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Friday, February 24, 2012

Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler

Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Friday, February 24.
1) What if it's pro-American to be pro-Israel?

There are those who believe that American support for Israel, hurts America's interests. According to the latest Gallup poll (via Daily Alert), they are very much in the minority. (However, they are certainly over-represented in academia and journalism.)
A Gallup Poll released on Feb. 16 asked Americans if they felt favorably or unfavorably toward several countries. The results for Middle Eastern countries were:
Israel: 71% favorable, 24% unfavorable; Egypt: 47-47; Saudi Arabia: 42-54; Libya: 25-66; Iraq: 24-72; Palestinian Authority: 19-72; Syria: 17-72; Iran: 10-87.
Israel’s “very favorable” rating (29%) was the highest in the past 23 years, while its overall favorable rating was the highest since 1991 (when it was 79% just after the First Gulf War).
The Jewish Virtual Library has tracked Israel's popularity as measured by Gallup since 1967.

Alan Dershowitz recently asked who are America's Reliable Allies?
India has long claimed to be a reliable ally, but it is now undercutting American efforts to impose meaningful sanctions against Iran. Its help cannot any longer be counted on in the struggle against the greatest danger faced by the United States—an Iran with nuclear weapons. Japan, another ally, is dilly dallying on sanctions as well. Brazil used to be a reliable partner, until it began to fall under the sway of Venezuela's Chavez, who is closely allied with Iran and other American enemies. The "new" Russia and China demonstrated their lack of reliability when they vetoed American efforts in the Security Council to help resolve the Syrian crisis. Egypt, which has received billions of dollars of American aid, has defied American warnings not to put US citizens on trial on phony, trumped-up charges. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are now playing footsy with Hamas and Hezbollah, also Iranian surrogates, as they worry about the contagion of the Arab Spring and the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It turns out that other than Europe, Israel may be America's only remaining reliable ally. And even some European countries, such as France, Sweden and Norway, are in doubt.
Israel will always remain a strong American ally because it shares an American commitment to democracy, to freedom of religion, to freedom of expression and to an open market economy. It also shares a common commitment to fight against terrorism and other threats to the security of the United States—a commitment that is less that vigorous among some European countries.
Despite often slanted news coverage, most Americans apparently sense this bond and that's why they are pro-Israel. No need to attribute Israel's favorable image on a sinister lobby.

2) No time to talk

Khaled Abu Toameh argues For Middle East Peace, Postpone the Peace Talks -- at Least for Now:
The first thing that a new Hamas government or parliament would do is cancel all the "treacherous" agreements that were signed by Abbas and the PLO.
Hamas's chances of scoring another electoral victory have increased significantly thanks to the "Arab Spring" that has seen the rise of Islamists to power in a number of Arab countries.
Then it would be too late to prevent Hamas from extending its control to large parts of the West Bank and possibly certain areas in Jerusalem that are handed over to the Palestinian Authority.
This is notable for the Arab spring is often thought of as being liberalizing. That hasn't been the case, lately.

It also is a bad sign that the "moderate" is corrupt and becoming more tyrannical.

3) I say "Hippocratic" you say "hypocritical"

David Weinberg notes the huge difference between what Israel is and what Israel's critics say it is:
What is less known, is that since then, Sheba orthopedic rehabilitation physicians and physiotherapists have made more than a dozen trips to Haiti, working in impossible conditions to treat the more than 4,000 Haitians who lost limbs in the disaster. Together with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Magen David Adom, they run a full-scale “Haitian-Israeli Rehabilitation Center” at the University Hospital in Port-au-Prince.
Another example: Israeli burns experts were the first to arrive in Romania to treat babies in critical condition after a horrible fire in a Bucharest hospital; and the first to arrive in the Congo after a massive fuel tanker explosion in 2010. Sheba doctors alone have provided international relief and medical training in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mauritania, Mongolia, Myanmar, Peru, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and more.
These activities stem from an abiding concern for healing and compassion that is ingrained in Jewish tradition, and from the State of Israel’s commitment to being a force for good and brotherhood in the world.

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