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Sunday, May 31, 2015

With friends like this...

Does Jodi really think she's defending our 'right to exist' with comments like this? The reality is that for Jewish Israelis, there is very little difference between 'Israel as a Jewish state' and Israel. I doubt we'd last six months here with the Arabs in charge.

And I doubt we'd last much longer if we went back to the 1949 armistice lines and allowed the establishment of a 'Palestinian state' in the parts of Israel that are over the 'green line.'

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As California thirsts, Israel beats its water crisis - permanently

When I was in the US two weeks ago, I was told that in California, it's forbidden to flush your toilet unless someone has had a bowel movement in it. Meanwhile, here in Israel, we have resolved a water crisis that threatened us with a perpetual drought.
A hefty tax was placed on excessive household water consumption, penalizing families with lawns, swimming pools or leaky pipes. So many of Mr. Zvieli’s clients went over to synthetic grass and swapped their seasonal blooms for hardy, indigenous plants more suited to a semiarid climate. “I worried about where gardening was going,” said Mr. Zvieli, 56, who has tended people’s yards for about 25 years.
Across the country, Israelis were told to cut their shower time by two minutes. Washing cars with hoses was outlawed and those few wealthy enough to absorb the cost of maintaining a lawn were permitted to water it only at night.
“We were in a situation where we were very, very close to someone opening a tap somewhere in the country and no water would come out,” said Uri Schor, the spokesman and public education director of the government’s Water Authority.
But that was about six years ago. Today, there is plenty of water in Israel. A lighter version of an old “Israel is drying up” campaign has been dusted off to advertise baby diapers. “The fear has gone,” said Mr. Zvieli, whose customers have gone back to planting flowers.
As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.
The turnaround came with a seven-year drought, one of the most severe to hit modern Israel, that began in 2005 and peaked in the winter of 2008 to 2009. The country’s main natural water sources — the Sea of Galilee in the north and the mountain and coastal aquifers — were severely depleted, threatening a potentially irreversible deterioration of the water quality.
Measures to increase the supply and reduce the demand were accelerated, overseen by the Water Authority, a powerful interministerial agency established in 2007.
Desalination emerged as one focus of the government’s efforts, with four major plants going into operation over the past decade. A fifth one should be ready to operate within months.
Together, they will produce a total of more than 130 billion gallons of potable water a year, with a goal of 200 billion gallons by 2020.
Israel has, in the meantime, become the world leader in recycling and reusing wastewater for agriculture. It treats 86 percent of its domestic wastewater and recycles it for agricultural use — about 55 percent of the total water used for agriculture. Spain is second to Israel, recycling 17 percent of its effluent, while the United States recycles just 1 percent, according to Water Authority data.
Read the whole thing.  Part of the problem was that although Israel was the world leader in desalination long before 2008, all of our desalination plants were being built abroad. I'm glad to see that the government has turned things around.

Someone named "Netanyahu" has been Prime Minister since 2009. But don't expect him to get any of the credit.

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How convenient: Iran claims fighters found Israeli weapons in Saudi embassy in Yemen

You just knew they'd find a way to blame Israel. Iran's FarsNews is reporting that Israeli weapons have been found in the Saudi embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Right....
Ansarullah sources revealed to the FNA that after they drove all the 40 Saudi embassy guards out of the embassy and captured the compound, it found a large cache of Israeli-made weapons and ammunition.
The Yemeni forces also disclosed that they have discovered documents showing that the US intends to establish a military base on Saudi Arabia’s Myon Island near Bab al-Mandeb Strait to protect their own interests and ensure the security of Israel. 
The Riyadh government has also asked Tel Aviv for state-of-the-art weapons to supply the terrorist groups in Yemen and forces loyal to fugitive President Mansour Hadi.
In April, senior Yemeni officials disclosed that the Riyadh government has used Israeli-made weapons in its airstrikes on Yemen.
"The Saudis are using Israeli weapons in their raids on Yemen," Yemeni Army Commander Taher Rasoul Zadami told FNA.
The reports said Ansarullah took control of the Saudi embassy in Sana'a in reaction to the Saudis' continued attacks on residential areas and hospitals alongside army positions in Yemen.
How convenient.... If only it were true... there would be a much bigger story: There are very few weapons that Israel may sell without American approval (because of the military relations between the two countries - recall this). I  guess Iran is afraid of that hot potato.

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Muslims to boycott United Airlines?

My first reaction to this Facebook post was "If Muslims are boycotting United, maybe I should start flying it." But on reading the post above in its entirety, I think it's made up. Come on - if you're posting from a flight where you've had a fight with a flight attendant, wouldn't you at least post some details about the flight? Origin? Destination? Flight number? United posted those details in an image that Tahera Ahmad posted here (post embedded below). I'm sure you'll all be shocked to discover that Ahmad is not just any Muslim.

Haaretz reports that the post above is leading to talk of a Muslim boycott of United.
The Facebook post went viral, and a #unitedfortahera hashtag immediately began trending worldwide. Many tweeps have threatened to boycott the airline until it issued Ahmad a formal apology.
According to a metro.co.uk report, United responded to the incident by saying that they were "a company that strongly supports diversity and inclusion, and we and our partners do not discriminate against our employees or customers. We are reaching out directly to Ms. Ahmad to get a better understanding of what occurred during the flight. We are also discussing the matter that Ms. Ahmad describes with Shuttle America, our regional partner that operated the flight. We look forward to speaking with Ms. Ahmad and hope to have the opportunity to welcome her back."
Next thing you know, they'll demand that United stop flying to Israel in return for removing their specious boycott.

My bet is that the whole story never happened. Has Al Sharpton taken it up yet?

Here's the second post:
I am truly dissapointed at the latest statement by United Airlines. Unfortunately United has dismissed my entire...
Posted by Tahera Ahmad on Sunday, May 31, 2015
I'll bet she's disappointed. She thought United would prostrate itself without first bothering to investigate whether the incident happened.


Ms. Ahmad's Facebook account seems to have been taken down (or I've been blocked from it), but she posted the entire second Facebook post on Twitter. I'm embedding it below and will take a screen cap just in case.

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Oh my: Benny Begin quits government UPDATED

Likud MK Benny Begin is a rarity in Israeli politics: an honest politician. It's a sad commentary on both Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government's prospects for survival that Netanyahu has in essence forced Begin to resign from the government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Facebook post Friday that while he would “make every effort to incorporate MK Benny Begin into the cabinet later,” Likud’s coalition partners had objected to changing the agreed-on number of portfolios per faction, making it impossible to keep both Begin and Erdan.
Netanyahu’s Facebook post seemingly left Begin no choice but to announce his resignation from the cabinet.
“Over the past few days I have turned to my friends and partners, the heads of the coalition, with a personal request to leave our friend, Benny Begin, as an additional Likud minister in the government,” Netanyahu wrote. However, the coalition partners would not permit the number of ministers per faction to change and allow Likud to have 13 ministers.
Netanyahu, who effusively praised Begin in the post, also wrote that “there is not a shred of truth to the claim that he [Begin] said he would refuse to resign from the cabinet.” 
Begin was first appointed minister without portfolio, while Erdan, who was number two on the Likud Knesset list, remained outside the cabinet after turning down an offer to become public security minister. Erdan wanted the Foreign Ministry portfolio, which Netanyahu insists on holding himself, or a ministerial portfolio that included elements of both the interior and public security ministries.
When Erdan’s demands were not met, he refused to join the cabinet. However, last week Erdan agreed to become minister of public security, strategic affairs and public diplomacy.
Erdan’s appointment angered his fellow party member MK Zeev Elkin, who was initially given the strategic affairs portfolio along with immigrant absorption. He then demanded to be made Jerusalem affairs minister and threatened that, otherwise, he would absent himself from Knesset votes, which could put the coalition at risk considering its razor-thin majority (61-59).
Netanyahu subsequently had to break his commitment to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat that the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry would be abolished and its powers absorbed into the Prime Minister’s Office.
One MK having a temper tantrum is enough to bring down this government. Anyone want to take bets on how long it will last?


Get a load of these two tweets from JPost Knesset correspondent Lahav Harkov.
Until the next crisis....

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It's come to this: UNRWA prohibits smoking in its rocket storage facilities

You would have thought that UNRWA would have prohibited smoking in its facilities a long time ago. You would have been wrong.
Translation: You can breathe a sigh of relief. From today, smoking is prohibited in UNRWA facilities. Okay, fire near missiles is definitely dangerous to health.


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Obama raises specter of dual loyalty

President Obama spoke at a Washington DC synagogue last week and tried to convince his audience that he, rather than Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, represents Jewish values. Michael Doran, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council, found a disturbing undertone to President Obama's speech: Doran argues that Obama was raising the specter of dual loyalty of Jews - a classic indication of anti-Semitism. In this open letter to liberal Jews, he urges them to think about what Obama meant.  
Here’s my question. As Obama donned his yarmulke and embraced your community, did you also catch the hint of a warning? If you did, it was because the president was raising, very subtly, the specter of dual loyalty: the hoary allegation that Jews pursue their tribal interests to the detriment of the wider community or nation. Obama was certainly not engaging in anything so crude as that; nor is he an enemy of the Jewish people. But he did imply that many Jews—that is, Jews who support Benjamin Netanyahu—have indeed placed their narrow, ethnic interests above their commitment to universal humanistic values. In his view, they have betrayed those values. And so the warning was faint, but unmistakable: if Jews wish to avoid being branded as bigots, then they—you—must line up with him against Netanyahu.

“But the president is right,” many of you would no doubt reply. “Netanyahu’s values are not my values.” That may well be the case. Yet this is also why it is a trap for you to accept Obama’s claim that his fight with Netanyahu is a struggle over “values.” The struggle is not over values. Rather, at the core of the Netanyahu-Obama grudge match is one issue and one issue only: the president’s long-sought détente with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
To be sure, there are other sources of tension between the two men, both personal and political. Among them is the Israel-Palestinian issue, which the president dwelt upon at length in his remarks to you—but in the service of a goal that has nothing whatsoever to do with Israeli-Palestinian relations. If this sounds too calculating by half, consider three key points.
But the real issue, says Doran, is Iran. 

The president’s sophistry demonstrates a simple but profound truth: his commitment to the progressive values of tikkun olam is governed by its own “red lines,” and is entirely utilitarian. Which again raises the question: what was his purpose in stressing this shared progressive commitment in his address to you, and what was his purpose in subtly reminding you of the costs of failing to abide by its terms?
The answer, I hope, is obvious. On June 30, Obama will likely conclude a nuclear deal with Iran. This will spark a faceoff with Congress, which has already declared its opposition to the deal. Congress will inevitably pass a vote of disapproval, which Obama will inevitably veto. In order to defend that veto from a congressional override, however, he must line up 34 Senators—all Democrats. This calls in turn for a preemptive ideological campaign to foster liberal solidarity—for which your support is key. If the president can convince the liberal Jewish community, on the basis of “shared values,” to shun any suspicion of alignment with congressional Republicans or Benjamin Netanyahu, he will have an easier time batting down Congress’s opposition to the deal with Iran.
Progressive values have nothing to do with what is truly at stake in this moment of decision. Only one final question really matters: in your considered view, should the Islamic Republic of Iran be the dominant power in the Middle East, and should we be helping it to become that power? If your answer is yes, then, by all means, continue to applaud the president—loudly and enthusiastically—as he purports to repair the world.
Read the whole thing

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Friday, May 29, 2015

'Palestinians' withdraw bid to have Israel suspended from FIFA


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Breaking: Air France Paris-Chicago flight returning to Paris


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Will Israel be suspended from FIFA?

I'm going to guess that many of my US readers never heard of FIFA, the international soccer federation several of whose officials were indicted on bribery charges in the US earlier this week. Here in Israel, we are all too familiar with them.

'Palestinian' terrorist and soccer federation chairman Jibril Rajoub is seeking to have Israel expelled from FIFA, which would bar the world's only Jewish state from international soccer competitions like the World Cup. As you can see from the tweet above, the Israeli government believes it's on the verge of a 'compromise' (can't wait to hear what that would entail) that would avert the expulsion.

But not everyone believes that a compromise is in the offing.
If it comes to a vote, it probably goes without saying that Israel will not get a fair hearing.
Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, arrested in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday on bribery charges as part of a massive bust of top soccer officials, previously blamed “Zionism” for a bribery scandal which saw him forced from the world soccer body in 2011.
Warner surrendered to authorities late Wednesday in his native Trinidad and Tobago after his name appeared on a list of nine current or former FIFA officials and five business executives who “abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks,” according to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Warner resigned from FIFA in 2011 after the organization opened an ethics investigation into the vice president for receiving cash “gifts” from former Asian Football Confederation chief Mohammed Bin Hammam, ahead of the organization’s elections for president.
After FIFA handed Qatar’s Bin Hammam a lifetime ban from the soccer governing body for his role in the affair, Warner lashed out at the soccer body for what he said were various shortcomings, and vowed to bring down FIFA head Sepp Blatter.
“I will talk about the racism that is within FIFA. I will talk about the levels of religious discrimination which I sought to correct. I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on Bin Hammam and me was mounted,” Warner wrote at the time in a 1,400 word letter to the Trinidad Guardian.
 And if you followed the links above, you already know that Blatter isn't exactly fair to Israel either.

Meanwhile, FIFA and the media continue to ignore the real story to which they ought to be paying attention: The 'Palestinian Authority's use of sports to promote terrorism rather than peace.

And the saga continues:

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Your charitable dollars at work: UJA-Federation (New York) donates $6 million to radical Leftist New Israel Fund

I have never been a big fan of donating money to Jewish Federations in the United States. Perhaps this story will convince some of you - at least in New York - that you need more ability to control your charitable donations than donating to Federation gives you: JCC Watch reports that the New York Jewish Federation (UJA) has donated nearly $6 million to the radical Leftist New Israel Fund over the last 13 years. And UJA-JCF has kept it secret until now.
A fully-owned subsidiary of the UJA-Federation has sent $5,836,856 to the New Israel Fund since 2002, according to IRS form 990 filings examined by JCCWatch, with donations of between $258,000 and $802,000, made each year for the past dozen years.
The revelation contradicts the public statements from the UJA-Federation chair Alisa Doctoroff, past CEO John Ruskay and current CEO Eric Goldstein who have misled New Yorkers to believe that the umbrella charity has no financial connection to the New Israel Fund.
The New Israel Fund, in turn, is the financial banker for a network of organizations that demonize the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces, promote boycotts of Israeli products and call for international criminal proceedings against our very own Jewish state.
The findings come on the back of a JCCWatch investigation on Tuesday that showed that UJA-Federation leadership have been pressuring former Israeli diplomats, and the office of the current Consul-General in New York, to give cover for their support of the New Israel Fund to participate in this weekend's Israel Day Parade.
In 2014, the UJA-Federation reported on the IRS form 990 that it had assets of $1.382 billion, generating $76 million in investment income, in addition to the $167 million in new donations it received from the Jewish community.
Buried on page 7 of its audited financial statements, under "Additional Notes," the UJA-Federation listed an entity called the Jewish Communal Fund, of which it is the "sole member" and has "controlling financial interest," meaning the UJA-Federation owns the Jewish Communal Fund, "lock, stock, and barrel."


Jewish Communal Fund has 25 board members drawn mainly from the parent board of the UJA-Federation, including its president, Alisa Doctoroff.  As for supervision of the donations, from their annual report: "All qualified grant recommendations are submitted to the Charitable Distribution Committee of the Jewish Communal Fund’s Board of Trustees for approval."
Reading the detail of their grant-making guidelines, the board has two responsibilities: to be "committed to supporting causes that promote the welfare and security of the Jewish community here and abroad" and to "deny any grant request where the purposes and activities of the recommended charitable organization are deemed to be adverse to the interests of the Jewish community."
I guess they don't consider the New Israel Fund's activities to be adverse to the interests of the Jewish community. One has to wonder why

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Tell ISIS we'll accept PayPal

Yes, this is for real. Well, the $40 is anyway (Hat Tip: Jack W).
The latest issue of ISIS propaganda magazine 'Dabiq' has promised to bring slave markets to the West. The terrorist organization carried an article justifying rape and slaving women. The group says Michelle Obama is worth just $40.

“I swear by Allah, O you who feign to be knowledgeable and shout with falsehood in every gathering, surely the slave markets will be established against the will of the politically correct,” writes Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah in defense of the terror group’s slave trade. “And who knows, maybe Michelle Obama’s price won’t even exceed a third of a dīnār, and a third of a dīnār is too much for her!” (A single golden dinar = $139 U.S. Dollars.)
Honestly, I don't think she's even worth that much.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The beginning of the end of Leftist domination of Israel's Foreign Ministry?

In the past week, there have been two significant appointments to Israel's foreign ministry that have the potential to change the foreign ministry's longtime Leftist slant. Keep in mind as you read this that Prime Minister Netanyahu did not appoint a foreign minister and that it was previously thought that he was holding the position open in the hope that Avigdor Lieberman or Dore Gold would eventually join the government. 

Last week, Tzipi Hotovely was named Deputy Foreign Minister - essentially putting her in charge of the ministry. Evelyn Gordon explains why Hotovely's appointment is so unusual and significant.
First, she’s a novice who has never held any executive branch position before, yet will now exercise de facto control over one of the cabinet’s most important ministries. Technically, she serves under Netanyahu, who retained the foreign affairs portfolio for himself. But since Netanyahu already has a full-time job as prime minister, she will largely run the ministry.
Second, she’s one of the most hawkish members of Netanyahu’s coalition and an outspoken opponent of Palestinian statehood. As The Jerusalem Post’s diplomatic correspondent, Herb Keinon, put it, “Hotovely represents the opposite of everything much of the world...wants to see in Israel.”
Third, in contrast to appointees like Miri Regev or Haim Katz, whose power bases within Likud were simply too strong for Netanyahu to ignore, Hotovely’s support inside the party is tenuous; in the last primary, she barely scraped into the 20th slot. Nor is she known as one of the premier’s own loyalists. Thus he was under no political compulsion to reward her with such a lofty post.
Finally, there were plenty of other candidates who would seemingly have been more suitable, including the one many American Jews undoubtedly hoped to see there: former ambassador to Washington and current Kulanu MK Michael Oren.
Indeed, Hotovely’s main qualification for the post – aside from being pretty, personable and reportedly speaking excellent English – would seem to be that she constitutes no threat to Netanyahu, who notoriously squelches anyone he does consider a potential political threat.
That’s why so many ambitious Likudniks eventually quit the party to run their own parties (see Moshe Kahlon, Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman).
Gordon goes on to make a case for Hotovely being the one to shift the Foreign Ministry's focus away from the West and toward Africa and Latin America. And while I agree with Gordon that there's little hope of Europe ever taking our side again in the diplomatic courts of the world for the foreseeable future, I believe that there's a lot more that Hotovely can accomplish than just keeping countries like Rwanda and Nigeria on our side.

Sunday was perhaps the first indication that Netanyahu intends to have Hotovely remake the foreign ministry and the diplomatic corps: Netanyahu summarily fired the Director General and appointed his longtime confidante Dore Gold to be Director General of the Ministry and to work directly under Hotovely.

Gold, a former ambassador to the United Nations and currently head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, will be working under Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who was told about the appointment just prior to it being made public. He replaces Nissim Ben-Sheetrit, a veteran ministry employee who started out in its administrative track and then moved to the diplomatic side. 
[Former Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman commented on the appointment, saying that while it was Netanyahu’s prerogative to appoint his own man to this post, appointments at the ministry are not ways to give out favors or settle scores. He also said that “it needs to be clear that new appointments or changes are not a replacement for clear policy.”

In that regard, one government source said, Gold was the perfect candidate because he had a direct line to Netanyahu, and his interlocutors would know that when he speaks, he is speaking for Netanyahu and with authority.

“This will give him power and make him relevant,” the official said, noting that Ben-Sheetrit never enjoyed that status.

The American-born Gold is considered one of Netanyahu’s top foreign policy advisers. He served as one of his foreign policy advisers starting in 1996, during the prime minister’s first term in office, being appointed the following year as ambassador to the UN, where he served until 1999. In 2014, he became an “outside” consultant in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In recent years, Gold has accompanied Netanyahu on many of his trips to Washington and the UN, and over the years has been one of Israel’s foremost unofficial spokesmen, speaking in the media and at conferences around the world on Israeli policy. He is often sought out by journalists and diplomats because of his knowledge of the issues, and because he is considered to be close to Netanyahu, thus reflecting his thinking.

He has also been very active in lobbying policy-makers on behalf of “defensible borders” for Israel.

Hotovely spoke with Gold after the appointment and issued a statement, saying that with his rich experience in the international arena, the former UN ambassador could contribute to furthering Israel’s position in the world.
For those of you who have forgotten, 'defensible borders' mean that any 'Palestinian state' would be severely truncated.
Dore Gold has done the State of Israel a great service by forcing us to focus on concrete things that we want out of the 'peace process.' Dore is fond of pointing out that when you ask a 'Palestinian' what he wants from the 'peace process,' he will tell you that he wants a 'Palestinian state' in the areas that are outside Israel's '1967 borders' (for now), whose capital is Jerusalem. If you ask an Israeli Jew what he wants from the 'peace process,' he will tell you 'peace.'

Dore is changing that paradigm. One of the things he believes that Israeli Jews can and should be demanding from the 'peace process' is defensible borders. His organization, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has put together a collection of essays that sets out in concrete terms what defensible borders mean. The collection is called Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace. It's reviewed by Lee Smith in Tablet Magazine.
The book Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace is a collection published this year under the auspices of the JCPA with essays about security and diplomacy by leading figures in Israel’s security establishment, like Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze’evi Farkash, former head of IDF intelligence, and Maj.-Gen. Uzi Dayan, former IDF deputy chief of staff and a former national security adviser to Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. The volume’s findings represent a broad consensus across the Israeli political spectrum, and the fact that Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon—former IDF chief of staff and currently the vice prime minister—wrote the introduction is evidence that the ideas have won approval at the highest political levels.

The book pushes three common ideas, some likely to add to the friction between Washington and Jerusalem: First, Israel, must not withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines; second, Israel needs defensible borders; third, Israel must rely on itself to defend itself and not on foreign forces as proposed by U.S. national security adviser Gen. James Jones, who has talked openly about replacing the IDF with international forces in the West Bank.

The insistence that Israel must retain the ability to defend its own borders—a basic attribute of national sovereignty—is the least controversial element of Gold’s blueprint. The issue is not merely the inglorious record of U.N. peacekeeping forces—from Sinai to Bosnia and Lebanon—but also the fact that the international community rarely sends its blue helmets into the middle of a real shooting war, which is what the West Bank would become if an IDF withdrawal left Hamas and Fatah at each other’s throats and eager to gain credit for launching terror attacks on Israel.

The concept of defensible borders is closely tied to the drawing of 1949 armistice lines, commonly and incorrectly known as the 1967 borders. As Gold explains in his contribution to the volume, successive U.S. administrations since Lyndon Johnson’s have all recognized the danger in Israel withdrawing to those borders. George Shultz, one of President Ronald Reagan’s secretaries of State, explained that “Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders,” and the Clinton Administration reaffirmed the Reagan White House’s concept of defensible borders. However, it was during Clinton’s Camp David negotiations that then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak abandoned the idea of defensible borders in the hope of a radical breakthrough with Yasser Arafat. With the outbreak of the Second Intifada and peace nowhere in the offing, the George W. Bush Administration pledged not to hold the Israelis to the Clinton parameters and returned to the traditional U.S. position. “It is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” reads an April 14, 2004 letter from Bush to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Read the whole thing - especially my last comment.

How will this play out in the field? One indication might be this link I received in an email this morning from JCC Watch's Richard Allen.
The UJA-Federation’s top brass have been twisting the arms of Israel’s diplomatic corps to provide cover for supporting the New Israel Fund marching in the Israel Day Parade, according to emails obtained by JCCWatch.
The strategy to use the Foreign Ministry as their beard came to an uncomfortable public end last week, when the Spokesman for the Israeli Consulate in New York had to make a statement to deny what UJA-Federation CEO Eric Goldstein had told Talkline Communications radio host Zev Brenner on March 30. In an appearance on the show, Goldstein said, twice actually, that “the government of Israel, the Consul General’s office, very much, emphatically, want us to allow these groups to continue to march.”
The consulate spokesman told Arutz Sheva last week that at “no point did any of the parade’s organizers consult with the Consulate or with someone acting on its behalf regarding the New Israel Fund’s participation.” The newspaper quoted the spokesman directly as saying, “never, ever, did the Consul-General, or someone on his behalf, or any of the Consulate’s employees, say anything favoring the NIF’s participation, either explicitly or implicitly, in a hinted manner or in public, in secret or openly.”
The oddly worded distancing of the Consul-General’s office from the UJA-Federation comes as emails obtained by JCCWatch show Goldstein and former UJA-Federation president Jerry Levin, indeed, reaching out to Israeli ambassadors for exactly that kind of cover.
The email trail leading up to Goldstein’s foot-in-mouth routine, and reproduced below, casts a dark shadow on UJA-Federation leadership who were able to co-opt important Israel diplomats to publicly boost their cause of defending the New Israel Fund.
The exposure of Federation efforts to force parade organizers to accept the New Israel Fund, and the disavowal of interference on behalf of the NIF's behalf by the Consulate may have come on a direct order from Hotovely. And if it did, it's long overdue.  In the past, I doubt that the Consulate would have issued such a clarification.

Here's hoping that Hotovely and Gold will bring about an end to the Leftist domination of the Foreign Ministry, which goes back to the days of Shimon Peres, Tzipi Livni and others. That would be a welcome change.

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This is not a parody: 'Hamas has detained suspects'

This is not a parody. Hamas apparently agrees with President Obama that terrorism is a matter for law enforcement (Hat Tip: The Tower).
At least one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel on Tuesday night, as alarms sounded across the region, the Israeli army said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the rocket, which landed near the town of Gan Yavneh, outside Ashdod, according to an IDF statement.
The projectile — a Grad missile — was located minutes after sirens sounded in the Lachish region and Ashdod.
It was unclear how many rockets were shot at Israel from Gaza. According to the IDF, initial signs pointed to one, though other reports put the nubmer as high as five.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Hamas or other terror groups in the coastal enclave.
However, an Israeli official said Jerusalem holds Hamas responsible for all attacks launched from the enclave, and the group was reportedly evacuating buildings and bases Tuesday night ahead of an expected Israeli retaliation.
A source in Gaza said the firing was the result of an internal dispute inside the Islamic Jihad terror group, which has included kidnappings of people in northern Gaza.
The source said Islamic Jihad recently appointed a new commander to oversee the northern region of the coastal enclave.
The new commander was supposed to start his new position today officially, but his predecessor opposed it, sparking clashes between the two commanders’ supporters.
The new commander’s men then kidnapped two operatives working under the former commander and, in retaliation, the predecessor’s followers decided to fire rockets at Israel.
Hamas security forces are now searching the area from which the rockets were launched and have detained several suspects, according to the source.
 I wonder what Hamas will do with all these people they've detained. I heard they have courts there. Heh.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Deja vu all over again...

I guess that's Hamas' response to Prime Minister Netanyahu announcing he's willing to negotiate the borders of the 'settlement blocs.'

Peace is not at hand.

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Most land tenders announced during 'peace talks' were approved by Abu Mazen

David Makovsky, a member of Martin Indyk's 'negotiating' team, told an audience at the Begin-Sadat Center two weeks ago that most of the contentious land tenders announced during the 'peace talks' were actually approved in advance by 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen . This is from the first link.
During the nine months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that ended in failure in 2014, 62 percent of Israel’s publicly announced tenders for housing beyond the Green Line were earmarked for the 1.9% of West Bank land that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had once consented would remain in Israel’s hands.

David Makovsky, who was a member of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team during this period, pointed out this little-known fact during a speech Tuesday at a conference on US-Israel relations that took place at Bar- Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Israel was more “geographically cautious” with settlement announcements during the negotiating period than many realize.

“It would have been helpful if that could have been made public,” Makovsky said, explaining that for political reasons that was not a possibility.

This geographic caution was not stated publicly but was the policy.

Announcements of settlement plans during this period were a huge bone of contention, with former US Mideast envoy Martin Indyk, who headed the team Makovsky was a member of, placing much of the blame for the breakdown of the talks on Israel’s settlement policies. He said during a speech last year that “rampant settlement activity – especially in the midst of negotiations – doesn’t just undermine Palestinian trust in the purpose of the negotiations, it can undermine Israel’s Jewish future.”

In 2008 Abbas reportedly turned down an offer by thenprime minister Ehud Olmert for Israel to annex 6.3% of the West Bank to incorporate the major settlement blocs into Israel in exchange for 5.8% of land within Israel and the corridor from the West Bank to Gaza. Abbas reportedly countered with a proposal for a 1.9% land swap, apparently the area where most of the housing tenders were announced during the 2013- 2014 negotiations.
Isn't it amazing that the Israeli government chose not to deflect John Kerry's pressure by pointing this out at the time?

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Monday, May 25, 2015

US government cuts off Shia in Lebanon... except Hezbullah

Here's a disturbing series of tweets from Tony Badran.

And here's the letter being read on the air. Let's go to the videotape.

Unbelievable. What could go wrong?

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US branch of Muslim Brotherhood, Obama confidantes: 'Honor Islamic terrorists, not US troops'

The Council on American-Islamic Relations - the US branch of the Muslim Brotherhood - urges Americans to honor Islamic terrorists this Memorial Day, and not US troops. Yes, you read that correctly....
You read that right. As nearly all Americans come together on Memorial Day to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s freedom and safety, two CAIR officials spent the holiday weekend differently: questioning whether U.S. troops deserve to be honored and tweeting that the country was “established upon white supremacy.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group labeled by the Justice Department as a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and “un-indicted co-conspirator” in a terrorism-financing trial, disingenuously claims that it is a moderate organization.
Yet, on May 23, Zahra Billoo, the radical executive-director of CAIR’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, tweeted that she “struggles with Memorial Day each year” about whether to honor American soldiers who died in wars:

She also quoted another CAIR official, Dawud Walid, the executive-director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter, as questioning whether they should honor American soldiers that died in “unjust” wars and occupations.
That’s a direct insult to American soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan and those that have returned from Iraq, as CAIR officials consistently describe those wars with that terminology. Billoo quoted Walid as saying:
Billoo did, however, find one “soldier” she felt comfortably honoring. On May 26, she promoted an article from the anti-Semitic and anti-American Nation of Islam that asked for help for a “black liberation soldier” named Imam Jamil al-Amin:
Al-Amin was a member of the Black Panthers terrorist group and was convicted of murdering a police officer in 2000. He is also anti-American, stating “if America doesn’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down,” and “I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.”
Al-Amin also said the U.S. Constitution is “diametrically opposed to what Allah has commanded.”
THIS is who CAIR wants to honor on Memorial Day? A racist, anti-American cop-killer?
There's more. Read the whole thing

For those who have forgotten, the Obama administration has admitted to hundreds of meetings with representatives of CAIR.

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More 'credit' than she deserves?

On the 15th anniversary of Israel's flight from southern Lebanon, Arutz Sheva discusses the role of former radio broadcaster and current Labor party MK Shelley Yachimovitch in bringing about the order to surrender.
Yechimovich, who grew up in a communist household and admitted to having voted for the communist party in at least one national election, started her journalistic career as a reporter for now defunct radical socialist newspaper Al Hamishmar.
She ascended to dominance as an activistic journalist who became known as a leading spokesperson for radical feminism – a creed also referred to as genderism, and defined by neo-conservative Professor Ruth Wisse as “if not the most extreme then certainly the most influential neo-Marxist movement in America” – which was imported into Israel in the 1970s and 80s.
Yechimovich's genius was the framing of demands for withdrawal from the IDF's self-styled security belt in Lebanon as products of a "feminine wisdom" that was lost upon Israel's “macho” decision-makers. By doing so, she brought the considerable power of Israel's genderist journalists into play, and these were joined by male journalists, too, in a uniform chorus clamoring for a swift retreat.
Another editor in Kol Yisrael's newsroom, Dr. Hanan Naveh, would later disclose in a public speech that three editors in Kol Yisrael's newsroom had decided to bring about the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon. He mentioned Yechimovich and her colleague, Military Affairs Reporter Carmela Menashe, as spearheading the effort. Naveh made clear that Kol Yisrael amplified reports on casualties and setbacks suffered by the IDF in southern Lebanon. This reporting sapped public support for the war effort.
Through near-daily interviews, Yechimovich and Menashe succeeded in turning a tiny group of four peaceniks from northern kibbutzim – the Four Mothers – into a hugely influential movement. This campaign began in 1997 and kept going until the withdrawal from Lebanon.
Israel Radio has behaved in this manner regarding other issues. It's no secret that Israel's government-funded broadcast media is particularly Leftist. For that matter, so are other parts of the Israeli media.  And while Yachmiovich gets a lot of 'credit' for keeping the 'Four Mothers' campaign in the news, she's far from the only one at fault.

At the end of the day, Israel's media makes the news rather than reporting on it and displays an extreme left-wing bias. While Yachimovich was guilty of giving the Four Mothers far more exposure than they deserved, she was far from the only one at fault. Many others had the opportunity to stop the bias or to give alternative explanations an opportunity to be heard.

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Kindergarten graduation, 'Palestinian Authority' style

And you thought it was only Hamas that had the military style Kindergarten graduations.

Here's a tweet from Israel Radio's Gal Berger with pictures from a Kindergarten graduation in Ein Arik, a village just outside Ramallah - 'Palestinian Authority' territory:
The Facebook page includes this video, which deserves far more than the seven views it has gotten thus far.

Let's go to the videotape.

صف تمهيدي احنا الثورة
Posted by ‎روضة عين عريك النموذجية 1‎ on Monday, May 25, 2015

Looks just like your kids' or grandkids' Kindergarten graduation, doesn't it?

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Hezbullah gives rare tour of its terror tunnels into Israel - will anyone notice?

On Lebanese television, Hezbullah has given a rare tour of its terror tunnels into northern Israel. You know, the ones that are supposedly a figment of the imagination of residents of Northern Israel (first link in Arabic) (Hat Tip: @notasheepagoat).

Here's a Google translation of the Arabic.
The anniversary of the liberation of the South in the twenty-fifth of May, the "Ambassador" newspaper visited military sites for Hezbollah, including a tunnel located in a border point forward very sensitive. It is true that technology already tunnels of the enemy discovered that its implications in the war in July, but the style evolution. Change the type of cement. It changed the way the ventilation and methods of packaging food and weapons have changed. Electricity is available to 24 from 24 during generators placed underground also. As for the food, no longer depends on the tins. It became specialists feeding preparing food prepared for storage, so as to ensure the fighter during the war to get his need of food and energy for weeks. Each bag has three packs written on each of them to its content of food, in addition to health benefits, where the fighter to eat sequentially selected in advance, in order to ensure receiving a complete and balanced meal. These shares are not for consumption only during the war, but in the days of processing and preparation, Vmqaumen to get their food routinely.
The readiness of the resistance suggest that the war will break out today or tomorrow. The food is ready and the band has a logistics counting all units of the food and distribute it to all sites and bunkers, it has traditionally replaced five months before the expiry. In the tunnel, the air is no different from the outside. Machines pull moisture to protect iron from rust and existing ventilation machines are also present, as emergency exits right and left. Concerned did not run out a small detail.
Having missiles became jacketed Bnailon lugged him in the air and placed inside anti-moisture material, concerned did not forget to leave her side blades so that the fighter can open them quickly at the moment of the war.
Who thinks that Alemradan fighters defy boredom Ballho or long wait mistaken .. narrowed years several months later and narrowed decades years, and if the war was yet to come, it may come days, so, the work in the construction of new fortifications and tunnels restless on the clock, instead of tens thousands of rockets ready for launch, there is no harm hundreds of thousands, note that the drilling is done manually and is strictly rudimentary equipment to draw attention. The backfill resulting from this process, Faisar to fill bags and then carried to the relatively distant places where they can be sprayed in the fields and then covered with leaves up to fraternize with nature, because survival in bags, you may draw the enemy's point of view.
From visiting the southern border and meet with resistance, he realizes that "the Party of God," the main structure in the face of the Israeli threat not changed. It goes on a mission to Syria, is due to be completed as soon as its location. Do not vacuum or vacancy in any site in the hierarchy of the party, even if for a few seconds. The alternative for each fighter went to Syria or on vacation. Key leadership positions they never leave the south. "Mr. Jihad" and all his team are firm in their places. They are responsible for the readiness of their sector to address any possible attack, and also missile force, is supposed to be ready ambushes, which is an integrated system all of which may not be limited to containers, booby, but include a weapon against armor and support firearm.
Sounds like it could yet be a hot summer, God Forbid.

I am back in Israel now. The Shavuot holiday immediate follows Shabbat. Here in Israel, it is only one day (everyplace else, it is two). Therefore, I will be back online God willing on Sunday night.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameyach!

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The wheat field miracle

To make your holiday, here's an amazing story from last summer's war in Gaza that shows how a group of Torah-observant Jews led to the foiling of a Hamas terror attack.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: NR - Daughter Number 2, Child Number 4).

Nice, huh?

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Obama administration trying to bribe Israel to accept Iran deal

The Hussein Obama administration is trying to bribe Israel to just be quiet and accept Iran's becoming a nuclear power, according to two stories in the Times of Israel (Hat Tip: Sunlight).

According to the story at the first link above, the US plans to 'compensate' Israel for a 'quiet acceptance' of the US consenting to Iran becoming a nuclear power. 
The package could include an increase in the number of F-35 fighter jets the US is to supply Israel, and additional batteries for Israel’s anti-missile defense systems, according to reports in both Haaretz (Hebrew) and Yedioth Ahronoth this week.
A senior Obama administration official told Yedioth that “the White House is willing to pay a hefty price to get some quiet from the Israelis at this point. We are surprised the demand has not been made.”
They're surprised? I'm not. This isn't about money and it isn't even about getting more military equipment. And by the way, am I the only one who notices the irony of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner offering military equipment to a former ally to get them to acquiesce in their sworn enemy stepping up to a new level of military power?
But the newspaper also quoted an unnamed Israeli source as conveying a more ambivalent stance about the reported talks.
“If we come with demands at this point, it would mean that we have given up our objections to the deal, and now it is just a matter of at what price. If Israel believes that the deal is bad for its security, it cannot appear as someone who gave up in the end,” the paper quoted the source as saying.
According to the reports in both Haaretz and Yedioth, the US-Israel talks revolved around enhancing a previously negotiated deal to supply Israel with 33 F-35 aircraft, the first batch of which was expected next year. The total number of jets could go up to 50, Haaretz reported.
By the way, the Sunni Muslim Gulf State are being offered similar 'compensation packages'....

According to the second story, the State Department and the Pentagon have already approved the 'compensation package.' But listen to what it includes:
If the agreement is finalized, Israel will receive a supply of precision-guided munitions consisting of 750 bunker buster bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 4,100 glide bombs, in a deal worth $1.879 billion.
In addition, the package includes 14,500 missile guidance systems — known as tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions — which convert unguided bombs into GPS guided missiles.
And the US is now claiming that Israel 'asked' for the deal, while Israel is claiming that this has nothing to do with Iran.
According to the agency, Israel requested the sale, which only includes types of weapons Israel already has.
“The proposed sale of this equipment will provide Israel the ability to support its self-defense needs. These munitions will enable Israel to maintain operational capability of its existing systems and will enhance Israel’s interoperability with the United States,” the statement read.
A Defense Ministry source told Israel Radio the deal had nothing to do with Iran nuclear talks or any other conflict in the Gulf region.
A report in Israeli media Tuesday indicated the US and Israel were discussing a so-called compensation package that would see Washington sell Jerusalem advanced weapons, including more F-35 jets, in exchange for the Netanyahu government’s quiet acceptance of the emerging nuclear deal with Iran.
So instead of stopping Iran himself, Obama is giving everyone else in the Middle East the capability of doing so themselves (that's what the bunker busters are for). Nobel Peace Prize? What could go wrong?

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It's a travel day (and night)

Greetings from London Heathrow Airport where I am once again changing planes on the way back to Israel. I will try to post a couple of things before I leave here, so stay tuned.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Congressman: 'I felt safer in Israel than in New York, Chicago... or Baltimore'

For those of you who fear visiting or moving to Israel because it's 'unsafe,' Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga) has a message for you.
“The whole time we were there, of course, we had security with us, but there was no restrictions on travel, we never felt threatened one bit — unless you’re threatened by the merchants in the Old City trying to get you to come in their shops,” Loudermilk told Washington Watch, the radio show of the conservative Family Research Council.
“In fact, I can say that we felt safer in Israel than we would in certain parts of New York City or Chicago,” Loudermilk said.
“Yeah — or Baltimore, I would think, as well,” interjected host Tony Perkins.
“Exactly,” replied Loudermilk laughing.
But then, you knew that already

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BDS Epic Fail

From the same state that produced Barack Hussein Obama, 'J Street' Jan Schakowsky and Rahm Emanuel? Hmmm.

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Obama's Middle East policy collapse a question of priorities

John Hinderaker takes note of the collapse of President Obama's (@potus) Middle East policy, highlighted by what appears to be an imminent Islamic State takeover of Iraq (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The “sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq” that Barack Obama and Joe Biden hailed as one of Obama’s “great achievements” in 2014 has regressed into chaos as a result of Obama’s premature withdrawal of American troops. But it isn’t just Iraq. Syria is the closest thing to Hell on Earth. Iran is working away on nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Yemen has fallen to Iran’s proxies. Saudi Arabia is looking for nuclear weapons to counter Iran’s. ISIS occupies an area the size of Great Britain. Libya, its dictator having been gratuitously overthrown by feckless Western governments that had no plan for what would follow, is a failed state and terrorist playground.
It seems as though things couldn’t possibly get worse, but they almost certainly will. We are seeing the fruit of a set of policies that were based on the false premise that problems in the Middle East are mostly the fault of the United States. Not only were such policies misbegotten, they have been executed incompetently. The resulting collapse is occurring with sickening speed.
John doesn't even mention that none of these hotspots is President Obama's priority for the Middle East. Indeed, the President's priority for the Middle East - indeed for all his foreign policy - is the creation of a 'Palestinian state,' which he apparently sees as a panacea for all his foreign policy miscues. He has gone so far as to threaten the new Netanyahu government with the withdrawal of support for Israel at the United Nations.

That'll stop Islamic State, clean up Syria and convince Iran not to develop nuclear weapons....

What could go wrong?

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