Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barry Rubin: Former Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir Dies at 96: A Personal Memory

by Barry Rubin

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has just died at the age of 96. Rather than discuss his broader career, I’d like to tell you about my most memorable meeting with him.

It was January 13, 1991. Everyone in the world knew that in 48 hours, a U.S.-led coalition was scheduled to attack Iraq in order to force Saddam Hussein’s withdrawal from Kuwait. Saddam had announced that if the coalition attacked he would strike at Israel with long-range missiles, possibly with biological or chemical warheads.

I was asked by a visiting American delegation to accompany it to a meeting with the prime minister. We arrived at the prime minister’s office and went to his quite modest meeting room. Along with Shamir was Elyakim Rubinstein, then the cabinet secretary but today a Supreme Court justice. I won’t tell you who the Americans were but I’d love to do so and perhaps will some day but the group’s leader, let’s call him Mr. Bird, later held high diplomatic positions in the U.S. government.

Shamir sought to break the ice with a friendly question. “So,” he said to the delegation’s leader, “how long are you planning to be here? A week?”

Friday, June 29, 2012

Video: New RNC Ad: Just Another Broken Promise -- Obamacare Is A Tax

The Republicans go on the offensive after ObamaCare is found to be Constitutional.
Here is the video:

What Should We Expect From Egypt's New President, Mohammed Morsi

The following from the Middle East Forum, is reposted here with permission:

What to expect from Egypt's Morsi

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
June 29, 2012

What to make of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi's election as president of Egypt? What seems to be the most likely outcome is something analogous to the "constitutional settlements" of the early Roman Empire. That is, the military, like the Emperor Augustus in antiquity, will entrust to itself management of foreign policy, while granting Morsi (and a parliament, if new elections are allowed) - akin to the Senate in Rome - considerable autonomy with regards to the direction of domestic affairs, even as the military has assumed control over the drafting of the constitution.

Barry Rubin: In A Few Years China Will Likely Be the Second-Most Important Country for Israel'

In A Few Years China Will Likely Be the Second-Most Important Country for Israel

By Barry Rubin
Shanghai, China

There is a remarkable amount of interest in China about Israel and Jews, as I discovered during a trip to China sponsored by SIGNAL, the Sino-Israel Global Network and Academic Leadership.

The most obvious reason is that the Chinese--one important official called it the "little superpower--perceive that Israel in particular and the Jewish people in general have been success stories. Ten or twenty years ago this would have been less unique in the world. But now, sad to say, it stands out more because the United States and Europe, perhaps only temporarily, are not working very well.

Video: Latma -- The Israeli Left Reaches Breaking Point With Hamas

I suppose it was bound to happen.
And Latma has the story:

Latma is on vacation during the summer, but will be posting skits--just not complete shows.

Technorati Tag: and and .

The Middle East Media Samper 06/29/2012

From DG:

The unappreciated sacrifice

There's a tribute to Israelis killed in terror attacks at Israel's Foreign Ministry website. There are 15 soldiers who were killed on April 9, 2002. Thirteen of them were killed in an ambush as they entered the refugee camp in Jenin.

The IDF chose to send the soldiers in to reduce the chance of killing civilians had it bombed the area from the air.

In the aftermath of the battle, the New York Times reported, THE OFFENSIVE; Refugee Camp Is a Scene of Vast Devastation:
A three-hour tour here today, made with local guides who picked paths around Israeli tanks, showed destruction on a scale far greater than that seen in the other Palestinian cities that have fallen before Israel's offensive, its biggest ground operation in 20 years.
Israel says Jenin was a center of terrorism, which it is determined to weed out. Israeli officials have spoken of 100 to 200 dead here, and Palestinians have estimated two, three, or four times that number. No one yet knows how many were killed in fighting that has lasted 11 days, and is now all but over, but already the battle here seems certain to be argued over in the contest between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel says that its soldiers were careful to avoid shooting civilians, and that most of the dead were fighters. Residents of the camp said many civilians were killed.
There is no mention in the article of the dead soldiers, just this:
A public relations struggle is under way over this ruined place. The battle for the Jenin camp is already becoming another significant, harshly contested episode in the history of both peoples.
On the Palestinian side that struggle was marked by the false claim of a massacre in Jenin. The New York Times failed to report on one of the most relevant details in debunking that libel.

Recently Israel Hayom interviewed Prof. Asa Kasher, the ethicist of the IDF. Along with Gen. Amos Yadlin, Kasher developed the guidelines for addressing the issues of ethical dilemmas in fighting terrorism. One of Prof Kasher's responses addressed Israel's decision in 2002 (h/t Elder of Ziyon):
Q. Can the IDF code of ethics undergo changes?
"The code is stable. The more abstract the values are, the less they change. The doctrines can change because we are in new situations all the time. The doctrine of combating terror, which I dealt with together with Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, who was the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, includes a new situation in which terrorists live among civilians. We must free ourselves from the attitude that regards others' lives with fear and trembling while holding the lives of our own combat soldiers in complete contempt. International law wants to impose a position on us whereby soldiers are a consumable resource and that the lives of enemy civilians must be protected more than the lives of our own combat troops. Bandages are a consumable resource. Water is a consumable resource. Human beings are not.
"If we warned the terrorists' neighbors to leave the area, in Arabic, in any way — flyers, telephone calls, television broadcasts, a warning noise — and they stay anyway — why are they staying? Because they choose to be human shields for terrorists. I do not want to kill a human being only because he is a human shield, if he is not a threat to me. But should a soldier of mine risk himself for him? Is the blood of a human shield any redder than the blood of my soldier? A soldier has no choice other than to be in Gaza, in that alleyway. But to be sent inside — why? In the battle in Jenin, in the middle of Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF knew that the refugee camp was booby-trapped. But they still insisted on not bombing from the air in order to keep from harming civilians, and they suffered terrible losses. That was a mistake. They should have made an effort to get the civilian population out of the terrorist environment, and then there would have been no need to send in the infantry."
Even ten years later it's astounding to reflect on how oblivious the world is to the care Israel's takes to avoid collateral damage.

In 2002, Israel was fighting operation Defensive Shield, its ultimately successful effort to destroy Arafat's "suicide factory." Israel didn't start Defensive Shield until after the horrific Park Hotel massacre. Yet Israel found itself judged daily for the necessary force it deployed to protect its citizenry

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Arlene Kushner On A Surprise In Migron And Other Developments

From Arlene Kushner:
June 28, 2012

"Not Just Wishful Thinking"

If you can be in Washington DC on July 19, please note:

EMET -- the Endowment for Middle East Truth -- is pleased to bring to Capitol Hill, Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, founder of the non-profit "Our Soldiers Speak."

Sgt. Benjamin Anthony (IDF. Res.), is a combat veteran and combat reservist in the Israel Defense Forces. As a heavy machine gunner, he has taken a full and front line roll in several of Israel’s most recent campaigns to defend it’s citizens in the face of new age terrorist activity, serving in large operations both within and beyond Israel’s borders.

Since his release from full- time service, Benjamin Anthony has established an organization - Our Soldiers Speak- a nonprofit-non-governmental body that has one aim, clear and singular: to bring the proud truth of Israel’s soldiers from the front lines of combat to the English speaking world, whenever and wherever audience is granted.

July 19, 2012, 12:000 Noon to 1:00 PM
Lunch to be served (dietary laws observed)
Rayburn House Office Building, Room B 340
Share the word, please.


Perhaps my need to report some news that is potentially positive is kicking in.  Today the state of the world still seems grim, but a tad less so.

The last residents -- 18 families -- of the houses in Ulpana slated for expulsion were moved out today.
With this, we have been mindful that one of the next issues to be faced is that of Migron, where there is also a Court-ordered expulsion, to be carried out before August 1. 

But according to information acquired by Israel Hayom: in an effort to prevent that expulsion, an American Jewish philanthropist -- whose name has not been revealed -- has bought land constituting more than 80% of Migron from the Arabs who claimed ownership.  

Barry Rubin On Past Articles And Whether They Still Apply

by Barry Rubin

Reorganizing files for my past articles I came across some amusing and revealing things you might enjoy, showing how often the region doesn’t really change in some key ways and how rarely Western observers learn from events.


Palestinian Authority (PA) Health Minister Munzir Sharif complained to reporters that Israeli security measures, taken after two terrorist bombs killed 12 people in a Jerusalem marketplace, prevented Palestinians from getting needed medical treatment in Israel.

This protest seemed less credible when, three days later, Sharif himself had an operation in an Israeli hospital. He was not alone. Another hundred Palestinians received passes to obtain special care during the closure’s first days.


A key element in the way Arafat is often interpreted is to treat each of his declarations as if it has no history behind it. Thus, when he denounces terrorist attacks on Israel, pledges to make reforms, and asks for patience, this is merely a repetition of statements made many times previously without results. Often, though, headlines around the world about Arafat opposing violence or favoring compromise drown out the fact that these sound bites have long proved empty public relations’ gestures….

Here’s one example:

UN Praises Failed UN Resolution 1701 In Lebanon As Hezbollah Rearms

Leave it to the UN Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly, to praise UN Security Council Resolution 1701--a UN resolution that has so utterly failed to fulfill its mission to prevent Hezbollah from rearming:
United Nations Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly paid a visit on Thursday to southern Lebanon, where he praised the implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701.

He said: “The strong cooperation that exists between UNIFIL, the Lebanese army and the local population is key to its success.”

“The implementation of the resolution since 2006 has made possible unprecedented calm in south Lebanon,” he added.
Could there be a reason that Plumbly did not mention Hezbollah by name for cooperating with Resolution 1701?

Hillary's Failures Are An Overview Of The Failures Of Obama's Foreign Policy

In response to Steven Lee Myer's tribute to Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat, Jonathan S. Tobin notes Hillary's failures as Secretary of State--which of course are a reflection of Obama's foreign policy in general.

While Tobin grants Clinton her success in securing the freedom of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, Hillary's record over the past 3 1/2 years is not quite so rosy.

He points to:

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/28/2012: Egypt's Morsi Already Blaming Israel

From DG:
1) Cold peace, Israel's fault

Joel Greenberg reports lsraeli-Egyptian ties face new challenge with election of Islamist president in Egypt for the Washington Post. After going through the background, first Greenberg reports on the Egyptian view:
The Egyptian perspective was aired recently by Morsi in a television interview during the presidential campaign. Israel, he said, had not kept its commitment under the Camp David accords to reach a broader Middle East peace, particularly with the Palestinians.  

In 1967, The UN Made Clear Israel Did Not Have To Retreat To Pre-1967, Four Times

Eli E. Hertz notes that in 1967, Israel’s Enemies Unsuccessful in Branding Israel the Aggressor, and following the 1967 Six Day War neither the UN General Assembly nor the UN Security Council labeled Israel as either the aggressor nor as an illegal occupier--despite repeated attempts to do so:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turkish Strategy To Syrian Downing Their Airplane Reminiscent Of Mavi Marmara

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission

Mavi Marmara 2010 = Syrian Anti-Aircraft 2012

by Daniel Pipes
June 27, 2012
Cross-posted from National Review Online: The Corner

As the days go by, the Turkish handling of its airplane downed by the Syrian military on June 23 increasingly echoes the Mavi Marmara episode on May 31, 2010. In both cases:

Arlene Kushner On Ulpana, Abbas and Morsi

From Arlene Kushner:
June 27, 2012

It Hurts

Yesterday, the first 15 families living in the five Ulpana houses slated for evacuation, by order of the High Court, moved out to their temporary homes ("caravillas" -- a misnomer, I think) on the grounds of a former army base. 

They went quietly but with deep sadness -- knowing in their hearts that an injustice was being done to them.  I carry that same knowledge in my heart.

I dealt with this issue of the injustice in some detail in a recent posting that can be accessed here: The Face of Things to Come.

BDS BalderDaSh: No, TIAA-CREF Is Not Divesting From Caterpillar (2 UPDATES!)


Despite posts on Divest This:
The Associated Press apparently found the story irresistible, even though they had to contradict themselves in their story Caterpillar pulled from social indexes over company’s use in Palestinian territories.

Haaretz, The New York Times Of Israel, Admits To Media Bias

David Bedein, of the Israel Resource News Agency, writes about A Candid Moment with a Journalist, the journalist in this case being Chemi Shalev, the newly appointed US correspondent for the English language edition of HaAretz. Shalev appeared at the annual American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) Conference in Philadelphia last week. Due to influence of Ha'aretz English on foreign reporters, this was obviously a unique opportunity to hear first hand how Ha'aretz approaches news in Israel and the Middle East.

They asked Chemi Shalev the following question:
Why does HaAretz not report what the Palestinian Authority communicates to their people in their language, on the PBC TV, the PBC radio, Palestinian Authority newspapers and the Palestinian Authority schools?
Shalev's response: "We do not have room to cover all of that"

Bedin notes that
[O]ver the past few weeks, PBC TV has conducted daily features which promote the armed struggle to liberate all of Palestine, praise for those who martyr themselves while murdering Jews, transforming Israeli cities into Arab cities, and worse.

And then there are the new school books of the PA, which indoctrinate the next generation to liberate all of Palestine by the force of arms, while the theme of PA education remains the “right of return” to Arab villages from 1948 within the green line which no longer exist.
But Chemi Shalev's Haaretz does not have the room to cover all of that

At least Shalev did not claim it was too difficult or time consuming--Bedein explains how easy it is today for reporters to access the materials that so clearly illustrate the daily incitement of hatred against Israel by Abbas the Palestinian Authority.

But then there was the followup question to Shalev:
In the context of any article that HaAretz runs on the peace process, why not mention what the spokespeople of the PA say that day in their media and in their own language?
Shalev's response this time: "As an editor, I would recommend not covering that"

Bedein writes:
In other words, a senior editor of HaAretz admitted to a gathering of journalists that his newspaper engages in a journalistic indiscretion.

As a matter of policy, Shalev admitted, Haaretz will not report the consistent message that the Palestinian Authority conveys in the Arabic language.
Shalev admits that Haaretz promotes an inaccurate and incomplete picture of Israel and the Middle East--a biased picture picked up by all of those foreign journalists who have been duped they are getting expert and objective information from Haaretz.

But at least those looking for fodder to feed their Antisemtic hunger have a place to go.

Hat tip: Yisrael Medad, Journalism - Style Haaretz

Technorati Tag: and and .

An Overview Of The Fabrication Of Palestinian History

The following, by David Bukay, is reposted with permission:

Founding National Myths
Fabricating Palestinian History

by David Bukay
Middle East Quarterly
Summer 2012, pp. 23-30 (view PDF)
The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism. Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, both domestically and internationally, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood and statehood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a "legitimate" history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.

Guest Post: Medical Benefits of Israel's Universal Health Care Plan

Medical Benefits of Israel's
Universal Health Care Plan

by Susan Gorgalini

Between claims of socialism, death panels and the end of the American way as we know it, it was easy to overlook hard facts in the recent healthcare debate. Many claimed that the increased costs outweighed the benefit of providing jobs for those who have been in preparation for ICD-10. For several months, the US has awaited a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's healthcare reform plan. Whether or not the bill weathers its many challenges to become law, the US is in the midst of a dire healthcare crisis. Rates continue to skyrocket, and Medicare struggles to remain solvent.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Iran's Role In The Killings In Syria

In an article for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall describes The Role of Iranian Security Forces in the Syrian Bloodshed

Here is the summary of the article:
  • Amid the intensifying crisis in Syria, which in recent weeks has seen massacres of the civilian population in various parts of the country, Iranian military, propaganda, and economic assistance keeps flowing in, and its aim is to help President Bashar al-Assad survive. Iran views the confrontation in Syria as a critical battleground with the West regarding the reshaping of the Middle East and its own role in the region as a key, vital, and influential player.

  • At present Hizbullah weapons are serving - under Iran's command - as part of Assad's apparatus of violent repression. Esmail Ghani, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corp - Qods Force (IRGC-QF), is the most senior Iranian military official so far to have revealed its activity in Syria. In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), he acknowledged that elements of the IRGC-QF have been involved in Syrian events.

Obama Administration Stonewalls On Why It Invited Terrorist To White House

Last week, Eli Lake reported on a routine meeting of Egyptian legislators with Obama administration officials on the relations between the US and Egypt. It was supposed to be routine--no one expected that a member of a terrorist group was among those invited to the White House:
Instead, the visit this week looks like it’s turning into a political fiasco. Included in the delegation of Egyptian lawmakers was Hani Nour Eldin, who, in addition to being a newly elected member of parliament, is a member of the Gamaa Islamiya, or the Egyptian Islamic Group—a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The group was banned under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and is now a recognized Islamist political party. Its spiritual leader, Omar Abdel Rahman—also known as the “blind sheik”—was convicted in 1995 of plotting attacks on New York City landmarks and transportation centers, and is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina federal prison.
When the story broke, the Obama administration promised an investigation.
And they did.

Iran, Desperate To Popularize Their "Revolution" Fakes Interview With Morsi

Iran's FARS news agency featured quite a coup yesterday--it posted a 5-part interview with newly elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi.

Among other things, the headlines of the articles show that Iran and Egypt happen to see eye-to-eye on Israel, among other things:

The Importance Of Israel For Jewish Identity

Israel and Jewish Identity

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Mishpacha Magazine
June 15, 2012

Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky once said at convention of Agudath Israel that but for the birth of the state of Israel most non-religious Jews would have fallen into such despair after the Holocaust that their connection with the Jewish people would have been severed forever. My own life and that of many of those closest to me attests to the truth of Reb Yaakov's statement. Yet I wonder if many of those fortunate enough to have been born into observant homes understand how central Israel has been to the ba'al teshuva movement or why.

Three Latest Proofs Of Muslim Brotherhood Extremism Missed By The Media

The following, by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

The Evils of the Muslim Brotherhood
Evidence Keeps Mounting

by Raymond Ibrahim
Investigative Project on Terrorism
June 25, 2012

Egypt's longtime banned Muslim Brotherhood—the parent organization of nearly every subsequent Islamist movement, including al-Qaeda—has just won the nation's presidency, in the name of its candidate, Muhammad Morsi. That apathy reigns in the international community, when once such news would have been deemed devastating, is due to the successful efforts of Muslim apologists and subversive agents in the West who portray the Brotherhood as "moderate Islamists"—irrespective that such a formulation is oxymoronic, since to be "Islamist," to be a supporter of draconian Sharia, is by definition to be immoderate.
Obama administration officials naturally took it a step further, portraying the Brotherhood as "largely secular" and "pluralistic."
Back in the real world, evidence that the Brotherhood is just another hostile Islamist group bent on achieving world domination through any means possible is overwhelming. Here are just three examples that recently surfaced, all missed by the Western media, and all exposing the Brotherhood as hostile to "infidels" (non-Muslims) in general, hostile to the Christians in their midst (the Copts) in particular, and on record calling on Muslims to lie and cheat during elections to empower Sharia:

About Time: A Rebuttal Of The Arguments Against An Israeli Strike On Iran

The following by Daniel Pipes is reposted here with permission:

After an Israeli Strike on Iran

by Daniel Pipes
The Washington Times
June 26, 2012

[N.B.: This version differs slight from the Washington Times text]
How will Iranians respond to an Israeli strike against their nuclear infrastructure? The answers to this prediction matters greatly, affecting not just Jerusalem's decision but also how much other states work to impede an Israeli strike.
Analysts generally offer up best-case predictions for policies of deterrence and containment (some commentators even go so far as to welcome an Iranian nuclear capability) while forecasting worst-case results from a strike. They foresee Tehran doing everything possible to retaliate, such as kidnapping, terrorism, missile attacks, naval combat, and closing the Strait of Hormuz. These predictions ignore two facts: neither of Israel's prior strikes against enemy states building nuclear weapons, Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, prompted retaliation; and a review the Islamic Republic of Iran's history since 1979 points to "a more measured and less apocalyptic—if still sobering—assessment of the likely aftermath of a preventive strike."

The authors, Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy.
Those are the words of Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, who provide an excellent guide to possible scenarios in "Beyond Worst-Case Analysis: Iran's Likely Responses to an Israeli Preventive Strike."

Anne Bayefsky: A Hamas victory at the UN Human Rights Council

For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558
Follow us on Twitter

A Hamas victory at the UN Human Rights Council

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on The Jerusalem Post.

The Obama administration’s political and financial backing of the UN Human Rights Council resulted in another win for Hamas on Friday, June 22 in Geneva. A Hamas-affiliated organization and its supporters held an “informal parallel meeting” promoting the destruction of the Jewish state at the UN’s Palais des Nations.

The event was advertised on the UN website and listed on an official UN document headlined “Human Rights Council, twentieth session, 18 June – 06 July 2012.”

Opening week of the Council’s latest session, therefore, featured both friends of Hamas sporting UN passes and championing an end to a Jewish state, and Obama’s Ambassador (and former California fundraiser) Eileen Donahoe painting the Council as the place to be to promote and protect human rights.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cartoon: Mohammed Morsi -- "A New King Arose Over Egypt, Who Did Not Know Joseph"

From Asher Schwartz, cartoonist at The Jewish Press--
Mohammed Morsi, the new Pharoah President of Egypt:

Arlene Kushner On Implications of Mohammed Morsi Winning Egyptian Election

June 24, 2012: 

The "Arab Spring"

I waited until the official presidential election results in Egypt were announced before doing this post.  Word has just come out from the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission that, in the presidential election run-off, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi (or Mursi), has garnered 51.7 % of the vote, defeating former general Ahmed Shafik, who was prime minister under Mubarak.
Morsi, it should be noted, is a US-educated engineer, and spent time in jail during Mubarak's regime.
This is the first time in 60 years that the president of Egypt will not have come out of the military.

Raymond Ibrahim: Congressman Calls for Hearings on 'Radicalization' of White Christian Women

The following by  Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

Congressman Calls for Hearings on 'Radicalization' of White Christian Women

by Raymond Ibrahim
June 25, 2012

During a Homeland Security committee hearing last week on the "Radicalization of Muslim-Americans," Texas Congressman Al Green (D) criticized the hearings as biased and unfair to Muslims, suggesting that the only way to justify them is if Congress would also conduct a "hearing on the radicalization of Christians."
Though his position may seem balanced, in fact, it reveals a dangerous mix of irrationality, moral relativism, and emotionalism—all disastrous traits in a U.S. Congressman. Consider some of Green's assertions:
I don't think that most people oppose hearings on radicalization. I do not, not — N-O-T — oppose hearings on radicalization. I do oppose hearings that don't focus on the entirety of radicalization…. [W]hy not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?... People who see the hearings and never hear about the hearing on the radicalization of Christianity have to ask themselves, "Why is this missing?"
Fair question—"Why not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?"

A New Day On The Jewish Calendar: Jewish Refugee Day!

Dror Eydar writes about a topic that is in the news again: Who is a refugee?. Eydar writes about a new development:
A key achievement can be credited to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. He is promoting a new memorial day on the Jewish calendar – Jewish refugee day. On this day, we will remember the 850,000 Jewish refugees who were forced to flee from Arab states. This would not just be a symbolic act; in our blood-soaked region, remembrance carries a political and diplomatic meaning. The Palestinians are speaking about refugees at length? Then we will too. While our refugees have assimilated into society, the Palestinian refuges have always been, and still remain, no more than a propaganda tool for their leaders.
The actual idea for the day comes from Ada Aharoni, a professor at Haifa university. Aharoni suggested the idea of Jewish Refugee Day to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in a letter:

@HaaretzOnline And Electronic Intifada Team Up To Use Twisted Quote To Taint Israel

Here we go again.
This time, Ali Abunimah's Electronic Intifada claims that
Eli Yishai, the interior minister [of Israel], said recently that he would use "all the tools to expel the foreigners," claiming that "Israel belongs to the white man."
Here is a snapshot of the page, with the relevant quote in the second paragraph under the headline "Overt racism"

One might suppose Abunimah would supply a link.
And he seems he does--but not really.

Look at the bottom of the graphic and you'll see that the link for the words "Eli Yishai" go back to the same page.

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/25/2012: Meet The Real Mohammed Morsi

From DG:
2) More about Morsi 

David Kirkpatrick profiles Mohammed Morsi in Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Makes History:
Even after the two-month presidential campaign, Mr. Morsi remains an unfamiliar figure to most Egyptians. He was living and working in Los Angeles during the tumultuous period after Islamic militants assassinated Anwar Sadat and his successor, Mr. Mubarak, cracked down on the Brotherhood. Those who knew him in America say Mr. Morsi never appeared notably political or religious.

Three Reasons That Obama Owns The Bad Economy -- And Not Bush

The Blaim Game

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Yated Ne'eman
June 20, 2012

Presidents generally receive more credit than they deserve when the economy is doing well, and more blame than they deserve when it is floundering. There does not exist a simple box of tools that guarantee economic growth, and many of the short-range tools that do exist come with some pretty hefty negative consequences down the line.

But President Obama has taken this insight to a new level.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

After Shooting Over 1,000 Syrians, Does Syria Shooting Down A Turkish Plane Matter?

Max Boot asks whether after getting away with killing over 1,000 unarmed civilians--Has Assad Made a Fatal Mistake?
The downfall of dictators is often their stupidity, arrogance, and unbridled aggression. Saddam Hussein might have stayed in power if he had simply admitted not having weapons of mass destruction. Muammar Qaddafi could have survived if he had not made blood-curdling statements about massacring everyone in Benghazi.

Barry Rubin: Egypt: A Muslim Brotherhood President Does Not Prove That We Are All “Chimps”

by Barry Rubin

"I just can’t do what I done before
I just can’t beg you anymore
I’m gonna let you pass
And I’ll go last
Then time will tell just who fell
And who’s been left behind
When you go your way and I go mine."
--Bob Dylan, "Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine"

Muhammad al-Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, has become president of Egypt. But what does it mean to be president of Egypt? That’s the current question. Let me divide the discussion into two parts: What does this tell about “us” and what does this tell about Egypt and its future?

First, what does it tell about the West? The answer is that there are things that can be learned and understood, leading to some predictive power, but unfortunately the current hegemonic elite and its worldview refuses to learn.

What could be more revealing of that fact then the words off Jacqueline Stevens in the New York Times [Political Scientists Are Lousy Forecasters]: “Chimps randomly throwing darts at the possible outcomes would have done almost as well as the experts.” Well, it depends on which experts.

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/24/2012: New York Times Still Oblivious To Middle East Events

From DG:
1) The Bogeyman

A New York Times editorial tells us What Sheldon Adelson wants:
One man cannot spend enough to ensure the election of an unpopular candidate, as Mr. Gingrich’s collapse showed, but he can buy enough ads to help push a candidate over the top in a close race like this year’s. Given that Mr. Romney was not his first choice, why is Mr. Adelson writing these huge checks? 

For Romney, Not Being Obama Not Enough--The Importance Of Wisconsin

The Meaning of the Wisconsin Recall Election

by Jonathan Rosenblum
Yated Ne'eman
June 13, 2012

The most surprising aspect of the current presidential race – to me at least -- is not that Mitt Romney appears to be clawing his way into contention, after an extremely divisive Republican season, but rather that he is not yet far ahead.

Tamimi Terrorists Released And Married--Courtesy Of Israel

Newly married terrorists, Ahlam Tamimi and her cousin Nizar al Tamimi
Ben Cohen writes that the Fallout From Shalit Deal Continues to Divide Israelis:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

State Department Fakes Tough Talk at UN Human Rights Council

For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558
Follow us on Twitter

A version of this article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on PJ Media.

The Obama administration has fallen into an unfortunate habit in its desperation to burnish strong foreign policy credentials – claiming its representatives have made robust statements to an international audience that they haven’t. On Monday this week it happened again. The State Department posted what was alleged to be a hard-nosed speech delivered by UN Human Rights Council Ambassador Eileen Donahoe in Geneva at the opening of the Council’s latest session. Listening closely to what she actually said, the tough talk wasn’t uttered.

Here is what the State Department claims Obama’s Ambassador said, but didn’t:

Barry Rubin: Fast and Furious, Middle East Style: Why Should Obama Help Bring America's Second-Worst Enemies to Power?

by Barry Rubin

Here’s still another of a series of self-serving leaks from the Obama Administration. In this case, however, different from the half-dozen previous examples, it reveals something very important about policy. Call it, “Fast and Furious, Middle East Style.”

In the Fast and Furious operation, the U.S. government funneled weapons to Mexican drug gangs. Now it is funneling weapons, at least indiscriminately, to anti-American, antisemitic, radical forces in Syria. That is, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Suppose that there was one Mexican drug gang that was a bit more brutal. Would Fast and Furious then have been a great idea because it left that one out of the weapons’ distribution?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Raymond Ibrahim: Egypt: Islamists vs. Copts -- An Animosity That Seeks Any Excuse to Attack

The following by  Raymond Ibrahim is reposted with permission:

Egypt: Islamists vs. Copts
An Animosity That Seeks Any Excuse to Attack

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
June 20, 2012
As Egypt's presidential elections come to a close, with the Brotherhood claiming presidential victory, the future of Egypt's indigenous Christians, the Copts, looks bleak..
Earlier, after the first presidential elections of May 23-24, any number of Islamists denounced them, bemoaning that it was the Copts who were responsible for the secularist candidate Ahmed Shafiq's good showing.
Even though Shafiq is a "remnant" of the Mubarak regime, which Copts suffered under, he is widely seen as the much lesser of two evils. As one Copt put it: "What did they want us to do? Whoever says that supporting Shafiq is a crime against the 25 January Revolution, we ask him to advise us whom to vote for? The sea is in front of us and the Islamists are behind us."

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/22/2012: New York Times Double Standard

From DG:
1) The anatomy of coverage of Israel

There were recently two articles in the New York Times. One was in an opinion section called "Latitudes." The other was in the news section. Despite the different editorial locations, comparing the two articles can serve as an exercise to see how a newspaper's reporting can distort perceptions.

Video: Ad About Congressional Candidate Charles Barron's Support For Dictators, Murderers and Racists

Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released the following ad in New York City drawing attention to Charles Barron's disturbing record of support for dictators, murderers, and racists.

ECI's executive director, Noah Pollak, said:
Charles Barron has a history of making vile statements in support of mass-murderers like Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi, attacking Israel's right to exist, and daring decent people to use those statements against him. While Barron collects endorsements from the likes of David Duke, the Emergency Committee for Israel is proud to stand with those Democrats fighting to keep Barron out of Congress.

Technorati Tag: .

Senior House Member: Jonathan Pollard No Longer Threat To US National Security

A consistent reason given for not releasing Jonathan Pollard has been that even 27 years after his arrest--Pollard had information that would still pose a threat to US security interests.

Representative. Robert Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat, says this is simply no longer true--Jonathan Pollard is no longer a threat to US security and should be released:

Video: Latma -- Learning To Love The Expulsion, And Who To Root For At Euro 2012

Here is the 150th episode of Latma.
They also announced that they are taking a break, but will be posting individual skits.

Here is the newest Latma:

Arlene Kushner On The Stupidity Of Negotiating With Iran

From Arlene Kushner:
June 21 2012

 Beyond Stupid

I don't know exactly how I should refer to the behavior of the six nations that are "negotiating" with Iran. But "stupid" doesn't quite cut it for me.

The two-day talks in Moscow, just completed, were an abysmal failure that went no where.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius referred to "the large gap between the two sides."

According to a report in Haaretz, "A Western diplomat who asked to remain anonymous said that one major obstacle revealed by the Moscow talks relates to the underground facility for uranium enrichment in Fordo, near the city of Qum. According to the diplomat, the Iranians refused to discuss the Fordo plant at all."

What does the international community imagine is going on there?  And do they not know that there is reason to suspect that Iran may be operating covert enrichment sites as well?

But what did the six nations do? 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Egypt: From Tahrir Square Back To Military Rule

When massive street protests propelled President Hosni Mubarak out of office 18 months ago, Egyptians proudly called the event a revolution. Now that revolution is looking more and more like a palace coup, with the Mubarak ouster cleverly camouflaged in the language of democracy by a military working to prevent the total collapse of the old order. By jettisoning a leader who had stayed past his sell-by date, the generals — suddenly sympathetic to the protesters — bought time to re-engineer their hold on power even as the military played its Islamist and secular challengers against each other.
The Military Shows Egypt Who's Boss, Time Magazine, July 2, 2012

In response to the Time Magazine article above, by Tony Karon and Abigail Hauslohner, that Democracy has suddenly been snatched away 18 months after Tahrir Square, Daniel Pipes responds that the Egypt's Palace Coup was to be expected:

Why Are Gazans Tunneling To The Sea--Did They Get Lost On The Way To Egypt?

The Occupied Palestine blog is claiming that Twelve Injured In Tunnel Accident:
Palestinian medical sources reported that twelve residents were wounded, on Thursday before noon, after a siege-busting tunnel collapsed, east of the Sheikh Zayed area, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
We know from past experience how easily Occupied Palestine tosses words around. Is this really a case of a "siege-busting tunnel" collapsing?

If the purpose of the tunnel is to mitigate the Israeli siege by getting goods from Egypt--why is this tunnel located "east of the Sheikh Zayed area, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip"? Are Gazans suddenly tunneling to the Mediterranean Sea?

Hamas Makes Believe Kibbutzim Are Military Targets

Knowing that the unquestioning media will blindly accept anything they say, Hamas has decided to make believe that all of those rockets targeting unarmed Israeli civilians--were actually targeted at Israeli military bases:
In response to Israeli violations, E.Q.B. fires (120) rockets at military sites

Al Qassam website – Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, fired dozens of mortars and rockets at the Israeli military sites around Gaza Strip in response to the Israeli violations against Gaza people in the past three days.

The Brigades said in a recent statement that its operatives in Gaza have fired 120 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli military sites around Gaza.
And Hamas even provides us with a list of the military targets that they so bravely targeted in Israel:

Fatah Follies: You Say Murder Of Unarmed Civilians, I Say Resistance!

Things have come to a pretty pass,
Our romance is growing flat,
For you like this and the other
While I go for this and that.
Goodness knows what the end will be,
Oh, I don't know where I'm at...
It looks as if we two will never be one,
Something must be done.

You say eether and I say eyether,
You say neether and I say nyther,
Eether, eyether, neether, nyther,
Let's call the whole thing off!
You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let's call the whole thing off!
Louis Armstrong, Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

Israel and the Palestinian Authority don't see eye to eye on many things these days:
  • Abbas and the Palestinian Authority refuses to accept Israel's right to exist
  • Abbas and the Palestinian Authority refuse to accept that Palestinian attacks that kill Israelis--including suicide bombings against civilians--are terror. 
  • Abbas and the  PA refuses to recognize Israel's fight against Palestinian terror as self-defense.
  • The PA refuses to refer to Israel's Arab citizens as 'Israeli Arabs' or 'Arab Israelis'.
As a result, the Palestinian Authority has come up with an official dictionary to wipe away any hint of Israeli legitimacy.

According to the Palestinian Authority, killing unarmed Israeli civilians is perfectly legal:

A Kid Born In US With Palestinian Grandparents Counts As A Palestinian Refugee?

The Palestinian refugees are characterized as a young population where 41.7% are under the age of 15 in Palestinian territory, 35.9% of Palestinian refugees in Jordan were under 15 in 2007, 33.1% of Palestinian refugees in Syria were under 15 in 2009, and 30.4% of the refugees in Lebanon were under 15 in 2010.
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics


So a young American boy of, say, ten years of age born in Chicago to American parents, but whose grandparents were Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, is counted by UNRWA as a “Palestinian refugee.”
Elliot Abrams

It is a tribute to the disinformation campaign of UNRWA that so many of those who read the statement above from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/21/2012: Obama & Syria: Promise & Failure

From DG:
1) Fouad Ajami on Obama and Syria

Fouad Ajami begins America, Russia and the tragedy of Syria with:
The ordeal of Syria has been a rebuttal of what the diplomacy of Barack Obama once promised and stood for. It is largely forgotten now that Syria and Iran were the two regimes in the Greater Middle East that Mr. Obama had promised to "engage." 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anne Bayefsky: The UN’s Twisted Human Rights Agenda

For Immediate Release:
June 20, 2012
Contact:  Anne Bayefsky
(917) 488-1558
Follow us on Twitter

The UN’s Twisted Human Rights Agenda

This article by Anne Bayefsky appears today on National Post.

The UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, opened its current session in Geneva this week with…Canada-bashing. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, ran down a list of human rights issues around the world that in her view were particularly pressing: Syria for crimes against humanity, a military coup in Mali, torture and summary executions in Eritrea, political prison camps and public executions in North Korea – and human rights in Quebec.

The only human rights issue Pillay described as “alarming” were “moves to restrict freedom of assembly” and the only alarming instance she could summon up were restrictions in Quebec. The only issue about which she said she was “disappointed” was the law in Quebec. And the only specific concern she had with the violation of “freedom of association” anywhere the world over was in Quebec.

What’s behind her preposterous move?

Arlene Kushner on The Terrorist Attacks From Gaza And The Sinai

From Arlene Kushner:
June 20, 2012:

The Face of Things to Come?

When last I wrote, a member of an Israeli crew working on the fence being constructed on our border with Sinai -- precisely to prevent infiltration into Israel -- had just been killed by terrorists who had crossed over from Sinai.  (According to one report, one terrorist shot by the IDF was wearing a suicide belt, and planning considerably greater damage.)
This followed by two days the launching of two Grad Katyusha rockets from the Sinai into the Negev.
Then, very shortly after the attack at the fence, rocket attacks from Gaza began.
The army statement at that time was that there was no connection between the Gaza rocket launchings and the terrorist attack out of the Sinai.  Such coincidental timing left me a bit dubious.

According To The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Arab Americans Became Disadvantaged Overnight

Alexander Kazam writes that after a glowing report published in 2005 pointing out how successful and well integrated Arab Americans are--now the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee wants Arab Americans to classified as a group to be disadvantaged:
In 2005, four years after the 9/11 attacks, The Michigan Daily published an article with the headline “Arab Americans Better Educated Than Most in U.S.” It is a classic American success story: Arabs had come from countries all over the Middle East and North Africa, flourished, and integrated.

Chaos In The West Bank?

Challah Hu Akbar has been blogging since February about the Abbas crackdown on websites critical of his regime.

But the problem of the lack of free speech and human rights in the West Bank under Abbas and the Palestinian Authority go much further.

Khaled Abu Toameh addresses the question Is the Palestinian Authority Losing Control in the West Bank?:

Charts Demonstrating The Variety Of Rockets Hamas Has And Their Range

I am posting this especially for those like the person who told me that Hamas had nothing to attack Israel with except rocks and home made rockets.

As the IDF Blog notes, Hamas’ Weapons Arsenal Continues to Grow:
  • Israeli civilians live under the constant threat of rocket fire emerging from Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

  • The Hamas weapons arsenal is growing. They have the new and advanced Iranian made Fajr-3, Katyusha’s/Grad’s, Anti-tank missiles, and Heavy Mortars.

  • The upgraded Grad rocket has a range that allows it to reach 30 miles within Israel.

  • Over the past 6 years, Hamas rocket fire has killed 44 innocent Israeli civilians and injured 1,687 Israelis.
Here are two charts illustrating the Hamas rocket ranges and the types of rockets held by Hamas:

New York Times Cuts And Pastes Error Into Its Gaza Report

The New York Times in general--and New York Time reporters Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram--are getting sloppy.

After all, it's bad enough that the New York Times goes ahead with the incendiary story that Israel is responsible for the death of a 2 year Gazan toddler--after Jon Donnison already confirmed that Hamas admitted their rocket was responsible for the death of Hadeed Al-Haddad and even the site "Occupied Palestine" had removed the page accusing Israel of killing the Gazan child.In fact, Ma'an also reported (at least in their English edition) that the child was killed by a Hamas rocket misfiring nearby.

As Elder of Tziyon put it:
Kudos to Ma'an English for actually doing real reporting.
No one could accuse the New York Times of that.

Here is what the New York Times reported yesterday on June 19:

Based On Past Experience, A Muslim May Have Burned Down That Mosque

A Palestinian mosque in the village of Jabaa was vandalized and partially set on fire early Tuesday morning, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, with both sides suspecting Israeli settlers of the attack.
CNN, Palestinian mosque burned in suspected settler attack, June 19, 2012

If Israelis were responsible for the burning of the mosque, then they should--and will--be held responsible.

By the same token, there is a possibility that the burning of the mosque was done by Muslims.
After all, Muslims have burned mosques before:

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/20/2012: Media Fudges On Hamas Rocket Attacks

From DG:
1) Out of the shadows

The New York Times reports, Israel Weighs Response After Attacks by Hamas:
The armed wing of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that governs here, fired barrages of rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday after a break of more than a year during which the group largely adhered to an informal cease-fire.
Hamas has kept out of the last few rounds of violence, leaving smaller, more radical groups like Islamic Jihad to fire rockets and then restraining them in an effort to restore calm, often with the help of Egyptian mediators.
First of all, either Hamas observed the ceasefire or not. If it "largely adhered to" the ceasefire, it wasn't a ceasefire.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raymond Ibrahim: Egyptian Election: Islamist Victory or Deceptive Strategy?

The following by Raymond Ibrahim is reposted here with permission:

Egyptian Election: Islamist Victory or Deceptive Strategy?

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
June 19, 2012

Has anyone stopped to ask where the headlines "Muslim Brotherhood Wins Egypt's Presidential Election!" originate? They come, of course, straight from the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies—particularly the Qatar-based Islamist propaganda machine, Al Jazeera—and were then unquestioningly picked up and spread like wildfire by the Western mainstream media and talking-heads.
Left unquoted by the Western media are the many Egyptian analysts that have a different tale to tell—that the secular candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, has won.

Hadeed Al-Haddad: From Shaheed To Just A Child Killed By Hamas

When Occupied Palestine jumped at the chance to blame Israel for the death of Hadeel Al-Haddad, she was "Shaheeda Hadeel Al-Haddad, assassinated by Israel on June 19, 2012":

Hamas Admits: Hamas Rocket Backfire Kills Palestinian Child Hadeel Al-Haddad

Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people.
Lieutenant General Honore addressing reporters about New Orleans evac plan for Hurricane Rita

Usually, when the Palestinian Arabs blame Israel, you can count on the Media repeating the claim by Palestinian terrorists. Here pro-Palestinian apologist claim that Israel is responsible for the death of an Arab child: Hadeel Al-Haddad. 

The truth is that the viciousness of Palestinian terrorists, their carelessness and their disregard for Human life killed that child.

How do we know?

Because an Hamas official has admitted it:

Barry Rubin: Thoughts on Iran, Nuclear Weapons, and Tehran’s Regional Role

by Barry Rubin
“Hitler’s primary task was to put himself over as a misunderstood moderate….Trotsky summed it up neatly: ‘Anyone who expects to meet a lunatic brandishing a hatchet and instead finds a man hiding a revolver in his trouser-pocket is bound to feel relieved. But that doesn’t prevent a revolver from being more dangerous than a hatchet.’”
–Joel Carmichael, Trotsky: An Appreciation of his Life, p. 396.

Months ago, when it was at its height, I wrote that the hysteria about Israel allegedly being about to attack Iran and the argument by some that Israel should do so were nonsense. Now it is clear that there was never any chance that such a thing would happen. And that idea was a bad one expressed by non-Israelis who didn’t know what they were talking about.

Steven Rosen: Israeli Settlements, American Pressure, and Peace

The following by Steven Rosen is reposted here with permission:

Israeli Settlements, American Pressure, and Peace

by Steven J. Rosen
JCPA Strategic Perspectives

Executive Summary

  • President Obama apparently believed that pressuring Israel to halt construction of homes in Jewish neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem formerly controlled by Jordan would advance peace. In reality, the opposite ensued. As a result, he was the first president since the Madrid conference in 1991 to have had no sustained high-level, direct negotiations between the parties. Never before were peace negotiations held up by putting the wish for a settlement freeze first. Mahmoud Abbas participated in 18 years of direct negotiations with seven Israeli governments, all without the settlements freeze that he now insists is an absolute precondition to begin even low-level talks.

Video: Rabbi Pesach Lerner Speaks On Need To Release Jonathan Pollard

Rabbi Lerner's Bible teaching at a prayer vigil held for Obama to release the physically ailing, Jonathan Pollard. He urges us to make Pollard's release a greater priority.

Here is the video:

The Middle East Media Sampler 6/19/2012: The Extent Of Obama's Failure With Palestinians

From DG:
1) Betting on the PA

Steven Rosen in a summary of a recent paperIsraeli Settlements, American Pressure, and Peace wrote:
President Obama apparently believed that pressuring Israel to halt construction of homes in Jewish neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem formerly controlled by Jordan would advance peace. In reality, the opposite ensued. As a result, he was the first president since the Madrid conference in 1991 to have had no sustained high-level, direct negotiations between the parties. Never before were peace negotiations held up by putting the wish for a settlement freeze first. Mahmoud Abbas participated in 18 years of direct negotiations with seven Israeli governments, all without the settlements freeze that he now insists is an absolute precondition to begin even low-level talks.

Will Jewish Vote Be Obama's Enemy In Swing States Florida And Pennsylvania?

But while Jews do say they plan to vote for Obama over Romney — by 51% to 43% in the June poll — they don’t seem to support him in numbers much greater than the general population.
Jewish Forward, Are New York Jews Abandoning Obama?, June 18, 2012

Jonathan Tobin connects the dots--the dots that connect the Jewish vote for Romney in New York in an election year with Florida and Pennsylvania:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Arlene Kushner On Iran Negotiating Themselves A Nuclear Bomb

From Arlene Kushner:
June 18, 2012:

Read This...

And weep.
A new two-day round of "negotiations" with Iran regarding its nuclear capacity began today in Moscow.  A Russian media source refers to this as a "round table discussion," which tells us more than a little.  "Russia hopes that it will help restore trust between Iran and the West."
Iranian National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili heads the team representing Iran.  Catherine Ashton, foreign affairs head for the EU, leads the delegation of six nations facing off against Iran: Russia, the UK, China, the US, France, and Germany (the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany).
As of late today, there was discontent expressed by a member of the Iranian negotiating team: "So far the atmosphere is not positive. Setting up the framework [for negotiations] is the main problem."

Missing Peace: Israeli Minister: Iranian Crisis Will Culminate In Coming Months

The following by Missing Peace is reposted with permission:

Israeli Minister: Iranian Crisis Will Culminate In Coming Months

Satellite image of the Parchin complex in Iran shows two
recently razed buildings (ISIS) 

Last Friday the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz published a lengthy interview with Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs.

Most of the interview dealt with Iran and the possibility that Israel will launch a military strike on the nuclear facilities of the Islamic Republic.

Raymond Ibrahim: Parallel Betrayals: Iranian Revolution and Arab Spring

The following article by Raymond Ibrahim  is reposted with permsission

Parallel Betrayals:
Iranian Revolution and Arab Spring

by Raymond Ibrahim
June 18, 2012

Many are the lessons to be learned between the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the current revolutions of the Arab world.
Consider the issue of the hijab, the female "veil"—the proliferation of which, according to one former Islamist and associate of al-Qaeda's Ayman Zawahiri, is associated with a Muslim society's downward spiral into oppression and terror.
Prior to Egypt's presidential elections, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Muhammad Morsi, assured the nation's liberals and secularists that, as president, he would certainly not enforce the hijab: "Many people are speaking nonsense, saying that I will impose the hijab against the will of the people; no one is going to force anyone to wear a specific uniform."
These are famous words, spoken almost verbatim some 33 years earlier, in Iran, at the time of the 1979 revolution.