Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

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Israelis Baffled by News of Defenseless US Soldiers

January 13, 2010

Israelis Baffled by News of Defenseless US Soldiers


Many Israelis want to know: why didn’t the soldiers attacked by a U.S. Army major-turned-terrorist return fire?

When a Muslim goes, well, Muslim in Israel he is typically shot to death by someone, like a reserve soldier, within seconds of screaming “Allah Akbar.”

In contrast with the Israeli experience, it took 10 minutes before a civilian police officer at  Fort Hood was able to shoot and stop Muslim fanatic Nidal Malik Hasan.

How could that happen?  How could so many people trained in the strategies and tactics of modern warfare be so defenseless?

The answer – and this may astonish many Americans – is that the victims were unarmed. U.S. soldiers are not allowed to carry guns for personal protection, even on a 340-acre base quartering more than 50,000 troops.

So it goes in brain-dead, liberal America .

Fort Hood is a “gun free” zone, thanks to regulations adopted in one of the very first acts signed into law by anti-gun President Bill Clinton in March, 1993. Click here for the file.

Contrary to President Obama’s crocodile tears, his administration is bent on further disarming the U.S. military, and all Americans. Obama and his people will not rest until every American is a sitting duck…

postscript: Israeli teachers, from kindergarten on up, are also armed; so, a Virginia Tech-type slaughter is highly unlikely at an Israeli university.

Israelis, who have had to combat terrorism all their lives, are not afraid of guns.  They are an armed people, ready, willing, and able to defend themselves and their country.

Unlike Liberally indoctrinated Americans, paralyzed by fear and political correctness, Israelis understand that people, not guns, kill people.

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Israel and Obama: Deaf Ears, Dumb Voters

November 13, 2009

This article makes you question the supposition that all Jews are smart.

You might want to pass this on to your Jewish friends who voted for Obama, and who probably think that he is still a great President.


November 13, 2009

Deaf Ears, Dumb Voters

By Suzanne Fields

If a photograph is worth a thousand words, a sharp newspaper cartoon is often worth the book. One Israeli cartoonist depicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the missus arriving at the White House to meet with Barack Obama. Mrs. Netanyahu knocks at the front door with the explanation, “We just happened to be in the neighborhood.” Another cartoon depicts the prime minister pulling up at the White House, and telling the driver to wait: “I’m not sure they’re at home.”

With a few strokes of pen and brush, the cartoonists capture the prevailing Israeli dismay, frustration and controlled fury at President Obama’s reluctance to meet the prime minister, who was in Washington this week. The administration wanted to punish Israel by setting “pre-conditions” for talks and for not having a more “conciliatory” attitude toward those who vow to “wipe the Jewish nation off the map.”

On the street and at higher levels, Israelis look back in anger, observing that the president set no “pre-conditions” before meeting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, who is on the way to building a nuclear weapon to put Israel in mortal danger. The Israelis say Obama wants to extract an opening promise to freeze settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, something that’s never been a pre-condition for starting talks.

The prime minister was eventually invited into the Oval Office for a brief “low-key” exchange, but without the customary photo op afterward. This president does not offer the strong handshake of friendship that Bill Clinton and George W. extended to previous Israeli prime ministers. President Obama says “America’s bond with our Israeli allies is unbreakable,” but it sounds more like the lip service paid by Jimmy Carter.

President Obama shows none of the instinctive affection for Israel or understanding of the history of the Jewish state. This is not lost on the Israelis, who have to cultivate long memories as a survival strategy. They’re not as sanguine as American Jews who voted in enormous numbers for Obama despite his long associations with those who wish Israel only ill.

They remember how Obama apparently slept through two decades of Sunday morning rants by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, citing chapter and verse of his accusations that Israel committed “genocide” against the Palestinians. They remember that the president once cited as his “mentor” Rashid Khalidi, the professor at Columbia University who frequently denounces Israel as “a racist state” and defends Palestinian suicide bombers.

Many Israelis are puzzled by how American Jews give the president a passing grade on the kishke test, using the Yiddish word for “gut.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, who worked as a senior campaign adviser to Obama, even urged the president to shoot down Israeli planes if they fly over Iraq on their way to bomb the Iranian nuclear sites. John McCain, on the other hand, said “the only thing worse than bombing Iran is letting Iran get the bomb.” Obama defeated McCain by 57 points among Jewish voters.

A growing number of Jewish voices are asking how, if Jews are so smart, can this be? Norman Podhoretz, one of the most prominent Jewish voices in America, talked about his new book, “Why Are Jews Liberal?” the other day at the Hudson Institute in Washington. The question is especially timely against the backdrop of the ’08 campaign, given that Obama captured 78 percent of the Jewish vote, and continues to espouse positions, sometimes subtly and sometimes not so subtly, which conflict sharply with what most American Jews say they want for Israel.

I asked Podhoretz what the Israeli prime minister might say to the president about the unchecked threat by Iran. “The Jewish people have existed for 3,500 years, a long rich history, and only yesterday overcame a very serious, determined threat to end its existence,” he replied, as if channeling Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to Barack Obama. Now we have another very serious threat to annihilate (the Jews) by a country that is rapidly acquiring the means to make good on that threat. I, as prime minister of Israel, have accepted the intolerably heavy burden of deciding whether I will preside over the end of the Jewish people, the end of this 3,500 year history, and I will take admittedly dangerous and risky steps in order to prevent this. I ask you not to try to prevent me from making this effort if I have to make it, which I fear I might.”

Does he think such words, if spoken by the prime minister to the president, would be persuasive? No, he said. Not really. Such words would fall on “deaf ears.” And he still wouldn’t get his Oval Office photo-op, either.

 

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Israel vs. Iran: Iran Positions Israel In Its Cross Hairs

November 9, 2009

Iran Positions Israel In Its Cross Hairs

IBD: 9 Nov. 2009

Mideast: Iran tests an advanced warhead design as it gets caught shipping weapons to Hezbollah. Syria is reported to give the group operational control over Scud missiles. It’s five minutes to midnight.

Tyranny abhors a vacuum. While the U.S. and the West dither in Hamlet-like fashion over whatever we shall do in places such as Afghanistan and Iran, the Axis of Evil is in full swing in its plans to destroy Israel and threaten Europe and America.

Israel last week seized what it said was the largest arms cache ever intercepted in the region. Israeli navy commandos boarded the Francop, a commercial ship with an Antiguan flag and sailing near Cyprus, presumably on course for Syria or Lebanon.

Israeli defense officials said the arms were destined for Hezbollah — the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group founded, financed and controlled by Tehran — and that documents found onboard showed that they originated in Iran. The officials said the arms cache would have given Hezbollah, which fought a monthlong war against the Jewish state in 2006, enough firepower to sustain a full month of fighting on the scale of that conflict.

Iran is supposed to be forbidden from exporting arms, and two U.N. resolutions call for disbanding and disarming Hezbollah, a group that has effectively neutered the Lebanese democracy in which it now participates with veto power over any action by Beirut.

In Lebanon, these U.N. resolutions also forbid arms depots south of the Litani River as part of the deal that halted the 2006 war. In July a massive explosion in the area revealed the existence of a huge Hezbollah weapons cache in the border area north of Israel. U.N. Res 1701 says the area must be “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons.”

Clearly Hezbollah and Iran have not obeyed a single U.N. resolution or diplomatic pledge for a single day. In any conflict with Israel, southern Lebanon would be Iran’s second front with the Jewish state. Syria, which was both a supplier of and transit point for arming Hezbollah in 2006, is also busy again.

Arab media in the Persian Gulf have been reporting that Syria, apparently at the request of Iran, has turned over about 300 long-range ballistic missiles to Hezbollah control on Syrian territory. Hezbollah personnel are being trained to operate the Scuds.

Israel launched Operation Orchard in September 2007 to destroy a North Korean built, Iranian-financed nuclear plant at Damascus’ al-Kibar complex in eastern Syria. The Washington Post noted that the timing of the raid was related to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean materials labeled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.

After all this comes previously unpublished documentation in a dossier compiled by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog that does not bark. As the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reports, the Iranians have tested a sophisticated nuclear warhead design that lets them pack a nuclear warhead into a smaller package able to fit nicely on the Shahab-3 and other Iranian missiles.

The sophisticated technology, once perfected, allows for the production of smaller and simpler warheads than older models. It reduces the diameter of a warhead and makes it easier to put a nuclear warhead on a missile designed to fulfill Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s pledge to wipe Israel off the map and usher in the age of the 12th Imam.

The very existence of this technology is supposed to be an official secret in the U.S. and Britain.

Known as a two-point implosion device, it’s being developed and tested by the Iranians and is being described by nuclear experts as “breathtaking.” It means, as we have discovered repeatedly, that our estimates of Iranian capabilities and intentions are dead wrong again.

There may soon be no choice but for Israeli pilots to light the fires and kick the tires.

The time for dithering on Iran is over.

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Compare and Contrast

October 9, 2009

Compare and Contrast

Noah Pollak Web Exclusive | 8 Oct. 2009

As we wend our way through the first year of the Obama administration, it is hard not to notice a stark contrast in style between the American president and another democratic leader who has been in power for almost the same amount of time: Binyamin Netanyahu. The political trajectories of the two men have been almost perfectly opposite. Obama started off his presidency blessed by great popularity only to see his fortunes plummet, while Netanyahu began under a cloud of public uncertainty and suspicion yet today enjoys healthy public-approval numbers. More than anything else, the leadership styles of the two men explain their divergent fortunes.

The most obvious difference between the two is in the level of public exposure that each has pursued. Obama seeks to place himself in the headlines of newspapers and to lead the television news broadcasts on a daily basis, achieving an omnipresence unprecedented in American politics. He has given scores of speeches, each heralded to be of great consequence to the nation and the world. He has staked much of his presidential power on the sheer force of his personality, giving little consideration to the sustainability of such a strategy or whether so much narcissistic pageantry is becoming to a national leader. His public pronouncements are astonishingly self-absorbed: to take one example, in their speeches to the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen, the First Couple used the first-person pronoun 70 times in 89 sentences.

Obama’s permanent publicity blitz has rendered his pronouncements banal and is helping to create an impression that he is all talk, no results. Who can recall with any precision what the president says from one day to the next? Why bother trying when another speech is moments away? CBS News’ White House correspondent noted on July 13 that Obama had already delivered his 200th speech — on his 177th day in office.

Netanyahu has taken a completely different approach. He goes days without making public statements, often only commenting on events at his weekly cabinet meeting, and even so, by making the tersest of remarks. His response to the Goldstone Commission report was delivered without fanfare in a cabinet meeting and consisted in its entirety of a 330-word statement. Netanyahu has given only two major speeches during his premiership: the June address at Bar-Ilan University, where he rebutted Obama’s Cairo speech and laid out Israel’s terms for the peace process; and his UN General Assembly speech, where he shamed the “international community” for its indulgence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Netanyahu doesn’t say a lot, and he most certainly never talks about himself — but when he does speak, his people and the wider world know that his words are a reflection not of fleeting political calculation but of his fundamental beliefs. One of the ways Netanyahu has won the respect of a skeptical electorate is by cultivating an aura of seriousness and gravity through the scarceness of his presence on the public stage.

Another major difference is each man’s conception of his own mandate. Obama appears to believe that the 52.9 percent of the vote he earned in 2008 means that the American people wish for him to undertake a dramatic transformation of their society, and he has joined this faith in the singularity of his mandate with the now famous adage that you never let a crisis go to waste. He never seems to have worried that the people would notice he was trying to use the recession to advance policies that had nothing to do with the causes of the recession, thus creating for himself a reputation of cynicism and dishonesty.

In Netanyahu’s case, his governing coalition comprises 74 of 120 Knesset seats, or 61.6 percent of the electorate — and the shift from Left to Right signified by the Israeli election is far more substantial than the shift from Right to Left signified by the American one. Yet Netanyahu understood that his first months as prime minister would best be spent establishing his reputation as a careful and trustworthy leader. His policy initiatives have attempted to articulate and strengthen the Israeli consensus, not force a new paradigm on it. Despite his reputation, repeated mantra-like in press coverage, that he is a “hard-line” leader, Netanyahu has compromised in key ways. He endorsed Palestinian statehood in his Bar-Ilan speech, unprecedented for a Likud leader, and has restricted settlement activity in the West Bank and agreed to major reductions in roadblocks, checkpoints, and the like. The political fallout from Netanyahu’s major domestic failure — his land-reform initiative — was isolated because the Israeli public trusted him on a range of other issues. Well into his first year in office, his public approval numbers (and the Likud’s prospective share of Knesset seats) have been steadily increasing. Obama, by contrast, has suffered blow after blow in the court of public opinion as increasing numbers of voters become fearful of the next product of his outsized ambition.

And Obama surely has been trying to do a lot. A recent New York Times profile noted “Mr. Obama’s do-everything-at-once strategy,” in which a major goal is to always “put points on the board.” In pursuit of all those points, Obama has made numerous grand declarations that set himself up for highly public failures. The loss of some of his initiatives and his inability to push forward on all of them at once have resulted in his agenda becoming bogged down, scattered, and incoherent. Netanyahu’s pursuit of modest adjustments and gradual change has spared him from such embarrassment.

These two drastically different styles can be seen in the approach to diplomacy the two leaders have pursued. On the international stage, Obama appears either dogmatic (with Israel), obsequious (with Russia), or indecisive (on Iran and Afghanistan). All this nuance was supposed to earn him a great deal of soft-power capital, but instead it is simply attracting unflattering media attention and the contempt of foreign leaders. Netanyahu, on the other hand, cultivates a low-key ambiguity that keeps his options open. In their confrontation over Israeli settlements, Obama rushed out of the gates forcefully demanding a settlement freeze that included Jerusalem. Netanyahu publicly rejected the Jerusalem demand but otherwise maintained a posture of openness to negotiation and gainsaid claims of a rift between the two allies. In the end, Obama was forced to quietly retreat from his noisy opening position. Because Netanyahu had never committed himself to any precise outcome, he would have been spared such humiliation whichever decision had he made.

Finally, there is the matter of partisanship. Netanyahu’s coalition includes the leftist Labor party, which holds the defense ministry, arguably the most important office besides the prime minister’s, and Netanyahu has repeatedly endorsed policies at odds with Likud doctrine. Obama has not held a meeting with congressional Republicans on his flagship health-care initiative in more than four months. Certainly some of this can be attributed to the requirements of the Israeli parliamentary system and to the Democrats’ large majorities in the House and Senate; but much of it comes down to leadership, with Obama’s divide-and-conquer approach leaving him unable to co-opt opponents but giving his critics, unified by their exclusion, an easy target to fixate on. Netanyahu’s policy flexibility combined with his inclusion of an important left-wing faction in his coalition has left his detractors without a solid handle to grasp, and because of this, his domestic opponents have been largely neutralized. When was the last time Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition, was heard from, much less made headlines?

The basic political challenge for democratic leaders is to advance their agenda while safeguarding their popularity. According to Rasmussen, when President Obama assumed office, he had a 65 percent public-approval rating. Today that number stands at around 50 percent — but approval of his policies poll far lower, and the ratio of those who strongly approve of him versus those who strongly disapprove has plummeted by more than 35 points. Netanyahu has experienced the opposite. His public-approval numbers were below 33 percent when he took office but had climbed to 49 percent by July and were recently at 65 percent, with a mere 4 percent saying they strongly disapprove of his performance. This should give some evidence of whether democratic publics are more comfortable in times of uncertainty with leaders who govern with firmness and modesty as opposed to those who govern through shock and awe.

About the Author

Noah Pollak is a graduate student at Yale University.

Agree? Disagree? Write a letter to the editor

Let us know what you think! Send an email to editor@commentarymagazine.com

source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/compare-and-contrast-15255?search=1

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EDITORIAL: ISRAEL IS OUR ONLY FRIEND

October 8, 2009

Every American who is concerned about the threatening world around us knows that Israel is the only real friend that we have in the world. So ,when Mohammed ElBaradei unleashed his International Atomic Energy Agency’s diatribe against Israel –  Nuclear “watch dog” ElBaradei – demonized Israel for keeping it’s military capabilities quiet – we should pay attention.

When Mohammed announces to the world that “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East because Israel has nuclear weapons – we should pay careful attention.

The only reason that Israel exists in the world today – and remains free, is because of those carefully protected weapons.  With the entire Muslim world constantly threatening Israel’s very existence we should pray that Israel doesn’t waiver for a moment.

We should wish that America had a Benjamin Netanyahu leading our foreign policy.  And, we should listen to his recent words describing his country as – “a democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.”  At least he pays attention – something all Americans should do when concerned about our “government”.
Just listen to the condemnation of U.N. Human Rights Council constantly condemning Israel.  This coming from a list of members who should all look in a mirror.  (When you read the list you will ask the same question that I do.  What are these nations doing on any list of people concerned with human “rights”?)

Americans should hope that Israel remains strong and will absolutely refuse to be intimidated.  Israel should never disclose anything to this disgusting “Rights Council” and it’s even more disgusting member States.

Israel’s amazing restraint toward its enemies should be recognized and rewarded.

America needs Israel.  Israel is our only friend and Israel is our only shield in the Middle East.

Don

The Real ElBaradei Unleashed

IBD: 6 Oct. 2009

Nuclear Proliferation: Watchdogs often bark loudest at those who pose no threat at all, such as the mailman. Mohamed ElBaradei, self-styled “nuclear watchdog,” is now barking at Israel.

The world will soon be seeing and hearing less from International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Those seeking to spare Western cities from nuclear terrorism won’t miss the Egyptian career bureaucrat.

As former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton noted in his book, “Surrender Is Not An Option,” ElBaradei “made excuses for Iran,” as it progressed toward building nuclear weapons “the entire time I was in the Bush administration.”

According to Bolton, Nobel Peace Prize-winner ElBaradei “was constantly hunting for ‘moderates’ in Iran’s leadership who did not want to pursue nuclear weapons, a nonexistent group, in our judgment, and more interested in trying to cut a deal than in faithfully reporting what IAEA inspectors were telling him.”

As early as mid-April 2003, as Bolton pointed out, ElBaradei’s IAEA knew that the centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility contained uranium hexafluoride, a compound used to make nuclear weapons fuel.

In less than two months, ElBaradei will be replaced as IAEA director general by Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano. But as he packs up his office, is he giving the world a glimpse of the real motivations behind his softness toward Iran?

The Islamofascist regime in Tehran, with its illegitimately re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly denying the Nazi genocide of the Jews and calling for the destruction of Israel, is one of the last governments on the globe that should be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction.

Yet speaking on Sunday in Tehran, the setting for talks with Iranian officials regarding their atomic program, ElBaradei said, “Israel is the No. 1 threat to the Middle East, given the nuclear arms it possesses.” In a joint press conference with Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, ElBaradei complained about Israel’s 30-year refusal to allow nuclear inspections.

Of at least equal note, ElBaradei also remarked that President Obama “has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen” on Israel’s nuclear plants.

What are we to take from that? Has the president asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow IAEA inspectors into his country, or is he pressing him to admit that Israel has nuclear weapons? Is the argument that by doing either Israel would be advancing the Mideast peace process?

Contrary to ElBaradei’s outrageous accusation and the president’s increasingly intimidating policy toward the Netanyahu government, the most effective catalyst for Mideast peace has, in fact, been the nuclear arming of Israel.

The routine wars between Israel and Arab states have stopped since Israel reached nuclear capability in 1967. And Egypt’s frequent tit-for-tat threats to build its own nukes, made under both Presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, fizzled out once the Jewish state actually possessed the bomb. Indeed, would the Camp David accords between Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin have been possible without a nuclear Israel?

Looking back on the past four decades, the Jewish state’s policy of refusing to confirm or deny its nuclear arsenal is, as the Old Testament proverb goes, a wisdom “more precious than rubies.” The only fully free, Westernized country in the Middle East has been able to let its surrounding enemies know that it will defend itself with the deadliest of force if its existence comes under direct threat.

And yet, despite its regional nuclear monopoly, Israel has refrained from using it on adversaries seeking its destruction.

In return for its restraint, as Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to the U.N. last month, “a democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot” — a reference to the condemnation of his country by another U.N. agency, the Human Rights Council.

The London Times reports that a secret section of the IAEA’s account on Iran warns that Tehran “may already have tested a detonation system small enough to fit into the warhead of a medium-range missile.” Is there much doubt that what ElBaradei really wants is a Muslim member of the nuclear weapons club to offset the Jewish one? As he departs, and not a moment too soon, it’s an outrage to hear the nuclear “watchdog” bark in the wrong direction.

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How Israel Was Disarmed

October 6, 2009

Our only friend in the world is Israel.  Israel’s only friend has been and is ISRAEL.

PRAY THAT GOD WILL INTERVENE and keep us focsued on our purpose.

BUT!**

“It also appears to reverse a decades-old understanding between Washington and Tel Aviv that the U.S. would acquiesce in Israel’s nuclear arsenal as long as that arsenal remained undeclared”


D.

How Israel Was Disarmed

News analysis from the near-future. By BRET STEPHENS
Jan. 20, 2010
NEW YORK—When American diplomats sat down for the first in a series of face-to-face talks with their Iranian counterparts last October in Geneva, few would have predicted that what began as a negotiation over Tehran’s nuclear programs would wind up in a stunning demand by the Security Council that Israel give up its atomic weapons.
Yet that’s just what the U.N. body did this morning, in a resolution that was as striking for the way member states voted as it was for its substance. All 10 nonpermanent members voted for the resolution, along with permanent members Russia, China and the United Kingdom. France and the United States abstained. By U.N. rules, that means the resolution passes.
The U.S. abstention is sending shock waves through the international community, which has long been accustomed to the U.S. acting as Israel’s de facto protector on the Council. It also appears to reverse a decades-old understanding between Washington and Tel Aviv that the U.S. would acquiesce in Israel’s nuclear arsenal as long as that arsenal remained undeclared.
The Jewish state is believed to possess as many as 200 weapons.
Tehran reacted positively to the U.S. abstention. “For a long time we have said about Mr. Obama that we see change but no improvement,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. “Now we can say there has been an improvement.”
The resolution calls for a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. It also demands that Israel sign the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and submit its nuclear facilities to international inspection. Two similar, albeit nonbinding, resolutions were approved last September by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
At the time, the U.S. opposed a resolution focused on Israel but abstained from a more general motion calling for regional disarmament. “We are very pleased with the agreed approach reflected here today,” said then-U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Glyn Davies.
Since then, however, relations between the Obama administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, never warm to begin with, have cooled dramatically.
The administration accused Tel Aviv of using “disproportionate force” following a Nov. 13 Israeli aerial attack on an apparent munitions depot in Gaza City, in which more than a dozen young children were killed.
Mr. Netanyahu also provoked the administration’s ire after he was inadvertently caught on an open microphone calling Mr. Obama “worse than Chamberlain.” The comment followed the president’s historic Dec. 21 summit meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Geneva, the first time leaders of the two countries have met since the Carter administration.
But the factors that chiefly seemed to drive the administration’s decision to abstain from this morning’s vote were more strategic than personal. Western negotiators have been pressing Iran to make good on its previous agreement in principle to ship its nuclear fuel to third countries so it could be rendered usable in Iran’s civilian nuclear facilities. The Iranians, in turn, have been adamant that they would not do so unless progress were made on international disarmament.
“The Iranians have a point,” said one senior administration official. “The U.S. can’t forever be the enforcer of a double standard where Israel gets a nuclear free ride but Iran has to abide by every letter in the NPT. President Obama has put the issue of nuclear disarmament at the center of his foreign policy agenda. His credibility is at stake and so is U.S. credibility in the Muslim world. How can we tell Tehran that they’re better off without nukes if we won’t make the same point to our Israeli friends?”
Also factoring into the administration’s thinking are reports that the Israelis are in the final stages of planning an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who met with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak in Paris last week, has been outspoken in his opposition to such a strike. The Jerusalem Post has reported that Mr. Gates warned Mr. Barak that the U.S. would “actively stand in the way” of any Israeli strike.
“The Israelis need to look at this U.N. vote as a shot across their bow,” said a senior Pentagon official. “If they want to start a shooting war with Iran, we won’t have their backs on the Security Council.”
An Israeli diplomat observed bitterly that Jan. 20 was the 68th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, which historians believe is where Nazi Germany planned the extermination of European Jewry. An administration spokesman said the timing of the vote was “purely coincidental.”
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Will America Stand with israel?

October 5, 2009

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Look, I don’t care if you voted for McCain, Obama, or Mickey Mouse.

2rhf_tomTRENTOIf you have any interest in the geopolitical game of Israeli chess that nations of the world are playing, you must attend the David Horowitz Freedom Center  – FREE SPEECH NOW TOUR – in Philadelphia, featuring the Honorable Geert Wilders, Member of Parliament of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as he personally address the issues of free speech, Islamic terror and the future of Israel.

Face facts …Israel is considered a “pawn to be expended” by nations and world leaders who have little interest in her future or security.

When a defender of Israel like Wilders, is personally in Philadelphia to show his controversial film FITNA and explain how he will fight European anti-semitism, you better have a real good reason to stay home and not participate in this ground-breaking event.

Please attend our event with Mr. Wilders and other national leaders that will be joining Mr. Wilders, as the proponents of FREE SPEECH gather for an afternoon of food, drinks, entertainment, education and focused activism!
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www.FloridaSecurityCouncil.org
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Today’s Current News

September 15, 2009

Biogel heals severe brain injury

IBD: 15 Sept. 09

An injectable gel could heal injured brain tissue after a traumatic injury, a study by Clemson Univ. in S.C. suggested. The gel made up of both natural and synthetic sources could stimulate production of the patient’s own stem cells in the body. The gel also helps create new blood vessels. The team succeeded in restructuring a vascular network in mice, and said the technique could be applied to healing human head injuries caused by car accidents, falls and gunshot wounds.

MY COMMENTS: STEM CELLS! has anyone noticed? Hundreds of wonderful examples of “patients own adult stem cells” with miraculous results – yet we’ve seen NO results with embryonic stem cells.  Even with all that federal money poured into every university and labratory in America.  None have identified any ‘good’ results.

Netanyahu Won’t Halt Building

15 Sept. 09 IBD

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rejected U.S. calls to freeze construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, angering Palestinians. Seeking to jump-start peace efforts, U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell has been pressing Israel to halt settlement building. The Palestinians claim both areas, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

MY COMMENTS: Land captured in war that Muslims started in a surprise attack by 5 or 6 Muslim nations doesn’t belong to “palestinians” and we shouldn’t allow them to claim anything.  When will we keep our nose out of this issue?

Unions’ Gains Not Without Pain

IBD: 15 Sept. 09

As the AFL-CIO hosted a Mon. night screening of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism” at its annual convention in Pittsburgh, Big Labor reveled in its strongest political influence in decades. The administration has sided with unions, notably on China tire tariffs and auto bailouts. But card check legislation has stalled, with public support for unions at an all-time low.

MY COMMENTS: Michael Moore’s “Capitalism”?  He doesn’t even know what capitalism is.

Are you sick and tired of Obama’s changes?  Now he’s telling WALL ST. DOESN’T NEED TO WAIT FOR LAWS TO MAKE CHANGES.  When can we enjoy a day without his face on TV?

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ZOA News

September 2, 2009

IN THE NEWS


Letter to the Editor Detroit Free Press – Submitted via Their Website
by ZOA
supporter Ed Kohl

Regarding “Peters a changed man after Gaza trip”; Sunday, August 23, Free Press:
It is good that Rep. Gary Peters witnessed the damage and living conditions the residents of Sderot live with daily from the continuing barrage of rockets from Gaza aimed at the civilian population and infrastructure of the Israeli city. The sole purpose of the rocket attacks is to kill and maim civilians – children, women and men. They target the city with no regard to which home, school yard or synagogue they explode in to create maximum damage. There were 8500 Jews living among one and a half million Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the Arabs could not tolerate their presence, so the Jews left in 2005 leaving the Palestinian Arabs vineyards, operational factories and a functional infrastructure which was promptly destroyed because “Jews owned them”. Instead of creating a peaceful, productive society they created a terrorist enclave that breeds children to hate and kill.
Hamas controls Gaza. The Hamas Charter states (among other lovely statements) “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
Who will they target next?
Regards,
Ed Kohl

Think about this:
Palestinian Arabs = 1,500,000
Arab Jews = 8,500
177/1
177 times the number of Jews  – yet the Arabs couldn’t get along with this tiny minority!

U.S. drops demand for Israel building freeze in East Jerusalem
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent, and News Agencies
**** US finally wakes up!!!****
BERLIN – The Obama administration has agreed to Israel’s request to remove East Jerusalem from negotiations on the impending settlement freeze.

According to both Israeli officials and Western diplomats, U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has recognized the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot announce a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The officials said the U.S. will not endorse new construction there, but would not demand Jerusalem publicly announce a freeze.


***We have no business telling Israel where they can build on their own land!***

Netanyahu presented a proposal on Wednesday for resolving the ongoing Israeli-American dispute over construction in the settlements…continued
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Cartoon: IRAN

July 22, 2009

Cartoon dated: 10 April 2009 – IBD (M.Ramirez)

Still around for more than 2 more years!

We are waiting for Israel to do our job.

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Finally Admitting The Obvious

July 17, 2009

IBD July 16 09

Iran: Western officials are reportedly offering Israel a deal to support a military strike on Iran in exchange for Israeli concessions on a Palestinian state. Even diplomats now realize diplomacy won’t pre-empt nuclear terror.

A report in the Times of London on Thursday indicated that some European governments consider Israeli military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities so inevitable that they want to get what they can from Israel by jumping on the bandwagon ahead of time.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, according to diplomatic sources, offered “concessions on settlement policy, Palestinian land claims and issues with neighboring Arab states, to facilitate a possible strike on Iran.”

A British official said that under such an agreement between Israel and Western nations, an Israeli military operation could become a reality “within the year.”

If this really is the new stance of the same European powers that for years now have believed that fanatics like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei can be persuaded by half-hearted sanctions and offers of economic aid, then it sure has taken long enough for them to see the light.

And even if Israel cannot cut a deal with them on a Palestinian state, the fact that they’re willing to accept military action against Iran is an admission their so-called “tough diplomacy” has been failing all along.

Apparently, a whole series of realities have come crashing down on the wishful thinkers.

For one thing, Israel is making it clear it means business. Two Israeli Saar-class missile ships recently traveled through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea; it also sent a Dolphin-class submarine — almost certainly armed with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles — to Suez a week and a half ago, which then returned to the Mediterranean.

“Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran,” an Israeli defense official told the Times.

An additional reality is the shattering of the myth that Iran can in any way be seen as a legitimate representative government.

Many in the media often contended that Ahmadinejad was a democratically-elected president. But in fact the field of candidates was severely limited by the unelected Khamenei’s fiat when Ahmadinejad was first elected in 2005, as well as in this year’s voting travesty.

With protesters gunned down on the streets by regime-sponsored thugs after Ahmadinejad’s obvious stolen re-election last month, and all dissent now apparently crushed, the outside world has come to see how monstrous the mullahs’ rule really is.

It’s clear that a regime that will kill its own people to stifle internal opposition will do unimaginably worse things against its perceived external enemies if it attains weapons of mass destruction.

Yet another reality is the fact that other Muslim countries in the Middle East have come to fear Iran’s growing threat so much they actually want their historical enemy, Israel, to deal with it. Egypt, for instance, allowed the Israeli vessels passage and actually cooperated in regular military drills with the Israelis.

After such a long history of distrust, even war, Israel may end up becoming the best friend of Mideast Arab nations. For years now, Arabs have watched the West do little as Tehran’s apocalyptic jihadists threaten to dominate neighboring Muslim governments with the overwhelming power of WMDs.

In the coming weeks, Israel will use U.S. military facilities to hold both anti-ballistic missile and F-16 fighter jet exercises. As an Israeli official remarked, the timing of these very public maneuvers, meant to “showcase Israel’s abilities,” is no coincidence.

That raises the question of U.S. policy.

We’re already explicitly helping Israel in exercises related to a strike on Iran — an assault that may well end up having the support of European powers and Mideast Arab nations. The U.S. will inescapably be seen as the primary facilitator of such an attack.

That being the case, President Obama should now abandon the fanciful rhetoric about talking Iran out of its nuclear ambitions.

We should join those in both Europe and the Arab Middle East who have come to know that this Nazi-like threat to the world cannot be appeased away.

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IMPORTANT: Whispered Worries About Obama

July 7, 2009

IMPORTANT:

The article below, from the extremely liberal Jewish Week, should send chills down the spines of Jewish Congresspeople who will be coming up for election in 2010. The likes of Wexler and Klein who owe their seats in congress to a Jewish electorate have backed to the hilt  Obama who has shown unabashed support for the Palestinian terrorists while threatening Israel to accommodate their demands, “or else!” It is our responsibility to confront these representatives at each stop they make in the local condos and communities to let them know we will not forget their traitorous support of the Obama campaign to bring Israel to its knees.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–
http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c37_a16221/News/National.html#

Whispered Worries About Obama

07/01/2009

by Gary Rosenblatt
Editor And Publisher

Accustomed as he is to public speaking here and around the country, David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, can read an audience as well as anyone. Lately, he says, he is “hearing a growing number of questions and concerns about the U.S.-Israel relationship, and a sense that the Obama administration’s response to the Iran crisis was slower than it should have been.”

Harris is not alone. Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, says the normal anxiety level among American Jews when a new administration takes shape has been heightened to new levels because President Obama “champions change, and American Jews tend to approve of U.S. policy toward Israel and don’t necessarily welcome change” on that front.

Leaders of American Jewish organizations note an unease among mainstream supporters of Israel and Jewish causes — we’re not talking about marginal “Obama is a Muslim” critics here — who say they voted for and admire Barack Obama and support many of his policies, but feel he is being overly critical of Israel and too soft on the Palestinians and on an Iranian regime bent on developing nuclear weapons that could end up aimed at the Jewish state.

As one leader put it: “Moderate people come up to me and ask, ‘Should I be worried?’ ”

It’s a good question, though it’s being whispered more than spoken these days.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the umbrella group on policy issues supporting Israel, was quoted recently in an interview as saying Jewish leaders “are expressing concern” over Obama’s June 4 Cairo speech, particularly its comments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He later said his remarks were taken out of context[?], but he told me the other day that “judging from phone calls” he has received, and other responses, “there is an increasing unease” about a number of the Obama administration’s recent statements and actions.

Those include the president’s reference in his Cairo speech to 7 million American Muslims, when in fact most studies believe the number to be closer to 2.5 million; the narrative suggesting that Israel’s roots go back only as far as the Holocaust rather than to the Bible; the public pressure on Israel to halt settlements — as if they represented the key to peace rather than the Palestinians’ consistent refusal to recognize a Jewish state in the region — and the lack of specific demands on the Palestinians; and the concern that the president is still determined to engage in dialogue with Iran, despite the regime’s brutal behavior following national elections last month.

Is it possible that the “unbreakable bonds” between Israel and the U.S. that the president referred to in his Cairo speech are on shaky grounds? And is the gap growing between leaders of mainstream Jewish organizations and the majority of American Jews, more than three-quarters of whom voted for Obama, support a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis and may well agree that settlements are a hindrance to peace?

Several of those leaders, speaking off the record, account for the gap by pointing out that they are more knowledgeable than most people about the complexities of U.S.-Israeli policy, following it every day on a high level. They note, for example, that on the topic of settlements, most American Jews (and most Israelis, for that matter), do not distinguish between large, established suburbs of Jerusalem, like Ma’ale Adumim, with a population of 35,000, and hilltop outposts led by a handful of religious zealots attracting media attention.

Not all settlements are equal, and virtually every peace proposal under serious discussion calls for those settlements in the vicinity of Jerusalem, containing the majority of the West Bank Jewish population, to end up as part of Israel. President George W. Bush acknowledged in his 2004 letter to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that “in light of the new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”

But the Obama administration has a different take, and its seemingly willful refusal to recognize past U.S. commitments makes Israeli leaders worry about the trustworthiness of guarantees in the future.

Several weeks ago Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions.” Such a blunt, public statement about a close strategic ally caused a ripple of worry among Jewish leaders, one of whom told me the only conclusion he could reach was that the administration wanted to bring down the Netanyahu government, hoping it would be replaced by a more moderate one.

But both Israeli and American Jewish leaders are well aware of the widespread popularity of President Obama and are reluctant to take him on. There is a debate going on among Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem; some are describing the administration as unfriendly while others are urging caution and a more nuanced response.

Hoenlein says the point is to “deal honestly on the issues themselves, not the personalities. You deal with substance, and with sensitivity — not always in the media. These issues are of such consequence that we dare not avoid confronting them forthrightly, and we are respected when we do that. You don’t whitewash issues that are troubling.”

Complicating the problem further is that this administration is relying less on American Jewish leaders for input because two of the most powerful men in government, with daily access to the president, are high-profile Jews: senior adviser David Axelrod and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

When one Jewish organizational leader questioned a White House aide as to why the president only sought advice from American Muslim leaders prior to the Cairo speech, he said he was told: “Why should we invite Jews in? We have so many here.”

The ADL’s Foxman says, “What troubles me most is a lack of consultation and the need [for the administration] to do things publicly. There’s a [U.S.-Israel] relationship of 60 years and all of a sudden they’re treating Israel like everyone else. I find that disturbing.”

At this point it is difficult to tell how much of the backdoor complaining from some Jewish leaders is about serious policy concerns and how much is sour grapes over reduced access. What is clear is that there is worry that this administration, with its emphasis on change, appears convinced it can resolve the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict within two years, and seems bent on extracting concessions from Israel before getting tough with the Palestinians. And there are worries that after pledging dialogue with increasingly intractable enemies like Iran, Obama has no substantive Plan B.

None of the leaders I spoke with think this administration wants to endanger Israel in any way. Far from it. But some question whether focusing on settlements was an attempt to weaken Netanyahu and split the American Jewish community.

For now, it’s important for supporters of Israel to make their voices heard, pointing out the nuances and critical distinctions in discussing “the settlements”; emphasizing that the crux of the problem is and has always been Palestinian intransigence, terrorism and refusal to accept a Jewish state; and pressing Washington for a clear policy on dealing with Iran, and the Palestinians, beyond diplomacy.

In the end, speaking truth to power is always good policy, no matter who is in the White House.

E-mail:http://gary@jewishweek.org

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Netanyahu calls for Palestinian nation; metro Detroit reaction mixed

June 24, 2009

His vision of 2 free peoples side by side has some conditions

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a Palestinian nation beside Israel for the first time Sunday, reversing himself in the face of U.S. pressure but attaching conditions such as demilitarization that Palestinians swiftly rejected. – our comments- We should be ashamed for bowing to Hamas and all the other terrorist supporting states.  The Palestinians already have their state- Jordan!

A week after President Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world, Netanyahu said the Palestinian nation would have to be unarmed and recognize Israel as a Jewish nation — a condition amounting to Palestinian refugees giving up the goal of returning to Israel.

With those conditions, he said, he could accept “a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.”

The West Bank-based Palestinian government dismissed the proposal as an attempt to determine the outcome of negotiations while maintaining Israeli settlements, refusing compromise over Jerusalem and ignoring the issue of borders. Palestinian officials also said that demilitarization would solidify Israeli control over them.   – our comments- Notice this!  Israel offers Palestine a State- but Palestine demands more- they want it all!

Netanyahu, in an address seen as his response to Obama, refused to heed the U.S. call for an immediate freeze of construction on land Palestinians claim for their future nation. He also said Jerusalem must remain under Israeli sovereignty.

“Netanyahu’s speech closed the door to permanent status negotiations,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said. “We ask the world not to be fooled by his use of the term ‘Palestinian state’ because he qualified it. He declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, said refugees would not be negotiated and that settlements would remain.”

But the White House said Obama welcomed the speech as an “important step forward.”

Reaction from metro Detroit’s Arab and Jewish communities was mixed Sunday.

“I see it as a sad day for the hope of peace; Mr. Netanyahu’s claimed acknowledgement and acceptance of Palestinian statehood is baloney,” said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “There’s no value to a state if it’s not viable. There’s no value to a state if it doesn’t have the basics.”

But Robert Cohen, executive director of the local Jewish Community Relations Council, was hopeful.

“We were pleased to see Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth his vision of peace, committing to a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace with an Israeli state. … Now the onus is really on the Palestinians and the Arab world to respond in a productive way, a constructive way.”

‘Let’s make peace’

Netanyahu’s address was a dramatic transformation for a man who was raised on a nationalistic ideology and has spent a political career criticizing peace efforts.   – our comments- Read Carefully- Peace efforts with Islamic States are always futile- because Islam always claims that everything belongs to them.

“I call on you, our Palestinian neighbors, and to the leadership of the Palestinian Authority: Let us begin peace negotiations immediately, without preconditions,” he said.

Since assuming office in March, Netanyahu has been caught between U.S. demands to begin peace talks with the Palestinians and the constraints of a hard-line coalition. With his speech, he appeared to favor Israel’s all-important relationship with the United States, at the risk of destabilizing his government.

Rabbi Alon Tolwin, director of executive learning at Aish HaTorah of Metro Detroit, applauded the proposal but said, “We’ve offered them up to 92% of the West Bank and all they’re able to do is fight amongst themselves and throw missiles at us,” Tolwin said. “We’re not interested in ruling them. We’re interested in giving them their autonomy, but at what expense?”       -our comments–     They (Muslims) want it all- they want no peace.  Wake up America- read their book.

Not everyone is on board

Netanyahu laid out his vision at Bar-Ilan University, and his call for establishing a Palestinian nation was greeted with lukewarm applause.

The Palestinians want all of the West Bank as part of a future nation, with east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.

Terry Ahwal, a Palestinian American from Canton, was pessimistic.

“Netanyahu is playing the same old game, nothing new, proposing ghettos, appeasing his racist, right-wing cabinet,” the member of the Detroit-based Ramallah Federation’s executive board said. They “have no intention whatsoever to move forward with peace, which is really a shame.”

Free Press staff writer Zlati Meyer contributed to this report.

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Great Nidra Poller Articles

June 23, 2009

This great series of stories are just fascinating.  Nidra Poller is a dear lady – writing from Paris – Don’t miss her great insight.

Don

Nidra graces us with her unique insight into the Iranian election bloodbath.

On those frail shoulders the world might turn

Paris 19 June 2009

Nidra Poller

Something is missing from most of the analyses floating around this week as Iranians one by one proclaim liberty against overwhelming odds. So many commentators seem to be afraid to capture the moment in its near miraculous scope. I’ve been connected to the résistance pipeline for years through friends like Banafsheh Zand Bonazzi, Ken Timmerman, and Michael Ledeen. They think this movement could push all the way past Ahmadinejad, past Mousavi, and topple the mullahs.

I don’t know what will come of it. Whether or not the revolt is crushed in blood and broken bodies or, if it succeeds, goes on to build one more variation on the theme of Islamic Republics, at this very moment we are witnessing the unquenchable desire for freedom in its penultimate stage. We see the living proof that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights… No tyranny is powerful enough to resist this truth when its victims believe in their rights.

It is so dramatic! Why doesn’t it resonate in our “free” world? I feel uplifted at the very thought that it might go all the way. Ayatollah Khamenei is looking frail these days. Ahmadinejad has lost his glow. The very mechanics of it is so fascinating, I can’t think of anything else. You have a population crushed under the heel of turbaned perverts that lapidate, hang, torture, gouge, slash, lash and imprison at will. The tyrants build nuclear weapons, threaten to wipe Israel off the map, menace Europe, the United States, neighboring Muslim countries… Even though everyone in his right mind knows they must not be allowed to get the Bomb, almost no one has the courage and the means to stop them.

Wherever you turn, it’s one big sigh of resignation. Our people living in wealthy democracies are so languid it’s infuriating. No one is asking you to go and bomb Natanz, buddy, just to say that it could be done, someone should do it, and if someone does, the rest of us should nod and say “well done.” Even that is too much for your average conversationer. B Hussein O put them at ease with his coming-out-of-the-Muslim-closet speech in Cairo. He said, among other rhetorical atrocities, that no country can decide who should be allowed to have nuclear weapons. Whew! Sit back and snore, there’s no need to fret.

Now, in the space of one week, something totally unexpected is happening. Even those who hoped for regime change from within are surprised. Rightfully so. It’s one thing to imagine a popular revolt, altogether another to watch it happen.

We are, justifiably, wary. Enthusiastic crowds brought down the Shah and we know where that led. But, millions of individuals acting from their own indomitable need for freedom can, this time around, bring down the mullahs and make way for something like a decent government. This too is possible. No one knows today which way it will go. I am not thrilled to hear the cries of allahu akhbar. But it doesn’t destroy my sense of wonder at the capacity of individuals to seize their rights with their bare hands.

It’s uplifting, because these crowds are composed of individuals, acting one by one together. This is not crowd psychology in all its horror. Men and women each one separately breaking the chains that bind them, each one separately drawing courage from the depths of their being, each one individually crossing the line from slavery to freedom. They are telling us “I am not afraid anymore.”

No surprise that the champions of the Palestinian cause are not inspired by the Iranian people’s movement. The whole vocabulary of the Arab-Israeli conflict is dumbfounded. Nothing the mullahs do is disproportionate, the death toll got stuck at the number seven and no amount of blood could push it upward, graphic images don’t provoke outcries and, unless I am mistaken, no one is calling for a cease fire, no one is going to the UN.

President Obama has egg on his face but the media photoshop it away. Where’s the Obama effect now? Wedged in between Hamas and Abbas, competing for the intransigency award. It’s the Bush effect in Iran today. And the smarties who kept telling us you can’t impose democracy with guns and bombs are exposed. Truth is, they wouldn’t want to “impose” democracy with flowers and candy. They don’t even want to help Iranian citizens who are willing to go for it with their own blood sweat and tears.

In France, the capital of human rights, media coverage of events in Iran is particularly opaque. No enthusiasm, hardly any debate or analysis, no big picture. But our president took a stand!

Am I running away with my hopes? Maybe, maybe not. What if it works, what if the people overthrow the mullahs, what if their freedom is not snatched away once more, what if Iran really becomes the nation that cowardly western leaders have been pretending to see behind the snarling little monkey-face tyrant? A dignified refined nation that deserves a place at our table. A regional power that can have a stabilizing influence on the region. An unclenched fist. So where is the outstretched hand now?

On those frail shoulders the world could turn. If they succeed, would it mean that we don’t have to dread a nuclear attack on Israel or bear the burden of an Israeli attack on Iran? Would it mean no more money for Hamas, Hizbullah, and thousands of mini terror enclaves disseminated throughout our free nations? Would it strike hope in the hearts of other Muslims who are tired of living under sharia law? Couldn’t it turn the tables, shift the balance of power, slice into the lethal narrative and begin a new story, closer to the truth?

Whether they succeed today and fail afterward, or fail today and succeed the next time, nothing can deprive me of this moment of wonder at the power of one single human being—or a million of them one by one– to transform the world. This is why people like me fervently defend our right to think for ourselves and express ourselves in our own words, without making painful concessions to the multitude of guardians who stand between us and our readers. And this is why I am never pessimistic, never fatalistic.

What will happen to the Jews in Europe, I’m asked. What will happen to Europe. Europe is finished, isn’t it? If the Israelis don’t make peace with the Palestinians and give them a state, what are they going to do, kill them all? What are you going to do with all the Muslims in Europe… There are a billion and a half Muslims in the world, you can’t be against all of them…

Ah but that’s not how these questions will be settled. Not by stale arguments and twisted logic. And not by peace processes! There are upstarts hidden under every hard surface, and their power is immense. Acts of courage show the way. They cast a brilliant light on human events. Benjamin Netanyahu stood up to Obama. Avigdor Lieberman did not cave in to Hillary Clinton. Young Iranians born into a barbaric oppressive state know the taste for freedom. Their elders remember. My heart goes out to them. No matter what happens next, we have shared a moment of humanity. And the world has changed.

UPDATE: As I love to commiserate with Nidra [Poller], here is her reaction — from the other front line, France:

I followed Bibi’s speech on a live stream from Bar Ilan. Reception was shaky. I’ll have to see the written text to make a proper analysis. But here’s my first reaction: I was happy! I was happy because he stood up to Barack Hussein Obama like a proud Israeli. He didn’t swallow even a crumb of that lethal narrative about how Israel was a consolation prize for the Holocaust and Israel had been stuck in the Palestinian’s craw for 61 years, and Israel is the cause of all the world’s ills…

He stated our conditions. Recognition that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. We are here because this is our land. Give up trying to kill us by every means imaginable and unimaginable. Forget about flooding us with refugees. We took the refugees from Arab lands, you take care of your own refugees. Jerusalem will never be divided. We will make no commitment to restricting growth in the settlements. We tried every kind of peace plan, every kind of withdrawal. It doesn’t work.

We will not allow the creation of another Hamastan that can attack Tel Aviv, ben Gurion airport… We will not talk to Hamas, we don’t talk to people who want to destroy us.

He began with shalom and ended with shalom and spoke of shalom all through his speech. Shalom is the peace we want. Real peace, with fruitful multiplication and swords turned into plowshares. He held out a vision of the kind of peace that could exist in the Middle East IF AND ONLY IF Israel’s neighbors accept her existence as a Jewish state.

Towards the end, he spoke of Palestinians, a flag and a hymn. Maybe I listened selectively. I didn’t hear the word “state.” Whatever it was the Palestinians would fly their flag over, it would not be a territory from which to kill Israelis. Demilitarized. No weapons smuggling. Not like what is happening today in Gaza.

OK, call it wishful listening. To me he was saying that the kind of state the Palestinians want is not on the table and not on the horizon.

As soon as the speech was over I rushed to hear how French media would react. State-owned France Info said Netanyahu accepts a Palestinian state but it has to be demilitarized. Abbas, they report, says Netanyahu torpedoed any hope of peace. He asked too much.

Well, that seemed like a reasonable reaction from Abbas. It reassured me. Then I checked out FoxNews. And then the Figaro: “Netanyahu accepts the principle of a Palestinian state.” And finally, the Jerusalem Post. Our friend Aryeh Eldad said it too. Netanyahu crossed the red line. All the conditions he set forth will be forgotten, the only thing that will be remembered is that he agreed on the principle of a Palestinian state.

Can I still be happy? Didn’t Bibi stand up to Obama? Everyone else is caving in. Driveling. Drooling. And he lobbed those shots right back into Obama’s court, one by one, like a pro. Everyone knows the Palestinians don’t want a demilitarized state. So what does the word “state” mean if, in fact, Netanyahu pronounced the word?

Obama makes the most scandalous dhimmi speech ever pronounced in modern times and gets praised all over the planet. Netanyahu answers him back without pulling punches or picking a fight, and all you’ll hear is that he agrees that the Palestinians should have a state.

[dhimmi: Second class citizens.  That’s what Islam expects us to be.  All we have to do is pay them.]

I don’t think he did.

To be continued…

TWO STATE POLLUTION

Paris June 14, 2009, 4 :10 PM

Nidra Poller

Two state pollution, two state delusion, two state concoction, two state distraction, two state corruption, two state disruption, two state misconception, two state misdemeanor, two state mistake, two state takeover, two state holdup…two state solution. You see? Those three words—two state solution– were not joined at the hip. They are not an organic whole. They are not verified by their inseparability. Whatever was put together by the will of man can be taken apart by his intelligence. Each element can be examined independently.

“Two” meaning who? Which two states are we talking about? Gaza and Judea-Samaria? Judea-Samaria and Israel? Israel and Gaza? Obviously not. So wipe out the “two,” it is mathematically incorrect.

“State”? What kind of state? Both the same kind? Sovereign and defendable? No. Everyone promises us that the sweet little Palestinian state they are going to force down our throats will of course be harmless. That is unarmed. More accurately “disarmed” because they are currently armed to the teeth and intend to get armed to the heavens. And our state, our Israel? Will it be the sovereign Jewish state created and built by the Jews, beautifully armed and brilliantly skilled, proud and independent, peaceful and prosperous? No. It will be a borderline state. Not Jewish. Not sovereign. Not free to defend itself, weakened, pushed down to the beach and into the sea. Strike out the “state,” it’s geopolitically false.

“Solution”? What solution?  The solution of what? Solution by fiat? By bla bla repetition? By unanimous hypocrisy?

Here’s an example in private life:

After all these decades of sexual freedom, women’s liberation, ease of coupling and ease of separation, we still get mismatching that leads in too many cases to nasty divorces, tugs of war over the children, drawn out court cases, dilapidation of financial resources, psychological trauma and sometimes murder. What’s to be done about it?

Not to worry.

Try the two parent solution. Two parents, living separately in peace and harmony, each in his own home, each equally devoted to all the children, living and letting live in fruitful prosperity. Why not? And how is this achieved? You just repeat it every time the problem is raised. Two parent solution, two parent solution, two parent solution.

It’s magical. It would probably even work for orphans.

Yes, death is a pesky problem that can strike anyone when least expected. Though we all know we will die one day, that our loved ones will die, that our forebears already died, we take death personally as an unbearable tragedy. Great writers write about it, philosophers try to wring it dry with highminded conversation, truthtelling poets describe its sting with such force they make us cry, but surely there must be some way to get past this problem that has caused so much suffering on both sides—that of the living and that of the dead.

Why not have the “two person solution?” Make people in two copies. When one dies, you throw it away and take out the replacement.

It should be clear from these two examples that everything can be solved with a solution.

Not so? Then why is the democratically elected prime minister of the sovereign Jewish state of Israel being pushed up against the wall and threatened with worse than death unless he squeals “yes, yes, I want a two-state solution”? And why are we hoping and praying he says NO?

Because the words can be disconnected and analyzed all the way down to their hidden meaning. And the catch phrase can be reconstructed in transparent truth. It’s so precise, it’s almost mathematical. Maybe it’s kabalistic. Whatever. Here’s the correct equation:

Following the demonstration above, strike out “two”—it’s mathematically incorrect. Strike out “state”—it’s geopolitically false. Retain “solution”—for the sake of argument. Take “two” and “state,” reduce to basic, heat to room temperature, carefully place each recomposed letter on the page, as follows.

F …I…N…A…L

Place to the left of “solution” and you get the macabre joke:

FINAL SOLUTION

Say what?

Say NO.!!!

Monday, June 08, 2009

FACT VS Ooo-la-la FICTION

The real story hat tip martin

U.S first lady Michelle Obama and France’s First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy at Colleville-sur-Mer cemetery, June 6, 2009.

See more of Michelle photos at Yahoo Photos

Nidra Poller wrote this wonderful piece at the end of May, and I thought you would enjoy it.

It’s amusing how Obama campaigned on forging better relationships with the world and repairing Bush’s damage to America’s image in the world. Bush looks positively loved next to this clown. Merkel can barely stand him, and Sarkozy? Don’t even get me started in Israel.

It seems Obama is obsessed with getting in good with da jihad. The thing is, recent elections across Europe and the Middle East shows us the world is moving to the right while Obama careens wildly out of control to the radical left.

Why does Obama cold shoulder Sarkozy?

May 22, 2009

Nidra Poller

Why does Barack Hussein Obama shun Nicolas Sarkozy and why does it matter?

Curiously enough this Franco-American iceberg is escaping attention on both sides of the Atlantic. I gave up asking for reactions from otherwise astute observers in France who shrug their shoulders, raise their eyebrows, and mumble “Ah bon? Je n’ai rien remarqué.” It’s so glaring they don’t even notice it.

And here in the United States, the people who have been telling me–the longtime resident of France–that George Bush poisoned our relations with Europe and Barack Obama will turn them to milk and honey, don’t seem to notice that nothing of the sort is happening.

Why should President Obama be chummy with President Sarkozy? And why doesn’t he want to be? This is not a rhetorical question that will be followed by a torrent of revelations and glib explanations. I really don’t know what is going on here, but I am sure it matters.

Whatever you think of France you have to admit that it is still a power to be reckoned with in Europe and, to a lesser extent, on the international scene. The Franco-German “couple” counts for more than the sum of the parts of the European Union. France maintains significant influence in the Arab-Muslim world, much of which was under its colonial domination until recently…and now the liberated colonies are exerting their dominion over France by way of immigrant populations. France, more than any other continental European nation, seeks to exert its influence wherever conflict focuses world attention. France, self-appointed embodiment of human rights, rushes to the rescue of besieged populations when disaster strikes, waves the banner of the oppressed, and lends support—if only vocal– to aspiring peoples. As a major proponent of Euro-pacifism France has effectively undermined American power over the past decades and nourished the moral confusion that weakens the West in its conflict with global jihad.

Having promised to align the United States with suave European savoir faire, President Obama would be expected to grow closer to France, the world capital of diplomacy. Sarkozy, for his part, has made a step in America’s direction: While remaining faithful to the “diplomacy first & foremost” mode of operation, he has affronted strong domestic opposition by increasing troop strength in Afghanistan, reintegrating the NATO command, and taking a strong stand against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Is that the rub?

Weeks after President Sarkozy’s triumphant May 2007 election he fostered rapprochement with the United States by accepting an invitation to a cookout lunch at the Bush family home in Kennebunkport. This chumming up to George Bush was grist for the smash-Sarkozy mill that is running strong to this day. The president was recently accused of lèse majesté for allegedly saying–at a private luncheon—that Spanish President Zapatero is “not intelligent” and Obama is inexperienced. The source that had leaked the comments rapidly came forward to add the missing words and prove that they were not insulting, but international media had already run with the story and our French media scooped up their dirt and dumped it on the president’s head. They claimed the “uppity arriviste Nicolas” was an international laughing stock. The joke is, those international media were only repeating what French media told them.

If Sarkozy is as disgraceful as his detractors claim, why do they find Obama so admirable? The critics who dump on “Sarko the omnipresident” for running to the scene of every issue big or small instead of letting his Prime Minister govern and his Ministers handle whatever they are Minister of, applaud Obama every time he runs up or down a flight of stairs, grabs a mike, and shows his face. They snarl at Sarkozy’s infradig accent and commonplace vocabulary but jive with Obama’s street talky hype. The French whined for months when their president took a long weekend to court and marry Carla Bruni; they drool over hand-holdings between Barack and Michelle. The hate-Sarkozy crowd snickers over outdated nude pictures of the graceful French first lady, a former model, that circulate in the sewers of the Net; willfully blind French commentators praise Michelle’s stunning taste in fashion. Sarkozy, they say, is so bling bling it’s a scandal. Then Obama gave madame a priceless rock of a ring in gratitude for her comradely support of his presidential campaign and it was ooooohhh soooo tender. The French president’s immigrant origins—a Hungarian father, a Jewish Thessalonian grandfather– earn him zero brownie points and a flow of gutter anti-Semitism. Needless to say Obama, the “first black American president,” hits the jackpot. And so on and so forth: whatever Obama does, doesn’t do, is, isn’t, lacks or has is good. Nothing Sarkozy can do, say, be, or wish for can find favor with the handful of opinion-makers who rule the roost. It’s unfair!

Obama insulted Gordon Brown, his wife touched the Queen of England, he fuels a shameless personality cult and throws in his wife and daughters for cutesy cutesy photo ops. French journalists and opposition politicians raked Sarkozy over the coals for giving a warm welcome to Ghadafi after the military personnel unjustly held in Libyan prisons were released…with the help of the then first lady, Cecilia. They haven’t raised an eyebrow as Obama fawns over Muslim countries to the point of rewriting American history and demographics (the US a nation of Muslims and miscellaneous others, Islam’s contribution of to our society…). If American media, having massively contributed to Barack Hussein Obama’s popularity and electoral success serve up a bit of objective reporting when his government hits a bump—the Nancy Pelosi two-step, for example —French media cover their eyes in embarrassment.

Curiously, the opinion-makers who get their kicks out of throwing darts at Sarkozy haven’t noticed that in snubbing the French president, Obama is snubbing France and all that’s in it.

Repeated attempts by Nicolas Sarkozy’s aides to arrange for an official visit to Washington were rebuffed. On several occasions, rumors of an impending Obama-Sarkozy encounter rippled and faded. In France we were led to believe the American president would visit Omaha Beach with his French counterpart between the G20 meeting in London and the NATO summit in Strasbourg. Then we learned, from US sources, that Obama’s team had humored the Frenchies and even walked through the event before informing them that the Franco-American cordiality show was postponed once again. The Omaha Beach junket is now promised for the June 6th Normandy landing commemoration …two days after Obama’s epistle to the Muslims pronounced in Cairo.

Unless I am mistaken, Nicolas Sarkozy was standing right behind the Saudi king when Barack Hussein Obama bowed deeply in reverence to the Muslim potentate at the G20 reception. At the NATO summit he told the EU to open its arms wide and welcome Turkey. Gulp! Will he smooth things out at Omaha Beach? Try to talk the French into taking a few dozen Gitmo guys? Get some inside tips on nationalized health care?

I don’t think they will broach the very delicate subject of…how shall we say…government meddling…no, let’s not be too harsh…government intervention in all things economic. What if Nicolas asked Barack (if they ever get to first-name status) why he is striving to impose…excuse me, institute interventionist economic policies that, he, Nicolas, promised to phase out because he, and a healthy majority of French voters, are convinced that the French economy has gone from doldrums to dumps to recession precisely because of a lack of freedom. Overweening labor unions, overbearing taxes, overweight bureaucracy, and a preference for handouts over endeavor have been the bane of France’s existence.

Sarkozy’s promised reforms have been butting against opposition from a coalition of the parliamentary left, the far left, labor unions, ecologists, and Islamists, with the helping hand of intellectuals and the media. Whereas Obama is hoping to make his promised changes with the help of the Congressional left, the far left, labor unions, ecologists, and…?

The Normandy hills are so green and peaceful today. The beaches are bright and clean. Row upon row of white crosses, studded with white Stars of David, stretch as far as the eye can see. Will the sobering reminder of young American lives lost to defeat the Nazi tyranny that held France in its murderous grip restore the warmth of Franco-American friendship when the two presidents meet on June 6th? Or will this be a chilly downgrading encounter that makes France look like an old friend who hasn’t done much with his life? Someone you meet once a year, when you can’t find a good excuse to avoid him?

Update June 4: lepost.fr reports today that Sarkozy’s team tried every which way to set up a tête à tête with Obama on the fringes of the D-Day commemoration. Nothing doing. Le Figaro reports that offers to schedule quality time between the two heads of state have been rebuffed. Obama is not interested in breakfast, lunch, or dinner. He won’t even prendre un verre with our president. They say the whole bit about the Queen of England is one more ploy by Obama’s guys to avoid close contact with Sarkozy. Following upon the miracle of the loaves featured in the Cairo speech—America’s 2 million or so Muslims became 7 million—you have to wonder why the president of “one of the world’s largest Muslim countries”—the USA dixit Barack Hussein Obama—would brush off the president of the European country that boasts the biggest Muslim population…approximately 7 million in fact, but it’s only a guess because ethnic and religious breakdowns are outlawed in France. Having offered a set of DVDs to Gordon Brown, an i-phone to the Queen, I suppose President Obama will be bringing an appropriate gift to Nicolas Sarkozy. Maybe a Walmart grooming kit? With one of those neat Fusion razors? And two packages of blades?

Nidra Poller
nidrapol@gmail.com

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In Defense Of Israel’s Right To Exist

June 16, 2009

In Defense Of Israel’s Right To Exist

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | 16 June 2009

Mideast: Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech Sunday was both tough and conciliatory to those who threaten his nation’s very existence. What did he get in return? The diplomatic equivalent of warm spit. !


Read More: Middle East & North Africa


Known as a hard-liner who favors tough defensive measures to preserve Israel, Netanyahu offered the Palestinians their own state — a concession that shocked many Mideast watchers. Yet the speech was a tough one, powerfully justifying Israel’s right to exist. And it refused to consider the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” — something that would end the state of Israel.

Tough words aside, Netanyahu also offered immediate peace talks with the Palestinians, along with this amazing prospect: “In our vision we see two states side by side, each with its own flag and anthem.” A huge concession — the two-state solution that supporters of Palestine supposedly have always wanted, within their grasp.

Ordinarily, in a saner region, such a speech would have the other side rushing to renew talks. But this is the Mideast, after all, and one can never underestimate the ability of nations in that region to act on sheer blind hatred, ignoring even their own self-interest.

What really seemed to upset them was two comments from Netanyahu: “The root of the conflict is the refusal to accept the Jewish people’s right to exist in its historic homeland.” And, “Israel will not negotiate with terrorists who wish to annihilate us.”

But these comments should be seen for what they are: Statements of the basic reality of Israel’s precarious existence. For it is a matter of fact that this “conflict,” as it’s often called, could cease immediately if one side recognized the other’s right to exist.

Sadly, the nondemocratic leaders of the Islamic Mideast will never recognize Israel. They fear the extremist elements in their own societies far too much. So instead, they make excuses, call Israel names and demonize it — both at home and abroad.

Responding to Netanyahu’s speech, the terrorist group Hamas, which controls Gaza and parts of the West Bank, predictably said the Israeli leader’s words reflected “racist and extremist ideology.”

The PLO, whose still-in-effect 1968 charter calls for the destruction of Israel, bizarrely asserted that Israel’s generosity “torpedoed the peace process” and warned that it could “trigger a new Intifada.”

Meanwhile, “moderate” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose government receives nearly $2 billion a year in U.S. aid for not attacking Israel, basically suggested an independent Jewish state of Israel had no right to exist.

“Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state is ruining the chance for peace,” said Mubarak, adding that “not Egypt, nor any other Arab country would support Netanyahu’s approach.”

Syria’s state-controlled newspaper Tishrin opined: “The Zionist government . . . is willing to establish Palestinian cantons reminiscent of the black people’s cantons in South Africa when the racist regime was in power.”

Once again, Arab nations’ leaders and heads of fundamentalist Islamic groups accidentally display the real hand they’re playing — that is, no amount of concessions by Israel will ever be enough.

The reason for this is simple: They totally and utterly reject Israel’s existence as a homeland for the Jewish people. They see peace talks as a form of negotiated surrender on the part of Israel, not the establishment of lasting peace through mutual recognition.

These are the sad facts of the so-called “peace process,” whether carried out by Democratic or Republican administrations.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s administration has gone further than any other in pushing Israel out onto a ledge — forcing it to give up as a matter of policy things like settlements on the West Bank that it rightfully should be able to negotiate in peace talks.

This fits a pattern going all the way back to U.N. Resolution 242 after the Six-Day War, the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s, the Wye Accords later in that decade and all the way up to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. And it’s always pretty much the same: Israel makes concessions, and Palestinian groups respond with suicide bombings and rockets.

In this context, Netanyahu’s speech was brave, tough, visionary and generous. It defined an Israel that’s committed to its own continued existence, despite the unremitting enmity of its neighbors.

But it also held out an olive branch to Israel’s enemies — offering them real peace, if only they had the good sense to take it.

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With Israel in grave danger, President Obama goes wobbly

June 15, 2009
With Israel in grave danger, President Obama goes wobbly
Sunday, June 14th 2009, 4:00 AM
Mort Zuckerman
The State of Israel and its citizens are confronted by the greatest peril in the nation’s history. Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, seek to “wipe Israel off the map” – and Israel’s faithful defender, the United States, seems to have gone wobbly.
The situation is starkly clear – but not to a world so bored with the conflict, so used to quick fixes, so confused that it has succumbed to the most specious moral equivalency. It makes no distinction between the inexcusable, indiscriminate violence of terrorism and the very different, unavoidable defensive violence of the authority responsible for protecting its citizens. It’s the difference between the arsonist and the firefighter.
It was the Six-Day War in 1967 that transformed the image of the “plucky little Jewish state” whose people made the desert bloom into a cartoon of a brutal, aggressive collective called Israel. Despite the fact that Egypt‘s President Gamal Abdel Nasser was about to attack, Israel received the odium for the preemptive strike. Israel then offered to return the territories it conquered in exchange for peace, only to be faced with the three no’s from the Arab summit in Khartoum: no peace, no negotiation, no recognition.
In succeeding years, as the Arabs continued terrorism and invasion, it was the attackers who got the sympathy. The TV pictures are framed not in terms of the survival of Israel or the security of the state but of self-determination for the Palestinian Arabs, with Israel seen as the bully oppressing the underdog. The question that emerges is: Why doesn’t Israel do something for these people?
This marks the success of the Palestinians in shifting the ground of the debate. The truly brutal reality is that Palestinian maps still do not show the State of Israel.
That is why it was disturbing to read of President Obama’s rationale for the formation of Israel as a result of the Holocaust without referring to the 3,000-year-old connection that the Jews have to the Holy Land. It is but a short step from this inaccurate perception to conceive of the Jews as the guilty party.
It is revealing that when the President speaks about daily humiliation of Palestinian Arabs, he ignores that every Israeli is searched numerous times during the day; that Jewish schoolchildren have to be protected by perimeter fences and armed guards; that guards are required in cafes, restaurants and movie theaters.

Arab villagers do not need to have guards at their shops, cafes or restaurants. Why? Because the Israelis do not target the innocent. The President could have acknowledged the suffering of Israeli victims of Arab terrorism “for more than 60 years” when he talked of the “suffering” and “pain” of Palestinians “for more than 60 years.”
Even more disturbing was the juxtaposition of his reference to the Holocaust, the deliberate murder of 6 million Jews for the fact that they were Jewish, and his assertion of Palestinian suffering in pursuit of a homeland.
It is extraordinary that a gullible world now regards Israel as rejectionist, yet it is Arab leaders who have rejected everything over the decades. Instead of embracing peace, Arab leaders converted the West Bank territory they came to control into a launching pad for an intifadeh that killed more than 1,000 Israelis and ultimately forced Israel to return to the West Bank at great cost and build a security fence against terrorist infiltration. This conduct turned upside down the priorities of the road map for peace, which stated that prior to Israeli concessions the Palestinians would be obliged to demonstrate a commitment to curbing terrorism, eschewing violence and its incitement.
Meanwhile, the hatred of Jews is cultivated throughout the Arab Muslim world without drawing any rebuke from the moral arbiters who are so ready to condemn Israel for the smallest infraction. The anti-Jewish campaign is so dishonest, so vicious, so persistent that it surpasses that of Nazi Germany in its heyday.
Israelis are prepared to meet the Palestinians without preconditions. And the Palestinians? Ho, hum. Mahmoud Abbas intends to be passive and wait for the United States to force concessions from Israel. The contrast could not be clearer.
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/06/14/2009-06-14_with_israel_in_grave_danger_president_obama_goes_wobbly.html#ixzz0IQy7IsCd&D
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The Exodus Obama Forgot to Mention

June 10, 2009
The Exodus Obama Forgot to Mention
By ANDRÉ ACIMAN  Published: June 8, 2009
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S speech to the Islamic world was a groundbreaking event. Never before has a young, dynamic American president, beloved both by (some of) his countrymen and the nations of the world, extended so timely and eager a hand to a part of the globe that, recently, had seen fewer and fewer reasons to trust us or to wish us well.
As important, Mr. Obama did not mince words. Never before has a president gone over to the Arab world and broadcast its flaws so loudly and clearly: extremism, nuclear weapons programs and a faltering record in human rights, education and economic development — the Arab world gets no passing grades in any of these domains. Mr. Obama even found a moment to mention the plight of Egypt’s harassed Coptic community and to criticize the new wave of Holocaust deniers. And to show he was not playing favorites, he put the Israelis on notice: no more settlements in the occupied territories. He spoke about the suffering of Palestinians. This was no wilting olive branch.
And yet, for all the president’s talk of “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world” and shared “principles of justice and progress,” neither he nor anyone around him, and certainly no one in the audience, bothered to notice one small detail missing from the speech: he forgot me.
The president never said a word about me. Or, for that matter, about any of the other 800,000 or so Jews born in the Middle East who fled the Arab and Muslim world or who were summarily expelled for being Jewish in the 20th century. With all his references to the history of Islam and to its (questionable) “proud tradition of tolerance” of other faiths, Mr. Obama never said anything about those Jews whose ancestors had been living in Arab lands long before the advent of Islam but were its first victims once rampant nationalism swept over the Arab world.
Nor did he bother to mention that with this flight and expulsion, Jewish assets were — let’s call it by its proper name — looted. Mr. Obama never mentioned the belongings I still own in Egypt and will never recover. My mother’s house, my father’s factory, our life in Egypt, our friends, our books, our cars, my bicycle. We are, each one of us, not just defined by the arrangement of protein molecules in our cells, but also by the things we call our own. Take away our things and something in us dies. Losing his wealth, his home, the life he had built, killed my father. He didn’t die right away; it took four decades of exile to finish him off.
Mr. Obama had harsh things to say to the Arab world about its treatment of women. And he said much about America’s debt to Islam. [?] But he failed to remind the Egyptians in his audience that until 50 years ago a strong and vibrant Jewish community thrived in their midst. Or that many of Egypt’s finest hospitals and other institutions were founded and financed by Jews. It is a shame that he did not remind the Egyptians in the audience of this, because, in most cases — and especially among those younger than 50 — their memory banks have been conveniently expunged of deadweight and guilt. They have no recollections of Jews.
In Alexandria, my birthplace and my home, all streets bearing Jewish names have been renamed. A few years ago, the Library of Alexandria put on display an Arabic translation of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” perhaps the most anti-Semitic piece of prose ever written. Today, for the record, there are perhaps four Jews left in Alexandria.
When the last Jew dies, the temples and religious artifacts and books that were the property of what was once probably the wealthiest Jewish community on the Mediterranean will go to the Egyptian government — not to me, or to my children, or to any of the numberless descendants of Egyptian Jews.
It is strange that our president, a man so versed in history and so committed to the truth, should have omitted mentioning the Jews of Egypt. He either forgot, or just didn’t know, or just thought it wasn’t expedient or appropriate for this venue. But for him to speak in Cairo of a shared effort “to find common ground … and to respect the dignity of all human beings” without mentioning people in my position would be like his speaking to the residents of Berlin about the future of Germany and forgetting to mention a small detail called World War II.

[Obama is NOT “versed in history”.  In fact, there are few past Presidents who are so deficient in history as is Obama.  His knowledge of history is abysmal!”]

André Aciman, a professor of comparative literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center, is the author of the memoir “Out of Egypt.”

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A Concoction Of Canards For Cairo Crowd

June 5, 2009

A Concoction Of Canards For Cairo Crowd

By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | IBD 5 June 2009

Obama the Humble declares there will be no more “dictating” to other countries. We should “forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions,” he told the G-20 summit. In Middle East negotiations, he told al-Arabiya, America will henceforth “start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating.”

An admirable sentiment. It applies to everyone — Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, even Venezuela. Except Israel. Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Clinton imperiously explained the diktat: “a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.”

What’s the issue? No “natural growth” means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining.

It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that.

The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.

To what end? Over the last decade, the U.S. government has understood that any final peace treaty would involve Israel retaining some of the close-in settlements — and compensating the Palestinians accordingly with land from within Israel itself.

That was envisioned in the Clinton plan in the Camp David negotiations in 2000, and again at Taba in 2001. After all, why turn towns to rubble when, instead, Arabs and Jews can stay in their homes if the 1949 armistice line is shifted slightly into the Palestinian side to capture the major close-in Jewish settlements, and then shifted into Israeli territory to capture Israeli land to give to the Palestinians?

This idea is not only logical, not only accepted by both Democratic and Republican administrations for the last decade, but was agreed to in writing in the letters of understanding exchanged between Israel and the United States in 2004 — and subsequently overwhelmingly endorsed by a concurrent resolution of Congress.

Yet the Obama State Department has repeatedly refused to endorse these agreements or even say it will honor them. This from a president who piously insists that all parties to the conflict honor previous obligations.

The entire “natural growth” issue is a concoction. It’s farcical to suggest that the peace process is moribund because a teacher in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem is making an addition to her house to accommodate new grandchildrenwhen Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists dedicated to permanent war with Israel and when Mahmoud Abbas, having turned down every one of Ehud Olmert’s peace offers, brazenly declares that he is in a waiting mode — waiting for Hamas to become moderate and for Israel to cave — before he’ll do anything to advance peace.

In his much-heralded “Muslim world” address in Cairo on Thursday, Obama declared that the Palestinian people’s “situation” is “intolerable.”

Indeed it is, the result of 60 years of Palestinian leadership that gave its people corruption, tyranny, religious intolerance and forced militarization; leadership that for three generations — Haj Amin al-Husseini in 1947, Yasser Arafat in 2000, Abbas in December 2008 — rejected every offer of independence and dignity, choosing destitution and despair rather than accept any settlement not accompanied by the extinction of Israel.

In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders — Fatah and Hamas alike — built no schools, no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, no institutions that would relieve their people’s suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.

Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy: “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over “natural growth” may curry favor with the Muslim “street.” But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas:

Sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter.

Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

———————————————————–

My Comment: Self-defeating.  I believe he (Obama) intends to do just that.  Only we Americans can stop that from happening.

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Nukes Are OK For Iran, But Not For Us?

June 4, 2009

Nukes Are OK For Iran, But Not For Us?

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | 4 June 2009

Nuclear Power: If Iran has “legitimate energy concerns” that make its nuclear plants OK, doesn’t the energy-starved U.S.? Why doesn’t Iran, with the second-largest proven oil reserves, just build some refineries?


Read More: Iran


Normally, a nation with significant oil resources that decides to develop nuclear power would and should be praised for its prudence. Nuclear power is an emission-free domestic form of energy that is good for the environment and the economy.

Except when it’s a country that builds missiles instead of refineries and pledges to wipe a neighbor off the face of the earth.

Iran says it’s developing nuclear power to generate electricity while it waits for the 12th Imam and the apocalypse to arrive. To hasten the process, however, it is using its nuclear knowledge to amass fissile material necessary to build a bomb. It’s developing missiles to deliver that bomb, presumably somewhere in the heart of downtown Tel Aviv.

Our new administration is trying to talk them out of it, and the Iranians are quite willing to drag out the conversation as long as it takes to develop their nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it.

“Although I don’t want to put artificial timetables on that process,” President Obama (?) has said, “we do want to make sure that, by the end of this year, we’ve actually seen a serious process move forward. And I think that we can measure whether or not the Iranians are serious.”

Unfortunately, Iran by the end of the year should have enough weapons-grade material to make a bomb, if it doesn’t have enough already. One thing we can measure is the increasing number of centrifuges they have spinning. They are not designed to keep the lights on in Tehran.

It would seem to us that encouraging Iranian use of nuclear energy in any context is the last thing we should be doing. In a BBC interview broadcast on Tuesday, President Obama said:

“Without going into specifics, what I do believe is that Iran has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations. On the other hand, the international community has a very real interest in preventing a nuclear arms race in the region.”

This echoes remarks made in Prague last month, when the president said his administration would “support Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections” if Iran gives up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But it hasn’t, and the race is already on. Iran state television interpreted these remarks as recognizing “the rights of the Iranian nation,” by which it means its right to develop nuclear power unencumbered.

That Iran is not serious about peaceful nuclear energy is shown by its refusal to build the refinery capacity needed to eliminate its dependence on imported gasoline. That money instead has gone to buying more centrifuges and expanding nuclear facilities. If Iran’s energy aspirations were legitimate, it would be building refineries and not bombs.

The irony here is that at the same time we are encouraging Iran to exploit the peaceful uses of nuclear power, we are discouraging its use here at home. We have legitimate energy aspirations as well, and one of them is reducing our dependence on imported oil from countries that do not have our interests at heart.

We let billions flow overseas and domestic oil resources from the Chukchi Sea to ANWR to Western oil shale to the Gulf of Mexico go unexploited. We have one thing in common with Iran: We’re not pushing refinery construction here either.

We prattle on about nuclear power being costly and nuclear waste being a danger without a safe place to store it even as we shut down Yucca Mountain, a perfectly safe place to store it. We place all sorts of regulatory and environmental impediments in its way.

Why is nuclear power a viable energy source for Iran but not for America?

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Obama/Israel: Obsessive, Delusional Behavior

May 28, 2009

Israel must realize that only Almighty God can protect this tiny State – that even this is only a portion of the Promised Land.

Excellent article – but we must remember – Israel can never trust any agreement with Islam – remember HUDAIBIYYA!

Don

Strip away the smiles from the Obama-Bibi press conference and we are Left with obsessive, delusional behavior

By Caroline B. Glick


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit with US President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday was baptism of fire for Israel’s new premier. What emerged from the meeting is that Obama’s priorities regarding Iran, Israel and the Arab world are diametrically opposed to Israel’s priorities. During his ad-hoc press conference with Netanyahu, Obama made clear that he will not lift a finger to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And acting as Obama’s surrogate, for the past two weeks CIA Director Leon Panetta has made clear that Obama expects Israel to also sit on its thumbs as Iran develops the means to destroy it.

Obama showed his hand on Iran in three ways. First, he set a non-binding timetable of seven months for his policy of appeasement and engagement of the ayatollahs to work. That policy, he explained will only be implemented after next month’s Iranian presidential elections. And those direct US-Iranian talks must be given at least six months to show results before they can be assessed as successful or failed.

But Israel’s military intelligence has assessed that six months may be too long to wait. By the end of the year, Iran’s nuclear program may be unstoppable. And Iran’s successful test of its solid fuel Sejil-2 missile with a two thousand kilometer range on Wednesday merely served to show the urgency of the situation. Obviously the mullahs are not waiting for Obama to convince them of the error of their ways.

Beyond the fact that Obama’s nonbinding timeline is too long, there is his “or else.” Obama made clear that in the event that in December or January he concludes that the Iranians are not negotiating in good faith, the most radical step he will be willing to take will be to consider escalating international sanctions against Teheran. In the meantime, at his urging, Congressman Howard Berman, Chairman of the House International Affairs Committee has tabled a bill requiring sanctions against oil companies that export refined fuel into Iran.

Finally there was Obama’s contention that the best way for the US to convince Iran to give up its nuclear program is by convincing Israel to give away more land to the Palestinians. As Obama put it, “To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians — between the Palestinians and the Israelis, then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.”

This statement encapsulates the basic lack of seriousness and fundamental mendacity of Obama’s approach to “dealing with a potential Iranian threat.” Iran has made clear that it wants Israel destroyed. The mullahs don’t care how big Israel is. Their missiles are pointing at Tel Aviv not Beit El.

As for the international community, the Russians and Chinese have not been assisting Iran’s nuclear and missile programs for the past fifteen years because there is no Palestinian state. They have been assisting Iran because they think a strong Iran weakens the US. And they are right.

The Arab states, for their part are already openly siding with Israel against Iran. The establishment of a Palestinian state will not make their support for action to prevent Iran from acquiring the means to dominate the region any more profound.

On the face of it, Obama’s obsessive push for a Palestinian state makes little sense. The Palestinians are hopelessly divided. It is not simply that Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and Fatah controls Judea and Samaria. Fatah itself is riven by division. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s appointment of the new PA government under Salam Fayyad was overwhelmingly rejected by Fatah leaders. Quite simply, today there is no coherent Palestinian leadership that is either willing or capable of reaching an accord with Israel.

And as for the prospects for peace itself, given that there is little distinction between the anti-Semitic bilge broadcast daily in Gaza by Hamas-controlled media, and the anti-Semitic bilge broadcast daily in Judea and Samaria by the Fatah/Abbas/Fayyad-controlled media, those prospects aren’t looking particularly attractive. That across-the-board anti-Semitic incitement has engendered the current situation where Hamas and Fatah members and supporters are firmly united in their desire to see Israel destroyed. This was made clear on Thursday morning when a Fatah policeman in Kalkilya used his US-provided rifle to open fire on IDF forces engaged in a counter-terror operation in the city.

Given that the establishment of a Palestinian state will have no impact on Iran’s nuclear program, and in light of the fact that under the present circumstances any Palestinian state will be at war against Israel, and assuming that Obama is not completely ignorant of the situation on the ground, there is only one reasonable explanation for Obama’s urgent desire to force Israel support the creation of a Palestinian state and work for its establishment by expelling hundreds of thousands of Israelis from their homes. Quite simply, it is a way to divert attention away from Obama’s acquiescence to Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

By making the achievement of the unachievable goal of making peace between Israel and the Palestinians through the establishment of a Palestinian terror state the centerpiece of his Middle East agenda, Obama is able to cast Israel as the region’s villain. This aim is reflected in the administration’s intensifying pressure on Israel to destroy Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. In portraying Jews who live in mobile homes on barren hilltops in Judea and Samaria — rather than Iranian mullahs who test ballistic missile while enriching uranium and inciting genocide — as the greatest obstacle to peace, the Obama administration not only seeks to deflect attention away from its refusal to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is also setting Israel up as the fall guy who it will blamed after Iran emerges as a nuclear power.

Obama’s intention to unveil his Middle East peace plan in the course of his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo on June 4, like his decision to opt out of visiting Israel in favor of visiting a Nazi death camp, make clear that he does not perceive Israel as either a vital ally or even as a partner in the peace process he wishes to initiate. Israeli officials were not consulted about his plan. Then too, from the emerging contours of his plan, it is clear that he will be offering something that no Israeli government can accept.

According to media reports, Obama’s plan will require Israel to withdraw its citizens and its military to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines. It will provide for the free immigration of millions of Israel-hating Arabs to the Palestinian state. And it seeks to represent all of this as in accord with Israel’s interests by claiming that after Israel renders itself indefensible, all 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (including Iran) will “normalize” their relations with Israel. In short, Obama is using his peace plan to castigate the Netanyahu government as the chief destabilizing force in the region.

During his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu succeeded in evading the policy traps Obama set for him. Netanyahu reserved Israel’s right to act independently against Iran and he conceded nothing substantive on the Palestinian issue. While itself no small achievement, Netanyahu’s successful deflection of Obama’s provocations are not a sustainable strategy. Already on Tuesday the administration began coercing Israel to toe its line on Iran and the Palestinians by engaging it in joint “working groups.” Then too, the government’s destruction of an outpost community in Judea on Thursday was perceived as Israeli buckling to US pressure. And it doubtlessly raised expectations for further expulsions in the near future.

So what must Netanyahu do? What would a strategy to contain the Obama administration’s pressure and maintain international attention on Iran look like?

Under the present circumstances, the Netanyahu government’s best bet is to introduce its own peace plan to mitigate the impact of Obama’s plan. To blunt the impact of Obama’s speech in Cairo, Netanyahu should present his peace plan before June 4.

Such a plan should contain three stages. First, in light of the Arab world’s apparent willingness to engage with Israel, Netanyahu should call for the opening of direct talks between Israel and the Arab League or Israel and the OIC regarding the immediate normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab-Islamic world. Both Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah claim that such normalization is in the offing. Israel should insist that it begin without delay.

This of course is necessary for peace to emerge with the Palestinians. As we saw at Camp David in 2000, the only way that Palestinian leaders will feel comfortable making peace with Israel is if the Arab world first demonstrates its acceptance of the Jewish state as a permanent feature on the Middle East’s landscape. Claims that such an Israeli demand is a mere tactic for buying time can be easily brushed off. Given Jordanian and American claims that the Arab world is willing to accept Israel, once negotiations begin, this stage could be completed in a matter of months.

The second stage of the Israeli peace plan would involve Israel and the Arab world agreeing and beginning to implement a joint program for combating terrorism. This program would involve destroying terror networks, cutting off funding for terror networks, and agreeing to arrest terrorists and extradite them to the Hague or the US for trial. It should be abundantly clear to all governments in the region that there can be no long term regional peace or stability for as long as terrorists bent on destroying Israel and overthrowing moderate Arab regimes are allowed to operate. So making the implementation of such a join program a precondition for further progress shouldn’t pose an obstacle to peace. Indeed, there is no reason for it to even be perceived as particularly controversial.

The final stage of the Israeli peace plan should be the negotiation of a final status accord with the Palestinians. Only after the Arab world has accepted Israel, and only after it has agreed to join Israel in achieving the common goal of a terror-free Middle East can there be any chance that the Palestinians will feel comfortable and free to peacefully coexist with Israel. And Israel, of course, will feel much more confident about living at peace with the Palestinians after the Arab world demonstrates its good faith and friendship to the Jewish state and its people.

Were Netanyahu to offer this plan in the next two weeks, he would be able to elude Obama’s trap on June 4 by proposing to discuss both plans with the Arab League. In so doing, he would be able to continue to make the case that Iran is the gravest danger to the region without being demonized as a destabilizing force and an enemy of peace.

Whether Netanyahu advances such a peace plan or not, what became obvious this week is that his greatest challenges in office will be to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons while preventing the Obama administration from blaming Israel for the absence of peace.

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The Limits Of Mideast Diplomacy

May 28, 2009

IBD 20 May 09

Middle East: After chiding Israel, President Obama gets called a liar by Hamas. An Iranian general threatens to “wipe Israel out of existence” in 11 days. Clearly, Islamist hard-liners will never accept their Jewish neighbor.

One of the most delightful moments in Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s 1936 film “Showboat” is Paul Robeson’s mischievous serenade of Hattie McDaniel.

“No matter what you say,” dock worker Joe sings to his hard-working sweetheart, Queenie, “I still suits me.”

That’s a perfect description of the attitude of much of the Islamic Middle East towards Israel. No matter what Israel or its most important ally, the United States, says, be it conciliatory or scolding, the hard-line Islamists from the West Bank to Iran always suit themselves and refuse to recognize the Jewish state’s legitimacy.

Indeed, they look fondly toward the day of its eventual demise.

That is a crucial point because with the Obama administration committed to “tough diplomacy” to solve age-old disputes in the Middle East, there is a growing temptation to believe that just the right combination of concessions by Israel will deliver a breakthrough that brings peace to the region.

Cold water was thrown on that notion on Tuesday. The Hamas terrorist group, voted into power by the Palestinians, reacted to President Obama’s Monday meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington with this ugly attack:

“Obama’s remarks and expressions of hope were intended to deceive the international community regarding everything connected to the continuing behavior and existence of the racist and radical Zionist entity,” a Hamas spokesman said, calling Obama’s words just an “ensemble of wishes” with little hope of success.

That assault on the president comes after he employed perhaps the most brazen tone ever directed by America toward an Israeli leader. “I suggested to the prime minister that he has an historic opportunity to get a serious movement on this issue during his tenure,” President Obama said about negotiations he’d like to see that would establish an independent Palestinian state.

He also insisted that Jewish West Bank “settlements have to be stopped,” and rather patronizingly said he expected that Netanyahu “is going to rise to the occasion.”

Consider: As thanks for the president signaling he’ll now apply heavy pressure on Israel, those who supposedly will benefit from it turn around and call him a liar. And while they’re at it, they call Israel “racist” and challenge the legitimacy of its “existence.”

This should shock no one; the 1988 Hamas Charter is explicit regarding the Islamic imperative that Israel be destroyed.

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,” the charter states.

“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day,” it adds. (A “waqf” is an irrevocable endowment of property in Islamic law.) “It, or any part of it, should not be squandered. It, or any part of it, should not be given up.”

Peace conferences, according to Article 13 of the Hamas manifesto, “are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

It goes on to accuse Israel of expansionist ambitions in the greater Mideast and even world domination, citing the notorious 19th century anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Now let’s turn to the state sponsor of Hamas’ terrorism, Iran. Earlier this month, Iranian Army chief Gen. Ataollah Salehi declared, “If we are subjected to any attack by Israel I do not think we will need more than 11 days to wipe Israel out of existence.”

That statement comes with Iran engaged not only in a nuclear program that will likely soon give it atomic weapons, but also a military buildup aimed at deploying over 1,000 long-range ballistic missiles within six years, according to Israeli defense estimates.

“Peace” to the likes of Hamas and Iran’s mullahs is the peace of the grave for the Israelis and their American and European friends. No one should be deluded into thinking that diplomatic overtures will talk them out of such hate.

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Farmer Builds Biblical Temple

May 21, 2009

Pensioner spends 30 years building amazing model of Herod’s Temple … but admits he won’t be around to finish it

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:22 PM on 26th February 2009

Brick by brick, tiny figure by tiny figure, Alec Garrard has painstakingly worked for 30 years on an astonishing recreation of Herod’s Temple.

But despite spending all that time and effort the retired farmer believes he won’t finish it in his lifetime as he keeps finding things to add to it.

In contrast, legend has it that the original construction of the entire complex lasted only three years, although historians believe it took far longer.

It was his fascination for religion and buildings which first started Alec on the Biblical project which now measures 20ft by 12ft and is housed in a seperate building in his garden.

His version is so impressive that some of the world’s top archaeologists and experts from the British Museum have come to view it.

 Alec Garrard

Alec Garrard standing next to the model on which he has dedicated the past 30 years of his life. Measuring 20ft by 12ft it is housed in a seperate building in his garden

‘It’s now recognised as the most authentic version of the temple in the world,’ he said. ‘I’ve had a lot of offers from people to buy it, but it’s not for sale.’

And while he sees it as a form of relaxation, he says his wife thinks he is mad.

‘She wishes she’d married a normal person,’ he said.

The original temple was built in 19BC by King Herod the Great but was flattened in AD70 by Roman troops under Emperor Titus during the Siege of Jerusalem, just six years after completion.

In its heyday the complex covered 36 acres – four times the area of Windsor Castle.

Today, all that remains of the temple is the Western Wall or so-called Wailing Wall. The temple itself was located on the site of the Islamic shrine the Dome of the Rock.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, the temple had just been rebuilt and it was in an area known as Solomon’s Porch that he argued with rabbis, amazing them with his questions and answers.

Herod, keen to perpetuate his name through building projects, ensured that the temple dominated the Jerusalem landscape, effectively becoming its focal point.

 Alec Garrard

A peek into the 1:100 scale model, here showing the Court of Prayer, enables one to see the extraordinary attention to detail where Alec has hand-baked and painted every clay brick and tile

Enlarge

This artist’s impression of Herod’s Temple was made for a series of Bible illustrations in 1886 by James Tissot

Christ Drives The Usurers Out Of The Temple is a woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Elder and was created in the 15th century

Enlarge The ambitious project involved an estimated 1herods temple0,000 workers more than doubling the size of the pre-existing site. This was done by cutting away rock, constructing walls and then filling the areas with earth and rubble.herods temple

Two years ago an archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a quarry which may have provided Herod with the stones to build the temple.

Coins and pottery tied the date to 19BC while large outlines of the stone cuts was seen as evidence of a massive public project worked by hundreds of slaves.

For his part, Mr Garrard, 78, has dedicated 33,000 hours to constructing his model and has hand-baked and painted every clay brick and tile and even sculpted 4,000 tiny human figures to populate the courtyards.

Historical experts believe the model, which has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the globe, is the best representation in the world of what the Jewish temple actually looked like.

 Alec Garrard

This image shows the Royal Porch of the temple. Mr Garrard’s model has attracted visitors from all over the world, including top archeologists

‘I have been working on it for decades but it will never be finished as I’m always finding something new to add,’ he said.

‘I’ve always loved making models and as I was getting older I started to think about making one big project which would see me through to the end of my life.

Mr Garrard said he had seen one or two models of the temple and thought he could do better so began building one himself.

‘I have an interest in buildings and religion so I thought maybe I could combine the two and I came up with the idea of doing the temple,’ he said.

The original temple featured the Court of the Priests, where the animals were prepared for sacrifice, the Golden Vine at the entrance to the Temple and the Eastern Gate.

Since the day the temple was destroyed scholars have argued over the detail of its construction.

Alec Garrard

Mr Garrard has sculpted 4,000 half-inch figures to populate the courtyards. Each one takes three hours to make

Mr Garrard, from Norfolk, spent more than three years researching the temple, which was destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago and deemed to be one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient times.

He then started to construct the amazing 1:100 scale model.

‘Everything is made by hand. I cut plywood frames for the walls and buildings and all the clay bricks and tiles were baked in the oven then stuck together,’ he said.

As well as having religious services, the temple had a bazaar, people selling souvenirs, as well as currency changers, exchanging Roman for Jewish money, as mentioned in the New Testament account of Jesus and the money changers.

‘I have also sculpted and painted 4,000 figures, measuring just half an inch and all wearing their correct costumes.

‘Each one takes about three hours to make and there are 32 versions of Jesus, although no one can ever spot him no matter how religious they are.’

Mr Garrard still spends hours working on the model every day.

‘I look upon it as a work of art, there is lots of detail and I want it to look as real as possible,’ he said.

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Biden Warns Israel

April 16, 2009

BIDEN WARNS ISRAEL

** AND Lets all pray that some one in our government will be intelligent enough to realize that we must stop Iran from having weapons that will take out Israel.  We can’t let that happen.**

Don

By Paul Richter
April 8, 2009
Gerry Broome / Associated Press
Vice President Joe Biden last week as he arrived at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be ‘ill advised’ to try to strike Iranian nuclear facilities.
Reporting from Washington — Vice President Joe Biden issued a high-level admonishment to Israel’s new government Tuesday that it would be “ill advised” to launch a military strike against Iran.

Biden said in a CNN interview that he does not believe newly installed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would take such a step. Even so, his comment underscored a gap between the conservative new Israeli government and the Obama White House on a series of questions, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Iran.

While the Obama administration has made a series of recent overtures to Tehran, the Israelis have grown more confrontational out of concern that the Islamic Republic’s increasing nuclear know-how could one day become an existential threat.

Netanyahu signaled several times during his election campaign that he would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. “I promise that if I am elected, Iran will not acquire nuclear arms,” he said in one appearance, “and this implies everything necessary to carry this out.”

With his brief comment Tuesday, Biden became the highest-ranking administration official to caution the Jewish state against a military strike. In the interview, Biden was asked whether he was concerned that Netanyahu might strike Iranian nuclear facilities.

“I don’t believe Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill advised to do that,” Biden said.

And so my level of concern is no different than it was a year ago.”

But many U.S. officials believe Israel is serious. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. forces in the Middle East, told senators this month that the Israeli government may be “so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take preemptive military action to derail or delay it.”

Other U.S. officials have made it clear in the past that they would prefer that Israel not carry out a strike against Iran. Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned last summer against military action.
“This is a very unstable part of the world,” he said then. “And I don’t need it to be more unstable.”  [“I”??]

Among other concerns, U.S. Defense Department officials worry that Iran might retaliate by striking at U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq.  [Let’s pray that the “US Defense Department” is prepared to protect our troops in Iraq – NOT a smart response. D.]

Differences between U.S. and Israeli officials also are emerging on key issues involving the Palestinians. Netanyahu has not embraced Washington’s goal of an independent Palestinian state, and some of his key supporters favor expanded Jewish settlements in the West Bank, an idea criticized by President Obama.
But U.S. views are important to the Israelis. Steven J. Rosen, a former policy director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential lobbying group, said a decision by Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities “depends to a large extent on the impact such a strike might have on the United States.” He made the comment in a blog, the Obama Mideast Monitor.
Many top officials in the Obama administration have said they believe the costs of a U.S. attack on Iran would outweigh any benefits, and they are considered less likely to favor military action than the Bush administration.
One hint of the Obama administration’s intentions may lie in its choice of top experts.
Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration’s representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has hired longtime Iran expert Vali Nasr. Dennis Ross, senior administration advisor for Southwest Asia, has hired Ray Takeyh, another veteran Iran expert.
Both Nasr and Takeyh have advocated diplomatic engagement with Tehran.
paul.richter@latimes.com

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Obama has a bitter pill for Israel

April 7, 2009

It’s becoming clearer, each day, even to hard core Democrats, that their votes cast for Obama, will lead to this nation’s abandoning Israel to placate the nutcases in Iran. The obvious close relations ignored by liberals, that Obama had with such as Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, Bill Ayres and Father Pfleger are coming back to haunt us. This nation is on the express train track to appease worldwide and domestic radical Islamists, sending the signal that we’re vulnerable, willing to appease them and make concessions in their favor. May G-d help us.


S Awards Iran Role as Military Partner, Sells Israel Short

DEBKAfile Excusive Analysis

April 4, 2009

Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi

Only two weeks ago, Israel’s chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, then visiting Washington, was denied interviews with US defense secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the US chiefs of staff Adm. Mike Mullen. He cut short his visit after seeing national security adviser Gen. James Jones and Iran envoy Dennis Ross, lesser lights in terms of their direct influence on President Barack Obama.

Since then, the US president has decided the snub was ill-judged.

During 2008 and up until his exit from the White House, George W. Bush found Ashkenazi useful for conveying to the former prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak his administration’s strong objections to an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites. The US effort to hold Israel’s hand brought Mullen and an array of top US generals calling at the chief of staff’s Tel Aviv headquarters almost every ten days in the last months of 2008.

Mullen wanted to keep this effort afloat, but president Obama thought otherwise, which is why Ashkenazi was so coolly received in Washington in mid-March.

However, the inception of Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister with Barak held over at defense occasioned a spate of declarations which worried the new administration: Netanyahu declared at his swearing-in last Tuesday that if American sanctions and diplomacy fail, Israel will be forced to take action against Iran’s nuclear weapon drive and time was running out.

His words were echoed by Barak.

Obama therefore decided to revive the Ashkenazi track, while he was still abroad at the G20 in London and the NATO summit at Strasbourg, and before visiting Istanbul next week. He feared that Israel might upset his broad strategic applecart which hinges on the co-option of Iran as its primary hinge.

Ashkenazi was therefore invited to Strasbourg to carry some more bad news to his government, i.e. that the Obama administration wants Iran as its key military and intelligence partner for resolving America’s Afghanistan-Pakistan (known now as “Afgpak”) predicament. The shape of this alliance lacks final form; backdoor US-Iranian meetings at various levels are in progress at different venues to determine how far Tehran is willing to go. But the US president has set his course.

The high points of the proposed collaboration [?] were first revealed exclusively by DEBKA-Weekly 390 of March 27 and 391 of April 3.

Its impact was sensed at the NATO summit in Strasbourg.

Aside from UK premier Gordon Brown, NATO leaders by and large refused the US president’s appeal for more troops to fight in Afghanistan. German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Obama there was no point in sending reinforcements to Afghanistan if US troops were on their way out, especially after Washington had opted for an “Iranian solution” for the conflict without reference to Berlin or Paris.

The Obama administration has a bitter pill for Israel to swallow for the sake of progress toward a strategic collaboration with Tehran on Afghanistan and Pakistan. It cuts close to the bone in terms of Israel’s security and international standing:

1. Washington will not brook any unilateral Israeli military action that might upset US-Iranian moves towards cooperation in the Afgpak Arena.

2. Washington will apply all its resources to obstruct such action.

3. It will not be enough for Israel to stand idle as Iran develops a nuclear bomb. The Obama administration also has fish to fry with Taliban and is bent on an urgent breakthrough in Israel-Arab peacemaking for dividends relevant to this arena too.

Israel can therefore expect to be squeezed hard for sweeping concessions to Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians in order to enhance America’s hand on both these tracks.

4. This will bring Jerusalem’s Arab opponents to the negotiating table with loaded dice and no bar to treating Israel as the weak party.

The tidings Ashkenazi brings back to Jerusalem from Strasbourg will not be news because Israel officials have been aware of the state of play between Obama and Tehran for some weeks. The only question is how Adm. Mullen packaged his briefing: Did he offer the Israeli chief of staff the chance of military coordination with the United States alongside its evolving pact with Iran? Or simply outline the new situation as a take-it or leave-it proposition?

When this development finally percolates through to the Israeli public, opposition leader Tzipi Livni will no doubt use the opportunity to lay it at the door of the Netanyahu-Lieberman administration as the price for backing away from the Annapolis version of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Livni’s efforts to discredit the new government will be internationally popularbut chronologically and factually untenable. The new Obama strategy and its disastrous fallout for Israel took shape while she was still foreign minister and vice premier, for one; and, furthermore, a Palestinian state is clearly defined as the end product of the phased Middle East road map, which the Netanyahu government has formally embraced.

The Annapolis initiative never took off because the ensuing Livni-Olmert talks with Palestinian leaders led nowhere.

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Mecca is Toast

March 16, 2009

People in a Beirut, Lebanon, suburb listen to Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, who appears on a giant screen. Speaking from a secret location, Nasrallah marked the Islamic prophet Muhammed’s birthday Friday by telling Hezbollah supporters that “we, our children and our offspring will never be able to recognize Israel. We are capable of defeating this entity and can make it disappear.”

Maybe Israel should say: Try it and Mecca is Toast