Friday, April 29, 2011

Senator Mark Kirk's Memo: Legal Issues Of US Funding Hamas-Fatah Government

The key point of the following Memo--the questions Senator Kirk asks, establishing the standards by which a Hamas-Fatah "Unity Government" needs to be judged in order to meet the qualifications for receiving further US aid

FM: Office of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Key Items to Watch in PA Unity Government

This week, multiple news agencies reported that Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement to form a Palestinian Authority unity government. However, critical details that could impact future U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority remain unknown. This memorandum summarizes the potential legal issues involved and provides a series of questions for the Administration and the Congress to ask when details of the unity government emerge.

Video: When Mideast Journalists are Forced to Keep the News to Themselves

From the YouTube page:
When reporting in the closed societies of the broader Middle East, journalists are being vigilantly watched, harassed, and abused by authoritarian regimes, secret police, and media manipulators who work for terror proxies.

Their work and their safety are always at risk. Constantly intimidated and censored from reporting the truth, reporters languish in prisons or are murdered to silence a story and to remove a vital witness to important events.

On May 1 -- 3, we mark World Press Freedom Day, an event that seeks to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments, specifically in the broader Middle East, the Arab world, and North Africa, of their duty to respect and protect the journalists, and not to target and intimidate the media.
Here's the video:

Arlene Kushner On Burning Of Joseph's Tomb And Implications Of Hamas-Fatah "Unity"

From Arlene Kushner's From Israel email:
April 29, 2011

"Looking Backward and Forward"

A glance backward first, because I want to touch upon something that took place while I was away over Pesach.

This painful incident, from almost a week ago, links to recent Israeli history and to the future:

Last Sunday, in the early hours of the morning, three cars with Breslover Chassidim went to pray at Joseph's tomb -- a holy site for Judaism -- which is in PA-controlled territory (area A) outside of Nablus (traditional Jewish Shechem), in Samaria.

Pesach is a traditional time for prayers at the tomb, because the bones of Joseph, traditionally thought to be buried there, were carried out of Egypt by Moses on the first Pesach.

Warning shots were fired at the Chassidm by PA police. They continued to the tomb for prayers, and on their way out, PA police fired at them directly: One man -- Ben Yosef Livnat, called Benyo, father of four and nephew of Minister of Culture Limor Livnat (Likud) -- was killed.[emphasis added]

Video: Latma's Back!

Moral purity and the results, the Karp murder trial and the wise judges.


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What To Expect From A Hamas-Fatah Government: Abbas In 2005: Let Israel Stop The Kassams!

If you want a preview of what a Hamas-Fatah unity government is going to be like, all you have to do is look back at what things were like in Gaza when Abbas was in Gaza as head of  a Hamas-Unity government

Too far back to remember?
Let's take a look--back in 2005, Abbas refused to step in and stop the firing of Kassams at Israel:

Mideast Media Sampler 04/29/2011

From an email from DG:
1) What's insulting?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview with Andrea Mitchell about the announcement to build in Ramat Shlomo in March, 2010

QUESTION: Yet they are kept from the negotiating table. Now you're a secretary of state. So you're not kept from the negotiating table. But here you are with the Middle East just beginning to approach negotiations and Israel announces an expansion of settlements. It was really a slap in the face to the visiting Vice President.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Video: Proof Of Whom Jerusalem Really Belongs To

From the YouTube Page:

The Arabs who occupy the land of Israel want this video to be removed.
Feel free to copy this video and help spread the truth the palestinians seek to deny.

Jerusalem : Muslims and Jews
Or :
How and why palestinians desecrate the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.

The UN Arab Rights Council

Based on the following AP article, it does seem a more accurate name for the group, considering how they see their job:
Several members of the U.N.'s top human rights body are pressing for an emergency meeting to examine the government crackdowns against popular protests that have swept the Middle East and North Africa, Western diplomats said Wednesday.

The countries, from Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia, are trying to collect 16 signatures necessary to force a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council next week, the diplomats said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, which was underlined by the innocuous title proposed for the meeting — "Promotion and protection of human rights in the context of recent peaceful protests."

Arlene Kushner on The Fatah-Hamas "Agreement"

April 28, 2011

"Back on Track"

Arlene Kushner

Me, that is. Certainly not this part of the world. I'm post-Pesach, post a major writing assignment, and ready to look at this part of the world (oi!) via my postings...


The big news now is the purported unity agreement between Fatah (the PA) and Hamas that has been secretly brokered by Egypt.

As I share information please keep in mind that it's all a bit nebulous and "iffy," with conflicting reports coming from different sources.

It is apparent why this is coming about now:

Barry Rubin: Syria: Who Is the Opposition and When Is The Moment of Truth?

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

By Barry Rubin

There’s a bit of a mystery regarding Syria. First, who is the opposition? Second, what will happen?

Having been the first to warn about the threat and power of Islamists in Egypt, I think that’s earned me some credibility to say that Syria may well be a different case. There is a possibility of an Islamist takeover and of an ethnic conflict in Syria, make no mistake, but a number of factors suggest that those things might not happen.

Photos: ALEH's Historic Jerusalem March--Bridging Gap Between Disabled And Israeli Society




(JERUSALEM, Israel – April 26, 2011) On Thursday, April 21, a procession of over 300 marchers, including children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities under the care of ALEH (, their families, caregivers, and volunteers and friends from around the globe, set out from ALEH's Jerusalem facility to cross over the Jerusalem Chords Bridge in a powerful and symbolic display to encourage the integration of Israel's disabled community within Israeli society. Israeli radio personality Menachem Toker set a celebratory tone as the event's master of ceremonies.

The festivities were capped off with singing, dancing, a rousing address by Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, and a ceremony during which over 500 balloons were released into the air to signify the buoyant spirit and unrestricted potential of Israel's disabled children.

Dubbed "ALEH Marches Forward," the event was the organization's first Jerusalem march to increase public awareness of the disabled as well as the first march ever held on the Jerusalem Chords Bridge.

From the Aleh Website:

Giyus: The Revolutions in the Middle East and their Impact on Iran

This is a post from Giyus, and is reposted here with permission:

The Revolutions in the Middle East and their Impact on Iran

As the Middle East changes on a daily basis it's hard to observe how events are impacting surrounding countries. But it seems the events are boosting Iran both in terms of its regional impact as well as its race to acquire nuclear weapons. I recently conducted an email interview with Mr. Barzilai, an ex-Mossad expert on Iran. The following insights are based on's interview.

The revolutions in the Middle East along with the disaster in Japan and the war in Libya have diverted world attention from Iran's nuclear weapon program.

In the short term period, the fall of Mubarak regime in Egypt is viewed as a positive development for Iran, one that increases Iran's strategic impact in the region. However, this is a short term achievement since it is unclear if the fate of Assad's regime in Syria will be like Mubarak's in Egypt.

With oil prices crossing the $100 price per barrel, Iran has boosted its oil related income significantly diminishing the impact of global sanctions against its nuclear weapons program. The global economic constraints considering the impact of oil prices and the tsunami in Japan, limit the ability of the United States and its allies to take additional financial or political steps against Iran.

Those that hoped that the wave of revolutions will topple the Ayatollahs in Iran like it did in Egypt and Bahrain, are not so hopeful these days. The regime in Iran has been preparing for a wave of riots, concerned of the domino effect the revolutions in the Middle East will create in Iran. As a result any attempt to hold demonstrations has been severely crushed. In February alone 100 Iranians were executed by the regime. The iron fist of the regime coupled with the social economic hardships of the Iranian people are making it hard for the wave of revolution to take hold. But the anti regime pro democratic movement in Iran is alive and well despite the brutal acts against it.

Has Iran forgot the green revolution?

Since internal affairs in Iran are shaky, the regime shines its light on the events in neighboring countries and paints them as a success of the Islamic revolution. Ayatollah Khamenei recently described the revolutions in Arab countries as proof of the success of the Islamic revolution. He claimed the Iranian Islamic revolution is a role model for the Arab people and that the "Islamic awakening in region will surely reach fruition".

Iran is quick to claim Israel is the real reason for the revolutions. Ayatollah Khamenei said the Egyptians revolted against Mubarak because of his ties with Israel. Major General Firuzabadi, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian armed forces, announced the Islamic wave that washes across the Middle East marks the beginning of the end for Israel and the return of the Jewish people to their countries of origin.

Furthermore, Iranian leaders claim the events in the Middle East mark the end of the United States' hegemony over the region. In their view, Iran won the strategic battle with the United States on regional impact becoming the regional controlling power. Following the fall of Sadam Hussein regime in Iraq, Iran felt threatened by the US. But now with evidence to the failure of US' foreign policy in the Middle East, and seeing Europe's marginal impact on the events, Iran feels they've moved the pressure on to Israel.

With Syria and Hezbollah in the north, empowered Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south, Iran feels Israel is surrounded. With the Muslim Brotherhood now operating freely in Egypt, Iran hopes Hamas will increase its impact in the West Bank and that the revolution will start in Jordan, the other country that dared to sign a peace treaty with Israel.

Add to that Iran's close relations with Turkey, which is used to harm Israeli and western interests in the region. Iran is also heavily involved in Iraq, involvement which will increase as the American forces will withdraw. Iraq's prime minister has asked President Obama to reconsider US' plans to withdraw their forces by the end of 2011. He claimed Iran is already controlling the majority of Iraq's parliament members and it may feel the vacuum created by the withdrawal of US forces.

If Assad regime will fall, Iran will feel a major setback in the region. But until that may happen, Iran is fueling revolutions in Sunni Arab States using their well trained methods of exporting the Islamic revolution. Special IRGC forces, which have created Hezbollah in Lebanon, are working in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bahrain. The Iranian leadership is openly against Saudi Arabia and is pushing the Shiite minority there to revolt. An official Iranian web site started enlisting suicide bombers ready to go out and act against Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Are we close to a Sunni-Shiite war? Will Iran create a provocation against Israel via its proxies, Hezbollah in the north or Hamas in Gaza, to save Assad's regime in Syria?

While Iran benefits from the events in the Middle East for the moment, the internal situation with all its hardship has remained unchanged. As no one anticipated the events that toppled Mubarak, no one knows when the people of Iran will finally take action against the brutal Iranian Ayatollahs regime.

To act on pressing issues and easily support Israel please sign up to's email updates - make a difference to Israel. 
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When It Involves Israel, "Peace Activists" Ignore Inconvenient International Law

We've barely begun to see the reactions to the apparent resolution of bad blood beteen Hamas and Fatah. With that comes the prospect of a Haza/West Bank come September--a prospect firing some imaginations .

One reaction I thought interesting comes from Americans for Prace Now President and CEO Debra DeLee. She believes that Palestinian Reconciliation Deal is an Opportunity for Obama. Watch her brush aside any concern for the Hamas dedication to Israel's destruction--let alone the firing of rockets at civilian targets:

Mideast Media Sampler 04/28/2011

From an email from DG:
1) Choosing Hamas over peace

From the Washington Post

Jolted by the upheavals across the Middle East and street protests by Palestinians demanding reconciliation, the two factions announced that they would work together to form a government that would prepare for elections a year from the signature of their accord.  
Although the agreement raised the prospect of reuniting the Palestinians, it was likely to strain their relations with Washington and with Israel, both of which consider Hamas a terrorist organization and refuse to deal with it.  
At a joint news conference in Cairo, where the agreement was secretly negotiated with Egyptian mediation, Mousa Abu Marzook, head of the Hamas delegation, said that “the changing political realities in the Arab world” had “a very real impact on this agreement.” 
At least the spokesman for the National Security Council got things more or less correct:

If #Hamas and #Fatah Reunite, Does Everything Else Fall Apart?

Jackson Diehl writes about the uncertainty of the Hamas-Fatah deal

But one thing is sure: If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moves forward with the reconciliation with the Islamic Hamas movement, it will mean he has written off the Obama administration and the peace process it has tried to broker, once and for all.

Actually, the one sure thing is that the left will now come out with all manner of explanations as to why this is the last, best chance for peace (read: unilateral Israeli concessions).

More importantly, if this reunification is for real, the end of peace talks may be least of the problems:

According to reports Wednesday, it probably will mean the end of the West Bank administration headed by Salaam Fayyad, a technocrat highly respected by both Americans andt Israelis. If so, Congress will almost certainly suspend $400 million in annual U.S. aid. It could mean the reorganization of Fatah’s U.S.-trained security forces, which have worked with Israel to keep the peace in the West Bank for the last several years, and their eventual integration with the cadres of the Iranian-backed Hamas.

So bottom line, if this "reconciliation" lasts, it will be one more source of concern for Israel in a Middle East overrun with change. Leave it to the Palestinian Arabs to go in the opposite directjon of the rest of the regjon and solidify 2 corrupt regimes.


Farid Ghadry: Where is your Syrian Humanitarian Flotilla Erdogan?

This post, Where is your Syrian Humanitarian Flotilla Erdogan? is by Farid Ghadry, and is reposted here with permission:

It is unconscionable to think that people are dropping like flies on Syrian streets, the injured are hiding in private homes to avoid capture or cold-blooded murder, the funeral processions are being shot at with many killed at a time they bereave the dead, the detained are tortured and many die and are buried in mass graves, yet the international community seems only willing to extend words of comfort. Where is your conscience people? It’s Easter Sunday for heaven’s sake.

Then comes Erdogan who thinks Gaza is tragic with its people under siege and tyranny while Syrians, under his buddy Assad, enjoy comfort and freedom. Where is your humanitarian flotilla to Syria Erdogan? Our injured, attacked by the snipers of your dear friend Assad, cannot go to hospitals for fear of being either killed on the spot or arrested to die under torture. Or does that not fit with your understanding of what a human tragedy is?

Are Gazans better people than Syrians? Is Assad too dear a friend for you to bother? And where are the Hamas Palestinians who seem to forget everyone else’s tragedy except their own? Where are their voices? Never expect Syrians to come to your aid again. When elections come, we will make the MB in Syria pay for your silence.

And where is King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? What kind of leader is governing over Makah and Medina who is afraid of his own shadow? Where are the young tiger Princes of al-Saud to overthrow everyone over 80 who clings to power like a sick patient clings to oxygen? Have you become too comfortable for your own good? Wake- up Bandar bin Sultan. This is your time. Where are all the Arab leaders and the Arab League? The cowards hosting dinners to celebrate their fat bank accounts while our people die in front of their eyes?

This Revolution is for all ages and against any Arab and non-Arab oppressor in the region. This Revolution is against Assad, the Mullahs of Iran, and the hapless King of Saudi Arabia. This Revolution is against the bigotry of Hezbollah giving aid to kill Syrians and the barbaric IRGC training Assad on how to maximize death. This Syrian Revolution will never die until we throw all the Arab leaders under the bus. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Post Pesach Catching Up With Barry Rubin

If you fell behind on Barry Rubin's posts on the Middle East, now is a chance to catch up on them:

Suddenly, after years of persistent failure, Fatah and Hamas--which means the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas--have signed a detailed reconciliation agreement.

Why now? It's preparation for the UN and the claim that the PA is sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinians. In exchange for being able to claim it now rules both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Fatah (PA) made huge concessions that it has always refused to give before.

Naturally, the accord will break down. Presumably after the PA gets a lot of support for being an independent country later this year and before projected Palestinian elections in 2012.

Why is Hamas going along with this?

Read the whole thing
Israel Matzav was among the very first to report on the Fatah/Hamas "reconciliation".
Read Elder of Ziyon on the Fatah/Hamas "fake agreement".

Why was Egyptian President Husni Mubarak so evil in the eyes of the Obama Administration while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems to enjoy endless indulgence?

Video: What Did You Learn Online Today (About The Middle East)?

From The Huffington Post Monitor, based on "What Did You Learn In School Today?" by Tom Paxton--but with lyrics of a slightly different focus.

News Flash: #Obama Is Now A Foreign Policy Genius!

If you can’t get Iran or North Korea to talk to you, if Russia has not exactly pushed the reset button you sent them, if China is not a country you can antagonize (if you want to continue to sell Treasury bonds), the next best thing may be to land on Honduras.
Rick Richman, Chicago Democracy In Honduras, September 3, 2009


[T]he pattern of poor relations with close allies is disturbing. Currently embroiled in a quarrel with Israel over Jewish housing construction in East Jerusalem, the administration recently angered the EU by refusing to attend a summit in Madrid, embarrassed Britain by seeming to side with Argentina over negotiations over the Falklands Islands, canceled an invitation to Afghanistan’s President Karzai, and cheesed off Brazil when President Obama made his last minute, ill-fated dash to Copenhagen to snatch the 2016 Olympics from Rio.
Walter Russell Mead, Kicked By The Great White North, March 31 2010


The days leading up to Obama’s decision [on Libya] were perplexing to outsiders. American Presidents usually lead the response to world crises, but Obama seemed to stay hidden that week. From the outside, it looked as though the French were dragging him into the conflict. On March 14th, Clinton arrived in Paris, but she had no firm decision to convey. According to a French official, when Clinton met with President Nicolas Sarkozy she declined to endorse the no-fly zone, which Sarkozy interpreted as American reluctance to do anything. “We started to wonder where, exactly, the Administration was going,” the official said.
The New Yorker, How the Arab Spring remade Obama’s foreign policy, May 2, 2011.

But let's forget about the last 2 years (um, including last month). All that matters is now.
And now Obama has a policy. I know, because that same New Yorker article says so:

Mideast Media Sampler 04/24/2011

I apologize for the delay in posting this--my computer was, and still is infected with a virus.
I am still posting this, because as anyone who follows the Middle East knows--there is no such thing as 'old news'.

From an email from DG:
1) Attack on worshipers

A group of Breslov Chassidim traveling to pray at Joseph's tomb were fired upon by Palestinian police. One Chassid was killed and at least two were injured.

The New York Times reports:

The shooting occurred outside Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus after three carloads of Israeli Jews visited the religious site to pray without coordinating their move through the Israeli army. Twice-monthly trips to the tomb have been organized with army escorts for the past four years without incident. 

Mideast Media Sampler 04/27/2011

From an email from DG:
1) Equal time for tyrants

Last week assistant Managing Editor of the New York Times, Jim Roberts offered a few tweets about a Washington Post interview with Saif Qaddafi, including this one:

WashPost interviews Saif #Gaddafi. Dad's regime did nothing wrong & won't back down. (check out photo)
I detected a smug tone to the tweets, as if Roberts were saying, "How could anyone believe Qaddafi was somehow a moderate."

It was an interesting attitude (assuming my reading was correct) given the NYT's surprise at discovering that the Qaddafi's were, in fact, quite brutal a few months ago.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Palestinian Army, Joseph's Tomb--And Dayton's Warning

Israel Matzav wrote a couple of years ago that Gen. Dayton warned that the US-trained Palestinian police could become an anti-Israel army:

In her weekly JPost column - moved up Thursday because of the holiday - Caroline Glick reports that US General Keith Dayton (pictured), who is training the ' Palestinian police force,' believe that 'police force' will become an army that will attack Israel in the event tha Israel does not give the 'Palestinians' what they want.  

Read the whole thing. 

Today's incident makes it imperative that the US investment in training these Arab forces be re-evaluated. 

Palestinian Killing of Israeli at Tomb of Joseph Has a History

I have 3 computers, and all have viruses--so I'm blogging off my smartphone.

Background on the killing, and on the Oslo agreement that should have prevented it are here:


My Right Word


The killing reminds some of the event that really stadted off the "Second Intifada"

Palestinian murdered his Israeli counterpart, Yosef Tabeja  

Lies Palestinians tell about the history of Joseph's Tomb and the city of Shechem 

Similarly,  Jewish antiquities destroyed by Arabs in Gaza 

Palestinians murdering Jews at Tomb of Joseph has a history:

Hillel Lieberman was murdered while trying to retrieve religjous items from Tomb of Joseph 

Corporal Madhat Yusuf murdered while trying to protect Tomb of Joseph 


Charles Krauthammer on the Desecration of Truth 

More details will be forthcoming, as will the excuses for the PA...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Barry Rubin: What Will Happen on the "Peace Process," Why It Will Fail, Why It Will Do Harm

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

by Barry Rubin

There is confusion on two points regarding the Israel-Palestinian "peace process."

First, will the Europeans give unilateral recognition to a Palestinian state without any commitments at all to Israel. There are conflicting voices in Britain, France, and elsewhere about what these states intend. The fact that such recognition conflicts with every commitment they have made to Israel for twenty years doesn't seem to figure in their

Second, is there going to be a U.S. plan for resolving the conflict that will be offered with confident smugness and end up by making things worse? Reportedly, though it might not be true, there are four principles in the projected U.S. plan:

--Israel accepts a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

Vittorio Arrigoni: A Death In Gaza

It’s very hard for ideologically committed people to see that the objects of their affection and support don’t respond in kind.
Michael Ledeen

Writing about The Death of Vittorio Arrigoni, Michael Ledeen notes:
He is not the first Italian radical leftist to fall into hostile Arab hands. A correspondent for the very same Manifesto, Giuliana Sgrena, was kidnapped in Baghdad in 2005. Her father also fought in the Resistance. The next year, she was ransomed by the Italian government, only to be shot by American soldiers while in a car en route to the Baghdad airport.

Egypt: Better The Dictator You Know

Another good argument for term limits?

While it is unlikely there will ever be "Miss Me Yet" signs in Egypt with Mubarak's face on them, the fact remains that regardless of the dislike Egyptians have for Mubarak and his legacy--many remain ambivalent as to how they feel about him:
Hosni Mubarak is the only leader most Egyptians have ever really known, so while he remains disliked for how he ran the country, there is an undercurrent of discomfort here with how he has been treated since being forced from power.

Syria's "Borderline" Schizophrenia

I love a good irony, don't you?

Remember when Syria was opening its borders both to let fighters into Iraq as well as to take in weapons from Iraq? Now Syria has some problems with its own borders--and they don't seem to be taking it very well:
Syria long has been accused of stirring trouble in the territories of its neighbors by exporting unwanted people across porous borders — Kurdish separatists into Turkey, Sunni insurgents into Iraq and Palestinian militants and Al-Qaeda sympathizers into Lebanon. But with Syria reeling from the worst internal unrest since the ruling Baath Party took power nearly 50 years ago, it is Damascus' turn to complain about the alleged infiltration of foreign militants seeking to stir anti-regime violence.

'Arab Spring' In Egypt--Looks Like They're In For An Early Frost

"The term 'Muslim Brotherhood' an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said. "They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally."
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, February 11, 2011


A senior group leader [of the Muslim Brotherhood] caused an uproar after he was quoted in local papers as saying his group seeks to establish an Islamic state, imposing Islamic punishments — including amputating hands for theft.
"We can't sleep anymore, so we give room for this religion to thrive in Egypt. Don't let us waste this opportunity," Saad al-Husseini, a Brotherhood leader, said, according to the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Associated Press, April 18, 2011

Yeah, so much for that Egyptian Democracy:
Panic in Egypt over Muslim Brotherhood's call for Islamic rule

Photo: Can You Tell What These Kids Are Looking At?

From the Fox Nation Pic Of The Day

Video: Andrew Klavan: How to Behave During an Islamic Massacre

Looks like the gang from Latma is off this week, so here is something to tide you over till next week's fix--Andrew Klavan:

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Mideast Media Sampler 04/22/2011

From an email from DG:
1) Free speech or right to riot?

A few months ago the Washington Post featured an editorial A wrongheaded prosecution of UC-Irvine student protesters arguing

Eleven students in all, many of them members of the school's Muslim Student Union, offered obnoxious - and as the evening wore on, infuriating - interruptions that thwarted Mr. Oren's ability to piece together more than a few sentences. This is not the first time the student union has been embroiled in controversy. A sponsor of the campus's annual Palestinian Awareness Week, the group has hosted speakers who have compared Israel to Nazi Germany and accused the country of carrying out a "holocaust" against Palestinians.  
Yet during Mr. Oren's speech, no threats were uttered, no violence ensued and each of the protesters appeared to exit the hall without resistance when campus security approached. 
Now Yair Rosenberg, the son of a friend, writing in the Harvard Crimson notes that there is more to the prosecutions than harassing obnoxious protesters (h/t Elder of Ziyon):

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barry Rubin: Hillary Stamps Her Foot; Dictators Laugh

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

by Barry Rubin

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday condemned violence in Syria and said the Syrian government must stop the arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of prisoners.”

There’s a problem with that word “must.” See, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot help overthrow or move away from allies, stress your own weakness, decry your past leadership and use of violence, and appease radicals without losing a certain amount of credibility.

Photos: At The Obama White House--Ramadan 2010 vs Passover 2011

Can you tell which is the 2010 Ramadan Dinner and which is the 2009 Seder?

Hamas Trips All Over Itself For Arrigoni--But For Gilad Shalit, Nothing

The Hamas security apparatuses have conducted an extensive wave of arrests among Salafi-jihadi organizations in Gaza, in an attempt to apprehend the murderers of Italian ISM member Vittorio Arrigoni.

The Hamas administration in Gaza shut down the crossings to the Gaza Strip, including tunnels, in order to prevent the murderers from fleeing.
MEMRI, Hamas Conducts Wave Of Arrests of Salafi-Jihadis, April 18, 2011

I find it ironic that there was no outcry when Hamas closes border crossings, just as there was no world outcry when Hamas refused to take in aid last year that was sent by Israel.

But Hamas are the good terrorists. After all, Hamas went all out to find the people who killed Vittorio Arrigoni:

NGO's Show Solidarity With Families of Murder Victims--No...Make That Families of Murder SUSPECTS!

No one should ever accuse NGO's for objectivity.
It is not a matter of being left or far left--the groups described below are just off the wall.

April 21, 2011
Naftali Balanson
NGO Monitor
(02) 566-1020

European government-funded NGOs' "Solidarity visit" with Families of Murder Suspects
  • On the evening of March 11, 2011, five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death: Udi, 36, Ruth, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months. On April 5 and 10, Israeli security services arrested two suspects from the Palestinian village of Awarta, as well as several accomplices.

Mideast Media Sampler 04/21/2011

From an email from DG:

1) Why did Goldstone reconsider?

Ethan Bronner and Jennifer Medina report in the NY Times, Past Holds Clue to Goldstone’s Shift on the Gaza War (h/t Gerald Steinberg)

To some degree this covers points initially left out by the reporting on Goldstone's changes. However it is still written from the premise that what's news is that Goldstone changed his mind, when the prejudice of the other three commission members was so blatant, that the idea that the commission could be objective was nonsensical from the start.

Barry Rubin: The State of the "Peace Process," An Enlightened Mass Media Viewpoint

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

By Barry Rubin

Mass media editorials are worth analyzing not because they influence government policy—they don’t—but because they reflect current thinking in elements of the elite and sometimes precisely what high government officials are thinking.

Nowadays the New York Times gives us the loony concepts that dominate America’s government. What is shocking—the equivalent for an analyst of coming upon some amazing geographical feature like the Grand Canyon—is the massive craters of logical contradiction. You can’t believe that these could possibly go unnoticed by their authors but they do. Once you have an ideology that doesn’t conform with reality anything is possible.

In contrast, the Washington Post reflects the most enlightened elite thinking. To read a Post editorial is almost to be persuaded that there is something approaching a normal situation in Washington, where policymakers still live by such things as national interests, credibility, rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Far from perfect, mind you, but sane. A good measure of the credit, at least when it comes to the Middle East, should go to one man, Jackson Diehl, who—to use current slang—“gets it.”

When one reads Post editorials it is usually possible to feel hope. When one reads the Times editorial one often feels like buying Iranian war bonds and hiding in a cave in New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

After Releasing Lockerbie Mastermind, UK Now Thinking Of Releasing Another Terrorist

Internal British government documents provide revealing new details about how that country’s last two prime ministers — Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — sought to curry favor with Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi in an effort to smooth the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial contracts with oil giant BP and two big British defense firms.

Those efforts ultimately prompted Brown’s government to “do all it could” to try to win the release of Abdulbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988, killing 270 people, according to an official British report released Monday.
UK charm offensive preceded Lockerbie bomber's release, February 7, 2011

That was then.

One can only imagine what kind of 'humanitarian' considerations went into Great Britain's thinking this time around:
UK court clears way for possible release of man convicted of plotting to blow up El Al jet

Anne Bayefsky: The Syrian Spectacle at the UN

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2011
Contact: Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on Fox News.

There's breaking news from the United Nations on Syria. Democracy-seekers are dying all over the country. Meanwhile, at the United Nations, negotiations over what would be the organization’s first-ever definition of terrorism ended with deadlock on Friday after fifteen years of talking about it.

Leading the naysayers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was Syria, a country that claimed that murdering its preferred antagonists doesn’t count. That might be just a bad joke, except for the fact that the Obama administration has made the U.N. the centerpiece of its national security policy.

Barry Rubin: Obama's Passover Message Misses The Message of Passover

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

By Barry Rubin

There's some controversy about President Barack Obama's Passover message. The key passage is this:

“The story of Passover…instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. This year that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Giyus: Interview With Minister Begin: Arab revolutions may lead to democracy but not peace

The following post is by Giyus and is reposted with permission:

A few days ago I met Minister Benny Begin and interviewed him for In light of the swift turn of events in the Middle East, Minister Begin was able to crystallize the main issues with cutting clarity.  From the history of Hamas' road to power in Gaza, through a thought provoking analysis on the connection between democracy and peace in the Middle East, Minister Begin offered factual observations.   Our interview was held in English to avoid alterations during the translation. I'm sure you'll find it as fascinating as I did. We are just coming out of another round of fighting with Hamas – where does this lead Israel? Are we heading for another large scale offensive with Hamas?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is a Palestinian Statehood in the Near Future a Realistic Proposition?

This article by Hadar Sela and Eli E. Hertz is reposted here with permission
Is a Palestinian Statehood in the Near Future a Realistic Proposition?

February 8, 2011 | Hadar Sela & Eli E. Hertz


On December 13th 2010 the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council issued a press release on the subject of its meeting held on the same day to discuss the Middle East Peace Process.[1] The document included the following clause:

"The EU commends the work of the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of the future State of Palestine and reiterates its full support for their endeavours in this regard and the Fayyad plan. Recalling the Berlin Declaration, the Council reiterates its readiness, when appropriate, to recognize a Palestinian state. We welcome the World Bank's assessment that 'if the Palestinian Authority maintains its current performance in institution building and delivery of public services, it is well positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future.' "

The reliance of the European Union upon the cited World Bank assessment, together with the fact that the World Bank is one of the members of the Quartet Task Force on Palestinian Reform which reports to the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee [AHLC], makes an examination of the criteria and methodology employed, essential.

Barry Rubin: Guess What: Sanctions on Iran Achieve (Almost) Nothing

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

This article was published in the Jerusalem Post. However, I own all rights so please link and give credit to this site if reprinting or forwarding.

By Barry Rubin

It's becoming an open secret--though not open enough--that the U.S.-led, UN-approved sanctions on Iran are having no serious strategic effect and only a limited economic effect on the country.

The reasons are clear:

Tweets I Would Follow Up On If It Weren't Erev Pesach...

Ordinarily, I would look through these tweets and post about the ones that I thought I could add something to, but not today on Erev Pesach.
There are days that a Jew's gotta do what a Jew's gotta do.
(especially when his wife is standing there, watching him with that look on her face)


My 3yr Old's Second Haircut

My son found a pair of scissors...

Luckily, his aunt is the one who gave him his first haircut.
Luckier still, she is here for Pesach...

An Open Letter To Hina Jilani, Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers

An open letter from Maurice Ostroff
To members of the UN Fact-finding mission to Gaza
Hina Jilani, Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers

Mideast Media Sampler 04/18/2011 (Where Does One Learn To Hate Jews Post-Oslo?)

An email from DG:
1) What moved him

The Israeli government released this information about one of the Fogel family's murderers.

Hakim Maazan Niyad Awad, born in 1993, a minor under Israeli law, was arrested on 5.4.11.  A high school student, he is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).  He was involved in the October 2010 stabbing of youths from Awarta; the motive was a personal dispute.
It's not just his youth that's shocking. He is 17 or 18. Note the year of his birth. He was born the same year that the Oslo agreements were signed. Think about the influences he would have had.

Video: A Mother Goose Passover Tale (The 'Other' Meaning Of The Word Pesach)

Here is a video about a deer protecting a mother goose:

Can you see the connection to Pesach?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mideast Media Sampler 04/17/2011

I apologize--with the number of emails I had today, plus the Pesach cleaning, this email somehow got passed over...

From an email from DG:
1) The Donkey's tale

An Iranian cleric uses an interesting parable to warn the opposition to the regime.
A racy allusion in a Friday prayer sermon by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati has become the talk of Iran.
I'm not sure I get the allusion.

2) What will NATO do?

The Washington Post reports:
Civilians enduring a weeks-long assault that Western leaders have described as a “medieval siege” pleaded with NATO to intervene to prevent what they said was an impending massacre by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.  
“Our lifeline is the port, and he is going for it,” said Mohammed, a city council spokesman who for security reasons uses only his first name. “If he is able to do that, then we really are in trouble.” 
“If a massacre occurs in Misurata, what will be NATO’s position?” added Mohammed, who spoke via Skype. “It is now or never. Either they intervene immediately and bring in ground troops to protect the port or we will all regret this.” 
Indeed, President Obama, PM Cameron and President Sarkozy described a "medieval siege" in Misurata in their op-ed the other day. And what came in the next paragraph?

Barry Rubin: Oops! An Assassin of Anwar Sadat Explains The Law of Unintended Consequences

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

This article was published in the Jerusalem Post. However, I own all rights so please link and give credit to this site if reprinting or forwarding.

By Barry Rubin

This is fascinating for a totally unexpected reason. It illustrates the law of unintended consequences, which is perhaps the single most important concept to keep in mind when examining the Middle East right now.

Abboud al-Zumar was a leader in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (a group now associated with al-Qaida) who was imprisoned for more than two decades for his role in killing President Anwar al-Sadat. He was pardoned by the Egyptian Armed Forces Supreme Council on March 14. Since then, al-Zumar has been giving television interviews (translated by MEMRI).

He said something truly remarkable which is worth considering in full:

Anne Bayefsky: Goldstone's Three Partners in Crime Attempt to Hang On: Moral Bankruptcy in Action

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2011

Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

Goldstone's Three Partners in Crime Attempt to Hang On:
Moral Bankruptcy in Action 

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears on National Review Online.
Following Richard Goldstone’s recent retraction of the central finding of his infamous report, the other three members of his U.N. committee have clearly been depressed. The committee chair had gotten all of the glory from the U.N.’s anti-Israel bloc for producing the blood libel that Israel had deliberately set out to murder Palestinian civilians, not responded to years of Palestinian terrorist attacks on its own civilian population. Their names were rarely, if ever, mentioned. The retraction threatened to wipe them completely from the history books. So in another newspaper yesterday, they demanded the recognition they feel they so richly deserve.

Christine Chinkin, Desmond Travers, and Hina Jilani published an article in the Guardian in which they reiterate their enthusiasm for their libelous conclusions and complain: “We regret the personal attacks and the extraordinary pressure placed on members of the fact-finding mission since we began our work in May 2009. This campaign has been clearly aimed at undermining the integrity of the report and its authors.” Indeed, the “integrity” of both the report and its authors is exactly what is in issue. 

Video: Palestinian Minister Says Murder Of Fogel Children Was An Obligation

This is from Arlene Kushner's post for today on capture of Palestinian terrorists who murdered Fogel family.
I am posting it separately as well because of the importance of the way the Palestinian Minister excuses the murder of children:
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director of IMRA, placed a phone call today to S'ad Nimr, Minister of PA Detainees, and asked about PA policy with regard to the current PA demand for the release of all "detainees" (which includes all Palestinian Arabs in Israeli prisons for terrorist acts).

Arlene Kushner On Capture of the Palestinian Terrorist Who Massacred The Folgel Family

April 17, 2011

"We've Got Them!!"

I extended my Pesach greetings late last week, but knew I had to do this additional posting before Pesach began.

A gag order that was in effect during the course of the investigation of the terrorist attack on the Fogel family -- which saw the parents and three of their children (pictured below) cruelly slaughtered -- has now been lifted.


The commander of the IDF in Samaria Col. Nimrod Aloni has announced: "The murderers are in our hands."

Anne Bayefsky: Obama's U.N. - Defending the Indefensible

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2011

Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

Obama's U.N. - Defending the Indefensible 

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on National Review Online.
While attention was focused on a possible government shutdown last week, another event on Capitol Hill slipped by virtually unnoticed. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared before both a House Appropriations subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee — and her testimony indicated that America is now perched on a foreign-relations precipice at least as dangerous as the looming economic abyss.

Rice’s oral and written testimony offers the most detailed defense yet of the central foreign-policy plank of the Obama administration, known as “engagement.” In short, the Obama doctrine has outfitted American interests with U.N.-made cement shoes. Rice’s apologia, therefore, hands Republican presidential hopefuls a cornucopia of opportunities to articulate a plan to reverse President Obama’s abdication of leadership and responsibility to the United Nations.

Rice’s case had two prongs. The first was a series of unsubstantiated claims of “dramatic” success. The second placed the democratic state of Israel in Obama’s crosshairs, regardless of anything else that has taken, is taking, or will take place across the democratically challenged Arab and Muslim world.

Ultimately, according to Rice, “the United Nations is so important to our national security . . . [that] when we meet our financial obligations to the U.N., we make Americans safer,” and “the U.N. promotes universal values Americans hold dear.” Both of these assertions are demonstrably false.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Odd Affinity Of The International Solidarity Movement Towards Rape, Kidnapping And Murder

During the past few days she [Rachel Corrie] and the nine other ISM activists had become preoccupied with an anonymous letter circulating through Rafah that cast suspicion on the human shields. "Who are they? Why are they here? Who asked them to come here?" it asked. The letter referred to Corrie and the other expatriate women in Rafah as "nasty foreign bitches" whom "our Palestinian young men are following around." It was a sobering reminder that outsiders -- even international do-gooders -- were untrustworthy in the eyes of some Palestinians. [emphasis added]
Joshua Hammer, The Death of Rachel Corrie

But that fact was not seen so much as a warning than as an incentive--for them to raise the bar on provocation:

Video: This Week's Latma (Complete)--Dayenu and Iron Dome

Earlier today, I posted an excerpt from this week's Latma: Israel's enemies singing Dayenu.
Here now is the complete video.


When It Comes To The Middle East, Obama Is More Like Eisenhower Than Carter--Which Is Still Not Good

In Battling the Heirs of Nasser, Michael Scott Doran--a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense--compares the turmoil in the Middle East today with the revolutions in the region just 50 years ago: imperialism and Israel then vs. jobs and democracy now.

Today, it is Iran--and not Nasser--who is doing the most to take advantage of this situation.

Doran concludes his op-ed with advice on what the Obama administration should be--and isn't (yet?)--doing to deal with the growing crisis:
Therefore, one might expect Washington to adopt a comprehensive containment strategy. Such an approach would entail, among other things, renouncing engagement of Iran and Syria while seeking to strengthen the reform movements in both countries, especially in Syria, where the protesters’ strength is growing by the day.

Yet the Obama administration has rejected this strategy. Why?

From 'A Mother In Israel': Easy Passover Recipes And Tips

A Mother In Israel has written up a list of easy--and delicious--recipes for Pesach, along with handy tips. On the PDF below, just click on the links to go to the appropriate posts on the Cooking Manager blog

Take a look.

(Also, take a look on her blog at Video: Kasher the Kitchen for Pesach in Two Hours--a humorous, but genuine, guide on how it's done.)

Video: Humorous--But Authentic--Guide On How To Clean Your Kitchen For Passover?

Kol HaKavod to A Mother In Israel for pointing this video out!

Though the video below is in Hebrew, there is a version with English subtitles on Facebook.
I tried to embed that one here, using simple instructions from a post on how to embed Facebook videos, but it did not keep the subtitles.

Either way, watch this video--and guys: This. Means. You!

Mideast Media Sampler 04/15/2011

From an email from DG
 1) We're serious we really are

An op-ed in the International Herald Tribune Libya's Pathway to Peace has been written by Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy.

The three allied leaders explained why they led NATO to war with Libya.

We must never forget the reasons why the international community was obliged to act in the first place. As Libya descended into chaos with Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi attacking his own people, the Arab League called for action. The Libyan opposition called for help. And the people of Libya looked to the world in their hour of need. In an historic resolution, the United Nations Security Council authorized all necessary measures to protect the people of Libya from the attacks upon them. By responding immediately, our countries, together with an international coalition, halted the advance of Qaddafi’s forces and prevented the bloodbath that he had promised to inflict upon the citizens of the besieged city of Benghazi. 
I do think it is worth noting that the Arab League includes Syria as a member, and the Reform Party of Syria reports:

Video: Latma--Israel's Enemies Sing 'Dayenu;

Excerpt from this week's Latma.

Barry Rubin: Obituary: America Superpower, 67, Disappears, In Debt and Wracked With Guilt, Suicide Possible

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

By Barry Rubin

Once one of the world’s most respected and powerful forces, America Superpower has disappeared. Worried friends and relatives are engaging in a desperate search. Rumors abound, including stories that Mr. Superpower has been kidnapped; committed suicide; or merely has gone off on a prolonged vacation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Videos: BBC Bends Over Backwards To Lie For Hamas (Update: Jews Don't Count)

My Right Word notices that the BBC Credits Hamas:
In a BBC story of the kidnapping by presumed Salafists of an Italian dupe of the Palestinian cause, I caught this line:
Hamas has been credited with eliminating the threat of kidnapping in Gaza up to now.
Of course, no mention of who is crediting Hamas with being such sweethearts--other than the mainstream media itself.

Still, such a fabrication is astounding.

This June will mark 5 years that Gilad Shalit has been held hostage by Hamas terrorists, denied visitation by the Red Cross--in violation of international law.

And since the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, Hamas has not hesitated to threaten more kidnappings.

Hamas even made these videos to drive home that point.

Pesach Medicine List

From The Jerusalem
Pesach medicine list from R’ Rosenberg

Earlier this month, we reported a list of kosher-for-Pesach medicines put out by the Eda Charedit and Clalit Health Fund. If that 31-page document is too much to sift through, try this:

NGO Monitor: Three "Goldstone Committee" Members Continue to Promote False Allegations

April 14, 2011
For Immediate Release
Naftali Balanson
NGO Monitor
(02) 566-1020

Statement in Guardian parallel to NGO campaigns

JERUSALEM In contrast to Judge Richard Goldstone's honest recognition of the fundamental bias and errors in the report on the Gaza war published by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the other three members of this "fact finding" committee are clinging to its false allegations, notes Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. The response in the Guardian signed by Hila Jilani, Christine Chinkin, and Desmond Travers closely tracks the language used by Amnesty International and other NGOs in response to Goldstone's factual reconsideration.