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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Barry Rubin: Mass Media Now Admits It Was Also Wrong About Post-Mubarak Egypt's Foreign Policy

This post was written by Barry Rubin -- and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

Now that the New York Times tells us that the Muslim Brotherhood is really strong, organized, widely supported by the army, and capable of taking over Egypt--all the things I wrote at the time and the mass media denied--the Washington Post confirms every point I made during the revolution about what was going to happen regarding Egyptian foreign policy.

Just read this article and compare it to what we were told during the revolution:

Mideast Media Sampler 03/31/2011

1) The Israeli electorate

Yesterday, Bernard Avishai wrote the following:

A blueprint would have enormous impact on Israeli politics, too. It would empower the moderate Israeli political parties — Kadima, Labor and the rest — to wrest back the political center from the parties of Greater Israel — Netanyahu’s Likud, Avigdor Lieberman’s nationalists and the religious.  
The Israeli center — made up of Russian immigrants, non-Orthodox Mizrahi Jews, young people close to the army — is driven by fears as much as by hopes. Like “independent” voters in America, they flock to avoid what the media depict as naïve and dangerously against the current. 
This is a very convenient way to describe Israel's polity, if one knows nothing about it.

Yossi Klein Halevi on the other hand is familiar with the makeup of the Israeli electorate:

Israel Releases Detailed Map of 950+ Bunkers And Weapons Storage Among Civilians

Back in July, Israel came out with maps and videos describing pinpointing Hezbollah weapon caches located near schools and hospitals.

A few days later, Hezbollah tried to come back with their own list of targets in Israel.

Now, Israel has come out with an even more extensive map of the location of  950 Hezbollah sites--showing the location of bunkers, monitor sites and other facilities located within civilian village--all in violation of UN Resolution 1701 as well as international law.

New: 5 Dynamic Views For Reading Posts On Blogger Blogs--Like Daled Amos

Blogger is now experimenting with 5 new ways to view blogs--not templates; these are 5 dynamic views for reading the posts of any blog hosted by blogger :

Two Writers, The Two Challenges Israel Faces In 2011 And Two Solutions

There are 2 articles I've come across--each warning of a different major challenge facing Israel, and suggesting how to deal with it.

Yossi Klein Halevi writes that Israel Is Resilient but Watchful--in the face of the current wave of protests in the Middle East. The overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt raises questions about the wisdom of land-for-peace agreements with dictators--making the idea of such an agreement with Syria's Assad that much less palatable--
Israelis are asking a similar question about Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is widely resented by Palestinians as corrupt and represents at best only part of his people. Why negotiate a land for peace agreement with an unelected, one-party government? Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad is the first Palestinian leader to place economic growth before ideology, but he lacks a political base. In a time of regional change, Israelis are even more reluctant to risk irreversible strategic concessions for a deal that may well lack popular legitimacy.
Under such conditions, a second Palestinian state--especially under the control of Fatah and Hamas--would only add to the instability of the region.

But Netanyahu has to do something, if nothing else--then to demonstrate that Israel is part of the 'democratic spirit' that is sweeping across the Middle East:

Barry Rubin: Who Really Made Egypt's Revolution?: The Story The Media Missed

This post was written by Barry Rubin -- the expanded version of this post is reposted here with his permission.

The following article is published at PajamasMedia as Did Islamism Win Egypt’s Revolution?. The full text (with some improvements) is included here for your convenience.

By Barry Rubin

The world’s eyes have been focused on Egypt’s dramatic revolution. Yet incredibly, the media, government intelligence agencies, and experts haven’t answered a simple question: Who made the revolution and what were their motives and aims?

We have been repeatedly assured that the forces that began and led the upheaval were young, liberal, pro-democratic, technically hip people. Their organizational framework was the April 6 Youth Movement. The movement’s leadership appears to be a small group of independent people and participants with no structure. These leaders and the main activists seem to be genuinely moderate--in Egyptian political terms--and supporters of democracy.

However, whenever one can identify organized groups participating in this revolution they fall into three categories: left-wing radical Marxists or nationalists, reformists allied at the time to the Muslim Brotherhood, or Islamists. The April 6 movement itself has worked closely with the Muslim Brotherhood since it began.

Video: World View Interview--The Netanyahu Interview

Netanyahu's interview on YouTube as part of the "World View Interview" series is available on YouTube.

Bibi answered 2 sets of questions--questions from Israelis that were asked and answered in Hebrew and questions asked from around the world that were asked and answered in English.

According to the AP summary:
The questions from the Israeli audience focused mostly on domestic and security issues.

Responding to a question about protests in Syria, Netanyahu said: "I would be happy if Syria would be democratic. We have nothing to fear from democracy in the Middle East, democracy is not the enemy of peace."

He said upheaval in the Arab world is positive if it leads to democracy, but it would have a devastating affect on the world if Iran-backed militants prevail.

Asked about a Palestinian engineer who disappeared in Ukraine and later surfaced in an Israeli jail, Netanyahu said, "He is a Hamas member, held legally in Israeli detention." Netanyahu added, "He delivered important information," without elaborating.
Here is the video of the English part of the interview:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video: Pakistani Actress Veena Malik Defies the Mullahs

Andrew Stuttaford recommends the video of Veena Malik
Even if you are going to watch nothing else over the Internet today, make sure you check out a clip of actress Veena Malik taking on some snake of a mullah on Pakistani television. You can find it here on the (London) Spectator’s website.

Here’s what the Spectator’s Nick Cohen has to say:
If we are going to avoid a clash of civilisations, we are going to need many more like the Pakistani actress Veena Malik. Watch her take on a mullah, who is trying to accuse her of immoral behaviour. This is no small accusation in Pakistan where Islamist death squads and their collaborators in the state intelligence service, operate at will. The talk show setting of the attempt at trial by media is commonplace too. The murder of Salman Taseer followed days of hacks whipping up “Muslim rage” against him.

Instead of being frightened, Malik turns on her accuser and the journalist, who helped set her up, and lets them have it.

Brave, beautiful and utterly magnificent.
Here is the video:

Video: The Palestinian Wall of Lies

A short film by the David Horowitz Freedom Center that uncovers the lies of "Israel Apartheid Week"

Barry Rubin: Flash: Bashar al-Assad to Demonstrators: Surrender or Die

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

Nowadays, Western officials and journalists seem to think nowadays that if you are a Middle East dictator and people start demonstrating against you then you are finished. That’s an illusion. The question is really: Who are the people with the guns supporting?

An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan That Doesn't Need Israel

As revolutions spread through the Middle East, Avishai concludes that what we need is: Next, an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan
Obama’s blueprint should not be aimed at getting the conflicting parties to “yes,” but at getting world powers to “agreed.” After presenting his plan to the Quartet, Obama should seek endorsements from one O.E.C.D. leader after another (diplomats in Jerusalem tell me the E.U. Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton is just “waiting for the word from Washington”).

Iraq May No Longer Have It's Eyes On Kuwait--But Iran Does

An excerpt from an email from DG:
As revolutions spread throughout the Middle East, the story of liberation has forced a different story (and perhaps a more important story) to the background. That story is the story of Iran's efforts to spread its influence, and the Saudi efforts to prevent that influence from spreading.

Though Kuwait isn't Saudi Arabia, it is on side of the Saudis. So this story is of interest.

Video: Muslims For Israel

Hat tip to Gates of Vienna, who writes:
Despite his assertion that he doesn’t feel himself to be in any danger, I can’t help but wonder if this young man has some sort of death wish.

Muslim Politician: Muslims To Wear Yellow Star They First Imposed On Jews

Abderrahmane Dahmane, former diversity adviser of French President

 Nicolas Sarkozy, points to a green star during a news conference
 in front of the Grande Mosque of Paris March 29, 2011.

Abderrahmane Dahmane wants Muslims to wear a green star--equating the treatment of Muslims in France with the way Jews were treated by the Nazis:
When the Germans occupied France in 1942, wearing a yellow star was imposed on all French and foreign Jews living there.

On Monday, the former adviser at the Elysee Palace for diversity, Abderahmane Dahmane, called on Muslims to wear a "green star" to protest against the debate on secularism and Islam wanted by the ruling UMP.

Dahmane, former national secretary of the UMP, was sacked from his post at the Elysee Palace on 11 March after severely criticizing the debate, calling it a "plague for Muslims" and accusing Mr. Cope of being "neo -Nazi".

"The green star is a sign that Muslims in France have decided to wear in order to request the cancellation of the debate on Islam and an end of the islamophobia of the UMP and Mr. Cope (John Francis)".
I imagine the irony is lost on Mr. Dahmane: what he thinks is a Nazi badge of shame imposed upon Jews to distinguish them from everyone else actually originated with the Muslims themselves. Muslims were the first to maintain Jews as dhimmis by requiring them to wear the degrading symbol of their less than second class status.

The Jewish Encyclopedia provides some sources for the yellow Jewish star:

Roger Cohen On The Democratic "Open Society" That Is Lebanon

An excerpt from an email from DG:
One thing the New York Times discovered when it introduced Times Select a few years ago and put its prominent columnists behind a paywall was that few wanted to pay to read Friedman, or Rich or Krugman or Dowd et al. The advantage is that they could write the most ridiculous things and the embarrassment would be contained. With this in mind, the Times might have been well advised to hide Roger Cohen behind a paywall. His latest Arabs Will Be Free was muddled even by his usual sloppy standards.

Cohen starts by noting the similarities between Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.

Videos: The IDF In Action Helping Japan:

Now that the IDF is now in action in Japan, helping helping the victims of the tsunami--they have set up 2 ways to get up to the minute on ways that Israel is helping the people of Japan:


Among the recent postings:

Video: Artificial Island Off Gaza Would Provide Access To Outside World

The video below is in Hebrew, but below is a translation of the original article from the Channel 2 news site.



Hard Power, Soft Power And Samantha Power

An excerpt from an email from DG:
1) NYT *hearts* Samantha Power

The New York Times runs an absolutely glowing profile of Mrs. Cass Sunstein, otherwise known as Samantha Power.
“She would argue that the failure of the Clinton administration to engage in airstrikes against the Serbs, and to take military action to stop the genocide was immoral,” said Peter W. Galbraith, ambassador to Croatia at the time.

Video: When Muslims View Democracy As Incitement

Here is a video posted on YouTube by Gates of Vienna.
One cannot help but get the impression that the Muslims being interviewed just don't get the idea of a democratic right to free speech.

A Modest Proposal For A Second Jewish State (Update: Kahane Said It First!)

As many Israel advocates are fond of mentioning, there are a number of Arab states and only one Jewish State. So why not establish a second?

The Palestinian Authority has made clear its intention to go before the UN General Assembly in September and request it to declare a Palestinian state. Dovid Efune, Director of the Algemeiner Journal has a suggestion: let's beat them to the punch and create a second Jewish state?

Jerusalem: Which Of 61 Conquests Counts The Most?

Yaacov Lozowick writes about the Conquests of Jerusalem and Israel's Control--and the fact that there have been so many of conquests of Jerusalem.

61, according to his count:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cartoon: Who Will Exit First From Libya?

Considering the fact that Saddam actually did manage to outlast the first President Bush, the point being made in this cartoon should not be taken lightly.

Why Is Abbas So Eager To Join Up With Hamas?

The waves of protests throughout the Middle East have made their way to the West Bank as well. One of the major demands of the protesters is for an end to the fighting between Hamas and Fatah.

According to Khaled Abu Toameh, this is one of the reasons that Abbas has announced his willingness to visit Gaza and meet with Hamas:

They May Be Lonely, But At Least Iran, Syria And Hezbollah Will Always Have Each Other

This is getting to be a familiar theme.

In the past, I've noted that Michael Totten writes that one of the reasons Iran has resorted to shooting and executing protesters is that an's leader, if ousted, have no country that would take them in.

I also posted about Barry Rubin, who writes that the Syrian regime, consisting of Allawis, might not even make it out of the country alive if it was deposed.

Not is seems that Hezbollah isn't all that popular either.

Picture: Why You Should Play Nice With Israel

I saw this on one of the Facebook pages.
It's quite a list

Spengler: The Muslim World--"The Maelstrom of a Failing Culture"

Forget about the alleged democratization of the Middle East or how the Muslim world will reconstitute itself after all of the protests run their course. In "Food and Syria's Failure", Spengler writes about the long term destabilization of the Muslim world:
From the Straits of Gibraltar to the Hindu Kush, instability will afflict the Muslim world for a generation, and there is nothing that the West can do to stop it. Almost no-one in Washington appears to be asking the obvious question: what should the United States do in the event that there are no solutions at all?

New Study on Hate Crimes Debunks the Myth of a Growing Trend in Muslim Victimization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information and to schedule an interview, contact
Travis Korson
tkorson@securefreedom.org
(202)-719-2421
or

David Reaboi
dreaboi@securefreedom.org
(202) 431-1948



Washington, DC, March 29, 2011 - The Center for Security Policy today released a revised edition of their groundbreaking longitudinal study, Religious Bias Crimes 2000-2009: Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims - Debunking the Myth of a Growing Trend in Muslim Victimization, based on FBI statistics reported annually in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The Center's study contradicts the assertions that religious bias crimes against Muslims have increased, and that the alleged cause is widespread “Islamophobia” in America. In fact, the study shows that religious bias crimes - also known as hate crimes - against Muslim Americans, measured by the categories of incidents, offenses or victims, have remained relatively low with a downward trend since 2001, and are significantly less than the numbers of bias crimes against Jewish victims.

Arlene Kushner On The Legitimacy of The Settlements, in a Nutshell

The following is from an email Arlene Kushner wrote to someone in response to a question about the settlements.

Since I saw this posted on a mail list and is already online, I am posting it here as well.
In 1920, after the end of WWI, the victorious allies met in San Remo, Italy, to decide on the disposition of territory that had been under the control of the defeated Ottoman Empire. It was decided that Great Britain would be given the Mandate for Palestine. This was predicated on the Balfour Declaration that acknowledged the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, known as Palestine. It was determined that a homeland for the Jews was to be established in this area, and that close settlement of Jews on the land was to be encouraged.

The Facebook Page For "Third Palestinian Intifada" Has Been Removed

UPDATE: It's back

It looks like Muqata is the first blog to post that Facebook has removed the Third Palestinian Intifada page. Sure enough, if you try to access the original facebook page, you are taken back to your own page.

However, Haaretz writes that the issue is not over:

Tomorrow Is The Big Day: Buy Israeli Goods!

Visit  the Buy Israel Goods website where you can find stores in their area that carry Israeli products and watch a video about buycott.

Check out the StandWithUs flyer: Six Reasons You Should Oppose Boycotting Israel

StandWithUs has announced that tomorrow, March 30, is Buy Israeli Goods Day (BIG)
StandWithUs is urging schools, campuses, synagogues, community organizations, and individuals to celebrate Israel by designating March 30 as the day to buy up Israeli goods at local stores.

Mideast Media Sampler 03/29/2011

From an email from DG:
1) Tunisia's offended

Recently Israel upped the package it offers to new Olim, for Olim coming from Tunisia.
Earlier Thursday, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry announced that the government would debate the details of the package, which will purportedly offer NIS 10,000 to Tunisian Jews in addition to benefits awarded to other olim.

“The regime change in Tunisia as a result of the Jasmine revolution... has brought about the Islamization of the government and rise in anti-Semitism,” stated a ministry document quoted by Israeli media. “There has a been an increasingly worsening attitude by the authorities and society toward the Jewish community.”

Iron Dome: Is Israel Pushing The Envelope--Or Just Pushing Its Luck?

Israel's missile defense uses $50,000 rockets to shoot down $100 rockets. When u look up "unsustainable" in dictionary, it says "Iron Dome."
Noah Pollak on Twitter

The question still remains as to what to make of Iron Dome--is it the next generation in military defense technology, or something...less.

Iron Dome could be a manifestation of what some in the IDF perceive as a softening in Israel's response to the increase in rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas terrorists:

Video: Sunday's Rally In New York

Sunday, 200+ people gathered together at a rally in New York:
The Israeli Consulate on 2nd Ave. and 42nd Street in New York City was the scene of a major show of support for Israel on Sunday, March 27th.

Over 200 people attended the rally in support of Israel's right to protect its citizens against Arab terror. It was also held as a memorial to the victims of the most recent terror attacks - the five members of the Fogel family of Itamar, and UK citizen Mary Jane Gardner from Yad HaShmonah, who was killed in the Jerusalem bombing.
Here is a video of that rally:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Anne Bayefsky: When Geraldine Ferraro Said No to U.N. Israel-Bashing

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2011

Contact: Anne Bayefsky
anne@hudsonny.org
(917) 488-1558


This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on National Review Online.

From 1994 to 1996, Geraldine Ferraro was the American ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. I was an adviser to the Canadian delegation to the commission and had the opportunity to watch Ferraro in action behind closed doors in meetings of the “Western European and Others Group” (WEOG).

At WEOG meetings, Western states hammered out shared policy on issues of common interest before stepping into the full morass of the U.N.’s top human-rights body. At that time, one quarter of all the resolutions adopted by the commission that were critical of specific states condemned Israel alone, while the commission remained silent on almost all egregious violations of human rights around the world. For 25 years, the formal agenda of the commission, which governed every meeting, had contained one item devoted to demonizing Israel and one item to human rights on the almost 200 other U.N. members.

This was the environment into which Ferraro stepped. In addition, she found herself in the middle of an attempt at U.N. “reform.”

Rabbi Marvin Tokayer And The Korean Talmud (Update: Take A Peek Inside The Korean Talmud)

Elder of Zion has come out with a second post about the "Korean Talmud" that has made the news--and blogs. In More on Korean Talmud studies - not quite as it was reported, he writes:
The Korean Talmud webpages I have seen treat the Talmud the same way one treats Aesop's Fables, as a shorthand way to gain insights into morality and how to live as well as plain entertainment. The bulk of the Talmud - as a basis for an all-encompassing legal system - is not mentioned.
That is the general impression one gets when reading about the man who is apparently the driving force behind the translation of the Talmud into Korean, Rabbi Marvin Tokayer.

Barry Rubin: President Obama's Failure to Support--With Words Not Guns--Iranian and Syrian Oppositionists Is A Disgrace

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

At the moment in history when people are not just rebelling in the Middle East but when the opposition movements in Iran and Syria are at a high point, the fact that the U.S. government is standing by and not only doing nothing but virtually saying nothing.

No, it is even worse. For Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually praised Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad. She said that "members of Congress" who have gone to Damascus (notably Senator John Kerry who should henceforth be known as an apologist for an oppressive anti-American dictator), have found Bashar al-Asad to be a "reformer."

IDF Delegation Lands In Japan

IDF Soldiers Organize the Field Clinic in Japan

The IDF blog reports that the IDF Aid Delegation to Japan Arrives and Sets Up a Field Clinic:
The IDF aid delegation to Japan arrived at Minami Sanriku in the Miyagi Prefecture today after a 14 hour flight and 8 hour bus ride. They held their first operational briefing with GOC of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, and the Head of the IDF Medical Corps, Brig. Gen Nachman Ash.

Barry Rubin: The Intervention in Libya: A Feel-Good Mirage

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

The Western intervention in Libya is the kind of thing that makes governments feel good and look good--provided they have a tame media unwilling to ask tough questions--but is of little or no strategic importance.

There are two good rationales for the operation: If Qadhafi survives he is likely to return to a high priority on international terrorism and subversion and if he won he probably would have murdered hundreds, even thousands of people. While Syria and the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip are high-profile terrorism sponsors that U.S. policy accepts, next to them Qadhafi is the worst such figure and he is highly adventurous.

So a case can be made for intervention. Yet there are also points on the other side. Consider the following:

The Korean Study Of Talmud And The Asian Fascination With Jews

Korean Talmud (Photo courtesy of the Embassy of South Korea to Israel)

In their quest for success, South Korea has eschewed all the other self-help books on the market and have decided learning Talmud is the key:
In South Korea there are close to 49 million residents, and they all learn Gemara in school (www.ynet.co.il). “We tried to understand why the Jews are such geniuses and we concluded that (it is because) they study Talmud,” explained South Korea’s ambassador to Israel.

...“We were curious how come the Jews are so successful academically and have a much higher percentage of Nobel Prize winners in all fields… what is their secret?… one of your secrets is studying Talmud,” continued ambassador Young-Sam-Ma.

Obama's Obsession Smells Nothing Like A Perfume

From an email from DG:
Diehl Breaker

Jackson Diehl in a very important column In Obama’s push for Mideast peace, whose side is he on?
A reasonable person might conclude from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria et al., that the Middle East’s deepest problems have nothing to do with Israel and that the Obama administration’s almost obsessive focus on trying to broker an Israeli-Palestinian settlement in its first two years was misplaced. But Obama isn’t one of those persons. Instead, like several American presidents before him, he seems to have concluded that the ideal segue from the latest Arab crisis is a new attempt to pressure Israel into accepting a quick march to Palestinian statehood.

Barry Rubin: It's Official: The Obama Administration Will Do Zero to Criticize or Undermine the Syrian Dictatorship

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

It's official. The Obama Administration won't do anything at all to help the Syrian people against the Bashar al-Asad dictatorship. Libya's Muammar Qadhafi is a bad dictator, but Bashar al-Asad is a good dictator?

The great Martin Kramer puts it perfectly:

Iranian Request To Remove Israeli Flag From Prague Hotel Rebuffed

There was something about the Israeli flag that bothered an Iranian diplomat in Prague so much that he demanded that it be removed from a hotel where the Iranian embassy was going to have an event.

There was something about the request that bothered the Arab Israeli manager of the hotel so much that he told the Iranian ambassador to go fly a kite.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Arlene Kushner On Itamar And Middle East Unrest

The following is from Arlene Kushner's From Israel series, and is reposted here with permission.

March 27, 2011

"Hope and Horror"

On Friday the first International Marathon was run in Jerusalem. It tied up the city completely, as police blocked main roads to traffic so the runners could pass through.

But it was a fantastic event, because it provided press and international attention regarding something completely normal going on in Jerusalem. And it was gratifying to see that people did not refuse to run.

Two days after a terror attack, no one pulled out. There were 10,000 runners from 40 countries.

I think this delivers a heartening message.

Video: Melanie Phillips Defends Her Calling Arabs Who Murdered Fogel Family "Savages"

Back in January, Melanie Phillips gave an interview on hasbara and defending Israel.

Now, Melanie Phillips defends herself in response to being investigated by police for referring to Arab “savages” who murdered Jewish family.

Here is the video:

Notes On Sunday's Media Coverage Of The Middle East

From an email from DG:
1) Serious about Syria?

A report in the Washington Post gives an overview of the lastest:
On Friday, protests spread from Daraa to other towns and cities, including the capital, Damascus, in the biggest threat to the 45-year-old president since he assumed power in 2000. Security forces fired tear gas and in some places live ammunition into the crowds, killing at least 14 people, according to witnesses and activists.

On Saturday, Damascus remained tense but quiet, activists said, but protesters set fire to offices of the ruling party in southern and western Syria, the Associated Press reported, citing accounts by government officials, activists and witnesses. In Latakia, a religiously mixed city on the Mediterranean coast, crowds burned tires and attacked cars and shops, and officials said at least two people were killed there, the AP said.

“There is a kind of anger and tension,” said Abd el-Karim Rihawi, the head of the Syrian Human Rights League. Assad must implement reforms immediately, Rihawi added. “He has some time, and I think it will control the anger of the people.”
I know nothing about the Syrian Human Rights League, but the reporter, Leila Fadel, is based in Cairo. presumably, Rhawi is not located in Syria.

Syria arrests two Americans

Video: 2008 IDF Interview With Al-Jazeera On Operation Cast Lead Still Relevant

IDF Spokesman Capt. Avichai Adraee was interviewed in 2008 by Al-Jazeera about the Israeli response to the rockets fired by Hamas into Israel.

The points Capt. Adraee makes are just as relevant today as they were a few years ago--absent a full on IDF operation.

Here is the video:

Video: IDF Aid Delegation Departs for Japan Crisis Zone

A delegation of 50 soldiers and officers from the IDF Home Front Command and the IDF Medical Corps delegation left yesterday for the Miyagi district in Japan with 60 tons of medical aid and equipment--35 tons of which already left Thursday night.

The delegation includes logistics teams, experts in population management, Japanese translators, experts from the Committee of Atomic Energy, 14 doctors of various specialties, 7 nurses and 9paramedics and will establish a medical center manned by the IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps specialists which will provide various services.

Heading the delegation is Commander of the IDF Home Front Command Search and Rescue Unit, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Shalom Ben-Arieh. Heading the delegation’s medical team is deputy to the Chief Medical Officer, Col. Dr. Ofir Cohen-Marom.

The delegation will join the team of 3 officers who left for Japan last week to prepare the framework for the delegation, informing them of the current situation and coordinating their arrival.

Here's the video:

Video: Libya vs. Iraq (For Those Who Say: "I don't care, Obama is awesome!")

Comparing Obama's going to war against Libya with the war in Iraq--earning that Nobel Peace Prize...every day.

Barry Rubin: Why Moderate Arabs Are Horrified at Obama Administration Policy

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.


By Barry Rubin

I've seen a lot in media expressing the views of the Gulf Arab states and officials' statements--not all of them public, and not to mention similar expressions from Turkish and Iranian oppositionists--expressing horror and shock at Obama Administration Middle East policy. Remember, al-Jazira is NOT typical, as it is run by Islamists and follows the pro-Iran line of its owner, the Qatari government.

What The Media Has Been Up To In The Middle East...

From an email from DG:
1) War with Hamas

Barry Rubin writes about why there will be a war between Israel and Hamas.
And so, Hamas knows that it now has an ally, rather than an enemy, at its back. Moreover, there is no incentive in Egypt--or among its nationalist and Islamist-sympathetic officers--to block arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. As a result, Hamas is stronger and more confident, and hence arrogant and reckless. It is better able to launch rockets, mortars, and cross-border attacks, and far more eager to do so. Hamas is also able to get longer-range missiles and other new types of weapons.

List Of Islamist Attacks Around The Globe In 2010

The website The Religion of Peace tracks global Islamist terrorism. According to its detailed list for 2010, there were Islamist terror attacks in 47 countries around the world:
Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Algeria Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Canada, Chechnya, China, Dagestan, DRC (Congo), Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mogadishu, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority., Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, and Yemen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Barry Rubin: Western Media Discover Egyptian Revolution Not So Moderate; Muslim Brotherhood is Powerful, Still Deny That It's Radical

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.


By Barry Rubin

It seems mere days ago that every reporter and expert on all television channels and newspapers was preaching that Egypt's revolution was a great thing, run by Facebook-savvy liberals, inspired by President Barack Obama and "universal values." Those silly, paranoid Israelis had nothing to worry about. Christians were backing the revolution and everyone was going to be brothers, but not Muslim Brothers because the Muslim Brotherhood was weak, moderate, opposed to violence, and full of great people.

Anyone who said anything different was screened out and vilified.

Now, with no soul-searching, apologies, or even examining what false assumptions misled them, places like the New York Times are starting to admit they were completely wrong.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Video: Sderot, Israel: Life Under Constant Terrorism from Gaza

Israeli civilians in Sderot and in fact all of the western Negev region have been attacked by thousands of rockets fired by Hamas and other terrorist organizations--yet the UN and the international community remain silent to their suffering.
Sderot, Israel: Life Under Constant Terrorism from Gaza

This video about the city of Sderot, Israel, shows the terrorism Israelis are up against every single day.

As civilians continue to be attacked by rockets fired by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip (and once again from inside Israel with the bombing at the bus stop in Jerusalem), we cannot forget this is about Israel's survival and the desire and right of Israelis to live in peace and security.

No Wonder Syria Is Shooting At The Protesters: The Regime Has No Place To Run

Michael Totten has made the point that Iran's leader, if ousted, have no country that would take them in.

Now Barry Rubin writes that the Syrian regime, if deposed, might not even make it out of the country:

Videos: Hey, Maybe Those Protests In Syria Are The Real Thing

It does seem like it, judging from the videos below.

The key thing is that the protests in Syria are spreading
Protests spread in Syria on Friday from their southern epicentre of Daraa to Damascus and a town south of the capital, where authorities moved to arrest at least five demonstrators.

Hundreds of people marched from Omayyed mosque in the centre of Damascus' Old City along Souk Al-Hamadiyeh street chanting: "Daraa is Syria" and "We will sacrifice ourselves for Syria."

Great News: Egypt Says It Is Committed To Its Peace Accord With Israel!

If only.

It's nice to hear Egypt say they will keep to the peace accord with Israel:
In first officially announced meeting, Cairo's foreign minister says peace is secure, expresses need for "justice, peace" in Gaza.

Barry Rubin: Egypt's Revolution Plus U.S. Government Mistakes Makes Israel-Hamas War Inevitable

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.


By Barry Rubin

I'm going to make a prediction here that, unfortunately, I'm sure will come true. Any good analyst should be able to see this, yet few will until it happens within the next one or two years:

The Egyptian revolution and U.S. policy mistakes make a new Israel-Hamas war inevitable, and as a result it will be a lot more of an international mess.

Why?

It Would Be A Great Ceasefire If Israel Didn't Get In The Way Of The Rockets

Cease-fire: a suspension of active hostilities
Websters Online Dictionary

An earlier post this week, New York Times: 600+ Rockets And Missiles Fired Into Israel by Hamas = Cease Fire, looked at how loosely The New York Times defined a "cease fire".

But let's face it: The New York Times is neither the only one nor the first to report a truce in the midst of rockets, mortars and bombs--you can see the same tactic at work back in 2005.

This is how the media covered a cease-fire agreed to by Sharon and Abbas in February 2005 as a preparation for Israeli withdrawals:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Video: "Bar'chu!" (I'm A Jew) -- Remix of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You"

Jew Man Group's "Kosher" remix of Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You!"
If you you can get the lyrics on the Jew Man Group website.

Now, here's the video

Did Obama Peak Too Early--What About Syria?

With all of the attention be paid to bombing strikes against Libya--and justifiably so--it is a shame that we cannot expect anything like that kind of unified response by the West against Syria.

True, the protests in Syria have only recently begun--but already protesters have been shot, and let's not forget Syria has a history of dealing brutally with opposition:
In February 1982, the Syrian dictatorship headed by Hafez al-Assad responded to an uprising in the city of Hama with extraordinary violence. The town was indiscriminately bombarded by tanks and artillery; security forces then swept through the rubble and massacred the survivors. Estimates of the final death toll ranged from 10,000 to 40,000 or more. Hama became a symbol in the Arab world of what its authoritarian regimes were prepared to do to keep themselves in power.

Video: What does Israel think about the Arab revolution?

I can only link to the video--not embed it, but it is short (7:47 minutes) and well worth it: Uncommon Knowledge: The Arab World with Hanson & Berkowitz: Chapter 4 of 5:
Today on Uncommon Knowledge Peter Berkowitz and Victor Hanson point out the grave danger to Israel resulting from the upheaval in the Mideast.

UN Sending Human Rights Rapporteur To Iran; No Word If Goldstone Available

The last time the UN sent a human rights rapporteur was in 2002, so maybe this is a bit overdue: UN approves proposal to send human rights investigator to Iran
The UN Human Rights Council agreed on Thursday to a U.S.-backed proposal to establish a UN human rights investigator for Iran, the first in a decade.

The 47-member Geneva forum approved the resolution by 22 votes in favor, 7 against and 14 abstentions, its president, Thai Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow, announced.
The article doesn't actually say a rapporteur was sent back then--just that there was an agreement to establish one.

Back in 2002, Iran was not keen on having a rapporteur look into human rights in Iran:

Picture: When Bush Returned To Texas, He Left A Vacuum


Photo from Instapundit

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Giyus: Palestinian Hate And Incitement Leads To Terror - Report Hate Links Now

This post by Giyus is reposted here with permission.

Palestinian Hate and incitement leads to terror - report hate links now


Israel is under a terror attack. Grad rockets are falling in Beer Sheva and Ashdod in the south. Terror have also returned to Jerusalem today when a bomb went off near the central bus station. A woman was killed and dozens are injured. Just 10 days ago a family was massacred in Itamar - parents and 3 children were butchered while they slept.

Terror starts with incitement. Hate is used to legitimize the terror act. The Palestinians' culture of praising terrorists produces terrorism. Social media sites are the perfect platform to spread hate and incitement.

If you are as upset by these events as I am I urge you to take action now - report these links for spreading hate and leading to terror against civilians.

Pity The Media: The Acrobatics They Have To Do When A Bomb Goes Off In Israel

It seems the media found itself in a quandary when it had to report the latest Palestinian terrorist attack: how best to avoid putting Palestinian Arabs in a bad light.

Usually they just labels Palestinian terrorists as 'militants', but now the media is getting more creative.
According to some of the headlines describing the bus bombing in Jerusalem:
o The Palestinian Arabs did not set off the bomb
o No Israelis were injured
o The bomb did it all by itself

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Barry Rubin: Terrorism Flourishes Because It Brings Public Relations' and Political Gains

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

By Barry Rubin

Why is terrorism against Israel increasing now? Because the terrorists have:

--Everything to gain domestically. Terrorism mobilizes support among their own people and proves their militancy against rival groups.

--Everything to gain regionally. There is increasing radicalization and growing power for revolutionary Islamism. Throughout the region and especially for Hamas, Egypt's revolution--which Islamists view as a victory for them--has emboldened radicals and terrorists.

--Nothing to lose internationally. The West, and the United States in particular, will do nothing to punish them.

--And lots to gain in terms of public relations. The Western media often gives them good coverage and blames Israel when it retaliates.

The examples of recent days amply prove all of those propositions:

New York Times: 600+ Rockets And Missiles Fired Into Israel by Hamas = Cease Fire

Hamas appears to have ended a two-year cease-fire that had held since the three-week Israeli military operation in Gaza ended in early 2009. But it was unclear if policy had shifted; there have been signs of a rift between Hamas’s hard-line military wing and the government, which may have led to the escalation. Hamas statements have said the recent attacks were a response to “ongoing Israeli crimes.”
New York Times, Rockets From Gaza Hit Deep Into Southern Israel

Let's take a look at the numbers:

France Bombs Murderous Gaddafi--While Calling On Israel To Show Restraint Against Hamas Terrorists

An excerpt from an email from DG:
I was quite surprised that France took the lead in attacking Qaddafi. It seemed very un-French to be so pro-active in fighting bad guys.

In Yedioth's coverage yesterday though we learn that France has called for restraint from Israel and Hamas

The Jerusalem Bus Bombing And The Last 11 Days (Update: How About 16 days?)

When a Palestinian terrorist kills Israelis, is it ever an isolated incident?
OyVaGoy notes that it has been 11 days of hell for Israeli

Let No One Say Palestinian Incitement Doesn't Get Results: Israel Bus Bombing

Abbas's regular incitement of hatred against Israel continues to have results.

A bus blew up today in Jerusalem:
31 injured, 3 seriously in Jerusalem bus bombing

MDA says none killed; bomb inside bag exploded next to Egged bus 74 opposite Binyanei Ha'uma in central Jerusalem; 3 seriously injured, 5 moderately.

An explosion took place near a bus in central Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon.

Police said that a bomb exploded outside Egged bus number 74 at a station opposite the Jerusalem Conference Center (Binyanei Ha'uma) in the center of town.

Barry Rubin: "Thousands of Palestinians rally for reconciliation." But reconciliation with whom?

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.

by Barry Rubin

The headline on the Associated Press story caught my eye immediately:

Thousands of Palestinians rally for reconciliation

I always look for stories that contradict my assumptions so that I can examine or change them if necessary. According to the headline, this might be an important new--and positive--development.

So, did thousands of Palestinians come together to rally for reconciliation with Israel following the horrendous murder of an entire family? Is there really the hope for Israel-Palestinian peace that the Western governments and media keep telling us about?

Excuse Me, Did Someone Say Hamas Fired Rockets Into Israel Again?

From an email from DG:
Yesterday in response to continue rocket and mortar fire the IDF responded striking at positions where terrorists had been. Which newspaper reported the following essential information?
Relatives and neighbors were unusually open about the fact that the Israeli mortar attack was an attempt to hit militants firing rockets from the nearby grove.

“We heard the sound of four mortars being fired by militants from a grove just beyond our house,” said Hassan, the older brother of Mohammed Harrara. “A few minutes later, the Israeli shells landed in the area.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Barry Rubin: The War in Libya: Unprecedented Strangeness

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin

Should the United States and Europe want Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi out of power? Sure. But the real question is how U.S. policy is dealing with this crisis.

1. Nothing could be more obvious than the fact that all of these people talking about how evil Qadhafi is are doings only because he is being so severely challenged in a civil war. Where were all of these humanitarians when nobody was writing about his repression? Better late than never but let's get real about what has happened here.

Interview With Sergeant Edi Itelman, One Of The Paramedics At Scene Of Fogel Family Massacre (Updated: A Parallel)

Transcript of Phone Interview with Sergeant Edi (Edward) Itelman


Edi: I'm a paramedic in the army. My base is located 10 minutes from Itamar. So, Friday night, approx. 1:00 AM, I get a call that there has been a terrorist penetration in Itamar and I should come there because there are wounded. There's a special code in the army, it was used and it meant someone's in the village in Itamar and there's a terrorist attack right this moment. So I take my crew, me, another medic and our driver, and we take the ambulance to Itamar. When we reached the house, we were careful, of course, because we weren't sure whether the terrorists were still in the house or not. There could be a situation. So we entered the house carefully – gun first and all that – and we made sure no one is there, and then we tended to the wounded. At the far end of the first room I see a frail little child lying on the carpet with three stab wounds in his chest. I leave my medic there to attend to him, because I thought he was still alive. Later we realized he was not. So I left the medic there; he was the first one we saw. Second room, a child about 4 years of age lying on his bed – butchered is the best way to describe it. I guess you saw the pictures. A very grotesque, very unpleasant sight. The whole floor was blood. I go into the third room and I see the mother lying on the floor in her own blood with multiple stab wounds. She seemed dead on sight. I checked for bleeding, but nothing. On the bed in the same room there's the father. Again – dead on sight, no bleeding. Single stab wound near his neck. The third, the baby, she was found kind of underneath the father. At first I saw it and didn't realize what it was. Kind of wrapped up in a blanket but it didn't look like one. I turned her over and realized it was a baby.

Giyus: Revolution and Antisemitism in the Arab world - Reflections by Dr. Webman

This post by Giyus is reposted here with permission.

Revolution and Antisemitism in the Arab world - Reflections by Dr. Webman


It seems that where ever you look in the Arab world you see a revolution these days. The Middle East is changing in front of our eyes. History is in the making. Often in times of change antisemitism raises its ugly head.  Where is this going who'll be the new leaders of the Arab world and what will this mean to Israel?  While we can't answer these questions we wanted to take a closer look at antisemitism in the Arab world. Meet Dr. Esther Webman, an award winning scholar and co-author (with her colleague Prof. Meir Litvak) of "From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust", researching Arab response to the Holocaust over 60 years since WWII and antisemitism in Arab countries.

20100425090407

Giyus.org: When does antisemitism begins to appear in the Arab world?

Why Purim Is A Reason To Convert To Judaism

Mindless Purity

Rabbi Avi Shafran


I’m hesitant to put my Mama Jean story in writing. There’s so much improper imbibing on Purim, so much regarding of “lib’sumi” (to become tipsy) as license instead of mitzvah.

But the story’s too good, and its message too meaningful, to leave unshared.

Conference Call: IDF Responds To Hamas Escalation

The IDF blog today has a number of posts on the IDF returning fire in response to the rockets and mortars being fired on Israel today from Gaza.

I was just on a conference call with other bloggers with IDF Spokesperson Lt. Colonel Avital Leibowitz, who described a recent exchange.

Lt. Colonel Leibowitz told us:

McGill University: Terrorist Threats From Muslim Student Are Harmless

A Muslim student has made death threats against students at McGill University, but the school doesn't think there is a need to do anything about it:
Montreal police are investigating a student who made threats against a conservative club at McGill University, even though university officials determined the student’s threats about jihad and wanting to “shoot everyone in the room” were harmless.

A spokesman for the Montreal Police Service told the Toronto Star they take the threat allegedly made by Haaris Khan seriously.

Syria's Time Has Come

If there was one Muslim country that seemed to be immune from the wave of protests engulfing the Middle East, it would have to be Syria--on account of the tight lid it keeps on personal expression and of course the history of the Hama Massacre.

But now, according to the Wall Street Journal it appears that even Syria is ripe for protests.
Every Arab country is unhappy in its own way, and it turns out Syria is no different. A wave of protests the past four days, starting in the city of Deraa on Friday and spreading, makes Iran's chief Arab ally a latecomer to the spring of Muslim discontent.

The Qaddafi Principle: Could A No-Fly Zone Be Imposed On Israel Next?

The double-edged sword of Western intervention in Libya goes beyond the inevitable impulse to mollify Muslim sensitivities by applying more pressure on Israel--Western intervention in Libya has created a whole new option that can be--and already has been--suggested against Israel.

Frank Gaffney writes about what he calls The Qaddafi Principle:
There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muamar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them.

What I find particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Qaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-to-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel.

News About Gaza, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Obama and Chavez--And Everyone Hates Gaddafi

From an email from DG:
1) Ignoring military necessity

Last week after Israel seized the Victoria, Isabel Kershner of the New York Times noted ended her report:
Israel’s relations with Turkey, long an important regional ally, have been strained since Israel’s war in Gaza, and were nearly severed after Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists during a confrontation on a Turkish passenger ship that was part of a flotilla trying to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza in May 2010.
Similarly Janine Zacharia of the Washington Post reported at the end of her article Israel intercepts ship it says carried Iranian weapons bound for Gaza :
Some countries accused Israel of violating international norms in May when it boarded a Turkish ship in international waters carrying activists bound for the Gaza Strip. In that incident, Israeli commandos faced stiff resistance and nine Turks were killed, including one Turkish American. Israel said it acted legally to enforce a closure of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli navy prevents ships from reaching the sliver of Palestinian-ruled territory on the Mediterranean Sea as part of a blockade that Israel says is designed to keep weapons from Hamas, which Israel defines as a terrorist organization. Hamas officials had no immediate comment on Tuesday's incident.

Over the years, Israel has periodically intercepted ships carrying weapons it said were destined for Hamas or the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Think about that.

Barry Rubin: Middle East on Fire: March 21, 2011

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin

Events are happening so fast that I can only summarize, trying to add some analytical depth to each development. So here goes….

Egypt

The referendum resulted in a 77 percent “yes” vote on constitutional amendments to reduce the powers of the president and ensure fair elections. The changes were reasonable ones.

BUT the two leading presidential candidates Amr Moussa (nationalist) and Muhammad ElBaradei (democrat) opposed the referendum. They claimed that the changes would help the Muslim Brotherhood take power. This means the result is a defeat for them both.

The Other Oldest Profession

Yaacov Lozowick writes Dictators constitute what is really the oldest profession, and notes:
As the international community talks its way out of assisting the brave Libyans fighting for freedom from a brutal dictator and his cruel henchmen, it's worth keeping in mind that even if they did want to do anything, the only people who can are the armed and the trained. Over the past few weeks I have repeatedly noted how the international ineptitude must remind us the importance of never being weak. The flip side is that the price of pacifism and disarmament means accepting brutal dictators.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hamas Needs Renewed Support--Apparently Lowering Taxes Was Out Of The Question

The 50+ mortars Hamas admits to having fired into Israel over the weekend might not be an attempt to ratchet up the tensions as a prelude to something bigger.

Khaled Abu Toameh writes it may be that attacks on Israel are only means Hamas has to bolster its position, given the growing threat of protests:

Protests In Syria: And So It Begins?

Of course, that doesn't mean it will continue--not if Assad has anything to say about it, and considering the Hama massacre that occurred under his father, Hafez Assad, the protesters are taking a major risk.

So on the one hand, we have see 3 days of protests in Syria:
Crowds set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party in the Syrian city of Deraa on Sunday, residents said, as the wave of unrest in the Arab world shook even one of its most authoritarian states.

Where's The Outcry: During Protests, 11 Year Old Syrian Dies Of Tear Gas Inhalation

Remember the outcry when it was claimed that tear gas used by Israel was responsible for the death of a Palestinian woman?
Israel investigates tear gas death of Palestinian protester

Jawaher Abu Rahmeh inhaled tear gas fired by soldiers at weekly protest in Bilin against Israel's West Bank barrier

The Israeli military has launched an investigation into the death of a Palestinian woman who was overcome by tear gas fired by soldiers at a West Bank protest.
What kind of worldwide condemnation can we expect, what sort of outrage by self-proclaimed human rights activists will we see, now that tear gas fired at protesters by Syria has killed an 11 year old:

Arab League Back On Board With Strikes In Libya (For Now)

Since the Arab League approval of intervention in Libya was key in getting UN approval, it was no small thing then the Arab League condemned that same intervention in Libya over the weekend.

But for now, at least, things look like they are back on track and the Arab League is again supportive of the Western airstrikes against Libya:
Arab League head Amr Moussa has qualified comments he made criticizing the reported civilian toll from Western airstrikes in Libya, telling reporters in Cairo on Monday that the Arab League and the U.N. Security Council are "united" on the need to protect civilians.

Anne Bayefsky: The UN Human Rights Council: Hard At Work Condemning Israel

For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2011


Contact: Anne Bayefsky
anne@hudsonny.org
(917) 488-1558

The UN Human Rights Council:
Hard At Work Condemning Israel

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears in The Jerusalem Post.

The meeting on Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva helps explain how it is possible for the horrifying murder of the Fogel family by Palestinian terrorists on March 11 to have been so easily minimized by the “civilized” world. Slashing the throat of a three-month old baby and stabbing a three-year old twice in the heart has sickened and anguished Jews everywhere, but the steady pounding of anti-Semitism at the United Nations has not skipped a beat.

At this session of the Human Rights Council a UN-accredited NGO distributed a publication containing the following picture:

The US Is In Decline--Enjoy The Ride!

An excerpt from an email from DG:
In Ocotober 2009, Charles Krauthammer critiqued President Obama's foreign policy as Decline is a choice
Facing the choice of whether to maintain our dominance or to gradually, deliberately, willingly, and indeed relievedly give it up, we are currently on a course towards the latter. The current liberal ascendancy in the United States--controlling the executive and both houses of Congress, dominating the media and elite culture--has set us on a course for decline. And this is true for both foreign and domestic policies. Indeed, they work synergistically to ensure that outcome.

Barry Rubin: Much Mass Media Coverage of Israel-Palestinian Issues Is Propaganda, Not Journalism

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.


By Barry Rubin

So constant are the lies told in mass media coverage of Israel-Palestinian issues that it is hardly worthwhile to critique individual articles any more.

According To The Media, Hamas Isn't Getting Ready For War--It's Merely "Escalating Tensions"

Excerpted from an email from DG:
Escalation from Gaza

With the weekend's escalation of rocket fire from Gaza, it's interesting to note that this shouldn't be a huge surprise.

For example back in January, MK Yaalon said that Hizbullah has agents in Gaza training terrorists:
“Hizbullah experts can get into Gaza like the Iranian rockets are coming to Gaza.” He said Hizbullah terrorists can go from Lebanon to Sudan, then to Egypt and on to Gaza.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hamas Borrows A Page From Hezbollah: We Didn't Expect Israel To Hit Back!

Had we known that the kidnapping of the soldiers would have led to this, we would definitely not have done it.
Hezbollah terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah, on Israel retaliating in response to Hezbollah kidnapping of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, August 27, 2006

Hamas now admits that it is directly responsible for yesterday's on civilian targets in Israel:
Yesterday's mortar barrage on the western Negev is the most extensive operation by Hamas since Operation Cast Lead ended in January 2009. The group has been involved in a few incidents with the Israel Defense Forces since then, but usually on a smaller scale, and it has rarely claimed responsibility.

Classic: "The World Famous Story Of Purim"

If you have never read this before, you are in for a treat.
And if you have read it before, it's still a treat.

Read "The World Famous Story of Purim", by Meish Goldish.

See also:
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Barry Rubin: One of the Big Flaws in Obama's Middle East Policy: Islamists Don't Want to be His Pals

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin

When Muhamad ElBaradei tried to vote March 19 in the referendum on Egypt's constitutional changes, he was attacked by hundreds of Islamists with stones, at least one of which hit him, and shoes. "We don't want you," the mob shouted. "He lives in the United States and wants to rule us. It's out of the question," one demonstrator said.

"We don't want an American agent," said another. ElBaradei ran away without voting.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Barry Rubin: No Wonder Hillary Resigned! Mr. Burns Explains U.S. Middle East Policy

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin

For a comprehensive statement of current U.S. Middle East policy you can’t do better than the testimony of Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on March 17, 2011.

It’s horrifying. Here's my summary of the key point:

Intervention In LIbya: A Note Of Caution

Now we are assured that intervention in Libya will be clean, with no strings attached. Does anyone really believe that? As Peggy Noonan writes in her column, "So we wind up in long, drawn-out struggles when we didn't mean to, when it wasn't the plan, or the hope, or the expectation." Of course our armed forces will again perform brilliantly, and Qaddafi and his repellent mafia clan will be hanging from piano wire in no time. But everyone knows we'll end up staying to pacify the country, trying in vain to reconcile one gang of cretinous barbarians with the neighboring gang of cretinous barbarians. As loathsome as Qaddafi is and as richly as he deserves death, there's nothing happening in Libya that warrants even one American soldier risking a twisted ankle, let alone his limbs, his mind, or his life.
Mark Krikorian, Are We Dumber Than a Hamster?, The Corner

Let's hope Gadaffi's call for a ceasefire puts an end to this:

Obama Adviser Publicly Applauds CAIR

The four pieces of evidence the government relies on, as discussed below, do create at least a prima facie case as to CAIR’s involvement in a conspiracy to support Hamas; however, even if the proverbial “cat was let out of the bag” at trial, there is an ongoing injury that will persist as long as the public has ready access to the Government’s list of unindicted co-conspirators.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis, July 1, 2009

Not if Valerie Jarrett has anything to say about it!

The Daily Caller writes that senior advisor and assistant to Obama, Valerie Jarrett, thanked CAIR publicly for doing such a great job:

Iran Gets Into The Spirit Of Things: Calls For UN To Intervene In Bahrain Over Crackdown On Protesters

V'Nahafoch Hu

Since the West is going to intervene in the Libyan slaughter of its people, Iran wants to help pinpoint another country that slaughter its citizens--in complete disregard for international law and in complete disregard for the will of its people:
Iran calls for U.N. action over Bahrain crisis

No Wonder Palestinian Minister Riyad al-Malki Thought Palestinians Didn't Slaughter Fogel Family!

The slaughter of people like this by Palestinians under the name of any national or for the purpose of revenge is unprecedented
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki on the Fogel Family Massacre

Actually, we must admit that al-Malki is right: the slaughter of the Fogel Family in Itamar by Palestinian terrorists is unprecedented--usually, the murders by Palestinian terrorists are done randomly.

For instance, you need not look any further than the most recent examples of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority inciting hatred and violence against Israel--just this month:

One day before terror attack in town of Itamar:
PA TV honors woman who drove
suicide terrorist to Sbarro bombing
Fatah: She is "heroic"

One week before terror attack in town of Itamar:
PA TV honors man who drove
suicide terrorist to Gilo bombing
Host: He is "heroic"

Arabs Celebrate US Intervention In Libya: What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Instapundit has a post on the Arab reaction to US intervention in Libya that is made for Purim in its absurdity.

He starts with a simple link: AND NEOCONS EVERYWHERE SMILE:
Ecstatic crowds in Libya celebrating imminent use of U.S. military force against Gaddafi.
Then there is the Arab hypocrisy pointed out by readers.

Don't Miss: Megilla Esther reading at Iranian UN Mission!

Megilla Esther reading at Iranian UN Mission

THIS Sunday 12:00pm

At the Iranian UN Mission 633 Third Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan
Costumes optional, graggers a necessity!

Questions? Call us at 610.664.1184

Check out the Facebook Page
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Just In Time For Purim: Egyptians Claim Mubarak Is Still In Charge

Raymond Ibrahim writes that there are Egyptians who ask is Mubarak Still in Charge?

Pictures Of Two Massacres Of Jews: 108 Years Apart

A simple post by Lenny Ben-David, comparing 2 massacres of Jews.
One of them is the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar.

The quote by Chaim Nachman Bialik is exactly right.

Check it out.

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Jewish Haikus

For Purim--Jewish Haikus from an email I received.
Admittedly, some of these 'Haikus' follow the rules of Haiku less than others.
But please enjoy anyway.

Chag Sameach.

Beyond Valium,
peace is knowing one's child
is an internist.

On Passover we
opened the door for Elijah.
Now our dog is gone.

After the warm rain
the sweet smell of camellias.
Did you wipe your feet?

Breaking: Goldstone condemns World Jewry Over Massacre--Of Haman

The Muqata has the exclusive on the latest from Judge Richard Goldstone: Goldstone's condemnation of the killing of Haman, his sons and innocent Persians.

And don't forget to read the 'comments' as well.

Check it out.

Chag Purim Sameach.

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Video: The Maccabeats Do Purim! (2 versions--One With Lyrics)

Also check out the Maccabeats YouTube channel.

Two versions.

Enjoy and Chag Purim Sameach!

Netanyahu's Clever Ploy To Prevent Peace: Insisting Abbas Not Encourage Murder Of Jews

From an email from DG:
Earlier this week, I commented on this paragraph from an article claiming that Mahmoud Abbas has eschewed incitement:
The new focus on incitement against Israel, together with Israeli dissatisfaction over the Palestinian response to the brutal attack, seemed to pose a question about the Israeli government’s readiness to deal with Mr. Abbas as a serious peace partner — even though Mr. Abbas and Mr. Fayyad are widely considered moderates who have repeatedly said they would never resort to violence.
Aside from the problematic central theme of the article - that Abbas was not responsible for Palestinian incitement - this paragraph faulted Netanyahu for making an issue out of incitement. Even if Abbas and Fayyad are "widely considered moderates" the incitement producted by the PA's media, continues to be documented and undermines that characterization.

Video: Latma--UN's Musical Anti-Anti-Semitism Course And The Japanese

It's that time again.
Enjoy:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Barry Rubin: Egyptian Politics Get Dangerously Messy

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin

Well, what do you know? The two leading politicians in Egypt have decided—though they haven’t quite admitted it straight out—that the biggest threat to the country is…the Muslim Brotherhood gaining power. After we’ve been told by virtually every Western government official, academic, and journalist who has discussed the topic, that the Brotherhood is weak, pacifistic, and moderate, those on the scene don’t think so.

Video: What If Hamas Fired A Qassam at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport?

It would only take one.

Sderot Media Center has a video on the dangers--and consequences--of Hamas firing a Qassam at Ben Gurion Airport:
In Gaza, it took Hamas 10 years to threaten Tel- Aviv..

How long will it take Hamas to threaten Ben Gurion airport with only 1 Qassam rocket at a range of only 6 KM?

Has any one considered what will happen 'the day after' a rocket exploded into Israel's only international airport?
Here's the video:

Barry Rubin: Crisis and Civil War in Libya: A Self-Interview

This post was written by Barry Rubin and is reposted here with his permission.



By Barry Rubin


What's happening in Libya?
The mad, repressive dictator Muammar Qadhafi is winning.

Who is the Libyan opposition?
I don't know. I haven't seen a single serious journalistic or academic investigation to answer this question.

What is U.S. policy?
U.S. policy doesn't want Qadhafi to win.

What is U.S. policy doing to achieve this goal?
The president made a statement to that effect.

And?
That's about it. U.S. diplomats are discussing the idea of a "no-fly" zone and other measures at the UN.

Would a "no-fly" zone help?
Not much.

When is a "no-fly" zone likely to be implemented?
After all the opposition has been wiped out by Qadhafi.

So then you're saying that U.S. policy doesn't make any sense?
Yes, that's what I am usually saying. Unfortunately, it's usually true.

Why then does the mass media and those who it does--unlike you--interivew not say these things?

Video: Flash Mob--At Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport!

Protests aren't the only things to have hit the Middle East--last week, travelers at the Beirut Airport were treated to a flash mob performance:
Whilst the idea of a flash mob isn't a new thing, a Dabke / Hip-Hop flash mob in Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (Beirut Duty Free) at a time when the region is in flux is certainly a first.

On March 5th, 2011, passengers experienced something a little different. A flash mob performed a mix of Dabke and hip-hop to entertain and delight passengers and airport staff alike.

M&C Saatchi and Beirut Duty Free, created this vibrant event as part of their "Take Back More." campaign. The aim was to literally create a wonderful memory of Lebanon that passengers could take with them on their journey.
The music is Arabic--but enjoy:

The Fogel Family Massacre: At What Point Do Palestinians Accept Responsibility For Their Actions?

In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Larry Derfner writes that it is about time that the Palestinians accept responsibility for their actions:
I’m about the last person to say that Israel is blameless for the violence in the West Bank, and I’m also about the last one to say Palestinians don’t have the right to resist the occupation. But when looking at Palestinian behavior, there has to be some point where Israel’s responsibility ends and Palestinian responsibility begins, and I’d say that point was definitely reached last Friday night in the Fogel home.

Earthquake-Resistant Nuclear Reactors: Is That Like Swimming With A Water Resistant Watch? (Update: What The Experts Say)

  • Water-resistant (without any depth specification). Shoud be considered only splash resistant. Not recommended for any water activity.
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet). Will withstand splashes of water or rain but should not be worn while swimming or diving.
    Watch Seller's Website

The city of Bushehr in Iran is in an area that is known to have earthquakes.
And that could be kind of important, especially after seeing what has happened in Japan.

Kuwait warns of Bushehr disaster: Reactor is in earthquake zone

If The US Is Reluctant To Intervene In Libya, The Arab World Is To Blame

Obama has taken a lot of heat for dragging his feet when it comes to taking decisive action to help the Libyan rebels against Gaddafi.

But to be fair, writes Michael Totten, the Arab world shares the blame for the West's reluctance to intervene in Libya:
As forces loyal to Libya's cruel and de ranged tyrant Moammar Khadafy re conquer one rebel-held city after an other, the Arab League and the Arabic press are calling for a no-fly zone over the country to tip, or at least even, the odds. While I'm inclined to help the Libyans on humanitarian grounds and to advance our own national interests, the American public's appetite is low for intervening on behalf of the rebels -- and it's largely the Arab world's fault.

Is The World Getting Comfortable With Attacks On Israel?

How else to explain that, for all the outcry we've come to expect when Israel is held accountable for any wrong--real or imagined--when Israel is the victim there is silence.

For example, this week Israel intercepted a ship carry 50 tons of weapons to be smuggled from Egypt into Gaza. But the world media has shown little interest in the Victoria: