you thought he couldn't degrade the Presidency any more

Just when you thought that Barack Hussein Obama couldn't possibly degrade the American Presidency any more, he comes up with this (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).

Yes, you too can win dinner with Barack Hussein Obama. Of course, you may have to pay your own expenses to get to Burger King in downtown Washington to pick up your cheeseburger.

What could go wrong?

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Jews losing faith in Obama

Well, it's about time. American Jews might - just might - be losing faith in Barack Hussein Obama.
Based on the conversations with POLITICO, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that some kind of tipping point has been reached.

Most of those interviewed were center-left American Jews and Obama supporters — and many of them Democratic donors. On some core issues involving Israel, they’re well to the left of Netanyahu and many Americans: They refer to the “West Bank,” not to “Judea and Samaria,” fervently supported the Oslo peace process and Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and believe in the urgency of creating a Palestinian state.

But they are also fearful for Israel at a moment of turmoil in a hostile region when the moderate Palestinian Authority is joining forces with the militantly anti-Israel Hamas.

“It’s a hot time, because Israel is isolated in the world and, in particular, with the Obama administration putting pressure on Israel,” said Rabbi Neil Cooper, leader of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs, who recently lectured his large, politically connected congregation on avoiding turning Israel into a partisan issue.

Some of these traditional Democrats now say, to their own astonishment, that they’ll consider voting for a Republican in 2012. And many of those who continue to support Obama said they find themselves constantly on the defensive in conversations with friends.

“I’m hearing a tremendous amount of skittishness from pro-Israel voters who voted for Obama and now are questioning whether they did the right thing or not,” said Betsy Sheerr, the former head of an abortion-rights-supporting, pro-Israel PAC in Philadelphia, who said she continues to support Obama, with only mild reservations. “I’m hearing a lot of ‘Oh, if we’d only elected Hillary instead.’”


“There’s an inclination in the community to not trust this president’s gut feel on Israel and every time he sets out on a path that’s troubling you do get this ‘ouch’ reaction from the Jewish Community because they’re distrustful of him,” said the president of a major national Jewish organization, who declined to be quoted by name to avoid endangering his ties to the White House.


The pro-Israel Jewish voters and activists who spoke to POLITICO are largely die-hard Democrats, few of whom have ever cast a vote for a Republican to be president. Does the new wave of Jewish angst matter?

One place it might is fundraising. Many of the Clinton-era Democratic mega-donors who make Israel their key issue, the most prominent of whom is the Los Angeles Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, never really warmed to Obama, though Saban says he will vote for the Democrat and write him a check if asked.

A top-dollar Washington fundraiser aimed at Jewish donors in Miami last week raised more than $1 million from 80 people, and while one prominent Jewish activist said the DNC had to scramble to fill seats, seven-figure fundraisers are hard to sneer at.

Even people writing five-figure checks to Obama, though, appeared in need of a bit of bucking up.
Read the whole thing. Now I'm sure that the people who regularly defend Obama in the comments here are going to tell me that Ben Smith (the Politico reporter who wrote the story) is among their more conservative reporters, that he's drawing conclusions from a bunch of random conversations and so on. Barack Hussein Obama doesn't believe that.
The Washington Post reports the Obama campaign hopes to regain the trust of top Jewish donors by promising private access to administration dignitaries and perks like private food tastings at the White House.

Jews, along with homosexuals and business leaders, are at the top of the Obama campaign's hit list.

A key player in the closed-door donor recruitment is White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley, a former banking executive who has huddled in recent weeks over breakfasts and dinners with business leaders and Wall Street financiers in Chicago, New York and Washington — seeking to ease tensions over new financial regulations and other administration policies.

Daley and other officials have also tried to help court Jewish donors who have expressed frustration with Obama’s Middle East policies, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In one case this month, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett spent an hour visiting a major pro-Israel donor identified by the campaign as a potential financial supporter. And, this spring, campaign manager Jim Messina made his pitch during at least two meetings in Manhattan with Wall Street executives.
So Obama is definitely in trouble with the Jews. Does he deserve it? For those of you who are still wavering, please consider the case of the President to whom Obama is most often compared: Jimmy Carter.
No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river. In the 1990s, Carter became quite close to Yasser Arafat. After the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia was mad at Arafat, because the PLO chief had sided with Saddam Hussein. So Arafat asked Carter to fly to Riyadh to smooth things over with the princes and restore Saudi funding to him — which Carter did.
Is Obama similarly 'passionately anti-Israel' in his heart of hearts? I'd rather not find out while he's President, but I'd bet on it.

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El Al to fly to Boston?

When Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was here several months ago, one of his big things was pushing for non-stop service on El Al between Boston and Tel Aviv. Now, you have a chance to make that dream come true. Please keep reading below (Hat Tip: Lance K).
Dear Business Leader and Colleague,

Boston Logan International Airport combined with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a real opportunity to secure New England’s first-ever nonstop air service to Israel. With your help, we think we can dramatically improve our position to obtain this service, which is why I urge you to complete the attached 10-minute survey of your air travel needs as soon as possible.

We have been in productive talks in recent months with Israel’s flag airline—El Al, who has expressed long-term interest in launching nonstop air service between Boston Logan and Tel Aviv. The carrier has already seen Massport’s expert forecasts on the route’s profitability as well as economic estimates that suggest the new service could generate dramatic economic benefits—both for El Al and for the strong communities of interest between New England and Israel. But, if we are going to expedite the start of this service, El Al needs to hear from you – the business, academic, religious and non-profit leaders who would use the service the most. We know there are strong ties with billions in trade, we now need to demonstrate that to El Al. That is why your contribution is so vital to our efforts.

Boston is currently one of the largest US markets without nonstop air service to Israel. And in discussions with New England leaders like you, we believe that our business, academic and cultural communities would prosper with nonstop service between Boston and Israel. We just completed a similar effort to support our efforts with Japan. This effort resulted the announced service by Japan Airlines from Boston to Tokyo. This can happen again with Israel and with your help I am confident we will succeed. Thank you in advance for your assistance on the survey and for your continuing support of Logan Airport.

Follow this link to the Survey:
Take the Survey

Edward C. Freni
Director of Aviation
Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)
Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser (on one line with no spaces):

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New flotilla facts page

StandWithUs has a new web page devoted to disseminating factual information about the flotilla of fools. It includes videos and other goodies. You can check it out here.

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Government cracking down on Hamas terrorist cell phone use

This has to be the only country in the world where dangerous security prisoners are allowed to have cell phones. That's about to change.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Wednesday said that the government is considering the use of electronic devices to stop the operation of smuggled cell phones by Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed last week to toughen the conditions of Hamas prisoners following the Gaza leadership's refusal of a Red Cross request to receive proof that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit is alive.

Hamas prisoners are forbidden from using cellular phones but the Prison Service has been only partially successful in preventing the phenomenon, Aharonovitch said. Prisoners use the devices to communicate with Hamas leadership as well as prisoners in other jails.
Only partially successful? I'd say it's more like they look the other way. Well, at least that's about to stop.

Blogspot is not allowing the uploading of photos at the moment so there is no image with this post.

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'Occupation' works

Daniel Byman thought he had proved that 'peace' works better than Israel's security mechanisms. But he found out something very different along the way.
Then he offered the lessons he didn’t want to learn—what we might call inconvenient truths. The first of these is: “occupations can work.” It’s a corollary to the pronouncement that Gaza is quiet. But it rests on a statistic he offered in his opening remarks where he noted that only one suicide bombing was successfully carried out against Israel in 2008. In 2002 that number was 53. IDF antiterror operations in the West Bank, the construction of the system of early-warning chain link security fences, and the decision to maintain a ready IDF presence in the West Bank (what he might call in other circumstances an “occupying army”) enabled Israel to keep the peace.

Another lesson was that “deterrence can work.” And, as he told the audience, you cannot have both deterrence and proportionality.

Byman also played the “demographics pose an existential threat to Israel” card, and he said Israel may be strengthening Palestinian rejectionists and extremists with the lack of a deal. Eighteen years after Oslo, they may reasonably say, “Where are we?”

But while this question implies that Israel is at fault for the lack of progress, Byman needs also to understand is that Israelis are asking the very same question—and it’s worth exploring further.

When an Israeli looks around and says “where are we?” what he sees, externally, are two kinds of states. The first is Egypt, which has effectively suspended its peace treaty with Israel now that the one defender of that treaty, Hosni Mubarak, has been expelled from power and is being replaced with an anti-Western figurehead catering to influential Islamist parties.

The second is Lebanon, a borderline failed state with a sovereign nonstate controlling its security and its legislature. It is a state no one would seek to create if it didn’t already exist.

Is either of these two states an attractive model for a “Palestine”?

And what do Israelis see when they look at the Palestinian territories? They see a quiet border with the West Bank and a relatively calm one with Gaza. And while the border with Lebanon may be tense, Ashkenazi offered some guarded optimism: “I’ve known Hezbollah since 1982,” Ashkenazi said, recalling his days in the elite Golani Brigade. “For the first time ever, the border is quiet… that is deterrence.”

The question that must be asked, although negotiators and dedicated peace processors will avoid it, is this: Is Israel safer, purely from a security standpoint, than it would be by advancing the cause of Palestinian statehood?
Read the whole thing.

Google is having problems uploading images at the moment.

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Israel to target Bashar al-Assad

With Israel wary of a potential Syrian attack on it in a bid to distract attention from the uprising going on in that country, the IDF is warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if Syria attacks Israel, Bashar himself will be a target.
Israel sent a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad in recent days, warning him that if he started a war with the Jewish state in order to divert attention from domestic problems, Israel will target him personally, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the personal warning was sent through Turkey following intelligence reports of unusual Syrian troop movements, including the moving of long-range ballistic missiles that could be used to target Israel.

The report added that the IDF has increased its preparedness on the northern border out of fear that Hezbollah may attempt to stage another kidnapping of soldiers or civilians along the Lebanese border.
In June 2006, IAF warplanes buzzed Bashar's summer palace while he was there. Clearly, the IAF is capable of targeting the chinless ophthalmologist.


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Raed Sallah arrested in London

Raed Sallah, the head of Israel's Islamic Movement Northern Front, has been arrested in London and charged with being in the UK illegally.
The Islamic Movement on Wednesday reacted to news of the arrest of its northern branch leader Sheikh Raed Salah in London overnight, blaming the "Jewish lobby" for the arrest in order to protect the "Zionist narrative."

"Since Salah received the invitation to come to Britain, the Jewish lobby went crazy and did everything in its power to prevent the visit, so that the Zionist narrative remains the only narrative," the movement said in a statement.

In a direct message to "the Jewish lobby," the Islamic Movement continued, "We will protect our rights and will bring the voice of truth to the world, especially as it relates to the Palestinian people. We won't be affected by this political arrest."
Anyone who knows the true situation in England has to realize how comical this hysterical reaction (and three others cited from 'Israeli Arab' MK's) is. Israeli government officials and IDF officers have been threatened with arrest in London due to demands by private parties and without charges. And Sallah is about as incendiary as they come.
According to the Islamic Movement, Salah was arrested close to midnight overnight Tuesday in London after returning from a lecture in Leicester. He was reportedly scheduled to speak to the British Parliament later in the visit, an appearance scheduled at the invitation of an MP.

Lawyers said that Salah was faced with two options: to stand trial, or face immediate deportation, Channel 10 reported.
Israel Radio reports that the UK has opened proceedings to expel Sallah from Britain and is investigating how he got into the country in the first place. He was banned due to anti-Semitic statements. Heh.

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Most 'Palestinians' support UN bid; will it cause Israelis to throw in the towel?

A survey shows that most 'Palestinians' support - or at least say that they support - the unilateral bid for 'statehood' at the United Nations.
Most Palestinians support the PA plan to seek statehood in the United Nations in September, according to a poll published on Tuesday by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah.

According to the report, "65% of the Palestinians (surveyed) believe they should go to the UN in September to obtain recognition for their state."

The poll, which asked Palestinians and Israelis about their expectations of the upcoming Palestinian statehood bid in September, also reported that "58% of the Palestinians support the Saudi (Arab peace) initiative and 38% oppose it, while 29% of the Israelis support (it) and 61% oppose it."

The Arab Peace Initiative calls for Israel to retreat to the pre-1967 lines, including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Gaza and the West Bank, in exchange for recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel by all Arab states, according to the PSR report.

Nearly two-thirds of Palestinians (57%) and half of Israelis (51%) believe that the United Nations General Assembly will vote to accept the Palestinian state in September. However, three-quarters of Palestinians (76%) and two-thirds (65%) of Israelis think that the United States will veto its acceptance.
Israel Radio reported this morning that 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Salam Fayyad said that a UN vote would be a symbolic victory and would not change much on the ground. But unfortunately, the prospect of a UN defeat has a lot of Israelis ready to throw in the bag, at least if this poll is to be believed:
Additionally, "almost 60% of Israelis think Israel should accept the decision if indeed the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, and either start negotiations with the Palestinians about its implementation or not allow any change on the ground by the Palestinians, (while) 20% believe Israel should oppose the decision and intensify the construction in the settlements," according to the report.

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The most serious candidate on foreign policy?

The posts are spread out a bit more than usual this morning because I need to go to Tel Aviv for work.

Jonathan Tobin has declared Tim Pawlenty the 'most serious candidate' for 2012 on foreign policy.
While most of his competitors in the GOP field have confined their remarks on foreign policy to sniping at the Libyan intervention or waffling on the U.S. commitment to the war in Afghanistan, Pawlenty is also taking on the president for his abysmal handling of the Middle East. In particular, he calls Obama to account for not only a “timid” approach to the movement for democracy in the Arab world but also for the administration’s increasingly hostile attitude toward Israel. He also lambasted Obama for wasting the first year of his presidency attempting to “engage” the ayatollahs of Iran.


Though he has spent his political career in Minnesota rather than in Washington, Pawlenty brings to the race the most coherent approach to security and defense issues of any of the major contenders. Pawlenty seems to have a firm grasp of not only America’s place in the world but the need for a strong foreign policy that will strengthen U.S. allies and discomfit its foes.

Rather than running to the left of the president as Jon Huntsman has done with his call for a speedier bug out of Afghanistan or waffling on major foreign policy issues as Romney has done, Pawlenty has brought forth a consistent and informed approach. Other Republican candidates are acting as if their party’s voters no longer support a strong defense or a policy of bringing the fight to our foes rather than sitting back and waiting for the next disaster. By contrast, Pawlenty is striking an aggressive note that ought to resonate with GOP voters.

The economy will be the main point of contention in 2012, but it is not the only one. By prioritizing support for Israel (and to oppose Obama’s pressure on the Jewish state) as well as by his focus on Iran, Pawlenty is staking out a position as the most serious candidate on foreign policy. That alone won’t save a campaign that has so far failed to catch fire. But his stance on security issues does provide Pawlenty with a solid rationale for his presidential ambitions and a platform from which he can begin his comeback.
Well, yeah, I like Pawlenty and would almost certainly vote for him if he were the Republican candidate. But Michele Bachmann and John Bolton are both strong on foreign policy. Bolton, especially, has a lot more experience with the foreign policy establishment. And Bachmann, for now at least, is well ahead of everyone but Romney in the polls.

But keep your eyes on Pawlenty - he seems like a good candidate.

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What if they made a flotilla and no one came?

Beset by breakdowns and delays, the flotilla of fools may now only depart next week. It is also losing passengers - down to about 300-350 from an original expectation of 1,500.
“There have been many obstacles and complaints. Some boats are not ready and it is not clear when we will sail, although we expect it will be in the coming week,” Ewa Jasiewicz, a leader of the Free Gaza Movement from Poland, told The Jerusalem Post from Greece. “We cannot rule out the possibility that it will be pushed off until the beginning of next week.”


“Insurance has been withdrawn, one of the ships was sabotaged and Greek authorities have not given all of the permits,” Jasiewicz said about the delays.

Jasiewicz rejected IDF assertions reported in the Post on Tuesday that intelligence obtained by Israel shows that some of the passengers plan to attack soldiers and are bringing sacks of sulfur on board to pour on the soldiers and then set them on fire.

“We have no record of that. It is a false claim,” she said.

“All of the passengers have been trained in nonviolence and noncompliance tactics. The whole idea is not to have contact with the Israeli army. We are not seeking any violent confrontation... The only violence we have heard of is coming from the Israeli army.”
YNet adds:
Fewer than 300 activists will be participating in the Gaza flotilla – a much smaller number than originally expected, with an additional decrease expected.

An internal flotilla memorandum which reached Ynet reveals that the flotilla is expected sail with fewer than 300 participants and a few dozen journalists, assuming that no further delays or incidents occur before the flotilla sets sail.

According to the memorandum the Italian ship Stefano Chiarim is expected to have 65 people on board – the largest number of passengers in the flotilla. The Canadian ship "Tahrir" will have 48 passengers and the American ship Audacity of Hope, which is currently being held at port by Greek authorities, is set to have 40 passengers.

There are an additional seven ships from Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Greece and Norway which are expected to set sail. The organizers' most optimistic scenario is that there will be 292 passengers with an additional 36 journalists.

But it is highly likely that some of the ships will be declared unfit to sail. In addition, it is possible that the Greek government will withhold a departure authorization, making the number of participants even smaller.
That's less people than participated in the last flotilla. Here's a chart for you to keep score:

And now the IDF may confiscate the ships (a mistake that was made last time was not confiscating them) in order to deter future flotillas. Maybe we can make them into a museum or use them for afternoon cruises for disadvantaged Israeli kids.


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Dumb Hakim

Heh. (Hat Tip: The Magen David).

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Rich Arab oil countries spend less than $15 per capita on scientific research

Just how backward is the Arab world compared with Israel? Please consider this from the Qatari publication The Peninsula.
Regarding patent rights, Israel has registered 16,805 patents. However, Arab countries have only 836 patents which is 5 percent of what Israel has.

Israel spends 0.8-1 percent of the total expenditure of the world on research work and Arab states spend 0.4 percent. It means Israel spends more than double that spent by Arab countries in
this field.

Israel spends 4.7 percent of its income on research. However, Arab countries spend 0.2 percent of their total income on the same. United States spends about 2.7 percent of its income, UK 1.8 and Germany 2.6 percent on research work.

Asian Arab countries spend less than 0.1 percent of their total income on research work which is five times less than African countries which are spending 0.5 percent of their total income, according to a Unesco report. Arab countries spend about half of Israel though their GDP soared 11 times that of Israel and the area is more than 649 times.

Regarding per capita expenditure on scientific research, Israel stands at the number one position by spending $1272.8 per capita. United States ranks second with $1205.9 and Japan third by spending $1153.3. However, the Arab countries ranked hundred times less than Israel by spending an average of $14.7 annually per capita.

And the oil rich Asian Arab countries spend $11.9 per capita which is equal to African poor countries whose per capita expenditure reached $9.4.
All those rich Arab oil states spend less than $15 per person per year on scientific research. And you wonder why they're so far behind. Heh.

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Overnight music video

Posting was sporadic tonight because I attended a wedding in Bnei Brak (last night I also attended a wedding in Bnei Brak and tomorrow night I have two weddings in Jerusalem - busy week). This has become much more complicated than it ever was because we don't have a car right now. Ours died, and we have yet to buy another one. Israel's public transportation is frankly horrendous. It takes 45 minutes each way to drive to Bnei Brak, but it took us an hour and forty minutes each way by public transport tonight. The only people who use public transport are those who don't own - and generally cannot afford to own - a car. That's the sad reality in this country.

If any of you regularly attend religious Jewish weddings in Israel, please tell me when Killing Me Softly (by Roberta Flack) became acceptable music for those weddings. The band played it while the young couple was off in their isolation chamber (anyone have a better name for it in English?), and I figured that other than the band I was the only one who recognized the song. I also figured I was the only one there - including the band - who knew the words. I guess that was fortunate.

Here's Roi Yedid with Sameyach T'Samach and Asher Bara (yes, I know that this Asher Bara is actually also originally a rock song).

Let's go to the videotape.

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Hamas rejects German offer accepted by Israel

Hamas rejected a German offer to trade hundreds of terrorists for kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit. Hamas has since thrown a temper tantrum and says that it will no longer speak with the German mediator.
Hamas rejected an offer to free captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit made by the German mediator, a deal which the Israeli government had accepted.

Hamas political bureau deputy chief Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk called the offer "unjust" and said the German mediator “endorsed the unfair and unjust positions of the Zionist government,” in an interview with the Al Hayat newspaper, according to reports.

Hamas will no longer negotiate with the German mediator, he added.

"There is no chance that the German mediator will return, because he is not carrying out his duties and is failing in his mission. We all expected that he would present a fair and not extreme position. But instead of trying to reduce the demands of the Israeli government, he accepted its terms," Marzouk said.

A German government spokesman confirmed on Monday that Israel had accepted the mediator's proposal, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel had accepted a German-mediated deal for the release of Shalit and was awaiting Hamas' response.


"This proposal was harsh; it was not simple for the State of Israel," Netanyahu said Sunday in a statement released after the weekly Cabinet meeting. "However, we agreed to accept it in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad's release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people. As of now, we have yet to receive Hamas's official answer to the German mediator's proposal.

The statement said that "The State of Israel is ready to go far, more than any other country, in order to secure Gilad's release."
Shalit's father and grandfather will undoubtedly insist that Israel has to go even further and pay any price - including the deaths of hundreds of Israelis, God forbid. What could go wrong?

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Yisrael HaYom opens English language website

Yisrael HaYom, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Hebrew language daily that is handed out for free every day, is opening an English-language website.
Now, Israel Hayom has launched an English-language site run by former JPost Executive Editor Amir Mizroch, providing the main stories and opinion of the day in a digestible newsletter form.

This is a welcome addition to the vibrant Israeli media scene catering for those who want to know what’s going on in Israel in English.
I'm looking forward to it.


Tim Pawlenty on the Middle East

Here's former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations about the Middle East. Much of this video (although not all of it) is relevant to Israel. The key passage is between about 19:00 and 23:30.

Let's go to the videotape.

Despite the fact that some of the Republican candidates have trended toward isolationism, I suspect that we're going to hear most Republican candidates in 2012 come out strongly in favor of Israel, and I expect to see most of the Republican candidates use Israel as a club against Barack Hussein Obama. Many of the statements being made by the Republican candidates are even more pro-Israel than statements made by George W. Bush during the heyday of his support of Israel (2002-04).

But will they win? And if they win, will it last? Only if Israel's supporters remain vigilant in holding the Republican candidates to their word.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Political correctness runs rampant again

On Monday, Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba was arrested and taken for questioning. His alleged 'crime' was endorsing a book that deals with the Jewish law issues involved in killing enemy civilians during wartime. The book came to the politically incorrect conclusion that the killing of enemy civilians in wartime is sometimes permitted.

Leaving aside for a minute whether a rabbi's endorsement of a book means that he agrees with everything in it, or is anything more than an exercise of free speech through the expression of an opinion, David Rubin writes that the politically correct legal establishment is avoiding the fact that in times of war, the IDF sometimes has to and does use lethal force against enemy 'civilians.'
Let us ask the seemingly forbidden question: Could it be that perhaps both the authors and the endorsers are correct in their analysis of the need for certain actions to defend freedom in wartime?

Is it possible that Israel is not the only nation with that particular need for self-preservation?

The authors were referring specifically to Israel’s defense, and therefore, they referred to “non-Jewish” civilians as a term for enemy civilians. Notable parallels can be drawn in major global conflicts for the cause of freedom, when civilians have been killed, and not accidentally.

There have been many instances throughout history in which righteous nations fought against tyranny and enemy civilians were killed in the process. The most glaring example was WWII, when the allied forces bombed the heavily populated German cities of Berlin and Dresden, knowing that many innocent civilians would be killed. Approximately 300,000 civilians were actually killed in these air raids.

Was this a crime? Was this perceived as a violation of German human rights? Certainly not! It was understood by the Allies that this was an effective tool in an overall strategy to defeat the enemy.

And I haven't even mentioned Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

In a time of war, it is certainly permissible. There was not even massive dropping of leaflets as in Gaza, warning the “innocent civilians” that the American, French, Russian, or British pilots would soon be attacking, and thereby ruining the element of surprise, so vital in wartime.

It was clearly understood that in wartime, enemy civilians would be hurt, and not necessariy accidentally, thereby preserving the lives of the valiant soldiers who were fighting on the right side of this most moral battle.

We Jews need to put an end to our self-immolation, as our enemies cynically hide behind civilians, no doubt amused by our unwarranted guilt. Enemies deserve to be defeated, and defeated handily.
Read the whole thing.

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