Friday, March 30, 2012

Video: Iranian Response To "Israel Loves Iran"

The Next Web has an article about Israel Loves Iran, a platform for Israelis and Iranians to connect on Facebook:
As mainstream media runs headlines about escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, a very different Israeli-Iranian story has been making the headlines, thanks to the Facebook campaign, Israel Loves Iran.

The page already has over 50,000 fans, and has been seen by hundreds of thousands Facebook users from all over the world. It started out as one image shared by an Israeli graphic designer, Ronny Edry.

24 hours passed, and a trend had begun among some Israeli Internet users, sharing similar photos.

Another 24 hours passed, and the trend had extended to their Iranian counterparts, sharing images with words of love, support and friendship.
Read the whole thing.

Now there is an Iranian response via YouTube:

Barry Rubin: Betrayal Glorified: The Bizarre Jewish Movement to Destroy Israel by Pretending to Save It

I can only laugh at the idea of dilettante Peter Beinart and J Street as leader of the anti-Israel (oops, I meant save-Israel-from-itself) movement. After all, imagine people parading as self-defined heroes while peddling ideas that have absolutely nothing to do with reality. But behind the stupid ideas is a very poisonous hidden agenda.

We live in an age of intellectual absurdity in which a book by someone who has no notion of Israeli reality and who is, at best, decades (I’d say three) out of date is treated as if he could possibly be of some relevance. Or an organization that has literally never made a single pro-Israel initiative claims to be the country's best friends.

Contrary to the title of Beinart’s book, there is no crisis of Zionism, certainly not in the way he and similarly thinking American Jews believe. The crisis is simply that Israel has become an actually existing country that is defined by an Israel-Jewish patriotism based on a historical Zionism. In fact, regarding Israel itself, Zionism has been so successful that it simply isn’t needed in the same way as it was in 1947.

Regarding American Jews, the problem is that of the left-wing--almost always people who consciously know they are on the other side and their tool of choice on Israel is a sledgehammer--and those liberals they have fooled, not Zionism. This “new” approach is based on the debate of the 1970s and 1980s, more specifically the 1974-1992 era.

.@AliAbunimah Compares Terrorist #HanaShalabi With Convicted Kidnapper Winnie Mandela. Hilarious

Keep Hana in mind. Don't forget her: If banished to Gaza, #HanaShalabi would face Winnie Mandela’s fate and hope
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, on Twitter

Hana Shalabi, whom Israel accuses of being a member of the terrorist group Islamis Jihad, has staged a hunger strike and apparently will now be released to Gaza.

Abunimah is outraged, comparing Hana Shalabi to Winnie Mandela.

Winnie Mandela?

Putting aside the automatic, emotional knee-jerk response Abunimah intends by conjuring up the Mandela name, here is some background on the criminal activities and human rights abuses of Winnie Mandela, who was also involved in the murder of a child:

From Wikipedia on Winnie Mandela:

The Middle East Media Sampler 3/30/2012: Obama's Got Israel's Back (Just Check Knife Wounds)

From DG:
1) Ain't no way to treat an ally

A number of sources have picked up on a campaign to undermine Israeli efforts to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month Omri Ceren observed White House Official: We’re Making Israel’s Decision to Attack Iran “Hard as Possible”:

Video: Latma On Israel's Completely Non-Political General and "Story Time"

This week's Latma, with Israel's completely non-political general and a children's story that is not just for kids.

Here's the video:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 03/29/2012: Missing Perspective

From DG:

1) "Nearby" Ashdod

A recent New York Time news story, As Rockets Fly, New Conditions Shape Fight in Gaza, was illustrated with a picture of school girls taking cover from a rocket attack. The captions read, "In a fourth day of cross-border fighting, schoolgirls in Ashdod, Israel, took cover on Monday during a rocket attack launched from the nearby Gaza Strip."

The use of the word "nearby" is curious. According to Google Maps Ashdod is about twenty miles from Gaza. Gaza is not visible from Ashdod as it is from Sderot. To shoot a rocket from Gaza to Ashdod requires more fuel and technical skill. This is what the terror groups in Hamas controlled Gaza invest in, not creating a better and more productive society.

A "Letter from Israel" by Koby tells what it's like to live in Ashdod. (h/t tweet from Elder of Ziyon)  
My 3-year-old has trauma. She shakes in my hands every time a siren is heard. She hugs me and wouldn't let go for long time. She asks me: "Dad, why is the siren coming down at us?". What do you say to your baby when she asks this? That Arabs Hate us and want us dead? How can I explain it to a baby?
No we do not teach our children hate. We teach them hope and love and respect.
A nearby Yeshiva, Kerem B'Yavneh experiences similar warnings as a student there, Jonah Keyak writes (h/t Israel Matzav, Daily Alert) :

Sirens blare in my head. Realizing this is not a drill, I jump out of bed and dash to the closest bomb shelter. Within seconds, the room fills with American, Canadian and Israeli students, all here in fear for their lives. Boom one, that was close…boom two, that was closer…wait for it…boom three. We wait to hear the booms because, ironically, that's the most calming sound. That's when we know that the bombs have landed and we are momentarily safe.
To get some perspective of the rocket threat to Israel, go the JCPA website, click on the "Israel and its neighbors" tab (on top) and then choose the "Gaza Strip" button (to the left).

If things have been a little quieter lately, it might have to with Israel's success in killing the responsible terrorists than the terrorists' good behavior. (h/t Daily Alert)
On the one hand, the PIJ, which joined the attacks despite the fact that the targeted killing had not been directed at an operative of its own, launched most of the rockets with ranges greater than 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). Of the 20 terrorist operatives killed by IDF fire, 14 belonged to the PIJ (the other six belonged mainly to the PRC).
On the other hand, the PIJ did not force Israel to pay a high price in lives for the targeted killing of two senior PRC terrorist organizations and the deaths in air strikes of its own operatives, despite the massive amounts of rocket fire directed against Israel, far greater than in previous rounds of escalation (About 240 rockets were fired at Israel, 170 either falling in Israeli territory or intercepted by the Iron Dome, which was successful in destroying long-range rockets.). In addition, public conduct on the home front contributed to the small number of civilian casualties. While a number of civilians were wounded and damage was done to property, in our assessment, the PIJ and PRC regarded the price exacted from Israel as far too low.
2) Gulf U

The New York Times recently featured a "Special Report," Elite Schools Find New Base in Emirates:

The universities are also contributing to much-needed original research on the Middle East, which education experts say can be patchy and outdated. The N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi Institute is spending $35 million on research into Middle Eastern issues. Wharton Abu Dhabi, an office that opened in early 2010, is supervising 30 research projects funded by the CERT Foundation, the entrepreneurial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi.
"Our goal is to create and disseminate knowledge in the region and the best way to do that was to set up an office in the Mideast," said Pankaj Paul, regional manager for Wharton's U.A.E. office, the business school's sole presence outside the United States.
Hmmm. They're studying "Middle East issues" in Abu Dhabi. I wonder how academic that enterprise is! All in all the article reads more like a brochure for those looking to study in the Gulf, rather than a serious journalistic effort. After all, how could the New York Times have failed to note the arrest of Nasser bin Ghaith last year?
The arrest of Nasser bin Ghaith, a lecturer at the Abu Dhabi branch of the University of Paris IV (Paris-Sorbonne) who has participated in the Doha Debates, a respected regional political forum, leaves observers asking what freedoms the academics working at new Western branch campuses in the emirates will enjoy. "Are professors only protected in the 90 minutes when they are giving seminars, and after that they are fair game?" asks Samer Muscati, a researcher on the United Arab Emirates for Human Rights Watch.
If lecturers (and students) are not free to discuss issues and topic that the hosting government disapproves of, it necessarily limits the quality of the academics. In the mid-90's the New York Times applauded Yale University for rejecting a contribution from alumnus Lee Bass for a Western Civilization curriculum because Bass demanded a say in who could teach in the program. But, the same newspaper seemingly has no problem with this limit on academic freedom.

Clearly this is a business decision, that will hurt the quality of education at these institutions.

3) VDH on antisemitism

This is the heart of Victor Davis Hanson's "The New Antisemitism" (h/t Instapundit)
Does the world much care about the principle of occupation? Not really. Consider land that has been "occupied" in the fashion of the West Bank since World War II. Russia won't give up the southern Kurile Islands it took from Japan. Tibet ceased to exist as a sovereign country—well before the 1967 Middle East War—when it was absorbed by Communist China. Turkish forces since their 1974 invasion have occupied large swaths of Cyprus. East Prussia ceased to exist in 1945, after 13 million German refugees were displaced from ancestral homelands that dated back 500 years.
The 112-mile green line that runs through downtown Nicosia to divide Cyprus makes Jerusalem look united in comparison. Over 500,000 Jews have been ethnically-cleansed from Arab capitals since 1947, in waves of pogroms that come every few decades. Why are they not considered refugees the way the Palestinians are?
The point is not that the world community should not focus on Israel's disputes with its neighbors, but that it singles Israel out for its purported transgressions in a fashion that it does not for nearly identical disagreements elsewhere. Over 75 percent of recent United Nations resolutions target Israel, which has been cited for human rights violations far more than the Sudan, Congo, or Rwanda, where millions have perished in little-noticed genocides. Why is the international community so anti-Israel?
One more point worth citing:
On the flip side, since the 1960s, trillions of petrodollars have flowed into the Islamic Middle East, not just ensuring that Israel's enemies now were armed, ascendant, and flanked by powerful Western friends, but through contributions, donations, and endowments also deeply embedded within Western thought and society itself. Universities suddenly sought endowed Middle East professorships and legions of full tuition-paying Middle East undergraduates. Had Israel the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, then "occupied" Palestine might have resonated at the UN about as much as Ossetia, Kashmir, or the Western Sahara does today.

Can Anyone Identify This Flag?

What nationality is the flag next to the Israeli flag?

No Blogging Today -- Off To The Expo

For two months working in preparation for an Expo

And today is the day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Arlene Kushner On Israel's Barukh Binah's Lecture Of J Street

From Arlene Kushner:
March 28, 2012

"Standing Tough"

First matters first: I have an update on Zakkai, the baby boy with the tumor along his spine and in his thoracic cavity, that is not positive.  When he originally was discovered to have a tumor on his spine that had caused him to stop walking, surgery was done to relieve the pressure on his spine and his improvement was immediate and gratifying. Then came the news that what they had been told was a malignant tumor was in fact benign.  His most diligent parents, in seeking consultations from a variety of top-notch sources, were overwhelmed by a vast array of different opinions -- everything from leaving it alone for now to different approaches to surgery.  But essentially it was all very promising.  Until now.  They have learned that this tumor, although it is benign, is very aggressively growing.  It has returned to the spine and is eating into vertebrae.  Surgery is recommended quickly -- although they will do some speedily consults first --and they fear for his recovery and for the prospect of his being paralyzed for life.  In fact, they fear for his life. And so please, pray for him: Rafael Zakkai Avraham ben Yakira Avigael, and put out the word as broadly as you can

For those wanting more details, as the parents are able to post:


As to standing tough:

Now, perhaps more than ever, it is important for Israel to stand tall and convey our convictions of what is right.  Following the news about Israel breaking ties with the Human Rights Council came this, as described by Israel Hayom (To stunned silence, Israel’s rep scolds J Street to 'stand by us'):

The Middle East Sampler 3/28/2012: The Media's Selective Support Of Israeli Democracy

From DG:
1) I spoke too soon 

Yesterday I wrote that both the New York Times and Washington Post had ignored this year's J-Street conference. Today the New York Times covers it with apress release news story, J Street, Pro-Israel but Opposed to Attacking Iran, Takes Its Message to Washington. The gist of the article is that AIPAC's recent convention was larger, but the folks at J-Street were more sensible because they are uniformly against attacking Iran.

Also today the New York Times has an editorial Israel’s Top Court vs. Outposts:
Israel’s Supreme Court made an important contribution to justice and kept alive hope for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, when it ruled this week that Migron, an illegal outpost built by Israeli settlers, must be dismantled by Aug. 1. Now it is up to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to comply promptly, while making clear to the settlers that violent resistance will not be tolerated.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anne Bayefsky: Israel & The UN "Human Rights" Council Does Obama have Israel's back or just the UN's?

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558
Follow us on Twitter

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on Fox News.

The UN’s top human rights body ended its latest session in Geneva on Friday by dealing a body blow to one of President Obama’s signature foreign policy moves. The extreme anti-Israel extravaganza has prompted Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to cut ties with the body intimating Americans should also withdraw support, while administration officials have hit the airwaves to make the case that the demonization of Israel is troubling but tolerable. The message communicated: the President has the UN’s back, not Israel’s.

Arlene Kushner On Israel Severing Ties With UN Human Rights Council

From Arlene Kushner

March 27, 2012

"The Only Proper Response"

It was last Thursday that the UN Human Rights Council voted to send a "mission" to investigate the way in which the "settlements" infringe on the human rights of the Palestinian Arabs, prompting a very angry response from Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Shades of Goldstone.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Lieberman, after consulting with top staff in his ministry, decided to severe all ties with the council.  For this I say Bravo! as no other response would have been appropriate. 

From now on, said a senior diplomatic official sited by the JPost, Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva (which is where that HRC sits) will not appear before the council, answer any of its phone calls or cooperate with Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay in any way.

Israel will also bar the settlement "fact finding mission" from entering Israel.

This all sounds right to me.

Speaking Welsh In Libya Can Get You Arrested For Being An Israeli Spy

In 1821, the journal The Cambro-Briton noted the "affinity between the Hebrew and Welsh tongues". "The many points of resemblance between the languages in question have been noted by several learned writers," it noted, adding that this was "not merely in a coincidence of particular words, but in a general agreement of idiom and structure".
Journalists were held over Welsh-Hebrew mix-up, The Independent, March 21, 2012

In Libya, speaking Welsh can get you suspected of being an Israeli spy:

The Middle East Media Sampler 3/17/2012: What J-Street Convention?

From DG:
1) Today's conference is brought to you by the letter "J" and the number "4" but not by the Washington Post or New York Times

Four years ago, next month, a group of liberal Jews kicked off "J-Street." Neil Lewis, who most recently criticized Jews who criticize the coverage of Israel by the New York Times, covered the announcement U.S. Jews Create New Lobby to Temper Israel Policy.
Underlying the formation of the group is a fundamental question that has long vexed the American Jewish community: What is the most effective way to support Israel? Many people involved in AIPAC have long argued that American Jews have limited standing to criticize Israel’s policies because they are not themselves facing difficult questions of safety and survival.
AIPAC would not comment on the formation of J Street. But some people involved in AIPAC noted with satisfaction the vast difference in the size of the two groups: J Street is planning for an operating budget of about $1.5 million, compared with AIPAC's $100 million endowment, membership of more than 100,000 and annual lobbying expenditures of about $1 million.
Michael Abramowitz reported for the Washington Post, Jewish Liberals to Launch A Counterpoint to AIPAC (h/t Israel Matzav).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yedidya Atlas: The Strange Case of Migron

By: Yedidya Atlas

Some years ago, a national-religious organization whose public operations had been authorized by Knesset Law found itself being challenged by the Leftwing MK’s who lost the Knesset vote in Israel’s Supreme Court – then at the height of the judicial regime of Chief Justice Aharon Barak. The legislative losers knew that even though they democratically lost the vote by a significant majority in Israel’s legislative body, they could count on the Supreme Court to ultimately cancel democratic Knesset votes if it wasn’t in line with acceptable leftwing politics.

The astounded directors of the aforementioned organization went to a top lawyer in Tel Aviv to represent them in their defense in the Supreme Court case. Said lawyer, unlike his clients, was secular and not politically to the right. Nonetheless, as befits a proper lawyer, he took the case and committed himself to present the best defense possible for his clients. In this case one might have thought it an easy task; the Law was clearly on their side. However, this lawyer who had spent two decades in illustrious government service prior to going out to the private sector, warned his clients that while he could produce a 400 page defense which proved their case, he could only buy them time as in the end they would lose irrespective of the fact that legal justice was on their side.

Peter Beinart's Crisis of Zionism: A Book With A Crisis Of Inaccuracy

I am not that interested in debating Peter's new book ["Crisis of Zionism"], which I've just finished reading, because I find his recounting of recent Middle East history one-sided and filled with errors and omissions
Jeffrey Goldberg, J Street Big Takes a Serious Shot at Peter Beinart's Call for Boycott, March 19, 2012

In Peter Beinart’s False Prophecy, Bret Stephens describes Beinart's book--which claims the Israeli occupation alienates young American Jews--"is sloppy with facts and emotionally contrived. To illustrate his claim of what is either sloppiness excessive liberty in interpretation, Stephens offers some examples of errors:

Barry Rubin: Obama Hearts Turkish Leader Erdogan As He Oppresses His Own People and Stabs America in the Back

President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.

When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.” He adds:

The Middle East Media Sampler 3/26/2016: Hamas Baby Libel In Gaza

From DG:
1) The baby libel

For a while now, Gaza has been suffering from power outages due to a dispute between Hamas and Egypt. It has gotten precious little press, presumably because Israel could in no way be blamed for it. Elder of Ziyon has been covering this ongoing story and noted last week that Hamas was blaming everyone else, but Gazans were catching on.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Middle East Media Sampler 3/25/2012: "See No Evil" In Toulouse Massacre

From DG:
1) See no evil

In Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Mark Steyn asks:
Look, pace Ed West, isn’t it just a teensy-weensy little bit to do with Islam? Or at any rate the internal contradictions of one-way multiculturalism? No, it’s not a competition. Most times in today’s Europe, the guys beating, burning and killing Jews will be Muslims. Once in a while, it will be somebody else killing the schoolkids. But is it so hard to acknowledge that rapid, transformative, mass Muslim immigration might not be the most obvious aid to social tranquility? That it might possibly pose challenges that would otherwise not have existed — for uncovered women in Oslo, for gays in Amsterdam, for Jews everywhere? Is it so difficult to wonder if, for these and other groups living in a long-shot social experiment devised by their rulers, the price of putting an Islamic crescent in the diversity quilt might be too high? What’s left of Jewish life in Europe is being extinguished remorselessly, one vandalized cemetery, one subway attack at a time. How many Jewish children will be at that school in Toulouse a decade hence? 
In a similar vein, Barry Rubin writes:

Barry Rubin: France: Here Comes the Whitewash

The following by Barry Rubin is reposted with permsission

By Barry Rubin

The murders in Toulouse should be a wake-up call for France and all of Europe. True, the assaults on Jews and French soldiers were three individual terror attacks perpetrated supposedly by a single individual. The more information that emerges, however, the clearer it becomes that this terrorist was well connected to a bigger al-Qaida network.

Even more important, these shootings are among dozens of antisemitic incidents that happen daily in France and throughout Europe. A big story like the Toulouse attack can draw attention to a broader, dangerous political and social trend.

Or it can be treated as an isolated incident. Nothing to see here; move along; go back to sleep. Al-Qaida terrorists don't pull up in front of Jewish schools to murder teachers and students every day, right?

In the past, the mass media could be expected to present a debate on how to interpret this event but now all too often they give a monopoly to the whitewashers and the apologists.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Increasing Number Of French Jews Consider Moving To Israel

Der Spiegel is reporting that More and More French Jews Emigrating to Israel--and illustrates the point with a scenario that recently took place at a public school in France:
Many must have been reminded of the treatment of Jews under the Third Reich. Shortly after the attack on a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse on Monday, school principals in the city walked into classrooms and asked the Jewish pupils to come forward. "We ask you to leave the class and join the other Jewish children, who are in a locked and safe location."

Welcome The Palestinians To The World Of Nations--And Personal Debt

Be careful what you wish for.

The Palestinian Arabs claim they are ready to be a country just like any other country--and now they have taken a significant step to prove their point: The Palestinian Arabs are up to their eyeballs in unpaid mortgages.

The LA Times reports:
Palestinians are up to ears in debt
The Palestinian middle class has seized on mortgages and consumer loans as a route to upward mobility. But with the credit increase comes soaring personal debt.

Is Obama Treating Turkey Like Israel?

And you know that can't be good.

When Hillary Clinton recently met Turkey's FM Ahmet Davutoğlu, who offered Turkey's help and suggestions on Syria--Hillary cut him off at the knees:
In a previously unreported turn of events, it has now come to light that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, emphatically dismissed a number of forward leaning options on Syria that the Turkish top diplomat proposed to the Obama administration.

What this means is that Washington, which at one point subcontracted its Syria policy to Ankara, has now called the Turks off the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Egypt Does NOT Heart Hamas

Hamas just can't seem to get along with anybody these days.

For all the talk about the Hamas-Fatah "Unity Government," it remains clear that the two sides cannot stand each other and elections are consistently postponed.

More success was expected from a reconciliation between Hamas and Egypt--especially with the growing power and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And yet the fighting between Hamas and Egypt and been public and acrimonious:

The Middle East Media Sampler 3/23/2012: Do Jews Wag The Dog?

From DG:
1) Do the Jews wag the dog?

Aaron David Miller has a long article up at Foreign Policy, Six Big Lies About How Jerusalem Runs Washington. It does not start out promisingly:
Several years after leaving government, I wrote a piece in the Washington Post titled "Israel's Lawyer." The article was an honest effort to explain how several senior officials in U.S. President Bill Clinton's administration (myself included) had a strong inclination to see the Arab-Israeli negotiations through a pro-Israel lens. That filter played a role -- though hardly the primary one -- in the failure of endgame diplomacy, particularly at the ill-fated Camp David summit in July 2000. 
Unsurprisingly, the piece was hijacked in the service of any number of agendas, especially by critics of Israel only too eager to use my narrow point about the Clinton years to make their broader one: America had long compromised its own values and interests in the Middle East by its blind and sordid obeisance to the Jewish state and its pro-Israeli supporters in the United States.

Latma: A New Honorific for Baroness Ashton

Here is this week's Latma.

Yedidya Atlas: When in Doubt, Kill a Jew

By: Yedidya Atlas

When in doubt, kill a Jew. That seems to be the de rigueur thing to do. After all, even after a cold-blooded and ruthless radical Muslim killer deliberately takes a sub-machine gun and mows down three small Jewish children and a young rabbi-teacher in front of a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France, no one seems capable of just saying that an extremist Muslim murdered four Jews because they were Jews.

Barry Rubin: From Satire to Horror Reality Show: Radical Chic Conquers America

Homer: Hey! What's the problem here?
Lisa: We were fighting over which one of us loves you more.
Homer (touched): You were? (sniff) Aww. Well, go ahead.
Bart (pushing Lisa): You love him more!
Lisa (pushing Bart) No, you do!
Bart: No, I don't!
Lisa: Yes, you do!
--The Simpsons, "There's No Disgrace Like Home" episode

By Barry Rubin

In a recent article, Bruce Bawer reminds us of Tom Wolfe's famous 1970 article ridiculing the Park Avenue penthouse party of Leonard Bernstein, where various stars from stage, screen, and television came together to celebrate the Black Panther Party. 
Baswer compares that party to recent event at the Jewish Community Center in New York about combating “Islamophobia” in a way that whitewashes the real threat posed by revolutionary Islamism. In each case, well-to-do people thinking of themselves as highly virtuous and showing their "love" for freedom and tolerance are being manipulated by a political movement that would destroy them, as well as the United States more generally. 
Bawer’s piece is excellent. But on reading it I realized that he was thinking too small. The true contemporary parallel to the Bernstein party is not to some event of a few hundred people on Manhattan’s West Side it is to all of America. 
At the 1970 party, the Panthers’ representatives complained that they were being stigmatized as criminals when, as Bawer summarized it, they were really ”a peaceable group whose real concerns were indicated by the clinics and children’s breakfast programs.”

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Islamists Here: Media Buries Motive on Toulouse

Why did Mohammed Merah kill three children and a teacher at the Otzar Torah school in Toulouse, France? Why did he previously kill three French soldiers in two shootings prior to Monday’s massacre?

That is the question--and over the past week or so, the answer changed, not only in relation to the information that became available about the identity and goals of the terrorist, but also as the requirements of politics, and political correctness, became clear.

Gerstman notes in No Islamists Here: Media Buries Motive on Toulouse that Mohammed Merah's Islamist identity became something of an inconvenience that called for finessing--by both the media and by leaders. As an example:

Video: South African Member of Parliament, Kenneth Meshoe: Israel Is Not An Apartheid State

A European reporter questions South African Member of Parliament, Kenneth Meshoe on the charge that Israel is an apartheid state. MP Meshoe provides a very clear picture of why there is no comparison between the Palestinians and the South Africans in this issue. The exchange took place at a press conference on October 31, 2011 during the IIACF ( Chairman's Conference in Budapest Hungary.

Here is the video:

Arlene Kushner On The Toulouse Murders And France

From Arlene Kushner:

March 22, 2012

"No Words"

What can one say to this...

Little Gabriel, 3, was the younger of Rabbi Yonaton Sandler's sons to be murdered in Toulouse.

Gabriel Sandler, May G-d Avenge his Blood
Credit: Flash 90

It has been revealed that this beautiful child had been named for Rabbi Gavriel Horowitz, who was horrendously slaughtered in Mumbai shortly before he was born.

So You Want To Be A Gazan Millioniare: The PA Can Help!

You have to hand it to the Palestinian Authority: they may tell the world that it owes them millions in order to keep their budget, but that is not going to stop them from paying stipends to terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

And it's not going to stop the Palestinian Authority for paying over $1billion dollars to Hamas each year.

According to Maan: The Palestinian Authority has spent $7 billion in Gaza since it split from Hamas

Mohammed Merah? Can't Blame Conservatives And Heaven Forbid Talk About Radical Islam

In response to the Norwegian massacre perpetrated last year by Anders Behring Breivik, the media focused our attention on the conservative media which was quoted by Breivik--blaming conservative writers and pundits for creating and fostering his worldview and for the murders themselves.

Don't expect to see that when it comes to the murders by Mohammed Merah of French soldiers and Jews.

The politically correct theme to take in these murders was already established yesterday that Islam was not to be held in any way responsible for the terrorism:

PA Claims To Condemns Mohammed Mareh, While Honoring Palestinian Killer of 37 Israelis

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday condemned the killing of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in France, rejecting the suspected gunman's motive of avenging Palestinian children killed by Israel.
Fayyad: Stop using Palestinians to justify terror, Ma'an March 21, 2012

Fayyad's gross hypocrisy will pass without the world condemnation it deserves.
After all:
  • No one pays attention to the fact that Palestinian hero and role model Arafat was a murderous terrorist who killed countless innocents.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's Over Toulouse Killer Mohammed Merah Is Dead (Updated 7:45am)

Update 7:45am: Mohammed Merah is dead. Jewish Press reports that Merah was hiding in the bathroom--when the police came in, he came out with guns blazing.

Update 12:15am: So what is taking so long? According to the Washington Post (hat tip: Challah Hu Akbar):
The authorities’ patience seemed to reflect a determination by President Nicolas Sarkozy to put the man on public trial for what were described as terrorist acts by a committed Islamist militant who had trained at a Taliban camp in Afghanistan.

Sarkozy was described as furious that such hateful crimes could be committed in France. In addition, the issues the suspect has cited are particularly sensitive as Sarkozy runs for reelection in two rounds of voting, scheduled for April 23 and May 6. The president is eager to be seen as a firm defender of security, lest any of his conservative support shift to the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen of the National Front.

Update 9:03pm More blasts heard, again intended as intimidation. Merah is suspected of being heavily armed.

Update 8:09pm France 24 reports that sounds of explosions were not the police taking steps to capture Mohammed Merah, but just "intimidation".

Update 1:45pm: According to CNN, a US mil. official says French military, not US, that sent French shooting suspect back to France from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Drudge had a headline:

Update 12:40pm And so it begins: YnetNews reports the French prosecutor says that terrorist suspect Mohammed Merah has had mental problems since he was a boy ‎‏

Update 11:38am According to LeMonde, it appears all three brothers were involved with the French jihadi attack (Hat tip Aaron Y. Zelin)

Update 10:33am Times of Israel reporting that Mohammed Merah is still holed up in his home, surrounded by police.

Update 10:02am: According to France 24, suspect has NOT been arrested, negotiations still underway. No assault has begun.

Update 10:00am Being reported by Jewish Press that Mohammed Merah is not yet in police custody.

Update 9:45am The Algemeiner reports that Mohammed Merah is in police custody.

Update: 8:30:
  • AFP reports Mohammed Merah was arrested in Kandahar back in 2010 for planting bombs and sentenced to 3 years--but escaped in a prison break.

  • Al Arabiya reports: Fayyad decries use of Palestinian cause to justify terrorism--another case of too little too late. Does this mean the Palestinian Authority will stop inciting hatred of Israel by naming stadiums after Palestinian terrorists who murder children, stop paying stipends to terrorists in Israeli prisons and break off unity talks with terrorist group Hamas?

  • Meanwhile, Merah has still not surrendered.
Update: 6:01 France 24 reports that French intelligence has been tracking Mohammed Merah for years. Also that both brother and Mother of Merah are being detained by police.

Update: 5:44 The report is that Merah wants to surrender "after lunch". I'd hate to think that he is stalling for time in order to set something up.

Update: 5:00am Jewish Press is reporting Mohammed Merah has another brother, besides the one who has been arrested, who is still on the loose.

Update 4:59: France 24 speculates that fact no terrorist group has stepped forward to take credit for the murders lends credence to the theory that Mohammed Merah is acting alone.

Update 4:47 Douglas Herbert, France 24 International Affairs editor: Though the suspect through a gun out the window, the French Interior Minister says he certainly has other weapons.

Update 4:45 Al Arabiya reports, according to French police, the suspect's name is Mohammed Merah, of Algerian origin

Update 4:16: France 24 reports the suspect says he will turn himself over this afternoon.(it is now 9:16am in France)

Update: France 24 has just announced that the killer has thrown out his handgun and the siege may soon be over.

Hat tip Challah Hu Akbar who pointed out France 24 as a news source, and who has been tweeting updates

France 24 has been reporting that a man claiming to be Toulouse killer called France 24 two hours before siege, making the same claims reported now, that the killings were in retaliation for killing of Palestinian children and for French actions in Afghanistan. The man on the phone said this was the only beginning.

Arlene Kushner on The Toulouse Killer and Funeral

From Arlene Kushner:

March 21, 2012

"What Nazi?"

The bodies of the four Jews, one teacher and three children, shot down in Toulouse, France, were brought by El Al to Israel at dawn and laid to rest late this morning in a funeral at Har Hamenuchot cemetery in the Givat Shaul neighbor of Jerusalem.  Thousands, mostly French-speaking religious Jews, attended.  Because of the intense emotions and the strong sun, some 30 in the crowd collapsed.

Mourners stand around the bodies of the victims of Monday's shooting in Toulouse during their joint funeral service in Jerusalem March 21, 2012.

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin was there, and spoke, as did the two Chief Rabbis of Israel, Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger, and ministers of the government.

Barry Rubin: The True Perpetrators of The Antisemitic Attacks in Toulouse and Throughout the World

By Barry Rubin

What a tragic, evil joke. A drive-by shooter in the beautiful, almost magical, city of Toulouse, France, murders three Jewish children and a teacher in front of their school. Various VIPs issue statements about how terrible is this deed, how unspeakable.

And yet at that very moment, the next round of murders, the next slanderous and inciting antisemitic lies are being perpetrated by respectable people and institutions. There is no real soul-searching, no true effort to do better, no serious examination about how the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hysteria is paving the way to murder and potentially genocide.

Here are three examples of such deeds in nominally democratic countries—not Iran, not Syria, not Pakistan, where such things are even more intense—but in supposedly rational places.

  1. The Turkish editor
Meet Mahir Zeynalov, an editor at Today’s Zaman, a Turkish Islamic newspaper that is supposedly moderate. Meet the modern art of tweeting. Here is Zeynalov’s response to the murders: 

The Middle East Sampler 3/21/2012: New York Times Covers For Ashton

1) How to tell the truth and lie at the same time

There were two words in Fury in Israel at Remark Linking Gaza to Toulouse by Isabel Kershner that were true, but highly misleading.
Israel’s leaders on Tuesday strongly censured the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, for remarks made a day earlier in which she was perceived as having equated the killing of three children at a Jewish school in France with the death of children during the fighting in Gaza.
In this case the misleading word is "perceived." Kershner explains that Israeli officials were  responding to a statement by Ashton that was released by the EU, but that her actual statement was less inflammatory.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Analysis Of Iran And Nuclear Weapons Misses The Point

Bret Stephens writes about The Bogus Iran Intelligence Debate and notes that the issue is not pinpointing when Iran is acquiring or close to acquiring nuclear weapons:
Bear that in mind as the New York Times reports that U.S. intelligence agencies are sure, or pretty sure, that Iran "still has not decided to pursue a weapon"—a view the paper says is shared by Israel's Mossad. The report echoes the conclusion of a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iran put its nuclear-weapons program on the shelf back in 2003.

Anne Bayefsky: Hamas Welcomed at UN Headquarters in Geneva

For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky

Hamas Welcomed at UN Headquarters in Geneva Only the United Nations could twist the security threat so that
the terrorist front man became the victim. 

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on Jerusalem Post.

On March 19, 2012 the UN Human Rights Council and its UN staff in Geneva advertised and facilitated an event featuring a representative of the terrorist organization Hamas. Facing an immediate outcry, a massive misinformation campaign is now underway to protect the already discredited UN body. But there is no avoiding the facts: the UN handed a UN entrance pass and a UN microphone, in a UN room, to Hamas’s own Ismail al-Ashqar.

US, European and Israeli laws designate Hamas as a terror group. Hamas’s hate-filled Charter advocates genocide, or in its words: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it…The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)…” The organization is pursuing that goal on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, the Council published a formal UN “Bulletin” – with the Council’s name splashed across the top and a formal UN symbol number – containing the following message. Anyone wanting to catch a lecture by a Hamas human rights authority should head off to Meeting Room XXVII in the UN’s Palais des Nations from 10 to 12 Monday morning.

Syrian Opposition: Down But Not Out

In Syrian Regime Resembles Mafia Cartel, Der Spiegel is reporting that although the Syrian regime seems to be gaining momentum in quashing the rebellion--the opposition against Assad is actually growing:
On the one hand, the regime's military machine is taking city after city. After capturing Baba Amr and now Idlib in the north, it is now attacking Daraa in the south. Residential neighborhoods are shelled by tanks and artillery. There are reports of people executed with shots to the head, corpses found with their eyes poked out and children beaten to death.

Arlene Kushner On US State Department Promoting Islam in Europe

From Arlene:

March 20, 2012

"The Head Spins"

Let's start today with a report from the Stonegate Institute written by Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Strategic Studies Group based in Madrid (with thanks to Micki L):

"The United States ambassador to Spain recently met with a group of Muslim immigrants in one of the most Islamized neighborhoods of Barcelona to apologize for American foreign policymaking in the Middle East.
"U.S. Ambassador Alan Solomont told Muslims assembled at the town hall-like meeting in the heart of Barcelona's old city that the United States is not an 'enemy of Islam' and that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to improve America's image in the Middle East as quickly as possible by closing the 'dark chapters' of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

"'There are things that the United States has done badly,' Solomont said at the February 28 gathering organized by a non-profit organization called the Cultural, Educational and Social Association of Pakistani Women. 'But now the Obama government wants to improve relations with Muslims,' he promised."


Alan Solomont? A founder of JStreet and a key fundraiser for Obama (which is undoubtedly how he achieved the ambassadorship).


But Soeren tell us more:

"In Ireland...the U.S. Embassy in Dublin recently sponsored a seminar ostensibly designed to help Muslim immigrants increase their influence within the Irish business and financial communities.

"The opening speech at the event was delivered by Imam Hussein Halawa of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland, despite the fact that leaked U.S. State Department cables show that the U.S. government has known for many years that Malawa is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and serves as the right-hand man of the radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. (Emphasis added)
"Halawa, an Egyptian immigrant who has dedicated his life to the cause of introducing Islamic Sharia law in Europe, told those in attendance that the main purpose of the conference was to bring the Irish banking system into conformity with Islamic legal principles. U.S. Ambassador Dan Rooney, a lifelong Republican turned Obama acolyte, said at the same conference that the United States was a 'solid partner' behind Halawa's venture. (Emphasis added)

"...In France, the U.S. Embassy in Paris co-sponsored a seminar to teach Muslims in France how they can politically organize themselves. Operatives from the Democratic Party coached 70 Muslim 'diversity leaders' from disaffected Muslim-majority suburban slums known as banlieues on how to develop a communications strategy, raise funds and build a political base.

"The French government -- which has been trying to reverse the pernicious effects of decades of state-sponsored multiculturalism -- expressed dismay at what it called 'meddling.'

"...In Norway, where Muslim immigrants already have more rights than native Norwegians, the U.S. Embassy in Oslo organized a 'dialogue meeting' designed to 'empower' Muslim immigrant women in the country.

"According to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Obama's special envoy to the Muslim world, Farah Pandith, castigated the Norwegian government's integration policies as being insufficiently fair to Muslim immigrants. She also told Norwegians that Muslims are 'more free to practice Islam in the United States than in any other country in the world.' Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg said Norway has much to learn from the Americans.

"In Britain, U.S. embassy employees in London frequently conduct outreach to help 'empower' the Muslims across the country. According to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable, for example, Ambassador Louis Susman 'engages with U.K. Muslim communities regularly…he has spoken to Muslim groups in Wales and Scotland, visited the London Central Mosque, and hosted an interfaith breakfast at his residence, among other activities.'

"Susman has come under fire for visiting another London mosque, namely the East London Mosque, which is one of the most extreme Islamic institutions in Britain. Built with money from Saudi Arabia to propagate Wahhabi Islam, the sprawling facility is home to the London Muslim Center, which the U.S. government has long known is a haven for Islamic extremists. During his visit, Susman spoke of his 'great admiration' for the mosque and his enthusiasm for meeting its staff." (Emphasis added)

Read U.S. State Department Actively Promoting Islam in Europe


Not enough, however, that your head should spin on reading this material.  It is essential to share it broadly.  Let those who would vote for Obama understand precisely what they would be voting for.


And then we have EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who yesterday noted the horrific murder of four Jews, three of them children, in front of a school in Toulouse, with these words:

"We remember young people who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances -- the Belgian children having lost their lives in a terrible tragedy [in a bus accident last week in Switzerland], and when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world -- we remember young people and children who lose their lives."

It is difficult not to draw the conclusion from these words that she was comparing the deliberate and cold-blooded (see more below) murder of kids in front of a school with Israel's acts of self defense against rockets aimed from Gaza at Israeli civilians, including children.

The organization StandWithUs is demanding that Ashton either apologize or resign.  StandWithUS France Director Laurent Preece has it right, I think, when he calls her statement "pandering."  She was attending a meeting with Palestinian youth in Brussels when she made her comment.

Ashton is now saying she didn't intend to draw a comparison. As The Israel Project puts it, she is "backpedaling furiously."  But such comments, made without careful thought for fallout, can be very revealing.


The four slain in Toulouse yesterday are to be buried here in Israel.  Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, who was French born, studied here in Jerusalem before returning to France to teach.  It was his hope to ultimately return to Israel with his family.  

The last of the four to be killed yesterday was eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego.  The murderer, after having shot the others, got off his motorbike, chased into the crowd, caught her and shot her in the head.  This horrendous act was caught on a security camera.

"He assassinated them as if he was killing animals," said Nicola Yardeni, the regional president of the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF, cited by the Telegraph.

"You see a man park his motorcycle, start to shoot, enter the school grounds and chase children to catch one and shoot a bullet into her head. It's unbearable to watch. He was looking to kill."

Miriam Monsonego   
Credit: Flash 90

This?  I'm not sure it makes the head spin.  Rather, you look at the picture of this child, understand what happened to her, and it makes the heart stop for a moment.


There are no certainties yet, but in connection with the murders, police are searching for three former French paratroopers who reportedly were discharged after a picture of them was discovered with a swastika, their arms raised in a nazi salute. 

The sincerity of French officials with regard to the grief they feel over this, and their intention of catching those responsible seems beyond question.

However, protestations that they are shocked that it could have happened ring a bit hollow. 


Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar, who has advocated terrorism against Israel, was scheduled yesterday to give testimony on the situation in Gaza to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  Don't try to make sense of this, for we are, after all, talking about the notoriously anti-Israel HRC. 

After Israeli Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Aharon Leshno-Yaar registered a complaint, the testimony was cancelled and al-Ashqar, who was already in the building -- in order to make a presentation at an event organized by the UN-accredited NGO Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development (MFPD) -- was asked to leave. 

Al-Ashqar's testimony was to be received in the context of a "general debate" on the human rights situation in "Palestine and other occupied Arab territories" that the Human Rights Council has opened.  Rest assured the Council will not be investigating the deprivation of human rights visited upon Palestinian Arabs by UNRWA, Hamas or the PA. 

They are, however, talking about sending a fact-finding mission here, to look at "settlements" and construction in eastern Jerusalem and how these impinge on the "civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people." 

Israel, which is being called upon to cooperate, most certainly will not, should this come to pass -- which is dubious at present.


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Peace Loving Global March To Jerusalem Stops By To Chat With Ahmadinejad

It is not often you're going to see Ahmadinejad posing with a picture of Gandhi:

The occasion was a visit by the self-proclaimed peace loving Global March to Jerusalem to see Ahmadinejad,  the fraudulently elected Iranian leader who shot those who protested.

Exposing The Truth About The Global March To Jerusalem notes:

Anne Bayefsky: Iranians Employ Thuggish Tactics at U.N. Human Rights Council

For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on

The credibility of President Obama’s “speak softly and carry a wet U.N. noodle” foreign policy took a major hit on Friday when it was discovered that Iranian thugs have been given carte blanche to participate in and wander around the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva intimidating Iranian dissidents.

The president’s decision to join the U.N.’s top human-rights body in 2009, and more recently to seek a second three-year term on the Council, is one of the centerpieces of his “engagement” strategy. Neither the membership of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and Cuba on this human-rights agency, nor three years of incessant Israel-bashing, has deterred the administration from attempting to legitimize the Council. It is not surprising, therefore, that Iran is evidently not feeling the heat.

Who’s fundraising for ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ in Canada?

Who’s Fundraising for
‘Global March to Jerusalem’ in Canada?

CiF Watch

On March 17th a fundraising event for the Global March to Jerusalem was held in Hamilton, Ontario, featuring Eva Bartlett and Khawla Ibrahim.

Eva Bartlett is an International Solidarity Movement activist who was deported from Israel and disqualified from re-entry for ten years in early 2008 due to her not being in possession of a valid visa.

Bartlett has worked for Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza and written for Electronic Intifada. She is married to Emad Badwan, a film-maker and journalist from Dir el Balah in Gaza.

According to her blog (where, in her latest post, she perpetuates the myth that Israel was responsible for the death of Nayif Qarmout and writes of “25 martyrs” – most of whom were members of terrorist groups), Bartlett apparently intends to join the Global March to Jerusalem in Lebanon.

Global March to Jerusalem: Mixed Message On Violence

Mixed messages about violence from the Global March to Jerusalem

On the one hand, the Global March to Jerusalem says they are peaceful:
In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on March 19th, GMJ spokesman Zaher Birawi stated that the organisers are “not interested in confrontation with the Israeli army, after similar demonstrations a year earlier ended in bloodshed”.

Whilst it is difficult to imagine exactly what sort of effective controls the GMJ organisers have been able to put in place in order to prevent their aspired one million man march from descending into violence, it should also be taken into account that a considerable number of the GMJ organisers are veterans of the flotilla project who still describe the Turkish activists aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara in 2010 as ‘humanitarian aid workers’.
Yet despite a Global March To Jerusalem brochure invoking the names of Gandhi and Martin Luther King as role models, in Kuala Lumpur on March 18th a flashmob of students gathered in order to “create awareness on the Global March to Jerusalem”--replete with dead Israeli soldiers:

Barry Rubin: In 2011 U.S. Primacy in the Middle East Died; In 2012 The Funeral Will Be Held

The following by Barry Rubin is reposted with permission

“This is the end…
Of our elaborate plans, the end,
Of everything that stands….
No safety or surprise….
There’s danger on the edge of town….
And all the children are insane….
The West is the best….
But you will never follow me.”
--“This is the End,” The Doors

By Barry Rubin

Here’s your basic problem for 2012-2013: In the Middle East, the vultures are coming home to roost. Of course, the main cause of developments in the region is the long, failed legacy of radical Arab nationalism which is now being replaced by what we’ll be calling in 20 or 30 years the long failed legacy of revolutionary Islamism.

But the secondary cause is the mistaken policy of President Barack Obama. Let’s make a list:

CiF Watch: Factsheet On Global March To Jerusalem (GMJ)

MARCH 30, 2012

What is the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ)?

GMJ, scheduled for March 30, 2012, is an anti-Israel publicity stunt that aims to have a million people marching on Israel’s borders from all the surrounding countries – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt – with the aim of reaching Jerusalem. Concurrently, demonstrations are planned in the Palestinian-administrated territories and against Israel’s diplomatic missions in major cities throughout the world.

Who is organizing GMJ?

Yedidya Atlas: Haredi Jews in the IDF is a Blessing for Israel

By: Yedidya Atlas

The other day I received an email from a friend in Canada to which he attached an article written last week by a Nathan Hersh in the Jewish World blogger section of Haaretz. The article, entitled: “Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the IDF would be a disaster for Israel” and a sub-headline: “When Haredis put the commands of their religious leaders ahead of those of their officers, the Israel Defense Forces will be incapable of fulfilling its ultimate purpose: to protect the Jewish state.”

My friend suggested I should respond to what he felt was a confused and biased article about Haredi military service. I read Mr. Hersh’s article and my friend was right. Mr. Hersh, whom I’ve never met, and whom I assume is a generally considerate and intelligent fellow, wore his personal politics and abject ignorance of Judaism and religious people on his sleeve as he penned his rather confused blog.

He writes that during his army service he was stationed somewhere in Judea and Samaria and one of “the settlers” – one of those who brought hot tea to the soldiers guarding on cold nights – approached one of Mr. Hersh’s fellow soldiers, a religious person himself (unlike Mr. Hersh), engaged him in conversation, discovered they were distantly related (how Jewish), and “eventually the settler asked my friend (the religious soldier) if he would be ready when the time comes,” Mr. Hersh relates, “to refuse orders.” According to Mr. Hersh, “He was referring to orders to dismantle and relocate settlements deemed illegal under Israeli law.”

Apparently Mr. Hersh, who clearly identifies with the left side of the political spectrum (to which he is entitled to do, of course), appears overly concerned with the IDF’s capability to carry out orders to dismantle settlements – instead of the police which is the official State organization to implement court orders against civilians – , and less so with the actual and officially designated task of the army – to defend the citizens and land of Israel from attack by Arab armies and terrorists who comprise our actual enemies.

The Middle East Sampler 3/20/2012: Peter Beinart Smackdown On Twitter And Media

From DG:
1) Beinart smackdown

Challah Hu Akbar has a list of various critiques of yesterday's ahistorical and counter-factual op-ed by Peter Beinart.

Challah Hu Akbar links to the New York Times letters page (the Abe Foxman comment) but there was a different one that was also worthy of mention. The final letter, by Donald Isler reads (in part):

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mitchell Bard: Iran, Israel and the United States -- What History Tells Us

Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Carter--and now Obama...

by Mitchell Bard

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that Israel cannot afford to wait too long before acting to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, President Obama warns that acting "prematurely" would affect U.S. interests.

This is not the first time that an American president and Israeli prime minister have disagreed and, if history is any guide, the alliance between the two countries is likely to grow stronger rather than more distant regardless of how the Iranian threat is handled.

In 1956, Israel joined Britain and France in an attack on Egypt after years of Egyptian provocations. President Eisenhower was furious because the attack took place a week before the presidential election, he wasn't consulted, and he feared the war could lead to a wider conflict that would involve the Soviets and undermine the future of theUnited Nations.

Arlene Kushner On The Murder Of Jewish Schoolchildren in Toulouse, France

From Arlene Kushner:

March 19, 2012

"Really, really ugly"

Wasn't going to post today, but must simply to get out the word.  I suspect many in the States will not have read about this:

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, was a teacher at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, in the south of France.  This morning at about 8:00 AM he was on his way to bringing his two sons, Gavriel, 6, and Aryeh, 3, to the Gan Rachi (kindergarten) when all three were gunned down.  With him was Miriam Monstango, the eight year old daughter of the head of Ozar Hatorah, who died of her wounds shortly thereafter.

Gunned down, please understand, because they were Jews. 

They will be buried in Israel.

Anne Bayefsky: Hamas Welcomed at UN Headquarters in Geneva

For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558

Today the UN Human Rights Council and its UN staff in Geneva advertised and facilitated an event that handed a UN pass, and a UN microphone, in a UN room, to a representative of the terrorist organization Hamas.