Saturday, October 08, 2011

Fatah Official Calls for Israel’s Demise

David Hornik

Oct 7th, 2011

This week Israel was roundly castigated for plans to build homes for Jews in Gilo, an almost 40-year-old Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem numbering 40,000 people that “peace plans” have already recognized as part of Jewish Jerusalem for almost two decades.

Also this week it was reported that MEMRI had posted a video of Abbas Zaki, senior member of the Fatah Central Committee led by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas​, advocating Israel’s downfall and calling Barack Obama​ and Binyamin Netanyahu “scumbags.” Naturally, if a comparable Israeli official made a comparable statement, there would be an uproar and demands that he be sacked—which is what Israel would do. But the same leaders who got their dander up over Gilo—particularly German chancellor Angela Merkel and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, but also the State Department—had nothing at all to say about Zaki. True, they may not have known about it, since the mainstream media doesn’t consider such statements by a Palestinian official to be news.

In his interview to Al Jazeera on September 23—given on the same day Abbas made his incendiary anti-Israeli speech to the UN—Zaki said any final Israeli-Palestinian agreement “should be based on the borders of June 4, 1967…everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.” If that wasn’t clear enough, he added: “If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall, what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.”

At the same time, he advised circumspection: “If we say that we want to wipe Israel out…. C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.” He didn’t take his own advice, though, when he said: “Who is nervous, upset and angry now? Netanyahu, [Israeli foreign minister Avigdor] Lieberman, and Obama…. All those scumbags. Why even get into this? We should be happy to see Israel upset.”

Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said in response:

here is further proof that the conflict is not about territory. The Palestinians have been offered a state repeatedly for several decades and have rejected each and every offer. This is less about the creation of a Palestinian state than it is about the destruction of the one Jewish state.

Indeed, at any time one can point to clear evidence that the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza—dubiously lumped together as “the Palestinians”—do not have the slightest interest in peace with Israel and instead seek its destruction. For instance:

* Abbas’s September 23 speech, in which he referred to Israel as an occupying power since its creation in 1948 that practices “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing,” called for its demographic dissolution via the “return” of millions of descendants of refugees, associated the Holy Land with Jesus and Mohammed while erasing any Jewish connection, and demanded the release of thousands of (terrorist) prisoners.

* A recent poll of Palestinians by prominent American pollster Stanley Greenberg that found 66% of them saying their ultimate goal is a single Palestinian state replacing Israel; 62% favoring the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers; 53% favoring the teaching of anti-Semitic hate songs in Palestinian schools; and 73% endorsing a quote from the Hamas Charter (drawn from a hadith) about stones and trees helping Muslims kill Jews.

* A recent article by Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University (in Jerusalem and the West Bank) and considered by many an irreproachable Palestinian moderate, that Elliott Abrams characterizes as “mak[ing] him sound like [Hamas leader] Khaled Meshal, [Hezbollah chief] Hassan Nasrallah, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his description of Israel.”

* The fact that September—the month in which the Palestinians submitted their statehood request to the UN—was “the most violent month in the last year and a half in terms of rock throwing in the West Bank,” with 498 incidents in 30 days including one in which an Israeli man and his infant son were killed. Anyone aware of the close link between statehood initiatives for the Palestinians and violent eruptions can only regard this with trepidation.

True, while Israel-bashing reflexes continue over matters like building in Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ current diplomatic push has not been an easy ride. It’s uncertain whether they can obtain nine pro-statehood votes in the Security Council, and if they do, it now appears definite that the U.S. will use its veto, evoking bitterness in Ramallah. Congress is withholding $200 million in aid. In a preliminary vote on Palestinian acceptance by UNESCO, European countries except Russia and Belarus either voted against (with the U.S.) or abstained—a positive result relative to past European behavior.

That is not to say, of course, the West has yet seen the light: namely, that given the Palestinians’ fundamental rejection of Israel along with the West Bank’s and Gaza’s importance to Israel’s security and hence to regional stability, there is not and has never been a Western interest in turning those territories into a twenty-second sovereign Arab state. The rationale that doing so would allay Arab anger, and thereby defuse the region, has been laid to rest by a stream of Wikileaks showing Arab leaders far more concerned about Iran than the “Palestinian issue,” and by violent upheavals (still called the “Arab spring”) in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere that have no connection to that issue.

The Palestinians are lucky to have the high degree of autonomy they now have. As they continue spewing hate, no one owes them anything more.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Mounting Hizbullah Threat in Latin America

Roger F. Noriega, José R. Cárdenas
(October 2011)

Over the last several years Hezbollah and its patrons in Iran have greatly expanded their operations in Latin America to the detriment of inter-American security and US strategic interests. Today, Hezbollah is using the Western Hemisphere as a staging ground, fundraising center, and operational base to wage asymmetric warfare against the United States. Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and other anti-American governments in the region have facilitated this expansion by rolling out the welcome mats for Hezbollah and Iran. US policymakers must increase their attention to this problem, expand their assets in the region, and develop a comprehensive strategy to combat this threat in a sustained and meaningful way. Key points in this Outlook:

* To ward off its international isolation and undermine US influence in the region, Iran, with its Hezbollah proxy in tow, has made a major diplomatic and economic push into the Western Hemisphere.
* Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and other radical anti-American populists have made common cause with Iran and Hezbollah in waging asymmetric warfare against the United States.
* Hezbollah’s criminality in the region has multiplied as it has established deeper relations with transnational criminal organizations.
* Evidence indicates Hezbollah is sharing its terrorist experiences and techniques with Mexican drug cartels along the US border.


Hezbollah's presence in Latin America dates to the mid-1980s, when it began sending operatives into the notoriously lawless region known as the tri-border area (TBA)—where the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet—to use it as a principal safe haven for fundraising, money laundering, recruitment, training, plotting, and other terrorist-related activities.1 Their activity also includes drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, forging travel documents, and pirating software and music. Their resulting proselytizing has led to the creation of numerous Hezbollah cells, with an estimated 460 operatives in the TBA by mid-2000.2

It is impossible to quantify the level of criminal activity taking place in the TBA, but some estimate that Islamic extremist groups there and in other suspect areas in Latin America remit $300 to $500 million per year in illicit profits to radical Islamic groups in the Middle East.3 US authorities have been well aware of the wanton criminality occurring in the TBA through the years and have cited some individuals and entities for providing financing to terrorist groups and achieved some extraditions, but the overall effort to combat the menace has been hampered by uneven levels of cooperation from the governments of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

LatinAmerican-sidebar


It is not appropriate, though, to see this as simply a law enforcement issue, as if the illicit business activities and fundraising were ends in themselves. In fact, the nature of the threat has changed considerably. Hezbollah is a preeminent international terrorist organization dedicated to waging Islamic jihad against its enemies, which include the United States and its allies, and the threat it poses should be dealt with accordingly by all law-abiding nations.

The Hezbollah Modus Operandi

Building cells abroad in the service of Hezbollah’s mission involves substantial time and investment. The group sends only its most committed and intrepid operatives into new regions with no support. They must establish a network from scratch among which they can raise money to send back to the leadership in Lebanon, familiarize themselves with the territory and potential targets, and begin planning operations. Invariably, their missions involve infiltrating or establishing mosques or “Islamic centers” to help Hezbollah to spread its influence, legitimize its cause, and promote jihad on a global scale.

Each Hezbollah cell is a complex organization with multiple components: a dawa (proselytizing) and recruitment component, utilizing religious clerics, Islamic centers, Internet sites, and local media broadcasting; a fundraising component that oversees illicit and legitimate business activity and relationships; and an operational component, which covers logistics, planning, surveillance, and execution of missions.

Ultimately, every Hezbollah cell exists for the sole purpose of executing operations, with time and place decided on by the supreme leadership.10 The express purpose of building infrastructure in countries abroad is to minimize the time between deciding to pursue an operation and executing it.

Game Change: Ahmadinejad Meets Chávez

Hezbollah clearly acts as a proxy for Iran—specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Qods Force—globally and in Latin America. Thus, Hezbollah’s escalating presence in the Western Hemisphere can be understood only in the context of its patron Iran’s pursuit of its strategic objectives. In the face of international sanctions for its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, Iran has invested heavily in a global strategy to break its diplomatic isolation, develop new sources of strategic materials, and undermine US influence wherever opportunities exist.

To these ends, Iran has made the Western Hemisphere a priority, expanding its number of embassies in the region from six in 2005 to ten in 2010.11 The real game-changer, however, has been the alliance developed between Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.
Iran has invested heavily in a global strategy to break its diplomatic isolation, develop new sources of strategic materials, and undermine US influence wherever opportunities exist.

Hugo Chávez’s track record of anti-Americanism and support for terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is well-established, but his making common cause with a radical Islamic theocracy in waging asymmetric warfare (unconventional and irregular methods used by a weaker opponent against a stronger opponent) against the United States truly speaks to the depths of his fanaticism. He has allowed Iran to mine uranium in Venezuela and has worked assiduously to undermine economic sanctions against the Iranian regime (for which Venezuela has, in turn, been sanctioned).12 In recent years, moreover, Venezuela’s Margarita Island has eclipsed the infamous TBA as the principal safe haven and center of Hezbollah operations in the Americas.

But Chávez has not stopped there. He has served as the principal interlocutor on Iran’s behalf with other like-minded heads of state in the region, primarily Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Evo Morales (Bolivia), both members of the Chávez-sponsored Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and both of whom have established dubious networks with criminal transnational groups.13 According to recent congressional testimony by investigative journalist Doug Farah, this has led to “the merging of the Bolivarian Revolution’s criminal-terrorist pipeline activities and those of the criminal-terrorist pipeline of radical extremist groups (Hezbollah in particular) supported by the Iranian regime.”14 Such ties are invaluable to groups like Hezbollah, as they afford them protection, safe havens in which to operate, and even diplomatic status and immunity—with no other commonality of purpose than to inflict damage on the United States.

Hezbollah Networks

Our research from open sources, subject-matter experts, and sensitive sources within various governments has identified at least two parallel yet collaborative terrorist networks growing at an alarming rate in Latin America. One is operated by Hezbollah and aided by its collaborators, and the other is managed by the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. These networks encompass more than eighty operatives in at least twelve countries throughout the region (with the greatest areas of focus being Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile).

The Nassereddine Network

Ghazi Nassereddine, a native of Lebanon who became a Venezuelan citizen about ten years ago and is now Venezuela’s second-ranking diplomat in Syria, is the most prominent Hezbollah supporter in Venezuela, because of his diplomatic role and his close relationship to Chávez confidante Tarik El Aissami. Along with at least two of his brothers, Nassereddine manages a network to expand Hezbollah’s influence in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. Using his diplomatic status, Nassereddine has built and consolidated relationships with Hezbollah officials, first in Lebanon and now in Syria.
The immediate US national security concern related to Hezbollah activity in Latin America is Mexico, where the terrorist group has ready access to the US border.

Nassereddine’s brother Abdallah, a former member of the Venezuelan legislature, uses his position as the former vice president of the Federation of Arab and American Entities in Latin America and the president of its local chapter in Venezuela to maintain ties with Islamic communities throughout the region.15

He currently resides on Margarita Island, where he runs various money-laundering operations and manages much of the business dealings of Hezbollah in Latin America.

Younger brother Oday is responsible for establishing paramilitary training centers on Margarita Island. He currently resides in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, 170 miles southwest of Caracas, where he is actively recruiting Venezuelans through local circulos bolivarianos (neighborhood watch committees made up of the most radical Chávez followers) and sending them to Iran for follow-on training.

The Rabbani Network

Hojjat al-Eslam Mohsen Rabbani, who was the cultural attaché at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Buenos Aires, Argentina, oversees a parallel Hezbollah recruitment network.16 Rabbani is currently the international affairs advisor to the Al-Mostafa Al-Alam Cultural Institute in Qom, which is tasked with propagation of Shia Islam outside Iran.17 Rabbani, referred to by the important Brazilian magazine Veja as “the Terrorist Professor,”18 is a die-hard defender of the Iranian revolution and the mastermind behind the two notorious terrorist attacks against Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994 that killed 144 people.19

At the time, Rabbani was credentialed as a cultural attaché at the Iranian embassy in the Argentine capital, which he used a staging ground for extremist propaganda, recruitment, and training that culminated in the attacks in the 1990s. In fact, he continues to exploit that network of Argentine converts today to expand Iran’s and Hezbollah’s reach by leveraging them in identifying and recruiting operatives throughout the region for radicalization and terrorist training in Venezuela and Iran (specifically, the city of Qom).

At least two mosques in Buenos Aires—Al Imam and At-Tauhid—are run by Rabbani disciples. Sheik Abdallah Madani runs the Al Imam mosque, which also serves as the headquarters for the Islamic-Argentine Association, one of the most prominent Islamic cultural centers in Latin America.

Some of Rabbani’s disciples have taken what they have learned from their mentor in Argentina and replicated it elsewhere in the region. Sheik Karim Abdul Paz, an Argentine convert to Shiite Islam, studied under Rabbani in Qom for five years and succeeded him at the At-Tauhid mosque in Buenos Aires in 1993.20 Abdul Paz is now the imam of a cultural center in Santiago, Chile, the Centro Chileno Islamico de Cultura de Puerto Montt. His wife, Masoumeh As’ad Paz, is the head of the Argentine Muslim Women’s League, the editor of Moazzen, and director of the activities of the Argentine Islamic Aid and Relief Committee and the Argentine Islamic Cultural Institute.21

Another Argentine convert to radical Islam and Rabbani disciple now in Chile is Sheik Suhail Assad, currently a professor at the University of Santiago who lectures at universities throughout the region and appears frequently on television. Most recently, he was in El Salvador establishing relationships with the Muslim community.22

But the real prize for the Rabbani network—and Hezbollah in general—is Brazil, home to some 1 million Muslims. Rabbani has a brother living there, Mohammad Baquer Rabbani Razavi, the founding father of the Iranian Association in Brazil, whom he visits and coordinates with systematically.23 Another of his principal collaborators is Sheik Khaled Taki Eldyn, a Sunni radical from the Sao Paulo Guarulhos mosque. Taki Eldyn, who is active in ecumenical activities with the Shia mosques, also serves as the secretary general of the Council of the Leaders of the Societies and Islamic Affairs of Brazil.24 A sensitive source linked that mosque to a TBA network designated by the US Treasury Department as one that provides major financial and logistical support to Hezbollah.25 As far back as 1995, Taki Eldyn hosted al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and 9/11 master-mind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in the TBA region. According to sources in Brazilian intelligence cited by the Brazilian magazine Veja, at least twenty operatives from Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and the Islamic Jihad are using Brazil as a hub for terrorist activity.26

Despite being the subject of an Interpol Red Notice, Rabbani reportedly still operates in the region, traveling under false papers and connecting with his former disciples. Rabbani was in Venezuela as recently as March and in Brazil as recently as September 2010, where he and his brother continue their recruitment efforts.

Mexico and the US Border

The immediate US national security concern related to Hezbollah activity in Latin America is Mexico, where the terrorist group has ready access to the US border. Principal Hezbollah activities there include human smuggling and narcotics trafficking. According to recent congressional testimony, “repeated apprehensions by Mexican authorities of human smuggling networks connected to Hezbollah over the past half-decade indicate that this troubling pattern of activity continues unabated.”27 Hezbollah’s capacity to move operatives across the US border was noted in a 2007 Homeland Security Committee staff report on threats along the border: “Members of Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization, have already entered to the United States across our Southwest border.”28
Hezbollah is not just one more criminal entity operating in the Americas.

In a notable case, Salim Boughader Mucharrafille was sentenced to sixty years in prison in 2008 after being arrested in 2002 by Mexican authorities on charges of organized crime and immigrant smuggling. Mucharrafille, a Mexican of Lebanese descent who owned a small restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, just south of San Diego, smuggled 200 people, reportedly including Hezbollah supporters, into the United States.29 A second case involved Mahmoud Youssef Kourani, who pled guilty in 2005 in the United States to providing material support to Hezbollah. Kourani had bribed a Mexican official in Beirut for a visa to travel to Mexico. From there, he crossed the US border and made his way to Dearborn, Michigan, where there is a sizable Lebanese expatriate community, and began raising funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Kourani’s brother is Hezbollah’s chief of military operations in southern Lebanon.30

While there certainly have been no reported cases of Hezbollah smuggling operatives across the border to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States, it is neither “sensationalist” nor “alarmist” to be concerned about it and respond with appropriate policy measures.31

Hezbollah’s other focus is making common cause with drug trafficking networks in Mexico (and elsewhere in the Americas). For example, in March 2009, current and former US officials told the Washington Times that ties between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels have been strengthening over the past few years. According to Michael Braun, a former high-ranking Drug Enforcement Administration official, Hezbollah relies on “the same criminal weapons smugglers, document traffickers and transportation experts as the drug cartels.”32

According to an internal September 2010 Tucson (Arizona) Police Department memo leaked by an Internet hacker group, law enforcement authorities there are concerned about links between Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and Hezbollah.33 Specifically, they note Hezbollah’s long-established expertise in the use of small improvised explosive devices and car bombs and the dire implications for border security if such expertise and technology was transferred to Mexican DTOs.

According to the memo, “Recent events involving the use of VBIEDs [vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices] make a significant change in tactics employed by DTOs and conjure images expected to be seen in the Middle East. While no connection has been made, Hezbollah’s extensive use of VBIEDs raises strong suspicion concerning a possible relation to Mexican DTOs.”

Another disturbing development signaling a growing relationship between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels is the increasingly sophisticated narco-tunnels being found along the US-Mexico border. According to ¬investigative journalist Doug Farah, these tunnels ¬resemble the types used by Hezbollah in Lebanon, raising the concern that Hezbollah is providing drug traffickers

the technology to construct such smuggling channels.34 Farah also notes that “numerous former intelligence and law enforcement officials have publicly discussed the appearance in recent years of arrested gang members entering the United States with Farsi tattoos and other goods that could indicate a Hezbollah influence.”

Some US policymakers are keenly aware of the threat. Last year, Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano calling for more intelligence gathering on Hezbollah activities on the US border and requesting that she “form a Homeland Security task force to engage U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah’s presence, activities, and connections to gangs and rug cartels.”35

Frankly, it would be more surprising if there was no cooperation between Hezbollah and Mexican cartels, given the obvious benefits to both criminal groups. The cartels are able to access Hezbollah’s smuggling and explosives expertise and links with drug trafficking networks in the Middle East and South Asia. Hezbollah is able to establish a presence in a lawless environment with ready access to the US border at the same time it promotes harmful activity to undermine the US social fabric.

Conclusion

Research demonstrates that Hezbollah—via its patrons Iran and Venezuela—has engaged the United States in an offensive strategy of asymmetric warfare designed to expand its influence in an area of strategic importance to the United States, to the detriment of US interests. Neither Hezbollah, Iran, nor Venezuela has made any secret of their strategy and objectives.

Primarily because Hezbollah now enjoys “official” support from some governments in Latin America—including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua—combined with the unwillingness of other governments to recognize its threat, we can expect to see the Hezbollah presence in Latin America become more active and deadly in the coming years. Hugo Chávez’s illness may complicate Venezuela’s risky support for Hezbollah (Ahmadenijad was forced to cancel another visit to Venezuela in September 2011 because of Chávez’s declining health), but unfortunately its terror network has metastasized in the Americas. Our research indicates, moreover, that the most tempting target for Hezbollah in the region is Brazil, one of the world’s ten largest economies with a population of 1 million Muslims.

In developing effective policy responses, we must understand the threat we are confronting. Hezbollah is not just one more criminal entity operating in the Americas. As Doug Farah states, “The nature of the threat to the United States then is not merely the drugs in the criminal pipelines and multiple transnational criminal activities that directly affect us every day. It is the establishment of political and financial influence and military presence by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that enjoys the state sponsorship of Iran and, to a lesser degree, Syria, in concert with states that are hospitable to its movements and that are replicating its model, particularly south of the border.”36

That model relies on someone else to do your dirty work. In this case, the so-called ALBA countries, united by nothing more than anti-Americanism, are using a designated terrorist organization to service their destructive agendas. That this provides them a direct channel to the US border should concern all US policymakers.

US and other government authorities have identified and sanctioned some of the leaders of these networks, and US law enforcement agencies—led by the Drug Enforcement Administration—have made great efforts to assess and confront this threat by building cases against foreign officials and sanctioning commercial entities that provide support to this criminal terror organization. However, this dangerous network requires a whole-government strategy, beginning with an interagency review to understand and assess the transnational, multifaceted nature of the problem; educate friendly governments; and implement effective measures unilaterally and with willing partners to disrupt and dismantle their operations.

The stakes are clear. In a May 2011 visit to Bolivia, Iranian Defense Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi proclaimed that in the event of any military confrontation between Iran and the United States, “The strong Iran is ready for enemy-crushing and tough response in case of any illogical and violent behavior by the U.S.” There is every reason to believe that such a response would utilize every weapon in Iran’s arsenal, including Hezbollah. But we do not have to wait until an outbreak of military hostilities between the United States and Iran to confront Hezbollah’s continuing efforts to consolidate its presence and expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere. The United States and responsible governments in Latin America need to act now, precisely so that we do not have to respond later.

Roger F. Noriega (rnoriega@aei.org), a senior State Department official from 2001 to 2005, is a visiting fellow at AEI and managing director of Vision Americas LLC, which represents foreign and domestic clients. José R. Cárdenas (jrc@visionamericas.com) is a contributor to AEI’s Venezuela-Iran Project and an associate with Vision Americas.

View this Outlook as a PDF

Notes

1. Rex Hudson, Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of South America (Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 2003), www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/TerrOrgCrime_TBA.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011). The area has proven inviting not only to Hezbollah but other Islamic extremist groups, including the Islamic Resistance Movement (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya-Hamas), Islamic Jihad, al-Gama’s al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group), and al Qaeda, in addition to a number of transnational criminal organizations.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, “Imam from Trinidad Convicted of Conspiracy to Launch Terrorist Attack at JFK Airport,” news release, May 26, 2011, www.justice.gov/usao/nye/pr/2011/2011may26b.html (accessed September 29, 2011). Venezuela hosts a regular flight between Caracas, Tehran, and Damascus with secret passenger lists and cargo manifests. According to Brazil’s Veja magazine, Brazilian intelligence officials label the flights “AeroTerror.” See Rodrigo Rangel, “‘Professor’ Terrorista,” April 18, 2011, www.itamaraty.gov.br/sala-de-imprensa/selecao-diaria-de-noticias/midias-nacionais /brasil/veja/2011/04/18/201cprofessor201d-terrorista (accessed September 30, 2011).

5. Robert M. Morgenthau, “The Link between Iran and Venezuela: A Crisis in the Making?” (speech, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, September 8, 2009), www.gfip.org /index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=257&Itemid=74 (accessed September 27, 2011).

6. Jack Khoury, “Mexico Thwarts Hezbollah Bid to Set Up South American Network,” Haaretz, July 6, 2010, www.haaretz .com/news/diplomacy-defense/mexico-thwarts-hezbollah-bid-to-set-up-south-american-network-1.300360 (accessed September 27, 2011).

7. Roger Noriega, “Is There a Chavez Terror Network on America’s Doorstep?” Washington Post, March 20, 2011.

8. Casto Ocando, “‘Había una nominita como de 1 millón de dólares’ para los altos mandos en Venezuela,” Univision, March 31, 2011, http://noticias.univision.com/aqui-y-ahora/article/2011-03-31/entrevista-exclusiva-walid-makled-aqui-ahora-denuncia-narco-corrupcion-chavez (accessed Septem-

ber 27, 2011).

9. Olimpio Guido, “L’ Hezbollah sbarca a Cuba ‘Prepara nuove azioni’,” Corriere Della Sera, August 31, 2011, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2011/agosto/31/Hezbollah_sbarca_Cuba_Prepara_nuove_co_9_110831020.shtml (accessed September 27, 2011); Menachem Gantz, “Report: Hezbollah Opens Base in Cuba,” Ynetnews, September 1, 2011,

www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4116628,00.html (accessed September 27, 2011).

10. To emphasize the point that fundraising is not the end-all for Hezbollah operatives in Latin America, one analyst cites the case of Sobhi Mahmoud Fayad, who was arrested by Paraguayan authorities in 2001 after he was caught surveilling the US embassy in Asunción. It turns out Fayad was also a prolific fundraiser for Hezbollah, sending on some $50 million amassed in the region. That Hezbollah would sacrifice such a fundraising asset on a risky endeavor demonstrates the centrality of operational planning over any other objective in Hezbollah leaders’ mind-set. See Cyrus Miryetka, “Hezbollah in the Tri-Border Area of South America,” Small Wars Journal, September 10, 2010, www.smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/533-miryekta.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011).

11. Douglas M. Fraser, “Posture Statement,” Testimony before the 112th Congress, House Armed Services Committee, March 30, 2011, www.armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files /serve?File_id=fcc6b631-6b51-4bdb-b0a0-6b97ea36cb58 (accessed September 29, 2011).

12. Keith Johnson, “U.S. Cuts Off Firms Over Iran,” Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2011.

13. José R. Cárdenas, “The Chávez Model Threatens Ecuador,” AEI Latin American Outlook (March 2011), www.aei.org/outlook/101037; Douglas Farah, Into the Abyss: Bolivia under Evo Morales and the MAS (Alexandria, VA: International Assessment and Strategy Center, 2009), www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20090618_IASCIntoTheAbyss061709.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011).

14. Douglas Farah, “Hezbollah in Latin America: Implications for U.S. Security,” Testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, July 7, 2011, www.homeland.house.gov/sites /homeland.house.gov/files/Testimony%20Farah.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011).

15. This organization was founded in Argentina in 1972 to unite Muslims, namely the Syrian and Lebanese communities, in Latin America and has spread rapidly throughout Latin America, with offices in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Guadalupe Island, Antigua, and Uruguay. It is overtly anti-Israel; supportive of anti-American regimes in the Middle East and Latin America; and used as a platform for Hezbollah to raise money, recruit supporters, and solicit illegal visas.

16. “Reis-Jomhour-e Arzhantin Dar Sazeman-e Melal: Tehran Ba Mohakemeh-ye Maqamatash Dar Keshvar-e Sales Movafeqat Konad” [The President of Argentina: Tehran Should Accept Trial of Its Authorities in a Third Country], Asr-e Iran (Tehran), September 25, 2010, www.asriran.com (available in Persian, accessed September 29, 2011).

17. “Din va Siasat Dar Amrika-ye Latin Dar Goftegou Ba Ostad Mohsen Rabbani” [Religion and Politics in Latin America in Conversation with Professor Mohsen Rabbani], Book Room (Tehran), May 3, 2010, http://bookroom.ir/part,showEntity/id,6361/lang,fa/fullView,true (available in

Persian, accessed September 29, 2011).

18. “The Terrorist ‘Professor’,” InterAmerican Security Watch, April 20, 2011, www.interamericansecuritywatch .com/the-terrorist-“professor” (accessed September 27, 2011).

19. Marcelo Martinez Burgos and Alberto Nissman, Office of Criminal Investigations: AMIA Case (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Investigations Unit of the Office of the Attorney General, 2006), www.peaceandtolerance.org/docs/nismanindict.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011).

20. “Goftegou Ba Sarkar-e Khanom-e Ma’soumeh As’ad Paz Az Keshvar-e Arzhantin” [Conversation with Lade Ma’soumeh As’ad Paz From Argentina], Ahlulbayt (Tehran), June 13, 2011, www.ahl-ul-bayt.org/fa.php/page,3408A48858.html?PHPSESSID=a0a523bc897a6d59b91dceec651427cb (available in Persian, accessed September 29, 2011).

21. Ibid.

22. Marielos Márquez, “‘El Islam es una forma de vida’: Sheij Suhail Assad,” DiarioCoLatino, August 27, 2007, www.diariocolatino.com/es/20070827/nacionales/46487 (accessed September 27, 2011).

23. “Sourat-e Jalaseh” [Agenda], Iranianbrazil (Brazil), March 17, 2010, www.iranianbrazil.com/1388/12/26/post-8 (available in Persian, accessed September 29, 2011).

24. “Aein-ha-ye Ramezani Dar Berezil” [Ramadan Traditions in Brazil], Taghrib News (Qom), September 5, 2010, www.taghribnews.ir/vdcjtve8.uqeihzsffu.html (available in Persian, accessed September 29, 2011).

25. US Department of the Treasury, “Treasury Designates Islamic Extremist, Two Companies Supporting Hizballah in Tri-Border Area,” news release, June 10, 2004, www.treasury .gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js1720.aspx (accessed September 27, 2011).

26. “The Terrorist ‘Professor.’”

27. Ilan Berman, “Hezbollah in the Western Hemisphere,” Testimony before the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, July 7, 2011, www.ilanberman.com/9891/hezbollah-in-the-western-hemisphere (accessed September 27, 2011).

28. Michael T. McCaul, A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border (Washington, DC: House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations, 2007), www.house.gov/sites/members/tx10_mccaul/pdf/Investigaions-Border-Report.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011).

29. “Exclusive: Hezbollah Uses Mexican Drug Routes into the U.S.,” Washington Times, March 27, 2009.

30. McCaul, A Line in the Sand.

31. “Scare Tactics on the Border,” Washington Post, August 17, 2011.

32. “Exclusive: Hezbollah Uses.”

33. Tuscon Police Department/Tucson Urban Area Security Initiative, “International Terrorism Situational Awareness: Hezbollah,” internal memo, September 20, 2010, http://undhimmi.com/Downloads/AZ-Hezbollah.pdf (accessed September 27, 2011). To our knowledge, this memo’s authenticity has never been challenged.

34. Farah, “Hezbollah in Latin America.”

35. Sue Myrick, “Myrick Calls for Taskforce to Investigate Presence of Hezbollah on the US Southern Border,” letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano, June 23, 2010, http://myrick.house .gov/index.cfm?sectionid=22&itemid=558 (accessed September 27, 2011).

36. Farah, “Hezbollah in Latin America.”

37. Iranian Students’ News Agency, “Sanction Shows US Weakness, Says Iran Minister,” news release, June 1, 2011, www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iran/2011/iran-110601-isna01.htm (accessed September 29, 2011).

Opposing Statehood Bid, Supporting a New Path to Peace

Logan Bayroff

At college campuses across the country this fall, students are lining up on one side or the other of the most current fault line in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: To support the Palestinian statehood bid, or not?

Lines have been drawn, talking points distributed. The narratives of each side are familiar, as each makes the case for why this latest crisis is entirely the responsibility of the other. For those who know that ensuring Israel’s future as a democratic home for the Jewish people requires establishing a Palestinian state by its side, the moment, and the campus conversation, is sad and frustrating. It is clear to most that this latest initiative will not bring positive change on the ground. Instead, it will most likely increase tensions, anger and desperation, all of which could contribute to an expansion of the already growing violence. It is for these reasons that J Street U, the campus arm of J Street and the organization that I will serve this year as national student president, is opposed to the move — and that we worked throughout the summer to avoid this moment by encouraging support of President Obama’s efforts to restart negotiations.

Yet while we don’t support the Palestinians’ move, the collective response of the organized American Jewish community is troubling. On campus, the “Real Partners, Real Peace” initiative is indicative of the trend. Sponsored by the Israel on Campus Coalition in partnership with, among others, Christians United for Israel (an organization not exactly known for backing a two-state solution), “Real Partners, Real Peace” encourages students to distribute literature, write op-eds and host programming that makes the case, in short, that the Palestinians’ United Nations bid proves that Israel has no partner for peace.

There is no place in this narrative for the state-building and peacekeeping efforts of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which numerous Israeli generals and experts have praised as successful and crucial to the attainment of a two-state solution. No discussion of the increased settlement building on land that most Israelis and American Jews believe ought to be the future home of a Palestinian state. No questioning of how we arrived at this point, of how Israel was allowed to plummet to possibly its lowest international standing ever, of how so many in the American Jewish community decided to attack our president when he tried to avert this situation last May with a fair-minded speech.

None of this, sadly, is surprising. As a young person who grew up in the Jewish community, from day school through college I have long been taught to treat the conflict as a war between the good guys and the bad guys.

Campaigns like “Real Partners,” by focusing on a two-state solution, reflect a growing recognition in the Jewish community that the story as I was taught it is unconvincing to most young Americans. Yet the new package, when opened, reveals the old narrative of us verses them, unchanged.

The values on which our American and Jewish heritages are built — introspection, compassion, humility, creativity — have little voice in such a conversation. The large number of American college students who cherish these values will be hard-pressed to find any trace of them in the Israel advocacy they see on campus.

It is no wonder, then, that so many young people step away from the conversation. I know too many students for whom this new attempt to paint the Palestinians as the sole uncompromising party to this conflict is alienating, friends who support Israel yet see in these arguments only a hollow — sometimes even hateful — rhetoric.

We have, then, a choice. We can continue to pretend that these issues are black and white — that all Palestinians are wrong and all Israelis are right, that there is no Palestinian partner for peace and no Israeli obstacles to it. We can call for “retribution” against the P.A. or the U.N. in the form of funding cuts. In so doing, we will further undermine the current Palestinian leadership, both internationally and in its own society. Given that Israel cannot survive as a democratic Jewish homeland absent a Palestinian state, weakening a Palestinian leadership that is open to negotiation is potentially disastrous. If we say “we have no partner” for long enough, it will prove a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Or we can go a different route. We can adopt an attitude of constructive self-criticism and compassionate action. We can re-examine the basic tenets of an attitude toward the conflict that has brought us no closer to a solution. We can put ourselves in the shoes of the other and exchange a one-sided approach for a much fuller view. We can welcome new voices into the fold. We can embrace our role as advocates for a peaceful, safe and secure Israeli future. We can recognize the interdependent reality of the conflict, standing with Israel while combating destructive attempts in our Congress to cut aid to Palestinians.

J Street U’s growth over the past year — to more than two dozen campus chapters today from just seven, to more than 500 students at our conference last year from 220 — demonstrates that if young people are invited to engage seriously and thoughtfully with this issue, we will respond.

Yet as long as we as a community continue to prefer well-worn rhetoric and knee-jerk rejection to thoughtful and serious analysis, all the combined efforts of Israel advocacy will remain just a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing — nothing except the sad depths to which we’ve fallen.

Logan Bayroff is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania and national student president of J Street U.


Comment: I share this article to demonstrate a serious trend among young Jews on our USA campuses. Our authentic narrative is being hijacked by subtle psychological use of values key to the Jewsih tradition. Notice how the author frames, as though it is from an authority, the notion that Israel can no longer remain free and democratic unless there is a Palestinian state. This is so incorrect, so wrong morally, and very much an attempt to shift the reality on the ground, where I live, to one that is bordering on nonsense. However, using the proper language, word smithing their argument infused with Jewsih values, the truth becomes distant. We have work to do-our enemy knows about divied and conquer.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the causes of the Holocaust

N. Shuldig – July 2009

If we could say that there was a bright spot in the gloomy and somber history of the holocaust, perhaps we could point to the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto.

If in all the dark and disgusting annals of recent history, when Jews were led to murder like sheep let to slaughter, when Jews were tortured for fun, it was the revolt in the Warsaw ghetto.

This alone stands out as a monument to the Jewish ability to resist the Nazi onslaught. Yet I believe that it is precisely in the story of the uprising that the deeper cause of the holocaust can be seen. Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933. His plans were obvious from his speeches and his book, Mein Kampf, first published in, yet we find that the Jews did not seem to be particularly worried or anxious at that time. As Hitler became stronger and bolder and began instituting his laws against the Jews, and allowing atrocities to take place against the Jews, most German Jews felt that this would pass. After all, was not Germany an enlightened country; wasn't Germany one of the first countries to give Jews equal rights; didn't Jews serve in the German Parliament, the Bundestag, and distinguish themselves in the first World War? Jews enjoyed equal rights in Germany from the mid 1800's and participated fully in the nation's affairs.

Yet with all of this goodness bestowed upon them from the previous German governments, 1933 saw the beginning of the oppression of the Jews in Germany. Jewish stores and offices were officially boycotted; Jews were refused work and fired; Jewish children were not welcome in public schools. As the years progressed, the oppression increased. In 1938 Kristallnacht increased the persecution and began a series of wanton killing and confiscation of Jewish properties. It was not until 1941 that Auschwitz was chosen to be the first extermination camp.

* * *
Let us now look at Warsaw: Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 and by October 6th the country was under German control. One year later, on October 2, 1940, the Warsaw Ghetto was created. It was an area surrounded by a wall three meters high which was topped by broken glass and barbed wire. By April 1941 the ghetto population exceeded 500,000, many refugees deported by the Germans from towns in surrounding areas.
People lived in sub-human conditions. Starvation and death on the streets of homeless children was not an uncommon sight. Round ups by Germans and summary executions became common in the streets. Disease was common amidst the filth.

The uprising did not begin until January 18, 1943 when the Germans began a planned deportation of the Jews. The bulk of the rebellion took place from April 19 until May 16, 1943 when the German successfully destroyed the armed resistance movement.

Although the ghetto had been created in October of 1940, it took over two years for the Jews to begin a resistance movement against the Nazis. Although knowledge of mass murders circulated amongst the Jews, no action was taken. What caused such a long delay for Jews to begin to fight? Rumors had come into the ghetto as to the true intentions of the Nazis and the ghetto population had seen clearly with their own eyes how brutal they were treated, starved, tortured and executed, yet, resistance came late. Why?

At that time there were much divergent opinions amongst the Jews in political ideology and religious matters. Jews were Bundists, (a socialist leaning Russian workers party member) who had close links with the Polish Socialist Party. The communist Jews sympathized with Stalin who had distrusted the Polish Communist Party and ordered that it be disbanded in 1938. The left wing Zionists were basically the most militant Jewish group. They believed in fighting against the Nazi threat by organizing massive resistance. The left wing Zionists included HaShomer HaTzair, Dror and the Hekhalutz movements. Also there was the Right Poale Zion and the Left Poale Zion groups. There were the various religious groups and there were assimilated Jews. There were even Jews who had converted to Christianity but were considered Jews by the Nazis and put in the ghetto. However most Jews fell into the category of being non-affiliated – but just plain and simply Jewish - who could influence them? And then there were the criminals who would sell information or steal material just to survive.

In order to have an armed revolt it required co-operation and planning. It required trust and training. It necessitated working together and sharing resources which were indeed very few. It required a conviction that one Jew could depend upon the other.

It was March 1942 that the leaders of the Communists and the left-wing Zionist first came together in a meeting in Warsaw. They wanted to unite all the organizations to actively resist the Nazis however the Bund leaders refused to join to any group that did not have the same interests of the international Bund party. It decided to have its own fighting group and refused to co-operate with the others. In addition, there were Jews who belonged to the Nazi-run civilian administration of the ghetto and also Jewish policemen who were in the employ of the Nazis and then there were those who (generally because of desperation) believed the Nazi lies of resettlement.

The religious Audath Israel party believed that a rebellion would bring destruction to the ghetto and believed that a miracle would take place. The others argued that they were all doomed anyway; let them die fighting. The difficulty of organizing a rebellion under circumstances when cooperation was at best a minimum and mistrust from group to group instilled a desire to shun the other made a successful rebellion almost a impossible goal.

By the time the Jewish groups organized themselves it was late. Their efforts to contact other underground Polish groups were met with suspicion and sometimes anti-Semitic feelings; never the less, they tried to acquire weapons from the Polish partisan movements. The Polish underground movement was anti-Semitic and had no desire to help Jews.

It is my opinion that the animosity between the various groups especially among the Jewish groups kept them from working with one another. As one of the Bund members said as he sat down to negotiate with the representatives of the Zionists, that if it were not for the accursed ghetto conditions they should not be sitting at the same table.

The difficulty of each group accepting the other coupled with the chasm created by the differences in political and social outlook make co-operation extremely difficult. I believe that one of the greatest contributions that caused Jews to be lead to death with no resistance. It seems to me that from the side of the Jews that their inability to put aside their own petty priorities and work for the good of the general caused many more deaths than if the Jews had put down their group isolation and smug superiority and worked together from the beginning. It was not until it was too late, and too little when the various sides decided to work together, but when they did, the few determined fighters caused many casualties in the Nazi army and interfered with the carrying out of death camp deportations.

We are living in a post holocaust period. Yet the threats to the Jews living in the land of Israel are now coming from a fanatical and tyrannical Iran. Yet no one seems overly concerned. We Jews seem to be living in our wonderland, the political leaders can not seem to get together to make a stand against Ahmadinejad and the Iranian nuclear program. The Israeli parliament can't agree on any method of ending the increasing terror on its border and seems each day coming closer to giving the (Arabs) their own government with out seeing any concessions from them.

Are we falling into the trap that the Jews in Europe did some sixty-seventy years earlier?
Why do we not learn from history the horrors that crazy dictators like Ahmadinejad can bring?

http://www.jewishmag.com/135mag/warsaw_ghetto_uprising/warsaw_ghetto_uprising.htm





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CAMERA Prompts International Herald Tribune Correction on Settlements

CAMERA staff has prompted a correction today in the International Herald Tribune regarding a Sept. 19 article which had doubled the number of Israelis living in the West Bank. The error was first noted on CAMERA's Snapshots blog the day it was published. The error and correction follow: Error (International Herald Tribune, Neil MacFarquhar, 9/19/11): They remain under occupation, the number of settlers in the West Bank has tripled to around 600,000, and they have far less freedom of movement in the territories ostensibly meant to become their state.

Correction (10/6/11): An article on Sept. 19 about the Palestinian application to join the United Nations misstated the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. There are 600,000 living on land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem captured in 1967, not in the West Bank alone.

CAMERA commends the Tribune for correcting the record.

International Herald Tribune

Error (International Herald Tribune, Neil MacFarquhar, 9/19/11): They remain under occupation, the number of settlers in the West Bank has tripled to around 600,000, and they have far less freedom of movement in the territories ostensibly meant to become their state.

Correction (10/6/11): An article on Sept. 19 about the Palestinian application to join the United Nations misstated the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. There are 600,000 living on land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem captured in 1967, not in the West Bank alone.



Error (New York Times, 8/18/10; International Herald Tribune, 8/19/10, Nada Bakri): While about 4.7 million refugees from the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967 are spread across the region, many of them in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Syria, the estimated 400,000 in Lebanon have endured some of the most wretched conditions.

Correction (8/21/10 in NY Times, 8/24/10 in Tribune): An article on Wednesday/Thursday [CAMERA notes: Wednesday was noted in the Times and Thursday in the IHT] about the passage of a law in Lebanon granting Palestinian refugees the same rights to work as other foreigners referred imprecisely to the refugees. Although the United Nations now registers about 4.7 million Palestinian refugees throughout the region, most are the descendants of the 700,000 who fled the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 and the 300,000 who fled in 1967.



Error (International HeraldTribune, Neil MacFarquhar, 9/16/09): The [Goldstone] report did not take a position on the hotly contested number of civilian casualties during the Gaza war. It noted that they range from the Israeli government figure of 1,166 to the Hamas figure of 1,444, with a couple of humanitarian organizations' estimates somewhere between.

Correction (9/25/09): An article Sept. 16 on casualties in the Gaza Strip war said 1,116 Palestinian civilians had been killed in the fighting. The figure actually covers the overall number of Palestinian casualties: civilians, combatants and unknowns. The proportion of civilian casualties remains in dispute.

CAMERA: In addition, Hamas' number of 1,444 relates to the group's claim about the total number of Palestinian casualties in the Gaza fighting, civilians and combatants alike.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Isabel Kershner, 7/29/08): Israel took Jerusalem in the 1967 war and then annexed it.

Correction (8/2-3/08): Because of an editing error, an article Tuesday about tensions between Hamas and Fatah misstated the history of Jerusalem. Israel conquered only the eastern part of the city in the 1967 war, not all of it, and later annexed that part.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Robert Worth, 4/23/08): Yona Sabar, a professor of Semitic languages at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that today, Malula and its neighboring villages, Jabadeen and Bakhaa, represent "the last Mohicans" of Western Aramaic, which was the language Jesus spoke in Palestine two millenia ago.

Correction (6/21-22/08): An article on April 23 about efforts in the village of Malula, Syria, and two neighboring villages to preserve Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, referred incorrectly to the name of the region where Jesus spent most of his time. It was Galilee -- not Palestine, which derives from the word Palestina, the name that Roman conquerors gave to the region more than 100 years after Jesus's death.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Patrick Seale, Op-Ed, 10/28/06): The killing continues on a daily basis – by tank and sniper fire, by air and sea bombardment, and by undercover teams in civilian clothes sent into Arab territory to ambush and murder, an Israeli specialty perfected over the past several decade. . . . Five Israelis have been killed by these [Qassam] rocket attacks in the past six years.

Correction (11/08/06): An article on Oct. 28, "Israel's scandalous siege of Gaza," gave an incorrect number for the Israelis killed by rockets fired from Gaza. The correct number is nine. The article also misstated that Palestinians in Gaza have been bombed and killed "on a daily basis" since June 25. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, 347 Palestinians have been killed in that period in the West Bank and Gaza, but the casualties have not occurred on every day.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Ian Fisher and Steven Erlanger, 6/29/06): Two Palestinians, aged 2 and 17, were reported killed Wednesday while playing with an unexploded Israeli shell in the southern town of Khan Yunis.

Correction (7/12/06): An article June 29 on the deaths of two Palestinians in an explosion in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis misstated the cause. Palestinians initially blamed an Israeli shell for the blast, but Palestinian security officials and Palestinian journalists later said that the blast appeared to be a Palestinian explosive that went off unintentionally.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Hans Küng, Op-Ed, 3/4-5/06): The Palestinians can likewise demand that first Israel withdraw from all occupied territories in accordance with UN resolution 242. . .

Correction (3/7/06): An opinion article Saturday about preventing a clash of civilizations referred incorrectly to UN Security Council Resolution 242, passed after the 1967 Middle East War, which calls for Israel's armed forces to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict," not all territories occupied in the war.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Saeb Erekat, Op-Ed, 11/26/05): Israel is a nuclear power boasting the fifth-largest military in the world. . . .

Correction (1/3/06): An opinion article on Nov. 26 about the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt referred to the Israeli military as "the fifth largest military in the world." While there are various ways to measure military strength, in terms of manpower alone and counting both active service members and reservists, Israel's miltary ranks 18th globally, according to data in the latest edition of "The Military Balance," a reference by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.



Error (International Herald Tribune, (NYT), 11/5-6/05): Israel began a 10-day period of commemoration and soul-searching on Friday, the 10th anniversary of the killing of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an angry settler trying to block progress toward peace with Palestinians.

Correction (11/9/05): A brief in some Saturday-Sunday editions misidentified the man who killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 10 years ago. The assassin, Yigal Amir, is a former soldier, but was not a settler.

CAMERA notes: The Tribune’s identification of Amir as a former soldier is bizarre, and somewhat irrelevant, given that most of the adult Israeli population are former soldiers.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Alan Cowell, 2/28/05): It broke a truce between Israelis and Palestinians that was declared on Feb. 8, and put President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine under strong pressure to demonstrate his ability to rein in militants prepared to sabotage peace efforts with bloody attacks on civilians inside Israel.

Correction (3/2/05): Because of an editing error, a front-page article Monday about the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv misidentified Mahmoud Abbas as the president of Palestine. He is president of the Palestinian Authority.



Error (International Herald Tribune, Neil MacFarquhar, 12/16/04): Economic issues here often come secondary to the emotional desire to see some sort of overall settlement that will return occupied lands, particularly the holy mosque in Jerusalem, and find some solution for millions of Palestinian refugees stuck for generations in camps.

Correction (1/28/05): An article Dec. 16 about a thaw in relations between Egypt and Israel referred imprecisely to the numbers of Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps. Almost 4.2 million Palestinian refugees are officially registered, of whom 1.3 million live in camps, according to United Nations figures. The number of officially registered refugees passed one million in 1957; the camp population passed one million in 1995. Thus the number of Palestinian refugees who have lived in camps for generations is not in the millions. (Official refugee numbers do not reflect Palestinians who fled the West Bank during the 1967 war or their descendants, now believed to exceed 800,000; they are officially considered displaced persons.) This correction was delayed for checking with several refugee organizations.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The five principles of Jabotinsky

Gennadiy Baruch Faybyshenko

http://www.bnaielim.org/#/articles/4533484724

The original five principles of Ahavat, Hadar, Barzel, Mishmaat and Bitachon Yisrael were theorized by one of the greatest 20th century Zionist Revisionists, Zev Jabotinsky, laying the foundation for one of the greatest, most prophetic Jewish leaders, Rabbi Meir Kahane, zt"l, hy"d, to implement them. The principles were the cornerstone of the Jewish Defense League and later adopted by the present day B'nai Elim. Because Jabotinsky's principles are more relevant now than ever before, they bear thorough explication.

First and foremost is the principle of Ahavat Yisrael--love of Jewry. This is taken from the third book of Torah, Leviticus 19:16: "You shall not stand idly by thy brother's blood." This means that whenever and wherever a Jew is hurt you should do everything in your power to help him or her. While it is noble to help other peoples, Jewish interest should come first. A Jewish leader should not march with his feet, but with his head. Yet there are so many Jews who need our help. The freeing of Soviet Jews by no means marked the end of Jewish persecution. Jews are stuck in Iran and Syria with no means of getting out. And unfortunately, there are Jews who are persecuted in Israel for being observant. The Israeli government confiscates self-defense weapons from Jews while providing weapons to Arab terrorists; Jews are arrested for defending themselves from Arab trespassers; the Israeli government tolerates Arabs shooting rockets at developing towns in the western Negev where kids are forced to live and study in bomb shelters, while Arab terrorists are pardoned from prison, and Jews whose only "crimes" were self-defense and public protests have no rights for parole. These miscarriages of justice should disturb every Jew. When similar events happen to other people in other countries, all Jews stand up and scream. When there were massacres in Darfur, Jews rose up quickly and marched by the thousands. Jews were again at the forefront of the movement against South Africa's apartheid, as well as the U.S. civil rights movement. How is it that I have never seen a rally for Ethiopian Jewry and Jews stuck in Arab countries? A truly good-hearted Jew should be disturbed and do something about it, even on a small scale. That is Ahavat Yisrael, the love for every Jew, no matter his background, religious affiliation, color of the skin or what language he speaks. A Jew is a Jew, and with few exceptions, in the moment of trouble, a Jew has no one to turn to, except for another Jew.

The second principle is Hadar, translated as dignity and pride, lacking in the majority of Jews. Throughout the ages, Jews were a minority fearful of what the majority would say, and tending to agree with the negative assessments-Jewish self-hatred. When Israel was at its peak in the late sixties and early seventies, the anti-Semites were quiet. But with the weakening of the Jewish State, all the anti-Semites, like rats and cockroaches, came out from their cracks to attack the Jew, preying on his weakness. We are living in the Messianic Era, where the ruling generation is similar to dogs as described in the book of prophets where the rulers care more for the wealth of their enemies than their own people. The Israeli government constantly embarrasses itself by negotiating with terrorists and hurting its own population. Many nations are shocked what is going on. Some even compare the Israeli government to the Bolshevik regime, but that is not quit true because the Bolshevik regime was trying to benefit its country while in Israel it's the other way around. Those actions produce anti-Semitism worldwide and embarrassment on the part of many Jews, breeding either indifference to what is going on, or even outright hostility toward Israel and Judaism in general.

A proud Jew should be ethical and respectful and show the anti-Semites that they cannot mess with a Jew without getting hurt. Pride fosters self-esteem and respect. Zev Jabotinsky tried to instill pride into Eastern European Jews but they laughed at him. And when the Nazis came to deport them to concentration camps, Jews suddenly became depressed and went like sheep to the slaughter house. Today the story repeats itself because there is a lack of pride in today's Jewish community. The public schools do not mention Jewish heroes except the Holocaust. Because the Holocaust is not a source of Jewish pride, Jews turn to revering gentile heroes. Jewish kids are jealous of gentiles because they have heroes. Yeshivas teach their students about Biblical heroes to some extent and mention that their situations cannot be repeated today. But in reality there is so much to be proud of. Jews are the only nation that did not become extinct throughout generations without having a land of its own and scattered among the nations. Hebrew is the only language in the world that was risen from the ashes and reborn. The world has witnessed the miracles of Israel being resurrected after 2000 years and the liberation of biblical Israel with Jerusalem as its capital in only six days. The Pentagon refuses to study Israeli wars because they defy reality. Imagine when five large mobilized Arab armies attacked the newly born state that just came into existence and lost embarrassingly to amateurs and people who survived the Holocaust. Behold the freedom fighters for Israel like Avraham Stern who fought zealously the British colonists, Joseph Trumpeldor who until the last moment of his life defended the Hill called Tel Chai with 100 Jews against 5000 Arabs, and said that it is so good to die for your country. The Irgun retaliated when Arabs attacked new Jewish settlements by destroying theirs. The brave Haganah, despite all odds and numbers, fought valiantly against the Arab armies that outnumbered them by a 100 to 1 ratio, and defeated them victoriously, driving the Arab armies to beg the United Nations for help. Consider also the martyrs from the freedom fighters for Israel who sacrificed themselves by destroying British posts, the brave warriors of the Jewish Defense League who sacrificed their freedom to free Jews from the former Soviet Union and many more. Yet another source of pride in our culture and religion is that the Jews were the first to recognize that there is only One Omnipotent in the universe, and all other religions, as much as they hate to admit, followed this Jewish concept, including Christians and Muslims. There are so many stories that during the Inquisitions Jews chose self-sacrifice rather than convert, where they jumped into fire with their children and burned alive. The biblical stories of the Great Revolt where Simon Bar Kochba lead his warriors against the Romans and pushed them out for some time by losing hundreds of thousands of their own. There is so much Jewish dignity to learn about and be proud of because to survive and indeed flourish after everything our people has been through, and to be at the center of world attention, takes a miracle.

The third principle is known as Barzel or Iron. The image of a Jew should be changed because a Jew is known as someone who walks away from trouble and pretends to be peaceful while he is being attacked. Some people say that a Jew should not stoop to their level, but in practice if he will not stoop to their level, he will fall six feet below. A Jew should train and know how to fight either in self-defense or defending his fellow Jews. It is much better to know how to fight and not have to, than have to and not know how to. African Americans have a good understanding of self-defense and they are proud of their heritage and will not allow others to desecrate.

When a Jew retreats from persecutions and fights, he sets a bad example for his fellow Jews. Obviously, if one's life is in danger, it is better to run-not walk-- away from a bully. Ends justify the means. A Jew should use any means necessary to survive, including using strength, force and violence. Violence is a terrible thing, but sometimes it is terribly necessary. The Torah commands Jews to slay your enemy first before they slay you. That makes perfect sense because staying idle, waiting for your enemy to slay you, will end you up in a grave and enable him to continue the massacre. Having liquidating your enemy, you are first and foremost alive and there is that much less evil in the world. We do not want the world's love, we want its respect. And the only way to gain respect is to earn it.

The fourth principle is Mishmaat Yisroel which stands for discipline and unity. A Jew should be disciplined and be the light unto all nations as G-d chose us to be. The Torah recognizes that there is a time for peace and a time for war. In peaceful times Jews should go about educating people to be decent and ethical, teaching them the concepts of Godliness. And in war time, Jews should set an example of not pitying one's enemies because unless you destroy them, your enemies will destroy you.

Unity is one of the biggest problem Jews have faced throughout history. Jews always separated themselves into different categories even while observing the same traditions. The modern State of Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, has 31 political parties which simply divide the nation. So what does unite Jews? It's not the language and culture because Jews come from the East and the West, North and South. It's not the songs or clothing. It's the Torah with its commandments. It is a known fact that the Jews who strayed from the Torah are the Jews who assimilated throughout the ages. Only those that observed faithfully, have their descendants alive today. The Torah and Talmud teach a Jew how to survive and the scriptures are valid at any given time. Jews are by no means monolithic in their political opinions, but the interesting thing is that when an Arab Muslim terrorist wants to blow himself up in a Jewish neighborhood, he will not care whether those Jews love him or hate him because, to him, a Jew is just a Jew. Last century there were Jews who did not want to leave the Galut and settle in the Land of Israel as G-d commanded. Those Jews even condemned Jabotinsky and banned him from coming. The gentiles exterminated those and almost no Jew is found in those places. The Jews may argue with each other, but in the end, they have to unite in order to survive.

The fifth principle is Bitachon, faith in the indestructibility of the Jewish people. This principle if very powerful and others cannot exist without it. We have to admit that only miracles saved the Jewish people from total annihilation. This is a strong faith in G-d of Israel, the One who created the heavens and the Earth. G-d showers us with love and tries to get us back on track when we lose our way. Jews were chosen for the mission of spreading the message of G-d until the final redemption. Without G-d, Jews would not survive the turmoil that has befallen them from biblical times, with the destruction of both temples and exile, crusades and inquisitions, persecution and harassment all over the world, pogroms and massive slaughtering of Jews, and the horrible plague of the 20th century that took away six million innocent Jewish lives. No other nation that ever existed on this planet has had to endure so much suffering, falling deep down and yet rising above all. Despite being such a small country, Israel tends to lead in many technological, medical, scientific, agricultural and other researches. Israel is mentioned almost daily on the news in every country in this world from the most civilized to the most barbaric ones. G-d gave the Jews His writings that we would closely follow them and understand His message. Without faith in G-d, there is no future, not for the Jews, not for Israel, not for the world. All natural odds are working against Jews. During the Holocaust the world thought that Jews would be history, yet they survived and prospered in Israel and America. Before 1967 the world thought that Arab countries would push the Jews into the Sea. Instead, Israel liberated more of its cities. As of now, it seems that there is no hope where Arabs inside Israel are becoming a majority, the politicians from all over the world (including Israel) are searching for ways to destroy the tiny Jewish State, and the surrounding countries are vigorously renewing their efforts to achieve Israel's annihilation. However, thank to G-d, the only G-d, not only will He keep Israel alive, but will make it greater and more powerful and will cast all of Israel 's enemies into oblivion and straight to hell. Jews should not be afraid to pursue any course of action that would sanctify the Name of the L-rd because no matter how difficult or impossible the task may seem, if it is a good task, if it is a holy task, it will succeed, because it must.

A Jew is sent into this world to be an example to the nations, and by walking away from his mission he is desecrating the Name of the L-rd and his fellow Jews. A Jew is sent to make the world better and influence the gentiles to follow a true path. King David was a fine Jew who studied during night and fought during the day. His heart and his mind were governed by the five principles outlined above. This is the kind of Jew we need to be today-- with a Sefer Torah in one hand and a sword in the other.an eved Hashem. That is the sanctification of G-d's Name; that is Kiddush HaShem.

PA Ambassador in Brazil: "Israel Must Disappear" -

Azevedo (Veja-Brazil [in Portuguese])
Imagine the scandal if an Israeli diplomat said: "The Palestinian Authority should disappear." On Friday, Alzeben Ibrahim, the Palestinian ambassador in Brazil, told a group of university students that "Israel should disappear."
"And this is not the ambassador of Iran or President Ahmadinejad who is speaking."
Thus it was evident that he did not mean Israel must disappear from the West Bank, but wiped off the map as Ahmadinejad preached.
Hamas also believes that Israel must disappear. The writer is a widely-read columnist for the largest magazine in Brazil.

Comment: This is an ever increasing mantra being played in the public arena by so-called Palestinian officials. There have been no retractions of any of the previous similar statements. One can conclude that this is the official policy of the group desiring sovereign status. Now, the UN and the countires supporting such elevation of terrorism should be held accountable. This behavior should be shouted, stated repeated and repeated until the Western countries finally secure a back bone and redress this group of evil individuals.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Diplomatic ambiguity

Richard Baehr

Diplomatic ambiguity

In an apparent breakthrough in terms of support for Israel among the nations of the EU, Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez in her address to delegates at the current General Assembly session, appeared to endorse Israel as the Jewish homeland. She also said that the Palestinian refugee issue needed to be resolved by Israel and the Palestinians, but not in a way that would endanger Israel’s character as a Jewish state. Jimenez also endorsed the concept of Palestine achieving non-member observer status at the U.N., considerably short of what the Palestinian Authority is now seeking with its application just submitted to the Security Council for recognition of a Palestinian state, and full membership in the U.N.

President Barack Obama also spoke at the U.N, endorsing the two state solution to the conflict, and arguing that Israel has faced long years of hostility from its neighbors.

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“The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.”

This language was not a direct endorsement of Israel as the Jewish state, a subject on which Obama was far more direct when he last spoke at AIPAC’s Policy Conference in May.

“The ultimate goal is two states for two people: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people -- (applause) -- and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people -- each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.”

But as to the subject of the “Palestinians refugees” right of return, the president has avoided making a comment similar to Spain’s Foreign Minister, at least since he became president. As a candidate for the White House, the president was less circumspect, arguing that there could be no Palestinian right of return to Israel.

Supporters of the president will argue that by endorsing Israel as the Jewish state, the president has de facto denied a right of return for the refugees. But if that is the case, why not address the issue directly? Since the president seemed comfortable laying out parameters for final borders between Israel and the Palestinians- the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed on swaps, why not address the right of return, an issue on which there has never been any sign of compromise from any Palestinian leader, whether so-called moderates (Abbas) or hardliners? The peace processors have always argued publicly that Israeli territorial compromise was the principle Israeli concession that is required. They have also always acknowledged, at least privately, that for a deal to be struck, the Palestinian will have to give up on the right of return. Why the fear to tell the truth to the Palestinians publicly on this issue?

The right of return, and the ability of the Palestinians to flood Israel with descendants of refugees, is at the heart of the Palestinian struggle. That struggle is not for two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian (Arab) living side by side in peace and security, the shopworn bromide of the professional peace processors. Rather the Palestinian goal has always been for a single Arab majority state of Palestine. When Abbas says that he seeks the end of 63 years of Israeli occupation what exactly would he be referring to in the period between 1948 and 1967, the first 19 years of Israel’s existence as a modern state, during which Egypt controlled Gaza, and Jordan controlled both the West Bank and the eastern portion of Jerusalem? What was Israel occupying in those years? Tel Aviv? Jaffa? Haifa? Beersheba?

So too, Abbas and his aides have stated in recent months that no Jews will be allowed to remain in the Palestinian state once it is created http://www.frumforum.com/abbas-palestine-no-jews-allowed, and that those who are classified as refugees will not have an automatic right of return to the new Palestinian state, but rather only to Israel http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/29/abbas-refugee-return-un/.

While the international media focus on an Israeli settlement freeze as the linchpin to getting talks started, the Palestinians’ intransigent position on the right of return is ignored. Their demand is for all descendants of the far fewer than 100,000 survivors of the so-called nakba dispersion from the 1948 war, to have a right to return to Israel, a country where about 98% of those now classified as refugees, have never been. The demand for a right of return for people who never lived in the land they supposedly have a right to return to (only for the Palestinians, does the U.N. recognize the same rights for descendants as for original refugees) is the best evidence one can find that a solution to the conflict is the last thing the Palestinians seek.

If President Obama wants to test the PA’s seriousness about deal-making, he should clarify that when he calls Israel the Jewish state, he is at least on the same page as Spain’s foreign minister - that this means that Israel can not be flooded with the descendants of refugees. Spain is a country that, post Aznar, is considered to be one of the most sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in Europe (right up there with Norway and Sweden). It is a country where public opinion polls register a high percentage of the population with negative attitudes towards both Israel and Jews. If Spain has the courage to speak candidly about the right of return, why can’t Israel’s supposed great friend, Barack Obama?

Jordan is Palestine: Arieh Eldad’s Two-State Solution

Mark Tapson | Daily Mailer,FrontPage | September 30, 2011

With a petition for Palestinian statehood presented before the United Nations last week, the issue of the disputed right to the land of Israel seems to many to be on the verge of an historic, if unsatisfying and controversial, resolution. But Dr. Arieh Eldad, a Member of Knesset and chairman of the Jewish nationalist Hatikva party, insists that the root of the issue is not territorial, and thus any peace plan based on the concept of dividing the land is destined for failure.

In his pamphlet titled simply “Jordan is Palestine,” Eldad writes

Dividing the land of Israel west of the Jordan into two states – Israel and a Palestinian state – has become the only political plan accepted for international and domestic (Israeli) discourse. This, despite dozens of failures in trying to implement it during the past ninety years. Every failed attempt has been accompanied by bloody conflict and/or war.
Recently Eldad – also chief medical officer and senior commander of the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps and a Brigadier-General in the IDF (Reserves) – expressed his iconoclastic opinions in a speech at Temple Ner Maarav in Encino, northwest of Los Angeles. Also entitled “Jordan is Palestine,” his presentation put forth what he calls the “simple truth” that the Jews, and not the Arabs, have an historic right to the land of Israel. “I’m all for ending the occupation,” he said. “We must end the occupation. Of course, I’m referring to the Muslim occupation of the land of Israel, starting in the seventh century.”

So yes, there is certainly a territorial component to the problem, Eldad acknowledges. But, he explained, falling back on a medical analogy that reflects his profession, “We have misdiagnosed the conflict. It is a religious war. It’s a clash of ideologies. It’s not a territorial conflict.”

Eldad gives an example of this clash of ideologies in a FrontPage Magazine contribution entitled “A Story of How Deep the Palestinians Have Sunk into the Moral Abyss.” A surgeon specializing in the treatment of burn victims, Eldad was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank in Jerusalem, the largest skin bank in the world, which stores skin for everyday needs as well as for wartime or mass casualty situations. He relates the true story of a Palestinian woman given medical attention there after her own family burned her for some transgression of “honor”:

One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her.

This is only one example of the war between Jews and Muslims in the Land of Israel. It is not a territorial conflict. This is a civilizational conflict, or rather a war between civilization & barbarism.

In his presentation last week he offered another example of the religious root of the conflict. Many thousands of Palestinian teachers, he said, work in the education system of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees),

and the only thing learn is to hate the United States, to hate Israel. If you open a math book of the fourth grade of a Palestinian school, you learn that “if a shahid, a martyr, on a bus can kill fifteen Jews, how many Jews can be killed by three martyrs on a train?” This is the kind of mathematics they learn in school.

Eldad’s solution?

Any alternative plan should be based on the fact that the Palestinians have their own state already in Jordan, a kingdom – in which the Palestinians are at least 75% of the residents – created after the British Mandatory land of Israel was divided into two. The plan should focus on resolving the regional solution by settling the Arab refugees in Jordan and other Arab countries that absorbed Palestinian refugees after the War of Independence in 1948…

Israel would exercise sovereignty over all territory west of the Jordan, receive exclusive authority over security issues in all areas of sovereignty, since Israel could never accept the existence of an army from another country west of the Jordan, with airspace sovereignty and full control of external borders…

The Plan “Jordan is Palestine” is the only approach that can handle conflict without endangering the very existence of the State of Israel.

There are four major elements of his plan: 1) recognition of Jordan as a Palestinian country; 2) the closure of UNRWA and the creation of a plan for the settlement of Arab refugees in Jordan, under the auspices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has a track record of successfully resettling tens of millions of refugees around the world; 3) Israeli and international guarantees of a continued Hashemite rule in Jordan, and 4) the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria.

If we remember that the main driving force of the Arabs in this conflict is Islam, the Jordan River border will not solve the conflict. But this plan will create a national state for Palestinians, who will be able to fulfill at least some national desires, and it will be a state whose very existence does not endanger Israel. The Jordan border will establish a clearly defensible border.

In addition to offering these recommendations, Eldad also pulled no punches last week when offering his opinion of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Eldad says that after Netanyahu’s humiliating treatment at the hands of Obama earlier this year, in which the President simply left the Prime Minister to mull over his demands while Obama abandoned him for dinner, Netanyahu exhibited exactly the same characteristics as a soldier afflicted with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Eldad decried Netanyahu’s willingness to bend under “extreme pressure” from the White House; he challenged him to answer the unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood with unilateral annexation of Judea and Samaria.

This is typical of Eldad’s bold, politically incorrect assertions. A year ago he called for the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, comparing him to Hitler. And unlike other politicians, Eldad does not sugarcoat the future. Because the Israeli-Arab conflict is religious and not territorial, he claims, there will not be peace in the Middle East. “I don’t promise peace. I promise containment of the conflict.”
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/09/30/jordan-is-palestine-arieh-eldad%e2%80%99s-two-state-solution/And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

There Has Never Been a Sovereign Arab State in Palestine – The Area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea

Eli E. Hertz

A Palestinian state now has a good chance of becoming a rogue state – the kind of polity the United States is currently grappling with in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran and elsewhere

The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations who never established a Palestinian state themselves.

The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinians rings hollow. Arabs in neighboring states, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its inhabitants part of the great “Arab nation,” historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria – Suriyya al-Kubra – a designation that extended to both sides of the Jordan River. In the 1950s, Jordan simply annexed the West Bank since the population there was viewed as the brethren of the Jordanians.

The Arabs never established a Palestinian state when the UN in 1947 recommended to partition Palestine, and to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” [not a Palestinian state, it should be noted]. Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during 19 years prior to the Six-Day War when Judea and Samaria known also as the West Bank were under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinian Arabs themselves clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

And as for Jerusalem: Only twice in the city’s history has it served as a national capital. First as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First And Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents. And again in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.

According to investigative journalist Joan Peters, who spent seven years researching the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine (From Time Immemorial, 2001), the one identity that was never considered by local inhabitants prior to the 1967 war was “Arab Palestinian.”

The Power of Weakness

Sultan Knish

Weakness is one of the greatest forms of power imaginable in the modern West. Weakness grants irresponsibility for personal actions and more importantly in a collectivist society, it provides freedom from for the collective burdens of society and civilization.

The weak are not responsible for their actions. They can rob, kill and rape, and still be excused for it . They can blow up buildings, behead prisoners and get sympathetic nods. Because they had no choice. Weakness is helplessness, it implies irresponsibility because the weak are not capable of making their own choices. Their choices have been made for them by the "Man", the "Patriarchy", the "Privileged" and the "Military-Industrial Complex"-- all different names for the defined power structure and the people who are responsible for it.

Since the choices have been made for them, they have no choice but to lash out. When they kill, it is not an action, but a reaction.

To the people being raped or murdered by them, the ones jumping from buildings and coming to claim the pieces of their children at the morgue afterward, they do not appear to be helpless at all. But that is only because the people being raped and murdered, and waiting to identify a small can of their child's remains are privileged. So privileged that they don't know how responsible they are for the state of affairs which caused them to be raped or murdered. Which caused their children to end up in coffee cans.

Even when they are being raped or waiting to die, they are still the strong and the responsible, and their rapists and murderers are the downtrodden and dispossessed. The weak who are so helpless that they cannot help but seek their source of strength through violence against their oppressors. And if those oppressors happen to be women and children-- well then as the left has said from France to Russia to New York to Israel- "Power to the People". The "People" being the ones doing the killing. The oppressors being the ones doing the dying.

Weakness does not always translate into such extremity. What it translates into is irresponsibility for the collective burden of guilt that the left hangs around the head of every society. The responsibility for the poverty, the bigotry and all the inequities that are said to spring from it.

There are no more personal failures, whether economic or marital or ethical, only collective ones-- and the strong are responsible for their own failures and for everyone else's, while the weak are not even responsible for their own failures.

On the collective scale, choice is nearly irrelevant. Only people with power have choices. The idea that the man waiting in the alley with a knife has a choice is a heresy because he is not a man with a knife, he is a collection of social statistics which assign him an automatic level of responsibility based on his race, gender, socioeconomic status and all the other variables. Whether or not he stabs someone with a knife, is not up to him, it's up to how society treats him.

Similarly financial troubles are not personal, they are social. Whether you can pay your bills has nothing to do with you, but with your race and class. If you succeed when the statistics say that you should fail, then you are an outlier. A rogue exception that only goes to prove the rule. Likewise if you fail when the statistics say that you should succeed. Individual actions can never disprove the collective snapshot of how society is.

If every person is wired into society like a giant bank of servers, then every individual malfunction is actually a social malfunction. If a man kills, then it's because his connection with society was bad. To understand why it was bad, the left examines the nature of the connection. If it was a privileged connection, then he was warped by his excessive access to the innate racism, sexism, classism and all the other bad "isms" of the society. If it was an underprivileged connection, then he was warped by his lack of access to the benefits that society had to offer him and being marginalized, he went off the reservation.

Since all responsibility ultimately devolves to the society, not to the individual, and since the degree of individual responsibility depends on the degree of his connection with the society-- the less the connection, the less the responsibility. The man driving to work from the suburbs is more responsible for a murder in the ghetto than the actual murderer because he has helped create the conditions that led to the murder.

The "weak" murderer is better than the "strong" murder victim because being outside society, he is not truly responsible for anything. Not for his own actions or for the ozone layer, for toxic waste, illegal wars, unrealistic portrayals by the media and the rest of the litany of guilt that the left recites every day in its ceaseless prosecution of all of society and civilization.

In a society where people are expected to feel responsibility for planetary catastrophes and local inequities alike-- weakness is the greatest form of freedom.

Weakness is moral freedom because it liberates you from responsibility for your own actions and those of society. It is political freedom, because the weak can never say or believe anything that is inherently wrong, only "unhelpful". It is political privilege because politicians are expected to pay more attention to the downtrodden. It is economic privilege because companies are expected to redress social ills by advantaging the oppressed.

This dependent-independence from the system is a paradox as the weak derive maximum benefit from the system, while taking the least responsibility for it. It is the essence of the un-citizen of the nanny state who does not need to care how things are run, so long as they appear to be run for his benefit.

When social weakness is translated globally then it leads to global weakness. The globally weak, like the socially weak, are not responsible for their atrocities and genocides. It is the strong nations that are responsible to them and for them. Even when the weak are ridiculously wealthy and powerful, they are still weak. This is true socially and globally.

The weak can never become strong because they are a permanent constituency for change. To be week is to be in need of a protector, whether it's the nanny state or the united nations. Weakness justifies the illegal exercise of power on behalf of the weak. It justifies the disenfranchisement of citizens in a nation state, the destruction of nation states and the end of all individual rights if that is what it takes to create a just society. And that is what it always takes.

The left justifies its existence and its abuses by its self-depiction as a revolutionary force dedicated to remedying inequities in a permanent cycle of reforms that ends only when it enjoys total control and wields maximum power over every aspect of life under its dominion. Since equality cannot be created through the inequity of power, and since the left's mission is to create power inequities in order to remedy power inequities, its revolutions and reforms justify a permanent totalitarian state.

Social inequity is the permanent emergency that the left uses to justify its totalitarian state and the perpetuation of social inequity is the means which the left uses to maintain a state of permanent emergency. If one form of social inequity diminishes, the left finds another. And another. This endless search leads to a deconstruction of every aspect of society and the destruction of every human system. Human ways of living are replaced with grafted on artificial modes that fail and destroy their users. And the worse the society becomes, the more the state of permanent social emergency is justified.

The left consists of the strong who challenge the strong in the name of the weak, regardless of whether the weak want the challenge or not. By conceptually dividing the strong from the weak, the left disenfranchises the weak, and then disenfranchises the strong in the name of the weak. The end again is tyranny.

The left's remedy to inequity is to convince the majority and minority that they are incapable of exercising their power in a constructive fashion. The minority is told that they are incapable of it because the majority will not allow them the freedom to do it, but will thwart every effort they make at empowering themselves. The majority is told that any exercise of their power is a form of privilege which consciously or unconsciously disenfranchises the minority.

The minority are taught that they are weak. The majority are taught that they are abusive. The weak can escape into irresponsibility, while the strong escape into grandiosity. The weak refuse to take responsibility for anything until they become amoral monsters. The strong take responsibility for everything until they fancy themselves malicious gods who are destroying the earth.

By teaching some they are unnaturally weak and others that they are unnaturally strong, both are left unable to constructively exercise their power. The weak are taught that they can't do anything and therefore they can do everything without consequences. The strong are taught that they are doing everything and therefore should do as little as possible. Both are taught to distrust their use of power and to loathe their use of it.

The weak are taught to kill and still feel helpless. The strong are taught to feel that a single twitch of their finger is disturbing the earth. While the weak are robbed of conscious power, the strong are robbed of unconscious power. The weak treat their weakness as a strength and the strong treat their strength as a weakness. This leads naturally to the welfare state, to the elevation of the unqualified and the extinction of the competent.

Lost in all this is the individual as the pivot of life and the pillar of governments, whose rights justify the society and the state. By diminishing the individual to the level of a cog in a social machine, reducing his ambitions and dreams to irrelevancies amid the socioeconomic statistics that define his life, and eliminating his responsibility for his own actions, rather than those of others, the left destroys the base of every healthy society and the transformative energy that alters social orders.

In its pursuit of equality through tyranny, or tyranny through equality, it neuters the individual as the wielder of creative and economic forces that are actually capable of setting men free.