Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video: How The US Conducts Diplomacy In The Middle East

From Mere Rhetoric:
Accurate dramatization, per State Department cables published by Wikileaks, of how the United States conducts diplomacy in the Middle East.
Looks accurate to me--down to the opposable thumbs...

The basis for the rather unflattering portrayal of 'Mideast experts' may be based on an article in Just Journalism on how Mideast experts downplay Arab fears of Iran and insist on blaming Israel:

Iran, Palestinian Authority Are Terrified Of Jewish Symbols In Their Midst

Muslims seem to get awfully upset by Jewish symbols.

Iran was absolutely apoplectic over discovering a Jewish star on top of the Tehran Airport revealed via Google Earth

November 29--And Why The Palestinians Are So Special

Good question, no? Just why are the Palestinian Arabs treated differently than any other group aspiring to a state of their own?

As far as November 29, Arlene Kushner writes about the special consideration accorded to the aspirations of Arabs who never had a state:

The US Stopped The USSR; It Can Stop Iran Too

Spengler writes about the depth of Obama's sympathies for the Muslim world--and that Obama "cannot bring himself to be the American president who ruins a Muslim land":
It is wishful thinking that the Iranian problem can be managed without bringing ruin to the Persian pocket empire. In many respects, Iran resembles the Soviet Union just before the collapse of communism. It turned out that there were no communists in Russia outside the upper echelons of the party. There are very few Muslims in Iran outside of the predatory mullahcracy. According to Zohreh Soleimani of the BBC [access podcast here], Iran has the lowest mosque attendance of any Muslim country; only 2% of adults attend Friday services, a gauge of disaffection comparable to church attendance in Western Europe. Iran's fertility rate of about 1.6 children per women, coincidentally, is about the same as Western Europe's. Iran has a huge contingent of young people, but they have ceased to have children. They have faith neither in the national religion nor in the future of their nation.

Yes, The US Spies On Israel Too

"It is no secret that despite intelligence cooperation and an understanding between the two countries that they will not spy on each other, both Israel and the United States have been involved in such actions."

If anything, when it comes to Spy vs. Spy, the US seems to have the upper hand over Israel:
The United States broke an Israeli code and tapped the secure phone line in the Israeli Embassy in Washington without Jerusalem's knowledge.

Israeli NGO’s preparing #Flotilla from Ashdod to Dublin

In response to Ireland's financial problems, Israel has taken a page out of the playbook of all of those human rights groups who have done so much for Gaza--and CiF Watch has the exclusive:
Israeli NGOs horrified by the developing humanitarian crisis in Ireland have organized a flotilla called Viva Dublina. A spokesman for Viva Dublina said: “We are horrified by the developing humanitarian crisis in Ireland!” Viva Dublina has been loaned one of the world’s largest luxury cruise liners by an Israeli shipping mogul to act as a flotilla from Ashdod to Dublin. The mogul wrote a letter to Ha’aretz saying: “I am horrified by the developing humanitarian crisis in Ireland!” The ship will be used to return the useless junk and out of date medications sent on flotillas manned by anti-Israeli Irish activists that are currently clogging the warehouses in Ashdod after Hamas refused to accept the “donations”. Egypt has asked if the flotilla can stop in El Arish to take similar “donations” that are clogging the warehouses there. Egypt says it prefers to use its warehouses to store kassam rocket parts and Mercedes-Benz sedans for Hamas.
Read the whole thing.

And don't forget: give generously!

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If Obama Is Trying To Weaken Netanyahu--It's Working!

It seems that Likud is getting wary--and weary--of Netanyahu:
A Likud rally at the Knesset on Monday aimed at pressuring the party’s ministers to oppose another construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria turned into a protest against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when party activists called for his ouster.
While MK Danny Danon criticizes Netanyahu, he doesn't want to go so far as to topple Bibi--for fear of clearing the way for bringing Livni into power, but not all members of Likud are showing the same restraint:

Saudi Arabia: Hates Iran, But Loves Al Qaeda--And Relies On Israel

I already posted earlier today that Arab World Agrees With Israel--Iran Is More Urgent Than A Palestinian State, which makes sense from the viewpoint of keeping the status quo--particularly Sunni Arab dominance vis-a-vis Muslim non-Arab Shiites.

On the other hand, based on a small snippet reported in passing by The New York Times, we see that Saudi Arabia still supports Al Qaeda--in a big way:
Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda, and the tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, a generous host to the American military for years, was the “worst in the region” in counterterrorism efforts, according to a State Department cable last December.

Monday, November 29, 2010

If Israel Is Not Behind Stuxnet, Then Who?

An article on Fox News indicates that even now, Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran's Nuclear Weapons Ambitions. People are still marveling over the complexity of the computer virus Stuxnet, and the article goes into some detail on what Stuxnet was programmed to do in order to devoid detection.

The one thing that continues to remain a mystery is who is behind it:

Atheists Are Reasonable--But Not Stupid

A sign you'll spot on the way to the Lincoln Tunnel:

The New York Times blog City Room explains the motivation behind these brave atheists attacking Christianity:

The Iranian Nuclear Scientist Murder Mystery

Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air about another attempt to delay Iran's acquisition of nuclear power--killing their scientists:
Fresh off the revelation that Iran’s Sunni neighbors urged the US to attack Iran and decapitate its regime, two bombs targeting scientists in Iran’s nuclear program killed one and wounded another today in separate but apparently linked blasts. These attacks follow earlier apparent assassinations that killed two other researchers in their nuclear program. The Iranians, however, have chosen not to blame its neighbors but instead put the blame on Israel
Just 24 hours ago, Israel would have been the logical choice.

Select Israeli Soldiers To Be Armed--With Cameras

It has become clear that to defend Israel requires not only the finest weapons and the best trained soldiers to use them--defending Israel also requires providing pictures to explain what the IDF faces on the battlefield
While most soldiers in the Egoz combat unit are doing exhausting Krav Maga (hand-to-hand combat) exercises, learning camouflage techniques and navigating morning to night, six of their friends are taking part in something completely different. These six soldiers, picked from their entire class which completed the combat course, will now sit in a classroom for one week learning about the aperture adjuster, proper composition, shutter and speed. No, there’s no mistake here - these are all photography terms. And these are Egoz combat soldiers learning photography.

Nominees For The 2010 Hasby Awards

Elder of Ziyon has announced the nominees for the 2010 Hasby Awards--for the best hasbara events of the year.

The winners will be announced on December 7th in New York City, where Elder of Ziyon will be giving a presentation on Hasbara 2.0: What Works and Why.

Here are the nominees, in no particular order (check Elder of Ziyon's post for related videos and links)

Wikileaks Confirm Our Analysis of U.S. Policy and Middle East Politics

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

By Barry Rubin
November 29, 2010

Please forgive me for saying this, but what really amazed me in reading the Wikileaks was how thoroughly they proved points I've been making for years. I wouldn't have had the nerve to say that except that readers have been telling me the same thing.

1. Iran steadily smuggled arms to Hizballah using various means including in ambulances and medical vehicles during the 2006 war. This violates the laws of war. At times, the media has condemned Israel for attacking ambulances though it showed Hamas was also using such vehicles for military and arms-smuggling operations. Moreover, the postwar UN force proved consistently ineffective in stopping smuggling while the U.S. government did not denounce Iran, Syria, and Hizballah for breaking the ceasefire arrangements.

Has the Obama Administration Failed Again? No Freeze, No Talks, No Competence

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

By Barry Rubin

While the outcome still isn’t clear, it seems that a new example of failure and humiliation is unfolding for the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy.

It appears increasingly unlikely that the president’s high-profile effort to restart Israel-Palestinian talks will succeed during the remainder of 2010 or even well beyond that time.

This Administration has had a very clear idea of what it wanted to achieve:

1. A comprehensive Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli peace.

2. Getting rid of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the belief that this will reduce terrorism and strengthen US power in region and US interests.

3. Getting rid of the conflict to get Arab support on Iraq, Iran, and Aghanistan.

The embarrassment is taking place due to faulty assumptions about these goals and how to achieve them:

Wikileaks: Arab World Agrees With Israel--Iran Is More Urgent Than A Palestinian State

Last year, it became clear that the Obama administration has made a point of putting pressure on Israel to make the peace talks work as the first step towards addressing Iran:
Israel risks losing support from Arab nations against Iran if it does not make progress in Mideast peace talks with the Palestinians, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

..."For Israel to get the kind of strong support it's looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can't stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts," Clinton told legislators on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

The two "go hand in hand," Clinton said.

Arab nations want "very much to support the strongest possible posture toward Iran," Clinton said.

"They believe that Israel's willingness to reenter into discussions with the Palestinian Authority strengthens them in being able to deal with Iran," she said.

If there is progress on peace talks "then a lot of the Arab countries are saying to us there will be a sequencing of support that will strengthen the region's response to Iran," she said.
Now Mere Rhetoric has pointed out that based on the documents leaked by Wikileaks, it is clear that the Arab states do not share the focus on creating a Palestinian state.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Then Again, The New York Times Will Quote Anyone Who Is Anti-Israel

If even the Dutch government thinks the Electronic Intifada is toxic, what does that say about the New York Times, which has published Abunimah’s columns and quoted him in news articles as an objective expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Alana Goodman, Anti-Israel Website Indirectly Funded by Dutch Government
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Video: In 1978, 28 Year Old Netanyahu Debates The Issue Of A Palestinian State

A 28-year old Benyamin Netanyahu, calling himself Ben Nitay, debates on the 1978 US TV show "The Advocate" against Palestinian self-determination and intriguingly suggests West Bank and Gaza Palestinians could have Israeli citizenship. He is debated (or rather questioned) by Fouad Ajami, now professor at Johns Hopkins University's SAIS. Note that Bibi says that while he opposes a Palestinian state, he thinks Palestinians could vote and have full rights in either Jordan or Israel - essentially endorsing a one-state solution.

Hat tip: LK

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Video: Bear Vs. Bear on "Did The Avos Keep All Of The Mitzvos"

It all started with a bear and a vort:

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein believes some will read into the video a criticism of the Avos or of Chazal:

Does The Anti-Israel BDS Movement Stand For Bluff, Deception And Scam? (Updated: More Funny Business)

The major Dutch pension fund Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW), which has investments totaling 97 billion euros, has informed The Electronic Intifada that it has divested from almost all the Israeli companies in its portfolio.
Electronic Intifada, in "Major Dutch pension fund divests from occupation", November 12, 2010

Ben S. Cohen, Associate Director of Communications, AJC, read this post in Electric Intifada, crowing about this alleged divestment from Israel and decided to ask about it himself. As it turned out, what Cohen was told was different from what Electronic Intifada had been 'informed'. There was no divestment in the Netherlands from Israel:

Israeli Border Police Cleared In Case of Emily Henochowicz, Who Was Blinded In One Eye

Israeli border police have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident that left Emily Henochowicz blinded in one eye:
The Judea and Samaria district police found no criminal wrongdoing in the actions of the Border Police soldiers who left an American art student without an eye after getting hit in the face with a tear gas canister at a protest in Qalandiyah six months ago.

The incident took place on May 31, when Emily Henochowicz, a student at Cooper Union College in New York, took part in a small protest against the Israel Defense Forces raid on the Turkish flotilla to Gaza that morning.

Video footage of the incident shows Henochowicz, who carried a Turkish flag, injured from a tear gas grenade. She lost one of her eyes, and suffered several other fractures. Henochowicz has since returned to the United States to complete her studies.
The family lodged a complaint, claiming that the cannister was actually fired directly at their daughter, while the Border Police say it ricocheted off a barricade.

Video: From Latma--Oops, Bibi Does It Again

Good point: If the US is impelled to get Israel to make another unilateral concession for peace with promises of weapons, just how stable is the peace the US is pushing Israel into?

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The Real Lessons of the Korea Crisis: It Explains How The World Works Today

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

By Barry Rubin

What is the United States and the world going to do about an act of aggression by North Korea on South Korea, the deliberate unprovoked firing of mortars at civilians? And what are the lessons of this situation for other world problems?

First, nobody is going to do anything real in response to this attack. Indeed, the South Koreans are lucky that they aren’t being investigated and condemned for something or other.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Still Lethal Obsession

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Jerusalem Post
November 26, 2010

No matter how many prizes Professor Robert Wistrich's massive tome A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad garners the book still deserves more attention than it has received. Indeed no amount of attention would be sufficient.

Its packed 938 pages of text reflect neither authorial grandiosity nor editorial lassitude. The copious detail amassed is required in order that Wistrich's central arguments not be dismissed as cherry-picked quotes used to exaggerate the seriousness of the phenomena under discussion. Random House, a commercial publisher, did not request him to cut a single sentence.

A Lethal Obsession stands as a refutation of three widespread misconceptions fostered in the West, partly out of ignorance and partly out of fear. The first is that radical Islam is a relatively minor phenomenon in the Muslim world. The second is that the Palestinian-Israeli dispute is primarily about borders, and amenable to solutions on that basis. And the third is that a nuclear Iran can be deterred in the same manner as the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

According To Unsealed Court Ruling, Federal Judge Agrees: CAIR Tied To Hamas

Steve Emerson writes about the events leading to the unsealing of the court ruling indicating the evidence that CAIR is tied to Hamas.

In the 2008 trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), 5 former HLF officials were convicted of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. In that trial, CAIR was one of those groups listed--along with Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)--as being unindicted co-conspirators.

CAIR, ISNA and NAIT wanted claims of their ties to Hamas removed and the record sealed. On July 1, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruled that while their inclusion on the list of unindicted co-conspirators should not have been made public--but denied their request to have references to the groups removed from the record because of the strength of the evidence.

That ruling by Judge Soltis was under seal until recently.

Video: The Story Behind The UN Vote For A Jewish State

Hat tip to The Muqata, who posted about this.

From the YouTube page:
Toldot Yisrael presents the story of the November 29th, 1947 UN vote for the Partition of Palestine, when, within a few brief moments, 20 centuries of Jewish homelessness came to an end.

This movie is the second episode in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel. It is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

This is the 2nd video in the series--the first is Echoes Of A Shofar:
"Echoes of a Shofar" is the premiere episode in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel. It is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program being developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation.

Under a British law in Palestine passed in 1930, Jews were forbidden to blow the shofar at the Kotel, pray loudly there, or bring Torah scrolls, so as not to offend the Arab population.

Despite this restriction, for the next seventeen years, the shofar was sounded at the Kotel every Yom Kippur. Shofars were smuggled in to the Kotel where brave teenagers defiantly blew them at the conclusion of the fast. Some managed to get away - others were captured and sent to jail for up to six months.

Six of these men are still alive.

Two weeks ago, these six men returned to the scene of their "crime". Armed with shofars, they recounted their individual stories and blew shofar again at the Kotel.

This is their powerful and inspiring story.

So, what is Toldot Yisrael?
Here is Toldot Yisrael's Mission Statement:
Personal stories bring a new perspective to the events historians have already written about. The mission of Toldot Yisrael is to capture this national narrative and preserve it for future generations. It is a last chance to record this glorious chapter in Jewish history before it is too late.

By presenting authentic, unedited accounts of the founding of the State of Israel, Toldot Yisrael’s interactive archive will:
• Reinforce the positive role Israel plays in contemporary Jewish identity through these personal stories of genuine human triumph;
• Restore the sense of purpose for young Israelis by helping them reconnect to their past;
• Remind the world at large of the Jewish People’s legitimate right to a sovereign state and its struggle for independence in the shadow of the Holocaust.
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180,000 Palestinian Arabs Treated In Israeli HospitalsThis Year

From the IDF:
Humanitarian dilemmas are a recurring issue in the Judea and Samaria region. A terrorist fires at IDF soldiers, is shot and gets wounded. Is an IDF medic to be called to treat him? A building is about to collapse in the heart of Ramallah. Does the IDF enter? Does it jeopardize its soldiers’ lives, or does it call the International Red Cross and risk losing precious time?

To Israel, the answer to these questions is clear. According to Division Medical Officer, Lt. Col. Michael Kassirer, “The treatment of the Palestinian population is first and foremost a moral and professional obligation for every one of us.” Do we treat them? There is no question about it. But what happens in the long run and how? Where do international organizations fit in? How will an independent Palestinian medical body be established and how does coordination between bodies happen in life? These are the real questions.

In order to start answering these questions, a special conference on the topic of humanitarian medicine was held on Monday (Nov. 22), at Hadassah Medical Center at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. Commanders and medics attended in order to speak and learn, from the most senior, IDF Chief Medical Officer and the Commander of Judea and Samaria Division, to the 19-year-old paramedics serving with the battalions in the region.

Can Israel Live with a Palestinian State?

by Jonathan Rosenblum
November 24, 2010

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's June 14 2009 foreign policy address at Bar Ilan University made headlines around the world for his acceptance of a Palestinian state. Less noticed by the foreign press was the second part of Netanyahu's speech: His demand for reciprocity from the Palestinians. That Palestinian state, he said, would have to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, it would have to be demilitarized, and Israel's critical security needs would have to be honored.

That reference to Israel's critical security needs represented a return to the traditional Israeli position that peace with its Arab neighbors can only come through secure borders for Israel. The classic statement of that doctrine was the so-called Allon Plan, formulated by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War. Allon envisioned Israel retaining captured territory in Judea and Samaria vital to Israel's security, especially the Jordan Valley – the entire area from the Jordan River bed to the crest of the eastern slope of the Judean and Samarian mountain ridge facing the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. In a speech to the Knesset, one month before his assassination, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, who served under Allon in the pre-state Palmach, reiterated the vision of his mentor. "The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley in the broadest meaning of that term," Rabin said. He added that Israel would not return to the 1949 armistice lines, which were in place until June 5 1967.

From the middle of the Oslo process, however, Israel's traditional security-based diplomacy doctrine began to be replaced by a radically different approach, best describes as diplomacy-based security: the idea that peace is not secured by Israel retaining the ability to defeat any possible combination of enemies, but by entering into diplomatic agreements with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors. That new approach reached its height under the premiership of Ehud Barak at the 2000 Camp David conference, when Yasir Arafat was offered a state in virtually the entirety of territory Israel captured in 1967.

One analyst who was listening carefully to both parts of Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech, was Daniel Diker, a Harvard-trained, foreign policy fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), and currently Secretary-General designate of the World Jewish Congress. JCPA is headed by Dr. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. With the backing and direction of Gold, Diker conceived the idea of gathering a group of Israel's leading military strategists to flesh out the comprehensive security analysis behind Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why American Airport Security Is Really So Horrendous

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

Why American Airport Security Is Really So Horrendous

By Barry Rubin

Security checks at American airports have become the most controversial topic in the United States. This debate is so full of mistaken assumptions and misleading ideas that it is hard to know where to start in analyzing it.

Let’s consider the terrorist threat within the United States. The opening point must be that the threat of terrorism on airplanes within the United States is very low in frequency. That doesn’t mean a successful attack might not be horrendous, but that the number of attacks the terrorists can mount is going to be small.

Ask yourself this question: How many terrorists will try this year to get on board internal U.S. plane flights? The answer might be zero and it is almost certainly lower than five.

Your J Street Factsheet

From NGO Monitor
November 23, 2010

·     Founded in 2008 in opposition to AIPAC, J Street calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace”; claims to support a peaceful, two-state solution, and aims to “redefine… what it means to be pro-Israel.”
·     Consists of three independent organizationsJ Street, a 501(c)(4) registered lobbying group; JStreetPAC, a political action committee that donates to candidates; and J Street Education Fund, a 501(c)(3).
·     Also launched the ObamaSmearBusters.com website, “dedicated to fighting smears on President Obama’s sensible policy in the Middle East.”

Subtleties Of The Settlements--And The Settlers

Gil Troy writes that not all Israeli settlements are the same--in fact, it is possible to distinguish among four different types of settlements:
  • Once-settled settlements, restoring communities like the Jewish Quarter or Kfar Etzion.
  • Security settlements, following the Allon Plan among other strategies, building outposts along the Jordanian border and at critical military junctures.
  • Suburban settlements, within commuting distance of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, absorbing some of the demographic pressure choking the middle of the country.
  • Salvation settlements, initiated by Gush Emunim and other diehards, to restore a Jewish presence in Biblical lands.
Keeping that in mind, Troy goes one step further and suggests that if any sort of compromise is going to be reached about the settlements, it will become necessary for the world to acknowledge that there exists at least 4 distinct initiatives in these disputed areas:

IRS Continues Constitutional Violations Concerning Israel

It appears that the IRS is making inappropriate--if not illegal--use of its authority when it comes to pro-Israel groups:
A Pennsylvania Jewish group that has claimed the Internal Revenue Service is targeting pro-Israel groups introduced in federal court today a letter from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.

"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status. "Describe your organization's religious belief sytem toward the land of Israel."

The document emerged in the course of a lawsuit filed in August by Z Street, a hawkish group that casts itself as the Zionist answer to the liberal J Street. Z Street claims that a different IRS agent reviewing its application for tax exempt status said the agency is "carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel" and that "a special unit" is determining whether its activities "contradict the Administration's public policies.'"
Read the whole thing.

Here is a news release from Z Street from this past Monday:
News Release 
Z STREET: IRS Continues Constitutional Violations
Concerning Israel

WHEN: November 22, 2010

Z STREET, an organization devoted to pro-Israel public education, today filed in federal court its Opposition to the government’s effort to continue violating the US Constitution by discriminating against the organization because its views on Israel and the Middle East differ from those of this government. On August 25, 2010 Z STREET filed a Complaint in federal court charging the Internal Revenue Service with constitutional violations by subjecting Z STREET’s application for tax exemption to a discriminatory process.

Are Moderate, Peace Loving Muslims Really That Hard To Find?

Tundra Tabloid writes about a self-described "peace forum" which is being sponsored by an organization called Hakunila. According to their mission statement, Hakunila's goal is:
to promote the awareness and knowledge of the different cultures and advance multicultural activities in the Finland. We aim for overall tolerance in Finland by applying preventive and antiracist policies.
If their aim is overall tolerance, they've invited the wrong people.

U.N. Pours Salt In America's Wounds: Durban III Is On

For Immediate Release:
November 24, 2010 Contact: Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

U.N. Pours Salt In America's Wounds
Durban III Is On

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on FoxNews.com.

Just when we were beginning to get into the holiday spirit, the United Nations decided that Durban III is coming to town.

Late yesterday, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a resolution which launches another global “anti-racism” hatefest. It is intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the debacle held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. But this time, the UN has outdone itself: the celebration of a notorious prescription for intolerance, closely linked to Islamic extremism, is now scheduled for New York City just days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Video: MK Uzi Landau On Freeze Deal with the US--And How Much A Promise Is Worth

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Thanksgiving, Which Do You Use: Challah Or Hawaiin Bread?

Kathryn Jean Lopez rescues one of the Thanksgiving Day recipes she recommended that calls for challah :
Over the weekend, I linked to some old Corner Thanksgiving recipe threads (cranberries and pumpkin bread pudding). A reader in Iowa had a problem with one:

Impeach Ahmadinejad!

Has a nice ring, don't you think?

Iran's parliament seems to think so:
Iran's parliament revealed it planned to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but refrained under orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exposing a deepening division within the regime.

Lawmakers also launched a new petition to bring a debate on the president's impeachment, conservative newspapers reported Monday.
But it seems that the motivation is not so much dissatisfaction with Ahmadinejad's performance as president as will a power struggle between the two.

Video: TV Show Reveals Anti-Semitism Taught In Some British Muslim Schools

The British program Panorama found hatred of Jews taught in British Muslim schools:
...Panorama said the [Muslim]centers fell under the umbrella of the Saudi Students' Schools and Clubs in the UK and Ireland and have been teaching the Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 children.

It said the schools, which teach children between the ages of 6 and 18, have been using textbooks that contain diagrams showing the Sharia way to cut off the hands and feet of people convicted of theft and that Zionists are plotting to take over the world for Jews.

It said it had obtained a textbook that asked children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jews. It also said they were told the punishment for sodomy was death and that there is a difference of opinion on whether this should be by stoning, burning or throwing off a cliff.

Hamas Pulls Out The Rug From Under The Goldstone Report

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

In the above quote, Hamad's admission that Hamas lost between 600 and 700 fighters during Israel's Operation Cast Lead mirrors what Israel claimed all along: that 709 Hamas combatants were killed.

As CAMERA notes, the Hamas admission directly undercuts the Goldstone Report's contention that Israel targeted civilians as well:

Whose Afraid Of Democracy?

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-abbas-poster.htmlThe Arab world and their apologists are, that's for sure.

The Israeli Knesset passed a law requiring a referendum before withdrawing from Israeli territory:
Because the law only applies to sovereign Israeli territory, no referendum would be needed to withdraw from any part of the West Bank. However, a referendum would be required for a pullout from East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, as both have been annexed by Israel. It would also be required if, under a future deal with the Palestinians, Israel ceded land within the pre-1967 lines in exchange for keeping the settlement blocs.
The predictable response?

Abbas Admires The "Outstanding Leadership" Of The Grand Mufti

We must also recall also outstanding leadership in the Palestinian people before him, the Grand Mufti of Palestine-Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who sponsored the struggle from the beginning, and sponsored the struggle and displacement for the cause and died away from the home
Abbas, quoted in Maan.

The Grand Mufti?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obama's Statement of Support for Lebanon Shows His Lack of Support for Lebanon

The following post by Barry Rubin is reposted here with permission

By Barry Rubin

Even when you say the right thing it can only highlight the fact that you haven’t been doing it. Take President Barack Obama’s statement on Lebanon. The wording is all correct, yet it only makes the fact that this has nothing to do with actual U.S. policy stand out even more vividly.

Thus, when Obama said that he is committed to keeping Lebanon free of “terrorism,” the fact is that—in part due to weak U.S. policy—the country is largely under the control of Hizballah, a terrorist group. Right now, Hizballah doesn’t have to make many terrorist attacks since it has already used terrorism successfully to gain veto power over state policy.

U.N. Ignores Haiti and Darfur But Points Fingers at U.S., Israel

For Immediate Release:
November 23, 2010 Contact: Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

U.N. Ignores Haiti and Darfur
But Points Fingers at U.S., Israel

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on FoxNews.com.

Over in Turtle Bay, the U.N. General Assembly is now wrapping up its key fall session. After taking a good hard look at human rights violations around the globe, it has come to the following conclusions about the world’s ills: In 2010, eighty percent of all its condemnations of alleged human rights abuses – twenty-one resolutions – will have been directed at Israel alone.

The Assembly will also finish the year having decided that only six more of the 192 U.N. member states raise human rights concerns. Warranting a single resolution each are Afghanistan, Burma, Georgia, Iran, North Korea, and the United States.

In Defense Of Cats Against Canine Propaganda

(Not that cats actually give a hoot what this report says anyway.)

The Telegraph reveals its canine bias:
Dogs are 'smarter than cats'
Dogs are cleverer than cats because their friendly character has helped them develop bigger brains, a study set to end the argument between pet lovers has shown.

Yet Another FBI Report That Disproves CAIR's Wild Exaggerations

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.
Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR

That's CAIR doing what it does best: inflaming hate and tensions.

The fact is that CAIR has no read on what is going on--not only do they not know what is going on in the Muslim community, CAIR has no idea how many Muslims live in the US.

Writing about a Pew survey in 2007, Patrick Poole writes about CAIR's exaggerated numbers for the Muslim US population:
The Pew Study refutes two of the most regular claims offered by CAIR. The first is the 8 million Muslim myth - the attempt by CAIR and other Islamist organizations to inflate the Muslim population to claim greater political clout. But Pew estimates only 2.35 million Muslims - less than one percent of the total population. This is in line with most other official studies conducted over the past decade by Pew, the University of Chicago, Columbia University and others.
More to the point is the second CAIR myth shattered by the facts:
The second myth propounded by CAIR destroyed by this study is that Muslims in America are everywhere oppressed and alienated by non-Muslims. [CAIR official]Al-Akhras himself claims that American Muslims are well-integrated into society, and the Pew poll finds that Muslim-American personal income and education are comparable to the public at-large. This is hardly the portrait of a victimized community, and is evidence that the fear-mongering which is the staple of CAIR's public statements has no basis in fact. The support by  Ahmad Al-Ahkras for the Pew study findings contradicts some of the very claims he has made about the downtrodden Muslim community in the past.
With this in mind, no one should be surprised how wrong and misleading Hooper is when FBI hate crime stats show Jews still much more likely than Muslims to be victim of hate crime assault:
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program in 2009 [view here] there were 8,336 victims of hate crimes. 48.8 percent of those victims were targeted because of a racial bias, 18.9 percent because of a religious bias, and 17.8 percent because of a bias against a person’s sexual orientation.

There were 4,057 victims of racially motivated hate crimes. Over 70 percent of those victims were targeted because of an anti-black bias. The second highest group targeted because of race were victims of an anti-white bias (16.5 percent).

Of the 1,575 victims of a religious bias, over 70 percent were victims of an anti-Jewish bias. The second highest group, at 8.4 percent, were the victims of an anti-Muslim bias.
I've been blogging about CAIR's misleading statements on Islamophobia since 2006, most recently back in August when CAIR came out of the woodwork to accuse opponents of the 9/11 mosque of being racists. The numbers year to year demonstrate that CAIR's claims are wildly exaggerated--and that CAIR has a history of fudging the numbers they use, as documented by Daniel Pipes, American Thinker, Michelle Malkin and NPR, which reveals the extent of CAIR's deception this way:
any bias incident, from a Muslim being yelled at from a passing car, to a Muslim being profiled on a plane, can wind up in CAIR's report
All the more reason for making the FBI's result known each year to counter the false claims propagated by CAIR.

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Free Palestine--But Not The Palestinians!

Whatever might be said in favor of freedom for Palestine, there has been to date precious little freedom in Palestine, whether in the Hamas-controlled statelet of Gaza or in the parts of the West Bank under Fatah's dominion.
Bret Stephens

For all the talk of "Free Palestine!"--part of the problem is that the apologists who have made this their mantra demonstrate no concern on the consequences. They may claim that they want a Palestinian state free from Israel, but they don't seem to care if the Arabs themselves are free.

Obama Has A Gerald Ford Moment

"There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford Administration...Each of these countries [Yugoslavia, Rumania and Poland] is independent, autonomous; it has its own territorial integrity.
Gerald Ford, during 1976 Presidential debate

That was then; now let's take a look at a speech Obama made yesterday, claiming that Lebanon is now free of foreign influence:
U.S. President Barack Obama, in a markedly personal statement, said Monday he was committed to keeping Lebanon free of "terrorism" as tensions and fears of violence rose sharply in Beirut.

Obama marked Lebanon's Independence Day by firmly backing a special tribunal into the murder of former premier Rafik Hariri, amid media reports the probe will directly link Hizbullah to the 2005 killing.

"I am committed to doing everything I can to support Lebanon and ensure it remains free from foreign interference, terrorism, and war," Obama said in the written statement.
If Obama thinks that Lebanon is free of Iranian influence, he is making a mistake on a par with Gerald Ford's mistake about Poland.

Prosecuting The Murderers of Hariri--In The Footsteps Of The Srebrenica Massacre

Now Lebanon has a piece that suggests that Lebanon appears to be following in the footsteps of the former Yugoslavia--if not in terms of the actual murders themselves, then in terms of the failure in prosecuting the murderers:
Around 8,000 Bosnian boys and men were killed in July 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina by units of the Bosnian-Serb army in an atrocity now known to the world as the Srebrenica massacre, the largest mass murder in Europe after World War II. It happened during the Bosnian war between the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Croats, the two main ethnic groups in the region backed by Serbia, and respectively, Croatia.

The man accused of orchestrating the massacre, the ethnic cleansing that followed it and also the siege of Sarajevo in 1992-1995 was general Ratko Mladic, the head of the Bosnian Serb army at the time. He is still at large, although he was charged with crimes against humanity, genocide and mass murder by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

For the ICTY’s prosecutor’s office it is still a challenge to cooperate with the Serb government and its intelligence apparatus, which until recently was led by the Serb nationalists. They were not willing to turn a fellow Serb (and possibly friend) in to a court of international justice. The indictments were easy for the ICTY, but it was catching the defendants, and later on the witness intimidation and false depositions allegations, that gave the Prosecutor’s office in Hague the biggest headaches.

While the STL is still expected to formulate indictments, despite an investigation that has lasted three years because of scant evidence, the institution has all the mistakes and misfortunes of its predecessor, the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, to learn from in order to expect the difficulties that it might face later on.

The Great Mystery: What's The Obama Administration Up To On Israel-Palestinian Talks? (Update: Joe Settler))

The following post by Barry Rubin is reposted here with permission
The Great Mystery: What's The Obama Administration Up To On Israel-Palestinian Talks?

By Barry Rubin
November 22, 2010

Letters I receive from readers mainly focus on asking me what I think about the U.S.-Israel-PA negotiations about getting back to...negotiations. What is my view of this big deal that's being discussed for a three-month freeze on Israeli construction.

My response has been that until we have a clear, authoritative, and detailed description of what's being asked and offered, there's no sense in analyzing it.

Yet something very strange is going on.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Hezbollah--Fly Me!

Would you fly in a jet overseen by Hezbollah?
If you're flying out of Lebanon, you may not have a choice.

Commenting on the news that earlier this month Rep. Howard Berman lifted the hold on $100 million of funding for the Lebanese Armed Forces, Michael Rubin notes the implications of Hezbollah's infiltration of the Lebanese Armed Forces:
The State Department wants to fund the Lebanese army in order to symbolize America's commitment to Lebanese sovereignty and counter Lebanon's temptation to turn elsewhere for its weaponry. But any funding for the Lebanese Armed Forces at this point in time would be akin to providing aid and assistance directly to Hezbollah, a terrorist group with American blood on its hands.

Jerusalem vs Gaza: We Train Our Children, They Train Their Children

On the one hand, Hamas makes no secret of what they train Gazan children to do:

And in Jerusalem, what are Jewish children taught? Treppenwitz shares an anecdote he heard from his optometrist:

Abbas's 'Crusade'

I've written before about the Palestinian penchant for talking about Jerusalem, and not just "East Jerusalem".

Now we read that Abbas is demanding that any freeze include not only the settlements, but also Jerusalem as well--which is not a settlement, but the capital of Israel.

On this P David Hornik writes that Abbas appears to be on a "Crusade" of sorts:

Video: A Funny Thing Happened At The Review Of The US At The Human Rights Council...

Question: What do Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Qatar, Egypt, China and Libya all have in common?

They all get to hold judgement on the US at the Universal Periodic Review of the US at the UN Human Rights Council--thanks to the decision by the Obama administration to join the UNHRC and help improve it from the inside.

See the results for yourself.

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The Evidence That Shows Hezbollah's Involvement In The Murder Of Rafik Hariri

Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) features an entensive report on Who killed Lebanon's Rafik Hariri?, noting in particular how one man laid the groundwork for uncovering Hezbollah's involvement in the murder, after the UN's own failure to investigate properly:
It wasn't until late 2007 that the awkwardly titled UN International Independent Investigation Commission actually got around to some serious investigating.

By then, nearly three years had passed since the spectacular public murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
According to the report, after the UN was unable to get any solid leads, it was Capt. Wissam Eid who alone assembled the evidence that showed Hezbollah's involvement

Ever Notice How Muslims Blame Jews For Their Own Worst Traits?

In the last month various fundamentalist groups held ten demonstrations [in Egypt], each after coming out of mosques following Friday prayers, against the 86-year-old ailing Coptic Pontiff, in which he was accused of being a US agent, an abductor and torturer of female Muslim converts from Christianity, of stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims, and of plans to divide Egypt to create a Coptic State.
Islamists Accuse Egypt's Christians of… Radical Islam

After illustrating the Muslim penchant for accusing Christians of doing what Muslims themselves have been documented of doing, I suppose it was only a matter of time before Raymond Ibrahim got around to writing about how Muslims Project Islam's Worst Traits onto Israel and the Jews

Ibrahim gathered his material through a casual look at MEMRI, without requiring much research at all. Here are 3 examples he gives:

US: Promise To Israel? What Promise???

How many different US promises to Israel in return for extending the settlement freeze can you name?

Among those that have been floating around are:
  • An American commitment to veto any initiative brought before the UN to bypass the peace negotiations
  • A US commitment not to demand another freeze extension beyond the agreed upon 90 days
  • The freeze would not include Jerusalem
  • A guarantee that the borders issue will not be negotiated on separately.
  • A promise that Israel will receive 20 F-35 aircraft worth $ 3 billion
  • A promise by the US, for one year, to prevent the Palestinian Arabs from unilaterally establishing a state
David Bedein writes that US officials themselves have a much shorter list of promises to Israel:
United States officials are unfamiliar with the commitments America is allegedly offering Israel in exchange for a ban on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, says investigative journalist David Bedein.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

J Street Hypocrisy: Group That Whines "We Will Not Be Silenced" Had No Problem Silencing Sarah Palin 2 Years Ago

Last week J Street was spreading the the word to its followers about their new persona as martyr:
This week a small number of motivated activists convinced Temple Beth Avodah outside Boston to cancel an event at the synagogue at which I was to speak.

I know many of you were as outraged as I was and together we leaped into action by circulating a "We Will Not Be Silenced" petition that garnered over 10,000 signatures in ten hours yesterday.

As happens whenever our opponents try to shut us out, we simply used this opportunity to grow bigger and to reach more people with our pro-Israel, pro-peace message.
This of course is just one more in a growing stream of misrepresentations that we have become used to hearing from J Street.

The simple fact of the matter is that J Street is not being silenced. What is happening is that J Street is just being told that the synagogue in question did not want to listen to what they're saying.

While this might bruise their delicate egos, people should not be forced to listen to what J Street says.

More to the point, J Street is oddly selective when it comes to the right to be heard.

Would The Judge Have Ordered A Muslim To Celebrate A Girl's Birth In Court?

When I was a lawyer, very good judges tended to be low key and tended to retain a sense of humor but maintained control of the courtroom. When they did, they brought out the best in lawyers and helped the jury understand what was going on. My goal is to find techniques that help do that.
Judge Kimba Wood

In response to the story below, Instapundit writes:
MIGHTN’T THIS STATEMENT BY JUDGE KIMBA WOOD ON A BRIS BE CONSIDERED almost anti-semitic? Would she have said something similar to a Muslim lawyer?
In answer to Glenn Reynolds's first question: no.
In answer to his second question: he is missing the point

In Search Of The Kosher Internet (Updated)

The LA Times came out Friday with an article on what some companies in Israel are providing for those who want to avoid inadvertently viewing any offensive content.
There's Koogle, a Google-inspired searchable directory of kosher businesses offering, say, bargains on "modest" wedding dresses. Many rabbis frown on YouTube, so Yideotube offers a "daily online source of carefully screened videos," ranging from spoofs of anti-war activists to tips for buying a ceremonial kittel robe.

Why Can't All Airlines Run Security The Way Israel Does?

In contrast to the brouhaha over the latest invasive screenings by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on people boarding planes, Michael Totten writes about the advantages of Israeli screenings over the ones done by the TSA. For one thing, Totten suggests that instead of focusing on weapons, the TSA should be focusing on people
The Israelis do. They are, out of dreadful necessity, the world's foremost experts in counterterrorism. And they couldn't care less about what your grandmother brings on a plane. Instead, officials at Ben Gurion International Airport interview everyone in line before they're even allowed to check in.

And Israeli officials profile.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Video: Latma On The Dire Consequences If Israel Refuses Freeze

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Iran: Old Habits Die Hard--Now Holding German Hostages

After the Iran Hostage Crisis and and the kidnapping of three American tourists by Iran, one might be forgiven for thinking that Iran's kidnapping was limited to American victims.

Now we know this is not the case, as Iran has branched out into kidnapping citizens of other countries as well:
Five German law makers recently returned from Iran, where they had traveled to promote "cultural exchange." They justified their meetings with Iranian officials in part as an attempt to win the release of two imprisoned German journalists. For their trouble, Tehran gave the parliamentarians a lesson in the futility of appeasement, charging the reporters on Tuesday with espionage.

Robert Bernstein on “Human Rights in the Middle East”

Robert L. Bernstein, founder of Human Rights Watch, made news in October of last year when Bernstein's op-ed, criticizing Human Rights Watch, appeared in the New York Times.

He has continued to speak out since then.

Bernstein responded to HRW's response to his op-ed.
Bernstein also gave an interview to Maariv.

And last week, Robert Bernstein gave The Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights
University of Nebraska

It is a long speech. Here is the beginning, as it appears on the UN Watch site:
Robert L. Bernstein

The Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Lecture on Human Rights
University of Nebraska at Omaha
November 10, 2010

You may wonder why a man just shy of his 88th birthday would get up at 5 in the morning to fly to Omaha to give a speech. Frankly, since accepting this kind offer, I’ve wondered myself. Here’s why. Having devoted much of my life to trying to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come alive in many places in the world, I have become alarmed at how some human rights organizations, including the one I founded, are reporting on human rights in the Middle East.

Rachel's Tomb--And Other Muslim Attempts To Usurp Jewish Holy Sites

Alex Joffe, research scholar with the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, explains "Why Rachel's Tomb Matters". Here is an excerpt:
...Islam reached Jerusalem in 638 C.E. Though scholars debate whether and to what the event qualifies as a "conquest," there can be little doubt that it brought about a cultural disjuncture. Earlier conquerors and regimes, most notably the Romans and Byzantines, had wreaked their havoc, but they had acknowledged the past even as they erased it. Thus, in renaming the land "Palaestina" in order to sever the Jewish link, the Romans were ironically driven to a term derived from the Bible that simultaneously affirmed that link. They were similarly unsuccessful in renaming Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolia and denying Jews the right to reside there; Jews lived and worshiped elsewhere, but Jerusalem continued to be the center of their faith.

As for the Christian Byzantines, they built churches over the remains of Jewish shrines and synagogues. This was theft, but the linear connection of Judaism to Christianity was never denied; even though church fathers from Paul onward devised practical and theological ways to increase the distance between the two faiths, the connection remained strong.

Islam, however, was different.

Nominations Now Being Taken For The 2010 Hasby Awards--And Hear Elder of Ziyon In Person!

Elder of Ziyon has announced the first annual Hasby Awards, which will be a feature of Elder of Ziyon's talk at Yeshiva University on Israel Advocacy on December 7:
I was asked to speak to a group of students at Yeshiva University on the topic of Israel advocacy, and whatever else I feel like talking about. I like the idea, and the more I think about it the more I want to say.

I put together this blurb, which may or may not be accurate by the time I actually get up to speak:

Soccer Dad Retires

He did it quietly and without fanfare, as is his way--Soccer Dad has retired from blogging.

I have known Soccer Dad for over 25 years, long before blogging came on the scene.

I have always been impressed with his insights and great command of the facts--I still believe he has a complete collection of Commentary Magazine in an air-conditioned vault in the basement, though he has denied it.

UN: Anyone Can Help Arab Refugees--As Long As It's Not Israel!

13 December 1977
Here is UN Resolution 32/90 which appeared on December 13, 1977

 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 31/15 A of 23 November 1976 and all previous resolutions referred to therein, including resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948,

Taking note of the annual report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, covering the period from 1 July 1976 to 30 June 1977,1/
1. Notes with deep regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) has not been effected, that no substantial progress has been made in the programme endorsed by the Assembly in paragraph 2 of resolution 513 (VI) of 26 January 1952 for the reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of serious concern.
But how much does the UN really care about the refugees?
Apparently not a heck of a lot.

In the very same resolution, the UN condemns Israel:

See Why Less Than 14% Of Gazans Think Their Economy Is The Most Important Issue

According to a poll by the Ramallah-based Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre, less than 14% of Gazans think that their economy is the most important issue:
Respondents’ opinions varied between the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the most important issue concerning the Palestinian people. Nearly 28 percent (27.6%) of respondents in the
West Bank said the economic situation was the most important issue while 29.8% of Gazan
respondents said the internal split was the most important issue. Conversely, a ratio of 10.9%
of respondents in the West Bank said the internal split was the most important issue compared
with 13.8% of respondents in Gaza who said the economic situation was the most important issue.

This SlideShare Presentation on life in Gaza helps explain why.

Let's face it: Gaza is not Paradise, but it is not the worlds largest outdoor prison either.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

UN: Hey, Did You Notice Hezbollah Is Violating UN Resolution 1701?

It looks like someone from the UN has finally noticed that Hezbollah has violated UN Resolution 1701 and is rearming in Southern Lebanon:
Michael Williams, UN special coordinator for Lebanon, said that Hezbollah militia is smuggling large amounts of weaponry to south of the Litani river and stocking them there and warned ”this is a violation of UN resolution 1701″

On September 3, a suspected weapons cache exploded in the south Lebanon town of Shehabiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold.

Williams said there were concerns at the delay in which the UN peacekeeping force, UNIFIL, was given access to the site of the Shehabiyeh explosion.
I'm not sure which is more absurd, that the UN is finally recognizing that Hezbollah has been ignoring Resolution 1701, or that now in November, Williams is expressing concern over an incident from over 2 months ago.

The International Criminal Court and the Recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a Palestinian State

From The Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs

by Ambassador Dore Gold with Diane Morrison

  • The Palestinian Authority's January 22, 2009, declaration to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court amounts to an official request to confirm that the PA can be considered as a state for purposes of ICC jurisdiction.

  • Yet the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement which created the PA established a fundamental principle: "Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations."

State Department Condemns Israel For Keeping Jews Out Of Palestinian Land?

Israeli policies also limited the ability of Israeli Jews to reach places of worship in areas under Palestinian control.
US State Department, International Religious Freedom Report 2010

Apparently, the US State Department cannot fathom why the Israeli government would be eschewing the famous Palestinian hospitality to Jews and limiting the number of Jews who can enter areas under Palestinian Arab control.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Confirms Abbas Refused Olmert Offer Of Palestinian State Equal To West Bank and Gaza

Rotter.net quotes Al-Hayat (London) that Olmert offered Abbas the West Bank and Gaza, But He Refused:
Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Ereqat reveals that PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas refused an offer by the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to establish an independent Palestinian on an area equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza, with a 6.5% land swap to accommodate the settlement blocs.

Ereqat said that the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat had instructed him to uphold the Palestinians' full rights, including their right to all the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Jerusalem, 37 kilometers of Dead Sea coast, 46 kilometers of no man's land between Latrun and Jerusalem, the right of return for the refugees and a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza. Ereqat added that Abbas had given him similar instructions, and emphasized that no Palestinian would give up these rights. If Israel rejects the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, he concluded, it will be left only with the option of a bi-national state.
That account seems to support Olmert's version of what he offered Abbas.

Palestinian Authority Is Largest Recipient Of Foreign Aid In The World

Which of course suggests an easy way to deal with the current economic crisis that is plaguing the West...

But be that as it may, the numbers really are amazing, as Caroline Glick outlines the enormous amount of aid that one of the more corrupt regimes receives from the West.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the PA is the largest recipient of foreign assistance in the world. According to Bloomberg, it received $1.2 billion in 2009 and will receive $1.8 billion by the end of the year.

The US provided the PA with $500.9 million in 2009 and, before Clinton's announcement, was scheduled to provide it with $550 million in 2011. This assistance does not include US financial support for UNRWA, an agency devoted exclusively to providing welfare benefits to Palestinians while subordinating itself to a Palestinian political agenda. The US is the single largest donor to UNRWA. Last year the $268 million US taxpayers gave the UN agency constituted 27 percent of UNRWA's budget.
Read the whole thing.

In terms of budgetary assistance alone, Glick notes the US has provided the Palestinian Authority with $350 million over the past 2 years:
  • In spite of the fact that it is not clear that the PA needs the money, considering that the real GDP in the West Bank grew by 8.5%, with unemployment going down.

  • In spite of the fact that with Fayyad's boycott of Israel--the Palestinian Authorities largest trade partner--Fayyad's own economic leadership is questionable.

  • In spite of the fact that some of that budgetary to the Palestinian Authority will inevitably end up in the pockets of Hamas--in contravention of US law: each month Fayyad transfers money to Hamas-controlled Gaza in order to pay the salaries of PA employees living there. According to both US and international law, states are prohibited from providing any assistance whatsoever to areas which are controlled by terrorists.
But somehow, wasting billions of dollars while helping support terrorist regimes just doesn't seem to make onto the radar.

If a second Palestinian state is ever created, and the West is required to pour even more money in--maybe then somebody will notice.

In the meantime, why has it not occurred to anyone in the Obama administration that controlling some of the purse strings should give the US some leverage to get Abbas to come to the peace talks without playing games--or to withhold funding to Gaza until Gilad Shalit is released?

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Video: Is Richard Falk Talking About The Palestinian Arab Refugee Camps?

Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on "the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967" narrates 'Occupation 101' about the situation in the Palestinian Arab refugee camps.

Elder of Ziyon provides rebuttal.

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MYTH: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Is a Moderate Interested in Compromise.

The following article is by Dr. Mitchell Bard
It is reposted with permission.
You can read the article with the hyperlinks here.
Order Myths and Facts online
"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a moderate interested in compromise."


The definition of "moderate" is relative. Compared to Hamas, Hizbullah and Ahmadinejad, for example, Abbas can be viewed as a moderate since he explicitly negotiates with Israel. Abbas, however, has expressed no true willingness to compromise on any substantive issue, balks at true peace efforts and vehemently spews anti-Israel rhetoric that has significantly hampered the peace process in the past.

Convicted Nazi War Criminal Sues Nazi Hunter

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Israel Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is on trial in Budapest as a result of a lawsuit filed by Dr. Sandor Kepiro, an Hungarian Nazi war criminal responsible for the murder of hundreds of Jews.

Dr. Zuroff gives the background to Dr. Kepiro's involvement with the mass murder:
The person in question, Dr. Sandor Kepiro, was among a group of Hungarian army and gendarmerie officers who organized a mass murder of at least 1,250 innocent civilians (mostly Jews, the others Serbs and Roma) in the Serbian city of Novi Sad on January 23, 1942.

Thousands of residents of the city were rounded up by the Hungarians on that day and taken to a large theater in the center of the city, where a committee of Hungarian officers decided if any could be released. The others, the overwhelming majority of those rounded up, were marched to the banks of the Danube River, which runs through the center of Novi Sad, where they were mowed down by teams of Hungarian shooters. The murders were only stopped in the afternoon, when Hungarian officers sent from Budapest landed on the frozen river with orders to halt the mass murder, which had been launched by the officers in Novi Sad on their own initiative, but by this time hundreds had already been killed
Kepiro is a convicted war criminal by virtue of having been found guilty of the crime not once, but twice:
In late 1943, the officers involved in the operation were put on trial in Hungary for violating orders, and on January 23, 1944, they were all convicted and sentenced either to death or to lengthy jail sentences, including Sandor Kepiro. Shortly thereafter, however, the Nazis invaded Hungary and all the convictions were cancelled, the officers were given promotions, and they were returned to active service…

After the war, Kepiro escaped to Austria and in 1948 arrived in Argentina, where he remained until 1996, when he returned to Budapest. There are indications that he was tried again in absentia in 1946 and was again convicted.
After finding out in 2006 that Kepiro was still alive, Dr. Zuroff attempted to have the original sentence implemented. However, although there is no statue of limitations in Hungary on war crimes, the original sentence could not be carried out because it had been cancelled by a Hungarian court. Instead, an investigation had to be opened against Kepiro.

Three years after the investigation started, Kepiro remains prosecuted.

However, as Dr. Zuroff writes:
Then I suddenly found myself on trial for exposing a Holocaust perpetrator and pushing for his prosecution. Instead of attending Kepiro's trial, I found myself on trial for the ostensible offense of exposing and telling the truth about one of the persons responsible for a terrible mass murder. This was a strange and unprecedented experience for me, but the silver lining might be that the proceeding that he started against me might ultimately be his undoing as we expose his crimes, thereby increasing the pressure for his prosecution. That is my hope, and so despite the frustration and absurdity of being in the dock, perhaps some positive benefit can be achieved in this case and the truth and justice be served.
We can only hope.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Iran's Regime Is Officially Running a Pro-Nazi Site

The following post by Barry Rubin is reposted here with permission

Exclusive: Iran's Regime Is Officially Running a Pro-Nazi Site

By Barry Rubin

Is Iran’s government sponsoring an Internet site that extols the German Nazis, their history and achievements, including the antisemitism that the current Iranian regime also supports? Or is it merely permitting one to operate in its highly censored communications' system?

Here are the facts. There is a discussion group site entitled IranNazi that has an Iranian internet URL. It is written in Persian and seems to have begun on August 24. All the material on the site is pro-Nazi and features pictures of Adolph Hitler, the swastika, and goose-stepping German soldiers. There is an English-language part as well.

This site pretends to be an association for the research of Nazism and to be "completely historical and scientific."

کاملا پژوهشی و علمی تاریخی است

It includes such topics as claims that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the well-known antisemitic forgery is true; insistence that the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis never happened and is in fact a lie; makes the prediction that Israel will collapse in five years; and highlights cartoons and satire ridiculing the Holocaust. All four of these positions are also taken by the Iranian government and official media.

The main page includes the following message:

این تارنما طبق قوانین جمهوری اسلامی ایران و تحت نظارت کارگروه رسانه های دیجیتال وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد جمهوری اسلامی فعالیت می کند .

In English it means: "This website is under Islamic Republic of Iran laws and it is under the supervision of the working committee on Digital Media of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance."

Has Anyone Noticed That Abbas Wants ALL Of Jerusalem?

[U]nless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing. and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem.
Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs

Habbash is pretty clear on the issue of Jerusalem: the Arabs want all of it. Not just "East Jerusalem". No, they want all of it.

When you watch the video of Habbash in action, you see at the very beginning that Abbas is sitting right there.