Israel facing ‘diplomatic tsunami’ with Arab neighbors

Israel facing ‘diplomatic tsunami’ with Arab neighbors

Sheera Frenkel | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: September 11, 2011 07:50:58 PM

JERUSALEM — The attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo has brought into sharp relief Israel’s increasing isolation in a still region grappling with the changes of the Arab Spring.

Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and most of its diplomatic staff from Cairo this weekend after hundreds of Egyptian protesters tore down a security wall protecting the Nile-side embassy, ransacked its files and burned an Israeli flag. It came less than a week after Turkey, Israel’s other major ally in the Muslim world, announced it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and downgrading its relationship to the lowest possible level after a deadly skirmish involving a Turkish aid vessel that was attempting to deliver supplies in defiance of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

With another potential predicament brewing later this month when the Palestinians are expected to request membership and statehood at the United Nations, Israeli-Arab relations appear to be plunging to their lowest point in years.

“Within a week Israel has found itself two friends down and about to face a so-called diplomatic tsunami with the Palestinians,” said one European envoy in Jerusalem, who spoke on condition of anonymity under diplomatic protocol.

“I would be nervous if I was an Israeli diplomat today.”

The damage to relations with Egypt and Turkey has struck many Israelis. Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in 1949 and Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to condemn the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo but added that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt was still intact.

“Egypt must not ignore the severe injury to the fabric of peace with Israel and such a blatant violation of international laws,” Netanyahu said Saturday.

Officials in Israel’s foreign ministry, however, said the embassy attack “could not be ignored” and marked a sharp shift in Israel’s diplomatic dealings with its neighbor since the resignation in February of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — whose dictatorial regime had kept a lid on anti-Israeli sentiment.

“For a long time Israel has benefited from a positive relationship with Egypt that allowed Israel some sense of security. It is clear that Egypt today is not the Egypt of one year ago,” said an Israeli diplomat who also requested anonymity.

“Now Israel will have to look at its border to the south as one more to watch and guard. The burning of the Israeli flag in Cairo symbolized much more to those of us that watched from Jerusalem.”

The image of the burning flag figured prominently on Israeli television this weekend, with several commentators asking whether it would be the last time an Israeli flag flew in Egypt.

On Israel’s Channel Two news, the anchorman led the Saturday evening broadcast by asking whether Israel had found itself “alone without a friend” in the region.

Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have been increasingly at odds over how to cope with the growing isolation.

Under the hawkish Lieberman’s directive, foreign ministry officials have begun drafting a list of “punishments” for Turkey. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s office said it had heeded calls for restraint and a tempering of hostilities between the two nations.

 

Turkish officials have said that relations with Israel will not improve until Israel apologizes for the killing last year of nine Turkish nationals aboard a boat that aimed to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel has stood by its blockade, and its position was recently bolstered by a U.N. report that found the blockade lawful. The same report, however, said that Israel had used unnecessary and excessive force in stopping boats aiming to break the blockade, including the storming of the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship by Israeli naval commandos, who killed the Turkish nationals.

American officials have tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an apology from Israel to Turkey over the incident. Relations had already soured over Israel’s recent war in Gaza and a series of diplomatic snubs by Lieberman and his deputy.

In about 10 days, Israel likely will face another diplomatic hurdle when the Palestinians are expected to launch a bid for statehood at the U.N. General Assembly. Israel has been maneuvering to quash the bid — which the United States opposes and has threatened to veto —  but Palestinians have said they’ll go forward and attempt to win two-thirds support for an independent state that would include East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Several European countries have signaled their willingness to vote in favor of the Palestinian state, putting Israel in a difficult position.

Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, who will help launch the bid at the U.N., told McClatchy that Israel had “put itself in a corner.”

“We will go forward with this despite the threats from Israel and its allies. When the vote happens Israel will see how isolated it truly is,” Ashrawi said. She added that the United States, Israel’s main ally, would also be “embarrassed.”

“I think the United States has been warned time and time again — from its own people — that its partnership with Israel might not be in its best interest right now,” she said. “But they continue to stand by Israel, and ignore the changes in the region that the Arab Spring is bringing.”

(Frenkel is a McClatchy special correspondent.)

Standing With Israel

Standing With Israel

Peggy Shapiro

“Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall
be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be
buried.”  This famous pledge by Ruth, a young Moabite widow, to her Israelite
mother-in-law Naomi is such a moving declaration of loyalty that it is
frequently cited in marriage ceremonies.

It was also frequently repeated at the three-day (July 18-20) Christians
United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington D.C. When Glenn Beck, the keynote
speaker at the culminating Summit banquet, quoted that biblical pledge of
friendship, five thousand Christians leapt to their feet in praise and
affirmation, and I, a Jew, a child of Holocaust survivors, was moved to tears by
this army of unshakeable friends.

It was my third CUFI Summit and there were many changes in an organization
which has grown to over 700,000 in its short six years of existence. In addition
to the larger halls, greater number of students (over 500), and more lobbying
appointments with Congress, there was a deepened message of commitment to
Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. The other Summits also had biblical
themes including “And I will bless those that bless you [Israel] and curse the
one who curses you. “Book of Genesis, Chapter 12, Verse 1-3. The passage
challenges individual Christians and the nation as a whole to be a blessing to
Israel if the United States is to continue as the most blessed country for
another 200 years and warns that the day America abandons Israel, America will
begin its descent. There are clear rewards for supporting Israel.

There is no reward, in this life or the next, expected in Ruth’s pledge to
her mother-in-law. In fact, Ruth knew full well that what she was doing posed
risks, yet she was firm in her determination to follow her mother-in-law and
cling to the faith she had adopted.  The Christians who assembled at the Summit
and made their heartfelt pledge to protect and stand with Israel did so out of
unconditional love and with no expectations of rewards.

They acknowledge what so many refuse to see: Jews and Christians face the
same enemies and their destinies are bound today as never before.  What begins
with the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews. Today I read
about Yousef Nadarkhani, a 32 year-old Iranian evangelical pastor, who had been
commanded by the Iranian regime to renounce his Christian faith or face
execution. Nadarkhani’s dooming sentencing is only the latest occurrence in the
Islamic Republic’s aggressive and heightened attack on the Christian
population.  It is not just Iran.  USA
Today
reports that “The single most dangerous thing in the world to be,
right now, is a Christian in a Muslim country.”

Those who are attempting to erase Jewish history from the land of Israel are
also bent on eliminating the Christian presence.  In1995. Bethlehem, the most
identifiably Christian town, had a Christian population of 80 percent.  Today
with a population of under 30 percent Christians, Bethlehem has, for the first
time in over two thousand years, lost its Christian majority. The same changes
have taken place in two other famously Christian towns, Nazareth and
Jerusalem.

The story’s the same in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast. The only
place in the region where the Christian population is growing is in
Israel
.

Just as Ruth, Christians United for Israel pledge their loyalty clear-eyed
about the realities of the hostilities they can encounter and expecti no rewards
for their act of love. However, the story of Ruth and Naomi does not end with a
declaration of loyalty. With Naomi’s guidance, Ruth remarries and has a son.
Naomi goes from feeling isolated to the joy of holding a grandchild in her arms.
And Ruth’s son Oved becomes the father of Jesse, whose youngest son is David,
the beloved king of all the Jewish people. Years later Jesus, a descendant of
David, is born in Bethlehem.

Without Ruth, Jewish history could not continue. And Christian history could
not begin.  CUFI stands with Israel in an ultimate pledge of loyalty, and
without that pledge, Jewish and Christian destinies would be more
vulnerable.

Peggy Shapiro is Chicago Community Coordinator for
StandWithUs

FBI terror probe targets group funded by Obama President, Bill Ayers channeled money to ‘anti-Israel’ organization

JERUSALEM – President Obama and Weather Underground terrorist group founder William Ayers provided funds in the 1990s to an Arab group whose executive director had his home raided last week in a terror probe by the FBI.

“The [search] warrants are seeking evidence in support of an ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism,” Steve Warfield, spokesman for the FBI in Minneapolis, told reporters.

Warfield was referring to the FBI’s raid of seven homes Friday, including that of Hatem Abudayyeh, the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN.

LOL: Despite Promises Of Cooperation, Most Of Israel Maintains That Obama Is “Still Evil”

LOL: Despite Promises Of Cooperation, Most Of Israel Maintains That Obama Is “Still Evil”

July 7th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

obama-netanyahu

Jerusalem Post:

US President Barack Obama’s attempts to portray himself as pro-Israel in his press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday failed to persuade right-wing MKs, who warned that Obama is “still evil.”

The MKs questioned the president’s motives and suggested that he was putting on a show for American Jews ahead of the crucial November mid-term elections, in which the Democrats may lose control of Congress.

“He doesn’t sound evil now because he needs Jewish votes and money,” said Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara.

“But I won’t forget the pressure he put on Netanyahu and the stress I saw in the prime minister the last time he came back from Washington. He is acting the way he is for political reasons.

I hope he will stay this way but I doubt it, because he hasn’t changed.”

Likud MK Danny Danon said he believes Obama learned his lesson that pressuring Israel does not work. He said he hopes Obama will also learn that the Likud would not allow Netanyahu to continue the 10- month construction moratorium in Judea and Samaria beyond September.

“Obama restrained himself and didn’t attack our prime minister this time, but he still set unrealistic expectations for the peace process,” Danon said.

“He is wrong if he thinks the freeze must continue for direct talks to begin. He instead must pressure the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table, regardless of the freeze. He sounds nice now but after November, I am worried that he will sound different.”

National Union MK Arye Eldad, who heads the Knesset’s Land of Israel caucus, said Obama was delaying pressure on Israel for tactical reasons. He said Obama realized that Netanyahu would not agree now to extend the freeze, so the president will instead try to initiate direct talks with the Palestinians in order to put Netanyahu in a position in September where he would not be able to resume construction.

“Obama doesn’t sound wicked now, but he was merely buying time,” Eldad said.

“Obama is betting on getting the entire pot. Our job in the [caucus] will be to put pressure on Netanyahu so he won’t make concessions that threaten Israel’s future.”

Meretz leader Haim Oron said he was not impressed by the gestures made by either leader. He expressed hope that Obama would not stop pressuring Netanyahu.

“Bibi is trying to escape the peace process,” Oron said. “If he succeeds, it is bad for Israel.

I hope they put advancing peace above the goal of just getting along.”

Israel’s Actions: Entirely Lawful

Israel’s Actions: Entirely Lawful

Posted By Alan M. Dershowitz On June 2, 2010 @ 12:08 am In FrontPage | 28 Comments

While the international community has, once again, ganged up on Israel, one thing is for certain: the legality of Israel’s actions in stopping the Gaza flotilla is not open to question. What Israel did was entirely consistent with both international and domestic law. In order to understand why Israel acted within its rights, the complex events at sea must be deconstructed:

First, there is the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which included a naval blockade. Recall that when Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, it did not impose a blockade. Indeed it left behind agricultural facilities in the hope that the newly liberated Gaza Strip would become a peaceful and productive area. Instead Hamas seized control over Gaza and engaged in acts of warfare against Israel. These acts of warfare featured anti-personnel rockets, nearly 10,000 of them, directed at Israeli civilians. This was not only an act of warfare, it was a war crime. Israel responded to the rockets by declaring a blockade, the purpose of which was to assure that no rockets, or other material that could be used for making war against Israeli civilians, was permitted into Gaza. Israel allowed humanitarian aid through its checkpoints. Egypt as well participated in the blockade. There was never a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, merely a shortage of certain goods that would end if the rocket attacks ended.

The legality of blockades as a response to acts of war is not subject to serious doubt. When the United States blockaded Cuba during the missile crisis, the State Department issued an opinion declaring the blockade to be lawful. This, despite the fact that Cuba had not engaged in any act of belligerency against the United States. Other nations have similarly enforced naval blockades to assure their own security.

The second issue is whether it is lawful to enforce a legal blockade in international waters. Again, law and practice are clear. If there is no doubt that the offending ships have made a firm determination to break the blockade, then the blockade may be enforced before the offending ships cross the line into domestic waters. Again the United States and other western countries have frequently boarded ships at high sea in order to assure their security.

Third, were those on board the flotilla innocent non-combatants or did they lose that status once they agreed to engage in the military act of breaking the blockade? Let there be no mistake about the purpose of this flotilla. It was decidedly not to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza, but rather the break the entirely lawful Israeli military blockade. The proof lies in the fact that both Israel and Egypt offered to have all the food, medicine and other humanitarian goods sent to Gaza, if the boats agreed to land in an Israeli or Egyptian port. That humanitarian offer was soundly rejected by the leaders of the flotilla who publicly announced:

“This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it’s about breaking Israel’s siege on 1.5 million Palestinians.” (AFP May 27, 2010.)

The act of breaking a military siege is itself a military act, and those knowingly participating in such military action put in doubt their status as non-combatants.

It is a close question whether “civilians” who agree too participate in the breaking of a military blockade have become combatants. They are certainly something different than pure, innocent civilians, and perhaps they are also somewhat different from pure armed combatants. They fit uncomfortably onto the continuum of civilianality that has come to characterize asymmetrical warfare.

Finally, we come to the issue of the right of self defense engaged in by Israeli soldiers who were attacked by activists on the boat. There can be little doubt that the moment any person on the boat picked up a weapon and began to attack Israeli soldiers boarding the vessel, they lost their status as innocent civilians. Even if that were not the case, under ordinary civilian rules of self defense, every Israeli soldier had the right to protect himself and his colleagues from attack by knife and pipe wielding assailants. Less there be any doubt that Israeli soldiers were under attack, simply view the accompanying video and watch, as so-called peaceful “activists” repeatedly pummel Israeli soldiers with metal rods. (http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk) Every individual has the right to repel such attacks by the use of lethal force, especially when the soldiers were so outnumbered on the deck of the ship. Recall that Israel’s rules of engagement required its soldiers to fire only paintballs unless their lives were in danger. Would any country in the world deny its soldiers the right of self defense under comparable circumstances?

Notwithstanding the legality of Israel’s actions, the international community has, as usual, denounced the Jewish state. In doing so, Israel’s critics have failed to pinpoint precisely what Israel did that allegedly violates international law. Some have wrongly focused on the blockade itself. Others have erroneously pointed to the location of the boarding in international waters. Most have simply pointed to the deaths of so-called peace activists, though these deaths appear to be the result of lawful acts of self-defense. None of these factors alone warrant condemnation, but the end result surely deserves scrutiny by Israeli policy makers. There can be little doubt that the mission was a failure, as judged by its results. It is important, however, to distinguish between faulty policies on the one hand, and alleged violations of international law on the other hand. Only the latter would warrant international intervention, and the case has simply not been made that Israel violated international law.

The “Humanitarian Relief” Wing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda

The “Humanitarian Relief” Wing of Hamas and Al-Qaeda

Posted By John Perazzo On June 2, 2010 @ 12:29 am In FrontPage | 11 Comments

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (better known by its Turkish acronym, IHH) is the group that organized the six-ship flotilla which recently tried, without success, to sail all the way to Gaza. Established [1] in Turkey in 1992, the Foundation sends aid [2] to distressed areas throughout the Middle East – in the form of food, medicine, vocational education, and building supplies. A prime destination for this aid is Gaza, where – according to IHH – Palestinians are being oppressed by an unjustified Israeli naval blockade. (For the record, that blockade was put in place to prevent Hamas [3], which controls Gaza politically and has fired thousands of rockets into southern Israeli towns in recent years, from importing additional weaponry from Iran and other allies abroad.)

For several days last week, as the flotilla approached Gaza, Israel issued warnings that the ships would not be permitted to reach their destination without first submitting to an inspection of their cargoes – to ensure that no weaponry was being transported. But when the respective crews of the vessels refused to comply, Israeli commandos took action and intercepted the flotilla in the early morning hours of May 31. The IHH-affiliated activists responded with violence, instantly attacking the commandos with knives and clubs, and throwing one of them overboard. In the melee that ensued, ten activists were killed and seven Israeli soldiers were wounded. How could this be? How can we be expected to believe that a well-meaning “humanitarian relief” group would ever behave in a manner that might provoke violent reprisals from Israeli troops? A more thorough examination of IHH’s history and affiliations explains everything.

While IHH is indeed involved [4] in the aforementioned humanitarian endeavors, its overall objectives are much broader. Belying the dove of peace [2] whose image appears on its logo, IHH overtly supports Hamas [5], is sympathetic [4] to al Qaeda [6], and maintained regular contact with al Qaeda cells and the Sunni insurgency during the bloodiest stretches of the Iraq War. Moreover, IHH has supported jihadist terror networks [2]not only in Iraq, but also in Bosnia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. According to [4] Carnegie Endowment analyst Henri Barkey, IHH is “an Islamist organization” that “has been deeply involved with Hamas for some time.” A 2006 report [7] by the Danish Institute for International Studies characterized IHH as one of many “charitable front groups that provide support to Al-Qaida” and the global jihad.

Is the IHH beginning to sound less and less like a “humanitarian relief” group? Let’s look a little deeper still.

According to a French intelligence report, in the mid-1990s [2] IHH leader Bülent Yildirim was directly involved in recruiting “veteran soldiers” to organize jihad activities, and in dispatching IHH operatives to war zones in Islamic countries to gain combat experience. The report also stated that IHH had transferred money as well as “caches of firearms, knives and pre-fabricated explosives” to Muslim fighters in those countries. Given this track record, can Israel’s concern about the contents of the IHH flotilla cargoes really be considered excessive or unwarranted?

In 1996, IHH continued to burnish its credentials as a “humanitarian relief” organization when an examination of its telephone records [2] showed that repeated calls had been made to an al Qaeda guest house in Milan and to Algerian terrorists operating in Europe. That same year, the U.S. government formally identified [1] IHH as having connections to extremist groups in Iran and Algeria.

In December 1997, Turkish authorities, acting on a tip from sources claiming that IHH leaders had purchased automatic weapons from other regional Islamic militant groups, initiated a domestic criminal investigation [8] of IHH. A thorough search of the organization’s Istanbul bureau uncovered a large assortment of firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions, and a “jihad flag.” In addition, Turkish authorities seized a host of IHH documents whose contents ultimately led investigators to conclude that the group’s members “were going to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.”

Near the end of 2000, IHH organized protests [2] against proposals to overthrow that humanitarian icon, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein [9]; American and Israeli flags were burned at these rallies.

During the April 2001 trial [10] of would-be “millennium bomber” Ahmed Ressam, it was revealed that IHH had played an “important role” in the plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999. Some reasonable observers might contend that to classify such a pursuit under the heading of “humanitarian relief” would require an unduly broad definition of that term.

In 2002, investigators found [8] correspondences from IHH in the offices of the Success Foundation [11], a Muslim Brotherhood [12]-affiliated organization whose Secretary was Abdul Rahman Alamoudi [13]. For the record: The Brotherhood was the ideological forebear of Hamas and al Qaeda; it supports jihad; and it seeks to impose shari’a law on the entire civilized world. Mr. Alamoudi, for his part, is currently serving a prison term of nearly a quarter-century for his role as a funder of international terrorism. He is best known for having proudly declared himself to be a passionate supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah [14]. The connections to “humanitarian relief” seem rather tenuous here.

According to [8] a report [15] issued by a website close to Israeli military intelligence: “[S]ince Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, IHH has supported Hamas’ propaganda campaigns by organizing public support conferences in Turkey.” The report also states that IHH continues to operate widely throughout Gaza and to funnel large sums of money to support the Hamas infrastructure.

In January 2008, an IHH delegation [2] met with Ahmed Bahar, chairman of Hamas’ council in the Gaza Strip. At the meeting, the delegation not only boasted about the large amount of financial support it had given Hamas during the preceding year, but also declared its intent to double that sum in the future. Once again, we are left to wonder how any of this falls under the rubric of “humanitarian relief.”

In 2008 Israel banned [16] IHH from the country because of the organization’s membership in the “Union of Good” (UOG), a Hamas-founded umbrella coalition [17] comprised of more than 50 Islamic charities (most of which are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood) that channel money and goods to Hamas-affiliated institutions. In December 2008, the U.S. government designated [18] UOG as a terrorist entity [8] that was guilty of “diverting” donations that were intended for “social welfare and other charitable services,” and using those funds “to strengthen Hamas’ political and military position.”

In January 2009, IHH head Bülent Yildirim met [2] with Khaled Mash’al [19], chairman of Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus, and Mash’al thanked Yildirim for the support of his organization.

In November 2009 [2] IHH activist Izzat Shahin transferred tens of thousands of American dollars from IHH to the Islamic Charitable Society (in Hebron) and Al-Tadhamun (in Nablus), two of Hamas’ most important front groups posing as “charitable societies.”

This, then, is the IHH: a pack of anti-Semitic supporters of terrorism, cloaking themselves in the vestments of victimhood, and bleating to the world about how unfairly they have been treated by the very nation whose extermination they have worked long and hard to bring about. It’s actually a story that has become quite familiar.

Turkish Jihadists Attack Israel

Turkish Jihadists Attack Israel

Posted By Phyllis Chesler On June 1, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 46 Comments

Visit NewsReal [1]

One may describe Hitler as a “vegetarian” (which he apparently was) but he was still a genocidally exterminationist Jew-hater whose relentless racism and imperial ambitions led to the death of more than 60 million people.

One may also describe the Turks on board the “freedom flotilla” (Orwell himself could not have suggested a better logo) as “humanitarian activists.” But they are still pro-terrorist Turkish jihadists whose mission was to kill Jews, one way or the other. This was a mission which aimed to further demonize the already shamefully tarnished reputation of the Jewish state. This mission planned to force a violent confrontation; were Israeli soldiers to dare defend themselves and if Muslims are therefore martyred—even better public relations, even better for international lawfare against the Israel.

The so-called “humanitarians,” at least on one boat, came armed with metal bars and knives. They were fighters, not pacifists, and they called out traditional Islamic battle cries: “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!” According to Palestinian Media Watch [2]:

“Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.”

“This video [3] shows Israeli soldiers being beaten with long and heavy metal rods on one of the Turkish boats. Jeff Dunetz (“YidWithLid [4]”) has a series of disturbing and informative videos in which we can see the planned nature and intensity of the Turkish-Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers—an attack which involved stabbings, beatings, firebombing attempts, throwing soldiers overboard, etc.”

Earlier today, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon [5] said that the Turkish-led flotilla was: “An armada of hate and violence in support of Hamas’ terror organization and was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties with global jihad, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent. Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome.”

Indeed, the death count currently stands at an estimated nine (mainly Turkish) dead and 34 wounded. Predictably, the Arab, European, and liberal media are viewing Israel as the vicious aggressor; as committing “obscene [6]” acts. Al-Jazeera’s website [7] calls what happened “a massacre.” They refer to the dead as “martyrs.”

Some say that the Israeli commandos could have used taser guns, rubber bullets, or simply sent far more soldiers onto each boat. But the Israelis initially boarded the boats armed with paintball guns. And one wonders: How many Israeli soldiers can fit on a boat? One Israeli now suggests that Israel should have surrounded all the boats, stopped them dead in their tracks, shot out their motors.

Said I: And then done what with them?

Said he: Negotiate.

Said I: Are you crazy? Negotiate with terrorists? And then feed them, house them, coddle them—terrorists who would not even agree to bring food and a note to Gilad Shalit? Incredibly, Israel has been doing just that, treating the wounded terrorists in Israeli hospitals [8] and preparing to intern the remaining “activists” in air-conditioned tents [9] in Ashdod.

Said he: There should have been better military planning.

I am sure that Monday morning quarterbacking is always more ingenious than what happens in the moment of battle. The problem is that, once again, the Israelis are being attacked for having defended themselves and the jihadists are still being seen as “martyrs.”

Why did Turkey attack Israel? How much Iranian support did they have? Turkey was once a haven for Jews in flight from the Christian Inquisition.

Once, long ago, Muslim Turkey gave asylum to Dona Gracia HaNasi [10], the noble and generous leader of the Jews who had fled from Christian Spain and Portugal. Dona Gracia, a widow, was the wealthiest Jew of her time and, after living in Italy, found final refuge in Constantinople in 1552. Some wealthy Jews still live in Turkey today—yes, despite the bombing [11] of two Turkish synagogues in 2003. I wonder how safe they are and for how long.

As to women? Locked up in harems—but if they were lucky/most unlucky, perhaps in the Sultan’s own harem or seraglio. For example, in 1784, a French girl, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, [12] was kidnapped on the open seas by Algerian pirates who sold her into the Turkish Sultan’s harem. Aimee became known as “Naksh,” The Beautiful One, for her fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Improbably, incredibly, Aimee became the mother of the next Sultan, whose name was Sultan Mahmoud II, the Reformer. Some see [13] the influence of the Sultan Valideh (The Veiled Sultan) in Selim’s letter of friendship to King Louis XVI—and in other pro-European gestures and customs.

Myths [14] die hard. People still believe that Jews, Christians and other infidels lived safe and happy lives in Muslims lands. This is a Big Lie [15].

As a matter of historical fact, the Turks have a long and bloody history of cruelty and genocide. They colonized the entire Middle East, forced conversions or murdered those who resisted. Islamic gender and religious apartheid flourished.

To this day, the Turks continue to deny the Armenian genocide. And, the days of Kemal Ataturk are long gone. In the early 1920s, Ataturk imposed a secular democracy upon the Islamists and unveiled the women. Now, the Islamists are winning again: Women are veiling, honor killings are on the rise (both in Turkey and among Turks in Europe). Recently, a father and grandfather heartlessly buried [16] a 16-year-old daughter and granddaughter alive for the “crime” of presumably talking to boys. I have also written about a great Turkish feminist hero, my friend Seyran Ates [17], here; Ates was shot for her work among Turkish immigrant girls and women in Berlin. Her 15-year-old client died. Ates, a lawyer, was left for dead—but miraculously survived.

And we nearly admitted Turkey into the European Union. One wonders if they would have intensified their anti-Israel Islamism had they been accepted as “Europeans,” or whether their candidacy was merely a calculated move in tandem with pre-existing pro-Iranian plans. For years, Turkey has opposed [18] sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program. Turkey was among the first to congratulate Ahmadinejad [19] on his re-election victory. During 2009, Turkey improved its economic ties to Iran.

I am waiting for the United Nations and for the United States to condemn this unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.

More Obama Terror: ‘US may stop using UN veto on resolutions targeting Israel’

More Obama Terror: ‘US may stop using UN veto on resolutions targeting Israel’

If the US sanctioned brutal and misogynist Iran’s UN appointment to the women’s commission, then the abandonment of our best friend and strategic ally, the Jewish homeland in the Middle East, to jihadist savages is the obvious move. 

Another Obama anti-America, anti-freedom first in US history. J Post reporting:

In an attempt to launch indirect proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the US has given private assurances that it would consider not using its veto power against UN Security Council condemnations of any significant new settlement activity, the Guardian reported.

A Palestinian source quoted by the UK paper said David Hale, a deputy of US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week that if there was “significantly provocative settlement activity,” including in east Jerusalem, Washington may consider allowing UNSC resolutions censuring Israel to pass. According to the paper, the source said “it was understood that meant the US would abstain from voting on a resolution rather than use its veto.”

Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Israel

Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Israel

 

By Nile Gardiner World Last updated: April 26th, 2010

97 Comments Comment on this article

Last week Israel celebrated its 62nd year as a nation, but there was major cause for concern amid the festivities as the Israeli people faced the looming menace of a nuclear-armed Iran, as well as the prospect of a rapidly deteriorating relationship with Washington. The Israel-bashing of the Obama administration has become so bad that even leading Democrats are now speaking out against the White House. New York Senator Chuck Schumer blasted Barack Obama’s stance towards Israel in a radio interview last week, stating his “counter-productive” Israel policy “has to stop”.

At the same time a poll was released by Quinnipiac University which showed that US voters disapproved of the president’s Israel policy by a margin of 44 to 35 percent. According to the poll, “American voters say 57 – 13 percent that their sympathies lie with Israel and say 66 – 19 percent that the president of the United States should be a strong supporter of Israel.”

I recently compiled a list of Barack Obama’s top ten insults against Britain, America’s closest ally in the world. This is a sequel of sorts, a list of major insults by the Obama administration against America’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. As I wrote previously on Obama’s treatment of both Britain and Israel:

In the space of just over a year, Barack Obama has managed to significantly damage relations with America’s two closest friends, while currying favour with practically every monstrous dictatorship on the face of the earth. The doctrine of “smart power” has evolved into the shameless appeasement of America’s enemies at the expense of existing alliances. There is nothing clever about this approach – it will ultimately weaken US global power and strengthen the hand of America’s enemies, who have become significantly emboldened and empowered by Barack Obama’s naïve approach since he took office.

The Obama presidency is causing immense damage to America’s standing in the free world, while projecting an image of weakness in front of hostile regimes. Its treatment of both Israel and Britain is an insult and a disgrace, and a grim reflection of an unbelievably crass and insensitive foreign policy that significantly undermines the US national interest.

So here’s my top 10 list of Obama administration insults against Israel after just 15 months in power:

1. Obama’s humiliation of Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House

In March, the Israeli Prime Minister was humiliated by Barack Obama when he visited Washington. As The Telegraph reported, “Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family”, after being presented with a list of 13 demands. As I wrote at the time:

This is no way to treat America’s closest ally in the Middle East, and a true friend of the United States. I very much doubt that even third world tyrants would be received in such a rude fashion by the president. In fact, they would probably be warmly welcomed by the Obama White House as part of its “engagement” strategy, while the leaders of Britain and Israel are frequently met with arrogant disdain.

2. Engaging Iran when Tehran threatens a nuclear Holocaust against Israel

In contrast to its very public humiliation of close ally Israel, the Obama administration has gone out of its way to establish a better relationship with the genocidal regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which continues to threaten Israel’s very existence. It has taken almost every opportunity to appease Tehran since it came to office, and has been extremely slow to respond to massive human rights violations by the Iranian regime, including the beating, rape and murder of pro-democracy protesters.

3. Drawing a parallel between Jewish suffering in the Holocaust with the current plight of the Palestinians

In his Cairo speech to the Muslim world, President Obama condemned Holocaust denial in the Middle East, but compared the murder of six million Jews during World War Two to the “occupation” of the Palestinian territories, in a disturbing example of moral equivalence:

“On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”

4. Obama’s attack on Israeli “occupation” in his speech to the United Nations

In his appalling speech to the UN General Assembly last September, President Obama dedicated five paragraphs to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, without once referring directly to Palestinian terrorism by name, but declaring to loud applause “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” He also lambasted the Israeli “occupation”, and drew a connection between rocket attacks on Israeli civilians with living conditions in Gaza. The speech served as a ghastly PR exercise aimed at appeasing anti-Israel sentiment in the Middle East, while bashing the Israelis over the head.

5. Obama’s accusation that Israel is the cause of instability in the Middle East

As The Wall Street Journal noted, “the Obama Administration seems increasingly of the view that Israel is the primary cause of instability in the Middle East”, citing a recent press conference where he stated:

“It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”

6. The Obama administration’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Syria

While actively appeasing Iran, the Obama administration has also sought to develop closer ties with the other main state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, Syria, establishing diplomatic relations with Damascus in February. Syria remains a major backer of Hamas and Hizbollah, both responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks against Israel.

7. Hillary Clinton’s 43-minute phone call berating Netanyahu

As The Telegraph reported, Hillary Clinton sought to dictate terms to Israel in the wake of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Jerusalem:

“In a telephone call, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, ordered Mr. Netanyahu to reverse a decision to build 1,600 homes for Israeli settlers in occupied East Jerusalem that sparked the diplomatic row. She also instructed him to issue a formal pledge that peace talks would focus on core issues such as the future of Jerusalem and the borders of a Palestinian state. In addition, the Israeli prime minister was urged to make a substantial confidence-building gesture to the Palestinians. Mrs. Clinton suggested this could take the form of prisoner releases, an easing of the blockade of Gaza and the transfer of greater territory in the West Bank to Palestinian control.

Last time I checked, Israel was still an independent country, and not a colonial dependency of the Obama White House. Yet that still hasn’t stopped the Secretary of State from acting like an imperial Viceroy.

8. David Axelrod’s attack on Israeli settlements on “Meet the Press”

It is extremely unusual for a White House official to launch an attack on a close US ally on live television, but this is exactly what the President’s Senior Adviser David Axelrod did in an interview in March with NBC’s Meet the Press, designed to cause maximum humiliation to Israel, where he stated in reference to new settlement construction in East Jerusalem:

“This was an affront, it was an insult but most importantly it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region. For this announcement to come at that time was very destructive.”

9. Hillary Clinton’s call on Israel to show “respect”

As The Telegraph revealed, the Secretary of State lectured the Israelis at a dinner attended by the Israeli ambassador and the ambassadors of several Arab states in mid-April, urging Israel to “refrain from unilateral statements” that could “undermine trust or risk prejudicing the outcome of talks”. In Clinton’s words:

“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has embraced the vision of the two-state solution. But easing up on access and movement in the West Bank, in response to credible Palestinian security performance, is not sufficient to prove to the Palestinians that this embrace is sincere. We encourage Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity and addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza.”

10. Robert Gibbs’ disparaging remarks about Israel

Not one to shy away from criticizing America’s friends when the opportunity arises, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs entered the fray in an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in March where he attacked the Israeli government for weakening “the trust that’s needed for both sides to come together and have honest discussions about peace in the Middle East.” In condescending terms he stated that Benjamin Netanyahu should start “coming to the table with constructive ideas for constructive and trustful dialogue about moving the peace process forward.”

Obama and the Anti-Semites

Obama and the Anti-Semites

Ed Lasky

The most politically correct President (I still recall his using the term ‘First Americans” instead of Native Americans) in history has one big blind spot:  insults towards Jews. The latest example is an anti-Semitic joke told by his National Security Advisor, Jim Jones, in a speech. The joke was summarized by Nathan Guttman of The Forward:

A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”
You can watch the actual telling of the joke below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmUb_cXI5aI&feature=player_embedded

Mark Hemingway in the Washington Examiner notes that someone at the White House evidently found the joke dangerous:
However, the White House felt it was inappropriate and left it out of their transcript of the event. And obviously some of the people at the event felt that a joke about greedy Jewish merchants was not okay and told The Forward as much.
Somehow I can’t envision a scenario where the White House would make a similar joke about Islam. This is doubly true since Jones has a reputation has prominent Israel critic.
Of course, this takes place in the context of a concerted effort to sooth pro-Israel Americans regarding the shabby and geopolitically stupid way Barack Obama and his team have treated our only true ally in the Middle East. I have written about Jim Jones and his checkered relationship with Israel. 
Often one’s true feelings towards a group come about as such gaffes (a gaffe in DC-speak is when a politician tells the truth about how he feels). Recall, this is an administration that has banned the term Islam or Muslim when it is paired with violence or extremism. This is an administration that has stonewalled Senators when they have asked to see documents related to the Ft. Hood massacre. If Jones had said such a joke about any other minority group he would have been fired or been forced to step down.
Jones’s joke is part of a disturbing pattern in the Obama Administration:
An administration official accused Dennis Ross of dual loyalty;
Barack Obama linked American lives lost and money spent to  conflicts that involve Israel;
Of course, there is also his railing against Goldman  Sachs and Wall Street-traditional targets of anti-Semitic screeds;
Obama puts the onus of blame on Israel for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and has not held the Palestinians to  any standards regarding their efforts to make peace
Obama is preparing the groundwork for scapegoating Israel as the problem that led to Iran having a nuclear bomb since he kept repeating the fallacy that Israel’s problems with the Palestinians has made it difficult to gather an alliance to deal with Iran (an absurd and illogical position, skewered by foreign policy expert Richard Haas in today’s WSJ)
At the same time, Obama has elevated Al Sharpton (who provoked an anti-Semitic pogram Harlem a few years back; a man who used “diamond merchants” as a code word to slur Jews) to being a partner of his in urban affairs.

Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.

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