Monday, May 31, 2010

More On The Legality Of Israel's Blockade Of Gaza

Earlier, I posted about The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994 which showed that Israel was within its right in confronting the Gaza Flotilla.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA asked Hebrew University international law expert Dr. Robbie Sabel about the legality of the IDF action in international waters:

The Weapons Of The Unarmed Gaza Flotilla

Hard to believe, isn't it?

If the spokesperson for the Gaza Flotilla says there would be no real resistence:
Audrey Bomse, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, which is behind the convoy, told the BBC Israel's actions were disproportionate.

"We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn't get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance."
And if Al Jazeera assures us that there were no weapons on board the ships

...In fact, organizers tell us that all the ships taking part in the flotilla have been thoroughly searched and cleared by custom authorities in the countries which they departed from.

...All these people, young and old, are all civilians and they are armed with nothing--that is aside from their sheer determination to help the people of Gaza.
There where did these come from?

More Video Of The Gaza Flotilla Ambush

Keep in mind what one of the Flotilla spokespersons said while you watch the video:
Audrey Bomse, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, which is behind the convoy, told the BBC Israel's actions were disproportionate.

"We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn't get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance."

When the media dutifully reports everything you say without investigating whether it's actually true, you actually can say just about anything.

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The Gaza Flotilla: Enter The Human Rights Groups--And So The Whitewash Begins

One thing is clear: B'Tselem did not do its homework:

From B'Tselem:
31 May '10: Open an immediate investigation into the action to gain control of the flotilla to Gaza
B’Tselem demands that an immediate, independent and effective investigation be made into the circumstances of the military action taken to gain control of the ships, which led to the death and injury of dozens of activists. The investigation must be conducted by non-military officials.

Israeli Account Of How The Gaza Flotilla Ambushed Israeli Soldiers

From YnetNews:

A brutal ambush at sea
Ron Ben Yishai recounts bloody clash aboard Gaza-bound vessel: The lacking crowd-dispersal means, the brutal violence of ‘peace activists,’ and the attempt to bring down an IDF helicopter
Ron Ben-Yishai
Published: 05.31.10, 15:44 / Israel News

Our Navy commandoes fell right into the hands of the Gaza mission members. A few minutes before the takeover attempt aboard the Marmara got underway, the operation commander was told that 20 people were waiting on the deck where a helicopter was to deploy the first team of the elite Flotilla 13 unit. The original plan was to disembark on the top deck, and from there rush to the vessel’s bridge and order the Marmara’s captain to stop.

Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.

Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.

However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.

Meet One Of Those Peace Activists From The Gaza Flotilla

Here's one of those humanitarian activists who came prepared:

And apparently, the group sang songs too. Check out this video from MEMRI:

‘Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammed will return’

And what is so special about Khaybar?

Video: Can Anyone Explain Why 'Human Rights Activists' Are Rushing To Help Terrorists?

Maybe they are hurrying to eat at the Roots Club in Gaza:

Fact: International Law Supports Israel Against Gaza Flotilla (Updated)

Palestinian apologists are fond of--and adept at--claiming that Israel is contravening international law whenever it defends itself.

Not surprisingly--those apologists are twisting the law again.

Accroding to The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994

Neutral merchant vessels

67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:

(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture;
We can only hope that the people who habitually take everything the pro-Palestinian apologists say as true will take the opportunity to check the facts.

Yes, and it would be nice if the media did too.

Update: See: More On The Legality Of Israel's Blockade Of Gaza
See also: Still Another Source On Israel's Right To Stop The #Flotilla

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Video Shows Gaza Flotilla Spokesperson Lies

The BBC dutifully carries the following:
Audrey Bomse, a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, which is behind the convoy, told the BBC Israel's actions were disproportionate.

"We were not going to pose any violent resistance. The only resistance that there might be would be passive resistance such as physically blocking the steering room, or blocking the engine room downstairs, so that they couldn't get taken over. But that was just symbolic resistance."
Symbolic of what--ambushing and murdering Jews?

Palestinian apologists are attempting to pull a fraud on the magnitude of Jenin.
Remember what the media reported then?
Jenin 'massacre evidence growing'
Israeli tanks have begun to pull out 
A British forensic expert who has gained access to the West Bank city of Jenin says evidence points to a massacre by Israeli forces. 
Prof Derrick Pounder, who is part of an Amnesty International team granted access to Jenin, said he has seen bodies lying in the streets and received eyewitness accounts of civilian deaths.

The Dundee University expert said the Amnesty investigation has only just begun but Palestinian claims of a massacre were gaining foundation as the team continued its analysis.

He said: "The truth will come out, as it has come out in Bosnia and Kosovo, as it has in other places where we've had these kinds of allegations.
Back then, the media and 'humanitarian groups' swallowed the lies hook, line and sinker--merely on the words of the Arabs, before it was proven that there was no such massacre.

Will the media be more critical this time?

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10 Deaths Aboard Gaza Flotilla--Is It Because Of Their Terrorist Connections?

One of the organisers of the flotilla, which includes three vessels from Turkey, is IHH, a humanitarian aid group supported by Ankara.
The Guardian 
During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.

As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, naval forces employed riot dispersal means, including live fire.

According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured, in addition, more than four naval personnel were injured, some from gunfire and some from various other weapons. Two of the soldiers are moderately wounded and the remainder sustained light injuries. All of the injured, Israelis and foreigners are currently being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Israel.
Israel Defense Force Spokesperson

The IHH is a humanitarian group? Not by a long shot.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Video: Why Israel's Blockade Of Gaza Complies With International Law (Updated)

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a video on its website, explaining the Israeli blockade of Gaza vis-a-vis international law. It includes a transcript, that follows below.


Interviewer: Today we are with Sarah Weiss Maudi. She is the Israel Foreign Ministry's expert on maritime and humanitarian law. Sarah, we would like to ask you a few questions about Gaza. First of all, why is it that Israel can prevent ships from reaching Gaza?

If Only Obama Was This Patient With Abbas!

From The Washington Post:
Obama administration officials have dubbed their policy toward North Korea "strategic patience" -- a resolve that Pyongyang has to make the first move to reengage and that it won't be granted any concessions. [emphasis added]
This strategic patience is to be contrasted with US policy towards Israel, where--while Abbas himself is strategically patient, refusing to come to the bargaining table--Israel is perpetually sitting on the hot seat being told to make concession after concession, as if Israel has not be doing exactly that since the beginning.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

30% Of Palestinian Arabs Don't Want A Two State Solution

Joel Brinkley, former foreign correspondent for The New York Times and now a professor of journalism at Stanford University, has made a discovery:
A new poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza provides a startling conclusion: Fully one-third of the population no longer wants a separate state of their own. No, these Palestinians now say they want to live in one state alongside the Israelis, in what they call a bi-national country.

We Can See Why Palestinian Journalists Tow The Line, But What Explains The Mainstream Media?

In The Palestinians: The Real Traitors, Khaled Abu Toameh recalls a comment made by Ali Kazak--former PLO representative to Australia--that any Arab journalists who writes about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority is "traitor" who should be executed in the same way that collaborators were killed by the French Resistance:
The threat reminds journalists like me how lucky we are that we live in Israel and not under the jurisdiction of the PLO or Hamas.

We are also fortunate that Kazak and his radical supporters are sitting far away in Australia and not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where they would be lining up journalists and critics against the wall and shooting them like the "traitors who were murdered by the French Resistance."

The PLO, like most of the Arab dictatorships, has a long history of targeting journalists who refuse to "toe the line."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Obama "Fully Supports" The Siege!

But only as long as Israel is not doing it.
The White House said Monday that North Korea should stop its “belligerent and threatening behavior,” and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged “unequivocal” support for Seoul in its escalating dispute with its neighbor.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that Obama “fully supports” South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who on Sunday cut off trade with North Korea and shut down sea lanes to North Korean ships in response to the March 26 sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan. North Korea was found responsible for the attack by an international group of investigators.

Israel Legalizes Over 1,600 Homes! (Oh, Thats 1,600 Arab Homes)

The scandal! No doubt Obama and Clinton will be calling up any moment:
Report: Israel legalized over 1,600 unauthorized Palestinian homes
State informs High Court of intention to retroactively authorize dozens of buildings in West Bank settlements such as Nativ Ha'avot, Harsha and Rahelim.

The Civil Administration retroactively legalized 1,611 Palestinian structures built without the necessary permits all over the territories in recent years, according to internal documents obtained by Haaretz.

Hamas Economic Crisis Reveals Gaza As A Just Terrorist Group Surrounded By Human Shields

The Daily Alert in its May 24th edition yesterday quoted the Financial Times that
Gaza Faces Supply Glut as Smuggled Goods Flood In Through Tunnels (registration required).

But despite that, Hamas is facing a major financial crisis:
Hamas faces financial crisis after three-year Israeli blockade
Laboring under an Israel blockade supported by Egypt, Hamas hasn't paid government employees full salaries for two months. It's also had to raise taxes, an unpopular move in the impoverished Gaza Strip.

A Slap In The Face: Assad Lectures Obama On Peace And Stability In The Mideast

When the leader of the country that is a leading sponsor of terrorism, assassinates Lebanese leaders and supplies weapons to Hezbollah lectures Obama on his failure to promote peace--you can get a sense of just how badly US foreign policy there is going.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Monday that the United States has lost its influence in the Middle East due to its failure to contribute to regional peace, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hamas Whines That It's Being Harassed

Apparently terrorists have feelings too:
Hamas announced Monday its decision to boycott the municipal elections slated for the West Bank on July 17, citing the fact that holding elections at this time will only increase the Palestinian division. The Palestinian faction, which controls the Gaza Strip, also said that arrests and harassment of its West Bank members does not make it possible for it to participate in the elections.
Arrests and harrassment--when did Hamas become so sensitive?!

Let's not forget the Hamas coup back June 2007, which is how Hamas grabbed sole power to begin with. In a short post, Human Right Watch recounts:

Abbas And The PA Still Expect To Be Rewarded For Aggression

From an email:
Proximity Talks (1)
Palestinian Arab aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel cannot and should not be rewarded.

May 24, 2010 | Eli E. Hertz 
Professor, Judge Schwebel, the former President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) explains why Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem:

It Takes Burning Down A Summer Camp For UNRWA To Notice

Maybe it was the bug juice?

Masked gunmen from an Islamist group torched a UN-run summer camp for children and teens in Gaza on Sunday, Army Radio reported, the top UN aid official in Gaza said.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Al Jazeera And The Economist "Traffic" In Lies

This joins aphrodisiac bubble gum, poisonous candy, super rats, and stripper assassins in Israel's purported arsenal of tools to oppress Arabs.
CAMERA: Economist Demonizes Israel with Racist Traffic Light Accusation
Both The Economist and Al Jazeera (YouTube video) have claimed that the traffic lights have been deliberately fixed by Israel in order to purposely discriminate against those driving out of Arab villages as opposed to Jewish areas.

CAMERA's refutation relies not only on trying the roads The Economist article mentions but also including information about other roads that The Economist omits.

For Abbas, Having Israel Kicked Out Of The UN Is Not Incitement--Just His Way Of Negotiating Peace

Gee, and it started out so promising when the US State Department issued a statement that
Both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas’ statement that he will work against incitement of any sort and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that there will be no construction at the Ramat Shlomo project for two years. They are both trying to move forward in difficult circumstances and we commend them for that.
Yeah, how's that going?
PA launches diplomatic intifada

To Approach Obama, Seniors Must Prove Their Citizen Status!

Seniors are being asked to provide their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks could be performed.
Requirements before being allowed to get near President Obama
We can only wait and hope that Obama will reciprocate.

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Forget The War On Terror--Obama Doesn't Even Get The Terror

Marty Peretz writes about Obama's comments last week during a signing ceremony for the Freedom of Press Act:
In his tiny talk, Obama said almost nothing. “Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.” Pabulum.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"No Demographic Time Bomb; It's Demographic Scarecrow Bomb"

Yoram Ettinger, a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), writes about the demographic situation--which the Obama administration has exploited as a reason for Israeli concessions.

In the article below, Ettinger clarifies the actual demographics.
No Demographic Time Bomb; It's Demographic Scarecrow Bomb (Word document)
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Anyone suggesting that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading.

In contrast with conventional “wisdom,” there is a Jewish majority of 67% in the combined area of pre-1967 Israel and Judea & Samaria and a 60% majority west of the Jordan River (including Gaza), compared with a 33% and a 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and in 1900 respectively.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Obama Administration And Hezbollah: Looking For Moderates In All The Wrong Places (Again)

Who can forget the last time the Obama Administration had decided to root out the moderates of an otherwise radical organization? Last year in March we read:
Biden: Taliban negotiations likely

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Tuesday that 70 percent of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are essentially mercenaries who possibly could be negotiated with instead of fought, and said the United States likely will try this approach.

...President Obama on Friday left open the door to negotiating with elements of the Taliban as part of a counterinsurgency strategy first conceived and carried out in Iraq by Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of military forces in Iraq who now oversees military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan as commander of CentCom.

In response to a question about how many of the Taliban might be considered "moderate" and therefore open to reconciliation, Mr. Biden ticked off some percentages.

"Five percent of the Taliban is incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated. Another 25 percent or so are not quite sure, in my view, [of] the intensity of their commitment to the insurgency," Mr. Biden said during a press conference.

"And roughly 70 percent are involved because of the money, because of them being . . . paid," he said.
Now we are hearing about another attempt to find moderates to negotiate with--this time in Hezbollah. After failing to negotiate with the Iranians or to pull Syria away from Iran, now the US is reduced to finding moderates among a terrorist organization.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For Those Who Claim Hezbollah Is Just A Militia Defending Lebanon Against Israel

Question: What is Hezbollah doing out of Lebanon?
Just as Egypt’s judiciary handed down convictions in the case of a Hezbollah cell that it uncovered, reports surfaced that an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps cell had also been broken up in Kuwait.
That comes from Tony Badran, writing in Now Lebanon. Badran sees a trend:

If You Think Eric Holder Has Trouble Talking About Radical Islam--Listen To His Boss!

If we were wondering why Attorney General Eric Holder wouldn't--couldn't--bring himself to talk about Radical Islam, the answer has just become clearer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The PA’s Policy Of Naming Schools, Summer Camps, Sporting Events, Streets And Ceremonies After Terrorists

The following report was presented to Congress on May 6 Below is the summary.

The entire report is available online.
From Terrorists to Role Models:
The Palestinian Authority's
Institutionalization of Incitement
The PA’s policy of naming schools, summer camps,
sporting events, streets and ceremonies after terrorists
fundamentally undermines the chance for peace

by Itamar Marcus, Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Barbara Crook and PMW staff

Executive Summary

The Palestinian Authority has named numerous locations and events after Palestinian terrorists
responsible for killing Israeli civilians. In this special report, Palestinian Media Watch
investigates the breadth of this phenomenon and to what extent it continues in 2010.
Furthermore, PMW will assess whether this represents activities of a fringe group within society, or represents Palestinian Authority policy.

Dozens Of Homes Destroyed--At Least This Time Israel Is Not To Blame

Which of course means your regularly scheduled uproar will not be taking place:
Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said.

The World Screams When Israel Builds Homes--But Is Silent When Hamas Teaches Children To Kill

The latest in the Hamas program to poison the minds of children--Nassur The Teddy Bear:

Martyrdom Indoctrination on Hamas TV Children's Show: Children all Over the World Will Become Martyrs

Following are excerpts from a Hamas children's show, "The Pioneers of Tomorrow," which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on April 2, 2010:

Iran, The Crouching Lion, Warns Neighboring Arab States

Here is the summary of an article written by Zvi Mazel for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Rising Tension between Iran and the Gulf States 
Zvi Mazel
  • The Gulf states are conducting an appeasement policy toward Tehran while with increasing dread they helplessly follow the nuclear crisis, epitomized by Iranian determination and aggression in the face of American weakness. 
  • In the last few weeks we witnessed a number of acrimonious exchanges between the Gulf states and Iran following the exposure of an Iranian clandestine network in Kuwait and renewed tension between the UAE and Iran over the continuous occupation by Iran of three islands belonging to the UAE. An Iranian spokesperson said that the Emirates states belonged to Iran and when the time came, they would come under Iran's control. 
  • The official Iranian news agency warned the Gulf states against pursuing confrontation: "There is no lion in the region save for the one that crouches on the shore opposite the Emirate states. He guards his den which is the Persian Gulf. Those who believe that another lion exists in the vicinity (meaning the U.S.) - well, his claws and fangs have already been broken in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine." 
  • It is Qatar, which hosts large American military bases, that maintains the most cordial relations with Iran. Qatar is also influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite the fact that the Brotherhood members are Sunni, they have elected at this juncture to support Iran in its conflict with the United States. 
  • The provocative naval maneuvers that Iran continues to conduct are indeed intended as a warning to the United States and Israel, but they also convey a clear message to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states: "We are here alongside you and we have massive power. Do not dare to provoke us."
Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder cannot bring himself to say the phrase "Radical Islam".

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Arafat Not Only Created Myths--He Was A Myth

Hat tip to Soccer Dad, from whom I found this article by Daniel Pipes, written in September 1999. Like Edward Said and George Antonius--Yasir Arafat falsely claimed to be Palestinian Arabs when in fact they were born in Egypt:
On countless occasions, Yasir Arafat has regaled listeners about his Jerusalem birth and childhood. He fondly recalls his birthplace in a stone house abutting the Western Wall, then how he lived with his Uncle Sa'ud in Jerusalem. Like Said, Arafat presents himself as a victim of Zionism - someone who lost his wordly belongings and his place in the world due to Israel's coming into existence. But in fact, as two intrepid French biographers, Christophe Boltanski and Jihan El-Tahri revealed a few years, ago (in their 1997 book, Les sept vies de Yasser Arafat), "Mr. Palestine was born on the shores of the Nile."

The French researchers tell an amusing story of discovery.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Petition In Response To JCall


The attack against Israel by the Jcall document is inspired by a short-sighted view of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In fact, the signatories of this appeal do not have the clear perception of the global physical and moral threat to which Israel is currently exposed. It is indeed incredible that intelligent and cultivated people like Alain Finkelkraut and Bernard-Henri Levy - instead of dealing with Iran that will soon keep the whole world under the threat of the range of its atomic bomb - play with the idea that Benjamin Netanyahu is the true hindrance to peace, that the essential obstacle to a resolution of the conflict is a reproachable attitude of Israel. The intellectuals who have signed the French manifesto ignore history and don’t care about the help that it will give and is already giving to the unprecedented delegitimization threatening the life of Israel.

Is This Sort Of Pussyfooting A Trend In The Obama Administration? (Updated)

Let's not mention the names of the kinds of countries named to the infamous UN Human Rights Council:
On Thursday, the General Assembly elected 14 members to its top human-rights body, the U.N. Human Rights Council. U.N. human-rights policymakers now include Libya, Angola, Malaysia, Qatar, and Uganda. On a secret ballot, a whopping 155 countries, or 80 percent of U.N. members, thought Libya would be a great addition.

Obama’s diplomats, sitting in the General Assembly Hall throughout the election, made no attempt to prevent the farce or even to object. On the contrary, Ambassador Susan Rice left the hall before the results were announced in order to hightail it to the microphone. Attempting to spin what was a foregone conclusion, she refused to divulge those states which the U.S. supported. When pressed, she said only that the Obama administration regretted some states on the ballot, but “I am not going to name names. I don’t think that it’s particularly constructive at this point.”
Naming names is not constructive? Just ask Attorney General Eric Holder, when questioned on "radical Islam"?

We Know What Radical Islam Is--What Is Moderate Islam?

As of yet, there does not seem to be an answer. Andy McCarthy writes: an admirer of the courage of moderate Muslims, it is my most fervent wish that they are successful in reforming Islam. We need to be honest, however, that they are trying to achieve reform precisely because there are problems with Islam as is. The most frustrating thing about "moderate Islam" is that no one seems to be able to say what it entails. The so called "radicals" tell us exactly what they believe and (accurately) cite chapter and verse in the scriptures. The moderates never persuasively refute the radicals -- they just say the radicals are too "extreme." This doesn't come close to making the case that the radicals have Islam wrong. If your goal is to persuade other Muslims -- and everyone seems to agree that only Islam can settle its internal divisions -- that's the case that has to be made.
Read the whole thing.

Or do moderate Muslims think that radical Muslims have Islam exactly right--and the moderates are trying to make wholesale changes to Islam?

Note: Andrew McCarthy has written, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, which is coming out May 25th.

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Liberal Jews Still Cannot Tear Themselves Away From Obama

By actively using our voice and vote in organizations such as the UNHRC and UNESCO, we are better able to support Israel -- and achieve other important goals -- in the international community.
Howard Berman, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee

So just how desperate are liberal Jews to defend Obama?

From May 12:
Berman defends Obama on U.N.
The Jewish chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee urged colleagues to reassess negative impressions of the Obama administration's U.N. outreach.
"I wanted to bring to your attention to two recent hard-fought victories by the United States at these institutions, which highlight how sustained engagement with international organizations by the Obama Administration has reaped important dividends for both the U.S. and Israel," U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) said in a May 11 letter sent to every member of the House. "By actively using our voice and vote in organizations such as the UNHRC and UNESCO, we are better able to support Israel -- and achieve other important goals -- in the international community."

The US And Egypt--Long Term Commitment (Short Term Disdain)

Massive aid to Egypt did not originate with the Obama administration, but this additional reward does:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a mildly worded statement Tuesday criticizing the Egyptian government's decision to extend its "state of emergency" another two years and urged Egypt to adhere to "legal principles that protect the rights of all citizens."

Meanwhile, her department was preparing to enter into negotiations with Egypt over Cairo's proposal for a new $4 billion aid endowment that critics say would unfairly reward an authoritarian regime that has jailed or marginalized its opponents, rigged elections, and censored or manipulated the press for the nearly three decades that President Hosni Mubarak has been in power. [emphasis added]

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Never An Injustice When Applied To Israelis

On this picture--from Looking At The Left--of The International Workers’ Day march in Denver during the beginning of the month, James Taranto comments on Best of the Web:

Comedy Central Is Afraid Of Muslims--So It Goes After Israel (Updated)

Israel At Level Ground points out the latest from Comedy Central--the defenders of free speech who cave to threats from angry Muslims.

They decided to mock a democracy instead--to see a sample, you'll have to go to the YouTube site. The embed code is not currently appearing.

Here is the description from Israel Insider:

PM Yitchak Rabin: Inauguration Jerusalem 3000 in Washington, 10/25/95

You can listen to Rabin's speech here.
PM Rabin- Inauguration Jerusalem 3000 in Washington
25 Oct 1995

Address by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Inaugurating the Jerusalem 3000 Festivities in Washington DC
October 25, 1995

Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and a deep source of our pride. On this festive occasion, thousands of miles from home, here and now, we once again are raising Jerusalem above our highest joy, just like our fathers and our fathers' fathers did.

Jerusalem has a thousand faces -- and each one of us has his own Jerusalem.

Thanks Obama, But... (Updated)

Can't really complain about this:
Obama seeks $205 million for Israel rocket shield

President Barack Obama will ask Congress to provide $205 million to Israel to spur production and deployment of a new short-range rocket defense system, administration officials said on Thursday.

Produced by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Iron Dome uses small radar-guided missiles to blow up Katyusha-style rockets with ranges of between 5 kilometers (3 miles) and 70 kilometer (45 miles), as well as mortar bombs, in mid-air.

Its development was spurred by the 2006 conflict in Lebanon with Hezbollah and the Gaza Strip war against Hamas a year ago. In both cases, Israeli towns within reach of short-range rockets were in some respects defenseless.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How France Deals With Terrorism--And Obama Won't

According to the Washington Post, Europe's antiterrorism agencies favor human intelligence over technology, but the difference goes deeper than that:
"You have got to be proactive," said Jean-Louis Bruguière, who as an investigating magistrate handled many of France's major antiterrorism cases and now is a liaison to the U.S. Treasury Department on terrorist financing. "It is not a question of defense."

From the beginning, Bruguière and other specialists said, the emphasis in Europe has been on domestic human intelligence rather than the computerized systems such as watch lists favored by U.S. security agencies. That has meant tedious hours of surveillance, patient listening-in on telephone conversations, careful review of bank records, and relentless recruitment of informants among Islamic zealots who are motivated to betray acquaintances by everything from fear of losing visas to a desire to clear the name of Islam in European minds.
But dealing with the threat of terrorism is still more than working from behind a desk:

Iranian Executions Set Tone As Anniversary Of June Election Approaches

From niacINsight:
Executions Meant to Be a “Warning,” Spark Protests Instead 
Protests took place in Tehran and major cities around the world including FrankfurtLondonViennaToronto,Koln, and Paris, among many others, on May 9 and May 10, 2010 after the execution of five political prisoners in Iran’s Evin Prison.  The Tehran protests included chants of “Freedom,” and “Basiji get out of here,” and “Students would rather die than surrender to oppression,” while elsewhere chants also included “Death to the Islamic Republic.”

But References To The Koran Calling Jews Sons Of Pigs Is Different

I find it very distasteful, this use of religion to incite hatred and fear.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat
But we all know there is no lack of Muslim sermons like this:

Hamas Official Ismail Radhwan: Whoever Refrains from Supporting Jerusalem Will End Up in the Hellfire with the Apes and Pigs – the Jews
The following excerpts are from a sermon delivered by Gaza Hamas official Sheik Ismail Radhwan, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on March 12, 2010. 
Sheik Ismail Radhwan: People who refrain from supporting Jerusalem and Palestine, people who refrain from gathering [to fight the enemies], will find themselves in the Hellfire, together with the apes and pigs, together with the Jews, whom they supported, and whom Allah transformed into apes and pigs.
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Russia And Turkey Want Israel To Negotiate With Former Leaders Of Gaza--Hamas

Russia and Turkey wants Israel to talk with Hamas:
At a joint news conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the Turkish capital Ankara, President Abdullah Gul said peace could not be achieved if Hamas was not involved.

"Nobody should be excluded when these talks are held. Unfortunately the Palestinians are divided in two. They must be united and to unite them there must be talks with both sides. The Hamas side won elections in Gaza and so cannot be ignored," Gul said.
One of the things that Gul overlooked, as Khalil Shikaki--director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research--pointed out in a New York Times op-ed:
In January [2010], President Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader who was elected in 2005, and the Hamas-controlled Parliament, elected in 2006, will come to the end of their terms. Hamas and Fatah have not arranged for new elections.
And they still haven't.

Putting aside the odd argument that electing terrorists means you have to speak with them--the fact is that, not surprisingly, Hamas is no longer the elected representatives of Gazans.

Israel's response to Russia and Turkey was more polite:
Hamas is a terrorist organization in every sense of the word; its declared purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel. Members of Hamas have been responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians, including Russian citizens and other former residents of the CIS. It is totally unacceptable for enlightened nations to divide terrorists into "good" and "bad" according to some geographical division. Terrorists are terrorists, and Israel does not see any difference between the Hamas terror operating against Israel and the Chechen terror operating against Russia. There is no difference between Khaled Mashal and Shamil Basayev.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The More Effective Way Of Dealing With Muslim Anger

In What Did You Say About Muhammad?!, Raymond Ibrahim illustrates what is wrong with the way the West deals with Muslim anger over "insults".
The evangelical Arabic satellite station, al-Haya (Life TV), regularly takes the Muslim prophet to task, especially on two weekly programs: Hiwar al-Haq (Truth Talk), hosted by Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros, and Su’al Jari’ (Daring Question), hosted by ex-Muslim Rashid. Both shows revolve around asking uncomfortable questions about Islam and its founder in an effort to prompt Muslims to reconsider the legitimacy of their faith. (It is on these shows that the aforementioned, unflattering assertions of Muhammad originate; see here and here for English summaries.)
These broadcasts are viewed by millions of Arabic-speaking Muslims around the world. That the satellite station strikes a Muslim nerve is evinced by the fact that it is formally banned in several Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, and is regularly condemned by Islam’s demagogues on mainstream Arabic media, including al Jazeera.
When the programs first began airing, they certainly caused uproar in the Muslim world.

Test Yourself - How Much Do You Know About Jerusalem?

Test Yourself - How Much Do You Know About Jerusalem?
May 12 (28 Iyar) marks the 43rd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War.
In honor of the occasion, the Jerusalem Center invites you to take a short [10 question] quiz about Jerusalem.

Click here to start.

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It's HOW Jerusalem Has Always Been Remembered

In Remembering Jerusalem, Ruminations makes an interesting point that illustrates the difference between the Jewish and Muslim attachment to Jerusalem:
As I've often said, what's significant about the many mentions of Jerusalem in the Bible isn't how many of them there are, but how the Jews never stopped reading them (except when they already knew them by heart). Sometime this plays out in interesting ways. Take the 137th Psalm, for example.
Jews have not only never stopped reading about Jerusalem--they have never stopped singing about Jerusalem either. He illustrates his point with 3 videos--one of which also illustrates the difference between soccer teams Beitar Yerusahlayim and Manchester United.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Palestinian Leader (Who Actually Isn't) Got Approval (Not Really) For Peace Talks

This should be reassuring every time Abbas signs his name to an agreement.

Last year, I wrote in If Hamas Says Abbas's Term Has Expired, Why Can't Israel?, that there are serious legal questions as to whether Abbas is still president. Of course, we already know from what happened in Honduras that the Obama administration is not concerned with foreign laws that it finds inconvenient.

So it's not all that surprising that Abbas--who claimed he could not proceed with the proximity talks without approval of the Arab countries and the PLO--faked the results.

The following is a translation from the Hebrew of a post on Jerusalem Center For Public Affair. The post, by Pinchas Inbari, deals with the report in al-Quds al-Arabi whose headline reads:
Because of the absence of 7 members on the meeting of the Executive Committee of the PLO Palestinian, there is controversy over the legitimacy of the decision to return to the indirect talks
Here is what Inbari writes about what Abbas--Abu Mazen--did:
The International Arab daily "al-Quds al-Arabi" reported this morning that the PLO's Executive Committee could not convene a minimum quorum of members required to permit Abu Mazen to attend the proximity talks. Therefore, in order to create the impression that the decision was approved, Abu Mazen added members of the Council's open meeting. Nabil Amr, member of the Central Council confirmed that there was no quorum at the meeting and that the decision to attend the talks is actually illegal.
The issue however is not whether Abbas has approval to attend the talks or not. At issue is the broader context and implications of what Abbas did:

The Children's Cardiac Ward Near Tel Aviv Where None Of The Children Are Jewish (Correction)

Another one of those Zionist plots--but without the stolen organs or the Matzahs made with blood.
The Zionist plot you never hear about: Saving Arab children

There is a cardiac ward in a hospital in Tel Aviv where children lie on cots as doctors and nurses check charts and adjust advanced medical equipment. It is busy here. Some of the children sit up on stretchers in the halls, watching, playing with toys or taking spoonfuls of cereal from their parents.

These children are not Jewish. Indeed, none hold Israeli citizenship. Many come from China, Russia, Hungary, Yemen and other nations far from Israel. On closer inspection, you will discover that half of the children being treated here are Palestinians from the West Bank. All of these kids are receiving some of the best medical care available in the world, to heal their broken hearts.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ahmadinejad Gets Nailed On Illegal Imprisonment Of 3 Americans

In Hypocrisy Abounds, Patick Disney fisks and fillets Ahmadinejad on the continued detaining of 3 Americans--Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal--who were taken prisoner by Iran on July 31, 2009.

Ahmandinejad has claimed that the fate of the 3 is not up to him, but rather is up to the courts to decide.

However, as Disney points out, the detention itself directly violates Iranian law:

Why The Proximity Talks Have Already Proved Themselves To Be A Joke

To get an idea of just how un-serious these proximity talks are, here is the beginning of the statement that was given yesterday:
Special Envoy Mitchell left the Middle East on Sunday, after completing the first round of proximity talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The talks were serious and wide-ranging.

Both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas’ statement that he will work against incitement of any sort and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that there will be no construction at the Ramat Shlomo project for two years. They are both trying to move forward in difficult circumstances and we commend them for that.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

MYTH: "East Jerusalem should be part of a Palestinian state because all its residents are Palestinian Arabs and no Jews have ever lived there."

The following is from Myths and Facts by Prof. Mitchell Bard--posted with permission:
"East Jerusalem should be part of a Palestinian state because all its residents are Palestinian Arabs and no Jews have ever lived there."

It Took 2 Years, But J Street Finally Figured It Out!

This from J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami:
Ben-Ami was speaking at the launch of J Street’s newest field office, in Washington, DC.

He also noted that one of the crucial lessons the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby has learned in the group’s two years of existence is the importance of demonstrating support for Israel in order to have traction among American Jews.

After Israel, US Now Making UP With Afghanistan As Well: What's The Difference?

Gee, this sounds familiar:
The Obama administration, after 16 months of treating President Hamid Karzai with what some U.S. officials called "tough love," will welcome the Afghan leader Monday with all the trappings of a head of state, in what officials said is the start of a new, more pragmatic approach.

The shift, backed by the Pentagon and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, follows concerns that repeated public criticism of Mr. Karzai, particularly of his commitment to anticorruption efforts, was backfiring, leading the mercurial leader to lash out and undermining U.S. public support for the war

...U.S. officials said the transition from last month's bitter tenor to next week's red carpet is intentional. "The main objective of the trip is to repair the damage" caused by the war of words, says a U.S. official familiar with planning for the visit..

"Uganda Just Won't Do"

Uganda Just Won't Do

By Max Saltzman

Imagine for a moment that Israel was established in Uganda in 1948. Far from those who seek its destruction, Israel would grow and prosper. Resources would be diverted toward the sciences rather than defensive measures, and Israeli innovations would benefit the entire human race without ever being questioned. Israelis would walk the streets freely without fear and would sleep soundly through the night. And Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) would be celebrated in its full glory, without the sad preface of Yom HaZikaron (the Day of Remembrance) – there would be no need to cry for the tens of thousands of lives that were sacrificed for our homeland because no such sacrifices would have been made. Israel would just be, and this homeland would serve as a true safe haven for the Jewish people.

Still, that Ugandan utopia just wouldn't do.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Video: Dershowitz Responds To Revelations About Goldstone

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone Sent Dozens Of Black South Africans To Be Hanged

The following is my translation of the original article that appeared online in Hebrew on Ynetnews

There is more coverage of the story on

Here is my translation of the Hebrew article:
Goldstone Sent Dozens Of Blacks To Be Hanged

The dark past of Judge Richard Goldstone from the days of Apartheid in South Africa has been revealed. It turns out that the author of the report that accused Israel of war crimes and human rights violations in "Operation Cast Lead” enforced racist laws while serving as a judge in the 80's and 90's, imposed floggings and sentenced 28 Blacks to death. The judge responded: "I was part of the system"

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

If Abbas Really Wants Peace, Why Does He Incite Arabs Against Israel?

This is a text copy of the original PDF document:

The Incitement Report
Incitement by the Palestinian Authority
November 2009 - January 2010
Published by: The Center For Near East Policy Research
Beit Agron International Press Center
37 Hillel Street
Jerusalem 94581 Israel
TEL. 02 6236368

• Al-Ayyam (PA), November 12, 2009, reported:i

“Mahmoud Abbas…spoke in favor of armed resistance at a rally marking the fifth anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death: ‘We will continue [Arafat's] long and exhausting struggle [that was] fraught with blood, sweat, and tears. The road [we are traveling] today is anchored in a noble heritage of struggle that we built with brave hands, an enlightened mind, and a national thinking [rooted in] long experience. We combined
armed struggle with political activity. Our guns were not the guns of highway robbers. They were political guns [promoting] a noble goal.’

Why The Arab/Israeli Conflict Remains Intractable

Why The Arab/Israeli Conflict Remains Intractable

Alex Grobman

There are many attempts to understand why the Arab/Israel conflict remains unresolved. Among the reasons advanced for this impasse are: years of suspicion, fear, feelings of injustice and stereotyping have created a psychological barrier between Israelis and Arabs.1 Negative perceptions have reduced incentives to accept peace proposals, prejudice the viability of these proposals and preclude feelings of empathy.2

Monday, May 03, 2010