Who He Is
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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.”
By Ted Belman
Today’s announcement [partial temporary freeze] by the government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.
Even within the confines of these terms of reference, the difference between the parties’ positions is enormous. How can borders based on the ’67 lines, even with mutually agreed swaps, be reconciled with “borders that … meet Israeli security requirements.”
Temple Mount Excavation Jihad Update. “Aksa Martyrs vow to attack synagogues over Mughrabi,” by Etgar Lefkovits and the Jerusalem Post staff in the Post, with thanks to Kemaste:
The Fatah-affiliated Aksa Martyrs Brigades threatened on Wednesday to attack synagogues if Israel continued its excavation near the Temple Mount ahead of the planned construction of a new bridge to the Mughrabi Gate.In a press release sent to newspapers, the group announced that all synagogues would become legitimate targets and that “the sanctity of the Al Aksa Mosque should not be less than that of the synagogues.”
The terror organization joined scores of other Islamic organizations in calling on the Palestinian people to hold processions and angry protests until the construction is stopped.
A Jerusalem court on Wednesday ordered the fiery leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel to stay out of the Old City of Jerusalem for the next ten days, after he tried to force his way to the site of a contested archeological excavation near the Temple Mount, police said.
Sheikh Raed Salah was one of seven Israeli Arabs detained by police near the Dung Gate on Wednesday morning.
Salah and his supporters had scuffled with police guarding the workers carrying out the salvage excavation near the Temple Mount.
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered Salah to stay 150 meters outside the walled Old City for the next ten days, Jerusalem police spokeswoman Sigal Toledo said.
In court, Salah accused Israel of “the crime of demolishing a part of the blessed Al Aksa compound” and of “pushing the whole region to religious war.”
Of course, Salah has never done anything to encourage religious war.
Baker Report Asks Israel to Give Up Land ‘Vital To Survivability’
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
December 07, 2006
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – In exchange for Syrian help in calming the situation in Iraq, the Iraq Study Group is asking Israel to give up land “vital to its survivability,” a senior Israeli lawmaker said Thursday.
Much of the bipartisan panel’s report released on Wednesday dealt with the situation in Iraq, but it also said the U.S. could only achieve its Middle East aims if it dealt directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict – a proposition that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and experts here rejected.
The recommendations also call for the involvement of Iran and Syria – both considered terror-sponsoring states by the U.S. government – in attempts to calm the situation in Iraq.
The panel, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former U.S. Congressman Lee Hamilton, says Israel, Syria and Lebanon should hold “unconditional” peace talks.
Syria must stop trying to undermine the Lebanese government (Syria has never recognized Lebanon’s sovereignty), cooperate with investigations into Lebanese political assassinations blamed on Syria, stop helping terrorist groups in Lebanon and the Palestinian areas, and seal its border with Iraq.
“In exchange for these actions and in the context of a full and secure peace agreement, the Israelis should return the Golan Heights, with a U.S. security guarantee,” which could include an international force on the strategic plateau, the report says.
Yuval Steinitz, a Likud lawmaker who serves on the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that he expected the U.S. would not “dictate the end result of future negotiations” ahead of time.
“The Golan Heights is extremely vital to Israel’s survivability in the long term,” he told Cybercast News Service.
Before Israel captured the plateau during the 1967 Six-Day War, the Syrians used the Heights overlooking the Sea of Galilee to fire at Israeli communities in the plain below.
Israel has been involved in negotiations with Syria on and off for years, but without resolution.
In 2000, President Clinton briefly tried to broker a deal between Israel and then Syrian President Hafez Assad. Talks broke down over the extent of the land to be returned to Syria.
While the country is divided over what to do about most of the territory controlled by Israel and claimed by the Arabs, there is broad consensus among Israelis that the Golan Heights, which Israel annexed in 1981, should not be surrendered.
Steinitz questioned why Israel should be expected to make concessions and be generous to Syria given the fact it had supplied the Hizballah terrorist organization with thousands of rockets launched from Lebanon at northern Israeli cities and towns over the summer.
He also accused Syria of trying to topple Lebanon’s democratic government and noted that senior Syrian officials have been implicated in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and suspected of involvement in other assassinations.
Despite the difficulties facing the U.S. in Iraq, Steinitz said he expected that Washington would support Israel and Lebanon – “the good guys” who support democracy – against Hizballah and Syria – the “bad guys” who are terrorists and their supporters.
Dore Gold, a former ambassador to the United Nations, said there was “an inherent structural problem in the Baker report with respect to both Iran and Syria.”
“Since 2003, both these countries have been the primary Middle Eastern actors responsible for increasing instability inside Iraq and making it difficult for the U.S. and its coalition partners to realize their military aims,” Gold said in an interview.
“To get these two countries to now cooperate with the United States after all these years and assume a responsible role in limiting the chaos in Iraq involves getting them to shift their policies 180 degrees,” he added.
Gold said because the report called for the U.S. to approach Iran and Syria and indicated that there would not be a victory in Iraq, the two regimes would see America as a country that is trying to manage its defeat.
“Therefore the price they will demand of the United States for cooperation will be extremely high …” Gold said.
He said Iran would likely only agree to help the U.S. withdraw in return for U.S. acceptance of a nuclear-capable Iran – “a disaster not just for Israel but for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and every pro-Western government in the Middle East.”
A senior Israeli government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the ISG’s interests were confined to getting the president out of trouble in Iraq rather than looking at the broader picture of what lies behind the problems in the Middle East.
The report sought ways to “placate” Iran and Syria, and Israel was concerned this would happen at its expense.
If the U.S. believed Iran would help, it was “very much mistaken,” he said.
Rabbis urge Israelis to revolt against government
Prominent religious leaders warn Olmert ‘destroying Jewish state’
By Aaron Klein
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
JERUSALEM – A group of prominent rabbinic leaders in Israel and abroad yesterday issued a call for Israeli citizens to launch a democratic uprising to bring down the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. “Out of love for each and every Jew, we call on the people of Israel and its leaders to begin a democratic uprising to immediately replace this government, which constitutes an ominous threat to the nation of Israel,” the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, a coalition of over 1,200 rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis, said in a statement.
Among the Rabbinical Congress members who signed the statement were Mordechai Eliyahu and Abraham Shapira – both of whom served as chief rabbis for the state of Israel – and Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of the Tunisian Jewish community in Israel and one of the country’s most well-respected rabbis.
The rabbis were responding to a national address last week commemorating the death of Israel’s founder and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in which Olmert stated he is willing to give up most of the West Bank in exchange for “real peace.”
During the speech, Olmert called for immediate negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Olmert said he would release “many, many” Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal.
“Ben-Gurion extended a hand in peace to Arab states the year Israel was born. The hand then returned empty, but, like then, the hand remains extended. I extend my hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbors in the hope that it won’t return empty,” Olmert said.
Olmert reiterated earlier pledges issues by his office of an Israeli West Bank withdrawal “to establish an independent Palestinian state, with territorial contiguity in the West Bank, a state that will enjoy full sovereignty and will have defined borders.”
The West Bank borders Israel’s major population centers and is within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel’s international airport.
Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip last summer, rockets have been regularly fired into nearby Jewish communities, killing Israeli civilians and prompting widespread panic. In Sderot, an Israeli city about three miles from the Gaza border, nearly 50 percent of children have been staying home from school for fear of rocket attacks, according to recent reports.
The Rabbinical Congress for Peace labeled Olmert’s national address a “crime.”
“In his deplorable speech, Olmert in essence announced a ‘liquidation sale’ and collective suicide of the people in Israel including the release of thousands of the most dangerous terrorists from Israeli jails. Israeli citizens must launch a democratic uprising and protest to bring down the government immediately,” the rabbis said in a statement.
Continued the statement: “Olmert adheres to the advice of false left-wing ‘prophets’ instead of adhering to the true prophets as expressed in the Jewish Code of Law that any territorial concession to the enemy will only lead to bloodshed. It will not contribute to calm nor will it promote peace.”
Olmert last week agreed to a cease-fire with the major Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip. The truce called for a halt of smuggling activity by Palestinians and a cessation of rocket attacks launched by militants in Gaza aiming at nearby Jewish communities in exchange for Israel withdrawing its ground troops from the Strip and halting military activity in the territory.
In accordance with orders from Olmert, the IDF removed its troops from Gaza, but at least 23 rockets have been fired from the Strip since the cease fire was imposed.
WND reported yesterday the IDF has been instructed by the government here not to open fire or take any action against militants who are discovered launching rockets into the Jewish state, according to senior military officials.
The officials said Olmert’s security cabinet changed the IDF’s rules of engagement after the cease-fire went into effect. Now, if Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are caught launching rockets at Jewish cities, the Israeli military is forbidden to respond, the military officials said.
Previously, the IDF used artillery units and aerial strikes against militants discovered in the process of launching rockets.
IDF sources told WND the Israeli army several times the past few days identified militants about to launch rockets into Israel, but due to changed rules of engagement in response to the cease-fire, IDF forces were prohibited from taking out the rocket crews. For example, hours after the cease-fire was imposed, IDF units spotted seven Palestinians in Gaza setting up rocket launchers. Three rockets were then fired into Israel.
“There is nothing we can do about the rocket attacks. It’s only a matter of time before an Israeli is killed,” said an IDF official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.
Olmert yesterday told the Knesset his government would react with restraint to continuing Qassam attacks, saying Israel was hoping to give the cease-fire a chance to develop into further steps toward what he called a “peace process.”
“We will fully explore every possibility that can lead to momentum to begin a diplomatic process, and so we are now giving the truce a chance,” Olmert told the Knesset parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Also yesterday, Israeli intelligence officials told the Knesset Palestinians in Gaza have continued to smuggle weapons into the territory from neighboring Egypt.
Last week, IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz told Israel’s Knesset that Olmert did not fully consult with the Israeli army before agreeing to the cease-fire with Palestinian militants.
Terrorists: Cease-fire means chance to reload
In a series of WND exclusive interviews conducted immediately after last week’s cease-fire was finalized, leaders of the four largest Palestinian terror groups in Gaza said the new truce will be used to smuggle weapons into Gaza; reinforce and train “fighter units”; and produce rockets for a future confrontation with the Jewish state.
“The cease-fire offers a period of calm for our fighters to recover and prepare for our final goal of evacuating Palestine,” said Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, a Hamas-allied terror organization in the Gaza Strip responsible for many of the recent rocket attacks against Israeli communities.
“We will keep fighting [Israel], but for the moment we will postpone certain parts of the military struggle,” said Abu Abir. “We will reinforce very quickly and rush what we are doing to prepare [for attacks against Israel] in Gaza and in the West Bank.”
Abu Abdullah, a senior leader of Hamas’ so-called “military wing,” told WND Hamas agreed to the cease-fire “because we need a period of calm to recuperate. This lull in fighting will not bring us to speak about peace.”
Abu Abdullah is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ declared military wing.
He pointed to Hamas’ doctrine, which calls for the destruction of Israel and which refuses to recognize the Jewish state.
“The political leadership (of Hamas) will never compromise on these values,” the terror leader said.
Abu Abdullah said Hamas has its own political reasons to respect the truce.
“We wish to show Islam as a ruling party is capable of leading the Palestinian people. Since Hamas was elected, we have been through only chaotic periods. We want a period of calm to prove we are not only a revolutionary movement but to show the Palestinian people our rule is without the corruption of (the rival) Fatah (party).”
But Abu Abdullah said the cease-fire would ultimately end in violence.
“All the Palestinian people and all the Muslims will launch a direct confrontation with Israel. This may come soon or it may take some time,” Abu Abdullah said.
Abu Luay, a leader of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, told WND Israel’s call for a cease-fire “proves our rocket attacks work. The Zionists know there is now remedy for our rockets.”
The Islamic Jihad leader said Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel would resume “at a time of our choosing.”
Abu Ahmed, the leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, told WND his terror group would respect the cease-fire.
The Brigades, responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks, is the declared military wing of Abbas’ Fatah party.
“We will respect the cease-fire as the president (Abbas) has ordered us to do,” said Abu Ahmed. “We keep our right to respond to any Israeli aggression. Our group does not give up any of its ideals, which is a withdrawal of the Israelis.”
First, the Saturday People
by Jack Engelhard
September 15, 2003
How do you confine a billion people who have one thing – murder – in mind? Is there a jail big enough? Is there a fence long enough?
Or should the rest of us bolt our doors and hide under the covers?
As President Bush protests too much about their “peaceful religion,” the New York Post, in its editorial upon the second anniversary of 9/11, tells it straight: “Much of Islam, with its billion plus adherents, and even many in the West — in countries like France and Germany – despise America, its freedoms, and particularly its success.”
Ditto Israel, except that Israel comes first. As they say in their sermons – “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”
Bush believes he has the answer. He is sending in 87 billion dollars to find Thomas Jefferson in that seventh century feud-crazed swamp that is Iraq. Talk about finding a needle in a haystack.
So now we sit back and wait for Iraq to become a light unto the nations, along with the 21 other backwater regimes that make up part of the Arab world.
How can I disagree with two men who are counted among our leading intellectuals? But I do. Both Daniel Pipes and Bernard-Henri Levy say that Fanatical Islam is the problem. Moderate Islam is the answer. I hope they’re right. But I am not so sure. For all I know, it was “moderate” Islam that gave us 9/11, and it is moderate Islam that continues to give Israel 9/11 every single day.
Fanatical Islam hasn’t yet been heard from.
Those who think it’s all about Israel are indeed hiding under the covers. As they slumber, another mosque grows in Brooklyn. (Certainly in Toronto and Paris.)
How can I dispute Rush Limbaugh and his millions of radio listeners? I am in his corner when he is strong on America and Israel. But this time he’s wrong. Dead wrong when he defends Bush’s 87 billion for Iraq. He says it’s for democracy. You cannot buy democracy, Rush, and you cannot sell democracy. You can impose tyranny. You cannot impose liberty.
That is not the Bill of Rights they pray to five times a day in their mosques. Bush is pleased that the schools are running again over there, but does he have a clue as to what (besides hatred for the West) the imams are teaching those kids? By the way, that 87 billion dollar figure is nearly triple the amount the federal government spends on America’s schools.
We’re dreamers, those of us here in America, and no wonder; we live in a land flowing with milk and money.
Innocents abroad, we believe that the lands of the keffiyeh are ready for Britney Spears and the Monroe Doctrine (take your pick between James and Marilyn).
So we let Israel bleed to death on the proposition that Israel has justice, but no oil.
Israel says Arafat must go and the world rises up in defense of the most prolific killer since Adolph Hitler. Another country, America, is heard from as well.
Maybe it’s not the oil. Maybe it’s something more sinister that prompts the world, and our State Department, to side with terror, as long as it is “only” Israelis who are dying.
Some dare call it anti-Semitism.
A bride of Israel, Nava, along with her father, David Applebaum, a doctor, a healer, are murdered, and don’t touch, you say, don’t touch a hair on Arafat’s head. Perhaps, Mr. Powell, you were out playing golf with Prince Bandar when this happened. So you are unaware that your State Department spokesman went on TV to warn Israel to keep Arafat safe and snug.
(After Pearl Harbor, would our secretary of state of that time have been golfing with a diplomat from Japan?)
As for you masters of Europe and your treachery; one day your sly anti-Semitism will come back to haunt you. Over the centuries, you have uprooted a thousand synagogues and replaced them with ten thousand mosques. Wait, now, and see what grows from the soil of Ishmael. Your churches are next.
For Sunday is coming, Sunday bloody Sunday.
When Should We No Longer Support Israel?
By Victor Davis Hanson
VictorHanson.com | March 30, 2004
The recent assassination of Sheik Saruman raises among some Americans the question—at what point should we reconsider our rather blanket support for the Israelis and show a more even-handed attitude toward the Palestinians? The answer, it seems to me, should be assessed in cultural, economic, political, and social terms.
Well, we should no longer support Israel, when…
Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.
Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.
All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.
Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.
Preteen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.
Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.
Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.
Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.
Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.
Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.
Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the “honor” of the family.
Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.
Israeli television broadcasts—to the tune of patriotic music—the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.
Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.
New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.
Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they though he was an Arab—to the silence of Israeli society.
Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.
Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.
Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.
Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.
Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.
Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein’s supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.
So until then, I think most Americans can see the moral differences in the present struggle.
If the Palestinians wish to hold periodic and open elections, establish an independent judiciary, create a free press, arrest murderers, subject their treasury to public scrutiny, eschew suicide murdering, censure religious leaders who call for mass murder, embrace non-violent dissidents, extend equal rights to women, end honor killings, raise funds in the Arab world earmarked only to build water, sewer, transportation, and education infrastructure, and pledge that any Jews who choose to live in the West Bank will enjoy the same rights as Arabs in Israel, then they might find Americans equally divided over questions of land and peace.
But all that is a lot of ifs. And so for the present, Palestinian leaders shouldn’t be too surprised that Americans increasingly find very little in their society that has much appeal to either our values or sympathy. If they continually assure us publicly that they are furious at Americans, then they should at least pause, reflect, and ask themselves why an overwhelming number of Americans—not Jewish, not residents of New York, not influenced by the media—are growing far more furious with them.
Blaming the Jihad on the Jews
By P. David Hornik
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 20, 2006
On Friday French anti-aircraft units in southern
Lebanon readied themselves to shoot down Israeli planes that were flying reconnaissance missions above them. Israel is continuing its overflights of
Lebanon to monitor the ongoing influx of weapons to Hizbullah, about which the vaunted, beefed-up UNIFIL force is doing nothing at all. Instead the French contingent, backed by UNIFIL commander Gen. Alain Pellegrini, is warning
Israel to stop the overflights or face grave consequences. Also on Friday France led a different kind of anti-Israeli assault in the UN General Assembly, which voted 156-7 with six abstentions to condemn Israel for the accidental killings in a Gaza artillery strike last November 8.
Haaretz said Israel’s UN ambassador Dan Gillerman told the paper that
France “was particularly active in raising the majority at the UN vote, pressuring European nations that considered abstention to support the resolution.” Haaretz quoted Gillerman directly as saying “the French demonstrated excessive eagerness to understand terror while exhibiting utter insensitivity to the pain of [Israeli] terror victims.”
As it worked out, the only Western democracies that voted against were the United States, Israel, and
Canada abstained, and all EU members voted aye to what is essentially a genocidal resolution proclaiming, in effect, that an accident by the Israeli military requires condemnation but hundreds of rocket firings by Palestinians deliberately targeting Israeli civilians do not.
France also got into the act last week—along with Spain and
Italy, the two other largest European contributors to the enhanced UNIFIL force—in pushing a new plan for “Israeli-Palestinian peace.” It posits talks between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas, mentions nothing about Hamas or the other Palestinian terror organizations changing their goals, and calls for international monitors in Gaza who would presumably treat Israeli military activity the way France now treats it in
But it is not only actors traditionally unfriendly to
Israel who are reverting to the old idea that the Jews are really the crux of the problem. Last week British prime minister Tony Blair, who is considered friendly to Israel and not known to show it overt animus, said in several venues—a foreign policy address in London, a closed-door video conference with President Bush’s Iraq Study Group, an interview to the Washington Post, an interview to the new English Al Jazeera TV channel—that the “Israel/Palestine conflict” is indeed the key to what’s wrong in the turbulent Middle East.
Many, of course, believe the Iraq Study Group itself will take a similar stance when it makes its recommendations to President Bush in December.
Reliably, the degree to which someone takes that position is inversely proportional to their ability to assess real threats accurately. Blair, in the same week he kept saying “Israel/Palestine” was the heart of the problem, also said “a new partnership is possible” with
Iran. The French and other continental West Europeans have a long history of vilifying Israel while situating themselves ambivalently between the Western and jihadist sides, and last July 31 in Beirut French foreign minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said: “In the region there is of course a country such as Iran—a great country, a great people and a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region.” The Iraq Study Group is also, of course, famously believed to see virtue in engaging Iran and
Syria as stabilizing actors.
The revamped focus on Israel comes at a time when the West is doing badly in the
Iran keeps building its nuclear capacity and no one is stopping it. The insurgency keeps frustrating U.S. aims in
Iraq. Hizbullah, with Iran and Syria behind it, is making moves to dismantle the relatively moderate Siniora government and finally capture
Lebanon as part of the radical camp. The big win by the Democrats in the
U.S. has further inflamed the jihadists.
At such a time, it is no less ominous that Western leaders and analysts are again, like incurable addicts, resorting to the notion that it’s all because Israel still partly controls the West Bank and still sends troops into
The utter irrationality of this view of things is evident. For one thing, it ignores the fact that—whatever one thinks of the previous Arafat/Abbas/Fatah government, not a paragon of moderacy in most Israelis’ eyes—the Palestinian Authority is now ruled by Hamas. At most there is talk of a “unity” government in which Hamas ministers would share power with Fatah ministers most or all of whom are no less committed to
Yet talk of “reviving the diplomatic process”—and not just among loopy lefties but also among supposedly more level-headed British and American figures, not to mention obsequious Israeli ones—goes on as if the ferociously anti-Israeli nature of the Palestinian Authority, with its woman and child suicide bombers, was just a small hitch, a negligible matter.
But even more breathtaking is the tenacity of the view that the anti-Western jihad is really fueled by “Israel/Palestine” and can be defused by shrinking (or scuttling) the former and enlarging the latter. The idea, if one can call it that, is that when jihadists kill a nun in Somalia, or slaughter Hindus and other Indians on the evening commuter trains in Bombay, or behead Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia, or proclaim their unwavering hatred of the United States and determination to destroy it—and the list could obviously go on and on—it boils down to a protest over “Palestinian rights.”
Maintaining this view also requires actual or willful ignorance of the profoundly anti-Western, anti-Christian ideology of the modern jihadist movement going at least as far back as the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt two decades before the present-day state of
Israel was established.
The fact that the West—whether in the nakedly hostile French variant or the ostensibly rational, peace-mongering British and American form—is succumbing to the old “blame the Jews” impulse is a worrisome sign of deep distress. It didn’t help in stopping the Black Death or the Nazis, and pressuring, further truncating, and even eventually destroying Israel will be similarly useless, indeed counterproductive, in stopping today’s jihad. Much depends on whether George W. Bush will keep his head on his shoulders or succumb as well.
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Israel’s leading daily Yediot Aharonot reported this week (translated on Yediot’s English site) that so far this year 202 Israelis have been rushed to hospital for injuries suffered in attacks of Qassam rockets fired from Gaza. The total for all of 2005 was 87. Israel’s disengagement from
Gaza having occurred in August 2005, the math is easy: the disengagement led to a sharp increase in violence against Israeli citizens in the area.
Gaza is the Sinai. Although the simple Qassams are home-manufactured, they carry explosives that are shipped into
Gaza from Sinai in massive quantities along with other munitions like Katyusha rockets, rifles, bullets, antitank and anti-aircraft missiles. That phenomenon, too, has risen sharply since the disengagement. Like Gaza in 2005, the Sinai was evacuated by
Israel, with all military personnel removed and civilian settlements dismantled, in 1979-1982.
Whereas the Sinai withdrawal was by bilateral agreement with Egypt and is ritually cited as “proving” that Arab-Israeli peace agreements can work, the Gaza withdrawal was more or less unilateral and was seen by some as a clever solution to the problem of having no negotiating partner but needing to leave a place where
Israel’s presence was supposedly untenable. The upshot is that bilaterally evacuated Sinai and unilaterally evacuated
Gaza now form a continuous zone of aggression that destabilizes the region and increases the risks of an Israeli-Egyptian or larger confrontation.
When one adds to this the increased risk and destabilization—now clear to all after the summer 2006 war—caused by Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the conclusion is that Israel’s current problem of encirclement by terrorist forces backed by state actors like Iran, Syria, and Egypt is a direct result of its land concessions. Although Israel also paid dearly for transferring parts of the West Bank to the PLO in the 1990s, at this moment Israeli security forces have returned to intensive activity in the
West Bank and are containing the threat.
The situation also increases the risk of an eventual Iranian nuclear attack on Israel—by increasing the already-great risks for Israel of attacking
Iran before it is too late. A situation where an Israeli air strike on Iran could be met by possibly catastrophic retaliation by the well-entrenched terrorist forces surrounding Israel complicates
Back in 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Iraqi foreign minister Saddun Hammadi: “We can’t negotiate about the existence of
Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions…. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like
Lebanon—struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world.” Roughly double Kissinger’s fifteen years, and his words emerge as roughly prophetic.
It was in the 1970s that the American push to gradually feed
Israel’s 1967 land acquisitions to the Arabs got under way. By 2006, land ceded by Israel—a pro-Western, intensely pro-American, perhaps-still-powerful democracy—is now infiltrated or ruled by forces hardly friendly to America like Al Qaeda (Sinai, Gaza), Hamas (Gaza), and Hizbullah (Lebanon, Gaza), not to mention all these and more in the simmering West Bank. The Arab and Muslim state backers of these organizations have been encouraged to believe that aggression against Israel pays and that
Israel’s destruction remains feasible. The net loss in terms of peace and stabilization is for Israel, the
United States, and the West generally.
Is it too late to repair the damage? With Syria and Iran continuing to arm Hizbullah in Lebanon and with Hizbullah now shielded by an enhanced UNIFIL force,
Israel now faces greater obstacles than previously in trying to deal with the threat to its north. Israel has, however, been acting against arms-smuggling tunnels on the Sinai-Gaza border and against terrorist forces within Gaza, amid calls from senior political and military figures for a reconquest of at least parts of Gaza before it becomes another
The Bush administration could at least passively support Israel in pushing back the Gaza-Sinai-Egypt threat instead of eventually stopping Israel as it did in summer 2006 in
Lebanon. The lack of an active Israeli military presence in Gaza means not only that Israeli civilians get shelled but also that Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Qaeda, Egypt, and the overall jihad advance toward Israel and conflagration. To keep refusing to realize this is to disengage from rationality.
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