Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four Israeli Civilians Murdered By Terrorists, "External Players" According To State Dept. (Updates: Murdered Civilians are "Human Shields", Netanyahu Should Leave)

The IDF website reports:
Four Israeli civilians driving on Route 60 were killed in a shooting terror attack close to Bnei Naim, east of Hebron. IDF forces arrived to the site and are currently searching the area in pursuit of the terrorists responsible.

Iran Has A Website Just About Obama

Did you know that the Islamic Republic of Iran has devoted a website to President Obama? It's mostly gossip, but there's a bit of deep thinking, mullah-style. Voila.
Michael Ledeen, The Corner

I took Ledeen at his word and took a look

Hamas Has Better Katyusha's In The Works--Is Israel's Iron Dome Ready?

According to Ynet, Hamas is making enormous strides in launching rockets against civilian targets:
Hamas has completed a series of experiments on its advanced Fajar rocket, which has a range of almost 80 kilometers (roughly 50 miles) and can as far Kfar Saba, northeast of Tel Aviv, experts say.

In a few months, Hamas will be able to begin manufacturing the rockets, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.

Video: Orlando Mosque Openly Raising Funds For Terrorists

Hat tip Powerline:
The video below is an investigative report on the the June 2009 fundraiser for Hamas held at Masjid Al-Rahman mosque in Orlando, Florida. Featuring "that tool" George Galloway, the fundraiser was intended to raise money for Galloway's Viva Palestina, then funneling money openly to the Islamist terrorist movement of Hamas in Gaza.
The mosque is owned and operated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Technorati Tag: and and .

Fjordman: Islam, The Greeks And The Scientific Revolution, Part II

The following is the second part of a post by European essayist Fjordman, discussing Islam's encounter with Greek philosophy. It originally appeared on Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch in September 2007. At the end of part three, Spencer quotes Fjordman:
"Anybody who wants to can republish any of my essays on his own website as much as he wants to, as long as I am credited as the author. It would be nice, though, if a link was provided to the website where it was first published."
Part I is here.
Part III is here

Fjordman: Islam, the Greeks and the Scientific Revolution, part II

According to scholar Lynda Shaffer, "Francis Bacon (1561-1626), an early advocate of the empirical method, upon which the scientific revolution was based, attributed Western Europe's early modern take-off to three things in particular: printing, the compass, and gunpowder. Bacon had no idea where these things had come from, but historians now know that all three were invented in China. Since, unlike Europe, China did not take off onto a path leading from the scientific to the Industrial Revolution, some historians are now asking why these inventions were so revolutionary in Western Europe and, apparently, so unrevolutionary in China."

What Does Netanyahu Want From The Peace Talks? I Thought You'd Never Ask!

While the media focuses on Abbas's preconditions for direct talks, Benjamin Netanyahu spells out essentials for peace deal
An agreement would have to be based "first of all on recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, an end to the conflict and an end to further demands on Israel," he said.

I Say: Let Obama Take Credit For The Retreat From Iraq

As a candidate for this office I pledged I would end this war; as President, that’s what I’m doing.
I think where he has to be careful is that you don’t want to claim too much. You don’t want to put too rosy a picture on it. ... You don’t want to be held responsible.
Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan
Pity President Obama--he fulfills a campaign promise, and nobody cares:
Obama did what he said he would in Iraq, removing over 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq since he came into office. But the fact that the political situation there is still unresolved, that 50,000 U.S. troops remain in an advisory and assist role, and that many Americans have moved on from thinking much about Iraq as their concern has turned to the economy and Afghanistan have muted public recognition for the rare if incomplete foreign policy achievement, and has got to be somewhat frustrating for the White House...

Tax Exempt Status Now Dependent On Toeing Line On Obama Israel Policy

Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?
Describe your organization’s belief system toward the land of Israel.
From a letter from the IRS to a religious Jewish organization

If you are a Jewish organization that does not agree with Obama's Israel policy: look out--the IRS may be after you. That is the message for pro-Israel organizations who stand up for Israel:

Video: Ten Years Later--Tuvia Grossman Reunited With Israeli Soldier Who Saved Him From The Arab Mob

HonestReporting reunites Tuvia Grossman with Gidon Tzefadi, the Druze Jerusalem Border Police commander, who helped him escape the Arab mob that was trying to kill him.

On September 30, 2000, The New York Times, Associated Press and other major media outlets published a photo of a young man -- bloodied and battered -- crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption identified him as a Palestinian victim of Israeli brutality -- with the clear implication that the Israeli soldier was the one who beat him.

That young man was, in fact, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago, who was beaten within inches of his life before being rescued by the Israeli border policeman in the photo.

The resulting outrage generated by the gross distortion of the photo "launched" HonestReporting.
Here is the video of Tuvia Grossman and the soldier being reunited:

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Video: Oops! Looks Like Someone Didn't Get The Abbas Memo About Incitement

On the issue of incitement, Abbas accepted that there was some incitement in official Palestinian media, according to meeting participants. However, he expressed frustration that Israel did not recognize his efforts to end incitement in the mosques, saying he was the only Arab leader to centralize Friday sermons and to remove imams who incited against Israel.
Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2010

Here is a video of Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs, threatening war over Jerusalem--with Abbas in the audience.

Ali Abunimah Gets His Irish Up

Two days ago, The New York Times--which has already printed op-eds by Hamas terrorists--this time featured an op-ed by Ali Abunimah: Hamas, the I.R.A. and Us. Who is Ali Abunimah? If you go to the end of the editorial, you will find out that "Ali Abunimah is the author of  One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse." He is also a co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, for which he is better known. I'm not sure why they left that out.

On The Electronic Intifada, Abunimah indulges in single-minded demagoguery. For instance, he takes the recent Lebanese ambush of Israel and divine nefarious implications:

Ever Wonder Why There Is A Picture Of Spongebob Squarepants On Elder Of Ziyon?

Not only can you find out the reason behind the picture of Spongebob Squarepants on the Elder of Ziyon blog, you can also take part in The Great Spongebob Debate and vote on whether he should keep the logo as it is or change it.

C'mon, like you really have anything better to do on a Monday afternoon.

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Obama Administration Jumps To Condemn Statement Of 90 Year Old Rabbi (Updated)

These remarks are not only deeply offensive, but incitement such as this hurts the cause of peace. As we move forward to relaunch peace negotiations, it is important that actions by people on all sides help to advance our effort, not hinder it.
Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
PA source: Even Israel stopped paying attention to Rabbi Yosef
Ynet News

It is both understandable and not entirely unexpected that the US State Department should come out with a condemnation of the remarks of Rav Ovadiah Yosef:

Is Obama More Like Netanyahu--Or Abbas?

The real problem undermining the Mideast peace talks, Abbas's lack of a mandate, results in a situation where Abbas is a man in exile, even among his own:
All Palestinian political factions, bar one, have denounced the direct talks, some in harsher language than others.

The Arab World's Dirty Little Secret

Palestine becomes stronger and stronger as a national identity in the hearts and minds of its own citizens, but also more and more fragmented and disjointed politically on the ground. Several different Palestinian leaderships share legitimacy with some of their own people, but none has been able to achieve the more important international legitimacy or credibility and respect in the eyes of Israeli leaders and society.
Rami G. Khouri, Daily Star

Actually, the Palestinian Arabs have a bigger problem than credibility and respect in the eyes of Israel. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal exposes The Arab world's dirty secret:

Fjordman: Islam, The Greeks And The Scientific Revolution (Part I)

The following is the first part of a post by European essayist Fjordman, discussing Islam's encounter with Greek philosophy. It originally appeared on Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch in September 2007. At the end of part three, Spencer quotes Fjordman:
"Anybody who wants to can republish any of my essays on his own website as much as he wants to, as long as I am credited as the author. It would be nice, though, if a link was provided to the website where it was first published."
With that in mind, I am reposting Part I here.
Read Part II.
Read Part III

Fjordman: Islam, the Greeks and the Scientific Revolution, Part I

The renowned European essayist Fjordman discusses Islam's encounter with Greek philosophy:

I have written a couple of essays regarding the Greek impact on the rise of modern science, and why the Scientific Revolution didn't happen in the Islamic world. I find this to be an interesting topic, especially since there are so many myths regarding this perpetrated by Muslims and their apologists today, so I will explore the subject in some detail.

Gerald Steinberg: We Must Name, Shame Hardcore Anti-Israel Activists Who Use Facade Of Morality

The following op-ed appeared Friday on Ynet on August 13
Op-ed: We must name, shame hardcore anti-Israel activists who use façade of morality

by Gerald M. Steinberg

The political war aimed at delegitimizing Israel, and at preventing the IDF from acting to stop terror attacks, is now recognized as a major threat. These are not the sentiments of alarmists; this is the conclusion drawn by Eitan Haber, a close advisor to prime ministers, including Yitzhak Rabin (“IDF isn’t enough in face of global de-legitimization campaign faced by Israel.”)

Haber’s analysis only scratches the surface of the de-legitimization campaign waged against Israel. These efforts are not new; since the 2001 UN “World Conference Against Racism” in Durban, South Africa – international NGOs and some within Israel have introduced into the public lexicon slogans referring to Israel as an “apartheid state” guilty of “war crimes” that does not have the right to exist.

Why Won't Abbas Agree To A Freeze Of Palestinian Settlements?

[B]oth the Palestinian Authority and Arab governments have gone along with previous U.S.-Israeli deals by which construction was to be limited to inside the periphery of settlements near Israel -- since everyone knows those areas will be annexed to Israel in a final settlement. Before the 2007 Annapolis peace conference organized by the Bush administration, Saudi Arabia and other Arab participants agreed to what one former senior official called "the Google Earth test"; if the settlements did not visibly expand, that was good enough. [emphasis added]
Jackson Diehl, Washington Post, June 2009

Elder of Ziyon points out that leading up to direct peace talks with Netanyahu, Abbas has raised the stakes, putting the entire responsibility for the success of the talks on Israel in a keynote speech he delivered in Arabic:

When Obama Belittles Glenn Beck, He Has No Sense Of Irony

Robert Costa highlights the following bit from an interview Obama had with Brian Williams:
President Obama tells NBC News that he did not watch Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday. But, he says, “Given all those anxieties . . . it’s not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That’s been true throughout our history.”
It's understandable why Obama feels the need to belittle what Glenn Beck accomplished--after all, the liberal media is doing the same thing , but isn't that exactly what Obama did to become president?

Lucky for Obama that Beck doesn't think he's electable.
Unlucky for Obama that at this point--neither does he.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Did Owner Of Site For Ground Zero Mosque Violate Lease With Con-Ed? (Update: Public Financing?)

That is a possible consequence, now that it appears The New York Post has found The mosque developers are tax deadbeats:
Sharif El-Gamal, the leading organizer behind the mosque and community center near Ground Zero, owes $224,270.77 in back property tax on the site, city records show.

El-Gamal's company, 45 Park Place Partners, failed to pay its half-yearly bills in January and July, according to the city Finance Department.

The delinquency is a possible violation of El-Gamal's lease with Con Edison, which owns half of the proposed building site on Park Place. El-Gamal owns the other half but must pay taxes on the entire parcel.

Those Aren't Self-Hating Jews--They're Oiks!

In addressing the question of why in the US the liberal elite takes the side of the proponents of the Ground Zero mosque while hurling epithets at those who oppose it, James Taranto pinpoints the problem as being not Islamophobia, but Oikophobia:
The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' "

Media Bias? Nah, They're Just Protecting Their Investment!

Just recently, we saw the following distortions by the media:

Legal Insurrection noted the original article by The Washington Post about the Glenn Beck rally:

was just a little stingy with the truth--

My Father Is Leaving The Hospital Today

I mentioned on Friday that my father, who is 85 years old, had fallen and fractured both his left hip and his right wrist. He had surgery and was given a partial hip replacement.

He is recovering nicely.

Already on Friday he was able to sit in a chair for a couple of hours on his own with minimal discomfort. Today, he will be going to a facility near my mom where he will have physical therapy for 2-3 weeks to learn how to walk with the hip replacement and then come home.

Baruch HaShem.

Who You Gonna Believe: A Syrian Head Astronomer...Or Snopes?

You know those emails you get that want you to email all your friends about what are actually urban legends? Looks like a head astronomer in Syria has fallen for one:
Mars Shines Besides the Moon

Mars will appear as a bright light in the sky besides the moon in a rare event that won't recur until 2287 AD.

Head of the Syrian Amateur Astronomers Association (SAAA) Mohammad al-Asiri said the distance between planet Earth and Mars will be approximately 65.34 million miles (99.3 kilometers). Earth will seem to have two moons at midnight.

Al-Asiri said that the Earth, Sun and Moon will form a rectilinear, with Earth in the middle, the phenomenon is known as alignment.

"Alignment phenomenon occurs every 780 days, Earth and Mars stands at the nearest point to each other, Mars then looks bigger and brighter," He added.

The closest recorded distance between Earth and Mars were in August 27th 2003, at 21.51 GMT with just 55.76 million kilometers. This marked the nearest distance between the neighboring planets in 60.000 years. This event won't recur again until the year 2287, it will be, at that time, 55.69 million kilometers.
But according to Snopes, this is a hoax that goes around periodically. After reproducing some of the emails going around, Snopes debunks the hoax:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Visiting At The Hospital

My father fell and fractured his hip--and his arm.

I'll be here most of the day.

Though I can blog off of my droid, I will instead follow the sage advice of Dirty Harry who once said, "A blogger has got to know his limitations."

Have a Good Shabbos.

Posted from my Droid via Blogaway

Hizbollah "Resistance" Meets Lebanese "Resistance"

It looks like there is a concerted effort to address the armed clash between Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash that broke out in Beirut this past Tuesday.
Mustaqbal bloc MP Nohad al-Mashnouq noted Friday that the recent clashes in Borj Abi Haidar have removed all reasons for maintaining weapons in Beirut and have stripped the arms of their "holy" label.

Forget Arming Lebanon--Explain Again Why The US Is Arming Palestinians?

Speaking at a pro-Israel think tank in Washington last May, Dayton had warned that the discipline of his troops could fall apart if there was no headway in peace talks. "With big expectations, come big risks," Dayton said. "There is perhaps a two-year shelf life on being told that you're creating a state, when you're not."

Lieut. General Keith Dayton, Time Magazine on the 2,000-man Palestinian National Security Force, November 2009

Dayton is due to step down from his position in charge of training these forces this fall, raising again concerns about whether the weapons of these forces could be turned against Israel.

Arguments I have heard against this concern are that the weapons are available anyway in the West Bank. Also, the training is focused on greater professionalism as opposed to teaching them how to work more effectively as a platoon.

But while the Israeli government may not be concerned about the potential danger here, others are.

In Lebanon: From Argument Over Parking To Syria-Iran Proxy War?

On Tuesday, Narharnet described a clash between Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash in Beirut as an argument over a parking space near a mosque. The Jerusalem Post reported that the fighting extended to Hezbollah setting fire to an Al-Ahbash mosque.

Now, according to Ya Libnan, there is a possibility that the clash was more than just an argument:
The clash was described by some analysts as a proxy war between Iran and Syria over the control of Lebanon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Limitations On New Jets Belie Obama's Braggings About US Security Assistance To Israel

Q So that fear, the tangible fear that some Israelis have that their best ally in the world might abandon them is --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's pretty hard to square with the fact that not only have I in every speech that I've ever given talked about the unbreakable bond to Israel, not only did I describe that special relationship and condemn those who would try to drive a rift between us in Cairo in front of a Muslim audience, but if you look at our actions -- and Prime Minister Netanyahu will confirm this, and even critics I think will have to confirm that the United States under my administration has provided more security assistance to Israel than any administration in history. And we’ve got greater security cooperation between our two countries than at any time in our history. And the single most important threat to Israel -- Iran, and its potential possession of a nuclear weapon -- has been my number one foreign policy priority over the course of the last 18 months.
President Obama in an interview with Yonit Levi, Israeli TV

I've post before about the embarrassing fisking the Obama administration went through during a State Dept. press conference last year--where exaggerated statements about accomplishments vis-a-vis the Middle East were demolished on the spot.

One claim that I wrote about that did seem to stand was that the Obama administration has stood by Israel in terms of military assistance--but now that claim also appears to be exaggerated.

Meanwhile, On The Other Side Of The Ocean: "Europe's Mosque Wars"

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey

Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, writes about the movement to build mosques going on across Europe. According to Kern, the groups behind them are motivated as much by politics as by religion.
Europe's Mosque Wars
by Soeren Kern

As Americans debate the appropriateness of building a Muslim mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, similar discussions have been taking place in towns and cities across Europe, where the spread of Islam is far more advanced than it is in the United States. Although Muslims and their supporters in Europe usually frame the issue of mosque construction within the context of granting religious freedom to minorities, most, if not all, of the more controversial European mosque projects are motivated by politics at least as much as by religion.

There currently are an estimated 6,000 mosques in Europe. Many of them are housed in makeshift structures such as small shops, basements, offices, garages and rented rooms. But as the Muslim population in Europe increases by more than one million people per year, Muslims across the continent are becoming increasingly more assertive in their demands to build high-profile mosques that clearly are meant to challenge the European status quo.

At Last! A Suitable Metaphor For Abbas And The Mideast Peace Talks

Abbas will function like Bernie in Weekend at Bernie’s — dragged in with arms draped around the shoulders of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to play the part of the Palestinian “peace partner,” as if this were a live process and not a movie we have now seen many, many times before.
Rick Richman, Why We Will Have to Watch This Movie Again
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News Flash: Hijab Is Not Part Of The Disney Look

"Disney is an entertainment company," [Disneyland Resort spokeswoman Suzy] Brown said in a prepared statement. "Our theme parks and resorts are the stage and our costumed cast members (employees) are an important part of the show. When cast members are hired, regardless of their diverse beliefs, the expectation to comply with our appearance guidelines is made abundantly clear."

This is being covered as another case of an employer and the religious requirements of employees, but I think it is something different:

la Repubblica: "And This Nightmare Called Hamastan"

La Repubblica is a moderate liberal newspaper in Italy, second in circulation to Corriere della Sera. This past Monday, it published this piece by Fabio Scut, entitled We, the Hamas prisoners without work and power. Uncommon for a liberal paper, this article blasts Hamas--without letting Israel off the hook. The original article is in Italian; the excerpts below are translated via Google and some changes I made to improve readibility:
Five years ago the 'last of the 8 thousand settlers in the Strip, in an atmosphere of collective psychodrama in Israel, left this land. That withdrawal, 'disengagement' in the lexicon adopted by 'then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, had aroused great expectations in the Palestinian people but also many concerns. Those concerns have become facts.

The Illusion Of The Peaces Talks And The Settlement Freeze

When George Will writes today that in the Mideast, the peace process is only a mirage, he does not mean a benign one. Quite the opposite.

In general, it is not a good thing to fool oneself--and that goes double in the Middle East, where an issue that Obama insisted on highlighting has been exploited by the Arabs into a sticking point that may well become the excuse Abbas will use to foil what Obama sees as an opportunity for a foreign policy success:
The biggest threat to peace might be the peace process -- or, more precisely, the illusion that there is one. The mirage becomes the reason for maintaining its imaginary "momentum" by extorting concessions from Israel, the only party susceptible to U.S. pressure. Israel is, however, decreasingly susceptible.

West Bank: Fatah, Hamas--And Hezbollah Makes Three!

Hezbollah appears to be branching out and making efforts to create a presence in the West Bank:
The Palestinian security apparatus recently conducted a wave of arrests throughout the West Bank of current and past activists suspected of attempting to renew contact with Hezbollah in order to establish infrastructure for the organization in the area, Ynet learned on Wedneseday.

How Refreshing:' Activist' Not Being Used As Euphemism For 'Terrorist'

Actually, it's kind of confusing, given that the article is talking about West Bank Arabs:
Dozens of men believed to be plainclothes Palestinian security personnel broke up a gathering of activists opposed to new Mideast peace talks on Wednesday, reflecting the Palestinian leadership's sense of vulnerability as it prepares to launch negotiations with Israel next week.[emphasis added]

Video: Muslim Imam Cannot Say Hamas Is A Terrorist Organization

In the YouTube video below Andrew C. McCarthy (author of 'The Grand Jihad') debates Dawoud Kringle, a volunteer Muslim chaplain in the New York City Department of Corrections about the Ground Zero Mosque. When the question of terrorism is brought up, Kringle is unable to say that Hamas is a terrorist organization or condemn it, falling back instead on referring to the 'fringes' of Hamas, that Hamas is a 'political organization' and that "there is no such thing as an Islamic terrorist."

The video automatically starts at that point in the discussion.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hamas And The Threat Of The Internet

Another piece of good news penetrates the through the message that Gaza is a open air prison mired in despair.
While the West Bank and Gaza have suffered from wars, political instability and limited access to resources, the Web has proliferated. Internet penetration—the percentage of the population that uses the Web—is estimated at 40% in the West Bank and as high as 60% in Gaza. Both figures are higher than those in many other Arab nations.

The BBC Uncovers The Palestinian Fright of Return

The BBC is reporting that despite the clamoring of Arab leaders,
Lure of the homeland fades for Palestinian refugees:The right of return for Palestinian refugees is a major sticking point in the upcoming US-sponsored Middle East peace talks, but some younger Palestinians - having never laid eyes on their ancestral homeland - say they do not actually want to go back.

Hezbollah Joins The Nuclear "Me Too!" Club

Now that Iran has successfully thumbed its nose at the US enough times and has a nuclear facility in Bushehr to show for it, it was only a matter of time before Hezbollah chief calls on Lebanon to build nuclear reactor:
Seyyed Hassan Nasarllah, leader of the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah, called on Lebanon's government to follow Tehran's footsteps and build a nuclear facility to generate electricity like the reactor in Bushehr, Iran.

1 Year For Netanyahu And Abbas To Reach A Deal That Will "Satisfy Washington"

[The official] added that the president has put his credibility on the line by inviting everyone to the White House and is more invested in this issue than the previous U.S. government was.

Just how invested is Obama in the latest rounds of peace talks? It seems that Obama is invested enough to turn the US from facilitator to participant. YnetNews reports:
Washington expects Israel, Palestinians to use timeframe given for negotiations to overcome difficulties, strike comprehensive peace, US official tells reports in Jerusalem. America won't accept partial deal, he said

A partial peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, even if achieved within a year, will not satisfy Washington, a US official said Tuesday.[emphasis added]

From The Palestine News Network: Typo Or Wishful Thinking?

The Palestine New Network headline informs its readers that Lieberman has announced "Settlement Contraction To Continue In September"

Either Israel is making more concessions in order to boost Abbas's image (assuming he has an image to boost), or someone on the PNS staff confused contraction for construction.

I'm better on the latter.

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The Anti-Muslim 'Climate Of Hate' Ranks Right Up There With Global Warming

With all of the pundits shouting past each other, you would think that the US has suddenly turned into a hotbed of extremist, racist Islamophobia, yet according to a poll: Americans believe Islam no more prone to violence than other faiths:
In a survey that underlined the complex views people have about Muslims, 51 percent agreed that a Muslim center should not be built near the former site of New York's World Trade Center, compared to 34 percent who said it should be permitted.

Yet at the same time, a majority - 62 percent - said Muslims should have equal rights to build houses of worship. Just 25 percent said communities should be allowed to block the construction of mosques. The poll was conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The poll found that by 42 percent to 35 percent, most think Islam does not incite violence more than other religions, about the same as said so last year.

But more people have unfavorable than favorable views of Islam by 38 percent to 30 percent. In 2005, it was reversed: 41 percent had favorable views, 36 percent unfavorable.
But having an unfavorable view of someone is not the same thing as racism.

The 'racism' label has long been thrown around indiscriminately, and the current debate has only furnished another opportunity to blow things out of proportion.

Jonah Goldberg gives some perspective:
In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as there were anti-Muslim, again according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim ones by at least 6 to 1. Why aren't we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America?

Hezbollah Vs. Israel Now Extends To Mexico

I have posted before about Hezbollah's involvement in drug trafficking in general and in Mexico in particular.

Mother Jones also writes about Hezbollah in Mexico Stoking Terrorism Fears, though playing down the actual threat of a terrorist attack from Hezbollah:
Sorry, folks. As Scott Stewart at STRATFOR points out, it's very unlikely. Hezbollah, as Stewart rightly emphasizes, is no longer a young hothead looking to make a name for itself. Senior Hezbollah leaders are often "influential politicians and wealthy businessmen," Stewart writes.

If Fired, This Australian Teacher Can Always Get A Job In Gaza

Fox News reports that Teacher Assigns Students To Plan Terror Attack:
Students at an Australian school were asked to plan a terrorist attack "to kill the MOST innocent civilians in order to get your message across" as part of a class assignment, Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported Wednesday.

Why Burn A Koran When You Can Burn A Mosque?

I posted yesterday about the shooting (with RPG's too!) that broke out in Lebanon yesterday, possibly in an argument over parking by a mosque. Now it seems the shooting expanded to include mosque-burning.
Shortly afterward, Shi’ite supporters of Hizbullah and sister organization Amal set fire to a Sunni mosque in the nearby neighborhood of Basta, according to an AP photographer.

From Reverend Wright To Imam Rauf?

It's a provocative comparison, and one made by Victor Davis Hanson, who wonders Is Imam Rauf Going to Be Another Reverend Wright?. After all, when Reverend Wright's anti-American comments first came out, the media attacked the attackers--claiming they were right-wing racists, until more and more of Wright's comments came to light.
So too Imam Rauf. He has a vast record of quackery — the latest tidbit is his 2005 contorted assertion that Westerners have more innocent Muslim blood on their hands than does al-Qaeda (e.g., “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims”), presumably because between 1991 and 2003 America tried to stop Saddam’s aggressions and WMD program through non-violent sanctions. Given Rauf’s long paper trail and bad habit of talking in different personas to different audiences, much more will drip out each day, as was the case with Wright’s DVDs and occasional outbursts. And that might necessitate a correction of Obama’s grandstanding, disingenuous remarks to his iftar Muslim audience, in which the president deliberately conflated legal right with ethical and moral sensibility and earned a standing ovation for his distortion.
Time will tell whether the Left will dump Imam Rauf.
Maybe we could get the tapes of what Rauf is saying in Arabic these days on his US-sponsored tour in the Middle East...

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Amnesty International: Israel Is A State Of Creeps--Not Scum (Update: AI Has A One-Track Mind)

I'm glad we got that straightened out.

Tundra Tabloids first blogged yesterday that the Chairman of Finnish Amnesty International Calls Israel a scum state. That would be Finland's AI chairman Frank Johansson, who wrote the following in his blog:
"A friend of mine who works in Israel, was visiting while piling wood in the shed, we got into his favourite topic. Several years of residence in the holy country, he has come to the conclusion that "Israel is a scum state". On the basis of my own visit, which occurred during the 1970s and 1990s for the final time, I agree."
Now we find out that Johansson was mistranslated:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Argument Against Ground Zero Mosque: Parking!

Don't you just hate when this happens?
Hizbullah, Ahbash Officials Killed in Fierce Armed Clashes in Burj Abi Haidar

Three people were killed in fierce armed clashes between members of Hizbullah and partisans of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (Al-Ahbash) in the Beirut area of Burj Abi Haidar on Tuesday evening.

Happy Birthday, CiF Watch!

CiF Watch, which monitors The Guardian's Comment Is Free, is one year old today.

If you are unfamiliar with CiF Watch, here is a bit from their about page:
‘Comment is Free’ is the online home of the Guardian and Observer that carries articles designed to engender debate and discussion through a post-moderated comment thread. The Guardian is one of the most influential media outlets in the world and the ‘Comment is Free’ blog is among the most popular blogs on the internet.

In the 2008 Webby Awards for the best political blog, ‘Comment is Free’ came in as runner-up second only to the Huffington Post while in the 2009 Webby Awards, the guardian.co.uk, the platform upon which ‘Comment is Free’ resides, won the category of best newspaper ahead of NYTimes.com.

The Guardian newspaper is a respectable and mainstream news outlet. How is it possible that there is antisemitism on ‘Comment is Free’?

Despite the fact that the Guardian is a mainstream news outlet, it has allowed ‘Comment is Free’ to become a platform where antisemitism thrives.

Antisemitism manifests itself most frequently on the section of ‘Comment is Free’ known as “CiF Middle East”. There Israel is the subject of regular rebuke and moral opprobrium in a manner quite out of proportion to any other country in the Middle East or the world for that matter.
Read the whole thing.

Better yet, read their posts!

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"Dead Cows Float Off Lebanese Shores"

I'm not sure what to make of this, but apparently nobody else seems to know either--least of all the ones in Lebanon reporting it:
Dead Cows Float Off Lebanese Shores
Dead cows were seen floating off the shore of Kfar Abida-Madfoun in Batroun on Tuesday, the National News Agency reported.

NNA said that the number of cows seen off the Lebanese coast since one week has reached to seven, including three of them off Casino du Liban in Jounieh.

Environmental protection organizations issued a statement warning against such a "phenomenon," and calling for an investigation by the environment and agriculture ministries.
I suppose that Mony Python would be able to get to the bottom of this, but though this article is extremely short, I still would have thought they would have thought to at least pretend to be surprised that the cows were being found off shore and not on dry land.

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Video: More Revelations About Rauf

"We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it."
Imam Rauf
From Atlas Shrugs.
At some point the questions she raises have to be addressed.

Gaza Exporting What It Knows Best: Terrorism

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center finds that Gazan terrorists have no problem conducting terrorist attacks against other Muslims:

The Gaza Strip as a regional exporter of terrorism: In June 2010 the Moroccan security forces exposed a global jihad network planning to carry out terrorist attacks against Moroccan figures, including Jews. The network was headed by a Gazan, a former Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative influenced by Al-Qaeda.

1. In June 2010 the Moroccan security forces detained an 11-man terrorist squad headed by an operative from the Gaza Strip who had formerly belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was influenced by Al-Qaeda's ideology.

2. The squad was planning to carry out a series of terrorist attacks against tourist and army targets throughout the country, and to assassinate prominent Moroccan figures, including Jews.1 The activities of the network, whose roots lay in the Gaza Strip, are another example of the development of the global jihad in the Gaza Strip and the Strip's becoming a regional exporter of terrorism.
Read the whole thing.

Good to know that Gazan terrorists don't discriminate--must be an Al Qaeda thing.

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Abbas Is Only A Moderate In English--Not In Arabic, Where It Counts

Efraim Karsh explains why we consistently see that in the peace talks, Abbas is Not taking yes for an answer
While the Englishlanguage announcement of the PLO’s decision sets “the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel” as the outcome of the negotiations, the Arabic-language version makes no mention of the two-state solution. Instead it notes the Palestinian readiness to resume the final-status talks, adding a few new preconditions, notably the rejection of Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem.

And just there, no doubt, lies the heart of the problem.

The Farce Of Abbas Makes The Coming Peace Talks A Joke

Khaled Abu Toameh asks the obvious question: Abbas and Fayyad: Do They Have a Mandate?.
A president whose term in office expired a long time ago, and a prime minister who won about 2% of the vote when he ran in an election, have now been invited by the US Administration to hold direct peace talks with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

Ground Zero Mosque: Another Opportunity For CAIR's Wild Accusations As It Chills Debate

Ibrahim Hooper, of CAIR, is bringing up the specter of Islamophobia in connection with opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque.
Given the political right's hate-filled and hysterical response to all things Muslim, one has to ask whether American Muslims face a future in which they will no longer be treated as equal citizens.

The best example of the right's campaign to deprive American Muslims of the civil liberties enjoyed by citizens of other faiths is the neo-McCarthyite response to a planned Islamic cultural center in New York City.
This is to be expected from CAIR--after all, Daniel Pipes has noted that in response to the prosecution of World Trade Center bomb plotter Omar Abdel Rahman and the arrest of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, CAIR started leveling charges of hate crime.

CAIR appears to instinctively jumps on any such attempt by Americans to safeguard their interests.

Exaggerating Islamophobia and exploiting the charge is nothing new for CAIR.

Back in 2006, I blogged about this:

If The Israeli Government Is So Right-Wing, Why Is It Willing To Cede So Much?

Charles Krauthammer notes that under the Likud-led government, led by 'right-wing hawk'© Netanyahu, is willing to do what the Labor party has been ready to do in the past. Israel is not the problem:
It is willing to cede the West Bank -- that’s a national consensus -- under conditions: meaning, guarantees or military control [of] the Jordan Valley, demilitarizing the Palestinian state, and a swap of land. But it's willing to create a Palestinian state on almost all of the territory of the West Bank.

More Historical Malpractice From CNN--The Original Cordoba Mosque

Yesterday, I posted about how CNN attempted to imply a comparison between opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque with both Father Coughlin and the KKK--both of whom actually had strong associations with the Democratic Party.

After showing such an ignorance of American history, CNN fearlessly wades into Muslim history.

Here is an excerpt from CNN’s “Newsroom,” between CNN reporter Ali Velshi and Time Magazine’s deputy international editor Bobby Ghosh:
VELSHI: The name Cordoba- some people are associating it with Muslim rule and bloody battles, when, in fact, Cordoba was one of the finest times in relations between the major religions.

GHOSH: Exactly right- in interfaith discourse-


GHOSH: And the great mosque of Cordoba that people are talking about and that Newt Gingrich was talking about- the man who built it, the Muslim prince who built it, bought it from a Christian group- paid money for it and bought it from a Christian group. And there was not a lot of alarm and anger raised then. It's- as I said, we- I'm afraid, at this point, no rational discussion seems possible- [emphasis added]
Andrew Bostom corrects the record, which Ghosh has so brutally distorted.

Burning Korans In Front Of Jihadists--And Moderates

Terry Jones, pastor at the Dove World Outreach Center, is planning on going ahead with his idea of making September 11 "International Burn a Koran Day"--this in spite of the fact that the Gainesville fire department has denied him a permit for the event.

As it so happens, Muslims are not so happy either, with postings on Islamist sites such as:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Violence Disrupts The Peaceful Coexistence At The Rami Levi Supermarket

I posted earlier this month about the remarkable Rami Levy Supermarket near Gush Etziyon, where Israeli Jews and Arabs shop together in search of bargains.

Now JoeSettler has posted at Muqata that the tranquility has been broken and the IDF, police and ambulances were called out there--and 6 people, both Israeli Jews and Arabs--were taken to the hospital.

The cause?

George Will Says It--Just Like That

In a Sunday op-ed, George Will writes that Many possible Israeli concessions would be suicidal.

While reading his article, one thing really jumped out at me--see if you can spot what it is:
The only place for a Palestinian state is the West Bank, which Israel has occupied -- legally under international law -- since repelling the 1967 aggression launched from there. The West Bank remains an unallocated portion of the Palestine Mandate, the disposition of which is to be settled by negotiations. Michael Oren, now Israel's ambassador to the United States, said several years before becoming ambassador:
Did you spot it?

Obama's Recognition Of The Right To Build Stops At The Israeli Border

A cartoon by Steve Kelley that gets it just right:

Hat tip: My Right Word

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Netanyahu And Abbas Accept Separate--And Different--Invitations To Peace Talks (Updated: More Convolutions)

Writing about What it took to get Israelis and Palestinians to agree to talks, David Ignatius notes that there were actually 2 different invitations to the peace negotiations, and Netanyahu and Abbas did not respond to the same one:
The Palestinian side agreed Friday to come to the talks based on a statement of principles that was issued by the Quartet, a group of nations that includes the U.S., Russia and the members of the European Union. That document calls on the parties “to resolve all final status issues,” such as Jerusalem and refugees. It also affirms the goal of “a just, lasting and comprehensive regional peace as envisaged in the Madrid terms of reference, Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

The Issue Of Palestinian Incitement Are A Matter Of Israeli Security And Must Be Addressed During These Peace Talks

On the issue of incitement, Abbas accepted that there was some incitement in official Palestinian media, according to meeting participants. However, he expressed frustration that Israel did not recognize his efforts to end incitement in the mosques, saying he was the only Arab leader to centralize Friday sermons and to remove imams who incited against Israel.
Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2010

With the resumption of direct talks between Abbas and Netanyahu, Elliot Abrams writes that there is a need to go Back to Basics on Israel's Security Needs--and among the security needs that need to be addressed is the issue of incitement:

Why Does New York Times Compare Gaza Mall To American Malls--But Not West Bank Mall?

Let the message go out: We will not be defeated.
Ethan Bronner, New York Times

True, Bronner is not referring to the New York Times, but to the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza--it just appears that he got caught up in his own enthusiasm.

Actually, Bronner's enthusiasm runs throughout his article Gaza Mall Seeks to Make Statement of Resolve. It seems to dictate not only what he writes, but also what he leaves out.

Are Ground Zero Mosque Leaders Giving Us A Preview Of How They Will Deal With Non-Muslims? (Updated)

Some of those who are Jews change words from their context and say: "We hear and disobey; hear thou as one who heareth not" and "Listen to us!" distorting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said: "We hear and we obey: hear thou, and look at us" it had been better for them, and more upright. But Allah hath cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, save a few.
Quran Sura 4:46

The leadership behind the Ground Zero Mosque is big on comparing themselves with Jews:

To Describe Ground Zero Mosque Protest, CNN Pulls Out The KKK

On Sunday's protest against the Ground Zero Mosque, Powerline writes:
CNN is a reliable Democratic Party outlet, so it is no surprise that it puts the worst face on Americans' indignation over the Ground Zero Mosque. NewsBusters caught CNN in this justaposition, comparing today's anti-GZM protesters to pro-Nazi activists of decades past: 

Would You Sell A Nuclear Reactor To An Accused War Criminal? Iran Would

Meet Sudanese president al-Bashir, accused war criminal, who just last month was charged by the International Criminal Court with three counts of genocide.
The warrant issued last week alleges that the Sudanese government, using the national armed forces, police and the Janjaweed militia [BBC backgrounder], targeted ethnic groups for extermination that were believed to be close to armed opposition groups in Darfur as part of a counter-insurgency strategy, and that as commander-in-chief of Sudanese forces, Bashir "played an essential role in [its] coordinati[on]."
(Did I mention that those 3 counts of genocide were in addition to seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity that were filed against al-Bashir in March 2009?)

But that was last month--this month he has been generously offered nuclear technology by Iran.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Amnesty International Urges Authorities To Flog Crime Suspect!

Only in Saudi Arabia (I hope)

I've already blogged about the Saudi judge looking for a way in accordance with Islamic law to impose paralysis on the man who paralyzed his victim.

Amnesty International is urging corporal punishment as an alternative. Babylon and Beyond is struck by the incongruity:
You know a country's human rights situation is bad when even Amnesty International is urging that a guy be methodically whipped or caned on his back as a compromise to avoid an even harsher sentence.

Other Than The Fact It Cannot Do Its Job--"There Are No Obstacles" To Renewing UNIFIL In Lebanon

Great news--looks like UNIFIL will be sticking around another year for Hezbollah to kick around to keep the peace and keep Hezbollah from rearming:
The Security Council is expected to address this issue of extending the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL) at the end of the month.

UNIFIL commander General Alberto Asarta expected the U.N. Security Council to extend UNIFIL term for another year.

During an interview with al Mustaqbal newspaper Asarta stressed : “There are no obstacles preventing it from renewing UNIFIL’s term.”

He said : “The renewal will respect U.N. resolution 1701 and there are no plans to change the troops’ rules of engagement.

New Setbacks For Ground Zero Mosque?

That appears to be the case, with 2 new items in the news:

According to The Daily News, Hardhats vow not to work on controversial mosque near Ground Zero:
A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing not to work on the mosque planned near Ground Zero.

Obama Administration--Condescending On Islam, Omitting The Facts

Powerline draws attention to a speech by Jim Leach, chairman of the Obama administration National Endowment for the Humanities. In a speech earlier this month, Qur'an-Burning and Mosque-Bashing Are Not the American Way, Leach supports his point with a reference to Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the Barbary pirates:
Two centuries ago our fledgling Republic rubbed up against problems in the Muslim world when the Barbary pirates plundered the shipping lanes off North Africa. Instead of burning Qur'ans, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams studied Islam, and each had a Qur'an in his personal library. Jefferson, in fact, was a student of comparative religion and argued that what mattered most was not where the major faith systems differed but where they conjoined.

What could be a more uplifting way of looking at the world than Jefferson's emphasis on the conjunction of religious values rather than the contrasting nature of religious practices?
What indeed--apparently Leach doesn't know the actual history of what happened.

The Squeaky +Flotilla Doesn't Necessarily Get The Greece (Updated)

Yeah, I know--but it's Sunday...

Anyhow: the on again, off again all-women Lebanese flotilla is again having problems after it was first announced 2 months ago. It turns out that when Cyprus told them they would not be allowed entry into Cyprus, they actually meant it.

Now the flotilla is looking into Plan B:

Video From Latma: The Iranian Bomb

Though the rest of the video is in Hebrew with English subtitles, the song itself is in English

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh-Oh! Here Come Those Palestinian Preconditions Again...

Just when you thought it was safe to get back to the negotiating table, Aljazeera is reporting that the Palestinian Arabs are threatening that Settlements 'may halt' direct talks:
The Palestinian Authority has accepted an invitation from the United States to resume direct negotiations with Israel, but warned that it will withdraw if Israel builds more settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Friday, August 20, 2010

UN: Hamas Has Done Nothing To Investigate Goldstone Report Findings

The UN has released the Israeli responses to the Goldstone Report.
The UN has also released the Palestinian (West Bank) responses to the Goldstone Report.
The UN has not released the Hamas responses to the Goldstone Report.

Because there aren't any:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday released the results of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into alleged war crimes during the conflict in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, which did not appear to include any input from Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Homeless Gazans Seize Hamas Building

Hamas has been anything but easygoing on the Gazans who voted them into office. For one thing, they have been known to suddenly appear on people's doorsteps to evict them within minutes of destroying their homes, and little time to remove their belongings.

Here is a video--

Great Moments In Sharia Law: Punish Man By Damaging His Spine

In Saudi Arabia, they take the idea of "an eye for an eye" very seriously:
A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man's spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.

Hitchens: 6 Reasons The World Cannot Allow Iran To Get Nukes

Writing in Slate, Christopher Hitechens argues that when discussing Iranian nukes, It's Not Just About Israel--that the repercussions of Iran having a nuclear bomb extend beyond just Iran and Israel.

Hitchens gives 6 reasons for his argument, which are summarized here:

Israel Will Not Be Required to Extend Settlement Freeze

That is what the Jerusalem Post is reporting:
Diplomatic sources say the Quartet's announcement on direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is expected Friday, and will not demand a continuation in the freeze of settlement building past September, Army Radio reported Thursday evening.

The West Bank 'Stimulus Package' Is Running Out

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been the main supporters of the West Bank since 2007,  have cut back significantly this year:
Arab states have cut financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) so far this year, according to PA figures seen by Reuters, and the United Nations has warned of a looming Palestinian cash crisis.

Both US And Russia Assure Israel: You Have Nothing To Fear From Iranian Reactor!

Good news: U.S. Assures Israel That Iran Threat Is Not Imminent:
The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials.

Administration officials said they believe the assessment has dimmed the prospect that Israel would pre-emptively strike against the country’s nuclear facilities within the next year, as Israeli officials have suggested in thinly veiled threats.
Hey, wait a minute--dash for a nuclear weapon?

Besides Lebanon, More Flotillas Are On The Way

Though the details are sketchy, it appears that yesterday another flotilla ship left Algeria, the previous one being a ship that joined the flotilla that included the Mavi Marmara in May.

Haaretz is reporting:
According to the Palestinian news agency "Palestine Today", the ship, sponsored by the Algerian government, departed with religious leaders and political officials on board along with supplies of food, medicine, and educational materials.

Forget "Who Is A Jew"--Both Obama And Rauf Muddy The Waters On 'Who Is A Muslim'

It's getting pretty confusing.

According to a Pew survey people are unsure about Obama's religion

This has led Dry Bones to point out:

Video: Geraldo Rivera Announces Tentative Rumor--With A Caveat--About Possible Deal On Ground Zero Mosque

To the rumors of a deal that would move the location of the Ground Zero Mosque, we can now add the following 'revelation' by Geraldo Rivera on Bill O'Reilly:

Considering the various 'caveats' that Rivera has to add to his 'exclusive,' I don't know how much stock you can put into this. There are pundits out there who are predicting that the planned location for this mosque cannot happen. At this point, I think New Yorkers are past being reassured by this sort of stuff and just want to see it resolved once and for all.

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Delayed And Controversial, Lebanese all-women Flotilla Ship To Sail For Gaza

It seems that the Lebanese flotilla ship, first announced in June, is finally going to get underway after contradictory reports and delays. While an Arab News headline claims Lebanese all-women aid ship to sail for Gaza Sunday, the actual article itself indicates that is not exactly true--and that is not the least of their problems:
A Lebanese ship carrying aid and women activists who want to break Israel’s Gaza blockade will set sail Sunday from Lebanon despite warnings that they will not be allowed to make it past Cyprus, organizers said Thursday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Take Risks For Peace"? I Think We Get The Idea

George Will writes about the need-to-take-risks-for-peace lecture that Israel often gets:
In the intifada that began in 2000, Palestinian terrorism killed more than 1,000 Israelis. As a portion of U.S. population, that would be 42,000, approaching the toll of America’s eight years in Vietnam. During the onslaught, which began 10 Septembers ago, Israeli parents sending two children to a school would put them on separate buses to decrease the chance that neither would return for dinner. Surely most Americans can imagine, even if their tone-deaf leaders cannot, how grating it is when those leaders lecture Israel on the need to take “risks for peace.”
How much more grating is it when risks for peace such as the Disengagement result in nothing more than years of having thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians.

Besides the current administration has delivering that lecture...
Obama, July 2010: I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace. I think he’s willing to take risks for peace.
Sometimes the lecture includes both Israel and the Palestinian Arabs as well:

Imam Rauf's Ground Zero Mosque: Brilliance Or Incompetence

Victor David Hanson writes about The Cynical Brilliance of Imam Rauf:
Note that the world is not talking about banning the burqa in France, or shutting down a mosque in Germany. Much less are we familiar with the Russians leveling Muslim Grozny or the Chinese rounding up and jailing or shooting Muslims. And, of course, few care that the Saudis, whether the public or the government, would jail a Christian who built a church in Riyadh, or kill a nonbeliever who tried to enter Mecca.

No, Imam Rauf wanted to show the world that the most religiously tolerant country in the world was, in fact, hypocritically intolerant.

Barry Rubin: The West Thinks Palestinian Leaders Do It a Favor By Putting Conditions on Getting a State?

In short, why if the Palestinians are so motivated to get a state aren't they in a hurry to get one?
Barry Rubin

The West Thinks Palestinian Leaders Do It a Favor By Putting Conditions on Getting a State?

By Barry Rubin

Reportedly, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has just made two itty-bitty requests (or should I say, demands?) in order to return to direct negotiations.

First, Israel must agree in advance that the Palestinian state must get roughly all the land that before 1967 was part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Second, that no matter what happens in the talks, and whether or not Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement, there will be a Palestinian state within 24 months.

Let's take a moment and consider what this means.

How To Make Friends And Influence People--And Israel May Have It

Ever notice how it seems nearly every Arab country has lots of oil deposits--but Israel doesn't?

Well, think again:
Could the State of Israel be sitting on an oil reserve that can provide energy, cash flow, and international political influence? This is the question that everyone is waiting to be answered in the engineering report ordered by Givot Olam Oil, overseeing the drilling at the Megged 5 site, next to Rosh Ha'Ayin.

Video: Dimona 1962: If They Come, They Will Build It

I guess that is the difference between a Field of Dreams and a 'Country of Dreams'.

Hat tip to Elder of Ziyon who notes the stark contrast between the enthusiasm of Jews who come to a desolate, neglected area of sand and build, without the help of the UN--and the Palestinian Arabs who have complete control in Area A.

The video is in Hebrew, but the message is clear, as Elder of Ziyon puts it:
When a people want to build a country, they act accordingly. If the "state" they want to build is really, fundamentally meant only to destroy another, they also act accordingly.

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Is US Support For The US Decreasing? (Updated: Gallup--and Rasmussen--Says The Opposite)

That appears to be the result of a recent poll done by The Israel Project that asked Americans and Europeans about their views of Israel:
One of the questions that the poll presented was "Does the U.S. need to support Israel?" In August of 2009, 63% of Americans polled said that the U.S. does need to support Israel. In June of this year, 58% of respondents shared the same view; by July only 51% of respondents said the U.S. needed to support Israel.

Another question posed by the pole was "Is the Israeli government committed to peace with the Palestinians?" In December of 2007, 66% of respondents said that the government, then led by Ehud Olmert, was committed to peace with the Palestinians. In June of 2009, a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House, only 46% of Americans said they believed the Netanyahu government was committed to peace.

In the months of May and June, there appeared to be a positive change in American public opinion on the matter, with 53% of respondents saying they believe Netanyahu seeks peace. However, in July, only 45% of American said they felt Netanyahu was committed to the peace process. Thirty-nine percent responded that Netanyahu and his administration are not committed to seeking peace with the Palestinians.
While the news is not good, the decrease in support of Israeli is not across the board, but rather is focused in one particular segment of Americans:
Greenberg has analyzed the poll results and says that the section of the American public where Israel is most rapidly losing support is among Liberal Americans who align themselves with the Democratic Party.
This is not surprising--and is a consideration as the November elections approach.

UPDATED: Hat tip to Muqata for pointing me to the Gallup Poll that says Support for Israel in U.S. at 63%, Near Record High:
For the first time since 1991, more than 6 in 10 Americans -- 63% -- say their sympathies in the Middle East situation lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians. Fifteen percent side more with the Palestinians, down slightly from recent years, while a combined 23% favor both sides, favor neither side, or have no opinion.

The latest findings come from Gallup's annual World Affairs survey, updated Feb. 1-3, 2010. In the same poll, Americans were asked to give their opinions of 20 countries, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel's 67% favorable rating ranks among the highest and the Palestinian Authority's 20% among the lowest. However, current favorability toward Israel is similar to where it has been for the last several years, and favorability toward the Palestinians is on the high end of the range since 2000.
And while we're at it, here's Rasmussen:
1* Generally speaking, is Israel an ally of the United States, an enemy of the United States or somewhere in-between?

60% Ally
4% Enemy
31% Somewhere in between
6% Not sure

2* A year from now will America’s relationship with Israel be better than it is today, worse than it is today or about the same?

10% Better
34% Worse
45% About the same
12% Not sure
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'Appeals court rules against Utah memorial crosses'--Should They Have Built Churches Instead?

I suppose it's par for the course that Appeals court rules against Utah memorial crosses. Instead, what what the group should have done is buy property near each place and build a small church instead. It may not have resolved the problem, but it sure would have contributed to the Ground Zero Mosque debate:
The 14 crosses erected along Utah roads to commemorate fallen state Highway Patrol troopers convey a state preference for Christianity and are a violation of the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The ruling reverses a 2007 decision by a federal district judge that said the crosses communicate a secular message about deaths and were not a public endorsement of religion. It's the latest in a recent rash of mixed-bag rulings on the public use of crosses.

The Inevitable 'Ground Zero Mosque Is A "Zionist Conspiracy"--And How The Mosque Could Backfire

I suppose this should have been expected, but still...

Raymond Ibrahim writes that the Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reports that the charge comes from Al Azhar — one of Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institutions:
A number of Al Azhar ulema expressed their opposition to building a mosque near [where] the events of September 11 [occurred], convinced that it is “a conspiracy to confirm a clear connection between the strikes of September [11] and Islam.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who Appointed The Media To Judge Who Is A Muslim Moderate?

By now you have to be willfully blind not to know that the imam in charge of the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the moderate Muslim we have allegedly been yearning for.
Maureen Dowd

What is it that makes the media such experts on who is a Muslim moderate?
And why are we so ready to believe their pronouncements on such issues?

Back in 2003, when ZOA sponsored a poll by John McLaughlin and Associates they found that:
64% believe that world leaders should refuse to meet with Arafat’s number two man, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), since he has claimed that the Nazis did not murder six million Jews—just as world leaders have refused to meet with others who have denied or distorted the Holocaust.
Americans knew where Abbas stood on that issue and realized that Abbas was simply not the kind of person the worlds leaders should be meeting with.

Today things are different.

Syria: Clog Capital Of The Middle East!

Lebanon has its hummus--but Syria has its clogs.
But maybe not for much longer, since Clog Industry... Heritage Threatened with Extinction:
Although many now consider the clog as an out-of-date fashion, the distinguished sound it produce still succeeds in stirring a unique sensation of the listener taking him/her back in memory to ancient Damascus, and its homes and alleys.

Clog industry in Damascus, which spread in the 1950s, is threatened with extinction nowadays.

Muslims Want President BUSH To Speak On Behalf of Ground Zero Mosque

Byron York writes that Mosque supporters beg George W. Bush to come to Obama's rescue:
There's a new argument emerging among supporters of the Ground Zero mosque. Distressed by President Obama's waffling on the issue, they're calling on former President George W. Bush to announce his support for the project, because in this case Bush understands better than Obama the connection between the war on terror and the larger question of America's relationship with Islam.

Congratulations To Elder Of Ziyon, Ranked #15 By Technorati

Elder of Ziyon is now ranked on Technorati:

  • #56 in Technorati Top Political Blogs
  • #15 in Technorati Top World Political Blogs
Check it out.

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The Debt Of Today's Arab World To British Colonialism

In his discussion of Historical Fiction, Dore Gold discusses the claim that Israel is the result of colonialism. He notes that Jews were already exercising their right to self-determination in the land before the 1922 British Mandate and before the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire.

The same cannot be said of the Arabs at the time. In fact, historically
most of the Arab states owe their origins to the entry and domination of the European powers. Prior to World War I, the Arab states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan did not exist, but were only districts of the Ottoman Empire, under different names. They became states as a result of European intervention, with the British putting the Hashemite family in power in two of these countries.

Video: Ramadan Is A Time For Fasting, Prayer--And Anti-Semitic Soap Operas

Soap operas are a big hit this Ramadan:
“Most people think it’s wrong to spend Ramadan watching television instead of reading the Qur’an, engaging in worship and attending mosques, but I can do both,” said [university student Amnah] Al-Sayyed.

The Ground Zero Mosque Mess Continues--And Could Have Been Avoided

Claims and counterclaims continue to fly around the Ground Zero Mosque.

As it is, it is not even clear if the location of the Ground Zero Mosque is even going to facilitate its use as a mosque. On the one hand, 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, Al-Arabiya TV director-general and former editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat wrote in a column:
"[T]here are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district....The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery."
At the same time, Sharif El-Gamal, the mosque developer, insists that:
"While we have a tremendous amount of respect for our governor... this has always been about serving Lower Manhattan."
Now CBS is reporting about a second meeting that Governor Paterson is going to have with Muslims associated with the project, in order to offer another site on state land.

In West Bank, If Imams Can't Spread Hatred Of Israel, They Criticize The PA

The Palestinian Authority says the problem is what the imams are saying, but Hamas is claiming PA waging war on Islam, Allah
Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday of “waging war on Islam and Allah” by detaining and firing hundreds of imams and banning the recitation of the Koran over loudspeakers on mosques.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Progress! Lebanon Gives Palestinians The Right To Enter Professions They Won't Be Able To Join

This is an important and basic step towards improving the humanitarian conditions of the refugees. It does not have any political effects because the Lebanese unanimously agree on the Palestinians right of return and reject naturalisation.
Hassan Fadlallah, a Lebanese lawmaker

How do you say Catch 22 in Arabic?
Aljazeera is claiming that Palestinians in Lebanon gain rights, but it is unclear exactly how: