“This is war of religion, not just a war between Arabs and Israelis…this is an Islamic war, which will end in victory only under the banner of Jihad”

“This is war of religion, not just a war between Arabs and Israelis…this is an Islamic war, which will end in victory only under the banner of Jihad”

Here is yet more indication that the war against Israel is a jihad against Israel, motivated by an antisemitism with deep, ancient roots in Islam — and thus it will not be solved by Israeli concessions, or the establishment of a Palestinian state. The one thing we can be sure of about this is that Western analysts will ignore it, as they have all the other indications of the same thing. “Calls for Jihad in a Rally of Kuwaiti Students Union: This Is a War of Religion, Not a War between Israelis and Arabs,” from MEMRITV, March 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):

The following excerpts are from a rally in which Kuwaiti students show solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The rally aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 29, 2010.

Read complete article

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/04/this-is-war-of-religion-not-just-a-war-between-arabs-and-israelisthis-is-an-islamic-war-which-will-e.html

VIDEO: Obama’s National Security Advisor Tells Joke Depicting Jews as Greedy Merchants…

Obama’s National Security Advisor Tells Joke Depicting Jews as Greedy Merchants

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

Nationally, 60% Favor Letting Local Police Stop and Verify Immigration Status

Nationally, 60% Favor Letting Local Police Stop and Verify Immigration Status

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last week signed a new law into effect that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 60% of voters nationwide favor such a law, while 31% are opposed.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans support the law along with 62% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Democratic voters are evenly divided on the measure.

At the same time, however, 58% of all voters are at least somewhat concerned that “efforts to identify and deport illegal immigrants will also end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens.” That figure includes 29% who are Very Concerned about possible civil rights violations.

Voter support for empowering local police comes at a time when most voters (56%) believe it is unlikely Congress will take action to gain control of the border. Only 31% say Congress is even somewhat likely to take such an action. That figure includes just 10% who believe Congress is Very Likely to act.

President Obama has denounced the Arizona law, and he and other critics of the measure see it as an incentive to push new national immigration reform legislation to supersede it.

Not surprisingly, support for the law authorizing local police to arrest illegal immigrants is a bit higher in Arizona than it is nationwide. As one of the states most impacted by illegal immigration, 70% of voters statewide favor the new law.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Brewer signed the new law in the midst of a tough Republican Primary campaign. She antagonized many Republicans early on by supporting a statewide tax increase. More recently, she has pleased many voters by finding a way for the state to sue the federal government over the new health care reform law. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Arizona voters say a candidate’s position on immigration is an important factor in how they will vote, including 51% who say it’s very important.

The measure is also having an impact on this year’s Arizona Senate race. Senator John McCain, who narrowly leads conservative challenger J.D. Hayworth in Arizona’s hotly contested GOP Senate Primary race, has come out strongly in support of the new law.

Democratic strategist Susan Estrich notes that “the federal government is supposed to secure the border. Its failure to do so effectively … invites measures like Arizona’s. … In the final analysis, the greatest threat to the rule of law is the lawlessness that leaves both desperate immigrants and desperate citizens vulnerable and afraid.”

This national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 22 and 23, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The new survey results are consistent with findings conducted over many years. Three-out-of-four voters believe that the federal government is not doing enough to secure the nation’s borders. In fact, 56% believe that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Among voters who are angry about immigration, 83% are angry at the federal government. Only 12% direct their anger at the immigrants

The biggest point of disconnect between voters and the conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C. has to do with priorities. Almost always in Washington, the debate begins with a focus on how to address the status of illegal immigrants. To voters, that is a secondary concern. Controlling the borders is the top concern. That hasn’t changes since the 2006 immigration legislation collapsed when the U.S. Senate surrendered to public opinion. During that debate, a New York Times/CBS poll found that 69% believed illegal immigrants should be prosecuted and deported.

Other surveys have found that 73% of voters want cops to check the immigration status of all offenders during traffic stops. Sixty-seven percent (67%) also say that if law enforcement officers know of places where immigrants gather to find work, they should sometimes conduct surprise raids to identify and deport those who are here illegally.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters nationwide say that those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants should be punished. By a 48% to 36% margin, voters say the same about landlords who rent to illegal immigrants. Additionally, 77% of voters nationwide oppose drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants. That topic tripped up Hillary Clinton in a debate during the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, created a national controversy by aggressively enforcing national immigration laws. While his efforts prompted a U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation, the sheriff remains popular in his home state. Most Arizona voters not only support his policies, but 58% say he has been good for the state’s image. On a personal basis, Arpaio is viewed favorably by 68% of Arizona voters.

Obama seeks to ‘reconnect…young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women’ for 2010 – Ben Smith: Obama seeks to ‘reconnect…young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women’ for 2010

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Obama seeks to ‘reconnect…young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women’ for 2010 – Ben Smith: Obama seeks to ‘reconnect…young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women’ for 2010

April 26, 2010

Categories:
  • 2010

See video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh-yR1HWkbM&feature=player_embedded

The Democratic National Committee this morning released this clip of the president rallying the troops, if rather coolly, for 2010. Obama’s express goal: “reconnecting” with the voters who voted for the first time in 2008, but who may not plan to vote in the lower-profile Congressional elections this year.

Obama speaks with unusual demographic frankness about his coalition in his appeal to “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.”

Turning out those so-called “surge” voters — who turned out for the first time to back Obama, but who sat out gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia last year — has become the Democrats’ central pre-occupation for the midterm elections, and the new Democratic effort to nationalize the election around Obama and his agenda mark an attempt to energize those voters. 

Posted by Ben Smith 08:59 AM

Congressman charges Obama with ‘increasing danger’ in the world

Congressman charges Obama with ‘increasing danger’ in the world

By Bridget Johnson – 04/25/10 02:26 PM ET

The tone against the Obama administration over its Israel policy is sharpening on both sides of the aisle, with one Republican congressman charging that the president is “increasing danger” in the world.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a longtime supporter of Israel, said on a radio show last week that the administration’s stance on the issue — and “terrible” treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — has been “counterproductive.”

The senator added on the Nachum Segal Show that there is an internal “battle” going on in the White House over the issue.

“One side agrees with us, one side doesn’t, and we’re pushing hard to make sure the right side wins – and if not, we’ll have to take it to the next step,” he said.

Republicans are notching up their tone over the issue, as well.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) told The Hill that the “embarrassing and reckless” administration stances meant that President Barack Obama is “increasing danger in the world, not decreasing it.”

Price, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he’s concerned with the White House’s “incredible disconnect between the U.S. and Israel.”

“The administration is incapable of believing that their actions can have marked consequences on the free world,” he said.

The Obama administration has taken heat from lawmakers since the row sparked by a lower-level Israeli official announcing new construction in East Jerusalem during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit there in March.

Though Netanyahu apologized for the timing, he made clear — including in a Washington speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference attended by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and scores of lawmakers — that Israel would proceed with building in the region that Palestinians want as their capital.

Netanyahu then had a meeting with Obama that was reported as terse, and interpreted by many as a dressing down of the prime minister. Netanyahu later pulled out of Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit, sending a deputy instead.

The State Department’s assertion that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel depended on the pace of Mideast peace negotiations appeared to be the tipping point for Schumer.

“That is the dagger because the relationship is much deeper than the disagreements on negotiations, and most Americans – Democrat, Republican, Jew, non-Jew – would feel that,” Schumer said. “So I called up Rahm Emanuel and I called up the White House and I said, ‘If you don’t retract that statement you are going to hear me publicly blast you on this.’”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs battled back in Friday’s press briefing.

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“We have an unwavering commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people,” Gibbs said. “We have said that from the beginning of this administration.”

“I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say we don’t agree with what Sen. Schumer said in those remarks,” Gibbs added.

A recent Quinnipiac poll indicated the administration could be vulnerable to calls it is not being supportive enough to Israel.

Released last week, the poll showed 42 percent of respondents saying that Obama is not a strong supporter of Israel, compared with 34 percent who disagreed. Only 16 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents think the president is a strong supporter of Israel, while 53 percent of Democrats do.

Respondents also said by 57 to 13 percent that their sympathies lie with Israel, and 66 to 19 percent said that the commander in chief should be a strong supporter of the Jewish state.

Price, who was supposed to speak on an AIPAC panel but had to cancel because of the concurrent healthcare bill vote that Sunday, said that while there’s always been strong bipartisan support in Congress for Israel, he’s “heartened by Sen. Schumer’s strong and accurate portrayal of what the administration’s done” and hopes the muted comments he’s heard in the House grow into a louder chorus.

Still, he said he’d be surprised if Democratic leadership attempted “to call the administration to account” on its Israel policy. “I would certainly welcome it and support it, but I’m not going to hold my breath,” he said.

Price called Obama’s worldview “very, very dangerous” and added that the president has a “naivete of the dangers of the world.”

Obama may also find the bipartisan discontent that’s growing over the speed and heft of Iran sanctions crossing over into the debate over his administration’s stance toward Israel.

As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his nuclear program are viewed by many as a direct threat to the Jewish state, Israel may find itself deciding to take unilateral military action against the Islamic Republic. This would markedly increase pressure on the White House from Congress.

Source:
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/94199-congressman-charges-obama-with-increasing-danger-in-the-world-

More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

More Global Warming Profiteering by Obama Energy Official

Posted By Christopher Horner On April 26, 2010 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, Environment, US News | 18 Comments

Surprising documents [1] made available to this author reveal that Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi has a huge financial stake in companies likely to profit from the Obama administration’s “green” policies.

Zoi, who left her position as CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection — founded by Al Gore — to serve as assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, now manages billions in “green jobs” funding. But the disclosure documents show that Zoi not only is in a position to affect the fortunes of her previous employer, ex-Vice President Al Gore, but that she herself has large holdings in two firms that could directly profit from policies proposed by the Department of Energy.

Among Zoi’s holdings are shares in Serious Materials, Inc., the previously sleepy, now bustling, friend of the Obama White House [2] whose public policy operation is headed by her husband. Between them, Zoi and her husband hold 120,000 shares in Serious Materials, as well as stock options. Reporter John Stossel has already explored what he sees as the “crony capitalism [3]” implied by Zoi being so able to influence the fortunes of a company to which she is so closely associated.

In addition, the disclosure forms reflect that Zoi holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in “founders shares” in Landis+Gyr, a Swiss “smart meter” firm. She also still owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in ordinary shares.

“Smart meters,” put simply, are electric meters that return information about customer power usage to the power company immediately and allow a power company to control the amount of power a customer can consume. These smart meters are a central component of the Obama administration’s plans to reduce electricity consumption as part of the “smart grid.”

In a rare moment of candor, Obama “Energy Czar” Carol Browner said to US News & World Report [4] last year: “We need to make sure that …[e]ventually, we can get to a system where an electric company will be able [sic] to hold back some of the power so that maybe your air conditioner won’t operate at its peak, you’ll still be able to cool your house, but that’ll be a savings to the consumer.” (emphasis added)

Clearly, DoE funding to encourage the adoption of “smart meters” would very likely lead to much increased sales by Landis+Gyr — and a potential windfall for Zoi. But surely Zoi doesn’t participate in the relevant “energy efficiency” policy?

In fact, as a condition of her employment with the Obama administration, while Ms. Zoi maintained significant security holdings in Serious Materials and Landis+Gyr, she promised to “not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on the[ir] financial interest” without obtaining a waiver first.

But then, if she doesn’t participate in decisions that could have a “direct and predictable effect” on her Landis+Gyr holdings and she doesn’t participate in decisions that could have a “direct and predictable effect” on her holdings in Serious Materials, it seems worth asking in which decisions she can participate.

What, precisely, is she doing on our dime, and why is she permitted to carry such obvious conflicts of interest that appear to preclude her from working on nearly any matter of substance under her purview?

Doesn’t Zoi’s involvement in these issues raise serious ethical [5] or legal [5] issues? And what happened to the high ethics and complete transparency promised by the Obama administration?

Tell Senator McCain to kill the Dodd Bill,

With Congress spending TRILLIONS of taxpayer dollars and the Federal Reserve literally creating money out of thin air, it’s never been more important you and I force Senator John McCain to support Audit the Fed and oppose Senator Chris Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill.

      You see, Senator McCain is trying to play the Washington game.

      He tries to tell folks like you at home that he is a conservative by signing up as a co-sponsor of S. 604, the Senate Audit the Fed Bill.

      But actions speak louder than words.

      Demand Senator McCain prove to you he will walk the walk by killing the Dodd “Fed Empowerment” Bill and truly supporting an Audit of the Fed.

      Senator Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill eliminates Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed legislation and expands the Fed policies that wrecked our economy.

      Demand Senator McCain stand for sound money and against empowering an already out of control Federal Reserve by supporting Audit the Fed and by opposing Senator Dodd’s “Fed Empowerment” Bill.

      Call Senator McCain at (202) 224-2235 and insist he support Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed Bill and demand he oppose empowering the Fed.

      Tell Senator McCain to kill the Dodd Bill, not make “insider” fixes.

      Sign our petition below and send a message to Senator McCain that you will not tolerate empowering the Fed to plunder our dollar and loot our Treasury by being allowed to operate in secret and continuing the bailouts forever.

      Campaign for Liberty will collect all signed petitions and fax them directly to Senator McCain’s office so he can hear your voice demanding he kill the Dodd Bill and support Audit the Fed.

To sign petition see blow

http://www.chooseliberty.org/auditfed_az.aspx?pid=az01

New York Mag Shocker: Sarah Palin In Many Ways Is Bigger Than Oprah

New York Mag Shocker: Sarah Palin In Many Ways Is Bigger Than Oprah

By Noel Sheppard
Created 04/26/2010 – 00:05
New York Magazine’s lengthy cover story about Sarah Palin hitting newsstands Monday may end up being a disappointment for liberals expecting a classic hit piece thoroughly disemboweling the former Alaska governor.

On the other hand, the picture Gabriel Sherman paints in his 6000-word “The Revolution Will Be Commercialized [1]” of an almost desperate woman willing to sell her soul to pay Troopergate-related legal bills after losing her bid for Vice President will not sit well with conservatives either.

Complicating matters for Palin fans will be the article concluding with the opinions of Bristol Palin’s former fiancé Levi Johnston.

Despite all that, Sherman had some remarkably positive things to say about Palin likely to the dismay of his largely New York City-based readership (h/t @timlindell): 

Though Palin may not like it, she makes money for Democrats and Republicans alike. Across the political spectrum, Palin is a ratings magnet. Whenever she appears on Fox News, ratings tick up by 10 to 15 percent. At MSNBC, she’s also a ratings phenomenon, albeit with opposite adjectives. Tina Fey’s reprisal of her Palin character in early April juiced Saturday Night Live’s ratings, beating prime-time programming, a rare feat. Online, right-wing sites like the Drudge Report frequently plug Palin headlines, while Palin’s presence at liberal outlets like the Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo routinely sparks hundreds of reader comments. During the campaign, people said she could be another Oprah, but now, in many ways, she’s bigger than Oprah, an empath for people who feel, rightly or wrongly, that America has forgotten them. “People are drawn to her,” says Fox News programming chief Bill Shine. “People look at her and say, ‘She has a bunch of the same troubles I do, there’s a mom who’s there changing diapers.’ ”

Bigger than Oprah?

Not what you would expect from New York Magazine, is it?

But Sherman always seemed cognizant of the need to appeal to his Palin-hating readers as well as those equally despising Fox News: 

The [Republican] party knows she is a possible bridge to the fractious and suspicious tea-party crowd. But Palin’s conspicuous lack of depth-and the sheer joy she takes in what she doesn’t know-is a source of angst among Republicans who see larger brand risk if Palin comes to define the party. […]

Nowadays, for both poles of the political spectrum but especially for the right, politics is a business-the entertainment business. The freak show, as Mark Halperin termed it, has been turned into a fully merchandised product. It was Fox’s Roger Ailes who had the insight that the American right was an underserved market, one with a powerful kind of brand loyalty. Fox News has turned a disaffected segment of the populace into a market, with the fervor and idiosyncratic truth standards of a cult. Wingnut-ism has been monetized, is one admittedly partisan way of looking at it. Palin stokes the disaffection of her constituents and then, with the help of Fox, offers to heal them, for a price. And-surprise-they’re more affluent than most Americans. Fifty-six percent make over $50,000 a year, according to a Times/CBS poll. Running for president is no doubt part of her business model. But forget elections (as many Palin supporters already seem to have done); she’s already the president of an alternative America-and also its CEO. 

But surprisingly, and again a likely disappointment to Mag subscribers, there was more praise for Palin than the typical invective from the Left: 
Partly because her meltdown with Katie Couric promised more great television, and partly because of her outlandish family life and moose-shooting habits, Palin was a massive American celebrity, and the interest seemed to build rather than fade. “I fielded 1,000 individual requests in the first four or five months after the election,” Bill McAllister told me. Barbara Walters, George Stephanopoulos, and Charlie Gibson all made personal calls in an effort to land post-election interviews with Palin. Stephanopoulos was especially aggressive in his pursuit. “George and I talked so much we’re like new best friends,” McAllister joked. “Bill Maher also tried to book her. In that case, he had to be dreaming. […]

When Going Rogue was released last November, it became the fastest-selling nonfiction debut since Bill Clinton’s 2004 memoir, My Life. Palin’s torrid book sales are the single biggest reason HarperCollins returned to profitability last year. When Palin sat down to promote Going Rogue with Oprah in November, she boosted Oprah’s ratings to the highest level in two years. The campaign-style tour through Palin’s heartland strongholds was executed flawlessly. Burnham was amazed at the response. “When the cover was revealed, every screen I turned to, every television show I turned on, was showing it. As a publisher, I’ve never experienced anything like that.” 

And here’s a quote destined to anger all the Palin-haters out there: 
From Buffalo Bill to the Marlboro Man, the self-reliant frontiersman has always been an image with mass appeal. Palin has managed to graft this rugged Western myth onto a beauty-pageant face and a counterpunching, don’t-tread-on-me verbal style-a new kind of character, and a remarkably compelling one.

Remarkably compelling. Just imagine the wincing and cringing THAT’S likely to create all around Manhattan.

But as you can probably tell from the title, the point of the piece was to show how the lowly and not so well-off Palin used her unpredictable thrust into the limelight in August 2008 to become rich.

To drive home the point, each page was adorned with a different adulterated corporate logo like the Ford one pictured above.

And of course, money she did make.

But even Sherman’s descriptions of how Palin negotiated herself up the income ladder seemed more flattering than pejorative:  

Palin is a centerpiece of a strategy that TLC executives see as positioning the network as the anti-Bravo, whose shows like Top Chef, the Real Housewives franchise, and America’s Next Top Model are programmed to a liberal urban audience. TLC’s fare, like the antics of Jon and Kate Gosselin, or the inspirational documentary about Captain Sullenberger’s miracle landing, or American Chopper, which moved over from Discovery, are decidedly downmarket. “We don’t program TLC to the coasts,” one Discovery executive said. “To counterprogram against that Bravo audience, we are programming to Middle America, and we’ve built a successful business doing that.” […]

Her star power at Fox has sparked competition among the various personalities, all of whom would like more Palin on their shows. 

As the piece moved to a conclusion, Sherman became less complimentary: 
Palin doubled down on building-and monetizing-her personal brand, the plainspoken Alaskan frontierswoman who’s not ashamed of what she doesn’t know. (If her Couric interview showed to many that she needed remedial education in various political areas, she doesn’t seem to have received it.) And she hasn’t modified her lone-wolf management style, something many see as a massive handicap for any presidential race. “People are constantly close to her and then estranged,” one former McCain-campaign staffer said. “It’s a great weakness to her and will be a great challenge for her to ever put together a team that could mount a successful campaign.”

As stated previously, the piece concluded with Johnston’s negative opinions of the former governor, which seemed peculiar for Sherman to give this lowlife so much print space.

Regardless, when I got the tip from Twitter that this article was going to be published on the Internet Sunday evening, I expected to be wincing and cringing far more than I did.

Or is this a case of having read so many Palin hit pieces in the past 20 months that I’ve grown desensitized like people that have seen so much violence on television that they’re no longer affected by it? 

If so, can someone recommend a good psychiatrist? 


“International Regime”: Obama Seeks To Control International Banking

“International Regime”: Obama Seeks To Control International Banking

April 26th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Financial Times:

The US is preparing to pivot from domestic regulatory reform to a push for a tough new international capital regime after the weekend’s G20 and International Monetary Fund meetings glossed over differences between leading economies.

Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, met Mario Draghi, chairman of the Financial Stability Board, on Sunday to discuss the contours of a system that would decide the safety and profitability of banks for decades to come and could eclipse the arguments over bank taxes and regulation.

But the different positions of senior central bank and government officials from several countries expressed to the Financial Times on the sidelines of the G20 meetings in Washington suggested that a final international agreement remains a challenge.

The G20 communiqué on Friday said: “We recommitted to developing by end-2010 internationally agreed rules to improve both the quantity and quality of bank capital and to discourage excessive leverage.”

But participants said little time was spent on the issue and that officials were gearing up for a battle at the June meeting over the direction of the new standards, which would prevent banks from relying on short-term funding and disqualify some assets from counting towards core regulatory capital, the highest-quality loss-absorbing part of the capital structure.

The most important fault line runs between a bloc of countries that includes the US, the UK and Switzerland and one that includes Germany, France and Japan.

The first group is enthusiastically behind a substantial increase in capital ratios coupled with a more conservative assessment of what counts as capital, tough liquidity rules and a new simple leverage ratio.

The second group is more attached to the pre-eminence of the current risk-based approach and wants the leverage ratio to have a much less important role in governing banks’ balance sheets.

Officials in the US and Europe are now starting to discuss the quantity of an increase in ratios among themselves. Some want a dramatic increase in the minimum level of capital over risk-weighted assets – perhaps to as much as 25 per cent from 8 per cent today – to be on the table while others want a more modest revision of capital rules.

“In the US right now there’s an absolute paranoia about a future bail-out,” said Douglas Elliott, fellow at the Brookings Institution think-tank. “In Germany and France, where they haven’t had to do this to the same extent and there’s more of a feeling that the state should be involved in the banking system, they’re not as concerned. The more you’re comfortable with the public sector as the potential backstop, the less private capital you need.”

Initial proposals from the Basel committee that sets capital rules met a robust response from banks which complain – with the sympathy of some officials in France and Germany – that some proposals are too unsophisticated to take account of the real asset risk, and credit would become scarcer and more expensive as a result of a move towards tangible equity capital and an increase in capital ratios.

JPMorgan Chase, in a response to a request for consultation, said: “To maintain the same level of profitability, pricing on products would have to increase by 33 per cent.”

One participant at a US Federal Reserve meeting this month to discuss the new regime said “full and frank” did not do justice to the furious response from some industry delegates.

The reaction from capital hawks was that a blunt backstop might be better than an overreliance on the sophistication of risk models and regulators. They also said banks would be given plenty of time to adjust to the new system, perhaps several years, to minimise the immediate impact on credit provision.

Technocrats said they were stepping up the pace of their work, drawing up impact assessments for new regimes. But they were under contradictory pressures, not only over content but also timing, with countries including France recommending a slower, more deliberative approach while the US urges more speed.

For all the technical work, there is an increasing belief that governments and central banks will supersede the Basel officials in the next few months and engage in contentious meetings over the summer.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

The Anti-Israel Lobby

The Anti-Israel Lobby

Posted By Alan M. Dershowitz On April 23, 2010 @ 12:08 am In FrontPage | 68 Comments

J Street has gone over to the dark side. It claims to be “a pro-Israel, pro peace lobby.” It has now become neither. Its Executive Director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, has joined the off key chorus of those who falsely claim that Israel, by refusing to make peace with the Palestinians, is placing the lives of American soldiers at risk.

This claim was first attributed to Vice President Joe Biden and to General David Petraeus. It was quickly denied by them but continued to have a life of its own in the anti-Israel media. It was picked up by Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, Pat Buchanan and others on the hard right and hard left who share a common disdain for the Jewish state. It is the most dangerous argument ever put forward by Israel bashers. It is also totally false.

It is dangerous for two reasons. First, it seeks to reduce support for Israel among Americans who, quite understandably and correctly, care deeply about American soldiers being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel has always understood this and that’s why it is one of the few American allies who has never asked the United States to put its troops in harm’s way in defense of Israeli citizens. If Americans were to believe the falsehood that Israel were to blame for American deaths caused by Islamic extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for the Jewish state would suffer considerably.

It is also dangerous because its implication is that Israel must cease to exist: the basic complaint that Muslim extremists have against Israel is not what the Jewish state does, but what it is: a secular, non-Muslim, democracy that promotes equal rights for women, gays, Christians and others. Regardless of what Israel does or doesn’t do, its very existence will be anathema to Muslim extremists. So if Israel’s actions were in fact a cause of American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan–which they are not–then the only logical solution would be Israel’s disappearance. This might be acceptable to the Walts, Mearsheimers and Buchanans of the world, but it is surely not acceptable to Israel or anyone who claims to be pro-Israel.

Finally, the argument is totally false as a matter of fact. At the same time that Israel was seeking to make peace in 2000-2001 by creating a Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza with a capital in East Jerusalem, Al Qaeda was planning the 9/11 attack. So Israel’s “good” actions did nothing to make America safe from Islamic terrorism. On the other hand, when Israel took tough action against Gaza last year in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s “bad” actions did not increase American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, there is absolutely no relationship between Israel’s actions and the extent of American casualties. It is a totally phony argument based on equal parts of surmise and bigotry.

Yet this dangerous and false argument, which is being hotly debated within the Obama Administration, has now received the imprimatur of J Street. In the letter to the New York Times on April 21, 2010, Jeremy Ben-Ami, speaking on behalf of J Street, included the following paragraph:

“An analysis of the Obama administration’s calculus on Middle East policy should reflect that many in the Jewish community recognize that resolving the conflict is not only necessary to secure Israel’s future, but also critical to regional stability and American strategic interests.”

Although Ben-Ami doesn’t explicitly make a direct connection between Israeli actions and American casualties, his use of the phrase “critical to…American strategic interests,” is a well-known code word, especially these days, for the argument that there is a connection between Israeli actions and American casualties.

In lending support to that dangerous and false argument, J Street has disqualified itself from being considered “pro-Israel.” The argument is also anything but “pro peace,” since it will actually encourage Islamic extremists to target American interests in the hope that American casualties will be blamed on Israel. It will also encourage the Palestinian leadership to harden its position, in the expectation that lack of progress toward peace will result in Israel being blamed for American casualties.

Truth in advertising requires that at the very least J Street stop proclaiming itself as pro-Israel. As long as it was limiting its lobbying activities to ending the settlements, dividing Jerusalem and pressing for negotiations, it could plausibly claim the mantle of pro-Israel, despite the reality that many of its members, supporters, speakers and invited guests are virulently anti-Israel. But now that it has crossed the line into legitimating the most dangerous and false argument ever made against Israel’s security, it must stop calling itself pro-Israel. Some of its college affiliate groups have already done that. They now describe themselves as pro peace because they don’t want to burden themselves with the pro Israel label. J Street should follow their lead and end its false advertising. Or else it should abandon its anti-Israel claim that Israel is damaging American strategic interests.