Friday, December 31, 2010

In 2010 It Became Obvious We Are Losing To The Stealth Jihad

When the attorney-general of an American state argues that people don't have freedom of speech to criticize Islam (Maine); the sheriff of one of America's largest cities angrily defends his having spoken at CAIR fundraisers (Los Angeles); and a pro-al-Qaida cleric opens a session of the U.S. Congress with a prayer; a Hamas supporter gets an insider tour of the FBI; the head of NASA is told by the president that his main priority is to make Muslims feel they are great in science and math; a domestic terrorist group receives $500,000 in U.S. taxpayer funds; and the U.S. ambassador to the UK visits and praises a mosque which has cheered the number-one organizer of anti-American terrorist attacks today, you might be in a bit of trouble, right?
Barry Rubin, The Year 2010 in Islamism: Battles Within America

Barry Rubin is referring to the article 2010: The Year of Islamist Infiltration, in which Patrick Poole has written over at Pajamas Media. Poole warns:

Video: Latma--The Egyptian Ministry of Conspiracy Theories and the bug war and Peace Now's Legacy

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2010 Saw Lowest Number Of Terror Attacks In Israel In A Decade--Care To Guess How Many?

Let's see how close you were.

There were only 798 terrorist attacks on Israel this year:
The Shin Bet revealed Thursday that 2010 saw the lowest number of terror attacks and terror victims in a decade.

Video: Why Protest Against Israel? Because It's The Progressive Thing To Do!

Being bearish on Progressives

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Now Christians Are The Main Target In Iraq--And Bethlehem Too

In Iraq, Christians have been the victims of 10 attacks since October:
One week after an Islamic extremist group vowed to kill Christians in Iraq, a cluster of 10 bomb attacks rattled Baghdad on Thursday night and sent additional tremors of fear through the country’s already shaken Christian minority.

Two people were killed and 20 wounded, all of them Christians, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The bombs were placed near the homes of at least 14 Christian families around the city, and four bombs were defused before they could explode.

Christians have been flooding out of the country since the siege of Our Lady of Salvation, a Syrian Catholic church, in October that left nearly 60 people dead, including two priests. Many Muslim clerics and worshipers offered support to Christians after the siege. The Islamic State of Iraq, an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, and on Dec. 22 it promised more on its Web site.
The New York Times notes that the attacks on the Christian community in Iraq have increased since the US removed Saddam Hussein:
Even before the coordinated assault, Baghdad had come to resemble a battle zone for Christians, who have come increasingly under attack since the American-led invasion in 2003. Before Christmas, several churches fortified their buildings with blast walls and razor wire, and many canceled or curtailed Christmas observances. The day passed without an attack.
Just to keep things in perspective though, it is not the US attack on Iraq that is the cause of Christian persecution--rather it is the fact that Iraq has changed from a secular to an Islamic state:

Stuxnet May Be A Natural Outgrowth Of The Anti-Iran Program Started By Bush

I've written before that Obama used the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian reactors to get China to agree to sanctions.

Well, if Obama can use that possibility to pressure China--who is to say that Israel itself cannot use that same prospect to provide a reason to other countries, including the US, to help stop Iran?

There are reports now that the CIA and M16 are helping the Mossad to sabotage Iran's nuclear program:

Optimism, Israeli Style; Negativity on Israel, Western Style

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

By Barry Rubin

Israelis are known for being gloomy about the political situation. In fact, they generally enjoy criticizing things (themselves above all). As a result, Israel's enemies often make the mistake of underestimating the country's ability to endure, struggle, and prevail.

A typical example came in a recent Arab newspaper article that claims the serious fire in northern Israel was a sign of the country's collapse. Not so fast!

Defending German From The Threat Of 'Denglish'--And What About Hebrew!?

I wouldn't have thought that the German language is in danger of corruption by English:
Germany's Transport Minister claimed to have struck an important blow for the preservation of the German language yesterday after enforcing a strict ban on the use of all English words and phrases within his ministry.

Peter Ramsauer stopped his staff from using more than 150 English words and expressions that have crept into everyday German shortly after being appointed in late 2009.

His aim, which was backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, was to defend his language against the spread of "Denglish" – the corruption of German with words such as "handy" for mobile phone and other expressions including "babysitten" and "downloaden". As a result, words such as "laptop", "ticket" and "meeting" are verboten in Mr Ramsauer's ministry. Instead, staff must use their German equivalents: "Klapprechner", "Fahrschein" and "Besprechung" as well as many other common English words that the minister has translated back into German.
But if the German language, which has been spoken in its own land for an unbroken chain of many centuries, what about Hebrew, which only relatively recently was revived to reclaim its place as the language of the Jewish state?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Muslims Trying To Turn Back The Clock In Spain, India--And Israel (Update: Mosques In Spain Skyrocket)

Back in 2007, Reuters carried a story about Muslims who wanted to recapture a sense of their former glory in Spain:
A call for descendents of Muslims expelled from Spain in the seventeenth century to be given preferential terms for Spanish citizenship has highlighted the country's uneasy relationship with its Islamic heritage.

The proposal was made at a meeting this week in Cordoba, a city in Andalusia which was the centre of Islamic civilization in the Iberian peninsula during nearly eight centuries of Moorish rule of much of what is now Spain and Portugal.

In 1609, Spain's King Philip III ordered all Muslims to leave his kingdom, leading to the expulsion of about 300,000 people. Their descendents today mainly live in North Africa and still regard themselves as "Andalusians", after the old name for Muslim Spain -- "Al Andalus"

Giving them preferential terms for Spanish citizenship would be an act of symbolic reconciliation, said Mansur Escudero, head of Spain's Islamic Board, the biggest group representing Spanish Muslims.
Naturally, this caused increased tension, especially there were some with a sense of history just as strong as the Muslims who had something other than reconciliation in mind:

Don't Take It Personally Dahlan--Abbas Hates Sitting Down And Talking Peace With Anyone!

Apparently Muhammad Dahlan is on the outs with Abbas:
Former Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, once a confidant and close ally of Palestinian President and Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas, recently found himself in deep trouble when he apparently had decided to test Abbas’ muscle. In the end, he found himself ostracized and then kicked out of a movement in which it was believed he was the strongest man, after its founder, the late Yasser Arafat.
The article, from Bablylon & Beyond, goes into detail on just how Dahlan fell into disfavor.

But what caught my eye was Dahlan's efforts to meet with Abbas and patch things up:

Dopes of the Day: Fooled by Syria...Twice

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

By Barry Rubin

Since I have written about how easily fooled Western politicians, officials, journalists, and academics are by Middle Eastern radicals, I'm going to try to provide examples in a regular feature called Dopes of the Day. This is a good starting point.

Neither Letty Cottin Pogrebin Nor Goldstone Have Read The Rebuttals Of The Goldstone Report


Get a load of this from Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who has no idea of the variety of critiques that were written, pointing out the errors in the Goldstone Report:
Two years after Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s three-week assault against Hamas in Gaza, we are still grappling with the fallout. Much of the public reckoning has been channeled into an acrimonious debate over the report of a four-person investigative commission appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council and headed by Judge Richard Goldstone. Regrettably, the conduct of many of Israel’s sup-porters in this dispute has been both indecent and profoundly un-Jewish.

From the moment the Goldstone Report was released in September 2009, its lead author has been subjected to fierce, well-orchestrated attacks by Israeli and American Jews who purport to be defending the legitimacy of the Jewish state and the safety of the Jewish people. Rather than discuss the contents of the report — which concluded that during the 2008-2009 Gaza war, Israel (as well as Hamas) may have committed war crimes — Israel’s defenders launched an all-points campaign to bury it.[emphasis added]
"Rather than discuss the contents of the report...Israel’s defenders launched an all-points campaign to bury it"?

You have got to be kidding!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HonestReporting: In-Depth Study of Time Magazine Reveals Anti-Israel Bias

For Immediate Release
Dec. 29, 2010
Contact: Yarden Frankl +972 2 993 4135

When Time magazine published its September cover story, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace," HonestReporting was stunned by the article's fundamental misrepresentation of Israeli attitudes. The unbalanced reporting and the flagrant cover earned Time the Dishonest Reporter Award for 2010.

We wondered whether that article was a one-time failure of objectivity or if it represented a prevalent bias in Time’s reporting on Israel. So HonestReporting reviewed Time’s reporting on Israel over an entire year, November 2009 – November 2010. Click here to read the in-depth study.

The study revealed that Time was biased against Israel in four ways:

Where In Mauritania Is Human Rights Watch?

The correct answer is nowhere.

One may wonder what is so special about Mauritania or why anyone--least of all Human Rights Watch--should care.

The fact is, The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is notorious for human rights abuses:

Things You Need To Know About the Middle East, December 2010

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

By Barry Rubin

The Egyptian government so arranged the parliamentary elections that the share of seats held by the opposition declined from 20 percent for Muslim Brotherhood supporters alone to only 3 percent for all of the half-dozen opposition parties put together. In other words, the regime didn't just steal the election--which it does regularly--it over-stole the balloting. One can sympathize with the idea of the current government of President Husni Mubarak not wanting the revolutionary Islamists from taking power, and one can understand how the regime wants a nice stable situation for the succession next year presumably to Husni's son Gamal.

But they overdid it.

Hamas Admission And Judge Richard Goldstone's Silence Prove Goldstone Report Was Wrong

On the first day of the war, Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs who were part of Hamas and the various factions fell." He added that, "about 200 to 300 were killed from the Qassam Brigades, as well as 150 security personnel."
Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad, Jerusalem Post, November 1, 2010

Pity no one seems to really be talking about the Goldstone Report anymore--seeing as even now facts surface that contradict it.

At the time when Hamas admitted that Israel was correct and a larger percentage of combatants were killed by Israel than what the Goldstone claimed, CAMERA noted, the Hamas admission directly undercuts the Goldstone Report's contention that Israel targeted civilians as well:

Will Jan Helin And Aftonbladet Investigate The Story Of Hamas Trafficking In Stolen Organs?

Back in August, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet came out with the libel Israel took the bodies of Palestinian children for their organs.

In defending what passes for journalistic integrity at Aftonbladet, the editor--Jan Helin--explained why Aftonbladet published the story without proof:
Helin explained he had sent reporters to the West Bank to ask the family if it stood behind its story. "There were many rumors about the truth of the claims and we wanted to refute them," he said. "It may not prove anything factual, but the claims remain and this is why we published the story."

When asked why the paper did not verify the claims with the IDF Helin answered, "This is not a news report, but the opinion of a reporter who looked at the situation and held a debate on what he thought. Organ trafficking is a question he thought worth investigating. It may be considered a good or bad idea, but it's not anti-Semitic propaganda."
Well, Jan Helin and Aftonbladet are in luck: the accusation of stealing organs has returned to the Middle East. This time, Hamas is being accused of trafficking in stolen organs:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Israel Is For Lefties!

In response to a friend who asked him how he--as a lefty--can defend Israel, David Harris writes that "Israel is a liberal cause, and I am proud to speak up for it:"
Yes, I'm proud to speak up for Israel. A recent trip once again reminded me why.

Sometimes, it's the seemingly small things, the things that many may not even notice, or just take for granted, or perhaps deliberately ignore, lest it spoil their airtight thinking.

It's the driving lesson in Jerusalem, with the student behind the wheel a devout Muslim woman, and the teacher an Israeli with a skullcap. To judge from media reports about endless inter-communal conflict, such a scene should be impossible. Yet, it was so mundane that no one, it seemed, other than me gave it a passing glance. It goes without saying that the same woman would not have had the luxury of driving lessons, much less with an Orthodox Jewish teacher, had she been living in Saudi Arabia.

...It's the Friday crowd at a mosque in Jaffa. Muslims are free to enter as they please, to pray, to affirm their faith. The scene is repeated throughout Israel. Meanwhile, Christians in Iraq are targeted for death; Copts in Egypt face daily marginalization; Saudi Arabia bans any public display of Christianity; and Jews have been largely driven out of the Arab Middle East.

It's the central bus station in Tel Aviv. There's a free health clinic set up for the thousands of Africans who have entered Israel, some legally, others illegally. They are from Sudan, Eritrea, and elsewhere. They are Christians, Muslims, and animists. Clearly, they know something that Israel's detractors, who rant and rave about alleged "racism," don't. They know that, if they're lucky, they can make a new start in Israel. That's why they bypass Arab countries along the way, fearing imprisonment or persecution. And while tiny Israel wonders how many such refugees it can absorb, Israeli medical professionals volunteer their time in the clinic.
Read the whole thing.

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Palestinian Ban Or No Ban: Arabs Are Working In Israeli Settlements

I wrote back in June 2009 that it was clear that among the ones who were the most eager to build the settlements were the Palestinian Arabs and that Arabs have been working on construction in the settlements since the very first day--to the extent that today there are over 12,000 Arabs being employed in the settlements, building new homes.

More importantly, the article noted that the Palestinian leaders themselves were aware that there were Arabs helping to build the settlements and did nothing to stop them:

Video: Walid Shoebat On Being Raised To Hate Jews

Hat tip to The RightScoop, who describes the 40 minute video:
This is a very sobering speech by Walid Shoebat that gives us an inside look at his life growing up in Palestine. He gives detailed accounts of how he and others in his community were taught to hate the Jewish people and how they committed violence against Jewish people; how they even tried to kill an innocent Jewish man while he was trying to call for help to come save the girl he had just mistakenly hit with his vehicle.

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Palestinian Farmer Who Accused Israelis Of Burning His Sheep--Did It Himself

  • "Jewish settlers cut down productive trees, burn sheep in Nablus villages"
  • "'Settlers burn Palestinian's sheep alive'"
  • "Farmer: Settlers burned my sheep alive"
  • "Palestinian farmer watches settlers burn 19 of his sheep, killing 12"

Headlines like these followed the claim by an Arab farmer that earlier this month he watched Jewish settlers gather his sheep together on a Saturday afternoon and set them on fire.

The story was not questioned by those with no qualms believing Israelis would burn animals alive--the fact that this was alleged to have happened on the Sabbath notwithstanding.

The farmer said it was "abominable".
It was also a lie.

It was the Palestinian farmer and not Jewish settlers who burned the sheep alive:
The Arab farmer, Samir Bani Fadel, claimed that four armed Jews approached him, chased him away, set fire to his field – which [besides driving out to the field] also is forbidden on Sabbath – and drove away as the fire spread and burned to death 12 pregnant ewes while injuring others.

Regardless of the doubts, the left-wing B'Tselem and Yesh Din human rights group rushed to allege that the supposed attack was another one of hundreds of supposed acts of vandalism by Jews against Arabs.

New York-based writer Philip Weiss promptly reprinted the libel on his Mondoweiss blog, and the image of sheep being cruelly burned aroused sympathy for Arabs and anger against Jews. “It was an awful sight,” the farmer said. "I've lost at least $12,000."

The Palestinian Authority called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop "settler violence.”

...Fadel finally admitted to police the whole story was a lie and that he was responsible for the fire
Read the whole thing.

Fadel admitted that he had lied in order to cover up for the fact that he had set the original fire in order to burn thorns, but the fire spread out of control.

The inconsistency in Fadel's story that religious Jews would drive out to his field on Shabbos and set fire to anything--let alone live animals--did not stop either the Arabs nor self proclaimed 'human rights activists' from jumping on the story.

It is just too much to hope that the incident will encourage investigation of the inevitable claims to come before spreading similar libels--like wildfire.

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The Phantom Palestinian State -- Some Questions

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Yated Ne'eman
December 22, 2010

Three South American countries – Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay -- have formally recognized a Palestinian state defined by the 1949 armistice lines, and the European Union has expressed its intention of doing so at the appropriate time. The Palestinian Authority claims that ten European states have already committed to full diplomatic relations with the phantom state of Palestine.

The Palestinians have been down this road before. In 1988, before Oslo and before the Paletinian Authority, they persuaded over 100 nations to duly recognize a Palestinian state, with precious little to show for it. What more do the Palestinians hope to achieve this time? And what claim do they have to such recognition?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Iran Kills 20 Turkish Citizens--Why Hasn't Turkey Demanded An Apology?

Daily News Alert has the following translation of a Turkish article on Erdogan's silence in the face of the death of Turkish citizens at the hands of Iran:
Iran opened fire on Turkish villagers who crossed the border while following their livestock that ran away. One dead, one injured and one missing. The number of Turkish Republic citizens murdered by Iranian soldiers for this reason is 20. The government of the Turkish Republic is quiet about this. They probably do not want to upset Ahmadinejad. Must bullets come from Israel for Turkish corpses to become valuable?[emphasis added]

The Mainstream Media: Some Bad Habits Never Change

It used to be that photographers prompted: "Say Cheese!"
These days, it looks like some of them say: "Ready. Aim. Fire!"

But this is not so unusual.
In fact, having people pose for journalists while they are in the act of committing violence is a well established tradition.

Defending Eli Yishai; How not to Explain Tragedy

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Mishpacha Magazine
December 16, 2010

After a tragedy like the huge fire that claimed 42 lives and destroyed much of the beautiful Carmel forest, Israel resembles a shiva house. At the latter, there are always those who insist on knowing every detail of the deceased's final days. And it doesn't matter if he or she was 100 years old. One senses in their questions a certain desperation -- the desire to find some detail to distinguish themselves from the deceased and thus maintain hope that they will not die.

And so after every national tragedy, we cast about for a scapegoat, as if removing the guilty party will somehow prevent all further such tragedies. Often much can and should be learned from disasters. The State Comptroller and government are quite right to ask about the state of preparedness for a major fire and to determine what is needed in the event of another such fire, which given the frequently parched state of our forests and the propensity of Arab citizens for setting them on fire, will inevitably happen.

Remembering The War Hamas Declared On Israel--3 Days Before Operation Cast Lead

Three days before Israel's Operation Cast Lead on December 27, 2008--Hamas declared war on Israel:
From Ma'an:
Hamas: 87 shells fired at Israeli targets in 24 hours

Published Thursday 25/12/2008 10:19

Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing affiliated to Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades released a statement on Thursday morning briefing the group's military activities over the first twenty four hours of an operation they called "Oil Stain" which started Wednesday morning.

According to the statement, a total of 87 shells have been fired at Israeli targets bordering the Gaza Strip including 54 mortar shells, 31 homemade projectiles which Hamas calls "Qassam", and two Soviet-made Grad missiles.

It's Christmas Time in the Middle East

This post originally appeared on IsraeliGirl, and is reposted here with permission.

Holidays and family gathering can be tense but for many Christians in the Middle East this Christmas brings about fear and persecution. The Middle East is a place of great contrasts and looking at the situation of Christians across the Middle East is a great example.

This year in Iraq, there are no Christmas celebrations, religious or otherwise. “Christmas mass has been cancelled as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations against Christians,” announced Louis Sako, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk. “We do not have the right to put people’s lives in danger.”

These are not empty words. Just a few weeks before Christmas on Oct. 31, during Mass, Islamic terrorists attacked the main Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad turning it into a war zone for a few hours while aiming to kill as many Christians as possible.

Video: A New York Jew In China

Hat tip to Legal Insurrection, who came across this video.

The video interviews a variety of Chinese of various ages and walks of life to get an idea of what they know about Jews.

While they all seem friendly enough, since the schools do not teach about Jews, the Chinese are left with stereotypes--both positive and negative.

A New York Jew in China - What Do Chinese People Think of Jews? from Forverts on Vimeo.

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Palestine Is Like Facebook (But Gaza Is Like Twitter)

I like this comparison that Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in response to the recent spate of South American countries that have come out in recognition of a Palestinian state. Ayalon compares recognizing a Palestinian state with 'liking' in Facebook:
"Facebook is the 'like' state, and so is the Palestinian state recognized in Brasilia and Buenos Aires," said Ayalon. "Irresponsible governments are quick to 'like' the Palestinian state without actually checking out its profile: an authority without sovereignty, with no borders or territorial continuity, no economic ability or democratic culture."
Pursuing the comparison one step further, it only makes sense to compare Gaza with Twitter--
both are prone to outages.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Key Role Great Britain Plays In The Delegitimization Of Israel

From The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Ehud Rosen presents a paper on the key role Great Britain plays in the delegitimization of Israel:
By taking advantage of Britain's political freedoms and legal system, Islamic and leftist groups have made Britain the leader of an international effort to deny Israel's right to exist.

This article considers the background of both the Islamic and leftist camps, maps the main organizations active in the delegitmization efforts and covers those who help "mainstream" these efforts.
From the Foreword:

In mid-December 2009, Member of Knesset Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister, was due to arrive in London and make a speech at a Jewish National Fund (JNF) event, held at the Hendon Hall Hotel in London. Having had a warrant issued for her to be arrested for alleged war crimes while serving as a minister during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, Livni canceled her plans and never came to Britain. A clip, still available on YouTube, shows two and a half minutes of a demonstration held in front of the hotel. This is a rather small demonstration; the few dozen protesters chant slogans such as “Zionists are terrorists” and “Free Palestine.” They are holding signboards referring to “Apartheid in Palestine,” and calling to bring “war criminals” to justice and to boycott Israeli goods.

Hamas Takes Its End Of The Year Bragging Rights

I don't know if it the holiday spirit or because they want to close the year right, but Hamas now admits to murdering the Jewish teenagers of the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva
Abu Obadiah, spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization, confirmed predictions by nationalists that the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gush Katif and the withdrawal of the IDF from the area would be followed by an escalation in missile attacks.

He admitted for the first time that Hamas was responsible for the massacre of young men, most of them teenagers, at the yeshiva. The attack was carried out by a Jerusalem Arab.

Hamas Really Needs A Press Secretary

What is the Hamas message on Israel?
It seems to depend on the day of the week, who is speaking--and how long they speak for.

Mahmoud Zahar seems to want a truce with Israel:
A Hamas strongman in Gaza, on Friday, said the group does not want an escalation in fighting with Israel despite a rise in violence in recent weeks.

Will Bill Richardson Replace Hillary Clinton?

There will be "significant changes" in President Obama's White House staff following the Democratic debacle in the U.S. election, a top adviser said Thursday.
UPI, December 23, 2010

Would changes to Obama'a staff include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
US “troubleshooter” Bill Richardson, who just returned from a trip to North Korea, is likely to be tapped to succeed Hillary Clinton to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, Yonhap News Agency said Saturday citing a report.

Video: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talk Israeli Palestinian Peace

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Friday, December 24, 2010

How Western Institutions' Naivete (Or Incompetence or Ideology) Helps Terrorists

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

By Barry Rubin

If I had to pick one sentence to show what's profoundly wrong with Middle East coverage in the Western mass media, this is the one I'd choose. It's in a New York Times article entitled, "Israel: Tensions Rise Along Gaza Border" by Isabel Kershner. I'll put the sentence in bold:

"A rocket fired from Gaza fell close to a kindergarten in an Israeli village on Tuesday morning. Earlier, the Israeli Air Force struck several targets in Gaza in retaliation for a recent increase in rocket and mortar shell fire. Small groups appear to be behind the fire, but Israel says it holds Hamas, the Islamist organization that governs Gaza, responsible."

Why does this bother me so much? Because it seems to symbolize how the West--oh so well-educated, sophisticated people--fall for every trick, no matter how simple, of the terrorists and totalitarians of the world and do their propaganda work for them.

The Lesson Of The Anti-Israel Seattle Bus Ads

It all started with ads about "Israeli War Crimes" going on buses in Seattle:

"Israeli War Crimes," the enormous advertisement reads. "Your tax dollars at work."

To the right of the image is a group of children -- one little boy stares out at the viewer, the others gawk at a demolished building, all rebar and crumbled concrete.

It's an ad you'll be seeing soon on a handful of Metro buses in downtown Seattle.

A group calling itself the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has paid King County $1,794 so that 12 buses will carry that message around town, starting two days after Christmas. That's December 27: the two-year anniversary of Israeli attacks on Gaza, aimed at stopping rocket attacks and weapons smuggling.

Ed Mast, a Seattle man who is a spokesperson for the group, says it’s not meant to be an anti-Israel message, but a message designed to generate discussion and awareness.
That's right--all they want to do is to sit down and talk reasonably: about Israeli war crimes.
The fact is that this is not the start of a discussion; it is a campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel.

One response was counter with our own ads.

Xmas And 9/11

OK, I'll admit the connection is not obvious, and my being Jewish may make it seem odd that I'm writing about this at all--but I am still flabbergasted by the silliness of this:
Christmas trees 'make non-Christians feel excluded'
Christmas trees should be removed from public places to avoid making non-Christians feel “excluded”, scientists have suggested.
Are you beginning to see the connection?
Heaven help the Christians who fall for this 'scientific research'
Heaven help us if we become embarrassed and start make excuses for ourselves.

A week after 9/11, Instaupundit wrote this:

Video: PM Netanyahu and the Israeli Media (Humor)

Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon

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No Country Respects Women More Than Iran!

It's true!

After all, who are you going to believe?
HSBC, a major player in sharia finance?

Or your lying eyes?

Video: Latma--Jihad Bells in Bethlehem and Global Warming Chills

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WikiLeaks: 2004 Diplomatic Fallout With Israel Was Pretext For New Zealand To Further Ties With Arabs

It's one thing to curry favor with the Arab world over oil--but over lamb?

In 2004, an alleged Mossad operation to forge New Zealand passports led to a major diplomatic falling out between Israel and New Zealand.

Now, according to WikiLeaks, there were other motives behind New Zealand's diplomatic sanctions--instead, the claim is that New Zealand simply wasn't sheepish about dumping Israel for the Arab world:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wikileaks: More Stuff On Israel Is On The Way

I wrote earlier today about the accusation that Israel had some kind of special arrangement with Wikileaks to withhold classified information about Israel.

Now I see that material from Wikileaks on Israel is on the way:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Wednesday that his website is due to release thousands of documents related to Israel, particularly dealing with the Mabhouh assassination in Dubai and the Second Lebanon War, Channel 10 reported Thursday.

'Tis the Season for BDS: Church Groups Manipulate Christmas Spirit to Promote BDS

Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 23, 2010

Contact: Jason Edelstein, +972-52-861-2129

'Tis the Season for BDS

Church Groups Manipulate Christmas Spirit to Promote BDS

Jerusalem –The Christmas season is being exploited by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, says NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based think tank that tracks NGOs in the region.  By manipulating traditional Christmas songs, images, and messages, NGOs such as SabeelWar on Want, and Pax Christi are politicizing the holiday to pursue their anti-Israel agendas.

UN Condemns Hamas And Defends Israel's Right To Self-Defense (Sort Of)

Two days ago, Israel submitted a complaint to UN regarding the continued rocket attacks on Israeli citizens from Gaza:
21 Dec 2010

Israel Ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben

H.E. Ms. Susan E. Rice
President of the Security Council
United Nations
New York


I write to inform you of a series of serious incidents in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip that threaten peace and stability in our region.

Earlier today, 21 December 2010, at approximately 8 am local time, a Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Ashkelon area of Southern Israel, landing in Kibbutz Zikim. This rocket exploded nearby a kindergarten just as dozens of parents were dropping off their children at school, injuring a 14-year old girl.

Ever Notice How Palestinians Have A Tendency To Support The Enemies Of The US?

Another poster from Elder of Ziyon:

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On Radical Islam and Suicide Bombers - Q&A with Dr. Ganor, Counter Terrorism Expert

The following post originally appeared on IsraelGirl, and is reposted here with permission

On Radical Islam and Suicide Bombers -
Q&A with Dr. Ganor, Counter Terrorism Expert

Radical Islamic terror succeeded in impacting the daily life of everyone in this world. Anyone traveling on a plane, taking a train ride, or going to the theater in a capital city in Europe or the US, may be a victim of radical Islamic terror act. To drill down and better understand radical Islamic terror, I met with Dr. Boaz Ganor, head of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism in IDC Herzelia, one of the first such institutes in the world. Dr. Ganor is also the founder and Chairman of the International Academic Counter Terrorism Community (ICTAC), an International association of institutions, experts and researchers in fields related to the study of terrorism and counter terrorism. This interview is about radical Islamic terror – while Osama Bin Laden is a common household name these days – not everyone understands the motives. Let's take a look at the roots or Islamic terror organizations.

Wikileaks--Brought To You By The Zionist Conspiracy!

Thus far, the documents released thus far have instead supported Israel's contention that Iran is a greater concern to the Arab world than a Palestinian state, that there are those in the Lebanese government that want to help Israel against Hezbollah, that Abbas wanted Israel's help against Hamas and that Israel is not nearly as isolated in the Arab world as many think.

So it's only natural that some bloggers are frustrated that with all the revelations from Wikileaks, Israel has remained unscathed--obviously, Israel is behind the scenes manipulating Wikileaks:

Economist: Poverty Does Not Create Terrorists

According to the Economist, terrorists are not typically from low income families with poor education. In fact, the results of a number of  studies indicate that the cause comes from a different direction altogether:
Social scientists have collected a large amount of data on the socioeconomic background of terrorists. According to a 2008 survey of such studies by Alan Krueger of Princeton University, they have found little evidence that the typical terrorist is unusually poor or badly schooled.

Scientific Study: Xmas Trees Should Be Barred In Public

A scientific study has come to the conclusion that the first step to bringing joy to the world is getting rid of those Xmas trees:
Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada, found non-Christians feel less self-assured and have fewer positive feelings if a Christmas tree was in the room.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Amazing Power Of News Magazines To Read The Minds Of Israelis

First it was Time Magazine which told you exactly how Israel felt about peace:

To be fair, Karl Vick did not read minds--he just spoke to some real estate agents and extrapolated from there.

In any case, now come Newsweek with its headline:
Avigdor Liberman

Israel’s most popular politician right now is a burly cigar smoker who wants to redraw its borders to exclude most Arabs. What is the far-right foreign minister thinking?

HonestReporting Awards Its Dishonest Reporter Award 2010

HonestReporting has awarded its Dishonest Reporter Award 2010.

Other awards include:

Convictions Upheld For 16 Involved In Murderer Of Ilan Halimi

In July 2009, the murderers of Ilan Halimi were sentenced:
A Paris court on Friday convicted a gang leader of the brutal 2006 killing of a young man prosecutors said was targeted because he was Jewish.

Youssouf Fofana, 28, was sentenced to life in prison. He was one of 27 people on trial in the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, who was 23 years old.

New Israeli Tank Developed Just In Time

Israel Matzav writes that Israel has developed a new tank so strong--they fired on it with soldiers still inside the tank:
In an unusual military training exercise, an anti-tank missile was fired at a Merkava Mark 4 tank being operated by soldiers in order to test the Trophy (Meil Ruach) active tank defense system, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense System Ltd. and intended to intercept and destroy aerial threats. The experiment was carried out with kinetic missiles without warheads, which simulate the missile's path and do not pose a threat to soldiers. Commander of the Armored Corps' 401st Brigade. Col. Einav Shalev himself will take part in the exercise, sitting in the tank with Commander of the 9th Armored Battalion, Lt. Col. Itai Berin.
It's a good thing the tank passed the test, because it looks like Israel has developed the Merkava Mark 4 just in time:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Fallacy of the "1967 Borders" - No Such Borders Ever Existed

From the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
The Fallacy of the "1967 Borders" -
No Such Borders Ever Existed
Alan Baker
  • The Palestinian leadership is fixated on attempting to press foreign governments and the UN to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state within the "1967 borders." Indeed, this campaign appeared to have some initial successes in December 2010 when both Argentina and Brazil decided to recognize a Palestinian state within what they described as the "1967 borders."

  • But such borders do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact.

Poll Reveals Frightening Popularity of Revolutionary Islamism

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

By Barry Rubin

There’s a lot of interesting material in the Pew Foundation's latest poll of the Middle East, a survey that focuses on attitudes toward Islamism and revolutionary Islamist groups. The analysis that accompanies the poll, however, is not very good, so here is mine.

For example, in evaluating attitudes toward Hamas and Hizballah, Pew says that they receive “mixed ratings from Muslim publics [while] opinions of al-Qaida and its leader, Usama bin Ladin, are consistently negative….” The implication is that the poll shows that people in these countries are not radical. Actually, the poll shows the precise opposite.

Durban III And Your Tax Dollars

For Immediate Release:
December 17, 2010 Contact: Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on

The good folks at the U.N., the people with their hands on the money spigot and the never-ending demand for more U.S. tax dollars are hard at work in the hours leading up to the Christmas recess. Budget gurus at Turtle Bay could take on Washington money managers any day. Particularly since they are busy spending your hard-earned cash on such events as a New York City bash known as "Durban III" next September. And guess what, this includes inviting Iranian President Ahmadinejad to lecture Americans about ending racism and intolerance.

Those Bears Are At It Again: Should Israel Apologize To Turkey?

Hat tip: Soccer Dad:

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New Palestinian Poll Is Out: 45% Of Gazans Want To Leave

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) has come out with a new survey of what Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are thinking.

So what is the number one problem facing the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza?

Jewish Schools In Russia On Verge Of Collapse

Hat tip: Eli Tabori

Jewish schools in Russia are in serious need of immediate assistance:
The Jewish education system in the former Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse and needs immediate financial assistance, a charity warned at a conference dedicated to Jewish education in the region, held in Jerusalem on Monday.

Progress In Iran And South Korea On Their Nuclear Programs?


If North Korea is serious about allowing inspectors into its nuclear facilities, that would be a start:
North Korea will allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into the country to ensure that it is not processing highly enriched uranium, US troubleshooter Bill Richardson said on Tuesday.

Any move to let IAEA staff return to North Korea, from where they were expelled in 2009, may help address mounting international concern about the North's atomic aims, even though there is scepticism about its motivations and whether it would grant the UN agency access to nuclear facilities.
Let's first see if the inspectors actually are allowed in, what they find and what will be done as a result.

Meanwhile, it is being reported:

Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Watch Is Hard At Work

From now on, every HRW report on Israel is going to be greeted with "you mean the Saudi-funded HRW," or "you mean the report written by the woman [HRW Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson] who is a great admirer of Norman Finkelstein and lobbied Kofi Annan against Israel in the middle of the Second Intifada" or "you mean the report written by the guy [Stork] who supports the anti-Israel boycott movement and has been venting his hostility to Israel for almost forty years" or "you mean HRW, the organization that fails to take down from its website anti-Israel reports even when it has admitted they are inaccurate," and so on.
David Bernstein, Volokh Conspiracy

And yes, Human Rights Watch is at it again.

Saudi Arabia's favorite NGO has come out with its 166-page report Separate and Unequal accusing Israel of discriminating against West Bank Arabs on the “basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin.”

YouTube Has Addressed Its PMW Issue--But The Problem Remains

First of all, Dr Andre Oboler, Director of the Community Internet Engagement Project at the Zionist Federation of Australia, points out that not all of the videos mistakenly removed by YouTube have been returned:
Three videos remain blocked. "Farewell video before suicide attack of Hamas suicide bomber Adham Ahmad Hujyla Abu Jandal" (formerly at, "Hamas TV teaches kids to kill Jews" formerly at, and "Jews are a virus like Aids" (formerly at
It appears that YouTube, thanks to exposure of the problem, realizes its mistake. The removal of material was occurred automatically and not by intent. However, the problem occurs with other pro-Israel accounts as well.

Thus, the main problem remains: there are people out that who are manipulating social media behind the scenes--and without debate--to prevent access to certain content:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wikileaks: Even Before The Bloody Coup In Gaza, Abbas Helped Israel Against Hamas

If nothing else, Wikileaks has revealed that our perception of the Middle East, as formed by both the media and the Obama administration, is faulty.

For one thing, we have discovered that, contrary to the Obama administration, resolving the Palestinian issue takes a back seat to Iran in the eyes of the Arab world.

More recently, Wikileaks documents have indicated those in Lebanon who would help Israel against Iranian puppet Hezbollah.

Now, today comes a document via Wikileaks revealing the degree to which Abbas was willing to work with Israel against Hamas:

Sarkozy: No More Bowing In The Street!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is taking a stand against the takeover of streets for Muslim prayer:
After his expulsions of gypsies and a crackdown on immigrant crime, the French President will warn that the overflow of Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer time when mosques are packed to capacity risks undermining the French secular tradition separating state and religion.

YouTube Protects Hate Speech By Banning Palestinian Media Watch (Updated)

"Hate speech" refers to content that promotes hatred against members of a protected group. For instance, racist or sexist content may be considered hate speech. Sometimes there is a fine line between what is and what is not considered hate speech. For instance, it is generally okay to criticize a nation, but not okay to make insulting generalizations about people of a particular nationality.
YouTube policy on Hate Speech

By now, you are probably aware that YouTube has removed a number of the videos posted by the Palestinian Media Watch, on account that they violate YouTube's policy violating hate speech.

And no wonder!

As IMRA points out, the videos that YouTube has banned are are viciously anti-Semitic:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You'd Think There Was A Shortage Of People Who Actually Deserve Pardons

Earlier this month, everyone was no doubt relieved to hear that Jim Morrison got his pardon:
Florida's Clemency Board has posthumously pardoned singer Jim Morrison of The Doors for his 40-year-old conviction on indecent exposure and profanity charges.

Outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist requested the pardon Thursday. The Clemency Board unanimously granted it.

Sudden Dismissal of Foreign Minister a sign of political battle in Iran

This post was originally appeared on IsraeliGirl, and is reposted here with permission.

Sudden Dismissal of Foreign Minister
a sign of political battle in Iran

President Ahmadinejad abruptly decided last week to sack Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, shocking the political system in Iran. Mottaki was away on a diplomatic trip to the West African nation of Senegal, when the decision was announced.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video: From 1948--Edward G. Robinson Asking For Funds For Jewish Refugees In Israel

From the Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

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Video: Latma--The Media's shocking discovery: The Public

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Video: Joshua's Tomb Vandalized By Arabs

'And it was in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth (day) of the month, that Nebuchadnetzar, King of Babylon came, he and all his hosts, upon Yerushalayim, and he encamped upon it and built forts around it. And the city came under siege till the eleventh year of King Tzidkiyahu. On the ninth of the month famine was intense in the city, the people had no bread, and the city was breached.' (Second Melachim 25).

We see then, that the tenth of Tevet - on which the siege of Yerushalayim began, was the beginning of the whole chain of calamities which finally ended with the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.

Here is a video from Arutz Sheva covering Jews going to pray at Joshua’s Tomb in honor of Asara B’Tevet--during which time graffiti was discovered and Arabs tried to prevent Jews from dancing:

It's True: Jesus Never Met A Muslim He Didn't Like!

A Wall Street Journal editorial examines the Muslim persecution of Christians:
The New York Times to its credit made the continued persecution of Iraq's Christian minorities its lead story in yesterday's paper. Amid bloodshed on a large scale in so many places, this may seem like a relatively minor, if unhappy, story. In fact, it raises questions about contemporary Islam's ability to coexist with non-Islamic peoples—in Iraq and elsewhere.

A spate of anti-Christian bombings and assassinations in Iraq culminated recently in the siege of a church, Our Lady of Salvation, which resulted in the death of 51 worshipers and two priests. Afterward, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke with force and eloquence about the deaths: "The Christian is an Iraqi. He is the son of Iraq and from the depths of a civilization that we are proud of."

This is an important and accurate description of the Iraqi past. Some of these Christian minorities have coexisted with Islam in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East since the time of Jesus. Some still speak Aramaic, the ancient language of Christ.

Video Interview With Nazi Who Allegedly Signed First Order For Mass Execution Of Jews

“Bernhard Frank actually wrote his PhD on the folklore behind the Nazi ideal of blood and soil”

“He was at Dachau himself, so he knew precisely what he was preparing them for. As one of only twelve Nazi officers in Himmler’s inner circle, he was right in the eye of the storm”

“The remarkable thing is that Mark Gould has dug up the most significant Nazi alive, one that represents the very essence of the regime and the mechanism of the genocide. The Holocaust would not have happened without people like him.”

Dr. Stephen Smith, Executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation and Founding director of the UK Holocaust Centre.

From Pajamas Media, a video of an interview with the man whose alleged signature started the Holocaust:
Mark Gould, a private American citizen posing as a neo-Nazi sympathizer, spent the last four years undercover in Germany, investigating an unprosecuted Holocaust figure – allegedly the senior Nazi officer who signed the “start order” that commenced the genocide of Europe’s Jewish population. The following is footage from hundreds of hours of interviews with the now 97-year-old SS Colonel, who confirms that, on July 28, 1941, he personally signed the order allowing the first mass execution of Jews in the Pripjet Swamps near the Polish and Belarussian/Ukrainian borders. This effectively served as the flashpoint of the Holocaust.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Times Are Tough: Iran Cuts Back On Aid To Hezbollah

New Jersey and Iran have something in common--the need to make cutbacks.

Of course, unlike NJ, Iran's economic problems--aside from Ahamadinejad's governing--stem to an extent from sanctions.

The other difference is that while Governor Christie has made teachers a target for cutbacks, Iran has targeted the Hezbollah terrorists for cutbacks:

In The Middle East, Nothing Breeds Success Like Obama's Failure

Guy Bechor writes that, in contrast to the Bush administration, under the Obama administration the US is perceived as week and the Middle East dictators are acting accordingly:
The victory of Egypt’s ruling party and the independent candidates who belong to it, by a fantastic 95% majority, takes the Middle East years back. In the wake of the departure of the man perceived to be a menacing sheriff – President George W. Bush, who demanded democracy in our region – and in the face of a weak president like Barack Obama, leaders in our neighborhood are no longer scared of the United States or the West.

The brutality is back, and along with it the arrests, abuse of the opposition, and the secret police.

Who Will Win the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Arab Street: Turkey or Iran?

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has come out with a new study.
Here is the summary:

Harold Rhode
  • Iran and today's Turkish government are engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of the Arab street. Iran represents the Shiites and Turkey represents the Sunnis. The Arab world is largely Sunni, with the exception of many of the Persian Gulf Arab countries and Iraq.

  • Iran and the Turkish government are also working together against the non-Muslim world - most specifically against the U.S. and Israel.

  • Both the Saudi government and private Saudi individuals are funding Islamist extremism throughout the Muslim world, most importantly in Turkey. They have a willing partner in the current Turkish government.

  • It appears that the Saudis and the present Turkish government are interested in reestablishing the Caliphate - at first culturally, but later possibly even politically - most likely in Istanbul, the seat of the last Sunni Caliph until the early 1920s.

  • Iran is Shiite and is appealing to the Arab Sunni street by trying to co-opt the agenda of the Sunni masses - the existence of Israel and the sanctity of Jerusalem - neither of which are traditional Shiite issues.

  • In doing so, Iran seeks to undermine the existing autocratic and dictatorial Arab Sunni regimes by going over the heads of their leaders and appealing directly to the Arab street. That is the major reason why almost all of the regimes in the region hate the Iranian regime more than they hate Israel.
Read the whole thing.
One of the examples Rhodes gives of the Sunni/Shiite divide is Jerusalem, which each side sees very differently:

CiF Watch Special Report: Increasing tensions along Israel’s southern border

The following was originally posted on CiF Watch, and is reposted here with permission.

As the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead approaches, the past few days have seen increasing tension along the international border between Israel and the Gaza Strip due to a rise in terror attacks both upon the IDF patrols along the border and upon civilians living in the surrounding area.

As we know from past experience, despite the fact that there are more foreign correspondents per capita in Israel than anywhere else in the world, such attacks are largely ignored by the Western media, including the Guardian, and therefore the context for Israeli actions aimed at containing terrorist activity is often missing from subsequent reports.

Here at CiF Watch, we consider one of our aims to be to supply our audience with factual background information which will provide a comprehensive understanding of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the various terrorist groups functioning in the region, and thus enable our readers to make informed comment on media forums. With that aim in mind, earlier today I took part in a briefing by a senior IDF official regarding the current situation in the south, which readers will hopefully find both interesting and useful.

Malaysian Government Accused Of Channeling Ehud Barak

Saying that Malaysia's government slogan is based on Israel's can get you suspended from Parliament:
Malaysia's ruling coalition has won a parliamentary vote to suspend Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, from the legislature for six months.

Anwar had been accused of abusing "his right and privileges as an MP" after he criticised the government's "One Malaysia" slogan for national unity.

Is Criminalizing Holocaust Denial Wise?

This article by Jonathan Rosenblum is reposted with permission

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Jerusalem Post, Yated Ne'eman
December 16, 2010

Growing up in the United States, I never gave much thought to statutes criminalizing Holocaust denial. Any such statute would almost surely be struck down under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Such statutes, however, are common in Europe.

Most Jews probably have an instinctive sympathy for outlawing Holocaust denial and experience satisfaction when some European Holocaust denier is sentenced to jail or fined. And indeed there are at least two powerful arguments in favor of such statutes. The first has to do with the special pain felt by the victims of the Holocaust by the denial of the hell they went through and inhuman cruelty inflicted upon them. Few of them could have imagined in their worst nightmares that within fifty years of their liberation there would be a whole cottage industry devoted to denial of their suffering.

When Will Obama Respond To The Iranian Missiles In Venezuela?

There still doesn't seem to be a response from the Obama administration to the threat of Iranian missiles based in Venezuela:
Iran is planning to place medium-range missiles on Venezuelan soil, based on western information sources, according to an article in the German daily, Die Welt, of November 25, 2010. According to the article, an agreement between the two countries was signed during the last visit o Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Tehran on October19, 2010. The previously undisclosed contract provides for the establishment of a jointly operated military base in Venezuela, and the joint development of ground-to-ground missiles.

The Arab Slave Trade Continues

We may be witnessing a throwback to the Arab slave trade in the Sinai desert:
Two hundred and fifty Eritrean and Sudanese migrants are waiting for the right moment to cross over Egypt's border with Israel, Egyptian paper AlMasri AlYoum reported Tuesday. They are currently with traffickers in the Sinai desert, an Egyptian security source said.

CAIR: Limiting Access Of Muslim Employees To Visiting Israeli Officials Could Be Descrimination

The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF [Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development], the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis, July 1, 2009

CAIR is considering a claim that Muslim hotel employees were discriminated against when Israeli officials visited.
Muslim employees of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington said they felt discriminated against after being barred over the weekend from floors where an Israeli delegation was staying, a Muslim advocacy group said.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First HonestReporting Conference: Be A History Maker and Not a Bystander


For immediate release: December 15, 2010
Contact: Simon Plosker +972 54 5802030


On Tuesday 14 December, over 200 participants gathered at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel for HonestReporting’s first ever one-day conference under the theme Reclaiming the Narrative: Fact & Fiction.

Opening Keynote Speaker, journalist, broadcaster, author and blogger Melanie Phillips, outlined the threat to Israel from the international campaign of delegitimization and how anti-Israel discourse has entered mainstream liberal Western societies.

Civil War Breaks Out Between Palestinians And Jordanians--On The Soccer Field

That's not completely true--the fight didn't actually break out on the field, it broke out in the stands. It is not the first time that a soccer match reveals the tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians:
A soccer match played Friday between the Jordanian league's Al-Faisaly and Al-Wihdat ended in a 1:0 victory for Al-Wihdat. The real news, though, wasn't the score, but the skirmish that broke out, in which 250 fans and policemen were injured, after the wire fence that separates the spectators from the field collapsed. This wasn't just a clash between fans accompanied by stone-throwing, broken bones and arrests. It was a political battle pitting the Al-Wihdat fans, mostly of Palestinian descent, against the Al-Faisaly fans, mostly of Jordanian origin.

Wikileaks Undercuts What It Is Alleged To Support

At NewsBusters, Lachlan Markay writes that though Wikileaks is supposed to bring about peace, it will in fact have the opposite effect:
[Michael] Moore declared (to some unnamed person) that "every cable, every email you write is now fair game." And that is exactly what Assange is going for. But the endgame is not openness. It's exactly the opposite. Because every internal communication is now "fair game," State officials will surely communicate less information internally.

Moore also claimed that "No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed." But that's not right; folks can plot the next Big Lie all they want, they just can't keep a record of the plot. That makes the system more opaque, not transparent.

And though it won't improve transparency, the breakdown in internal communications will handicap the State Department. With enough leaks, Assange hopes, internal communication will break down entirely and the diplomatic community will be unable to function.

And what happens when diplomacy is impossible? Among other things, there will be more physical conflict where disagreements cannot be worked out peacefully (and peaceful conflict resolution is the entire purpose of diplomacy). Assange may or may not understand that fact.

As the New Republic's James Rubin wrote early this month,
By and large, the hard left in America and around the world would prefer to see the peaceful resolution of disputes rather than the use of military force. World peace, however, is a lot harder to achieve if the U.S. State Department is cut off at the knees. And that is exactly what this mass revelation of documents is going to do. The essential tool of State Department diplomacy is trust between American officials and their foreign counterparts. Unlike the Pentagon, which has military forces, or the Treasury Department, which has financial tools, the State Department functions mainly by winning the trust of foreign officials, sharing information, and persuading. Those discussions have to be confidential to be successful. Destroying confidentiality means destroying diplomacy.
And destroying diplomacy means that fewer international conflicts will be resolved diplomatically (in both senses of the term). That, in turn, means they will either be left to fester unaddressed, or will be resolved militarily.
About the only indisputable benefit of the Wikileaks revelations is that it gives bloggers extra material to write about...

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Obama And Sarkozy Like To Use Israel As A Club

Last year, I posted about an article in The Washington Post, about how the US used the threat of an Israeli attack on Iran--and the chaos that would result--in order to convince China to support a condemnation of Iran for flouting UN resolutions regarding its development of nuclear power:
Two weeks before President Obama visited China, two senior White House officials traveled to Beijing on a "special mission" to try to persuade China to pressure Iran to give up its alleged nuclear weapons program.

The Israel-Palestinian Conflict: Everything You Need to Understand Why It Continues

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

The following was published in Hadassah Magazine in an attempt to write a very brief article that included all the most important things someone needs to know in order to understand the current Israel-Palestinian conflict. I reprint it here for your convenience with some additions and alterations.

By Barry Rubin

When people ask me why the Arab-Israeli conflict is so misunderstood, the best and simplest way to explain is by citing the central problem; the contrast between reality and what seems logical to those who live in a far-off land that operates by different political rules, have little knowledge of the issues, or have drawn their information from media accounts.

It is logical, but totally misleading, to see the conflict in the following manner:

The Saudi Peace Plan: Hillary Clinton vs. Richard Holbrooke

I posted about Hillary Clinton's appearance last week at the Saban Forum, where Hillary spoke publicly about the US endorsement of the Saudi peace plan:
Clinton also offered the most pronounced to date U.S. endorsement of the Arab League Initiative, which proposes a blanket peace deal with all Arab countries in exchange for Israel's proximate return to the 1967 borders.
"This landmark proposal rests on the basic bargain that peace between Israel and her neighbors will bring recognition and normalization from all the Arab states," she said. "It is time to advance this vision with actions, as well as words. And Israel should seize the opportunity presented by this initiative while it is still available."

Is Lebanese PM Using Israeli Technology To Protect Himself From Hezbollah?

According to Israel radio, PM Saad Hariri is using Israeli technology to detect hostile forces:
Israel Report Says Israeli Equipment Used in Hariri's Protection, PM's Office Denies

Security agencies protecting Prime Minister Saad Hariri are using advanced Israeli equipment that detects hostile forces several kilometers away, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

Rebutting The "My Tax Dollars" Argument

The Huffington Post Monitor has an interesting post up on rebutting those who say they oppose Israel because of the US tax dollars it receives:
We have all seen anti-Zionists and critics of Israel use the "my tax dollars argument." I thought that I would share an example of that from the recent "minors arrest" thread, by "MarcEdward" in response to WBMD's. Take a look:

Now here is the thing about using the "tax dollars" argument, from the anti-Zionist perspective: It works, in the sense that it can be used to shield against accusations of an inordinate interest in the Jewish state. It is not bulletproof, of course, because US tax dollars go to support a great many nations and countries that are far worse than Israel (including the Palestinians) but that's missing the forest for the trees. This argument is a good way for anti-Zionists to justify their one-sided hatred of Israel whilst ignoring the brutality and heinous crimes happening everywhere else in the world, such as in the Sudan. However, there are two major problems with it, and those who use it must take care.
Read the whole thing.

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Ambassador Richard Holbrooke: The Principles Of Peacemaking

From The Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs:

In memory of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, we present his address to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs conference on "Israel's Right to Secure Boundaries" on June 4, 2007.

by Amb. Richard Holbrooke
When the Six-Day War broke out, the U.S. was deeply trapped in Vietnam. It was thrilling to watch Israel’s triumph in those extraordinary days. I was then working on Vietnam in the Johnson White House; Americans looked on with awe and admiration, celebrating the creation of what seemed to be a new era of hope and opportunity. The significance of Resolution 242 was less clear, when it was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council five months later: yet it was soon to became the most important and celebrated Security Council resolution in the history of the UN. It remains so to this day, despite the fact that more than 1,500 other Security Council resolutions have been passed since. Following is a discussion of the content of Resolution 242 as it can be applied to peacemaking in four specific aspects: the need for a negotiated solution, the roles of the parties involved and their responsibilities, the need for diplomatic flexibility, and the U.S.-Israel relationship.

The Reason China Opposes The Arab World On Jerusalem

Elder of Zion directs us to a post by Victor Shikhman who asks Is China more pro-Israel than Europe and the United States?:
It went unnoticed by me, and apparently by much of the international English language media, that China, a traditionally loyal diplomatic backer and arms supplier of the Arab states and their terrorist proxies, is carving out an increasingly nuanced position on the Israeli-Arab conflict, one more balanced to the interest of the State of Israel and more likely to result in a just and lasting peace agreement. Here's the report, from May 14th, 2010, on Al Jazeera (Google Translation):