Saturday, June 25, 2011

Red Cross: Hamas' Behavior Totally Unacceptable

Gavriel Queenann

The International Commitee of the Red Cross, whose demand Hamas provide proof of life for abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit was shot down Thursday, told reporters Hamas' conduct in the matter is "totally unacceptable."

Schalit was kidnapped from the Israeli side of the Gaza security fence in June 2006 by Hamas terrorists after they tunneled into an IDF post. Two Israeli soldiers were killed during the abduction. Schalit has since been held incommunicado by Hamas in Gaza. The last proof of life for Schalit came in October 2009 when Hamas released a tape of Schalit in exchange for terror-prisoners being held in Israeli jails. Israel's government has since refused to release more prisoners.

"The total absence of information concerning Mr. Schalit is completely unacceptable," said the ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord.

"The Shalit family have the right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their son," he added.

The ICRC says its repeated requests for Hamas to "permit Schalit to exchange family news with his loved ones,” and its numerous requests for access to him, have been denied by Hamas.

"Hamas has an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect Mr. Shalit's life, to treat him humanely and to let him have contact with his family," Daccord insisted.

ICRC requests for access to prisoners are usually made in private due to the sensitive, precarious position prisoners like Schalit are often in. Thursday's public request was an uncharacteristic departure from the organizations normal practices.

ICRC Tel Aviv spokesman Ran Goldstein said the Red Cross decided to mount a public campaign due to growing concern over Schalit's health and well-being.

On Thursday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he would remove privileges for terror-prisoners exceeding strict legal obligations in response to Hamas' decision.

"The party is over," Netanyahu said.


Friday, June 24, 2011

"Now What?"

Arlene Kushner

PM Netanyahu was doing great -- standing strong against Obama's demands.

But then on Sunday, at the Cabinet meeting he made statements that seemed to indicate a reversal -- or perhaps a shift -- in his position. Or perhaps not...

As reported by Haaretz, Netanyahu made his statement during the course of a report on demographic changes in Israel within the Green Line, and in Judea and Samaria, that was being delivered by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

The Institute had included in its presentation demographic data from Professor Sergio DellaPergola; his material suggests a "demographic time bomb," with trends indicating that we will, in the course of time, see a Palestinian Arab majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. What Netanyahu said was this:

"It does not matter to me whether there are half a million more Palestinians or less because I have no wish to annex them into Israel. I want to separate from them so that they will not be Israeli citizens. I am interested that there be a solid Jewish majority inside the State of Israel. Inside its borders, as these will be defined."

According to Haaretz, Uzi Landau and Limor Livnat asked that demographic data from someone like Yoram Ettinger -- who says that there is no severe demographic threat -- also be presented, but the prime minister cut the discussion short.


Unsettling, for sure. And not a statement we needed right now. What is going on?

On the one hand, what we see is that the prime minister is continuing to be strong in other respects. He has maintained the position that we will negotiate with the PA/PLO only if there is no unity government with Hamas, and only if Abbas recognizes Israel as a Jewish state. The second point was reiterated most recently this week at the closing session of the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.

Additionally, on at least a couple of different occasions, he has reportedly told foreign leaders that the PA is being treated like a spoiled child. By this he means that the PA is cut slack, while demands are made only on Israel (and more on this below).


But on the other hand, the specter of negotiations for a "two-state solution" continue to loom large, and he may be talking to this -- playing his game of showing how willing he is. Or warning his Cabinet with regard to what may be coming.


The Quartet, which will be meeting very soon in Brussels, is going to be under pressure by the EU to find a way to avert a PA bid for statehood in the UN. According to one "senior Israeli official" cited this week by the JPost, the EU wants to "give something" significant to the PA to entice them from that bid. That "something" is said to be adoption of Obama's formula of adopting the '67 lines as a base for negotiations.

At the very same time, there are no plans to demand that the PA give assurances with regard to Israeli security or that it acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state. It's a one-way proposition, with Israel expected to do all of the giving.

This is hardly a new mindset, but it is what prompted Netanyahu's "spoiled child" comment to individual leaders.

You might want to see the JPost editorial on this subject:


To make matters more obscene, on Sunday, in the context of the monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers, Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, who is host for the month, held a dinner on the Middle East.

EU policy chief Catherine Ashton was included, as were ministers from 11 European countries, as well as representatives from: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab League, and the PA.

But not Israel. Although, without a doubt, Israel was a main subject of the conversation.

This would have been obvious on the face of it, but in a blog posting about the dinner, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt made this clear, as he spoke about "large parts of the Arab world" having "given up virtually all hope of progress" with the present Israel government.


So, were Netanyahu's words his response to this climate?

What must never be forgotten for a second is that neither the Quartet nor the EU makes policy for Israel. The Israeli government does.

If we don't agree to sit down at the table with Abbas if he hasn't recognized Israel as the Jewish state, then we don't sit down with him.

If we refuse to begin negotiations with the '67 lines as a basis for discussion, then negotiations won't begin there.

Standing strong is imperative.


Meanwhile, we are seeing additional signs indicating that Abbas may be backing off from that UN bid because he's seen the handwriting on the wall regarding the fact that this will not be a panacea for his political problems.

Khaled Abu Toameh wrote a major piece -- "Searching for a ladder" -- on this subject today:

"President Mahmoud Abbas is beginning to realize that he climbed a very high tree regarding the plan to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state in September, and is now crying out for someone to provide him with a ladder to come down.

"This is how a senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah responded when asked this week where Abbas stood on the issue of the statehood bid."

Abbas is coming under increased pressure to abandon both the statehood initiative and plans for unity with Hamas. In Ramallah, says Abu Toameh, the feeling is that he will not be able to withstand that pressure and will ultimately reverse his plans.

"Abbas is now saying he would rather return to the negotiating table with Israel than proceed with the plan to seek statehood unilaterally. But to do so, he needs Israel to give him something so it won't appear as if he has once again surrendered to outside pressure.

"The PA president is in fact searching for a face-saving solution to the mess he got himself into by declaring day and night that nothing would stop him from going to the UN in September.

"He is counting on US President Barack Obama to give him the ladder that would enable him to climb down form the tree without being hurt...

"Abbas and his aides say that the Americans and Europeans have come up with a number of proposals that would help the PA president backtrack on the statehood initiative...

"'We have two basic demands,' the sources said, 'We want a commitment that the 1967 borders (sic) would serve as a basis for future negotiations and a temporary cessation of settlement construction. The ball is now in the Israeli court."


Is this picture clear? The PA was prepared to 1) abrogate commitments under Oslo by seeking statehood unilaterally, and 2) unify with an overtly terrorist group that espouses "resistance."

Then, if, under pressure from the international community, the PA backs off from these we're supposed to reward it. And the onus will be placed on Israel to "give" Abbas something so he's not embarrassed as he backs off from what were horrendous decisions.

Abbas, who has behaved exceedingly reprehensibly, will expect Obama to come down on Israel, thus delivering for him.


Before switching gears, I will add one other factor -- not new to my readers -- indicative of the fact that Abbas is indeed backing off:

Hamas yesterday made the charge that Fatah, having succumbed to US and EU pressure, is reneging on its reconciliation agreement. The response from a PA official, as cited in another article by Abu Toameh:

"Hamas is nothing but a tool in the hands of Iran. (This is true, but Abbas didn't care until now.) There can be no agreement with a movement that serves the agenda of a regime like Iran, which is a threat to Arab national security."

So.. bye bye unity agreement. At least for today.


I wrote recently about the analysis by Yonatan Halevi that indicated an eagerness on the part of Khaled Mashaal, Hamas politburo head, to solidify that unity government; his goal is Hamas control of the PLO -- recognized as the international representative of the "Palestinian people."

And so, in the face of backtracking by Abbas, Hamas officials have to be mighty furious right now. Said one such official:

"It seems that the man [Abbas] has no struggling background and had never resisted the occupation in his life. He has fallen in love with the enemy...Abbas's statement raise questions about his qualifications to lead the Palestinians."

Hmm... it may be that, while Abbas wants to be done with Hamas, Hamas is not done with him.


I am reminded here of the saying, "Man proposes, God disposes."

We think we know where we are headed, but sometimes the Almighty above laughs at us.

My hope -- and the hope of many others -- was that once and for all Oslo would be finished, and with it the farce of a "two-state solution." But that hope may have been premature. We'll see.

I had written about a window of opportunity that might be opening with a bid for unilateral statehood by the PA: a window that would have made movement towards sovereignty over Judea and Samaria more possible. But we now have to see how matters play out.

What I will emphasize here is even if that window does not open right now -- via a PA abrogation of Oslo -- it remains imperative that we continue to educate the world at large, and the Israeli populace in particular, regarding the futility of "two states" as a "solution, the rights of the Jewish people in the land, and the existence of a more viable and equitable solution. We must institute a process that will shift the paradigm of thinking over time.


Other issues will have to wait until after Shabbat. Here I end with a real "good news" piece:

Please see the article, "Did Moses miss the good stuff?"

This is an allusion to the old joke, that Moses turned in the wrong direction since he led us to a land without oil, while all around is oil. The message here is that there IS oil in Israel.

Word about this has come out before, but it made news again today because of a panel entitled "New Energy for a New Tomorrow" at the Israeli Presidential Conference. Participating in the panel was Dr. Harold Vinegar, of Israel Energy Initiatives, who presented possibilities for recovering vast quantities of oil within the shale rocks in Israel.

This is not going to happen tomorrow. It involves a new process -- in which rods are placed deep in the rock and slowly heating so that oil can be extracted -- that does not present the same ecological threat as early methods. It is still being tested, and then the process itself moves slowly. However, Vinegar estimates that in time it may be possible to extract an enormous 250 billion barrels of shale oil.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Israel with no more time for false hopes and naive dependency upon others must act.

Louis René Beres
Professor, Department of Political Science
Purdue University
West Lafayette IN 47907

A just-released report by the IAEA, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, pretty much makes it official: Iran’s entry into the Nuclear Club is now incontestably probable, and also sooner than expected. This once-preventable development will be the direct result of persistently false hopes in both Washington and Jerusalem. For Israel, especially, the remaining prevention options will now be severely limited. As to the plausible consequences of any significant strategic failure, these outcomes would be grave, or even unimaginable. Will a newly-elected nuclear leadership in Tehran be fully rational? What will happen to Israel if Iranian leaders, endowed with nuclear weapons, should prove to value certain presumed religious obligations more highly than their state’s national survival? This is not a silly or disingenuous question. Many of Iran’s current leaders, including President Ahmadinejad, subscribe faithfully to the explosive narrative of a Shi’ite apocalypse.

Whether rational or irrational, any Iranian leadership that slouches toward inevitable conflict with the “Zionist Entity,” could, in less than three years, unleash nuclear war. Deliberately or inadvertently, as a “bolt from the blue,” or as a fully unintended result of escalation, whether out of an inexorable religious commitment to Jihad against “unbelievers,” or for much more mundane reasons of miscalculation, accident, coup d’état, or command-control failure, a nuclear Tehran could ignite a real-world Armageddon.

Thirty-one years ago, I published the first of ten books that contained authoritative descriptions of the physical and medical consequences of nuclear war, any nuclear war. These descriptions were drawn largely from a still-valid 1975 report by the National Academy of Sciences, and included the following very tangible outcomes: large temperature changes; contamination of food and water; disease epidemics in crops, domesticated animals, and humans due to ionizing radiation; shortening of growing seasons; irreversible injuries to aquatic species; widespread and long-term cancers due to inhalation of plutonium particles; radiation-induced abnormalities in persons in utero at the time of detonations; a vast growth in the number of skin cancers, and increasing genetic disease.

Overwhelming health problems would afflict the survivors of any Iranian nuclear attack upon Israel. These difficulties would extend beyond prompt burn injuries. Retinal burns would even occur in the eyes of persons very far from the actual explosions.

Tens of thousands of Israelis would be crushed by collapsing buildings, and torn to shreds by flying glass. Others would fall victim to raging firestorms. Fallout injuries would include whole-body radiation injury, produced by penetrating, hard gamma radiations; superficial radiation burns produced by soft radiations; and injuries produced by deposits of radioactive substances within the body.

After an Iranian nuclear attack, even a “small” one, those few medical facilities that might still exist in Israel would be taxed beyond capacity. Water supplies would become unusable. Housing and shelter could be unavailable for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of survivors. Transportation would break down to rudimentary levels. Food shortages would be critical and long-term.

Israel’s normally complex network of exchange systems would be shattered. Virtually everyone would be deprived of the most basic means of livelihood. Emergency police and fire services would be decimated. All systems dependent upon electrical power could stop functioning. Severe trauma would occasion widespread disorientation and psychiatric disorders for which there would be no therapeutic services.

Normal human society would cease. The pestilence of unrestrained murder and banditry could soon augment plague and epidemics. Many of the survivors would expect an increase in serious degenerative diseases. They would also expect premature death; impaired vision, and sterility. An increased incidence of leukemia and cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, ovary and uterine cervix would be unavoidable.

Extensive fallout would upset many delicately balanced relationships in nature. Israelis who survive the nuclear attack would still have to deal with enlarged insect populations. Like the locusts of biblical times, mushrooming insect hordes would spread from the radiation-damaged areas in which they arose.

Insects are generally more resistant to radiation than humans. This fact, coupled with the prevalence of unburied corpses, uncontrolled waste and untreated sewage, would generate tens of trillions of flies and mosquitoes. Breeding in the dead bodies, these insects would make it impossible to control typhus, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis. Throughout Israel, tens or even hundreds of thousands of rotting human corpses would pose the largest health threat.

Reciprocally, all of these same effects, possibly even more expansive and destructive, would be unleashed upon Iran by Israel. An immediate massive Israeli retaliation for any Iranian nuclear aggression would be certain. In Iran, the once eagerly-expected joys of “martyrdom” would fade in a literal flash.

In its newest report, the IAEA “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities, involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Now, when effective preemption or “anticipatory self-defense” by Israel is no longer practicable, and when any sustained nuclear deterrence with Iran would be both unstable and unpredictable, even if there were a sudden end to Israel’s “nuclear ambiguity,” Jerusalem may need to place most of its ultimate survival bets on ballistic missile defense (the “Arrow”).

Should these bets fail, no lilacs could breed out of the dead land. Before anything fully human could ever again be born in such a necropolis, a gravedigger would have to wield the forceps.

This entry was posted by Jerome S. Kaufman on June 23, 2011.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Mysterious Haters: Who Could the Antisemites Possibly Be?

Barry Rubin

When I spoke at Canadian campuses last year I had some good experiences. But in certain universities the meetings were conducted like secret conclaves of the French Resistance during the German occupation. My hosts were clearly fearful, invitations were only issued to those they knew, and there were no signs or publicity. Indeed, at two of Canada's leading universities previously, pro-Israel Jewish students had been assaulted by mobs.

Yet Canada is among the world leaders in Political Correctness. In no country is there more concern that someone's feelings will be hurt due to some kind of slur. here are even special courts where those who say or write the wrong thing--presumably against non-whites or Muslims--can be tried without too much emphasis on legal procedure. Now the figures for "hate crimes" in Canada have been issued and guess what? Like the FBI's statistics for the United States, the number one victims of hate crimes are...Jews. Indeed, 71 percent of the hate crimes in the religion category are against Jews. The Jewish proportion of Canada's population? Around 1 percent. That's 71 percent of the hate crimes on a religious basis against 1 percent of the population.

For Canada, 4 per cent of the crimes were motivated by race or ethnicity, 29 per cent by religion and 13 per cent by sexual orientation makes you think, right?

Apparentlynot. Because the report is vague about just who might be attacking Jews and why these numbers have tended to rise. Skin-heads? Neo-Nazis? Russian peasant pogroms? Crusaders? The Klu Klux Klan? Peronists? Anti-reyfusards? Know-Nothings? Knights of the Camellia? Republicans? Tea-Partiers? Because if we don't know who did it, then how can he situation be improved? Was it Anglicans? Bahai? Catholics? Dunkers? Episcopalians (oh, wait, they're the same thing as Anglicans), Franciscan monks or Fire-worshippers? Greek Orthodox? Hawaiian traditionalists? Idolotors or Illerati or Inuit? Jacobites? Kansans? Lutherans?

Ok, I give up. No sense going any further in the alphabet, is there?

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Jews are stopped from prayer at the Western Wall by rock-throwing, um, non-skinheads. And Yale University has shut down the Yale Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, despite the program's holding a large number of events and a major conference. Seems they didn't focus enough on all antisemitism coming from neo-Nazi skinheads?

So just keep repeating to yourself: The main problem of the Western world is Islam-o-phobia.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Israeli Sovereignty"

Arlene Kushner

Last night I attended a mini-conference at the Israel Center in Jerusalem on the topic of "The Preferred Option: Israeli Sovereignty Over Judea & Samaria."

Organized privately by Yoel Meltzer, it was intended to be a kick-off for a process that, it is hoped, in time will significantly change perceptions regarding our situation here in Israel. It was not intended to be a definitive statement on that process, but a beginning.

Some 250 people attended the event. In the course of a few days, a video will be up on the Internet and I will share the URL. Here I provide a summary of what was said by four speakers. Yoram Ettinger
A consultant on US affairs, Ettinger served as Israeli Embassy Liaison for Congressional Affairs, with the title of Ambassador, and as General Consul in Houston. Author of The, he has devoted much attention in the last few years to the issue of Israeli demographics.

Ettinger maintains that the argument that Israel must agree to a two-state solution because of the demographic threat to a Jewish majority is fallacious. There is a problem to be dealt with, but not a time bomb.

Figures that have been provided -- which supposedly "prove" that in the course of some years the Jews will be swallowed up by a Palestinian Arab population if all the land between the river and the sea is kept under Israeli control -- are inaccurate, Ettinger maintains.

In point of fact, there are approximately 1.25 million fewer Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza than is commonly claimed. He says there are several ways in which there are inaccuracies:

There are discrepancies in the PA census figures upon which estimates are based. Some 400,000 Palestinians Arabs who "could return" are counted in the census although they should not be (demographic statistical norms do not provide for this); the PA claims a net immigration into PA areas, when in fact there is a net emigration out of these areas; Palestinian Arabs who marry Israeli Arabs and receive Israeli identity cards end up being counted twice, as are Jerusalem Arabs with identity cards.

In addition, projections are wrong because the Palestinian Arab population, which has become more highly urbanized and educated, is undergoing a decrease in birth rate, while the Jewish population -- notably the secular population -- is undergoing an increased birth rate.

You can see an article on this here:

If you want additional information, please let me know.


Danny Dayan
Chairman of the Yesha Council -- the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.

Dayan argues that Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is the only just, vital and feasible solution:

It is our land.
Repeatedly, proposals supported by Jews to share the land are rejected by Arabs who claim 'winner takes all.' In their wars against us their intention was to take everything. It would not be fair to us to return to a two-state vision after these. The Arab behavior has cancelled the validity of a two-state solution. Now the party that was the victim of the aggression and the party that accepted the idea of compromise is the winner.

Vital for the existence of Israel.
This is, first, for security reasons, as defensible borders are necessary. There must be control of the heights of Judea and Samaria to protect the population and industry and airport along the Mediterranean from being shelled or attacked by rockets. Additionally, there must be a buffer against attack from incursions by radical from the east, from the Muslim world.
Vital from a Jewish perspective.
Our spiritual essence is in Judea and Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. We would have a shallow society if we were to surrender Hevron, Shilo, Beit El and part of Jerusalem.

We must have determination and be self-confident. There are now 350,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, 650,000 if eastern Jerusalem is counted. We need a million.

Dayan read an extraordinary resolution passed unanimously by the S. Carolina House of Representatives that supports a United Israel, and Israel's God-given right to the land. The point is that we have more support outside of Israel than we sometimes realize.


Dr. Mordecai (Moti) Kedar
Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence -- as a Lt. Col. -- specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, and Islamic groups. He is a lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. and an expert on Israeli Arabs.

Dr. Kedar brought to the discussion a different idea. There are two concerns we have, he said: One is to prevent a Palestinian Arab state from coming into existence, as it would be severely problematic. On the other hand, we want to ensure a very large Jewish majority. Whatever Ettinger's optimism about the demographics, there is a possibility of a risk of increased Arab population.

What he proposes is a sociological/anthropological solution: an Eight-state Solution. There are different Arab clans that are alive and well in this area. The problem is when there are multiple clans or tribes -- multiple ethnic and religious groups -- inside one political entity. This is the problem in Iraq, and if there were a Palestinian state, we would see a situation like that of Iraq.

Quiet is possible when a political entity is controlled by one clan or tribe only. This is the way it is in the Arab Emirates.

What Kedar suggests is that emirates based on individual clans or tribes be established in Judea and Samaria: they would be city-states. Each major Palestinian Arab city is controlled by a clan or tribe. The leaders of these clans know what to do, and what not to do, and it is this indigenous leadership and not PLO leadership that we should be dealing with. There wouldn't be formal peace agreements, but rather understandings that generate a condition of quiet -- a modus vivendi.

The city-states Kedar envisions are Jenin, Tulkarem, Shechem, Kalkilya, Jericho, Ramallah, and the Arab part of Hevron. Such small states do exist now, he says, in places like the Vatican and Gibraltar. He sees this as viable if some area for industrial development is included.

Israel would still have sovereignty from the river to the sea, and would surround each of these city-states. Rural Arabs would live under Israeli sovereignty and have citizenship. Israel would then have separated out 70% to 80% of the Palestinian Arab population, while avoiding the creation of a Palestinian state.

Kedar believes Israel can sell this if Israelis believe it can be done.

He would start with the Hevron tribes, as they have their own leaders and their own agenda; no outside Arab clan ruler is able to penetrate their area.


Caroline Glick
Journalist, deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC, and originator of the Latma satirical videos.

Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria is the only viable strategic option. To permit a terror state to be established is to incite Israeli Arabs and generate a threat from within.

Israelis understand that a PA state is not a solution, but don't yet recognize the viability of Israeli annexation.

The issue is not what the world thinks but what Israelis think. Our sovereignty in Jerusalem is not recognized by the world, but so what?

We need to devise tactics for moving Israelis to recognize this.

Media here are controlled by the left. Ideas planted by the media become policy within 10 years. We need to devise other methods for raising public awareness on the issue.

We need forums and to push a public debate, now, before the September UN vote. It's time to tell everyone what our rights are, and empower ourselves. We must also work to expose the true nature of Palestinian Arab society.

There is huge Israeli latent support that must be aroused. We must actively embrace the big ideas of Jewish peoplehood and the ingathering, Jewish destiny, etc. Must provide the Israeli people with a concept of what we can be if we embrace these inspirational concepts. We have a compelling case to make.

We should start political campaigns in the government and the Knesset. Back ministers willing to speak out. Force the issues on to the agenda and push for building in Judea and Samaria.

The "settlement" issue pits people against each other: those "settlers" vs. those in places such as Tel Aviv. We should couch the issue in terms of land. The land that the "settlers" live on belongs to all of us. Our claim to it should unite us, not divide us.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

Obama’s efforts to reform the UN Human Rights Council have failed miserably

Anne Bayefsky, The Jerusalem Post

On Friday at 6 p.m., the Obama administration’s promises to fix the disreputable UN Human Rights Council by becoming a member died a predictable death at the General Assembly. Knowing they were headed for certain defeat, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer gave a speech at a Washington institute last Wednesday touting President Barack Obama’s “reform” accomplishments from inside the UN’s top human rights body. And her whitewash was supplemented at the end of the week by a barrage of statements and press releases from the State Department. It didn’t even pass House Speaker John Boehner’s “straight-face test” for the president’s foreign policy.

While the GA was nailing the coffin shut on council reform in New York, the council itself was wrapping up its latest session in Geneva with its usual systematic efforts to demonize the State of Israel. Though Brimmer’s speech included a disingenuous declaration that US membership in the council was especially beneficial for Israel, Friday’s events will solidify the growing perception of the president’s dangerous disinterest in Israel’s welfare. The council was the “reformed” version of the UN Human Rights Commission, which once flaunted a Libyan chair. The Bush administration and its UN ambassador John Bolton opposed this 2006 “reform” on the grounds that the changes were superficial and there were no membership criteria for election to what was, after all, the UN’s top human rights body. The European Union, however, was bought off by including a five-year review plan. That review ended Friday with the adoption of a GA resolution that kicked any further reconsideration down the road “10-15 years.”

From the day it began, the council has proved to be even worse than its predecessor. Sitting in judgment on human rights violations worldwide are such luminaries as China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia. Member Libya had no difficulty being elected, and its suspension didn’t occur until March of this year, when the numbers of dead finally proved too embarrassing. But throwing women in jail for driving, outlawing freedom of religion, rendering homosexuality a capital offense and periodically cutting off heads haven’t made a dent in Saudi membership.

ON THE contrary, the most recent council election, which took place on May 20 at the GA, looked like this. Just before the vote, candidate Kuwait gave each state’s representative in the Assembly Hall a little box decorated with its flag and containing four delightful fresh dates. Austria gave delegates a package of cookies with a pretty bow marked “taste of Austria.”

Costa Rica distributed a colorful red wooden toy cart. India handed out “high elevation darjeeling tea,” and Romania gave out a very nice large calendar. Along with Burkina Faso, where most of the female population has undergone female genital mutilation – aka torture – they were all duly elected.

With their actual human rights credentials off the table, council members adopted a fixed agenda of only a few items to govern their proceedings. One item is devoted to Israel alone and one to all other 191 UN member states. The Human Rights Commission spent 40 years adopting country-specific criticisms, a third of which condemned Israel. Fifty percent of the “reformed” council’s country-specific resolutions and decisions are devoted to Israel-bashing. There have been 12 special sessions in the last five years, and half of them have been on Israel alone. There has been only one “urgent debate” on a country – Israel. There have been more human rights reports commissioned on Israel than on any other state. And only one country is not allowed even to attend the lobbying and information-sharing regional meetings associated with the council sessions – Israel – while “Palestine” is invited to all of them.

Rather than discredit a body that calls itself a human rights authority but reeks of discrimination, and is tasked with promoting tolerance but provides a global platform for hate-mongering, Obama decided to give it American credibility and taxpayer dollars. His No. 1 excuse was the promise to reform it from the inside.

Here’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice on March 31, 2009, explaining the reason to join: “The Council… is scheduled to undergo a formal review of its structure and procedures in 2011, which will offer a significant opportunity for Council reform.”

US Ambassador to the Council Eileen Donahoe, in a September 13, 2010, New York Times editorial, called the review “a serious self-reflection exercise” and claimed that “if we do not sit at the table with others and do the work necessary to influence the process, US values and priorities will not be reflected in the outcome.”

Even as late as March 25 of this year, a poker-faced administration spokesperson said: “The United States… looks forward to working with UN member states as the HRC review process continues in New York. There is still room to… ensure greater scrutiny of the human rights records of candidates for election to this body.”

ON FRIDAY, those promises were shown to be utterly fraudulent. Every major recommendation that American negotiators made over a process spanning many months, including instituting membership criteria and changing the discriminatory anti-Israel agenda, was rejected. Only four states voted in the GA against the outcome of the non-reform reform: Israel, the United States, Canada and Palau.

Gloating over the total defeat of the Obama plan were Syria (speaking for the Arab group), Russia (speaking for a revealing “cross-regional group” comprising Algeria, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Syria, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen), Tajikistan (speaking for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)), Iran and Egypt. Syria called the president’s bluff this way: “Warmest thanks… Our efforts were crowned by arriving at the document before us today… The main objective of our work was… not reform because the Council was already a reform of the Commission.”

Islamic states have reason to be pleased. The council majority is held by a combination of two regional groups – African and Asian – and OIC members are the majority on both of these groups, thus giving them the balance of power.

The consequences of this political landscape were reinforced by Friday’s events at the council session in Geneva. The council wrapped up its latest session by adopting one more resolution on Israel – this time about the eight Turkish extremists killed a year ago trying to ram a legal blockade of terrorist-run Gaza. There was no resolution on Syria – further condemnation by the council was put off until next session, three months away. And nothing from the council on Yemen, on account of insufficient data. Of the eight votes in total held at this session, the US was on the losing side for six of them.

According to the Obama administration, however, the current US approach to the UN is supposedly good for Israel. In Brimmer’s words, the council has “improved as the result of direct US engagement. If we cede ground, if our engagement in the UN system is restricted – these bodies likely would be dominated by our adversaries. A scenario… not good for the United States and certainly not for Israel.”

The Obama line about knowing what is in Israel’s best interests is beginning to wear very thin. The council’s vote on the flotilla resolution was 36 for, eight abstentions and one against – the United States. US membership has made no difference to the outcomes on Israel. But it has given those outcomes a credibility that they don’t deserve.

After Friday’s GA vote, Obama diplomat John Sammis labeled the council’s “effectiveness and legitimacy” as “compromised,” called its agenda “unfair and unbalanced,” and said its membership policy “discredits, dishonors and diminishes” the body. Talk is cheap. The decent thing for the US to do after finally coming to such a conclusion would be to announce its departure or at least allow its term to expire next year.

But Obama has done nothing of the kind. Ensuring the American team had no bargaining power, the administration declared in March – three months before the end of negotiations and a whopping 18 months in advance of the next election – that the US would run for a second term.

Not coincidentally, on Friday the administration decided to circulate a list of the council’s accomplishments at the last session. In addition to itemizing mere statements from groups of countries on issues that the council itself refused to handle, they pointed to the Council decision to launch a new study of discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

For Obama, progress on other human rights issues takes priority over the unequal treatment of Israel and Jewish self-determination. It’s an old trick, playing groups off against one another. But at the end of the day there is no escaping the fact that in the name of human rights, the administration has trashed the fundamental norm of human rights protection – equality. And genuine human rights advocates ought to know only too well how exemption clauses on human dignity are bound to turn out.

Tom Friedman Has a Dream - Assisted Suicide for Israel

Lori Lowenthal Marcus-Z Street

Tom Friedman sucks lemonsIf only there were a few other people on the planet as smart as Tom Friedman. Tom Friedman - assisted Israel suicideHeck, we'd have this whole Arab-Israeli mess cleaned up in a jiffy. Friedman (He works at the NYT. He won a Pulitzer Prize. Why, he's even Jewish! What other genius credentials are there?) finally got tired of waiting for everyone to do their own work and stepped up to the plate. Now he's laid out how to make lemonade from the lemons we have (i.e. those rapacious Israelis and those sometimes naughty Arabs). Just squeeze! Squeeze Israel, that is. Pretend the last 64 years didn't happen, give the Arab another shot at having the state promised them in 1947- which they rejected vehemently and violently - and voila! Peace! And Hamas? Well, we're pretending we're back in '47, so we don't have to worry about them. Terrorism? See no evil, smell no evil, taste no evil. If you can stand it, read the articles about his column, and if you must, read the column itself. Tom Friedman's LemonAde Stand
Sunday, 19 June 2011 21:02
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Jonathan S. Tobin
06.19.2011 - 11:18 AM

Tom Friedman’s New York Times columns on the Middle East conflict are always a maddening mixture of sense and cluelessness. Today’s contribution from the Pulitzer Prize winner is no exception.

Friedman starts by giving a frank and accurate evaluation of the Obama administration’s record in the Middle East. He’s right when he says, “They’ve alienated all sides and generated zero progress.” But he heads quickly downhill from there as he sinks yet again into the quicksand of moral equivalence that renders his evaluation of the situation as useless as those of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

After making a specious comparison between Israel’s democratically elected government and the corrupt terrorist-infested coalition that speaks for the Palestinians, Friedman makes an astonishingly stupid suggestion. Instead of vetoing the Palestinian attempt to get United Nations recognition for a Palestinian state without the Palestinians having to recognize Israel’s legitimacy or give up the conflict, Friedman thinks the United States should support a different sort of UN dictat.

Friedman wants the Security Council to update Resolution 181 which was the original measure supporting the partition of the British Mandate for Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an international condominium ruling Jerusalem. The new version would again recognize two states but say the 1967 borders would divide the two “with mutually agreed border adjustments and security arrangements for both sides.” According to Friedman, that would make everyone happy. The Palestinians would get their state, and the Israelis would presumably get security and the ability to hold onto parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank with large Jewish populations.
But the problem with this is the same one that sunk the original UN resolution: the Palestinians don’t want to make peace or recognize Israel.

Had the Arabs of Palestine wanted to live in peace alongside the Jews in 1947 when 181 was passed, they could have done so. Their problem with the resolution wasn’t the borders the UN drew up that gave the Jews far less territory and security than even the truncated ’67 lines. It was the idea of letting the Jews have any sovereignty over any part of the country. That’s the same reason why Palestinian leaders have rejected Israel’s offer of a state three times in the last 11 years. And it’s why the Palestinians have walked away from negotiations and ignored President Obama’s attempts to entice them back to the table with his calls for Israeli concessions that have tilted the diplomatic playing field in their direction.

Friedman–who writes this column in his usual graceless, smart-aleck prose style–describes both the Israelis and the Palestinians as lemons from which the Obama administration should concoct UN lemonade. But the real lemon here is Friedman’s refusal to face up to the reality of Palestinian political culture in which their national identity is based on rejection of Zionism’s legitimacy. Any proposed “solution” to the problem that doesn’t take this into account is as useless as a collection of Friedman’s tired columns on the subject.

Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of COMMENTARY magazine and chief political blogger at He can be reached via e-mail at: . Follow him on Twitter at!/TobinCommentary.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Author Mamet Tells Newsmax: Why I Turned My Back on Liberalism

Martin Gould and Tim Collie

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, who characterizes himself as a one-time “brain-dead liberal,” has undergone a conversion to conservatism, he tells Newsmax.TV.

Mamet said his trek to the right began several years ago. “It’s like when you hear a word once and you've never heard it before and you hear it three more times that same day.

“I had a bunch of things happen to me over the last few years,and I started to put them all together and they spelled 'mother.'"

Mamet has just written a book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture”

He said he started to seek out the conservative viewpoint because, in Hollywood, he just didn't know that it existed. “I did a few years’ worth of reading and came to a different understanding of economics and philosophy.” But Mamet, who won his Pulitzer for the play “Glengarry Glen Ross” and also wrote such classics as “American Buffalo” and “Speed-the-Plow,” said he does not want to get more involved in politics or endorse a candidate for the next election. “I don't know better than the next guy,” he pointed out.

“My lesson is that the three branches of government, having failed to uphold the Constitution and the press having failed to uphold its responsibility to tell the truth, there’s nobody home but us chickens.

“Us chickens are the votership and we citizens are going to have to make up our minds and vote according to the understanding of our responsibilities.”

Mamet's rightward turn is evident when he says the United States needs a president like Benjamin Netanyahu rather than Barrack Obama.

Mamet says he noticed the difference between the two world leaders during the Israeli prime minister’s address to Congress last month.

“I heard [Obama’s] speech, and I read Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech and I said to myself, ‘Why can’t we, America, have a leader like Netanyahu because we sure as hell need one,” Mamet said during an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.

Mamet said his fellow Chicagoan comes from a long line of presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, “who have never worked a day in their life.”

“It’s the vision of the anointed, that they had somehow been anointed and they know better than everyone else around them,” he said.

Mamet had particularly harsh words for Obama’s Middle East policies. “To see the left’s abandonment of Israel was profoundly sobering,” he said.

“The Israelis, and us Jews by extension, are now being treated basically as sub-humans by the left, that is to say people to whom the international law and traditional considerations of right and wrong, traditional considerations of mutual responsibilities to allies, did not apply.

“There is no difference between this view and the view that 15th-century Jews were going around poisoning the wells and kidnapping the Christian children for their blood,” he said, adding, “The only difference is that the left of today is saying it is ridiculous to think that Jews delight in the killing of Christian children — of course they don't, they delight in the killing of Muslim children!”

The days when Jews voted en bloc for Democrats could be coming to an end, but it will take time as it is ingrained, generation after generation, he said.

“It takes a great effort because it feels like two things: it feels like treason and it feels like heresy,” he said.


Arlene Kushner

This Shabbat we read the Torah portion about the spies (meraglim) -- a group consisting of a leader from each of the twelve tribes, sent to scout out the land that the people were about to enter. Ten of the spies -- Joshua and Caleb being the exceptions -- brought back a negative report: the land devours its inhabitants, and the people are huge. "We were like grasshoppers in our eyes..."

The people became afraid then, and cried to return to Egypt. Whereupon God asked, "How long will these people provoke me? And how long will they not have faith in me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst[ being taken out of Egypt, brought to the revelation at Sinai, etc.]?"

In the end God decreed that the generation that was afraid would wander the desert for 40 years and not enter the land. For me, today, it comes together clearly:

In 1948, Ben Gurion announced the independence of the State of Israel.

Never before had a people returned to a land from which it had been deprived of sovereignty -- with the bulk of the population having been banished -- for 2,000 years. Never before had the sense of peoplehood been retained for two millenia in spite of dispersion and banishment. Never before had an ancient language been revived for daily use. Yet, this was what happened here, as the ingathering that had been predicted by the prophets began.

Almost at once the Arab League attacked in order to destroy the new Jewish sstate. Leaders of the world were certain Israel would be defeated. However, not only were we victorious, we also secured additional area of land in the course of the war.


In 1967, the Arab states were determined once again to destroy Israel, but in a stunning six-day victory we acquired control of the land of our heritage from the river to the sea. At first, Jordan, at our east, did not participate in the war being waged by Egypt and Syria. The Israeli government had sent a message to King Hussein saying that we would leave him alone if he did not attack. But the Egyptians put out broadcasts saying they were on the verge of victory, and Hussein, wishing to be on the winning side, hit us. Thus did we, engaging Jordan, secure eastern Jerusalem with Har Habayit and the Kotel. As well as Hevron, and a great deal more.


In 1973, our enemies attacked again, this time on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. Not only were we victorious, we waged the war with extraordinary skill -- from a military perspective, victory here was even more stunning than in 1967.


Since that time, Israel has grown stronger in multiple ways. Jews have continued to return, and the land has prospered. We are at the cutting edge in hi-tech and medical discoveries. We have endured recent financial difficulties better than many nations: the shekel stands stronger than the dollar. We are a first world nation, developed in spite of hardships and threats, boasting a population that is, according to surveys, among the most contented in the world. We have one of the world's strongest armies, and unquestionably the most ethical and humane. We are a blessing to the world, via our scientific discoveries and our readiness to help in times of disaster.

Who could have imagined all this?

Is there a way to explain it without seeing that the hand of God is inside what has happened?


There are Jews today who look around at the enemies we face, and beat their chests, crying, "Oi vey, we are doomed! We're so alone in the world."

Alone? Not quite. We have a true friend in Canada, and the support of the American Congress, and the devotion of millions of Christian Zionists.

But most of all, we have the Almighty above.

Perhaps, these days, he has returned to his ancient question: "How long will they not have faith in me despite all of the signs?"


To trust in Heaven does not mean sitting passively, however, and letting God take care of matters. It means working our tushies off, protecting Israel, speaking in defense of Israel, working to build Israel, and all the rest.

But it also means that we need not -- must not! -- feel like grasshoppers in our own eyes. "In our own eyes" is what counts most! We must not define ourselves by how the world chooses to see us.

As we express faith in what is possible, and act on that faith, we will continue to know miracles.


We all need a laugh from time to time, and so I share this:

As reported by AFP on Thursday, Palestinian Authority negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh told reporters in Ramallah that:

"We are by all means going to the United Nations, whether there are negotiations or no negotiations..

"We think that is not either/or -- we think that going to the United Nations and negotiations can go hand in hand and they are complementary to each other."



Then we have our nemesis, Thomas Friedman, of the New York Times. He's a clown, but somewhat more dangerous than Mohammed Shtayeh, because there are people who take him seriously. He wants to bring back the UN partition resolution 181 of 1947, but change it to acknowledge '67 lines as border.

I mention it here only to shoot it down. From a dozen perspectives it makes no sense. Starting with the fact that the resolution was from the General Assembly and thus not legally binding, and ending with the fact that the Arabs refused it.

That, I think, is the key point. Why, in Friedman's opinion, do the Arabs deserve another chance when they rejected the state they might have had? He wants to reverse history on their behalf. What makes them so deserving?


The following, on the other hand, from the PA news agency Maan, has real significance:

Hamas's Ismail Haniyeh said yesterday at Islamic University in Gaza City that "we were able to establish a [unity government] deal that reflects the people's will...not the outside will and unjust agreements with Israel[Oslo] ."

Of central importance, he said, was the forming of national security departments that do not cooperate with Israel. "Protecting the resistance weapon" should be a priority.

"A national strategy should be established to protect the resistance weapon within the framework of living our lives amidst the stages of liberation from the occupation."

"The resistence weapon." We all understand what this means.

This is not a surprise, but it is spoken confirmation of what we understood was very likely.

The PA "security forces" that the US has been funding and training, so that they could fight terrorists, may be about to turn on us.


I hedge with a "may be" for only one reason: the unity government, it turns out, is still not a done deal.

Seems I spoke too soon in reporting that Fatah and Hamas were going to meet in Cairo this week and finalize the government. They did announce this, but now have un-announced it. Seems there is still squabbling about who should be prime minister, and so the meeting has been postponed "indefinitely."

"Indefinitely" sounds serious, and this must be watched closely. There are all sorts of implications here with regard to how Abbas will play his hand. Can he/would he go to the UN if there were no unity?


The IHH, the Turkish "humanitarian" group with terrorist links, whose flagship is the Mavi Marmari, has pulled out of the flotilla that is planning to try to break the Israeli maritime blockade of Gaza again later this month. Allegedly because it had sustained so much damage last time around that it could not be repaired in time -- but in fact most likely for other reasons. According to Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Ankara probably pressured the IHH to pull out to avoid seeing it designated a terrorist group.

Israel, however, is preparing all the same, as "activists" representing various other groups, including some from the US, intend to launch ten other ships in that flotilla.


In a related story there is this:

A rarely used, little known, 18th century statute, still on the books, allows a plaintiff to privately seize ships outfitted in the US for use against a US ally. It is about to be invoked with regard to ships being prepared for participation in the flotilla, using funds raised unlawfully in the US by groups such the Free Gaza Movement.

The plaintiff is Dr. Alan Bauer, an American-Israeli, who, with his young son, was severely wounded in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2002. Represented by attorneys Robert Tolchin of New York, and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, Bauer is seeking to confiscate the ships.

Nitsana does fantastic work -- fighting terrorism via the law -- with little publicity. Last week one of the ships that was scheduled to participate in the flotilla learned that its maritime insurance company-- after having received a letter from Shurat HaDin -- would not be covering it.


We read in an article in Haaretz that:

"[Last] Tuesday, eight MKs from right-wing parties entered Nablus [Shechem], and under the heavy guard of Palestinian policemen and Israeli soldiers, they arrived at Joseph's Tomb, prayed there, and hastened to issue reports to the press about how moved they were by this historic occasion: It was the first time in 11 years, since the outbreak of the second intifada, that such a visit was made in broad daylight and not under the cover of darkness."

Read the entire article here:

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin played a pivotal role in making this happen. Hurray for his persistence!

But note, please, the constant concern on the part of Israeli security lest there be Arab rioting. Do we always have to gauge our actions according to Arab behavior?


What kind of man is Barack Obama? A rhetorical question intended here, with the implicit answer anything but positive.

He has ignored the pleas, from the prime minister of Israel, as well as from legislators and key former officials within the US, to right the wrong of continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard.

Recently, Pollard's very elderly father, Morris Pollard, 95, fell ill, and there were pleas, again, this time for "compassionate leave" for Jonathan to visit his father one last time. They were denied.


Now Morris Pollard has died and the effort has turned to permitting Pollard out for 24 hours, in order to attend the funeral, which will be held in South Bend, IN, tomorrow.

The JPost reports that the volume of furious phone calls to the White House shut down the switchboard. There has been a demonstration outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv joined by some MKs; PM Netanyahu made his own request for this compassionate leave.

We should expect nothing of Obama, whose inflexible stonewalling is totally without moral justification. Mark this well, for with this behavior he exposes the true darkness at the core of his heart.

© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sanctioning Jewish deaths

Op-ed: Western intellectuals, cultural icons have much Israeli blood on their hands

Giulio Meotti

Alan Riding’s new book, “And the show went on”, brilliantly dissects the behavior of French intellectuals under the Nazi occupation: Names that became famous icons such as Gide, Claudel, Romains, Picasso, Malraux and Piaf. But above all, Jean-Paul Sartre, the incarnation of cultural engagement, the humanist guru who turned down a Nobel Prize for literature and founded left-leaning newspaper Liberation.

During the German occupation of Paris, Sartre was a cynical profiteer concerned exclusively with his own literary career and ready to compromise with the authorities. Sartre worked for “Comoedia”, a magazine financed by the Nazis; his work “The Flies” got the blessing of the German censors; his companion, the literary goddess Simone de Beauvoir, worked for the national pro-Germans radio After the war, Sartre rebuilt his image of grand-resistant. He already was familiar with the horrors of the Soviet Gulag, but did not reveal as "not to discourage the moral of the Billancourt’s workers," while French intellectuals organized a solidarity rally in Paris in support of the official Soviet position that Jewish doctors had assassinated communist leaders.

Much less known is Sartre’s praise for Arab terrorism. When 11 Israeli athletes were butchered at the 1972 Munich Olympics in, Sartre wrote: “Terrorism is a terrible weapon, but the oppressed poor have no others."

The lesson from Sartre's story is urgent for our time; namely, the appeal of Jihadi totalitarianism and Palestinian terrorism to Western intellectuals and their silence on it. It reveals how deeply Jew-hatred devoured the minds of the intellectual elite. In his recent book, Theodor Darlymple has called it “The New Vichy’s Syndrome."

When legions of “martyrs” started blowing themselves up in the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Afula, and then in London, Madrid, Bali and New York, how many Western intellectuals expressed this Sartrian, lame empathy for the murderous rage?
Tongue has power of life and death

Indeed, most intellectuals, academics, writers, columnists, Nobel laureates and journalists have been enablers of evil, giving cover to international criminals and to the ongoing slaughter of Jewish. It seems like a Nazi fantasy, but some renowned cultural icons have also spoken of removing any Israeli presence from academic institutions and terminating any scientific cooperation with Israel.

Today such writers’ positions, perhaps unconsciously, echo those of Ahmadinejad and Hamas: Jostein Gaarder, author of “Sophie’s World,” wrote an essay saying that Israel has lost the right to exist; Tom Paulin, an Irish poet, recommended that “Brooklyn-born settlers be shot dead”; and Prominent French sociologist Edgar Morin dubbed Israel “a cancer."

Elsewhere, Nobel laureate José Saramago compared realities in the Palestinian territories with Auschwitz; Swedish bestselling author Henning Mankell, who was part of last year's pro-Hamas Flottilla, has just attacked the "Israeli regime" on Haaretz; and famous British historian, Eric Hobsbawm referred to Israel as a “militarist, culturally disappointing and politically aggressive nation-state."

Yet there's more: the Italian historian Angelo D’Orsi only regrets that “maybe its too late” to reset Israel, because “the scandal is the very existence of that state”; Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer urged her friend, Susan Sontag, to not accept a prize from Israel; much celebrated post-modern philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, nazifies Israel and accuses the Jewish State of “ethnic cleansing”; Italian Noble laureate, writer Dario Fo, endorsed a boycott of Israel’s books in Turin.

A.N. Wilson, a prominent British writer, “reluctantly” concluded Israel no longer has a right to exist, while British dramatist David Hare wrote that the Jews have “polluted” the Promised Land and “do not belong here.”

This Judeophobic hegemony, when exercised in newspapers, films, books and cultural events stays around like artificial waste. Like nylon and plastic, it doesn’t disappear for generations.

On a final note, the latest Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, one of the oldest and most famous in Europe, honored Roberto Vecchioni. He wrote a song called “Marika,” a sort of love letter to Palestinian suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat, who killed 20 Israelis at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa. A Swedish museum displayed an artist work eulogizing the same female suicide bomber, with a small ship carrying a picture of Jaradat, sailing in a rectangular pool filled with red-colored water, and accompanied by a piece of Bach music.

Vecchioni’s song says: “Sing Marika, sing, you are beautiful in time of destiny, gripping the dynamite as a daughter in your bosom.” There is a Biblical Proverb saying: “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Our Western, Vichy-like intellectuals have much Israeli blood on their hands.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism