Thursday, May 31, 2012

Look Out! UNESCO Is On The Loose In Jerusalem

The LA Times reports that Google unveils virtual tours of Stonehenge, Jerusalem, other 'world wonders':
If your budget is too tight to actually stroll along the banks of the Seine or trek through Jerusalem, Google is now offering a virtual alternative -- digital tours of famous sites across the world.

...The U.N. cultural agency UNESCO and the World Monuments Fund are partnering with the company to provide information about the treasured spots. Videos, photographs and interactive models also spangle the site; people can submit snapshots of the famous places for possible inclusion on the website as well.
So it's a product of the UNESCO World Heritage Center--so what could go wrong?

Well, for starters: let's see how UNESCO denigrates the Jewish connection to Jerusalem:

Palestinian Authority Will Honor More (Dead) Murderers Of Jews

The Palestinian Authority sponsored a sports tournament at a stadium named after a terrorist.
The event featured four teams that also were named after prominent Palestinian terrorists and terror supporters.
The competition came days after President Obama ended a six-month freeze on aid to the PA. The U.S. released $147 million reportedly to cover the costs of infrastructure, education, humanitarian aid and health projects for the Palestinians.
Aaron Klein, If You Think 'Redskins' Name is Offensive...

Khaled Abu Toameh writes about Israel releasing the bodies of Palestinian terrorists who murdered Jews--and the Palestinian Authority's plan to honor them as heroes:

Arab World Angry Over Movie About Muhammad--By Iran

MEMRI is reporting about Anger In Arab World Over Iranian Films Depicting Prophet Muhammad:
In July 2011, three Iranian filmmakers announced a plan to create a film trilogy about the life of the Prophet Muhammad – the first feature films depicting the Prophet ever to be made in the Muslim world. The announcement sparked controversy in Muslim countries, in light of fatwas that prohibit any portrayal of Muhammad, his family, his Companions and other prominent figures from early Islam in works of art.

Slideshow: HonestReporting On The Six Secrets of Objective Journalism

HonestReporting has put together a slideshow on Six Secrets of Media Objectivity.
Take a look and see if the media you follow measures up:

Barry Rubin: If Obama Doesn’t Understand European History He Can’t Get America’s Future History Right

by Barry Rubin

President Barack Obama’s mistaken reference to Nazi German death camps as “Polish death camps” is being ridiculed by critics as an example of incompetence. That misses the point. The defense is that he was just reading his teleprompter. That misses the point, too.

After all, you don’t need to be a historical genius to have caught that error even if it was on the teleprompter. I am not suggesting that Obama doesn’t know that the Nazi Germans operated the death camps though, to recall another gaffe of his, he might think that those among them hailing from the country whose capital had been Vienna spoke “Austrian.”

Nevertheless, what this is really about is that Obama does not see himself as emerging from European history and, truth be told and despite his university degrees, doesn’t know much about it. He has no idea, for example, about how the Poles and other Central European people or Europe itself think or what they have gone through. And frankly he doesn’t care.

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/31/12: New York Times Advertorial For J-Street

From DG:
1) J-Street without the makeup

The New York Times, featured an advertorial for J-Street, Lobbying Group Builds on Moderate Take on Israel. At the end of the article was a correction:
Each mention of the word "moderate" should be replaced with "left wing fringe."
There really was a correction; that wasn't it.

However, I'd like to rewrite selected paragraphs to show how a newspaper - as opposed to an advertising agency - would cover J-Street. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to compare with the actual newspaper copy.

Final Note On New York Times Misleading Piece On Gaza Tunnels By Ruqaya Izzidien

I wrote yesterday that when she writes about the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, Ruqaya Izzidien omits that Gazan tunnels are used to bring in rockets to attack unarmed civilians in Israel.

Not an insignificant detail.

But special mention should be made that in addition to the omission, Izzidien misleads New York Times readers outright:
The Israeli government views the tunnels as an illegal smuggling route and often targets them in airstrikes, which usually trap and kill workers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Now Obama Claims He Knows More About Judaism Than Any Other President, Ever

We all know that the Obama administration is the one that has been the friendliest to Israel.

After all, Obama told us so.

Now we find out, via Daniel Halper that Obama is the most knowledgeable president about Judaism we've ever had:
"Rather than describe how deeply I care about Israel, I want to be blunt about how we got here," Obama said, reminding his guests that he had so many Jewish in Chicago at the beginning of his political career that he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel lobby.

In the Senate, he said, his support for Israel's qualitative military edge has been unwavering.

Obama added that people judged his support for Israel because of the differences between a center right government in Israel and center-left in the U.S. - because he pressed Netanyahu too hard in his belief that it's time to seize the moment and pursue peace initiative.

Obama also stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it - and wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel about their support to Israel.
Let's take this a piece at a time.

You know that Obama is getting desperate when he has to resort to the old "some of my best friends are Jewish" refrain.

There is just a touch of insincerity in Obama's claim that he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel Lobby.

Remember that tape of Obama that the Los Angeles Times refuses to release, apparently because of what Obama said to a pro-Arab crowd?
Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?

At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.

The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.
If we are supposed to judge Obama by the company he keeps, what shall we make of his close friendship with Khalidi and Ayres, friendships he denied existed during his campaign.

And while it is nice to hear Obama say that "his support for Israel's qualitative military edge has been unwavering," let's keep in mind that Obama's support for Israel is unwavering because the aid package signed by President Bush makes it so:
US military aid to Israel is set to be delivered as part of a $30 billion 10-year military-aid package signed by President George W. Bush administration in 2007.

From 2009 till 2018 the US is expected to grant Israel some $3 billion per year. Israel may spend 26 percent on locally-manufactured systems while the remaining 74 percent must be spent on US-manufactured systems.
The attempt by the Obama administration to prune the amount of aid to Israel and refusal to specify a funding commitment for Iron Dome back in April are therefore more indicative of Obama's true level of commitment to Israel.

So when we now hear Obama's latest claim about some sort of special relationship with Israel, this time by virtue of his knowledge of Judaism--what can we do but roll our eyes in disbelief?

Pity we don't know what books Obama read that make him so expert about Judaism.
But other presidents did not read about the subject, they read the subject.

Lincoln knew the Bible by heart.
Truman also knew the Bible, or much of it, by heart.
Likewise there are other presidents whose quoting of the Bible indicate some familiarity with the book.

But in the case of Obama, there is no indication that he knows it--only that he read about it.

Like much about the Obama we know now in contrast with what we were told about Obama back in 2008--we are underwhelmed.

Hat tip: Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard

Technorati Tag: and .

Middle East Forum: Iraq: A satellite state of Iran?

The following by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is reposted with permission:

Iraq: A satellite state of Iran?

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
The Jerusalem Post
May 30, 2012
How much influence does Iran wield in Iraq? This question has long been a matter of debate and in light of the US troop withdrawal has become all the more relevant, especially with rumors of Iranian plans to have Mahmud Shahrudi, who is an Iraqi-born member of Iran's Guardian Council and advocates clerical involvement in government, succeed the quietist Ali al-Sistani in Najaf.

Unfortunately, partisan politics on the left and right have precluded serious analysis on the subject.

New Israel Fund And Others Who Promote BDS Will March In Israel Day Parade

From JCCWatch:

Shame On UJA-Federation and John Ruskay For Ignoring Your Voices!

Saudis Demand Punishment Over McDonald's Toy That Insults Muhammad

Raymond Ibrahim writes that Saudis Demand Punishment for McDonald's Toy They Say "Insults Muhammed":
Saudi Arabians are angry at a McDonald's toy which they say mocks their prophet Muhammad. According to a report appearing today (5/27/12) on the Arabic news website,, the McDonald's fast food restaurant "abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name 'Muhammad.'"
The toy is apparently a Power Ranger Samurai that stands on one leg. When you press the lever the figure stamps on the base with the other leg. According to the Saudis, the toy is purposely designed so that the figure is stamping on the name of Muhammed that appears all around the base.

Just to get an idea of what the Saudis appear to be talking about, here is the name Muhammad in Arabic:

Barry Rubin: How Can Obama’s Middle East Policy Possibly Get Worse? Answer: Look at Syria

by Barry Rubin

Some of my readers are unhappy that I keep criticizing President Barak Obama and his government. The problem, however, is that this administration keeps doing terrible things in the Middle East. And the most damning evidence on these actions comes not from Obama’s enemies but from the administration itself and the supportive mass media.

Here’s the latest such item:
U.S. Hopes Assad Can Be Eased Out with Russia’s Aid,” by Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, in the New York Times.
For almost three years, Obama insisted he would win over the Syrian dictatorship and make it America’s friend rather than Iran’s number-one ally. That was ludicrous. Forced by the uprising to back away from Damascus, the Obama Administration has spent almost a year bumbling about what to do.

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/29/12: Kofi Annan's Failures Qualify Him For UN And Syria

From DG:
1) Stupid headline of the day

If it weren't so tragic, the headline Supporters and Critics of Annan See Crisis in Syria as a Threat to His Legacy would be hilarious. Look at how his career is summarized:
His diplomatic successes included the effort to repatriate hundreds of international staff and citizens of Western countries from Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. From 1995 to 1996, as under secretary for peacekeeping, he oversaw a difficult transition of that responsibility in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the United Nations to NATO. He is considered responsible for defusing a number of conflicts in Africa, notably a 2008 agreement that halted a civil war in Kenya. 
But Mr. Annan also is known for having weathered some spectacular lapses.

New York Times Whitewashes Palestinian Terrorism--Again

I’m much more worried about being bombed than grazing my head!
Ruqaya Izzidien joking in tunnel between Gaza and Egypt

But it's all in good fun, of course.

That explains how Izzidien can joke about using underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt for "illegal smuggling" without ever mentioning the topic illegal weapons for Palestinian terrorists to fire rockets at Israeli civilians:
Gazans have always considered the tunnels a legitimate trade and passenger route, one that is necessary for survival in light of the blockade. The Israeli government views the tunnels as an illegal smuggling route and often targets them in airstrikes, which usually trap and kill workers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Boycotts Against Israel Remind Us That Before South Africa, The Nazis Used Them Against Jews

There are false accusations of anti-Semitism - the vast majority of those supporting a cultural boycott are not motivated by anti-Jewish prejudice. But there is also a minority strain of false concern for the Palestinians, whose sufferings are used as cover for anti-Semites.
Fintan O'Toole

No, Fintan O'Toole is not completely opposed to the pressure being applied on Israel by its critics--he takes as a given that most of the supporters for BDS are not driven by prejudice--but he does recognize there are those who claim to support "the Palestinian cause" who in reality are driven purely by Antisemitism.

Along those lines, O'Toole answers his own question Why the cultural boycott of Israel is a blunt and backward instrument. Specifically, Fintan O'Toole notes that the history of the use of boycotts as a political tool precedes South Africa and was used by the Nazis as well:

Arlene Kushner On Senator Kirk's Amendment To Fix UNRWA

From Arlene Kushner:

May 29, 2012

For years I have been part of a small cadre of determined individuals who saw clearly the damage being done by UNRWA -- the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  Damage to prospects for peace in this region, and damage directly to Israel. 

There is so much wrong with this agency that it's impossible to document it all in this post.  Suffice it to say the following:

Raymond Ibrahim: An 'Imaginary' President Appeases a Very Real Islam

The following article by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

An 'Imaginary' President
Appeases a Very Real Islam

by Raymond Ibrahim
May 28, 2012

American intellectual Will Durant's The Lessons of History—co-written with wife Ariel and published in 1968, when the Soviet Union posed a threat to the United States—still offers insightful lessons, especially concerning American-Muslim relations.
In the chapter titled "History and War," the Durants posit some hypothetical speeches and approaches concerning war. First, an imaginary U.S. president says before the leaders of communist Russia:
If we should follow the usual course of history, we should make war upon you for fear of what you may do a generation hence…. But we are willing to try a new approach. We respect your peoples and your civilizations as among the most creative in history. We shall try to understand your feelings, and your desire to develop your own institutions without fear of attack.

Arlene Kushner On The Insistence Of Continued Nuclear Negotiations With Iran

From Arlene Kushner:

May 28, 2010
I've done this a few times lately, and each time the situation has been a crisis.  But the urgency of this situation transcends every other situation I've written about.

There is a boy of nine here in Israel who has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer around his heart.  It was discovered because he had a persistent cough that would not go away.  Every major medical center -- including top flight places in the US -- that has had its doctors review the pictures (MRI, whatever), has said that it is inoperable.  They will not touch it.

The prognosis is so grim that the mother has made a decision to decline chemotherapy, so that he should not be made totally miserable in his last weeks or months.

There is, then, nothing but prayer.  And I ask it of each of you, and that you put out the word as extensively as possible.  Miracles do happen, and we cannot turn our back to that possibility. 



I know of his case because his father lives across the street from my daughter, in Beit Shemesh.  I know that Jay is a lively, active little boy who just days ago was riding his bike.  He is aware -- as much as a nine-year-old can be aware -- of his medical problem, but he is restless and bored in his hospital bed and wants to go back to riding that bike.  He does not understand that he may never leave his bed.  He has a seven year old brother who is deeply attached to him.



And then, on to the news...

Maysoun Hayek Lies About The IDF, Her Propaganda Video Contradicted By Her Own Account To The Media

There is a video going around by the descriptive name "Palestinian pregnant young lady in labour forced to take her cloths off they shoot dead her husband." In the video, a woman named Maysoun Hayek (Meyson Hayaq in the video) describes what she claims happened in an incident from February 25 2002. The video was supposedly filmed 3 years after the event--and then uploaded to YouTube 4 years later in 2009.

In the edited version of the video, Maysoun Hayek claims that while pregnant and on the way to the hospital, she and her husband stopped at a blockade, and then after being let through, Israeli soldiers shot and killed her husband and then humiliated her by forcing her to undress.

It is important to address the facts of what happened on back in February 2002--during the Palestinian terrorist attacks that became known as the Second Intifada:

Barry Rubin: Bush and Obama Together At Last: In Misunderstanding the Middle East

The following by Barry Rubin is reposted with permission:

Bush and Obama Together At Last:
In Misunderstanding the Middle East

By Barry Rubin

In one of his first statements since leaving office, former President George W. Bush remarked on Middle East developments in an article, “The Arab Spring and American Ideals,” in the Wall Street Journal, May 18. The former president reflects certain American misconceptions about the Middle East that are starting to blow up big-time in the region.

Bush writes:

"We do not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East or elsewhere. We only get to choose what side we are on."

While one should not overestimate U.S. influence, one should also not underestimate it. Consider:

Daniel Pipes: Count Palestine Refugees?

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted with permission:

Count Palestine Refugees?

by Daniel Pipes
National Review Online
May 29, 2012

The fetid, dark heart of the Arab war on Israel, I have long argued, lies not in disputes over Jerusalem, checkpoints, or "settlements." Rather, it concerns the so-called Palestine refugees.

So called because of the nearly 5 million official refugees served by UNRWA (short for the "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East"), only about 1 percent are real refugees who fit the agency's definition of "people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." The other 99 percent are descendants of those refugees, or what I call fake refugees.

In West Bank, Palestinian Consumers Have No Interest In Israeli Boycott

The storm surrounding South Africa's decision to boycott Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank is the result of a successful Palestinian campaign. Yet a Ynet probe reveals that the Palestinian Authority continues to market Israeli products, with locals seeing no reason why they should stop purchasing the products.
Ynet, Boycott Israeli products? Not in the PA

While anti-Israel groups are pushing for boycotts of Israeli goods--and putting the jobs of Palestinian employees of those Israeli companies at risk--Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank are very comfortable buying Israeli goods:

The Middle East Media Sampler: Flame--The Latest Computer Virus To Hit Iran

From DG:
1) ????? vs. Iran

A new computer threat against Iran has been discovered. The Washington Post reports, Newly identified computer virus, used for spying, is 20 times size of Stuxnet:
Flame contains 20 megabytes of code. Though malware’s size is not per se a measure of sophistication, Schouwenberg said, in this case “its size shows that it’s taken a lot of time and work to create.”

Barry Rubin: Egypt’s Presidential Election is a Defeat (Perhaps Only Temporary) For the Islamists

by Barry Rubin

  • Muhammad Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood), 25.3 percent
  • Ahmad Shafiq (ex-general, ex-prime minister), 24.9 percent
  • Hamdin Sabbahi (radical left), 21.5 percent
  • Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh (“moderate Islamist"), 19 percent
  • Amr Moussa (radical nationalist), less than 10 percent
While the Brotherhood claims victory, the election was actually a defeat—at least temporary and possibly less important than it seems—for the Brotherhood and Islamism. Here’s why.

The Islamist Camp

Note that only about 44 percent of voters backed an Islamist candidate, compared to 75 percent in the parliamentary election, while only about 25 percent voted for the Muslim Brotherhood compared to about 47 percent in the parliamentary vote. Why?

Monday, May 28, 2012

"The Brave President Obama" And The Nuclear Chaos Of The 20th Century

"...the man sitting in the Oval Office is ignoring the possibility that his inaction will make the Middle East go nuclear and undermine the world order. He doesn't care that he might be responsible for losing the United States' superpower status and turning the 21st century into a century of nuclear chaos.
Ari Shavit

Ari Shavit, a writer for the left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz, writes that The world should focus on Obama, not Netanyahu:
...President Obama is an intrepid leader. For a year the man seeking a second term in the White House has known that a conflagration in the Middle East could determine the 2012 election campaign.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review of Robert Spencer's "Did Muhammad Exist?"

The following is reposted with permission:

Did Muhammad Exist?
An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins

by Robert Spencer
ISI Books, 2012. 254 pp. $27.95

Reviewed by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Go to a high-street or online bookstore, and one can find numerous biographies written about Muhammad -- the reputed founder of Islam -- by the likes of Karen Armstrong and Tariq Ramadan. These works -- generally apologetic in nature -- wholly rely on the traditional Islamic accounts of the Prophet's life, and if they ever delve into the question of the reliability of those sources, it is only in the hope of explaining away incidents in Muhammad's life that might come across as unsavory to modern readers.
Such an approach, however, simply will not do for genuine historical research. One cannot adopt a pick-and-mix method to determining what aspects of Muhammad's life actually occurred on moralistic grounds. It is in this respect that Robert Spencer's latest book differs from the writings of Armstrong and Ramadan.

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/25/2012: Did The Peace Process Ruin Israel's Reputation?

From DG:
1) Israel's image

Recently, Ambassador Michael Oren wrote a column asking What Happened to Israel's Reputation? (or to access the complete article click on the link from here.)
There was a panoramic portrayal of Jerusalem, described as "the focus of Jewish prayers for 2,000 years" and the nucleus of new Jewish neighborhoods. Life emphasized that in its pre-1967 borders, Israel was "a tiny, parched, scarcely defensible toe-hold." The edition's opening photo shows a father embracing his Israeli-born daughter on an early "settlement," a testament to Israel's birthright to the land. 
Would a mainstream magazine depict the Jewish state like this today, during the week of its 64th birthday?

Video: Latma--Jews United Against Israel and Media Deprived Terrorists

Here is the latest Latma.
Very sharp:

Arlene Kushner On Israel Dealing With 80,000 Illegal African Immigrants

From Arlene Kushner:

May 25, 2012

"Transcending the News"

There comes a time when it is important to move beyond the trap of current events and look higher.  Such a time is coming with the holiday of Shavuot, which will be celebrated on Sunday here in Israel, and also on Monday outside of Israel.

Shavuot marks the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. 

Credit: cornell.hillel

It was a transformative and singular moment of direct revelation.  It involved all of the people of Israel, who were present and received the word of the Almighty with fear and trembling. 


I rather like this Aish video about Shavuot, and so share it here:

Courtesy of

The world is decidedly reluctant to give us, as Jews, our rightful place.  But the reality is that through the transmission of a code of values at Sinai, the Almighty set into action the process by which Am Yisrael (the people Israel) would become a light unto the nations.


The struggle of how to be true to that heritage, marks, I think, one particular painful and difficult controversy in which Israel is currently embroiled: That is, the controversy over what to do with the thousands of African immigrants (currently about 80,000) who have made their way illegally into Israel.

Credit: Soundcloud


Barry Rubin: NEWS FLASH: Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egypt Presidential Election

by Barry Rubin

NEWS FLASH: Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egypt Presidential Election

Let me make it clear from the start that this article is based on Muslim Brotherhood statements and leaks. The information may not be accurate. We will not know for sure until Sunday when official tallies are provided.

According to the Brotherhood, the uncompleted vote counting for president looks like this.
  • Mohamed Mursi (Brotherhood) 28.4 percent
  • Ahmed Shafiq (Mubarak era general) 24.6
  • Abdul Moeim Abul Fotouh (so-called “moderate Islamist” but supported by radical Islamist Salafists) 18.1
  • (Hamdeen Sabahi (radical anti-American “left” Nasserist) 17.1%
  • Amr Moussa (radical nationalist pragmatist) 11.6%.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raymond Ibrahim: Egypt's Presidential Elections: What's at Stake

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

Egypt's Presidential Elections: What's at Stake

by Raymond Ibrahim

May 24, 2012

Egypt's long awaited and much anticipated presidential elections—the first of their kind to take place in the nation's 7,000 year history—are here. As we await the final results—and as the Western mainstream media fixate on images of purple-stained fingers—it is well to remember that there is much more at stake in Egypt's elections than the mere "right" to vote.

Arlene Kushner On The Failure Of Nuclear Talks With Iran

From Arlene Kushner:

May 24, 2012

"And Here We See It"

It: the absolute intransigence, the lack of good intentions, the ultimate malevolence of Iran.

Today in Baghdad, the Iranians rejected a proposal that had been put forward by P5 + 1.  What was being sought by the international community was a cessation of enrichment of uranium to 20% (not even all enrichment!).  In return Iran would have received benefits such as medical isotopes and spare parts that Iran needs for its for civilian airliners.

Amnesty International Defends Osama Bin Laden Too

If you thought that they was merely obsessed with Israel, rest assured that the problem with Amnesty International goes further than that, as Jonathan Tobin writes.

Apparently, Amnesty International has never met a terrorist it couldn't defend--including Osama bin Laden:
The news that Amnesty International’s annual report on the state of the world has condemned the American raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, as “unlawful” should surprise no one. The group’s obtuse effort to brand every effort of the United States to defend itself against terrorists has long since reached the level of parody. Where once it could claim some moral legitimacy as a neutral compiler and observer of human rights violations wherever they were committed, the decision of the group to treat the West’s ongoing conflict with al-Qaeda and its Islamist allies as if it were a matter of American persecution of Third World innocents has lost Amnesty its last shred of credibility.

Picture: Politics As Usual At The London Olympics: Israel is Located In Europe

The International Olympic Committee has made it clear that it will not comply with Israel's request for a moment of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre when 11 Israeli athletes were brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

The IOC claims that they have "officially paid tribute to the memory of the athletes on several occasions" and "within the Olympic family, the memory of the victims of the terrible massacre in Munich in 1972 will never fade away."


That is a lie. Bridget Johnson notes that the same fear that prevents the IOC from commemorating the murder of Olympic athletes because they are Israeli, also reduces the International Olympic Committee to craven submission:

Iran's Growing Presence in Latin America

The following is reposted with permission:

Iran's Growing Presence in Latin America

A briefing by Ilan Berman
April 23, 2012

Multimedia for this item

Audio Recording
Ilan Berman, an expert on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation, is the vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and has consulted the CIA and the Department of Defense. He has authored several books, including Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States (2005) andWinning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive against Radical Islam (2009). On April 23, 2012, Berman addressed the Middle East Forum via conference call.
Tehran's October 2011 attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington using a Mexican drug cartel has focused international attention on what had until then been a largely-overlooked political phenomenon: the Islamic Republic's intrusion into the Western Hemisphere. But how deep is this penetration, and what does it seek to achieve?
In his conference call, Ilan Berman named four strategic objectives behind Tehran's Latin American endeavor:

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/24/2012: Filmed Palestinian Conflicts With Israelis Keep Happening On Shabbos

From DG:
1) Before the cameras rolled

In the absence of regular blogger, Robert Mackey, J David Goodman wrote Video of Settler Shooting Raises Questions Over Israeli Army Response for the New York Times blog, The Lede.
Legal officials from the Israeli Defense Forces are investigating more than a dozen episodes in which its soldiers are accused of failing to intervene as Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians, Haaretz reported on Tuesday. 
The report followed the release of footage from a confrontation on Saturday in which armed settlers are said to have fired on rock-throwing Palestinians as Israeli army soldiers stood by watching. The video, posted online by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem — which provides cameras to Palestinians to monitor the behavior of Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank — drew international attention and raised questions over the mission of the Israeli soldiers.
No doubt, the incident "drew international attention," but among whom?

Half the Story: Analysis of Amnesty's 2012 World Report

May 24, 2012
Jason Edelstein
NGO Monitor

Half the Story: Analysis of Amnesty's 2012 World Report
JERUSALEM - In response to Amnesty International's 2012 World Report, NGO Monitor today released the following statement:
  • As in many previous reports, Amnesty continues to level unsupported allegations of violations of international law against Israel, including "collective punishment." In contrast, the organization expressed uncertainty regarding the legal significance of the murder of more than 8,000 Syrians by Bashar al-Assad, claiming that these deaths "may have constituted crimes against humanity". Israel is mentioned 137 times in the report as opposed to 74 mentions for the Syrian regime.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Arlene Kushner On Iran: We're Being Had

From Arlene Kushner:

May 23, 2012: 


No legislation regarding "unauthorized" communities in Judea and Samaria came to the floor of the Knesset today.
Prime Minister Netanyahu requested that the sponsors of these bills give him two weeks to work out the situation in Ulpana without legislation.   One can never be sure what he'll pull out of his sleeve, but I advise my readers not to expect a miracle solution from him.

Credit: Huffington Post

"Islamophobia" Proves Islamists Can Play The Victim As Well As Prey On Them

In Is It Still Possible To Question Islam? Robert Spencer notes the source for the term Islamophobia:
Journalist Claire Berlinski notes [ How the Term 'Islamophobia' Got Shoved Down Your Throat] that “the neologism ‘Islamophobia’ did not simply emerge ex nihilo”:

YU's Shavuout-To-Go 5772

PDF's of previous years are available online as well:

Shavuout-To-Go 5772 (Packet)
Individual Articles download:

Shavuout-To-Go 5771 (Packet)
Individual Articles download:

Identity Of The OTHER Mossad Spy In Iran Revealed

By now you've read about the alleged Mossad spy from Israel who was apparently executed by Iran. You may also have read that the passport used to prove the identity of the spy was forged by Iran--the country with the world's most underpaid graphic artists:

It just so happens that doing a basic online search reveals that the alleged Mossad spy did not act alone--he had an accomplice, one who is highly placed in the upper levels of the Iranian government:

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/23/2012: Tom Friedman Has Nothing New To Say To Israel

From DG:
Column without purpose

Thomas Friedman's latest, Power with purpose, exhorts Prime Minister Netanyahu to engage in "constructive unilateralism" as proposed in a recent op-ed Peace without Partners by Ami Ayalon, Orni Petruschka and Gilead Sher. The problem is that, as with the earlier op-ed, the onus for peacemaking falls strictly on Israel.

Here's the impetus for Friedman's suggestion:
I’m keeping an open mind, but the temptation for Bibi to do nothing will be enormous. The Palestinians are divided between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and both populations are tired.

Barry Rubin: Egypt: If There’s No Danger of Radicalism and Islamism Why Can’t You Provide Evidence?

by Barry Rubin

Consider one fact that demolishes the apparatus of nonsense about moderate Islamists and the credibility of those claiming there is nothing to worry about. These are the same people who have been declaring for more than a year that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate. Yet now the Brotherhood's presidential campaign has shown it to be extraordinarily radical, openly demanding a caliphate and Egypt being a Sharia state.

Suddenly the subject is changed. Nobody acknowledges that they were wrong about the Brotherhood. They focus now on a different candidate who we are told is the true moderate Islamist, as if their previous favorite "moderate Islamist" movement has now thrown off its camouflage.

Will Difference Between Obama 2012 and Obama 2008 Make Jewish Vote Irrelevant?

A sitting president of the United States, seeking reelection, can’t lay out a plan that will gain a single vote in the House or Senate for the financial future of America. It speaks volumes.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AK), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee

Yedidya Atlas describes how we have seen that Obama has to resort to Smoke and Mirrors on the Campaign Trail
In his April 18th column for RealClearPolitics, Senior Elections Analyst Sean Trende notes that the upcoming presidential elections between the incumbent, Democratic President Barack Obama, and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be, as usual, “a referendum on the party in power.” That is, President Obama will be running, whether he wants to or not (and he clearly doesn’t), on his performance record.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arlene Kushner On Why Peace Process Failed--And What Comes Next

From Arlene Kushner:

May 22, 2012

Fighting the good fight is something that must be done without let-up.  And it means fighting here at home as well as internationally.

I want to begin by sharing an excellent article by Moshe Dann, "The fundamental misconception about Arab-Israeli peace." 
Dann addresses a very basic issue for our nation with clarity (all emphasis added):
"'The “peace process' between Israel and the Arabs, touted as part of a 'two state' plan, failed not because of disagreements over settlements and boundaries, but because of a basic false assumption: that Palestinianism could be fulfilled in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It failed not because Israel did not give enough, but because nothing would have been enough...

Hear Bee Gees Sing About Israel In 1971

Here are the Bee Gees singing about Israel back in 1972.
The lyrics are below:

Raymond Ibrahim: Voting in Egypt as 'Holy War'--Its Only Value, to Empower Sharia

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

Voting in Egypt as 'Holy War'
Its Only Value, to Empower Sharia

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
May 22, 2012

Despite the fact that some in the West portray Islam and democracy as being perfectly compatible, evidence continues to emerge that, for many countries in the Middle East, democracy and elections are various means to one end: the establishment of a decidedly undemocratic form of law—Islamic, or Sharia Law.

Thus, Egyptian cleric Dr. Talat Zahran proclaimed that it is "obligatory to cheat at elections, a beautiful thing," his logic being that voting is a tool, an instrument, the only value of which is to empower Sharia. Likewise, Hazim Shuman, a cleric who has his own TV program, issued a fatwa likening the voting for Islamist candidates as a "jihad," adding that paradise awaits whoever is "martyred" during the electoral campaign.

Media Insists On Holding Abbas's Hand To Get Peace From Israel

We are informed that after ethnically cleansing Jews from Jerusalem in 1948, Arab East Jerusalem was magically created for all time.

Times Magazine informs us that with his new coalition, it is now up to Netanyahu to make peace--an odd statement only because the media has always assumed that it is Israel's obligation to make unilateral concessions for peace.

Now McClatchy's Frida Ghitis writes Netanyahu's move changes landscape, and that (once again) the ball is in Israel's court because Israel’s national unity coalition “creates a world of tantalizing opportunities” for peace with the Palestinians--and heaven forbid that Abbas have to take a stand for peace without another Israeli concession:

Video: Request For #JustOneMinute Of Silence At Olympics To Commemorate Munich Massacre

In a new campaign--justoneminute--Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon calls on the International Olympic Committee to dedicate a minute of silence during the opening ceremony at this summer's London Olympic Games in memory of the eleven murdered Israeli athletes who were brutally murdered during the Munich Olympic Games in 1972.

Sign the petition International Olympic Committee: Minute of Silence at the 2012 London Olympics

Go to the JustOneMinute Facebook page

Here is the video:

Technorati Tag: and and and .

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/22/2012: Palestinian Kidnapping Spree

From DG:
1) The kidnapping ring

One of the fears that accompanied the trade of prisoners for the release of Gilad Shalit is that the exchange would encourage more abductions.

Ha'aretz reports Shin Bet uncovers Palestinian squad bent on kidnapping Israelis in West Bank (via Daily Alert):
According to the indictment, squad members attempted to kidnap Israelis on three different occasions, driving a rental car and equipped with a taser, tear gas, clubs and a replica gun.

Raymond Ibrahim: Muslim Persecution of Christians: April, 2012

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

Muslim Persecution of Christians: April, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
May 18, 2012

Considering that Easter, one of the highest Christian holidays, comes in April, Christian persecution in Muslim nations—from sheer violence to oppressive laws—was rampant last month: In Nigeria, where jihadis seek to expunge all traces of Christianity, a church was bombed during Easter Sunday, killing some 50 worshippers; in Turkey, a pastor was beaten by Muslims immediately following Easter service and threatened with death unless he converts to Islam; and in Iran, Easter Sunday saw 12 Christians stand trial as "apostates."
The persecution of Christians has come to regions not normally associated with it. As in Nigeria, Muslim militants are running amok in Timbuktu, Mali—beheading a Christian leader and threatening other Christians with similar treatment. Sharia law has been imposed, churches are being destroyed, and Christians are fleeing Timbuktu in mass.
Categorized by theme, the rest of April's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity:

Time Magazine Still Thinks It's All Up To Israel

Ruthie Blum notes the media's fixation on Israel and the absurd things it makes they say:
Meanwhile, as the mullahs and their mad scientists work tirelessly to perfect nuclear warheads, and as the rest of the Middle East is in the midst of internal Islamic takeovers, Time magazine has devoted this week’s cover story to Israel’s prime minister.

“King Bibi,” is the headline, referring to the only leader in the entire Middle East who is not at the helm by virtue of his lineage, religious decree, or through the slaughtering of his opponents (other than at the ballot box, that is).

Monday, May 21, 2012

When Jews Are Ethnically Cleansed From Jerusalem, It's Called Diplomacy

Sultan Knish writes in Liberating Our Jerusalem, about the absurd situation we have arrived at through the application of diplomacy, in the service of appeasement:
It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is however standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as "settlers" living in "settlements", and describe them as an "obstruction to peace." Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

An Account Of Arabs And Jews Before The Advent Of The Palestinian Authority

I wrote earlier today that 60 Minutes journalist Bob Simon claims that left wing journalist Gideon Levy "is one of the very few Israeli civilians who has any contact with Palestinians"

I debunked Simon's absurd claim, pointing out the many thousands of Palestinians who have had contact with Jews either as employees, patients in Israeli hospitals, passengers in Israeli buses and taxis, shoppers in Israeli supermarkets and just being interviewed by other Israeli journalists.

LD recounts in an email an example of just how normalized relations could be between Israelis and Arabs,  away from the tensions of the conflict and the incitement of the Palestinian leadership:

40 Years After Munich Massacre, Palestinian Says Israel Should Be Kicked Out Of Olympics

At a time that Israel wants this years Olympics in London to commemorate the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Massacre in 1972, a Palestinian wants Israel to be banned from the Olympics altogether:
Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, on Thursday called for Israel to be expelled from all international Olympic unions and committees until it “honors international agreements.”

Barry Rubin: A Sentence by the State Department Sentences The World to Disaster

The following by Barry Rubin is reposted with permission:

A Sentence by the State Department Sentences The World to Disaster

By Barry Rubin

If I’ve ever seen a single sentence that spells disaster in the Middle East it’s this one:
“`People say things in a campaign and then when they get elected they actually have to govern,’ [U.S. State Department] spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.”
The specific context of this statement were remarks by the Obama Administration’s favorite Egyptian presidential candidate, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, in a debate. He called Israel racist, an enemy of Egypt, and a state based on occupation (that is, has no right to exist), then calling to alter the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain, says Nuland, he doesn’t really mean it.

The problem with this, like hundreds of other statements by the currently dominant worldview in the West, is that almost nobody is around in the mainstream media or academia to say: Wait a minute! In fact, I can make a very strong counter-argument that would persuade most people if they were allowed to hear it.

Special Kedushas Tefillin Program--And Raffle

During the coming month of Sivan, there will be a special push for signups for the Kedushas Tefillin Program

For more information, see embedded PDF below.

Join the Kedushas Tefillin Program!

Who is this program for?
Any boy who has a ratzon to wear his tefillin without talking.

How do I Join?
Contact our Gabbai, Eli Jaffa, @ 216-385-4869, or send us an email

What are the rules?
See below.

What do I get?
A tremendous reward for davening properly, and for being careful in the fulfillment of this mitzvah. For the “she’lo lishma” part, see below.

How do I keep track?
After you join, you will receive a monthly card.

When Can I start?
The program begins on the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, May 5th


There will be a special raffle for any boy who “signs-up” five or more boys during the month of Sivan: a sefer, plus ten coins – dated between 1900 and 1920.

Here are the rules:

The Middle East Media Sampler 5/21/2012: Welcome To Jerusalem!

From DG:
1) Jerusalem the panoramic 

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has a remarkable website devoted to Jerusalem centering around an annotated panoramic photograph of Jerusalem. (h/t Elder of Ziyon)

Of particular interest is a project titled, Jerusalem in International Diplomacy, by Dr. Dore Gold. The executive summary is here:

60 Minutes' Bob Simon's Latest Factual Errors About Israel

In the week that three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on.
Karl Vick, Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace, Time Magazine, September 2, 2010

It seems that over at 60 Minutes, they decided to send Bob Simon to put on video what Karl Vick put to paper, put out the meme that Israel does not care about peace, in his latest piece on Israel: From fear to fortune: Tel Aviv's new attitude

Unfortunately, Bob Simon has no clue as to what he is talking about--and passes on that ignorance to his viewers.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Video From HonestReporting: Jerusalem--The Media Myth of Two Cities

From HonestReporting: Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities
The history of Jerusalem did not start in 1967. Thousands of years of Jewish history took place in what is now called "Arab East Jerusalem."

Only when the Jewish residents were driven from their homes in 1948 was the city divided between East and West.

This video shows the reality of Jerusalem today and includes interviews from survivors of the fall of Jerusalem. To discuss the issue of Jerusalem, join our Facebook Group "The History of Jerusalem Did Not Start in 1967." To read more about the issue of Jerusalem, check out the Jerusalem resources section of the HonestReporting website.
Here is the video:

60 Minutes: The Return Of The Bob Simon Amateur Hour

(Update: On twitter, David Lee Makowsky notes:
The description on Comcast is "Bob Simon investigates the possibility of an attack on Tel Aviv, Israel"
All fine and good. But based on Bob Simon's past inaccuracies in his last hatchet job, I am not reassured.

Update II: Read my rebuttal to Bob Simon's error-filled broadcast from last night )

The last time he attacked Israel, Bob Simon ambushed Israeli ambassador Oren with a deceptively friendly invitation. From there, Simon fabricated a story that Israel was responsible for Christians fleeing--in spite of the fact that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country with a growing Christian population.

Now 60 Minutes and Bob Simon are back--in Tel Aviv
If Bob Simon's Facebook page is any indication, we may be in for another snow-job:

Barry Rubin: The Middle East: Brave New World or Scary New Master?

by Barry Rubin

“How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't!”

“Caliban has a new master….Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom! freedom, hey-day, freedom!”
--William Shakespeare, “The Tempest

If you want a sense of where the Middle East is going, consider this viewpoint from an unlikely source. Suat Kiniklioglu is not just a member of the Turkish Parliament for the ruling (Islamist) AK party, he’s a member of the party’s Central Executive Committee and deputy chair of the party’s foreign affairs commission. In other words, he’s a very important person in Turkey’s ruling establishment and especially foreign policy.

Yet rather than take an optimistic view about the advance of Islamic politics in the region, he’s very worried, worried enough to write a column entitled, “Back to a Barbarian Age” in the May 16 edition of the Islamist newspaper, Today’s Zaman.

Robert S. Wistrich: The Legacy Of Vidal Sassoon

The following by Robert S. Wistrich is posted here with permission:

The Legacy of Vidal Sassoon

Robert S. Wistrich

I first became aware of Vidal Sassoon’s rise to prominence about 45 years ago as a young student at Cambridge University. It was the age of Beatlemania, the heyday of the fashion designer Mary Quant and her mini-skirts, of the celebrity photographer David Bailey, the spirit of Carnaby Street and the slightly hysterical excitement of “Swinging London.” Vidal Sassoon was part of that universal “Youthquake,” of a newly affluent and style-obsessed Western consumer society.